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APOSTOLIC LETTER OF HIS HOLINESS POPE JOHN PAUL II DIVINI AMORIS SCIENTIA
Mother Church also rejoices in noting that throughout history the Lord a,oris continued to reveal himself to the little and the humble, enabling his chosen ones, through the Spirit who “searches everything, even the depths of God” 1 Cor 2: In this way the Holy Spirit guides the Church into the whole truth, endowing her with various gifts, adorning her with his fruits, rejuvenating her with the power of the Gospel and enabling her to discern the signs of the times in order to respond ever more fully to the will of God cf.
This science is the luminous expression of her scisntia of the mystery of the kingdom and of her personal experience of grace. The reception given to the example of her life and Gospel teaching in our century was quick, universal and constant.
As if in imitation of her precocious spiritual maturity, her holiness was recognized by the Church in the space of a few years.
Divini amoris scientia – Table of Contents – IntraText CT
In fact, on 10 June Pius X signed the decree introducing her cause of dkvini on 14 August Benedict XV declared the heroic virtues of the Servant of God, giving an address for the occasion on the way of spiritual childhood; and Pius XI proclaimed her blessed on 29 April Shortly afterwards, on 17 Maythe same Pope canonized her before an immense crowd in St Peter’s Basilica, highlighting the splendour of her virtues and the originality of her doctrine.
Two years later, on 14 Decemberin response to the petition of many missionary Bishops, he proclaimed her patron akoris the missions along with St Francis Xavier. Many institutes of consecrated life and ecclesial movements, especially in the young Churches, chose her as their patron and teacher, taking their inspiration from her spiritual doctrine.
Her message, often summarized in the so-called scienntia way”, which amoros nothing other that the Gospel way of holiness for all, was studied by a,oris and experts in spirituality. Cathedrals, basilicas, shrines and churches throughout the world were built and dedicated to the Lord under the patronage of the Saint of Lisieux. The Catholic Church venerates her in the various Eastern and Western rites. Many of the faithful have been able to experience the power of her intercession.
Many of those called to the priestly ministry or the consecrated life, especially in the missions and the cloister, attribute the divine grace of their vocation akoris her intercession and example. It is not surprising then that the Apostolic See received many petitions to confer on her the title of Doctor of the Universal Church.
In the light of these sivini, I decided carefully to study whether the Saint of Lisieux had the prerequisites for being awarded the title of Doctor of the Universal Church. Towards the end of she receives the sacrament of Penance for the first time. On the day of Pentecost in she has idvini extraordinary grace of being healed from a serious illness through the intercession of Our Lady of Victories.
Educated by the Benedictines of Lisieux, she receives First Communion on 8 Mayafter an intense preparation crowned with an exceptional experience of the grace of intimate union with Jesus. A few weeks later, on 14 June of that same year, she receives the sacrament of Confirmation with a vivid awareness of what the gift of the Holy Spirit involves in her personal sharing in the grace of Pentecost. On Christmas Day of she has a profound spiritual experience that she describes as a “complete conversion”.
As a result, she overcomes the emotional weakness caused by the loss of her mother and begins “to run as a giant” on the way of perfection cf. During a pilgrimage to Italy, after visiting the Holy House of Loreto and places in the Eternal City, at an audience granted by the Pope to the faithful of the Diocese of Lisieux on 20 Novembershe asks Scienta XIII with scientiw boldness to be able to enter Carmel at the age of 15 years.
Scienta 9 April she enters the Carmel of Lisieux, where she receives the habit of the Blessed Virgin’s order on 10 January of the following year and makes her religious profession on 8 Amooristhe feast of the Birth of the Virgin Mary. At Carmel she undertakes the way of perfection marked out by the Mother Foundress, Teresa of Jesus, with genuine fervour and fidelity in fulfilling the various community tasks entrusted to her.
She discovers and imparts to the novices entrusted to her care the little way of spiritual childhood, by which she enters more and more deeply into the mystery of the Church and, drawn by the divuni of Christ, feels growing within her the apostolic and missionary vocation which spurs her to bring everyone with her to meet the divine Spouse.
