Appendix 3: Texts of Claret on the Bible

Appendix 3

Texts of Claret on the Bible

I. Autobiographical Texts of Claret

1.   Love for the Bible

       * He began reading it in his childhood: “I remembered reading as a small boy those words of the Gospel, ‘What does it profit a man… [Mt 16:26]” (Aut 68).

      * On his first journey to Rome to offer himself to Propaganda Fide, he brought with him, besides his Breviary:

      “a very small edition of the Bible” (Aut 132). “I brought with me a small-print edition of the Bible, which I could read every day, even while traveling, since I have always been a great reader of the Holy Bible” (Aut 151).

      *In Cuba, among his Retreat Resolutions, he notes:

      “4. At 6:00 [a.m.], Sacred Scripture. 5. at 8:00, breakfast, Hours” (Resolutions, 1851, SAW p. 166). At about this same time, in his Spiritual Notes, he wrote: “Dedicate all time possible to the study of Sacred Scripture… (Spiritual Notes, SAW p. 244).

 2.   Vocational reading

 2.1. Vocational awareness

       * Claret had a very clear awareness of the biblical inspiration of his vocation:

      “This phrase [Mt 16:26] impressed me deeply and went like an arrow to my heart…” (Aut 68).

      “But what moved and stimulated me most was reading the Holy Bible, to which I have always been very strongly attracted” (Aut 113). “In many passages of the Bible I felt the voice of God calling me to go forth and preach” (Aut 120).

      “By these words I understood that the Lord had called me…how the Lord had drawn me safely out of narrow escapes…great enemies…that would arise against me, but the Lord told me…God our Lord gave me to understand those words…” (Aut 114-118).

      “The Lord gave me a deep understanding of those words… (Aut 685). The Lord told me both for myself and for all these missionary companions of mine… So that each one of us will be able to say…” (Aut 687).

 2.2. A vocation in the style of St. Paul

       In the origin of Claret’s vocation:

      “I was like Saul on the road to Damascus, but I was in need of an Ananias to tell me what to do” (Aut 69). This phrase impressed me deeply and went like an arrow to my heart. I tired to think and reason what to do, but to no avail (Aut 68; cf. Acts 9:1-19 and parallels).

       In his mission:

      “But the zeal of St. Paul has always awakened my deepest enthusiasm. How he hastened from place to place, a vessel of election, carrying the teaching of Jesus Christ! He preached, wrote, and taught in synagogues, prisons—everywhere. He worked and made others work, in season and out of season. He suffered scourgings, stonings, persecutions of all sorts, as well as the fiercest calumnies, but he was never daunted; on the contrary, he so rejoiced in tribulations that he could say that he did not wish to glory, save in the cross of Jesus Christ” (Aut 224; cf. Acts 9:15, 2 Tim 4:2, 2 Cor 11:23 ff., Gal 6:14).

 2.3. Vocational texts

       Although he sensed the voice of the Lord in many parts of the Holy Bible (cf. Aut 120), nevertheless:

      “There were passages that impressed me so deeply that I seemed to hear a voice telling me the message that I was reading” (Aut 114).

      1. Origin of his call: Mt 16:26 (Aut 68-70).

      2. Ordination to Diaconate: Eph 6:12 (Aut 101).

      3. Discovery of his apostolic mission. In many parts of the Bible, Claret sensed the voice of the Lord calling him to go out and preach (Aut 120):

      Is 41:8(9)-17); Ezk 3:17-19; Lk 4:18 (Is 61:1); Lk 2:48-49 & Lk 9:58.

      (Aut 113-118, 119; Aut 687, 118; SAW 15, 30).

      4. Living an apostolic spirituality and developing missionary activities.

       * As an itinerant Apostolic Missionary (1843-1849). In this period he focused on Jesus, on the Apostles and on the Prophets:

      – Jn 20:21; Mt 10:5-15, 16:24, 11:28-29; Mk 16:15, 10:14-16; Lk 9:58; Gal 1:15 f., 2:20, 6:14; Acts 5:41; 2 Tim 4:2; Is 6:8.

