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Mandeville LA – “In Paradise there are many Saints who never gave alms on earth: their poverty justified them. There are many Saints who never mortified their bodies by fasting, or wearing hair shirts: their bodily infirmities excused them. There are many Saints too who were not virgins: their vocation was otherwise. But in Paradise there is no Saint who was not humble.” – Padre Gaetano Mary de Bergamo
Thus begins the most revered book ever published on the subject of Humility, Humility of Heart, written in Italian in 1739 by Capuchin Friar Fr. Gaetano Maria de Bergamo and partially translated into English in 1905 by Herbert Cardinal Vaughan. Now author, filmmaker and radio host Frederick Michael Augutsine Mary Church (Mike Church) has performed the signal task of tackling the untranslated 59 pages, and restoring them to this work for English readers for the first time ever.
This edition is packed with never before available features including:
• An Index, a complete Table of Contents plus detailed and expanded footnotes that assist the reader in further reflections and meditations on Humility.
• The author’s Introduction and Preface have been translated and restored .
• The myriad of Cardinal Vaughan’s additions to the original text are identified for the first time.
• Over 500 footnotes have been translated from the original abbreviations, corrected and their modern sources identified and linked to in the accompanying Digital Edition/study-guide.
• The extensive literary research required to compare the 1739 Bergamo Original text with the 1905 Westminster Press, Vaughan translation and the 1945 Westminster edition provided conclusive evidence that Cardinal Vaughan added significantly to the original text during translation. These additions have each been gently noted in this edition for the first time and allow the English speaking reader to enjoy the original work in its effective brevity AND grant credit to Cardinal Vaughan for his beautiful additions.
Editor Mike Church discusses why he wanted to re-publish Humility of Heart .
When I first heard of Humility of Heart, it was presented in a sermon delivered by a priest from the order of FSSP. He spoke that “reverence toward God leads to humility” and that has stuck with me ever since. Soon after hearing this sermon I located the 1944 edition of Humility via the website archive.gov published by the Newman Bookshop of Westminster MD. This edition is the most widely available digital version I have located. I became so enamored with Fr. Cajetan’s text that I decided to republish the work myself in digital and literary form, update the footnotes and then restore Fr. Cajetan Bergamo’s blessed essays on the Our Father and all fifteen of the Holy Rosary’s Mysteries (which no one ever bothered to translate from the Italian, but I have now completed). In comparing the two works I discovered dozens of discrepancies in the footnotes of the 1944 edition and the 1739 original.
This led to a quest for a digitized copy of the 1906 original translated work of Cardinal Vaughan, to compare to the 1944 printing, you are currently reading, but none could be found. I began to think “there must be a copy of this magnificent work, in its original form.” After a search of every Catholic library in Louisiana I was ready to give up when I recalled that a friend, the Rev. Michael P. Morris, is the current Archivist for the Archdiocese of New York. Rev. Morris arranged for a copy of the 1906 original, Vaughan edition, to be sent from the library at St. John’s in Collegeview, MN, to me. You are about to read that work as it was originally read by the English reading Faithful.
What I have learned from this little book has altered my thinking on and approach to The Faith so profoundly it is difficult to describe, but I will try. In the first paragraph Fr. Cajetan lays out the conclusion “…in Paradise there is no Saint who was not humble.” From there Father leads us on a meditation of what Humility is and how we may learn the disciplines necessary to acquire this most primary of Graces; but Father also cautions against ever coming to believe one has achieved Humility for as Augustine says “If there be holiness in you, fear lest you may lose it. How? Through pride.” I have learned through reading, praying and meditating on this work that nearly every human action is either corrupted by Pride or made Graceful by Humility. In Father’s words:
But I will say more: and that is, examine yourself first, and see whether you really have this virtue that you think you possess. What I mean to say is: is it a real virtue, or perhaps only a disposition of your natural temperament, be it melancholy, sanguine or phlegmatic? And even should this virtue be real, is it a Christian virtue or purely a human one? Every act of virtue which docs not proceed from a supernatural motive, in order to bring us to everlasting bliss, is of no value. And in the practice o? virtue, do you join to your external actions the inward and spiritual acts of the heart? O true Christian virtues, I fear that in me you are nothing but beautiful outward appearances! I deserve the reproach of God’s word:”Because thou sayest: I am rich, and made wealthy, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched and miserable, and poor and blind and naked.” And in the same manner the counsel of St Augustine is good for me, that it is better to think of those virtues in which we are lacking rather than of those which we possess. “I will humble myself more for those virtues which I lack than pride myself on those I possess.”! [emphasis mine-FMAM]
Utilizing the lives and works of St Thomas Aquinas, St Augustine, St Bernard and….(download the book FREE, here) … St Gregory of Nanzien; Father guides us though a meditative learning process whereby the inspired words of the Saints is anchored to the greatest examples of Humility in history: the public Ministry of Our Lord , his Humble birth and the penultimate act of Our Lady at the Annunciation. You will be moved to tears and great (sic) “examens of conscience”. This book is not meant to be read as a linear novel but rather as a process, much like reading the Consecration to Our Lady by de Montfort. This work is an inspired treasure and we are in the debt of Cardinal Vaughan for his translation, Fr. Cajetan for his authorship and the most Blessed Trinity for the Graces granted to these men and their Humility of Heart.
ABOUT THE 1906 EDITION
The following pages were scanned over the course of 5 days in July of 2015 from the Original 1906 printing of Humility of Heart, loaned to us by the college of St John’s, Collegeville, MN. The scans were done with an eye on preserving the page integrity of this very well-worn copy of Humility. For continuity we cropped the pages to a uniform size and left any additional gaps not containing book contents as they were scanned. This preserves the look and feel of the actual book as it was printed not as simply a digitized representation of its contents. Some of the pages, because of… (download the book FREE, here) …the binding, were difficult to scan and had to be digitally skewed and adjusted so they display correctly. The only additions made were on the table of contents page whose text was not legible to scan. The beautiful lithograph on the inside book cover carries the caption “EXALTAVIT HUMILES” which means “lifted up the lowly”. This piece was touched up so the caption text is legible and I patched the tears to the inner binding, which distracted from the artwork. I pray you enjoy this work and will treasure it as we have in the last six months spent preparing our new printed and digital version which will include this edition. Please consider making a donation to help cover the costs of this process.