Monday, July 14, 2014

Saint July 15 : St. Bonaventure : Patron of Bowel Disorders - Doctor of the Church

St. Bonaventure
DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH
Feast: July 15


Information:
Feast Day:July 15
Born:1221, Bagnoregio, Province of Viterbo, Latium, Papal States (now modern-day Italy)
Died:July 15, 1274, Lyon, Lyonnais, Kingdom of Arles (now modern-day France)
Canonized:April 14, 1482, Rome by Pope Sixtus IV
Doctor of the Church, Cardinal-Bishop of Albano, Minister General of the Friars Minor, born at Bagnorea in the vicinity of Viterbo in 1221; died at Lyons, 16 July, 1274.
Nothing is known of Bonaventure's parents save their names: Giovanni di Fidanza and Maria Ritella. How his baptismal name of John came to be changed to that of Bonaventure is not clear. An attempt has been made to trace the latter name to the exclamation of St. Francis, O buona ventura, when Bonaventure was brought as an infant to him to be cured of a dangerous illness. This derivation is highly improbable; it seems based on a latefifteenth-century legend. Bonaventure himself tells us (Legenda S. Francisci Prolog.) that while yet a child he was preserved from death through the intercession of St. Francis, but there is no evidence that this cure took place during the lifetime of St. Francis or that the name Bonaventure originated in any prophetical words of St. Francis. It was certainly borne by others before the Seraphic Doctor. No details of Bonaventure's youth have been preserved. He entered the Order of Friars Minor in 1238 or 1243; the exact year is uncertain. Wadding and the Bollandists bold for the later date, but the earlier one is supported by Sbaradea, Bonelli, Panfilo da Magliano, and Jeiler, and appears more probable. It is certain that Bonaventure was sent from the Roman Province, to which he belonged, to complete his studies at the University of Paris under Alexander of Hales, the great founder of the Franciscan School. The latter died in 1246, according to the opinion generally received, though not yet definitely established, and Bonaventure seems to have become his pupil about 1242. Be this as it may, Bonaventure received in 1248 the "licentiate" which gave him the right to teach publicly as Magister regens, and he continued to lecture at the university with great success until 1256, when he was compelled to discontinue, owing to the then violent outburst of opposition to the Mendicant orders on the part of the secular professors at the university. The latter, jealous, as it seems, of the academic successes of the Dominicans and Franciscans, sought to exclude them from teaching publicly. The smouldering elements of discord had been fanned into a flame in 1256, when Guillaume de Saint-Amour published a work entitled "The Perils of the Last Times", in which he attacked the Friars with great bitterness. It was in connexion with this dispute that Bonaventure wrote his treatise, "De paupertate Christi". It was not, however, Bonaventure, as some have erroneously stated, but Blessed John of Parma, who appeared before Alexander IV at Anagni to defend the Franciscans against their adversary. The Holy See having, as is well known, re-established the Mendicants in all their privileges, and Saint-Amour's book having been formally condemned, the degree of Doctor was solemnly bestowed on St. Bonaventure and St. Thomas Aquinas at the university, 23 October, 1257.
In the meantime Bonaventure, though not yet thirty-six years old, had on 2 February, 1257, been elected Minister General of the Friars Minor -- an office of peculiar difficulty, owing to the fact that the order was distracted by internal dissensions between the two factions among the Friars designated respectively the Spirituales and the Relaxati. The former insisted upon the literal observance of the original Rule, especially in regard to poverty, while the latter wished to introduce innovations and mitigations. This lamentable controversy had moreover been aggravated by the enthusiasm with which many of the "Spiritual" Friars had adopted the doctrines connected with the name of Abbot Joachim of Floris and set forth in the so-called "Evangelium aeternum". The introduction to this pernicious book, which proclaimed the approaching dispensation of the Spirit that was to replace the Law of Christ, was falsely attributed to Bl. John of Parma, who in 1267 had retired from the government of the order in favour of Bonaventure. The new general lost no time in striking vigorously at both extremes within the order. On the one hand, he proceeded against several of the Joachimite "Spirituals" as heretics before an ecclesiastical tribunal at Città della Pieve; two of their leaders were condemned to perpetual imprisonment, and John of Parma was only saved from a like fate through the personal intervention of Cardinal Ottoboni, afterwards Adrian V. On the other hand, Bonaventure had, in an encyclical letter issued immediately after his election, outlined a programme for the reformation of the Relaxati. These reforms he sought to enforce three years later at the General Chapter of Narbonne when the constitutions of the order which he had revised were promulgated anew. These so-called "Constitutiones Narbonenses" are distributed under twelve heads, corresponding to the twelve chapters of the Rule, of which they form an enlightened and prudent exposition, and are of capital importance in the history of Franciscan legislation. The chapter which issued this code of laws requested Bonaventure to write a "legend" or life of St. Francis which should supersede those then in circulation. This was in 1260. Three years later Bonaventure, having in the meantime visited a great part of the order, and having assisted at the dedication of the chapel on La Verna and at the translation of the remains of St. Clare and of St. Anthony, convoked a general chapter of the order of Pisa at which his newly composed life of St. Francis was officially approved as the standard biography of the saint to the exclusion of all others. At this chapter of 1263, Bonaventure fixed the limits of the different provinces of the order and, among other ordinances, prescribed that at nightfall a bell should be rung in honour of the Annunciation, a pious practice from which the Angelus seems to have originated. There are no grounds, however, for the assertion that Bonaventure in this chapter prescribed the celebration of the feast of the Immaculate Conception in the order. In 1264, at the earnest request of Cardinal Cajetan, Bonaventure consented to resume the direction of the Poor Clares which the Chapter of Pisa had entirely renounced the year before. He required the Clares, however, to acknowledge occasionally in writing that the favours tendered them by the Friars were voluntary acts of charity not arising from any obligation whatsoever. It is said that Pope Urban IV acted at Bonaventure's suggestion in attempting to establish uniformity of observance throughout all the monasteries of Clares. About this time (1264) Bonaventure founded at Rome the Society of the Gonfalone in honour of the Blessed Virgin which, if not the first confraternity instituted in the Church, as some have claimed, was certainly one of the earliest. In 1265 Clement IV, by a Bull dated 23 November, nominated Bonaventure to the vacant Archbishopric of York, but the saint, in keeping with his singular humility, steadfastly refused this honour and the pope yielded.
In 1266 Bonaventure convened a general chapter in Paris at which, besides other enactments, it was decreed that all the "legends" of St. Francis written before that of Bonaventure should be forthwith destroyed, just as the Chapter of Narbonne had in 1260 ordered the destruction of all constitutions before those then enacted. This decree has excited much hostile criticism. Some would fain see in it a deliberate attempt on Bonaventure's part to close the primitive sources of Franciscan history, to suppress the real Francis, and substitute a counterfeit in his stead. Others, however, regard the decree in question as a purely liturgical ordinance intended to secure uniformity in the choir "legends". Between these two conflicting opinions the truth seems to be that this edict was nothing more than another heroic attempt to wipe out the old quarrels and start afresh. One cannot but regret the circumstances of this decree, but when it is recalled that the appeal of the contending parties was ever to the words and actions of St. Francis as recorded in the earlier "legends", it would be unjust to accuse the chapter of "literary vandalism" in seeking to proscribe the latter. We have no details of Bonaventure's life between 1266 and 1269. In the latter year he convoked his fourth general chapter at Assisi, in which it was enacted that a Mass be sung every Saturday throughout the order in honour of the Blessed Virgin, not, however, in honour of her Immaculate Conception as Wadding among others has erroneously stated. It was probably soon after this chapter that Bonaventure composed his "Apologia pauperum", in which he silences Gerard of Abbeville who by means of an anonymous libel had revived the old university feud against the Friars. Two years later, Bonaventure was mainly instrumental in reconciling the differences among the cardinals assembled at Viterbo to elect a successor to Clement IV, who had died nearly three years before; it was on Bonaventure's advice that, 1 September, 1271, they unanimously chose Theobald Visconti of Piacenza who took the title of Gregory X. That the cardinals seriously authorized Bonaventure to nominate himself, as some writers aver, is most improbable. Nor is there any truth in the popular story that Bonaventure on arriving at Viterbo advised the citizens to lock up the cardinals with a view to hastening the election. In 1272 Bonaventure for the second time convened a general chapter at Pisa in which, apart from general enactments to further regular observances new decrees were issued respecting the direction of the Poor Clares, and a solemn anniversary was instituted on 25 August in memory of St. Louis. This was the first step towards the canonization of the holy king, who had been a special friend of Bonaventure, and at whose request Bonaventure composed his "Office of the Passion". On 23 June, 1273, Bonaventure, much against his will, was created Cardinal-Bishop of Albano, by Gregory X. It is said that the pope's envoys who brought him the cardinal's hat found the saint washing dishes outside a convent near Florence and were requested by him to hang it on a tree nearby until his hands were free to take it. Bonaventure continued to govern the Order of Friars Minor until 20 May, 1274, when at the General Chapter of Lyons, Jerome of Ascoli, afterwards Nicholas IV, was elected to succeed him. Meanwhile Bonaventure had been charged by Gregory X to prepare the questions to be discussed at the Fourteenth Oecumenical Council, which opened at Lyons 7 May, 1274.
