日历

三月纪念的圣人

3月1日: 圣曹桂英(殉道)

 圣曹桂英或名贵英,圣名依搦斯,生於1821年4月28日,贵州兴义人,祖籍四川,数代信教。

 圣曹桂英十八岁时,有个农夫颜老四,求人说合,结为夫妻。 但是,丈夫虽然久已奉教,却徒有其名,因此两人并不和谐,而且夫家兄嫂态度冷淡。 两年後丈夫去世,兄嫂竟狠心把她逐出家门,桂英逆来顺受,决心为主守节,当佣工度日。

 不久,桂英邀孀妇丁金凤同住数年。 金凤虔诚敬主,又喜欢帮助别人,精通经言道理,每逢神父来,必热心告解领圣体,桂英从她处得到很多教益。

 咸丰六年(1856年)正月中旬仇教风波大作。 县衙派了一百多人,前往搜捕教友十馀人,可是只把桂英一人押到县城,县令张鸣风立命收监。 那时马神父已自动交付地方官,被判站囚笼殉道後,才提桂英审讯。 县官先说了一番好话,劝她背教。她丝毫不为所动,县官遂以恶言恫吓,桂英依然不从;官命动刑,她却宁死不背万有真主。

 审讯的经过是这样的: 「何人引你奉教?」「我家奉教已经好几代了。」「你来广西所为何事?」「听说这边有数十户人家奉天主教,特来教导他们热心恭敬天主。 无非是教他们经言要理。」「为何白天不教,专在晚上教呢?」「白天大家要上山作工,没有空。 晚上缠回来,所以在晚上教。」县官又说:「你若不背教,本县就要定你死罪。」「纵然死,也不能背主。」「那麽,你愿意受何等刑罚而死?」 「愿跟马神父一样死。」次日再审,圣曹桂英异常坚强,绝不屈服,县官判站囚笼致死。

 农历正月二十二日开始圣曹桂英站囚笼,虔心祈祷念经,直到二十五日(阳历三月一日)临死时,一直呼求天主助佑,断气前还在念: 「天主可怜我,耶稣救我!」享年三十五岁。圣曹桂英之殉道地:广西西林。

 1900年5月27日,教宗良十三世宣布她为真福。2000年10月1日蒙教宗若望保禒二世在罗马宣封为圣人。

Agnes Tsao Kou Ying was born in the Village of Wujiazhai in Guizhou Province in 1821. She came from a traditional Catholic family, originally from Sichuan. After her parents died, she went to work in the city of Xingyi where she met a Catholic woman who kindly let her live in her house. When Bishop Bai came to visit, he learned that she was without family and asked her to learn more about Christianity at the local parish. Blessed with a very bright mind, she learned quickly.

At the age of eighteen she married a local farmer, but her brother and sister-in-law treated her as an outsider, leaving her nothing to eat. Two years later, her husband died, and she was driven out of the house. She took odd jobs as a helper, just to earn a living. Then a pious Catholic widow invited Agnes to stay with her. Being a kind and generous woman, she loved to help others. She also had a good understanding of the Scriptures and the teachings of the Church. Whenever a priest visited them this widow received the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist. With such an example before her, Agnes was able to cultivate her own spirituality.

One day, when Fr. Ma (Auguste Chapdelaine) was there, he discovered how well Agnes knew the faith and asked her to move to Guangxi for some missionary work, especially for teaching catechism to 30-40 Catholic families living there. In the winter of 1852, she went to the town of Baijiazhai in Xilan County, she made it her headquarters and taught catechism from place to place. She also taught the aborigines how to cook and manage a household, and during her spare time, did babysitting.

When she was helping out in Yaoshan in 1856, she was taken into custody with many others, but they were soon released while she alone had to stay in prison. Father Ma was also kept there until his death in prison for the faith. The county magistrate used the ploy of nice words to get her to deny the faith, but she was unmoved. Then he threatened torture, but she showed no fear. Finally, on January 22, he had her locked in a cage so small that she could only stand up, but her spirit never failed. She prayed repeatedly, "God, have mercy on me; Jesus save me!" Then, on January 25, she cried in a loud voice: "God, help me!" and expired.

Pope Leo XIII proclaimed her "Blessed" on May 27th, 1900, and Pope John Paul II canonized her as a Martyr-Saint on October 1st, 2000.

3月2日:Bl. Henry Suso

(1295 to 1366) German Dominican Mystic

Henry Suso was born Heinrich von Berg in Constance, Swabia, to a noble family on March 21, about 1295. He took his name from his mother’s family, Sus or Süs. He was creative, quick, highly imaginative and restless. He was of frail health and often ill. Perhaps because of this, his parents took him at age 13 to the Dominican convent at Constance, where he would spend a large part of his life. He was professed at age 14. At age 18, he had a mystical experience that propelled him to become “the Servant of the Eternal Wisdom.” He was flooded with divine light and joy and felt transported out of the world. This experience changed his thinking and opened the way for frequent visions and ecstasies throughout his life. He initiated a practice of severe austerities. Henry excelled in his studies, and in 1324 he was sent to Cologne to the Dominican house of advanced studies. There he had the privilege of studying with the great and controversial German mystic, Johann Eckhart, or Meister Eckhart, for three years, becoming his ardent supporter. He also studied the works of SS. Thomas Aquinas, Peter Lombard and Dionysius. After his return to Constance, he was named lector and pursued his writing. In 1329, Pope John XXII (r. 1316-34) condemned Meister Eckhart. Henry defended him, earning censure from his superiors and suffering the loss of his teaching job. In 1334 Henry began his apostolic career, earning an outstanding reputation for his preaching throughout Europe. In particular he worked with the Friends of God, whom he called the Brotherhood of Eternal Wisdom, helping to restore religious practices. He especially influenced Dominican convents of women, including the famous Katherinenthal, a home to mystics in the 13th and 14th centuries, and Toss, where Elsbeth Stagel preserved some of his writings and most of his letters. Throughout his life, Henry suffered the persecutions and ill will of others, despite his brilliance as a preacher. A woman accused him of fathering her child, and the gossip destroyed his reputation for a time. Henry was crushed by this defamation. At the height of the scandal, another woman came to him in secret and offered to destroy the child. She argued that unless the child was eliminated, he would be forced to accept it. Henry, of course, could do no such thing. He accepted the child as his and gave it to the care of the woman. This damaged his reputation even further. Friends deserted him and he was nearly expelled from the religious life. Henry was devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary and venerated the holy name of Jesus. He took a stiletto and carved the name into his chest above his heart, so that the name moved with every beat of his heart. He never revealed the carving to anyone, but once while in ecstasy, a brilliant radiance streamed from his heart. Henry died on January 25, 1366, in Ulm. Henry began writing while he was a student in Cologne. His early works, heavily influenced by Eckhart, were The Little Book of Truth and The Little Book of Eternal Wisdom. The latter is considered a classic, and was the most widely read meditation book in German until Thomas à Kempis produced Imitation of Christ. Kempis was influenced by Suso. Henry also wrote his autobiography, The Life of the Servant, which discusses his inner life. Extant are 28 letters and five sermons.

Eucharist quotes (3/2 Bl. Henry Suso)

“Nowhere does Jesus hear our prayers more readily than in the Blessed Sacrament.”

3月3日:圣女加大 利纳.德 雷克塞尔(贞女) St. Katharine Drexel

(1858-1955) American born Saint, foundress of Sisters of The Blessed Sacrament

 一八五八年十一月二十六日,真福加大利纳•德雷克塞尔在美国宾夕法尼亚州费城出生。她是天主教友富商安东尼的女儿,父亲为人良善慷 慨,母亲汉娜• 雅内•兰斯特罗思是新教信徒,在加大利纳出生後去世,父母的慷慨和慈善精神以及丰厚的家庭经济来源使加大利纳把全部精力放在了当时深受美国社 会排斥的北美 印第安人和美国黑人身上。

 尽管一八六五年颁发了奴隶自由和解放法令,但是世界民族的这一部分人民仍是种族歧视的物件。北美印第安人和美国黑人两大部落徘徊在贫 穷落後之中。 一次,加大利纳在前往美国西部途中看到了美国人生活的恶劣处境後,开始利用自己的资金,为解救他们和开发基督信仰教育而努力,并积极支持传教 事业的开展, 美国主教团委员会负责人和西雅图教区主教汤玛斯•墨菲蒙席指出,加大利纳是一位元运用基督信仰方式管理财务的典范。

 一八八三年领洗後,加大利纳很快就已经表现出对献身生活的渴望。一八九一年,为了实现创办一个专务朝拜圣体的修会,并在痛苦的美国黑 人及印第安人 中传播福音的理想,她进入了仁慈修女会的初学院。由她创立的为印第安人和痛苦者服务的圣体修女会於一九三一年得到教会的正式批准。在以後的四 十年里,修会 在印第安人和痛苦者中间开展了大量的工作。

