Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Padre Alberto Hurtado

On this day in 1952 a holy Jesuit by the name of Alberto Hurtado died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 51. In his youth he wanted to be a lawyer in order to defend and help the poor of Chile, but after graduation he entered the Jesuits. Deeply devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, he shared God's love for the poor and abandoned, getting involved in the labor movement and founding shelters for street children. Pope John Paul II beatified him in 1994 and Pope Benedict XVI canonized him in 2005.

Padre Alberto is a model for us as we strive to make an offering of every moment of our lives. This is what it means to "live the Eucharist." In the following excerpt from one of his writings entitled "The Eucharist as Sacrifice," he makes it clear that each one of us is called to join the sacrifices that are part of our daily lives to the perfect sacrifice of Jesus. This will make the "immolation" of our lives a perfect offering.

The Eucharistic sacrifice is the renewal of the sacrifice of the cross. Just as in the cross, all are incorporated into Christ, in the same way all are immolated in Christ and with Christ in the Eucharistic sacrifice.

This is actualized in two ways. The first is to offer to the heavenly Father as our own, the immolation of Jesus Christ, for it is ours as well. The second way is more practical, it consists in adding to the Eucharistic sacrifice our own personal immolations, sacrificing our works and difficulties, our evil inclinations, crucifying our old selves with Christ. In this way, in participating personally in the victimhood of Jesus Christ, we are transformed into the divine Victim. As the bread is truly transubstantiated into the body of Christ, in the same way all the faithful are transubstantiated spiritually with Jesus Christ, Victim. In this way, our personal immolations are elevated to become Eucharistic immolations of Jesus Christ, who as head, assumes and makes his own the immolations of his members.

What horizons are thus opened to the Christian life! The Mass would become the center of the day and of life itself. With our gaze on the Eucharistic sacrifice, we would always be hoarding sacrifices to be made and offered in the Mass .

My Mass is my life, and my life is a prolonged Mass!


  1. Hi Father James- and thanks so much for this wonderful post on Saint Alberto. I have a special devotion to him and it is hard to find his writings, especially translated. This was a beautiful reflection. I have a blog dedicated to him and to St. Teresa of the Andes if you would like to stop by...
    And Fr.- do you know where I might be able to find some Holy Cards of Saint Alberto? I have a few from his beatification but not of him canonized. Any help or direction would be much appreciated.
    God bless...

  2. Hello Regina. I'm glad you liked the post on St. Alberto and thanks for the information about your blog. Great job! I have a few holy cards of St. Alberto that I'd be happy to send you if you send me your mailing address. You can reach me at my email: jkubicki@apostleshipofprayer.org

  3. Thank you, Father! I just sent you an e-mail!
    God bless you!