Friday, October 23, 2015

The Family continues to increase
In April, we were talking about a large number of new children entering our “Lar” after the initial “wave” of children the odd one still kept coming. The last one just came on May 31st, which was the Feast the Most Holy Trinity, and he is the third brother of two boys who had arrived the month before and who live in Lar. The next day, June 1st, we celebrated the International Day of Children, there are now three groups of three brothers who live here.
Fedinho y Samito
Some minutes after his arrival
When it seemed things had stabilized in terms of the number of children, a new child arrived unannounced on September 30. The helpless situation in which he was found led police to bring him to our center, no more documents that a letter explaining briefly the reasons for his admission   and with nothing but a bag of cookies and the clothes he wore, probably given, partly, if not all,  by the same  family services of the  Police. We welcome and hope he feels at home, while waiting for clarification of his family situation and see if there is a better option.
On Sunday, September 27th, we celebrated our patron, the Virgin Mary with the title of Mother of Orphans, we got a surprise: The dairy cow has given birth after months and months of waiting and hearing that she was pregnant or as they say here, “cheia” (full), and we had begun to doubt that she was full.
It is not the “son of the Moon” as the song of the now extinct Spanish band Mecano, but a son of “Cometa” (LUA- Moon in Portuguese) was the name given to the other dairy cow.
The cow
The cow “Cometa” with it´s calf “Treviso”
The name of the calf is Treviso, a name of an Italian city where our patron, St. Jerome Emiliani on the same day, (the 27th) but 504 years before, left a sign of his gratitude before an image of the Virgin for having escaped from castle where he was imprisoned.
That same Sunday, coinciding with our patron, there was also a great celebration in the parish, as 16 children received Baptism, together with another one, who made his First Communion. Congratulations to all and to those who prepared them. Thanks also to all those who helped make it was such a festive, participatory and organized ceremony.
The Sunday before, the celebrations were no less, as we celebrated  St. Peter Claver,
Solemn Mass of St. Peter Claver
Solemn Mass of St. Peter Claver
patron of the  parish, a Spanish Jesuit who in 1610, while still a novice, went Colombia where he wanted to be “always the servant of the black people” (aethiopum semper servus). We had a visit from the new pastor, who had recently taken possession of this parish and another, where he lives. We had solemn Mass celebration, food, and performances, including dance, in which the new pastor participated with art.
It would seem that celebrations also stimulate the cattle, for the night of October 4 saw the birth, by Moon light, of Paz (peace), the new calf of  “Deolinda”.
Mother and daughter
Mother and daughter
The name was chosen to commemorate the Peace Treaties signed in Rome that same day in 1992, which led to the end of the civil war in Mozambique. A date that is still celebrated throughout the whole country.
Football training with coach
Another new feature of recent months is the “football school” which, although without official recognition, is being carried out in our Center, for both boys of Lar as well as youth from around the area, helped by some of the older kids in the Lar. All are welcome to participate The training sessions are  all loaded with a good amount of physical exercise: jumping, running, sit-ups … that ends with what everyone likes the “big jogo”(big game) football match, with several rounds, as the number of students cannot be accommodated  in just  two teams.
Apoyo escolar de portugués
Tutoring the Portuguese language
Along with the work of sport, there is also an increase in individual work. Seeing the approaching end of the course, and the need to prepare well for the end of cycle exams, a new group has created for all those who, in addition to personal study and educational support during the day, want “something more”. Envisaged mainly for strengthening the core subjects: mathematics, Portuguese … are offered. It is a great success, and done at a time when they were normally resting or glued to the television. Also Congratulations to our new university student, Waite and our seminarian Abel. Win in the fight against the power of the television is not easy, but you are getting there day by day.
Waite and Abel tutoring a class
Waite and Abel tutoring a class

Monday, October 5, 2015

Somascan missions in Nigeria

For five centuries the Somascan Fathers and Brothers have carried out throughout the world Saint Jerome Emiliani’s legacy, “work, devotion, and charity are the Foundation of our activity”.

The Somascan Fathers or “The Company of the Servants of the Poor" was founded in 1534 when Jerome Emiliani called together his collaborators and companions for a general assembly. This handful of laymen and priests adopted an organized structure for the movement of religious and social reform started by Jerome in 1529 in Venice. Their goal was to dedicate themselves to the care, assistance, promotion of poor, orphans, abandoned youth.

