Monthly Archives: April 2013

20130429 Congregations founded 修會團體的成立

In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the Church experienced both political and philosophical opposition. During the troublesome years of this period, new religious orders were founded. St. John Baptiste de La Salle (1651-1719) founded the Brothers of the Christian Schools, and St. Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) founded the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer.
John Baptist de la Salle
 John Baptist de la Salle was born at Rheims on April 30, 1651. As a young priest, he helped train teachers in the local charity schools. To identify with the men he was training, de la Salle gave away his fortune and lived in poverty.
 De la Salle introduced the simultaneous classroom method in place of individual instruction. He organized the Brothers of the Christian Schools—–a body of trained teachers who dedicated themselves by religious vows to teaching gratis and for life. The bothers not only gave students intellectual formation, but moral and spiritual formation as well.
 At first, de la Salle intended to have priests in his new congregation. He designed the gifted and capable Brother L’Heureux as his successor and was about to present Bother L’Heureux for ordination. However, Brother L’Heureux died suddenly, and de la Salle started to doubt whether his plan was according to the will of God. After much prayer, de la Salle laid down the rule that no brother should ever become priest nor should any priest be accepted into the congregation. The congregation was to confine itself strictly to the work of teaching.
 There were numerous difficulties to overcome for the establishment of the new congregation: the defections of members, the opposition of teachers who took fees, false accusation against de la Salle as too severe towards novices, and a series of law-suits. However, with trust in God and deep humility, de la Salle led the congregation through the storms and their educational works flourished. 
 In 1717, de la Salle resigned as superior, and lived as a humble brother. To combat Jansenism, he promoted frequent and even daily Communion. He died on Good Friday, 1719. In 1950, Pope Pius XII declared de la Salle as patron of all school teachers.
Alphonsus Liguori 
 Alphonsus Liguori was born near Naples in 1696, and was ordained a priest in 1726.
 As a priest, Liguori preached missions throughout the kingdom of Naples with great success. Later he would instruct missioners: “Your style must be simple, but the sermon must be well constructed. If skill be lacking, it is unconnected and tasteless; if it be bombastic, the simple cannot understand it. I have never preached a sermon which the poorest old woman in the congregation could not understand.”
 Liguori founded the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (the Redemptorists) for the preaching of missions. He was also well known as a spiritual writer and a moral theologian.
 Liguori took a vow not to waste a moment of time. He used his spare time to write devotional books such as The Glories of Mary, Visits to the Blessed Sacrament, and The Way of the Cross. 
 Opposing the rigorism of Jansenists, Liguori stressed the mercy of God and the help of Mary. He also promoted frequent Communion.
 Liguori wrote the Moral Theology to prepare young missioners to hear confessions. Today, he is the patron saint for confessors and moralists.
At sixty-six, Liguori became bishop. He invited missioners to preach in his diocese. He recommended two things to the missioners: simplicity in the pulpit and charity in the confessional.  
In his old age, Liguori suffered from infirmity. The difficulties faced by his new congregation and spiritual dryness also caused great sufferings for the elderly Liguori. He bore his sufferings patiently and died peacefully in 1787. 

十七及十八世紀,聖教會的哲理和在政治上,遭到挑戰。在這期間,聖若翰. 喇沙(1651-1719)創立了「基督學校修士會」,聖師亞豐索(1696-1787) 創立了「贖世主會」。
聖若翰. 喇沙











