日曆

九月紀念的聖人

9月3日:聖額我略一世(教 宗 聖師)(紀念) St. Gregory the Great

「眾僕之僕」

 聖額我略一世,通常稱為「大額我略」,因為他在事業、功德、學問方面,都出人頭地。

 聖額我略就任教宗的時代,羅馬內憂外患交迫,瘡痍滿目,民不聊生。

 額我略的家庭,是羅馬的元老,熱心敬主。在額我略以前,這一家已出過兩位教宗,就是亞格比多一世和斐理士三世。

 額我略青年時受過良好的教育,學業完成後,在政府機關供職。此時,隆巴族人一再攻襲義大利,羅馬局勢危急,朝不保夕。 額我略那時年僅三十歲,擔任著羅馬總督的職任,他勤敏盡職,深得市民的愛載。

 可是額我略知道自己應獻身從事更有價值的工作,為天主服務。 那時,他是羅馬首富之一,將全部家產捐作善舉,將自己的住屋改為修院,委託一位修士管理,這個修院奉聖安德肋為主保。他開始過隱修生活。

 在這段隱居的時期,額我略聖德日進,可是他因守齋過嚴,竟染胃病,終身常為病魔折磨。

 當然,像額我略這樣才德雙全的人才,決不能長期埋沒著。 不久,教會當局授與他副祭的品位,並派他擔任駐東羅馬帝國大使。額我略因不讀希臘文,所以在君士坦丁堡任大使的時期,與外界接觸較少。 他到君土坦丁堡上任時,帶了聖安德肋修院幾位修士同來。他與這些修土仍和過去一樣,過著修會的生活。

 額我略在君士坦丁堡與聖利達結交,兩人一見如故,成為莫逆知友。額我略按利達的要求,著手編寫約伯傳注釋。

 西元五八六年,教宗召額我略回羅馬,他當選聖安德肋修院院長。

 某日,額我略在街道散步,看見三個金發英俊少年,標價出售為奴。 額我略問起這幾位不幸的少年原籍何處,人們對他說:「那是盎格魯人。」額我略對他們深表同情; 同時,他獲悉盎格魯人未獲信德真光,決定偕同幾位修士往英國傳教。 可是羅馬市民聽說他們啟程上路的消息後,聯名要求教會當局挽留額我略,另派別人前去。額我略無奈,只好打消往英國傳教的計劃。

 「額我略三十台煉靈彌撒」的來歷,也與額我略任院長的這段時期有關。 額我略的修院裏,有一個修士,身患重病,臨終前透露自己有金幣三枚隱藏在某處,這與修士禁止有私產的會規,顯然有抵觸。 那修士死後,按會規不准葬在修士的公墓,另在別處挖了一個墳穴,將棺柩與三枚金幣一同埋葬。 可是額我略認為這修士臨死前已懺悔自己的罪,就命同院修士為亡者一連三十天獻彌撒,求上主賜他早日脫離煉獄。 到了三十天,亡者顯現給他的胞弟,報告自己死後在煉獄受罰,如今罪罰已滿,升天享福。

 西元五九O年,羅馬發生瘟疫,教宗不幸染病身亡,眾人一致公推額我略繼任。 為了求上主消滅疫病,額我略下令讓全城信友,分別由城內七聖堂出發,列隊到聖瑪利亞大堂集合,一連三日,在全城遊行,高唱聖歌。 當遊行群眾列隊經過各道路時,街頭倒斃的病人,到處都是。可是自遊行結束後,疫病大減,不久完全消滅,居民額手相慶。

 聖額我略喜愛過幽靜的隱修生活。他當選教宗後,一再謙讓,並準備秘密出走。 但是他的計劃被眾人及時發覺,大家強擁他往聖伯多祿大堂,正式加冕,就任了教會最高元首的職位。

 拉溫那總主教聽說額我略當選教宗後謙讓的消息,修書婉言相勸,勸他應以教會利益為重。 額我略特地撰述了《神牧論》—書,作為答複。在這本書內,額我略指出:主教的主要性質是作信友靈魂的良醫,應致力宣傳聖教,及維持教會紀律。 這本書—發表,洛陽紙貴,傳誦一時。瑪力斯皇帝請安提阿總主教譯成希臘文字。 聖奧斯定將這本書帶往英國,三百年後,由亞斐力王譯成本國文字。 查理曼日大帝時代的各教務會議,規定主教均應熟讀該書;舉行主教祝聖典禮時,應將這本書授與新主教。 當時受人重視,由此可見一斑。聖額我略指示的各項職責,西方教會神職人員均奉為圭臬。

 額我略接任教宗職位後,立即著手整頓教會紀律。他將傲慢驕橫的大副祭洛倫 (當時羅馬權勢最大的人) 撤職,教廷財政事務,委專人辦理。追思彌撒中,副祭不可唱經,以免人們專為欣賞副祭的歌喉,而選派他們唱經。

 額我略對講道的職務,異常重視。他常在彌撒中講道,講道的題材,都是以本日福音經為主。

 額我略在寫信給教廷財產管理人員的時候,常叮囑他們善待佃農下屬;凡有急需者,應該貸借金錢給他們,不可吝嗇。 他的佃農都生活優裕,稱讚他待人寬大。 額我略死後,人們發覺教廷的公庫,空空如也,分文無存,那是因為他生前利用教廷的金錢舉辦大規模的救濟事業,將千千萬萬的災民,從死神手中搶回。

 額我略用大量金錢,將俘虜從隆巴族人手中贖回,並寫信叮囑主教們將教堂的金屬器皿熔化,變價充贖回俘虜之用。

 某年,羅馬麥田歉收,額我略下令購集大量糧食,存儲倉內,將全城貧民,造了名冊,按時分發賑災糧。

 額我略對猶太人給予特別的照顧。他嚴禁任何人壓迫猶太人或將猶太會堂充公。 他曉諭眾人善待猶太人,不可歧視。有一次,撒狄尼島猶太人向他申訴,猶太會堂被當地人士霸佔,他立即下令發還了會堂。

 當時,隆巴族騷擾義大利,烽煙遍地,民不聊生。額我略領導人民,保衛羅馬。五九三年隆巴族大規模進攻,羅馬人心惶惶,秩序大亂。 額我略挺身而出,單身往見隆巴王勸他撤兵。隆巴王為教宗的偉大人格所感動,立即撤了兵,羅馬免遭蹂躪。

 額我略雖日理萬機,仍能忙中偷閑,撰述聖書。五九三年,他的《對話》正式問世,那是中古時代最著名的聖教書籍之一。

 額我略很注意向外教民族傳教的事業。他對英國的傳教工作,更表示異常的關注。 在他任教宗的時代,對英國展開的傳教工作,獲致輝煌的成就,這不能不歸功額我略的領導有方,同時也應歸功於英國民族與天主聖寵合作的精神。

 當時英國人民渴望領受福音的真光,由於缺乏傳教人員,額我略特在他自己一度任院長的那座聖安德肋修院中,遴選四十位修士, 去英國傳教,這批傳教人員的領導人,是聖奧斯定。

 東羅馬帝國對義大利人民橫征暴斂,額我略主持公義,表示嚴正的抗議。 同時,由於東羅馬皇帝還禁止軍人棄俗修道,額我略也對這個禁令提出抗議。

 額我略為人謙遜,他雖是教會的最高領袖,卻自稱是天主「諸僕之僕」,這個稱謂自他而始,後世教宗襲用至今。

 額我略常患有胃病和風濕病,可是他不顧身體多病,力疾從公,一天也不休息。 十三年的教宗生涯,嚴重地影響了他的健康,他卻始終不渝地處理公事,直至最後一分鍾,鞠躬盡瘁,死而後已。 臨死前,他的最後一件事是送一件厚大衣給一位貧苦的主教。

 額我略一生的事跡,我們無法一一詳述。其中重要的是:編撰聖歌集,重整聖教音樂,編寫著名聖歌多首。 他是拉丁教會的第四位聖師,若干重要教義,都經過他詳細闡述,確定意義。同時他也是一位著名的講道家、倫理學家。 羅馬教廷的地位,由於他的雄才善辯,而得到完全的鞏固。所以聖教會稱他為「大額我略」以示尊敬之意。

St. Gregory the Great

Early Church Father and Doctor of the Church

Pope Saint Gregory I, commonly known as St. Gregory the Great, was one of the most fascinating of early Church leaders. Son of a Roman Senator, Saint Gregory was born in Rome around 540AD and, following his dad's footsteps, embarked upon a political career. He rose through the ranks of civil service and eventually became Prefect (mayor) of the city of Rome. At that point, Gregory discerned a call to deeper life with God so promptly gave away his wealth to the poor and entered the monastery of St. Andrew (ca. 574) where he ultimately became abbot (585). The Pope, recognizing his talent, named him as one of the seven deacons of Rome and then sent him on a diplomatic mission as papal legate to the imperial city of Constantinople where he remained for five years. Upon the death of the pope in 590, St. Gregory was elected to succeed him, the first monk ever elected as the Successor of Peter.

