St Anastasius of Bourges
St Benedicta of Sens
St Cassius of Narni
St Ciwg ap Arawn
St Ilud Ferch Brychan
St Judith of Niederaltaich
St Marcellus of Bourges
St Mary, the Mother of John Mark
St Salome of Niederaltaich
St Syrus of Genoa
Bl William of Sann
Martyrs of China
Ioannes Baptista Wu Mantang
Magdalena Du Fengju
Maria Du Tianshi
Paulus Wu Anju
Paulus Wu Wanshu
Sunday Reflection – 28 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A
This is that Body which was once covered with blood
“When you see (the Most Blessed Sacrament) exposed, say to yourself –
‘Thanks to this Body, I am no longer dust and ashes, I am no more a captive but a freeman, hence, I hope to obtain heaven and the good things that are there in store for me… eternal life, the heritage of the angels, companionship with Christ; death has not destroyed this Body which was pierced by nails and scourged . . . this is that Body which was once covered with blood, pierced by a lance, from which issued saving fountains upon the world, one of blood and the other of water. .
‘This Body He gave to us to keep and eat, as a mark of His intense love’.”
Thought for the Day – 28 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Anyone who sincerely loves Jesus Christ, will not be satisfied with receiving Him daily in the Blessed Eucharist.
Often, during the day, he will feel the need of uniting himself again to the divine Spouse in an act of love.
This is what is known as Spiritual Communion.
It is a natural and spontaneous act for a true lover of Jesus.
“I am the vine, you are the branches,” Jesus has told us. “He who abides in me and I in him, he bears much fruit … as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in me” (Cf Jn 15:4).
Since the supernatural life flows into our souls from Jesus, we must maintain our union with Him, even when He is not sacramentally present.
It is true, that the divine grace, remains in us, as long as we do not fall into mortal sin but, it grows weaker under the influence of worldly attractions and temptations.
It is necessary to revive the grace that is in us, when we feel that it is waning.
For this purpose, Spiritual Communion is very useful, for it is an ardent desire to receive Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament (Summa Theologiae, III, q 8, a 1 ad 3) and, an outpouring of love, in which we beseech Jesus to come and take complete possession of our hearts.
This practice was recommended by the Council of Trent (Session XIII, ch 8) and was frequently used by the Saints in order to keep alive the fire of divine charity in their souls and to guard themselves against the onslaughts of the world, the flesh and the devil.
If we act in the same manner, Jesus will always be within us and we shall always be in Jesus.
If God lives in us, who can harm us?
If God is for us, who is against us? (Rom 8:31).”
Quote/s of the Day – 28 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – The Memorial of Blessed Paolo Giustiniani ECMC (1476-1528) – Monk, Hermit and Founder of the Congregation of the Camaldolese Hermits of Monte Corona
“The supreme goal to which the monk tends, the summit of the perfection of his heart, is indeed the union of his heart with his Lord.”
St John Cassian (c 360-435)
Monk, Father of the Church and Founder of Monasteries Disciple of St John Chrysostom
“O Hermitage, only those who know you, who rest sweetly in your arms, can tell of your grandeur and chant your praises. As for me, I only know this and affirm it in all sincerity – Whoever forces himself with perseverance to enter more and more into the desire to love You, will finally enter Your mystery and, at the same time, the mystery of God.”
St Peter Damian (1007-1072)
Doctor of the Church
“Go to Church for the work of God, not by habit or duty, but rather driven, by the interior desire to praise our Creator.”
“Celebrate holy Mass in the joy of the Spirit.”
“I desire to serve my Lord Jesus Christ. However, I blindly entrust the manner of service to His decision – in action or in contemplation, in peace and quiet or in suffering and tribulation, in the quiet of the cell or else in wearisome wanderings. So long as I am serving Him, I have no preference or taste of my own.”
“To me it appears incontrovertible, that, above the light and discourse of reason, there is another light. It is clearer and more evident, given by God to those human minds that do not refuse to receive it and by means of it, God can be properly understood. …. This is the light of faith.“
Prayer of Blessed Paolo Giustiniani “Lord, I dare not say to You: “Show me the light that I may believe in Your Light” but it is enough for me, that You make me see my darkness … Bring me back to myself. In my misery I have distanced myself not only from You but from myself, becoming a stranger to myself. Make me know my darkness, that then I may look at the light. Yes, I tell You and repeat to You incessantly, Show me to myself, so that I may know my sins.”
“Until I was alone I never really lived. Until I was alone, I was not with myself. Until I was alone, I never drew near to my creator.”
“Whoever receives you, receives me and whoever receives me, receives the one who sent me.” … Matthew 10:40
REFLECTION – “The Lord said: “Whoever welcomes this little child on my account welcomes me.” (Lk 9:48) The smaller our brother is, the more Christ is present. For when we welcome a great personality, we often do so out of vainglory but the person who welcomes someone unimportant, does so, with a pure intention and for Christ. He said: “I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” And again: “As often as you did it for one of my least brothers, you did it for me.” (Mt 25:35.40) Since He is talking about a believer and a brother, no matter how unimportant he is, Christ comes in with him. Open your house and welcome him.
“He who welcomes a prophet because he bears the name of prophet receives a prophet’s reward.” Thus, the person who welcomes Christ will receive the reward of Christ’s hospitality. Do not doubt His words, trust them. He himself told us: “In them, I am presenting myself.” And so that you do not doubt them, He decreed the punishment for those who do not welcome Him and the honours for those who do welcome Him (Mt 25:31). He would not do this if He were not personally touched by honour or scorn. He says: ‘You welcomed Me into your house, I will welcome you in the Kingdom of my Father. You freed Me from hunger, I will free you from your sins. You saw Me in chains, I will let you see your liberation. You saw Me a stranger, I will make of you a citizen of heaven. You gave Me bread, I will give you the Kingdom as your inheritance that is entirely yours. You helped Me in secret, I will proclaim it publicly and I will say that you are My benefactor and that I am in your debt.’” … St John Chrysostom (345-407) Bishop of Constantinople, Father and Doctor of the Church – Homilies on the Acts of the Apostles, no. 45
PRAYER – O Lamb of God By St Irenaeus (c 130 – 202)
O Lamb of God,
who takes away the sin of the world,
look upon us and have mercy upon us;
You who art Yourself, both victim and Priest,
Yourself, both Reward and Redeemer,
keep safe from all evil
those whom You have redeemed,
O Saviour of the world.
Our Morning Offering – 28 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
O Heart of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament By The League of the Sacred Heart 1929 (Ireland)
O Heart of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament,
overflowing with gentleness,
tenderness and charity,
I bury in the abyss of The Mercy,
all my iniquities and all my negligence.
I offer Thee
my labours and my sufferings,
my sorrows and my miseries,
I recommend to Thee
my life and my death.
Solace my doubts Sweet Jesus,
calm my fears
and grant, that day by day,
I may become more united to Thy Sacred Heart,
learning Thy love and Thy holiness.
Saint of the Day – 28 June – Blessed Paolo Giustiniani ECMC (1476-1528) – Priest, Monk and Founder of the Congregation of the Camaldolese Hermits of Monte Corona, Reformer – born as Tommaso Giustiniani on 14 June in Venice, Italy and died on 28 June 1528, aged 52 in Monte Soratte.
He was a member of the noble Giustiniani family of Venice and was born there in 1476, the son of Francesco Giustiniani and Paola Malipiero. He studied theology, philosophy and law, at the University of Padua. when he had completed his studies, in 1507, he made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and upon his return he felt a call to follow the life of a the religious.
He joined the Order of the Camàldula, the Camaldolese, in 1510. The superior of the order, Pietro Delfino, asked him to assist in ending the irregularities that existed in some communities of the order, caused by the autonomy of each house and the lack of authority of the Prior General. Especially, the conventual branch (of cenobitic life) had relaxed in the application of the rule. In 1513, Pope Leo X, at the request of Giustiniani and Delfino, convened a General Chapter of the Camaldolese that decided the creation of the united congregation of the Sacred Hermitage and San Michele de Murano, with temporary general Priors and with a balance between the Conventual and Hermit branches.