 加大利纳一生中在美国西南部地区共创建了一座传教中心和六十所美国黑人及印第安人学校。赛维尔大学是加大利纳的毕生杰作之一,这是一 所坐落在路易 斯安那州新奥尔良市的美国黑人大学,最近两年中,从这所大学毕业的美国黑人学生比其它任何大学都要多,赛维尔大学现任校长诺尔曼•弗朗西表 示:「加大利纳 为印第安人和美国黑人的需求贡献了自己。这远远超过了金钱的价值。」

 一九三五年,加大利纳已经是七十多岁的病人,她离开了修会长上的工作,专心致力於祈祷生活。一九五五年三月三日,九十六岁高龄的加大 利纳修女安息主怀。目前,她的追随者共有二百六十一名,分布在三十六个团体中。

 一九八八年十一月二十日,加大利纳•德雷克塞尔被教宗若望•保禄二世封为真福品。二OOO年三月五日,教宗确认了使加大利纳成为教会 圣人的圣迹,一名在一九九二年出生失去听觉的儿童康复了,她於一九九四年借助真福加大利纳的转祷重获听觉。

March 3: Saint Katharine Drexel, Virgin and Foundress, L'Osservatore Romano

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. on 26 November 1858, Katharine was the second daughter of Francis Anthony Drexel, a wealthy banker, and his wife, Hannah Jane. The latter died a month after Katharine's birth, and two years later her father married Emma Bouvier, who was a devoted mother, not only to her own daughter Louisa (born 1862), but also to her two step-daughters. Both parents instilled into the children by word and example that their wealth was simply loaned to them and was to be shared with others.

Katharine was educated privately at home; she travelled widely in the United States and in Europe. Early in life she became aware of the plight of the Native Americans and the Blacks; when she inherited a vast fortune from her father and step-mother, she resolved to devote her wealth to helping these disadvantaged people. In 1885 she established a school for Native Americans at Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Later, during an audience with Pope Leo XIII, she asked him to recommend a religious congregation to staff the institutions which she was financing. The Pope suggested that she herself become a missionary, so in 1889 she began her training in religious life with the Sisters of Mercy at Pittsburgh.

In 1891, with a few companions, Mother Katharine founded the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament for Indians and Colored People. The title of the community summed up the two great driving forces in her life—devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and love for the most deprived people in her country.

Requests for help reached Mother Katharine from various parts of the United States. During her lifetime, approximately 60 schools were opened by her congregation. The most famous foundation was made in 1915; it was Xavier University, New Orleans, the first such institution for Black people in the United States.

In 1935 Mother Katharine suffered a heart attack, and in 1937 she relinquished the office of superior general. Though gradually becoming more infirm, she was able to devote her last years to Eucharistic adoration, and so fulfil her life’s desire. She died at the age of 96 at Cornwell Heights, Pennsylvania, on 3 March 1955. Her cause for beatification was introduced in 1966; she was declared Venerable by Pope John Paul II on 26 January 1987, by whom she was also beatified on 20 November 1988.

Eucharist quotes (3/3 St. Katherine Drexel)

“My sweetest Joy is to be in the presence of Jesus in the holy Sacrament. I beg that when obliged to withdraw in body, I may leave my heart before the holy Sacrament. How I would miss Our Lord if He were to be away from me by His presence in the Blessed Sacrament.”

“I adore You, my Eucharistic God. You are there exposed in the ostensorium [monstrance]. The rays are the rays of Your love for me, for each individual soul. If it wasn’t for Your love, I would be in hell. I return You thanksgiving through Mary, through St. Joseph, through all the Apostles, Martyrs, Virgins and Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament in heaven. And lastly, I thank You through the sacred host on all the altars throughout the world.”

3月3日:Ven. Concepcion Cabrera de Armida

(1862 to 1937) Mystic and religious writer

“O Jesus of the Eucharist! O consecrated Host! O envied Monstrance! O blessed Ciborium, beloved of my heart! The Tabernacle is my Treasure, and, far or near, my eyes never lose sight of it, for it contains the God of Love.”

Jesus speaking to Venerable Concepcion - “I want souls who are dedicated with fervor, with determination and without looking for rest, to plead day and night (before the Blessed Sacrament) for my priests.”

She was born to Octaviano Cabrera Lacaveux and Clara Arias Rivera who had a respectable, but not lavish family life. She had a simple, happy and at times playful childhood. Although she recalled to have often disobeyed her parents as a child, she showed a special love for the Holy Eucharist from an early age.

In 1884 she married Francisco Armida and had nine children between 1885 and 1899. In 1901, when she was 39 years old, her husband died and she had to care for her children, the youngest of whom was two years old. Her life as a widow was not made any easier by the fact that the Mexican Civil War raged from 1910 to 1921 and took the lives of 900,000 of Mexico's population of 15 million. Yet her writings reflect an amazing tranquility, amid the chaos that surrounded her.

As a mystic, she reported that she heard God telling her: “Ask me for a long suffering life and to write a lot... That's your mission on earth”. She never claimed direct visions of Jesus and Mary but spoke of Jesus through her prayers and meditations.

Her spiritual life started before the death of her husband. In 1894 she took “spiritual nuptials” and in 1896 wrote in her diary: “In truth, after I touched God and had an imperfect notion of His Being, I wanted to prostrate myself, my forehead and my heart, in the dust and never get up again.” During her life her writings were examined by the Catholic Church in Mexico and even during her pilgrimage to Rome in 1913 where she had an audience with Pope Pius X. In all cases, Church authorities looked favorably on her writings.

Her writings were widely distributed and inspired the establishment of the five apostolates of the 'Works of the Cross' in Mexico: 'Apostolate of the Cross' founded in 1895, 'Congregation of Sisters of the Cross of the Sacred Heart of Jesus' founded in 1897, 'Covenant of Love with the Heart of Jesus' founded in 1909, 'The Priestly Fraternity' founded in 1912, and 'The Congregation of Missionaries of the Holy Spirit' founded in 1914. These apostolates continue today.

Conchita died on March 3, 1937, at the age of 75 and is buried at the Church of San José del Altillo in Mexico City. She had lived a multi-faceted life, being a mother, a widow, a mystic and a writer. Of herself she wrote:

“I carry within me three lives, all very strong: family life with its multiple sorrows of a thousand kinds, that is, the life of a mother; the life of the Works of the Cross with all its sorrows and weight, which at times crushes me until I have no strength left; and the life of the spirit or interior life, which is the heaviest of all, with its highs and lows, its tempests and struggles, its light and darkness. Blessed be God for everything!”

Her children report that they hardly ever saw her writing, but her religious writings and meditations total over 60,000 handwritten pages. The length of her religious writings thus approaches that of Saint Thomas Aquinas.

As a lay woman, she often aimed to show her readers how to love the Church. She wrote: “To love the Church is not to criticize her, not to destroy her, not to try to change her essential structures, not to reduce her to humanism, horizontalism and to the simple service of a human liberation. To love the Church is to cooperate with the work of Redemption by the Cross and in this way obtain the grace of the Holy Spirit come to renew the face of this poor earth, conducting it to its consummation in the design of the Father's immense love.”

Her book I Am: Eucharistic Meditations on the Gospel, was the results of meditations during Eucharistic adoration. It aims to clarify the words with which Jesus defines Who He is in a variety of statements beginning with the words: “I am”.

In Seasons of the Soul she viewed the maturation of spiritual life as an ongoing process through the various seasons until the soul has fulfilled its purpose on earth. It discusses how the Holy Spirit is at work gradually transforming the soul through its seasons in the image and likeness of Jesus.

The book A Mother's Letters reflects the fact that she was not a cloistered mystic but a busy mother with nine children and a widow during a turbulent time in Mexico's political history. The letters provide a glimpse of her warm, human side as she communicates with her family.

Her other books include: To My Priests, Holy Hours, Before the Altar, You Belong to the Church and Irresistibly Drawn to the Eucharist.

Her canonization process was started in 1959 by the Archbishop of Mexico City, at which time about 200 volumes of her writings were submitted to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. Pope John Paul II declared her venerable on December 20, 1999.

