From Weedy@21:1/5 to All on Sat Apr 16 00:04:55 2022
Love is watchful
“Love is watchful.
Sleeping – it does not slumber.
Wearied – it is not tired.
Pressed – it is not straitened.
Alarmed – it is not confused
but like a living flame,
a burning torch,
it forces its way upward
and passes unharmed,
through every obstacle.”
--Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471) The Imitation of Christ
16 April – Blessed Joachim Piccolomini of Siena OSM
Lay brother Friar of the Tertiaries of the Order of the Servants of
Mary (the Servites), Apostle of charity of the sick, devotee of the
Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin. Born in 1258 at Siena, Italy and died
on Good Friday, 16 April 1306 at Siena, Italy of natural causes.
Patronage – against epilepsy. Additional Memorial – 4 February
(Servites). Also known as – Gioacchino Piccolomini, Joachim of Siena.
Joachim Piccolomini was born into an ancient and noble family of
Siena, Italy. A pious youth, he was especially noted for his devotion
to the Blessed Virgin Mary. His greatest childhood pleasure was to
pray the Ave Maria before an image of the Blessed Lady of Sorrows. He
was also known from an early age to exhibit extreme sensitivity to the
plight of the poor. He gave them his own clothes and spent his pocket
money on almsgiving. One day when Joachim urged his father to increase
his aid to the distressed, his father argued that prudence ought to
moderate his liberality. Otherwise, he would reduce his whole family
to poverty. Joachim is said to have replied, “You have taught me that
an alms is given to Jesus Christ, in the persons of the poor. Can we
refuse Him anything? And what is the advantage of riches but that they
be employed in purchasing treasures in heaven?” Hearing these
sentiments, his father wept for joy.
Joachim joined the Servites as a lay-brother at the age of fourteen,
becoming a spiritual student of Saint Philip Benizi, one of the seven
Holy Founders. By all reports, he was a perfect model of virtue; it
was not unusual to find him at midnight, praying, while the rest of
the house slept and on Saturdays, Joachim abstained from all food in
honour of the Seven Dolours of the Virgin. His fervour grew, yet
instilled in him an extraordinary humility. Joachim was urged by his
brothers to study and be ordained a Priest but he felt he was
unworthy, and wanted nothing grander than to be an Altar Server. It
would appear that his whole life was an attempt to hide himself from
the eyes of others and live in obscurity. In fact, he had become so well-respected and widely known for his sanctity that he requested
that he be transferred to Arezzo. The move aroused such a stir of
complaints in Siena that he was ordered to return.
According to the legend Joachim reportedly died when he was unable to
console an epileptic with words, so he begged God that he might take
the illness upon himself. He died of epilepsy in 1305.
One account of Joachim’s hagiography has the Blessed Virgin appearing
to him at important times in his life, such as in his adolescence,
when she urged him to join the Servites. The second time, she appeared
with two crowns in her hands; one of rubies to reward him for his
compassion in her sorrows and the other of pearls, in recompense for
his virginity, which he had vowed in her honour.
Shortly before his death, the account continues, she once more
appeared. Joachim begged her that he would die on the same day on
which Jesus Christ had died. The Virgin immediately gratified him,
saying, “It is well, prepare thyself; for tomorrow, Good Friday, thou
shalt die suddenly as thou desirest—tomorrow thou shalt be with me in heaven.” So, during the singing of the Passion according to Saint
John, at the words “Now there stood by the cross of Jesus, His Mother” (John 19:25), Joachim fell into his last struggles of death and at the
words “He bowed down his head and expired” (John 19:30), Joachim died.
The whole Church was filled with an extraordinary light and a
Blessed Joachim Piccolomini was Beatified by Pope Paul V on 21 March
1609. He is commonly depicted as a Servite holding a book and a flower
and is venerated especially in Arezzo and Siena.
A little note of interest concerning the family of our saint – the
Church has elected 2 Piccolomini Popes Pius II and Pius III and
another relative of Siena, is also a Blessed – Ascanio Piccolomini (1628-1671).
“Let your door stand open
to receive Him,
unlock your soul to Him,
offer Him a welcome in your mind
and then you will see
the riches of simplicity,
the treasures of peace,
the joy of grace.
Throw wide the gate of your heart,
stand before the sun of the everlasting light.”
--St Ambrose (340-397)
Try to fulfil each day’s task
steadily and cheerfully.
The life of a true Christian
should be a perpetual jubilee,
a prelude to the festivals of eternity.
--St Théophane Vénard
Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers; [Psalm 1:1] RSVCE
Hail To Thee! True Body Sprung
(By St. Thomas Aquinas)
Hail to Thee! True body sprung
From the Virgin Mary’s womb!
The same that on the cross was hung
And bore for man the bitter doom.
Thou Whose side was pierced and flowed
Both with water and with blood;
Suffer us to taste of Thee
In our life’s last agony.
O kind, O loving One!
O Jesus, Mary’s Son! Amen.