One Minute Reflection – 13 November – ‘… Prayer means … ‘

One Minute Reflection – 13 November – Readings: Wisdom 18: 14-16; 19: 6-9; Psalm 105: 2-3, 36-37, 42-43; Luke 18: 1-8 – The Memorial of St Didacus (de Alcalá de Henares) OFM (c 1400-1463

Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones, who call out to him day and night?
Will he be slow to answer them?
I tell you, he will see to it, that justice is done for them speedily. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?
” – Luke 8:7-8

REFLECTION – “What an extraordinary thing it is, the efficiency of prayer! Like a Queen, it has access at all times to the Royal presence and can receive, whatever it asks for. And it is a mistake to imagine that your prayer will not be answered, unless you have something out of a book, some splendid formula of words, specially devised to meet this emergency. If that were true, I am afraid I should be in a terribly bad position. You see, I recite the Divine Office, with a great sense of unworthiness but ,apart from that, I cannot face the strain of hunting about in books for these splendid prayers – it makes my head spin. There are such a lot of them, each more splendid than the last – how am I to recite them all, or to choose between them? I just do what children have to do before they have learned to read – I tell God what I want quite simply, without any splendid turns of phrase and somehow, He always manages to understand me.

For me, prayer means launching out of the heart towards God; it means lifting up one’s eyes, quite simply, to heaven, a cry of grateful love, from the crest of joy, or the trough of despair; it is a vast, supernatural force, which opens out my heart and binds me close to Jesus.” – St Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face (1873-1897), Carmelite, Doctor of the Church (Ms C, 25 r° – trans Ronald Knox)

PRAYER – Holy Father, grant us a strong Faith! Poor Your graces into our hearts that we may believe with all our hearts, minds and souls and that in believing, we may constantly raise our entire being to You in prayer and supplication, in prayer and adoration, in prayer and love. May the intercession of St Didacus, a man of deep prayer from his youth, strengthen our perseverance. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever, amen.


Saint of the Day – 13 November – Saint Didacus OFM (c 1400-1463)

Saint of the Day – 13 November – Saint Didacus (de Alcalá de Henares) OFM (c 1400-1463) Lay Brother of the Order of Friars Minor, Hermit, Mystic, Confessor, Born in c 1400 at Seville, Spain and died on 12 November 1463 at Alcala, Castile, Spain of natural causes. Also known as – St Didacus of St Nicholas, Diego, Diaz, Didacus de Alcalá de Henares, Didacus of Alcala. Patronages – Franciscan laity, Franciscan lay brothers, Diocese of San Diego, California.

The Roman Martyrology states of him today: “At Alcala in Spain, St Didacus, Confessor of the Order of Minorites, who was renowned for his humility. Incribed on the catalogue of the Saints by Pope Sixtus V, with a Feast Day of 13 November.

Didacus was born about 1400 at San Nicolas in Andalusia, of poor and God-fearing parents. He entered the Third Order of St Francis when he had scarcely reached young manhood and under the direction of a devout Tertiary Priest, he served God for a long time as a Hermit. Consumed with the desire for still greater perfection, he later entered the Franciscan Convent at Arizafa in Castile and was there admitted to solemn vows as a lay brother.

His rapid progress in virtue made him a model to all his companions. His soul was continually occupied with God in prayer and meditation. From this source, he gathered such supernatural insight concerning God and the Mysteries of Faith, that learned theologians listened with astonishment to the inspiring conversations of this uneducated lay brother. Since Brother Didacus manifested great zeal for souls and willingness for sacrifice, his superiors sent him with other brethren to the Canary Islands, which at that time, were still inhabited by wild infidels. Didacus was eager for martyrdom and in this spirit, bore with dauntless patience, the many hardships that came his way. Both by word and example, he helped in converting many infidels.

In 1445, he was appointed Guardian of the chief Friary on the islands at Fortaventura. Recalled to Spain, he went to Rome in 1450 at the command of the Observant Vicar General, St John Capistrano, to attend the great Jubilee and the Canonisation ceremonies of St Bernardine of Siena. On this occasion, an epidemic broke out among the many Friars assembled in the large Convent of Aracoeli. Didacus attended the sick with great charity and trust in God. And God did not fail him. Despite the lack of supplies in the City at the time, Didacus always had ample provisions for his patients. He miraculously restored many of them to health by merely making the Sign of the Cross over them.

