Saturday, July 5, 2014

Saturday, July 5, 2014 - Litany Lane Blog: Conversion, Psalms 85:9-14, Amos 9:11-15, Matthew 9,14-17, Pope Francis's Daily Catechesis, Feast of St Anthony Mary Zaccaria, Barnabites, Conversion of Saint Paul Catholic Catechism Part Three: Life in Christ Section Two: The Ten Commandment Chapter Two: Seventh Commandment Article7:1 The Universal Destination and the Private Ownership of Goods

Saturday,  July 5, 2014 - Litany Lane Blog:

Conversion, Psalms 85:9-14, Amos 9:11-15, Matthew 9,14-17, Pope Francis's Daily Catechesis, Feast of St Anthony Mary Zaccaria, Barnabites, Conversion of Saint Paul Catholic Catechism Part Three:  Life in Christ Section Two: The Ten Commandment Chapter Two: Seventh Commandment Article7:1 The Universal Destination and the Private Ownership of Goods

P.U.S.H. (Pray Until Serenity Happens). It has a remarkable way of producing solace, peace, patience and tranquility and of course resolution...God's always available 24/7.

The world begins and ends everyday for someone.  We are all human. We all experience birth, life and death. We all have flaws but we also all have the gift of knowledge, reason and free will, make the most of these gifts. Life on earth is a stepping stone to our eternal home in Heaven. The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, understanding, wonder and awe (fear of the Lord) , counsel, knowledge, fortitude, and piety (reverence) and shun the seven Deadly sins: wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony...Its your choice whether to embrace the Gifts of the Holy Spirit rising towards eternal light or succumb to the Seven deadly sins and lost to eternal darkness. Material items, though needed for sustenance and survival on earth are of earthly value only. The only thing that passes from this earth to the Darkness, Purgatory or Heaven is our's God's perpetual gift to us...Embrace it, treasure it, nurture it, protect it...~ Zarya Parx 2013

"Raise not a hand to another unless it is to offer in peace and goodwill." ~ Zarya Parx 2012


Prayers for Today:   Saturday in Ordinary Time

Rosary - Joyful Mysteries


 Papam Franciscus
(Pope Francis)

Pope Francis Daily Catechesis:

Saturday, July 2014 

Pope warns youth against “culture of the temporary”


(2014-07-05 Vatican Radio) 
Speaking to the thousands of young people who had gathered at the Sanctuary of Castelpetroso, Pope Francis  warned against the “culture of the temporary” and the prevailing trends of contemporary society.

Such a culture, he said, does not lend itself to the formation of a stable life, one that is built on “the rock of love and responsibility” rather than on the “sand of emotion.” It lends itself to an individualism which calls everything into question, leading to a superficial attitude toward the assuming of responsibilities.

However, the human heart aspires to great things, important virtues, deep friendships, and relationships that are strengthened rather than broken by life’s difficulties.  “The human being aspires to love and to be loved,” he said.

While the “culture of the temporary” increases our freedom, it deprives us of our destiny, the Pope said. He then challenged the young people to aspire to happiness, and the courage to go out of themselves toward a future together with Jesus.

Pope Francis said that Jesus invites us to follow him, “not to take advantage of us, not to make us slaves, but to make us free.”

The Holy Father went on to criticize the current unemployment situation faced by many young people. He said that we cannot resign ourselves to the loss of a generation of unemployed youth. We need to use our creativity, the Pope said, in order that the youth may experience “the joy of the dignity which comes from work.”

Recalling that the Sanctuary where the gathering was taking place was built on the site of a 1888 Marian apparition, Pope Francis concluded his address by invoking Mary’s intercession. He then offered his blessing to the young people in their “journey of courage, of hope, and of solidarity.”

Reference: Vatican News. From the Pope. © Copyright 2014 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Accessed 07/05/2014


 Pope Francis's Prayer Intentions for July 2015

Vatican City, 30 June 2014 (VIS) – 
The Pope's universal prayer intention for July is “that sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth”.

His prayer intention for evangelization is “that the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries”

Liturgical Celebrations to be presided over by Pope:  2015

Vatican City, spring 2014 (VIS)

The following is the English text of the intentions – both universal and for evangelization – that, as is customary, the Pope entrusted to the Apostleship of Prayer for 2015. 

Universal: That those from diverse religious traditions and all people of good will work together for peace.
Evangelization: That in this year dedicated to consecrated life, religious men and women may rediscover the joy of following Christ and strive to serve the poor with zeal.

Universal: That prisoners, especially the young, may be able to rebuild lives of dignity.
Evangelization: That married people who are separated may find welcome and support in the Christian community.

Universal: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.

Universal: That people may learn to respect creation and care for it as a gift of God.
Evangelization: That persecuted Christians may feel the consoling presence of the Risen Lord and the solidarity of all the Church.

Universal: That, rejecting the culture of indifference, we may care for our neighbours who suffer, especially the sick and the poor.
Evangelization: That Mary’s intercession may help Christians in secularized cultures be ready to proclaim Jesus.

Universal: That immigrants and refugees may find welcome and respect in the countries to which they come.
Evangelization: That the personal encounter with Jesus may arouse in many young people the desire to offer their own lives in priesthood or consecrated life.

Universal: That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.

Universal: That volunteers may give themselves generously to the service of the needy.
Evangelization: That setting aside our very selves we may learn to be neighbours to those who find themselves on the margins of human life and society.

Universal: That opportunities for education and employment may increase for all young people.
Evangelization: That catechists may give witness by living in a way consistent with the faith they proclaim.

Universal: That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.

Universal: That we may be open to personal encounter and dialogue with all, even those whose convictions differ from our own.
Evangelization: That pastors of the Church, with profound love for their flocks, may accompany them and enliven their hope.

Universal: That all may experience the mercy of God, who never tires of forgiving.
Evangelization: That families, especially those who suffer, may find in the birth of Jesus a sign of certain hope.

  • Vatican News. From the Pope. © Copyright 2014 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Accessed 07/05/2014.


November 2, 2013 Our Lady of Medjugorje Message to the World: "Dear children; Anew, in a motherly way, I am calling you to love; to continually pray for the gift of love; to love the Heavenly Father above everything. When you love Him you will love yourself and your neighbor. This cannot be separated. The Heavenly Father is in each person. He loves each person and calls each person by his name. Therefore, my children, through prayer hearken to the will of the Heavenly Father. Converse with Him. Have a personal relationship with the Father which will deepen even more your relationship as a community of my children – of my apostles. As a mother I desire that, through the love for the Heavenly Father, you may be raised above earthly vanities and may help others to gradually come to know and come closer to the Heavenly Father. My children, pray, pray, pray for the gift of love because 'love' is my Son. Pray for your shepherds that they may always have love for you as my Son had and showed by giving His life for your salvation. Thank you."

