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This saintly Bishop, nephew of Pope Pius IV, was only ordained priest when he became Archbishop of Milan. He was zealous in implementing the teachings of the Council of Trent, and was looked upon as a kindly pastor.

He said: ‘If we wish to make any progress in the service of God we must begin every day of our life with new eagerness. We must keep ourselves in the presence of God as much as possible and have no other view or end in all our actions but the divine honour. We must meditate before, during and after everything we do’.

An ancient English prayer reads: ‘Prevent [go before] us, O Lord, in all our doings, with thy most gracious favour, and further us with thy continual help; that in all our works begun, continued, and ended in thee, we may glorify thy holy Name, and finally by thy mercy obtain everlasting life’

May the grace of God go before us this day, that we may indeed live fully in His presence, and finally by His mercy obtain everlasting life. May He bless you abundantly.