Category Archives: Saints & Blessed

20131125 St. Josemaria promoted holiness 施禮華宣揚成聖

St. Josemaria Escriva was born in Barbastro, Spain, Jan. 9, 1902. He was the second of six children of a devout family.
In 1904, Josemaria was gravely ill and the doctors gave up on him. However, he was cured unexpectedly; his parents attributed the cure to the intercession of Our Lady of Torreciudad, and took him on a pilgrimage of thanksgiving.
On April 23, 1912, Josemaria made his first Communion. In preparation, a friar had taught him a beautiful prayer for spiritual communion which he remembered all his life: “I wish, Lord, to receive You with the purity, humility, and devotion with which Your most holy mother received you, with the spirit and fervour of the saints.”
Josemaria’s three sisters died in 1910, 1912, and 1913. His father’s business failed in 1914. These tragic events taught Josemaria the meaning of suffering and brought him to maturity. The family moved to Logrono, where his father had found new employment.

Founding of Opus Dei
During the Christmas vacation of 1917, Josemaria saw the bare footprints of a Carmelite friar. Josemaria asked himself, “If other people make such sacrifices for God and neighbour, can’t I offer Him something?”
He intuited that God wanted something of him, although he didn’t know exactly what. He decided to become a priest in order to be available for whatever God wanted of him. In 1918, he began his studies; he was ordained March 28, 1925.
On Oct. 2, 1928, while he was on retreat in Madrid, Father Escriva was inspired by God to found Opus Dei, an institution within the Catholic Church dedicated to helping people in all walks of life to follow Christ and to seek holiness in their daily lives.
In 1930 Father Escriva started Opus Dei (the two Latin words mean “Work of God”) for women, making it clear that they had the same responsibility as men to serve the Church and society.
While celebrating Mass on Feb. 14, 1943, Father Escriva was inspired to found the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross. On June 25, 1944, three members of Opus Dei were ordained priests.

Spreading the fire of love
Father Escriva moved to Rome in 1946 and became the driving force behind the spreading of Opus Dei around the world. In 1948 full membership in Opus Dei was opened to married people. On June 16, 1950, Pope Pius XII granted definitive papal approval of Opus Dei.
In 1951 Father Escriva consecrated the families of Opus Dei members to the Holy Family. He also consecrated Opus Dei to the Most Sweet Heart of Mary. During the 1950s, in answer to the needs of the world, he promoted universities, training schools, agricultural colleges, hospitals, and clinics.
During the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), the council fathers sought the advice of Father Escriva on themes such as the universal call to holiness and the function of lay people in the mission of the Church.
In 1969 Father Escriva travelled to shrines of Our Lady, praying for the Church and for world peace. He visited the Marian shrines of Lourdes, Sonsoles, El Pilar, La Merced, Einsiedeln and Loreto.
Between 1970 and 1975 Father Escriva undertook catechetical trips throughout Europe and Latin America, teaching Christian doctrine and Christian living to many people.
Father Escriva died in his office in Rome June 26, 1975. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II May 17, 1992, and canonized by him Oct. 6, 2002.
“Sanctity is made up of heroic acts. Therefore in our work we are asked for the heroism of finishing properly the tasks committed to us, day after day, even though they are the same tasks. If we don’t, then we do not want to be saints.”

施禮華宣揚成聖

20131021 Chiara accepted illness 嘉辣領受病苦

Blessed Chiara Luce Badano was the child of Maria Teresa and Ruggero Badano. The couple waited and prayed for 11 years for the gift of a child, and then Chiara was born Oct. 29, 1971.

Love for neighbours
Chiara desired that all the children of the world would be happy. She donated her best toys to the poor children, and set aside her pocket money for children in Africa. She invited poor people into the family’s home for holidays, and visited the elderly, and sick children.
At 9 years of age, Chiara became involved with the Focolare movement, and lived out the spirituality of unity.
To please Jesus, the teenage Chiara dressed in a clean and tidy way, without being flashy or ostentatious, because “what matters is to be beautiful inside.” She tried to turn the normal difficulties of daily life into opportunities of love. Chiara was a girl like all the others: she liked music, dancing, swimming, tennis, and hiking in the mountains.
Chiara had a wide circle of friends. When asked, she said she did not try to bring Jesus to her friends with words. She tried to bring Jesus to them by the way she listened to them, by the way she dressed, and above all, by the way she loved them.

