Quote/s of the Day – 26 July – St Anne, Mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Grandmother of Jesus.
St Anne, through her constant prayer, received, the Mother of God and then, became the Grandmother of God!
“God accepts our desires as though they were of great value. He longs ardently for us to desire to and love Him. He accepts our petitions for benefits, as though we were doing Him a favour. His joy in giving, is greater than ours in receiving. So let us not be apathetic in our asking, nor set too narrow bounds to our requests; nor ask for frivolous things unworthy of God’s greatness.”
St Gregory Nazianzen (330-390) Father & Doctor of the Church
“Prayer is the place of refuge for every worry, a foundation for cheerfulness, a source of constant happiness, a protection against sadness.”
“When you are weary of praying and do not receive, consider how often you have heard a poor man calling and have not listened to him.”
St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father and Doctor of the Church
“Fasting is the soul of prayer, mercy is the lifeblood of fasting. Let no-one try to separate them, they cannot be separated. If you have only one of them, or not all together, you have nothing! So if you pray, fast; if you fast, show mercy; if you want your petition to be heard, hear the petition of others. If you do not close your ear to others, you open God’s ear to yourself.”
St Peter Chrysologus (c 400-450) Father & Doctor of the Church
“Realise above all, that you are in God’s presence and stand there with the attitude of one, who stands before the Emperor.”
St Romuald (c 951-1027)
“The spirit of prayer is the spirit of the love of God and this should inspire all our vocal prayers. Flowery petitions are no use if our minds and hearts are turned away from God. God wants our hearts. Let us pray often but let our prayers be sincere acts of the love of God, coming from the heart.”
Notre-Dame d’Avesniéres, Laval / Our Lady of Avesnières, Laval, France (11th Century) – 7 February:
The Basilica of Notre-Dame Avesnières is located in Laval, in the region of Pays de la Loire. It is located in the district of Avesnières, on the right bank of the Mayenne river and south of the City centre. The Church has existed at least since the 11th Century but it got its present appearance in the 12th Century, when the Benedictines set up a Priory here. The nuns left Avesnières during the Hundred Years’ War and the Church then became a simple Parish Church. It was raised to the rank of minor Basilica in 1898, by Pope Leo XIII.
The Church was founded by Guy, Lord of Laval, who, falling into the river wanting to cross it, was miraculously saved from drowning, by the Blessed Virgin and transported safely to the river bank. The spot was chosen, in remembrance of this miraculous rescue, to host a Sanctuary dedicated to the Notre-Dame. In 1871, Monsignor Casimir Wicart, first Bishop of Laval, in the face of the anxiety provoked by the advance of the Prussian troops, decided to organise a large prayer vigil in Avesnières. At this ceremony, the faithful assembled and took an oath to rebuild the Church if the Blessed Mother saved the City from foreign occupation. The next day, the Prussians were stopped in their tracks in Saint-Melaine, at the gates of Laval, when the Virgin appeared before them. Where is our faith today?!
St Adaucus of Phrygia St Amulwinus of Lobbes St Anatolius of Cahors Bl Anna Maria Adorni Botti Bl Anselmo Polanco Bl Anthony of Stroncone St Augulus St Chrysolius of Armenia St Fidelis of Merida Bl Felipe Ripoll Morata
St Maximus of Nola St Meldon of Péronne St Moses the Hermit St Parthenius of Lampsacus Bl Peter Verhun
Blessed Pope Pius IX (1792-1878) Bishop of Rome from 16 June 1846 to the day of his death. He is the longest-reigning Pope in the history of the Church, serving for over 31 years. During his Pontificate, Pius IX convened the First Vatican Council (1869–70), which decreed Papal Infallibility and promulgated the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception. Pope Pius IX named three new Doctors of the Church: St Hilary of Poitiers (1851), St Alphonsus Liguori (1871) St Francis de Sales (19 July 1877). His body is incorrupt. All about Blessed Pope Pius IX: https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/02/07/saint-of-the-day-blessed-pope-pius-ix-1792-1878/
St Richard the King Pilgrim (Died c 722) Layman Bl Rizziero of Muccia Bl Rosalie Rendu (1786-1856) St Theodore Stratelates
Thought for the Day – 14 November – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“The Saints achieved a great deal by preaching and by conversation but, they achieved far more by good example. The spiritual power of personality touched even the most hardened sinners.
It is said of St Romuald, that everyone who visited him, experienced great interior happiness. His appearance alone was enough to cheer them! He was so detached from himself and from the things of the world and, so absorbed in God, that he was always smiling.
