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ad perfectionem adipiscendam, ingens in secessu subsidium positum est. Deus tamen aliter disposuit. Tunc, annuente genitrice, castitatis, pau. pertatis et obedientiae votis se Philumena obstrinxit atque in perpetuum se Deo devovit. Quae quidem vota privatim emissa, deinceps eius conscientiae moderator, Dominicus Ramaschiello, postea Episcopus S. Agatae Gothorum, publice ac rite suscepit in templo S. Matthaei Apostoli. Per fidelem votorum observantiam alacri cursu ad vitae perfectionem et caritatem in Deum intendebat pia Virgo quindecim annos tantum agens; sed illico, tumore ossi in sinistra eius gena suborto et crescente, ita tota ipsius facies intumuit, ut operationem chirurgicam subire debuerit quam, forti animo, absque ullo questu, sustinuit, in Christi simulacrum e cruce pendentis oculis defixis. De accepto sanationis beneficio memor et grata, statim ecclesiam adivit et preces coram SSño Sacramento in gratiarum actione fundere festinavit. Eius virtus etiam resplenduit, labore assiduo et quotidiano, adsistens fratri suo sacerdoti aegrotanti Vincentio, donec hic, sacramentis Ecclesiae refectus et sororis caritate recreatus, animam exhalavit. Mox ipsa Philumena, sontico morbo correpta, quum nec medici etiam peritissimi, nec remedia praescripta, nec balnea marina Neapoli sumpta, aliquem salutarem effectum obtinerent, inter vehementes cruciatus levamen et solatium caeleste experiebatur a frequenti sacra Convivii communione. Biennio post, quum diutinus et fastidicsus morbus paulum remisisset, tum studio perfectionis, tum pietate, quam inde a teneris annis erga seraphicum Patrem Franciscum ferebatur, Dei Famula permota, Tertio Ordini franciscali nomen dedit, ut, ad humilem Christi eiusque servi fidelis Francisci sequelam, terrena despicere, caelestia acquirere et in amore et amplexu sanctae crucis, omnja, ad patriam peregrinanti adversa, superare contenderet. Seraphico idco poenitentiae habitu induta, exempla sibi proposita usque ad morten) studuit referre et feliciter expressit per maiorem rerum fluxarum contemptum, animi corporisque candorem, vitam paenitentem et varia caritatis opera. Interim parenti, lenta paralysi affecto et in lecto decumbenti, per triennium et ultra sine intermissione, veluti angelus, adstitit, atque infirma infirmorum et patiens patientem omnigenis modis usque ad ipsius obitum consolari sategit. Tandem Philumena, gravibus et Ipsa ac diuturnis laboribus et morbis fracta et vexata, dum fervido orandi studio atque effusiore in Deum pietate, necnon peculiari in Deiparam Virginem aliosque sanctos Caelites devotionis affectu plena, afflictae carni levamen afferebat et spiritualem quandam dulcedinem degustabat, in aetate adhuc florente, ob vehementiorem inveterati morbi vim ad extremum deducta, Nuceriae Paganorum, die 12 decembris anno 1864, obdormivit in Domino. Licet vita Servae Dei, in suo brevi cursu, tota fuerit abscondita cum Christo in Deo, eiusque virtutes in templo et inter domesticos parietes potissimum eluxerint, tum ex indole puellae, a mundo prorsus alienae, ne contaminaretur, tum ex gravibus et fere continuis infirmitatibus, quibus ipsa et Consanguinei sui aftictabantur, nihilominus ad exteros et ad suos praecipue concives eius sanctitatis fama devenit. Post eius vero pretiosum obitum, per frequentiam fidelium ad sepulcrum, per vitae
narrationem et lectionem, per imaginum requisitionem et distributionem, accedentibus quoque signis et prodigiis, quae a Deo patrata ferebantur ob interventum eius servae fidelis, haec ipsa sanctitatis fama magis in dies clara et diffusa invaluit, et usque in praesens florida viget in civitate et dioecesibus Nucerina Paganorum, Salernitana, Neapolitana, aliisque locis. Eapropter Processu Ordinario Informativo super eadem fama constructo et ad Sacram Rituum Congregationem transmisso, quum, servato iuris ordine, et peracta revisione scriptorum, omnia in promptu essent, ut ad ulteriora procedi possit, instante admodum Rev. P. Francisco M. Paolini, Ordinis Fratrum Minorum et huius Causae Postulatore, attentisque litteris postulatoriis complurium Rñorum Archiepiscoporum et Episcoporum, necnon canonicorum, parochorum, religiosorum ac piarum Congregationum utriusque sexus, praesertim dioecesium Nuceriae Paganorum, Salernitanae et Neapolitanae, aliorumque virorum et mulierum illustrium, rogante etiam Rño P. Seraphino Cimino, ministro generali Ordinis Fratrum Minorum, suo et totius Ordinis nomine, Emus et Rõus Dñus Cardinalis Vincentius Vannutelli, Episcopus Ostiensis et Praenestinus, decanus sacri Collegii et eiusdem Causae Ponens seu Relator, in Ordinario sacrorum rituum Congregationis Coetu, subsignata die ad Vaticanas aedes coadunato, sequens dubium discutiendum proposuit : An signanda sit Commissio Introductionis Causae in casu ad effectum de quo agitur ? Et Eñi ac Rñi Patres sacris tuendis ritibus praepositi, post relationem ipsius Eñi Ponentis, audito, tum voce tumscripto, R. P. D. Angelo Mariani, Fidei promotore generali omnibus accurate perpensis, rescribendum censuerunt: Signandam esse Commissionem Introductionis Causae, si Sanctissimo placuerit. Die 22 iulii, anno 1919.
