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Emmanuel d'Alzon
Signs of God N. 14 PDF Print E-mail

Signs of God N. 14

A Word of the Postulator

For religious men and women, chastity or virginity are the object of a vow. But Fr. d’Alzon prefers to speak of the « virtue of chastity », of the «gift of virginity », of the « purity of heart » as the evangelical requirement for all Christians whether they be religious or lay. It is a virtue linked to the theological virtue of charity, that is, it’s reason for being is the love of God, it is the total gift “of all my being” to Jesus’ person and mission. Fr. d’Alzon is not concerned with juridical or ascetic considerations: «chastity does not need explanation»; and in the rule for the lay associates he writes: «the Brothers are committed to keeping the chastity which suits their profession» (E.S., p. 1287). Chastity assumes an ardent apostolic zeal, passion for the Kingdom, for the Church, for people; “apostles, like angels, are messengers” (Dir. P. 54) Chastity frees us and makes us available «always ready to set out and to go where God sends us» (E.S., p. 1279). Fr. d’Alzon lived chastity and purity of heart with characteristics which are proper to him: respect, loyalty and truthfulness in his relationships, tenderness and discretion in his friendships, a close and affectionate brotherhood towards his disciples.

Fr. Julio Navarro Román

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 June 2015 14:40
 
Signs of God N. 13 PDF Print E-mail

Signs of God N. 13

A Word of the Postulator

Pope Francis has declared the year 2015 « the Year of the Consecrated Life ». So I thought it would be a good opportunity to reflect on the personal testimony and teaching that Fr. d’Alzon gives us with regard to religious life. The way in which he lived the vows and the virtues of poverty, chastity, and obedience is also a sign of his holiness. His teaching on these virtues speaks to all the baptized, because it is the teaching of Jesus Christ himself. Let’s begin with poverty. It makes no sense in Fr. d’Alzon’s mind unless it is the imitation of Jesus’ poverty, an identification with this radical option of the Son of God, born poor in a manger, working years in Nazaareth by the sweat of his brow, having nowhere to lay his head during the years of his ministry, embracing the poor of his people, and dying on a cross in an act that represented the absolute pouring out of himself. Gospel poverty is linked to the virtue of hope, the act of placing all one’s heart in God alone. The fruits of such virtue are interior freedom and joy. Poverty, chosen as an option for the Kingdom, can become a remarkably effective means of evangelization in our world. The poor will have a place of privilege in the heart of the one who makes himself poor out of love for Jesus Christ.

Fr. Julio Navarro Román

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 February 2015 11:51
 
Signs of God N. 12 PDF Print E-mail

Signs of God N. 12

A Word of the Postulator

Pope Francis is in the midst of inviting the entire Church at once to respond to three urgent calls, if it wishes to be credible and wishes to bring the gospel to today’s world: the option for the poor, bringing the gospel to the margins of society, and the mission to all. In his own time Fr. d’Alzon knew how to respond, with boldness, creativity, and, especially, great faith, to these same urgent calls. In recent issues of Signs of God we tried to show d’Alzon’s appreciation for the first two challenges and what he did concretely to respond to them. In the present issue we would like to draw attention to his missionary zeal. He tells us that the vocation, the very raison d’être of the Assumption, his religious family, is the extension of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ; this is the greatest of all causes. Our mission is that of the Church: to gather all men and women into the People of God. Every Assumptionist, whether religious or lay, must possess a missionary spirit, like that of the apostles, d’Alzon would say, where every inkling of laziness or false prudence is ruled out: Have a faith that is bold; don’t worry if it is characterized by a certain careless concern. Happy are those who embrace the whole world in their ambition, because what they’re really ambitious about is the extension of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ everywhere! This is the challenge, ever current, to which he calls us.

Fr. Julio Navarro Román, A.A.

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Last Updated on Thursday, 11 December 2014 13:09
 
Signs of God N. 11 PDF Print E-mail

Signs of God N. 11

A Word of the Postulator

The more I get to know the personality and holiness of Fr. Emmanuel d’Alzon, the more I admire in him how open he was to his times and the more I find him to be a model apostle for the church of our time. In the Signs of God #10, we underlined his love and initiatives on behalf of the poor. Here we would like to emphasize his obsession with getting to know, entering into dialogue with, and above all evangelizing every dimension of society. The holy Pope John XXIII, at the time he convoked the Second Vatican Council, wanted the Church “to open its doors and windows” so that fresh air could circulate in it. Pope Francis hasn’t stopped insisting on the fact that our Church must move beyond its doors towards the margins of humanity, lest it enclose itself in on its privileges and its fears and in order to bear the light, the consolation and the friendship of Jesus to those scorned and forgotten. Fr. d’Alzon, in the page we have published here, uses this same language. He urges us to move beyond our doors, to get to know the realities of the world, to enter into dialogue with the different categories of people, to become servants, to transcend the limitations of clericalism, and to share our wealth with the laity. Above all he teaches us to act always out of love of Jesus Christ and of the Church, his Bride.

Fr. Julio Román Navarro, A.A.

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Last Updated on Monday, 06 October 2014 01:38
 
Signs of God N. 10 PDF Print E-mail

Signs of God N. 10

A Word of the Postulator

Recently, Fr. Benoît Grière, the superior general, wrote a letter to the congregation of the Augustinians of the Assumption, on religious poverty. He invited his brothers to change the way they do things in a world where materialism, consumerism, the waste of goods, and a lack of solidarity reign and to make concrete commitments in favor of the poor and the excluded of our society. For his part, Pope Francis never stops repeating : « I want a poor Church for the poor! »

Fr. Emmanuel d’Alzon had the same preoccupation. Even though he came from a rich and aristocratic family, he generously stripped himself of all his possessions and personally led a life that was sober and austere, one of exemplary evangelical poverty. The poor were always in his sights when considering apostolic priorities. There would be a long list needed to record all the works he undertook in on behalf of the working class, young boys and girls threatened by exploitation, orphans and children deprived of an education, the poor and the most abandoned of the society in which he lived. This love of the poor found its source both in his love for Christ who made himself poor among the poor and in his apostolic zeal to give rise to a society that was more just, more fraternal, and more rooted in Gospel values. This love of the poor is just one more indication revealing the holiness of Fr. Emmanuel d’Alzon.

Fr. Julio Navarro Román, A.A.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 May 2014 10:15
 
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