S. Giles| Twelve Holy Brothers| Sanctification of Human Labor| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection
Despite the fact that much about St. Giles is shrouded in mystery, we can say that he was one of the most popular saints in the Middle Ages. Likely, he was born in the first half of the seventh century in southeastern France. That is where he built a monastery that became a popular stopping-off point for pilgrims making their way to Compostela in Spain and the Holy Land.
In England, many ancient churches and hospitals were dedicated to Giles. One of the sections of the city of Brussels is named after him. In Germany, Giles was included among the so-called 14 Holy Helpers, a popular group of saints to whom people prayed, especially for recovery from disease and for strength at the hour of death. Also among the 14 were Sts. Christopher, Barbara and Blaise. Interestingly, Giles was the only non-martyr among them. Devotion to the "Holy Helpers" was especially strong in parts of Germany and in Hungary and Sweden. Such devotion made his popularity spread. Giles was soon invoked as the patron of the poor and the disabled.
The pilgrimage center that once drew so many fell into disrepair some centuries after Giles' death.
Patron Saint of:
Today in the Latin Calendar we also commemorate Twelve Holy Brothers, Martyrs. A story about this commemoration can be found by Clicking Here.
The "Holy Twelve Brothers" refer to the fourth-century apostles who refused to offer sacrifice to pagan gods. Africans by birth, these saints were martyred in various places in the third century under the Emperors Diocletian and Maximian. Four were beheaded in Potenza, Italy on August 27. Three were beheaded at Vanossa on August 28. The others were beheaded at Sentiana on September 1. They were brought together and enshrined at Benevento in 760.
Today in Ordinary Time there is celebrated The Mass "For the Sanctification of Human Labor." A story about this celebration can be found by Clicking Here for Part One and here for Part Two Click Here. (Celebrated on the First Monday of the Month of September - Labor Day. This is a movable feast from year to year).
“For the Sanctification of Human Labor”
The yearly celebration of Labor Day finds within the Catholic Church beautiful prayers that speak to the human need to bear the labor of this world:
The Entrance Antiphon: “May your favor O Lord, be upon us, and may you give success to the work of our hands.”
The Collect: “O God, who through human labor never cease to perfect and govern the vast work of creation, listen to the prayers of your people and grant that all men and women may find work that befits their dignity, joins them more closely to one another and enables them to serve their neighbor. Through our Lord, Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”
These prayers can serve as an inspiration to us as we busily prepare ourselves for work each day. We are meant to labor together and while doing so reach out and care for one another. Our labor which serves to provide an income so that we can take care of ourselves and our families is blessed by God, sanctified by God, that we might serve him by serving others. Our work is made holy by God’s design!
So important is this teaching, that it is addressed in the “Seven Themes of Catholic Social Teaching:” Theme
#4: The DIGNITY OF WORK The economy must serve people, not the other way around. Work is more than a way to make a living; it is a form of continuing participation in God’s creation. To uphold the dignity of work, the basic rights of workers must be respected: the right to productive work, to fair and livable wages, and to organize and join a union.
Let us take time to think about how the dignity of the Many of us can attest to how our jobs and our work provide us more than a living, they provide a sense of pride and accomplishment, and allow us to contribute to the good of society. Our work has the potential to give expression to who we are as a person of God and by it we are sanctified.
So as we celebrate Labor Day, honoring all people who by their labor contribute to the building up of our country, let us take a day without labor and give thanks to God for blessing the work of our hands. Have a restful Labor Day.
As the Word of God became flesh and dwelt among us, we, too, are called to live out and share our faith in our daily lives. However, we do not have to face this challenge alone. We have the promise that Jesus goes with us, we have a Church that encourages us, we have the Blessed Mother in heaven praying for us, and we have the Holy Spirit with us, offering the right words at the right time.
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
I remind you of balance, patience and sweetness. Quell your excessively vivacious and ardent actions from the outset.
Divine Mercy Reflection
Reflections on Notebook Four: 237-262
We continue to the fourth notebook that Saint Faustina filled with reflections and revelations from Jesus. As we enter into this notebook, allow yourself to seek God in the silence. This chapter begins with Saint Faustina revealing that she was experiencing a “dark night” (Diary #1235). She lacked the sensory feelings of closeness to God. By analogy, it would be as if you were in a dark room filled with treasures and someone told you that all the treasures of this room were yours. You could not see them but you trusted the person who spoke about all that was around you. Knowledge of these treasures filled your mind even though the darkness hid them from your eyes.
So it is with God. Saint Faustina loved our Lord with all her heart and with every beat of her heart. She knew His closeness and love. But it appears that she could not sense this through her human senses. This gift of darkness allowed her to enter into a relationship with God on a spiritual level far deeper.
Seek this depth of relationship with God as you read through this chapter. Move beyond a desire to feel close to God and allow yourself to become close to God. He wants to enter your heart on a much deeper level than you ever knew possible. Be open to the newness of a relationship shrouded in darkness and allow the Lord to communicate His Mercy to you on this new level of love.
Reflection 244: Working Until the End of the World
If you labor, day and night, spreading the works of God, this is good. Good fruit will come from your commitment to serve the Will of God and to spread His Divine Mercy. But we should also realize that God is able to use us to spread His Mercy until the end of the world. How? Only God knows. But He does desire to use you for this purpose. Some, like Saint Faustina, were used to set in motion devotion to Divine Mercy and that devotion will continue until Jesus returns. Others, and perhaps most of us, are called to contribute to the perpetual work of Mercy in various other ways. For example, one act of charity will bring about a good in another’s life that could change them in such a way that it will set in motion an eternal work of Mercy. Or consider your prayer for those entrusted with special responsibility such as praying for the Pope, bishops or priests. Or consider the fact that your holiness achieved here and now will be magnified in Heaven and will enable you to intercede for the Church for all time. Be diligent now in your work of spreading the Mercy of God but also be aware that this work must continue on into eternity. Focus on this as your goal and God will use your present labors in unimaginable ways throughout time (See Diary #1256).
When you think about the work that God has entrusted to you, do you see it as something that can have eternal consequences? Do you see yourself as a “link in a chain” by which God desires to strengthen the Church throughout time? Be open to this goal and allow the Lord to use you in ways you could never dream up yourself.
Lord, my life is Yours. I give myself to You for the purpose of spreading Your Mercy now and for eternity. Use me as You will, dear Lord. I offer myself as a willing instrument of Your Mercy in our world. Jesus, I trust in You.