St. Francis Caracciolo, Confessor
The good things brought into this world by the Holy Spirit continue to be revealed in the liturgy. Francis Caracciolo is given to us this day as another type of the sublime fecundity produced on earth by Christianity. Faith is the principle of this supernatural fecundity in the saints, just as it was in Abraham, the father of all believers; it brings forth unto the Church isolated members or entire nations alike; from it proceed the multitudinous families of religious Orders, who, in their fidelity in following the divers paths traced out for them by their founders, are the chief portion of the royal and varied adornment of the bride at the right hand of her divine Spouse. This is the thought expressed by the Sovereign Pontiff, Pius VII, on the day of the canonization of our saint, wishing, as he said, to right the judgement of such as may, perhaps, have appreciated the religious life at a low rate, according to the vain deceits of a worldly point of view, and not according to the just measure of the knowledge of Jesus Christ.
That century of universal ruin, in which the voice of Christ’s Vicar was raised addressing the whole world on this solemn occasion, resembled, but in still darker hue, the calamitous age of the pretended Reform, in which Francis, like so many others, had proved by his works and by his life the indefectibility of the Church’s holiness. Let us listen once more to the words of the same Pontiff: The bride of Christ, the Church, has now become accustomed to pursue her pilgrim career amidst persecutions from men and consolations from God. Through the saints raised up, in all ages, by his almighty hand, God fulfils his promise; making her a city seated on a mountain, a beacon, the clear light of which must needs reach the eyes of all who do not, through prejudice, voluntarily shut their eyes. While her enemies band together, vainly plotting her destruction, saying: “When will she die, when will her name perish?” crowned with ever increasing splendour by the new warriors she sends as victors to heaven, the Church remains ever glorious, ever declaring to all coming generations the might of the Lord’s strong arm. Continue reading