Glossary


Alb

A white undergarment which is worn by a priest during a Mass.

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Abnegation

A (small) sacrifice. To deny oneself material or spiritual pleasures in order to gain stronger mental self-control and repentance.

Beatification

Please consult our separate entry: beatification

The Brothers of Charity

The Brothers of Charity are a congregation. Herman Wijns went to the Saint Eduardis-institute at Merksem, one of the schools of the Brothers of Charity. As a result, several brothers knew Herman very well, and they were impressed by his purity and nobility. After Herman's death, brother Melarius, a teacher in the lower grades, kept Herman's legacy alive.

They support the npo, take part in the board of directors, and they provide us with juridical, administrative and financial support. Among other things, they place the remembrance house at our disposal.

Canonization

A saint is someone who has led a notably honest and devout life. The term "heroic moral virtue" is sometimes used. It is believed that a saint can exercise an influence on life here on earth. He or she does so by intercession to God.

Holiness is not limited to the canonized saints. Those who have lived a virtuous and devout life, are saints. The canonized saints are those saints who have become the object of worship among ordinary people; this worship is subsequentially approved by the religious authorities. Nowadays, the canonization of a person can only take place posthumously, because it's always possible for someone to relapse into sin. From the moment of decease, under normal circumstances, a minimum waiting period of 12 years has to be observed. A deceased person can also be declared a saint without waiting period or research, this procedure is called "by acclamation". Only the Pope can canonize a person.

A person who is beatified can be canonized, but only after an officially recognized miracle has taken place after the beatification. The procedure is long and costly.

Chaplet

A series of prayers using "paternoster" prayer beads. These are arranged in five times 10 beads, interrupted by a large bead and preceded by a crucifix plus one large, three small and one large bead. The crucifix is used to pray the creed, the large beads are used for the Lord's Prayer, and the small beads are used for the Hail Mary prayer. Every ten beads, a mystery in the life of Mary and Jesus is contemplated.

Chasuble

A sleeveless liturgical vestment worn by a priest as he celebrates a mass. It symbolizes the coat of love.

Chrisko-choir

The Chrisko-choir is a family choir from the Netherlands. Chrisko is the abbreviation of Christus Koning (koning = king). Every candidate is welcomed, whether they're old or young, bass, tenor soprano, or anything in between. The joy of singing is valued above all else. They grace the Herman Wijns-celebrations and they've composed the song "Herman Wijns".

Ciborium

A cup-shaped container in which the consecrated Hosts are stored.

Decade

A series of 10 Hail Mary prayers as part of a rosary

Decorum

Latin word, meaning "decoration"

Diocese

The district under the pastoral care of a bishop

Eucharistic Crusade

Pope Pius X, the "Pope of the Communion", had great interest in liturgy, the Eucharist and religious education. He specially cared about the children, and called for a large scale "Eucharistic Crusade" (E.C.).

The E.C. was especially dedicated to children, its purpose being: to let them live a very pure life dedicated to the Eucharist. In Belgium, the Norbertine abbey at Averbode had a pioneering role in this movement. They published several articles about the E.C. in the children's magazine "Zonneland". Some of these articles were written by priest Edward Poppe, an equally devout man dedicated to the Eucharist.

The demands placed upon the young "crusaders" were high, and only a handful of candidates succeeded in living according to these rules.

Special emphasis was given to building one's own character before judging others. Here's an excerpt from an appeal to the E.C., published by the Averbode abbey:

What's the task of a Crusader?

He attends every Mass, every Communion when he's able to. For the Holy Communion is the daily Bread for his soul:

  1. A Crusader attends at least one Communion every week, he strives to attend Mass as much as possible, several times a week, even every day.
  2. Each and every morning, he dedicates his day to the Holy Heart of Jesus. He sacrifices his heart and his day with Jesus when He sacrifices himself in Holy Mass. He recites the following task: "O divine Heart of Jesus, by Mary's hands, I dedicate to You: al the prayers, the tasks and the suffering of this day. I unite myself with all the insights, for which You continually sacrifice Yourself in Holy Mass." He who fulfills these two conditions, is a Crusader.

What else does a devout Crusader do?

  1. He considers all the duties of his children's life as the will of God, and fulfills them with love.
  2. He doesn't mind small sacrifices, he patiently bears all of his small difficulties. He thinks of Jesus and Mary several times a day, whispering a sincere little prayer. That's how he sanctifies his day.
  3. In church, a Crusader must be present daily (if possible) to attend Holy Mass and the Holy Communion. He knows Jesus lives in the tabernacle. Sometimes, he visits Him, kneels down in front of Him, he does not talk, he does not look around, but he silently prays.
  4. On the street, he doesn't behave wildly. He doesn't tease the elderly and the crippled. He doesn't insist on seeing and hearing everything. He avoids bad children, bad places, and bad cinemas. He always salutes priests.

P.S. To remain loyal and devout, every week the Crusader fills out his E.C. week card.

What's the task of an apostle of the E.C.?

He gains four or five new members and turns them into genuine Crusaders. He prays for them and he serves as their example. Every day, he prays for his calling.

What does a Crusader have to keep in mind?

  1. A Crusader serves King Jesus as a loyal soldier, to the best of his abilities!
  2. His weapons are: 1. the regularly attended Mass and Holy Communion 2. the prayer 3. sacrifice and example
  3. His motto: "Do well and don't look back". Away with false shame and human judgment. A Crusader proudly wears his sign.
  4. He will pray every day for his calling!
  5. He's a "child of Mary". He would rather die than to act against his angelic purity. No immodest clothes!
  6. The Crusader can't do anything by himself, only by the grace of Jesus and Mary's intercession! He's humble, but brave.

