Posted by: fvbcdm | April 18, 2013

Feast of Saint Perfecto (18 April 2013)

I like history and find it endlessly fascinating. Today, for example, is the [107th] anniversary of the great San Francisco earthquake. In the mid-30s, when I was a child, Hollywood made the movie “San Francisco” with Jeannette MacDonald, Spencer Tracy, and Clark Gable, and a ten- or fifteen-minute sequence of the earthquake which won a special award for realism. The movie made a great impression on me, so when I spent many happy hours and days there in the navy, I visited a number of places and things connected with the quake. I remember being taken down into the foundations of the church of Old Saint Mary’s in Chinatown by the sacristan, so that I could see the split in the natural bedrock there and the repairs to the foundations of the church that had to be made before rebuilding the structure above.

I speak of history because today, while watching the activities of our Holy Father in New York, I heard one of the anchormen or announcers point out that Benedict XVI is the first German pope we’ve had in over a thousand years. If I were not a Catholic and heard that statement, I would find it astounding, and would certainly look up the history of the popes, find out who the last previous German pope was, and then trace the papacy back to its beginning. And then, I think, I would be so impressed by that marvelous history that I would be moved to examine the Catholic Church seriously and then, I imagine, to become a member of it.


Unfortunately, most people tend to be superficial. The fact that Benedict XVI is the 264th successor of Saint Peter, the first pope, is unknown to many, and unimportant and insignificant to many others. But I have no doubt that in various parts of our nation and the world, there are people who watch and listen to our Holy Father during this pastoral visit to our country, and think seriously about the man and his mission. And that meditation will lead some of them to become members of his flock, the Roman Catholic Church. God grant that these may be many, and that they will find what their hearts have been hungering for, perhaps for years. Thank you for seeking God’s truth. God bless you. Father Victor Brown, O.P.


Note:  Father Brown composed this message some years ago.


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