The pope himself presided at the council, but he confided the direction of its deliberations to Bonaventure, especially charging him to confer with the Greeks on the points relating to the abjuration of their schism. It was largely due to Bonaventure's efforts and to those of the Friars whom he had sent to Constantinople, that the Greeks accepted the union effected 6 July, 1274. Bonaventure twice addressed the assembled Fathers, on 18 May, during a session of the Council, when he preached on Baruch 5:5, and on 29 June, during pontifical Mass celebrated by the pope. While the council was still in session, Bonaventure died, Sunday, 15 July, 1274. The exact cause of his death is unknown, but if we may credit the chronicle of Peregrinus of Bologna, Bonaventure's secretary, which has recently (1905) been recovered and edited, the saint was poisoned. He was buried on the evening following his death in the church of the Friars Minor at Lyons, being honoured with a splendid funeral which was attended by the pope, the King of Aragon, the cardinals, and the other members of the council. The funeral oration was delivered by Pietro di Tarantasia, O.P., Cardinal-Bishop of Ostia, afterwards Innocent V, and on the following day during the fifth session of the council, Gregory X spoke of the irreparable loss the Church had sustained by the death of Bonaventure, and commanded all prelates and priests throughout the whole world to celebrate Mass for the repose of his soul.
Bonaventure enjoyed especial veneration even during his lifetime because of his stainless character and of the miracles attributed to him. It was Alexander of Hales who said that Bonaventure seemed to have escaped the curse of Adam's sin. And the story of St. Thomas visiting Bonaventure's cell while the latter was writing the life of St. Francis and finding him in an ecstasy is well known. "Let us leave a saint to work for a saint", said the Angelic Doctor as he withdrew. When, in 1434, Bonaventure's remains were translated to the new church erected at Lyons in honour of St. Francis, his head was found in a perfect state of preservation, the tongue being as red as in life. This miracle not only moved the people of Lyons to choose Bonaventure as their special patron, but also gave a great impetus to the process of his canonization. Dante, writing long before, had given expression to the popular mind by placing Bonaventure among the saints in his "Paradiso", and no canonization was ever more ardently or universally desired than that of Bonaventure. That its inception was so long delayed was mainly due to the deplorable dissensions within the order after Bonaventure's death. Finally on 14 April, 1482, Bonaventure was enrolled in the catalogue of the saints by Sixtus IV. In 1562 Bonaventure's shrine was plundered by the Huguenots and the urn containing his body was burned in the public square. His head was preserved through the heroism of the superior, who hid it at the cost of his life but it disappeared during the French Revolution and every effort to discover it has been in vain. Bonaventure was inscribed among the principal Doctors of the Church by Sixtus V, 14 March, 1557. His feast is celebrated 14 July.
Bonaventure, as Hefele remarks, united in himself the two elements whence proceed whatever was noble and sublime, great and beautiful, in the Middle Ages, viz., tender piety and profound learning. These two qualities shine forth conspicuously in his writings. Bonaventure wrote on almost every subject treated by the Schoolmen, and his writings are very numerous. The greater number of them deal with philosophy and theology. No work of Bonaventure's is exclusively philosophical, but in his "Commentary on the Sentences", his "Breviloquium", his "Itinerarium Mentis in Deum" and his "De reductione Artium ad Theologiam", he deals with the most important and difficult questions of philosophy in such a way that these four works taken together contain the elements of a complete system of philosophy, and at the same time bear striking witness to the mutual interpenetration of philosophy and theology which is a distinguishing mark of the Scholastic period. The Commentary on the "Sentences" remains without doubt Bonaventure's greatest work; all his other wntings are in some way subservient to it. It was written, superiorum praecepto (at the command of his superiors) when he was only twenty-seven and is a theological achievement of the first rank. It comprises more than four thousand pages in folio and treats extensively and profoundly of God and the Trinity, the Creation and Fall of Man, the Incarnation and Redemption, Grace, the Sacraments, and the Last Judgment, that is to say, traverses the entire field of Scholastic theology. Like the other medieval Summas, Bonaventure's "Commentary" is divided into four books. In the first, second, and fourth Bonaventure can compete favourably with the best commentaries on the Sentences, but it is admitted that in the third book he surpasses all others. The "Breviloquium", written before 1257, is, as its name implies, a shorter work. It is to some extent a summary of the "Commentary" containing as Scheeben says, the quintessence of the theology of the time, and is the most sublime compendium of dogma in our possession. It is perhaps the work which will best give a popular notion of Bonaventure's theology; in it his powers are seen at their best. Whilst the "Breviloquium" derives all things from God, the "Itinerarium Mentis in Deum" proceeds in the opposite direction, bringing all things back to their Supreme End. The latter work, which formed the delight of Gerson for more than thirty years, and from which Bl. Henry Suso drew so largely, was written on Mount la Verna in 1259. The relation of the finite and infinite, the natural and supernatural, is again dealt with by Bonaventure, in his "De reductione Artium ad Theologiam", a little work written to demonstrate the relation which philosophy and the arts bear to theology, and to prove that they are all absorbed in it as into a natural centre. It must not be inferred, however, that philosophy in Bonaventure's view does not possess an existence of its own. The passages in Bonaventure's works on which such an opinion might be founded only go to prove that he did not regard philosophy as the chief or last end of scientific research and speculation. Moreover, it is only when compared with theology that he considers philosophy of an inferior order. Considered in itself, philosophy is, according to Bonaventure, a true science, prior in point of time to theology. Again, Bonaventure's pre-eminence as a mystic must not he suffered to overshadow his labours in the domain of philosophy, for he was undoubtedly one of the greatest philosophers of the Middle Ages.
Bonaventure's philosophy, no less than his theology, manifests his profound respect for tradition. He regarded new opinions with disfavour and ever strove to follow those generally received in his time. Thus, between the two great influences which determined the trend of Scholasticism about the middle of the thirteenth century, there can he no doubt that Bonaventure ever remained a faithful disciple of Augustine and always defended the teaching of that Doctor; yet he by no means repudiated the teaching of Aristotle. While basing his doctrine on that of the old school, Bonaventure borrowed not a little from the new. Though he severely criticized the defects of Aristotle, he is said to have quoted more frequently from the latter than any former Scholastic had done. Perhaps he inclined more, on the whole, to some general views of Plato than to those of Aristotle, but he cannot therefore be called a Platonist. Although he adopted the hylomorphic theory of matter and form, Bonaventure, following Alexander of Hales, whose Summa he appears to have had before him in composing his own works, does not limit matter to corporeal beings, but holds that one and the same kind of matter is the substratum of spiritual and corporeal beings alike. According to Bonaventure, materia prima is not a mere indeterminatum quid, but contains the rationes seminales infused by the Creator at the beginning, and tends towards the acquisition of those special forms which it ultimately assumes. The substantial form is not in Bonaventure's opinion, essentially, one, as St. Thomas taught. Another point in which Bonaventure, as representing the Franciscan school, is at variance with St. Thomas is that which concerns the possibility of creation from eternity. He declares that reason can demonstrate that the world was not created ab aeterno. In his system of ideology Bonaventure does not favour either the doctrine of Plato or that of the Ontologists. It is only by completely misunderstanding Bonaventure's teaching that any ontologistic interpretation can he read into it. For he is most emphatic in rejecting any direct or immediate vision of God or of His Divine attributes in this life. For the rest, the psychology of Bonaventure differs in no essential point from the common teaching of the Schoolmen. The same is true, as a whole, of his theology.