The Somascan Fathers and Brothers continue St. Jerome's mission by: living in communities pursuing holiness by prayer and ministry to the poor living in humility and kindness loving poverty and work praying to the Crucified Jesus and Mary Mother of the Orphans being either priests or brothers. Performing different ministries in the Church, such as: care of orphans, disadvantaged and poor treatment of at-risk-youth rehabilitation of drug addicts education pastoral care and spiritual guidance pastoral care of minorities foreign missions youth formation. Working in: group homes treatment and rehabilitation centers retreat houses schools youth centers parishes.

1. Giovanni Ferro Children Village: It is a village for children where our fathers, with local families and volunteers welcome street children who are abandoned and who have nothing. We are building a vocational school, where children can learn a job.
2. Parish with an Elementary School (grade 1 to 6th)
3. Center of Promotion of the Women (young girls are at risk for human traffic to Europe, the prostitution mafia is very active in that south region); we offer a place, support, and job opportunities, teaching trades, skills (bakery, tailoring, along with some basic accounting)
4. Education, formation of young seminarians to become a priest. We have a house of formation where young men can discern their own vocation to the priesthood and religious life.


Friday, September 25, 2015

The Evangelical Counsels Hidden in the Our Father

The Evangelical Counsels Hidden in the Our Father

Freedom is the ability to live out the words of Christ in His prayer commonly known as “The Our Father”. It is in the Our Father that our earthly passage to complete eternal freedom is outlined.  I honestly believe that the only way to be completely free is the purposeful embracing of the evangelical counsels hidden within Christ’ prayer. The evangelical counsels are: 1. Poverty 2. Chastity 3. Obedience (obedience means “to listen”).

“Our Father who is in heaven, hallowed be thy name.” (I love God and He is my all.) “Thy kingdom come thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”. (In heaven there is no marriage as we know it on earth. In heaven we are like the angels Matt. 22:30 this is the evangelical council: Chastity.) “Give us this day our daily bread” (evangelical counsel: “Poverty” that is acknowledging that I am fed by the hand of God daily. My air, my water, my rest, all are gifts from the Father enough for this moment, enough for today. Also, the Eucharist, the bread of life, is the resurrected food which sustains and nourishes the resurrected life, the eternal life, within us John 6:53.)  “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us”. (This speaks of the evangelical council: “obedience”. In “obedience” I “listen” to Christ within myself and Christ within all, even those who persecute me, I listen for any semblance and/or resemblance to the spark of life within all known as Christ. It is in listening that I preserve the source of this life with great care, carefully guarding the harmonious unity first known in the beginning of all creation as the “Holy Trinity”. ‘I (Christ) was formed long ages ago, at the very beginning, when the world came to be’ (Proverbs 8:23). And, ‘In the beginning was the Word (Jesus), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God’ John 1:1). And “lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil” (i.e. ‘the love of money is the root of all evil’ 1 Tim 6:10 is further encouragement for embracing the evangelical counsel “poverty”. I trust God not goods. I want to be completely free.)

I heard that a Saint said in regard to various prayers and formulas, “After the Our Father everything else is a play on words.” 

Monday, July 13, 2015

The Evangelization of Those Discerning Their Vocation

According to recent CARA* reports regarding vocation (and basically even common sense) it was discovered that people become religious brothers, sisters, or priests because they meet those who are already brothers, sisters, priests. Several decades ago there were more religious and priests who evangelized in large part by their presence. Discerners had a greater opportunity to see religious brothers and sisters and priests in action preaching by the very example of their lives. However in this recent revival of interest (in light of the fact that many have not been raised with regular interaction with religious and priests) there is a need to evangelize candidates as they discern by the vocation directors and other community members and priests. 
Some candidates believe that they have arrived to all there is as far as being where they need to be spiritually, they are unaware that we continue to transform (or continually convert) because God is inexhaustible eternal love. The vow of "conversatio morum" comes to mind, which is the vow of "continual conversion" meaning we actively strive to turn away from the temporal as we learn to invest our minds, our hearts, and our actions to that which is of eternal value. As we shed our various temporal attachments we become ever-more immersed in the "Fruit of the Spirit" i.e. kindness, gentleness patience, self-control. (Gal. 5:22-23).
 Important point: Candidates do not always realize that it is in “formation” that they will experience the instruction for continual conversion through the charism of the founding fathers and mothers (and/or ministerial priesthood). Candidates need to know they do not have to immediately feel the fullness of their new identity as a religious brother or sister or priest upon application and acceptance. The formation process is part of the individual’s conversion process. The founding fathers and mothers recognized, experienced, and articulated these specific paths, these precise charisms, as trusted and true. The living waters of instruction (formation) on navigating the specific graces of the various characteristics that make up each charism will ultimately allow those being formed to minister effectively from the well-spring of their spiritual growth. The candidates growing knowledge and experience of the workings of their order’s charism (and/or ministerial priesthood) will keep themselves and those to whom they minister safely in the stream of “abundant life” (John 10:10).

