Peter Chanel, P & M; Louis Grignion de Montfort, P

+John 14:7-14

To have seen me is to have seen the father

 

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘If you know me, you know my Father too.

From this moment you know him and have seen him.’

Philip said, ‘Lord, let us see the Father and then we shall be satisfied.’

‘Have I been with you all this time, Philip,’ said Jesus to him, ‘and you still do not know me?

‘To have seen me is to have seen the Father,

so how can you say, “Let us see the Father”?

Do you not believe

that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?

The words I say to you I do not speak as from myself:

it is the Father, living in me, who is doing this work.

You must believe me when I say

that I am in the Father and the Father is in me;

believe it on the evidence of this work, if for no other reason.

I tell you most solemnly,

whoever believes in me

will perform the same works as I do myself,

he will perform even greater works,

because I am going to the Father.

Whatever you ask for in my name I will do,

so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

If you ask for anything in my name,

I will do it.’

Source: The New American Bible

The New American Bible

The Catechism of the Catholic Church

Jesus teaches us how to pray

2607 When Jesus prays he is already teaching us how to pray. His prayer to his Father is the theological path (the path of faith, hope, and charity) of our prayer to God. But the Gospel also gives us Jesus’ explicit teaching on prayer. Like a wise teacher he takes hold of us where we are and leads us progressively toward the Father. Addressing the crowds following him, Jesus builds on what they already know of prayer from the Old Covenant and opens to them the newness of the coming Kingdom. Then he reveals this newness to them in parables. Finally, he will speak openly of the Father and the Holy Spirit to his disciples who will be the teachers of prayer in his Church.

2608 From the Sermon on the Mount onwards, Jesus insists on conversion of heart: reconciliation with one’s brother before presenting an offering on the altar, love of enemies, and prayer for persecutors, prayer to the Father in secret, not heaping up empty phrases, prayerful forgiveness from the depths of the heart, purity of heart, and seeking the Kingdom before all else. This filial conversion is entirely directed to the Father.

2609 Once committed to conversion, the heart learns to pray in faith. Faith is a filial adherence to God beyond what we feel and understand. It is possible because the beloved Son gives us access to the Father. He can ask us to “seek” and to “knock,” since he himself is the door and the way.

2610 Just as Jesus prays to the Father and gives thanks before receiving his gifts, so he teaches us filial boldness: “Whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you receive it, and you will.” Such is the power of prayer and of faith that does not doubt: “all things are possible to him who believes.”Jesus is as saddened by the “lack of faith” of his own neighbors and the “little faith” of his own disciples as he is struck with admiration at the great faith of the Roman centurion and the Canaanite woman.

2611 The prayer of faith consists not only in saying “Lord, Lord,” but in disposing the heart to do the will of the Father. Jesus calls his disciples to bring into their prayer this concern for cooperating with the divine plan.

2612 In Jesus “the Kingdom of God is at hand.” He calls his hearers to conversion and faith, but also to watchfulness. In prayer the disciple keeps watch, attentive to Him Who Is and Him Who Comes, in memory of his first coming in the lowliness of the flesh, and in the hope of his second coming in glory. In communion with their Master, the disciples’ prayer is a battle; only by keeping watch in prayer can one avoid falling into temptation.

2613 Three principal parables on prayer are transmitted to us by St. Luke:

– The first, “the importunate friend,” invites us to urgent prayer: “Knock, and it will be opened to you.” To the one who prays like this, the heavenly Father will “give whatever he needs,” and above all the Holy Spirit who contains all gifts.

– The second, “the importunate widow,” is centered on one of the qualities of prayer: it is necessary to pray always without ceasing and with the patience of faith. “And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

– The third parable, “the Pharisee and the tax collector,” concerns the humility of the heart that prays. “God, be merciful to me a sinner!” The Church continues to make this prayer its own: Kyrie eleison!

2614 When Jesus openly entrusts to his disciples the mystery of prayer to the Father, he reveals to them what their prayer and ours must be, once he has returned to the Father in his glorified humanity. What is new is to “ask in his name.” Faith in the Son introduces the disciples into the knowledge of the Father, because Jesus is “the way, and the truth, and the life.” Faith bears its fruit in love: it means keeping the word and the commandments of Jesus, it means abiding with him in the Father who, in him, so loves us that he abides with us. In this new covenant the certitude that our petitions will be heard is founded on the prayer of Jesus.

2615 Even more, what the Father gives us when our prayer is united with that of Jesus is “another Counselor, to be with you for ever, even the Spirit of truth.” This new dimension of prayer and of its circumstances is displayed throughout the farewell discourse. In the Holy Spirit, Christian prayer is a communion of love with the Father, not only through Christ but also in him: “Hitherto you have asked nothing in my name; ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”


Psalm 97

The LORD is king; let the earth rejoice; let the many islands be glad.