Facta postmodum de his Sanctissimo Domino nostro Benedicto Papae XV per infrascriptum Cardinalem sacrae Rituum Congregationi Praefectum relatione, Sanctitas Sua Rescriptum eiusdem Sacrae Congregationis ratum habens, propria manu signare dignata est Commissionem Introductionis Causae Beatificationis et Canonizationis Servae Dei Philumenae Ioannae Genovese, e Tertio Ordine S. Francisci, die 23, eisdem mense et anno.
A. CARD. VICO, Ep. Portuen, et S. Rufinae,
S. R. R. Praefectus.
ALEXANDER VERDE, Secretarius. L. * s.
REVIEWS AND NOTES
THE PRIEST OF TO-DAY: His IDEALS AND His DUTIES. Third Edition
revised and enlarged. By Rev. Thomas O'Donnell, C.M., President of All Hallows College, Dublin Dublin : Browne and Nolan, Ltd.
The first edition of The Priest of To-Day received a hearty welcome from the critics in the I. E. RECORD and other Catholic journals. The issue of a third edition proves that the public has endorsed the verdict of the critics. This renders any detailed review unnecessary. We would wish, however, to emphasize one point, that this book is no hurriedly written book, ‘made to sell.' On the contrary, it bears all the marks of a work gradually shaped and developed by long years of careful enquiry and study. As a result, every chapter is full of solid and practical advice on some phase or duty of a secular priest's life. To quote at random, among the subjects treated of are the priest's personal sanctification, the prudence and zeal required in ministering to the people, Matrimony, Confession, visiting the sick, the establishment and working of Confraternities, the instruction and reception of converts, Church music, funeral discourses, refusal of Christian burial, mixing in politics, business and social relations, etc. In the present edition four new chapters are added, and two of these are sure to attract special attention, namely, chapter xviii. on church building, and chapter xx. on the much debated problem of educating children unto purity. The Appendix contains an admirable list of works on secular as well as religious topics. We may sum up our opinion of Father O'Donnell's book by saying that it is an epitome of all that is best in the books on the priesthood that preceded it, that it is a reflex of the experience of model priests at home and abroad, and that it is a treasure-house where one can find nova et vetera for the betterment of one's own soul, and for guidance in one's pastoral and public duties. Without hesitation we recommend the President of All Hallows' book to every priest and clerical student.
DIVINE CHARITY. By the Rev. Patrick O'Neill, D.D., Professor of
Theology, Maynooth College. Dublin : M. H. Gill & Son, Ltd.
TREATISES on the theological virtues, even from the hands of our most prominent theologians, form perhaps the least illuminating sections of our theology. Not that they lack thoroughness. The number of questions raised in them is well nigh inexhaustible; many of them indeed, one would think, derive their sole claim to discussion from the fact that they have found their place in similar compilations in the past. Each, however, is subjected to a painstaking analysis, and set before us couched in a wealth of scholastic terminology. Subtle distinctions are drawn, and justified by lengthy psychological explanations, But explanation, by its very elaborateness, often defeats its own object. To the average reader many of these treatises seem to lack proportion. The human interest that these virtues should have for us is not aroused, these realities that mean so much to us are so overladen with argument as to lose much of their significance and appeal. Hence it is with genuine pleasure that one turns to Dr. O'Neill's brief but scholarly treatment of Divine Charity in his thesis for his doctorate.
