Saint Joseph Freinademetz, prêtre
Missionnaire du Verbe Divin en Chine, il comprend l'importance des laïcs, en particulier des catéchistes. Il a consacré une grande partie de ses forces à leur formation et à un manuel catéchétique en langue chinoise. En même temps, il investit un grand effort dans la préparation spirituelle et la formation permanente des prêtres chinois et des missionnaires. Sa vie est caractérisée par l'effort de se faire un chinois parmi les chinois. Il meurt en 1908.
SOURCE : http://www.paroisse-saint-aygulf.fr/index.php/prieres-et-liturgie/saints-par-mois/icalrepeat.detail/2015/01/28/2085/-/saint-joseph-freinademetz-pretre
Joseph Freinademetz (1852-1908)
Joseph Freinademetz est né le 15 avril 1852 à Oies, un hameau de 5 maisons dans les Alpes dolomitiques au Nord de l'Italie. Joseph reçut le baptême le jour même de sa naissance. Il hérita de sa famille une foi simple mais tenace et une grande capacité de travail.
Pendant que Joseph étudiait la théologie au Séminaire diocésain de Bressanone, il commença à penser sérieusement aux missions étrangères comme un chemin de vie possible. Ordonné prêtre le 25 Juillet 1875, il fut nommé pour la communauté S. Martino di Badia, une paroisse près de chez lui, où très vite il gagna les cœurs des gens. Cependant, l'appel au service missionnaire ne le quittait pas. Seulement deux ans après son ordination, il entra en contact avec le Père Arnold Janssen, fondateur d'une maison missionnaire, que deviendra bientôt officiellement la Société du Verbe Divin.
En Août 1878, avec la permission de son Évêque, Joseph entre dans la Maison de Mission à Steyl en Hollande. Le 2 mars 1879, il reçoit sa croix missionnaire et part pour la Chine avec le Père Jean Baptiste Anzer, un autre missionnaire du Verbe Divin. Après un voyage de cinq semaines, ils arrivent à Hongkong où ils restent pour deux ans et se préparant pour l'étape suivante. En 1881, ils partent pour leur nouvelle mission au Sud Shantung, une province de 12 millions d'habitants avec seulement 158 Chrétiens.
Les deux années suivantes furent dures, marquées par des voyages longs et ardus, avec les assauts des bandits, et consacrées spécialement au travail difficile de former les premières communautés chrétiennes. Aussi, à peine qu'une communauté a été formée, une instruction de la part de l'Évêque pouvait lui demander de la quitter pour fonder ailleurs une nouvelle.
Très tôt, Joseph comprendra l'importance des laïcs, en particulier des catéchistes, dans la première évangélisation. Il consacra une grande partie de ses forces à leur formation et prépara un manuel catéchétique en langue chinoise. En même temps, avec Anzer qui devint évêque, il investit un grand effort dans la préparation spirituelle et la formation permanente des prêtres chinois et des missionnaires.
Toute sa vie était tellement caractérisée par l'effort de se faire un chinois parmi les chinois, qu'il pouvait écrire à sa famille : «J'aime la Chine et les Chinois. Je ne veux que mourir parmi eux et être enterré au milieu d'eux».
En 1898, Joseph Freinademetz souffrait de laryngite et il ressentait les premiers symptômes de tuberculose comme conséquence de la surcharge de travail et de beaucoup de privations. Sur l'insistance de l'Évêque et d'autres prêtres, il partit pour quelque temps au Japon pour se reposer, dans l'espoir de retrouver sa santé. Il retourna en Chine quelque peu rétabli, mais pas complètement guéri.
A la fin de 1907, pendant qu'il était Administrateur diocésain pour la sixième fois, il y eut une épidémie de typhus. Joseph, offrant comme bon pasteur sans cesse son assistance, visitait plusieurs communautés jusqu'à en être lui-même infecté. Il se rendit à Taikia, le siège du diocèse, où il mourut le 28 janvier 1908. Il a été enterré sous la 12 station du «Chemin de la Croix» et son tombeau deviendra très vite un lieu de pèlerinage pour les chrétiens.
Joseph Freinademetz a su découvrir la grandeur et la beauté de la culture chinoise et aimer profondément le peuple auquel il a été envoyé. Il a consacré sa vie à proclamer l'évangile de l'amour que Dieu a pour tous les peuples, et à incarner cet amour dans la communion des communautés chrétiennes chinoises. Il a appris à ces communautés à s'ouvrir à la solidarité avec tout le peuple chinois. Et il a encouragé beaucoup de chrétiens chinois à devenir missionnaires auprès de leur peuple, comme catéchistes, religieux, religieuses et prêtres. Toute sa vie a été l'expression de ce qu'il avait écrit une fois : «L'amour est le seul langage que tous les peuples comprennent».
