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October 21, 2012

First Native American Saint

Msgr. Lenz Vice Postulator For Canonization
of First Native American Saint 

By Kim Metzgar
Saint Vincent Archabbey Public Relations

For nearly half his life, and 
more than thirty of his sixty-plus 
years as a priest, Msgr. Paul A. 
Lenz, C’46 S’49 D’95, has been 
involved in ministry and advocating for Native Americans. Thus, 
February 18 of this year was one 
of joy, excitement, and celebration, when Msgr. Lenz received 
word that Pope Benedict XVI 
announced that Blessed Kateri 
Tekakwitha will become the first 
Native American saint of the 
Roman Catholic Church on October 21, 2012.
“The response has been 
unbelievable,” he said two days 
after the news was announced. 
“I just cannot believe it. Everyone I have spoken to is so 
excited, both Catholic Indians 
and non-Catholic Indians. My 
phone has been ringing off the 
Although he has been retired 
as Director of the National 
Black and Indian Mission Office 
in Washington, D.C. since 
2009, Msgr. Lenz has not been 
idle, continuing to serve as vice 
postulator for Blessed Kateri’s 
beatification cause. The coming 
months will not be idle either, 
as he will be involved with the 
liturgy the day of the canonization, and planning for the day. 
“She is the first Native American to be presented for sainthood,” said Msgr. Lenz. “She 
was born in 1656 near what 
is now Allegany, New York, and 
was known to be very holy. Hundreds of books and articles 
have been written about her.”
Kateri was known for her 

chastity and holiness before 
she died at age 24. She was 
beatified by Blessed John Paul 
II in 1980. The committee Msgr. 
Lenz served on submitted its 
documentation to the Vatican in 
September of 2009, and review 
of the documentation was then 
underlying tissue. 
“He was in the hospital 
for several months, and he 
required constant treatment,” 
Msgr. Lenz said. “At one point 
there was a team of 26 doctors 
working on his case.”
Father Tim Sauer, a family 
friend, told the boy’s parents to 
pray to Blessed Kateri. She was 
Msgr. Paul Lenz
The medical committee unanimously affirmed that a miracle 
had occurred, Msgr. Lenz said. 
That story involved a boy of six, 
Jacob Finkbonner, a member 
of the Lummi Nation from Bellingham, Washington, who was 
infected with necrotizing fascitis, a bacterial infection that 
can destroy muscle, skin, and 
known for teaching prayers to 
children and working with the 
elderly and sick. As a child her 
face had been badly scarred 
and her eyesight impaired by 
smallpox, a disease that killed 
her parents and brother. Due 
to the smallpox, she had pockmarks all over her face. 
“Maybe Blessed Kateri in 
heaven wanted a miracle for a 
young person who had scars 
from a similar affliction,” said 
Msgr. Lenz, noting that Blessed 
Kateri also had a great devotion 
to the Blessed Virgin Mary. 
The doctors told the Finkbonner family almost every 
night that they did not think 
Jake would live until the next 
morning, Msgr. Lenz said. The 
doctors, he added, also commented that it was not within 
their medical ability or modern 
medicine as it stands now that 
Jacob was kept alive for over 
two months, supporting the 
claim that his survival was a 
Not expected to live, and 
with severe scarring and infection throughout his facial area, 
the family continued praying to 
Blessed Kateri Takakwitha, and 
Jake survived. He required subsequent treatment for damage 
to his face, and has much scarring. The boy, Msgr. Lenz said, 
will be the first to receive communion from Pope Benedict XVI 
during the canonization Mass.

New Saints!!!

Mother Marianne Cope, Kateri Tekakwitha among 7 new saints canonized by Pope Benedict

VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Some 80,000 pilgrims in flowered lei, feathered headdresses and other traditional garb flooded St. Peter's Square on Sunday as Pope Benedict XVI added seven more saints onto the roster of Catholic role models in a bid to reinvigorate the faith in parts of the world where it's lagging.
Two of the new saints were Americans: Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Native American saint from the U.S., and Mother Marianne Cope, a 19th century Franciscan nun who cared for leprosy patients in Hawaii.
It seemed as if a third saint, Pedro Calungsod, a 17th century Filipino teenage martyr, drew the biggest crowd of all, with Rome's sizeable Filipino expat community turning out in flag-waving droves to welcome the country's second saint.

Native Indians wait for the start of a canonization ceremony celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI, in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012. The pontiff will canonize seven people, Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Native American saint from the U.S., Maria del Carmen, Pedro Calungsod, Jacques Berthieu, Giovanni Battista Piamarta, Mother Marianne Cope, and Anna Shaeffer.