Part 1
I write today to make clear the reality that vocation directors need to clearly explain to discerners  how their own vocation aids them in “working out their own salvation” (Phil 2:12) so that the candidate can follow and trust this way of more deeply living out the gospel. Discerners need to know that as they grow in the love of Christ (through the charism of religious life or the priesthood) they will aid others whom they will ultimately serve with their salvation.  In this sense vocation directors are further evangelizing the candidate through their testimony, that is to say, a detailed explanation as to how they are more perfectly living out the gospel. Vocation inspiration will flourish as promised as a result of the vocation directors clearly articulated testimony, “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death” (Rev. 12:11). Candidates will then have a greater confidence in embracing this way as their very own.
All true vocation assistance evangelizes, that is to say, it leads us to an ever-expanding eternal freedom. Freedom from what? Freedom from the temporal realm. What is the “temporal realm”? The temporal realm is made up of all particles of fear of loss great and small and of every false notion regarding the purpose of consumption and ownership. In actually like the “birds and the flowers” we are held in God’s hand and though we are gifted with participation in material harvests the only purpose of these harvests are the good of mankind at large. I have heard that sometimes the thing people fear most is freedom. What is freedom? Freedom is the ability to live out the words of Christ in His prayer commonly known as “The Our Father”. It is in the Our Father that our earthly passage to complete eternal freedom is outlined.  I honestly believe that the only way to be completely free is the purposeful embracing of the evangelical counsels. 1. Poverty 2. Chastity 3. Obedience (obedience means “to listen”).
“Our Father who is in heaven, hallowed be thy name.” I love God and He is my all. “Thy kingdom come thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”. In heaven there is no marriage. In heaven we are like the angels Matt. 22:30 (this is the evangelical council: Chastity). “Give us this day our daily bread” (evangelical counsel: “Poverty”) that is acknowledging that I am fed by the hand of God daily. My air, my water, my rest, all are gifts from the Father enough for this moment, enough for today.  “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us”. (This speaks of the evangelical council: “obedience”.) In “obedience” I “listen” to Christ within myself and Christ within all, even those who persecute me, I listen for any semblance and/or resemblance to the spark of life within all known as Christ. It is in listening that I preserve the source of this life with great care, carefully guarding the harmonious unity first known in the beginning of all creation as the “Holy Trinity”. “I (Christ) was formed long ages ago, at the very beginning, when the world came to be” (Proverbs 8:23). And, “In the beginning was the Word (Jesus), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). And “lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil” i.e. “the love of money is the root of all evil” (more on the evangelical counsel “poverty”). I trust God not goods. I want to be completely free. (I heard that a Saint said in regard to various prayers and formulas, “After the Our Father everything else is a play on words.”
In vocation discernment we answer the question, “How free do you want to be?” St. Paul explains, “An unmarried person is concerned about the Lord's affairs: their aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. A married person is concerned about the affairs of this world--how they can please their spouse. I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord” (1 Cor. 7:33-35). However, if you cannot live a celibate life because of your “passions are too strong” then it is “not a sin to marry” (1 Cor. 7:36). The question now becomes, “If I can control my passions, if I can live a fruitful celibate life in order to grow in perfection, what am I waiting for?”
Important note regarding those candidates who apply. Naturally, there has to be reciprocity (acceptance) from a community or diocese validating that they are relatively sure that the candidate has the grace for the vocation. In all vocations “reciprocity” is the ultimate validating factor. "Every matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses” (2 Cor 13:1). (If overtime there is no reciprocity from vocation directors potential candidates should consider other vocation options that hold more promise according to their reality.)

