Our Morning Offering – 15 September – The Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows
At the cross her station keeping,
Stood the mournful Mother weeping,
Close to Jesus to the last.
Through her heart, His sorrow sharing,
All His bitter anguish bearing,
Now at length the sword had passed.
Oh, how sad and sore distressed
Was that Mother highly blest,
Of the sole begotten One!
Christ above in torment hangs.
She beneath beholds the pangs
Of her dying glorious Son.
Is there one who would not weep,
Whelmed in miseries so deep,
Christ’s dear Mother to behold?
Can the human heart refrain
From partaking in her pain,
In that Mother’s pain untold?
Bruised, derided, cursed, defiled,
She beheld her tender Child,
All with bloody scourges rent.
For the sins of His own nation,
Saw Him hang in desolation
Till His spirit forth He sent.
O thou Mother: fount of love!
Touch my spirit from above,
Make my heart with thine accord.
Make me feel as thou hast felt;
Make my soul to glow and melt
With the love of Christ my Lord.
Holy Mother, pierce me through;
In my heart each wound renew
Of my Savior crucified.
Let me share with thee His pain,
Who for all my sins was slain,
Who for me in torment died.
Let me mingle tears with thee,
Mourning Him who mourned for me,
All the days that I may live.
By the Cross with thee to stay;
There with thee to weep and pray,
Is all I ask of thee to give.
Virgin of all virgins best,
Listen to my fond request:
Let me share thy grief divine.
Let me to my latest breath,
In my body bear the death
Of that dying Son of thine.
Wounded with His every wound,
Steep my soul till it hath swooned
In His very blood away.
Be to me, O Virgin, nigh,
Lest in flames I burn and die,
In His awful Judgment day.
Christ, when Thou shalt call me hence,
Be Thy Mother my defense,
Be Thy Cross my victory.
While my body here decays,
May my soul Thy goodness praise,
Safe in Paradise with Thee.
Note: This text of the Stabat Mater is one of over 60 translations of this famous Latin hymn that can also be recited in prayer. It is often used when praying the Stations of the Cross. The original Latin text of the Stabat Mater has also been set to music by such composers as Haydn, Rossini, and Poulenc.
St Agofridus of Lacroix
Bl André Fardeau
Bl Antonio de Blanes
St Emilie de Vialar (1797–1856)
St Eutychius of Troas
St George Limniotes
St María Micaela of the Blessed Sacrament
Bl Miroslav Bulesic
St Ouen of Rouen
St Patrick the Elder
St Ptolemy of Nepi
St Romanus of Nepi
St Taziano of Claudiopolis
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
• Blessed Fortunato Velasco Tobar
• Blessed Isidre Torres Balsells
• Blessed Rigoberto Aquilino de Anta Barrio
Martyred in World War II: 6 Beati
Luis Almécija Lázaro
The Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary – celebrated today in South Africa and most countries of Africa, many others and in many Diocese where the local Bishops have decided to move the Solemnity to a Sunday.
St John Eudes (Optional Memorial)
Biography here: https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/08/19/saint-of-the-day-19-august-st-john-eudes-apostle-of-two-hearts/
St Andrew the Tribune
St Badulf of Ainay
St Bertulf of Luxeuil
St Credan of Evesham
St Donatus of Mount Jura
St Elaphius of Châlons
St Ezekiel Moreno Y Diaz
Bl Hugh Green
St Julius of Rome
St Louis of Toulouse
St Magnus of Anagni
St Magnus of Avignon
St Magnus of Cuneo
St Marianus of Entreaigues
St Marinus of Besalu
St Magino of Tarragona
St Namadia of Marsat
St Rufinus of Mantua
St Sarah the Matriarch
St Thecla of Caesarea
St Timothy of Gaza
Martyrs of Nagasaki – 15 beati: A group of missionaries and their laymen supporters who were executed for spreading Christianity in Japan.
• Antonius Yamada
• Bartholomaeus Mohyoe
• Iacobus Matsuo Denji
• Ioachim Díaz Hirayama
• Ioannes Miyazaki Soemon
• Ioannes Nagata Matashichi
• Ioannes Yago
• Laurentius Ikegami Rokusuke
• Leo Sukeemon
• Ludovic Frarijn
• Marcus Takenoshita Shin’emon
• Michaël Díaz Hori
• Paulus Sankichi
• Pedro de Zúñiga
• Thomas Koyanagi
Theywere beheaded on 19 August 1622 at Nagasaki, Japan and Beatified on 7 May 1867 by Pope Pius IX.
