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Volume II, Issue 3

1502–1539 2008

D ear Friends of Anthony Alive,

Greetings in the Risen Lord!


It is my immense delight to welcome you to the third issue of An-
thony Alive. It is hard to believe that it has already been one year
since its first publication. I and the staff of Anthony Alive hope and
pray that this biannual publication on the spirituality of St. Anthony This Issue
March 2008
Mary Zaccaria has been in some way helpful to you in your spiritual
growth. INTRODUCTION
by Fr. Robert B. Kosek, CRSP

You are probably aware by now that St. Anthony’s spirituality is very ST. ANTHONY’S DOCTRINE
• The Famous Sayings on Penance
much rooted in St. Paul - the Apostle of the Gentiles. For him, St.
Paul was his teacher par excellence, which he nota bene and passed on REFLECTIONS & MEDITATIONS
to his spiritual “children and offspring of Paul” —Barnabites, Angel- • Pauline Year: A Gift to the Church
by His Holiness Benedict XVI
ics, and Laity. As he once told them in his sixth letter: “On the founda- • On St. Anthony Zaccaria
tion of Paul, you are going to build not structures made of hay or wood but by His Holiness Benedict XVI
• In the Footsteps of St. Paul…
of gold and precious stones....”. Thus, one may assert that to live by the by Fr. Giovanni Scalese, CRSP
Zaccarian charism unmistakably means to live as a Pauline disciple. • The Paulism of St. Anthony…
To support this argument, let us look at some of St. Anthony Mary’s by Fr. Mike M. Mancusi,CRSP
• Spiritual Writings
“pauline” thoughts under the following guiding principles: by Angelica PaolaAntonia
(cont.)
OUTSTANDING BARNABITES
St. Francis Xavier Bianchi
Easter Wishes • The Apostle of Naples…
by Fr. Felix M. Sala, CRSP
• The Ascetical Writings of…
We are witnesses of all that Jesus
did (Act 10:36). In our continuous Anthony’s Angels
efforts to bring others to Christ, • Choices
by E. Gambino & T. Marlin
may we be faithful witnesses to all
that Christ does through His Death Sponsors
and Resurrection.
On this most joyful occasion of our
Lord’s Resurrection, may you be
filled with His Peace and Love.
Have a Blessed Easter!

From the Barnabite Fathers and


the Staff of Anthony Alive
Introduction
St. Anthony’s Doctrine

•Observance of the Lord’s commandments: “…let than enough, that we follow the way of the cross, accord-
us first strive to keep God’s commandments, and then we ing to which it is sufficient to know whether it is a virtue
will reach the liberty of the spirit” (Sermon 1). or a fault to do something or to omit it” (Letter 4).
•Gradual growth in Christian fervor: “…spiritual life
demands that you never turn back or stop going forward; Clearly, the Zaccarian spirituality possesses time-
but rather that, as soon as you taste it, you make progress less qualities. “As in early times, Christ today needs
day by day and, forgetting what lies behind, strain forward apostles ready to sacrifice themselves. He needs
to what lies ahead” (Sermon 2). witnesses and martyrs like St Paul. Paul, a former
•Acquisition of the “light” and “fire” needed to set violent persecutor of Christians, when he fell to the
out decisively on the journey of reformation: “…I ground dazzled by the divine light on the road to
hope to grow in Jesus’ love; and the good Lord crucified Damascus, did not hesitate to change sides to the
will give me back the spiritual light and fervor [lit., fire], Crucified One and followed him without a second
which used to keep me spiritually alive” (Letter 12). thought. He lived and worked for Christ, for him
•Desire for total perfection: “It has always been my he suffered and died. How timely his example is
desire to see you grow steadily in perfection” (Letter 10); today!” (Benedict XVI, 28 June 2007)
“…I know the summit of perfection Jesus Crucified wants
you to reach; the abundant graces He wishes to give you; From June 28, 2008 to June 29, 2009 Pope
the fruits He wants to gather in you; and the peak of holi- Benedict XVI has dedicated a special Jubilee Year to
ness to which He wants to lead you” (Letter 11). the Apostle Paul, on the occasion of the bimillen-
•Seeking God’s pure honor: “The true aim of reform nium of his birth. Therefore, I am pleased to dedi-
can be recognized in this, namely, if they seek the pure cate the 2008 issues to the Pauline spirituality of St.
honor of Christ, the pure service of neighbor, and pure Anthony M. Zaccaria.
self-contempt, which rejoices in being despised” (Consti-
tutions 16); “Let your intention, then, be rightly aimed Within the present issue there are two scholarly-writ-
at the pure glory of God; let it be good so that we care for ten articles on the Pauline spirituality of St. Anthony
our neighbor’s welfare, and also steadfast in self-abase- Mary Zaccaria. Namely the articles by Fr. Giovanni
ment” (Constitutions 18). M. Scalese, CRSP entitled, “In the Footsteps of
•Passionately embracing a theology of the cross: Paul the Apostle: The ‘Paulism’ of St. Anthony M.
“And so from all this progress of yours may I conclude Zaccaria,” and “The Paulism of Saint Anthony Mary
that you have received the teacher of justice, of holiness, Zaccaria” by Fr. Mike M. Mancusi, CRSP.
and of perfection: the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete. He, of
course, will not let you go wrong; rather He will teach I hope that you will find the present issue of
you everything. He will not let you lose heart, but will Anthony Alive meaningful and enjoyable.
always remain with you. He will not leave you in need,
but will provide you with everything. He will grant you, Yours in Christ,
in particular, a continuous spirit of self-abandonment on Fr. Robert B. Kosek, CRSP
the ignominious cross, and lead you to a life conformed
to Christ’s according to the pattern of the great saints. Easter Sunday,
Consequently, you will be able to say with your Father, March 23, 2008 Bethelehem, PA, USA
‘be imitators of us as we are of Christ’ (1 Cor 4:16; 11:
1)” (Letter 5); “It is enough and, I would say, more

2
St. Anthony’s Doctrine The Famous Sayings on Penance

…P enance
The Famous Sayings on…
Translated by Father Frank Papa, CRSP

1 There are two kinds of penance, interior and ex-


terior. The first is necessary for all sinners; the sec-
ond, for some is useful, for others is pernicious.
2 Penance is an agreement made with God to for-
sake evil and do good. In the same manner, before
penance, one has abandoned what was good to do
evil.
3 In the soul which judges and condemns itself
without despairing, penance is a continuous re-
fusal of any corporal consolation and mental de-
lights.
4 Penance means to abstain from sin; thus he who
does not care to give up every defect, but tenacious-
ly lives by it, is not a perfect penitent.
5 Penance is measured more by the proportion of
true humility than by the diversity and greatness of
corporal afflictions.
6 Penance is the voluntary endurance of pain, af-
fliction, insult, and all kinds of evil.
7 A true penitent has an unquenchable thirst and
hunger for justice, derision, and all kinds of suffer-
ing.
8 A penitent is one who judges and condemns
himself from the heart. He regards himself unwor-
thy of pardon while he begs justice with mercy,
and so his merit is being forgiven by God.
9 If you want to obtain pardon as soon as possible,
ask God with heartfelt humility, not so much for
justice but for mercy.
10 True penance excludes self-love; having no re-
gard of itself, true penance ends in the pure love of
God. False penance instead is caused by pain and
or fear of death.
11 Penance always finds new ways to punish itself,
to restrain gluttony and concupiscence, and thus it
Image by R. Kosek

always keeps the soul upright.

3
St. Anthony’s Doctrine The Famous Sayings on Penance

12 Just as those who are physi- scurity of the mind accompany


cally ill but of sound mind do of your ignorance or frailty, do immoderation, so integrity of
not seek compassion from the not despair but stand up, re- the mind and purity of chastity
doctor but a remedy to hasten member that the just does fall accompany moderate fasting of
their cure, a true penitent, in an seven times a day and rises up. the penitent.
effort to be healed again, pro- 21 The reliance of the one who 28 A penance which comes
vokes God’s meekness towards says, I will do this sin and then I from God and which is ac-
himself for healing. will repent, is not in penance. cepted willingly, even if it may
13 A true penitent is not satis- 22 The true penance which is be something insignificant, is
fied with just being reconciled acceptable to God and fruitful more pleasing to God, and more
with God; he seeks to grow more for men is the mortification of useful to man than any virtuous
perfectly in virtue so that he the will and of one’s passions. thing done.
might be pleasing to God. 23 Interior penance, which in 29 He who considers exterior
14 A true penitent who is aware spiritual realm is truly difficult, penance as his ultimate aim is
of having used illicit things ab- is more fruitful than exterior similar to one who makes no
stains himself even from the licit penance. difference between the end and
ones. the means, or between an inn
15 Do not believe in such a bad and a home.Fasting, vigils, and
thought that says: this is a little other corporal disciplines are
defect or that sin is of little im- good when the body is afflicted
portance, because Christ died for only to the point that it is not
each of the sin we commit. impaired from performing nec-
16 A sin which is not cancelled The first cover page of The Famous Sayings of St. essary activities.
by penance, immediately, as a
Anthony, Venice 1583
30 Just as a sound body may
consequence, draws another 24 He who bears the lack of lead us to sin, so a moderately
sin. Indeed old sin needs greater interior consolation from God afflicted one may lead us back
attention and a persevering pen- with a tranquil spirit already to truth. Just as we fall from the
ance. practices true penance. joys of Heaven through gluttony,
17 Christ’s penance, and that of 25 Sometimes an overwhelm- so through abstinence shall we
Mary is different from ours, as ing lack of tenderness will be return to them.
light is different from darkness. forced upon the one who uses 31 Some can endure a fast for
18 A penitent immediately rises exterior penance without discre- two or three days, while others
from a fall caused by his igno- tion. the daily meal is not substantial
rance or frailty. 26 Just as he who gives him- for them; nevertheless, without a
19 A penitent drags himself too self to feeble things cannot be sense of guilt we have to adapt to
long when he falls out of his spiritually subtle or refined, so the age, physique, and habit of
own malice and negligence, even an indiscreet penitent cannot an individual. It is important to
though what he did may not be sometimes avoid from falling take care of nature. It would be
too grave. into serious defects. imprudent not to do so.
20 Do not be distressed by use- 27 Just as distractions, frequent
less misery. If you often fall out disorderly movements, and ob- Penance

4
Reflections and Meditations “Pauline Year”: A Gift to the Church

“Pauline Year”: A Gift to the Church

Y
by His Holiness Benedict XVI

our Eminences, I address with these sentiments Metropolitan Em-


Venerable Brothers in the Episcopate and in the manuel and Metropolitan Gennadios, sent by my
Priesthood, Dear Brothers and Sisters, beloved Brother Bartholomew I, to whom I express
a grateful and cordial thought.

At this First Vespers of the Solemnity of Sts. Peter This Basilica, which has hosted profoundly sig-
and Paul, let us com- nificant ecumenical
memorate with gratitude events, reminds us how
these two Apostles whose In the Basilica of St. Paul Outside-the- important it is to pray
blood with that of so Walls on Thursday, 28 June 2007, His together to implore the
many other Gospel wit- gift of unity, that unity
nesses made the Church Holiness Benedict XVI, during the cel- for which St. Peter and
of Rome fruitful. ebration of first vespers of the solemni- St. Paul spent their lives,
to the point of making
On their memorial, I ty of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, the supreme sacrifice of
am glad to greet you all, announced officially a special Jubilee their blood.
dear brothers and sisters,
starting with the Cardinal Year to the Apostle Paul from 28 June A very ancient tradition
Archpriest and the other 2008 to 29 June 2009, on the occasion which dates back to ap-
Cardinals and Bishops ostolic times claims that
present, Father Abbot of the bimillennium birth of St. Paul. their last meeting before
and the Benedictine their martyrdom actually
Community to which this Basilica is entrusted, the took place not far from here: the two are supposed
clerics, the women and men religious and lay faith- to have embraced and blessed each other. And on
ful gathered here. the main portal of this Basilica they are depicted
together, with scenes of both martyrdoms.
I address a special greeting to the Delegation of the
Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, which Thus, from the outset, Christian tradition has con-
is reciprocating the presence of the Holy See’s Del- sidered Peter and Paul to have been inseparable,
egation in Istanbul for the Feast of St. Andrew. even if each had a different mission to accom-
plish.
As I had an opportunity to say a few days ago,
these meetings and initiatives are not merely an Peter professed his faith in Christ first; Paul ob-
exchange of courtesies between Churches but are tained as a gift the ability to deepen its riches. Peter
intended to express the common commitment to founded the first community of Christians who
do everything possible to hasten the time of full came from the Chosen People; Paul became the
communion between the Christian East and West. Apostle to the Gentiles. With different charisms

5
Reflections and Meditations “Pauline Year”: A Gift to the Church

they worked for one and the same cause: the build- Furthermore, Rome in our day perceives with great-
ing of Christ’s Church. er awareness both her mission and her greatness.
St. John Chrysostom wrote: “Not so bright is the
In the Office of Readings, the liturgy offers us for heaven, when the sun sends forth his rays, as is the
meditation this well-known text of St. Augustine: City of Rome, sending out these two lights (Peter
“One day is assigned for the celebration of the and Paul) into all parts of the world... Therefore, I
martyrdom of the two Apostles. But those two admire the City... for these pillars of the Church”
were one. Although their martyrdom occurred on (Homily on St Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, 32, 24).
different days, they were one. Peter went first, Paul
followed. We celebrate this feast day which is made We will commemorate St. Peter specifically tomor-
sacred for us by the blood of these Apostles” (Ser- row, celebrating the Divine Sacrifice in the Vatican
mon 295, 7, 8). Basilica, built on the site of his martyrdom. This
evening we turn our gaze to St. Paul, whose rel-
And St. Leo the Great comments: “About their mer- ics are preserved with deep veneration in this Ba-
its and virtues, which surpass all power of speech, silica.
we must not make distinctions, because they were
equal in their election, alike in their toils, undi- At the beginning of the Letter to the Romans, as we
vided in their death” (In natali apostol., 69, 7). have just heard, St. Paul greeted the community
of Rome, introducing himself as “a servant of Jesus
In Rome, since the earliest centuries, the bond that Christ, called to be an apostle” (1: 1). He uses the
unites Peter and Paul in their mission has acquired term “servant”, in Greek, doulos, to indicate a re-
a very specific significance. Like Romulus and Re- lationship of total and unconditional belonging to
mus, the two mythical brothers who are said to the Lord Jesus; moreover, it is a translation of the
have given birth to the City, so Peter and Paul were Hebrew, ‘ebed, thus alluding to the great servants
held to be the founders of the Church of Rome. whom God chose and called for an important and
specific mission.
Speaking to the City on this topic, St. Leo the
Great said: “These are your holy Fathers and true Paul knew he was “called to be an apostle”, that is,
shepherds, who gave you claims to be numbered that he had not presented himself as a candidate,
among the heavenly kingdoms, and built you un- nor was his a human appointment, but solely by a
der much better and happier auspices than they, by divine call and election.
whose zeal the first foundations of your walls were
laid” (Sermon 82, 7). The Apostle to the Gentiles repeats several times
in his Letters that his whole life is a fruit of God’s
However humanly different they may have been freely given and merciful grace (cf. I Cor 15: 9-10;
from each other and despite the tensions that ex- II Cor 4: 1; Gal 1: 15). He was chosen to proclaim
isted in their relationship, Peter and Paul appear “the Gospel of God” (Rom 1: 1), to disseminate
as the founders of a new City, the expression of the announcement of divine Grace which in Christ
a new and authentic way of being brothers which reconciles man with God, himself and others.
was made possible by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. From his Letters, we know that Paul was far from
For this reason, it can be said that the Church of being a good speaker; on the contrary, he shared
Rome is celebrating her birthday today, since it was with Moses and Jeremiah a lack of oratory skill.
these two Apostles who laid her foundations. “His bodily presence is weak, and his speech of
6
Reflections and Meditations “Pauline Year”: A Gift to the Church

no account” (II Cor 10: 10), his adversaries nium of his birth, which historians have
said of him. placed between the years 7 and 10 A.D.

The extraordinary apostolic results that he was able It will be possible to celebrate this “Pauline Year”
to achieve cannot, therefore, be attributed to bril- in a privileged way in Rome where the sarcophagus
liant rhetoric or refined apologetic and missionary which, by the unanimous opinion of experts and
strategies. an undisputed tradition, preserves the remains of
the Apostle Paul, has been preserved beneath the
The success of his apostolate depended above all Papal Altar of this Basilica for 20 centuries.
on his personal involvement in proclaiming the
Gospel with total dedication to Christ; a dedica- It will thus be possible to have a series of liturgi-
tion that feared neither risk, difficulty nor persecu- cal, cultural and ecumenical events taking place at
tion. the Papal Basilica and at the adjacent Benedictine
Abbey, as well as various pastoral and social initia-
“Neither death, nor life”, he wrote to the Romans, tives, all inspired by Pauline spirituality.
“nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present,
nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor In addition, special attention will be given to peni-
depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be tential pilgrimages that will be organized to the
able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Apostle’s tomb to find in it spiritual benefit. Study
Jesus our Lord” (8: 38-39). conventions and special publications on Pauline
texts will also be promoted in order to make ever
From this we can draw a particularly important more widely known the immense wealth of the
lesson for every Christian. The Church’s action is teaching they contain, a true patrimony of human-
credible and effective only to the extent to which ity redeemed by Christ.
those who belong to her are prepared to pay in
person for their fidelity to Christ in every circum- Furthermore, in every part of the world, similar
stance. When this readiness is lacking, the crucial initiatives will be implemented in the dioceses,
argument of truth on which the Church herself shrines and places of worship, by Religious and by
depends is also absent. the educational institutions and social-assistance
centres which are named after St. Paul or inspired
Dear brothers and sisters, as in early times, today by him and his teaching.
too Christ needs apostles ready to sacrifice them-
selves. He needs witnesses and martyrs like St. Lastly, there is one particular aspect to which spe-
Paul. Paul, a former violent persecutor of Chris- cial attention must be paid during the celebration
tians, when he fell to the ground dazzled by the of the various moments of the 2,000th Pauline
divine light on the road to Damascus, did not hesi- anniversary: I am referring to the ecumenical di-
tate to change sides to the Crucified One and fol- mension. The Apostle to the Gentiles, who was
lowed him without second thoughts. He lived and especially committed to taking the Good News to
worked for Christ, for him he suffered and died. all peoples, left no stones unturned for unity and
How timely his example is today! harmony among all Christians.

