Giuseppe Moscati, M.D.
SIR,—An article appeared in a London daily paper, last March, about a holy medic al man, Giuseppe Moscati, M.D., who died in 1927, and whom the present Holy Father—so we all hope and pray—may place on our altars very soon. He not only refused to accept fees from the poor—and there were many Poor in Naples—but he also supplied the medicines free and the wherewithal besides. There was no N.H.S. in Naples. He was a man who did no harm to anybody, he was affable and receivable to all who needed his help—like one of the ancient Christian doctors, called "anargursi," feeleas, just out to do good, like their Master.
The writer of the article in the London daily is anonymous. No doubt he meant no harm—what qualifications he possesses do not appear in what he write-s. Obviously misinformed by his correspondent at Rome. He speaks of "millions—literally millions," "or, as they arc properly called postulants," and this "first of all" and "must"—stirred up to near frenzy of excitement, and made to sign tapers, and to give money—indeed more than 0,000 squeezed out of them—and it would seem that he considered telling lies to cover good deeds, as the highest pitch of sanctity. He calls it a recipe for a saint.
As all this is very misleading, and might do harm to the cause of the excellent Doctor of the Poor, I would beg you to allow me to rectify the position. Here is the truth. Any attempt to stir up "millions—literally millions" of "properly called postulants," would promptly be met by a complete boycott by the Vatican, and the Bishop, and every Catholic as well. For Catholics venerate only those who are declared to be "Blessed" or "Saints" by the Pope— not those who are being Investigated, still less the "choice" of a frenzied rabble.
In the preliminary official investigations, not only those who wish to come and give evidence arc heard, but all those are summoned to come and tell all they know against the candidate. under pain of excommunication. For the Church of God, with the Pope at its head, wants the truth, and the whole truth—not lies. however camouflaged they may be, as the anonymous writer in the London daily so glibly asserts.
The object of the "beatification" and "canonisation" is not to "identify Saints" at a market price, as the anonymous writer more than hints. The church takes it for granted that all her children who die in the faith, purified and strengthened by her sacraments, sooner or later join the "blessed" and "saints" in heaven. A mighty crowd indeed! Think of thc 400,000,000 Catholics now living— besides the many millions who are in "good faith"—all marching to join those myriads of myriads, now reigning with Christ, Who is the Truth, the Way and the Life.
The object of the Church, always alert, on the look out for, is to set up models up to date, so that the brave may be braver still, and those who are weak may take courage and try and keep on trying, till they attain the great victory with Christ. There are over 50 medical men and women recognised as "blessed" and "saints," beginning with St. Luke whose praises are in all the gospels, but Giuseppe Moscati is and for of our own times being investigated by the Church to see whether he comes up to this high standard.
The anonymous writer in the London daily completely misunderstands the duties and purposes of the Prornoter of the Faith (often called Devil's Advocate). It is his duty to see that the holiness of the Servant of God as the candidate is now called, is proved juridically to be precious in the sight of God. No mean requirement indeed! and none but a saint would pass through the test. No important act of the Tribunal is valid unless performed or discussed in his presence, and any and every objection taken by him has to be considered by the Tribunal to his satisfaction. He is not the judge (or Relator as he is called). The ultimate judge is the Pope.
All the English and Scottish martyrs have been submitted to the "Endless care and patience" of this Tribunal—as the anonymous writer freely admits it is—which disentangled all the lies fabricated by bigotry against them, and against St. John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, defender of the marriage bond, and the most glorious of all Englishmen, St. Thomas More.
It is interesting to add that two other modern doctors of medicine are being investigated now: Officially at the Vatican, Ludovico Necchi, M.D., late Professor at the Sacred Heart University of Milan, and, unofficially, a Harley Street specialist of our own time.
a personal friend of the Servant of God. Prof. Giuseppe Moscati, M.D.