In his homily, Benedict praised each of the seven as heroic and courageous examples for the entire church, calling Cope a "shining" model for Catholics and Kateri an inspiration to indigenous faithful across North America.
"May the witness of these new saints ... speak today to the whole church, and may their intercession strengthen and sustain her in her mission to proclaim the Gospel to the whole world," he said.
The celebrations began at dawn, with Native Americans in beaded and feathered headdresses and leather-fringed tunics singing songs to Kateri to the beat of drums as the sun rose over St. Peter's Square.
Later, the crowds cheered as the pope read out the names of each of the new saints in Latin and declared that they were worthy of veneration by the entire church. Prayers were read out in Mohawk and Cebuano, the dialect of Calungsod's native Cebu province, and in English by a nun wearing a lei.
"It's so nice to see God showing all the flavors of the world," marveled Gene Caldwell, a Native American member of the Menominee reservation in Neopit, Wisconsin, who attended with his wife, Linda. "The Native Americans are enthralled" to have Kateri canonized, he said.
The canonization coincided with a Vatican meeting of the world's bishops on trying to revive Christianity in places where it's fallen by the wayside.
Several of the new saints were missionaries, making clear the pope hopes their example - even though they lived hundreds of years ago - will be relevant today as the Catholic Church tries to hold on to its faithful. It's a tough task as the Vatican faces competition from evangelical churches in Africa and Latin America, increasing secularization in the West and disenchantment due to the clerical sex abuse scandal in Europe and beyond.
The two American saints actually hail from roughly the same place - what is today upstate New York - although they lived two centuries apart.
Known as the "Lily of the Mohawks," Kateri was born in 1656 to a pagan Iroquois father and an Algonquin Christian mother. Her parents and only brother died when she was 4 during a smallpox epidemic that left her badly scarred and with impaired eyesight. She went to live with her uncle, a Mohawk, and was baptized Catholic by Jesuit missionaries. But she was ostracized and persecuted by other natives for her faith, and she died in what is now Canada when she was 24.
Speaking in English and French, in honor of Kateri's Canadian ties, Benedict noted how unusual it was in Kateri's indigenous culture for her to choose to devote herself to her Catholic faith.
"May her example help us to live where we are, loving Jesus without denying who we are," Benedict said. "Saint Kateri, protectress of Canada and the first Native American saint, we entrust you to the renewal of the faith in the first nations and in all of North America!"
Among the few people chosen to receive Communion from the pope himself was Jake Finkbonner, a 12-year-old boy of Native American descent from the western U.S. state of Washington, whose recovery from an infection of flesh-eating bacteria was deemed "miraculous" by the Vatican. The Vatican determined that Jake was cured through Kateri's intercession after his family and community invoked her in their prayers, paving the way for her canonization.
Cope is revered among many Catholics in Hawaii, where she arrived from New York in 1883 to care for leprosy patients on Kalaupapa, an isolated peninsula on Molokai Island where Hawaii governments forcibly exiled them for decades. At the time, there was widespread fear of the disfiguring disease, which can cause skin lesions, mangled fingers and toes and lead to blindness.
Cope, however, led a band of Franciscan nuns to the peninsula to care for the patients, just as Saint Damien, a Belgian priest, did in 1873. He died of the disease 16 years later and was canonized in 2009.
"At a time when little could be done for those suffering from this terrible disease, Marianne Cope showed the highest love, courage and enthusiasm," Benedict said in his homily. "She is a shining and energetic example of the best of the tradition of Catholic nursing sisters and of the spirit of her beloved St. Francis."
Two-hundred fifty pilgrims from Hawaii traveled to Rome for Mother Marianne's canonization, including nine Kalaupapa patients, as well as faithful from the local diocese.
"Marianne Cope means a great deal to us," said pilgrim Aida Javier, who traveled from Honolulu with her husband Romy for the Mass. "My husband and I feel blessed and honored to be part of this canonization."
Another pilgrim was Sharon Smith, of Syracuse, New York, whose 2005 cure from complications from pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas, was declared medically inexplicable by the Vatican - the "miracle" needed for Mother Marianne to be named a saint. In an interview last week, Smith recounted how she had fainted one day in her home, an allergic reaction to medication she was taking for a kidney transplant, and awoke in the hospital to find that doctors weren't giving her much time to live.
Her disease was eating away at her insides, causing her stomach to detach from her intestines. Doctors said they couldn't repair it. At a certain point, a nun pinned a bag of ashes and dirt from Mother Marianne's grave on her and prayed.
"I had never heard of her, but we continued to pray," Smith said. "And I just, I started getting better."
"I believe in miracles, but I don't know whether it was all the prayers, or the pinning of the relic, but I know that something worked, and I'm here for some reason," Smith said.
The Vatican's complicated saint-making procedure requires that the Vatican certify a "miracle" was performed through the intercession of the candidate - a medically inexplicable cure that can be directly linked to the prayers offered by the faithful. One miracle is needed for beatification, a second for canonization.
The Philippines' second saint, Calungsod, was a Filipino teenager who helped Jesuit priests convert natives in Guam in the 17th century but was killed by spear-wielding villagers opposed to the missionaries' efforts to baptize their children.
"We are especially proud because he is so young," said Marianna Dieza, a 39-year-old housekeeper working in Rome who was on hand for the Mass.
The other new saints are: Jacques Berthieu, a 19th century French Jesuit who was killed by rebels in Madagascar, where he had worked as a missionary; Giovanni Battista Piamarta, an Italian who founded a religious order in 1900 and established a Catholic printing and publishing house in his native Brescia; Carmen Salles y Barangueras, a Spanish nun who founded a religious order to educate children in 1892; and Anna Schaeffer, a 19th century German lay woman who became a model for the sick and suffering after she fell into a boiler and badly burned her legs. The wounds never healed, causing her constant pain.

By The Associated Press 
on October 21, 2012 at 7:15 AM

October 20, 2012

Saint Paul of the Cross

Paul Francis Daneii, born at Ovada, Genoa, Italy, 3 January, 1694; died in Rome, 18 October, 1775.
His parents, Luke Danei and Anna Maria Massari, were exemplary Catholics. From his earliest years the crucifix was his book, and the Crucified his model. Paul received his early education from a priest who kept a school for boys, in Cremolino, Lombardy. He made great progress in study and virtue; spent much time m prayer, heard daily Mass, frequently received the Sacraments, faithfully attended to his school duties, and gave his spare time to reading good books and visiting the churches, where he s p e n t much time before the Blessed Sacrament, to which he had an ardent devotion. At the age of fifteen he left school and re turned to his home at Castellazzo, and from this time his life was full of trials. In early manhood he renounced the offer of an honorable marriage; also a good inheritance left him by an uncle who was a priest. He kept for himself only the priest's Breviary.

Inflamed with a desire for God's glory he formed the idea of instituting a religious order in of the Passion. Vested in a black tunic by the Bishop of Alessandria, his director, bearing the emblem of our Lord's Passion, barefooted, and bareheaded, he retired to a narrow cell where he drew up the Rules of the new congregation according to the plan made known to him in a vision, which he relates in the introduction to the original copy of the Rules. For the account of his ordination to the priesthood, of the foundation of the Congregation of the Passion, and the approbation of the Rules, see PASSIONISTS. After the approbation of the Rules and the institute the first general chapter was held at the Retreat of the Presentation on Mount Argentaro on 10 April, 1747. At this chapter, St. Paul, against his wishes, was unanimously elected first superior general, which office he held until the day of his death. In all virtues and in the observance of regular discipline, he became a model to his companions. "Although continually occupied with the cares of governing his religious society, and of founding everywhere new houses for it, yet he never left off preaching the word of God, burning as he did with a wondrous desire for the salvation of souls" (Brief of Pius IX for St. Paul's Beatification, 1 Oct., 1852). Sacred missions were instituted and numerous conversions were made. He was untiring in his Apostolic labours and never, even to his last hour, remitted anything of his austere manner of life, finally succumbing to a severe illness, worn out as much by his austerities as by old age.
Among the distinguished associates of St. Paul in the formation and extension of the congregation were: John Baptist, his younger brother and constant companion from childhood, who shared all his labours and sufferings and equaled him in the practice of virtue; Father Mark Aurelius (Pastorelli), Father Thomas Struzzieri (subsequently Bishop of Amelia and afterwards of Todi), and Father Fulgentius of Jesus, all remarkable for learning, piety, and missionary zeal; Venerable Strambi, Bishop of Macerata and Tolentino, his biographer. Constant personal union with the Cross and Passion of our Lord was the prominent feature of St. Paul's sanctity. But devotion to the Passion did not stand alone, for he carried to a heroic degree all the other virtues of a Christian life. Numerous miracles, besides those special ones brought forward at his beatification and canonization, attested the favour he enjoyed with God. Miracles of grace abounded, as witnessed in the conversion of sinners seemingly hardened and hopeless. For fifty years he prayed for the conversion of England, and left the devotion as a legacy to his sons. The body of St. Paul lies in the Basilica of SS. John and Paul, Rome. He was beatified on 1 October, 1852, and canonized on 29 June, 1867. His feast occurs on 28 April. The fame of his sanctity, which had spread far and wide in Italy during his life, increased after his death and spread into all countries. Great devotion to him is practiced by the faithful wherever Passionists are established.

