Category Archives: Church History

20130624 Mystics affirm human dignity 精修者確認人性尊嚴

Archbishop Fulton Sheen pointed out that it seems that there is a crisis about every five hundred years in the history of Christendom. The first cycle of five hundred years was the fall of Rome, and God raised up Pope Gregory the Great to set about conversion of the barbarians and prepared the way for a Christian Europe.

At the end of the second cycle, around the year 1000, there was the Eastern schism and the decline of the holiness in the Church. Gregory VII reformed the Church and prepared the way for the great medieval civilization.

In the third cycle of the five hundred years, there was the Protestant revolt. Pope Pius V applied the reforms of the Council of Trent and established missionary activities throughout the world.

Before his death in 1979, Sheen wrote, “Now we are in the fourth cycle of five hundred years, with two world wars in twenty-one years, and the universal dread of nuclear incineration. This time God has given us John Paul II, who has drawn the attention of the world to himself as no human being has done in history.”

Vatican Council II

            Before becoming Pope John Paul II, Karol Wojtyla attended the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) as a bishop. The Council was convoked by Pope John XXIII as a means to make the Church more effective in her ministry to the modern world.

            Vatican II encouraged greater participation of the laity in the life of the Church and stirred the consciences of all Christians to work for unity and peace.

             The Council also opened the Scriptures more fully for the faithful in the liturgy and brought the liturgies closer to the people.

John Paul II

            Archbishop Fulton Sheen pointed out that false mysticism ends in politics. He wrote, “Our times have seen the rise of the Red mysticism of class and party in communism, the Black mysticism of the state under fascism, and the Brown mysticism of the race under Nazism. In other parts of the world, a false mystique uncoiled like a serpent suffocated freedom of speech and suppressed opposition and assassinated those who differed.”

            Pope John Paul II was a true mystic who affirmed the dignity of the human person. He brought out clearly the message of the universal call to holiness. He proposed numerous saints and blessed as examples of authentic Christian living.

            As a pastoral pope, John Paul II loved the people intensely and reached out to all people as their father and pastor.

Mother Teresa

            Another saintly figure of the 20th century is Blessed Teresa of Calcutta. Like John Paul II, she was a mystic who affirmed the dignity of the human person. Desiring to satiate the thirst of Jesus Christ on the cross for love and for souls, Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity in 1950.

            The constitution of the Missionaries of Charity states: “The spirit of our society is one of loving trust, total surrender and cheerfulness as lived by Jesus and His mother.”

            Both John Paul II and Mother Teresa were intensely devoted to Jesus in the Holy Eucharist and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Their words and examples help us to translate the teachings of Vatican II into actions, and equip the Church to face the great challenges of the 21st century.

These challenges include: the question of Islam, the new evangelization in formerly Christian regions, the continuing crisis of dissent with widespread ignorance of the Catholic teachings among the faithful, and the culture of death against the traditional values of family, marriage and life.  

            This article concludes the series of twenty-six articles on Church History. These articles can be viewed on my personal site: http://www.fatheranthonyho.com. 

傅敦.施廉總主教指出,過去的基督徒歷史,似乎每五百年便出現一次危機。首五百年是羅馬帝國的滅亡,天主提拔了教宗大國瑞,他使外族皈化,為歐洲的基督化舖路。

 

繼後的五百年,東方教會分裂,教會靈修式微,幸好教宗國瑞七世,改革教會,為中世紀歐洲文化奠下基礎。

 

之後的五百年,基督教派冒昇,教宗碧岳十世以特利騰大公會議領導改革,建設教會普世的傳教事業。

 

在他離世前,1979年,施廉總主教寫道:「近代的五百年,二十一年內,經歷兩次世界大戰,核戰威脅,教宗若望保祿二世,史無前例地把整個世界都注視著他。」

 

梵二大公會議

 

1962-1965年,教宗若望二十三世召開梵蒂崗第二次大公會議,目的是要使教會在新世代更有效地行使牧職,後來的教宗若望保祿二世當年以嘉祿.胡哲洛主教身份參加。

 

梵蒂崗第二次大公會議通諭普世信眾積極參與教會事務,並為教會合一及和平作出努力。

 

若望保祿二世

傅敦.施廉總主教曾指出:謬誤的神修最終引致政治。在近代有紅色的共產主義、黑色的法西斯主義,和褐色的納粹主義;而另邊廂的世界,又出現壓制言論,和鏟除異己的勢力。

 

教宗若望保祿二世卻是一位肯定人性尊嚴的精修者;他呼籲普世眾人,齊走成聖之路,他同時把多位聖賢,宣福宣聖,把真實的基督化生活,向世人彰顯;他亦以牧職身份、慈父形象,走訪各地,表達對眾人的關愛。

