Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FRANCISCAN OFM, IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 17 September 2018 – The Memorial of Stigmata of St Francis of Assisi & St Robert Bellarmine SJ (1542-1621)

Thought for the Day – 17 September 2018 – The Memorial of Stigmata of St Francis of Assisi & St Robert Bellarmine SJ (1542-1621)

The glory of the Saints and of the Church never ceases to amaze me in every finer detail of the arrangement of our communal life together with them, thus confirming the presence of the Holy Spirit and the Divinity of this Mystical Body of Christ!

St Robert Bellarmine had a great devotion to St Francis of Assisi and was especially devoted to honouring Francis’ stigmata.   Bellarmine urged that there be a special feast in honour of the five stigmata of St Francis.   Bellarmine had an important position in the Vatican and he made sure that the feast was introduced in the Church, despite strong opposition.

As Providence arranged, Robert Bellarmine died on the feast of the Stigmata of St Francis, 17 September.   And in the revised liturgical calendar St Bellarmine’s feast, which used to be celebrated on 13 May, has been moved to 17 September.   In the Universal Church today is the feast of both!

St Francis of Assisi and St Robert Bellarmine, pray for us, your family here on earth and in great need of your prayers!st francis of assisi - pray for us - 17 sept 2018st-robert-bellarmine-pray-for-us-17-sept-2017

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, GOD the FATHER, MARIAN QUOTES, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on GRATITUDE, QUOTES on JOY, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on PEACE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SILENCE, QUOTES on the CHURCH, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 17 September – The Memorial of St Robert Bellarmine SJ (1542-1621) and St Hildegard von Bingen OSB (1098-1179) both Doctors of the Church

Quote/s of the Day – 17 September – The Memorial of St Robert Bellarmine SJ (1542-1621) and St Hildegard von Bingen OSB (1098-1179) both Doctors of the Church

“O Trinity,
You are music,
You are life.”o trinity you are music you are life - st hildegard von bingen - 17 sept 2018

“The school of Christ,
is the school of love.
In the last day,
when the general examination takes place…
Love will be the whole syllabus.”

“LOVE is a marvellous
and heavenly thing.
It never tires
and it never thinks
it has done enough!”love is a marvellous - st robert bellarmine - 17 sept 2018

“When we appeal to the throne of grace,
we do so through Mary,
honouring God by honouring His Mother,
imitating Him by exalting her,
touching the most responsive chord
in the Sacred Heart of Christ,
with the sweet name of Mary.”

St Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621) Doctor of the Churchwhen-we-appeal-st-robert-bellarmine-17-sept-2017 (1)

Posted in MORNING Prayers, NOVENAS

NOVENA to St Padre Pio/St Pius of Pietrelcina – DAY FOUR – 17 September

NOVENA to St Padre Pio/St Pius of Pietrelcina – DAY FOUR – 17 September

St Padre Pio you have said:

I often think that there is only one thing in this base world which can soothe the most acute pain which pierces the heart when we see ourselves far from God, the source and consolation of distressed souls.

That one thing is solitude, for here the soul enjoys sweet rest in the One who is its true peace.   I want the heavenly Father to grant you the grace of stability in all your resolutions, not least of all your resolution to grow in holiness and to be silent and reduce to silence everything around you, so that you may hear the divine voice of the Beloved and establish with Him a tranquil and everlasting dialogue.
Recollect yourself continually and may your whole life be hidden in Jesus and with Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, that is to say, in the silence of meditation and prayer.
Try to be always more docile to grace and more and more generous with Jesus, making absolutely everything around you and within you to be silent.   on’t worry, rest trustfully in the divine Mercy.
Silently adore the delicacy of the workings of divine grace.

Let us Pray:

Gracious God, You generously blessed Your servant, Padre Pio, with the gifts of the Spirit.
You marked his body with the five wounds of Christ Crucified,
as a powerful witness to the saving Passion and Death of Your Son
and as a stirring inspiration to many people of Your infinite mercy, forgiveness and love.
Through his powerful intercession, many who suffered were healed of sickness and disease.
Endowed with the gift of discernment, he could read people’s hearts.
With dignity and intense devotion, he celebrated daily Mass,
inviting countless men and women to a greater union with Jesus Christ,
in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.
Through the intercession of Saint Pio,
we confidently beseech You to to grant us the grace of
………………. (state your petition here).
Help us to imitate his example of prayerful holiness and compassion,
so that we, too, may faithfully follow the Risen Lord
and one day rejoice in the Kingdom,
where You live and reign forever and ever.
Amenday-four-novena-st-pio-17-sept