Cloud and darkness surround the Lord; justice and right are the foundation of his throne.

Fire goes before him; everywhere it consumes the foes.

Lightning illumines the world; the earth sees and trembles.

The mountains melt like wax before the LORD, before the Lord of all the earth.

The heavens proclaim God’s justice; all peoples see his glory.

All who serve idols are put to shame, who glory in worthless things; all gods bow down before you.

Zion hears and is glad, and the cities of Judah rejoice because of your judgments, O LORD.

You, LORD, are the Most High over all the earth, exalted far above all gods.

The LORD loves those who hate evil, protects the lives of the faithful, rescues them from the hand of the wicked.

Light dawns for the just; gladness, for the honest of heart.

Rejoice in the LORD, you just, and praise his holy name.

Source: The New American Bible


Saint Peter Chanel (12 July 1803 – 28 April 1841), born Pierre Louis Marie Chanel, was a Catholic priest, missionary, and martyr.

Life

Early years

Chanel was born in 1803 in the hamlet of La Potière near Montrevel-en-Bresse, Ain département, France. Son of Claude-François Chanel and Marie-Anne Sibellas, he was the fifth of eight children. From about the age of 7 to 12 he worked as a shepherd. The local parish priest persuaded his parents to allow Peter to attend a small school the priest had started. After some schooling at a local school Saint-Didier-d’Aussiat his piety and intelligence attracted the attention of a visiting priest from Cras, Fr. Trompier, and he was put into Church-sponsored education at Cras in the autumn of 1814. He made his first communion on March 23, 1817.

It was from that time that his attraction for the missions abroad began. His interest was the result of reading letters from missionaries sent back by Bishop DuBourg from America. He later said, “It was that year that I formed the idea of going to the foreign missions.” In 1819 he entered the minor seminary at Meximieux where he won several awards and class prizes in Latin, Christian doctrine and speech. He went to Belley in 1823, and the major seminary at Brou in 1824.

He was ordained on July 15, 1827 and spent a brief time as an assistant priest at Ambérieu-en-Bugey. At Ambérieu he also read letters from a former curate from that parish who was at that time a missionary in India. There he met Claude Bret, who was to become his friend and also one of the first Marist Missionaries. The following year, Chanel applied to the Bishop of Belley for permission to go to the missions. His application was not accepted and instead he was appointed for the next three years as parish priest of the parish of Crozet, which he revitalized in that short time.

His zeal was widely respected, and his care, particularly of those in the parish that were sick, won the hearts of the locals. During this time, Chanel heard of a group of diocesan priests who were hopeful of starting a religious order to be dedicated to Mary, the Mother of Jesus.

Marist and missionary

In 1831, at the age of 28, Chanel joined the forming Society of Mary (Marists), who would concentrate on local missions and foreign missionary work. Instead of selecting him as a missionary, however, the Marists used his talents as the spiritual director at the seminary of Belley, where he stayed for five years. In 1833, he accompanied Fr. Jean-Claude Colin to Rome to seek approval of the nascent Society. In 1836, the Marists, finally formally approved by Pope Gregory XVI, were asked to send missionaries to the territory of the southwest Pacific. Chanel, professed a Marist on September 24, 1836, was made the superior of a band of seven Marist missionaries that set out on December 24 from Le Havre. They were accompanied by Bishop Jean Baptiste Pompallier who was to become the first Bishop of New Zealand.

Chanel traveled first to the Canary Islands (January 8, 1837), where his friend, Fr. Claude Bret, caught a flu-like virus which led to his death at sea (March 20, 1837). Next, Chanel traveled to Valparaíso (June 28), where the French Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary (“Picpus Fathers”), who had care of the Apostolic Vicariate of Eastern Oceania, had their base. His third and fourth stops were in the Gambier Islands (September 13) and in Tahiti (September 21), where the group transferred to the Raiatea. In that ship they set sail (October 23) to drop off two missionaries at Wallis, the main seat of the mission in Tonga. The missionaries arrived at Vava’u but were not welcome and thus continued their journey to Futuna. Pierre Chanel went to neighboring Futuna, accompanied by a French lay brother Marie-Nizier Delorme. They arrived on November 8, 1837 with an English Protestant layman named Thomas Boag, who had been resident on the island and had joined them at Tonga seeking passage to Futuna.

