Thursday, July 8, 2010

Venerable Bartholomew Holzhauser


Born on August 24, 1613 at Laugna, Bavaria, he was parish priest, ecclesiastical writer, and founder of a religious community. He died on May 20, 1658. He was one of the eleven children of Leonard and Catherine Holzhauser who were poor, pious and honest. From an early age he showed a great love for books and a desire to join the priesthood. He attended a free school for poor boys and later, with help from the Jesuits, he continued his studies at Neuburg and Ingolstadt. He was noted for his piety, and modesty. He died in Bingen on the Rhine at the age of only forty-five, after spending his life in the service of God, humanity and his fellow-priests. He is attributed many extraordinary cures and a petition has been drawn up at Rome for his canonization.

Bartholomew Holzhauser was a prolific writer. His book "Visiones" contains his ten visions about the end of the world. He presented it in1646 to Emperor Ferdinand III and to Maximilian of Bavaria, together with the explanations given to Vairvaux, confessor of Maximilian. These visions, with a commentary showing their partial fulfilment, were published in German in 1849 by Ludwig Clarus.

In one vision Holzhauser foresees the execution of Charles I of England, the complete ruin of the Catholic Church and the cessation of the Holy Sacrifice for 120 years. This seems to have been fulfilled, for prohibition of Mass under penalty of capital punishment was enacted in 1658, and partially recalled in 1778. Several manuscript copies exist of “Visiones” printed in 1784 at Bamberg, in 1849 at Ratisbon by Clarus and in 1850 at Vienna.

According to Holzhauser the seven stars and the seven candlesticks seen by St. John signify seven periods of the history of the Church from its foundation to its consummation at the final judgment. To these periods correspond the seven churches of Asia Minor, the seven days of the Mosaic record of creation, the seven ages before Christ, and the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost. Since, he says, all life is developed in seven stages, so God has fixed seven periods for regeneration.

1. The Status seminativus, from Christ and the Apostles to Pope Linus and Emperor Nero, is typified by the first day of creation "Spiritus Dei ferebatur super aquas", the gift of wisdom and the age from Noah.
2. Status irrigativus or the days of persecution;
3. Status illuminativus from Pope Sylvester to Leo III;
4. Status pacifitcus from Leo III to Leo X;
5. Status afflictionis et purgativus from Leo X to a strong ruler and holy pope;
6. Status consolationis from that holy pope to the birth of Antichrist;
7. Status desolationis from Antichrist to the end of the world.

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