And for this very reason I am pleased to announce May he deign to guide and protect us in this bimil-
officially that we shall be dedicating a special Ju- lenial celebration, helping us to progress in the
bilee Year to the Apostle Paul from 28 June 2008 humble and sincere search for the full unity of all
to 29 June 2009, on the occasion of the bimillen- the members of Christ’s Mystical Body. Amen.
7
Reflections and Meditations On St. Anthony Zaccaria

On St. Anthony Zaccaria

T
by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger

he image of this saint [Anthony Mary


Zaccaria] is dear to me because he is one of the great In His Own Words By…
figures of Catholic reform in the 1500’s, engaged as
he was in the renewal of Christian life in an era of
profound crisis in the area of faith and customs.
His life coincides with a turbulent period in which
Luther, in his own way, attempted to reform the
Church, an attempt that, as we well know, ended in
the tragic division of Christianity. In dealing with
the problems of his personal life and of his times,
Luther had disco ered the person of St. Paul, and
with the intention of following the apostle’s mes-
sage, began his journey. Unfortunately, he placed
St. Paul in contrast to the hierarchical Church,
the law against the Gospel, and in doing so, even
though he rediscovered him, he detached the saint
from the totality of the Church, from the message
of the Sacred Scripture. Anthony Mary Zaccaria
also discovered St. Paul; he wanted to follow his
evangelical dynamism and he saw him in the total-
ity of the divine message, in the community of the
Holy Church. It seems to me that St. Anthony Mary
Zaccaria is a saint of great current relevance, an ec-
umenical and missionary figure, who invites us to
display and to live the Pauline message within the
Church itself. He shows our sep rated brethren that
St. Paul has his true place in the Catholic Church,
and it is not necessary to place his message in con-
trast with the hierarchical Church. Rather, there ex-
ists in the Catholic Church plenty of space for evan-
gelical freedom, for missionary dynamism and for
the joy of the Gospels. The Catholic Church is not
only a Church of law, but it must also concretely
prove itself as the Church of the Gospel and of its
joy to open the way to unity. Saint Anthony Mary
Zaccaria, born exactly five centuries ago, deserves to
be rediscovered in his moral greatness and for his
appeal to the fundamental values of Christianity

8
Reflections
Refl ectionsand
andMeditations
Meditations On St. Anthony Zaccaria

and to the perennial lesson of evangelical radical-


ism. His entire brief existence—first as a young
layperson, doctor and catechist, and then as priest
and religious—is dominated by what the liturgy
of July 5 calls “the over eminent science of Jesus
Christ,” and is animated by the “folly of the cross,”
as acquired at the school of the “learned Paul,” his
model and mentor. In this light shines his extraord
nary devotion to the two fundamental mysteries
of our faith, the Crucific and the Eucharist, which
he considered with genial intuition to be “the liv-
ing Crucifi x.” It’s not always easy to draw near to
the image and the life of a saint—only God has
the key to enter into the secret of a soul dedicated
to Him. It is even more diffi cult when that man
lived in a distant era, among the most complex
and troubled in the history of the Church. (...) [St.
Anthony Mary Zaccaria] was an authentic man of
God and of the Church, a man burning with zeal,
a demanding forger of consciences, a true leader
able to convert and lead others to good. [His ac-
tion has been] described as the action of a “bonus
miles Christi” (A Good Soldier of Christ) even in
persecutions, which, however, did not prevent him
from anticipating the times and preparing for the
great event that was the Council of Trent. Anthony
Mary Zaccaria’s life was a constant struggle against
the vice of spiritual “lukewarmness” and medioc-
rity that so “reigned” among his contemporaries.
In his Letters and Sermons, and not the least in his
Constitutions, there resonates an incessant call to
sainthood.

Rome, October 11, 2001

9
Reflections and Meditations In the Footsteps of St. Paul

In the Footsteps of St. Paul:


The “Paulism” of St. Anthony M. Zaccaria

T
By Fr. Giovanni M. Scalese, CRSP Translated by Fr. Frank M. Papa, CRSP

his theme can be considered a classical one: ence to the corpus paulinum, should be confirmed
there is no convention on St. Anthony M. Zaccaria
there with a biblical-theological analysis which would
where there is not a contribution on the “Paulism” be a necessary preamble to establish the limits
of the Saint. It started in 1933 with Cardinal Eu- determining the Pauline character of St. Anthony
gene Pacelli who, at the conclusion of the celebra- Mary’s spirituality.” This is a task left to further
tion for the 400th anniversary of the foundation of studies. For now, I have limited myself to take and
the Congregation, gave the keynote speech in St. put in order whatever has already been published,
Charles on The Apostolate of Anthony Mary Zaccaria and see if we could give it a new or more profound
on the footsteps the Apostles of the Gentiles. The same interpretation.
year, a special issue of the magazine, The Messager
de St. Paul, published the article by Fr. Achilles Des- The study is divided into four parts: in the first
buquoit on La parenté d’âme entre Paul et Zaccaria. part, we shall consider the presence of St. Paul in
During the 1950s, the student Giuseppe Motta the life of St. Anthony M. Zaccaria; in the second,
made a research, entitled Cor Antonii, cor Pauli, we will investigate this presence in the writings of
under the guidance of Fr. Giuseppe Cagni. This our Founder; in the third, we shall try to answer the
was published at first in Rivivere, and then in the question from where did Zaccaria draw his paulism;
Eco dei Barnabiti, in two parts. The second part was in the fourth, we shall ask which “Paul” was the
published on the celebration of the19th centen- reference point for Anthony Mary. We shall con-
nial anniversary of St. Paul’s arrival in Rome. Next clude with some relevant reflections.
came Fr. Antonio Gentili with an article on this
subject in his book I Barnabiti. Finally, Fr. Andrew Introduction: Most Faithful Follower
Bonini tried to tackle the same subject during the of His Paul
week of spirituality in La Mendola, on the occa- I believe that in the history of hagiography, Zaccaria
sion of the 450th anniversary of the death of the is the only saint, or at least the first, who makes
Holy Founder. We also have, as a vital reference, Fr. reference to another saint who has preceded him.
Franco Ghilardotti’s thesis, TheBarnabite Paulism: He did this in a wide-reaching manner, almost
ethical-religious aspects or The Lombard Evangelism identifying Paul. A series of observations will con-
of the 1500’s, which, unfortunately, was never pub- firm this impression. It is a fact that the spiritual
lished, but was presented in the 1961 Eco dei Barn- family founded by him is the first to be entitled
abiti special issue. to a saint. Prior to him, all religious orders were
without a specific title, except for those dedicated
What could we add, since the sources available to the Mother of God. It is the first time that with
have already been widely explored? Fr. Mauro Es- Zaccaria some religious, men and women, and lay
pen, at the end of his recent thesis on the Zaccar- people are called children of Paul. It became a very
ian Sermons, draws the following conclusion: “The common practice as shown in the latest Pontifical
Paulism” which is usually attributed to Zaccaria, Yearbook, where about forty institutes of men are
and which presents as its foundation a large refer- entitled to a saint, four of them to St. Paul, and six
10
Reflections and Meditations St. Anthony and the Forty Hours

St. Paul caught up to the third heaven


Giacinto Calandrucci

11
Reflections and Meditations In the Footsteps of St. Paul

to St. Joseph. Women institutes number about two ical documents which deal with the Holy Founder
hundred, of which four are to St. Paul, and fifty to keep underlining the intimate relationship which
St. Joseph. bound the Apostle of the Gentiles with the Apostle
of Lombardy during the pre-Trent period.
Another noteworthy fact can be seen in the Roman
liturgy where, I believe, Zaccaria is the only saint in Perhaps the oldest Pauline title attributed to
whose prayer the name of another saint appears, Zaccaria is found in an inscription reported by
namely Paul. This means that the Church consid- Giuseppe Bresciani which, to the end of the 700’s,
ers this as a unique case of identification among must have been on a plaque or on a column in
saints, which is very difficult to trace elsewhere. Cremona. Pauli sui fidelissimus sectator (Most faith-
Another observation is about iconography. Many ful follower of his Paul). That unique relationship
times our Saint, especially in the oldest paintings, between Anthony Mary and the Apostle is under-
is represented together with St. Paul. In the collec- lined in a three-tiered way in this expression. First
tion by Fr. Boffito, I could count about fifteen of of all, it says that Zaccaria was a “follower” of Paul.
them. This, too, is a unique more than a rare case. This idea has been picked up in the present title
I take the last observation from the first lines of Fr. “on the footsteps of Paul.” An attribute has been
Motta’s work. It is an impression we cannot avoid: added to this qualification. Since the simple faith-
from Paul III to Pius XI, and to Pius XII, the pontif- ful did not seem enough, the superlative most has
12
Reflections and Meditations In the Footsteps of St. Paul

been used. But what is the most beautiful element exhortation, he used to write letters to his confreres
in this expression is the word his added to the or others, these seemed to have a certain Pauline
name Paul, as if the Apostle Paul belonged in a efficacy. He gave great attention to the reading of
special way to our Founder. St. Paul’s epistles. He found great pleasure in them,
to the point that the confreres would hear him as
I. St. Paul in the Life of St. Anthony M. Zaccaria if singing the words of Paul, such was his enthusi-
To be able to reconstruct the Pauline personality asm” (De spiritualibus, 7-8).
of our Founder we must address the witnesses:
eyewitnesses (de visu), who had a personal knowl- Gabuzio is not different, although with a more
edge of Zaccaria, and those by ear (de auditu), who elaborated style and rich of quotations “In his ser-
collected· the testimonies by the eyewitnesses. mons to the people, where he seemed to be flood-
ed with ideas, he was so ardent and effective that
1. The Witnesses he seemed to lead the souls wherever he wished,
We can start with the synthetic assertion by the giving rise to extraordinary fruits of piety. Indeed,
Anonymous Angelic: “He was careful to be con- he did not preach about himself, but Christ (2 Cor
sidered a fool by the world, since he was a true 4:5), not with persuasive discourses of wisdom, or
imitator of Christ Crucified and of St. Paul, toward with sublime words, but with a language taught by
whom he had great devotion” (Barnabite Docu- the Spirit (I Cor 2:1,4, 13). He would draw sen-
ments, 44). tences, rich with divine wisdom, especially from
the epistles of St. Paul. In fact, he had a most ex-
But the most authoritative source, especially in the traordinary interest in these epistles, and he found
well-documented study by Fr. Giuseppe Cagni, for great delight in them. And so it happened that in
sure is the Attestations by Fr. Battista Soresina. Let us writing letters to his confreres or to others, to ex-
listen to this fresh eyewitness testimony, “He was a hort them, which he did often, he seemed to have
great devotee and imitator of St. Paul, the Apostle. some kind of apostolic spirit” (Historia, 78-79).
He constantly had his Letters in his hands, experi-
encing great delight in reading them. He used to The testimony given by Chiesa is also very beauti-
read them as if he were singing them. In writing his ful: “In his sermons he had handy the most beau-
letters he used a style similar to the one of St. Paul. tiful and important sentences of St. Paul, whose
His sermons were based and shaped with the doc- epistles were for him a continuous lesson, and he
trine and sayings of the same Apostle. This is why pronounced their words with a certain energy and
before his death, as he himself said to Fr. Soresina voice modulation, giving, in his mind, the effect
while lying sick in bed, St. Paul appeared to him which he thought the Apostle had in writing them”
and invited him if he wished to go with him, and (Depositio, 77).
Father answered that he was willing, and so he died
of that illness. He wanted to write about St. Paul, Secco stays close to the historians who preceded
but his many occupations and untimely death did him, “The way of life of this angelic man was the
not allow him to do so” (Ibid, 68). following: pay great attention to the epistles of
the divine Paul, and find an extraordinary delight
This, obviously, is the principal source used by all in them, so that because of his enthusiasm his
our ancient historians, first of all Bascapè, “He used companions used to hear him sing those words of
to take the fieriest sayings from Paul… When, as an Paul” (Synopsis, 162). Previously, Secco had said,
13
Reflections and Meditations In the Footsteps of St. Paul

“Having chosen the divine Apostle Paul, not only life. Soresina has told us that, before dying, the
as patron and guide, but also as model, not only Apostle appeared to him, inviting him to go with
had he started to make recourse to his paternal him, and the Father answered: “Willingly!” The
protection and his friendly help, but he also tried Anonymous Angelic is a simpler form. It reports
to secure from him inspiration for virtue, examples that “He got very sick. The glorious father and pro-
of honesty, the same words most useful to incite tector St. Paul appeared to him and warned him
the souls” (Ibid, 21). about the pending death. He received the news
with great joy and exultation, and shared it with
Tornielli gives us information about the preaching his spiritual children” (Barnabite Documents, 45).
by Zaccaria, “On feast days, Father Anthony Mary
would give a lesson on the epistles of St. Paul to Gabuzio, with his characteristic style, gives us a
the many laypeople who used to come to listen to lengthier description. First of all, he tells us that
him” (De Principii, 6-7). An example of the Pauline the Saint predicted his death in the octave of the
preaching by our Founder is found in his speech of Apostles Peter and Paul. Then he describes the last
October 4, 1534, reported by Gabuzio and then by moments of life of Anthony Mary: “He recounted
Secco. It is practically a commentary to a Pauline to have had at that time, many hard and troubled
text (I Cor 4:10), made through a series of Scripture fights with the enemy of the human race, but that
quotations, especially from Paul, with references he had overcome them with God’s help. During
to the living reality. A kind of Lectio Divina on St. his sleep, by Divine enlightenment, he had en-
Paul. visioned what would happen to the whole Con-
gregation, and that St. Paul appeared to him in a
2. Later Contribution vision, imploring God not to take him from this
The most recent historical research has ascertained life yet, so that he could be of greater benefit to the
that the Pauline devotion of Zaccaria is ancient, same Congregation; but that he had to die, prayed
before the foundation of the Barnabites and of the the other Apostles to go to heaven with them”
Angelics. Bugati discovered a document drawn by (Historia, 72).
the notary Giuseppe Fellini on September 5, 1543,
where there is a reference to the last will made by The Milanese lawyer Giuseppe Vaillati perceives in
Zaccaria in 1531, where Anthony Mary had estab- this apparition an indication of Zaccaria’s holiness,
lished for the altar built by his family in the church “Let me observe again that, as a proof of Zaccaria’s
of St. Donato. It was to be dedicated to the Conver- holiness, since in his life he had chosen as special
sion of St. Paul, adding to it a benefit with annual protector the Apostle Paul, and as a subject of his
revenue of 75 Imperial lire, and the obligation to instructions, homilies, etc., the same Apostle, he
celebrate a Mass every Holiday of Obligation and had the consolation to have the Apostle appear to
on the feast day of St. Donato and the Conversion him at the moment of his death, as reported by
of St. Paul. Its first chaplain was the Rev. Gaffuri, the majority of the writers who have talked about
who will be followed by one chosen by his cousin Zaccaria. This is why I deduce that, taking the fact
Bernard or by the oldest of his descendants or the as true, it matches so well with Zaccaria’s whole
oldest of the Zaccarians. life, to appear that the fact in itself would be a most
evident witness confirming his holiness. It would
3. The ‘Vision of St. Paul’ Before His Death be, anyway, inconceivable for the Apostle to wish
We find St. Paul also at the end of our Founder’s to appear to the dying and seal with the apparition

14
Reflections and Meditations In the Footsteps of St. Paul

the rapport of all the ideas which lightens and directs the action
could be given about the history of them both. They have the
of the Servant of God’s life and same tendency for action as to
virtues” (Depositio, 198). We can, an irresistible need to expand, to
then, consider this apparition as the austerity of life as a control
the seal with which the Apostle which, while saving them from
Paul wanted to sanction a life illusions, would make possible
spent totally at his footsteps and in them the radiation of the
in imitation of his virtues. spirit; to the same constancy in
pain, and to the same humility
4. Although Dead, He Still Speaks in the successes, which explains
Heb 11:4
(Heb 11:4) the grandeur of their vast apos-
Even after his death, Zaccaria tolic activity” (Cor Antonii, cor
keeps speaking about Paul. Pauli, Eco, 1959, 39).
Still Gabuzio reports a gracious
episode which happened to Fr. Fr. Bonini, on his part, lingers
Soresina, “One day, after the over some aspects of the Apos-
death of Anthony Mary, Fr. Sore- tle’s personality, which played a
sina, overcome by laziness, or particular attraction on Anthony
tired from work, postponed the Mary, “Zaccaria found in Paul
confession of a sick person. The some consonance also in the
following night, before falling character. He must have been
asleep, he clearly heard Zaccar- fascinated by the Apostle’s quali-
ia’s voice: ‘Sir Battista, my good ties of decisiveness and resolute-
brother, where is the love taught ness, the opposition to any form
to us by our Paul? Why did you of compromise, the fight to luke-
neglect that soul?’ Having said warmness, the laying out of his
this, he disappeared leaving him life without reserve, the mixture
astonished and, confused by the of tenderness and intransigence
shame of the neglected duty, it towards his own, to have de-
made him more diligent for the cided once and for all for Christ.
future” (Historia, 76). And he saw these qualities real-
ized in the marriage between
5. Similarity of Character sleepless activity and interior
The authors have pointed out life in Christ, between theology
many similarities of character and mysticism, between action
between St. Paul and Zaccaria. and prayer” (Alla Scuola di San
G. Motta noted, “Both ener- Paolo, 71).
getic and vibrant souls have the
same love for God and for souls, II. St. Paul in the Writings of St.
aroused by the bloody reality of Anthony M. Zaccaria
the Crucified Christ, who en- I have already treated this subject

15
Reflections and Meditations In the Footsteps of St. Paul

in the “Handbook for the Spirit,” published in 1994. father,” “saint father” (Letter VII); “chaste Paul,”
As I make reference to that study, I will enlarge the “learned Paul” (Letter IX); “true friend of God”
subject, taking into consideration the contribu- (Sermon III); “our most holy leader and patron,
tions of other authors. most wise doctor of the Gentiles, leader and fa-
ther” (Sermon VII); “Apostle” par excellence (Pas-
1. Preamble sim). We have to note that the title divine, which
In his writings, Zaccaria defines himself as “priest will cause so many suspicions for the Barnabites
of Paul the Apostle” (Letter VII); he calls the Angel- and the Angelics, and which was used also in refer-
ics “Daughters of Paul the Apostle” (Lt 5), and the ence to living individuals, is characteristic of Paul.
Barnabites “little children of Paul the Apostle” (Let- The Oriental tradition ordinarily attributes it to
ter VII), “little children of Paul the Saint” (Letter X), him, calling him “divine apostle.”
“little children and stock of Paul” (Letter VII).

