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Pope's Canonization Homily

Pope's Canonization Homily

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Published by JONELBITUIN
Homily of His Holiness on October 11, 2009 on Canonization of the Blesseds Zygmunt Szczęsny Feliński, Francisco Coll y Guitart, Josef Daamian de Veuster, Rafael Arnáiz Barón, Marie de la Croix (Jeanne) Jugan
Homily of His Holiness on October 11, 2009 on Canonization of the Blesseds Zygmunt Szczęsny Feliński, Francisco Coll y Guitart, Josef Daamian de Veuster, Rafael Arnáiz Barón, Marie de la Croix (Jeanne) Jugan

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Published by: JONELBITUIN on Oct 14, 2009
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Dear brothers and sisters!"What must I do to inherit eternal life?" This is the question that opens the brief dialogue we heardin the Gospel, between a man, identified elsewhere as the rich young man, and Jesus (cf Mk10:17-30). We do not have very many details about this nameless character: all the same fromthe little we do have we are able to perceive his sincere desire to attain eternal life by living anhonest and virtuous existence on earth. In fact he knows the commandments and has obeyedthem since childhood. And yet all of this, while important, is not sufficient -- says Jesus -- there isone thing missing, but it is an essential thing. Seeing then that he is willing, the Divine Master looks at him with love and proposes the qualitative leap, he calls him to the heroism of sanctity,he asks him to abandon everything and follow him: "Sell what you own and give the money to thepoor...then come, follow me!" (V. 21)."Then come, follow me!" This is the Christian vocation that flows from a proposal of love by theLord, and that can be realized only thanks to our loving reply. Jesus invites his disciples to thetotal giving of their lives, without calculation or personal gain, with unfailing trust in God. Thesaints welcome this demanding invitation and set about following the crucified and risen Christwith humble docility. Their perfection, in the logic of a faith that is humanly incomprehensible attimes, consists in no longer placing themselves at the center, but choosing to go against the flowand live according to the Gospel. This is what was done by the five saints who today, with great joy, are being put forward for veneration by the universal Church: Zygmunt Szcz
ęsny Feliński,Francisco Coll y Guitart, Jozef Damiaan de Veuster, Rafael Arnáiz Barón, Marie de laCroix (Jeanne) Jugan. In them we can contemplate the realization of the words of theApostle Peter: "Look, we have left everything and followed you" (V. 28) and theconsoling reassurance of Jesus: "There is no one who has left house, brothers, sisters,mother, father, children or land for my sake and for the sake of the gospel who willnot receive a hundred times as much...and persecutions too, now in this present timeand, in the world to come, eternal life" (VV. 29-30)Zygmunt Szczęsny Feliński, Archbishop of Warsaw, founder of the Franciscan Sistersof the Family of Mary, was a great witness of faith and pastoral charity in verydifficult times for the nation and for the Church in Poland. He dealt zealously with thespiritual growth of the faithful, and in helping the poor and orphans. At the EcclesialAcademy of St Petersburg he oversaw the well-founded formation of priests. As theArchbishop of Warsaw, he encouraged everyone towards an interior renewal. Prior tothe insurrection of January 1863 against the Russian annexation, he warned thepeople against the futile shedding of blood. However, when the uprising occurred andwas put down, he courageously defended the oppressed. Under the rule of theRussian Czar he spent 20 years in exile in Jaroslavl in Siberia, without being able toever return to his diocese. In every situation he stuck steadfastly to his trust in DivineProvidence and prayed the following: "O, God, protect us not from tribulations andfrom the worries of this world... only multiply the love in our hearts so that with thedeepest humility we may maintain infinite trust in Your help and in Your mercy...". Today may his dedication to God and to men, full of trust and of love, become ashining example for all the Church.Saint Paul reminds us in the second reading that "the word of God is living andeffective" (Hb 4:12). In it, the Father who is in heaven, lovingly speaks to all hischildren of all eras (cf. Dei Verbum, 21), allowing them to know his infinite love and,in this way, encouraging them, consoling them and offering to them His plan forsalvation of humanity and of each person. Conscious of this, Saint Francis Colleagerly dedicated himself to its proclamation, faithfully accomplishing his vocation inthe Order of Preachers, in which he worked. His passion was preaching, for the mostpart in an itinerant manner and following the form of "popular missions", with the