Leaving Rome, he returned to Spain, where, as in the former days, he was a source of great edification to the Friars of every Convent in which he lived.

When he felt that the end of his life was drawing near, he asked for an old and worn-out habit, so that he might die in it as a true son of the poor St Francis. He died on 12 November 1463, at the Franciscan Monastery in Alcalá, pressing a Crucifix to his heart and repeating the words of the Good Friday chant: “Dulce lignum, dulce ferrum, dulce pondus sustinet” – Precious the wood, precious the nails, precious the weight they bear.

Months passed before it was possible to bury Brother Didacus, so great was the number of people who came to venerate his remains. Not only did his body remain incorrupt but it diffused a pleasant odour. After it was laid to rest in the Franciscan Church at Alcalá de Henares, astounding miracles continued to occur at his tomb. Pope Sixtus V, himself a Franciscan, Canonised Brother Didacus in 1588.

The Church pays to Didacus today, the very same honours as we have seen her pay to Bernardine and John Capistrano. What is this but asserting, that before God, heroic acts of hidden virtue, are not inferior to the noble deeds that dazzle the world, if, proceeding from the same ardent love, they produce in the soul, the same increase of divine charity.


Notre-Dame de Nanteuil / Our Lady of Nanteuil, (Montrichard, Nanteuil-en-Vallee , France) 1st Century and Memorials of the Saints – 13 November

Notre-Dame de Nanteuil / Our Lady of Nanteuil, (Montrichard, Nanteuil-en-Vallee , France) 1st Century – 13 November :

This Shrine dates from late in the 1st Century, making it one of the oldest Shrines in France. According to tradition, some of the first Christians in the area discovered the Statue residing on the branch of an oak tree. They happily took it and placed it on a nearby wall near a fountain and went to summon the neighbours to show them what they had found.
On returning, they found that the Statue was not where they had left it. Since this was an isolated spot, they wondered who might have taken it. Later, the Statue was found once again where they had first seen it, on the branch of the oak tree. Since Our Lady did not seem to want to be moved, the first Chapel was, accordingly, built around the tree, with the branches containing the Statue, being on the upper floor.
A Parish Church, later built next door, shows late 12th century architecture but the Shrine was already very old at this time. The Church and the priory of Nanteuil belonged to the Abbey from the first years of the twelfth century.
Construction took place, attributed to Philippe-Auguste, who wanted to show his gratitude to the Blessed Virgin for a double benefit – the first was for when his prayer had been answered and his thirsting army had been drenched by rain to quench that thirst; the second was for their victory over the King of England and their taking of Montrichard. In fact, the second column that supports the arch on the right side, depicts the face of the monarch, along with the faces of other leaders of his army.
The devotion of Kings and Lords for the Virgin of Nanteuil was shared by the people, and from everywhere they came on pilgrimage, especially the Monday of Pentecost, which gave birth to a famous fair which was established before the fourteenth century and continues to this day.
The religious upheavals of the 16th Century left Our Lady of Nanteuil undisturbed but before the French Revolution, a change came over the Statue. The smiling face became sad and many pilgrims testified to seeing tears on the cheeks. The Revolution indeed brought sorrow to the Shrine. One of the pilgrims threw a rope around the neck of the Statue and pulled it to the ground, breaking all but the head. A woman who carelessly tossed the head aside and looked for better loot was punished by almost instant death. Another woman took up the mutilated head and hid it until the destruction was over and a new body could be made to go with it.
One of the many miracles recorded of Our Lady of Nanteuil, is the cure of a little boy who was completely crippled. His mother carried him on her back for three pilgrimages and the third time, to the Shrine of Our Lady of Nanteuil, he returned home entirely cured. The Shrine was especially famous for the cures of sick children, and was a favourite of King Louis XI.
This Shrine had a privileged Altar that was highly indulgenced. It was a favourite of the Venerable Olier and of that saintly pilgrim, Saint Benedict Joseph Labre. Unfortunately, we have no clear images of the restored Statue.