Paul is the foundation for the apostolate of Zac- 3. Pauline Quotations


caria’s children, “You will build, on the foundation a) Number of the Quotations
of Paul, structures neither of hay nor of wood, but Up until now, according to the Concordance pub-
of gold and of precious stones” (Letter VI). Paul is lished by Fr. Giuseppe Cagni in 1960, we could
their ideal of life: “Not to busy themselves in deny- count about ninety Pauline quotations. Now, we
ing their will ... it would pull them completely out have available the thorough study by Fr. John
of the desire and life of Paul” (Letter IX). Rizzi, which counts over 834 Pauline references
(corpus paulinum + Acts), over 1,371 references to
2. Pauline Titles the New Testament, and 1,717 over all references
He attributes to Paul the following titles: “divine to Holy Scripture. This is how he has classified this
Paul,” “father” (Letter V); “divine father,” “sweet
Letter V material:

CORPUS New Testament BIBLE PAULINUM


• quotations from the Latin Bible 35 61 82
• quotations in Italian translation 14 37 72
• paraphrases of the Biblical text 63 133 204
• more evident references to the biblical text 162 297 424
• more concealed references to the biblical text 328 492 565
• possible scriptural parallels 232 351 450

16
Reflections and Meditations In the Footsteps of St. Paul

The first impression coming from this data is the the original text, followed by a meaningful ‘etc.’ In
net predominance of Pauline references, over the many cases there is the mingling of two or more
other books of Holy Scripture. With reason, then, biblical texts, with substantial transformations in
Fr. Rizzi can affirm, “The Zaccarian language is first some cases, and most of the time with style and
of all Pauline and then evangelical.” context adaptations. This is why the quotations as
such from the Latin Scripture text can be reduced
For my part, out of curiosity, I have gone over the to very few.
Pauline quotations in the Zaccarian writing, leav-
ing aside those which, rather than true quotations, c) Source of the Quotations
appear to be have a similarity and, therefore, the The question has been raised more than once,
reference to the Apostle could be rather subjective, which Latin version of the Bible was the Founder
we can affirm that the Pauline passages (including using? Fr. Rizzi has observed that in the Zaccarian
the letter to the Hebrews) reported by Zaccaria in writings the quotations come from the Vulgata and
his writings (excluding the Sermon VII) are a total from the Vetus Latina. Most likely, Anthony Mary
of 293 in the Letters, 26 in the Sermons, and none in did not have a single complete text of the Bible.
the Constitutions (surprising, considering their par- From what we have read in the various ancient re-
ticular literary genre). These quotations are clearly ports we can deduce with certainty that he had at
recognizable because usua1ly they are introduced his disposal a collection of the Epistles of St. Paul,
by the expression “Paul says” or such 8 are from probably in the Vulgata text. Keeping in mind what
the Latin text; 11 are in the Italian translation (usu- has been said by Fr. Motta and Fr. Rizzi, it seems
ally very liberal, especially in paraphrases); 7 the that both for the Corpus Paulinum and the other
conflatae quotations, where the Latin text, the Ital- books of the Bible, the principal direct source of
ian translation, and some personal addition are biblical quotations for Anthony Mary was rather
mixed together. his memory, recalling passages read in various
biblical texts or in the works of the Fathers and
b) The Way of Quoting Doctors of the Church used for his formation, and
In his research, Fr. Motta had made the observation, which he continued to consult.
“The quotation from St. Paul with which especially
the Sermons are crammed, are by far from being ex- d) Purpose of the Quotations
act: at least a word must be changed; perhaps, just As we said, usually the Pauline quotations are in-
one, but there must always be a divergence from troduced by the expression, “Paul said” or the like.
the canonical text. This shows that this was all ma- This expression, besides being an introduction,
terial he had assimilated, and so he was quoting by gives to the quoted passage a certain solemnity,
heart. Moreover, in the original text of the Sermons, underlining the fact that Paul is the master who
the Pauline quotations are never reported in full; teaches. Fr. G. Motta had already pointed this out,
but, after one or two words, a quick ‘etc.’ ... implies “(Paul) is the ‘master’ par excellence, whose au-
the rest, which supports what was said before that thoritative word is always side by side with the one
he used to quote by heart, since the familiarity of the highest master, Jesus.” Equally valid is the
with the sacred text was making the book useless”. other observation: “The apodictic proofs, reported
In his most recent study, Fr. Rizzi has confirmed always after the other scriptural proofs, are always
these findings. The 59 quotations are given mostly obtained from Paul.” In The Handbook for the Spir-
by heart with the beginning or few words from it, I have pinpointed how Paul is a master not only

17
Reflections and Meditations In the Footsteps of St. Paul

with his teaching, but also with his example. One of prayer’ has a Pauline origin (cf. Constitutions X).
quotation is enough, “Paul never wanted to tell an The terminology of the ‘gain’ so widespread in the
untruth, although he could have gained the whole Zaccarian writings is also of Pauline origin. And we
world, and gained for Christ” (Sermon II). could keep going. A question to ascertain is if these
doctrines are taken directly from St. Paul or are
4. Pauline Doctrine they instead filtered through intermediate authors.
Zaccaria takes from St. Paul not only some sen- We shall return to this.
tences, but most of the doctrine contained in his
writings. Here we cannot exhaust the subject, also 5. Reference to St. Paul’s Life
because this field still has to be explored. We will In the Zaccarian writing we find many references
just give some indications which will demonstrate not only to the letters of St. Paul, but also to his
how Paul is the source of our Holy Founder’s life. I have found at least six. It would be enough
thought. Fr. Ghilardotti, following the content here to remember how Letter IX is drafted on the
of his thesis, gives the following summary of the presentation of Paul to the apostles by Barnabas
“Gospel Interpreted by Paul,” and announced by An- (cf. Acts 9:26-27). That shows how the Holy
thony Mary: Founder was familiar not only with the writings,
• Jesus Christ, Incarnate Word; but also with the life of the Apostle. This confirms
• the symbolism of the two men; that Paul is a master not only with his teaching,
• the Pauline metanoia or renewal; but also with his example.
• the theory of God’s two books;
• man referee of his own destiny; 6. Comments to the Letters of St. Paul
• contrast between the Old and the New Testament; As we have seen, the historians note that the
• social sense of charitas and its dynamism. preaching by Zaccaria was basically Pauline. He
drew ideas and words themselves mostly from the
Let us add other elements, always of Pauline Apostle. We have noted that the speech of October
origin, or somehow traced back to the Apostle, 4, 1534, is nothing more but a lectio on a Pauline
Zaccaria derives from Paul the theology of the cross, text. The first part of Sermon IV is nothing more but
the characteristic of his spirituality. For sure it is a commentary, albeit well-done, to the hymn of
the Pauline doctrine of the need for charity devel- love by St. Paul.
oped in Sermon IV IV, and of the mediation of man
and of the creatures generally treated in Sermons 7. Familiarity with the Apostle
I and VI, also in Sermon IV. Deduced from Paul The relationship between Zaccaria and Paul, as it
is the doctrine of the “Middle Way,” based on the emerges from the writings, is an extremely famil-
recurring quotation of 2 Cor 6:7-8 “wielding the iar one. Sometimes Anthony Mary addresses the
weapons of righteousness with right hand and left, Apostle with the greatest of confidence, “Oh, Paul,
whether honored or dishonored, spoken of well if your chains are so good, why do you want Festus
or ill” (cf. Sermon V, VI, VII). Even the distinction to be a Christian without them?” (Sermon VI). Also
between the precepts and the counsels goes back a text, which up until now has always been referred
to St. Paul. Utilized to remove lukewarmness, one to Fra Battista, I think instead to be addressed to
starts with the observance of the precepts to pass the Apostle, “O sweet Father, you have sweat and
then, almost insensibly, to follow the counsels (cf. you have been sorrowful, and we shall receive the
Sermon VI). Even the distinction of the ‘four kinds fruits; yours has been the cross, and ours shall be

18
Reflections and Meditations In the Footsteps of St. Paul

abundant rest; that is, carrying and eating crosses to St. Paul’s style of life and apostolate happened
continuously, we shall deliver your fruits as well as to Anthony Mary’s style. Both master and disciple
ours” (Letter VII). are far away from any literary purpose. The writ-
ings reveal an impromptu approach for the occa-
The familiarity between Zaccaria and Paul is also sion, using the little free time available to jot down
expressed in the, sometimes quite daring, compari- notes, write some letters, as the impelling spirit
sons he makes between his experience and the one dictates, and so, at times, the thought becomes
of the Apostle. Think, for example, at the beginning disorderly and obscure” (Writings, 64).
of Letter V. Anthony Mary even expresses the desire
to cause the envy of Paul for his daughters, the An- Even Fr. Bonini faces the question, “In the letters
gelics; or the beautiful dialogue we find in Letter of the Founder even the tone conforms with the
X, “You, Dionisius, and you, Timothy and Titus, one of the letters of Paul, from the initial greeting
how were you acting with your Paul? You were not to the development of the theme, to the exhorta-
acting like this, but you, always aware of his pres- tive moment, to the final greetings. It is evident in
ence, had deep love for your Father in your hearts, the two Saints the drive which urges them to write,
and you had no other intention but to please him. that is, the exclusive desire ‘to gain in themselves
Alas, it is not the same with me!” (Letter X). The and the neighbors,’ either they write to individu-
same vital relationship existing between Paul and als, or to the community. And the assimilation of
Zaccaria, must exist between the Apostle and the Paul’s spirit by Anthony Mary has been such that,
children of Anthony Mary. “Tell them, then, that although with a style which is his own, made of
this Paul preaches to them a Christ crucified in ev- expressive urgency and familiar vocabulary, it is
ery way: crucified not only in himself but in them possible to catch echoes and reflections of Pauline
too” (Letter IX). expressions, if not a translation of Paul’s phrase.”

8. Affinity in the Epistolary Style III. The Origins of the Zaccarian Paulism
We have already mentioned how Soresina and, A question raised by the authors, and which we
following his example, the ancient historians have cannot avoid, is the following: where did Zaccaria
noted even an affinity in the epistolary style. To the acquire his paulism? Fr. Ghilardotti is resolute in
point, Fr. Premoli affirms, “The letters of St. An- his answer, “At this point of our study we are able
thony Mary testify, on their own, the study he used to say by now from where Zaccaria attained this
to make of the Pauline epistles. In the greetings Pauline imprint: from the Evangelism.” Fr. Bonini
then, used to close, we can almost reread St. Paul” shows more caution: “It would be exciting to know
(Cinquecento…, 52). In the introduction to the which ones were the external impulses which ori-
Sermons of the Bologna edition, Fr. Vittorio Mi- ented Zaccaria toward the study and the love of
chelini adds, “If the love of children would not be St. Paul; but according to our present knowledge,
an impediment, we could say that what happened ours could be nothing else but pious desires.” But,

19
Reflections and Meditations In the Footsteps of St. Paul

after this general statement, he interest and love for St. Paul
follows with the indication of a derived from his contacts with
precise research track, “Although the North Europe clubs, contacts
we do not know the modalities, which, need to be documented. I
he must have received a strong rather think that it derived from
impulse from Fra Battista Cari- a “Pauline mainstream” which
oni, the Dominican with a lead- has always been present in the
ing role in the spiritual life of the Christian spirituality. Condi-
first three decades of the Lom- tioned as we are by the histori-
bard Sixteen Century, spiritual ography of the Reformation, we
director and inspirer of so many have a tendency to think that
Zaccarian initiatives. The experts Paul, after Augustine had been
on the Dominican, indeed, are forgotten and that Luther was
in agreement in affirming that needed to rediscover him. We
among the sacred books he has a have never worried for clarity
very clear preference for St. Paul, how, inside the tradition, the
as the one whose thought is bet- Apostle Paul had continued to
ter in line with his character and be well-present, especially with
ideals: spiritual battle, unrelent- some authors.
ing fight against lukewarmness.”
Very appropriately Fr. Bonini
On another occasion, I have and, before him, Fr. Colciago
warned about presenting have emphasized Fra Battista’s
Zaccaria as “a man of the Renais- unquestioned influence over
sance.” I have expressed some Anthony Mary. Now, it was
reservation about the traditional not by chance that Carioni had
key used in the reading of our this Pauline vein: it is part of
Founder, which interprets it in the Dominican tradition. It is
the light of Christian Human- enough to think of the attesta-
ism, of Evangelism, and of De- tion over St. Dominic found in
votio Moderna. On that occasion, the Libellus de principiis Ordinis
I suggested to interpret Anthony Praedicatorum, “He constantly
Mary in the light of the patristic- carried with himself the Gospel
scholastic tradition in which he of St. Matthew and the letters of
had been formed, and of which St. Paul, and meditated at length
he was heavily imbued. over these last ones to the point
that he knew them by heart.”
Now I would like to propose
a hypothesis, which will have But, besides the Dominican
to be carefully examined to re- school of which Zaccaria was
spond to the present question. an alumnus, I think we can go
I do not believe that Zaccaria’s behind to reach that patristic,

20
Reflections and Meditations In the Footsteps of St. Paul

or better yet, monastic tradition which the Founder Holy Spirit has said something through the mouth
had gradually absorbed during his formation. He of St. Paul uselessly or without reason.” In the XVII
constantly drew sustenance from this for his spiri- Collatio, we read the beautiful page describing what
tual life. Not to make any up in the air affirmations, today we would call St. Paul’s diplomatic behavior;
it would be opportune to make reference to the not to mention the second to the last Collatio, the
sources. In the precious Attestations by Fr. Soresina, XXIII, which is totally Pauline from top to bottom.
right after the passage reported above, on the Zac- It is not a surprise to find so many Pauline refer-
caria’s devotion toward the Apostle, it says, “Besides ences in Cassian, because, although a follower of
the doctrine of St. Paul, he put great emphasis on Origin and Evagrio Pontico, he was also a disciple
the Collationes and treatises by John Cassian. Hence, of St. John Chrysostom. It is well-known that the
in his own conferences he utilized Cassian’s writ- great Bishop of Constantinople was a great admirer
ings and had his listeners read passages from them of the Apostle Paul. So, when Cassian came out of
which he commented on, so that everyone derived Egypt in 399, where he had been in contact with
wonderful profit from this kind of exercise” (Docu- the desert monks, he went to Constantinople and
ments, 68). stayed there until 404, becoming a deacon under
St. John Chrysostom, having in this way the oppor-
I think this is a field still in need of thorough in- tunity to listen to the teachings of the great orator
vestigation. Fr. Espen has tried with his thesis a pa- and to absorb his love for St. Paul.
tristic approach to the Sermons. I believe that Zac-
caria’s dependence from the Fathers, and especially So, here is my thesis: if in this author, for sure so
Cassian, needs further study, reaching out to all the widely used by Zaccaria (as witnessed by Fr. Sore-
writings. sina, and by Anthony Mary himself in Constitutions
VIII), there is such a “wide spread Paulism,” it seem
If, then, we read the works of the one who has been to me a natural conclusion to say that Zaccaria’s in-
defined as “a disciple in the East, and a master in terest and love for St. Paul, the Apostle could have
the West,” we will realize that, although the accusa- derived, to some degree, exactly from reading Cas-
tion of semi-plagiarism hung over him, they are full sian. I do not think we are dealing with a useless
of Pauline references. In the Coenobite Institutions, I question, because it has notable consequences for
have counted 99 quotations of the Apostle over 334 the hermeneutics. It is one thing to say that Zac-
biblical quotations (that is, 30%, almost a third, of caria’s Paulism is derived from the Evangelism, and
the total); in the Collationes, I have counted 363 so from a movement which, in the Humanistic and
Pauline quotations over 1,465 scriptural quota- Renaissance spirit, returns to Paul neglecting the
tions (that is, 25 %, almost a quarter, of the total). intermediate tradition with the possible danger of
In the Collationes, often there is a reference to Paul’s subjectivism and “rupture.” It is another thing to af-
vocation; he is considered “the ancient ambidex- firm that Anthony Mary got his Paulism from Cas-
trous doctor of the Gentiles,” “our centurion of sian or from the Fathers and Doctors of the Church
the Gospel,” “the most valuable master of the Gen- or from the Dominican teachers, that is, from the
tiles,” “the vas of election through whom Christ living tradition of the Church. It means that it is not
spoke,” “the architect of spiritual artifacts”; usually a novelty, but an heredity which is transmitted and
he is designated as “the blessed Apostle.” In the IX it is constantly been enriched. Which is not little!
Collatio he affirms: “One could not believe that the But at this point we have to ask another question.

21
Reflections and Meditations In the Footsteps of St. Paul

IV. Which Paul? has chosen him as his inspiring model. He too
It is easy to talk about Paulism. But, when we talk wanted to be an apostle, and wanted his disciples
about Paul, which Paul do we mean? The Apostle’s to be apostles. He said to the Barnabites: “(Our
figure is extremely many-sided. We can make refer- vocation demands) from us who have started to
ence to him from so many different angles. Which follow, although from far away, on the footsteps
ones are the aspects Anthony Mary has dealt with of the holy apostles, and of the other disciples of
most? I believe we can answer: just about all of Christ, not to refuse to share in their sufferings,
them. especially those trials which are by far lighter than
theirs” (Gabuzio, Historia, 54).
1. The Theologian
We have already said that in his writings Anthony Speaking of the Angelics, he affirms, “My (daugh-
Mary looks at Paul as the teacher. Surely, if we look ters) - not one, but all of them - banishing any per-
in Zaccaria for the great theological controversies sonal reputation and human satisfaction ... wish to
present in Galatians and Romans, we are going to be apostles to eliminate not only idolatry and other
be disappointed. Anthony Mary is not a Luther, big defects from the souls of people, but to destroy
and the Paul of our Founder is not the one of the that most deadly and greatest enemy of Christ Cru-
great Reformer. Anyway, although not a profes- cified, which reigns in our modern times: I mean
sional theologian, Zaccaria shows to posses a dis- that incredible lukewarmness” (Letter V). Paul, for
Letter V
creet theological formation. anyone who wants to be an apostle, must be the
fundamental point of reference, since he was not
It would be extremely interesting to deepen the only one of the Apostles, but the first among them:
theological presuppositions of the Zaccarian “He (Barnabas) presented him (Paul) to all the
moral-spiritual doctrines. For example, no one Christians as a column, and as if he was the prince
has ever taken the time to examine the theological of the Apostles” (Letter IX).
motivations which are the base for our Founder’s
fight against lukewarmness. If we should do it, and 3. The Martyr
we would relate them to the motivations of Jesus’ Paul is also the one who ended his life shedding
conflict with the Pharisees, or to the ones which his blood for Christ. This was not by chance, but
inspire Paul’s polemic against those in favor of cir- the realization of a desire he had cherished for a
cumcision, we would discover, with great surprise, long time: “The wise Paul…wanted to be, in actual
that they are ... the same! Another question which life and in the opinion of all, a living example of
should be theologically investigated is the relation Christ Crucified” (Letter IX).
between grace and free will. It would be interesting
to confront Zaccaria’s position with that of Paul Also in this the Barnabites wanted to imitate their
and Augustine on one side, and the one of Cassian master, and so they were called “Clerics Regular of
and Fra Battista, accused of Pelagianism, on the St. Paul decapitated.” Fr. G. Motta notes that what
other. Fr. Premoli affirms is not true, that is, that the ad-
jective decapitated was added only in 1552, since
2. The Apostle from January 1545 we find in the Liber capitulorum
Paul was not only a theologian, he was also, and the “House of St. Paul decapitated” mentioned.
especially an apostle, the Apostle par excellence. Later the cult toward the Apostle-martyr was codi-
And probably this is the reason why Anthony Mary fied in the Constitutions of 1579. The title “Clerics

22
Reflections and Meditations In the Footsteps of St. Paul

Regular of St. Paul decapitated,” Fr Gabuzio ex- ciples the gift of perfection, the taste of God, the
plains almost quoting verbatim the Constitutions, knowledge of His secrets” (Sermon III). Model of
“was kept for a long time, because those ancient these “friends,” to whom God reveals his secrets,
Fathers thought to be according to their desires, is precisely Paul, he who encounters Christ on the
that is, they tried to care not only for the doctrine road to Damascus, the Paul who, ruptured to third
of the Apostle, but also to imitate his sufferings” sky, hears words which cannot be uttered (II Cor.
(Historia, 95). 12:4).

