| The Confraternity of Catholic Saints, Philippines, is a Roman Catholic organization of young people dedicated in promoting Holiness through the lives and works of the Saints. It is affiliated to the Offical Promoter of Blessed Ivan Merz. |
The Confraternity of Catholic Saints (CCS) is a Roman Catholic organization of young people dedicated in promoting Holiness through the lives and works of the Saints. It vows obedience, loyalty and love to the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI, its local ordinary and to the laws of the Roman Catholic Church.
"A confraternity dedicated to serve God and the Church, to tell people that holiness can be truly attained, and to proclaim the Gospel towards the growth of the People of God in faith, hope, and love."
- To promote the devotion to and lives of the Holy Men and Women recognized by the Roman Catholic Church by Canonization, Beatification, and Recognition of Heroic Virtues, including those from the churches in communion with Rome.
- To help parishes, religious congregations and associations foster devotion to their own saints (their patrons, founders, and/or members).
- To take care of relics of the saints that the confraternity members and/or the Diocese own
- To host a public viewing and veneration of the relics of saints in parishes, communities, schools, hospitals, houses, and offices.
- To help Holy Mother Church stop different kinds of abuses to relics of saints and report it to the competent ecclesiastical authorities (e.g. the Local Ordinary) and/or to the postulators.
- To conduct spiritual activities according to the spirituality of a particular saint through seminars, recollections, retreats, pilgrimages, etc.
- To visit the sick and those who need spiritual assistance and pray for them through the intercession of the saints.
- Offical Promoter of Blessed Ivan Merz
- Official Group-Promoter of Blessed Alberto Marvelli
- Registered Prayer-Group of the Servant of God Pope John Paul II
- Recognized Promoter of Saint Rite de Cascia (by the Mother Abbess)
Monastery of Saint Rita de Cascia, Cascia, Italy
For more information; request of prayer, prayer cards, relics, and information about the Saints; how to help or join the Confraternity, you may send it through:
Office : c/o DCFDC P.O. Box# 247 Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City, 1135 Philippines
email@example.com (Director's E-mail)
The Apostles of Jesus at these present times and Princes of the Roman Catholic Church greeted by the Director of the Confraternity of Catholic Saints and who blessed, in the person of the Director, the Confraternity and the Filipinos.
I V A N M E R Z
Banja Luka, Dec. 16, 1896 - Zagreb, May 10, 1928
A "EUROPEAN-SIZED" APOSTLE OF THE YOUTH
Ivan Merz is a young layman from Croatia, who lived in an age full of big political changes that transformed Europe and left a strong mark on his life.
He was born on December 16, 1896 in Banja Luka from a liberal family when Bosnia was occupied by Austria-Hungary; he had his secondary education in the multiethnic and multi-religious environment of his native town; he finished his studies at the same time when in Sarajevo the crown prince Francesco Ferdinando was murdered ( June 28, 1914).
He won his doctorate at the Faculty of Philosophy on the University of Zagreb 1923 by the thesis "The influence of liturgy on the French writers." Having passed the state exam, he was qualified for teaching French and German language and literature. So he became professor at the archiepiscopal gymnasium in Zagreb till his death ( May 10, 1928).
An ordinary life, at first sight, apart for the period spent at the front, and yet already present in the history of Croatian Catholicism. Still little known outside his native country, the character of Ivan Merz, whose canonization cause is proceeding on after the beatification, fascinates those who approach it. A catholic student and soldier, then an intellectual layman with a wide culture who, because of his love for God, employed all his own energies serving other people and educating the Croatian youth.
What strikes the most in Ivan Merz is his spiritual itinerary, which is, especially in the first period (a period of formation) very uncommon: without a family, without novitiate, without seminary, without a permanent spiritual guide, he found by himself his way to sanctity, so that he was defined as a "Spontaneous spiritual fruit", where the presence of the Grace is experimentally proved. There are only a few saints- and we dont know if we can find some among lay man and women - whose spiritual itinerary we can follow from so close as in the case of Ivan Merz, and this is due to his personal diary that he started writing while he was preparing his school-leaving examination and that he went on writing in the army at the front, and during his university days...
