Thought for the Day – 7 September – – Saturday of the Twenty-second week in Ordinary Time, Year C and a Marian Saturday
The Heart of Mary Saturdays and the Saturday Rosary
By Sr M Jean Frisk SSM
In the message of Fatima, especially in the apparitions of 13 June 13 and 13 July 1917, Mary drew attention to the custom of devoting Saturdays to her and praying the Rosary in reparation. Lucia, the eldest of the three children heard the following on 13 June:
“My child, behold my heart surrounded with thorns which ungrateful men place therein at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, try to console me, and tell them that I promise to help, at the hour of death, with the graces needed for salvation, whoever, on the First Saturday of five consecutive months, shall confess and receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the fifteen Mysteries of the Rosary with the intention of making reparation to me.”
On 13 July, the children were again admonished to say the Rosary. At this time, the Blessed Mother asked for the consecration of the world to her Immaculate Heart and for communion of reparation on the first Saturday of each month. These messages were accompanied by an appeal and a promise – an appeal for prayer and reparation by the people for their transgressions against the divine law, a promise of peace and love in this life and eternal happiness in the next, on the twofold condition of prayer and amendment.
In 1925, Lucia vouched for this message, saying that Mary would assist us at the hour of death if the first Saturdays of five consecutive months were sanctified with confession, communion, praying the rosary and meditation.
This practice refreshed the custom known as the Rosary Saturdays, popular since the seventeenth century and continued to the present at places of pilgrimage. Both Pope Pius IX and Pope Leo XIII fostered this custom. St Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort (1673-1716), also fostered the rosary in connection with his missions, which often encompassed Saturdays.
Saint of the Day – 13 August – Saint John Berchmans SJ (1599-1621) Jesuit Novice – born Jan Berchmans on 13 March 1599 at Driest, Brabant, Belgium and died on 13 August 1621 at Rome, Italy of natural causes. Patronages – Altar Servers, Jesuit novices and students. He had a special devotion to God’s Mother and to him is owed the Little Rosary of the Immaculate Conception.
Born in 1599 in Diest, a town of northern Belgium near Brussels and Louvain, this angelic young Saint was the oldest of five children. Two of his three brothers became priests and his father, after the death of John’s mother when he was eleven years old, entered religion and became a Canon of Saint Sulpice.
John was a brilliant student from his most tender years, manifesting also a piety which far exceeded the ordinary. Beginning at the age of seven, he studied for three years at the local communal school with an excellent professor. And then his father, wanting to protect the sacerdotal vocation already evident in his son, confided him to a Canon of Diest who lodged students aspiring to the ecclesiastical vocation. After three years in that residence, the family’s financial situation had declined owing to the long illness of the mother and John was told he would have to return and learn a trade. He pleaded to be allowed to continue his studies. And his aunts, who were nuns, found a solution through their chaplain, he proposed to take John into his service and lodge him.
Saint John was ordinarily first in his classes at the large school, a sort of minor seminary, even when he had to double his efforts in order to rejoin his fellow students, all of excellent talent, who sometimes had preceded him for a year or more in an assigned discipline. He often questioned his Superiors as to what was the most perfect thing to say or do in the various circumstances in which he found himself. Such was the humility which caused the young to advance without ceasing on the road to heaven. Later he continued his studies at Malines, also not distant from Diest, under the tutelage of another ecclesiastic, who assigned to him the supervision of three young boys of a noble family. In all that John did he sought perfection and he never encountered anything but the highest favour for his services, wherever he was placed.
He found his vocation through his acquaintance with the Jesuits of that city and manifested his determination to pursue his course, although his father and family opposed it for a time. It had been decided that he would continue his studies at the Jesuit novitiate of Malines, with about 70 other novices. With another young aspirant, he was waiting in the parlour to be introduced, when he saw in the garden a coadjutor Brother turning over the ground in the garden. He proposed to his companion to go and help him, saying: Could we begin our religious life better than with an act of humility and charity? And with no hesitation, both went to offer their assistance. How many young persons in that situation would have thought of such an offer? This incident reveals the profound charity and interior peace which characterised this young religious at all times.
As a novice he taught catechism to the children in the regions around Malines. He made his instructions so lively and interesting that the country folk preferred his lessons to the ordinary sermons. The children became attached to him and in a troop would conduct him back to the novitiate, where he distributed holy pictures, medals and rosaries to them. At the end of his novitiate in 1619 he was destined to go to Rome to begin serious application to philosophy but his superiors decided to send him home for a few days first. A shock awaited him at the train station of Malines, where he was expecting to meet his father, he had died a week earlier. John was given time to take the dispositions necessary to provide for the younger brothers and sister. When he departed, it was apparently with a premonition that he would perhaps never see them again, for he said in a letter to the Canon of Diest with whom he had dwelt, to tell the younger ones for him – “Increase in piety, in fear of God and in knowledge. Adieu.”
