From Weedy@21:1/5 to All on Thu Mar 16 01:04:11 2023
O Beauty, So Ancient and So New
"Too late have I loved you, O Beauty so ancient and so new, too
late have I loved you. You have called to me, and have cried out, and
have shattered my deafness. You have blazed forth with light and have
put my blindness to flight!
You have sent forth fragrance, and I have drawn in my breath, and I
pant after you. I have tasted you, and I hunger and thrist after you.
You have touched me, and I have burned for your peace."
--St. Augustine--Confessions 10, 27
Prayer: My faith, O Lord, which you gave me through the humanity of
your Son, calls upon you.
--St. Augustine--Confessions 1, 1
16 March – Blessed John Sordi OSB
Also known as
Giovanni de Surdis Cacciafronte
John de Surdis
Bishop and Martyr, Monk and Abbot– born in 1125 at Cremona, Italy as Giovanni de Surdis and died by being murdered on 16 March 1183 at
Vicenza, Italy. He lived at the time of the struggle waged by the
emperor Federico Barbarossa (1125-1190), against the Papacy and the
Italian Municipalities. Patronage – persecuted Christians.
Giovanni was born in Cremona around 1125 to Evangelista Sordi and
Berta Persico, both of very noble origins. At an early age Giovanni
Sordi lost his father, his mother remarried with the nobleman Adam Cacciafronte, who loved him like a son of his own, giving him his
name. He was educated in an excellent way by the two parents,
receiving religious and cultural training.
At 16 he entered the Benedictine abbey of St Lorenzo in Cremona
as a Benedictine monk. Over the years his qualities and virtues were increasingly evident, winning the sympathies of his superiors and
confreres. He was first appointed Prior of the small monastery of St
Vittore, dependent on the abbey of St Lorenzo and then Abbot of the
same great Abbey of Cremona.
In those years the schism broke out in the Church, with the election
of the antipope Vittore IV (1159-1164), supported by Federico
Barbarossa, against the legitimate pope Alexander III (1159-1181), who
opposed the imperial power, supporting the Lombard League of
Municipalities, which countered the invasion of Barbarossa’s troops.
The Abbot Cacciafronte by his influence, managed to keep Cremona in
obedience to Pope Alexander III but the emperor had him exiled for
this. Later the pope entrusted him with the government of the diocese
of Mantua, it is not specified whether as Apostolic Administrator or
as Bishop, instead of Bishop Graziadoro who had joined the schism of
the antipope Victor IV and his successors Pasquale III (1164-1168) and
Callisto III (1168-1179).
After the famous battle of Legano (29 May 1176) lost by the emperor of
the Lombard League, to whose head Pope Alexander III was elected (the foundation of a new city, called in honour of the pope, Alexandria ).
There was peace deal in Venice in 1179, the antipope in office
Callisto III was deposed.
The repentant Bishop Garziadoro returned to the episcopal see of
Mantua and in 1179, Giovanni Cacciafronte, was transferred to the
Bishopric of Vicenza. During his tenure he opened a new Seminary and
fought against the heresy of the Cathars.
Just two years later, on 16 March 1181, Bishop Cacciafronte was killed
by a certain Pietro, feudal lord in concession of the goods of the
Vicenza Church, who wanted to take revenge because the Bishop had excommunicated him and deprived him of property, due to his frequent
violations of the rights of the Church, which included embezzlement of ecclesiastical funds.
The assassination of the Bishop is mentioned in the “decretals” of
Pope Gregory IX (1227-1241), in the text of a letter dated 21 March
1198, sent by Pope Innocent III, to the bishop of Vicenza, Msgr.
Pistore, forbidding him to give the property of the Church in fiefdom
to the assassins of Bishop Giovanni and their heirs.
The body of the holy Bishop and Martyr was buried in the Cathedral of
Vicenza, the Cathedral of the Assumption and moved to the same
cathedral in 1441, in a more dignified marble tomb in it’s own side
The cult of blessed Giovanni Cacciafronte, Bishop and Martyr, for
centuries bestowed on him, was confirmed by Pope Leo XII on 30 March
1824. As Giovanni died working for the Church and correcting a
sinner, he is considered a Martyr. His liturgical feast is set for 16
March while in the diocese of Mantua his memory is celebrated on 9
“I forgave you all that debt because you besought me and should not
you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?”…
REFLECTION – “We must wash one another’s feet in the mutual daily
service of love. But we must also wash one another’s feet, in the
sense, that we must forgive one another ever anew. The debt for which
the Lord has pardoned us is always infinitely greater than all the
debts that others can owe us….not to allow resentment toward others to
become a poison in the depths of the soul. It urges us to purify our
memory constantly, forgiving one another whole-heartedly, washing one another’s feet, to be able to go to God’s banquet together.”…Pope Benedict XVI (Holy Thursday homily 20 March 2008)
Live in the world as if only God and your soul were in it; then your
heart will never be made captive by any earthly thing.
-- Saint John of the Cross
But there are also many other things which Jesus did; which, if they
were written every one, the world itself, I think, would not be able
to contain the books that should be written. (John 21:25)
A Prayer To Be Generous
Teach me, Lord Jesus, to be generous:
to serve You as You deserve;
to give, not counting the cost;
to fight, not heeding the wounds;
to toil, not asking for rest;
to labor, not seeking any reward,
save that of knowing that we do Your will.