SOURCE : http://www.vatican.va/news_services/liturgy/saints/ns_lit_doc_20031005_freinademetz_fr.html
Joseph Freinademetz (1852-1908)
Joseph Freinademetz was born on April 15, 1852, in Oies, a small hamlet of five houses situated in the Dolomite Alps of northern Italy. The region, known as South Tyrol, was then part of the Austro-Hungarian empire. He was baptised on the day he was born, and he inherited from his family a simple but tenacious faith.
While Joseph was studying theology in the diocesan seminary of Bressanone (Brixen), he began to think seriously of the foreign missions as a way of life. He was ordained a priest on July 25, 1875, and assigned to the community of Saint Martin very near his own home, where he soon won the hearts of the people. However, the call to missionary service did not go away. Just two years after ordination he contacted Fr. Arnold Janssen, the founder of a mission house which quickly developed into the Society of the Divine Word.
With his bishop's permission, Joseph entered the mission house in Steyl, Netherlands, in August 1878. On March 2, 1879, he received his mission cross and departed for China with Fr. John Baptist Anzer, another Divine Word Missionary. Five weeks later they arrived in Hong Kong, where they remained for two years, preparing themselves for the next step. In 1881 they travelled to their new mission in South Shantung, a province with 12 million inhabitants and only 158 Christians.
Those were hard years, marked by long, arduous journeys, assaults by bandits, and the difficult work of forming the first Christian communities. As soon as a community was just barely developed an instruction from the Bishop would arrive, telling him to leave everything and start anew.
Soon Joseph came to appreciate the importance of a committed laity, especially catechists, for first evangelisation. He dedicated much energy to their formation and prepared a catechetical manual in Chinese. At the same time, together with Anzer (who had become bishop) he put great effort into the preparation, spiritual formation and ongoing education of Chinese priests and other missionaries. His whole life was marked by an effort to become a Chinese among the Chinese, so much so that he wrote to his family: “I love China and the Chinese. I want to die among them and be laid to rest among them.”
In 1898, Freinademetz was sick with laryngitis and had the beginnings of tuberculosis as a result of his heavy workload and many other hardships. So at the insistence of the bishop and the other priests he was sent for a rest to Japan, with the hope that he could regain his health. He returned to China somewhat recuperated, but not fully cured.
When the bishop had to travel outside of China in 1907, Freinademetz took on the added burden of the administration of the diocese. During this time there was a severe outbreak of typhus. Joseph, like a good shepherd, offered untiring assistance and visited many communities until he himself became infected. He returned to Taikia, the seat of the diocese, where he died on January 28, 1908. He was buried at the twelfth station on the Way of the Cross, and his grave soon became a pilgrimage site for Christians.
Freinademetz learned how to discover the greatness and beauty of Chinese culture and to love deeply the people to whom he had been sent. He dedicated his life to proclaiming the gospel message of God's love for all peoples, and to embodying this love in the formation of Chinese Christian communities. He animated these communities to open themselves in solidarity with the surrounding inhabitants. And he encouraged many of the Chinese Christians to be missionaries to their own people as catechists, religious, nuns and priests. His life was an expression of his motto: “The language that all people understand is that of love.”
SOURCE : http://www.vatican.va/news_services/liturgy/saints/ns_lit_doc_20031005_freinademetz_en.html
CANONIZATION OF THREE BLESSEDS
HOMILY OF JOHN PAUL II
Sunday, 5 October 2003
1. "Preach the Gospel to the whole creation" (Mk 16:15). With these words before the Ascension the Risen One entrusted the universal missionary mandate to the Apostles. Immediately afterwards, he assured them that in this demanding mission they would always be able to count on his help (cf. Mk 16: 20).
These same words rang out eloquently at today's solemn celebration. They constitute the message that these three new Saints renew for us: Daniel Comboni, Bishop, founder of the Congregation of the Comboni Missionaries of the Heart of Jesus and of the Comboni Missionary Sisters; Arnold Janssen, priest, founder of the Society of the Divine Word and of the Congregation of Missionary Sisters Servants of the Holy Spirit and the Sister Servants of the Holy Spirit of Perpetual Adoration; Joseph Freinademetz, priest, of the Society of the Divine Word.
Their lives show clearly that the proclamation of the Gospel "is the primary service which the Church can render to every individual and to all humanity" (Redemptoris Missio, n. 2). These new Saints teach us that evangelization always involves an explicit proclamation of Christ in addition to contributing to human advancement that has sometimes even proven dangerous, as the experience of so many missionaries shows. This is the example, the precious heritage that the three Saints, raised today to the glory of the altars, have bequeathed, especially to their religious families. The priority of missionary institutes is the mission "ad gentes", which must come before any other social or humanitarian commitment, however necessary.
