日曆

四月紀念的聖人

4月1日:Bl. Nuno Alvarez Pereira – friar

Nuno was born in 1360, and for many years pursued a military career, becoming the champion of Portuguese independence. After the death of his wife he joined the Order in 1423 at the monastery of Lisbon which he had founded, and took the name of Nuno of St. Mary. There he lived until his death in 1431. He was noted for his prayer, his practice of penance and his filial devotion to the Mother of God.

4月1日:Bl. Jose Anacleto Gonzalez Flores, Bl. Jose Dionisio Luis Padilla Gomez and companions

Bl. Jose Dionisio Luis Padilla Gomez (1899-1927) Martyr

Many of our Saints have said that Eucharistic Adoration helps us overcome fears and prepares us for tasks we thought would be impossible of us. Blessed Jose Gomez was no exception as he would spend long hours in adoration before our beloved Lord. This prepared him to accept martyrdom later in his life. 

At the age of eighteen, Jose Dionisio Luis Padilla Gomez, of Guadalajara, Mexico, entered a diocesan seminary, where he was to be remembered as a young man of irreproachable character and exceptional purity of heart. After two years at the seminary, Luis grew uncertain of his vocation and decided to leave. Thereafter, as a founding member of the Catholic Association of Young Mexicans, he devoted much of his time to prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. He was likewise characterized by a profound love for the Blessed Virgin Mary. Luis served as a teacher of poor children, educating them free of charge. As the secularist Mexican government escalated its persecution of the Catholic Church, Luis repeatedly spoke of his aspiration to suffer and die for Christ. On April 1, 1927, at 2:00 a.m., troops came to Luis’ home to arrest him, his elderly mother, and one of his sisters. After being subjected to mockery and beatings, Luis was condemned to die that same day. His one desire, to go to confession before dying, could not be fulfilled. He spent his final moments kneeling in prayer before being gunned down.

4月2日:聖方濟各保拉(隱 修士)St. Francis of Paola

(1416-1507)

 聖人是「最小兄弟會 (The Order of Minims) 」的會祖。1416年誕生於義大利加拉伯利亞 (Calabria) 的保拉城。其雙親在城中素來頗有聖德,但一直苦無子嗣。於是,他們在祈禱中寄予熱望,將其寄託在聖方濟亞西西的轉禱裡。

 聖人是家中三位小孩中最為年長的一位,年幼時因患病,一隻眼睛差點因此失明。 他的雙親便再一次地求助於聖方濟的代禱,並誓許若獲得痊癒,便讓小孩在方濟會院裡穿一整年的「小會衣 (LittleHabit)」, 這在中世紀並不多見,而聖人也真的很快地便獲得了痊癒。

 年輕時,聖人即顯出了不尋常的聖德記號。 在十三歲時的一次神視中,他被一位方濟會士所告誡,於是便為了滿全父母先前所許的誓願而住進了方濟會院。 在會院的生活中,因著他深度的謙遜、敏於服從的習慣,與他對克苦和祈禱的喜愛,他的靈魂可謂是日進於德。

 一年的誓願期滿後,聖人隨同雙親一同前往亞西西和羅馬等地朝聖。 回到保拉後,他決定開始度獨修的生活,於是就在父親的產業中選一塊地做為獨修的處所。 但稍後,他即發現靠近海岸的一處洞穴更為適宜,便轉往該處力行祈禱與補贖達六年之久。

 1435年時,有二位同伴開始加入他的獨修行列。 為了能接納他們,聖人建造了三間小室與一座小堂,一個新修會的雛型便這樣成型了。 約在1454年時,由於跟隨者的人數日漸增多,聖人便在Cosenza總主教Pyrrhus的許可下, 建造了一座大型的隱修院與聖堂,那是許多人出於對聖人的熱愛而合力建構的,連當時的貴族也都願意為建此堂而自願挑磚挑石。

 聖人所制定的生活方式,是所有修會中最為嚴厲的其中ㄧ個,他們誓守永久的齋戒(此為該修會的第四聖願)與嚴格的貧窮, 但真正使他們有別於其他修會的記號卻是謙遜。 他們尋求的是能生活在不知名的所在,並從這世界中隱遁。為能活出「最小」的特色,聖人甚至向教宗尋求許可,希望能在所有修會中成為最渺小的。 1474年,教宗 Sixtus IV 允許聖人為他自己的團體撰寫會規,且給予該團體「聖方濟隱士 (the Hermits of St. Francis)」的名稱。稍後,這個會規由教宗 Alexander VI 正式批准,並改名為「最小兄弟會(Minims)」。 修會成立後,聖人陸續地在加拉伯利亞與西西里創建新的隱院; 他亦追隨聖方濟亞西西的芳蹤,為修女們成立第二會,也為一般教友建立了第三會。

 為了預備自己死亡的到來,聖人花了在世的最後三個月於完全的獨修上。 聖週四時,他召聚了所有弟兄圍繞在其身旁,告誡弟兄們應彼此相愛,並繼續在生活中克苦,特別要力行永久齋戒這個聖願。 次日,聖週五,他再度召喚弟兄到身邊來,願意給他們最後的勸勉,並且在他們中指定一位代理總會長。 隨後,他便恭領了最後的聖事,並且要求聆聽若望福音中的耶穌苦難記述。正在誦唸的時候,聖人的靈魂就安然地離世了。

 教宗 Leo X 在1519年時將其列品。然而,1562年時,胡格諾教徒 (Huguenots) 趁亂破壞其墳,發現聖人的屍身未見朽壞,便掘出加以焚燒,但仍有些許遺骸被保留了下來,目前被安置於該修會所屬的不同聖堂裡。

 從歷史來說,「最小兄弟會」從未被廣泛地傳揚至世界各地,但他們在許多國家中仍留有會院。1506年,最終版本的會規在教宗 Julius II 的手中通過,他同時是允許第二會成立的教宗。普世教會以4月2日為聖人的慶日,因為聖人便是在1507年的該日過世。

 你們要放棄仇恨和敵意;你們要避免疾言厲色。 如果這些話出自你們的口,就該不厭其煩地再由你們的口中尋求救藥,因為是你們的口造成了創傷: 你們應彼此寬恕,為使以後不再記憶對方的過失。因為記憶惡事是一種傷害;它加強了憤怒,助長了罪惡、並會仇恨義德。 它是生銹的箭、靈魂的毒藥,使諸德盡失。 它好似心靈的蠱蟲,擾亂我們的祈禱,使我們向天主的祈求作廢,也讓我們喪失愛德; 它像一枚深植心靈的鐵釘,是總不睡眠的邪惡,絕不停止的罪過,是每天的死亡。

 你們愛好和平吧!這是人所能期待最珍貴的寶藏了。 你們已經知道,我們的罪惡能激怒天主,所以你們應該回頭改過,好使天主的仁慈寬恕你們。 我們隱瞞人的事,天主卻明鑒,因此,你們誠心回頭吧!你們要這樣生活,好能獲得天主的祝福!

4月2日:Ven. Jean Jacque Olier (1608-1657)

Founder of the Sulpicians, worked with St. Vincent dePaul

“When there are two roads which will bring me to some place, I take the one with more churches so as to be nearer to the Blessed Sacrament.”

Source: http://www.sulpc.org/sulpc_fondateur_en.php

Born in Paris, September 20, 1608, Jean-Jacques Olier did his studies first at the Jesuit College in Lyon where his father had been named the superintendant of the King, and then in Paris where he received his Master of Arts and Bachelor of Theology degrees, before being ordained priest on May 21, 1633.

His strong personality, his fine education and the influence of his family at the court, assured him the honors of the episcopacy, which he declined several times. He had decided instead to consecrate himself to the preaching of popular missions, thus participating in a modest way in the religious renewal brought about by the Council of Trent.

It is under the influence of Vincent de Paul that Olier joined some young priests to go and preach missions in the countryside. He did this for seven years, from 1634 to 1641. The general context in France at the time was one of profound religious ignorance with the following consequences: lukewarmness, indifference, lowering of morality and superstitions. The missions lasted from four to eight weeks. They always ended by general confession and Communion. The parishes were thereby transformed.

The problem which existed at the end of these missions was that of leaving the parishes in the hands of priests who were below the standard of what should be expected. Olier and a few companions concluded that to reform the Church, two complimentary activities had to happen simultaneously: the missions and the formation of priests. This is what led them in 1641 to found a Grand Seminary in Vaugirard, a suburb of Paris. Later, it was transferred to the center of the Capital, in the parish of Saint-Sulpice, the most populated parish in France (150,000 persons) of which Olier had become the pastor in 1642. Thus the name, the Priests of Saint Sulpice or Sulpicians was given to these pastors, formators of priests. 

On January 11, 1643, as pastor of the parish of Saint Sulpice, M. Olier makes a vow of servitude to the souls entrusted to him. During Mass in the Chapel of Our Lady of Virtues in Aubervilliers on March 31, 1644, near Paris, M. Olier pronounced the vow of host-victim (vœu d’hostie) to God the Father. After being prepared by M. Olier, four of his co-workers made the vow of host-victim at Montmartre in Paris on July 15, 1644. 

During the first three years of his pastorate, M. Olier experienced little success from his creative and untiring efforts. In fact, there was growing opposition from many sides against his reforms. It came to a climax on this Thursday after Pentecost when an angry mob attacked and pillaged the rectory. M. Olier was dragged through the streets and beaten. He was saved by some friends, including Vincent de Paul. Peace was established by Parliament which sent armed guards to protect the lives and ministry of the parish and seminary community. For M. Olier, this persecution was a blessing from God because it was the turning point in his reform. 

Despite many hardships, the seminary flourished during these early years, outgrowing successive buildings and experiencing several near financial collapses. It was also about this time that M. Olier entered into a long and often painful debate with the promoters of a new doctrine called Jansenism.
On September 6, 1645, M. Olier and several of his co-workers signed an act of association for the seminary, formally establishing the nascent Society of the Priests of Saint Sulpice. The abbot of Saint Germain authorized this ecclesiastical association on October 23, and Faillon places the letters patentes of the king (which are without date, according to the custom of the time) toward the end of the year 1645. The letters were not officially registered until late November 1650. 

As the parish reform progressed, the Church was no longer large enough to accommodate the people who came to worship. After long negotiations, dating from the beginning of his pastorate, the cornerstone of the new church was set in place by the queen mother, Anne of Austria. However, the project advanced slowly and the new building, which is the present Church of Saint Sulpice, was completed only about a century later. 

During Fall 1647, M. Olier travelled for three months. It was a time of pilgrimage and prayer. He preached at least one retreat and met with some of the women religious with whom he maintained a spiritual friendship.
At the heart of M. Olier’s ministry was a deep devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. On July 28, 1648, a dozen thieves committed a sacrilege involving the consecrated hosts in the church. This event was the beginning of a new level of Eucharistic devotion among the shocked parishioners, who until then had been mostly indifferent. 

M. Olier’s final years from Fall 1648 to 1652, as pastor occurred during the chaos of la Fronde, the Parisian civil war between the court (Anne of Austria and Cardinal Mazarin during the minority of Louis XIV) and the nobles of Parliament. It was a bitter period for all. M. Olier sought to bring the needed financial and spiritual aid to the rich and poor alike. 

M. Olier placed the cornerstone for a long-needed seminary building. It was completed and solemnly blessed on the Feast of the Assumption, August 15, 1651. 

Act of total surrender to the Holy Trinity through the hands of Mary was made on September 15, 1651. 

Worn out by his many labors and near death, M. Olier resigned his pastorate on June 20, 1652. 

The last stage of his life was characterized both by chronic sickness and growth in union with the Lord. During this period, the Lord graced him with a deepening love of the Cross and the hope of Resurrection. To the extent that his condition permitted, he continued to direct the seminary at Saint Sulpice and work for the foundation of other seminaries. 

During these last years he also edited and published four texts for the use of his parishioners. They are La journée chrétienne (The Christian Day) 1655; Le catéchisme chrétien pour la vie intérieure (Christian Catechism for the Interior Life) 1656; l’Explication des cérémonies de la Grande Messe (Explanation of the Ceremonies of the High Mass) 1657; Introduction à la vie et aux vertus chrétiennes (Introduction to the Christian Life and Virtues) 1657.

For many years M. Olier had been filled with a great zeal for the missions and often dreamed of going himself to distant lands. In particular, he desired to go to Ville-Marie (Montreal, Canada), the city named for his beloved patroness. As early as 1642, M. Olier had already been involved with the members of the Society of Notre Dame of Montreal. Now shortly before his death, through unable to go himself, he designated some of his priests to assist in the ongoing foundation of that settlement. Some years later on March 9, 1663, the Company of Montreal, being in financial difficulty, handed over the island to the Society of Saint Sulpice. 

M. Olier died at 5:45 p.m. on Easter Monday April 2, 1657, assisted by his long-time friend and confidant Vincent de Paul. He was only forty-eight and a half years old. 

At the time of the French revolution in the late eighteenth century, M. Olier tomb and remains, located in the chapel of the seminary, were desecrated and are now lost. His heart had been removed according to the pious necrosurgery of the time and is preserved to this day at the Sulpician Seminary of Issy-les-Moulineaux.

4月2日:Blessed Maria of St. Joseph (Laura Evangelista Alvarado Cardoza) (1875-1967)

Cofounder of the Augustinian Recollects of The Heart of Jesus

Blessed Cardoza identified with the Blessed Virgin's love for the Eucharist and spent many hours at night before the tabernacle in intimate conversation with Jesus. Motivated by this love, she made hosts with her own hands and distributed them freely to parishes, a work she recommended to her daughters.

Source: http://www.ewtn.com/library/mary/bios95.html#cardozo

Bl. Marea of St. Joseph Alvarado Cardozo was born in Choroni, Venezuela, on 25 April 1875, and received the name Laura Evangelista at Baptism. The feast of the Immaculate Conception in 1888 was an unforgettable day for her: she received Jesus in Holy Communion for the first time and made a private vow of virginity, consecrating herself as a bride of Jesus Christ.

She began instructing poor children at home, supporting the project financially with her own labour. She took her parish priest in Maracay, Fr Vicente Lopez Aveledo, as a spiritual director and under his guidance made a vow of perpetual virginity. During 1893 smallpox epidemic in Maracay, she devoted herself to the care of the sick in the first hospital founded by her parish priest. The work was difficult, the poverty total, but nothing caused her to waver. She said: “My Jesus, the ideal I seek is you and you alone. Nothing frightens me. I want to be a saint, but a true saint”. This became the motivation of her entire life.

In 1901 she and Fr Lopez Aveledo founded a congregation of sisters for the assistance and care of the sick, the elderly and orphans, called the Augustinian Recollects of the Heart of Jesus. In 1902 Laura confirmed the vow of virginity she had made at 17. On 13 September 1903, by a special privilege granted to her by the Holy See as the foundress of the community, she made her perpetual vows of chastity, poverty and obedience, changing her name from Laura to Maria of St Joseph.

Her love for the needy led her to found 37 homes for the elderly and orphans in La Victoria, Villa de Cura, Coro, Calabozo, Ocumare del Tuy, Barquisimeto, Los Teques, San Felipe, Puerto Cabello, Caracas and Valencia. Many towns and cities experienced the boundless love of Mother Maria and her daughters. She said: “Those rejected by everyone are ours; those no one wants to take are ours”.

Her life was a union of deep contemplation and intense activity for others. She identified with Mary's love for the Eucharist and spent many hours at night before the tabernacle in intimate conversation with Jesus. Motivated by this love, she made hosts with her own hands and distributed them freely to parishes, a work she recommended to her daughters.

After a long illness, which she bore with great strength of soul, she died in the odor of sanctity in Maracay on 2 April 1967, at the age of 92. As she had requested, she was buried in the chapel of the Immaculate Conception Home in Maracay, where she is venerated by thousands of pilgrims who come to give thanks for the favors they have received through her intercession.

She was beatified on May 7 1995 by Pope John Paul II.