"Look upon the face of the Crucified, who invites you to follow Him. He will be a Father, Mother--everything to you." Saint Paul of the Cross

October 19, 2012

The North American Martyrs

The North American Martyrs were eight Jesuit missionaries commissioned to work among the Huron Native Americans during the mid-17th century.
By the late 1640’s, these brave missionaries were making progress in their labors with the Huron and they were said to have made thousands of converts during this time. Nevertheless, within Huron communities, these men of faith were not universally trusted. Many Huron considered them to be evil shamans who brought death and disease wherever they travelled. Their arrival had coincided with great epidemics in 1634 and afterwards of smallpox and other infectious diseases, to which the aboriginal peoples had no immunity.
Between the years of 1642 and 1649, eight members of the Society of Jesus were killed in North America, after extreme torture by members of the Huron and Iroquois tribes. These men had worked hard to bring the Christian faith to the natives of that region. 

The Iroquois considered the Jesuits legitimate targets, as the missionaries were nominally allies of the Huron. They had often helped organize resistance to Iroquois invasions. Ultimately, these Jesuit missionaries would meet their deaths as martyrs in various locations in Canada and upstate New York.  They include:

1642: St. René Goupil
1646: St. Isaac Jogues
1646: St. Jean de Lalande
1648: St. Antoine Daniel
1649: St. Jean de Brébeuf
1649: St. Noël Chabanel
1649: St. Charles Garnier
1649: St. Gabriel Lalemant

The North American Martyrs, in whose honor Martyrs’ Court Residential Hall was dedicated at Fordham in 1951, found their courage in their love for those to whom they were sent.  May God’s love cast out all our fear of putting our lives at the full service of others.

St. Jean de Lalande
Considered one of the North American Martyrs, Jean de Lalande was a French teenager who offered his services to work with the Jesuit missionaries in Canada in the mid-17th century.  He served as a companion to Father Isaac Jogues, a French Jesuit priest missionary, on a fated peace mission to Ossernenon, located in upstate New York.  Father Jogues had earlier asked for someone who was “virtuous, docile to direction, courageous, one who would be willing to suffer anything for God.” Undeterred by the priest’s description of what was needed, he ultimately endured all of this and more as a captive. St. Jean de Lalande was martyred on October 19, 1646 when he attempted to recover the slain body of Father Jogues from the paths of the village.  His faith and heroism were acknowledged by his canonization as a saint of the Church in 1930.

St. René Goupil
René Goupil was born in 1608 in the little village of  St. Martin in France.  As a young man he became a Jesuit novice with the intention of serving as a lay brother, but ill health prevented him from taking his vows.  Skilled in the care of the sick and possessing a practical knowledge of medicine, he ultimately resolved to sail to New France in order to help the Jesuit missionaries he had earlier hoped to join.

Father Isaac Jogues found him working in the Quebec hospital in 1642, and was delighted when he volunteered to travel with him to the Huron country to serve as an infirmarian at Mission Sainte Marie.  Both were captured by the ferocious Mohawk Iroquois on the St. Lawrence River, along with a large number of Christian Huron.  It was on the torture trail to the Mohawk country that Father Jogues received René’s perpetual vows as a Jesuit brother.  Six weeks after their arrival at the village of Ossernenon, René became the first of the eight martyrs to die and thus the first canonized saint of North America.

Buried by the loving hands of Father Jogues himself, René’s holy relics rest in an unmarked grave in the Ravine on the Auriesville Shrine property in upstate New York.

St. Isaac Jogues
Father Isaac Jogues and his companions were the first martyrs of the North American continent.  As a young Jesuit, Isaac Jogues, a man of learning and culture taught literature in France.  He gave up that career in 1636 to work among the Huron people in the New World.  The Huron were constantly warred upon by the Iroquois and, in a few years, Father Jogues was captured by the Iroquois and imprisoned for 13 months.  His letters and journal tell how he and his companions were led from village to village, how they were beaten, tortured and forced to watch as their Huron converts were mangled and killed.

An unexpected chance for escape came to Isaac Jogues through the Dutch, and he returned to France, bearing the marks of his sufferings.  Welcomed home as a hero, Father Jogues might have sat back, thanked God for his safe return and died peacefully in him homeland.  But his zeal led him back once more to the fulfillment of his dreams.  In a few months, he sailed for his missions among the Huron.

In 1646 he and Jean de Lalande, who had offered his services to the missioners, set out for Iroquois country in the belief that a recently signed peace treaty would be observed.  They were captured by a Mohawk war party and, on October 18, 1646, Father Jogues was tomahawked and beheaded.   He and seven of his brave companions were canonized as saints by the Church in 1930. 

O God of life, you called and strengthened
Saints Isaac Jogues, Jean de Brébeuf, and René Goupil
and their companions to preach the Gospel
by their steadfastness in fidelity, even unto death.
Through their example and their intercession,
strengthen us in our faithfulness to live the good news of salvation,
through Christ our Lord.

©2012 Fordham University

October 18, 2012

Saint Luke

The great apostle of the Gentiles, or rather the Holy Ghost by his pen, is the panegyrist of this glorious evangelist, and his own inspired writings are the highest standing and most authentic commendation of his sanctity, and of those eminent graces which are a just subject of our admiration, but which human praises can only extenuate. St. Luke was a native of Antioch, the metropolis of Syria, a city famous for the agreeableness of its situation, the riches of its traffic, its extent, the number of its inhabitants, the politeness of their manners, and their learning and wisdom. Its schools were the most renowned in all Asia, and produced the ablest masters in all arts and sciences. St. Luke acquired a stock of learning in his younger years, which we are told he improved by his travels in some parts of Greece and Egypt. St. Jerome assures us he was very eminent in his profession, and St. Paul, by calling him his most dear physician, seems to indicate that he had not laid it aside. Besides his abilities in physic, he is said to have been very skillful in painting. The Menology of the Emperor Basil, compiled in 980, Nicephorus, Metaphrastes, and other modern Greeks quoted by Gretzer in his dissertation on this subject, speak much of his excelling in this art, and of his leaving many pictures of Christ and the Blessed Virgin. Though neither the antiquity nor the credit of these authors is of great weight, it must be acknowledged, with a very judicious critic, that some curious anecdotes are found in their writings. In this particular, what they tell us is supported by the authority of Theodorus Lector, who lived in 518, and relates that a picture of the Blessed Virgin painted by St. Luke was sent from Jerusalem to the Empress Pulcheria, who placed it in the church of Hodegorum which she built in her honour at Constantinople. Moreover, a very ancient inscription was found in a vault near the Church of St. Mary in via lata in Rome, in which it is said of a picture of the Blessed Virgin Mary discovered there, "One of the seven painted by St. Luke." Three or four such pictures are still in being; the principal is that placed by Paul V in the Barghesian chapel in St. Mary Major.