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, Papa FRANCIS, PAPAL HOMILIES, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on FAITH, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 17 September – Today’s Gospel: Luke 7:1-10

One Minute Reflection – 17 September – Today’s Gospel: Luke 7:1-10 – Monday of the Twenty-fourth week in Ordinary Time and the Memorial of St Robert Bellarmine SJ (1542-1621) and St Hildegard von Bingen OSB (1098-1179) both Doctors of the Church

“Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; therefore I did not presume to come to you. But say the word, and let my servant be healed.”…Luke7:6b-7

REFLECTION – “This man was a pagan, for the Jewish people were occupied by the Imperial Roman army at that time.   So it was as a centurion in Judaea that he was commanding his soldiers…
But our Lord, although he was in the midst of the people of Judaea, was already talking about the Church being spread all over the earth wherever His apostles were to be sent (Mt 8:11).   Indeed, the gentiles believed in Him without having see Him… Our Lord did not physically enter the centurion’s house and, even though absent in body, He was present in majesty and healed both that house and its faith.   Similarly, our Lord stood physically only amongst the people of Judaea -other peoples did not see His being born of a virgin, or suffering, or walking, or subject to the condition of human nature, or carrying out divine miracles.   None of these things were done amongst the gentiles and yet it was amongst them that what was said about Him was fulfilled:  “A people I did not know have served me.”   In what way did they serve Him?   The Psalm continues:  “As soon as they heard me, they obeyed me” (Ps 18[17]:44-45).”…St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of the Churchlord i am not worth - luke 7 6b-7 and indeed the gentiles believed - st augustine - 17 sept 2018

“When we go out to meet the Lord, we in some sense are masters of the moment. However, when we allow ourselves to be encountered by Him, He enters into us and renews us from within.   This is what it means for Christ to come, to renew all things, to renew hearts, souls, lives, hope and the journey.   We are on a journey of faith, like the faith of this centurion, to encounter the Lord and to allow ourselves to be encountered by Him.”…Pope Francis – Santa Marta, 2 December 2013lord i am not worth - luke 7 6b-7 and this is what it means pope francis - 17 sept 2018

PRAYER – Lord God and holy Father, guard our faith we pray and grace us with Your mercy.   Keep us every faithful to Your precepts and bring us to Your home, to look upon Your Face.   May the prayers of Your saints assist us on our journey.   In your untiring life of trust in God, St Hildegard von Bingen, you sought to make Him the goal of all and the love of all, please pray that we may imitate your zeal and love.   St Robert Bellarmine, as you worked tirelessly for the salvation of souls, so now pray for us all, as tirelessly, that we may achieve eternal joy.   We ask all this through Christ, our Lord with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.st hildegard von bingen pray for us 17 sept 2018st-robert-bellarmine-pray-for-us-17-sept-2017-no-2

Posted in CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, DOCTORS of the Church, IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, Our MORNING Offering, SAINT of the DAY

Our Morning Offering/s – 17 September – The Memorial of St Robert Bellarmine SJ (1542-1621) and St Hildegard von Bingen OSB (1098-1179) both Doctors of the Church

Our Morning Offering/s – 17 September – The Memorial of St Robert Bellarmine SJ (1542-1621) and St Hildegard von Bingen OSB (1098-1179) both Doctors of the Church

Holy Spirit, Giver of Life
By St Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179) Doctor of the Church

Holy Spirit,
giving of life to all life,
moving all creatures,
root of all things,
washing them clean,
wiping out their mistakes,
healing their wounds,
You are our true life,
luminous, wonderful,
awakening the heart
from its ancient sleep.
Amenholy spirit giving of life to all life - st hildegard von bingen 17 sept 2018

Act of Contrition
By St Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621) Doctor of the Church

O my God,
I am exceedingly grieved for having offended thee
and with my whole heart
I repent of the sins I have committed.
I hate and abhor them above every other evil,
not only because, by so sinning,
I have lost heaven and deserved hell
but still more, because I have offended thee,
O infinite Goodness,
who are worthy to be loved above all things.
I most firmly resolve,
by the assistance of thy grace,
never more to offend thee for the time to come
and to avoid those occasions
which might lead me into sin.
Amen

