Blog Post - July 23rd
S. Apollinaris| S. Liborius| S. Bridget of Sweden| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection
According to tradition, St. Peter sent Apollinaris to Ravenna, Italy, as its first bishop. His preaching of the Good News was so successful that the pagans there beat him and drove him from the city. He returned, however, and was exiled a second time. After preaching in the area surrounding Ravenna, he entered the city again. After being cruelly tortured, he was put on a ship heading to Greece. Pagans there caused him to be expelled to Italy, where he went to Ravenna for a fourth time. He died from wounds received during a savage beating at Classis, a suburb of Ravenna. A beautiful basilica honoring him was built there in the sixth century.
Following Jesus involves risks—sometimes the supreme risk of life itself. Martyrs are people who would rather accept the risk of death than deny the cornerstone of their whole life: faith in Jesus Christ. Everyone will die eventually—the persecutors and those persecuted. The question is what kind of a conscience people will bring before the Lord for judgment. Remembering the witness of past and present martyrs can help us make the often-small sacrifices that following Jesus today may require.
During his remarks prior to the Regina Caeli on May 7, 2000, Blessed John Paul II noted that later that day at Rome's Colosseum he would participate in an ecumenical service honoring 20th-century martyrs. He said, “It is the same paschal light that shines in them. Indeed, it is from Christ's resurrection that the disciples receive the strength to follow the Master in their hour of trial.” What the pope said of those martyrs is true of all martyrs for Christ, including today's saint.
Today we also commemorate in the Latin Calendar S. Liborius, Bishop. A story about this commemoration can be found by Clicking Here.
St. Liborius, Bishop of Mans, Confessor HE was descended of a noble Gaulish family, and by his innocence and sanctity of life was recommended to the priesthood in the church of Mans. He loved retirement and prayer, never conversed with seculars but on spiritual accounts, and linked himself only with those among the clergy whose actions and words were such as might inspire him more and more with the spirit of his state. His distinguished learning and virtue fixed all eyes upon him, and in 348 he was chosen fourth bishop of Mans. Indefatigable in all the functions of his charge, he prayed and fasted much, and was most attentive in succouring the necessities of the poor, by that means to draw down the blessing of God upon himself and his flock. He built and endowed many new churches in his diocess, and having governed it forty-nine years, died about the year 397. His remains were translated to Paderborn in 836, and he is honoured as patron of that city. See Tillemont, t. 10, p. 307. Fleury, l. 28, n. 61, p. 495.
From age seven on, Bridget had visions of Christ crucified. Her visions formed the basis for her activity—always with the emphasis on charity rather than spiritual favors.
She lived her married life in the court of the Swedish king Magnus II. Mother of eight children (the second eldest was St. Catherine of Sweden), she lived the strict life of a penitent after her husband’s death.
Bridget constantly strove to exert her good influence over Magnus; while never fully reforming, he did give her land and buildings to found a monastery for men and women. This group eventually expanded into an Order known as the Bridgetines (still in existence).
In 1350, a year of jubilee, Bridget braved a plague-stricken Europe to make a pilgrimage to Rome. Although she never returned to Sweden, her years in Rome were far from happy, being hounded by debts and by opposition to her work against Church abuses.
A final pilgrimage to the Holy Land, marred by shipwreck and the death of her son, Charles, eventually led to her death in 1373. In 1999, she, Saints Catherine of Siena (April 29) and Teresa Benedicts of the Cross (Edith Stein, August 9) were named co-patronesses of Europe.
Bridget’s visions, rather than isolating her from the affairs of the world, involved her in many contemporary issues, whether they be royal policy or the years that the legitimate Bishop of Rome lived in Avignon, France. She saw no contradiction between mystical experience and secular activity, and her life is a testimony to the possibility of a holy life in the marketplace.
Despite the hardships of life and wayward children (not all became saints), Margery Kempe of Lynn says Bridget was “kind and meek to every creature” and “she had a laughing face.”
Patron Saint of:
Humility in Service:
It is easy for some of us to become so concerned with others that we jeopardize our physical and emotional health. We need to take appropriate care of ourselves in order to be able to give to others. Being self-giving to a fault can be as harmful as being self-centered. There is a danger of losing humility.
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
My trust in God increased more and more and I felt increasingly attracted towards Jesus... I would like to shout, to cry out to everyone at the top of my voice: love Jesus ...
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 204: The Calyx of Your Soul
The calyx of a flower is the outer leaf surrounding the forming petals, keeping them safe as they develop. It forms a sort of “nursery” for the tender petals to grow. As they grow within this hidden place, the calyx keeps them safe. And once they become developed, the calyx opens and reveals the beauty within. So it is with your soul. The “calyx of your soul” is a gift from God protecting your inner virtues as the dew of His Mercy gently seeps in so as to nourish the budding virtues within. And when fully matured, the radiance of these virtues shines forth so that the fragrance of grace becomes visible to all who gaze upon this work of God (See Diary #1064).
Look into your own soul this day. What do you see? Do you see sin and corruption? If so, repent of this and allow the Mercy of God to heal it through your confession. From there, allow Mercy to also nourish your inner soul so as to create a hidden inner sanctuary of His splendor. God desires to make your soul beautiful and as He forms you from within, He will allow those virtues to shine forth at the proper time. Wait on Him, let the dew of His gentle care sink in, creating His masterpiece. Reflect upon this sanctuary within you, this day. Rejoice in the protective covering of your soul as God does His miraculous work and be comforted by what you see forming. Surrender all to grace and allow the Creator of all to transform you into His radiant and fragrant gift to the world.
Lord, I thank You for the safety of this inner sanctuary in my soul. I thank You for gently entering in so as to nourish me as You form Your new creation within. May the dew of Your Mercy bring healing and forgiveness to the corruption of my sin, and may it strengthen me so that You can form the virtues that You desire to create. I thank You for Your perfect wisdom and power and give myself to Your gentle care. Jesus, I trust in You.