(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "The complete ascetical works of St. Alphonsus"

:: n 



THE COMPLETE WORKS 



SAINT ALPHONSUS DE LIGUORI, 

DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH, 

Bishop of Saint Agatha, and Founder of the Congregation of the Most 
Holy Redeemer. 

TRANSLATED FROM THE ITALIAN. 

EDITED BY 

IRE^T. ZETJO-EHSTIE <3- ZR I IMC M, 

Priest of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer. 



THE ASCETICAL WORKS. 
Volume XXII. 

LETTERS. 

Volume V. 

PART II. 

Special QTorresjion&ence. 



THE APOSTOLIC BENEDICTION. 



RfiDE PATER: 

Memoriam gloriosi Congregations SS. Redemptoris Fundatoris, centesimo^ 
b ejus obitu, adventante anno, pio et admodum opportune consilio recolere 
aggressus es, dum omnia ipsius opera anglice vertenda, et typis edenda curasti. 
Summus itaque Pontifex, cui turn S. Doctoris exaltatio, turn fidelium utilitas 
summopere cordi est libentissime excepit 9 volumina hue usque edita, quae Ei 
offerre voluisti. Ac dum meritas Tibi laudes de hac perutili tua cura prasbet, 
et gratias de filiali oblatione agit, Benedictionem, quam tuis obsequentissimis 
litteris petiisti, Emi quoque archiepiscopi Baltimorensis commendation! 
obsecundans, ex intimo corde impertiit. 

Haec ad Te deferens fausta cuncta ac felicia a Domino Tibi adprecor. 
Paternitatis Tua, 

Addictissimus, 

M. CARD. RAMPOLLA. 
ROMAE, die 4 Junii, 1888. 



TRANSLATION. 

REVEREND FATHER: 

As the centenary of the death of the illustrious Founder of the Congrega 
tion of the Most Holy Redeemer drew near, you conceived the pious and 
appropriate plan of shedding a new lustre on his memory by translating all 
his works into English and publishing them. The Holy Father, thereforev 
who has at heart the spiritual advancement of the faithful, as well as tht 
exaltation of the holy Doctor, has most graciously accepted the nine volumes 
thus far published, which you wished to present to him. While bestowing 
upon you well-deserved praise for your useful labor, and thanking you for 
the gift inspired by your filial love, he gives you from his heart the blessing 
which you humbly asked for in your letter, complying also with the request 
of the Most Rev. Archbishop of Baltimore. 

As th bearer of this, I wish you all happiness in the Lord. 
I am, Reverend Sir, 

Your obedient servant, 

M. CARD. RAMPOLLA. 

ROME, June 4, 1888. 



rtiticm. 



LETTERS OF ST. ALPHONSUS 
MARIA DE LIGUORI, 

DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH, 

Bishop of Saint Agatha, and Founder of the Congregation 
of the Most Holy Redeemer. 

TRANSLATED FROM THE ITALIAN. 

EDITED BY 

REV. THOMAS W. MULLANEY, 

Priest of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer. 
PART II. 

Special (JTor 

Volume II. 




NEW YORK, CINCINNATI, CHICAGO. 
BEUSTZIG-IEIR, IBIEtO THE IR S, 

Printers to the Holy Apostolic See. 

R. WASHBOURNE, M. H. GILL & SON, 

18 PATKRNOSTKR Row, LONDON. 50 UPPER O CONNELL STREET, DUBLIN. 

8Q7. 



APPROBATION. 

By virtue of the authority granted me by the Most Rev. Matthias 
Raus, Superior-General of the Congregation of the Most Holy 
Redeemer, I hereby sanction the publication of the work entitled 
" Letters", which is Vol. XXII. of the new and complete edition in 
English of the works of Saint Alphonsus de Liguori, called " The 
Centenary Edition". 

FERDINAND A. LITZ, C. SS. R., 

Sup. Prov. Baltimorensis, 

BALTIMORE, MD., March i, 1897. 




Copyright, 1897, by Fef !,nand A. Litz. 



CONTENTS. 



PAGB 

APPROBATION, . .., .. ..- -, $ ".". , . iv 
LETTERS OF ST. ALPHONSUS DE LIGUORI. 



PART II. 

SPECIA L CORRESPONDENCE, 
(Conclusion.) 

A. D. 1771. 

ITTKR 

242. To GIAMBATTISTA REMON UNI. He thanks him for a 

present, and speaks of additions to the seventh edition 

of the Moral 7 keology. Arienzo, July 8, . . .... 3 

243. To THE SAME. His endeavors to secure the royal appro- 

bation for the Sermons for Sundays. Arienzo, July 28, 5 

244. To THE SAME. He sends the additions for the A/oral, 

and speaks of the difficulty of obtaining the royal appro 
bation for his works. Arienzo, August I, .. . r; . .. 6 

245. To THE SAME. He desires him to withhold the new edi 

tion of the Moral. Arienzo, August 18, :-... v c- t\ 8 

246. To THE SAME. He inquires about the additions for the 

Mora/, and informs him of the royal permission for the 
publication of the Sermons. Arienzo, September I, ..-. 9 

247. To THE SAME. He sends the Sermons with some correc 

tion s, and tells him of another favor obtained from his 
Majesty. Arienzo, October 3, .. ., * ... - il 

248. To THE SAME. The same subject. October 3, . . 12 

249. To THE SAME. Opposition to the Sermons at Naples. 

The prohibition of the Homo Apostolicus in Portugal. 
[Arienzo, November], . . , - fc ; .. <t ; . .13 
A* 



vi Contents. 



A. D. 1772. 

LETTER PAGE 

250. To GIAMBATTISTA REMONDiNi. He excuses himself for 

not undertaking the Sermons for Feasts. The pleasure 
it would afford him to see the edition of his Ascetical 
Works begun. [Arienzo, January], . . . .17 

251. To D. GIULIO LORENZO SELVAGGIO. The revision of the 

History of the Heresies. Arienzo, February 22, . . 19 

252. To THE SAME. His grief at some remarks of the cen 

sor for the crown. [Arienzo, beginning of April], . 21 

253. To MARQUIS BERNARDO TANUCCI, PRIME MINISTER. 

Dedication of the History of the Heresies. Arienzo, 22 

254. To FATHER PIETRO PAOLO BLASUCCI. Joy of the saint 

at the cessation of the persecution at Girgenti. Precau 
tions for the future. Arienzo, May 14, ... 25 

255. To GIAMBATTISTA REMONDINI. He informs him of the 

royal approbation of the History of the Heresies. His 
resolution not to write any more on scientific subjects. 
Arienzo, May 31, ........ 32 

256. To THE SAME. He sends him the History of the Her 
esies. Arienzo, June 15, . . . . . .34 

257. To THE SAME. Recommendations regarding the print 

ing of the History of the Heresies. A request to with 
hold the publication of the Moral. Arienzo, June 15, 36 

258. To THE SAME. He speaks of the worth of the History 

of the Heresies, and of his resolution of recasting the 
Moral. Arienzo, July 12, 39 

259. To THE SAME. His sympathy with him in his misfor 

tune. Arienzo, July 15, 4I 

260. To THE SAME. The saint s interest in Remondini. 

Reasons for not making certain changes in the Moral. 
Arienzo, July 30, 43 

261. To FATHER PIETRO PAOLO BLASUCCI. A clear and 

concise abridgment of his Moral System. The damage 
caused by Jansenism. Arienzo, August 5, . . .47 

262. To A PRIEST. He replies to some objections to certain 

passages in the History of the Heresies. [Arienzo, 
August], 49 

263. To GIAMBATTISTA REMONDINI. On account of age and 

infirmity, he will not write any more scientific works. 

r . 

ri 



Contents. vn 

I.KTTER PAGK 

His regard for the publisher. The new edition of the 
Moral Theology. Arienzo, August 20, . . . -54 

264. To GIAMBATTISTA REMoNDiNi. He promises him fur 

ther assistance in the renewed persecutions against 
him, and speaks of the Moral and the Homo Apostolicus. 
Arienzo, September 7, ... . . . 58 

265. To GIUSEPPE REMONDINI. The same subject. Arienzo, 

October 19, . . . . . . . .61 

266. To GIAMBATTISTA REMONDINI. He acknowledges the 

receipt of the Sermons for Sundays, and praises the edi 
tion. Other works upon which he is engaged. Arienzo, 
October 29, .62 

267. To THE SAME. His joy at the completion of the seventh 

edition of the Moral. He recommends the publication 

of the History of the Heresies. Arienzo, November 17, 64 

A. D. 1773. 

268. To THE SAME. He proposes a means of selling the pub 

lisher s books. The motive which guided him in all his 
writings. Arienzo, January 31, 66 

269. To THE SAME. He asks a favor. The reception given 

to his works in Germany. Arienzo, March 2, . .69 

270. To THE SAME. The great affection of the saint for Re- 

mondini. Arienzo, March 27, . . . 70 

271. To THE SAME. He informs him of his serious illness, 

and of negotiations with regard to the sale of the books. 

Arienzo, April 25, . . . . . ... 72 

272. To THE SAME. Concerning the sale of the books. 

Arienzo, May 8, . . . . .- . . . 74 

273. To THE SAME. He speaks of an addition for the History 

of the Heresies, and asks for some copies of the Moral. 

Arienzo, May 27, . ..... . . .75 

274. To THE SAME. He asks for some copies of the Moral. 

[Arienzo, June], . . . . . . . 76 

275. To THE SAME. Negotiations for the sale of the books. 

Arienzo, June 19, . . ..... 77 

276. To THE SAME. He asks some favors. Arienzo, July 10, 78 

277. To GIUSEPPE REMONDINI. He acknowledges the re 

ceipt of a letter, and speaks of the sale of the books. 
[Arienzo, beginning of August], . . . . -79 



vin Contents. 



I.KTTKR PACK 

278. To GIUSEPPE REMONUINI. He apprises him of an error 

for which he suggests a remedy. His joy at the publica 
tion of the History of the Heresies. Arienzo, August 21, 80 

279. To THE SAME. He sends a copy of the Brief to be in 

serted in the Bullariuni of Benedict XIV. Arienzo, 
August 26, . . . . . ..- . .82 

280. To THE SAMP:. He speaks of the sale of the publisher s 

books. Arienzo, September 23, . . . .84 

281. To THE SAME. He thanks him for some favors, and in 

forms him of the sending of the work on the Passion. 
Arienzo, October 7, . . . . . . . .85 

, 282. To THE SAME. He acknowledges the receipt of some 
books, and asks for an explanation with regard to the 
price. Arienzo, October 21, ...... 87 

283. To THE SAME. The same subject. Arienzo, November 

* 87 

284. To FATHER ANDREA VILLANI. He explains the reasons 

that compel him to refute a new adversary. [Arienzo, 
November 21], . ... . . .89 

285. To GIUSEPPE REMONDIM. He acknowledges the receipt 

of a letter, and speaks of various matters. Arienzo, 
December 2, 92 



A. D. 1774. 

286. To THE SAME. His health much impaired by applica 

tion to a new work. The sale of the publisher s books. 

Arienzo May 22, ..... g, 

287. To POPE CLEMENT XIV. He dedicates to him the 

Translation of the Psalms, . . ... -95 

288. To GIUSEPPE REMONDINI. He thanks him for his solici 

tude, and also for the publication of the work on the 
Passion. Arienzo, June 30, .... gj 

289. To THE SAME. Negotiations for the sale of the books. 

He will take no remuneration for his services. Arienzo, 
August 3, Q8 

290. To THE SAME. He sends the Translation of the Psalms. 

Arienzo, September 28, 99 

291. To THE SAME. He thanks him for a present, and speaks 

of a new work already begun. Arienzo, November 3, . 101 



Contents. \ \ 

I.KTTEP 



PAC;K 



292. To SAVERIO MATTEL He thanks him for his letter, and 

praises his work on the Psalms. Arienzo, November 

20 > - "V 102 

293. To ONOFRIO PACI, PRINTER AT NAPLES. He begs him 

to suspend the printing of his works, and gives his rea 
sons for this measure. [Arienzo, December], . 104 

A. D. 1775. 

294. TO GlAMBATTISTA REMONDINI. The SUCCCSS of tile 

Translation of the Psalms. A very useful work to be add 
ed to the Victories of the Martyrs. Arienzo, January 5, 105 

295. To THE SAME. He thanks him for a favor, and promises 

to send the Victories of the Martyrs. Arienzo, February 

9> . . .,.... 106 

296. To THE SAME. He inquires about the publication of F. 

Patuzzi s Moral Theology. Nocera, September 8, . 107 

297. To POPE Pius VI. Dedication of The Admirable Con 

duct of Divine Providence, . ... . i oq 

A. D. 1776. 

298. To GIUSEPPE REMONDINL He sends The Admirable Con- 

duct, and speaks of a Manifesto in explanation and de 
fence of his System. Nocera, February 12, . .,. . in 

299. To THE SAME. A letter to be transmitted Nocera de 

Pagani, March 7, . . ,_ . . . IX . 

300. To CANON GIUSEPPE SIMIOLL His regard for St. Thom 

as, and his profound submission to the constituted eccle 
siastical authorities. [Nocera,] July 15, ; . ri c 

301. To CANON SALVATORE RUGGIERL A defence of certain 

passages criticised by the ecclesiastical censor. Nocera, 
July 22 " . : V .;\V; . . 116 

302. To GIUSEPPE REMONDINL Various works to be pub 

lished. Nocera de Pagani, August 28, . .," . n 9 

303. To THE SAME. Inquiries concerning the printing of two 

works. Nocera de Pagani, October 9, ... 121 

304. To THE SAME. He asks for a copy of the Translation of 

the Psalms. His fears concerning the fate of this work. 
Nocera de Pagani, October 17, r A . . . I22 

305. To THE SAME. He asks for some copies of the Moral, 



Contents. 

PAGE 

and laments over the prohibition of the Homo Apostoli- 
cus in Portugal. Nocera de Pagani, November 15, . 123 

306. To GIUSEPPE REMONDINI. Advice concerning the for 

warding of books. Nocera de Pagani, November 21, 125 

307. To THE SAME. His zeal for the infallibility of the Pope. 

Nocera, December 4, . 

308. To THE SAME. His joy at the success of the Homo Apos- 

tolicus in spite of the prohibition against it. [Nocera 
de Pagani, end of December], . I 28 



A. D. 1777- 

309. To THE MEMBERS OF THE ROYAL CHAMBER OF SANTA 

CHIARA. A defence of his Moral Theology. [Nocera, 
end of March], . J 3i 

310. To GIUSEPPE REMONDINI. Inquiry concerning the pub 

lication of the new edition of the Moral. Nocera, April 

7, 5 

311. To THE SAME. Directions with regard to their corre 

spondence. Changes to be introduced in the new edi 
tion of the Moral. Nocera de Pagani, May 15, . . 151 

312. To THE SAME. The same subject. Nocera, June 6, . 152 

313. To THE SAME. He asks for some books. Pagani, June 

19, 154 

314. To THE SAME. His last work on the Moral Theology. 

All future editions to be published in accordance with 

it. Nocera, June 26, 156 

315. To FATHER LEMETRE. He requests him to disabuse a 

Father of his Congregation of a false notion of his doc 
trine. Nocera de Pagani, July 15, . . , . 160 

316. To GIUSEPPE REMONDINI. His grief at the publication 

of an edition of the Moral without his knowledge. No 
cera, November 27, ........ 161 

317. To ONOFRIO PACI. The publication of the smaller works 

of St. Thomas not advisable. Nocera, December I, . 163 

318. To GIUSEPPE REMONDINI. He thanks him for a present. 

A new edition of the Moral. Nocera de Pagani, De 
cember 3, ......... 165 

319. To ONOFRIO PACI. Encouragement to publish the small 

er works of St. Thomas. Nocera, December 3, . . 166 



Contents. xi 

LETTER PAGE 

320. To ONOFRIO PACI. A small work to be printed. No- 

cera, December 21, . 167 

A. D. 1778. 

321. To GIUSEPPE REMONDINI. Inquiries concerning the pub 

lication of The Admirable Conduct. Nocera de Pagani, 
February 20, . . . . . . . . 168 

322. To THE SAME. Recommendation to print the above-men 

tioned work. Nocera, March 23, 169 

323. To THE SAME. Recommendation to print the new Moral 

and The Admirable Conduct. Nocera, April 19, . .171 

324. To THE SAME. His correspondence with Abbe Nonnotte. 

The conversion of Voltaire. Nocera, May 28, . . 172 

325. To THE SAME. Various reports of the death of Voltaire. 

Nocera de Pagani, July 9, . . . . . . 174 

A. D. 1779. 

326. To THE PACI BROTHERS. He empowers them to obtain 

permission to publish his works. Nocera de Pagani, 
July 29, . . . . . . . . . .175 

327. To GIUSEPPE REMONDINI. His joy and thankfulness 

that the edition of the newly-revised Moral has been 
published. Nocera de Pagani, October 21, . . 176 

328. To THE SAME. He asks for some copies of the Moral. 

Nocera de Pagani, November 17 177 

329. To THE SAME. Concerning the price of the Moral. No 

cera, December 27, . . . . . . 178 



A. D. 1780. 

330. To THE SAME. He excuses himself for not remitting the 

price of the books received. Pagani, March ii. . . 179 



A. D. 1781. 

331. To THE SAME. A request for more copies of the Moral. 

Nocera de Pagani, January 8, . . . . . 180 



xii Contents. 

PASTORAL LETTERS. 
A. D. 1744. 

LETTER PAGE 

332. To THE FATHERS OF THE CONGREGATION. The manner 

of conducting Missions and Retreats. [Ciorani], . 183 

333. To THE SAME. The manner of conducting Retreats for 

ecclesiastics. [About 1756], . . ". . . . 197 

A. D. 1762. 

334. To THE CLERGY OF THE DIOCESE. Recommendations 

and ordinances. Sant Agata, July 30, . . . ., . 204 

335. To THE RURAL, DEANS. Ordinances abolishing the a- 

buse of the chase. Sant Agata de Goti, August 30, . 208 

336. To Giui IO DANCO. He orders him to communicate a 

certain notice to the regular clergy, Sant Agata, Sep 
tember 7, 211 

337. To DON FRANCI-SO FILIPPO. He informs him of a gener 

al order which is shortly to be published. Sant Agata, 
September 14, . . . . . . ...... . 212 

338. To THE RURAL DEANS. Ordinance concerning the late 

Mass on festivals. Sant Agata, November 7, . . 213 

339. To THE PARISH PRIETS. The manner of making men 

tal prayer with the children during Holy Mass. [Sant 
Agata], ... . . . . ... . 21 ^ 

A. D. 1763. 

340. To THE ARCHPRIESTS, PARISH PRIESTS, AND CONFESS 

ORS OF THE DIOCESE. Ordinances regulating the ad 
ministration of the Sacrament of Penance during Pas 
chal time. Sant Agata, February 20, .... 218 

341. To THE ARCHPRIESTS AND PARISH PRIESTS. Suspension 

incurred ipso facto by those who say Mass too hurriedly. 

Sant Agata, November 28, . . . . 222 

342. To THE PARISH PRIESTS AND CONFESSORS. The com 

munication of a faculty. [December?] .... 223 

A. D. 1764. 

343. To THE SAME. Renewal of the ordinances of the pre 

vious year relating to the administration of the sacra- 



Contents. xm 

KTTKR PAGE 

ments during the Paschal season. Sant Agata, Febru 
ary 28, . . . - 225 

344. To THE ARCHPRIESTS AND PARISH PRIESTS. Ordinance 

concerning the celebration of Holy Mass. Sant Agata, 
June 8, . . . . . . . . . . 227 

345. To THE CLERGY OF FRASSO. Various ordinances upon 

points of ecclesiastical discipline necessitated by the 
Canonical Visitation. Frasso, July 22, . ." . . 228 

346. To THE CLERGY OF THE DIOCESE. Prohibition of cer 

tain games. Sant Agata de Goti, November 2, . . 239 

347. To THE CANONS CONFESSORS OF SANT AGATA. He 

reminds them of their duty to be in the confessional es 
pecially on festivals. [Sant Agata, November], . 240 

348. To THE CANONS OF THE CATHEDRAL, CHAPLAINS, AND 

CANONS OF THE DIOCESE. A otification I. [End of 
1764], . . . 241 

349. To THE ARCHPRIESTS, PARISH PRIESTS, RECTORS, AND 

CONFESSORS. Notification //.[End of 1764], . .244 

350. To THE CONFESSORS OF THE DIOCESE, SECULAR AND 

REGULAR. Notification III. [End of 1764], . . 252 

351. To THE SECULAR CLERGY. Notification IV. [End of 

1764], ... . ... . . .256 

352. To THE CANDIDATES FOR HOLY ORDERS. Notification 

I - [End of 1764], . . . ... . 259 

353. To THE PRIESTS AND CLERICS. Notification VI. [End 

of 1764], . .263 

A. D. 1765. 

354. To DON FRANCESCO DI FILIPPO. Orders relative to the 

execution of the foregoing Notifications. Sant Agata, 
April 19 265 

355. To THE SACRED CONGREGATION OF THE COUNCIL. 

Report of the saint upon the condition of his diocese. 
Sant Agata de Goti, July 8, . . . . . . 266 

A. D. 1766. 

356. To THE RURAL DEANS. He forbids the examination in 

Christian doctrine to take place outside the Church. 
Arienzo, March 16, . , - } ..-. ....<,. . 290 



xiv Contents. 



A. D. 1767. 

357. To THE ARCHPRIEST AND PARISH PRIESTS OF ARIENZO. 

He commands the observance of the order with re 
gard to the late Mass on festivals. Arienzo, June 10, . 291 

358. To DON PASQUALE MAURO. He establishes punish 

ments for the removal of certain abuses. [Airola, June 
27], .... 292 

359. To THE RURAL DEANS. Ordinance respecting proces 

sions. Sant Agata de Goti, June 30, . . . . 295 

360. To THE RURAL DEANS OF FRASSO. He inculcates the 

exact observance of existing ordinances Sant Agata 
de Goti, July n, 297 

A. D. 1768. 

361. To THE CLERGY. Various regulations of ecclesiastical 

discipline. [1768?] 299 

362. To THE SACRED CONGREGATION OF THE COUNCIL. 

Second report of the saint on the condition of his dio 
cese. Sant Agata de Goti, April 28, . . . . 301 

363. To FERDINAND IV., KING OF NAPLES. He represents 

to him the evil of duelling and the condemnation pass 
ed upon it by the civil and ecclesiastical authorities, and 
beseeches him to revive these enactments. [1768?] . 307 

A. D. 1770. 

364. To THE CANONS AND CHAPLAINS OF THE CATHEDRAL. 

Various points of choral discipline. Arienzo, Decem 
ber 29, 311 

A. D. 1771. 

365. To THE SACRED CONGREGATION OF THE COUNCIL. 

Third report of the saint on the condition of his diocese. 

[September?] . . . . . . . .314 

366. To DON PASQUALE MAURO. He insists on the execu 

tion of the ordinance relating to ecclesiastical attire, 
Arienzo, October 28, ....... 320 

367. To THE SAME. He declares his esteem for the clergy, 

Arienzo, November 4, 321 



Contents. xv 



A. D. 1772. 

368. To FERDINAND IV., KING OF NAPLES. He entreats 

him not to allow nominations to canonries to be made 

by the municipalities. [1772], . . . . 322 

369. To MGR. CARLO BERGAMO, BISHOP OF GAETA. Ad 

vice with respect to the government of his diocese. 
Arienzo, March 12, 323 

370. To DON LIBORIO CARFORA. Effectual means of diffus 

ing the knowledge of Christian doctrine. Arienzo, No 
vember 17, ......... 328 

A. D. 1773. 

371. To FATHER TERZI, DOMINICAN. A request to denounce 

certain injustices. Arienzo, March 30, ... 329 

372. To FERDINAND IV., KING OF NAPLES. He defends 

his manner of acting in the conferring of benefices. 
Arienzo, May 25, . . . . . : . . 330 

373. DOCUMENT declaring null and void the conferring of a 

benefice. Arienzo, September 28, . . . . 339 

A. D. 1774. 

374. To ARCHDEACON RAINONE. He asks his advice concern 

ing the conferring of a canonry. Arienzo, December 4, 341 

A. D. 1775. 

375. To THE PARISH PRIESTS. Recommendations with re 

gard to the teaching of Christian doctrine. Arienzo, 
February 9, 343 

376. To DON MICHELE Nuzzi. He will confer no benefices 

on strangers. Arienzo, February 27, .. . . 344 

A. D. 1776. 

377. To CANON CICERONE. Answer to a question proposed 

to him. Nocera de Pagani, July 21, . . . 345 

A. D. 1778. 

378. To A PRIEST. The obligations of a good pastor. No 

cera, October 21, 



xvi Contents. 



SUPPLEMENTARY LETTERS. 



1. To FATHER CARMINE PICONE. Recommendations with 

regard to the novices. [Nocera de Pagani, June, 1755], 350 

2. To A YOUNG FATHER OF THE CONGREGATION. He 

recommends the daily study of Moral Theology. [1755], 351 

3. To FATHER TANNOIA. Two cases of Moral Theology. 

[Year uncertain], . . . . . . . 352 

4. To THE SOVEREIGN PONTIFF CLEMENT XIII. He gives 

him an account of the Congregation of the Most Holy 
Redeemer, and presents him with some of his works. 
Nocera, October 24, 1758, 353 

5. To GIAMBATTISTA REMONDINI. A request for certain 

printed folios to which he attaches great importance. 
Sant Agata, May 3, 1765, ...... 355 

6. To FATHER ANGELO MAIONE. His solicitude for a 

sick Brother. Various charges. Arienzo, August 22, 
1771, 356 

7. To DON LIBORIO CARFORA. Orders for the removal of a 

grave scandal. Arienzo, July 19, 1775, . . . 358 

8. LETTER TO A RELIGIOUS ON THE MANNER OF PREACH 

ING, . . . . . ... .-. 359 

9. LETTER TO A BISHOP ON THE UTILITY OF MISSIONS, 404 

INDEX. . . ... . . . .423 



Special 

n. 

SCIENTIFIC LETTERS. 
(1771 1781.) 



LETTERS OF 

ST. ALPHONSUS MARIA DE L1GUOR1. 



PART II. 
Special (JTorrceponbencc. 

FIRST SERIES. SCIENTIFIC LETTERS. 
(Conclusion.) 



LETTER 242. 
To Signer Giambattista Remondini. 

He thanks him for a work sent him as a present, and 
speaks of the additions to be made in the seventh edition of 
the Moral Theology. 

ARIENZO, July 8, 1771. 

Most Illustrious Sir : Last evening, thanks be to God, I 
received the three volumes of Father Patuzzi s Moral The 
ology. I thought these constituted the whole work, but, as 
I see, they are only the smaller part. Let me have some 
time to look them over before you begin the new edition of 
my Moral. I wish to see whether there is anything worthy 
of note that might be added. 

I am sorry that I have to read the proofs of the third 
volume of the History of the Heresies. This part contains 
the refutations, and, consequently, requires all my atten 
tion. However, I shall try to give a glance at both. 



4 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

I have thought over many points to be added to the new 
edition of the Moral. I have noted them on the enclosed 
slip, so that you may know about them, whatever turns 
up, for they are matters that must, of necessity, be added. 
Many of them are already found in the Homo Apostolicus y 
but they are not as yet in the Moral. 

I thank you for the present of these three volumes, and I 
shall expect the others as soon as published. 

To return to the additions for the Moral. I intended to 
send you with this letter a small note on certain matters ; 
but on going over my papers just now, I see there are six 
or seven of these additions, all very important, and some 
of them rather lengthy. I cannot, therefore, put them on 
a single slip as I intended. I shall write them in a special 
blank-book, and send it to you. This work I shall begin 
at once. 

If you determine on printing the Moral soon, let me 
know, and I shall send you this blank-book, at least. I 
say, at least, for to send you the reflections I shall per 
haps make on Father Patuzzi s work, will require some 
time. And again, as I mentioned above, I still need the 
most important parts of the work ; for in the three volumes 
that you sent me, these treatises are not contained. Let 
me know how you would wish me to forward this note 
book to you ; for go it must, since it will contain very 
necessary additions. Shall I send it in a letter or through 
Signor Moschini? The latter is a long route; the former is 
safer, but more expensive on account of the postal rates. 
Still, it will be the better course. I shall have the notes 
closely written in small characters, thus to reduce the size 
of the package. 



SKR.I.-I77L] Letter 243. 5 

The volume of Sermons is not yet out of the toils. Had 
I perfect patience, this blessed book would have gained for 
me immense merit before God. 
I remain, Illustrious Sir, 

Your most devoted and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of Sant Agata. 

\_P. S.~\ I shall see that the package received with the 
books of Father Patuzzi, is sent to Signor Moschini. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 

LETTER 243. 
To the Same. 

He tells him of his endeavors to secure the royal approba 
tion for the Sermons for Sundays, and of the early trans 
mission of the additions for the Moral. 

ARIENZO, July 28, 1771. 

Most Illustrious Sir : Don Felice has written to you that 
I am awaiting the good pleasure of the Lord to see my 
volume of Sermons released, and also to have the consola 
tion of sending you a copy. I am still aiming at bringing 
my design to a happy conclusion ; therefore, I hope soon to 
obtain what we desire. 

For some time past I have been engaged upon the 
additions for the Moral, and, I trust, I shall be able to 
send them to you next week without fail. I shall forward 
them in a letter, that you may receive them more quickly 
and securely, and have them in time to arrange in their 
i* 



6 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

proper places. Please remember that I hope to be able to 
send these additions next week. 

Be careful of your health, and believe me 

Your most devoted and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of Sanf Agata. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 

LETTER 244. 
To the Same. 

He sends him the additions mentioned in the preceding 
letter, making some appropriate explanations and recom 
mendations, and speaks of the great difficulty of obtaining 
the royal approbation for his works. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

ARIENZO, August i, 1771. 

Most Illustrious Sir: I send you the additions, which I 
have hastened to complete during the past few days at the 
cost of much labor. They are not trifles, I assure you, but 
matters of very great importance. 

At the beginning there is a second Monitum which must 
be added on page 22, where the first Monitum prefixed to 
the Moral ends. This Monitum occupies three pages. 1 On 
page 4 of the note-book, there are seven additions pertain 
ing to different subjects, some of which must be taken from 
the last edition of the Homo Apostolicus; for I have re 
marked that they have been added to that work, but are 
not found in the Moral. 

I earnestly recommend the compositor and the proof- 

1 It began thus : Postquam Jucc typis mandassem, valde miratus sum 
legendo apud novam theologian, editam a P.Patutio, etc. It was in 
serted in the seventh, and in all subsequent editions down to our 
own times. 



SER. i.-i77i-] Letter 244. 7 

reader to be very attentive, for th^ additions had to be 
written in small characters. Many mistakes will, therefore, 
occur if the proof-reader is not experienced, and does not 
do his work with extreme attention. 

I take this occasion to remark that, in some of the notes, 
particularly in one, there are many errors in the space of a 
few lines. This shows that they were not examined by 
your regular proof-reader, who is, I perceive, both able 
and careful. 

Relieve my anxiety, I beg you, by informing me as soon 
as you receive this letter with the accompanying note-book. 

With regard to the volume si Sermons, I am in hopes of 
seeing it out of the toils in a few days. At present, it is in 
close custody, though I have been content to forfeit my 
reputation a little to effect ijs release. But what can I do? 
When the tempest blows, we must bow to the blast. To 
secure the publication of this work, I have thrown Naples 
into an uproar, and written memorials and letters enough to 
fill a volume. 

With sincere respect, I subscribe myself 

Your most humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of Sant } Agata. 

[P. S.~\ Just now I am in further embarrassment on 
account of the History of the Heresies. But there is no 
way of avoiding these things. He that appears in print, 
must arm himself with patience, if he would not die of 
vexation. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 



8 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

LETTER 245. 
To the Same. 

He desires him to withhold the new edition of the Moral. 

ARIENZO, August 18, 1771. 

Most Illustrious Sir: I have received your letter. In 
reply, I would inform you that I have already sent you the 
additions for the new edition of the Moral. I hope you 
have received them by this, also that they reached you in 
time to be arranged in their respective places as indicated. 
In them I have said what I thought necessary in regard to 
Father Patuzzi s work. 

I have been assured that all obstacles to the publication 
of the Sermons have been removed. In a few days, there 
fore, I hope to send you the co^py which, as I frequently 
wrote, I have had in readiness so long. I trust that you 
have instructed Signor Moschini to forward it to you as soon 
as possible ; for I flatter myself that the few copies I have had 
printed at Naples will disappear in a very short time, so 
great is the eagerness for them, if I may judge from the 
multiplied demands. 

I am finishing the new work on the Heresies. The 
second volume, which brings the historical part to an end, 
has already been printed. There is yet a third volume, 
which will deal with the refutation of the principal heresies. 
This I hope to complete in the near future, and then I shall 
have the honor of sending you a copy of it. 

Anticipating all your inquiries with regard to the new 
edition of the Moral, I had already written to you, by all 
means to withhold the printing. I was, therefore, much 
annoyed to learn that you had begun the work ; for the 
largest addition, and the one that most concerns me, as it 
is a reply to what I found in Father Patuzzi s Moral, be 
longs near the very beginning of the work, and is to be 



sER.i.-i77i.] Letter 246. 9 

added to the treatise on Probabilism. I should, then, be 
very much displeased to have it passed over or inserted in 
any place other than the proper one. 1 

I have also sent you all the other notes that were in the 
Homo Apostolicus; but in the Moral these notes must be 
arranged in a manner different from that in which they 
stand in the former work. If they were arranged in the 
same order, great confusion would result. 

I ask you again to withhold the printing a little while 
longer, until you receive the additions, if you have not yet 
received them. Let me know as soon as they reach you; 
for, as I have previously written, should they, unfortunate 
ly, be lost, I have copies of them. 

I remain, Illustrious Sir, 

Your most humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of Sant* Agata. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 

LETTER 246. 
To the Same. 

He inquires about the additions for the Moral, and informs 
him of the royal permission for the publication of the Ser 
mons. 

ARIENZO, September i, 1771. 

Most Illustrious Sir: As I have had no news from you 
for some time, I am very anxious to know whether or not 
you have received the letter in which I enclosed a sheet 
containing the additions for the new edition of the Moral 
Theology, The places in which all these notes were to be 
inserted, were distinctly marked. I beg you to write to me 

1 This was the second Monitutn, of which mention was made in the 
preceding letter. 



IO Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

as soon as possible, and set my mind at rest by letting me 
know whether you received my letter and the additions in 
time, that is, before the work was printed. Should these 
notes, unfortunately, have been lost, I beseech you to 
delay the printing until I shall send you another copy of 
them ; for I should be deeply pained if they did not 
arrive in time, or if this new edition were to appear with 
out them in their proper places. 

I wrote to you recently that permission to publish the 
volume of Sermons had been granted. But as the appro 
bation of the royal censor was misplaced, it was necessary 
to have recourse once more to our Sovereign Lord, the 
King, to institute a new revision. This evening I received 
information that the permission has been granted. In a 
few days, therefore, I shall certainly send you the copy 
that I have had in readiness so long. 

With the best wishes for your health and the assurance 
of my willingness to serve you, 

I remain 

Your most humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of Sanf A gat a. 

[P. S.~\ We have here a number of copies of the Truth 
of Faith, sent by mistake instead of the dogmatic work on 
the Council of Trent. Let me know what is to be done 
with them, and whether you would be satisfied if I should 
try to dispose of them at the best price we could get. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 



SER.I.-I77I-J Letter 247. n 



LETTER 247. 
To the Same. 

He sends the Sermons with some additions and corrections 
for republication, and tells him of another favor obtained 
from his Majesty. 

ARIENZO, October 3, 1771. 

Most Illustrious Sir: This evening, thanks be to God, I 
learned that the memorial authorizing the publication of my 
volume of Sermons has been issued from the palace and 
sent to the ministry. At present, some friends of mine are 
going around at my expense among the members of that 
body to influence them to have the memorial signed, so 
that we may not have to wait until after the feasts in No 
vember. 

God only knows the labor, the expense, the trouble, 
and the anxiety I have suffered for the past year and a half 
to reach this end ; for so confused were the letters between 
the Secretary of the King and the Curia of the Grand Al 
moner, that I thought the end would never come. Blessed 
be God who has given me the consolation of seeing all 
terminate so happily for his glory ! 

As soon as the work is published at Naples, I shall have 
the honor of sending you a copy through Signor Moschini, 
who, I trust, will be careful to forward it to you, as I have 
requested him. In this copy, you will find many additions 
and corrections. I beseech you to recommend your proof 
reader to be extremely careful in arranging all in their 
respective places and in the manner pointed out in the 
original. I ask you, also, to use good paper and clear 
type, as I entertain the hope that this work will be well 
received, and sell very rapidly. Requests for it are 
coming in from all sides. 

I have asked his Majesty in your behalf, to order that 



12 Special Correspondence. [PART rr. 

this work may not be printed at Naples for two years ; for 
the very booksellers to whom I would not give the book, 
have asked me for hundreds of copies. I hope this piece 
of information will be pleasing to you. 

On the last leaf of the book, I have had printed a list of 
all my works. Oblige me by printing it, if possible, at the 
beginning rather than at the end. I trust this can be done. 
If it cannot, do as you think best. It is enough that it is 
published. 

No more at present. 

Your most humble and devoted servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of Sant Agata. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 



LETTER 248. 1 

To the Same. 

The same subject. 

ARIKN/O, October 3, ryyr. 

Most Illustrious Sir: I send you herewith the long- 
expected volume of Sermons: for now, thanks be to God, 
the royal permission authorizing its publication has been 
issued. 

I have already sent you a letter by post, requesting you 
to recommend the proof-reader to be very attentive to in 
sert the additions in their respective places, and to make 
the corrections. 1 asked you, furthermore, to print the list 
of all my published works at the beginning of this volume. 
As the book is at present, this list is at the end. If the 

1 This letter was sent with the book through Signor Moschini. 
The saint informed Remomli-ni of it in the preceding letter, which 
was sent by post. 



SKR.I.-I77I-] Letter 249. 13 

change cannot be made, do as you think best. It will be 
enough that the list is published. 

I also asked you to use good paper and clear type. I 
have nothing more to add. 

With best wishes for your health and the assurance of my 
readiness to serve you, 
I remain, Illustrious Sir, 

Your most humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of SanC Agata. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 

LETTER 249. 
To the Same. 

He speaks of the measures taken to prevent the publication 
of the Sermons at Naples, and of a translation of the same. 
He informs him of the prohibition of the Homo Apostolicus 
in Portugal, and expresses his fears concerning the approba 
tion of the History of the Heresies. 

[AKIEN/.O, November, 1771.] 

Most Illustrious Sir: I have just received two of your 
esteemed letters, from the second of which I rejoiced to 
learn that you expected to receive my Sermons for Sun 
days on the arrival of the courier from Rome. I hope, 
therefore, that you have received it by this, and sent it to 
press. It has already been printed here, and they have 
begun to sell it. 

God only knows all the trouble I had to prevent the 
publishers here from printing this work, for many of them 
made endeavors, and great endeavors indeed, to do so. 
In fact, I was informed that one of them had printed all 
but seven folios. However, to cut short his proceedings, 
and to deter others from imitating him, I have obtained 



14 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

from the court at my own expense, as my secretary Don 
Felice wrote to you, a prohibition whereby the publishers 
of Naples are forbidden under severe penalties, to print this 
work of mine for several years, without my express per 
mission. I leave you to imagine the discomfiture of the 
printers and booksellers when this order of his Majesty was 
made known to them. 

Some months ago I gave this book to be translated, a 
work which is still going on. To-day I have written mak 
ing inquiries about it. 1 I should like to know whether you 
want only the Sermons translated, or, also, the little works 
that follow. For my part, I think it would be enough to 
translate the Sermons and some one or other of the little 
works that might be more necessary, as, for instance, On 
the Manner of Preaching, and the like. Let me have an 
answer on this point as soon as possible. 

I have learned that they have forbidden my Homo Apo- 
stolicm in Portugal. I was, indeed, much surprised that 
they refrained so long, as they condemned my Moral The- 
ology long ago. What would you have me say? God s 
will be done! 

For your consolation, however, let me tell you that, at 
Naples, this work sells well. My secretary and I disposed 
of twenty-three copies in a very short time. The proceeds 
ot this sale I have sent to Naples to be transmitted to Signor 
Moschini. 

As they prohibited the Moral Theology, they had as a 
consequence to prohibit the Compendium; for the Homo 
Apostolicus always quotes the larger work and, as it were, 
forces the reader to procure it, to be completely satisfied 
on the various questions. Yet it is clear that they have 
forbidden the work not on account of lax teaching, but 

o * 

1 We do not know whether this translation was ever completed ; 
but it is certain that it was never published. 



SER.I.-I77I.] Letter 249. 15 

because they think I am a follower of the Jesuits. For the 
same reason they have proscribed Antoine, also, although 
his doctrine is too rigorous, and this has gained for him, 
Jesuit though he be, the friendship of Concina and Pa- 
tuzzi. 1 

Speaking of Father Patuzzi, I should like to know 
whether he is continuing the publication of his Moral The 
ology. 

I trust that by the next post I shall hear that you have 
received the copy of my Sermons and the notes. Should it 
have gone astray, inform me, and I shall send you at once 
another copy with the same notes, all of which I have pre 
served. 

Do you know I had almost given up hope of seeing this 
work published ? To tell the story of all the obstacles that 
beset it, would require another volume. I had to work 
diligently one year and a half to secure its publication. 
This is a sign that it will produce much good ; for the devil 
has put himself to all this trouble solely to prevent its 
appearance. I am afraid he will exert himself still more to 
oppose the more elaborate and useful work, the History of 
the Heresies^ which is now near ing completion. 

As ever, Illustrious Sir, 

Your most humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of Sant A gat a. 

1 The saint s conjectures were correct. The truly stupid fury 
against the Jesuits, as Carayon remarks ["Documents inedits", vol. ix. 
p. 303, 189, 622, 263], did not cease with the prohibition of their 
works, but went so far as, in 1775, to issue a decree commanding 
under the severest penalties all the subjects of the crown, whether re 
ligious or seculars, and whatever their rank or dignity, to burn all 
books whose authors were Jesuits. Hence it is not surprising that all 
those writers were included who in any way soever came under the 
name of Jesuits. 



1 6 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

[Postscript of the secretary.^ Don Felice presents his 
compliments, and hopes to send you by the next post the 
portrait of his Lordship, which you so earnestly desire. He 
has had it made in miniature on a small sheet. They are 
now making the inscription. You will receive it enclosed in 
a letter. As the picture has been taken in half-size and 
without any special surroundings, you may give it any back 
ground you please. 

Do not mention anything on this point in your letters. 
When you receive it, inform him merely that you have re 
ceived something, but do not mention the portrait. Don 
Felice beseeches you to keep this secret, and not to say that 
you got the portrait from him. His Lordship has ideas of 
his own on this subject; but when he sees the portrait he 
will think that some Father of his Congregation has secured 
it for you. 

Don Felice hopes that he has been of service to you not 
only in this matter, but likewise in thinking of having an 
order published to prohibit the printing of the Sermons at 
Naples. * To serve you was his only intention. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 

1 This postscript was added without the knowledge of the saint 
a thing very easy for the secretary. Don Felice was one of the 
priests mentioned by Don Salvatore Tramontane, who endeavored 
to secure the first portrait of the saint from the painter Bernardo 
Caraviello (See Special Correspondence, vol. i. p. 198, note). In this 
letter, the secretary tells Remondini that he will send the portrait 
to him. But the publisher, we know not why, perhaps not to annoy 
the saint who was so opposed to it, did not place it at the beginning 
of the seventh edition of the Moral. It was only in the ninth "edi 
tion that he placed the second portrait, sent him two years before 
the death of the saint. 



ER. I.-I772.] Letter 250. 1 7 



LETTER 250. 

To the Same. 

He excuses himself for not writing the Sermons for Feasts, 
speaks again of the reason for suppressing the Homo Apo- 
stolicus in Portugal, and expresses the pleasure it would 
afford him to see the edition of the ascetical works begun. 

[ARIENZO, January, 1772.] 

Most Illustrious Sir: I reply to your letter to Don Felice. 
You desire to have a series of Sermons for Feasts. But 
take into consideration, I beseech you, my seventy-six 
years. I cannot now do the work that I did in days gone 
by. I am so shattered that I cannot stand on my feet. 
My sickness has so contracted my neck that it is with diffi 
culty I can read. I cannot eat either meat, fish, eggs, 
cheese or sweetmeats. Vegetable soup and fruit are my 
only nourishment. To write these Sermons on the saints 
would require a good head and much labor. 

You have done well in using the word Discourses instead 
of Sermons. If I mistake not, I had msyelf at one time 
intended to call them Discourses rather than Sermons. 

In spite of the prohibition of the Homo Apostolicus in 
Portugal, they are selling it at Naples, and it is becoming 
known in the seminaries. In Portugal, they have pro 
hibited the work for no other reason than that they thought 
me a Jesuit. But I wish them to know that I do not follow 
the Jesuits either in Dogmatic or in Moral Theology. It is 
true that I have been a commentator on Busenbaum ; yet 
everyone may see in how many points I disagree with him 
and other Jesuits. What is to be done? Have patience ! 
I beg of you to make it known whenever you have a 
chance, that I do not follow the teaching of the Jesuits. 

I should be very much pleased to learn that you will 
soon begin printing my ascetical works. It would be a 



1 8 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

great consolation to me to see this Collection before I 
die. 

Some days ago, I had to preach at the investiture of a 
nun. My discourse, it appears to me, was very practical 
and full of unction. It pleased everybody. I have had it 
copied in haste, and I send it to you with the request to 
insert it at the end of the Sermons^ as discourses of this 
kind are much sought after by those who frequently have 
occasion to preach at the investiture of nuns. I have had 
it copied in haste, but the writing is easily read. It will, 
however, be necessary to employ a careful proof-reader for 
it. It is short, but affords ample room for enlargement. 
As a rule, however, such discourses should be short, in 
order not to weary the assistants, since the ceremony oi 
investiture is itself very long. I trust you will be pleased 
with it. 

I remain, Illustrious Sir, 

Your very humble and devoted servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of Sant Agata. 

[P. SJ] Try to get me Duguet on the " Passion of Jesus 
Christ, or Jesus Crucified", and send it at your earliest 
convenience. Send me, also, a copy of the discourse men 
tioned above as soon as it is printed. 

[Postscript of the secretary.} Don Felice presents his 
compliments, and is glad that the article in question reached 
you. He hopes to receive a copy as soon as, etc. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 

1 It was inserted under the title: " Familiar Discourse to a Young 
Person taking the Religious Habit." It begins thus: " Dear Sister, 
of this day, on which you have the happiness of being espoused to 
Jesus Christ, you should preserve a continual remembrance, etc." 



SER. i.-i772.] Letter 251. 19 

LETTER 251. 

To Don Giulio Lorenzo Selvaggio, Ecclesiastical Censor. 
The revision of the History of the Heresies. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

ARIENZO, February 22, 1772. 

Illustrious Sir: I have been informed that Canon Giu 
seppe l has not seen fit to allow some things in the last folio 
to pass, and wishes, as the printer writes me, that I should 
come to an understanding with you about correcting them. 
Be so kind, therefore, as to write me at once telling me 
what has to be changed, and how, in your opinion, it is to 
be done, so that the Canon may no longer find any diffi 
culty. 

I have been very much annoyed by one thing, namely, 
that I received no letter from you, and therefore did not 
know to what to ascribe the delay. As soon as I learned 
its nature, I should have replied: " Let the Canon strike 
out whatever he wishes, and arrange everything to his 
liking. I am quite willing to do as he desires." 

To tell the truth, I do not understand where the difficul 
ties can be found in the last folio. I pray you, however, 
to write me at once, and let me know what is to be omitted 
and w r hat inserted. The Canon s orders shall be obeyed in 
every detail. 

The printer complains that he has been obliged to suspend 
work, though I have been extremely anxious to have this 
book published soon. To reply to the extravagant notions of 
Father Berruyer has taken a good deal of my time, and 
now I see new difficulties rising where I least expected any. 

Help me out of this embarrassment, I beseech you, as 

1 Canon Giuseppe Simioli, censor for the crown. 



2O Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

soon as you can. I have nothing more to say. Tempus 
loquendi, tempus tacendi [There is a time to speak, and a 
time to be silent]. If it appears to you that what is to be 
readjusted is not of much importance, I would ask you to 
make the correction yourself, and give the work to the 
printer at once, provided such corrections involve no con 
tradiction to what I have written in preceding pages. In 
a word, so long as you do not make me contradict myself, 
be kind enough to arrange the folio as seems to you most 
in accordance with the Canon s desires, and give it to the 
printer without delay. I shall approve everything you do, 
provided always there is not question of some delicate 
points which might cause my words to be sharply criticized 
at Rome. 

I have read over this folio. It contains remarks which it 
would be of no consequence to me to see changed. There 
are, however, some answers to objections, and they are 
important. Let me know whether any of them have been 
found fault with. If it comes to the worst, we shall omit 
everything, the objections together with the solutions. 

With regard to the supreme power of the Sovereign 
Pontiff, I am ready to lay down my life in defence of that 
doctrine. Take that away, and, I assure you, the authori 
ty of the Church is at an end. 

This (Sunday) evening I was expecting a letter from 
you, according to what the printer wrote me. He said 
that the Canon had spoken to you of coming to an under 
standing with me, and of readjusting whatever needed ar 
rangement. Once more, I ask, you to give me a detailed 
account of the whole matter. Let me have an answer at 
once. I am sending you a special messenger. I should be 



SER. i.-i772.] Letter 252. 2 1 

much pleased to have him return to-morrow evening, for 
which reason I close, as it is now four o clock. 
I remain, Illustrious Sir, 

Your most obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of Sant Agata. 
After an old copy. 



LETTER 252. 
To the Same. 

He grieves over the terms in which the censor for the 
crown expresses his approbation of the work, as he fears it 
will be detrimental to God s glory, the only end he has in 
view. 

[ARIENZO, beginning of April, 1772.] 

.... When he [Canon Simioli] says that I have not con 
sulted critical authors, it is equivalent to saying that I wrote 
down whatever came in my way, that I have piled every 
twig into my faggot. To assert that I have endeavored to 
convert rather than convince, means that I have written as 
a devotee, and not as a theologian; and to say that my 
reasons are shallow and my opinions dictated by the heart 
rather than by the head what is all this, but really to dis 
credit the work? What do these expressions mean, but 
that I have written like an imbecile? 

I would not dare publish this work with such an appro 
bation. I have not written it to gain applause for myself; I 
have written it for the glory of God. But what glory will 

2* 



22 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

it be to God, if this book appears branded in this manner 
by the censor? a 

But there is no remedy. Whoever engages in publishing 
must be prepared to die of vexation. If I had composed 
this work for my own glory and not for the glory of God, I 
should be in despair. 

I pray you to recommend me to Jesus Christ, that he 
may give me strength to bear this humiliation with pa 
tience. 

After an old copy. 

LETTER 253. 

To Marquis Bernardo Tanucci, Prime Minister. 
He dedicates to him The History of the Heresies? 

ARIENZO, 1772. 

Your Excellency: As I am about to publish this work, 
The History of the Heresies, there is no one, I think, to 

1 The following is the approbation of Canon Simioli to the Grand 
Almoner, although couched in somewhat mild terms out of regard 
for the saint. 

" Most Illustrious and Reverend Sir: In accordance with your 
commands, I have examined the work, entitled: "The Triumph of 
the Church, or, The History of the Heresies". I have done so as 
soon as possible and with much pleasure. In it I have beheld the 
mind and spirit of the most holy prelate depicted as on a canvas, 
and I have perceived how carefully he has labored to weave together 
this history of each age, not so much from authors renowned for 
critical discrimination, as from writers remarkable for piety and 
learning. In an appendix he confutes the heretics of ancient as 
well as of modern times by an array of arguments taken partly from 
the commentaries of the past, partly from the store-house of his own 
ingenuity. The faith of the writer is conspicuous in some parts of 
the work; in others, his ingenuity shines forth ; throughout the whole, 
his piety is perceptible. I think it may be published, if such is 
your good pleasure. NAPLES, April 2, 1772. 

2 Some of our readers may, perhaps, be surprised at the praise 



sER.i.-i772.j Letter 2 $ 3- 2 3 

whom I might more appropriately dedicate it than to your 
self. For, standing always in the most intimate relation 
with our most august prince, like him you have been most 
zealous in defending the interests of our holy religion against 
unbelievers and their errors, which are spread broadcast in 
their numerous writings. On every side is your worth known, 
not only on account of your extensive knowledge of correct 
jurisprudence and the good government of States, as well as 
of those branches of learning which form a truly literary 
man, but especially on account of the high rectitude with 
which until now you have filled the exalted position of 
Prime Minister of our Lord, the King, in which office you 
have shown yourself to be no accepter of persons, nor 
allowed yourself to be influenced by personal interest or 
human respect. These and other qualities which adorn 
your Excellency s person are universally known. They 
have won and they will still win for you the highest enco 
miums among all nations of the present and the future. 
But deserving, above all, of eternal praise is the ad- 
given to the famous Tanucci by the saint in this letter. But we 
have here a dedicatory epistle in which fulsomeness usually 
abounds; besides", the saint employs this means to further in 
fluence the minister to favor good books and prevent the circulation 
of dangerous ones. It must be said, furthermore, that Tanucci, 
though a regalist of the most advanced school, and, as such, op 
posed to the Church and Religious Orders in very many respects, 
was not a renegade, nor an avowedly impious man. He possessed, 
indeed, deep feelings of piety which he manifested particularly at 
his death, as may be seen in his " Life" written by Signor Pietro 
Ulloa, the Duke of Lauria. It appears that he had already done 
much for the good of religion, for which he deserved the praise 
given him by the saint. The following we take from Father Tan- 
noia: " Alphonsus had frequently represented to Marquis Tanucci, 
the Prime Minister, the great evils resulting from the introduction 
of bad books into the kingdom, and the wise and religious minister 
did not fail to apply suitable legislation to the matter. The intro 
duction of these books was prohibited." " Life of St. Alphonsus", 
vol. ii. b. iii. ch. 50. 



24 Special Correspondence. LPART n. 

mirable zeal that has characterized your endeavors to 
preserve pure and unsullied our holy religion throughout 
the kingdom, and particularly in the Capital, which glories 
in the title of Most Faithful. We had a new and striking 
proof of this same zeal in the extreme measures taken by 
you to prohibit, under the most severe penalties, the intro 
duction of works infected with heresy, and in the punish 
ment of those who violated these salutary laws by bringing 
in and exposing for sale in this city works of this kind. 
All these motives, I shall pass over the rest, lest I should 
weary your patience or wound your modesty by their 
recital, all these, I say, together with the high personal 
esteem I entertain for you, have prompted me to dedicate 
this work to you. I trust that in your kindness you will not 
disdain to accept my homage, and that you will protect the 
work and its author against the machinations of those who, 
being ill-disposed toward our holy faith, will do their ut 
most to bring both into disrepute. 

Begging our divine Lord to bless you with all temporal 
and spiritual favors in reward for your merit, and to pre 
serve your Excellency many years for the welfare of our 
entire kingdom, 

I remain, your Excellency s 

Most humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of Sant Agata. 

After the folio printed at the beginning of the work. 



SER.1.-1772.] Letter 2 $ 4- 2 5 

LETTER 254. 

To Father Pietro Paolo Blasucci, Superior of the House at 
Girgenti, in Sicily. 

Joy of the saint at the cessation of the persecution at Gir- 
genti which he ascribes to a particular intervention of Divine 
Providence. Precautions for the future. 

Live Jesus, Joseph, and Mary ! 

ARIENZO, May 14, 1772. 

Very great, indeed , was the consolation your letter 
afforded me. 1 I am very thankful to your Reverence for 

1 The letter of Father Blasucci, to which the saint replies, is as 
follows : 

" Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

Right Reverend and Most Dear Father: If I have delayed 
writing to you for reasons which I shall presently mention, let this 
long letter compensate for my remissness. In the first place, how 
ever, let me wish you the fulness of the joys of Easter-tide, and 
beg our dear Lord to preserve you and shower upon you his choicest 
blessings. My health is much better than usual. Father Guiliano 
and Brother Vincenzo have frequently been down with the tertian 
fever since last November ; but, at present, they are convalescent. 
The other members of the Community are still on the missions, 
which, thanks be to God, are very successful, being well-attended 
and productive of much good. The Fathers will return home 
toward the end of May. They are working, as they have been all 
along, with pleasure and in harmony, without sparing themselves. 

" I come now to what is of particular interest. God has been 
pleased to try us in a fierce tempest of persecution which lasted 
from February 16 to April 3. On the latter date, thanks to the 
special protection of God and our most holy Mother Mary, a great 
calm ensued. I did not wish to let you know of this storm till the 
end, whether favorable or adverse, had been reached. Indeed, I 
should only have grieved you by my recital, and should not have 
been able to console you until it was too late. 

"The cause of this persecution was as follows: Mgr. Lanza 
dismissed from his seminary a professor of Holy Scripture named, 
Don Giuseppe Cannella, a chaplain of the cathedral and a native of 



26 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

not having informed me of the troublous times you have 
had ; for on the one hand, I was quite powerless to apply a 
remedy, and on the other, such knowledge would have 

Girgenti. The reason for this was, as is now current among the 
people, that he taught the young theologians and others in the 
seminary, erroneous, heretical, and Jansenistic doctrines, in con 
tradiction to the Bull Unigenitus of Clement XI., which condemns 
the one hundred and one propositions of Quesnelle, Michael Baius, 
and others. After vainly admonishing the professor twice to be 
more cautious in his expressions, his Lordship, as report has it, ex 
pelled him from the seminary, and forbade him to hear confessions. 

" At first, this action of the prelate was considered unjust, im 
prudent, and ill-advised ; for his Lordship, having received secret 
denunciations against the professor froln the seminary, and not 
wishing to reveal to anyone the real reasons for the removal, has 
maintained a silence that is still unbroken. Accordingly, the 
townspeople, a curious, discontented set, knowing only what was 
on the surface, and imagining according to their own caprice the 
motives that could induce the bishop to such an action, began to 
revile tirst.the prelate, then Signor Papi and myself, thinking that 
both of us had counselled and approved this step. They called us 
foolish, ignorant, senseless, etc. Seeing, however, that they could 
not in any way injure his Lordship, or the dean, Signor Papi, com- 
Diota est nniversa civitas contra me, folium qjtod vcnto rapitur [they 
turned against me, the leaf made the sport of the wind], determined 
to scatter the fragments of that poor leaf through the air, and, if 
possible, annihilate me. The principal personages of the place, 
therefore, in order to cast an insult in the face of the bishop and 
cause him grief at our removal from Girgenti, and at having himself 
known in Palermo as an ignorant and ill-advised prelate, instigated 
Cannella to repair to Palermo, to publish and denounce the alleged 
misconduct of his Lordship, of myself, and of my companions. 
The charges against us, thanks be to God, were, that we taught 
Probabilism, were followers of the Jesuits, and maintained the 
doctrine of Molina on grace rather than the sound teaching which 
is, according to the extravagant and fanatical notions of Cannella, 
that of Jansenius, Quesnelle, and their adherents. 

"Cannella departed for Palermo on the 22d of February, taking 
with him fourteen letters of introduction to persons in the capital, 
renowned for their dignity, learning, and standing. Post after post, 
he wrote to his patrons and friends at Girgenti of the triumphs he 



Letter 2 54* 2 7 



caused me much anxiety and sadness. This morning I 
said Mass in thanksgiving to Jesus Christ for the tran 
quillity which has ensued. Our friends had, indeed, 

had achieved, the applause with which he was received, and the 
praises lavished upon his doctrines and extravagant vagaries. With 
equal effrontery, he announced the speedy expulsion of those resus 
citated Jesuits and Molinists, meaning ourselves, who, even as 
their predecessors had once persecuted the ablest theologians of the 
Jansenistic tenets in France, were now persecuting the most re 
nowned exponent of that School at Girgenti. 

" These crafty and meaningless communications set our adversa 
ries all aglow with enthusiasm, and they began their song of tri 
umph before the victory was gained. All this time, I said nothing, 
but remaining quiet, as one unaffected by such uproar, continued in 
peace and tranquillity, perfectly resigned to the holy will of God. I 
did not neglect, however, by prayers, novenas, disciplines in com 
mon, and generous alms, to implore God and the Blessed Virgin to 
allay the tempest. 

" As soon as it became known in the town that our departure was 
only a matter of time, many pious persons made vows, novenas, 
fasts on bread and water, and had Masses said, etc., that Satan, 
justly offended at the immense good we were effecting here by our 
missions, might not exult in our expulsion. 

" A good priest at Palermo, one from whom I did not expect such 
kindness, kept me informed of all that Cannella said and did 
against us in his endeavors to induce a member of the Council, 
Signor Targianni, to nave a memorial against us presented at the 
court of Naples. Acting upon this positive information, I wrote to 
Signor Targianni acquainting him of the true state of affairs. I ex 
plained to him the system of doctrine we follow, and our manner of 
life at Girgenti, in nowise contrary to the decrees of the king. 
This last I mentioned because our enemies had threatened to accuse 
us of making a foundation without the royal approbation. 

" Signor Targianni answered me very kindly that he was quite 
indifferent with regard to the whole proceeding, and that he 
would not interfere in the least. As I enclose his letter copied by 
Father Giuliano, you will be able to judge for yourself. Certain it 
is, that this member of the Council is pleased with our manner of 
life and the other items mentioned in my letter to him. But as he 
writes to me in the capacity of a minister of the king, using the 
royal seal, and superscribing Official , he writes somewhat re- 



28 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

gone about the ruin of our house in the right way, namely, 
in alleging that we did not have the sanction of the king, 
and that we followed the teaching of the Jesuits. 

Good God ! How can it be said that we are propagating 
the doctrines of the Jesuits, when I, who have written so 

servedly, though with sufficient clearness for one to divine his 
meaning. His reply has pleased Mgr. Lanza very much. At pres 
ent, quiet is completely restored. At Palermo the people are un 
deceived, and everyone is speaking in the highest terms of the 
prelate. Cannella, abandoned by all, is in the hands of the Tri 
bunal of the Holy Office to defend, if he can, his heretical proposi 
tions. 

" Now that the criminality of Cannella is known, the people speak 
of his Lordship and myself in a very different strain. For six 
weeks, they have called after me: Crucifige; [Crucify him!] now 
they chant, Hosanna, and Benedictus qui venit [Blessed is he that 
cometh] ! fTheir execration of us was changed into veneration, 
particularly after the exercises, which I conducted for the no 
bility of Girgenti, who came in crowds, and derived much fruit 
and satisfaction from them. Digitus Dei est hie [The finger of God 
is here]. It is, indeed, his pure goodness, and a tender proof of 
his special protection, for which T have thanked him, and shall 
thank him eternally, and I ask your Lordship to unite with me. 

" I have been told that a brother of Cannella, a Capuchin, has 
written to your Lordship all manner of evil about me. Do not 
believe a word of it. God, the Defender of innocence, has brought 
the truth to light. He knows the prudence, disinterestedness, and 
caution I maintain in my relations with the bishop, and that I do 
not meddle in anything that does not pertain to my ministry. Vice 
wishes to triumph without opposition ; but when there is question of 
faith, of religion, and of the common weal, every good Christian is 
a soldier of Jesus Christ. 

" I intended to visit you after Easter, but his Lordship is unwill 
ing that I should go just now, and I must obey. No more at pres 
ent. I kiss your Lordship s hand, and on my knees, crave your 
blessing. 

Your Lordship s 

Most unworthy servant and son in Jesus Christ, 
PIETRO PAOLO BLASUCCI, 

GIRGENTI, April 12, 1772. of the Most Holy Redeemer." 



sER.i.-i772.] Letter 254. 29 

much on these subjects, have expressly censured the teach 
ing- of the Jesuits in Moral and Dogmatic Theology? Shall 
we then be obliged to teach the doctrines of Jansenius, 
Quesnelle, and their followers? Let us be comforted, 
however, in seeing that God is protecting us. 

Do not think of coming to Naples, since his Lordship 
does not wish it. The times are troublous. It will be bet 
ter to wait for a more favorable opportunity. I have not 
received any letter from the Capuchin. If one comes, I 
shall answer it courteously, so as not to stir up the smoul 
dering embers. 

You do not tell me whether you received the books I 
sent you, namely, the Sermons for Sundays, and some 
other smaller works. I have finished my work on the 
History of the Heresies, including the refutation of the 
principal ones. This work has caused me to sweat blood and 
given me untold trouble with the blessed Canon Simioli, who 
holds tenaciously to the doctrine of Berti, and, consequent 
ly, cancelled many passages. At last, however, I secured 
the approbation ; but the permission of the ministry has not 
been granted yet. We must wait until the Secretary de 
Marco, 1 who, as you know, has been very ill, and received 

1 In his humility the saint does not add the account of the part he 
himself took in the cure of Marquis de Marco. The following is 
taken from the deposition of Don Salvatore Romano in the process 
of beatification (Summarium, 11.31, 125): "The servant of God 
was endowed with the gift of prophecy. On one occasion the Mar 
quis de Marco was dangerously ill. My uncle, Don Michele Metil- 
lo di Monte Sarchio, a most intimate friend of the marquis, on 
hearing this, sent me a courier in haste, telling me to go at once to 
the servant of God and ask him in his name to recommend to the 
Almighty the Marquis de Marco, whose life was now despaired of 
by the physicians. I went, and having told my story to him, the 
servant of God was much affected. On the following morning at 
daybreak, he sent for me twice in haste. When I arrived at his 
palace, he spoke to me these very words : Get a courier quickly, I 
shall pay him, and write to Don Michele that Signor Carlo de 



30 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

Extreme Unction, returns to business. As soon as the 
work is published, I shall send it to you through the 
Signori Consiglio, by the bark of Vietri. I am thinking of 
sending it to Signor Targianni also, and of thanking him 
for his kindness to you. From his letter it is easy to per 
ceive that he has been favorably inclined. Had he op 
posed, he could certainly have ruined us. Gloria Patri! 
Blessed forever be Jesus and Mary, who protect us so 
lovingly ! 

Our friends say we are Jesuits to call down upon us the 
anger of the court. God bless them ! Preach and publish 
it everywhere that we are opposed, and I more than all, to 
the teachings of the Jesuits. I speak of those doctrines 
which are not sound, for of their sound doctrines we cannot 
speak evil. In my History of the Heresies I have placed 
among the refutations, one, it is the last in the work, 
against Father Berruyer, who is a Jesuit; and I have 
scored him severely, because what he says is very danger 
ous to the faith. You will be pleased with this article 
when you read it. And not only have I scored Father 
Berruyer, but also all the other Jesuits who have under 
taken his defence. I know that my refutation will give 
offence to many Jesuits, but that matters not to me. When 
there is question of the teachings of our holy religion, were 
my own father to say what was wrong, I would use severe 
language even of him. 

Marco has passed an easy night, and will continue to get well, as 
Mgr. Lucci, the Bishop of Bovino, who loved him so much, has 
obtained this favor for him. He then took two small pictures, one 
of the crucifixion, the other of our I^ady, and said that they should 
be sent to the marquis, to be placed under his pillow, and that we 
should rest assured that the marquis would recover his health. The 
courier was despatched with the pictures, and in reply was told that 
on the same night on which the servant of God had said the above, 
the marquis had improved. He afterward recovered perfect health, 
as the servant of God had foretold." 



SER. i.-i772.] Letter 254. 3 1 

Remember me kindly to his Lordship, and tell him that 
I am highly edified by his zeal. Good God, where are 
we! To teach poor young men that they must follow 
Jansenius and Quesnelle ! To this pass have the learned of 
this enlightened age come! Enlightened age, indeed, and 
meanwhile souls are going to perdition ! Naples is lost ! 
No longer are the confessionals frequented, no more ser 
mons, and everybody is talking theology, prating about 
Holy Scripture, and dogmas, and commandments ! 

I pray you to write more frequently, and especially to 
inform me of the affair of Signor Cannella and the Tribunal 
of the Holy Office. I think his writings are known to 
many. The bishop, I think, possesses a copy of them. 
If not, it would be well for him to procure one. I do not 
see, therefore, how Signor Cannella can escape the toils. 

In your charity, do you all pray for me to Jesus Christ, 
that I may have a happy death. I have already one foot 
in the grave, and the duties of the episcopate are becoming 
too heavy for me. 

I bless your Reverence and your Community one by 
one, and to each I recommend the observance of the Rule 
and the spirit of harmony among yourselves. Let us 
remember that we are surrounded by enemies who seek to 
destroy us here in Naples as in Girgenti. If we do not 
show ourselves faithful to God, we shall presently witness 
our total destruction. Live Jesus, Joseph, and Mary ! 

Henceforward in writing to one another you shall not 
place on the envelope: N. N. Rector, etc., in order not to 
give any pretext to our opponents. I shall warn the Vicar 
[Don Andrea Villani] to pursue the same course in writing 
to you. 

BROTHER ALFONSO MARIA, 

of the Most Holy Redeemer. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 



32 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

LETTER 255. 
To Signer Giambattista Remondini. 

He requests some copies of his works, and informs him of 
the royal approbation of the History of the Heresies. His 
resolution not to write any more works on scientific subjects. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

ARIENZO, May 31, 1772. 

Most Illustrious Sir: First of all let me ask you to send 
me thirty or forty copies of my dogmatic work against 
the Reformers, The Council of Trent. A person to whom 
I am under great obligations, has urgently asked me 
for it, and I have not been able to procure a copy in Naples, 
as they have all been sold. 

Our Lord wished to mortify me by permitting that 
mistake on the part of your workmen. You thought you 
had sent me one hundred and fifty copies of the dogmatic 
work, whereas those that came were of the work on Faith. 
You need not have any doubts on the subject, for all the 
books have been examined time and again, and they are all 
on Faith. There is not even one copy of the dogmatic 
work among them. 

Oblige me, then, by sending these copies as soon as you 
can, via Manfredonia, through Signor D. Oronzio Noe. 
Send me also fifty more copies of the Exercises for a Re 
treat of Eight Days, and Reflections on the Passion. 
Those you forwarded to me I sent to Naples to be bound. 
To my great grief, they were lost on the way. This is a 
golden little work. I make use of it myself every day. 
Inform me of the price of the dogmatic work, also of the 
latter copies, and I shall send it to you at once. 

With regard to my History of the Heresies, another 
difficulty arose, and the permission of the court to publish 
it was not forthcoming; but, thanks be to God, only last 



SER.I.-I772-] Letter 255. 33 

evening I received information that it has been granted. 
As soon as the memorial of the ministry is issued, I shall 
send you the book roughly bound. It comprises three 
small octavo volumes, but I have had it bound in one. 

This work has cost me years of labor. I hope that it 
will prove very useful to the public, for it is on a subject 
never before treated. It has, indeed, caused me to sweat 
blood. This will be my last work, as I do not intend to 
write any more on scientific subjects. I do not want to 
have anything more to do with censors that have so tor 
mented me. Should I publish any work in the future, it 
will be only of a devotional character, as is one I have 
already begun, entitled : Thoughts on Eternity. ! Let 
what I have done suffice. I shall soon complete my 
seventy-seventh year, and it is time that I should begin to 
think only of death, which is upon me. 

I am waiting for you to tell me the. price of the " History 
of Philosophy", published in Lucca. I have received five 
volumes, and have nearly finished reading them. The 
bookseller, Signor Signori, told me that he would give me 
the sixth and last volume in May, and that this volume was 
given free of cost. But I have not yet received it. Kindly 
inform me of the amount I am to send you for the work. 

I have received from Venice a beautiful little book, en 
titled: "Jesus Crucified, or an Explanation of the Mystery 
ot the Passion", by Signor Cornaro, and printed at Berga 
mo. I have not been able to ascertain who sent it. I sus 
pect it is to yourself that I am indebted for the favor. If 
so, let me know the price of this work, also. 

To your future direction, I inform you that my secretary, 
Don Felice Verzella, has left me. He is no longer of my 
household. I tell you this, because I know that he frequent 
ly wrote to you concerning my affairs, but upon his own 
responsibility. 

1 It seems this work was never published. 



34 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

I shall send you the History of the Heresies through 
Signor Moschini. 

With deepest respect, I remain 

Your very humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of Sant A gat a. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 

LETTER 256. 
To the Same. 

He sends him the History of the Heresies. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

ARIENZO, June 15, 1772. 

Most Illustrious Sir: I send you herewith my work, The 
History of the Heresies, which has cost me many years of 
fatiguing labor. In my opinion it is a most useful book, 
not only for ecclesiastics, but for all classes of persons. I 
am speaking particularly of history ; for in this work is com 
prised all that so many authors, ancient and modern, say 
in innumerable volumes. It contains everything in con 
densed form, yet not so condensed as is to be found in 
some miserable little books. Here is found in compendium 
the substance of the most important matters ; and to do this 
has been my severe task. I trust, therefore, that it will be 
of great service to the public. 

A certain Signor Giovanni Vitto has written to me saying 
that he printed my Practice of Confessors, that is, not the 
larger one, but the small one in one volume, 1 and also my 
Letter on the Manner of Preaching. He has sent me. 
moreover, twelve copies of the Practice and as many of the 

1 " Practice of the Confessor for the Worthy Exercise of his 
Ministry." 



SER.I.-I772.1 Letter 2 $6. 35 

Letter, and he tells me that, having printed my Practice, 
he sold a thousand copies of it in a few days. 

It struck me that this gentleman had written to me and 
sent this present with a view of receiving from me some 
new work to print. I have written to him, therefore, 
thanking him kindly for his present and his attention, say 
ing at the same time that I should be glad to engage his 
services, but that I could not leave Signor Remondini, who 
has published all my works for so many years, and to 
whom I am under many obligations. I fear that my reply 
was not very much to his liking. 

To come to the point. I have persuaded myself that 
you would not refuse to publish this new work on the 
Heresies. In fact, I believe you once expressed the desire 
to do so. But if, perhaps, you do not care about doing 
so, let me know, and I shall, with your approbation, give 
it to Signor Vitto. I write you this in all sincerity, for I 
do not wish to offend you. 

Relieve my anxiety, I pray you, by informing me as 
soon as you receive this work. 

With sentiments of profound respect, 
I remain, Illustrious Sir, 

Your very humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of Sant Agata. 

[P. S.~\ In case you publish this History of the Heresies, 
let the proof-reader be very attentive to the additions, 
which are few. Let the compositor, also, be extremely 
careful. 

You will notice that in the second Volume [chap. xii. art. 
4], between pages 586 and 587, there is a loose sheet bear 
ing this mark - -. It is a note to be placed at the bottom 
of page 586, at the end of the marginal number 173. The 
reference is to be marked by an asterisk. It would be well 
to print it in small type. Do not be surprised that it con- 



36 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

tains so many erasures and omissions; notwithstanding all 
these, it is to be inserted just as it stands. It begins with 
the words: Qui si aggiunge che dopo tantc; 1 then im 
mediately follows the printed text, without considering that 
it has been crossed out with the pen ; for the whole thing 
must be inserted. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 

LETTER 257. 
To the Same. 

He informs him of the forwarding of the work mentioned 
in the preceding letter, and gives some directions with 
regard to the printing. He asks for information on certain 
matters, and requests him to withhold the publication of the 
Moral. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

ARIENZO, June 15, 1772. ~ 

Most Illustrious Sir: I have already forwarded my work, 
The History of the Heresies, with their Refutation, to 
Signor Moschini at Naples. It comprises three volumes 
small octavo. I hope it will please you, and that you will 
print it at once. This will be my last work, as I am now 
nearing my seventy-seventh year, and must think hence 
forward only of death. In case you should not wish to 
publish it, let me know. 

Tell the compositor that in the second volume there is an 
addition, or rather a note, which is to be placed at the foot 
of the page in very small type and introduced by an 
asterisk. This note will be found at page 586 on a de- 

1 This long note was inserted, and may he seen in the stereotyped 
edition of Giacinto Marietti. p. 262 and 263. 

2 This letter bears the same date as the foregoing. One was sent 
by post, the other forwarded with the book. 



sER.i-1772.] Letter 



37 



tached sheet which contains in printed form all that is to 
constitute the foot-note in question. Do not mind that this 
sheet is covered with marks and almost entirely crossed 
out. It happened by mistake. The print is still very 
distinct, and one can easily make out what is to he inserted 
in the note. The proof-reader, however, must be very 
attentive. I say all this, that you may know how to pro 
ceed. You will receive, also, another letter of mine in the 
work which I have already sent to Signor Moschini. 

I am waiting for information concerning the price of the 
" History of Philosophers", or "of Philosophy", a work 
published in Lucca, and of which I have already received 
five volumes. I am expecting the sixth, which the book 
seller Signori of Naples tells me, is given free of cost. 
This same gentleman directed me to come to an under 
standing with you about the price. There were two sets 
sent, one for myself, and one for Don Felice Verzella, my 
former secretary. 

Resuming my letter, I ask you to let me know whether 
or not you sent me that book on the " Passion of Jesus 
Christ", by Cornaro, Provost of Bergamo, which I received 
from Venice. I see that a certain Remondini sent it, but 
his Christian name is not the same as yours. If you know 
anything about the matter, inform me, that I may send him 
the price of the work, or, at least, thank him for his kind 
ness. 

I asked you also to send me at your convenience twenty 

or thirty copies of my dogmatic work on the Council of 

Trent. You did order your workmen to send them to me; 

but, unfortunately for me, they made a mistake and for 

warded the work, entitled: The Truth of Faith. About 

this error, you need not entertain the least doubt, for the 

books have been examined carefully and repeatedly. They 

are all Truth of Faith, and not the dogmatic work. Fur 

thermore, I wrote to you to send me at the same time fifty 

3* 



38 Special Correspondence. [PART ir. 

more copies of the little book : Exercises for a Retreat of 
Eight Days. I promised to give a copy of the dogmatic 
work to a friend to whom I am under obligation, but I 
could not find one copy in Naples. They have all been 
sold. 

I beg you to relieve my mind by letting me know when 
you receive the work on the Heresies. In the copy that I 
sent, you will find many manuscript notes not contained in 
the work as printed at Naples. 

With sincerest esteem, 

I remain, Illustrious Sir, 

Your very humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of Sanf Agata. 

[P. S.~\ I have still to inform you of a very important 
matter. 1 have been thinking of eliminating the text of 
Busenbaum from my Moral Theology, as this author has 
become extremely odious. Many, perhaps, do not care to 
purchase my work on account of the presence of his text 
the reason, too, very likely, why my Moral was pro 
hibited in Portugal. I ask you, therefore, to withhold the 
publication of the work, for I wish to suppress this author s 
text. To do this, as well as to arrange the order of the 
treatises so that there may be no confusion, some time will 
be required. 

The last copies of the Moral which you sent to Naples 
are, I understand, all disposed of. It would be well, there 
fore, to send more copies if you have the opportunity. 
You might forward them with the dogmatic work and the 
Exercises. 

I shall not send you the History of the Heresies this 
week, as I have to write to Naples for the title-page and 



SER. i.-i 77 2.] Letter 258. 39 

the indexes, which are still wanting. I shall forward it next 
week. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 

LETTER 258. 
To the Same. 

He speaks of the worth of the History of the Heresies, also 
of his resolution of recasting the Moral. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

ARIENZO, July 12, 1772. 

Most Illustrious Sir: Several weeks ago I wrote to you, 
but have received no answer. I have also forwarded the 
History of the Heresies, with their Refutation, a work in 
three volumes octavo, to Signer Moschini, who tells me that 
he is only waiting- for an opportunity to send it to you. I 
hope this work will meet the favor of the public, more, 
perhaps, than any of my previous writings; for it is a 
unique work, a compendious history in three volumes, 
compiled from many large tomes by greater authors who 
have treated these matters. Among all the books that I 
had to consult in composing it, the Church has none like 
this work of mine. 

In the copy that I sent you, there are some very beau 
tiful notes in manuscript, not contained in the work as 
printed at Naples. This Neapolitan edition has already 
been offered for sale and there is great demand for it. 

Set my mind at rest, I pray you, by informing me at 
once when you receive the work from Moschini. 

What follows interests me most at present: some months 
ago you told me that you intended to publish a new edition of 



40 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

my Moral. In reply I wrote to you several weeks ago to 
have the reprinting discontinued, as I wanted to eliminate 
from the work the text of Busenbaum. Now, however, 
that I have thought over the matter more maturely, I tell 
you that, if the text of this author were suppressed, the whole 
work would be confused. I should be obliged to compose a 
new Moral, a task that would require more than five or six 
years of labor. I am not in a condition to do this at my 
advanced age of seventy-seven years. It would be utter 
foolishness for me to undertake it in my present state. 

Should you, nevertheless, wish to begin this new edition 
and add the latest notes which I have sent you, I pray you 
to inform me of the fact though you should be obliged to 
write again and again ; for I have many important things to 
be inserted. These additions are not very long, but they 
are of the highest moment and belong to the beginning of 
the work. I should, therefore, be extremely annoyed if 
the new edition were to appear without these additions, or 
rather, these corrections, which I have already prepared. 
I have only to set them in order. At a word from you, I 
shall forward them. I expect an answer on this matter at 
once, together with the pleasure of seeing a line from you, 
for a long time has elapsed since I last heard from you. 

With si nearest respect, I am 

Your very humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of Sanf Agata. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 



SER.I.-I772.] Letter 259. 41 



LETTER 259. 
To the Same. 

He condoles with him in his great misfortune, and prom 
ises the assistance of Masses and prayers. He is sorry that 
his health prevents him from attending better to the sale of 
the publisher s books. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

ARIKNZO, July 15, 1772. 

Most Illustrious Sir: I was very much rejoiced to see 
again, after so long an interval, your handwriting in the 
letter just received, though deeply grieved to learn of the 
affliction that has befallen you. 1 

I can already imagine what it is to have anything to do 
with the ministry of the Republic. I assure you, I feel 
your misfortune as much as if it were my own. You need 
not fear that Masses and prayers will be wanting. This 
morning I said Mass for this intention. I shall say some 
more myself, have them said by others also, and have alms 
distributed. Moreover, I shall recommend this matter to 
two convents of nuns of excellent spirit, and particularly 
to the one founded by myself in Sant Agata five or six 

1 In lack of more definite inform itiou vvj think that this affliction 
was none other than the one related to a Father of the Congrega 
tion, in 1875, by a venerable octogenarian who had at one time 
been a secretary in the family of Remondini. " In his famous 
establishment," said the good old man, " Remondini had printed a 
beautiful cut representing the Church. Beneath was placed a large 
gate bearing the arms of Spain, and above were the words: Portic 
inferi non prcevalebunt adversus earn. [The gates of hell shall not pre 
vail against it.] The Spanish government was so incensed at this, 
that with serious menaces they demanded the life of Remondini of 
the Venetian Republic. The matter was made the subject of diplo 
matic relations, several persons of distinction taking part therein. 
But not until the death of the principal adversary of Remondini, did 
the prosecution cease. 



4 2 Special Correspondence . [ P A R T 1 1 . 

years ago. 1 This convent is the abode of saints, of per 
fect Community-life, and exact observance. I shall write 
to the nuns this very evening to make a special novena to 
the Madonna for this intention. I shall write, also, to the 
Fathers of my Congregation to make another novena. Let 
us place our confidence in Jesus Christ and the Blessed 
Virgin. I trust the tempest will subside, or, at least, turn 
out less severe than it threatens. For my consolation I 
pray you to keep me informed of the progress of events. 

I shall write to Signor Oronzio Noe at Manfredonia to 
send me the package of books you mention, namely, the 
copies of the Sermons for Sundays, and of the work against 
the so-called Reformers. I thank you sincerely for this 
two-fold present, as well as for the copy of Reclusio s " De 
potestate parochi". 

With regard to the " History of Philosophy", published 
at Lucca, I am waiting to learn the price which I am to 
send. The bookseller Signori promised to let me have the 
sixth volume in May, but I ha\ e not received it yet. I should 
be very sorry to have my copy remain incomplete. 

A few days ago I wrote to you that I had forwarded the 
History of the Heresies to Signor Moschini, and that he 
was awaiting a favorable opportunity to send it to you. 

I shall do all in my power to dispose of the Sermons and 
the one hundred copies of the work against the Reformers. 
But I do not visit Naples any more. Since my last sickness 
I cannot travel ; I can hardly stand on my feet. It is with 
difficulty that I say Mass. On the other hand, the priests 
of my diocese are not very fond of buying books. I am 
sorry that I cannot, therefore, sell all the copies you have 
sent me, as I should wish ; still I shall do what I can. I 
should earnestly wish, as I think I wrote to you in previous 
letters, that you would enter into closer mercantile relations 

1 The convent of the nuns of the Most Holy Redeemer, or 
Redemptoristines. 



sKR.i-1772] Letter 260. 43 

with some booksellers of Naples; for they can dispose of 
your books better than I. However, as I say, I shall do 
what lies in my power. 

With. the expression of sincerest regard, I remain 
Your very humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of Sant Agata. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 

LETTER 260. 
To the Same. 

The saint s interest in Remondini. He explains at length 
his reasons for not making a certain change in the Moral. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

ARIENZO, July 30, 1772. 

Most Illustrious Sir: I am in receipt of your letter of the 
1 8th instant. From it I learn to my great satisfaction, that 
you have been notified by Signer Moschini with regard to 
my work, The History of the Heresies, which he has on 
hand. 

I have already written to Signer Oronzio Noe to forward 
to me the package of books of the dogmatic work. As 
soon as I receive it, I shall let you know. 

With regard to the " History of Philosophy", published 
at Lucca, the bookseller, Signori of Naples, tells me that 
he will give me the last volume next month. Meanwhile, I 
learn from your letter that the amount due the bookseller at 
Lucca is thirty-two lire, four grains. This amount I shall 
transfer to your account. I am now waiting to learn the 
price of the last volume, though it seems to me that Signori 
says this volume is free. However, I am willing to pay for 
it if necessary. 

I eagerly expected some news about the difficulties in 



44 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

which you were placed, as I learned from your last letter. 
As you mention nothing of the matter in your present letter, 
I console myself with the hope that the storm has passed. 
Still I wish you would give me in your next letter a 
detailed account and relieve my anxiety as to whether the 
fury of the tempest has spent itself, and how things are at 
present. I have commended the affair in a particular man 
ner to our dear Lord, and I have said many Masses, that 
the Almighty would grant you his consolation. Moreover, 
I have given alms to the amount of twenty carlini to three 
convents of saintly nuns, among them that of the Capu 
chin nuns at Naples, of the strict observance of St. Clare. 
I have asked them to make a novena of prayers for 
this affliction of yours which I have so deeply at heart. 

You have written to me that I might distribute alms to 
the amount of fifteen ducats for your intention ; but I have 
not spent more than six ducats, as I have said above. I 
renew my request to let me know how matters stand ; for, 
if necessary , I shall have more novenas and prayers 
offered. 

You also write about my design of eliminating Busen- 
baum from the Moral. I did, indeed, entertain the idea, 
as I wrote you, and God knows how many times I have 
repented of not having fro;n the beginning made the Moral 
my own, without using Busenbaum at all. In my last 
letter, however, I think I told you that the thing would be 
impossible. I did intend to make the projected alteration; 
and, in fact, began work on one of the treatises, omitting 
the text of Busenbaum altogether. But 1 soon perceived 
that the elimination of this author s text left the work like a 
body wanting here and there an important member; in 
short, I constructed a work incomplete and confused. In 
making my commentaries on Busenbaum, I followed the 
text and cases given by him. To eliminate them would 
destroy my Moral. I should, consequently, have to begin 



SER. i.-i772.] Letter 260. 



45 



anew, and change the entire plan of the work ; for many 
things belonging to the first treatise would have to be 
transferred to the third or the sixth. Though I spent many 
weeks in arranging the treatise alluded to, which is one 
of the easiest, I did not accomplish the half of my task. 
From this, I should judge that, if I were in the same 
manner to compose and arrange all the treatises in the 
three volumes of the Moral, five or six years, to make a 
low estimate, would not be sufficient. To write the Moral 
as it now stands, required fifteen years or more. I have, 
therefore, thought it rash to undertake at my advanced age 
of seventy -seven, a task of five or six years labor, especial 
ly as I now have the cares of the episcopate upon me. I 
am so crippled in my hands and feet that I cannot write a 
line. I can scarcely write my own name, and this after 
having written the greater part, not to say nearly the 
whole, of the Moral with my own hand. Again, I would 
not be satisfied to let others write these matters unless I 
dictated them; for there is question of sin and, consequent 
ly, of something delicate and important. Let me repeat, 
then, that I see it would be rash for me to undertake to 
recast the Moral, and others have only confirmed my opin 
ion. 

Indeed, my Moral Theology has been sold in all parts. 
What does it matter that out of hatred for the Jesuits, they 
have prohibited it in Portugal? In Naples no work on 
Moral Theology has had a sale equal to mine, despite a 
prophet s not being accepted in his own country. More 
over, at least in the late editions of my work, the name of 
Busenbaum has been entirely suppressed. 1 Besides, every - 

1 The name of Busenbaum, whose text the saint followed, ap 
peared on the title-page of the Moral down to the fifth edition. As 
appears from this Correspondence, the saint would have wished to set 
him aside altogether; but, prevented from doing so for the reasons 
here given, he contented himself with dropping the name from the 



46 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

one may see that in comparison with my notes, Busen- 
baum s text forms only a very small part of the work. 

I repeat, the Moral in its present form has been well 
received; even now it is sought for and sells well. I fit 
were to be changed, we do not know whether it would meet 
with a like good fortune among the people. 

I wrote to you that, if, as you told me, you intend to 
publish a new edition, and for which I sent you several im 
portant little additions, I had some other very necessary 
notes to be inserted, or rather, certain points to be changed. 
When, therefore, you begin the reprinting, let me know a 
little beforehand, that I may be enabled to arrange these 
matters. The points in question are many and of great 
importance, and I should be extremely disappointed, if the 
new edition of the Moral were to appear without having 
them corrected. I do not think you will refrain from 
publishing the new edition because I cannot recast the 
work as I had intended. As I wrote you, this new Moral 
would be something impossible for me, and the present 
work still continues to be sold and sought after on all sides. 
Indeed, it would be difficult to find nowadays a Moral so 
replete with instruction, ancient and modern, as mine is. 
In Naples, it has been published in four volumes for the 
convenience of clerical students. This edition, however, 
gives me little or no satisfaction. Still I have noticed that 
the editor, though of the Rigorist School and, consequent 
ly, opposed to my System, which is neither Rigorism nor 
Jesuit, but between the two, calls me, nevertheless, in one 
place: "the most learned Liguori". I have no pretension 
to being most learned, but I perceive that my opponents 

title-page, in order to avoid the persecution which the name of 
Jesuit would call forth against his work. 



HER. I.-I772.J Letter 26 1. 47 

praise my work and use it. Fear not, therefore. The new 
edition will continue to have the same sale as previous ones. 
With the expression of sincere esteem, 
I remain 

Your very humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of Sant Agata. 

[P. S.~\ Do not fail, I pray you, to answer this letter as 
soon as possible with regard to the new edition, and also 
the trouble through which you have passed, an affair which 
causes me much anxiety. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 

LETTER 26l. 

To Father Pietro Paolo Blasucci, Superior of the House at 
Girgenti. 

He composes a clear and concise abridgment of his Moral 
System for the use of the Fathers at Girgenti, that all may 
profess uniform doctrine. The damage brought about by 
Jansenism. 

Live Jesus, Joseph, and Mary! 

ARIENZO, August 5, 1772. 

Last evening I received three letters from you. Once 
for all, I will not write to Targianni ; he is, as I have been 
informed by a learned man from Lucca, one of those who 
speak against the Probable Opinion, without knowing what 
is meant by probable, more probable, or most probable. 

Do not cease to proclaim that I and all the Fathers of the 
Congregation are Probabiliorists. 1 This is, indeed, the 
1 See Letter 185 of March 28, 1767, vol. iv. (Special Correspondence), 
p. 363, note. 



48 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

truth ; for I maintain that the Probable Opinion as such 
cannot be followed, since to act well, moral certitude is 
required. Mere probability, therefore, is not sufficient 
foundation on which to base the rectitude of an action. 

And this, though I have not expressed myself in 
these words, I have, nevertheless, explained in equivalent 
terms , when I repeatedly declare that to perform a 
morally good act, moral certitude is necessary, and when 
I reject as utterly false the maxim of the Probabilists : Qui 
probabilitcr agit, prudenter agit. [He who acts with 
probability, acts wisely.] As I say, I have not clothed 
my teaching in these express terms, but in the new edi 
tion of the Moral, which Remondini is about to publish, 
I shall explain myself in unmistakable language. When 
the opinion in favor of liberty is equally probable, this 
opinion may be followed, not because it is probable, but 
because in that case the opinion in favor of the law does not 
bind, since the law is not promulgated. It is the doubt, or 
the question whether the law exists, that is promulgated, 
but not the law itself; consequently, the law, not being 
sufficiently promulgated, does not bind, as St. Thomas 
teaches in a number of passages, and as all the Probabilists 
and Probabiliorists say. The learned Gerson, also, says 
that God cannot oblige man to obey a law if it is not made 
known to him. I beseech your Reverence to have this 
paragraph read to all our Feathers, that we may follow 
the same doctrine. 

It is true that, as your letter informs me, we cannot use 
this language in Sicily, as they are Tutiorists there. Ipsi 
videant! [Let them be responsible!] What afflicts me is 
the poor souls that are lost. O God, what miserable 
times! Jansenism is spreading everywhere. A professor 
of the archiepiscopal seminary said to me recently: "True, 
the propositions of Jansenius are condemned ; but why are 
we to believe that Jansenius maintained them in the sense in 



SKR. i.-i772.] Letter 262. 49 

which they have been condemned?" And he added that 
this sentiment is shared in by others at Naples. What 
beautiful language after the Sovereign Pontiff, as I have 
mentioned in the History of the Heresies, when speaking 
of Jansenism, has declared in two Bulls that the proposi 
tions are condemned in the sense in which Jansenius under 
stood them ! 

I bless your Reverence and the rest, and embrace you 
all in Jesus Christ. 

After the Roman edition. 

LETTER 262. 
To a Priest. 

He replies to some objections to certain passages in the 
History of the Heresies. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

[ARIENZO, August, 1772.] 

Reverend Sir: First of all, I send you a copy of my 
History of the Heresies, that you may defend me when 
occasion offers. 