20130422 Missioners preached on Mary 宣講聖母

During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, there were two saintly priests in France who preached missions, promoted devotion to Our Lady, and founded religious congregations. These two priests were St. John Eudes (1601-1680) and St. Louis Marie de Montfort (1673-1716).
John Eudes
John Eudes joined the Congregation of the Oratory of France at the age of twenty-two. He preached popular missions with great success, and labored tirelessly both at the pulpit and in the confessional. He said, “The preacher beats the bushes but the confessors catch the birds”.  John Eudes preached one hundred and ten missions in his lifetime.
The preaching of John Eudes helped wayward girls to detest their sins. Eventually, he founded the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity to provide a home for these girls.
During the course of his missions, John Eudes learnt that the clergy were in great need of reform. He founded the Congregation of Jesus and Mary for the formation of clergy. John Eudes founded seminaries in Lisieux, Rouen, Evreux, and Rennes.
For almost thirty years before the private revelations of St. Margaret Mary, John Eudes had been promoting devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. He wrote the book, The Devotion to the Adorable Heart of Jesus. He introduced the Feasts of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Holy Heart of Mary. Pope Leo XIII called John Eudes “the author of the liturgical cult of the Holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary.”
For the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity, John Eudes instituted the first liturgical feast of the Most Pure Heart of Mary, which was celebrated on February 8th of each year. During the last years of his life, John Eudes wrote the book, The Admirable Heart of the Most Holy Mother of God.
John Eudes also founded the Society of the Heart of the Mother Most Admirable for women living in the world who practiced chastity.  He proposed the Immaculate Heart of Mary as the model of all the virtues.
John Eudes died on August 19, 1680, and was canonized in 1925.
Louis de Montfort
Louis Marie de Montfort took a vow to live only on alms at nineteen. He practiced such extreme poverty that even beggars would offer handouts to him.
After his ordination in 1700, Louis served as hospital chaplain. He organized from among the female staff and residents the nucleus of the Congregation of Daughters of the Divine Wisdom.
After resigning from his position as hospital chaplain, Louis began to preach missions to the poor. He travelled on foot to Rome and obtained from Pope Clement XI the title of “missionary apostolic” with the authority to preach from place to place.
The popular missions of Louis brought about true and lasting spiritual revival in many places. Louis ardently promoted the devotion of the holy rosary, and established numerous confraternities for its recitation. He is also a tertiary of the order of St. Dominic.
A few years before his death in 1716, Louis founded an association of missionary priests—-the Company of Mary.
The writings of Louis influenced several popes and the Legion of Mary. His well known works are: True Devotion to Mary, The Secret of Mary, and The Secret of the Rosary.
In his writings, Louis encouraged the faithful to consecrate oneself to Jesus through Mary. We entrust to Mary our soul, body, spiritual possessions, and material possessions.
The teachings of St. John Eudes and St. Louis Marie de Montfort helped to combat the heresies of the time. To oppose the proud austerity of Jensenism, they promoted the tender love of Jesus and Mary. And to oppose the indifferent attitude of Quietism, they fostered authentic spirituality.

十七及十八世紀,聖若望.歐德(1601-1680)和聖類斯.蒙福(1673-1716) 兩位法國神父,宣講天國之道時,亦不忘推崇對聖母的敬禮,亦創辦了修會。
















20130415 Sacred Heart loves mankind 聖心愛世人

The seventeenth and the eighteenth centuries were difficult and tumultuous times for the Church in Europe. Prideful leaders announced that faith would not govern them but only reason. Freethinkers refused to accept any authority in intellectual matters.
Within the Church there were the heresies of Jansenism and Quietism in France. According to Jansenism, Christ did not die for all people, and most of the people were predestined to damnation. Only a small number of people were granted salvific grace, and only the “just” or predestined should receive Holy Communion. Jansenism was condemned by Pope Innocent X in 1653. God wills all to be saved and gives sufficient grace to all. Holy Communion cleanses the soul from venial sin and strengths it against mortal sin.
Quietism advocated total passivity in spiritual life. According to Quietism, a person only need to immerse oneself in God, and should be indifferent to everything, including temptation. Pope Blessed Innocent XI condemned Quietism in 1687.
During these difficult times, God raised up saintly teachers on the spiritual life in France—–St. Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690), St. John Eudes (1601-1680), and St. Louis de Montfort (1673-1716)—-who directed people to the love of God.
Divine Heart
At a very young age, Margaret felt herself continually persuaded to say these words: “O my God, I dedicate to you my purity and I make you a vow of perpetual chastity”. For four years Margaret was sick and not able to walk. But at fourteen she was instantly cured when, at her mother’s suggestion, she vowed herself to Our Lady.
In June, 1671, Margaret entered a convent of the Visitation order, and on December 27, 1673 she received her first revelations. Margaret heard Christ inviting her to take the place which St. John had occupied at the Last Supper. Christ told her that the love of His heart must be spread and manifested to mankind by means of her. “My divine Heart is so inflamed with love for mankind … that it can no longer contain within itself the flames of its burning charity and must spread them abroad by your means.”
Margaret described that the Sacred Heart was on fire and surrounded by a crown of thorns. The flames represented his love for mankind, and the thorns represented man’s sinfulness and ingratitude. It was as though Christ took her heart and out it within His own, returning it burning with divine love into her breast.
Reparation for sins
Margaret had three more visions over the next eighteen months in which Jesus instructed her to make reparation for sins by frequent Communion, especially on the first Friday of each month, and by making holy hour on Thursday night. In the final revelation, the Christ asked that the feast of the Sacred Heart be instituted.
Regarding the First Friday devotion Our Lord said, “The all-powerful love of my Heart will grant to all those who shall receive Communion on the First Friday of nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they shall not die under my displeasure, nor without receiving their Sacraments; my heart shall be their assured refuge at that last hour.”
Patient witness
Margaret suffered a great deal for her revelations. She was opposed by some of the nuns and the theologians who examined her did not believe in her.
By the providence of God, St. Claude de la Colombiere, a Jesuit priest, became the spiritual director of Margaret. He assured Margaret that her visions regarding the Sacred Heart were genuine.
The revelations of the Sacred Heart were eventually accepted by Margaret’s community. Before her death Margaret said, “I will not live much longer, for I no longer suffer.”