Bonaventure's theological writings may be classed under four heads: dogmatic, mystic, exegetical, and homiletic. His dogmatic teaching is found chiefly in his "Commentary on the Sentences" and in his "Breviloquium". Treating of the Incarnation, Bonaventure does not differ substantially from St. Thomas. In answer to the question: "Would the Incarnation have taken place if Adam had not sinned?", he answers in the negative. Again, notwithstanding his deep devotion to the Blessed Virgin, he favours the opinion which does not exempt her from original sin, quia magis consonat fidei pietati et sanctorum auctoritati. But Bonaventure's treament of this question marked a distinct advance, and he did more perhaps than anyone before Scotus to clear the ground for its correct presentation. His treatise on the sacraments is largely practical and is characterized by a distinctly devotional element. This appears especially in is treatment of the Holy Eucharist. He rejects the doctrine of physical, and admits only a moral, efficacy in the sacraments. It is much to be regretted that Bonaventure's views on this and other controverted questions should be so often misrepresented, even by recent writers. For example, at, least three of the latest and best known manuals of dogma in treating of such questions as "De angelorum natura", "De scientia Christi", "De natura distinctionis inter caritatem et gratiam sanctificantem", "De causalitate sacramentorum", "De statu parvulorum sine baptismo morientium", gratuitously attribute opinions to Bonaventure which are entirely at variance with his real teaching. To be sure Bonaventure, like all the Scholastics, occasionally put forward opinions not strictly correct in regard to questions not yet defined or clearly settled, but even here his teaching represents the most profound and acceptable ideas of his age and marks a notable stage in the evolution of knowledge. Bonaventure's authority has always been very great in the Church. Apart from his personal influence at Lyons (1274), his writings carried great weight at the subsequent councils at Vienna (1311), Constance (1417), Basle (1435), and Florence (1438). At Trent (1546) his writings, as Newman remarks (Apologia, ch. v) had a critical effect on some of the definitions of dogma, and at the Vatican Council (1870), sentences from them were embodied in the decrees concerning papal supremacy and infallibility.
Only a small part of Bonaventure's writings is properly mystical. These are characterized by brevity and by a faithful adherence to the teaching of the Gospel. The perfecting of the soul by the uprooting of vice and the implanting of virtue is his chief concern. There is a degree of prayer in which ecstasy occurs. When it is attained, God is sincerely to be thanked. It must, however, be regarded only as incidental. It is by no means essential to the possession of perfection in the highest degree. Such is the general outline of Bonaventure's mysticism which is largely a continuation and development of what the St. Victors had already laid down. The shortest and most complete summary of it is found in his "De Triplici Via", often erroneously entitled the "Incendium Amoris", in which he distinguishes the different stages or degrees of perfect charity. What the "Breviloquium" is to Scholasticism, the "De Triplici Via" is to mysticism: a perfect compendium of all that is best in it. Savonarola made a pious and learned commentary upon it. Perhaps the best known of Bonaventure's other mystical and ascetical writings are the "Soliloquium", a sort of dialogue containing a rich collection of passages from the Fathers on spiritual questions; the "Lignum vitae", a series of forty-eight devout meditations on the life of Christ, the "De sex alis seraphim", a precious opuscule on the virtues of superiors, which Father Claudius Acquaviva caused to be printed separately and circulated throughout the Society of Jesus; the "Vitis mystica", a work on the Passion, which was for a long time erroneously ascribed to St. Bernard, and "De Perfectione vitae", a treatise which depicts the virtues that make for religious perfection, and which appears to have been written for the use of Blessed Isabella of France, who had founded a monastery of Poor Clares at Longchamps.
Bonaventure's exegetical works were highly esteemed in the Middle Ages and still remain a treasure house of thoughts and treatises. They include commentaries on the Books of Ecclesiastes and Wisdom and on the Gospels of St. Luke and St. John. In addition to his commentary on the Fourth Gospel, Bonaventure composed "Collationes in Joannem", ninety-one conferences on subjects relating to it. His "Collationes in Hexameron" is a work of the same kind, but its title, which did not originate with Bonaventure, is somewhat misleading. It consists of an unfinished course of instructions delivered at Paris in 1273. Bonaventure did not intend in these twenty-one discourses to explain the work of the six days, but rather to draw some analogous instructions from the first chapter of Genesis, as a warning to his auditors against some errors of the day. It is an exaggeration to say that Bonaventure had regard only to the mystical sense of Scripture. In such of his writings as are properly exegetical he follows the text, though he also develops the practical conclusions deduced from it, for in the composition of these works he had the advantage of the preacher mainly in view. Bonaventure had conceived the most sublime idea of the ministry of preaching, and notwithstanding his manifold labours in other fields, this ministry ever held an especial place among his labours. He neglected no opportunity of preaching, whether to the clergy, the people, or his own Friars, and Bl. Francis of Fabriano (d. 1322), his contemporary and auditor, bears witness that Bonaventure's renown as a preacher almost surpassed his fame as a teacher. He preached before popes and kings, in Spain and Germany, as well as in France and Italy. Nearly five hundred authentic sermons of Bonaventure have come down to us; the greater part of them were delivered in Paris before the university while Bonaventure was professor there, or after he had become minister general. Most of them were taken down by some of his auditors and thus preserved to posterity. In his sermons he follows the Scholastic method of putting forth the divisions of his subject and then expounding each division according to the different senses.
Besides his philosophical and theological writings, Bonaventure left a number of works referring to the religious life, but more especially to the Franciscan Order. Among the latter is his well-known explanation of the Rule of the Friars Minor; in this work, written at a time when the dissensions vithin the order as to the observance of the Rule were so painfully marked, he adopted a conciliatory attitude, approving neither the interpretation of the Zelanti nor that of the Relaxati. His aim was to promote harmony in essentials. With this end in view, he had chosen a middle course at the outset and firmly adhered to it during the seventeen years of his generalship. If anyone could have succeeded in uniting the order, it would have been Bonaventure; but the via media proved impracticable, and Bonaventure's personality only served to hold in check the elements of discord, subsequently represented by the Conventuals and the Fraticelli. Following upon his explanation of the Rule comes Bonaventure's important treatise embodying the Constitutions of Narbonne already referred to. There is also an answer by Bonaventure to some questions concerning the Rule, a treatise on the guidance of novices, and an opuscule in which Bonaventure states why the Friars Minor preach and hear confessions, besides a number of letters which give us a special insight into the saint's character. These include official letters written by Bonaventure as general to the superiors of the order, as well as personal letters addressed like that "Ad innominatum magistrum" to private individuals. Bonaventure's beautiful "Legend" or life of St. Francis completes the writings in which he strove to promote the spiritual welfare of his brethren. This well-known work is composed of two parts of very unequal value. In the first Bonaventure publishes the unedited facts that he had been able to gather at Assisi and elsewhere; in the other he merely abridges and repeats what others, and especially Celano, had already recorded. As a whole, it is essentially a legenda pacis, compiled mainly with a view to pacifying the unhappy discord still ravaging the order. St. Bonaventure's aim was to present a general portrait of the holy founder which, by the omission of certain points that had given rise to controversy, should be acceptable to all parties. This aim was surely legitimate even though from a critical standpoint the work may not be a perfect biography. Of this "Legenda Major", as it came to be called, Bonaventure made an abridgment arranged for use in choir and known as the "Legenda Minor".