St. Luke was a proselyte to the Christian religion, but whether from Paganism or rather from Judaism is uncertain; for many Jews were settled in Antioch, but chiefly such as were called Hellenists, who read the Bible in the Greek translation of the Septuagint. St. Jerome observes from his writings that he was more skilled in Greek than in Hebrew, and that therefore he not only always makes use of the Septuagint translation, as the other authors of the New Testament who wrote in Greek do, but he refrains sometimes from translating words when the propriety of the Greek tongue would not bear it. Some think he was converted to the faith by St. Paul at Antioch; others judge this improbable, because that apostle nowhere calls him his son, as he frequently does his converts. St. Epiphanius makes him to have been a disciple of our Lord; which might be for some short time before the death of Christ, though this evangelist says he wrote his gospel from the relations of those "who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word." Nevertheless, from these words many conclude that he became a Christian at Antioch only after Christ's ascension. Tertullian positively affirms that he never was a disciple of Christ whilst he lived on earth. No sooner was he enlightened by the Holy Ghost and initiated in the school of Christ but he set himself heartily to learn the spirit of his faith and to practice its lessons. For this purpose he studied perfectly to die to himself, and, as the church says of him, "He always carried about in his body the mortification of the cross for the honour of the divine name." He was already a great proficient in the habits of a perfect mastery of himself, and of all virtues, when he became St. Paul's companion in his travels and fellow-labourer in the ministry of the gospel. The first time that in his history of the missions of St. Paul he speaks in his own name in the first person is when that apostle sailed from Troas into Macedon in the year 51, soon after St. Barnabas had left him, and St. Irenaeus begins from that time the voyages which St. Luke made with St. Paul. Before this he had doubtless been for some time an assiduous disciple of that great apostle; but from the time he seems never to have left him unless by his order upon commissions for the service of the churches he had planted. It was the height of his ambition to share with that great apostle all his toils, fatigues, dangers, and sufferings. In his company he made some stay at Philippi in Macedon; then he travelled with him through all the cities of Greece, where the harvest every day grew upon their hands. St. Paul mentions him more than once as the companion of his travels, he calls him "Luke the beloved physician," his "fellow labourer." Interpreters usually take Lucius, whom St. Paul calls his kinsman, to be St. Luke, as the same apostle sometimes gives a Latin termination to Silas, calling him Sylvanus. Many with Origen, Eusebius, and St. Jerome say that when St. Paul speaks of his own gospel he means that of St. Luke, though the passage may be understood simply of the gospel which St. Paul preached. He wrote this epistle in the year 57, four years before his first arrival at Rome.

St. Luke mainly insists in his gospel upon what relates to Christ's priestly office; for which reason the ancients, in accommodating the four symbolical representations, mentioned in Ezekiel, to the four evangelists, assigned the ox or calf as an emblem of sacrifices to St. Luke. It is only in the Gospel of St. Luke that we have a full account of several particulate relating to the Annunciation of the mystery of the Incarnation to the Blessed Virgin, her visit to St. Elizabeth, the parable of the prodigal son, and many other most remarkable points. The whole is written with great variety, elegance, and perspicuity. An incomparable sublimity of thought and diction is accompanied with that genuine simplicity which is the characteristic of the sacred penman; and by which the divine actions and doctrine of our Blessed Redeemer are set off in a manner which in every word conveys his holy spirit, and unfolds in every tittle the hidden mysteries and inexhausted riches of the divine love and of all virtues to those who, with a humble and teachable disposition of mind, make these sacred oracles the subject of their assiduous devout meditation. The dignity with which the most sublime mysteries, which transcend all the power of words and even the conception and comprehension of all created beings, ate set off without any pomp of expression has in it something divine; and the energy with which the patience, meekness, charity, and beneficence of a God made man for us are described, his divine lessons laid down, and the narrative of his life given, but especially the dispassionate manner in which his adorable sufferings and death are related, without the least exclamation or bestowing the least harsh epithet on his enemies, is a grander and more noble eloquence on such a theme, and a more affecting and tender manner of writing' than the highest strains or the finest ornaments of speech could be. This simplicity makes the great actions speak themselves, which all borrowed eloquence must extenuate. The sacred penmen in these writings were only the instruments or organs of the Holy Ghost; but their style alone suffices to evince how perfectly free their souls were from the reign or influence of human passions, and in how perfect a degree they were replenished with all those divine virtues and that heavenly spirit which their words breathe.
About the year 56 St. Paul sent St. Luke with St. Titus to Corinth with this high commendation, that his praise in the gospel resounded throughout all the churches. St. Luke attended him to Rome, whither he was sent prisoner from Jerusalem in 61. The apostle remained there two years in chains; but was permitted to live in a house which he hired, though under the custody of a constant guard; and there he preached to those who daily resorted to hear him. St. Luke was the apostle's faithful assistant and attendant during his confinement, and had the comfort to see him set at liberty in 63, the year in which this evangelist finished his Acts of the Apostles. This sacred history he compiled at Rome, by divine inspiration, as an appendix to his gospel, to prevent the false relations of those transactions which some published, and to leave an authentic account of the wonderful works of God in planting his church, and some of the miracles by which he confirmed it, and which were an invincible proof of the truth of Christ's resurrection and of his holy religion. Having in the first twelve chapters related the chief general transactions of the principal apostles in the first establishment of the church, beginning at our Lord's ascension, he from the thirteenth chapter almost confines himself to the actions and miracles of St. Paul, to most of which he had been privy and an eye-witness, and concerning which false reports were spread.
St. Luke did not forsake his master after he was released from his confinement. That apostle in his last imprisonment at Rome writes that the rest had all left him, and that St. Luke alone was with him. St. Epiphanius says that after the martyrdom of St. Paul, St. Luke preached in Italy, Gaul, Dalmatia, and Macedon. By Gaul some understand Cisalpine Gaul, others Galatia. Fortunatus and Metaphrastus say he passed into Egypt and preached in Thebais. Nicephorus says he died at Thebes in Boeotia, and that his tomb was shown near that place in his time; but seems to confound the evangelist with St. Luke Stiriote, a hermit of that country. St. Hippolytus says St. Luke was crucified at Elaea in Peloponnesus near Achaia. The modern Greeks tell us he was crucified on an olive tree. The ancient African Martyrology of the fifth age gives him the titles of Evangelist and Martyr. St. Gregory Nazianzen,St. Paulinus, and St. Gaudentius of Brescia assure us that he went to God by martyrdom. Bede, Ado, Usuard, and Baronius in the Martyrologies only say he suffered much for the faith, and died very old in Bithynia. That he crossed the straits to preach in Bithynia is most probable, but then he returned and finished his course in Achaia; under which name Peloponnesus was then comprised. The modern Greeks say he lived fourscore and four years; which assertion has crept into St. Jerome's account of St. Luke, but is expunged by Martianay, who found those words wanting in all old manuscripts. The bones of St. Luke were translated from Patras in Achaia in 357 by order of the Emperor Constantius, and deposited in the Church of the Apostles at Constantinople, together with those of St. Andrew and St. Timothy. On the occasion of this translation some distribution was made of the relics of St. Luke; St. Gaudentius procured a part for his church at Brescia.St. Paulinus possessed a portion in St. Felix's Church at Nola, and with a part enriched a church which he built at Fondi. The magnificent Church of the Apostles at Constantinople was built by Constantine the Great, whose body was deposited in the porch in a chest of gold, the twelve apostles standing round his tomb. When this church was repaired by an order of Justinian, the masons found three wooden chests or coffins in which, as the inscriptions proved, the bodies of St. Luke, St. Andrew, and St. Timothy were interred. Baronius mentions that the head of St. Luke was brought by St. Gregory from Constantinople to Rome, and laid in the church of his monastery of St. Andrew. Some of his relics are kept in the great Grecian monastery on Mount Athos in Greece.
Christ, our divine Legislator, came not only to be our model by his example, and our Redeemer by the sacrifice of his adorable blood, but also and our Redeemer by the sacrifice of his adorable blood, but also to be our doctor and teacher by his heavenly doctrine. With what earnestness and diligence, with what awful respect, ought we to listen to and assiduously meditate upon his divine lessons, which we read in his gospels or hear from the mouths of his ministers who announce to us his word and in his name, or by his authority and commission. It is by repeated meditation that the divine word sinks deep into our hearts. What fatigues and sufferings did it cost the Son of God to announce it to us? How many prophets, how many apostles, evangelists, and holy ministers has he sent to preach the same for the sake of our souls? How intolerable is our contempt of it? our sloth and carelessness in receiving it?

