BY Father Mateo Crawley-Boevey, SS.CC.
APPROBATION Given to
the American Edition of
“Jesus, The King of Love”
1598 South Main Street,
Fall River, Mass.
Fr. Mateo says that he has written this volume “with love for the apostles of the Divine Heart.” Those who read it will easily believe that he has written it with a “great love of the Divine Heart,” with a great desire to enkindle and increase that love in the hearts of others.
As by the spoken, so by the written word may Fr. Mateo ”preach love” through this “Jesus, King of Love.”
Explanation of the
Origin of this Book
We must first of all state that Father Mateo spoke all that this book contains; he did not write it. Monks, priests, nuns and lay-folk made notes, for their own personal satisfaction and profit, of those things which most attracted and pleased them in the several Conferences of Father Mateo and, little by little, one after the other, these manuscripts gradually passed from the private sphere to the public, from the notebook to the printing press, and this in general without the author being consulted or advised of the fact. Here is an instance which, interesting in itself, will give a graphic explanation of the origin of more or less all these publications.
About the year 1917, Father Mateo found himself in Paray-le-Monial, whither he had gone to seek rest from his labors, worn out and exhausted as he was, mentally and physically. But if he went in search of repose to that “holy ground,” as he called it, he made an entire mistake. The pilgrims, who are always to be found there, without consideration for his exhausted state, besieged and importuned him in his hotel, in the street, even in the very Chapel of the Visitation. He resolved to flee, but whither?
A priest counselled La Trappe de Sept-Fons. The good Father, convinced that no one there was acquainted with him nor he with anyone, begged the charity of a lodging where he could have seclusion for a fortnight or so, and by return of post received a favorable answer. The projected retreat lasted some three hours! for in the evening of the very day his arrival the Father Prior, after some beating about the bush, asked him how many times a day and at what hours he would like to preach to his eighty Trappists. Imagine the Father’s surprise when he, on urging his weariness and the spiritual necessity of seclusion and prayer, was met with a remark from the Prior: “That’s all right, you can make your meditations aloud, we do not ask for more.” It was impossible to refuse the task. Moreover, the Community insisted with such simplicity and affection that he had to commence a kind of retreat for the monks that very evening. The good Father used afterwards to say, plying on the word “La Trappe“: “I was caught in the trap.”
The monks took notes of the two daily sermons; then at various times they asked the Father to come again, and thus completed their notes; shortly afterwards, on their own account and authority, they published all they had been able to take down. In about six years more than 30,000 copies of this booklet had been sold. Father Mateo first heard of the publication when the Trappists wanted to correct the third or fourth edition. The same thing happened, with slight variations, in the three Monasteries of the Visitation of Lyons, Le Puy and Orleans, where the Nuns made three other separate pamphlets, abridgements of the Sermons which the Father preached in the course of his apostolic tour in these cities. Soon afterwards, the Secretariate of Fribourg, in Switzerland, published the notes of a retreat preached to the Promoters of the Enthronement in that country, and Perpignan did the same, on the lengthy tour which Father Mateo made with the Bishop of that large diocese.
In this way arose the idea of combining in one single book all these different pamphlets; especially as all preached substantially the same Doctrine of Love, the Gospel of the Sacred Heart. This task was carried out at the Convent of the Visitation of Lyons, a pious and learned priest aiding in the Work. This compendium was published under the French title of Vers le Roi, d’Amour.
What was the reason for such eagerness on all sides to publish these tracts? What was it that prompted this? In Father Mateo’s Conferences on the Reign of the Heart of Jesus three points attracted attention.
First, the absolute simplicity of the exposition and unaffected style which is such an attraction in the Gospel, and which, as a vehicle for divine grace and the conviction of the preacher, is a thousand times better than any literary and rhetorical elegancy.
Secondly, this very doctrine of love, not a new one assuredly, God preserve us from thinking such a thing, but in general so little understood even among the pious, that the Father says: “There is no lack of devout people, but there is of those who are lovers in spirit and in truth.” And who would say there is no difference between the two? “To make that Love better known, to make it very much more loved,” this is Father Mateo’s one ardent desire, his one obsession, whether he be talking to the multitude in a Cathedral or to Religious in a Monastery. And the extraordinarily early beatification and canonization of little St. Teresa comes to set the desired seal on all this pleasing and powerful doctrine, which is as well grounded as it is consoling.
Thirdly, a series of incidents threw a doctrine of this sort into relief, for the most part conversions, of which Father Mateo tells in the style proper to one who was a witness of nearly all of them and even had a share in bringing them about.
Such as it was, the French text, “Vers le Roi d’Amour” has passed through innumerable editions and has appeared in seven or eight foreign languages, for the Sacred Heart has willed to bless the endeavors of the generous souls who sought in the publication nothing save His glory. This is the one reasonable and just explanation, in the supernatural order, of the wonderful success of this little book which has the merits and defects of what is caught on the wing, so to speak, in a sermon which impresses us. Merits, because it contains what was most vivid, most spontaneous in the apostle’s words; defects, because a series of notes thus taken down cannot have the literary style and the rigid sequence of a book meditated and written according to a settled plan. May Jesus, King of Love, bless the enterprise undertaken solely and exclusively for His glory and the extension of His reign throughout the world. Adveniat!
Madrid, October, 1928.
To All the Apostles of the Reign of the
Heart of Jesus.
Dear Fellow Laborers,
This volume is dedicated to all who have shared with me the glory and responsibility of the Work of the Enthronement. It contains much of what I have said and preached; my words were jotted down on the spot by zealous listeners and published in French under the title “Vers le Roi d’Amour.” In this Spanish edition I have added over a hundred pages with a view to throwing further light on our spirit and vocation and the book now appears under the title “Jesus, King of Love.” Read it and ponder it lovingly, for I have written it with love for the apostles of the Divine Heart.