3月4日:圣加西弥 禄(殉 道) St. Casimir

 圣人生於一四五八年,是波兰太子,勤修诸德,尤以贞洁丶善待贫苦为着,又信心坚强,热爱圣体与圣母。一四八四年死於肺结核。

3月7日:圣伯尔都 亚及圣斐 尼丝(殉道)(纪念) Ss. Perpetua & Felicity

 圣斐尼丝是圣伯尔都亚的女仆。两人均是慕道者。於公元203年赛外黎王教难时,在非洲迦太基,连同其他三位慕道者一起殉 道。

 被捕时,圣斐尼丝是一位快要临盆的孕妇;圣伯尔都亚则刚诞下孩子。两人虽经家人劝阻,仍坚贞不屈,遂在圣斐尼丝生下孩子後,双双被投 入兽笼内受刑,後以斩决殉道。

 两位圣妇与圣西彼廉主教,同为迦太基的着名殉道者,且於罗马感恩经中同受纪念。

3月8日:圣若望由 天主者 (会士)St. John of God

(1495-1550) Founder of Brothers Hospitallers of St. John God

 圣人於一四九五年出生於葡萄牙,及长从军。後在西班牙加诺大建立医院,召集同志,一心为病人服务,继而创立专为病人服务的医疗兄弟 会。圣人一生特别关注贫病,於一五五○年安逝於加诺大。

主保:书商丶印刷业者丶心脏病患丶医院丶看护丶病人丶消防队员

 圣人从八岁到死去的那天为止,都跟随着内心的每个冲动而行;为他而言,最大的挑战是如何随着圣神的引导而行,而非跟着自己的偏情私欲 随波逐流。圣人不像其他按冲动行事的人那样,一旦他做了决定,就会坚持到底,无论它有多大的困难。

 八岁那年,圣人从一位司铎的口中听到:一个发现新世界的探险已经展开了。当晚,他随即离家与那位司铎远行,之後,就再也没见过他的父 母了。他们从 这一村庄一路乞讨到另一村庄,直到小若望病倒了为止。圣人当时受到一位富有的农场负责人所照顾,痊愈後便被其所收养。以後,圣人为这位恩人在 山上看管羊 群,直到他27岁为止。主人愿将其女许配给若望,但圣人对她却仅有兄妹之情,因此倍感压力。为了躲避这场婚姻,他便悄悄地加入了与法国交战的 西班牙军队。 然而,在军中他非但不是同僚的圣善榜样,反而参与了他们最爱的赌博丶醉酒与掠夺等活动。一日,圣人在法国前线从一只偷来的马上跌下,因为害怕 被俘或被杀, 於是,便在很快地回顾自己的一生後,发了痛悔。

 获救後,圣人持守了许诺,妥善地办了一次告解,并立即改变了他原有的生活。军中的夥伴对圣人的改变都大肆嗤笑,且对圣人的冲动天性大 做文章。最 後,圣人被赶出军营。他只好回到先前所寄养的家庭里,作着牧羊人的工作,直到他听到另一场回教徒入侵欧洲的战争兴起为止。圣人再次因参战而离 开寄养家庭, 但战争结束後,他决定回去寻找他的真正父母。但悲伤的是,他的双亲都在他离家的期间先後过世了。

 圣人38岁时,曾决定前往非洲营救被俘的基督徒。但却因缘际会地遇到了一个悲惨的家庭,他们原是贵族,却因政治阴谋而被流放非洲,圣 人得知後便自 愿做他们的仆人。到非洲後,这一家人全病倒了,圣人便自己外出赚钱丶养活并照顾他们一家人。当时,工人们常被自称为天主教徒的工头所虐待,圣 人因此大感不 解,差一点动摇了自己的信仰。一位司铎劝告他别为这些人无理的行径而怪罪教会,并劝告他回到西班牙去。

 回到西班牙後,圣人白天在码头工作,晚上则拜访圣堂并阅读圣书。阅读圣书为他带来很大的喜乐,因此他认为该把这项喜乐分享给他人。於 是他又很快地 辞去码头的工作,成为一个在各城镇间贩售信仰书籍与印有圣像书卡的书商。41岁那年,他前往格拉纳达(Granada),经营一间小书店(为 此,他成为书 商与印刷业者的主保)。

 一日,在听完若望·亚味拉(Bl. John of Avila)关於悔改的道理後,圣人匆促地回到自己的小书店中,将所有世俗的刊物全部撕毁,并把全部的信仰书籍与金钱分送给邻人,全城的人都 以为他疯了。 之後,他撕裂衣服并为己罪哀哭,这使圣人成了他人羞辱丶玩笑的目标。

 圣人的朋友将他送往皇家医院去接受治疗,在该处他被视同精神病患般地捆绑与鞭打。不久,若望·亚味拉前来探视圣人,并告诉他四十日的 补赎为他已够,因为主在旷野中也不过承受了四十日的试炼。随後,圣人便转往医院的他处接受治疗了。

 现在,圣人已获行动的自由,他虽还是个病人,却立即起身照顾身旁其馀的病患。院方很高兴有这样一位不需付费的看护者,但却对圣人宣称 将开始兴建一座属於穷人的医院而感到不悦。

 圣人为了让计画付诸实现,便决定以贩售薪柴来筹措资金,但杯水车薪如何能有助益?况且,他白天所赚的钱,晚上都拿去救济住在街上的穷 人们了。因此,他的第一座医院可以说就是格拉纳达的街头。

 一日,他租下一栋标示着:「为给穷人落脚」的屋子,好能在屋内照顾那些贫穷的病患。但是,他租了屋後就没钱添购其他设施了。於是,他 在向人乞讨病 床後,便走到街市上,以背负过大石丶木柴与书籍的肩膀,将患病的穷人一一背回。他在夜里一边祈祷,一边为他们清理丶包扎伤口,并修补他们的衣 物。他以过去 作为一位小贩的经验在街道上乞求施舍,并以叫卖的嗓子呼喊道:「弟兄们!为了爱天主并自己的益处,做一些善事吧!」

 圣人的作风常遭到他人的批评,因为凡有需要的人,他从不过问原因,全以他的直觉之爱加以拥抱。一次,他设置了一个游民收容所,但外界 却藉此指责他 纵容滋生事端者。圣人对此的回应总是:「据我所知,院内唯一的麻烦人物就是我自己了。」确实,圣人急於回应他人需要的爱心,常为他带来不必要 的麻烦。一 日,他在街上遇见一群饥民,便立即进入一间民宅,偷取一锅的食物交给他们,为此爱德,他几乎当场被捕!另一次,他在街上遇到一群衣衫褴褛的孩 童,他便带他 们前往布店,为他们每一位制作新衣。当然,他只能以自己的名字赊帐。

 但是,他那不假思索的天性,也让他在一次紧急事故中救了多人的性命。那时,皇家医院失了火,圣人拿起救火器具便急奔该处,但他却发现 群众都只是站 着观望,而让火势逐渐吞灭着医院与里面的病人。当下,圣人什麽也不想,一头就冲进燃烧的屋内,将病人一一救出。当所有病人都得救後,他才开始 从窗口丢出院 内的毛毯丶床单与被褥等物资。看来,圣人行事并非只是一味冲动,而是非常懂得轻重缓急的!就在最危急的关头,圣人爬至屋顶,以斧头分开着火的 部份,使医院 的其他区域能幸免於难。他成功了,但却从着了火的屋顶上跌落,众人都以为他们的救火英雄将就此丧生。然而,圣人却奇迹地从烟雾中走了出来(为 此,圣人也是 消防人员的主保)。

 当圣人获悉珍贵的浮木随同泛滥的洪水被带至他们的城镇时,他正患着重病。然而,他却起身前往汹涌的河边捡拾浮木。当时有个小男孩不慎 跌入河中,圣 人为抢救他,不顾自己有病在身,毅然地跳入河中抢救孩童。不过,这次圣人未能救得这小男孩的性命,反而因此患了严重的肺炎。最後,圣人於3月 8日过世,享 年55岁;这直觉之爱可说是引导了圣人的一生。

 圣人的同伴们在他过世十年後创立了「Brothers Hospitallers」修会,并以圣人为其的会祖。

Eucharist quotes (3/8 St. John of God)

“Love our Lord Jesus Christ in the Eucharist above all things in the world.”