With regard to what you write to me in the name of 
Father Don Gennaro Fatigati, I admit in the first place 
that the passage at page 851, of the third volume, does, 
indeed, seem to say that, under the Old Law, evil desires 
were not forbidden. I have already noticed this and per 
ceived that the words are capable of sinister interpretation. 
I have, therefore, had a sheet printed purposely to insert at 
the end of the book as a correction. 

Indeed, even students know that the moral precepts were 
the same in the Old Law as in the New, and this point I 
have explained at greater length at number 7, page 837. 
In the list of corrections it is worded thus: "In the Old 
Law punishment was attached to sins of external act only ; 
4 



50 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

wherefore many of the Jews, etc." I do not know how 
these words became confused, for this is what the passage 
intended to express, as may be seen from the fact that the 
punishment is designated. I do not understand, I say, 
how this error occurred, unless by a mistake of the com 
positor. However, it has been corrected in the supple 
mentary sheet. 

I sincerely thank Signer Fatigati and yourself, also, for 
the other matters to which he has called my attention ; but 
after a careful examination, I think there is no need of 
further supplement or explanation. Were I to explain in 
detail all the many points I have brought together in the 
Refutations, I should have to make four or five volumes 
more to clear up all the obscurities and misunderstandings 
that might arise in the minds of my readers. 

I say, then, first, that there is not -in the whole of theolo 
gy one single proposition, howsoever carefully enunciated it 
may be, that evil minds cannot distort into a false meaning. 

Again, many things must be understood from their con 
nection with other matters treated in the book. 

And lastly, words are to be taken in the sense of the 
principal topic under discussion, and in connection with the 
objections that they are to answer. 

Having premised these three points, I shall briefly reply 
to your remarks on pages 814 and 815. 

Your first exception is to what the book says : " The 
motions which precede consent are at most only venial sins, 
when we neglect to banish them from the mind as soon as 
we perceive them. It is only the consent to the desire of 
a grievous wrong that is a mortal sin." Your objection is: 
given that such motions are adverted to, we must see 
whether there is any complacency taken in them or desire. 
These, complacency and desire, do not precede consent, 
but they involve it (in a lo tengono imbibito). 

So too, you say, not only the simple consent to an evil 



SER.I.-I772.] Letter 262. 51 

desire is a grave sin, but complacency in the evil desire 
likewise. This objection, however, is not in place here, 
for it confounds complacency with desire. Here in this 
first passage objected to, I am not speaking of complacen 
cy, but of evil desire only, that is, of the commandment 
-non conciipisces, and I am dealing with Calvin (this is the 
topic under discussion), who maintains that it is impossible 
to observe this commandment of not having evil desires. 

There is no doubt that complacency in an evil object 
involves the consent. But this is not the case with desire 
when the consent is wanting ; otherwise, even the desire 
though banished, would be mortal sin I mean by the 
desire the thought of the evil, though banished from the 
mind. 

You say in your letter that the desire, as well as the 
complacency in a wicked object involves the consent. 
With regard to complacency I shall answer presently. As 
to the desire, we must distinguish between the desire of the 
flesh and the desire of the will. When the desire is of the 
will, it certainly involves the consent; but not when the 
desire is solely of the flesh, or of the sinful appetite, and the 
will opposes it. 

Let us now consider the complacency; for until now 1 
have been speaking of desire, and not of complacency. 
You object, in the second place, to what is said at page 815, 
namely: " If a person adverting to an evil desire, consents 
thereto or takes pleasure in it, he surely renders himself 
guilty of a sin grievous or venial." Here your objection is: 
given that the evil desire is adverted to, it is always a mortal 
sin, whether consent is given or pleasure taken in dwelling 
upon it, and it makes no difference whether we distinguish 
between complacency in an evil object or complacency 
in the thought of an evil object; for complacency in 
the thought of an evil object is a grievous sin just as 
well as complacency in an evil object itself, since sic- 



52 Special Correspondence. [PART ir. 

mil malitiam ab objecto cogitato, et imbibit naturam obje 
cti. 

To this objection I shall let St. Thomas answer. In my 
Moral this quotation from St. Thomas is abbreviated, but 
here it is necessary to insert it entire. In /. 2, qucest. 74 a. 
8 in corp., he speaks as follows: Sic igitur aliquis, de for- 
nicatione cogitans, de duobus potcst delectari: uno modo de 
ipsa cogitatione, alio modo dc ipsa fornicatione cogitata. 
Delectatio de cogitatione sequitur inclinationem affectus in 
cogitationem ipsam; cogitatio autem ipsa, secundum se, 
non est pcccatum mortalc; into quandoque est venialc tan- 
turn, puta cum aliquis inutiliter cogitat de ea; quandoque 
autem sine pec cato omnino, puta cum aliquis utiliter de ea 
cogitat, sicut cum vult de ea pr&dicare vel disputare, et 
ideo delectatio, qua? sic est dc cogitatione fornicationis, non 
est de genere peccati mortalis, scd quandoque est peccatum 
veniale, quandoque nullum. Unde nee consensus in talent 
delectationem est peccatum mortale. 

What St. Thomas says needs no explanation. I only 
wish you to note the concluding words: nee consensus in 
talem delectationem est peccatum mortale. Wherefore the 
consent to the complacency taken not in -the object, but in 
the thought of the object, according to St. Thomas, non 
sumit malitiam objecti malt. This doctrine is taught also 
by the Probabiliorists, as Cuniliati, de Pecc. cap. i. 7, n. 7, 
Antoine, de Pecc. c. 6, 2, Stampo in his Moral Theology 
for the use of the clergy, recently published, de Pecc. c. 7, 
2. Others I pass over in silence. 

You say further that in my Moral I have not added the 
words: cum abominatione objecti. But St. Thomas does 
not make this addition, and in truth it was not necessary 
for me to do so. I hold as certain the doctrine of St. 
Thomas that complacency in the mere thought of the object 
is not a mortal sin. 

With regard to the restriction: nid absit periculum prox- 



SER I.-I772-] Letter 262. 53 

imum consensus, this is, indeed, in place in the Moral, 
but not in the passage in question ; for here my purpose is 
to refute Calvin, who asserts that it is impossible to observe 
the commandment non concupisces. 

There are in your letter some other doubts brought 
forward which, I think, are without foundation. To an 
swer adequately would require me to write at length, but I 
think I can easily spare myself this trouble. Still I thank 
you for your remarks, and I thank, also, my esteemed 
friend Don Gennaro Fatigati, who has had you to write to 
me not in the spirit of criticism, but rather to shield me 
from the criticism of others. I beseech you to tell him 
from me that a writer should try to escape well-founded 
and merited criticism ; for, to avoid all criticism and all the 
misinterpretations that come into the minds of people, is 
impossible. Enough that every proposition can be rightly 
explained in a good sense. It is impossible to close every 
avenue by which statements may be distorted to a bad 
sense, and to satisfy everyone: this one wants such a lim 
itation, that one, another; one wants this word explained, 
another that. 

With regard to what you say about adding the clause: 
"after sin has been committed" to the words: "Man is 
composed of body and soul, which naturally are at war 
with each other", because someone might conclude there 
from that it is in the very nature of man to feel this struggle 
against reason, I answer, first, that here I am speaking 
of nature in its fallen state; secondly, in the opinion 
which admits the possibility of the state of natnra pura 
against those who deny this possibility, because then we 
should have to admit that God had placed this opposition 
of the spirit to the flesh in the very nature of man, it is 
claimed that this struggle would not be a vice or a fault, 
but only a condition of human nature. And the opinion 
admitting the possibility of natura pura is well nigh the 
4* 



54 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

common one. Bellarmine, Estius, Sylvius, Cajetan, and a 
hundred others are its patrons. St. Augustine teaches it 
without any equivocation, and St. Bernard says: Which 
are the two feet? That these motions are felt, and that 
they are consented to; the former is natural, the latter is 
criminal. "Serm. in illud Sap: Sapient? a vincit ma/itiam" 
See what I have written on this in number 13, page 902. 
[Refutation xii.] 

Father Fatigati, I know, has written all this out of regard 
for me, and I thank him sincerely for it. 

I have nothing more to say. Present my respects to this 
worthy priest, and recommend me to Jesus Christ. 

With the expression of highest esteem, 

Your very humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of Sant Agata. 

After an old copy. 

LETTER 263. 
To Signer Giambattista . emondini. 

On account of age and infirmity, he will not write any 
more scientific works. Renewed protestations of his regard 
for the publisher. The new edition of the Moral and the ad 
ditions to be made to it. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

ARIKN/.O, August 20, 1772. 

Most Illustrious Sir: I have learned with pleasure that 
you have received my work, The Triumph of the Church. 
This work has cost me years of labor, and it is the last of 
my life, since I would not venture to work long at the time 
at my advanced age. I am in my declining years. In a 
month I shall have attained my seventy -seventh year. My 
health is entirely shattered, my feet no longer support me. 
I spend my time in bed or stretched upon a sofa, and my 



SER.1.-1772.] Letter 263. 55 

head does not serve me as it did in days gone by. I have, 
therefore, come to the determination not to write any more 
scientific works. 1 I shall write works of devotion only, as I 
am doing at present, being engaged on the Passion.* I 
have collected some excellent things on this subject, and to 
it 1 shall add other small works on spirituality. 

I say this in connection with the publication of the Triumph, 
as I am afraid you have become weary of publishing my 
works. I, indeed, owe you an immense debt of thanks for what 
you have done. For myself I have not had anything printed 
for the sake of gain. It has frequently happened that after 
printing my works here in Naples, I have disposed of them 
for less than they cost me. If I had them printed here, it 
was only that I might be able to review them the first time 
myself, and expunge and insert many passages. Had it 
not been for this, I sho uld have sent them to you in the 
very beginning. I thank you most sincerely for all your 
labor, for through your instrumentality my poor books 
have received an extensive publication. 

Of the package you mention, I have received no news as 
yet. Signor Noe has not even answered my letter. I shall 
write to him again without delay. 

You say that, when you have completed the Triumph, 
you will send me some copies. I thank you for this, as 
well as for the many valuable presents of the kind you have 
most generously made me of all your editions. But let me 

1 The saint was unable to carry out this resolution ; for prompted 
by the zeal that always glowed strongly in his breast to procure by 
every means the glory of God and the salvation of souls, he again 
and again took up his pen, as we shall see presently, to treat of 
scientific matters. His works: "The Admirable Conduct of Divine 
Providence in Saving Man through Jesus Christ", "An Explanation 
of the Author s System on the Rule of Moral Actions", etc., are 
examples in point. 

2 " Reflections on the Passion of Jesus Christ, and other Spiritual 
Subjects, explained for Pious Souls." 



56 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

ask you once more not to send any copies for sale. My 
priests are not very fond of books, and I have no means of 
selling them. Father Ferrara is dead, and there is no one 
like him among the other Fathers for this work. God only 
knows the tempest through which our Congregation is 
passing. 1 

Speaking of Signor Giovanni Vitto, I fancied he might be a 
former workman of yours. However, he did not ask any work 
of me. Had he done so, his request would have been in vain, 
for I would not break off connections with you in favor of any 
printing establishment in the world, although at present, as 
I have just said, I a ri able to do very little. 

In your letter you again mention Busenbaum. In a pre 
ceding letter, which I hope you have received, I wrote you 
in detail, that to eliminate Busenbaum from the Moral 
would amount to making a complete jumble of the entire 
work. I should have to begin anew, change the arrange 
ment, and transfer from one chapter what I have said in 
another. This would be a task of, at least, five or six 
years, working as I did in the beginning eight or nine 
hours daily. It would be downright folly for me in my 
present state of health to wish to undertake this gigantic 
work, for which three or four persons would be required. 

My Moral, as it now stands, has been selling and is still sell 
ing everywhere. It is so popular in Naples that no other 
sells so readily. 

As you are about to print the Triumph, I send you the 
enclosed sheet containing some words that are to be changed 

1 He alludes to the war made upon the Congregation by Baron 
Sarnelli. At this time it had become more dangerous by reason of 
the accusations made against us to the government by malcontents 
of Sicily. 



SEX.I.-I772.] Letter 263. 57 

at page 815 of the third volume. This change is necessary 
in order to avoid misinterpretation. 
. With sentiments of profound respect, I remain 
Your very humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of Sant Agata. 

[P. S.~\ I send you, also, some notes for the second 
volume. I have just received another letter from you, 
from which I am pleased to learn that you agree with me 
about leaving the Moral as it is, adding only the notes that 
I recently sent you. As the first folios of the new edition 
are already printed, I intend to compose a Monitum to be 
placed at the end of the work, after the index. 1 It is 
begun, and I shall forward it as soon as finished. 

I send you, also, two other papers of additions; one in 
particular is very important, and is to be inserted in the 
Moral in place of a contradiction that I must correct. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 

1 This long Monitum is to be found at the end of the seventh edi 
tion, after the index, vol. iii. p. 201. It bears the title: "Auctoris 
Monitum pertinens ad quoestionem : an usus probabilium opinionum 
sit vel ne licitus aliquando." The reason for its strange position is, 
that it did not arrive in time to be printed in the body of the vol 
ume, as the saint wished. It is of so great importance and of such 
moment that without changing a single word in it, the saint in a 
subsequent edition, made it the introductory to a dissertation writ 
ten to establish and defend what he truly calls his Moral System. 



58 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

LETTER 264. 
To the Same. 

He promises him further assistance in the renewed perse 
cution against him, and speaks at length of the Monitum to 
be introduced into the Moral, and of some corrections and 
additions for the Homo Apostolicus. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

ARIKNZO, September 7, 1772. 

Most Illustrious Sir: From your last letter I perceive 
that the unjust persecution against you has broken out 
afresh, although not with so great violence. I trust, God 
will defend your innocence. I shall say three Masses for 
you myself, shall direct others, also, to say Masses, and 
have the novenas renewed in the convents. Let us place 
the whole affair in the hands of our dear Lord. 

A word now with regard to the Addition, or rather, 
Monitum, that is to be inserted in the Moral. As the 
printing of the new edition had already begun, in order not 
to interfere with the Dissertation that stands at the begin 
ning, 1 and which would have to be entirely recast and re 
arranged if I wished to join to it the large Addition I had 
prepared, I have concluded to place this Addition with the 
title Monitum at the end of the work, after the last table 
of contents. If it were placed at the beginning, in the 
midst of the many things already found there, it would be 
ot no use, since it belongs to the Dissertation just printed. 
Again, if it were placed before the index, it would escape 
the eye of the reader, who, as a rule, turns to the end of the 
book to find out anything new. 

But I do not send you this Addition, or Monitum, at 
present, because it is of very great importance to me, since 
it places my System of Probabilism in a clear light, and 

" Dissertatio de usu moderate opinionis probabilis." 



SER.I.-I772.] Letter 264. 59 

serves as the foundation to my entire Moral. As it is so 
very delicate a matter, in which one ill-chosen word could 
destroy the whole work, I have determined to make it 
perfect, and print it here in Naples so as to be able to 
review it myself, and arrange whatever may need correc 
tion in the proof-sheets. I have had it copied three times, 
adding several notes each time. To have it reach you 
complete and without any additions, I am having it printed 
separately, though apart from the Moral to which it be 
longs it is worth little. This is the last work I shall do on 
the Moral. It has cost me a month s labor. I had to 
copy it so often that this morning I am ill with fever in 
consequence. The fact that it is my last work on the 
Moral, is the reason I am so anxious to have it perfect. I 
shall leave the printed Dissertation untouched. It contains 
many things that I refer to in the Monitum. 

I hope I shall be able to send this Monitum in a week or 
two. I shall forward it by post, as it would not be safe to 
entrust it to the courier. 

I call your attention once more to the notes for the Moral 
which I sent you. They are matters of importance. If you 
suspect that any have been lost, let me know, and I shall 
send you copies of them. 

Among others was the following, which might give 
occasion to one or the other government to prohibit the 
book. On page 195 of the first volume, number 615, 
question i, after the first two lines, are the words: Possunt 
etiam \tributa imponere] Concilia et Pontifex, ex potc state 
indirecta disponendi de temporalibus, quando id opus est 
ad regimen spirituale. All this must be entirely omitted, 
and simply what follows : Ita communiter, etc., inserted. 

You do not say whether you received my last letter, in 
which I sent you some additions, or corrections to be in 
serted in the History of the Heresies, now in press, as you 
inform me. If a part of the work has been printed without 



60 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

these corrections, let me know, and I shall send them on a 
separate sheet .which I had printed here. This you might 
insert at the end of the last book in the third volume, as I 
have done in the edition published at Naples. 

There are, also, some slight mistakes which I perceived 
later. They do not make any difference. Thus in the first 
volume, page 61, line 2,- at the beginning the summary 
has St. Alexander; it should be St. Athanasius. On page 
65, same volume, the last line reads: e parte battere; it 
should read: e parte fatta battere. A little further on, line 
17, page 66, "At these words, Constan" should be "at these 
words, Constantine". These are, I say, only trifles; but 
the additions that I sent you were very important, and I 
should like to know whether you have received them. 

Should you intend to publish the Homo Apostolicus 
again, I beg you to inform me of the fact beforehand ; for I 
must change a number of things in it, particularly what is 
said in the beginning of the first volume, chapter iii. page 7, 
number 22, De conscientia probabili. What I say there 
must be changed according to what I have written in the 
Monitum mentioned in the preceding. 

Relieve my anxiety by letting me know how your affair 
with the government is progressing. With sentiments of 
most profound respect, 

I remain, Illustrious Sir, 

Your very humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of Sanf Agata. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 



SER.I.-I772.] Letter 265. 61 

LETTER 265. 

To Signer Giuseppe Remondini. 
The same subject. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

ARIENZO, October 19, 1772. 

Most Illustrious Sir: I reply to your letter of the 3d 
instant. Rest assured, I shall continue to pray our good 
Lord to free you entirely from the present persecution. I 
have already taken a note of all the alms expended, and 
shall send it to you in due time. I did not expend the 
amount you told me, as I did not deem it necessary. 

I thought that in your last letter, you would inform me 
of the receipt of the Monitum. I trust you have received it 
by this time, and I beg you to give me some news con 
cerning it, as I am extremely anxious to have it appear in 
the Moral, and be read by the people. I repeat my re 
quest, that you insert it at the end of the work, as it will be 
thus found more easily. I have had a few copies printed 
here to present to certain persons. They have been literally 
snatched from my hands, and others are still eagerly 
sought after. This Monitum is short, but it is all pith, all 
marrow. In narrow compass, it clears up all doubts raised 
on this subject. 

I understand you with regard to the additions already 
inserted in the Moral, and the omission of such points as 
could cause confusion. Let me know how far the printing 
of the History of the Heresies is advanced. It is very 
popular here. 

As to the Homo Apostolicus and the few small additions 
that should be inserted, I pray you to let me know when 
you intend to publish a new edition of the work. I shall 
then collect these matters and send them to you. At pres 
ent, I am occupied with other work. 



62 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

It strikes me that I have several times asked you to send 
me three or four copies of Sermons for Sundays, which was 
printed by you. I wished to have this work containing the 
notes I had forwarded to you. Up to the present, how 
ever, you have not said a word about them. Pray, answer 
my letter, and send me those three or four copies when 
opportunity offers. 

I have already told you that I received the package from 
Manfredonia. I have sent the books to be bound. 

With sentiments of profound respect, 

Your very humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of Sant Agata. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 



LETTER 266. 
To Signer Giambattista Remondini. 

He informs him of the receipt of the Sermons for Sundays, 
and praises the edition. He speaks of the other works at 
which he is working as his health permits. 

Live Jesus, Joseph, and Mary ! 

ARIENZO, October 29, 1772. 

Most Illustrious Sir: I reply to your letter of the lyth 
instant. First of all, I beg you to pardon my mistake in 
asking you for two or three copies of Sermons for Sundays. 
My secretary tells me just now that you had already sent 
me twenty-five copies. I thought that I had not one. I 
examined the package and found the twenty-five copies 
together with the others which you sent for sale. The 
edition is beautiful, the type good, the paper excellent. I 



SER.I.-I772.1 Letter 266. 63 

am very thankful to you for this, and I shall do all in my 
power to further the sale. 

I am sorry that they have already published a new edi 
tion here in Naples. I shall inform the booksellers that 
your edition contains many notes not to be found in the 
Neapolitan reprint. 

I am glad to learn that you received the Monitum. I 
was very anxious in regard to it. 

In a few days, I expect some Fathers of my Congregation 
here, and I shall take counsel with them as to the best 
means of selling all your publications, which I have pre 
served in a special room. I am sorry that I am so disabled 
and cannot go to Naples. If I went, I should speak with 
some of the booksellers about a more speedy way of effect 
ing the sale. I should endeavor to induce someone of them to 
purchase the whole lot or, at least, a large part of them on 
his own account. The booksellers find ways of disposing 
of books when they choose ; but when not selling them on 
their own account, they easily become disgusted with the 
work. But enough, I shall try to do my best. 

At present, I am working upon the book on the 
Passion. 1 To it are to be joined two other little works, one 
of which I have already completed ; the other is about half- 
finished. But I cannot work eight or ten hours a day, as I 
once did, partly on account of my advanced age, and part 
ly because of my sickness. I am obliged to ride out morn 
ing and afternoon for a little exercise, as I cannot walk on 
account of my paralysis. The physicians have ordered 
this, in order to preserve my life a little longer. I try not 
to lose a moment, however, when I can steal a little time 
from the affairs of the episcopate. 

I am daily expecting death. I have received Holy Viat 
icum four times, and Extreme Unction twice. I do not 
1 " Pious Reflections on the Passion of [esus Christ." 



64 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

forget to pray for you, that you may continue in good 
health, and be successful in all your undertakings, chiefly 
in the great affair of eternal salvation. 
With sentiments of profound respect, 
I remain, Illustrious Sir, 

Your very humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of Sant Agata. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 

LETTER 267. 
To the Same. 

His joy at the completion of the seventh edition of the 
Moral. He recommends the publication of the History of 
the Heresies, sending an addition which is to be inserted. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

ARIENZO, November 17, 1772. 

Most Illustrious Sir: I reply to your letter of the Qth 
instant. I .am pleased to learn from it that the Moral has 
been published with the notes, and that the Monitum has 
been placed at the end as I requested. For all this, I thank 
you most heartily. 

Yes, I have received all the copies of Sermons for Sun 
days and of the dogmatic work in good order. I am now 
racking my brain, and consulting with others as to the 
best manner of selling your copies. It is too bad I cannot 
go to Naples to speak in person with the booksellers on the 
matter. I am thinking of getting some one to go about the 
kingdom selling them. If a suitable person were found, 
one that understands this business and is trustworthy, I 
think we should dispose of all in a short time. But I am 
afraid of being cheated. I shall do what I can. Our 



SER.I.-I772.] Letter 267. 65 

amiable booksellers here at Naples are, for the most 
part, a set of beggars, and will take up no books but their 
own. 

I trust you will soon begin to print the History of the 
Heresies, of which I have received some high encomiums 
from Lucca. I send you herewith a small slip, and beg 
you to have it fastened with a wafer at the place to which 
it belongs, namely, the top of page 628, of the third 
volume. It is not a note of any kind to be inserted, but 
merely these two words : piu Dei, which are to be omitted 
in order to avoid any ambiguity that might seem to exist. 
I pray you to attach this little slip in its proper place at 
once. For a long time, I had it prepared to send to you, 
and I should be very much annoyed if the work were 
published without this correction. 1 

Above all, let me entreat you not to omit publishing this 
work ; for in my opinion, it is truly remarkable. I have 
labored at it faithfully for several years, in order to make it 
clear and concise, and I was assisted in my labor by two 
very learned persons. Upon the subject treated, I am 
certain that there is not a book like it ; for it is a compend 
ium of what many writers, ancient and modern, have said 
upon the matter. 

I agree to your arrangement concerning the Homo Apo- 
stolicus. However, do not forget to inform me without 
delay when you are going to publish a new edition. The 
copies of this work have met with the best sale here. 

1 Before this correction was made, the passage cited read, as 
follows, in the Neapolitan edition : " If the Christians did not firmly 
believe in the divinity of the three Divine Persons they would have 
answered the Gentiles that they only considered the Father as 
God, and not the other two Persons; but they did not answer thus. 
They professed constantly and without the fear of admitting a 
plurality of Gods {piit Dei] that the Son and the Holy Ghost were 
God equally with the Father." 

5 



66 Special Correspondence, [PART n 

I shall continue to pray, and have prayers said for the 
complete cessation of the persecution against you. Mean 
while, I remain, Illustrious Sir, 

Your very humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of Sant Agata. 

\P. S.~\ I perceive from your letter that, when an 
opportunity offers, you will send me some copies of the 
work [History of the Heresies] as a present. I thank you 
sincerely for this as I have always done, seeing that you 
are so profuse in your gifts to me. But I pray you not to 
send many copies for sale. Do not increase my anxiety at 
beholding so many of your publications piled up around me 
without my being able to sell them. It will be sufficient 
to send me about twenty-five copies to be sold ; for I shall 
see that these are disposed of here in my diocese. If, later 
on, I receive further requests for them, I shall notify you 
to send them. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 

LETTER 268. 
To the Same. 

He proposes an advantageous means of selling the books 
on hand; and after explaining the motive which guided him 
in all his writings, he anxiously asks why the publisher does 
not wish to print his ascetical works and the History of the 
Heresies. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

ARIENZO, January 31, 1773. 

Most Illustrious Sir : Some days ago I received informa 
tion from the Brother of our Congregation at Naples that, 
acting upon the advice I gave him, he had found among 
the booksellers there an honest and trustworthy man who 



SER.I.-I773-] Letter 268. 67 

would take all the publications you have sent me to be 
sold, but that he would like to receive a consideration 
in my opinion, one of no small importance. Still I beg of 
you to reflect that in my possession your works can have 
only a tardy sale. Having lost Father Ferrara, who suc 
ceeded in selling some by disposing of them for Mass 
intentions, I say some, because the greater number still 
remain, I am in constant dread lest the mice or some 
other misfortune destroy those remaining. On the other 
hand, so long as the works are in our possession, they will 
not easily find a market in Naples. Booksellers usually 
succeed in selling the works on hand, whereas the Brother 
whom I retain at Naples, not keeping a store, will hardly 
sell one in a century. I feel all this very keenly, for I look 
upon your interests as my own. It was for this reason that 
I charged the Brother to inquire diligently among the 
booksellers for some trustworthy person who would take 
the works on his own account. 

I know that the person selected is well qualified ; but he 
is poor, and, as I have mentioned above, I think the con 
sideration he asks is rather large. I pray you let me know 
whether you will be satisfied for me to act with perfect 
freedom, and make from the sale of your books whatever I 
can. I shall try to get as much as possible for them. I 
await your reply. Be assured, however, that I have no 
particular interest in this man. All my interest is in your 
favor. Advise as you think best, and I shall follow your 
directions. 

I have already given my new work on the Passion 1 to 
the press. Two other little works 2 will be joined to it, one 
of which, against the Deists, has cost me six months labor. 
In the composition of this work I have consulted numerous 

1 " Pious Reflections on the Passion of Jesus Christ." 

2 " Reflections on the Truths of Divine Revelation against the 
Principal Objections of the Deists." 



68 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

French and Italian authors, and I think it will prove very 
useful in these times. I have been thinking of print 
ing it separately, as well as placing it in the work of which 
I speak. 

The third little work J contains devout thoughts and 
maxims, and is somewhat similar to the chapters and reflec 
tions of Thomas a Kern pis. The volume will be in duodecimo; 
but with the addition of these little works it will be more 
bulky than I anticipated. However, as soon as I have 
finished it, I shall send it to you, that you may publish it 
if you see fit. If you do not care about printing it, do 
not trouble yourself about my suggestion. 

As is my wont, I shall have a few copies printed here so 
that, if it meets with public approbation, some one else 
may publish a new edition. If the people do not care for 
it, I shall not take the trouble of having it reprinted. It is 
sufficient for me that my intention in composing it is good, 
namely, for the glory of God. 

I have said all this, because, some time ago, you were 
thinking of publishing a complete edition of my ascetical 
works, and you wrote me several letters on the subject. 
As you have not yet begun, I take it as a sign that you no 
longer entertain the idea ; perhaps you do not consider it 
expedient. I resign myself in this matter entirely to the will 
of God, also to yours. 

I perceive that you have not begun to print the three 
volumes of the History of the Heresies, nor do you even 
mention it. I thought the work would be published im 
mediately ; for it is the fruit of much labor and very useful 
to ecclesiastics and people of the world. Yet, I repeat, do 
in this matter what you think most favorable to your own 
interests. I shall not consider myself slighted should it not 
be given to the press. 

I would, however, ask you, in case some gifted critic 

1 " Devout Reflections on Various Points of Spiritual Life." 



SER. I.-I773-1 Letter 269. 69 

has passed a severe censure on it, to inform me, and explain 
the defects he noticed ; for I can prove that his censure is 
unjust. Satisfy my curiosity on this point, I beg of you. 
Here in Naples the work has passed [per ignem et aquani\ 
through fire and water. It was examined most scrupulous 
ly by a very severe Rigorist. Pardon me the weariness I 
have caused you in writing thus at length, contrary to my 
custom. 

I pray you to answer this letter, and particularly with 
regard to the plan of delivering to the person mentioned all 
your works on hand. If, however, you wish me to retain 
them, I shall do so. 

With sentiments of profound respect, 

Your very humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of Sant Agata. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 

LETTER 269. 
To the Same. 

He inquires concerning the receipt of the preceding letter, 
asks him to attend to a certain business matter, and informs 
him of the favorable reception of his works in Germany. 

Live Jesus, Joseph, and Mary! 

ARIENZO, March 2, 1773. 

Most Illustrious Sir: It must be more than a month and 
a half since I wrote you a very long letter, informing you 
that we had found a certain person ready to take all your 
books, but for a consideration. In the same letter, I spoke 
also of various other matters. I have, therefore, been 
anxiously awaiting a reply ; but as yet none has come. Do 
me the favor of letting me know whether you received that 
5* 



70 Special Correspondence. [PART u 

letter or not; for if you have not received it, I shall have to 
write to you again about those matters. 

Allow me to recommend the following to your kindness. 
A religious residing at Trent has written in the most press 
ing haste to a certain person to learn whether a work he 
mentions has been prohibited by the Pope. The answer is 
enclosed in the accompanying letter. The person con 
sulted, who know r s well the friendly relations that exist 
between us, earnestly requests you to have this answer 
forwarded as quickly as possible to the religious to whom it 
is directed. 

Again I beseech you to inform me immediately whether 
you have received my letter treating of your books. 

With sentiments of profound respect, 
I remain, Illustrious Sir, 

Your very humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of Sant Agata. 

\_P. S.~\ I have received a letter from some one, not a 
resident in the kingdom, saying that the Germans have 
received my Moral Theology very favorably, also my spir 
itual writings, several of which have been translated into 
their language. Soli Deo honor et gloria! [To God alone 
be the honor and glory !] 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 

LETTER 270. 
To the Same. 

The great affection of the saint for Remondini. 
Live Jesus, Joseph, and Mary ! 

ARIENZO, March 27, 1773. 

Most IllustiB^us Sir : ^Only to-day was I thinking that, 
perhaps, some serio<^?liifss^uight be the cause of my not 




SER.I.-I773-J Letter 270. 71 

receiving any letters from you, and particularly with regard 
to the sale of your books and the printing of the History 
of the Heresies. But this evening, I have received your 
most welcome letter, and learned from it, to my sorrow, 
of your long and severe illness. I am consoled, however, 
by the news that you are now perfectly restored. 

In accordance with the commission given me in this let 
ter, I shall see that negotiations for the sale of your books 
be resumed ; and since you refer the whole matter to my 
good judgment, you may rest assured that I shall act as 
though the affair were my own, and endeavor to get as 
much out of the sale as I can. If I do not succeed in doing 
so immediately, I shall see that it is done, at least, by 
degrees. I am very sorry that the person who is taking 
the books is as poor as he is honest; for I must first listen 
to his plans and see what he wishes to do, before I can 
close the bargain. I shall do what lies in my power. 

The printing of the little work on the Passion is not yet 
finished. I shall have the two other little works printed 
next. They are small, but they have cost me -a great 
amount of labor. Whenthewholebookisfinished, I shall 
send it to you. 

With regard to the Sermons for Sundays, it is indeed 
true that the booksellers here have printed it and exposed 
it for sale. Yet you should know that when Signor Paci, 
who usually does my printing, and Signor Terres, the 
bookseller, asked me for permission to publish it, I refused 
them point-blank. After this refusal they went to work 
secretly and printed it. What can I do? Patience! They 
have published it, however, without the additions contained 
in your edition. 

I am pleased to learn from your letter that your delay in 
.printing the History of the Heresies was not due to any 
evil report that reached you concerning it, but to your sick 
ness, and to a new edition of St. Thomas that you had on 



72 Special Correspondence. [PART n 

hand. I trust that, as soon as these works of Si. Thomas 
are published, you will give me the consolation of knowing 
that the History of the Heresies is going to press. 

Of the Collection of Ascetical Writings we shall speak 
later when God enlightens us on the subject. This very 
evening, I have ordered renewed prayers, as the persecu 
tion against you has not yet ceased, and I myself shall 
continue to pray for your intention. 

With sentiments of profoundest respect, 
I remain, Illustrious Sir, 

Your very humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of Sant Agata. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 

LETTER 271. 
To the Same. 

He informs him of his own serious illness, now passed, 
and of what has been done in regard to the books. 

Live Jesus and Mary! 

ARIENZO, April 25, 1773. 

Most Illustrious Sir: In the first place, I wish to give 
you an account of my health. During Easter week, I was 
very near passing to the other life. To a severe attack of 
catarrh of the chest, which of itself could have carried me 
off, was added a violent fever followed by a chill of three 
hours and a half. The physicians assured me that if the 
fever returned, it would prove fatal. I am now restored, 
however, and, thanks be to God, able to say Mass. I 
have recommenced my work on the Passion and the two 
other little treatises to be annexed to it. Should God spare 
my life, I am planning another work which will be very, 



SER.I.-I773-1 Letter 271. 73 

useful, namely, the translation into the vernacular of those 
passages in the Psalms which are most difficult to under 
stand ; the easy passages everyone can make out. 1 

I learn from Naples that the Brother of our Congregation 
is arranging the affair of your books with the person who 
wished to take them. I earnestly pray that he may suc 
ceed, for the gentleman in question is not indeed very well 
off, but most conscientious. I am confident, therefore, that 
he will not cheat me. 

In your last letter you held out the hope of sending the 
History of the Heresies to press. Let me know whether 
you have done so. In case you have begun the printing I 
would ask you, after the first and second volumes are 
finished, to withhold the publication of the third. I want to 
send you a slight correction which, although not absolutely 
necessary, will be very* useful in removing an apparent 
ambiguity. 

Let me be informed on all these points. With renewed 
sentiments of profound respect, 

Your most humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of Sant Agata. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 

1 This work was composed and published in 1774. It bore the 
title: "A Translation of the Psalms and Canticles of the Divine 
Office." 



74 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

LETTER 272. 

To the Same. 

The same subject. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! * 

ARIENZO, May 8, 1773. 

Most Illustrious Sir: I was pleased to learn from your 
letter of April 24 that the History of the Heresies is now in 
press. 1 wrote you, but my letter, I think, had hardly 
reached you when you sent off yours of the 24th. I 
requested you to withhold the publication of the third 
volume, as I had to send you a little addition which will 
aid in making a certain point clear. This addition I now 
send, that you may insert it in its proper place at once. 

With regard to the affair of your books, I wrote in my 
last letter, asking what was to be done. Some days ago, 
I learned that they are taking an inventory of all the books 
on hand, preparatory to concluding the bargain. 

I still continue to recommend to our good Lord yourself 
and all your interests both spiritual and temporal. With 
this assurance 

I remain, Illustrious Sir, 

Your very humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of Sanf Agafa. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 



SER.I.-I773] Letter 273. 75 



LETTER 273. 
To the Same. 

He speaks of the addition for the History of the Heresies, 
and asks for some copies of the Moral. Various works upon 
which he is engaged. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

ARIKNZO, May 27, 1773. 

Most Illustrious Sir: As I have twice written you about a 
certain small addition for the third volume of the History 
of the Heresies, and received no answer, I begin to fear 
that my letters have miscarried. I enclose this slip, there 
fore. It contains the addition alluded to, which I wish you 
to get before beginning to print the third volume. Insert it 
at the place designated. 

I must inform you that all the copies of the large Moral, 
at Naples, have been sold. Be kind enough to send some 
more. It would be well if you could send them to some 
bookseller at Naples ; for I should refer to him all who are 
asking for the work. Even now they are not few. In case 
you have no one to whom you can send them, forward 
them to me. I shall see that they are disposed of. Do 
not, however, send more than fifty; for, as I have already 
written you, I am no longer at Naples, and here I have not 
the same opportunity of selling them that the booksellers 
have. They keep public stores, and know how to dispose 
easily of the books on hand. 

I have nothing else to send just now. The printing of 
,my little work on the Passion and its two companions, is 
nearly finished. The manuscript is entirely completed. 
As soon as they come from the press, I shall send them to 
you. 

I have already begun a new work, the translation into 
the vernacular of all the Psalms of the Breviary, with ex- 



7 6 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

planatory notes on the most difficult passages. It will be a 
very useful and salable work, and is intended for priests and 
religious. If God spares my life to complete it, I trust it 
will be of great utility to all obliged to the Divine Office. 
I remain, Illustrious Sir, 

Your very humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of Sant Agata. 
After the original preserved in the archives of Father 

General at Rome. 



LETTER 274. 

To the Same. 

He asks for some copies of the Moral Theology. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

[ARIENZO, June 1773.] 

Most Illustrious Sir: I write once more to ask you, as I 
did in my last letter, to send me forty or fifty copies of the 
latest edition of my Moral. Many are calling for it. Not 
a single copy of this edition is to be had in Naples. 

My new work [on the Passion ] is not yet finished. As 
soon as it is, I shall send it to you. 
With sentiments of profound respect, 
I remain, Illustrious Sir, 

Your very humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of Sanf Agata. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 



SER.I.-I773-] Letter 275. 77 

LETTER 275. 

To the Same. 

Negotiations for the sale of the books. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

ARIENZO, June 19, 1773. 

Most Illustrious Sir: With pleasure I have received your 
letter of May 29, from which I learn of the arrival of the little 
addition to be inserted in the third volume of the History 
of the Heresies. I am glad that it reached you in time, for 
I feared it would not. 

With regard to the sale of the books, I have had the 
Brother in charge of your works come here expressly to 
arrange with him their price. I have determined upon a 
moderate one; for if I placed it too high, purchasers might 
turn their backs upon me. Now I hope they will buy. 
After the bargain is made, it remains to be seen how and 
when they promise to pay me. Once they have taken 
possession of the books, I should not like to be obliged to 
bring them before the court for my money a pretty law 
suit it would be ! I shall see how I may best consult your 
interests. 

With sentiments of profound respect, 
I remain, Illustrious Sir, 

Your very humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of Sant Agata. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 



78 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 



LETTER 276. 
To the Same. 

He asks the publisher to procure for him a certain work, 
and to insert or h?ve inserted in the Bullarium of Benedict 
XIV. a Brief in favor of the Congregation. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

ARIENZO, July 10, 1773. 

Most Illustrious Sir: I have had diligent search made in 
Naples for a copy of Mgr. Fenelon s "History of Jansen 
ism", which has been translated into Italian, and brought 
down, in notes, to the time of Benedict XIV. I am certain 
it was published at Venice. I beg you to make inquiries 
about it, and send it to me with the copies of the new 
Moral, which I am daily expecting. Let me know the 
price, and I shall transmit to you. 

With sentiments of profound respect. 

I wish to ask another favor of you in behalf of our entire Con 
gregation. Should you or any of the publishers at Venice be 
printing the Bullarium of Benedict XIV., I beg you to inform 
me of the fact without delay, as the Brief of Approbation of 
our Congregation is not contained in the present edition of 
that work. In case, therefore, a new edition were to be 
published, I should like to have this Brief inserted, and I 
am quite willing to defray all necessary expenses. As soon 
as I receive intimation, I shall send you a copy of the 
Brief attested by the Curia. Do not forget this matter, I 
pray you. 

As ever, 

Your very humble and devoted servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of Sant" Agata. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 



sER.i.-1773-l Letter 277. 79 

LETTER 277. 
To Signer Giuseppe Remondini. 

He acknowledges the receipt of his letter, and speaks of 
the sale of the books. 



ENZO, beginning of August, 1773.] 

Most Illustrious Sir: Your letter came to hand this very 
day. Immediately upon its receipt I wrote to Signor 
Oronzio Noe, to let me know whether the fifty copies of the 
Moral had come, or if not, to inform me as soon as they 
arrive. 

I intend to give them to the booksellers to dispose of, as 
the number asking for it is not very great. The book 
sellers, however, will, I trust, have no difficulty in taking 
them, especially since the discount of forty per cent is all in 
their favor, and in Naples the work, though eagerly sought 
after, is not easily obtained. As soon as I receive the 
money for them, I shall send it to Signer Moschini. 

I am very glad that you will soon send the History of 
the Heresies. But I beg you to intrust the copies to some 
bookseller at the capital ; for as I have repeatedly written 
you, I have no means of disposing of your works, as my 
priests are not very fond of reading. 

With regard to the works remaining on our hands at 
Naples, my agent informs me that he has spoken to a 
number of persons concerning the sale, but has made no 
bargain with anyone as yet. They all object to the price ; 
but I do not intend to throw them away by selling them so 
cheap. 

I am very sorry that things are in this state, as I wish to 
see your interests prosper ; but I am a poor cripple and 
cannot go to Naples. If I were able to go, I should suc 
ceed better in this transaction. Still I shall do what lies in 



8o Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

my power. About the Moral, however, you need not be 
anxious; for, at Naples, this work is the one for which 
there is the greatest demand. For some time past, it could 
not be had. 

I am sorry to learn of the illness of Signor Giambattista. 
I shall pray earnestly to our dear Lord to restore him to 
health. With sentiments of profound respect, 
I remain, Illustrious Sir, 

Your very humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of Sant Agata. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 

LETTER 278. 
To the Same. 

He apprises him of a-n error for which he suggests a 
remedy, and speaks again of the Brief to be inserted in the 
Bullarium. His joy at the publication of the History of the 
Heresies, and the impossibility of selling the books. 

ARIENZO, August 21, 1773. 

Most Illustrious Sir: I have just received your letter of 
the 2d instant, also one from Signor Oronzio Noe, inform 
ing me that the package containing the fifty copies of the 
Moral has arrived. But in this connection, I must apprise 
you of a mistake on my part. I thought, as I wrote you, 
that not even a single copy of the preceding edition of my 
Moral was to be found in Naples. But having spoken to 
some of the leading booksellers about the sale of these fifty 
copies of the latest edition, which I was expecting from day 
to day, I learned that they have still some copies of the 
former on hand. They were, consequently, rather loath to 
undertake the sale of a new edition before disposing of the 
preceding one. I see, therefore, that, if I send for these 



SER.I.-I773-] Letter 278. 81 

books to Manfredonia, they will probably remain upon my 
hands, as do the rest of your works, with regard to which, 
although we have made every effort, we have not yet suc 
ceeded in finding a person with whom we could make a 
bargain for them. Buyers want to have them for almost 
nothing ; but I have neither the authorization nor the in 
clination to throw them away. 

I fear that a similar fate may befall these fifty copies of 
the Moral, In my diocese, I think I shall hardly sell 
more than three or four. I would say, then, that if you 
deem it advisable to send for them to Manfredonia to be 
sold elsewhere, you may act as you think best. I shall 
write to Signor Noe, meanwhile, that I shall not require 
him to forward the package to me until I receive an 
answer from you. Should you wish me to send for it, I 
shall do so; but I have a well-grounded fear that the books 
will lie on my hands, if the booksellers do not take them. 
The transportation will, moreover, cost me about ten 
ducats. 

I am much annoyed at this mistake, for I did not believe 
there was a single copy of the former edition in Naples. 
Let me know what you consider most advantageous to 
your interests, and I shall act accordingly. 

When you succeed in your search of Mgr. Fenelon s 
" History of Jansenism", be so kind as to forward it to me 
immediately, indicating both the price and expenses. 

With regard to the Bullarium, I shall see that a copy 
of the Brief in favor of our Congregation is made. There 
is no need of hurry, as it belongs only near the end of the 
fourth volume. It was expedited in 1749, during the eighth 
year of Benedict XIV. s Pontificate. Inform me at once 
when you begin the edition of the Bullarium, that I may 
be reminded of having this copy made in case it should not 
have been already drawn up. 

I am glad that the History of the Heresies is finished. 
6 



82 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

Once more, I remind you not to send me any copies for 
sale, as the priests of my diocese are not eager for such 
books; indeed, they have very little love for any reading 
whatsoever. Besides, I am a poor cripple, who am Hearing 
my grave, and I do not know what I should do with these 
copies. 

Rest assured, that I regard all your interests as though 
they were my own. If I could only visit Naples, I might 
be able to do something personally. But confined here in 
this poverty-stricken Arienzo, I write letters innumerable to 
people in Naples about the sale, but with very little result. 
I am much afflicted at this, but affliction seems to be all 
that I am to reap from these negotiations. 

With sentiments of profound respect, 

; Your very humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of Sanf Agata. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 

LETTER 279. 
To the Same. 

He sends him an authenticated copy of the Brief to be 
inserted in the Bullarium of Benedict XIV., indicating the 
place and manner of its insertion. 



Live Jesus, Joseph, and Mary ! 

ARIENZO, August 26, 1773. 

Most Illustrious Sir: I have been reflecting upon what 
you told me in your last letter, namely, that you would 
probably publish an edition of the Bullarium of Benedict 
XIV. in a short time. I have also learned from the work 
itself that, according to the order of its issue, the Bull, or 
rather Brief in favor of our Congregation is not to be placed 



SER. I.-I773-1 Letter 279. 83 

in the fourth volume, but in the third, and what is more, 
at the very beginning of that volume. In order, therefore > 
not to have the misfortune of finding the third volume 
printed when I send the copy of the Brief, I have hastened, 
and at some expense, to have a copy, authentic as you will 
perceive, made from the archives of the Archiepiscopal 
Curia of Benevento. This copy I herewith enclose. 

I have remarked that this Brief of Approbation of the 
Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer is to be inserted 
in the third volume of the Bullarium, immediately after 
the Bull whose title or summary is as follows: On the care 
and neatness of the church: the arrangement of ministra 
tions and ecclesiastical music; circular letter to the bishops 
of the States of the Church on the approach of the Jubilee 
year. This Bull is dated February 19, 1749, and begins 
at page 9, vol. iii. 

The Brief approving our Congregation has been copied 
from the original in the Chancery of the Curia. It is 
authenticated in due form and bears the signature and seal 
of the Vicar-General. You may, therefore, show it to the 
censors in Venice, that they may raise no obstacle to its 
publication. The title or summary of the Brief is as 
follows, and must be in Latin : De approbations et confir- 
matfone Congregation is SS. Redemptoris sacerdotum, mis- 
sionibus, prcesertim ad rusticos in villis degentes, addicto- 
rum. 

Pardon the inconvenience I cause you. Doubtless, you 
have received my last letter, in which I spoke of the arrival 
of the package at Manfredonia. I shall not repeat here 
what has been already said, but shall await your reply. 
Renewing my assurances of profound respect, 

I remain, Illustrious Sir, 

Your very humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of Sant Agata. 



84 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

[P. SJ] You have ere this heard of the suppression of 
the Jesuits. 1 Let me know what your people say of the 
Jesuits residing at Venice. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 

LETTER 280. 
To the iame. 

He speaks of the sale of the books, of his own latest 
works, and encloses a letter to be transmitted to a priest at 
Verona. 

Live Jesus, Joseph, and Mary ! 

ARIENZO, September 23, 1773. 

Most Illustrious Sir: On receipt of your letter I wrote to 
Signor Oronzio Noe, of Manfredonia, to forward the fifty 
copies of the Moral, and the package containing the twen 
ty-five copies of the History of the Heresies with which 
you so kindly presented me. I thank you most sincerely 
for your generosity. 

With regard to the Moral, I shall be able to sell a few 
copies now, as some priests have asked me for them. The 
rest will, I am sure, be sold at Naples, but we must wait a 
little. The booksellers, who still have on hand some 
copies of the preceding edition, will not take this new one 
before they have disposed of the other. I shall do what I 
can, for I regard your interests as though they were my 
own. 

Speaking of the other publications, I have received a 
letter from Naples saying that there is a person there who 
would like to undertake the sale. I shall inquire his terms. 
If I could get him to travel about the kingdom, I am sure 
that our profit would be twice as large as in Naples. But 

1 The Bull Dominus ac Redemptor suppressing the Society of Jesus, 
is dated July 21, 1773. 



SER.1.-I773-] Letter 28 1. 85 

having no one whom I can trust in this matter, I fear to 
lose both capital and interest. 

I have finished my book on the Passion, also the two 
additional works. I shall send them to you shortly, that 
you may do what you choose with them. I neither request 
nor demand their publication. The same holds good with 
regard to another work of which the greater part is printed ; 
I mean the Translation of the Psalms, into Italian, a work 
they are anxiously waiting for at Naples. 

I enclose a letter to his Excellency, Signor Don Mandri- 
cardo Malatesta, of Verona, in which I reply to some 
questions in theology proposed by him. He sent me his 
address written as I have it on this letter. I should like to 
know whether you are acquainted with him, and what kind 
of person he is. In his letter, he calls himself a priest and 
confessor. I think he must be a nobleman. 

With sentiments of profound respect, 
I remain, Illustrious Sir, 

Your very humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of Sant* Agata. 

After the original preserved in fc the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 



LETTER 28l. 
To the Same. 

He thanks him for some favors, and informs him of the 
sending of the work on the Passion. 

Live Jesus, Joseph, and Mary! 

ARIENZO, October 7, 1773. 

Most Illustrious Sir : From your esteemed letter of the 
2oth of September I learn that you have received the copy 
of the Bull [or rather the Brief of Approbation] in favor of 
6* 



86 Special Correspondence. IPART n. 

our Congregation, to be inserted in the Bullarium of Be 
nedict XIV., which you are going to print. I thank you 
very much for this favor, as it will afford me great consola 
tion. 

I have already sent for the fifty copies of the Moral for 
warded to me via Manfredonia. They have not as yet 
arrived. To please you, I shall do what I can to dispose 
of them, as I am desirous of assisting you in every way. I 
must thank you especially for the twenty-five copies of the 
History of the Heresies with which you present me. I can 
assure you I shall accept them with indescribable satisfac 
tion. I trust they will come with the copies of the Moral 
from Manfredonia. I shall inform you at once of their 
arrival. , 

I send you, as requested, the work on the Passion 
recently completed. Do with it as you please. I do not 
pretend that you should print all the works I send you. 

At present I am engaged upon another work, A 
Translation of the Psalms, and a good part of the printing 
is done. Should you wish it, I shall forward it to you as 
soon as finished. 

I have written to the Brother at Naples to send the book 
on the Passion and the two accompanying works to Signor 
Moschini, that he may forward them to you. 

With sentiments of profound respect, 
I remain, Illustrious Sir, 

Your very humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of Sanf Agata. 

[P. S.~\ For the last twenty days, I have not been able 
to say Mass on account of an abscess on my foot. I do not 
know when it will heal. Recommend me to Jesus Christ. 

After an old copy. 



SER.I.-I773-] Letter 283. 87 

LETTER 282. 
To the Same. 

He acknowledges the receipt of some books, and asks for 
an explanation with regard to the price. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

ARIEN/O, October 21, 1773. 

Most Illustrious Sir: I have already received the fifty 
copies of the Moral and the twenty-five copies of the His 
tory of the Heresies, from Manfredonia. I have sent the 
greater part of the Morals to be bound, and shall attend to 
the sale when opportunity offers. 

With regard to the price, I find upon a card enclosed in 
your letter that the fifty copies are marked at six hundred 
and sixty lire, or, deducting the discount, at four hundred 
and forty lire. Would you kindly inform me at once 
whether this is correct, that no mistake may be made? 

Nothing further just now. With sentiments of sincere 
regard, 

I remain, Illustrious Sir, 

Your very humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of Sanf Agata. 
After an old copy. 

LETTER 283. 
To the Same. 

After further inquiries regarding the price of the books 
sent, he speaks of the sale of the publisher s books. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

ARIENZO, November 14, 1773. 

Most Illustrious Sir: I have received your letter of the 
30th of October, and in reply would inform you that the 



88 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

packages containing fifty copies of the Moral and twenty- 
five copies of the History of the Heresies, respectively, have 
arrived from Manfredonia. For the latter, I again thank 
you most sincerely. I shall endeavor to dispose of the 
Moral as quickly as possible. 

In my last letter I wrote to you about the price of the 
new Moral; for I lost the note that you sent me on the 
subject. As far as I can remember, I think six hundred 
and sixty lire was the cost of the fifty copies, and, with the 
discount deducted, the amount was reduced to four hundred 
and forty lire. Let me know if this is correct, otherwise a 
mistake may be made. 

Brother Francesco writes to me from Naples that a num 
ber of the copies of the preceding edition have been sold. I 
do not cease urging him to procure the sale of the rest. 
These copies were not disposed of hitherto, because the 
booksellers who called for them would not pay promptly, 
and we were not sure of the money. 

The book on the Passion has been printed at Naples. I 
ordered Brother Francesco to send a copy of it to Signor 
Moschini, that he might forward it to you. I think the 
Brother has done so ; but I shall write to him once more on 
the subject. 

The Translation of the Psalms is not yet finished. I 
shall send you a copy as soon as it is printed. 

I am well again, and the abscess on my foot is completely 
healed. With sentiments of profound respect, 

I remain, Illustrious Sir, 

Your very humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of Sant Agata. 

After an old copy. 



SER.I.-I773-] Letter 284. 89 

LETTER 284. 
To his Director, Father Don Andrea Villani. 1 

He explains the reasons that compel him to refute a new 
adversary, and takes this opportunity to explain and confirm 
his Moral System. 

[ARIENZO, November 21, 1773.] 

As your Reverence cannot come now, I shall expect you 
when you will have leisure. At present, I desire to know 
whether you still agree with those who think that if I were 
to reply to the Abbate Magli, the utter ruin of the Congre 
gation would be the result. Good God! this misfortune 
did not befall us when I refuted Father Patuzzi, who was 
altogether a different sort of man from Magli, and is our 
total destruction to follow because I would refute this man, 
who, I understand, is regarded (what indeed he seems to 
be from his writing) as a fanatic? 

Your Reverence knows full well that to establish my 
System with regard to the choice of opinions, and to avoid 
a Rigorism which might bring ruin upon souls, I have 
labored untiringly for twenty years. 2 I wrote a Reply 

1 This letter is not entire, the first part, which does not treat of 
scientific matters, being given in vol. ii. p. 522 of the General Cor 
respondence. 

2 In the beginning the saint was a Probabilionst, as were his early 
teachers. " During the coarse of my ecclesiastical studies," he 
writes in his "Apologetic Rejoinder" of the i6th of January, 1764, 
spoken of in a note on page 241, of the first volume of this Special 
Correspondence, "my masters from the very start were all teachers of 
the Rigorist School. The first book on Moral Theology they placed 
in my hands was Genetti, the Prince of Frobabiliorists, and for a 
long time I was an active defender of my masters teaching." But 
in 1741, that is fifteen years after his promotion to the priesthood, 
he had entirely abandoned this System, and was no longer a 
Probabiliorist. "On the 24th of October," thus we read in his 
journal, " Mgr. Falcoia [commanded me under obedience] to make 
use of the Probable Opinion as so many others do." From that 



go Special Correspondence. [PART n 

against Father Patuzzi, and my remarks were universally 
applauded by the learned ; yet I used only the teaching of 
St. Thomas and the leading theologians of the Church. 

Signor Magli has brought into the field a new system to 
oppose me, and he asserts that he who follows my System 
shows that he is a disciple of Hobbes, Spinoza, and Epicu 
rus, charges which not even Father Patuzzi has ever 
made against me. But as Magli raises new issues, many- 
may be led into the error of thinking that I and my Con 
gregation are teaching pernicious doctrine, unless I show 
clearly that what he maintains is so absurd as not to be 
tenable. As a bishop, therefore, and as Superior of the 
Congregation, I deem it absolutely necessary for my own 
honor, and for that of the Congregation, to undertake to 
defend myself, and prove that we are not as Magli says, 
either Manicheans or followers of Hobbes. 

time he studied unremittingly for nearly twenty years, as he writes 
to Father Villani, before he composed his System. In 1762, he 
published his "Short Dissertation on the Moderate Use of the 
Probable Opinion", of which we have spoken in a note to the letter 
of December 27, 1762 (Special Correspondence, vol. i. p. 203). The attacks, 
accusations, in a word, the relentless war waged upon him, especially 
by Father Patuzzi, far from casting him down, only served as occa 
sions to the saint, as far as the year 1773, and even later, to con 
firm and elucidate with greater clearness than ever his Moral System 
in a series of Apologies and Dissertations, and resulted in a complete 
triumph over all his adversaries. He is, therefore, perfectly correct 
in saying, as he does in this letter, that he had labored twenty years 
composing his System; and in the "Declaration of his System" 
against Magli, counting the years he had spent in defending that 
System, he could say at number 49: "During the course of thirty- 
years, I have read innumerable authors, Rigorist and Laxist, upon 
this subject, and all this time I have besought God for light, to fix 
upon a system that I might follow without fear of error. At 
length, I have determined upon my System." 



SER. i.-i773 ] Letter 284. 9 1 

My reply, I imagine, will be short, hardly two folios. I 
shall not mention Magli by name, but say in general : my 
opponents, my adversaries say so and so; and I shall en 
deavor to speak as is my wont, without giving cause for 
offence or wounding the feelings of anyone. I shall employ 
only the teaching of St. Thomas and the best theologians. 

I have sought counsel in this matter, and prudent persons 
have told me that I am bound to defend myself, at least as 
a bishop and Superior of the Congregation. The greatest 
caution they gave me was that I should not mention Magli 
by name; but it is sufficient for my purpose to say in 
general : my opponents, my adversaries. Enough of this 
for the present. I want you to write to me whether your 
apprehension for the safety of the Congregation has sub 
sided, especially as I am going to make known to the 
world in this contemplated Reply that I do not follow the 
teaching of the Jesuits. On the contrary, I condemn it; 
and although I have used the text of Busenbaum in my 
Moral, it was rather for the sake of the method he follows, 
which is excellent, than for his doctrine, which is not so. Fur 
ther, I shall make it evident to all that I maintain that the opin 
ion in favor of the law must be followed when it is more 
probable, and that I denounce Probabilism entirely. What I 
say is simply this: When the opinion in favor of the law is 
certainly doubtful, the law does not oblige; for in that case, 
the doubt is promulgated, and not the law. And here I 
can quote innumerable passages from St. Thomas and a 
hundred theologians, that a law which is not promulgated, 
has no binding force. This little work will, I think, vindi 
cate my honor and that of the Congregation, as it will 
show that we are not Probabilists, nay, that we utterly 
reject and condemn their System. 

More I cannot say on account of my head. Let me 



92 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

have an answer, I pray you, as soon as possible. 1 I bless 
your Reverence and the rest. 

BROTHER ALFONSO MARIA. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 



LETTER 285. 
To Signer Giuseppe Remondini. 

He acknowledges the receipt of a letter, and speaks of 
matters mentioned in a preceding one. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

ARIEXZO, December 2, 1773. 

Most Illustrious Sir: I have received your esteemed let 
ter with the advice regarding the Moral, and I thank you 
for the same. Rest assured that in what pertains to your 
books I am more interested than if this were altogether my 
own affair. 

I am now engaged upon the Translation of the Psalms. 
It is costing me so much trouble that it will extinguish in 
me the desire ever to publish anything again. 

The work on the Passion was sent [to Signor Moschini] 
long before I wrote my last letter to the Brother directing 
him to forward it. I trust you have received it by this 
time. 

1 The reply of Father Villani was favorable, and the saint ac 
cordingly published this work under the title: " Declaration of the 
Author s System of the Regulation of Moral Actions, containing his 
Replies to Objections recently raised. 1774." 



SER.I.-I774-] Letter 286. 93 

Recommend me to Jesus Christ, as I do this kindness to 
you. With sentiments of profound respect, 
I remain, Illustrious Sir, 

Your very humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of Sanf Agata. 
After an old copy. 

LETTER 286. 
To the Same. 

He speaks of his health, which has been much impaired 
by application to the work which he now asks him to print. 
The sale of the publisher s books. 

Live Jesus, Joseph, and Mary ! 

ARIENZO, May 22, 1774. 

Most Illustrious Sir: Of late I have suffered much from 
ill-health, particularly from my head. The physicians tried 
bleeding, cauterizing, and other remedies for my relief. 
At present, I am quite well again, and, as I have not writ 
ten to you for a long time, I shall do so now. 

My head trouble was due in great measure to the work: 
Translation of the Psalms, which, thanks be to God, is 
now finished and will appear in a few days. This work has 
cost me incredible labor. I should like to know whether 
you desire me to forward it to you when it is published. 
If so, I shall send it by the usual route, namely, through 
Signer Moschini. I merely mention this, for I do not wish 
to give you further annoyance about the publication of my 
books, with which I have been plaguing you for so many 
years. 



94 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

With regard to the copies of the Moral, I have disposed 
of some of them here at the best price I could, in order to 
reimburse myself for the expense of transportation, which 
I paid, and for the alms I distributed in your name. I 
have thus succeeded in recovering the greater part of this 
amount. 

You have probably learned the misfortune that has be 
fallen me in losing our good Brother Francesco. 1 He used 
to transact all my business at Naples. His death was 
sudden, consequently everything is in confusion. I have 
stationed another Brother 2 there now, and have ordered 
him to bestir himself about the sale of your works. He 
wrote me that he had spoken to one of the booksellers. I 
shall direct him to endeavor to close the bargain imme 
diately . 

I am sorry that I am confined in this poor corner of my 
diocese, a perfect cripple. The deceased Brother could sell 
some of your books at times, but the present incumbent 
knows very little about such matters. Still I shall continue 
to do what lies in my power. It is too bad that you have 
in Naples no reliable correspondent who is a bookseller ; 
for booksellers, when so inclined, easily find means to dis 
pose of their works. See wherein I may be of service to 
you and let me know what you desire, as I am ready to 
assist you. 

Let me know about your health, and whether anything 



1 Brother Francesco Tartaglione died on the 2ist of March, 1774. 
The saint was apprised of the fact in a supernatural manner. See 
Letter 766, General Correspondence, vol. iii. p. 18, note 3. 

2 Brother Michele Ilardo. 



SER.1-I774-] Letter 287. 05 

is to be done. I shall not neglect to do for you whatever I 
can. 

With this assurance I remain, Illustrious Sir, 
Your very humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of Sanf A gat a. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 

LETTER 287. 
To the Sovereign Pontiff, Clement XIV. 

He dedicates to His Holiness the Translation of the 
Psalms. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph! 

Most Holy Father: As I have composed the present 
work in these last years of my life for I am already very 
feeble and expect death from day to day, and as its sub 
ject-matter is the Psalms of David, the recitation of which, 
next to the administration of the sacraments and the 
preaching of the word of God, forms the holiest occupation 
of those dedicated to the service of God, who thereby 
perform on earth the office that the angels fulfil in heaven, 
namely, the chanting of the divine praises, there is none, I 
think, to whom I could dedicate it with greater propriety 
than to Your Holiness, the Head of the Church, and the 
Vice-Gerent of Jesus Christ on earth. It it not my inten 
tion here to enumerate the high encomiums Your Holiness 
for many reasons deserves. Rather than offend your 
humility, I shall omit praising the numerous examples of 
shining virtues that you present to the eyes of the world : 



g6 Special Correspondence. [PART u. 

your mortified life, your detachment from relatives, your 
freedom from all human respect. But there is one thing 
that I cannot pass over in silence, and that is, the consum 
mate prudence displayed by Your Holiness in the wise 
measures adopted to secure the quieting of those dissen 
sions which caused so much anxiety to all who have the 
interests of the Church at heart. 

Your Holiness will, I trust, be pleased with my work 
which may be of some utility to those who recite the Divine 
Office, many of whom understand little Latin, little of the 
meaning of the words and still less that of the Psalms, 
which are for the most part so difficult to understand that 
even the learned can scarcely interpret them. Many, it is 
true, have endeavored to explain them, but their labors 
have not been so generally useful as might be desired, 
either because they wrote in Latin, or in a style too lofty 
and elevated. To remedy this evil I have tried as well as I 
could, to make the sense of the Psalms intelligible, so that 
all might understand what they are saying, and in conse 
quence, recite the Divine Office with greater attention. 

This work I place at the feet of Your Holiness to correct, 
if correction be necessary, and to bless it, if you think it 
will be useful to the faithful. Humbly prostrate before 
your throne, I implore your most holy blessing. 

Of Your Holiness, 

The most humble, devoted, and 
obedient servant and son, 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of Sant Agata. 

After the page printed at the beginning of the work. 



SER.J.-I774-J Letter 288. 97 

LETTER 288. 
To Signer Giuseppe Remondini. 

He thanks him for his solicitude about his health, and also 
for the publication of the work on the Passion, promising to 
send the Translation of the Psalms. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

ARIENZO, June 30, 1774. 

Most Illustrious Sir: I acknowledge the receipt of your 
letter, and thank you for your solicitude about my health. 
At present, I am quite well, but the feebleness of old age 
announces the approach of death. 

The Translation of the Psalms has not yet come from 
the press. As soon as it is finished, I shall send it to you. 
I thank you most particularly for having published the 
work on the Passion. I am pleased that the edition has 
been so carefully made. 

I have again written to the Brother at Naples to make an 
inventory of all your books without delay. As soon as I 
receive the list, I shall transmit it to you. 

I am very glad that you have determined to write to 
some bookseller in Naples with regard to facilitating the 
sale of the books. Here I am, quite feeble and decrepid, 
waiting at the gate of eternity, and I should be sorry to 
leave them unsold. True, my Fathers would give you an 
account of them, but with the sale they would not succeed 
much better than myself. 



98 Special Correspondence. [PART u. 

Recommend me to God, as I do the same for you. With 
sentiments of profound respect, 
I am, Illustrious Sir, 

Your very humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of Sa7it Agata. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 

LETTER 289. 
To the Same. 

Satisfied with the arrangement for the sale of the books, 
he informs the publisher of the measures taken to transport 
them, and refuses any return for his services. 

ARIENZO, August 3, 1774. 

Most Illustrious Sir: I have received your most welcome 
letter. I rejoice exceedingly that you have taken steps for 
the sale of your books, as I am rather advanced in years, 
and suffering from continual palpitation, which has increased 
of late, and threatens me with death from day to day, as 
my physician has assured me. 

Brother Michele has already informed me of the receipt 
of your letter directing him to send the books to Signor 
Moschini. I shall write to the Brother and tell him faith 
fully to execute this command at once, that not a single 
book may be lost in forwarding. I shall tell him to send 
also the copies of the large Moral, fifteen of which I have 
retained to reimburse myself for the expense of bringing 
these copies from Manfredonia, and for the alms which I 
distributed according to your directions. 

The royal permission for the publication of my Transla 
tion of the Psalms has not yet been granted. As soon as I 
receive it, I shall forward it to you through Signor Moschi 
ni. 



SKR. i -1774.] Letter 290. 99 

No more at present concerning these matters. I await 
your orders, as you cannot question my willingness to 
serve you in every possible way. 

Do not think, I beseech you, of making any present to 
the Brother [Michele], especially since he has done very 
little for you. All the work was done by Brother Frances 
co, whom, as you know, God has taken to himself. Be 
sides, in attending to your affairs, these Brothers have 
been serving me, for it was I that charged them to care 
diligently for the sale and the preservation of your books. 
Do not, then, think of making any presents ; for our 
Brothers, being bound by the vow of poverty in the same 
manner as the Fathers, cannot receive presents or have a 
private purse. Everything is incorporated into the Com 
munity, and, therefore, it is useless to think of making this 
present. 

With sentiments of profound respect, 
I remain, Illustrious Sir, 

Your very humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of Sanf Agata. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 

LETTER 290. 
To the Same. 

He sends the Translation of the Psalms, and asks the 
price of a certain work. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

ARIENZO, September 28, 1774. 

Most Illustrious Sir: I am sending you the Translation 
of the Psalms, a work which has cost me several years of 
labor, and very nearly brought on the loss of my mind, so 
fatiguing was the perusal of the numerous commentators, 



IOO Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

who have given different interpretations. I send it to you, 
as I know you are anxious to have it. 

I am waiting for the sixth volume of the " Lives of the 
Philosophers" by Father Celestino, the Abbot of San F*e- 
dele, if I mistake not. This volume is the last, and I am 
waiting to get it before paying for the entire work, five 
voluipes of which I have already received. I inquired for 
it at your agent s in Naples, who belongs to the firm of 
Signori, and he told me that the volume had not yet been 
published. I do not know what to do. My death is draw 
ing nigh, and I should not like to meet it with the scruple 
of leaving the five volumes unpaid for. Tell me what to 
do. 

I again ask you to relieve my mind by telling me whether 
you have received your books from Signor Moschini, to 
whom I forwarded all we had on hand. 

I conclude tendering you my most sincere regards, and 
placing myself at your service in whatever I may be of use 
to you. I say this, because now, at my advanced age of 
seventy-nine years, every letter I write seems to me as if it 
were to be the last. 

I remain, Illustrious Sir, 

Your very humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of Sanf A gat a. 

[P. S.~\ I have sent the book on the Psalms to Signor 
Moschini to be forwarded to you. 

After an old copy. 



SER. I.-I774-1 Letter 291. 101 



LETTER 291. 
To the Same. 

He thanks him for a present, and speaks of a new work 
that he has already begun. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

ARIENZO, November 3, 1774. 

Most Illustrious Sir: In reply to your letter of the 22d 
of October, I thank you most heartily for the present you 
make me of the five volumes of the "Lives of the Philos 
ophers". Should the sixth volume ever be published by 
any house, I beg you to procure it for me, that my set 
may not remain incomplete. 

I again ask you to see whether you can procure for me, 
as I wrote you long since, Mgr. Fenelon s work against 
Jansenius, 1 and let me know the price. I have not been 
able to find it in Naples. 

I trust that, by this time, my work, A Translation of 
the Psalms, has been published. It is read with much 
pleasure here. 

In order not to be idle during the few moments of life 
that still remain, I have begun to compose a small devo 
tional work, entitled: The Victories of the Martyrs, in 
which I shall collect the Acts of their martyrdom from the 
most celebrated authors. Three folios of this work are 
already printed. When finished, I shall have the honor to 
send it to you. 

1 "History of Jansenism." 



IO2 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

I am at your service in whatever I may be of use to you. 
With sentiments of profound respect, 
I remain, Illustrious Sir, 

Your very humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of Sanf Agata. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 

LETTER 292. 
To Signer Saverio Mattel. 

He thanks him for his letter, and praises his work on the 
Psalm s.i 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

ARIENZO, November 20, 1774. 

Most Illustrious Sir: I am highly gratified at the receipt 
of your most esteemed letter. In composing my little book 

1 Signer Mattei had published a translation of the entire Psalter, 
in six volumes. The original of his letter to the saint is preserved 
in the archives of Father General at Rome, and is as follows: 

" Right Reverend and Most Illustrious Sir: I thank you in a most 
particular manner for the honorable mention you so frequently 
make of my work in your Translation of the Psalms recently pub 
lished for the use of your clergy. As I have completed my sacred 
labors in that direction in the publication of the last volume of my 
work, and am unable longer to continue in that path on account of 
my many forensic occupations, I am truly consoled to see others 
gloriously engaging in work for the general welfare. For myself, I 
am persuaded that God does not require more of me. If he did, he 
would have directed my affairs differently. At present, I feel that I 
should be wanting in my duty were I to neglect the affairs of my 
family, for the sake of following up an inclination, pious though 
it be. ^ 

Your Lordship s labors will be blessed by God, because they are 
directed toward the instruction of the ignorant, who frequently ask 
for bread and find no one to break it to them [petunt panem, et non 



SER.I.-I774-] Letter 2 c) 2. 103 

upon the Psalms, I had your work principally before me. 
It is a work for the learned and the unlearned, attractive as 
well as instructive; mine, on the contrary, is for the un 
learned, instructive, but with little of attractiveness about it. 
All the learned men of Italy, and I may say of all Europe, 
have applauded your work ; but mine will, perhaps, please 
only one or other devout person. 

I follow your successes at the bar with great attention. 
But oh, how ardently would I not have wished that you 
might continue to employ in the service of the Church the 
talent and learning that God has bestowed on you ! Still 
in your present calling, also, you can do much for our holy 
religion ; for nowadays everyone talks theology and Holy 
Scripture, and one hears the most extravagant opinions ex 
pressed. 

I will not annoy you further, but with sentiments of pro 
found respect subscribe myself . . . 

[ The signature of the saint is wanting^ 

After the edition of Mattel s "Christian Apology", pub 
lished at Naples in 1788. 

tst qui frangat]. Above all I am glad that you have faithfully ad 
hered to the literal sense, which is the true one, and that you have 
added those moral and spiritual reflections which inseparably ac 
company that sense, without giving heed to so many subtle ques 
tions, and frequently false speculations, of which the simplicity of 
the word of God, more penetrating than a two-edged sword \_pene- 
trabilior omni gladio ancipiti], stands nowise in need. 

My purpose was to instruct, but much more to attract the people, 
and I have succeeded. 1 had the happiness of rendering the most 
dissipated attentive to the recitation of the Psalms accompanied by 
music, and of making them lose all taste for profane poetry and 
profane music. Praise be to God from whom every good thing 
comes, and to whom I beg your Lordship to recommend me in your 
prayers. 

Humbly asking your paternal blessing, I have the honor to be 
Your Lordship s most humble and devoted servant, 

NAPLES, November 15, 1774. SAVERIO MATTEL 



IO4 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

LETTER 293. 
To Signor Onofrio Paci, Printer at Naples. 

He begs him to suspend the printing of his works, and 
gives his reasons for this measure. He also recommends the 
correction of some folios already printed. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

[ARIEXZO, December, 1774.] 

I beg you to suspend the printing of my works for the 
present; for (I tell you this in all confidence) our Congre 
gation is in great danger of utter ruin, thanks to the 
numerous unjust accusations made by our friends. Sus 
pend the printing, therefore, of the work on The Martyrs 
and the smaller work, for a while ; as just now we are 
looking for someone who will loan us money to defray the 
expenses which we must necessarily incur. I trust this 
hindrance will soon be removed, and then you may resume 
the printing of both works. 

If you have already set up the next folio of The Martyrs, 
send it to me. I send you herewith the other folio cor 
rected. My reason for wanting to have this work reprinted 
was that it might be free from the innumerable errors that 
appeared in Migliaccio s edition ; but from the proofs you 
send me, I perceive that it contains far more. What sort 
of compositor is he who makes so many mistakes even 
from printed copy ! 

Your servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of Sanf Agata. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 



SER. 1-1775.1 Letter 294. 105 



LETTER 294. 
To Signer Giambattista Remondini. 

He informs him of the success of the Translation of the 
Psalms, and speaking of the Victories of the Martyrs, he 
mentions a very useful compendium that is to be placed at 
the end. His affection for the publisher. 

ARIENZO, January 5, 1775. 

Most Illustrious Sir: I have received your esteemed let 
ter, and am glad that you have already received the book 
on the Psalms, and begun to print it. It has been highly 
spoken of at Naples. Even the celebrated Don [Saverio] 
Mattei, who has composed a large work of six volumes on 
the Psalms in verse, has, of his own accord, written me a 
letter praising my book. 

I am waiting for the sixth volume of the " Lives of the 
Philosophers", as also to learn the price of the complete 
work, a subject which has kept me in torment now for 
many years. I cannot bear the thought of this unpaid 
debt. It appears to me that I shall never rid myself of it. 

I thank you for your diligent search for the work of 
Mgr. Fenelon. As it cannot be had, I must have patience. 
Should it accidentally come to light, inform me of the fact. 

I am engaged upon the work of The Martyrs, which 
will comprise two small volumes. I hope that it will meet 
with general approbation, for I have collected the most 
interesting Acts of the martyrs that I could find in the 
numerous books which I had sent me for that purpose. At 
the end there will be a compendium of a celebrated French 
work on the holy Mass, which will prove very acceptable. 1 

The French author is, indeed, a learned man, but he 
hides himself behind so many words and matters almost 

1 "The Sacrifice of Jesus Christ, with a Short Explanation of the 
Prayers of the Mass." 



io6 Special Correspondence. [PART ir. 

unintelligible, that it is tedious to read him, whereas what 
I have to say is made as clear as possible. I trust I shall 
succeed in finishing this compendium. I say I trust, for 
sickness is attacking- me every day. God s will be done! 

In life and in death, I shall entertain the most sincere 
affection for you and your whole family, and I shall ever 
pray to God to make you prosperous and happy as I 
desire. 

With sentiments of profound respect, 
I remain, Illustrious Sir, 

Your very humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of Sant Agata. 

[P. S.] I understand that the copies of the Moral The 
ology and Homo Apostolicus are at Naples at Signor 
Moschini s, and that he manages to sell some of them 
occasionally. If they were the works of Rosseau or Vol 
taire, how soon they would be sold ! May God help us ! 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 

LETTER 295. 
To the Same. 

He thanks him for a favor, and promises to send the 
Victories of the Martyrs. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

ARIENZO, February 9, 1775. 

Most Illustrious Sir: I am in receipt of your letter, from 
which I learn that you desire to have a copy of my work, 
The Victories of the Martyrs, revised and corrected, as 
soon as it is published. You also tell me that you will 
present me with the sixth volume of the " Lives of the Phi 
losophers", a favor for which I thank you sincerely. 

With regard to the work on The Martyrs, I was just 



SER.I.-I775-] Letter 2 yd. 107 

going to tell you that I am bringing it to completion. As 
soon as it is finished, you may be sure I shall not let it 
appear in public until I have informed you of the fact by 
sending you a copy, as you desire. 

I have the several books of manuscripts of this work 
finished ; but to reprint it with the accuracy I require, will 
take some time, especially in my present age and condi 
tion. I am now seventy-nine years old and continually 
subject to violent attacks of sickness, principally palpitation 
of the heart, which hourly threaten me with death. I am 
able to do little or nothing, and it seems that every moment 
will be my last. 

Recommending myself, therefore, to your prayers, I 
remain with the most profound respect, 

Your very humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of Sant Agata. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 

LETTER 296. 
To the Same. 

He speaks of the Victories of the Martyrs, and another 
work, and asks for information concerning the publication of 
Father Patuzzi s Moral Theology. 

NOCERA, September 8, 1775. 

I have finished the Victories of the Martyrs. In the 
first volume, I have spoken of the martyrs of different 
countries ; in the second, of the Japanese Martyrs. This 
volume also contains various other little works which will 
prove useful to persons of every condition of life. 1 Next 

1 Besides the treatise on the " Sacrifice of Jesus Christ, etc.", this 
volume contained the following: "Exhortations to Religious to 
make Progress in the Perfection of their State"; "Advice to a Young 



1 08 Special Correspondence. \ PA RT 1 1 . 

week, I shall send this work to Signor Moschini to be 
forwarded to you. I trust you will be pleased with my 
promptness. 

After the resignation of my episcopal charge, I retired to 
one of the houses of our Congregation, namely, to Noce- 
ra; but should you wish to write to me, you may continue 
to direct your letters to the post-office at Naples. 

Some time ago, I began another work. It will require a 
good deal of labor, and will prove very useful. I am going 
to call it the Conduct of Divine Providence in Saving Man 
kind through Jesus Christ. In the first part, which is already 
printed, it treats of all the prophecies, figures, types, and 
sacrifices that announced the coming of Jesus Christ. The 
second part will dwell particularly upon Jesus Christ, the 
conversion of the Gentiles, the destruction of Judea and 
the dispersion of the Jews, the spread of the faith, the 
overthrow of heresy, and, finally, the miserable death of 
the persecutors of the Church. It will also contain a little 
work of devotion. This new work will not be very large, 
only two small volumes; but it contains much matter, and 
will, I trust, be favorably received by the public. 

Let me know whether you have completed the printing 
of Father Patuzzi s Moral Theology at your establishment; 
for I should like to have an entire copy of it. Let me 



Student preparing for the Ecclesiastical State"; " Letter to a Young 
Man seeking Advice with Regard to the Choice of a State of Life"; 
" Exhortations to a Nun to advance in the Love of her Divine 
Spouse, Jesus Christ"; "Considerations for a Young Girl in Doubt 
as to the Choice of a State of Life"; " Exhortation to Religious 
Communities to practise Prayer before the Most Blessed Sacra 
ment"; "Advice to All who would Secure their Eternal Salvation"; 
" Suggestions for Priests called upon to assist Condemned Crim 
inals"; and " Novena for the Souls in Purgatory". 



SER.I.-I775.] Letter 297. 

know, also, the price, that I may send it to you without 
delay. 

With sentiments of profound respect, 
I re.nain, Illustrious Sir, 

Your very humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA DE LKJUORI, fits hop. 
After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 

LETTER 297. 

To the Sovereign Pontiff, Pius VI. 
He dedicates to him the work mentioned in the preceding. 

Most Holy Father: I have thought it only proper to 
dedicate to Your Holiness the work that I have published 
under the title : The Admirable Conduct of Divine Provi 
dence in Saving Mankind through Jesui Christ; for you are, 
at present, the Vicar of Jesus Christ, and the Head of 
the Church Militant, whose mission it is to lead all men to 
their true home of bliss. 

The glorious reign of Your Holiness, inaugurated with 
so much wisdom, prudence, and zeal, marked by so com 
plete a detachment from relatives, and by the splendor of 
so many brilliant virtues, the selection of able ministers, 
and the appointment of so many worthy prelates, makes us 
confidently hope for the assured tranquillity of the universal 
Church. 

I submit to Your Holiness this work of the last years of 
my life. In all probability it will be the last I shall publish, 
since for the past four or five months I find that my head is 
deserting me. I submit it to Your Holiness to correct in it 
whatever does not please you, and to bless whatever you 



i io Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

find in it useful to the children of the Church. Bless, also, 
the author whose life henceforward will be one continued 
remembrance of the numerous favors accorded him by 
Your Holiness, and especially (not to speak of others 
which your kindness bestowed) that of relieving him of the 
burden of the episcopate, a burden to which he had become 
unequal, as well an account of advanced age as of the 
many infirmities that constantly remind him of the approach 
of death. In return, he promises to be mindful of Your 
Holiness in his poor prayers all the days of his life, to the 
end that Your Holiness may be spared for many years. 

Meanwhile, Most Holy Father, be pleased to impart to 
me and my companions the Apostolic Benediction, which, 
prostrate at your feet, I most humbly implore. 1 

Your most humble, devoted, and 
obedient servant and son, 

ALFONSO MARIA DE LIGUORI, Bishop. 

After the folio printed at the beginning of the work, pub 
lished at Naples by the Paci Brothers in 1775. 

1 In sending to the Sovereign Pontiff the work here dedicated to 
him, the saint submitted, also, another volume containing various 
writings. As a token of his extreme pleasure, His Holiness sent 
him the following letter: 

" With very great pleasure have We received the two works with 
which you have presented Us, and in which your remarkable spirit 
of piety and admirable learning are alike conspicuous. These 
works greatly increase the paternal affection which We have for 
you, which, though it springs from Our high esteem of your merits 
and virtue, thereby received further confirmation. You may be 
convinced that whatever We have hitherto done in your favor, was 
but a pledge of Our particular regard for you, a regard which We 
are prepared to testify in a still higher degree, should opportunity 
offer. As a proof of this, Our paternal affection, We most lovingly 
impart to you and your Congregation the Apostolic Benediction. 

Given at S. Maria Maggiore, under the Seal of the Fisherman, 
November 19, 1775." 



SER. I.-I776.J Letter 298. 1 1 i 

LETTER 298. 
To Signer Giuseppe Remondini. 

He sends the work, The Conduct of Divine Providence, in 
forms him of a much larger work which he has begun, and 
speaks of a Manifesto he has published for the purpose of 
explaining his System, and defending it against the attacks 
of his adversaries. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph! 

NOCERA, February 12, 1776. 

Most Illustrious Sir: I send you by courier my new 
book, The Conduct of Divine Providence. It is not very 
large ; but it cost me, if I mistake not, about three years 
of fatiguing labor, and, in my opinion, there is extant no 
work which so clearly vindicates the truth of the faith. At 
the end, there are three very useful little treatises. 1 

I would request that the text of this work be printed in 
pica and the headings in long primer, or, at least, in bour 
geois ; at present, these headings are printed in brevier, 
which is Loo small. You are at liberty, however, to print it 
or not, and in whatever type you please. Everything is 
very succinctly abbreviated ; but there is not a passage that 
has not cost me much trouble to compose. Have it read 
by some learned man, for it is not a work to be judged by 
women. Be so kind as to tell me who have read it, or 
rather, I should like to know what they say about it. 

I am now retired and at leisure, but I cannot remain 
idle. I have, accordingly, commenced a very extensive 
work which will treat of the particular and general judg 
ments, purgatory, Antichrist, the resurrection, the signs of 

1 These were: "A Short Treatise on the Love of God"; " Motives 
of Consolation and Confidence for a Soul in Desolation"; and "A 
Short Reply to the Extravagant Reform attempted by Abbate Rolli 
against the Devotion shown to the Mother of God". 



I 1 2 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

the end of the world ; the coming of Jesus Christ as Judge; 
the future state of the damned and of the blessed, and the 
state of the world after the Last Judgment. 1 

This is a gigantic task. I am a cripple confined to my 
invalid-chair, and yet I have to read an immense number 
of books, for the w r ork is to be compiled entirely from the 
ology and Holy Scripture. With the exception of texts of 
Holy Scripture and passages from the Fathers, the work 
will be entirely in the vernacular. I have some excellent 
books to consult; but it will require both time and health, 
and I am expecting death from day to day. 

I have begun this work, and have already finished six 
treatises, as the work is to be divided into treatises; but I 
do not know whether I shall live to complete it. I have 
also begun to print what I have composed, and now two 
parts are completed. Some imagine that it will take ten or 
twelve volumes, but I think there will be only two or three 
in duodecimo. As I am an enemy to lengthy and verbose 
passages, which only tire one and are never read, I have 
condensed matters throughout. Nowadays, people want 
compendious works of reliable character. I trust that such 
will be mine, if I may judge from the treatises already printed, 
in which much is clearly stated, though briefly. I am aware 
that my works are highly praised for their clearness. 

My only ambition, however, is, that all praise be given 
to God. I undertook this work for the welfare of souls. 
It contains everything that will make us keep constantly 
in view the end of our being, eternal joy or eternal misery. 

In my Moral works, I have been criticised as a Proba- 
bilist and a follower of the Jesuits. To refute the charge, I 
have composed the present short Manifesto, which I en 
close. What is said in this Explanation is developed at 
length in the Monitum inserted in the last edition of the 

1 This work is entitled: " Theologico-moral Treatises on the Last 
Things." 



...- ,.{ 

SER. i -1776 ] Letter 298. 1 1 3 

Moral Theology. This Monitum, I perceive, you have 
placed at the end of the second volume, where very few 
will notice it. It should have been put after the additions 
at the end of the third volume. It would be more con 
spicuous there. I send you two copies of the Manifesto. 
I should like you to forward one to Portugal where my 
Moral and Homo Apostolicus have been forbidden ; for 
in the Manifesto I undeniably prove that I am neither a 
Probabilist of the old school, nor a too lax Jesuit. I am 
not a Rigorist, nor am I a Probabilist; my path lies be 
tween these extremes. Even Pope Benedict XIV. called 
me a fair author, and again a prudens auctor. Portugal, 
therefore, did wrong in forbidding my book. But an end 
to this wearisome tale. 

With sentiments of profound respect, I subscribe myself, 
Illustrious Sir, 

Your very devoted and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA DE LIGUORI, Bishop. 

{Postscript of Brother Michele.} Most Illustrious Sir : I 
have received from Monsignor, our Father, an order direct 
ing me to forward to you by the courier a work which he has 
recently published; but when I made inquiries as to the 
manner of sending it, my informant told me that the courier 
stops in Rome. I have, therefore, concluded to send it to 
Signer Moschini, as he told me he would have an opportuni 
ty of forwarding it this week. You will, then, receive it 
through him. In a few days, I shall make the final payment 
for the rest of the books in my charge. One hundred copies 
of the Instruction are still on hand, but they are selling 
gradually. 

Should you have occasion to write to me, direct your let 
ters, Naples. Those for Monsignor should be directed, Noce- 
ra de Pagani, via Naples, as he receives all his letters from 
the post-office here. 

Do not forget about the book that I ordered from you 
lately. When you send it, direct it to Signor Moschini. 
8 



114 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

I received this letter open, so as to be able to insert the 
number of the courier to whom the book was confided ; but 
I have already told you how the matter has been arranged. 
Your very humble servant, 

BROTHER MICHELE ILARDO, 

of the Most Holy Redeemer. 
NAPLES, February 19, 1776. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 

LETTER 299. 
To the Same. 

He sends him a letter to be forwarded to its destination. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

NOCERA DE PAGANI, March 7, 1776. 

Most Illustrious Sir : A little over two weeks ago, I sent 
you, through Signer Moschini, a copy of one of my works 
recently published, The Admirable Conduct of Divine 
Providence, etc. I trust you have received it. 

The enclosed letter is for M. Egidius de Hubens, at 
Liege. Be so kind as to see that it is forwarded by the first 
safe opportunity. 

With sentiments of profound respect, 
I remain, Illustrious Sir, 

Your very devoted and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA DE LIGUORI, Bishop. 
After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 



SER.I.-I776.] Letter joo. 115 



LETTER 300. 

To Canon Giuseppe Simioli, Professor in the University at 
Naples. 

The high regard of the holy Doctor for the teaching of St. 
Thomas, and his profound submission to the constituted 
ecclesiastical authorities. 

[NOCERA], July 15, 1776. 

Three times I have written to you concerning the point 
in St. Thomas which the censor l has objected to in my 
work, and which, he says, cannot be allowed to pass. 

I repeat again that I will not adapt myself to his whims 
or be dependent on him. I shall depend on the archbishop, 
and do what he directs. 

I know for certain that this doctrine of St. Thomas is 
publicly taught in the College of St. Thomas at Naples ; 
and yet my censor says it cannot be permitted to pass. I 
shall say no more, but do what his Grace commands me. 
Had I foreseen this trouble, I should have preferred not to 
publish the work rather than give it to this censor to 
examine, or I should say, to attack St. Thomas, a thing 
that has astounded the Dominicans. Indeed, the teaching 
of St. Thomas cannot be permitted to pass! Who says so? 
Holy Church ? Not she, for Holy Church venerates the 
teaching of St. Thomas. 

I beseech you, Illustrious Sir, to excuse me from making 
the correction demanded by the censor, for I will depend 
on the archbishop alone. I am very sorry that so much 
time has been lost. The memorial has already been is 
sued at the palace, and now I am waiting to see what the 
archbishop will do, whether he will appoint another censor, 

1 The ecclesiastical censor of the " Theologico-moral Treatises", 
Don Salvatore Ruggieri. What the point in question was, appears 
in the next letter. 



I 16 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

or whether he will allow the teaching of St. Thomas to pass 
or not. I shall do whatever he commands. Patience ! 

With profound respect, I remain, etc. 

After the Roman edition. 

LETTER 301. 
To Canon Don Salvatore Ruggieri, Ecclesiastical Censor. 

He defends the passages criticised, proving his great love 
of truth and most scrupulous exactness in his opinions. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

NOCERA, July 22, 1776. 

Most Illustrious Sir : You have taken exception to a pass 
age in number 24, page 2I5. 1 When a proposition of an 
author can be interpreted in a good sense, why should it 
be rejected ? You say that the love of the soul in this life 
is not the same as that of the soul in bliss. I have found 
no one who treats this point with greater clearness than 
Suarez in his posthumous work De Virtutibus theologi- 
cis, disp. j, de car it., sect. j. He asserts that it is the 
common opinion of theologians with the Master of the 
Sentences (in j, dist. j) and St. Thomas (/. 2., qu<zst. 67, 
art. 6}, that the love is the same in via as it is in patria, 
because its formal object, which is the divine Goodness 
known in a supernatural manner, is the same for a soul in 
this life as for those in Paradise. 

To this it is objected that charity or love is perfected in 
heaven. The answer to this is, the accidental perfection of 
charity is made perfect in heaven ; but the substantial per- 

1 This passage is as follows: "According, then, to the degree 
with which a soul loves God on earth, it will love him in heaven ; 
but with a twofold difference: here below that love is free, there it 
is necessary ; and, secondly, in heaven the love will be much more 
intense and perfect, for it will be purified from all defects, the de 
gree, however, will be exactly the same." 



SER. 1-1776] Letter 301. 117 

fection remains the same, for the formal object, which is 
God, is the same. 

St. Thomas explains this at length in the place quoted 
above. In the body of the article he concludes thus: 
"Charity is not destroyed by the perfection of glory, but 
(please note) remains identically the same." 1 Replying to 
the first objection, he says even more clearly: " When what 
is accidental is removed, the substance of a thing still re 
mains ." 2 And in the answer to the second objection, he 
explains with the greatest clearness that the love of the 
soul in this life is the same as in bliss. " 77?^ object of 
charity", he says, "is not the cognition itself; if it were, 
charity would not be the same here as in bliss: but the 
object is the thing known, which is the same in both cases, 
namely God"* The Angelic Doctor, then, distinguishes 
our cognition of God from the object known, namely God, 
who is the same for one and for the other. 

The substantial perfection of charity consists in the ad 
hesion of the soul to God, whereas the accidental perfection 
consists in the intensity of that adhesion and its freedom 
from all defects. 

In order to remove all ambiguity, however, I thought it 
well to arrange this passage as follows : " We should bear 
in mind that the love or charity of the soul in this life is 
substantially the same as that which it will possess in 
heaven. But two differences must be noted : the first, that 
during this life this love is free; in heaven it is necessa 
ry; the second, that, though this love is substantially the 
same, it will be more perfect and more intense, inasmuch 

1 "Charitas non evacuatur per glorite perfectionem, sed eadem 
numero manet." i, 2, qu. 67, art. 6, in corp. 

* " Remote autem eo quod est per accidens, nihilominus remanet 
substantia rei." Ibid, ad i. 