October 25, 2013 Our Lady of Medjugorje Message to the World:  “Dear children! Today I call you to open yourselves to prayer. Prayer works miracles in you and through you. Therefore, little children, in the simplicity of heart seek of the Most High to give you the strength to be God’s children and for Satan not to shake you like the wind shakes the branches. Little children, decide for God anew and seek only His will – and then you will find joy and peace in Him. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

October 2, 2013 Our Lady of Medjugorje Message to the World: "Dear children, I love you with a motherly love and with a motherly patience I wait for your love and unity. I pray that you may be a community of God’s children, of my children. I pray that as a community you may joyfully come back to life in the faith and in the love of my Son. My children, I am gathering you as my apostles and am teaching you how to bring others to come to know the love of my Son; how to bring to them the Good News, which is my Son. Give me your open, purified hearts and I will fill them with the love for my Son. His love will give meaning to your life and I will walk with you. I will be with you until the meeting with the Heavenly Father. My children, it is those who walk towards the Heavenly Father with love and faith who will be saved. Do not be afraid, I am with you. Put your trust in your shepherds as my Son trusted when he chose them, and pray that they may have the strength and the love to lead you. Thank you." - See more at:

Today's Word:  conversion  con·ver·sion [kuhn-vur-zhuhn, -shuhn]

Origin:  before 900; Middle English, Old English  < Latin  < Greek kanṓn  measuring rod, rule, akin to kánna cane

1. the act or process of converting; state of being converted.
2. change in character, form, or function.
3. spiritual change from sinfulness to righteousness.
4. change from one religion, political belief, viewpoint, etc., to another.
5. a change of attitude, emotion, or viewpoint from one of indifference, disbelief, or antagonism to one of acceptance, faith, or enthusiastic support, especially such a change in a person's religion.


Today's Old Testament Reading -    Psalms 85:9-14

9 His saving help is near for those who fear him, his glory will dwell in our land.
11 Loyalty will spring up from the earth, and Justice will lean down from heaven.
12 Yahweh will himself give prosperity, and our soil will yield its harvest.
13 Justice will walk before him, treading out a path.


Today's Epistle -   Amos 9:11-15

11 On that Day, I shall rebuild the tottering hut of David, make good the gaps in it, restore its ruins and rebuild it as it was in the days of old,
12 for them to be master of what is left of Edom and of all the nations once called mine -Yahweh declares, and he will perform it.
13 The days are coming- declares Yahweh- when the ploughman will tread on the heels of the reaper, and the treader of grapes on the heels of the sower of seed, and the mountains will run with new wine and the hills all flow with it.
14 I shall restore the fortunes of my people Israel; they will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them, they will plant vineyards and drink their wine, they will lay out gardens and eat their produce.
15 And I shall plant them in their own soil and they will never be uprooted again from the country which I have given them, declares Yahweh, your God.


Today's Gospel Reading -  Matthew 9:14-17

1) Opening prayer
you call your children
to walk in the light of Christ.
Free us from darkness
and keep us in the radiance of your truth.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

2) Gospel Reading - Matthew 9:14-17
Then John's disciples came to Jesus and said, 'Why is it that we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not?' Jesus replied, 'Surely the bridegroom's attendants cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom is still with them? But the time will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast. No one puts a piece of unshrunken cloth onto an old cloak, because the patch pulls away from the cloak and the tear gets worse. Nor do people put new wine into old wineskins; otherwise, the skins burst, the wine runs out, and the skins are lost. No; they put new wine in fresh skins and both are preserved.'

3) Reflection
• Matthew 9, 14: The question of the disciples of John concerning the practice of fasting. Fasting is quite an ancient use, practiced by almost all religions.  Jesus himself practiced it during forty days (Mt 4, 2). But he does not insist with the disciples so that they do the same thing. He leaves them free. Because of this, the disciples of John the Baptist and of the Pharisees, who were obliged to fast, want to know why Jesus does not insist on fasting “Why is it that we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not?”

• Matthew 9, 15: The answer of Jesus.  Jesus answers with a comparison in the form of a question: “Surely the bridegroom’s attendants cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom is still with them?”  Jesus associates fasting to mourning, and he considers himself the bridegroom.  When the bridegroom is with his friends, that is, during the wedding feast, they have no need to fast.  When Jesus is with them, with his disciples, it is a feast, the wedding feast. Therefore, they should not fast. But one day the bridegroom will go away.  It will be a day of mourning. Then, if they want they can fast. Jesus refers to his death. He knows and feels that if he continues on this way of liberty, the authority will want to kill him.

• Matthew 9, 16-17: New wine in new skins! In these two verses, the Gospel of Matthew gives two separate phrases of Jesus on the patch of new cloth on an old cloak and of the new wine in new skins. These words throw light on the discussions and the conflicts of Jesus with religious authority of the time.  A patch of new cloth is not put on an old cloak; because when washing it, the new piece of cloth shrinks and pulls on the old cloak and tears it and the tear becomes bigger.  Nobody puts new wine in old skins, because when the new wine ferments, it tears the old skins. New wine in new skins! The religion defended by the religious authority was like a piece of old cloth, like an old skin. Both the disciples of John and the Pharisees, tried to renew the religion.  In reality, they hardly put some patches and because of this, they ran the risk of compromising and harming both the novelty as well as the old uses.  It is not necessary to want to change the novelty which Jesus brings to us for the old uses. Either one or the other! The new wine which Jesus brings to us tears the old skins.  It is necessary to know how to separate things. Most probably, Matthew presents these words of Jesus to orientate the communities of the years 80’s. There was a group of Jew-Christians who wanted to reduce the novelty of Jesus to the Judaism of the time before the coming of Jesus.  Jesus is not against what is “old”.  He does not want that what is old be imposed on that which is new and, that it prevents it from manifesting itself.  Vatican II cannot be reread with the mentality before the Council, like some try to do today. 

4)  Personal questions
• Which are the conflicts around the religious practices which today make many persons suffer and are a reason for heated discussions and polemics? Which is the image of God which is behind all these preconceptions, these norms and these prohibitions?
• How is this phrase of Jesus to be understood: “Nobody puts a piece of new cloth on an old cloak?   Which is the message which we can draw from all this for your community today?

5) Concluding Prayer
I am listening. What is God's message?
Yahweh's message is peace for his people,
for his faithful, if only they renounce their folly. (Ps 85,8)

Reference: Courtesy of Order of Carmelites,


Featured Item of the Day from Litany Lane


Saint of the Day:  Saint Anthony Maria Zaccaria

Feast Day: July 5 
Patron Saint: The Barnabite Order, Angelic Sisters of St. Paul, Laity of St. Paul, Physicians

Saint Anthony Maria Zaccaria (Italian: Antonio Maria Zaccaria) (1502 – 5 July 1539) was an early leader of the Counter Reformation. His feast day is celebrated on 5 July.