In 1516 he was elected Prior of the Hermitage of Camaldoli until 1520 and in 1518 he was Ordained a Priest. Desiring a more hermit-like type of life and faithful to the primitive rule of the order, he obtained from Pope Leo X, permission to found other communities, which would follow the original rule of St Romuald. Pope Leo X granted him the necessary permission and allowed him to found a differentiated congregation, free from the jurisdiction of the Camaldolese Prior General and with its own constitutions, called the Company of Hermits of Saint Romuald, which would later be the Congregation of the Camaldolese Hermits of Monte Corona. This Order would come to considered as the most faithful expression of the original Charism of the Order of St Romuald.
On his return from Rome with permission, Giustiniani resigned as Prior and with a companion, Oliverio da Cortona, went to seek the spiritual guidance of a Hermit who lived in Monte Corona, near Perugia. Together with a Dominican, they went to live alone in a place in the Apennines, Pascialupo, where they lived in a Chapel and in 1521 founded the Hermitage of Monte Cucco.
Paolo was left alone with the Camaldolese monk who had accompanied him, as the other companion did not want to adopt the rule of St Romuald. The monks of Camaldoli asked him to be closer to them and he soon moved to a Hermitage near Massaccio, where he was joined by other monks of Camaldoli. These first Hermitages were followed by those of Cupramontana, San Leonardo de Monte Volubrio (diocese of Fermo) and San Benedetto de Monte Conero, near Ancona .
In 1522, Giustiniani drafted the constitutions of the new congregation, which consisted of the rigorous application of the original rule, modifying only the habit.
In 1523, the Order recognised the congregation of Monte Corona as independent, remaining in the Camaldolese family and in 1524 the first Chapter of the four hermitages of the congregation took place, which elected the Founder as Prior General. In 1527 he went to Rome for matters of order and was taken prisoner by the soldiers of the army of Charles V who occupied the city. with Gaietà de Thiene , also a prisoner, he was tortured but released. He returned to Venice and then to Massaccio.
In 1528 he returned to Rome and visited the Pope, obtaining confirmation of some privileges of the Order. In Viterbo he contracted the plague. He went to San Silvestro de Monte Soratte, near Rome, an ancient Benedictine Abbey that had been given to the Hermits of Monte Corona. He died there on 28 June 1528.
He was succeeded as the Prior General of the congregation by Agostino di Basciano.
He was buried in the crypt of San Silvestro. His relics were lost during the abandonment of the Hermitage and were only rediscovered in 1932. Although he has never been formally Beatified, he had always been considered a saint and was decribed as a “beati.” His cultus was formally confirmed allowing special veneration in his order.
Blessed Paolo Giustiniani’s Camaldolese Hermits of Monte Corona lives solely in Hermitages, usually with a very small number of monks comprising the community. There are three houses in Italy, two in Poland and one each in Spain, the United States and Colombia, as well as a new foundation in Venezuela. Unlike the other congregation, it is not a member of the larger Benedictine Confederation.
Bl Almus of Balmerino
St Argymirus of Córdoba
St Attilio of Trino
St Austell of Cornwall
St Benignus of Utrecht
Bl Damian of Campania
St Papias the Martyr Blessed Paolo Giustiniani ECMC (1476-1528)
St Pope Paul I
St Theodichildis St Vincenza Gerosa (1784–1847) Her life: https://anastpaul.com/2019/06/28/saint-of-the-day-28-june-st-vincenza-gerosa-1784-1847/
Martyrs of Africa – 27 saints: 27 Christians martyred together. The only details about them to survive are the names – Afesius, Alexander, Amfamon, Apollonius, Arion, Capitolinus, Capitulinus, Crescens, Dionusius, Dioscorus, Elafa, Eunuchus, Fabian, Felix, Fisocius, Gurdinus, Hinus, Meleus, Nica, Nisia, Pannus, Panubrius, Plebrius, Pleosus, Theoma, Tubonus and Venustus. Unknown location in Africa, date unknown.
Martyrs of Alexandria – 8 saints: A group of spiritual students of Origen who were martyred together in the persecutions of emperor Septimius Severus – Heraclides, Heron, Marcella, Plutarch, Potamiaena the Elder, Rhais, Serenus and Serenus. They were burned to death c.206 in Alexandria, Egypt.
Thought for the Day – 27 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Sacred Heart of Jesus Pierced by a Crown of Thorns
“There are many ways of showing our love for the Sacred Heart of Jesus and of making reparation for our sins and for the sins of mankind.
We can console ourselves with the reflection, that by these acts of love and reparation, we are removing the thorns which encircle and pierce the Heart of Jesus.
The simplest ways of doing this, are by prayers, aspirations and expressions of love, directed towards the adorable Heart of our Redeemer and, by visits to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.
In silence and recollection, before the Tabernacle, we shall feel the Heart of Jesus, beating with love and, shall offer in return, for His infinite love, the affection of our poor hearts.
We can also receive Holy Communion in reparation.
When Jesus is in us and we are in Jesus, it will be easier and more pleasant, to offer Him our love and expiation.
We can make reparation also, by practising the devotion of the First Fridays of the month.
This pious practice, so pleasing to the Heart of Jesus, aims at being a mass offering of love and reparation, for the sins of the entire human race.”
Quote/s of the Day – 27 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Memorial of St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) and Blessed Louise-Thérèse de Montaignac de Chauvance OSHJ (1820-1885) “Apostle of the Sacred Heart”
“You work for God, without doubt but one must work IN God.”
“Love dies where there is no humility.”
“To hand onto your children.
the faith you received from your parents,
is your first duty
and your greatest privilege as parents.
The home should be the first school of religion,
as it must be the first school of prayer.”
Prayer of Bl Louise-Thérèse “O Jesus, Eternal Life in the womb of the Father, Life of souls made in Your likeness, In the name of Your Love, make Your Heart known and revealed.”
Blessed Louise-Thérèse de Montaignac de Chauvance (1820-1885)
“Apostle of the Sacred Heart”
“By nature, each one of us is enclosed, in his own personality but supernaturally, we are all one. We are made one body in Christ because we are nourished by one flesh. As Christ is indivisible, we are all one in Him. Therefore, He asked His Father “that they may all be One, as We also are one.”
“We have passed over the waves of this present life like a sea, with its commotion and insane bustle. We have eaten spiritual manna, the bread that came down from heaven giving life to the world.”
“Christ, has dominion over all creatures, a dominion not seized by violence nor usurped but His, by essence and by nature.
“The mark of Christ’s sheep is their willingness to hear and obey, just as disobedience is the mark of those who are not His. We take the word ‘hear’ to imply obedience to what has been said.”
“We must note, therefore, that he that does things pleasing to God, serves Christ but he that follows his own wishes, is a follower, rather of himself and not of God.”
“Our lives are all controlled by the Spirit now and are not confined to this physical world that is subject to corruption. The light of the Only-begotten has shone on us and we have been transformed into the Word, the source of all life.”
St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444)
Father and Doctor of the Incarnation
One Minute Reflection – 27 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart”- Saturday of the Twelfth week in Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: Lamentations 2:2, 10-14, 18-19, Psalm 74:1-7, 20-21, Matthew 8:5-17 and the Feast of Our Mother of Perpetual Succour and the Memorial of St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) – Doctor of the Church “The Pillar of Faith” & “Seal of all the Fathers” – Doctor Incarnationis (Doctor of the Incarnation) and Bl Louise-Thérèse de Montaignac de Chauvance OSHJ (1820-1885)
“Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof” … Matthew 8:8
REFLECTION – “When the Lord promised to go to the centurion’s house to heal his servant, the centurion answered, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof but only say the word and my servant will be healed.” By viewing himself as unworthy, he showed himself worthy for Christ to come, not merely into his house but also into his heart. He would not have said this with such great faith and humility, if he had not already welcomed in his heart, the One who came into his house. It would have been no great joy for the Lord Jesus to enter into his house and not to enter his heart. For the Master of humility, both by word and example, sat down also in the house of a certain proud Pharisee, Simon and, though He sat down in his house, there was no place in his heart. For in his heart the Son of Man could not lay his head.” – St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of Grace – Sermon 62
PRAYER – God our Father, You open the gates of the kingdom of heaven to those who are born again of water and the Holy Spirit. Increase the grace You have given, so that the people who have been purified from all sin, may not forfeit the promised blessing of Your love. Grant that we may ever keep Your Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, before our eyes and do all in Him and through Him and for Him and may the prayers of our Mother of Perpetual Succour may ever guide and bear us in her care and may Your Saints pray for Holy Mother Church and us all! We make our pray through Christ, our Lord, in union with You and the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 27 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart”- Saturday of the Twelfth week in Ordinary Time and the Feast of Our Mother of Perpetual Succour
Prayer to our Mother of Perpetual Succour When In Need By St Alphonsus’ Redemptorists
O Mother of Perpetual Succour,
numerous clients continually surround
thy Holy picture,
all imploring thy mercy.
