Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Cardinal Merry del Val, RIP
O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed, deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being loved,
From the desire of being extolled,
From the desire of being honored,
From the desire of being praised,
From the desire of being preferred to others,
From the desire of being consulted,
From the desire of being approved,
From the fear of being humiliated, deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being despised,
From the fear of suffering rebukes,
From the fear of being calumniated,
From the fear of being forgotten,
From the fear of being ridiculed,
From the fear of being wronged,
From the fear of being suspected,
That others may be loved more than I, O Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I,
That, in the opinion of the world, others may, increase and I may decrease,
That others may be chosen and I set aside,
That others may be praised and I unnoticed,
That others may be preferred to me in everything,
That others may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should, O Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
Cardinal Rafael Merry de Val, Secretary of State for Pope St. Pius X, died on Feburary 26, 1930. He composed the Litany of Humility, above. He was born in England at the Spanish Embassy in London on October 10, 1865 and was educated at Catholic schools in England and then in Rome.
According to this article, he maintained those early links with England, including his investigation of the validity of Anglican Orders in the Catholic Church:
After graduating from the Pontifical Gregorian University, he became one of the most influential and consulted figures of pontifical Rome, especially when it came to problems regarding Anglicanism. His perfect knowledge of the environment and of the language, his frequent trips across the English Channel, and the esteem of Cardinal Vaughan gave him great authority.
Entrusted by Leo XIII with the thorny question of the validity of Anglican orders – at the uncertain, hesitant beginning of the ecumenical journey – he led the Holy See to the negative response, made official in September of 1896 with the bull "Apostolicae Curae," of which he was the main architect. On the basis of practice that had stood for three hundred years, and of an exhaustive historical investigation, Leo XIII confirmed the "nullity" of the "ordinations carried out with the Anglican rite," thereby denying the apostolic succession of those bishops. The reconciliation of Anglicans and Catholics, which had been proceeding for some time, came to an abrupt halt, while the young prelate established himself as the spokesman of a stance of doctrinal austerity that was different from, if not incompatible with, the policy of Rampolla, who was secretary of state at the time.
He was well known for his facility with languages, his piety and devotion (evidenced by the prayer above), and his great personal support of Pope St. Pius X, whose cause for canonization he introduced and supported. Cardinal Merry del Val died on February 26, 1930 during an operation for appendicitus. His cause for canonization has been introduced and he is a Servant of God.
Image source: Wikipedia commons.