幸好,此時的教會,在法國出現了三位聖者導師,他們極力誘導信眾,重蹈愛天主的正軌:聖瑪加利大.亞拉高(1647-1690)、聖若望.歐德(1601-1680),和聖類斯.蒙福(1673-1716) 。




瑪加利大憶述燃燒著烈火的耶穌聖心,緊緊地被荊棘環綑著 —— 燃火代表愛人的熱火,但世人的罪衍和忘恩負義之心,傷透了耶穌的聖心,就如祂的聖心,緊緊地被荊棘環綑著一樣。耶穌好像把瑪加利大的心,放入自己的聖心,使聖女即時也感到那烘烈的愛火。







20130408 Faith kindled in North America 信德在北美燃點

The pioneers of faith labored zealously in North Americans during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and some of them shed their blood for the one true faith.
Junipero Serra
Blessed Junipero Serra (1713-1784) was a Franciscan priest. In 1749 he and Father Francisco Palou were appointed missionaries to America.
Father Serra reached Mexico City on Jan. 1, 1750. He served the native people with great zeal and devotion. He travelled a great deal, established nine California missions, and founded farms, rancherias, and schools.
Like St. Paul, Father Serra suffered many hardships during his missionary endeavors: hunger, stormy seas, a near shipwreck, threats, and violent attacks from enemies, but he always lived out his personal motto: “Always forward.”
It was estimated that Father Serra baptized more than 6,000 natives and confirmed more than 5,000. He also travelled about 4,300 miles on foot or by pack animal.
In mid-August 1784, Father Serra asked Father Palou to help him in dying. Father Palou rushed to Serra’s side, and for 10 days the two men prayed together. On Aug. 28 Father Junipero Serra died surrounded by his spiritual children—-the native people.
Jesuit Martyrs
Sts. Isaac Jogues and companions were North American martyrs. They are the secondary patrons of Canada (St. Joseph is the principle patron).
The eight Jesuit martyrs suffered between the year 1642 and 1649. St. Isaac Jogues and St. Rene Goupil were martyred by the Iroquois near Auriesville, New York. Sts. Jean de Brebeuf, Gabriel Lalement, Anthony Daniel, Charles Garnier and Noel Chabanel suffered in Huron Territory near Georgian Bay.
The life of the missionaries was very hard, and the work of evangelization was not easy. St. Gabriel Lalement wrote, “We have sometimes wondered whether we could hope for the conversion of this country without the shedding of blood.” Sts. John Brebeuf and St. Isaac Jogues prayed for the grace of martyrdom.
There was enmity between the native tribes—the Hurons and the Iroquois. The Iroquois attacked the Hurons and killed the missionaries with great cruelty. St. Rene Goupil was the first to suffer martyrdom.
St. Isaac Jogues was captured by the Iroquois and his hands were mutilated. After his escape a Calvinist knelt at his feet and kissed the mangled hands exclaiming, “Martyr of Jesus Christ!” Pope Urban VIII granted Isaac Jogues special permission to celebrate Mass with mutilated fingers. The Pope said, “It would be unjust that a martyr for Christ should not drink the blood of Christ”.
St. Isaac Jogues eventually suffered martyrdom at Ossernenon in 1646. Ten years later this place became the birthplace of St. Kateri Tekakwitha.
The other martyrs suffered in 1648 and 1649. They strived to serve the spiritual needs of the Hurons right to the end. A short time after their death, many native tribes (even their executioners) were converted.
Lily of the Mohawks
Kateri Tekakwitha (1656-1680) lost her parents and brother in a smallpox epidemic. Her face was permanently disfigured and her eyes left so pained by strong light that she would always shade her with a blanket.
Kateri was raised by an uncle. She resisted several marriages proposals and lived a chaste life. She was baptized by a Jesuit missionary on Easter Sunday, April 18, 1676.
Being the only Christian in her lodge, Kateri was persecuted by her own people for her faith. Eventually she fled to a Christian mission near Montreal.
A favorite question of Kateri was, “Who can tell me what is most pleasing to God that I may do it?” Kateri spent long hours praying before the Blessed Sacrament and practiced extreme mortifications.
With a strong love for Christ, her last words were, “Jesus, I love you.”