All bless thee as the assured help of the miserable,
all feel the benefit of thy motherly protection.
With confidence, then, do we present ourselves before thee in our misery.
See, dear Mother, the many evils to which we are exposed,
see how numerous are our wants.
Trials and sorrows often depress us,
reverses of fortune and privations,
often grievous, bring misery into our lives,
everywhere we meet the Cross.
Have pity, compassionate Mother,
on us and in our dear ones,
especially in this our necessity
…………… (mention your need).
Help us, dear Mother in our distress,
deliver us from all our ills,
or, if it be the Will of God,
that we should suffer still longer,
grant that we may endure all,
with love and patience.
These Grace’s we expect of thee with confidence,
because thou art our Perpetual Succour,
Saint of the Day – 27 June – Blessed Louise-Thérèse de Montaignac de Chauvance OSHJ (1820-1885) Religious Sister and Founder of the Pious Union of Oblates of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. She was known for her staunch devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Her life witnessed her dedication to Catechetical formation and promoting the Sacred Heart in France. Born on 14 May 1820 in Le Havre-de-Grâce, Seine Maritime, France and died on 27 June 1885 in Moulins, Allier, France of natural causes, aged 65. Patronage – Oblates of the Heart of Jesus.
“In this nineteenth century, when there is so much division, frequently even within families, our mission is to unite… To firmly unite souls in a bond of true devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.” These heartfelt words of Blessed Louise-Thérèse de Montaignac reveal the spirit of the Foundress of the Oblates of the Heart of Jesus. “A daughter of the Church and a woman in the Church,” said Saint John Paul II, “Louise-Thérèse wished to serve the Lord and the Church, which are one. Animated by an ardent apostolic desire and sustained by a great devotion to the Heart of Jesus, she began the work in close cooperation with her Bishop, with the Priests of her parish and with the lay faithful. She founded the Oblates who, through their union among themselves, were called to be agents of unity.” (Beatification Homily, 4 November 1990)
Louise-Thérèse was born in Le Havre on 14 May 1820, to a profoundly Christian family, who passed on the faith to her as a precious heritance. She was Baptised the next day. Later, she would express her happiness at being a daughter of God and would celebrate each anniversary of her Baptism.
From her father, Raymond de Montaignac de Chauvance, a civil servant and her mother, Anne de Raffin, Louise-Thérèse received the example of a life open to all. She was very close to her older sister Anna and her four brothers, she worked to make them happy. As a child, Louise was lively, spontaneous, always active: “I was made to love, so I desperately clung to all that was good ….” Her spontaneous nature played tricks on her; she made lots of foolish mistakes and did stupid things but her confidence disarmed all severity. The little girl loved to pray. One day, after a long search, she was found snuggled in a closet. “I was saying my prayers,” she said and when asked the reason for this strange behaviour, she explained, “It’s so that I don’t do any wrong to God.”
In 1827, Louise went off to boarding school in Châteauroux, at the Monastery of the Faithful Companions of Jesus and then, for the following two years, at the des Oiseaux convent, run by the Daughters of Our Lady. Boarding school rules did not suit her in the least. During her first stay, she was still afraid of punishments. However, she received a grace at Christmas – in contemplating the crèche she discovered the touching mystery of a God-child, poor and suffering. She allowed herself to be taken by Him and began to love Him. At des Oiseaux, she was “so scatterbrained that she was always in penance and in tears.” In class, she “consented to study only because her companions were ahead of her.” In the chapel, she made commendable efforts to be recollected but her good resolutions were always short lived. Louise would, nevertheless, always keep from these years the memory of happy days, in which her heart opened to God through her confessions as a child, her confidences to the Mother Superior “Mama Sophie” and her first friendships. But, it must be acknowledged, her studies scarcely progressed. A change was needed; her parents entrusted her to her aunt, Madame de Raffin, who was also her godmother. Over the years, the affection that united the young woman and her goddaughter would turn into a profound closeness. For fifteen years, Louise lived in the Raffin home, sometimes in Nevers, sometimes in the country, without losing the bond with her family. “It was,”she would say, “one of the greatest graces of my life.”
Her First Communion took place on 6 June 1833. “The little girl, the reediest there ever was,” she would say, had changed into a serious adolescent: “Since my First Communion, I have always remained under divine action.” The Eucharist became the centre of her life. Madame de Raffin was a woman of tempered faith but more energetic than tender. In school, Louise learned to control her natural energy without destroying its dynamism. She received a solid education, cultivated her artistic gifts and started learning the role of lady of the house. Under the direction of Father Gaume (1802-1879), the Director of the Minor Seminary, then Vicar General of the Diocese of Nevers, she likewise benefited from a spiritual and doctrinal formation. Louise immersed herself in the Gospels, the Psalms and read the Fathers of the Church and Saint Teresa of Avila, who became her main patroness. In 1837, when she returned to the des Oiseaux convent, she re-found the force of the faith that was the mark of this house, which radiated devotion to the Heart of Jesus. She was received into the Children of Mary. The Most Blessed Virgin, to whom “she confided all her sorrows”when she was a child, would from then on be her “teacher at every moment.”
On Christmas 1836, Louise-Thérèse came out of midnight Mass, with her friend Camille de Breathier, who was murmuring the verse from Revelations: it is these who follow the Lamb wherever He goes (Rev. 14:4). Louise was overcome… To follow Jesus wherever He goes! From that moment on, the white light of the Lamb illumined her steps, tracing out the radiant path on which she strove to follow Him. On 21 November 1838, Father Gaume gave her permission to take the vow of virginity. Four years later, at the age of twenty-two, Louise-Thérèse was bedridden for ten months with a bone disease – the first health ordeal which would unite her more intimately with God. Madame de Raffin helped her to live this time of suffering in recognition that in all things, “God’s will is pure love.” Following this illness, her aunt asked Louise-Thérèse this blunt question: “If Our Lord said to you: ‘Do you wish to be attached to the Cross with Me up to the point of death,’ would you accept?” “Yes,” she replied, “and with all my heart!” She would fully live out this “folly of love that does not calculate, does not reason, that runs without resting after the Saviour.”
In the era following the Revolution, in a world contaminated by scepticism, many people’s faith was shaken. In response, fervent Christians dedicated themselves to God through a vow to the Sacred Heart. The formula of this vow, written by Father Roothaan, the Father General of the Jesuits, spread throughout France. From this source sprang a veritable spiritual renewal. Madame de Raffin had heard about it from Father Ronsin, the spiritual director for the des Oiseaux Convent and, in 1841, she made the consecration. On 8 September 1843, Louise-Thérèse also made it. This vow is a response of our love to God’s first loving us, revealed by the Heart of Jesus, a response that engages the whole person in carrying out the Father’s plan. It was already the Oblation that would make the future Oblates. Forty years later, Louise-Thérèse could not recall the memory of this blessed day without profound emotion: “The vow to the Sacred Heart made my life. It was for me the source of all graces, of all joys.”
To revive the faith, Madame de Raffin conceived a vast plan of uniting Christian women in devotion to the Heart of Jesus: “Little scattered pieces of coal,” she said, “can produce neither flame, nor warmth: gathered together, they can light a great fire capable of illumining and reheating the world.” Initially associated with the project, Louise-Thérèse took it over with the death of her aunt in 1845. She recalled it’s inspiration in light of the Gospel: “I came to cast fire upon the earth and would that it were already kindled!” (Lk. 12:49). She dreamed of entering Carmel but gave it up, on Father Gaume’s recommendation: “Your vocation,” he told her, “is to carry Carmel into the midst of the world.”