The Cure d’Ars, too, converted more people by the unseen impact of his personal holiness, than by the simple sermons which he delivered to the crowds gathered about him.
Unfortunately, quite the opposite influence is exerted by hardened sinners and by self-centred worldlings and, even greater damage is done by those who are immersed in soul-destroying sensuality. The latter exhale the breath of death and the familiarity of their friendship, perverts and corrupts those, with whom they come in contact.
Examine your behaviour at home and in society, for it affects, not only your own spiritual welfare but, that of your neighbour as well. Good example is the most effective sermon and it is a sermon, which all of us can and should deliver!
Nostra Signora d Montesenario / Our Lady of Monte Senario, Florence, Italy – Ordo Servorum Beatae Mariae Virginis (OSM) (1240) – 19 June:
The cradle of the Order of the Servants of Mary began at Monte Senario in the year 1233 in the City of Florence, Italy, by a group of Hermits now known as the Seven Holy Founders Saints of the Servite Order – Ordo Servorum Beatae Mariae Virginis (OSM). They were sons of wealthy families and they retired from the world for a life of prayer and devotion to the praises of Mary. Leaving La Camarzia, a Suburb of Florence, the seven went to Monte Senario in the region of Tuscany. Uncertain of what way of life to follow, they turned to Our Lady in prayer and supplication and she appeared to them on the Feast of the Assumption in the year 1240.
The Blessed Virgin, Our Lady of Monte Senario, presented the Seven Holy Founders with the Habit of their new Order and an Angel stood nearby bearing a scroll that was marked, “Servants of Mary.” He read to the Seven Holy Founders the following words: “You will found a new order, and you will be my witnesses throughout the world. This is your name: Servants of Mary. This is your rule: that of Saint Augustine. And here is your distinctive sign: the black scapular, in memory of my sufferings.”
From that day in 1240, the seven were known as the Servants of Mary, the Order of Servants of Mary, or the Servites. under her title of Mother of Sorrows (Italian: Madonna Addolorata) Members of the Order take solemn vows to especially honour the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The sorrows are, in order, the prophecy of Simeon, the flight into Egypt, the loss of the Holy Child at Jerusalem, meeting Jesus on His Way to Calvary, standing at te foot of the Cross, Jesus taken down from the Cross, and the burial of Christ. According to an ancient document called the “Legenda de Origin ordini,” “Our Lady wanted to begin her Order with seven men to show everyone, with absolute clarity, that she wanted to adorn her Order, endowing it with the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.”
The Order gained official recognition in 1249 but was not officially approved until Pope Benedict IX issued a Bull in 1304. Their Church on Monte Senario, rebuilt in 1700, is a favourite resort of pilgrims from Florence especially. Mary here, as Our Lady of Monte Senario, as well as elsewhere, proves herself the miraculous Mother of God. The names of the Seven Holy Founders are Saint Alexis Falconieri, Saint Bartholomew degli Amidei, Saint Benedict dell’Antella, Saint Buonfiglio Monaldi, Saint Gherardino Sostegni, Saint Hugh dei Lippi-Uguccioni, and Saint John Buonagiunta Monetti.
St Adleida of Bergamo Bl Arnaldo of Liniberio St Culmatius of Arezzo St Deodatus of Jointures St Deodatus of Nevers St Gaudentius of Arezzo St Gervase and St Protase (Died c 165) Martyrs, Twin Brothers of Martyr Parents, Laymen St Hildegrin of Châlons-sur-Marne Bl Humphrey Middlemore St Innocent of Le Mans
St Lambert of Saragossa
St Lupo of Bergamo Blessed Maria Rosa/Margaretha Flesch FSMA (1826-1906)
St Modeste Andlauer
St Nazario of Koper
Bl Odo of Cambrai
St Rémi Isoré
Bl Sebastian Newdigate
Bl Thomas Woodhouse
Bl William Exmew
St Zosimus of Umbria
One Minute Reflection – 19 June – Wednesday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Matthew 6:1–6 and the Memorial of St Romuald (c 951-1027) and St Juliana Falconieri OSM (1270 – 1341)
“Beware of practising your piety before men, in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven..”... Matthew 6:1
REFLECTION – ”Vainglory can find a place, not only, in the splendour and pomp of worldly wealth but even in the sordid garment of sackcloth as well. It is then all the more dangerous, because it is a deception, under the pretence of service to God.
