Saint of the Day ~ August 11

SAINT CLARE of ASSISI (1194-1253), virgin, religious sister and foundress – Patron saint of embroiderers and laundry workers

Today, the universal Church honors Saint Clare of Assisi, who embraced a life of poverty, following her spiritual mentor Francis of Assisi, and who also became foundress of an Order of nuns.

Clare was born on July 16, 1194 in Assisi, the eldest daughter of noble parents who owned considerable property in Italy. In spite of the wealth which her family held, Clare, as a child, was very strongly drawn to the things of God, praying fervently, devoutly visiting the Blessed Sacrament, and manifesting a tender love towards the poor.

When she was eighteen years of age, she heard Saint Francis preaching in the town square in Assisi during Lent, and she knew at once that God wanted her to consecrate herself to Him and His Divine will for her. The next evening, Clare left her house at night, ran to meet Francis and his companions at the church where they were staying, and she shared her desire to follow him in his way of life.

He received her, gave her his tunic, cut off her golden hair, and sent her to a Benedictine convent in San Damiano, because she could not stay with himself and his religious brothers. Her younger sister, Agnes, soon joined her and the two had to resist many pressures from their family to return home.

When Clare was twenty-two, Francis placed her in a small house besides the convent and made her Mother Superior to a new Order, a post she would serve for the next 42 years of her life until her death. Thus began the Order of Poor Ladies, also known as Poor Clares at the convent in San Damiano, dedicated to living a simple life of great poverty, austerity and complete seclusion from the world according to a Rule which Francis gave them.

However, as the Franciscan Order grew, establishing themselves throughout Europe, there also went the Poor Clares, depending solely on alms, forced to have complete faith in God to provide for their needs. Clare’s mother and remaining sisters later joined the Order, and there are still thousands of members today living lives of silence and prayerful contemplation.

Clare loved music and well-composed sermons. She was humble, merciful, charming, optimistic, chivalrous, and every day she meditated on the Passion of Jesus. She was known to get up late at night to tuck in her sisters who had kicked off their blankets. When she learned of the Franciscan martyrs in Morocco in 1221, she tried to go there to give her own life for God, but was restrained from doing so.

Once, when her convent was about to be attacked by invading Saracens, it was observed that she displayed the Blessed Sacrament in a monstrance at the convent gates, and prayed before it; the attackers left, and the convent where the sisters were living was saved. The image of her holding a monstrance became one of her symbols in paintings throughout the centuries.

When, at length, she felt the day of her death approaching, Clare, calling her sorrowing religious community around her, reminded them of the many benefits they had received from God and exhorted them to persevere faithfully in the observance of a spirit of poverty in all they did.

Before dawn on August 11, 1253, the holy foundress of the Order of Poor Clares passed away peacefully. Pope Innocent IV, with his ecclesial court, came to San Damiano for her funeral. She was canonized a saint by Pope Alexander IV on September 26, 1255, only two years after her death, and her remains are interred in the Basilica di Santa Chiara (Basilica of Saint Clare) in Assisi.

We commemorate her feastday on August 11.

(From catholicnewsagency.com, saints.sqpn.com, americancatholic.org, catholicculture.org and newadvent.org)

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PRAYER

(The following prayer is from the Roman Breviary from the Proper for Saint Clare of Assisi)

“God of mercy, You inspired Saint Clare with the love of poverty. By the help of her prayers, may we follow Christ in poverty of spirit and come to the joyful vision of Your Glory in the Kingdom of Heaven.

“We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”

DAILY PRAYER REQUESTS

Please feel free to post your prayer request for today as a comment to this post. Your needs and intentions will be included in our daily offerings throughout the day and at the 3 o’clock hour for Divine Mercy, and your requests will be personally offered to our Heavenly Father, having faith in the words our Lord spoke to Saint Faustina, “Through the chaplet you will obtain everything, if what you ask for is compatible with My will.” (Diary, 1731)

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“Most Loving and Eternal Father, You desire that we walk worthily and please You in all we do;

– with the help of Your grace, may we always become the extension of Your Merciful Love and compassionate understanding to our neighbors here on Earth, so that we may fulfill Your Divine will through our every word and action. We humbly pray this in Jesus’ Most Holy Name. Amen.”