2. "All the peoples will see the glory of the Lord". The Responsorial Psalm, which we have just sung, emphasizes the urgency of the mission "ad gentes", even in our time. We need evangelizers with the enthusiasm and apostolic outreach of Bishop Daniel Comboni, an apostle of Christ among the Africans. He relied on the resources of his rich personality and solid spirituality to make Christ known and welcomed in Africa, a continent he loved deeply.
How could we fail, also today, to turn our gaze with affection and concern to those beloved peoples? Africa, a land rich in human and spiritual resources, continues to be scarred by many difficulties and problems. May the international community actively help it build a future of hope. I entrust my appeal to the intercession of St Daniel Comboni, an outstanding evangelizer and protector of the "Black Continent".
3. "Nations shall come to your light" (Is 60: 3). The prophetic image of the new Jerusalem that spreads divine light on all the peoples clearly illustrates the life and tireless apostolate of St Arnold Janssen. He zealously carried out his priestly work, spreading the Word of God by means of the new mass media, especially the press.
Obstacles did not dismay him. He liked to repeat: "Proclamation of the Good News is the first and most significant expression of love for one's neighbour". He now helps his religious family from Heaven, to continue faithfully along the tracks he marked out that witness to the permanent value of the Church's evangelizing mission.
4. "And they went forth and preached everywhere" (Mk 16: 20). The Evangelist Mark ends his Gospel with these words. He then adds that the Lord never ceases to accompany the activity of the Apostles with the power of his miracles. Echoing these words of Jesus, the words of St Joseph Freinademetz are filled with faith: "I do not consider missionary life as a sacrifice I offer to God, but as the greatest grace that God could ever have lavished upon me". With the tenacity typical of mountain people, this generous "witness of love" made a gift of himself to the Chinese peoples of southern Shandong. For love and with love he embraced their living conditions, in accordance with his own advice to his missionaries: "Missionary work is useless if one does not love and is not loved". An exemplary model of Gospel inculturation, this Saint imitated Jesus, who saved men and women by sharing their existence to the very end.
5. "Go into all the world". The three Saints whom we joyfully honour today remind us of the missionary vocation of every baptized person. All Christians are sent on mission, but to be authentic witnesses of Christ, one must strive constantly for holiness (cf. Redemptoris Missio, n. 90).
Dear Brothers and Sisters, let us accept this invitation that comes to us from today's evocative celebration. May the Queen of the Saints, the Star of the New Evangelization, shine upon us from Heaven. We turn to her with trust, especially in this month of October, dedicated to the Rosary and to the missions. Mary Most Holy, Queen of Missions, pray for us!
© Copyright 2003 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana
SOURCE : http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/homilies/2003/documents/hf_jp-ii_hom_20031005_canonizations_en.html
1852 ~ 1908
By Karl Muller
Formerly Director, Society of the Divine Word Missiological Institute, Sankt Augustine, Germany
Freinademetz was born in Abtei, near Badia, South Tyrol, Austria (area ceded to Italy in 1919). He was ordained in 1875 and entered the Steyl mission house of the Society of the Divine Word (SVD) in 1878. Zeal for souls moved him to abandon his beloved Tyrol, his family, and his position as assistant priest and go off to China in 1879. He and J. B. von Anzer were the first SVD missionaries. After working in Hong Kong for some time in 1881 he moved to South Shantung (Shandong), which had been assigned to the SVD. At that time there were only 158 Catholics among a population of 12 million.
Freinademetz devoted himself wholeheartedly to his people and mission. His tenderness counterbalanced the rather hotheaded personality of Anzer. From 1886 to 1900 and again from 1903 to 1908 Freinademetz was the provicar of the mission. Good catechesis and the training of catechists was a top priority, and for this purpose he prepared catechetical material in Chinese. He also availed himself of every opportunity to promote the cause of a Chinese clergy. Another of his great concerns was the spiritual care of missionaries; as provincial from 1900 to 1908, he established a central house in Taikia near Tsining (Jining) to foster renewal. He was also convinced of the crucial importance of prayer for the success of the Chinese mission and was himself a man of prayer. When the missionaries left the danger zones during the Boxer Rebellion, he remained with his people. He reacted calmly to ill-treatment, even death threats. Chinese Christians said of him "He is like Kungdse [Confucius], everything about him is good, everything perfect: he is always friendly, modest, humble." In 1907 he was made administrator of the mission for the sixth time. While caring for typhoid victims during this period, he contracted the illness that led to his death. When he died, the South Shantung SVD mission reported 45,000 Catholics and almost as many aspirants for baptism. In 1975 he was beatified by Pope Paul VI.
