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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

CATHOLIC NEWS WORLD TUESDAY JULY 31, 2012

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
VATICAN : POPE PRAYER INTENTION FOR AUGUST AND OTHER NEWS
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EUROPE : CHURCH BELLS RING TO START OLYMPICS
ASIA : VIETNAM WOMAN CONVERT ABUSED IN PRISON - MOTHER SETS HERSELF ON FIRE
AUSTRALIA : PRIEST'S VOCATION INSPIRED BY MOTHER
AFRICA : SECAM OFFERES CONDOLENCES ON DEATH OF PRESIDENT
TODAY'S MASS ONLINE : TUESDAY JULY 31, 2012  
TODAY'S SAINT: JULY 31: ST. IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA
 
VATICAN : POPE PRAYER INTENTION FOR AUGUST AND OTHER NEWS
BENEDICT XVI'S PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR AUGUST
Vatican City, 31 July 2012 (VIS) - Pope Benedict's general prayer intention for August is: "That prisoners may be treated with justice and respect for their human dignity".
His mission intention is: "That young people, called to follow Christ, may be willing to proclaim and bear witness to the Gospel to the ends of the earth".

PAPAL, HOLY SEE HIGHLIGHTS FOR MAY - JULY 2012
Vatican City, 31 July 2012 (VIS) - Following are highlights of the activities of Pope Benedict XVI and of the Holy See for the months of May to July 2012.
MAY
1: Benedict XVI visits Rome's Sacred Heart Catholic University to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the "Agostino Gemelli" Faculty of Medicine and Surgery.
4: The Pope receives five new non resident ambassadors to the Holy See for the presentation of thier Letters of Credence: Teshome Toga Chanaka of Ethiopia, David Cooney of Ireland, Naivakarurubalavu Solo Mara of the Republic of Fiji, Viguen Tchitetchian of Armenia and Dato' Ho May Young, the first ambassador of Malaysia to the Holy See.
5: The Holy Father receives a group of prelates from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (Regions 10 to 13) at the end of their "ad limina" visit.
5: The Holy Father receives in audience Bamir Topi, president of the Republic of Albania.
13: Benedict XVI makes a pastoral visit to the Italian region of Abruzzo.
18: The Holy Father receives a final group from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, whose prelates have been travelling to Rome over the past six months on their quinquennial "ad limina Apostolorum" visits.
24: The Holy Father receives participants in the sixty-fourth general assembly of the Italian Episcopal Conference.
24: The Pope receives in separate audiences Rosen Plevneliev, president of the Republic of Bulgaria, and Nikola Gruevski, prime minister of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, each accompanied by a delegation, for the commemoration of the Feast of Sts. Cyril and Methodius.
25: The Holy Father receives in audience Petr Necas, prime minister of the Czech Republic.
27: After celebrating Mass for the Solemnity of Pentecost, the Holy Father announces that on 7 October he will proclaim St. John of Avila and St. Hildegard of Bingen as Doctors of the Universal Church.
28: The Holy Father receives in audience Laura Chinchilla Miranda, president of Costa Rica.
JUNE
1-3: The Pope makes a pastoral visit to the Italian archdiocese of Milan to participate in the seventh World Meeting of Families. Following the closing Mass he announces that the next World Meeting of Families will take place in Philadelphia, U.S.A., in 2015.
4: Cardinal Rodolfo Ignacio Quezada Toruno, archbishop emeritus of Guatemala, Guatemala, dies at the age of 80.
8: The Holy Father receives in audience Mahinda Rajapaksa, president of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.
9: Benedict XVI receives in audience prelates from the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands, at the end of their "ad limina" visit.
15: The Holy Father receives in audience Nassir Abdulaziz al-Nasser, president of the sixty-sixth session of the General Assembly of the United Nations.
16: The International Theological Commission updates its webpage. The page is to be found on the Vatican website (www.vatican.va) under the section dedicated to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
17: A video message from Benedict XVI is transmitted at the end of the closing Mass of the fiftieth International Eucharistic Congress, which was held in Dublin, Ireland, from 10 to 17 June on the theme: "The Eucharist. Communion with Christ and with One Another".
20: The Holy Father receives in audience Valdis Dombrovskis, prime minister of the Republic of Latvia.
21: The Holy Father receives in audience Filip Vujanovic, president of Montenegro.
22: The Holy Father receives a first group of prelates from the Episcopal Conference of Colombia, at the end of their "ad limina" visit.
25: The American journalist Gregory Burke, currently Rome correspondent for Fox News, is designated for the post of "communications advisor" to the Secretariat of State.
26: Benedict XVI visits areas in the Italian region of Emilia Romagna which have been badly affected by a series of earthquakes.
JULY
9: Benedict XVI makes a private visit to to the "Ad Gentes" Centre of the Verbite Missionaries in Nemi, a village near Castelgandolfo.
9: Cardinal Eugenio Araujo Sales, archbishop emeritus of Sao Sebastiao do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, dies at the age of 91.
10: The Holy Father makes a pastoral visit to the Italian diocese of Frascati, near Rome.
16: Announcement of the theme chosen by the Holy Father for the forty-sixth World Day of Peace, which will fall on 1 January 2013: "Blessed are the peacemakers".
25: Publication by the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples of the Message for World Tourism Day. The theme for this year's Day, which falls on 27 September, is: "Tourism and Sustainable Energy: Powering Sustainable Development".

AUDIENCES
Vatican City, 31 July 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience Bishop Antoni Stankiewicz, dean of the Tribunal of the Roman Rota.