The Revolution of 1848 shook France. Monsieur de Montaignac resigned as a civil servant. The family left Paris and settled in Montluçon, in the province of Bourbonnais, where it’s real roots were. Louise-Thérèse wondered how to awaken the faith in this city that was rapidly growing but marked by religious indifference. Everyday, she spent two hours in prayer in the deserted parish Church. Steadfast Christian groups were active in Montluçon, organised by a Priest with a fervent heart, Father Guilhomet. Louise-Thérèse joined forces with him and agreed to lead the Congregation of the Children of Mary. She founded the Orphanage of the Sacred Heart and enlisted friends to teach Catechism to the most abandoned. Having witnessed the abandonment of Churches in the countryside, she established the Charity of Poor Churches, helped spread Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, organised retreats and endeavoured to develop her aunt’s project—the association of Christian women. Thanks to support from her Bishop, Bishop de Dreux-Brézé and from her parish Priest, these works spread in the Diocese of Moulins and beyond. However, at this time, the bone disease in her legs that Louise-Thérèse had been stricken with, returned. For more than thirty years, suffering became her “inseparable companion.” Handicapped, she could move only with crutches or transported in a little carriage. She needed all the energy of love to remain tirelessly devoted to others and to maintain the overflowing activity, that characterised her life.
In 1859, Mademoiselle de Montaignac met Father Gautrelet, a Jesuit, who in 1844 had founded the Apostolate of Prayer. Seeing his Seminarians’ impatience to enter missionary life, this Priest had told them: “Be apostles right now, apostles of prayer! Offer what you do each day in union with the Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ and for what He wants – the spread of the Kingdom of God for the salvation of souls.” A Priest with a great deal of experience, Father Gautrelet would be Louise-Thérèse’s adviser for more than twenty-five years. With humility, he admitted: “I have great confidence in the direction of the Holy Spirit, the first of all directors!” That same year, he put Louise-Thérèse in touch with his confrere, Father Ramière, who had just taken over the leadership of the Apostolate of Prayer. An ardent Apostle of the Sacred Heart, Father Ramière launched Louise-Thérèse full sail into this movement. Louise-Thérèse saw in this spirituality the “most universal means for the sanctification of souls,” and found his organisation to be “an excellent way to penetrate society.”
At the beginning of the 1860s, Louise-Thérèse began the construction of a beautiful Chapel in the heart of Montluçon, to “unceasingly remind us of the love of the heart of Jesus.” Dedicated on 31 May 1864, it would become the Chapel of the Mother house of the Association of Christian Women. The same year, an attempt was made to unite this organisation with the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart in Issoudun. But in 1874, the Association broke off and became the Pious Union of the Oblates of the Heart of Jesus, under its own rule approved by the Bishop of Moulins. These years were fruitful – the Christian women consecrated by vow to the Heart of Jesus, were growing in number. In December 1875, Louise-Thérèse was appointed secretary general of the Apostolate of Prayer. Her correspondence—more than 1800 letters have been preserved—testifies to the quality of these relationships. Very practical, she entered with her innate common sense into the most minute details of material life, the organisation of houses, health and quite naturally, with tact and discretion, she became a spiritual guide who taught how to live in the light of faith. Strong friendships, born from these exchanges, marked her life: “Saint Teresa of Avila,”she said, “greatly loved her friends and this has always encouraged me to warmly love my friends.”
In Montluçon, a small team surrounded Louise-Thérèse. These first companions led a common life of prayer and hospitality, for they received many individuals. The Chapel was a centre for retreats, for spiritual encounters. Thus a first community took shape. Soon, a House was founded in Paray-le-Monial, then another in Paris. At the start of the 1880s, the future face of the institute took shape—two different forms of the Oblation for women destined to serve God and neighbour were proposed. Some, married or not, would remain in their environment, harmonising their family obligations with quite varied forms of apostolate. They formed “Re-unions” in the true sense of the word: “re-uniting,” that is meeting again, in a group regularly to pray together and practice fraternal charity; these are secular oblates. The others made vows of religion, poverty, chastity and obedience, in accordance with Louise-Thérèse’s inspiration. These professed oblates lived in community in the Houses, which were houses of prayer, intended first and foremost for the revitalisation of the secular oblates. Each of the Houses took on one or more apostolates.
On 17 May 1880, Louise-Thérèse was elected Superior General. Her role was to ensure “unity of spirit and tendencies, freedom in works and deeds, whether collective or individual.” The oblates’ chapter defined the mission of the institute: “To unite souls strongly through the bond of a true devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, drawing them to prayer, reparation and devotion in union with Him and manifesting their love in the performance of works for His glory.” For the Foundress, devotion to the Heart of Jesus is a life of union and conformity with Him Who is eternal life which was with the Father (1 Jn. 1:2). “Our primary code of life,”she said, “is Jesus’ priestly Prayer,”which appears in Chapter 17 of Saint John’s Gospel: that they may be one even as we are one. On 4 October 1881, this mission was officially recognised by Pope Leo XIII. The communities multiplied: Lyon, Montélimar…
In the last years of her life, Louise-Thérèse experienced an even greater intimacy with Our Lord and grew in her service to others. Restricted to her chair or sickbed, she burned with a fervour more infectious than ever. “I am,” she gaily said, “like a young, frisky horse that has all four hooves tied down but is whipped to make it walk. … When I see all the work that Our Lord presents to me, I wish to do everything, to undertake everything.” In Montluçon, newcomers had taken the place of the workers of the first hour. Louise-Thérèse made formation of these daughters a priority, for they would have to pass on, that which they had received, as in a family.
Louise-Thérèse invites us to “an intimate communication, continual and full of love, with God, to a respectful and filial familiarity… God must be the breath of our soul, we must move and act only in Him…. True contemplation consists of having one’s mind and heart united with Jesus, speaking, acting, thinking like Him. What life could be more active and yet more contemplative than His? Always united to His Father, He is our model, our sole guide. Such are the fervent and energetic souls who are called to make the greatest progress in contemplative life. Such are the ones, who best carry out Our Lord’s plans. What is the use of contemplating a model, if one does not have the energy to reproduce it? The active soul acts on the fruit of one’s prayer, puts into action the lights it has received. It works in prayer, in humility, in devotion, in self-sacrifice. This is the true way of putting the life of Jesus into practice.” If someone close to her was a little stressed by external occupations, she would calm her: “You work for God, without doubt but one must work IN God.” The formation she gave was completely directed toward the freedom of love: “There is no barrier between Jesus and the oblate. Every soul goes where the Spirit leads it; Love is its only guide.” She also demanded that all be treated with respect, attention paid to each and to what God wanted of each. Returning to this humility that is the welcome of God, that He has a place for all, she noted, “Love dies where there is no humility.”
Christmas was a special time each year for Louise-Thérèse. In 1882, as this feast drew near, she invited the youngest of the oblates to follow “this little Child Who calls us to His crèche to lead us to Calvary where His Heart is always open.” And she vigorously insisted: “How could we resist Him? He shows Himself always to be the Saviour. Let us be it with Him as his littlest disciples.”This sums up Louise-Thérèse’s entire life. Struck by the person of Jesus in the mystery of His Incarnation, she handed herself over to Him so that He might live in her, so that He might continue His mission in her. By patiently enduring her intensely painful illness, which left her little respite, she united herself ever more closely with the Saviour’s Passion. “If You wish for me to continue to suffer, I will not complain,” she told Him in 1881. She nevertheless, had to undergo a night of the spirit: “I see nothing, I feel nothing. But I have faith in You and that is enough for me.” During the last hours of her life, she relied upon her Saviour: “I am counting on Divine Mercy, I will say: I have loved.” On 27 June 1885, she died as she was replying simply to the name of Jesus that someone close to her was saying: “My all!”
The institute soon saw a rapid expansion. The secular oblates’ first foundations were established abroad – Portugal (1887), El Salvador and Poland (1894) and Nicaragua (1903). Today, the institute is also established in Belgium, South America and Africa.
“Let us ask Blessed Louise-Thérèse of Montaignac de Chauvance to help us recognise the love of the Heart of Jesus and to remind men and women of it unceasingly, as she did so well during her life” (Saint John Paul II).
