Discourse of His Holiness Pius XII to the Pilgrims in Rome for the Solemn Beatification
of Teresa Eustochio Verzeri
From the Pontifical Palace at Castel Gandolfo
October 28th 1946
To be uniquely an instrument of Providence, an instrument of blind docility in the hands of God yet at the same time, of the most shrewd and personal impetus in the execution of His plans, such is how it seems to Us, Venerable Brothers, beloved sons and daughters, the figure of the newly Beatified, Teresa Eustochio Verzeri.
After [experiencing] the most disconcerting vicissitudes of life, she passed definitively from her silent and contemplative stay at Santa Grata to the buzzing, bustling beehive of Gromo, and the words that gushed from her heart were “Let us go! The words that Jesus used, when passing from the Cenacle to the Garden and then on to Calvary: “But that the world may know, that I love the Father: and as the Father hath given me commandment, so do I: Arise, let us go hence.” (John 14, v.31).
Also she goes on the mission the Father has given her; she goes in the joy of love, sacrifice and in total and absolute detachment, towards unabated tensions, towards the many travails and painful trials of the apostolate.
This is not rare in the ways of the Lord when He chooses a soul for the accomplishment of some great work. At first He prepares the soul naturally and supernaturally; He makes it visibly capable and ready to accomplish well its office; and then He seems to strip the soul of everything, He hampers its actions, renders humanely impracticable the execution of its intentions, until the day He gives the soul a hundredfold the fruit of its tears and toils.
What might the mystery and motive for that apparent contradiction be, if not that God wants to show at the same time, in the creature’s weakness and nothingness, that the work is His, that in the gifts and attitudes, on her generously lavished, that He is calling her nevertheless to a true and personal collaboration with Him?
Is not all of Blessed Verzer’s earthly career a luminous demonstration of this Divine disposition? She accentuates in outstanding import the stable and opportune character of authentically divine works, not that of fleeting nor occasional opportunity, less enduring than springtime leaves, withered and dried that the coming autumn will sweep away. Events pass, and ingenious human inventions very quickly have their moment. The prospect of institutions marked by the seal of God [though] is nothing other than the infinite flexibility and capacity of principals and their eternal means being adapted to the needs and aspirations of every age.
This is revealed in the mission of our Blessed one. God roused her at a time in which the whole of human society was being shaken up. It was a matter of rebuilding and regenerating it in Christ. But, mutilated and disorganised as it was, it was necessary to lift it up again entirely with all the classes that composed it and who worked for this rebirth starting from the base, that is to say – from childhood. She worked to such an endeavour with that love the rigorous coldness of Jansenism and the wild fury of the Revolution had killed, and this love she drew from its source, the Heart of Jesus.
This is why, beloved religious sisters, you are, in all truth, not only for your name, but for your origin not less than your spirit “Daughters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus”.
It is your honour, it is your programme, it is the condition and guaranty of your apostolic work; be increasingly faithful to that spirit; We invoke ardently on you this grace from God, through the intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and your Blessed Mother.
And you, beloved sons and daughters, pilgrims from ancient Bergamo and Brescia the strong, blessed regions, where the majestic height of the Alps marries the fertile beauty of the plains, lands of ancient and high civilization, with its laborious, skilled people in works and art, and, who even more, are firm in their fidelity to Christ, Mary and the Pope! Of the Beatified whom we raised to the honour of the Altars yesterday and whom you with holy pride call yours, the contemporary testimonies extol her heroism in the service of God and the Church. From the fire of this heroism each one of you must carry a spark in your breast.
Today also in Italy we see the question of determining whether faith in God, the Christian conception of matrimony and the family, of school and education, of customs and the happiness of people, Christian thought and action, will still be of value for the future of individuals and society. It is necessary, therefore, that good people keep their eyes wide open and make every effort, in order that the inestimable treasures of the Catholic Faith and Christian morality, which for almost two thousand years has constituted the dignity and good of the Italian people, be conserved in Him, intact, and with its loss, all would be lost. Yet to that end, what is necessary are men and women who pray, who remain by means of frequency to the Sacraments, in close, very close union with Christ. Men and women, who, in public as much as in private, in the cities and villages, in all professions and in all occupations, fight with courage, firmness and heroism against every open or insidious danger, for the cause of Christ and the Church.
It is with these sentiments and these wishes we warmly impart to Our Venerable Brothers here present, to their collaborators in the clergy and laity, to all Our sons and daughters whom in this devout assembly surround Us, to their families, to their dear ones, Our paternal Apostolic Blessing.
Translation: Contributor Francesca Romana________________________________________
From: Discourses and Radio Messages of His Holiness Pius XII, VIII, Eighth year of his Pontificate, March 2nd 1946, pp. 293 -295.
In Italian, click here. First found in Riscossa Cristiana.
For more on St. Teresa Verzeri, click here.