Dr. O'Neill has thought it necessary to apologise for his comparatively brief treatment of this great subject. Owing,' he says, 'to the abnormal conditions which prevail it must now appear in a much shorter form than had been originally intended.' He need not have done so. In taking up such a work a reader generally does not wish to learn the sum total of questions that have been or might possibly be raised, pertaining more or less remotely to the matter in hand, but he does search his mind to recall the difficulties the subject treated of has up to the present presented to him, and seeks in the pages for a solution. And in his perusal of Dr. O'Neill's work he will not be disappointed. While the practical aspect of Charity and the part it with its sister 'virtue Hope play in the daily lives of men are kept in the forefront, none of the root theoretical difficulties are omitted or evaded. On the contrary, they are raised with accuracy and precision, are treated with a breadth of view that comes of an easy command of the historical evidence and a keen appreciation of the psychological processes involved, and the lines along which a solution is to be sought are pointed out with characteristic directness.
It would be an injustice to this interesting book to attempt a summary of Dr. O'Neill's views and the evidence adduced in proof of them. There is scarcely a question discussed that is not of practical as well as theoretical interest. They are the never failing source of articles in our theological magazines, and those whose interest is already aroused in such subjects as 'contrition,' 'sin,' 'merit,' will look eagerly to this book for new light. And they will not look in vain.
It will suffice to call attention to a few points. The writer fittingly commences with the New Testament teaching on charity. Its sublimity is easily deduced and what is more pertinent for Dr. O'Neill's purpose-its necessity. If charity is the first and great commandment of the law, surely it is something within the reach of all, even the most lowly, who live in the grace of Christ. Philosophers and theologians,
. therefore, may not develop a theory of charity that makes the object of St. Paul's eulogy attainable only by trained metaphysicians. Where faith is, charity must be not only possible but easily and, as it were, connaturally realized. God requires the love of all, of the humble as well as the learned the chapters which follow, it is hoped, will lead to a conclusion which may seem to be better suited to the limitations of man and more conformable to the supreme goodness of God.'
In a chapter on the nature of mortal sin’ we are presented with the practically unanimous teaching of our theologians-but with a difference. While nearly all admit that the essence of mortal sin consists in aversion from God our last end, few go to the trouble of analysing
what this means, and fewer still attempt to draw the logical conclusions. In a singularly convincing chapter Dr. O'Neill has done both, and thrown thereby considerable light on the cognate question of hope. Does hope remain when grace is lost by mortal sin ? If it does, in what sense is it to be understood ? Is the 'trust' that can remain in the soul as long as faith does, the same thing as theological hope? These are some of the questions to which Dr. O'Neill addresses himself. In his handling of them he gives due attention to the historical side, and reveals an astonishing absence of unanimity among theologians, medieval and modern. Clearly the argument from tradition will not take us far. Nor is an appeal to Sacred Scripture final, inasmuch as some of the acts referred to therein, which are popularly called "hope,' seem to pertain rather to an intellectual trust than to the love of concupiscence.
Dr. O'Neill devotes two interesting chapters to contrition and attrition. Here, too, the historical evidence is sufficient to give pause to many who dogmatise in accordance with the principles more commonly laid down in our manuals, or who too easily deduce a ‘more common opinion' from isolated quotations as distinct from the trend of a writer's teaching, when taken as a whole. Perfect contrition, to use the commonly accepted terminology, was, of course, always considered necessary for the remission of grave sin outside the sacrament of Penance. Does a lesser degree of contrition, or what is called attrition, suffice with the sacrament ?: Up till the time of St. Thomas there seems little doubt that this question was answered in the negative. How far this teaching has been recracted since is by no means clear. Dr. O'Neill has put the case clearly before us, and where he has not brought conviction he has at least given serious food for thought.
In a final chapter we are given the writer's views on the nature of charity. They are naturally the logical conclusion of his findings in previous chapters and complete the artistic unity of an admirably constructed book.
In the case of a work containing so much debatable matter, one cannot expect to find one's self in agreement with it in its entirety. For instance, one would be inclined to doubt whether the view commonly accepted in our text-books places charity beyond the reach of the uneducated. God has given His grace to the humble; the light of faith is often shared by them in a greater degree than by the more learned. And just as their hearts may go out in love to the saint who passes
their way, though he be remote from them, and no return of love or kindness be expected from him, so they may love God just because He is God, the God revealed to them in their strong faith, claiming and deserving of love even though He were not a rewarder. Again it might be argued that the more modern opinion, which makes attrition suffice for the remission of grave sin with the sacrament of Penance, is based on truer perception of the greatness of the gift of binding and loosing, which Christ left to His Church. That it will die hard there can be no doubt, not the least of the reasons being a growing tendency to minimise, as far as the law can possibly allow, the difficulties in the way of a fruitful reception of the sacrament of Penance.