October 15, 2012

The Feast of Saint Teresa of Avila

For the Feast of St. Teresa of Avila: 15 October
Cosmo Francesco RuppiArchbishop of Lecce, Italy

Honoring a Friendly and Firm 'Revolutionary for God'

The 16th century was not an easy century for the Church. Indeed, it was one of the most turbulent and painful of periods.
This was not only because of the crisis in the Church and the birth of Protestantism, but there were also thousands of contradictions, only some of which the Council of Trent sought to remedy. These have remained, however, and still endure in the abrasive modern world.
Reform and counter reform, mystical tension and the new evangelization: the heroism of charity and the advancement of women in the Church are summed up in a holy woman who astonished her century. She still astonishes the world today with her ventures, her doctrine and her courage in promoting consecrated life and witnessing to the most absolute fidelity to the Pope and the Pastors of the Church.
On 27 September 1970, in proclaiming Teresa of Avila a doctor of the Church, that is, a Master of Christian life, Pope Paul VI recognized that this saint carried out "extraordinary tasks, prompted by her genius and a certain natural disposition of the will"; and he thus added: "She may have a more authoritative mission to perform in her Religious Family in the Church and in the world", requiring of the members of the Carmelite Order a higher standard of discipline in their life.
Paul VI not only praises St. Teresa of Avila's virtues but also the exceptional human qualities that shone out in her life: "She strove with determination to tell the truth, to keep her word, to abide by her promises, to use a language which, although colloquial, was full of joy and friendliness...", but at the same time she was austere, severe with herself and with the nuns and very demanding in all things.

The hour of God
Teresa came from a well-to-do and distinguished family and was destined for life in the world with the prospect of a substantial worldly fortune. Nonetheless, when she was 21 years old, she entered the Carmelite Monastery of the Incarnation in Avila. It was from here that she set out to implement the reform for which she was largely responsible, together with St. John of the Cross.

As for the other Teresa, Teresa of the Child Jesus, and Bernadette Soubirous, the time of grace did not arrive immediately for her, either. It came when she was 38 years old, at the peak of her maturity, when she felt in the midst of the reform the need to enter the life of the Church directly so as to make her own contribution to it.
The results form a long historical list, beginning with the reform of Carmel: on 24 August 1562 in Avila, she opened the first reformed Carmel in which the ancient observance was restored. It consisted of absolute poverty, prayer, hiddenness and silence. The cloister became the shade that was to envelop the nuns to enable them to speak to God better and to contemplate him in anticipation from this earth.
With solitude and prayer, the saint conceived of contributing actively to the reform of the Church and offered her support to the innovations that were being deliberated at the sessions of the Council of Trent.
With a companion as well as Fr. Julian of Avila, Teresa set out on foot to a poor little abandoned house in the country where she was to establish the new Carmel: "Night was falling when we arrived", she herself recounts. "I entered the house, which was in such a state that we did not think it would be right to spend the night there, as it was so dirty and full of rodents. It had a tiny porch, one room divided in two, a loft and a small kitchen. The whole building of our convent consisted of no more than this!".
It marked the beginning of the history of the reform of Carmel that spread throughout the world.
Today, there are more than 800 Carmelite monasteries, approximately 12,000 nuns and a multitude of religious institutes of active life scattered in every corner of the earth.