4. The Mystic Conclusion: Anthony Alter


What seems to be often neglected Paul
is another aspect of Paul, which From what we have been saying
instead is the source for the theo- up until now, we can conclude
logian, the apostle, the martyr, the that Zaccaria somehow must be
mystic Paul could be who he was, considered as an alter Paul. We can
only because he had a profound truly say that in the 16th century,
experience of God. Our Apostle Anthony Mary incarnated, if not
joins the list of the long tradition the person, for sure the spirit of the
of Old Testament Fathers who met Apostle. A vision which does not go
God during their earthly existence: against our Catholic faith. The book
Abraham, Moses, Elijah. It is not by of Wisdom says, “ And she, who is
chance that Zaccaria refers to Paul one, can do all things, and renews
with the expression used by Scrip- everything while herself perduring;
ture to designate Abraham “that And passing into holy souls from
true friend of God, Paul, said about age to age, she produces friends of
himself and other faithful ministers: God and prophets” (Wis 7:27). It is
‘God has revealed to us things that the same divine Wisdom, the same
no prince of this world, that is, no Holy Spirit, who age by age, enters
philosopher nor wise man of the in the Saints, often with the same
world, has known’”(Sermon II). We characteristics. It is possible that the
find this affirmation in a context spirit of Paul, which was nothing
which is particularly mystic in the else by the Spirit of God possessed
Zaccarian writings: the Sermon III, by Paul, could relive 1500 years later
where Anthony Mary distinguishes in Anthony Mary.
between two levels of Christian life: the one which,
with a Pauline term, we could call the justification, I believe that this answers a need inherent in the
destined for all, and the perfection, reserved only economy of salvation: the apostolic charisms,
for the “friends.” somehow, must perpetuate themselves in the
Church throughout its history. Therefore, as Peter’s
“His Bounty gives us, unfaithful and deceitful charism is perpetuated in the Church especially
servants and His enemies, many gifts in spite of through the ministry of the Roman Pontiff, so the
our negligence; nevertheless, He does not want Pauline charism somehow must continue to be
to give to anyone but his friends and faithful dis- present in the Church through the centuries. This

23
Reflections and Meditations In the Footsteps of St. Paul

happens through some saints who have lived St. communication at the week of spirituality in Lodi
Paul’s spirit during their time. Among them our 1980, made this observation. In a certain period
Founder, who in a particular way has identified of our history (as acknowledged by our historians)
himself with the Apostle. Zaccaria too is not any- the ideal of Paul has become weaker in favor of the
more on this earth, and therefore he cannot make Holy Founder. Now, besides the good tradition of
Paul present in the Church and in the contempo- dedicating some of our churches to St. Paul, and
rary society. Anthony Mary, differing from other some of the things expressed in the Constitutions,
“Pauline souls” always present in the history of the whatever happened to the Paulism of the origins?
Church, has founded a religious family which has In reading Fr. Boffito, I have realized the outstand-
inherited his charism. We are the ones to render ing accomplishments of many scholarly confreres
present in the world the spirit of the Apostle; his in many fields of knowledge, but on St. Paul there
Paul, the Paul of Anthony Mary, becomes then our is very little. In Rome we have, thanks be to God,
Paul. a well equipped library on St. Paul, but our Con-
gregation, the first to be dedicated to St. Paul, does
Are we up to this vocation? Are we really ready to have produced as yet a scholar on St. Paul.”
be the carriers of Paul’s charism in the world of
today? If this question refers to the presence in ... I think today we have reached a balance be-
us of the spirit of the Apostle, then, I believe we tween acknowledging the leading role of the Holy
have to answer in the affirmative. When we think Founder, and the natural position of Paul in a Con-
of the number of apostolic activities carried on by gregation dedicated to him. Anyway, the Zaccarian
the meager number of religious, when I think of studies should lead us to this. Anthony Mary is by
the untiring work done by Barnabites and Angelics nature a son and disciple of Paul; to say Zaccaria, it
of today, when I think of their continuous avail- means to made a reference to Paul … For Anthony
ability, I cannot help but think that it is the spirit Mary, the following of Christ had passed through
of Paul that drives them; Caritas Christi urget nos the Apostle: we follow Christ, following Paul; we
(II Cor 5:14). If we, then, think of the missionary imitate Christ, imitating Paul. Still today, we can
spirit which has always animated our Congrega- describe the relationship between Zaccaria and
tion, how can we not think that she continues to Paul with the phrase: “Cor Antonii, cor Pauli.” We
imitate her “divine Father,” made all to all to save can add to it, “cor autem Pauli, cor Christi,” a phrase
some at any cost? which, then, would summarize our spirituality. As
we turn to our Founder, we find Paul. Once we find
But if we look at the exterior forms of our Paulism, Paul, we will have found Christ.
perhaps, some reflection is needed. Fr. Bonini in a

24
Reflections and Meditations In the Footsteps of St. Paul

fruits of righteousness that come August: That, as we are be-


through Jesus Christ for the glory ing rooted and grounded in
and praise of God. (Cf. Philippi- love, we may have the power
ans 1:9-10). to comprehend the love of Christ
that surpasses all knowledge – so
April: That the Son of God, that we may be filled with all the
born of a woman and under fullness of God. (Cf. Ephesians 3:
the law, to ransom those un- 17-19).
der the law, so that we might
receive adoption as children of September: That, we do not
God – will make us aware that allow our difficulties and limita-
his Spirit, who cries out “Abba! tions crush us, confident that
Father,” constitutes us brothers and the Lord – can use even our every
sisters and coheirs with him. (Cf. adversity to advance the gospel.
Galatians 4:4-7). (Cf. Philippians 1:12-18).

May: That the God of persever- October: That, following the


ance and encouragement grant example of Christ, who though
January: That stripped of the us to live in harmony with one he was rich, yet for our sakes he
old self with its practices and another, following the example became poor – we may seek no
clothed with the new self, we of Christ Jesus – so that with other wealth except Christ himself
may be renewed in the image of one accord we may with one voice and his poverty. (Cf. 2 Corinthi-
our Creator – and live in commu- glorify the God and Father of our ans 8:9).
nion with persons of every culture Lord Jesus Christ. (Cf. Romans
and standing so that Christ may 15:5-6). November: That, as men of
be all in all. (Cf. Colossians 3: God we pursue righteousness,
9-11). June: That our conversation be devotion, faith, love, patience,
always sincere and unequivocal gentleness – and fight the good
February: That the word of – as was Christ’s faithfulness to the fight of the faith to take hold of
Christ dwell in us abundantly in promises of God. (Cf. 2 Corinthi- the eternal life, to which we were
all its richness – and that all we ans 1:19-20). called. (Cf. 1 Timothy 6:11-12).
do, in words and deeds, be done in
the name of the Lord Jesus, giving July: That, having crucified December: That, the Lord Jesus,
thanks to God the Father through our flesh with its passions and new Adam, source of justifi-
him. (Cf. Colossians 3: 16-17). desires, we may live by the Spirit cation and life for all people
– bearing fruits of love, joy, peace, – grant us the grace to imitate his
March: That our love may patience, kindness, goodness, faith- obedience that destroys the deadly
abound more and more with fulness, gentleness, and self-con- dynamic of sin. (Cf. Romans 5:
knowledge and full insight trol. (Cf. Galatians 5:16-25). 12-21).
– that we may always discern what
is best and be pure and blameless
for the day of Christ, filled with the

25
Reflections and Meditations The Paulism of St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria

The Paulism of St.

A
Anthony Mary Zaccaria
by Fr. Mike M. Mancusi, CRSP

nthony Mary Zaccaria, the founder of the Our purpose is to examine the Pauline thought of
Clerics Regular of St. Paul, the Angelic Sisters of St. St. Anthony M. Zaccaria, from its origins to its final
Paul, and a third order of laity called the “Laity of form in the interior and exterior manifestations of
St. Paul,” was proclaimed a saint by Pope Leo XIII, our Holy Founder
on May 27, 1897. In a speech the Pope proclaimed
that St. Paul the Apostle was a master from whom
2. Paul is Chosen as Anthony’s Patron
Anthony Mary had developed his thought, his ac- and Model
tivity, his life. Most religious congregations have some patron
“He enjoyed the letters of St. Paul so much that saint other than the founder associated with their
he took them as the model, both in doctrine and congregation. Anthony Mary chose for his follow-
behavior, and invoked him as an intercessor to ers St. Paul, as he had already chosen him as his
Our Lord Jesus Christ. And Paul was always there personal patron and model.
... Paul was always before Anthony’s eyes; he had
Paul, his patron, stirring in his heart and always 2.1 Similarity in their Characters
prayed to Christ Crucified with Paul’s name on his Anthony M. Zaccaria found in St. Paul a great deal
lips.” of himself, as his entire being captured the strength
and temperament of the Apostle Paul, “Paul was
In stating that Paul was his master, and he a servant the one most suiting to his temperament and ide-
of Paul, we are stating that Anthony Mary derived als of reform, proclaiming the need of a radical
his identity from the Apostle Paul. We can say this renewal.”
on the premise that “a servant compared with
someone who simply performs services, identi- Many aspects of their characters were similar. It was
fies with the master, deriving a sense of personal the Christ-event of the Cross that stirred their souls
identity from him.” However, it is not only that to preach a reform aimed to the love of neighbor
we say that Anthony Mary lives through Paul, and the glory of God, “they both had strong and
but also that Paul continues to live and function quivering souls, roused by the bloody reality of the
through Anthony Mary. “The Holy Founder of the Crucified Lord which enlightened and guided their
Barnabites, with an ardent heart as that of Paul, work.”
took as a model to his children the Apostle of the
Gentiles.” Using today’s terminology, we can say that both
souls were open to the Spirit, letting it blow where
Hopefully, the Pauline spirituality as presented He wished. They listened to the movement of the
through this work will enlighten the mind of the Spirit within their souls for they both had the same
reader to the dynamism and modern application of tenderness that links them together and “allows
this unfamiliar saint. It is this Pauline spirituality the Spirit to enlighten their souls”
which we wish to present, this Pauline spirituality
of Anthony Mary Zaccaria that affected the Church We can say that in reading the works of St. Anthony
of the Reformation era, and still today affects the Mary, we seem to be reading St. Paul. When we
Church through those who follow in his footsteps. meditate on the epistles of Paul we unknowingly

26
Reflections and Meditations The Paulism of St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria

find ourselves meditating on the letters of Anthony


Mary. That which moved Paul also moved Anthony
Mary. The two saints, who preached a metanoia for
theirs times, “were of one heart and mind” (Acts
4:32). “It certainly can be said of Anthony Mary
that he was the most faithful imitator of his Paul.
Thus, the Zaccarian Paulism can be summarized in
the formula familiar to every Barnabite, “Cor Anto-
nii, Cor Pauli” (the heart of Anthony, the heart of
Paul).

There was a certain character about their lives that


kept them in touch with the reality in which they
lived, spiritually and temporally. This enabled
their apostolates to grow, not only in size, but
in the depth of their love for God and neighbor.
“They both felt their work as an irresistible urge
to expand; they considered the austerity of their
life as a control against illusions and, therefore, a
guide for their steps.”

Paul boasted of nothing other than the Cross of


Jesus. It is in this same Cross of Jesus that Anthony
Mary found a source of grace in his work. Because
of their openness to the movement of the Spirit in
their lives, they realized that their work could not
be measured as their own but only in their person-
al ongoing conversion to allow the Spirit to work
through every aspect of their character. “For they
were both humble when experiencing success.” Be-
cause they lived in the newness of life in the Spirit,
with the Cross always before their eyes, they both
experienced a foretaste of the life of glory through
the fruits of the Spirit (Gal 5:16-25).

In times of persecution they were so united with


Jesus, they allowed themselves figuratively to be
crucified with Him. They both spoke of themselves
Anthony Mary Zaccaria learns from the Apostle Paul the
sublime wisdom of the Cross
suffering for and with Christ (I Cor 4:8-13). As Paul
G. Mercoro, 1763 accepted his persecution in a Christian manner, so

27
Reflections and Meditations The Paulism of St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria

did Anthony Mary. (This is ex- noia and who would bring to
emplified in St. Anthony Mary’s it the spiritual vitality of Paul.
“Magna Carta” of his Pauline It was through Anthony Mary’s
and Christocentric spirituality: reception of the gifts of the Holy
his speech of October 4, 1534). Spirit that he was able to capital-
For as Jesus was forced to suffer ize on the actual graces that God
and die on the cross and then be offered him.
vindicated in the new life of the
Resurrection, so will those who “God poured into Anthony
suffer in Jesus be vindicated for Mary’s heart all the elements
they, too, live in the newness of of character, of a cast made to
the divine life of the Resurrec- resound to any urge of Saint
tion (Rom 6:1-11). Therefore, Paul’s spirit. He also enriched
both Paul and Anthony “were Anthony Mary’s will with the
steady in times of sorrow and resolution and decision as well
persecution.” as generous undauntedness,
thus allowing him to gather
Both Paul and Anthony can say and absorb all common ele-
together with one heart, “I have ments and make them spring
preached faith in Our Lord Jesus up and bring forth fruit.”
Christ, and now I fear no danger.
I do not count my life more pre- 2.2 The Attraction Found in St.
cious than my work, to finish Paul
my course, of preaching and Since the Church’s very begin-
proclaiming the good news of ning, especially with the Fathers
God’s grace. I am not ashamed of the Church, there has been a
of the Gospel.” Thus, these two great attraction toward the Apos-
saints continued their lifestyles tle Paul who has always had a
and preaching. St. Anthony great influence on all. Anthony
Mary was vindicated not only Mary is no exception. Through
by being acquitted in the courts, the knowledge of Paul’s person-
but also by Pope Paul III himself ality, by means of his studies,
who “ratified the method of life and especially through Paul’s
of the Saint and his sons, and epistles, Anthony M. Zaccaria
with the name of the Clerics of was also taken into the attrac-
St. Paul, convoked them imme- tion for Paul as he opened his
diately under the jurisdiction of heart to him.
the Holy See.”
Anthony Mary grew with a deep
It is obvious that St. Anthony M. and ardent love for the Apostle
Zaccaria found his character in beyond that of the ordinary
St. Paul, his master and guide. Christian. He developed an
The times needed a man with “inspiring love and a passion-
the Pauline thought of a meta- ate study of the Apostle, peculiar
28
Reflections and Meditations The Paulism of St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria

to the Dominican tradition, recalling that of John wards Paul’s footsteps to lead them to their Lord.
Chrysostom.” This was alluded to earlier in the We only have to look at the names of a few: The
speech of Pope Leo XIII when he said that “Paul Missionary Society of St. Paul founded by Isaac
was always before Anthony’s eyes.” This speech of Hecker; The Society of St. Paul founded in Malta;
St. John Chrysostom (to which various authors the Company of St. Paul founded by Cardinal
refer) opens his first homily on the letter to the Ferrari; the Society and the Daughters of St. Paul
Romans: founded by Don Alberione, etc. What must be not-
As I keep having the Epistles of the Blessed Paul ed is that Anthony Mary and his followers were the
read, and that twice every week, and often three very first religious to call upon the name of Paul.
or four times, whenever we are celebrating the “That the Barnabites and the Angelics were the first
memorials of the holy martyrs, gladly do I enjoy two religious orders that took their name and their
the spiritual trumpet, and voice so dear to me, and program from Paul is a fact.”
seem to fancy him all but present to my sight, and
to behold him conversing with me. But I grieve The preoccupation that St. Anthony Mary had for
and I am pained that all people do not know this the Apostle Paul and how this influenced his sec-
man as much as they ought to know him, as not ond foundation, the Angelic Sisters of St. Paul, can
even to know for certain the number of his epis- be found in a manuscript of the Angelic Sfondrati:
tles. And this comes not of incapacity, but of their His desire to honor God and save souls was so upright
own not having the will to be continually convers- and burning that it suggested the Angelics of St. Paul to
ing with this blessed man. For it is not through choose this particular name, making the Apostle stand
any natural readiness and sharpness of wit that out amidst all others as a furnace of love for God, and
even I am acquainted with as much as I do know, made by God himself an object of choice and grace
if I do know anything, but owing to a continual -being so alert in his charity to neighbor and so perfect
cleaving to the man, and an earnest affection in this virtue (as all saints can testify) - the Angelics
towards him. thought that they should never give up imitating him;
neither should they ever waiver from his doctrine and
These words can easily be placed into the mouth example.
of our Holy Founder for he constantly studied,
meditated on, and preached the Apostle. It was the We see that the attraction with the personality and
Apostle Paul and his thoughts that filled Anthony the writings of Paul the Apostle has grown since the
Mary’s soul with a deep and ardent love for God birth of the Church. It was St. Anthony M. Zaccaria
through Christ Crucified and the Eucharist. His who was attracted by the Apostle Paul and it was
love for Paul brought him closer and closer to the the Apostle Paul who instilled in him an ardent
glory of Crucified Lord. From Pope Paul III who love for Christ Crucified and gave him the strength
ratified his Pauline mode of life, to Leo III who needed to carry out his spiritual mission.
proclaimed him a saint, and recent Pontiffs, all
have emphasized the deep and binding relation- 3. Development of the Devotion to St.
ship between the Apostle Paul and St. Anthony Paul
Mary. Anthony Mary’s development of the devotion to
St. Paul is an interesting and important factor in
Not only have Anthony Mary and the Barnabites discussing his Pauline thought.
been attracted to Paul the Apostle, but many other
founders and their congregations have looked to-
29
Reflections and Meditations The Paulism of St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria

3.1 Origins
“It is certain that Anthony Mary had, since the very of faith. To any student who studies the Fathers
first years, a particular veneration for St. Paul, and or Thomas Aquinas, an understanding of the
as soon as he could enjoy his scripts, he found theology of the epistles must come to light. “The
spiritual benefit in reading the epistles and fondly Apostle Paul emerges at the very start to whoever
meditating over them.” The previous statement by wants to penetrate Catholic theology and leads
the learned Father Moltedo can easily be accepted. him throughout the study giving him as research
However, there remains one problem. What sig- material his luminous inspired epistles.”
nificance do the words ‘since the very first years’
have? It could easily be applied to his childhood As a side note it is also very possible that Anthony
as it is taken for general knowledge that he often Mary’s veneration and imitation of Christ Crucified
meditated on those things that he had learned in could have been nurtured by Paul with some help
the church. However, there are no valid documents from the works of Thomas Aquinas. His studies of
that can testify definitively to this. Another possi- Thomas Aquinas, which could most likely have led
bility is that he became devoted to St. Paul through him to an ardent love for the Apostle, is well-attest-
his friendship with Serafino Aceti da Fermo, a Lat- ed to. It is St. Thomas who says that “The Cross ex-
eran Canon, while at the University of Padua. This emplifies every virtue.” We also know that Anthony
possibility is much more credible than the former Mary’s mother formed him in the virtuous life. All
since our young Founder often preached in the this may have had an impact on him, causing him
small church of San Vitale after leaving Padua. to delve deeper into the meaning of the cross and
Again, however, there are no existing documents thus St. Paul, to whom the cross-event of Christ is
that would validate such a possibility. It is most a central aspect of theology.
plausible, though, that this holy friendship with
Serafino Aceti did develop some Pauline thought “It was from Fra Marcello, perhaps, that young
within Anthony Mary. Nevertheless, the only other Zaccaria arrived at the certainty of Catholic doc-
possibility is through the abiding advice of his trine, acquired the zest for the Word of God, es-
spiritual director, although not much is known pecially the letters of St. Paul, and the ardor for
about him. More than likely, through the openings preaching the revealed truth.” However, it must be
from his studies and friendships at Padua, it was noted that it was under the direction of Fra Battista
this Dominican spiritual director who was the one da Crema that Anthony Mary embraced the priest-
to spark the flame of Anthony Mary’s burning love hood. It was under the Dominican’s direction that
for the Apostle Paul. he more seriously “dedicated himself to the study
of the Bible and Thomistic theology, particularly
“It will be this holy friar (Fra Marcello) to initi- the letters of St. Paul and the Summa Theologica
ate the Founder to the studies of theology and of St. Thomas,” and often frequented the mon-
thusly, to the studies of the Fathers of Scripture, astery of the Dominicans. “He availed himself of
and Thomas Aquinas. The Scriptures, especially the study of the Bible from Fra Marcello and more
the letters of St. Paul, can be found in the spirit of particularly from Fra Battista da Crema, a man of
his thought.” As the Holy Founder was preaching vast cultural theology and a profound knowledge
and gathering groups to catechize at San Vitale, Fra of Sacred Scripture, especially of St. Paul as was
Marcello propelled him to the aforementioned typical to the Dominicans.”
studies to deepen his understanding of the truths

30
Reflections and Meditations The Paulism of St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria

While he was preparing for the priesthood, under 3.2 Master and Teacher of Truth
the guidance of the Preaching Friars, Anthony As we said at the start of this paper, a servant finds
Mary was not only a student of the works of St. his identity from that of his master. The Holy
Thomas Aquinas, but soon found that it was Paul Founder sought to find his identity in St. Paul, the
who was the central figure in the study of any as- one upon whom he grew to consider the Master of
pect of Catholic theology because, “to the student Truth.
of theology, that is to the one preparing for the
priesthood ... St. Paul appears as the great Master, The young priest tends to be dogmatic and theo-
the Doctor par excellence.” retically systematic. The same applies to Anthony
Mary for “like every newly-ordained priest, An-
We can see that, beginning with the influence of thony Mary often sounded theoretic (systematic),
his maternal schooling towards the virtuous life, his emphatic style showing traces of the teachings
under the direction of Fra Marcello and more in- of Dominican theologians.” This is verified in the
tensely under Fra Battista da Crema, it was Paul the first few Sermons of the newly ordained priest.
Apostle and his writings that were to be planted and Anthony Mary had a “clear and synthetic mind ...
nurtured into the soul of Anthony Mary Zaccaria. for his writing of the youthful sermons manifested
Through his studies for the priesthood, Paul was an orderly logic and an inclination to the preci-
to enflame and enrich his heart through the sacred sion of concepts.” Thus, like every young student
theology of the Apostle’s epistles, through the stud- of St. Thomas, Anthony Mary sought the truths of

ies of the Fathers of the Church, and through his the faith in Scripture and systematic logic. It was
study of the works of Thomas Aquinas. Thus, we in the writing of St. Paul that he was able to find
can basically state that it was under the guidance of the truths of Christianity and for the desperately
the Order of Preachers that Anthony Mary was to needed reform of the times. He, therefore, con-
be nourished into the devotion of the Apostle Paul fessed the words, thoughts, and actions of Paul as
for the “experience on university life and the first representative, or rather as an explanation, of the
apostolic years enriched Anthony Mary. Undoubt- one and only Truth, Jesus Christ.
edly, conferring to his thought the constant desire
for a concrete life. Overall, the meeting with the “When writing them (the Sermons), Zaccaria con-
person and the doctrine of St. Paul will give a dis- sidered Paul as the Master of Truth, as an object of
tinctive mark to the spirituality of Anthony Mary.” study, admiration, and contemplation. He is the

