From Weedy@21:1/5 to All on Mon Nov 7 00:28:17 2022
Perfection consists in one thing alone, which is doing the will of
God. For, according to Our Lord’s words, it suffices for perfection to
deny self, to take up the cross and to follow Him. Now who denies
himself and takes up his cross and follows Christ better than he who
seeks not to do his own will, but always that of God? Behold, now, how
little is needed to become a Saint? Nothing more than to acquire the
habit of willing, on every occasion, what God wills.
--St. Vincent de Paul
• 7 November – Blessed Anthony Baldinucci S.J.
Jesuit Priest, Preacher, Writer and Missionary. Born on 19 June 1665
in Florence, Italy and died on 7 November 1717 of natural causes.
Beatified on 23 April 1893 by Pope Leo XIII.
Antonio Baldinucci was born in Florence (Tuscany, Italy), the son of a
writer and artist and his wife. The fifth of five sons, Antonio’s
parents had promised the Lord prior to his birth that if they produced
a son, they would devote his life to Saint Anthony of Padua (whose
intercession had cured a family member of serious illness). When
Antonio was born, he was raised in the faith, with the intention of
his becoming a priest and serving God as promised by his parents.
Antonio embraced his parents’ wishes with the zeal of one on fire for
the Lord. Rather than rebel, as we might expect from a teenage boy,
Antonio instead gravitated to the holy, threw himself into his studies
and lived a pious life. At age eleven, he began his studies with the
Jesuits at San Giovannino but following his eldest brother’s entrance
into the Dominican Order, expressed his wish to follow. The
Dominicans, however, refused Antonio’s admission, due to his poor
health. Instead, his father recommended that he embark on the
Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, to attempt to discern
God’s plan for his life. Under the spiritual direction of a Jesuit,
Antonio was led to seek admission to the Society of Jesus and at the
age of 16, began his novitiate in Rome.
Antonio, often ill, was assigned to serve the local Rome community. He
first taught the young men at the college, despite his young age.
Antonio was not content to remain in Rome, however, expressing his
greatest wish to be sent out as a missionary among the Gentiles and to
suffer martyrdom for the Lord. He applied, during his tenure with the
Jesuits for three overseas missions trips—to India, China, and
Japan—and was each time refused, on account of his fragile health. As
his health worsened, he experienced debilitating headaches and body
fatigue and was sent around the country to various Jesuit houses,
seeking advice and cure. Apparently, getting out of Rome was helpful
for him and he regained his strength. Allowed to preach, his brothers
were amazed by his vigour and success in converting those who heard
Returning to Rome, Antonio would spend his afternoons in public
places, preaching, and drawing many to the Church. He was ordained at
age 30 and immediately applied to be sent overseas as a missionary but
again was refused. Instead, Antonio was sent to Frascati, south of
Rome, where part of his duties was to provide missions to the poor
surrounding towns and villages in the area. Antonio embraced this task
with zeal, working among the poor and uneducated for the remainder of
his life. Looking to St Ignatius and St Peter Claver as models
Antonio traveled barefoot to the towns and villages, regardless of
weather. He carried all he needed in a bag on his back and walked with
a pilgrim staff. When asked why he walked barefoot, he replied: “That
God may be moved by my sufferings to touch the hearts of my hearers.”
Each of Antonio’s missions lasted between eight and 14 days, depending
on the needs of the parish and for his preaching he generally drew
from the Spiritual Exercises. At the start of each mission, Blessed
Antonio would lead a procession of penitents, during which he wore a
crown of thorns, carried a heavy cross and whipped or flagellated
himself. This he did as penance for the sins of those he served. Once
he had instilled a bit of fear into his mission attendees, Blessed
Antonio softened his approach. He spent little time in the pulpit,
instead interacting on a personal level with his congregation, writing
letters, teaching catechism, visiting and assisting children and the
ill. All were welcome, including the ruffians or thugs of the
villages. Antonio often began his missions by seeking out the roughest characters of the region and asking them to accompany him, offering
him “protection.” By the conclusion of each mission, many of these dissolute characters had come to the faith. Each of Blessed Antonio’s missions ended in the same manner, with a large exhibition where
everyone could receive Holy Eucharist. Following Communion, a public
burning of cards, dice, obscene pictures, books and secular songs
would commence. After one mission, 240 daggers and small guns and 21
pistols were laid at his feet.
