Catholic devotions for the 4th November

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Saint of the Day
Reading of the Martyrology
Dedication of the Month
Dedication of the Day
Five Wounds Rosary in Latin
Seven Sorrows Rosary in English
Latin Monastic Office
Reading of the Rule of Saint Benedict
Celebration of Mass
Reading from the School of Jesus Crucified

Feast of Saint Charles Borromeo

In 1582 Charles started on his last journey to Rome, both in obedience to the decrees of the Council of Trent, and to have the decrees of the sixth provincial council confirmed. This was his last visit, and during it he resided at the monastery attached to his titular church of Santa Prassede, where still are shown pieces of furniture used by him. He left Rome in January, 1583, and travelled by Sienna and Mantua, where he had been commissioned by the pope to pronounce a judgment. A great portion of this year was taken up by visitations. In November he began a visitation as Apostolic visitor of all the cantons of Switzerland and the Grisons, leaving the affairs of his diocese in the hands of Monsignor Owen Lewis, his vicar-general. He began in the Mesoleina Valley; here not only was there heresy to be fought, but also witchcraft and sorcery, and at Roveredo it was discovered that the provost, or rector, was the foremost in sorceries. Charles spent considerable time in setting right this terrible state of things. It was his especial care to leave holy priests and good religious to guide the people. Next he visited Bellinzona and Ascona, working strenuously to extirpate heresy, and meeting with much opposition from the Bishop of Coire. The negotiations were continued into the next year, the last of Charles on earth. All his work bore fruit, and his efforts in these part ensured the preservation of the Faith. The heretics spread false reports that Charles was really working for Spain against the inhabitants of the Grisons. In spite of their falsehoods Charles continued to attack them and to defend Catholics, who had much to suffer.

At the end of 1584 he had an attack of erysipelas in one leg, which obliged to remain in bed. He however has a congress of the rural deans, sixty in number, with whom he fully discussed the needs of the diocese. He also made great exertions to suppress the licentiousness of the carnival. Knowing the needs of the invalids who left the great hospital he determined to found a convalescent hospital. He did not live to see it completed, but his immediate successor saw that the work was executed. During September and early October he was at Novara, Vercelli, and Turin. On the 8th of October he left Turin and thence travelled to Monte Varallo. He was going to prepare for death. His confessor, Father Adorno, was told to join him. On 15 October he began the exercises by making a general confession. On the 18th the Cardinal of Vercelli summoned him to Arona to discuss urgent and important business. The night before Charles spent eight hours in prayer on his knees. On the 20th he was back at Varallo; on the 24th an attack of fever came on; he concealed it at first, but suffering from sickness he was obliged to declare his state. For five days this state lasted, but still he said Mass and gave Communion daily, and carried on his correspondence. He seemed to know that death was at hand and determined to work as long as he had strength left. The foundation of the college at Ascona was not completed, and it was urgent that it should be finished in a short time, so Charles pressed on and started, in spite of his sufferings, on 29 October, having previously paid a farewell visit to the chapels. He was found prostrate in the chapel where the burial of Our Lord was represented. He rode to Arona, thence went by boat to Canobbio, where he stayed the night, said Mass on the 30th, and proceeded to Ascona. He visited the college, and afterwards set out at night for Canobbio, staying a short time at Locarno, where he intended to bless a cemetery, but, finding himself without his pontifical vestments, he abandoned the idea. When he reached Canobbio the fever was decreasing, and he was very weak. The next day he took the boat for Arona and stayed there with the Jesuits, at the novitiate he had founded, and on All Saints' Day he said Mass for the last time, giving Communion to the novices and many of the faithful. The next day he assisted at Mass and received Holy Communion. His cousin, Rene Borromeo, accompanied him on the boat, and that evening he reached Milan. It was not known there that he was ill. He at once was visited by doctors, whose orders he obeyed. He would not allow Mass to be said in his room. A picture of Our Lord in the tomb was before him, together with two others of Jesus at Gethsemani and the body of the dead Christ. The physicians regarded the danger as extreme, and though there was a slight improvement, it was not maintained, and the fever returned with great severity. The archpriest of the cathedral gave him the Viaticum, which he received vested in rochet and stole. The administration of extreme unction was suggested. "At once", Charles replied. It was at once given, and afterwards he showed but little sign of life. The governor, the Duke of Terra Nova, arrived after great difficulty in getting through the crowds which surrounded and had entered the palace. The prayers for a passing soul were said, the Passion was read, with Father Bascapè and Father Adorno at the bedside, the words "Ecce venio" (Behold I come) being the last words he was heard to utter (3 November, 1584). On the 7th of November his requiem was sung by Cardinal Nicolò Sfondrato, Bishop of Cremona, afterwards Gregory XIV. He was buried at night in the spot which he had chosen.

