The Catholic Defender: Our Eucharistic Lord Calms the Raging River
Father Antonio Reinardi gathered the faithful together ringing the bells and began a Eucharistic procession deep in prayer. Father led them in the following devotion coming from Psalms 51:
“Have mercy on me, O God, according to thy steadfast love; according to thy abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done that which is evil in thy sight, so that thou art justified in thy sentence and blameless in thy judgment. Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Fill me with joy and gladness; let the bones which thou hast broken rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence, and take not thy holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of thy salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. Then I will teach transgressors thy ways, and sinners will return to thee. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of thy deliverance. O Lord, open thou my lips, and my mouth shall show forth thy praise. For thou hast no delight in sacrifice; were I to give a burnt offering, thou wouldst not be pleased. The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. Do good to Zion in thy good pleasure; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, then wilt thou delight in right sacrifices, in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be offered on thy altar.”
The scene is Canosio Italy, a small village centered in the Diocese of Saluzzo in the Val Maira region. In 1630 the Calvinist heresy was trying to gain a foot hold among the people there. Because of the division, the people’s faith was challenged and their moral was low. Religious ignorance and persecution can do that to any nation.
The celebration of Canosio Italy had just been completed the day before when a terrible flood came to Maira as the result of a torrential rainfall. The river flowing through the town over flowed it’s banks causing serious flooding.
The flood waters washed away large stones from the base of the mountains causing massive mudslides and damage that threatened Canosio. This was the scene that Father Antonio Reinardi found his Parish in.
Speaking for the people in procession, Father Reinardi made a solemn vow to the Lord that if the Canosio were saved from the destruction of the flood, he would begin leading the people celebrating a perpetual annual feast of Corpus Christi.
Father Reinardi leading the procession with the Blessed Sacrament praying the “Miserere” (“Miserere mei, Deus, Latin for “Have mercy on me, O God”) which was composed by then Pope Urban VIII! It is taken from Psalms 51!
As the procession came closer to the raging flood waters they prayed as they moved on when Father blessed the area with the Monstrance. At that moment, all at once the rain just stopped and the flood waters receded back to their normal level. This scene so revived the local people of Canosio that even to this day since 1630, they have kept their vow celebrating and observing what the Lord did this day.
Zechariah 9:16 states, “On that day the LORD their God will save them for they are the flock of his people; for like the jewels of a crown they shall shine on his land.” Our Lady, the Mother of Jesus reminds us that prayer can divert natural disasters, that prayer can make a difference for people as it did here in Canosio Italy in 1630.
Isaiah 63:7-9 states, “I will talk about the kind things the Lord has done. I’ll praise him for everything he’s done for us. He has done many good things for the nation of Israel. That’s because he loves us and is very kind to us. In the past he said, “They are my people. They are children who will be faithful to me.” So he saved them. When they suffered, he suffered with them. He sent his angel to save them. He set them free because he is loving and kind. He lifted them up and carried them. He did it again and again in days long ago.”
Unlike the Israelite in the Old Testament who were not always faithful, may the people of God today, may Jesus's Catholic Church be faithful today in keeping our vows of Baptism and faith as these good people of Canosio.
I adore You, Lord and Creator, hidden in the Most Blessed Sacrament. I adore You for all the works of Your hands, that reveal to me so much wisdom, goodness and mercy, O Lord. You have spread so much beauty over the earth and it tells me about Your beauty, even though these beautiful things are but a faint reflection of You, incomprehensible Beauty. And although You have hidden Yourself and concealed Your beauty, my eye, enlightened by faith, reaches You and my soul recognizes its Creator, its Highest Good, and my heart is completely immersed in prayer of adoration.
My Lord and Creator, Your goodness encourages me to converse with You. Your mercy abolishes the chasm which separates the Creator from the creature. To converse with You, O Lord, is the delight of my heart. In You I find everything that my heart could desire. Here Your light illumines my mind, enabling it to know You more and more deeply. Here streams of graces flow down upon my heart. Here my soul draws eternal life. O my Lord and Creator, You alone, beyond all these gifts, give Your own self to me and unite Yourself intimately with Your miserable creature.
O Christ, let my greatest delight be to see You loved and Your praise and glory proclaimed, especially the honor of Your mercy. O Christ, let me glorify Your goodness and mercy to the last moment of my life, with every drop of my blood and every beat of my heart. Would that I be transformed into a hymn of adoration of You. When I find myself on my deathbed, may the last beat of my heart be a loving hymn glorifying Your unfathomable mercy. Amen.