This man who wanted nothing else but to be a simple monk had to undergo a profound interior struggle before accepting this election as the will of God. Immediately he set to work putting in order the affairs of a Church and society in chaos. Like his predecessor Pope Leo the Great, he negotiated a "separate peace" with the invading barbarians, in this case the Lombards (592-3). In light of the powerlessness of the Byzantine emperor in the West, he took over civic as well as spiritual leadership of Italy, appointing governors of the various Italian cities. He, who had spent his own wealth to relieve the suffering of the poor, did much the same with the resources of the church. He insisted on Papal primacy, and took the initiative in evangelization, sending monks from his former monastery led by Augustine to convert the Angles of Britain.

His abundant writings are more practical and spiritual than doctrinal or theoretical. His "Liber Regulae Pastoralis" (592 ca) sets the standard of what a bishop should be. His "Dialogues" recounts the life of his master, St. Benedict, and other saints of the period. His Moralia in Job is a commentary on the book of Job according to the literal, moral, and spiritual senses of Scripture. Very devoted to the liturgy, Gregory promoted sacred music and to this day the plainsong that comes down to us from this era is known as "Gregorian Chant." Gregory, who died in 604 AD, is known as one of the four greatest Latin-speaking Fathers and Doctors of the Church. He is one of the few men in the history of the Church whose name is customarily followed by "the Great." His liturgical memorial is on September 3, the anniversary of his consecration as bishop of Rome and successor of St. Peter. His favorite title for this exalted office was "servant of the servants of God." 

9月4日:聖女洛沙利亞St. Rosalia

 聖女洛沙利亞青年時離家,獨居於高希納山岩穴隱修,後遷居彼肋利諾山(在今巴肋莫城附近),公元一一六○年在岩穴裡去世。公元一六二 四年,巴肋莫 城發生疫癘,聖女顯現給一個病人她遺體所在處,於是大家到山上去訪查,果在岩穴中尋獲聖女的遺骨及一尊苦像、一具銀十字架、一串念珠,城中居民以隆重的儀 式將聖女的遺骸迎回城中,疫病便奇蹟般立即消除。為感謝聖女的庇佑,巴肋莫城居民在發現聖骸的岩穴所在地,造了一座聖堂,並以聖女洛沙利亞為該城的主保。

9月4日:聖格時白(主教) St. Cuthbert

 聖格時白原籍不詳,幼年時在各項遊戲運動方面,均較別的孩童為優。某日,格時白正和一群孩童遊戲時,一個孩童突然高呼道:「格時白, 你這樣一天到 晚嬉戲,浪費時間太可惜了。天主特選了你,將來做司鐸或主教,為教會作一番事業。」格時白聽了非常感動。可是格時白棄俗修道的時機尚未成熟。他曾一度加入 軍隊,當他往梅羅修院申請入院修道時,身穿戎裝,騎著戰馬,完全是赳赳武夫的打扮。那時梅羅長一見格時白就對左右的人說:「這一位是天主的僕人。」

 公元六六○年,格時白被派往分院服務。一個隆冬的早晨,他見到一個陌生的旅客坐在客廳中,格時白就取水給旅客洗手足,並準備點心,那 旅客禮貌地 說:「不要太客氣,我就要走了。」格時白挽留他,當格時白到廚房端了點心回到大廳,客人已不知所蹤,桌上放著三枚潔白的大麵包。推門一看,白雪遍地,雪上 一點足跡也沒有。

 公元六八五年復活節,格時白祝聖為主教。就任主教後,生活與前一般無二,到處講道訓人,施賑濟貧,顯靈蹟治癒病人。格時白工作繁劇, 積勞成疾。在 他巡視加里斯時,對門徒赫耳伯說:「今後在世上不會再相見了。可是我們兩人將於同日逝世。」公元六八六年聖誕節,在舉行完聖誕彌撒後?A退居在法納。臨終 時,梅里弗院長問他有什麼遺訓,格時白說:「你們務須一心一德,待信友務須和藹可親,不可自視較高,勤讀聖書,忠守會規。」

 有兩本古版的福音經書與聖格時白有一段淵源。一本是第八世紀的手抄福音經,封面由聖皮弗禮描繪。這本福音曾供在聖格時白的墓上,後來 修士們帶去了 愛爾蘭傳教,不慎在中途落入海中,但不久卻奇蹟的飄回上,一點也沒有損壞,現在保存於英國博物院。另一本是第七世紀的若望福音,供在聖格時白的墓中,現由 斯敦赫學院保存。

9月5日:真福德蘭修女Bl Mother Teresa of Calcutta

 1910年8月26日-1997年9月5日

 真福德蘭修女,按她所說:「論血統,我是亞爾巴尼亞人;論國籍,我是印度人;論信仰,我是天主教修女;論召叫,我屬於世界;論我的心,我完全屬耶穌聖 心。」

 她於1910年生於亞爾巴尼亞,原名Gonxha Agnes Bojaxhiu,是家中么女。自她領聖體後,便充滿愛人靈的心火。八歲時,父親突然逝世,母親以信德與愛心養育孩子,堅定了Gonxha的性格和聖召; Gonxha又得到本堂(聖心堂)司鐸的悉心栽培。 

 1928年,Gonxha離家修道,加入童貞聖瑪利亞修女會,取名德蘭。德蘭修女往印度傳教;1929年抵達加爾各答,在學校任教 師;1937年矢發永 願,正如她所說的:她成為了耶穌永遠的淨配;1944年德蘭修女更是一所學校的校長,她的修道生活,充滿喜樂,她的事奉,備受賞識。但在1946年9月, 她乘火車前往參加周年退省途中,受到很深的感召;按她所說是「召叫中的召叫」。她說她永遠不能解釋的,就是耶穌在十字架上對「愛情」和「人靈」的「渴」, 佔據著她的心;耶穌的「渴」,遂成為了她生命的動力。她意味到耶穌召叫她作「光」,以耶穌的愛照耀眾靈魂,特別去服侍被遺棄的窮人,為「窮人中的窮人」服 務,。經過兩年多的考驗和分辨,德蘭修女受感召要成立一個新的修會。在1948年,她獲得批准,首次改穿藍白印度服作會衣,離開童貞聖瑪利亞修女會,走進 窮人的世界。

 德蘭修女開始收容被遺棄的臨終者、露宿者、病者、被遺棄的婦女,以及滿身瘡疥的窮苦兒童等等。每天彌撒後,德蘭修女手持念珠,在「被 遺棄者、被鄙視者、 沒有人照顧者」身上服侍基督。漸漸,她的學生,她的朋友,以及仰慕者,都紛紛加入這個新的修道團體。在1950年,加爾各答總教區正式確認了德蘭修女創立 的仁愛傳教女修會。

 德蘭修女隨後亦派遣修女往印度各地,且於1965年,得教宗保祿六世稱許,派遣仁愛會修女往各大洲,為「窮人中的窮人」服務。 1980年以後,德蘭修女 在大部分共產國家,都建立了團體,為在窮人身上的基督服務。德蘭修女本人亦多次訪問香港;她的修會(仁愛傳教女修會),也在香港服務和作見證。

 1963年,德蘭修女成立了仁愛傳教兄弟修會;1976年及1979年,先後成立了默觀的修女及修士團體;1984年成立仁愛司鐸傳 教會;她又讓平信徒 加盟成為仁愛會之友,後來,發展成為仁愛平信徒傳教會。1981年,德蘭修女開始基督聖體運動,為司鐸提供她所說的「成聖小徑」,去分享她的神恩和精神。

 1979年,德蘭修女為「天主的光榮」,以「窮人的名義」接受諾貝爾和平獎。她發表了「維護生命」和「反對墮胎」的演說。

 1997年9月5日,德蘭修女安逝於加爾各答。  在她去世後,人們從她遺下的文稿中,才得知她經歷了多年的「心靈黑夜」;這經年的「心靈黑夜」,使她更「渴」求天主的愛,且更深感受到「被遺棄者」的傷 痛。這「黑夜」也使她奧妙地分享了基督在十字架上的「渴」,渴求「愛情」和「人靈」,且「愛」到受傷。

“By blood, I am Albanian. By citizenship, an Indian. By faith, I am a Catholic nun. As to my calling, I belong to the world. As to my heart, I belong entirely to the Heart of Jesus. ”Small of stature, rocklike in faith, Mother Teresa of Calcutta was entrusted with the mission of proclaiming God’s thirsting love for humanity, especially for the poorest of the poor. “God still loves the world and He sends you and me to be His love and His compassion to the poor.” She was a soul filled with the light of Christ, on fire with love for Him and burning with one desire: “to quench His thirst for love and for souls.” 

This luminous messenger of God’s love was born on 26 August 1910 in Skopje, a city situated at the crossroads of Balkan history. The youngest of the children born to Nikola and Drane Bojaxhiu, she was baptized Gonxha Agnes, received her First Communion at the age of five and a half and was confirmed in November 1916. From the day of her First Holy Communion, a love for souls was within her. Her father’s sudden death when Gonxha was about eight years old left in the family in financial straits. Drane raised her children firmly and lovingly, greatly influencing her daughter’s character and vocation. Gonxha’s religious formation was further assisted by the vibrant Jesuit parish of the Sacred Heart in which she was much involved. 

