The City of God sighs for Heaven

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Nov 22, 2022, 3:32:05 AM11/22/22
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The City of God sighs for Heaven

"Know that the origin of the city of God goes back to Abel, as that of
the evil one goes back to Cain. It is, therefore, an ancient city,
this city of God: always enduring its existence on earth and always
sighing for heaven. Its name is also Jerusalem and Zion."
--St. Augustine--Commentary on Psalm 142, 2

Prayer: Lord, hear me and have mercy. Lord my God, you are the light
of the blind and the strength of the weak, as well as the light of the
sighted and the strength of the powerful. Attend to my soul, and hear
the one crying from the depths.
--St. Augustine--Confessions 11, 2

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• November 22nd – Blessed Tommaso Reggio, Archbishop

Bl. Tommaso Reggio was born in Genoa, Italy, on 9 January 1818 to the
Marquis of Reggio and Angela Pareto. He had a comfortable upbringing
which gave him a solid Christian and cultural background and assured
him of a brilliant career. However, at the age of 20 he decided to
become a priest and to turn his back on his previous life. At the time
of ordination on 18 September 1841 he said: "I want to become a saint,
cost what it may, living my life in accordance with the two
cornerstones of Christianity: prayer and ascesis".

At the age of 25 he was already the vice-rector of the Genoa seminary
and later the rector of the Chiavari seminary at a politically
turbulent time in the mid-1800s. While in charge of the seminary he
became one of the founders of the first Catholic newspaper, The
Catholic Standard.

He wanted to report news clearly and honestly. His defence of the
Christian faith and its basic principles never got in the way of truth
and freedom. In 1865 The Catholic Standard and 25 other newspapers
supported Catholic electoral lists. They were hoping for a Catholic
political party, but when the Non expedit came out in 1874 and
Catholics were told that they could not vote, he realized that his
newspaper could not go on. He closed it down without complaint.

In 1877 he was consecrated Bishop of Ventimiglia, a very poor Diocese
that he was to cross many times on the back of a mule. He was able to
feel the pulse of his Diocese by visiting even the most inaccessible
villages, and organized 3 Synods in just 15 years. A renovation
project was also begun: new parishes were opened, there was a revival
of the liturgy and hymns played an important part in the Mass. There
were also teaching programmes set up for all sectors of the
population.

In 1878 the Bishop founded the Sisters of St Martha, a religious order
whose purpose was "to meet the requirements of every age". He gave
them the task of welcoming "the poorest of the poor" like Martha, who
"served Jesus with her humble hands".

From him they learned how to worship in silence, to nourish themselves
constantly with prayer and to discover "on their knees" the values of
a faith whereby Christ can be found in the humblest and in all those
with whom he is identified.

In 1887 the Diocese was hit by an earthquake. Despite the fact that
the Bishop was now elderly, he was actively at work among the rubble.
He did not only bless and console but called on his parish priests to
make a rigorous and exact check of the gravity of the situation in
each parish. His patched cassock and his watch hanging from a piece of
string testified that he was a Bishop who had become "poor" for his
people.

His main concern was for the orphans whose numbers had increased after
the earthquake, so he founded orphanages in Ventimiglia and San Remo,
where they could learn a trade and the money they earned was put aside
for when they would have to go out into the world alone.

In 1892 he asked the Pope to be relieved of his duties. The Holy
Father's answer was surprising: in May 1892 he appointed him
Archbishop of Genoa.

He was 74 and his new job was anything but easy given the complex
situation in the city of Genoa. The civil authorities were hostile
towards him, but he humbly accepted his post, certain of doing God's
will. The Archbishop's influence was such that eventually Catholics
and non-believers brought their problems to him, as one would to a
good and wise father.

With Bishops Bonomelli and Scalabrini he set up an assistance network
for immigrants which supplied them with documents to prevent any
exploitation. Catholic associations were encouraged and he supported
reduced work hours and weekends off for labourers, which soon gained
him the admiration of his adversaries.

He would pray every night from 3 a.m. until 6 a.m. Cheerful and
carefree, he made no show of his penitential life. He worshiped Christ
and knew how to hide his problems and labours behind a cheerful and
humorous appearance. He had an unshakeable faith and a natural
humility which sustained his life.

In 1900 Catholic Italy decided to consecrate the new century to God
and Our Lady. The Archbishop invited all the Ligurian Bishops to
Ventimiglia for a pilgrimage to Monte Saccarello, where a statue of
the Redeemer was erected. Although he very much wanted to go up the
mountain, he took ill and was unable to do so. He died on the
afternoon of 22 November 1901.


Saint Quote:
Ask your angel to console and assist you in your last moments.
-- Saint John Bosco


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Prayer for Final Perseverance

O Jesus, my Saviour, my God, by Thy Sacred Heart,
by the most pure Heart of the Virgin Mother,
by whatever is pleasing to Thee in heaven and on earth,
I beg and entreat Thee, grant me holy perseverance,
grant me patience. Give me grace and courage that I may
efficaciously employ the means which Thou hast given.

Sweet Heart of Jesus, be my love. 3 times
Sweet Heart of Mary, be my salvation. 3 times
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