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War
Martyred Carmelite Sisters of Charity – 9 beati
Martyred Salesians of Ciudad Real – 8 beati
Martyred Subiaco Benedictines of Barcelona – 7 beati
• Blessed Agueda Hernández Amorós
• Blessed Agustí Busquets Creixell
• Blessed Andrés Pradas Lahoz
• Blessed Antolín Martínez y Martínez
• Blessed Antoni Pedró Minguella
• Blessed Càndid Feliu Soler
• Blessed Cipriano González Millán
• Blessed Damián Gómez Jiménez
• Blessed Elvira Torrentallé Paraire
• Blessed Félix González Bustos
• Blessed Francisca de Amézua Ibaibarriaga
• Blessed Francisco de Paula Ibáñez y Ibáñez
• Blessed Ignasi Guilà Ximenes
• Blessed Isidro Muñoz Antolín
• Blessed Joan Roca Bosch
Saint of the Day – 13 August – Blessed Mark of Aviano OFM Cap (1631-1699) – Franciscan Capuchin Friar, Priest, Preacher, Spiritual Advisor, Political Advisor, Peace-maker, Miracle worker and the inventor of Cappuccino– born on 17 November 1631 at Aviano, Italy as Carlo Domenico Cristofori and died on 13 August 1699 of cancer in Vienna, Austria.
Carlo Domenico Cristofori was born in Aviano, a small community in the Republic of Venice (Italy). Educated at the Jesuit College in Gorizia, at 16 he tried to reach the island of Crete, where the Venetians were at war with the Ottoman Turks, in order to preach the Gospel and convert the Muslims to Christianity. On his way, he sought asylum at a Capuchin convent in Capodistria, where he was welcomed by the Superior, who knew his family and who, after providing him with food and rest, advised him to return home.
Inspired by his encounter with the Capuchins, he felt that God was calling him to enter their Order. In 1648, he began his novitiate. A year later, he professed his vows and took his father’s name, Marco, becoming Fra’ Marco d’Aviano. On 18 September 1655 he was ordained a priest in Chioggia. His ministry entered a new phase in 1664, when he received a licence to preach throughout the Republic of Venice and other Italian states, particularly during Advent and Lent. He was also given more responsibility when he was elected Superior of the convents of Belluno in 1672 and Oderzo in 1674.
His life took an unexpected turn in 1676, when he gave his blessing to a nun, bedridden for some 13 years, she was miraculously healed. The news spread far and wide and it was not long before the sick and many others from all social strata, began to seek him out.
Among those who sought his help was Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor, whose wife had been unable to conceive a male heir. From 1680 to the end of his life, Marco d’Aviano became a close confidant and adviser to him, providing the irresolute and often indecisive emperor with guidance and advice for all problems, political, economic, military or spiritual. His forceful, energetic and sometimes passionate and fiery personality proved a good complement for Leopold’s Hamlet-like tendency to allow endless doubts and scruples to paralyse his capacity for action.
As the danger of war with the Ottoman Turks grew near, Marco d’Aviano was appointed by Pope Innocent XI (Memorial yesterday) as his personal envoy to the Emperor. An impassioned preacher and a skillful mediator, Marco d’Aviano played a crucial role in resolving disputes, restoring unity and energising the armies of the Holy League, which included Austria, Poland, Venice and the Papal States under the leadership of the Polish king Jan III Sobieski. In the decisive Battle of Vienna (1683), the Holy League succeeded in inflicting a defeat on the invading Ottoman Turks. This marked the end of the last Turkish attempt to expand their power in Europe and the beginning of the long European counter-offensive that was to continue ultimately until the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire in 1918. This may therefore be considered one of the decisive battles of history. It also put an end to the period of Ottoman revival in Europe.
From 1683 to 1689 Marco participated in the military campaigns, playing a crucial role in promoting good relations within the Imperial army and encouraging the soldiers. He was present at the liberation of Buda in 1686 and at the siege of Belgrade in 1688. He always maintained a strictly religious spirit, to which any violence and cruelty were repugnant. As a result, at the siege of Belgrade several hundred Muslim soldiers successfully appealed to him personally, in order to avoid being massacred upon capture.
In the 2012 Polish and Italian historical drama film The Day of the Siege: September Eleven 1683 about the Battle of Vienna, Marco d’Aviano is portrayed by F. Murray Abraham.