St Adeodato of Naples
St Aedh McLugack
St Anectus of Caesarea
St Arialdus of Milan
St Arianell of Wales
Bl Benvenutus of Gubbio
St Crescens of Galatia
St Crescentius of Mainz
Bl Daniel of Schönau
Bl Davanzato of Poggibonsi
St Desideratus of Gourdon
St Felix of Rome
St Ferdinand of Aragon
St Gudene of Carthage
Blessed Maria Pia Mastena
St Sampson of Constantinople
St Spinella of Rome
St Tôma Toán
St Zoilus of Cordoba
Martyrs Killed Under Communist Regimes in Eastern Europe: Among the thousands of Christians murdered by various Communist regimes in their hatred of the faith, there were 25 members of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and Russian Byzantine Catholic Church, priests, bishops, sisters and lay people, whose stories are sufficiently well documented that we know they were murdered specifically for their faith in eastern Europe and whose Causes for Canonization were opened. Their Causes were combined and they were beatified together. They have separate memorials but are remembered together today. They are –
• Andrii Ischak • Hryhorii Khomyshyn • Hryhorii Lakota • Ivan Sleziuk • Ivan Ziatyk • Klymentii Sheptytskyi • Leonid Feodorov • Levkadia Harasymiv • Mykola Konrad • Mykola Tsehelskyi • Mykolai Charnetskyi • Mykyta Budka • Oleksa Zarytskyi • Ol’Ha Bida • Ol’Ha Matskiv • Petro Verhun • Roman Lysko • Stepan Baranyk • Symeon Lukach • Vasyl Vsevolod Velychkovskyi • Volodomyr Bairak • Volodymyr Ivanovych Pryima • Yakym Senkivsky • Yosafat Kotsylovskyi • Zenon Kovalyk
Beatified – 27 June 2001 by Pope John Paul II in Ukraine
Thought for the Day – 26 June – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Four Ends of the Holy Mass
“Let us meditate on the fact, that the Sacrifice of the Eucharist, was instituted for four ends, namely:
1. TO HONOUR GOD
All the Angels and Saints of Heaven and all the human beings upon earth, could not possibly honour God, as He ought to be honoured because, they are creatures who derive everything which they possess from God.
Only Jesus the God-Man, could offer the Eternal Father, the infinite honour due to Him, by offering Himself.
2. TO MAKE ADEQUATE SATISFACTION FOR ALL OUR SINS
Insofar, as they are a revolt against God, our sins are, in a certain way, infinite.
This is because they offend an Infinite Being.
Only Jesus, being at the same time man and God, could offer for us, His brothers, an infinite satisfaction to the Eternal Father.
Only He, could redeem us from the debt of crime and punishment, which we had contracted, by offering Himself, without reserve, in the Eucharistic Sacrifice.
It must be explained, however, that although the Mass is of infinite value in itself, God applies this value to us in a finite way only, according to His good pleasure and according to our dispositions.
For this reason, we should do well to attend Mass, as often as possible and with the maximum fervour.
3. TO GIVE THANKSGIVING TO GOD for all the benefits which we have received from Him.
4. Finally, TO OBTAIN ALL THE GRACES AND FAVOURS of which we and other people stand in need.
The Mass is an extraordinary gift.
Let us attend at Mass with recollection and devotion.
It will be for us, the source of every grace and virtue!”
Quote/s of the Day – 26 June – Tthe Memorial of Blessed Jacques Ghazir Haddad OFM Cap (1875-1954) “The Apostle of Lebanon” “The Apostle of the Cross”
“… Just as a person, who denies a single point of dogma, has lost his faith, so, to hate a single person, means that you have lost charity.”
“The Holy Spirit gives his grace to everyone, as long as they do not refuse it.”
“God gives us an example. He makes His sun rise on good and evil alike. His Son died for all men and women. … Let us imitate the sun.”
“Let us imitate the fountain. It does not say to a thirsty man: Before I give you a drink, tell me what country you come from!”
“May our heart be gentle, Christ‐like, towards the wretched and those who suffer. May they be to us, sons and daughters. How sweet this service, how precious this life, when it is consecrated to the love of God and of neighbour, His visible image on earth.”
One Minute Reflection – 26 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Friday of the Twelfth week in Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings 2 Kings 25:1-12, Psalm 137:1-6, Matthew 8:1-4 and the Memorial of Blessed Andrea Giacinto Longhin OFM.Cap (1863 – 1936) Bishop
“Then Jesus said to him, ‘See that you tell no-one but go show yourself to the priest and offer the gift that Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them.’” … Matthew 8:4
REFLECTION – “What then was the gift that was to be brought by the leper according to the law? “Two small birds,” one of which the priest killed “over running water.” Taking “cedar wood and broken scarlet and hyssop” and the living bird, he dipped them “in the blood of the slain bird, over running water.” He anointed the right ear, hand and foot of the leper who was cleansed. He sent the living bird outside the city, “into the open field.”
Observe, therefore, how perfectly Christ depicts these things for us. By the living bird you may understand the living, heavenly Word.
By the blood of the slain bird, you should understand the blood of our suffering Lord, for whom, we say, that He suffered “in the flesh,” rather than “in his own body.”
The cedar is a wood not prone to rot. The incorruptible flesh, the body of Christ, “did not see corruption.”
Hyssop symbolises the effervescence, activity and power of the Spirit.
Scarlet intends the confession of the covenant made with blood.
The running water signifies the life-creating gift of baptism.
Through this baptism, whoever has become a leper through sin may be cleansed.
The sending of the living bird outside of the city teaches us to abandon this world, as did Christ in His ascension into heaven.
Having thus come into the presence of God the Father, He makes intercession for all of us and we, therefore, shall be cleansed.
By the anointing of the leper’s right ear, hand and foot, we are taught that we must be, in contemplation and in action and in our way of life, in touch with divine things.” … St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Father known as “The Pillar of the Faith” Doctor of the Incarnation (Fragment 93)
PRAYER – Enable me loving Father, to live a life of purity that will make me live in You. Let me be so united with You that whatever I might ask will be in total accord with Your will for me. Bl Andrea Giacinto Longhin, your tireless work and preaching for the glory of the Kingdom show us the way to sanctification, please intercede for us all. May Mary our Mother of Compassion, be our constant companion. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God for all eternity, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 26 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Friday of the Twelfth week in Ordinary Time
Hail, Sacred Heart of Jesus! By St Gertrude the Great (1256-1302)
Hail, Sacred Heart of Jesus,
living and strengthening
source of eternal life,
infinite treasury of the divinity,
burning furnace of divine love!
You are my refuge
and my sanctuary.
My loving Saviour,
consume my heart
in that burning fire
with which Your own is inflamed.
Pour into my soul
those graces which flow
from Your love.
Let my heart be so united with Yours
that our wills may be one
and my will, in all things,
conformed with Yours.
May Your Will be the guide
and rule of my desires
and of my actions.
Saint of the Day – 26 June – Blessed Andrea Giacinto Longhin OFM.Cap (1863 – 1936) Bishop of Treviso, Italy from 1904 until his death, Priest of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin, Teacher, renowned Preacher, Reformer, Spiritual guide, Apostolic Visitor – born as Hyacinth Bonaventure Longhin on 23 November 1863 in Fiumicello di Campodarsego, Province and Diocese of Padua, Italy and died on Friday 26 June 1936 in Treviso, Italy of natural causes following an eight-month illness. Patronage – Diocese of Treviso.
Blessed Andrea held various roles of leadership within his Order following his Ordination such as acting as a Professor in Udine and acting as the Provincial Minister for his Order. He became close friends with the Patriarch of Venice, Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto. The latter became Pope Pius X in 1903 who made his old friend Andrea, the new Bishop for the vacant Treviso episcopal see.
The Bishop became noted for his devotion to pastoral reform initiatives, that sought to strengthen the spiritual formation for Seminarians and ongoing formation for the Diocesan Priests. He was active in organising and collaborating in relief initiatives during World War I and was even awarded the Cross of Merit for his activism.
Bishop Andrea Longhin, a Capuchin religious of deep spirituality and solid doctrine, was a gift of Pope Pius X to the Diocese of Treviso, his place of origin. Together with the Church entrusted to him, he lived heroically in one of the most difficult and exciting times of Catholicism in Italy in the 19th and 20th centuries.
He was born on 23rd November 1863 in Fiumicello di Campodarsego (Province and Diocese of Padua) into the family of the poor and very religious tenant farmers, Matthew and Judith Marin and given the names Hyacinth Bonaventure at his Baptism. Early on, he showed signs of a vocation to the Priesthood and religious life. At the age of 16 he entered the novitiate of the Capuchin Order under the name of Andrea of Campodarsego and then completed his humanistic studies in Padua and the theological studies in Venice. On 19th June 1886, only 23 years old, he was Ordained a Priest. For 18 years he held the office of spiritual director and instructor of the young religious and proved himself a firm guide and an enlightened teacher. In 1902 he was elected Provincial Minister of the Capuchins of Venice. In this period at Venice the Patriarch Sarto “discovered” him and charged him with the ministry of preaching and a variety of delicate tasks in the service of the Diocese.