3月9日:圣方济 加.露雯 St. Frances of Rome

(1384-1440)

 圣方济加的一生,很巧妙地将在俗与修道这二种生活型态结合了起来。她是一位既虔敬而又可爱的妻子,渴望过着一种祈祷与服务并重的生 活。 因此,她为服务困境中的穷人,在罗马组织了一个妇女的团体。

 1384年,圣女诞生在一个富有的义大利家庭里,11岁时非常向往修道的生活,渴望成为一位修女,并肯定天主就是要如此召唤她。但她 修道的渴望却遭到父亲严厉的反对,并在其12岁时,将其许配给一位贵族青年Lorenzo Ponziano。

 婚後,圣女发现,丈夫兄弟的妻子如他一样渴望过着祈祷与服务的生活。因此,圣女与兄嫂(Vannozza)二人便在丈夫们的祝福下, 一起为城里的穷人们服务。

 期间,圣女一度陷入重病,但她为穷人的工作却没有因此中断,反而加深她与这些受苦之人一同受苦的决心。几年後,圣女生了二个男孩和一 个女孩。这位 年轻的母亲便开始将注意力转向家庭,因为她意识到自己对家庭应有的责任,她说:「一位已婚的妇女该将天主留在祭台上,好能在她所操劳的家务中 寻找到祂。」 因此,全家都在圣女的照顾中得到滋养。但是,内战加上瘟疫却在此时横扫义大利,整个罗马都陷在战火与疫情的摧残阴影之下,圣女便在此时痛失了 当时才年仅九 岁的小儿子Evangelista。在战乱的断桓残壁与疫情摧残的哀号声中,圣女为照顾有需要之人,便在自己家中开设一处收容所,好收纳无家 可归的难民 们。

 一年後,圣女在一次神视中被告知她的女儿Agnes也将过世,为了安慰她,天主差遣一位总领天使来引导她,并护守圣女的馀生。圣女能 很清楚地看见 这位天使,而他也总是一路陪伴并给予圣女灵性上的指引。当圣女力行严厉的补赎以致伤身时,这位天使便告诉圣女说:「妳如今该明了,天主为了妳 的灵魂而造了 肉体,是为要使它成为妳灵魂的仆役。这并不是说灵魂就可以恣意毁坏肉体,并在抽离肉体的情形下回归天主。」

 为了能帮助城内受苦的病患,芳佳变卖了所有的财产,并以自己的金钱购置任何病患可能需要用到的物资。她自己常仅是以几片乾面包裹腹, 甚至常以较好的食物与穷人的碎屑交换自己食用。最後,当所有资源都耗尽时,芳佳与兄嫂便挨家挨户地为穷人的生活所需乞讨。

 圣女越来越肯定:这样的生活方式为此世是有必要的。於是,她便计画申请成立一个没有三愿束缚的妇女团体。很快地,她的请求就获得了教 会官方的允 准。此团体(Community of Benedictine Oblate of Mary)的宗旨仅是单纯地奉献她们自己,并致力於服务穷人。团体成立後,圣女因有照顾病弱的丈夫之责(义大利内战时,圣女的丈夫因贵族的身 份曾被充军, 归回後身形枯槁,极为虚弱),因此并未住在团体内,而是在家中照顾着丈夫,直至他过世为止。她丈夫死前留给圣女最後的话是:「我觉得,我的一 生就好似一场 美丽的梦一样,那是一种最为纯净的幸福;因为天主在妳的爱中赏给了我好多丶好多!」丈夫过世後,圣女便迁往会院居住,且被选为院长。52岁 时,也就是圣女 渴望成为一位修女的四十年後,她的梦想终於实现了;因此,她渴望作为一位修女的初衷仍是正确的,只是时间点不对而已。因为在这二种圣召之间, 天主对她有不 同的计画。

 四年後,圣女也过世了,她最後的话语是:「我的天使已经完成使命了,他正召唤我随他而去呢!」

3月9日:St. Gregory of Nyssa

(~330-395) Early Church Father and Doctor of the Church

Source: http://www.crossroadsinitiative.com/library_author/52/St._Gregory_of_Nyssa.htm

Gregory of Nyssa was the younger brother of St. Basil the Great and St. Macrina. Born around 330 AD, Gregory married and spent several years of his life in secular employment before he entered the monastery founded by his elder brother. He was consecrated Bishop of Nyssa in 371 and fought tirelessly for the Trinitarian faith of Nicaea that was reaffirmed by the great Creed of the Council of Constantinople, which he attended. In the last few years of his life, he traveled a great deal since he was in great demand as a preacher, teacher, and spiritual writer.

St. Gregory of Nyssa was a theologian of great depth and originality. He wrote famous treatises against Trinitarian heretics Eunomius and Apollinarius and instructed new Christians about the Trinity, Incarnation, Redemption and Sacraments in his Catechetical Orations. But his theological reflections far surpassed controversy and catechesis--indeed, St. Gregory provides us with the first systematic presentation of Christian doctrine since Origen over 150 years earlier.

Gregory wrote many reflections and commentaries on Scripture, most notably his Life of Moses and homilies on the Lord's Prayer, the Song of Songs, and the Beatitudes. His most important contribution was in the area of spirituality. While his brother gave eastern monasticism its structure and organization, Gregory provided its heart and mystical vision. For this reason he came to be known as “Father of Mysticism.”

St. Gregory of Nyssa died around the year 395 AD and is revered as one of the greatest of the Eastern Church Fathers. He, his brother Basil and their friend St. Gregory of Nazianzen, are known as the Cappadocian Fathers, from the region in modern Turkey from which they came.

Eucharist quotes (3/9 St. Gregory Nyssa)

“He offered Himself for us, Victim and Sacrifice, and Priest as well, and 'Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.' When did He do this? When He made His own Body food and His own Blood drink for His disciples; for this much is clear enough to anyone, that a sheep cannot be eaten by a man unless its being eaten be preceded by its being slaughtered. This giving of His own Body to His disciples for eating clearly indicates that the sacrifice of the Lamb has now been completed.” (Orations and Sermons, Jaeger: Vol 9, p. 287, ca. 383 A.D.)

“Rightly then, do we believe that the bread consecrated by the word of God has been made over into the Body of the God the Word. For that Body was, as to its potency bread; but it has been consecrated by the lodging there of the Word, who pitched His tent in the flesh.”(The Great Catechism 37: 9-13)”

“The bread is at first common bread; but when the mystery sanctifies it, it is called and actually becomes the Body of Christ.” (Orations and Sermons, Jaeger Vol 9, pp. 225-226 ca. 383 A.D.)

3月12日:圣张大 鹏(殉 道)

 圣张大鹏,字程万,乾隆十九年(1754)生於贵州都匀,自幼聪明正直,受人尊重,曾信奉清水教,後又信道教。四十岁迁居贵阳,和一 姓王的合夥经 营丝业;王之长子由京城带回天主教信仰,力劝张大鹏入教,但因当时他有一偏房妻子,未能信教;嘉庆三年罗神父到隆平场传教,他便跟他学道理, 并认识了吴国 盛。

 嘉庆五年,张大鹏在遵义隆平场领了洗,圣名若瑟。家中亲友十分反对,逼他背教,他不但不背弃信仰,反而非常热心,抓住机会便劝人信 主,也不时到孤老院慰问贫苦老人,馈赠财物,送终安葬。

 因白莲教作乱,他多次出走逃难,最後於嘉庆二十年二月初二(1815年3月12日)被提交刑场,在路途中,两个弟弟及侄儿都哀求他背 教,也曾用财 富来诱惑他,以保留性命;但他勇敢地否决了。临到法场,他还问差役用何种刑,他回答说用绞刑,他叹说:『天主怜悯我,真是仁慈至极,我更愿受 斩刑;但是, 随天主安排吧。』家属还想最後哀求他,但他回答说:『不要哭,我死是为天主,又不曾犯法;我一死,就升天享福了』。 贵阳的教友非常景仰他,许多人到坟上采草当药服,据方主教作证,此草治病出乎意料的有效。

 宣统元年三月十三日(1909年5月2日),教宗比约十世宣报张大鹏为真福。教宗若望保禄二世於二○○○年十月一日宣布他为圣人。

3月17日:圣博德 (主教) St. Patrick

 圣人於三八五年左右,出生於苏格兰。幼年时曾被俘至爱尔兰,为人牧羊。获自由後,成为圣职人员,後被立为爱尔兰区主教,竭力宣传福 音,奠定爱尔兰教会的信仰基础。四六一年逝世。

3月18日:耶路撒冷的圣济利禄(主教,圣师) St. Cyril of Jerusalem

(315-386)

 教会今日所面对的问题,相较於圣人的时代因亚略异端所造成的冲击,算是轻微许多了。该异端的主张否认基督的天主性,带给教会不小的伤 害与分裂。圣人曾多次被亚略异端诬告,以致被流放数次,备尝艰辛。最後,他获得平反,且在1822年时,被册封为教会的圣师。

 圣人自小生长在耶路撒冷,受过极好的教育,特别是在圣经方面。年纪稍长时,由耶路撒冷的主教(St. Maximus)祝圣为司铎,主要的职责是为预备领洗的慕道者讲授要理。他所撰写的教材,为教会在第四世纪中叶的神学与礼仪研究有着极大的价 值。

 当圣人被该省的其他主教祝圣为耶路撒冷主教的继任者时,其中一位具有亚略背景的凯撒勒雅主教Acacius亦在祝圣的行列之中。为 此,圣人被夹在 二派的争论之间:正统教义派质疑该祝圣礼仪的有效性,而亚略异端则以为他们又多了一位盟友,且期待圣人能跟随他们并与其合作。但结果并未如 Acacius 所期待的那样,因为圣人选择了「中间路线」。

 当饥荒在耶路撒冷盛行时,穷人们前来寻求已是主教身分的济利禄。面对蜂拥而来寻求救济的人们,圣人感到心中不忍,於是变卖了教会里的 一些物资来救济他们。圣人此举,亦可在同是主教的圣安博(St. Ambros)与圣奥斯定(St. Augustine)的身上看到,他们因此救了许多的生灵。然而,对圣人不利的谣言却在此刻尘嚣直上。