Anthony was born in the city of Cremona, Italy, in 1502 to Lazzaro and Antonia Pescaroli Zaccaria, and was baptized on the same day in the Cathedral of Cremona, probably by his uncle Don Tommaso Zaccaria, canon of the Cathedral. When he was two his father died. His family was of the nobility, and in order to teach him compassion for the poor, his mother made him her almoner.[1] After attending the Episcopal School annexed to the Cathedral, he studied philosophy at the University of Pavia, and, from 1520, medicine at the University of Padua. After completing studies in 1524, he practised as a physician in Cremona for three years.[2] In 1527, he started studying for the priesthood, and was ordained in February 1529. Having explored his calling for two years, mainly working in hospitals and institutions for the poor, he became the spiritual advisor to Countess Ludovica Torelli of Guastalla (then the tiny County of Guastalla) in 1530, and followed her to Milan. In Milan he became a member of the Oratory of Eternal Wisdom.[3]

In Vincenza, he popularized for the laity the Forty-hour devotion—solemn exposition of the Blessed Sacrament for the adoration of the faithful—accompanied by preaching. He also revived the custom of ringing church bells at 3 p.m. on Fridays, in remembrance of the Crucifixion.[2]

While on a mission to Guastalla, Italy, in 1539, he caught a fever. Combined with the strict penances he performed, his health waned and he died on 5 July 1539, at the age of 36. The suffragan bishop, Bishop Luca di Seriate, who ordained him a priest, presides over the funeral. In attendance are the aristocratic assembly and the people of Cremona and surrounding towns.[2] He was buried in the convent of the Angelics of St Paul, the female branch of the Barnabites, in Milan.


While in Milan, he laid the foundations of three religious orders: one for men (the Clerics Regular of St Paul, commonly known as the Barnabites); a female branch of uncloistered nuns, the Angelic Sisters of St. Paul; and a lay congregation for married people, the Laity of St. Paul, originally called the Married of St. Paul, and sometimes referred to in North America as the Oblates of St. Paul. The three foundations met regularly and engaged together in various forms of apostolic action. Their aim was the reform of the decadent society of their day, beginning with the clergy and religious.[4]

The Clerics Regular of St. Paul (the Barnabites)

"The Congregation of the Regular Clerks of St. Paul" was canonically sanctioned by Pope Clement VII in 1533.[1] The Barnabites' main devotions were the teachings of Saint Paul and emphasis on love for the Eucharist and Christ crucified. The order was named after the companion of St. Paul.[4] Since the order criticized what they saw as abuses in the Roman Catholic Church, Zaccaria soon gained a number of enemies, and as the order's founder, he was twice investigated for heresy, in 1534 and 1537. He was acquitted both times. In 1536, he stepped down as general of the order and went to Vicenza, where he reformed two convents and founded the order's second house.

The Angelic Sisters of St. Paul

On January 15, 1535 Pope Paul III approves the Angelic Sisters with the Bull, "Debitum pastoralis officii". On February 27, 1536 Zaccaria confers the habit on six postulants of the Angelic Sisters. Zaccaria appoints Negri Mistress of Novices on March 4, 1537.


After his death, a number of cures were attributed to the intercession of Anthony Mary Zaccaria. 27 years after his death, his body was found to be incorrupt.[1] His mortal remains are now enshrined at the Church of St. Barnabas in Milan, Italy.[3] He was canonized by Pope Leo XIII on 27 May 1897. His feast day is celebrated on 5 July.[5] He is a patron saint of physicians.[6]


In art, he is depicted wearing the black cassock of the order and holding a lily, cross, chalice and/or host.

Chronology of the Life of St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria

  • December 1–15, 1502 (Cremona). Anthony Mary Zaccaria is born in the home of the Zaccaria family (Premoli, Storia I, pp. 399–403). - (Probable date is December 8, 1502, Thursday).
  • August 15, 1524 (Padua). According to tradition, on the feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, the student Zaccaria completes his course of study at the University of Padua and returns to Cremona.
  • June 6, 1528 (Cremona). The doctor Zaccaria receives the tonsure and the minor orders.
  • 1528 (Bologna). Zaccaria completes his studies in theology in Bologna.
  • February 20, 1529 (Cremona). Anthony Mary Zaccaria is ordained a priest in the Chapel of St. Joseph by Bishop Luca di Seriate, titular bishop of Duvno and suffragan of Cardinal Benedetto Accolti.
  • End of 1529 (Guastalla). Don Pietro Orsi, Chaplain of the Countess of Guastalla, Ludovica Torelli, dies. Countess Ludovica Torelli, who previously met Zaccaria with his mother when she married Lodovico Stanga, appoints Zaccaria as her new Chaplain, perhaps at the suggestion of Fra Battista da Crema.
  • Fall of 1530 (Milan). Zaccaria joins the Oratory of Eternal Wisdom where he meets Bartolomeo Ferrari and Giacomo Antonio Morigia.
  • August 30, 1531 (Milan). Zaccaria introduces the ringing of bells at 3 o’clock in the afternoon every Friday to commemorate the passion and death of our Lord (Burigozzo, Cronaca, III, 509).
  • December 14, 1531 (Cremona). In his last will and testament, Zaccaria stipulates the construction of a chapel in honor of the Conversion of St. Paul in his parish, St. Donato. It is the first official Pauline center in the Duchy of Milan, after the end of the Circle of Meaux in France (1525).
  • February 25, 1532 (Milan). An onslaught on the apostolate in the city occurs. A Lenten preacher in the Cathedral of Milan (a certain "Carmelite Brother") incites the crowd against the Paulines, but later repents.
  • February 18, 1533 (Bologna). Zaccaria receives from Pope Clement VII, the Bull of approval for his group, still without an official name and residence.
  • November 10, 1533 (Guastalla). As the legal representative of Ludovica (Paola) Torelli, Zaccaria leaves for Curtatone (Mantua) to defend the innocent Fra Battista da Crema from the unjust accusations of his superiors, warning that he will carry out the execution and offer as evidence a new Papal Brief.
  • October 4, 1534 (Milan). To his companions gathered in St. Catherine, and fearful for a lawsuit against all "the house of Paul," Zaccaria addresses a passionate exhortation, urging them to imitate Christ Crucified under the banner of Paul and reduce the cause of the persecution to a simple game of passion.
  • July 25, 1535 (Rome). Pope Paul III, with a Bull of approbation, confirms the devotion to St. Paul for Zaccaria and his group.
  • December 25, 1535 (Milan). On Christmas Day, Anthony Mary Zaccaria celebrates the Mass for the first time at the Oratory of the Monastery of St. Paul of the Angelic Sisters.
  • January 25, 1536 (Milan). Zaccaria officially inaugurates the new Monastery of St. Paul.
  • April 15, 1536 (Milan). Giacomo Antonio Morigia is elected Superior.
  • May 7, 1536 (Milan). Zaccaria promotes the exposition of the Holy Shroud from the balcony of Castello Sforzesco. It is the first in history.
  • November 30, 1536 (Milan). Zaccaria proposes to Fr. Francis Castellino to establish permanently the School of Christian Doctrine for the youth.
  • April 19, 1537 (Guastalla). With a handwritten letter undersigned by Torelli, Zaccaria appoints Giuseppe Fellini of Cremona Podestà (Mayor) of Guastalla.
  • July 2, 1537 (Milan). On Tuesday, Zaccaria accompanies the first Pauline missionaries (Barnabites, Angelic Sisters, and Laity of St. Paul) and some collaborators (Castellino da Castello and Fra Bono Lizzari) to Vicenza, and builds an altar in honor of St. Paul in the Church of the Converted.
  • August 21, 1537 (Milan). The Senate President, Giacomo Filippo Sacchi, issues a full acquittal "ex capite innocentiae" on all the charges of heresy leveled against the Paulines.
  • Year 1537 (Milan). Anthony Mary Zaccaria promotes the solemn Forty Hours Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in the Cathedral of Milan, and in shifts at the "Quattro Porte" (Four Gates) of the city.
  • August 29, 1537 (Milan). At the request of the citizens of Milan, Pope Paul III, with a Papal Brief, Universis Christifidelibus, addressed to the Vicar General, Cardinal Marino Caracciolo, approves and supports the Forty Hours Adoration.
  • November 13, 1538 (Guastalla). Zaccaria asks and obtains justice, with the intervention of the Podestà (Mayor), for Giandomenico Mangalassi, a victim of injustice.
  • June 20, 1539 (Guastalla). Zaccaria writes to the couple Omodei in Milan and speaks of a great "weariness of the body." He feels that his end is imminent and wants to be brought back to Cremona through a boat of dealers who have two mandatory stops (in Cremona and Casalmaggiore) of their trade route along the Po River.
  • July 5, 1539 (Cremona). On Saturday, at 3 o’clock in the afternoon, on the eve of the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul Apostle, Anthony Mary Zaccaria, dies in his home (in the house where he was born), in the arms of his mother, surrounded by his first companions.