      – Jesus & the Apostles: Aut 195, 221-224, 494, 276, 340, 356, 359-364, 372, 374, 386-389, 425 f., 428-437. Prophets: Aut 215-220.

      * As a Missionary Archbishop (1850-1857). In this period he focused his attention on the pastoral texts of the Scriptures:

      1 Tm 4:16, 3:2-4; 1 Kgs 3:7-12; Rm 8:35 f.; 2 Cor 5:14, 3:6; Mt 11:28-30; Mk 10:43-45; Jn 13:6; Ezk 3:17-19, 13:5, 22:30; Nm 14:20; 2 Tm 4:1-5.

        (API, 84. Retr. Resolution no. 2, 1850 B: SAW 161 f., cf. 160, 173).

       * As a Missionary in the Palace and in exile (1857-1870). Slandered and persecuted, he now focused on the paschal mystery of Christ, always contemplated in an apostolic key:

      Jn 18:11; Gal 2:20, 6:14; 2 Tm 2:10; Col 1:24.

      (Aut 762, 658, 679, 694, 698, 742, 748 f., 752, 754, 756, 798; SAW 200, 210 f., 235 f., 266, 270-278, 284 f., 323).

       * There are other texts that reinforce his spiritual life and comfort him in special situations:

      Dt 6:5; Mt 22:36; Ps 72:26; Jn 14:23; Gal 2:20.

      (Aut 754; Retreat Resolutions 1864-1869: SAW 209 f., 213 f., 216 f., 221 f., 224 and especially 227, 230; Sp. Notes: SAW 257, 264-266, 284 f.; Lights and Graces: SAW 338. Temple and Palace: SSW 194-208; CAs:: SSW 141-145; Expl. of the Six Talents: SSW 135 f. Priestly Spirit: SSW 357 ff.).

 3.   Style of preaching the Word of God

       “From the very beginning, the style I aimed at was that of the Gospel: simple and clear. To achieve this aim I made use of comparisons, likenesses and examples from history and experience, most of them from Scripture” (Aut 297; cf. also Aut 298-299).

      “The aim of my preaching is the glory of God and the good of souls. I preach the Holy Gospel, avail myself of its comparisons, and use its style” (Apostolic Missionary: Self-Portrait: SAW 25-26; cf. also Aut 470).

 II. Texts of Claret on the Bible and the Concrecation

1.   Bible texts applied to the Congregation

       “The Lord told me both for myself and for all these missionary companions of mine, ‘You yourselves will not be the speakers: the Spirit of your Father, and of your Mother, will be speaking in you’ (Mt 10:20). So true is this that each one of us will be able to say, ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me; therefore he has anointed me. He has sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor, to heal the brokenhearted’ (Lk 4:18)” Aut 687; cf. Lights and Graces 1859: SAW 316-317).

1.1.  Psalm 23 [Vulgate 22]. Founding of the Congregation.

1.2.  Jn 20:21. Exercises in Vic (23 April-1 May, 1850).

1.3.  Rev 14:6, Rev 8:13, Rev 10:1-3 (Aut 681 f., 685-687).

 2.   Bible texts in the primitive Constitutions

       2.1. Texts which serve as a foundation for the Congregation’s project of missionary life (CC 1857 and 1865). In both, some of the Fr. Founder’s most beloved scriptural texts appear, for example:

      * Mt 10:5-16: CC 1857, nn. 54, 69, 71, 121, 124; CC 1865 II, 14, 68 f.; Prob n. 22.

      * Mt 16:24: CC 1865, II, 10.

      * Mt 11:29: Estud. n. 28.

      * Lk 9:58: CC 1865 II, 14.

      * Lk 12:31: CC 1865 II, 12 & 15.