4月4日:聖依西多祿(主 教、聖師) St. Isidore

 公元五六○年左右,聖人出生於西班牙之塞維拉附近。失怙後,由其兄良德祿教育;日後成為該城主教。聖人著作等身,曾在西班牙各地召集 並主持各種會議,整頓教務,不遺餘力,大顯明智。六三六年逝世。

4月4日:St. Gaetano Catanoso (1879-1963)

Founder: Congregation of the Daughters of St. Veronica, Missionaries of the Holy Face

Gaetano Catanoso was born on 14 February 1879 in Chorio di San Lorenzo, Reggio Calabria, Italy. His parents were wealthy landowners and exemplary Christians. 

“The Holy Face is my life. He is my strength.” 

“If we wish to adore the real Face of Jesus..., we can find it in the divine Eucharist, where with the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, the Face of Our Lord is hidden under the white veil of the Host.”

Gaetano was ordained a priest in 1902, and from 1904 to 1921 he served in the rural parish of Pentidattilo. 

Fr Catanoso had a great devotion to The Holy Face of Jesus, and began “The Holy Face” Bulletin and established the “Confraternity of the Holy Face” in 1920. He once wrote: “The Holy Face is my life. He is my strength”.

Versatility, openness to God's will 

On 2 February 1921, he was transferred to the large parish of Santa Maria de la Candelaria, where he remained until 1940. He was very versatile and his ability to peacefully and diligently serve in such contradictory parish realities earned him the reputation of holiness. 

Because he was not conditioned by exterior factors, positive or negative, Fr Gaetano worked well in all situations and settings, striving always to deepen his union with Christ and to do God's will for the good of those entrusted to his pastoral care. He desired nothing more than to serve at the country parish of Pentidattilo, and his appointment to Candelaria did not make him “puffed up”.

As parish priest of Candelaria, he drew people to Christ by reviving Eucharistic and Marian devotions. He opened institutions, promoted catechetical instruction and crusaded against blasphemy and the profanation of feast days. 

Fr Gaetano felt it his duty as a priest to help children and youth who lacked role models and risked being corrupted, as well as abandoned older persons and priests who were isolated and without support. He even helped restore churches and Tabernacles left to decay. 

In short, he saw the Face of Christ in all who suffered and would say: “Let us all work to defend and save the orphans, those who are abandoned. There are too many dangers and there is too much misery. With Jesus let us turn our gaze to the abandoned children and youth: today, humanity is more morally sick than ever”. 

Fr Catanoso often spent hours or entire days in prayer before the Tabernacle, and in the parish and beyond he promoted Eucharistic Adoration. He also set up so-called “flying-squads”, teams of priests willing to cooperate in the parishes by giving homilies and hearing confession on these occasions. 

Spiritual assistance, Founder 

From 1921 to 1950 he served as confessor at religious institutes and in the Reggio Calabria prison. He was also hospital chaplain and spiritual director of the Archiepiscopal Seminary. 

In 1934, Fr Catanoso founded the “Congregation of the Daughters of St Veronica, Missionaries of the Holy Face”; its mission: constant prayer of reparation, humble service in worship, catechesis, and assistance to children, youth, priests and the elderly. The first convent was opened in Riparo, Reggio Calabria. 

When the Archbishop curtailed the activities of the Congregation, Fr Catanoso showed great docility in accepting this decision. 

Finally, however, on 25 March 1958, the Constitutions he had written received diocesan approval. 

Fr Catanoso died on 4 April 1963, after an exemplary life. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II on 4 May 1997 and was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI on Oct 23 2005.

4月5日:聖味增爵斐洛(司 鐸) St. Vincent Ferrer

 一三五○年聖人出生於西班牙瓦倫西亞城。及長入道明會。日後教授神學。週遊各地,執行宣道聖職,闡揚信德,捍衛倫理,績效顯著。一四 一九年安逝於法國萬城。

4月6日:St. Juliana of Mt. Cornillon/Liege (1193-1258)

Augustinian Nun who is original source for Corpus Christi Feast

From her youth, Juliana had a special devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, and she longed for a special feast in its honor. She received a vision in a dream, and later it was revealed to her that it represented a missing feast in the Church, which became the feast of Corpus Christi.

http://www.sspx.ca/EucharisticCrusade/2002January/St_Juliana_of_Mt_Cornillon.htm

Juliana was born in 1193, at Retinnes, near Liege, Belgium. From her early childhood, she had a special devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. When she was five years old, her parents died and she was put in the Convent of the Augustinian Nuns of Mt. Cornillon, for her education. Before long when she decided to become a Nun. Juliana received the veil in 1206, at the age of thirteen. She wanted to devote herself to the care of the sick.

The building that the Nuns occupied was divided into three parts; one part was the hospital, another part was the Convent for Augustinian Sisters and a third part, was the Monastery for Augustinian Brothers. The Sisters and Brothers cared for sick people who were lepers.

St. Juliana was a holy religious who liked to spend a lot of her time in prayer and mortification. She had a great love for Our Lady and the Passion of Jesus, but mostly she had a great love for Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. She meditated constantly on the Blessed Sacrament. 

One day when she was sixteen, she began to have visions. She saw the moon hanging in mid air, in the sky. Although the moon was shining bright, there was a single black spot on it! Juliana was not used to seeing things like this. She thought that the vision was just her imagination, so she tried to forget about it by saying more prayers. 

But the vision came back again, and feeling that it was from God, she told the details of the vision to her Superior, Sr. Sapientia. Both Sisters could not understand what the vision meant. 

St. Juliana spent many days in prayer and one day, God explained the meaning of the vision to her. Jesus said, “You are troubled about the vision. I desire to set up a special Feast for My Church Militant, because this Feast is most necessary. It is a Feast of the Most High and Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. At the present time, the celebration of this Mystery is only observed on Maundy Thursday. But on that day, it is mostly My sufferings and death that are thought about. Therefore, I desire that another day be set apart, in which the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar shall be celebrated by all of Christendom!”

Jesus continued, “The first reason why I am asking for this special Feast Day, is so that the faith in this Sacrament would be confirmed by this Feast, when bad people would attack this mystery in the future. The second reason is so that the faithful would be strengthened on their way to virtue by a very great love and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and the third reason is so that because of this Feast and the loving attention given to it, reparation would be made for the insults and lack of respect shown to the Blessed Sacrament.” 

Jesus also told St. Juliana that this vision of the moon was a symbol of the Church, so bright with all its Feasts. The black part of the moon meant that there was no Feast, to honor the Blessed Sacrament in a special way. He gave her the Mission to get many people interested in this new Feast Day. But Sr. Juliana was very humble, and she was frightened at the thought of such a Mission. She believed that this vision was just her imagination, so she decided to keep the whole thing a secret. 

For many years, St. Juliana kept the vision, a secret. She spent these years in prayer and sacrifice, waiting for God to give her a stronger command to go ahead with the idea of the new Feast Day. Juliana wanted to be sure that she was doing God’s Holy Will, and not her own. God was watching over His chosen one, and He had special plans for her.

In 1230, St. Juliana was elected Mother Superior of the Augustinian Monastery. Soon after her election, she again had the vision of the moon with the black spot on it. Mother Juliana decided to share her secret with someone who could give her some good advice.

There was a good and pious priest in Liege, by the name of Canon de Lausanne, who had a very great love for the Holy Eucharist. St. Juliana decided to tell this holy priest about her vision and also begged him to talk to other great theologians about it.

The holy Canon immediately told some learned theologians about the matter of the vision. All of the theologians loved the idea, of having a new Feast in honor of the Blessed Sacrament. Many Bishops also gave their approval to the plan. Mother Juliana was delighted that so many learned men accepted the idea of a Feast Day in honor of the Blessed Sacrament so quickly.

Feeling that her cause was won, she proceeded at once, to ask a young Cleric from Mt. St. Martin, to write up some new Office prayers for the special Feast. Even though the humble Cleric felt that someone with greater ability should write these Office prayers, he obeyed, and was successful in his efforts. The Office was accepted and approved by theologians. It was recited in the Church of St. Martin up to the time that St. Thomas Aquinas wrote his famous Office. 

However, not all the Clergy accepted St. Juliana’s idea, especially Roger, the General Superior, who was in charge of the Monastery! He disliked the virtues and holiness of St. Juliana, and even encouraged the people to revolt against her. 

But St. Juliana did not get discouraged. She knew that her vision had come from God. It was God’s work, and if He wanted it to succeed, men could not stop it! She turned to God in prayer and tried to become more holy. And in order to strengthen her faith in her mission, she made pilgrimages to several shrines.
She brought the matter to the attention of Bishop de Thorete of Liege, and a Dominican, and Archdeacon James Pantaleon, later; (Pope Urban IV.) The Bishop gave his approval to the new Office, and in 1246, he ordered all his priests, both secular and religious, to celebrate The Feast of the Blessed Sacrament every year, on the Thursday after the Feast of the Most Blessed Trinity. But the good Bishop died, before he could see his orders fulfilled.
Mother Juliana’s enemies were glad, when they heard that Bishop Liege had died. Roger, the General Superior drove St. Juliana from the Monastery. Others continued to persecute her and slander her. They even went so far as to spread lies about the dead Bishop. Poor Juliana had to flee to a place called Namur. Later, the General Superior lost his position. St. Juliana was able to return to the Monastery at Mt. Cornillon. Then in 1247, Roger was back in power, and again he succeeded, in driving St. Juliana out. 

But God always triumphs over evil, and in the same year, God had His way! The Feast of the Blessed Sacrament was celebrated at the Church of St. Martin, in Liege. Cardinal de St. Cher, who was a Dominican, celebrated it with great pomp and ceremony. He was thrilled about the new Feast, and preached a wonderful sermon. Soon after, he ordered that the Feast of the Blessed Sacrament be kept in all the countries under his care.

The Cardinal’s sermon was so wonderful on the occasion of this first celebration at Liege, that it inspired one of the Canons of St. Martin’s Church in a special way. Canon Stephen wished to give the Church a sum of money each year, so that they could celebrate the Feast of the Blessed Sacrament with great ceremony every year. His sister also agreed to leave a sum of money, to keep the Sanctuary Lamp burning at all times.

St. Juliana was full of joy, to see her vision made real. She was eager to see the Feast of the Blessed Sacrament extended throughout the whole church! But she was not blessed to see this take place. She passed the last few years of her life in solitude, and died at Fosses on April 5th, 1258. 

Even in Liege, the new Feast of the Blessed Sacrament was not accepted in all parts; only in certain Churches. But another religious known as St. Eve, who lived at St. Martins, carried on the work, which was started by St. Juliana. She had been a dear friend of St. Juliana’s and she too, was filled with a great desire to have the Feast of the Blessed Sacrament spread throughout the whole world. 

St. Eve remembered that the former Archdeacon of Liege had now become Pope Urban IV. She, as well as St. Juliana, had known him well. She persuaded Bishop Henry of Liege and some other powerful people, to write to the Holy Father, urging him to fix permanently, the Feast of Corpus Christi {in Honor of the Blessed Sacrament}, for the whole Church. But Pope Urban, who loved the idea, was in the middle of great political difficulties. Several years would have to pass, before he could give his full attention to the matter of the Feast Day.

However, God was watching from Heaven. The Holy Father, had to retire at Orvieto, because of political troubles. During his stay at Orvieto, the Pope learned about a miracle of the Blessed Sacrament, which had just taken place. It was because of this miracle that the Pope decided to set up a special feast day in honor of the Holy Eucharist.

There was at Bolsena, a little town near Orvieto, a priest, who while saying Mass, no longer believed that Jesus was in the Host after it was consecrated. The poor priest had practically lost his Faith, and he wanted to give up being a priest. After the Consecration, the Blood of Jesus dripped from the Host and spread over the corporal on the Altar! Those who were present at the Mass were also given the grace to see the beautiful miracle. The Faith of the priest returned, and his soul was filled with joy. 

Pope Urban was told of this miracle and he ordered that the miracle should be examined. He was so thrilled when the examination proved that the miracle was true, that he ordered a special procession of thanksgiving to take place at Orvieto.

He asked St. Thomas Aquinas, who was then in Italy, to come and write up a beautiful Office for the Feast. Blessed by the grace of God, St. Thomas wrote a most wonderful Office, in honor of the Blessed Sacrament. He then begged Pope Urban to settle the matter of the Feast of the Blessed Sacrament, finally for the whole Catholic Church all over the world.

In 1264, Pope Urban IV published a Bull, ordering that the Feast of the Blessed Sacrament be celebrated on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday, with great pomp and ceremony. He also granted many indulgences to those who attended at the Mass and Office, of this beautiful Feast.

4月7日:聖若翰‧喇沙(司 鐸)(紀念)St. John Baptist de la Salle

【教師的主保】(1651-1719)

 聖人是那種一旦看清天主的旨意後,便會以全力來加以付諸實現的那種人,這幾乎是聖人的主要人生哲學。因為聖人畢生致力於提升學校的教 學品質,因此在1950年時,教宗碧岳十二宣佈若翰薩樂為「教師的主保」。

 聖人在1651年的4月30日誕生於法國的Rheims。就如同十七世紀的法國貴族青年一樣,若翰有著他們所擁有的一切特質:學者的 風範、好看的 外表、貴族的背景、財富與良好的教養等。約11歲時,他便為了預備未來的司鐸身涯,領受了剃髮禮;27歲時晉鐸。如此看來,聖人在教會中的前景可謂是一片 看好。

 但是,天主在若翰的身上似乎有其他的計畫,這在聖人晉鐸後的數年才慢慢地被揭示出來。在一次與M. Nyel of Raven會晤的機會後,聖人開始對創辦學校感到興趣,因為他希望能教育Raven裡的貧苦與失學的孩童,使他們都能成為好的基督徒。儘管最初這為聖人來 說,是件極為惱人與繁瑣的工程,但後來,他卻也越來越熱中這項教育貧苦青年工作了。

 一旦確認這就是從天主而來的神聖使命時,聖人便全心地將自己投入於工作之中。為了能完全地投身於其間,他必須離開家庭,並按當時 Rheims法典的規定,放棄既有的社會地位與財富,並且降低自己的階級到與他所服務之人相同的層級。

 聖人剩餘的生命全與他所創立的修會團體 - 基督徒學校兄弟會(或稱基督徒兄弟會、薩樂兄弟會)緊密相連。該修會以聖人所設計的教學方法教育貧苦的孩童,並率先創設培育師資的大學,為富裕家庭中行為 偏差的孩童建立房舍與學校等。聖人在這些方面上都獲致了極大的成功,也因此這團體很迅速地擴展了開來。為聖人來說,這些努力的背後,都只有一個動機:那就 是透過教育而讓青年成為好的基督徒。

 然而,在這些成功的背後,不斷而起的考驗並未使聖人因而退卻,反而愈加使其仰望天主。例如他曾遭受極大的沮喪與失望、追隨者的背叛、 他校校長的尖 銳批評等。再者,當時具有楊森(譯註:當時的教會異端)背景的教育從事者,更對聖人的教育方式嚴加批判,公開地予以攻擊,也都考驗著聖人的信德。

 晚年,聖人為嚴重的氣喘與風濕病症所折磨,最後在其68歲的聖週五過世。1900年教會將其列為聖品,1950年宣佈為「教師的主 保」。

 你們要反省聖保祿所說的話:是天主在教會內安置了使徒、先知和聖師;你們便也會深信:天主在教會內也安置了你們盡自己的職責。

 因此,你們不該懷疑,天主賜予你們這偉大恩寵,即教育兒童、向他們宣講福音,並培育他們的宗教精神:是天主召叫你們負起這神聖的使 命。

 所以,但願天主的愛催迫你們,因為基督為眾人死了,使ㄧ切生活的人們,不再為自己生活,而是為那位為他們死而復活者而生活。因此,你 們的弟子必然因為你們的勤勞和熱忱所感動,感覺到天主好像藉著你們教訓他們,因為你們是為基督盡使者的職務。

 此外,你們還要使教會看到,你們是以何等的愛德熱愛著她,並向她證實你們的勤奮。因為你們是為教會效勞,教會便是基督耶穌的身體。所 以,你們應該盡力顯示出,你們愛天主所託付給你們的人,如同基督愛教會一樣。

 你們應該努力,使所有進入本會學校的兒童,將來都能光榮地站在耶穌基督的法庭前,沒有瑕疵,沒有皺紋等類似的缺陷。要努力使他們為將 來的世代,顯 示出天主賜給他們的恩寵是多麼豐厚。天主在你們的教學中也幫助你們教導並培育他們,使他們繼承天主的和我們的主耶穌基督的國度。

4月8日:真福雅松大(修 女)Bl. Assunta Pallotta

 真福雅松大修女,一八七八年生於意大利。及長,入瑪利亞方濟各傳教修女會;因渴慕外教地區的救靈工作,乃請求長上允准來華,往山西省 傳教。一九○五年四月七日病逝。由教宗庇護十二世宣布她為真福。

Blessed Maria Assunta Pallotta was born in Italy in the year 1878, during the octave of the Assumption. She was the oldest of five children, and, never disobedient. Each Sunday afternoon, Assunta would go to church to pray. Afterwards, she would help her parish priest instruct the younger children with the catechism lessons. Assunta made frequent visits to the Blessed Sacrament. When she was fifteen, she wore a hair-shirt. Assunta fasted three times a week, and, even slept on stones.