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS
Vatican City, 31 July 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father:
- Accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the archdiocese of Munich and Freising, Germany, presented by Bishop Engelbert Siebler, in accordance with canons 411 and 401 para. 1 of the Code of Canon Law.
- Appointed Msgr. Lawrence T. Persico of the clergy of the diocese of Greenburg, U.S.A., vicar general and pastor of the parish of St. James in New Alexandria, as bishop of Erie (area 25,734, population 860,340, Catholics 223,668, priests 193, permanent deacons 61, religious 317), U.S.A. The bishop-elect was born in Monessen, U.S.A. in 1950 and ordained a priest in 1977. He has acted as chaplain and chancellor of Assumption Hall, and is vice president of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference. He succeeds Bishop Donald W. Trautman, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

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EUROPE : CHURCH BELLS RING TO START OLYMPICS

Westminster Cathedral and its 273ft bell tower (Photo: PA)
CATHOLIC HERALD REPORT: By Madeleine Teahan on Thursday, 19 July 2012
Westminster Cathedral and its 273ft bell tower (Photo: PA)
Thousands of church bells peal across Britain to mark the opening of the Olympic Games 2012 next Friday.
St Edward’s bell at Westminster Cathedral in London will chime at 8.12am, along with those of other churches which are also ringing their bells to celebrate the beginning of the Games.
The bells will be rung as part of a project by Turner Prize-winning artist Martin Creed, who wants everyone in the country to ring any bell they can find loudly and repeatedly for three minutes.
James Parker, Catholic executive coordinator for the 2012 Games, said: “People will wake and travel on the morning of the day of the Olympic opening ceremony with an expectation in their hearts. This is the day when our nation’s preparations to host a 27-day party for the entire world actually begins. It is hoped that there will be widespread international reports of church bells ringing out, reminding the British Isles and the rest of the globe of Britain’s Christian roots.
“Although few Catholic churches have bells, nevertheless this could be a unique, significant and, yes, even a fun moment for us all to start the countdown to the celebrations and a great moment to stop and pray for God’s peace to fall upon our nation and on the world.”
Meanwhile, Our Lady and St Catherine of Siena church, the Catholic church closest to the Olympic Park, will be open from 9am every morning and close with Benediction at midnight each day. There will be at least two Masses each day and daily Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at 6.30pm.
SHARED FROM CATHOLIC HERALD

ASIA : VIETNAM WOMAN CONVERT ABUSED IN PRISON - MOTHER SETS HERSELF ON FIRE

ASIA NEWS REPORT:
by J.B. An Dang
Dang Thi Kim Lieng's self-immolation in front of government offices in the southern province of Bac Lieu. Her daughter Maria Ta Phong Tan, a former policewoman converted to Christianity, is in jail awaiting trial. She faces up to 20 years in prison for propaganda against the state. Human rights activists and bloggers: specious accusations.


Hanoi (AsiaNews) - The Vietnamese Catholic community is in shock over the death of Dang Thi Kim Lieng, mother of Mary Ta Phong Tan (pictured), a famous dissident in jail awaiting trial who faces up to 20 years in prison. The woman set herself on fire in front of government offices in the southern province of Bac Lieu, to protest against abuses by the prison authorities who hold her daughter, depriving her of basic rights. The mother died from severe wounds inflicted by the flames sparking the reaction of many bloggers in the country, who accuse the Communist Party and government leaders of a policy of repression and of systematically violating the freedom of religion and thought, with trumped-up charges including "spreading propaganda against the state."

Without saying a word to family and friends, Dang Thi Kim Lieng went to the government offices in the province of Bac Lieu and self-immolated. Activists and lawyers who fight for human rights in Vietnam say that the woman died during her transport to the hospital in Ho Chi Minh City. However, neither police nor the official authorities have commented on the case or confirmed the event. Some relatives report that Dang recently appeared very concerned about the fate of her daughter Maria Ta Phong Tan, locked in a prison in the former Saigon, whom she has not seen since last September, the date of her arrest. The police maintain she is guilty of "subversive activities" and of having written "slander" published online, discrediting the Hanoi government and the Communist Party.

The hearing in court against Mary Tan, 44, should begin on 7 August and there is a very real possibility she will be sentenced to decades in prison. She is a former police officer well known in Vietnam, because she denounced abuses and distortions of the prison system online (see AsiaNews 17/04/2012 Vietnamese government tries three bloggers for writing about strikes and justice). Her decision to convert to Catholicism also weighs against her, after an adolescence and childhood characterized by continuous "brainwashing" in Communist ideology. However, her encounter with a lawyer and activist for human rights sparked her desire to rediscover the faith that, over time, led her to baptism.

The Vietnamese government has implemented tight control over religious activities, and Catholics are often victims of violence and abuse, both individuals and entire communities. Among the many examples are the Montagnards in the Central Highlands and the Redemptorist Fathers, in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, whose pastoral commitment is choked with systematic regularity. However, this violence did not prevent them from playing a key role in the spread of Catholicism and the teachings of the Church, especially among the poor and the abandoned (see AsiaNews 05/08/2011 Redemptorists teach Church's social doctrine in Ho Chi Minh City).