Just a few months after becoming Pope, Pius X on 13th April 1904, personally appointed Fr Andrea as Bishop of Treviso and wanted him to be Consecrated in Rome. The Consecration, by Cardinal Rafael Merry del Val, took place a few days later in the Church of Trinità dei Monti in Rome. Before the new shepherd moved into his Diocese on the following 6th August, he had issued two pastoral letters that outlined his reform programme. The following year he began his first pastoral visit which lasted almost five years – he wanted to know his church, which belongs to the largest and most peopled of the Venetian region; he wanted to establish a personal contact with his clergy, who would take first place in his pastoral care; he also intended to be close to the lay associations, which at the time, were exposed to severe trials in the field of the Catholic social movement. He concluded the visit with the celebration of the Synod, which had, as it’s aim, the implementation in the Diocese, the reforms initiated by Pius X, to equip the local church to be “militant” and to call all, clergy and lay people, to a life in holiness.
He reformed the Diocesan Seminary by improving the quality of studies and the spiritual formation. He promoted spiritual retreats for the clergy and prepared, every year personally, a programme of ongoing formation. He guided the Priests in their pastoral activity with precise guidelines and verified their application in three further pastoral visits.
At the outbreak of the First World War (1915-1918), Treviso was on the frontline; it suffered invasions and the first aerial attacks, which destroyed the town and over 50 parishes. Bishop Longhin remained at his post even when the civilian authorities escaped to safer places. He wanted his Priests to do the same, unless they had to accompany their people on flight. He led the destiny of the town with heroic courage, was the point of reference in religious, moral and civilian matters for a whole community in turmoil. He organised assistance for the soldiers, the sick and the poor. Encouraging everybody, he never fell prey to partisanship or war rhetoric, yet he was accused of defeatism and some of his Priests were tried in court and sentenced.
In the difficult years of the material and spiritual reconstruction, the Bishop resumed the second pastoral visit which had been interrupted. He was a firm leader at a time of grave social tensions, which divided the Catholics among themselves. He insisted, with evangelical firmness, that justice and social peace, demanded the straight road of non-violence and the unity of all Catholics. The fascist movement was growing at the time and had its instances of violence in Treviso, especially against Catholic organisations. From 1926 to 1934 Bishop Longhin made his third pastoral visit, to strengthen the faith of the parish communities – in his understanding, the militant Church was a Church fully geared towards holiness and prepared for martyrdom!
Pope Pius XI held Bishop Longhin in great esteem; he entrusted him with the delicate task of Apostolic Visitor, first in Padua, then in Udine, in order to bring back peace to those Dioceses, suffering from divisions between the Priests and their Bishop.
God wanted to purify his faithful servant and afflicted him with an illness that deprived him progressively of his mental faculties. Longhin endured his suffering with extraordinary faith and total abandonment into the will of God. He died on 26th June 1936. His remains are interred in the Cathedral of Treviso.
He had been known for his holiness, his heroic charity and his wise evangelical guidance when still alive. With his death the devotion to the saintly shepherd grew stronger and quickly spread, especially in the Dioceses of Treviso and Padua and also in the Capuchin Order. The devotion exalted his virtues and implored his intercession. The process of Beatification was introduced in 1964. In the same year the young Dino Stella was cured of diffuse peritonitis on the intercession of Longhin. It is this miracle that was recognised for his Beatification.
His spiritual Heritage:
The unique connection of Bishop Andrea Giacinto Longhin with St Pope Pius X, was fundamentally of spiritual nature – the holiness of one, reminds and, in a way, produces the holiness of the other. Both have lived for the Church and with the Church, conceiving the pastoral ministry as a formation to holiness and, the whole life of the Church, as a call to be “holy and immaculate.” Both were driven to make themselves “models of the flock” in the footsteps of Christ the Good Shepherd. Bishop Longhin identified himself with his Church to the point of taking up the burden of all vicissitudes of history, living them in the first person and paying the price for so doing.
Franciscan spirituality, in the rigorous form of the Capuchin Order, always guided Bishop Longhin, not only in a his life that was ascetical, exacting and faithfully observant (prayer and penitence) but also, in an evangelical commitment without compromise – God as the Supreme, “religious” obedience towards the Church, poverty lived as freedom, respect for all things of the world.
His reform efforts brought him also cross and suffering, from the part of the clergy that was not willing to follow him on the path of renewal, as well as, from the laity that was either fixed on their material interests or taking sides with partisan positions. He was opposed by Fascism, which preferred to avenge itself on the Priests and the organised laity, thus inflicting on the pastor greater pain than if it had turned against his person. Right until his end, he remained the leader of a militant church that did not give in, neither to violence nor to flattery. In his charity, which he exercised with extraordinary dedication, he showed no weakness, being convinced that charity always called for truth. In him, firmness and humility appeared wonderfully united. The fruit of his testimony of holiness and of his courageous pastoral leadership, is the fact, that the church of Treviso, in that period of it’s history, has produced numerous saints among the Priests, religious and laity. Praise be to God! Amen … Vatican.va
St Pope John Paul II Beatified Andrea Longhin on 20 Octoer 2002 in Saint Peter’s Square.
Blessed Virgin of Potente del Trompone:
Visionary: Domenica di Miglianotto on 26 June 1562
2nd Visionary: St Peter of Alcantara (1499-1562) – seen below:
Our Lady of Longing: Matka Boża Tęskniąca / Longing Mother of God, Warsaw, Poland – One of the oldest churches in the Archdiocese of Warsaw is St Elizabeth Powsin Located on the main altar is a painting of Our Lady of Longing – artist unknown – from the first half of the seventeenth century. At either side, the image is surrounded by statues of Saints Adalbert and Stanislaus – Polish bishops and martyrs . The testimony of miracles and graces relating to the Our Lady of Longing icon have been collected at least since the mid-seventeenth century. On 28 June 1998, the image became the fourth image of Mary in the Archdiocese of Warsaw to be canonically crowned.
Blessed Jacques Ghazir Haddad OFM Cap (1875-1954) Beautiful Blessed Jacques: https://anastpaul.com/2019/06/26/saint-of-the-day-blessed-jacques-ghazir-haddad-ofm-cap-1875-1954/
St Maxentius of Poitou
St Medico of Otricoli
Bl Mykola Konrad
St Paul of Rome
St Pelagius of Oviedo
St Perseveranda of Poitiers
Bl Raymond Petiniaud de Jourgnac
Bl Sebastian de Burgherre
St Terence of Rome
St Vigilius of Trent
Bl Volodymyr Ivanovych Pryima
Martyrs of Africa – 4 saints: Four Christians who were martyred together – Agapitus, Emerita, Felix and Gaudentius at an unknown location in Africa, date unknown.
Martyrs of Alexandria – 3 saints: Three Christians who were martyred together, but we really know little more that the names – Agatho, Diogenes and Luceja. They were martyred in Alexandria, Egypt, date unknown.
Martyrs of Cambrai – 4 beati: Four Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul nuns at Arras, France. Imprisoned together in 1792 and executed together two years later in the anti-Catholic excesses of the French Revolution. They were:
• Jeanne Gerard
• Marie-Françoise Lanel
• Marie-Madeleine Fontaine
• Thérèse-Madeleine Fantou
They were guillotined on 26 June 1794 at Cambrai, Nord, France and Beatified in June 1920 by Pope Benedict XV.
Thought for the Day – 25 June – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“In the first place, we must accept with resignation, from the hands of Christ, all the sufferings and humiliations which we encounter during life.
Not only should we accept them but, we should offer them to God as a proof of our love.
The Saints were happy to suffer for the sake of Jesus; we should at least suffer, with resignation in expiation of our sins.
This is still not enough, however. “They who belong to Christ,” St Paul warns us, “have crucified their flesh with it’s passions and desires” (Gal 5:24).
Salvation is impossible without voluntary penance (Cf Lk 13:5).
It is false piety to insist that we should not treat cruelly, the body, which God has given us.
Such an attitude of indulgence, could cause the loss of the soul, which is a far greater treasure.
As St Paul writes, “the sufferings of the present time, are not worthy to be compared, with the glory to come that will be revealed to us” (Rom 8:18).
