A daily study of the Network’s diverse faiths
Centenary of the Ascension of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá (1844-1921). On 6 Qawl (Speech) the fourteenth of nineteen months of nineteen days of the 1844 Badíʻ calendar, Bahá’ís in communities all across the world commemorate the passing of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá (the Servant of Bahá), who succeeded as leader Bahá’u’lláh (the Glory of God), the noble Persian religious leader who founded the Baháʼí Faith. This year marks the Centenary of the passing of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, in Haifa in the Holy Land at about 1:00 am on November 28, 1921. The Bahá’í day runs from sunset until sunset and the anniversary of His passing is commemorated as one of the eleven Bahá’í Holy Days each year. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s funeral in Haifa was attended by about ten thousand people, including Jews, Christians, Muslims, Druze, Egyptians, Greeks, Turks, Kurds and a host of His American, European and other friends. Bahá’í celebrations are observed with community gatherings in large or small settings such as Bristol and Portishead and are open to all, with programmes befitting the significance of the day. Bahá’ís do not suspend work on this Holy Day. Image: theutteranceproject.com.
Prayer O Thou the King of creation and the Ruler of this world and the world to come, both in Thy presence and in Thy absence Thou hast been the cause of the tranquillity of the hearts of men and the advancement of the nations and we pray for blissful joy and ample hope. No God is there but Thee
San Francesco Fasani (St Francesco Antonio Fasani OFM Conv, Giovanniello Fasani, Padre Maestro, Father Master) (1681-1742). Celebration for Neapolitan friar of the Order of Conventual Friars Minor who professed his religious vows at fifteen, began theological studies in Agnone and continued them in Assisi near the tomb of St Francis. Fasani was ordained to the priesthood at twenty-four, staying in Assisi to complete his theological studies. He spent the rest of life in his hometown of Lucera, endearing himself to the faithful and receiving the degree of Doctor of Theology. He was a respected teacher of scholastic philosophy and was entrusted with the position of Master of novices and junior professed friars. He was later appointed to serve as the guardian of the community of friars and the pastor of the town and was elected Minister Provincial of his province in the Order. He dedicated himself with zeal to the administration of the sacrament of Penance and the celebration of the Holy Eucharist and was charitable and welcoming to all, giving as his reason the hope of being able one day to say to the Lord: “I was indulgent, I don’t deny it; but it was You who taught me to be so.” Having a life of deep prayer, he was considered to be a mystic, and was greatly in demand as a confessor and preacher. It was reported by his contemporaries that he would levitate whilst he was at prayer. Fasani died on 29 November 1742 in Lucera and was buried in the parish church there. Venerated in Roman Catholic Church (Franciscan Order) with Feast Day on 29 November. Patron of Lucera. Image: anastpaul.com.
Miraculous Medal of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Médaille miraculeuse, Medal of Our Lady of Grace). Anniversary of the 1830 Marian apparition, on the eve of the feast of St Vincent de Paul, to Catherine Labouré DC in Paris, when she woke up after hearing the voice of a child calling her to the chapel. There she heard the Virgin Mary say to her: “God wishes to charge you with a mission. You will be contradicted, but do not fear; you will have the grace to do what is necessary. Tell your spiritual director all that passes within you. Times are evil in France and in the world.” The Blessed Mother returned during evening meditations, displaying herself inside an oval frame, standing upon a globe. She wore many rings set with gems that shone rays of light over the globe. Around the margin of the frame appeared the words Ô Marie, conçue sans péché, priez pour nous qui avons recours à vous (O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee). As Catherine watched, the frame seemed to rotate, showing a circle of twelve stars, a large letter M surmounted by a cross, and the stylised Sacred Heart of Jesus crowned with thorns and with the Immaculate Heart of Mary pierced with a sword. Asked why some of the gems did not shed light, Mary reportedly replied: “Those are the graces for which people forget to ask.” Sister Catherine then heard the Virgin Mary ask her to take these images to her father confessor, telling him that they should be put on medallions, and saying: “All who wear them will receive great graces.” The devotional Miraculous Medal design is based on this, with a globe on the obverse and the M and twelve stars on the reverse. In the teaching of the Catholic Church, sacramentals such as this medal prepare people to receive grace and dispose them to cooperate with it. The Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal in which St Catherine experienced her visions is located at the Rue du Bac, Paris motherhouse of the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul, who were co-founded by Catherine, her incorrupt body being interred there and the shrine continuing to receive daily visits from Catholic pilgrims. Image: marian.org.