Assunta wanted to enter the convent when she was twenty years of age. Her family could not afford the dowry. There was a kind prelate who took her cause in hand. He obtained her admission to the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary, whose mother house was in Rome.

Assunta became a subject of edification for all. She scarcely knew how to read and write. She was assigned to humble tasks taking care of the animals and doing the laundry. She would often ask for permission to do supplementary penances to “expiate her sins”. She made a vow to do everything for the love of GOD. She consecrated herself to HIS Sacred Heart.

In 1904, she requested of her Mother General to remember her, when there was a mission to the lepers, to whom her institute devoted itself. In that same year,she was sent to China to the mission where seven of her Sisters had already shed their blood for Christ in the year 1900.

In March of 1905, there was an epidemic of typhus. Assunta was the third of the Sisters to die from this. She asked for the Last Sacraments. A fragrance of flowers was noted shortly before her death.

Her body was found intact when it was exhumed in 1913. Mary Assunta was beautified by Pope Pius XII in November, 1954.

Her beautiful resolutions became her sanctity: “I came to the convent to become a Saint: to what purpose would I live a long time if I did not attain my goal?” I will therefore not pass up anything profitable for my soul, although the whole world be given to me in exchange.” “Never will I excuse myself, never speak of myself, imitating the Most Blessed Virgin Mary in humility and charity toward God and neighbor.”

4月11日:聖達尼老(主 教、殉道)(紀念)St. Stanislaus

 聖人在一○三○年出生於波蘭。後赴巴黎求學。晉鐸後,一○七二年繼任克拉閣主教。他管理教務,協助窮人,訪問聖職人員,數十年如一 日,實不愧稱為善牧。他因責斥波肋老國王的暴行,於一○七九年遭殺害。

4月11日:聖吉瑪(貞女) St. Gemma Galgani

(1878-1903)

 聖吉瑪一八七八年三月十二日在意大利路珈(Lucca)附近的托斯卡尼(Camigliano)出生。 她的父親是一名藥劑師,母親出身貴族。可惜母親在吉瑪年紀還小的幼時候便己經去世,而父親則在她十九歲那年過身。聖吉瑪在一八八七年的六月十七日初領聖 體,那時候她已經有祈禱的習慣。

 吉瑪的母親過身後,父親送她進一所半寄宿的修女學校讀書。在學校,她是一位勤奮好學而又文靜的學生,為所有的人她都有一個甜美溫柔的 笑容,所以很受同學及師長的愛戴。可惜在完成學業之前,她因為患上背脊椎結核症而要退學。

 吉瑪一生受盡拆磨困難。她受苦的原因很多:一是因為她的體弱多病。二,父親雖然是商人,他們也曾經富有過,但父親單純和樂於助人的本 性使他在去死 時,並沒有留下太多的遺產給孩子。他們家境實際上是清貧的。三,是其他人見到她的熱心冷嘲熱諷地譏笑她。在難受時,她總會得愉快地把一切痛苦獻給天主,而 耶穌也親自安慰她。公元一八九八年她開始體驗「神魂超拔」。一八九九年三月三日,星期五,總領天使嘉俾厄爾顯現,醫治了她的不治之症。一八九九年六月八 日,耶穌聖心瞻禮的前夕,耶穌送給了她自己的五傷,隨後,也在她頭印上茨冠的傷痕。這些傷痕一直存留到一九零一年的二月才消失。公元一九零三年四月一日, 在復活節前夕吉瑪安然去世。

 聖女吉瑪神魂超拔的時候,經常以溫柔的語音,與天國諸聖喁喁細談,在旁的人有時會成功將她所說的話記下來,並且供給後人參考。

 教宗庇護十一世在一九三三年五月十四日冊封她為真福品。公元一九四零年五月二日,教宗庇護十二世把她冊封為聖人。教會訂吉瑪的紀念日 在每年的四月十一日。

 吉瑪是藥劑師、脊椎病人、偏頭痛,孤兒,努力追求心靈的純潔及受誘的人的主保。

4月12日:St Teresa of Andes (1900-1920)

Carmelite nun

“I abyss myself in His magnificence and His wisdom but when I ponder His goodness, my heart can say nothing - I can only Adore.”

“Christ so foolish in his love, has driven me madly in love.”

“He leaves His angels and millions of people, to come into your soul, to consummate in you the most intimate union, to transform you into God, to nourish in you the life of grace with which you will attain heaven” 

“How is it that we do not die of love in seeing that God Himself could do no more than shed His divine blood for us drop by drop? When as man He was preparing for death, He made Himself our food in order to give us life. God becomes food, bread for his creatures. Is this not enough to make us die of love?”

“Perfection of life consists in drawing close to God. Heaven is the possession of God. In heaven God is contemplated, adored, loved. But to attain heaven it’s necessary to be detached from what is earthly. What is the life of a Carmelite if not one of contemplating, adoring and loving God incessantly? And she, by being desirous for that heaven, distances herself from the world and tries to detach herself as much as possible from everything earthly.”

http://www.carmelitesistersocd.com/who/teresaofandes.asp

Juanita Fernandez Solar was born Juana Fernández Solar in Santiago, Chile on July 13, 1900. She was 6 when she knew that God was drawing her to him. She wrote later in her diary, “It was shortly after the 1906 earthquake that Jesus began to claim my heart for himself.” (“God the Joy of My Life, The Diary of Blessed Teresa of the Andes,” translated by Michael D. Griffin)

Juanita’s parents, Miguel Fernández and Lucia Solar, were members of the Chilean upper class. She grew up with three brothers and two sisters, her maternal grandfather and several uncles, aunts and cousins. She was educated in the college of the French Sisters of the Sacred Heart.

Juanita developed a profound devotion to the Eucharist that became more intense after she made her first Communion at the age of 10. She was a naturally proud, self-centered and stubborn girl who was transformed by the Eucharist that gave her the mystical grace to lead a life of prayer. The holiness of her life was evident to friends and family and shined in all situations. 

Editor Bernard Bangley (“Butler’s Lives of the Saints”) related that when Juanita was in her early teens, she read the “Story of a Soul” by Thérèse of Lisieux. She was so moved by this autobiography, she decided she wanted to become a Carmelite nun. She also read the biographies of Teresa of Avila and Elizabeth of the Trinity, which further increased her desire to join the Carmelites. 

In May 1919 she entered the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in the township of Los Andes, some 90 kilometers from Santiago. The Carmelites there lived in extremely primitive conditions, Bangley reported. She took the name of Teresa of Jesus. Love, service and prayer dominated her religious thought. She felt fulfilled in the Carmelite way of life and knew it was what she was born to do.

A few months into her novitiate, her health began to deteriorate. Rosemary Ellen Guiley (“Encyclopedia of Saints”) wrote that by the following March she knew that she would soon die. She began to write letters sharing her thoughts on the spiritual life with many people. (“Letters of Saint Teresa of Jesus of the Andes,” translated by Michael D. Griffin) 

Teresa contracted typhus on Good Friday, April 2, 1920. On April 7, because of danger of death, she made her religious profession. She died on April 12 as a Discalced Carmelite novice. 

Her remains are venerated in the Sanctuary of Auco-Rinconada of Los Andes where an estimated 100,000 pilgrims visit each year. Pope John Paul II declared her Blessed on March 4, 1987 before a million people in Santiago. He canonized her in 1993. 

St. Teresa of Jesus of Los Andes (Teresa de Jesús “de los Andes”) was the first Chilean to be declared a saint. She is the first Discalced Carmelite nun to become a saint outside the boundaries of Europe.

4月13日:聖瑪爾定一世 (教宗)(殉道)St. Martin I, Pope

 聖人出生於翁柏利亞省的多第城,成年後即加入了羅馬的聖職行列,649年時被選為教宗,繼承伯多祿的職務。當時,君士坦丁堡是拜占庭 帝國的首都, 也同時是東方教會中最具影響力的宗主教區。然而,為教會的整體而言,東方教會所存在的最大問題便是宗主教區與帝國的政治勢力牽連太深。當時教會內盛行一種 異端,宣稱在基督內僅有天主性而無任何人的意志。該教導在東方教會的強力支持下極為盛行,二任的羅馬皇帝亦對此給予官方的認可 - 皇帝Heraclius特地為此頒佈一道信仰的訓令;而皇帝Constans II則對在基督內究竟有一個意志或二個意志這爭論保持緘默。

 皇帝所頒佈的信仰訓令,明顯地已經僭越了教宗的權力(按常規,信仰方面的訓令應由教宗發佈)。聖人於是在拉特朗(Lateran)召 開會議,對該 文件的錯誤教導發表譴責,並同時譴責君士坦丁堡的宗主教與他的前二任主教。起初,Constans II試圖煽動其他主教與人民來反對教宗,但後來失敗了。最後Constans II決定殺害教宗。皇帝一旦下定了決心,便派遣軍隊至羅馬逮捕聖人,且將其押回君士坦丁堡審問。軍隊來到之時,聖人的健康狀況非常糟糕,因此他沒有任何抵 抗,便隨同羅馬總督Calliopas前往君士坦丁堡。抵達君士坦丁堡後,聖人即遭到囚禁與各種的殘酷的折磨。聖人隨即被宣判死刑,且在一些折磨與刑罰後 變得極為虛弱。

 當時的君士坦丁堡宗主教Paul因身患重病,且對皇帝的處置深感不妥,於是便在悔改後,請求皇帝免去聖人的死刑,改以放逐來作為最後 的判決。最 後,聖人遭到皇帝的流放。然而,殘酷的折磨與刑罰已帶給他本已虛弱的身體極大的傷害。放逐的二年後,聖人便過世了。聖人是在教會中,最後一位以殉道者的身 分被隆重敬禮的教宗。

 我尤其詫異的是與我有關的人,我親戚朋友們的莫不關心和毫不同情:他們完全忘記了我的不幸;甚至不願知道我在何處,是否我仍活在世 上,或已經死 了。你想,我們以怎樣的良心出現在基督的法庭前呢?屆時,所有人都是被告,並都要交帳,因為他們是由同樣的泥土與物質所構成的。降到人身上的畏懼是怎樣 呢?竟能阻止他們不遵守天主的誡命。為什麼害怕呢?並沒有什麼可怕的理由。難道我們被人捨棄,以致惡神竟能控制我們嗎?難道我像整個教會的仇敵嗎?或是惡 神的對頭嗎?

 可是,天主願意眾人得救,並認識真理;但願天主因聖伯鐸的轉求,使他們的心堅持正統的信仰,使他們堅強起來,抵制一切異端和反對教會 的所有人士; 保護他們屹立不搖,尤其保護那現在領導他們的最高司牧;但願他們對於在主及諸聖天使面前以書面所承認的道理,不容有破壞、或誤解、或放棄的情形發生,即便 對於最小的一點也是如此。但願他們同卑賤如我的人在一起,從我們救主耶穌基督的手中領取正統信仰的報酬 - 正義的榮冠。上主就在我身邊,我為什麼憂慮呢?我企盼天主的仁慈,願祂不要延遲下令結束我的旅途。

4月13日:真福瑪加利大嘉 士鲁Bl. Margaret of Castello

(1287-1320)

 位於意大利弗羅倫斯以北的亞卑尼爾山上,有一個名為麥都娜狄堡壘。這堡壘屬於一對出自名門的夫婦巴黎斯奧和亞美利亞。雖然倆人都出自 名門,但沒有人知道他們的姓氏。他們刻意地隱姓埋名,是為了不願他倆的殘廢孩子和他們的家族扯上任何關係。

 亞美利亞於一二八七年懷了孕。巴黎斯奧起初充滿喜悅、期望可擁有一個強壯英偉和勇敢的兒子,日後可把他訓練為人民隊長的繼承人,然 而,出乎他的意料,出生的孩子竟是一個矮小,駝背,一隻腿殘廢,右腿比左腿短,樣子丑陋,雙目失明的個女孩呢!

 巴黎斯奧和亞美利亞不單只滿懷悲痛,更不肯接受他們生了一個有多種身體弱能孩子的事實。起初他們不願意讓她領洗,怕在註冊處被認出是 殘廢孩子的雙親。但在神父熱誠的驅使下,他們迫不得已地答允給孩子接受洗禮;可是沒有給她任何的名字,更堅持不可以用他們的姓氏。

 不過,那位帶著小孩前往領洗的婢女就給她起名瑪加利大,解作珍珠的意思。

 瑪加利大自小是由堡壘的神父和僕人所照料的。她被禁止去接近父母。她長期被禁錮在麥都娜教區教堂附近一個小房子裡,在那接受神父的指 導,學習在聖體前祈 禱和默想,她和父母完全脫離關係,當時她只有六歲。小小瑪加利大經常哭泣,但不是為了被虐待。她說︰「耶穌甚至被祂自己的人民所棄絕。天主給我類似的看 待.好使我能進一步地追隨著他。我還未配接近祂呢﹗」她住的小房子沒有門,只有兩扇窗,一個通往教堂,另一個用來送給她必需品。

 瑪加利大被禁錮了十三年。當時她已到了青春期。她發現自己雖然肉體上殘廢,和與外間隔絕,但她也有熱情的本性;故此為著保存貞節,她 要向誘惑作強力的對抗。

 當麥都娜狄堡壘被侵佔時,瑪加利大的母親把她帶到瑪加特羅,把她囚禁在地下室裡,不讓她接見任何人。更糟糕的是,她被剝奪了領聖體的 權利。即使這樣,這處境並沒有令她對任何人產生怨恨,她甚至更加敬愛她的父母親。

 在鄰近的嘉士魯城,埋葬了一位去世不久的雅各神父,盛傳在他的墳地有很多治癒的神蹟。故此,巴黎斯奧和亞美利亞懷著弱小的信念,帶同 瑪加利大到雅各神父 的墳前,要求有一個使瑪加利大康復的神蹟。可是,當沒有奇蹟發生時,他們便把瑪加利大遺棄了,然後更迅速離開了嘉斯魯城鎮。以後再沒有任何訊息。

 瑪加利大也不去揭露他們的身份,以免她的父母被鄙視。二十歲的瑪加利大那時失明、殘缺和被遺棄;幸好,她被嘉士魯的乞丐收養了。她睡 在鎮內的馬槽,吃的 就是貧苦人家剩馀的食物。奇怪的是,每一戶收養過她的人都在家庭生活上,和財富上有顯著的改善。可是沒有一戶能長期地收養她。終於,她的優點吸引到當地的 女修道院。修女們沒依照修會的嚴格規例,如合法出生,閱讀能力和健康體格,便把這失明的女孩收留,作為未來的初學生。她堅決嚴守修會會規,作嚴謹的默觀生 活。可是,這樣卻顯露了其他修女疏散的態度,引至她們把她驅逐出修會。