31
Reflections and Meditations The Paulism of St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria

master of excellence,” for his very thought is based What is most interesting is the manner in which
upon the Truth of Jesus. Throughout Anthony the Holy Founder writes this section of the Ser-
Mary’s sermons we can find scattered such state- mon. He first quotes Jesus speaking to the Apostles
ments as “Paul says that…,” “It is by the Apostle from John 15:15. Having referred to Jesus as the
that ... ,” “The Apostle Paul testifies that. .. “ Incarnate Truth, he then turns to Paul, calling him
Paul says that the love of money is the cause and root the true friend of this Truth, by quoting I Cor 2:6,
of every evil (I Tim 6:10) and avarice which is ‘in effect and continues the thought by quoting Jesus both
an idolater’ (Eph 5:5) And our Savior said that avarice in Matthew 11:25 and Luke 21: 15. (Note that all
is the cause of the extinction of charity, saying. ‘Because these quotes are associated with wisdom, pru-
the iniquity of many will be overwhelming, charity will dence, or revelation.)
be extinguished’ (Mt 24: 1). And Paul says that in these
last times men who are self-cen- In being at the summit of
tered, grasping, boastful, arro- spiritual life, that is friend-
gant, and rude, and followers of ship with God, Paul can eas-
their own opinions, will domi- ily be considered an object
nate (I Tim 3:1-3)” (Sermon I). of contemplation. However,
considering the fact that
As most seminarians have Anthony Mary calls Paul
learned in an homiletics class, “the true friend of God,”
the one who preaches should and having placed this state-
leave his congregation with a ment among quotes on the
conclusion to contemplate and wisdom of God revealed to
study, to put forward into their men as spoken by the “In-
lives Anthony Mary again is no carnate Truth,” we can easily
exception. Concluding the sec- assume that Paul is not to be
tion on the necessity of the vir- just ‘considered as’ but, for
tue of charity in his Sermon IV IV, Anthony Mary, ‘definitely
the Holy Founder uses the thoughts and words of is’ an object of contemplation as the Master and
Paul as the source of contemplation, because Paul Teacher of Truth.
has captured the essence of Truth and, therefore, It is from here that we must treat the insights of
is the Master of Truth to be studied and devoured. Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli (later Pope Pius XII) into
Fr. Ghilardotti says that to Anthony Mary, “the that mentioned above:
Apostle Paul himself is considered as an object of
contemplation.” We can, therefore, presume that “To the school of Paul, the future founder took that
it is not only the writings of St. Paul that must be richness and depth of doctrine which would make
contemplated but also the person of Paul himself Anthony Mary a very good teacher, enabling him
who assimilated the Truth into his very being. “In to teach others: St. Paul can say to Anthony Mary,
fact, after establishing that spiritual life reaches his ‘Now you are the executor of my doctrine.’ Which
highest in the friendship with God, Zaccaria adds doctrines do his listeners hear? That out of which
that Paul is a Master and Model of such a perfect the Apostle judged there is none greater, namely
condition.” Fr. Ghilardotti is alluding to the sec- Jesus and Jesus Crucified as the power and wis-
tion of Anthony Mary’s Sermon III where he says, dom of God. To the school of Paul, Anthony Mary
“that true friend of God; Paul...” (p. 97).
32
Reflections and Meditations The Paulism of St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria

knew that the foolishness of God is better than the


foolishness of man, such as the weakness of God From the above, as detected by various biogra-
is stronger than the weakness of man. Here is the phers and postulators for the canonization cause,
great mystery hidden in our redemption, in the Anthony Mary grew steadily in his development
healing of our misery. of devotion to St. Paul It was through this devout
study and ardent contemplation of this true friend
Cardinal Pacelli perceives that it is in Paul that An- of God that our Holy Founder was able to discover
thony Mary was able to deduce the truths and the the hidden mystery of the truths of the faith. It was
Truth of our faith. This deduction could only occur by studying and contemplating Paul as the Master
after much study, meditation, and contemplation and Teacher of Truth that Anthony Mary was able
in order that the hidden mystery be revealed. It is to preach the central doctrine of St. Paul, namely,
only through the wisdom of Paul that Anthony Jesus and Jesus Crucified.
Mary could perceive this r evelation of the hidden
truths of the faith. Due to the climate of the times, 3.3 Master and Teacher of Life
these truths and Paul had been hidden. It was An- Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (Jn
thony Mary who again found them by seeking and 14:6). It was through his cradling devotion to Paul
developing his devotion to St. Paul as the Doctor that Anthony Mary was ensured that Jesus is the
par excellence and a true friend of Truth itself. St. Way. In the development of this devotion Anthony
Anthony Mary found that the truth and doctrine Mary looked upon St. Paul as the Master of Truth
that Paul rallied upon was that of Christ Crucified. and thus called upon Jesus as Incarnate Truth. It is
It became the same rallying call for Anthony Mary. in seeking out Paul as the Master and Teacher of
Most of his writings are based upon the Christ- Life that Anthony Mary looked upon Jesus as Life.
event of the cross. It is to this that he constantly As Anthony Mary saw the truths of the faith in Jesus
referred in his sermons, speeches, advice, and through Paul as the Master of Truth, so too “with
letters while referring to the Apostle at the same the doctrine of Paul, Anthony Mary also followed
time. Thus, Cardinal Pacelli is correct in stating the form of his (Paul’s) life, for he made himself
that Anthony Mary has become the executor of an illuminated likeness of his life, for it says: ‘Be
the doctrine of Paul. It is in this doctrine of Paul, imitators of me brothers ... according to the model
the rallying call of Anthony Mary, that we find the that you see’ (Phil 3:17).” The model that Anthony
culmination of the teachings of Truth itself. It is Mary saw was not only Paul but Jesus Himself, for
because of this development in his devotion to St. the Apostle tells us that “it is not I who live but
Paul that we find that “the letters of St. Paul have Christ who lives in me” (Gal 2:20).
always been an object of study and meditation on
the part of the children of St. Anthony M. Zaccaria. When St. Paul said to be his imitators that is ex-
In the first Constitutions, written by Anthony Mary actly what Anthony Mary did, even to the point of
himself, he suggested for study the words of Scrip- his style of writing. It can be said that “the figure
ture, especially the works of Paul: “The Brothers of St. Anthony Mary emulated the Apostle Paul.”
ought to study Sacred Scripture, and avidly take de- In every aspect of his life, Anthony Mary was illu-
light in understanding and comprehending it so as minated by the doctrines and the life of St. Paul.
to uncover and bring to light its hidden meanings” Anthony Mary grasped one of the principal themes
(Chapter VIII). Thus it must have been, as stated by of St. Paul and preached it with the vigor of Paul.
Fr. Moltedo, that Anthony Mary “was always studi- “He preached life with a potency of the figure of
ous of Paul’s epistles and delighted in them all.”
33
Reflections and Meditations The Paulism of St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria

Paul and his spirit, a life that ar- Anthony Mary’s life. The Holy
rived and placed itself in Jesus Founder was the one to see the
Christ.” In the spirit of Paul, he truths of the doctrines of Paul
preached Paul’s metanoia from and learn to live in them and
death to life. “For the wages of place his life as such. It is in liv-
sin is death, but the free gift ing the life that Paul called forth
of God is eternal life in Christ from him that Anthony Mary
Jesus Our Lord” (Rom 6:23). lived the life of Jesus Christ.
“The concept of the life of Christ
continued and extended in the “The hero (Anthony Mary), il-
Church to each of its individual luminated in his mind by Paul’s
members is one of the great Pau- doctrine and enriched in the op-
line themes and one of his most erations of his will from his love
original insight.” Anthony Mary of Paul, was vehemently yearn-
was able to totally grasp Paul’s ing of following the Apostle’s
insight and, thus, his devotion thought: ‘Now you are the exec-
to the Apostle grew to call upon utor of my doctrine, institution,
him as Master of Life. and thoughts. You have learned
which is my sincere and entire
Where is this life to be found teaching; which is my way of life,
that Anthony Mary preached? It ministry of reconciliation and
is to be found in Jesus Our Lord, peace between God and Man.
particularly through his death Learn now which is my thought,
and resurrection. Therefore, like that I look for in the office and
Paul, Anthony was to preach a in the fatigue of my apostolate,
new life in the Spirit of the Risen not personal advantages but the
Lord by the power of the cross. glory of God through Christ, not
Theologically it is very sound, just what is useful to the multi-
but also very sacramental. Thus, tude, but rather to make yourself
part of the reform of life that all things to all for the salvation
Anthony Mary preached was a of all. “And so it is this that is
return to the life-giving sacra- the rallying call behind Anthony
ments, especially the Eucharist Mary, that is, the goal for which
and devotion to the Eucharist in he aims at with thought, with
order to nourish the life within will, with work.”
us. Thus it is “from St. Paul that
Anthony Mary apprehended two From the above quote of Cardi-
strong ideas: the central position nal Pacelli, we see that Anthony
of Christ in the Christian life Mary was not only to preach
and the impetus of reform.” the doctrine of Paul but to live
it. It became his everything: ‘to
St. Paul had become the Master become all things to all’ ‘for the
to learn from in every aspect of glory of God through Christ.’

34
Reflections and Meditations The Paulism of St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria

However, this is not just the outside we see but the Apostle, and we are proud to be his followers, let
very life that caused Anthony Mary to breathe. It us make the effort to follow his teaching and ex-
was the apostolate of dying to oneself in order to ample in our life.”
have life eternal in Jesus Christ.
St. Anthony M. Zaccaria is most known for his love
Fr. Confalonieri tells us that “his (Paul’s) thought and example of Christ Crucified. He was to receive
was constantly compared to his (Anthony’s) ac- this also from St. Paul as the pivotal point of all his
tion; it was his apostolate’s mainspring, the aim thought. “The wise Paul, who wanted to be, in ac-
of all his endeavors.” Here we first see that the tual life and in the opinion of all, a living example
thought and doctrine of Paul acted somewhat as of Christ Crucified” (Letter IX) became for Anthony
a guiding line. This would lead Anthony Mary to Mary the master, the teacher, and the model of life
his Crucified Lord in glory and steer him correctly which was constantly burning with the ardor of
and directly. The writings of Paul became the ten Christ Crucified.
commandments to live rightly for God and neigh-
bor. Secondly, we see that it was Paul who became We can deduce then that Paul was the logical
the stimulus of all of Anthony’s work. The thought choice as the Master and Teacher of a life grounded
of Paul acted as both the starting and finishing in Jesus. However, St. Paul was not only the teacher
line in which the race of life was lived. Anthony of that life, but through his own example and writ-
Mary also speaks of running a race like Paul, for ings, we can say that “St. Paul was the standard of
the Founder says: “Let us rush like madmen not living” for Anthony Mary.
only to God, but also to our neighbor” (Letter II),
through whom we reach God. It was in Paul that 4. Assimilation of Pauline Spirituality
Anthony Mary found the means to render glory In examining the Pauline thought of St. Anthony
to God, and love of neighbor as the way of loving M. Zaccaria, it is only logical that we examine the
God. “Furthermore, so necessary is this love that assimilation of Pauline spirituality.
Paul wished to be an anathema for his brethren”
(Rom 9:3). “Throughout the whole Scripture, my 4.1 Spiritual Influence of Paul upon the Interior Work-
friend, you find that God sets up our neighbor as ing of St. Anthony Mary
an instrument to reach His Majesty” (Sermon
Sermon IVIV). On the 400th anniversary of the approval of the
From what has been said we can see then that “the Order of the Clerics Regular of St. Paul (February
thought of Paul became the point of comparison, 18, 1533, by Pope Clement VII), the Superior Gen-
the way of evaluating his every action, the force to eral at that time, Fr. Ferdinando Napoli, received a
raise his apostolate, and the loving physiognomy letter from Pope Pius XI attesting to the Paulism of
for the sons and daughters of his personal pater- our Founder. “Your Founder has chosen as patron
nity.” Thus it was that Anthony Mary showed the and model the Apostle St. Paul, faithfully embrac-
Barnabites, the Angelics, and the Laity their moral ing his doctrine interiorly, especially those of Christ
code in Paul: “He showed them their leader and Crucified.” Various authors have cited that Antho-
model” in living the life in which they were called: ny Mary was the perfect and most faithful imitator
first as Christians and then as religious. This he of St. Paul, emphasizing upon the Barnabites, say-
spoke of in the October 4 speech. “Because we ing that their hearts had become one.
have chosen as our Guide and Father such an

35
Reflections and Meditations The Paulism of St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria

As a scholar of literature captures within his entire most effectiveness and spontaneity. In his constant
being the works of his most cherished author or attempt to resemble Paul, there are the deep and
poet, his words are so often on his lips that they strong concepts, which always refer to the content
become his own. The same applies to Anthony or spirit of Paul’s writings. His quotations from
Mary and his most cherished guide and model. Fr. St. Paul appear quite frequently, especially in his
Giuseppe Motta has found all interesting fact in his sermons. However, they are not always exact quo-
studies on this aspect. He states that, “Fr. Gabuzio tations. At least one word is changed or there is a
and Fr. Secchi often repeated that the Founder al- slight difference from the original text. Thus, the
ways had at hand and on his lips Paul’s teachings; Holy Founder was quoting from and by heart hav-
they used two very peculiar verbs: ‘dictitabat’ and ing had fully assimilated Paul’s writings in both his
‘lectitabit.’” Thus, like the learned professor of a mind and heart.
university, Paul was embedded into the very es-
sence of Anthony Mary’s being. Another point that must be
brought to light here is that An-
It is here that it would be most thony Mary, in the original version
fitting that we should quote the of the sermons, never completed
scholarly Fr. Angelo Confalonieri: a citation of St. Paul. After some
He mastered St. Paul’s deepest writing, he would complete the
thoughts, and assimilated them phrase with “etc.” This also dem-
so that they became his own. His onstrates that he often quoted by
thought was constantly compared heart the writings of the Apostle
to his action; it was his apostolate’s Paul.
mainspring, the aim of all his en- There are some who consider
deavors; the countenance he hoped the original text of the sermons
for his spiritual children to attain. a “scriptural hodgepodge.” How-
It even suggested the name for his ever, this does not reveal so much
religious families: Clerics Regular of a jumbling of Pauline writings
St. Paul, and the Angelic Sisters of as an interiorization of Pauline
St. Paul. thought. The saintly Anthony
Mary had thought so much with-
Let us take just one line from the above quote: “his in his soul that, although we cannot understand
thought was constantly compared to his action.” where the “etc.” will lead, we are more than cer-
As mentioned previously, Anthony Mary consid- tain that a few quotes from Paul would enable the
ered the Apostle Paul to be the Teacher of Life. It Founder to continue his quoting by simply only
was Paul who had become his moral code of liv- writing the note “etc.”
ing. One’s personal morality is considered one’s
second nature. Thus, with Anthony Mary, Paul Pope Paul V spoke of our Holy Founder as “a great
became so second nature to him that these two figure…in the spirit of St. Paul.” Before Cardinal
saintly men were one. Pacelli was elected Pope Pius XII, he too spoke of
St. Paul as being found in Anthony Mary: “in doc-
A most impressive fact is that the “Magna Carta” trine, in temperament, and intention of his aim.”
of Anthony Mary’s Paulism (the famous speech of The doctrine that Cardinal Pacelli was concerned
October 4, 1534), had been uttered with the ut-
36
Reflections and Meditations The Paulism of St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria

about is not just one but the entire thought of 4.2 Exterior Manifestations
Paul. The temperament of soul was their com- Within this area we wish to examine three aspects:
mon humility and steadfastness in the Lord, while a) the preaching of Anthony Mary, b) the spiritual
the intention of his aim was the ongoing Pauline direction offered by Anthony, c) an overall view of
metanoia within himself, his followers, and within his writings in general.
those to whom he preached. Cardinal Pacelli prob-
ably could have come to this above statement on a) Preaching
Anthony Mary from the decree of canonization There are some who preach by their words and
written by Pope Leo XIII, who says that Anthony there are some who preach by their example. St.
Mary “saw himself in St. Paul, as the important Anthony Mary was a man who did both. As an ad-
author handed down, recreated ...” olescent, after the Sunday Mass he “would gather
the servants and others in the house into the little
Anthony Mary often called upon St. Paul as his fa- chapel... and from his heart, burning with love of
ther. He could be likened to a child who listens God, he would repeat the truths he heard in the
to his parents and follows the norms set by them. church and had meditated on himself. He not only
Should anyone ask me which was, besides the Lord’s taught, but he lived St. Paul’s words on charity by
grace, the secret of perfection which raised Anthony his disposition and heart full of compassion for
Mary above all mean (temporal) things that surrounded the needy, both spiritually and temporally.
him, which was the star guiding him safely to the one
and only Infinite Beauty, I should reply that it was It was during his first two years as a priest that he
his filial and operating love to the Apostle Paul. This preached in the small church of San Vitale. It was
operating love is certainly the most evident and tangible here that he spoke of the truths of the faith, being
characteristic of the Founder. filled with the spirit of Paul the Apostle, in order to
bring others into a refining union with Christ. “Ev-
It was Anthony Mary who placed the filial admira- ery ardent word, incisive and profound, inspired
tion into his functioning form, therefore, allowing by Paul, nurtured intense love to Christ.”
to flow through his faith “the illuminating quality
of the Apostle of the Gentiles, which transforms The subject of the preaching was not always the
the light and ardor of his children.” Therefore, this actual text of Paul’s epistles. When this was the
filial love and imitation became an operating force case, the various subjects were preached in light
within Anthony Mary not only to imitate St. Paul of Paul’s teachings. “His speeches were based on
but, rather, to live in St. Paul by having St. Paul to and included a large number of Paul’s sayings and
continue to live through him. teachings.” However, “during feasts, Anthony Mary
held lectures on St. Paul’s epistles to a vast laity
We can, therefore, state clearly that the spiritual in- that came to hear him.”
fluence St. Paul had upon Anthony Mary’s interior
workings had gone beyond just an influence but “He preached with the intense force of Paul, whom
had become a lived reality. St. Anthony Mary could he had diligently studied and communicated his
most probably have paraphrased St. Paul, saying thoughts of reforming one’s life to Jesus Christ.”
that “it is no longer I who live but rather Paul who In this way he delighted the populace, not in the
lives in and through me.” words of human wisdom, but in the divine words
of his Master and Guide, Paul the Apostle, for he

37
Reflections and Meditations The Paulism of St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria

preached the metanoia of Paul. Thus, “St. Paul ap- He was preparing them for the constant battle be-
pears as the great Master, the Doctor par excellence tween the Flesh and the Spirit (Rom 8:1-8). Thus,
for this is presented in his preaching.” St. Anthony said that “It is not appropriate for
them to babble ... Similarly not to deny themselves
The Sermons of Anthony Mary were filled with cita- but to go after their desires, (which) would lead
tions from Paul. “His listeners often heard, with an them to death, because their desires are of the flesh
ardent spirit from Anthony Mary, the words of Paul ... it would pull them completely out of the desire
as if sung a song.” It was not just the citations but and life of Paul” (Letter IX).
the thought of Paul that prevailed in his preaching.
The best example is the Speech of October 4, 1534, For Paul, the renewed man is no longer subjected
to his followers. It is so Pauline that it does not to the law of the flesh but is under the grace of
seem to be as much Anthony speaking with Pau- the Spirit. Anthony Mary saw that for Paul it was
line thoughts, but rather Paul speaking using the at the Resurrection that the Spirit-filled body of
mouth of Anthony. Mary Many times we can see Jesus became the life source of all who believed
that Anthony Mary insists that “Paul preaches to and lived in Him (l Cor 15:45-49) and not in their
them” (Letter IX). own selfish desires. However, since man, although
baptized, still lives in the flesh, there is a constant
b) Spiritual Direction struggle between the old and the new man.
St. Anthony M. Zaccaria, as the Founder of three
distinctive Institutes, was the director of many For Anthony Mary, since man is coexisting in both
souls. Even before the foundation of the Angelic the Spirit and the flesh, he must learn to walk by
Sisters of St. Paul, Anthony Mary was the spiritual the Spirit (Gal 5:16-25) by listening to the law of
director of Countess Ludovica Torelli of Guastalla, the Spirit (Rom 7:6; .8:9-17) and nourishing him-
and those young girls placed under his charge it self with the Eucharist (I Cor 10:1-4). Thus, for
was through St. Paul that he directed the souls Anthony Mary and Paul, man may now be in the
coming to him: “Delighted in his patron, guide, flesh but it is not totally under the flesh, but under
and model, St. Paul was the stimulus to virtue and the Spirit since with the Christ-event of the cross
Anthony Mary derived the majority of his direction we have been initiated into the new mankind of
of souls from Paul’s words.” the Spirit.