 

德蘭修女

 

          二十世紀另一個聖賢,是加爾各答的真福德蘭修女。像教宗若望保祿二世一樣,德蘭修女也是當代維護人性尊嚴的顯赫典範。她為順應苦架上的耶穌對人靈和愛的渴望,在1950年創辦了「仁愛傳教女修會」。

 

「仁愛傳教女修會」的憲章註明:「本會精神,是效法耶穌和祂的母親去愛的信賴、全然交託,和喜樂。」

 

教宗若望保祿二世和德蘭修女,都特別恭敬聖體內的耶穌,及瑪利亞無玷之心。他們的言行,均活現梵蒂崗第二次大公會議的訓導,並幫助教會能面對二十一世紀的挑戰。這些挑戰,包括來自伊斯蘭教的問題、在昔日聖教勝地重新福傳的困境、對聖教訓導置諸不理的風氣繼續蔓延、對傳統生命、婚姻和家庭價值的攻擊等。

 

本章乃有關教會歷史共二十六章的最後一章。如要重溫,可到我個人網站www.fatheranthonyho.com細閱。

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20130617 Martyrs remembered 紀念殉道烈士

On July 13, 1917 the three children of Fatima saw a vision regarding the persecutions during the 20th century.

            The children saw a bishop dressed in white and they had the impression that it was the Holy Father. “Other bishops, priests, men and women religious going up a steep mountain, at the top of which there was a big Cross of rough-hewn trunks as of a cork-tree with the bark; before reaching there the Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins and half trembling with halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the corpses he met on his way; having reached the top of the mountain, on his knees at the foot of the big Cross he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him, and in the same way there died one after another the other bishops, priests, men and women religious, and various lay people of different ranks and positions. Beneath the two arms of the Cross there were two angels each with a crystal aspersorium in his hand, in which they gathered up the blood of the martyrs and with it sprinkled the souls that were making their way to God.”

Countless martyrs

            During the 20th century there were persecutions in Asia, Africa, Central and South America, the Middle East and Europe.

            Between 1931 and 1939 Spain experienced the greatest Christian mass slaughter since the times of the Roman Empire.

            During World War II, the Nazi regime fiercely persecuted the Church. After World War II, Communist persecutions had become systematic in Eastern Europe.

            Blessed John Paul II said, “Countless numbers refused to yield to the cult of the false gods of the 20th century and were sacrificed by Communism, Nazism, by the idolatry of State or race”.

            On May 13, 1981 John Paul II (the bishop dressed in white) was shot at St. Peter’s Square. After the assassination attempt, it was clear to John Paul II that “it was a mother’s hand that guided the bullet’s path and in his throes the Pope halted at the threshold of death”.

Inspiring witnesses

            John Paul II said, “The Church has once again become a Church of martyrs…This witness must not be forgotten.”

            The Holy Father repeatedly urged the faithful to keep alive the memory of the martyrs of the 20th century. He said, “The new generations must know the cost of the faith they have inherited, if they are to receive the torch of the Gospel with gratitude and shed its light on the new century and the new millennium.”

            The Church keeps alive the memory of martyrs especially through canonizations and beatifications.

            Two of the most famous martyrs canonized by John Paul II are St. Maximilian Kolbe (1894-1941) and St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross or Edith Stein (1891-1942).

            St. Maximilian was a great devotee of Our Lady. He founded the Militia of Mary Immaculate, started a Marian magazine, and established an international center of Marian devotion.

During World War II, St. Maximilian was arrested by the Nazi. At the concentration camp, in reprisal for one prisoner’s escape, ten men were chosen to die. Father Kolbe offered himself in place of a young husband and father. He died a martyr of charity on August 14, 1941.

            Edith Stein was a philosopher who converted to the Catholic Faith after reading the autobiography of St. Teresa of Avila. She became a Carmelite nun and lived a life of prayer, fasting, and penance. In 1942 she was arrested by the Nazi and was killed in the gas chamber on August 9. 

