The biblical narrative is related in Mark 6: 17-29.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us!
Too late loved I thee, O thou Beauty of ancient days, yet ever new! too late I loved thee! And behold, thou wert within, and I abroad, and there I searched for thee; deformed I, plunging amid those fair forms which thou hadst made. Thou wert with me, but I was not with thee. Things held me far from thee, which, unless they were in thee, were not at all. Thou calledst, and shoutedst, and burstest my deafness. Thou flashedst, shonest, and scatteredst my blindness. Thou breathedst odours, and I drew in breath and panted for Thee. I tasted, and hunger and thirst. Thou touchedst me, and I burned for thy peace.
Monica was born at Thagaste, North Africa of a Christian family. Having married at an early age to Patricius, among her children was the famed Saint Augustine.
Augustine’s brilliant intellect and questionable morals opened the door to being a gyrovague with regard to his spiritual life. Like many of today who attach themselves to trendy yet popular ideologies, Augustine was a Manichee and then a Neoplatonist.
For many years and shedding many tears Monica prayed unceasingly to God for his conversion and her prayers were answered shortly before she died. She had a deep and abiding faith in Christ with the strength of virtue allowing us to follow this wonderful example of a Christian mother.
St. Monica, pray for us.
We honor the memory of Saint Pius X, known in history as Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto. He was the Roman Pontiff from 1903 to 1914. It was 101 years ago that Pope Pius X went to his eternal reward. His last will and testament stated, “I was born poor, I have lived poor, I wish to die poor.” He is known for several instructions on our participation in the holy mysteries: the liturgy of the church.
The Church prays:
O God, Who didst raise up Saint Pius X to be the chief Shepherd of Thy flock and especially endowed him with devotion to the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar and zeal for Thine eternal truths and a love of the priesthood and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, grant we beg of Thee, that we who venerate his memory on earth, may enjoy his powerful intercession in Heaven.
What work did Pope Pius X do for the Church? A lot. He worked the sacred liturgy, the chant tradition and the reform of code canon law; he put energy to improve clergy training and discipline; he established a foundation for scriptural studies and inaugurated the revision of the Latin text of the Bible (we know it as the Vulgate). In the world of politics he emphasized the separation of Church and State and opposed political organizations laying claim to religious sanction. The work that was very dear to heart was his work for peace in the shadows of the outbreak of WWI.
If you want to read some brilliant literature, I’d recommend the Sunday homilies he preached in the courtyards of the Vatican on his favourite theme: the restoration of all things in Christ and the ushering in of peace on earth. One will recall that the restoration of all things in Christ is his motto.
Saint Jane Frances de Chantal (1572 – 1641), wife, mother, and foundress of the Order of the Visitation. She had the assistance of Saint Francis de Sales with the Visitation. Saint Jane Frances is among the few saints that we know who is wife, mother and foundress. Many vocations in one person.
Holy Mother Saint Jane Frances said: “Give God a free hand to do as He likes, while you look on in loving simplicity.”
Saints beget saints. Here is a good example. Saint Vincent de Paul, a friend and spiritual director of the saint’s, said this about her:
“She was full of faith, yet all her life had been tormented by thoughts against it. While apparently enjoying the peace and easiness of mind of souls who have reached a high state of virtue, she suffered such interior trials that she often told me her mind was so filled with all sorts of temptations and abominations that she had to strive not to look within herself…But for all that suffering her face never lost its serenity, nor did she once relax in the fidelity God asked of her. And so I regard her as one of the holiest souls I have ever met on this earth.”