Way of the cross
In the summer of 1988, during a tennis match, Chiara experienced a very sharp pain in her left shoulder. Medical tests revealed Chiara had osteosarcoma, one of the most serious and painful forms of cancer, and it had already started spreading.
Once back home after hearing the news, Chiara told her mum not to ask her any questions, and she experienced 25 minutes of “Gethsemane garden.” Eventually she said “yes” to Jesus about accepting her sufferings, and then she said: “Now you can speak, Mum,” and her face shone again with her usual luminous smile.
The treatment was painful. Chiara wanted to be informed of every detail of her illness. For each new and painful surprise, her offering was firm: “For You, Jesus; if You want it, I want it too!”
Chiara underwent two surgeries, and subsequent chemotherapy treatment caused her to lose her hair. As each lock of hair fell, she would say sincerely, “For You, Jesus.”
In July 1989 the tumour spread quickly, and Chiara lost the use of her legs. She said, “If I had to choose between walking or going to heaven, I would choose going to heaven.”
In the last year of her life, Chiara kept in touch with and encouraged the Focolare movement through telephone calls, messages, postcards, and posters. In May 1990, Chiara had the joy of watching Genfest 90, an international youth gathering held in Rome, from her home. She was a great inspiration for those who came to visit her.
Chiara refused to take pain medication, saying: “It reduces my lucidity,” and she added, “There’s only one thing I can do now: offer my suffering to Jesus, because I want to share as much as possible in His suffering on the cross.”
Chiara gave all savings to a friend who did missionary work in Africa. She said, “I have nothing left, but I still have my heart, and with that I can always love.”
With her mother, Chiara prepared for her “wedding celebration”: her funeral. Chiara asked to be dressed in a simple white wedding dress; she chose the music, the songs, the flowers, and the Mass readings. She told her mother, “When you’re getting me ready, Mum, you have to keep saying to yourself, ‘Chiara Luce is now seeing Jesus.'”
Chiara died at 4:10 a.m. Oct. 7, 1990. Her last words to Teresa, her mother, were “Goodbye. Be happy because I’m happy.”

羅傑.白達諾與太太瑪利亞.德蘭,向天主祈求了十一年,終於在1971年10月29日,誕下女兒嘉辣.白達諾。

 

憐愛近人

 

真福嘉辣雖然年紀尚少,卻認為世界所有兒童,都應該享有快樂,她把最喜愛的玩具,送給貧苦兒童,把零用儲蓄起來,捐出救助非洲的孩子;她又在假期的日子,邀請窮人到家中款待,探訪耆英及病童。

 

年僅九歲,參加「普世博愛運動」,渡福音勸諭的生活。

 

年青的嘉辣有着年青人的喜愛,她喜愛音樂、舞蹈、游泳、遠足和打網球,但為了鍾悅耶穌,她衣著整潔樸素,不隨俗浮誇,標榜「內在美纔是真正的美」,把日常生活中的困難,轉化成實行愛德的機遇。

 

嘉辣廣交朋友,卻從不以言談「硬銷耶穌」,而常以聆聽、舉止、衣著及愛心,傳達「耶穌的訊息」。

 

苦路

 

1988年夏天,正值一場網球比賽,嘉辣左肩突然感到劇烈的疼痛;經過一番檢查化驗,證實她患上惡性的骨肉瘤,而且癌細胞正在擴散中。

 

嘉辣驚聞噩耗,返抵家中,告訴母親不要問她任何問題。冷靜地經歷了約二十五分鐘「山園祈禱」的憂苦,嘉辣然後對耶穌表示「願意接受這病苦」,面上重新展現光輝的笑容說:「媽媽,您現在可以說話了。」

 

治療過程又辛苦又不成功。嘉辣要求自己要被告知病程的細節,每當新的壞消息時,她總會堅定地說:「為了祢,耶穌!假如祢願意,我也願意。」

 

嘉辣接受兩次手術,化療使她脫髮。每見一束脫髮,嘉辣說:「這是為祢的,耶穌!」

 

1989年七月,腫瘤擴散迅速,嘉辣雙腿失去功能;嘉辣道:「如果要我選擇能走路或升天堂,那我寧願選擇升式堂。」

 