At the age of eighteen, moved by a desire to become a missionary, Gonxha left her home in September 1928 to join the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, known as the Sisters of Loreto, in Ireland. There she received the name Sister Mary Teresa after St. Thérèse of Lisieux. In December, she departed for India, arriving in Calcutta on 6 January 1929. After making her First Profession of Vows in May 1931, Sister Teresa was assigned to the Loreto Entally community in Calcutta and taught at St. Mary’s School for girls. On 24 May 1937, Sister Teresa made her Final Profession of Vows, becoming, as she said, the “spouse of Jesus” for “all eternity.” From that time on she was called Mother Teresa. She continued teaching at St. Mary’s and in 1944 became the school’s principal. A person of profound prayer and deep love for her religious sisters and her students, Mother Teresa’s twenty years in Loreto were filled with profound happiness. Noted for her charity, unselfishness and courage, her capacity for hard work and a natural talent for organization, she lived out her consecration to Jesus, in the midst of her companions, with fidelity and joy. 

On 10 September 1946 during the train ride from Calcutta to Darjeeling for her annual retreat, Mother Teresa received her “inspiration,” her “call within a call.” On that day, in a way she would never explain, Jesus’ thirst for love and for souls took hold of her heart and the desire to satiate His thirst became the driving force of her life. Over the course of the next weeks and months, by means of interior locutions and visions, Jesus revealed to her the desire of His heart for “victims of love” who would “radiate His love on souls.” “Come be My light,” He begged her. “I cannot go alone.” He revealed His pain at the neglect of the poor, His sorrow at their ignorance of Him and His longing for their love. He asked Mother Teresa to establish a religious community, Missionaries of Charity, dedicated to the service of the poorest of the poor. Nearly two years of testing and discernment passed before Mother Teresa received permission to begin. On August 17, 1948, she dressed for the first time in a white, blue-bordered sari and passed through the gates of her beloved Loreto convent to enter the world of the poor. 

After a short course with the Medical Mission Sisters in Patna, Mother Teresa returned to Calcutta and found temporary lodging with the Little Sisters of the Poor. On 21 December she went for the first time to the slums. She visited families, washed the sores of some children, cared for an old man lying sick on the road and nursed a woman dying of hunger and TB. She started each day in communion with Jesus in the Eucharist and then went out, rosary in her hand, to find and serve Him in “the unwanted, the unloved, the uncared for.” After some months, she was joined, one by one, by her former students. 

On 7 October 1950 the new congregation of the Missionaries of Charity was officially established in the Archdiocese of Calcutta. By the early 1960s, Mother Teresa began to send her Sisters to other parts of India. The Decree of Praise granted to the Congregation by Pope Paul VI in February 1965 encouraged her to open a house in Venezuela. It was soon followed by foundations in Rome and Tanzania and, eventually, on every continent. Starting in 1980 and continuing through the 1990s, Mother Teresa opened houses in almost all of the communist countries, including the former Soviet Union, Albania and Cuba. 

In order to respond better to both the physical and spiritual needs of the poor, Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity Brothers in 1963, in 1976 the contemplative branch of the Sisters, in 1979 the Contemplative Brothers, and in 1984 the Missionaries of Charity Fathers. Yet her inspiration was not limited to those with religious vocations. She formed the Co-Workers of Mother Teresa and the Sick and Suffering Co-Workers, people of many faiths and nationalities with whom she shared her spirit of prayer, simplicity, sacrifice and her apostolate of humble works of love. This spirit later inspired the Lay Missionaries of Charity. In answer to the requests of many priests, in 1981 Mother Teresa also began the Corpus Christi Movement for Priests as a “little way of holiness” for those who desire to share in her charism and spirit. 

During the years of rapid growth the world began to turn its eyes towards Mother Teresa and the work she had started. Numerous awards, beginning with the Indian Padmashri Award in 1962 and notably the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979, honored her work, while an increasingly interested media began to follow her activities. She received both prizes and attention “for the glory of God and in the name of the poor.” 

The whole of Mother Teresa’s life and labor bore witness to the joy of loving, the greatness and dignity of every human person, the value of little things done faithfully and with love, and the surpassing worth of friendship with God. But there was another heroic side of this great woman that was revealed only after her death. Hidden from all eyes, hidden even from those closest to her, was her interior life marked by an experience of a deep, painful and abiding feeling of being separated from God, even rejected by Him, along with an ever-increasing longing for His love. She called her inner experience, “the darkness.” The “painful night” of her soul, which began around the time she started her work for the poor and continued to the end of her life, led Mother Teresa to an ever more profound union with God. Through the darkness she mystically participated in the thirst of Jesus, in His painful and burning longing for love, and she shared in the interior desolation of the poor. 

During the last years of her life, despite increasingly severe health problems, Mother Teresa continued to govern her Society and respond to the needs of the poor and the Church. By 1997, Mother Teresa’s Sisters numbered nearly 4,000 members and were established in 610 foundations in 123 countries of the world. In March 1997 she blessed her newly-elected successor as Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity and then made one more trip abroad. After meeting Pope John Paul II for the last time, she returned to Calcutta and spent her final weeks receiving visitors and instructing her Sisters. On 5 September Mother Teresa’s earthly life came to an end. She was given the honour of a state funeral by the Government of India and her body was buried in the Mother House of the Missionaries of Charity. Her tomb quickly became a place of pilgrimage and prayer for people of all faiths, rich and poor alike. Mother Teresa left a testament of unshakable faith, invincible hope and extraordinary charity. Her response to Jesus’ plea, “Come be My light,” made her a Missionary of Charity, a “mother to the poor,” a symbol of compassion to the world, and a living witness to the thirsting love of God. 

Less than two years after her death, in view of Mother Teresa’s widespread reputation of holiness and the favors being reported, Pope John Paul II permitted the opening of her Cause of Canonization. He approved the decrees of her heroic virtues and miracles on December 2002 and beatified her on Oct 19 2003.

Eucharist quotes (9/5 Bl. Mother Teresa)

 領聖體後,真福德蘭修女總會長時間地虔誠祈禱  

 每天清晨,真福德蘭修女都同我們一起在聖體前祈禱、默想至少兩個小時。下午的時候,接著朝拜聖體。這些靈修生活,給了她在窮人的身上 認識、熱愛和服務耶 穌的光明與力量。(尼爾馬拉修女) 

9月8日:聖母誕辰(慶日)

 聖教會對聖人通常是「慶死不慶生」。只有兩位聖人我們慶祝他們的誕生,第一是聖母誕辰,第二是洗者若翰瞻禮。

 聖洗者若翰在母胎第六個月才獲原罪的赦免。至於聖母,在始胎時已無染原罪,所以在她誕生時,已成為受造物中最純潔且最神聖的。

聖母誕辰奉獻瞻禮誦﹝前教宗若望保祿二世親撰﹞

 真福童貞瑪利亞,妳的誕生使我們充滿歡樂。在妳的誕辰,我們看到救恩曙光的輝耀,因為妳帶了義德的太陽—主基督。妳是世界救主的母 親,妳是教會之 母,求妳給予我們援手,俾我們能在生活中找到基督。至潔無瑕的童貞,求妳指引我們的步履,遠離罪惡與死亡的陰影,踏上正道,以獲得妳聖子的光榮,以獲得妳 聖子的真光,在聖神內與聖父修和,並藉著教會的服務不斷與天主修和。我們現在聯同普世信友,懇切向妳祈求:吁!天主之母,求賜我完全屬於妳:或生或死、在 痛苦、恐懼和困難中、在苦難和絕望中,我們也能完全屬於妳。吁!童貞瑪利亞,天主之母,求妳恩賜,俾我們能完全屬於妳,從今世直到永遠,亞孟。

9月9日:聖高華(司鐸) St. Peter Claver

全世界黑人的主保

 聖高華是西班牙人,生於公元一五八一年。巴塞隆納大學畢業後,領受四品神職,入耶穌會修道。公元一六一○年,當局派他往哥倫比亞境內 傳教。那時, 若干人購買黑人為奴,教宗保祿三世和各區主教大聲疾呼,嚴厲指摘這項罪行。高華奉派協助在美洲主持救濟黑人事業的耶穌會神父,高華說:「今後,我永遠為黑 人服務。」高華為黑人講解要理,照顧病患,此外也為囚犯、礦工等各階層人傳福音。他具有顯發靈蹟,預言未來,窺悉人心的神恩。公元一六五四年,一批神職人 員從西班牙來到此地,專為黑人付洗。高華大喜,因他知道今後有人接下他的工作了。不久,高華得了重病,他對旁人說:「我就快要死了。」兩日後,聖母聖誕瞻 禮日,高華與世長辭。全城的黑人和印第安人為他舉行了特別的彌撒,以誌哀思。高華的美名傳遍全世界。公元一八八八年,榮列聖品。教宗良十三世,封聖人為全 世界黑人的主保。

9月11日:聖董文學(司 鐸、殉道) St. John Gabriel Perboyre

 聖人在一八○二年生於法國,一八一八年入遣使會,一八二○年在巴黎晉鐸,曾任神學教授、初學導師;一八三五年先抵澳門,翌年到中國, 先在河南,一八三八年在湖北傳教。教難時被捕入獄,受盡諸般苦辱;一八四○年九月十一日,被判絞刑。