SHARED FROM ASIA NEWS IT

AUSTRALIA : PRIEST'S VOCATION INSPIRED BY MOTHER

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese REPORT
31 Jul 2012


Priests in waiting, Michael Lanzon, Ionae Epeli Qimaquima,
Phan Dinh Nguyen and Samuel Lynch
at their ordination as deacons last year
On the eve of his ordination into the priesthood by the Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell. Seminarian Sam Lynch admits it's been a long journey but one that fills him with immense joy.
"At age 42, I have finally found what I was made for," he says.
On Saturday, 4 August, Sam will be one of eight seminarians to be ordained into the priesthood by Cardinal Pell. Four including Sam trained for the priesthood at the Seminary of the Good Shepherd, Homebush while the other four to be ordained studied at the Redemptoris Mater Missionary Seminary of the Neocatechumenal Way at Chester Hill.
Those who will be ordained as priests this weekend are Samuel Lynch - to give his full name - Michael Lanzon, Ioane Epeli Qimaquima, and Phan Dinh Nguyen from the Seminary of the Good Shepherd, and Allan Casquejo, Novin Dias, Pasquale Pizzoferro and Pierluigi Passoni from the Redemportis Mater Seminary.
Established in 2003, the Chester Hill seminary is Australia's newest seminary and Saturday will mark only the second time its seminarians have completed their studies and been ordained into the priesthood. Last year was the first.
"We are grateful to all people who arrive at this point of being able to bear fruit in the form of missionary priests," says Fr Eric Skruzny, Rector of the Redemptoris Mater Missionary Seminary.

Samuel Lynch is one of eight to be ordained
into the priesthood by Cardinal Pell
on Saturday, 4 August
Numbers entering the priesthood have undergone a resurgence in the past few years. Throughout the 1980s and 90s numbers declined. But the trend has now been reversed with a sharp increase in ordinations into the priesthood.
Since 2009, 15 men have been ordained as priests by His Eminence Cardinal Pell, with this number increasing to 23 when the eight due to be ordained on Saturday are added. The figure expands to 25 with the two Ugandan-born seminarians from the Seminary of the Good Shepherd, who chose to be ordained by the Archbishop of Kampala in their homeland in July 2010, before returning to Australia as parish priests on loan to the Sydney Archdiocese.
Those entering Sydney's two seminaries to study for the priesthood have also seen a steady increase over the past four years with 60 seminarians currently in training.
"The seminary is a different experience for each person," Sam says. "I entered late in life and I have to say it was an enormous privilege to be with so many young men who are on fire with love of God and seeking to do His will in their lives. You become very close to the guys in the seminary and I am certainly closest to those who entered with me. We have become firm friends and they are like brothers to me."
The youngest of four children by 10 minutes - "I have a twin brother" - Sam grew up in a devout Sydney Catholic family.
"I would never have even considered the priesthood without the example of my mother," he insists. "Her faith in God was so strong and she passed this on through quiet example. She was always totally interested in each of her children but she never pried. She really was a saint."
Sadly his mother, who brought up her four children following the unexpected death of their father when Sam, the youngest was just six, did not live long enough to see her son ordained a priest.

Father Erick Skruzny welcomes Cardinal George Pell
for the Blessing of the new Redemptoris Mater Seminary
"She was overjoyed when I was accepted to study for the priesthood by the Seminary of the Good Shepherd at Homebush. But sadly she died in 2010. I wish she could be with me at my ordination but I will say a special prayer for her," he says.
Educated at Our Lady of Fatima Primary, Kingsgrove and Christian Brothers High School, Lewisham, Sam says the idea of the priesthood first occurred to him when he was 13 or 14 after an old boy returned to the school to say Mass.

The thought was left at the back of his mind until his time at the University of Sydney where he was studying for a Bachelor of Arts.
"In my final year I considered going into the seminary, but ultimately felt I lacked the maturity to commit my life to the vocation. I was young and restless and in those days tended not to stick at things," he says.
But this began to change after meeting people at University who were involved with Opus Dei. "They helped me a great deal in terms of growing up," he says. Later living and working at Warrane College, the residential college at the University of NSW, Sam says solid formation in his Catholic faith took him beyond his school years.

Cardinal Pell with the four Redemptoris Mater Missionary
seminarians at their ordination as Deacons last year prior
to their ordination as priests on Saturday 4 August
"That's something I think all of us need to do. People often content themselves with a faith that was developed at 12 or 13 when they received Confirmation. The 'Work' as Opus Dei describe it, helped me grow in my faith and in a very real way, I owe my vocation to the priesthood to the Work and to the founder of Opus Dei, St Josemaria Escriva because without them I would never have grown up!"
However it was still some years before his vocation became clear to Sam and he pursued a career in publishing and books. This led to a job with the Church as business manager for one of its smaller agencies. As part of his job, he was sent to World Youth Day 2005 in Cologne to help prepare for World Youth Day in Sydney three years later and it was there he attended a catechesis given by Bishop Anthony Fisher which he says changed his life.
"He preached about moral relativism and the lack of commitment in people's lives today. Immediately I felt a great interior freedom and found myself asking "what is stopping me? Why don't I respond to this call?"
He did and seven years later, Sam is preparing for his ordination.
"With less than four days to go I am certainly a bit anxious. But I am also very hopeful that life as a priest will be both immensely joy-filled and have no doubts this is where I should be," he says.
SHARED FROM ARCHDIOCESE OF SYDNEY

AFRICA : SECAM OFFERES CONDOLENCES ON DEATH OF PRESIDENT

CISA NEWS REPORT:
John-Dramani-Mahama
ACCRA, GHANA, July 27, 2012 (CISA) - The Symposium of Episcopal Conference of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) on July 25 sent a message of condolence to President John Dramani Mahama and the People of the republic of Ghana following the death of president John Evans Atta Mills.
In a letter signed by Polycarp Cardinal Pengo, the president of SECAM and archbishop of Dar- es-Salaam, Tanzania, the bishops said, “The bishops of Africa has received with great shock and sadness the death of his Excellency John Atta Mills and wish to express our sincere condolences and prayerful support to your Excellency Mr. President and the people of the republic of Ghana.”
“We take this opportunity sad as it is to also congratulate you as you assume the highest office of your country. We pray for you and your Government and hope that God will grant what it takes to serve your people faithfully,” concluded the letter dated July 25.
Former vice President, John Dramani Mahama was sworn in as president of the Republic of Ghana on Tuesday July 24, hours after the death of president John Evans Atta Mills.
“This is the saddest day in our nation’s history. Tears have engulfed our nation and we’re deeply saddened and distraught. I never imagined that one day I will address our nation in such difficult circumstances,” Mahama had said as he addressed the nation on the fateful day.