走到生命最後的一年,嘉辣仍保持與「普世博愛運動」聯絡,藉電話、傳遞、明信片、宜傳海報,鼓勵其他成員。1990年五月,嘉辣在家觀看到在羅馬舉行的一個國際青年大會,甚是興奮;她的芳表,激勵了不少前來探望她的人。

 

嘉辣拒絕服用止痛藥,她解釋是「藥物讓我迷糊」,更補充說:「我現在唯一能做的,是奉獻自己的苦痛給耶穌,因為我要盡力分享祂在十字架上的苦痛。」嘉辣又將自己所有積蓄,捐送給一位在非洲作使徒工作的朋友;她說:「我已一無所有,但仍有一顆心,好讓我能常常去愛。」

 

和母親一起準備自己身後事時,嘉辣看作做「婚禮的準備」:她選擇白色的婚紗,指定奏唱的樂曲、擺設的鮮花和彌撒讀經,並提醒母親:「媽媽,當妳為我準備了一切時,要不斷對自己說『嘉辣現在見到耶穌』。」

 

1990年10月7日上午四時十分,嘉辣安逝,臨終前向母親德蘭說:「再見了!妳要快樂,因為我很快樂!」

20131014 Saintly prolife witness 聖人見證生命

St. Gianna Beretta Molla was born to Albert and Maria Beretta Oct. 4, 1922, the 10th of 13 children. The Beretta family was very devout. Both parents and children attended Mass very early each morning, and each evening recited the rosary, then renewed their consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Spiritual life
In March 1938, Gianna attended a retreat according to the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. Gianna wrote the following resolutions:
* To do all things for the Lord…. To serve God, I will not go to the movies without being sure that the film is suitable and not scandalous or immoral.
* I prefer to die rather than commit a mortal sin.
* To say the “Hail Mary” every day so that the Lord might give me a holy death.
* I wish to fear mortal sin as if it were a serpent, and I repeat I would rather die 1,000 times than offend the Lord.
* I beg the Lord to help me understand His great mercy.
* The way of humiliation is the shortest way to reach holiness. I pray that the Lord lead me to paradise.
Gianna was involved in Catholic Action and devoted all her free time to apostolic work. She constantly lived out the motto of the Catholic Action: prayer-action-sacrifice. Gianna was a daily communicant. To assist others with their mission, Gianna offered her own program of spiritual life:
* Morning and evening prayers, not in bed but on your knees.
* Holy Mass.
* Holy Communion.
* Meditation, at least 10 minutes.
* Visit to the Blessed Sacrament.
* Holy Rosary: without Our Lady’s help, no one enters paradise.

Medical profession
Gianna studied medicine in Milan and Pavia, both in Italy. She considered the medical profession more as a mission than work. She wrote, “Just as the priests can touch Jesus, so we doctors touch Jesus in the bodies of our patients: in the poor, the young, the old, and children. Jesus makes Himself seen in our midst.”
As a doctor, Gianna specialized in pediatrics. She had continual contact with mothers through their children. She became very close to many of these women and helped them through some very difficult times. She would have long discussions with them about the best way to raise children and about the value of human life.

Wife and mother
In December 1954, Gianna met Pietro Molla. They were engaged the following April and married in September 1955. Pietro wrote, “The more I know Gianna, the more I am convinced that God could not have given me a greater gift than her love and companionship.”
Gianna gave birth to three children: in 1956, 1957, and 1959. To thank God after the birth of each child, she took money from her savings to give to the missions, an amount equal to six months of a worker’s salary.
In 1961 Gianna was once again expecting. During the second month of pregnancy, Gianna developed a fibroma on her uterus. Gianna said, “This time it will be a difficult delivery, and they may have to save one or the other; I want them to save my baby.”
Gianna refused a complete hysterectomy, which would have result in the death of the preborn baby.
On April 21, 1962, Gianna’s fourth child, Gianna Emanuela, was successfully delivered by Caesarean section. However Gianna continued to have severe pain, and died of septic peritonitis on April 28.
“If you only knew how differently things are judged at the hour of death!” Gianna remarked to her sister before her death. “How vain certain things appear, to which we gave such importance in the world!”