When one dazzles by immoderate adornment of the body and its raiment, or by the splendour of whatever else one may possess, by that very fact, one is easily shown to desire ostentatious display. This person deceives nobody by a crafty semblance of holiness. But if, through extraordinary squalor and shabbiness, one is attracting others’ attention to one’s manner of professing Christianity and if, one is doing this of choice and not merely enduring it through necessity, then one may determine by one’s other works whether one is doing it through an indifference toward needless adornment, or through ambition of some kind. Indeed, the Lord has forewarned us to beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing: “By their fruits you shall know them.”
Trials of one kind or another, that cause these people to lose the very advantages they have gained, through their dress or claimed to deny, what they sought to gain by it, will inevitably reveal, whether it is a case of a wolf under a sheep’s skin or a sheep under its own. But just as sheep ought not to change their skin even though wolves sometimes hide themselves beneath it, so a Christian ought not try to delight the eyes of others by needless adornment, just because pretenders very often assume that scanty garb, which necessity demands and assume it, for the purpose of deceiving those, who are less aware.” … St Augustine (354-430) (Sermon on the Mount, 2)
PRAYER – Lord God, in Your wisdom You created us. By Your providence You rule us. Penetrate our inmost being with Your holy light, so that we may shine only by our service and imitation of Your Son and never seek to shine by our own efforts. May we be mirrors of His meek and humble Heart. Grant that the prayers of St Romuald and St Juliana Falconieri may be help on our way. Through Christ our Lord, in union with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.
St Adleida of Bergamo
Bl Arnaldo of Liniberio
St Culmatius of Arezzo
St Deodatus of Jointures
St Deodatus of Nevers
St Gaudentius of Arezzo
St Hildegrin of Châlons-sur-Marne
Bl Humphrey Middlemore
St Innocent of Le Mans St Juliana Falconieri OSM (1270 – 1341)
St Lambert of Saragossa
St Lupo of Bergamo
St Modeste Andlauer
St Nazario of Koper
Bl Odo of Cambrai
St Rémi Isoré
Bl Sebastian Newdigate
Bl Thomas Woodhouse
Bl William Exmew
St Zosimus of Umbria
Thought for the Day – 19 June – The Memorial of St Romuald (c 951-1027)
Saint Romuald’s body was buried at the monastery in Paranzo. Three decades later, his incorrupt body was transferred to Fabriano in 1481. Many miracles have been reported at his tombside in the great Cathedral of Fabriano. The Order he founded continues to operate today, with five distinct congregations. The most austere of those, the hermits, continue to live in a manner much like that of Saint Romuald—strict adherence to silence and prayer for the reparation of the sins of mankind.
The quiet and contemplative life of Saint Romuald reminds us, that humility, meekness and a deep desire for the Lord are the hallmarks of our faith. These simple tenets, lived as model for others, are a powerful witness to the depth of our hope and confidence in the Lord, a reminder of our obedience to Him and a powerful call to prayer. When we pray, as Saint Romuald said, our bodies, hearts, souls and minds should be focused solely on God: “Better to pray one psalm with devotion and compunction than a hundred with distraction.”
Prayer is the gauge of our love for God. If we pray, we love Him but if we don’t pray, we do not love Him. It is as simple as that, for surely we want always to speak to the one we love? Let us ask Saint Romuald to obtain for us the grace of prayer and perseverance in prayer, particularly when we find the going hard.
Quote/s of the Day – 18 June – The Memorial of St Romuald (c 951-1027)
Speaking of: Prayer
“It is better to say one Our Father fervently and devoutly than a thousand, with no devotion and full of distraction.”
St Edmund (841-869)
“Sit in your cell as in paradise. Put the whole world behind you and forget it. Watch your thoughts like a good fisherman watching for fish.”
St Romuald (c 951-1027)
“Were you to ask, ‘what are the means of overcoming temptations’, I would answer: The first means is prayer; the second is prayer; the third is prayer; and should you ask me, a thousand times, I would repeat the same.”
St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787)
Most Zealous Doctor
“When we speak to Jesus with simplicity and with all our heart, He does like a mother who holds her child’s head with her hands and covers it with kisses and caresses.”
St John Vianney (1786-1859)
“Jesus is waiting for you in the chapel. Go and find Him.”
St Jeanne Jugan (1792-1879) 30 August
“To clasp the hands in prayer is a beginning of an uprising against the disorder of the world.”
Karl Barth (1886-1968)
“Friends, do not be afraid of silence or stillness. Listen to God. Adore Him in the Eucharist.”
Pope Benedict XVI
“Turn your car into a monastery.”
Bishop Robert Barron
“Seek a relationship when you pray, not answers. You won’t always find answers but you will always find Jesus.”
