By Oswald Sobrino, J.D.; M.A. (Econ.); M.A. (Theo.); M.L. (Master of Latin), doctoral student, University of Florida.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

A Franciscan from a Galician Village

Galicia is a region of northwestern Spain best known for being the location of the famous shrine of Santiago de Compostela. Pope Francis' first major appointment is to make Friar José Carballo Rodríguez, currently head of the Franciscans, the secretary of the Vatican department overseeing religious orders (the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life). He holds degrees from the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum (Jerusalem; biblical theology) and from the Pontifical Biblical Institute (Rome). Here is an excerpt from an interview given by the newly chosen secretary in a Spanish newspaper:

– ¿Y la Biblia…? ¿También puede entenderla cualquiera?
And the Bible? Can just anyone also understand it?

– Sólo hay que saber escuchar a quien te habla a través de las palabras. Una persona como Francisco de Asís, que no tenía estudios, fue un gran conocedor de la Biblia, porque tenía un corazón de pobre y se colocaba ante el texto completamente desnudo, completamente disponible.

The only thing you must know is how to listen to the one who speaks to you through the words. A person like Francis of Assisi, who did not take academic courses, was a great intimate of the Bible, because he had the heart of a poor man and placed himself before the text, completely naked, completely open to its calling [Blogger: "disponible"--also a very Jesuit idea; see below].

– ¿Y la comprendió…?
Did he understand it?

– Supo captar como nadie los secretos del Reino. Como dijo Jesús, son los pobres, los sencillos los que llegan a conocer de verdad los secretos del Reino.

He knew how to grasp, like no other, the secrets of the Kingdom. As Jesus said, the poor, the simple are the ones who come to truly know the secrets of the Kingdom.

Source link: El Correo Gallego.


"Jesuits are asked to be, in St. Ignatius' Spanish tongue, disponible: available, open, free, ready to go anywhere. The Jesuit ideal is to be free enough to go where God wants you to, from the favela in Latin America to the Papal Palace in Vatican City." --Fr. James Martin, S.J. (source link).

Personal Note: Many people of Cuban descent count relatives from Galicia, Spain (including this blogger). One of the persons whom I found most likable during my childhood was an elderly, but vigorous and stout Galician lady--exuding a lively peasant simplicity--who was a friend of my grandmother. She was from the same province as Friar Carballo (Ourense, Spain). She was very devout and very simple, with not a scintilla of that prideful piety we see from time to time.

(The first two images are of Fr. Carballo and his home village in the Spanish province of Ourense. The Roman bridge in the last image is in the provincial capital of Ourense, Spain, which goes by the same name as the province itself.)