Blog Post - January 30th

S. Martina of Rome| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection





Saint Martina as portrayed in Pietro da Cortona's Painting Saint Martina Refuses to Adore the Idols

Today in the Latin Calendar, we celebrate the Feast Day of S. Martina, Virgin and Martyr. A story about this Feast Day can be found below:

Feast of Saint Martina of Rome - The day Pope Urban VIII’s own hymns are sung

The feast day of Saint Martina of Rome, who was martyred by the Romans in 228, is celebrated every year on this day.

Martina is now a patron saint of Rome and the patron saint of nursing mothers.

She was the daughter of an ex-consul, one of the chief magistrates of the Roman Republic, but became an orphan while still young.

Described at the time as a noble and beautiful virgin who was charitable to the poor, she openly testified to her Christian faith.

She was persecuted during the reign of Emperor Alexander Severus and arrested and commanded to return to idolatry, the worship of false gods.

When she refused she was whipped and condemned to be devoured by wild beasts in the amphitheater. When she was miraculously untouched by the animals she was thrown on to a burning pyre from which she is also said to have escaped unhurt. Finally she was beheaded.

Afterwards it was claimed some of her executioners converted to Christianity and were also later beheaded.

In 1634 the relics of Martina were rediscovered by the artist Pietro da Cortona. They were in the crypt of a church originally built in the sixth century on the site of the ancient temple of Mars near the Mamertine Prison and Foro Romano in Rome.

Da Cortona had been elected president of the Academy of San Luca, the academy of painters, sculptors and architects in Rome, which had been given the church in 1588. It was after Da Cortona had begun restoring the crypt that he discovered Martina’s remains.

The Pope at that time was Urban VIII, who visited the church with his nephew, Cardinal Francesco Barberini the month after Da Cortona’s discovery. They dedicated 6000 scudi towards the cost of rebuilding the church. The saint’s body was then returned to the church, which was rededicated to Saints Luca and Martina.

In Da Cortona’s beautiful painting, Saint Martina Refuses to adore the Idols, and was probably painted for Cardinal Barberini. It is now in the Princeton University Art Museum in America.

It has been claimed that Pope Urban VIII himself composed the hymns that are sung each year on Martina’s feast day.


Travel tip:

The Chiesa dei Santi Luca e Martina, where Martina is buried, is in Via della Curia between the Mamertine prison and the Foro Romano. Two stairways from the upper church lead down to the lower church and the chapel of Saint Martina, which is below the high altar, is richly decorated with colour, marble and gilt bronze.

Gian Lorenzo Bernini's portrait of Pope Urban VIII,

who supported the rebuilding of the church

Catholic Prayer: Hymn to St. Martina


Description:


Hymn written by Pope Urban VIII in which the Church prays for the deliverance of Jerusalem. It is the last cry of the Crusades.


Prayer:


Citizens of Rome! sing to the celebrated name of the glorious Martina. Sing the praises of this admirable Virgin and Martyr of Christ.


She was born of noble parents, and was brought up in every delicacy, surrounded by all that could pamper nature, and with riches of a princely house at her command.


But she spurns these luxuries, dedicates herself to the Creator of all things, and with a liberal hand distributes her riches to the poor of Christ, that she may gain the riches of heaven.


She shrinks not at the torturing hook, the wild beasts, or the cruel wound-inflicting rods. Angels descend from heaven, comforting her with divine food.


The very lions lose their fierceness, and tamely come crouching at her feet. The sword, Martina 1 gave thee the wished-for death, and death united thee to the choirs of heaven.


Our ceaseless prayers mount up to thee from thine altar, where clouds of incense shroud devotion's love; and thy blessed name banishes that of the false deity Mars.


Do thou protect thy fatherland, and give to Christian countries the rest of holy peace, driving unto Thracian coasts the din of arms and war.


Marshal the armies of princes under the banner of the Cross, deliver Jerusalem from her chains. Avenge innocent blood, and once for all crush down the Turkish foe.


O thou our Patron, and our City's Saint I see this homage of our loving hearts. Hear the prayers of thy Rome, which on this festive day offers thee its hymns and reveres thy name.


O God, whose arm protects the Martyrs, take from us the pleasures which would make us fall. O Triune God I give to thy servants the blessed light, wherewith thy mercy crowns the soul with bliss.


Amen.


Prayer Source: The Liturgical Year, by Abbot Gueranger O.S.B., Marian House, 1983

Daily Meditation

Lean on Jesus:

Lord Jesus, as you lived on this earth, You showed us how to deal with trials and hardships. Be with us now. Teach us how to trust in You.

Quote by S. Padre Pio:

Do not worry, then, because the Lord will fight for you and will never withdraw from you.

Divine Mercy Reflection

Reflections on Notebook One: 11-111


The first notebook of Saint Faustina begins her private revelations given from the Heart of Jesus to her. She writes in a beautiful and simple way. Though, as mentioned in the introduction, her actual words are not quoted in these reflections that follow, the messages that she received and articulated are presented.


In truth, her messages are those contained in Sacred Scripture and in the Tradition of our Church. And if you were to read through the lives and teachings of the saints, you would find the same revelations. God has always spoken to us throughout the ages. He speaks the one Message of Truth, and He reveals that Message in love. The revelations to Saint Faustina are one new way that God continues to speak and reveal Himself to us, His sons and daughters.


The reflections based on her first notebook, are intentionally short and focused. They are a way for you, the reader, to slowly and carefully listen to the Heart of God spoken to this great saint. Read these reflections slowly and prayerfully. Ponder them throughout the day and allow the Lord to speak to You the message He wants to give.


Reflection 29: Moments of Consolation


Just at the right time, if we are wholeheartedly seeking God every day, we will find that we receive a moment of consolation. It may be an unexpected peace or joy, we may feel enlightened and encouraged, or we may just sense the presence of God in our lives. Whatever the case may be, remember the moments of consolation you receive. They will not accompany us every day, but they are given at certain moments to remind us God is with us. Remember those moments, especially when you struggle (See Diary #27).


Reflect, today, upon the last moment you experienced some grace or consolation from God. What was He telling you through that experience? Ponder it, sit with it, be grateful for it and remember it. Let God speak to you through those experiences and never forget what He says.


Lord, I thank You for loving me with a perfect love. I thank You for coming to me in the moments I need You the most. Help me to always savor those moments and to remember them when life is difficult. Jesus, I trust in You.

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