He left only a few writings: twelve letters, six sermons, and the constitution of the Barnabites.

The Manuscript of Letter 2 of St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria
There are eleven letters signed by Anthony Mary. Four are original manuscripts: Letter II (addressed to Bartolomeo Ferrari and Giacomo Antonio Morigia, January 4, 1531); Letter IV (to Giovan Giacomo Piccinini, January 16, 1534); Letter VI (to Ferrari, October 8, 1538); and Letter VII (to Battista Soresina, November 3, 1538). Of the other seven, we have only copies, though they are very early. Three letters are cosigned by Anthony Mary and Angelic Paola Antonia Negri. They are, Letter VI, Letter VII], and Letter VIII. In addition, there is a twelfth letter: though it bears only Negri’s signature, it was without a doubt penned by Anthony Mary. In fact, the original manuscript of this letter is in Anthony Mary’s own handwriting.

One letter is addressed to Fra Battista da Crema (Letter I); two are addressed to the Angelics (Letter V and Letter IX); three to laymen (Letter III, Letter IV, and Letter XI); and four to the Barnabites (Letter II, Letter VII, Letter VIII, and Letter X). One (Letter VI) is addressed to Bartolomeo Ferrari, but it is meant for both Barnabites and Angelics who were doing missionary work in Vicenza.

The eleven letters cover a nine-year period, 1530 to 1539. However, there are gaps between 1531 and 1534, and between 1534 and 1537. Letter IX and Letter XII are undated. The last three letters, a remarkable total of 2,200 words penned in the brief space of ten busy days, were addressed to an Angelic, a Barnabite, and a Married Couple. Written respectively on June 10, 11, and 20, 1539, that is, within less than a month of his death, these letters unwittingly became, as it were, his final testament to the three families of his foundation. Anthony Mary’s letters do not belong to any literary genre nor can they be styled “spiritual letters” per se. They were occasional writings dashed off without any concern for style, in plain, totally unadorned language. However, they do contain a wealth of extraordinary spirituality, a fact easily recognized by his earliest biographers.

Anthony Mary himself, in his last letter, pointedly remarked: “I have not written one word without some special meaning in it. If you discover it, it will be, I think, most useful and gainful for you.”

The 12 Letters of St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria

  • Letter 1 - Being Thankful to God
  • Letter 2 - Remedies for Irresoluteness
  • Letter 3 - Unceasing Prayer
  • Letter 4 - Confidence in God in the Face of Difficulty
  • Letter 5 - Spiritual Renewal and Progress
  • Letter 6 - Spiritual Progress & Christian Service
  • Letter 7 - Christ’s Will Versus One’s Own Will
  • Letter 8 - Trust in the Lord
  • Letter 9 - The Saints, True Imitators of Christ
  • Letter 10 - Steady Growth in Holiness
  • Letter 11 - Becoming Great Saints
  • Letter 12 - God’s Gift of Light

The manuscript codex of the Sermons is kept in the General Archives of the Barnabites in Rome. It was entrusted by Anthony Mary’s mother to the Angelics of Santa Marta Convent in Cremona. Early Barnabite historian, Father Giovanni Antonio Gabuzio, retrieved it during his stay in that city from 1584 to 1595. It is an index-notebook. When he was a student at the University of Padua, Anthony Mary recorded in it some lines of the philosopher, Averroës. Later on, as a priest in Cremona, he wrote in it the talks on the Ten Commandments, which he gave at the Amicizia Oratory in St. Vitalis church. Clearly, he planned to write out ten sermons, one on each commandment. However, the notebook contains only five sermons: four on the first four commandments. The fifth one is on the commandment, but it is only half finished. Sermon I has an appendix on how nuns should practice the first commandment. Maybe it was intended for the Augustinian Community of Santa Maria Annunziata in Cremona.

A sixth sermon was part of a projected trilogy on moral and spiritual lukewarmness. The Sermons are addressed to noble laymen, who were married and had children, and were active members of the Amicizia Oratory, in the years 1529-1530 when Anthony Mary was a priest; however, their content is applicable to everyone. The above-mentioned appendix to Sermon I proves it. All the Sermons have the same structure. They are divided in two parts. The first one treats of a specific theme. In Sermon I it is the “due order” of the spiritual life; in Sermon II, “true spiritual life”; in Sermon III, “acknowledgment”; in Sermon IV, love; in Sermon V, passions; in Sermon VI, the “way of God.” The second part of Sermons 1–V is an extensive exposition of each commandment and its practice. In the case of Sermon VI, the second part is a detailed explanation of lukewarmness. The Sermons exhibit a more elaborate style than that of the Letters. The language, though direct, reveals greater care and elegance. The reasoning is cogently logical and is structured on solid theological preparation. The numerous Biblical quotations reveal a mastery of the Scriptures.

Recently, a hypothesis was put forth, according to which the Sermons are not liturgical homilies, but opening talks given at the Amicizia Oratory meetings, where all present could then speak. It is noteworthy that Anthony Mary reserves the term “sermon” only to his talk on lukewarmness.