Devotion to him as a saint was at once shown and gradually grew, and the Milanese kept his anniversary as though he were canonized. This veneration, at first private, became universal, and after 1601 Cardinal Baronius wrote that it was no longer necessary to keep his anniversary by a requiem Mass, and that the solemn Mass of the day should be sung. Then materials were collected for his canonization, and processes were begun at Milan, Pavia, Bologna, and other places. In 1604 the cause was sent to the Congregation of Rites. Finally, 1 November, 1610, Paul V solemnly canonized Charles Borromeo, and fixed his feast for the 4th day of November.

The position which Charles held in Europe was indeed a very remarkable one. The mass of correspondence both to and by him testifies to the way in which his opinion was sought. The popes under whom he lived — as has been shown above — sought his advice. The sovereigns of Europe, Henry III of France, Philip II, Mary Queen of Scots, and others showed how they valued his influence. His brother cardinals have written in praise of his virtues. Cardinal Valerio of Verona said of him that he was to the well-born a pattern of virtue, to his brother cardinals an example of true nobility. Cardinal Baronius styled him "a second Ambrose, whose early death, lamented by all good men, inflicted great loss on the Church".

It is a matter of interest to know that Catholics in England late in the sixteenth or at the beginning of the seventeenth century had circulated some life of St. Charles in England. Doubtless some knowledge of him had been brought to England by Blessed Edmund Campion, S.J., who visited him at Milan in 1580, on his way to England, stopped with him some eight days, and conversed with him every day after dinner. Charles had much to do with England in the days of his assistance to Pius IV, and he had a great veneration for the portrait of Bishop Fisher. Charles also had much to do with Francis Borgia, General of the Jesuits, and with Andrew of Avellino of the Theatines, who gave great help to his work in Milan.

Extract from much longer text

The Reading from the Martyrology

This Day, the Fourth Day of November

St. Charles Borromeo, cardinal, Bishop of Milan, and confessor, who
went to Heaven on November 3. A duplex feast.
At Bologna, Ss. Vitalis and Agricola, martyrs. Vitalis had been the slave of Agricola but was afterward his companion and associate in martyrdom.
The executioners used every kind of torture against Vitalis, so that there was no part of his body left unwounded. Notwithstanding, Vitalis endured them with firmness to the very end and, while in prayer, gave up his soul to God. They slew Agricola by nailing him to a cross with numerous spikes. St. Ambrose was present at the transferral. of their bodies and he relates how he gathered up the nails of the martyr, his triumphal blood, and the wood of the cross, and buried them under the sacred altars. A memory.
In the monastery of Cerfroid near Meaux, the birthday of St. Felix of Valois, founder of the Order of the Most Holy Trinity for the redemption ofcaptives. By a decree of Pope Innocent XI, his feast is observed on November 20.
On the same day, the birthday of Ss. Philologus and Patrobas, disciples
of the Apostle St. Paul.
At Autun, St. Proculus, bishop and martyr.
At Myra in Lycia, the holy martyrs Nicander, bishop, and Hermes, priest, under the governor Libanius.
In the district of Vexin in Gaul, St. Clarus, priest and martyr
At Ephesus, St. Porphyrius, martyr, under the Emperor Aurelian.
At Rodez in Gaul, Blessed Amantius, bishop, whose life was outstanding for his splendid sanctity and miracles.
At Rome, the birthday of St. Pierius, a priest of Alexandria. Deeply versed in the Holy Scriptures, and most pure in his life, he stripped himself of all his goods that he might devote himself to Christian philosophy. In the time of the Emperors Carus and Diocletian, when Theonas governed the Church of Alexandria, he taught with great distinction and published various treatises. After the persecution, he spent the remainder of his life at Rome where he died a peaceful death.
In Bithynia, St. Joannicius, abbot.
At Stuhlweissenburg in Hungary, the death of Blessed Emeric, confessor,
son of St. Stephen, King of Hungary.
At Treves, St. Modesta, virgin. +

Omnes sancti Mártyres, oráte pro nobis
("All ye Holy Martyrs, pray for us", from the Litaniae Sanctorum, the Litany of the Saints)

November is the Month of the Poor Souls in Purgatory


For the Relief of the Poor Souls in Purgatory

THIRD DAY Pains of loss

PREPARATORY PRAYER: Act of Faith: My God, I believe in Thee, because Thou art Truth itself; I firmly believe the truths revealed to the Church.