1917年7月13日,聖母在葡萄牙的花地瑪,顯現給三個小孩,讓他們預見,教會在二十世紀所受的迫害。

 

三個孩子看到身穿白衣的主教,他們一致認定那位就是教宗。路濟亞寫道:「我們見到他和其他主教、神父及修士、修女,走向陡峭的山上;山頂豎立著一個粗製的十字架,有如一株帶樹皮的軟木樹。抵達山頂前,教宗走經一座半被荒廢的大城,不乏頹垣敗瓦,令人舉步唯艱。教宗顯得痛楚和憂傷,他不斷為走經的橫屍亡魂祈禱。到達山頂後,教宗跪在那巨大十字架下,但隨即被一群軍人用鎗及箭射殺,隨後趕抵的主教、神父及修士、修女,甚至包括一些各階層的平信徒,他們遭到與教宗同一的命運。在大十字架下兩旁,站著兩位天使,手執水晶造的灑水棒,用犧牲烈士的血,灑向奔向天主的靈魂。」

 

無數的殉道

 

二十世紀,亞洲、非洲、中美洲和南美洲、中東及歐洲,均發生迫害教會的事情。

 

1931至1939年期間,天主教在西班牙經歷自羅馬帝國以來,最大規模的屠殺。

 

第二次世界大戰時,納粹軍團瘋狂迫害天主教會;大戰結束後,教會在東歐卻遭受共產黨有系統地禁制和壓迫。

 

真福教宗若望保祿二世說:「二十世紀,無數貞忠之士,因為不屈於敬拜異神,又受納粹和共產主義的迫害,再因不容於某些地方與族群,都成為教會的殉道者。」

 

1981年5月13日,身穿白袍的教宗若望保祿二世,在聖伯多祿廣場被企圖行弒受傷,幸保性命。事後他認定是聖母的手擋住了子彈,保了他的性命。

 

激勵人心的見證

 

教宗若望保祿二世曾說過:「教會又變成殉道者的教會;這類血的見證,我們不應忘懷。」他又敦促信眾,常緊記近代的殉道者,並強調「新一代的教友們,要明白承傳信德的價值,以感恩之心接過福音的光,讓這真光在新世紀、新千禧年,發光發亮。」教宗身體力行,以宣聖、宣福慶典,延續和活化對殉道聖人的紀念。

 

教宗若望保祿二世宣聖的人中,兩位廣受世人注目的是聖高比神父(1894-1941),及聖德蘭.本篤十字架(又稱聖依蒂.詩婷)(1891-1941) 。

聖高比熱愛聖母,創立了「無玷聖母軍團」,創辦「瑪利亞報刊」,更設立國際敬禮聖母中心。第二次世界大戰爆發,高比神父被納粹逮捕,1941年8月14日,在集中營代替一名年輕的父親接受毒氣死刑,成了愛德的殉道者。

 

聖依蒂.詩婷是哲學學者,閱讀過聖女大德蘭的自傳後,皈依聖教,且成為聖衣會修女,過著祈禱、齋戒及補贖的生活。1942年被納粹拘捕,同年8月9日,死在集中營毒氣室內。

20130610 Our Lady calls for prayer 聖母呼籲多祈禱

Our Lady appeared at different places in the 20th century, asking for prayer for the conversion of sinners, and promising to intercede for suffering humanity.

Lady of the Rosary

            In 1917, Our Lady appeared six times to three children at Fatima, Portugal. The three children were: Lucia Santos, Francisco Marto and Jacinta Marto.

One of the key messages of Fatima is devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary as an effective means for the salvation of souls and peace of the world.

Our Lady urged the children to pray and to make sacrifices in reparation for sin and for the conversion of sinners. She said, “Pray, pray very much, and make sacrifices for sinners; for many souls go to hell because they have no one to make sacrifices and pray for them.”

The call for conversion is another key message. Our Lady said, “Do not offend the Lord our God anymore, because He is already so much offended.”

On October 13, 1917, Our Lady said, “I want to tell you that a chapel is to be built here in my honor. I am the Lady of the Rosary. Continue always to pray the Rosary every day.”

The Immaculate Virgin

            From November 29, 1932 to January 3, 1933, Our Lady appeared thirty-three times to five children at Beauraing, Belgium.

Our Lady said, “Pray, pray very much.”She also requested that a chapel be built and that people would come in pilgrimage. Our Lady indicated herself as “the Immaculate Virgin”.

In the final apparitions, the children saw Our Lady with a heart of gold surrounded by rays. In the last apparition on January 3, 1933, Our Lady spoke to each of the five children individually. Here are some the messages she gave: “I will convert sinners.” “I am the Mother of God, the Queen of Heaven. Pray always.” “Do you love my Son? Do you love me? Then sacrifice yourself for me.”

Virgin of the Poor

            Twelve days after the last apparition at Beauraing, Our Lady appeared at Banneux, Belgium. Banneux is fifty miles from Beauraing. Our Lady appeared to an eleven years old girl, Mariette Beco, eight times from January 15 to March 2, 1933.

On January 19, Our Lady identified herself as “the Virgin of the Poor”. Our Lady and Mariette went to the spring together. Our Lady said, “This spring is reserved for all the nations —- to relieve the sick.”