Note:  It is little known that St Robert is the Author of this, one of our most widely used prayersact of contrition written by st robert bellarmine o m god, I am exceedingly grieved - 17 sept 2018

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, PAPAL DECREE, PAPAL HOMILIES, Pope BENEDICT XVI, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 17 September – St Hildegard von Bingen OSB (1098-1179) Doctor of the Church

Saint of the Day – 17 September – St Hildegard von Bingen OSB (1098-1179) Doctor of the Church – born on 1098 at Bermersheim, Rhineland Palatinate (modern Germany) and died on 17 September 1179 at Bingen, Rhineland Palatinate (modern Germany) of natural causes.   She was Beatified on 26 August 1326 by Pope John XXII and Canonised on 10 May 2012 by Pope Benedict XVI (equipollent canonisation) and declared a Doctor of the Church by the same Pope on 7 October 2012.   St Hildegard is also known as Saint Hildegard and Sibyl of the Rhine, was a German Benedictine Abbess, Theologian, Writer, Composer, Philosopher, Poet, Mystic, Visionary, Founder, Scientist, Artist and Polymath. She is considered to be the founder of scientific natural history in Germany.    Hildegard was elected magistra by her fellow nuns in 1136; she founded the monasteries of Rupertsberg in 1150 and Eibingen in 1165.   One of her works as a composer, the Ordo Virtutum, is an early example of liturgical drama and arguably the oldest surviving morality play.   She wrote theological, botanical and medicinal texts, as well as letters, liturgical songs and poems, while supervising miniature illuminations in the Rupertsberg manuscript of her first work, Scivias.   She is also noted for the invention of a constructed language known as Lingua Ignota.st hildegard bio infoHILDEGARD VON BINGEN

APOSTOLIC LETTER
Proclaiming Saint Hildegard of Bingen,
professed nun of the Order of Saint Benedict,
a Doctor of the Universal Church
BENEDICTUS PP. XVI
FOR PERPETUAL REMEMBRANCE

1. A “light for her people and her time”:  in these words Blessed John Paul II, my Venerable Predecessor, described Saint Hildegard of Bingen in 1979, on the occasion of the eight-hundredth anniversary of the death of this German mystic.   This great woman truly stands out crystal clear against the horizon of history for her holiness of life and the originality of her teaching.   And, as with every authentic human and theological experience, her authority reaches far beyond the confines of a single epoch or society; despite the distance of time and culture, her thought has proven to be of lasting relevance.

In Saint Hildegard of Bingen there is a wonderful harmony between teaching and daily life.   In her, the search for God’s will in the imitation of Christ was expressed in the constant practice of virtue, which she exercised with supreme generosity and which she nourished from biblical, liturgical and patristic roots in the light of the Rule of Saint Benedict.   Her persevering practice of obedience, simplicity, charity and hospitality was especially visible.   In her desire to belong completely to the Lord, this Benedictine Abbess was able to bring together rare human gifts, keen intelligence and an ability to penetrate heavenly realities.514px-Engraving;_German_abbess_and_physician_Hildegard_von_Bingen_Wellcome_L0005783

2. Hildegard was born in 1098 at Bermersheim, Alzey, to parents of noble lineage who were wealthy landowners.   At the age of eight she was received as an oblate at the Benedictine Abbey of Disibodenberg, where in 1115 she made her religious profession. Upon the death of Jutta of Sponheim, around the year 1136, Hildegard was called to succeed her as magistra.   Infirm in physical health but vigorous in spirit, she committed herself totally to the renewal of religious life.   At the basis of her spirituality was the Benedictine Rule which views spiritual balance and ascetical moderation as paths to holiness.   Following the increase in vocations to the religious life, due above all to the high esteem in which Hildegard was held, around 1150 she founded a monastery on the hill of Rupertsberg, near Bingen, where she moved with twenty sisters.   In 1165, she established another monastery on the opposite bank of the Rhine.   She was the Abbess of both.