Mercy Minutes with Jesus (from Saint Faustina’s Diary)

August 10 ~ Witnesses of Your Infinite Mercy

Theme:  Graces of Retreats

“During one conference, Jesus said to me, ‘You are a sweet grape in a chosen cluster; I want others to have a share in the juice that is flowing within you.’(Mercy Minutes with Jesus/Diary, 393)

“I suddenly saw the Lord Jesus, radiant with unspeakable beauty, and He said to me with kindness, ‘My chosen one, I will give you even greater graces that you may be the witness of My infinite mercy throughout all eternity.’(Mercy Minutes with Jesus/Diary, 400)

My prayer response:

Lord Jesus, make us witnesses of Your Infinite Mercy. Please help us to share Your radiant and compassionate Mercy with our brothers and sisters that they, too, may experience Your Divine Mercy in their lives. (Mercy Minutes with Jesus)

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Mercy Minutes (from Saint Faustina’s Diary)

August 10 ~ Considering Each Moment in Light of Eternity

Theme:  Daily Life

“Before each important action, I will stop to consider for a moment what relationship it has to eternal life and what may be the main reason for my undertaking it: is it for the glory of God, or for the good of my own soul, or for the good of the souls of others? If my heart says yes, then I will not swerve from carrying out the given action, unmindful of either obstacles or sacrifices. I will not be frightened into abandoning my intention. It is enough for me to know that it is pleasing to God.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 1549b)

“My Jesus, I now see that I have gone through all the stages of my life following You: childhood, youth, vocation, apostolic work, Tabor, Gethsemane, and now I am already with You on Calvary.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 1580)

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Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.

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Meditation for the Day

Feast of Saint Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr, August 10

As We Reflect upon the Many Opportunities Available to Us in Becoming the Extension of Christ through Love and Charity in Today’s World, May We Become a True Example from Which Others May Learn and Follow.

“…the just one shall be in everlasting remembrance. An evil report he shall not fear; his heart is firm, trusting in the LORD.” – words which we find in our Responsorial Psalm today, but words which are also most appropriate for today’s Feastday.

Today, we celebrate the Feast of Saint Lawrence, deacon and martyr, who gave his life for Christ. Lawrence’s martyrdom had a deep and lasting impression upon the early Church, for, as Saint Augustine once wrote, “In his life, he loved Christ; in his death, he followed in His footsteps.”

And is this not what our Lord speaks to us about today? “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit…Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be.”

Saint Lawrence was that servant, ordained to serve the needs of the Body of Christ, whatever those needs may have been. And, in his service, he paid the ultimate price. In his love for Christ, he lived that love in both humility and charity – even to the point of being martyred, as tradition tells us, by being cooked alive on a gridiron.

Despite the cross which awaited him, he never turned His back on the God in whom he placed all his trust. In spite of knowing that he would face death, he never lost sight of the eternal prize which awaited him for his faithfulness – for the faith he lived courageously, and a firm belief in the promises made by his and by our Savior.

Lawrence was the kind of servant of the Church who, as Paul tells us in our First Reading, sowed “bountifully”, so that what he reaped would also be bountiful through the grace of God. Our lives should be no different. Our lives of faith should also be a source from which seeds are planted, so that God may effect His wondrous works in those whom our lives touch.

Yes, by openly living our faith, we may be criticized and ridiculed by those who do not understand. But I do not believe we will ever have to face being martyred in the same way Saint Lawrence was.

We do know, however, that within the cultural environment in which we live today, anything which is openly spiritual is generally frowned upon by the secular and oftentimes atheistic mentality which has seduced governmental systems throughout most of the world.

And as a consequence, being and acting Christian can oftentimes seem like an up-hill battle, especially when we earn for ourselves ridicule, contempt, and, in more-and-more instances in the world, even persecution.

And how does our Lord address this issue in today’s Gospel? “Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life.”

For each of us, no matter what our journey in life may be, we must first look within ourselves and discern how we can best become a Christ-like example for others, whether it be within our own family environment or in the workplace or wherever we feel we are being called by Christ to become His extension in today’s world.

Some take comfort in praying outside of abortion clinics; others enjoy becoming volunteers in the soup kitchens for the poor and homeless, or visiting the elderly in nursing homes. Others who are Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist can volunteer in their parish or hospital ministry to bring our Lord’s True Presence to the sick and disabled.

When one takes the time to truly reflect upon the many opportunities available in becoming the extension of Christ through love and charity, we begin to live in imitation of the lives of the saints. For all their efforts, they have already been richly rewarded, and, prayerfully, with the help of God’s grace, so shall we.

When we have chosen to live our faith openly, when we have chosen to give witness to what we believe, from which others may benefit – then we, too, shall be held in high esteem by our Lord, who tells each and every one of us today, “The Father will honor whoever serves me.”

And, in this, there is no greater blessing!

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Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.

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Scripture for the Day

  • “…the righteous shall be remembered forever. He shall not fear an ill report; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD” (Psalm 112:6b-7)
  • “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit…Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be.” (John 12:24, 26a)
  • “Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life.” (John 12:25)
  • “Consider this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each must do as already determined, without sadness or compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:6-7)
  • “For we are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the good works that God has prepared in advance, that we should live in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)
  • “Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves.” (James 1:22)
  • “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, then I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20)
  • “The Father will honor whoever serves me.” (John 12:26b)

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Prayer for the Day

“Most Loving Lord Jesus,
let me be wheat sown in the Earth,
to be harvested for You.

“Most Loving and Eternal Savior,
I want to follow wherever you lead me.
Give me fresh hope and joy in serving You
all the days of my life.

