23 January 2010

The Saturday Salutation

Here’s another short piece from Carthusian history which focuses on one special monk named Emmanuel Garcia. It is another edifying story of the Carthusian’s love for our Blessed Lady.

In the last century, Dom Emmanuel Garcia, a monk of the Charterhouse of Porta Cœli, near Valencia in Spain, conceived as a distinctive mark of his wholly filial love of our Lady, a great desire to do special honor to her Immaculate Conception. Before entering the Charterhouse, he had established a confraternity by the name of the Saturday Salutation, which is still flourishing (this was written in 1910). Later, he was for some time organist in the sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes, in the shadow of which he had long desired to live, because it was there that our Lady had said: I am the Immaculate Conception.

After entering the Carthusian Order, he made his solitary and contemplative life a homage to the most pure Virgin that might be called unceasing. One day, as he was being told of the martyrdom of one of the Carthusians in Ruremonde – an aged religious who had been killed in the cloister on his way to the church, leaning on his stick (as he himself was obliged to do) – he was asked what he would have done in similar circumstances. With a transport of love and admiration he replied: “I would have said to my assailants, ‘Do with me as you will, but first let me cry: A thousand times we salute thee, O Mary Immaculate: monstra te esse matrem. . . show thyself a Mother’” (This was the Saturday Salutation).

O Mary, when we, too, come to die, may your name be likewise on our lips.