Within the walls of the cloister, she cared for the spiritual and material well-being of her sisters, fostering in a special way community life, culture and the liturgy.   In the outside world she devoted herself actively to strengthening the Christian faith and reinforcing religious practice, opposing the heretical trends of the Cathars, promoting Church reform through her writings and preaching and contributing to the improvement of the discipline and life of clerics  . At the invitation first of Hadrian IV and later of Alexander III, Hildegard practised a fruitful apostolate, something unusual for a woman at that time, making several journeys, not without hardship and difficulty, to preach even in public squares and in various cathedral churches, such as at Cologne, Trier, Liège, Mainz, Metz, Bamberg and Würzburg.   The profound spirituality of her writings had a significant influence both on the faithful and on important figures of her time and brought about an incisive renewal of theology, liturgy, natural sciences and music. Stricken by illness in the summer of 1179, Hildegard died in the odour of sanctity, surrounded by her sisters at the monastery of Rupertsberg, Bingen, on 17 September 1179.

3. In her many writings Hildegard dedicated herself exclusively to explaining divine revelation and making God known in the clarity of His love.   Hildegard’s teaching is considered eminent both for its depth, the correctness of its interpretation and the originality of its views.   The texts she produced are refreshing in their authentic “intellectual charity” and emphasise the power of penetration and comprehensiveness of her contemplation of the mystery of the Blessed Trinity, the Incarnation, the Church, humanity and nature as God’s creation, to be appreciated and respected.

These works were born from a deep mystical experience and propose a perceptive reflection on the mystery of God.   The Lord endowed her with a series of visions from childhood, whose content she dictated to the Benedictine monk Volmar, her secretary and spiritual advisor and to Richardis von Stade, one of her women religious.   But particularly illuminating are the judgements expressed by Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, who encouraged her and especially by Pope Eugene III, who in 1147 authorised her to write and to speak in public.   Theological reflection enabled Hildegard to organise and understand, at least in part, the content of her visions.   In addition to books on theology and mysticism, she also authored works on medicine and natural sciences.   Her letters are also numerous — about four hundred are extant;  these were addressed to simple people, to religious communities, popes, bishops and the civil authorities of her time.   She was also a composer of sacred music.   The corpus of her writings, for their quantity, quality and variety of interests, is unmatched by any other female author of the Middle Ages.

Her main writings are the Scivias, the Liber Vitae Meritorum and the Liber Divinorum Operum.   They relate her visions and the task she received from the Lord to transcribe them. In the author’s view her Letters were no less important, they bear witness to the attention Hildegard paid to the events of her time, which she interpreted in the light of the mystery of God.   In addition there are 58 sermons, addressed directly to her sisters. They are her Expositiones Evangeliorum, containing a literary and moral commentary on Gospel passages related to the main celebrations of the liturgical year.   Her artistic and scientific works focus mainly on music, in the Symphonia Harmoniae Caelestium Revelationum;  on medicine, in the Liber Subtilitatum Diversarum Naturarum Creaturarum and in the Causae et Curae and on natural sciences in the Physica.   Finally her linguistic writings are also noteworthy, such as the Lingua Ignota and the Litterae Ignotae, in which the words appear in an unknown language of her own invention but are composed mainly of phonemes present in German.

Hildegard’s language, characterised by an original and effective style, makes ample use of poetic expressions and is rich in symbols, dazzling intuitions, incisive comparisons and evocative metaphors.HILDEGARD ICON

4. With acute wisdom-filled and prophetic sensitivity, Hildegard focused her attention on the event of revelation.   Her investigation develops from the biblical page in which, in successive phases, it remains firmly anchored.   The range of vision of the mystic of Bingen was not limited to treating individual matters but sought to offer a global synthesis of the Christian faith.   Hence in her visions and her subsequent reflections she presents a compendium of the history of salvation from the beginning of the universe until its eschatological consummation.   God’s decision to bring about the work of creation is the first stage on this immensely long journey which, in the light of sacred Scripture, unfolds from the constitution of the heavenly hierarchy until it reaches the fall of the rebellious angels and the sin of our first parents.

This initial picture is followed by the redemptive Incarnation of the Son of God, the activity of the Church that extends in time the mystery of the Incarnation and the struggle against Satan.   The definitive Coming of the Kingdom of God and the Last Judgement crown this work.

Hildegard asks herself and us the fundamental question, whether it is possible to know God:  This is theology’s principal task.   Her answer is completely positive: through faith, as through a door, the human person is able to approach this knowledge.   God, however, always retains his veil of mystery and incomprehensibility  . He makes himself understandable in creation but, creation itself is not fully understood when detached from God.   Indeed, nature considered in itself provides only pieces of information which often become an occasion for error and abuse.   Faith, therefore, is also necessary in the natural cognitive process, for otherwise knowledge would remain limited, unsatisfactory and misleading.

