Holy Days With Padre Quadrupani

Padre Quadrupani was an Italian priest and member of the Clerics Regular of St. Paul, also known as the “Barnabites,” from their association with St. Barnabas Catholic Church in Milan, Italy. Quadrupani’s spirituality is based on that of the illustrious Doctor of the Church, St. Francis de Sales (1567-1622). Like St. Francis, the Padre offers spiritual advice that is practical and balanced. Perhaps it is owing to this that Quadrupani’s treatise Light and Peace has been so well received by Catholic laypersons and has been recommended by numerous bishops over the years. In the following excerpts from Light and Peace, the Padre shares his wisdom on the observance of Sundays and other holy days:

“Every day of our life should be employed in glorifying God, but there are certain days He has particularly appointed whereon to receive from us a more special exterior worship. These are Sundays and holydays. It is therefore obligatory upon us to sanctify such days. The ordinary means of fulfilling this duty are, principally, works of charity, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Sacraments, sermons, religious instructions, and spiritual reading.”

“Nevertheless, we should avoid over-fatiguing the mind and wearying the body by too many exercises of devotion. Excess even in holy things is wrong, as virtue ends where excess begins. It is well to know that a friendly visit, a walk, a lawful diversion, all of which can be referred to God, serve also for the sanctification of Sundays and holydays, when undertaken with a view to please Him. The same may be said of such daily occupations as are required of man by his bodily needs.”

“These things are said for the instruction of those who are eager and anxious on Sundays and holydays of obligation to heap devotion upon devotion and who make a crime of everything that is not an exterior act of piety. They apply themselves, it seems, to the material observance of the sabbath, . . . instead of peacefully sanctifying the Lord’s day with that sweet and holy liberty of spirit which our divine Saviour teaches in the Gospel. Too much dissipation and over long prayers are two extremes each of which it is equally necessary to avoid.”

And finally, Padre Quadrupani consoles those who suffer illness, assuring them that “by their sufferings they can sanctify every day and make each one equal to the greatest festival.”

Quotations from Carlo Giuseppe Quadrupani, Light and Peace: Instructions for Devout Souls to Dispel Their Doubts and Allay Their Fears (St. Louis: B. Herder, 1898).

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