Some years ago, Brother Francis wrote an article combining the history of today’s saint with that of Saint Andrew Bobola: Two Patrons for True Ecumenism. Towards the end of that article is an excerpt from Abbot Guéranger’s Liturgical Year. These brief prophetical utterances are worth pondering in our days, when the Moslem menace is such a threat to former Christendom, and when we await the consecration and subsequent conversion of Russia. The excerpt is reproduced below. I would also like to refer readers to my much longer comments on St. Josaphat from a year ago.
Let us grow in love for our Eastern Rite Catholic brethren. The Union of Brest, which joined many Slavic Christians back to Catholic unity, enjoyed only limited success, largely because of the small mindedness of certain Latin Rite Catholics. Dom Guéranger is not sparing in his accusations. He loves Catholic Poland dearly, but he blames some of their number for this. The Latin Poles, like their Byzantine Ukrainian brethren claim St. Josaphat as a special patron. May his intercession bring all the Slavic world into Catholic Unity!
(While I’m at it, I would like to bring our readers’ attention to the work of an Eastern Rite Catholic, Mr. Gregory Lloyd, whose National Coalition of Clergy and Laity sponsors the annual Pilgrimage for Restoration. Their on-line resources in the area of “sex education” and modesty are of especial value.)
Dom Guéranger on St. Josaphat and the Conversion of Russia
Russia becoming Catholic would mean an end to Islamism, and the definitive triumph of the Cross upon the Bosphorus, without any danger to Europe; the Christian empire in the East restored with a glory and a power hitherto unknown; Asia evangelized, not by a few poor isolated priests, but with the help of an authority greater than that of Charlemagne; and lastly, the Slavonic race brought into unity of faith and aspirations, for its own greater glory. This transformation will be the greatest event of the century that shall see its accomplishment; it will change the face of the world.
Is there any foundation for such hopes? Come what may, St. Josaphat will always be the patron and model of future apostles of the Union in Russia and in the whole Græco-Slavonic world. By his birth, education, and studies, by the bent of his piety and all his habits of life, he resembled far more the Russian monks of the present day than the Latin prelates of his own time. He always desired the ancient liturgy of his Church to be preserved entire and even to his last breath he carried it out lovingly, without the least alteration or diminution, just as the first apostles of the Christian faith had brought it from Constantinople to Kiev. May prejudices born of ignorance be obliterated; and then, despised though his name now is in Russia, St. Josaphat will no sooner be known than he will be loved and invoked by the Russians themselves.
Our Graeco-Slavonian brethren cannot much longer turn a deaf ear to the invitations of the Sovereign Pontiff. Let us hope, then, that the day will come, and that before very long, when the wall of separation will crumble away for ever, and the same hymn of thanksgiving will echo at once under the dome of St. Peter’s and the cupolas of Kiev and of St. Petersburg.
An Appeal: We have gotten many generous responses to the “wish list” we published in our last Mancipia. Generous benefactors came through for the $15,000 we requested to purchase a used plow truck for snow-removal. Also donated were $5,500 for an office equipment upgrade, and $600 for Miraculous Medals to distribute in our apostolate. We are grateful to all our generous benefactors: Thank you and God bless you!
The religious are well aware that these are not days of plenty for too many people, and that because of a bad economy. From the looks of it, most people are feeling the pinch — and so are we. Thanks to the activism of some folks ill disposed to our institute, a good many of our local fund-raising undertakings are plagued by harassment, complicating the effort of keeping our apostolate afloat. As an aside, I should mention that this has not been without its advantages in the realms of the spiritual life and apostolic effectiveness. Still, the congregation has material needs, both for the religious and for our apostolic endeavors. We appeal to your charity.