In his direction to the Angelics, our Founder says, When Fr. Bartholomew Ferrari was living and
“It is this that Paul preaches to them (the novices) preaching in Venice to spread the reform in that
a Christ Crucified in every way: Crucified not only city, he believed his mission to be a failure. An-
in Himself but in them, too; and you beg them to thony Mary’s words to the dejected Ferrari were
chew well this one word” (Letter IX). It is in this the following, “Be sure, then, that you will build,
that Anthony directed his daughters and Paul’s, not on the foundations of Paul, structures neither of
to devour their needs, but rather Christ Crucified. hay nor of wood, but of gold and precious stones

38
Reflections and Meditations The Paulism of St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria

(I Cor 3:12)” (Letter VI). Supporting him with the and see if when she talks she does not raven with-
cross of Christ, Anthony Mary reminded him that out noticing you, touching every aspect of your life
we are always victorious in Jesus (Rom 8:37-39). ... look and see, if when she leaves you she always
Thus, Anthony Mary reassured Ferrari that the limit edifies you with a word” (Letter IX, 47-48). Based
of his success to reform was only limited to the ex- upon Galatians 5:22-26, Anthony Mary saw that in
tent to which the Crucified Lord, and therefore the living in the Spirit, in walking in the Spirit (and
thoughts of Paul, preceded him. not in the flesh of the old man), the Church is
to be built up. Thus, in giving good example and
A basic point of Anthony Mary’s spirituality and building up one another, the fruits of the Spirit will
his direction especially to the Angelic Sisters is the flow forth abundantly. It is through these lived-out
typology of the old man of Adam and the new man fruits that the community preaches and, at the
of Jesus Christ. From Paul, Anthony Mary sees that same times, lives an ongoing Pauline metanoia.
through the Christ-event of the cross and the Res-
urrection, we are now partaking of a new mankind Therefore, deriving his direction from Pauline
in a new creation (2 Cor 5:17; Gal 6:15). The old thought, Anthony Mary directed those who sought
has passed away and the new has dawned for those him, and those who were under his charge to live
who believe and live in Jesus and put on Christ. as one walking in the newness of the Spirit. How-
Thus, for Anthony Mary, Paul was telling us that ever, because of the constant struggle between the
to live for one’s own self is to live in the old man flesh and the Spirit, there is need for constant con-
of Adam to live in the flesh; yet, to live in the new version. Basically, this is a summation of the Pau-
man of Jesus is to live and walk in the freedom of line thought to be devoured by those who sought
the Spirit (Rom 6:15-19). the direction of Anthony M. Zaccaria, a priest of
the Apostle Paul (as he signed his name).
“Look, they are absent from meditation, or they
are always busy with exterior activities, or sleep in c) Writings in General
late, or they are just lazy” (Letter IX). This direc- There are few existing writings of St. Anthony M.
tion to Angelic Negri was saying that these Sisters Zaccaria. Perhaps it is that he only wrote down a
nullify the new life found in Christ and His cross few things. However, those writings we do have
by their lukewarmness (a disease that Anthony give us the spiritual orientation and doctrine of the
Mary considers the greatest enemy of the cross). Holy Founder namely, they are Pauline in nature.
He continues by comparing these poor souls to the We can state this clearly for, as Fr. Colciago says,
old man of Adam by calling it “Saul’s face.” Thus “his discourses, as well his letters, were grounded
Paul is referred to the old man in the time of his in and weaved with the doctrine and sayings of the
conversion. Therefore, we hear again the entire call Apostle. In his letters he held a similar style to that
of Anthony for a Pauline metanoia, a conversion, a of Paul and these took on a Pauline spirit.” Antho-
turning about. To partake of the divine life in the ny Mary’s Sermon of October 4, 1534 to the fellow
Spirit, man must live in Jesus or die by his relation- members of his congregations, given in the face of
ship to Adam (I Cor 15:20-22). persecution, can be considered the saint’s “Magna
Carta”. It is in this that we have “more than enough
As stated, Anthony Mary’s apostolate was to preach to prove that Paul represented the principal source
a Pauline reform, a metanoia. Preaching can be of the whole Zaccarian thought.” Our Saint used
given through example. Therefore, Anthony Mary the thoughts of St. Paul from 1Cor 4: 10-13; 2 Cor
said to the Angelic Negri in the same letter, “look
39
Reflections and Meditations The Paulism of St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria

6:4’8; Rom 5:2-5; and 2 Tim 3:12 to build up the Philippians (2:7) and to the Romans (8:22,32),
morale of his followers in the face of this persecu- and from the letter to the Hebrews (7:25) - which
tion. Like Paul, Anthony Mary exhorted his fol- at that time was attributed to Paul. This is especial-
lowers not to think evil of their persecutors, for ly reflected in the Sermons that often quote these
evil can only be overcome by goodness (Rom 12: passages (Sermons I, IV, V, and VI).
14-21). The Founder called Paul the guide, patron,
and father of his followers throughout the sermon The second area to be considered in the spirituality
and cited, directly or indirectly, various quotes of St. Anthony Mary is that of St. Paul’s typology of
from the Apostle’s letters. At the conclusion of this the dead in the old man of Adam and the living of
discourse, Anthony called his followers to fidelity the new man of Jesus Christ. In his second sermon
as children of Paul: “It would not be proper that in Anthony Mary said, “Sanctification means to put
the ranks of such a commander there would be sol- off the old man - that is, the things of the past and
diers who are cowards or traitors, and it would not the vices - and to put on the new man,” (Sermon
be proper that the sons of such a glorious Father III) for it is Paul who states directly that life is to be
would be degenerate” (Sermon VII). rooted in Jesus (1 Cor 15:20-22). Anthony Mary
used this typology in his letter to Paola Antonia
Throughout this sermon, and the Saint’s other Negri concerning the Angelic Sisters, “‘Behold
writings, there is a strong emphasis on Christ Saul,’ that is the face of our first man?” (Letter IX).
Crucified. This is a central theme to both Paul and Here Anthony Mary applied the typology to Paul
Anthony Mary. It was in the cross of Christ that we before and after his conversion. From Paul’s letters
find the Christocentric Paulism of Anthony Mary. we also learn of a need of a renewal or metanoia. Al-
It was the understanding of the Crucified Christ, luding to the aforementioned typology of the two
derived from Paul that he constantly set before his men, Anthony sought this metanoia, this change of
spiritual children. This cross was the perfect cause heart or conversion of ways of his followers. This
for the consummation of union with God and metanoia that Saint Anthony Mary sought not only
must be recognized as the charism peculiar to St. of his own but of all, could be easily seen in his
Anthony Mary. Letter VII (using Rom 13:14 and 1 Tim 3:15) and
in his second sermon, in which Paul was often
Excluding his thoughts on Christ Crucified, six quoted.
principal points of Anthony Mary’s spirituality
are derived from his writings. These have been de- A fundamental idea of Saint Anthony Mary was
duced from Saint Paul, for “the most used and best that of the theory of the two books of God.
expounded concepts are those taken from Paul’s From Romans 1:20 the Founder saw that the cos-
epistles.” mic revelation and biblical revelations are mo-
ments, or rather movements, of God’s revealing
The first concept of Anthony Mary’s spirituality is love for man. Creation (the first book), having
that of the Incarnation. It is Jesus Incarnate who been obscured by sin, can only be reoriented to
is the only one to restore man to the supernatural its supernatural splendor through the redemption
order. It is through the Incarnation that Jesus be- won for us in Christ (the second book).
comes the Mediator between God and man. An-
thony Mary affirms this from Paul’s letters to the

40
Reflections and Meditations

Another aspect of the Pauline Throughout the whole Scrip-


spirituality seen in the writings ture, my friend, you will find
of Anthony M. Zaccaria is the that God sets up your neighbor
contrast of the slavery in the Old as an instrument to reach His
Testament to the law as com- Majesty. Therefore, do you want
pared to the freedom found in to climb to perfection? Do you
the New Testament. St. Anthony want to gain some souls? Do
Mary said in his Sermon I that, you want to love God, be dear to
“Especially to us Christians ... Him and be a good child of His?
He has given a law of love, not of Then, love your neighbor, orient
fear; of freedom of the spirit, not yourself toward your neighbor,
of slavery; and an inborn law in acquire a benevolent disposition
our hearts” (Sermon I, p. 70). He toward your neighbor, excluding
assumed this especially from the all malevolence (Sermon
Sermon IV
IV).
letter to the Romans (2:5), from
Galatians (3:19-29; 4:1-7, 21-31) Charity, therefore, was one of
and the first letter to the Corin- the most concrete aspects of Zac-
thians (3:18). It is in this that we caria’s metanoia. One no longer
are able to see a true profession lives for oneself, but for God
of faith in the redemptive work manifested in living for one’s
of Jesus Christ. neighbor. It is exactly in this
point that we unite ourselves to
Of all the thoughts given to us Jesus and put on the new man
from Paul, the most popular one living in the freedom of the
is that on charity taken from his Spirit. One fact must be pointed
first letter to the Corinthians. St. out that is definitely seen in Let-
Anthony Mary, by no means, ter VII. The Barnabites and the
was exempted from the effect of Angelics are called the sons and
this thirteenth chapter of Paul’s daughters of Paul, stock of Paul.
letter upon him. It is the dyna- It is also here that Anthony Mary
mism of his apostolate. In An- signs his name to this letter as
thony Mary’s Letter V V, he asked “Anthony Mary Zaccaria, Priest
the Angelic Sisters of St. Paul to of Paul the Apostle.”
give “a proof of noble dedication
to Christ Crucified ... longing to Pope Pius XI attests that our
lead our neighbor to the attain- Holy Founder “has chosen as
ment of perfection” (Letter
Letter V
V). patron and model the Apostle
However, it was in Sermon IV Paul, faithfully embracing his
that Anthony M. Zaccaria sum- doctrines interiorly, especially
marized his though on charity: those to Christ Crucified.” We

41
Reflections and Meditations The Paulism of St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria

can affirm what the Holy Father and others have Cross of Jesus has not been down-played; rather,
said for we have seen the manifestation of such in the two have somehow meshed together into one,
the writings of St. Anthony M. Zaccaria. for the flower cannot bloom unless the seed dies.
“Paul lives in Jesus, the pioneer and the perfecter of
4.3 Christ Crucified and the Cross our faith, who for the joy set before Him, endured
In our study of the Paulism of Anthony M. Zaccaria the cross. (Heb 12:1-2).” One must willingly ac-
we must conclude with a point central to both cept the cross of Christ before one can enjoy the
saints; namely, Christ Crucified. We have been say- new life of the Resurrection. However, one can
ing, directly or indirectly, that “the spirit of St. surely taste it in the victory of the cross. This is the
Anthony M. Zaccaria is taken from St. Paul and doctrine as derived from Paul which Anthony Mary
Jesus Crucified.” We must perceive that “the un- preached (Rom 6:1-8).
derstanding of the Cross that St. Anthony Mary
had taken from St. Paul, the great master, and that We can find the concept and the exact words of
which he considered the perfect cause for the con- “Christ Crucified on almost every page of An-
summation of union with God ... must be recog- thony Mary’s writings. There are many writings
nized as the charism peculiar to St. Anthony Mary.” and sermons that Anthony Mary gave in the streets
It is from this point of view that we wish to devote of Cremona and Milan that are not available to
this last section of our study to that of the spirit of us today. Nevertheless, as a good follower of the
Christ Crucified found in Anthony Mary. Apostle Paul, Anthony Mary preached Christ and
Christ Crucified,” for no follower of Paul can boast
Just prior to and following the time of the Vatican anything other than Christ and His Cross. With the
Council II, the emphasis had been placed on the works we do possess, we can see that “within every
Resurrection of Jesus Christ, and rightly so. The
42
Reflections and Meditations The Paulism of St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria

sermon of Anthony M. Zaccaria, he announced to with an ardent desire for perfect identification with
all Christ Crucified.” Christ, the Angelics are able to run in the direction
of perfect charity.”
As it has been stated earlier, preaching is not re-
stricted to oratory skills. It was Anthony Mary to Here we see that the Angelic Sisters took to heart
initiate the tolling of the church bells on Fridays to Anthony Mary’s sermon on charity and the words
remind the people that it was of the hour that their of his Letter II, which speak of the love of neigh-
Crucified Lord had died and won for them salva- bor, “Let us rush like mad men not only to God
tion. Fra Bono would toll the bells of the church (towards the cross), but also to our neighbor, for
“at three in the afternoon on Fridays to commem- he is the one who receives what we cannot give to
orate the Lord’s death, at which time Anthony God” (Letter II). Anthony Mary sees the cross as the
Mary’s men and Ludovica’s girls would gather in mode of perfect love, for he looks upon the Lord
the cathedral to meditate with heads bowed and running to the cross, heedless of its shame, out of
arms outstretched. “ Thus, in this sermon of activ- His love for man (Heb 12:2).
ity, Anthony Mary was to preach the Paulism of
Christ Crucified without saying a single word yet In introducing a quote from a telegram to Father
saying so much. General received from Pope Paul VI, which speaks
of Anthony Mary as “a restorer of the spiritual life
If we wish to give a summation of Anthony Mary and apostolate in the spirit of St. Paul,” Fr. Andrea
we could say that “To love the Cross and to imitate Erba states “the message of the Gospel and of the
the Cross was the work of Anthony M. Zaccaria” cross of Christ was incarnated into the life of An-
This was the work given to Anthony Mary by Paul thony Mary.” Here the learned Barnabite historian
- to be an imitator of Christ Crucified. Thus, in the combines the message of the cross with the spiri-
speech of October 4, 1534, “Anthony Mary under- tual renewal proposed through Paul. The constant
lined the Crucified Lord by exhorting the fourth spiritual metanoia of Paul is of an on-going dying
chapter of St. Paul to the Corinthians ... exhort- to sin leading to the development of a virtuous life
ing to give principally to the imitation of Christ in Christ. Therefore, “the love for, and the imita-
by embracing the evangelical vows and the virtues tion of Jesus Crucified was the principal intention
together which is given to us in the Cross.” Thus, it and constant end which he proposed to the chil-
was in the cross of Christ that we find the Christo- dren in the practice of virtue.” Through Anthony
centric Paulism of Anthony Mary. It was the under- Mary’s combined studies of Paul and Thomas
standing of the Crucified Christ, derived from Paul Aquinas, he came to look upon the cross “as an
that he constantly set before his spiritual children example of how to act...for the cross exemplifies
every virtue.” It was “in the cross and Christ Cruci-
The Christian aim is perfection. It is for this state fied that he indicated, to his sons and his Angelic
of perfection that Anthony Mary set the cross be- daughters, the glory to which they had to strive.”
fore the eyes of his followers. “I promise you that Thus in seeking the virtuous life for his followers,
Christ Crucified will give you such a high degree of “Zaccaria wanted in the Barnabites the imitation of
perfection” (Letter X). The cross is the sign of the Christ Crucified, the image of which is precisely the
most perfect charity. “There is no greater love than means for attaining the engraving of the cross into
this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friend” (Jn 15: one’s heart.” We can, therefore, understand why
13). Therefore, “with the cross in their heart, and
43
Reflections and Meditations The Paulism of St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria

the Holy Founder would wish to have the image of or an occasion arises in our life to which we do
the cross before the minds of his children prior to not know how to respond, Anthony Mary tells us
every act. This also enhances the meditative action to “talk and chat in a familiar way - as you do with
of kneeling with arms outstretched as mentioned me - with Christ Crucified, and ask him for advice”
earlier. It is from meditation and viewing the cross (Letter III). In seeking this advice from the Christ
that Anthony Mary and his children were able to of the cross we respond virtuously to life; yet, at
preach and live Christ Crucified for the purpose of the same time, it is the virtuous life that leads us
the spiritual reform of the times. to the cross. “If you observe these things ... very
easily you will become close to the Crucified Lord
For Anthony Mary, like Paul, the cross became the and the Cross” (ibid.). At the time of Paul, the cross
school from which to learn how to live the virtuous represented to the Gentiles folly and foolishness
life and the spiritual life. Anthony Mary could say, The cross meant to them that human wisdom and
“the cross will become an illumination and guide knowledge were powerless to save (1 Cor 1:18-25).
for often he will say that Calvary is a great and sub- It was difficult Letter for them to see in the mystery
lime school.” It is from the cross that we learn the of the cross that man needs God’s help which He
fundamental message of the Gospel and it is from gave in Jesus Crucified (1 Cor 2:1-2). “With a pro-
the cross that we learn how to live. When difficulty found love for Christ Crucified, derived from the

44
Reflections and Meditations The Paulism of St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria

school of the Apostle Paul,” Anthony Mary was to a reminder to his audience, as well as to himself, of
preach the Pauline metanoia to the people of his what awaited them and the style of life that should
times and to come upon the same difficult Letter. be led. This insignia also became a form of medita-
It was the “mystery of the cross as it penetrated St. tion for Anthony Mary and it is “in following the
Anthony M. Zaccaria” that gave him the strength Apostle Paul which explains the banner of Christ
of Paul to run the race of reforming the people of Crucified.”
his times.
“The Crucified Lord was for St. Anthony Mary an
Notice must be made of the habit of Anthony Mary object of assiduous meditation, but more of a liv-
of printing a cross on every piece of his works. “The ing affection.” This affection was lived out in his
sign of the cross was a habit of Zaccaria. In the apostolic activity, likened to that of Paul. “Both of
original texts, in the upper margins of every page their energetic and vibrant souls have a love for
as inclusive to the title, the author traced the Greek God, excited by the crucial reality of the Crucified
initials of Christ Crucified, followed by a small Lord ... that explains the majesty of their vast ap-
cross” (IC.XC.+). Anthony Mary included Christ ostolic activity.” The apostolic activity of both St.
Crucified in all his works, not only in words but in Paul and St. Anthony Mary would carry them and
design, and set it before him prior to each work as their followers far from whom to preach Christ

45
Reflections and Meditations The Paulism of St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria

Crucified. Thus, Anthony Mary was able to say to is none greater; namely, Jesus and Jesus Crucified
his spiritual children that “Christ Crucified soon as the power and wisdom of God.” Thus, it is Paul
will send you to proclaim everywhere an energetic who stands before Anthony Mary and the two have
spirituality and zealous spirit” (Letter
Letter V
V). Christ Crucified preceding them. “Before and dur-
ing your talk, Christ Crucified (and thus Paul) will
In living daily with Christ Crucified, Anthony Mary inspire and sustain you not only in every word but
identifies each of his followers with Christ Cruci- also in every holy intention of yours” (Letter VI).
fied. In so doing, Christ becomes again victorious
over sin in them. “A Christ Crucified in every way: It is only in presenting the cross that the spiritual
Crucified not only in himself but in them, too” reform of Paul can be preached in word and action
(Letter IX). This he addressed to the young novices and, therefore, that Anthony Mary truly be an imi-
of the Angelic Sisters. “Therefore, for every voca- tator of Paul, “for presenting to all without distinc-
tion it is necessary to participate in the sufferings tion the way of the cross is as imitating the divine
of Christ.” model” found in Paul.

