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Default On Purity of Mind and Simplicity of Purpose: (II) (prophet hell evil numbers able)

On Purity of Mind and Simplicity of Purpose (II)

Were you inwardly good and pure, you would see and understand all
things clearly and without difficulty. A pure heart penetrates both
heaven and hell. As each man is in himself, so does he judge outward
things. If there is any joy to be had in this world, the pure in heart
most surely possess it; and if there is trouble and distress anywhere,
(Rom.2:9) the evil conscience most readily experiences it. Just as
iron, when plunged into fire, loses its rust and becomes bright and
glowing, so the man who turns himself wholly to God loses his sloth
and becomes transformed into a new creature.
--Thomas à Kempis --Imitation of Christ Bk 2 Ch 4

March 13th - Bl. Agnello Of Pisa

Bl. Agnello of Pisa (Italian, Franciscan friar in France, provincial
in England, died at Oxford at about age 40 in 1236 [beatified 1892])
[commemorated by some on May 7]

THE founder of the English Franciscan province, Bl. Agnello, was
admitted into the order by St. Francis himself on the occasion of his
sojourn in Pisa. He was sent to the friary in Paris, of which he
became the custos or guardian, and in 1224 St. Francis appointed him
to found an English province, although he was as yet only a deacon. Of
the eight brothers selected to accompany him three were English*men,
but only one was in priest’s orders, namely, Richard of Ingworth. True
to the precepts of St. Francis, they had no money, and the monks of
Fécamp paid their passage over to Dover. They made Canterbury their
first stopping-place, whence Richard of Ingworth, Richard of Devon and
two of the Italians went on to London to see where they could settle.
The rest were lodged at the Poor Priests’ House, sleeping in a
building which was used as a school by day. While the scholars were
there, the friars were penned up in a small room at the back, and only
after the boys had gone home could they come out and make a fire.

It was the winter of 1224, and they must have suffered great
discomfort, especially as their ordinary fare was bread and a little
beer, which was so thick that it had to be diluted before they could
swallow it. Nothing, however, damped their spirits, and their simple
piety, cheerfulness and enthusiasm soon won them many friends. They
were able to produce a commendatory letter from Pope Honorius III, so
that the archbishop of Canterbury, Stephen Langton, in announcing
their arrival, said, “Some religious have come to me calling
themselves Penitents of the Order of Assisi, but I call them of the
Order of the Apostles”: By this name they were at first known in
England, and when some of them were to be ordained acolytes at
Canterbury four months after landing, the archdeacon, in bidding the
candidates come forward, said, “Draw near, ye brothers of the Order of
the Apostles”.

In the, meantime Richard of Ingworth and his party had been well
received in London and had hired a dwelling on Cornhill. They were now
ready to push on to Oxford, and Agnello came from Canterbury to take
charge of the London settlement. Everywhere the friars were received
with enthusiasm, and Matthew Paris himself attests that Bl. Agnello
was on familiar terms with King Henry III. Although the minister
provincial was not himself a learned man, yet he established a
teaching centre which afterwards greatly influenced the university. To
that school, in which Grosseteste, afterwards bishop of Lincoln, was a
lecturer, flocked numbers of eager youths who were trained as friars
and who, before many years were over, helped to raise Oxford to a
position hardly inferior to Paris as a centre of learning.

Agnello seems to have died at the age of forty-one, only eleven years
after he landed at Dover, but his reputation for sanctity and prudence
stood high amongst his fellows. It is stated that his zeal for poverty
was so great that “he would never permit any ground to be enlarged or
any house to be built except as inevitable necessity required”. In
particular the story runs that he built the infirmary at Oxford “in
such humble fashion that the height of the walls did not much exceed
the height of a man”. During Mass and when saying the Divine Office he
shed tears continually, “yet so that neither by any noise nor by
groans nor by any contortion of the face could it be known that he
wept”. He was stern in resisting relaxations in the rule, but his
gentleness and tact led him to be chosen in 1233 to negotiate with the
rebellious Earl Marshal. His health is said to have been under*mined
by his efforts in this cause and by a last painful journey to Italy.
On his return he was seized with dysentery at Oxford and died there,
after crying out for three days, “Come, sweetest Jesus”. The cult of
Bl. Agnello was confirmed in 1892 his feast is observed in the
archdiocese of Birmingham today and by the Friars Minor on the 11th.

The narrative of Thomas of Eccleston, De adventu Fratrum Minorum,
together with the Chronicle of Lanercost, and the De conformitate of
Bartholomew of Pisa are the most reliable sources of information. See
especially the translation of Thomas of Eccleston with its appendixes,
by Father Cuthbert, and the text edited by A. G. Little. See also the
last-named’s The Grey Friars in Oxford (1891); E. Hutton, The
Franciscans in England (1933); and Father Gilbert, Bl. Agnellus and
the English Grey Friars (1937).

Bible Quote:
Let no temptation take hold on you, but such as is human: and God is
faithful, Who will not suffer you to be tempted above that which you
are able, but will make also with temptation issue, that you may be
able to bear it. (1 Cor. 10:13)DRB

Saint Quote:
O Holy Mary! My Mother; into thy blessed trust and special custody,
and into the bosom of thy mercy, I this day, and every day, and in the
hour of my death, commend my soul and body. To thee I commit all my
anxieties and sorrows, my life and the end of my life, that by thy
most holy intercession, and by thy merits, all my actions may be
directed and governed by thy will and that of thy Son.
-- Saint Aloysius Gonzaga

From The Passion and Death of Jesus Christ, by Saint Alphonsus de

O my God! I thank Thee, for making me now remain at Thy feet and not
in hell, which I have so often deserved. But of what use would the
life which Thou hast preserved be to me, should I continue to live
without Thy grace. Ah! may this never be I have turned my back upon
Thee I have lost Thee, O my Sovereign Good! I am sorry for it with my
whole heart. Oh, that I had died a thousand times, rather than have
offended Thee! I have lost Thee; but the prophet tells me that Thou
art all goodness, and that Thou art easily found by the soul that
seeks Thee. If I have hitherto fled away from Thee, I now seek Thee,
and seek nothing but Thee. I love Thee with all the affections of my
heart. Accept me. Do not disdain to give Thy love to a soul that has
at one time despised Thee Teach me what I must do in order to please
Thee; I am ready and willing to do it. Ah, my Jesus! save this soul,
for which Thou hast given Thy blood and Thy life; and, in order to
save me, give me the grace always to love Thee in this and in the next
life. This grace I hope for through Thy merits. For this I also hope,
O Mary! through thy intercession.
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