 後来,耶路撒冷与凯撒勒雅这二个教区的主教间起了激烈的冲突,起因不是信理的问题,而是在辖区的归属上。理论上,巴勒斯坦境内的所有 主教都归属於 凯撒勒雅主教的权下,但圣人却认为耶路撒冷应不被包括在内,因为耶京是宗徒之座(Apostolic See),是由宗徒亲自建立的圣座之一。因此,当Acacius传唤圣人出庭备询时,济利禄拒绝出席。Acacius在震怒下,便在大会中控 告圣人不服从 教会训导与贩卖教会资产图利自己的罪名。圣人最後被逐出耶路撒冷城,但稍後即在缓和派的亚略者(Semi-Arians)的协助下获得平反 (或至少说,这 个平反与他们有所关联)。他主教任期中的一半岁月都是在流放中度过的,因为前一次的流放事件,後来又再重演了一次,第二次流放的十一年後,圣 人才又回到耶 路撒冷。

 当圣人最後回到耶路撒冷城时,他只发现整城都已被异端丶争论与冲突所分裂,且处处充满着罪恶,即便圣额我略·尼沙(St. Gregory of Nyssa)遣人前往协助,也都只是无功而返而已。

 後来,这二位圣人皆参与了在君士坦丁堡举行的第二届大公会议,在该处通过并公布了尼西亚信经的修订版本。最後,圣人接受了 「consubstantial」的用字,亦即承认基督与天主父乃是同性同体(完全背离亚略否认基督天主性的主张)。有人认为,圣人此举乃是 认错的表示 (因为他曾在半亚略主张者的协助下获得平反,致使有人将其贴上亚略者的标签),但大公会议的主教们却赞扬圣人才是正统教义对抗亚略异端的拥护 者。尽管当时 最伟大的正统教义护卫者-圣亚大纳削(St. Athanasius)对圣人不甚友善,但他还是称圣人为:「与我们有相同主张的弟兄,只是在『consubstantial』的用字上有所 不同而已。」

 主後386年,圣人於耶路撒冷过世,享年约七十岁。过世之前,他享有了八年的平静生活。

 

 事实上,迄今为止,你们仍然留在门外。但愿你们不久後都能说:「君王已把我领进祂的宫室。我要喜乐於上主,祂给我穿上了救恩的衣服, 和喜乐的长衣;使我有如头戴花冠的新郎,有如佩戴珍珠的新娘。」

 愿你们众人的灵魂都纯洁无瑕;我不是说你们在蒙受恩宠之前应该如此-这是不可能的,因为你们是为得罪赦而蒙召的。可是,你们的良心在 领受圣宠之後,应该是无可指责的,好能与圣宠合作。

 弟兄们,这的确是件大事!你们应特别加以注意。你们每个人在无数天使面前,都要侍立在天主台前,圣神要在你们的灵魂上盖上印记,你们 将被录取,并在伟大君王的军队中服务。

 所以,你们应该准备好,整齐打扮;你们要穿上的不是灿烂洁白的衣服,而是你们灵魂的虔诚,和无可指责的良心。

March 18: St. Cyril of Jerusalem (315?-386)

The crises that the Church faces today may seem minor when compared with the threat posed by the Arian heresy, which denied the divinity of Christ and almost overcame Christinity in the fourth century. Cyril was to be caught up in the controversy, accused (later) of Arianism by St. Jerome, and ultimately vindicated both by the men of his own time and by being declared a Doctor of the Church in 1822. Raised in Jerusalem, well-educated, especially in the Scriptures, he was ordained a priest by the bishop of Jerusalem and given the task of catechizing during Lent those preparing for Baptism and during the Easter season the newly baptized. His Catecheses remain valuable as examples of the ritual and theology of the Church in the mid-fourth century.

There are conflicting reports about the circumstances of his becoming bishop of Jerusalem. It is certain that he was validly consecrated by bishops of the province. Since one of them was an Arian, Acacius, it may have been expected that his “cooperation” would follow. Conflict soon rose between Cyril and Acacius, bishop of the rival nearby see of Caesarea. Cyril was summoned to a council, accused of insubordination and of selling Church property to relieve the poor. Probably, however, a theological difference was also involved. He was condemned, driven from Jerusalem, and later vindicated, not without some association and help of Semi-Arians. Half his episcopate was spent in exile (his first experience was repeated twice). He finally returned to find Jerusalem torn with heresy, schism and strife, and wracked with crime. Even St. Gregory of Nyssa, sent to help, left in despair.

They both went to the (second ecumenical) Council of Constantinople, where the amended form of the Nicene Creed was promulgated. Cyril accepted the word consubstantial (that is, of Christ and the Father). Some said it was an act of repentance, but the bishops of the Council praised him as a champion of orthodoxy against the Arians. Though not friendly with the greatest defender of orthodoxy against the Arians, Cyril may be counted among those whom Athanasius called “brothers, who mean what we mean, and differ only about the word [consubstantial].”

Comment:

Those who imagine that the lives of saints are simple and placid, untouched by the vulgar breath of controversy, are rudely shocked by history. Yet it should be no surprise that saints, indeed all Christians, will experience the same difficulties as their Master. The definition of truth is an endless, complex pursuit, and good men and women have suffered the pain of both controversy and error. Intellectual, emotional and political roadblocks may slow up people like Cyril for a time. But their lives taken as a whole are monuments to honesty and courage.

Quote:

“It is not only among us, who are marked with the name of Christ, that the dignity of faith is great; all the business of the world, even of those outside the Church, is accomplished by faith. By faith, marriage laws join in union persons who were strangers to one another. By faith, agriculture is sustained; for a man does not endure the toil involved unless he believes he will reap a harvest. By faith, seafaring men, entrusting themselves to a tiny wooden craft, exchange the solid element of the land for the unstable motion of the waves. Not only among us does this hold true but also, as I have said, among those outside the fold. For though they do not accept the Scriptures but advance certain doctrines of their own, yet even these they receive on faith” (Catechesis V).

Eucharist quotes (3/18 St. Cyril of Jerusalem)

"Once by his own will, he changed water into wine at Cana of Galilee; is he not worthy of belief when he changes wine into His Blood?..."

"`I have received of the Lord that which I also delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus, the same night in which He was betrayed, took bread, etc. [1 Cor. 11:23]’. This teaching of the Blessed Paul is alone sufficient to give you a full assurance concerning those Divine Mysteries, which when ye are vouchsafed, ye are of (the same body) [Eph 3:6] and blood with Christ. For he has just distinctly said, (That our Lord Jesus Christ the same night in which He was betrayed, took bread, and when He had given thanks He broke it, and said, Take, eat, this is My Body: and having taken the cup and given thanks, He said, Take, drink, this is My Blood.) [1 Cor. 2:23-25] Since then He Himself has declared and said of the Bread, (This is My Body), who shall dare to doubt any longer? And since He has affirmed and said, (This is My Blood), who shall ever hesitate, saying, that it is not His blood?" (Catechetical Lectures 22, Mystagogic 4, 1)

“Do not, therefore, regard the Bread and the Wine as simply that; for they are, according to the Master’s declaration, the Body and Blood of Christ. Even the senses suggest to you the other, let faith make you firm..... Having learned these things, and being fully convinced that the apparent Bread is not bread, even though it is sensible to the taste, but the Body of Christ; and that the apparent Wine is not wine, even though the taste would have it so,....”

"Therefore with fullest assurance let us partake as of the Body and Blood of Christ: for in the figure of Bread is given to you His Body, and in the figure of Wine His Blood; that by partaking of the body and blood of Christ you become one body and one blood with him. In such a way you become bearers of Christ, his body and blood spread through your limbs. In this way you become, in the words of St. Peter, 'partakers of the divine nature' (2 Peter 1:4)." (Catechetical Lectures 22, Mystagogic 4, 3)

“These things having learnt, and being fully persuaded that what seems bread is not bread, though bread by taste, but the Body of Christ; and that what seems wine is not wine, though the taste will have it so, but the Blood of Christ; and that of this David sung of old, saying, (And bread which strengths man’s heart, and oil to make his face to shine) [Ps. 104:15], `strengthen your heart’, partaking thereof as spiritual, and `make the face of thy soul to shine’. And so having it unveiled by a pure conscience, may uou behold as in a glass the glory of the Lord, and proceed from glory to glory [2 Cor. 3:18], in Christ Jesus our Lord:--To whom be honor, and might, and glory, forever and ever. Amen.” (Mystagogic Catechesis 4,1, c. 350 A.D.)

