A ZENIT DAILY DISPATCH

Trinitarians Rescue New Slaves

400th Anniversary of Reformation of Order of Hospitalers

ROME, AUG 23 (ZENIT).- The Trinitarians give everything, even their own life, to rescue slaves from captivity and to help the sick in body and soul. These are the roots of the Trinitarian Family which on August 20 commemorated the 400th anniversary of its reformation, implemented by St. John Baptist of the Conception. The anniversary was celebrated in a special way in the Granby monastery in Canada, and in Aricci, near Rome, where the Trinitarian Order has been meeting in a General Chapter that ended today.

In its origin, the "Hospitaler Order of the Most Holy Trinity and of Captives," founded in 1198 by John of Matha and Felix of Valois, was dedicated to freeing captives and to helping in hospitals. As Fr. Jose Hernandez, General Minister of the Trinitarians, explains, the reformation took place "after the Council of Trent, which inspired a movement in religious families to return to their origins. St. John Baptist of the Conception wanted to return to the permanent, fundamental origins of that evangelical plan that had as its mission the glorification of the Trinity through the work of liberating slaves, and offering charity to the poorest and neediest. The reformation stressed the Trinitarian God, Redemption, and service to the poor carried out in community."

The Order was consecrated to the Most Holy Trinity "to attempt to show the connection between the Triune God and His special love for those who suffer most, for slaves and the poor. Rather than trying to explain the Trinity with theoretical arguments, the saintly founder wanted to reveal the Trinity as God-Love, as God who hears the cries of suffering man, who is deprived of liberty, which is an unworthy condition for a person. John of Matha centered the spirituality on this mystery of liberation, communion and freedom, as the source of inspiration and sense of social mission in favor of those who suffer because of persecutions or because they are deprived of liberty," Fr. Hernandez said.

Trinitarians Today The General Minister explained that "today, our mission finds its roots in these permanent values and lives them in situations where liberty is lacking for a variety of reasons. We know that the phenomenon of slavery has changed in form, but not in substance: modern man, as the Pope said in the letter he sent us on this occasion, suffers from many kinds of slavery. Although these are less visible, they are not for that reason, less oppressive."

Following the Trinitarians Order's Chapter, the general assembly of the entire Trinitarian Family will begin tomorrow in Ariccia. The Trinitarians comprise 578 religious, of whom 378 are priests and 311 religious; there is also a lay institution. ZE99082305

This article has been selected from the ZENIT Daily Dispatch
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