3 "Charitas non habet pro objecto ipsam cognitionem ; sic enim 
non esset eadem in via et in patria: sed habet pro objecto ipsam 
rem cognitam, quce est eadem, scilicet ipstim Deum." Ibid, ad 2. 
8* 



Ii8 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

as it will be free from all defects. Substantially, however, 
it will be the same that it was on earth." Placing the matter 
in this light, I think, there is no ambiguity. Indeed, if we 
wished to investigate all the expressions that may be inter 
preted in a bad sense even in the most careful writers, we 
should find thousands of them that could not be permitted 
to remain. 

Now to the question of infants. 1 I had written: St. Au 
gustine strongly holds to the contrary opinion; this you 
have changed into : proves it by solid arguments. It was 
not my intention to defend the opinion of St. Thomas. I 
simply quoted it, therefore, without giving his reasons and 
without mentioning the innumerable passages of the Fathers 
who defend this opinion. The authorities that I did quote, 
were all in favor of St. Augustine. But to wish to make 
me say that St. Augustine proves the contrary, is to wish to 
make me impugn St. Thomas, and say that the opinion of 
the Angelic Doctor is evidently false ; in other words, to 
make me tell a downright lie by saying what I do not 
believe to be true. I would rather lose my life than tell a 
lie. I have, therefore, requested Benedetto Cervone 2 to 
obtain a modification of this proposition : proves it by solid 
arguments. It may be amended thus: St. Augustine holds 
for certain, or maintains as invincible, etc. Do not, I 
pray you, make me state what is false. How can I say 

1 That is, of infants who die without baptism. In the Sixth Dis 
sertation the saint proposes the question : Whether these infants, 
besides being excluded from heaven on account of original sin, 
suffer also the pain of sense and the pain of loss, and he answers 
by simply quoting the opinion of St. Thomas: That they will suffer 
neither the pain of sense nor the pain of seeing themselves deprived 
of the beatific vision. He then adds that St. Augustine strongly 
holds to the contrary opinion. The censor changed strongly, etc., into: 
proves the contrary by solid arguments. It is of this that the saint 
here complains. 

1 The royal censor of the same work. 



SER.I.-I776.] Letter 302. 119 

St. Augustine proves the contrary when I cannot satisfy 
myself that St. Thomas says anything false? I beg you 
not to constrain me thus any longer. Two months have 
passed in this state of anxiety. I implore you to do me the 
kindness of bringing this matter to an end. 

Your most humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA DE LIGUORI, Bishop. 

After the .original in the possession of Signor Giancarlo 
Rossi at Rome. 

LETTER 302. 
To Signer Giuseppe Remondini. 

He announces the Theological Treatises, and speaks of 
other works already sent him, which he recommends him 
to publish. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

NOCERA DE PAGANI, August 28, 1776. 

Most Illustrious Sir: For some time past I have not 
written to you, as I had no occasion to do so. At present 
I write to inform you that I have finished the Theological 
Treatises, a work which I expected would be pretty large, 
but which, in reality, contains only thirteen or fourteen 
folios. 

I shall have it sent to Signor Moschini this week, that he 
may forward it to you. But I do not know whether he will 
think of sending it, for he showed himself somewhat an 
noyed at the other works that I transmitted to him. You 
may write to him to forward this new work of mine, which 
will be the last I shall give to the press, as I have now 
reached my eightieth year. I am confined to my invalid - 
chair, and my head has forsaken me. 

I do not know whether Signor Moschini sent you my 
other work, entitled : The Conduct of Divine Providence, a 
small book, also, and like the present one, containing about 



I2O Special Correspondence. [PART ir. 

fourteen folios. If you have not yet printed this work, I 
would request you to do so in large type, that is, in pica, 
with the headings in long primer. I mention this, because 
this work on the The Conduct of Divine Providence, like the 
Theological Treatises, has cost me great labor, and both 
are highly appreciated by the public. They contain much 
beautiful instruction, which will please the learned. If, 
then, they were to appear in diminutive volumes, the 
purchasers would quickly turn their backs upon them. 

You need not inconvenience yourself to send me copies 
of them, as you did of my former works. I wish to see 
them printed for the benefit of the people. Let me know 
whether you received the Conduct of Divine Providence, 
also, when you receive the one I am about sending, The 
Theological Treatises. If you do not get it within three or 
four months, let me know, for I fear Moschini will not for 
ward it. In case you do not receive it, tell me by what 
other way I can send it. I am thus solicitous, because 
many would like to have this last work of mine, which cost 
me so much labor, and which, I think, is very useful. 

I have, moreover, sent you the work : Reflections, which 
contains three parts : the first, Reflections on the Passion 
of Jesus Christ; the second, Various Spiritual Reflections; 
the third, Against the Deists, now Triumphant in France, 
Flanders, and Italy. .If you have not yet printed this 
third part of the work, I would ask you to do so separately 
and in pica characters. 

This little book may be of great use to holy religion, for 
I have collected its contents from different sources. It is 
the very pith and kernel of what many authors have writ 
ten, and is very complete. 

Pardon the weariness I cause you, and relieve my mind 
by letting me hear soon that you have received this letter. 
I shall not annoy you further. 



SER. i -1776 .] Letter 303. 1 2 i 

With sentiments of profound respect, I remain, Illustri 
ous Sir, 

Your very humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA DE LIGUORI, Hi shop. 

\_P. S.~\ One word more. There was once published a 
little book on the " Way of the Cross", the work of an anon 
ymous writer, a religious of the Friars Minor of the Strict 
Observance, containing three methods of performing this 
pious exercise. The book was printed at your establish 
ment in 1751. If you find any copies of it, be so kind as 
to send me two, enclosing them in an envelope as they are 
snail. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 



LETTER 303. 
To the Same. 

He acknowledges the receipt of a letter, and begs to be 
informed when the last two works will be finished. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

NOCERA DE PAGANI, October 9, 1776. 

Most Illustrious Sir: I have received your last letter in which 
you tell me that you send me a copy of Noghera. I have 
sent word to Cervone to inform me as soon as he receives 
the package from you. 

I should like to know for my own consolation, when you 
will have the last two works, or at least one of them, 
printed. You need not, however, as I mentioned before, 
send me any copies, as I already have some. 

Take good care oi yourself. I pray our dear Lord to 
grant you success in all your temporal affairs, and, likewise, 



122 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

in the concerns of your soul. With sentiments of profound 
respect, 

I remain, Illustrious Sir, 

Your very humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA DE LIGUORI, Bishop. 
After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 

LETTER 304. 
To the Same. 

He asks for a copy of the Translation of the Psalms, and 
expresses his fears that this, like other works sent to the 
publisher, may not have been printed. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

NOCERA OF/ PAGAN T I, October 17, 1776. 

Most Illustrious Sir: I have to inform you that owing to 
the ready sale it met with among the priests and religious 
here in Naples, there are no more copies to be had of my 
Translation of the Psalms. So great was the demand that 
only one old copy remains. 

I should like to know whether the work has been printed 
at your establishment. I am certain that I sent it to you ; 
but I fear that it has not yet been printed. Like so many 
other works that I sent you (I speak of my latest ones), it 
may have been laid aside. Speaking in particular of this 
Translation of the Psalms, of which the copies of the 
Neapolitan edition are already sold, I want to know whether 
you have printed it. If you have I should like you to send 
a number of copies to your agent at Naples, Don Antonio 



SER.I.-I77&-1 Letter 305. 123 

Cervone, from whom I could then procure those that have 
been asked of me by my friends. 

With sentiments of profound respect, I remain, Illustri 
ous Sir, 

Your very humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA DE LIGUORI, Bishop. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 

LETTER 305. 
To the Same. 

He thanks him for beginning to print two of his works, 
and speaks of their usefulness. He asks for some copies of 
the Moral, and laments over the prohibition of the Homo 
Apostolicus in Portugal. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

NOCKRA DE PAGANI, November 15, 1776. 

Most Illustrious Sir: I reply to your letter of the 2d 
instant. I am very anxious to read the work of Noghera 
which you praise so highly ; but up to the present, I have 
not received any information of its arrival at Signor Cer- 
vone s. 

I thank you for having begun to print the Victories of the 
Martyrs, and I am especially pleased that you have begun 
also the Conduct of Divine Providence. This latter work, 
though small, is, in my opinion, very useful for the glory 
of our holy faith on account of its collation of the facts of 
the Old and New Testaments, which it places in juxta 
position, thus demonstrating the truthfulness of our faith 
now so impiously attacked by unbelievers, and particularly 



124 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

by the Deists who have ruined France, Ger.nany, Italy, 
and the whole of Europe. 

The Theological Treatises, also, it seems to me, is a work 
of great utility in reviving the truths of our faith ; for it 
proves from Holy Scripture that this earth will one day 
come to an end, consumed by fire, and involving the 
eternal ruin of so many millions of souls who are perishing 
in the general corruption of morals prevalent in our times. 

I cannot give you any more works for publication, for 
my head has deserted me. I have, therefore, been very 
anxious that you should print these two last works of mine, 
though I seek nothing herein but the glory of God and the 
welfare of the Church now persecuted on all sides, a sign 
that the day of Judgment is not far distant. 

As far as I know, there is not at Naples a single copy of 
the last edition a of my Moral to be had. Send some, 
therefore, I pray you, to Signor Cervone, or to any other 
bookseller. Among all the works on Moral Theology sold 
here, my Moral, and especially this last edition is the one 
most sought after by confessors. I understand that in 
Rome, also, my Moral is, perhaps, the one most highly 
prized. 

I am, indeed, very sorry that the Homo Apostolicus was 
prohibited in Portugal. If I had any way of doing so, I 
should ask those learned gentlemen of Portugal the reasons 
for its prohibition. I am not a follower of the Jesuits; on 
the contrary, I am opposed to their System, and probably 
to the greater part of their special teachings. I have not 
been a pupil of theirs. My greatest grief, however, would 
be to see my work prohibited by Holy Church ; but in 
Rome, far from being prohibited, it was praised, and re 
ceived with delight. 

1 The seventh edition. 



SER.1.-I776] Letter 306. 125 

Pardon my wearisomeness. With sentiments of profound 
respect, 

I remain, Illustrious Sir, 

Your very humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA DE LIGUORI, Bishop. 
After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 

LETTER 306. 

To the Same. 

Advice concerning the shipping of books. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph! 

NOCKRA DE PACANI, November 21, 1776. 

Most Illustrious Sir: 1 have received your letter inform 
ing me of the number of various books you are sending me, 
namely, the Translation of the Psalms, the History of the 
Heresies, Reflections on the Passion, etc. As soon as I 
receive them, I shall let you know. We shall expect the 
Conduct of Divine Providence and the Treatises shortly. 

With renewed sentiments of regard, 
I remain, Illustrious Sir, 

Your very humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA DE LIGUORI, Bishop. 

\_P. S.~] After writing the above, I received news from 
Naples that Signor Cervone had already forwarded to our 
Brother Michele Ilardo the two copies of Noghera s work 
on the "Power of the Pope" and two copies of the "Way 
of the Cross", a present from you. I thank you for your 
kindness. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 



1 2 6 Special Correspondence. [PA RT 1 1 . 

LETTER 307. 
To the Same. 

The saint s zeal for the infallibility of the Pope. 
Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

NOCERA, Dece-nber 4, 1776. 

Most Illustrious Sir: I have read Noghera. It is a golden 
work. I would wish that everyone would read it, partic 
ularly the second part, or appendix on the infallibility of 
the Roman Pontiff. It is because the idea of the infallibilty 
of the Pope is lost sight of, that we see the Church in so 
mournful a condition. 

I beseech you to endeavor to spread abroad this excel 
lent work as much as you can ; for it carries conviction to 
the mind of every reader. I shall do all in my power 
to further its sale. I am very sorry that, by reason 
of my paralytic condition, I cannot go to Naples; still I 
shall do what I can. 

I would ask you to see that it reaches His Holiness, for 
he can find various means of securing its diffusion. I thank 
you very much for sending it to me, and I shall pray 
God to have it purchased and read on all sides. 
With sentiments of profound respect, 
I remain, Illustrious Sir, 

Your very humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA DE LIGUORI, Bishop. 
[P. S.~\ I have, also, in readiness a work treating of the 
Infallibility of the Pope. But seeing that both my Con 
gregation and myself are so persecuted by the evil-minded, 
I am afraid to have it published. I fear rousing still greater 
persecution on the part of the modern learned, who are 
working so diligently to crush out the infallibility of the 
Pope, the foundation-stone on which the Church rests 
according to the words of Jesus Christ: super hanc petram 



SER.I.-I776] Letter 307. 127 

tedificabo cccle.u am meam. [upon this rock I will build my 
Church]. Take away the foundation-stone, and the fall of 
the Church is inevitable. Alas! this is what men are trying 
to do nowadays, to the unspeakable grief of all the truly 
faithful. 

In my work, The Truth of Faith, I have written very 
much on the infallibility of the Pope; but in the work 
alluded to, which I have not published for fear of the con 
sequences, I think I have proved the point in question, 
more clearly than even Father Zaccaria, Father Noghera, 
or the rest. If I must publish it, I should prefer to do so 
under an assumed name. 1 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 

1 It seems probable that this work was subsequently published ; 
for six months after the date of this letter, the Sovereign Pontiff, 
Pius VI., addressed to the saint a Brief thanking him for the work, 
which, though borne down by the weight of years, he had written in 
defence of the Holy See. (See Letter of June iq, 1777.) We do 
not know of any other work of the saint published at that age. It is 
not rash, therefore, to suppose in the absence of other information, 
either that, being published under an assumed name, as the saint 
says he will do in this letter, its author remained unknown; or that it 
has been lost, a fate which certainly befell another work of his pub 
lished in 1765, under the title : " Reflections on the Declaration of the 
Gallican Clergy on the Infallibility of the Pope." This work is 
mentioned by Father Tannoia (" Life", vol. iii. chap, xxv.), but to 
the present all search for it has proved unavailing. 



128 Special Correspondence. [PART n 

LETTER 308. 
To the Same. 

His joy at the success of the Homo Apostolicus notwith 
standing the prohibition against it. Advice with regard to 
a new edition of the Moral. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

[NocEKA DE PAG AMI, end of December, 1776.] 

Most Illustrious Sir: I have received your most esteemed 
letter of the yth instant. In my last I informed you that I 
had received Noghera s work, which pleases me very 
much. When you write again, be so kind as to give me 
some particulars concerning this learned man. 

I shall expect to see the two latest of my works when 
they are finished. I would especially recommend you to 
send a very large number of copies of the Conduct of 
Divine Providence to Signor Cervone at Naples, for the 
Neapolitan edition is completely exhausted. 

With regard to the Moral, and in particular the Homo 
Apostolicus, I was very deeply pained, as I wrote. you, to 
learn that they were prohibited in Portugal. But you 
afford me great consolation by telling me that, notwith 
standing the prohibition, the latter work is selling well 
there. I am also pleased to know that a new reprint of the 
same is nearly finished j 1 for to tell the truth, and not 
because the work is mine, among all the books on Moral 
Theology it is the most useful, and of all those now in use, 
it is, perhaps, the best for the instruction of seminarists. 

A word now about the large Moral. I understand that 
it has already been reprinted as far as the second volume 
inclusive. Had I been aware that this work was going on, 
I might probably have spared you more than ten folios of 

1 A fourth edition of the "Homo Apostolicus" was published in 

1777- 



SER.1.-I776.] Letter 308. 129 

paper, by directing you to omit the pages at the beginning, 
from page xl. to Ixxvi. 1 According to my new System as 
enunciated in the Monitum?- all these pages are now worth 
little or nothing. They were of service once in the System 
of the Jesuits to which I adhered in part. [A few words 
arc missing ^\ But as you tell me that only the third vol 
ume remains to be printed, 3 I suppose all these pages, 
which belong at the beginning, are already finished. If, 
then, they could be entirely omitted, I should be very 
much pleased ; for some have criticised my Moral because, 
from these pages at the beginning, they thought that I main 
tained the System of the Jesuits. This, however, is not 
true ; for when there is question of the choice of opinions, I 
maintain the more probable one* 

Now I come to the Monitum. In one of the copies of 
the last edition of the Moral, I found this Monitum at the 
end of the second volume. In another of the same edition, 
I have not been able to find it at all, though I have exam 
ined the book from cover to cover. I am afraid that the 
Monitum was either lost among the printed matter, or that 
your men in forwarding the books to Naples, forgot to put it 
in. To make sure that this Monitum will not be omitted from 
the Moral, I send you a copy with the request to have it in 
serted at once, not, however, at the end of the second volume, 
but at the end of the complete work, after the Epitome of Bene- 
dictXIV. 5 This Monitum is short, and will require only a single 

1 The Dissertatio Prolegomena of Father Zaccaria. 

2 To which allusion was made in the note to Letter 263, p. 57. 

3 So the saint thought; but the eighth edition which he imagined 
so far advanced, did not appear till 1779. His recommendation is, 
therefore, useless. 

4 That is the more probable in contradistinction to the less probable, 
in the sense so often enunciated by the saint, and of which we 
spoke in the note to Letter 185, vol. iv. p. 363. 

5 The Monitum was not lost, and was inserted in the other copies 
of the seventh edition. The saint did, indeed, dread its loss, for so 



I 3 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

folio ; but I make more account of that single sheet than of any 
other that might be missing, for it has cost me much fatigue to 
compose it, and in it I make clear the System of Moral 
Theology that I maintain. Once more, I beseech you to 
insert this Monitum at the end of the work, after the Epi 
tome, in other words, at the very last page. Placed in the 
middle, it is as good as lost since no one sees it, but at the 
end, it commands attention, for everyone turns to see the 
end of a work. It would be better if it could be placed at 
the very beginning of the work, before the main text of the 
Moral begins, for here, too, everybody would notice it. 
Still, if it cannot be inserted at the beginning, put it at the 
end as I have requested. 

There is yet another point to mention, a very important 
one pertaining to parish priests. This point is found in the 
Homo Apostolicus, and I sent it also in a note for the large 
Moral, but I have not found it there. At present, I cannot 
send this little addition (it is indeed very small), as I must 
first copy it. I shall send it to you shortly. This note 
must likewise be inserted at the end of the third volume, 
with the title: Adjectio. It should have been added to the 
second volume, but that, as I perceive, being already 
printed, it must be inserted in the last. 

Not wishing to weary you further, I remain, Illustrious 
Sir, 

Your very, humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA DE LIGUORI, Bishop. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 

much account did he make of it that he wrote later that he would 
not die happy if it were not inserted in the Moral. When he read it 
in the eighth edition, as a part of his Moral System etc., he wrote that 
he could die content now that his Moral was complete. 



SER. i.-i777 .] Letter 309. 1 3 1 

LETTER 309. 

To the Members of the Royal Chamber of Santa Chiara. 1 

He defends his Moral Theology against the accusations 
made against it to the Royal Chamber. 

[NOCKRA, end of March, 1777.] 

I understand that the Fiscal Advocate, Signer de Leone, 
has attacked my Moral Theology in a memorial humbly 
submitted to His Majesty, our Lord the King, and trans 
mitted to your eminent body for examination. The memo 
rial in question treats of certain differences between Signor 
Don Niccolo Sarnelli, Baron of Ciorani, and the Mission 
ary Priests of whom His Most August Majesty Carlo III., 
King of Spain, by a special decree constituted me Superior, 
when he was at the head of this realm. Signor Leone s 
charges are, that I am a follower of the Jesuits ; that in my 

1 This letter, or rather this Defence was at first included by the 
saint in another, more general and of greater length, composed for 
the purpose of refuting the false accusations insolently launched 
against the Congregation by Signor Niccolo Sarnelli, Baron of Cio 
rani, in the famous suit of which mention was so frequently made in 
the first part of this Correspondence. But perceiving later that the 
charges against his Moral Theology on the ground of following the 
Jesuits, were made the most powerful and successful weapon against 
him, as in those turbulent times the very name of Jesuit, suppressed 
though the Society was, sufficed to call forth the most unjust and 
serious condemnation, the saint thought it better to separate this 
question of the Moral from the others at issue, and treat it with 
greater attention, making it so clear that it might be at once recog 
nised and understood. This is the purpose of the present letter, or 
Defence. In a separate Defence he embraces all the other charges 
not of a scientific nature. He thus composed (it is worth the 
reader s while to note) at the advanced age of eighty years, three 
memorials of the same general character as the Defence here given. 
It is easy to .surmise the labor these memorials cost the saint weighed 
down by years. He himself writes in a letter to Father Paola : "I 
have had to compose, also, a defence for our suit, many folios in 
length. It is a miracle that I have not had a stroke of apoplexy !" 
Gen. Corresp. vol. iii. p. 210. 



1 3 2 Special Correspondence. [ PA RT 1 1 

Mo^al Theology I maintain Probabilism; and that, on ac 
count of my writings, I am worse than Arius, for my 
teaching; overthrows all moral science. Again, my doctrine, 
he says, "attacks the sovereignty and security of His 
Majesty, the King". Thirdly: my doctrine is "pernicious", 
and he is "speaking in defence of the morality of the 
Gospel". He then proceeds to denounce many particular 
teachings contained in my work. 

To answer all these charges distinctly, I shall, in the first 
part of this paper, treat of the general points of accusation ; 
in the second, I shall speak of the particular ones. 

PART FIRST. 

On the Two General Charges, namely, My Adherence to 
the Doctrine of the Jesuits, and the System of Prob 
abilism that I maintain. 

With regard to being a follower of the teaching of the 
Jesuits, in my published works I have declared myself 
their opponent in Moral, as appears from my Theology, as 
well as in Dogmatic Theology, for in my dogmatic work 
on the Council of Trent (Sess. v\.~), in a treatise which I 
composed: On the Manner in which Grace acts ( 2. p. 
109, n. uosq.), I have taken a position contrary to the 
teachings of the Jesuits. 

With regard to the second general accusation, that I 
maintain the System of Probabilism, in many of the works 
printed by me I have rejected Probabilism, and have 
shown that we cannot, with a good conscience, act upon a 
probable opinion merely because it is probable; for the 
mere probability of an opinion in favor of liberty does not 
give a sufficient motive to act licitly, since to act licitly a 
moral certitude of the goodness of our action is required, 
and this certitude cannot be deduced from the mere prob 
ability of an opinion. 



SER.I.-I777-1 Letter 309. 133 

It is true, I admit, that at one time I did say that in the 
concurrence of two equally probable opinions the law does 
not oblige. But I have since repeatedly declared that just 
as we cannot follow the probable opinion, so we cannot 
embrace the equi-probable opinion in favor of liberty, since 
the equi-probable opinion, not having more weight than 
the probable, does not give sufficient foundation to act licit- 
ly. This I have taught in three of my works, and partic 
ularly in a Monitum l added to the seventh edition of my 
Moral Theology printed at Venice. 

All that I have said in my late works upon morals, and 
particularly in my Theology, which was revised and ap 
proved at Naples by the censors of Church and State, and 
printed in five editions at Venice, is this : " When there are 
two equally probable opinions, one of which is in favor of 
the law, and the other in favor of liberty, the law is not 
promulgated; in that case, only the opinion in favor of the 
law is promulgated, but not the law itself, and when a law 
is not promulgated, it cannot bind." 

This doctrine that the law, in order to have binding 
force, must be promulgated, is not mine only. It is the 
common teaching of all the theologians, not only of the Prob- 
abilists, but also of the Probabiliorists, and of St. Thomas, 
a declared Doctor of the Church and the Master of all the 
Catholic Schools. St. Thomas teaches this doctrine not in 
one passage only, but repeatedly, as I shall show in the 
course of my remarks. 

First of all, the Angelic Doctor teaches the following : 
"A law is, as it were, a rule or measure of actions by 
which one is either incited to act or refrain from acting. It 
is called law (a bond) from ligare to bind, because it binds 

1 The Monitum of which mention has been made in Letters 263 
and 308. 

9* 



1 34 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

one to act." * He then goes on to say that in order that 
men be obliged to conform to this rule or measure, as he 
styles the law, it must be applied to them by being made 
known to them by means of a promulgation. Here are the 
very words of the saint in which the point of his teaching 
lies : "The law is brought to bear after the manner of a rule 
or measure. Now, a rule or measure is brought into use 
by being applied to those things which are to be adjusted 
or measured. Wherefore that the law may obtain binding 
force, which is its peculiar property, it must needs be 
applied to man, who is to be regulated according to it. 
This application takes place when the law is brought to 
man s knowledge through promulgation. Promulgation, 
therefore, is necessary for the law to have binding force." 2 

Still, as I have remarked, this is not only the doctrine of 
St. Thomas; it is the teaching of all the theologians as well. 
In particular is it taught by Gerson, the most renowned 
theologian of France, who says that for a law to bind, it 
must necessarily be made known to man ; otherwise, says 
he, God could not oblige man to observe it. His words 
are: "There must of necessity be some manifestation of the 
divine will and ordination, for by a mere ordination, or by 
a simple willing, God cannot absolutely place any obliga 
tion on the creature ; to do this, he must communicate to 

1 " Lex queedam regula est et mensura actuum, secundum quam 
inducitur aliquis ad agendum, vel ab agendo retrahitur. Dicitur 
enim lex a ligando, quia obligat ad agendum." I, 2, qu. go, art. \. 

2 " Lex imponitur per modum regulre et mensuree; regula autem et 
mensura imponitur per hoc quod applicatur his, quce regulantur et 
mensurantur. Unde ad hoc quod lex virtutem obligandi obtineat, 
quod est proprium legis, oportet quod applicetur hominibus, qui 
secundum earn regulari debent. Talis autem applicatio fit per hoc, 
quod in notitiam eorum deducitur ex ipsa promulgatione. Unde 
promulgatio ipsa necessaria est ad hoc quod lex habeat suam virtu 
tem." I, 2, qu. go, art. iv. 



SER.I.-I777-] Letter 309. 135 

the creature the knowledge of the one as well as of the 
other." l 

Cardinal Gotti teaches the same thing: "In order that 
the law may oblige in a concrete instance, it is indispens 
ably necessary that it be made known to the subjects of the 
law by promulgation." 2 Gonet says: "Man is not obliged 
to conform to the divine will, except when it is made known 
to him by a precept." 3 Louis Habert writes: " Promulga 
tion and binding force are contained in the idea of law," 4 
that is to say, the law has no binding force unless it is 
promulgated. Dominicus Soto speaks thus : " No law has 
any force of law whatever before promulgation, but it be 
comes a law only when it is promulgated. And to this 
general rule there is no exception." 5 Innumerable other 
authors say precisely the same thing; but worthy of 
special consideration is what my principal antagonist , 
Father Patuzzi, writes. Speaking of this very subject, 
the promulgation of the law, he has not hesitated to say : 
"All agree that promulgation is absolutely necessary in 
order that the law may have binding force." 6 

1 " Necesse est, dari manifestationem ordinationis ac voluntatis 
Dei; nam per solam ordinationem, aut per solam voluntatem non 
potest Deus absolute creaturoe imponere obligationem ; sed ad hoc 
opus est, ut ei communicet notitiam unius oeque ac alterius." De 
vita spirit, etc., lect. 2. 

2 " Ad hoc ut lex in actu secundo obliget, requiritur quidem in- 
dispensabiliter ut subditis promulgatione proponatur." Theol.tom. 2, 
tract. 5, de Leg. qu. I, dub. 3, 3, ;/. 1 8. 

3 " Homo non tenetur conformari voluntati divine, nisi quando 
voluntas divina nobis pnecepto manifestatur." Clyp., torn. 3, tract. 3. 

4 "Ad rationem legis pertinet promulgatio, et vis obligandi." 

5 " Nulla lex ullum habet vigorem legis ante promulgationem, sed 
tune instituuntur cum promulgantur. Itaque nullam exceptionem 
conclusio hnec permittit." De Just, etjiire, lib. i, qu. i, art. 4. 

6 "Consentiunt quidem omnes, promulgationem esse omnino ne- 
cessariam, ut lex virtu tem obligandi obtineat." Thcol. inor. de Ley., 
cap. i , n. 7. 



136 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

Now, when is a law understood to be promulgated? 
Sylvius answers the question and says that, strictly speak 
ing, the law is promulgated to each one, when he perceives 
the dictate of conscience telling him what he must do and 
what he must avoid : "Really the law is then promulgated 
to the individual when he receives from God the knowledge 
which points out to him what, in accordance with right 
reason, he must do or avoid." * Gerson teaches the same 
thing in the place quoted above when he says: "This law 
is, as it were, a declaration made to the creature, by which 
he learns how God looks upon certain acts which he wishes 
to oblige the creature either to perform or to leave un 
done." 2 Wherefore St. Thomas teaches that this law, to 
have binding force, must be certain. 3 The reason of this is, 
that since the law is a rule or measure according to which 
we must regulate our actions, we cannot do this if the 
measure or rule is uncertain, as Pietro Collet writes. " That 
the law may oblige, it must be applied as a rule, and, 
therefore, must be made known. Now, the law is not 
made known except by promulgation, since by this means 
alone is it intimated in the manner which imposes the 
necessity of obedience." 4 

Again St. Thomas, in another place, confirms this doc 
trine that, in order to bind, the law must be promulgated 
and certain. He says, as we saw in the preceding, that the 

1 "Actualiter tune unicuique (lex) promulgatur quando cognitio- 
nem a Deo accipit, dictantem quid juxta rectam rationem sit am- 
plectendum, quid fugiendum." Sylvius, I, 2, qu. 90, art. 4, in fine. 

2 " Lex ista est quoedam declaratio creatume facta, per quam ilia 
ccrj;noscit quid Deus de certis rebus judicet, ad quas vel pnestandas, 
vel omittendas, ipse creaturam obligare vult." 

3 I, 2, qu. 19, art. 4, ad 3. 

4 " Lex enim, ut obliget, debet dari ut regula, ac proinde inno- 
tescere; atqui lex non innotescit, nisi per promulgationem, cum per 
earn solam eo intimetur modo, qui obediendi necessitatem inducit." 
Tkeol. nior. torn. I de Leg., cap. I, a. 2, concl. 2. 



SER. i.-i777l Letter 309. 137 

law is so called from ligare to bind, because it binds us to 
act; and then in the place to which we now refer, he says 
that the law is, as it were, a chain or bond, which does not 
bind unless it is actually applied to the thing to be bound. 
Here are his very w r ords: "The power of a master stands 
in the same relation to binding in those matters which are 
voluntary, after the manner in which the will may be 
bound, as the physical action to the binding of things 
material. Now the action of a physical agent never induces 
a necessity upon another object except it comes in physical 
contact with that upon which it acts. In like manner, 
therefore, no one is bound by the power of a master unless 
that power comes in contact with him who is commanded ; 
and this takes place when he learns of the command." j St. 
Thomas, therefore, says that the knowledge of the law is 
like a chain or bond which binds the will of man ; and from 
this he concludes that no one is obliged to observe any 
precept if he has no knowledge or certain cognition of that 
precept. " No one, therefore," he says, "is bound by any 
law unless he has a knowledge of that law." 2 Thus St. 
Thomas in the passage quoted. Wherefore, just as he 
that is free from bonds, is at liberty to go whithersoever he 
will, so is he free from all obligation who is not bound by 
any certain precept forbidding this or that action. 

Thirdly, this doctrine of St. Thomas is further confirmed 
in another place where the Angelic Doctor proposes the 

1 " Ita se habet imperium alicujus gubernantis ad ligandum in 
rebus voluntariis, illo modo ligationis qui voluntati accidere potest, 
sicut se habet actio corporalis ad ligandum res corporales. Actio 
autem corporalis agentis nunquam inducit necessitatem in rem 
aliam, nisi per contactum coactionis ipsius ad rem in quam agit. 
Unde nee ex imperio alicujus domini ligatur aliquis, nisi imperium 
attingat ipsum cui imperatur. Attingit autem ipsum per scientiam." 
Opusc. de I erit., qit. 17, a. 3. 

2 " Unde nullus ligatur per prceceptum aliquod , nisi mediante 
scientia illius prcecepti." Ibid. 



138 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

question: Whether we are obliged to conform in all things to 
the divine will ; and he answers that we are not obliged to 
conform to the particular dispositions of God in our regard 
which are unknown to us. " We do not know what are the 
particular dispositions of God s will ; and with- regard to 
them we are not obliged to conform to the divine will." 1 
Father Gonet explains this more in detail, thus: "Man is 
not bound to conform to the divine will, except when that 
will is made known to him by a precept." 2 So that we are 
not obliged to fulfil a command if it is not made known 
to us. 

Finally, St. Thomas confirms this doctrine still more forcibly 
in another place. I have wished to mention here the prin 
ciple passages in which the holy Doctor teaches that the law 
does not bind if it is not promulgated and made known 
to us by a divine precept, because upon this doctrine, 
universally accepted by theologians, as we have seen 
above, rests my own System, namely, that the law or 
precept must be certain and manifest in order to have 
binding force. The Angelic Doctor, I say, confirms this 
doctrine in another place. He proposes the question : 
Whether we must obey God in everything ; and he answers 
in the affirmative, but in his response to the third objection 
he says that man is not always obliged to will what God 
wills, except when the divine will is made known to him in a 
divine precept. His words are: "To the third objection 
we say that, although man is not always obliged to will 
what God wills, he is, nevertheless, obliged to will what 
God wishes him to will ; and this is made known to him 

1 " Seel in particular! nescimus quid Deus velit ; et quantum ad 
hoc, non ten emu r conformare voluntatem nostram divin;ie volunta- 
ti." I, 2, </. 19, art. 10, ad I. 

2 " Homo non tenetur conformari voluntati divine, nisi quando 
voluntas divina nobis prcecepto manifestatur." Clyp, tor/i. iii. tract. 3, 
disp. 6, a. 2, n. 37 in fine. 



SKR. i -1777 ] Letter 309. 1 39 

principally by a divine precept." The holy Doctor, then, 
teaches that man is not always bound to will what God 
wills, but is always bound to will what God wants him to 
will. Now, how shall we know that God wills this or that 
thing? We shall know it, says St. Thomas, when God 
makes known to us by his precept what we must will: "and 
this is made known to him principally by a divine precept". 
Hence, it follows that, so long as the divine precept is not 
manifested to us, we are not obliged to do what God wills. 
To sum up, then, these passages of St. Thomas and the 
other authors, which I have adduced, prove that when the 
law is not made known, we are not obliged to observe it. 

PART SECOND. 

The Particular Objections of the Fiscal Advocate s Mem 
orial against my Moral Theology. 

In the first place, the Fiscal Advocate objects as follows, I 
quote his own words : " He proposes the question : Whether it 
is allowed to employ craftiness, as well in speech as in manner 
of acting, so that he that listens or looks on, may be deceived. 
He divides the question into two parts; in the first he asks: 
Whether, for a just reason, it is allowable to use deceit in 
speech in order to deceive others, and whether it is allowable 
to confirm such deceptive speech with an oath. This question 
he answers affirmatively, after the manner of the Jesuits. And 
wishing to define what would be a sufficient reason to justi 
fy this lie and this perjury, he says any good reason what 
ever tending to the utility of body or mind will suffice." He 
then cites the place in my Moral Theology: lib. j, tract. 2, dc 
Prcecept. DecaL, cap. xi. de juramento, dub. 4. 

Then, going over to the question of equivocation, he says : 

1 "Ad tertium dicemlum quod, etsi non semper teneatur homo 
velle quod Deus vult, semper tamen tenetur velle quod Deus vult 
eumvelle: et hoc homini prrecipue innotescit per pnx ceptuiu divi- 
num." 2, 2, qu. 104, art. 4, ad 3. 



140 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

"In the second part, he proposes another question [let me 
say, however, it is the very same] : Whether he who de 
ceives another by equivocal language even under oath, 
commits a mortal sin ; and although some of the Jesuits have 
maintained the affirmative, he frankly confesses that he holds 
the negative, saying that we cannot call the deception of 
another by false and equivocal speech, even when there is 
no reason for such use, a mortal sin [equivocation, let me 
remark, is to use words that may be understood in a two 
fold sense, but not to speak falsehood ; in the beginning he 
called this to employ craftiness, and shortly after he openly 
terms it lying], provided this deception is not practised in 
law-suits or in contracts, for to be free from mortal sin in 
these cases, he says a justifying reason is necessary, what 
this reason w r ould be, we have seen in the definition already 
given." 

In reply I say that, although some Jesuits, as Viva, 
Toletus, Busenbaum, and others hold that it is a mortal sin 
to swear to equivocal speech without a just reason, there 
are others, such as Cardinal Cajetan, 1 de Lugo, 2 and es 
pecially the theologians of Salamanca, 3 with Castropalaus, 
Soto, Valencia, Prado, Candidus, and others, who more 
commonly teach that in such a case there is no grievous 
sin. This opinion has appeared to me quite conformable to 
the truth ; for in an oath of this kind, taken not to a false 
hood but to equivocal language which is understood by him 
who swears, we find truth and justice; all that is missing is 
judgment or discretion, but according to the common 
opinion of theologians this defect constitutes only a venial 
sin. Moreover, in this instance, the speaker does not 
deceive another; he simply permits his deception on ac- 



1 Cajet., in 2, 2, qu. 89, art. 7, ad 4, dub. 2. 

2 De Lugo, De Fide, D. 4, . 64. 

3 Salmant., Tract. 17, DC Juram,, cap. 2> . 108. 



SER. i -1777 1 Letter 309. 1 4 1 

count of the hearer s heedlessness in not noticing the 
equivocation which is easily perceptible. This doctrine, 
however, does not obtain when there is question of law 
suits or contracts; for then it is certainly a grievous sin to 
swear to an equivocation for any private advantage without 
a just cause, and in these cases that cause must be very 
grave. 

In the second place, the Fiscal Advocate goes on to 
speak of mental reservation, and in the course of his re 
marks about me, says: "According to his teaching it is 
permissible to reply to the interrogatories of a judge, with 
mental reservation, even under oath, so that we appear to 
affirm with our lips what we inwardly deny. Accordingly 
a person interrogated as to whether he had done a certain 
act, though guilty, can, nevertheless, answer that he has 
not, provided he mentally says that he did not do it under 
such and such circumstances, or at such a time." 

At number 152, where I am speaking not of equivocal 
language, but of mental reservation, I have said that we 
must distinguish between reservation purely mental, and 
that which is not purely so. A reser nation is purely mental 
when our neighbor can in no way perceive the equivocation, 
as for instance, if a man were to deny having done some 
thing that he really did, mentally understanding that he 
did not do another thing which he did not do. This is a 
purely mental reservation, and is not permissible at all 
either with or without oath, as was declared by Innocent XI. 
in the twenty-sixth proposition condemned by him. The 
reservation is not purely mental when from circumstances 
our neighbor can argue well enough that we speak, under 
standing in our mind something other than what we say; 
as, for example, if a man knows something under the seal 
of secrecy, he may licitly say that he does not know it, 
meaning that he does not know it with power to make it 
manifest. This is permissible, and even under oath, as 



142 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

theologians commonly teach with Dominicus Soto, 1 Adri 
an, 2 Cajetan, 8 Sylvester, 4 Navarre, 5 and Cardinal Gotti. 

We have an instance of this kind in the case of Jesus 
Christ, who when speaking of the day of Judgment said : 
But of that day or hour no man knoiveth, neither the 
angels in heaven nor the Son, but the Father!* Here theo 
logians inquire how Jesus Christ could say that he knew 
nothing of the day of Judgment, since St. Paul says that in 
Jesus are hidden all the treasures of the wisdom and 
knowledge of God : In whom are hid all the treasures of 
wisdom and knowledge? The Fathers explain this by say 
ing that Jesus Christ here speaks with a mental reservation, 
meaning that he did not know it with permission to com 
municate his knowledge to his disciples. Thus, St. Thomas 
says: "He is said not to know it, because he does not 
make them know it," 8 that is, he said he did not know it 
to be communicated to others; and St. Augustine says even 
more clearly: "For he does not know that of which he 
leaves them in ignorance, that is, what he did not know 
with permission to reveal then to his disciples." 9 In the 
same way is this passage explained by St. Jerome, St. 



1 Soto, Df Justit. et Jure, lib. 5, qu. 6, a. 2. 

2 Adrian, 4 sent., qu. de Sig. confess. 

3 Cajet., Opusc. 16, Kesp. qn. 5. 

4 Sylvester, verb. Mendac., qu. 6, 4, et verb. Juram., qit. 2, /_/- 
ceat. 

5 Navarre, Man., cap. 12, ex n. 8, et cap. 18, ;/. 61, et cap. 25, 
n. 94. 

ft " De die autem illo, vel hora nemo scit, neque angeli in coelo, 
rieque Filius, nisi Pater." Alark, xiii. 32. 

~ " In quo (Christo [esu) sunt omnes thesauri sapientia?, et scien- 
tioe absconditi." Col. ii. 3. 

8 " Dicitur nescire diem, quia non facit scire." 3, qu. IQ, a. 2 V 
ad I . 

9 "Hoc enim nescit, quod nescire facit, id est quod non ita scie- 
bat, ut tune discipulis indicaret." Lib. I, de Trinit., cap. 12, n. 23. 



SER. I.-I7/7-] Letter 309. 143 

Chrysostom, St. Athanasius, St. Hilary, and St. Basil quoted 
by Suarez. 1 

In like manner Jesus said on another occasion to his 
disciples: Go you np to this festival day, but I go not up to 
this festival day? Still St. John afterward tells us that Jesus 
did go up to the festival : But after his brethren were gone 
up, tlien he also went up to the feast? Interpreters explain 
this equivocal expression by saying that when he said " I go 
not up" he must be understood as meaning 4t I go not up 
openly"; for when our Lord did go up to the festival, he 
went secretly, as we must gather from the circumstances. 
Here, then, we have two reservations not purely mental, 
made by Jesus Christ himself, which, according to the 
strict sense of the words spoken at the time, appear to be 
lies, but were only equivocal expressions. When, there 
fore, there is a just cause, it is permissible to answer and 
even to take an oath to an equivocation, that is, to a 
reservation not purely mental, as all the theologians quoted 
commonly teach ; for in that case there is no offence against 
the truth. 

In a third charge the Fiscal Advocate speaking of what I 
say in my Moral Theology at page 119, number 154, 
says: " Here he is speaking of witnesses, and teaches that 
a witness unlawfully questioned by a judge, can swear that 
he has no knowledge of a crime of which he really knows, 
meaning that he knows nothing of the crime concerning 
which inquiry may be lawfully made, or that he knows 
nothing to testify. And wishing to define exactly when the 
interrogatories of a judge are not lawful, he says this hap- 



1 Suarez, in 3 Part. S. TJioni., qu. 10, ad 2 in fine. 

~ " Vos ascendite ad diem festum hunc, ego autem non ascendo ad 
diem festum istum." John, vii. 8. 

3 " Ut autem ascenderunt f rat res ejus, tune et ipse ascendit ad 
diem festum." Ibid. vii. 10. 



144 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

pens when he inquires concerning a crime that is not 
public." 

In reply to this let me say that we must distinguish a 
crime that is not public from an occult crime ; since in an 
occult crime, as we shall see presently, the witness is not 
bound to tell what he knows ; on the other hand, when the 
crime is not public, he may in many instances be obliged 
to tell what he knows. Here the Advocate enters upon 
another and very different question, namely : Whether the 
witness who reveals to the judge the occult crime of another, 
commits a mortal sin. 

For the sake of clearness, I shall first answer the first 
question, and then pass on to the other. With regard to 
the question : Which are the cases in which a judge does 
not inquire legitimately, and in which, consequently, a wit 
ness is not obliged to tell what he knows, I shall content 
myself with quoting what St. Thomas teaches. Here are 
his words: " Without doubt, the witness is bound to give 
testimony whenever such testimony is required of him in 
accordance with the law, as in public crimes, and in those 
whose infamy has spread abroad. But if this testimony is 
asked of him in other cases, for example, in occult crimes 
or in those which have not become publicly known, he is not 
bound to testify." 1 The holy Doctor, then, teaches that 
the witness is not obliged to make known to the judge what 
he, the witness, may know, when the judge interrogates 
not in accordance with the law, as is the case when he 
makes inquiries concerning occult crimes or simply con 
cerning those from which no infamy has proceeded. In 

1 " Non est dubium, quin teneatur testimonium ferre in his, in 
quibus, secundum ordinem juris, testimonium ab eo exigitur, puta 
in manifestis, et in his de quibus infamia prcecessit. Si autem exi 
gitur ab eo testimonium in aliis, puta in occultis et de quibus infa 
mia non proecessit, non tenetur ad testificandum." 2, 2, qu. 70, 
art. i. 



SER.I. 177?] Letter 309. 145 

this teaching the Angelic Doctor is followed generally by 
the other theologians, as Cardinal Cajetan, 1 Sporer, 2 Azor, :i 
Roncaglia, 4 Sanchez, 5 and the theologians of Salamanca/* 

Speaking of the second question : Whether a witness 
who reveals to the judge the occult crime of another, com 
mits a mortal sin, the Fiscal Advocate censures what I 
have written, namely : " If the crime is occult, for then the 
witness may say that the accused did not commit the crime, 
he is even obliged to do so, because in such a case the judge 
is not making an inquiry lawfully." He takes exception to 
my answer that the witness is obliged (if the crime is alto 
gether occult) to say that the accused did not commit it, 
although Cardenas, Tamburini and Potesta teach this, and 
by these words they wish to say in short that the witness is 
obliged to conceal the crime of the guilty person. To me, 
however, this doctrine seems perfectly correct; for just as 
he who unnecessarily makes known the occult sin of his 
neighbor, commits a sin, so too he sins grievously who 
makes known to the judge the crime of another when that 
crime is entirely occult; he sins even more grievously on 
account of the injury done to his neighbor by his testimony, 
for then the judge (as has been explained above) makes 
inquiries illegitimately, and as the witness is not bound in 
such a case to reveal the truth, he commits a sin if having 
it in his power to conceal the truth, he makes it known. 

Furthermore, the Fiscal Advocate alleges: " But this is 
not enough. He goes on to the second question : Whether 
a witness who under oath deceives the judge, can be ex 
cused from mortal sin, and this is how he answers it : By 

1 Cajetan, Opusc. to in. i, tract. 31, Rcsp. 5. 

2 Sporer, De 2 precept. , cap. 2, n. 120, 121. 

3 Azor, 7\wi. I, lib. ii. cap. 4. 

4 Roncaglia, de eodem titulo cap. 4, qu. 2, Resp. 3. 

5 Sanchez, Decal., lib. 3, cap. 6, ;/. 23 ct 26, with Navarre, Tole- 
tus, and others. 

6 Salmant., Tract. 29 de offic., cap. 3, de testib., n. 56 et seq. 



146 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

such an oath, which can in nowise be called perjury, the 
witness has not sinned against commutative justice, but 
against legal justice and the obedience due to the judge, 
whose authority is transient, and lasts only as long as the 
judge continues the interrogatory. " 

To answer this charge properly, I must place the real 
question in a clear light, so that my answer may be more 
easily understood. The question is this: "Whether a wit 
ness, or even the culprit, who has concealed the truth by 
speaking in equivocal terms, is thereafter bound to make 
known the truth under pain of mortal sin?" Some authors 
say he is ; but I hold with Philiarcus, 1 Sanchez, 2 and the 
theologians of Salamanca in particular, 3 who stoutly main 
tain it as certainly the truer opinion, that in these circum 
stances neither the witness nor the culprit is obliged to 
manifest the truth. The reason for this appears very con 
vincing since such an oath cannot really and strictly be 
called perjury, as it is not taken to a lie but to an equivocal 
expression ; and although he who swears to this equivocal 
expression, has sinned grievously, nevertheless he has not 
sinned against commutative justice, but merely against 
legal justice on account of the obedience due to the judge. 
And since the command of the judge is not permanent, but 
lasts and has binding force only for the time during which 
he interrogates, once this time is past, the command of the 
judge no longer binds. Let it be remarked, however, that 
if the witness or the culprit by such culpable equivocation 
has injured a third person, he is bound to make good the 
damage caused ; for in that case he sins not only against legal 
justice in regard to the judge, but in regard to the person 
injured he sins against commutative justice also by the damage 

1 Philiarc. de Offic. sacerd. torn, i, P. 2, lib. 4, cap. 25. 

2 Sanchez, De DecaL, lib. 3, cap. 7, nwn. 8. 

3 Salmant., Tract. 17 de Juram. torn. Hi. cap. 2, punct. 8, 6, num. 
147. 



sER.i.-1777-J Letter 309. 147 

caused by his equivocation. He is, consequently, always 
bound in conscience to repair this damage. 

My opponent likewise objects to two other opinions 
that I advance, corollaries, as he calls them, of the prin 
ciples set forth by me. He says: "Thus it is said to be 
allowable to assert any falsehood whatever under oath, 
provided he who swears professes the truth in a low tone of 
voice so as not to be understood. It is also taught that one 
may tell lies before the judge whenever the regular manner 
of procedure is not observed by him." 

My reply is that what I have written in my work, lib. j", 
de 2 pnzcept, n. /, is as follows: "In the eighth place it 
is asked: Whether it is allowable to swear to a falsehood, 
provided one adds in a low tone of voice a true circum 
stance? Hurtado, Prado, and others answer in the af 
firmative, because, say they, for speech to be truthful it is 
sufficient that externally it agree with the idea in the mind, 
whether this idea be expressed by signs or in a low tone of 
voice, and it is only per accidens that another does not 
perceive it." But after these words I add: "The theo 
logians of Salamanca (cap. 2, n. /j), however, more 
properly admit this only in case the low tone of voice may 
in some way be perceived by others, although the sense 
therein conveyed be not understood ; but they do not admit 
it if the tone of voice is entirely imperceptible." I do not, 
then, approve of the opinion when the truth is professed by 
him who is under oath in so low a voice as not to be 
understood ; for then the truth is told only in a manner that 
is completely hidden from others. I do admit this opinion 
with the theologians of Salamanca, in that instance only in 
which, as they say, the low tone of voice may in some way 
be perceived by others, although the sense therein conveyed 
be not understood. 

He has another objection to this same citation : " It is 
also taught that one may tell lies before the judge whenever 



148 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

the regular manner of procedure is not observed by him." 
To this objection I have already answered with St. Thomas, 
that, when the order of judicial procedure is not observed, 
so that the judge does not conduct the interrogatory law 
fully, or when the crime is occult, or when it has not pro 
duced public infamy, or when there are no evident indica 
tions as some authors rightly assert, - - then, says St. 
Thomas, and with him all theologians, the witness is not 
obliged to answer. In these cases, he is not obliged to tell 
the truth in an intelligible voice, but may licitly conceal it. 
Excepted always are cases of heresy or those which affect 
the welfare of the community at large. 

The last objection that the Fiscal Advocate brings against 
me is a proposition inserted in my Moral Theology at line 
5. number 170, which, however, is not mine but one of 
Father Busenbaum s. It is as follows: "He who out 
wardly swears without the intention of swearing, is not 
bound by the oath, except, perhaps, by reason of the 
scandal given ; because he has not sworn, but simply feigned 
to swear. Still in public court he can be forced to stand by 
such an oath", and then other authors are cited. 

Here let me say, that although he who swears without 
the intention of taking an oath, certainly commits a sin, as 
is declared by Innocent XI. in the condemnation of the 
twenty-fifth proposition, nevertheless, bearing in mind that 
such a one does swear without the intention of taking an 
oath, Busenbaum was unquestionably right in saying that 
he is not bound to keep his promise. The reason for this, 
as the theologians of Salamanca and the generality of 
authors teach and their opinion is the more probable one 
is, that an oath taken without the intention of swearing is 
not really an oath. It lacks the necessary condition to the 
nature of a promise, namely, the intention of promising, 
and, therefore, as the promise is void, the oath, which is 
of the same nature, is also void. Busenbaum, however, 



SER.I.-I777-] Letter 309. 149 

failed to remark one thing in his proposition, namely, that 
although he who swears without the intention of doing so, 
is not bound to keep his promise, he is, nevertheless, 
always bound to repair the injury to a third person. To 
this obligation I have called particular attention a little 
further on, number 172, at the end of an addition which I 
made there : Queer itur, and in which with other authors I 
teach, as follows: "An exception is rightly made if the oath 
is taken in the matter of contracts, or before a judge, be 
cause then, though it is not perjury, it is a serious act of 
deceitfulness against justice." 

In conclusion, in spite of the diligent examination I have 
made, it seems to me that in my Moral Theology I cannot 
find that I have approved a single unsound doctrine, or any 
doctrine opposed to the morality of Jesus Christ, or the 
public welfare, or the life of the sovereign, as the Fiscal 
Advocate has charged me with. Nay, in relation to this 
last point I have stoutly maintained in my works on morals 
(^Homo Apostolicus, tract. 8, dc 5 prcecept., cap. 2, n. 12 
seq^}, that it is not lawful to violate the person of rulers, 
not only when they are in peaceable possession of their 
throne, but even when they rule after the manner of tyrants, 
and in this I am opposed to the opinion of many, for 
St. Peter tells us that w.e should obey our rulers even 
though they be froward, 1 and, moreover, to judge whether 
a sovereign possesses his realm justly or unjustly can never 
appertain to the subjects. 

With regard to Probabilism and the lax teaching of the 
Jesuits, charges made by the Fiscal Advocate, I have shown 
these charges to be utterly false in the foregoing. Who 
ever examines my Moral Theology, will readily see that I 
adhere to the more probable opinion, on which account 
some have considered me to be a Rigorist, as for example 
in the opinion I hold with regard to an aspirant to Holy 

1 I Peter, ii. 18. 
10* 



150 Special Correspondence. IPART n. 

Orders who is in the habit of sin. Here I maintain that 
such a person cannot be absolved unless he gives signs of 
a special habit of virtue. ... [ The rest is wanting^} 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 



LETTER 310. 
To Signer Giuseppe Remondini. 

Anxious about the reformation of two opinions, he earnest 
ly asks him whether the new edition of the Moral has been 
printed according to his repeated requests. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

NocERA, April 7, 1777. 

Most Illustrious Sir: As I learned that you were printing 
the eighth edition of my Moral, I wrote to you twice, per 
haps three times, to let you know that I had retracted two 
opinions contained in this work, and I begged you for the 
honor of the work to have them changed. I likewise 
asked you to let me know when you would publish another 
edition, as by this time the present will be finished. In 
short, I should wish you to inform me whether there is still 
time to arrange these two points. in the present edition, or, 
at least, to let me know when you are about to publish a 
new edition of the work. 

I have written to you two or three times, but have re 
ceived no answer, for what reason I know not. I beseech 
you to write me on this matter, that I may know how to 
act. Let me know also about the state of your health. 

I am still dragging out my life in pains and sufferings. I 
trust I shall soon have the pleasure of receiving a letter 



SER.I.-I77?.] Letter 311. 151 

from you. Once more tendering you the offer of my ser 
vices, 

I remain, Illustrious Sir, 

Your very humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA DE LIGUORI, Bishop. 
After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 

LETTER 311. 
To the Same. 

He tells him how to direct his letters, and speaks of some 
slight changes which he is preparing to introduce in the new 
edition of the Moral. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

NOCERA DE PAGANI, May 15, 1777. 

Most Illustrious Sir: Your letter of the 6th instant af 
forded me much pleasure, for not having had any answers 
to my frequent communications, I feared something had 
happened. Let me ask you not to direct your letters to 
Nocera, as letters do not reach me by that way. Send them 
to Naples, and I shall see that they are taken from the post- 
office. 

I have already begun to note down in a copy of the 
Moral many things for the new edition which you are to 
publish. When finished, I shall send this copy to Signor 
Moschini. I pray you to write to him, at your earliest conven 
ience to forward to you, as soon as he receives it, and by the 
first conveyance, this volume which I have arranged. I 
say this because whenever Signor Moschini gets books 
from me to be forwarded to you, he accepts them some 
what reluctantly. 



152 Special Correspondence. [PART ir. 

I have not much to insert in the Moral; for some points, 
which I thought were not inserted exactly as they should 
be, I found upon closer examination to be quite correct. 
One point only is to be added, and that I shall presently 
insert in the place to which it belongs. 

There are, however, some matters to be changed in the 
first volume; not to be added, but changed. These changes 
will necessitate the omission of several pages and the ab 
breviation of some others. But of this enough. When 
you receive the work, you will find everything in its proper 
place. With these corrections, I think the work will be 
much better arranged than heretofore. 

Meanwhile, accept my most sincere regards, and the 
expression of profound respect with which I remain, Illustri 
ous Sir, 

Your very humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA DE LIGUORI, Bishop. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 

LETTER 312. 
To the Same. 

The same subject. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

NOCERA, June 6, 1777. 

Most Illustrious Sir: Since you informed me of your 
intention to publish the eighth edition of my work, I began 
at once to arrange it for publication. I have, accordingly, 
added several small notes, and omitted a number of pages, 
particularly at the beginning, since I find these pages only 
injure the work and its sale. Nowadays no one cares for 
what is contained in them. I trust that, arranged in this 
manner, the work will have a still larger sale than hitherto. 



sER.i.-1777-J Letter 312. 153 

Unless I err greatly, we have not yet received any in 
formation concerning the copies you wished to send to 
Signor Cervone, at Naples ; but I hope they are on the 
way, and will arrive soon, by the time I shall have com 
pleted my task. Indeed, I am already nearly finished, for 
I have arranged, I may say, everything that required 
attention. Let me know whether you have written to 
Signor Moschini so that when the time comes, he may not 
receive with reluctance the commission of forwarding to 
you this newly arranged copy of my work. When your 
books arrive, I shall take a copy for myself, as you direct. 

I have arranged all the additions in their respective 
places. They are short, one only being of any length. It 
is that which, as I wrote to you on a former occasion, be 
longed to the Monitum. This Monitum, by the way, is no 
longer at the end of the work; it is in the first book, and 
has been arranged in much better form. 

Let me know whether, when sending this corrected copy, 
you wish me to tear off the pastebord and parchment, or to 
send it just as it is, cover and all. 

With sentiments of profound respect, I remain, Illustri 
ous Sir, 

Your very humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA DE LIGUORI, Bishop. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 



154 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 



LETTER 313. 
To the Same. 

He asks for some books, and gives him news concerning 
the Congregation. 

PAGANI, June 19, 1777. 

Most Illustrious Sir: I have received your esteemed letter 
of the yth instant, and I beg you to continue to direct to 
Brother Ilardo, at Naples, your letters intended for me. 

With regard to the notes to be added, I am at present 
busily engaged upon this work and am very near the end. 
Not to lose sight of the subject-matter and be compelled to 
begin my researches anew in case of interruption, I have 
used a copy of my Moral that I had at hand. As soon as 
opportunity offers, I shall receive the other copy from 
Signer Cervone. Till then I shall retain the copy which I 
have arranged for the new edition. When I forward it to 
you, which will be as soon as you inform me as to the 
manner of sending it, I shall enclose a separate sheet con 
taining the new arrangements, omissions, and additions, 
everything, in fine, that I have had occasion to change. 

It matters not that there is no reason for publishing the 
new edition just now. I trust you will have an occasion to 
do so, however, before my death. 

Rest assured that the work is now more satisfactory than 
it ever was. It is somewhat smaller on account of the 
pages left out, while on the other hand many pages have 
been added which will make it more desirable to pur 
chasers, in view of the teaching now current. [ Two lines are 
missing. ~\ 

I received from you two works of Father Noghera, one 
"Dogmatic Theology", the other on the "Supreme Power 
of the Pope". Both pleased me very much, and I thank 
you once more for your kindness. But besides these two 



SERI.-I777J Letter 313. 155 

volumes, nothing else has come to hand. I also received 
three volumes of Father Patuzzi s work, but not the others, 
and I should like very much to have the remaining volumes 
if you will be so kind as to send them. When you do so, 
I would ask you to send also some copies of the dogmatic 
work, for here in Naples there are none to be found ; all 
have been sold. 

I am very thankful to you for writing to Signer Moschi- 
ni. He will not make any difficulty now in accepting my 
Moral, which I shall send upon receiving word from you. 

With sentiments of profound respect, I remain, Illustri- 
.ous Sir, 

Your very humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA DE LIGUORI, Bishop. 

[P. S.~\ I desire to inform you that our Congregation 
has received some new foundations in the Romagna, par 
ticularly one in the city of Frosinone, and another recently 
at Benevento, in the kingdom of Naples. The Pope and 
Roman prelates are very kind to us. 1 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 

1 We have already, in vol. iii. General Correspondence, Letter SSi, 
spoken of this house which was given to the Congregation. It will 
he of interest to insert here the letter of the Sovereign Pontiff in 
reply to the expression of the saint s gratitude, and in which he 
speaks of his work in defence of the Holy See, mention of which 
was made in Letter 307, p. 127: 

Pius VI., POPE. 

"Venerable Brother, health. Amid the momentous difficulties 
with which Our Pontificate abounds, it is a subject of consolation 
and pleasure to Us to have an opportunity of favoring those who by 
their labors, studies and zeal have deserved well of the Christian 
people. We were, therefore, much pleased to be able to confer 
upon you and your Congregation by virtue of Our Apostolic authori 
ty the house of the suppressed Society of Jesus situated in Beneven 
to, with all its revenues and belongings forever. This We did, not 



156 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 



LETTER 314. 
To the Same. 

He informs him of his last work on the Aforal Theology , in 
accordance with which, for reasons given, all future editions 
shall be published. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

NOCERA, June 26, 1777. 

Most Illustrious Sir: This week I have received the copy 
of the Moral. As I wrote to you in my last letter, I have 
already prepared another revised and rearranged copy. 
This will certainly be the last of my life. 1 I should be 

so much, indeed, upon the recommendation and instance of Our 
beloved son, Cardinal Francesco Banditi, whom We mention with 
all honor and respect, as from Our own spontaneous good will, 
freely and gladly. For We- are not ignorant of the continuous 
examples of all religious virtues, and the remarkable proofs of 
learning, especially in the sacred sciences, which commend you and 
your companions, and make you worthy of some special token of 
Our munificence. Your letter conveying your most heartfelt thanks 
for this late favor, was particularly pleasing to Us, and We have 
received with every demonstration of affection your son, Reverend 
Father Fabricio Cimino, whom you sent hither to attend properly to 
this matter in concert with Our treasurer and the Treasurer of Our 
Apostolic Camera. The book which you have published even at 
this advanced age in defence of the dignity and authority of the 
Holy See, is a beautiful testimonial, indeed, of a spirit never 
wearied in the discharge of the duties of religion. We have re 
ceived this work w r ith joy, and shall read it when the multifarious 
occupations by which We are encompassed, leave Us the necessary 
leisure. For the rest, Venerable Brother, We lovingly impart to 
you and your Congregation the Apostolic Benediction. Given at 
ROME, at St. Peter s, May 15, 1777, in the third year of Our Pon 
tificate." 

1 It was in truth the last, for in the ninth edition, published two 
years before his death, the saint made no additions or alterations 
whatever. All the modifications made were for the eighth edition, 
which appeared in 1779. The saint speaks of these very frequently 



SKR. I.-I777-] Letter 314. 157 

ready to send it to you at once, had you only asked me to 
do so. However, let me entreat you to send for it as soon 
as you have an opportunity. I shall forward it without 
delay to Signor Moschini, to whom, as you informed 
me in your last letter, you have already written. In 
deed, I shall send it to him during the current week. 
I shall send him, also, the separate folio containing a 
summary of all that I have expunged from the previous 
editions, as well as all that I have added or reformed, 
in the remaining letters, and we have wished to call attention to 
them also, in order to make clear why the saint considered them so 
important at the time in which he wrote. The learned a la mode, as 
he himself was wont to style them, had rendered odious the very 
name of the lesuits, now suppressed, and of Probabilism, as some 
thing intimately connected with them; so that it was all over with 
any work which presented even a shadow of either name. The 
saint thus placed, as we have frequently remarked, in the necessity 
of striking out from his works every pretext that might give occasion 
to such accusations, endeavored in this, his last work, to explain 
in still more unequivocal terms his doctrine of Equiprobalnlism . 
and to omit all that he could of the works of Father Zaccaria, and 
Busenbaum in the treatise dc Conscicntia. Accordingly, I. he re 
tained only the third chapter of the second part of the Prolegomena 
of Father Zaccaria, namely, dc Komanorum J^ontijicum decrctis ; 2. he 
omitted Busenbaum s entire treatise dc Conscientia; 3. at page 304, 
at the end of the second volume, he added to the second list of re 
tracted opinions three others, namely, numbers 15, 16, and 17; 
4. he composed, as we have seen in Letter 263, p. 55, the Morale 
Systema pro delectu opinionum, quas licitc sectari possumus (Mor 
al System for the Choice of Opinions which we may Licitly Em 
brace), consisting of two parts, the Monititm, and the Dissertatio 
de USH moderate opinionis probabilis (Dissertation on the Moderate 
Use of the Probable Opinion), which had been inserted in the two 
preceding editions, though with some differences, as may be seen in 
the I indicitr Alphonsiana, P. I. cap. ii. iv. 

In this way, the saint thought and with perfect correctness, that 
he had completed his work, and omitted from it whatever might 
prove injurious to it in the eyes of those who at that time formed 
public opinion, if we may venture to use the expression, with regard 
to Moral Theology. 



158 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

If Signer Moschini will accept the work, you will receive 
it in a short time; but should he refuse to accept it 
for the present, you will have to wait till he sees fit to 
do so. 

I shall, nevertheless, send this new Moral to Brother 
Michele Ilardo, at Naples, this very day, that he may 
hand it over to Signor Moschini when that gentleman will 
be pleased to take it. That you have no intention of print 
ing this work just now, matters little. I only ask you to 
send for it to Moschini as soon as possible, for you may 
then take care of it yourself until such time as you are going 
to publish another edition. 

I am going to tell you something upon which until now 
you have not thought, perhaps, and it is this: hitherto the 
censors of books have placed no obstacle in the way of ad 
mitting the copies of the old Moral; but in the future it 
may easily happen that these old copies will not be received, 
for now the Society [of Jesus] is suppressed, and the 
books, particularly the Moral works of the Jesuits, utterly 
abhorred. In the future, then, it would not be surprising 
to see difficulties raised against the admission into Naples, 
and, perhaps, also into other parts of Europe, of my old 
Moral which contains at the beginning some treatises com 
posed by Jesuits in favor of Probabilism, a thing nowadays 
in universal disrepute, and which cannot even be mentioned 
at Naples. I myself have been called to task by one of the 
ministers, Ferdinando de Leone, who had drawn up a 
memorial attacking me and my Moral, in which he said 
that one could easily see from my works that I was a 
Probabilist, and a follower of the System of the suppressed 
Society of Jesus. It will not do, therefore, for you to 
publish another edition of my Moral, unless it be according 
to the alterations made in the revised copy, from which all 
the treatises written by Jesuits in favor of Probabilism have 
been omitted. 



SER.I.-I77?] Letter 314. 159 

I have wished to give you complete information with 
regard to this matter, so that you may act according to the 
dictates of prudence. I beseech you to answer me im 
mediately on the receipt of this letter, as 1 shall be anxious 
to know whether you have received it or not. 
With deepest respect, I remain, 
Illustrious Sir, 

Your very humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA DE LIGUORI, Bishop. 
[P. SJ] In Europe, the Pope is to-day a spectacle to the 
whole world. 

[Postscript of Brother Michele Ilardo,] This morning I 
received the corrected copy of the Moral, and at once took 
it to Signor Moschini s. I made the agreement with him 
that if I should find an earlier opportunity of sending it via 
Manfredonia, I would return for it. In any case I shall send 
it to you at the earliest opportunity. Should you forward 
any books to Monsignor, you might send me that folio of the 
Country Confessor with them. 

Your servant, 

BROTHER ILARDO, 

of the Most Holy Redeemer. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 



160 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

LETTER 315. 

To Father Lemetre, Superior of the Congregation of the 
Missions, at Naples. 

He requests him to disabuse a Father of that Congrega 
tion of the false notion conceived of the doctrine upheld by 
himself and his companions on the subject of Probabilism. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

NOCERA OK PAGAXI, July 15, 1777. 

Most Reverend and Honored Father: I have been as 
sured that the Superior of your Fathers at Bari is every 
where in that province accusing my companions, who are 
also called upon to give missions in the surrounding coun 
try, of being Probabilists and followers of the Laxist 
System. 

My companions maintain the same doctrine as myself. 
Now I am not a Rigorist, much less am I a Probabilist. I 
maintain, as I have written in several of my works on 
Moral Theology, that the opinion in favor of liberty cannot 
be followed when it has no other support than the mere fact 
that it is probable. On the other hand, the opinion in 
favor of the law, I maintain, must necessarily be followed 
when it is more probable. 

I say, therefore, that I am neither a Rigorist, nor a 
Probabilist, but a Probabiliorist, 1 and I assert that now 
when matters on this point which was hitherto so confused, 
are cleared up, this is the System which all should follow. 

I beseech your Reverence to write to that Father at Bari 
what I say here, that he may change his ideas about our 
doctrine. I know full well that in Naples, also, many 
accuse us of this grave error; but I trust that they will 
come to a clearer understanding of the matter when they 

1 See letter of March 28, 1767, Special Corrcsp., vol. i.. p. 363, 
note. 



SER.I.-I77?] Letter 316. 161 

read the numerous works I have published in order to 
remove this stigma from myself and my companions. 

I confidently hope that your Reverence will do me this 
favor, for you know the high esteem in which my compan 
ions and I hold your most deserving Congregation. 

I commend myself to your prayers, and subscribe myself 
with profound respect, 

Your most humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA DE LIGUORI, Bishop. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 

LETTER 316. 
To Signer Giuseppe Remondini. 

He expresses his grief that an edition of the Moral had 
been published without his knowledge, and that, conse 
quently, the edition with the desired improvements cannot 
be made. 

NOCERA, November 27, 1777. 

Most Illustrious Sir: To my great satisfaction, I have 
received your esteemed letter of the I5th instant, for it was 
a long time since I had any news from you. I perceive 
that you cannot now begin a new edition, as you have still 
on hand eight hundred copies of the last one. 1 My dear 
Don Giuseppe, what shall I say? The misfortune is that I 
did not know a word about that edition ; otherwise I should 
have sent you even then the Moral, which, as you will see 
from the copy I forwarded to you recently, I have now so 
thoroughly corrected. I am certain that, according to the 
fashion of thinking now in vogue, this new Moral would be 
more acceptable and in greater demand than the old one, 
which contained many things that are looked upon by the 
learned of to-day with disgust and abhorrence. This is 

1 The seventh edition, publ.shed in 1773. 
n 



1 62 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

particularly the case with the introductory treatises at the 
beginning of the volume, which contain many points on 
Probabilism. When people read such things at the be 
ginning, they turn their backs upon what is said afterward. 

Had I known that you were going to reprint the Moral 
as it was, I should certainly have warned you for your own 
sake, not to do so ; because from the many notices that I 
receive of Moral Theologies published throughout Europe 
in accord with modern tendencies, I could have informed 
you that this work of mine would remain unsold, as, in 
fact, is already coming to pass. I repeat, the news of this 
edition causes me the liveliest grief, for I have your inter 
ests deeply at heart, and I am sorry that on my account 
you should sustain any loss. 

I should be extremely glad, however, to learn that you 
had found a ready market for them all ; but from the infor 
mation I have received, as I just mentioned, I think that 
will be quite difficult. Still, do what seems best to you. 

Should you hereafter change your opinion with regard to 
printing the corrected Moral, gratify me, I pray you, by 
letting me know it. I could already have taken many 
orders for the Moral in the form in which I sent it to you ; 
but I shall now have to decline. I must tell purchasers to 
wait a while, if they will be satisfied to do so. 

I am looking anxiously for the little works you were so 
kind as to forward me, and I shall take care to send for 
them to Signor Cervone, to whom, I suppose, you have 
consigned them. Besides these, I should like very much 
to have a few copies (four or five) of my dogmatic work on 
the Council of Trent, in regard to which a mistake has 
been made. Instead of sending it you sent me several 
copies of the Truth of Faith. These I returned to you, 
but I have not been able to receive the copies of the 
dogmatic work. If you could oblige me in this matter, I 
should be very grateful, although I do not cease to thank 



sER.i.-1777-J Letter j//. 163 

you for all the inconvenience you undergo on my ac 
count. 

With renewed expressions of profound respect, I remain, 
Illustrious Sir, 

Your very humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA DE LIGUORI, Bishop. 

[/*. S^\ I perceive that your letter is a reply to one of 
mine of some time ago. But on the same subject, namely, 
the new edition, I recently wrote you another letter, which 
you will have received by this. In view of this reply of 
yours, however, I will say that it is not necessary for you 
to inconvenience yourself further by writing to me on that 
subject. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 

LETTER 317. 

To Signer Onofrio Paci, Printer at Naples. 
The publication of the smaller works of St. Thomas would 
not be advisable. The saint s zeal for the preservation of 
the faith. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

NOCERA, December i, 1777. 

My Dear Don Onofrio : I have received your letter, and 
I do not know what to answer. The undertaking is certain 
ly a noble one, particularly as it concerns St. Thomas and 
his writings ; but as I have no one here with whom to con 
sult on the matter, I would prefer that you speak about it 
with some learned men at Naples, especially with the pro 
fessors among the Dominicans, who can give you much 
information and assistance. I should, moreover, like to 
know whether these small works have been printed in the 
late editions of the writings of St. Thomas, and whether 
they are in demand among book-buyers. On these points 
you could get information from the principal booksellers. 



164 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

What makes me timorous in advising this enterprise 
without assurance of its success, is that nowadays works of 
a doctrinal character are not much sought after by the cor 
rupt world. They want books that treat of vanity, of 
poetry, or something against the truths of our holy faith, 
or the Church. I would, therefore, ask you to talk the 
matter over with many consultors, in particular, with 
priests and religious; and from what they say, after hearing 
the difficulties I find in the way, you may be able to draw 
some definite conclusion. For myself, without being able 
to speak upon the matter with other learned and ex 
perienced men at Naples, I should scruple to advise 
you to undertake the work in the present condition of 
things. 

Should you, however, issue a prospectus to ascertain 
whether people would approve the plan, and whether they 
were anxious to have the undertaking begun, you would 
not, as I think, be bound to publish the works if no eager 
ness for them was manifested. But in these matters I have 
very little experience. I am speaking only according to 
my own judgment. See what others say upon the subject, 
and act according to their advice. 

Certain it is, that the corruption of morals is daily on the 
increase, and faith is becoming weaker. God knows to 
what condition it will be reduced in Naples in twenty or 
thirty years. We must, therefore, pray earnestly and 
unceasingly to Almighty God to support our holy faith, 
and we must recommend the same to devout souls, and 
particularly to religious Communities. Miserable sinner 
though I be, I do nothing but pray Jesus Christ to help us, 
that our faith may be preserved, for if faith is lost, all is 
lost. To tell the truth, I should wish to see some scourge 
come upon us, that obstinate hearts might realize that there 
is a God, who, though long-suffering, does not always with 
hold the rod. 



SER.I.-I777-] Letter j/. 165 

I speak thus, because I am dying with grief at the sight 
of the corruption that is everywhere gaining ground. 
With sentiments of sincere regard, I remain, 
Illustrious Sir, 

Your very humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA DE LIGUORI, Bishop. 
[P. S.~\ The truths of faith are denied, and sins multi 
ply. 

After the Roman edition and the original preserved in 
great part in the Convent of S. Monica of the Discalced 
Carmelites, at Ferrara. 

LETTER 318. 
To Signer Giuseppe Remondini. 

He thanks him for a present of various works, and speaks 
of the edition of the Moral which is so useful and eagerly de 
sired. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

NOCERA DE PAGANI, December 3, 1777. 

Most Illustrious Sir: This evening I received your reply 
of October 4, containing information of all the books, large 
and small, that you are sending me. I am quite over 
whelmed by this generous proof of your kindness, and I 
wish to know how I can repay you for it. I pray Jesus 
Christ, and I shall continue to beseech him to reward you 
both spiritually and temporally for all the acts of kindness 
you have already shown, and still show me. 

I am now sure that you have received the last revision of 
the Moral. I trust that before my death you will have 
occasion to publish it, that I may be able to influence many 
to purchase it; for only this edition can I call a complete 
and perfect work, acceptable to the learned of to-day. 

Once more, I thank you most sincerely. I have had 
inquiries made at Signer Elia s, and he tells me that he has 
ii* 



1 66 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

not yet received the books you sent me. I trust they will 
arrive. I shall continue to inquire of this gentleman re 
garding them. It will be a pleasure for me to read them, 
particularly the works of Noghera, which, I presume, are 
excellent, as, indeed, are all the books you have ever sent 
me. 

With sentiments of profound respect, I remain, Illustrious 
Sir, 

Your very humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA DE LIGUORI, Bishop. 

After an old copy. 

LETTER 319. 
To Signer Onofrio Paci, Printer at Naples. 

He encourages him to publish the smaller works of St. 
Thomas, and points out how to do something for the faith, 
sending him for this purpose some very useful books. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

NOCERA, December 3, 1777. 

Most Illustrious Sir : I am pleased to learn that only two 
of the smaller works of St. Thomas have been published ; 
for since these works of the Angelic Doctor are most 
assuredly wished for by all, you can, I trust, safely under 
take an edition of them. I learn with pleasure, also, that a 
friend of yours, a priest, will bear part of the expense with 
you. But with all this, do not forget to make inquiries 
among the people to ascertain how many will aid you in 
the enterprise. Take a note of their number, that you may 
be better able to direct affairs. 

I thank you for the information you give me concerning 
our holy faith, also with regard to the doctor that is going 
about Naples selling his collection of corrupt books. 

When you are in conversation with people in your 



SER.I.-I777-1 Letter 320. 167 

establishment, do not omit to speak to them of our holy 
faith, and to say: "Gentlemen, do not forget to commend 
our holy faith everywhere, for Naples is in a very bad 
state. A very learned man, who is likewise God-fearing, 
has said that twenty years will hardly elapse before the 
faith will be nearly, if not entirely rooted out in Naples." 

I have still on hand some few copies of the small work, 
The Truth of Faith. 1 I send you five of them. See that 
they are given to those who need them, especially to 
priests, who can instruct others in the truths of our holy 
faith. I am satisfied to have them disposed of at eight 
grains, which, I may say, is the cost of the paper alone. 
This is a golden little book. If it were a comedy, it would 
have an immense sale. 

With the assurance of my sincere regard, etc. 

After the Roman edition. 

LETTER 320. 
To the Same. 

He sends him a small work, asking him to print it. 

NOCERA, December 21, 1777. 

I desire to have the accompanying little pamphlet , 
Hints for Preachers, printed as quickly as possible. I 
want to send it as a present, not only to all our own 
houses, but also to all the Congregations of missionaries, 
the Lazarists, the Pious Workers, the Dominicans, and 
others. I want it read not only by the Superiors, but like- 

1 This small work was " Reflections upon the Truth of Divine 
Revelation, against the Principal Errors of the Deists", published 
in 1773; or rather the one published in 1762, entitled: "Evidence 
of Faith drawn from the Motives of Credibility". The saint calls it 
small to distinguish it from the larger work, entitled: "The Truth 
of Faith, against Materialists who Deny the Existence of God, 
Deists who Deny Revealed Religion, and Heretics who Deny that 
the Catholic Church is the Only True Church". 



1 68 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

wise by the other Fathers, and the young men of these 
respective Congregations. 1 

I sincerely trust that this little work will prove very useful 
to souls, for it treats of things that everyone can do, and 
that are necessary for salvation. I beg Almighty God to 
bless it. 

After an old copy, 

LETTER 321. 
To Signer Giuseppe Remondini. 

He inquires about a certain work sent some time previous 
ly to be printed, and speaks of its subject-matter and its 
importance. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

NOCERA DE PAGANI, February 20, 1778. 

Most Illustrious Sir: I should like to know whether you 
have yet printed my work, Admirable Conduct of Divine 
Providence, which I sent you some time ago, and which 
you informed me was already in press. I have had no 
news of late concerning it. It is a small book, but unless 
self-love deceives me, I think it is a golden work. Though 
small, it contains much beautiful instruction, not to speak 
of the immense labor it cost me. It contains the history 
of the Old and New Testaments, an explanation of the 
prophecies relating to the whole economy of the Incarna 
tion, the coming and death of Jesus Christ, the conversion 
of the Gentiles, the dispersion of the Jews, and the destruc 
tion of their laws and government. It treats, likewise, 
of the fall of the four great empires of the world and 
a hundred other matters culled from the best authors, such 
as Natalis Alexander, Calmet, Huet, Bossuet, etc. To 
me it appears quite useful to combat all the works of infidel 

1 See Letter 908, page 262, vol. iii., General Correspondence. 



SER. i.-i778.] Letter 322. 169 

writers of the present day, for it clearly shows that all the 
prophecies uttered in the Old Testament have been exact 
ly fulfilled in the New. 

I merely wish to know whether this work is printed or 
not. In case the copy I sent you has been lost, let me 
know, that I may forward the other copy. I say the other 
copy, because I have only one left. 

I am anxiously looking forward to spring for the vessel 
that will bring the books you present me, as you informed 
me in your letter ; but if the state of the weather does not 
change, I shall not have the pleasure of receiving them. 

If the work, Admirable Conduct, etc. is printed, and 
you wish to send me some copies, let me ask you to send, 
also, a copy of the dogmatic work. Of this work, I have 
only one copy. Wishing, a few days ago, to look up a 
certain matter, I was obliged to search everywhere for it, 
but after all my trouble, I did not succeed in finding it. 

Pardon the weariness I cause you by my letters. With 
sentiments of profound respect, I remain , 

Illustrious Sir, 

Your very humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA DE LIGUORI, Bishop. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 

LETTER 322. 
To the Same. 

He recommends the printing of the work mentioned in the 
preceding. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph! 

NOCERA, March 23, 1778. 

Most Illustrious Sir: I have received your esteemed let 
ter of the 1 4th instant, and again made inquiries of Signer 



170 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

Elia, to ascertain whether he had yet received the bundle 
containing your books. 

I learn that you have all the presses occupied with the 
" History" of Natalis Alexander and the author who is the 
continuator of the work. I must wait, therefore, as you 
write to me, until one of the presses is free, before the 
Admirable Conduct, which I call a golden little work, can 
be printed. I call this book golden, because, it seems to 
me, that it may be of great advantage to our holy faith in 
these times when the impious writings of wicked men who 
desire only to destroy the faith of Jesus Christ, are con 
tinually streaming from the press. It is not very large, but 
to my mind it is quite sufficient to stop the mouths of our 
modern unbelievers and the many loose young men who 
so loudly applaud the present literature against the faith. 

I shall, then, expect to see this work printed as soon as 
one of the presses is free. I hope to receive some copies 
of the dogmatic work, as you inform me. Meanwhile, I 
again tender you the expression of my sincere regard. 

When your presses are free, I hope you will undertake a 
new edition of the Moral, which I so ardently desire to see 
printed before my death. 

I remain, Illustrious Sir, 

Your very humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA DE LIGUORI, Bishop. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 



SER. I.-I77*.] Letter 323. 171 

LETTER 323. 
To the Same. 

After thanking him for a present of some books, he again 
recommends the printing of the Moral and the Admirable 
Conduct. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

NOCERA, April 19, 1778. 

Most Illustrious Sir: Your books have just arrived. The 
box is full ! Three tomes in folio of Father Patuzzi, six 
copies of the Victories of the Martyrs, twenty of the 
dogmatic work, and six of the Reflections! I now under 
stand how magnificent your present is. Words fail to 
express my thankfulness for your generosity. 

After this, I fancy I shall not have the pleasure of re 
ceiving any letters from you for a long time. But I ask 
you not to forget the two works I have recommended you 
to print, the Moral and the Admirable Conduct. At least, 
I would request you not to fail to print the Moral when the 
presses are free. I should die content were this edition 
published. [A line is missing ^\ 

I pray our dear Lord to reward you for all your kindness 
to me. I trust that after my death I shall be saved, and 
then I shall pray for you always. 

With feelings of profound esteem and gratitude, I re 
main, 

Illustrious Sir, 

Your very humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA DE LIGUORI, Bishop. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 



i 7 2 Special Correspondence. [ PA RT 1 1 . 



LETTER 324. 
To the Same. 

He acknowledges the receipt of a letter, and after repeat 
ing previous recommendations, informs him of his corre 
spondence with Nonnotte, and inquires about the conver 
sion of Voltaire. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

NOCERA, May 28, 1778. 

Most Illustrious Sir: For some weeks I have been suffer 
ing very grievously from my infirmities, signs that my 
death is near at hand. 

I have received your esteemed letter in which you tell 
me that you will send me, through Signor Elia, a copy of 
the History of the Heresies which I had printed, and 
twenty copies of the Victories of the Martyrs. You tell 
me, also, that as soon as the " History" of Natalis Alex 
ander is finished, you intend to publish my Moral. I 
hope, as I have frequently besought you, that before my 
entrance into eternity, you will give me the consolation of 
seeing printed this Moral, newly revised and corrected ac 
cording to my own mind. 

Meanwhile, I thank you sincerely for the numerous pres 
ents you have made me. I am sorry that I cannot, in some 
way, repay all the favors you have hitherto bestowed upon 
me. I entreat our dear Lord to reward you for them in the 
present, as well as in the future life. 

I wrote to the Abbe Nonnotte 1 to express to him my 
pleasure and satisfaction with his second beautiful work, 
" Dictionary against the Errors of Unbelievers", and he has 
written me a very nice letter in return. I have heard many 
rumors, now favorable, now adverse, of the conversion 

1 See General Correspondence y vol. iii., Letter 91 1, p. 268. 



SER.I.-I778.] Letter 324. 173 

of Voltaire, an event ardently wished for by all Catho 
lics. 1 A work treating of the affair at length, has been 
published at Naples ; but the fact is questioned by very 
many of the learned, because there seem to be no signs of a 
true conversion. As you are well-informed on passing 
events, I would ask you to let me know what you think 
of this conversion. 

I shall come to an understanding with Signor Elia about 
receiving the other books that you send me, and for 
which I again thank you most sincerely. Every morning 
at holy Mass I commend yourself and all your interests to 
Jesus Christ. 

I remain, Illustrious Sir, 

Your very humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA DE LIGUORI, Bishop. 

[P. S.~\ With regard to the affair of Voltaire, the prin 
cipal men of this place, who are in constant correspondence 
with Paris, assert as true, that Voltaire, shortly after his 
retirement last winter to his castle of Fernex, in Paris, was 
attacked by a severe illness, during which he sent for the 
celebrated parish priest of S. Sulpice to hear his confession. 
After this he recovered, and is now perfectly well; but 
of his conversion, not a word is said either by himself or 
others. This is all that is circulated as certain. 

After the original, /preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 

1 See General Correspondence, vol. iii., Letter 916, p. 278. 



174 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

LETTER 325. 

To the Same. 

Various reports of the death of Voltaire 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

NOCERA DE PAGANI, July 9, 1778. 

Most Illustrious Sir: I have received your esteemed let 
ter of the 2oth of June. With regard to Voltaire, I have 
seen in the "Gazette of Florence" that, instead of taking his 
medicine at certain intervals during the twenty-four hours, 
he insisted on taking the whole at once. As it was opium, 
it caused his death. In another paper of the 2d of June, 
the account was that he wished to have his infamous " Dic 
tionary" compiled by the members of the French Academy, 
each member taking a letter of the alphabet. They, how 
ever, refused to do so ; whereupon he undertook it himself, 
beginning with the letter A. He worked forty-eight con 
secutive hours. To relieve the fatigue consequent upon 
such a strain, he took a cup of coffee every hour. This 
shattered his nervous system, and a severe stricture with 
retention of urine followed. The physicians tried to aid 
him ; but overpowered by the attack, he succumbed during 
the night of the 3Oth of May. 

It is stated, also, that the Archbishop of Paris J denied 
him the right of sepulture, and that they were thinking of 
removing him to his castle in France and burying him in 
the garden. 

The latest advices from Florence, of the 6th of June, 
however, contain the following: " Voltaire died at Paris, on 
the 30th of May. Before his death, he was overcome by a 
profound lethargy brought on by taking a bottle of opium 
prepared for medicinal use, and sent him by his distin 
guished friend the Count de Richelieu. Voltaire, whether 

1 Mgr. Christophe de Beaumont. 



SER.I.-I779-1 Letter 326. 175 

from a misunderstanding or some other motive, it is not 
known, drank the entire quantity at once. Recovering 
from the deathly stupor, he thought he could help himself 
by coffee, thirty -two cups of which he took during the 
night, etc. He died a prey to fear and remorse. No 
church would grant him the right of sepulture, and he had 
no priest to assist him in his last moments." 

To-day I have been informed that the twenty copies of 
the Victories of the Martyrs and a copy of the History of 
the Heresies have reached Signor Elia. I thank you again 
for this kindness, also for the hopes you hold out to me. I 
am still alive, but very much debilitated by reason of my 
numerous infirmities. 

I shall not trouble you further. With sentiments of pro 
found respect, I remain, 

Illustrious Sir, 

Your very humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA DE LIGUORI, Bishop. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 

LETTER 326. 
To the Paci Brothers, Printers at Naples. 

Act empowering them to obtain permission to publish his 
works. 

NOCERA DE PAGANI, July 29, 1779. 

As I am well pleased with the work done for me by 
Onofrio and Antonio Paci, Brothers, public printers of the 
city of Naples, both with regard to the extreme care and 
attention to the publication and republication of the works 
I have given to the press since February, 1772, I con 
sented in another letter to their procuring permission to pub 
lish some of my ascetical works. At present, wishing to 
reward in greater measure their merit for services rendered 



176 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

me, by these presents, I consent that these worthy gentle 
men, the Paci Brothers, should obtain from his Majesty, 
through the proper tribunals, the exclusive permission to 
print all the works hitherto published by me, without any 
exception, and to the exclusion of everyone else. It is only 
just and right that these gentlemen, who have for years 
served me so faithfully, should reap some advantage in 
competition with foreign printers. 

ALFONSO MARIA DE LIGUORI, Bishop. 
After an old copy. 

LETTER 327. 
To Signer Giuseppe Remondini. 

His gratitude and great satisfaction that the edition of the 
newly-revised Moral has been published. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

NOCERA DE PAGANI, October 21, 1779. 

Most Illustrious Sir: With indescribable pleasure, I have 
received from Don Giuseppe Antonio d Elia of Naples, six 
copies of my new Moral recently published by you. As 
yet, however, no letter from you has arrived. I beseech 
you to send me a duplicate of the one you mention. I can 
only repeat that I shall die content, since this edition of the 
Moral is completed. I should not have been able to do so 
before this edition appeared. 

In the first place, I thank God who has moved you to 
publish this new edition, and, secondly, I thank you most 
particularly. I beseech you to send me a copy of your let 
ter as soon as possible, that I may be able to let you know 
how many more copies should be sent to Naples for those 
who desire to have the Moral in its new and revised form. 



SKR. i.-1779-l Letter 328. 1 77 

With sentiments of profound gratitude, respect, and most 
cordial affection, I remain, 
Illustrious Sir, 

Your very humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA DE LIGUORI, Bishop. 
After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 

LETTER 328. 
To the Same. 

He thanks him again, and asks for some copies of the 
Moral and their price. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

NOCERA HE PAGANI, November 17, 1779. 

My Dear Don Giuseppe, I can never sufficiently thank 
you for the beautiful edition you have published of my 
Moral Theology. I think I should have died unhappy, had 
death come before its appearance. 

Yes, indeed, I want some more copies, four in partic 
ular, one for each of our other houses. Besides our Com 
munities, other persons have already begun to ask for it, 
and as soon as it is known in Naples, I trust very many 
copies will be sold. When an opportunity of sending them 
offers, you may forward ten or twelve. Later, I shall in 
form you of others that may be needed. 

If I could go to Naples, I might probably be able to dis 
pose of quite a number in a few months ; but as I am an 
old man, eighty-four years of age and a cripple, propped up 
in an invalid-chair, I must be resigned. But enough! 
Please let me know the price of the copies, and I shall 
inform you of the sale, and of the prospects of disposing of 
more. Meanwhile, I thank you once more, and presenting 



178 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

my compliments, I pray you to ask of me anything; that 
may be to your interest, if I am in any way able to serve 
you. 

With sentiments of profound respect, I remain, 
Illustrious Sir, 

Your very humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA DE LIGUORI, Bishop. 

[P. S.~] Do not forget to inform me of the price of the 
Moral. If you think proper, send some copies to Signer 
d Elia, as booksellers have better facilities to dispose of 
books than we who are always at home. 

When sending copies of the work, let them be unbound, 
as they sell more readily than the bound. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 



LETTER 329. 
To the Same. 

He again asks the price of the Moral. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

NOCERA, December 27, 1779. 

Most Illustrious Sir: I am ever more and more obliged 
to you for the kindness manifested in your mindfulness of 
me. In return, I wish you every temporal and spiritual 
blessing. 

You have done well in fixing the price of the new edition 
of the Morale, the same figure for which the others were 
sold ; but as I am utterly unable to recall that price, be so 
kind as to inform me of it, that I may transmit it to you. 

I shall have inquiries made at Don Michele Stasi s in 
Naples, concerning the receipt of the copies of the Moral 
in question, and the works of Noghera which you sent me 
as a present. 



sER.i.-i 7 8o.] Letter 330. 179 

Placing myself at your disposal to execute your esteemed 
commands, I remain, Illustrious Sir, 

Your very humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA DE LIGUORI, Bishop. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 

LETTER 330. 
To the Same. 

He excuses himself for not being able to remit the money 
for the copies received. 

PAGANI, March n, 1780. 

Most Illustrious Sir: I reply briefly to your esteemed 
letter. Above all, I thank you for the copies you sent me, 
also, for the information concerning the price. 

,At present, I have no money on hand, partly because I 
have not yet asked for my pension, partly because I have 
sustained the loss of certain revenues. As soon as I receive 
my pension, I shall send you the amount together with the 
request to send any more copies of the Moral that may 
possibly be needed. 

With this information, and with sentiments of my most 
sincere regard, I remain, 
Illustrious Sir, 

Your very humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA DE LIGUORI, Bishop. 
After the original in the convent of the Capuchin Fathers 
of the Province of Ancona. 



1 80 Special Correspondence. i P A RT 1 1 

LETTER 331. 

To the Same. 

A request for more copies of the Moral. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

NOCERA DE PAGANI, January 8, 1781. 

My Dear Don Giuseppe : I write to let you know that I 
am still among the living. 

For some time I have been expecting those twelve copies 
of my large Moral, but have not yet had the happiness of 
receiving them. I earnestly entreat you to send them by 
the first opportunity on the opening of spring, through 
Signer Chiappori, by whom you mentioned you would for 
ward them to me. At the same time do not forget to 
remind me of the price, that I may remit it to you without 
delay. 

If I can be of service to you in any way, let me know. 

I remain, Illustrious Sir, 

Your very humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA DE LIGUORI, Bishop. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 



Special (Corrcsponbcme. 
ii. 