“Then upon the completion of the spiritual Sacrifice, the bloodless worship, over the propitiatory victim we call upon God for the common peace of the Churches, for the welfare of the world, for kings, for soldiers and allies, for the sick, for the afflicted; and in summary, we all pray and offer this Sacrifice for all who are in need.” (Mystagogic Catechesis 23: 5-7)

“Then we make mention also of those who have already fallen asleep: first, the patriarchs, prophets, Apostles, and martyrs, that through their prayers and supplications God would receive our petition; next, we make mention also of the holy fathers and bishops who have already fallen asleep, and, to put it simply, of all among us who have already fallen asleep; for we believe that it will be of very great benefit of the souls of those for whom the petition is carried up, while this holy and most solemn Sacrifice is laid out.” (Mystagogic Catechesis 23, Mystagogic 5, 10)

“After this you hear the singing which invites you with a divine melody to the Communion of the Holy Mysteries, and which says, ‘Taste and see that the Lord is good.’ Do not trust to the judgment of the bodily palate - no, but to unwavering faith. For they who are urged to taste do not taste of bread and wine, but to the antitype, of the Body and Blood of Christ.” (Mystagogic Catecheses 5 23, 20 ca. 350 A.D.)

“Keep these traditions inviolate, and preserve yourselves from offenses. Do not cut yourselves off from Communion, do not deprive yourselves, through the pollution of sins, of these Holy and Spiritual Mysteries.” (Mystagogic Catechesis 23, Mystagogic 5, 23)

3月18日:圣嘉俾额尔总领天使 Apparition of St. Gabriel The Archangel

〔希伯来文,意指"天主的人"〕

 圣嘉俾额尔总领天使显示给达尼尔先知〔达8:16;9:21〕,派遣去见圣妇依撒伯尔的丈夫匝加利亚,宣布圣若翰洗者的诞生,派遣去 见圣母玛利亚宣告我们的救主的来临〔路1:18-26〕

3月19日:大圣若瑟(圣母净配)(节日) St. Joseph, husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary

 除了圣母之外,大圣若瑟是耶稣在世上最爱的人,因为他是耶稣虔诚的保护者。如孝子一般,耶稣曾常敬服地听他的命。这就是信徒特别恭敬 大圣若瑟的缘故。

 大圣若瑟是圣教会的主保,也是中国的主保。圣教会也把他选定为临终丶圣家丶圣召丶洁德丶劳工的主保。这是给我们说明大圣若瑟转求的能 力很大,我们应常多依靠他。在他瞻礼日我们可将自己的工作丶家庭完全奉献给他,求他的大能庇荫丶降福及转求。

向大圣若瑟学习

 在所有关於圣若瑟的记载中,最为我们所熟悉的就是:圣玛利亚因圣神而受孕後圣若瑟的疑惑以及因圣神的启导而接受这一切的事实,在这些 记载中我们可以向圣若瑟学习的至少有下列三点:

〔1〕圣若瑟的谦虚,在所有四部福音中有关圣苦瑟的记载都是非常的少的,即使有记载圣若瑟的表现也多半是说明圣若瑟是一个沈默寡言,态 度也多半是忍 辱负重,言辞也多半是谦和恭敬的人,这些在在的除了显示圣若瑟的身份所给予他的谦虚之外,更重要的是因?圣神的充满而使得一个人的内在有了完 全的充实,因 而在他的外在表现上他似乎不需要依赖世俗的名利及虚礼来陈现他的礼貌;另一方面他的谦虚还是因为他是天主子的在世父亲,他了解这一个任务的沈 重不是一个凡 夫俗子所可以承担的,当他接受了做玛利亚的丈夫时,他也同时接受了做天主子在世父亲的责任,这一个责任使他了解人是无法完全承担起来的,他除 了谦虚的承接 天使的托付丶圣母的信赖外,他祗有以他有限的责任及谦虚让天主来领导这一个家庭及完成这一个使命。

〔2〕圣若瑟的毅力,耶稣在世的使命不是一个简单的使命,更不是一般人所能理解的困难,从耶稣的出生开始,诞生在牛棚中时就要忍受世俗 人奇异的眼 光,虽然有牧童的朝拜,东方三贤的敬礼,但更多的时候恐怕都是轻视或是奇特的眼光,而圣母产後的虚弱可能是更增加圣若瑟的焦虑,使他急於能为 这一对母子寻 找一个可以遮风避雨的所在,但是客观环境的不许可,使他的心有外人所无法描述的辛苦及难受,而这些圣若瑟似乎都坚忍的忍了下来;而更不幸的却 是在小耶稣生 後没有几天因着黑落总的恐惧而必须逃亡埃及,从伯利恒到埃及是一条相当长的路程;我们可以想像在以色列的冬天,天寒冬冻丶单薄的衣服丶简单的 行装丶一步一 步的走到埃及,圣经上虽然没有描述圣若瑟一家人走了多久才到埃及,在埃及待了多少天才回到拿匝勒,但以常理及圣若瑟的贫穷来衡量这一段时光, 显然不是一段 甚麽愉快的时光,但圣若瑟以「冬天饮冰水,点滴在心头」的心情及毅力来承受这一段时光。

〔3〕圣若瑟的修行丶根据圣经的简单描述中,我们可以想像下列的几种情况来看看圣若瑟如何在人间来修行:首先是若瑟的贫穷及他的职业, 其次是以若瑟 的年龄居然要娶一个如花似玉的丶家教又好的年轻小姐,再其次他必须忍受他人异样的眼光,那就是他那未过门的妻子居然怀了孕,这是一种甚麽样的 羞辱呀!他怎 麽可能会没有一般人的想法呢?但因着天使的告知,他可以接受这样的情况,甚至以他的生命来践履他的诺言,力行他对家庭的责任及义务,这是一个 多麽大的修行 呀!在人间我们所有看到的修行榜样中完全看不到这一种典范,即使在旧约的约伯也不如圣若瑟的情况,圣若瑟的修行不祗是一个将已有的完全奉献出 来,也不是一 个把尚未有的也奉献出来,而是把自己的「无知」完全的奉献出来,这里所谓的「无知」,不但包括了自己不懂的丶懂不透的丶甚至还包括了以为自己 懂的都奉献出 来,这种完全的承行丶完全的奉献才是修行中最深刻丶最深层丶最能契合上主旨意的修行。圣若瑟的一生不但充满了焦虑丶隐痛丶嘲笑,甚至还充满了 贫穷及完全的 不确定感,但圣若瑟如何成为人间的楷模呢?耶稣眼中慈父丶玛利亚眼中的良夫丶天主眼中的至宝?就是他的谦虚丶毅力及修行使他赢得了永恒的冠 冕。

 天使显现给他说:「达味之子若瑟,不要怕娶你的妻子玛利亚,因为在她内受生的,是出於圣神。她要生一个儿子,你要给他起名叫耶稣,因 为他要把自己的民族,由他们的罪恶中拯救出来。」〔玛1: 20 - 21〕

 大圣若瑟在教会内不属很重要的人物,却是很受人尊重的大圣人。他的不凡处就是无私地完成天主交托给他的使命,为玛利亚及主耶稣营造一 健康丶安稳的 家,好让主耶稣能健康丶愉快地成长。没有圣若瑟的合作,在当时父系为主的社群内,由圣神受孕的玛利亚及无父的主耶稣生活,将会受到歧视及排 斥,圣若瑟就是 忠诚地为他们预备了这一个平凡的家,一个充满主爱及爱主的家。大圣若瑟的伟大就在於忠信地完成了天主交托给他的事,让主耶稣能在普通的家庭下 健康愉快地成 长。

 当我们要把事情交托给一个人去处理时,我们必定要对这人有很强的信任,相信他必能完成才会放心交托给他。天主信赖圣若瑟因为他本来就 是一位义人, 意即善良丶正直丶虔诚,忠於守法的人。他的这特质从天主拣选他的一刻开始,直到生命的终结从未变改,他是主耶稣在世的鞠养之父,是天主忠信的 合作者。

 圣若瑟值得我们学习的,就是他愿意跟天主合作完成天父交给托他的使命。将自己交托在主的手是信德的高峰。在人的世界内婚姻圣事也是一 种交托,婚姻 是天主所祝福的圣事,二人要在爱中将自己完全交托,相互间的爱情,是天主爱的延续,故成为反胦天主对人类绝对和永恒之爱的肖像。夫妇间爱的交 托使他们成为 彼此的助手,无分彼此地成为一体,永远给合在一起。这爱情得到天主的祝福,更要他们不断衍生,生育繁殖,充满大地,治理大地。婚姻的使命是建 立在彼此决定 性地把自己交付给对方的意愿上,其目的为活出一个忠贞和传衍生命的爱情盟约。

圣若瑟将自己交托在主的手里,天父将爱子耶稣及玛利亚也交托在他的手里,两者的合作使人能体会到主对人的爱是如此无私,救主基督降世祇 为使人能透过祂的救赎重回天主的怀抱。婚姻圣事的交托就是要让爱不断延续,在相互交托中以互信及无私的牺牲建立自己的家庭,让爱不断繁衍。

大圣若瑟古老祷文

 吁!大圣若瑟,您在天主宝座前对我们的保护是 这样伟大,有力和迅速,我把所有的旨意和欲望 都交给您。吁!大圣若瑟,藉您有力的转祷,求 您在我们的主耶稣基督,您的儿子处,为我求得 神形恩宠;藉您的助佑,我可以对您这位最慈爱 的父亲献上感恩和敬礼。吁!大圣若瑟,我常愿 默观您及睡在您手中的小耶稣,当祂在您心旁睡 的时候,我没胆走近。求您用我的名义拥抱祂, 为我亲吻祂的圣容,求祂在我临终时,送还亲吻 给我,大圣若瑟,临终者的主保,为我等祈。亚孟。

注:这祷文是在公元50年被发现,并在1500年间由教宗赠给将出发到战场的查理斯皇帝。无论谁念此经,听别人为他念此经,或携带此经 者,永不会遇到猝死,不会溺毙,不会被毒害,不会落入敌人手中,不会被火烧伤,亦不会在战场上战败。

为你的任何意向连续九天上午念此经的。

准 印 者 Most Rev. George W. Ahr, Trenton主教

〔必定要用信德来祈求〕

March 19 St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin and Patron of the Universal Church.

