September 1, Bl Bronislava (Bronisława)

September 1
BLESSED BRONISLAVA, VIRGIN
Obligatory memorial

Bronislava, related to Saint Hyacinth and Blessed Ceslaus, was born about 1200. As a young woman she entered the Convent of Norbertines in Zwierzyniec, near Kraków. She was known for her zeal in monastic life. She most likely died in 1259.

Common of Virgins.

[PDF Version]

SECOND READING

From the address of Saint John Paul II to the Plenaria of the Sacred Congregation for Religious and for Secular Institutes
(AAS 72 [1980] 210-211)
Contemplative Life is the Treasure of the Church

I know that in your works in a special way you have dealt with the problems of the souls devoted to contemplative life, naming them one of the most precious treasures of the Church. Obedient to the invitation of the Divine Master, these souls chose the better part, that is, the part of prayer, silence, contemplation, the ultimate love of God and complete dedication to his serve. They have to know that the Church counts on their spiritual contribution to its life.

In the decree “Perfectae caritiatis” of Vatican II, the council did not solely claimed that contemplative monasteries have kept their significance, but also emphasised that the place taken by them in the Mystical Body of the Church is a “special part.” Monks and nuns of contemplative institutes indeed “offer God the noble sacrifice of glory, and add light to the people of God by abundant fruit of sanctity and give it strength by their example, contributing to its growth thanks to the mysterious apostolic fertility.”

Beyond the shadow of a doubt, tasks in the field of evangelisation that the Church needs to undertake are numerous and pressing. However, a great mistake would be to think that the pressing necessity of undertaking apostolic tasks makes obsolete these forms of life whose aim is complete dedication to contemplation. Councilliar fathers, pondering the problem of proclamation of the Good News to all peoples in the decree “Ad gentes,” underlined the fact the great input of contemplative monasteries in the missionary activities of the Church and expressed desire to make room for communities of contemplative life among other forms of monastic life life in the newly created churches so that they may be the guarantee of the “presence of the Church in its fullest form.”

Is it of any significance to us to notice, when we consider the past of the Church, that exactly in the ages when the apostolic needs were the highest, contemplative life blossomed and spread miraculously? Should we not notice there the indication of the Holy Spirit who reminds us all, taken over by the temptation of activism and ever increasing efficiency, of the supremacy of supernatural means over human ones?

I direct my eyes skywards with hope, towards the souls completely given to contemplation and commend to their fervent love all the afflictions of pastoral life that has been entrusted to me. I realise how much they are connected to their privileged vocation, how joyous they are to accept everyday sacrifices, how perfectly they combine work, torments and hopes of their contemporaries with prayer. My wish is that living more intensively, the members of these monasteries would immerse themselves more in the spirituality of their founders, without yielding to the temptation of modern methods and various techniques whose origins have nothing in common with the only origin – the Gospel. The heritage of contemplative life and the mystical Church is extraordinarily rich and deep. However, it is necessary to be vigilant so that all monasteries were attempting to learn this heritage, develop it and pass it down.[1]

RESPONSORY

How beautiful are you, Christ’s virgin.
You deserved to receive the eternal crown of virginity from the Lord’s hands.

No one shall deprive you of the palm of victory, nor shall they cut you off from the love of Christ.
You deserved to receive the eternal crown of virginity from the Lord’s hands.

 

CONCLUDING PRAYER

 

Jesus Christ, Lord,
you told us to strive for you through humbly following your Cross,
grant that through Blessed Bronislava’s intercession after the miseries of this life we may partake in your glory.
Who lives and reigns with
you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
Amen.

[1] Translated by DChojnacki (2014).

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