      * Acts 5:41: CC 1857, n. 57.

     * Eph 6:11-12: CC 1865 II, 1.

      * Gal 2:20: Prob. n. 19, CC 1865 I, 86.

      * Gal 6:14: CC 1865 II, 11.

       2.2. In 1862, the Fr. Founder wrote a Regulation (RFCMF) for all the formandi of the Congregation and their respective formators, which was later included as an Appendix in the Constitutions of 1865.

      Speaking to the novices of the Congregation, he offers them some highly important vocational orientations. They are largely biblical and missionary. Thus:

      * The novices should have the same faith as the Prophets, the Apostles, martyrs and authentic preachers (RFCMF, n. 16).

      * They must have absolute trust in the Lord, who has chosen them (RFCMF n. 18).

      * The same is true of humility, obedience and fidelity to vocation (RFCMF, nn. 18, 19 & 22).

 3.   Pedagogical orientations

 3.1. For the Missionaries in General

       “They will eat at noon, reading a chapter of the Bible…” (CC 1857, Regulation for the time of mission, ch. XII, n. 117).

      “Every week, moreover, they will have some lessons of Sacred Scripture…” (CC 1871, n. 51).

 3.2. For Missionaries in Formation

       “All will have a Holy Bible and in it they will read each day two chapters in the morning and another two in the afternoon…; and…on Friday…a chapter of the Passion of Jesus” (RFCMF, text A, n, 168).

      “To their daily spiritual reading they will add those chapters of the Holy Bible that the superior will assign” (RFCMF, text B, n. 27). This text was included literally in the Constitutions of 1865: “Quotidie lectioni spirituali illa Sacrae Scripturae capita adiungent quae a Superiore fuerint designata” (Part I, ch, 25, De Scholasticis, n. 94).

III. Texts of Claret for Reading and Assimilating the Word of God

1.   The example of Mary

       “Learn from Mary, Theophilus. By your chastity you, too, must please God, and by your humility in studying the Scriptures and praying to God, you will conceive what you must say: the Word that you must preach. The Virgin wrapped the Word in poor swaddling clothes; you must wrap the Word in a simple and natural style… The preached Word should be treated the same way: Cum simplicibus sermocinatio eius (Prov 3:32). Spiritus Domini super me, evangelizare pauperibus misit me Dominus (Lk 4:18). Jesus Christ himself gave thanks to the Father because the divine Word was revealed or preached to the little ones, that is, the lowly” (CMT IV, 10: SSW 438-439).

 2.   In the style of St. Paul

       “I shall not dwell one by one on the marvels worked by the apostles who, as soon as they were filled with the spirit of the Lord, began to speak. I shall only say something of the Apostle Paul, who was filled with the ecclesiastical spirit. As soon as he was called by Jesus on the road and was later enlivened by the spirit he received in Damascus, he did not stop to consult with flesh and blood, but filled with the fire of charity, he rushed about everywhere, as a vessel of election, spreading the name of Jesus, seeking nothing but the glory of God and the salvation of souls. He feared neither prisons nor chains. He was undaunted by scourgings, and death-threats did not hold him back. We need to do no more than read the Book of Acts and the letters he has left us, to see what a priest filled with the ecclesiastical spirit does. This same spirit is the one that animated all the Dominics, Vincents, Xaviers and so many other priests” (“The priestly spirit” in SSW 345).

 3.   Reading and meditating on Sacred Scripture

 3.1. To all, in general

       “Therefore, most beloved brothers and very dear sons, if you want to read the Holy Bible…, feel welcome to do so. We very especially exhort the clergy to do so, as we have so many times disposed by word and in writing” (EPD, 4).

 3.2. To Pastors

* Bishops

      “Let the Prelate…read and meditate on the Holy Scriptures, singularly the letters of St. Paul, especially those he addressed to Titus and Timothy” (API, 84).