聖安納.白麗妲.莫羅出生於1922年10月4日,在亞伯和瑪利亞.白麗妲十三名兒女中排第十。白麗妲家庭熱心敬主,每天大清晨,父母便帶同所有子女參與彌撒,黃昏則整家聚在一起誦唸玫瑰經,之後,重申把一家奉獻給耶穌聖心。

 

靈修生活

 

1938年3月,安納循聖依納爵神操做了一次退省,寫了以下結論:

 

  1. 為天主做任何事情。… 侍奉天主,不觀看電影,除非已確實那套電影不涉及醜聞或不道德劇情和景象。
  2. 我寧願死也不犯一個大罪。
  3. 每天誦唸「聖母經」,祈求天主賞給我一個善終。
  4. 但願我把大罪看做一條毒蛇,我甘願死一千次,也不要得罪天主。
  5. 我懇求天主,讓我明白祂莫大的慈愛。
  6. 謙卑是成聖的速成班。我祈求天主引領我到天尚。

 

安納參與了公教運動,把空閑時間全情投入使徒工作,完全活出公教運動的格言:祈禱、行動、奉獻。

 

安納每天領聖體。為幫助別人使徒工作,她分享自己的靈修生活:

 

  1. 唸早晚課,不是躺在床上,而是跪下來唸。
  2. 參與彌撒。
  3. 善領聖體。
  4. 每天至少默想十分鐘。
  5. 朝拜聖體。
  6. 常常誦唸玫瑰經;沒有聖母的幫助,沒有人能進入天國。

 

專科醫學

 

安納在柏維雅和米蘭攻讀醫科,她把醫療看做一項使命多於一份工作。她認為:就如神父們可以接觸耶穌,醫生通過接觸不同階層和年紀的病人接觸耶穌。耶穌就在他們當中!

 

安納是兒科醫生,因而接觸很多母親,與她們渡過不少困難的時刻,常跟那些母親們商討,如何以最好的方法,養育子女,又提醒她們人類生命的價值。

 

妻子及母親

 

1954年12月,安納邂逅伯多祿.莫羅;翌年四月訂婚,九月結婚。伯多祿寫着:「我認識安納更多,更感到天主不可能賜給我更大的禮物,甚於安納給我的愛與相伴。」

 

1956年、1957年、1959年,安納分別誕下三個孩子,每次嬰孩出生後,她總會從積蓄中捐贈傳教事業,表達對天主的感謝。捐贈金額相等於工人半年的薪俸。

 

1961年安納再次懷孕,可惜懷孕第二個月,發現子宮纖維瘤,安納明白到眾人要做一項非常艱難的決定 ––– 在拯救母親與胎兒中,只能擇其一。安納斷言:「我要拯救我的胎兒!」她拒絕了割除子宮手術,不願胎兒喪失生命。

 

1962年4月21日,安納接受剖腹產子,第四名孩子、依瑪諾、順利展開其在世生命,但母親安納,繼續忍受極大的疼痛,最後,4月28日死於膿毒的腹膜炎。

 

安納死前向她的姊妹說:「妳不知道一個人臨死前怎樣看這個世界! … 在這世界上很多事情,我們當時看得很重,到最後看來還是虛無!」

 

20131007 Life offered for mother 為母親奉上生命

Blessed Laura Vicu¤a was born in Santiago, Chile, in 1891. Her father died when she was only 2.
Laura’s mother, Mercedes Pino, was anxious to support herself and her two daughters. After working as a cook for several years in the Quilquihu‚ Hostel, the owner, Manuel Mora, promised Mercedes that if she came to live with him as his mistress he would send Laura to a boarding school.

Life at school
Laura went to a boarding school ran by the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (the Salesian Sisters). She was very happy living under the care of the young missionary sisters.
She was taught a love for religion and began to take a deep interest in the Catholic faith. Laura was a model student and a leader who helped other students in many different ways. On June 2, 1901, Laura made her First Communion. She wrote, “Oh, my God, I want to love and serve you all my life.”
Even at a young age, Laura was mature enough to understand her mother’s problems. Though not married, Manuel and Mercedes were living together like a married couple. Laura knew that it was a sin.
Mercedes had been distanced from God because of Manuel. This motivated Laura to pray every day for her mother’s salvation, and to help her to leave Manuel. “I wish Mamma would know you better and be happy,” she often prayed before the tabernacle.
Laura spent most of her time praying, and some of her classmates shunned her piety. However Laura had one good friend, Mercedes Vera, to whom she expressed her deepest feelings, such as her desire to become a nun. Inspired by the Salesian Sisters, Laura hoped to consecrate herself to God in the service of her brothers and sisters.
As Laura grew older, Manuel turned his attention from Mercedes to her. During a Christmas vacation, Laura was beaten twice by Manuel because she refused his sexual advances and his attempts to dissuade her from becoming a nun. She was forced to flee the house to avoid him.
Manuel stopped paying for Laura’s education, but she held to her desire to become a nun. When the nuns at her school learned of the situation, they gave her a scholarship. With a grateful heart, Laura returned to school, but she was still deeply concerned about her mother.