“I’m personally devastated. I’ve lost a father, I’ve lost a friend, I’ve lost a mentor and a senior comrade, “he added.

John Evans Atta Mills 68 died at a military hospital in Ghana a few hours after becoming ill.


KENYA: Journalists challenged on the use of African values
MOMBASA, July 27, 2012 (CISA) – Catholic journalists have been challenged to highlight the use of African values in the area of peace-building and conflict prevention within their journalistic work.
In his address to the just ended four-day workshop for Catholic journalists, held in Mombasa, Kenya from July 22-26 and organized by the Union of Catholic African Press (UCAP), head of the Africa Desk at the Pontifical Council of Social Communications, Vatican, Rev Fr Javier Yameogo said in the way of mediating, African cultural sensitivities should be taken into account in using Media for Conflict Prevention and Peace Building.
“As for example “bashingantahe” process in Burundi consist for a group of elders, to present parties case repeating in different words what the parties have said, in order to make them more attentive to understand that there is something positive in what the other has said which was maybe misinterpreted,” he pointed out.
We can borrow such process to African traditional wisdom. Doing so we could establish bridge between parties in conflict and open our different ethnic groups to what positive is initiated in the field by the grassroots communities, he emphasized.
The over 70 Catholic journalists, drawn from Africa and Europe, deliberated on the theme: The role of the media in peace building, conflict resolution and Good Governance.
The Catholic priest, who hails from Burkina Faso, West Africa urged the Catholic journalists to continue to support the Catholic Church in Africa and in particular in publicizing the recently published Papal document on Africae munus, which he said was more less the guideline for the pastoral programs of the Church in Africa.
“Your contribution as Catholic journalists in publicizing the document is of vital importance to the Catholic Church in Africa,” he stressed.
He also added that the Vatican will always be there to support the media work on the African continent.
“But for this to yield the intended fruits, you, as Catholic journalists, should always work within the pastoral frame work of the Catholic Church,” he emphasized.
Fr Yameogo presented a paper on: Why and When to use the media for conflict prevention and peace building.
SHARED FROM CISA NEWS

TODAY'S MASS ONLINE : TUESDAY JULY 31, 2012


Matthew 13: 36 - 43
36 Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples came to him, saying, "Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field."
37 He answered, "He who sows the good seed is the Son of man;
38 the field is the world, and the good seed means the sons of the kingdom; the weeds are the sons of the evil one,
39 and the enemy who sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the close of the age, and the reapers are angels.
40 Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the close of the age.
41 The Son of man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers,
42 and throw them into the furnace of fire; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.
43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.

TODAY'S SAINT: JULY 31: ST. IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA


St. Ignatius of Loyola
FOUNDER OF THE SOCIETY OF JESUS
Feast: July 31


Information:
Feast Day: July 31
Born:
December 24, 1491, Loyola (Azpeitia), Basque province of Guipúzcoa, Spain
Died: July 31, 1556, Rome
Canonized: March 12, 1622, Rome by Pope Gregory XV
Patron of: provinces of Vizcaya (Biscay) & Gipuzkoa, Spain, Military Ordinariate of the Philippines, Society of Jesus, soldiers.
Youngest son of Don Beltrán Yañez de Oñez y Loyola and Marina Saenz de Lieona y Balda (the name López de Recalde, though accepted by the Bollandist Father Pien, is a copyist's blunder), b. in 1491 at the castle of Loyola above Azpeitia in Guipuscoa; d. at Rome, 31 July, 1556. The family arms are: per pale, or, seven bends gules (?vert) for Oñez; argent, pot and chain sable between two grey wolves rampant, for Loyola. The saint was baptized Inigo, after St. Enecus (Innicus), Abbot of Oña: the name Ignatius was assumed in later years, while he was residing in Rome. For the saint's genealogy, see Perez (op. cit. below, 131); Michel (op. cit. below, II, 383); Polanco (Chronicon, I, 51646). For the date of birth cfr. Astráin, I, 3 S.
I. Conversion (1491-1521)
At an early age he was made a cleric. We do not know when, or why he was released from clerical obligations. He was brought up in the household of Juan Velásquez de Cuellar, contador mayor to Ferdinand and Isabella, and in his suite probably attended the court from time to time, though not in the royal service. This was perhaps the time of his greatest dissipation and laxity. He was affected and extravagant about his hair and dress, consumed with the desire of winning glory, and would seem to have been sometimes involved in those darker intrigues, for which handsome young courtiers too often think themselves licensed. How far he went on the downward course is still unproved. The balance of evidence tends to show that his own subsequent humble confessions of having been a great sinner should not be treated as pious exaggerations. But we have no details, not even definite charges. In 1517 a change for the better seems to have taken place; Velásquez died and Ignatius took service in the army. The turning-point of his life came in 1521. While the French were besieging the citadel of Pampeluna, a cannon ball, passing between Ignatius' legs, tore open the left calf. and broke the right shin (Whit-Tuesday, 20 May, 1521). With his fall the garrison lost heart and surrendered, but he was well treated by the French and carried on a litter to Loyola, where his leg had to be rebroken and reset, and afterwards a protruding end of the bone was sawn off, and the limb, having been shortened by clumsy setting, was stretched out by weights. All these pains were undergone voluntarily, without uttering a cry or submitting to be bound. But the pain and weakness which followed were so great that the patient began to fail and sink. On the eve of Sts. Peter and Paul, however, a turn for the better took place, and he threw off his fever.
So far Ignatius had shown none but the ordinary virtues of the Spanish officer. His dangers and sufferings has doubtless done much to purge his soul, but there was no idea yet of remodelling his life on any higher ideals. Then, in order to divert the weary hours of convalescence, he asked for the romances of chivalry, his favourite reading, but there were none in the castle, and instead they brought him the lives of Christ and of the saints, and he read them in the same quasi-competitive spirit with which he read the achievements of knights and warriors. "Suppose I were to rival this saint in fasting, that one in endurance, that other in pilgrimages." He would then wander off into thoughts of chivalry, and service to fair ladies, especially to one of high rank, whose name is unknown. Then all of a sudden, he became conscious that the after-effect of these dreams was to make him dry and dissatisfied, while the ideas of falling into rank among the saints braced and strengthened him, and left him full of joy and peace. Next it dawned on him that the former ideas were of the world, the latter God-sent; finally, worldly thoughts began to lose their hold, while heavenly ones grew clearer and dearer. One night as he lay awake, pondering these new lights, "he saw clearly", so says his autobiography, "the image of Our Lady with the Holy Child Jesus", at whose sight for a notable time he felt a reassuring sweetness, which eventually left him with such a loathing of his past sins, and especially for those of the flesh, that every unclean imagination seemed blotted out from his soul, and never again was there the least consent to any carnal thought. His conversion was now complete. Everyone noticed that he would speak of nothing but spiritual things, and his elder brother begged him not to take any rash or extreme resolution, which might compromise the honour of their family.
II. Spiritual Formation (1522-24)
When Ignatius left Loyola he had no definite plans for the future, except that he wished to rival all the saints had done in the way of penance. His first care was to make a general confession at the famous sanctuary of Montserrat, where, after three days of self-examination, and carefully noting his sins, he confessed, gave to the poor the rich clothes in which he had come, and put on garment of sack-cloth reaching to his feet. His sword and dagger he suspended at Our Lady's altar, and passed the night watching before them. Next morning, the feast of the Annunciation, 1522, after Communion, he left the sanctuary, not knowing whither he went. But he soon fell in with a kind woman, Iñes Pascual, who showed him a cavern near the neighbouring town of Manresa, where he might retire for prayer, austerities, and contemplation, while he lived on alms. But here, instead of obtaining greater peace, he was consumed with the most troublesome scruples. Had he confessed this sin? Had he omitted that circumstance? At one time he was violently tempted to end his miseries by suicide, on which he resolved neither to eat nor to drink (unless his life was in danger), until God granted him the peace which he desired, and so he continued until his confessor stopped him at the end of the week. At last, however, he triumphed over all obstacles, and then abounded in wonderful graces and visions. It was at this time, too, that he began to make notes of his spiritual experiences, notes which grew into the little book of "The Spiritual Exercises". God also afflicted him with severe sicknesses, when he was looked after by friends in the public hospital; for many felt drawn towards him, and he requited their many kind offices by teaching them how to pray and instructing them in spiritual matters. Having recovered health, and acquired sufficient experience to guide him in his new life, he commenced his long-meditated migration to the Holy Land. From the first he had looked forward to it as leading to a life of heroic penance; now he also regarded it as a school in which he might learn how to realize clearly and to conform himself perfectly to Christ's life. The voyage was fully as painful as he had conceived. Poverty, sickness, exposure, fatigue, starvation, dangers of shipwreck and capture, prisons, blows, contradictions, these were his daily lot; and on his arrival the Franciscans, who had charge of the holy places, commanded him to return under pain of sin. Ignatius demanded what right they had thus to interfere with a pilgrim like himself, and the friars explained that, to prevent many troubles which had occurred in finding ransoms for Christian prisoners, the pope had given them the power and they offered to show him their Bulls. Ignatius at once submitted, though it meant altering his whole plan of life, refused to look at the proferred Bulls, and was back at Barcelona about march, 1524.
