Quote of the Day – 2 September – The Memorial of St Solomon Le Clercq FSC (1745-1792) Martyr
“As for us, we hold, to what we believed, ten and twenty years ago, to what our forefathers believed, one hundred years ago and one thousand years ago and to that which, the whole Catholic world, has always believed.”
Saint of the Day – 20 August – Saint Philibert of Jumièges (c. 608–684) was an Abbot and Monastic Founder, particularly of Jumièges Abbey. Born in c 608 in Gascony, France and died in 684 on the island of Héri, France of natural causes.
He was born in Gascony as the only son of a Vic or Vic-Jour (now Vic-Fezensac) based courtier of Dagobert I and was educated by Saint Ouen. He later entered the monastery of Rebais as a monk and was promoted to abbot but his inexperience was too great for the position. He left and spent some time travelling round monasteries studying their Rules and constitutions.
In 654, Philibert received a gift of land from Clovis II on which he founded Jumièges Abbey. He drew up a Rule based on his studies for this and for his later foundations, drawing on several earlier Rules, including those of Benedict, Macarius, Basil the Great and particularly the strict rule of Columbanus. The monks’ chief work was the reclaiming of waste lands.
For a time Philibert lost the favour of Ouen and the royal family and was exiled. He withdrew to Poitiers and near Heriou founded the monastery of Noirmoutier, whereupon Ansoald, bishop of Poitiers, put his own foundation of Luçon Abbey under Philibert’s charge as well. When he regained the favour of his patrons, he founded other houses, including the monastery of Cunaut and the nunnery at Pavilly.
Philibert died and was buried at Heriou but in 836 the monks of Noirmoutier abandoned their home in the face of the Viking attacks to seek refuge on the mainland, in 875 finally settling with the relics of Philibert in the abbey at Tournus named in his honour, where the great church of St Philibert at Tournus still stands.
The filbert, or hazelnut, is said to have been named after him, since it ripens about 20 August in England, on his feast day the first fruits appear.
Thought for the Day – 24 March – The Third Sunday of Lent, Year C and The Memorial of Bl Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez (1917–1980) Martyr
The night before he was murdered while celebrating Mass, Archbishop Oscar Romero of San Salvador said on the radio:
“I would like to appeal in a special way to the men of the army and in particular to the troops of the National Guard, the police and the garrisons. Brothers, you belong to our own people. You kill your own brother peasants and in the face of an order to kill that is given by a man, the law of God that says ‘Do not kill!’ should prevail.
No soldier is obliged to obey an order counter to the law of God. No-one has to comply with an immoral law. It is the time now that you recover your conscience and obey its dictates rather than the command of sin. . . . Therefore, in the name of God and in the name of this long-suffering people, whose laments rise to heaven every day more tumultuous, I beseech you, I beg you, I command you! In the name of God: ‘Cease the repression!’”
Simultaneously, Romero had eloquently upheld the gospel and effectively signed his own death warrant.
When a military junta seized control of the national government in 1979, Archbishop Romero publicly criticised the US government for backing the junta. His weekly radio sermons, broadcast throughout the country, were regarded by many as the most trustworthy source of news available.
Romero’s funeral was celebrated in the plaza outside the cathedral and drew an estimated 250,000 mourners.
His tomb in the cathedral crypt soon drew thousands of visitors each year. On 3 February 2015, Pope Francis authorised a decree recognising Oscar Romero as a martyr for the faith. His beatification took place in San Salvador on 23 May 2015. He was canonized on 14 October 2018.
Oscar Romero and many other Latin American martyrs for the faith were falsely accused of advocating a Marxist-inspired “theology of liberation.” Following Jesus always requires choices. Romero’s fiercest critics conveniently dismissed his choices as politically inspired. An incarnational faith must be expressed publicly.
Quote of the Day – 22 March – Friday of the Second week of Lent, Year C
and the Memorial of Blessed Clemens August Count von Galen (1878-1946)
“The Lion of Munster”
Hitler’s order for the “Aktion T4” Euthanasia Programme was dated 1 September 1939, the day Germany invaded Poland. As word of the programme spread, protest grew, until finally, Bishop Galen delivered his famous August 1941 sermons denouncing the programme as “murder”. On 3 August 1941, in one of his series of denunciations, Blessed Galen declared:
“‘Thou shalt not kill.'” God engraved this commandment on the souls of men, long before any penal code… God has engraved these commandments in our hearts… They are the unchangeable and fundamental truths of our social life… Where in Germany and where, here, is obedience to the precepts of God? … As for the first commandment, ‘Thou shalt not have strange gods before me,’ instead of the One, True, Eternal God, men have created at the dictates of their whim, their own gods to adore – Nature, the State, the Nation, or the Race.”
Blessed Clemens August Count von Galen (1878-1946)
“The Lion of Munster”