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20130401 Holiness from the New World 新大陸的聖者

(Please read the most recent article at www.fatheranthonyho.com)

St. Turibius (1538-1606), St. Rose of Lima (1586-1617), and St. Martin de Porres (1570-1639) were the first saints of the New World.

St. Turibius

Turibius was a lay person who acted as judge of the ecclesiastical court. He was appointed as Archbishop of Lima while still a layman. He received all the orders and Episcopal consecration and arrived in Lima in 1581.

The conversion of Peru was hindered by the lay and clerical scandals of the time. Turibius at once undertook a visitation of his diocese and he was inflexible in regard to scandals among the clergy. After two years in office, Turibius convoked the Third Council of Lima and promulgated decrees on catechetcis, the sacraments, and church discipline.

Those in power opposed to the reform of Turibius, but his resolution and patience won out in the end. To those who opposed him, Turibius said, “Christ said, ‘I am truth’. He did not say, ‘I am custom’.”

During his twenty-five years as bishop, Turibius completed three pastoral visitations of his large diocese. He baptized and confirmed an estimated million people, and one of the confirmands was St. Rose of Lima. He was also shepherd of the Dominicans, St. Martin de Porres and St. John Massias.

St. Rose of Lima

Rose of Lima was the first canonized saint in America. She took St. Catherine of Siena as model. Like Catherine she vowed virginity, became a Dominican tertiary, lived at home, and received mystical graces.

Rose practiced extraordinary penance and willingly accepted sufferings. For fifteen years she suffered persecution from her friends and others; she also suffered the trial of interior desolation and anguish of soul.

One day Rose had a vision. She saw Christ distributed sufferings, trials and tribulations to the faithful, and then he distributed graces in the same proportion as sufferings. Then Christ said, “Affliction is always accompanied by grace; grace is proportionate to suffering. The measure of my gifts is increased with the measure of trials. The Cross is the true and only road that leads souls to Heaven.”

During her last illness, Rose prayed, “Lord, increase my sufferings, and with them increase your love in my heart”.

St. Martin de Porres

Martin de Porres was a humble lay brother with great charity for the poor. A fellow lay brother, Brother Fernando de Aragones, gave a description of the life of Martin in the Dominican priory: “Many were the offices to which the servant of God, Brother Martin de Porres, attended, being barber, surgeon, wardrobe-keeper and infirmaries. Each of these jobs was enough for any one man, but alone he filled them all with great liberality, promptness and carefulness, without being weighed down by any of them. It was most striking, and it made me realize that, in that he clung to God in his soul, all these things were effects of divine grace.”

Martin clung to God through prayers. At the canonization of Martin de Porres, Pope John XXIII said, “Whenever [Martin] would contemplate Christ’s terrible torture he would be reduced to tears. He had an exceptional love for the great Sacrament of the Eucharist and often spent long hours in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. His desire was to receive the Sacrament in Communion as often as he could.” Martin also had great devotion to Our Lady and prayed many decades of the rosary daily.

Martin was a close friend of St. Rose of Lima and St. John Massias. Like Martin, John was also a Dominican lay brother with great love for the holy rosary and for the poor. John trained the priory donkey to make the rounds alone and receive food and clothing for the poor.


聖多利波(1538-1606)、聖羅撒(1586-1617)和聖瑪爾定(1570-1639),是新大陸首批被教會宣聖的人。

聖多利波

聖多利波由西班牙王任命為宗教法院﹕法官,後因殖民地秘魯里馬總主教出缺,多利波被選出掌該位,立即領受神品,被祝聖主教;他在1581年抵達里馬履任。

期時秘魯神職和教友腐敗,教務不振,多利波隨即親訪教區各處,力糾歪風。兩年後,多利波組織「里馬第三議會」,極力推行教理、聖事及紀律訓導。

聖多利波的改革方案,遭遇不少阻撓,但憑他不朽的決心與忍耐,終見成效。他駁斥反對的人謂:「基督說:『我是真理』,祂並沒說:『我是習俗』。」

里馬教區幅員雖然遼闊,多利波當總主教的二十五年,牧訪歷遍整個教區每一部份,達三次之多;他給約百萬人付洗及施放堅振,當中有聖女羅撒。聖多利波亦是聖瑪爾定和聖若望.瑪西亞的牧者。

聖羅撒

聖羅撒是美洲新大陸第一位聖人,她奉聖加大利納.栖亞那為楷模,仿效她發貞潔之願。羅撒加入道明會第三會,在俗修行,廣受天主特別聖寵。

聖女嚴行補贖,甘心接受苦痛。十五年來,她受旁人朋友欺凌譏笑,內心又忍受孤寂與神枯。

一日,聖女得一神視,只見基督一面分發苦痛、試探、磨難給信眾,另方面又賞給他們相稱的聖寵。基督同時說:「傷痛常有聖寵作伴,聖寵又稱衡於傷痛。我的恩寵與試探同增,而十字架是引領靈魂抵達天堂唯一的真確之路。」

聖羅撒病重中祈禱道:「主,請祢增加我的病苦,同時請也增加我心對祢的愛。」

聖瑪爾定

瑪爾定是道明會的輔理修士,對貧苦大眾有一顆廣博慈愛的心。同會的法蘭鄂勒崗輔理修士,形容瑪爾定在道明會修院內的生活:瑪爾定在修院兼任理髮師、外科醫師、護士、衣帽管事等,無論處於什麼崗位,他總比任何人都忠勤盡職、細緻入微,讓人意識到他的靈魂與主常在,他所有的工作,均顯出天主的超性恩寵。

藉著祈禱,瑪爾定得與主同行。在宣聖的儀式中,真福教宗若望廿三世說:「當念及基督苦難時,瑪爾定總不禁落淚。他特敬聖體,常長時間在聖體前祈禱,也渴望能勤領聖體。」聖人亦熱心恭敬聖母,每天誦唸多串玫瑰經。

聖瑪爾定是聖羅撒和聖若望.瑪西亞的好朋友。一如聖瑪爾定,聖若望.瑪西亞也是道明會的輔理修士,一樣熱愛聖母,殷恤貧苦。他把修院一頭驢子訓練好,使牠自己每天逐家逐戶門口乞討,人們亦習慣樂於把施捨放到牠背上,而若望.瑪西亞會把募捐得的,全部賙濟窮人。