Legend has it that when the Ottomans fled before the European army, they left behind a lot of their strong, bitter coffee. The Christian soldiers, to make this liberated coffee more palatable, mixed it with honey and milk and named the drink after Mark’s Order, the Capuchins and thus Cappuccino was created. It is probably just a fable but I favour believing it, allowing the reminder of a quick prayer to Blessed Mark whenever I drink one. We can never have too many intercessors, can we?
In the judgement of historians, Marco’s influence over Leopold was exercised responsibly, in the sole interests of Christianity and of the House of Austria. In one of his private letters to the Emperor, Marco actually scolds him quite forcefully for granting a benefit to one of his brothers, reminding him that, by so doing, he was only providing ammunition for the enemies of their cause.
Blessed Mark died of cancer on August 13, 1699 in Vienna. He is buried in the Kapuzinerkirche, in whose vault the Habsburg emperors are buried. He was Beatified on 27 April 2003 by St Pope John Paul II.
St Agathonica of Carthage
St Agilberta of Jouarre
Bl Amadeus of Portugal O.F.M. (1420–1482)
St Aredius of Lyon
St Asteria of Bergamo
Bl Augustine Ota
St Bassa of Carthage
Bl Claude-Joseph Jouffret de Bonnefont
St Deusdedit the Cobbler
Bl Edward Grzymala
Bl Franciszek Drzewiecki
Bl Francois François
Bl Hugh of Montaigu
Bl Lazare Tiersot
St Paula of Carthage
St Thiento of Wessobrunn
Martyrs of Alexandria – 260+ saints: A large number of Christians who died in Alexandria, Egypt between 260 and 267 in the persecutions of Decius and Valerian, whose names have not come down to us and who are commemorated together.
Martyrs of Rome – 165 saints: Group of 165 Christians martyred in the persecutions of Aurelian. 274 in Rome, Italy.
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
• Blessed Antonio González Penín
• Blessed José Toledo Pellicer
• Blessed José Xavier Gorosterratzu Jaunarena
• Blessed Juan Martorell Soria
• Blessed Victoriano Calvo Lozano
“Let us ask the Blessed Virgin to nominate an heir.”
THE PATRICIAN JOHN IN ROME BEFORE THE MIRACLE OF THE SNOW IN 352:
A WEALTHY aristocrat and devout Christian known by tradition as John, lived in Rome in the fourth century. He and his wife had no children and were fearful that their lack of an heir would put an end to the family’s long prominence in the government of the city. They had often prayed for a child but without success. One day John’s wife said, “Let us ask the Blessed Virgin to nominate an heir.” They did so and their prayer was answered dramatically.
SNOW IN AUGUST – the height of summer!
In August 352 a rectangle of snow was discovered on Mount Esquiline, one of the famous Seven Hills. Snowfall of any sort was unheard of in Rome at that time of year but that it had fallen only in one place and in such a specific pattern was regarded as a phenomenon. People crowded to see the patch of snow, which persisted despite the heat. John was convinced that its shape and size indicated that a church should be built on the spot. In fact both John and the Pontiff had dreamt that Our Lady desired a church to be built on Mount Esquiline. The Holy Father was so moved by his dream that he visited the mysterious snowfall. When he arrived with his retinue, John and his wife were already there kneeling in prayer to the Virgin.
As soon as the plot for the building had been staked out the snow melted. John met the cost of the building, which was completed in 354 and was dedicated the Basilica Liberiana. Seventy years later the church was rebuilt on a grander scale by Pope Sixtus III, who added decorations and ornaments of silver. From then the church was known as Basilica Sixti and the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore [St Mary Major].
THE PRODIGY OF THE SNOW IS TRUE
The new basilica housed a celebrated painting provided by the Pope. It had belonged to St Helen, the mother of the Emperor Constantine—–the same Helen who, according to tradition, had made a pilgrimage to Palestine and discovered the original Cross of Christ. The picture, painted on a slab of cedar wood, is of a Madonna and Child. The infant Jesus is holding a book and both figures are haloed and crowned—–the crowns presented by Pope Gregory XVI in 1832 as a thank-offering for deliverance from cholera.
The so-called ‘new’ Lady Chapel was built by Pope Paul V in 1613 to house the miraculous painting. He declared, “This image should have a magnificent place of its own, befitting its eminence. For it has always been regarded by all faithful people and through it many miracles and wonders have been wrought.”
Salus Populi Romana [Salvation of the Roman People] is the title of this famous painting and it is rightly named because for centuries the people of Rome have prayed before it in times of famine, war and national crisis.