Bonaventure was the true heir and follower of Alexander of Hales and the continuator of the old Franciscan school founded by the Doctor Irrefragabilis, but he surpassed the latter in acumen, fertility of imagination, and originality of expression. His proper place is heside his friend St. Thomas, as they are the two greatest theologians of Scholasticism. If it be true that the system of St. Thomas is more finished than that of Bonaventure, it should be borne in mind that, whereas Thomas was free to give himself to study to the end of his days, Bonaventure had not yet received the Doctor's degree when he was called to govern his order and overwhelmed with multifarious cares in consequence. The heavy responsibilities which he bore till within a few weeks of his death were almost incompatible with further study and even precluded his completing what he had begun before his thirty-sixth year. Again, in attempting to make a comparison betweenBonaventure and St. Thomas, we should remember that the two saints were of a different bent of mind; each had qualities in which he excelled; one was in a sense the complement of the other; one supplied what the other lacked. Thus Thomas was analytical, Bonaventure synthetical; Thomas was the Christian Aristotle, Bonaventure the true disciple of Augustine; Thomas was the teacher of the schools, Bonaventure of practical life; Thomas enlightened the mind, Bonaventure inflamed the heart; Thomas extended the Kingdom of God by the love of theology, Bonaventure by the theology of love. Even those who hold that Bonaventure does not reach the level of St. Thomas in the sphere of Scholastic speculation concede that as a mystic he far surpasses the Angelic Doctor. In this particular realm of thelogy, Bonaventure equals, if he does not excel, St. Bernard himself. Leo XIII rightly calls Bonaventure the Prince of Mystics: "Having scaled the difficult heights of speculation in a most notable manner, he treated of mystical theology with such perfection that in the common opinion of the learned he is facile princeps in that field." (Allocutio of 11 October, 1890.) It must not be concluded, however, that Bonaventure's mystical writings constitute his chief title to fame. This conclusion, in so far as it seems to imply a deprecation of his labours in the field of Scholasticism, is opposed to the explicit utterances of several pontiffs and eminent scholars, is incompatible with Bonaventure's acknowledged reputation in the Schools, and is excluded by an intelligent perusal of his works. As a matter of fact, the half of one volume of the ten comprising the Quaracchi edition suffices to contain Bonaventure's ascetic and mystic writings. Although Bonaventure's mystical works alone would suffice to place him in the foremost rank, yet he may justly be called a mystic rather than a Scholastic only in so far as every subject he treats of is made ultimately to converge upon God. This abiding sense of God's presence which pervades all the writings of Bonaventure is perhaps their fundamental attribute. To it we may trace that all-pervading unction which is their peculiar characteristic. As Sixtus V aptly expresses it: "In writing he united to the highest erudition an equal amount of the most ardent piety; so that whilst enlightening his readers he also touched their hearts penetrating to the inmost recesses of their souls" (Bull, Triumphantis Jerusalem). St. Antoninus, Denis the Carthusian, Louis of Granada, and Father Claude de la Colombière, among others, have also noted this feature of Bonaventure's writings. Invariably he aims at arousing devotion as well as imparting knowledge. He never divorces the one from the other, but treats learned subjects devoutly and devout subjects learnedly. Bonaventure, however, never sacrifices truth to devotion, but his tendency to prefer an opinion which arouses devotion to a dry and uncertain speculation may go far towards explaining not a little of the widespread popularity his writings enjoyed among his contemporaries and all succeeding ages. Again Bonaventure is distinguished from the other Scholastics not only by the greater warmth of his religious teaching, but also by its practical tendency as Trithemius notes (Scriptores Eccles.). Many purely speculative questions are passed over by Bonaventure; there is a directness about all he has written. No useful purpose, he declares, is achieved by mere controversy. He is ever tolerant and modest. Thus while he himself accepts the literal interpretations of the first chapter of Genesis, Bonaventure acknowledges the admissibility of a different one and refers with admiration to the figurative explanation propounded by St. Augustine. He never condemns the opinions of others and emphatically disclaims anything like finality for his own views. Indeed he asserts the littleness of his authority, renounces all claims to originality and calls himself a "poor compiler". No doubt Bonaventure's works betray some of the defects of the learning of his day, but there is nothing in them that savours of useless subtlety. "One does not find in his pages", notes Gerson (De Examin. Doctrin.) "vain trifles or useless cavils, nor does he mix as do so many others, worldly digressions with serious theological discussions. "This", he adds, "is the reason why St. Bonaventure has been abandoned by those Scholastics who are devoid of piety, of whom the number is alas! but too large". It has been said that Bonaventure's mystical spirit unfitted him for subtle analysis. Be this as it may, one of the greatest charms of Bonaventure's writings is their simple clearness. Though he had necessarily to make use of the Scholastic method, he rose above dialectics, and though his argumentation may at times seem too cumbersome to find approval in our time, yet he writes with an ease and grace of style which one seeks in vain among the other Schoolmen. To the minds of his contemporaries impregnated with the mysticism of the Middle Ages, the spirit that breathed in Bonaventure's writings seemed to find its parallel only in the lives of those that stand nearest to the Throne, and the title of "Seraphic Doctor" bestowed upon Bonaventure is an undeniable tribute to his all-absorbing love for God. This title seems to have been first given to him in 1333 in the Prologue of the "Pantheologia" by Raynor of Pisa, O.P. He had already received while teaching in Paris the name of Doctor Devotus.
The Franciscan Order has ever regarded Bonaventure as one of the greatest Doctors and from the beginning his teaching found many distinguished expositors within the order, among the earliest being his own pupils, John Peckham later Archbishop of Canterbury, Matthew of Aquasparta, and Alexander of Alexandria (d. 1314), both of whom became ministers general of the order. The last named wrote a "Summa quaestionum S. Bonaventura. Other well-known commentaries are by John of Erfurt (d. 1317), Verilongus (d. 1464), Brulifer (d. c. 1497), de Combes (d. 1570), Trigosus (d. 1616), Coriolano (d. 1625), Zamora (d. 1649), Bontemps (d. 1672), Hauzeur (d. 1676), Bonelli (d. 1773), etc. From the fourteenth to the sixteenth century the influence of Bonaventure was undoubtedly somewhat overshadowed by that of Duns Scotus, owing largely to the prominence of the latter as champion of the Immaculate Conception in the disputes between the Franciscans and Dominicans. Sixtus V, however, founded a special chair at Rome for the study of St. Bonaventure; such chairs also existed in several universities, notably at Ingolstadt, Salzburg, Valencia, and Osuna. It is worthy of note that the Capuchins forbade their Friars to follow Scotus and ordered them to return to the study of Bonaventure. The centenary celebrations of 1874 appear to have revived interest in the life and work of St. Bonaventure. Certain it is that since then the study of his writings has steadily increased.
Unfortunately not all of Bonaventure's writings have come down to us. Some were lost before the invention of printing. On the other hand, several works have in the course of time been attributed to him which are not his. Such are the "Centiloquium", the "Speculum Disciplinæ", which is probably the work of Bernard of Besse, Bonaventure's secretary; the rhythmical "Philomela", which seems to be from the pen of John Peckham; the "Stimulus Amoris" and the "Speculum B.V.M.", written respectively by James of Milan and Conrad of Saxony; "The Legend of St. Clare", which is by Thomas of Celano; the "Meditationes vitae Christi" composed by a Friar Minor for a Poor Clare, and the "Biblia pauperum" of the Dominican Nicholas of Hanapis. Those familiar with the catalogues of European libraries are aware that no writer since the Middle Ages had been more widely read or copied than Bonaventure. The earliest catalogues of his works are those given by Salimbene (1282), Henry of Ghent (d. 1293), Ubertino of Casale (1305), Ptolemy of Lucca (1327) and the "Chronicle of the XXIV Generals" (1368). The fifteenth century saw no less than fifty editions of Bonaventure's works. More celebrated than any preceding edition was that published at Rome (1588-96) by order of Sixtus V (7 vols. in fol.). It was reprinted with but slight emendations at Metz in 1609 and at Lyons in 1678. A fourth edition appeared at Venice (13 vols. in 4to) 1751, and was reprinted at Paris in 1864. All these editions were very imperfect in so far as they include spurious works and omit genuine ones. They have been completely superseded by the celebrated critical edition published by the Friars Minor at Quaracchi, near Florence. Any scientific study of Bonaventure must be based upon this edition, upon which not only Leo XIII (13 December, 1885) and Pius X (11 April, 1904), but scholars of all creeds have lavished the highest encomiums. Nothing seems to have been omitted which could make this edition perfect and complete. In its preparation the editors visited over 400 libraries and examined nearly 52,000 manuscripts, while the first volume alone contains 20,000 variant readings. It was commenced by Father Fidelis a Fanna (d. 1881) and completed by Father Ignatius Jeiler (d. 1904): "Doctoris Seraphici S. Bonaventuræ S. H. B. Episcopi Cardinalis Opera Omnia, -- edita studio et cura P. P. Collegii S. Bonaventura in fol. ad Claras Aquas [Quaracchi] 1882-1902". In this edition the works of the saint are distributed through the ten volumes as follows: the first four contain his great "Commentaries on the Book of Sentences"; the fifth comprises eight smaller scholastic works such as the "Breviloquium" and "Itinerarium"; the sixth and seventh are devoted to his commentaries on Scripture; the eighth contains his mystical and ascetic writings and works having special reference to the order; the ninth his sermons; whilst the tenth is taken up with the index and a short sketch of the saint's life and writings by Father Ignatius Jeiler.
We do not possess any formal, contemporary biography of St. Bonaventure. That written by the Spanish Franciscan, Zamorra, who flourished before 1300, has not been preserved. The references to Bonaventure's life contained in the works of Salimbene (1282), Bernard of Besse (c. 1380), Bl. Francis of Fabriano (d. 1322), Angelo Clareno (d. 1337), Ubertino of Casale (d. 1338), Bartholomew of Pisa (d. 1399) and the "Chronicle of the XXIV Generals" (c. 1368), are in vol. X of the Quaracchi Edition (pp. 39-72).