Creation is an act of love by which the world can emerge from nothingness.   Hence, through the whole range of creatures, divine love flows as a river.   Of all creatures God loves man in a special way and confers upon him an extraordinary dignity, giving him that glory which the rebellious angels lost.   The human race may thus be counted as the tenth choir of the angelic hierarchy.   Indeed human beings are able to know God in Himself, that is, His one nature in the Trinity of Persons. Hildegard approached the mystery of the Blessed Trinity along the lines proposed by Saint Augustine.   By analogy with his own structure as a rational being, man is able to have an image at least of the inner life of God.   Nevertheless, it is solely in the economy of the Incarnation and human life of the Son of God that this mystery becomes accessible to human faith and knowledge.   The holy and ineffable Trinity in supreme Unity was hidden from those in the service of the ancient law.   But in the new law of grace it was revealed to all who had been freed from slavery.   The Trinity was revealed in a special way in the Cross of the Son.

A second “space” in which God becomes known is His word, contained in the Books of the Old and New Testament.   Precisely because God “speaks”, man is called to listen.   This concept affords Hildegard the opportunity to expound her doctrine on song, especially liturgical song.   The sound of the word of God creates life and is expressed in his creatures.   Thanks to the creative word, beings without rationality are also involved in the dynamism of creation.   But man of course is the creature who can answer the voice of the Creator with his own voice.   And this can happen in two ways:  in voce oris, that is, in the celebration of the liturgy, and in voce cordis, that is, through a virtuous and holy life.   The whole of human life may therefore be interpreted as harmonic and symphonic.Museum - Hildegard von Bingen

5. Hildegard’s anthropology begins from the biblical narrative of the creation of man (Gen 1:26), made in the image and likeness of God.   Man, according to Hildegard’s biblically inspired cosmology, contains all the elements of the world because the entire universe is recapitulated in him;  he is formed from the very matter of creation.   The human person can therefore consciously enter into a relationship with God.   This does not happen through a direct vision, but, in the words of Saint Paul, as “in a mirror” (1 Cor 13:12).   The divine image in man consists in his rationality, structured as intellect and will.   Thanks to his intellect, man can distinguish between good and evil;  thanks to his will, he is spurred to action.

Human beings are seen as a unity of body and soul. The German mystic shows a positive appreciation of corporeity and providential value is given even to the body’s weaknesses. The body is not a weight from which to be delivered.   Although human beings are weak and frail, this “teaches” them a sense of creatureliness and humility, protecting them from pride and arrogance.   Hildegard contemplated in a vision the souls of the blessed in paradise waiting to be rejoined to their bodies.   Our bodies, like the body of Christ, are oriented to the glorious resurrection, to the supreme transformation for eternal life.   The very vision of God, in which eternal life consists, cannot be definitively achieved without the body.

The human being exists in both the male and female form.   Hildegard recognised that a relationship of reciprocity and a substantial equality between man and woman is rooted in this ontological structure of the human condition.   Nevertheless the mystery of sin also dwells in humanity and was manifested in history for the first time precisely in the relationship between Adam and Eve.   Unlike other medieval authors who saw Eve’s weakness as the cause of the Fall, Hildegard places it above all in Adam’s immoderate passion for her.

Even in their condition as sinners, men and women continue to be the recipients of God’s love, because God’s love is unconditional and, after the Fall, acquires the face of mercy. Even the punishment that God inflicts on the man and woman brings out the merciful love of the Creator.   In this regard, the most precise description of the human creature is that of someone on a journey, homo viator.   On this pilgrimage towards the homeland, the human person is called to a struggle in order constantly to choose what is good and avoid evil.

The constant choice of good produces a virtuous life.   The Son of God made man is the subject of all virtues, therefore the imitation of Christ consists precisely in living a virtuous life in communion with Christ.   The power of virtue derives from the Holy Spirit, poured into the hearts of believers, who brings about upright beha  viour. This is the purpose of human existence.   In this way man experiences his Christ-like perfection.vonbingenhildeg

6. So as to achieve this goal, the Lord has given his Church the sacraments.   Salvation and the perfection of the human being are not achieved through the effort of the will alone but rather through the gifts of grace that God grants in the Church.