ST. JOSEPH was by birth of the royal family of David, but was living in humble obscurity as a carpenter when God raised him to the highest sanctity, and fitted him to be the spouse of His Virgin Mother, and foster-father and guardian of the Incarnate Word. Joseph, says the Holy Scripture, was a just man; he was innocent and pure, as became the husband of Mary; he was gentle and tender, as one worthy to be named the father of Jesus; he was prudent and a lover of silence, as became the master of the holy house; above all, he was faithful and obedient to divine calls. His conversation was with angels rather than with men. When he learned that Mary bore within her womb the Lord of heaven, he feared to take her as his wife; but an angel bade him fear not, and all doubts vanished. When Herod sought the life of the divine Infant, an angel told Joseph in a dream to fly with the Child and His Mother into Egypt. Joseph at once arose and obeyed. This sudden and unexpected flight must have exposed Joseph to many inconveniences and sufferings in so long a journey with a little babe and a tender virgin, the greater part of the way being through deserts and among strangers; yet he alleges no excuses; nor inquires at what time they were to return. St. Chrysostom observes that God treats thus all His servants, sending them frequent trials to clear their hearts from the rust of self-love, but intermixing seasons of consolation. "Joseph," says he, "is anxious on seeing the Virgin with child; an angel removes that fear. He rejoices at the Child's birth, but a great fear succeeds: the furious king seeks to destroy the Child, and the whole city is in an uproar to take away His life. This is followed by another joy, the adoration of the Magi; a new sorrow then arises: he is ordered to fly into a foreign unknown country, without help or acquaintance." It is the opinion of the Fathers that upon their entering Egypt, at the presence of the child Jesus, all the oracles of that superstitious country were struck dumb, and the statues of their gods trembled and in many places fell to the ground. The Fathers also attribute to this holy visit the spiritual benediction poured on that country, which made it for many ages most fruitful in Saints. After the death of King Herod, of which St. Joseph was informed in another vision, God ordered him to return with the Child and His Mother into the land of Israel, which our Saint readily obeyed. But when he arrived in Judea, hearing that Archelaus had succeeded Herod in that part of the country, and apprehensive that he might be infected with his father's vices, he feared on that account to settle there, as he would otherwise probably have done for the education of the Child; and therefore, being directed by God in another vision, he retired into the dominions of Herod Antipas, in Galilee, to his former habitation in Nazareth. St. Joseph, being a strict observer of the Mosaic law, in conformity to its direction annually repaired to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. Our Saviour, now int the twelfth year of His age, accompanied His parents thither. Having performed the usual ceremonies of the feast,they were returning with many of their neighbors and acquaintance towards Galilee; and never doubting but that Jesus was with some of the company, they travelled on for a whole day's journey before they discovered that He was not with them. But when night came on and they could hear no tidings of Him among their kindred and acquaintance, they, in the deepest affliction, returned with the utmost speed to Jerusalem. After an anxious search of three days they found Him in the Temple, discoursing with the learned doctors of the law, and asking them such questions as raised the admiration of all that heard Him, and made them astonished at the ripeness of His understanding; nor were His parents less surprised on this occasion. When His Mother told Him with what grief and earnestness they had sought Him, and asked, "Son, why hast Thou thus dealt with us? Behold Thy Father and I sought Thee in great affliction of mind," she received for answer, "How is it that you sought Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father's business?" But though thus staying in the Temple unknown to His parents, in all other things He was obedient to them, returning with them to Nazareth, and there living in all dutiful subjection to them. As no further mention is made of St. Joseph, he must have died before the marriage of Cana and the beginning of our divine Saviour's ministry. We cannot doubt that he had the happiness of Jesus and Mary attending at his death, praying by him, assisting and comforting him in his last moments; whence he is particularly invoked for the great grace of a happy death and the spiritual presence of Jesus in that hour.

Reflection. -St. Joseph, the shadow of the Eternal Father upon earth, the protector of Jesus in His home at Nazareth, and a lover of all children for the sake of the Holy Child, should be the chosen guardian and pattern of every true Christian family.

Prayer to St. Joseph

(This prayer was found in the fiftienth year of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In 1505 it was sent from the Pope to Emperor Charles when he was going into battle. Whoever shall read this prayer or hear it or keep it about themselves, shall never die a sudden death, or be drowned, not shall posion take effect of them; neither shall they fall into the hands of the enemy; or shall be burned in any fire, or shall be overpowered in battle.

Say for nine mornings for what you desire.)

O St. Joseph whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the Throne of God, I place in you all my interests and desires. O St. Joseph do assist me by your powerful intercession and obtain for me from your Divine Son all spiritual blessings through Jesus Christ, Our Lord; so that having engaged here below your Heavenly power I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the Loving of Fathers. O St. Joseph, I never weary of contemplating you and Jesus asleep in your arms. I dare not approach you while He reposes near your heart. Press him in my name and kiss His fine Head for me, and ask Him to return the kiss when I draw my dying breath. St. Joseph, Patron of departing souls, pray for us. Amen.

3月22日:Bl. Clemens August von Galen (1878-1946)

Bishop of Munster, Germany

Clemens August von Galen was born on 16 March 1878 in Dinklage Castle, Oldenburg, Germany, the 11th of 13 children born to Count Ferdinand Heribert and Elisabeth von Spee.

His father belonged to the noble family of Westphalia, who since 1660 governed the village of Dinklage. For over two centuries his ancestors carried out the inherited office of camerlengo of the Diocese of Münster.

Clemens August grew up in Dinklage Castle and in other family seats. Due to the struggle between Church and State, he and his brothers were sent to a school run by the Jesuits in Feldkirch, Austria.

He remained there until 1894, when he transferred to the Antonianum in Vechta. After graduation, he studied philosophy and theology in Frebur, Innsbruck and Münster, and was ordained a priest on 28 May 1904 for the Diocese of Münster by Bishop Hermann Dingelstadt.

Parish priest, concern for poor

His first two years as a priest were spent as vicar of the diocesan cathedral where he became chaplain to his uncle, Bishop Maximilian Gerion von Galen.

From 1906 to 1929, Fr von Galen carried out much of his pastoral activity outside Münster: in 1906 he was made chaplain of the parish of St Matthias in Berlin-Schönberg; from 1911 to 1919 he was curate of a new parish in Berlin before becoming parish priest of the Basilica of St Matthias in Berlin-Schönberg, where he served for 10 years; here, he was particularly remembered for his special concern for the poor and outcasts.

In 1929, Fr von Galen was called back to Münster when Bishop Johannes Poggenpohl asked him to serve as parish priest of the Church of St Lambert.

“Nec laudibus, nec timore”

In January 1933, Bishop Poggenpohl died, leaving the See vacant. After two candidates refused, on 5 September 1933 Fr Clemens was appointed Bishop of Münster by Pope Pius XI.

On 28 October 1933 he was consecrated by Cardinal Joseph Schulte, Archbishop of Cologne; Bishop von Galen was the first diocesan Bishop to be consecrated under Hitler's regime.

As his motto, he chose the formula of the rite of episcopal consecration: "Nec laudibus, nec timore" (Neither praise nor threats will distance me from God).

Throughout the 20 years that Bishop von Galen was curate and parish priest in Berlin, he wrote on various political and social issues; in a pastoral letter dated 26 March 1934, he wrote very clearly and critically on the "neopaganism of the national socialist ideology".

Due to his outspoken criticism, he was called to Rome by Pope Pius XI in 1937 together with the Bishop of Berlin, to confer with them on the situation in Germany and speak of the eventual publication of an Encyclical.

On 14 March 1937 the Encyclical "Mit brennender Sorge" (To the Bishops of Germany: The place of the Catholic Church in the German Reich) was published. It was widely circulated by Bishop von Galen, notwithstanding Nazi opposition.

