Letter from the Superior General
With a letter published in this second issue of 2018 of Spicilegium Historicum, the Superior General, Fr. Michael Brehl, C.Ss.R. invites us to share the joy of the 70th anniversary of the foundation of the Redemptorist Historical Institute.
“Still alive, St. Alphonsus instructed some of his confreres to gather historical information on the life and work of some confreres who died in the name of holiness. In every way he encouraged and supported the research and study of history “, writes the superior general, not a reason for this important anniversary.
“Celebrating the 70th anniversary of the foundation of the Historical Institute entails for all of us, in this phase of restructuring and renewal that we are living, to dwell on two points: history is the teacher of life: no Redemptorist can do without the knowledge of our past; the invitation of Pope Francis: to look at the past with gratitude, to live the present with passion, and to embrace the future with hope (Apostolic Letter to the Consecrated, 2014).
An important date for the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer that must consider history as the starting point of a long journey, in which the Holy Spirit has inspired ways and forms of actualization of a missionary charism at the service of the Church and of humanity.
Then we find the following articles:
El Instituto Histórico de la Congregación of the Santísimo Redentor, 70aniversario de su fundación, 1948-2018, CORDOBA CHAVEZ Alvaro, C.SS.R.
A review of moments in the genesis of the appearance of the Redemptorist Historical Institute, since 1948 when Leonardo Buijs, at that time superior general, had sensed that knowing more about the historical roots of the Congregation had to serve to build an identity in the mission of the sons of St. Alphonsus. A historical step for the Redemptorists because, as the article well informs, the awareness of the importance among the institutions grows with the creation of: Historical Institute (1948), Alphonsian Academy (1949), Spicilegium Historicum CSSR (1953) and Library of CSSR History.
WEISS Otto, Das Generalvikariat des Pater Joseph Amand Passerat (1772 – 1858)
An interesting presentation of the work done by the Venerable Servant of God Fr. Joseph-Amand Passerat, 1772-1858, France, as the Transalpine General Vicariate. From the moment of his ordination (April 15, 1797) he was in charge of the formation of the numerous candidates attracted by the Congregation. He earned the esteem of St. Clement, who described him as “a man of holiness and of high virtues”. After the death of St. Clement, in 1820, Father Passerat was appointed to succeed him as Vicar General over the Alps with residence in the new house of Maria am Gestade in Vienna. After long years of frustration, the Redemptorists under his guidance entered a period of expansion, with their eyes turned away to the United States. Due to the Austrian revolution in 1848 he was forced to leave Vienna and find refuge in Belgium.
A precise historical reflection of the relationship with Rudolf von Smetana, who as a consultant of Father Passerat managed to organize the Congregation.
PIKH Ruslan C.SS.R., “Whom did Belgium send us?” Father Joseph Schrijvers’Life until 1913
A brief biography of Father Joseph Schrijvers, underlining the religious character of his life. A contribution to the history of the Congregation recalling that Belgium has given to the history of the Congregation great figures in the field of the formation. Reading these lines means being part of the enthusiasm of some Redemptorists involved in the formation of the young generations of missionaries, even when the social and political situation does not help at all. “Belgium has given us a great man, with great spirituality”, concludes Pikh.
TORTORA Alfonso, From the art to the Alphonsian spirituality.
The curious relationship between “time” and holiness in the asceticism of Alphonsus de Liguori. The author prefers to invest a few pages to involve the reader in the concept of time and how they thought about it in the time of St. Alphonsus. To describe the idea about time in St. Alphonsus, one must remember the thematic set from which they generated the essential aspects of a new vision of time, which tended to bind itself to a modern European society.
BRESCIANI, Ernesto, C.SS.R., Chronicle of the miracles and graces granted to his devotees by Our Lady of Perpetual Help.
A list of as many as 54 wonderful works that are described after a premise on the religious environment that surrounds our current society. “The current eclipse and crisis of faith that crosses the contemporary mentality has not diminished the interest or curiosity towards” the miracle “… begins by writing Bresciani. “Miracle is a fact that is implemented above the laws of nature. It can not be done by man because it goes beyond his possibilities, but only from God “, says the author.
MAJORANO Sabatino, C.SS.R., Mary: the merciful gaze that welcomes and makes new.
A profound theological commentary on the theme of God’s mercy presented to readers by the reflection of the Mariology of St. Alphonsus. A new perspective in a brief treatise on the merciful gaze of Mary. “This is not just a coincidence of time. Between Alphonsus’s Mariology, his proposal for Christian life and his missionary project, there is a close link: they clarify and support each other, having in the mercy (copiosa redemptio) the fundamental nucleus and the essential key to reading.
MYKHAYLIUK Nazariya, OSB, The original icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help and its copies in the monasteries of the Order of Saint Basil the Great in Ukraine.
A nice article on the artistic analysis of the styles, iconographies and colours of the already famous Icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help. Without wasting time on detailing the story, the author centres the study in the region of Ukraine. Collects many contributions and signals other icons that were at that time inviting to see and consider what it means to be in front of the icon.