III. Studies And Companions (1521-39)
Ignatius left Jerusalem in the dark as to his future and "asking himself as he went, quid agendum" (Autobiography, 50). Eventually he resolved to study, in order to be of greater help to others. To studies he therefore gave eleven years, more than a third of his remaining life. Later he studied among school-boys at Barcelona, and early in 1526 he knew enough to proceed to his philosophy at the University of Alcalá. But here he met with many troubles to be described later, and at the end of 1527 he entered the University of Salamanca, whence, his trials continuing, he betook himself to Paris (June, 1528), and there with great method repeated his course of arts, taking his M. A. on 14 March, 1535. Meanwhile theology had been begun, and he had taken the licentiate in 1534; the doctorate he never took, as his health compelled him to leave Paris in March, 1535. Though Ignatius, despite his pains, acquired no great erudition, he gained many practical advantages from his course of education. To say nothing of knowledge sufficient to find such information as he needed afterwards to hold his own in the company of the learned, and to control others more erudite than himself, he also became thoroughly versed in the science of education, and learned by experience how the life of prayer and penance might be combined with that of teaching and study, an invaluable acquirement to the future founder of the Society of Jesus. The labours of Ignatius for others involved him in trials without number. At Barcelona, he was beaten senseless, and his companion killed, at the instigation of some worldlings vexed at being refused entrance into a convent which he had reformed. At Alcalá, a meddlesome inquisitor, Figueroa, harassed him constantly, and once automatically imprisoned him for two months. This drove him to Salamanca, where, worse still, he was thrown into the common prison, fettered by the foot to his companion Calisto, which indignity only drew from Ignatius the characteristic words, "There are not so many handcuffs and chains in Salamanca, but that I desire even more for the love of God."
In Paris his trials were very varied—from poverty, plague, works of charity, and college discipline, on which account he was once sentenced to a public flogging by Dr. Govea, the rector of Collège Ste-Barbe, but on his explaining his conduct, the rector as publicly begged his pardon. There was but one delation to the inquisitors, and, on Ignatius requesting a prompt settlement, the Inquisitor Ori told him proceedings were therewith quashed. We notice a certain progression in Ignatius' dealing with accusations against him. The first time he allowed them to cease without any pronouncement being given in his favour. The second time he demurred at Figueroa wanting to end in this fashion. The third time, after sentence had been passed, he appealed to he Archbishop of Toledo against some of its clauses. Finally he does not await sentence, but goes at once to the judge to urge an inquiry, and eventually he made it his practice to demand sentence, whenever reflection was cast upon his orthodoxy. (Records of Ignatius' legal proceedings at Azpeitia, in 1515; at Alclla in 1526, 1527; at Venice, 1537; at Rome in 1538, will be found in "Scripta de S. Ignatio", pp. 580-620.) Ignatius had now for the third time gathered companions around him. His first followers in Spain had persevered for a time, even amid the severe trials of imprisonment, but instead of following Ignatius to Paris, as they had agreed to do, they gave him up. In Paris too the first to follow did not persevere long, but of the third band not one deserted him. They were (St.) Peter Faber (q.v.), a Genevan Savoyard; (St.) Francis Xavier (q.v.), of Navarre; James Laynez, Alonso Salmerón, and Nicolás Bobadilla, Spaniards; Simón Rodríguez, a Portuguese. Three others joined soon after—Claude Le Jay, a Genevan Savoyard; Jean Codure and Paschase Broët, French. Progress is to be noted in the way Ignatius trained his companions. The first were exercised in the same severe exterior mortifications, begging, fasting, going barefoot, etc., which the saint was himself practising. But though this discipline had prospered in a quiet country place like Manresa, it had attracted an objectionable amount of criticism at the University of Alcalá. At Paris dress and habits were adapted to the life in great towns; fasting, etc., was reduced; studies and spiritual exercises were multiplied, and alms funded.
The only bond between Ignatius' followers so far was devotion to himself, and his great ideal of leading in the Holy Land a life as like as possible to Christ's. On 15 August, 1534, they took the vows of poverty and chastity at Montmartre (probably near the modern Chapelle de St-Denys, Rue Antoinette), and a third vow to go to the Holy Land after two years, when their studies were finished. Six months later Ignatius was compelled by bad health to return to his native country, and on recovery made his way slowly to Bologna, where, unable through ill health to study, he devoted himself to active works of charity till his companions came from Paris to Venice (6 January, 1537) on the way to the Holy Land. Finding further progress barred by the war with the Turks, they now agreed to await for a year the opportunity of fulfilling their vow, after which they would put themselves at the pope's disposal. Faber and some others, going to Rome in Lent, got leave for all to be ordained. They were eventually made priests on St. John Baptist's day. But Ignatius took eighteen months to prepare for his first Mass.
IV. Foundation Of The Society
By the winter of 1537, the year of waiting being over, it was time to offer their services to the pope. The others being sent in pairs to neighboring university towns, Ignatius with Faber and Laynez started for Rome. At La Storta, a few miles before reaching the city, Ignatius had a noteworthy vision. He seemed to see the Eternal Father associating him with His Son, who spoke the words: Ego vobis Romae propitius ero. Many have thought this promise simply referred to the subsequent success of the order there. Ignatius' own interpretation was characteristic: "I do not know whether we shall be crucified in Rome; but Jesus will be propitious." Just before or just after this, Ignatius had suggested for the title of their brotherhood "The Company of Jesus". Company was taken in its military sense, and in those days a company was generally known by its captain's name. In the Latin Bull of foundation, however, they were called "Societas Jesu". We first hear of the term Jesuit in 1544, applied as a term of reproach by adversaries. It had been used in the fifteenth century to describe in scorn someone who cantingly interlarded his speech with repetitions of the Holy Name. In 1522 it was still regarded as a mark of scorn, but before very long the friends of the society saw that they could take it in a good sense, and, though never used by Ignatius, it was readily adopted (Pollen, "The Month", June, 1909). Paul III having received the fathers favourably, all were summoned to Rome to work under the pope's eyes. At this critical moment an active campaign of slander was opened by one Fra Matteo Mainardi (who eventually died in open heresy), and a certain Michael who had been refused admission to the order. It was not till 18 November, 1538, that Ignatius obtained from the governor of Rome an honourable sentence, still extent, in his favour. The thoughts of the fathers were naturally occupied with a formula of their intended mode of life to submit to the pope; and in March, 1539, they began to meet in the evenings to settle the matter.
