This Sunday in Braga, Portugal, Cardinal Angelo Becciu, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving for the equipollent canonization of Saint Bartholomew of the Martyrs, a Portuguese Dominican bishop who lived in the 16th century. century and who was "a great evangelist and pastor of his people" in the words of the Pope at the end of the angel this Sunday.
TheNeither the harshness of the Tras-os-Montes region, the stifling heat, the intense cold or the bad weather stopped him in his vigilante pastor's approach to his church». Cardinal Angelo Becciu used the words of a contemporary Jesuit of the new saint to evoke the figure of Saint Barthelemy of the Martyrs, the bishop of Braga who died in 1590 and whose worship is today recognized and extended to the Universal Church .
A scholar, a source of inspiration
In his homily, the prefect describes a personality "of the highest importance for the depth of his theological culture and his teaching, as a learned and exemplary teacher, of the Order of Preachers».
St. Barthelemy left us 32 literary works, including "Catechism or Christian Doctrine and Spiritual Practices," including the 15me was published in 1962, and "Stimulus Pastorum", a work that emphasizes the responsibility of the bishops in the task of preserving the customs and salvation of the soul, this 22-page text was part of the texts of reflection of the Conciliar Fathers at Vatican I and Vatican II.
Entered into the Order of Preachers in 1528, it took 31 years later the bubble of Paul IV "Gratiae divinae praemium", in 1559, to persuade the Dominican to accept, in obedience to his superior, his appointment as archbishop from Braga, Portugal. In this position, he paid particular attention to the sanctification of his priests, opening several schools of moral theology and evangelization.
A reformer of the Church
On Sunday, Cardinal Becciu also emphasized the commitment "strong » of the saint “For the reform of the Church and the renewal of Christian life, Manifested at the Council of Trent, the main ecclesial event of the sixteenth century in which he actively participates. Between 1561 and 1563, Barthelemy presented at least 268 petitions for the reform of the Church. Then, on his return to Portugal, he convened a diocesan synod in 1564 and a provincial synod in 1566 to implement the provisions of the Council.
In a "a reality marked by the spirit of the worldSaint Barthelemy asked "to the priests and lay faithful more consistent and faithful to the Gospel».
Both in the doctrinal and pastoral fields, his message remains of great relevance. Priest and pastor, Saint Barthelemy of the Martyrs knew how to unite "love for science and love for piety».
A pastor, already holy to his contemporaries
ThePrayer man and great evangelistWhen he was elected to the diocese of Braga, he was "a bishop totally dedicated to the people entrusted to himProbably due to his previous experience in the Benfica convent where he had distinguished himself by his spirituality.master of the inner life ”.
In 1570, when a plague epidemic erupted, "it shows a paternal closeness to the ills of society, with an ever vigilant attention to the poor». Refusing to obey both the king and the cardinal who had ordered him to leave the city, the saint "prefers to endanger his life rather than abandon the plague victims and the uninitiatedThe prefect continues.
Every three years, Cardinal Becciu recalls, St. Barthelemy of the Martyrs made a pastoral visit to his territory, stopping in each of the 1,300 parishes that were part of it.
Love for the truth
TheContemplative and missionary In faith, it is his incredible love for the Truth that enables him to transmit "Generously" adds his faith to his brothers, adds the cardinal. Saint Barthelemy perfectly embodies the Dominican charism as defined by St. Thomas Aquinas: "Contemplari and contemplata aliis tradere", contemplate and teach others.
The canonized man thus "makes his life and ministry a never-ending offering to the people entrusted to his pastoral care, not by ruling the flock far away, but by meeting others with immense apostolic fervor, Concluded Cardinal Becciu.
A long process
The cause of beatification of Barthelemy des Martyrs was opened in 1643. It was declared venerable by Gregory XVI, March 23, 1845. The prodigious healing by his intercession, on the Day of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross in 1964, of a young woman Portuguese suffering from irreversible meningo-encephalitis was recognized. Barthelemy des Martyrs was thus proclaimed blessed by John Paul II in St. Peter's Square, on November 4, 2001, the day when the Church commemorates the liturgical memory of St. Charles Borromeo, whom Barthelemy had known and with whom he had wondered at the time. of the Council of Trent. Finally, the bishop of Braga asked Pope Francis to proceed with the canonizing canonization of his predecessor, by dispensing with a second miracle, which the Holy Father did. Francois proclaimed the equiponente canonization of Barthelemy des Martyrs on July 5.