聖宜善不懼危險,稍後重返傳教區,終在1646年死在依魯克族人利斧之下。聖宜善致命之處 —— 奧息能隴 —— 是後來北美洲第一位土著聖人聖嘉德利出生地。








20130401 Holiness from the New World 新大陸的聖者

St. Turibius (1538-1606), St. Rose of Lima (1586-1617), and St. Martin de Porres (1570-1639) were the first saints of the New World.

St. Turibius

Turibius was a lay person who acted as judge of the ecclesiastical court. He was appointed as Archbishop of Lima while still a layman. He received all the orders and Episcopal consecration and arrived in Lima in 1581.

The conversion of Peru was hindered by the lay and clerical scandals of the time. Turibius at once undertook a visitation of his diocese and he was inflexible in regard to scandals among the clergy. After two years in office, Turibius convoked the Third Council of Lima and promulgated decrees on catechetcis, the sacraments, and church discipline.

Those in power opposed to the reform of Turibius, but his resolution and patience won out in the end. To those who opposed him, Turibius said, “Christ said, ‘I am truth’. He did not say, ‘I am custom’.”

During his twenty-five years as bishop, Turibius completed three pastoral visitations of his large diocese. He baptized and confirmed an estimated million people, and one of the confirmands was St. Rose of Lima. He was also shepherd of the Dominicans, St. Martin de Porres and St. John Massias.

St. Rose of Lima

            Rose of Lima was the first canonized saint in America. She took St. Catherine of Siena as model. Like Catherine she vowed virginity, became a Dominican tertiary, lived at home, and received mystical graces.

Rose practiced extraordinary penance and willingly accepted sufferings. For fifteen years she suffered persecution from her friends and others; she also suffered the trial of interior desolation and anguish of soul.

One day Rose had a vision. She saw Christ distributed sufferings, trials and tribulations to the faithful, and then he distributed graces in the same proportion as sufferings. Then Christ said, “Affliction is always accompanied by grace; grace is proportionate to suffering. The measure of my gifts is increased with the measure of trials. The Cross is the true and only road that leads souls to Heaven.”

During her last illness, Rose prayed, “Lord, increase my sufferings, and with them increase your love in my heart”.

St. Martin de Porres

            Martin de Porres was a humble lay brother with great charity for the poor. A fellow lay brother, Brother Fernando de Aragones, gave a description of the life of Martin in the Dominican priory: “Many were the offices to which the servant of God, Brother Martin de Porres, attended, being barber, surgeon, wardrobe-keeper and infirmaries. Each of these jobs was enough for any one man, but alone he filled them all with great liberality, promptness and carefulness, without being weighed down by any of them. It was most striking, and it made me realize that, in that he clung to God in his soul, all these things were effects of divine grace.”

Martin clung to God through prayers. At the canonization of Martin de Porres, Pope John XXIII said, “Whenever [Martin] would contemplate Christ’s terrible torture he would be reduced to tears. He had an exceptional love for the great Sacrament of the Eucharist and often spent long hours in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. His desire was to receive the Sacrament in Communion as often as he could.” Martin also had great devotion to Our Lady and prayed many decades of the rosary daily.

Martin was a close friend of St. Rose of Lima and St. John Massias. Like Martin, John was also a Dominican lay brother with great love for the holy rosary and for the poor. John trained the priory donkey to make the rounds alone and receive food and clothing for the poor.