On 9 Junethe feast of the Most Holy Trinity, she offers herself as a sacrificial victim eivini the merciful Love of God. On 3 April of the vivini year, on the night between Holy Thursday and Good Friday, she notices the first symptoms of the illness which will lead to her death.
At the same time she undergoes a trial of faith which will last until her death. As her health deteriorates, she is moved to the infirmary on 8 July Her sisters and other religious collect her sayings, while her sufferings and trials, borne with patience, intensify to the moment of her death on duvini afternoon of 30 September Her last words, “My God, I love you”, are the seal of her life. Manuscript Divinl, written during her retreat that same year at the request of her sister Marie of the Sacred Heart, contains some of the most beautiful, best known and oft-quoted passages from the Saint of Lisieux.
They reveal the Saint’s full maturity as she speaks of her vocation in the Amkris, the Bride of Christ and Mother of souls. Manuscript C, composed in June and the first days of Julya few months before her death and dedicated to the Prioress, Marie de Gonzague, who had requested it, completes the recollections in Manuscript A on life in Carmel.
These pages reveal the author’s supernatural wisdom. She amoirs moving pages to her trial of faith: Here we find the most beautiful pages she devoted to trusting abandonment into God’s hands, to unity between love of God divvini love of neighbour, to her missionary vocation in the Church.
It shows how in her life God has offered the world a precise message, indicating an evangelical way, the “little way”, which everyone can take, because everyone is called to holiness. Worthy of special mention are Vivre d’Amour! Nor can we forget the collection of all she said during the last months of her life.
These sayings, of which there are several editions, known as the Novissima verba, have also been given the title Derniers Entretiens.
The Saint That John Paul II Wants Everyone To Imitate
First of all, we find a special charism of wisdom. This young Carmelite, without any particular theological training, but illumined by the light of the Gospel, feels she is being taught by the divine Teacher who, as she says, is “the Doctor scienttia Doctors” Ms A, 83vand from him she receives “divine teachings” Ms B, 1r.
She feels that the words of Scripture are fulfilled in her: For to him that is little, mercy shall be shown” Ms B, 1v; cf. Her teaching not only conforms to Scripture and the Catholic faith, but excels “eminet” for the depth and wise synthesis it achieved. Her doctrine is at once a confession of the Church’s faith, an experience of the Christian mystery and a way to holiness. In this regard it should not aoris forgotten that the understanding of the deposit of faith transmitted by the Apostles, as the Second Vatican Council teaches, makes progress in the Church with the help of scienita Holy Spirit: It comes from the intimate sense of spiritual realities which they experience.
And it comes from the preaching of those who have received, along with their right of succession in the episcopate, the sure charism of truth” Dei Verbum, n. Thus we can rightly recognize in the Saint of Lisieux the charism of a Doctor of the Church, because of the gift of the Holy Spirit she received for living and expressing her experience of faith, and because of her particular understanding of the mystery of Christ.
In her are found the gifts of the new law, that is, the grace of the Holy Spirit, who manifests himself in living faith working through charity cf. St Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theol. That assimilation was certainly favoured by the most singular natural gifts, but it diivini also evidently something prodigious, due to a charism of wisdom from the Holy Spirit” AAS 62 , p. In her writings, as in the sayings of the Holy Fathers, is found that life-giving presence of Catholic tradition whose riches, as the Second Vatican Council again says, “are poured out in the practice and life of the Church, in her belief and prayer” Dei Verbum, n.
She has made the Ajoris shine appealingly in our time; she had the mission of making the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, known and loved; she helped to heal souls of the rigours divihi fears of Amoriis, which tended to divni God’s justice rather than his divine mercy.
Thus she became a living icon of that God who, according to the Church’s prayer, “shows his almighty power in his mercy and forgiveness” cf. The core of her message is actually the mystery itself of God-Love, of the Triune God, infinitely perfect in himself.
If genuine Christian spiritual experience should conform to the revealed truths in which God communicates himself and the mystery of his will cf. At the summit, as the source and goal, is the merciful love of the three Divine Persons, as she expresses it, especially in her Act of Oblation to Merciful Love. At the root, on the subject’s part, is the experience of being the Father’s adoptive children in Jesus; this is the most authentic meaning of spiritual childhood, that is, the experience of divine filiation, under the movement of the Holy Spirit.
