Hononary General for Life – Blessed Bernard

7 December, 2016


Blessed Bernard Mary of Jesus (Caesar Silvestrelli before becoming a Passionist) was born in Rome, 7 November, 1831, of the noble Silvestrelli-Gozani family. He was Baptized the same day, and received the Sacrament of Confirmation on 7 June, 1840. He was ordained a priest on Monte Argentario, 22 December, 1855. He made his religious profession as a Passionist on 28 April, 1857 at the novitiate at Morrovalle where his companion was the future Saint Gabriel of Our Mother of Sorrows.

He held a number of offices: Director of Students, Master of Novices, Rector, Provincial Consultor and, during the years 1878-88 and 1893-1907, Superior General. Unfailing in upholding the spirit of the Congregation, he invigorated the Passionists with a great apostolic spirit. Under his careful and ever vigilant guidance six new Provinces were founded, and those which had been suppressed by the governments of Italy and France were reorganized. Having resigned the office of Superior General, he received from the Pope the title of “Honorary General” for life.

He retired to the Passionist Monastery at Moricone where he died, 9 December, 1911 after a serious fall. He was eighty years of age. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II on 16 October, 1988.

9 November – Blessed Bernard Silvestrelli

7 December, 2016


(Passionist Sign worn by Blessed Bernard Mary Silvestrelli)

Passionist Bernard Mary Silvestrelli was proclaimed by the Church as Blessed on 16th October 1988. His feast is celebrated on 9th December each year.

Father Fabiano Giorgini, C.P., writes –

Before leaving his family, Bernard had left a crucifix to his brothers and sisters as a memento and sign of what he hoped to do among the Passionists. The usual gift he later gave to people, as superior, was a small crucifix, also to remind them that he lived for Christ Crucified and prompt them, in turn, to love their crucified Lord. The whole texture of Passionist life served to remind him of the love which Jesus showed in his Passion.

As he told the novices, “All our observances have meaning, and help us to keep the Passion of Jesus in mind. We are told to go barefoot, clothed poorly and in black, bearing upon our hearts a sign which reads: The Passion of Jesus Christ. So we have these reminders to keep in perpetual mourning for our divine Redeemer which died for us, and carry about signs of his mortification in our own bodies.”

“You should see the same meaning in our uncomfortable hours of sleep, our rising in the night for matins, taking the discipline, frequent fasting and frugal diet – all these things have their place, like little alarm clocks to recall to our mind the labours and sorrows of our most beloved Jesus. The same applies to our detachment from the world, our solitude and silence, our recollection and prayer, all of them commended precisely in order to preserve in us the spirit of compunction, so vital for one who meditates on the Passion of Jesus and wishes to keep it engraved on his heart. In a word, if you examine the holy Rule you will find that it … leads to evangelical perfection through a special devotion to the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Trattenimenti, pp. 277-278)

Bernard Mary Silvestrelli, Passionist by Fr. Fabiano Giorgini, C.P., p. 159

Second Sunday of Advent

3 December, 2016

“Long is our winter, dark is our night. Expectant are our hearts. Come, O Radiant, Healing, Loving Light!” | Adapted from a fifteenth century German hymn


Almighty and merciful God, may no earthly undertaking hinder those who set out in haste to meet your Son, but may our learning of heavenly wisdom gain us admittance to his company. We lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


During Advent, one strong voice that tries to rouse us to the demands of our discipleship is that of John the Baptist. He comes from the wildness, eager to share what he has learned there in the privileged place of covenant making and the dangerous environment of temptation to covenant breaking. The Spirit thrusts John the Baptist onto the banks of the Jordan River to be Israel’s awakener to what God will do in and through Jesus. Sharpened in wisdom and words by his desert experience, John cuts his way through hypocrisy and sinfulness, and offers to the Jordan crowd his baptism of repentance.

It was at the Jordan River that the Hebrews came out of their wilderness wandering and crossed through the waters to the Promised Land. Over twelve hundred years later, the Baptist calls their descendants into the waters of another transition, another entry into the promises of God.

– Building on Rock, Welcoming the Word in Year A, Verna A. Holyhead, SGS

During the month of December

2 December, 2016


7th December
Anniversary of the birth of Luca Daneo, father of St. Paul of the Cross (1659)

9th December
Feast of Blessed Bernard Mary Silvetrelli, C.P.

10th December
Introduction of the Cause of Ven. John Baptist Daneo, brother of St. Paul of the Cross and Co Founder of the Passionists (1930)

22nd December
Introduction of the Cause of Beatification for St. Paul of the Cross (1784)

First Sunday of Advent

27 November, 2016


The Annunciation, by Pietro Cavallni; part of the apsidal mosiac in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere in Rome, 1296-1300


Grant, your faithful, we pray, almighty God, the resolve to run forth to meet your Christ with righteous deeds at his coming, so that, gathered at his right hand, they may be worthy to possess the heavenly Kingdom. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.