Cardinal Highlights Fidelity of José Tous y Soler

Capuchin Founder Beatified in Barcelona

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BARCELONA, Spain, APRIL 26, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI’s secretary of state highlighted the fidelity of the newly beatified José Tous y Soler, saying he was faithful to God and men no matter the difficulties he passed through.

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone stated this Sunday in Barcelona at the beatification of the Capuchin friar, Blessed José Tous y Soler (1811-1871), founder of the Institute of the Capuchin Sisters of the Mother of the Divine Shepherd.

In his homily, the cardinal recalled that this «is the first beatification to be held in this city since the 12th century.»

He continued in the Catalan language, «I wish to express to everyone Pope Benedict XVI’s closeness, and to transmit to you his blessing, in the hope that he himself will be able to directly express to you his affection this year, in his visit to Barcelona to consecrate the admirable Church of the Holy Family.»

The Pontiff will visit the city in November.

The cardinal spoke briefly about the Church of Santa Maria del Mar (St. Mary of the Sea), where the beatification took place: «Not hidden to the attentive visitor are the wounds of this beautiful church» due to «fires, persecutions and other adverse circumstances.»

«And, despite all these vicissitudes,» he added, «it continues to fulfill its essential commitment to receive the People of God, to celebrate its worship of praise to God and its commitment to a life of charity and fraternity among all.»

Trials

The prelate spoke about Blessed José, stating that he had a «life full of trials and difficulties, external and internal, such as his delicate health, which always accompanied him.»

However, «he never let himself be overcome by bitterness or resentment, nor do we know of reproaches or attacks against those who impeded his following his first vocation of Capuchin,» the cardinal pointed out. 

He added that the friar «was a man of exquisite charity, with a great capacity to endure and understand the deficiencies of others.»

Cardinal Bertone affirmed, «Numerous situations in his life also show his great willingness to accept and to forgive. It is said of him that he never left anyone offended.»

He underlined the founder’s words that «are as a motto of life: ‘Even if everything is dark, one must always be faithful, faithful to God and faithful to men.'» 

The cardinal encouraged his listeners to increase their trust in God, which is made concrete and becomes a way of life in prayer, participation in Sunday Mass, the frequenting of the sacraments and by living charity. 

In this way, he said, «the most genuine soul of this land of saints was forged, and Father Tous reminds us of it today, at a time in which religious indifference or the relativist sense of life draw so many away from the rich Christian identity transmitted from generation to generation.»

Cardinal Bertone urged the sisters who look to Blessed José as their founder to be faithful to their charism with the «wisdom of the heart» that «Father Tous always showed, especially when he proposed this wise norm to you: ‘Teach more with the love of mothers than the rigor of teachers.'»

Communion

The archbishop of Barcelona, Cardinal Lluís Martínez Sistach, presided over the Mass. He addressed Cardinal Bertone, asking him to transmit his «sentiments of communion, affection and unconditional adherence» to the Pope.

«Always, but especially at this time, we are by his side and accompany him with the constant prayer of our ecclesial communities,» the archbishop of Barcelona said.

Benedict XVI recalled the beatification during his public address Sunday after praying the midday Regina Caeli in St. Peter’s Square. 

The Holy Father also recalled the «exquisite charity» of Blessed José.

«May his example and intercession help all, especially priests, to live with fidelity to Christ,» he prayed, noting that Blessed José, «notwithstanding numerous trials and difficulties […] never let himself be overcome by bitterness or resentment.»

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