9月12日:聖母瑪利亞聖名 Holy Name of Mary

 貞女瑪利亞,你在全世界婦女中,蒙受至高者上主天主的祝福,因為他如此讚揚了你的名,使萬民也對你讚口不絕。

9月13日:聖金口若望(主 教、聖師)(紀念) St. John Chrysostom

(344-407)

 聖若望的「金口(Chrysostom)」之名,來自於他過人的講道天份;他所留下的豐富著作與道理,更使他成為初期教會中最偉大的 教父之一。然 而,他的一生,並非僅是這些顯耀的光輝而已;真正使其成為一位飽經焠鍊的聖者,反倒是那些纏繞著他的政治迫害與詆毀,這就足以標記出一位偉人身處於帝國首 都時的那種處境了。

 約344年時,聖人誕生於安提約基(Antioch)的一個貧窮基督教家庭裡,雙親的名字是Secundus與Anthusa。其母 20歲時,就 已是城裡的德行楷模了。年輕時,若望曾在當時最富盛名的外教演說家-Libanius的門下攻讀修辭學;據聞,在聖人貧苦的求學過程中,他曾一度絕望地親 吻了一個聖母的聖像,此後,便在其嘴邊出現一個金圈,同儕們便在驚愕之餘,給了聖人「金口」這稱號。當然,他那卓越的宣講天賦,以及對聖言的獨到見解,才 是使他獲致「金口」這稱謂的真正原因。

 早年,教宗就曾希望授予聖人司鐸一職,但聖人自覺不配,便退隱至安提約基城附近的曠野,開始他苦修的生活(374年);直到381 年,因健康狀況 不佳,才迫使他停止曠野的補贖生活。回到城裡後,主教St. Meletius立即授予聖人執事的聖秩。稍後,這位主教便被召喚至君士坦丁堡,負責主持第二次的公議會了。386年,主教Flavian派任聖人為安提 約基教會的長老。不久後,若望便被授予司鐸的職務,其公開宣講的生涯也就此開始,「金口」之名也就不脛而走。398年的2月28日,君士坦丁堡的聖座獲悉 了聖人的一切之後,亟欲拔擢他來接替已故的宗主教St. Nectarius。但為避免安提約基的居民群起反對,便在暗中進行這項調遣。至此,聖人成了教會內最顯耀的光芒之一。

 當時,東羅馬帝國的皇帝是Arcadius,他雖有St. Arsenius the Great為其個人的神師,但因其生性軟弱,反倒常受制於皇后Eudoxia的控制。由於宮廷內的道德生活極為腐敗,聖人便本著對天主的熱誠與正直,在一 次演說的機會中,對宮廷大加指責。不料,此舉卻大大地激怒了驕傲的Eudoxia皇后。於是,皇后便與聖人的死敵 - 亞歷山大黎雅的宗主教Theophilius合謀,在公議會中捏造假罪證誣陷聖人。最後,403年時,若望慘遭罷拙,被流放至Pontus。判決宣佈後, 民眾怨聲載道;流放次日的夜晚,全城突然發生劇烈的地震,皇后便心生恐懼,哀求皇帝將金口若望召回。

 儘管聖人是帶著勝利回到君士坦丁堡,但他與皇后的衝突並未就此告終。同年的九月,皇后在聖索菲亞大教堂(The Church of the St. Sophia)前的廣場上,豎起自己的銀製雕像,並奉獻了許多不宜的歡宴行為。此舉又招致了聖人的義怒,並對皇后的行徑大加撻伐。當然,皇后也非省油的 燈,便決定對聖人的冒犯之舉加以報復。404年的六月,聖人再次遭到流放,此次的地點是在Cilicia與Armenia的邊界Cucusus。在流放之 地,聖人多次致書給當時的教宗Innocent,欲尋求羅馬宗座的調停。稍後,便有幾位主教與司鐸奉教宗之命前去君士坦丁堡,要求為此事召開公議會。

 然而,若望的死敵Theophilius,因擔心收回流放的成命,會動搖他在帝國裡的地位,於是便蠱惑皇帝相信:若收回成命,則將有 損於皇帝的尊威;於是便勸服皇帝,將聖人流放至更加荒涼偏遠的庇提烏(Pythius)去,該處是帝國的邊界了。

 為已年邁的若望而言,這段前往庇提烏的行程充滿著艱辛與折磨;除了本身健康的狀況就不好之外,負責押解的310位兵士,也以極為殘酷 的方式對待聖 人。最後,聖人還未抵達庇提烏,就在靠近龐多(Pontus)的一個名叫高馬納(Comana)的途中病逝了。相傳,聖人過世的前幾日,殉道者 Basiliscus曾向若望顯現,並預報了聖人的死期。果不其然,聖人在407年的9月14日,於殉道者Basiliscus的聖堂裡交付了自己的靈 魂。他最後的遺言便是:「在一切的事上,願光榮都歸於天主。」

 31年後,金口若望的聖髑從高馬納被迎回君士坦丁堡,當時是由皇帝Theodosius the Younger與他的姊妹St. Pulcheria負責親自迎接;他們為當時父母流放聖人的決定感到痛悔,並熱切地尋求聖人在天之靈的寬恕。

 聖人的著作極為豐富,除了留下許多完整的聖經詮釋,包括《創世紀》、《瑪竇福音》、《若望福音》、《宗徒大事錄》,以及所有的保祿書 信外,還包括 了1447篇的道理和240封書信。其著作之多,可謂是教父之最;教會的聖師當中,就有22位在他們所留下的講道稿裡,對金口若望表達極高的尊崇。

※由於普世教會9月14日慶祝的是「光榮十字架」的慶典,故紀念聖人的慶典便往前挪移一天,而改在9月13日慶祝。

 波濤洶湧,狂風可怖;但是我們不怕被淹沒:因為我們站在磐石上,儘管大海肆虐,總不能粉碎這磐石;儘管波浪滔天,總不能顛覆耶穌的 船。請問我們怕 什麼呢?怕死亡嗎?「在我看來,生活就是基督,死亡就是利益。」我們怕充軍嗎?「大地和地上的萬物都屬乎上主。」我們怕財產被充公嗎?「我們沒帶什麼到世 上來,同樣,也不能帶走什麼。」

 基督和我在一起,我還怕誰呢?即使海浪或官長的怒火起來反對我,在我看來都好像蜘蛛絲那般地無足輕重。若非我對你們的愛德將我強留於 此處,今天我 早已首途他去了。因我常向主說:「主,願祢的旨意承行。」這便是我的城堡、我不可搖撼的磐石、我堅固的靠山。願天主的旨意成就。若祂願意我留在這裡,我感 謝祂;無論祂願意我留在哪裡,我都感謝祂。…空間使我們彼此遠離,但愛德卻使我們連結在一起,甚至是死亡也無法使我們分離。

──節錄自《每日誦禱》9月13日誦讀選讀金口聖若望主教講道集。

9月14日:光榮十字聖架(慶日)The Exaltation of the Holy Cross

 十字架本是猶太人處死凶犯的刑具,耶穌基督被釘在十字架上,十字架成了我們得救的象征。相傳:君士坦丁皇帝之母聖婦海倫娜在公元三二 O年九月十四日在耶路撒冷尋獲了十字聖架。後來在加爾瓦略山上尋獲十字架的地方修建了兩座聖堂,舉行瞻仰、敬拜和紀念活動。

 公元六三O年,君士坦丁堡皇帝希辣克略,把波斯人所奪去的十字聖架(按波斯人於六一四年劫走十字聖架)奪回後,親自背著上哥耳哥答 山。可是上山的 時候,突有一股力量阻住他,不能向前走。匝加利亞宗主教在皇帝旁邊一起步行著,就上前對皇帝說:你穿了華美的朝服,與當年基督謙卑的身份顯然不相稱。皇帝 就把皇冠朝服除下,改穿樸素的衣服,赤足上山,將十字聖木安放在山頂基督受難的處所。

 波斯人搶走的時候,十字架木盛放在銀盒裏,希辣克略取回後,宗主教和神職人員檢視,銀盒上的印章密封完好無損,便用鑰匙開啟,朝拜聖 木,同時舉行隆重典禮,將聖木高舉,降福眾人,許多病人當場痊愈。

 根據歷史學家詳實的報導,自第四世紀以來,九月十四目的瞻禮,原是慶祝尋獲十字聖架,同時舉行哥耳哥答山上大堂祝聖的周年紀念。

 自第八世紀起,尋獲十字聖架的瞻禮移至五月三日舉行。九月十四日的瞻禮,僅紀念光榮十字聖架。一九六O年教宗若望二十三世決定將五月 三日尋獲十字 聖架合併於九月十四日慶典。恭敬聖十字架的理由很多:教會在經文中把它稱為①君王的旗幟;②生命的樹木。「請看主的十字架,讓敵人望風而逃。」;「死亡因 樂園的樹木而發生,生命卻籍十字聖木而復活」;③十字架是勝利的標記,領導我們凱旋進入天庭;④十字架是我們的依靠,十字架勝利,十字架為王,十字架掃除 一罪惡,阿肋路亞!⑤十字架是天主愛人的佐證。我們跟著聖方濟各不斷地朝拜說:「耶穌基督,我們欽崇你、讚美你,你用此聖架,救贖了普世!」