source: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/B/stbonaventure.asp#ixzz1SBhwUvFp

Young boy with Cancer Sworn in as Deputy - Touching - SHARE - Viral

Wyatt Schmaltz, is 3-year-old and was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma a rare form of brain cancer. He was made Deputy Sheriff by Huntington County, Indiana.
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Sheriff Terry Stoffehel said, "We have given Wyatt all the powers of a real Sheriff Deputy, which are to carry out the orders of the Sheriff,” Stoffehel said in a statement. “Right now, his only orders are to get better." He was given a small sized uniform and a special certificate. He recited an oath that all other deputies take. He is currently receiving chemotherapy at the Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health. Wyatt's mother, April Schmaltz, said her son was excited about the badge. "It’s very touching that they would all do this for him," she said. "When he sees all the support, it makes him stronger."  "It brought tears to our team member's eyes to see officers who are sworn to protect and serve travel to pay tribute to one of our patients,” said hospital staff.

South Korea makes Official Music Video with Stars for Pope Francis

36 South Korean artists made the song "Koinonia". It is a symbol of friendship and sharing, for the Pope on his arrival. The stars made this for free due to the great honor. It will be officially performed at the beatification ceremony of the 124 Korean Martyrs. Pope Francis will make an official apostolic journey to South Korea from August 14 to 18.
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The actor Ahn Sung-ki, one of the organizers, said "if we are united in prayer for others [through the music], this could be the most beautiful bouquet of flowers that we could present to the Pope on his arrival". "Koinonia" gets its name from the Greek words for friendship and sharing in communion. "If more people prayed for others, the world would be a better place to live," explained the author and composer Noh Young-sim, during a press conference. It was launched on July 7 at the Cathedral of Myeongdong in Seoul, where the Pope will celebrate the final mass of the trip. Other stars include actress Kim Tae-hee, Kim Woo-bin and singer Bada.

Death Toll in Palestine at 172 after 7th day of Bombing - Please PRAY

ASIA NEWS by Joshua Lapide
According to Palestinian sources, the death toll has reached 172. Rockets continue to rain on Israel. Since the start of the conflict, Hamas has fired more than a thousand of them, 130 only yesterday. The UN Security Council unanimously approves a call for a ceasefire. But the belligerents seem unmoved.

Jerusalem (AsiaNews) - On the seventh day of war in Gaza, the latest reports indicate that Israeli air strikes hit three Qassam Brigades sites along the coast, as well as sites in Gaza City, Deir el-Balah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, and the northern towns of Beit Lahiya and Jabaliya.
At least 172 Palestinians have been killed since Israel's offensive began, according to Palestinian officials. Israel says it is targeting Hamas militants and "terror sites". However, the United Nations has estimated that 77 per cent of the people killed in Gaza have been civilians.
More than 130 rockets hit Israel yesterday and more than a thousand have been launched since 8 July. Some rockets have also been fired from Lebanon and Syria.
One rocket hit an Israeli power facility that supplies Gaza, cutting electricity to 70,000 Palestinians in the territory, Israel's military said.
For now, Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile system has so far been able to stop most incoming rockets before they hit cities and settlements. No Israeli has died, although some have been wounded.
As the situation gets worse with Israel's threatened ground invasion, diplomatic efforts have increased to stop the conflict.
Yesterday, the UN Security Council unanimously approved a call for a ceasefire, but did not specify any deadline. The Pope made a "heartfelt appeal ... for peace in the Holy Land".
US Secretary of State John Kerry called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to urge a truce.
The foreign ministers of the Germany and Italy, Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Federica Mogherini, are expected in the coming days in the Middle East. Mogherini is scheduled to meet with Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. The latter yesterday appealed to the United Nations for international protection.
Yet neither Israel nor Hamas seem willing to listen. Netanyahu is facing increasing pressure from within his cabinet to launch a ground attack, but while 90 per cent of Israelis support strikes at Hamas targets, support for a ground assault is less forthcoming.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel would act "vigorously in order to achieve the goal of the operation -- the restoration of quiet for a long period while inflicting a significant blow on Hamas and the other terrorist organizations." However, he runs the risk of appearing weak, if rockets from Gaza continue to target Israeli cities.
Israel's military, which claims to have hit 1,300 "terrorist targets", yesterday dropped leaflets and phoned residents in the town of Beit Lahiya, north of Gaza, to urge them to leave as a prelude to an operation against "terrorists and the terrorist infrastructure."
For its part, Hamas, which is in financial difficulty and has recently seen a significant rise in the level of dissatisfaction among Gazans, "has nothing to lose," this according to Mukhaimer Abu Saada, a professor of political science at Gaza's Al Azhar University.
Notwithstanding the interest of some of its factions - and others in Israel - to undermine the agreement with Abbas, Hamas has to try to "stay alive" and every time a house is hit or someone dies, its popularity grows despite the Israeli accusations that it uses civilians as human shields.
What it is looking for is anything that will allow it to claim a propaganda victory and ease Egypt's economic blockade.
According to Israeli sources, Hamas has an arsenal of about 10,000 missiles, especially short-range rockets, which would enable it to hold out for about six weeks, too long for Israel.
On the other hand, a ground invasion aimed at eliminating all or most of launch sites would likely be too costly in terms of casualties.