The Church herself is the first sacrament that God places in the world so that she may communicate salvation to mankind.   The Church, built up from “living souls”, may rightly be considered virgin, bride and mother and thus resembles closely the historical and mystical figure of the Mother of God.  The Church communicates salvation first of all by keeping and proclaiming the two great mysteries of the Trinity and the Incarnation, which are like the two “primary sacraments” and then through administration of the other sacraments.   The summit of the sacramental nature of the Church is the Eucharist. The sacraments produce the sanctification of believers, salvation and purification from sin, redemption and charity and all the other virtues.   However, to repeat, the Church lives because God within her has manifested his intraTrinitarian love, which was revealed in Christ.   The Lord Jesus is the mediator par excellence.   From the Trinitarian womb He comes to encounter man and from Mary’s womb He encounters God.   As the Son of God, He is love incarnate;  as the Son of Mary, He is humanity’s representative before the throne of God.

The human person can have an experience of God.   Relationship with Him, in fact, is not lived solely in the sphere of rationalit but involves the person totally.   All the external and internal senses of the human being are involved in the experience of God.   “But man was created in the image and likeness of God, so that he might act through the five bodily  senses;  he is not divided by them, rather through them he is wise, knowledgeable and intelligent in doing his work (…). For this very reason, because man is wise, knowledgeable and intelligent, he knows creation;  he knows God — whom he cannot see except by faith — through creation and his great works, even if with his five senses he barely comprehends them” (Explanatio Symboli Sancti Athanasii in PL 197, 1073).   This experiential process finds once again, its fullness in participation in the sacraments.

Hildegard also saw contradictions in the lives of individual members of the faithful and reported the most deplorable situations.   She emphasised in particular that individualism in doctrine and in practice on the part of both lay people and ordained ministers is an expression of pride and constitutes the main obstacle to the Church’s evangelising mission to non-Christians.

One of the salient points of Hildegard’s magisterium was her heartfelt exhortation to a virtuous life addressed to consecrated men and women.   Her understanding of the consecrated life is a true “theological metaphysics”, because it is firmly rooted in the theological virtue of faith, which is the source and constant impulse to full commitment in obedience, poverty and chastity.   In living out the evangelical counsels, the consecrated person shares in the experience of Christ, poor, chaste and obedient and follows in his footsteps in daily life.   This is fundamental in the consecrated life.hildegard statue

7. Hildegard’s eminent doctrine echoes the teaching of the Apostles, the Fathers and writings of her own day, while it finds a constant point of reference in the Rule of Saint Benedict.   The monastic liturgy and the interiorisation of sacred Scripture are central to her thought which, focusing on the mystery of the Incarnation, is expressed in a profound unity of style and inner content that runs through all her writings.

The teaching of the holy Benedictine nun stands as a beacon for homo viator.   Her message appears extraordinarily timely in today’s world, which is especially sensitive to the values that she proposed and lived.   For example, we think of Hildegard’s charismatic and speculative capacity, which offers a lively incentive to theological research;  her reflection on the mystery of Christ, considered in its beauty;  the dialogue of the Church and theology with culture, science and contemporary art;  the ideal of the consecrated life as a possibility for human fulfilment; her appreciation of the liturgy as a celebration of life;  her understanding of the reform of the Church, not as an empty change of structure but as conversion of heart;  her sensitivity to nature, whose laws are to be safeguarded and not violated.

For these reasons the attribution of the title of Doctor of the Universal Church to Hildegard of Bingen has great significance for today’s world and an extraordinary importance for women.   In Hildegard are expressed the most noble values of womanhood – hence the presence of women in the Church and in society is also illumined by her presence, both from the perspective of scientific research and that of pastoral activity.   Her ability to speak to those who were far from the faith and from the Church make Hildegard a credible witness of the new evangelisation.

By virtue of her reputation for holiness and her eminent teaching, on 6 March 1979 Cardinal Joseph Höffner, Archbishop of Cologne and President of the German Bishops’ Conference, together with the Cardinals, Archbishops and Bishops of the same Conference, including myself as Cardinal Archbishop of Munich and Freising, submitted to Blessed John Paul II the request that Hildegard of Bingen be declared a Doctor of the Universal Church. In that petition, the Cardinal emphasized the soundness of Hildegard’s doctrine, recognized in the twelfth century by Pope Eugene III, her holiness, widely known and celebrated by the people, and the authority of her writings. As time passed, other petitions were added to that of the German Bishops’ Conference, first and foremost the petition from the nuns of Eibingen Monastery, which bears her name. Thus, to the common wish of the People of God that Hildegard be officially canonized, was added the request that she be declared a “Doctor of the Universal Church”.