On January 20, Our Lady said, “I would like a small chapel”, and on February 11, she said, “I come to relieve suffering.”

In the last three apparitions, Our Lady told Mariette to pray much. Her final message was: “I am the Mother of the Savior, Mother of God, Pray much. Farewell.”

Mother of the Word

Between 1981 and 1989 Our Lady appeared to three young women (Alphonsine, Nathalie & Marie Claire) who were attending a Catholic school in Kibeho, Rwanda. Though there were other people who claimed to experience apparitions, the Church only approved the Marian apparitions that were received by the three young women at the Catholic school.

Our Lady told Alphonsine that she is the Mother of the Word. She said, “I have heard your prayers. I would like it if your companions had more faith because some of them do not believe enough.”

Nathalie is especially known for the message of redemptive suffering and unceasing prayer for a world that is very bad and at risk of falling into an abyss.

A key message given to Marie Claire was: “Repent, repent, repent!”

In 1982 the girls foresaw the genocide that would take place in 1994.

聖母在二十世紀,曾多次顯現,呼籲世人多為罪人悔改而祈禱,並答應為人類苦痛代禱。

 

玫瑰聖母

 

1917年,聖母在葡萄牙的花地瑪,六次顯現給三個小孩:路濟亞、方濟和雅先達。其中一項最重要的訊息,是要為人靈的得救及世界和平,敬禮聖母無玷聖心。

 

聖母敦促三個小孩,為補辱及為罪人悔改多做祈禱和犧牲。她對他們說:「祈禱!多祈禱!特別為罪人多做補贖。有很多的靈魂下了地獄,因為沒有人為他們祈禱和做補贖!」

 

要求罪人悔改,是聖母另一個重要訊息。聖母說:「不要再犯罪,因為天主已太被冒犯了。」

 

1917年10月13日,聖母特別叮囑說:「要在這裡建造一所聖堂,為恭敬我。我是玫瑰聖母。你們要繼續每天唸玫瑰經。」

 

無玷童貞

 

從1932年11月29日至1933年1月3日,聖母在比利時保靈,向五個孩子顯現達三十三次之多。同樣她強調說:「祈禱!多祈禱!」聖母要求在那裡建造一所聖堂,讓人可以到來朝聖。她表示自己是「無玷童貞」。

 

在最後的一些顯現,五個孩子看見聖母金色的心被光環繞。1933年1月3日最後一次顯現時,聖母又與他們個別交談。聖母給他們不同的訊息,包括:「我會感化罪人。」、「我是天主之母,天上母皇。常祈禱。」、「你愛我的兒子嗎?你愛我嗎?那就為我而犧牲自己吧。」

 

窮人的貞女

在保靈最後一次顯現後十二天,聖母在相距五十里的班諾,向十一歲的瑪麗顯現,從1933年1月15日至3月2日,共計八次。

 

1月19日,告訴瑪麗她是「窮人的貞女」,且領瑪麗到一水泉,聲明此水用來扶助病患者。

 

次日,聖母表示要建造一所小聖堂;2月11日強調她「要解除疾苦」。

 

最後三次顯現,聖母還是要瑪麗多作祈禱;她的最後訊息是:「我是救主之母、天主之母。你要多祈禱。再見。」

 

聖言之母

1981年至1989年期間,聖母在盧旺達的基北鶴顯現給雅芳詩、納袒妮和嘉莉。她們在一所天主教學校就讀。後來,雖然有多人自稱經歷顯現,但教會只承認了聖母給雅芳詩、納袒妮和嘉莉的顯現。

 

聖母向,向雅芳詩說:「我是聖言之母。我已聽到你的祈禱。我願意你的同伴們能有更強的信德,因為他們有些人信得不夠。」

聖母對納袒妮特別強調基督救贖之苦,並要她不斷為墮落的世界祈禱。她則要嘉莉告訴世人要悔改。

 

1982年,她們三人預見1994年發生的種族大屠殺。

20130603 Our Lady rebuilt faith 聖母修建教會

In the nineteenth century, while the Church was being rebuilt in France, a number of Marian apparitions there helped to shape the spiritual life of the faithful.

Miraculous medal

St. Catherine Laboure was a religious at Paris. On the night of July 18, 1830 a “shining child” woke her up, and led her to the chapel. Our Lady appeared and talked with her for two hours. St. Catherine was told about her future mission and the difficult times to come.

On November 27, Our Lady appeared again in the same chapel, standing on a globe with shafts of light streaming from her hands towards it, surrounded by the words: “O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!” Then the vision turned about, and St. Catherine saw a capital “M” with a cross above it and two hearts beneath it. One heart was thorn-crowned and the other pierced with a sword.