Act of Hope: My God, I hope in Thee, because Thou art infinitely good.

Act of Charity: My God, I love Thee with all my heart, and above all things, because Thou are infinitely perfect; and I love my neighbor as myself, for the love of Thee.

(Indulgence 7 years, 7 quarantines, each time. Benedict XIV., Jan. 28, 1756. Plenary once a month, if said every day. Benedict XIII., Jan. 16, 1728.)

MEDITATION: During the long captivity, God’s people, sitting on the shores of the Euphrates, moaned and cried in remembering Sion. So the Souls in Purgatory, plaintive and doleful, long for the joys of the heavenly mansion. They have had a glimpse of its glory and happiness, but because they were too much attached to earthly pleasures, they will be deprived, perhaps for a long time, of the celestial joys. They remember all the negligence of their former life, which now obstructs their way to Heaven. What sorrows! what remorses! because they have preferred a moment of pleasure to the enjoyment of Heaven. Then the poor, desolate Souls accuse themselves, saying with the Prophet: “I know my iniquity, and my sin is always before me.” Ps. 50, 5.)

Since God has granted us the power of paying the debts of the “Poor Souls” with our works, let us appreciate this immense privilege. A noble heart should be delighted in relieving the poor, in consoling the afflicted, in bringing peace and happiness to those who suffer. Such is the privilege of those who assist the Souls suffering in Purgatory, because they deliver them from the hardest captivity and they open to them the gates of Heaven.

Moreover our charitable deeds for the “Poor Souls” will secure for us the gratitude of God Himself. “When,” said our Lord to His holy servant Gertrude, “a Soul is liberated by your prayers, I accept it, as if I had been Myself liberated from captivity, and I will assuredly reward you according to the abundance of My mercy.

PRACTICE: Perform today an act of mortification or obedience for the relief of the “Poor Souls.”

RESOLUTION: Be faithful in little things. Everything is great which is done for the Glory of God.

EXAMPLE: At the close of September, 1870, there died at GH,_, France, a banker, renowned for his piety and his charity. By divine permission his soul appeared to his daughter, a member of a sisterhood in Belgium, to implore the assistance of her prayers. At first he was seen surrounded by flames, saying: “Have pity on your father, my child! If Purgatory were known, everyone would strive to escape its torments.” Sometimes he would loudly complain: “I thirst! I thirst!”

Fervent prayers were offered for him at the convent, and he appeared again, enveloped in a dark cloud, but free from fire. He said to his daughter: “It seems that I am here during a century. My great suffering now is the thirst for the Vision of God and the enjoyment of His presence. I rush to Him and I am incessantly repulsed into the abyss because I have not yet paid all my debt to the Divine Justice.” Prayers were continued and on Christmas night he was seen in a halo of light, and addressing his daughter, said: “My pains are over. I owe this favor to the prayers offered for me. I come to thank you and your community. I will not forget you in Heaven.”

PRAYER: De Profundis

Let us pray for Bishops and Priests deceased: O God, Who has deigned to raise to the pontifical or sacerdotal dignity Thy servants N. N., grant us the grace of enjoying with them eternal felicity. Through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

V. Eternal rest give unto them, O Lord.

R. And let perpetual light shine upon them.

V. May they rest in peace.

R. Amen.

(300 days each time for W. and RR., applicable only to the dead. Pius X., Feb. 13, 1908.)

