Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Bishop Brandolini On Father Domenico da Cese

Fr. Domenico sharing the Holy Face of Manoppello at the Eucharistic Congress held in Pescara in 1978

As a follow up to my posting on April 28 of this year of the prayer for the beatification of Father Domenico da Cese which was sent to me by Antonio Bini who received it from Mr. Nicola Iacobone of Rome during the recent Manoppello conference on Father Domenico by the express wish of Bishop Brandolini, I am now sharing my translation of Bishop Brandolini's preface to the book on Father Domenico written by Mario Sgarbosso which I also received through the same channel. Many thanks to all of them.

Father Domenico da Cese: A Friar Who Lived the Beatitudes

Presentation of Monsignor Luca Brandolini
Bishop of Sora-Aquino-Pontecorvo

Father Domenico da Cese was the living expression of the Gospel of the beatitudes which he faithfully followed in perfect joy, humble and aware of having the duty of sharing with others the gifts which God had given to him. Every believer is called to think and act as Christ has shown by his example ("learn from me who am meek and humble of heart") and by his word. Unfortunately in recent years, although there have been abundant examples of holiness highlighted by the large list of new saints and blesseds, many have been given little notice by many Christians, as if they would have nothing to say to us and as if they were not able to restore to Christianity that freshness and youthfulness which have always been the hallmark of the Church, of which the saints are the maternal face, in which are easily seen the features of Christ.

The saints in fact are the ones who recall us to the authentic sense of the Christian life, contradicting the theory that would suggest that we comport ourselves "as if God did not exist". Holiness which is lived and experienced, even in hiddenness and in anonymity, sweeps away so many prejudices against Christianity - how could we not think of Mother Teresa of Calcutta? -- and is the demonstration of how every Christian is able to live "according to the beatitudes" proclaimed by the Redeemer. The saints, by their example, show us the way of liberation from evil, credible witnesses of a truth unknown by many -- which is that living according to the evangelical beatitudes is not a privation of the honest pleasures of life, but is happiness and holy joy, even in the midst of suffering. This is what is shown to us by the life of this humble Franciscan friar, Father Domenico, whose mystical and real sharing in the sorrowful Passion of the Redeemer, in the secret of his cell and of his soul, has now been made public, for the edification of the Christian community, since during his earthly life he carefully concealed every divine predilection behind the screen of discretion and silence. Humility and candor were always the mark of his person. He absolutely did not love to be talked about and the one who has assumed the task and the courage of bringing to the notice of the public the many secrets of Father Domenico's soul, has had the sensation of "not following orders". But it is good to speak of them and the author has done this with a skillful dosage of style and content which makes for an interesting read from the first page to the last.

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