St. Catherine heard a voice telling her to have a medal struck according to the visions and promising great graces to those who would wear it with devotion. The medal was called “Miraculous medal”. Numerous graces, including healing and conversion, have been obtained through the wearing of the medal.

Green Scapular

            On September 8, 1840, Our Lady appeared to Sister Justine Bisqueyburo, a religious who belonged to the same convent of St. Catherine Labourse. Mary appeared holding in her right hand her Immaculate Heart and holding in her left hand a scapular.

The scapular consisted of a simple piece of green cloth, rectangular in shape, hanging from a green string. On one side was an image of Our Lady holding her heart in her hands, on the other side was the Immaculate Heart of Mary with the inscription: “Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us, now and at the hour of our death.”

An interior voice revealed to Sister Justine that Mary wanted copies of the scapular made as soon as possible and distributed with great confidence.

On September 8, 1846, Our Lady appeared again, and let Sister Justine knew that the green scapular is not like others (it is not the clothing-habit of a confraternity) but merely two holy pictures on a single piece of material. It is to be blessed by a priest and worn by the one whom we desire to benefit by Our Lady’s intercession. If a person is unable or even unwilling to wear or carry it, it may even be slipped, unknown to the person, into his clothes, bed, room, or possessions.

A prayer should be said at least once a day: “Immaculate heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.” If the person who is the intended beneficiary of the scapular’s use does not say it, then someone else can say it in his place. The graces obtained through the green scapular are more or less great in proportion to the degree of confidence of the person praying.

Numerous miracles of healing and conversion have occurred by means of the Green Scapular.

Immaculate Conception

            In 1854, Pope Pius IX defined the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Four years later in 1858, Our Lady appeared eighteen times to St. Bernadette Soubirous in the recess of the Massabielle cliff near Lourdes from February 11 to July 16.

Our Lady instructed Bernadette to drink and wash at the spring of the cave. She also requested prayers for sinners, penance, processions, and a chapel built.

On March 25, 1858 Our Lady said, “I am the Immaculate Conception”. Miraculous cures occurred in Lourdes, but the blessings there are mainly spiritual. Our Lady said to Bernadette, “I do not promise to make you happy in this life but in the next.”

十九世紀,在法國的聖教會正重新站起來的時候,幾次聖母的顯現,對塑造信眾的靈益,予以莫大的幫助。

 

 

顯靈聖牌

 

聖女加大利納.拉蒲來是法國巴黎的修女。一八三零年七月十八日的晚上,加大利納在睡夢中被一位「發光的小孩」喚醒,引她到修院內的小堂。聖母在那裡顯現給她,和她作了兩小時的談話,告訴她將擔任的使命及將來世局的困難。

 

同年十一月二十七日,聖母在同一地點給聖女以圖案再顯現:只見聖母站在地球上,雙手有異光射出,四週有字句寫著「吁,瑪利亞,無原罪始胎者,我等奔爾台前,為我等祈。」接著那異像轉過去,呈現一個大寫的字母M,上面有一個十字架,下面有兩顆心,一顆心有茨冠覆蓋,另一顆心被利劍穿透。加大利納同時聽見聲音對她說:「照這圖案製成聖牌,聖母將厚賜配戴這聖牌的人。」這聖牌名為「聖母顯靈聖牌」,曾有配戴的人得賞奇異的治癒和皈化。

 

 

綠色聖衣

 

儒詩蒂.碧寶容與聖加大利納同屬一女修院。一八四零年九月八日,聖母顯現給儒詩蒂,右手拿著無玷聖心,左手執著綠色聖衣。

 

聖衣呈小長方形,用綠色布料製成,懸在一根綠線的末端。聖牌一邊印上聖母雙手拿無玷聖心,另邊是聖母無玷聖心像,上面字句寫著「瑪利亞無玷之心,請為我們現在和在臨終時祈求。」

 

儒詩蒂內心有聲音說要盡早複製這聖衣,並懷着大信心去廣傳分發。

 

一八四六年九月八日,聖母再給儒詩蒂顯現,告訴這綠色聖衣跟一般穿著聖衣不一樣(綠色聖衣並不屬於任何個別修會),是一片布料兩面印上聖相,由神父祝聖,欲得聖母轉禱的人均可配戴;亦可放置在那些不願配戴的人,他的枕下、衣服內、房間內等,熱切為他祈禱,仍能得到聖母的轉禱。

 

禱文「瑪利亞無玷之心,請為我們現在和在臨終時祈求。」至少每日誦唸一次,或有人代唸;恩寵的多寡,只看誦唸者內心虔敬的程度。

 

藉綠色聖母聖衣而得奇癒的病者不少,皈依者為數亦眾。

 