Hitherto without superior, rule or tradition, they had prospered most remarkably. Why not continue as they had begun? The obvious answer was that without some sort of union, some houses for training postulants, they were practically doomed to die out with the existing members, for the pope already desired to send them about as missioners from place to place. This point was soon agreed to, but when the question arose whether they should, by adding a vow of obedience to their existing vows, form themselves into a compact religious order, or remain, as they were, a congregation of secular priests, opinions differed much and seriously. Not only had they done so well without strict rules, but (to mention only one obstacle, which was in fact not overcome afterwards without great difficulty), there was the danger, if they decided for an order, that the pope might force them to adopt some ancient rule, which would mean the end of all their new ideas. The debate on this point continued for several weeks, but the conclusion in favour of a life under obedience was eventually reached unanimously. After this, progress was faster, and by 24 June some sixteen resolutions had been decided on, covering the main points of the proposed institute. Thence Ignatius drew up in five sections the first "Formula Instituti", which was submitted to the pope, who gave a viva voce approbation 3 September, 1539, but Cardinal Guidiccioni, the head of the commission appointed to report on the "Formula", was of the view that a new order should not be admitted, and with that the chances of approbation seemed to be at an end. Ignatius and his companions, undismayed, agreed to offer up 4000 Masses to obtain the object desired, and after some time the cardinal unexpectedly changed his mind, approved the "Formula" and the Bull "Regimini militantis Ecclesiae" (27 September, 1540), which embodies and sanctions it, was issued, but the members were not to exceed sixty (this clause was abrogated after two years). In April, 1541, Ignatius was, in spite of his reluctance, elected the first general, and on 22 April he and his companions made their profession in St. Paul Outside the Walls. The society was now fully constituted.
V. The Book Of The Spiritual Exercises
This work originated in Ignatius' experiences, while he was at Loyola in 1521, and the chief meditations were probably reduced to their present shapes during his life at Manresa in 1522, at the end of which period he had begun to teach them to others. In the process of 1527 at Salamanca, they are spoken of for the first time as the "Book of Exercises". The earliest extant text is of the year 1541. At the request of St. Francis Boria. the book was examined by papal censors and a solemn approbation given by Paul III in the Brief "Pastoralis Officii" of 1548. "The Spiritual Exercises" are written very concisely, in the form of a handbook for the priest who is to explain them, and it is practically impossible to describe them without making them, just as it might be impossible to explain Nelson's "Sailing Orders" to a man who knew nothing of ships or the sea. The idea of the work is to help the exercitant to find out what the will of God is in regard to his future, and to give him energy and courage to follow that will. The exercitant (under ideal circumstances) is guided through four weeks of meditations: the first week on sin and its consequences, the second on Christ's life on earth, the third on his passion, the fourth on His risen life; and a certain number of instructions (called "rules", "additions", "notes") are added to teach him how to pray, how to avoid scruples, how to elect a vocation in life without being swayed by the love of self or of the world. In their fullness they should, according to Ignatius' idea, ordinarily be made once or twice only; but in part (from three to four days) that may be most profitably made annually, and are now commonly called "retreats", from the seclusion or retreat from the world in which the exercitant lives. More popular selections are preached to the people in church and are called "missions". The stores of spiritual wisdom contained in the "Book of Exercises" are truly astonishing, and their author is believed to have been inspired while drawing them up. (See also next section.) Sommervogel enumerates 292 writers among the Jesuits alone, who have commented on the whole book, to say nothing of commentators on parts (e.g. the meditations), who are far more numerous still. But the best testimony to the work is the frequency with which the exercises are made. In England (for which alone statistics are before the writer) the educated people who make retreats number annually about 22,000, while the number who attend popular expositions of the Exercises in "missions" is approximately 27,000, out of a total Catholic population of 2,000,000.
VI. The Constitutions Of The Society
Ignatius was commissioned in 1541 to draw them up, but he did not begin to do so until 1547, having occupied the mean space with introducing customs tentatively, which were destined in time to become laws. In 1547 Father Polaneo became his secretary, and with his intelligent aid the first draft of the constitutions was made between 1547 and 1550, and simultaneously pontifical approbation was asked for a new edition of the "Formula". Julius III conceded this by the Bull "Exposcit debitum", 21 July, 1550. At the same time a large number of the older fathers assembled to peruse the first draft of the constitutions, and though none of them made any serious objections, Ignatius' next recension (1552) shows a fair amount of changes. This revised version was then published and put into force throughout the society, a few explanations being added here and there to meet difficulties as they arose. These final touches were being added by the saint up till the time of his death, after which the first general congregation of the society ordered them to be printed, and they have never been touched since. The true way of appreciating the constitutions of the society is to study them as they are carried into practice by the Jesuits themselves, and for this, reference may be made to the articles on the SOCIETY OF JESUS. A few points, however, in which Ignatius' institute differed from the older orders may be mentioned here. They are:
1.the vow not to accept ecclesiastical dignities; 2.increased probations. The novitiate is prolonged from one year to two, with a third year, which usually falls after the priesthood. Candidates are moreover at first admitted to simple vows only, solemn vows coming much later on; 3.the Society does not keep choir; 4.it does not have a distinctive religious habit; 5.it does not accept the direction of convents; 6.it is not governed by a regular triennial chapter; 7.it is also said to have been the first order to undertake officially and by virtue of its constitutions active works such as the following:
—foreign missions, at the pope's bidding;
—the education of youth of all classes;
—the instruction of the ignorant and the poor;
—ministering to the sick, to prisoners, etc.
