20140630 Saintly teenage years 聖善青春年

Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli (the future Pope St. John XXIII) studied at the major seminary of Bergamo from 1895 to 1900.

‘Little Rules’
In 1895, the 14-year-old Angelo Roncalli received the confidential “Little Rules” from his spiritual director. In the seminary, spiritual directors discreetly communicated the “Little Rules” to the best seminarians. These seminarians formed the Sodality of the Annunciation of Mary Immaculate.
Roncalli copied the rules out by hand and kept them always by him. He constantly observed them, even when he was Pope.
The “Little Rules” prescribed the following daily exercises: Holy Mass, meditation for at least a quarter of an hour, spiritual reading, visit to the Blessed Sacrament, general examination of conscience in the evening, five decades of the rosary, and raising one’s thoughts to God with devout invocations.
Members of the Sodality fasted on Fridays and Saturdays in honour of the Passion of Christ and of Our Lady. They went to confession weekly and set aside one day each month to prepare themselves for a good death.
The “Little Rules” emphasized the importance of the principal feasts of Our Lady, the month of Mary, devotion to St. Joseph, one’s Guardian Angel, and St. Aloysius Gonzaga.
Here are some excerpts from the “Little Rules”:
— Correct one another’s faults, and let him who is corrected say three Hail Marys for his corrector.
— Evil companions must be shunned like vipers, especially those who criticize virtue, good men, and good examples, subjecting them to ridicule.
— Be very much on your guard against human respect. Do not refrain from doing good, or indulge in evil because of any human respect or consideration.
— To guard the virtue of purity you must have a great love for Mary most holy, and in her honour say three Hail Marys for yourself and your companions, offering them to her and begging her for this virtue.
— Your chief devotion will be to the Blessed Sacrament: therefore great recollection in church, especially when there is exposition. Receive the Blessed Sacrament as often as you can, with the best possible dispositions and devotion, and with a prolonged thanksgiving. Visit Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament frequently, rejoicing to keep Him company.
— Have a right intention in all things.
— Beware of idleness, which is the devil’s bait.

Solemn Promise
In February 1900, Angelo Roncalli made a retreat at the seminary, and on Feb. 27 he made a solemn promise to the Sacred Heart of Jesus not to commit any willful sin. Here is an excerpt from his prayer:
“During the holy Spiritual Exercises of this Year of Grace 1900, the 19th year of my age, and on this last day of the holy retreat (27 Feb.), while I am sacramentally united to the most Sacred Heart of Jesus through Holy Communion; in the presence of my most holy mother, Mary Immaculate; St. Joseph, her most chaste spouse and my chief protector; all the other saints; my special intercessors; my guardian angel; and all the court of heaven, I, the seminarist Angelo Giuseppe, a sinner, promise the most Sacred Heart, with all the solemnity and power this act of mine may have, always, today, and at all times, by the grace of God, to keep myself free from the slightest attachment to any voluntary venial sin.
“And since because of my weakness I cannot guarantee in the future to keep this promise by my own unaided effort, I place it in the hands of the angelic youth St. Aloysius Gonzaga, so pre-eminently free from all stain of sin, so pure in heart and mind.
“Choosing him for this purpose as my special intercessor and patron, I beg and implore him — he is so kind and loving — to deign to accept it, guard it, and by his prayers help me to keep it.”

 

1895年到1900年間,安哲路.若瑟.龍嘉利(後來的教宗聖若望二十三世),是意大利貝加莫省大修院的修生。

 

「小規誡」

 

1895年,神師給十四歲的安哲路.若瑟.龍嘉利「小規誡」。在修院裡,神師會謹慎挑選表現最好的修生,給予他們的「小規誡」,讓他們特別遵守;而這些被特別挑選的修生,一起組織了一個名為「無玷聖母領報善會」。安哲路把這些「小規誡」抄在紙片上,隨身攜帶,常提醒自己遵守;甚至他當上了教宗仍如是。

 

「無玷聖母領報善會」成員逢星期五和星期六守齋,以恭敬基督苦難和聖母。他們每週辦告解,每月一次習練善終。

 

大致上,「小規誡」規定每天要參與彌撒、至少默想十五分鐘、閱讀聖書、朝拜聖體、唸五端玫瑰經、以熱心祈禱接近天主,和在夜晚時分省察。又強調聖母瞻禮日的重要、聖母月、恭敬聖若瑟、護守天神和聖類斯.公撒格。

 

以下簡列「小規誡」一些內容:

 

  • 彼此幫助改正錯犯。能改正者為幫助自己改正的人唸三遍聖母經。
  • 避開那些批評修德、譏諷立善表的壞份子,遠離他們如遠離蛇蠍。
  • 提防過於取悅於人。千萬別因別人的原故而避免行善或沉溺於惡。
  • 依賴聖母保守潔德。為自己和同伴能堅守此貞潔之德,特別每天唸三遍聖母經。
  • 視敬禮聖體為首要敬禮。在聖堂要大大收歛心神,特別在明供聖體前。盡量熱心勤領聖體,並而長時間感謝聖體。多朝拜聖體,常樂於與耶穌聖體相伴。
  • 每事當有正確的意向。
  • 避免空閑時間,它是魔鬼的誘餌。

莊嚴的承諾

 

1900年2月,安哲路.若瑟.龍嘉利在修院作避靜。2月27日,他向耶穌聖心作了一個莊嚴的承諾,矢志不明知故犯任何罪。這是他其中的祈禱內容:

 

「1900年恩寵聖年,年十九歲,在退省最後的一天(2月27日),藉領聖體和耶穌聖心緊密結合。在無玷聖母、她的淨配聖若瑟 ––––  也是我的主保、其他聖人們、我的特別代禱者、我的護守天使、及一總天朝神聖面前,我、安哲路.若瑟修生,此時此日,誠心決志向至聖聖心承諾:以後要藉天主聖寵,斷絕對故意犯的小罪最微小的眷戀。我深知單靠自己的軟弱力量,不足徹底履行這承諾;所以,我把自己置於年青天使般的聖者 ––––  聖類斯.公撒格的手中,他是何等身心聖潔無瑕。我特意為此請他作我的中保和主保,祈求他憐愛垂允我、守護我,賴他的轉禱幫助我、保守我的潔德。」

 

 

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