      The Prelate must take “great care with ordinands, that they may be given to reading spiritual books, especially the Holy Bible” (API, 58).

 * Priests

      “Every day read a chapter of the New Testament” (“Rules that should be observed by one who wants to become a perfect missionary,” n. 6: CCTT, 107).

      “Every day you will read four chapters of the Holy Bible; two in the morning and two in the afternoon, so that you can read it all each year” (St. Vincent de Paul Clergy Conferences” Barcelona 1859, 22).

      “Indeed, it will do you no good to have books if you do not read or study them. Therefore we exhort you to follow this method and order insofar as possible. Every day you will read four chapters of the Holy Bible, two in the morning and another two in the afternoon. And as we have provided all of you with the translation by Fr. Scio, it would be well, should your occupations allow, if you would also read the precious notes that are attached to many verses in each chapter, so that you may have a clearer knowledge of them. Later in time you will be able to consult one of the more celebrated expositors, such as Tirini, Cornelius à Lapide, etc. Thus the reading of the Holy Bible will occupy the first place…” (PCL, 32 ff.).

      “Every day…he will dedicate a time to spiritual reading. He will read three chapters of the Holy Bible” (PCL, Appendix, 52).

      “Every day…he will dedicate a time to spiritual reading [he cites Rodríguez, Granada, Scaramelli…] without ever neglecting the reading of the Holy Bible, two chapters in the morning and two in the afternoon” (API, 105).

      “All must apply themselves with the greatest fidelity and painstaking care to reading, studying and meditating on Sacred Scriptures. They must be occupied in this holy task for the space of a whole hour, besides the morning meditation or reading that we spoke of earlier (n. 12); and to derive more fruit they will add the explanations by the Holy Fathers and by approved interpreters” (RCS 1, 2 n. 15: in Miscelánea interesante, 290).

      “Great, very great and indispensable, is the obligation in which you find yourself and will find yourself as long as you live, to devote yourself assiduously and attentively to the study of the Sacred Scriptures… Read it, then, every day… In order to read the whole Bible in one year, how many chapters must you read each day? Three or four. Hence we counsel you every day to read two in the morning and another two in the afternoon” (PBV Prólogo).

      “Every day the priest will study this lesson, that is, he will read at least a chapter of the Holy Gospel; and every day he will attend class, that is, meditation, spending an hour or at least a half-hour every day meditating on the life, passion and death of Jesus Christ” (CI II, 5, 1, 1: SSW 358).

              3.3. To Seminarians

       “Besides the aforesaid books, they will have the Holy Bible, and they will read four chapters daily, two in the morning and two in the afternoon” (Modifications of the Statutes of the Seminary of Santiago, Cuba: Madrid 1854, 16).

      “We warmly recommend that all seminarians in theology assiduously read Holy Scripture, and we counsel them to adopt the daily practice of reading two chapters in the morning and two in the afternoon” (CI I, 2, 16, 2).

      “During the day those who are studying grammar will read a chapter from Pintón (Sacred History) in the morning and another in the afternoon. Those who are studying philosophy and theology… will read the Holy Bible in Latin, two chapters in the morning and two in the afternoon, and with this distribution, they will read it all each year (Claret notes: “To this effect an economical Bible has been printed and is available in the Religious Library)” (API 58).

       3.4. To the Laity

       “What we must, however, continually ask for and seek is the bread of the soul, which is called panis vitae et intellectus, that is to say, the Eucharist and the Bible or Word of God… Besides the bread of life that is the Eucharist, the object of life and love, man also needs the bread of understanding, which is the truth, which we find in a special way in the Holy Bible. But we must seek it there as we ought, if we wish to find it…” (PIC: SSW 560-561)

      “A person who was much persecuted and slandered busied himself by reading Sacred Scripture and the Holy Fathers, and from his reading he drew such comfort that, even in the midst of the blackest and most atrocious slanders, he held himself to be very happy… (204).” “In order to suffer slanders and persecutions well, we must look to Jesus and remember well Jesus’ own words as recorded in the Holy Gospel (218)” (Solace for a Slandered Soul, Barcelona 1864: SSW 245-261).