Part 2
A key point that discerners need to be made aware of is that the vast majority of active discerners are seeking community life be it in a religious community or within the comradery and support of their fellow diocesan priests under the leadership of the bishop or archbishop.
1.       We can do many things alone except live in community. Even God lives in a community called the Holy Trinity. Jesus said, When you see me you see the Father". We need others to see Christ in and who may also experience Christ in us. We truly need this exercise of freedom from self-absorption, the self-absorption that comes from spending too much time alone. We need others whom we can love as our very selves. St. Benedict was not at all keen on the hermit life, the singular life. He might allow a monk to live a singular life only after having lived in community for several decades but even then it was only allowed on a temporary basis. So living alone without someone to exercise oneness, to experience the constant mirroring and echoing of Christ one in the other, can be unfruitful for many. There may those called to single-in-the-world permanently but the vast majority of discerners are already living single in the world. They experience a type of spiritual loneliness that causes them to keep searching for the amplification of heaven on earth amidst community though many cannot articulate this yearning for peers at first. (My use of the word “peers” does not mean those of one’s own age. I am talking about persons in the sense of other athletes in the spiritual life who have invested their time in training in order to “run the race to win” 1 Cor. 9:24.) Just as those who have never been baptized might not be able to articulate their need for the freedom that commitment to Christ offers so also discerners cannot always fully understand the wellspring that awaits them in their vocation as they thirst for more of Christ. (I am saying it is up to vocation directors and others who are spiritually experienced in the things of eternal value to evangelize them regarding these truths.) Why do they thirst still? How can discerners drink more deeply from the wellsprings of eternal life that Christ extends? Answer: By understanding the fulfillment realized in community because ultimately all of heaven is communal and Jesus asked that we bring heaven here “thy kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven”.
2.       Make no mistake marriage in itself is fulltime ministry. A woman commits to the fulltime ministry of wife and mother at the altar of Holy Matrimony likewise, a husband commits to fulltime ministry of husband and father (1 Cor. 7:4). St. Paul says, and I believe with great seriousness and literally, that a woman who marries needs to be concerned with pleasing her husband and she deserves the commitment of the husband to be concerned with pleasing her, that is to say to minister unceasingly as one tends to his or her own body (1 Cor. 7:33). The spouse rightfully deserves this holy dedication and in this love of wife, live of husband, as one’s own self they live out for all to see the unity of the Holy Trinity. Holy Matrimony is a community, a domestic church, but it is temporal. Jesus said, “Do not be in error. There is no marriage in heaven” (Matt 22:30). In heaven we know our loved ones, those who were closest to us, but our love is not greater of lesser than other persons in the eternal kingdom of heaven. In marriage we practice with great persistence the exercising of corporal mercy. However, the purpose of Holy Matrimony, as with all vocations, is to “love one’s neighbor as oneself”. In this sense the agape love, that is to say, the “eternal love of God” whereby all our the bride of Christ and true friends with each other should be expanding out to mankind as a result of the graces received in holy matrimony. There is no such thing as building a small world of our own that is exclusive in terms of love and charity whereby others are left unaided by the agape love exercise between the couple now made one. In this sense, “those who have wives should live as if they do not” (1 Cor. 7:29). In other words, love all as oneself, it is the true purpose of the strength and loving support gained in the marriage to do so. Our spouse aids in our vocation of moving deeper in the eternal realm of our Savior Jesus Christ but our spouse in themselves are not our saviors. At some future point we will be united to Christ as His spouse (and the Church collectively as His Bride).
3.       Once a single person (who has yet to marry) has a vast experience of loving God in creation, loving God in neighbor to degree that they experience others as true mothers, fathers, husbands . . .  as in, “if you give up mother, father, husband . . . I will give you back 100s” they may find that little by little they lose their desire for the smaller domestic church that holy matrimony is. I am speaking now to those who already experience the reality of everyone being a sister, brother, for real as in “who is my mother, my brother, all who do the will of the father.” When we close the door to a romantic element in our lives the door to a unity of hearts with all human beings swings open wide (an experience so real it can be quite surprising as we realize we are completely united having now experienced a type of spiritual DNA with all persons as fellow children of God). It can be difficult for many to shrink the experience of unity with all persons into what can come to feel like a small container of an exclusive relationship such as Holy Matrimony. Yet if we do decide to marry know for sure we do not sin as St. Paul says. Just know that the agape love amidst the couple and children should expand to all over time in a Spirit of great hospitality not exclusivity. And it is for this reason that if a person feels trapped or less free to serve God in any way as a result of their movement toward marriage they should pause and rethink their direction. One’s true vocation gives them the support and love to love others not to be alienated from the reality that all are our brothers and sisters.
4.       But most of those who are called to marriage are not contemplating religious life or the priesthood. Religious life and/or priesthood has never appeared on their spiritual radar. Those called to marriage know who they are and many would never, nor have they ever, seriously considered religious life or the priesthood, though they might have toyed with the idea as a fictitious notion of sorts. Those who have been given the special grace of contemplating (of considering, of discerning) a religious vocation or the priesthood should not underestimate the “pearl of great value” that they have received. Buy the whole field, that is to say, don’t hinge on the parts you don’t fully understand or which might not be perceived as totally comfortable. In a field there are rocks, brambles, and the like. Want the pearl? Buy the field.
5.       Remaining single in the world permanently is an option but it requires an ongoing ministerial commitment (a “plow to but one’s hand to” Luke 9:62). If you decide to stay single, stay busy for our Lord. Being single in the world is not being a perpetual bachelor or bachelorette who does some good deeds on occasion. It is a lifelong commitment to this path of grace and therefore our hearts are freely and willingly closed to all other vocation options as we move forward.
6.       It is only by eating resurrected food, i.e. Jesus in the Eucharist, that we are able to live the resurrected life now. “Oh death where is thy sting”. Death has shrunken to complete insignificance for those willing to be completely free. Did you notice when Jesus was resurrected He made no mention of the suffering He endured. Jesus even seemed to be making light of His wounds when He invited Thomas to put his hand in His side. Jesus’ demeanor shows no sense of shuttering concerning the temporal aspects of His earthly horrific sufferings. Through Jesus’ death and resurrection we have complete freedom from death. I remember the joke made by St. Lawrence during his martyrdom who, when being grilled alive, humorously said, “It is time to turn me over. I am done on this side”. St. Lawrence responded with casual insignificance and light-hearted candor at the barbaric taking of his life (so little was his joy in Christ affected).
7.       Freedom is awesome. Don’t be afraid to be free. Run with the herd (the team) of other spiritual Olympians living in community or serving for the diocese as a priest, or marry if you wish. But know that for most we cannot truly realize our spiritual athleticism alone. It is in seeing the pace of the other runners, by experiencing their support (two are better than one. If either of them fall the other is there to help them up” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10. In community (be it religious life, priesthood, or holy matrimony) we are more fully aware and more fully challenged, more fully supported, to truly “run the race to win” (1 Cor. 9:24).

