• Thankfulness

    From Weedy@21:1/5 to All on Sat Dec 31 01:20:32 2022

    Thankfulness is the joyful and humble response of a heart that has
    been transformed by grace. Does gratitude characterize your thoughts
    of God? Thankfulness is a good test of your faith. Its absence
    demonstrates that your faith is more lip service than experiential
    knowledge. Your days, whether easy or difficult, should be filled with thanksgiving because while life changes drastically, your God remains
    the same forever. He is constant -- constantly good, loving and

    31 December – Saint Columba of Sens

    (c 256-273)
    Virgin Martyr Born as Eporita in c257 in Spain and died by beheading
    in 273 at Sens, France near a fountain named d’Azon. Patronages – for
    rain, of bears. St Columba is a Colonnade Saint at St Peter’s – you
    can find her as Saint Number 40 on the North Colonnade.

    Columba was a virgin and martyr at Sens. Though little historical
    information is known, popular devotion made her one of the most famous
    and revered Martyrs in the Middle Ages.
    The Roman Martyrology states: “At Sens in Lugdunense Gaul, now in
    France, Saint Colomba, Virgin and Martyr.”

    Colomba is presented as belonging to a noble but pagan family of Spain
    and lived in the third century. To escape the cult of the gods, she
    left her family and went to Gaul (France) first to Vienne, where she
    received Baptism, then to Sens. It appears that her real name was
    Eporita and that she would later be called the Dove (the meaning of
    Columba) due to her innocence.

    In Sens, she was arrested as a Christian in the ongoing persecution
    throughout the Roman Empire. The Emperor Aureliano Lucio Domizio
    (270-275), being present in Sens at that time, had Columba and others,
    brought before him,. In an attempt to make her renounce her Christian virginity, he proposed marriage to her. But then irritated by her
    refusal, he condemned her to be locked up in the amphitheater in a
    prostitution cell. When a young soldier arrived there to abuse her, a
    she-bear who had been kept in the amphitheater, intervened to protect
    her, putting the man to flight.

    Since none of the soldiers, fearful of their lives, now wanted to take
    his place, Aureliano furiously ordered, that both the Virgin and the
    Bear be burned but a cloud coming from Africa, procured a providential
    rain, which extinguished the fire already prepared, while the bear ran
    away into the forests. The stubborn Emperor then sentenced Colomba to
    be beheaded, after one last attempt to make her change her faith.

    The young woman, just 16 years old, suffered Martyrdom not far from
    Sens and was buried by a Christian who, immediately invoking her
    intercession, recovered his sight. This happened in the second half of
    the third Century, in the years between 270 and 275, referring to the
    Emperor Aurelian, who found himself in Sens for his wars in Gaul.

    Highly venerated in France at the time, in 620 King Lothair III
    founded the famous Royal Abbey of Sainte-Colombe-les-Sens on the Tomb
    of the Saint. In 623 the Bishop of Sens, St Wolf († 623) wanted to be
    buried at the Martyr’s feet; in 853 the Bishop Wessilone in
    Consecrating the new Church, found the relics of the two Saints united
    and had them wrapped in a precious shroud in oriental fabric. Pieces
    of this shroud were found in the 19th Century and are kept in the
    Treasury of the Cathedral.

    The Abbey Church was built a third time and Consecrated in 1164 by
    Pope Alexander III, then destroyed in 1792 at the time of the French Revolution. The remains of the Abbey and Church complex were purchased
    in 1842 by the Nuns of the Holy Childhood of Jesus and Mary, who built
    their Mother House there, safeguarding the remains of the ancient
    crypt. The relics of St Columba had, however, in 1803, been
    transferred to the Cathedral of Sens.

    There are numerous Churches dedicated to the holy Martyr in France,
    Spain, Flanders, Germany and Italy, where her cult spread, most
    especially in Rimini. According to local traditions, some merchants
    who sailed in the Adriatic had, with them, a relic of the head of St
    Columba but were forced to land in Rimini, where the relic was
    welcomed by Bishop Stennio and placed in the Cathedral.

    In 1581 Msgr. Castelli, Bishop of Rimini, being Apostolic Nuncio to
    France, obtained, from the Monks of the Abbey of Sens, the relics of a
    rib and two teeth of the Martyr, which since the 18th Century, are
    preserved in a Reliquary bust now placed in the Malatesta Church the
    new Cathedral, which replaced the other, which was demolished in 1815
    and dedicated to St Trinità and St Columba.
    There was talk of a translation of the body of Columba to Bari in the
    17th Century but without any serious foundation.

    Starting from the Geronymian Martyrology, up to the Roman one, the
    feast of St Columba is reported to be celebrated on 31 December. The
    popularity of the cult in France then slowly waned and an attempt to
    bring it back into widespread circulation in the 14th Century failed.
    In Sens, however, due to a local festival, concomitant with New Year’s
    Eve, St Columba’s feast was postponed to 27 July and is still honoured
    on this day as well as further devotions and celebrations, on the
    anniversary of the transfer of her relics and the dedication of her
    Church. All of these memorials are still observed with great devotion
    in Sens and the neighbouring area.


    “Whoever believes in him …
    might have eternal life” John 3:16

    “God alone is wise and the Son His wisdom,
    for “Christ is the power
    and the wisdom of God” (Rm 16:27; 1 Cor 1:24).
    So, it is in receiving the Spirit of wisdom,
    that we possess the Son and gain wisdom in Him. …
    The Son is Life.
    He said: “I am the Life” (Jn 14:6).
    But, it is said, that we are brought to life by the Spirit,
    as Paul wrote: “The one who raised Christ
    from the dead will give life
    to our mortal bodies also through his Spirit
    that dwells in us” (Rm 8:11).
    But when we have been brought to life by the Spirit,
    then Christ will be our life …
    “I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me” (Gal 2:20).”
    --St Athanasius (295-373)
    Bishop of Alexandria,
    Father and Doctor of the Church
    ( Letters to Serapion, no.1, 19).

    Saint Quote:
    As long as a single passion reigns in our hearts, though all the
    others should have been overcome, the soul will never enjoy peace.
    --St. Joseph Calasanctius

    Bible Quote:
    'If any man come to you and bring not this doctrine, receive him not
    into the house, nor say to him, God speed you.' [2 John 1:10]

    Who abideth in charity, abideth in God, and God in him.--1 John 4:16

    25. If you desire to arrive at union with God, let your conversation
    and manner of life be as interior as possible. Do not reveal yourself,
    or come forth from yourself, either by words, gestures or manners, but
    strive to keep yourself within yourself, turning to God alone, who is
    present within you, and excluding from your heart all that you shall
    see or hear.
    --Bl. Henry Suso

    Father Alvarez, being asked the reason why he had seemed unusually
    thoughtful for some days, answered: "I am trying to live as if I were
    in the deserts of Africa, and to keep my heart as much at a distance
    from all creatures as if I were really in a desert." And in this he

    St. Thomas Aquinas, from his earliest youth, was constantly seeking to
    know God. When he had become a Religious, his sole gratification was
    to think, to speak and to hear of God; so that if anything was
    introduced in general conversation which was not connected with God,
    he paid no attention to it, as a matter which did not concern him. He
    so directed to God and His good pleasure all his works and actions,
    that when the Lord Himself asked him what reward he would desire for
    the many works he had written for Him, "No other," he replied, "but
    Thyself alone, my Lord and my Love!"

    ("A Year with the Saints". December: Union)

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