Oblation of life
One day, remembering the phrase of Jesus: “No one has greater love than to give up one’s life for one’s friends,” Laura decided to give her life in exchange for her mother’s salvation. Laura said to the Lord: “I offer you my life for that of my mother.”
Laura’s offer was accepted. In late 1903 Laura became seriously ill with pulmonary tuberculosis and returned to her mother. On Jan. 14, 1904, Laura refused the sexual advances of the drunken Manuel, who beat her unconscious. Though she recovered consciousness, Laura never recovered her health.
Before she died, Laura told her mother: “Mama, I offered my life for you; I asked our Lord for this. Before I die, mother, would I have the joy of seeing you repent?”
Mercedes tearfully answered, “I swear I will do whatever you ask me! God is the witness of my promise!”
Laura smiled and said: “Thank you, Jesus! Thank you, Mary! Goodbye, Mother! Now I die happy!”
On Jan. 22, 1904, Laura died from a combination of the disease and the abuse.
Mercedes left Manuel and returned to the Catholic Church. On Sept. 3, 1988, Laura Vicu¤a was beatified by Pope John Paul II.

真福羅拉.韋恭納生於1891年智利的聖地牙哥;兩歲喪父,母親有意獨力撫養兩名女兒,卻在一間旅店任廚師數年後,成了旅店主人的情婦,以供養女兒在學校的寄宿和學費。

 

學校生活

 

羅拉進了「母佑會」修女辦的學校寄宿,受到年輕修女們的感染,除了心中愉快外,很喜愛自己的天主教信仰,且產生極濃厚的興趣。課堂內,羅拉是模範生,樂於幫助其他同學。

 

1901年6月2日,羅拉初領聖體。她寫道:「我主,我願意一生愛祢、侍奉祢!」年紀雖輕的羅拉,已明白母親與旅店主人同居是大罪,而母親確實因此而疏遠了天主。於是,她每天為母親的得救熱切祈禱,求天主幫助母親離開情夫。她常在聖體翕前祈禱:「主,我但願母親更認識祢,更愉快地過活。」

 

羅拉用了大部份時間祈禱,卻遭到一些同學竊竊私語。她曾對她一位好友透露棄俗修道的意願,只因到受「母佑會」修女們的影響,要把自己奉獻給天主,服務主內的兄弟姊妹。

 

羅拉長得亭亭玉立,引起母親情夫的垂涎。一次聖誕節放假返家,羅拉拒絕母親情夫猥褻的要求,並不肯放棄修道的志願,而兩次遭受母親的情夫毒打,遂被迫離家出走。母親的情夫停止供書教學;學校修女知悉其委,特別提供羅拉獎學金,羅拉得以繼續學業,心存感激之餘,仍關心母親靈魂的得救。

 

奉獻生命

 

一日,羅拉記起耶穌的一句話:「沒有比為別人而捨生的愛更大。」她決定把自己的生命奉獻,換取母親靈魂的得救。她向主說:「我為母親而奉獻我的生命。」

 

羅拉的奉獻獲得天主接納。1903年下旬,羅拉染上肺結核,離開學校,返回母親身旁。1904年1月14日,母親情夫帶醉向羅拉作出猥褻的要求,當然又一次遭到拒絕,他便毒打羅拉至不省人事。雖然羅拉後來清醒過來,但健康日益惡化。

 

羅拉死前向母親剖白:「媽媽,我為妳向天主奉獻出我的生命。妳可否痛悔改過,讓我愉快地死去?」母親含淚答應,說:「我發誓,我會答應你任何要求,有天主見證!」羅拉微笑地說:「多謝耶穌!多謝聖母!再見了,母親!我現在可以安心地死去。」1904年1月22日,羅拉因肺病和傷患,離開人間。

 

羅拉母親遵守對女兒的諾言,離開了情夫,重新投入天主教會。1988年9月3日,教宗若望保祿二世,把羅拉.韋恭納尊為真福貞女。