Many popes have held the basilica on Mount Esquiline in particular regard. When Gregory I was Pope [590-604] Rome was ravaged by a plague. Gregory carried the image of the Holy Mother in procession from the chapel as far as Hadrian’s Mausoleum . When the procession arrived they heard an invisible heavenly choir singing Regina Caeli. When the Pope asked the Virgin to pray for the city he saw an apparition of S. Michael replacing the sword of vengeance in its scabbard. The plague abated.
Pope Benedict XIV had a special affection for the legend. In 1427 he declared, “It must be acknowledged that nothing is wanting to enable us to affirm with moral certainty that the prodigy of the Snow is true” and Pope Benedict XVI attended the holy picture every Saturday and prayed the Litany. The night before he died, Paul V asked to be taken to the Chapel of the Blessed Virgin in order to pray before her image. St Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus, said his first Mass here at Christmas 1538.
ANGELS SING THE RESPONSES
The Chapel of the Virgin Salus Populi Romani [Protectress of the Roman People] is very close to the historic heart of the Catholic Church, so it is not surprising that many stories have enriched its tradition over the centuries. It is said that once when Pope Gregory the Great was celebrating Mass in the chapel and intoning the words “Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum,” he heard a choir of Angels sing the response “Et cum spiritu tuo.” From that day the custom in the chapel was to omit that section of the Mass in the belief that it was being offered and sung by the Angels.
THE BASILICA TODAY
The present-day church is one of the largest basilicas in the world and its Patronal Festival is held today in remembrance of the miracle of the snow. During this celebration hundreds of white blossoms are showered from the dome of the chapel. Not to be missed are the thirteenth-century mosaics on biblical themes and the frescoes by Reni and Della Porta. There is an imposing Romanesque bell tower erected in 1377.
Santa Maria Maggiore has a further claim to fame. In the seventh century a relic was brought from Bethlehem and traditionally venerated as the manger in which the Christ Child was laid at the first Christmas. And so another name for the great basilica is St Mary of the Crib.
One of the most spectacular sights which meets today’s pilgrim is the triumphal arch which extends to almost 66 feet. It is decorated in four horizontal sections. In the middle at the top God’s throne is set in a circle, with St Peter and St Paul on either side. Above this mosaic are the symbols of the four Gospel writers.
On 12 November 1964, Blessed Pope Paul VI made a pilgrimage to the basilica and solemnly proclaimed Our Lady “Mother of the Church.”
On 5 August the anniversary of the miraculous snow fall, the Feast of Our Lady of Snows is celebrated at the basilica of her name. White petals are scattered throughout the Basilica.
More here: https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/08/05/august-5-dedication-of-the-basilica-of-saint-mary-major-our-lady-of-the-snows/
St Agabius of Verona
St Aristarchus of Thessalonica
St Crescentio of Rome
St Eleutherius of Bithynia
St Epiphanes of Besançon
St Euphronius of Tours
St Francesc Mercader Rendé
Bl Frédéric Janssone
St Hyacinth of Rome
St Ia of Persia
St Isidore of Besançon
St Lua of Limerick
St Onofrio of Panaia
St Perpetua of Rome
St Protasius of Cologne
St Rainerio of Split
St Tertullinus of Rome
Bl William Horne
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
Bl Gil Rodicio y Rodicio
Bl Gonzalo Gonzalo y Gonzalo
Bl Josep Batalla Parramon
Bl Josep Colom Alsina
Bl Josep Rabasa Betanachs
Bl Luis Quintas Durán
Bl Antonio Arrue Peirano
Bl Riccardo Gil Barcelon
St Anthony the Roman
St Aspren of Naples
Bl Augustine Gazotich o.p. (1262-1323)
Bl Benno of Metz
St Euphronius of Autun
Bl Godfrey of Le Mans
Bl Gregory of Nonantula
St Lydia Purpuraria – First convert of St Paul in Phillipi
St Senach of Clonard
St Trea of Ardtree
St Waltheof of Melrose
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War 1931-1939: The figures of this persecution are beyond comprehension and a complete and hatefilled attack on all Catholics whilst the world watched the violence : 13 bishops, 4,154 priests and seminarians, 2,365 religious, 283 nuns and about 4,000 laymen killed for helping or hiding nuns or priests. https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/08/03/saints-of-the-day-3-august-the-martyrs-of-the-spanish-civil-war-1931-1939/
BlAndrés Avelino Gutiérrez Moral
Bl Antonio Isidoro Arrué Peiró
Bl Eleuterio Mancho López
Bl Eugenio Remón Salvador
Bl Federico López y López
Bl Francisco Bandrés Sánchez
Bl Geronimo Limón Márquez
Bl Jose Guardiet y Pujol
Bl Patricio Beobide Cendoya
Bl Ricardo Gil Barcelón
Bl Salvador Ferrandis Seguí
St Eusebius of Vercelli (283-371) Bishop (Optional Memorial)
St Peter Julian Eymard SSS (1811-1868) (Optional Memorial)
Our Lady of the Angels: The image of Our Lady of the Angels is only about 10 cms high and is carved in a simple fashion on dark stone. She has a round, sweet face, slanted eyes and a delicate mouth. Her colouring is leaden, with scattered golden sparkles. She carries the Christ Child on her left arm. Only the faces of Mary and the Child are visible; the rest is covered by a cloak that is gathered in pleats. The statuette is displayed in a large gold monstrance that surrounds it and enlarges its appearance. While searching for firewood on 2 August 1635, the feast of the Holy Angels, a poor mestizo woman named Juana Pereira discovered this small image of the Virgin sitting beside the footpath near Cartago, Costa Rica. Juana took it home with her but it soon disappeared only to be re-discovered at the same place beside the same path. The statue repeated this behaviour five more times – taken to homes and then the parish church – and returning on its own to the site where Juan a found it. The locals finally took this to mean that Our Lady wanted a shrine built there, and so it was.