All this shows that the room for diplomacy is quite limited. ASIANEWS IT REPORT

Novena to St. Kateri Tekakwitha - Litany and Hymn Prayers

Novena: Kateri, favored child and Lily of the Mohawks, I come to seek your intercession in my present need: (State your intention here...) I admire the virtues which adorned your soul: love of God and neighbor, humility, obedience, patience, purity and the spirit of sacrifice.
 Help me to imitate your example in my state of life. Through the goodness and mercy of God, Who has blessed you with so many graces which led you to the true faith and to a high degree of holiness, pray to God for me and help me. Obtain for me a very fervent devotion to the Holy Eucharist so that I may love Holy Mass as you did and receive Holy Communion as often as I can. Teach me also to be devoted to my crucified Savior as you were, that I may cheerfully bear my daily crosses for love of Him Who suffered so much for love of me.
 Most of all I beg you to pray for me that I may avoid sin, lead a holy life and save my soul. AMEN
 In Thanksgiving to God for the graces bestowed upon Kateri: (Recite the following prayers...) Our Father... Hail Mary... Glory Be... (3 times) Kateri, Lily of the Mohawks, pray for me.
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Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the World have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.
Kateri, lily of purity, pray for us.
Kateri, consoler of the heart of Jesus, pray for us.
Kateri, bright light for all Indians, pray for us.
Kateri, courage of the afflicted, pray for us.
Kateri, lover of the cross of Jesus, pray for us.
Kateri, flower of fortitude for the persecuted, pray for us.
Kateri, unshakeable in temptations, pray for us.
Kateri, full of patience in suffering, pray for us.
Kateri, keeper of your virginity in persecutions, pray for us.
Kateri, leader of many Indians to the true faith through your love for Mary, pray for us.

Kateri, who loved Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, pray for us.
Kateri, lover of penance, pray for us.
Kateri, who traveled many miles to learn the faith, pray for us.
Kateri, steadfast in all prayer, pray for us.
Kateri, who loved to pray the rosary for all people, pray for us.
Kateri, example to your people in all virtues, pray for us.
Kateri, humble servant to the sick, pray for us.
Kateri, who by your love of humility, gave joy to the angels,
pray for us.
Kateri, your holy death gave strength to all Indians
to love Jesus and Mary, pray for us.
Kateri, whose scarred face in life became beautiful after death,
pray for us.

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, spare us, 0 Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, 0 Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.



LET US PRAY
0 Jesus, who gave Kateri to the Indians as an example of purity, teach all men to love purity, and to console your immaculate Mother Mary through the lily, Kateri Tekakwitha, and your Holy Cross, Amen.

Latest News from Vatican Information Service - Pope Francis Appoints and Messages

