On the Contrary Workings of Nature and Grace [VII]
From Weedy@21:1/5 to All on Wed Feb 22 01:24:09 2023
On the Contrary Workings of Nature and Grace [VII]
Nature takes pleasure in a host of friends and relations; she boasts
of noble rank and high birth; makes herself agreeable to the powerful,
flatters the rich, and acclaims those who are like herself. But Grace
loves even her enemies, (Matt.5:44; Luke 6:27) takes no pride in the
number of her friends, and thinks little of high birth unless it be
allied to the greater virtue. She favours the poor rather than the
rich, and has more in common with the honourable than with the
powerful. She takes pleasure in an honest man, not in a deceiver ; she constantly encourages good men to labour earnestly for the better
gifts, (1 Cor.12:31) and by means of these virtues to become like the
Son of God.
--Thomas à Kempis --Imitation of Christ Bk 3 Ch 54
22 February – St Margaret of Cortona TOSF
Penitent, Franciscan Tertiary, Mystic, Apostle of Charity, Founder of a charitable Lay Apostolate and an Order of Sisters – born in 1247 at Loviano, Tuscany, Italy and died on 22 February 1297 at Cortona, Italy of natural causes. Patronages – against
insanity or mental illness, against sexual temptation, against temptations, of falsely accused people, hobos, tramps and homeless people, against the death of parents, stepchildren, midwives, penitent women, people ridiculed for their piety, reformed
prostitutes, single laywomen, tertiaries, Arezzo-Cortona-Sansepolcro, Italy, diocese of, Cortona, Italy, diocese of, Cortona, Italy.
Margaret was born of farming parents, in Laviano, a little town in the diocese of Chiusi. At the age of seven, Margaret’s mother died and her father remarried. Stepmother and stepdaughter did not like each other. As she grew older, Margaret became more
wilful and reckless and her reputation in the town suffered. At the age of 17 she met a young man, according to some accounts, the son of Gugliemo di Pecora, lord of Valiano and she ran away with him. Soon Margaret found herself installed in the castle,
not as her master’s wife, for convention would never allow that but as his mistress, which was more easily condoned. For ten years, she lived with him near Montepulciano and bore him a son.
When her lover failed to return home from a journey one day, Margaret became concerned. The unaccompanied return of his favourite hound alarmed Margaret and the hound led her into the forest to his murdered body.
That crime shocked Margaret into a life of prayer and penance. Margaret returned to his family all the gifts he had given her and left his home. With her child, she returned to her father’s house but her stepmother would not have her. Margaret and her
son then went to the Franciscan friars at Cortona, where her son eventually became a friar. She fasted, avoided meat and subsisted on bread and vegetables.
In 1277, after three years of probation, Saint Margaret joined the Third Order of Saint Francis and chose to live in poverty. Following the example of St Francis of Assisi, she begged for sustenance and bread. She pursued a life of prayer and penance at
Cortona and there established a hospital for the sick, homeless and impoverished. To secure nurses for the hospital, she instituted a congregation of Tertiary Sisters, known as “le poverelle” (Italian for “the little poor ones”).
While in prayer, Margaret heard the words, “What is your wish, poverella?” (“little poor one?”) and she replied, “I neither seek nor wish for anything but You, my Lord Jesus.” She also established an order devoted to Our Lady of Mercy and the
members bound themselves to support the hospital and to help the needy.
On several occasions, St Margaret participated in public affairs. Twice, following divine command, she challenged the Bishop of Arezzo, Guglielmo Ubertini Pazzi, in whose diocese Cortona lay, because he lived and warred like a prince. She moved to the
ruined Church of St Basil, now Santa Margherita and spent her remaining years there, she died on 22 February 1297.
After her death, the Church of Santa Margherita in Cortona was rebuilt in her honour. In the church of Santa Margherita you can view her incorrupt body of Saint Margaret. Hundreds of reports of miracles, both physical and spiritual, were reported by
those who come here to venerate her. Saint Margaret was Canonised by Pope Benedict XIII on 16 May 1728.
“How blessed is the Church of Rome,
on which the Apostles poured forth
all their doctrine along with their blood!”
(De Praescriptione Hereticorum, 36)
--Tertullian (c 155- c 240)
"I have put you as a burning light to enlighten those who sit in darkness." --St. Margaret of Cortona
Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for, when he hath been
proved, he shall receive the crown of life which God hath promised to
them that love him. [James 1:12]
Holy Mary, help the helpless, strengthen the faithful,
comfort the sorrowful, pray for the people,
plead for the clergy, intercede for all women
consecrated to God; may all who keep thy
sacred commemoration experience the
might of thine assurance.