 這時,有一個善心的婦人,認識及善待瑪加利大。她是一個富裕布商的妻子,名叫安多尼亞。她和一班在俗婦女,加入了道明會的第三會。依 照她們的會規,只容 許年組較大已婚婦人或寡婦加入。但她們卻破例讓瑪加利大加入。於是,她便奉獻了自己,更前往探訪病患者和囚犯。她說的預言多次被証實正確,她也作了許多神 蹟。嘉士魯的瑪加利大於一二二零年逝世,終年三十三歲。去世的那天,她被安排埋葬在鎮外的墳場。嘉士魯的貧民都把教堂阻塞著,不願意讓瑪加利大葬在外邊。 當群眾正和教士爭論時,一對父母把他們殘廢和啞的女孩帶到瑪加利大的遺體前;當女孩子觸及那遺體時,疾病便立即痊癒。瑪加利大就被獲准埋葬在教堂內﹗立即 有很多人因它的名代禱,而獲得痊癒的神蹟。較早前的文件也有宣誓書記錄了超過二百多件類似的個桉。瑪加利大在一六零九年十月十九日被教宗保祿五世封為真 福。她的節日是四月十三日,她去世的日子。

 真福瑪加利大的遺體於一五五八年被發現沒有腐化,至今天,雖然缺乏防腐劑的保養,但依然保持一樣。瑪加利大被安放在意大利,嘉士魯 城,一所盲人學校內的玻璃棺木里。

 在美國,維護生命運動近日開始在他們工作上尋找更濃厚的宗教深度。真福瑪加利大就在此給予很恰當的啟發力。道明會士,查理神父在威廉 士神父原著的瑪加利大傳記中,寫下以下的序言: 

 「瑪加利大和她的故事很貼切現今的社會問題。她父母認為牠是個恥辱,因此便殘忍地把她遺棄,以「不便」作為理由‧就如每年世界各地, 有數以百萬計的父母一樣,認為腹中的胎兒是個負累,是多馀的,便打掉了他們,遺棄他們,甚至把他們虐待至死亡。

 瑪加利大被排擠,也被她那時代的世俗人士視作一個虔誠的怪物;在現今社會裡,有些人往往被殘障者嚇怕了或感不安,便想出一些無愛心及 愚蠢的方法,去對付那些年老體弱的人。

 她雖然貧窮,卻由寬宏和慷慨的貧苦大眾救援了;這還比有財有勢的人更「來早一步」呢。她是大自然裡的畸形,但創造大自然的天父,卻派 遣她作為一個教材; 告訴我們。那些事物對「理想的生命」重要,那些不重要,去度一個「優質的生命」,一個天主所賜的生命,先和天主和好,然後互相分享生命。當閱讀她的故事 時,便深深感受到瑪加利大是一個「完美」的人。原來,那些接近十字架和補贖智慧的人,就只有那殘缺破足和失明的人!

 一九八四年七月。美國生命教育研究基金(ALERT)成立了嘉士魯史特福學院,這學會專注研究各種方法去支持人類神聖和不可侵犯的特 性;由受孕至自然死 亡,不論年齡、性別、生理、心理、情緒或決斷力或殘廢,社群的優勢或弱勢。這類機構的主保,多數是由聖人中選出來的。真福瑪加利大嘉士魯的一生,啟發了人 最基木的神聖權益。有一天或許在上天的領導下,通過這新設的學會,這個被遺棄的珍珠,會被列為聖品呢! 

Patron: of the unwanted. 

Lord Parisio and Lady Emilia and had planned a grand celebration for the birth of their long-awaited first child. But when the baby was born in 1287, in Umbria near Florence, Italy, no bells were rung; no feast was given. Instead a "perfect" child of which they'd dreamed, she was a homely, blind hunchback, with one leg considerably shorter than the other. Her parents could find no room in their hearts for their baby. They were totally shocked. How could this happen to them? Where did this ugly child come from? They decided to hide the child forever and tell no one about her, so they gave the baby to a trusted servant to care for secretly. "What is the child's name?" the servant asked. "It has no name," came the reply. The kindly servant girl took her and had her baptized "Margaret," which means "pearl." 

When Margaret was 6, her parents had her shut up in a tiny cell adjacent to the family chapel. She could not get out, but could attend Mass and receive the Sacraments. It was only through the family chaplain that Blessed Margaret came to know God. Here she lived until she was sixteen, never being allowed to come out. Her food and other necessities were passed in to her through a window. Seeking a miracle, her parents took her to a Franciscan Shrine in Castello. When she was not cured, they abandoned her in the streets of the town and left for home, never to see her again. At the mercy of the passers-by, Margaret had to beg her food and eventually sought shelter with some Dominican nuns. Blessed Margaret's faith and courage inspired others in the community to take pity on her and to help her survive. Eventually she became a member of the Dominican Third Order of Castello as a "Mantellata" (a tertiary who wore the religious habit and veil), where she spent the rest of her life in prayer, penance, and charity. 

People for whom she cared sometimes recovered miraculously, gaining her a reputation for sanctity. She spent her days in hobbling about the streets to take care of the sick and to visit prisoners. Miracles of body and soul were attributed increasingly to the blind woman's prayers. Once she was visiting a prison in an effort to exorcise the hatred in the heart of one of the prisoners. As she prayed for his change of heart, her body was lifted up from the floor in the presence of all and remained for some time suspended. Eventually, the man broke down and expressed contrition. 

She died on April 13, 1320 at the age of 33. When she died, the townspeople thronged to her funeral and demanded that “the saint” be buried in a tomb inside the church. The priest protested, but when a crippled girl was miraculously cured at the funeral, the people had their way. More than 200 miracles have been credited to her intercession after her death. 

In 1558, her remains were transferred because her coffin was rotten. Her clothes were also rotten, but her body was preserved. She was beatified on October 19, 1609 by Pope Paul V and awaits canonization as a Saint. Thus the daughter that nobody wanted is one of the glories of the Church. God has given to us an illustration of how handicapped persons fit in with His eternal plan. Take courage, then, you who are handicapped. God loves you doubly! Till today the body of Blessed Margaret is still incorrupt.

4月16日:聖伯爾納德 St. Bernadette Soubirous (1844-1879)

“The Eucharist bathes the tormented soul in light and love. Then the soul appreciates these words, ‘Come all you who are sick, I will restore your health’.”

Bernadette Soubirous was born in 1844, the first child of an extremely poor miller in the town of Lourdes in southern France. The family was living in the basement of a dilapidated building when on February 11,1858, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to Bernadette in a cave above the banks of the Gave River near Lourdes. Bernadette, 14 years old, was known as a virtuous girl though a dull student who had not even made her first Holy Communion. In poor health, she had suffered from asthma from an early age.

There were 18 appearances in all, the final one occurring on the feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, July 16. Although Bernadette's initial reports provoked skepticism, her daily visions of “the Lady” brought great crowds of the curious. The Lady, Bernadette explained, had instructed her to have a chapel built on the spot of the visions. There the people were to come to wash in and drink of the water of the spring that had welled up from the very spot where Bernadette had been instructed to dig.

According to Bernadette, the Lady of her visions was a girl of 16 or 17 who wore a white robe with a blue sash. Yellow roses covered her feet, a large rosary was on her right arm. In the vision on March 25 she told Bernadette, “I am the Immaculate Conception.” It was only when the words were explained to her that Bernadette came to realize who the Lady was.

Few visions have ever undergone the scrutiny that these appearances of the Immaculate Virgin were subject to. Lourdes became one of the most popular Marian shrines in the world, attracting millions of visitors. Miracles were reported at the shrine and in the waters of the spring. After thorough investigation Church authorities confirmed the authenticity of the apparitions in 1862. 

During her life Bernadette suffered much. She was hounded by the public as well as by civic officials until at last she was protected in a convent of nuns. Five years later she petitioned to enter the Sisters of Notre Dame. After a period of illness she was able to make the journey from Lourdes and enter the novitiate. But within four months of her arrival she was given the last rites of the Church and allowed to profess her vows. She recovered enough to become infirmarian and then sacristan, but chronic health problems persisted. She died on April 16, 1879, at the age of 35. 

She was canonized in 1933.

4月16日:St. Benedict Joseph Labre (1748-1783)

Beggar saint, beggar of perpetual adoration

http://www.medjugorjeusa.org/stlabre.htm

Benedict Joseph Labre was called the beggar of perpetual adoration. He traveled in his sack-cloth, tied with a rope, always on foot. He slept in the streets, his body filthy, picking up food where he could. His rosary was made from the berries of wild rose bushes and he always carried The New Testament.

St. Benedict Joseph Labre was beatified in 1860 and Canonized in 1881. He was born at Ammes, France, March 26, 1748 in the eighteenth century and was the eldest of fifteen children. His family were prosperous shopkeepers. As a young child he showed wisdom beyond his years. Eventually he was sent to his uncle, who was a parish priest for his education and to prepare him for the religious life. He worked for his uncle doing chores for his keep.

A servant in his uncles house, started to become abusive hitting him and giving him chores that he was too young to handle. Benedict seemed to find this treatment amusing, so he finally stopped. Benedict adopted a minor practice in austerity (self - denial). Every night he would replace his pillow with a plank of oak wood. When asked about it he explained “I do it in order not to sleep to deeply.”

His studies went well until he was sixteen .He did not want to learn anything that did not have to do with God. At around the same time his uncle died from cholera, and after his uncles death Benedict decided he wanted to become a monk. He was drawn to the very austere orders.

Between 1766 and 1770, he applied to different orders, but each time he was not accepted. Benedict realized that God had something else planned for him. He felt God was calling him to Rome. He went to Italy on foot, begging as he went. He wanted to join a strict monastery or community of hermits.

In Italy he felt an inner enlightenment and knew it was Gods will that he left the comfort of his family. He would lead a new life of rigorous penance. He was now filled with perfect peace. Benedict wandered for the next three or four years from shrine to shrine in Western Europe. He made Rome his city of Perpetual pilgrimage, then finally settled there in 1774. His vocation? A tramp wandering the streets with other vagrants. During the day he spent most of his time in churches with perpetual adoration. At night he wandered to the seven major Basilicas. He drank from the fountains and lived on food he found in the streets.

One day as he was praying at St. Ignatius he had fallen into ecstasy. A visitor to the church saw him and upset said to the sacristan, “what happened to this beggar?” his answer “the Saint is in ecstasy.” He was floating in the air above the ground. Saint Benedict was also known for the gift of bilocation. He also had a rare gift of counseling people, and bringing them to peace. His reputation spread throughout Rome. People from all over came to speak to him. He had such wisdom and understanding. Benedict did neglect himself though, and finally entered a hospice for the poor. During Holy Week he died on the steps of his favorite church, Santa Maria del Monti. Crowds attended his funeral Mass and people traveled from all over Europe to visit his grave. In less than three months, after his death 136 miracles had already been reported. The healings and graces were so overwhelming that the Vatican was forced to start the process for his canonization as a saint.

On the day of his canonization Mass, in a crowded St. Peters Basilica, was a glorious painting of this sainted beggar dressed in rags. This painting can still be seen at The Galleria Nazionale d' Arte Antica in Rome. Painted by Antonio Cavallucci who was so impressed by the sight of this Saint.

Prayer to Saint Benedict Joseph Labre

Saint Benedict Joseph Labre, you gave up honor, money and home for love of Jesus. Help us to set our hearts on Jesus and not on the things of this world. You lived in obscurity among the poor in the streets. Enable us to see Jesus in our poor brothers and sisters and not judge by appearances. Make us realize that in helping them we are helping Jesus. Show us how to befriend them and not pass them by. Saint Benedict Joseph Labre, you had a great love for prayer. Obtain for us the grace of persevering prayer, especially adoration of Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament. Saint Benedict Joseph Labre, poor in the eyes of men but rich in the eyes of God, pray for us. Amen.

4月17日:St. Mary Euphrasia Pelletier (1796-1868)

Foundress of the Sisters of The Good Shepherd

“To speak of the Blessed Sacrament is to speak of what is most sacred. How often, when we are in a state of distress, those to whom we look for help leave us; or what is worse, add to our affliction by heaping fresh troubles upon us. He is ever there waiting to help us.”

“The Blessed Sacrament is the first and supreme object of our worship. We must preserve in the depths of our hearts a constant and uninterrupted, profound adoration of this precious pledge of Divine Love.”

“Draw near to our Lord, thoroughly aware of your own nothingness, and you may hope all things from his goodness and mercy. Never forget that Jesus Christ is no less generous in the Blessed Sacrament than he was during his mortal life on earth.”

“If you always love one another, if you always uphold one another, you will be capable of working wonders!”

“One person is of more value than the whole world.”

http://www.goodshepherdsistersna.com/en/About/SME.aspx

St. Mary Euphrasia was born Rose Virginie Pelletier on the island of Noirmoutier, off the coast of France, on July 31st, 1796. Her parents were imprisoned on the island during the French Revolution. Her father was a medical doctor who provided care for other inhabitants of the island as well as for their captors. Her mother fed the hungry and cared for the sick. Thus, as a young girl, Rose Virginie witnessed that faith is expressed in action. In her later years she would advise her novices with regard to those in their care, “It is not enough that you love them, they must know that you love them.”

As a teenager Rose Virginie attended boarding school in Tours, France and became familiar with the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity who resided nearby. This Order had been founded by St. John Eudes in 1641. She was particularly attracted to the ministry of these Sisters who cared for girls and women in difficulty. Some of the girls were abandoned by their families or orphaned, some had turned to prostitution in order to survive. The Sisters provided shelter, food, vocational training and an opportunity for these girls and women to turn their lives around. Rose Virginie entered the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity at the age of 18, and was given the religious name Sr. Mary Euphrasia.

When she was only 29, Sr. Mary Euphrasia was appointed local superior in Tours. During this time the Bishop of Angers asked that a home be established for the girls and young women in his Diocese. Sr. Mary Euphrasia was sent to set up this house in 1829 and she was appointed the local superior there as well. Her natural ability to lead others and her strong, engaging personality were the cornerstones of the legacy she would leave.

Sister Mary Euphrasia found a suitable piece of property and lead five sisters to Angers. These sisters opened their home and their hearts to receive women and girls who were destitute. Soon, requests for similar ministries were pouring in from other cities in Europe and beyond. Arising out of her desire to meet these needs, Sr. Mary Euphrasia envisioned a new governing structure that would free her Sisters to respond more readily and independently to the many needs that surrounded them. She appealed to Rome for approval to establish a new religious congregation. Born of this need the congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd was founded in 1835. The Congregation grew quickly and within her lifetime, Sr. Mary Euphrasia founded 110 new houses of the Good Shepherd, spreading to every corner of the globe.

Sr. Mary Euphrasia died in Angers, France on April 24, 1868. She was named a saint in 1940. She is buried on the property of the Motherhouse of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd in Angers, France.

4月17日:Bl. Baptist Spagnoli of Mantua – friar

Baptist was born on 17th April 1447 to a family of civil servants to the Dukes of Mantua. He entered the Carmelites of the Congregation of Mantua at Ferrara as a young man and had a stellar rise in academics and administration of his order. While not a poet of genius, he was a superb Latin stylist, imitating Virgil. His eclogues were used in European schools for a century and a half after his death as a model of style and he was quoted by Shakespeare, Boswell, and Nashe. He was friends with many of the leading Renaissance humanists, including the two Pico della Mirandolas, with whom some correspondence survives. He made his religious profession in 1464 and served in many positions of responsibility in the community in addition to his literary work. Baptist performed a number of diplomatic missions for the popes; he was vicar general of his congregation six times and in 1513 he was elected Prior General of the whole Order. He was a renowned humanist who brought his richley varied poetry into the service of Christ. He is the only Carmelite quoted in the works of William Shakespeare. (Love's Labor Lost, Act IV, scene 2, line 95ff.) He used his friendship with scholars as an opportunity of encouraging them to live a Christian life. He died in Mantua on 20th March 1516.