Suffering voluntarily undertaken for the sake of Jesus, purifies the soul and gives us a great peace, when we see the body subdued and converted into an instrument for the sanctification of ourselves and others.”
Quote/s of the Day – 25 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Thursday of the Twelfth week in Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: 2 Kings 24:8-17, Psalm 79:1-5, 8-9, Matthew 7:21-29
Jesus said to his disciples: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.”
“We recognise a tree by its fruit and we ought to be able to recognise a Christian by his action. The fruit of faith should be evident in our lives, for being a Christian is more than making sound professions of faith. It should reveal itself in practical and visible ways. Indeed it is better to keep quiet about our beliefs and live them out, than to talk eloquently about what we believe but fail to live by it.”
St Ignatius of Antioch (c 35-c 108)
Father of the Church
“When we stand in the light it is not we who illumine the light and cause it to shine but we are illuminated and made shining by the light… God grants His blessings on those who serve Him because they are serving Him and on those who follow Him because they are following Him but He receives no blessing from them because He is perfect and without need.”
St Irenaeus of Lyons (c 130-c208)
“God is good but He is also just… So don’t underestimate God – His love for men should not become a pretext, for negligence on our part.”
St Basil the Great (329-379)
Father & Doctor of the Church
“On each occasion I say: ‘Lord, Thy will be done! It’s not what this, or that one, wants but, what You want me to do.’ This is my fortress, this is my firm rock, this is my sure support.”
St John Chrysostom (347-407)
Father and Doctor
“He who is his own master is a scholar under a fool.”
St Bernard (1090-1153)
“Obedience unites us so closely to God that, in a way, transforms us into Him, so that we have no other will but His. If obedience is lacking, even prayer cannot be pleasing to God.”
St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)
“The Devil doesn’t fear austerity but holy obedience.”
St Francis de Sales (1567-1622)
Doctor of Charity
“Deceitful are the ephemeral pleasures and joys of this world. Our supreme comfort in this life, is to die to the world that we may live with Jesus crucified. Let others seek gold and other earthly treasures. I already possess the immortal treasure of holy poverty on the Cross of Jesus crucified. The angelic virtue, growing like a pure, fragrant lily in the hidden beauteous garden of the cloister, adorns the forehead with heavenly tints, for it has roots in the Cross of Jesus crucified. A third crown completes my oblation, it is the seal of glory, whereby the obedient, spotless Lamb gained victory. Obedience is the secure science of living with Jesus crucified. With this triple treasure, I can hope to pass beyond the fleeting confines of mortal man, by living poor on this earth and rich in heaven, united with Jesus crucified.”
Blessed Miguel Agustin Pro (1891-1927)
Priest and Martyr
One Minute Reflection – 25 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Thursday of the Twelfth week in Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: 2 Kings 24:8-17, Psalm 79:1-5, 8-9, Matthew 7:21-29
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell and the floods came and the winds blew and beat on that house but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.” … Matthew 7:24-25
REFLECTION – “The just, (that is to say those who in baptism have put on the new man created in justice) live, insofar as they are just, by faith, by the light that the sacrament of illumination brings to them. The more they live by faith, the more they realise in themselves, the perfection of His divine adoption. Notice this expression carefully: ‘EX fide,’ the exact meaning of this is that faith ought to be the root of all our actions, of all our life. There are souls who live with faith (CUM fide). They have faith and one cannot deny that they practise it. But it is only on certain occasions … that they remember their faith to any purpose. …
But when faith is living, strong, ardent, when we live by faith, that is to say, when in everything, we are actuated by the principles of faith, when faith is the root of all our actions, the inward principle of all our activity, then we become strong and steadfast, in spite of difficulties within and without, in spite of obscurities, contradictions and temptations. Why so? Because, by faith, we judge, we estimate all things as God sees and estimates them – we participate in the divine immutability and stability.
Is not this what our Lord said? “Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them” – that is to live by faith – “will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse.” For Jesus Christ immediately adds: “it had been set solidly on rock” (Mt 7:24-25).” … Bl Columba Marmion (1858-1923) Abbot – Our Faith, the Victory over the World (Christ, the Ideal of the Monk
PRAYER – God our Father, You open the gates of the kingdom of heaven to those who are born again of water and the Holy Spirit. Increase the grace You have given, so that the people who have been purified from all sin, may not forfeit the promised blessing of Your love. Grant that we may ever keep Your Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, before our eyes and do all in Him and through Him and for Him and may the prayers of our Our Lady of Grace ever guide and bear us in her care. We make our pray through Christ, our Lord, in union with You and the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen
Our Morning Offering –25 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Thursday of the Twelfth week in Ordinary Time, Year A
O Sacred Heart of Jesus By St John Henry Newman (1801-1890)
O Sacred Heart of Jesus,
living and quickening source of eternal life,
infinite treasure of the Divinity
and burning furnace of divine love.
You are my refuge and my sanctuary,
O my amiable Saviour.
Consume my heart with that burning fire
with which Your Heart is ever inflamed.
Pour down on my soul
those graces which flow from Your love
and let my heart be so united with Yours,
that our wills may be one
and mine in all things,
be conformed to Yours.
May Your divine will
be equally the standard
and rule of all my desires
and of all my actions.
Saint of the Day – 25 June – Saint Moluag of Lismore (c 520–592) Bishop of Lismore, Missionary to Scotland and a contemporary of St Columba, Founder of Monasteries, Apostle of the Picts, Patron Saint of Argyll – born as Lughaidh in c 520 in Northern Ireland and died on 25 June 592 in Rosemarkie, Scotland of natural causes. Saint Lughaidh, better known by his pet name of Moluag, was an Irish noble of the Dál nAraide (one of the main tribes of the Ulaid in what we now call Ulster). He is also known as Lua, Luan, Luanus, Lugaid of Les Mór, Lugaidh, Lugide Lis Moer, Luoch, Mallock, Molaug, Molluog, Moloag, Molua, Moluag, Murlach. St Moluag, the Founder of over a hundred Monasteries, was a Bishop active during the period of the First Order of Celtic Saints and known as ‘The Clear and Brilliant, The Sun of Lismore in Alba.’ The First Order were ‘most holy – shining like the sun.’ This is a clear reference to his membership of the First Order. Saint Moluag was the first Patron Saint of Argyll, as evidenced by a charter in 1544, from the Earl of Argyll, which states “in honour of God Omnipotent, the blessed Virgin, and Saint Moloc, our Patron.”
St Moluag was born between 500 and 520. We know that he was a Bishop in about 552 and that he Ordained St Comgal (c 510–520 – 597/602), his close kinsman, initially as a Deacon then as a Priest. Moluag persuaded St Comgal to found Bangor Abbey, in modern day Ulster.
Having helped St Comgal set up this Abbey, perhaps the greatest of all Abbeys of its time, he took the road of white martyrdom and left with twelve followers to lead the life of a missionary. In 562 he founded his great community on the large island of the Lyn of Lorn in Argyll now called the Isle of Lismore (Lios mor is ancient Gaelic for ‘great monastery’ hence the reason Moluag is also kown as St Lios mor).
Lismore was the most important religious spot to the pagan kings of the area. It was, therefore, the most desirable site for a missionary. The Lismore Abbey lands were once very extensive and included the ancient parish of Lismore which embraced Appin (the Abbey Lands), Eilean Mund and Kingairloch and Morvern districts.
St Moluag truly evangelised the Picts. From Lismore, St Moluag went on to found two other great centres in the land of the Picts – at Rosemarkie and Mortlach. These were his three centres of teaching (we would now call them universities) and, it is significant, that all three were to become the seats of the Roman Catholic Sees of the Isles, Ross and Aberdeen.
St Moluag became the Patron Saint of the Royal House of Lorne and was acknowledged as such by, Somerled, King of Argyll and the Isles and the later Lords of Lorn and the Earls (now Dukes) of Argyll. From a 1544 charter it can be seen that The Earl of Argyll, having inherited the MacDougall Lordship of Lorn, refers to St Moluag as his family’s Patron Saint ‘in honour of God Omnipotent, the blessed Virgin, and Saint Moloc, our Patron.’
St Moluag was probably also Patron Saint of Rushen, on the Isle of Man and, according to Lismore tradition, the whole island. This is plausible as Somerled, a supporter of St Moluag, married Raghnild, daughter of Olaf, King of Man. Moluag was also the original dedicatee of the Manx Monastery of Rushen founded in 1134. In the 12th century, the Isle of Man was united with Sodor or the Sudreys, as the Norse called the ‘southern isles’ of the Hebrides, in the Diocese of Sodor and Man. A very ancient inscription on a paten found at Kirk-Malew (Malew is a corruption of Moluag), preserves the invocation of the Patron Saint, ‘St Maloua, ora pro nobis’: St Moluag, pray for us. Malew is the largest parish in Rushen and includes Castletown, the ancient capitol of the Island.
By the time of his death in 592, five years before St Augustine arrived at Canterbury, he had founded over 120 Monasteries and converted the Picts of Alba. Saints Moluag and Comgall, together with their famous disciples which included, Mael-ruba of Applecross, St Mirran, first Abbot of Paisley, Moluag’s kinsman St Catan of Kingarth on Bute and Catan’s nephew St Blaan, had a major influence on the spread of Christianity in North Britain.
The “Coarb” (Successor) of a Celtic Abbot was the heir of the Abbot in his ecclesiastical functions and abbatical mensal territory. St Moluag as the Abbot of Lismore and the Abbots of the 100 or so Monasteries which emanated from St Moluag, followed the rule of the Successor. The Successor of St Moluag provided the authority of the Church to support the Kings of Dalriada and the Lords of Lorn.
The Successorship of St Moluag is the oldest office in the country – the Abbey of Lismore was founded in 562. In the Celtic tradition it remains an hereditary office.
Moluag lived to extreme old age and died on 25 June 592 in the Garioch and was buried at his Monastery in Rosemarkie, Ross-shire, Scotland. The Annals of Ulster record the death of Lugaid of Les Mór in 592 – Obitus Lugide Lis Moer. His remains were later transported to Lismore and honoured in the Cathedral which bears his name.
The feast day of Saint Moluag was restored in 1898 by Pope Leo XIII. He is one of the 48 saints referred to in the Lorrha Missal used by Churches of Ireland, Scotland, Britain, France, Germany, Switzerland and northern Italy – “Saint Lua of Lismore, Pray for us.”
Thought for the Day – 24 June – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
What the Holy Spirit Requires of Us
“What does the Holy Spirit desire of us?
He wishes to transform us and to make us holy and for this, He wants our co-operation.
We should give our co-operation generously, in the manner of the first Christians.
These were in close contact with the college of the Apostles and tried hard to put their teaching into practice.
In the early days of Christianity, every house was like a church.
This should still be the case today.
We should be bound together spiritually under the influence of the Holy Spirit and under the guidance of the teaching authority of the Church.
We should practice the Church’s teaching and try to diffuse it among others.
The early Christians also persevered in prayer and in daily participation in the Sacrament of the Altar.
There can be no spiritual life without prayer because, it comes from God.
The Holy Spirit speaks to those who humbly and earnestly invoke Him.
Our best prayers, are those, which we say when we receive Holy Communion, however.
Then we have Jesus Himself within us, with all His graces.
If we receive Holy Communion with the proper dispositions, we can acquire the spirit of charity towards God and our neighbour, which is the sum total of Christianity.
We can make ourselves holy and can ask for the ability to co-operate in the sanctification of others.
A further characteristic of the early Christians, was, that they possessed everything in common.
W are accustomed to call this attitude of common ownership, an evangelical counsel, rather than a command.
It is the spontaneous outcome of that true and efficacious charity which flows from the Holy Spirit and makes all men brothers.
There is no strict obligation on us to give away everything which we possess, for the benefit of our neighbour. But, we have a real obligation to help our neighbour as far as lies in our power, when we see that he is in need.
Otherwise, we cannot say that we love our neighbour as ourselves and, therefore, cannot claim to be genuine Christians. “He who does not love abides in death,” wrote St John (1 Jn 3:14).
“He who has the goods of this world,” he continues “and sees his brother in need and closes his heart to him, how does the love of God abide in him? My dear children, let us not love in word, neither with the tongue but, in deed and in truth” (1 Jn 3:17-18).
It is worth our while to reflect on these tremendous words and to act according to their sense.
In modern society, there is excessive luxury, on one side and excessive poverty, on the other.
Christianity in it’s truest sense, therefore, is not being practised.
How do we behave in this matter?”
Quote/s of the Day – 24 June – The Solemnity of the Nativity of St John the Baptist
The name “John” means “God is Gracious”
“The Church observes the birth of John as a hallowed event. We have no such commemoration for any other fathers but, it is significant, that we celebrate the birthdays of John and of Jesus. This day cannot be passed by.”
“As a representative of the past, he is born of aged parents, as herald of the new, he is declared to be a prophet, while still in his mother’s womb.”
“The release of Zechariah’s voice at the birth of John, is a parallel to the rending of the veil, at Christ’s Crucifixion. If John were announcing his own coming, Zechariah’s lips would not have been opened. The tongue is loosened because a voice is born.
For when John was preaching the Lord’s coming he was asked: Who are you? And he replied: I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness. The voice is John but the Lord in the beginning was the Word. John was a voice that lasted only for a time; Christ, the Word in the beginning, is eternal.”
St Augustine (354-430)
Father and Doctor of Grace
“Our Lord says that John is a lamp: “He was a burning and shining lamp” (Jn 5:35). But the light of a lamp pales, when the sun shines, it’s flame dies down, overcome by an even more radiant light. What sensible person uses a lamp in full sunlight?… Who would still come for John’s baptism of repentance (Mk 1:4) when Jesus’ baptism brings salvation?”
St Maximus of Turin (5th Century)
Sermon 99, PL 57, 535
[Like St John the Baptist did -] “Prepare a path for God so that He can enter your heart.”
St John Baptiste de la Salle FSC (1651-1719)
“The true secret of love consists in this: we must forget self like St John the Baptist and exalt and glorify the Lord Jesus.”
One Minute Reflection – 24 June – The Solemnity of the Nativity of St John the Baptist, Year A, Readings: Isaiah 49:1-6, Psalm 139:1-3, 13-15, Acts 13:22-26, Luke 1:57-66, 80
“‘What do you suppose that I am? I am not he. Behold, one is coming after me; I am not worthy to unfasten the sandals of his feet.'” … Acts 13:25
REFLECTION – “The fact that John’s birth is commemorated when the days begin to shorten, and the Saviour’s when they begin to lengthen, indicates a symbolic meaning. And indeed, John himself disclosed the hidden significance of this difference between them. The crowds were taking him to be the Christ on account of his outstanding virtues, whereas some were thinking of the Lord, not as Christ but as a prophet because of the weakness of his bodily state. So John said: “He must increase, I must decrease” (Jn 3:30). Our Lord certainly increased since, while they were looking on Him as a prophet, He made known to all believers in the whole world that He was the Christ. John decreased and grew less, in that he who was taken for the Christ, came to be seen, not as the Christ but, as the one who proclaimed the Christ.
And so it is natural, that daylight begins to decrease after John’s birth because his reputation for divinity is going to vanish and his baptism will soon disappear. It is equally natural, that the brightness of the shortest days begins to increase following our Lord’s birth – for, in truth, He came to earth to reveal the light of His knowledge to all the pagans, of which formerly, only the Jews had possessed a part and to shed abroad the fire of His love, through all the earth.” … St Bede the Venerable (673-735) Father and Doctor of the Church – Homélie II, 20; CCL 122, 328-330
PRAYER – Almighty God and Father, You sent St John the Baptist, to the people of Israel to make them ready for Christ the Lord. Give us the grace of joy in the Spirit and guide the hearts of all the faithful, in the way of salvation and peace, as they harken to the voice of John, the Lord’s herald and bring them safely to Jesus, whom John foretold. St John the Baptist, may your intercession for the Church, bring us to the Light and the Way. We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God with You, forever amen.
Our Morning Offering – 24 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Solemnity of the Nativity of St John the Baptist
Seal Your Image on My Heart By Archbishop Baldwin of Canterbury (c 1125-1190)
O Lord, take away my heart of stone,
my hardened heart,
my uncircumcised heart
and grant to me a new heart,
a heart of flesh,
a clean heart.
Come, You who cleanse the heart
and love the pure of heart,
possess my heart and dwell in it,
containing it and filling it,
higher than my highest
and more intimate than
my most intimate thoughts.
You are the image of all beauty
and the seal of all holiness,
seal Your image on my heart
and seal my heart in Your mercy,
O God, the strength of my heart
and my portion forever,