An extraordinary grace for the Church: Fr. Gabriele Maria Allegra, OFM, (Dec. 26, 1907–Jan. 26, 1976) will be beatified on September 29, 2012. He translated the entire Bible into Chinese and is popularly known as the “St. Jerome of China.” As a Franciscan, missionary and biblical scholar, he saw the doctrine of the absolute primacy of Christ as being central to understanding Sacred Scripture and God’s design in creating and redeeming the universe. He was renowned for his knowledge of the theology and philosophy of Bl. John Duns Scotus and was even invited by Oxford Universtiy to give the 700th centenary lecture on the latter. He also wrote a beautiful treatise on the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the spiritual life which has been out of print for some time now and which I cite on this website in the section on the mediation of Jesus and Mary.
For your convenience and edification, here is the passage cited with the footnote:
“Since God the Father has chosen us in Christ before the creation of the world, it is simply logical that the first willed, the first loved, the first elected one of the Father is Jesus Christ. Now since Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Word and Lord of the universe and particularly of humanity, is Himself a man and, therefore, our Brother, He had to have a Mother. And, as Pope Pius IX appropriately said, by the same eternal decree in which God willed the Incarnation of His Only-begotten Son, He also willed specifically His Son’s Immaculate Mother…
“What God has determined from all eternity before the creation of the world is fulfilled in time. And what is fulfilled is nothing else than the carrying out of God’s decree from the beginning, before He created the angelic spirits, the earth, and mankind. The action of God, like His Word, is an infallible and creative action.
“In reference to the Immaculate Mother of the Incarnate Word, the Holy Trinity performed this miracle of miracles 2000 years ago. But this work, the creation of Mary, which together with the Incarnation of His Word is the first and ‘greatest work of God’ (Bl. John Duns Scotus) and coterminous with God’s life, is hidden in the eternity of His eternal design.”
Fr. Gabriel Allegra, OFM, Mary’s Immaculate Heart: A Way to God (Franciscan Herald Press, Chicago, 1982) 19-20.
By way of anticipation…
“Blessed” Gabriel Mary Allegra, pray for us!
fr. maximilian mary dean, F.I.