4月21日:聖安瑟莫(主 教、聖師)St. Anselm

 一○三三年聖人出生於意大利奧斯答城。及長,入法國白格聖本篤會院,一面勤修聖德,一面教授會士神學,後被派往英國,一○九三年被選 為坎特伯雷總主教,竭力捍衛教會自由,兩次迫受流徙之苦。聖人著作等身,尤以奧秘神學為著。一一○九年逝世。

4月23日:聖道博(主教、 殉道)St. Adalbert of Prague

 聖人在957年生於希玻米亞;983年升任布拉格第二任主教,為消除外教不良風俗而辛勤工作。後受到政治上嚴重的反對,而被迫離開。 後來往普魯士,宣揚福音,於997年4月23日獲得殉道的榮冠。

4月23日:聖喬治(殉道) St. George

 聖喬治(St.George)號稱「偉大的殉道者」,特別在東方教會中,因著他的殉教而成為一個偉大的信仰保護者。在許多國家中,聖 喬治被尊為軍 隊和兵士的主保。也有許多人選他作為個人的主保,因為人們喜愛聖人那大無畏的勇敢,絕無畏懼,時時刻刻準備為信仰作戰以至於死。

 聖人出生在小亞細亞卡帕多細亞州(今屬土耳其),時在二世紀下半葉,年代不可考。古代傳說稱:聖人的父親是外教人,恭敬禮拜邪神偶 像;但聖人的母 親是一位教友,她暗中不使丈夫知曉,將天主教的教義灌輸給她的兒子。聖人受到足夠的訓誨之後,方才領受了聖洗聖事。他年幼時便以熱心保護信仰而出人頭地; 外教人有時攻擊或嘲笑奉教的同伴時,他便挺身而出,保護那些小朋友。有人說,有的時候,他走進邪神廟,把那些偶像打得粉碎。有的傳說,當聖人幼小時,從父 母那裡得到什麼東西,常喜歡把東西分給窮人。

 以後聖人從軍,他是一個身體健壯,年富力強的職業軍人,陞為軍事護民官,很得皇帝雕克先的青睞,於是賜給他一種特惠的徽章。但是這位 羅馬皇帝受了 和他一同稱帝的卡來留的推動(卡來留因其殘忍而惡名照彰)決定清除軍隊中信奉天主教的兵士,便下令凡是軍官和兵士都該向邪神奉獻祭禮。

 聖喬治那時正駐在巴肋斯坦的利達地方。國王的軍隊被召集在一處地方,雕克先御駕親臨,當場聖喬治便受到考驗:為了忠於帝國,他該向邪 神獻祭。他明 瞭如果他拒絕,後果如何,可是他毫不遲疑,高聲承認他信仰耶穌基督。皇帝曉以大義,聖人不為所動,依然堅持他的信仰,當場聖人拋棄了軍級徽章,任命狀也放 棄了。於是皇帝下令棒打後投入監獄。翌日,聖人更較前堅定不移,決不向邪神獻祭,即便假裝獻祭也加以拒絕。他受了各種酷刑拷打,仍不改初志。皇帝為了搖動 他的意志,便命人在聖人的腳上穿上內部有釘子的鞋,然後逼他走路,以後又用燒紅的鐵烙他,但都沒有用,聖人對自己的信仰堅持不移。

 有一天,聖喬治對法官說:「我不看重你的利誘,也不怕你的恫嚇。皇帝的武功不久長,國祚不久也要完結,為你來說認識真天主,尋求祂的 天國最好。」法官隨即把一方重石壓在這位勇敢的年輕軍官身上,仍把他關監裡。

 皇帝雕克先看到用刑無濟於事,便開始利誘,用甜言蜜語來勸說,因為他對聖人的軍事天才很為賞識,極願重用他為國效力。那時聖人受刑之 後軟弱無力, 外表看來,好像讓步了,有人把他抬到一座亞波羅廟裏,在旁的人把香給了他,叫他投在香爐裏,以祭獻邪神。聖人恭敬地畫了一個十字聖號,那偶像便跌倒在地。 在場的人大為驚駭。有兩個軍官立刻宣稱信仰耶穌基督,皇后也接受了聖喬治所有的信仰。皇帝這時大發雷霆,命人把聖喬治投在生石灰坑裏,可是三天之後,聖人 出來時仍安然無恙。在加給他的非刑下,他的忍耐與勇敢影響了許多外教的旁觀者,其中有許多人竟皈依教會,而為它受了殉道苦。三零三年四月二十三日,聖喬治 被押出城,受斬首刑而致命升天。

 稗史還加添了許多靈蹟,我們無從考核徵驗。確定的一點是:教友們對聖喬治有著極大的熱心。聖人死後不久便有人加給他「偉大殉道者」的 尊稱。他的墳 墓很快地便成了教友朝聖的地方。聖人墳墓所在地的利達被稱為聖喬治城。聖人在那裡顯了許多的靈蹟。無數的朝聖者得到了聖人的轉禱後,回到了本國,對於宣揚 聖喬治的敬禮貢獻很大。

 聖喬治乃是全教會所敬禮的耶穌基督最出名的烈士之一。在敘利亞、埃及、君士坦丁堡、代撒勞尼和中東一帶,難以數計的聖堂和修院都奉聖 喬治為主保。 不久之後,羅馬、義大利、西西里等地也起而效法。在法國境內,國王克勞味斯(公元五一二年逝世)敬禮聖喬治很虔誠,他死前不久,曾建立了一座修院為恭敬聖 人,並使國人以聖人為表率,效法他的勇毅英武並忠於信仰。

 十字軍對於聖喬治的敬禮特著功績。十一、十二世紀他們把聖喬治的敬禮傳播四方,深入民間,在英、法兩國的軍隊中尤其顯著。無疑的,所 有的十字軍路經利達前往耶路撒冷,對於聖人的虔誠是有增無減的。

 英國奉聖喬治為本國主保,聖人的像通常是騎在馬上的英姿。公元一二二二年英國大公會在牛津召開,那時國王亨利第三正在位,大會規定聖 喬治瞻禮為罷工瞻禮。愛德華第三在一三四八年成立了聖喬治騎士會。英國軍隊中的口號:「願聖喬治保佑英國。」

 聖人最有名的畫像是把他畫成一位騎士,與毒龍作戰,這是受某一傳說的影響:相傳有一怪物在小亞細亞為害當地居民,聖人把怪獸殺死。所 以有的教友在受誘感時呼求聖人。(瞻禮日:四月二十三日)教益

 我們也該像聖喬治一般,往往有機會承認我們對基督的信仰。我們堅信:第一、藉耐心而忍受不幸;第二、除去我們的惡偏向;第三、受冤屈 而不以怨報 怨;第四、運用每一機會行愛德工作;第五、不鬆懈地熱誠盡我們每天的本分;第六、經意地謹口慎言等。你查考自己是否不時違背信仰,即便不用言語,卻藉著行 動。 

4月24日:聖斐德理(司鐸 ﹑殉道) St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen

 一五七八年聖人出生於德國息瑪琳根城。及長,入加布森會,度守夜、祈禱、刻苦的生活,並竭力宣講天主聖言;後奉傳信部命令,往來瑞 士,鞏固正道。一六二二年在瑞士鍚維壯烈殉道。

4月25日:聖馬爾谷(聖 史)(慶日)St. Mark

 關於聖史馬爾谷,我們所知道的資訊全來自於新約聖經,以及部分的教會傳統。他通常被人以為是那位在宗十二12所記述的馬爾谷(按宗徒 大事錄的記 載,當伯多祿從監獄中逃出之時,他去了馬爾谷母親的家裡),該傳統看法出自於Papias主教所提出的見證。但他是否就是第二部福音的作者,則需要史學家 與聖經學者的更精確研究。

 聖馬爾谷的希伯來名為若望,但他卻以拉丁化的名字馬爾谷流芳於世,此名是他在成為基督徒後所獲得的名字。在當時的社會中,他們應該是 首先皈依基督 的幾個家庭之一。儘管聖經中並未提及馬爾谷父親的名字,但其母瑪利亞對耶穌卻至為虔敬,且將自己的房屋轉而作為傳播新信仰的總部。後來,這棟房舍也因舉行 朝拜天主子耶穌的敬禮而成了會眾所聚集的教會。馬爾谷深知這種朝拜所帶來的巨大喜樂,因此也認為自己有份於向這黑暗的世界宣講耶穌。馬爾谷的母親慷慨地歡 迎了所有的來訪者,據信,那房舍就是門徒在主升天後時常聚集的處所,也是宗徒們在五旬節時領受聖神時的地方(宗二1)。

 保祿與巴爾納伯曾在第一次的傳教旅程中帶著聖人隨行,但因為某些原因,聖史獨自返回了耶路撒冷。顯然,保祿不顧巴爾納伯的堅持,拒絕 讓馬爾谷在第 二次的傳教旅程中同行,或許是因為聖史在某方面得罪了保祿。但後來,從保祿請求馬爾谷前來獄中探望他的情況來看,雙方先前的困擾應沒有持續很久才是。按教 會的傳統所述,聖馬爾谷曾在許多地方宣講基督,特別是在埃及、利比亞與平塔玻里斯(Pentapolis),他在這些地方贏得了非常多的靈魂,以致稍後成 了亞歷山大里亞的首位主教。馬爾谷宣講的熱情不但贏得了無數的靈魂,卻也同時招致了異教徒的忌妒。

 也就是在這一段期間,馬爾谷完成了他的福音著作。這部福音是四福音中最古老也最短的一部著作,它特別強調:當耶穌完成了天主旨意的傳 達之後,反遭 人性所棄絕的那份張力。福音寫成的時間,或許是在伯多祿與保祿殉道後的不久,大約是在主後60年到70年之間;他所描述的基督,是一個被釘十架的默西亞, 而聖史就從這被釘十架的事件中逐漸凸顯出默西亞來。

 按傳統來說,馬爾谷福音資料的主要來源應是來自伯多祿的口述(伯多祿稱他為「我的兒子」),其他少數部分則可能來自耶路撒冷教會(猶 太人)與安提約教會(信眾人數已逐漸增多的外邦人)的宣講內容。

 就如同路加福音的作者聖史路加一樣,馬爾谷也不是十二宗徒之一,因此我們很難斷定他與耶穌是否有過個人的接觸。有些學者以為,當福音 描述耶穌在革 責瑪尼園遭到逮捕時說:「那時,有一個少年人,赤身披著一塊麻布,跟隨耶穌,人們也抓住了他;但他撇下麻布,赤著身子逃走了。」(谷十四51-52)聖史 所描述的那位少年,指的就是他自己。馬爾谷同時又是彌撒禮儀(The Divine Liturgy of St. Mark)的編撰者,該禮儀在東正教的特定節慶中仍被使用著;其後的聖雅各伯(The Divine Liturgy of St. James)、聖巴西略(The Divine Liturgy of St. Basil)與聖金口若望禮儀(The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom),皆是在馬爾谷禮儀的基礎上編撰而成的彌撒禮儀。由於亞歷山大里亞是一座滿是異教徒的大城,因此,當聖人越加熱情地宣講基督時,所 招致的迫害也就越加激烈。一日,當馬爾谷正走在前往主教座堂的路上時,突然被一群異教徒揪住,群眾便向他丟擲石頭,且將其囚禁在一間小屋裡。最後,聖人就 在該處殉教了。

 聖史馬爾谷的標記是一隻帶有翅膀的獅子,該圖像取自於馬爾谷福音對洗者若翰的描述。馬爾谷福音形容他是「在曠野中一位呼號者的聲音」 (谷一3), 因此藝術家將馬爾谷比做咆哮的獅子;而獅子上的翅膀部份,則是厄則克耳「四活物神視」(厄一)的應用。因為神視中的四活物都帶有翅膀,因此後人便將此四活 物應用在四位聖史的身上。 

4月26日:善導之母 Our Lady of Good Counsel

敬禮善導之母的沿革:

 先知依撒意亞稱默西亞為偉大的「指導者天使」;這詞的意義是天主的使者,奉命實行拯救世人諭旨。聖母是多麼了解「指導者的天使.的旨 意,所以聖教 會將她的指導,視同天主上智的指導。在昔世思想紊亂,特別是宗教思想發生危機的現況中,以及社會政治動盪不安的局面下,我們需要聖母明智的引導,指點世人 脫離迷津,踏上和平救恩的大道。 初期教會已有敬禮聖母的傳承。直到1903年,教宗良十三世核准制定善導聖母瞻禮;每年4月26日舉行該瞻禮。

善導之母畫像:

畫像

 這幅「善導之母」畫像目前是放在義大利位於羅馬東南方約30英里的一個小城Genazzano的善導之母堂內,在教堂偏殿小聖堂裡的 祭台,薄如蛋殼的小小壁畫就"浮"在最中央、前面有玻璃保護著的牆面上,距離牆面約一英吋,僅在底部與最右邊靠在一個小小的底座上。

 據傳說這是聖母自己挑選來顯示奇蹟的,和許多正襟危坐、感覺有尊卑之分的畫像不同。在這張半身畫像裡,小耶穌和聖母瑪利亞靠的很近, 耶穌坐在聖母的左手臂 上,耶穌右手環繞著聖母的脖子,讓她的頭斜傾向祂,兩人頰貼著頰,祂的左手還輕輕抓著母親的衣領,聖母微微笑著,是一幅非常親密的襁褓中的母子圖。但耶穌 的眼睛看著遠方,頭手與身材的比例是比較像成年人的比例,則又彰顯了耶穌自幼就有成年人的智慧與神性。

善導之母畫像的奇蹟:

 在義大利羅馬東南方約30英里,有一個小城叫做Genazzano,自古就是古羅馬的貴族與上流人家興建別墅與避暑山莊的熱門地點。 這些豪華莊園四周的廣 大花園與果園往往是他們舉行各種慶典與活動的地方。尤其每年的4月15日,人們都會聚集盛大慶祝維納斯女神的祭典。後來,隨著天主教的崛起與興盛,這些祭 神的活動慢慢就消失了,一些古老的神殿也年久失修,逐漸毀損。

 第三世紀的時候,教會在善導之母的召叫下,在毀壞的神殿遺址 上興建了一座教堂,並取名為Church of Our Lady of Good Counsel善導之母堂。最初知道的人並不多,但後來該城人口增加,小教堂就逐漸出名了。到了中世紀,方濟會與奧古斯丁修會都在旁邊建了修道院。但隨著 歲月流逝,善導之母堂也逐漸失修而老舊,較有日漸增多,教堂也嫌太小,不夠用,所以人們選擇蓋更新更大的教堂,而慢慢不再去這個小教堂。

 到了1356年,維修小教堂的使命被賦予奧古斯丁修道院。即使有修會的資源以及信徒們的熱切祈禱,修復教堂的費用總是捉襟見肘,一直 無法做最各種必要的維 修與復建。後來,有一位於1436年喪夫的寡婦Petruccia de Geneo,她的先生是肩負修復任務的奧古斯丁第三會的成員。她平時就是在此堂參加彌撒與祈禱,很敬愛善導之母,眼看修復進度緩慢,欠缺經費,她不斷熱切 祈禱,念茲在茲希望聖堂有朝一日能夠完全修復到昔日的光榮。但經過多時,就是沒有人捐款。因為她的先生留下了一筆不小的遺產,她決定扛起重擔,捐出財產, 當作修復的經費,並且希望拋磚引玉的動作,能吸引其他人也一起共襄盛舉。她花錢請人畫了新教堂的圖,也經過教會允許,開始動工。不料後來她才發現,原以為 自己的財產不少,但對修復教堂來說,只是杯水車薪。更糟的是,根本完全沒人伸出援手。當新教堂的建築才蓋了3呎高左右,錢就用光了,工程只好停頓。已經 80歲的她,更是垂垂老矣,只能更熱切的祈禱和求人幫忙。可是她的鄰居和朋友都只會冷潮熱諷,取笑她,甚至城裡的人會拿此事當笑話講,甚至在公開場所詆毀 她。但Petruccia總是對他們說:「孩子們,別對現在的表面現象太認真,童真聖母瑪利亞和聖奧古斯丁一定會在我進棺材之前,把這個善導之母堂蓋 好。」