“Lion of Munster”

In the summer of 1941, in answer to unwarranted attacks by the National Socialists, Bishop von Galen delivered three admonitory sermons between July and August. He spoke in his old parish Church of St Lambert and in Liebfrauen-Ueberlassen Church, since the diocesan cathedral had been bombed.

In his famous speeches, Bishop von Galen spoke out against the State confiscation of Church property and the programmatic euthanasia carried out by the regime.

The clarity and incisiveness of his words and the unshakable fidelity of Catholics in the Diocese of Münster embarrassed the Nazi regime, and on 10 October 1943 the Bishop's residence was bombed. Bishop von Galen was forced to take refuge in nearby Borromeo College.

From 12 September 1944 on, he could no longer remain in the city of Münster, destroyed by the war; he left for the zone of Sendenhorst.

In 1945, Vatican Radio announced that Pope Pius XII was to hold a Consistory and that the Bishop of Münster was also to be present.

Creation of a Cardinal

After a long and difficult journey, due to the war and other impediments, Bishop von Galen finally arrived in the "Eternal City". On 21 February 1946 the Public Consistory was held in St Peter's Basilica and Bishop von Galen was created a Cardinal.

On 16 March 1946 the 68-year-old Cardinal returned to Münster. He was cordially welcomed back by the city Authorities and awarded honorary citizenship by the burgomaster.

On the site of what remained of the cathedral, Cardinal von Galen gave his first (and what would be his last) discourse to the more than 50,000 people who had gathered, thanking them for their fidelity to the then-Bishop of Münster during the National Socialist regime. He explained that as a Bishop, it was his duty to speak clearly and plainly about what was happening.

No one knew that the Cardinal was gravely ill, and when he returned to Münster on 19 March 1946 he had to undergo an operation.

Cardinal von Galen died just three days later, on 22 March. He was buried on 28 March in the Ludgerus Chapel, which has become a place of pilgrimage to this defender of the faith in the face of political oppression.

3月23日:圣多利坡(道斌) St. Turibius of Bongrovejo

(1538-1606)

主保:拉丁美洲主教

 为「新大陆」来说,圣人与利马的圣女罗撒(St. Rose of Lima),是最早为人所知的圣人,他们一同在南美洲的秘鲁服事天主达26年之久。圣人诞生於1538年11月16日的西班牙 (Mayorga, León, Spain),在法律方面受过极好的教育,後来成了一位名闻遐迩的学者,并在撒莱芒加大学(University of Salamanca)担任法学教授;尔後,甚至以平信徒的身份成为格兰纳达(Granada)教会法庭的首席判长,在事业上可谓是非常的成 功。尽管圣人自 幼即已被奉献为司铎,但他个人却无成为一位神父的计画。

 当西班牙殖民地 - 秘鲁的利马总主教职位悬缺之时,圣人便被西班牙国王菲力浦二世指定为该职缺的继任者。圣人起先对此指派极为抗拒,并援引法典说明平信徒不堪担 当此职的原 因,但抗议却遭到驳回。为此,圣人後来便被祝圣为司铎,并在1581年5月24日以主教的身分被遣往秘鲁。这便开始了他在秘鲁为印地安人宣讲 福音,并为他 们争取权益的事业。圣人刚抵达秘鲁之时,便发现该地殖民主义的丑态已达至顶峰,但他强烈的人格特质与圣善的灵魂,却有效地消弭了该地区不断蔓 延开来的丑 闻。

 当时,秘鲁殖民地的总督对印地安原住民所采取的是高压控制的手段,因此在每一件事上,印地安人都遭到奴役般的不平对待;更有甚者,当 地神职人员的 滥权现象极为普遍,许多丑事几乎是明目张胆而为的。为此,圣人在该地所致力的第一件事,便是革新这类的乱象,赋予他所属的教区一个清新的面 貌。

 为能顺利了解民情,并重整该地的乱象,圣人在偌大的教区中,开始他漫长与艰辛的探访旅程;他开始学习当地的不同语言,并在每一处停留 二至三天,停 留之处往往没有食物与床铺能好好休憩。在18000平方英哩的教区范围里,第一次探访的旅程,就花了圣人约七年的时间。然而,他任内便以此大 无畏的精神探 访全教区达三次之多。他每早起床,都先与该堂司铎办理告解,而後以极大的热诚举行弥撒圣祭。在那些从圣人手中领受坚振圣事的人当中,有利马的 圣女罗撒 (St. Rose of Lima)丶圣若望马西亚斯(St. John Massias)丶圣方济索拉努斯(St. Francis Solanus),波瑞的圣马尔定(St. Martin de Porres)或许也是其中之一。1590年後,圣人才获得圣方济索拉努斯的协助,成为他在教务上得力的助手。

 圣人的羊群们尽管非常贫穷,但却生性敏感,向来不愿接受公开的接济。圣人便以匿名援助的方式来解决此一困境。後来,圣人陆续地在该地 兴建学校丶圣堂丶医院,并成立了美洲的第一座修道院。

 在不断地操劳与繁忙的牧灵工作下,圣人终於在帕卡斯马约(Pacasmayo)病倒,然而他却坚持完成自己的工作。当他抵达预定行程 之一的森塔 (Santa)时,圣人几乎已呈濒死的状态。他拖曳着自己的身躯走到了祭台,在那领受了圣体後,全人已灯枯油尽了。於是,他将自己的随身之物 留给了仆人 们,并将剩馀的财物分给了穷人後,便在1606年的3月27日辞世了。

 1679年的6月28日,教宗依诺森十一世(Innocent XI)宣布他为真福品;1726年时,教宗本笃十三世(Benedict XIII)将其列为圣品。过去在拉丁美洲,圣人的敬礼是在4月27日隆重举行,但当他的庆日被列在普世教会的年历里时,就改以3月23日来纪 念这位南美洲 的传教先驱了。

 在圣像中,圣人常被描绘成一位跪在祭台阶梯前的主教,身旁围绕着许多的天使。圣道斌是拉丁美洲主教的主保。

3月25日:预报救 主降生 (圣母领报)(节日) Annunciation of the The Lord

 如本庆节适逢主日,则改於三月廿六日庆祝。

 如三月廿五日适逢圣周,本瞻礼便移至复活节的八日庆期後举行。

 旧称圣母领报瞻礼,纪念天使报喜,圣子因圣神降孕於玛利亚胎中。

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 圣母领报瞻礼,是纪念当年加俾额尔天神向圣母玛利亚预报天主圣子降生爲人的大喜讯。 天主的圣意,要颁赐一个救主给世界,一个赎罪的牺牲给罪人。天主圣子取了人的性体,祂同时是真天主,也是真人。 祂爲了世人的罪受苦受难,死在十字架上,以满足天主的公义。

 天主圣神,不仅用奇妙的神工,使圣子降孕玛利亚的净胎,也使玛利亚的灵魂,满被圣宠。 所以加俾额尔天神,一见圣母,第一句话就说:「万福,满被圣宠者。」

 我们看看圣母是多麽谦逊。她绝不因她的卓越地位,而感到骄傲。她认爲一切奇恩殊宠,都出自天主所赐。 她获悉了天主奇妙伟大的救世计划,就谦恭地表示同意道:「主的婢女在此,请照您的话在我身上完成吧!」

 这 一刹那,为前古後今的普世万民,是一个决定性的时刻。整个世界的命运都系於圣母的答话。 假如那时圣母对天主圣子降孕的计划,不肯表示同意,该发生什麽严重 的後果? 可是圣母同意了,就在她口中说出「请……完成吧」一语的时候,亘古以来,天主向人类预许的诺言,万民翘望的救赎计划,就在这时候开始实现。 就在那 时候,「天主圣子降生为人,天主第二位圣子,取了人的性体。人类有了救星了,由罪恶中解放出来。 天主特选玛利亚,与这伟大的救赎计划合作。

 耶 稣圣诞周期的计算,也以圣母领报瞻礼为出发点。 我们如以三月廿五日爲圣子降孕圣母净胎的瞻礼日期,那麽,耶稣圣诞的瞻礼日期就应当是十二月廿五日了。 耶稣 诞生後第八日受割损礼,所以耶稣受割损礼瞻礼的日期应当是一月一日,圣母献耶稣於主堂瞻礼日期应当是二月二日, 也就是牧童往白冷朝拜圣婴後的第四十天。

 此外,既然在圣母领报的时候,圣妇依撒伯尔(圣若翰的母亲)已怀孕六个月,那麽,圣若翰诞生的日期,应在六月底以前。

 本瞻礼在西方教会,系於第七世纪开始,东方的教会则在第五世纪开始。 按每年将临期内四季斋期的瞻礼四,我们已照例纪念着这瞻礼的奥义。 但圣教会又特定本日为圣母领报瞻礼,嘱信友庆祝,因为本日与耶稣圣诞瞻礼相距恰为九个月。