The Constitutions of 1579
We have no original manuscript of the Constitutions. We only have a very early copy. The Constitutions is no more than an extended outline. It was never approved nor promulgated, hence, it was never binding. In all probability, it is a reworked translation of a previous Latin outline by Fra Battista, the so-called “Primitive Constitutions.” It was a basic text worked on by the first Fathers toward a definitive text.

The available text consists of 19 chapters, but a close scrutiny points to several layers of composition. There is a conclusion at the end of Chapter 16; another one at the end of Chapter 18; and a third one at the end of Chapter 19. This is evidence that the text went through several writings and underwent multiple reworking.
A letter of Father Nicolò D’Aviano, dated October 10, 1570 (even as the definitive Constitutions of 1579 were being redacted), informs us that three chapters of the Constitutions were without a doubt authored by Anthony Mary himself. They are Chapter 12: “Formation of Novices”; Chapter 17: “Signs of Deteriorating 17 Religious Life”; and Chapter 19: “Qualities of a Reformer.” In addition, Anthony Mary’s hand can be recognized, more or less, throughout the entire document.

The Constitutions is a document of laws. Hence, its literary genre is juridical. However, in Anthony Mary’s additions, the peremptory style turns exhortatory. We may even state that this change of style helps to locate Anthony Mary’s interpolations in the original text of Battista da Crema.


  1. ^ a b c Kelly, Patrick Henry. "St. Antonio Maria Zaccaria." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 1. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1907. 30 Dec. 2013
  2. ^ a b c "Life of St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria", Barnabites
  3. ^ a b "St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria", Angelic Sisters of St. Paul
  4. ^ a b Foley O.F.M., Leonard, "St. Anthony Zaccaria", Saint of the Day, Lives, Lessons, and Feast, (revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M.), Franciscan Media
  5. ^ Mann, Benjamin. "Church honors priest and founder St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria July 5", Catholic News Agency
  6. ^ Medical Society of St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria


  • Marcello Landi, La presenza della Summa Theologiae di Tommaso d'Aquino nei primi due Sermoni di Antonio Maria Zaccaria in Barnabiti Studi 20 (2003), pp. 69–81
  • Marcello Landi, Sant'Antonio Maria Zaccaria. Contesto storico-culturale e presenza della Summa Theologiae di san Tommaso d'Aquino nei suoi primi tre sermoni, in Sacra Doctrina. Studi e ricerche n. 52 (3/2006), pp. 46–81
  • Fr. Franco Maria Chilardotti, CRSP, 2009 Antonio Maia Zaccaria 1502-1539 : Una meteora del ciquecento nella scia di Paolo Apostolo.

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Today's Snippet I: Barnabites

The Barnabites are Catholic priests and Religious Brothers belonging to the Roman Catholic religious order of the Clerics Regular of St. Paul (Latin: Clerici Regulares Sancti Pauli), founded in 1530. While in the past, they used the postnominal initials of simply "B.", they currently use C.R.S.P. Associated to the members of the Order are the Angelic Sisters of St. Paul and the lay members of the Barnabite lay movement.

Establishment of the Order

Second in seniority of the orders of regular clerics (the Theatines being first), the Barnabites founded in Milan, Italy in 1530 by three Italian noblemen: St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria, Bartholomeo Ferrari and Cardinal Jacopo Antonio Morigia.[1] The region was then suffering severely from the wars between Charles V and Francis I, and Zaccaria saw the need for radical reform of the Church in Lombardy, afflicted by problems typical for that era: dioceses without a bishops, clergy with inadequate theological formation, a decrease in religious practice, and monasteries and convents in decline.[2]

It was approved by Pope Clement VII in the brief Vota per quae vos in 1533. Later approvals gave it the status of a Religious Order, but it is still normally referred to as a congregation. Both the date and the vocation place it among the Orders associated with the Counter-Reformation.[1] Zaccaria's holiness moved many to reform their lives but it also moved many to oppose him. Twice his community had to undergo official religious investigation, and twice it was exonerated.

The order was given the name of "Regular Clerics of St. Paul" (Clerici Regulares Sancti Pauli).[1] In 1538 the grand old monastery of St. Barnabas by the city wall of Milan was given to the congregation as their main seat, and thenceforth they were known the popular name of Barnabites. [3] After the death of Zaccaria in 1539, the congregation was favored and protected by Archbishop Charles Borromeo of Milan and later by Francis de Sales because of their successful missionary work in Upper Italy. Charles Borromeo presided, in 1579, as Cardinal Protector, over the commission which wrote the Constitutions of the Order. The General Chapters of the Order were regularly held at Milan until the reign of Pope Alexander VII (1655–67), who ordered them to convene in Rome. Pope Innocent XI (1676–89), however, finally decreed that they should be held in Rome and Milan alternately.

These assemblies of the Provincial Superiors were held every three years for the election of a new Superior General, whose term of office was limited to that period, only one re-election being allowed to each incumbent of the office.

The Society started pastoral activity among the working classes and in monasteries.In the early 17th century, the Barnabites gradually entered the field of education – work which was to remain a mark of their apostolate. They entered France under Henry IV in 1608, and Austria under Ferdinand II in 1626.[3]

The present Constitution is an updated version dated 1983, which takes into account the changes from the Second Vatican Council. There is a female branch of Religious Sisters, the Angelic Sisters of St. Paul, found by Anthony Mary Zaccaria, and an organization for lay people, the Laity of St. Paul, originally called the Married of St. Paul and sometimes referred to in North America as the Oblates of St. Paul.

As of July 24, 2012, the new Superior General is a Brazilian, the Very Rev. Francisco Chagas Santos da Silva.[4]

Character of the Order

As indicated by the official name, the work of the Barnabites is inspired by St. Paul the Apostle. In an address in 2000, to the institutes General Chapter, Pope John Paul II noted, "[I]n pointing out the ideal of religious and apostolic life to his spiritual sons, St Anthony Mary Zaccaria emphasized charity."[5]

The members of the Order make, in addition to the three standard religious vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, a fourth vow never to strive for any office or position of dignity, or to accept such otherwise than under a command of the Holy See.

The focus of the goals of the Barnabite Order, besides preaching in general, catechizing, hearing confessions, giving missions, ministrations in hospitals and prisons, and the education of youth, includes also a particular devotion to the thorough study and exposition of St. Paul's Epistles. Their habit is the black soutane which formed the usual garb of Milanese secular priests in the time of Borromeo. He himself was not himself a member, but is venerated by the Barnabites as a secondary patron saint of their Order.

The first missions undertaken by the Order were in Italy, France, the former Duchy of Savoy, Austria and Bohemia. In the 18th century they started missions in China and Brazil. Today, they serve in 16 countries. Among these is Afghanistan, where they have run the Afghan Catholic Mission since 1933, interrupted only while the Taliban regime was in power.

