20130513 Founders repaired Church 會祖們修補教會

During the French Revolution, heroic men and women preserved the Catholic Faith with great fidelity. After the revolution, the Church in France was rebuilt by dedicated clergy and faithful. Some of the heroes of that period include St. Julie (Juila) Billiart (1751-1816), St. Mary Magdalen Postel (1756-1846), and St. Eugene De Mazenod (1782-1861).

Julie Billiart

            As a young girl, playing “school” was Julie Billiart’s favorite game. At 14, Julie dedicated herself to God by a vow of chastity, and at 16 she started to teach in order to support her family.

On the winter of 1774, a robber attempted to murder Julie’s father by discharging a pistol into the house. This event shocked the nervous system of Julie badly and she suffered thirty years of poor health. Julie was paralyzed for twenty-two years.

During the French Revolution, Julie offered her home as a hiding place for loyal priests. Hence, five times in three years she was forced to flee in secret.

One day, Julie had a vision. She saw the Crucified Lord surrounded by a large group of religious women dressed in a habit she had never seen. Julie was told by an inner voice that these religious would be her daughters and that she would start an institute for the education of young girls.

In 1803, Julie laid the foundation of the Sisters of Notre Dame and lived in community with a few companions. In 1804, Julie was asked by a priest to pray a Novena. During the Novena, on the Feast of the Sacred Heart, the priest said, “Mother, if you have any faith, take one step in honor of the Sacred Heart.” Julie got up and was cured from her paralyzation.

On October 15, 1804, Julie and her companions took the first vows in the new Congregation of Sisters of Notre Dame. Julie was elected as Mother General of the new congregation.

A favorite expression of Julie was “How good the good God is!”

 Mary Magdalen Postel

At 18, Mary Magdalen Postel took the vow of chastity and opened a school for the girls at Barfluer. The school was closed by the revolutionaries during the French Revolution.

Mary Magdalen became a leader in Barfluer for loyal Catholics. She sheltered loyal priests in her home, and was authorized to keep the Blessed Sacrament at her home and to minister Viaticum to the dying.

In 1801, the Concordat between Napoleon and the Vatican allowed freedom of religion for French Catholics. Mary Magdalen was able to teach religion openly. She and three other teachers took religious vows in 1807 and started the Sisters of Christian Schools of Mercy.

Mary Magdalen said, “I want to teach the young and inspire them with the love of God and a liking for work. I want to help the poor and relieve some of their misery.”

Eugene De Mazenod

            Eugene De Mazenod was the offspring of noble family in southern France. During the revolution, he spent some years in exile in Italy. He entered the seminary at 26.

He wrote, “The state of abandonment in which I saw the Church was one of the causes determining me to enter the ecclesiastical life.”

As a priest, Eugene directed his ministry to the poor. Other priests joined him to labor for the poor, and formed a community for the works of the missions and direction of seminaries. The community eventually became the Oblates of Mary Immaculate.

In 1832, Eugene was consecrated bishop. He became the Bishop of Marseilles in 1837.

As Bishop, Eugene built churches, founded parishes, cared for his priests, and developed catechetics for the young.

The Oblates were sent to the five continents for missions. Pope Pius XI said, “The Oblates are the specialists of difficult missions.”

法國大革命時,不少勇敢的男女,貞忠地保守著教會的信德。革命結束後,獻身的聖職人員和忠實的信徒,把教會在法國重新振興起來。當中有聖儒利.雅貝略(1751-1816),聖瑪利亞.達蓮.巴斯德(1756-1846),和聖安日納.馬則諾(1782-1861)。

 

儒利.雅貝略

 

儒利. 雅貝略少時喜歡玩「學校」遊戲,十四歲時得本堂神父特准,向天主發貞潔願,十六歲任職教師以幫補家計。

 

1774年冬天,一名暴徒開槍企圖射殺雅貝略的父親,使雅貝略非常驚恐,精神大受刺激,嚴重影響了她的健康,三十年在病態中渡過,其中二十二年更不良於行。

 

法國大革命時,雅貝略曾把她的家,暗中收留那些精忠的神父,令她在三年內五次秘密逃亡。

 

一日,雅貝略得到神視,只見一大群穿著會衣的修女們,圍著被釘在十字架上的耶穌,而會衣的服式,雅貝略從未見過。同時,內心有聲音告訴雅貝略,那大群的修女是她的女弟子,將要在新立的組織內教育少女們。

 

1803年,儒利. 雅貝略與幾位同伴,創立「諾默聖母會」,翌年,一位神父要雅貝略做一次九日敬禮。耶穌聖心節時,該神父向她說:「姆姆,如果妳有足夠的信德,進一步恭敬耶穌聖心吧。」儒利. 雅貝略居然可以立即起來,再次走動自如。

 

1804年十月十五日,新創立「諾默聖母會」的修女們,一起發第一次聖願,儒利. 雅貝略被選為會長。

 

聖儒利. 雅貝略常說道:「好天主真是那麼好!」

 

瑪利亞. 達蓮.巴斯德

 

十八歲的瑪利亞.達蓮.巴斯德發貞潔願,在故鄉伯斐洛創立一所學校,招收女生,可惜在法國大革命時被迫關閉。

 

在伯斐洛,巴斯德成了精忠天主教徒群體的領袖,家中地成了逃亡神父的秘密收容所;她又被特准在家中收存聖體,負責給臨終教友送聖體。

 

1801年,梵蒂岡與拿破崙的政教協定,使在法國的天主教教會能自由活動,因此,巴斯德能公開傳教,教授學童。1807年,巴斯德偕同其他三位女子,正式發聖願,創立「仁慈之母天主教學校女修會」。

 

聖瑪利亞.達蓮.巴斯德嘗言:「我要教導那些少女,用天主的愛啟迪她們,讓她們樂於工作。我要幫助貧困的人,減輕他們的憂苦。」

 

安日納.馬則諾

 

安日納.馬則諾原是法國南部貴族的後裔,法國大革命期間被迫流亡到意大利,他在二十六歲時進入修院。他解釋說:「教會內那被遺棄的處境,是令我有意參與聖職生活其中一個原因。」

 

馬則諾神父竭力幫助貧苦大眾,吸引了其他神父加入。於是,這個小群體,決定組織起來,專務傳教和培育修道者的工作;「無玷聖母獻主會」順章成立。

 

1832年,安日納.馬則諾晉牧,1837年昇任馬賽主教。

 

作為主教,馬則諾悉力建築聖堂,設立堂區,關顧司鐸,發展教搜年青人的要理課程。

 

「無玷聖母獻主會」的會士,傳教至世界五大洲。教宗庇約十一世曾說過:「無玷聖母獻主會的會士們,是艱苦傳教區的專家。」

 

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