 1467年4月15日Genazzano城內數千名市民盛大慶祝年度的聖馬爾谷節(St. Mark,新教譯為馬可)。大約下午四點時,突然從天上有悅耳的音樂傳來,當幾千雙眼睛舉目向天查看音樂的來源時,晴空萬里無雲的天上突然飄來一朵雲,停 在善導之母堂的一座還沒完工的牆上,過了一會兒,雲裂開成兩半,出現金光萬道的光芒,而市內各教堂的鐘聲此時也全部自己響了起來,吸引全部市民出來查看。 在雲散之後大家趨近一看,展現在眾人面前的是一幅大約 15.5 x 17.5 英吋大小的善導聖母像(請見下面第三張圖,也就是第二張相片中祭台中央的那幅),以壁畫似的材質(一片類似薄如蛋殼的石膏)停在才蓋了三呎高的那座石牆 上。當時寡婦 Petruccia 正在聖堂內別處祈禱,聽到鐘聲才跑出來看到,而感動得哭倒在地,因為她多年的祈禱與辛苦得到應許了。

 接下來的日子裡,人們不斷湧來朝聖,也連續發生各種向聖母請求轉禱靈驗的奇蹟(如久病或殘疾等的治癒),經當地教會正式紀錄的,僅在 1467年 4/27~8/14短短不到四個月裡就有171件奇蹟發生。同年五月,兩個阿爾巴尼亞人來到該地,告訴眾人那幅畫像原來是在阿爾巴尼亞他們的教堂裡,但因 為打仗,他們熱切祈禱該畫不要受損,結果該畫某日於他們祈禱中親眼看到被雲帶走了,而他們一路追著那朵雲到了羅馬,就不見了,後來聽到消息,才趕到 Genazzano來找。而這幅畫像據他們所知,是百多年前自己飄來阿爾巴尼亞他們聖堂裡的。這阿爾巴尼亞人的這一些說法因為沒有客觀的歷史記載,所以天 主教會並未承認此一傳說。不過,經過後人考證,認為此畫像是源自於在14世紀義大利古代Umbrian一帶的壁畫。此是後話。

 話說最初Genazzano的市民們不伸出援手幫忙修教堂也罷了,還譏笑出錢修繕的寡婦 Petruccia不自量力,所以教堂修復進度緩慢。但由於這幅善導聖母像突然自己出現在該堂的奇蹟,不但當地居民態度改變,也吸引了許多外地的朝聖者, 捐款源源不斷,當然該教堂也很快就在寡婦 Petruccia 過世前修復完成了。目前的教堂,在二次世界大戰時,一個炸彈炸毀了屋頂及主殿祭台,牆壁倒塌,僅離幾碼遠的此一善導聖母像卻安然無損,保存至今。

 後來幾世紀也陸續有許多畫家畫過各種不同的版本。下面這幅是一個義大利畫家 Pasquale Sarullo,在1903年教宗Pope Leo XIII ( 1878- 1903 )為此聖母畫像取名"Mater Boni Consilii"(拉丁文,也就是Mother of Good Councel - 善導之母的意思 - 請見聖母頭上光環中的字)之後,按照奇蹟畫像畫的。

畫像

 這幅畫除了畫風是19世紀末、20世紀初 的文藝復興後的歐式畫法外,其他也有許多和原畫不同之處:第一當然就是兩人頭上光環加了字。再來就是聖母的眼瞼下垂,和另一幅奇蹟畫-瓜達魯佩美洲聖母一 樣,眼睛只微微睜開,而耶穌則是看著聖母。聖母的左手畫了出來,但沒有緊抱耶穌,而耶穌的左手也沒有抓著聖母的衣領,只是輕撫著聖母的領口。這樣的構圖讓 人感覺到耶穌的自主性,好像是耶穌主動抱著聖母、在安慰聖母一般。整張畫面非常優美,光線打在畫面中央,聖母頭上的紗巾透明輕柔,母子兩人的衣服布料質感 逼真,表情柔和,讓人看了不但賞心悅目,也會有安定而信賴的感覺。

Records dating from the reign of Paul II relate that the picture of Our Lady, at first called La Madonna del Paradiso and now better known as Madonna del Buon Consiglio, appeared at Genazzano, Italy, a town about twenty-five miles southeast of Rome, on 25 April 1467, in the old church of Santa Maria, which had been under the care of Augustinians since 1356. The venerated icon itself, which is drawn on a thin scale of wall-plaster little thicker than a visiting-card, was observed to hang suspended in the air without support; early tradition says that one could pass a thread around the image without touching it. Devotion to Our Lady in Santa Maria sprang up at once. Pilgrims began to pour in, miracles began and continue at the shrine.

In July 1467, Pope Paul deputed two bishops to investigate the alleged wonder-working image; no copy of their report is known to have survived. Devotion to Our Lady increased. In 1630, Pope Urban VIII made a pilgrimage to Genazzano, as did Pope Blessed Pius IX in 1864. On 17 November 1682 Pope Blessed Innocent XI had the picture crowned with gold by the Vatican Basilica. In 1727 Pope Benedict XIII granted the clergy of Genazzano an Office and Mass of Our Lady for 25 April, the anniversary of the apparition, elsewhere the feast being kept a day later so as not to conflict with that of Saint Mark the Evangelist. On 2 July 1753 Pope Benedict XIV approved the Pious Union of Our Lady of Good Counsel for the faithful at large, and himself enrolled therein as its pioneer member; Pope Pius IX and Pope Leo XIII were both later members. On 18 December 1779, Pope Pius VI, while re-approving devotion to Our Lady, granted all Augustinians an Office with hymns, lessons, prayer and Mass proper of double-major rite; with a plenary indulgence also for the faithful, to which Pope Pius VIII added another for visitors to the shrine. On 18 December 1884, Pope Leo XIII approved of a new Office and Mass of second-class rite for all Augustinians, while on 17 March 1903, he elevated the church of Santa Maria - one of the four parish churches in tiny Genazzano - to the rank of minor basilica. On 22 April 1903 he authorized the insertion in the Litany of Loreto of the invocation Mater Boni Consillii to follow that of Mater Admirabilis. The same pontiff on 21 December 1893 had sanctioned the use of the White Scapular of Our Lady of Good Counsel for the faithful. 

4月28日:聖伯多祿.查納 (司鐸、殉道)St. Peter Chanel

 聖人在一八○三年出生於法國;及長,任聖職人員,做牧靈工作達數年之久。旋入瑪利亞修會,首途大洋洲傳播福音,歷盡艱辛,使多人棄邪 歸正;一八四一年遭受仇教者的仇恨,於福多那島迫害。

4月28日:聖珍安娜St. Gianna Beretta Molla

「我的任務是為了讓真理在我身上彰顯,惹人喜愛、奉獻自己以吸引他人,必要時成為英勇的表率」

 聖珍安娜,是一位四個孩子的母親,同時也是一位小兒科專業醫生。1961年初九月初,當她懷著她第四個孩子的時候,診斷出挨著子宮外 長了一個腫 瘤。醫生告訴她有一個一勞永逸的方法:同時切除子宮、腫瘤與胎兒,即進行人工流產。身為一個醫生,她清楚自己不切除子宮的危險性。但她清楚表明了作為一個 母親,對自己胎兒的生命的態度:「如果你們必須在我與孩子之間,作一個選擇,請不要猶豫:選擇孩子— 我堅持救孩子」。

 寶貝成功誕生,僅經驗到短暫的喜樂,接著便是驚人劇烈的痛苦與昏迷。在急救無效的情況下,她在一週後平安過世,年僅三十九歲。珍安娜 這位母親,清 楚地指出胎兒是一個完完全全的人。她對生命明確而珍貴的態度,對鼓吹各式各樣合法墮胎的世界是一個衝擊。如今,這個孩子也成為一位醫生,在1997年9月 的「第二屆世界聖家日」致詞時,她表示:『我親愛的母親,感謝你賜給了我兩次生命,當妳懷我時及當妳允許生下我時,我的生命似乎是妳的生命、妳生活的喜悅 及妳熱誠信仰的延續。』

 珍安娜的一生看似平凡 – 家庭、工作、婚姻、母親,但當她面臨一個人最艱困、最重要的抉擇,她卻英勇地活出基督徒的信望愛三德—她對天主上智的安排有無限的依賴與信靠、對天主的照 顧有無限的希望、對自己的女兒更附出了最大的愛德:人若為自己的朋友捨掉性命,再沒有比這更大的愛情了。(若15:13)

 教宗若望保祿二世在珍安娜列聖品的講道中指出:珍安娜遵循耶穌的表樣,愛自己的人愛到死,這位家庭的聖母親英勇忠實地信守結婚時所承 諾的誓言,她所作的奉獻生命的徹底犧牲。證明只有敢於完全奉獻自己給天主和給弟兄的人,才能實現自己生存的最高理想。

St. Gianna Beretta Molla

The tenth of thirteen children born to Maria and Albert Beretta (five of whom died at an early age), Gianna was born on October 4, 1922. Her parents were Third Order Franciscans and they considered the education of their children almost a fulfillment of the work of God through the creation and molding of these souls; it was a divine undertaking for them.

Although Marie was responsible for rearing 13 little souls, she never neglected her missionary work and although they were not oppressed with poverty, the Beretta’s taught their children to live in great simplicity, frugality and joy. Both parents attended Mass with their children very early every morning and the Rosary was recited together in the home each evening. After the Rosary, the family repeated the consecration to the Sacred Heart along with other prayers. The family would then relax together sometimes playing the piano and singing or just conversing with each other about the days events.

Maria and Albert Beretta made sure that each of their children studied a profession so that he or she would be able to carry out Christian service to the community and permeate the professional world with the example of Christian life.

Due to her careful training in her Religious studies by her parents and her eldest sister Amelia, Gianna was fortunate to be allowed to make her First Communion at the age of 5 and a half. On April 4, 1948 she received her first Communion at the parish of Santa Grata in Bergamo. Two years later she was confirmed at the Cathedral. From then on, Gianna went to Mass and received Communion daily whatever the state of the weather or her studies. She was a daily communicant her whole life.

The canonization of Saint Gianna is the first of its kind. Many mothers have been beatified for their heroic virtues but they entered religious life after becoming widowed. In St Gianna’s case, the very condition of her being a spouse and mother is being exalted and highlighted. St Gianna is the first canonized woman physician and professional who was also a “working mom”.

The daughter of St Gianna, Dr. Gianna Emanuela, had fond memories of participating with her sister Laura at the World Conference of Families with the late and great Pope John Paul II. It was at that conference where Gianna said the following: "Thank you, Mom, for giving me birth two times, when you chose the risky surgery, and where you gave birth to me, sacrificing your own life. Please intercede for all mothers who call out to you!"

When Gianna was 12 years old, like other members of her family, she became involved in Catholic Action. Catholic Action was a movement whose aim was to mobilize the Catholic laity to live a more intense spiritual live. This would in turn inspire many and varied types of charitable and apostolic work on every level of society. Gianna took the program to heart and lived it to the fullest: Eucharistic devotion, apostolic action, and heroic purity.

In this atmosphere, Gianna’s resolutions strengthened and matured. While attending the university, Gianna became a leader in Catholic Action. All of her free time was devoted to apostolic work. She planned conferences, retreats, and excursions for the younger girls. Although wartime made this mission very difficult, Gianna persevered and worked untiringly for the good of souls who more than ever needed spiritual strength. Many of the individuals she was involved with or served testified that they rediscovered their faith in God through Gianna’s example.

Gianna’s words reflect how much she internalized what she had learned in Catholic.

In November 1949, Gianna received her doctorate in medicine and surgery. Then, out of love for children but also to be close to mothers, she specialized in pediatrics and joined her brother Ferdinando in a private health clinic in Mesero. The people who already knew her good family, flocked to her office with great confidence.

In addition to her busy medical practice, Gianna became a member of various medical organizations and volunteered her services to local facilities. Some of these are:

Pediatrician at the parish summer camp

Volunteer at the Village nursery

Member of Association of Catholic Physicians

Director of the infant nursery at the Omni Clinic

Member of The International Medical Assoc of Our Lady of Lourdes

In September 1961, towards the end of the second month of pregnancy, she was touched by suffering and the mystery of pain; she had developed a fibroma in her uterus. Considering the dangers, she could have chosen to have her uterus removed (hysterectomy) in order to remove the fibroid from her body. It would result, however, in the death of her 2 month old fetus, and preclude the possibility of future pregnancies. Based on the particulars of her case, this option would not have been morally problematic; Catholic moralists have analyzed cases of this sort under the Principle of Double Effect 1. Such an intervention is directed towards saving the life of the mother by removing the cancerous uterus (which has the undesired effect of ending the life of the unborn child). Morally, such a case would be properly considered under the aspect of a hysterectomy, not under the rubric of elective abortion.

A second option in St. Gianna's case would be to have the fibroid removed as well as terminating the pregnancy, thereby still retaining the possibility of future pregnancies. This option, by requiring direct abortion, would be morally contraindicated.

A third option would be to have the fibroid surgically removed and risk the continuation of her pregnancy, which is the option St. Gianna chose. Because she was a physician, Gianna understood that the risks were several: the surgery on the uterus might irritate it to the point that the pregnancy would be threatened and would spontaneously abort. The blood loss can be difficult to control in a pregnant uterus. Surgery on the uterus under these circumstances also presented the danger that during the remainder of the pregnancy, there might be a re-opening of the scarred wound from the surgery. A flare-up of this sort could be dangerous from the rapid bleeding that would ensue. (There were no ultrasound before the surgery at that time)

Gianna followed the recommendation of her advising physician and had the fibroid removed, but insisted that the maximum care be used during the surgery so as to avoid interrupting the pregnancy or harming the developing fetus.

Before the required surgical operation, and conscious of the risk that her continued pregnancy brought, she pleaded with the surgeon to save the life of the child she was carrying, and entrusted herself to prayer and Providence.

She stated: Yes, I have prayed so much in these days. With faith and hope I have entrusted myself to the Lord... I trust in God, yes; but now it is up to me to fulfill my duty as a mother. I renew to the Lord the offer of my life. I am ready for everything, to save my baby." The life was saved, for which she thanked the Lord. She spent the seven months remaining until the birth of the child in incomparable strength of spirit and unrelenting dedication to her tasks as mother and doctor. She worried that the baby in her womb might be born in pain, and she asked God to prevent that.

On Good Friday, April 20, 1962, Gianna went to the Monza Maternity Hospital to deliver her fourth child. A few days before the child was due, although trusting as always in Providence, she was ready to give her life in order to save that of her child: "If you must decide between me and the child, do not hesitate: choose the child--I insist on it. Save the baby." On the morning of 21 April 1962, baby Gianna Emanuela, named in memory of her mother, was born.

Gianna's condition began to decline soon afterwards, with symptoms including an elevated fever, a rapid, weakened pulse, and exhaustion. She died 7 days later of septic peritonitis, an infection of the lining of the abdomen, notwithstanding the fact that antibiotics were utilized in her treatment.

In the medical world of today, of the 1990's, it might well have been possible to save Gianna's life in addition to her daughter's. Septic peritonitis today is rarely fatal when identified early and aggressively treated. Physicians often have recourse to a highly effective triple regimen, three types of antibiotics at the same time. But in Gianna's day, methods of antibiotic treatment were not as advanced, and the means available for monitoring the progress of a pregnancy were also not as sophisticated as they are today. With ultrasound, highly specific blood tests, and CAT scans, we are Saint to live in an age where the making of a life or death between mother or child is becoming progressively more uncommon and unnecessary.

Sadly, though, we live in an age where life and death decisions against the unborn child are made with an ever greater casualness, and pregnancies are terminated for reasons that can only be termed trivial. Saint Glanna's example of heroic commitment to the life of her own child throws into clear relief the scandal of the easy-abort mentality of our day.

