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Heroic Virtue: A Portion of the Treatise of Benedict XIV on the Beatification and Canonization of the Servants of God

Heroic Virtue: A Portion of the Treatise of Benedict XIV on the Beatification and Canonization of the Servants of God

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  • ISBN-13: 9781490416427
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Release Date: Jun 13, 2013
  • Pages: 400 pages
  • Dimensions: 0.91 x 9.00 x 6.00 inches


This is a 2 volume set this is volume 1. Our blessed Lord was innocent, and pure from all stain; yet He endured torments greater than any of the martyrs. His sufering was voluntary, and, if' it be lawful to say so, superfluous, for the least of' His agonies was more than sufficient to redeem the world. So again, saints who never lost their baptismal innocence, have voluntarily punished themselves, and endured torments of incredible severity. They might have perhaps abstained from all these inflictions; yet such was their love of God, that they must enter into the communion of His sufferings, and offer up their own bodies, cruelly punished, in imitation of Him, and in deprecation of His wrath, deserved by the sins of their fellow creatures. It was heroic charity that led innocent souls like S. Aloysius and Cardinal Baronius to punish their bodies, and tender women like S. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi and S. Rose of Lima to put crowns on their heads that drew blood from their pierced flesh. It would be tedious to enumerate the penances and strange austerities of the servants of God, which they willingly underwent for their own sins, and in reparation for the wickedness of others, who thought not of God and His holy laws which they were daily transgressing. The contents of these volumes will supply abundant illustration of this matter. It may suggest itself to some that this account of the saints and their actions which Benedict XIV. has given us is technical, and reduces too much to rule and system the supernatural workings of the Holy Spirit. But what is the fact? He has but collected together the recorded acts of the saints, and referred them to their several heads. The virtues which the Gospel enjoins are definite and known; and the saints who observed them are known, and so also the history of their lives. He has but compared the facts with the theory, and if the theory becomes clearer and more definite, that is the case with every other theory or system whatever. He had the advantage of the labours of others who preceded him in this discussion, and also the results of his own experience as Promoter of the Faith, and was, consequently, minutely conversant with the very details of the subject. He has done with the practice of the Church what S. Thomas and the Schoolmen did with reference to the Faith. These saw the records of our Saviour's life and doctrine, and constructed therefrom that wonderful and harmonious system which we revere, and the ignorant and the wicked ridicule-the scholastic philosophy of Holy Church. That system was begun before Peter Lombard, but he reduced it to its proper heads, and then the sanctified intellects of the Dominican and Franciscan Orders raised it in its grand proportions, and at the Council of Trent it proved to the Church an impregnable fortress, against which heresy raged in vain. Perhaps, too, in the present form of unbelief, and the prevalence of strange superstition which has taken possession of psychological inquirers, this systematic discussion of moral and intellectual phenomena which are displayed in the lives of the saints, may prove to many a solution of difficulties, and a safe guide to lead them out of danger. Learning is in our circumstances become a matter of necessity, and those who dwell much on the simplicity of the evangelical law, and on the danger of subtle discussions and minute investigations, will do well to remember that our Blessed Lord was once found "sitting in the midst of the doctors."

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