Blessed Antonio participated in missions for over 20 years, during
that time giving 448 missions in 30 dioceses (an average of 22 each
year). Despite this schedule, he found the time to write down many of
his sermons, as well as maintain correspondence with those who needed
spiritual direction and support. To do so, he maintained a rigorous
schedule of work, prayer and penance, sleeping little (about three
hours each night on a bed of planks) and fasting constantly. While he
had received a special dispensation from Pope Clement XI to not offer
daily Mass due to his schedule, he refused to accept it, reading the
Gradually, Antonio’s reputation grew and he was summoned to larger and
larger cities, drawing great crowds at each mission. Father Baldinucci
was deeply devoted to the Eucharist, the Passion of Christ and the
Blessed Virgin Mary. He highly revered an image of the Blessed Virgin
with the title, “Refuge of Sinners,” attributing numerous conversions
and miraculous cures to its veneration. Beginning a new mission in
Frosinone, his health failed him and he was confined to his bed.
Although he appeared to others to be recovering, Antonio knew his
death was approaching and requested that the image of Mary be placed
before him. Repeatedly, he prayed to Our Blessed Mother, “Show
yourself to be a Mother.” After asking for the Last Sacraments and
despite the fact that he was barely able to speak, Antonio continued
to recite the prayer, “Jesus and Mary, my hope,” until his death.
He began to convulse through the night until the following morning and
finally at 11.00 am on the morning of 7 November 1717, Fr Baldinucci
who was only fifty-two surrendered his soul to his Saviour. The
indefatigable priest at his death had served the Society for
thirty-five years and spent twenty years as an active preacher in the
Fr Baldinucci was beatified by Pope Leo XIII on 25 March 1893. Blessed
Antonio was buried in the chapel of San Giovanni in Florence.
Love the poor tenderly, regarding them as your masters and yourselves
as their servants.
--St. John of God
Never repay evil with evil. As scripture says: Vengeance is mine--I
will pay them back, says the Lord. But there is more: If your enemy is
hungry, you should give him food, and if he is thirsty, let him drink.
Resist evil and conquer it with good. (Romans 12:17,19-20,21 )
Saint Margaret Mary's Prayer of Consecration To the Sacred Heart
I, ( your name. . .), give myself and consecrate to the Sacred Heart
of our Lord Jesus Christ my person and my life, my actions, pains, and sufferings, so that I may be unwilling to make use of any part of my
being save to honor, love, and glorify the Sacred Heart.
This is my unchanging purpose, namely, to be all His, and to do all
things for the love of Him, at the same time renouncing with all my
heart whatever is displeasing to Him.
I therefore take Thee, O Sacred Heart, to be the only object of my
love, the guardian of my life, my assurance of salvation, the remedy
of my weakness and inconstancy, the atonement for all the faults of my
life and my sure refuge at the hour of death.
Be then, O Heart of goodness, my justification before God Thy Father,
and turn away from me the strokes of His righteous anger. O Heart of
love, I put all my confidence in Thee, for I fear everything from my
own wickedness and frailty; but I hope for all things from Thy
goodness and bounty.
Do Thou consume in me all that can displease Thee or resist Thy holy
will. Let Thy pure love imprint Thee so deeply upon my heart that I
shall nevermore be able to forget Thee or to be separated from Thee.
May I obtain from all Thy loving kindness the grace of having my name
written in Thee, for in Thee I desire to place all my happiness and
all my glory, living and dying in true bondage to Thee.