9月15日:痛苦聖母(紀念) Our Lady of Sorrows

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 此節日源於中世紀一些修會團體,紀念聖母在十字架下的哀慟,以後擴展為紀念聖母一生所受的各種苦難。

 聖母既分擔了基督的苦難,也激勵我們同樣去作,好使基督的苦難和復活奧蹟,不斷延續在我們身上。

9月16日:聖高爾乃略及聖西彼廉(紀念) Ss. Cornelius and Cyprian

  聖高爾乃略於公元251年任羅馬教會主教,竭力攻斥諾威森異端,並得聖西彼廉協助,一起堅持:背教者必要嚴格履行長期補贖後,才得重新被教會接納;此舉加 強了教宗的領導權威。後被皇帝加祿放逐,於253年死於古城。他的遺體被移葬於羅馬加利斯都地窟中。

 聖西彼廉是第三世紀的著名聖人,在教會多災多難之秋,以聖德、事工和著作,捍衛信仰,為主作證,振興教會紀律,成為當時非洲教會的領 袖。在非洲教會佔有很重要的地位。

 西彼廉於公元210年左右,在迦太基的外教家庭出生。未入教前任修辭學教授,法庭辯人等重要職務。壯年皈依聖教,棄俗修道,他天資聰 敏過人,又精 通文學、哲學,所以很快領受了鐸品,公元二四八年升任迦太基主教。可是就任僅一年,教難即開始,異徒高呼:「把西彼廉投入獅牢。」聖西彼廉被迫徹退暫隱別 地,以通訊方式與教友保持聯絡,鼓勵眾人堅守信道,他說:「我在神視中,聽到一個神秘的聲音對我說:你求什麼,就會得到什麼。我們大家求吧!求天主賞賜我 們在信德的基礎上永遠園結一體,永不背棄真道。」西彼廉也告訴教友,天主向他啟示,教難是暫時的,聖教不久將享受平安。

 公元二五二年間,迦太基發生大疫,無數的人喪命,西彼廉領導全城教友組成救濟團體,有錢出錢,有力出力,西彼廉常說:「不要讓你的錢 白白地放在箱裡,快拿出來作善舉。錢財原是身外之物,生不帶來,死不帶去。好好地用在慈善事業中,將來在天國獲得百倍的賞報。」

 到公元二五七年,華肋良瘋狂迫害教會,西彼廉瑯璫入獄。法庭審判時的紀錄,至今仍保存著。最後聖西彼廉被以違抗皇帝聖旨處以死刑。在 法庭旁聽的教友,大聲高呼我們願和主教一同斬首致命。聖西彼廉為主致命,時維公元二五八年。

 聖高爾乃略與聖西彼廉的殉道時間,相差五年,但因同月同日,況且他們彼此團結,故教會在同一天紀念他們,而他們的名字,也同列於羅馬 感恩經裡。

聖西彼廉的金句

 「這將不是你的榮耀和福樂嗎?就是被容許參見天主,得到那榮譽,分享救恩和永光的喜樂,與主基督、你的天主在一起……在天國裡,置身 於天主的義人和朋友之中,享受那賺得的、永不腐朽的喜樂。」(聖西彼廉,《書信集》 58,10,1)

 「除非有教會為母,沒有人能有天主為父。」(聖西彼廉,《論公教會的統一》4)

 「千萬不要忘記,當我們稱呼天主為『我們的父』時,言行舉止就應該相稱天主子女的身分。」(聖西彼廉,《論主禱文》11)

 「誰若追求天主之國和天主的正義,天主承諾會另外加給他一切。事實上,萬物都屬於天主:誰擁有天主,甚麼都有,只要天主擁有他。」 (聖西彼廉,《論主禱文》21)

 「挑撥離間、製造紛爭的人,天主不會悅納他們的祭獻,要他們先離開祭台,回去同兄弟和好。天主最喜歡求和平的祈禱。為天主最美好的禮 物是和平、彼此和睦,是整個忠信子民在父、子和聖神內的合一。」(聖西彼廉,《論主禱文》23)

9月17日:聖伯拉民(主 教、聖師) St. Robert Bellarmine

 聖人在一五四二年出生於意大利;及長,在羅馬入耶穌會。晉鐸後從事護道工作,並於羅馬公學教授神學,頗負盛名。後被任命為樞機和加菩 亞主教,並協 助羅馬聖部解決當時的困難問題,貢獻良多。聖人曾給予積極意見,促成教宗保祿五世,於一六一五年批准在中國可用中文舉行彌撒、各項聖事、日課和其他禮儀。 一六二一年安逝於羅馬。

9月17日:聖方濟五傷 Stigmata of St. Francis of Assisi

 聖方濟以慷慨與熱切的心,努力地活出了基督的福音,以至於連基督聖傷的印記-「五傷(Stigmata)」,也深刻地留在方濟的手、 足與肋旁。

 方濟的貧窮向來為人所稱道;1213年,他從奧蘭多伯爵(Count Orlando of Chiusi)那,接受了拉維納山(Mount La Verna)的口頭餽贈,該處介於Tiber與Arno二河之間,地處羅馬北部的亞雷佐省(Arezzo)。這座山後來成了聖人祈禱與補贖的所在,時間長 達十年之久。時至今日,此山仍是朝聖與祈禱最熱門的景點。

 聖方濟對總領天使聖彌額爾(St. Michael the Archangel)向來至為恭敬,他曾多次於該總領天使的慶日(9月29日)前,奉行40天的齋戒、禁食;1224年,在接近「光榮十架 (Exaltation of the Holy Cross—9月14日)」的慶日前,聖人獲得了一個神視,他見到一個六翼的色拉芬(seraph)天使之後,便發現自己的雙手、雙足與肋旁,都留下了基 督受難時的印記。

 然而,方濟仍在世的時候,這五傷的印記僅被極少數的人所知,因為他希望避免任何來自他人或是自己的內外在騷動。然而,正因為這些傷口 再再地使他感到痛苦,聖女嘉勒(佳蘭St. Clare)才為聖人編織一雙特殊的草鞋,好使方濟更易於行走。

 1226年聖人過世之後,一些可靠的證人,包括後來的教宗額我略九世(Pope Gregory IX)與亞歷山大四世(Pope Alexander IV),都作證曾親眼在聖人的遺體上見過五傷;許多人甚至如此解釋:聖方濟的五傷,是他徹底追隨基督,完全與祂一致的明證。

 教宗本篤十一世(Pope Benedict XI 1303-04),後來便允許方濟家族在9月17日舉行聖方濟領受五傷的慶祝。

為光榮聖方濟五傷的祈禱文

 噓!吾主耶穌基督,當此世開始變得冷漠之時,祢為了使人心在祢的聖愛之火中更新,便在最有福的方濟肉身上,留下了祢苦難的五傷:請祢 紀念他的功績與祈禱;並且惠賜我們恩寵,在祢的仁慈中永遠背負起祢的十架,好結出補贖的甜美果實來。亞孟。

9月19日:聖雅納略(主 教、殉道) St. Januarius

 聖人是卑尼佛多主教,約於三○五年的教難時,在拿玻里殉道,深受該城人民特別敬禮。

9月20日:聖金大建及同伴 (殉道)(紀念) Ss. Andrew Kim Taegon and Companions

 基督信仰於十七世紀由中國傳入韓國;平信徒自始便在福傳方面,一直擔當重要角色,其中不少甚至備受迫害和殉道。金大建為第一位殉道的 韓國司鐸。他曾遠涉重洋,到澳門修讀神哲學,後在上海晉鐸,回國傳揚福音。他於一八四六年九月十六日被斬首殉道,年僅二十五歲。

9月21日:聖瑪竇(宗徒, 聖史)(慶日) St. Matthew

宗徒、聖史
主保:銀行人員

 聖瑪竇是十二宗徒之一,也是聖經中第一部福音的作者。這是教會不變的傳統,也為福音本身所確認。根據谷二14的記載,瑪竇是阿耳斐的 兒子,且在葛 法翁任稅吏時為耶穌所召叫,成為宗徒之一。在其歸依前,他曾是位官員,專司收取稅金;在馬爾谷與路加福音中,他被稱為「肋未」。

 初期,瑪竇的使徒工作僅限於巴勒斯坦內的數個團體之中,但晚年的生活因無任何史料記載,因此無法確認聖史晚年究竟身在何處。有一個傳 統指出,瑪竇 開墾福音的園地是在衣索比亞;其他的傳統則指向巴底亞(Parthia—西亞一古國)與波斯;另外,後人也無法確認聖史究竟是領受了殉道的冠冕而死,亦或 是自然老死。

 瑪竇福音是寫給那些心靈空乏且切望被飽飫的同胞們看的,無論他們是耶穌的信仰者或不信者;為前者而言,福音成了他們考驗來臨之時的鼓 勵,特別是面 對再度跌進猶太主義的危險之時;為後者而言,福音的目的是為向他們確認,默西亞的來臨已在我們的主耶穌這人身上實現;所有默西亞國度擁抱子民的許諾,透過 祂,已在精神上而非以一個世俗的方式完滿達致。耶穌說:「我的國度並不在這世上。」其次,瑪竇福音也回答了洗者若翰門徒所問的問題:「你是要來的那位,或 者我們還要等候另一位?」(路七20)。

