Saint Bonaventure

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Saint Bonaventure

Cardinal-Bishop, Doctor of the Church
(† 1274)

Born in Tuscany in 1225, this frail child was given the name of John at his baptism. He soon fell so ill that his cure was despaired of, and his sorrowing mother had recourse to Saint Francis, recognized everywhere in Italy as a Saint. She promised God she would endeavor to have the child take the habit of the Franciscan Order, if he were cured. Her prayer was granted, the child was cured, and Saint Francis himself gave him his new name. In reference to the miraculous cure, he prophetically exclaimed of the infant, O buona ventura!— O good fortune! Saint Francis died a few months later, not without foreseeing the future of this little one, destined to be a seraph of love like himself. Saint Bonaventure is titled the Seraphic Doctor, from the fervor of divine love which breathes in his writings.

Sanctity and learning raised Bonaventure to the Church’s highest honors, yet at heart he was ever the poor Franciscan friar, who practiced and taught humility and mortification. He was the friend of Saint Thomas Aquinas; they received the Doctor’s cap together in Paris. Saint Thomas asked him one day from what source he drew his great learning; he replied by pointing to his crucifix. Another time Saint Thomas found him in ecstasy while writing the life of Saint Francis. The Angelic Doctor said, while retiring quietly, Let us leave a Saint in peace, to write of a Saint!

At the age of thirty-six Saint Bonaventure was made General of his Order. In 1265 he only escaped another dignity, the Archbishopric of York, by dint of tears and entreaties to the Holy Father Clement IV. When he learned of Pope Gregory X’s resolve to create him a Cardinal, he quietly made his escape from Italy, and in France began to compose a book. But Gregory sent him a summons to return to Rome. On his way, he stopped to rest at a convent of his Order near Florence; and there two Papal messengers, sent to meet him with the Cardinal’s hat, found him washing the dishes. The Saint asked them to hang the hat on a nearby bush, and take a walk in the garden until he had finished what he had begun. Then taking up the hat with unfeigned sorrow, he joined the messengers, and paid them the respect due to their character.

He was the guest and adviser of Saint Louis, and the director of Saint Isabella, the king’s sister. He sat at the right hand of Pope Gregory X and presided all sessions at the Council of Lyons, assembled to provide for the reform of morals and the needs of the Holy Land, and to cement the union of the Greeks with the Roman Church. The piety and eloquence of Saint Bonaventure won over the Greeks to Catholic union, but his strength failed suddenly, the day after its closure. He died on the 15th of July, 1274, and was buried by the assembly of the Council members, still in Lyons; he was mourned by the entire Christian world.

Reflection: Saint Bonaventure prescribed humility to his brothers in these terms: Let Ministers always receive the religious with gentleness and charity, so that each one can approach them and express his sentiments… The Ministers must be the servants of all the Brothers. This is the mandate of Christ: Let the one who would be first among you be your slave.

Les Petits Bollandistes: Vies des Saints, by Msgr. Paul Guérin (Bloud et Barral: Paris, 1882), Vol. 8; Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the Saints, and other sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894).

QUO PRIMUM

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QUO PRIMUM
Apostolic Constitution

Pope St. Pius V

From the very first, upon Our elevation to the chief Apostleship, We gladly turned our mind and energies and directed all out thoughts to those matters which concerned the preservation of a pure liturgy, and We strove with God’s help, by every means in our power, to accomplish this purpose. For, besides other decrees of the sacred Council of Trent, there were stipulations for Us to revise and re-edit the sacred books: the Catechism, the Missal and the Breviary. With the Catechism published for the instruction of the faithful, by God’s help, and the Breviary thoroughly revised for the worthy praise of God, in order that the Missal and Breviary may be in perfect harmony, as fitting and proper—for its most becoming that there be in the Church only one appropriate manner of reciting the Psalms and only one rite for the celebration of Mass—We deemed it necessary to give our immediate attention to what still remained to be done, viz, the re-editing of the Missal as soon as possible.

Hence, We decided to entrust this work to learned men of our selection. They very carefully collated all their work with the ancient codices in Our Vatican Library and with reliable, preserved or emended codices from elsewhere. Besides this, these men consulted the works of ancient and approved authors concerning the same sacred rites; and thus they have restored the Missal itself to the original form and rite of the holy Fathers. When this work has been gone over numerous times and further emended, after serious study and reflection, We commanded that the finished product be printed and published as soon as possible, so that all might enjoy the fruits of this labor; and thus, priests would know which prayers to use and which rites and ceremonies they were required to observe from now on in the celebration of Masses. Continue reading

Instruction on the Fifth Sunday After Pentecost

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Instruction on the Fifth Sunday After Pentecost

The Church’s Year
Rev. Fr. Leonard Goffine’s

INSTRUCTION ON THE FIFTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST

At the Introit implore God’s assistance and say, with the priest:

INTROIT Hear, O Lord, my voice with which I have cried to thee: be thou my helper, forsake me not, nor do Thou despise me, O god, my Savior. (Ps. XXVI.) The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? Glory be to the Father, etc.

COLLECT O God, who host prepared invisible good things for those that love Thee: pour into our hearts such a sense of Thy love, that we, loving Thee in all, and above all, may obtain Thy promises, which exceed all out desire: Through etc.

EPISTLE (I Peter III. 8-15.) Dearly beloved, Be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, being lovers of the brotherhood, merciful, modest, humble: not rendering evil for evil, nor railing for railing, but contrariwise, blessing: for unto this you are called; that you may inherit a blessing. For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile. Let him decline from evil, and do good: let him seek?after peace, and, pursue it: because the eyes of the Lord are upon the just, and his ears unto their. prayers: but the countenance of the Lord upon them that do evil, things. And, who is he that can, hurt you, if you: be zealous of good? But if also you suffer any thing for, justice’ sake, blessed are ye. And be not afraid of their fear, and be not troubled: but sanctify the Lord Christ, in your hearts.

How can and how should we sanctify the Lord in our hearts?

By practicing those virtues which Peter here recommends, and which he so exactly describes; for thereby we become true disciples of Christ, honor Him and edify others, who by our good example are led to admire Christianity, and to become His followers. Moreover, we thus render ourselves more worthy of God’s grace and protection, so that if for justice’ sake we are persecuted by, wicked men, we need not fear, because God is for us and will reward us with eternal happiness. Continue reading