An arduous journey

St. Teresa's undertaking was far from easy. Her work of reform met with deep hostility and polemics. There was no lack of disagreement and misunderstanding, threats and calumny, but she was undaunted, braver and more tenacious than an army general.
She traveled all over Spain by any means chance afforded her, more often on foot than on wobbly carts. She brought her efforts to a successful conclusion by founding 16 new monasteries and gathering a multitude of disciples and followers who shared in her ideals of austerity and poverty.
With her, the Carmel became a centre of prayer, asceticism, austerity and Christian celebration: anyone who has caught a glimpse of a Carmelite parlour, even once, as happened to the author of this article the day after Neil Armstrong reached the moon, will certainly be struck by the calmness and joy that pervades the Carmelite Sisters.
A revolutionary for God, friendly and firm in governance, not only did St Teresa found monasteries and direct them with her head and her heart, but she also regularly corresponded with them. Chroniclers mention about 15,000 letters, of which 459 have come down to us, more than enough to describe both her spiritual and physical features.
Her writing is flat, plain and sometimes ungrammatical; but it is always clear, spontaneous and incisive.
In the Way of Perfection, for example, she complains of having only two hands, because if she had had more, she would certainly have doubled her letter-writing output.

Rich in faith, imagination
Her mystic life and her immense love for Christ were transfused in her writings, as Paul VI perceptively observed in his Apostolic Letter Multiformis Sapientia Dei, with which he proclaimed her a Doctor of the Church.
"Her teaching was important, not only for the life of the faithful especially in a practical way, for the area chosen that is of great theological value and known today as spiritual theology. Indeed, the writings of St Teresa are a plentiful source of multiple experiences, witnesses and spiritual insights, from which all scholars in this branch of theology draw in abundance...".
Among her many works, which have earned her the title of "Teacher" of the Christian people, in addition to The Interior Castle, her most important and best-known work, we can recall: the Libro de la Vida [her autobiography], the Way of Perfection, the Book of the Foundations, the Relations, and the Letters that are a gold mine of historical information and contemplative spirituality.
The great saints of her day, such as John of the Cross, Peter of Alcântara, John of Ribera and others, considered her an expert in contemplation, enlightened by God to guide an interminable host of souls.
Everyone rejoiced when Paul VI "with true recognition, with a carefully considered decision and because of the fullness of his Apostolic Authority". declared St. Teresa of Jesus, the Virgin of Avila, Doctor of the universal Church.
The theological and mystic magisterium of this saint is so vast and luminous that not only do the Sisters of Carmel and the Carmelite Order draw from it by the handful, but also the entire Church. Theologians declare that her doctrine comes from heaven.
It comes from heaven and it leads to heaven!

Taken from:
L'Osservatore Romano
Weekly Edition in English
12 October 2005, page 2

October 11, 2012

Year of Faith

In the Acts of the Apostles, we learn that God has opened the door of faith for the early Church.But did you know that God has opened the door of faith for each one us and he invites us to step through the threshold into a deeper relationship with him.The upcoming Year of Faith is an opportunity for every Catholic to turn towards Jesus Christ, encounter him in the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist and rediscover the Faith and Church.
With his Apostolic Letter of October 11, 2011, Porta Fidei , Pope Benedict XVI declared that a "Year of Faith" will begin on October 11, 2012 and conclude on November 24, 2013. October 11, 2012, the first day of the Year of Faith, is the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Councel (Vatican II) and also the twentieth anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church During the Year of Faith, Catholics are asked to study and reflect on the documents of Vatican II and the catechism so that they may deepen their knowledge of the faith.
The upcoming Year of Faith is a “summons to an authentic and renewed conversion to the Lord, the One Savior of the world” (Porta Fidei 6). In other words, the Year of Faith is an opportunity for Catholics to experience a conversion – to turn back to Jesus and enter into a deeper relationship with him. The “door of faith” is opened at one’s baptism, but during this year Catholics are called to open it again, walk through it and rediscover and renew their relationship with Christ and his Church.

Opening of the Year of Faith

Saint Vincent Archabbey will mark the vigil of the opening of the Year of Faith with a Mass at 5 p.m. Wednesday, October 10, in the Archabbey Basilica celebrated by Most Rev. Lawrence E. Brandt, J.C.D., Ph.D., Bishop of Greensburg.
"Knowledge of faith opens a door into the fullness of the saving mystery revealed by God. The giving of assent implies that, when we believe, we freely accept the whole mystery of faith, because the guarantor of its truth is God who reveals himself and allows us to know his mystery of love," said Pope Benedict XVI in his Apostolic Letter of October 11, 2011, Porta Fidei.
"The door of faith is always open for us and provides us with the opportunity to enter into a deeper relationship with God, and inviting a deeper commitment to Christ and His Church," said Saint Vincent Archabbot Douglas R. Nowicki, O.S.B. "Pope Benedict explains for us the darkness of faith in his apostolic letter: 'How many believers, even in our own day, are tested by God’s silence when they would rather hear his consoling voice! The trials of life, while helping us to understand the mystery of the Cross and to participate in the sufferings of Christ (cf. Col 1:24), are a prelude to the joy and hope to which faith leads: “when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor 12:10). We believe with firm certitude that the Lord Jesus has conquered evil and death. With this sure confidence we entrust ourselves to him: he, present in our midst, overcomes the power of the evil one (cf. Lk 11:20); and the Church, the visible community of his mercy, abides in him as a sign of definitive reconciliation with the Father.'"
Pope Benedict XVI declared that a "Year of Faith" will begin on October 11, 2012 and conclude on November 24, 2013. October 11, 2012, the first day of the Year of Faith, is the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council. . . (Vatican II) and also the twentieth anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. During the Year of Faith, Catholics are asked to study and reflect on the documents of Vatican II and the catechism so that they may deepen their knowledge of the faith.'"
The public is invited to attend and take part in this year-long celebration.