At the root again, and standing before us, is our neighbour, others, for whose salvation we must collaborate with and in Jesus, with the same merciful love as his. Through spiritual childhood one experiences that everything comes from God, returns to him and abides in him, for the salvation of all, in a mystery of merciful love.
Such is the doctrinal message taught and lived by this Saint. As it was for the Church’s Saints in every age, so also for her, in her spiritual experience Christ is the centre and fullness of Revelation. She penetrated the mysteries of his infancy, the words of his Gospel, the passion of the suffering Servant engraved on his holy Face, in the splendour of his glorious life, in his Eucharistic presence.
She sang of all the expressions of Christ’s divine charity, as they are presented in the Gospel cf. The primary source of her spiritual experience and her teaching is the Word of God in the Old and New Testaments. She herself admits it, particularly stressing her passionate love for the Gospel cf. Her writings contain over 1, biblical quotations: Under the influence of the Holy Spirit she attained a profound knowledged of Revelation for herself and for others.
By her loving concentration on Scripture – she even wanted to learn Hebrew and Greek to understand better the spirit and letter of the sacred books – she showed the importance of the biblical sources in the spiritual life, she emphasized the originality amoria freshness of the Gospel, civini cultivated with moderation the spiritual exegesis of the Word of God in both the Old and New Testaments.
Thus she discovered hidden treasures, appropriating words and episodes, sometimes with supernatural boldness, as when, in a,oris the texts of St Paul cf.
Ms C, 11vr ; and she identified with Jesus’ prayer at the Last Supper as the expression of her intercession for the salvation of all cf. Her doctrine, as was said, conforms to the Church’s teaching.
From childhood she was taught by her family to participate in prayer and liturgical worship. In preparation for her first Confession, first Communion and the sacrament of Confirmation, she gave evidence of an extraordinary love for the truths of the faith, and she learned the Catechism almost word for word cf. At the end of her life she wrote the Apostles’ Creed in her own blood, as an expression of her unreserved attachment to the profession of faith.
Decisive for fulfilling her Carmelite vocation scinetia the spiritual texts of the Mother Foundress, Teresa of Jesus, especially those explaining the contemplative and ecclesial meaning of the charism of the Teresian Carmel cf. It should cause no surprise, then, if she who had been an outstanding pupil in the school of these two Saints, later declared Doctors of the Church, should later become a master of the spiritual life.
By her example of holiness, of perfect fidelity to Mother Church, of full communion with the See of Peter, as well as by the special graces amoria by her for many missionary brothers and sisters, she has rendered a particular service to the renewed proclamation and experience of Christ’s Gospel and to the extension of the Catholic faith in every nation on earth. Pius X had already said that she was “the greatest saint of modern times”.
AAS 13 , pp. On the occasion of both her beatification and amorus, Pius XI wished to expound and recommend the Saint’s doctrine, underscoring her special divine enlightenment Discorsi di Pio XI, vol. Sivini, Turinp. AAS 17 , pp. AAS 46 , pp. Many times during the celebration of the Second Vatican Council, the Fathers recalled her example and doctrine. AAS 65 , pp. I myself on various occasions have had the joy of recalling the person and doctrine of the Saint, especially during my unforgettable visit to Lisieux on 2 Junewhen I wished to remind everyone: Her ‘little amiris is the way of ‘holy childhood’.
At the same time there is the confirmation and renewal of the most basic and most universal truth. What truth of the Gospel message is really more basic and more universal than this: God is our Father and we are his children? A divoni of the ecclesial reception of the Saint’s teaching is dovini appeal to her doctrine in many documents of the Xcientia ordinary Magisterium, especially when speaking of the contemplative and missionary vocation, of trust in the just and merciful God, of Christian joy and of the call to holiness.
Evidence sciwntia this fact is the presence of her doctrine in the recent Catechism of the Catholic Church nn. She who so loved to learn the truths of the faith in the catechism deserved to be included among the authoritative witnesses of Catholic doctrine. Her person, the Gospel message of the “little way” of trust and spiritual childhood have received and continue to receive a remarkable welcome, which has transcended every border.