August 30th - Bl. Ildefonso Schuster
- From: "Waldtraud" <hildegard8@xxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Wed, 30 Aug 2006 10:42:48 -0500
August 30th - Bl. Ildefonso Schuster
1880 - 1954)
Sometimes the popes delay or even omit the beatification or
canonization of an unquestionably holy person because he or she had become
entangled somehow in the web of current politics. Since Cardinal Ildefonso
Schuster, archbishop of Milan from 1929 to 1954, was on personal good terms
with Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, the Vatican authorities must have
examined carefully their relationship before deciding him qualified for
beatification. In other respects he was regarded as a holy man and a
It may seem odd that Pope Pius XI should have named to head a major
Italian see a man with so Germanic a name as Alfredo Schuster. Alfredo's
father was indeed Bavarian by birth. His mother Anna Maria Tutzer was a
native of the South Tyrol, Italian by citizenship but Austrian by culture.
However, Johannes Schuster, a tailor, had moved to Rome, and his son, born
there, grew up a true Romano.
Alfredo felt called to the monastic life. In 1899 he made his monastic
profession in the Roman Benedictine Abbey of St. Paul's-outside-the-Walls.
Then, having completed his theological studies in the great Roman
Benedictine monastery of Sant' Anselmo, he was ordained a priest in 1904. A
model monk from the start, he rose through many promotions to the post of
abbot-ordinary of St. Paul's.
As a scholar specializing in monastic history and matters liturgical,
Father Ildefonso became internationally known for his classic study of the
Roman Missal. The popes employed him increasingly as a consultant, and on
June 26, 1929 Pope Pius appointed him archbishop of Milan, created him a
cardinal, and personally consecrated him to the order of bishop. The frail
ascetic then took over the see of Milan with a zeal comparable to that of
his great predecessors St. Ambrose and St. Charles Borromeo.
By the time of Schuster's election to Milan, Benito Mussolini, the
founder of the totalitarian Fascist movement, had already thrust himself
into the Italian political scene and been named prime minister. Italy's
bishops were uncertain about this anti-religious ideologist who had achieved
power through violence. Their opinion of him mellowed, however, when in
early 1929 he shrewdly engineered the Lateran Pacts in which the Italian
government, which in 1870 had robbed the papacy of its independent kingdom
and declared the popes subjects of the kings of Italy, reversed its stance,
proclaiming the popes politically independent, and making financial
restitution for the stolen lands and properties.
Cardinal Schuster took an optimistic view of the new dictator. As the
first Italian bishop named under the agreements, he was also the first to
take the agreed-on oath of loyalty to the Italian state; hence he felt
obliged to maintain deferential relations with the Italian government.
It was not long, however, before the Fascist "Duce" started to violate
the spirit of the Lateran Pacts. Seeking to dominate and "fascistize" all
Italian organizations, he moved to obliterate Catholic Action groups and
Catholic youth societies. Then in 1937 he began to enact a series of racist
laws like those promulgated by Hitler. Hitherto, Pope Pius XI had taken him
sternly to task for such actions. After 1938 Cardinal Schuster, too, spoke
out against these and other "Germanizations" introduced by Mussolini.
During World War II Schuster governed his diocese well despite the
bitter Italian military campaign. When Italy fell to the Allies in 1943,
Mussolini fled north, henceforth a mere puppet of Hitler. The Cardinal's
advice to the Nazi-Fascist troops still in northern Italy to surrender had a
decisive influence. His personal solicitude for Mussolini prompted him to
seek out the dispirited dictator on April 25, 1945, and urge him to make his
peace with God and man. The Duce spurned the admonition, to his own quick
disaster. He was assassinated three days later by a band of extremist
This Version Taken From:
O Sacrament off Love! O sign of Unity! O bond of Charity! He who would have
Life finds here indeed a Life to live in and a Life to live by.
1. And Jesus passing by, saw a man, who was blind from his birth: 2. And his
disciples asked him: Rabbi, who hath sinned, this man, or his parents, that
he should be born blind? 3. Jesus answered: Neither hath this man sinned,
nor his parents; but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
4. I must work the works of him that sent me, whilst it is day: the night
cometh, when no man can work. 5. As long as I am in the world, I am the
light of the world. (John 9:1-5)
A parent's prayer to the Guardian Angels of their children:
I humbly salute ye, O thou faithful, heavenly Friends of my children! I
give ye heartfelt thanks for all the love and goodness thou showest
them. At some future day I shall, with thanks more worthy than I can now
give, repay thy care for them, and before the whole heavenly court
acknowledge their indebtedness to thy guidance and protection.
Continue to watch over them. Provide for all their needs of body and
soul. Pray, likewise, for me, for my (wife/husband), and my whole family,
that we may all one day rejoice in thy blessed company. Amen.
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