The character emerging from this diary is not that of a "born saint" man, but rather that of a young man fighting for the Good and winning his battle and therefore, with his example, swaying all those striving to accomplish the Christian ideal of perfection. He was afflicted with the question of love and then with that of pain and death that he overcame in the light of faith. In his diary, in the period of the War, it is possible to feel the deepness of his soul where material and spiritual poverty of the life in the army are mirrored and mingled together with the light of Grace. "There is no Holy Eucharist he wrote in September 19, 1917 - I am living as a pagan or as a beast, as if the Agnus was no more in the centre of the universe, as if He did not exist at all".
"Oh God the Comforter, come and pervade me and my nature with atoms of eternity, so that, more similar to you, I can understand the developing of existence. The present state is busy with rum while the Holy Eucharist is of a minor importance. Where are the military chaplains? Why are they deserting their flock now when they need God the most? ".
"Oh God, the best would be if I was already with You, so, please, burn all the parasites of sin that crept into my soul with the flame of your Mercy, so that I can appear before You good and holy; or at least, to be inspired, while leaving, with a holy joy and an extraordinary will" ( July 13, 1918).
"Never to forget God! Always wishing to join Him. Devoting every day, better dawn, some time to meditation, to prayer, if possible being close to the Eucharist or during the Holy Mass. At that hour all the projects for the day that starts have to be planned, all the faults have to be examined and the Grace to overcome weaknesses has to be asked. It would be terrible if this war could turn in no benefit for me! I must start leading a new life, regenerate from the spirit of a new knowledge of Catholicism. May God help me, because there is nothing a man can do single-handed." ( February 5, 1918 ).
Merz is coming out of the war as a mature man and Christian and as such, he took up again his studies in Vienna and continued them in France, devoting himself more and more to the Croatian Catholic Movement.
Once back in Zagreb, he gave a new direction to the youth's movement of the "Eagles', according to the Catholic Action's principles. As a mature man he became an example of apostle and thus a model for every priest or religious. Finally Merz was the "catholic man" par excellence, whose heart was beating together with the heart of the Church, that has no national or political frontiers; the Church that is the Mystical Body of Christ, gathered around the real Christ in Eucharist, represented by his vicar on earth, the Pope. The Church, the Eucharist and the Pope: three loves, or rather one only love, according to Merz, who was trying with all his might to instil it in the Croatian youth.
He, a layman, was the promoter of the liturgical movement in Croatia and was also a pioneer of the Catholic Action according to Pius XI's instructions, in order to put together an "elite" of apostles to work for the "renewal of everything in Christ". For a little longer than five years he was working, fighting and suffering for the establishment and strengthening of the Kingdom of God in his country. With this purpose he became the moving spirit of the youth's "Eagles" movement, to which, on his death-bed, he offered his own life. His wide culture, his experience of life and his deep catholic sense, make him a "European Saint', close to the German, Latin an Slavic world. Although almost eighty years have passed since his death, his character has lost no actuality, or better, from a certain point of view, its actuality has increased, because in the meanwhile the world has secularised even more, and is even more in need of witnesses of the "supernatural".
As a layman consecrated to God, he devoted himself for six years to the apostolic work of bringing up Catholic youth in Croatia. He promoted the liturgical revival and the Catholic Action of the Pope Pius XI. Completely devoted to the Church and the Vicar of Christ in Rome, Ivan lived a holy life imbued with the worship of the Eucharist. Although he was a layman he is called "the pillar of the Church" in Croatia.
In 1928, Merz passed away, leaving an example of how a man can live, fight and suffer for God's cause. Merz tried hard to give his life the "full meaning", heading for sanctity, and all his pedagogical task was devoted to the formation of apostles of sanctity. He died on May 10, 1928 with a reputation of a saint. His shrine is located in the Basilica of the Heart of Jesus in Zagreb, Croatia. The fame of sanctity soon surrounding him, pushed to the canonization cause, that was started in 1958. The Pope John Paul II. beatified him in his birthplace Banja Luka, Bosnia, on June 22, 2003, and put him as an example of Christian life especially to the young and lay believers. The Lord has granted numerous prayers and graces through the intercession of Blessed Ivan Merz.
