Founder of the Heralds of the Gospel is decorated by Pope Benedict XVI
8/19/2009 - PSTFounder of the Heralds of the Gospel is decorated by Pope Benedict XVI
São Paulo, Brazil (August 19, 2009, Gaudium Press) The "Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice" medal, one of the highest distinctions granted by the Pope to persons outstanding in their service to the Church and to the Roman Pontiff, was bestowed by His Eminence Franc Cardinal Rodé to Msgr. João Scognamiglio Clá Dias, in a solemn celebration of the Eucharist on August 15, in the Church of Our Lady of the Rosary, at the seminary of the Heralds of the Gospel, located in Greater São Paulo.
Msgr. João S. Clá Dias is founder of Heralds of the Gospel and of two societies of apostolic life, one clerical and the other feminine, Virgo Flos Carmeli and Regina Virginum, respectively.
In the act of bestowing the medal, on the occasion of the 70th birthday of Msgr. João Clá, the Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life drew attention to the merits of the recipient, recalling the words of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux:
"At the moment of bestowing upon you this decoration with which the Holy Father wished to reward your merits, the words of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux at the beginning of his treatise De Laude Novae Militiae come to mind: ‘The news has been spreading for some time that a new type of chivalry has appeared in the world.' These words could be applied to the present moment. In effect, a new chivalry has been born thanks to Your Excellency, not secular but religious, with a new ideal of sanctity and of heroic service to the Church. In this endeavor, born of your noble heart, we cannot fail to see a particular grace given to the Church; an act of Divine Providence in view of the needs of the world today."
Upon expressing his gratitude for the prestigious decoration with which the Holy Father had honored him, Msgr. João S. Clá Dias emphasized the brilliant role of Cardinal Franc Rodé in directing the roman dicastery confided to his care and the valued guidance that led to the pontifical approval of the two societies of apostolic life: Regina Virginum and Virgo Flos Carmeli. But, above all, he wished to express the sentiments of filial adhesion to the Holy Father that pulses in the hearts of all the members of the movement of the Heralds of the Gospel, using the words of the eminent Brazilian Catholic leader of the Twentieth Century, Professor Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira:
"Everything there is within the Catholic Church of sanctity, of authority, of supernatural virtue, all of this, but absolutely everything without exception, or conditions, or restrictions, is subordinated, conditioned, and dependant upon union with the Chair of Saint Peter. (...) Because of this, it is a sign of a condition of spiritual vigor, an extreme sensitivity, a delicate and lively feeling of the faithful for all that touches upon the security, glory and tranquility of the Roman Pontiff. After the love of God, this is the highest of loves that Religion teaches us. One and the other love are even interchangeable. (...) And we can say: 'for us, between the Pope and Jesus Christ, there is no difference.' Everything that involves the Pope, directly, intimately and indissolubly involves Jesus Christ."
On the previous day, August 14, the illustrious visitor inaugurated the Church of Our Lady of Carmel at the motherhouse of the feminine society of apostolic life Regina Virginum, with a solemn celebration of the Eucharist.