The Litany of Humility

In the crypt of Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome are the tombs of many popes, including the first and greatest pope himself.  There is one tomb, however, that is unique.  Just to the right of St. Peter is a marble sarcophagus with the name etched in: Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val.  Yes, cardinals are important, but why this cardinal, among all the thousands in the history of the Church, in this preeminent spot?  Because Cardinal Merry del Val possessed the preeminent virtue: humility.

Merry del Val was born of Spanish nobility and became a priest, seeking to serve and not be served.  For his reception after being named a bishop he hosted 200 poor and homeless people of Rome. In fact, he shunned parties and banquets throughout his career, instead going to the neighborhood of Trastevere to serve the poor and minister to the young people.  He was made Secretary of State at the incredibly young age of 38 by Pope Saint Pius X, who desired him for his greatest skill: humility.

With the virtue of humility, we understand that we do not have all the answers or the solutions to all life's challenges.  We let God do the work.  If we possess humility, we see ourselves as the last, which means, paradoxically, we will be the first. So, if you want to enjoy life to the fullest, another way of saying you are "the first," then pray for humility.  You could even recite the Litany of Humility, which was composed by, you guessed it, Merry Del Val.

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