 

始胎無玷

 

一八五四年,教宗庇約九世宣告「童貞瑪利亞始胎無染原罪」為當信道理。

 

四年後,聖母在法國露德顯現給聖女伯爾納德:從二月十一日至七月十六日,凡十八次之多。聖母指示伯爾納德飲用巖洞流出的水,並以水洗濯;她要聖女為罪人祈禱、做補贖和出遊敬禮,且要求在原地蓋建聖堂。

 

一八五八年三月二十五日,聖母親自向聖伯爾納德確定:「我是始胎無玷。」

在露德發生了病癒的奇蹟,但主要是靈性上的恩賜。正如聖母向聖女伯爾納德說:「我不許下妳今生的福樂,而是來世。」

20130527 In God we trust 我們信賴天主

In modern time, many people exalted reason to the point of excluding faith; they relied on self rather than God. In the meanwhile God raised up saints who gave powerful examples of trustful reliance on God.

Culture of saints

               St. John Bosco (1815-1888), St. Joseph Cottolengo (1786-1842), St. Luigi Guanella (1842-1915) and St. Louis Orione (1872-1940) were saints in northern Italy who founded religious congregations and helped numerous people with great reliance on Divine Providence.

Don Bosco would undertake mighty works with little or nothing in his purse. His contractors and suppliers, however, were perfectly sure that everything would be taken care of.  One of them said, “Would that we were as certain of being paid by everyone as we are by Don Bosco. He may be slow but he never fails, for he has Divine Providence at his disposal. Don Bosco’s word is more than a banknote.”

From 1863 to 1868, Don Bosco built the magnificent Basilica of Mary. Help of Christians. When the foundation of the church was laid, Don Bosco only had eight pennies to pay the contractor. He said to him, “Don’t be alarmed, the Madonna will see to the payment of her church. I am just the instrument, the cashier.”

At the end the church was paid for to the last cent. Generous contributors paid for one sixth of the cost and the rest came from the small offerings of those who had received favors from Our Lady. Don Bosco said, “The whole church was put up by means of graces granted by Mary. Every stone, every ornament, represents one of her graces.”

St. Joseph Cottolengo was a friend of Don Bosco. St. Luigi Guanella stayed with Don Bosco for three years, and St. Louis Orione was a favorite student of Don Bosco. These saints, with charismatic reliance on Divine Providence, responded to the needs of the time, and founded religious institutes which still exist today.

Cottolengo convinced his religious that they would continue to do wonderful things if they responded promptly and trustfully to the impulses from above.

Guanella said, “Providence cared for all who trust.” He warned, “Lack of trust is an obstacle to Providence.”

Orione said, “Our policy is the great and divine charity which does good for all. Let our policy be that of the ‘Our Father.’”

Little Flower

            St. Therese of Lisieux (1874-1897) is one of the most popular saints in modern time. She said, “Sanctity does not consist in this or that practice but in a disposition of heart which makes us humble and small in the arms of God” 

               St. Therese entered the Carmelite convent at fifteen and died at twenty-four. Her nine years in convent were spent in an ordinary way with household chores, sacristy works, and the training of novices. The life of St. Therese demonstrated that the heroism of love is possible in the most ordinary and humble situations of daily life. She said, “Miss no single opportunity of making some small sacrifice, here by a smiling look, there by a kindly word; always doing the smallest right and doing it all for love.”
           

            She said, “Trust and trust alone should lead us to love.” 

Divine Mercy

            St. Faustina Kowalska (1905-1938) of Poland was an apostle of Divine Mercy. She entered the convent around twenty, and in the 1930’s received private revelations from Christ regarding devotion to Divine Mercy.

Like St. Therese, St. Faustina suffered in silence during her life time. Through her writings, Christ invited people to trust in the mercy of God. Christ said to her, “The graces of My mercy are drawn by means of one vessel only, and that is trust. The more a soul trusts, the more it will receive.”                       

聖德的文化

在現代的世界裏,很多人會倚重自己的能力,多於倚賴天主;又有很多人抬舉理智而忽視信仰。但天主在適當的時刻,挑選一些聖賢,用他們的生平,引証倚賴天主所得的超人成果。

聖若望.鮑思高(1815-1888),聖若瑟.高登倫哥(1786-1842),聖類斯.關納勒(1842-1915)和聖類斯.鄂利昂(1872-1940),均來自意大利北部的聖者,他們在天主的眷顧下,成立各自的修會,裨益了千萬之眾。

聖若望.鮑思高本身無分文,卻因完全信賴了天主,得以成就大業。一位曾為他承辦工程的人說:「鮑思高神父雖然偶爾稍遲,卻絕不拖欠應付的款項。由於他對天主全然的信任,他的承諾,比銀行本票更可靠!」