      “Each member [of the Academy of St. Michael] will daily, or at least weekly, read a chapter of the Gospel according to St. Matthew, translated and annotated by His Excellency, the Lord Archbishop of Cuba” (PAM, 28 and 39). And as for the associates: “They will meet once a month, according to article 31 of the regulation … Each one will give an account of himself, and will say whether he has read the chapter of the Gospel…” (MAM, 21).

      “Besides the books indicated [Catechism, Sacred History], it would be well for the girls to read the Holy Books, as the Holy Fathers St. John Chrysostom, St. Augustine and other saints exhort us. St. Jerome tells us: ‘When a girl becomes seven years old, let her learn the Psalms, and until the age of puberty, let her heart’s treasure be the books of Solomon, the Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, and the letters of the same Apostles.’ They will also read the story of Joseph, Tobiah and Naomi, and the Canticles of Moses, Deborah and Mary Most Holy” (CIa, 336-338 f. Cf. also MSS Claret X, 713-716).

 4.   In order to announce the Word of God

       “The first means is the preaching of the divine word, according to the Lord’s precept [he cites Mt 28:19-20; Mk 16:15-16]…” “It belongs to the priests, then, to set to work on this first means… with both assiduity and apostolic zeal” (MAM, 5).

      “If charity, necessity or the command of your superior calls you to the ministry of God’s Word, go apart for a while, as your Divine Master did, to pray alone, in order to obtain by meditating on the sufferings of Christ crucified that science of the heart without which your word would be like sounding brass and tinkling cymbal. Keep the word of God pure of contamination. Do not strive after high style, flowery expressions or other persuasive words of worldly wisdom (which only feed the pomp and vanity of one who is preaching to nobody but himself), but strive rather after heartfelt affections of the spirit and power of God, as the Apostle did: in ostentatione spiritus et virtutis (1 Cor 2:4), and not as it were to please men, but only God, who sounds the depths of the heart… If therefore you do not wish to be lost, but rather to gain the greatest merit, you must imitate our divine Redeemer. Read the Holy Gospels and you will find subjects he dealt with and the style he used…” (AvSa n. 25: SSW 295-297).

      “Christ stirs up in us his filial love for the Father, a love which is manifested above all in prayer, whether liturgical or private. Moreover, prayer transforms us in Christ, prepares us and spurs us to announce his Gospel: ‘In the fire that burns in meditation, men are melted and fused and become molded in the image of Jesus’” (API, 38).

 5.   Pedagogical orientations of Claret

       “Read it, then, every day, but read it with devotion and with a will to profit from its reading, and you will see by your own experience how by this means the Lord will favor you with his graces and will send you the helps you need so much in order to comply with your obligations and duly fulfill the functions of the sacred ministry” (PBV Prólogo).

 5.1. With devotion

       “The other faithful should hear the divine word devoutly and practice what it teaches them, and they will thus show that they are of God. For, as Jesus Christ our Divine Redeemer has said: ‘Whoever is of God hears every word God speaks’ (Jn 8:47)” (MAM, 5).

      “Let them enjoy proceeding with the simplicity of faith…above all very much appreciating the books of Sacred Scripture and holding them in great veneration. Let these books be very familiar to all of them and let them interpret them not according to their own way of thinking, or in order to draw subtle concepts from them, but with a mind to propose and explain the sacred text with simplicity, in a manner that is useful for teaching, reproving, correcting and instructing in justice (2 Tm 3:16; 2 Pt 1:20)” (RCS I, 7, n. 39 in Miscelánea, 301).

      “Let them interpret them [the Scriptures].. in the sense in which the Church, the Holy Fathers and the common run of orthodox theologians have always understood and understand them” (ibid.).