The shrine soon became a point of pilgrimage, especially for the poor and outcast. The image was solemnly crowned in 1926. In 1935 Pope Pius XI declared the shrine of the Queen of Angels a basilica (see below). The stone on which the statue was originally sitting is in the basilica and is being slowly worn away by the touch of the hands of the pilgrims. A spring of water appeared from beneath the stone and its waters carried away to heal the sick. Patronage – Costa Rica, diocese of Getafe, Spain.
St Auspicius of Apt
St Betharius of Chartres
St Centolla of Burgos
St Etheldritha of Croyland
Bl Frederic Campisani
Bl Giustino Maria Russolillo
Bl Gundekar of Eichstätt
Bl Joanna of Aza
Bl John of Rieti
St Maximus of Padua
St Pedro de Osma
St Peter Faber S.J. (1506-1546)
St Serenus of Marseille
St Pope Stephen I
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
Bl Ceferino Jimenez Malla
Bl Felipe de Jesús Munárriz Azcona
Bl Fernando Olmedo Reguera
Bl Francesc Company Torrelles
Bl Francisca Pons Sarda
Bl Francisco Calvo Burillo
Bl Francisco Manzano Cruz
Bl Francisco Tomás Serer
Bl José Peris Ramos
Bl Juan Díaz Nosti
Bl Leoncio Pérez Nebreda
Bl Leoncio Pérez Ramos
Bl Martí Anglés Oliveras
Bl Miguel Amaro Rodríguez
Thought for the Day – 1 August – The Memorial of (1696-1787) Doctor of the Church ST ALPHONSUS DE LIGUORI – REACHING THE PEOPLE
With thanks to the C.Ss.R. Baltimore Province
St Alphonsus was a brilliant, articulate, pragmatic preacher. He knew how to reach ordinary people who had limited education and very real needs. They followed this gifted preacher from church to church and town to town to hear him preach the message of hope in Christ for all people.
Three great images, basic to the Christian faith, formed the heart of Alphonsus’ preaching and teaching — Jesus an infant in the crib, Jesus crucified on the Cross, and Jesus vibrantly alive and filled with love for all in the Eucharist. To this he added the image of Mary, the Mother of the Redeemer. When other theologians were opposed to devotion to Mary, Alphonsus invoked her: “Hail Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope.”
Alphonsus appreciated how the poor and working class people expressed their realities through song. A gifted musician and composer, he wrote many popular hymns and taught them to the people in parish missions. His compositions continue to be sung around the world and have never lost their charm and popularity. Redemptorists today still follow the cue of their founder. Their message, announcing the abundance of God’s love, is enriched by the spiritual songs they sing in their community and with the people of God.
Alphonsus wrote for the people. Many turned to his spiritual writing, for he wrote in a way that was understandable to anyone with a basic education. On winter evenings in his time, the people in the villages often gathered around a fire in someone’s home. Someone read stories about the Gospels or the lives of the saints, things that nourished their faith and helped them to pray. Alphonsus’ works were frequent choices and they remain so still, his works are a fountain of holiness. Which of us has not, in our home poarishes all over the world, prayed his Stations of the Cross? They will always be one of the treasures of the Church. http://immaculateheartbalornock.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Stations-of-the-Cross-Booklet.pdf