* Center for Applied Research of the Apostolate (from the first paragraph page 1)

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Señor, Dios Mio
No tengo idea hacia dónde voy.
No veo el camino que aún queda por delante.
No puedo saber con certeza dónde termina.
Ni siquiera me conozco a mí mismo
y el hecho de que creo cumplir tu voluntad
no significa que lo haga realmente.

Pero  creo que mi deseo de agradarte,
sí te complace de verdad.
Y espero tener ese deseo en todo lo que haga.

Thomas Merton

Thursday, July 9, 2015

To the Most Rev. Brendan Cahill, Bishop-elect of Victoria, Texas.
The Order of the Regular Clergy from Somasca, according to its old tradition, spiritually associates those people who are close to it, to its life and mission. Therefore, I associate you and join you in spiritualibus to our Order, as I pray God to make your to share in all of our spiritual treasures.
Father Franco Moscone, Superior General.
Rome, Italy, June 07, 2015

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Suggestions for an Interior Life and Spiritual Progress (Monita,#355)

Suggestions for an Interior Life and Spiritual Progress (Monita,#355)

The Glory of God, Our Salvation and Our Brothers’
355. In everything we think, say, or do, either in private or in public, even in the smallest things, we are always to take sight of the glory of God and the spiritual usefulness both of ourselves and our neighbor.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Suggestions for an Interior Life and Spiritual Progress (Monita,#354)

Returning Love with Love

354.  Let us keep in mind that the Lord has called us from the land of Egypt, that is the world, to a land that exudes milk and honey, that is the Congregation, to be a holy nation, a chosen and favored people, in whose midst He is delighted to dwell.  Therefore, at once let us do away with what may displease His eyes.  Love needs to be returned with love and, as long as we love God, all the rest is to be held as nothing.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Reasons of the Proposed Suggestions (Monita #353)