“You, Lord Jesus, Eternal Word of our Heavenly Father,
who have borne the heaviest of all Crosses,
no matter what sufferings or discomforts I may be given to bear,
may I always trust in Your Loving Presence in my life
and in Your providential Love for me. Amen.”

Anonymous

Saint of the Day ~ August 10

SAINT LAWRENCE (?-258), deacon and martyr – Patron saint of deacons, librarians and poor people

Today, the universal Church honors Saint Lawrence, who was the last of the seven deacons of Rome to die during the Christian persecution under the Roman emperor, Valerian.

Not much is known of the early life of Lawrence, but one of the sources we have is a sermon given by Saint Augustine who described the last days and the death of this faithful deacon who served under Pope St. Sixtus II in Rome, who, himself, was martyred just four days earlier.

In his sermon, Saint Augustine writes, “Lawrence was a deacon of the Church of Rome. There he administered the sacred chalice of Christ’s Blood; there, for the sake of Christ’s Name, he poured out his own blood. The blessed Apostle John clearly explained the mystery of the Lord’s Supper when he said, ‘Just as Christ laid down his life for us, so we too ought to lay down our lives for the brethren’ (1 John 3:16).”

It was after Pope Sixtus II was martyred on August 6th, Deacon Lawrence became the ranking official of the Church in Rome, having been responsible for the material goods of the Church and the distribution of alms to the poor.

Emperor Valerian was in need of financing his war campaign to preserve his empire from the invading Persians, and had heard about the material wealth of the Church. Lawrence was ordered to present this wealth, with which he had been entrusted by the pope, to the Roman prefect.

On August 10, in the year 258, Lawrence appeared before the prefect, and was accompanied by a multitude of Rome’s crippled, blind, sick, and indigent. He announced that these were the true treasures of the Church.

In anger, the prefect of Rome immediately ordered Lawrence’s execution sending him to his death, as tradition tells us, by being cooked alive on a gridiron.

Saint Lawrence gave his life for the well-being of others, just as Christ did. In the words of Saint Augustine, “In his life, he loved Christ; in his death, he followed in His footsteps.”

The Church’s social outreach to the poor and Saint Lawrence’s martyrdom had a tremendous impact on the early Church, all which facilitated many conversions. Just fifty years after his death, during the reign of the Emperor Constantine, a basilica was built over Saint Lawrence’s tomb, still one of the seven pilgrimage churches in Rome, and the anniversary of his martyrdom was kept in Rome as a solemn feast and is still celebrated to this date.

We commemorate his Feastday on August 10.

(From catholicnewsagency.com, saints.sqpn.com, americancatholic.org, catholicculture.org and newadvent.org)

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PRAYER

(The following prayer is from the Roman Breviary from the Proper for Saint Lawrence)

“Father, You called Saint Lawrence to serve You by love and crowned his life with glorious martyrdom. Help us to be like him in loving You and doing Your work.

“Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”

DAILY PRAYER REQUESTS

Please feel free to post your prayer request for today as a comment to this post. Your needs and intentions will be included in our daily offerings throughout the day and at the 3 o’clock hour for Divine Mercy, and your requests will be personally offered to our Heavenly Father, having faith in the words our Lord spoke to Saint Faustina, “Through the chaplet you will obtain everything, if what you ask for is compatible with My will.” (Diary, 1731)

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“Most Loving and Eternal Father, our Lord Jesus taught us to rest our anxious hearts upon His Most Sacred Heart as we journey through life;

– please bless us with that inner peace and tranquility which only You can provide, and please fill our hearts and souls with an unquestioning and abiding trust in Your providential Love, for Jesus taught us that You are always with us, that You are always near to us. We humbly pray this in His Most Holy Name. Amen.”

Mercy Minutes with Jesus (from Saint Faustina’s Diary)

August 9 ~ Like Jesus in Suffering and Humility

Theme:  Graces of Retreats

[October 11, 1933, after a three-hour struggle in adoration and prayer, Jesus, in His Passion, appeared to Saint Faustina]

“I saw Him just had He had appeared to me in that instant after my perpetual vows, when I was likewise making a Holy Hour. Jesus was suddenly standing before me, stripped of His clothes, His body completely covered with wounds, His eyes flooded with tears and blood, His face disfigured and covered with spittle. The Lord then said to me, ‘The bride must resemble her Betrothed.’ I understood these words to their very depth. There is no room for doubt here. My likeness to Jesus must be through suffering and humility.

‘See what love of human souls has done to Me. My daughter, in your heart I find everything that so great a number of souls refuses Me. Your heart is My repose. I often wait with great graces until towards the end of prayer.’(Mercy Minutes with Jesus/Diary, 268)

My prayer response:

Lord Jesus, bless those who struggle with the gift of perseverance in their prayers. May our hearts be a repose for Your agony over those who refuse You. May we be like You through personal suffering and humility. (Mercy Minutes with Jesus)

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Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.

Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.