Saint Gemma Galgani

Saint Gemma Galgani

Virgin
(1878-1903)

Saint Gemma Galgani was born at Camigliano in Tuscany, Italy, in 1878. Her mother died when she was seven years old, and from that time on her life was one of continuous suffering. Her afflictions were caused by ill-health, by the poverty into which her family fell, by the scoffing of those who took offense at her practices of devotion, and finally, by the physical attacks of the devil. Through it all, however, she remained at peace and enjoyed constant communion with our Lord, who spoke to her as if He were bodily present. She earnestly desired to be a Passionist nun, but was not accepted because of her physical infirmities.

She was the subject of various extraordinary supernatural phenomena — visions, ecstasies, revelations, supernatural knowledge, conversations with her visible Guardian Angel, prophecy and miracles. Her director verified that letters which she wrote and committed to the care of her good Angel were infallibly delivered. Saint Gemma had periodically occurring stigmata between 1899 and 1901. At one time during her sufferings, she was asked: If Jesus gave you the choice between two alternatives, either going immediately to heaven and having your sufferings disappear, or else remaining here in suffering to procure still more glory for the Lord, which would you choose? She answered: I prefer to remain here rather than going to heaven, when it is a question of suffering for Jesus and His glory. She died on Holy Saturday in 1903 and was canonized in 1940.

Reflection. Often say with Saint Augustine: Write, O most loving Saviour, Thy wounds upon my heart, that I may always read in them Thy pains and Thy love. The afflictions that God sends us are really mercies and blessings; they are the very precious talents which we must increase, augmenting our love and affection for God by the practice of virtue.

Instruction and Reflection on Paschaltide: Mystery of the Resurrection

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Paschaltide Devotions in Honor of the Resurrection of Our Divine Lord

Instruction and Reflection on Paschaltide

The Church celebrates the triumph of Jesus during the Paschal Time; thus the Solemnity of Easter marks the climax of the liturgical year. After the hard struggle against the powers of evil, the victorious Christ takes possession of the glorious life, which He will communicate to all those who, by Baptism, are united with Him in faith and love.

The Mystery of the Resurrection is called holy because in it Christ especially fulfills the conditions of holiness, namely, to be detached from every creature and sin, and to belong entirely to God. When Christ arose from the dead, He left in the tomb the linen cloths, which are the symbol of our sins and imperfections. He came forth triumphant from the sepulchre. In Him there is freedom, light, strength, beauty, life. His Divine Life is the model of ours, and He has merited for us the grace of living for God as He did. Through the Sacraments our souls are clad with Sanctifying Grace, the principle of Divine life. This life presupposes separation from all mortal and venial sin, so that the soul, being free, may act solely under the inspiration of grace and for God alone through faith and love. Then it is that Christ’s life blossoms forth in our soul, as St. Paul says, “It is now no longer I that live, but Christ liveth in me” (Gal. 2:20). This, then, is the spirit of Easter, the Paschal grace: detachment from all that is human, earthly, created; the full gift of ourselves to God, through Christ!

“Christ, our Passover, has been sacrificed.” (1 Cor. 5:7) Glory be to the Father…

Canticle

V. “The right hand of the Lord has wrought strength; the right hand of the Lord has raised me up. Blessed is He Who cometh in the Name of the Lord. The Lord is truly God and He has shown forth unto us.” (Psalm 117:16,26)

R. “This is the day which the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 107:24)

V. “Give glory to the Lord and call upon His Name; declare His deeds among the nations.”
(Psalm 107:1)

R. “Sing ye to the Lord a new canticle; sing to the Lord through the whole world.” (Ps. 95:1)

To the Disciples at the Lake of Genesareth–

“When day was now breaking, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Young men, have you any fish?’ They answered Him, ‘No.’ He said to them, ‘Cast the net to the right of the boat and you will find them.’ They cast, therefore, and now they were unable to draw it up for the great number of fishes. The disciple whom Jesus loved said therefore to Peter, ‘It is the Lord.’ Simon Peter, therefore, hearing that it was the Lord, girt his tunic about Him and threw himself into the sea. But the other disciples came with the boat… When, therefore, they had landed, they saw a fire ready, and a fish laid upon it, and bread. Jesus said to them, ‘Come and breakfast.’ And none of those reclining dared ask Him, ‘Who art Thou?’ knowing that it was the Lord. And Jesus came and took bread, and gave it to them, and likewise the fish…”

“A third time Jesus said to Peter, ‘Simon, son of John, dost thou love Me?’ And He said to Him, ‘Lord, Thou knowest all things, Thou knowest that I love Thee.’ He said to him, ‘Feed My sheep.'” (John 21:17.)

Let us Pray. O God, Who dost gladden us by the yearly Feastday of Our Lord’s Resurrection, deign to grant that we who celebrate these solemnities in time may reach heavenly joys in eternity; through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Hymn — Regina Cæli Laetare

Queen of Heaven, rejoice; Alleluia!
For He Whom thou didst merit to bear; Alleluia!
Has risen as He said; Alleluia!
Pray for us to God. Alleluia!

V. Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, Alleluia;
R. For the Lord has truly risen, Alleluia!

Let us Pray. O God, Who by the Resurrection of Thy Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, has vouchsafed to make glad the whole world, grant, we beseech Thee, that through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, His Mother, we may attain the joys of eternal life; through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.

St. Leo the Great

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St. Leo the Great,
Pope and Doctor of the Church
from the Liturgical Year, 1870

One of the grandest Saints in the Church’s Calendar is brought before us today. Leo, the Pontiff and Doctor, rises on the Paschal horizon, and calls for our admiration and love. As his name implies, he is the Lion of holy Church; thus representing, in his own person, one of the most glorious of our Lord’s titles. There have been twelve Popes who have had this name, and five of the number are enrolled in the catalogue of Saints; but not one of them has so honoured the name as he, whose feast we keep today: hence, he is called “Leo the Great.”

He deserved the appellation by what he did for maintaining the faith regarding the sublime mystery of the Incarnation. The Church had triumphed over the heresies that had attacked the dogma of the Trinity, when the gates of hell sought to prevail against the dogma of God having been made Man. Nestorius, a Bishop of Constantinople, impiously taught that there were two distinct Persons in Christ,–the Person of the Divine Word, and the Person of Man. The Council of Ephesus condemned this doctrine, which, by denying the unity of Person in Christ, destroyed the true notion of the Redemption. A new heresy, the very opposite of that of Nestorianism, but equally subversive of Christianity, soon followed. The monk Eutyches maintained, that, in the Incarnation, the Human Nature was absorbed by the Divine. The error was propagated with frightful rapidity. There was needed a clear and authoritative exposition of the great dogma, which is the foundation of all our hopes. Leo arose, and, from the Apostolic Chair, on which the Holy Ghost had placed him, proclaimed with matchless eloquence and precision the formula of the ancient faith,–ancient, indeed, and ever the same, yet ever acquiring greater and fresher brightness. A cry of admiration was raised at the General Council of Chalcedon, which had been convened for the purpose of condemning the errors of Eutyches. “Peter,” exclaimed the Fathers, “Peter has spoken by the mouth of “Leo!” As we shall see further on, the Eastern Church has kept up the enthusiasm thus excited by the magnificent teachings given by Leo to the whole world. Continue reading