P A S 7" R A L LETTERS, 
(17441775.) 



12* 



PART II. 
Special (Correspondence. 

SECOND SERIES. PASTORAL LETTERS. 



LETTER 332. 
To the Fathers of the Congregation. 

On the manner of conducting Missions and Retreats. 1 

Live Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and Teresa! 

[CIORANI, 1744.] 

In the first place, the Fathers shall bear in mind that 
they cannot go on the missions unless sent by Superiors. 
The latter, however, shall never send them out without the 
request of the bishops or of the parishes with the consent 
of the bishops; and they shall request that the permission 
and necessary faculties be given in writing. Subjects may, 
indeed, not only show themselves most willing to give 
missions, but likewise manifest an ardent though submissive 
desire to be so employed. 

When they are about to depart they shall notify the 
bishop, or the archpriest, or the parish priest, of the time 
of their arrival at the city or town in which the mission is 

1 This letter, we might almost call it a small Treatise on the 
Missions, was written by the saint as a part of the Constitutions of 
the Institute. But perhaps because it was too long, the end in view 
was obtained in another way, and it was not inserted. We publish 
it in this part of the Correspondence, because its contents are of a 
pastoral nature, and, moreover, because it has been published, 
though for the first time, among the Letters in the Roman edition. 



184 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

to be given, in order that the latter may inform the 
people, in case it should be necessary in the larger places 
even by means of bills, and see that the house, beds, 
and kitchen utensils are in readiness. This notification 
shall also be given so that upon the arrival of the mission 
aries, the bells may be rung as on festivals, and the 
Fathers be met outside the gates of the town by the clergy 
with the processional cross, which shall then be given to 
the Superior of the mission, as will be remarked later on. 

Before their departure they shall recite together in the 
church the Itincrarium Clericonim. Then having received 
the blessing of the Superior, who shall designate the one whom 
they shall obey in everything, they shall set out. They 
shall employ the time of the journey in exercises of devo 
tion. 

On arriving at their destination and meeting the clergy, 
as was said above, the Superior shall take the cross, and 
all shall go in procession to the church, reciting aloud the 
canticle Benedictus. 

When they reach the church they shall at once pay a 
visit to the Most Blessed Sacrament, and then to the altar 
of the Blessed Virgin, to the patrons and titular saints, and 
fervently implore their assistance in the great work. They 
shall also pay particular homage to the guardian angels of 
the place, of the church, and of the individual faithful, 
begging their aid in the conversion of the souls committed 
to their care. 

If the fatigue of the journey does not prevent it, should 
the day be a festival and the hour seasonable, they may 
begin the mission on the very day of their arrival, and 
preach the first sermon ; particularly if the faithful have 
already assembled in considerable numbers in the church. 
Before the sermon, however, they shall say a third part of 
the rosary. 

But as this seldom happens, only a short sermon shall be 



SER.H.-I744-] Letter 332. 185 

preached to the assembled multitude. In it they shall be 
informed of the purpose of the missionaries in coming 
among them, and of their earnest desire to assist all, to 
procure the eternal salvation of all, by placing before their, 
minds the eternal truths upon which they have not yet 
meditated, by instructing them in those things which are 
necessary for salvation, and by hearing their confessions 
with all patience and charity. The people shall then be 
dismissed without making the act of contrition, and told at 
what hour the mission will begin on the following day. 

Let it be understood, however, that in opening the 
mission, they shall not be strictly obliged to adhere to any 
fixed rule; but that circumstances of place, persons, and 
the like, must be taken into consideration, and the opening 
conducted in the most suitable manner, either by a sermon 
in front of the church, to which is added a short act of con 
trition, or by first going around the town and then giving a 
sermon in the church, or by a set sermon either with or 
without the act of contrition. 

Though the mission may not be begun on the same day, 
the Fathers shall by no means neglect to make the nightly 
exhortations which shall be continued three or four nights, 
according to the requirements of the place. The first ex 
hortations shall be full of kindness and invitation, and dis 
play exceeding love for the souls of the people. The 
others may be of a graver character. All shall be short, 
not longer than a quarter of an hour. Nor shall they be 
made in the same place every evening or in the immediate 
neighborhood of disreputable places, but where they may 
be listened to by a large number. 

When going to make the exhortations, the procession 
shall always start from the church. It shall be headed by the 
crucifix and lights, and announced by a little bell. During 
this procession, the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary 
shall be sung. On arriving at the halting place, the little 



1 86 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

bell shall be rung, and in a loud voice the preacher shall 
say: "Praised be the Most Holy Sacrament and the Im 
maculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary !" Then, 
in the exhortation of the first evening, the people shall be 
reminded of the mission already begun or to begin on the 
following day, and then the exhorta tion proper shall be 
given. 

After the exhortation the people, who generally follow 
the Father, are led to the church, or to the space in front 
of it, and there an act of contrition is made, and the crowd 
dismissed with the benediction of the crucifix. The women 
should be told not to join this returning procession, but to 
retire to their respective homes after the exhortation. 

The missionaries shall make great account of these ex 
hortations, as they are usually productive of immense fruit 
on the missions. They shall, therefore, never be omitted, 
nor delivered impromptu. Before setting out to make 
them, the Father should prepare for them by fervent pray 
er. 

Should the day after the arrival of the missionaries be a 
festival, and the mission not have been already opened with 
the first sermon, confessions shall not be heard in the fore 
noon. A very forcible sermon shall be preached instead on 
"The Efficacy of the Holy Mission to procure the Eternal 
Salvation of the Christian", or on "The Miserable Condi 
tion to which Christianity is reduced", or on "The Danger 
in which they are who have committed Sin", etc. This 
sermon shall not be concluded with an act of contrition, but 
with an exhortation to make use of the grace which the 
Lord offers, an explanation of the various exercises to be 
held, and an invitation to attend everyone of them, partic 
ularly that of the afternoon, at the twenty-first hour. 1 The 
clergy shall be invited in an especial manner to participate 

1 According to the ancient measurement of time among the Ital 
ians. About three hours before sunset. 



SER. H.-1744 j Letter 332. 187 

in the procession which shall take place from the church in 
the afternoon ; and they shall be requested to appear in the 
long cassock and without surplice. 

When all the priests have assembled in the church at the 
twenty-first hour, the procession shall start, the cross at the 
head, and shall make the circuit of the town or village, 
singing the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary with the 
necessary pauses, and shall halt in the piazza or in the 
district most thickly settled. Here a Father shall ascend a 
rostrum and preach a short sermon to the multitude, to 
induce them to a true change of heart upon the occasion of 
the mission; but it is not necessary to make the act of con 
trition. Having completed the circuit, the procession shall 
return to the church. During the procession, the Fathers 
who accompany it may go about the streets addressing 
words of exhortation to the people they find assembled in 
different places and inviting them to the sermon. 

On arriving at the church, the third part of the rosary 
shall be recited together with the mysteries. This shall 
always be done before the great sermon. Then the Father 
appointed shall ascend the pulpit, without surplice or stole, 
and preach the sermon, which he shall conclude with a 
fervent act of contrition elicited from motives set forth in 
the sermon. 

If the exercises of the mission have not been announced 
in the morning, the announcement shall be made after this 
first great sermon, and the people shall be exhorted to 
attend all the exercises with the greatest diligence, and for 
this purpose, the hour of the various exercises shall be 
mentioned. The ecclesiastics, the magistrates, and the 
principal men of the place shall be requested to be the first 
in attendance, to give good example to the rest. More 
over, where it is possible, two Fathers shall visit the lord, 
the chief official, or other distinguished person of the place, 
and in the name of all invite him to the mission, and solicit 



i88 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

his favor and assistance. Should the mission be in a city, 
they shall extend a similar invitation to the chapter when 
assembled in choir, either before or after Vespers, and in 
like manner ask them for their aid and favor. 

All the exercises shall take place at the time specified, 
namely; the morning meditation at an early hour, Christian 
doctrine soon after dinner, the exercises for priests in a 
secluded place, and the great sermon an hour before twi 
light. 

If, however, the people cannot assemble so early, as is 
generally the case in winter in those places in which there 
are laboring people, the evening sermon shall be postponed 
somewhat, provided the will of the bishop, or other reason 
able ground is not opposed thereto. 

I. On the morning following the sermon, as soon as 
there is a sufficient number assembled in the church, the 
rosary shall be recited, provided this exercise does not 
cause disturbance to the Masses or the hearing of con 
fessions. Then a Father shall ascend the pulpit, and after 
greeting the auditory with the salutation: "Praised be the 
Most Holy Sacrament and the Immaculate Conception of 
the Blessed Virgin Mary !" he shall say the Litany of the 
Blessed Virgin. He shall then recite the Christian acts, 
kneeling, and give a short and familiar meditation, the 
subject-matter of which shall be some point of the via pur- 
gativa. He shall, however, avoid those subjects which 
are to be treated in the evening sermon, at least he shall 
not consider them from the same point of view, and he 
shall conclude this exercise with the suitable acts of con 
trition, without appealing to the crucifix. This medita 
tion with the accompanying acts shall not last longer than 
three quarters of an hour. 

II. In the afternoon, the instruction in Christian doctrine 
shall be given, and this the Superior shall confide to the 
Father whom he judges most capable for the work. The 



SKR. H.-I744-] Letter 332. 189 

instruction shall be considered the most important and use 
ful exercise of the mission. 

III. At an hour most convenient for the people, the in 
struction on the Ten Commandments and the manner of 
making a good confession shall be given before the medita 
tion. In case of scarcity of missionaries the meditation 
may be omitted, but this instruction never. When the 
instruction is given separately, suitable practical conclusions 
shall be made, and at the close the usual acts of contrition, 
etc., be recited. In small places, in which there is great 
spiritual destitution, it is better to give the instruction in 
the foregoing manner. After this instruction, the cleric 
shall bring the children together, and instruct them upon 
the manner of going to confession and holy Communion. 

IV. Before the evening sermon, a Father shall recite the 
rosary of the Blessed Virgin, prefacing it with a short 
explanation or some example to inspire the people to say it 
with devotion. The mysteries shall be announced together 
with a brief reflection upon each, and care shall be taken 
that the entire third part of the rosary be always said. The 
principal reason for introducing this devotion, be it re 
membered, is to obtain the assistance of the Blessed Virgin 
for the success of the mission. When, however, the in 
struction takes place in the evening, it is advisable to say 
the rosary before it, because more are present at this time, 
and the interval between the instruction and the sermon 
may be filled up by singing a spiritual canticle. But these 
hymns shall never be intoned from the pulpit. 

V. The evening, or great sermon shall take place at an 
hour most convenient for the people, as has been said, and 
the preacher shall wear neither surplice nor stole. Includ 
ing the solemn acts of contrition, etc. made at the end 
before the crucifix and lighted candles, this sermon shall 
not last longer than an hour and a half. The Father shall 
bear in mind before the end of the sermon to urge the 



190 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

people to have recourse to the Blessed Virgin, for which 
purpose, he shall see that there be near the pulpit a statue 
of our Lady. 

With regard to ceremonies that sometimes accompany 
the missions, the following are forbidden: solemnly to 
curse anyone, to use chains or other instruments of penance 
unto blood, to burn one s self with a torch or the like. 
The use of the discipline and of the skull, when accompanied 
with fervor, prudence, and moderation, may be permitted 
by the Superior. 

A decree of the General Chapter J (p. 97, viii.) enjoins 
that on all missions and other exercises, a sermon on the 
Blessed Virgin shall be preached, as this sermon has been 
found most productive of good results. 

The Fathers shall, likewise, endeavor to mention in all 
the sermons love toward Jesus Christ and recourse to the 
Blessed Virgin ; for on these two things, a solid love for 
Jesus Christ, and frequent recourse to Mary, his Most 
Blessed Mother, rests our salvation. 

The exposition of the Most Blessed Sacrament, as will 
be stated later on, shall take place only on the day of the 
Benediction. 

VI. Five or six times during the mission the discipline 
shall be taken by the men after the sermon; and on the last 
night they shall lick the pavement with the tongue. When 
the disciplines begin, the nightly exhortation shall be dis 
continued. Before the discipline, a Father shall make a 
short exhortation based upon the sermon just preached, 
and during the exercise, at some verse of the Miserere, he 
shall add a few words to inspire compunction. The disci 
pline shall last only during the recitation of the Miserere. 
Then all shall say three Hail Marys with their faces on the 
ground, in honor of the Immaculate Conception, and the 
1 The First General Chapter, held in May 1743. 



SER. ii.-i744] Letter 332. 191 

exercise shall conclude with the singing of a penitential 
hymn. On the last two or three evenings, after the disci 
pline, the exhortations to reconciliation shall be added, and 
they who have come to be reconciled shall be made to em 
brace before the crucifix. 

In cases of enmity, before summoning the second party, 
the Father shall privately examine the person presenting 
himself, in order to ascertain the cause of the enmity, and 
to see whether the person before him is the offended party 
and is willing to be reconciled, as also whether the enmity 
is only secret, or whether a reconciliation might not be 
accompanied with other inconveniences. 

VII. On the last day of the mission, before the exercises 
of the " Devout Life", the sermon of the Benediction shall 
take place in the afternoon, and in the following manner: 
as on this day there is no instruction, the rosary of the 
Blessed Virgin shall be commenced, and at the middle of 
the recitation, the Blessed Sacrament shall be carried in 
procession by a Father to the steps at the entrance of the 
church, and from there he shall bless the surrounding 
country: first, that which lies before him, then to the right, 
and, finally, to the left. The procession shall then return, 
and the Blessed Sacrament be exposed upon the altar. If 
the preacher has not yet arrived, the recitation of the rosary 
shall be continued. As soon as the preacher appears, 
wearing on this occasion surplice and stole, the Blessed 
Sacrament shall be veiled, and the sermon, which must be 
concluded with the Papal Benediction, shall be preached. 
The faithful are then to be reminded to say five Our 
Fathers and five Hail Marys to gain the indulgence of the 
mission just completed, and the preacher intones the Te 
Deum. The priest then says the prayer, Deus, cuJ2ts 
miser icor dice, etc. The Pange lingua and Tantum ergo 
are sung, and before the benediction the preacher shall 



1 92 Special Correspondence. [PART M. 

give another exhortation from the altar and require the 
people to promise to attend the exercises of the " Devout 
Life". 

On the morning of this day, there shall be a general 
Communion for adults; that of the children of fifteen years 
and under shall take place on another day either before or 
after, as may seem best. Before Communion, he who 
preaches the sermon or another Father shall ascend the 
pulpit placed in the middle of the church, and as a pre 
paration for holy Communion, recite the acts of faith, 
humility, love, and contrition with an appeal to the crucifix. 
Then the reconciliations shall take place, after which the 
Father shall recite the act of desire, and the people approach 
holy Communion. The exercise shall conclude with the 
thanksgiving. 

At the Communion of the children, the ceremony of 
reconciliation shall be omitted, but they shall be made to 
sing hymns to the Blessed Sacrament both as preparation 
and thanksgiving. After the thanksgiving they shall be led 
in procession through the town or village, singing the 
Litany of the Blessed Virgin. On returning to the church 
they shall be given some advice suited to their age, and 
dismissed to their homes with the benediction of the cruci 
fix. 

VIII. The last three days, or in small places, at least the 
last two, shall be occupied with the exercises of the "De 
vout Life", which, according to a decree of the General 
Chapter, must never be omitted, and which the Fathers 
shall endeavor to establish in these places permanently. In 
the afternoon, after the recitation of the Chaplet of the 
Seven Dolors of the Blessed Virgin, or of the Infant Jesus, 
and, if there is time, of the usual rosary, a Father shall 
give from the pulpit an instruction of about half an hour on 
the manner of making mental prayer, the preparation and 
thankgiving for holy Communion, and the rule of life. He 



SER. H.-I744-] Letter 332. 193 

shall then kneel down, without surplice, and give a medita 
tion on the Passion of Jesus Christ and the Sorrows of the 
Blessed Virgin, having taken care beforehand to have the 
statue of our Lady draped in mourning. This meditation 
shall be concluded with the acts of faith, hope, love, con 
trition, and the resolution to receive the holy sacraments at 
death. After the act of contrition, some devout hymn in 
honor of the Sacred Passion may be sung, and, finally, the 
people dismissed with the benediction with the crucifix. 

Care should be taken to have the mission last at least ten 
or twelve days in small places. If there are any outlying 
hamlets, the Superior may, if he thinks proper, send some 
one thither to hear confessions and to preach. 

The duties of the cleric shall be : to read the prayers ; 
to remind the Fathers of the time for saying Mass in 
regular order, so that all may be finished by the hour 
appointed for going home; to notify the Fathers of the 
different exercises at the appointed times; to give the 
signal for returning home, but only after he has consulted 
the Superior; to provide whatever is necessary in the 
church; to conduct the instruction in Christian doctrine, 
the colloquies, the exhortations, and to say the rosary. 

Rules to be Observed by the Fathers during the Missions. 

I. They shall never go alone on missions. If the 
mission is to be given in a small place, at least two 
Fathers, or one Father with a laybrother, or in case of 
necessity, some secular priest, shall be sent. They shall 
always preserve toward one another the greatest charity 
(qua major esse non potest}, bearing in mind that this 
is a special command given by our divine Lord him 
self to his apostles, and in them to all missionaries, who 
are their successors : This is my commandment that you 
love one another as I have loved you. A new m command 
ment I give you that you love one another. - - Holy 

13 



194 Special Correspondence. [PART ir. 

Father, keep them that they may be one as we also are 
one. They shall, likewise, call to mind the qualities of 
charity enumerated by the Apostle: Charity is patient, 
kind, envieth not, acteth not perversely, is not puffed up, 
etc. 

When they have to go abroad either to extend invita 
tions, or to perform any other service connected with the 
mission, they may, in case of dearth of companions of their 
own, accept the company of a priest or a cleric. 

II. After the example of our divine Master and the 
apostles, they shall always travel on foot ; unless necessity 
compels them to make use of some poor animal without 
vain trappings, and only in cases of extreme necessity shall 
they use horses. They shall never, at the instance and 
entreaty of any person whatsoever, admit any other mode 
of conveyance, except on sea. With regard to the question 
whether outside the time of missions they may ride in a 
coach or a carriage that is offered them, the Father [Mgr. 
Falcoia] answers, yes, so long as no change has been made 
in the habit. 1 The same holds good if any person of dis 
tinction should invite a Father to go with him in his coach. 

III. As soon as they arrive at the place, they shall ar 
range the order of the exercises, and endeavor to fallow it 
as closely as possible. There shall be allowed them seven 
hours sleep in winter, and six and a half in spring ; but in 
summer they cannot give any missions. In spring, also, 
an hour shall be allowed for siesta during the day. During 
the missions they shall leave the church, as a rule, about 

1 In the beginning of the Congregation, the question of adopting 
for the members of the Institute a peculiar dress different from that 
of the secular clergy, was discussed. It is to this that allusion is 
here made. It was finally determined to retain the original dress, 
which still obtains, and which is, in fact, the garb worn at that 
time by the Neapolitan clergy. 



SER. H.-I744-] Letter 332. 195 

mid-day, and the evening rest shall begin two hours before 
midnight. 

The Superior shall take care to appoint a Prefect of the 
church, a Prefect of Peace, and an Econome. 

IV. In the place in which they are giving the mission, the 
Fathers shall not go abroad alone, but shall be accompanied, 
at least, by a priest or cleric. 

V. In the church they shall not change the confessionals 
assigned to them. 

VI. They shall endeavor to avoid all familiarity and con 
versation on indifferent topics with the people of the place. 

VII. At home they shall make mental prayer in common 
for half an hour twice a day; but when circumstances will 
not permit this, they shall make it at least once. 

VIII. At table silence is to be observed. At dinner 
there shall be reading from the lives of the saints, and at 
supper, for some time at least, from a book treating of the 
Blessed Virgin. On days of general Communion, how 
ever, as also when the fatigue of the confessional, or other 
reasonable cause, requires, there shall be no reading; or 
rather in such cases, the reading shall last only a few 
minutes. A half-hour is enough for recreation after dinner 
as well as after supper. 

IX. With regard to their requirements on the missions, 
the Fathers shall not seek to receive anything free of cost, 
except the house and beds, such as they are, and the 
kitchen utensils. However, should a Father receive a 
present of food or wine, or if the entire cost of sustaining 
the missionaries is undertaken by an individual, they shall 
gratefully accept it. But they shall take care to refuse all 
superfluities and choice viands, and, as a rule, content 
themselves with two courses, namely, soup and meat with, 
perhaps, some frugal side-dish, cheese or fruit, and nothing 
else. In declining all such presents, they shall allege the 



196 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

Rule as their excuse. They will thus give edification, and 
at the same time avoid expense and the scandal that might 
be given to others. They shall, also, be careful never to 
accept money, not even for Masses, and they shall decline 
all delicacies, such as chicken, birds, sweetmeats, fine 
bread, pies, and the like; nor shall they take away with 
them anything whatsoever as a present. 

The usual fare of the missionaries shall be soup and 
meat, cheese and fruit, for dinner; for supper, a salad with 
another dish, and cheese and fruit, when these can be had. 
If these are not obtainable, they shall accommodate them 
selves as best they can. In the matter of food, however, 
let them always be careful to avoid luxury, delicateness, 
and excess. 

X. On missions and other public exercises of devotion 
for the people, the Fathers shall conduct the exercises for 
religious, also, if requested or ordered to do so by the 
bishop. In that case, they shall act as confessors extra 
ordinary, a thing which otherwise is forbidden them except 
in favor of the nuns of the Most Holy Redeemer, when the 
latter earnestly desire it. 

Live Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and Teresa ! 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 



SER. H.-I756.] Letter 333. 197 



LETTER 333. 
To the Same. 

The manner of profitably conducting Retreats for ecclesi 
astics. 

Live Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and Teresa! 

[About 1756.] 

Our Father Rector Major would direct to the following 
points the attention of all the Fathers who, on missions, 
conduct the exercises for ecclesiastics. 1 

He desires that the sermon on the Blessed Virgin be 
preached with special reference to priests. On the other 
hand he does not wish that there should be preached to 
priests a set sermon on vocation, in which is proved, as 
some do, the extreme difficulty with which he that has 
been ordained without a vocation, will secure his eternal 
salvation. This sermon produces no good results, and 
leads to despair. It would be well, therefore, to preach it 
only to those who are preparing for ordination, not to such 
as are already priests. To priests it may be said in pass 
ing, that he who is ordained without a vocation, should 
lead a more perfect life, since he should have a greater fear 
of losing his soul. 

He wishes, also, that a sermon on the Passion or on the 
love of Jesus Christ be preached, so that we may not be 
always talking of terrors and chastisements. When the 
sermons tending to inspire fear have been given, it is 
necessary to cheer up the heart : I have run the way of 
Thy commandments when Thou didst enlarge my heart. 2 
It is, likewise, the wish of the Rector Major that the sermon 

1 The saint here speaks in the third person, although he is him 
self the author of this instruction, as appears from the original 
written in his own hand. 

* " Viam mandatorum tuorum cucurri, cum dilatasti cor meum." 
Ps. cxviii. 32. 

13* 



198 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

or, at least, the instruction on mental prayer, should be 
given. 

Moreover, with the exception of the first sermon in which 
the introduction for all retreats shall be made, he desires 
that on the remaining seven days in place of an introduc 
tion, there should be given an instruction, or some practical 
advice for a quarter of an hour, as will be remarked later 
on. The rest of the time, three quarters of an hour, not 
more, or at least only so much as is required for the act of 
contrition, should be devoted to the sermon, and as a 
general rule, the act of contrition should always be made. 
What is said here, however, is not to be understood with 
regard to the retreats given at our own houses, where this 
instruction is a separate exercise. These instructions are, 
perhaps, more beneficial than the sermon. 

Among the subjects treated in the instruction shall always 
be the manner of hearing confessions well ; and should the 
preacher think fit, he may devote two instructions to this 
matter. He shall treat of the three-fold office of the con 
fessor as father, as judge, and as physician. The Father 
Rector Major has composed a brief sketch of this instruc 
tion, copies of which have been sent to the communities. 
If anyone wishes to have one, let him write for it either to 
the Rector Major or to Father Pentimalli. However, every 
thing will be found in the Practice already published. 1 In 
the first place, the office of the confessor as father is treated 
in chapter i. i, beginning with n. j, the charity which he 
should show in receiving sinners, in encouraging them, and 
in disposing them as well as he can for absolution, which 
last point is treated in n. 10. In chapters iv. and v. is 
explained the duty of a confessor in his capacity of judge, 

1 " Practice of the Confessor for the Worthy Exercise of his 
Ministry." 



SER. H.-I756.] Letter 333. 199 

in denying or deferring absolution in the case of those who 
live in the occasion of sin, or who relapsing into sin, do not 
present the extraordinary signs of contrition. The true 
extraordinary signs are also enumerated. In this part, too, 
the study necessary for a confessor is spoken of (see Prac 
tice, n. 77), and it is stated that those priests who have not 
the actual care of souls, are bound to fit themselves for the 
confessional, if the people of the surrounding country are in 
grave necessity, a point which I have proved in n. 49, Di 
piii, and in my Moral Theology, lib. vi. n. 625. In 2 
of chapter i. n. 6, the office of the confessor as physician is 
treated, or the manner in which he should correct and 
admonish the penitent, impose penance, and prescribe 
remedies to secure amendment of life. 

This instruction is probably the most useful of all the 
discourses, for it is of assistance in the direction of every 
class of penitents, so many of whom are lost either because 
they are inconsiderately absolved or wrongly sent away 
without absolution. If, therefore, two instructions can be 
given on this subject, it would, perhaps, be best to speak 
in one of the confessor s office as judge, and represent him 
in the other as father and physician. 

It is the wish of the Rector Major that this instruction 
should never be omitted even when the exercises last only 
three days. 

An instruction shall also be given on the celebration of 
holy Mass, the preparation, the manner of celebrating, 
and the thanksgiving after Mass. They may begin the 
instruction by saying that the holy Mass is the most beauti 
ful work of God : What is his beautiful thing if not the 
corn of the elect, and the wine springing forth virgins. 1 
Or they may say that it is the grandest of works with 

1 "Quid pulchrum ejus, nisi frumentum electorum et vinum ger- 
minans virgines." Zach. ix. 17. 



2OO Special Correspondence. [PART ir. 

regard to God, our neighbor, and ourselves. But God 
curses etc.: Cursed be the man that doth the work of the 
Lord deceitfully. 1 

I. To prepare properly, mental prayer is necessary. 
Father Master Avila desired all to spend at least an hour 
in prayer. 

II. With regard to the manner of celebrating, something 
should be said of the rubrics and the requisite gravity. 
Here mention shall be made of the time required for the 
celebration of holy Mass. On this point the Practice, 
n. 49, and the Moral Theology, lib. vi. n. 400, may be 
consulted. 

It may be useful, also, to add here a reflection that is 
best made at the end, namely, that he who celebrates in 
less than a quarter of an hour (at least according to the 
more benign opinion), cannot be excused from mortal 
sin, first on account of the irreverence toward the Blessed 
Sacrament, and, secondly, on account of the great scandal 
given to the people. And first, with regard to the ir 
reverence toward the Blessed Sacrament : in the Moral 
Theology, lib. vi. n. 399, it is proved that we are bound by 
the strict command of St. Pius V. to observe the rubrics of 
the Mass. This precept ordains that these rubrics be ob 
served districte, in virtute sanctfs obedientics [most exactly, 
in virtue of holy obedience]. Now, it is impossible for a 
priest to say Mass in less than a quarter of an hour without 
failing notably in the prayers, or the rubrics, or the gravity 
becoming so august a sacrifice. Hence it follows that, 
although one may be fluent in the prayers, and quick in 
the rubrics, etc., one cannot be excused from grave ir 
reverence, which, according to the teaching of the Council 
of Trent (sess. xxii. in deer, de observ. in celebr. Missce), 
ab impietate vix sejuncta esse potest [can hardly be sepa- 

1 " Maledictus homo, qui facit opus Dei fraudulenter." J^ r - 
xlviii. 10. 



SER. ii.-i 75 6.] Letter 333. 201 

rated from impiety]. For the ceremonies were instituted 
by holy Church precisely for the end that so great a sacra 
ment might be treated with becoming reverence and gravi 
ty- 

Secondly, with regard to the scandal given to the faith 
ful, the same Council of Trent declares (sess. xxii. cap. 5, 
de Reform?), that the ceremonies of the Mass have been 
instituted in order that from them the people might learn 
the dignity of this sacrifice and the sublimity of the myste 
ries therein contained. How, then, can he be excused 
from grave sin who performs these ceremonies in such a 
manner as not only not to inspire the faithful with venera 
tion for the holy Mass, but to produce the contrary effect, 
namely, to weaken the respect and reverence which they 
already possess, or cause them to lose them altogether, 
yea, even to expose them to the temptation to disbelieve in 
the real presence of Jesus Christ, when they see him treated 
with such disrepect by his minister? The Council of Tours 
has, therefore, ordained that priests should be well-in 
structed in the ceremonies of the Mass, lest, instead of in 
spiring the faithful with veneration for the sacred mysteries, 
they quench their devotion. 

III. As to the thanksgiving, see what is said in the 
Visits} where mention is made of thanksgiving after Com 
munion. The incident of Father Master Avila and the 
candles may, also, be cited. 2 

1 He alludes to the "Appendix on Holy Communion", added to 
the little work " Visits to the Most Blessed Sacrament". 

2 This incident is related by the saint in Selva, part ii. instruc 
tion i., as follows: "Those priests who after Mass, say a few short 
prayers in the sacristy, without attention or devotion, and then 
begin to speak on useless subjects, or even leave the church im 
mediately after Mass and carry Jesus Christ into the streets, should 
be treated in the manner in which Father Master Avila once acted 
toward a priest who left the church immediately after celebrating 
Mass. He sent two clerics with lighted candles to accompany him. 



202 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

Besides the instruction on confession and holy Mass, the 
following may also be given: i. Mental prayer, unless a 
sermon is preached on this subject. See what is said in 
the Practice, p. 176. 2. The rule of life. This is a most 
important instruction, as it treats of the pious exercises 
which a priest should perform every day, every month, 
and every year. Every day, namely, in the morning, 
mental prayer for half an hour; the Little Hours of the 
divine Office (here mention should be made of the manner 
of reciting the divine Office); holy Mass, hearing con 
fessions, or study (in connection with this point application 
to books, and the avoidance of idleness should be incul 
cated), and dinner (here it would be well to call attention 
to the necessity of moderation at meals, and of being satis 
fied with what is placed before us). 

In the afternoon: the mid-day repose, spiritual reading, 
Vespers and Compline, a walk either alone or in company 
with some good companions, a visit to some sick person, a 
visit to the Blessed Sacrament and the Blessed Virgin for 
half an hour. In the evening: mental prayer for half an 
hour, if one has not made the half-hour s visit mentioned 
above, Matins, study, and the rosary ; and after supper, the 
examination of conscience. 

All these points treated in a practical way will be of far 
greater advantage than sermons couched in general terms. 

A day of retreat every month to be spent entirely with 
one s spiritual interests, may be hinted at and recom 
mended ; also, the exercise of a retreat in some religious 
house every year. 

3. An instruction may also be given on purity of inten 
tion. 

When asked by the priest why they followed him, they replied : 
* We are accompanying the Most Blessed Sacrament which you carry 
in your breast. " 



SER. n.-i756] Letter 333. 203 

4. On the manner of reciting the divine Office, if it is 
desirable to make a separate instruction on this subject. 

5. Detachment from relatives , from possessions, hon 
ors, self-esteem, and self-will; and for this end, to place 
one s self under the guidance of a spiritual director, and 
live in obedience. 

6. Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary: the three 
Hail Marys morning and evening, the rosary with one s 
household, fast on Saturday and the vigils of her feasts, 
and novenas ; every day to read something treating of the 
Blessed Virgin ; to preach in her honor on Saturdays and 
on her feasts. 

7. Interior mortification, namely, of the passions, and 
particularly of the predominant passion. Exterior mortifi 
cation, that is, of the eyes, of the tongue, and of the 
palate, etc., with special reference to mortifying one s self 
in the use of wine. 

These short instructions shall be seven in number. With 
the exception of the two, confession and the holy Mass, 
which shall never be omitted, the Father who conducts the 
exercises, may select whichever he prefers. However, it 
seems that it would be well to give also the instruction on 
the rule of life. 

These instructions shall be given at the beginning, im 
mediately after the Veni Creator, etc., then shall follow 
the preparation, and, finally, the meditation proper. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 



204 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 



LETTER 334. 
To the Clergy of the Diocese. 

Recommendations and ordinances relating to the celebra 
tion of holy Mass, clerical attire, benefices, ordinations, and 
the simple and popular style of preaching. 

[SANT AGATA, July 30, 1762.] 

Alfonso Maria de Liguori, by the grace of God, and the 

favor of the Holy See, Bishop of Sanf Agata de 

Goti and Suessula, Baron of the fief of Bagnoli, and 

Rector Major of the Congregation of the Most Holy 

Redeemer. 

Everyone knows the great reverence which the holy 
sacrifice of the Mass demands. We, therefore, earnestly 
recommend to our priests attention in celebrating- this 
august sacrifice with all the ceremonies prescribed by the 
rubrics, and with the gravity befitting this sublime mystery, 
as well on account of the reverence due to God, as for the 
edification that may thence derive to the faithful. It was to 
secure this end that the Council of Trent imposed upon 
bishops the express obligation of preventing by every 
means all irreverence in the celebration of this sacred func 
tion ; irreverence which can scarcely be distinguished from 
impiety, as the Council says in the following words : De- 
cernit sancta Synodus ut ordinarii locorum episcopi ea 
omnia prohibere atque e medio tollere sedulo curent ac 

teneantur, quce vel avaritia vel irreverentia, qu& ab 

impietate vix sejuncta esse potest, vel S2iperstitio induxit. 
Sess. xxii. deer, de observ. et evitand. in celcbrat. Misscc. 

Now , as grave irreverence must be understood any 
notable omission of the ceremonies prescribed in the missal, 
which in so far as they pertain to the celebration of holy 
Mass, are of precept, also the saying of Mass in a hurried 
manner. The common opinion of theologians is, that he is 



SER. H.-I762.] Letter 



205 



guilty of grievous sin who says Mass in less than a quarter 
of an hour; because to celebrate with becoming reverence 
not only must the prayers of the missal be pronounced 
distinctly, and the prescribed rubrics duly observed, but all 
this must be done with that gravity which is befitting, a 
thing that cannot be done in less than a quarter of an hour, 
even in Masses of requiem or in the votive Mass of the 
Blessed Virgin. 

All our priests shall, therefore, remember that in this 
matter our attention will be continual, and that we shall be 
careful to find out how the holy Mass is celebrated by 
them. And this as well in respect to the regular as to the 
secular clergy; for the Council of Trent has constituted the 
bishops its Delegates Apostolic in relation to the celebration 
of holy Mass, and ordains: "In accordance with the power 
vested in them by the holy Synod, and also as delegates 
of the Apostolic See, they shall forbid, order, correct and 
define such measures as their prudence may dictate, and 
that these exactments may be faithfully executed, they shall 
constrain the faithful by means of censures and other eccle 
siastical punishments, all privileges, exemptions, right of 
appeal, and customs to the contrary notwithstanding." 
Deer. cit. in fine. 

We, accordingly, inform all priests subject to our juris 
diction, that, at the proper time they will be rigorously 
examined by us on the ceremonies of holy Mass. Mean 
while, we apprise them that it is our will that all priests 
should wear the long soutane at least in the forenoon, and 
those who are attached to service in choir should wear the 
long soutane also on feast-days, whenever they are present 
during the recitation of Vespers on those days. On ferial 
days, they may, if they choose, wear a decent civilian 
attire, and at Vespers in choir they may use the long 
soutane without sleeves. But clerics shall wear the long 
soutane both morning and afternoon. 



206 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

Furthermore, during our administration let no one en 
deavor to procure favor for himself with us, either with 
regard to ordination, or the conferring of benefices, be 
these simple benefices or such as have" the care of souls 
attached. Individual merit will be the only recommenda 
tion of use with us. And let anyone who would seek the 
use of influence, know that, by that very act, he renders 
himself unworthy of either ordination or benefice. 

To the reverend archpriests and parish priests we would 
call to mind their obligation of preaching on Sundays and 
solemn feasts, according to the command of the Council of 
Trent. (Sess. v. cap. 2, de Reform^) This obligation re 
quires of them, also, to preach in a simple and familiar 
style adapted to the character of their hearers, most of 
whom being country people, derive little or no profit from 
sermons delivered in a pompous style; on the contrary, 
they receive great injury, for unable to understand what is 
said, they conceive an abhorrence for sermons, and, conse 
quently, seek to avoid them whenever it is possible. 

F ather Gasparo Sanzio used to say that preachers who 
make use of choice expressions and sublime ideas, are 
nowadays the greatest enemies of the Church ; because by 
preaching in this manner, they are the cause of many souls 
being lost who would have been saved by simple and 
familiar preaching. On this account, also, Father Master 
Avila called all those who preach with such ostentation only 
to gain the applause of their auditory, not the ministers, 
but the betrayers of Jesus Christ. For, as St. Francis de 
Sales says, choice expressions, well-rounded periods, emp 
ty descriptions, and similar ornaments of vanity, are the 
pest of sermons, the only end of which should be to move 
the will of the audience to do good, and not to feed the 
intellect with foolishness. Indeed, experience shows that 
souls are not converted by sermons of exquisite style and 



SER. n.-i 7 62.] Letter 334. 207 

faultless delivery. And why? Because God dos not ac 
company such vanity with his grace. 

What is here said shall be borne in mind by all those 
preachers who may be invited to preach in this diocese 
during Lent or Advent or at any other time. They who 
will not adopt a simple and apostolic style in their sermons, 
will not be received by us, or if received, such reception 
will not be very flattering to them. 

We would, also, inform these preachers that, in the 
churches in which a course of Lenten sermons is preached, 
we desire that the preacher should always conduct the 
spiritual exercises of a retreat during Passion week. Should 
he fail in this we shall send another to do so to the no little 
discomfiture of the Lenten preacher. 

With regard to those who are charged with the care of 
souls, we wish to remind them of the ordinance of the 
Council of Trent, namely, that they preach the word of 
God to their flocks according to their respective capacity : 
Archipresbytcri quoque, plcbani et quicumgue .... cur am 
animarum habentes .... per se vcl altos, si legitime impc- 
diti fuerint, dicbus saltern dominicis et festis solemnibus, 
plebes sibi commissas pro S2ia et earum capacitate pascant 
sahdaribus vcrbis. Sess. v. cap. 2, de Reform. 

We are persuaded that each and everyone of those sub 
ject to our jurisdiction will faithfully execute what we have 
ordained in this edict, and that no one will give us occasion, 
should the contrary occur, to proceed against him with that 
rigor which is prescribed by the dispositions of the sacred 
canons. In this firm confidence, and that these ordinances 
be observed, we enjoin upon the reverend archpriests and 
parish priests of the diocese, to make a copy of this edict, 
and place it in the sacristy oi their respective churches, so 
that it may become known to all concerned, and serve as a 
personal notification. We further require them to inscribe 



208 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

on the back of this original, which shall be returned to us, 
an exact account of the transcription and affixing of the copy 
mentioned above for the end proposed. 

Given at SANT AGATA DE GOTI, from our episcopal 
palace, July 30, 1762. 

ALFONSO MARIA, Bishop of S ant Agata. 

G. JERMIERI, Canon, Chancellor. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 

LETTER 335. 
To the Rural Deans of the Diocese. 

Ordinances abolishing the abuse of the chase among the 
clergy, to promote instruction in Christian doctrine among 
the people, and to regulate the conduct of the seminarists 
during the vacation, and their admission into the seminary. 

Episcopal Palace, SANT AGATA DE GOTI, August 30, 1762. 

Very Reverend and Dear Brethren: Our pastoral solici 
tude is entirely directed toward the maintenance of exact 
observance of discipline among the ecclesiastics of this city 
and diocese, subject to our jurisdiction. To promote this 
end we have deemed it necessary to make the following 
regulations, which we hereby transmit to you that you may 
make them known to the ecclesiastics of your respective 
cities and villages, for their prompt and complete observ 
ance. 

I. We have learned from reliable sources that several of 
our ecclesiastics, and even of the clerics, have taken the 
liberty to join in the chase without our written permission, 
and without any distinction with regard to the season. 
Some even, and this is especially painful to us, have at 
tended the most boisterous hunting parties in secular attire, 
against the express prohibition of the sacred canons. To 
put an end to so grave a disorder, and to meet it with 



SER. 1 1. -i 762.] Letter 335. 209 

prompt and suitable remedies, we ordain that no ecclesi 
astic of this diocese, whatever be his rank or dignity, shall 
from the receipt of this notification henceforward presume 
to take part in the chase without the written permission of 
ourselves or our Curia, which permission will be given 
gratis and with the conditions and limitations prescribed 
by the canons. The violation of this ordinance will subject 
the culprit to an imprisonment of three months. v 

As to the clerics who aspire to the priesthood, we abso 
lutely forbid them to join in the chase. Still more so do 
we forbid it to the seminarists, under the same penalty, 
and, moreover, under pain of exclusion from Holy Orders. 
At the same time we inform them that we shall never grant 
them this permission under any condition. They may, 
therefore, spare themselves the trouble of applying for it. 

II. We recommend the reverend archpriests, parish 
priests, assistants, and chaplains of parochial churches, to 
read to the people of their respective charges, at the first 
and also at the second Mass on all feast days, the little 
abridgment of Christian Doctrine which we send to each 
one of them by the bearer of this notification, and which 
they shall follow exactly. The parish priests and their 
assistants, also the chaplains of the parish church , of 
chapels, or of churches separated from the parochial 
church, may mount this abridgment upon a tablet or 
cardboard, so as to have it at hand. They shall see that it 
is kept in a particular place, where they may easily find it; 
and they shall read it aloud to the people with the necessa 
ry pauses, in order that all may be able to understand it. 

III. We ordain, also, that the members of our seminary 
and all who desire to enter the same, shall, at the beginning 
of the coming month of September, present their application 
for admission, as only those will be accepted who have 
received letters from us. They shall, likewise, be pre 
pared for an examination in the branches they have studied. 

14 



2io Special Correspondence. [PART ir. 

For this examination, we appoint the I5th, i6th, and iyth 
of the coming month. On these days the candidates for 
admission shall appear before us at our episcopal residence, 
and be examined as to their abilities; and they only will be 
received who aspire to the priesthood, and possess the 
requisite talents and good moral character. 

We, moreover, inform these seminarists that, during the 
entire time of vacation, they should deport themselves with 
becoming gravity, and give edification by their good be 
havior. They should also be present in the church and 
render assistance at the sacred functions. Of all these mat 
ters, let them remember, we shall endeavor to procure an 
exact account, which will serve us as a guide in proceeding 
against any of them with the severity that may be neces 
sary. 

Finally, all the seminarists shall bear in mind that they 
will be admitted to the seminary under certain conditions. 
Upon their entrance they shall be required to assume the 
black cloak, and wear it during the entire time of their stay 
in the seminary. Should they fail to do so, they shall be 
excluded without mercy. With this black cloak, be it well 
understood, they shall also wear the customary soutane of 
violet color. 

These are the prescriptions which we transmit to you, 
Very Reverend Brethren, in order that what these ordinances 
contain may be carried into effect without delay. For this 
purpose, we desire each one of you to take a copy of them, 
and duly certify his compliance on this original, which shall 
be returned to us. 

Praying God to shower upon you every blessing. . . 

After the Roman edition. 



SER. n.-i 7 62.] Letter 336. 211 

LETTER 336. 
To Don Giulio Danco, Rural Dean of Durazzano. 

The saint orders him to communicate a certain notice to 
the regular clergy, so as to secure the devout celebration of 
holy Mass. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph! 

SANT AGATA, September 7, 1762. 

His Lordship bids me say that he has learned that there 
are in the diocese some members of the regular clergy who 
celebrate holy Mass in less than a quarter of an hour, and 
this too, perhaps, after the General Edict in which it was 
shown that such an act cannot be excused from mortal sin, 
according to the common teaching of theologians. His 
Lordship, therefore, wishes you to inform all the monaste 
ries of your district that he will send around to all these 
places persons to see how they celebrate holy Mass ; and 
that should it be remarked that any religious celebrates in 
too hurried a manner, his Lordship will, if the delinquent 
does not amend upon being admonished, take such meas 
ures as are most effectual to remedy this disorder; since in 
what pertains to the holy Mass, the bishops are constituted 
Delegates Apostolic over all priests whether secular or regu 
lar, as Benedict XIV. declares in his Bull. This is ex 
pressly stated by the Council of Trent (sess. xxii., deer, de 
observ. et evitand. in cclebrat. Miss<z), where it is said : 
Locorum Ordinarii, pro data sibi a sacrosancta Synodo 
potcstatc, ac etiam ut delegati Scdis Apostolicte, prohibe- 
ant, mandent, corrigant, statuant, atque ad ca inviolate 
servanda, censuris ecclesiasticis, aliisque pcenis, qua illo- 
rum arbitrio constituantur,fidclempopulumcompellant, non 
obstantibus privilegiis quibuscumque. 

His Lordship expressly requires you to report to him 



2 1 2 Special Correspondence. [PART ir. 

whether you have served his notification to all the regular 
clergy, and he sends you his blessing. 

Your very humble and obedient servant, 

GIUSEPPE JERMIERI, Chancellor. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 

LETTER 337. 
To Don Francesco di Filippo, Archpriest of Frasso. 

He informs him of a general order which is shortly to be 
published against gaming among the clergy, and insists upon 
the observance of the ordinance regarding the instruction at 
the Masses. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

SANT AGATA, September 14, 1762. 

With regard to priests joining in games in public places, 
some steps must certainly be taken. But as we intend to. 
publish a general order upon this very subject, which will 
be binding on all, we desire to weigh the matter well before 
doing so. In the meantime, your Reverence will endeavor 
to remedy the evil as best you can. 

As to the Christian doctrine you will make it known that 
it is our wish to have the instruction given twice on all 
Sundays and feasts, not only in the parish churches, but 
also in collegiate and all churches where there is a number 
of priests, that is, at the first Mass, and at another at 
which there is a concourse of the faithful. All the rural 
chapels, those within as well as those outside the walls are 
embraced in this ordinance. Indeed, the need is all the 
greater in those outside the walls. We, therefore, send 
you six copies of the Christian Doctrine. 

Blessing your Reverence, we remain, etc. 

After the Roman edition. 



SER. ii.-i 7 62.] Letter 338. 213 

LETTER 338. 
To the Rural Deans of the Diocese. 

He orders the hour for the late Mass on feasts to be ob 
served. Two necessary requisites in parochial certificates of 
matrimony. 

SANT AGATA, November 7, 1762. 

Very Reverend and Dear Brethren: We learn with ex 
treme sorrow that in our cathedral and in the principal 
churches of the diocese, the hour of the late Mass which is 
to be celebrated for the convenience of the people, namely, 
mid-day, is not observed as it should be. On the contrary, 
it is usually anticipated, so that the greater part of the 
faithful, particularly in country places, are deprived of hear 
ing holy Mass. As we cannot tolerate this abuse which 
entails such loss to so many souls confided to our care, we 
have determined to charge, and we do charge by these 
presents, all those whose duty it is to say this late Mass, 
scrupulously to observe the hour appointed. The priest 
shall go out to say Mass just before mid-day, and be at the 
altar when the sign is given to the people by the bell that it 
is mid-day, and not before. The penalty for disobedience 
to this order shall be two pounds of wax to be burned 
during the visit to the Most Blessed Sacrament in the 
church of the transgressor, and other punishments at our 
good pleasure. 

In those churches in which no regulation with regard to 
him who is to be appointed to say this Mass exists, it shall 
be celebrated by each one in turn, or the reverend arch- 
priests or those who hold precedence in the church shall 
devise some other way, according as it seems most exped 
ient, in such wise, however, that this Mass shall never, for 
any reason or excuse, be omitted at the hour designated. 
14* 



214 Special Correspondence. [PART ir. 

In case of disobedience the same penalties as above shall be 
inflicted. 

We learn, also, that two very necessary items are omit 
ted in the certificates of parties desiring to enter into matri 
mony: namely, the reverend arch priests and parish priests 
do not give the baptismal certificates of the persons contrac 
ting, from which should be shown that they have attained 
the age required by the sacred canons to enter upon this 
contract ; nor do they state that the parties are instructed in 
the rudiments of the faith. We, accordingly, ordain that in 
the certificate which they are obliged to draw up, the 
reverend archpriests and parish priests shall testify that the 
contracting parties are, according to the data of the baptis 
mal register, of legal age, and also instructed in the rudi 
ments of the faith, a fact to be ascertained by previous 
examination. The penalty for contravention to be deter 
mined by our good pleasure. 

We send these ordinances to you, Very Reverend and 
Dear Brethren, in order that you may make them known to 
all whom they may concern, for the faithful observance of 
the matters therein set forth, and that such publication be 
to each and everyone as a personal promulgation. Having 
fulfilled this duty, you will return to us this original with 
your report. 

Imploring the blessing of heaven upon you all, we 
remain, etc. 

After the Roman edition. 



SER. ii.-i 7 6 2 ] Letter jjp. 215 



LETTER 339. 
To the Parish Priests of the Diocese. 

On the manner of making mental prayer with the children 
during holy Mass. 

[SANT Ac ATA, 1762.] 

Live Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and Teresa! 

Before Mass, the following preparation shall be made, 
and the point of meditation read ; then Mass shall begin. 
Even though the priest be vested, he shall wait in the 
sacristy or at the altar until the reading- is finished, in order 
that what is read may be heard without difficulty, and be 
not confounded with the sound of the prayers at Mass. 

I. Let us adore God here present: "O my God! I be 
lieve that Thou art here present, and I adore Thee with my 
whole heart." 

II. Let us humble ourselves before him: "O God of in 
finite majesty, in the abyss of my nothingness I prostrate 
myself before Thee, and acknowledge that I am not worthy 
to appear in Thy sight. How many years ago, O my 
God ! have I deserved to be in hell on account of my sins 
against Thee ! My God, pardon me. I am sorry for them 
with all my heart." 

III. Let us ask light of Almighty God: " My God, for 
the love of Jesus and Mary, grant me light in this medita 
tion." Then say a Hail Mary in honor of the Sacred 
Heart of Mary, and a Glory be to the Father in honor of 
the wounded heart of St. Teresa. 

i. The point of meditation is then read, but the reading 
shall not be longer than a page of an octavo volume or two 
pages of a book of smaller size. The book, as also the acts 
indicated on the accompanying card, should be read by 
one of the larger boys, who shall read clearly and dis 
tinctly. 



216 Special Correspondence. [PART ir. 

The subjects of these meditations shall be, for the most 
part, the eternal truths and sin. On Fridays, however, 
the Passion of Jesus Christ, and on Saturdays, the Sorrows 
of the Blessed Virgin, shall form the topics of the medita 
tion. 

The children shall be taught to keep their eyes cast 
down, or to cover them with their hands, so as to pay 
attention to what has been read. The second point of the 
meditation shall be read after the Sanctus. 

2. As soon as the reading of the first point is finished, 
the Mass shall begin. At the Offertory the reader shall 
say: " Let us make an act of love: O my God, how good 
Thou art ! I wish to love Thee as much as all the saints 
love Thee ; as much as Thy dear Mother Mary loves Thee. 
But if I cannot love Thee so much, my God, my all, my 
only good, because Thou art worthy of all our love, I love 
Thee above all things, I love Thee with my whole heart, 
with my whole soul, with all my mind, with all my 
strength. I love Thee more than myself, and could I do 
so, I would make Thee known and loved by all men even 
at the price of my blood." 

During the meditation, one or the other priest who is 
present may go around suggesting some brief reflections on 
what has been read. 

3. After the Sanctus, the second point shall be read. It 
shall be on the same subject as the first, and read in the 
same manner. 

4. After the elevation of the chalice, the reader shall 
say: "Let us make an act of love to Jesus in the Blessed 
Sacrament, and also an act of contrition : My Jesus, who 
for love of me art present in this Sacrament, I thank Thee 
for so great love, and I love Thee with my whole heart. 
Eternal Father, for the love of Mary, for the love of Thy 
dear Son Jesus dead upon the cross, and present in this 
Sacrament for love of us, pardon me all my sins, and 



SER. ii.-i762.] Letter 339. 217 

all the displeasure I have caused Thee. I am heartily 
sorry for them, O my God, because I love Thee with my 
whole heart." 

5. After the Pater noster, the reader shall say: "Let us 
renew our resolution of never more offending Jesus Christ 
My Jesus, with the help of Thy grace, I desire to die 

rather than offend Thee again. As the fruit of this me 
ditation, let us make some particular resolution that will 
give pleasure to Jesus Christ, especially to rid ourselves of 
the fault we most frequently commit." After a brief pause : 
" Let us ask Almighty God for the love of Jesus Christ to 
give us the grace to fulfil the promise we have made." 

6. When the celebrant has said Domine non sum dignus 
or after the Communion of the people, if there are any com 
municants, the reader shall say: "Let us have recourse to 
the Blessed Virgin Mary, and ask her for some special 
grace: O Mary, my hope, I love thee with my whole 
heart. I would wish to die for thy love. My dearest 
Mother, take me under thy mantle, and there let me live 
and die. For the love of Jesus Christ, my dear Lady, 
obtain for me the grace which I now ask of thee." Here 
each one shall ask of Mary with the utmost confidence the 
grace desired. 

After Mass, all shall recite the Hail, holy Queen, with 
the proper pauses, and add the prayer "Grant, we beseech 
Thee, O Lord". 

After the Roman edition. 



218 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 



LETTER 340. 

To the Archpriests, Parish Priests, and Confessors of the 
Diocese.. 

Instructions and ordinances regarding the administration 
of the sacrament of penance, the observance of the Paschal 
precept, and the absolution of certain classes of sin. 

Episcopal Palace, SANT AGATA, February 20, 1763. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

One of the most grievous afflictions that beset us in our 
diocese is the very great ignorance in matters of faith which 
prevails so extensively among the poorer classes; and we can 
hardly persuade ourselves that this ignorance is not in part 
due to the negligence of those having the care of souls to 
provide that all their people are sufficiently instructed in the 
rudiments of the Christian doctrine. According to theo 
logians, pastors are bound to go after those who do not 
come to church, and instruct them. 

I. It is, therefore, our express wish that during the 
entire season of Lent all the archpriests and parish priests 
should devote themselves to the instruction of the children 
of their respective charges. At all events, we desire them 
to spend the two weeks preceding Palm Sunday in teaching 
the catechism to the children, so that on the Monday or 
Tuesday of Holy Week they may admit to holy Com 
munion all who are prepared. They shall try to hear the 
confessions of the children in Passion week; and with 
regard to the Communion, they shall bear in mind that it is 
the common teaching of theologians that the obligation to 
receive the holy Eucharist begins for the children when the 
ninth or tenth year is reached, and may not be deferred 
beyond the twelfth, or at most, as in the case of children 
of feeble mental endowment, beyond the fourteenth year. 
St. Charles Borromeo enjoined upon his priests to prepare 



SER. ii.-1763-l Letter 340. 219 

all the children for holy Communion as soon as they had 
attained their tenth year. 

II. And as this ignorance in matters of" faith obtains not 
only in the little ones, but in adults also, we direct the 
pastors to inform their parishioners that no one will be 
admitted to the sacrament of penance during the Paschal 
season, who does not present a certificate testifying that he 
has been examined in Christian doctrine, and approved by 
his parish priest or some one commissioned by him. We 
command the archpriests and parish priests to be careful to 
conduct in person, or through other good priests appointed 
by them for the purpose, the examination of all those who 
are in need of instruction. They shall commence these 
instructions at the beginning of Lent, so that there may be 
sufficient time to prepare all according to their respective 
needs. 

III. Furthermore, with regard to the precept of receiving 
the holy Eucharist at Easter, we charge all the pastors to 
appear before us without delay after the feast of the Blessed 
Trinity, and to denounce without human respect those who 
have failed to comply with their Easter duty, in order that 
we may be able to apply the proper remedies. 

IV. The reverend pastors shall inform their people that 
everyone who does not receive the sacraments at his own 
parish church during the Easter time, will be regarded as a 
transgressor of the Paschal precept, as has been declared 
by Clement VIII. in his explanation of the Council of 
Lateran given by Cardinal Lambertini Notif. 18, n. 12. 
And we shall not admit as satisfactory of this precept the 
Communion received in our cathedral by those who do not 
belong to Sant Agata ; as it is our wish that all who fulfil 
the Paschal precept be known to their respective pastors. 
We caution the pastors, however, to display the necessary 
firmness in refusing holy Communion to public sinners who 
have not as yet given evident proof of amendment. 



220 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

V. To avoid the inconveniences that may arise and the 
frauds that may be resorted to with regard to the fulfilment 
of the Paschal precept, and also to introduce the new order 
which shall henceforth be observed every year in this mat 
ter, we enjoin upon every archpriest and pastor to take the 
census of his people during Lent before the Paschal season 
begins, and distribute the tickets for Communion to all who 
are bound by the precept. When the faithful, then, come 
to their respective parish churches to fulfil their Easter 
duty, each one, before receiving holy Communion, shall 
hand to the pastor the ticket received from him, on the 
back of which shall be written the name of the communi 
cant. At the end of the Paschal season, the pastor shall 
ascertain from these tickets who has complied with his 
Easter duty, and he shall note down in his book the names 
of those who have fulfilled the Paschal precept and those 
who have not. 

Should any of his parishioners, who has fulfilled the 
Paschal precept, wish to preserve the Communion-ticket 
for some laudable reason, the pastor shall return it to him, 
but only after the expiration of the Paschal season, and he 
shall be careful to write his own name upon it. 

VI. The pastors are recommended to have one or more 
strange confessors to hear the confessions of the faithful 
once a month on some feast, beginning with Easter Sunday 
next. On those days the pastors shall refrain from going 
to the confessionals themselves. 

They are, likewise, recommended to have a general 
Communion for the children three times in the year, name 
ly, at Christmas, Easter, and about the Assumption or the 
Nativity of the Blessed Virgin. 

They are admonished not to receive the troth of parties 
promising marriage, unless they are certain that the mar 
riage in question will follow in a short time. 

Furthermore, they are exhorted in their sermons to 



SER. H.-I763-] Letter 34.0. 221 

inveigh frequently against those fathers and mothers who 
permit young men to visit their houses under pretense 
of wishing to marry their daughters, and to call to mind 
the reserved case to which excommunication is attached, 
under which such parents fall. The pastors shall, therefore, 
rebuke them with severity, and should no change take 
place, inform us, that we may proceed to declare them 
excommunicated. Frequently, too, they shall inculcate in 
their sermons recourse to our divine Saviour and his 
Blessed Mother for assistance in time of temptation. They 
shall, also, exhort their hearers to have a tender devotion 
toward the Mother of God, and a childlike confidence in 
her. For this end we desire that every week, either on 
Saturday or Sunday, every pastor should preach a short 
sermon upon devotion to the Blessed Virgin, or have it 
done by another. 

Finally, we enjoin on all confessors, under pain of sus 
pension, not to admit to the sacrament of penance during 
the Paschal season anyone of whom there can be a probable 
doubt that he is ignorant of the rudiments of faith, if he 
does not present the certificate of his pastor showing that 
the bearer was examined and approved by him or by an 
other deputed by him for that purpose. 

The confessors shall, likewise, be on their guard not to 
absolve those who are living in the proximate and voluntary 
occasion of sin, unless this occasion is first removed; those 
who relapse into sin and do not manifest clear and extra 
ordinary signs of amendment; fathers and mothers who 
neglect to teach their children the necessary truths of faith ; 
parents or other heads of families who allow betrothed per 
sons to remain together alone in danger of committing sin. 
This last case we have reserved ; and let it be remarked 
that by betrothed are understood all . who directly or 
through a third person, have plighted their troth, even 
though the betrothment has not yet taken place in presence 



222 Special Correspondence. LPART n. 

of the pastor, or the conditions agreed upon before the 
notary. 

We command every pastor to take a copy of this letter, 
and to certify on the back of the original that he has re 
ceived it and done so. 

To all we impart our pastoral blessing. 

After the Roman edition. 

LETTER 341. 
To the Archpriests and Parish Priests of the Diocese. 

Suspension incurred ipso facto by those who say Mass too 
hurriedly. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

SAXT AGATA, November 28, 1763. 

The Council of Trent has imposed upon bishops the 
grave obligation of preventing the irreverent celebration of 
holy Mass by priests, whether secular or religious. In this 
matter, the ordinaries have been constituted by the Coun 
cil Delegates Apostolic with power to inflict censures and 
other ecclesiastical punishments at their discretion upon all 
priests, even those who enjoy the privilege of exemption in 
other matters, who say Mass irreverently. The words of 
the Council are : Dccernit sancttz Synodus ut ordinarii lo- 
corum episcopi ea omnia prohibcre atqite e media tollere 
sedulo curent ac teneantur, qinz vel avaritia . . . vel irreve- 
rentia, qu& ab impietate vix sejuncta cssc potest, vel super- 
stitio . . . induxit. At the end of the decree the Council 
says: Htzc igitur omnia . . . Ordinariis proponunhtr ut 
ipsi . . ., pro data sibi a sancta Synodo pote state ac eticm ut 
delegati Sedis apostolica, prohibeant, mandent, . . . atque 
ad ea inviolate scrvanda censuris ecclesiasticis aliisquc pcc- 
nis, qu<z illorum arbitrio constituentur, fidelem populum 
compellant; non obstantibus privilegiis > exemptionibus . . . 



SER. H.-I763-] Letter 342. 223 

ac consuetudinibus quibuscumque. Now, according" to the 
common teaching of theologians, a priest who says Mass 
(even those of requiem or the votive Mass of the Blessed 
Virgin), in less than a quarter of an hour, cannot be ex 
cused from grievous sin ; because it is impossible to 
celebrate holy Mass in so short a time without grave 
irreverence. In order, therefore, to fulfil our obligation, 
and to put an end to a serious disorder (for we have been 
informed that in a certain part of our diocese Mass is said 
very hurriedly), we hereby declare ipso facto suspended 
from celebrating holy Mass any priest, secular or religious, 
who shall say Mass in less than a quarter of an hour. 

And that this regulation may come to the knowledge of 
all, and that none may plead ignorance thereof, we desire 
you to take a copy of it which you shall put up in the 
sacristies of your respective churches. 

Praying heaven to bless you with its choicest gifts, we 
impart to you our pastoral benediction. 

After the Roman edition. 

LETTER 342. 
To the Parish Priests and Confessors. 

Communication of a faculty in favor of the dying. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph! 

[SANT AGATA, December, 1763.] 

Very Reverend and Illustrious Sir: His Holiness Clem 
ent XIII. now gloriously reigning, has been pleased to 
grant to us the faculty of imparting the Papal Benediction, 
to which a plenary indulgence for the hour of death is 
attached, to all those of our city and diocese who, in their 
last agony, are truly contrite and receive the sacraments, 
or, when their condition will not permit this, invoke de 
voutly either with their lips or in their hearts, the Ho- 



224 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

ly Name of Jesus, and accept death from the hand of 
God with resignation, as the debt due to sin. 1 His Holi 
ness has, also, conceded to us the power of delegating this 
faculty to such persons as we think fit. In order, therefore, 
that the souls that are about to pass from this life may not 
be deprived of so great a treasure, we hereby communicate 
this faculty to all archpriests, parish priests, assistants, and 
confessors approved by us, whether secular or religious, of 
this city and diocese. This communication is made with 
out any restriction as to the number of cases ; but the form 
published by Benedict XIV. of happy memory in the Brief 
of April, 1747, must be observed in all its details. We 
enclose the Rescript of His Holiness communicating this 
faculty to us with power, as stated above, to delegate it in 
turn to others, that each of you may copy the formula at 
the end of the document; for this formula must necessari 
ly be used in every case in which this Benediction and 
plenary indulgence are to be given. 

You will do this, we hope, and return to us the original 
letter sent us from Rome, and state at the end that you 
have executed our commands. 

Beseeching heaven to favor you with every blessing, we 
impart to you our pastoral benediction. 

After the Roman edition. 

1 This faculty was granted December 3, 1763. 



SER. ii. -1764.] Letter 343. 225 

LETTER 343. 
To the Same. 

On the approach of the Paschal season he renews the 
ordinances of the previous year with regard to the admini 
stration of the sacraments of Penance and holy Eucharist. 

SANT AGATA, February 28, 1764. 

As the Paschal season draws near, our desire that all the 
archpriests and parish priests should instruct the children, 
is again revived. This work they should perform for at 
least two weeks before Palm Sunday, in order that, ac 
cording to the admonition of St. Charles Borromeo, they 
may admit to First Communion the children of about ten 
years of age who are prepared. 

With regard to the adults, we again charge pastors to 
warn their parishioners that, during the Paschal season, 
they will not be admitted to the sacrament of Penance 
unless they present a certificate showing that they have 
been examined in Christian doctrine by their respective 
pastors, or by some other priest appointed by him, and 
have been approved. The priests shall conduct this exami 
nation publicly in the church, and not in their own houses, 
a thing which we forbid under penalties at our good 
pleasure. 

Pastors shall, also, instruct their people that they are 
required to receive the sacraments in their own parish 
church, and that we shall not admit as satisfactory of this 
precept the Communion received in our cathedral except in 
the case of citizens of Sant Agata. 

Pastors are, furthermore, admonished to appear before 
us without delay after Trinity Sunday to denounce without 
human respect those who have neglected their Easter duty. 

We hereby renew the ordinance of last year, namely, 
that during Lent every pastor shall take the census of his 
15 



226 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

parish, and at the same time distribute the Communion 
tickets. When the faithful come to fulfil the Paschal pre 
cept, they shall, before receiving holy Communion, hand 
to the pastor the ticket received from him, on the back of 
which shall be written the name of the communicant. In 
this way the pastor will know who has complied with the 
Paschal precept. Should any of the faithful wish to pre 
serve the Communion-ticket showing that they have ful 
filled their obligation, the pastor shall return it after the 
expiration of the Paschal season, taking care to sign his 
own name upon it. 

To afford perfect freedom of conscience, pastors are 
exhorted to procure a strange confessor for their people 
once a month, and to abstain from hearing confessions 
themselves on those days. 

Besides the general Communion of all the children at 
Easter, there shall also be one at Christmas and about the 
Assumption of our Lady. 

Pastors in their sermons shall frequently inculcate upon 
fathers and mothers not to allow young men to visit their 
houses under pretence of wishing to marry their daughters, 
and they shall remind them that this is a reserved case to 
which excommunication is attached. Pastors are admon- 
shed, also, not to officiate at the betrothment of young 
persons, unless they have assured themselves that the 
marriage is to take place in a short time. 

We renew, also, the ordinance forbidding all confessors, 
under pain of suspension, to admit to the sacrament of 
Penance during the Paschal season those about whose 
knowledge of the truths of faith there may be a prudent 
doubt, unless such persons present a certificate of approba 
tion from their pastor or some one appointed by him. 

Confessors shall, also, bear in mind that they are not to 
absolve heads of families who allow engaged persons to 
remain together alone, in evident danger of sin. It is to 



SKR. H.-I764-] Letter 344. 227 

be remarked that in this reserved case are included those 
who have plighted their troth through a third person, as 
well as those who have done so personally ; even though 
the betrothment has not taken place in the presence of the 
pastor. 

At the end of this letter, every pastor shall acknowledge 
the receipt of the present ordinances, and state whether he 
has made a copy of them. 

We impart to you all our pastoral benediction. 

After the Roman edition. 

LETTER 344. 
To the Archpriests and Parish Priests of the Diocese. 

Prohibition to say holy Mass without the proper vestments. 
Conditions under which strange priests may be allowed to 
say Mass. 

SAN i* AGATA, June 8, 1764. 

Very Reverend and Illustrious Sirs: With no little grief 
we have learned that, in various parts of the diocese, certain 
ecclesiastics do not observe an ordinance published by us, 
requiring the use of the long soutane with sleeves during 
the celebration of holy Mass. These ecclesiastics have 
taken the liberty to use civilian attire. Wherefore, re 
newing our previous ordinance, we hereby ordain that, 
from the publication of this notice, all the priests of the 
diocese shall, when approaching to celebrate holy Mass, 
wear the long soutane with sleeves, under pain of suspen 
sion to be incurred ipso facto. And we entirely forbid 
the use of civilian attire at Mass, except in the case of a 
priest of the diocese who finds himself in any part thereof, 
and who, by reason of his business, is wearing only this 
garb. 

Furthermore, we charge you not to allow any strange 
priests to say Mass in your respective churches or in the 



228 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

churches of the places in which you reside, unless they 
present dimissorial letters from their ordinaries, or are, at 
least, persons of known probity. 

That what we have herein ordained may come to the 
knowledge of all, and that no one may plead ignorance as 
an excuse, we desire that a copy of this letter be placed in 
the sacristies of the respective churches. The original shall 
be returned to us with the information that this injunction 
has been carried out. 

We impart to you all our pastoral benediction. 

After the Roman edition. 

LETTER 345. 
To the Clergy of Frasso. 

Various ordinances upon points of ecclesiastical discipline 
necessitated by the Canonical Visitation. 

FRASSO, during the Canonical Visitation, July 22, 1764. 
Alfonso Maria de Liguori, by the grace of God and the 
favor of the Apostolic See, Bishop of Sant Agata de 
Goti and Suessula, Baron of Bagnoli, and Rector 
Major of the Congregation of the Most Holy Re 
deemer. 

During the course of our pastoral Visitation in this terri 
tory of Frasso, of our diocese, we have learned of many 
abuses and irregularities which prevail among the members 
of the collegiate and other clergy. To provide a speedy 
remedy for those evils, and to restore everything once 
more to proper order, we have determined to make the 
following regulations, which we desire to have promptly 
and faithfully observed. These regulations shall be en 
forced under penalties according to our good pleasure, 
penalties which will infallibly be meted out to him who dis 
obeys, and in addition to the punishments already men 
tioned in the different paragraphs here given. 



SER. ii.-i 7 6 4 .] Letter 345. 229 

I. The Celebration of Holy Mass. 

In the first place, we learn with deep sorrow, that there 
is not in the collegiate church of this place the proper dis 
tribution of the Masses on Sundays and feasts of obligation, 
as also on days of devotion when there is usually a great 
concourse of people. All the Masses, we are informed, are 
said, so to speak, at once, and in the early hours of the 
morning. Inconsequence, the people have, no opportunity 
of hearing Mass in the later hours, and particularly during 
summer when not only the choral service, but every other 
ecclesiastical function, also, is over at eight o clock. 

We, therefore, ordain that, on all those days, Sundays 
and festivals, the Masses shall be celebrated two at a time 
and not more, and for this purpose the chief sacristan shall 
see that on those days only two chalices and two sets of 
vestments are prepared for the Masses. Moreover, the 
members of the collegiate body shall go to the choir on 
those days one hour later than usual, so that all the people 
who wish may be able to go to confession ; for experience 
teaches that the confessors, as well as the rest, leave the 
church after the Office is finished, even though they are 
wanted in the confessionals. 

II. The Conferences. 

We have been assured that the conferences on cases of 
Moral Theology and rubrics have almost entirely fallen into 
disuse because of the small number of ecclesiastics that 
attend them, and also on account of the little order ob 
served in them. With regard to this matter, it is our 
desire that, on Wednesday of each week, the ecclesiastics 
assemble at the sound of a bell in the usual place, the 
sacristy of the archpriest, and there discuss any question 
that shall be proposed. This question shall be in accord 
ance with the rules given at the end of the directory, and 
15* 



230 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

shall be posted by the secretary of the conference on the 
preceding Wednesday. It shall be treated by the priests 
upon whom the lot falls, and decided by the prefect of the 
conference. When it appears to him that the question has 
been sufficiently discussed and a decision reached, the pre 
fect shall close the conference. It shall also be his duty 
faithfully to note down those who are absent, unless they 
are legitimately prevented from attending, and to transmit 
to us every month a detailed list of the absentees. 

III. The Distribution of Revenues Received for the High 
Masses, etc. 

It has come to our knowledge that the division of the 
daily allowance takes place in the choir of the collegiate 
church, with great confusion and altercation, whereby not 
only the divine Office is disturbed, but scandal, likewise, is 
given to the faithful. We, therefore, ordain that from the 
publication of these regulations, whenever any moneys are 
to be distributed, the procurator shall see that it is done 
without any disturbance or wrangling ; and he that would 
provoke contention shall be subjected to the loss of his 
share of said distribution in favor of the other members 
present. 

IV. The Choir. 

We enjoin that, in the recitation of the divine Office in 
choir, the requisite pauses be observed, for in the past it 
has been recited precipitately. The prefect of the choir of 
the collegiate church shall see that this is scrupulously 
executed ; and in case he be absent for some just reason, 
his place shall be taken by the one who is first in rank, and 
so on successively. The prefect shall, furthermore, be 
watchful that the choral discipline be exactly observed, 
especially in regard to silence. Of this latter point, we 
desire the most strict observance, and no member of the 



SER. n.-i 7 6 4 .j Letter 345. 231 



chapter shall dare to read letters in the choir, or to speak 
to another during the divine Office or other ecclesiastical 
function, except it be of some matter pertaining to the 
Office or the sacred function that is going on. Those who 
violate this rule shall be fined two tornese for Matins and 
for Lauds, and one tornesa for each of the Little Hours 
that is recited. To the same fine of one tornesa shall be 
subjected every one who refuses to sing the high Mass for 
which he is appointed. We require those whose office it is 
to record these penalties, to be most vigilant and to impose 
the respective fines herein described, without any regard to 
persons, for we lay this matter upon their conscience. 
Furthermore, we wish all the members of the collegiate 
chapter to show prompt obedience to him who presides 
during the Office, and anyone who may be obliged to leave 
the choir for a just reason, shall first ask his permission, a 
point in which there has been much neglect shown hitherto. 

V. The Mass for Benefactors, Solemn High Masses, Pro 
cessions, and Vespers. 

With very great displeasure, we learn of another in 
tolerable abuse in the collegiate church, namely, that the 
conventual Mass for benefactors is not sung every day. 
We, therefore, ordain that from this day forth, this obliga 
tion be punctually fulfilled according to the requirements of 
the sacred canons and the Bull of Pope Benedict XIV., of 
happy memory. And we reserve to ourselves all provisions 
to be made with regard to the arrearage of those Masses 
which have not yet been said. Moreover, on all feasts of 
our Lord, the holy apostles, and evangelists, the Blessed 
Virgin Mary, the patron and titular saints, and on other 
solemn feasts of the year, there shall be sung a solemn 
high Mass with deacon and subdeacon taken from among 
the members of the chapter in turn, and at this Mass all 
shall assist according to custom. Should any of the Canons 



232 Special Correspondence. i PART i r. 

not be able to assist, he shall see beforehand that another 
takes his place, or else he shall surfer the loss of his share 
of the daily distribution for five days, as also his share for 
the day itself, which shall be given to the one below him in 
rank who shall be obliged to perform the duty imposed 
upon him without resistance. The Canons shall also render 
this assistance in turn whenever there is to be a procession 
of the Most Blessed Sacrament, or other processions which 
they must attend, as on the first and third Sundays of the 
month and other days. Finally, it is our wish that on all 
the feasts mentioned above, the first Vespers be solemnly 
sung on the evening before, and on the morning of the 
feast, at least Lauds, under the penalties to be inflicted at 
our good pleasure. 

VI. Masses on the Vigils of Feasts, and the Ferial Masses 
during Lent and Advent. 

We desire, also, that during the holy seasons of Lent 
and Advent, and on all vigils throughout the year, two 
Masses be sung according to the prescriptions of the 
rubrics, whenever the feast of a saint of double or semi- 
double rite falls upon those days. On those days, how 
ever, only the conventual Mass shall be applied for bene 
factors ; the other in satisfaction of an obligation of the 
chapter. The infraction of this regulation will be visited 
with punishment at our good pleasure. 

VII. The Meetings in the Sacristies. 

In order to avoid the altercation and disputes which, as 
we learn to our extreme sorrow, are wont to take place 
whenever the Canons convene for the transaction of busi 
ness pertaining to the chapter, we command that the stat 
utes treating of these meetings be minutely observed. The 
prefect shall propose the matter to be discussed, and then 
each one, beginning with the senior Canon, shall give his 



SER. H.-I764.] Letter 345. 233 

opinion in a moderate tone of voice and without the least 
shadow of contention. No one shall speak out of his turn. 
After the discussion the votes shall be taken, and the mat 
ter decided according to the majority of votes cast. This 
manner of procedure shall be adhered to under penalty of 
one month s incarceration for the delinquent, who shall be 
denounced to us by the chapter. 

VIII. The Use of the Breviary in Choir. 

We are informed, to our sorrow, that the greater part 
of the Canons do not use the breviary in choir during the 
recitation of the divine Office, but content themselves with 
the diurnal. We, therefore, ordain that during Matins 
everyone shall use the breviary or, at least, that part which 
corresponds to the season of the year, so that while the 
lessons are read in choir they may follow them with becom 
ing attention. The observance of this regulation is enjoined 
under penalties at our discretion. 

I X . Fu ncral Ser vices. 

When the Canons are required to attend funeral services, 
many of them repair to the place in a very disorderly man 
ner, waiting for one another on the streets or in the stores. 
Equally disedifying is their conduct on the occasion of pro 
cessions, to the no small scandal of the people. In future, 
therefore, they shall observe the proper order, and go two 
by two from the time they leave the church till they return. 
They shall, also, observe the external decorum that be 
comes their station. Penalties for infraction at our good 
pleasure. 

X. The Clerics. 

We have been told that the clerics and novices of this 
district seldom frequent the sacraments, and are absent from 
the divine service and the care of the catechism class in the 



234 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

archpriest s church on Sundays and holydays of obligation. 
We learn, also, that so far none of them have rendered 
any assistance in the collegiate church, and that, when 
requested, they have refused to take part in the sacred 
functions or even to serve Mass. 

We, therefore, ordain that all clerics and novices ap 
proach the sacraments at least every two weeks, and on the 
feasts of the holy apostles and of the Blessed Virgin ; also 
that they be present to conduct the catechism class on Sun 
days and feasts of obligation. Furthermore, some of them 
to be designated in writing by us through our chancellor, 
shall be appointed to the service of the collegiate church, 
and the rest to the service of the archpriest s church, and 
this arrangement shall never be interfered with. In con 
sideration of their large number, one-third shall be ap 
pointed for the collegiate church, and the remaining two- 
thirds for the church of the archpriest. 

That these clerics may correctly discharge their respective 
duties, we desire the Reverend Canon Don Francesco 
Brancone to watch over them with particular vigilance, and 
to reprimand them in case of negligence. Should any of 
them prove incorrigible, the Canon shall simply inform us 
thereof. On their part, the clerics shall be blindly obedi 
ent to him in regard to what he may prescribe, under pain 
of being excluded from Sacred Orders, and other penalties 
at our good pleasure. 

XI. The Chanters of the Choir. 

For all the sacred functions of which singing forms a part, 
the prefect of the choir shall appoint two chanters to give 
the intonations so as to avoid all confusion. In the absence 
oi the prefect this appointment shall devolve upon him who 
acts as prefect in the choir. 



sKR.ii.-i76;,.] Letter 345- 2 35 



XII. 77/6 Treasury and Archives. 

As there is in the collegiate church no treasury in which 
may be placed for safe keeping all moneys received, until 
some new enterprise is undertaken, or the money invested, 
we decree that, within two months, a deposit safe shall be 
constructed, furnished with three keys, one of which shall 
be kept by the prefect, another by the first deputy of the 
chapter, and the third by the procurator during his term 
of office. 

We require, also, that, within six months, the archives 
of this church be put in order, for at present the documents 
are in so confused a state that it is impossible to find any 
thing. The task of arranging the archives, we entrust to 
Canon Don Michele Gisondi, the present archivist, and 
Don Vincenzo Maria Carulli, who, within the time speci 
fied, shall arrange in alphabetical order in as many volumes 
as may be necessary, all the documents, and make a de 
tailed index at the beginning of each volume. These 
archives shall be guarded under two keys, one of which 
shall remain with the archivist of the chapter, the other 
with one of the senior Canons appointed by the chapter. 

XIII. Changes and Substitutions. 

To remove from the chapter an abuse which has crept in, 
namely, that a Canon may substitute another in his stead 
for the service in choir during the week in which he is 
obliged to be present, even though he himself does not 
reside here or does not do so permanently, a liberty 
which the Canons take as often as they please, in violation 
of the express regulation of the sacred canons which per 
mit them to get another in their stead only rarely, and 
only in case they themselves reside in the place: to remove 
this abuse, we ordain that Canons who desire to avail 
themselves of this privilege accorded them by the Church, 



236 Special Correspondence. [PART ir. 

shall, in securing another as substitute in the choir, be 
reasonable, and not do so oftener than four times in the 
month, and provided they are themselves residents of this 
city or its suburbs. Under no other conditions, will this be 
allowed, and every infraction of this ordinance will be 
punished with the forfeiture of the delinquent s share of the 
distribution of that day, which shall be turned over to the 
other members of the chapter. 

XIV. Recorders. 

That the recorders may discharge their duties properly, 
we desire that, after their election, they shall take an oath 
in presence of the prefect, faithfully to fulfil their offices. 

XV. The Prefect. 

In order that the discipline of the choir be faithfully 
observed, and all that we have herein commanded be 
punctually carried out and produce the desired results, it is 
our wish that the archpriest or the prefect of the choir be 
present at the recitation of the divine Office during the 
week that falls to his lot, unless he be at this time engaged 
in exercises of the ministry that require his personal atten 
tion. We have been informed that these officials are rarely, 
if ever, present. 

XVI. Games. 

You all know that in a circular letter published by us, 
we forbade the ecclesiastics subject to our jurisdiction, under 
penalties therein expressed, to play cards in public places, 
such as, apothecaries, coffee-houses, stores, and similar 
places; and we permitted only such games as are not 
forbidden by the sacred canons, when played for the sake 
of diversion, and in the houses of respectable persons. 

As we have learned, however, that some ecclesiastics 
have abused this permission, and have dared to play games 



SER. ii. -1764.] Letter 345. 237 

in pharmacies and like places of this district, we hereby 
confirm what we have already decreed upon this subject as 
stated above, and we enjoin upon all ecclesiastics the exact 
observance thereof, and that in future no one shall dare 
take part in any game in the public places mentioned, under 
pain of fifteen days imprisonment for each offence. Fur 
thermore, we forbid all games, even in the houses of re 
spectable persons, to the clerics, subdeacons, and deacons, 
under pain of one month in prison and deprivation of 
Orders. 

XVII. The Crucifix,- 

We have been apprised that on some of the altars in the 
churches here, the crucifixes are small. This is contrary to 
the prescription of the rubrics and the Bull of Pope Bene 
dict XIV. of happy memory, which forbid small crucifixes 
on the altar at which Mass is said. Accordingly, we com 
mand these crucifixes to be removed from the altars on 
which they are, and within one month, larger ones to be 
provided which shall be in proportion to the candelabra, 
and so placed as to be higher than them and visible to the 
faithful during the celebration of holy Mass, as the Bull 
above-quoted prescribes. Violations of this regulation will 
be punished at our good pleasure. 

XVIII. Duties of the Canons on all Holy days of Obligation. 

To our sincere sorrow we have, also, learned that the 
Canons of the collegiate chapter are not all present at the 
divine Office and other ecclesiastical functions on all holy- 
days of obligation during the year ; but that alternating, 
only those are in attendance on certain feasts, who are 
obliged to be present during that week. Likewise, that 
during Lent the Penitential and Gradual Psalms, and the 
Office of the Dead, are not recited after the Office of the 
day, as is required by the rubrics on certain days. 



238 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

We, therefore, ordain that on all holydays of obligation 
during the year, without exception, also on the feast of All- 
Souls, every member of the collegiate chapter shall be 
present at the recitation of Office in the choir, and at the 
other ecclesiastical functions, under pain of forfeiting the 
entire allowance that would fall to his share on that day, a 
penalty which shall be exacted without the least human 
respect, and be applied in favor of the other members. 
We, furthermore, command that on the days prescribed 
during Lent, the Penitential and Gradual Psalms and the 
Office of the Dead be recited with the Office of the day, 
under penalty at our good pleasure, which shall certainly 
be inflicted in every case of delinquency. 

Finally, we ordain that on the second Sunday of every 
month the Rules of the chapter be publicly read by the 
secretary before Vespers, that each one may know what is 
contained in them with regard to the maintenance of exact 
observance. For this reading, all the Canons shall assemble 
in the sacristy of the collegiate church. At the same time 
and place, we desire that these our regulations be read by 
the secretary, so that they, as well as the Rule, may be 
observed with dutiful punctuality. Both these documents 
shall be preserved in the archives. As executors of these 
regulations as well as of all the other decrees of the pastoral 
Visitation of this district, we constitute the Very Reverend 
Archpriest, Don Francesco di Filippo and Canon Vincenzo 
Carulli, and enjoin on them to see that everything is most 
strictly observed. Should any delinquencies occur, they 
shall admonish the culprit for the first offence, and in case 
no amendment follows, they shall refer the matter to us for 
the administration of suitable remedies. 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of Sant Agata. 

After the Roman edition. 



SER. H.-1764.] Letter 346. 239 

LETTER 346. 

To the Clergy of the Diocese. 
Prohibition of certain games. 

Episcopal Palace, SANT* AGATA DK GOTI, November 2, 1764. 
Alfonso Maria de Liguori, by the grace of God, Bishop, 

etc. 

As there is nothing which so effectually hinders the 
reformation of manners and the correction of abuses that 
have been introduced among the people, as the bad ex 
ample of the clergy, "whose manner of living," says the 
Council of Sardis, " being exposed to the eyes of all, be 
comes the model of either good or wicked lives", we take 
very much to heart the gravity of the obligation incumbent 
upon us of removing from our clergy and keeping at a 
distance from them, as far as lies in our power, whatever 
might be an occasion of scandal or bad example to the 
faithful. We are, likewise, solicitous that we should not 
have to render an account to Almighty God for the offences 
of ecclesiastics connived at or uncorrected by us. Con 
sidering, therefore, the innumerable evils and sins that 
arise from certain classes of games, which have been pro 
hibited with good reason by the sacred canons, we desire 
to apply a prompt and efficacious remedy to these abuses. 
Accordingly, we forbid all the ecclesiastics of this our city 
and diocese, under pain of suspension a divinis, reserved 
to ourselves, and to be incurred ipso facto, and other 
punishment at our discretion, to play at any game of chance 
whatever, be it with cards or dice, and in particular, basset, 
primero, Ouanto inviti, paraspinto, or by whatever names 
such games may be called. At the same time, we warn all 
that we shall be most diligent in pursuing those who dis 
obey this ordinance, and unrelenting in punishing them 
with necessary severity. 



240 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

We desire, therefore, that the present regulation be 
made public and put up in the usual places, so that no one 
may be able to excuse himself on the plea of ignorance. 

After the Roman edition. 

LETTER 347. 
To the Canons Confessors of Sant Agata. 

He reminds them of their duty of being in the confessional 
especially on festivals. 

[SANT AGATA, November, 1764.] 

We have learned with extreme sorrow that the faithful of 
Sant Agata complain bitterly that you, Reverend Sirs, are 
seldom in the confessionals even on Sundays. 

We would remind you that a large part of the revenues 
of the chapter is, as you already know, derived from the 
income of the parish churches; and, therefore, as you also 
know, each one of you has the obligation in solidum of a 
pastor of souls, so that when one is absent, another is 
bound to take his place. None of you can allege: "Why 
am I bound to go to the confessional and not the others?" 
In reality, this obligation is individual, and is, likewise, a 
matter of justice, since each one is supported by the contri 
butions of the people of Sant Agata. The two parish 
priests cannot meet all the wants of the people, and, conse 
quently, the Canons are bound to come to their assistance. 
But now, when it is time to be in the confessional, the 
Canons repair to the choir to recite the Office, although we 
have dispensed from choir service the confessors who are 
occupied in hearing confessions on feasts. 

With still greater concern, have we learned that even 
those who were formerly most assiduous in the confessional, 
are also becoming negligent in this respect. 

This letter we should have written to you long ago, but 
we refrained from doing so until now, when we are on the 



SER. n.-i 7 6 4 ] Letter 348. 241 

eve of Advent and all the solemn festivals that come in its 
train. Not only are you, Reverend Sirs, bound to attend 
to the wants of the faithful of Sant Agata, an obligation 
binding upon you in justice ; but you are, likewise, bound 
in charity to attend to all the faithful of the diocese. This 
is especially the case since we have taken from nearly all the 
priests, parish priests alone excepted, the faculties to absolve 
in reserved cases, and granted them to the confessors of 
Sant Agata, in order that when such people come to 
confession there might be some one that could absolve 
them. 

We beseech you, therefore, by the bowels of the mercy 
of Jesus Christ, and for the love of the Blessed Virgin 
Mary, to be present in your confessionals on festivals; 
and we feel confident that our wishes will be complied with, 
and that no cause for further displeasure will be given us. 

After the Roman edition. 

LETTER 348. 

To the Canons of the Cathedral, Chaplains, and Canons of the 

Diocese. 

Notification 7. 1 

[End of 1764.] 

I. We would remind you all of what Benedict XIV. has 
said in his Brief of January 19, 1748, to Cardinal Delfino, 

1 The six notifications which we here insert are addressed to the 
different classes of ecclesiastics in the diocese, with a view to pro 
mote more and more the spirit of ecclesiastical discipline, the digni 
ty of the sacred functions, in a word, the sanctification of souls, 
which was ever the first thought of the holy bishop. In order that 
the reader may understand their importance, and behold in them a 
new proof of the ardent zeal of the saint, it should be stated that, 
as soon as the holy bishop learned the condition in which the dio 
cese stood, he at once set about to convene a diocesan synod. The 
Sovereign Pontiff on being informed of his design, blessed his pious 
16 



242 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

Patriarch of Aquileia, namely, that to participate in the 
daily distribution, ecclesiastics appointed to the service of 
the choir must not merely be present during the Office, but 
must also sing or recite the psalms of the divine Office. 
Should they fail to do so they shall lose their share of the 
daily allowance, as also the emolument arising from their 
prebendary, and the distributions and emoluments thus 
forfeited, cannot be granted to the delinquent by the others 
in whose favor they are forfeited before the latter have 
actually received them. 

II. We recommend to all the members of chapters to 
pronounce the words of the divine Office distinctly, and to 
pause at the asterisk which precisely for this purpose has 
been introduced into the psalms by the Church. We, like 
wise, recommend silence in the choir, and we charge those 
whose duty it is, to fine promptly and without human 
respect, anyone who shall carry on a conversation in the 
choir. We would also remark that no one shall leave the 
choir except to hear confessions or to say Mass ; and when 
going to celebrate, several shall not leave the choir to- 
gother, but only a few at a time. 

III. All elections and other matters of importance in our 
cathedral, as well as in the collegiate churches, shall be de 
cided by secret ballot only. By matters of importance are 

intention, and granted a plenary indulgence to all the faithful who 
should approach the sacraments on the day of the opening of the 
synod (Brief of June 21, 1764, Cum, sicnt accepimus). Nevertheless, 
after mature reflection the saint was obliged to abandon the execu 
tion of this idea, foreseeing the obstacles which the civil power 
would prepare by its interference in ecclesiastical affairs. It was to 
obtain the results he thus anxiously desired that he published these 
notifications. " I will effect through these notifications," he writes 
to Father Tannoia, who records the fact in the " Life of St. Alphon- 
sus", " what I should have wished to bring about in the synod. In 
this way, I shall not be troubled by every crack-brain who might 
take it into his head to annoy me, and prevent me from obtaining 
from Naples the royal consent to hold the synod." 



sER.n.-i 7 6 4 .] Letter 348. 243 

understood all lawsuits which the chapters may be obliged 
to undertake or defend, and all questions pertaining to the 
personal affairs of their members, even though they be 
of no considerable moment ; furthermore, all matters which 
the archdeacon or another, who is presiding officer of the 
chapter, shall deem important, or concerning which any of 
the Canons requests a secret ballot. 

IV. In our cathedral, the Canons shall be present at the 
Office and Mass that are sung on All-Souls day, also on the 
two following days when the Office and Mass are said for 
the deceased bishop and members of the chapter. Ab 
sentees shall be subjected to the forfeiture of their daily 
allowance. 

V. We remind the members of all chapters of the precept 
of the Council of Trent (sess. xxiv. cap. 12, de Ref.~), which 
forbids Canons to obtain substitutes to take their place in 
the recitation of the divine Office ; also of the declaration of 
the Sacred Congregation of the Council, cited by Fagnano 
(in cap. Cum omnes de Constit. n. 28), whereby bishops, 
notwithstanding that precept, may permit the Canons to 
take one another s place in the choral service and other 
sacred functions, provided such substitution does not occur 
too frequently. 

In another decree, the Sacred Congregation has declared 
that this is applicable only in favor of resident Canons, 
inter prasentes, that is, as was explained in another decree, 
when the Canon who obtains the substitute resides in 
the city or its suburbs, if these be not too far distant, say 
about half a mile, so that he may conveniently reach the 
church in time for service. 

In virtue, therefore, of the faculty granted us by the 
Sacred Congregation, we hereby concede to all the capit 
ulars the privilege of substituting another of their compan 
ions to take their place in the choir and at other ecclesiast 
ical functions, but only once or, at most, twice a week, 



244 Special Correspondence. [PART ir. 

provided, however, the Canon substituted be not himself 
obliged to choir duty, and the one who obtains the sub 
stitute, be at the time a resident of the place, as required 
by the Sacred Congregation in the decree cited above. 

After an old copy preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 



LETTER 349. 

To the Archpriests, Parish Priests, Rectors, and Confessors 
of the Diocese. 

Notification II- 

[End of 1764.] 

I. In the first place, we renew an ordinance published by 
us in 1762, in which we commanded that, on all feasts, the 
pastors and other priests who say Mass in the parish 
churches, or in other churches or chapels, even though in 
country places, should read for the people the abridgment 
of Christian doctrine which we had printed on a special 
sheet. This reading shall take place twice on all feasts, 
namely, at the first Mass, and again at that Mass at which 
the greatest number of people is present. 

