“I Speak Plainly”

Published by Saint Vincent Archabbey Public Relations on

Wimmer Wednesday. Concerning me personally, Count Hohenlohe thinks that I will definitely not become abbot because Cardinal Barnabo told him that I had written too harshly and should expect to receive a penance for it. It is true. I speak plainly, even in Latin, but I used expressions which any educated man uses when he has to defend right against wrong. I had reserved even stronger language in case of necessity, which now, fortunately, no longer exists. If I deserve punishment because of this, it is agreeable to me because I do not have a guilty conscience. It would be no penance for me if I did not become abbot. I never desired it. I never sought it. I myself suggested my prior, Father Demetrius di Marogna, to the Propaganda as abbot. Among pagan Greeks and Romans, we have examples of faithful dedication to a good cause without regard for honor or recognition in the eyes of the world. Therefore, I suppose, even a Benedictine will have enough selflessness to dedicate himself with all his strength to the growth of his monastery without expecting or even desiring to be its abbot! It is enough for me to know that I never have deserved the spurs. When I do not ride, I do not need them.

Rome, June 4, 1855