With a fellow novice he began the two months’ journey on foot to Rome, by way of Paris, Lyons and Loreto, where the two assisted at the Christmas Midnight Mass. Both of these two young Jesuits would die within three years’ time, his companion in a matter of several months. John had time during these three years to give unceasing proofs of his already perfected sanctity, nothing that he did was left to chance but entrusted to the intercession of his Heavenly Mother, to whom his devotion continued to increase day by day.
He made an extraordinary effort during an intense heat wave in the summer of 1621, participating splendidly in a debate, which took place at a certain distance from the Jesuit residence, despite the fact he did not feel well. Two days later he was felled by a fever, which continued implacably to mine his already slight resistance, and he died in August of that year, after one week of illness. The story of his last days is touching indeed, in a residence of several hundred priests and students, there was none who did not follow with anxiety and compassion the progress of his illness. When the infirmarian told his patient that he should probably receive Communion the next morning — an exception to the rule prescribing it for Sundays only, in those times — John said, In Viaticum? and received a sad affirmative answer. He himself was transported with joy and embraced the Brother, the latter broke into tears. A priest who knew John well went to him the next morning and asked him if there was anything troubling or saddening him and John replied, Absolutely nothing.
He asked that his mattress be placed on the floor and knelt to receive his Lord, when the Father Rector pronounced the words of the Ritual – Receive, Brother, in viaticum, the Body of Our Lord Jesus Christ, all in attendance wept. Their angelic, ever joyous and affectionate young novice was called to leave them, no clearer tribute than their tears could have been offered to the reality of his sanctity, his participation in the effusive goodness of the divine nature.
Devotion to his memory spread rapidly in Belgium, already in 1624 twelve engraving establishments of Anvers had published his portrait. He was Canonised in 1888 by Pope Leo XIII, at the same time as two other Jesuits who lived during the first century of that Society’s existence, so fruitful in sanctity — Peter Claver and Alphonsus Rodriguez. … (Saint Jean Berchmans, by Hippolyte Delehaye, SJ (J. Gabalda – Paris, 1922)
At the time of Berchmans’s death, his heart was returned to his homeland in Belgium where it is kept in a silver reliquary on a side altar in the church at Leuven (Louvain).
Our Lady, Refuge of Sinners/Refugium Peccatorum: St John Damascene calls Mary a city of refuge to all who flee to Her.
Blessed Antonio Baldinucci SJ (1665-1717) had a particular devotion to the Refugium Peccatorum image of Virgin Mary in the Church of the Gesu (Frascati) in Italy and commissioned a copy which he considered miraculous and carried it with him in his travels. The Jesuits spread copies of the image of the Madonna of Refuge in Mexico by the 19th century and it began to be depicted in missions there, often with clouds surrounding the lower portion of the image of the Virgin Mary holding the Child Jesus.
The term “Refugium peccatorum” is also used other works of Roman Catholic Marian art. For instance, there is a marble statue representing the Virgin Mary, on the grand staircase of the old municipal palace in Venice, Italy. The name came from the fact that the convicts were allowed to stop in front of the Virgin Mary’s statue to pray for their soul on the way to the scaffold.
The traditional feast day of Our Lady, Refuge of Sinners is today, 13 August.