Barnabite saints

Three Barnabites are counted among the canonized saints: Anthony Maria Zaccaria, Alexander Sauli and Francis Bianchi, while some others are being investigated for possible canonization, including the Venerable Karl Schilling, the only post-Reformation Norwegian to be officially considered for sainthood, and the Italian physician and priest Vittorio De Marino. Vincenzo Sangermano was a Barnabite who was a missionary in Burma and wrote multiple books about the Burmese people.[6]

The Order has also numbered several cardinals, the first of these being Giacomo Antonio Morigia, one of its founders, raised to the cardinalate in 1699.

John Bellarini, who was the Visitor of the Order and twice held to office of Assistant Superior General, was also a noted theologian who wrote a number of works including an influential commentary on the Council of Trent.[7]


  1. Tondini di Quarenghi, Cesario. "Barnabites." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 2. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1907. 12 Jan. 2014
  2. "Barnabite Fathers", Barnabite Fathers USA
  3. Schaff, Philip. "Barnabites", The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, Vol. I: Aachen - Basilians, p.488, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1951
  4. Barnabiti.It
  5. Pope John Paul II. "Address of the Holy Father John Paul II to the Barnabites", Vatican website
  6. "The Burmese Empire a Hundred Years Ago, as Described by Father Sangermano, with an Introduction and Notes by John Jardine". World Digital Library. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
  7.  "John Bellarini". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.




Saint Paul was distinguished in Judaism for two reasons. The one was his own character, and the other was the diligence of the demon in availing himself of his naturally good qualities. Saint Paul was of a disposition generous, magnanimous, most noble, kind, active, courageous and constant. He had acquired many of the moral virtues. He glorified in being a staunch professor of the law of Moses, and in being studious and learned in it; although in truth he was ignorant of its essence, as he himself confesses to Timothy, because all his learning was human and terrestrial; like many Jews, he knew the law merely from the outside, without its spirit and without the divine insight, which was necessary to understand it rightly and to penetrate its mysteries.

The disposition of Saul was most noble and generous, and therefore it appeared to him beneath his dignity and honor to stoop to such crimes and act the part of an assassin, when he could, as it seemed to him, destroy the law of Christ by the power of reasoning and open justice. He felt a still greater horror at the thought of killing the most blessed Mother, on account of the regard due to Her as a woman; and because he had seen Her so composed and constant in the labors and in the Passion of Christ. On this account She seemed to him a magnanimous Woman and worthy of veneration. She had indeed won his respect, together with some compassion for her sorrows and afflictions, the magnitude of which had become publicly known. Hence he gave no admittance to the inhuman suggestions of the demon against the life of the most blessed Mary. This compassion for Her hastened not a little the conversion of Saul. Neither did he further entertain the treacherous designs against the apostles, although Lucifer sought to make their assassination appear as a deed worthy of his courageous spirit. Rejecting all these wicked thoughts, he resolved to incite all the Jews to persecute the Church, until it should be destroyed together with the name of Christ.

As the dragon and his cohorts could not attain more, they contented themselves with having brought Saul at least to this resolve. The dreadful wrath of these demons against God and his creatures can be estimated from the fact, that on that very day they held another meeting in order to consult how they could preserve the life of this man, whom they had found so well adapted to execute their malice. These deadly enemies well know, that they have no jurisdiction over the lives of men, and that they can neither give nor take life, unless permitted by God on some particular occasion; nevertheless they wished to make themselves the guardians and the physicians of the life and health of Saul as far as their power extended, namely, by keeping active his forethought against whatever was harmful and suggesting the use of what was naturally beneficial to the welfare of life and limb. Yet with all their efforts they were unable to hinder the work of grace, when God so wished it. Far were they from suspecting, that Saul would ever accept the faith of Christ, and that the life, which they were trying to preserve and lengthen, was to redound to their own ruin and torment. Such events are provided by the wisdom of the Most High, in order that the devil, being deceived by his evil counsels, may fall into his own pits and snares, and in order that all his machinations may serve for the fulfillment of the divine and irresistible will.

Such were the decrees of the highest Wisdom in order that the conversion of Saul might be more wonderful and glorious. With this intention God permitted satan, after the death of saint Stephen, to instigate Saul to go to the chief priests with fierce threats against the disciples of Christ, who had left Jerusalem, and to solicit permission for bringing them as prisoners to Jerusalem from wherever he should find them (Acts 9, 1). For this enterprise Saul offered his person and possessions, and even his life; at his own cost and without salary he made this journey in order that the new Law, preached by the disciples of the Crucified, might not prevail against the Law of his ancestors. This offer was readily favored by the high-priest and his counselors; they immediately gave to Saul the commission he asked, especially to go to Damascus, whither, according to report, some of the disciples had retired after leaving Jerusalem. He prepared for the journey, hiring officers of justice and some soldiers to accompany him. But his by far most numerous escort were the many legions of demons, who in order to assist him in this enterprise, came forth from hoping that with all this show of force and through Saul, they might be able to make an end of the Church and entirely devastate it with fire and blood. This was really the intention of Saul, and the one with which Lucifer and his demons sought to inspire him and his companions. But let us leave him for the present on his journey to Damascus, anxious to seize all the disciples of Christ, whom he should find in the synagogues of that city.

Nothing of all this was unknown to the Queen of heaven; for in addition to her science and vision penetrating to the inmost thoughts of men and demons, the Apostles were solicitous in keeping Her informed of all that befell the followers of her Son. Long before this time She had known that Saul was to be an Apostle of Christ, a preacher to the gentiles, and a man distinguished and wonderful in the Church; for all of these things her Son informed Her, as I said in the second part of this history. But as She saw the persecution becoming more violent and the glorious fruits and results of the conversion of Saul delayed, and as She moreover saw how the disciples of Christ, who knew nothing of the secret intentions of the Most High, were afflicted and somewhat discouraged at the fury and persistence of his persecution, the kindest Mother was filled with great sorrow. Considering, in her heavenly prudence, how important was this affair, She roused Herself to new courage and confidence in her prayers for the welfare of the Church and the conversion of Saul.

He permitted his blessed Mother to suffer some sensible pain and, as it were, to fall into a kind of swoon, yet her Son, who according to our way of understanding, could not longer resist the love which wounded his heart, consoled and restored Her by yielding to her prayers He said: "My Mother, chosen among all creatures, let thy will be done without delay. I will do with Saul as Thou askest, and will so change him, that from this moment he will be a defender of the Church which he persecutes, and a preacher of my name and glory. I shall now proceed to receive him immediately into my friendship and grace."