 為了給自己巴勒斯坦的同胞們寫福音,聖史瑪竇以其母語阿辣美文撰寫福音,這種「希伯來腔」,在福音與宗徒大事錄中皆有提及。很快地, 主後42年, 黑落德阿革黎帕一世在位時興起了教難,聖史於是遠赴他鄉傳播福音。另一傳統以為,瑪竇福音寫成的時間應是在他遠赴他鄉與召開耶路撒冷大公會議之間,亦即是 在主後的42到50年之間完成的。然而,今日學者較多同意是在公元80或90年間寫成瑪竇福音,是在歸化的猶太人團體中完成的。

9月23日:聖碧岳·庇特來(司鐸)(紀念)St. Pio of Pietrelcina

 碧岳神父,俗名方濟傅佐尼,1887年5月25日生於貝內文托(Benevento)教區的彼埃特里支那 (Pietrelcina)。1903年 1月6日進入嘉布遣小兄弟會當修士,1910年8月10日在貝內文托主教座堂被祝聖為司鐸。1916年7月28日到加爾加諾(Gargano)的聖若望‧ 羅敦多(San Giovanni Rotondo),直到1968年9月23日去世。1918年9月20日星期五早上,當他在老舊的小堂,對著詠經席的苦像祈禱時,得到印上五傷的恩典,這 些傷口半個世紀之久,都會裂開並流血。碧岳終其一生,專心履行司鐸職務,他成立了多個「祈禱會」,開辦了一所現代化醫院,命名為「解除痛苦之家」。於 1999年5月2日,由教宗若望保祿二世宣布為真福,並於2002年6月16日,由同一位教宗宣布為聖人。

Padre Pio was born May 25, 1887 in Pietrelcina, Italy, a small country town located in southern Italy. His parents were Grazio Mario Forgione (1860-1946) and Maria Guiseppa de Nunzio Forgione (1859-1929). He was baptized the next day, in the nearby Castle Church, with the name of his brother, Francesco, who died in early infancy. Other children in the family were an older brother, Michele; three younger sisters: Felicita, Pellegrina and Grazia; and two children who died as infants.

Religion was the center of life for both Pietrelcina and the Forgione family. The town had many celebrations throughout the year in honor of different saints and the bell in the Castle Church was used not for ringing the hour, but for daily devotional time. Friends have described the Forgione family as "the God-is-everything-people" because they attended Daily Mass, prayed the Rosary nightly and fasted three days a week from meat in honor of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. Although Padre Pio’s grandparents and parents could not read and write, they memorized Sacred Scripture and told the children Bible stories. It was in this lovely family setting that the seeds of Faith were nurtured within Padre Pio.

From his early childhood, it was evident that Padre Pio had a deep piety. When he was five years old, he solemnly consecrated himself to Jesus. He liked to sing hymns, play church and preferred to be by himself where he could read and pray. As an adult, Padre Pio commented that in his younger years he had conversed with Jesus, the Madonna, his guardian angel, and had suffered attacks by the devil.

Padre Pio’s parents first learned of his desire to become a priest in 1897. A young Capuchin friar was canvassing the countryside seeking donations. Padre Pio was drawn to this spiritual man and told his parents, "I want to be a friar… with a beard." His parents traveled to Morcone, a community thirteen miles north of Pietrelcina, to investigate if the friars would be interested in having their son. The Capuchins were interested, but Padre Pio would need more education than his three years of public schooling.

In order to finance the private tutor needed to educate Padre Pio, his father went to America to find work. During this time, he was confirmed (September 27, 1899), studied with tutors and completed the requirements for entrance into the Capuchin order. At age 15, he took the Habit of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin on January 22, 1903. On the day of his investiture, he took the name of Pio in honor of Saint Pius V, the patron saint of Pietrelcina, and was called Fra, for brother, until his priestly ordination.

A year later, on January 22, 1904, Fra Pio knelt before the altar and made his First Profession of the Evangelical Counsels of Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience. Then, he traveled by oxcart to the seventeenth-century friary of St. Francis of Assisi and began six years of study for the priesthood and continued his development in community life toward the profession of his solemn vows. After three years of temporary profession, Padre Pio took his final vows in 1907.

Then on August 10, 1910, the much-anticipated day finally arrived. The twenty-three year old Fra Pio was ordained a priest by Archbishop Paolo Schinosi at the Cathedral of Benevento. Four days later, he celebrated his first Mass at the parish church of Our Lady of the Angels.

Within a month of his ordination, (September 7, 1910), as Padre Pio was praying in the Piana Romana, Jesus and Mary appeared to him and gave him the wounds of Christ, the Stigmata. For Padre Pio’s doctors, the wounds created much confusion. He asked Jesus to take away "the annoyance," adding, " I do want to suffer, even to die of suffering, but all in secret." The wounds went away and the supernatural life of Padre Pio remained a secret...for a while.

On November 28, 1911, Padre Agostino, who was a contemporary, friend, and confidant, was advised that Padre Pio was ill. He rushed into Padre Pio’s room to care for him. Padre Agostino observed what he thought was a dying man and rushed to the chapel to pray. When he finished praying, he returned to Padre Pio’s room and found his friend alert and full of joy.

This was the beginning of Padre Pio’s documented ecstasies – all of which were "edifying, theologically correct and expressed a deep love for God. "

Due to Padre Pio’s on-going ill health, he was sent home to recuperate and was separated from his religious community from the end of 1911 – 1916. During this time, the Capuchin Constitution required a friar who was sent home because of illness had to maintain his friar life as much as possible. Padre Pio did this. He said Mass and taught school.

On September 4, 1916, Padre Pio was ordered to return to his community life and was assigned to San Giovanni Rotondo, an agricultural community, located in the Gargano Mountains. Our Lady Of Grace Capuchin Friary was approximately a mile from town and was not easy to reach. The Capuchins had a reputation for their holiness and simple life. When Padre Pio became a part of the community at Our Lady of Grace, there were seven friars.

With the outbreak of the war, only three friars stayed at Our Lady of Grace; the others were selected for military service. At the beginning, his responsibilities included teaching at the seminary and being the spiritual director of the students. He spent his free time reading the Bible and handling correspondence. When another friar was called into service, Padre Pio became in charge of the college.

In August 1917 Padre Pio was inducted into the service and assigned to the 4th Platoon of the 100th Company of the Italian Medical Corps. During this time he was very unhappy. By mid-October he was in the hospital, but was not discharged. Finally, in March 1918, he was dismissed and returned to San Giovanni Rotondo.

Upon his return, Padre Pio became a spiritual director and had many spiritual daughters and sons. He had five rules for spiritual growth: weekly confession, daily Communion, spiritual reading, meditation and examination of conscience. In explaining his spiritual growth rules, Padre Pio compared dusting a room, used or unused on a weekly basis, to weekly confession. He suggested two times of daily meditation and self-examination: in the morning to "prepare for battle" and in the evening to "purify your soul." Padre Pio's motto, "Pray, Hope and Don’t Worry" is the synopsis of his application of theology into daily life. A Christian should recognize God in everything, offering everything to Him saying, "Thy will be done". In addition, all should aspire to heaven and put their trust in Him and not worry about what he is doing, as long as it is done with a desire to please God.

In July 1918, Pope Benedict XV urged all Christians to pray for an end to the World War. On July 27, Padre Pio offered himself as a victim for the end of the war. Days later between August 5 -7, Padre Pio had a vision in which Christ appeared and pierced his side. As a result of this experience, Padre Pio had a physical wound in his side. The experience has been identified as a "transverberation" or piercing of the heart indicating the union of love with God.

A few weeks later, on September 20, 1918, Padre Pio was praying in the choir loft in the Church of Our Lady of Grace, when the same Being who appeared to him on August 5, appeared again. It was the wounded Christ. When the ecstasy ended, Padre Pio had received the Visible Stigmata, the five wounds of Christ, which would stay with him for his remaining 50 years.

By early 1919, word about the stigmata began to spread to the outside world. Over the years countless people, including physicians, examined Padre Pio’s wounds. Padre Pio was not interested in the physicians’ attempts to explain his stigmata. He accepted it as a gift from God, though he would have preferred to suffer the pains of Christ’s Passion without the world knowing.

God used Padre Pio – especially the news of his stigmata – to give people hope as they began to rebuild their life after the war. Padre Pio and his spiritual gifts of the stigmata, perfume, prophecy and bilocation was a sign of God in their midst and led people back to their Faith. So life at the friary and the Church of Our Lady of Grace began to revolve around Padre Pio’s ministry. A room and priests were designated to handle the correspondence and the remaining friars heard confessions. San Giovanni Rotondo began to be filled with pilgrims. Since there were no hotels, people slept outdoors. A normal day for Padre Pio was a busy nineteen hours – Mass, hearing confessions and handling correspondence. He usually had less than two hours to sleep.