II. We command, also, all the pastors to be extremely 
solicitous in seeing that the catechism is taught to the chil 
dren every Sunday afternoon. For this work, they may 
call to their aid other priests, and particularly the clerics 
attached to their parish churches, who are obliged to attend 
to this duty. Every pastor, however, shall himself take 
part in this work regularly, or at least very frequently, and 
if he does not conduct the instruction, he shall, at least, be 
present to see how it is given by the others. It should be 
borne in mind that it is not sufficient to recite for the chil 
dren the abridgment of Christian doctrine which is read 
during Mass ; for it is not enough that they know by rote 
the truths of our holy faith, they should be made to under- 



SER. ii. -1764.] Letter 349. 245 

stand according to their respective abilities what is read to 
them. During Lent, the pastors shall instruct them every 
day for several weeks before Holy Week, particularly in 
regard to Easter Communion, which the children should 
ordinarily receive about the age of nine or ten years, or 
certainly at twelve. We are grieved to learn that, in some 
parts of the diocese, there are children of fourteen and fif 
teen years that have not yet made their First Communion. 
The pastors shall give particular attention to teaching the 
children the acts of faith, hope, love, and contrition, intro 
ducing each act with the motives proper to it. They shall, 
likewise, impress on the minds of the little ones that no one 
can obtain salvation, or have the grace and strength to 
conquer temptation, unless he prays and recommends him 
self to God, and asks him for these graces. The pastors 
shall, also, carefully examine those about to be married, 
upon the teaching of our holy faith, as Benedict XIV. com 
mands ; and they shall warn the contracting parties that no 
marriage-license will be issued to them from our chancery 
if they cannot present, together with the other requisite 
papers, a certificate from their pastor to show that they are 
sufficiently instructed in all that a Christian should know. 

III. We remind the parish priests of the strict obligation 
incumbent upon them to preach every Sunday. It is the 
common teaching of theologians, that a parish priest who neg 
lects to preach for one month continuously, or for three 
months interruptedly, cannot be excused from mortal sin. 
Let the sermon be short; not more than twenty minutes or, 
at most, half an hour, including the act of contrition, which 
it is always well to make with the people at the end of the 
sermon. In their sermons, let them attend chiefly to the 
following points: 

i. Frequently to speak upon the eternal truths, as the 
consideration of them is most powerful in bringing sinners 
back to God. 

16* 



246 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

2. The loss of innumerable souls who go to perdition, on 
account of sins concealed in confession through shame. 
And here let us again recommend to the pastors to have a 
strange confessor in their churches once a month. 

3. To inveigh against parents who allow young men to 
visit their houses who may be to their daughters an occasion 
of sin. They shall admonish such parents that, failing in this 
respect, they fall under the reserved case to which excom 
munication is attached. 

4. Often to inculcate the invocation of Jesus and Mary in 
the time of temptation, and to ask of Almighty God the 
grace of final perseverance. 

5. They should exhort the faithful to recommend them 
selves to the Blessed Virgin ; and at the end of every ser 
mon, they shall make them ask for some particular grace 
from the Mother of God. 

It would be well for all parish priests to read what is said 
in our Instruction 1 in the vernacular with regard to those 
practical matters which may be brought before the people 
with the greatest profit. They will find this subject treated 
in chapter vii. from number 36 to 44 inclusive. Above all 
things, let them be carefnl to use popular language, in 
keeping with the capabilities of the poor people, as is com 
manded by the Council of Trent; otherwise, the sermons 
will remain quite useless, as if they had never been 
preached. 

IV. We again call to mind and renew our ordinance in re 
gard to the Easter Communion of the faithful. 

i. As a general rule, no one shall be admitted to the 
sacrament of Penance by any confessor, unless he can 
present a certificate signed by his pastor, testifying that the 
bearer has been examined and approved with regard to the 
necessary knowledge in matters of faith. A similar exami 
nation, according to the regulation of Benedict XIV., shall 
1 " Instruction and Practice for Confessors." 



SER. n.-i 7 6 4 .] Letter 349. 247 



be made by the pastor of all who desire to enter into matri 
mony, before such parties shall be permitted to plight their 
troth. 

2. When making the visitation of his parish during Lent, 
the pastor shall give to each one the ticket for Easter Com 
munion. On the back of this ticket shall be written the 
name of the communicant, so that, at the expiration of the 
Paschal season, the pastor may be able to know from the 
tickets returned who has fulfilled his Easter duty and who 
has not. 

3. It is our wish that these Communion-tickets, which 
are to be returned by the parishioners before receiving holy 
Communion, shall be received by the pastor himself, and 
by no one else ; for we have learned to our sorrow that in 
some places the tickets have been taken up by others; and, 
in consequence of this negligence, some have not fulfilled 
the Paschal precept. 

4. Pastors shall again inform their people that those who 
do not receive the Easter Communion at their own parish 
church, even if they do so at our cathedral of Sant Agata, 
do not fulfil the precept, and will be excommunicated. 

5. After Trinity Sunday, should there be any who have 
not complied with their Easter duty, the pastors shall de 
nounce them to us immediately and without the least human 
respect, in order that we may proceed against such persons 
with proper severity. 

6. Besides the Communion at Easter, we recommend the 
pastors to have a general Communion of the children every 
year on the Sunday within the octave of the Assumption of 
our Blessed Lady and on Christmas. 

V. In giving testimonials of such as are to be promoted 
to Holy Orders, we desire pastors to pay attention to the 
following items: i. To state what is their behavior and how- 
people speak of them ; whether they have always worn the 
ecclesiastical attire, and refrained from playing cards, join- 



248 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

ing in the chase, or associating with companions of suspicious 
character, as all these things are forbidden them. 2. Whe 
ther they have been of assistance to the church, by being 
present in the morning to serve Mass on feasts, and in the 
afternoon on Sundays at the catechism, which it is their 
duty to teach to the children. 3. Whether they have gone 
to confession and Communion every two weeks according 
to their rule. If there has been any delinquency with re 
gard to any of these points, we desire that the number of 
times be given. In this matter we burden the conscience of 
all pastors. 

VI. Pastors shall not assist at the betrothment of persons, 
unless they have assured themselves that the marriage is to 
take place in the near future. 

VII. With regard to the sacraments of holy Viaticum and 
Extreme Unction, pastors should bear in mind that the 
Viaticum should be administered whenever the sick person 
is in danger of death, that is, when the sickness appears to 
be mortal. As to Extreme Unction, Pope Benedict XIV. 
in Bull liii. entitled, Euchologium Gr&corum, or, " Ritual 
of the Greeks" (fourth volume of the Bullarium), says, at 
number 46, that this sacrament may be administered when 
ever the sick person suffers from a serious illness, that is, 
when there is a reasonable fear that death will ensue. 
Whenever, then, the holy Viaticum can be given, Extreme 
Unction also may be administered. And according to the 
Roman Catechism, Extreme Unction, n. 18, those pastors 
are guilty of grievous sin who defer the administration of 
this sacrament until the sick person has already begun to 
lose his senses. 

VIII. With regard to the obligations connected with 
Masses left by testators, we ordain as follows: 

i. In every sacristy there shall be placed a tablet con 
taining a list of all the Masses which the residen t or other 



SER. n.-i 7 6t.] Letter 349. 249 

priests are obliged to say ; the days on which they are to 
be said, at which altar, and for whom to be applied; also, 
the name of the benefactors or of those who made such 
foundations. 

2. All pastors, rectors, economes, and procurators of 
churches, chapels, and other pious places, shall do their 
utmost to obtain from the heirs or executors within one 
month after the death of the testators, the legacies set apart 
for pious purposes ; and should the latter prove dilatory in 
paying such legacies, they shall prosecute them before the 
competent tribunal. If there is no other way of compelling 
them, they shall, at least, give immediate notice to us, 
that we may be able to take suitable measures to force them 
to do so. 

3. We again call to mind, and, if necessary, hereby 
renew our ordinance requiring all rectors or chaplains 
previously to accepting any legacy for Masses, to obtain the 
permission of our chancery, in order to ascertain whether 
such burdens can be assumed, and whether the respective 
chaplains can suitably comply with such obligation. 

IX. On Holy Thursday the pastors of the several parishes 
shall read or have read during the parish Mass the list of 
reserved cases. This shall be done in a clear and distinct 
voice, and with the necessary pauses, so that the faithful 
may easily understand what is said. 

X. No corpse shall be interred before an interval of fif 
teen or, at least, twelve hours. They who have died sud 
denly shall not be buried before twenty-four hours have 
elapsed. 

XL We expressly forbid parish priests to entrust to clej- 
ics, and much less to lay persons, the keys of the tabernacle 
in which the Blessed Sacrament is kept, or of the ambry in 
which the holy oils are preserved. Moreover, in regard to 
the holy oils, we strictly forbid to entrust the carrying of 



250 Special Correspondence. [PART ir. 

them to the parochial churches to anyone who is not a 
priest, or, at least, in Sacred Orders, as also, to give these 
oils in charge of others than those just mentioned. 

XII. We, furthermore, command all pastors, rectors of 
churches, and beneficiaries to keep an inventory of ail that 
belongs to their respective churches or chapels, and to 
draw up this inventory anew, at least, every ten years. 
Should it happen that there is no such record in their 
churches or chapels, or that it has not been rearranged for 
ten years, they shall, within six months of this notification, 
make such an inventory, one copy of which shall be pre 
served in the archives of the church, and another for 
warded to us to be kept in the archives of our chancery. 
We also command the rural deans to inform us at once 
upon the death of any beneficiary of their districts. t 

XIII. Pastors shall remember that they have the grave 
obligation of residing in the place confided to their care, 
and that they are not to go away except for an urgent 
reason and with the permission of the bishop, whose duty 
it is to examine the reason and to approve the substitute 
provided by the pastor to take his place during his absence. 
If remiss in observing this obligation of residence, pastors 
should bear in mind that they not only sin grievously, but 
that they also lose all title to the revenues of their charge, 
and are obliged to make restitution according to the dura 
tion of their absence either to the poor of the parish or to 
the adornment of their church. The same obligation of 
restitution rests on all those pastors whose residence is use 
less. On this subject the Sacred Congregation of the 
Council has declared that the residence of a pastor is use 
less if for two months he neglects to perform in person the 
principal duties of his sacred ministry, namely, to preach, 
and to administer the sacraments, particularly those of pen 
ance and holy Eucharist, as often as he is required. 

XIV. Pastors shall furthermore remember that they must 



SER. ii.-i 7 64.] Letter 349. 251 

reside in the presbytery belonging to their churches, or at 
least, in some house in the vicinity, from which they may 
easily repair to the church, and to which the parishioners 
can have easy access when in need of the sacraments. 

XV. They shall also bear in mind that, by virtue of the 
declaration of Benedict XIV. contained in the Bull, Cum 
semper of the year 1744, they are obliged to apply the 
holy Mass for their people on all Sundays and holydays of 
the year, even though the revenue be not sufficient, all 
custom already introduced or to be introduced to the con 
trary notwithstanding. 

XVI. Finally, pastors shall remember that they are in 
justice bound, and at times even at the risk of their life, to 
reprehend those who are living in sin or in the proximate 
Occasion of sin ; and this not merely in extreme necessity 
of their subjects, but also in grave necessity, whenever 
there is hope of amendment. Should they fail in this duty, 
they are bound in conscience to make restitution of a part 
of the revenue derived from their position. 

In conclusion, pastors are recommended to inform their 
people that Clement XII. grants an indulgence of one 
hundred days to those who recite the Psalm De profundis 
and one Our Father and Hail Mary with the versicle, 
Eternal rest, etc., at the sound of the bell at night-fall. 
Whoever says these prayers for a year, may gain a plenary 
indulgence on a day of his choice, provided on that day he 
receives the sacraments of penance and holy Eucharist, and 
prays for the intention of the Sovereign Pontiff. 

After an old copy. 



252 Special Correspondence. JPART n. 

LETTER 350. 

To the Confessors of the Diocese, Secular and Regular. 
Notification III. 

[End of 1764.] 

I. The priests to whom we have given faculties to hear 
confessions shall bear in mind that it is not this approbation of 
the bishop that will suffice to free them from accountability 
before God for the discharge of this duty ; but only the 
approbation of Jesus Christ, our Judge, who, at the mo 
ment of death, will examine whether they have performed 
this duty well or not. What we wish to say is that the 
confessor who wishes to discharge his office well, should 
never lay aside the study of Moral Theology. Indeed, this 
science is not so easy as many think ; on the contrary, it is 
very difficult. It covers a broad field by reason of the 
innumerable circumstances that may enter into cases of con 
science, therefore, something new is always learned in its 
study; as also, because of the numerous positive laws that 
exist nowadays. Whence it comes that, if a confessor lays 
his books aside, he will soon forget what he has learned. 
We, therefore, recommend all to be diligent in the study 
of Moral Theology, especially when cases of graver import 
occur; as, for example, in contracts, the obligation of 
restitution, the impediments of matrimony and the like. 
When such cases occur, it is frequently necessary, besides 
consulting one s books, to seek also the advice of learned 
men. 

II. In our Notification to the Clergy we have treated the 
manner of conducting the weekly conferences on moral 
cases, and we advise all priests to attend these conferences, 
if they desire to be considered when promotions to benefi 
ces are to be made. The confessors, however, we absolute 
ly command to be present at all such conferences; and let 



SER. ii.-i 7 64.] Letter 350. 253 

them remember that if they absent themselves three times 
without a reasonable cause, of which they shall apprise the 
prefect and receive his permission to remain away, they will 
have so.ne difficulty in obtaining- a renewal of their faculties. 
We desire the secretary of the conference, therefore, to 
send us the names of all absentees, confessors or non-con 
fessors, twice a year, namely, at the end of June and in De 
cember, so that we may regulate our actions accordingly. 

III. We command all confessors to ask fathers and 
mothers when they come to confession, whether they al 
ways send their children to the instruction on Christian 
doctrine ; and if they find them remiss in this regard, to 
deny them absolution, as this is a case reserved to us. 

IV. We again renew our ordinance to confessors not to 
admit to the sacrament of Penance during the Paschal sea 
son those who produce no certificate signed by the pastor, 
stating that they are well instructed in the fundamental 
doctrines of the faith. This is to be understood, however, 
as applicable only when the confessor has a prudent doubt 
as to whether the penitent is so instructed. 

V. Furthermore, when persons 61" whose state of con 
science they have no knowledge, come to confession, we 
recommend the confessors to inquire whether they have 
any scruple with regard to omitting sins in confession out 
of shame. 

VI. Let them be careful not to absolve those whom they 
find to be in the proximate and voluntary occasion of sin, 
before such occasion is effectually removed. And even if 
the occasion be necessary, they should, nevertheless, defer 
absolution to such penitents, until, after sufficient probation, 
it is evident that the proximate occasion has become re 
mote. Above all, let them be careful not to absolve en 
gaged parties and other young persons who are keeping 
company, and are much in the companionship of their 
mistresses, unless every occasion of sin be entirely removed; 



254 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

for even if there is no present evil, it will surely come to 
pass if the occasion is allowed to exist. Confessors shall, 
also, resolutely refuse absolution to parents or other heads 
of families who allow men and women to remain together 
alone, in the danger of committing sin, unless all such 
dangerous intercourse is effectually stopped. Let them 
remind such persons that, failing in this regard, they come 
under the reserved case to which excommunication is at 
tached. 

VII. Confessors shall, likewise, take care not to absolve 
at once those who are in the habit of sin, or who are re 
lapsing sinners, particularly with regard to blasphemy and 
impurity, unless, upon trial and amendment, they give suf 
ficient proof that they have changed their lives ; or unless 
in their present confession they give some extraordinary 
sign of their actual good dispositions. What these signs are 
may be found in our Moral Theology, and every confessor 
should have them before his mind, in order to regulate 
himself accordingly in granting absolution. 

VIII. When physicians come to confession, the con 
fessors shall admonish them of the grave obligation incum 
bent upon them of reminding their patients to make their 
confession as soon as there is a doubt as to whether the 
sickness is mortal or may become so. If the sick will 
not go to confession, the physician, according to the Bull 
of St. Pius V., is obliged to discontinue his visits after the 
third day. 

IX. When penitents confess venial sins only, the confessors 
shall not absolve them unless they feel sure that they are 
really sorry for these sins, and purpose to amend at least 
one or the other of them. Should the confessors doubt 
about the penitent s dispositions with regard to sins actually 
confessed, they shall require him to accuse himself of some 



SER. ii.-i 7 6 4 .] Letter 350. 255 

sin of his past life, already confessed, for which he is heart 
ily sorry. 

X. Let them avoid imposing under pain of mortal sin 
penances which they foresee the penitent will not readily 
perform. 

XI. Let them continually and fervently exhort such pen 
itents as are wont to relapse into mortal sin, to ask Almighty 
God frequently during the day for the grace of perseverance, 
and in temptations to have immediate recourse to our dear 
Lord and his Blessed Mother, repeating again and again, 
"Jesus and Mary", while the temptation continues to assail 
them. Prayer is the best and most necessary of all reme 
dies to preserve one s self in the grace of God; but, un 
fortunately, it is the least recommended to penitents. We, 
therefore, exhort all our confessors to induce their penitents, 
and especially those who are spiritually weak, to make use 
of it. 

XII. They shall endeavor to lead to the practice of men 
tal prayer such of their penitents as they find more inclined 
to piety, particularly the young. Let them, also, be so 
charitable as to instruct them briefly at first in the man 
ner of making this exercise. Later on, they should inquire 
whether they have practised it, and should they have neg 
lected to do so, they shall reprimand them severely. In 
this way, confessors will be able to lead many souls to sanc 
tity. It is thus that confessors who truly love God are 
accustomed to act. 

Let them not forget to inculcate upon all, the devout as 
well as sinners, devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the 
recitation of the rosary, the observance of the novenas pre 
ceding her feasts, and especially to recommend themselves 
to her saying every night and morning three Hail Marys, 
that she may preserve them from mortal sin. It is, indeed, 



256 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

most difficult for anyone to persevere in the grace of God 
and be saved without a particular devotion to the Mother 
of God, who, on this account is called the Mother of Per 
severance. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 

LETTER 351. 

To the Secular Clergy. 

Notification IV. 

[End of 1764.] 

I. Our priests are recommended frequently to attend the 
conferences on cases of conscience. In the Bull Apostolici 
ministerii, Innocent XIII. admonishes bishops not to ordain 
to the priesthood anyone that is not well versed, at least 
in Moral Theology: Episcopos in Domino hortamur ut, 
quantum fieri potest, eos tantum ad sacerdotium assimiant, 
qui saltern theologies moralis competenter periti sunt. Holy 
Scripture declares that the priest should know whatever is 
necessary to clear up all doubts that may be referred to him 
concerning the law of God : Labia sacerdotis custodient sci- 
entiam, et legem requirent ex ore ejus. Mai. ii. 7. It 
were a shame for a priest not to be able to decide the cases 
of conscience that are brought to him by the faithful. We, 
therefore, exhort all our priests to attend the conferences 
on cases of conscience, which shall be conducted in every 
district of our diocese in the following manner: 

That everyone may come prepared, the names of all 
shall be placed in an urn ; and he whose name shall be 
drawn, shall answer the question proposed. This question 
shall be the same that was announced on the tablet in the 
preceding conference. After it has been answered, op 
portunity shall be afforded the other priests to bring forward 
their objections, to which the defender shall respond. 



SER. n.-i 7 6 4 .] Letter 351. 257 

When the discussion has lasted a reasonable time, the pre 
fect shall give a signal with the little bell, which everyone 
shall at once obey and be silent ; otherwise, matters would 
be prolonged to too great length. Then he who has been 
appointed judge, shall decide the question according to the 
opinion which appears to him more probable. It must be 
borne in mind that the ticket bearing the name of him who 
was chosen to answer the question, shall be returned to the 
urn ; and it does not matter that the same priest may be 
again called upon by lot in the next conference. If the 
names that have once been drawn, were not put back into the 
urn until all the others had been taken out, it might easily 
happen that those upon whom the lot had already fallen, 
would refrain all the rest of the time from studying the 
questions proposed. The secretary of the conference shall, 
without any human respect, note down the names of ab 
sentees, for when confessors come to us for a renewal of 
their faculties, they must bring with them a certificate of 
regular attendance from him. Should they have absented 
themselves three times without a reasonable excuse and 
without the permission of the prefect, they will experience 
some difficulty in obtaining the renewal they ask. Those 
priests, however, who are not confessors, shall not be sub 
jected to any penalties ; but in the conferring of benefices, 
and particularly of parishes, they will either not be ad 
mitted to the concursus, or at least, will not find that favor 
in our eyes which will be shown to those who have attended 
the conferences. 

II. We again call to your minds, and hereby renew the 
suspension to be incurred ipso facto by those who say Mass 
in less than a quarter of an hour, even though it be the votive 
Mass of the Blessed Virgin or the requiem Mass. We 
also recommend to priests devout preparation for the holy 
Sacrifice, particularly when they are already vested. Let 
them not then walk about the sacristy or talk to others. 
17 



258 Special Correspondence. [PART ii. 

We recommend, likewise, the thanksgiving after Mass for 
half, or at least, a quarter of an hour. 

III. We remind you of the grave obligation of every 
priest not to defer the celebration of a Mass for which he 
has received a stipend, more than two months, if the Mass 
is for the living, or one month, if it is for the faithful de 
parted. To be free from all danger of grievous sin, he 
should celebrate it within this time, at least. 

IV. We renew, also, the suspension to be incurred ipso 
facto by those priests and other ecclesiastics in Sacred Or 
ders, who join in games of chance, such as basset, primero, 
dice, and the like; or who play in public at games that are 
allowed. 

V. We forbid all priests and clerics to join in any sort of 
chase whether with gun or snare, without our express per 
mission in writing. Let them remember, however, that 
this permission will not be granted for holydays of obliga 
tion. 

VI. We, likewise, forbid all ecclesiastics of our diocese 
to take part in plays, even though of a sacred character 
and presented in private houses. A violation of this regu 
lation by those in Sacred Orders will be punished with sus 
pension ; by those in Minor Orders, with irregularity pre 
venting their advancement to the Sacred Orders. 

VII. We forbid all ecclesiastics to take in charge taxes 
or other public trusts, even should this be done under an 
assumed name or in partnership with others. 

VIII. We recommend young priests to assist the re 
spective pastors in teaching catechism to the children on 
Sundays. Let them know that those who have been dili 
gent in this holy exercise, will find special favor with us 
when there is question of promoting to benefices or con 
ferring other emoluments. 

IX. The rectors of churches shall keep a book in which 
shall be recorded the Masses said by those priests who 



SER. ii.-i 7 6 4 .] Letter $52. 259 

have such obligation. This record, for which a new book 
shall be substituted every year, shall exhibit, also, all the 
obligations of the respective churches, with the name of 
the testator, and the number of Masses that are to be said. 
Here, too, with each account shall be given the page on 
which the several obligations are mentioned in detail ; and 
at the end, shall be placed the number of Masses that have 
been said during the year in satisfaction of these obliga 
tions. 

X. Finally, the rectors shall see that during the celebra 
tion of holy Mass the crucifix on the altar is so placed as to 
be higher than the second row of candelabra, and that it is 
of such proportions as to be seen easily not only by the 
celebrant himself, but also by the faithful who are present. 

After the Roman edition. 

LETTER 352. 

To the Candidates for Holy Orders. 
Notification K 

[End of 1764.] 

One of the most important duties of a bishop is to see 
that those who wish to be promoted to Holy Orders, are 
not unworthy of the dignity ; for if they are unworthy, he 
becomes accountable before God, as the Council of Trent 
teaches, for all the sins they will commit after their ordina 
tion. We, therefore, make known by these presents to all 
who aspire to such promotion, the requisites they must 
possess, particularly with regard to patrimony, conduct, 
and learning. 

I. With regard to patrimony, it should be remembered 
that in the Concordat l it is stipulated that no one can 
receive tonsure unless he has a title to a benefice or a per- 

1 The Concordat between the Holy See and Carlo III. King of 
Naples, published in 1741. 



260 Special Correspondence. [PART ir. 

petual chaplaincy whose revenues, after all expenses have 
been deducted, amount to, at least, one-half of the patri 
mony required, that is, thirteen ducats annually, since the 
established amount in this diocese is twenty-six ducats. 
Only in case the bishop deems it necessary or really useful 
for any church to confer tonsure upon a candidate, can he 
do so, that is, ordain him upon the title of the patrimony 
alone without his having a benefice, provided the entire 
patrimony is based upon immovable property or fixed 
annual revenues. These are the requirements of the Con 
cordat. Furthermore, it requires that, before receiving 
tonsure, the aspirant shall have resided three years in some 
seminary or other ecclesiastical establishment, or at least, 
where the foregoing" is not possible, worn the clerical habit 
with the permission of the bishop, and served in some 
church to which he was assigned by the ordinary. 

All aspirants to Holy Orders in our diocese, therefore, 
shall bear in mind that a strict examination will be in 
stituted by our chancery with regard to their patrimony, 
and the sources, revenues, and estimated value thereof. 
The estimated value upon which this patrimony is based 
must be, at least, five hundred ducats, and this amount 
shall not involve any injury to the legal share or portion 
due to brothers or sisters. 

II. With respect to conduct, the aspirant to Holy Or 
ders, besides the certificate of the prefect of the conferences 
on moral cases testifying that he has attended, and the 
testimonial of our chancery that ho labors under no canon 
ical impediment, shall present the sworn testimony of his 
parish priest in regard to the following points: i. That he 
has been regular in serving Mass in the parochial church on 
all Sundays and holydays of obligation, and has taught 
catechism to the children there every Sunday, after having 
collected them from the streets. 2. That he has frequented 



SER. ii.-i 7 64.i Letter 352. 261 

the sacraments of Penance and holy Eucharist every two 
weeks. It is said above that clerics should assist in their 
parish churches on holydays of obligation ; but it is our 
wish that they be present also on other days either in their 
own or some other church, to hear Mass, make a visit to 
the Most Blessed Sacrament, or spend some time in pray 
er. Upon this point, also, we desire to have the testimony 
of the parish priests, and for this purpose the pastors shall 
ascertain whether the candidates for ordination have been 
to church on days that are not festivals of obligation. 
3. That he has always worn the loiig soutane, that he has 
not taken part in any game with cards or joined the chase, 
as these things are strictly forbidden to our clerics. 

III. As to the learning requisite, we once more inform 
all our clerics of the treatises in which they must be profi 
cient in order to be admitted to Holy Orders. 

Besides a thorough knowledge of Christian doctrine, and 
the manner of making mental prayer in all its parts, and 
besides the knowledge of what pertains to the particular 
Order which they are to receive, those who desire to be 
promoted to Minor Orders shall know all that pertains to 
the sacraments, namely, the matter, form, reception and 
administration of each. 

Subdeacons, besides the knowledge of what pertains to 
the subdeaconship, will be required to know the five fol 
lowing treatises : Orders in general, Oaths, Vows, the Can 
onical Hours, and Censures. 

They who aspire to the deaconship will be required to 
know what belongs to this Order, and also the following 
treatises in detail: Conscience, Laws, Human Acts, and Sin, 
the First Commandment, including all the treatises that 
come under this head, namely, the theological virtues, 
charity toward our neighbor, religion and the vices op 
posed to it, as superstition, tempting God, sacrilege, and 
17* 



262 Special Correspondence. [PART ir. 

simony; and, finally, the Second Commandment, that is, 
blasphemy only, because oaths and vows will form a part 
of the examination previous to subdeaconship. 

Aspirants to the priesthood will be required to know 
what pertains to the Order of priesthood, the Sacrament of 
the Eucharist and the Sacrifice of the Mass, also all the 
treatises dealing 1 with the remaining 1 Commandments of God 
and of the Church, the First and Second Commandments are 
here excepted because they formed a part of preceding 
examinations. Moreover, these candidates shall know the 
treatises on the sacraments of Penance, Extreme Unction, 
and Matrinrony. 

Let no one say that here we require of aspirants greater 
learning than is demanded by the Council of Trent; for 
speaking of those who are to be elevated to the priesthood, 
the Council says: Ad administranda sacramenta diligenti 
examine idonei comprobentur. Sess. xxiii. cap. 14 de Ref. 
Of all the sacraments, one of the most necessary is the 
sacrament of Penance, and to administer it every priest 
should be thoroughly prepared. Moreover, in the Bull 
Apostolici minister ii of Innocent XIII., confirmed by that 
of Benedict XIII., In supremo, it is said: Episcopos in Do 
mino hortamur ut, quantum fieri potest, eos tantum ad 
sacerdotium assumant, qui saltern theologicc moralis compe- 
tenter periti sunt. 

Candidates for ordination shall, also, bear in mind that, 
in order to be promoted, they must present their petitions 
some time previously, and together. For Christmas ordi 
nations petitions and testimonials should be presented in 
the first week of November; for the ordinations during 
Lent, in the week preceding Septuagesima Sunday ; for 
the ordinations at Pentecost, during Easter week ; and for 
the September ordinations, in the first week of August. 

Furthermore, before receiving Holy Orders, the candi 
dates shall make the spiritual exercises either in one of the 



SER. ii.-i 7 64.] Letter 35 j>. 263 



houses of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, or 
with the Fathers of the Mission, at Naples. 

Those who are to receive tonsure or Minor Orders shall 
make a retreat, at least once, before receiving these re 
spective Orders, so that before they are promoted to the 
subdeaconship and bind themselves by vow, they may 
know the obligations they are taking upon themselves. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 

LETTER 353. 

To the Priests and Clerics. 
Notification VI, 

[End of 1764.] 

Vanity in dress is something quite incompatible with the 
ecclesiastical state, and the cause of seculars losing that 
veneration which is due to the ministers of Jesus Christ. 
We, therefore, make the following regulations with regard 
to this matter. 

The style of wearing the hair short is a mark by which 
ecclesiastics should be distinguishable from seculars. For 
this reason Alexander III. (cap. cler. 7, de vita et honcsta 
clerJ) required that clerics who wore the hair too long, 
should have it cut off by the archdeacons: Clcrici, qui 
comam nutriunt, etiam inviti, a suis archidiaconis tonde- 
antur. We, therefore, command that no ecclesiastic shall 
wear the hair long, much less should it be curled and 
powdered ; and everyone shall take care not to let it grow 
so long that it falls upon the neck and over the ears. In 
particular, we require the clerics to wear the hair short, as 
do the seminarists, otherwise they will not be permitted to 
receive any Orders whatever. 

The tonsure on the crown of the head shall be in the case 
of priests, the size of a large host; in that of deacons, 



264 Special Correspondence. [PART ir. 

somewhat smaller, and so on proportionally in the inferior 
clergy ; but in no case shall it be smaller than a small host. 
We recommend all, and particularly the priests, to have the 
tonsure renewed at least every two weeks. 

II. Everyone knows that the soutane is the proper gar 
ment for ecclesiastics, as may be seen in the numerous 
canons quoted by Benedict XIV., De Synodo, lib. xi. c. 8, 
n. i. We, therefore, ordain that the clerics shall always 
wear the long soutane, by which we mean, not the zimar, 
but the one which buttons in front. And we desire pastors 
to state in their testimonials of candidates for ordination, 
whether the cleric has always worn the soutane or not. As 
for the priests, let them wear the soutane at least when 
going to celebrate holy Mass, recite the divine Office in 
choir, or perform any other ecclesiastical function that re 
quires them to use the surplice. 

But since many places in our diocese are cold and damp, 
and especially since a number of the priests have to travel 
considerable distances to say Mass, we shall be satisfied if 
during the winter season, that is, from November to the 
end of April, they dress in civilian attire, provided they 
wear the long soutane with sleeves while celebrating Mass 
and reciting the Office, as in these cases the civilian dress 
is prohibited. From May to November, however, they 
should, as has been said, wear the long soutane in the fore 
noon ; otherwise, they will incur ipso facto the suspension 
already decreed by us in this regard. 

We forbid all priests and clerics to go about without the 
Roman collar, or to wear overcoats or mantles of any color 
save black. The use of such articles is conceded only to 
those priests who go about in the country or are traveling, 
and then only upon condition, that they have no buttons 
or buttonholes worked with gold thread. We, also, pro- 



SER. ii. -1765.] Letter 354. 265 

hibit the wearing of lace-pointed, or frilled cuffs at the end 
of the sleeves. 

It will be seen that in what we have herein ordained, we 
have not adhered to the ancient rigor of the canons, but 
hive had regard for the circa nstances of the present. We 
call attention to this fact, that all may understand that, in 
proportion as we have been lenient and indulgent in making 
these regulations, we shall prosecute with severity him who 
transgresses them. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 

LETTER 354. 
To Don Francesco di Filippo, Archpriest of Frasso. 

Orders relative to the execution of the foregoing notifica 
tions. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph! 

SANT AGATA, April 19, 1765. 

Most Illustrious and Reverend Sir: We desire you to in 
form us whether all the priests and clerics were present at 
the reading of our notifications ; and should anyone have 
been- absent you will advise him to read over that one of 
them which particularly concerns the class to which he be 
longs. 

We, furthermore, desire you to keep an account of any 
disobedience to whatever we have ordained, so that, in 
June, you may be able to send us intelligence of all these 
violations. We have, indeed, made but a small number 
of regulations, and these only after much deliberation ; but 
in them we will be obeyed. Whoever will not obey, will 
infallibly be punished ; for unless punishment Were meted 



266 Special Correspondence. [PART ii. 

out to offenders, the regulations issued would but serve to 
make the Superior despised. 

Awaiting your reply acknowledging the receipt of this 
letter, we grant you our blessing. 

After the Roman edition. 

LETTER 355. 
To the Sacred Congregation of the Council. 

First report of the saint upon the condition of the diocese. 

SANT AGATA DE GOTI, July 8, 1765. 

Most Eminent and Reverend Fathers: Elevated to the 
See of Sant Agata by the grace of God and of the Sover 
eign Pontiff, in June, 1762, in spite of my unworthiness, I 
fulfilled the requirements of the visit to the tombs of the 
Apostles for the fifty-ninfrh triennium of the Sixtine Visita 
tion, during my sojourn in Rome on matters connected 
with my promotion. Now as the sixtieth triennium of the 
same Visitation is drawing to a close, and I have learned to 
know my flock, all of whom I have visited in the interval, 
I submit to your Eminences in all humility the following 
report of the condition of my diocese, in so far as it is given 
to my poor judgment to possess an exact knowledge there 
of. My advanced age, however, and almost continual in 
firmities prevent me from discharging this duty in person. 
I therefore transmit this report by messenger. 1 

The Material Condition of the Diocese. 

Sant Agata, situated on a table-land surrounded by 
mountains down whose sides rush wild torrents, is said to 
have derived its name from the Goths who in early times 
sought refuge here, and is by no means an insignificant city. 
It belongs to the kingdom of Naples and is subject to the 

1 This messenger was the Abbate Francesco Fuoti, of whom men 
tion was made in General Correspondence^ vol. ii. p. 132,. note. 



SKR. H.-I765-1 Lettes 355. 267 

feudal tenure of the Duke of Maddaloni. It is in the prov 
ince known as, "Beyond the Mountains", and occupies a 
central position in the diocese. 

Among the remarkable relics , carefully preserved in 
their respective silver cases, with which the cathedral is en 
riched, are the middle finger of St. Agatha, virgin and 
martyr, and a particle of the bones of St. Stephen, the first 
martyr, the chief patrons and titulars of the church ; also 
the greater part of the body and the entire arm of St. Men- 
na, anchoret, who is, likewise, the patron of the city. 

The cathedral is under the title of the Assumption of the 
Blessed Virgin. It was consecrated in 1763, and is subject 
to the metropolitan of Benevento. It stands in the very 
heart of the city. It is a beautiful and substantial edifice, 
and was built by my predecessors. It is divided into three 
large naves, not to speak of the side chapels with their 
respective altars, partly of polished marble, partly of stucco, 
all symmetrically arranged in the interior. At present, it 
is sufficiently provided with all that is needed in the way 
of ecclesiastical furniture, and I am prepared to enrich it 
even more in the future. 

The palace, by no means an unbecoming structure, ad 
joins the cathedral. As the entire series of buildings was 
on the verge of ruin, I took care to remedy the evil during 
the past year. There is now no further need of repairs. 

With regard to the support of the bishop, this diocese 
has no reason to be envious of others. Its revenues, how 
ever, are burdened to the extent of sixty scudi, Roman 
currency, an annual pension to be paid to the priest Don 
Blasio Fioravanti. From the revenues, also, are to be de 
frayed the expenses of repairing the cathedral in case of 
necessity, and of keeping it in order; likewise, of providing 
whatever ecclesiastical paraphernalia may be required in the 
sacristy, as neither cathedral nor sacristy has any revenues 
to be devoted to such purposes. 



263 Special Correspondence. [ PA RT 1 1 . 

Besides the episcopal city, the diocese comprises many 
cities and towns: Arienzo, situated in Campania Felix, and 
with its suburbs, the second city of the diocese ; Arpaia and 
its dependency Forchia, so called from the passage of the 
Caudine Forks; Airola, raised to the rank of a city a few 
years ago, with its dependencies, Moiano, Luzzano, Bucci- 
ano, and Pastorano. A fifth city is Frasso, another Valle, 
and, lastly, Durrazzano with its dependencies, Cervini and 
Furculi. The towns are three in number: Bagnoli, Du- 
genta, and Cancello in the neighborhood of Arienzo. Each 
of these has its own archpriest, who has also the care of the 
souls of the farmers and domestics living there. Cancello, 
however, as will be mentioned later on, is an exception to 
this rule. 

Of these three towns, the principal one is Bagnoli. The 
bishop is baron of this place, and holds a feudal tenure over 
it. Every year he appoints the governor to administer 
justice in cases of civil and mixed jurisdiction ; for with 
regard to crimes involving sentence of death, the jurisdic 
tion is reserved to the illustrious Duke of Maddaloni. 

The Condition of the Churches and Pious Places. 

The cathedral chapter comprises thirty-one capitulars, all 
of whom wear rochet and mozetta. Among them are five 
dignitaries, an archdeacon, a dean, two primicerii, and a 
treasurer. These dignitaries, as also the Canons with few 
exceptions, have prebends distinct from the common fund. 
The capitulars attend service in choir in alternate weeks, 
but all are present on Sundays and feasts, and during Ad 
vent and Lent. Those who are present receive their share 
from the common fund, and the absent forfeit theirs. The 
laudable custom obtains here of having all the capitulars 
priests exercising the office of confessors, beginning with 
the dean, to whose office the dignity of Penitentiary is 
annexed, and who according to the prescriptions of the 



SKR. ii.-1765-j Letter 355. 269 

sacred canons, is always prepared to hear confessions when 
called upon by the faithful. There is also in the chapter a 
Canon theologian who, in obedience to the regulations of 
the bishop, gives on certain days at stated times an expla 
nation of the Holy Scriptures. 

To the above-mentioned capitulars, must be added four 
teen choir chaplains who during alternate weeks, assist the 
Canons in the recitation of the divine Office and the services 
of the church. 

Daily the capitulars fulfil the obligation of saying Mass 
for benefactors. 

Finally, to the service of the cathedral are deputed one 
sacristan and four clerics, making in all fifty, who are en 
gaged in attending on the church. 

Besides the cathedral, the city possesses two perpetual 
curacies, in charge of which are two priests who have the 
care of souls within certain prescribed limits. One of the<e 
priests belongs to the cathedral, in which in default of a 
church of his own, he administers the sacraments and dis 
charges the other duties pertaining to the guidance of souls. 
The other comes, also, to the cathedral to administer the 
sacraments, to give certain blessings, and to hear confes 
sions. He uses his own church, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, 
situated within the city limits, only for Mass and preaching 
on Sundays and holydays of obligation. Although these 
curacies, in the event of vacancy, are conferred with the 
previous nomination of the cathedral chapter, which for 
many years past has had the sole care of souls, they are, 
nevertheless, subject to the law of alternation in the differ 
ent months. 

In one of the hamlets of this city, about two miles dis 
tant, there existed only the perpetual curacy of S. Tommaso 
di Aquino. This church, built in a mountainous region, em 
braced a very large area in its supervision, and comprised 
within its limits several distant places of the surrounding 



270 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

country. As a consequence, the parishioners were not 
able to attend there to hear the word of God and to 
receive the sacraments, without considerable difficulty. 
Still less could the aged, girls, and the ignorant come to 
receive instruction in the rudiments of the faith. On the 
other hand, the pastor could not easily attend to the spirit 
ual needs of these distant parishioners. My predecessor of 
happy memory, 1 therefore, in accordance with the prescrip 
tions of the Council of Trent, erected two other parishes in 
more convenient places within the limits of the old parish of 
S. Tommaso, giving the new churches thus formed the funds 
of several simple benefices as their sources of revenue. One 
of these churches was dedicated to S. Pietro di Romagnano, 
the other to S. Michele the Archangel. The establishment 
of these parishes was, however, far from complete, because 
the churches designated for their use were in great need of 
repair and possessed neither adornment of any kind nor 
even the necessary furniture. Relying upon the assistance 
of Divine Providence, I at once set about to bring so useful 
and necessary a work to completion. I fitted up the 
church of S. Pietro, and took steps to finish the church of 
S. Michele the Archangel, whose foundation was already be 
gun. Out of their present insignificant income, I also provided 
both churches with suitable furniture, and sent thither two 
parish priests, who had been previously nominated by the 
cathedral chapter, to which, as in the case of S. Tommaso s 
parish, that right belonged ; for whenever a vacancy oc 
curred there, it was provided for by the nomination of the 
chapter and the approbation of the bishop. At present, 
thanks be to God, the Gospel is preached every Sunday 
and holyday, the sacraments are administered, and the 
faithful come thither without any inconvenience whatever to 

1 Muzio Gaeta, born in Naples, October 26, 1686, was Bishop of 
Sant Agata from 1722 to 1735, and was succeeded in that year by 
Flaminio Danza, the immediate predecessor of the saint. 



SER. H.-I765.] Letter 355. 271 

share these blessings and to perform various acts of pie 
ty- 

Still even these two parishes did not sufficiently meet the 
necessities of all belonging to the parish of S. Tommaso. 
There were other country places, two or three miles oft", 
whose people experienced extreme difficulty in attending at 
S. Tommaso s on account of the distance and the wretched 
condition of the roads, particularly in winter. I established, 
therefore, a third parish, that of the Annunziata, designating 
for this purpose the church of that name, the right of pres 
entation to which belonged to the municipality. The 
church occupies a very convenient position, and for its 
support I united the revenues of some simple benefices that 
happened to be vacant at the time. This work was done 
with the approval of the citizens, who had been previously 
called together at a public meeting. In this church, also, 
the sacraments are administered by a parish priest nomi 
nated by the chapter and approved by me. In all these 
perpetual curacies, the obligation of applying the holy 
Mass for the faithful on Sundays and holydays is carefully 
fulfilled. 

In the last-named church of the Annunziata, subject to 
the right of patronage of the municipality, in which I have 
erected the new parish, there are sixteen perpetual chap 
lains, elected by the lay-trustees who govern the affairs of 
the church, and approved by the bishop then occupying 
the See. These chaplains have the obligation of celebrat 
ing low Masses and anniversary Masses on the days indi 
cated upon the register, and of saying the Office in choir in 
accordance with the conditions of the foundation, not only 
on Sundays and festivals, but likewise, on other days. 

Besides the parochial churches of the city and its suburbs 
herein enumerated, there are in Sant Agata nine confrater 
nities among the faithful, each of which wears its own 
peculiar garb. Two of these confraternities have their own 



272 Special Correspondence. [PART u. 

church ; the Confraternity of Our Lady of Grace, and that 
of the Seven Dolors of the Blessed Virgin, erected in the 
church of San Angelo de Munuclano. The remaining- five, 
and particularly that of the Most Blessed Sacrament, have 
private chapels bearing their respective titles in the cathe 
dral, the church of the Annunziata mentioned above, and 
the church of the Minor Conventuals of St. Francis. The 
members of these confraternities attend all public proces 
sions, and on all feasts assemble in the church of San An- 
gelo de Munuclano to perform various exercises of piety 
under the guidance of a spiritual director designated by the 
bishop. 

There are, also, throughout the district of Sant Agata 
and the diocese several country churches for the accommo 
dation of the people, in which the holy Sacrifice is offered 
on Sundays and holydays of obligation. These places are 
attended by hermits who, desirous of leading a solitary life 
at a distance from the pleasures of the world, are selected 
by the bishop after a diligent inquiry as to their good name 
and previous conduct. They are subject to the surveillance 
of the neighboring parish priest and the rural dean of the 
districts in which they live. Once a year, on the feast of 
St. Menna, the anchoret, they all repair to the cathedral to 
give an account of their work, and to receive holy Com 
munion. 

Among the charitable institutions of the city of Sant* 
Agata there are only two, under the title of St. Anne, for 
the relief of the poor. One of them is called, "Of the 
Pledges", and its president is chosen annually by the ca 
thedral chapter, of which he must be a member; the other 
is entitled, "Of the Dower". Its annual revenue amounting 
to nearly eighty ducats, is administered by the primicerius 
of the cathedral, who is obliged to give a dowry every year 
to five young girls, who. must, however, belong to the city 
and be of good moral character. 



SER. ii.-i 7 65.] Letter 355. 273 

Formerly there were two other similar institutions estab 
lished for the purpose of assisting the poor, a granary built 
from the private purse of Mgr. Gaeta of happy memory, 
which contained only two hundred bushels; and a second 
foundation known as della Pieta, whose president was ap 
pointed by the municipal authorities and approved by the 
bishop. These two institutions are no longer in existence. 

The seminary which adjoins the episcopal residence is 
being built almost from the foundation in more spacious 
and beautiful proportions. The amount hitherto expended 
in its construction is about five thousand gold ducats, 
Neapolitan currency. In the course of a few years, I think, 
this great work will be finished, to the increased conven 
ience of the seminarists, who, meanwhile, are housed in 
some buildings belonging to the palace which have been 
fitted up as a seminary, and are entirely separate from my 
residence and household. The seminarists, seventy in 
number, are received upon examination from all parts of 
the city and diocese. They are under the guidance of very 
competent masters in the various branches, who are to in 
struct them thoroughly in all that pertains to ecclesiastical 
knowledge and discipline, particularly scholastic theology, 
dogmatic as well as moral. The seminary has an annual 
income of twelve hundred ducats, Neapolitan currency, be 
sides the fees of the students, who pay one-third of their 
expenses. 

I do not omit to pay unexpected visits to the seminary 
from time to time, in order to ascertain, as the father of a 
family, the manner in which it is conducted, the progress 
made in studies, and the observance of the Rules and Con 
stitutions. I pay particular attention to find out whether 
there is hope that it will bring forth its fruit in due season. 
With the advice of two Canons chosen by myself, I estab 
lish whatever is found necessary or advantageous for the 
good government of the institution. I attend, also, the 



274 Special Corresponden ce. [ PA R T 1 1 . 

scholastic and dogmatic disputations that are frequently 
held. 

There are in the city and throughout the diocese several 
convents of regulars. In Sant Agata there are two : one 
of the Minor Conventuals of St. Francis, which has its full 
number of inmates; the other of St. John of God, to which 
is annexed a hospital, erected upon ground belonging to 
the bishop, and incorporated with the convent. This 
hospital, by virtue of a Bull of Pope Gregory IX. of blessed 
memory, is reserved to the bishop and subject to him in all 
things, particularly with regard to the Canonical Visitation. 
The care of the sick is in charge of the Hospital Brothers 
of St. John of God ; and as the building possesses an altar, 
the holy Sacrifice of the Mass is offered up regularly on all 
days of obligation for the convenience of the inmates. 

There is, also, in the city a convent of Our Lady of 
Constantinople, which has been brought to completion 
during my term of office. It has all the necessary living 
and work-rooms duly arranged, and a church near by. 
To finish this building, one hundred gold ducats, a some 
what considerable amount, were spent from the revenues 
of the convent. Up to the present, however, no Sisters 
have been received. One thing still remains, and it is, in 
deed, a matter of no small importance, namely, that the 
Sacred Congregation of Bishops and Regulars accede to 
my request and permit me to unite for the maintenance of 
this foundation the revenues of some pious places in the 
city, as the present annual income of the convent is of it 
self quite unequal to the demands of the institution. It 
remains, also, for the Congregation to allow the reception 
of nuns in this convent; and, finally, to grant a petition 
already submitted to them by the municipal authorities, 
asking permission to change this conservatory into a con 
vent with enclosure under a Rule already approved by the 



SER. ii.-i 7 6 5 .] Letter 355. 275 

Sacred Congregation. 1 The granting of this last request is 
looked forward to with anxious expectation by the people. 
As it is hoped for, with God s help, at an early day, so it 
will be received by them with intense joy. 

But if the city can boast only of the two religious institu 
tions just mentioned, the diocese is richly provided with 
them. There are in all eleven : in the important city of 
Arienzo, five, namely, that of the Augustinians within the 
city limits, that of the Congregation of Monte Vergine, 
with its own Abbot, the Dominicans, the Carmelites, and 
the Capuchins. Airola has four monasteries: those of the 
Fathers of the Congregation of Oliveto, and of Monte 
Vergine, each with its own Abbot, the Dominicans, and the 
Discalced Fathers of the strict observance of St. Francis. 
In Durazzano there is a monastery of the Dominicans of the 
Lombard Province; and in Arpaia the Friars Minor of St. 
Francis of the strict observance have a monastery. All 
these monasteries have the complete number of inmates, 
observe the enclosure according to their Rule, and, with 
the exception of the Carmelites, are exempt from the juris 
diction of the bishop. The monastery of the Carmelites 
contains only four members, and is subject to the episcopal 
jurisdiction. As the most observant of all, I must mention 
the monastery of the Discalced Franciscans. 

1 The request was made in favor of the nuns of the Most Holy Re 
deemer, and was granted as the saint desired. On June 29, of the 
following year, 1766, four nuns from Scala took possession of the 
convent. The work was visibly blessed by Almighty God, and 
prospered so well that, in his second report, the saint spoke very 
highly of it to the Sacred Congregation, In several of his letters, 
he speaks of the nuns as saints. It might be worth remarking here 
that in this convent were trained those two venerable Mothers who, 
in 1831, transplanted the Institute of the Redemptoristines to Vien 
na, in Austria, whence it spread into the other countries of Europe. 
The Institute and Rule of the Redemptoristines were approved by 
the Holy See in the Bull In supremo, June 8, 1750. 



276 Sped a I Con-espon den ce. ( P A R T 1 1 . 

The diocese possesses, also, two convents of nuns and 
two conservatories, all subject to the bishop. Two of these 
institutions are in Arienzo: the convent of the Nuns of the 
Annunciation, of the Rule of the Lateran Canons, and the 
conservatory with enclosure adjoining the church of S. Fi- 
lippo Neri, where twenty-three Sisters wearing the habit 
and following the Rule of the Servites of Mary live, and 
are entirely under the jurisdiction of the bishop. The other 
convent of nuns, those of the Third Order, or of St. Eliza 
beth, is in Airola ; and Frasso possesses the second conser 
vatory of Sisters with an adjoining church. This conserva 
tory is under the protection of the crown, and the Sisters 
follow the Rule of the Venerable Mother Serafia of God. 
All these nuns and Sisters lead a religious life, and observe 
their Constitutions with exactness. On my part, I have 
not failed to promote regular observance among them from 
time to time by the addition of suitable regulations. The 
enclosure of these convents is most scrupulously observed, 
their revenues carefully administered, and the dowries of 
the religious invested in interest-bearing real estate or in 
annuties. 

The diocese contains three collegiate churches, two of 
which are insignes, one in Arienzo under the title of S. An 
drea the Apostle, with a chapter numbering twenty Can 
ons ; the other is in Arpaia. It is older than the preceding, 
but numbers only five Canons. This latter has only two 
dignitaries, the archpriest and the primicerius. There are 
no prebends whatever, and the support of the capitulars is 
derived from a common fund known as grossa, which, in 
consequence of the hard times, has been diminished and is, 
indeed, very small. Nevertheless, the divine Office is re 
cited without intermission. 

In the collegiate chapter of Arienzo there are four digni 
taries, the archpriest, the primicerius, the Canon theolog 
ian, whose duty it is to explain Holy Scripture at stated 



SER. ii.-i76 5 .] Letter 355. 277 

times, and the treasurer. These dignitaries only have pre 
bends distinct from the common fund. They serve in the 
choir and in the church with the other Canons during alter 
nate weeks. All the Canons of this church wear the mozet- 
ta, and in the event of a vacancy the rule of monthly reser 
vation obtains. 

There is a third collegiate church at Frasso, with thirty 
Canons, all wearing the mozetta, and whose presiding offi 
cer is the archpriest. They receive from the common fund 
a small yearly allowance amounting to eighteen ducats, 
Neapolitan money, and attend in choir during alternate 
weeks. 

Besides these collegiate churches, there are, also, in dif 
ferent parts of the diocese, churches in which the manage 
ment is confided to simple priests, as in Frasso, Durazza- 
no, Airola, and Valle, not to mention Bagnoli, Dugenta, 
and Cancello, already alluded to, each of which has its own 
archpriest. These have all their own revenues, which are 
more than abundant, with the exception of Cancello, which 
is only nominally the residence of an archpriest. Here the 
care of souls is attended to by the parish priest of the 
neighboring San Felice, a hamlet of Arienzo, whom I com 
pelled last year to delegate an assistant to that place, in 
order that the spiritual needs of its people might be better 
provided for. The above-mentioned places and the ham 
lets dependent upon them, likewise contain many parishes, 
each with its own church, pastor, and assistants. In case 
of vacancies these positions are filled in accordance with the 
rule of monthly reservation. 

There are, also, in the diocese several sodalities generally 
under the patronage of the saints. I do not think it neces 
sary to give a detailed description of them. As they are 
all under the protection of the government, though submit 
ting to the Visitation of the bishop, they, as a rule, respect 
his authority very little in other matters, and, emboldened 
1 8* 



278 Special Correspondence. [PART u. 

by the underhand interference of the government, can 
hardly be restrained within the bounds of regular discipline. 
Still, upon occasion, I have not hesitated to oppose them 
steadfastly. 

I should not forget to mention that, in the district of Ari- 
enzo, I am erecting for the greater convenience of the 
people, a new parish church dedicated to S. Nicola. 1 It is 
on a more suitable site and will be very large and beautiful. 
This work goes on amid the continual contentions of the 
municipal authorities and the citizens, which I have done 
everything I could to quell. In the course of two years, with 
the help of God, this church will probably be completed, 
so that the old building, which is altogether too small and 
mean-looking, can be abandoned. In like manner, also, I 
have given considerable attention to the repairing of two 
other churchers of this district, namely, the second paroch 
ial church, dedicated to S. Agnese, and the church of S. 
Pietro in Talanico, both of which have been provided with 
new walls and flooring. 2 

1 The first stone of this beautiful edifice was laid March 19, 1763, 
the feast of the Glorious Patriarch St. Joseph, to whom the saint had 
a particular devotion. 

2 In order better to understand the zeal with which the saint prose 
cuted the erection and restoration of the churches in this one district 
of Arienzo, it will be worth while to relate what is said upon this 
subject by Brother Francesco Antonio Romito in his deposition. 
(Process. Ordin. lYucer., fol. 1281, seq.} " I remember that during 
the term of his administration of the diocese of Sant Agata, he for 
warded with all his energy the erection of a beautiful church in 
Santa Maria a Vico, a hamlet of the district of Arienzo, contributing 
thereto a sum of money himself. The old church of this place 
which was dedicated to S. Nicola, could not accommodate the 
number of souls there, which was upward of four thousand. When 
the new church was finished, he ordered the Pious Workers to re 
sume the missions which had been interrupted on account of the 
inadequacy of the old building, and which these Fathers were 
obliged to give in accordance with the stipulations of a legacy they 
had received. This new church cost several thousands. Besides 



SER. n.-i 7 6 5 .] Letter 355. 279 

In the district of Frasso, already mentioned, I de 
termined to erect another church or chapel besides the 

the magnificent structure which the servant of God had erected in 
the hamlet of Santa Maria a Vico, in spite of all opposition, which 
was very great indeed, he also had the parish church of S. Agnese, a 
dependency of the collegiate church of Arienzo, restored and em 
bellished, devoting to this great work all his wonted zeal. He, 
moreover, endeavored to induce the Duke of Maddaloni to enlarge 
a country chapel that existed in Taverna di Cancello, a dependency 
of the duke s, in order that he might erect it into a parish. In fact, 
the chapel was enlarged and the duke had a few rooms added for 
the intended pastor. But the parish priest of San Felice in the dis 
trict of Arienzo, to whose church Taverna di Cancello belonged, 
would not give his consent to the proposed change, and the design 
of the servant of God could not be carried out. In order, therefore, 
not to be obliged to see those country people, in all a few hundreds, 
entirely deprived of spiritual assistance, on account of being so far 
away from their parish church, the servant of God engaged the 
chaplain whom the Duke of Maddaloni retained, to say Mass there 
on all days of obligation, to preach to the people on feasts, to hear 
confessions, and to instruct them in the mysteries of faith, allowing 
him for these services a sum of six ducats annually. The servant of 
God wished, also, to erect another parish in Crisci, a hamlet cen 
trally situated among the other dependencies belonging to the dis 
trict of Arienzo, and subject to the archpriest s church of that place. 
He could not endure the sight of the people being deprived of spir 
itual assistance which in any case could not be very great, as they 
could reach the church of the archpriest only with extreme difficulty, 
especially in winter, when through the large valleys rushed great 
floods of water. He obtained from the Canons of the collegiate 
church of Arienzo the ground required for this purpose, and at his 
own expense laid the foundation of the new edifice. He was un 
able, however, to continue the work, because the people being very 
poor could not contribute anything toward it, and alone he was 
himself quite unequal to the task. At the same time, he was at 
tacked by a most serious illness that seemed mortal. To meet the 
exigencies of the case, therefore, in another way, he ordained some 
good and zealous priests belonging to these dependencies of Arien 
zo, to preach to the people, hear their confessions, and instruct 
them. He did not neglect to send thither every Sunday one of these 
priests to discharge such duties." 



2 8o Special Correspondence. [ P A RT 1 1 . 

church of the archpriest to which the care of souls is at 
tached. This new church is in a place more suited to the 
convenience of the faithful of the surrounding country, who 
are somewhat distant from the archpriest s church. But I 
could do this only after very great opposition on the part 
of the present incumbent, which I overcame, thanks be to 
God, without having recourse to the courts. This new 
church is affiliated to that of the archpriest, and has its own 
priest appointed by myself and removable at pleasure. 
The faithful can now attend the new church without any 
trouble even in bad weather, to hear the word of God and 
to receive the sacraments. I pursued this course of action, 
rather than that of erecting a new parish, because the 
reasons with regard to the great inconvenience or difficulty 
required by Pope Alexander III. Ad audientiam, and the 
Council of Trent (cap. iv. scss. ^/), for dismemberment, 
did not seem to me fully and clearly to obtain in this case. 

The number of souls in Sant Agata and its suburbs is 
about 5,200; in Arienzo and its dependencies, more than 
10,000; in Arpaia and Furchia, 1,600; in Airola and its 
dependencies, 6,200; in Frasso, 2,600; in Valle, 1,000; in 
Bagnoli, 250; in Dugenta, over 300; and in Cancello, about 
200. 

The secular clergy of the city and suburbs number about 
80 priests; Arienzo with its suburbs has 120; Airola and 
its dependencies, about 80; Durazzano and its dependen 
cies, about 40; and Valle, about 30. In the baronies, with 
the exception of Bagnoli, which has one priest recently 
ordained, there are no priests or ecclesiastics in Sacred 
Orders ; there are, likewise, no clerics at present, and no 
prospect of receiving any increase from these quarters. The 
people there live the life of farmers. 

With regard to other matters of less importance pertain 
ing to the material conditon of the diocese and its churches, 
I may, I think, pass them over in silence, lest by too 



SER. H.-I765-] Letter 355. 281 

minute an account of everything, I should weary the 
Sacred Congregation. What my predecessor has* already 
sufficiently detailed in his report, still remains in the same 
condition. 

The Formal Condition of the Diocese. 

For the administration of justice, I retain my Vicar- 
General, 1 a foreigner, whom I appointed in the beginning 
of my office, and whose ability, good name, and moral 
character are worthy of the highest commendation. The 
fiscal procurator, the fiscal advocate and advocate of the 
poor, and the chancellor are members of the diocese. I 
have no officials at all for the cases pertaining to faith, be 
cause by a law of the realm passed by the Royal Legis 
lature, in 1746, bishops are forbidden to proceed even 
according to the ordinary process, to summon the accused 
by virtue of the information received, and much less to 
pronounce sentence against him, unless they have previous 
ly remitted the case to the Royal Legislature and obtained 
its permission and approbation. This state of things makes 
it necessary for the bishops at present to employ other 
measures to preserve the purity and integrity of our holy 
faith. The office of the Inquisition, which is utterly de 
tested throughout the kingdom, is entirely abolished. 

As a body, the clergy, with a few exceptions, I have 
found thus far to be well disposed. Their manners, how 
ever, are not altogether what they ought to be, although 
now, by means of the spiritual exercises which the ecclesi 
astics are obliged to attend every year, and by paternal 
admonitions to which, when unavailing, I have not omitted 
to add gentle coercion, there is, thanks be to God, marked 

1 This was the priest Don Giovanni Nicolo Rubini, of Teora, in 
the diocese of Conza, whom the saint held in so great esteem that he 
proposed him for the See of Sora, as was mentioned in General Cor 
respondence, vol. ii. p. 271. 



282 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

im proven? ent and greater piety among them, though I 
should wish to see more of both. For the most part, they 
are very deficient in the necessary knowledge of the sacred 
sciences, particularly of Moral Theology. There are, how 
ever, exceptions to this rule, not only at Sant Agata, but 
also in the diocese. Some are, indeed, very learned men. 
To remedy this evil as best I could, I have established 
academies of Moral Theology for the instruction of those 
who lack the knowledge requisite, and 1 have placed at 
their head learned priests of my own selection. 

Besides these academies, there are in the city and 
throughout the diocese weekly conferences on cases of con 
science and rubrics, which are conducted with great exact 
ness. All the clergy, even those advanced in years, attend 
them. 

By the grace of God, my entire flock has been provided 
for during my term of office with missions given at frequent 
intervals in the city and throughout the diocese by the 
Fathers of my own Congregation of the Most Holy Re 
deemer, by the truly zealous missionaries of the Congrega 
tion of Father Pavone of Naples, and by the Pious Work 
ers. The people are well instructed in the faith and 
assiduous in their attendance at church and the frequentation 
of the sacraments. 

I animate the zeal of my parish priests in every way. 
As far as I can perceive, they are doing their duty well, 
expounding the Gospel to the people every Sunday and 
holyday of obligation, teaching the children, boys and 
girls, and the ignorant the rudiments of faith, administering 
the sacraments to the sick, according to the rite of holy 
Church, and fulfilling all the other obligations of their station 
to the best of their ability. 

During Lent, the word of God is preached daily in the 
cathedral, the collegiate churches, and the churches of the 
archpriests ; in country places, only on days of obligation. 



SER. n.-i765.] Letter 355. 283 

The preachers in every case are chosen one year by the 
bishop and next year by the municipal authority, subject, 
however, to the approval of the bishop, and so on every 
alternate year. There is no exception in this regard save 
the cathedral, for which the bishop always selects the Lenten 
preacher. For the discharge of this duty those only are 
chosen who preach the word of God in a familiar, popular 
style, eschewing all vain show of rhetoric, and who aim only 
at preaching Jesus Christ and him crucified. 

Abuses, corrupt morals, and superstitious practices are 
found neither in the city nor throughout the diocese. If, 
perchance, it should happen that some are found addicted 
to these practices from ignorance or simplicity, remedies 
are at once applied and the evil removed. 

I take great pleasure in mentioning a laudable custom 
that has of late been introduced throughout the diocese. I 
use the word throughout advisedly. It is this : every day 
at a fixed hour the bells are rung and the faithful repair to 
the principal church. When all have assembled and the 
requisite number of candles have been lighted on the altar, 
the door of the tabernacle is opened, and those present 
adore the Most Blessed Sacrament, reciting for this purpose 
some prayers or making pious meditations. I myself never 
omit to be present every day at this public adoration in the 
cathedral, thereby to give good example to my clergy and 
my people, and to foster in them this praiseworthy custom 
of visiting the Most Blessed Sacrament, from which I ex 
perience and hope for the greatest fruit. 

Since my coming, the practice of making mental prayer 
during the early Masses, and the devotion to the Blessed 
Virgin Mary, particularly on Saturdays, have been every 
where propagated. Every Saturday, also, in order to in 
crease the devotion of the faithful toward the Mother of God, 
a sermon is preached in her honor by some pious and 
learned priest whom I myself select. 



284 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

Report of the Work Performed. 

The principal duty of the episcopal office, frequently to 
preach to the clergy and people, exhorting, reproving, and 
correcting them in all patience, I discharge in person, and, 
thanks be to God, not without good results. I am accus 
tomed, also, every Saturday, when not prevented by ill 
health, to preach in honor of the Blessed Virgin, in order 
to foster and increase the spirit of fervor in the hearts of the 
faithful. 

Every year in company with the Vicar-General I conduct 
the Canonical Visitation of one-half of the diocese ; and in 
accordance with the desire of the Council of Trent, I repeat 
the same before the expiration of two years. To aid me in 
the discharge of my duty I am careful to summon to my 
assistance the members of my own Congregation, the Mis 
sionary Priests of the Most Holy Redeemer. These Fa 
thers have done much to advance the spiritual welfare of 
the people by frequent missions in the city, and more es 
pecially throughout the diocese where greater docility in 
matters of instruction is more usually found. 

In the city and in almost every part of the diocese exist 
sodalities of the Most Blessed Sacrament, from whose rev 
enues everything necessary for the adornment of the altars 
and the becoming administration of the sacraments is pro 
vided. It is not customary, however, nor is it prescribed 
by their rules that the members of the sodalities accompany 
the Blessed Sacrament when carried to the sick, wearing 
any particular dress; for these societies are composed chief 
ly of country people and laborers, who cannot always be 
on hand when the holy Viaticum is borne to the sick during 
the day. I have imposed the obligation to accompany the 
Blessed Sacrament in such cases upon the clerics. 

There are no sodalities of Christian doctrine. It would 
be extremely difficult to establish them here. The vigilance 



SER. 11-1765.] Letter 355, 285 

and care of the parish priests and of so ne of the clerics who 
reside outside the seminary until such time as they may be 
received, supply all that is necessary in this regard. In 
deed, the clerics devote themselves especially to this work. 

I do not neglect to appoint throughout the diocese 
exemplary priests, who are more advanced in years and 
learning, to give familiar explanations of the Christian doc 
trine on days of obligation to the boys and girls separately 
in churches assigned to them, and to instruct them in the 
manner of making mental prayer and performing other 
exercises of devotion in honor of the Passion of our Lord. 

I have, also, been careful frequently to administer the 
sacrament of Confirmation during the Canonical Visitations 
that I have made in the city and the diocese. And when 
not prevented by my health, which has been very poor for 
some time past, I officiate pontifically at the times pre 
scribed, and perform the other functions of my episcopal 
office. I have not been absent from my diocese at all, and 
am quite content not to take up my residence in the future 
outside its limits. 

At times, I have been present in choir at the cathedral 
and the collegiate churches, to give good example to the 
Canons, and to incite them to fervor in the devout recitation 
of the divine Office. Against public scandals, should any 
arise, I proceed first with admonition and exhortation ; if 
contumacy is then added to crime, I pronunce the anathe 
ma. 

The temporal administration of only a few pious places is 
in the hands of the ecclesiastical authorities. Of these insti- 
stutions, I have now and then made investigations with 
regard to the general management, leaving the care and 
examination of details, as is the custom here, to some ex 
emplary priest of good judgment. 

The records containing the accounts of obligations to say 
Mass and the fulfilment thereof, are subjected every year to 



286 Special Correspondence. [PART 1 1 

the inspection of the Vicar-General, who accompanies me 
on the Visitation. The tablets containing the record of 
foundation Masses, duly drawn up and cared for, are in use 
throughout the diocese. 

The principal duty of the episcopal office and the most 
important of all its cares, is the conferring of Holy Or 
ders. I therefore subject all the candidates to an exami 
nation as to their knowledge of the sacred sciences. 
This examination takes place before myself and several 
learned men whom I call to my aid. I institute, also, a 
strict investigation into their manner of life, in order to find 
out in so far as possible for me the most wretched of the 
miserable, what their conduct is. Letters of commendation 
and other methods of seeking influence I utterly ignore, 
thanks be to God ! 

Daily I offer up the holy Sacrifice of the Mass for the 
flock confided to my care, and publicly and privately assist 
with money and food, in proportion to the episcopal rev 
enues, the poor, particularly the sick, those whose virtue is 
in peril, and fallen women, that may be kept from sin. 

I endeavor to execute faithfully the decree of the holy 
Council of Trent in regard to promoting to Sacred Orders 
under the title of their patrimony only such as are really 
necessary and useful for the service of the Church ; also, 
the admonitions of the Sacred Congregation regarding the 
observance of the above-mentioned decree of the Council, 
and the other salutary ordinances of the Sacred Congrega 
tion of Bishops requiring that, before promotion, and 
especially to Sacred Orders, the spiritual exercises should 
be made; finally, the Bull of Pope Innocent XII. beginning 
Spcculatores. 

I know full well that the celebration of a diocesan synod 
holds an important place among the duties of the bishop, 
as it is the most suitable and efficacious means of stimulat 
ing ecclesiastical discipline, eradicating vice, removing 



SER. ii.-i 7 6 5 .] Letter 355. 287 

abuses, reforming manners, and establishing such other 
measures as are conducive to the welfare of the entire flock. 
However, on account of the circumstances in which we are 
situated at present, the bishops cannot enact and publish 
synodal statutes, and for this reason I have refrained from 
holding any synod. I have, nevertheless, provided for the 
needs of the diocese in another way. Following the exam 
ple of other very worthy and zealous prelates, I have issued 
a series of notifications, or decrees, bearing upon the ob 
servance of ecclesiastical discipline. 

I have nothing to present to the Sacred Congregation in 
the shape of petition in favor of the diocese, nor is there 
anything that I can remember, which should be brought to 
the notice of that body. If, however, on account of the 
unsettled condition of the times anything should happen 
that would require the intervention of the Sacred Congrega 
tion, I shall not hesitate, for the welfare of good order, 
humbly to submit it to their consideration. 

What I have said, is about all that I think necessary to 
lay before the Sacred Congregation. If in my report there 
is anything that calls for animadversion, I am prepared 
most humbly to receive their corrections, and bow my head 
with respectful submission. 

Kissing the hem of the Sacred Purple, I am 

Your most humble, devoted, and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of Sant Agata de* Goti. 

As a complement of this report we take the liberty to in 
sert the response of the Sacred Congregation. 

To his Lordship, the Bishop of San? Agata de Goti. 
Very pleasing, indeed, to the Fathers of the Sacred Con 
gregation was the report of your Lordship, in which you 
informed them of the condition of .your diocese, and the 
manner in which you discharge the duties of your episcopal 



288 Special Correspondence. IPART n. 

office. They rejoice still more to learn that upon both these 
points they have every reason to be pleased and to congratu 
late your Lordship. For in all that has been done, what is 
there that has not been devised and executed in the best 
manner, thanks to your care and diligence ? What is there 
in the whole range of your most responsible position that 
your solicitude, devotedness, and attention do not embrace? 
To pass over other points which, though seemingly of only 
ordinary worth, are deserving of great commendation on 
account of their utility, that which more than all fills the 
Fathers with esteem for your Lordship, is the fact, that with 
great zeal and admirable fortitude in the face of innumerable 
difficulties, you have increased the number of the watch- 
towers and outposts of the pastor, parochial churches, name 
ly, in accordance with the needs of your people. You have 
undertaken to build from the very foundation a new semi 
nary of more ample and beautiful proportions in the vicinity 
of the episcopal palace, and you exercise the greatest vigi 
lance in the education of the seminarists particularly in 
ecclesiastical knowledge, so that the best possible selection 
may be made of those who are to be promoted to the service 
of the Church and the guidance of souls. 

You have, also, put a finishing hand to the building des 
tined for a convent of nuns, and taken measures that nothing 
should be wanting to the perpetuity of this work when com 
pleted. The Fathers most earnestly hope that the Sacred 
Congregation of Bishops and Regulars will acknowledge the 
justness of your petition in this regard. 

Admirable, too, has been your provision for the education 
of the clergy in the departements of ecclesiastical discipline 
and sacred science by the introduction of academies of Moral 
Theology distinct from the frequent conferences on cases of 
conscience and rubrics. In conducting the Canonical Visita 
tion, likewise, you are accustomed to prepare and secure 
your progress through the diocese by sending zealous mis 
sionaries to all parts, who, by preaching the word of God, 
the doctrines of our holy faith, and other pious means of 
winning souls, arouse and encourage the people, who attend 



SER. ii.-i76 5 .] Letter 355. 289 

their sermons in crowds, to flee from sin, and to practise 
virtue. But it is unnecessary further to recount the inven 
tions of your pastoral zeal and industry, by which you foster 
divine worship, the practice of piety and charity, and in 
every way provide for the welfare of the flock entrusted to 
you, by example, admonition, exhortation, correction, tire 
less watchfulness, and devotedness. 

As, by the grace of God, your Lordship sees these your 
labors perfected and, as a general rule, crowned with most 
flattering success, you should be extremely thankful to the 
Almighty. You should desire and work for nothing more 
strenuously than the performance of those labors which tend 
to his glory and which are found chiefly in looking after the 
salvation of souls. And here, though the Fathers think it 
unnecessary to incite thereunto one that is laboring so man 
fully and possessed of virtue like yours, they cannot omit, in 
accordance with their office, to exhort you most earnestly 
to undertake those matters which, you say, can be done only 
with extreme difficulty, if at all. 

Remember, therefore, that the Sacred Congregation places 
before you as the most desirable of all the praise that you 
can attain, the celebration of a diocesan synod. At this 
time, there is nothing more befitting your pastoral office, 
nothing more beneficial to your clergy and people, nothing 
more acceptable and pleasing to the Sacred Congregation, 
nothing that will reflect upon yourself more glory than this. 
To this end, difficult though it be, as your Lordship writes, 
and hemmed in though you be by obstacles innumerable, 
you should direct all your energies, your thoughts, your 
prudence, and your diligence, firmly relying on that divine 
assistance which you have already experienced in other mat 
ters, and of which there are, indeed, striking examples in 
this regard. You will, therefore, do all that lies in your 
power to bring about this desirable result, and placing un 
bounded confidence in the help of the Most High, leave the 
issue, whatever it may be, entirely to the good pleasure of 
the divine will. 

This high hope in you which the Fathers have formed 

19 



290 Special Correspondence. [PART IT. 

from the excellence of what your Lordship has done, they 
trust you will not frustrate or suffer to perish ; hut, on the 
contrary, that you will increase in a still greater degree the 
unanimity with which they vie to sound your praises. 

As I myself wish to add my voice to theirs, I take this 
occasion of doing so, and I assure your Lordship that you 
may count upon my good-will whenever such cooperation 
may be necessary. 

Given at ROME, August 20, 1765. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 

LETTER 356. 
To the Rural Deans. 

He forbids the examination in Christian doctrine to take 
place outside the church, and complains that they have con 
cealed from him the existence of an abuse to the contrary. 

ARIENZO, March 16, 1766. 

Very Reverend and Excellent Sirs : To our intense grief, 
and with no little surprise we have recently learned that, in 
your districts, the children of both sexes go for examination 
in the rudiments of faith to the residences of the priests and 
not to the respective churches. 

You can readily imagine the irregularities that may occur 
in cases of this kind without our explaining them in detail. 
We have been greatly displeased with your remissness in 
not informing us of this condition of affairs. We positively 
do not want any women to go to the house of the 
priest for examination, and you will make this our desire 
known to all, that this detestable abuse may be abol 
ished. We pray you not to be so tardy for the future in 



SER. n.-i 7 6 7 .] Letter 357. 291 

letting us know whatever irregularities occur, and to be 
more attentive to the welfare of your several charges. 
Blessing you, we remain 

Your most devoted servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of Sant Agata. 
After an old copy. 

LETTER 357. 
To the Archpriest and Parish Priests of Arienzo. 

He commands the observance of the order with regard to 
the late Mass on festivals. Punishment for disobedience. 

[ARIENZO, June 10, 1767.] 

Alfonso Maria de Liguori, by the grace of God and the 
Holy See, Bishop of Sant Agata de Goti and Sues- 
suta, Baron of Bagnoli, and Rector Major of the 
Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer. 
To our great sorrow we have learned during our present 
Visitation of this part of our diocese that the orders which 
we published upon a former occasion with regard to the 
celebration of the late Mass on festivals, are not observed 
either in the collegiate church or in the different parish 
churches ; but that this Mass is said two hours before mid 
day, and sometimes even earlier. In this way, the purpose 
of our ordinance is frustrated, which was to afford to the 
country people and those who happened to be passing 
through on their journey an opportunity of hearing holy 
Mass on those days. 

In order to apply a prompt and lasting remedy to such 
an abuse, we hereby command the archpriest and all the 
parish priests of this district to see that, from the receipt of 



292 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

this edict, the late Mass in question be celebrated on the 
appointed days in the collegiate church and in the respec 
tive parochial churches, and that it be not commenced 
earlier than one hour before noon, so that everyone may be 
enabled to comply with his obligation. We desire to have 
this regulation carried out most punctually under pen 
alty of two pounds of wax for pious uses, to be ex 
acted without hesitation from the archpriest and the par 
ish priests whose duty it is to appoint the priest for this 
Mass, as well as from the priest so designated in the event 
of disobedience, and other punishments at our good pleas 
ure. 

That the present ordinance, or rather confirmation of 
previous ordinances, may be duly observed, and may be 
brought to the knowledge of all, and no one be able to 
plead ignorance thereof, we desire the archpriest and the 
parish priests to take a copy of it which they shall hang up 
in their respective sacristies, and return the original to us, 
stating at the same time that they have executed our com 
mands. 

ARIENZO, from the episcopal palace, during the Canon 
ical Visitation, June 10, 1767. 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of Sant Agata. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 

LETTER 358. 
To Don Pasquale Mauro, Rural Dean of Moiano. 

He establishes punishments for the removal of certain 
abuses which he enumerates. 

[AiROLA, June 27, 1767.] 

Very Reverend Sir: We have been informed, to our 
great grief, that in the hamlet of Moiano, which belongs to 



SER. H.-I767-] Letter 358. 293 

the city of Airola, some ecclesiastics are present in the 
parochial and other churches at solemn anniversaries, votive 
Masses, obsequies, and the celebration of other sacred ser 
vices in civilian attire and without surplice. Others have made 
bold to go about even without the clerical collar, and with 
a little knitted cap on their heads and a handkerchief about 
their necks ; others, to play in public resorts ; others have 
taken liberty to violate the regulation requiring black 
clothes ; and some have gone so far as to stand in front of 
the portals of the parish or other churches, to watch those 
who enter or leave, and even to pass remarks upon them. 
Others, finally, absent themselves from the processions 
prescribed by the ritual in the city of Airola, which they 
are obliged to attend ; or, when they do attend, they take 
the liberty to appear in secular attire and mingle with the 
people, a thing they do, also, when they take part in the 
processions at Moiano. Some too, we learn, have ven 
tured to go about in the morning before Mass without the 
soutane, and even at holy Mass wear the sleeveless cassock, 
in direct violation of the regulations heretofore made by us. 
All these matters are unbecoming, quite contrary to the 
ecclesiastical character, and cause great surprise and scandal 
to the faithful. 

Still as we desire to be lenient with these persons, we 
forbear proceeding against them this time with the rigor 
which they have richly deserved by such conduct. We 
warn them, however, be they priests, or ecclesiastics in 
Sacred Orders, or simple clerics, not to be guilty of acts so 
unbecoming for the future. Let each one of them while 
attending at church on anniversaries, solemn votive Masses, 
funerals, or other sacred functions, wear the soutane with 
sleeves during the six months prescribed in our Notifica 
tion} as also the surplice. Let them assist with due respect 
in the choir or other place destined for the singing, so that 

1 Notification F/., see page 263. 
19* 



294 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

they may fulfil their obligation properly. Any violation of 
these ordinances shall be punished with forfeiture of their 
share of the distribution, which sum will be given to the 
others ; and this penalty shall be inflicted without human 
respect in every case of disobedience, by the parish priest 
or the rural dean of Moiano. Furthermore, we charge both 
these persons to report to us for prompt treatment all re 
fractoriness on the part of any of the ecclesiastics. 

Moreover, no ecclesiastic shall dare leave the house 
without the clerical collar, under pain of one month s im 
prisonment, much less with a little knitted cap on the head 
or a handkerchief about the neck ; and no one shall assume 
clothes of any other color than black, or play at any game 
of chance in public resorts. Neither shall any of them 
stand before the church, be it the parish church or another, 
at a time when the faithful are entering either to assist at 
Mass, or other sacred service, or for the visit to the Most 
Blessed Sacrament in the evening, or at any other time that 
people come to say prayers or perform devotions. In all 
these cases, the same punishment as above will be inflicted 
without fail upon everyone that ventures to transgress these 
regulations. 

Under the same penalty, one month s imprisonment, all 
ecclesiastics shall be obliged to attend in surplice the pro 
cessions prescribed by the ritual in the city of Airola ; and 
let them not attempt in future to appear in secular dress 
and go about among the people as they have hitherto done. 
They shall behave in the same manner, also, whenever they 
take part in the processions at Moiano. 

Finally, in confirmation of preceding ordinances issued 
by us with regard to the use of the long soutane, every 
ecclesiastic shall be obliged to wear the cassock during the 
forenoon from the first of May till the first of November of 
each year. During this period no one shall venture to 
appear in the church in civilian attire, or to wear the 



SER. ii.-i 7 6 7 .] Letter 359. 295 

sleeveless cassock while celebrating holy Mass, as this is 
allowed only during the other part of the year. The 
punishment for a violation of this regulation will be one 
month s imprisonment. We also recommend to all our 
priests devout preparation before holy Mass and a suitable 
thanksgiving after it ; for in this respect, many are some 
what negligent. 

That what we have herein ordained may meet with 
ready and exact obedience, and that no one may be 
able to plead ignorance in extenuation of his fault, we con 
fide these presents to you, Very Reverend Sir, to make 
them public. For this purpose, you will assemble the 
ecclesiastics in the sacristy of the parish church and read 
these ordinances to them. A copy of these regulations 
shall, also, be made and preserved by you, and once a 
month, when the ecclesiastics convene for the conference 
on moral cases, you will read them. The original shall be 
returned to us with the report that our order has been com 
plied with. 

Given from our residence at AIROLA, during the Canon 
ical Visitation, June 27, 1767. 

Your most devoted servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of Sant Agata. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 

LETTER 359. 
To the Rural Deans of the Diocese. 

Ordinances respecting processions. Penalties for the dis 
obedient. 

SANT AGATA DE GOTI, June 30, 1767. 

Our experience in the course of the government of the 
diocese has proved to us that the holding of processions 



296 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

during the afternoon, as is customary in some places, is 
usually accompanied with abuses that give rise to much 
surprise, scandal, and notable injury to souls, as instead of 
deriving from them spiritual profit, the participants only 
bring about their own ruin. In order, therefore, to avoid 
every occasion of evil that might spring from such a source, 
and that these processions may turn to the advantage of the 
faithful and the glory of God, we ordain that henceforward 
they shall take place in our cathedral and all other places 
of our diocese, in the morning, whether prescribed by the 
ritual, or merely votive, or held for some other reason. 
We absolutely forbid all processions during the afternoon. 

To this end, we enjoin upon all the archpriests and parish 
priests to act in accordance with this order, under penalty 
of one month s imprisonment in the event of disobedience. 
This punishment will be incurred, likewise, by ecclesiastics 
who take part in such processions after the publication of 
this notice. His Majesty, the King, to do away with simi 
lar abuses, has by a royal rescript decreed the same 
punishment against them at Naples. 

In order, therefore, that this ordinance may come to the 
knowledge of all, we desire you, to make it known to all 
the archpriests, parish priests, and ecclesiastics. For this 
purpose, you will read it to them in the place where they 
usually convene for the conferences on cases of conscience. 
You will, also, make copies of it, which you will keep at 
hand, and return the original to us with the information 
that our desire has been complied with. 

Imparting to you all our pastoral benediction, 
Your most devoted servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of Sanf Agata. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 



SER. n.-i 7 6 7 .] Letter 360. 297 



LETTER 360. 

To the Rural Dean of Frasso. 

He inculcates the exact observance of some ordinances 
already published, and charges him in conscience to de 
nounce transgressors. 

Episcopal Palace, SANT* AGATA DE GOTI, July n, 1767. 

We have learned that, in the district of Frasso, the ordi 
nances issued by us in regard to the celebration of the late 
Mass on festivals at the time appointed, are not observed; 
but that this Mass is said long before mid-day. The result 
is, that the end proposed in our ordinances, namely, to 
give the country-people and those who happen to be 
passing through on their journey an opportunity to hear 
holy Mass on these days, has been frustrated. To ap 
ply a prompt and effectual remedy to this evil, we hereby 
command the archpriest and the prefect of the collegiate 
chapter to see that, from the receipt of the present notice, 
this Mass on festivals be celebrated at the specified time, in 
other words, to see that it does not begin earlier than one 
hour before mid-day, so that everyone may have an oppor 
tunity of fulfilling his obligation. We furthermore desire 
this regulation to be scrupulously observed. In case of 
disobedience, a penalty of two pounds of wax for pious 
uses shall be inflicted without hesitation as well upon the 
archpriest whose duty it is to appoint the priest to say this 
Mass, as upon the priest so designated, with other punish 
ments at our good pleasure. 

We have, also, been informed, to our great sorrow, that 
some ecclesiastics of your district have taken the liberty to 
go about frequently in their respective localities in attire 
other than black ; others during the period prescribed by 
us in previous ordinances, namely, from the first of May to 
the first of November, when they are required to wear the 



298 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

soutane in the forenoon, have ventured to appear in secular 
dress, and even at holy Mass to wear the sleeveless cassock ; 
some, too, have taken part in games played in public and 
in places of resort in the said district, to the great scandal 
of the people. 

These and similar abuses we desire to remedy also. We 
enjoin, therefore, that, from the publication of this notice, 
no ecclesiastic shall attempt to wear any color save black 
when going about at home, excepting only when he is 
obliged to go into the country or is traveling in a strange 
place. In these cases, clothing of any subdued color may 
be worn during the journey. Likewise, during the six 
months already specified, every ecclesiastic shall wear the 
long, buttoned cassock in the forenoon, and shall use the 
same while saying holy Mass or attending any other sacred 
service. No one shall during this time make use of the 
sleeveless soutane. That may be worn only during the other 
six months, on account of the severity of the season in those 
parts of the diocese. 

We, moreover, command that henceforward no ecclesi 
astic shall venture to play at any game whatever in public 
and in places in which people are wont to assemble. It is 
allowed them to play only in the house of respectable per 
sons, provided always that the games are in themselves not 
forbidden, and are indulged in only by way of pastime and 
with moderation. These prescriptions and regulations shall 
be faithfully observed by all ecclesiastics under a penalty of 
one month s imprisonment to be inflicted on the disobedi 
ent. That these orders may be so observed, we charge 
you, to be most conscientious in denouncing to us those 
who do not obey them. Should you through negligence 
or human respect fail to discharge this duty, you shall be 
condemned to undergo yourself the same punishment of 
one month s imprisonment. 

By way of appendix to what has been decreed in the 



SER. ii.-i 7 68.] Letter 361. 299 

foregoing, we add that for the future all processions that 
are to be held in this district during the year, whether pre 
scribed by the ritual, or merely votive, or for other special 
reason, shall take place only in the morning. We express- 
ly forbid the archpriest and the Canons to permit them in 
the afternoon, as we also forbid all ecclesiastics to take part 
in them under the same punishment as was laid down 
above. Our object in making this regulation is to prevent 
the abuses that usually accompany these processions in the 
afternoon. For the same reason, namely, to do away with 
these irregularities, his Majesty has, by a royal rescript, 
forbidden them in Naples. 

That these ordinances may become known to all con 
cerned, and that no one may be able to plead ignorance of 
them, we have determined to forward these presents to 
you, with the request, that you publish them to all, so that 
every particular may be dutifully observed. You will, also, 
make a copy of them to be kept near at hand, and read 
them to the ecclesiastics at least three times a year in the 
place in which they are wont to convene for the conferences 
on moral cases. 

After the Roman edition. 

LETTER 361. 
To the Clergy of the Diocese. 

Various regulations of ecclesiastical discipline summarized 
and enjoined by the saint. 

[1768.] 
Ecclesiastics shall not appear abroad either in populated 

districts or in country places without the clerical habit and 

collar. 

They shall not go into the church without the cassock, 

under pain of suspension for those in Sacred Orders. The 

cassock in question shall be long and have sleeves. 



300 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

No ecclesiastic shall take part in or be a spectator at 
games either at home or in public places. 

No ecclesiastic shall leave the house one hour after night 
fall without an urgent necessity and without a companion 
and a lantern. 

Ecclesiastics shall not appear before a secular tribunal 
under any pretext, be it of necessity or of temporal inter 
ests. 

When the governor appears, every ecclesiastic shall rise, 
doff his cap, and salute him as is required by his rank and 
the politeness becoming the priestly character. 

No ecclesiastic shall let it be said of him that he is con 
tentious either in church or in public places. 

Should it happen that an ecclesiastic is discovered in 
some offence and the news reach us through other channels 
than the rural dean, the latter, as well as the delinquent, 
shall be punished, and this with a severity and rigor here 
tofore not exercised. It is the ecclesiastics that preserve or 
destroy the good name of the bishop and the country, and 
his Majesty can very easily find out all the details. 

The ecclesiastics shall not enter into any intimacy, or 
quarrel with the subaltern officers of the court, be they 
notaries, chancellors, copyists, commissioners, or other of 
ficials. When they meet them or have to transact any 
business, let them always be polite and civil, so as to avoid 
all disagreeable consequences. 

Every Wednesday, the conference on cases of conscience 
or rubrics or ceremonial shall be held. 

Every Sunday without exception the instruction in Chris 
tian doctrine shall be given. It shall be preceded by a 
procession with the cross through the village or district 
in charge of each pastor. 

Besides those who, having the care of souls, are obliged 
to be present on ordinary days, to satisfy the wants of the 



SER. H.-I76SJ Letter 362. 301 

faithful, the other confessors shall be in attendance in the 
church on feast days. 

Holy Mass shall be celebrated with becoming gravity 
and devotion. The sacred vestments should be suitable, 
the churches and the altars neat and clean, and the Masses 
said at the hours most convenient for the faithful. 

No ecclesiastic shall go hunting on forbidden ground 
where such places exist. 

Ecclesiastics shall not be seen conversing with women 
either at home or abroad, especially with such as are of 
suspicious character. 

He who transgresses these regulations will incur not only 
the punishment deserved, but, likewise, the displeasure of 
his Lordship. 

After an old copy. 

LETTER 362. 

To the Sacred Congregation of the Council. 
Second report of the saint on the condition of his diocese. 

SANT AGATA OK* GOTI, April 28, 1768. 

I should, indeed, wish to be able to lay before your 
Eminences with all humility the account of my stewardship 
as bishop of this diocese, and visit in person the sacred 
tomb of the Apostles, according to the prescription of the 
Constitution of Pope Sixtus V., an obligation that is now at 
hand for the sixty-first triennium. But numerous cares, 
and particularly my advanced age and continual infirmity, 
render this utterly impossible. Relying, therefore, on the 
extreme kindness of the Sacred Congregation, I venture to 
hope that your Eminences will receive my messenger favor 
ably, and admit my just excuse. 

Three years have nearly elapsed since I pointed out to 
your Eminences with sufficient minuteness the material and 



302 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

spiritual condition of my church and diocese, in my first 
report humbly presented to the Sacred Congregation. Little, 
therefore, remains to be said on either subject. 

There is now at Sant Agata a new convent under the 
title of Our Lady of Constantinople in which the nuns live 
according to the Rule of the Most Holy Redeemer. This 
convent was established two years ago with the permission 
of the Sacred Congregation of Bishops and Regulars, who 
also consented that it should be endowed by the annexation 
of the revenues of some pious foundations, as its own in 
come was not sufficient to meet all its wants. Besides the 
three nuns who were transferred from the convent at Scala 
to this new house to make the beginning, it contains at 
present twelve young girls, some of whom are novices, and 
the rest scholars. Three of the novices are on the eve of 
making their profession. The life of these nuns, which is, 
indeed, religious and marked by the strict observance of 
their Rule, is a source of edification to the entire population. 
The enclosure of the convent is inviolably observed. The 
site which this excellent convent now occupies was formerly 
a conservatory of Sisters under the same title, but which 
did not enjoy the enclosure, because the building was not 
entirely finished, being completed only during my term of 
office. It now possesses all the necessary living and work 
ing-rooms suitably arranged for a number of inmates. The 
people of Sant Agata looked forward with intense expecta 
tion to the completion of this work, and now that it is 
finished, though not without considerable labor through 
which God has assisted us, they regard it with the greatest 
satisfaction. 

I am especially solicitous to complete the old seminary, 
which was begun almost from the foundation four years 
ago, with a view of making it more commodious and better 
suited to the needs of the young men. But on account of 
the heavy expenses already incurred in its construction, I 



SER. ii -1768.1 Letter 362. 303 

was obliged to suspend operations during the past year till 
some more favorable time, so as not to burden the new 
building too heavily with debt. With the help of God, 
however, I firmly trust I shall soon be able once more to 
resume so praiseworthy a work as will be this new seminary, 
and thus provide for the best means of training our young 
men in learning and piety. Meanwhile, the seminarists 
reside in some houses belonging to the episcopal palace 
which have been fitted up as a seminary, and are entirely 
separated from the residence and the bishop s household. 

The beauty and splendor of the churches are diligently 
cared for throughout the diocese. In some of the older 
churches greater beauty of form and better adornment are 
being introduced. Among these, the parochial church of 
S. Agnese in the district of Arienzo, now complete in every 
detail, holds an important position. But when the work 
upon it is finished, the palm will belong to another, 
parish church in the same district, that of S. Nicola the 
Great. This church is very large and grand, and I am 
sparing no pains upon its renovation. 

A lofty. campanile, now in the course of erection, is being 
added to the church of the Annunziata in the city of Airola. 
It is a work altogether in keeping with the beauty of the 
church itself. 