May these simple pages, by the grace of the King of Love, bring light and love into your interior life and apostolate in hours of difficulty and trial. The book claims no literary value, it seeks only to make Jesus better known and loved, for, as Saint Bernard says, His Name is Joy unspeakable, honey to the lips and music to the heart.
Love It and make It loved.
Fr. Mateo Crawley-Boevey, SS.CC.
The Work of the Enthronement.
Vivat Cor Jesu Sacratissimum!
Adveniat regnum tuum!
IN 1907 the Reverend Fr. Mateo was sent by his Superiors from America to Europe, on account of his health. Having been given up by the doctors, he arrived in a dying state at Paray-leMonial, not to ask for a cure, but to beg for a deeper love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the grace of a holy death. He had scarcely knelt down in the Chapel of the Apparitions when he felt himself suddenly and perfectly cured. What he then experienced he cannot describe, but divine love must have wounded his heart, for that same evening when he was making the Holy Hour, the Sacred Heart made known to him what we may call the plan of the Enthronement, such as it is practised today, and inspired him with a great desire to conquer the world for Him family by family.
Without delay he went to Rome to expose his project to the reigning Pontiff, Pius X., and to ask permission to begin his apostolate. Having heard of his scheme, the Holy Father replied: “No, my son, I do not give you permission!” “But, most Holy Father . . . !”——” No, I do not give you permission,” repeated Pius X., with a humor all his own, and drawing Fr. Mateo towards him, he said: “I command you to do it, do you understand me? I not only allow you, but I command you to devote your whole life to this admirable work.”
Now that his mission had been solemnly approved by the Supreme Head of the Church, Fr. Mateo, like another St. Paul, went forth to the conquest of nations. As he is a member of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts (Picpus [a Parisian district], Paris)—whose aim is to propagate devotion to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary in a spirit of love, reparation and apostleship — it has always been his greatest happiness to preach the Sacred Heart, “to preach Love,” as he likes to say. One may say that he is truly an apostle with neither scrip nor purse, with no other strength save that of his burning love, and his total self-forgetfulness.
Fr. Mateo has traveled all over the world, winning souls and enflaming them with the love with which he is himself consumed; and this with a simplicity and an unction which no one can withstand. He says the simplest things in the simplest way, yet he raises souls as if by a divine attraction. The Master Himself speaks and acts in His apostle; in seeing and hearing him, we feel what must have been experienced long ago, when Our Lord walked on earth: for we are captivated, conquered and transformed — we ourselves become apostles! “I do not envy my Guardian Angel,” he likes to repeat, “nor all the Angels together, for they cannot say Mass, nor preach Love, nor suffer for Him Who is Love!” He has been seen, on the evening of the busiest days, to accept an invitation to preach for the eighth time — “to rest myself,” he says. “Can anything be more restful than to speak of Him Whom one loves?” And if anyone objects saying that he cannot possibly endure such a life for long, that he is killing himself, he answers: “Why should I not kill myself for Him Who died for me.”
In 1914 Fr. Mateo returned to Europe and before his arrival the Great War broke out. “What will he do in France?” asked his Superiors; “it will be useless for him to preach, everything will be upset on account of the War, and no one will listen to him.” But the contrary happened and the trials and bereavements brought about by the conflict opened the way for the Sacred Heart to enter afflicted families and to console them.
After the death of Pope Pius X., he went again to Rome and obtained an audience of Pope Benedict XV., who wrote him an autograph letter;(1) at the same time he received an order to preach and organize the Work throughout Italy. Finally, in another visit to the Vatican in 1916, His Holiness asked Fr. Mateo to say Mass in his presence. After this Mass he was again received in audience and the Holy Father repeated again and again that he wished to see this Crusade preached everywhere for this Work was the Pope’s own Work!(2)
Click ^ again to contract
(1) This letter is of too great importance not to be given here. By this authentic document the Work of the Enthronement Is officially approved by the Church. She recognizes how opportune it is and recommends it as a very efficacious means of regenerating families and, through them, society. (See the last pages.)
(2) Fr. Mateo has been just as much encouraged and favored by our Holy Father Pius XI. Readers of the “Tabernacle and the Home” will no doubt remember the letters from the Vatican, which have been published in several issues, and also the interesting account of both the memorable audiences of June and July, 1930, (Vol 7. December, 1930.)
The Holy Father’s desire has been realized, for, in spite of the opposition and difficulties which are inevitable in so great a work, the Enthronement is constantly progressing, not only throughout North and South America but also in all the European countries and in India, Ceylon, Cairo, Madagascar, South Africa, Congo, Guinea, Senegal, Corea, Australia and even in the Leper settlement at Molokai. Marvelous blessings are bestowed on Fr. Mateo’s mission. One Bishop wrote to him: “Father, what I have seen is not merely the resurrection of one dead man, but the resurrection of a whole cemetery.”
Up to the present time Fr. Mateo has twice visited England and Scotland, France, Spain, Portugal and Italy, and he has also visited Holland, Switzerland, Belgium, the Grand Duchy of Luxemburg. Everywhere extraordinary incidents and striking conversions prove that the Divine seal is upon his mission and a new Pentecost is renewing the face of the earth.
Such, in a few words, is the origin of a Work wholly divine: divine in its principle because it is the response to the explicit request of Our Lord; divine in its effects, on account of the supernatural transformation it brings about.
Fr. Mateo will now tell us himself what he understands by the Enthronement of the Sacred Heart in the Home.
Current — Approbation – An Indispensable Explanation of the Origin of this Book – The Enthronement – Dedication – The Work of the Enthronement. Its Origin.
Next →Chapter 1 – What the Enthronement Is – Its Importance