As his spiritual influence increased, so did the voices of his detractors. Accusations against Padre Pio poured in to the Holy Office (today the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith). By June 1922, restrictions were placed on the public’s access to Padre Pio. His daily Mass time varied each day, without announcement to diminish the crowds, and he was ordered not to answer correspondence from people seeking spiritual direction. It was also rumored that plans were being developed to transfer Padre Pio. However, both local and Church authorities were afraid of public riots and decided that a more remote and isolated place than San Giovanni Rotondo could not be found.

Despite the restrictions and controversies, Padre Pio’s ministry continued. From 1924 – 1931 various statements were made by the Holy See that denied the supernaturality of Padre Pio’s phenomena. On June 9, 1931, the Feast of Corpus Christi, Padre Pio was ordered by the Holy See to desist from all activities except the celebration of the Mass, which was to be in private. By early 1933, Pope Pius XI ordered the Holy See to reverse its ban on Padre Pio’s public celebration of Mass, saying, "I have not been badly disposed toward Padre Pio, but I have been badly informed."

Padre Pio’s faculties were progressively restored. First, the confessions of men were allowed (March 25, 1934) and then women (May 12, 1934). Although he had never been examined for a preaching license, the Capuchin Minister General granted him permission to preach, honoris cuasa, and he preached several times a year. In 1939 when Pope Pius XII was elected pope, he began to encourage people to visit Padre Pio. More and more people began to make pilgrimages.

In 1940, Padre Pio convinced three doctors to move to San Giovanni Rotondo and he announced plans to build a Home to Relieve Suffering. As Padre Pio expressed to Pope Pius, " …a place that the patient might be led to recognize those working for his cure as God's helpers, engaged in preparing the way for the intervention of grace." The doctors were excited about the building, but were fearful that this was not the time to begin such a project with Europe being on the brink of another world war.

These fears did not stop Padre Pio and the project began. After the war, Barbara Ward, a British humanitarian, came to Italy to write an article on postwar reconstruction. She attended Padre Pio's Mass and met one of the physicians who came to San Giovanni Rotondo to work with the Home to Relieve Suffering. Upon learning of the project, she asked that the Home to Relieve Suffering receive a part of the funds designated for reconstruction. Consequently, the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) gave a grant of $325,000 for the project. The building opened its doors on May 5,1956. A year later, Padre Pio announced plans for a medical and religious center where doctors and interns could further their medical studies and Christian formation.

With the opening of the hospital, Padre Pio was truly now an international figure and his followers greatly increased. To accommodate all the pilgrims, a new, large church was constructed.

In the mid-1960s, Padre Pio's health began to deteriorate, but he continued to say Daily Mass and hear fifty confessions a day. By July of 1968, he was almost bedridden. On the fiftieth anniversary of the stigmata (September 20,1968), Padre Pio celebrated Mass, attended the public recitation of the Rosary and Benediction. On the next day, he was too tired to say Mass or hear confessions. On September 22, he managed to say Mass and the attendees had to struggle to hear him. Just after midnight, in the early morning hours of September 23, Padre Pio called his superior and asked to make his confession. He then renewed his vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. At 2:30am, Padre Pio died in his cell. As he foretold, Padre Pio lived sick but died healthy, with the stigmata healed.

On September 26, 1968, over a hundred thousand people gathered at San Giovanni Rotondo to pay their respects to this holy man. He was buried in the crypt prepared for him in the Church of Our Lady of Grace.

9月26日:聖葛斯默及聖達 彌盎(殉道) Ss. Cosmas and Damian

 據悉:葛斯默及達彌盎兩兄弟,原藉阿剌伯,行醫為業,在敘利亞一帶,一面行醫濟世,一面傳揚福音;約在三百年左右,教難時殉道。按古 書記載,兩位殉道烈士的墳墓在敘利亞的祺利;建有聖堂一座,以尊敬他們。後來他們的敬禮傳到羅馬,而後遍及全球教會。

9月27日:聖雲先(司鐸) (紀念) St. Vincent de Paul

(1580-1660)
遣使會會祖
主保:人道關懷、社會志工
聖人本身的脾氣極為易怒,會是那種固執、易怒,甚至霸道的人。但是,他卻成了一位溫馴且充滿感情,並且對他人的需要極其敏銳的牧者。

 一位臨終病患的告解,開啟了聖雲先的眼目,使他清晰地看到法國市井小民的靈性需求;為他而言,這是聖人生命中最為嚴峻的決定時刻了。

 主後1580年,聖人誕生在法國加斯哥尼(Gascony)的一個小村莊裡,雙親皆極為貧窮。早年,他在阿克斯(Acqs)的方濟會 神父那,享受 了最初幾年的學校教育。因著那四年的愉快學習,聖人在知識上有了長足的進步;村裡的一位士紳,便延請聖人作其小孩的家庭教師。為此,聖人便有機會在不加重 父母負擔的情況下,繼續他的學習。1596年,聖人進入了陶羅斯大學(University of Toulouse)攻讀神學,並在1600年時順利晉鐸。

 1605年,在從馬塞(Marseilles)駛往拿玻尼(Narbonne)的海路上,聖人落入了非洲海盜的手中,並以奴隸的身分 被帶到突尼斯 (Tunis)去。從那時起,直至天主的神聖眷佑使聖人能逃離為止,他共被拘禁了約二年之久。逃離海盜的掌握後,聖人短暫地造訪了羅馬,之後便回到法國。 回國後,他成了高伊尼伯爵(Count of Goigny),Emmanuel de Gondy家族的家庭教師。

 主後1617年,他開始宣講傳教的使命;而先前聖人所幫助過的高依尼伯爵,便大力地在金錢與物資上贊助聖人所組織的傳教團體。最初, 這一群獻身於 窮人服務的志工,希望聖人出來領導眾人,但由於聖人的謙遜,他不願接受此一職務;稍後,他親眼目睹船上的奴隸不被人道的對待後,便決定回到團體中,於 1625年創立了一個後來被稱為「遣使會」(Congregation of the Mission)或「雲先人」(Vincentians)的修會。該會的會士除了必須矢發貧窮、貞潔與服從三個聖願外,還必須發一個持恆性的聖願 (Stability),為使自己能長久地在偏遠與窮困的小村落中服務天主的子民。

 稍後,為了各堂區窮人與病人靈性與身體上的需要,聖人又創建了一個愛德善會;該團體在聖女魯懿子(St. Louise de Marillac)的協助下,後來成了「仁愛女修會」(Daughters of Charity)。為這個新團體而言,病房就是她們的會院;堂區就是她們的聖堂;街市就是她們的隱修之處。

 但聖人所做的還不僅於此。他繼續向巴黎的貴婦們募款,為他的傳教使命籌措經費,並進而開辦了幾家醫院,且為戰爭中死傷者募款,並從北 非贖回了超過1200個遭到海盜奴役的人。

 另外,聖人對於教育神職人員也抱有極大的熱誠,因為當時的神職班大多戒律鬆弛,道德渙散,且經常有濫權與無知的情形。故聖人所創建的 遣使會,除了以救濟窮人為宗旨外,也以神職班的神修訓練為己任。

 這位天主之僕所行過的事蹟實在無法細數,愛德則是這些無數工作的主要驅使;值得一提的是,聖人本身的脾氣極為易怒,但誠如聖人自己所 言,若非天主的恩寵,他會是那種固執、易怒,甚至霸道的人。但是,他卻成了一位溫馴且充滿感情,並且對他人的需要極其敏銳的牧者。

 雖然,服務的工作極為煩雜,但聖人的靈魂卻仍是緊密地與天主結合為一;儘管在世人面前,雲先總是被恭敬地有如一位偉大的人物,但他卻 將自己的心根植於最深的謙遜之中。

 聖雲先,這位不朽的愛德宗徒,就在其80歲時,於1660年安逝於巴黎。教宗良十三世(Pope Leo XIII)冊封其為所有愛德工作者的主保;稍後,以聖人為名的「聖雲先會」(Society of St. Vincent de Paul),便是由其仰慕者Blessed Frederic Ozanam於1833年所創立。聖人的影響可見一般。

聖雲先司鐸的作品

 為窮人的服務應超越一切,而且不要遲延。如果祈禱的時間,你該拿藥給病人,或幫助一個窮人,你就安心地去吧!把這行為當作祈禱奉獻給 天主。不要為 了因如此做而中斷的祈禱感到不安,或有任何的罪惡感:因為倘若為了天主的緣故而中斷祈禱,天主並未因此而被怠慢,也就是說,暫時中斷一項對天主的善工,是 為完成另一項善工。

 因此,當你為了幫助某位窮人,而必須中斷祈禱時,要切記這一點:這項善工是為了天主而做的。愛德比任何會規都要優先,任何事情都當以 愛德為依歸。那麼,就讓我們懷著熱誠與愛心,去為窮人服務,尤其是那些被遺棄的人。我們要在天主跟前承認他們是我們的主人、我們的保護者。

--節錄自《每日誦禱》9月27日誦讀-選讀聖雲先司鐸的作品。

9月28日:聖文策老(殉 道) St. Wenceslaus

 聖人於公元九○七年左右,在波希米亞出生,自幼由祖母接受熱心敬主的教育;繼任公爵後,對治理所轄人民,並促進他們的信德生活,備嘗 艱辛。其弟謀反,遣剌客殺害聖人,時於九三五或九二九年;死後即被尊為殉道烈士,成為波希米亞的特敬主保。