由1863年至1868年,鮑思高神父建造了「聖母進教之佑」大殿。事實上,當大殿奠基時,他口袋只有八便士去支付建築費。他向承建商道:「別急!聖母會為她的地方支付費用,我只是她付款的出納工具。」大殿的經費,六分之一由大恩人捐獻,其於的很多小捐款均來自向聖母報恩之人。鮑思高神父說:「整座大殿是聖母的恩賜,一磚一瓦、一飾一設,訴盡她的恩德。」

聖若瑟.高登倫哥是聖若望.鮑思高神父的朋友,而聖類斯.關納勒曾與聖鮑思高神父一起三年,聖類斯.鄂利昂則是聖鮑思高神父喜愛的學生,他們都是藉對天主的信賴而蒙受洪恩,他們創立的組織,恆作迄今。

聖若瑟.高登倫哥堅信,他的修會只要對天主的推動信任地和爽快地回應,定會繼續成就偉業。聖類斯.關納勒認為:「天主的關顧照料所有信賴的人。」他警告道:「缺乏信賴,阻礙了天主的關愛。」聖類斯.鄂利昂說過:「我們的政策,是以偉大的聖愛去為所有人行善。讓『天主經』成為我們的政策。」

神聖的小花

聖女小德蘭(1874-1897)是近代廣受愛戴的聖人。她強調「成聖不在於這或那的神業,但在於甘願在天主的手臂中,成為謙小的意向。」

聖女十五歲成為加爾默羅修會修女,年僅二十四歲便與世長辭。她九年的修院生活,是作平凡的打掃執拾,整理聖所,指導初學生。她以無比的愛,藉平庸之工、謙卑之心,善盡每日的本份,證實可以從小事中成聖。她又指出:「不要放棄任何可作的小犧牲,不要小覷淺笑善語,即使在小事情上,都要用愛心做好。」「信賴!只要信賴,便可領我們到達愛。」

神聖慈悲

波蘭聖女傅天娜(1905-1938)是「神聖慈悲」的使徒。她約二十歲時修道,1930年代在神視中,得耶穌親自啟示「神聖慈悲」。她像聖女小德蘭一樣,一生在默忍中承受痛苦。她在日記寫出基督邀請所有人信賴天主的慈悲。基督對她說:「我慈悲的恩寵只能以一個容器來接受,就是『信賴』。一個靈魂愈是信賴就愈能接受!」

20130520 Local churches revived 地方教會的甦醒

The nineteenth century saw the revival of the Catholic Church in France, Germany, Ireland, and England. During that period the Church was blessed by the life of Blessed Frederick Ozanam (1813-1853) in France, and by the lives of Blessed Dominic Barberi (1792-1849) and Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890) in England.

Frederick Ozanam

At the Royal College of Lyons, the young Frederick Ozanam and his fellow students organized conferences of literature, history, and philosophy to support one another in the faith.

During one of the conferences, a young socialist challenged Frederick saying, “The Church is hypocrisy. What are you doing for the poor?” This conversation led to the establishment of the Conference of Charity, which eventually became the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

Frederick said, “If we are too young to intervene in the social struggle, are we then to remain passive in the middle of a world which is suffering and groaning? No, a preparatory path is open to us. Before doing public good, we can try to do good to a few. Before regenerating France, we can give relief to a few of her poor.”

Before his death at forty, Frederick pioneered the newspaper, The New Era, to secure justice for the poor and the working class. He also oversaw the expansion of the Society to other countries.

Today, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul is an international organization with over one million members helping thirty million poor people daily.

Dominic Barberi

            An orphan at eight, Dominic was raised up by his uncle and aunt. When Napoleon closed all the religious houses in Italy, Dominic became acquainted with several Passionist living in exile near his town. During this time, he experienced an interior call to preach to the people in England.

Dominic joined the Passionist and was ordained a priest in 1821. He ministered in Italy for nineteen years, but his heart was in England. He learnt English and met with English visitors in Rome.

In 1840, Dominic and his companions established the first Passionist monastery outside of Italy in Belgium. Finally in 1842, he established the first Passionist house in England.

In his short seven years in England, Dominic worked tirelessly as a home-missioner. He established three churches and several chapels, preached numerous missions and received hundreds of converts, including John Henry Newman, into the Catholic Church.

John Henry Newman

            Since the Protestant revolt, the freedom of Catholics in England had been restricted. The Act of Catholic Emancipation signed by the king on April 13, 1829 permitted Catholics in England to worship publicly.