Anthony Mary often writes about one disease that 5. Conclusion


not only affected the people of his age but also St. Anthony M. Zaccaria may have lived only 37
that of today; namely, apathy or lukewarmness. years. He may have left us few writings. However,
Anthony Mary abhors any form of tepidity within the depth of those years and those writings have
anyone. “If by any chance you let lukewarmness enriched and renewed numerous generations in
get hold of you, you will not become spiritual but, the spirit of St. Paul.
sooner than you think, you will become carnal,
and, to use a more appropriate term, very fast you In identifying himself with the Apostle Paul, he
will become like a Pharisee, rather than Christian was able to perceive the mystery of Christ Crucified
and spiritual” (Letter XI), (Gal 5:16-25). Thus, for and the message of the Gospel. It is this that he has
Anthony Mary “lukewarmness is the pestilence left us by presenting Paul. Through his understand-
and major enemy of Christ Crucified.” ing of Paul, he was able to found two religious con-
gregations and a third order for the laity. Through
It is Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli who truly captures his understanding and devotion to Paul, he was
the connection between Anthony Mary’s devo- to grow with him in bringing about a desperately
tion to Paul and the devotion to Christ Crucified.  needed ongoing metanoia. It is through Paul that
“I can sense in him, in his soul, the abounding Anthony Mary found his breath and his identity. It
adora tion of Paul for Jesus, and Jesus Crucified.” is in his grasp of Paul that Anthony Mary has been
We can verify this through the writings of the Saint able to run towards the cross of Christ and to live
himself. “Remember this: the one and the other in its victory.
Blessed father (St. Paul and Fra Battista) ... have
given such a proof of noble dedication to Christ
Crucified ... that if we ourselves would not have
such an infinite desire for these things, we would
not consider ourselves his sons and daughters”
(Letter V). Again it is Cardinal Pacelli who tells us
Letter V
that Anthony Mary executed the doctrine of Paul.
It is the doctrine “which the Apostle judged there
46
Reflections and Meditations Spiritual Writings

Spiritual Writings

T
By Angelica Paola Antonia Negri
Translated by Sr. Rorivic P. Israel, ASP

o you who have been risen through grace, pierced by the sword of sorrow,
Reverend Fathers, Sons and Daughters of St. Paul: but now being transformed in an incomprehen-
“Surrexit
Surrexit Dominus vere. Alleluia!”
Alleluia! sible happiness,
in a celestial joy, and raised in the presence of the
Peace to you, O Fathers, and my sweetest sons and ineffable divinity,
daughters, rendering infinite thanks to the eternal Father?

Let us sing a new canticle to the Lord, Now, don’t you feel, or take delight in
because He manifested Himself gloriously. the contentment of those happy women,
Lo and behold today, glorious and risen, to whom He appeared, telling them:
He who slept and he who with death have “God saves you”?
been relegated, Don’t you hear the voice of the An-
He who was placed in the inferior gels,
lake, who announced His resurrection
in the dark place and the shadow of and said:
death, “Come and see the place where
Has returned to life! It is true, do they laid Him”?
not doubt! Don’t you feel within you a new
change, a new being?
Now, have you not heard of the On the occasion of the Don’t you feel being free from ev-
news that has reached us pro- 500 Anniversary of the
th ery turmoil
nounced by faithful voices? birth of Angelica Paola and make yourselves unleavened
And has your own conscience not bread,
testified to it,
Antonia Negri kneaded with the water of true sincer-
Which comes clear and bright as a revi- ity?
talizing, splendid Sun? Don’t you feel new desires, new ideas,
Don’t you feel the testimony of renewal and more joyful thoughts, more love for the cross to
change in your whole being and in all? the point of suffering,
… through which you see our Lord had been greatly
Now, should this not be an occasion for us to sing exalted?
and celebrate? …
Don’t you feel, each of you, O chaste hearts, Don’t you feel your hearts being lifted from the
The joy, the contentment, the sweetness, the rejoic- earth and drawn straight to God (…), who is in
ing, the satisfaction that he is risen within you? heaven and who lives in high places?
Will you not participate in the joy of the holy, Don’t you feel in your heart overwhelming charity
blessed, happy, but a short while ago, mournful that makes each burden light?
Mother?
Don’t you seem to see, and to be present in that So then, my sweetest sons and daughters,
very holy soul, because He is risen, and this is certain (…),
47
Reflections and Meditations Spiritual Writings

should we not have an occasion to sing the new


canticle and rejoice like the disciples of our just
and risen Lord? Biographical Notes:
Let’s render ourselves worthy of the sweet greetings
of peace which He gives us, Virginia Negri, an Angelic Sister of St. Paul,
and having fed yourselves of the true Lamb, (…) was born in Castellanza, then a province of
I send you to Him… so that in every action Milan, Italy in 1508. (No precise date is
Christ may make you His true sheep available.) In February 27, 1536, she received
whom He sends among wolves, with all those gifts the veil from the hands of the Holy Founder,
and grace, St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria, who was also
and with the charity and generosity then her confessor and spiritual director, and
and the desire to win over your neighbor, took the name Paola Antonia for her great de-
so that you may no longer be in the tomb votion to the Apostle Paul and in honor to St.
of your will and imperfections Anthony Abbot.
and little desire to help in the works of the Blessed
Christ, with whom I leave you, Angelica Paola Antonia Negri, a strong-willed
desirous of hearing your own resurrection, woman, revered as the “Divina Maestra” by
and that you have been risen from the tomb. all her spiritual sons and daughters, and con-
sidered a saint, even by those who would later
Now…nothing more: consider the mystery become her adversaries, guided the three fami-
and confirm it each of you in your heart. lies of the Barnabites, the Angelic Sisters, and
Greet each other in my name. the Laity of St. Paul especially after the death
of their founder, St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria.
He is risen indeed! Alleuia! She died in Milan, Italy on April 4, 1555.

Your servant in Christ Jesus,


A.P.A (Angelica Paola Antonia)

Sr. Donna Sr. Rorivic


Sr. Teresa Sr. Lilia

Taken from one of her spiritual writings


addressed to the Barnabites, the Angelic
Sisters, and the Laity of St. Paul.
Angelic Sisters

48
Outstanding Barnabites Saint Francis Xavier M. Bianchi

Saint Francis

S Xavier M. Bianchi
Written by Fr. Felix M. Sala, CRSP
Translated by Fr. Frank Papa, CRSP

AINT FRANCIS XAVIER M. BIANCHI.


was born in Arpino, Italy (1743-1815). He
joined the Congregation of the Barnabites, his
teachers. After his ordination he taught at the
University of Naples; then he zealously minis-
tered to the people by preaching and through
the Sacrament of Reconciliation, works of
mercy and spiritual direction of the clergy, reli-
gious and laity. Because of his apostolic zeal he
was called another “Philip Neri” and “Apostle
of Naples.” He was gifted with outstanding
charismatic gifts: he predicted Napoleon’s de-
feat in Russia and the return of Pope Pius VII
to Rome; he stopped the flow of lava when Ve-
suvius erupted; for years he endured “fire and
thorns” in his legs. Tirelessly he ministered with
fatherly care to the penitents lining up at his
door. He died in Naples on January 31, 1815.
His memorial is on January 30, not to interfere
with the one of St. John Bosco.

The Apostle of Naples from contemplation to action. Even in the final


years of his life, he preserved intact the perennial
Preface youth of his heart, reflected in his particular fond-
If our love for St. Francis Bianchi does not impair ness for the youth.
our judgment, we can affirm that all the requisites
desirable in a saint for our modern days are to be He manifested an inspiring kindness toward the
found in him. His life of union with Christ reveals poor; still, he did not disdain the rich whom he
his ascetic soul. Besides possessing the gift of guided and directed in the ways of God. He be-
miracles, he also experienced the torment of excru- friended the simple and, at the same time, kept
ciating suffering and the joy of exhilarating ecstasy. a close contact with the nobility. With his intelli-
Being a positive and efficient individual, endowed gence and perception, being accepted in both the
with the admirable faculty of easy adjustment to academic and simple circles, he was keenly aware
given situations, he knew how to pass with ease of all the problems which agitated his century.
49
Outstanding Barnabites Saint Francis Xavier M. Bianchi

He underwent the mortifications of an an- ous ardor and fervent impetus of the greatest lovers
chorite, that is, the mortifications of one who has of Christ.
withdrawn from the world for the sake of religious
seclusion. At all times, however, he radiated a joy By renouncing the world, he dominated it with
which, even during the martyrdom of his illness, humility mixed with the wonder of a living love
knew no shadow. for sacrifices. He was a man of his times but, above
all, he was a saint. Thus, truly a complete man; a
He possessed the heart and sensitivity of a true art- saint who still today generates a strong, kind, and
ist. He might have carved a lasting niche for himself irresistible fascination among his devotees wishing
in this field had not the thirst of his soul induced to be close to him just as those who were fortunate
him to embrace the road of the apostolate. enough to experience the joy of his nearness on
those streets of Naples which were the site of his
The historical vicissitudes of his tempestuous sleepless apostolate.
times, found an attentive and watchful spectator
in him. With the eye of a prophet, he followed the I. A BEAUTIFUL DAWN
rapid ascent of Napoleon, and predicted his defeat St. Francis Xavier M. Bianchi was born in Arpino
and decline right up to that eventful year 1815 on December 2, 1743. The child was baptized on
which saw the disappearance of the Napoleonic the following day. His parents, Carlo and Faustina
greatness. Morelli, gave him the names of Francis, Xavier,
Philip, and Justinian. .
Agonizing in spirit, he accompanied the sorrow-
ful Way of the Cross of Pius VII, and foretold the Very little has been preserved of his childhood. He
great sorrows the Pope was to endure, as well as grew up in an environment which was warm with
the peaceful triumphs which were to follow. King faith and resplendent with his father’s honesty and
Charles Emmanuel IV and the Venerable Clotilde his mother unusual virtues, from whom he was to
of Savoy, during the humiliating time of their exile,
were to find a consoling angel in him. St. Francis Xavier M. Bianchi
Studied in Naples, Italy. Barnabite at age 14 over
He raised his hand in benediction against the fury the objections of his family. Ordained in 1767.
of Vesuvius and amazingly stopped the flow of Served as the president of two colleges. Noted for
the devastating lava. During a century highlighted his endless ministry to the poor and neglected, his
with anger and vengeance, and ravished with ha- work to prevent girls from turning to prostitution,
tred, he preached by his own example the word of for his personal austerities, his gift of prophecy, and
love which gives light and life to the world. Not as a miracle worker. Reported to have stopped the
one event of his day found him either uninterested flow of lava from Mount Vesuvius in Naples, Italy
or indifferent. He had his eyes keenly fixed upon in 1805. His health destroyed by overwork; late in
all the questions of his day and he evaluated each life he lost the use of his legs, but continued to work
individual with the care and prudence befitting a with those who felt were worse off than himself.
man of God. When the Barnabites were expelled from Naples,
he had to be left behind due to his poor health, and
In an historical period which was defined barren, he died separated from his brothers.
superficial and anti-mystic, he renewed the vigor-

50
Outstanding Barnabites Saint Francis Xavier M. Bianchi

learn tender love for God and neighbor, which was tion by his family. They agreed to his being a priest
to make him so amiable to all. It was from her ex- but not to be a Religious. It was for this reason
ample that he developed a special love for the sick that in order to dissuade him they sent Francis to
and the poor. His mother transformed a section the diocesan seminary in Nola (outside Naples).
of their home into a small hospital where several Francis obediently bowed his head in assent. God,
beds were always prepared for the sick who lacked however, was to guide his elect in a manner very
assistance. If any of them died in her home, she different from that envisioned by humans.
provided for the funeral and burial with care and
generosity. III. IN THE SHADOW OF THE
SANCTUARY
II. THE DIVINE CALL God’s will manifested itself more clearly at Nola.
When he was twelve years old, he was entrusted to It was here that Francis met St. Alphonsus Liguori
the Barnabites who, in Arpino, directed the school who had come to preach the Spiritual Retreat to
of Sts. Charles and Philip. He was barely thirteen the Seminarians. It was this saintly man who, very
years of age when, among the students of theology decisively, induced the wavering Francis to em-
and philosophy, he was chosen to compose and brace Religious Life.
deliver a short sermon on the Patronage of the Vir-
gin Mary. The brief but well-placed pauses punc- His parents insisted he put aside his clerical habit
tuating his discourse surprised his listeners. There and go to Naples to enroll in the University law
was vigor and enthusiasm in all he was saying. school. Through friends, who had been ill-in-
Above all there was his great love for the sorrowful formed, he was directed to a certain renting house
and good Mother Mary. which continually resounded with disorderly
shouts, loud singing, and vulgar words. The meek
His companions nicknamed him Panciotto (chub- and saintly young man clearly and simply de-
by) because of his rosy and plump features. “Here scribed the director of the renting house as a “fine
comes Panciotto!” they would be heard whisper- deceitful fellow.” He was so uneasy here that he
ing in the places where groups gathered. With this, became ill. Things went even so far that the money
the vulgar conversations in which they might have his family had given him to buy books was stolen.
been engaged came to an abrupt end. “It was then,” the young man wrote to his uncle,
a priest, “that I became visibly disturbed.” It was
Meanwhile, a mysterious and irresistible voice was his uncle who induced Francis’ parents to permit
drawing the young man toward the Sanctuary. God him to return home. Confronted with his firm and
had placed his hand upon him and was saying to decisive determination, all opposition fell. A short
him, “You are mine!” On March 26, 1757, the Bish- while later he was able to leave for the Novitiate of
op, who eight years before had made him soldier the Barnabites in Zagarolo. He had a letter from the
of Christ in Confirmation, cut his hair and traced Superior of the Barnabites in Arpino, who wrote of
the Tonsure upon his head. It was the young man’s him, “He is healthy and has a good complexion.
desire, however, to serve God in a Religious Family. He is of sanguine nature and has a happy disposi-
Although he was a disciple of the Barnabites, he tion. He presents a fine appearance and is of good
gave his preference for the Society of Jesus. He was stature. He gives every indication of being skillful
directed in this choice by his devotion to St. Fran- and prudent. He has excellent natural talents. He
cis Xavier, whose name he bore. writes well. He is not scrupulous; is humble, deci-
He made his plans known and there was opposi- sive, and frequents the Sacraments.”
51
Outstanding Barnabites Saint Francis Xavier M. Bianchi

Barnabite seminarians. Because of the unfair laws


The year of his Novitiate passed quickly, and the in the Kingdom of Naples, the Barnabites had been
Fathers were able to testify that he was “a young compelled to concentrate both Novices and Scho-
man of the highest saintly habits, very devout, and lastics within the same dwelling.
humble, and possessing the greatest talents. He
gives clear indication of becoming a learned reli- On the evening of September 18, 1771, St. Francis
gious who will be a credit to the Congregation and was in his cell with Domenico Ceraso, one of two
a great asset to his fellow men.” novices. Together, they were very devoutly alternat-
ing the recitation of the Psalms. The other novice,
On December 28, 1763, Francis swore fidelity to Francis M. Castelli, was in agony at his father’s
his God in the perpetual observance of poverty, house in St. Anastasia, where the Superiors had
chastity, and obedience. The voice of obedience de- sent him in the hope he might regain his health.
creed he immediately leave for Macerata where he Unexpectedly God had manifested to St. Francis
was to study philosophy and science. He remained what was happening at St. Anastasia. In spirit he
there from January, 1764 until October of the fol- saw the suffering Castelli giving his last breath. In-
lowing year, at which time he experienced difficulty terrupting the recitation of the Psalms, he said to
with his lungs. In the spring of 1766, he journeyed Domenico, “Let us kneel and recite a De Profundis.
first to Arpino and then to Naples where he began At this very moment Francis has passed away.” The
his theology and where he fully recovered. news which arrived the following day confirmed
the truthfulness of the Saint’s vision.
He completed his sacred studies in Naples at St.
Charles alle Mortelle. On January 25, 1767, he V. THE SUPERIOR
was ordained a priest. Four days later the newly God was already beginning to manifest His mar-
ordained ascended the altar to offer his first Eucha- vels in the newly-ordained priest who, with youth-
ristic Sacrifice. ful dedication, had committed himself to his two-
fold ministry in the Church and in the school.
IV. A PRIEST AND A TEACHER
In September 1767, he was assigned as a professor In April 1773, Fr. Bianchi was elected Superior of
of Humanities at the Barnabite school in Arpino. St. Mary in Cosmedin at Portanova. He got there at
Even from his teaching desk, in commenting upon a critical moment: the civil authorities were arbi-
Latin and Italian authors, he knew how to radiate trarily interfering in the election of his predecessor.
Christ. He was more intent in educating than in He had much to suffer and was compelled to face
instructing, in forming hearts than in informing great difficulties. With kindness and gentleness,
minds. He knew how to enrich the teaching of the however, he was able to win the people to him-
usual subjects with a personal touch. Above all, he self.
never forgot he was a priest, and consequently he There were abuses which had to be removed. With
alternated his ministry with his teaching, especially prudence and long-suffering patience, he was suc-
by preaching the Word of God. cessful in eradicating them, making some conces-
sions in form so as to obtain results in substance.
In the autumn of 1769 he was sent by his Supe- There were times when the work was oppressing. In
riors to the college of St. Charles in Naples as a his correspondence dating to this period, frequent
professor of philosophy and mathematics to the reference to this fact can be found. “I must get out

52
Outstanding Barnabites Saint Francis Xavier M. Bianchi

of the maze of business ... “ “I am extremely busy,”


“I am filled to the brim with bothersome matters He left Naples on March 25, and reached Milan
...,” “It is very hot and there is always something on April 23. The fame of his doctrine and sanctity
to be done ... “ At all times, however, one could had preceded him, and the aristocratic intelligen-
see how practical this man (who had always lived tsia gathered around this religious man who was
among books) was given the assurance with which barely thirty-five at that time. He was elected sec-
he handled the thorniest matters. retary of the Chapter. The new Superior General,
Fr. Scipione Peruzzini, wanted him as companion
VI. JOURNEYING THROUGHOUT during his visits to the communities in Lombardy,
ITALY Piedmont, Liguria, and Romagna. He thus trav-
The General Chapter of the Order assembled in eled from Turin to Genoa, from Pavia to Mantua,
Milan in April 1779. St. Francis, together with the proceeding as far as Venice. From there he arrived
Superior of St. Charles alle Mortelle was appoint- in Bologna where the Barnabites had four houses.
ed to represent the Neapolitan Province. Before Finally, after seven months absence, he returned to
starting off, he visited Sister Mary Frances of the Naples to take up once more the administration of
Five Wounds, the Neapolitan saintly mystic. His the Portanova community.
spiritual daughter gave him words of wisdom and
suggested he record daily in detail what happened Thoughts of Sister Mary Frances of the Five Wounds
during the trip. This would have kept him from the had accompanied him throughout his itinerary
dangers of dissipation. and the protection of this saintly woman had been
a great help to him in some moments of danger.
There was, for instance, the time when he was
traveling in a public carriage with Father General
and others. Twilight had vanished. The coachman,
who was tired and sleepy, did not realize he was
dangerously close to the edge of a precipice. Sud-
denly the earth which had become soft owing to
recent rains, gave way. The carriage over-turned and
the occupants fell headlong into the deep hollow.
While cries of fear rose from the travelers, the Saint
invoked Sister Mary Frances. Truly it was an act of
Providence that all were unhurt. Yet how could
they find their way to the road again in that dark-
ness? And above all, how could they ever recover
the carriage and horses? Francis invoked once more
Sister Mary Frances’ help, and suddenly a young
man on a horse appeared. Descending into the
St. Francis Bianchi stopping the hole himself, he guided their way with a beaming
flow of lava from Mount Vesuvius torch, thus making their climbing out easier. With
his strong arms he helped the horses out too, and
recovered the carriage. He then guided the travelers
to a nearby lodging-house. It just so happened at