Saturday is the Day dedicated the Blessed Virgin and Her Immaculate Heart

Saturdays are, traditionally, the days Catholics go to Confession in preparation for receiving the Eucharist on Sundays (some Catholics might make a habit of going to Confession on Saturdays; other might go before Mass on Sunday, and, of course, as always, whenever needed). Also on Saturdays, many Catholics make what is called the "First Saturdays Devotion" which entails going to Mass and receiving Communion on the first Saturday of the month for 5 consecutive months in reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

When the Memorare was first indulgenced by Pope Pius IX in 1846, this prayer was likewise indulgenced at the same time. As can be easily seen, this prayer has the Memorare embedded in it. Other than the obvious similarity between the words of the two prayers, is not clear exactly what historical relationship between the two might be. Some manuals of devotion (Libellus Precum, 1863) state that the Ave augustissima is a copy of an inscription upon a bronze plate inserted in the back of a statue of Our Lady which stands in the Liberian Basilica (Church of Santa Maria Maggiore) in Rome. Given the events of the 19th century, the prayer was most appropriate then. Given recent events, it is perhaps even more appropriate now.

AVE, augustissima Regina pacis, sanctissima Mater Dei, per sacratissimum Cor Iesu Filii tui Principis pacis, fac ut quiescat ira ipsius et regnet super nos in pace. Memorare, o piissima Virgo Maria, non esse auditum a saeculo quemquam tua petentem suffragia esse derelictum. Ego tali animatus confidentia, ad te venio. Noli, Mater Verbi, verba mea despicere, sed audi propitia et exaudi. O clemens, o pia o dulcis Virgo Maria. Amen.
HAIL, most venerable Queen of Peace, most holy Mother of God, through the Sacred Heart of Jesus, thy Son, the Prince of Peace, procure for us the cessation of His anger, that so He may reign over us in peace. Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who sought thy intercession was left forsaken. Inspired with this confidence, I come unto thee. Despise not my petitions, O Mother of the Word, but graciously hear and grant my prayer. O merciful, O kind, O sweet Virgin Mary. Amen.

The Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary are prayed on Saturday

"I would like to remind you that the Rosary is a biblical prayer, all filled with the Holy Scriptures." It is a prayer from the heart, in which the repetition of the Ave Maria directs the thought and affection towards Christ, and thus is made a confident prayer to Him and our Mother. It is a prayer that helps to meditate on the Word of God and assimilate the Eucharistic Communion, on the model of Mary who kept in her heart everything Jesus did and said and even His Presence. " Pope Benedict XVI

The Rosary in Latin

Chaplet of the Five Holy Wounds of Christ in Latin 

Chaplet of the Seven Sorrows of Our Lady in English

The Reading of the Rule of Saint Benedict for November 4

1 Si quis frater frequenter correptus pro qualibet culpa, si etiam excommunicatus non emendaverit, acrior ei accedat correptio, id est ut verberum vindicta in eum procedant. 
2 Quod si nec ita correxerit, aut forte quod absit in superbia elatus etiam defendere voluerit opera sua, tunc abbas faciat quod sapiens medicus: 
3 si exhibuit fomenta, si unguenta adhortationum, si medicamina scripturarum divinarum, si ad ultimum ustionem excommunicationis vel plagarum virgae, 
4 et iam si viderit nihil suam praevalere industriam, adhibeat etiam quod maius est suam et omnium fratrum pro eo orationem, 
5 ut Dominus qui omnia potest operetur salutem circa infirmum fratrem.
6 Quod si nec isto modo sanatus fuerit, tunc iam utatur abbas ferro abscisionis, ut ait apostolus: Auferte malum ex vobis, 
7 et iterum: Infidelis, si discedit, discedat, 
8 ne una ovis morbida omnem gregem contagiet.

1 If a brother who is frequently corrected for some fault, or even excommunicated, does not amend, he should receive a more severe correcion: that is, let the punishment of beatings be administered to him.  
2 If he then does not correct himself, or even (may it never happen!), inflamed with pride, he wishes to defend his actions, then the abbot should act as a wise physician: 
3 if he has applied compresses and the ointment of his admonitions, the medicine of the Sacred Scriptures, and ultimately the cautery of excommunication or strokes of the rod; 
4 and if he still sees that his labors are unavailing, he should add what is even greater - his prayers and those of all the brothers for him, 
5 that the Lord who is can do all things may effect the healing of the sick brother.
6 But if even by this means he is not healed, then the abbot may use the knife for amputation, as the apostle says:  Banish the evil one from you (1 Cor 5:13), and again:  
7 If the unfaithful one departs, let him depart (1 Cor 7:15), 
8 lest one diseased sheep infect the whole flock.

Today's Celebration of the Mass

Jesus XPI Passio sit semper in cordibus nostris

May the Passion of Jesus Christ be always in our hearts


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