Participating at the World Conference of Families with the late and great Pope John Paul II, The daughter of St Gianna, Dr. Gianna Emanuela, said the following: "Thank you, Mom, for giving me birth two times, when you chose the risky surgery, and where you gave birth to me, sacrificing your own life. Please intercede for all mothers who call out to you!"

Reflections of St. Gianna Beretta Molla:

"Whatever God wants".

"If one were to consider how much Jesus has suffered, one would not commit the smallest sin".

"When one does one's own duty, one must not be concerned, because God's help will not be lacking".

"Our body is a cenacle, a monstrance: through its crystal the world should see God".

"The secret of happiness is to live moment by moment and to thank God for all that He, in His goodness, sends to us day after day".

"God's Providence is in all things, it's always present".

"Lord, keep Your grace in my heart. Live in me so that Your grace be mine. Make it that I may bear every day some flowers and new fruit".

"One earns Paradise with one's daily task".

"Why do you not succeed in doing good? It's because you do not pray enough".

"Also in suffering, let us say: Thanks be to God".

"In order to bring true peace back to my soul, the only way that there exists on the Earth is Confession, because Jesus awaits me with His immense heart".

"One cannot love without suffering or suffer without loving".

"Look at the mothers who truly love their children: how many sacrifices they make for them. They are ready for everything, even to give their own blood so that their babies grow up good, healthy and strong".

"0 Mary, into your maternal hands I place myself and I abandon myself completely, sure of obtaining whatever I ask of you. I trust in you because you are the sweet Mother, I confide in you because you are the Mother of Jesus. In this trust I place myself, sure of being heard in everything; with this trust in my heart I greet you "my Mother, my trust", I devote myself entirely to you, begging you to remember that I am yours, that I belong to you; keep me and defend me, 0 sweet Mary, and in every instant of my life, present me to your Son, Jesus".

Saint Gianna composed this prayer of consecration to Mary:

"0 Jesus, I promise You to submit myself to all that You permit to happen to me, make me only know Your Will". My most sweet Jesus, infinitely merciful God, most tender Father of souls, and in a particular way of the most weak, most miserable, most infirm which You carry with special tenderness between Your divine arms, I come to You to ask You, through the love and merits of Your Sacred Heart, the grace to comprehend and to do always Your holy will, the grace to confide in You, the grace to rest securely through time and eternity in Your loving divine arms

Novena To Obtain Graces Through Saint Gianna Beretta Molla (19/4 Begin)

God, our Father, you have granted to your church the gift of Gianna Beretta Molla. In her youth she lovingly sought you and drew other young people to you, involving them, through apostolic witness and Catholic Action, in the care of the sick and aged, to help and comfort them.

We thank you for the gift of this young women, so deeply committed to you. Through her example grant us the grace to consecrate our life to your service, for the joy of our brothers and sisters.

Glory be …

Jesus, Redeemer of mankind, you called Saint Gianna to exercise the medical profession as a mission for the comfort of bodies and souls. In her suffering fellowmen and in the little ones, deprived of all support, she saw you.

We thank you for having revealed yourself to this servant as “one who serves” and who soothes the sufferings of men. Treasuring her example may we become generous Christians at the service of our brothers and sisters, especially those with whom you deign to share your Cross.

Glory be…

God, Sanctifying Spirit, who love the Church as your Bride, you poured into the heart of Saint Gianna a share of your Love so that she could radiate it in her family, and thus cooperate with you in the wonderful plan of creation, and give life to new children who could not know and love you.

We thank you for this model wife and, through her encouraging witness, we beg you to grant to our families the serene and Christian presence of mothers committed to transform them into cenacles of faith and love, rich with generous activity and sanctifying service.

Glory be…

O God, Creator and lover of mankind, you were close to Saint Gianna when, affected by illness, she was in the painful dilemma of choosing between her own life and the life of the child whom she was carrying in herself, a gift long-awaited. Trusting you alone, and aware of your Commandment to respect human life, Gianna found the courage to do her duty as a mother and to say “yes” to the new life of her baby, generously sacrificing her own. Through the intercession of Mary, Mother of Jesus, and after the example of Gianna, inspire all mothers to welcome with love the sparkle of new life. Grant us the grace we are praying for …………. and the joy to find in Saint Gianna who, as a model spouse and mother, after the example of Christ, gave up her life for the life of others.

Hail Mary…

Saint Gianna Prayer

God our Father we praise You and we bless you because in St Gianna Beretta Molla you have given us one who witnessed to the Gospel as a young women, as a wife, as a mother, and as a doctor. We thank you because through the gift of her life we can learn to welcome and honor every human person.

You, Lord Jesus, were for Gianna a splendid example. She learned to recognize you in the beauty of nature. As she was questioning her choice of vocation she went in search of you and the best way to serve you. Through her married love she became a sign of your love for the Church and for humanity. Like you, the Good Samaritan, she cared for everyone who was sick, small or weak. Following your example, out of love she gave herself entirely, generating new life.

Holy Spirit, Source of every perfection, give us wisdom, intelligence, and courage so that, following the example of Saint Gianna and through her intercession, we may know how to place ourselves at the service of each person we meet in our personal, family and professional lives, and thus grow in love and holiness. Amen.

4月28日:聖路易瑪利(類思).葛利寧.蒙福(司鐸)Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort

 聖類思1673年出生於法國蒙福特Monfort。他1710年在楠德思Nantes加入道明第三會,是恭敬聖母和玫瑰經的推動人。 他獻身到處宣 講福音,引導眾人歸回正路,維持公教會教理的完整。他創立了瑪利亞傳教會和智慧孝女會。1716年去世,1947年教宗碧岳十二世列聖品。

孝愛真諦 引言 聖聖類思、葛利寧.蒙福 著

 耶穌基督的降生入世,先通過聖母,因此基督的君臨世界,也一定先通過聖母。

 瑪利亞的一生、深藏不露,因此天主聖神與聖教會稱之為“隱晦之母”,瑪利亞的謙遜登峰造極,一生單願意自卑自賤,不求其他受造物的賞 識,只求天主的賞識。這是瑪利亞生平最動人的一點。

 聖母只求隱晦貧賤,天主為了成全瑪利亞的志願,盡量隱藏瑪利亞,瑪利亞的受孕、誕生、一生奧跡,復活、升天、幾乎沒有人知道。瑪利亞 的父母,也不明白究竟。甚至天神也彼此問著:“這女子是誰”?天主也瞞著天神,即使透露了一些,但所隱藏的真不知道多少。

 天主聖父給瑪利亞顯聖蹟的能力,但允許聖母不顯聖蹟,至少不顯煊赫的聖蹟。天主聖子以自己的智慧授與瑪利亞,但答應瑪利亞緘默不言。 瑪利亞是聖神的淨配,但聖神准許宗徒與聖師們,除了介紹耶穌時,不得不提到瑪利亞外,總是不談瑪利亞。

 瑪利亞是至尊天主的傑作,天主只願意自己欣賞,佔有瑪利亞。瑪利亞是“可奇者母”,聖子孝愛瑪利亞,超過任何天神世人,但為了體貼瑪 利亞的謙遜, 在世時竭力屈辱瑪利亞,稱瑪利亞為“婦人”,視瑪利亞如陌路。瑪利亞是天主聖神的淨配,是“封泉”,惟有聖神能進入其中。瑪利亞是天主聖三的宮殿與安宅; 天主不論在什麼地方,即使在天神中間,也不如在瑪利亞心中。更顯得神儀煥發,更顯出天主之所以為天主。任何受造之物,不論如何潔淨,倘使沒有天主的特恩, 不能進入瑪利亞心中。

 照聖人的公論,瑪利亞是“新亞當”的地堂,新亞當因聖神之工,降孕於瑪利亞懷中,進行不可思議的奇蹟。瑪利亞是天主的神聖世界,在這 世界中有沒法 形容的千奇萬妙。瑪利亞是至尊天主的寶庫,天主將懷中獨子,藏在其中,一切珍寶,便也盡萃於此。唉!全能天主在瑪利亞身上完成了多少偉大而隱秘的奇蹟!瑪 利亞雖則謙遜至極,也不得不承認:“全能者大展厥德於我,錫以異恩.用彰聖名” 。但是世界對於這些奇蹟不知不識,因為沒法認識,也不配認識。

 聖賢們論這一座“天主聖城”的名言警句,真是層出不窮。他們都說自己從未像談論瑪利亞時,那樣滔滔不絕,得意忘形。聖賢們一致承認: 聖母在天主台 前的功勞,高於摩天的山峰;聖母的仁慈,廣於無垠的大地:聖母的權力,既然及於天主,真是無法模擬;聖母的謙遜,聖母的德行聖寵,好比深不可測的山谷。高 不可攀,深不可測,廣大無邊!每天,自地球的一端至另一端,上自九天,下至黃泉,一切都在宣揚聖母的奇妙。九品天神,地上眾生,不論長幼貴賤良莠,不論信 與不信,不論願與不願,連冥獄的魔鬼,也在真理的催迫之下,不得不稱聖母為“殊福童真”。聖文都辣說:“全體天神不斷歡呼說:聖,聖,聖,天主之母,童貞 聖瑪利亞!每天向聖母獻上億萬次的祝頌:萬福,瑪利亞!爭著為聖母效勞,博聖母的歡心”。聖奧斯定說:“聖彌額爾雖然是天神之長,伺候聖母最熱心,時時刻 刻等待聖母的命令,去幫助聖母的忠僕”。

 世界充滿著瑪利亞的光榮,尤其在信友中間,尤其在奉聖母為主保的國家、教區、城鎮。多少獻於天主的聖堂,題著聖母的聖名!那一座聖堂 沒有特敬聖母 的祭台!那一處沒有聖母的聖像,沒有去魔施惠的聖像!多少善會,多少修會奉聖母主保,託在聖母的保護之下!多少會友、多少修士修女,從事於讚美聖母的美 善,宜傳聖母的慈愛!呀呀學語的嬰孩,也用“萬福瑪利亞”來讚美聖母!那一個罪人,即便頑固不化,想到聖母時,能不燃起依賴聖母的心火!連地獄中的魔鬼, 對聖母也不得不起敬起畏!

 聖人們說:“對於聖母,沒有足夠二字!”真的“讚美聖母、宣揚聖母、光榮聖母、愛慕聖母、奉事聖母、還沒有到相當程度”。聖母理應受 更多的讚美、 恭敬、愛慕、奉事。天主聖神說:“王女之榮華在於內”(詠44:14),好像天地的光榮聖母僅屬外表,和聖母內心所受於天主的作一比較,真是微乎其微,渺 小的受造物,既然不能洞悉萬王之王的秘密,當然不會認識聖母內心的蘊藏。最後,我們該用保祿宗徒的話,向聖母說:聖母,你的美善、偉大、奇妙、真是“目所 未睹,耳所未聞,人心所意想不到的”(格2:9) 。這是聖寵、自然、榮光、三界中最大的奇蹟。有一位聖人說,誰想了解聖母,先該了解聖子,因為聖母是名實相符的天主之母。那末,我們只能“鉗口結舌”,想 望聖母的光輝於萬一而已。

 我高興踴躍,寫出上面一段,證明世界尚未認識聖母,而且因為不認識聖母,也就不認識耶穌基督。一朝世界能認識至聖童貞瑪利亞的德容母 儀,耶穌基督的神國,自然臨格於世界,因為聖母既然第一次給世界帶來了耶穌,一定會第二次使耶穌照耀世界。

Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort

Born poor. Studied in Paris, France, and ordained in 1700. While a seminarian he delighted in researching the writings of Church Fathers, Doctors and Saints as they related to the Blessed Virgin Mary, to whom he was singularly devoted.

Under Mary’s inspiration, he founded the Congregation of the Daughters of Divine Wisdom, a religious institute of women devoted to the care of the destitute. During this work, he began his apostolate of preaching the Rosary and authentic Marian devotion. He preached so forcefully and effectively against the errors of Jansenism that he was expelled from several dioceses in France. In Rome Pope Clement XI conferred on him the title and authority of Missionary Apostolic, which enabled him to continue his apostolate after returning to France. He preached Mary everywhere and to everyone. A member of the Third Order of Saint Dominic, Saint Louis was one of the greatest apostles of the Rosary in his day, and by means his miraculously inspiring book, The Secret of the Rosary, he is still so today; the most common manner of reciting the Rosary is the method that originated with Saint Louis’s preaching. In 1715, he founded a missionary band known as the Company of Mary.

His greatest contribution to the Church and world is Total Consecration to the Blessed Virgin. He propagated this in his day by preaching and after his own death by his other famous book True Devotion to Mary. Consecration to Mary is for Saint Louis the perfect manner of renewing one’s baptismal promises. His spirituality has been espoused by millions, especially Pope John Paul II, who has consecrated not only himself but every place he has visited as pope. In True Devotion to Mary, Saint Louis prophesied that the army of souls consecrated to Mary will be Her instrument in defeating the Devil and his Antichrist. As Satan gains power in the world, so much more shall the new Eve triumph over him and crush his head.

The cause for his declaration as a Doctor of the Church is now being pursued.

TREATISE ON TRUE DEVOTION TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN

INTRODUCTION OF SAINT LOUIS MARIE

1. It was through the Blessed Virgin Mary that Jesus came into the world, and it is also through her that he must reign in the world.

2. Because Mary remained hidden during her life she is called by the Holy Spirit and the Church "Alma Mater", Mother hidden and unknown. So great was her humility that she desired nothing more upon earth than to remain unknown to herself and to others, and to be known only to God.

3. In answer to her prayers to remain hidden, poor and lowly, God was pleased to conceal her from nearly every other human creature in her conception, her birth, her life, her mysteries, her resurrection and assumption. Her own parents did not really know her; and the angels would often ask one another, "Who can she possibly be?", for God had hidden her from them, or if he did reveal anything to them, it was nothing compared with what he withheld.

4. God the Father willed that she should perform no miracle during her life, at least no public one, although he had given her the power to do so. God the Son willed that she should speak very little although he had imparted his wisdom to her.

Even though Mary was his faithful spouse, God the Holy Spirit willed that his apostles and evangelists should say very little about her and then only as much as was necessary to make Jesus known.

5. Mary is the supreme masterpiece of Almighty God and he has reserved the knowledge and possession of her for himself. She is the glorious Mother of God the Son who chose to humble and conceal her during her lifetime in order to foster her humility. He called her "Woman" as if she were a stranger, although in his heart he esteemed and loved her above all men and angels. Mary is the sealed fountain and the faithful spouse of the Holy Spirit where only he may enter. She is the sanctuary and resting-place of the Blessed Trinity where God dwells in greater and more divine splendour than anywhere else in the universe, not excluding his dwelling above the cherubim and seraphim. No creature, however pure, may enter there without being specially privileged.

6. I declare with the saints: Mary is the earthly paradise of Jesus Christ the new Adam, where he became man by the power of the Holy Spirit, in order to accomplish in her wonders beyond our understanding. She is the vast and divine world of God where unutterable marvels and beauties are to be found. She is the magnificence of the Almighty where he hid his only Son, as in his own bosom, and with him everything that is most excellent and precious. What great and hidden things the all-powerful God has done for this wonderful creature, as she herself had to confess in spite of her great humility, "The Almighty has done great things for me." The world does not know these things because it is incapable and unworthy of knowing them.

7. The saints have said wonderful things of Mary, the holy City of God, and, as they themselves admit, they were never more eloquent and more pleased than when they spoke of her. And yet they maintain that the height of her merits rising up to the throne of the Godhead cannot be perceived; the breadth of her love which is wider than the earth cannot be measured; the greatness of the power which she wields over one who is God cannot be conceived; and the depths of her profound humility and all her virtues and graces cannot be sounded. What incomprehensible height! What indescribable breadth! What immeasurable greatness! What an impenetrable abyss!

