CANONIZATION OF 5 BLESSEDS
HOMILY OF JOHN PAUL II
Feast of the Blessed Trinity
1. "Blessed be God the Father and his only-begotten Son and the Holy Spirit: for great is his love for us" (Entrance Antiphon).
The entire liturgy is focused on the Trinitarian mystery, source of life for every believer, but especially today, on the feast of the Blessed Trinity.
"Glory to the Father, glory to the Son, glory to the Holy Spirit": every time we proclaim these words, the synthesis of our faith, we adore the only true God in three Persons. With amazement we contemplate the mystery that completely surrounds us. Mystery of love, mystery of ineffable holiness.
"Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of sabbaoth" we will sing in a little while, entering into the heart of the Eucharistic prayer. The Father created everything with his wisdom and loving providence; the Son redeemed us with his death and resurrection; the Holy Spirit sanctifies with the fullness of his gifts of grace and mercy.
We can correctly define today's solemnity as the feast of holiness. It is a perfect day for the ceremony of the canonization of the five blesseds: Luigi Scrosoppi, Agostino Roscelli, Bernardo da Corleone, Teresa Eustochio Verzeri, Rafqua Pietra Choboq Ar-Rayès.
2. "Justified ... by faith, we are in peace with God by means of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Rom 5,1).
For the apostle Paul, as we have heard in the second reading, holiness is a gift which the Father communicates to us through Jesus Christ. Faith in him is the principle of sanctification. By faith man enters the order of grace; by faith he hopes to take part in the glory of God. This hope is not a vain illusion, but the sure fruit of an ascetic path through many trials, that are faced with patience and proven virtue.
This was the experience of St Luigi Scrosoppi, during a life entirely spent for the love of Christ and his neighbour, especially, the weaker and the defenceless.
"Charity, charity": this exclamation burst from his heart at the moment of leaving the world for heaven. He exercised charity in an exemplary way, above all, in the service of abandoned orphan girls, involving a group of teachers, with whom he was able to start the Congregation of the "Sisters of Divine Providence".
Charity was the secret of his long and untiring apostolate, nourished by a constant contact with Christ, contemplated and imitated in the humility and poverty of his birth at Bethlehem, in the simplicity of his life of hard work at Nazareth, in the complete immolation on Calvary, and in the astonishing silence of the Eucharist. Consequently, the Church holds him up to priests and to the faithful as a model of a deep and effective union of communion with God and the service of his neighbour. In other words, he is a model of a life lived in intense communion with the Holy Trinity.
He felt the duty to communicate the same faith to others, above all, to those whom he approached in the ministry of confession. He became a master of the spiritual life, especially for the congregation of sisters founded by him. The sisters always found him serene even in the the most trying situations. St Agostino Roscelli exhorts us always to trust in God, immersing ourselves in the mystery of his love.
Even today the world needs saints like Brother Bernard immersed in God and for that very reason able to hand on God's truth and love. The humble example of the Capuchin saint offers an encouragement never to tire of prayer, since prayer and listening to God are the soul of authentic holiness.
St Teresa Eustochio Verzeri: faith in providence and abandonment to direction of Spirit
This was the teaching that St Teresa left to her Institute of the "Daughters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus" founded by her. This is the teaching that she left us all. In the midst of contradictions and inner and exterior sufferings one must keep alive faith in God Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
May St Rafqa watch over those who know suffering, particularly over the peoples of the Middle East who must face a destructive and sterile spiral of violence. Through her intercession, let us ask the Lord to open hearts to the patient quest for new ways to peace and so hasten the advent of reconciliation and harmony.
7. "O Lord our God, how great is your name through all the earth" (Ps 8,2.10). Contemplating these outstanding examples of holiness, the psalmist's exclamation comes spontanously to mind.
The Lord does not stop giving to the Church and to the world wonderful examples of men and women who are reflections of the glory of the Trinity. Their witness incites us to raise our eyes to heaven and to seek without pause the kingdom of God and his justice.
May Mary the Queen of all saints, who first heard the call of the Most High, uphold us in our service of God and neighbor. And may you go with us saints Luigi Scrosoppi, Agostino Roscelli, Bernardo da Corleone, Teresa Eustocchio Verzeri, Rafqa Pietra Choboq Ar-Rayès, so that our lives like yours may give praise to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.