THE CAUSE FOR THE BEATIFICATION OF OUR FOUNDER
The involvement of all SMA members
For a number of years now the Cause of the Beatification the Founder has been among our SMA objectives. However the questions of the procedures that have to be followed in such a matter are somewhat complex. In all our communities we say each day the prayer “that the church will soon recognise the holiness of this great servant of mission and through his intercession we will receive the graces of which we have need.”
As postulator it seems to me to be useful to share with you some thoughts towards a better understanding of this as it represents an objective which concerns us all.
A Cause for the beatification when it involves a founder of an Institute, implies an important commitment and significance for all the members. As it is very special it deserves to be better understood by all the members.
For us all the essential is Jesus Christ, Son of God, who died and was raised to life for the salvation of all humanity. Thus Jesus must be made known to all, especially the poor. If we are witnesses who are filled with faith and love, this proclamation will succeed.
The world today more than ever needs credible witnesses: the saints can be seen as in themselves the Good News made incarnate which the world needs if this Good News of Jesus is to be welcomed:
“The saints of the Church are the most important commentary on the Gospel, because they are the incarnate interpretations of the Word Incarnate and thus a real path to reach Christ.” (H U Von Balthazar)
“The saints are the final part of the way that leads to Jesus, which will last until the end of time.” (J. Nouet)
Every Christian is required to respond to the call be God to holiness. However as priests and missionaries we have greater responsibility to make visible in our hands the immense goodness of the Church for the world, especially those of us who live in the midst of great difficulties arising from material, physical, moral or spiritual sources.
A Cause for Beatification is much more than a collection of formalities which have to be carried out. It is for me and you a reminder of the very essentials of our faith regardless of whatever circumstances we find ourselves – to respond to the Lord to be priests, missionaries after his heart, and the heart of a God who is Love.
In effect, beyond the circumstances, the times, the place, with mentalities different from ours, the saints, the blessed servants of God have a message and a witness to give us: if we are open to listening they bless us and give us the strength we need to do good.
In our case we have to admit that Mgr de Bresillac was not well know and in fact unknown in some parts of the Society. The publication of his writings and his reflections and retreats opened a new knowledge and understanding of him, so that he is better known and appreciated today. The Cause has also obliged us to do research and to re-edit texts of which we were previously unaware.
On the other hand the Founder is not only a gift to us but also to our friends, benefactors, the faithful and those to whom we preach and there is no reason why we cannot make him known to them with simplicity and discretion.
In recent times, the numbers of those who know him has grown and as a result, turn to his intercession before God in their needs which are often serious. We who often speak of solidarity with the poor and the abandoned, must not be at rest until we offer to them the possibility of seeing our Founder as one who is at the service of all, who is there for the humble, simple and poor of the world.
Today I have in my possession around fifty cases which seem significant to me and involve people who have obtained grace through the intercession of our Servant of God and which come from all over the world – they include healings, people who have found work once again, who have had success in studies or who have found peace in their families once again.
Recently the Cardinal Prefect for the Congregation of the Causes of Saints said to we postulators that the time for moving a cause from one stage to another is not a time of emptiness but a time to promote the Cause in a pastoral and spiritual way. This we can do in our houses or wherever we work in the ministry.
He also reminded us that the acknowledgement of the holiness of a person and as a result “the devotion” to a servant of God is a fundamental condition for the “success” of such a cause. A miracle, accepted by the church for the beatification is a gift of God but normally, it is obtained through our commitment to the promotion of the cause.
Thus it is good to distribute images of the Founder, but also to go further and to follow up a particular case. It is the faithful who are best placed to do this as their faith if often simpler than ours and also more constant when the response of the Lord doesn’t happen as they hoped.
I therefore invite you to look among the faithful friends for collaboration with us in this service which is an act of charity towards the future of their needs.
– These people can distribute images of the Founder especially those with special needs such as illness.
– I invite them to make a Novena or a Triduum and if they obtain results that they inform you and for you to obtain in writing their witness however simple, with the necessary documentation for the promotion of the cause.
This, dear brother is what I wish to say to you in regard to the Cause of our Founder: it needs an active commitment and good will of all; it will enable us to do good and also to help others. If you have other suggestions on the matter, I will be more than happy to hear them.
Bruno Semplicio SMA
Fr Semplicio can be contacted at Missioni Africane, Via della Nocetta 111, 00164 ROMA, Italy or by email: [email protected]