8. Every day, from one end of the earth to the other, in the highest heaven and in the lowest abyss, all things preach, all things proclaim the wondrous Virgin Mary. The nine choirs of angels, men and women of every age, rank and religion, both good and evil, even the very devils themselves are compelled by the force of truth, willingly or unwillingly, to call her blessed.

According to St. Bonaventure, all the angels in heaven unceasingly call out to her: "Holy, holy, holy Mary, Virgin Mother of God." They greet her countless times each day with the angelic greeting, "Hail, Mary", while prostrating themselves before her, begging her as a favor to honor them with one of her requests. According to St. Augustine, even St. Michael, though prince of all the heavenly court, is the most eager of all the angels to honor her and lead others to honor her. At all times he awaits the privilege of going at her word to the aid of one of her servants.

9. The whole world is filled with her glory, and this is especially true of Christian peoples, who have chosen her as guardian and protectress of kingdoms, provinces, dioceses, and towns. Many cathedrals are consecrated to God in her name. There is no church without an altar dedicated to her, no country or region without at least one of her miraculous images where all kinds of afflictions are cured and all sorts of benefits received. Many are the confraternities and associations honoring her as patron; many are the orders under her name and protection; many are the members of sodalities and religious of all congregations who voice her praises and make known her compassion. There is not a child who does not praise her by lisping a Hail Mary. There is scarcely a sinner, however hardened, who does not possess some spark of confidence in her. The very devils in hell, while fearing her, show her respect.

10. And yet in truth we must still say with the saints: De Maria numquam satis : We have still not praised, exalted, honored, loved and served Mary adequately. She is worthy of even more praise, respect, love and service.

11. Moreover, we should repeat after the Holy Spirit, "All the glory of the king's daughter is within", meaning that all the external glory which heaven and earth vie with each other to give her is nothing compared to what she has received interiorly from her Creator, namely, a glory unknown to insignificant creatures like us, who cannot penetrate into the secrets of the king.

12. Finally, we must say in the words of the apostle Paul, "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has the heart of man understood" the beauty, the grandeur, the excellence of Mary, who is indeed a miracle of miracles of grace, nature and glory. "If you wish to understand the Mother," says a saint, "then understand the Son. She is a worthy Mother of God." Hic taceat omnis lingua : Here let every tongue be silent.

13. My heart has dictated with special joy all that I have written to show that Mary has been unknown up till now, and that that is one of the reasons why Jesus Christ is not known as he should be.

If then, as is certain, the knowledge and the kingdom of Jesus Christ must come into the world, it can only be as a necessary consequence of the knowledge and reign of Mary. She who first gave him to the world will establish his kingdom in the world. 

4月29日:聖加大利納.仙 娜(貞女、聖師)(紀念)St. Catherine of Siena

 聖女加大利納是仙娜人,一三四七年聖母領報瞻禮誕生。父親是一個染工,生有子女二十五人,聖女和另一個孿生姊妹最小。

 聖女幼時就已熱愛上主,上下樓梯時每走一級,跪地念聖母經一遍。六歲時,同她哥哥出城看望長姐,半路上經過聖堂,突見耶穌在堂頂顯 現,聖伯多祿、 聖保祿和聖若望等宗徒隨侍在旁。耶穌向她微笑,並舉手降福她,加大利納神魂超拔,呆立甚久。哥哥催她快走,加大利納說:「你若能看見我所看見的事就不會催 我走了。」她定睛注視,耶穌已隱沒不見,不禁含淚長歎。

 十二歲那年,加大利納從父母的勸告,對髮樣服裝稍加注意。可是不久,她就後悔起來,便服裝樸素,不再使用脂粉。她一再向父母聲明,終 身守貞不嫁。 為了表示守貞的決心,用剪刀將頭髮剪去。母親大怒,罰她操苦工,一天到晚責駡她,飲食不准與兄姊同席。聖女逆來順受,怡然自樂。後來她在《上主上智眷顧》 一書內,自述道:「天主叫她在心裡開一間小房,儘管外面的苦難紛紛而來,她照常可以與天主密談,一點也不會受到外界事物的干擾。」

 有志者,事竟成。到後來,她父親見她意志堅決,便准她守貞不嫁,自那時起,她在自己的小室內,念經祈禱勤操苦行,夜間睡在地板上。她 加入多明我第三會,這是她多年來的願望,終於實現了。

 加大利納雖有時享受若干神慰神樂,可是她常受種種考驗。邪魔千方百計誘她犯罪。加大利納以不變應萬變,一心依靠天主終於克服誘惑。有 一次,天主表 面上似乎把她棄置一旁,她心裡很難受,誘惑退後,耶穌顯現給她。聖女哀哭道:「主呀,方才邪魔圍困我,你在哪裡?」耶穌說:「那時我在你心,幫助你抵抗魔 鬼的誘惑。」接著,耶穌安慰她,勸她不要難受,因為考驗的時期快將結束。

 一三六六年耶穌又顯現給她,聖母瑪利亞和一群天神立在耶穌旁邊。聖母拉著加大利納的手,耶穌把一雙戒指戴在她手上,作為他與加大利納 締結神婚的標記。自那時起,聖女手上真的有一雙結婚戒指,可是除她以外,別人都無法看見。

 不久以後,加大利納獲天主啟示結束隱居生活,出外傳教做拯救靈魂的工作。

 如同別的多明我第三會會員一樣,加大利納常去醫院侍候病人。可是她往往選擇最髒的病人。醫院裡有兩個女病人,一個患癌症,一個患麻風 病。那兩個人脾氣很壞,常與她無事生非,惡言辱駡。聖女一味忍耐,用偉大的精神感化她們,到後來兩人都愧悔,成了熱心的教友。

 吾主耶穌曾對加大利納說:「我希望你對別人多行愛德善功,通過這些愛德善功與我更密切地結合。」

 耶穌向她顯現的次數越來越頻繁。不但在她一人獨居小室的時候,而且在公共場所也有。當她在堂裡望彌撒或領了聖體以後,常有神魂超拔的 情況,念經祈 禱時,身體往往被提升空中。好幾位神父、修士、修女,經常向加大利納請教靈修方法。他們非常尊敬加大利納,稱她為姆母,加大利納也待他們如子女一般,指示 他們如何行善避惡,修德成聖。

 加大利納聖德的名聲已是眾所周知的。有些頑固的人對她不免有所妒忌,指控她是沽名釣譽的偽君子。加大利納一度被召出席佛羅倫斯多明我 會全體大會。大會對聖女的一切行為詳加查訊後,充分肯定了一些人對加大利納的控告純屬無中生有,沒有絲毫根據。

 過了一個時期,多明我會會士真福雷蒙加布被指定為加大利納的神師。雷蒙加布是一位有才學有見識的神父(後來當選多明我會總會長),他 非常欽佩加大利納的才德,後來為她作傳記。

 就在加大利納回到仙娜的時候,疫病盛行,死亡的人不計其數。聖女冒著生命的危險侍候病人,勸他們領洗,並親手殮葬亡者。有好幾位神父 因常與病人接觸,染上疫症,賴聖女熱心看護,才保全了生命。

 加大利納除照顧病人外常往監獄探視囚犯,安慰他們,照顧他們的靈魂。有一位武士,出言不慎,冒犯了國君,被判死刑,加大利納到監獄勸 他辦神工。那 武士在獄中望彌撒,領聖體。行刑時,加大利納在刑架旁陪著,武士很喜樂地走上去,當他口中吐出「吾主耶穌,加大利納」二語時人頭落地,加大利納接過來抱在 手裡。事後她追述道:「那時,我看見耶穌接引武士的靈魂冉冉升天。」

 加大利納聖德的名聲傳遍各地。信友們紛紛向她請示一切靈修問題。有三位多明我會神父負責給那些信友聽告解。

 一三七五年加大利納去比薩,有一天她在聖克利蒂那小堂望彌撒,領聖體後突然神魂超拔。就在那時她的雙手雙足和肋部出現了五傷,鮮血淋 淋,加大利納感覺異常痛苦,當即昏暈過去。這些聖傷在她生前,只有她一人知道,等她死了以後,傷痕才外顯出來,人人都能看見。

 那時義大利若干城市與教宗發生誤會,加大利納全力調解,她親往亞維農朝見教宗額我略十一世,勸教宗返羅馬。教宗接受她的勸告,於公元 一三七六年九月十三日由亞維農起程返羅馬。加大利納也不惜冒生命危險,親往佛羅倫斯調節爭端。

 加大利納任務完成後,著手編寫靈修書籍,共四大卷,即傳誦一時的《加大利納對話》。

 加大利納一生為教會服務任勞任怨。一三八O年突患重病半身不遂。四月三十日安逝。年僅三十二歲。一四六一年榮列聖品。

 聖女加大利納的著作,除了上述《加大利納對話》外,還有書信四百封。這些書信有的是寫給教宗的,有的是寫給國家元首的,有的是寫給各 級上司和世俗 人士的。這些書信,對各項靈修問題,具有很精確的見解。而且給我們提供了有關當時教會歷史的寶貴資料。一九七O年被教宗保祿六世尊為聖教會的聖師。

4月29日:Bl. Mary Magdalene of the Incarnation (1770-1824)

Foundress of the Perpetual Adorers of The Blessed Sacrament

Blessed Mary Magdalene was called by Jesus directly when He told her, “I have chosen you to establish the work of perpetual adorers who, day and night, will offer me their humble adoration...”. She spent her whole life adoring Jesus in the Eucharist. Can we also follow Jesus wishes and commit just one hour a week out of our lives in adoring our beloved Lord?

“May Jesus be known, loved and adored by all, and be in every moment the receiver of thanksgiving in the most holy and most divine sacrament.”

Source: http://www.vatican.va/news_services/liturgy/saints/2008/ns_lit_doc_20080503_magdalena-encarnacion_en.html

Caterina Sordini was born on 16 April 1770 at Grosseto, Italy, the fourth of nine children born into a deeply Catholic family. When she was seventeen years old, a rich young man of good background, Alphonsus, made a proposal of marriage, and on a visit to her one day left a gift of numerous precious jewels.

On Sunday, Catherine dressed up and looked at herself in the mirror with pleasure. At the moment, however, she saw in the same mirror the sorrowful face of Jesus crucified who said to her, “Perhaps, you wish to abandon me for another?”

She took the question seriously and in February 1788 visited the Franciscan Tertiary Monastery in Ischia di Castro. Caterina entered then and there, thus shocking her father who had thought it was merely a visit. She was clothed six months later, taking the name of Sr Mary Magdalene of the Incarnation.

On 19 February 1789, she fell into ecstasy and saw a vision of “Jesus seated on a throne of grace in the Blessed Sacrament, surrounded by virgins adoring him” and heard him telling her: “I have chosen you to establish the work of perpetual adorers who, day and night, will offer me their humble adoration...”. Thus, she was called to become a foundress and to spend her life adoring Jesus in the Eucharist. In that turbulent period for the Church she set an example to all.

She was elected Abbess on 20 April 1802. The period of her governance was accompanied by extraordinary phenomena and an increasingly fervent spiritual life, and the abbey thrived. With the consent of her spiritual director and the local Bishop she drafted the rules of the new Institute and set out for Rome on 31 May 1807.

On 8 July that year, she and a few Sisters moved into Sts Joachim and Anne convent, near the Trevi Fountain. Under the French occupation it was confiscated and the Napoleonic laws suppressed her Order. She was exiled to Tuscany.

There she formed a new group of Adorers. On 19 March 1814, when they could return to Rome they settled at Sant’Anna al Quirinale. On 13 February 1818, Pope Pius VII approved the Institute dedicated to perpetual, solemn, public exposition of the Most Blessed Sacrament.

Mother Mary Magdalene died in Rome on 29 April 1824. She was buried at Sant’Anna al Quirinale and in 1839 her remains were translated to the Church of Santa Maria Maddalena, the new generalate of the Perpetual Adorers in Rome. Pope John Paul II decreed her heroic virtues in 2001, and in 2007 Benedict XVI recognized a miracle attributed to her intercession. She was beatified on 3 May 2008.

4月30日:聖庇護五世(教 宗) St. Pius V

(1504-1572)

 1504年時,教宗聖碧岳五世誕生於義大利鮑斯高的一個貴族家庭裡。他領洗時所領受的聖名是彌額爾(Michael),自幼即受到家 中虔敬與聖善 氣氛的薰陶。青年時,他從道明會士那接受了士林神哲學的教育,15歲時便加入了道明會。在這段時間中,聖人在與天主的關係和學業上都突飛猛進。

 1528年,聖人領受司鐸聖制,同時,被指派為 Genoa 地區的神哲學教師。在接續的十六年中,聖人在道明會的許多會院之間穿梭往來,當時他即是一位嚴格遵守會規的道明會士了,無論是在會規的文字上或範例上都 是。

 1555年,聖人在相反自己的意願下被選為 Nepi 與 Sutri的主教;繼而,1557年時,他被選為樞機。在他作為主教的期間,聖人不斷地以言以行鼓勵教友生活敬虔,並激勵人們以最大的熱情恭敬天主。 1566年時,教宗保祿四世駕崩,聖人隨即被選為接任教宗,並接下了實踐特利騰大公會議革新呼聲的重責大任。

 可以這麼說:聖人的主要職責,便是持續推動特利騰大公會議(Council of Trent 1545-1563)的主要決議。若我們以為當代的幾位教宗在推動梵二大公會議(Vatican Council II)的重要決議上,因面臨許多艱困而滯礙難行的話,那麼,教宗碧岳五世所遭遇的難題,較之四個世紀後的我們,可謂是有過之而無不及了。

 在聖人任職教宗的期間(1566-1572),他所面對的幾乎是一個分崩離析的教會,因此,落在這位新任教宗肩上的,就是重行將她整 合起來,讓她 再一次地穩穩站立於基督這磐石之上。稍早,基督的教會被內部的腐敗、外部的宗教改革洪濤、土耳其軍隊的不斷入侵,以及新興國家血腥的抗爭所搖撼著。於是 乎,前任的一位教宗便在1545年時召開了特利騰大公會議,試圖為教會解決這些排山倒海而來的問題。這個大公會議前後斷斷續續地召開了共計十八年。與會的 教長們在冗長的討論後,陸續發表正式的譴責與聲明,並且決定出一套具體的行動方針來。最後,大會在1563年閉幕。

 碧岳五世在1566年時被選為教宗,其主要職責便是延續大公會議的主要精神。首先,他命令所屬部會研擬創辦培育司鐸的神學院;同時, 出版了一部新的彌撒經書、一本新的日課經本、一本新的要理,並為了培育年輕教友而創建了「基督徒教義組織(Confraternity of Christian Doctrine - CCD)」的課程;聖人還熱衷於制定教會法,以避免教會內部的濫權;他還為病人與窮人建構醫院;為飢貧者提供食物;並將教宗例常舉行餐宴的金錢轉而用在資 助貧窮的皈依者身上;他堅持穿著道明會會衣的決定,也成了以後教宗身著白色長袍的慣例。

 在致力於教會的改革與國際的事務上,聖人遭遇了英國女王伊莉撒伯(Elizabeth)與羅馬皇帝麥斯米良二世 (Maximilian II)的激烈反對;法國與荷蘭的問題,也大大地阻礙了教宗希望團結歐洲以對抗土耳其的期待。最後,為抵擋土耳其軍隊的入侵,他所能做的,只是組織一支艦 隊,該艦隊於1571年的10月7日,在距離希臘不遠的雷龐托的高夫(Gulf of Lepanto)贏得了一場決定性的戰役。

 碧岳五世之所以不斷呼籲教會革新,與他是一位道明會會士的人格特質有關;他為與天主同在,將絕大部分的時間都花費在靜觀天主與嚴厲的 補贖上;他也 放棄了教宗奢華生活的慣例,且在其任內,以完全的心神忠實地踐行道明會的會規。最後,聖人於1572年的5月1日安逝。教宗克萊孟在1672年的5月1日 將其列為真福品;1712年的5月22日,教宗克萊孟十一世將其列為聖品。