St Frances Xavier Cabrini (Optional Memorial, United States only ) – her Universal Feast Day is 22 December:

All Saints of the Augustinian Order:
On 13 November – St Augustine’s Birthday, we celebrate the Feast of All Saints of the Augustinian Order. On this day we call to mind the many unsung brothers and sisters of the Augustinian family who have “fought the good fight” and celebrate now, in Heaven.
Let us pray for one another that we too may one day join in the “unceasing chorus of praise” with all our Augustinian brethren in Heaven.

All Saints of the Benedictine & Cistercian Orders:
Those interested in the Benedictine family may be interested to know that today, within the Benedictine liturgical tradition, is traditionally celebrated the Feast of All Saints of the Benedictine Order – In Festo Omnium Sanctorum Ordinis S.P.N. Benedicti. The Cistercians — who also follow the Rule of St Benedict — likewise observe this day for All Saints of their Order. (On a related note, the Benedictines also traditionally observe 14 November as All Souls of their Order.

Saint Benedict and Saint Bernard (1542), by Diogo de Contreiras. Saint Bernard is depicted in the white cowl of the Cistercians.

All Saints of the Premonstratensian Order or the “Norbertines.”
The Order of Canons Regular of Prémontré, also known as the Premonstratensians, the Norbertines and, in Britain and Ireland, as the White Canons , are a Roman Catholic religious order of canons regular founded in Prémontré near Laon in 1120 by Saint Norbert, who later became Archbishop of Magdeburg. Premonstratensians are designated by O.Praem. following their name. St Norbert was a friend of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux and so was largely influenced by the Cistercian ideals as to both the manner of life and the government of his order.
Aside from St Norbert there are at present fifteen saints of the Order who have been Canonised or have had their immemorial cults confirmed by the Holy See.
St Norbert (c 1080-1134) “Defender of the Eucharist” and “Apostle of the Eucharist” – Bishop, Confessor, Founder.
St Norbert here:

All Deceased Dominican Brothers and Sisters

St Abbo of Fleury

St Agostina Pietrantoni SDC (1864-1894) Virgin, of the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of Saint Jeanne Antide Thouret, medical nursing sister.
Her Story here:

St Amandus of Rennes
St Amanzio
St Beatrix of Bohemia
St Brice of Tours
St Caillin
St Chillien of Aubigny
Bl Christopher Eustace
St Columba of Cornwall
St Dalmatius of Rodez
Bl David Sutton
St Devinicus
St Didacus de Alcalá de Henares) OFM (c 1400-1463) Lay Brother of the Order of Friars Minor, Confessor.

St Eugenius of Toledo
St Florido of Città di Castello
St Gredifael
St Himerius
St Homobonus of Cremona
Bl John Sutton
Bl Juan Gonga Martínez
St Juan Ortega Uribe

Blessed Karl Lampert (1894-1944) Priest and Martyr guillotined by the Nazis. Fr Karl served as the Pro-Vicar for the Diocese of Feldkirch in addition to being an outspoken critic of Nazism during World War II.
His Life and Death:

St Leoniano of Vienne
Bl María Cinta Asunción Giner Gomis
Bl Maurice Eustace
St Maxellendis
St Mitrius
St Pope Nicholas I
St Paterniano
St Quintian of Rodez
Bl Robert Fitzgerald
Bl Robert Montserrat Beliart
Bl Robert Scurlock

St Stanislaus Kostka SJ (1550-1568) Jesuit Novice 
Biography here:

Bl Thomas Eustace
Bl Warmondus of Ivrea
Bl William Wogan

Martyrs of Caesarea – 5 saints: A group of Christians murdered for their faith in the persecutions of Diocletian, Galerius Maximian and Firmilian. – Antoninus, Ennatha, Germanus, Nicephorus and Zebinas. 297 at Caesarea, Palestine.

Martyrs of Ravenna – 3 saints: A group of Christians murdered together in the persecutions of Diocletian. The only information about them that has survived are three names – Solutor, Valentine and Victor. c 305 in Ravenna, Italy.

Martyrs of Salamanca – 5 saints: The first group of Christians exiled, tortured and executed for their adherence to the Nicene Creed during the persecutions of the Arian heretic Genseric. – Arcadius, Eutychianus, Paschasius, Paulillus and Probus.
Born in Spain and Martyred in 437. Their relics are at Medina del Campo, Spain.