NEW CALL FOR PEACE IN THE HOLY LAND
- POPE FRANCIS' VIDEOMESSAGE TO PATIENTS IN GEMELLI HOSPITAL
- REDUCTIONISM DISCARDS AN ENTIRE GENERATION OF YOUNG PEOPLE
- OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS
- MESSAGE FOR WORLD TOURISM DAY: HARMONY BETWEEN TOURISM AND LOCAL COMMUNITIES
- OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS
- POPE'S PRIVATE VISIT TO CASERTA
- AUDIENCES
- OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS
NEW CALL FOR PEACE IN THE HOLY LAND
Vatican City, 13 July 2014 (VIS) – After praying the Angelus, the Pope launched a fresh appeal for fervent prayer for peace in the Holy Land in the light of the tragic events of recent days.
“I still recall the meeting of 8 June with Patriarch Bartholomaios, President Peres and President Abbas, with whom we invoked the gift of peace and heard the call to break the cycle of hatred and violence. Some might think that such a meeting took place in vain. But no, because prayer helps us not to allow ourselves to be overcome by evil, nor resign ourselves to violence and hatred taking over dialogue and reconciliation. I urge the parties concerned and all those who have political responsibility at local and international levels to offer a prayer and make some effort to bring an end to all hostilities and to achieve the desired peace for the good of all. And I invite everyone to unite in prayer. In silence everyone, let us pray. Now, Lord, help us! Grant us peace, teach us peace, guide us toward peace. Open our eyes and our hearts and give us the courage to say: “No more war!” “War destroys everything”. Give us the courage to take concrete actions to build peace. Make us willing to listen to the cry of our citizens who ask us to transform our weapons into instruments of peace, our fears into trust, and our tensions into forgiveness”.
The Holy Father then went on to comment that today is “Sea Sunday”, and greeted all seafarers, fishermen and their families, urging Christian communities, particularly those living in coastal areas, to be attentive to them. “I also invite the chaplains and volunteers of the Apostleship of the Sea to continue their commitment to the pastoral care of these brothers and sisters”, he added, entrusting all, “especially those who are in difficulty and away from home, to the maternal protection of Mary, Star of the Sea”.
Finally, he blessed all the spiritual sons and daughters of St. Camillus de Lellis, astomorrow marks the 400th anniversary of his death, and invited the Camillan family, in this jubilee year, “to be a sign of the Lord Jesus who, as the Good Samaritan, tends to the wounds of the body and the spirit of suffering humanity, pouring the oil of consolation and the wine of hope. To those of you gathered here in St Peter's Square, as well as to health professionals serving in hospitals and nursing homes, it is my hope that you may continue grow in the charism of charity, fuelled by daily contact with the sick”.
POPE FRANCIS' VIDEOMESSAGE TO PATIENTS IN GEMELLI HOSPITAL
Vatican City, 14 July 2014 (VIS) – On Sunday morning the Holy Father sent a video message to patients in Rome's Agostino Gemelli Hospital, in which he apologised for be unable to attend the visit planned for 27 June, cancelled due to an unexpected indisposition. “I extend my apologies not only to the hospital directors but to all those who have worked with such effort and passion. Above all, I include the patients waiting to be able to pray together during the Holy Mass, whom I would have liked to greet personally”.
Francis encouraged the sick to cultivate in prayer “the flavour of the things of God; bear witness that your strength lies in God alone. You who, as patients, experience the frailty of the body, can offer a powerful testimony to those who are near you of how the Gospel and the merciful love of the Father are a precious asset in life, not money or power. Indeed, even when a person is important according to a worldly logic, he is not able to add even one extra day to his own life”.
The Pope commented that the summer vacations were approaching and that many people go on holiday to relax. “However, summer is also a difficult moment especially for the elderly and the sick, who are more likely to remain alone and who encounter greater difficulties in obtaining certain services, especially in big cities. So, this time of repose is also the time in which the difficulties in life can become even greater”. He concluded by highlighting the passion and dedication of the hospital staff, and thanked them warmly for their work. “I truly looked forward to meeting with you but, as you well know, we are not the masters of our own lives and things do not always go to plan. We must accept our frailty. With me, cultivate the trust that our strength lies in God alone. I entrust you to Mary and ask that you continue to pray for me, as I need your prayers”.
REDUCTIONISM DISCARDS AN ENTIRE GENERATION OF YOUNG PEOPLE
Vatican City, 13 July 2014 (VIS) – Yesterday, Saturday, the Holy Father lunched with the participants in the international seminar dedicated to Pope Francis' proposal in the Apostolic Exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium”, for “an increasingly inclusive economy”, which took place in the Casina Pio IV in the Vatican.
“What you do is very important”, he said. “Reflecting on reality, but reflecting without fear, reflecting with intelligence. Without fear and with intelligence. And this is a service”. Referring to the themes considered during the seminar, he went on to offer a brief discourse on anthropological reductionism.
“I believe that this is the strongest moment for anthropological reductionism. What is happening to humanity at the moment is what happens when wine becomes brandy: it passes through a phase of distillation, in organisational terms. It is no longer wine, but it is something else: perhaps more useful, more qualified, but it is not wine! For mankind it is the same: man passes through this transformational phase and ends up – and I am serious – losing his humanity and becoming a tool of the system, a social and economic system, a system where imbalance reigns. When mankind loses his humanity, what happens to us? What occurs is what I would describe in simple terms as a throwaway policy or sociology: what is no longer useful is discarded, because man is not at the centre. And when man is not at the centre, there is something else in his place and man is at the service of this other thing. The idea, therefore, is to save mankind, in the sense of restoring him to the centre: to the centre of society, of thought, of reflection. Restoring mankind to the centre. You do good work. You study, reflect, hold conferences for this reason – so that mankind is not discarded. Children are discarded – we all know about today's birth rates, at least in Europe; the elderly are discarded, because they are not 'useful'. And now? An entire generation of young people is discarded, and this is very serious! I have seen a figure: 75 million young people, under the age of 25, without work. The 'neither-nor' young: those who neither work nor study. They do not study because they do not have the opportunity, and the do not work because there is no work. Who will be the next to be discarded? Let us stop this in time, please!”.
The Pope thanked those present for their work and their initiatives “to restore balance to this imbalanced situation and to recover mankind, restoring him to the centre of reflection and the centre of life. He is the king of the universe!” he exclaimed. “And this is not theology, it is philosophy and human reality”.
OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS
Vatican City, 12 July 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has:
- appointed Archbishop Luigi Bianco, as apostolic nuncio in Ethiopia. Archbishop Bianco was previously apostolic nuncio in Honduras.
- appointed Bishop Claudio Maniago, auxiliary of the archdiocese of Florence, Italy, as bishop of Castellaneta (area 1,043, population 128,687, Catholics 125,861, priests 54, permanent deacons 1, religious 41), Italy.
- appointed Cardinal Jaime Lucas Ortega y Alamino, archbishop of La Habana (Cuba), as his special envoy to the concluding celebration of the 350 th anniversary of the foundation of the parish of Notre Dame-de-Québec, Canada, “mother-church of all the parishes of North America” scheduled for 14 September 2014.
- appointed Rev. Luca Sansalone of the clergy of Rome as judicial vicar of the Tribunal of First Instance for the causes of nullity of marriage for the region of Latium. Rev. Sansalone was previously adjunct judicial vicar at the same Tribunal.
MESSAGE FOR WORLD TOURISM DAY: HARMONY BETWEEN TOURISM AND LOCAL COMMUNITIES
Vatican City, 11 July 2014 (VIS) – The Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples today published its message for World Tourism Day 2014. Organised by the World Tourism Organisation, its theme this year is “Tourism and Community Development”. The message is signed by Cardinal Antonio Maria Veglio and Bishop Kalathiparambil, respectively president and secretary of the dicastery.
The text, published below in full, emphasises the link between community development with the concept of full development characteristic of the social doctrine of the Church, and highlights that human beings are the custodians, not the owners, of creation. It refers to programmes for sustainable and ethical tourism in disadvantaged areas and underlines the role that local communities play in the defence and promotion of their natural and cultural heritage, as well as the human and economic enrichment that responsible tourism may offer to its protagonists, also favouring values such a mutual respect and tolerance.
“1. Like every year, World Tourism Day is celebrated on September 27. An event promoted annually by the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), the theme for this year’s commemoration is 'Tourism and Community Development'. Keenly aware of the social and economic importance of tourism today, the Holy See wishes to accompany this phenomenon from its own realm, particularly in the context of evangelisation.
In its Global Code of Ethics, the UNWTO says that tourism must be a beneficial activity for destination communities: 'Local populations should be associated with tourism activities and share equitably in the economic, social and cultural benefits they generate, and particularly in the creation of direct and indirect jobs resulting from them'. That is, it calls on both realities to establish a reciprocal relationship, which leads to mutual enrichment.
The notion of 'community development' is closely linked to a broader concept that is part of the Church’s Social Teaching, which is 'integral human development'. It is through this latter term that we understand and interpret the former. In this regard, the words of Pope Paul VI are quite illuminating. In his Encyclical Populorum Progressio, he stated that 'the development we speak of here cannot be restricted to economic growth alone. To be authentic, it must be well rounded; it must foster the development of each man and of the whole man'.
How tourism can contribute to this development? To this end, integral human development and, thus, community development in the field of tourism should be directed towards achieving a balanced progress that is sustainable and respectful in three areas: economic, social and environmental. By 'environmental', we mean both the ecological and cultural context.
2. Tourism is a key driver of economic development, given its major contribution to GDP (between 3% and 5% worldwide), employment (between 7% and 8% of the jobs) and exports (30% of global exports of services).
At present, the world is experiencing a diversification in the number of destinations, as anywhere in the world has the potential to become a tourist destination. Therefore, tourism is one of the most viable and sustainable options to reduce poverty in the most deprived areas. If properly developed, it can be a valuable instrument for progress, job creation, infrastructure development and economic growth.
As highlighted by Pope Francis, we are conscious that 'human dignity is linked to work', and as such we are asked to address the problem of unemployment with 'the tools of creativity and solidarity'. In that vein, tourism appears to be one of the sectors with the most capacity to generate a wide range of 'creative' jobs with greater ease. These jobs could benefit the most disadvantaged groups, including women, youth or certain ethnic minorities.