With my consent, therefore, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints diligently prepared a Positio super Canonizatione et Concessione tituli Doctoris Ecclesiae Universalis for the Mystic of Bingen.   Since this concerned a famous teacher of theology who had been the subject of many authoritative studies, I granted the dispensation from the measures prescribed by article 73 of the Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus.   The cause was therefore examined and approved by the Cardinals and Bishops, who met in Plenary Session on 20 March 2012.   The proponent (ponens) of the cause was His Eminence Cardinal Angelo Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. At the audience of 10 May 2012, Cardinal Amato informed us in detail about the status quaestionis and the unanimous vote of the Fathers at the above-mentioned Plenary Session of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.   On 27 May 2012, Pentecost Sunday, I had the joy of announcing to the crowd of pilgrims from all over the world gathered in Saint Peter’s Square the news of the conferral of the title of Doctor of the Universal Church upon Saint Hildegard of Bingen and Saint John of Avila at the beginning of the Assembly of the Synod of Bishops and on the eve of the Year of Faith.

Today, with the help of God and the approval of the whole Church, this act has taken place.   In Saint Peter’s Square, in the presence of many Cardinals and Prelates of the Roman Curia and of the Catholic Church, in confirming the acts of the process and willingly granting the desires of the petitioners, I spoke the following words in the course of the Eucharistic sacrifice:  “Fulfilling the wishes of numerous brethren in the episcopate and of many of the faithful throughout the world, after due consultation with the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, with certain knowledge and after mature deliberation, with the fullness of my apostolic authority I declare Saint John of Avila, diocesan priest and Saint Hildegard of Bingen, professed nun of the Order of Saint Benedict, to be Doctors of the Universal Church.   In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”HILDEGARD VON BINGEN-LG

I hereby decree the present Letter to be perpetually valid and fully effective, and I establish that from this moment anything to the contrary proposed by any person, of whatever authority, knowingly or unknowingly, is invalid and without force

Given in Rome, at Saint Peter’s, under the ring of the Fisherman, on 7 October 2012, in the eighth year of my Pontificate.
BENEDICTUS PP. XVI

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 17 September

St Robert Bellarmine SJ (1542-1621) Doctor of the Church (Optional Memorial)
Full details here: https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/09/17/saint-of-the-day-17-september-st-robert-bellarmine-s-j-doctor-of-the-church/

Stigmata of St Francis of Assisi
Two years before the great Saint Francis of Assisi died and when he was forty-two years old — one year after he had built the first crib in honour of Our Lord — he went off to a lonely mountain called Mount Alvernia, to prepare himself by forty days of fasting and prayer for the feast of Saint Michael, the greatest of God’s angels, whose feast day is 29 September.   On the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross on 14 September, Saint Francis received in his hands, feet and side the Sacred Wounds from Our Lord’s own body.

Never was a saint more beautifully loved by Jesus than Saint Francis of Assisi.   The wounds Jesus gave him stayed in his hands, feet and side and continually bled for two more years, until he died in 1226.   The day on which Saint Francis received the Five Wounds of Our Lord was 14 September but so, that this beautiful event might have a feast day for itself, the Stigmata of Saint Francis are commemorated today, on 17 September.   The simple liturgy of this holy saint’s life might be put this way –  the crib in 1223, and the Cross in 1224.stigmata-of-st-francis-by-pietro-lorenzettifrancis

St Agathoclia
St Brogan of Ross Tuirc
St Columba of Cordova
St Crescentio of Rome
St Emmanuel Nguyen Van Trieu
St Flocellus
St Hildegard von Bingen OSB (1098-1179)

St Justin of Rome
St Lambert of Maastricht
St Narcissus of Rome
St Peter Arbues
St Rodingus
St Satyrus of Milan
St Socrates
Bl Stanislaus of Jesus and Mary
St Stephen
St Theodora
St Uni of Bremen
St Zygmunt Sajna
St Zygmunt Szcesny Felinski

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War
• Blessed Álvaro Santos Cejudo Moreno Chocano
• Blessed Juan Ventura Solsona
• Blessed Timoteo Valero Pérez