The above points give no conception of the originality with which Ignatius has handled all parts of his subject, even those common to all orders. It is obvious that he must have acquired some knowledge of other religious constitutions, especially during the years of inquiry (1541-1547), when he was on terms of intimacy with religious of every class. But witnesses, who attended him, tell us that he wrote without any books before him except the Missal. Though his constitutions of course embody technical terms to be found in other rules, and also a few stock phrases like "the old man's staff", and "the corpse carried to any place", the thought is entirely original, and would seem to have been God-guided throughout. By a happy accident we still possess his journal of prayers for forty days, during which he was deliberating the single point of poverty in churches. It shows that in making up his mind he was marvelously aided by heavenly lights, intelligence, and visions. If, as we may surely infer, the whole work was equally assisted by grace, its heavenly inspiration will not be doubtful. The same conclusion is probable true of "The Spiritual Exercises".
VII. Later Life And Death
The later years of Ignatius were spent in partial retirement, the correspondence inevitable in governing the Society leaving no time for those works of active ministry which in themselves he much preferred. His health too began to fail. In 1551, when he had gathered the elder fathers to revise the constitutions, he laid his resignation of the generalate in their hands, but they refused to accept it then or later, when the saint renewed his prayer. In 1554 Father Nadal was given the powers of vicar-general, but it was often necessary to send him abroad as commissary, and in the end Ignatius continued, with Polanco's aid, to direct everything. With most of his first companions he had to part soon. Rodríguez started on 5 March, 1540, for Lisbon, where he eventually founded the Portuguese province, of which he was made provincial on 10 October, 1546. St. Francis Xavier (q.v.) followed Rodríguez immediately, and became provincial of India in 1549. In September, 1541, Salmeron and Broet started for their perilous mission to Ireland, which they reached (via Scotland) next Lent. But Ireland, the prey to Henry VIII's barbarous violence, could not give the zealous missionaries a free field for the exercise of the ministries proper to their institute. All Lent they passed in Ulster, flying from persecutors, and doing in secret such good as they might. With difficulty they reached Scotland, and regained Rome, Dec., 1542. The beginnings of the Society in Germany are connected with St. Peter Faber (q.v.), Blessed Peter Canisius (q.v.), Le Jay, and Bobadilla in 1542. In 1546 Laynez and Salmeron were nominated papal theologians for the Council of Trent, where Canisius, Le Jay, and Covillon also found places. In 1553 came the picturesque, but not very successful mission of Nuñez Barretto as Patriarch of Abyssinia. For all these missions Ignatius wrote minute instructions, many of which are still extant. He encouraged and exhorted his envoys in their work by his letters, while the reports they wrote back to him form our chief source of information on the missionary triumphs achieved. Though living alone in Rome, it was he who in effect lad, directed, and animated his subjects all the world over.
The two most painful crosses of this period were probably the suits with Isabel Roser and Simón Rodríguez. The former lady had been one of Ignatius' first and most esteemed patronesses during his beginnings in Spain. She came to Rome later on and persuaded Ignatius to receive a vow of obedience to him, and she was afterwards joined by two or three other ladies. But the saint found that the demands they made on his time were more than he could possibly allow them. "They caused me more trouble", he is reported to have said, "than the whole of the Society", and he obtained from the pope a relaxation of the vow he had accepted. A suit with Roser followed, which she lost, and Ignatius forbade his sons hereafter to become ex officio directors to convents of nuns (Scripta de S. Ignatio, pp. 652-5). Painful though this must have been to a man so loyal as Ignatius, the difference with Rodríguez , one of his first companions, must have been more bitter still. Rodríguez had founded the Province of Portugal, and brought it in a short time to a high state of efficiency. But his methods were not precisely those of Ignatius, and, when new men of Ignatius' own training came under him, differences soon made themselves felt. A struggle ensued in which Rodríguez unfortunately took sides against Ignatius' envoys. The results for the newly formed province were disastrous. Well-nigh half of its members had to be expelled before peace was established; but Ignatius did not hesitate. Rodriguez having been recalled to Rome, the new provincial being empowered ti dismiss him if he refused, he demanded a formal trial, which Ignatius, foreseeing the results, endeavoured to ward off. But on Simón's insistence a full court of inquiry was granted, whose proceedings are now printed and it unanimously condemned Rodriguez to penance and banishment from the province (Scripta etc., pp. 666-707). Of all his external works, those nearest his heart, to judge by his correspondence, were the building and foundation of the Roman College (1551), and of the German College (1552). For their sake he begged, worked, and borrowed with splendid insistence until his death. The success of the first was ensured by the generosity of St. Francis Borgia, before he entered the Society. The latter was still in a struggling condition when Ignatius died, but his great ideas have proved the true and best foundation of both.
In the summer of 1556 the saint was attacked by Roman fever. His doctors did not foresee any serious consequences, but the saint did. On 30 July, 1556, he asked for the last sacraments and the papal blessing, but he was told that no immediate danger threatened. Next morning at daybreak, the infirmarian found him lying in peaceful prayer, so peaceful that he did not at once perceive that the saint was actually dying. When his condition was realized, the last blessing was given, but the end came before the holy oils could be fetched. Perhaps he had prayed that his death, like his life, might pass without any demonstration. He was beatified by Paul V on 27 July, 1609, and canonized by Gregory XV on 22 May, 1622. His body lies under the altar designed by Pozzi in the Gesù. Though he died in the sixteenth year from the foundation of the Society, that body already numbered about 1000 religious (of whom, however, only 35 were yet professed) with 100 religious houses, arranged in 10 provinces. (Sacchini, op. cit. infra., lib.1, cc, i, nn. 1-20.) It is impossible to sketch in brief Ignatius' grand and complex character: ardent yet restrained, fearless, resolute, simple, prudent, strong, and loving. The Protestant and Jansenistic conception of him as a restless, bustling pragmatist bears no correspondence at all with the peacefulness and perseverance which characterized the real man. That he was a strong disciplinarian is true. In a young and rapidly growing body that was inevitable; and the age loved strong virtues. But if he believed in discipline as an educative force, he despised any other motives for action except the love of God and man. It was by studying Ignatius as a ruler that Xavier learnt the principle, "the company of Jesus ought to be called the company of love and conformity of souls". (Ep., 12 Jan., 1519).


SOURCE: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/I/stignatiusofloyola.asp#ixzz1Ti6GLL2w


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