Father Bruno Semplicio SMA, Postulator, presented his Report to the General Assembly on the Cause for the canonization of our Founder, Bishop Melchior de Marion Brésillac.
The context of the Cause
The rather complex procedure needs to be studied to understand the necessary procedures. There are also a large number of Causes under consideration and the examination of each takes time. When the particular Servant of God has a great reputation of holiness among the faithful, is the subject of great devotion, accompanied by numerous graces obtained through his intercession, the Cause moves easier and quicker.
And if there is such an extraordinary grace which can be submitted as a possible miracle, this makes the procedure move in the quickest way possible. This needs faith: the simple and humble faith of God’s people who pray to the Lord. And it also requires the cooperation of our SMA confreres.
The current situation of the Cause of the Founder In our case, the time we are spending is not wasted when we take account of the following points and the present state of the process because:
1) Due to several circumstances, we waited for more than a century before the introduction of the Cause. Normally it should be done in less than thirty years.
2) Bishop de Brésillac was little known in the SMA and outside, sometimes even ignored.
Today our Founder is much better known not only by us but also by lay people who are close to us as friends and benefactors. Various publications have made him known. Different celebrations we had in recent times and also the commitment of many confreres, particularly young confreres, have made him better known.
On the usefulness or necessity of the Cause, let me say that I consider it especially a means to engage in how we respond to God’s call to holiness and our call to a fruitful missionary life. The life and teaching of Bishop Brésillac and his intercession can help us.
In this context, we have the document entitled “Our Founder today”, sent three times a year (to commemorate the beginning of Lent, 25 June and 8 December). They are texts written by different confreres.
There is also the recently published book in French “Spirituality for the mission” which a number of confreres have already received. I wrote this book with the collaboration of thirteen members. It can be a practical tool for our spiritual and missionary formation and at the same time it is an answer to one of the questions that justifies a Cause.
The question we ask witnesses is: “Do you believe that the Servant of God still has a message to communicate to the world in which we live?”
To date, the answer we have is ‘yes’, especially in terms of a missionary’s personal spirituality and the involvement of his community in the mission in the name of Jesus Christ, and that of His Church.
The progress of a cause like ours depends largely in making him known, the constant interest, the firm commitment of all SMA confreres and especially those who are engaged in formation, mission animation and pastoral work. Contact with them is very useful to me.
Fr Bruno Semplicio SMA , Postulator – Rome 11th April 2013