St Anastasius the Monk
St Anastasius the Priest
St Cassian of Imola
St Cassian of Todi
St Conn O’Rourke
Bl Gertrude of Altenberg
St Helen of Burgos
St Herulph of Langres
Bl Jakob Gapp
Bl John of Alvernia St John Berchmans SJ (1599-1621)
St Junian of Mairé
St Ludolph Bl Marco d’Aviano/Mark of Aviano OFM Cap (1631-1699) Biography: https://anastpaul.com/2018/08/13/saint-of-the-day-13-august-blessed-mark-of-aviano-ofm-cap-1631-1699/
St Maximus the Confessor
St Nerses Glaietsi
St Patrick O’Healy
Bl Pierre Gabilhaud
St Wigbert of Fritzlar
Bl William Freeman
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
• Blessed Francesc Castells Areny
• Blessed Inocencio García Díez
• Blessed José Bonet Nadal
• Blessed José Boher y Foix
• Blessed José Juan Perot y Juanmarti
• Blessed Jose Tàpies y Sirvant
• Blessed Josep Alsina Casas
• Blessed Luciano Hernández Ramírez
• Blessed Maria de Puiggraciós Badia Flaquer
• Blessed Mateo Despóns Tena
• Blessed Modesto García Martí
• Blessed Pascual Araguàs y Guàrdia
• Blessed Pedro Martret y Molet
• Blessed Silvestre Arnau y Pascuet
Martyred Claretians of Barbastro – 51 beati:
• Blessed Agustín Viela Ezcurdia
• Blessed Alfons Miquel Garriga
• Blessed Alfons Sorribes Teixidó
• Blessed Antolín Calvo y Calvo
• Blessed Antoni Dalmau Rosich
• Blessed Atanasio Vidaurreta Labra
• Blessed Eduardo Ripoll Diego
• Blessed Esteve Casadevall Puig
• Blessed Eusebi Maria Codina Millà
• Blessed Felipe de Jesús Munárriz Azcona
• Blessed Francesc Roura Farró
• Blessed Francisco Castán Meseguer
• Blessed Gregorio Chirivas Lacamba
• Blessed Hilario Llorente Martín
• Blessed Jaume Falgarona Vilanova
• Blessed Joan Baixeras Berenguer
• Blessed Joan Codinachs Tuneu
• Blessed José Amorós Hernández
• Blessed José Blasco Juan
• Blessed José Figuero Beltrán
• Blessed José Pavón Bueno
• Blessed Josep Maria Badía Mateu
• Blessed Josep Ormo Seró
• Blessed Josep Ros Florensa
• Blessed Juan Díaz Nosti
• Blessed Juan Echarri Vique
• Blessed Juan Sánchez Munárriz
• Blessed Leoncio Pérez Ramos
• Blessed Lluís Escalé Binefa
• Blessed Lluís Lladó Teixidor
• Blessed Lluís Masferrer Vila
• Blessed Manuel Buil Lalueza
• Blessed Manuel Martínez Jarauta
• Blessed Manuel Torras Sais
• Blessed Miquel Masip González
• Blessed Nicasio Sierra Ucar
• Blessed Pedro García Bernal
• Blessed Pere Cunill Padrós
• Blessed Rafael Briega Morales
• Blessed Ramon Illa Salvia
• Blessed Ramon Novich Rabionet
• Blessed Salvador Pigem Serra
• Blessed Sebastià Riera Coromina
• Blessed Sebastián Calvo Martínez
• Blessed Secundino Ortega García
• Blessed Teodoro Ruiz de Larrinaga García
• Blessed Tomàs Capdevila Miró
• Blessed Wenceslau Clarís Vilaregut
They were martyred on 2 August through 18 August 1936 in Barbastro, Huesca, Spain and Beatified on 25 October 1992 by Pope John Paul II.
Art Dei – 18 June – The Memorial of Blessed Osanna Andreasi OP (1449-1505) – Her House in Mantua, Italy
This beautiful painting was donated to the Andreasi House in 2002 by private collectors, it is a replica of a painting made in the late 16th century, the original is also part of a private collection, attributed to Luigi Costa the Elder. This versions differs from the original in that it lacks the plate at the bottom and also because in the background we can see a large writing in gold letters and the figure of a swan, the symbol of the Andreasi family. Though the original is more intense, this version also is very interesting, with the large cross and the lily around it, indicating the woman’s condition of virgin. The crown of thorns she is holding evidently creates a direct relationship with the suffering of Jesus Christ. In the course of time, a specific physical type representing the Blessed took shape – she is both severe and beautiful, conveying a sense of quiet prayer but also the charisma of a benefactor.
This painting below, is another portrait of the Blessed, evidently from a series beginning with the work that is part of the private collection attributed to Costa the Elder. The low quality of this canvas does not, however, prevent the viewer from recognising her typical features, here particularly severe and lacking many of the usual symbols. Here, in fact, we see only the cross, long and slender, that the Blessed holds as usual in her right hand, showing it to the worshippers.
Blessed Osanna and the Mysteries of the Rosary
In this devotional composition, the Blessed Osanna is painted standing on the left, while invoking the Virgin Mary who appears above, surrounded by clouds, carrying Baby Jesus in her arms. Next to Osanna we see Saint Dominic, who is in turn admiring the celestial vision. The peculiarity of this painting is, however, the presence of a total of fifteen tondos on the two sides and in the upper part of the painting, depicting the Mysteries of the Rosary. On the right we have the Joyful Mysteries – Annunciation, the Visitation of Mary to saint Elizabeth, the Nativity, the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple, the Finding of Jesus in the Temple. On the left the Sorrowful Mysteries – the Agony in the Garden, the Scourging at the Pillar, the Crowning with Thorns, the Carrying of the Cross and the Crucifixion. Above the Glorious Mysteries – the Resurrection, the Ascension, the Descent of the Holy Spirit, the Assumption of Mary and the Coronation of the Virgin. Finally, it must be noted that between the Blessed and Saint Dominic, we can make out the outline of the city of Mantua seen from San Giorgio. This detail allows to identify with certainty the female figure as being the Blessed Osanna.
