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Blog Post - July 12th

S. John Gualbert| SS. Nabor and Felix| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection

Today in the Latin Calendar we celebrate the Feast Day of S. John Gualbert, Abbot. A story about this Feast Day can be found below.

Saint John Gualbert Founder (999-1073)

Saint John Gualbert was born in Florence in the year 999. He was raised with care in piety and the study of the humanities, but no sooner had he entered adult life than he acquired a taste for pleasures. God, desiring to save and sanctify him, found a means to open his eyes. He was following the profession of arms at that troubled period, when on Good Friday, as he was riding into Florence accompanied by armed men, he encountered his brother’s murderer in a place where neither could avoid the other. John would have slain him, according to the customary vengeance of those times; but his adversary, who was totally unprepared to fight, fell upon his knees with his arms outstretched in the form of a cross, and implored him, for the sake of Our Lord’s holy Passion, to spare his life. Saint John said to his enemy, “I cannot refuse what you ask in Christ’s name. I grant you not only your life, but my friendship. Pray that God may forgive me my sin!” They embraced and parted; grace had triumphed.

A humble and changed man, he went to a nearby abbatial church, and while he prayed with fervor for forgiveness, the figure of our crucified Lord, before which he was kneeling, bowed its head toward him, as if to confirm His pardon and manifest His gratitude for the generous pardon John himself had granted. Abandoning the world then, Saint John devoted himself to prayer and penance in the Benedictine Order. His virtue and austerity were so great that when his abbot died, he was unanimously chosen to replace him; but he could not be prevailed upon to accept that honor. He retired to Vallombrosa, which became the cradle of a new Order which followed the Rule of Saint Benedict in all its austerity. It was from this shady valley, a few miles from Florence, that the Order spread over Italy.

Once during a time of famine, he went to the nearly empty storeroom, and at his prayer the provisions multiplied to the point that he could distribute grain to all his houses and to all the poor who presented themselves. On an occasion when he found one of the monasteries too rich, he prayed a stream flowing past it to take on the violence of a torrent and overturn the building. This was done without delay. Another time, the enemies of the Saint came to his convent of Saint Salvi, plundered it and set fire to it and, after treating the monks with ignominy, beat them and injured them. Saint John rejoiced. “Now,” he said, “you are true monks. Oh, how I envy your lot!”

Saint John Gualbert fought vigorously against simony, and in many ways promoted the interests of the Faith in Italy. After a life of great austerity, he died while Angels were singing near his bed, on July 12, 1073.

Reflection. The heroic act which merited for Saint John Gualbert his conversion was the forgiveness of his enemy. Let us imitate him in this virtue, resolving never to revenge ourselves in thought, in word, or in deed.

Sources: Vie des Saints pour tous les jours de l’année, by Abbé L. Jaud (Mame: Tours, 1950); Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the Saints, and other sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894).

Also in the Latin Calendar we commemorate SS. Nabor and Felix, Martyrs. A story about this commemoration can be found below.

SS. Nabor and Felix, Martyrs

Saints Nabor and Felix were martyred during the reign of Emperor Diocletian in 303. A tomb in Milan is believed to contain their relics.

In the apocryphal “Acts of Saints Nabor and Felix” (which are imitated from the Acts of other martyrs (such as those of Saint Firmus and Saint Rusticus), the two are said to be Roman soldiers from Mauretania Caesariensis serving under Maximian. They were condemned in Milan and executed by decapitation in Laus Pompeia (Lodi Vecchio).

In early 4th-century, their relics were translated, probably by the Bishop of Milan Maternus from their place of interment to a place outside the walls of Milan, placed a few hundred meters northwards the present Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio. A church (Basilica Naboriana) was built over their new tomb, as recorded by Paulinus of Milan in his life of Saint Ambrose. Tradition states that Savina of Milan died while praying at the tomb of Nabor and Felix. Saint Ambrose wrote an hymn about them.

When Emperor Frederick Barbarossa captured Milan in 1158, he gave some of the relics of Saints Felix and Nabor to Rainald of Dassel, archbishop of Cologne, who brought them to his episcopal see. The relics associated with Felix and Nabor are situated in a chapel in Cologne Cathedral. Nabor and Felix are depicted on the 1181 “Shrine of the Three Kings” by Nicholas of Verdun in Cologne Cathedral.

In 1258 their relics were moved to the church of Saint Francis of Assisi that was erected in place of the Basilica Naboriana. On 14-16 April 1798, shortly before the demolition of church of Saint Francis of Assisi, their relics were translated in the Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio. Their relics are placed today in an ancient sarcophagus in the Right-side nave of Sant’Ambrogio Basilica along with the relics of Saint Maternus and of Saint Valeria.

Daily Meditation

What Are You Waiting For:

Countless souls wait for a miracle before they will bow to Christ. The “good” thief witnessed no miracle, he witnessed only Mercy (Lk 23).

Quote by S. Padre Pio:

Let us pray to the Father of all light to enable us to penetrate more and more deeply into the mystery of our justification.

Divine Mercy Reflection

Reflections on Notebook Three: 189-236

We continue now to the third notebook that Saint Faustina filled with messages of Mercy from our Lord. As you enter into this notebook, pause and reflect upon all that you have read so far. Has it changed your perspective on life? Has it changed you? If it has, then continue down that same path and trust that the Lord will continue to do great things in your life. If it has not, reflect upon why!

Sometimes we need more than the words we read. We also need true prayer, deep prayer and what we may call “soaking prayer.” Consider this as you read through the reflections flowing from this notebook and allow the words to not only enter your mind, but to also enter deeper. Read them prayerfully and carefully. Speak to our Lord as Saint Faustina did. Read some more of her actual diary in addition to these reflections and learn from her humble and childlike faith.

The Lord wants to do great things in your life! Open the door, through prayer and reflection, and let Him in!

Reflection 193: Do Not Hesitate

If you won a million dollars you probably wouldn’t say, “No, just give me $100, that’s all I want.” And yet that is what we often do with the Mercy of God. God offers an abundance of wealth and we choose to take only a small portion. Why is that? His Mercy is limitless. It is infinite. If we understood all that God wants to do in our souls, and then cooperated with Him and allowed Him to do it, we’d be in absolute awe and eternally grateful that we discovered this priceless treasure. Perhaps the problem that many face in accepting His Mercy more fully is that it’s risky. It’s risky in the sense that we must change. Would a million dollars change your life? Probably. It would most likely change a number of things in your life, and not necessarily for the good. But the Mercy of God is a treasure of infinitely more value. Don’t hesitate! Take the risk to accept it and to allow it to change you for the good (See Diary #1017).

Do you hesitate in accepting God’s Mercy? If you do it’s important to realize this, admit to it and face the reason why. It’s a rare soul who is completely open to all that God wishes to bestow. It’s a rare soul who is not cowed by the risk of total abandonment to the Mercy of God. Choose to be one of those rare souls and embrace, without hesitation, all that God wants to pour out upon you and rejoice as you see His grace change your life.

Precious Lord, I thank You for Your abundance of Mercy. I thank You for loving me with such a perfect love that You burn with desire to lavish the riches of Your grace on my life in an endless way. May I cease all hesitation in the face of this glorious gift and willingly accept You and all that Your Mercy will do in my soul. I thank You, dear Lord. Jesus, I trust in You.

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