One Minute Reflection – 6 August – ‘See her humility as well as her faith! …Behold the woman’s wisdom! …Behold her constancy. ‘

One Minute Reflection – 6 August – Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Readings: Isaiah 56,1.6-7. Psalms 67(66),2-, Romans 11,13-15.29-32, Matthew 15,21-28 and Saint Armel of Brittany (Died c 570)

“She said, “Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters.” … Matthew 15:27.

REFLECTION – “See her humility as well as her faith!   For He had called the Jews “children” but she was not satisfied with this.   She even called them “masters,” so far was she from grieving at the praises of others.   She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.”   Behold the woman’s wisdom!   She did not venture so much as to say a word against anyone else.   She was not stung to see others praised, nor was she indignant to be reproached. Behold her constancy.   When He answered, “It is not fair to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs,” she said, “Yes, Lord.”   He called them “children” but she called them “masters.”   He used the name of a dog but she described the action of the dog.   Do you see this woman’s humility?

Then compare her humility with the proud language of the Jews:  “We are Abraham’s seed and were never in bondage to any man.” “We are born of God.”   But not so this woman.   Rather, she calls herself a dog and them masters.   So for this reason she became a child.   For what does Christ then say? “O woman, great is your faith.”

So we might surmise that this is the reason He put her off, in order that He might proclaim aloud this saying and that He might crown the woman:  “Be it done for you as you desire.”   This means “Your faith, indeed, is able to effect even greater things than these.   Nevertheless be it unto you even as you wish.”  This voice was at one with the voice that said, “Let the heaven be” and it was.

“And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.”   Do you see how this woman, too, contributed not a little to the healing of her daughter?   For note, that Christ did not say, “Let your little daughter be made whole,” but “Great is your faith, be it done for you as you desire.” These words were not uttered at random, nor were they flattering words but great was the power of her faith and for our learning.

He left the certain test and demonstration, however, to the issue of events.   Her daughter accordingly was immediately healed.” … St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father and Doctor – The Gospel of Matthew, Homily 52.matthew 15 27 please lord for even the dogs eat the scraps - and her daughter was - st john chrysostom 16 aug 2020

PRAYER – Lord, by Your grace, we are made one in mind and heart. Give us a love for what You command and a longing for what You promise, so that, amid this world’s changes, our hearts may be set on the world of lasting joy. May the intercession of Your faithful servant, St Armel, bring us strength and courage. Through our Lord, Jesus Christ, in union with the Holy Spirit, God now and for all eternity, armel of brittany pray for us 16 aug 2020

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 16 August – Saint Armel of Brittany (Died c 570)

Saint of the Day – 16 August – Saint Armel of Brittany (Died c 570) Priest, Monk, Missionary, Confessor, Evangeliser, spiritual adviser, miracle-worker – Born in south Wales and died in Brittany, France in c 570.   Also known as Armagillus, Erme, Armael, Armagil, Armagilus, Armahel, Armail, Arthmael, Arthfael, Artmaglus, Arthmail, Arzel, Ermel, Ermin, Ermyn, Hermel, Thiarmail.   Patronages – to cure headaches, fever, colic, gout and rheumatism. He is also the Patron of arnel glass

Armel is said to have been a Breton prince, born to the wife of King Hoel while they were living in Glamorgan in Wales in the late 5th century.   He was a cousin of Saint Samson and Saint Cadfan, with whom it is believed, crossed the English Channel to Brittany.

He founded the Abbey of Plouarzel in Brittany and was, from there, called to attend the Court of King Childebert I of Paris.   On the journey, he established Churches at Ergué-Armel, Ploermel and Saint-Armel, which is named after him.Saint-Armel-FR-35-panneau_d'agglomération-01


The life of St Armel in stained glass at Ploermel

He remained for seven years at the Royal Court, as a spiritual adviser and teacher.   There, he cured the lame and the blind.   Armel provided clean water for the people of Loutéhel.   He struck the ground with his staff and a spring immediately flowed.   Some of the stories of his miracles have been lost but we can guess at them from pictures and carvings showing the saint in action.   The King, in gratitude for his service and holiness, gave him land at Saint-Armel-des-Bochaux in Ille-et-Vilaine where he founded a second Monastery.   After his years at the Court he then retired to the Forest of Teil to spend his time in prayer and penance in the Monastery he had established there.

St-Armel-Ploermel (1)
A modern statue of St Armel in the Church of Ploermel

The most famous story about Armel was something that happened at St Armel-des-Boscheaux.   The district around Armel’s Monastery was being ravaged by a dragon.   The local people came to Armel for arnel and the dragon He defeated the dragon, tied it up with his stole and led it to the top of a hill called Mount St Armel.   From there, he commanded it to throw itself into the river Sèche.   He died in this Monastery around 570.

A church called Saint Erme is dedicated to him in Cornwall, perhaps because King Henry VII of England believed that Armel’s intercession saved him from shipwreck off the coast of Brittany.   His earliest known “vita” dates only from the 12th century but his cultus spread from Brittany to Normandy, Anjou and Touraine.   His feast was added to the Sarum Calendar in 1498.

There is a statue, below, of Armel in Henry VII’s chapel at Westminster and another on Cardinal Morton’s tomb at Canterbury.   In paintings on the altar pieces of Romsey Abbey and elsewhere, he may be represented in armour and a chasuble, leading a dragon with a stole around it’s Armel-front

A small chapel is dedicated to him just north of Westminster Abbey, where the St Ermyn Hotel is now. (The name St Ermyn is a corruption of St Armel).   Pilgrims went there to ask the Saint for help.   He was particularly famous for healing gout, ague and other fevers.

In the later Middle Ages, Pilgrimages to Rome or Compostela or even to the Holy Land were still popular but there were also many small-scale local pilgrimages.   It was easy enough to walk from the bustling City of London through the fields and along the river Thames to Westminster on a sunny Sunday afternoon.   You could visit some of the Shrines there, including St Armel’s Chapel, have a drink or a meal in one of the many taverns around the Abbey and walk home in the evening light. There were shops and stalls where you could buy souvenirs, cheap little pewter badges to put on your hat.

Literally thousands of these badges have been dug up on building sites in the City of London, several of them showing St Armel with the dragon.saint-armel_article_large

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A +2020 and Memorials of the Saints – 16 August

Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A +2020

St Stephen of Hungary (c 975- 1038) King of Hungary (Optional Memorial)

Bl Angelo Agostini Mazzinghi O.Carm. (1385-1438)
His Life:
St Armel of Brittany (Died c 570) Priest, Monk
St Arsacius of Nicomedia
St Frambaldo
Bl Iacobus Bunzo Gengoro
Bl Jean-Baptiste Menestrel
Bl John of Saint Martha
Bl Laurence Loricatus
Bl Magdalena Kiyota Bokusai
Bl Maria Gengoro
Bl Ralph de la Futaye
St Roch (1295-1327) “Pilgrim”
The story of St Roch here:

St Serena
Bl Simon Kiyota Bokusai
Bl Thomas Gengoro
St Titus the Deacon

Martyrs of Palestine – 33 saints: Thirty-three Christians martyred in Palestine; they are commemorated in old martyrologies, but the date and exact location have been lost.

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
Bl Amadeu Monje Altés
Bl Antonio María Rodríguez Blanco
Bl José María Sanchís Mompó
Bl Laurentí Basil Matas
Bl Plácido García Gilabert