The parish of S. Giovanni Battista, situated in Bucciano, 
a hamlet of the above-mentioned city of Airola, has grown 
to such an extent as to comprise within its jurisdiction two 
other distant country-places. On account of the distance 
and the miserable condition of the roads, particularly in 
winter, and still more during the rainy season, when the 
torrents render the roads impassable, the faithful of these 
places could not attend their parish church either to hear 
the word of God or to receive the sacraments. For the 
same reasons, the parish priest was unable to help them in 
case of spiritual need. Now as it might easily happen, as 



304 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

it has in the past, that some of the parishioners would 
be left destitute of spiritual assistance in their last moments 
and depart this life without the comfort of the last rites of 
the Church, it seemed necessary, to appoint for the church 
of S. Giovanni Battista, already existing in one of the ham 
lets, another priest to act as curate. This priest should be 
examined by the Bishop of Sant Agata, and approved by 
him for the care of souls. He should, also, be removable 
at the bishop s good pleasure. He should receive from the 
revenues of the parish a suitable salary amounting to fifty 
ducats, Neapolitan currency, payable annually, without in 
fringing upon the salary already paid to the present parish 
priest of S. Giovanni. He should be required to take up 
his residence in the distant hamlets above-mentioned, to 
administer the sacraments to the faithful there, explain to 
them the Gospel on Sundays, instruct them in the rudi 
ments of faith, and render them spiritual assistance in their 
last moments. In response, therefore, to a petition from these 
people, and observing the forms required by law, I resolved to 
carry out this necessary arrangement during the vacancy 
caused by the death of the parish priest of S. Giovanni in 
a month reserved to the appointment of the Holy See. I 
published this decree and appointed the day for the concur- 
sus, expressly stipulating that he who should be appointed 
to the vacant pastorate by the authority of the Holy See, 
should be solemnly bound to pay annually to the aforesaid 
curate the sum of fifty ducats as suitable salary ; not more 
than this sum being required, because the contributions of 
the faithful already afforded a sufficient amount to guarantee 
the repairs and protection of the things belonging to the 
church now existing in said hamlet. In the concursus, the 
synodal examiners approved Don Pasquale Diodato, a 
priest whom I, also, thought most capable. He was ap 
pointed to the vacant pastorate by the authority of the Holy 
See, and the above-named condition was incorporated in 



SER. ii -1768.] Letter 362. 305 

the Bull of the Sovereign Pontiff. By virtue of these tenors, 
Don Pasquale was installed in his new office in February, 
and the curate appointed at the same time. The latter now 
resides in his own church, and fulfils all the duties of his 
position. Thus have I endeavored, to the best of my 
power in the Lord, to discharge my pastoral duty, and the 
measure has been a source of the greatest joy to these 
poor people. 

I attend to the care of souls with all solicitude according 
as God permits me with my infirm health. Every year, 
my Vicar-General and myself make the Visitation of the 
diocese, establishing such regulations with regard to the 
clergy as are in conformity with ecclesiastical discipline, 
and eradicating the vices that are usually met among the 
people. 

In promoting candidates to Holy Orders, I scrupulously 
avoid undue haste. Indeed, ignoring altogether the peti 
tions of very many who present themselves, I generally 
ordain only those of my own seminary, and that only after 
an examination in my presence, and diligent inquiry as to 
their conduct. 

When not prevented by the infirmity under which I have 
been laboring so long, I do not neglect to break the bread 
of life to my flock in person. I call to my aid, also, the 
missionaries of my own Congregation of the Most Holy 
Redeemer and other laborers, to arouse my people to 
greater fervor and love of God. 

I endeavor frequently to spur on my parish priests, both 
by word and example, to become more and more diligent 
in the discharge of the graver duties of their station; and, 
in fact, the children come from all sides to the instruction in 
Christian doctrine. The grown people, also, are provided 
for during the Paschal season, and the ignorant are not 
permitted to receive the Easter Communion before they 
have attended instruction. 
20 



306 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

Finally, should public scandals arise, I meet them, first, 
with admonition and exhortation ; if they continue, and the 
offenders grow contumacious, I coerce them with anathema. 
These, Most Eminent Fathers, are the principal points 
on which I make my report. Should there be anything 
reprehensible in what has been done, I shall most willingly 
receive your reprimands. 

Kissing the hem of the Sacred Purple, I am 

Your most humble, devoted, and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of Sanf Agata de 1 Goti. 

To this, the Sacred Congregation returned the following 
response : 

To his Lordship, the Bishop of San f Agata de" Goti. 
July 27, 1768. 

"The Fathers of the Sacred Congregation of the Council 
of Trent have read with the greatest pleasure the report of 
your Lordship. Although they expected to learn about 
those matters which pertain to the material and spiritual con 
dition of your diocese, which items you omitted, as you said, 
because of the minute description contained in the previous 
report, they have seen with sufficient clearness in what your 
Lordship did transmit, your great industry and solicitude in 
fulfilling the principal duties of your episcopal office. The 
Fathers were pleased to learn that the convent of Our Lady 
of Constantinople is finished, and that the restoration and 
embellishment of other sacred edifices are sfill going on 
under your direction, while in others they have been already 
completed. Above all, they earnestly hope that you will 
soon be able to inform them that the seminary, begun four 
years ago, is finished. In this most useful and necessary 
work, you will have erected a mighty stronghold whence to 
diffuse sound doctrine and morality throughout the diocese. 
In deciding to appoint a curate to the parish church of San 



SER. ii.-i 7 68.] Letter 363. 307 

Giovanni Battista in the hamlet of Bucciano, whose duty it 
should be to administer the sacraments and explain the 
word of God in places remote from the parochial church, 
you have most admirably provided for the welfare of souls, 
and given to the Sacred Congregation in this, as in all the 
other ministrations of your office, a proof of your ability and 
fidelity. The Fathers clearly perceive that you diligently 
consult the welfare of your diocese and are prompt in ad 
vancing it, not less by your own untiring zeal than by the 
continual efforts of your fellow-laborers in the Lord s vine 
yard, whom you encourage by your own bright example. 
Your Lordship may, therefore, rest assured that the Sacred 
Congregation entertains a very high opinion of you, an opin 
ion which you will still further increase if you crown your 
labors in behalf of the diocese by the celebration of a dioces 
an synod. 

1 With the expression of my own sincere respect and affec 
tion for your Lordship, I am, etc." 

After an old copy. 

LETTER 363. 
To his Majesty, Ferdinand IV., King of Naples. 

He represents to him the evil of duelling and the con 
demnations passed upon it by the civil and ecclesiastical 
authorities. He beseeches him to revive the civil enactments 
against it, especially in the case of soldiers, among whom it 
most frequently occurs. 

[1768?] 

Sire: Alfonso Maria de Liguori, Bishop of Sant Agata, 
prompted by the desire to repair the dishonor done Al 
mighty God and the ruin of innumerahle souls, humbly 
places at the feet of your Majesty the following petition, 
and asks your Majesty to give it consideration ; then to act 
as may seem best to your Majesty, in order to put an end 



308 Special Correspondence. [PART ir. 

to the great evil of duelling, which of late years has become 
so common in the city of Naples, as well as throughout the 
kingdom. 

Your Majesty already knows how detestable this crime 
of duelling is on account of its serious consequences, among 
which I might especially mention feuds between families 
and disturbances in the community. 

Duelling is an invention of the devil to lead men to 
decide questions of controversy by the death of the com 
batants, after the manner of the heathens, among whom 
the spirit of revenge largely obtained. It is for this reason, 
that duels have been condemned by all laws, human and 
divine. In the Council of Valencia, in 855, excommunica 
tion was decreed against all who fought duels, and the 
right of Christian burial was denied to him who fell in 
them. This decree was afterward confirmed by the Sover 
eign Pontiffs and also by the Council of Trent, which says 
(sess. xxv. de Ref. cap. 19): "The detestable practice of 
duelling, which has been introduced at the instigation of 
the devil that in the bloody death of the body he may 
secure the ruin of the soul, should be obliterated from the 
entire Christian world." And Pope Clement VIII., in 
1592, declared in the Bull Illius vices that the condemna 
tion of duelling was to be understood as applying, also, to 
private duels fought without seconds, and to the soldiers 
and officers who permitted them. 

In like manner, civil rulers have condemned duelling, as 
may be seen in L. unica cod. de gladiator., and in the laws 
of Spain, P. Hi. tit. 14, I. 8. The monarchs of France in 
particular, the glorious ancestors of your Majesty, prohib 
ited it with extreme rigor. Louis XIII. forbade duels 
under the penalty of loss of rank, dignities, and posses 
sions, and declared that every duellist should be branded 
with disgrace. Louis XIV. forbade them under penalty of 
death, and with such severity did he execute this law that 



SER. ii.-i 7 68.] Letter 363. 309 

he merited the glory of driving the spirit of duelling out of 
France. 

In the kingdom of Naples, too, duelling was formerly 
forbidden by the Emperor Frederick, as we learn from the 
constitutions of that monarch. Later on, the kings of Na 
ples in several decrees condemned duels with great severi 
ty. On January 2, 1540, as may be seen in vol. i. page 
250, of the first Pragmatica, duelling was prohibited 
under pain of death to those who gave the challenge, even 
though the combat did not actually take place, and also to 
those who, accepting the challenge, killed their opponent. 
Like punishment was meted out, also, upon the seconds 
and witnesses of duels, and it was furthermore declared 
that, if the party challenged refused to accept, the refusal 
was to his honor and not to his disgrace. On May 9, 
1662, as we see in the third Pragmatica, page 251, it was 
decreed that duellists, for the first offence, should be pun 
ished with exile for ten years, degraded from their rank, 
and excluded from all offices and dignities. For a secj^id 
offence the penalty was death. 

For a long time this accursed practice has not been in 
vogue in Naples ; but within the last few years, it is an 
ascertained fact that duels have been fought by several 
persons, particularly among the soldiery, and that they 
resulted in the unfortunate death of one of the principals. 

In Germany, many are of the erroneous opinion that a 
soldier when challenged to a duel, may be allowed to accept 
it, in order not to forfeit his honor and his position^ A But 
this most pernicious doctrine was very justly condemned 
in 1752, by Benedict XIV. in the Bull Detestabilem; for it 
ought not to be considered dishonorable to a soldier of the 
realm, especially since he is a Christian, to refuse to com 
mit such a crime in disobedience to his God and to his king 
who has forbidden it. 

Sire, new glory w r ill be added to your Majesty s present 
20* 



3 TO Special Correspondence. [PART ir. 

renown, if you banish from the kingdom this abominable 
pest of duelling, which destroys at once the souls and the 
bodies of your subjects. I, therefore, most humbly entreat 
your Majesty to revive the laws already enacted by your 
royal predecessors, and to have them executed rigorously 
against all, according to the punishment laid down, but 
particularly against the soldiers among whom these duels 
are most frequent. I furthermore entreat your Majesty to 
declare expressly that those who do not accept challenges, 
shall be retained in their respective stations and in the pos 
session of their honors, while, on the contrary, those who 
send the challenge, as well as those who accept it, shall be 
branded with public ignominy as violators of your royal 
decrees. 

Such a declaration would be most advantageous precisely 
at this time, when your Majesty has organized the new 
brigade composed of so many spirited young fellows, 
among whom, as they are in the flower of youth and the 
ardor of their prime, such challenges might easily arise on 
account of the disputes that usually occur among them. 
Your Majesty s soldiers should sacrifice their blood and 
their lives not in support of a false point of honor, but 
rather in defence of our holy faith, and the life and realm 
of their king. 

Knowing your Majesty s earnest zeal, your suppliant 
hopes that his humble petition will not be disregarded, and 
he will pray God to bless, etc. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 



SER. H.-I770.J Letter 364. 3 1 1 

LETTER 364. 

To the Canons and Chaplains of the Cathedral. 
Various points of choral discipline. 

Episcopal Palace, ARIENZO, December 29, 1770. 
Alfonso Maria de Liguori, by the grace of God and the 
Holy See, Bishop of Sant Agata and Suessula, Baron 
of Bagnoli, and Rector Major of the Congregation 
of the Most Holy Redeemer. 

From the beginning of our administration we have en 
deavored to correct the various disorders that we found 
both in regard to the choral discipline of our cathedral and 
the decency of attire which our capitulars, as well as the 
other ecclesiastics, should practise. To this end, we have 
issued several Notifications. We have learned with bitter 
grief that some do not observe these regulations, and that 
what we have ordained in our Notifications with regard to 
such matters is, in part, not complied with. We, there 
fore, command all the capitulars, as also the chaplains of our 
cathedral, to observe from the publication of these presents 
the following points: 

I. In the recitation of the divine Office, they shall make 
the prescribed pause at the asterisk, and one side of the 
choir shall not begin until the other has finished ; for we 
have been informed that the Office is recited too hurriedly. 
We charge the prefects of the choir in conscience to be ex 
act in requiring the observance of this regulation. 

II. The Canons and chaplains shall not take the liberty 
to speak in the choir during the time of divine Office or of 
a Mass that is sung, except when something is to be said in 
reference to the rubrics or the good order of the choir at 
any ceremony at which the chapter is present. Nor shall 
they at such times read letters or leave the choir without 
necessity. If they do, we charge those whose duty it is, to 



3 1 2 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

fine them in proportion to their absence, and should these 
officers neglect to do so, they shall bear in mind that they 
fail in conscience. 

III. We have learned that some of the Canons leave 
their places in the choir and seat themselves among the 
chaplains, thereby causing disorder. Under the same 
penalty as that mentioned in the preceding number, we 
forbid this abuse ; and those whose duty it is to note such 
matters, are bound in conscience to do so. 

IV. We have been informed that some of the Canons 
also, instead of repairing to the choir when the Office is 
about to begin, remain in the sacristy in order to be able to 
go to celebrate Mass after a little delay ; and so dilatory are 
they at times that, having said holy Mass, they enter the 
choir only after Lauds or even a good part of the Little 
Hours are finished. This we expressly forbid, and we or 
dain that those who have not gone to the altar before the 
time for divine Office, shall repair to the choir at once, and 
riot r leave until Matins, at least, have been said. In case 
of disobedience they shall be fined. Furthermore, during 
the singing of the conventual Mass on feasts, at which all 
are obliged to be present in choir, no one shall go out to 
say Mass, under the same penalty of forfeiture which the 
proper officials shall promptly inflict. On this point the 
conscience of the delinquent Canon as well as of the official 
is burdened. 

- V. As the custom has been introduced in our cathedral 
whereby the Canons may serve as substitutes one for the 
other in choir and in church, we desire that the ordinances 
established by our predecessors and hitherto observed in so 
praiseworthy a manner, should be studiously followed ; and 
for this end we hereby confirm them. No one shall have a 
substitute oftener than three times a week, and the Canon 
himself shall be present on Sunday of his week and dis 
charge in person the duties of his office for the greater part 



SER. H.-I770.] Letter 364. 313 

of the week, if he wishes to enjoy the privilege of being 
free during the week of vacation. We enjoin that this be 
most inviolably observed, as we have already commanded 
in a previous ordinance, which was placed in the sacristy 
of the cathedral. 

VI. The Canon organist shall wear the usual choir dress 
whenever he has to play at any ecclesiastical function. He 
shall use the organ at the first and second Vespers of all 
feasts of the first and second class, and at the first Vespers 
offcasts of major-double rite. In case he has to play at a 
high Mass, he shall not leave the choir before the end of 
Prime. Should he transgress any of these regulations, he 
is to be fined, and in this matter also we charge the con 
sciences of the officials. 

VII. With regard to the chaplains we desire that they 
should occupy their proper places and observe becoming 
modesty ; for we have been assured that frequently they sit 
with their legs crossed, a thing that excites astonishment. 
Let them, likewise, be careful to rise when the Canons 
enter or leave the choir in a body. They shall, observe this 
regulation under penalty of a fine which we leave to the 
prudence of the prefect of the choir to determine. We for 
bid the chaplains under pain of forfeiture to say Mass during 
the recitation of the divine Office, though they may do so 
before or after as they choose. 

Finally, it has caused us much sorrow to learn that some 
ecclesiastics, and even Canons, have gone so far as to wear 
clothes of fashionable colors, and thus attired, walked 
about the city; nay, what is still more astounding, they have 
entered the church, been present in the choir, and cele 
brated holy Mass in this garb, though some years ago we 
forbade the wearing of such clothing even in the city under 
penalty of suspension. We, therefore, enjoin on all the 
Canons, chaplains, and other ecclesiastics, not to attempt 
in future to enter the church in these colors or even to wear 



314 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

them about the town, as we shall allow a doublet of a 
modest color to those only who absolutely require it; 
otherwise they shall use black, which is the color suited to 
ecclesiastics, under the same penalty as heretofore. How 
ever, when they are traveling or are obliged to go into the 
country, we permit them to wear clothing of subdued colors, 
but without any gold or silver ornaments. 

In order that what we have herein commanded may be 
exactly observed by all, and that no one may plead ignor 
ance thereof, we enjoin that on some day when all the 
Canons are obliged to be present in choir, these regulations 
be read to them in the sacristy of the cathedral by our 
chancellor, and in this manner also shall be made known to 
the other ecclesiastics whatever pertains to them. The 
original together with the assurance that our will has been 
obeyed, shall be preserved in the archives of the chancery, 
so that, etc. . . . 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of SanV Agata. 

After the Roman edition. 

LETTER 365. 
To the Sacred Congregation of the Council. 

The third report of the saint on the condition of the dio 
cese. 

[September? 1771.] 

Most Eminent Fathers: In my second report humbly 
submitted three years ago, and in the first of three years previ 
ous which was more lengthy and entered into greater detail, 
I laid before the Sacred Congregation with sufficient minute 
ness the material and spiritual condition of the diocese of 
Sant Agata. I have but little to mention, therefore, in 
this report of the sixty-second triennium of the Sixtine Visi- 



SER. H.-I77I .] Letter 365. 315 

tation during my visit to the tomb of the Apostles. I 
should, indeed, be glad to present in person an account of the 
manner in which I have discharged the duties of my pastoral 
office ; but advanced age and habitual infirmity, to which I 
have been subject for a long time, positively prevent me. 
Be pleased, therefore, for these reasons to admit my excuse 
as valid, and to receive my messenger, 1 a kindness which 
I do not hesitate to expect from your generosity. 

During the past three years the work that caused me the 
greatest solicitude was the reparation of the episcopal resi 
dence. The buildings were threatened with danger so im 
minent, that I had to provide against it in all haste. With 
the help of God, I have completed the necessary repairs. 

The number of nuns has increased in the new convent of 
Our Lady of Constantinople of the Rule of the Most Holy 
Redeemer, founded about five years ago in the city of Sant 
Agata. Besides the three nuns originally sent from Scala 
to establish this new convent, there are now five professed 
nuns, four lay-sisters, and seven young girls, some of 
whom are novices, the others are scholars. All are living 
as exemplary religious, and observe the rules of the con 
vent and the enclosure with the utmost exactness. During 
the five years of its existence, the building has been greatly 
improved. Not only is the church beautifully ornamented 
with stucco work, but nearly all the altars have been erected 
after exquisite design. At present, everything is in readi 
ness to proceed to the enlargement of the choir, the erection 
of a beautiful porch in front of the church, and the comple 
tion, in the course of time and with God s help, of whatever 
is still required for the thorough embellishment of the 
sacred edifice. 

On account of the heavy expenses already incurred in its 
construction, I have not been able to put a hand to the 
seminary, begun almost from the foundation some years 
1 This messenger was the priest Federico Giuli. 



316 Special Correspondence. [PART u. 

ago. We must wait some time yet until it is free from the 
debt in which it is still deeply involved. With God s help, 
however, I trust I shall be able to resume operations at no 
distant day, and complete this structure, so as better to 
meet the wants of the seminarists. 1 Meanwhile, the young 
men are living in some buildings belonging to the palace 
which have been fitted up as a seminary, and are sufficiently 
large to accommodate at least eighty. 

Most scrupulous care is bestowed upon the improvement 
and embellishment of the churches throughout the diocese. 
In Arienzo, the parish church of S. Agnese is nearly fin 
ished, only very little of the stucco-work remaining to be 
done. All parochial duties are now performed there, the 
faithful coming thither to hear the word of God and to 
receive the sacraments. Another church in the same dis 
trict, that of S. Nicola the Great, a magnificient edifice 
begun from the foundation several years ago, is now 
almost finished. The work is being pushed according as 
the means are forthcoming. Last year, there was a lawsuit 
on the part of the citizens with regard to the tithes which 
are devoted to this work ; but thanks be to God, it was 
decided in our favor. 

1 This hope of the saint was not entirely realized. We read in 
the "Life of St. Alphonsus", by Father Tannoia, the following: 
"Alphonsus formed the bold plan of tearing down the old seminary, 
and erecting it anew from the very foundation. Everyone, Canons 
and gentlemen of rank, recognizing the necessity of a more com 
modious building, cordially agreed with the saint. The plans were 
drawn up, the materials collected, and to the joy of all the work 
was begun. Alphonsus did not see it completed. His serious in 
firmity would not allow him to remain in Sant Agata, and later on 
compelled him to retire to a house of his Congregation. During his 
administration only the room of the rector, and four other rooms 
with various halls were finished." Lib. iii. ch. xi. 



SER. H.-I77I.] Letter 365. 317 

The beautiful campanile of the church of the Annunziata 
in the city of Airola, is progressing. Judges say it is a 
splendid piece of workmanship. Little yet remains to bring 
it to completion. 

Another lawsuit was brought against us before the royal 
tribunals, with regard to the affiliated church that I erected 
about four years ago in Pastorano, a hamlet of Airola, for 
the convenience of the faithful of that place and the sur 
rounding country. These people, formerly parishioners of 
S. Giovanni Battista, a church in Bucciano, another hamlet, 
could not attend their parish church on account of the 
distance, the bad roads, and the torrents which in the rainy 
season render the roads impassable. This lawsuit was 
undertaken by the parish priest himself during the first 
year after his installation , and after the curate had 
been appointed to the church of Pastorano. He con 
tended that the erection of this church should not be 
countenanced, that things should be restored to their origi 
nal condition, and that he should be free from paying the 
stipulated salary of fifty ducats, Neapolitan currency, an 
nually to the curate residing there. But his arguments 
were overthrown by others more cogent. The suit termi 
nated in our favor, and the curate continues to discharge 
his duties in the church at Pastorano. 

In the district of Frasso, another territory of my diocese, 
I determined to erect in a more suitable place a church, 
which was to be affiliated to that of the archpriest, for the 
faithful who live in the country at a distance from the 
church, and who cannot come thither particularly in winter, 
without very serious inconvenience. Owing, however, to 
an appeal of the archpriest to the ministers of the crown, 
this necessary work has not thus far been undertaken. I 
have firm confidence, nevertheless, that with the help of 



3 1 8 Special Correspon dence. [ P A RT 1 1 . 

Divine Providence, I shall shortly be able to remove every 
difficulty, and proceed unmolested to the accomplishment 
of this task. 1 

I do not neglect to discharge the duties of my pastoral 
office in person, as well as in company with my Vicar- 
General, providing suitable measures for the maintenance 
of ecclesiastical discipline among the clergy, and the extir 
pation of vice among the faithful. I, also, incite my parish 
priests to greater solicitude in the discharge of the particular 
duties of their office. Public scandals, if any arise, I repress 
with admonitions, and should they continue, I use more 
efficacious coercive measures. 

Every year I see that the Canonical Visitation is made 
by my Vicar-General ; for on account of my habitual infir 
mity, I am unable to conduct it in person. When my 
health does not hinder me, however, I am careful to 
preach the word of God to my flock; and I, also, summon 
missionaries and other laborers to my assistance in every 
part of the diocese. 

The examination of confessors and of candidates for ordi 
nation, according to a regulation made in the very begin 
ning of my administration, is always held in my presence; 
and only those who are prudent and well-instructed in Moral 
Theology, receive the faculties to hear confessions. In like 
manner, with regard to ordination, and particularly to the 
Sacred Orders, I usually admit only those of my own semi 
nary, and those whom upon diligent investigation as to 
their manner of life, I find to be in so far as I may ascertain, 
learned and of good moral character. 

There is nothing of any further moment that I would 
wish to lay before the Sacred Congregation. If any re 
marks upon what I have done are necessary unto the edifi 
cation of the flock confided to my poor charge, I most 

1 This hope of the saint was also frustrated, as we have remarked 
in a note, General Correspondence, vol. ii. page 105. 



SER. H.-I77I.1 Letter 365. 319 

earnestly beg your Eminences to make them in accordance 
with the exalted power with which you are invested. I 
shall most willingly submit my shoulders to the rod, and 
bow my head with becoming reverence and submission. 
Humbly kissing the hem of the Sacred Purple, I am, 
Your most humble, devoted, and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of Sant Agata de Goti. 
Given at Sant Agata de Goti . . {the date is wanting], 

The following is the response of the Sacred Congregation : 
To his Lordship, the Bishop of Sant Agata de Goti. 
December 5, 1771. 

"The Fathers of the Sacred Congregation of the Council 
of Trent experienced great pleasure in the Lord from your re 
port from which they learned that your Lordship exercises in 
the administration of your diocese of Sant Agata that dili 
gence which they desire. And though they could not in the 
least doubt it, having more than once heretofore witnessed 
your Lordship s zeal, they could not but rejoice exceedingly 
in seeing you furnish over and over again new proofs of this 
pleasing solicitude, and greater manifestation of fidelity. 
They exhort you, therefore, to continue in the right course 
upon which you are running, and the nearer you draw to the 
palm of victory, the more ardently to consult the welfare of 
your flock. 

"These things I say in the name of the Sacred Congrega- 
gation. For myself, let me take this occasion to express 
the sincere regard with which I am your Lordship s, etc." 

After an old copy. 



320 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

LETTER 366. 
To Don Pasquale Mauro, Rural Dean of Moiano. 

He insists upon the conscientious execution of the ordi 
nance relating to ecclesiasticul attire. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

ARIENZO, October 28, 1771. 

In reply to your letter we would say that we thought the 
edict issued by us would be received with satisfaction ; in 
deed, we expected even that we should be in a measure 
thanked for commanding the ecclesiastics of our diocese to 
wear the clerical habit in the forenoon from the fifteenth of 
May to the second of November only, when we could just 
as easily have required them to do so all the year around, 
as is done in other dioceses. 

We desire, therefore, that by all means this ordinance be 
carried out in every detail. With regard to clothes of 
fashionable colors, we will grant a prolongation only till the 
first of December. By that time, let everyone provide 
himself with a suit and overcoat of black, or else be amen 
able to the punishment designated. 

Imparting to you the episcopal benediction, we remain, 
etc. 

After the Roman edition. 



SER. H.-I77I-] Letter 367. 32 1 

LETTER 367. 

To the Same. 

With paternal kindness he declares his sentiments with 
regard to the foregoing letter, and shows his esteem for him 
and for all the clergy. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

ARIENZO, November 4, 1771. 

The letter that we wrote you recently need not cause you 
the least disturbance, because in it we did not at all intend to 
ill-treat you or to express ourselves as little satisfied with the 
clergy under your charge. The ordinance was in itself suf 
ficiently clear. When it is said that from the fifteenth of 
May to the second of November, the long soutane should be 
worn in the forenoon, it does not follow that during that time 
all ecclesiastics should wear the long soutane until after dinner, 
provided they are not going to the church ; nor does it fol 
low that, because they must wear the cassock, they should, 
therefore, idle their time away in the stores. 

Indeed, you may rest assured that we entertain a very 
high opinion of your most worthy person and of all the 
clergy confided to you ; and we have received with the 
greatest pleasure the expression of your common sentiments 
contained in your letter. They are worthy of most excel 
lent ecclesiastics such as, we are happy to say, you all are. 

We bless you and remain 

Your most devoted servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of Sanf Agata. 

After the original preserved in the sacristy of the Barna- 
bite Church of San Carlo a Catinari in Rome. 



21 



322 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

LETTER 368. 
To his Majesty, Ferdinand IV., King of Naples. 

He entreats him not to allovV the nomination of all the 
Canons of a certain chapter to be made by the municipali 
ty, and points out the disorders that might arise from such 
a course. 

[I772-] 

Sire : As at present the affair of the collegiate church of 
San Andrea in the district of Arienzo, which forms a part 
of my diocese, is before your Majesty for consideration, I 
imagine that some of the people of that place will, perhaps, 
endeavor to effect that your Majesty should order the 
nomination of all the Canons to be made by the municipali 
ty- 

I have not, however, been able to ascertain with any 

assurance whether they have made this request to your 
Majesty, nor do I desire to know anything about it. All 
that I desire is, to represent to your Majesty that, if all the 
Canons were to be nominated by the municipality, and con 
sequently every nomination made in council, such a course 
would give rise to innumerable sins of hatred and discord 
in every case in which a canonry was to be filled, not to 
speak of the disgrace of frequently seeing persons proposed 
who are unworthy of the position. 

It is this thought, namely, to prevent so many sins, that 
has principally urged me humbly to place this representa 
tion before your Majesty. I entreat you so to regulate this 
matter as to secure some remedy for the evils to which I 
call attention. 



SER. H.-I772-] Letter 369. 323 

Humbly prostrate before your Majesty s throne, I re 
main 

Your most humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of Sant Agata de 1 Goti. 

After the original in the possession of his Eminence, Car 
dinal Guglielmo Sanfelice, Archbishop of Naples. 

LETTER 369. 

To Mgr. Carlo Bergamo, Newly-elected Bishop of Gaeta. 1 
Advice with respect to the government of his diocese. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

ARTENZO, March 12, 1772. 

The elevation of your Lordship to the episcopate caused 
me very great displeasure, because I feared that the good 
you had been doing at Naples would perish in consequence. 
But, on the other hand, it gave me much consolation that 
you are to take charge of a diocese which, I am told, is in 
great destitution, and therefore needs a zealous pastor. 

As I am well acquainted with your fervent zeal, I take 
the liberty to give you some advice with regard to certain 
matters that will enter largely into your career, matters 
that I have myself learned by experience. I do not for 
one moment dream that your Lordship should be obliged 
to act accordingly, for each one must regulate himself ac 
cording to the light he receives from on high ; but I submit 

1 Mgr. Carlo Bergamo, born at Naples, November 4, 1726, was 
elected Bishop of Gaeta, December 16, 1771, and governed that dio 
cese till 1785. 



324 Special Correspondence. [PART 1 1 . 

them to you for consideration and reflection, for God s 
greater glory. I should have ardently desired to commu 
nicate these matters to you by word of mouth, but I do not 
wish to inconvenience you by asking you to pay me a visit 
in my diocese, and I cannot possibly go to Naples. 

It is quite unnecessary for me to recommend to you the 
holy missions, for I already know your high appreciation 
of them. The greatest blessing a bishop can confer upon 
his diocese is, to provide that the missions be given every 
three years. What I would ask of you, though, is, that 
when the missionaries come, you would entreat them to 
give the exercises of the mission in every place, no matter 
how small it may be. The practice of the Congregations is, 
to give the mission in some central locality, in the hope 
that the surrounding country will come to attend them. 
Vain hope ! A few pious persons will come ; but those who 
are living in sin and who, above all, are to be taken into 
account, will not, and their place will be left without the 
mission. The missions are intended particularly for those 
whose conscience is in a bad state. In my own diocese, I 
have the missions given in every locality, even if it contains 
only two hundred souls. 

I recommend you, also, not to spare yourself in preach 
ing in person in all the places of your diocese. The voice 
of the bishop reaps harvests far more abundant than those 
of other preachers. This remark is particularly applicable 
in your case, since God has given you a special talent for 
preaching. Endeavor, therefore, to preach the principal 
sermon in every part of your diocese, or, at least, in the 
larger places, and if you cannot obtain missionaries, take 
those diocesan confessors who live in other towns. You 
should do this especially during the time of the Canonical 
Visitation. At least, do not fail to have a three days course 
of sermons throughout the diocese. 

It would be well, also, to have the exercises of a retreat 



SER. H.-I772.] Letter 369. 325 

for the clergy in those places where they are most numer 
ous, and during the Visitation, at least the retreat of three 
days. 

The same I would ask of you in favor of the convents of 
nuns, with whom you will have to practise great patience. 
Be firm in not permitting innovations that might become 
abuses, and abolish the custom of admitting relatives within 
the enclosure as is done in many places. I have myself 
labored strenuously to do away with this abuse, and I do 
not allow even parents to enter ; for once you concede it to 
them, others, also, who are not parents will come. 

I beseech you not to conduct the Visitation in a hurried 
manner. Receive the manifestation of conscience in secret 
from everyone of the priests and from the nuns also. I do 
not know whether it is expedient for a bishop to have nuns 
for his penitents. In convents of nuns, the more confi 
dence one gives, the more advantage they take. 

With regard to candinates for ordination, I make it a 
point not to promote to Holy Orders any who do not at 
tend the seminary. But it is quite another thing if there is 
question of a cleric of good talents and moral character, 
who is not able to enter the seminary. The misfortune, 
however, is that in the seminary some ecclesiastics make 
great appearance of virtue ; but once ordained, they go to 
ruin. It is necessary, therefore, to exhibit great firmness 
in not ordaining -any who do not give signs of the ecclesi 
astical spirit; and if a cleric has been guilty of grave delin 
quency, even though he be in Sacred Orders, a trial of 
several years is sometimes required. Experience will, 
however, teach you all these things, as it has already 
taught me. 

It is important to be severe in the examination ; for if the 
young men do not study before their elevation to the 
priesthood, they will not look at a book afterward. I do 
not give my approbation to priests unless they know the 

21* 



Special Correspondence. IP ART n. 

whole of Moral Theology, and 1 insist that, before receiving 
subdeaconship, the candidates be well-grounded in the 
more difficult treatises; as, for example, Conscience, Human 
Acts, and the Precepts of the Decalogue as far as Contracts. 
My reason for this is, that if they receive the subdeacon 
ship without knowing anything, they will remain ignorant ; 
and, later on, we shall have to promote them to the priest 
hood notwithstanding their ignorance. 

I recommend you, moreover, to have particular attention 
paid to the study of Latin and Moral Theology in the semi 
nary ; because once the young men are in the ministry, 
either they will not find teachers in these branches or they 
will not study any more. I repeat, I make the young men 
study Moral Theology before promotion to the priesthood, 
in order that I may be able to select for approbation those 
who commend themselves by their good conduct. In this 
way, the bishop can provide for the welfare of his diocese 
by forming good parish priests and good curates. 

For those who are to hear confessions, a long and thor 
ough examination is necessary. In your diocese you will 
find many incompetent confessors, and you should, there 
fore, from the very beginning subject them to such an ex 
amination, even though they be parish priests. Pay 
particular attention to the members of religious orders who 
desire to have faculties, because the religious do not study 
Moral Theology. I do not allow any of the Lenten 
preachers that come to my diocese, to hear confession 
wjthout passing an examination. The certificates of faculties 
that, they show from other bishops, cannot move me; for 
some bishops are accustomed to grant faculties to every 
preacher without discrimination. 

Be cautious, also, with regard to those whom you have 
around you, your secretary and the master of the palace. 
Remind them that they must not assume any responsibilities 



SER. H.-I772.] Letter 369. 327 

present commendations, or interfere in any way with the 
affairs of the episcopate. 

If there are any fallen women in the diocese, see that 
they are brought before the governor to be reminded by 
him of their obligation to conduct themselves decently 
under penalty of imprisonment. When they fail to follow 
this admonition, see that they are arrested, and pay the 
constables yourself. My entire revenue, I may say, is con 
sumed in paying the officers of the law. Reprimand pro 
duces very little effect upon those unfortunate people. It 
would be well, therefore, to be on very friendly terms with 
the governor, and now and then, as for example, at Christ 
mas and Easter, to make him some little present. 

In cases in which illicit relations exist with married 
women there is some difficulty, because here one cannot 
interfere, unless the husband lodges a complaint. But if 
the affair assumes the nature of a public scandal, endeavor 
to secure a complaint on the part of the neighbors; for then 
you can have recourse to the courts. I had immediate re 
course to the king wheil I found priests implicated in 
intrigues with married women, and several times have I 
received his permission to keep them confined in a monas 
tery for a number of years. If there are in your diocese 
priests who are addicted to evil practices, the best punish 
ment is to send them into exile ; everything else fails. 

With regard to reserved cases, I have reserved absolution 
from the sin of blasphemy against the saints or of holy 
days, even for the first offence. In this I have followed the 
example of his Lordship of Benevento, and of the saintly 
Archbishop of Salerno, Mgr. di Capua, 1 and I have been 
successful in a great measure in eradicating blasphemy, the 
principal sin in the kingdom of Naples. Faculties to ab- 

1 Mgr. Giovanni Fabrizio tli Capua. 



328 Special Correspondence. ( PA RT i r . 

solve these cases, I have given only to the parish priests, 
never to their assistants. 

Let me add with regard to the study of Moral Theology 
in the seminary, see that in the seminary text-books are 
used, for very little profit is derived from written notes. 

Not to weary your patience further, I shall close. I be 
seech you not to forget to recommend me to Jesus Christ 
according to our agreement, as I shall not neglect to do fur 
you. Reverently kissing your Lordship s hand, I remain 

Your most humble and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of Sant Agata. 

After an old copy. 

LETTER 370. 
To Don Liborio Carfora, Rural Dean. 

Effectual means of diffusing the knowledge of Christian 
doctrine among the faithful. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

ARIENZO, November 17, 1772. 

It has come to our knowledge, that parents, guardians, 
masters, and those who by their station are placed in 
charge over others, have been negligent in sending their 
children, wards, servants, or subjects to the Christian doc 
trine, that the parish priest conducts, and which we have 
already commanded under severe penalties, should be held 
every feast of obligation. You will, therefore, announce 
at the conference on moral cases to all the confessors and 
parish priests of Airola, as also to those of the adjoining- 
hamlet of Bucciano, that, before hearing the confessions of 
fathers, mothers, guardians, etc., they shall inquire wheth 
er they send those under their care to the instruction in 
Christian doctrine. And in case these persons frequently 



SER. H.-I773-] Letter 377. 329 

fall into this negligence, they should not be granted absolu 
tion. 

Furthermore, the confessors should examine all adults 
with regard to the necessary knowledge in matters of faith ; 
and in absolving them they shall regulate themselves ac 
cording to what has been written upon this matter by our 
selves and other authors. They shall oblige them, or at least 
try to induce them, to attend the short instruction that is 
given at the first and second Masses on feasts of obligation 
when a number of people are present. If the confessors 
perceive that their penitents are ignorant and neglect to 
acquire the knowledge of the truths necessary for salvation, 
they shall bear in mind that they cannot absolve them until 
they are sufficiently instructed. 

Imparting to you our pastoral benediction, we remain 
Your devoted servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of Sant* Agata. 

After an old copy. 

LETTER 371. 
To Father Terzi, a Dominican at Sant 1 Agata. 

He requests him to denounce in the Lenten sermons the 
injustice of two contracts. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

ARIENZO, March 30, 1773. 

As your Reverence is at present engaged in conducting 
the spiritual exercises, we beg you to call attention to the 
injustice of two contracts which, we understand, have taken 
place at Sant Agata. 

The first of these is, as follows : A man loans to a farmer 
two oxen worth between sixty and seventy ducats, upon 



330 Special Cosrespondencc. [PART n- 

the condition that every year the farmer shall pay the 
owner ten tomoli l of grain. This is, without doubt, an 
injustice, for you cannot require ten measures of grain for 
sixty ducats. There is yet another injustice connected with 
this, namely, in case the oxen should die, the farmer must 
pay the owner one-half of the loss. This is equally unjust, 
for the capital when lost is lost to the owner. 

The second contract is that in which a sow is given in a 
s milar manner. If she has young, they are to be sold and 
the proceeds divided equally; but if she dies, the farmer 
must pay one-half of the loss. 

We beg your Reverence repeatedly to inveigh against 
such injustice, for once will not do. You are acquainted 
with the teaching of the moralists, that a preacher is bound 
in conscience to denounce all public contracts that are 
unjust. We expect your Reverence, therefore, to do 
something against these, so that the owners in question 
may know that people who make such contracts are in a 
.state of sin. 

Tannoia, Life, book iii. ch. 62. 

LETTER 372. 
To his Majesty, Ferdinand IV., King of Naples. 

He defends his manner of acting in the conferring of ben 
efices against accusations brought against him. 

ARIENZO, May 25, 1773. 

Sire: I have received with most profound respect the 
rescript which your Majesty sent me together with the 
petition of the citizens of Sant Agata, in which they lay 
before your Majesty two grave complaints against me: first, 
that I do not reside in Sant Agata, my episcopal city, but 
in Arienzo; and, secondly, that in the conferring of canon- 
ries, I prefer those who are not citizens of Sant Agata to 
!A tomolo is equal to about a bushel and a half. 



SER. ii.-1773-l Letter 37 2. 33 l 

them. Your Majesty commands me to say what I have to 
answer to these charges, and I forthwith obey. 

With regard to the fact, that I reside in Arienzo, I 
would say, that, when I first assumed the government of my 
diocese, I did reside at my cathedral in Sant Agata for 
about five years. But as Sant Agata is a very damp place 
on account of the high mountains that surround it, I was 
compelled by the advice of my physicians and the nature 
of my sickness, asthma, to go to live in a drier climate. 
Accordingly, I came to Arienzo, another city of my dio 
cese, and here I have enjoyed much better health. My 
residence here is quite free from any scruple of conscience, 
because Pope Benedict XIV., in the Bull Vbiprimum, pub 
lished December 3, 1740, has declared with regard to the 
residence of bishops, that it suffices that they reside within 
the limits of their diocese. Here are his very words ad 
dressed to the bishops: "You should observe the obliga 
tion of residing personally in your episcopal city, or in the 
diocese." 1 

As to my action in preferring to a vacant canonry in the 
cathedral a stranger rather than an inhabitant of Sant Aga 
ta, the citizens have no longer any reason to complain on 
that score; for I have recommended to the. present Pontiff 
a priest of Sant Agata, to whom the Holy Father has 
already granted the position, and thus the citizens have 
obtained what they desire. But the real issue is this, as 
appears from what they say in their petition, that, in filling- 
vacancies among the Canons, citizens shall always be pre 
ferred, even though others more worthy than they, but 
who are not of Sant Agata, enter into the concur sus. 

With regard to this matter, I beg your Majesty to con 
sider what I now lay before you in all humility. It is only 
just that citizens of Sant Agata, provided they are not un- 

1 Oportet, ut personalem in ecclesia vestra, vel dicecesi servetis 
residentiam. 



3 3 2 Special Correspondence. [PA RT 1 1 . 

worthy of the position, should be preferred to outsiders, 
unless some very urgent reason require a contrary course 
of action. But shall the citizens always be preferred to 
other more deserving ecclesiastics of the diocese? This is the 
real question. I do not hesitate to say that all other things 
being equal, they should be preferred. When, however, 
there are other ecclesiastics of the diocese notably more 
deserving than they, I do not see with what pretence of 
justice the citizens should claim preferment, except where 
this is provided for by express law in the foundation itself 
or by custom. In Sant Agata, there is neither foundation 
law nor custom to that effect; for until now many diocesan 
ecclesiastics have been admitted into the chapter; and it is 
wrong to call diocesan ecclesiastics strangers, since together 
with the city clergy they constitute only one body, the 
clergy of the diocese. In their petition, the citizens of 
Sant Agata have given themselves much trouble to adduce 
certain teachings that have very little bearing on the matter 
in hand, and particularly on the principal point, namely, 
the grave obligation of the bishop to prefer the more de 
serving of the clergy when there is question of conferring 
benefices, and especially canonries. 

I am well aware that a number of Probabilist authors 
teach that it remains with the good pleasure of the bishop 
to grant a simple benefice to whomsoever he chooses, even 
though there be other claimants more deserving. But for 
my part, I have always held, and I still maintain with the 
more common and more probable opinion, that the bishop 
is bound in conscience under pain of grievous sin to confer 
every benefice, whether it has the care of souls attached or 
not, upon the more deserving ecclesiastics. My grounds 
for maintaining this opinion are the authority of the sacred 
canons, the teaching of the Fathers, and intrinsic reason. 
I cannot, then, see how, in appointing to vacancies, I 



SER. 1 1. -1773 ] Letter 372. 333 

could without serious remorse of conscience prefer one less 
worthy to one more deserving. 

Among the sacred canons, I find, cap. unic. Ut Ecclesia 
Bencf. sine dim., that the Bishop of Milan was repri 
manded by Pope Innocent III. for having passed over a more 
deserving person to confer a simple benefice upon one less 
worthy. The words are: You should have conferred the 
ecclesiastical office and benefice upon him who was more 
worthy^ Again, in the chapter Custos dc officio custod., it 
is said: To this office (of custodian] only those shall be or 
dained ivhose lives are more exemplary and more holy than 
others? The same thing is expressed in several other can 
ons, which, for brevity s sake, I omit. 

The Fathers of the Church speak in the same strain. 
St. Augustine writes : And it seems to me that there lies in 
deed no small sin in the accepting of persons .... for who 
would suffer a rich man to be raised to the seat of honor in 
the Church, to the neglect of one who is poor, but more 
learned and more holy? 3 And St. Gregory the Great 
says : Let him be ordained whom God wills and who ap 
pears to be most fit* St. Thomas, likewise, Quodlib. 6, art. 
y, teaches that the bishop is obliged to confer benefices on 
the more deserving, that is, on those whom he knows will 
be more useful to the Church. This doctrine is confirmed, 
also, by Innocent XL s condemnation of Proposition 47. 

1 "Debuisti ecclesiasticum officium et beneficium in persona magis 
idonea dispensare." 

2 "Ad hoc opus (ad officium custodis) tales ordinentur, quales 
meliores et sanctiores esse viderint." 

3 " Nee sane putandum est, quantum arbitror, leve esse peccatum 
in personarum acceptatione . . . .: quis enim ferat, eligi divitem ad 
sedem honoris in Ecclesia, contempto paupere instructiore atque 
sanctiore?" Epist.^class. 3. epist. 167, ;/. 18 df sententia Jacob. 

4 " Ille, qui Deo placuerit et utilior visus fuerit, ordinetur." Lib. 
IT. tpist. 47. 



334 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

That proposition maintained that the command of the 
Council of Trent, to elect to benefices the more worthy, 
referred only to such benefices as were provided for by 
concursus. "The Council says when a concursus takes 
place", are the words of the proposition. But this proposi 
tion was condemned by the Sovereign Pontiff. Conse 
quently, also in benefices to which the care of souls is not 
attached, and where no concursus takes place, the more 
deserving should be chosen. 

What to me is of greater weight than all else with regard 
to this opinion, is the intrinsic reason, to which I can see 
no answer to the contrary. It is as follows: according to 
all theologians, it is certain that the end for which benefices 
have been founded by benefactors and instituted by the 
Church, is twofold: first, to reward the merit of the sub 
jects by recompensing their knowledge and the application 
by which they have striven to render themselves more 
worthy. Now, as the bishop is not the owner, but only 
the executor of the benefices, he is obliged in accordance 
with distributive justice to regard the merits of him who is 
more deserving. This St. Thomas very clearly shows (2 
2. qu. 63, art. 2 ad /) where he says that it is a grievous 
sin to confer a benefice upon an ecclesiastic who is less 
\yorthy: If they are preferred to those ivho are more de 
serving, it is a sin of accepting persons [which in the pre 
ceding article St. Thomas unhesitatingly calls a mortal sin] 
in the distribution of spiritual offices, of which the bishop is not 
the owner, but only the dispenser^ On this subject, the cel 
ebrated Prospero Fagnano says (cap. Cum dilectus dc con- 
suetud. n. 79) that the preferment of the more deserving, 
according to distributive justice in the collation of benefices, 
is established by all the laws and all theologians: Every 

1 " Si dignioribus prreferantur, est peccatum personarum accepta- 
tionis in dispensatione spiritualium, quorum Praelatus ecclesiasticus 
non est dominus, sed dispensator." 



SER. H.-I773-] Letter 372. 335 

law demands that the more deserving, the more holy, be 
selected, and therefore they offend against distributive jus 
tice who, passing over a more deserving person, promote 
one who is simply worthy, as all the authors remark in 
speaking of cap. Constitutis 10 de Appell^ This doctrine 
is approved as the more common opinion, not only by the 
writers of the Extreme Rigorist School, but likewise by the 
Probabilists ; as, for example, Lugo and Father Viva (in 
Prop. 47, n. 9). 

The second end for which benefices are principally estab 
lished by the Church, is the welfare of the Church, namely, 
that in this way she may receive better ministers for her 
service; and by better is to be understood, as St. Thomas 
explains (2. 2, qu. 63, art. 2 in corp.~) those who are more 
useful for the diocese. His words are : The conferring of 
spiritualities [as are benefices] is particularly destined for 
the welfare of the Church? And a little further on, art. 2 
ad j>, he adds that, although before the law, the election 
of the less worthy would be valid, in conscience the one 
who makes the appointment should prefer that candidate 
who in view of the public welfare is more deserving. As 
far as the. conscience of the elector is concerned, he should 
[that is, he is under grave obligation] choose him who is 
more worthy absolutely, or in view of the general wel 
fare? 

This doctrine of St. Thomas is the common teaching of 
all other authors, also. Covarruvia quoted by Van Espen, 
torn, j, sect, j, tit. 12, cap. 2, n. j>, says : By the consent 

1 "Omnia jura clamant, ut meliores et sanctiores eligantur, et ideo 
peccant contra justitiam distributivam, qui, omisso cligniori, eligunt 
dignum, ut notant omnes in cap. Constitutis 10 de Appell." 

2 " Dispensationes spiritualium principalius ordinantur ad utilita- 
tem communem." 

3 " Sed quantum ad conscientiam eligentis, necesse est eligere 
meliorem, vel simpliciter, vel in comparatione ad bonum commu 
ne." 



336 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

of all the annotation in cap. Constitutis 10 de Appcllat., ob 
tains, namely, that the bishop is obliged to grant the ben 
efice to the more worthy. 1 Domenico Viva, otherwise a 
Probabilist, says (in Prop. 47 damnata ab Innoc. XL} that 
the bishop who prefers the less worthy even to a benefice 
which has not the care of souls, is obliged to make restitu 
tion to the community for the injury caused by such an 
election. 

Since, then, benefices are instituted by the Church for 
the welfare of the entire diocese, the bishop must regard 
the welfare of the entire diocese rather than that of the 
particular city in which he has his cathedral. Moreover, it 
is said that those subjects who are better qualified to pro 
mote the good of the diocese should be chosen, and not 
the more learned, although, as a rule, experience shows 
that the more learned turn out to be the more useful. This 
must be borne in mind particularly in the election of the 
Canons of the cathedral, for they are the councillors of the 
bishop. In ancient times the Canons composed the legis 
lative body of the diocese, according to what Selvaggio 
says in his Institutiones Canonic<z: by whose advice ecclesi 
astical affairs shall be conducted? And, therefore, Alex 
ander III. (cap. Novis de his qiice fiunt a Pralato], writes: 
Your wise prudence knows very well that you and your 
brethren constitute one body, in such a manner that you 
shall be found to be the head, they, the members? True it 
is, that nowadays this measure is not observed so strictly as 
in times gone by ; but still it cannot be denied that the 
Canons are the right arm of the bishop. From their num- 

1 "Communi omnium consensu exstat annotatum, in cap. Constitu 
tis 10 de Appellat., quod Proelatus teneatur beneficio prseficere digni- 
orem." 

2 " Quorum consilio ecclesiastica negotia tractarentur." 

3 " Novit plenius tuce discretionis prudentia, qualiter tu et fratres 
tui unum corpus sitis ; ita quod tu caput, illi membra esse proben- 
tur." 



SER. H.-I773-] Letter 372. 337 

her he usually selects the diocesan examiners; with them 
he formulates the statutes (Cone. Trid. scss. xxv. de Ref. 
cap. 10); with them he effects the coalition of churches and 
benefices (Clem. ult. dc rcb. eccles. non alien. ]; with them 
he holds the synod. It is the Canons that the bishop sends 
to make the Visitation of the diocese; with their vote he 
decides all the important affairs of the administration (Cone. 
Trid. sess. xxiv. de Ref., cap. 6}; and, finally, it is from 
their number the Vicar-Capitular must be selected in the 
event of the bishop s death or resignation. For these 
reasons, the Council of Trent (sess. xxii. de Ref., cap. 2) 
makes the following general regulation: Whosoever is, 
hereafter, to be promoted to the episcopate shall not only 
be. fully qualified by birth, age, morals, and life, .... but 
shall, also, possess such learning as to be able to discharge 
the obligations of the office about to be confided to him. He 
shall, therefore, have been previously promoted by merit in 
some university for studies, to be a master, or doctor, or 
licentiate, in sacred theology, or in canon law; or shall be 
declared, by the public testimony of some academy, fit to 
teach others^ 

With all this before our mind, if the citizens of the 
cathedral city should in all cases of filling vacancies among 
the Canons, be preferred even to the more worthy among 
the diocesan clergy, the common welfare of the diocese 
would suffer. And this loss would be two-fold : for in the 
first place, the diocesan clergy would take very little 
trouble to advance in their studies, knowing that, although 
less deserving than themselves, the clergy of the cathedral 
1 "Quicumque posthac ad ecclesias cathedrales erit assumendus, is 
non solum natalibus, Delate, moribus, et vita . . . sit proeditus. . . . 
Scientia vero proeter hoec ejusmodi polleat, ut muneris sibi injun- 
gendi necessitati possit satisfacere ; ideoque antea in universitate 
studiorum magister, sive doctor, aut licentiatus in sacra theologia, 
vel jure canonico, merito sit promotus, aut publico alicujus acade- 
mioe testimonio idoneus ad alios docendos ostendatur." 



22 



338 Special Correspondence. [PART u. 

city would be preferred in every case ; and on the other 
hand, the city clergy, feeling sure that they would invaria 
bly be preferred even to the more worthy of the diocesan 
clergy, would, likewise, apply themselves very little to 
render themselves better qualified. The result would be 
that, since the city clergy must be chosen in preference to 
the diocesan, though the latter be more worthy, the cathe 
dral chapter would be filled with ignorant men, and the 
bishop would have to seek abroad for strangers to be his 
councillors and to look after the greater welfare of his dio 
cese. 

This, Sire, is what in obedience to your command, I have 
thought necessary to lay before your Majesty with regard 
to the present affair, in order to set my conscience at rest. 
Humbly prostrate before your Majesty s throne, I await 
your venerable decrees withal. I return the petition of the 
citizens of Sant Agata, as you commanded, and bowing 
profoundly before you, I remain 

Your Majesty s 

Most faithful servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of Sant Agata. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 



SER. ii.-. 773.] Letter 373. 339 



LETTER 373. 

Document in which the saint declares null and void the 
conferring of a benefice. 1 

ARIENZO, September 28, 1773. 

By these presents, I make the following deposition under 
oath, and I make known to each and ever yone concerned, 
and who in any manner, whether directly or indirectly, is 
interested in the matter herein set forth, and to each and 
every judge or tribunal, whether in court or outside of jur 
idical proceedings, that on the 26th day of November of 
the past year, 1772, I being in this district of Arienzo, in 
my diocese of Sant Agata, the Abbate Don Pasquale Ru- 
bini appeared before me and requested me to confer upon 
him the simple benefice of the title of Sant Angelo a Pa- 
lomba, existing in a church of this district of Arienzo, and 

1 With regard to this declaration and the occurrence to which it 
refers, Father Domenico Corsano deposed, as follows, in the process 
of beatification (fol. 427 seq.) in 1788: 

"The servant of God, being misinformed that the appointment to 
a benefice entitled, Sant Angelo a Palomba, in the district of Ari 
enzo, devolved upon him, conferred it upon Don Pasquale Rubini, 
in whose favor he had even drawn up the decree. As soon as he 
learned, however, that the benefice in question belonged to the 
Holy See and not to himself, he drew up a public document annul 
ling his own decree, and this document is still preserved in the 
episcopal chancery of Sant Agata. The benefice was granted by 
the Sovereign Pontiff to a priest named Guarnaccio. This gave rise 
to a lawsuit between Rubini and Guarnaccio. Both had recourse to 
the king, but were referred by his Majesty to Mgr. Liguori, to 
whom, also, his Majesty intimated that he should place in possession 
of the benefice, whichever one he thought best. Acting upon this 
command, the servant of God at once conferred it upon Guarnaccio, 
as the one who had been appointed by the Sovereign Pontiff, of 
whom he was ever a most dutiful son, and this in spite of the fact 
that Rubini was the brother of his Vicar-General at Sant Agata." 



34-O Special Correspondence. [PART ir. 

made vacant by the death of Abbate Don Rocco Guarnacci, 
the previous incumbent of said benefice. The said Abbate 
Rubini assuring me that the conferring of this benefice devolv 
ed upon the bishop, by reason of the death of Don Rocco during 
the episcopal month of September, I, firmly believing that said 
conferring did indeed devolve upon me, in good faith, con 
ferred this benefice upon the said Abbate Rubini. Before 
turning over to him the papers, however, I made protesta 
tion to him that if, by any chance, it should happen that 
said benefice belonged or was reserved to the Holy See in 
any way whatsoever, I did not by my act there and then 
intend to bestow it upon him. He promised that in such 
an event he would not say anything, and with this condition 
and the proviso above-mentioned, I signed the papers in 
his favor. 

Recently, however, I ascertained that the appointment 
to the said benefice belonged to the Sovereign Pontiff, both 
because it is a consistorial benefice, and because it became 
vacant in the Roman Curia. I learned, also, that the said 
benefice had been conferred by His Holiness upon another 
before my appointment of Rubini ; for my decree was ex 
pedited on the 26th of November of the past year, 1772, 
whereas the Bull of the Pope was issued on the 9th, or 
seventeen days earlier. For several reasons, therefore, my 
conferring of said benefice upon Abbate Rubini has become 
null and void. 

Wherefore, in so far as such action may be necessary, I 
by these presents, annul my decree of appointment, and 
declare null and void the act of possession and all the other 
acts of my episcopal chancery in regard to this collation; 
and I affirm that, had I the least knowledge that the afore 
said benefice belonged and was reserved to the Holy See, 
I would not for any motive have conferred it upon anyone. 

In order, therefore, that my appointment may not in any 
wise be prejudicial to him upon whom said benefice has 



SER. H.-I774-] Letter 374. 341 

been legitimately conferred by His Holiness, I have 
deemed it my duty in the cause of truth to make, and I 
hereby do make freely and of my own accord, the present 
declaration under oath, subscribing it with my own hand 
and affixing my own seal. 

ALFONSO MARIA, Bishop of Sanf Agata. 

ANGELO PISANI, pro- Chancellor. 

I, Brother FYancesco Antonio Romito, of the Most Holy 
Redeemer, declare under oath that the foregoing was dic 
tated to me by his Lordship Mgr. de Liguori. 

After an old copy preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 

LETTER 374. 
To Archdeacon Rainone. 

He asks his advice concerning the conferring of a canon- 
ry. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

ARIENZO, December 4, 1774. 

With regard to the prebend, I have already determined 
as you advised ; but you should not make the matter public 
yet. 

I am still in perplexity over the canonry, for the parties 
presenting themselves are either quite incapable or ignorant. 
There are three that I have especially in my mind with 
regard to it. In Sant Agata, there is no one more suited 
than Don Giovanni Fusari, a very capable man, stationed 
at S. Tommaso. But he has been only eight or nine 
months there, and he is doing a great deal of good. If re 
moved, he will have to leave unfinished the many noble 
works he has begun, and besides, he is somewhat young. 

The second upon whom my eye is fixed is Don Pio di 
Lucca, a very worthy priest, who was attached to S. Tom- 

22* 



342 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

maso s for three years, but was compelled to leave on 
account of ill-health. He is, moreover, well advanced in 
years, has entered the concur sus several times, and is a 
man of irreproachable life, as is also Don Giovanni. 

My third candidate is Don Pasquale Diodato, the pres 
ent parish priest of Bucciano, who desires very much to 
obtain the position. He far surpasses the other two in 
learning, is somewhat advanced in years, and possesses 
very sound judgment. I desire to know your opinion of 
these three candidates. 

I am fully aware that the citizens of Sant Agata will 
claim that the canonry should be conferred upon one of 
their towns-people. But I could not determine upon any 
one from Sant Agata more deserving than Don Giovanni 
Fusari, who is still quite young, and has done but little for 
the Church as yet. Let me have your opinion in the matter 
at all events ; for it is certain, that when there are in the 
diocese other subjects more worthy, the claim that citizens 
should be preferred, is unjust, because the clergy, those of 
the cathedral city as well as those of the diocese, constitute 
only one body. Furthermore, it is to the general welfare 
of the diocese that all should endeavor to perfect them 
selves in their studies, and render themselves more deserv 
ing, which they will do when they see that priests from the 
diocese may be preferred even to those of the cathedral. 

You may rest assured with regard to secrecy, etc. 

After the Roman edition. 



SKR. H.-I77S.J Letter 375. 343 

LETTER 375. 

To the Parish Priests of the Diocese. 

He recommends the teaching of Christian doctrine in the 
manner and at the time prescribed. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph! 

ARIENZO, February 9, 1775. 

We understand that the missionaries have complained 
that, in general, the people of this diocese are poorly in 
structed with regard to the rudiments of faith. We, there 
fore, beseech all the parish priests to bestow greater attention 
to this work. 

We have already said, and we here repeat, that it is not 
necessary to conduct the instruction for the children every 
day during Lent, as was done formerly. It will suffice if it 
be given daily for one week before the Communion of the 
children. But it has been already ordained, and we now 
renew that ordinance, that the Christian doctrine should be 
held every Sunday. We entreat the parish priests not to 
leave this duty entirely to the clerics, but to see that all 
their curates and other substitutes, who are capable, also 
conduct this class. Moreover, the parish priests shall 
themselves give the Christian doctrine once or twice a 
month, and the rest of the time be present to see how the 
others conduct it. 

We thought that the people of our diocese were well- 
instructed ; but now, notwithstanding our numerous ordi 
nances, we learn that they are deficient in the knowledge 
of therr faith. This is probably the case in all the parishes, 
certainly (as we have been told to our sorrow) in a very 
considerable number. 

Once again, therefore, we beseech all the parish priests 
to tell those who say Mass in the country chapels on festi 
vals to read to the people the summary of Christian doctrine 



344 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

that we have composed and had printed. Let them, also, 
inform us whether the summary is read in the parish 
churches and the chapels mentioned, and whether the faith 
ful are required to repeat it in a loud voice. The parish 
priests shall, likewise, let us know if any priest who says 
Mass in these chapels does not comply with this ordinance ; 
for we shall quickly apply a remedy. Let them tell those 
who have care of these chapels to have the sheet containing 
this summary mounted on a tablet, or at least on strong 
card-board, for if this is not done, the sheet will soon be 
lost. 

Hoping that for the future all will be more attentive in 
the discharge of this most important duty of teaching 
Christian doctrine, we bless you, and request you to return 
this original to our chancery, with the assurance that our 
desires have been complied with. 

After the Roman edition. 

LETTER 376. 
To Don Michele Nuzzi. 

In future, he will not confer benefices on strangers. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

ARIENZO, February 27, 1775. 

Most Illustrious Sir : You may rest assured that we have 
already revoked a certain promise made by us to a priest 
who did not belong either to the city or to the diocese of 
Sant Agata. That promise was given on condition that 
the chapter would ask for his nomination ; but we afterward 
learned that such a request was invalid. 

There is the end of the matter ; and you may be sure 
that neither now nor in future, will we confer any benefice 
upon a stranger. 



SER. H.-I776.] . Letter 377. 345 

With this assurance, we have the honor to be, etc. 
After the Roman edition. 



LETTER 377. 

To Canon Cicerone, at Frosinone. 
Answer to a question proposed to him. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph! 

NOCERA DE PAGANI, July 2r, 1776. 

Most Illustrious and Reverend Sir: I have received your 
esteemed letter, and in reply I would say that the Angelic 
Doctor, St. Thomas, it seems to me, answers with sufficient 
detail the various questions you proposed to me therein. 

You have, as you tell me in your letter, a copy of my 
Practice, or Compendium of Moral Theology. Be pleased, 
then, to look at the third volume {Praxis Confess, cap. 
vii. vii. n. no seq.\ and you will find the doctrine of St. 
Thomas. To it I give a thousand times more credence 
than to the Capuchin who was empowered by the Inquisi 
tion of Sicily to say that God never permits the evil one to 
have power to lead a person to commit wicked actions. 
St. Thomas teaches, as you will perceive in the passage 
quoted, that, although the devil cannot lead a person, 
whether obsessed or simply subject to his infestation, to 
will to commit sin, he may, nevertheless, God permitting, 
prevent such a one from using his reason and even induce 
him to perform some act which is in itself sinful ; as, for ex 
ample, move the tongue to utter blasphemy or obscene 
talk ; and in the same way he can move the hands of such 
a person to throw sacred objects on the ground, or to per 
form other evil deeds. Here are the very words of St. 
Thomas: I answer that the devil by his own natural power, 



346 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

unless prevented by Almighty God, is able to force one to 
perform an act which is in itself sinful. 1 

The propositions of Michael Molinos have been con 
demned not only by Sicily, but also by the Pope. Now in 
Proposition 17, Molinos says: Having placed our free will 
in the hands of God . ... if nature is excited, we should 
permit this excitement to take place? This doctrine is 
false, because we are obliged to resist as much as we can. 
Again in Proposition 47, he says: Cum hujusmodi violen- 
titz occur runt, sinerc oportet ut satanas operctur . . . etiam- 
si sequantur pollutiones, etc. The impious wretch main 
tains that the devil can force us to commit sin; but St. 
Jerome says : Entice and persuade he may, force us he 
cannot* that is, he cannot induce the will to commit sin. 

St. Thomas, therefore, concludes, that when a man s 
reason is hemmed in on all sides, there is no sin; but if 
reason is not entirely disturbed, there is sin to the extent to 
which man is able to resist but does not. When, then, 
cases of this kind occur, the confessor should be careful to 
examine the penitent to see whether at the time he could 
resist, but failed to do so. 

When these cases come before me in the confessional, 
they have, in truth, greatly perplexed me, especially if 
there is question de re turpi ; for in such cases, concupis 
cence blinds and allures. Yet I hold for certain what St. 
Thomas and so many other theologians, cited in the Prac 
tice, teach, that an act may take place without the sin when 
the will does not consent thereto. I have had many very 

" Respondeo dicendum, quod diabolus propria virtute, nisi re- 
frrenetur a Deo, potest aliquem inducere ex necessitate ad faciendum 
aliquem actum, qui de suo genere peccatum est." 1-2. qu. 80. art. 3. 
in corp. 

~ " Tradito Deo libero arbitrio si natura commovetur, opor 
tet sinere ut commoveatur." 

3 " Persuadere potest, pniecipitare non potest." 



SKR. 1 1. -i 776.] Letter j//. 347 

devout souls who in this way have not committed any sin. 
Still I would say that in this matter great circumspection is 
necessary both on the part of the confessor and of the peni 
tent. 

Let me say that to bring together all that is contained in 
the Practice upon this point, I worked about two months 
examining all the authors who have treated the subject ; and 
I do not think I could find anything more to add. To 
answer your questions in detail, I should have to copy all 
that I have said in the Practice ; but this would be an entire 
ly useless task, and I would not dream of undertaking it, 
because by reason of my infirmities and advanced age of 
eighty years, my head is utterly ruined. 

I believe, however, that instead of seeking the teaching 
of theologians in this matter, the confessor should attend 
rather to give to his penitents remedies to guard themselves 
as much as possible against these vexations of the evil 
one. In the first place, let them frequently use the 
private exorcism : Exsurgat ficus, et dissipentur inimici 
e/us, or, " In the name of Jesus Christ depart from me thou 
evil spirit." It would be well for the director to make these 
exorcisms himself occasionally. However, the shortest and 
most efficacious exorcism is the frequent invocation of the 
Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. 

The frequent use of holy water, also, is very beneficial, 
as is, likewise, the. sign of the Cross made upon the fore 
head and breast; for by that sign the enemy is put to flight. 

But to persons afflicted in this manner, and who are at 
the same time in danger of falling, the most useful of all 
remedies is prayer, particularly prayer before the crucifix 
or a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary, asking for mercy and 
compassion. If the temptations and impure motions gain 
strength, sighs and tears should be added to prayer. Act 
ing in this manner, our Lord will surely come to their assist- 



348 Special Correspondence. [PART ir. 

ance. Of special value, also, is the daily recitation of some 
particular prayers to the Mother of God, who is the Mother 
most pure. 

Before closing", let me take this opportunity to thank you 
for the great kindness which, as my companions tell me, 
you have shown toward the foundation recently accepted by 
me in Frosinone. To tell the truth, when the question of es 
tablishing a house there was first discussed, I was dishearten 
ed to learn that there was but little to maintain oi:r Fathers. 
But when I learned the devotion, the offers, and what is 
more, the cordiality of your people, I accepted this founda 
tion with most cheerful alacrity. I trust it will be the fruit 
ful source of much good to your illustrious city, as also to 
surrounding country. And may it all be for the glory of 
Jesus Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary! 

I beseech you to recommend this foundation to God every 
day; for from the letter which I have received from you, I 
perceive that you are a priest closely united to Jesus Christ, 
and desirous of seeing him loved and honored by all. I 
ask you, also, to pray particularly for me who am now near 
my death. I have received the Holy Viaticum four times 
and Extreme Unction twice, and I am expecting every day 
to be my last. I trust, however, before my death, to see 
this new foundation, which is the last I shall accept and 
which is on that account very dear to me, firmly establish 
ed. In return, I shall not fail to recommend you daily to 
Jesus Christ. 

With the most profound esteem, 

Your very devoted and obedient servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA DE LIGUORI, Bishop. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 



SEK. n.-i 77 8.] Letter 378. 349 



LETTER 378. 
To a Priest. 

Wherein true devotion consists. The obligations of a good 
pastor. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

NOCERA, October 21, 1778. 

I reply in few words to your most esteemed letter. True 
devotion consists in the fulfilment of our respective duties. 
As you are a priest charged with the care of souls, endeavor 
to discharge the duties of this position properly. Do not 
grow weary or spare yourself in removing scandals, in di 
recting souls in the way of perfection, and in being always 
at hand in the spiritual needs of the flock entrusted to your 
care. To the pastors of souls were directed those words : 
" The good Shepherd giveth his life for his sheep." 

Do not shrink from hearing the confessions of men ; ra 
ther let it appear that you are more accessible to them than 
to women. In your discourses, in public and in private, strive 
to inculcate devotion to the Passion of Jesus Christ and the 
Blessed Virgin. Sometimes pray for me. 

Tendering you my services, I have the honor to be, etc. 

After an old copy. 



350 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

Supplementary etter0. 



LETTER I. 1 

To Father Carmine Picone, Vice-Master of Novices, 
at Ciorani. 

He should employ kindness and discretion toward the nov 
ices. 

Live Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and Teresa ! 

[June, 1755]. 

I beg you to treat Manfredonia with great kindness. He 
must remain in the novitiate like a novice; but he must ac 
cuse himself with the other professed. Tell him that he is 
a member of the Congregation, because this is a sore temp 
tation to him. Endeavor to encourage him. 

Now that the hot weather is coming, moderate the exer 
cises of the novices; let them go out often, and diminish 
their application ; for we see how all become ill. Let them 
gradually copy the exercises of the missions, and see to it 
that they learn by heart at least two or three exhortations. 

Live Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and Teresa! 
BROTHER ALFONSO, 

of the Most Holy Redeemer. 

After a copy contained in the process of the Curia of Sant Agata 
for the beatification of the servant of God, pp. 1321 and 1326. 

1 The reader will not be displeased to see repeated here a Letter 
already published in General Correspondence, vol. i, p. 291. There 
we gave it as it is found in the Roman edition, without date or the 
name of the person to whom it was sent. Having found it later 
on, as also Letter 205 (General Correspondence, vol. i, p. 373), in 
the process for the beatification, among the depositions of Father 
Picone, to whom it was really sent, we give it here, as it throws light 
upon Letters 153, 205, andalso 204. All three treat of Francesco 
Antonio Manfredonia. This man, who had made profession, July I, 



SER. H.-I755-] Letter 2. 351 

LETTER 2. 

To a Young Father of the Congregation. 
He recommends the daily study of Moral Theology. 1 
Live Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and Teresa! 

[1755]. 

I have received your letter, and I give you my blessing. 
I would request you for the future to devote at least a half 
hour daily to the study of iMoral Theology, when you are 
1754, after three months lost the grace of vocation, and having sought 
in vain for a dispensation from his vows (see Letters 184, 185, 186, 
General Correspondence, vol. i. pp. 346-9), went to the extreme of run 
ning away from the Congregation. The saint, however, remained 
firm in refusing the dispensation which he had repeatedly asked for, 
and after six months Manfredonia found himself obliged in con 
science to return to our house at Pagani where the saint resided. It 
is in allusion to this fact that the saint writes to Father Picone (Let 
ter 204): " Francesco Antonio is coming etc.," and a few days later 
the present letter. But as D. Francesco Antonio, to quote the de 
position of Father Picone, " was in poor health, I informed the saint 
thereof, and in reply he wrote me: Certainly, grant to Manfredonia 
some solace etc., " that is, Letter 205. All this charity and kindness, 
however, were unavailing, and Manfredonia was finally dismissed 
from the Congregation as incorrigible. 

1 To understand the solicitude of the saint that all the Fathers, 
and particularly the younger ones, should possess the most complete 
knowledge of Moral Theology, a science so necessary to the mis 
sionary, it will be worth while to cite the deposition of Father Picone 
in the process of beatification. "To educate our students," these 
are his words, " according to the spirit of the Institute, the servant 
of God himself taught our young men Moral Theology, and conduct 
ed the academies of Cases of Conscience, which he desired should 
always be maintained in our houses. He had made me Master of 
Novices. But in a letter to me he wrote as follows: I would not wish 
that on account of the novitiate you should neglect Moral Theology, 
especially as you have not completed your studies therein. The 
novices, it is true, are many, yet a quarter of an hour is not so much. 
And then he adds : Remind Father Basil to attend the academy 
with Father Caproli. " 



352 Special Correspondence. [PART H. 

not occupied with missions. I recommend to you particular 
ly the new Moral? which contains many new things, es 
pecially de restitutione, de pcenitentia> de matrimonio. 

Once more I bless you. Remember me every morning 
at holy Mass. Live Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and Teresa! 
BROTHER ALFONSO, 

of the Most Holy Redeemer. 

LETTER 3. 

To Father Antonio Tannoia, at Iliceto. 
Two cases of Moral Theology. 

[Year uncertain]. 
Live Jesus ! 

I cannot find in my Moral Theology the encyclical of 
Benedict XIV., which led me to say that one who is a 
stranger in a diocese cannot be absolved from cases that are 
reserved in his own. What I do say in my book is, that a 
stranger who has fallen under a reserved case in his home, 
cannot be absolved except by a confessor who, in the place 
where the stranger goes to confession, has the power to ab 
solve from reserved cases. 

With regard to the man who has deposed against us, I, 
too, am of the opinion that he should not be forced to make 
any retraction. In order to absolve him, it will suffice that 
he is ready to tell the truth when called upon by us to do 
so, and that for the present he gives permission to all our 
Fathers to demand such retraction when it shall be necessary. 
Meanwhile keep the affair a profouno! secret; for should 
anything about it become known, this man might rise up a- 
gainst us anew. 

I bless your Reverence and all. 

BROTHER ALFONSO MARIA. 

1 He alludes to the second edition of the Moral, which had ap 
peared a short time before. 



SER. H.-I758.] Letter 4. 353 

[P. S.] I speak of the case of the stranger in the Moral 
Theology, lib. vi. de Sacram. Panit. n. 588, 589; but no 
mention is made there of the encyclical of Benedict XIV. 
If I have spoken of it elsewhere, write to me indicating the 
place. 

After an old copy. 



LETTER 4. 
To the Sovereign Pontiff Clement XIII. 1 

He requests the Apostolic Benediction for the Congrega 
tion, of which he gives an account to the Pope, and presents 
him with some of his works. 

Monastery of St. Michael, NOCERA, October 24, 1758. 

Most Holy Father : Prostrate at the feet of Your Holi 
ness with all my companions of the Congregation of the 
Most Holy Redeemer, I most humbly implore your apos 
tolic benediction. 

The end of our little Congregation which was approved 
by the Holy See in 1749, is to evangelize by means of mis 
sions the poor abandoned people of the country. During 
nine months of the year our Fathers are occupied going a- 
round preaching missions in the mountainous districts and 
country places which are most in need of spiritual assistance. 
The Congregation began in 1732, with the blessing of the 
bishops. At first we had only a few subjects ; now, by the 
grace of Jesus Christ, we number nearly one hundred, lay- 
brothers not included. Perfect community life is observed 
throughout, for we take the vow of poverty, the vow re 
nouncing all ecclesiastical benefices and dignities, and the 
vow of perseverance. We have five houses in different dio- 

1 At the top of this Letter, Clement XIII. wrote with his own 
hand: "Answered, December 10, 1758." 
23 



354 Special Correspon dence. [ P A r< T it. 

ceses, namely, in Salerno, Nocera, Conza, Bovino, and 
Benevento. In the last-named we have recently made a new 
foundation at Sant Angelo, a place subject to the dominion 
of Your Holiness. Every year from forty to fifty missions 
are given. In this manner we have already visited six of 
the provinces of the kingdom. Besides the missions, which 
are conducted abroad, the spiritual exercises are given at 
our houses about twenty or thirty times a year for seculars, 
candidates for ordination, and priests. 

I take the liberty to send to Your Holiness some little 
spiritual works of mine, together with some larger ones on 
Moral Theology, which, though composed by me for the in 
struction of our students, have been well received by the 
public and have passed through many editions. Place them, 
I pray you, in so:ne out of the w.iy corner of your library. 

Deign, most Holy Father, to accept the sentiments of 
homage and filial affection that we entertain toward your 
person with whose excellent qualities we are fully acquaint 
ed. 

Meanwhile we beseech you to bless us all as our Father, 
that we may be able ever to devote ourselves more and 
more to the promotion of God s glory and the salvation of 
so many poor souls who live in almost utter destitution in 
the rural districts. 

Humbly prostrate before your throne, I remain 

Your most humble, devoted, and obedient servant, 
ALFONSO DE LIGUORI, 

of the Most Holy Redeemer. 

After the original in the possesion of Mgr. Antonio Tessa- 
rin, parish priest of Santa Maria del Frari, in Venice. 



SKK. H.-I765.] Letter 5. 355 

LETTER 5. 
To Giambattista Remondini. 

He requests the publisher to send him certain printed 
folios to which he attaches great importance. He asks, also, 
for copies of the Apology. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph! 

SANT AGATA, May 3, 1765. 

Most Illustrious Sir: A number of weeks have elapsed 
since I had a letter from you. I was particularly anxious 
to receive the fifty copies of the Dedications, as also the 
other folios of Father Patuzzi s work, only one, the first, 
having reached me ; thus far, however, not a single sheet 
has appeared. I am afraid, they have been lost en route, 
as has happened more than once in the course of our cor 
respondence. Please, then, send me these works once 
more, at least the folios of the second reply of Patuzzi. 

I am continually importuned with requests from Rome 
and Sicily for the Apology, but the Apologies never appear, 
in fact, there is no news of them. I beg you to send them 
to me, if you have the opportunity. 

I remain, Illustrious Sir, 

Your very devoted and grateful servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of Sanf Agata. 

After the original preserved in the archives of Father 
General at Rome. 



356 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

LETTER 6. 

To Father Angelo Maione, at Naples. 
Solicitude of the saint for a sick brother. Various charges. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

ARIENZO, August 22, 1771. 

I have learned that Brother Francesco [Tartaglione] is 
afflicted with a hernia. Have some person of experience in 
such matters examine him at my expense; for in troubles 
of this kind such people are preferable to book-physicians. 
I think you will be able to find some one in the vicinity of 
the castle. I have myself suffered much and still suffer from 
hernia. Therefore do I say that first of all it is necessary to 
reduce the hern a little by little and without violence. It is 
well also to soothe the part affected with salve. Several 
times I have been afflicted from this cause and suffered great 
pain, but have always been relieved in this way. When the 
reduction has been effected, a truss must be applied to keep 
the parts in place. This, however, should not be of wood, 
which is quite useless, as I know from experience, but of 
cloth, which adapts itself more easily and fits better. I have 
used such a truss now for a long time with advantage. It 
is necessary to keep it pretty tight, I do not mean at night 
when one is lying down, but whenever one is going about 
or standing. 

I think, moreover, that Brother Francesco will go to 
Nocera and remain there for some time. See, therefore, 
that he turns over to you all the money he has, which you 
will then keep, for I do not wish any Brother to take care 
of it, as we cannot trust everybody. See, too, that the ac 
counts of the revenues of Carmignano, and of the College 
[of Doctors] are handed over to you, also the bills of the 
printer and of the paper-dealer. 

This indisposition of Brother Francesco pains me deeply, 
but we must do God s holy will. I therefore ask you to 



SER. ii.-i77i .1 Letter 6. 357 

give me a detailed account of what the doctors say concern 
ing his case, for D. Salvatore could not give me very clear 
information. Should the Brother be obliged to go to Noce- 
ra, I beseech you to make yourself acquainted with every 
thing pertaining to his work at Naples, that you may be 
able to instruct the Brother who will succeed him. Tell 
me, also, what Brother seems to you most capable of 
taking Brother Francesco s place, should he be unable to 
continue in it. 

Find out also what books are preserved in the house, so 
that you may know at least where the principal ones are 
kept, namely, Homo Apostolicus, The Truth of Faith, 
The Council of Trent, Way of Salvation. Love of Jesus 
Christ, Spouse of Christ, Exercises for Priests, etc. I 
think the book-binder, Girolamo Cuomo, who they tell me 
is very methodical in his business affairs, knows all about 
these works, for he is to get them for binding when they 
are needed. 

What is of the utmost importance, however, is that you 
are well instructed with regard to the revenues of Carmi- 
gnano, and more particularly of the College ; for these may 
easily be lost if attention is not given to them. An agree 
ment was made in virtue of which the porter of the College 
was to receive a carlino a month if he came to notify us 
when promotions were made, so that we might go to the 
College and claim our fees. Before this arrangement we 
suffered some losses in this respect, because we had taken 
no precautions. 

I pray you to let me have an answer on all these points. 

I have told the Brother here to send you twenty-five ro- 
toli of grain, which you will receive only next week, as it 
has to come from Sant Agata. 

I bless you. 

BROTHER ALFONSO MARIA, 

After the Roman original. 

23* 



358 Special Correspondence. [PART n. 

LETTER 7. 

To D. Liborio Carfora, Rural Dean of Santa Maria a Vico. 
Orders for the removal of a grave scandal. 

ARIKNZO, July 19, 1775. 

Since that wicked priest has begun again to act in the 
manner you mention, your Reverence should obtain infor 
mation concerning him in the vicinity. 

Those women cannot be sent away unless it can be proved 
that they are leading bad lives. With regard to the priest, 
tell him to repair hither without delay. 
I bless you and remain 

Ever your devoted servant, 

ALFONSO MARIA, 
Bishop of Sant Agata. 

After a copy contained in the apostolic process of Sant 
Agata, p. 720, 

1 He was subsequently promoted to the dignity of primiccrius of 
the cathedral of Sant Agata. 



LetterS. 359 



LETTER 8. 

To a Religious. 
On the Manner of Preaching. 

Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ! 

I have received your esteemed letter, in which you say 
that what I have written in the Sclva, or Collection of 
Materials, 1 for the spiritual exercises of priests, on the style 
to be employed in sermons preached for congregations con 
sisting both of the illiterate and the learned, has been criti 
cised by a distinguished literary character. In the Selva 
I have asserted that the style of all sermons preached before 
the ignorant and the learned should be simple and popular. 
My critic, you say, maintains that, though sacred orators 
should preach in a clear and orderly manner, they should 
never condescend to speak in a popular style ; because, ac 
cording to him, such a style is unworthy of the dignity of 
the pulpit and degrading to the word of God. This propo 
sition has astonished me ; but to speak with the sincerity of 
a friend, what you have added has scandalized me. The 
objections of my critic, you say, appear somewhat rea 
sonable to you, because a sermon should have all the 
properties of a discourse, and it is admitted that one of 
the most essential is to delight the audience ; and therefore, 
when the audience consists both of the ignorant and the 
learned, the sacred orator should not, by a low, popular 
style, disgust the latter, who are the respectable part of his 
hearers, but should speak in a manner calculated to please 
and delight them. 

Now to explain fully my sentiments on this point, which 
I shall show are the sentiments of all wise and pious men, 

1 Dignity and Duties of Hie Priest, or Sclva, vol. xii. p. 265. 








360 Letter to a Religious : 

and to answer every objection that can be proposed against 
my opinion, it will be necessary to repeat much of what has 
been already written in the Selva. 

It cannot be doubted that by preaching the world has 
been converted from paganism to the faith of Jesus Christ. 
How, says the Apostle, shall they hear without a preacher? 
Faith then cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of 
God. 1 As the faith has been propagated, so it has been 
preserved by preaching, and so are Christians induced by 
preaching to live according to the maxims of the Gospel : 
for it is not enough for the faithful to know what they must 
do in order to be saved ; it is, moreover, necessary for them, 
by hearing the word of God, to be reminded of the eternal 
truths and of their obligations, and also to adopt the means 
of obtaining eternal life. Hence St. Paul commanded Timo 
thy continually to instruct and admonish the flock com 
mitted to his care : Preach the word, be instant in season, 
out of season : reprove, entreat, rebuke in all patience and 
doctrine? Hence also the Lord addressed the same com 
mand to the prophet Isaias : Cry, cease not, lift up thy 
voice like a trumpet, and shew My people their wicked do 
ings? And again he said to Jeremias, Behold I have given 
My words in thy mouth : Lo, I have set thee this day over 
the nations, and over kingdoms, to root up, and to destroy, 
etc. 4 Jesus Christ has imposed the same obligation on his 
apostles, and through them on all priests who are called to 

1 " Quomodo autem audient sine proedicante? . . . Ergo fides ex au- 
ditu, auditus autem per verbum Christi." Rom. x. 14-17. 

2 " Preedica verbum, insta opportune, importune, argue, obseoa, 
increpa in omni patientia et doctrina." 2 7Vw. iv. 2. 

3 " Clama, ne cesses, quasi tuba exalta vocem tuain, et annur.tia 
populo meo peccata eorum." Isa. Iviii. i. 

4 " Ecce dedi verba mea in ore tuo ; ecce constituti te hodie super 
gentes et super regna, ut evellas, et destruas, etc, etc." Jcr. i. 9. 



On the Manner of Preaching. 361 

the office of preaching. Going therefore , teach ye all na 
tions : . . . to observe all things whatsoever I have command 
ed you^ And if, through the fault of those who are bound 
to announce the divine word, a sinner perish, God will 
demand an account of his soul at their hands. If, when I 
say to the wicked, Thou shalt surely die, thou declare it not 
to him, nor speak to him, that he may be converted from his 
wicked way, and live, the same wicked man shall die in his 
iniquity, but I will require his blood at thy hand? 

But let us co:ne to the point. My proposition is that, 
when the audience is composed of the learned and of the 
ignorant, the style of the sermon (I do not here speak of funeral 
orations or of panegyrics of these I shall say something 
hereafter) should be simple and popular. This proposition 
is not mine only: it is that of the celebrated Louis Muratori, 
who is regarded as one of the first literary characters of the 
day. It cannot be said that such a man censured a lofty 
and polished style because he was but little acquainted with 
it ; for the whole world knows that he was a man of great 
genius, and of extraordinary literary acquirements. In his 
golden book on Popular Eloquence, which is in the hands 
of every one, he asserts, and proves most learnedly, the 
proposition that I have laid down. 

But, to confirm my assertion, I shall take many reflec 
tions from other authors, and particularly from the holy 
Fathers ; and I entreat you, and every one into whose 
hands this book shall fall, to read the whole of it; for it 
contains a great deal of matter most useful for those who 
are engaged in preaching, and are desirous of gaining 
souls to Jesus Christ. St. Basil says: "The sacred school 

1 Euntes ergo docete omnes gentes ; servare omnia qunecumque 
mandavi vobis." Matt, xxviii. 19, 20. 

2 " Si, dicente me ad impium: Morte morieris; non annuntiaveris 
ei . . , ipse impius in iniquitate sua morietur, sanguinem autem ejus 
cle manu tua requiram." Ezech. iii. 18. 



362 Letter to a Religions: 

does not follow the precepts of the rhetoricians." { The 
saint does not mean to say that the sacred orator should not 
employ the art of rhetoric in his sermons, but that he should 
net imitate the empty eloquence of the ancient rhetoricians, 
who in their orations sought only their own glory. It is not 
denied that we should avail ourselves of the rules of rhetoric 
in all our sermons. But what, I ask, is the principal end 
that every preacher should propose to himself in using the 
art of oratory? Certainly he should have no other in view 
than to persuade and to induce the people to practise what 
he preaches. Such is the doctrine of the learned Marquis 
Orsi, who, in a letter to Father Platina, says: " Let elo 
quence be employed to move rather than to delight; for 
to move is the same thing as to persuade, which is the only 
object of the art." In his work on Popular Eloquence, Mura- 
tori says that " rhetoric is necessary, not to till sermons with 
flowers, but to teach the method of persuading and of mov 
ing." I shall occasionally take passages from this book ; 
because the opinions of so great a man cannot, like mine, 
be treated with contempt. In his life of the younger Father 
Segneri he says: " Good rhetoric is nothing else than a per 
fect imitation of the natural and popular method of reason 
ing with others, and of persuading, everything superfluous 
being removed. The more the reasoning of the sacred ora 
tor is natural and intelligible, not to the few men of learn 
ing who may be present, but to the people to whom he 
speaks, the more effective will be his eloquence." Speak 
ing of the style to be adopted by the preacher of the divine 
word, St. Augustine says: " Let him try as much as possible 
to be understood, and to be listened to with docility." 2 St. 

1 " Sacra schola pnvcepta rhetorum non sequitur." /;/ Gordium 
Mart. 

~ " Aget quantum potest ut intelligatur, et obedienter audiatur." 
De Doct. Christ. 1. 4, c. I 5, n. 32. 



On the Manner of Preaching. 363 

Thomas says, V that the preacher whose principal object is 
to show his eloquence, does not so much intend to induce 
the people to practise what he teaches, as to imitate himself 
in the elegance of his language." ] 

The language of sermons preached before mixed congre 
gations should be so plain and simple that the audience 
may clearly understand all that is said, and may be moved 
to practise all that is taught. Hence the preacher should 
avoid two things: loftiness of thought and superfluous 
elegance of language. 

I. With regard to the first, would to God that Superiors 
would imitate the example of St. Philip Neri. It is related 
in his life that he commanded those who gave instructions 
to the people to speak on subjects that are useful and popu 
lar, and never to enter into scholastic questions, or to seek 
after sublime conceptions. Hence when he heard the mem 
bers of his Congregation introduce subjects that were too 
subtle or curious, he made them descend from the pulpit, 
even though they were in the middle of the sermon. Final 
ly, he exhorted all to employ their eloquence in showing, 
in a plain and easy style, the beauty of virtue and the de 
formity of vice. Of some preachers we may say, with the 
prophet Isaias, Who are these that fly as clouds?^- And 
as lofty clouds seldom forebode rain, so, from the sermons 
of those who preach in a lofty style it cannot be hoped that 
the waters of salvation will ever flow. Hence the holy 
Council of Trent has commanded all parish priests to preach 
in a style accommodated to the capacity of their flock. 
" Archpriests, . . . either personally, or by others who are 
competent, shall feed the people committed to them with 

1 " Qui eloquentire principaliter studet, homines non intendit in- 
ducere ad imitationem eorum quce dicit, sed dicentis." Opnsc. cap. 
xix. 19. 

~ " Qui sunt isti, qui ut nubes volant ? " /s. Ix. 8. 



364 Letter to a Religious : 

wholesome words, according to their own capacity." 1 
Hence also the celebrated Muratori wisely observes: " The 
preacher must speak to the people in the language in which 
a man of learning would endeavor to persuade a peasant, 
and thus he will make an impression on the learned as well 
as on the ignorant." 

Except, says St. Paul, you utter by the tongue plain speech, 
how shall it be known what is said f For you shall be speak 
ing unto the air?- Hence, according to the Apostle, those 
who preach in language not easily understood by the 
people, only speak to the air. But, alas ! how many 
preachers are there that labor hard, through a miserable 
desire of acquiring the praises of their hearers, to fill their 
sermons with sublime conceptions and subtle thoughts, unin 
telligible to the people, and recite their discourses in the tone 
and manner of a comedian? What fruit can such preachers 
expect from their instructions? Louis of Granada says that 
the ruin of the world is to be ascribed to this crying evil, 
that the greater number of preachers seek applause rather 
than the glory of God and the salvation of souls. 3 Would 
to God it were not too true ! And Father John d Avila, in 
one of his letters, in which he describes the miseries and ini 
quities of the world, says: "There is no remedy for so 
great an evil, principally on account of the preachers, who 
are the medicine of these wounds; but such dangerous dis 
eases are not cured by the soft lenitives of polished and deli 
cate discourses they require strokes of fire." One would 

" Archypreshyteri, etc., per se, vel alios idoneos, plebes sibi com- 
missas pro earum capacitate pascent salutaribus verbis." Sess. 5, de 
Kef. c. ii. 

2 Nisi manifestum sermonem dederilis, quomodo scietnr id quod 
dicitur ? eritis enim in aera loquentes." I Cor. xiv. 9. 

3 " Maxima pnedicatorum turba majorem nominis sui celebrandi 
quam divina? gloria? et salutis hutnana? procurandre curam habent."- 
Rccl. Rhet. \. i, c. 6. 



On the Manner of Preaching. 365 

imagine that some of those lofty preachers study to make 
themselves unintelligible, or rather, as Muratori says, that 
they are ashamed to speak in language that all can under 
stand. The little ones, says the prophet Jeremias, have 
asked for bread, and there was no one to break it unto them. ^ 
In his comment on this passage, St. Bonaventure says, 2 that 
the bread of the divine word is not to be divided in a manner 
calculated to indulge curiosity, but must be broken in small 
pieces on which the little ones may feast. What profit can 
the poor and illiterate derive from sublime conceptions, from 
irrelevant erudition, or from long descriptions of a tempest 
or of a pleasant garden, the study of which has cost the 
preacher a week s labor, though the entire discourse does 
not last longer than a quarter of an hour? 

And here let it be observed that lofty thoughts and in 
genious reflections, or facts of a curious and distracting na 
ture, though they may please the learned, still injure the 
effect of the sermon; for, as Muratori well observes, he that 
understands them dwells with delight on the sublimity of the 
thoughts or on the novelty of the facts, and does not attend 
to his own spiritual profit: thus the will is not affected, and 
no fruit is produced. 