The Oxford Movement (1833-1845) represented growing interest in the Catholic Church in the Protestant University of Oxford. John Henry Newman was the most famous convert to Catholicism in the Oxford Movement. He entered the Catholic Church in 1845 and was ordained a priest in Rome the next year. He came back to England and established the Oratory of St. Philip near Birmingham in 1848.

As a Catholic priest, John Henry Newman wrote Parochial and Plain Sermons, An Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Assent (a treatise on the philosophy of religion), and Apologia Pro Vita Sua ( the classic defense of his religious views).

On May 12, 1879, John Henry Newman was made Cardinal by Pope Leo XIII.

During his trip to England, Pope Benedict XVI beatified John Henry Newman on September 19, 2010.

On November 4, 2009, Benedict XVI issued the apostolic constitution, Anglicanorum Coetibus, enabling Anglicans to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church while preserving elements of their distinctive Anglican spiritual and liturgical heritage.

In accordance with Anglicanorum Coetibus, the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham was established on January 15, 2011 under the patronage of Blessed John Henry Newman.

十九世紀,分別在法國、德國、愛爾蘭和英國等地的天主教會,漸漸地甦醒過來,不少聖賢亦於此時陸讀浮現,當中有法國的真福斐德.鄂撒楠(1813-1853),英國的真福道明.伯博理(1792-1849)和真福亨利.紐曼(1801-1890)。

 

 

斐德.鄂撒楠

 

年青的斐德.鄂撒楠在里昂皇家學院就讀時,為了互相鼓勵彼此保守信德,與同學們組織文學、歷史及哲學的研討聚會。不過,一次聚會上,一名社會主義的同學挑戰斐德說:「你的教會是偽善!你們為貧苦的人又作了些什麼呢?」這激發他決定要建立一個慈善團體。斐德.鄂撒楠說:「假如我們自以為太年青了,不宜過早介入社會上的爭扎,是否要在痛苦與呻吟的世界中處於被動呢?不!道路已為我們開辟了,我們可以從小數做起,然後廣惠大眾。待法國重生之前,我們先為一些苦者解困吧!」這慈善團體,即後來的「聖文生(聖雲先)會」。

 

聖斐德.鄂撒楠四十壯年早歿,死前主編一份名叫「新紀元」的報刊,積極為貧苦和勞工階層爭取公義,且亦見到自己創立的「聖文生會」慈善機構,會廣達異國他方。

 

今天,「聖文生會」約一百萬成員,在國際層面上,每日為三千萬貧苦人服務。

 

 

道明.伯博理

 

道明.伯博理八歲成了孤兒,由叔嬸養育成人。拿破崙飭令關閉意大利所有修院時,道明在家鄉附近小城,陪伴著幾位被放逐的「苦難會」會士;而當時他的內心已感覺到天主的聖召,要他到英國傳道。

 

1821年,道明以「苦難會」會士身份晉鐸,在意大利服務了十九年,但他並未忘記到英國傳道的呼喚,因此期間,他努力學習英文,在羅馬結交來自英國的訪客。

 

1840年,道明和一些「苦難會」會士,在比利時創建修院,是「苦難會」在意大利國境以外第一所修院。兩年後,道明終嘗所願,在英國創建第一座「苦難會」會院。

 

在英國短短七年內,道明無間地作傳教工作,建了三座聖堂和幾所小堂,到不同地方傳教,致使數百人皈化天主教,當中有亨利.紐曼。

 

 

若望.亨利.紐曼

 

基督新教崛起,天主教在英國的活動受到抑制;直至英王在1829年四月十三日簽署解除法令,才容許天主教徒舉行公開的敬禮。

 

充斥基督新教的英國牛頓大學,經歷一項名為「牛頓運動」(1833-1845) ,使很多人對天主教重新產生興趣,其中一位皈化聖教的人,是箸名的若望.亨利.紐曼:他在1845年加入天主教,翌年在羅馬晉鐸,晉鐸後返回英國,1848年在伯明翰郡建起了聖斐利伯的經堂會。

 

作為天主教神父,紐曼箸作了一些書籍,其中內容有道理、宗教哲學,和護教。

 

1879年五月十二日,教宗良十三世擢昇若望.亨利.紐曼為樞機主教。

2010年九月十九日,教宗本篤十六世牧訪英國時,把若望.亨利.紐曼宣為真福品。

 

2009年十一月四日,教宗本篤十六世簽發宗座憲章,容許英國聖公會人員融入天主教的同時,可保有他們在靈修及禮儀上的傳統。而根據該憲章,於2011年一月十五日,在英國特別設立「華盛坎聖母」的團體。該團體以真福若望.亨利.紐曼為主保。

 

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。」