From Weedy@21:1/5 to All on Wed Sep 29 00:16:52 2021
On the Few Lovers of the Cross of Jesus [V]
Let him not regard as great what others might esteem great, but let
him truthfully confess himself an unprofitable servant. For these are
the words of the Truth Himself: `When you shall have done all those
things that are commanded you, say, "We are unprofitable servants"
(Luke 17:10). Then he may indeed be called poor and naked in spirit,
and say with the Prophet, `I am alone and poor' (Ps. 25:16). Yet there
is no man richer, more powerful or freer than he who can forsake
himself and all else, and set himself in the lowest place.
--Thomas à Kempis --Imitation of Christ Bk 2, Ch 11
September 29th - Bl. Charles of Blois
THIS royal saint has a particular interest for English people as he
had the misfortune to spend nine years in England--as a prisoner in
the Tower of London. He was born in 1320, son of Guy de Chatillon,
Count of BLOIS, and Margaret, the sister of the king of France, Philip
VI. As a young man showed himself both virtuous and brave and
unusually worthy of his high rank. In 1337 he married Joan of
Brittany, and by this marriage himself claimed the dukedom of
Brittany. His claim was disputed by John de Montfort, and he was
immediately involved in warfare that continued to the end of his life.
Charles did all in his power to allay the stress of war for his
subjects, and is said to have offered to settle the succession by
single combat in his own person. The first thing he did after the
capture of Nantes was to provide for the poor and suffering, and he
showed the same solicitude at Rennes, Guingamp and elsewhere. To pray
for his cause and the souls of those who were slain he founded
religious houses, and in general behaved so that the less devout of
his followers complained that he was more fit to be a monk than a
soldier. He went on pilgrimage barefooted to the shrine of St Ivo at
Tréguier, and when he held up the siege of Hennebont that his troops
might assist at Mass one of his officers was moved to protest. “My
lord”, retorted Charles, “we can always have towns and castles. If
they are taken away from us, God will help us to get them back again.
But we cannot afford to miss Mass.” Charles was, in fact, as good a
soldier as he was a Christian, but the weight of arms against him was
too heavy. He had the support of the French king, but his rival John
was helped by Edward III of England, who for his own reasons had
announced his intention of winning back his “lawful inheritance of
France”. For four years Charles was able to keep his enemies at bay,
but 1346 was a year of piled-up misfortune. France was beaten by
England at Crecy, Poitiers was sacked, and Poitou overrun; then
Charles in a great battle at La Roche-Derrien, not far from Tréguier,
was defeated, captured and shipped across to England.
He was housed in the Tower and a huge sum of money was asked for his
ransom, so that it was nine years before Charles regained his liberty.
Like many prisoners in the Tower before and since his time, he
sanctified his confinement by patience and prayer and earned the
ungrudging admiration of his gaolers. He pursued his struggle for the
defence of his duchy another nine years, with varying fortunes but
with ever growing respect and admiration from his people. At one time
it was even thought that the pilgrimage of Bonne Nouvelle at Rennes commemorated one of the battles, but this has been shown not to be so.
The last engagement took place at Auray on September 29, 1364, a
battle in which the English forces were commanded by Sir John Chandos,
and Bertrand du Guesclin was taken prisoner. Charles, the man who
would always rather have been a Franciscan friar than a prince, was
killed on the field. Numerous and remarkable miracles were reported at
his tomb at Guingamp, and there was a strong movement for his
canonization in spite of the opposition of John IV de Montfort, whose
cause in Brittany might suffer were his late rival to be canonized.
Pope Gregory XI seems in fact to have decreed it, but in the turmoil
of his departure from Avignon in 1376 the bull was never drawn up. The
people nevertheless continued to venerate Bl. Charles, his feast was
celebrated in some places, and finally in 1904 this ancient cultus was confirmed by St. Pius X.
The Bollandists mention Charles of Blois among the praetermissi of
September 29 the Acta Sanctorum, and refer to Pope Benedict XIV’s De...beatificatione, bk ii, ch. 8. See A. de Sérent, Monuments du
procès de canonisation du bx Charles de Blois (1921), which include a
Dom Plaine’s account of Charles of 1872 G. Lobineau, Histoire de
Bretagne (1744), vol. ii, pp. 540-570 and N. Maurice-Denis-Boulet, La canonisation de Charles de Blois” In the Revue d’histoire de l‘Eglise
de France, t. xxviii (1942), pp. 216-224.
Let us run with confidence and joy to enter into the cloud like Moses
and Elijah, or like James and John. Let us be caught up like Peter to
behold the divine vision and to be transfigured by that glorious transfiguration. Let us retire from the world, stand aloof from the
earth, rise above the body, detach ourselves from creatures and turn
to the creator, to whom Peter in ecstasy exclaimed: Lord, it is good
for us to be here.
--Saint Anastasius of Sinai
"Light is sown for the righteous, And gladness for the upright in
heart. Rejoice in the Lord, you righteous, And give thanks at the
remembrance of His holy name." (Psalms 97:11-12)
O Sacred Blood, that flowed so copiously seven times for my salvation,
I love Thee, I praise Thee, I adore Thee with the deepest feeling of
gratitude! The purest fountain from which Thou didst flow makes Thy memory
so sweet. O Precious Blood, with trumpet tones Thou speakest to me of the
love of my God and Redeemer. How I deplore my coldness and indifference
towards Thee! Now, at last, I wish to return love for love, blood for
blood, if necessary. As often as my pulse beats, it shall greet Thee,
Thou sweet Guest of my soul, and shall return to the arteries warmed and purified by Thy love. As long as the blood courses through my veins,
it shall flow only for love of Thee; it shall circulate only for Thy interests and it shall turn cold and stand still only because I am about to love Thee
in eternity. Oh, let this stream of Thy love flow through every heart and inebriate it with holy joy!
My dearest Mother Mary, I beseech Thee with confidence, obtain for me,
although thy unworthy child, the blessing of God the Father, by covering me with the merits of thy Son Jesus, that I may regain my eternal birthright
in Heaven. Clothe me every evening, Sweet Lady of Mount Carmel, but
especially on the eve of my life, with the "Dyed Garments" of the Precious Blood. Amen.