It was not in a lofty style that St. Paul preached to the 
Corinthians: And I, brethren, when I came to you, I came 
)iot in loftiness of speech or of wisdom ^ declaring unto you 
the testimony of Christ ; for I judged not myself to know 
any thing among you, but Jesus Christ, and Him crucified? 
I, brethren, in preaching to you, have not had recourse to 

1 " Parvuli petierunt panem, et non erat qui frangeret eis." Lam. 
iv. 4. 

2 " Panis frangendus, non curiose scindendus." 

3 " Et ego, cum venissem ad vos, fratres, veni non in sublimitate 
sermonis aut sapientioe, annuntians vobis testimonium Christi. Non 
enim judicavi me scire aliquid inter vos, nisi Jesum Christum, et hunc 
crucifixum." i Cor. \\. i. 



366 Letter to a Religions : 

sublime discourses, or to human wisdom: I have desired 
only to know Jesus Christ crucified ; that is, that all our 
hope and our salvation consists in imitating his sorrows and 
his ignominies. The sentiments of Natalis Alexander on 
this passage of St. Paul are worthy of attention: " It is not 
to be wondered at that most preachers produce no fruit, since 
they make their preaching consist in the artifices of secular 
eloquence, in measured periods, in excessive ornament of 
words and flights of human reason. They do not preach the 
Gospel, but their own inventions; they know not Jesus 
crucified, but propose to themselves the imitation of academic 
orators rather than that of the apostles and of apostolic men. 
To a simplicity of language that is not altogether deprived 
of Christian eloquence, but adorned with a natural beauty 
and unaffected, there should be joined humility on the part 
of the preacher. Let him fear lest by pride, and by the 
captivation of human glory and applause, and by the 
ostentation of eloquence he may hinder the work of God. 
The fewer, continues the learned author, the ornaments of 
secular eloquence the preacher employs, and the less his 
confidence in human means, the more fruitful will his ser 
mons be in converting sinners." 1 

The learned and celebrated .missionary, Father Jerome 
Sparano, of the venerable Congregation of the Pious 

1 "Quid mirum, si nullum fructum faciunt plerique qui prxdicatio- 
nem in eloquentiae srecularisartificio, in periodorum commensuratione, 
in verborum lenociniis humanoeque rationis excursibus collocant 
Evangelium non decent, seel inventa sun, Jesum crucifixum nesciunt, 
academicos oratores lubentius sibi proponunt imitaiidos quam aposto- 
los et apostolicos viros. Simplicitatem sermonis, non penitus Christiana 
destitutam eloquentia, naturali decore ornatam, non fucatam, comite- 
tur humilitas concionatoris. Timeat ne superbia sua glorioe humance 
plaususque captatione, ac ostentatione eloquentioe Dei opus impediat. 
Quo major ejus humilitas, quo minor in mediis humanis fiducia, minor 
eloquentise secularis afTectatio, eo major spiritui et virtuti Dei ad con- 
versionem animarum locus datur." 



On the Manner of Preaching. 367 

Workers, used to compare those who preach in a lofty and 
florid style to artificial fireworks, whidi, while they last, make 
a great noise, hut leave after them only a little smoke. St. 
Teresa 1 then hid just reason to say that the sacred orator 
who preaches himself does great injury to the Church. "The 
apostles," she would say, " though few, have converted the 
world; because they preached with simplicity and with the 
true spirit of God, and now so many preachers produce but 
little fruit." And why? "Because," says the saint, "the 
preachers of the present time have too much of human wis- , 
do n and hu nan respect, and therefore few only of their 
hearers give up the habits of vice." St. Thomas of Villa- 
nova says: " Many preachers there are, but few that preach 
as they should." 2 Philip Neri used to say: " Give me ten 
priests with the true spirit of the apostles, and I will con 
vert the whole world." 

By the mouth of the prophet Jeremias the Lord asks : 
Why then is not the wound of the daughter of My people 
healed?* In his exposition of this passage St. Jerome 
answers: " Because there are not priests to apply the neces 
sary remedy." 4 Speaking of preachers who adulterate his 
word, the Lord says, in another place : If they had stood 
in My counsel and had made My words known to My peo 
ple, I should have turned them from their evil way and their 
wicked doings? " They would," says Cardinal Hugo, com 
menting on this passage, " have made known My words, 

1 Life, ch. xvi. 

2 " Multi proedicatores, sed pauci qui pmedicant ut oportet." /// die 
I*entec, cone. 2. 

% " Quare igitur non est obducta cicatrix filioe populi mei?" fer. 
viii. 2. 

4 " Eo quod non sunt sacerdotes, quorum debeant curari medi- 
camine." 

r > " Si stetissent in consilio meo, et nota fecissent verba mea populo 
meo, avertissem utique eos a via sua mala." Jet , xxiii. 22. 



368 Letter to a Religious : 

not their own." Preachers who speak not in simple language, 
preach not the word of God, but their own; and therefore, 
says the Lord, sinners remain in their wicked ways. O 
God ! what an abuse is it to see sometimes religious, even 
of the reformed Orders, who, from their penitential gar 
ments, and from the appearance of their mortified lives, 
seem to breathe zeal and sanctity, and from whom the peo 
ple expect to hear sentiments and words burning with divine 
love ; what an abuse, I say, is it to see such religious ascend 
the pulpit, and deliver a discourse which is only a collection 
of ingenious thoughts, of descriptions, of antitheses and of 
other such trifles, of inflated language and rounded periods, 
which the hearers scarcely understand, and from which they 
derive no benefit! What a pity to see so many of the poor 
come to learn the means of saving their souls, and obliged, 
after listening to the preacher for more than an hour, to go 
away without having understood any part of the sermon ! 
They return home as ignorant as before, and full of dis 
content at having spent so much time in attending to a dis 
course which they could not understand. 

Those orators who preach themselves, and are not under 
stood by their audience, sometimes say: " The people were 
all attentive to the discourse." I also say that the people 
were attentive ; they wished to understand the discourse, but 
have they understood it? Muratori says that he had seen 
the poor listen with open mouths to panegyrics, of which 
they scarcely understood a single word. Hence it happens, 
that, having found by experience that they do not under 
stand the discourses preached in the Church, they become 
disgusted with religious discourses, they cease to attend 
them, and thus become more and more obstinate in vice. 
Justly, then, has Father Gaspar Sanches called those who 
do not preach in a simple style the greatest persecutors of 
the Church ; for, in reality, there cannot be a greater per- 



On the Manner of Preaching. 369 

secution or evil that can befall the people than the adultera 
tion of the word of God; for, when mixed up with flowers 
and trifles, it is either not understood, or it is at least de 
prived of its efficacy ; so that it cannot give to the people 
the light and help which they might receive from it. 

II. Secondly, the preacher should employ words that 
arc in common use, and should avoid those which are not 
understood by the illiterate. Preachers of long standing and 
of high character must be particularly careful to use language 
easily understood by the people; for, should they speak in 
a polished style, young preachers, being naturally desirous 
of applause, will study to imitate them. Thus the abuse will 
be more widely extended, and the poor will be deprived of 
the fruit of the word of God. St. Jerome compares vain 
preachers, who employ only sounding and polished words, 
to women who by their vain ornaments please men, but do 
not please God. 1 

But Father Bandiera, in the preface of his Gcrotri- 
camcrone, controverts the opinion of those who maintain 
that in sermons a selection of words and careful attention 
to the collocation necessary for elegant diction, do not edify 
the people, but, on the contrary, destroy the simplicity 
suited to spiritual subjects, and take up the preacher s time 
in the study of empty words. He asserts that ornaments 
of style throw a splendor round spiritual subjects, such as 
the maxims of faith, the beauty of virtue, and the deformity 
of vice. He says that the holy Fathers employed these 
ornaments, and that without their aid the word of God can 
not be preached with dignity from the pulpit. He also adds 
that some persons censure select language as unsuited and 
injurious to devotion, because they themselves have not a 

1 Effeminate quippe sunt eorum magistrorum animoe qui semper 
sonantia componunt, et nihil virile, nihil Deo dignum est in iis," In 
Ezech. horn. 3. 

24 



J7 Letter to a Religious : 

command of polished expression. To remove every errone 
ous impression that might be made on the minds of his 
readers I shall answer his arguments and refute his as 
sertions. 

First ; I cannot conceive what could have induced Father 
Bandiera to give expression in his preface to sentiments so 
unreasonable ; for in the body of his work he says that, when 
the greater part of .the audience consists of the poor, the 
style of the sermon should be easy and simple, and that 
sometimes it should be low, when otherwise the hearers 
would not derive profit from the discourse. He also says 
that the style of academic discourses is very different from 
that of sermons. He adds that preachers who, in their in 
structions, would adopt the style of his own work, would 
act improperly. He then agrees in opinion with us, that, 
when the greater part of the audience is composed of the 
illiterate, the style of the sermon must, if the preacher wishes 
to produce fruit, be simple, and be accommodated to the 
capacity of the hearers. What, then, has induced him to 
assert that the dignity of the divine word, delivered from 
the pulpit, requires the ornaments of style, and that those 
ornaments give splendor to spiritual things; or that some 
writers, because they themselves have not a command of 
language, censure, as injurious to devotion, a nice selection 
of words? 

Let us now come to the refutation of the assertions of 
Father Bandiera: his opinion should be received with cau 
tion, for, being an eminent professor of the Tuscan language, 
he may have been induced to adopt it by too great an 
attachment to eloquence of expression. He says that " it is 
necessary to give splendor to spiritual subjects." Such is 
not the language of St. Ambrose. This Father says that 
Christian preaching stands not in need of the pomp or ele 
gance of words, and that therefore ignorant fishermen were 



On the Manner of Preaching. 37 1 

chosen by the Lord to preach the Gospel, and to sow the 
word of God pure and unadulterated. 1 

Natalis Alexander answers Father Bandiera, and says 
that the word of God requires not affected and flowery 
ornaments, since it is adorned by the natural beauty which 
it contains in itself; and therefore the more simply it is ex 
pounded, the more luminous and splendid it appears. The 
words of the same author, which have been already quoted, 
are so appropriate, that I shall repeat them in this place: 
"To a simplicity of language that is not altogether deprived 
of Christian eloquence, but adorned with a natural beauty 
and unaffected, there should be joined humility on the part 
of the preacher. . . . The fewer the ornaments of secular elo 
quence the preacher employs, and the less his confidence 
in human means, the more fruitful will his sermons be in 
converting sinners." 2 Thus the more purely and nakedly 
the word of God is preached, the more forcibly it strikes the 
hearts of the hearers; for, according to the Apostle, it is in 
itself living and effective; so that it is more piercing than a 
two-edged sword. 3 And God himself, by the mouth of the 
prophet Jeremias, has declared that his word is a fire which 
inflames, and a hammer which breaks the rock in pieces 
that is, the most hardened hearts : Are not My words as a 
fire, saith the Lord: and as a hammer that breaketh the 
rock in pieces f 4 

1 " Prredicatio Christiana non indiget pompa et cultu sermonis; 
ideoque piscatores, homines imperiti, electi sunt qui evangelizarent." 
In I Cor. i. 

2 " Simplicitatem sermonis non penitus Christiana destitutam elo- 
quentia naturali decore ornatam, non fucatam, comitetur humilitas 
concionatoris. . . . Quo minor in mediis humanis fiducia, minor elo- 
quentice soecularis affectatio, eo major spiritui et virtuti Dei ad con- 
versionem animarum locus datur." 

3 " Vivus est sermo Dei, et efficax, et penetrabilior omni gladio 
ancipiti." Heb. iv. 12. 

4 " Numquid non verba mea quasi ignis, dicit Dominus, et quasi 
malleus conterens petram?" Jer. xxiii. 29. 



Letter to a Religious: 

Let us examine the sentiments of the author of the Im 
perfect Work on this subject. " The word of God," he 
says, " though simple and popular, is in itself living, and 
gives life to those who hear it, because it contains in itself 
the truth of God, which persuades and moves the hearts of 
men ; but human language, though polished and select, is, 
for want of God s co-operation, dead, and therefore pro 
duces no fruit." * The learned Mansi says that when it is 
naked and divested of ornament, the word of God strikes 
the heart, but adorned with flowers, it is like a sword within 
its scabbard it cannot cut. 2 

Father Bandiera asserts that the holy Fathers have in their 
writings employed the ornaments of style. In answer I say, 
that we have not heard the sermons of these Fathers, nor 
are we acquainted with their style of preaching. We only 
read their written discourses, and we know that sermons 
which were preached in a simple and popular style are usu 
ally polished before they are committed to writing or given 
to the public. This remark has been made by the cele 
brated Muratori. " It is true," he says, " that St. Ambrose 
very frequently spoke in an abstruse manner; but we have 
not the sermons which he preached to the people." He re 
duced to treatises the discourses delivered from the pulpit, 
and added to them various ornaments, so that the original 
form of his popular instructions has disappeared. But Mu 
ratori says that, in their sermons to the people, the most 

1 " Omnia verba divina quamvis rustica sint et incomposita, viva 
sunt, quoniam intus habent veritatem Dei et ideo vivificant audien- 
tem. Omnia autem verba soecularia quoniam non habent in se virtu- 
tern Dei quamvis sint composita et ingeniosa, mortua sunt ; propterea 
nee audientem salvant." Horn. 46. 

2 " Sicut gladius ferire nequit, nisi si nudus ; nam intra vaginam 
constitutus quantumvis sit acutus non vulnerabit: ita verbum Dei, 
ut impiorum corda vulneret, nundum esse debet, sine figurarum 
ornamento, aut vanne eloquentioe floribus." Bibtioth. mor. tr. 83, d. n. 






On the Manner of Preaching. 373 

celebrated Fathers of the Church, namely, St. Basil, St. 
Augustine, St. John Chrysostom, St. Gregory of Nyssa, 
St. Gregory the Great, St. Maximus, and St. Gaudentius, 
preferred popular to sublime eloquence; and this is evident, 
as well from the sermons as from the other works of these 
saints. Let us hear how St. John Chrysostom speaks of 
sermons embellished with pompous words and well-turned 
periods: " We seek by those words and beautiful composi 
tions to delight our neighbors. We try to be admired, but 
we are not anxious to heal their diseases." 1 And he 
adds that the preacher who studies to delight others 
and to attract admiration by elegant compositions, should be 
denominated " Miserable and unhappy traitor." 2 St. Augus 
tine says: "We do not make use of high-sounding and 
poetical words of secular eloquence, but we preach Christ 
crucified." 3 

Father John d Avila used to say, that every preacher 
should ascend the pulpit with a thirst for the salvation of 
souls, which would make him endeavor and hope, with the 
divine aid, to gain to God the souls of all his hearers. Hence 
St. Gregory says that the sacred orator should descend to 
the level, and should accomodat^ his language to the weak 
understanding of the people. 4 This is the doctrine of Mu- 
ratori, who says that every one who preaches to the illiterate 
"ought to imagine that he is one of them, and that he 

1 " Hrec nos patimur, verborum fucos conqucerentes, et compositio- 
nem elegantem, ut delectemus proximum. Consideravuus quomodo 
videamur admirahiles, non quomodo morbos componamus." Horn. 
33, ad pop. 

a " Miser et infelix proditor." Ad pop. ant horn. 33. 

3 " Non nos tonantia et poetica verba proferimus nee eloquentia 
utimursreculari sermone fucata, sed pnedicamus Christum crucifixum." 

4 " Debet ad infirmitatem audientium semetipsum contrahendo des- 
cendere, ne dum parvis sublirnia, et idcirco non profutura loquitur, 
magis curet se ostendere quam auditoribus prodesse." Mor. \. 20, c. I. 

24* 



3 74 Letter to a Religious : 

wishes to teach and convince them of some truth." And 
therefore he says he is bound to adopt the most popular and 
lowest kind of eloquence, and to proportion his language to 
their gross understanding, by speaking to them in a famil 
iar manner, using short sentences, and sometimes even pro 
posing questions and giving the answers. The merit of 
such sermons consists in employing the language and figures 
which usually make an impression in common conversation. 
St. Gregory deemed it unworthy of a preacher of the 
Gospel to confine himself to the rules of grammar, and 
therefore he says that in his sermons he frequently exposed 
himself to the imputation of ignorance, by uttering even 
barbarisms. 1 In his exposition of the words of David, My 
bone is not hid from Thee, which Thou hast made in 
secret? St. Augustine, knowing that the word os signified 
either the mouth or a bone, used the barbarous word ossum 
to express the meaning of the prophet ; for he preferred to be 
censured by grammarians rather than to be unintelligible to 
the people. 3 Such was the contempt of the saints for elegance 
of style when they spoke to the people. In the fourth book on 
the Christian Doctrine, the same Father says that the preacher 
should not be the servant of his words, and thus expose 
himself to the danger of not being understood ; but he should 
employ the language best calculated to convey his meaning 
and to persuade his hearers. 4 It is in this manner that, as 

1 " Non barbarismi confusionem devito, etiam prcepositionum casus 
servare contemno, quia indignum existimo ut verba coelestis oraculi 
restringam sub regulis Donati." Ep. ad Leandr. in Rxpos. I. Job. 

2 " Non est occultatum os meum a te, quod fecisti in occulto." 
Ps. cxxxviii. 15. 

3 " Habeo in abscondito quoddam ossum. Sic potius loquamur, melius 
est ut reprehendant nos grammatici quam non intelligant populi." 
In Ps. 138, n. 20. 

4 " In ipso sermone malit (concionator) placere rebus magis quam 
verbis, nee doctor verbis serviat, sed verba doctori." 



On the Manner of Preaching. 375 

the prophet says, " bread is broken to the little ones." The 
little ones have asked for bread, and there was none to break 
it unto them. 1 Hence the sermons of the missions and of the 
spiritual exercises produce so much fruit, because in them 
the bread of the divine word is minutely broken to the peo 
ple. 

III. I may be asked: Do you mean that all sermons 
should be composed in the same style as the sermons for 
the missions? In answer, I in the first place ask: What is 
understood by sermons for the missions? Is it a discourse 
composed of vulgar expressions, without order and without 
method? No: vulgar phrases are not necessary ; they are 
not becoming even in familiar instructions, much less in 
sermons. Order is indispensable in all sermons. The art 
of oratory, and the occasional use of tropes and figures, are 
also necessary ; and therefore you must have observed that, 
in the third part of the Sclva? speaking of the style of 
preaching to be adopted in the missions, I have given a 
comprehensive abstract of rhetoric, for the instruction of the 
young men of our Congregation. But the rules of rhetoric 
are, as Muratori says, suited even to popular eloquence, pro 
vided the preacher employ them, not to win applause, but 
to move his hearers to lead a Christian life. The art of 
oratory, adds Muratori, should be used, but only in such 
a way that it may not be perceived by the people. 

There is no doubt that the sermons prepared for the mis 
sions should be more easy and simple, and less encumbered 
with Latin quotations than other discourses. Some young 
missionaries fill their sermons with a confused medley of texts 
of Scripture, and long passages of the holy Fathers; but 
what profit can a poor illiterate peasant derive from so many 

" Parvuli petierunt panem, et non erat qui frangeret eis." Lam. 
iv. 4. 

" 2 Preaching of God s Word, chap. vii. 



376 Letter to a Religions : 

Latin quotations, which he does not understand? Texts of 
Scripture serve to give authority to our instructions, but 
only when they are few, and explained in a manner propor 
tioned to the capacity of our audience. One text well ex 
pounded and accompanied with appropriate moral reflections, 
will be more profitable than many passages heaped together. 
An occasional passage from the holy Fathers is also very useful; 
but it should be short and forcible, and peculiarly applicable 
to the subject. Look at the sermons of that celebrated 
preacher, the Venerable Father Paul Segneri, and you will 
find that they contain few Latin passages, but a great many 
practical reflections and moral deductions. 

The style of preaching in the missions must certainly be 
more simple and popular, that the poor may be persuaded 
and moved to virtue. The language should be plain and 
the periods concise, so that a person may understand any 
sentence without having heard or understood the preceding 
one, and that they who come to the church in the middle 
of the sermon may immediately understand what the 
preacher says. If the style of the sermon be close and con 
nected, the illiterate, who have not heard the first period, 
will not understand the second, nor the third. Moreover, 
as Muratori well observes, in order to keep up the attention 
of the people it is necessary to make frequent use of the figure 
called Antiphora, by proposing questions and replying to 
them. With regard to the modulation of the voice, it is necessa 
ry to avoid the sonorous and inflated tones used in panegyric. 
We should also abstain from the violent efforts of the voice 
made by some missionaries, who expose themselves to the 
danger of bursting a blood-vessel, or at least of losing their 
voice, and at the same time disgust their audience. The best 
way to excite and fix the attention of the people is, to speak 
at one time in a loud, at another in a low, tone of voice, but 
without violent and sudden transitions; and at one time to 



On the Manner of Preaching. 377 

make a long exclamation, at another to pause and afterward 
to begin with a sigh, etc. This variety of tone and manner 
keeps the audience always attentive. 

The act of contrition is the most important part of sermons 
for the missions, and therefore in such sermons it should 
never be omitted; for little indeed would be the fruit 
of the sermon if the people are not excited to compunc 
tion, or not induced to resolve on a change of life. It is to 
effect this object that the act of contrition is proposed to 
them. It is even necessary to repeat several acts of sorrow, 
in order to move the people to contrition, not by loud ex 
clamations, but by solid motives and reasons. In the pur 
pose of amendment which accompanies the act of sorrow, the 
preacher should, in a particular manner, recommend the 
people to avoid the occasions of sin, and to have recourse 
in their temptations to the assistance of Jesus and Mary; 
and should therefore, at the end of the sermon, make them 
ask the divine Mother to obtain some favor for them, such 
as the pardon of sin, the gift of perseverance, and the like. 
These observations are particularly applicable to sermons 
for the missions ; but I wished to insert them in this place, 
because they may be useful to some of those who are devot 
ed to the missions. 

IV. Sermons for Lent, or for Sundays, should certainly 
differ somewhat from those which are prepared for the mis 
sions; but, where the audience consists of the ignorant and 
the learned, all sermons should, as Muratori says, be sim 
ple and popular, if the preacher wishes to produce substantial 
fruit, and to induce the people to approach the tribunalof 
penance. I remember that when a celebrated missionary 
preached in Naples, in a simple and popular style, the 
churches were thronged, and the confessionals were sur 
rounded by crowds, who, after the sermon, ran to confess 
their sins. Muratori says that in the small towns, and even 
in the churches of the cities which are frequented by the 



378 Letter to a Religious : 

common people, the preacher is obliged to adopt the most 
popular and even the lowest style, in order to accommodate 
himself to their gross understanding. I have seen a whole 
town sanctified by the Lenten sermons of those who ad 
dressed the people in simple and popular language. 

Oh, what a pity to see so many Lenten sermons preached 
in the villages, and so little fruit! In the beginning of Lent 
the poor come to the sermons, but finding that they do not 
understand the preacher, and consequently derive no fruit 
from his instructions, they cease to frequent the church. 
If those who preach in the villages, will not consent to 
change the discourses which they have already composed 
in an elevated style, I would entreat them at least, toward 
the last weeks of Lent, after the people return from work, 
to give the spiritual exercises in the manner in which they 
are given during the missions. The laboring poor cannot, 
particularly on working days, attend in the mornings at the 
hour at which the sermon is usually preached. I assure 
these preachers that they will reap more fruit from the spirit 
ual exercises conducted in simple language, than from a 
hundred Lenten sermons. Some will excuse themselves 
from giving these exercises, saying that they are preachers, 
and not missionaries. Some are perhaps even ashamed to 
give these exercises in which a simple and popular style is 
indispensably necessary, lest their reputation might be in 
jured, or lest they should be regarded as preachers of little 
note. But I am consoled by the conviction that not only 
priests, but also many religious, are accustomed during Lent 
to give these exercises with so much advantage to the peo 
ple. 

Oh, what universal benefit would flow from the Sunday 
sermons if preachers always addressed the people in plain 
and simple language! At Naples the Blessed Sacrament is 
exposed every day in several churches, especially in those 
in which the devotion of the Forty Hours is performed. 



On the Manner of Preaching. 379 

These churches are frequented by great numbers of the 
faithful, but particularly of the poor. How great would be 
the fruit of the sermons preached in these churches if the 
sacred orators adopted a popular style, instructing the peo 
ple in the practice of the different virtues, in the practical 
method of preparing for Communion, in the manner of visit 
ing the Blessed Sacrament, of making mental prayer, of at 
tending Mass, of meditating on the Passion of Jesus Christ, 
and of performing the other exercises of devotion ? But are 
the discourses delivered in these churches of this description? 
No ; the style is generally high and flowery, and therefore 
they are but little understood by the people. Father John 
d Avila being once asked for a rule for preaching, answered, 
that the best rule for preaching well was to love Jesus Christ 
fervently. The answer was most just ; for the preacher who 
loves Jesus Christ ascends the pulpit, not to gain applause, 
but to gain souls to Jesus Christ. St. Thomas of Villanova 
used to say that to pierce the heart of sinners, to effect their 
conversion, darts burning with divine love are necessary. 
But can darts of fire proceed from the frozen heart of the 
preacher who seeks by his preaching to acquire a great name ? 
Should we then conclude from this that whoever preaches 
in a polished style does not love Jesus Christ? I do not 
mean to assert this ; but I know well that the saints did not 
preach in that manner. In all the Lives of holy missionaries 
that I have read, I have not found any one of them com 
mended because he preached in an elevated and ornate style ; 
I find, on the contrary, those commended in a special manner 
who preached in a simple and popular style. Thus in truth did 
the holy apostle Paul teach us by his own example how to 
preach, saying: My reasoning consists not in the embellish 
ments of human eloquence, but in making the people com 
prehend sincerely the truths of religion^ "It was the task 

1 " Et sermo meus et pnedicatio mea non in persuasibilibus humanse 
sapientiie verbis sed in ostensione spiritus et virtutis." I Cor. ii. 4. 



380 Letter to a Religious : 

of the apostles," says Cornelius a Lapide, commenting on 
the text just cited, " to show how their spirit manifested the 
spirit of the divine mysteries so that others might receive the 
Holy Spirit through them." J 

It is said of St. Thomas of Aquin, by the author of his 
Life, that "he accommodated himself to the capacity of his 
audience, lowering the wings of his genius, proposing 
simply such reflections as served to inflame the heart rather 
than feed the mind. For this purpose he used only such 
words as were most common and familiar, being accustomed 
to say: The language of the preacher should be so clear 
that the meanest capacity may understand it. " 2 

In the Life of St. Vincent Ferrer we read that the saint 
composed his sermons, not on the model of discourses 
written in select and studied language, but at the foot of the 
crucifix ; and from this source he derived his eloquence. P. 
Bartoli writes as follows, in his Life of St. Ignatius of Loyola : 
" Where others seek to recommend the word of God by 
clothing it with ornaments, he, by divesting it of all such 
elegance, made it appear beautiful and grand ; for his method 
was to reduce the arguments to a certain nudity which ex 
hibited them in their true form and genuine character." 
And therefore the same P. Bartoli relates that the learned 
who heard him were wont to say: " That in his mouth the 
word of God had its true weight." The same practice was 
observed by St. Philip Neri, of whom I have already mentioned 
as it is written in his Life, that he prescribed to the members 
of his Congregation, in preaching, to treat each subject in 
an easy and popular manner; and when they indulged in 

1 " Hrcc fuit demonstratio Apostolorum ostendere spiritum eruc- 
tantem arcana divina, ita ut alii cernerent Spiritum Sanctum per os 
eorum loqui." 

2 " Tarn apertus debet esse sermo docentis, ut ab intelligentia sua 
nullos, quamvis imperitos, excludat." 



On the Manner of Preaching. 381 

lofty and curious speculations he made them come down 
from the pulpit. 

It is also mentioned of St. Francis de Sales, that when 
preaching he accommodated himself to the capacity of the 
rudest among his audience. The incident is well known 
which occurred to the Bishop of Belley. This prelate being 
invited by the saint to preach, delivered a very elegant and 
florid discourse, so that he received the highest applause 
from his auditors; but St. Francis was silent, and the 
prelate, surprised at this, asked him at last how he liked 
the sermon. The saint replied: " You pleased all but one." 
The Bishop of Belley was invited a second time to preach, 
but as he understood that his former discourse was not 
pleasing to the saint, because it was too highly embellished, 
he made the second quite simple and moral ; and then St. 
Francis assured him that he was very much pleased with 
the second discourse. On another occasion he addressed 
to him the following words: "A sermon is excellent when 
the auditors retire from the church in silence, reflecting but 
not speaking; and instead of praising the preacher, think 
on the necessity they are under of amending their lives." 
And as the saint taught, so did he practise. The author of 
his Life states, that although he preached in Paris before an 
auditory composed of princes, bishops, and Cardinals, he 
always preached in a solid, simple manner, not seeking to 
acquire the reputation of an eloquent preacher, but to gain 
souls to God. In conformity with this, the same saint wrote 
from Paris to a religious of his Order in the following terms: 
" On the vigil of the Nativity I preached in presence of the 
Queen in the church of the Capuchins ; but I assure you I 
did not preach better before so many princes and princesses 
than I do in your poor little convent at Annecy." But because 
the saint preached from the heart and to draw souls to God, 
although he preached without ornament, the fruit he pro- 



382 Letter to a Religious: 

cluced was immense; wherefore Madame de Montpensier 
said, as we find it related in the Life of the saint: " Others 
in their sermons fly, as it were, in the air; but the Bishop 
of Geneva descends to his prey, and this orator of holy love 
suddenly besieges the heart, and makes himself master of 
it." 

I shall relate in the sequel what the saint wrote in one of 
his letters, concerning the manner of preaching, and what 
he thought of those preachers who employ frivolous orna 
ment in their discourses. It is mentioned in the Life of St. 
Vincent de Paul that in his sermons he used not only a 
simple, but even an humble style. Above all, he required 
of his brethren that they should preach to the candidates for 
orders in a simple and familiar manner; because it is not, 
he said, pomp of expression that is conducive to the salva 
tion of souls, but simplicity and humility, which dispose the 
heart to receive the grace of God. And for this purpose he 
was accustomed to adduce the example of Jesus Christ, who, 
although he could have explained the mysteries of faith in a 
style proportioned to their sublimity, he being the wisdom 
of the eternal Father, nevertheless made use of familiar 
terms and similitudes, to accommodate himself to the ca 
pacity of the people, and to leave to us the true model of 
explaining the word of God. Of St. Francis Regis it is 
likewise written in his Life, " that he explained the truths of 
faith with such clearness and simplicity, that he made him 
self intelligible to the meanest capacity." 

The case of Father Tauler, the Dominican, js, also well 
known. He preached at first in a very lofty style, but be 
ing afterward led to embrace a more perfect life, by means 
of a poor man who was sent him by God as his spiritual 
guide, he ceased to preach for many years; but the poor 
man having enjoined him to resume this function, he changed 
his style of preaching from the sublime to the popular; and 
we are told that in the first sermon he preached the com- 



On the Manner of Preaching. 383 

punction of the people was so great that several swooned 
away in the church. We are told of Father John d Avila, that 
in his sermons he used such familiar language that by some 
he was considered to be an ignorant person ; so that once a 
certain individual, who was a man of letters, but of depraved 
morals, said to his companion, on an occasion when Father 
d Avila was to preach. " Come, let us go to hear this igno 
ramus; " but during the sermon he was struck by the grace 
of God, and he totally reformed his life. Now let us hear 
the sentiments of this great servant of God. According to 
the author of his Life, he said: "If the preacher does not 
faithfully fulfil his office, if he is attentive rather to gratify 
the taste of his auditors than to touch their hearts, and seeks 
for fine words rather than the conversion of souls : in fine, 
if by loftiness of thought he preaches himself rather than 
Jesus Christ, he stands in imminent danger of eternal ruin ; 
he frightfully abuses and betrays the commission confided to 
him." The same we find written in the Life of Father Louis 
Lanusa, and of Father Paul Segneri the Younger, and of other 
servants of God, particular mention of whom for brevity s 
sake I omit. 

Hence we see the account that those preachers will have to 
render to God, who preach themselves and not Jesus Christ, 
as well as the Superiors who allow them to preach in this 
manner. For myself, once hearing a young man of our 
Congregation preaching in a grand and elevated style, I 
made him leave the pulpit in the middle of his discourse. 
But let them not entertain a doubt that, if they are not cor 
rected by their Superiors, they will assuredly be chastised by 
God ; for the preacher is bound to promote the good of each 
person who hears him, as in the pulpit he fulfils the office of 
ambassador of Jesus Christ, as the Apostle affirms of all 
priests : He hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation, 
. . . He hath placed in us the word of reconciliation. . . . 
For Christ therefore we are ambassadors, God as it lucre 



384 Letter to a Religious : 

exhorting by us. 1 The preacher then occupies in the pulpit 
the place of Jesus Christ, and speaks on the part of Jesus 
Christ to sinners who hear him, in order that they may re 
turn into favor with God. Now if a king, as Father John 
d Avila observes in one of his letters, commissioned one of 
his subjects to negotiate a marriage with a lady on his be 
half, and the ambassador concluded it for himself, would 
not such a man be a traitor? And such exactly, said Fa 
ther d Avila, is the preacher who, commissioned by God to 
effect the conversion of sinners, studies to procure glory for 
himself, and thus renders the divine word useless, by adul 
terating it so that it produces no fruit. And thus does St. 
John Chrysostom also denominate every preacher who 
preaches from vanity " A miserable and unhappy traitor." 2 
The embellishment of a sermon with lofty sentiments and 
elaborate expressions, to gain a character for one s self, is 
precisely that adulteration of the word of God which the 
Apostle avoided; as he writes to the Corinthians: For we 
are not as many, adulterating the word of God, but with 
sincerity, but as from God, before God, in Christ we speak. 3 
On which words St. Gregory observes, that adulterers are 
not desirous to have children : on the contrary, they abhor 
them ; they propose to themselves nothing else but the 
gratification of their unlawful passions: such are those who 
do not preach to gain souls, but to acquire a name and 
reputation. 4 

1 " Dedit nobis ministerium reconciliationis. . . . et posuit in nobis 
verbum reconciliationis. . . . Pro Christo legatione fungimur, tamquam 
Deo exhortante per nos." 2 Cor. v. 18. 

2 " Miser et infelix prod i tor." 

3 " Non enim sumus, sicut plurimi, adulterantes verbum Dei; sed 
ex sinceritate, sed sicut ex Deo, coram Deo, in Christo loquimur. " 
2 Cor. ii. 17. 

4 " Adulterari verbum Dei est ex eo, non spiritales fructus, sed 
adulterines foetus quoerere laudis human *." Mor. \. 22, c. 17. 



On the Manner of Preaching. 385 

But let preachers tremble lest God should cut them off, 
as he threatens by the prophet Jeremias : Therefore, be 
hold, I am against the prop/ids, saith the Lord, who 
steal my words every one from his neighbor. 1 Who are 
they who unjustly employ the divine word? They are pre 
cisely those who make use of it only to acquire the name of 
great orators, robbing God of his glory to transfer it to them 
selves. St. Francis de Sales said that the preacher whose 
discourses abound in foliage, that is, curious thoughts and 
elegant expressions, is in danger of being cut down and con 
signed to the fire, like the unfruitful tree in the Gospel ; 
whilst our Lord said to his disciples, and through them to all 
priests, that he had chosen them to bring forth fruit lasting 
fruit. Hence Cornelius a Lapide, speaking of such orators, 
hesitates not to assert that they sin mortally, both because 
they pervert the office of preaching to their own exaltation, 
and also because by preaching in a lofty and elegant style 
they oppose an obstacle to the salvation of so many souls 
that would ba converted if they preached in an apostolic 
manner. 2 The same was said by Father John d Avila, as 
we have remarked above : " If the preacher does not faithfully 
fulfil his office," etc. 

Nor does it avail such a person to say: What I princi 
pally propose is the glory of God. He who makes use of 
lofty and uncommon language, so as not to be understood 
by all, opposes an obstacle to the glory of God, by pre 
venting the conversion of many who hear him, since, as 
Muratori well remarks, whoever preaches is bound to pro 
cure the salvation of each individual, be he learned or igno- 

1 " Prppterea ecce ego ad prophetas, ait Dominus, qui furantur 
verha mea : Projiciam quippe vos." Jcr. xxiii. 30, 33. 

2 " Freed icator qui plausum qunerit, non conversionem populi, hie 
damnabitur quia predicationis officio, ad laudem non Dei sed suam 
abusus est, turn quia salutem tot ani.marum sibi creditam impedivit 
et avertit." In Luc. vi. 26. 

25 



386 Letter to a Religions: 

rant, as if there were no other who heard him. And if any 
one of them be not converted, because he could not com 
prehend what was said, the preacher will have to render an 
account, as God himself declared by the mouth ot Ezcchiel 
(this all preachers are sufficiently aware of, but in practice 
they attend but little to it; hence I repeat it here): If when 
I say to the wicked : Thou shaft surely die; thou declare 
it not to him, . . . the same wicked man shall die in his in 
iquity, but I will require his blood at thy hand. 1 And un 
doubtedly it is the same not to preach the word of God, as 
to adulterate it by a florid style, so that it does not produce 
the fruit that it certainly would if it were expounded in a 
clear and simple manner. St. Bernard says that on the day 
of judgment those poor ignorant persons will appear to ar 
raign those preachers who have lived on their bounty, but 
have neglected to heal, as they ought, the diseases of their 
souls. 2 

We should be persuaded that when the word of God is 
adulterated by studied elegance of expression it becomes 
feeble and enervated, so as not to be of any service either 
to the learned or unlearned. I do not assert this of myself: 
it is stated by St. Prosper, or, if you will, another ancient 
author who goes under his name. 3 And this sentiment he 
borrowed from St. Paul, who writes as follows: Christ sent 
me . . . to preach the Gospel, not in wisdom of speech, lest 
the cross of Christ should be made void^ On which text St. 

1 "Si dicente me ad impium : Morte morieris ; non annunt averis 
ei, ... ipse impius in iniquitate sua morietur. sanguinem autem ejus 
de manu tua requiram." Ezech. iii. 18. 

2 " Venient, venient ante tribunal Christi ; uhi erit pauperum accu- 
satio, quorum vixere stipendiis, nee diluere peccata." De Vita ct 
Mor. Cler, c. J. 

3 " Sententiarum vivacitatem sermo cultus ex industria enervat."- 
De Vita eon tempi. 1. 3, c. 34. 

4 " Misit me Christus . . . evangelizare, non in sapientia verbi, ut 
non evacuetur crux Christi." I Cor. i. 17. 



On the Manner of Preaching. 387 

John Chrysostom observes: "Some devote themselves to 
external wisdom : the Apostle shows that this wisdom does 
not only not aid the cross, but even annihilates it." 1 Lofty 
conceptions, then, and elaborate expressions in sermons 
hinder and, as it were, annihilate the spiritual profit of 
souls, which is the fruit of the redemption of Jesus Christ. 
Hence St. Augustine said: " I should not presume to em 
ploy wisdom of speech, lest the cross of Christ become ener 
vated ; satisfied with the authority of the divine word, 1 
would rather serve the simplicity of the Gospel than vanity." 2 
St. Thomas of Villanova inveighs against those hearers 
who, whilst their souls are lost in sin, go in quest of flowery 
discourses. " O fool," he says, "thy house is burning, 
and thou expectest artificial discourse!" 3 But this reproof 
is better directed to those preachers who address a con 
gregation of which probably there are many in a state of 
sin: these miserable souls require rather the thunder and 
lightning which would arouse them from their lethargy and 
strike them with terror, and for this purpose are required 
words not borrowed from the academy, but springing from 
the heart and from a true zeal and desire to rescue them from 
the hands of the enemy, and yet we would amuse them 
with polished phrases and sounding periods. If a house 
were on fire, what folly would it not be, says Father 
Nansi, 4 to attempt to extinguish it with a little rose-water. 
Thus, when I hear any one praised who preaches with 
studied elegance, and hear it said that his sermons have pro- 

1 " Alii externoe sapientice operam dahant, ostendit (Apostolus) earn 
non soluni cruci non opem ferre, sed etiam cxinanire." 

2 " Non proesumam unquam in sapientia verb!, ne evacuetur crux 
Christ! ; sed Scripturarum auctoritate contentus, simplicitati obedire 
potius studeo, quam tumori." Contra Felician. c. 2. 

3 " O stulte, ardet clomus tua ; et tu expectas compositam oratio- 
nein ? " 

4 " Biblioth. mor. tr. 83, d. 42. 



388 Letter to a Religious : 

duced great fruit, I smile, and say : It is impossible ; And why ? 
Because I know that God does not lend his co-operation to 
such preaching 1 . My preaching, says the Apostle, was not 
in the persuasive words of human wisdom, but in shewing 
of the spirit and poiver^ " To whit purpose," says Origen, 
commenting on the text cited above, " does all our eloquence 
serve if it be not animated by the spirit and virtue of divine 
grace?" 2 The Lord lends his aid to him who preaches his 
word in a plain and simple manner, without vanity, impart 
ing a force and power to his language that moves the hearts of 
all who hear him. But this efficacy he does not communicate 
to studied and polished expression. The diction that is re 
fined and adorned according to the dictates of human wis 
dom, says the Apostle, as we have before observed, ener 
vates the divine word, and destroys the profit which might 
be expected from it. 

Oh, what a fearful account will those priests have to ren 
der to God who preach through vanity ! St. Bridget 3 saw 
the soul of a preacher, who was a religious, condemned to 
hell for having preached in this spirit; and the Lord said to 
the s lint that he does not speak by vain preachers, but 
rather the devil. In discoursing one day with that great 
missionary, Father Sparano, mentioned above, he related 
to me an awful occurrence. He told me that a certain priest 
who preached in a polished style, being at the point of 
death, and feeling a great aridity and indisposition to con 
ceive a hearty sorrow for his sins, almost despaired of his 
salvation ; and then the Lord spoke to him from a crucifix 

1 " Proedicatio mea, non in persuabilibus hutnanoe sapientiae ver- 
bis, sed in ostentione spiritus et virtutis." i Cor. ii. 4. 

2 " Hrec verba Apostoli quid aliud sibi volunt, quam non satis esse 
quod dicimus, ut animas moveant hominum, nisi doctori divinitus 
adsit ccelestis gratioe energia, juxta illud (Ps. Ixvii, 13): Dominus 
dabit verbum evangelizantibus virtute multa?" 

3 Rev. I. 6, c. 35. 



On the Menner of Preaching. 389 

near him, in a voice which was also heard by all present: 
I give you that compunction which you excited in the 
hearts of others when you preached." But more terrible is 
the incident related by Father Cajelan Mary de Berga 
mo, a Capuchin, in his book entitled 77?^ Apostolic Man in 
the Pulpit. This author relates that a preacher, then a 
Capuchin, related to him the following occurrence, which 
happened to himself a few years before. He being a young 
man and accomplished in polite literature, had already be 
gun to preach in the cathedral at Brescia ; but when preach ng 
there a second time, after an interval of some years, he was 
observed to preach in quite an apostolic manner. Being after- 
.ward asked why he had thus changed his style of preaching, 
he replied: " I knew a celebrated preacher, a religious, a 
friend of mine, and who, like me, preached in a spirt of 
vanity ; when he was at the point of death it was found im- 
poss ble to induce him to make his confession. I went to 
see him, and spoke to him strongly; but he looked at me 
steadfastly without making a reply. In the meantime the 
Superior conceived the idea of bringing to him in his cell 
the Blessed Eucharist, in order to move him by this means 
to receive the sacraments. The most Holy Eucharist was 
brought, and those who were present said to him : Behold, 
Jesus Christ is come to grant you pardon. But the sick 
man began to exclaim in a voice of despair: This is the 
God whose holy word I have betrayed. We all then com 
menced to pray to the Lord that he would have compassion 
on him, or to exhort him to confide in the divine mercy; 
but he in a louder voice exclaimed : This is the God whose 
holy word I have betrayed ; and then added : There is 
no more mercy for me. We continued to suggest to him 
sentiments of confidence, when a third time he cried out: 
Th s is the God whose holy word I have betrayed ; and 
then he said, By the just judgment of God I am con 
demned, and suddenly expired. And this is the reason, 
25* 



3 go Letter to a Religious: 

observed the Father, why I have so much reformed my 
manner of preaching." 

Who knows but some one will smile at these facts, and 
the whole of my letter ; but such a one I shall expect to 
meet before the tribunal of Jesus Christ. Besides, I do not 
intend that at all times and before all sorts of persons the 
same style of expression should be used. When the audi 
ence is composed entirely of priests or educated persons, the 
preacher should make use of more select language; but his 
divScourse should be always simple and familiar, as if he 
were discoursing in familiar conversation with the learned, 
and not decorated with lofty ideas and elaborate expres 
sions; otherwise as, says St. Ambrose, 1 " the more florid the 
discourse, the less will be the fruit derived from it." The 
pomp and luxury which appear in the flowers of eloquence 
make it useless for the production of fruit. St. Augustine 
said that the preacher who seeks to please his auditors by 
an ornamental style is not an apostle that converts, but an 
orator that deludes; whence it may be said of his hearers 
what is said of the Jews, who, hearing Jesus Christ, ad 
mired his doctrine, but were not converted. 2 They will ex 
claim. " He spoke extremely well ;" but they will have de 
rived no profit whatever from the discourse. St. Jerome 
wrote to his friend Nepotianus that in preaching he should 
endeavor to elicit tears rather than applause from his audi 
tory. 3 St. Francis de Sales expresses the same idea in a 
more emphatic manner in a letter to an ecclesiastic: "In 
leaving the church I would not wish it should be said, O 
how great an orator ! he has a prodigious memory ; he is 
very learned ; he spoke admirably : but I would wish to hear 

1 "Quod luxuriat in flore sermonis, habetatur in fructu." In Ps. 
118, s. 12. 

2 " Mirabantur sed non convertebantur." In Joan. tr. 29, n. 2. 

3 " Docente te in ecclesia, non clamor populi, sed gemitus susci- 
tetur. Auditorum lacrimoe laudes lure sint." Ep. ad Nepotian. 



On the Manner of Preaching. 391 

the people say, How beautiful, how necessary is penance! 
My God, how good, how just Thou art! and the like: or 
that the words of the preacher having made a breach in the 
hearts of the hearers, they were unable to render any testi 
mony in favor of their merit but the amendment of their 
lives." l 

Perhaps the preacher who studies to speak elegantly may 
entertain a hope that he will obtain universal applause: let 
him divest himself of this persuasion. Many will praise, 
many will criticise him ; some will offer one opinion, some 
another. And such is the folly of those orators who preach 
themselves and not Jesus Christ that, with all their efforts to 
obtain vain applause, they do not, notwithstanding, ob 
tain it from all ; whilst, on the other hand, he who preaches 
Christ crucified always secures the fruit of his discourse, as 
by it he pleases God, which should be the only end of all 
our actions. Hence generally a simple and familiar style of 
preaching, as Muratori remarks, " will please and delight even 
persons of cultivated understanding; for, when the preacher 
speaks in a lofty and florid style, the hearer is satisfied 
with relishing and admiring his genius, and pays little or no 
attention to his own spiritual profit; on the other hand, even 
the learned commend a preacher who, with a view to bene 
fit all, breaks for them that spiritual bread the word of God. 
They will not praise his genius, but his fervor; by which, 
without making a display of talent, he proposes solely to 
serve the souls of his hearers this is the true glory to which 
the sacred orator ought to aspire. Moreover, the learned 
who desire to derive fruit from the sermon seek not him who 
enlightens their minds, but him who heals their souls; and 
on this account both learned and unlearned crowd to hear 
him who preaches in a popular manner, because every one 

1 Lettre 218, man. deprecher, ch. 2, a. 3. 



392 Letter to a Rfligious: 

finds there the spiritual nourishment that is necessary for 
him." 

Seneca says that the sick man does not seek for the 
physician who speaks well, but who will cure him. To what 
purpose does it serve, he says, for you to entertain me with fine 
words when I stand in need of the cautery and the knife to 
cure me. 1 Wherefore St. Bernard says: " I like to hear the 
voice of that teacher v/ho seeks to gain of me, not applause, 
but tears." 2 I recollect that the renowned D. Nicholas Ca- 
passo, a man so distinguished for learning, went every day 
to hear the Canon Gizzio whilst he was giving 1 the 
spiritual exercises to the members of the Congregation of 
the Holy Ghost ; he said that he went to hear that servant 
of God because he preached the word of God in an apos 
tolic manner, and without studied elegance. Oh how does 
the pure and simple word of God please even the learned! 
Muratori relates in the Life of Paul Segneri the Younger j 
which h^ wrote, that, although he preached in a familiar and 
popular style, he delighted all so much that he touched the 
hearts even of the jnost enlightened among his audience. 

In I ke manner, in the Life 3 of St. John Francis Regis I 
find the following passage: " His discourses were simple: 
he preached only to instruct the people; and, notwithstand 
ing, the gentry as well as seculars and clergy of the town 
of Puy crowded to his catechetical discourses so eagerly that 
for two or three hours before he began every place was oc 
cupied ; and it was the common saying of the inhabitants of 
Puy that they admired his holy simplicity more than the 
studied elegance of the most distinguished preachers. He, 

1 " Non qurerit reger medicum eloquentem sed sanantem. Quid 
oblectas? aliud agitur; urendus, secandus sum: ad hoec adhibitus 
es." 

2 " Illius doctoris libenter vocem audio, qui non sibi plausum, sed 
mihi planctum moveat." In Cant. s. 59, n. 3. 

3 By FatJier Daubenton, 1. 3. 



On the Manner of Preaching. 393 

they observed, preaches Jesus Christ and the divine word as 
it really is ; while the others come here to preach themselves, 
and, instead of the divine word, display their own eloquence, 
which is altogether human." And the following fact, which 
is afterward mentioned, is remarkable: There was a certain 
preacher who gave a series of instructions in the cathedral dur 
ing the same Lent in which the saint was giving a mission. 
Being astonished how it was that the people left him to go to 
hear an ignorant priest, as he considered St. Francis compared 
with himself, he went to find the Provincial, who at that 
time was making his visitation, and said to him that Father 
Regis was indeed a saint, but that his manner of preaching 
was not suitable to the dignity of the pulpit, and that the 
meanness of his style and the trivial things he said dis 
honored his ministry. The Provincial replied : 4< Let us 
both, before we condemn him, go and hear him." The 
Provincial was so much affected with the force and unction 
with which he explained the evangelical truths, that during 
the entire discourse he was shedding copious tears ; then, 
on leaving the church, turning to his companion, he said, 
" Ah, my Father, would to God that all sacred orators 
preached in that manner ! Let us allow him to preach with 
his own apostolic simplicity The finger of God is there." 
The same preacher, says the writer of his Life, was touched 
with such compunction in hearing the discourse, that instead 
of censuring him, as he had proposed, he even praised him 
as he deserved. 

V. Let us now say something of panegyrics, as we prom 
ised. Why, I ask, do panegyrics, as they are composed 
nowadays, produce no fruit? How fruitful would they be 
were they delivered with simplicity, detailing with de 
vout reflections the virtues of the saints ; thus would the 
people be moved to imitate their example. This undoubted- 
ly is the object of panegyrics, and hence the masters of the 
spiritual life recommend strongly the reading of the lives of 



394 Letter to a Religious : 

the saints. Therefore St. Philip Neri, as the writer of his 
Life relates, recommended the members of his Congregation 
to adduce, in preaching, some example from the life of a 
saint, in order that the doctrine might be more firmly 
impressed on the minds of the hearers; but he wished that 
such facts should be mentioned as would move the auditors 
to compunction rather than excite their wonder. Father 
John Dielegis, who wrote on the manner of composing 
panegyrics, says that panegyrics do not produce fruit 
through the fault of the auditors who come to hear the dis 
course, not to derive any benefit from it, but to listen to 
exquisite thoughts and an elegant discourse; but he would 
have said with more truth, that the fault is generally imputa- 
ble to orators who fill their discourses with conceits and 
affected language, for the purpose of obtaining empty praise, 
when their only object should be, as the same author ob 
serves, to move their hearers to the imitation of the virtues 
of the saints of whom they speak. But let us hear what 
Muratori says on modern panegyrics. In his work already 
cited, Popular Eloquence, in the I3th chapter, he writes 
thus: * Why do sacred orators for the most part heap to 
gether gems and flowers, and make a parade of their elo 
quence? The end of panegyrics is to lead the auditory, by 
such examples, to the practice of virtue; but few indeed 
think of this. Good God ! how many extravagant hyper 
boles ! how many fantastic ideas ! in a word, how many silly 
conceits !" 

And in truth, what fruit can be, derived from the pane 
gyrics of certam learned preachers, who fill them with flow 
ers, subtleties, ingenious thoughts, curious descriptions, high- 
sounding words unintelligible to persons of ordinary capaci 
ty, rounded periods, so long that, to comprehend their 
meaning, even the learned require to exert all the powers 
of their minds, so that they nearly resemble academical dis 
courses, in which his own glory is the only object of the 



On the Manner of Preaching. 395 

speaker. O God ! what a disorder to see a minister of Jesus 
Christ expend uselessly many months and much labor (one 
of this class of preachers, who is now in eternity, said, that 
to compose a panegyric he required at least six months), 
and for what purpose? to round periods, and heap together 
fi jures and flowers. And what profit does the orator derive 
from this either for himself or for others? For himself, 
nothing but a little smoke ; and as for the hearers, they 
derive from it nothing, or almost nothing, because either 
they do not understand it, or, if they do, their attention is 
distracted by those sounding words and ingenious thoughts; 
and thus they lose their time. It has been related to me by 
several persons deserving of credit, that the preacher men 
tioned above, who said that to compose one panegyric he 
required six months, being at the point of death, gave di 
rections that all his manuscripts should be burned. I was 
moreover assured that this same person, being once com 
plimented by others for his panegyrics, was much troubled, 
and replied : "Alas! these discourses will one day be my 
condemnation. 

Muratori, in a work entitled Christian Charity, writes as 
follows: "Oh, why have we so many panegyr cs, which in 
variably terminate in a vain display of talent and ingenious 
subtleties, devised by volatile imaginations, unintelligible to 
the people? " And then he adds: " Let a panegyric, if in 
tended to be useful, be composed in that popular and in 
telligible style of eloquence which instructs and moves the 
ignorant no less than the learned ; but this is oftentimes not 
understood by him who fancies himself more learned than 
others." Oh! that these frothy panegyrics were abolished 
in the Church, and that these discourses were composed in 
a simple and familiar manner, as this writer says, who was 
eminent at once for piety and learning. 

But, before I conclude, it is necessary that I should reply 
to the observation which your letter contains that to enter- 



396 Letter to a Religious : 

tain is one of the principal objects of the orator, and there 
fore when persons of education assist at a sermon, the 
preacher should speak in a polished and ornamental style in 
order to please them. 

Reverend Father, I will not reply to you : t. Francis de 
Sales answers for me, who, in the letter already cited, which 
he addresses to an ecclesiastic on the manner of preaching, 
in confirmation of all we have advanced above in the fifth 
chapter, writes as follows : "Lengthened periods, polished 
language, studied gesture, and the like, are the bane of 
preaching. The most useful and elegant artifice is, to em 
ploy none. Our words should be inflamed by an interior 
charity, and should come from the heart rather than the 
mouth: the heart speaks to the heart ; the tongue speaks 
but to the ear. The texture of the discourse should be nat 
ural, without vain ornament, without affected expression. 
Our forefathers, and all those whose preaching has brought 
forth fruit, abstained from speaking with too much ele 
gance, and from using the ornaments of worldly eloquence, 
because they spoke from the heart, as good parents do to 
their children. The object of the preacher is to convert sin 
ners and to make the just perfect; whence, ascending the 
pulpit, he should say in his heart : Ego vcni ut isti vitam 
habcant et abundantius habeant" * Then the saint, speak 
ing of the pleasure the preacher should afford, uses the 
following words: "I know that many say the preacher 
should delight; but as for me, I distinguish, and say. that 
there is a pleasure consequent on the doctrine which is 
preached and the impression made upon the hearers; for 
what soul is so insensible as not to feel extreme pleasure in 
learning the way to heaven; how to gain paradise; in com 
prehending the love which God bears us? And, in order 
to impart this pleasure, all diligence should be used to in- 

1 Lettre 218, man. <ie precher, ch. 5, a. I, 3, 4; cb. 2, a. 2. 



On the Manner of Preaching. 397 

struct and to move. But there is another sort of pleasure 
which oftentimes is an obstacle to instruction and to persua 
sion a tickling of the ear by a profane elegance of language, 
and a certain balancing of words, which is altogether arti 
ficial. And as to this, I say without hesitation, that a 
preacher should not make use of it, because it belongs to 
profane orators ; and whosoever preaches in this manner 
preaches not Christ crucified, but himself. St. Paul detests 
preachers who are prurientes auribus, and consequently such 
as are solicitous to please their hearers." l So far the saint : 
and let it be observed, that the writings of this saint are, in 
a special manner, approved and adopted by the Church, 
which prays that by their guidance we may arrive at eternal 
happiness.- Such is the prayer w r e recite in the Office of the 
saint. 

In conformity with this, the learned theologian Habert, 
speaking of the style which the ministers of the Gospel 
should adopt in preaching, says that the preacher should 
endeavor to please, by a style clear, easy, and accommo 
dated to the capacity of each of his auditors. 3 Then the 
audience will be gratified, as St. Francis de Sales observes, 
by understanding the eternal truths, the maxims of the Gos- 
pal, and by knowing what they have to do, or to avoid, in 
order to be saved ; they will be pleased whilst they feel them 
selves touched with compunction, animated with confidence, 
and inflamed with the love of God. 

St. Augustine says that if the pleasures of sense delight, 

l //>. ch, 2, a. 3. 

% " Concede propitius ut ejus dirigentibus tnonitis, reterna gaudia 
consequamur." We may also apply this remark to the teachings of 
our saint; for we also read in the prayer of his Office: Ut ejus 
salutcn ibus monitiSedocti . . . ad te pervenire feticiter vale am us. He was 
moreover, raised to the dignity of Dojtor of the Church. ED. 

1 " Evangelii minister delectabit, si sit sermonis apti, facilis, ac 
perspicui." 



398 Letter to a Religions: 

much more delightful is the knowledge of the truth; and hence, 
he adds, there is nothing which the soul so ardently desires as 
to know the truth. 1 Agreeably to this, St. Francis observes, 
in his treatise on the love of God: " Truth is the object of 
the understanding, and hence it finds all its pleasure in 
knowing the truth ; and the more sublime it is. the greater 
its gratification : whence the ancient philosophers abandoned 
riches, honors, and pleasures, that they might understand 
the truths of nature. And Aristotle said that human felicity 
consists in wisdom ; that is, in knowing the truth of the most 
excellent things." 2 Hence the saint concludes, that a soul 
cannot enjoy greater delight than in acquiring a knowledge 
of the truths of faith; the more as the knowledge of them is 
not only a source of pleasure to us, but also eminently use 
ful, as upon them depends all our happiness for time and 
eternity. 

Wherefore St. Anton i us says that the preacher ought in 
deed to delight his audience; but for what end? In order 
that, being moved by the discourse, they may be induced to 
practise what they have learned. 3 On the other hand, St. 
John Chrysostom affirms that the ruin of the Church is the 
great eagerness of sacred orators, not to move their hearers 
to compunction, but to please them with fine words, as if 
they came to hear a singer chant a piece of sacred music in 
the pulp .t. " Such preachers," continues the saint, " act 
like a father who gives to his sick child what it wants. Such 
a one, however, does not deserve the name of father. This 
happens every time that one seeks flowery language, not to 

1 " Quid enim fortius desiderat anima quam veritatem ?" /// Jo. tr. 
26, n. 5. 

* Love of God, B. 3, ch. 9. 

8 " Ut sic moveat affectum ut flectat scilicet curando, ut quce dicta 
sunt, velit implere." P. 3, tit. 18, ch. 3, 4. 



On the Manner of Preaching. 399 

inspire compunction, bat to win vain praise." 1 Yes, Rever 
end Sir, there are many sacred orators who delight their 
aud.tory by their elegant and pompous diction, and attract 
crowds to their sermons. But I would wish to know how 
many of those who are so highly pleased with their dis 
courses, full of elegance and ornament, leave the church 
with a contrite heart, and afterward amend their lives. 
Such precisely was the language of St. Francis when men 
tion w.is made before him of preachers who had obtained 
great applause. " Ba so good as to tell me," he would say, 
" how many were converted by their preaching." The ac 
cursed passion for display spoils the sermons of many 
preachers, and destroys the fruit of them for those who 
hear him. This made St. Vincent de Paul exclaim, as we 
read in his Life: " O cursed ambition of display ! how many 
virtues do you infect! of how many evils are you the cause! 
You make him who should preach Jesus Christ, preach 
himself, and destroy when he should save." 2 

Some, in order to entertain the audience, ornament, or 
rather disfigure, their sermons with witticisms and ridiculous 
anecdotes, and even go so far as to say that this is neces 
sary in instructions or catechetical discourses addressed to 
the people, in order to excite and keep alive their attention 
and interest. But I know that the saints in their sermons 
did not make the people laugh, but weep. When St. John 
Franc. s Regis preached (and his sermons were always famil 
iar) the audience wept from the beginning to the end of the 

1 : Subvertit ecclesiam, quod et vos non quceritis sermonen qui 
pun.jere possit, sed qui oblectet, quasi cantores audientes. Et idem 
sit ac si Pater videos puerum cegrotum illi, qurecumque oblectent, 
porrigat, talem non dixerim Patrem. Hoc etiam nobis accidit, flos- 
culos verborum sectamur, ut oblectemus, non ut compu^amus, et 
laudibus obtentis, abeamus." In Act. horn. 30. 

Abelly, 1. 3. ch. 34- 



400 Letter to a Religious : 

discourse. A facetious remark, naturally suggested by the 
occasion, may perhaps be allowed ; but to reduce the ex 
hortation to a comic scene, as some do, by introducing" 
ridiculous trifles or curious stories, with attitudes and 
gestures designed to make the audience laugh I do not 
know how they can reconcile such an exhibition with the 
respect due to the temple of God, and to the pulpit from 
which is announced the word of God, and in which the 
preacher fulfils the office of ambassador of Jesus Christ. 
The auditors indeed will laugh and be merry, but afterward 
they will be distracted and indevout, and instead of attend 
ing to the moral instruction, will continue to reflect upon 
the witticism or ridiculous story which they have heard. 

From all I have written, your Reverence will be able to 
infer what surprise the assertion contained in your letter 
caused me, that the preacher should delight his auditory by 
a polished and ornamented style. I hope in the Lord that 
you will remove from your mind this prejudice, this griev 
ous error, hurtful to your own soul, and to all those who 
will assist at your instructions. 

And as your Reverence is so very humble as to con 
descend, toward the close of your letter, to ask of an 
unworthy sinner some instructions for preaching with advan 
tage to the people, I recommened you for the most part, in 
your sermons to speak of the last things death, judgment, 
hell, eternity, and the like ; because the eternal truths make 
the deepest impression, and incline the heart to the love of 
virtue. I beg of you, repeatedly in your discourses to ex 
plain to the people the peace enjoyed by the soul that is in 
favor with God. St. Francis de Sales by this means drew 
away many souls from a vicious life, and on that account 
Henry IV., King of France, commended him much, blam 
ing other preachers who make the way of virtue appear so 
difficult that they deter souls from entering upon it. I en 
treat you also to speak often of the love that Jesus Christ 



On the Manner of Preaching. 401 

has shown us in his Passion, in the institution of the most 
Holy Sacrament, and of the love we should bear in turn to 
ward our most Blessed Redeemer, by often calling to mind 
these two great mysteries of love. I say this because few 
preachers, or at least too few, speak of the love of Jesus 
Christ; and it is certain that what is done solely through 
fear of punishment and not through love will be of short 
duration. A great servant of God, and a great laborer in 
the vineyard of the Lord, Father Gennaro Sarnelli, used to 
say: " I would wish to do nothing else but proclaim with 
out ceasing : love Jesus Christ, love Jesus Christ, because 
he is deserving of your love." In like manner often recom 
mend, in preaching, devotion to the most Holy Virgin, 
through whose intercession all graces come to us, by 
making the people have recourse to her at the end of the 
sermon to obtain some special grace, as the forgiveness of 
their sins, holy perseverance, and the love of Jesus Christ. 
Above all, I beg of you to give practical advice to your 
audience, by suggesting the means of persevering in the 
grace of God, such as to guard the eyes from looking at 
dangerous objects, to fly evil occasions from conversing 
with persons of a different sex or vicious companions; to 
frequent the sacraments ; to hear Mass every day ; to enter 
into some pious sodality; to practise mental prayer, instruct 
ing them at the same time practically in the manner of 
making it ; to read spiritual books ; to visit the most Holy 
Sacrament; to make the examination of conscience; to recite 
the Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary. You should often 
inculcate conformity to the divine will amidst contradictions, 
as upon this conformity our perfection and salvation depend. 
Exhort them particularly to have recourse each day to Jesus 
and Mary, to obtain holy perseverance, and especially 
in the time of temptation; and I strenuously recommend 
you constantly to suggest to the people that great means of 
salvation, prayer a subject which I remark preachers treat 
26 



4O2 Letter to a Religious : 

very seldom, and very slightly, although upon prayer de 
pend our eternal salvation and all our good. 

I am aware that speaking upon such practical subjects 
has little attraction for those preachers who aim at loftiness 
of speech, because they appear to them to be trivial matters, 
and they do not admit of ingenious thoughts and sounding 
periods. But it was thus that St. Francis de S lies preached, 
who converted by his sermons innumerable souls: he always 
enforced the practices of a Christian life, so that in one 
country district the people desired to have in writing the 
practical rules which he recommended from the pulpit, that 
they mijiht be the better able to put them in practice. 

Oh, if all sacred orators preached solely with the view of 
pleasing God, in an easy and popular style, and discoursed 
on the truths and the maxims of the Gospel, in a manner 
plain, simple, and unadorned, and enforced practically the 
the remedies against sins, and the means of persevering and 
of advancing in the divine love, the world would change its 
face, and God would not be offended as we now see him. 
We may remark, ttrit the country pansh in wh ch there is 
a fervent priest, who truly preaches Christ crucified, is soon 
reclaimed and sanctified. I say, moreover, if a pious and 
simple discourse is delivered in a church the whole aud tory 
is touched w .th compunction, and if they are not all con 
verted, they are at least moved and affected ; if such a style 
of preaching, then, were universal, what advantage would 
we see universally accrue to souls ! 

I will trespass on you no longer; but as you had the 
patience to read this long letter, I beg of you to join me in 
the following prayer to Jesus Christ: 

O Saviour of the world, who art little known and loved 
less by the world, especially through the fault of Thy minis 
ters; Thou who didst give up Thy life for the salvation of 
souls, i beseech Thee through the merits of Thy Passion 
to enlighten and inflame so many priests who might con- 



On the Manner of Preaching. 403 

vert sinners, and sanctify the entire earth if they preached Thy 
word with humility and simplicity, as Thou and Thy dis 
ciples preached it. But, alas ! they do not do so ; they 
preach themselves, and not Thee: and thus the world is 
full of preachers, and in the meantime hell is constantly 
crowded with souls. O Lord, repair this mighty ruin which 
preachers cause in Thy Church ; and if it be necessary, 
humble, I pray Thee, as an example to others, by some 
visible sign, those priests who for their own glory adulterate 
Thy holy word, that they may amend, and that they may 
not thus obstruct the spiritual profit of the people. Thus I 
hope, thus I pray. 

I recommend myself to your prayers, and remain your 
Reverence s most devoted and obedient servant, 

ALPHONSUS M., 

Bishop of S. Agatha. 



404 Letter p. 



LETTER 9. 

To a Bishop. 

On the Utility of the Missions. 

I have received your Lordship s most esteemed letter, in 
which I see your zeal for procuring missions for all the 
villages of your diocese, and in which your Lordship states 
several objections which have been made against the advan 
tages of the missions. In obedience to your Lordship s 
commands I shall detail at full length my views on the 
matter, and shall answer all the groundless objections which 
have been put forward against the holy missions. 

It is certain, that the conversion of sinners is the greatest 
benefit that God can bestow upon man. St. Thomas 1 says 
that the gift of grace by which God justifies the sinner is a 
greater favor than the beatitude of glory. But the conver 
sion of sinners is precisely the end of the missions; for, by 
the instructions and sermons of the missions, they are con 
vinced of the malice of sin, of the importance of salvation, 
and of the goodness of God, and thus their hearts are 
changed, the bonds of vicious habits are broken, and they 
begin to live like Christians. 

In the Old as well as in the New Law the Lord ordained 
that the world should be saved by means of the missions. 
The faith, according to St. Paul, has been propagated by 
preaching; but preaching would have been ineffectual if 
God had not sent the preachers. How, says the Apostle, 
shall they believe him of whom they have not heard ? and 
how shall they hear without a preacher ? and how shall they 

1 I. 2, q. 113. a. 9. 



On the Utility of the Missions. 405 

preach unless they be sent. 1 Hence, according to St. 
Gregory, the missions began at the commencement of the 
world : for God has never at any time neglected to send 
workmen to cultivate his vineyard. 2 In the Old Testament 
he sent the prophets to preach the law, and in the New he 
has sent his own Son to teach us the new law of grace, which 
is the perfection and accomplishment of the old law. God 
who in times past spoke to the fathers by the prophets, last 
of all in these days hath spoken to us by his Son? 

But because Jesus Christ was sent to preach only in Judea, 
he appointed the apostles that, after his death, they might 
preach the Gospel to all nations. 4 By the preaching of the 
apostles, as we learn from St. Paul, the Gospel began to 
fructify throughout the world. 5 The apostles sent their dis 
ciples to propagate the faith in the other nations, which they 
themselves had not been able to reach. And in after years, 
as we know from ecclesiastical history, holy workmen were 
sent by the Sovereign Pontiff and by other bishops to preach 
the Gospel in other kingdoms. In the fourth century St. 
Ireneus was sent to France. In the fifth, St. Palladius was sent 
to Scotland, and St. Patrick to Ireland. In the sixth, St. 
Gregory sent St. Augustine to England. In the seventh, 
St. Eligius was sent to Flanders, St. Kilian to Franconia, 
Sts. Swidbert and Willibrord to Holland. In the eighth cen 
tury Gregory the Second sent St. Boniface to Germany, St. 
Wulfran to Friesland, and St. Hubert to Brabant. In the 

" Quoihodo credent ei quern non audierunt? Quomodo autem 
audient, sine pradicante? Quomodo vero prredicabunt, nisi mittan- 
tur ?" Rom. x. 14. 

Ad erudiendam ergo Dominus plebem suam, quasi ad excolendam 
vineam, nullo tempore destitit operarios mittere." In Evang. horn. 19. 
3 " Novissime, diebus istis, locutus est nobis in Filio." Heb. i. 2. 
Euntes in mundum universum predicate evangelium omni crea- 
turoe." Mark, xvi. 15. 
5 " In universe mundo est, et fructificat, et crescit." Col. i. 6. 

26* 



406 Letter to a Bishop: 

ninth, St. Ascanius was sent to Denmark and Sweden, and 
St. Methodius to Bohemia, Moravia, and Bulgaria. In the 
tenth, St. Maynard was sent to Livonia, and St. Ottone to 
Pomerania. In the thirteenth century, the Pope sent Do 
minicans and Franciscans to Greece, Armenia, Ethiopia, 
Tartary, and Norway. These facts have been taken from 
a work entitled Historical Notices of the Church. 

Finally, we know that in later times immense numbers 
have been converted from paganism in the East Indies and 
Japan by St. Francis Xavier, and in the West Indies by St. 
Louis Bertrand. I abstain from mentioning the many pro 
vinces of infidels and heretics which were converted by 
missionaries. St. Francis de Sales was sent to the province 
of Chablais, and converted seventy-two thousand heretics. 
We also know that St. Vincent de Paul instituted a Con 
gregation of priests, which was approved by the Holy See. 
The priests of this Congregation are called " The Fathers of 
the Mission," because their lives are spent in giving missions 
in all places to which they are invited. 

In a word, wherever the faith has been planted or a ref 
ormation of morals introduced, all has been effected by 
means of the missions; and when the scourges of heaven- 
earthquakes, wars, famine, and pestilence have failed to 
convert the people, when the civil laws with all their penal 
ties have not succeeded in preventing murders, thefts, a- 
dulteries, and blasphemies, the missions have been found 
effectual ; hence, the learned Contenson of the Order of St. 
Dominic says that by the missions alone souls obtain 
eternal life. 1 Hence, when a mission is to be given in any 
place, we can clearly perceive the efforts of hell to prevent 
it. For there is always some dissolute person who does all 
in his power to prevent the mission, because he knows that 

1 " Per solas missiones impletur proedestinatio, quce est transmissio 
creaturse rationalis in vitam reternam." Theol. \. 3, d. 6, c. 2, sp. 2. 



On the Utility of the Missions. 407 

it will be an effectual obstacle to the execution of his wicked 
designs. But if in cities the missions are most useful, they 
are necessary in the villages and small towns as well for the 
instruction of the people as to give them an opportunity of 
making a good confession. First, in the small towns the 
missions are necessary for the instruction of the people. It 
is true, in all or in almost all Catholic countries, sermons are 
preached to the people during Lent. But the people de 
rive far greater fruit from the sermons of the missionaries 
than from the Lenten discourses. For the preachers for 
Lent ordinarily preach in a high and flowery style, or at 
least in a manner not adapted to the capacity of the poor. 
They have their sermons committed to memory, and can 
not change them, whether their audience consists of the 
learned or ignorant. When the preachers of the villages 
came to ask the blessing of Cardinal Pignatelli, Archbishop 
of Naples, his Eminence recommended them to address the 
people in a simple and popular style. For, said his Emi 
nence, the greater part of the people being illiterate, 
derive no fruit from the sermons unless the language be 
accommodated to their capacity. He then added: Perhaps 
you will tell me that the prescription is already written. I 
then answer, Oh, what a pity for the patients! 

The remarks of this holy prelate were most just; for, what 
benefit can a sick man derive from remedies which have 
been prescribed without a knowledge of his disease? 

Hence, when the poor people of the country places are 
asked what fruit they have received from the sermon, they 
answer that they could not understand it because the 
preacher spoke Latin. It is not true that these preachers 
always speak Latin, but their language is so little adapted 
to the weak understanding of the ignorant that to them it is 
as unintelligible as if it were Latin. I assert, and in this as 
sertion I believe I am not rash, that it would be sometimes 
better for the ignorant to be absent from these sermons. 



408 Letter to a Bishop: 

F or after listening for an hour to a sermon, in the hope of 
deriving from it spiritual profit, they find that their time has 
been lost, and thus they conceive a dislike for the word of 
God, and become worse than they were before. Hence it 
is that after the sermons of Lent we see the same bad prac 
tices, the same animosities, and hear the same blasphemies 
and the same obscenities. The greatest misery of the poor 
in the country is, as Contenson says, that there is no one to 
break to them the word of God ; and therefore, he says, 
woe to the bishops, woe to the negligent priests ! 1 

But, it will be asked, are there not over the poor in the 
villages pastors who preach every Sunday? Yes, there are 
pastors who preach ; but we must consider that all pastors 
do not, or cannot break the bread of the divine word to the 
illiterate in the manner prescribed by the Council of Trent. 
" They shall feed the people committed to them with whole 
some words, according to their own capacity, and that of 
their people, by teaching them the things which it is neces 
sary for all to know unto salvation, and by announcing to 
them, with briefness and plainness of discourse, the vices 
which they must avoid, and the virtues which they must 
practise." 2 Hence it often happens that the people draw 
but little fruit from the sermon of the pastor, either because 
he has but little talent for preaching, or because his style 
is too high or his discourse too long. Besides, many of 
those who stand in the greatest need of instruction do 
not go to the sermon of the parish priest. Moreover, 
Jesus Christ tells us that No prophet is accepted in his own 

1 " Tot parvuli in oppidulis petunt panem et non est qui frangat 
eis. Voe, VIE prrelatis dormientibus, voe presbyteris otiosis!" Loco cit. 

2 "Plebes sibi commissas, pro earum capacitate, pascant salutari- 
bus verbis, docendo necessaria ad salutem annunciandoque cum 
brevitate et facilitate sermonis vitia qure eas declinare, et virtutes, 
quas sectari oporteat." Sess. 5, c. 2, de Ref. 



On the Utility of the Missions. 409 

country } And when the people always hear the same voice, 
the sermon makes but little impression upon them. 

But the sermons of the missionaries who devote their lives 
to the missions are well arranged, and are all adapted to the 
capacity of the ignorant as well as of the learned. In their 
sermons, as well as in their instructions, the word of God is 
broken. Hence, in the mission, the poor are made to under 
stand the mysteries of faith and the precepts of the Deca 
logue, the manner of receiving the sacraments with fruit, 
and the means of persevering in the grace of God : they are 
inflamed with fervor, and are excited to correspond with the 
divine love, and to attend to the afifair of salvation. Hence 
we see such a concourse of the people at the missions, where 
they hear strange voices and simple and popular discourses. 
Besides, in the missions, the eternal truths which are best 
calculated to move the heart, such as the importance of 
salvation, the malice of sin, death, judgment, hell, eternity, 
etc., are proposed in a connected manner, so that it would 
be a greater wonder that a dissolute sinner should persevere 
in his wickedness, than that he should be converted. Hence, 
in the missions, many sinners give up their evil habits, re 
move proximate occasions of sin, restore ill-gotten goods, 
and repair injuries. Many radically extirpate all sentiments 
of hatred, and forgive their enemies from their hearts; and 
many who had not approached the sacraments for years, or 
who received them unworthily, make good confessions dur 
ing the missions. 

It has been said that, in the ten or fifteen days during which 
the mission lasts, the missionaries have given absolution to 
many relapsing sinners, who would require a trial of several 
months before they could be safely absolved. Would to 
God that all confessions were made with the same disposi 
tions with which they are made in the missions. Oh, how 

1 " Nemo propheta acceptus est in patria sua." Luke, iv. 24. 



410 Letter to a Bishop: 

small should be the number of damned souls ! Surely length 
of time is not the only means of ascertaining the dispositions 
of a penitent ; it may be a very fallacious means. How 
many are there who, in order to receive absolution during 
the time of the paschal precept, abstain for a month and more 
from the habits of sin, who interrupt their evil practices, and 
relapse immediately after? I therefore am of opinion that 
the disposition of a penitent may be better known from the 
deep impression made by the sermons, from the compunc 
tion of heart which he manifests, from the resolution which 
he makes, and from the means which he adopts in order to 
avoid sin, than from length of time. St. Cyprian says that 
charity is perfected, not so much by length of time, as by 
the efficacy of grace. And St. Thomas says that God some 
times infuses so much compunction into the hearts of sinners 
that they instantly acquire perfect sanctity. 1 At a synod of 
the Bishops of Flanders, held at Brussels, the following de 
cree was made: " The confessor, in the case of greater sin 
ners, even when they are backsliders, should not ask that 
they perform works of penance for a notable time, but 
he should with the holy Fathers be mindful that God in 
the conversion of the sinner considers not the measure of 
time but of sorrow." 2 Moreover, since the matter of the 
sacrament of penance is moral and not physical, it is suf 
ficient for the confessor to have a moral certainty which (as 
the author of the instructor of Young Confessors says) is 
nothing else than a prudent probable judgment, not opposed 
by a prudent doubt of the dispositions of the penitent. Those 

1 " Quandoque tanta commotione convertit (Deus) cor hominis, ut 
subito perfecte consequatur sanitatem spiritualem." P. 3, q. 86, c. 5. 

2 " Confessarius a quihusvis peccatoribus gravioribus etiam recidivis , 
stata lege, non exigat ut per notabile tempus praevioe exercuerint 
opera poenitentioe ; sed cum sanctis Patribus expendat Deum, in con- 
versione peccatoris, non tarn considerare mensuram temporis quam 
doloris." 



On the Utility of the Missions. 41 1 

who have assisted in giving missions, and who are accustom 
ed to hear confessions, know well the difference between the 
confessions made on other occasions and the confessions 
made during the missions. They are fully convinced that 
in the missions penitents confess their sins with true sorrow, 
and with a firm purpose of amendment. 

The reparation of so many sacrilegious confessions in 
which sins are concealed through shame, particularly by 
women, should of itself be sufficient to render the missions 
very desirable. This great evil of bad confessions is more 
common in small villages in which there are but few confes 
sors, who are acquainted with all the inhabitants. Penitents 
are ashamed to confess their sins to confessors whom they 
meet every day, and thus through shame they continue to 
make sacrilegious confessions during their whole lives. 
Many, through this accursed shame, conceal their sins even 
at the hour of death, and thus sacrilegiously receive the last 
sacraments. Hence, the reparation of so many bad confes 
sions is one of the greatest advantages of the missions. The 
people, knowing that the missionaries are strangers who will 
remain only for a few days, and whom they will never see 
again, are easily induced, by the terrors of the divine judg 
ments proposed in the sermons of the mission, to confess 
the sins which they had before concealed. 

Hence I say that in every village the mission should con 
tinue as long as will be necessary for the missionaries to hear 
the confessions of all the inhabitants ; otherwise, many per 
sons will not be able to make their confession to the Fathers, 
and thus their consciences will be perplexed and troubled. 
For, by the sermons, scruples are excited; but by the 
sermons alone, a person addicted to bad habits, to unjust 
contracts, or inveterate hatred is not sufficiently taught what 
he must do in order to tranquillize his conscience. But in 
confession everything is adjusted, and the penitent is in 
structed how to make restitution for injuries done to others 



4 1 2 Letter- to a Bishop : 

in their property or character, how to remove the occasions of 
his sins, and how to pardon injuries. But if the doubts and 
scruples excited by the sermons be not removed in the con 
fessional, many persons will be more perplexed and troubled 
in mind than they were before the mission began. And if 
a person whose past confessions were sacrilegious cannot 
confess to the missionaries, he will, being- obliged to make 
his confession to the priest of the village, continue, as be 
fore, to conceal his sins. Where the mission is so short 
that all the inhabitants of the place have not time to make 
their confession to the missionaries, it will do more injury 
than service to many souls. For, some persons whose 
ignorance rendered the omission of certain sins in confes 
sion excusable, being instructed in their obligation, will be 
found to confess these sins, but will not have courage to 
disclose these to the confessor of the place: thus, they will 
commit sacrileges and be lost. 

Finally, all the world knows the immense good which has 
been and is daily done by the missions. A description of 
the innumerable conversions of sinners, produced by means 
of the missions, would be too long for this letter; but I shall 
mention a few. 

Speaking of the missions of Father Segneri the Younger, 
the celebrated Muratori says that the entire people gave up 
their employments to attend his sermons. He says that 
hatred for their sins and compunction of heart were plainly 
depicted in the countenances of all. Human respect and 
human feelings were trodden under foot, the most obdurate 
sinners were converted, and the confessors were obliged to 
hear the confessions not only by day but by night. He 
adds that after the mission the whole town appeared to be 
changed: scandals were removed, abuses corrected, invet 
erate and obstinate animosities ceased, and blasphemies, 
imprecations, and obscenities were no longer heard. A 
similar description has been published of the fruits of the 



On the Utility of the Missions. 413 

missions of Father Joseph Carabantes, a Capuchin ; but in 
one city the people were so deeply penetrated with com 
punction that almost all of them went through the streets in 
the garments of penance, scourging themselves, and with 
tears asking of God the pardon of their sins. 

Speaking of the missions given by the venerable priests 
of the Congregation of St. Vincent de Paul, the author of 
his Life says that, during a mission in the diocese of Pales- 
trina in 1657, a young man whose arm had been cut off by 
an enemy, having met his enemy in a public street after a 
sermon, cast himself at his feet, asked pardon for the hatred 
he had borne him, and, rising up, embraced him with so 
much affection that all who were present wept through joy, 
and many, moved by his example, pardoned all the injur 
ies that they had received from their enemies. In the same 
diocese there were two widows who had been earnestly en 
treated but constantly refused to pardon certain persons who 
had killed their husbands. During the mission they were 
perfectly reconciled with the murderers, in spite of the re 
monstrance of a certain person who endeavored to persuade 
them to the contrary, saying that the murders were but re 
cent, and that the blood of their husbands was still warm. 
The following fact is still more wonderful: In a certain 
town, which I shall not mention,* vindictiveness prevailed 
to such an extent that parents taught the ; r children how to 
take revenge for every offence, however small : this vice was 
so deeply rooted that it appeared impossible to persuade the 
people to pardon injuries. The people came to the exer 
cises of the mission with sword and musket, and many with 
other weapons. For some time the sermons did not pro- 



* In the Life of the saint by Abelly, b. 4, ch. 5, this place is called 
Niolo, situated in the island of Corsica, where a mission was given 
in 1652. This Life presents many other very interesting details a- 
bout the good done in the missions given by the children of St. Vin 
cent de Paul. ED. 



414 Letter to a Bishop: 

duce a single reconciliation; but on a certain day, the 
preacher, through a divine inspiration, presented the cruci 
fix to the audience, saying: " Now let every one who hears 
malice to his enemies come and show that for the lov >i his 
Saviour he wishes to pardon them : let him embrace them 
in Jesus Christ." After these words a parish priest whose 
nephew had been lately killed came up to the preacher and 
kissed the crucifix, and calling the murderer, who was pre 
sent, embraced him cordially. By this exampJe and by the 
words of the preacher the people were so much moved that 
for an hour and a half they were employed in the church in 
making peace with their enemies and embracing those whom 
they had before hated. The hour being late, they con 
tinued to do the same on the following day, so that parents 
pardoned the murder of their children, wives of their hus 
bands, and children of their fathers and brothers. These 
reconciliations were made with so many tears and so much 
consolation that the inhabitants long continued to bless God 
for the signal favor bestowed on the town. It is also related 
that many notorious robbers and assassins, being moved by 
the sermon, or by what they heard from others of it, gave 
up their arms and began to lead a Christian life. Nearly 
forty of these public malefactors were converted in a single 
mission. 

We read in his Life of the stupendous effects produced by 
the missions of Father Leonard of Port Maurice, of the re 
formed Franciscans. In a village of Corsica called Mariana, 
murders were so frequently committed through revenge that 
entire families were extinguished ; such was the fruit of a 
mission given by Father Leonard that at the end of it there 
was not a single individual in the town who had not made 
peace with his enemies. In another place, called Casaccone, 
there was a family who obstinately refused to be reconciled 
with certain persons who had offended them. But when, 
at the close of the mission, the preacher declared that he did 



On the Utility of the Missions. 415 

not ntend to bless those who retained sentiments of hatred 
in their hearts, all the members of that family came for 
ward, and with many tears made peace with their opponents. 
Our ng the mission in this place, a young man came from a 
d st nee, for the purpose of killing an enemy, whom he ex 
pected to find at the exercises of the mission ; but by hear 
ing the sermon he was converted, laid aside his hatred and 
made a general confession. In a town called Castel d Acq ia, 
there was a great number of opposite factions: during the mis 
sion they came one day, armed, to the church. Great slaughter 
was apprehended ; but by the sermon their hearts were filled 
with compunction: they went of their own accord to the 
preacher, and a common peace was established. In another 
place there were two parties who had been at variance for 
twenty years ; in these contentions many persons were 
killed. Through the obstinacy of their chief, whose name 
was Lupo, one of the parties at the beginning of the mis 
sion refused to make peace; but at the end of the mission, 
see.ng that his opponents were reconciled with God, and 
that he was still the enemy of God, Lupo was struck with 
remorse, and offered to make peace: thus the two parties 
were reconciled. In Leghorn great preparations were made 
for the amusement of the carnival; but as soon as the mis- 
sum began, the masks and dances and, because no person 
would go to the theatres, even the public comedies were 
given up. These are ordinary, not extraordinary, fruits of 
all missions: I therefore abstain from saying more on this 
subject. 

Let us now come to the objections that are made against 
the utility of the missions. It is said in the first place that 
the fruit of the missions is only temporary, that, though 
it appears great, it lasts but a short time, and that the wick 
ed become worse than they were before. I answer, would 
to God that all who are converted would persevere ! It is 
one of the miseries of human nature that many who recover 



4i 6 Letter to a Bishop: 

the grace of God lose it again by sin. But though it should 
be admitted that the fruits of the missions are not permanent, 
it is at least certain that, during the mission, bad practices 
are given up, scandals are removed, blasphemies cease, a 
great deal of ill-gotten property is restored, and many bad 
confessions are repaired. But it is not true that, after the 
missions, all sinners become worse than they were before ; 
many persevere in the grace of God, and others, if they re 
lapse, abstain for many months from mortal sin. Moreover, 
by listening to the sermons of the missions, the people ac 
quire a more perfect knowledge of God and of the importance 
of salvation, and a greater horror of sin; and if they relapse 
into sin, they endeavor to rise again at the time of the Pas 
chal Communion. I hold for certain that, if among all 
those who have attended the sermons any one die within a 
year after the mission, he will scarcely be lost. The fruits 
of the mission are always visible at least for a year or two; 
and if they do not last longer, it is because the priests of the 
place do not labor to preserve and maintain them by as 
sembling the people to meditation and to the visit of the 
Blessed Sacrament, and, above all, by attending to the con 
fessional. " Va" says the learned Contenson, " prcclatis 
dormientibus, VCE presbyter is otiosis" But when, after three 
or four years, the land becomes dry, it is necessary to re 
fresh it by another mission. 

The second objection against the missions is that the con 
sciences of many are disturbed by scruples excited by the 
sermons. Oh what an objection ! Then, rather than dis 
turb their conscience, it is better to allow sinners to slumber 
in the lethargy of sin, and in an accursed peace which is the 
seal of damnation ! The devil wishes that the false peace of 
sinners, which keeps them in a state of perdition, should 
not be disturbed! But it is the duty of a pastor to awaken 
those who sleep in sin, and to warn them of the danger of 



On the Utility of the Missions. 4 1 7 

damnation to which they are exposed; and surely there is 
no better means of arousing sinners to a sense of the perils 
by which they are beset, than the missions. 

Hence, bishops should take care that missions be given 
in every village, however small. Where there are many 
villages near one another, some missionaries select for the 
mission a place in the midst of these villages. The greatest 
sinners, who are consequently the most blind and the most 
careless of their salvation, do not go to the exercises of 
the mission unless they are performed in their own church. 
They remain at home under the pretext that the church in 
which the mission is given is too distant, or that the weather is 
bad, and thus they continue in their miserable state of per 
dition. I speak from experience ; for we found that many 
places derived little or no profit from the missions, either be 
cause these missions were given in the midst of several vil 
lages or because they were too short. Hence, when the 
missionaries of our little Congregation go into any diocese, 
it is usual to give the mission in every village, however small, 
at least for eight days, and in populous towns for fifteen, 
twenty, or thirty days, until the confessions of all are 
heard. 

The third objection is that the exercises of the mission 
generally end at night, and are therefore a cause of much 
scandal. I answer that they who attend the exercises are 
struck with the terror of God s judgments; and should any one 
during that time be disposed to tempt others to sin, he could 
not expect to succeed : but even though some attempt should 
be made to draw others into sin, must the missions be given 
up? If, to avoid all danger of evil, it were necessary to ab 
stain from what is good and profitable, we should prohibit 
festivals of the saints, processions, and pilgrimages to holy 
places, because in these things there is always some disorder; 
we should prohibit confession, Communion, and hearing 



41 8 Letter to a Bishop: 

Mass, because even in these there are sometimes scandals 
and sacrileges. But we know that the Church not only per 
mits but even approves and commands these things. 

But it is said that from preaching at night many sins a- 
rise: and will there be no sins if the missions be given up? 
Ah, if the missions be given up, bad habits, quarrels, blas 
phemies, and all scandals will continue. But at least, dur 
ing the mission, thousands of sins are avoided. But you 
will ask why are the sermons preached at night? I answer 
that, where the people attend by day, the sermons should 
be preached during the day and not at night; but, where 
they cannot attend by day, what can be done? It is certain 
that if, in the country places, the poor laboring classes, who 
form almost the entire audience, do not attend the sermons, 
the mission will be lost; but however strongly they may be 
exhorted to attend at an early hour, these poor people can 
not come till after the work of the day. Masters and em 
ployers are recommended to allow their servants and work 
men to give up their work at an early hour during the days 
of the mission; but these employers look to their own in 
terest and pay but little attention to such recommendations. 
The workmen, unless they complete the day s work, are 
not paid. Without their wages they are not able to pro 
vide food for themselves or their families : hence in the vil 
lages the poor cannot attend till about sunset; and if they 
do not attend, I say the mission is lost. 

The fourth objection is that some imprudent missionaries 
preach from the pulpit against the sins which they hear in the 
confessional, and excite in the people a hatred for confes 
sion. This objection has been made by some wicked per 
sons who hate the missions, and is utterly destitute of founda 
tion. The first thing the missionaries do after their arrival at 
the place of the mission, is to inform themselves of the prevail 
ing sins and abuses of the place, and these they attack in 
their sermons. But they are careful never to mention in the 



On the Utility of the Missions. 419 

pulpit any circumstance which could in the most remote 
manner reveal any sin heard in confession. But of what are 
they to speak in the pulpit? Is it of ecstasies, raptures, vis 
ions, or of revelations ? No, they must preach against the 
vices which are most common, and which are ordinarily 
committed in all places, such as impurity, blasphemies, 
hatred, theft, and the like. 

Finally, it is said that the missions, being repeated every 
three years, are too frequent, and therefore produce little 
or no impression on the minds of the people. I admit that, 
between two successive missions in the same place, there 
should be a considerable interval of time; but an interval of 
three years is quite sufficient. For, ordinarily speaking, in 
that space of time many forget the sermons of the mission, 
many relapse into sin, and very many fall into tepidity. A 
new mission will renew the fervor of the tepid, and will re 
store God s grace to those who have relapsed. But it is not 
true that repeated missions do not produce much fruit. For 
although in the second mission the people do not manifest 
so much compunction as in the first, the fruit is notwith 
standing very great. For, as I have already said, many 
who have returned to their former bad habits rise again from 
sin, many who became tepid begin again to serve God with 
fervor, and many are more firmly established in the practice 
of virtue. Hence, to renew the fervor and resolution of the 
people, the missionaries of our little Congregation usually 
return after some months to the place in which they have 
given missions. And we have learned by experience the 
great advantages which flow from these renewals. 

I have said enough ; I only entreat your Lordship to con 
tinue with your wonted zeal to procure every three years a 
mission for every village in your diocese. Do not attend to 
the objections of those who speak against the missions 
through interested motives or through ignorance of the great 
advantages of the missions. I also pray you to oblige the 



420 Letter to a Bishop: 

pastors and priests of the villages to continue the exercises 
recommended to them by the missionaries, such as common 
mental prayer in the church, visit to the Blessed Sacrament, 
familiar sermons every week, the Rosary, and other similiar 
devotions. For it frequently happens that, through the 
neglect of the priests of the place, the greater part of the 
fruit produced by the mission is lost. I recommend myself 
to your prayers and remain, 

Your very devoted and obedient servant, 
ALPHONSUS MARIA, 

Bishop of St. Agatha. 