It is imperative that the economic benefits of tourism reach all sectors of local society, and have a direct impact on families, while at the same time take full advantage of local human resources. It is also essential that these benefits follow ethical criteria that are, above all, respectful to people both at a community level and to each person, and avoid 'a purely economic conception of society that seeks selfish benefit, regardless of the parameters of social justice'. No one can build his prosperity at the expense of others.
The benefits of a tourism promoting 'community development' cannot be reduced to economics alone: there are other dimensions of equal or greater importance. Among these include: cultural enrichment, opportunities for human encounter, the creation of 'relational goods', the promotion of mutual respect and tolerance, the collaboration between public and private entities, the strengthening of the social fibre and civil society, the improvement of the community’s social conditions, the stimulus to sustainable economic and social development, and the promotion of career training for young people, to name but a few.
3. The local community must be the main actor in tourism development. They must make it their own, with the active presence of government, social partners and civic bodies. It is important that appropriate coordination and participation structures are created, which promote dialogue, make agreements, complement efforts and establish common goals and identify solutions based on consensus. Tourism development is not to do something 'for' the community, but rather, 'with' the community.
Furthermore, a tourist destination is not only a beautiful landscape or a comfortable infrastructure, but it is, above all, a local community with their own physical environment and culture. It is necessary to promote a tourism that develops in harmony with the community that welcomes people into its space, with its traditional and cultural forms, with its heritage and lifestyles. And in this respectful encounter, the local population and visitors can establish a productive dialogue which will promote tolerance, respect and mutual understanding.
The local community should feel called upon to safeguard its natural and cultural heritage, embracing it, taking pride in it, respecting and adding value to it, so that they can share this heritage with tourists and transmit it to future generations.
Also, the Christians of that community must be capable of displaying their art, traditions, history, and moral and spiritual values, but, above all, the faith that lies at the root of all these things and gives them meaning.
4. The Church, expert in humanity, wishes to collaborate on this path towards an integral human and community development, to offer its Christian vision of development, offering 'her distinctive contribution: a global perspective on man and human realities'.
From our faith, we can provide the sense of the person, community and fraternity, solidarity, seeking justice, of being called upon as stewards (not owners) of Creation and, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, continue to collaborate in Christ’s work.
Following what Pope Benedict XVI asked of those committed to the pastoral care of tourism, we must increase our efforts in order to 'shed light on this reality using the social teaching of the Church and promote a culture of ethical and responsible tourism, in such a way that it will respect the dignity of persons and of peoples, be open to all, be just, sustainable and ecological'.
With great pleasure, we note how the Church has recognised the potential of the tourism industry in many parts of the world and set up simple but effective projects.
There are a growing number of Christian associations that organise responsible tourism to less developed destinations as well as those that promote the so-called 'solidarity or volunteer tourism' which enable people to put their vacation time to good use on a project in developing countries.
Also worth mentioning are programs for sustainable and equitable tourism in disadvantaged areas promoted by Episcopal Conferences, dioceses or religious congregations, which accompany local communities, helping them to create opportunities for reflection, promoting education and training, giving advice and collaborating on project design and encouraging dialogue with the authorities and other groups. This type of experience has led to the creation of a tourism managed by local communities, through partnerships and specialised micro tourism (accommodation, restaurants, guides, craft production, etc.).
Beyond this, there are many parishes in tourist destinations that host visitors, offering liturgical, educational and cultural events, with the hope that the holidays 'are of benefit to their human and spiritual growth, in the firm conviction that even in this time we cannot forget God who never forgets us'. To do this, parishes seek to develop a 'friendly pastoral care' which allows them to welcome people with a spirit of openness and fraternity, and project the image of a lively and welcoming community. And for this hospitality to be more effective, we need to create a more effective collaboration with other relevant sectors.
These pastoral proposals are becoming more important, especially as a type of 'experiential' tourism grows. This type of tourism seeks to establish links with local people and enable visitors to feel like another member of the community, participating in their daily lives, placing value on contact and dialogue.
The Church’s involvement in the field of tourism has resulted in numerous projects, emerging from a multitude of experiences thanks to the effort, enthusiasm and creativity of so many priests, religious and lay people who work for the socio-economic, cultural and spiritual development of the local community, and help them to look with hope to the future.
In recognition that its primary mission is evangelisation, the Church offers its often humble collaboration to respond to the specific circumstances of people, especially the most needy. And this, from the conviction that 'we also evangelise when we attempt to confront the various challenges which can arise'.”
OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS
Vatican City, July 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has:
- appointed Archbishop Anselmo Guido Pecorari, apostolic nuncio in Bulgaria, as apostolic nuncio in Macedonia.
- appointed Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki as metropolitan archbishop of Koln (area 6,181, population 5,417,865, Catholics 2,069,152, priests 1,033, permanent deacons 309, religious 1,835), Germany. Cardinal Woelki is currently metropolitan archbishop of Berlin.
- appointed Bishop Jorge Anibal Quintero Chacon, bishop of Margarita, Venezuela, as bishop of Barcelona (area 43,300, population 2,132,000, Catholics 1,996,000, priests 69, religious 61), Venezuela.
- appointed Fr. Ignatius D'Souza as bishop of the diocese of Bareilly (area 32,860, population 10,352,001, Catholics 6,744, priests 83, religious 331), India. The bishop elect was born in Basrikatte, India in 1964 and was ordained a priest in 1991. He holds a licentiate in biblical theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, and a doctorate in biblical theology from the Pontifical Urbanian University, Rome. He has served in a number of pastoral roles, including vice rector of the St. Paul's Minor Seminary of Lucknow and director of the diocesan pastoral centre of Lucknow, and is currently vicar general and priest of the Cathedral of Lucknow. He succeeds Bishop Anthony Fernandes, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
- appointed Fr. Cajetan Francis Osta as bishop of the diocese of Muzaffarpur (area 27,120, population 30,310,000, Catholics 5,250, priests 49, religious 120), India. The bishop-elect was born in Kathara-Bokaro, India in 1961 and was ordained a priest in 1992. He studied canon law at the St. Peter's Pontifical Institute in Bangalore and missiology at the Sacred Heart of Shillong, and has served in a number of pastoral roles in the diocese of Muzaffarpur, including co-priest of Bettiah and rector of the minor seminary; secretary of the bishop of Bettiah and priest in the parishes of Tinkomma and Barauni. He is currently judicial vicar of Muzaffarpur, president of the Bijhan Diocesan Priests, and priest of the Cathedral of Muzaffarpur. He succeeds Bishop John Baptist Thakur, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
- appointed Fr. Michael Yeung Ming-cheung, Fr. Stephen Lee Bun Sang, and Fr. Joseph Ha Chi-shing, O.F.M., as auxiliaries of the diocese of Hong Kong (area 1,104, population 7,071,600, Catholics 547,000, priests 311, permanent deacons 18, religious 815), China.
Bishop-elect Yeung Ming-cheung was born in Shanghai, China in 1946 and was ordained a priest in 1978. He holds masters degrees in social communications from the Syracus University, U.S.A., and philosophy of education from Harvard University, U.S.A., and has served in a number of pastoral and administrative roles, including parish vicar of Ha Kwai Chung district, New Territories; director of the diocesan office of social communications; director of the diocesan office for education and schools; director of Caritas Hong Kong, and vicar general of Hong Kong. He is currently a member of the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum”.
Bishop-elect Lee Bun Sang was born in Hong Kong, China in 1956 and was ordained a priest in 1988. He holds a degree in architecture from the London School of Architecture and a doctorate in canon law from the University of Navarre, Spain. He has served in a number of pastoral and administrative roles, including director of the Tak Sun school in Tsim Sha Tsui, and is currently defender of the bond at the diocesan tribunal of Hong Kong and vicar of Opus Dei for East Asia.
Bishop-elect Fr. Joseph Ha Chi-shing, O.F.M., was born in Hong Kong, China in 1959 and was ordained a priest in 1990. He holds a licentiate in spiritual theology and Franciscan culture from the Pontifical University Antonianum, Rome, and has held a number of pastoral and administrative roles, including priest of the “St. Bonaventure” and “Our Lady of the Angels” parishes in Kowloon; lecturer in spiritual theology in the seminary of Hong Kong; consultor of the Commission for the Church in China; and regional superior of the Order of Friars Minor for Hong Kong. He is currently parish vicar of the Church of St. Bonaventure in Hong Kong.
- elevated the apostolic prefecture of Makokou (area 46,000, population 54,000, Catholics 26,000, priests 7, religious 3), Gabon, to the rank of apostolic vicariate, and appointed Fr. Joseph Koerber, C.S.Sp., as the first apostolic vicar of the new apostolic vicariate. Born in Sierentz, France in 1943, he gave his perpetual vows in 1970 and was ordained a priest in 1972. He specialised in pastoral theology at the Institut Catholique de Paris, France and has served in a number of pastoral roles in Gabon, including regional bursar of the Spiritan Fathers in Gabon and parish priest in Makokou. He is currently apostolic prefect of the same circumscription.
POPE'S PRIVATE VISIT TO CASERTA
Vatican City, 10 July 2014 (VIS) – On the morning of Saturday 26 July the Holy Father is provisionally scheduled to pay a private visit to the evangelical pastor Giovanni Traettino, a friend from his time in Buenos Aires, in his church of the Reconciliation in Caserta. The idea arose from Pope Francis' encounter with a group of evangelical pastors last month.
AUDIENCES
Vatican City, 10 July 2014 (VIS) – Yesterday, 9 July, the Holy Father received in audience Kiko Arguello, founder of the Neocatechumenal Way.
OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS
Vatican City, 10 July 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has:
- appointed Fr. Joseph Mlola, ALCP/OSS, as bishop of Kigoma (area 45,066, population 2,000,000, Catholics 515,701, priests 55, religious 165), Tanzania. The bishop-elect was born in Mashati Rombo, Tanzania in 1966 and was ordained a priest in 1997. He studied dogmatic theology at the Pontifical Urbanian University and has served in a number of pastoral roles, including parish vicar of Nairagie Enkare, diocese of Ngong, Kenya; vice rector of the Holy Spirit College, Morogoro, Tanzania; parish vicar of Caliti, Italy, and vice rector of the St. Charles Lwanga interdiocesan major seminary, Dar-es-Salaam. He is currently rector of the St. Paul interdiocesan seminary in Kipalapala.
- appointed Fr. Luis Horacio Gomez Gonzalez as apostolic vicar of Puerto Gaitan (area 56,500, population 140,000, Catholics 80,000, priests 41, religious 4), Colombia. The bishop-elect was born in Salaminas-Caldas, Colombia in 1958 and was ordained a priest in 1991. He has served in a number of pastoral roles, including priest of several parishes in Castilla, Aguadas-Caldas and Manizales, and is currently vicar for the administration of the archdiocese of Manizales.