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The following is an excerpt of Mary Bassett's 1557 translation of Saint Thomas More's  "History of the Passion", which he wrote in Latin during his imprisonment in the Tower in 1534-35.

 

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For the blessed and tender heart of our most holy Savior was cumbered and panged with manifold and hideous griefs, since doubtless well wist he, that the false traitor and his mortal enemies drew near unto him, and were now in manner already come upon him; and over this that he should be despitefully bounden, and have heinous crimes surmised against him, be blasphemed, scourged, crowned with thorns, nailed, crucified, and finally suffer very long and cruel torments.

Agony of Our Lord in the GardenMoreover much did it disquiet him, that he foresaw the fear and dread which his disciples should fall in, the mischief that should light on the Jews, the destruction of the false traitor Judas, and last of all, the unspeakable sorrow of his dear beloved mother. The storms and heaps of so many troubles coming upon him all at once, as doth the main sea when it violently breaketh down the banks over the land, sore oppressed his most holy and blessed heart.

Some man may haply here marvel how this could be, that our savior Christ, being very God equal with his almighty Father, could be heavy, sad, and sorrowful. Indeed, he could not have been so, if as he was God, so had he been only God, and not man also. But now seeing he was as verily man as he was verily God, I think it no more to be marveled that inasmuch as he was man he had these affections and conditions in him, such I mean as be without offence to God, as of common course are in mankind, than that inasmuch as he was God he wrought so wonderful miracles.

For if we do marvel that Christ should have in him fear, weariness, and sorrow, namely seeing he was God, then why should we not as well marvel that he was hungry, athirst, and slept, since albeit he had these properties, yet was he nevertheless God for all that? But hereunto peradventure mayst thou reply and say: albeit I do now marvel no more that he could so do, yet can I not but marvel still why he would so do. For what reason is it that he which taught his disciples in no wise to fear those that could but kill only their bodies, and when that was done had no further thing in their power wherewith they could do them harm, should now wax afraid of them himself, namely since against his blessed body they could no more do, than it liked his holy majesty to permit and suffer them?

Over this seeing (hereof we be well assured), that his martyrs joyfully and courageously hasted them toward their death, not hesitating even then boldly to rebuke and reprove the tyrants and their cruel tormentors, how unseemly might it be thought that Christ himself being, as a man might say, the chief banner-bearer and captain of all martyrs, should, when he drew near to his passion, be so sore afraid, so heavy, so wonderfully unquieted and troubled.

Had it not been meet that he which did all things himself before he taught the same, should in this point especially in his own person, have given other men example to learn of him, for the truth's sake cheerfully to suffer death; lest such as in time to come would be loath and afraid to die for the defense of the faith, might happily, to excuse their own faint and feeble hearts, bear themselves in hand, that they did none otherwise therein than Christ had done before them. And so doing yet should they both not a little dishonor so good and worthy a master, and besides that much discourage other folk, to see them in so great fear and heaviness.

 


 

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Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for January 19, 2020

We’ve had enough of exhortations to be silent! Cry out wit...

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January 19

 

We’ve had enough of exhortations to be silent!
Cry out with a hundred thousand tongues.
I see that the world is rotten
because of silence.

St. Catherine of Siena


My Mother, I will stand with you on OCTOBER 10, 2020

Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Wulfstan of Worcester

The citizens of Bristol would kidnap men and sell them into...

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St. Wulfstan of Worcester

Wulfstan (Wulstan) was a native of Warwickshire, England.  After his priestly ordination, he became a novice at the monastery of Worcester where he edified all by the innocence and sanctity of his life. He was assiduous at prayer, often watching all night in church.

The first task assigned to him at the monastery was the instruction of children, then treasurer and eventually - though against his fierce resistance - he was made prior. In 1062, he was elected Bishop of Worcester.

Wulfstan was a powerful preacher, often moving his audience to tears.

To his vigorous action is particularly attributed the suppression of the heinous practice among the citizens of Bristol of kidnapping men into slavery and shipping them over to Ireland. St. Patrick who became the great apostle and patron of the Irish was such a slave in his youth.

After the Norman conquest of England, William the Conqueror was initially uncertain about Wulfstan. But acknowledging his capacity and uprightness, Wulfstan was the only bishop William retained at his post under the new rule.

For the next thirty years Wulfstan rebuilt his cathedral, cared for the poor and put forth great effort in alleviating the harsh decrees of the Normans upon the vanquished Saxons. Whenever the English complained of the oppression of the Normans, Wulfstan told them: “This is a scourge of God for our sins, which we must bear with patience.”

The saintly bishop died on January 19 at eighty-seven years of age after washing the feet of a dozen poor men, a humble ritual he performed daily. He was canonized in 1203.

Photo by: Christopher Guy

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

One night, the Blessed Virgin appeared to him and told him h...

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Mary and the Muslim

Don Octavio del Monaco was a wealthy citizen of 17th century Naples. Like many of his class, Don Octavius had several Muslim slaves in his household. These children of Islam were amazed at the kindness of their “master.” He fed and clothed them better than they received in their native land. In return, his slaves attended to their tasks with diligence, as Don Octavius did not over work them, but assigned them duties in keeping with their dignity as children of God.

If these Muslim slaves had any reason for complaint, it was the gentle persistence with which their master and his wife exhorted them to give up their false religion and become Catholics. Don Octavius even went so far as to invite the slaves to join his family in the chapel to worship the one true God with them!

Our story today is about one young slave in particular. His name was Abel, like the slain son of Adam and Eve. He felt drawn in a peculiar way to a lamp that burned in front of a shrine to Holy Mary. Abel would purchase the oil needed to keep the lamp lit from his own meager stipend. As he continued to practice this humble devotion, he would say, “I hope that this Lady will grant me some great favor.”

One night, the Blessed Virgin appeared to him and told him he must become a Christian. At first the Turk resisted. But she placed her hand upon his shoulder, and said to him: “Now no longer resist, Abel, but be baptized and called Joseph,” conferring on him a name that was very dear to her Immaculate Heart indeed.

On August the 10th, 1648, there was much rejoicing in Heaven, for on that day “Joseph” and eleven other Muslims converted to the Christian faith and were baptized. Their conversion was brought about by the kindness shown by Don Octavius and the special intercession of the Mother of God.

Our story does not end here. Even once this son of hers was safely baptized, Mother Mary delighted in visiting him. Once, after having appeared to him, she was about to depart. But the Moor seized her mantle, saying, “Oh, Lady, when I find myself afflicted, I pray you to let me see you.” In fact, she one day promised him this and when Joseph found himself afflicted he invoked her, and Mary appeared to him again saying, “Have patience", and he was consoled.

From the Glories of Mary, by St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori.

One night, the Blessed Virgin appeared to him and told him he must become a Christian.

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