會祖簡史

主徒會會祖剛恆毅樞機於一八七六年四月三日,生於意大利北部之佐普拉市的加斯提勇村。

一八九九年,在羅馬額我略大學獲神學博士學位,隨後晉鐸為公高底亞教區神父(現為公高底亞-波德諾內教區)。

晉鐸後擔任牧靈工作,並從事教會藝術之研究和推廣,在意大利藝術界佔得一席位。

1024px-Coat_of_arms_of_Celso_Benigno_Luigi_Costantini.svg
剛恆毅樞機主教牧徽

一九二一年,剛恆毅神父被任命為正值多難之秋的斐烏梅教區主教;任內他曾自告奮勇,充當和平使者,化解了一場內戰而名噪一時。

一九二二年,剛總主教奉教宗庇護十一世之命到中國擔任教廷首任駐華的宗座代表,達十一年之久。其主要事蹟有:

  • 召開全國教務會議;
  • 遴選六位中國主教到羅馬祝聖;
  • 促成北京輔仁大學建校;
  • 創立主徒會;
  • 成立數所總修院;
  • 保送修士到羅馬深造;
  • 組織公教進行會和教育聯合會;
  • 擺脫保教權的羈絆;
  • 改善教會在中國的形象等等。

一九三三年,剛總主教因病返回意大利,一九三五年出任傳信部秘書長,一九五三年晉陞樞機。在任十七年期間,安撫並重建受創之中國教會;解除了困擾多年的禮儀之爭;為本籍主教及聖統催生;推進公教進行會,提倡本土教會藝術。

剛樞機於一九五八年十月十七日蒙主恩召,享年八十二歲。其傳教精神,對日後的中國教會與普世教會,都具有深遠的影響。

 

Brief  Biography of the Founder

Cardinal Celso Costantini, founder of the Congregation of the Disciples of the Lord or in latin Congregatio Discipulorum Domini (CDD), was born in the northern part of Italy at Castions di Zoppola on April 3, 1876. In 1899, he obtained his Doctorate in Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, and then he was ordained as a priest for the Diocese of Concordia (the present Diocese of Concordia-Pordenone). Besides pastoral work, he was also actively involved in the study and promotion of religious art and was well-known for his artistic achievements in Italy.

In 1921, Father Costantini was appointed the Bishop of Fiume in the midst of a political crisis. However, Costantini mediated between the conflicting parties and was acclaimed for preparing their “cease fire” declaration.

In 1922, Archbishop Costantini was appointed by the late Pope Pius XI as the first Apostolic Delegate to China where he contributed eleven years of service. His major contributions are as follows:

  • Called for the First National Bishops’ Conference in Shanghai
  • Promotion of six Chinese priests being consecrated in Rome as bishops
  • Helped in the establishment of Fu Jen Catholic University
  • Founded the Congregation of the Disciples of the Lord
  • Institution of several major seminaries
  • Recommended seminarians to study in Rome
  • Founded the Chinese Catholic Action and the Union of Chinese Catholic Students
  • Resisting the influence of Protectorate of that time
  • Improving the image of the Catholic Church in China

In 1933, Archbishop Costantini returned to Italy due to health reasons. He was appointed Secretary of the Sacred Congregation of the Propagation of the Faith (the present Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples) in 1935 and elevated to cardinal in 1953. During these seventeen years, he contributed greatly to the rebuilding of the distressed Chinese Catholic Church, the official end of the Chinese Rites Controversy, promotion of Chinese bishops and hierarchy, founding the Chinese Catholic Action and promotion of Chinese religious art.

Cardinal Costantini died on October 17, 1958 at the age of 82. However, his missionary spirit persists and affects the universal church and the local Church in China.