Sunday, January 30, 2005

On January 30, 1859...
Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., preached a sermon, of which the following notes survive:

Blessed Sebastian Valfre

1. INTROD.—The day. Blessed Sebastian born about thirty years after St. Philip's death.

2. General resemblance between the two: (1) St. Philip's early devotion to God; no mortal sin; hard life, long life, and hidden life. (2) Blessed Sebastian the same. More is known of his boyhood—(give instances). Like St. Philip, he labours till the day of his death. Circumstances of his death.

3. Differences from St. Philip: (1) St. Philip without object [in life at first]. Others go to Rome for preferment. He did not aim at being priest; he did not aim at founding a Congregation—like Benedictines, no great work , but [like] St. Vincent of Paul, e.g. works. (2) Blessed Sebastian had the definite object of being a priest.

4. Hence Blessed Sebastian's particular character—of priestly, pastoral work of every kind—(go into details). He differed from other priests [of his time] in his incessant work.

5. Well is it that his feast is this year on a Sunday, for we have just set up an altar to him.

6. And well is his feast at this time of the year, for it is the time we came to Birmingham.

7. We have been now ten years in Birmingham, and when I thank God for what He has allowed us to do, I can suitably do it, for I have had less to do with it than others. You know how many of us have devoted ourselves to missionary work.

8. Pray then for us—(details).

9. And pray for The Oratory at Turin—(details). Subscribing to the Achilli fund; our going there—[their] simplicity of life, etc. Their present troubles. Little to choose between one country and another. All good men persecuted.


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