One Minute Reflection – 19 June – The Memorial of St Romuald (c 951-1027)
And we have this confidence in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us, in regard to whatever we ask, we know that, what we have asked him for, is ours...1 John 5:14-15
REFLECTION – “Better to pray one psalm with devotion and compunction than a hundred with distraction.”…St Romuald
PRAYER – Father, through St Romuald You renewed the life of solitude and prayer in your Church. By our prayer and self-denial as we follow Christ our Lord, bring us the joy of heaven. Kindly receive the intercession of St Romuald still, as we beg his prayers for all of your Church. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen
Saint of the Day – 19 June – St Romuald (c 951-1027) – Monk, Abbot, Ascetic, Founder of the Camaldolese order and a major figure in the eleventh-century “Renaissance of eremitical asceticism”. St Romuald was born in c 951 at Ravenna, Italy and died on 19 June 1027 at Val-di-Castro, Italy of natural causes. Patronages – the Camaldolese order and Suwalki, Poland. St Romuald’s body is incorrupt.
According to the vita (life) by St Peter Damian O.S.B. (1007-1072), himself a Benedictine and Doctor of the Church , written about fifteen years after Romuald’s death, Romuald was born in Ravenna, in northeastern Italy, to the aristocratic Onesti family. As a youth, according to early accounts, Romuald indulged in the pleasures and sins of the world common to a tenth-century nobleman. At the age of twenty he served as second to his father, who killed a relative in a duel over property. Romuald was devastated and went to the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare in Classe to do 40 days of penance. After some indecision, Romuald became a monk there. San Apollinare had recently been reformed by St Maieul of Cluny Abbey (906-994) but still was not strict enough in its observance to satisfy Romuald. His injudicious correction of the less zealous aroused such enmity against him that he applied for and was readily granted, permission to retire to Venice, where he placed himself under the direction of a hermit named Marinus and lived a life of extraordinary severity.
About 978, Pietro Orseolo I, Doge of Venice, who had obtained his office by acquiescence in the murder of his predecessor, began to suffer remorse for his crime. On the advice of Guarinus, Abbot of San Miguel-de-Cuxa, in Catalonia and of Marinus and Romuald, he abandoned his office and relations and fled to Cuxa, where he took the habit of St Benedict, while Romuald and Marinus erected a hermitage close to the monastery. Romuald lived there for about ten years, taking advantage of the library of Cuxa to refine his ideas regarding monasticism.
After that he spent the next 30 years going about Italy, founding and reforming monasteries and hermitages. His reputation being known to advisers of the Holy Roman Emperor Otto III, Romuald was persuaded by him to take the vacant office of abbot at Sant’Apollinare to help bring about a more dedicated way of life there. The monks, however, resisted his reforms and after a year, Romuald resigned, hurling his abbot’s staff at Otto’s feet in total frustration. He then again withdrew to the hermetical life.
In 1012 he arrived at the Diocese of Arezzo. Here, according to the legend, a certain Maldolus, who had seen a vision of monks in white garments ascending into Heaven, gave him some land, afterwards known as the Campus Maldoli, or Camaldoli. St Romuald built on this land five cells for hermits, which, with the monastery at Fontebuono, built two years later, became the famous motherhouse of the Camaldolese Order. Romuald’s daunting charisma awed Rainier of Tuscany, who was neither able to face Romuald nor to send him away. Romuald founded several other monasteries, including the monastery of Val di Castro, where he died in 1027.
St Romuald’s feast day was added to the Liturgical Calendar in 1594, today, the day of his death and entry into life.
St Romuald’s Rule:
Romuald was able to integrate these different traditions in establishing his own monastic order. The admonition in his rule Empty yourself completely and sit waiting places him in relation to the long Christian history of intellectual stillness and interior passivity in meditation also reflected in the nearly contemporary Byzantine ascetic practice known as Hesychasm.
Sit in your cell as in paradise. Put the whole world behind you and forget it. Watch your thoughts like a good fisherman watching for fish. The path you must follow is in the Psalms — never leave it.
If you have just come to the monastery and in spite of your good will, you cannot accomplish what you want, take every opportunity you can to sing the Psalms in your heart and to understand them with your mind. And if your mind wanders as you read, do not give up; hurry back and apply your mind to the words once more.
Archbishop Cosmo Francesco Ruppi noted that, “Interiorisation of the spiritual dimension, the primacy of solitude and contemplation, slow penetration of the Word of God and calm meditation on the Psalms are the pillars of Camaldolese spirituality, which St Romuald gives as the essential core of his Rule.”
Romuald’s reforms provided a structural context to accommodate both the eremitic and cenobitic aspects of monastic life.
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