Thereupon Jesus Christ our Lord disappeared from the presence of his most blessed Mother leaving Her still engaged in prayer and furnished with a clear insight into what was to happen. Shortly afterward the Lord appeared to Saul on the road near Damascus, whither, in his ever increasing fury against Jesus, his accelerated journey had already brought him. The Lord showed himself to Saul in a resplendent cloud amid immense glory, and at the same time Saul was flooded with light without and within, and his heart and senses were overwhelmed beyond power of resistance (Acts 9, 4). He fell suddenly from his horse to the ground and at the same time he heard a voice from on high saying: "Saul, Saul, why dost thou persecute Me?" Full of fear and consternation he answered: "Who art Thou, Lord?" The voice replied: "I am Jesus whom thou persecutes; it is hard for thee to kick against the goad of my omnipotence." Again Saul answered with greater fear and trembling: "Lord, what dost Thou command and desire to do with me?" The companions of Saul heard these questions and answers, though they did not see the Savior. They saw the splendor surrounding him and all were filled with dread and astonishment at this sudden and unthought of event, and they were for some time dumbfounded.

This new wonder, surpassing all that had been seen in the world before, was greater and more far-reaching than what could be taken in by the senses. For Saul was not only prostrated in body, blinded and bereft of his strength so that, if the divine power had not sustained him, he would have immediately expired; but also as to his interior he suffered more of a change than when he passed from nothingness into existence at his conception, farther removed from what he was before than from darkness, or the highest heaven from the lowest earth; for he was changed from an image of the demon to that of one of the highest and most ardent seraphim. This triumph over Lucifer and his demons had been especially reserved by God for his divine Wisdom and Omnipotence; so that, in virtue of the Passion and Death of Christ this dragon and his malice might be vanquished by the human nature of one man, in whom the effects of grace and Redemption were set in opposition to the sin of Lucifer and all its effects. Thus it happened that in the same short time, in which Lucifer through pride was changed from an angel to a devil, the power of Christ changed Saul from a demon into an angel in grace. In the angelic nature the highest beauty turned into the deepest ugliness; and in the human nature the greatest perversity into the highest moral perfection. Lucifer descended as the enemy of God from heaven to the deepest abyss of the earth, and a man ascended as a friend of God from the earth to the highest heaven.

And since this triumph would not have been sufficiently glorious, if the Lord had not given more than Lucifer had lost, the Omnipotent wished to add in saint Paul an additional triumph to his victory over the demon. For Lucifer, although he fell from that exceedingly high grace which he had received, had never possessed beatific vision, nor had he made himself worthy of it, and hence could not lose what he did not possess. But Paul, immediately on disposing himself for justification and on gaining grace, began to partake of glory and clearly saw the Divinity, though this vision was gradual. O invincible virtue of the divine power! O infinite efficacy of the merits of the life and death of Christ! It was certainly reasonable and just, that if the malice of sin in one instant changed the angel into a demon, that the grace of the Redeemer should be more powerful and abound more than sin (Rom. 5, 20), raising up from it a man, not only to place him into original grace, but into glory. Greater is this wonder than the creation of heaven and earth with all the creatures; greater than to give sight to the blind, health to the sick, life to the dead. Let us congratulate the sinners on the hope inspired by this wonderful justification, since we have for our Restorer, for our Father, and for our Brother the same Lord, who justified Paul; and He is not less powerful nor less holy for us, than for saint Paul.

During the time in which Paul lay prostrate upon the earth, he was entirely renewed by sanctifying grace and other infused gifts, restored and illumined proportionately in all his interior faculties, and thus he was prepared to be elevated to the empyrean heaven, which is called the third heaven. He himself confesses, that he did not know whether he was thus elevated in body or only in spirit (I Cor. 12, 4). But there, by more than ordinary vision, though in a transient manner, he saw the Divinity clearly and intuitively. Besides the being of God and his attributes of infinite perfection, he recognized the mystery of the Incarnation and Redemption, and all the secrets of the law of grace and of the state of the Church. He saw the peerless blessing of his justification and of the prayer of saint Stephen for him; and still more clearly was he made aware of the prayers of the most holy Mary and how his conversion had been hastened through Her; and that, after Christ, her merits made him acceptable in the sight of God. From that hour on he was filled with gratitude and with deepest veneration and devotion to the great Queen of heaven, whose dignity was now manifest to him and whom he thenceforth acknowledged as his Restorer. At the same time he recognized the office of Apostle to which he was called, and that in it he was to labor and suffer unto death. In conjunction with these mysteries were revealed to him many others, of which he himself says that they are not to be disclosed (II Cor. 7, 4). He offered himself in sacrifice to the will of God in all things, as he showed afterwards in the course of his life. The most blessed Trinity accepted this sacrifice and offering of his lips and in the presence of the whole court of heaven named and designated him as the preacher and teacher of the gentiles, and as a vase of election for carrying through the world the name of the Most high.

On the third day after the disablement and conversion of Saul the Lord spoke in a vision to one of the disciples, Ananias, living in Damascus (Acts 9, 10). Calling him by name as his servant and friend, the Lord told him to go to the house of a man named Judas in a certain district of the city and there to find Saul of Tarsus, whom he would find engaged in prayer. At the same time Saul had also a vision, in which he saw and recognized the disciple Ananias coming to him and restoring sight to him by the imposition of hands. But of this vision of Saul, Ananias at that time had no knowledge. Therefore he answered: "Lord, I have information of this man having persecuted thy saints in Jerusalem and caused a great slaughter of them in Jerusalem; and not satisfied with this, he has now come with warrants from the high-priests in order to seize whomever he can find invoking thy holy name. Dost thou then send a simple sheep like myself to go in search of the wolf, that desires to devour it?" The Lord replied: "Go, for the one thou judgest to be my enemy, is for Me a vase of election, in order that he may carry my name through all the nations and kingdoms, and to the children of Israel. And I can, as I shall, assign to him what he is to suffer for my name." And the disciple was at once informed of all that had happened.

Relying on this word of the Lord, Ananias obeyed and betook himself at once to the house, in which saint Paul then was. He found him in prayer and said to him: "Brother Saul, our Lord Jesus, who appeared to thee on thy journey, sends me in order that thou mayest receive thy sight and be filled with the Holy Ghost." He received holy Communion at the hands of Ananias and was strengthened and made whole, giving thanks to the Author of all these blessings. Then he partook of some corporal nourishment, of which he had not tasted for three days. He remained for some time in Damascus conferring and conversing with the disciples in that city. He prostrated himself at their feet asking their pardon and begging them to receive him as their servant and brother, even as the least and most unworthy of them all. At their approval and counsel he went forth publicly to preach Christ as the Messias and Redeemer of the world and with such fervor, wisdom and zeal, that he brought confusion to the unbelieving Jews in the numerous synagogues of Damascus. All wondered at this unexpected change and, in great astonishment, said: Is not this the man, who in Jerusalem has persecuted with fire and sword all who invoke that name? And has he not come to bring them prisoners to the chief priests of that city? What change then is this, which we see in him?