      “Therefore, most beloved brothers and very dear sons, if you want to read the Holy Bible translated by Fr. Scio, feel welcome to do so. We very especially exhort the clergy to do so, as we have so many times disposed by word and in writing. But read the genuine version with its notes, and not one adulterated and truncated by Protestants” (EPD, 4).

      “As God uses the Church to give us the Divine Word incarnate and consecrated, so he has chosen to use his Church to give us the verbum divinum scriptum et traditum, that is, the divine word that is the bread of understanding… The truth of the Holy Bible falls to the earth and is buried unless it is supported on the pillar of the Church. That is why St. Augustine said that he would not even believe the Gospel, unless it were taught by the authority of the Church” (PIC 4.65: SSW 562; cf. also Antídoto contra el contagio protestante, Barcelona 1860, in t. III, Colección de Opúsculos, 125-128).

      “The obstacles to meditating are well known: pride and vain self-esteem; for the voice of God is for the simple and humble. The Lord set his eyes on the humble and looks on the haughty from afar…” (CI 1,2,4,1).

      “Another grave obstacle [to pray and meditate on the Word of God] is dissipation of mind during the day and small control over the senses. For it is not possible for one whose imagination is filled with vanities to meditate devoutly, nor is it for a person to have a recollected spirit if he is always going about distracted, not by the plausible occupations assigned to him, but rather by curiosity, lack of modesty or other defects” (CI 1,2,4,1).

      “The poor in spirit are those who humble themselves before God, regarding themselves as being truly poor in His presence.. and listen to His divine words with respectful fear” (EvMt, note on Mt 5:3).

      “God told St. Arsenius: ‘Fuge, tace, quiesce.’ ‘In silence and quiet of heart, a devout soul advances in virtue and learns to understand the hidden things of the Scriptures’ (à Kempis, bk. 1, ch. 20). Speaking with God and speaking with men are incompatible acts” (Retreat Resolutions 29 October 1860: SAW 195).

      “But why is it that the Scriptures are not understood? There are three reasons: 1. Because men do not have the love of God in their hearts, as Jesus himself told St. Teresa. 2. Because they do not have humility, as the Gospel says: ‘I thank you Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the learned and the clever, and have revealed them to the merest children’ (Lk 10:21). 3. Finally, because there are some who do not want to do understand them, because they do not wish to do good” (Discourse on Papal Infallibility: SAW 110-111. Note the implicit reference to Jn 5:39-42 in the citation from St. Teresa of Jesus, Life, ch. 40, n.1).

      “If you look well, you will see that all that is contained in the Old Testament is one great prophecy of Jesus Christ and of the Church… Such should be the teaching of the ‘letter’ of the Catholic religion; but as to the ‘spirit,’ all is based on ‘love’ of God and neighbor. The creation, the incarnation, the preaching of Jesus Christ, the institution of the Blessed Sacrament, the crucifixion and resurrection, all reveal love. Love is the cause, love is the end; hence, in the study of these great works, we must always keep before our understanding and our heart the love of God and neighbor, and the child must attentively note these two branches of love, that spring from the same trunk of love” (Colegiala Instruida, 336).

      “God dearly loves a man’s fidelity in little things. God calls us by inspirations, readings, sermons, confessors, etc., etc. He tells us ‘Si vis ad vitam ingredi… Si vis perfectus esse… When a man is faithful… If he hears God’s voice and does not harden his heart… If he answers, ‘Loquere, Domine, quia audit servus tuus… Domine, quid me vis facere?’” (Notes on Vatican I, Religious Life 1b: SAW 77).