Bienheureux Ivan Merz, in French (extensive presentation)
Prof. Dave Dela Cruz s Filipina hodočasti na grob bl. Ivana Merza
U ponedjeljak 8. listopada 2007. stigao je u Zagreb iz Quezon-City-a s Filipina Prof. Dave Dela Cruz. Cilj njegova dolaska, odnosno hodočašća jest najprije pohod grobu bl. Ivana Merza, zatim posjećivanje mjesta, ustanova i osoba koje su povezane s hrvatskim blaženikom. Prof. Dela Cruz već se dvije godine posebno zanima za bl. Ivana i u stalnom je kontaktu s njegovom Postulaturom. Osim što ga zanima kao uzor svetačkog života, bl. Ivan Merz mu je posebno zanimljiv zbog njegova liturgijskog života i naučavanja budući da je i sam kao laik profesor liturgike.
Prof. Dela Cruz osnovao je na Filipinima Bratovštinu katoličkih svetaca čiji je cilj promicanje poznavanja i štovanja novijih blaženika i svetaca među koje je na prvo mjesto uvrstio hrvatskog blaženika Ivana Merza za čije je poznavanje među Filipincima njegova udruga učinila dosada veoma mnogo. Po svome dolasku u Zagreb, odmah nakon posjeta grobu bl. Ivana, Prof. Dela Cruz sudjelovao je jučer i na proslavi 50. obljetnice smrti službenice Božje Marice Stanković, bliske suradnice bl. Ivana Merza. Prof. Dela Cruz ostaje u Hrvatskoj do kraja ovoga tjedna i tijekom svoga boravka održat će i nekoliko predavanja o Filipinima. Može ga se kontaktirati preko Postulature bl. Ivana Merza. Više o Bratovštini katoličkih svetaca, te o djelovanju Prof. Dela Cruz-a može se pronaći na njihovim web stranicama:
Na dvjema slikama dolje: Prof. Dave Dela Cruz na grobu bl. Ivana Merza dne 8. listopada 2007.
Dave Ceasar's Journal
As sign of my love for Jesus and Mary and thanking for the wonderful trip to Croatia, Bl. Ivan and of Fr. Božidar, I offered a sacrifice. Going and climbing to the steps kneeling to pray for thanksgiving and asking God to reward those people who helped me to have a great experience in Croatia most especially Bl. Ivan and Fr. Bozidar. When I finished my prayer and sacrifice, I went to the shop to browse some interesting things. When I saw a sister, I asked her if there is a possibility to get a piece of the stairs... well, she went away and did not mind me. So, I continued my browse of religious articles, found good things and I am ready to pay. An old Passionist Sister noticed my CCS cross and asked me in Italian if I am a lay or priest. Of course, I answered her in a good way with joy and pride. She asked if what group am I belong. I answered her and explained to her the CCS. After some minutes, I extend to her my payment. Then she reacted, "no!" "it's yours" "God bless you and Filipini!" and continued more words which I did not understood. Then she smiled in reply I said, "thanks sister!"
Why is it that these things are happening? I was surprised but my spirit rejoices not because I took things for free but because of their generosity. Those people cannot give anything, but they gave themselves, their life - their whole life - in the service of God and Men. These things are only signs of their total oblation to God. It is very challenging for me to give more of myself to God. I thought everything I did was enough... I was wrong. God is so generous because he loved us so much, until now and til the end. These people are so generous because they are recipient of God's generosity - his love - and they want to spread God's love. I was a recipient of that love, I hope that I too can share this love to others.
For those who can read Filipino.. :) - an excerpt from the Journal
Patungo kami sa Bistrica, ang main Marian Shrine ng buong
Grabe ang biyahe namin ni Fr. Bozidar dahil ang train mula Roma papuntang
Around 5am na rin kami nakarating sa
Dito ako ngayon nagiistay sa bahay ng mga Heswita sa
10am na kami nakaalis ni Fr. Bozidar pagkatapos ng isang maikling pagtulog. Pinuntahan namin ang mga sumusunod:
Natapos ang lahat sa isang masarap na hapunan, salamat at Chicken steak ang pagkain kung hindi patay na ako balik na naman ako sa bewang na 32 hehehe.
Unang araw pa lang ito ngunit punong puno na ng kasaysayan sa aking buhay. Salamat Panginoon sa magandang handog na ito!
Life with Ivan
Life in Zagreb