353.  All of us who have joined the militia of the Somascan Congregation, from the very beginning have set for ourselves this goal: to uproot the shortcomings which disfigure and deface one’s soul; to avoid the occasions of sin which in the world occur so numerous at every step; and to ascend through the steps of virtues to the apex of perfection.  We must keep this end before our spirit in such a way that we will never take away our interior eyes from it.  In this way, full of solicitude to obtain it, we will welcome what is offered as a valid aid in our Constitutions.  Therefore, here are the main suggestions for the development of an interior life.  Those who are eager for spiritual growth will welcome them as commands of the Lord and will observe them diligently.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Saint Jerome Emiliani by Piazzetta Giovanni Battista - New York Robert Simon Fine Art

Giovanni Battista Piazzetta (Venice, 1682 - 1754)
San Girolamo Miani
Oil on canvas
16 1/4 x 12 1/4 inches (41.3 x 31.1 cm.)
Sale, Christie’s East, New York, Nov. 3, 1999, lot 213 (as Giovanni Battista Piazzetta: Saint Jerome Emiliani);
Collection Charles Blakiston Ashburner, Montross, Virginia, 1999-2010.
Adriano Mariuz and Rodolfo Pallucchini, L’opera complete del Piazzetta, Milan 1982, no. 204 as a lost painting known from the engraving of Antonio Baratti
Maria Agnese Chiari Moretto Wiel, ed. L’eredita di Piazzetta; Volti e figure nell’incisione del Settecento, exh. cat., Venice: Palazzo Ducale, 1996, p. 68, no. 135, for the Baratti engraving after the lost painting by Piazzetta
Engraved by Antonio Baratti, 1769 (IGM 191, 191a)
Engraved by Marco Pitteri (IGM 189)
Engraved by Pietro Perfetti (IGM 189a)
Engraved by Giovanni Petrini (IGM 190a)
Piazzetta's half-length paintings of saints are among his most memorable works. They are at once moving devotional images and probing character studies depicting a variety of physical types of different ages. Seen as a group (as when reviewing Pitteri's engravings after them) they are readily, almost defiantly distinguishable one from the other but identifiable only through the inclusion of an emblem appropriate the subject - here the crucifix resting atop the ball and shackle, associated with the Venetian saint Girolamo Miani. George Know was the first to identify the present painting as Piazzetta's lost depcition of the saint (who was also known as San Girolamo or St. Jerome Emiliani) --a work previously known from engravings by Antonio Baratti, Marco Pitteri, Pietro Perfetti and Giovanni Petrini*. The subject, Girolamo Miani (1481-1537), was a Venetian senator, celebrated for his many acts of charity. These were focused on the poor, the sick, on "fallen women," and orphans. In 1532 he founded a religious order, the "Company of the Servants of the Poor," later officially designated the "Clerici regulares S. Majoli Papiae congregationis Somaschae" (today generally known as Somaschi or Somascan Fathers) after its seat at Somasca on the shores of Lake Como.When young, Girolamo joined the Venetian army and was taken prisoner while defending Castelnuovo against the forces of the League of Cambrai. He was miraculously liberated from captivity - an event alluded to by the ball and shackle upon which the crucifix that is the object of the saint's devotion rests. Girolamo Miani was canonized by Pope Clement XIII in 1767 and it is reasonable to supposed that the present painting was executed at that time, or shortly after. Baratti's engraving of the painting is dated 1769. A poor copy of the painting is in the Collegio della Maddalena, Genoa (IGM 188).

Presentation of Mary into the Temple Painting by Tiziano Vecellio.

This painting was made between 1534 and 1538 for the Galleria della Accademia, Venice, Italy where it is currently located. When Tiziano made this big painting (345x775 cm) in Venice, who else but St.Jerome was portrayed in the very left of the painting, asking for some donation along with a little child, maybe an orphan? St.Jerome was a noble man, who began in Venice a very well known works for charities for orphans and needy youth. Around the time when Tiziano painted this artwork, St.Jerome was well known by all in Venice. Tiziano had his studio near one of those orphanages (San Rocco). It is with some certainty that the man on the left is St. Jerome Emiliani. St.Jerome died in 1537.
For an image with good resolution go to:
high resolution image

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Oldest emblem of the Somascan Fathers

"Onus Meum Leve" and "Jesus carrying the cross" was chosen during the General Chapter of 1610 AD as the official coat of arm, or emblem for the "Ordo Clericorum Regularium a Somascha".
This image taken from a book of 1618 AD is the oldest emblem of the Order of St.Jerome.

