Passing of Cardinal Domenico Bartolucci of Italy, at the age of 96


Cardinal Domenico Bartolucci, Cardinal Deacon of SS. Nomi di Gesu e Maria in Via Lata has passed away on Monday, 11 November 2013 at the age of 96. He was the Director of the Sistine Chapel Choir (1956-1997), better known as his title of the Director Master of the Pontifical Musical Chorus of the Sistine Chapel.


Cardinal Bartolucci was created Cardinal in 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI in his third Cardinal creation consistory and he was a longtime Director of the Sistine Chapel choir, a great conductor and composer of sacred and liturgical music, for over 41 years from 1956 to 1997. Cardinal Bartolucci retired in 1997, but even then, he still conducted his beloved choir and created more beautiful music for worship after he retired. He was honoured by Pope Benedict XVI for his longtime service to the Church by the bestowal of the red hat of a Cardinal in 2010, when he was 93.

brandmuller xvi

We pray for Cardinal Bartolucci, that he will rest in peace, and God will reward him for all his hard and great work as the long time servant of God through music as the conductor, director, and composer of the Papal liturgical music and sacred music through the Sistine Chapel choir  and his numerous other contributions to the Universal Church and for the Lord’s sake. May the Lord welcome him into His embrace in heaven and give him eternal rest and happiness that he deserved.

With the passing of Cardinal Bartolucci, the College of Cardinals now stands at 200 members, with 109 Cardinal-electors and 91 Cardinal non-electors.

There are now 11 Cardinal-elector vacancies in the College of Cardinals, 12 vacant Cardinal Titles (for Cardinal Priests) and 9 vacant Cardinal Deaconries (for Cardinal Deacons)

Monday, 11 November 2013 : 32nd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Martin of Tours, Bishop (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Brothers and sisters, today it is revealed and explained to us all, the nature and the power of faith, that is the faith that we have in God. Faith is truly powerful, and it is also revealed what we ought to do as the children of God, that is to reflect God’s love in all of our actions, and in all that we do. We cannot be truly faithful to God, if we do not do what He asks us to do, and if we do not listen to His words or obey His will.

In the Lord lies all wisdom, knowledge, power, and authority, because He is the Lord and Creator of all things and all in this universe. That is why, we who are mere humans ought to look at Him, believe in Him, His words and His love for us. Unfortunately, many of us took great pride in our own wisdom and intelligence. Not that this is bad, but the way we often do this is by excluding God from our lives and indulging in self-glorification, the glorification of our deeds and achievements and we do not give glory to God.

Through Jesus His Son, our Lord made it clear to us, that we need to know how to love one another, to show love to one another, and to let love govern all our words, actions, and deeds. We cannot belong to God and be faithful to God, if our actions contradict what we believe in. We must walk the talk and not just believe in rhetorics, because such is the faith of the Pharisees, the hypocrites.

Brethren, we are role models for one another, shepherds to one another, and as such, we have to help make sure that each of us, all of us are truly faithful to the Lord our God. We cannot lead our brethren into damnation instead. As the Lord Himself mentioned in today’s Gospel, that great is the sin of those who had misled others, especially so for those who misled the innocent ones. The greater is our sins then, if we do so, and the greater is the punishment due for us.

Today, brethren, we celebrate the feast of St. Martin of Tours, one of the greatest saints and builders of the early Church. St. Martin of Tours lived during the waning years of the Roman Empire in the West, and he was once a Roman soldier turned into a general. Yet, he remained faithful in God and was truly exemplary in his practice of the faith.

St. Martin of Tours was truly a role model for the other Christians of his time. He was loving, just, and charitable, renowned especially for his care and love for the poor and unloved ones in the society. St. Martin of Tours devotedly give his life in dedication to the Lord, even as he continued his career as a Roman soldier. He did not have an empty faith, or faith based on mere words. His faith is truly a living one, and one that is based on love, for God and for his fellow men.

In one instance, it was told that St. Martin of Tours was passing by a road, when he saw a poor man suffering from cold, without any clothing to cover and protect him from the cold. St. Martin was moved by the sight, and true to his faith in God, he cut off a part of his soldier’s cape, and gave it to the poor man as a cloak. Later that night, St. Martin saw an apparition of our Lord Jesus, who showed to him that the old man he helped was none other than Jesus Himself!

Truly, at this juncture we ought to remember what Jesus Himself has told us, that whatever we do for our brethren, to the least of them, the poorest, the least loved, and those whose sufferings are the greatest, we do it for God Himself. That was the true virtues and righteousness of St. Martin, which we all can follow too.

St. Martin was chosen later in his life to be the Bishop of Tours, and he carried on his duties faithfully, as the shepherd of God’s people, till the end of his life, well-known by many in Christendom as a holy, humble, and faithful servant of God. We too can follow in his footsteps, if we choose to do so, and take concrete steps in following after his examples. Nothing is impossible for God, and therefore nothing too should be impossible for us.

Therefore, brethren, from now on, let us be conscious to our own sins, to our own weaknesses and vulnerabilities to sin, and let sin not hinder us on our way towards the Lord. Let us be a reflection of our Lord and His love, in our own actions and deeds, through forgiving and loving one another, committing ourselves in love to our brethren in need, just as St. Martin of Tours himself had once done.

May the Lord guide us and continue to watch over us, as we grow in faith and love, that we will always ever draw closer to His presence and to His loving embrace. God bless us all. Amen.

Monday, 11 November 2013 : 32nd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Martin of Tours, Bishop (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 17 : 1-6

Jesus said to His disciples, “Scandals will necessarily come and cause people to fall; but woe to the one who brings them about. It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone around his neck. Truly, this would be better for that person, than to cause one of these little ones to fall.”

“Listen carefully : If your brother offends you, tell him, and if he is sorry, forgive him. And if he offends you seven times in one day, but seven times he says to you, ‘I am sorry.’ Forgive him.”

The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” And the Lord said, “If you have faith, even the size of a mustard seed, you may say to this tree, ‘Be uprooted, and plant yourself in the sea!’ And it will obey you.”

Monday, 11 November 2013 : 32nd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Martin of Tours, Bishop (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 138 : 1-3, 4-6, 7-8, 9-10

O Lord, You know me : You have scrutinised me. You know when I sit and when I rise; beforehand You discern my thoughts. You observe my activities and times of rest; You are familiar with all my ways.

Before a word is formed in my mouth, You know what it is all about, o Lord. From front to back You hedge me round, shielding me with Your protecting hand. Your knowledge leaves me astounded, it is too high for me to reach.

Where else could I go from Your Spirit? Where could I flee from Your presence? You are there if I ascend the heavens; You are there if I descend to the depths.

If I ride on the wings of the dawn and settle on the far side of the sea, even there Your hand shall guide me and Your right hand shall hold me safely.

Monday, 11 November 2013 : 32nd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Martin of Tours, Bishop (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Wisdom 1 : 1-7

Love justice, you who rule over the world. Think rightly of God, seek Him with simplicity of heart, for He reveals Himself to those who do not challenge Him and is found by those who do not distrust Him.

Crooked thinking distances you from God, and His Omnipotence, put to the test, confounds the foolish. Wisdom does not enter the wicked nor remain in a body that is enslaved to sin. The Holy Spirit who instructs us shuns deceit; It keeps aloof from foolishness and is ill at ease when injustice is done.

Wisdom is a spirit, a friend to man, and will not leave the blasphemous unpunished, because God knows His innermost feelings, truly sees His thoughts and hears what He says. For God’s Spirit has filled the whole world and He who holds together all things, knows each word that is spoken.