9月28日:聖老楞佐.盧斯 及同伴(殉道) Ss. Lorenzo Ruiz and Companions

 一六三三年至一六三七年間,老楞佐.盧斯和一些同道,在日本長崎為主殉道。這些殉道者有道明會成員,包括九位神父、兩位會士、兩位修 女,並有三位教友,其中一位教友是菲律賓藉的老楞佐.盧斯。他們的生活和殉道的榜樣,為傳揚基督信仰播下豐盛的種子。

9月29日:聖彌額爾、聖加 俾額爾、聖辣法厄耳總領天使(慶日) Ss. Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, Archangels

 七位侍立在天主寶座前的大天使中,三位的名字聖經有記載,那就是:聖彌額爾、聖加俾額爾、聖辣法厄耳。
 聖若望默示錄記載:「那時在天上發生一場大戰,彌額爾和他的天神與毒龍交戰,毒龍和他的使者應戰。他們(毒龍和他的天使)不能獲勝,在天上再也沒有位置 了。那條大龍被逐出,就是那條古蛇,名叫魔鬼和撒殫的,迷惑整個世界的。他被擲在地上,他的使者也一同被擲下來。」
  我們讀達尼爾先知書第八章,那公綿羊和波斯帝國反複敗於亞力山大手下的異象就是加俾額爾解釋的,而且緊接著下一章就預言,七十個七年之後基督的將臨。在新 約裏,我們知道他怎樣在聖殿內向匝加利亞預告他的兒子若翰的誕生,而超越這一切的是他向瑪利亞傳報天主揀選她為聖言的母親。
 舊約記載:天主派遣辣法厄耳伴隨小多俾亞赴瑪待索債。小多俾亞遇到一條大魚,辣法厄耳救他免險,並且用魚膽治愈多俾亞的目疾。辣法耳的名字有「天主治愈 疾病」之意。

向聖彌額爾總領天使禱文

 聖彌額爾總領天使,在戰爭的日子裏保衛我們,免我們陷入魔鬼邪惡的陰謀、和奸詐的陷阱中。我們謙卑地祈求,但願上主譴責牠。上天萬軍 的統帥,求你因上主的威能,把徘徊人間,引誘人靈,使其喪亡的撒殫及其他邪靈,拋下地獄裏去。亞孟。

September 29: Feasts of St. Michael, St. Gabriel, St. Raphael
Revelation 12:7-9 “Then war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels battled against the dragon. The dragon and its angels fought back, but they did not prevail and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. The huge dragon, the ancient serpent, 9 who is called the Devil and Satan, who deceived the whole world, was thrown down to earth, and its angels were thrown down with it.”

Prayer to St. Michael

Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil; may God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all evil spirits who wander through the world for the ruins of souls. Amen.

9月30日:聖熱羅尼莫(司 鐸,聖師)(紀念) St. Jerome (345-420)
圖書館員的主保

Patron saint of librarian and students

熱羅尼莫遭遇肉情的誘惑,想到羅馬紙醉金迷的生活。他咬緊牙關,堅決與誘惑決鬥。他熱淚盈眶,哀求耶穌垂憐,厚恩寵,克服誘惑。

 聖經學權威、教會聖師,熱羅尼莫生於三四二年。出生地意大利巴諾尼亞和多馬西亞邊境的史帝東城。青年時,赴羅馬讀書,拜著名文學家多 納大為師。

 熱羅尼莫聰明好學,精通拉丁文和希臘文。不幸,他的老師是異教徒,只注重學問,不注重教理。所以熱羅尼莫對宗教生活減輕了興趣,沒有 幼年時那樣熱心了。

 在羅馬住了三年,熱羅尼莫去脫利愛深造。脫利愛宗教氣氛很濃厚,熱羅尼莫到了那裏,一變而為非常熱心的教友。

 三七四年,熱羅尼莫到安提阿城去,不久,生了一場重病。有一天睡夢中似乎到了耶穌的審判台前,耶穌問他:「你是誰?」熱羅尼莫道: 「我是基督 徒。」耶穌斥責他說:「你說謊。你是西塞羅的門徒」(西塞羅為羅馬著名的文學家)。熱羅尼莫猛然從夢中驚醒。他深感過去一心鑽外教文學作品,不注重研究聖 教學術,這完全是錯誤的。

 熱羅尼莫病愈,立即往安提阿郊區曠野,獨居隱修。那地方天氣炎熱,寸草不生,每天看見的是毒蠍和野獸。熱羅尼莫遭遇肉情的誘惑,想到 羅馬紙醉金迷 的生活。他咬緊牙關,堅決與誘惑決鬥。他熱淚盈眶,哀求耶穌垂憐,厚恩寵,克服誘惑。上主是仁慈的,他決不讓我們受到超過我們力量的誘惑,他賜予我們必要 的恩寵,只要我們肯利用,一定能克服誘惑,修德成聖。

 熱羅尼莫經過了這一段的考驗,意志比以前鍛煉得更剛強了。他除了勤操苦行以外,同時研究希伯來文。希伯來文字是很難學的,熱羅尼莫有 鋼鐵一般的毅力,過了一個時期,他對希伯來文,大有心得,日後將用在翻譯聖經的工作上。

 熱羅尼莫對教會的貢獻,是他的聖經研究工作。教宗格肋孟八世稱他為聖經學方面最偉大的聖師。熱羅尼莫研究聖經工作,有許多有利的條 件。首先,他在 聖地住了很久,對當地的風土人情,知之甚詳。所以,在研究聖經時,能夠正確地了解聖經文字的意義。其次,熱羅尼莫除精通拉丁文和希臘文外,對希伯來語也有 深邃的研究。他聘當代著名希伯來語專家巴亞納尼亞為教師,再加他個人聰明好學,所以他的希伯來文是很有研究的。最後,注釋聖經的人,應當有相當的品性修 養,勤行祈禱,求上主賞賜真光。關於這一點,熱羅尼莫經過了多年來不斷的隱修生活,與主密切結合,個人已有充分的修養。

 熱羅尼莫在羅馬時,奉教宗聖達瑪穌之命,校訂了福音經和聖詠的拉丁譯本,接著,又校訂了新經其他部分。在白冷隱居的那一段時期,著手 翻譯古經,將 古經由希伯來文譯成拉丁文。他又把過去校訂的聖詠譯本,根據希伯來原文,再校訂一次。這本偉大的聖教文獻,一般稱為:「拉丁通行本」聖經,由脫利騰大公會 議宣布為教會批准的聖經拉丁本。一九O七年,教宗庇護十世委派聖本篤會根據熱羅尼莫的原稿,校閱現在的「拉丁通行本」聖經各版本。

 關於主日,聖人說:「主的日子,復活的日子,基督徒的日子,是我們的日子。它稱為主的日子,因為主就在這一天,凱旋地升到父的身邊。 如果其他民族稱這日子為太陽的日子,我們也樂意承認:因為今天世界之光升起,今天正義的太陽出現,它的光芒帶來了救恩。」《復活主日講道》

 聖人與聖奧思定、聖安博,及聖額我略,同為拉丁教會的四大聖師。

Most of the saints are remembered for some outstanding virtue or devotion which they practiced, but Jerome is frequently remembered for his bad temper! It is true that he had a very bad temper and could use a vitriolic pen, but his love for God and his Son Jesus Christ was extraordinarily intense; anyone who taught error was an enemy of God and truth, and St. Jerome went after him or her with his mighty and sometimes sarcastic pen.

He was above all a Scripture scholar, translating most of the Old Testament from the Hebrew. He also wrote commentaries which are a great source of scriptural inspiration for us today. He was an avid student, a thorough scholar, a prodigious letter-writer and a consultant to monk, bishop and pope. St. Augustine said of him, "What Jerome is ignorant of, no mortal has ever known."

St. Jerome is particularly important for having made a translation of the Bible which came to be called the Vulgate. It is not the most critical edition of the Bible, but its acceptance by the Church was fortunate. As a modern scholar says, "No man before Jerome or among his contemporaries and very few men for many centuries afterwards were so well qualified to do the work." The Council of Trent called for a new and corrected edition of the Vulgate, and declared it the authentic text to be used in the Church.

In order to be able to do such work, Jerome prepared himself well. He was a master of Latin, Greek, Hebrew and Chaldaic. He began his studies at his birthplace, Stridon in Dalmatia (in the former Yugoslavia). After his preliminary education he went to Rome, the center of learning at that time, and thence to Trier, Germany, where the scholar was very much in evidence. He spent several years in each place, always trying to find the very best teachers.

After these preparatory studies he traveled extensively in Palestine, marking each spot of Christ's life with an outpouring of devotion. Mystic that he was, he spent five years in the desert of Chalcis so that he might give himself up to prayer, penance and study. Finally he settled in Bethlehem, where he lived in the cave believed to have been the birthplace of Christ. On September 30 in the year 420, Jerome died in Bethlehem. The remains of his body now lie buried in the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome.