One Minute Reflection – 28 September – Monday of the Twenty Sixth week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Job 1:6-22, Psalms 17:1, 2-3, 6-7, Luke 9:46-50 and The Memorial of Blessed Bernardine of Feltre OFM (1439-1494)
“Whoever receives this child in my name receives me and whoever receives me, receives him who sent me, for he who is least among you all, is the one who is great.” … Luke 9:48
REFLECTION – “The passion and lust of pride attacked some of the holy apostles. The mere argument about who of them was the greatest is the mark of an ambitious person, eager to stand at the head of the rest. Christ, who did not sleep, knows how to deliver. He saw this thought in the disciple’s mind, springing up, in the words of Scripture, like some bitter plant. He saw the weeds, the work of the wicked sower. Before it grew up tall, struck its root down deep, grew strong and took possession of the heart, He tears up the evil by the very root. In what way does the Physician of souls amputate pride’s passion? How does He deliver the beloved disciple from being the prey of the enemy and from a thing hateful to God and man? “He took a child,” it says, “and set it by him.” He made the event a means of benefiting both the holy apostles themselves and us their successors. This illness, as a rule, preys upon all those who are in any respect superior to other people.
What kind of type and representation did He make the child He had taken? He made the child a representation of an innocent and humble life. The mind of a child is empty of fraud and his heart is sincere. His thoughts are simple. He does not covet rank and does not know what is meant by one man being higher than another is. Christ brought forward the child as a pattern of simplicity and innocence and set him by Him. He showed him as in an object lesson, that He accepts and loves those who are like the child. He thinks they are worthy of standing at His side, as being like-minded with Him and anxious to walk in His steps.” … St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Father and Doctor of the Church – Commentary on Luke, Homily 54
PRAYER – Lord God, You hold out the Light of Your Word to those who do not know You. Strengthen in our hearts, the faith You have given us and the Credo we profess, so that no trials and pride may quench the fire Your Spirit has kindled in us. May the intercession of Blessed Bernardine of Feltre, grant us the grace of following the way of the Cross, to stand beneath it with our Mother, the Mother of God, Ave Maria! We make our prayer through Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.
Saint of the Day – 28 September – Blessed Bernardine of Feltre OFM (1439-1494) Priest, Franciscan Friar, Missionary Preacher, Poet, peace-maker, Civil protestor against the practice of usury, defender of the poor. He was a true ‘child prodigy’ – by the time he was 12 he was fluent in Latin and at the age of 15 he composed a poem and read it in the Town Square to celebrate a local peace treaty. He is remembered most especially, in connection with the “Monti di Pietà” “Mount of Piety” of which he was the reorganiser and, in a certain sense, the Founder, together with the Blessed Michele Carcano. Born as Martin Tomitani in 1439 at Feltre, Italy and died on 28 September 1494 of natural causes. Patronages – bankers, pawnbrokers. He is also sometimes known as Bernardino of Feltre or Martin Tomitani.
A “Mount of Piety” is an institutional pawnbroker run as a charity in Europe from Renaissance times until today. Similar institutions were established in the colonies of Catholic countries; the Mexican Nacional Monte de Piedad is still in operation. It gave poor people access to loans with reasonable interest rates. It used funds from charitable donors as capital and made loans to the poor so they could avoid going to exploitative lenders. Borrowers offered valuables as collateral, making the Mount of Piety more like a pawn shop than a bank. The Monte di Pietà was developed on the principle of charity. It was designed to aid less fortunate people by providing an alternative to the socially unaccepted Jewish money lending system.
Martin Tomitani was born to the noble family of Tomitano and was the eldest of nine children. He achieved acclaim in his studies and to please his father he proceeded to study law. In 1456, while a law student in Padua, he heard St James of the Marches preach the Lenten course and was inspired to enter the Franciscan order. St James of the Marches himself, gave him the name Bernardine, after St Bernardine of Siena.
In May that year he joined the “Observantine” Franciscans, an austere branch of the Franciscan friars. He completed successfully his studies at Mantua and was Ordained Priest in 1463. He was small, shy and stammered but his superiors assigned him to preach home-missions. Cured of an impediment in his speech, Bernardine began his apostolate up and down the Italian peninsula. Every city of note and every province from Lombardy in the north to Sardinia and the provinces of the south became successively the scene of his missionary labours.
He was an extremely popular preacher because he spoke simply and powerfully against the vanity, ambition and greed rife at the time. The crowds that flocked to hear him were too large for the local churches, so he addressed them in the city squares and the fields. Like many other missionaries of his century, he had made a vast outdoor bonfire called “burning the Devil’s stronghold.” The crowds were asked to throw into the fire all objects of vanity and sin such as playing cards, dice, pornographic books and pictures, jewelry, wigs, superstitious charms, cosmetics and so forth.
Bernardine was able to reconcile warring communities. He also sought civic legislation to correct public injustices such as usury, the charging of excessive interest for loans, which was especially onerous on the poor.
In 1484, Bernardine established the charitable credit organisation, “Monti di Pietà” “Mount of Piety,” run by a joint committee of clergy and laymen. The institution was founded as an alternative to the high interest loans of the money lenders and Lombard travelling bankers of the Middle Ages.
His fund raising drives were generally preceded with a procession featuring an image of either the Man of Sorrows or Pietà to encourage charitable donations. His insistence on charging a low interest to protect the institution’s permanency raised a controversy among the theologians who thought it promoted the continuance of usury. (In 1515, Pope Leo X declared the institution meritorious and it spread rapidly throughout France, Italy and Spain.)
In 1491, Bernardine was expelled from Milan by Ludovico Sforza for contesting with the Duke’s astrologer.
Bernardine is generally represented in iconography as carrying in his hand a Monti di Pietà, that is, a little green hill composed of three mounds and on the top either a cross or a standard with the inscription Curam illius habe‘Take care of’ (a snippet from the Vulgate translation of the Gospel of Luke’s Parable of the Good Samaritan).
The authorship of the well-known Anima Christi has as often as not been ascribed to Bernardine of Feltre. The fact, however, that the Anima Christi was composed sometime before 1439 disproves any claim that he might have of being its author, though much like St Ignatius of Loyola, Bernardine made frequent use of it and recommended it to his brethren.
On 13 April 1654, Pope Innocent X confirmed the culktus of Blessed Bernardine and he was formally Beatified in 1728 by Pope Benedict XIII.
Bl Aaron of Auxerre St Alodius of Auxerre St Annemond of Lyons St Bardomianus Blessed Bernardine of Feltre OFM (1439-1494) Priest
St Chariton of Palestine Bl Christian Franco St Conval of Strathclyde St Eucarpus St Eustochium St Exuperius of Toulouse St Faustus of Riez St John of Dukla St Laurence of North Africa St Lioba of Bischofsheim St Machan St Martial of North Africa St Martin of Moyenmoutier St Paternus of Auch St Privatus of Rome St Salonius of Geneva St Silvinus of Brescia St Simón de Rojas O.SS. (1552-1624) Apostle of the Ave Maria About St Simon: https://anastpaul.com/2018/09/28/saint-of-the-day-28-september-st-simon-de-rojas-o-ss-1552-1624-father-ave-maria-apostle-of-the-ave-maria/ St Solomon of Genoa St Stacteus St Tetta of Wimborne Bl Thiemo St Willigod of Moyenmoutier St Zama of Bologna — Augustinian Martyrs of Japan: The first Augustinian missionaries arrived in Japan in 1602 and met with immediate success; many were brought to the faith; many of them became Augustinians; and many of them were martyred in the periodic persecutions of Christians. This memorial commemorates all of them, whether they have a sanctioned Cause for Canonisation or not. They include: • Blessed Bartolomé Gutiérrez Rodríguez • Blessed Ferdinand Ayala • Blessed Francisco Terrero de Ortega Pérez • Blessed Ioannes Mukuno Chozaburo • Blessed Laurentius Kaida Hachizo • Blessed Mancius Yukimoto Ichizaemon • Blessed Martín Lumbreras Peralta • Blessed Melchor Sánchez Pérez • Blessed Michaël Ichinose Sukezaemon • Blessed Pedro de Zúñiga • Blessed Petrus Sawaguchi Kuhyoe • Blessed Thomas Jihyoe of Saint Augustine • Blessed Thomas Terai Kahyoe • Blessed Vicente Simões de Carvalho • Saint Magdalena of Nagasaki
Martyrs of Antioch – 37 saints: A group of 30 soldiers and 7 civilians who were murdered together for their faith. The names that have come down to us are – Alexander, Alphinus, Heliodorus, Mark, Neon, Nicon and Zosumus. c 303 at Antioch, Pisidia (in modern Turkey).
Martyrs of China – 120 saints: A common memorial for the hundreds of the faithful, lay and clergy, who have died for their faith in the last couple of centuries in China. They were Canonised on 1 October 2000 by Pope John Paul II.
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: • Blessed Amalia Abad Casasempere de Maestre • Blessed Francesc Xavier Ponsa Casallach • Blessed Josep Casas Juliá • Blessed Josep Casas Ros • Blessed Josep Tarrats Comaposada • Blessed María Fenollosa Alcaina