Saint Paul grew stronger each day and with increasing force continued his preaching to the gathering of the Jews and gentiles. Accordingly they schemed to take away his life and then happened, what we shall touch upon later. The miraculous conversion of saint Paul took place one year and one month after the martyrdom of saint Stephen, on the twenty-fifth of January, the same day on which the Church celebrates that feast; and it was in the year thirty-six of the birth of our Lord; because saint Stephen, as is said in chapter the twelfth, died completing his thirty-fourth year and one day of his thirty-fifth; whereas the conversion of saint Paul took place after he had completed one month of the thirty-sixth; and then saint James departed on his missionary journey, as I will say in its place.

Let us return to our great Queen and Lady of the angels, who by means of her vision knew all that was happening to Saul; his first and most unhappy state of mind, his fury against the name of Christ, his sudden casting down and its cause, his conversion, and above all his extraordinary and miraculous elevation to the empyrean heaven and vision of God, besides all the rest, that happened to him in Damascus. This knowledge was not only proper and due to Her, because She was the Mother of the Lord and of his holy Church and the instrument of this great wonder; but also because She alone could properly estimate this miracle, even more so than saint Paul and more than the whole mystical body of the Church; for it was not just, that such an unheard of blessing and such a prodigious work of the Omnipotent should remain without recognition and gratitude among mortals. This the most blessed Mary rendered in all plenitude and She was the first One, who celebrated this solemn event with the acknowledgment due to it from the whole human race. 

My daughter, none of the faithful should be ignorant of the fact, that the Most High could have drawn and converted saint Paul without resorting to such miracles of his infinite power. But He made use of them in order to show men, how much his bounty is inclined to pardon them and raise them to his friendship and grace, and in order to teach them, by the example of this great Apostle, how they, on their part, should cooperate and respond to his calls. Many souls the Lord wakes up and urges on by his inspiration and help. Many do respond and justify themselves through the Sacraments of the Church; but not all persevere in their justification and still a fewer number follow it up or strive perfection: beginning in spirit, they relax, and finish in the flesh. The cause of their want of perseverance in grace and relapse into their sins is their not imitating the spirit of saint Paul at his conversion, when he exclaimed: "Lord, what is it Thou wishest with me, and what shall I do for Thee?" If some of them proclaim this sentiment with their lips, it is not from their whole heart, and they always retain some love of themselves, of honor, of possessions, of sensual pleasure or of some occasion of sin, and thus they soon again stumble and fall.

But the Apostle was a true and living example of one converted by the light of grace, not only because he passed from an extreme of sin into that of wonderful grace and friendship of God; but also because he cooperated to his utmost with the call of God, departing at once and entirely from all his evil dispositions and self-seeking and placing himself entirely at the disposal of the divine will and pleasure. This total denegation of self and surrender to the will of God is contained in those words: "Lord, what dost Thou wish to do with me?" and in it consisted, as far as depended upon him, all his salvation. As he pronounced them with all the sincerity of a contrite and humbled heart, he renounced his own will and delivered himself over to that of the Lord, resolved from that moment forward to permit none of his faculties of mind or sense to serve the animal or sensual life into which he had strayed. He delivered himself over to the service of the Almighty in whatever manner or direction should become known to him as being the divine will, ready to execute it without delay or questioning. And this he immediately set about by entering the city and obeying the command of the Lord given through the disciple Ananias. As the Most High searches the secrets of the human heart, He saw the sincerity, with which saint Paul corresponded to his vocation and yielded to his divine will and disposition. He not only received him with great pleasure, but multiplied exceedingly his graces, gifts and wonderful favors, which even Paul would not have received or ever have merited without this entire submission to the wishes of the Lord.

Conformably to these truths, my daughter, I desire thee to execute fully my oft-repeated commands and exhortations, that thou forget the visible, the apparent and deceitful. Repeat very often, and more with the heart than with the lips those words of saint Paul: "Lord, what dost Thou wish to do with me?" For as soon as thou beginnest to do anything of thy own choice, it will not be true, that thou seekest solely the will of the Lord. The instrument has no motion or action except that imparted to it by the artisan; and if it had its own will, it would be able to resist and act contrary to the will of the one using it. The same holds true between God and the soul: for, if it entertains any desire of its own independently of God, it will militate against the pleasure of the Lord. As He keeps inviolate the liberty of action conceded to man, He will permit it to lead man astray, as soon as he decides for himself without reference to the direction of his Maker.


Catholic Catechism 

Part Three:  Life in Christ 

Section Two:  The Ten Commandments

Chapter Two:  Seventh Commandment 

 Article 7:1 The Universal Destination and the Private Ownership of Goods



Jesus said to his disciples: "Love one another as I have loved you."1 Jn 13:34
2196 In response to the question about the first of the commandments, Jesus says: "The first is, 'Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.' the second is this, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these."2 Mk 12:29-31; cf. Deut 6:4-5; Lev 19:18; Mt 22:34-40; Lk 10:25-28
The apostle St. Paul reminds us of this: "He who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. the commandments, 'You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,' and any other commandment, are summed up in this sentence, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law."3 Rom 13:8-10

Article 7
You shall not steal.185 EX 20:15; Deut 5:19; Mt 19:18.
2401 The seventh commandment forbids unjustly taking or keeping the goods of one's neighbor and wronging him in any way with respect to his goods. It commands justice and charity in the care of earthly goods and the fruits of men's labor. For the sake of the common good, it requires respect for the universal destination of goods and respect for the right to private property. Christian life strives to order this world's goods to God and to fraternal charity.

I. The Universal Destination and the Private Ownership of Goods
2402 In the beginning God entrusted the earth and its resources to the common stewardship of mankind to take care of them, master them by labor, and enjoy their fruits.186 The goods of creation are destined for the whole human race. However, the earth is divided up among men to assure the security of their lives, endangered by poverty and threatened by violence. the appropriation of property is legitimate for guaranteeing the freedom and dignity of persons and for helping each of them to meet his basic needs and the needs of those in his charge. It should allow for a natural solidarity to develop between men.

2403 The right to private property, acquired by work or received from others by inheritance or gift, does not do away with the original gift of the earth to the whole of mankind. the universal destination of goods remains primordial, even if the promotion of the common good requires respect for the right to private property and its exercise.

2404 "In his use of things man should regard the external goods he legitimately owns not merely as exclusive to himself but common to others also, in the sense that they can benefit others as well as himself."187 The ownership of any property makes its holder a steward of Providence, with the task of making it fruitful and communicating its benefits to others, first of all his family.

2405 Goods of production - material or immaterial - such as land, factories, practical or artistic skills, oblige their possessors to employ them in ways that will benefit the greatest number. Those who hold goods for use and consumption should use them with moderation, reserving the better part for guests, for the sick and the poor.

2406 Political authority has the right and duty to regulate the legitimate exercise of the right to ownership for the sake of the common good.188

186 Cf. Gen 1:26-29.
187 GS 69 # 1.
188 Cf. GS 71 # 4; SRS 42; CA 40; 48.