goal of proclaiming and enlivening the Word of God for the peoples and cities of Catalonia, thus leading the people to the profound encounter with Him. An encounterthat elevates the heart to conversion, to receive with joy the divine grace and tomaintain constant dialogue with Our Lord through prayer. For this, his evangelizingactivity included great devotion to the sacrament of Reconciliation, an outstandingemphasis on the Eucharist and a constant insistence on prayer. Francis Coll reachedthe hearts of others because he transmitted what he himself lived with passion, thatwhich burned in his heart: the love of Christ, his devotion to Him. For the seed of theWord of God to encounter fertile ground, Francis founded the Congregation of theDominican Sisters of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, with the goal of providing an integral education to children and youth, so that they could discover theunfathomable wealth that is Christ, this loyal friend who will never abandon us nortire of being by our side, animating our hope with his Word of life. Jozef De Veuster, who in the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Maryreceived the name of Damiaan, when he was twenty-three years old, in 1863, left hishome in Flanders to proclaim the Gospel on the other side of the world, the HawaiianIslands. His missionary activity, which gave him so much joy, reaches its summit incharity. Not without fear and repugnance, he chose to go to the Island of Molokai toserve the lepers who were there, abandoned by all; thus he exposed himself to thedisease they suffered from. He felt at home with them. The Servant of the Word thusbecame a suffering servant, a leper with lepers, during the last four years of his life. To follow Christ, Father Damiaan did not only leave his native country, but he alsorisked his health: therefore he received eternal life, as the Word of Jesus that wasproclaimed in the Gospel today says (cfr. Mk 10:30).On the 20th anniversary of the canonization of another Belgian saint, Brother Mutien-Marie, the Church in Belgium has gathered once again to give thanks to God for oneof its sons recognized as an authentic servant of God. We recall, faced with this noblefigure, that charity makes unity: it gives birth to it and makes it desirable. Infollowing Saint Paul, Saint Damien leads us to choose the good battle (cf. 1 Tim 1:18),not those that lead to division, but those that gather together. He invites us to openour eyes to the lepers that disfigure the humanity of our brothers and today still calls,more than for our generosity, for the charity of our serving presence. Turning to today’s Gospel, to the youthful figure who presents his desires to Jesus,wanting to be something more than a reliably obedient to the duties imposed by thelaw, he is in contrast with Brother Rafael, canonized today, who died at the age of twenty seven as an Oblate of the Trappists of Saint Isidore de Duenas. He too wasfrom a well-to-do family, as he said himself, with a "slightly dreamy spirit", whosedreams however, did not vanish in front of the attachment to material possessionsand other goals that worldliness insists on at times. He said yes to the proposal tofollow Jesus, in an immediate and decisive way, without limits or conditions. Thus heset out on his path, which from the moment in the monastery when he realized thathe "did not know how to pray ", led him in just a few years to the summit of spirituallife, where he describes with great simplicity and naturalness in many writings.Brother Rafael, still close to us, continues to offer, through his example and hisworks, a fascinating journey, especially for young persons who are not satisfiedeasily, but who aspire to the full truth, the most inexpressible joy, reached for thelove of God. "Life is love... This is the only reason to live," said the new Saint. And heinsists: "From the love of God come all things." May the Lord receive one of the lastprayers by Saint Rafael Arnáiz, while he gave his entire life up to Him, pleading:"Take me and give Yourself to the world." May he be given to reinvigorate the interiorlife of Christians today. May he be given so that his Brothers in the Trappists and the

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