53
Outstanding Barnabites Saint Francis Xavier M. Bianchi

that moment young missionaries were departing,


thus leaving the rooms free for the newly-arrived. While celebrating Mass, St. Francis noticed more
Francis was to learn later from Sister Mary Frances than once that the wine he had poured in the chal-
that the Archangel Rafael had once again visibly ice had visibly diminished and that the small parti-
exerted his mission as Patron of Pilgrims. cle of the Sacred Host which he had allowed to rest
in the chalice according to rite had disappeared. At
VII. ST. MARY FRANCES OF THE first he ascribed these facts to distraction or even
FIVE WOUNDS to imagination. But he had to convince himself
It is time to say a few words about Sister Mary Fran- the fact was true, having a mysterious explanation:
ces of the Five Wounds and her relationship with Sister Mary Frances, who was ill, was nevertheless
St. Francis. Francis used to say that God had be- present in spirit when he celebrated the Divine
stowed three graces upon him: baptism, religious Sacrifice and received Holy Communion from
vocation, and his acquaintance with Sister Mary angelic hands. From that time on, Francis often
Frances. placed besides the large host a small particle which
would disappear wondrously after Consecration to
This saintly woman exerted a tremendous and satisfy the saint’s hunger for Jesus.
decisive influence in Francis’ life. The friendship
between these two great souls dates from 1777: It often happened that while the two were engaged
Francis was 34 then, and St. Mary Frances was al- in a sacred conversation, Sr. Mary Frances would
ready 62. Their spiritual relationship which was to suddenly fall in ecstasy. The Archangel Rafael ap-
last uninterrupted for 14 years, soon became a true peared visibly to her and invisibly to St. Francis
exercise of perfection. In this kind of friendship of- who could perceive a heavenly fragrance. It also
ten the function and roles of teacher and disciple happened that while Francis was speaking of the
blend together. miseries he was hoping to alleviate and of the little
money he had to do this, rolls of golden coins
From Francis Xavier’s very first visit God spoke to wondrously appeared at the feet of the Crucifix.
Sr. Mary Frances’ heart and revealed to her what One day the Saint dared ask his privileged friend
was Francis’ way toward holiness. Fr. Bianchi never to obtain permission from God to contemplate
was her confessor, yet he was always told of all the the temporary sufferings of Purgatory. St. Mary
gifts God had enriched her soul with. Frances started praying and shortly afterwards
Francis could see the purging souls. While he was
On the Fridays she would relive the pains of Christ’s still alive, God revealed to Francis the future glory
Passion, and often Francis was allowed to witness of his faithful servant, and allowed him to see her
the wondrous repetition of the pains of the suffer- soul ascending to heaven in a radiant beauty be-
ing Christ. He experienced then a saintly jealousy yond human imagining.
of that soul that was allowed to suffer because she
was united with Christ in a most perfect love. At Such friendship between two great souls is not un-
times the saintly Sister, who had a prophetic gift, usual. We just need remember St. Jerome and St.
predicted things that were to happen. She laid her Paul; St. Francis of Assisi and St. Claire; St. Therese
hand on his knee once and said, “Oh, how these and St. John of the Cross; St. Frances de Chantal
legs will suffer!” Another time she foretold him and St. Francis de Sales. St. Francis Xavier M. Bian-
the unjust Napoleonic suppression of Religious chi owes his ascent to the summit of perfection to
Orders. his encounter with St. Frances of the Five Wounds.
54
Outstanding Barnabites St. Francis Xavier M. Bianchi’s Ascetical Writings

R
St. Francis Xavier M. Bianchi’s Ascetical Writings
Translated by Fr. Frank Papa, CRSP
EFLECTIONS

Our Hope The Great Confidence We Should Have


King David placed all the trust of his salvation in In The Love Shown Us By Jesus Christ
his future Redeemer and said, “Into your hands I In All That He Has Done For Us
commend my spirit; you will redeem me, LORD,
faithful God” (Ps 31:60). Now, how much more
should you put your trust in Jesus Christ, since He Oh! How much better spokesman is for us, as it
has already come and has brought Redemption to obtains for us the divine mercy, the blood of Jesus
its completion? Therefore, with greater trust each Christ than what was the blood of Abel against
one of us must say and always repeat, “Into your Cain, “And Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant,
hands I commend my spirit; you will redeem me, and the sprinkled blood that speaks more elo-
LORD, faithful God.” quently than that of Abel” (Heb 12:24). As if the
Apostle would say: Oh! Happy you sinners who,
If we have serious reasons to fear the eternal death after the sin, have made recourse to Jesus Crucified,
because of the offenses against God, we have, on who has shed all His blood to become a mediator
the other hand, much greater reasons to hope for of peace between the sinners and God, and obtain
eternal life in the merits of Jesus Christ, which pardon for them. Your iniquities cry aloud against
have an infinitely superior value for our salvation you, but the blood of the Redeemer pleads in your
than the value would our sins make us lose. We behalf, and at the voice of this blood the divine
have sinned and we have merited hell; but our Re- justice cannot stand placated.
deemer has come to load on himself all our faults
to satisfy with his suffering, “It was our infirmities Christ Is Our Judge
that He bore, our sufferings that He endured” (Is It is true that the account of our sins we have to
53:4). give to the eternal judge is very rigorous. But who
will be our judge? “The Father… has given all judg-
Saved by the Blood of Christ ment to his Son” (Jn 5:22). Let us be consoled: the
In the very unhappy moment when we sinned, the eternal Father has entrusted our judgment to the
eternal death penalty was written by God against same Redeemer. Hence, St. Paul encourages us say-
us; but what did our merciful Redeemer do? “Oblit- ing, “Who will condemn? It is Christ (Jesus) who
erating the bond against us ..., He also removed it died...., who indeed intercedes for us” (Rom 8:
from our midst, nailing it to the cross” (Col 2:14). 34). Who is the judge who should condemn us?
With His blood he canceled the decree of our con- It is that same Savior who, not to condemn us to
viction and then nailed it to the cross, so that we, eternal death, wanted to condemn himself and
looking at the sentence of our damnation because has died; and not satisfied with it, now in heaven
of the sins committed, would look at the same time He continues to procure our salvation in front of
at the cross where Jesus Christ, dying, has canceled His Father. Hence, St. Thomas of Villanova writes,
it with his blood, and so we would regain the hope “What do you fear, o sinner, if you abhor your sin?
of pardon and of the eternal salvation. How could He condemn you the one who dies not
55
Outstanding Barnabites St. Francis Xavier M. Bianchi’s Ascetical Writings

to condemn you? How could He chase you away, if God wanting to become man, shed all His blood
you return at His feet, the one who has come from and died out of pain on a cross; and why? To pay
heaven to search for you, when you were running for our sins and save us, rebel worms! And then
away from Him?” wanting to give us that very body of His as food,
one day sacrificed for us on the cross, so that He
Confidence in Christ Crucified could be totally united with us! Oh God! These
If we are afraid because of our weakness to fall at two mysteries should turn to ashes out of love
the assaults by our enemies against whom we have all the hearts of men. And which sinner, as dis-
to fight, this is what we have to do. As the Apostle solute as he might be, could despair of pardon
warns us, “Let us rid ourselves of every burden and if he repents of the evil done as he sees a God in
sin that clings to us and persevere in running the love with men and inclined to do them good? So
race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed everything with trust, St. Bonaventure used to say,
on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith. For the “How could the one who has done and suffered
sake of the joy that lay before Him, He endured so much to save me deny me the graces needed for
the cross, despising its shame” (Heb 12:1-2). With salvation?” “So let us confidently approach the
high spirit let us go to the fight, gazing on Jesus throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace
Crucified who from His cross offers us His help, for timely help” (Heb 4:16), the Apostle exhorts
the victory, and the crown. In the past, we have fall- us. The throne of grace is the cross where Jesus sits
en because we have omitted to gaze on the wounds as if on His throne to dispense graces and mercy
and outrages suffered by our Redeemer. We have to whoever makes recourse to Him. But we have
not made recourse to Him to receive His help. But, to make this recourse often, now that we can find
in the future we will keep in front of our eyes what the right help for our salvation. Perhaps there will
He has suffered for love of us and how He is ready be a time when we could not find it anymore. Let
to come to our aid, and to Him we make recourse, us go, then, in haste to embrace the cross of Jesus
for sure we are not going to be overcome by our Christ, and let us go to it with great confidence. Let
enemies. St. Teresa, with her very generous heart, us not lose heart because of our miseries. In Jesus
used to say, “It is not my intention to tremble to Crucified we will find every richness and grace for
the devil; where we can say ‘God, God’ and make us. “In Him you were enriched in every way, ... so
him tremble.” that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift” (1 Cor
1:5-7). The merits of Jesus Christ have enriched us
Instead, the Saint used to say, if we do not put all with the divine treasures and have made us capable
our trust in God, all our shrewdness will be good of any grace we might desire.
for nothing. “All our shrewdness,” these are her
words, “are of little help if, taken all confidence In Jesus We Are Given All Graces
completely away from us, we do not put it in St. Leo says that Jesus with His death has brought
God.” us greater good than the damage brought by the
devil with sin. And this affirms what St. Paul had
The Passion of Christ and the Sacrament of the Altar said before, that the gift of Redemption has been
Oh! What great mysteries of hope and love are for greater than the sin. Grace has surpassed the crime.
us the passion of Jesus Christ and the sacrament of “The gift is not like the transgression ... where sin
the altar! They are mysteries which, if not assured increased grace overflowed all the more” (Rom 5:
by faith, who could believe them? An omnipotent
56
Outstanding Barnabites St. Francis Xavier M. Bianchi’s Ascetical Writings

15-20). Hence, the Savior encouraged us to hope er to Him would be loved. And as He has asked for
for any favor and any grace out of His merits. And it, so He has obtained it, because God has disposed
this is how He taught us the way to obtain whatev- for Jesus and us to be so intimately united in one,
er we want from His eternal Father, “Amen, amen, that both He and us would be loved, and He and
I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my us would be hated. Since Jesus is not hated and
name He will give you” (In 16:23), “When,” He cannot be hated, in the same way, if we are bound
says, “you desire something, ask my Father in my to Jesus through love we, too, are loved. Since He
name, and I promise you it will be granted to you.” is loved by God we, too, are loved. It is more valu-
But how could the Father deny us any grace if He able for Jesus Christ to make sure that we are loved,
has been the one to give us His only Son, whom He than be hated, while the eternal Father loves the
loves as himself? “He who did not spare His own Son more than He hates the sinners.
Son but handed Him over for us all, how will He
not also give us everything else along with Him?” The Greater Love Overcomes the Minor Hate
(Rom 8:32). The Apostle says “all”; so no grace is Jesus says to the Father, “Father, I wish that where
emphasized, nor the pardon, nor perseverance, nor I am, they also may be with me” (In 17:24). The
the holy love, nor perfection, nor paradise: gave us greater love overcame the minor hate, and so we
everything. But we have to pray to Him. God is have been forgiven and loved, sure of never being
infinitely merciful with those who pray to Him. abandoned, since there is such a strong bound of
“Enriching all who call upon Him” (Rom 10:12). love. The Lord says through the Prophet Isaiah,
Here the Saint adds a note, “I would like to add “Can a mother forget her infant ... ? Even should
here many other beautiful thoughts written by the she forget, I will never forget you. See, upon the
Venerable. John of Avila in his letters, about the palms of my hands I have written your name” (Is
confidence we should have in the merits of Jesus 49: 15-16). He has written us on His hands with
Christ.” His blood. Therefore, we should not be upset for
any reason, while everything is disposed by those
The Blood of Christ Repairs Our Faults hands which have been nailed to the cross as a tes-
Do not forget that between the eternal Father and timony of the love He has for us.
us there is Jesus Christ as mediator. Therefore, we
are loved and we are bound by ties of love so strong Jesus Is Our Advocate
that no fault could untie them, if man does not Nothing can terrify us as much as Jesus Christ can
break them through some mortal fault. The blood give us trust. May I be surrounded by all the sins
of Christ screams, asking mercy for us and screams I have committed, by the fears of the future, the
so that the noise of our sins is not heard. The death demons may accuse me and try to ensnare me, beg-
of Jesus Christ has made our faults die. “O death! ging mercy from a whole gracious Jesus Christ, my
Where is your sting?” (Hos 13:14). Those who get lover until death. I cannot but trust, as I see myself
lost, are lost not because of lack of satisfaction, valued so much that a God has given himself up
but because they do not want to take advantage, for me. O my Jesus, safe refuge for those who, in
through the sacraments, of the satisfaction given the midst of the storm, make recourse to you! O
by Jesus Christ. Jesus remedied for us as if He had watchful shepherd, will be deceived the one who
to do for himself, so that our sins, although He did does not trust you, although he wants to amend.
not commit any, He has claimed them as His own, This is why you said, “It is I! Don’t be afraid. I am
and has asked pardon for them, as if praying for the one to suffer and to console. Sometimes I give
himself, so that all those who wanted to come clos-
57
Outstanding Barnabites St. Francis Xavier M. Bianchi’s Ascetical Writings

desolation to some, so that it seems they are in “My God, I love you,” to start at that moment a
hell, but then I free them and lift them up. I am continuous act of love to last in eternity without
your advocate who has taken up your cause as my ever stopping loving you. I love you, then, and
own. I am your guarantor who has come to pay because I love you, I repent for having offended
your debts. I am your Lord who has redeemed you you so much. Wretch me! Not to lose a brief satis-
with my blood, not to abandon you, but to enrich faction, I have wanted so many times to lose you,
you, having ransomed you at a great price. How my infinite goodness! This thought torments me
could I flee from those who are looking for me, as more than any penalty; but I am comforted by the
I have gone towards those who were looking for thought that I am dealing with an infinite bounty
me to insult me? I did not turn my face away from which does not know how to despise a heart who
those who were hitting me; would I turn it from loves Him. Oh, could I die for you who have died
the one who wants to adore me? How could my for me! My dear Redeemer, I surely hope from you
children doubt that I love them, as they see me eternal salvation in the other life, and in this one
in the hands of my enemies out of love for them? I hope for holy perseverance in your love. This is
Who in the world have I despised, and he has loved why I propose to keep asking you for it all the time.
me? Whom did I ever abandon who has asked for And you, through the merits of your death, grant
my help? I am even looking for those who do not me the perseverance to keep praying to you. This I
look for me.” ask and I hope from you, Mary, my Queen.

If you believe that the eternal Father has donated Virgin Mary, My Mother, Mother of My Lord
his Son, then believe that He will even donate to Virgin Mary, my mother, to you, the mother of my
you everything else since it is all much less than Lord, sovereign of the world and Virgin of para-
the Son. Don’t you ever think that Jesus Christ has dise, the advocate, hope, refuge of sinners, I, the
forgotten you while, in memory of His love, He has most miserable of all, make recourse to you today.
left you the greatest pledge He could have: He him- I honor you, my queen, and I thank you for all the
self in the Sacrament of the altar. graces granted me so far, especially for freeing me
so many times from the hell I had deserved. I love
FEELINGS OF LOVE AND PRAYERS you, my most lovable Lady, and because of the
Oh! My Jesus, I Love You love I have for you I promise to want to serve you,
Oh! My Jesus, my love, what beautiful hopes your to live and die at your feet; after Jesus, my sweet
passion gives me. How could I be afraid not to Savior, I entrust my hope and firm trust of salva-
receive the forgiveness of my sins, paradise, and tion in you, my dear mother. Accept me now as
all the needed graces from an omnipotent God your servant and son; receive me under the mantle
who has given me the whole of His blood? Oh! of your sure protection. I desire nothing else from
My Jesus, my hope and my love! Not to lose me you but a solid, constant, and tender love for Jesus
you have wanted to lose your life. I love you above Christ. Obtain for me a great purity of mind and
every good, my Redeemer and my God, you have body, hate for the world, horror for any evil, love
given the whole of yourself to me, and I give you for holy virtues. I beg to obtain for me the strength
the whole of my will, and with this I repeat that I to resist any temptation by my enemies; allow me
love you, I love you, I love you; and I want to re- to lead a life as a true servant of yours, humble,
peat it all the time: I love you, I love you. I want to chaste, and patient, detached from this world, and
say so my whole life long and I want to die giving from all creatures. My dear mother, I am your son,
my last breath with these dear words on my lips,
58
Outstanding Barnabites St. Francis Xavier M. Bianchi’s Ascetical Writings

do not leave me until you see me already safe in Virgin and Mother of God, always immaculate and
heaven. Meantime, give me your maternal blessing most merciful Mary, my mother, with your power-
to confirm it for all eternity in paradise, where you ful intercession secure that I and all creatures may
reign. Amen. know and always love Jesus Christ, your most be-
loved Son.
Three Glory Be, with: Blessed be the most holy and
purest Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Salve Regina
Mary.

Saint Francis
Xavier M. Bianchi

59
Anthony’s Angels Choices

Anthony’s Angels
Elizabeth Gambino Choices Theresa Marlin

Love for the Eucharisrt


Choices are very important. Some are not so important,
such as what to wear or eat, but others can affect our
future. Here are some examples of good and better choices..

60
Anthony’s Angels Choices

Clueless Clare’s Choices

Here is an example of a girl who struggles to figure out


what is best for her. What do you think of her choices?

61
Anthony’s Angels Choices

u iz
e q
i c
C ho Now, it’s time to find out how much you’ve
learned. Try our quiz to see if you’re a
smart choice maker.

1. You go to a store. You see a candy bar lying 4. You watch your best friend steal a yoyo. Then,
at the entrance. A little boy is crying for his an announcement comes over the intercom
candy bar because he can’t find it. You: asking if anyone know the whereabouts of the
a. Leave it where it is- You’re too lazy to yoyo. You:
give it to him. a. Send a cryptic message saying you
b. Give him his candy bar. know about it.
c. Keep it- finders, keepers, losers, b. Say that you saw your friend took it,
weepers! and give a detailed description of your
friend, then tell your friend how bad
2. The new kid at school is getting bullied. You: stealing is.
a. Stand on the sidelines and watch. c. Ignore it- friendship is better than
b. Go stand up for him. You know what it doing good- good is for sissies!
feels like to be bullied!
c. Join in! It’s been a long time since 5. You have a feeling that you have a calling to
you’ve gotten to bully someone! be a priest or a sister. You:
a. Make a little effort to find about it, but
3. Your mom is away for the night. You’ve just it doesn’t really matter to you.
woken up and you’re really hungry. Your b. Speak to a priest or sister about getting
mom always tells you to feed your cat first, into seminaries and convents.
but you really don’t want too, because you’re c. Ignore it and read about other careers
REALLY hungry. You: hoping that you aren’t supposed be a
a. Put toast in the toaster, get some eggs priest or sister.
frying, and feed your cat.
b. Feed him right away.
c. Take time to eat a leisurely breakfast, SCORE
email a friend, then go feed your cat.
Mostly A’s- You could still use a little work, though
you’re definitely on the way!

Mostly B’s- You’re a very good choice maker! Keep up


the good work!

Mostly C’s- You could still use a lot of work. Try to


really figure out what would be best.

62
Each man should give
what he has decided
not reluctantly or
in his heart to give, under compulsion,

for GOD loves a cheerful giver.


(2 Corinthians 9:7)

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Barnabite Spiritual Center
4301 Hecktown Road Bethlehem, PA 18020