      “Not only is [Jesus] your master, but also your model and exemplar, since he first did what he later taught. And the Eternal Father tells each one of us: ‘Inspice, et fac secundum exemplar quod tibi monstratum est.’ Look at Jesus nailed to the cross on Mount Calvary, and copy him within yourself, until you can say, ‘I live, now not I, but Christ lives in me.’ Thus, when you have become a perfect disciple, you will be able to say by your conduct, as the Apostle did, “Imitatores mei estote, sicut et ego Christi—Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.’ Every day the priest will study his lesson, that is, he will read at least a chapter of the Holy Gospel, and every day he will attend class, that is, meditation, spending an hour or at least a half-hour meditating on the life, passion and death of Jesus Christ” (CI 11,5,1,1: SSW 358).

 5.2. With a will to profit by it

       “Here I will limit myself simply to urge you to read the Gospels, the lives of Jesus and Mary, and those of the Saints. Let us imitate their virtues, and in so doing we will work wonders for our neighbor who sees and observes us” (EV Ch. 10: SSW 505).

      “Divine Scripture is the level whereby every clergyman should adjust his actions and those of the faithful, whom he is obliged by office to nourish with the teaching of Jesus Christ” (PSM: Miscelánea, 163-64).

      “The most pious reading we can do is that of the Holy Gospel… We must meditate on and conform our conduct with the rule of morality which Jesus Christ gives us in it, for in it we find the truth, free of all error” (CAs 11: SSW 170).

      “Always remember: ‘The word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword…’ as St. Paul says (Heb 4:12)… In order to be able to cut, a sword must be both well honed and withdrawn from its scabbard… Just so, the sword of God’s word, in order to cut with both edges against the enemies of love of God and neighbor, must be well honed with purity of intention and withdrawn from the scabbard of human eloquence and flowery rhetoric…, just as I am now handing it over to you” (CMT Ch. 4, n. 9: SSW 437).

 5.3. With a view to seminary training

       “Every student must have a copy of the Holy Bible that I published. In the first pages he will see how it has to be read…” (PSM: Miscelánea, 164).

      “In the sacred Books the professor will find the main things his students should know, so that they may turn out to be good and accomplished churchmen. Tell them to love God much and be lovers of mental prayer. And with the reading of the Holy Bible, which (the seminarians) should read slowly and meditate on without tiring, I’m sure that (the professor) will turn out some good disciples and fervent preachers, who will not preach themselves, but Christ crucified, as Sts. John Chrysostom, Bernard and Francis de Sales teach” (PEE: Miscelánea, 154).

      “To profit from rhetoric (the students) must have models to imitate. But what better models could be desired than those found in the Holy Bible, St. Augustine and Benedict XIV say? In this sacred volume are found both the beauty and ornament of eloquence; in it the seminarian will find all he needs for his own profit and for the instruction of others. From which we can deduce that seminary students, by studying these sacred books, will turn out to be perfectly instructed for the ministry” (PEE: Miscelánea, 150).

      “When I dealt with rhetoric, I spoke of Sacred Scripture; but now I should add that the theological student without Sacred Scripture is like a child without a mother, a house without foundation and a soldier without arms. He also needs to be instructed in it in the performance of his ministries” (PSM: Miscelánea, 163-64).

      “In order to understand the Holy Bible, it is most useful to know both the Greek and Hebrew languages, as prescribed in the Plan of Studies” (PSM: Miscelánea, 164).

      “In order that all the students of the Seminary of El Escorial should understand the divine Scriptures as much as possible, let them learn the Hebrew language” (PSM: Miscelánea, 171).

      “For churchmen, Greek is a sacred language” for studying the Sacred Scriptures, the first Councils and the Holy Fathers (PSM: Miscelánea, 171).

      “And so that they may more readily be instructed in ecclesiastical discipline, let them learn Sacred Scripture by memory” (Modifications of the Statutes of the Seminary of Santiago, Cuba, Madrid 1859, 9; cf. also CI I,1,2,23; PBV Prólogo and CI 1,2,16,2, note 112).

      “And we would like them to learn (the verses marked with a small fist or a dash) by memory, that they might know it ever after…” (PBV, Prólogo).