St. Joseph Freinademetz, SVD
Maybe it was while dreamily looking over the magnificent view of the deep valley from the ancient little Holy Cross Chapel perched 2000 meters above sea level on an outcropping above his home in the Dolomite Mountains of South Tyrol…or possibly during the daily family rosary…or through the encouragement of family and friends, but somehow, the young man, Joseph Freinademetz, was inspired to become a missionary to proclaim Christ’s word in a far-off land.
St. Joseph Freinademetz, SVD, was born on April 15, 1852, the fourth child of Giovanmattia and Anna Maria Freinademetz. The family eked out a living on their poor and simple small farm as did their neighbors. Years later, the little farm house and quiet hamlet of Oies in the Gader Valley changed when Joseph Freinademetz, SVD, was beatified in 1975 by Pope Paul VI and then canonized a saint in the Roman Catholic Church on October 5, 2003, by Pope John Paul II in Rome. Pilgrims regularly find their way to pray at the small parish church of St. Martin where Joseph served as a curate for three years. Or they visit the little mountain chapel high above the family farm or visit his ancestral home. It is a surrounding that seems to speak of prayer and devotion.
Joseph’s early years were uneventful. He helped with the farm chores, attended daily Mass at his local parish and, on the advice of the parish priest, attended a school some eleven hours walk from his home. He eventually entered the major seminary and was ordained a priest for the Brixon Diocese in 1875. His initial assignment was to be a teacher. But soon an article in the local diocesan newsletter about the new Mission House at Steyl, Holland, founded by Fr.Arnold Janssen caught his attention. Joseph went to visit the Mission House. The visit was enough to convince Joseph that this is where he could follow his vocation to be a missionary priest. He joined the fledgling group at Steyl in 1878, and barely a year later he received his mission cross along with Fr. John Baptist Anzer, SVD. He had one more brief visit to his family home to say goodbye for the last time, as he would never return to his homeland again. He was to be a missionary in China. In 1881, the Mission House had received its own mission territory, the Province of Shandong. Joseph was so devoted to his mission that, except to recover from an illness, he never left Shandong.
One thing you might notice when looking at a picture of Joseph is that he looks Chinese. He so enculturated himself to China that he took on a form of dress similar to the local Chinese spiritual leaders. He most frequently repeated words were, “I would like to be Chinese in heaven.” He truly loved the Chinese people with whom he lived and worked, and Joseph was especially energized by the local clergy and catechists. He promoted the idea that they should become the leaders in the local Church before Rome was quite ready for this. It was decades later that Rome appointed the first Chinese bishops and also the first non-white Cardinal, Thomas Tien, SVD.
As so many missionaries have discovered, the grounding of their mission work is first supported by a strong personal prayer life. Joseph had promoted this amongst the clergy along with the words, “Do you imagine you can become holy without meditation, something no saint was able to do? Without meditation life is lost.” He said his daily Mass and prayed his Divine Office with the same intense dedication as he did with his missionary work. Joseph had unwavering hope and belief in the power of God and the sacraments. During such difficult times as the Boxer Rebellion in which two young Divine Word Missionaries were martyred, he remained at his mission post. Well before his death, the Chinese people and others with whom he worked recognized him as a saintly man for his humility, for his firm yet gentle approach to his work, and for his total love of his people. Toward the end of his all-too-few years, he was appointed the Provincial for the Society of the Divine Word, a post he held until his death from tuberculosis in 1908 at age 46.
Here’s a brief outline of St. Joseph’s life:
· April 4, 1852 – Joseph Freinademetz is born.
· 1858 to 1862 – German public school and Philosophy/Theology at Brixen.
· July 25, 1875 – Joseph is ordained a priest.
· 1876 to 1878 – Joseph is a curate and teacher in the Gader Valley.
· 1878 – Joseph joins the SVD at Steyl, Holland.
· March 2, 1879 – Joseph says good-bye to friends and family, leaves for China.
· 1879 to 1881 – Missionary in Saikung, Hong Kong.
· 1882 – Arrival in Puoli, South Sandong.
· 1890 to 1891 – Mission Administrator.
· 1895 to 1897 – Director of the major seminary.
· 1900 – Appointment as Provincial Superior of the Society of the Divine Word.
· January 28, 1908 – Death of Joseph Freinademetz in Taikia, South Shandong.
· October 19, 1975 – Beatification of Joseph Freinademetz by Pope Paul VI
· October 5, 2003 – Canonization of Joseph Freinademetz by Pope John Paul II.