Fr. Stefano Manelli of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate (FFI) has received a great deal of attention in recent months. The co-founder and former Minister General of the FFI has seen the order placed under direct control of an assigned commissioner for the Vatican following allegations of internal dissension, as well as a “crypto-lefebvrian and definitely traditionalist drift in the community” (Rorate-Caeli, December 11, 2013).
At this time the future of the order, as well as that of its aging founder, is uncertain.
What is certain, however, is that Fr. Stefano Manelli wrote a beautiful treatise on the Eucharist just over forty years ago entitled “Jesus Our Eucharistic Love” (Academy of the Immaculate, 1996). Within this modern spiritual classic Fr. Manelli quotes extensively from many great saints of Holy Mother Church.
The following ten quotes taken from “Jesus Our Eucharistic Love” serve to remind us that there is nothing more important we can ever do in this life than to hear the Holy Mass.
“The celebration of Holy Mass has the same value as the Death of Jesus on the Cross.”
-St. Thomas Aquinas
“Man should tremble, the world should quake, all Heaven should be deeply moved when the Son of God appears on the altar in the hands of the priest.”
-St. Francis of Assisi
“It would be easier for the world to survive without the sun than to do so without the Holy Mass.”
-St. Pio of Pietrelcina
“No human tongue can enumerate the favors that trace back to the Sacrifice of the Mass. The sinner is reconciled with God; the just man becomes more upright; sins are wiped away; vices are uprooted; virtue and merit increases; and the devil’s schemes are frustrated.”
-St. Lawrence Justinian
“O you deluded people, what are you doing? Why do you not hasten to the churches to hear as many Masses as you can? Why do you not imitate the angels, who, when a Holy Mass is celebrated, come down in myriads from Paradise and take their stations about our altars in adoration to intercede for us?”
-St. Leonard of Port Maurice
“Know, O Christian, that the Mass is the holiest act of religion. You cannot do anything to glorify God more, nor profit your soul more, than by devoutly assisting at it, and assisting as often as possible.”
-St. Peter Julian Eymard
“One merits more by devoutly assisting at a Holy Mass than by distributing all of his goods to the poor and traveling all over the world on pilgrimage.”
The last three quotes are all from the Curé d’Ars, St. John Marie Vianney.
“Martyrdom is nothing in comparison with the Mass, because martyrdom is the sacrifice of man to God, whereas the Mass is the Sacrifice of God for man!”
“If we knew the value of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, how much greater effort we would put forth in order to assist at it!”
“How happy is that guardian angel who accompanies a soul to Holy Mass!”