October 6, 2012

Saint Bruno

Saint Bruno, Confessor, ecclesiastical writer, and founder of the Carthusian Order. He was born at Cologne about the year 1030; died 6 October, 1101. He is usually represented with a death's head in his hands, a book and a cross, or crowned with seven stars; or with a roll bearing the device O Bonitas. His feast is kept on the 6th of October.
According to tradition, St. Bruno belonged to the family of Hartenfaust, or Hardebüst, one of the principal families of the city, and it is in remembrance of this origin that different members of the family of Hartenfaust have received from the Carthusians either some special prayers for the dead, as in the case of Peter Bruno Hartenfaust in 1714, and Louis Alexander Hartenfaust, Baron of Laach, in 1740; or a personal affiliation with the order, as with Louis Bruno of Hardevüst, Baron of Laach and Burgomaster of the town of Bergues-S. Winnoc, in the Diocese of Cambrai, with whom the Hardevüst family in the male line became extinct on 22 March, 1784.
We have little information about the childhood and youth of St. Bruno. Born at Cologne, he would have studied at the city college, or collegial of St. Cunibert. While still quite young (a pueris) he went to complete his education at Reims, attracted by the reputation of the episcopal school and of its director, Heriman. There he finished his classical studies and perfected himself in the sacred sciences which at that time consisted principally of the study of Holy Scripture and of the Fathers. He became there, according to the testimony of his contemporaries, learned both in human and in Divine science.
His education completed, St. Bruno returned to Cologne, where he was provided with a canonry at St. Cunibert's, and, according to the most probable opinion, was elevated to the priestly dignity. This was about the year 1055. In 1056 Bishop Gervais recalled him to Reims, to aid his former master Heriman in the direction of the school. The latter was already turning his attention towards a more perfect form of life, and when he at last left the world to enter the religious life, in 1057, St. Bruno found himself head of the episcopal school, or écolâtre, a post difficult as it was elevated, for it then included the direction of the public schools and the oversight of all the educational establishments of the diocese. For about twenty years, from 1057 to 1075, he maintained the prestige which the school of Reims has attained under its former masters, Remi of Auxerre, Hucbald of St. Amand, Gerbert, and lastly Heriman. Of the excellence of his teaching we have a proof in the funereal titles composed in his honour, which celebrate his eloquence, his poetic, philosophical, and above all his exegetical and theological, talents; and also in the merits of his pupils, amongst whom were Eudes of Châtillon, afterwards Urban II, Rangier, Cardinal and Bishop of Reggio, Robert, Bishop of Langres, and a large number of prelates and abbots.
In 1075 St. Bruno was appointed chancellor of the church of Reims, and had then to give himself especially to the administration of the diocese. Meanwhile the pious Bishop Gervais, friend of St. Bruno, had been succeeded by Manasses de Gournai, who quickly became odious for his impiety and violence. The chancellor and two other canons were commissioned to bear to the papal legate, Hugh of Die, the complaints of the indignant clergy, and at the Council of Autun, 1077, they obtained the suspension of the unworthy prelate. The latter's reply was to raze the houses of his accusers, confiscate their goods, sell their benefices, and appeal to the pope. Bruno then absented himself from Reims for a while, and went probably to Rome to defend the justice of his cause. It was only in 1080 that a definite sentence, confirmed by a rising of the people, compelled Manasses to withdraw and take refuge with the Emperor Henry IV. Free then to choose another bishop, the clergy were on the point of uniting their vote upon the chancellor. He, however, had far different designs in view. According to a tradition preserved in the Carthusian Order, Bruno was persuaded to abandon the world by the sight of a celebrated prodigy, popularized by the brush of Lesueur--the triple resurrection of the Parisian doctor, Raymond Diocres. To this tradition may be opposed the silence of contemporaries, and of the first biographers of the saint; the silence of Bruno himself in his letter to Raoul le Vert, Provost of Reims; and the impossibility of proving that he ever visited Paris. He had no need of such an extraordinary argument to cause him to leave the world. Some time before, when in conversation with two of his friends, Raoul and Fulcius, canons of Reims like himself, they had been so enkindled with the love of God and the desire of eternal goods that they had made a vow to abandon the world and to embrace the religious life. This vow, uttered in 1077, could not be put into execution until 1080, owing to various circumstances.
The first idea of St. Bruno on leaving Reims seems to have been to place himself and his companions under the direction of an eminent solitary, St. Robert, who had recently (1075) settled at Molesme in the Diocese of Langres, together with a band of other solitaries who were later on (1098) to form the Cistercian Order. But he soon found that this was not his vocation, and after a short sojourn at Sèche-Fontaine near Molesme, he left two of his companions, Peter and Lambert, and betook himself with six others to Hugh of Châteauneuf, Bishop of Grenoble, and, according to some authors, one of his pupils. The bishop, to whom God had shown these men in a dream, under the image of seven stars, conducted and installed them himself (1084) in a wild spot on the Alps of Dauphiné named Chartreuse, about four leagues from Grenoble, in the midst of precipitous rocks and mountains almost always covered with snow. With St. Bruno were Landuin, the two Stephens of Bourg and Die, canons of Sts. Rufus, and Hugh the Chaplain, "all, the most learned men of their time", and two laymen, Andrew and Guérin, who afterwards became the first lay brothers. They built a little monastery where they lived in deep retreat and poverty, entirely occupied in prayer and study, and frequently honoured by the visits of St. Hugh who became like one of themselves. Their manner of life has been recorded by a contemporary, Guibert of Nogent, who visited them in their solitude. (De Vitâ suâ, I, ii.)
Meanwhile, another pupil of St. Bruno, Eudes of Châtillon, had become pope under the name of Urban II (1088). Resolved to continue the work of reform commenced by Gregory VII, and being obliged to struggle against the antipope, Guibert of Ravenna, and the Emperor Henry IV, he sought to surround himself with devoted allies and called his ancient master ad Sedis Apostolicae servitium. Thus the solitary found himself obliged to leave the spot where he had spent more than six years in retreat, followed by a part of his community, who could not make up their minds to live separated from him (1090). It is difficult to assign the place which he then occupied at the pontifical court, or his influence in contemporary events, which was entirely hidden and confidential. Lodged in the palace of the pope himself and admitted to his councils, and charged, moreover, with other collaborators, in preparing matters for the numerous councils of this period, we must give him some credit for their results. But he took care always to keep himself in the background, and although he seems to have assisted at theCouncil of Benevento (March, 1091), we find no evidence of his having been present at the Councils of Troja (March, 1093), of Piacenza (March, 1095), or of Clermont (November, 1095). His part in history is effaced. All that we can say with certainty is that he seconded with all his power the sovereign pontiff in his efforts for the reform of the clergy, efforts inaugurated at the Council of Melfi (1089) and continued at that of Benevento. A short time after the arrival of St. Bruno, the pope had been obliged to abandon Rome before the victorious forces of the emperor and the antipope. He withdrew with all his court to the south of Italy.