Martyrdom

The group was initially well received by Futuna’s king, Niuliki. Fr. Peter struggled to learn the language and mastered it. Despite little apparent success and severe want, he maintained endless patience and courage. It was a difficult mission, coping with isolation, different foods and customs, but eventually beginning to bear some fruit. A few natives had been baptized while a few more were being instructed. King Niuliki believed that Christianity would undermine his authority as high priest and king. When his son, Meitala, sought to be baptized, the king sent a favoured warrior, his son-in-law, Musumusu, to “do whatever was necessary” to resolve the problem. Musumusu initially went to Meitala and the two fought. Musumusu, injured in the fracas, went to Chanel feigning need of medical attention. While Chanel tended him, a group of others ransacked his house. Musumusu took an axe and clubbed Chanel to death. Chanel died on April 28, 1841.

News of Chanel’s death took months to reach the outside world. It was almost a year before Marists in France learned of it; for those in New Zealand, it took half that time. Two weeks after the killing, the William Hamilton, a passing American trading ship, took Br. Marie-Nizier, Boag and others to Wallis (arriving May 18, 1841) and safety. In time, the news made it to Kororāreka (now Russell, New Zealand), where Marie Nizier told Jean Baptiste Pompallier’s deputy, Jean-Baptiste Épalle, that Peter Chanel had been murdered.

Relics

Bishop Pompallier heard of the death of Chanel on 4 November 1841 while he was at Akaroa and arranged for a French naval corvette commanded by the Comte du Bouzet, L’Allier, to accompany the mission schooner Sancta Maria and sail on 19 November for Wallis and Futuna, taking with him Philippe Viard. The two vessels arrived at ʻUvea on 30 December 1841. The bishop sent Viard to Futuna, where he landed on 18 January 1842. A chief named Maligi, who had not agreed to Chanel’s murder, agreed to disinter Chanel’s body, and brought it to the L’Allier the next day, wrapped in several local mats.

The ship’s doctor, M. Rault, was able to verify the identity of the remains, bearing in mind the description of the manner of Chanel’s death given previously by Brother Marie-Nizier. The doctor undertook to embalm the remains, so that they could be kept, wrapping them in linen and placing them in a cask. The schooner Sancta Maria transported the body back to Kororāreka, New Zealand, arriving on 3 May 1842.

The relics remained in the Bay of Islands until 1849, when they were accompanied by Fr. Petitjean to Auckland – most likely early in April 1849. They left New Zealand on 15 April 1849 by the ship Maukin, and arrived in Sydney, Australia, on 4 May. Fr. Rocher received the container that held the bones and took it to the Procure Chapel at Gladesville in Sydney on 7 May. Fr. Rocher was very careful in making the decision as to when to send the container on to England and France. He looked for a trustworthy captain, and a reliable person in London to receive the consignment, attend to the customs, and have it sent on to Lyon. Early in 1850, Fr. Bernin, pro-vicar for Bishop Douarre, vicar-apostolic of New Caledonia, had to leave for France. He left Sydney for London on the Waterloo on 1 February 1850, taking Peter Chanel’s remains with him. On 1 June 1850, the remains arrived at the mother house of the Society of Mary in Lyon. The relics were returned to Futuna in 1977. The skull was returned to Futuna in 1985.

Conversions in Futuna

Bishop Pompallier sent Frs. Catherin Servant, François Roulleaux-Dubignon and Br. Marie Nizier to return to the island. They arrived on 9 June 1842. Eventually, most islanders converted to Catholicism. Musumusu himself converted and, as he lay dying, expressed the desire that he be buried outside the church at Poi, so that those who came to revere Peter Chanel would walk over his grave to reach it.

As a form of penitence, a special action song and dance known as the eke, was created by the people of Futuna shortly after Chanel’s death. The dance is still performed in Tonga.

Veneration

Chanel was declared a martyr and beatified in 1889. He was canonized on 12 June 1954 by Pope Pius XII. St Peter Chanel is recognized as the protomartyr and patron saint of Oceania. His feast day is 28 April.

Legacy

Marist priests and brothers working in Oceania cover a territory as big as Western Europe. The area includes six independent nations, and two French territories. The Marist Oceania province is the largest in the Society of Mary.


Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort (31 January 1673 – 28 April 1716) was a French Roman Catholic priest and Confessor. He was known in his time as a preacher and was made a missionary apostolic by Pope Clement XI.

As well as preaching, Montfort found time to write a number of books which went on to become classic Catholic titles and influenced several popes. Montfort is known for his particular devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and the practice of praying the Rosary.

Montfort is considered as one of the early writers in the field of Mariology. His most notable works regarding Marian devotions are contained in The Secret of Mary and the True Devotion to Mary.

The Roman Catholic Church, under the pontificate of Pope Pius XII, canonized Montfort on July 20, 1947. A “founders statue” created by Giacomo Parisini is located in an upper niche of the south nave of Saint Peter’s Basilica.

Source: Wikipedia