The home of the Blessed Osanna Andreasi
In between two floors is a small consecrated chapel and a study with painted cupboards. On the main floor are four rooms of which one is entirely fresh with trompe l’oeil architecture depicting columns, balustrades and Latin proverbs recorded on scrolls. The room of relics of the Blessed Osanna Andreasi (1449-1505) – Set among hydrangeas, roses and officinal plants in the courtyard is a delightful porch with 15th century pink marble columns bearing the Andreasi coat of arms. The interior frescoes date from the 15th, 16th and, above a fireplace, 17th centuries – the decoration on the wooden coffered ceilings is still visible in parts, while the floors and stairs are made of terracotta and the doors of wood. It was purchased by nobleman Niccolò Andreasi in the mid 15th century as his family home. The house underwent minor changes in the early 16th century when Andreasi’s daughter Osanna was beatified.
Property of the Andreasi family for centuries, the house passed in 1780 into the hands of the Magnaguti family by marriage. Conte Alessandro Magnaguti (1887 – 1966) bequeathed it to the Dominican Province Utriusque Lombardiae to perpetuate the memory and cult of Blessed Osanna, who was a Tertiary of the Order and whose home it was.
Since 1935 it has been home to the Dominican Fraternity, who restored it and created a cultural centre for the circulation of Dominican spirituality and for the study of Thomistic philosophy. They established the Association for Dominican Monuments in 1993. The house, which still preserves its vocation for philosophy, culture and mysticism, hosts courses on philosophy and art, comparative religion, conferences, book launches and exhibitions and is the home to countless amazing holy artworks, mostly depicting Dominican Saints but not exclusively.
Marian Thoughts – 24 May – ‘Mary’s Month’ – Friday of the Fifth Week of Easter, C
Mini Series – Pope Francis and the Holy Rosary
“Throughout her life, Mary did everything that the Church is asked to do in perennial memory of Christ. In her faith, we learn to open our hearts to obey God, in her self-denial, we see the importance of tending to the needs of others, in her tears, we find the strength to console those experiencing pain. In each of these moments, Mary expresses the wealth of divine mercy that reaches out to all in their daily needs.”
Pope Francis – 9 October 2016
The Fifth Luminous Mystery: The Institution of the Eucharist
“It is in the Lord, who gave His life for us on the cross, that we will always find that unconditional love which sees our lives as something good and always gives us the chance to start again.
In the Eucharist, Divine Mercy reveals itself in a special way. Celebrating the greatest mysteries of our faith, we touch the source of mercy.
The Eucharist is flavoured with Jesus’ words and deeds, the taste of His Passion, the fragrance of His Spirit. When we receive it, our hearts are overcome with the certainty of Jesus’ love. (18 June 2017)
Let us pray that frequent participation in the Holy Mass would expand our hearts, enrich our strength and enable us to give ourselves to our neighbours.”
Marian Thoughts – 23 May – ‘Mary’s Month’ – Thursday of the fifth Week of Easter, C
Mini Series – Pope Francis and the Holy Rosary
“Mary helps us to understand what it means to be a disciple of Christ. Eternally chosen to be his Mother, she learned to become his disciple. Her first act was to listen to God.”…
Pope Francis 9 October 2016
The Fourth Luminous Mystery: The Transfiguration
“The Transfiguration helps the disciples and also us, to understand that Christ’s Passion is a mystery of suffering but it’s especially a gift of infinite love on Jesus’ part. The event of Jesus, who is transfigured on the mountain, makes us also understand better His Resurrection. To understand the mystery of the cross it’s necessary to know in anticipation, that He that that suffers and is glorified, is not only a man but the Son of God, who has saved us, with His faithful love to death. Thus the Father renews His Messianic declaration on the Son, already made on the banks of the Jordan after the Baptism and He exhorts: “listen to Him!” (v. 7).
The disciples are called to follow the Master with confidence and hope, despite His death – Jesus’ divinity must manifest itself precisely on the cross, precisely in His dying “in that way,” so much so that the evangelist Mark puts on the centurion’s mouth the profession of faith: “Truly this man was the Son of God!” (15:39).
We now turn in prayer to the Virgin Mary, the human creature transfigured interiorly by the grace of Christ. We entrust ourselves confidentially to her maternal help, to continue the … journey with faith and generosity.”