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    Vol. XIV, N. 7 bis 12 April 2010

    Father General

    A letter for the beatification of Fr. Bernardo de Hoyos. "On April 18, in Valladolid, Spain, Fr. Bernardo de Hoyos (1711-1735) will be beatified.  He is considered the first apostle of the Sacred Heart in Spain.  To recapture who he was and what he contributed, I offer some biographical information that should be understood in the religious and cultural context of the 18th century." Thus begins the letter written by Father General for this occasion. More than a century ago, in 1895, the cause for Father De Hoyos was introduced; due to many ecclesiastical vicissitudes and the political history of Spain, it was repeatedly postponed. Father Nicolás, in his letter, traces the major events in the very short life of the newly beatified who died on the 29th of November 1735 at the age of 24. He was recently ordained and in Tertianship at the time of his death.

    "His reputation for holiness - the letter continues - spread immediately after his death.  However, because of the difficult situation in which the Society found itself opposed by the Jansenists, the cause for beatification was not introduced at that time.  Later the suppression of the Society would leave many projects unfinished. When the Society was restored in 1814 by Pope Pius VII, a strong devotion to the Sacred Heart emerged in the whole Church. In accord with the religious sensibilities of the time, the reborn Society dedicated itself to the spread and propagation of this devotion with significant results." The letter outlines the steps of this recovery of the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, beginning with General Congregation 31st  in 1965, through the generalate of Father Arrupe and the generalate of Father Kolvenbach.

    Then Father Nicolás goes on: "Bernardo de Hoyos's passion for the Heart of Jesus faithfully corresponds to the devotion that Saint Ignatius felt for Jesus poor and humble, before whom he asks that our affections be moved in order to accompany Him in each step of His life: As companions with him on mission, his way is our way (GC35, D. 2, nº 14), so that in what we do in the world there must always be a transparency to God (GC35, D. 2, nº 10). On the occasion of this beatification, I invite the whole Society, together with our collaborators, to renew our personal love of Jesus Christ and to open ourselves to the grace of identifying ourselves with Him, so that in Nadal's words, we might understand with His understanding; will with His will; remember with His memory; and that our entire being, living, and doing be not centered in us, but in Christ (MHSI vol 90. p.122; GC35, D. 2, nº14), as the  cornerstone of the particular vocation to which each of us has been called."

    And finally Father General concludes: "May the Father who has hidden these things from the wise and the learned and has revealed them to the childlike (Mt 11, 25) through the intercession of Blessed Bernardo de Hoyos, grant the Society the grace of accomplishing its mission of being in the Church a loving response to Him who was pierced by the pain and the aggressive injustice of a world in need of forgiveness and reconciliation."