The secular priests were the first to rally but the Capuchins were perhaps the most heroic, devoting themselves to working with the afflicted souls in the leperhouse. I failed to find it in a cursory web search, and it seems of great spiritual value in the current situation. The New Cathedral, Salamanca In 1576-78 Milan was in the grip of a terrible plague that killed many and left the survivors penniless. Alphonse took the name Maria Alphonse at baptism, and, wishing to become a priest, was ordained a Jesuit in 1847. I will delay no longer. In the midst of this splendor, the Virgin Mary appeared stan... Born in 1814, Alphonse Ratisbonne was from a family of wealthy, well-known Jewish bankers in Strasbourg, France. When stricken with plague, he isolated himself, lest he injure others. In the face of such fear, Charles wrote an impassioned plea to the priests of Milan: We have only one life and we should spend it for Jesus Christ and souls, not as we wish, but at the time and in the way God wishes. All saints day, time to review some popular saints work, thanks for sharing . This number included 120 priests (most of these had fled). Not What You Expect. As those inflicted could not leave their homes to attend Mass or the processions, St. Charles set up nineteen columns throughout the city. He ordered more Masses said than before. Hearing of the outbreak, most of the secular authorities along with Don Juan fled. With the world at large still reeling from COVID-19 and over 170,000 dead, one wonders what is the most Catholic response: to hide or to seek? Thank you for your generosity! This does not mean you should neglect human means, such as preventatives, remedies, doctors, everything that you can use to keep off infection, for such means are in no way opposed to our doing our duty. To prepare himself for what lay ahead, St. Charles offered himself as an expiatory victim for the sins of his people. Although the ritual dates to the Council of Trent, held between 1545 and 1563 in northern Italy, versions of a ritual against plagues pre-dated the current liturgy, said the Rev. However another important and vital history of the Church are real people like St Borromeo who performs Gods work, thus representing the inspiring life of the Church that Christ intended. So, take some lessons from the lives of the saints who fought plagues: Show a healthy understanding and respect for God’s creation, right down to the bacteria and the viruses, as the bishops do. He redoubled his efforts, focusing mainly on the spiritual welfare of the beleaguered. Having endured much in his struggles to reform the ailing Church, St. Charles Borromeo’s greatest test came in the form of a great plague. Things were so bad that a proverb current among country folk expressed the contempt in which the clergy was held: “If you want to go to hell, become a priest.” On his travels around his diocese Saint Charles found that many country churches were “ruinous, neglected, and filthy, sacred vessels and vestments rotted with rust and moth”. However, God had other plans for him. Sign up to receive a weekly email with news, analysis, and commentary from a voice you can trust! The faithful were told not to gather in crowds and avoid contact with each other. . And I complain about my arthritic knees upon rising every morning!!! Do not be affected by the example of those born and bred in the city who hurriedly abandoned it by flight at the very moment when it needed help.”. He also called on an old schoolmate and close friend, Gustave de Bussières. into huts and private houses to speak to the sick and comfort them, as well as providing for all their needs. Instead of staying in place or fleeing, he immediately set forth toward the city. We are shocked by famines and epidemics because we really don’t have them anymore. Answering a concern of the Bishop of Brescia, St. Charles affirmed: “From the beginning I resolved to place myself entirely in God’s hands, without however despising ordinary remedies.”, St. Charles issued prudent guidelines. The crisis of faith is obvious. It is true that he exposes himself much to danger but as so far he has been preserved by the special grace of God, he says he cannot do otherwise. From 1576 to 1578, a plague ravaged through northern Italy killing tens of thousands. Alphonse reluctantly went with him, all the while making violent criticisms of the Church and mocking Catholic practices. At the foot of these pillars, public Masses were celebrated every morning. St. Charles Borromeo, archbishop of Milan from 1564-84, took drastic measures during an outbreak of plague in 1576. Don Bosco had a lot better luck appeasing God’s wrath with his face masks, vinegar bottles and social isolation than our sainted friend Borromeo had with his constant processions. She was grandiose, brilliant, full of majesty and sweetness, just as she is in the Miraculous Medal. An irresistible force attracted me to her. Too bad we have to deal with Biden and his puppet masters for the next four years. That is, if the plague were a physical manifestation of the outpouring of God’s wrath, then his processions to appease that physical wrath were not very effective. Many miraculous cures have been attributed to saints throughout history. Why had Milan been spared from a greater loss? leperhouse] to console the sick … into huts and private houses to speak to the sick and comfort them, as well as providing for all their needs. To the people of Milan the Archbishop’s escape from death was nothing less than miraculous. After his decision to put into practice the role of bishop, he decided to be ordained priest (4 September 1563) and on 7 December 1563 he was consecrated bishop in the Sistine Chapel by Cardinal Giovanni Serbelloni. However, when he, too, was sickened by the plague, he withdrew to a hut in the forest until he recovered. Remember, processions didn’t save Milan from the plague. “That you deliver us from the scourge of pestilence, we beg you to hear us.”. Laura Hartman is Rare Book Cataloger in the History of Medicine Division at the National Library of Medicine. Every day he walked the streets, visiting the sick and dying. In these processions, St. Charles walked barefoot wearing a thick penitential cord around his neck. Hoping to avoid a meeting, Alphonse intended to leave his card discreetly and depart straight away, but was instead shown into the house. Without resting from his journey, St. Charles went straight to the cathedral and said a short prayer. Perhaps God favors the people who understand and respect how to deal with His creation, the viruses and bacteria. He also organized his affairs and made his last will. On the eve of his departure, Alphonse reluctantly fulfilled his social obligation to leave his calling card at the Baron’s house as a farewell gesture. He had already finished his law degree, and decided to travel to Italy before marrying and assuming his responsibilities in the family business. At the foot of these pillars, public Masses were celebrated every morning. he was willing to shout out his sins to the priest on board a coastal ship, face masks at all times and wash their hands with vinegar, 2020: THE YEAR OF SEEING EVERYTHING CLEARLY | ROMAN CATHOLIC TODAY, The Multivalency of Scripture: Its Rejection by Modernity (Part I), Saint Cecilia: Listening to Heavenly Music. On the last day, when the general examination takes place. When they arrived, the Baron entered the sacristy to arrange the funeral while Alphonse remained in the church. Having endured much in his struggles to reform the ailing Church, Charles’ greatest test was still to come. No Confessions. Borromeo issued guidelines to control the plague outbreak, organized makeshift hospitals, used his own vast fortune to provide food for the hungry, and personally attended the poor and sick.