During the voyage, the former professor of Reims attracted the attention of the clergy of Reggio in further Calabria, which had just lost its archbishop Arnulph (1090), and their votes were given to him. The pope and the Norman prince, Roger, Duke of Apulia, strongly approved of the election and pressed St. Bruno to accept it. In a similar juncture at Reims he had escaped by flight; this time he again escaped by causing Rangier, one of his former pupils, to be elected, who was fortunately near by at the Benedictine Abbey of La Cava near Salerno. But he feared that such attempts would be renewed; moreover he was weary of the agitated life imposed upon him, and solitude ever invited him. He begged, therefore, and after much trouble obtained, the pope's permission to return again to his solitary life. His intention was to rejoin his brethren in Dauphiné, as a letter addressed to them makes clear. But the will of Urban II kept him in Italy, near the papal court, to which he could be called at need. The place chosen for his new retreat by St. Bruno and some followers who had joined him was in the Diocese of Squillace, on the eastern slope of the great chain which crosses Calabria from north to south, and in a high valley three miles long and two in width, covered with forest. The new solitaries constructed a little chapel of planks for their pious reunions and, in the depths of the woods, cabins covered with mud for their habitations. A legend says that St. Bruno whilst at prayer was discovered by the hounds of Roger, Great Count of Sicily and Calabria and uncle of the Duke of Apulia, who was then hunting in the neighbourhood, and who thus learnt to know and venerate him; but the count had no need to wait for that occasion to know him, for it was probably upon his invitation that the new solitaries settled upon his domains. That same year (1091) he visited them, made them a grant of the lands they occupied, and a close friendship was formed between them. More than once St. Bruno went to Mileto to take part in the joys and sorrows of the noble family, to visit the count when sick (1098 and 1101), and to baptize his son Roger (1097), the future Kind of Sicily. But more often it was Roger who went into the desert to visit his friends, and when, through his generosity, the monastery of St. Stephen was built, in 1095, near the hermitage of St. Mary, there was erected adjoining it a little country house at which he loved to pass the time left free from governing his State.
Meanwhile the friends of St. Bruno died one after the other: Urban II in 1099; Landuin, the prior of the Grand Chartreuse, his first companion, in 1100; Count Roger in 1101. His own time was near at hand. Before his death he gathered for the last time his brethren round him and made in their presence a profession of the Catholic Faith, the words of which have been preserved. He affirms with special emphasis his faith in the mystery of the Holy Trinity, and in the real presence of Our Saviour in the Holy Eucharist--a protestation against the two heresies which had troubled that century, the tritheism of Roscelin, and the impanation of Berengarius. After his death, the Carthusians of Calabria, following a frequent custom of the Middle Ages by which the Christian world was associated with the death of its saints, dispatched a rolliger, a servant of the convent laden with a long roll of parchment, hung round his neck, who passed through Italy, France, Germany, and England. He stopped at the principal churches and communities to announce the death, and in return, the churches, communities, or chapters inscribed upon his roll, in prose or verse, the expression of their regrets, with promises of prayers. Many of these rolls have been preserved, but few are so extensive or so full of praise as that about St. Bruno. A hundred and seventy-eight witnesses, of whom many had known the deceased, celebrated the extent of his knowledge and the fruitfulness of his instruction. Strangers to him were above all struck by his great knowledge and talents. But his disciples praised his three chief virtues--his great spirit of prayer, an extreme mortification, and a filial devotion to the Blessed Virgin. Both the churches built by him in the desert were dedicated to the Blessed Virgin: Our Lady of Casalibus in Dauphiné, Our Lady Della Torre in Calabria; and, faithful to his inspirations, the Carthusian Statutes proclaim the Mother of God the first and chief patron of all the houses of the order, whoever may be their particular patron.
St. Bruno was buried in the little cemetery of the hermitage of St. Mary, and many miracles were worked at his tomb. He had never been formally canonized. His cult, authorized for the Carthusian Order by Leo X in 1514, was extended to the whole church by Gregory XV, 17 February, 1623, as a semi-double feast, and elevated to the class of doubles by Clement X, 14 March, 1674. St. Bruno is the popular saint of Calabria; every year a great multitude resort to the Charterhouse of St. Stephen, on the Monday and Tuesday of Pentecost, when his relics are borne in procession to the hermitage of St. Mary, where he lived, and the people visit the spots sanctified by his presence. An immense number of medals are struck in his honour and distributed to the crowd, and the little Carthusian habits, which so many children of the neighbourhood wear, are blessed. He is especially invoked, and successfully, for the deliverance of those possessed.
As a writer and founder of an order, St. Bruno occupies an important place in the history of the eleventh century. He composed commentaries on the Psalms and on the Epistles of St. Paul, the former written probably during his professorship at Reims, the latter during his stay at the Grande Chartreuse if we may believe an old manuscript seen by Mabillon--"Explicit glosarius Brunonis heremitae super Epistolas B. Pauli." Two letters of his still remain, also his profession of faith, and a short elegy on contempt for the world which shows that he cultivated poetry. The "Commentaries" disclose to us a man of learning; he knows a little Hebrew and Greek and uses it to explain, or if need be, rectify the Vulgate; he is familiar with the Fathers, especially St. Augustine and St. Ambrose, his favourites. "His style", says Dom Rivet, "is concise, clear, nervous and simple, and his Latin as good as could be expected of that century: it would be difficult to find a composition of this kind at once more solid and more luminous, more concise and more clear". His writings have been published several times: at Paris, 1509-24; Cologne, 1611-40; Migne, Latin Patrology, CLII, CLIII, Montreuil-sur-Mer, 1891. The Paris edition of 1524 and those of Cologne include also some sermons and homilies which may be more justly attributed to St. Bruno, Bishop of Segni. The Preface of the Blessed Virgin has also been wrongly ascribed to him; it is long anterior, though he may have contributed to introduce it into the liturgy.
St. Bruno's distinction as the founder of an order was that he introduced into the religious life the mixed form, or union of the eremitical and cenobite modes of monasticism, a medium between the Camaldolese Rule and that of St. Benedict. He wrote no rule, but he left behind him two institutions which had little connection with each other--that of Dauphiné and that of Calabria. The foundation of Calabria, somewhat like the Camaldolese, comprised two classes of religious: hermits, who had the direction of the order, and cenobites who did not feel called to the solitary life; it only lasted a century, did not rise to more than five houses, and finally, in 1191, united with the Cistercian Order. The foundation of Grenoble, more like the rule of St. Benedict, comprised only one kind of religious, subject to a uniform discipline, and the greater part of whose life was spent in solitude, without, however, the complete exclusion of the conventual life. This life spread throughout Europe, numbered 250 monasteries, and in spite of many trials continues to this day.
The great figure of St. Bruno has been often sketched by artists and has inspired more than one masterpiece: in sculpture, for example, the famous statue by Houdon, at St. Mary of the Angels in Rome, "which would speak if his rule did not compel him to silence"; in painting, the fine picture by Zurbaran, in the Seville museum, representing Urban II and St. Bruno in conference; the Apparition of the Blessed Virgin to St. Bruno, by Guercino at Bologna; and above all the twenty-two pictures forming the gallery of St. Bruno in the museum of the Louvre, "a masterpiece of Le Sueur and of the French school".

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)

Pax et Gaudium

O.S.B. Vocation Awareness

O.S.B. Vocation Awareness