Saturday, February 28, 2015



In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
Our Father. Hail Mary. Creed. Hail, Holy Queen.
Our dear Father, Lord Jesus Christ, because of your infinite goodness we ask you to restore the Christian people to the sanctity of life of the time of the Apostles.
Hear us, O Lord, because you are kind and merciful. In your compassion, look upon us. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on us (repeat 3 times).
May the power of God the Father, the wisdom of His Son, and the strength of the Holy Spirit and the glorious Virgin Mary guide and protect me on the journey toward peace, love, and prosperity. Also, may the Angel Raphael, who assisted Tobias, be always with me everywhere I am and go. My dear Jesus, my dear Jesus, my dear Jesus, my love and my God, I trust in you so that I never be disappointed.
(The invitation to pray for a true trust in the Lord follows)
Let us put our trust in our good Lord and let us have true hope in Him alone because those who hope in Him will never be disappointed but will be firmly established upon solid rock. In order to obtain such a holy grace, we invoke the Mother of Graces by saying: Hail Mary.
Let us again thank our Lord, God and heavenly Father, for all the gifts and graces He has bestowed and continues to bestow on us. Let us pray that in the future He may help us in all our spiritual and material needs: Our Father.
Let us again invoke the Blessed Virgin that she may pray to her delightful Son for all of us, so that he may make us humble and meek of heart, bring us to love His divine Majesty above all things, and our neighbor as ourselves, that He may uproot our vices, increase our virtues, and give us His holy peace: Hail Mary.
May God grant you peace (people may exchange a sign of peace).
Let us also pray to God for His most perfect Church in heaven, that is, for the Blessed, so that their joy may grow; for the perfect Church on earth, that is, for those who are in His grace, so that He may increase their virtues and grace, and preserve them in the observance of His commandments; for the imperfect Church, that is, the sinners, so that He may grant them conversion of life and remission of sins; for the atoning Church, so that He may free them from torments and grant them eternal glory; for those who will become His Church, that is, those who are unbelievers now but to whom in the future He may grant the light of faith.
After saying an “Our Father” and a “Hail Mary,” in our hearts let us ask the Lord for the things mentioned above.
Then an “Hail Mary” for Monsignor Cardinal Of Chieti and for Father Cajetan and his Congregation, for the Capuchin Fathers, For Father Paul and his Companions, for Mother Andrea and Mother Archangela and Sister Bonaventura, for Madonna Elisabetta Capello, and Madonna Cecilia. Then an “Hail Mary” for all our Fathers who are present and absent and are about to join us in these holy works; for all the stewards and all the brothers who are entrusted in their service, so that the Lord may grant them perfect charity, deep humility, and patience because of the love for His Majesty. Then for all the benefactors of all our works, for the procurators, the bursars, the spenders, and for those who provide these works with help, advice, and favors: Hail Mary.
Then for ….
Then for those who rely on our prayers, for those who pray to God for us and those to whom we owe prayers, for our friends and enemies and for the deceased faithful, especially our parents, brothers and sisters, and especially for our father Jerome and all the other brothers of the Company and all the deceased of these pious works: Hail Mary.
Then let us raise our mind to God and pray that because of His mercy He may hear our prayers, make up for our mistakes because He is the beginning, means, end, and fulfillment of every good.
Pray in this way or in others as the Lord may inspire you.
Then, we may continue to pray mentally for the space of a “Miserere.” Them we may continue:
Let all of us be humbled before our heavenly Father as prodigal sons who have squandered every spiritual and material good by living badly. Therefore, let us ask for His mercy by saying: Mercy, grant us your mercy, Son of the living God. O God, help me, a sinner. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Then the priest says a prayer as the Lord may inspire. At the end, we shall say three “Our Fathers” and three “hail Mary,” very softly, with arms crossed, by praying in memory of the three nails by which He wanted to be crucified, so that He may grant us the grace of despising this world and ourselves.
And let us pray for the Church so that She may return to the early condition of Holy Church, and so that peace and harmony may return among the Christian leaders, and united in holy peace, they may march against the infidels and heretics in order to convert them and lead them under the yoke of the holy Catholic Church.

Then we shall say an “Our Father” and a “Hail Mary” in secret for the glory of all Saints, all the angels, archangels, especially those who guard us, so that they may protect us from any temptations of the world, flesh, and evil; so that they may present our lukewarm prayers to our Lord God and beseech Him to bear with us and spare us from every backbiting and rash judgment, and lead us in truth on His holy way.