MAY 11 - FREI GALVAO, THE
FIRST BRAZILIAN SAINT
VATICAN CITY, MAY 11, 2007 (VIS) - At 9.30 a.m. today (2.30 p.m. in
Rome) the Pope presided at Mass in Sao Paulo's "Campo de Marte" in
the presence of a million people. During the ceremony he canonized
Blessed Antonio de Santa Ana (ne Antonio Galvao de Franca,
1739-1822), a Franciscan priest who founded the "Recolhimento"
(Retreat) of Our Lady of the Conception and Divine Providence, today
known as the Convent of Light.
Beginning his homily, the Holy Father addressed a special greeting
to the Conceptionist nuns who, he said, "spread the spirituality and
charism of the first Brazilian to be raised to the glory of the
"The Franciscan charism, lived out in the spirit of the Gospel," he
went on, "has borne significant fruits through [Frei Galvao's]
witness as an ardent adorer of the Eucharist, as a prudent and wise
guide of the souls who sought his counsel, and as a man with a great
devotion to the Immaculate Conception of Mary, whose 'son and
perpetual servant' he considered himself to be."
"The Holy Eucharist," said the Pope, "contains all the spiritual
wealth of the Church," and Christians "must come to know the faith
of the Church through her ordained ministers, through the exemplary
manner in which they carry out the prescribed rites that always
point to the eucharistic liturgy as the center of the entire task of
evangelization. The faithful, in their turn, must seek to receive
and to venerate the Most Holy Sacrament with piety and devotion,
eager to welcome the Lord Jesus with faith, and having recourse,
whenever necessary, to the Sacrament of Penance so as to purify the
soul from every grave sin."
Frei Galvao "was renowned as a counsellor, he was a bringer of peace
to souls and families, and a dispenser of charity especially towards
the poor and the sick. ... The conversion of sinners was therefore
the great passion of our saint."
"United with the Lord in the supreme communion of the Eucharist and
reconciled with Him and our neighbor, we will thus become bearers of
that peace which the world cannot give. Will the men and women of
this world be able to find peace if they are not aware of the need
to be reconciled with God, with their neighbor and with themselves?"
"Renown of the immense charity" of the Franciscan saint "knew no
bounds," said the Holy Father, pointing out that "pastoral
initiatives for the building up of society, if directed towards the
good of the poor and the sick, bear within themselves this divine
seal," that of the love of God Who died on the Cross to save us.
"Frei Galvao prophetically affirmed the truth of the Immaculate
Conception. ... The Virgin Most Pure, who conceived in her womb the
Redeemer of mankind and was preserved from all stain of original
sin, wishes to be the definitive seal of our encounter with God our
Saviour. There is no fruit of grace in the history of salvation that
does not have as its necessary instrument the mediation of Our Lady.
In fact, the saint that we are celebrating gave himself irrevocably
to the Mother of Jesus from his youth, desiring to belong to her for
ever, and he chose the Virgin Mary to be the Mother and Protector of
his spiritual daughters."
"The world needs transparent lives, clear souls, pure minds that
refuse to be perceived as mere objects of pleasure. It is necessary
to oppose those elements of the media that ridicule the sanctity of
marriage and of virginity before marriage. ... Marian devotion is
the sure guarantee of her maternal protection and safeguard in the
hour of temptation."
At the end of his homily, the Holy Father invited the faithful to
give thanks to God for the gift of sanctity "which, together with
faith, is the greatest grace that can be bestowed upon a creature:
the firm desire to attain the fullness of charity, in the conviction
that holiness is not only possible but also necessary for every
person in his or her own state of life, so as to reveal to the world
the true face of Christ, our friend!"
Following Mass, the Holy Father travelled by car to the monastery of
Sao Bento, where he had lunch. In the afternoon, before leaving for
the "da Se" cathedral for his meeting with Brazilian bishops, he bid
farewell to the monks.
Saint Antonio de Santa Ana, Pray for us!
V.I.S. -Vatican Information Service.
Copyright © Vatican Information Service 00120
Used on our website www.franciscan-sfo.org with