INDEX 

TO THE 

LETTERS OF ST. ALPHONSUS MARIA 
DE LIGUORI. 



ABBRUZZI, spiritual destitution of the, I. 141. 

ABELLY, Louis, the saint praises his theology, III. 451. 

ABUSES, in the Church to be corrected, III. 57; difficulty of remov 
ing them in monasteries, I. 108; from small beginnings they be 
come great, 11.417; introduce relaxation, III. 285; religious 
damned for introducing, III. 286; means to be employed, in 
removing certain abuses, I. 168, II. 99. 

ACADEMIES OF MORAL THEOLOGY, how conducted, V. 229, 256-257- 
the saint establishes them throughout his diocese, V. 282. 

AFFLICTION renders souls dear to God, I. 77. 

ALPHONSUS MARIA DE LIGUORI, ST., how God called him from the 
world, I. 319: 

AUTHOR: he does not write to acquire a name, I. 337, IV. 335, 338 ; 
but to promote the glory of God, IV. 44, 69, 81, V. 68, 124, and 
the triumph of the truth, IV. 264. His solicitude for sound doc 
trine, IV. 34, 35, 44. He is willing to retract his opinions when 
convinced of error, II. 151, IV. 268, 379. He retracts many 
opinions, 1.337, HI. 133, IV. 63 (Works of the Saint). His 
horror of lax opinions, II. 185. He is more inclined to sever 
ity than to Laxism, IV. 405, 406, 421, 438, V. 149; is one of the 
most rigid of the Probabilists, IV. 156, 161. A clear writer, IV. 
343, V. 112; not a friend of wordiness, IV. 73, 122, 177. He 
refutes his adversaries without passion, V. 91. He is constantly 



424 Index. 

reading and always rinds something new to add to his Moral 
Theology, IV. 179. He does not disdain to insert the writings 
of others, IV. 235. Even during the printing he makes exten 
sive corrections, IV. 107, 140, 142, 401. His ascetical works 
are sought after everywhere, IV. 73 (Laxisrn). 

BISHOP: his dread of the episcopate, I. 80, 184. He accepts it out of 
obedience, IV. 185, 189; but is sorely afflicted, II. 5, 6. He faith 
fully performs its duties, II. 114, 364, III. 63; V. 282-287; 
wishes to preach in every part of his diocese, II. 18. The affairs 
of the episcopate keep him constantly employed, IV. 192, 195, 
219, 221. Continual aflxiety and scruples, 11.93, 112-113, 145- 
146,387,111.62-63. His motto, II. 342. He petitions Clement 
XIII. to permit him to resign, II. 187; Pius VI., III. 102, who 
accepts his resignation, III. 109 (Virtues, zeal of the Saint}. 

FOUNDER OF THE CONGREGATION OF THE MOST HOLY REDEEMER : 
he founds it under obedience, I. 43, 162, to please God, II. 262, 
without other support than God, 1-57; his ardor to begin the 
foundation, I. 27; asks prayers for its success, 1.26; encounters 
opposition from the beginning, I. 30; asks prayers to obtain 
subjects, I. 78, 81, 85, 87, 89. He blesses all the members of 
the Congregation, present and future, III. 33; his sentiments 
toward those who abandon the Congregation, II. 163, 164; he 
awaits them at the day of judgment, II. 402; he endeavors to 
have the Brief of Approbation inserted in the Kullarium of Bene 
dict XIV., V. 78, 81, 83, 86 (Congregation}. 

MISSIONARY: he would consider himself lost if he abandoned the 
missions, I. 80 (Virtues, zeal for the missions}. 

SPIRITUAL DIRECTOR: he requires of his penitents obedience, I. 241. 
477, 494, 555, 578, II. 215, 267, 272, 275, 278, 437; fidelity to 
prayer, 1.63, 65, 578, II. 276, and other pious exercises in spite 
of tepidity, 1.384, 397, II. 363, 414; attention to spiritual read 
ing, 1.63, 11.285; love of retirement and silence, I. 63, 78, 
323, II. 255-256; devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, I. 64, 108, 
to the Passion of Jesus Christ, II. 410, 462, 512, and to the 
Blessed Virgin Mary, I. 63, 78, 290, 578 ; frequent reception of 
holy Communion, I. 103, 456, II. 248, 269, 276, 285, 2gr, 298, 
314, 343; mortification, 1.63, 82, 456, II. 267, 305; love of 
contempt and persecution, I. 86, 323, 356, 431, 440, 456, 578, 
II. 102, 149, 363; detachment from relatives, II. 310, and from 
all things, 1-554, III. 283; promptness in rising with courage 
after a fault, I. 64, 578 (Faults}; conformity to the will of God, I. 
241, 444, II. 423 (Conformity); constancy in praying for the 



Index. 425 

Church (Church); for the souls in purgatory and for sinners, I. 
74, 77, III. 285, 289, 464 (Rule of Life]. 

Sui ERiOR OF THE CONGREGATION: he accepts out of obedience, I. 162, 
diligence in discharging his duties, I. 515-516, HI. 137 (Vir 
tues, zeal for regular observance); charity toward his subjects, I. 
275, 341 (Virtues }; severity toward delinquents, I. 253, 258, 349, 
413-414, 422; he fears more for the Congregation on account 
of faults than from persecution (Inobservance); his solicitude for 
for the temporal welfare of the Congregation (Interests}. 
SUPERNATURAL GIFTS: he cures F. Saverio Rossi by a miracle, I. 
325; effects the cure of his niece Maria Teresa with a picture of 
the Madonna, III. 457; foretells to F. Antonio Tannoia a long 
life of great bodily suffering, I. 330, the death of Giovanni Puoti, 
II. 107, an incurable sickness to Sister Maria Maddalena Desio, 
II. 423; knows supernaturally of the death of Brother Francesco 
Tartaglione, III. 18; the recovery of the Marquis Carlo de 
Marco, V. 29; assists miraculously at the death of Clement XIV, 
111.49. 

VIRTUES: CONFORMITY TO THE DIVINE WILL, in adversity, I. 297, 594, 
II. 502, III. 132; in interior trials, 1. 15, 16; in sickness, II. 297, 303, 
307, 348, III. 428, 433-434; in the dismemberment of the Congre 
gation, III. 375, 412; in the threatened ruin of the house at Gir- 
genti, II. 336, 460, of the entire Congregation, III. 156. He 
wishes to live and die doing the will of God, III. 354; composes 
a hymn upon , I. 297. 

FAITH, he continually prays for the preservation of the , V. 164. 
FORTITUDE, in his resolutions, II. 58, 204; in punishing delin 
quents, I. 258, 410-411, 430-437, 446, 499, n - 309, 367, 513-514 
(Disobedience, PascJial Precept); in directing tepid souls, I. 431, 
439-440, 467-468, II. 339; in excluding the unworthy from eccle 
siastical benefices, II. 101, and from Holy Orders, II. 284 (Vir 
tues, zeal of the Saint). 

GRATITUDE, to God, I. 458, V. 27, for sickness and sufferings, II. 
289, 310, 323, 326, 337, IV. 414, 458 (Humiliations), for the 
establishment of the Congregation in the Pontifical States, III. 
192, 195; toward men, III. 216, IV. 18, 105, V. 55, 165, 172. 
HOPE, confidence in prayer, I. 16, III. 105; of obtaining eternal 
salvation, III. 464; of the preservation of the Congregation, I. 
58, 59; amid presecutions, III. 202; in temporal affairs, I. 274, 
III. 190. 

HUMILITY, in advancing his opinions (Alphonsus, Author, Humil 
iations); in receiving correction, III. 234; he believes his love 



426 Index. 

toward God cold, I. in, II. 270, that he has done nothing for 
God, I. 600; has more faults than others, I. 386; is an ignoramus, 

I. 40, a wretch, I 64, 294, 463, II. 125, 349, 41 r, III. 374, IV. 
69, 73, 204, a sinner, IV. 314; fears for his salvation on account 
of his sins, 111.457, 464; attributes to his pride the failure to 
obtain the civil approbation of the Congregation, I. 287; will 
not let his portrait be taken, IV. 176, 204, V. 16. 

JUSTICE, in conferring benefices, II. 123, 140, 340,457, 478; ignores 
recommendations, V. 206; scrupulousness in keeping contracts, 
III. 219, 220 (Pension}. 

LOVE OF GOD: he desires to belong entirely to Jesus Christ, 
I- 34, 73, to love him, I. in, and to see him loved i>y others, 

II. 292; happy to spread his love, II. 323; in everything he seeks 
only the will of God, I. 24, 85, 190, 316, 433, II. 188, 255, 299, 
344, 349, 4i6, III. 116, 412, 425; ready to lay down his life 
rather than tell a lie, V. 118. 

LOVE OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN: he constitutes her his heiress, I. 158; 
to spread devotion to her the Glories of Mary must be printed 
before the rest of his works, IV. 122; he fosters novenas to her, 

III. 174; preaches every Saturday in her honor (Blessed Vir 
gin}. 

LOVE OF HIS NEIGHBOR, II. 122, 330, IV. 71; toward the agonizing, 
I. 493; for the houses of the Congregation in temporal distress, 
I. 432, 445, 587, II. 405, 506; toward those in prison, II. 48, 
218, 334, 335, 353; his censors, II. 360; the members of the 
Congregation, I. in, 275,332,341,510; the novices, 1.597- 
600; he loves his brethren more than his brothers according to 
the flesh, II. 493, frequently prays for them, I. 250, III. 34, 
solicitous to preserve their vocation, I. in, 245, 600, II. 70-76, 
365, 415, III. 22, 51 (Mtlchionna), their bodily health, I. 
211, 265, 417-420, 427, 449, 469, III. 26, 275; toward his sick 
brethren, I. 259, 285, 325, II. 60 (Sic A); toward magdalens, II. 359, 
503, III. 44; toward enemies (Kcveng<>)\ toward his relatives (Lig- 
uori}; toward sinners (Virtues, zeal for the missions}; toward the 
poor, II. 63, 68, 304 (Famine}; toward the scrupulous and afflicted, 
I- 575, 589, 592, II. 189-198, 330-331 (Kentondini); toward his 
servant (Pollio). 

OHEDIENCE, to his spiritual director, 1.82, II. 300, IV. 412, with 
regard to mortifications, II. 152, 163, 166, to residence, II. 129, 
the resignation of his See, II. 365, 416, III. 62; submission to 
the civil authority, III. 167; hopes to become a saint through 
obedience, I. 44. 



Index. 



427 



PATIENCE, amid scruples, T. 41-42; in disagreeable occurrences, IV. 
20 1, 246 (Revisers, Government, Persecution}. 

POVERTY, scrupulous observance of the vow, III. 438, 452. 

PRUD NCE, will not be guided by revelations but by obedience, I. 
44; proceeds without passion, II. 144; in matters of importance 
takes counsel of prudent men, I. 180-181, II. 41, 111.73, 74.75. 
126, 231, IV. 69, especially with regard to resigning his See, II. 
i ro, 112-116, 372, III. 62-63; human means to be employed dis 
creetly, III. 90, 176. He waits for a favorable opportunity to 
give correction, I. 479; in giving commands, II. 496; in permit 
ting mortifications, II. 339. 

TENDERNESS, grieved at having to use harshness, I. 33. 

ZEAL, V. 282, 305, praised by the Sacred Congregation of the Coun 
cil, V. 287, 306; for the missions, II. 21, 28-29, 3 2 7. 3 8 4> 397 
408, 434-435, 439, In - 4-47, 67, 301, V. 282, 284, 324; for regu 
lar observance, I. 147, 194, 277, 338-339, 457, 483, 519-520, 529, 
551, II. 67, 85-86, 88-91, 99, 138, 222, 257, 391, 428,485, III. 298- 
300, 476-484; for the removal of scandals, II. 38, 45, 59, 95, 
114, MS, !52, 176, 206, 261, 274, 302, 373, 387, 498, III. 39, 
81, V. 327; for the rights of the episcopal niensa, II. Si, 148, 
159, 207, 268, 344, 447 (Alphonsus, Bishop, Superior, Betrothed, 
Circulars, Parenfs, Parish Priests). 

ALOYSIUS, GONZAGA, ST., a martyr of divine love, I. 76. 

AMARANTE, F. Hiagio, C. SS. R., I. 167, 429, 594. 

AMENDOLARA, F. Pasquale, C. SS. R., I. 221, 224, 402. 

AMORT, F. Eusebius, IV. 300. 

ANDREW AVELLINO, ST., most zealous for regular observance, I. 
495- 

ANGEL GUARDIAN never abandons the soul confided to him, I. 585. 

ANGELIS DE, F. Nicodemo, C. SS. R., I. 247. 

ANGELO, ST., A CUPOLO, the poverty of this foundation, II. 242; 
approved by the Holy See, I. 365 (Paced). 

ANGIOLA DEL CIOLA, Mother, Redemptoristine, I. 13-14. 

ANSALONE, F. Giambattista, C. SS. R., I. 405, 423. 

ANTOINE, S. J., author of a rigid Moral Theology, V. 15. 

APICE, F. Bernardo, C. SS. R., I. 274, 343, 364, 366, 370; appoint 
ed to collect particulars concerning F. Cafaro, I. 297; delivers 
the funeral oration of F. Cafaro, I. 298; his death, II. 369. 

ARCIERO, YEN. MARIANO, II. 408. 

ARIDITY, (Desolation). 

ARNAULD, Louis, founder of the house at Scifelli, II. 477, 484. 



428 Index. 



B 

BAPTISM, the fate of infants who die without, V. 118. 

BARTOLINO, D. Pasquale, II. 525. 

BASNAGE, Samuel de Flottemanville, the desire of the saint to see 
him refuted, II. 80, 87. 

BENEDICT XIV., the saint dedicates to him the second edition of the 
Moral Theology, I. 314, IV. 16. He receives the first volumne, 
I. 314, also the second, I. 367, IV. 16. The saint s eulogy of, 
IV. 17-18. The saint asks him to sanction the establishment of 
a foundation at Iliceto, I. 145; to approve the Congregation, I. 
199-202; to grant the Congregation a communication in the pri 
vileges of the Pious Workers, I. 368. The pontiff approves the 
Congregation, I. 26, 213, and endeavors to have it approved by 
the King of Naples, I. 369, III. 395, IV. 43. He praises the 
doctrine of the saint, I. 315, 369, IV. 162. 

BENEFICES, ecclesiastical, should be conferred on the most deserv 
ing. III. 60, V. 330-338, 342. Is it good to seek benefices to which 
the care of souls is attached, III. 469. Justice of the saint in 
conferring, II. 123, 140, 340, 457, 478. He recommends an ec 
clesiastic for a, III. 362. 

BENEVENTO: the saint gives a mission there, I. 402, IV. 24; makes 
a foundation there, I. 368, 371, III. 187, 190-191, 217, 218, V. 
155. Anxiety of the saint on account of the contract, III. 219- 
220. The best of the houses of the Congregation, III. 267. 

BENINCASA, the Hermitesses of Sister Orsola, II. 178, 214. 

BERGAMO, Mgr. Carlo, Bishop of Gaeta. The saint implores his 
mediation to put an end to the division of the Congregation, III. 
375- Writes to him concerning the good government of his dio 
cese, V. 323-3 2S - 

BERRUYER, S. J., his errors refuted by the saint, V. 19, 30. 

BERTI, O. S. A., a learned man, IV. 251, but censurable in some 
matters, III. 498, V. 29. The saint refutes his system on Grace, 
IV. 423. 

BETROTHED: parish priests should not attend the plighting of troth 
unless the marriage is soon to take place, V. 220, 226, 248. Ex 
communication against parents and heads of families who allow 
familiarities between, V. 221, 226,246, 253. Religious instruct 
ion required of, V. 241, 245. 

BIANCHI, (Societa dei), the saint a member of this society, III. 471. 

BISHOPS: the saint s teaching with regard to their obligation of re- 



Index. 429 

sidence, V. 331. Counsels for the good government of a diocese, 
V. 323-328 (Alphonsus, Bishop, Sersale), God blesses their preach 
ing in an especial manner, I. 328, V. 324. The saint praises 
the work entitled The Bishop Consoled, IV. 19 (lorio}. 

BLASPHEMERS, severity of the saint toward, II. 527. 

BLASPMKMY, of the Saints, made a reserved case by the saint, V. 327. 

BLASUCCI, F. Pietro Paolo, C. SS. R., I. 260, 303, 498, 590, held in 
high esteem by the saint, III. 146, 156, IV. 428. 

BLE SED VIRGIN: salvation difficult without a special devotion to, V. 
255. Devotion to Mary a sure pledge of Paradise, I. 24. He 
who dies invoking her cannot be lost, I. 559. The greatest 
pleasure we can afford her is to love Jesus, I. 26. The saint 
preaches in her honor every Saturday, V. 284; fosters this prac 
tice in his diocese, V. 221, 283. A sermon in her honor never 
to be omitted on our missions and other exercises, III. 447-448. 
V. 190, 197. Fasting in her honor on Saturdays (Fasting). The 
saint has recourse to her in the various troubles of the Congre 
gation, II. 389, 392; hopes for the reunion of the Congregation 
from her, III. 416. 

BONAVENTURA, (Bi ESSED) di Potenza, a worker of miracles, III. 274. 

BONAVENTURA, Francesco Antonio, Bishop of Nusco, I. 304. 

BOOKS, the saint desires moderation in purchasing, I. 398, II. 219, 
506. Usefulness of spiritual in times of aridity, II. 226, 383. 
His zeal against bad II. 135. 

BORGIA, Niccolo, Bishop of Cava, I. 260, afterward of Aversa, II. 
151, a man of God and an able spiritual director, I. 395,deserv- 
es well of the Congregation, II. 94, III. 90. 

BRANCONE, Marquis Gaetano, Secretary of State, is favorably in 
clined toward the Congregation, I. 177, 179, 180, 269, 314, 488. 
He wishes to renounce his station to attend to the affairs of his 
soul, I. 272. 

BUILDING, advice to the Superiors in this matter, I. 352, II. 219, 
III. 80, 242. The advice of the architect must be followed, II. 

I4 r > MS- 

BUONAMANO, F. Francesco, C. SS. R., I. 220, 268. 

BUONAPANE, F. Fabio, C. SS. R., I. 530, II. 422. 

Buo APANE, Br. Vincenzo, C. SS. R., I. 601. 

BUSENBAUM, Hermann, S. J. The saint a commentator of his Me 
dulla, IV. 6, praises his method, IV. 219, V. 544, wishes to elimi 
nate his text from the Moral Theology, IV. 206, 209, 216, V. 38. 
His reasons for not doing so, IV. 218, 220, 223, V. 40, 44-45, 
56; is opposed to many of his opinions, IV. 406, V. 17, 91. 



430 Index. 



CAFARO, F. Paolo, C. SS. R., I. 297, spiritual director of the saint, 
I. 298; a man dead to his own will, T. 229. The saint orders 
prayers for his recovery, I. 292-297; writes his Life which he 
calls admirable, IV. 202, 215. 

CAIOXE, F. Gasparo, C. SS. R., I. 342, 348, 353, II. 144, 155, III. 

153- 

CANON S, their duties, V. 235, 241-244, 311-314. 

CAPOSELE, the saint petitions the King to establish a foundation 
there, I. 166; grants power of attorney to F. Sportelli in the mat 
ter, I. 1 86. The exequatur is granted, I. 172. Poverty of this 
foundation, I. 459-460, II. 233. The revenge of the Saints, I. 
390. . 

CAPRIOLI, F. Pasquale, C. SS. R., I. 325, 376, 400. 

CARAFA, Cardinal, III. 48. 

CARAFA, Prince Francesco, Lord of Villa degli Schiavi, I. 91, 96. 

CARAFA, Sister Brianna, II. 178, 180, 186. 

CARDINALS should be learned men, III. 56, 59. 

CARLO III., not in favor of the Congregation, I. 269, 488. Banish 
es the Jesuits from his realm, II. 212. 

CARMELITES, Discalced, of Ripacandida, the saint s esteem for them. 
I. 237, 251, 256, 317. He refuses them a Father as extraordi 
nary confessor, I. 277; exhorts them to maintain the Rule of St. 
Teresa, I. 278. 

CARO, Gaetano di, a secular priest helps the Fathers on the missions. 
I. 140. 

CASAMARI, Monastery of, 1 1. 477, 488. 

CASATI, Canon, founder of the house at Iliceto, I. 136. 

CASELLE, Giuseppe, I. 478, 480. 

CASES, RESERVED, the saint refuses to grant faculties for them during 
Paschal time, II. 84; but grants them most willingly during the 
missions. II. 166, 440. 

CASTELLANETA, the prince of, asks for a mission at Iliceto, I. 136, 
142. 

CASTELLI, Cardinal Giuseppe Maria, II. 412, III. 57. The saint 
has recourse to him concerning the resignation of his See. III. 

TOO. 

CAVALIERI, Anna Maria, the mother of the saint, I. 400. 
CAVALIERI, Emilio, Bishop of Troia, II. 156. 



Index. 43 l 

CELANO, Gaetano, II. 388, 390; a very able lawyer, III. 105, 207. 
CELESTINA, Maria del divino amore, Redemptoristine, III. 282, 283, 

288. 
CEPRANO, projected foundation of a house there, II. 528, 529, III. 

6, 7, 13, 36, 45- 
CERCHIA, Giuseppe, the saint exhorts him to leave the world, I. 50- 

56. 
CHANT, FIGURED, a great abuse in monasteries, I. 151, 169. 170, III. 

449. 

CHANTAL, ST. JAEN FRANCES DE, endured desolation of spirit forty- 
one years, II. 225, 293. 

CHASE, the saint abolishes this abuse among his clergy, V. 209, 258. 

CHIE >REN, duties toward parents, I. 584. 

CHURCH, persecution of the, IV. 402; pitiable condition of in 1774. 
Ill, 72-73 (Abuses). The saint prays and has prayers said for 
the, I. 217, 272, 286, 294, III. 58-59, 72, IV. 398, V. 164, 167. 

CHURCHES, built and renovated by the saint. II. 50, V. 278-279, 
303, 316 (Parishes}. 

ClCERl, Abbate, grants to the saint the right of nomination to a chap 
laincy, I. 526, II. 431. 

CICIBEISM, II. 12, III. 384-385. 

CIMINO, F. Fabrizio, C. SS. R., 1.418, 421, 425, 1 1- 69, 4&5, v - r 5 6 - 

ClORANl, 1.79, 85; reasons for establishing a house there, 11.235. 
Poverty of this foundation, 1.460, 11.233, 238, 244. 

CIRCULARS OF THE SAINT TO THE MEMBERS OF THE CONGREGATION, 

I. 248, 266, 331, 413, 461, 466, 489, 507, 512, 519, 590, 597; 

II. 138, 177, 221, 336, 375, 379, 39 T - 399. 489. 499, 503; HI. 
29, 122, 164, 298, 301, 309, 315, 325, 363, 476. 

CITO, D. Baldassare, President of the Royal Council, the saint begs 
him to protect the Congregation, II. 262, 385. 

CLEMENT XIII., his letter to the saint on the Jesuits, II. 126; grief 
at the expulsion of the Jesuits from Spain, II. 212, 220, and 
from the kingdom of Naples, II. 265. The saint dedicates to 
him his Defence, IV. 290; expresses to him the desire to resign 
the bishopric, II. 187. 

CLEMENT XIV., the saint dedicates to him the work on the Coun 
cil of Trent, IV. 429, and the Translation of the Psalms, V. 95; 
shares the afflictions of the Pope, 111.27-28; and assists him at 
the hour of death, III. 49. 

CLEMENT, BLESSED (Hef/wuer). 

CLERGY, condition of in Naples in 1754, I- 327~3 2 S. 



432 Index. 



CLERICS, rules of conduct for, V. 233-234, 247-248 (Ordinandi, 
Seminarists). May a cleric addicted to sin be ordained? the 
saint at first affirmed, IV. 14, but afterward denies, i. 337. 

COLOMBIERE, Claude de la, S. J., made a vow always to go against 
his own will, I. 335. 

COMEDIES not to be tolerated, in monasteries, II. 183. 

COMMUNION, HOLY, wonderful effects of, I. 26, 236, 237; a pledge 
of perseverance, I. 397, II, 298. The age at which children 
should receive, V. 218, 225, 245. 

COMMUNITIES, the inconvenience of small, I. 93; of large, III. 28. 

CONCINA, F. Daniele, O. P., very rigorous in his opinions, IV. 29; 
too lax in some matters, I. 572. 

CONFESSIONS, GENERAL, injurious for certain souls, I. 65. 

CONFESSORS, should continually study Moral Theology, V. 252., fos 
ter the practice of mental prayer and devotion to the Blessed 
Virgin Mary, V. 255. Manner of acting with those who live in 
the occasion of sin, and relapsing sinners, V. 221, 254, 255 (Be- 
trothed)\ with those who confess venial sins only, I. 409, V. 254. 
Further recommendations with regard to their duties, V. 252- 
256. Should not be troubled about the confessions they have 
heard, III. II. Confessors of nuns should be changed every 
three years, II. 17. Members of the Congregation cannot be 
of nuns {Direction of Nuns). The saint approves none without 
examination, II. 31, 205 442, V. 318; suspends all during the 
missions, II. 24. Importance of chosing a good confessor, III. 
460, 463; who should not easily be changed, III. 485 (Director). 

CONFIDENCE IN GOD, should be greater than our fear, I. 170. 

CONFORMITY TO THE DIVINE WILL, in this consists all perfection, 
II- 3 3; gives perfect peace, I. 85, II. 423. We should ask it of 
God in all our troubles, II. 414; and always practise it, I. 362, 
II. 186-187 (Resignation, Alphonsus, Virtues). 

CONFRATERNITIES, the saint establishes one for ecclesiastics in 
Benevento, I. 403; wishes to see them among his clergy, II. 25, 
29; for gentlemen, young men, and young girls, II. 29, 30, 37. 
The members should pay no monthly contribution, II. 32. The 
saint abhors the so-called lay confraternities, V. 277-278. 

CONGREGATION OF THE MOST HOLY REDEEMER: the object of the 
imitation of Jesus Christ, I. 70, the giving of missions, II. 505, 
particularly to those living in the country, I. 119, 135 182, 200, 
270, II. 231, III. 39, 141, 162, 239, IV. 16, 430; and of retreats to 
the clergy, candidates for ordination, and seculars, I. 135, 201 



Index. 433 

{Foreign Missions}. The government of, I. 162; this form the 
best, III. 354. Its houses situated at a distance from inhabited 
places, I. 183, 202, 209, 564. The approbation of by the Holy 
See (Benedict XIV}. Solicitude of the saint to secure the royal 
approbation, I. 177-184, 198, 270; which is granted with many 
limitations, I. .274, II. 232, 420, III. 378, 394, 432. Civilly in 
capacitated from possessing anything, 1.454, 11.232,419. The 
saint endeavors to obtain the uncondit onal approbation, I. 451; 
uses the mediation of the Pope (Benedict XIV], and seeks the in 
tercession of the Queen, I. 286, 305, 310, 313, 319. Poverty of , 
II. 233-234, 391, 420, III. 66, 186. Persecutions of ,1. 269, 

II. 389, III. 73, 85, 132, 135, 164, 202 (Sarnelli, Persecutions, 
Maffei}. Jesus Christ loves it as the apple of his eye. III. 32; 
works miracles in its favor, III. 296. God who called it into 
being will preserve it, III. 9, 78, even to the end of time, I. 314. 
It will prosper so long as regular observance is maintained, I. 
147. The good it is doing in the Church, I. 249, 270, 311, 452- 
453, II. 231, 399, III. 29, 30, 104. Privileges granted to, I. 
459. Condition of, in 1748, I. 200-201; in 1758, V. 353; in 
1777, III. 238, 239. 

CONSCIENCE, manifestation of (Superiors of the Congregation), How 
a Superioress should act in conducting, III. 290. 

CONSOLATIONS, spiritual, how they are to be received, II. 516. 

CONTALDI, D. Francesco, founder of the house at Pagani, active 
subsequently in its destruction, I. 141, 181. 

CONTRADICTION, unavoidable in community life, I. 526; usefulness 
of, II. 203; manner of acting toward those who contradict us, 

III. 19, 20. 

CORATO, negotiations for a foundation there, I. 573, 579, II. 64-65. 

CORPO, F. Francesco del, C. SS. R., II. 174. 

CORRADO, Bartolomeo, his refutation of F. Patuzzi, 11.470, IV. 296, 

34- 

CORKADO, F. Bartolomeo Mattia, C. SS. R., I. 548, 570, II. 402. 

CORRECTION, manner of giving, I. 75; without passion, 1.339, H* 
220, 227; in private, I. 339, II. 22O, 227, 417. Obligation of 
Superiors to give, IT. 393; to omit it should it cause greater con 
fusion, II. 476 {Superiors of the Congregation}. 

CORRESPONDENCE OF THE MEMBERS OF THE CONGREGATION, subject 
to the inspection of the Superior, 1.461, 491, except when per 
taining to matters of conscience, I. 461. A disorder to be guarded 
against in, I. 403. 
28 



434 Index. 



COSTANZO, F. Giambattista di, C. SS. R., III. 226, 448, 451. 

CRISCUOLI, F. Diodato, C. SS. R., II. 210, 496. 

CRITICS, their usefulness in a Community, I. 525. 

iCROS ES, the advantages of, I. 487; the safest way I. 487, the surest 

and shortest road to eternal salvation, III. 453 [Sufferings, 

Trials}. 
CROSTAROSA, Sister Maria Celeste, the saint humbles her severely, 

I. 31-41; founds a monastery at Foggia, I. 169. 
CRUCIFIX, upon the altar should be large, V. 237, 259. 
CRUCIFIXION , the saint has a picture of carried in procession to 

promote love for Jesus Christ, III. 93. 

CRUSADE, the saint commissioned to propagate the, III. 315-321. 
CURSING THE DEAD, opinion of the saint as to the gravity of, IV. 3-5. 



D 

DEISTS, triumphant in F ranee, . Flanders, and Italy, V. 120; have 
ruined Europe, V. 124. 

DEMONS, cannot hurt us, II. 214; we should not fear them, II. 216. 
Rules for confessors with regard to penitents annoyed by, V. 
347-348. 

DESIO, Sister Maria del Crocifisso, II. 422. 

DESOLATION, manner of acting in, I. 360, .377-378, 552, II. 216, 293, 
298/315, 343, 383, 425, 462, III. 289, 464, 486 (Rule of Life); 
unites us to God, II. 254, 263-264, 409; the fire of consumes 
the rust of past faults, I. 384; Jesus Christ places this cross upon 
many, II. 293. 

DETACHMENT, an effect of the love of God, I. 309; must be entire in 
order to find God, I. 50; from self-will most necessary, II. 328. 
"God, God and nothing more ! Oh, happy the soul that speaks 
thus ! " II. 349. 

DIGNITIES, ecclesiastical, should be accepted when imposed by obe 
dience, III. 147. 

DIRECTION OF NUNS, spiritual, forbidden to the members of the Con 
gregation, 1.444, 4^3- Exceptions to-" this rule, II. 208, 212, 
222, III. 219. 

DIRECTOR, SPIRITUAL, reasons for having a ,11. 368; danger of 
being without a ,1. 36, 37; makes known to us the will of God, 
I. 44, 236, II. 437. Detachment from the, II. 516, III. 283; we 
should be resigned if God takes him from 1 us, II. 368, III. 70. 



Index. 435 

Jesus Christ our first, II. 160; it is he who takes the from us, 
I. 255 (Alphonsus). 

DISOBEDIENCE, severity of the saint in punishing, I. 349, III. 326; 
an injury to the work of the missions, III. 165. 

DISPENSATION, necessary at times in every human law, I. 164, II. 
212; in the observance of the Rule, III. 503. Conditions re 
quired for a dispensation from the vows in the Congregation, I. 
424, 505, 512, II. 165, 365. 

DISTRACTION IN PRAYER (Meditation). 

DUELLING (Ferdinand IV). 



ECCLESIASTICS, zeal of the saint for the behavior and dress of, V. 
227, 263-264, 292-295, 297-298, 299-300, 313, 320 (Chase, Games). 

ENCLOSURE, punishment inflicted by the saint for violating, II. 367. 

END OF THE WORLD, a sign which the saint thinks foreshadows, V. 
124. 

EQUIPROBABILISM OF ST. ALPHONSUS, IV. 203, 369, V. 47, 48; his 
reasons for maintaining it, IV. 251. Exposition of, IV. 418-421, 
424-429, V. 132-133; time taken to establish, V. 89-90 (/V0&7 ^7- 
ism, Probabiliorisin). 

ERUDITION, vain and useless, not desired in the Congregation, I, 
404. 

EXCOMMUNICATION {Betrothed}. 

EXERCISES, SPIRITUAL, recommended by the saint, I. 157, 203, 321 
(Rule of Life, Superioress of Nuns, Superiors of the Congregation)-: 
Manner in which they are to be made by the members of the 
Congregation, III. 167. Manner of conducting for ecclesias-* 
tics, V. 197-203; for young women, 11.30, 31, 32; for young 
men, II. 32. 



FALCOIA, Tommaso, Bishop of Castellamare, spiritual director of 
the saint, I. 28, 46; endowed with the gift of miracles, III. 344. 

FAMINE, sad consequences of in the Kingdom of Naples in 1764, 
II. 63, 70, IV. 253-254, 264; charity of the saint during, II. 66. 
68, 73. 



436 Index. 

FASTING, does not extend to the drinking of wine, II. 117-118; on 
bread and water on Saturdays recommended to the members of 
the Congregation, I. 529, II. 177, 257. 

FAUI TS, after committing, we should rise at once, I. 316, 588, II. 
93, 194, 414 (Alphonsus, Spiritual Director). Injury they cause 
even when slight, 1.267, 11.401, III. 31. The saint fears them 
more than persecutions, II. 227, 257, 258, 399, III. 78, 124, 170 
(Inobservahce); he declares those against charity, obedience, 
humility, and poverty insufferable, I. 333, 340, 515, II. 486 (Dis 
obedience) . 

FAZZANO, Brother Mattia, C. SS. R., I. 438, II. 356. 

FEAR OF GOD gives peace and joy, I. 256. 

FERDINAND IV., King of Naples, favorably inclined toward the Con 
gregation, III. 465. The saint petitions for concessions with 
regard to the Regolamento, III. 397-399; exhorts him to suppress 
duelling, V. 307; defends his manner of conferring benefices, 
V. 330. 

FERRARA, F. Girolamo, C. SS. R., I. 172-175, 416, II. 258, IV. 392. 

FILINGERI, Serafino, Archbishop of Palermo, II. 325, subsequently 
of Naples, III. 134. 

FIOCCHI, F. Carmine, C. SS. R., I. 282-283. 

FIORE, F. Ignazio, C. SS. R., I. 262, 527. 

FIORILLO, F. Luigi, O. P., a great friend of the saint and the Con 
gregation, I. 70, 93. 

FLOWERS, the saint s love of, II. 8-9. 

FOGGIA, the apparition of the countenance of the Blessed Virgin 
from the image, III. 247. 

FOUNDATION OF A MONASTERY: how it should be begun in order to 
secure perfect observance, I. 106-108. 

FROSINONE, foundation there, III. 150-151, V. 155, approved by the 
Holy See, III. 198, 199; very dear to the saint,. V. 348. 

Fusco, Giambattista, I. 329. 



GAIANO, F. Carlo, C. SS. R., I. 588; II. 258; his niece Chiara, I. 

577, 588. 

GALIANO, Mgr. Celestino, Grand Almoner, I. 180, 182, 452. 
GALLO, F. Salvatore, C. SS. R., I. 204, 2,52, III. 349- 



Index. 437 

GAMES, the saint forbids his clergy to take part in, V. 212, 236-237, 

239, 258, 298. 

GARZIA, F. Biagio, C. SS. R., II. 398, 427. 
GERARD, (BLESSED) MAJELLA, C. SS. R., I. 345, 386. The saint 

gathers material to write a Life of ,1. 408, 487; his portrait, I. 

487- 

GIOVENALE, F. Francesco, C. SS. R., I. 293. 

GIRGENTI, house of the Congregation there, I. 563-564, 11.301, 311, 
320; poverty of this foundation, II. 449; dear to the saint, II. 
428, III. 235, 249; his anxiety to prevent the expulsion of the 
Fathers, II. 449, 459, 467, 481. A fixed and permanent domi 
cile prohibited, III. 228 (Sicily). 

GISONE, F. Gerardo, C. SS. R., I. 398, 423, 501. 

GIULIANO, F. Pasquale, C. SS. R., 1. 571. 

GOVERNMENT, NEAPOLITAN: Its interference in ecclesiastical affairs: 
decrees against the Church fall as thick as snowflakes, II. 429; 
denies the exequatur to the Apostolic Bulls nominating Bishops, 
11.372, III. 112; interferes in the conferring of benefices, V. 322, 
331, 339, in the ordination of clerics, I. 524, III. 187, 493; pro 
hibits free intercourse with Rome, III. 404, the holding of synods, 
V. 242, 287. Its attitude with regard to Religious Orders, III. 381. 
Its interference in the affairs of the Congregation: denies the 
exequatur to the Pontifical Brief establishing the Congrega 
tion, III. 378-379, 432; utterly abhors the name Congregation, 

II. 65; will permit four houses only as simple associations, in 
which the priests shall live in common, II. 232-233, III. 303- 
304, 394; despoils it of all possessions, II. 232-233; arrogates to 
itself the administration of the Congregation, 11.233, 249-250, 

III. 432; assigns to the subjects a miserable pittance, II. 234, 
253, and permits them as a favor to collect, II. 243, III. 399, 
419; imposes its own Regolamento instead of the Rule approved 
by the Holy See, 01.403, 433-434; reluctantly permits the 
members to take the oaths instead of the vows, III. 397-398, 
418-419; refuses to recognize its privileges. III. 89, no; med 
dles with the vocation of postulants, I.26i, 283, 382, 385, 531, 
III. 467, 501; causes apprehension concerning the free trans 
ferring of subjects, 111.244, 250, the taking of money out of 
the Kingdom, II. 507, III. 198, 201, 204, 228, the accepting of 
bequests for missions, III. 179, 181-182, and even concerning 
the sending of diplomas of affiliation to benefactors, III. 151; 
causes many vexations, I. 186, III. 85-86, 395, 432-433. 



438 Index. 

GOVERNMENT, NEAPOLITAN: 

Its interference in matters of doctrine, IV. 465: the saint fears 
for his Moral Theology, IV. 390; danger of its prohibition, IV. 
408, 415, 416; his teaching condemned as pernicious, and made 
a pretext to suppress the Congregation, III. 2O2, 205, 209, IV. 
416, 417, V. 131; labors of the saint in its defence, IV. 210, 211 
(Laxism}. With regard to dogmatic works: the saint fears for 
his Defence of the Infallibility and Power of the Pope, IV. 355, 
381-382, 388, 402, 403-404, 433, V. 126-127; h e is obliged to 
have the Refutation of Febronius published outside the kingdom 
under an assumed name, IV. 397, 411; in order to avoid further 
annoyance he will not write any more scientific works, V. 33; 
evidences of treason sought in his Asceticdl Works (Works of St. 
Alphonsus, Sermons for Sundays, Censors, Simioli). 

GRACE, the saint recommends to his companions his System on, I. 
566. 

GRAZIOLI, F. Angelo Antonio, C. SS. R., I. 275: 

GRAZIOLI, Benedetto, a benefactor of the Congregation, 1.223, 344 > 
his two daughters become Carmelites, I. 237; circulates pictures 
of Br. Gerard Majella, I. 487. 



H 

HEATHEN, the obligation to preach the gospel to the, I. 60-62. 

HOFBAUER, (BLESSED) CLEMENT MARIA, reception into the Congre 
gation, II. 484. 

HOLY SCRIPTURE, the reading of in the. vernacular not suitable for 
nuns, II. 456. 

HONORS, in what those of a religious consist, I. 340. 

HUMBLE, the, receive favors from the Heart of Jesus, III. 282. 

HUMILIATIONS, graces that unite us to Jesus Christ. 11.247, IH. 
30; gratitude of the saint to God for ,111. 456. 

HUMILITY, in what it consists, I. 32. 



ILARDO, Br. Michele, C. SS. R. T III. 18. 

[LICETO, foundation of this house, I. 137-138, 144, 145 (Benedict 

XIV}\ the poverty of, I. 138, 259, 400, 405, 432, 445, 447-448, 

II. 233; persecutions at {Maffei). 



Index. 439 

ILLUSION, even holy souls are exposed to , 1. 38-39; signs of , 
I. 279. 

IMITATION OF JESUS CHRIST (Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer). 
The work of Thomas a Kempis highly prized by the saint, II. 
260. 

INFALLIBILITY OF THE POPE, most dear to the saint, I. 534, IV. 357; 
the foundation-stone of the Church, V. 126; the saint defends 
the, V. 125-127 (Government^ Pope]. 

INOBSERV ANCE, the saint fears it more than persecutions, I. 248, II. 
489 (Faults). 

INQUIETUDE never comes from God, II. 181. 

INSPECTOR, secret, his duty, I. 503. 

INSTITUTES, why God raises up new religious, I. 206. 

INTERESTS, material, the saint solicitous for the of the Congrega 
tion, I. 142-143, 154-155, 350, 464-465, II. 332-334, III. 192-201, 
208, 244, 264-265; of a convent in his diocese, II. 518; - 
of the episcopal mensa (Virtues, zeal of the Sainf). 

IORIO, Giuseppe, I. 329, II. 30, IV. 14, 19; the author of Tlie Con 
fessor in Hamlet and Village, IV. 221, and of The Bishop Con 
soled, I. 329, IV. 19. 



J 

JESUITS, intimate friendship between them and the saint, I. 403, 
III. 499; have sanctified the world, I. 204 (Society of Jesus)\ are 
masters in Moral Theology, IV. 25, 29, 32. The saint does not 
accept all their opinions, IV. 162, 442, 453, V. 17, 28, 30; nor 
does he follow in Probabilism those who are too benign, IV. 405, 
406, 408, 416, 438, 451, V. 17, 113, 124, 132 (Probabilism}. 

JUDGMENT, danger of relying on one s own, I. 36, 



LAFFITEAU, Pierre Francois, Bishop of Sisteron, a vigorous opponent 

of Jansenism, I. 581. 
LANZA, Antonio, Bishop of Girgenti, favorable to the Congregation, 

IV. 428, V. 28; the saint s regard for ,11. 398, 428, V. 31. 
LATESSA, F. Angelo, C. SS. R., I. 230, 345, 



440 Index. 

LAWSUITS, aversion of the saint for, II. 159, 442, 445; his anxiety 
with regard to the Sarnelli ,11. 388-389,402, 418, III. 211; his 
Defences, 11.230-246, 249-253, .131-150; success after twenty 
years of, III. 423. 

LAXISM, the saint accused of, II. 312, 325, III. 132-133, 141; he 
composes his Apology, V. 131. 

LAY-BROTHERS OF THE CONGREGATION: long trial before being per 
mitted to receive the habit or make profession, I. 415, 416, 423; 
their habit, II. 499; their declaration of rights, II. 409411; 
their duties, II. 414. Humility, the virtue most necessary for 
them, II. 413. Monthly retreat, III. 167 (Siesta). 

LAZARISTS, the, I. 116, 351. 

LECTORS, qualifications of of Moral Theology in the Congregation, 
II. 161; regulations for, I. 484-485; the saint himself fills this 
position, V. 351. 

LEGGIO, F. Isidoro, C. SS. R., I. 436, III. 345, 424. 

LEONARD OF PORT MAURICE, ST., the saint petitions for his canoni 
zation, II. 10, ii. 

LIFE, human, interwoven with flowers and thorns, I. 362. 

LIGUORI, Alfonso de , nephew of the saint; good advice to, III. 340 
342. 

LIGUORI, D. Ercole de , brother of the saint; the saint asks his fa 
ther to be more kind toward, I. 94; a proof of the saint s disin 
terestedness, I. 156; solicitous for his spiritual welfare, I. 157, 
II. 395; is recommended to marry a second time, II. 12-15. 

LIGUORI, D. Giuseppe de , father of the saint; Alphonsus gives him 
salutary advice, I. 95, 120. 

LIGUORI, Giuseppe de , nephew of the saint; the saint s anxiety to 
preserve his innocence, III. 306; gives him good advice, III. 
340-342, 400, 431. 

LIGUORI, Maria Teresa de , niece of the saint, a Benedictine nun; 
the paternal solicitude of the saint for her, II. 517, III. 236- 
237, 384, 385, 402, 417, 450, 451-452, 457-458, 460, 463, 485; 
miracles wrought in her favor, III. 457, 463. 

Louis XV., King of France, his attempted assassination by Robert 
Damiens, IV. 79. 

LOVE OF GOD, means to acquire, I. 554; he that loves God does not 
suffer, I. 440; how beautiful to love God in the midst of pains, 
and without sensible joy, II. 225, 256, and without consolation, 
II. 410; the way of love is the surest way for everyone, I. 355; a 
chain which binds us irrevocably to God, I. 598; excludes all 



Index. 44 1 

fear, III. 114. The love of a soul in this life is the same as in 
heaven, V. 116-117. 

LOVE OF JESUS CHRIST, his love for us, I. 24, III. 29; he deserves 
all our love, II. 260, 267; the greatest of all works, III. 32; ex 
cludes all fear, and endures suffering with joy, II. 214. Means 
to obtain it: the consideration of his Passion, I, 336, II. 410, 
and of the love he hears us, I. 319; we should ask it continually 
of God, I. 336, III. 32, 273, 449; to endure suffering out of love, 
III. 490. 

LOVE OF OUR NEIGHBOR, even more pleasing to God than humility, 

I.77- 

Lucci, (VENERABLE) ANTONIO, Bishop of Bovino, approves the foun 
dation at Iliceto, I. 137, 146; the saint obtains through his in 
tercession the cure of the Marquis de Marco, V. 30. 



M 

MADDALONI, Duke of, II. 56, 67; the saint invokes his protection, II. 
124, 268, 447. 

MAFFEI, Francesco Antonio, an opponent of the Congregation at 
Iliceto, I. 479, 537, II. 218, 287, 288, 289-290, 385, IV. 391. 

MAGLI, Canon of Martina, attacks the Moral System of the saint, II. 
525, III. 24-25, V. 89. 

MAIONE, F. Angelo, C. SS. R., I. 501, II. 351; the saint s regard for 
him, 11.41; charity toward him, 111.337. The principal author 
of the Regolamento, III. 331, 336, 344, 433. 

MAJORINO, F. Gabriele, C. SS. R., III. 7-8. 

MANFREDONIA, Francesco Antonio, I. 291, 346-349, V. 350-351. 

MANNARINI, Vincenzo, I. 30, 40, 179, 185, 186. 

MANSI, Giovanni Domenico, Archbishop of Lucca, joy of the sainl 
in seeing the Epitome of inserted in the Moral Theology^ IV. 
151, 217, 233, 235, 237. 

MARCO, Marquis Carlo de, II. 481, III. 303-304, 400, 418. 

MARGOTTA, F. Francesco, C. SS. R., I. 188, 194, 224, II. 94. 

MARIA DE GESU, Carmelite nun, I. 236, 279-282. 

MASS, HOLY. Recommendations and ordinances of the saint re 
garding the celebration of, V. 204, 21 1, 222; a grievous sin to 
say it in less than quarter of an hour, V. 200, 205, 211; he threat 
ens such priests with suspension, V. 222, 257; a sacrilegious 

28* 



442 Index. 



leads to damnation, II. 453; zeal of the saint for the celebration 
of the late Mass on feasts, V. 213, 229, 291, 297. 

MATTKI, Saverio, the saint praises him, his regard for Alphonsus, V. 
102-103. 

MATTEIS, F. Pasquale, S. J., the saint s affection for the Society, I. 
203-204, 546. 

MAURO, D. Pasquale, II. 200. 

MAZZINI, F. Giovanni, C. SS. R., I. 18, 147, 244, III. 54. 

MEDITATION, manner of making, I. 74; time to be devoted to, I. 63, 
496, 578; the subjects of, 1.64, II. 410; the prayer of seculars 
and that of religious, 111.123; all progress depends on, 1.65; 
the saint fosters the practice in his diocese, V. 283 (Confessors}; 
that which is without sensible consolation best, 1. 478; the de 
sire of a soul in prayer should be to ascertain the will of God in 
order to fulfil it, II. 363; we should always ask for the love of 
Jesus Christ, I. 89, holy perseverance and conformity to God s 
will, II. 226; how to act under distractions, I. 74, 478; in aridity 
a book should be used, II. 383; with petitions and continual of 
fering of one s self to God, I. 28 1 , making a fixed number of acts 
of each kind, 1 1. 313; value of the Prayer of Recollection, I. 360. 
Instruction for children in the manner of making, V. 215-217; 
short method of, I. 117. 

MELACCIO, F. Donato, C. SS. R., I. 380, 402, II. 60, 62. 

MELANCHOLY to be shunned as the plague, III. 490. 

MELCHIONNA, F. Giuseppe, C. SS. R., I. 254, 559; charity of the 
saint toward him, I. 560, II. 70-76, 87, 121, 202. 

MEO, F. Alessandro de, C. SS. R., I. 462, 485, 570, II. So, 87, III. 

458-459- 

MERCY OF GOD great toward those who abandon sin, II. 16. 

MICHAEL, THE ARCHANGEL, ST , the Novena in his honor, 111.153. 

MILDNESS with firmness in the government of the Congregation re 
commended by the saint, II. 220 (Superiors of the Congregation}. 

MINISTER, the, an official of the Congregation, various recommenda 
tions to, I. 519, III. 299. 

MISSIONS, manner of giving, V. 183; beneficial to souls, III. 29-30; 
reason of their usefulness, I. 207-208, 249; should not be open 
ed on a working day, III. 46; often useful to hold them in two 
churches, II. 21-30; should not be given in summer, III. 23. 
Letter to a Bishop on the utility of, V. 404; people must be fully 
satisfied with regard to their confessions, I. 361; extraordinary 
ceremonies, III. 93-98. 



Index. 443 

MISSIONS, FOREIGN, the saint thinks of devoting himself to, I. 60; 

desires to send the subjects on, I. 507, 511, 521. 
MISSIONARIES, Rule of life for the, 1.492-493, 111.35, 123-124, V. 

193-196 (Superior of Missions). 
MORTIFICATION, censurable when practised against obedience, II. 

120; to be omitted in sickness, II. 296, 305, 339. 
MORZA, F. Andrea, C. SS. R., I. 551. 
MUSCARI, F. Giuseppe, C. SS. R., I. 215, 217, 243. 



N 

NAPLES, spiritual and temporal destitution of, II. 77, 272, III. 137, 
V. 31, 164, 167; spiritual renovation, III. 147; a purgatory for 
the saint, I. 178; the kingdom a plentiful harvest for the mis 
sionaries, 111.413. 

NEPVEU, Father, S. J., his treatise on the Love of Jesus Christ, I. 
3T9- 

NICOLAI, Giuseppe, Archbishop of Conza, I. 187, 220, 519, 523; 
the saint dedicates the first edition of the Moral Theology to him 
IV. 5-12. 

NITTOLI, F. Giovanni, C. SS. R., I. 213. 

NONNOTTE, L Abbe Claude Francois, the saint praises his work a- 
gainst Voltaire, III. 263, 268-270, V. 172. 

NOVKNAS, with daily sermons most useful, III. 174; greater morti 
fication than usual ought to accompany, I. 63, II. 276;. exercises 
of piety for, 11.415, 111.139. 

NOVICES OF THE CONGREGATION, the qualifications they should pos 
sess, I. 374; solicitude of the saint for their health, I. 291, 373; 
counsels for, I. 597-600. 

NUNS, what they should be, II. 358; should love Jesus Christ as a 
spouse, I. 475; watch most cautiously over the affections of their 
heart and the observance of their vows, III. 473; neither seek 
offices nor refuse them, I. 306. Obligation with regard to the Di 
vine Office, II. 184; obedience, prayer, poverty, the means of 
perfection, I. 256. Poverty and closed grates conduce to sanc 
tity, I. 108. A good confessor maintains regular observance, II. 
18; how they should act if he be wanting, II. 116-117. Ad 
vantage of insults borne for Jesus Christ, I. 588. Danger of ad 
mitting novices who have no vocation, I. 210; grievous sin of 
those who vote for their admission, II. 479. Various recommen- 



444 Index. 

dations to, II. 85-86, 88-91 (Redemptoristines). Exhortations to 
love Jesus Christ, I. 17, 24; books they should read, 11.456. 
Nuns in the diocese of Sant Agata, III. 103, V. 276. State of 
the convents in the kingdom of Naples, II. 116-117 (Abuses, Al- 
phonsus, Spiritual Director, Holy Scripture, Observance, Parlor, 
Presents, Rule of Life). 



O 

OATH. Is it a mortal sin to take an oath to an equivocal expression? 
V. 140, 143; does an oath sworn without the intention of taking 
it, bind? V. 148. 

OBEDIENCE, the surest way of pleasing God, III. 68; of sanctifying 
one s self, I. 44; in it we find the will of God, II. 298, 490, III. 
n; increases our merit, I. 334; is the source of many benefits, 
11.490; its necessity for a Redemptorist, I. 426, III. 311, 325 
(Redemptorists); to the physician (Physician); to the civil author 
ity, III. 167. 

OBSERVANCE., REGULAR, importance of, I. 147-148, 495-496; obliga 
tion of maintaining, I. 209, 495 (Andrew Avellino, St); the holi 
ness of monasteries depends upon, I. 107, also that of individu 
als, I. 278, II. 149; difficult in small communities, I. 92; inno 
vations imperceptibly destroy, III. 114. 

OCCASIONS, DANGEROUS, to be shunned, II. 14; manner of acting 
toward those who live in, V. 221 (Confessors). 

OFFICE, DIVINE, a most holy occupation, V. 95; manner of reciting 
in choir, V. 230-231, 233, 311; the saint asks for a commutation 
of, 111.83. 

OFFICES, should be accepted when imposed by obedience , I. 372, 
396, II. 328, 416. 

OLIVA. Brother Antonio Maria, C. SS. R., II. 487-488. 

OPINIONS, the saint wishes the members of the Congregation to fol 
low the common, I. 485. 

ORDINANDI, dispositions requisite, and means taken to ensure worthi 
ness in the, V. 247, 259, 286, 305 (Clerics, Seminarists). 



Index. 445 



PACCA, Francesco, Archbishop of Benevento; a benefactor of the 
house of S. Angelo a Cupolo, I. 364, II. 242. 

PAGANI, petition to the King in favor of the foundation, I. 119; ene 
mies of the foundation, 120-124; the saint contemplates aban 
doning, I. 140-143; poverty of the foundation, I. 460, II. 233. 

PAGANO, D. Tommaso, spiritual director of the saint, I. 60. 

PAOLA. F. Francesco Antonio de, C. SS. K., I. 300, 363, 380, II. 
483; receives Clement Maria Hofbauer into the Congregation, 

II. 484- 

PARENTS, enemies of religious vocations, I. 212, II. 164, 221; sever 
ity of the saint toward those who neglect the Christian instruc 
tion of their children, V. 253, 328; toward those who allow danger 
ous company-keeping (Betrothed}. 

PARISHES, the saint erects new in his diocese, II. 103, V. 269, 278, 
280, 304, 317 (Churches]. 

PARISH PRIESTS, the saint stimulates their zeal, V. 282, 318; for the 
catechetical instruction of their people, V. 209, 212, 219, 221, 
225, 244, 343. Their duties, II. 153. V. 206, 244-251, 349. 
How and what they should preach, V. 206-207, 244-251. Three 
times a year they should have a general Communion for the 
children, V. 220, 226, 247, and once a month secure one or 
more strange confessors for their people, V. 220, 226, 246 (Be 
trothed, Confessors, Mass, Paschal Precept, Preaching, Priests). 

PARLOR to be shunned as much as possible, I. 82, 578, II. 180 
(Nun?). 

PASCHAL PRECEPT, severity of the saint in punishing delinquents, 
11.381-382, 527; regulations in order that all may fulfil it, V. 
220, 225, 246-247, and in a worthy manner, V. 219, 225-226. 

PASSION OF JESUS CHRIST, the constant meditation of the Saints, II. 
513; the saint recommends it (Alphonsus, Spiritual Director, Re- 
demptorists). 

PASSIONS, how we must combat, II. 266. 

PASSIONISTS, THE, the saint desires that they be recieved cordially, 
III. 172; he petitions the Holy See for communication in their 
privileges, I. 368, III. 238-240. 

PATUZZI, Vincenzo, O. P., a learned man, II. 525, IV. 251, 255, 
259, V. 89; opposes the Moral System of the saint, IV. 259-260; 



44 6 Index. 

joy of the saint at this opposition, IV. 265. The Replies of the 
saint to, IV. 271-279. 

PEACE, enjoyed only by those who seek God alone, II. 410; found 
in doing the will of God, II. 423, 490. Sources of in a relig 
ious community, III. 491. The saint recommends it to his 
brethren (Redemptorists). 

PENSION, the saint ask for one upon the renunciation of his See, III. 
99; his petition granted, III. 115; his scruples with regard to 
accepting the sum assigned him by the government, III. 130. 

PENTIMALLI, F. Francesco, C. SS. R., I. 426, 594. 

PERFECTION, souls called to expose themselves to eternal ruin by 
living in tepidity, I. 359-360 (Sanctity}. 

PERSECUTION, not an evil, I. 171, unites the soul to Jesus Christ, I. 
588; how to bear ,1. 355. In the various persecutions of the 
Congregation the saint seeks refuge in prayer, I. 264, 307, 455, 
II. 233, 389, III. 74, 98, 225, 261, in Holy Mass, III. 207, 222, 
the fast on Saturday, II. 177, 257, the use of the discipline, II. 
257, and regular observance, II. 50. He fears less than defects , 
II. 50 (Faults). 

PERSEVERANCE IN ONE S VOCATION, to recommend one s self to the 
Blessed Virgin to obtain, I. 342; to pray daily for, I. 509, III. 
34; grave obligation of the vow in the Congregation, *III. 51. 

PETREI LA, F. Pietro, C. SS. R., I. 252. 

PHYSICIAN, obedience to, I. 381, II. 120, 149, 162, 286. Grave ob 
ligation of to admonish patients about confession, V. 254. 

PICCONE, F. Carmine, C. SS. R., I. 253-254. 

PICCONE, Fr. Pietro Angelo, C. SS. R., I. 284-285. 

Pious WORKERS, THE, communication in their privileges granted to 
the Congregation, 1.459, H- 378. 

Pius VI., the saint s anxiety for his election, III. 58-59; asks the 
Pope to accept his resignation, III. 102-103; dedicates to him 
The Admirable Conduct of Divine Providence, V . 109. Briefs of to 
the saint, III. 182, V. no, 155. The saint s justification in the 
affair of the Regolamento, III. 391-397; he implores the Pope s 
pardon, 111.461; the Pontiff solemnly declares his innocence, 
HI. 373-374- 

POLLIO, Alessio, servant of the saint, 111.371; the saint s kindness 
toward him, III. 309, 372, 491. 

POMBAL, expels the Jesuits from Portugal, I. 546, IV. 129. 

POPE, THE, teacher of truth, IV. 17; his superiority over Councils, 



Index. 447 

IV- 355. The saint willing to lay down his life for the Power of, 

V. 20 (Infallibility ]. 
PORTRAIT, how the saint s was secured, IV. 198-199, V. 16 (Alpkon- 

sus, Virtues of Ike Saint, humility}. 
PORTUGAL, relations with Rome, IV. 444, 451; prohibition of works 

on Moral Theology, IV. 398, also of the saint s Moral, IV. 437, 

444, and of the Homo Apostolic us, V. 14, 17. 
POSITANO, projected foundation there, I. 67. 
POVERTY, the extreme poverty of the Congregation, II. 242, 391; the 

saint advocates the strictest, I. 287. 515, III. 53-54, 168 (fte- 

deniptonsts). 

PRAYER, what one should ask of God, I. 190, II. 226, III. 123. 
PLEACHING, the saint requires simple and apostolical, I. 583, II. 

13). 2 57. 5 >3, III. 154, r66, 262, V. 167, 206, 245-246. Letter 

to a Religious on, V. 359 (Parish Priests, Redemptorists, Style). 
PRESENTS, the saint refuses to receive, II. 9; forbids nuns to make, 

II. 98. 
PRIESTS, recommendations and ordinances to his, V. 256 (Canons, 

Confessors, Afass, Paris k Priests}. 
PROBABILISM, of the saint, IV. 25, 39-40, V. 47-48, 91, 112-113, I3 2 ~ 

139, 160 (Alpkonsus, Author, Equiprobabilism, Jesuits}; the saint 

clears up the question of , IV. 418-42 r. 
PROBABILIORISM, in what sense the saint calls himself a Probabilior- 

ist, IV. 363, 416, 419-420, V. 48, 129, 160. 
PROFESSION, RELIGIOUS, dispositions requisite, III. 471. 
PUGLIA, the spiritual destitution of, I. 141-142, 146, 271. 
Puori, Francesco Paolo, a priest and friend of the saint, II. 132, 

IV. 395- 

PUOTI, Giovanni Maria (Alphonsus, Supernatural Gifts}. 
Puori, Mgr. Antonio, Archbishop of Amalfi, his holiness of life, 

II. 37, 188. 

PUPILS should not live in the same house as the nuns, II. 21. 
PURGATORY, the saint recommends prayer for the souls in , III. 

285 (Alphonsus, Spiritual Director). 



R 

RAFFAELLA, Maria della Carita, Redemptoristine, I. 19, 111.40-42, 

274, 279, 281. 
REDEMPTORISTINES, THE, approved by the Holy See, I. 14, V. 275; 



448 Index. 

sketch of their Rule, 1.309; foundation in Sant Agata, II. 132- 
133, 170-171, V. 275; rapid growth of this convent, II. 175, V. 
302, 315. Good results expected by the saint, II. 133, 171; his 
encomiums of, II. 366, V. 42; his solicitude for their temporal 
welfare, II. 154, 167-168, 170-172, 366, for their spiritual pro 
gress, III. 40-43; counsels to the Superioress, III. 289-290, 491. 
Various counsels, III. 42-43, 113-114, 279-280, 285. He com 
poses a little work for their direction, III. 284. 

REDEMPTORISTS, enjoy on earth the greatest peace, 1.392; if they 
persevere they not only save themselves, I. 248, II. 60, but 
will have a high place in heaven, I. 342, 598, III. 33. Fervor 
of the first, I. 59, 340. The saint wishes to see them grateful to 
God for their vocation, I. 333, 598; become saints, I. 332, 509, 
II. 392, III. 311; united by mutual charity, I. 481; lovers of 
peace and harmony, II. 336, III. 226, V. 31; obedient to the Su 
periors, I. 252, 335, 349, 491, 555, II. 138,486,490, III. 34-35, 124; 
observant of the Rule, I. 512, 11.401, III. 32, and of the estab 
lished customs of the Institute, II. 494; diligent in study (Study); 
given to prayer, I. 336, II. 401, III. 30, 34; lovers of Jesus 
Christ, I. 332, 341, 11.494, III. 29, 31; devout toward the Sa 
cred Passion, I. 336, II. 221, 494, the most Blessed Sacrament, I. 
336, and the Blessed Virgin Mary, III. 33 (Fasting); detached 
from seculars, I. 492, 521, II. 222; from relatives, I. 212, 268, 340, 
374, 514, 550, II. 127, 221, III. 230, 482; from self-will, I. 58, 
229; mortified men, II. 139; humble, I. 249, 266, II. 221; cheer 
fully bearing contempt, I. 267, 340; lovers of poverty, I. 340, II. 
138, 221, 391, 490-491, III. 34, 480-481; content with frugal 
fare, I. 250, II. 491, V. 196, poor clothing, I. 515, II. 491, 
poor dwellings (Rooms}; abhorrent of every voluntary fault, 

I. 249, 267, 333, 341, 595 constantly combating their faults, 

II. 400-401. He requires them not to change their abode, I. 274, 
335; to say Mass with gravity, I. 517, III. 34; recite the Divine 
Office devoutly, III. 34; prepare their sermons well, II. 139; 
preach in a simple, apostol.c style, I. 249, II. 491, 504, 508, III, 
155, 1 66 (Preaching, Style}. 

REGOLAMENTO, THE, imposed on the Congregation by the Neapoli 
tan government, the framers of, III. 306-307, 433; grief of the 
saint, III. 331, 336, 368, 379 (Pins VI}; how the saint received 
the , III. 403-404, 406-407; it causes the dismemberment of the 
Congregation, III. 361, 372. 

REMONDINI, Giuseppe and Giambattista, V. 41, 44, 58, 61, 71. 



Index. 449 

RENDINA, Br. Gennaro, I. 60. 

RENEWALS OF MISSIONS, required by the Rule, I. 183, 208; very 
profitable to souls, I. 159-160. 

RESERVATION, purely mental, never allowable, V. 141; not purely 
mental, allowable under certain circumstances, V. 141-142. 

RESERVED CASES (Cases). 

RESIGNATION TO THE DIVINE WILL, great merit of in tribulation, 
III. 1 8 5 ( Conformity] . 

RESTITUTIONS, how the religious should act with regard to uncer 
tain, II. 489-491. 

RETRACTIONS, the saint retracts several of his opinions, I. 338, III. 
133 (Alphonsus, Author). 

REVENGE, the saint s counsel concerning, I. 390. 

REVISERS, trouble of the saint with , I. 542, II. 49, 428, IV. 233, 
263, 381 (Neapolitan Government, Works of the Saint, Siniioli}. 

RiPA, I"). Matteo, a priest, founder of the Congregation of the Holy 
Family, I. 60, III. 213-215. 

Rizzi, F. Giovanni, C. SS. R., I. 580-581, 589, 592. 

ROBERTIS, F. Celestino de, C. SS. R., I. 125-127, 575. 

ROME, the saint not in favor of accepting a foundation there, III. 
37-39, 160-162; subsequently he rejoices over the house estab 
lished there, III. 447. 

ROMITO, Br. Francesco Antonio, C. SS. R., II. 115. 

ROOMS of the members of the Congregation should be small, I. 565. 

Rossi, Giambattista, archpriest of Ripacandida, founder of the Dis- 
calced Carmelites there, I. 292. 

Rossi, Mgr. Onofrio, successor of the saint in the See of Sant Agata, 
III. 112. 

Rossi, F.Saverio, C. SS. R., I. 137. 

RUBINI, D. Nicolo, Vicar-General of the saint, II. 271-272, V. 281. 

RUBINI, 1). Pasquale, the saint s lawyer at Naples, I. 418, 419, 431. 

RULE OF LIFE: for the government of a monastery, I. 106-108, II. 
416-417, 476; for a nun, 1.62-64, 75-78, 84, 577~579, HI. T 38- 
139; during a Retreat, II. 285-286; in times of spiritual dryness 
(Desolation} , for the extraordinary way of perfection, I. 279-282; 
for a priest, V. 202; for a father of a family, II. 131, III. 35-36, 
61-62; for a youth with regard to the choice of a state of life, II. 
474 (Alpkonsus, Spiritual Director). 



29 



450 Index. 



SAGLIANO, D. Luigi, I. 309, 319-321. 

SAINTS, became such by obedience even unto blood, 11.437, and by 
meditating on eternity, I. 596; no one attains great sanctity 
without suffering great crosses, II. 216, especially interior trials, 
II. 512. " Thy will be done" the words that have made all the 
, 111.36. The jewels of the saints are contempt, contradic 
tions, aridities, disgust even for the most holy things, II. 296. 

SALVATION depends on a real love for Jesus Christ and frequent re 
course to his Blessed Mother Mary, V. 190. 

SANCHEZ Di LUNA, Isidore, Archbishop of Salerno, I. 542. 

SANCTITY, consists chiefly in being dead to self-will, I. 229, and in 
conforming to the will of God, II. 363 (Conformity}-, is acquired 
in the midst of thorns and contrarieties, II. 437 (Obedience, Per 
fection, Saints). 

SANSEVERINO, F. Francesco, composes a compendium of Dogmatic 
Theology, I. 167; afterward Archbishop of Palermo and confess 
or to the king, II. 404, III. 91. 

SANT AGATA DE GOTI, the condition of the diocese, III. 103, V. 
266-287, 301-306, 314-319. 

SANTORELLI, F. Constantino, C. SS. R., I. 531. 

SARNELLI, D. Andrea, founder of the house at Pagani, I. 191, 196, 

11.235- 

SARNELLI, Domenico, one of the adversaries of the Congregation, I. 
197. 

SARNELLI, (VENERABLE) GENNAKO, C. SS. R., I. 79, 104; the saint 
writes his Life, I. 131. 

SARNELLI, Nicolo, Baron of Ciorani, his persecution of the Congre 
gation, I. 460, 537, II. 223, III. 423, V. 131 (Lawsttits). 

SARPI, Paolo, suspected of unsoundness in matters of faith, IV. 439- 
441, 446, 464. 

SCIFELLI, foundation of a house there, II. 477, 483-484, 487, III. 
191; poverty of this foundation. II. 506, 528, III. 14, 80; flourish 
ing condition of the novitiate there in 1782, III. 456. 

SCRUPLES, manner of overcoming, 11.189-199. 

SEMINARISTS OF SANT AGATA, solicitude of the saint in their regard, 
V. 273; rules for their admission and their vacations, V. 209, 
210 (Candidates, Clerics^ Ordinandi}. 



Index. 45 1 



SEMINARY OF SANT AGATA, endeavors of the saint to rebuild , V. 

273. 302, 315. 

SERMONS, LENTEN, rarely bring about conversions, III. 138; Re- 
demptorists forbidden to conduct courses of , I. 194; the saint 
grants a dispensation in this matter, II. 320; desires them to be 
preached in a simple and apostolic manner, V. 207. 

SERSALE, Cardinal Antonio, Archbishop of Naples, the saint writes 
to him upon the government of his diocese, I. 327-329. 

SERSALE, Giuseppe, a friend of the saint and of the Venerable Sar- 
nelli, I. 131. 

SICILY, the saint sends Fathers thither, I. 590; the success of the mis 
sions, III. 301-302 (Girgenti). 

SICK, THE, the saint recommends assisting them, I. 83. 84, II. 277, 
383; great charity toward in the Congregation, I. 338-339, II. 
433 (Alphonsus, Virtues of the Saint)] opposed to having the sick 
brethren attended at their own homes, I. 550, II. 127. Privi 
lege of celebrating Mass in their rooms, II. 379. How they 
should prepare for death, I. 60, 61, III. 185. 

SICKNESS, a proof of the love of God, III. 68; we should draw spirit 
ual profit from , III. 185. The saint suffers in winter from his 
chest, I. 312, 541, II. 188, 279; almost every year he has a mor 
tal , IV. 163; he explains the pitiable state of his health to 
Pius VI., III. 102-103 (Alphonsus, Virtues of the Saint}. 

SIESTA not allowed to the lay-brothers of the Congregation, I. 409, 
414. 

SILENCE, the saint recommends the practice of , I. 63. 

SIMIOLI, Canon and Professor of Theology, appointed censor of the 
saint s works, IV. 433; being a disciple of Berti, he causes great 
annoyance to the saint, V. 19, 21, 29. 

SLEEP, the saint advises that sufficient time be allotted to, I. 228, 
372- 

SOCIETY OF JESUS, great esteem of the saint for, II. 125, 265; grief 
at its persecution, II. 226; in Portugal (Pombal); in Spain, II. 
212; his zeal in defending , I. 567, 572 (Jesuits). 

SPARANO, D. Giuseppe, a priest, I. 114. 

SPINELLI, Giuseppe, Cardinal, his kindness toward the saint, I. 148- 
149, 205-209. 

SPORTELLI, F. Caesare, C. SS. R., I. 93-94. 

STAMPO, author of a Moral Theology that is too rigorous, V. 46, 52. 

STRINA, F. Andrea, C. SS. R., I. 344- 

STUDENTS OF THE CONGREGATION, their spiritual director, I. 529. 



452 Index. 



551-552; explanation of some points of their Rule, I. 470. Re 
commendations to, I. 590-592; advice with regard to studies, I. 
480-481, 484-485, II. 161; should exercise themselves in dialec 
tics, I. 566. 
STUDY recommended to the members of the Congregation, 336-338, 

V. 351- 

STYLE, pompous, to be avoided in preaching, I. 249, II. 491; causes 
injury to souls, V. 206 (Preaching). 

SUPERIORESS OF NUNS should see that the spiritual exercises are 
given every year, II. 417 (Conscience, Rule of Life). 

SUPERIORS OF THE CONGREGATION, the honor that should be shown 
to, I. 252-253; the greatest glory they can give to God is to 
watch over the house confided to them, I. 228; should be zealous 
for the observance of the Rule, I. 147, 338-339, III. 170; should 
govern with mildness and firmness, and not tolerate any faults, 
II. 220, 227; administer correction, especially when faults give 
rise to scandal, I. 333, III. 55; correct only when they have be 
come calm, and in private (Correction} , should be full of chanty 
toward their subjects, I. 338 (Sick); not burden them with too 
much work, III. 168; see that wholesome food is provided, II. 
219; take care that every one makes the annual retreat of ten 
days, I. 344, 461, III. 246, and the manifestation of conscience 
every month, 1.338, 520, III. 168, 483: watchful over the cor 
respondence of the subjects, I. 461, III. 482 (Correspondence); 
maintain poverty, I. 514, III. 168, 479-481; hold the consulta 
tion every month, III. 169; should not remain from home for too 
long a time, I. 225, 527; should be prudent in the erection of 
new buildings, I. 405, III. 80 (Building); frequently inculcate 
love for Jesus Christ and his Sacred Passion, I. 336. The saint 
will accuse at the judgment-seat of Jesus Christ those who have 
been too condescending, I. 333. Various recommendations to, 
1.519-522, 111.298-300. 

SUPERIORS OF THE MISSIONS, obedience due to , I. 521; their care 
for the confessions of the faithful, the community prayers of the 
subjects, I. 358, 361, III. 299, 477-479, the monthly retreat, II. 
505, III. 167, and the chapter of faults, I. 358, III. 164, 299; 
their duty with regard to useless visits, III. 165, 477-478, the 
food of the missionaries, I. 250, III. 165, 478. Various recom 
mendations to , I. 562, II. 503-506, III. 298-300 (Missions). 

SYNODS, DIOCESAN, their advantages, V. 286-287; the saint omits 
them for fear of government interference, V. 242. 



Index. 453 



TANNOIA, F. Antonio, C. SS. R., I. 329-330. 

TANNUCCI, Bernardo, the saint dedicates one of his works to him, 
V. 22; fear that he would expel the Fathers from Sicily, II. 45 
and ruin the entire Congregation, III. 86; the fall of , III. 
171-172. 

TARTAGLIONE. Br. Francesco, C. SS. R., I. 214, 258, 398, III. 18, 
V. 94, 356. 

TELESCA, F. Domenico, C. SS. R., III. 22. 

TEMPTATIONS, a source of spiritual profit, II. 273, 292. 

TEPIDITY, its nature, II. 92-93; its danger, I. 359~3 6 o. 

TERESA, ST., severity of her Rule, II. 346; the patroness of the saint, 
II. 204; he calls her his second mother, I. 20. 

TESTA, Mgr. Matteo Gennaro, at first, a benefactor of the Congre 
gation, III. 90, as Grand Almoner he does it much injury, III. 

369- 

TESTAMENT of the saint, I. 158. 
THOMAS AQUINAS, ST., the great regard of Alphonsus for all the 

opinions of , V. 118-119. 

TONSURE, the form of for ecclesiastics, V. 263-264. 
TORRICE, failure of the projected foundation, III. 77, 80, 144. 
TOURNELLY, the saint wishes that his Theology be the text-book of 

the students, I. 457, 497, 522, IV. 46, 61, 65, 67. 
TRAMONTANO, D. Salvatore, a priest, secures the portrait of the saint, 

IV. 198-199. 

TRIBULATION, prayer our only refuge in , II. 414 (Crosses], 
TUTIORISM, the cause of great ruin to souls, IV. 335, 337, 338, 363. 
TUTIORISTS, who they are, IV. 363; the saint would not grant them 

faculties to hear confessions, IV. 252. 



VERZELLA, D. Felice, a priest, secretary of the saint, II, 453, V. 33. 
VILLANI, F. Andrea, C. SS. R., I. 161; the spiritual director of the 
saint, I. 298. 



454 Index. 

VISIT TO THE BLESSKD SACRAMENT, the saint endeavors to introduce 
the daily visit in his diocese, II. 35; his success, II. 9, V. 283. 

VOCATION TO THE RELIGIOUS STATE, a great blessing, I. 333, 597- 
600; its loss a greater evil than death, II. 127, 221-222, makes 
one unhappy in this life, I. 248-249, 334, II. 400, causes dis 
quietude at death, II. 433, III. 31, and exposes one to eternal 
ruin; I. 242, 348, 413, 599, III. 33. It is lost by pride, I. 266, 
II. 400, by deliberate faults, I. 249, 267, 341, 512, III. 31, by 
attachment to relatives (Parents). Temptations against it are 
most dangerous on account of their consequences, I. 342, 513, 

598. Means of perseverance in it: to love Jesus Christ, I. 598- 

599, to ask it continually of God, I. 510, 513, and in temptation 
to have recourse to the Blessed Virgin Mary, I. 342. 598. 

VOLTAIRE, the saint s joy on hearing of the conversion of , III. 
278; he makes inquiries concerning it, V. 173, and speaks of the 
death of , V. 174-175. 



W 

WAY OF THE CROSS recommended by the saint to his subjects, I. 

336. 
WITNESS, his obligations when interrogated by the judge, V. 143- 

149. 

WORKS OF GOD rise out of nothing and from the midst of contradic 
tions, I. 59, 
WORKS OF ST. ALPHONSUS: 

ASCETICAL: " Abridged Sermons for all the Sundays of the Year;" 
the difficulties this work encountered among the censors, II. 428, 
438, IV. 461, 467, V. 5, 7, n, 15; its merits, III. 154-155, IV. 455. 
" Ceremonies of the Mass," IV. 412. 

" Considerations for Bishops for the Good Government of their 
Dioceses," IV. 195. 

" Considerations for Persons Called to the Religious State," 
IV. 464. 

" Counsels Addressed to the Nuns of the Most Holy Redeem 
er living in the Convents of Sant Agata and Scala," III. 280, 
284. 

" Counsels on Religious Vocation," I. 532, II. 438, IV. 464. 
" Darts of Fire, or the Proofs which Jesus Christ has given us 
of his Love in the Work of our Redemption," the saint reads a 



Index. 455 



portion of it every day, II. 270; recommends it to his confreres, 
II. 401. 

" Devout Reflections upon Various Points of Spiritual Life," 
V. 68; he composes this work for souls desirous of belonging en 
tirely to God, and uses it himself every day, II. 513. 

" Discourses for the Octave of Christmas, and Meditations for 
Advent to the Octave of Epiphany," IV. 91; he recommends this 
work to the members of the Congregation, IV. 401. 

" Discourses for Times of Public Calamity," IV. 92, 105. 

" Encouragement for Novices to Persevere in their Vocation," 
IV. 464. 

" Glories of Mary," a work most dear to the saint, IV. 89; 
meets with the greatest opposition, I. 234, IV. 51; its extraordi 
nary diffusion, IV. 69, 76, 81, 84-85, 121-122. 

" Hymns and Canticles," I. 307. 

" Letter to a Bishop on the Great Utility of the Holy Missions," 
IV. 464, V. 404. 

" Letter to a Religious on the Manner of Preaching," V. 359; 
the occasion of this work, I. 583; is well received, IV. 164, 464; 
its extensive circulation, V. 35. 

" Letter to a Young Student on the Choice of a State of Life," 
IV. 464- 

" Life of Father Gennaro Maria Sarnelli, C. SS. R., I. 131, IV. 
176. 

" Life of Father Paolo Cafaro, C. SS. R.," IV. 177, 202. 

" Life of Vito Curzio, Lay-brother of the Congregation of the 
Most Holy Redeemer," IV. 176. 

" Manner of Assisting the Dying," IV. 141, 146. 

" Manner of Conversing continually with God," I. 281. 

u Meditations for a Private Retreat of Eight Days," IV. 164, 

355- 

" Motives of Consolation and Confidence for a Soul in Desola 
tion," V. in, 

" Novena for Christmas," II. 217, IV, 82, 91, 95, 102, 105. 

" Novena in honor of St. Teresa," I. 307, 362. 

" Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus," II. 217, IV. 82, 92, 

95- 

" Novena for the Souls in Purgatory," V. 108. 

" Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ," II. 266, IV. 379, 387; 
well received in Naples, II. 292, IV. 405. 

" Preparation for Death," he recommends it to the members 
of the Congregation, II. 401; its worth, III. 155, IV, 95. 105. 



456 Index. 

WORKS OF ST. ALTHONSUS, ASCETICAL, Continued: 

" Preparation for Mass and Thanksgiving after Mass," IV. 92, 
95; the saint uses it himself every day, II. 217. 

" Quiet for Scrupulous Souls in Obedience to their Director," 
III. 231. 

" Reflections on the Passion of Jesus Christ," IV. 355. 

" Reflections on the Passion of Jesus Christ and other Spirit 
ual Topics," II. 463, V. 55, 63. 

" Rule for Seminaries," he sends this work to the Bishops, I. 
472, 474- 

" Selva, or Collection of Material for Sermons and Instructions 
for Ecclesiastical Retreats," I. 547, IV. 133. 

" Septenary in honor of St. Joseph," IV. 92. 

" Short Practice of Perfection, taken from the Writings of St. 
Teresa," the saint recommends the reading of this work, I. 473. 

" Short Treatise on the Love of God and the Means of Ac 
quiring It," V. in. 

" Short Treatise on the Necessity of Prayer," a very useful and 
popular work, IV. 94, 97, 100. 

"The Mass and the Office that are hurriedly said," the saint 
sends this work to the Bishops, I. 576, 580; it gives general 
satisfaction, IV. 164. 

4t The Sacrifice of Jesus Christ, with a Short Explanation of 
the Prayers at Mass," V. 107. 

" Translation of the Psalms and Canticles of the Divine Office," 
V, 73; costs the saint great labor, II. 522, V. 93, 99; its dedica 
tion (Clement XIV"]; its merits, V. 76; received favorably in 
Naples, V. 105, and in great demand. V. 122. 

" The True Spouse of Jesus Christ, or the Religious Sancti 
fied by means of the Virtues proper to her State," I. 597, IV. 
146; it is read in all the convents, IV. 392. 

" The Victories of the Martyrs," III. 288, V. 101, 104-107. 

" The Way of the Cross," IV. 437. 

" The Way of Salvation, or Meditations and Pious Practices 
for Acquiring Eternal Salvation," IV. 343; the saint recom 
mends it, and uses it continually, IV. 375. 

"The Will of God," 1.440, IV. 94, 97, 100. 

" Visits to the Most Blessed Sacrament and the Blessed Vir 
gin Mary for Every Day of the Month," I. 132-133; has an ex 
tensive sale, IV. 43, 69, 76, 81, 85, 122; is translated into French, 
III. 198. 



Index. 457 

DOGMATIC: " Admirable Conduct of Divine Providence in Saving 
Mankind through Jesus Christ," the scope of this work, V. 108, 
123, 168; its merits, V. in, 120, 170; its dedication (Pius VI}. 

" Defence of the Supreme Power of the Holy See against Jus- 
tinus Febronius," the occasion of this work, IV. 382-383; costs 
the saint great labor, IV. 386, 393, 394, 397; is expected to 
prove very useful, IV. 384; published with the greatest precau 
tion, IV. 396-397 {Neapolitan Government], 

" Dissertation against the Errors of Modern Unbelievers, call 
ed Materialists and Deists," I. 438, 442, IV. 334; its merits, 
IV. 43-44, 85, 95; is well received, IV. 97. 

" Evidences of Faith, or the Truth of Faith made Evident 
from the Motives of Credibility," IV. 183, 194, 231; difficulties 
with the reviser, IV. 205, 208. 

"Great Means of Salvation," IV. 105, 113, 117; the saint de 
sires its extensive circulation, IV. 117; it is well received, IV. 
120, 377. 

" Manner in which Grace Operates," IV. 423. 

" Reply to an Author who has Censured a Work of F. I). Al 
fonso de Liguori on the , Blessed Virgin, entitled Glories of 
Mary" IV. 51. 

" Reply to the Extravagant Reform Attempted by Abbate 
Rolli against the Devotion shown to the Mother of God," V. 
in. 

" Response to an Anonymous Publication, entitled Disserta 
tion on the Mass- Stipend" IV. 414-415. 

" The Council of Trent, or Dogmatic Work against the Pre 
tended Reformers," beginning of this work, IV. 249; twice sub 
mitted to the censors of the government, IV. 433, 446, 450; is 
found irreprehensible, IV. 452, 454, 464; its merits, IV. 422- 
423, 428, 432-433; its dedication (Clement XIV}. 

"The Obedience due to the Definitions of the Council," IV. 

423- 

" Theologico-moral Treatises on the Last Things," the scope 
of this work, V. 111-112; its worth, V. 124. 

" The Triumph of the Church, or The History of the Heresies, 
with their Refutation," the labor of the saint in composing, II. 
429, 448, V. 54; trouble with the censors, IV. 466, V. 7, 19-21, 
29, 32; its merits, IV. 455, 457, 460, 464-465, V. 33, 34, 39, 65, 
68; its dedication (Tanucci). 



29" 



458 Index. 



WORKS OF ST. ALPHONSUS, DOGMATIC, Continued: 

" The Truth of Divine Revelation, against tKe Principal Objec 
tions of the Deists," V. 67, 120. 

" The Truth of Faith, a Work against Materialists who deny 
the Existence of God, against Deists who deny Revealed Re 
ligion, and against Sectaries who deny that the Catholic Church 
is the One True Church," IV. 333; the scope of this work, IV. 
432; a compendium of several works, IV. 349, 371; the saint ex 
pects much good to be effected by it, IV. 341, 343; is received 
with great favor, IV. 372, 373. 

MORAL: " Apology for the Moral Theology, accused by some of Lax- 
ism, and of defending a Lax Probabilistic System," II. 321, 325, 
396, IV. 443, 444, 445; why composed, IV. 451; its worth, IV. 

454- 

" Apology of his Lordship Mgr. D. Alfonso de Liguori, Bish 
op of Sant Agata de Goti, or A Defence of the Dissertation 
etc., against the Attacks of a Very Rev. F. Lector, who styles 
himself Adelfo Dositeo," why it was composed, IV. 271-272, 
425; places his System in a clear light, IV. 274; its worth, II. 
129, 150, IV. 325, 341; his adversaries try to impede its circula 
tion, IV. 280-281, 282, 286-290. 

" Apology to a Letter of a Religious concerning the Use of the 
Equiprobable Opinion," IV. 241; is praised by the Pope and 
the Cardinals, IV. 255; its merits, IV. 243. 

" Dissertation on Invincible Ignorance," IV. 294, 297. 

" Dissertation on the Just Prohibition and Extirpation of Bad 
Books," I. 547, IV. 119, 123; difficulty encountered with the 
censor, I. 542. 

" Dissertation on the Moderate Use of the Probable Opinion," 

IV. 257- 

Dissertatio scholastico-moralis pro usu moderate opinionis probabi- 
lis in concursu probabilioris, I. 380. 

" Elenchus of ninety-nine Opinions retracted after the first 
Edition of Moral Theology in 1748," I. 380, IV. 34, 63. 

" Examination of Candidates for Ordination," IV. 50, 54, 58. 

" Exposition of the System maintained by the Author regard 
ing the Rule of Moral Actions, to which is added an Answer to 
New Objections," III. 24-25; why composed, V. 89-91. 

" Fidelity of Subjects to God renders them Faithful to the 
Prince, their Ruler," III. 212. 



Index. 459 

"Guide for Country Confessors," IV. 221, 226, 236, 258; diffi 
culty with the censors, IV. 233; the saint fears to have it print 
ed at Naples, II. 72, IV. 230. 

Homo Apostolicus (Latin Translation of the Instruction and 
Practice with notes and changes, made by others, IV. 74, 76, 
96); the saint praises this work, IV. 239, V. 128; desires it to be 
the text-book of our students, IV. 108, 131, and the seminarists 
of Sant Agata, II. 79, IV. 193, 209; complains of the poor re 
vision of the first edition, IV. 140, 143, 146, 161, 164, 197, 201, 
239; its extensive circulation, IV. 442, V. 17, 65. 

Instructio catechetica ad populum in pracepta Decalogi et Sacra- 
menta, a translation of an Italian work of the saint, made under 
his direction, IV. 385, by a Canon of Sant Agata, IV. 388. 

" Instruction and Practice for Confessors," the purpose of this 
work, IV. 42; the saint fears that he may not be able to publish 
it in Italian, IV. 67, but receives encouragement from Rome, 
IV. 77; reasons for the edition in the vernacular, IV. 69; it costs 
him great labor, IV. 60; its merits, IV. 64, 145, 161; received 
with great applause, IV. 149, 150, 154. 

" Instructions on the Commandments and Sacraments," a lit 
tle work composed for the missions, IV. 249, 375, 376. 

" Moderate Use of the Probable Opinion," its dedication (Clem 
ent XI II}\ its merits, IV. 319, 321, 324. 

Monitum in quo exponitur Decretum S. C. Genera/is Inquisitionis 
Romans conditum 1761, circa usus opiniomim probabilium" IV. 
302, 315. 

Monitum pertinens ad quwstionem an usus probabilium opinionum 
sit rel ne licitus aliquando" V. 57, 58-59, 61, 129. 

" Moral Theology," the saint composes it principally for the 
members of the Congregation, I. 337, IV. 13, 16; the work of 
fifteen years, V. 45; a remarkable collection of much matter in 
small space, IV. 40; unique in the number of its citations and 
decrees, IV. 235, 380, V. 46; its dedication (Nicolai, Benedict 
Xiy); Benedict XIV. praises it as a work of universal util 
ity, I. 369; received with applause at Rome, V. 124, in Spain 
and France, III. 205, in Germany, III. 205, V. 70; likewise at 
Naples, V. 45, 56, 79; the saint lives to see nine editions, V. 

156. 

" Practice of the Confessor," I. 203-204, 367, IV. 36-39. 
Praxis Confessarii, a translation of the preceding, made by 



460 Index. 

the saint, IV. 50, 56, 59, with the assistance of two companions 
IV. 46, 47- 

" Short Dissertation on the Moderate Use of the Probable 
Opinion," its merits, IV. 203; is well received, IV. 208, 231, 
257, 263. 



ZACCARIA, F. Francesco Antonio, S. J., learned and fair in his opin 
ions, IV. 30; offers to write the Prolegomena for the third edition 
of the Moral Theology, IV. 39; the saint accepts, IV. 46, 55, 75, 
and praises the work for its beauty, learning, and usefulness, 
IV. 211, 223, 233, 237; the reason for omitting it in the eighth 
edition, V. 157. 

ZEAL, should be discreet, I. 442; true and false in the Congregation, 
I. 267, II. 490 (Alphonsus, Virtues of the Saint}. 



END. 



GTntninri) CBition. 
THE COMPLETE ASCETICAL WORKS 

OF 

ST. ALPHONSUS DE LIGUORI, 

24 vols., Price, per vol., net, $1.25. 

Each book it complete in itself, and any volume will bo 
told separately. 



Volume I. 

II. 

III. 

IV. 

V. 
" VI. 

VII., 



XII. 
XIII. 

" XIV. 
" XV. 



XVI. 
XVII. 



XVIII. 
4 XXII. 
XXIII. 



PREPARATION FOR DEATH ; or, Considerations on the Eter 
nal Truths. Maxims of Eternity Rule of Life. 

WAY OF SALVATION AND OF PERFECTION : Meditations. 
Pious Reflections. Spiritual Treatises. 

GREAT MEANS OF SALVATION AND OF PERFECTION : 
Prayer. Mental Prayer. The Exercises of a Retreat. 
Choice of a State of Life, and the Vocation to the 
Religious State and to the Priesthood. 

THE INCARNATION, BIRTH AND INFANCY OF JESUS 
CHRIST ; or, The Mysteries of Faith. 

THE PASSION AND THE DEATH of JESUS CHRIST. 

THE HOLY EUCHARIST. The Sacrifice, the Sacrament, 
and the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ. Practice of Love 
of Jesus Christ. Novena to the Holy Ghost. 

VIII. GLORIES OF MARYS i. Explanation of the Salve 
Regina, or Hail, Holy Queen. Discourses on the Feasts 
of Mary. 2. Her Dolors. Her Virtues. Practices. 
Examples. Answers to Critics. Devotion to the Holy 
Angels. Devotion to St. Joseph. Novena to St. Teresa. 
Novena for the Repose of the Souls in Purgatory. 

VICTORIES OF THE MARTYRS ; or, the Lives of the Most 
Celebrated Martyrs of the Church. 

XI. THE TRUE SPOUSE OF JESUS CHRIST : i. The first 
sixteen Chapters. 2. The last eight Chapters. Appendix 
and various small Works. Spiritual Letters. 

DIGNITY AND DUTIES OF THE PRIEST ; or, SELVA, a 
collection of Material for Ecclesiastical Retreats. Rule 
of Life and Spiritual Rules. 

THE HOLY MASS : Sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Ceremonies 
of the Mass. Preparation and Thanksgiving. The Mass 
and the Office that are hurriedly said. 

THE DIVINE OFFICE : Explanation of the Psalms and 
Canticles. 

PREACHING : The Exercises 
Counsels. Instructions on 
Sacraments. 

SERMONS FOR SUNDAYS. 

MISCELLANY. Historical Sketch of the Congregation of the 
Most Holy Redeemer. Rules and Constitutions of the 
Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer. Instructions 
about the Religious State. Lives of two Fathers and of a 
Lay Brother, C.SS. R. Discourses on Calamities. Re 
flections useful for Bishops. Rules for Seminaries. 

XIX., XX., XXI. LETTERS. 

LETTERS AND GENERAL ALPHABETICAL INDEX. 
, XXIV. LIFE OF ST. ALPHONSUS DE LIGUORI. 



of the Missions. Various 
the Commandments and 



Benziger Brothers, New York, Cincinnati, and Chicago. 



Liguori, A.M. 

Complete ascetical works 



BQ 



A3 
G7 
v.22