Ex voto

An object which is donated out of gratitude for a fulfilled call for help. At Herman's grave, it's often a stone plaque with a text.

Glorious mysteries

The praying of the Rosary is traditionally dedicated to one of three sets of "Mysteries". There are 15 Mysteries, divided into 3 groups of 5: the Joyful (sometimes Joyous) Mysteries; the Sorrowful Mysteries; and the Glorious Mysteries. In 2002, Year of the Rosary, Pope John Paul II added an additional set called the Luminous Mysteries (or the "Mysteries of Light"). The Mysteries give a summary of the gospel. The rosary is a meditation the mysteries or the events in the life of Christ, which reveal to us God's plan to save humanity. The Glorious mysteries are the glorious events from the life of Jesus and Mary:

  1. Jesus resurrects from the dead
  2. Jesus ascends to heaven
  3. The Holy Spirit descends upon the apostles
  4. Mary is being assumed into heaven
  5. Mary's coronation in heaven

Holy Heart

A religious devotion to Jesus' heart as a symbol of love. Its popularity originates from the visions of the Holy Maria Margareta Alacoque (1647-1690) in a monastery at Paray-le-Monial.

Holy Water

Water which has been sanctified by a priest, used to bless people or objects

Humeral Veil

From the Latin word for "shoulders". An oblong piece of cloth sometimes worn as a shawl. It is used to hold or carry a monstrance. Inside, it contains compartments used as gloves. It prevents the priest's hands from touching the monstrance, as a form of respect. It usually has a white color. If the veil is used during Mass, it has the liturgical color of that day.

Joyful Mysteries

The praying of the Rosary is traditionally dedicated to one of three sets of "Mysteries". There are 15 Mysteries, divided into 3 groups of 5: the Joyful (sometimes Joyous) Mysteries; the Sorrowful Mysteries; and the Glorious Mysteries. In 2002, Year of the Rosary, Pope John Paul II added an additional set called the Luminous Mysteries (or the "Mysteries of Light").The Mysteries give a summary of the gospel. The rosary is a meditation the mysteries or the events in the life of Christ, which reveal to us God's plan to save humanity. The joyful mysteries are the happy events from the life of Jesus and Mary:

  1. The archangel Gabriel conveys the Good News to Mary
  2. Mary visits her niece Elisabeth
  3. Jesus is born in a stable at Bethlehem
  4. The presentation of Jesus at the temple
  5. The finding of the Child Jesus in the temple

Litany

A form of liturgical prayer, consisting of a series of petitions and answers, concluded by a prayer.

Liturgical colors

  • Green: used for regular Sundays and as the color of hope
  • White: used for the feasts of Christ, Mary and non-martyred Saints
  • Red: used for regular feasts of the Holy Ghost, for example, Whitsuntide and feast days of martyrs (blood), for example on second Christmas day (Saint Stephen).
  • Purple: in times of penance: Lent and Advent. Purple is also worn during funerals.
  • Black: for mourning and during the Holy Week

Liturgy of the hours

The Liturgy of the Hours is the official set of daily prayers as prescribed by the Catholic Church to be recited at certain times of the day (derived from Roman time division). It consists of : the Matins (nighttime), the Lauds (at dawn), Terce (9 a.m.), Sext (noon), None (3 p.m.), Vespers (evening prayer), Compline (night prayer before going to bed).

The Luminous Mysteries

The praying of the Rosary is traditionally dedicated to one of three sets of "Mysteries". There are 15 Mysteries, divided into 3 groups of 5: the Joyful (sometimes Joyous) Mysteries; the Sorrowful Mysteries; and the Glorious Mysteries. In 2002, Year of the Rosary, Pope John Paul II added an additional set called the Luminous Mysteries (or the "Mysteries of Light"). The Mysteries give a summary of the gospel. The rosary is a meditation the mysteries or the events in the life of Christ, which reveal to us God's plan to save humanity. The luminous mysteries are the public events from the life of Jesus and Mary:

  1. The Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan
  2. Jesus' revelation at the Wedding at Cana.
  3. Jesus' proclamation of the Kingdom of God
  4. Jesus' Transfiguration at Mount Tabor
  5. The Institution of the Eucharist during the Last Supper

Maniple

Latin: manipulus, meaning small bundle. A small towel which used to be worn by the priest over the left sleeve of the alb, in the liturgical color of the day. Originally, it was a sweat towel which symbolized the burden of the labor in the vineyard of the Lord, and it memorates the hardships of Jesus Christ during his mortal life.

Miracle

An event which can not be explained in a natural way, the result of Divine intervention

Missal

An official liturgical book containing all the all instructions and texts necessary for the celebration of Mass throughout the year. In the past, everyone used to have this book, which was brought to church on Sundays.

Monstrance

A golden or silvered vessel in which the consecrated Host is displayed or carried around in a procession.

Mysteries

The praying of the Rosary is traditionally dedicated to one of three sets of "Mysteries". There are 15 Mysteries, divided into 3 groups of 5: the Joyful (sometimes Joyous) Mysteries; the Sorrowful Mysteries; and the Glorious Mysteries. In 2002, Year of the Rosary, Pope John Paul II added an additional set called the Luminous Mysteries (or the "Mysteries of Light"). The Mysteries give a summary of the gospel. The rosary is a meditation the mysteries or the events in the life of Christ, which reveal to us God's plan to save humanity.

Novena

Latin, meaning: nine days. A novena is a prayer or a religious exercise which lasts nine days, to obtain a favor or to prepare a major feast day.

Novena candle

A candle which is kept alit during nine days and nights with a special intention.

Orate Fratres

Latin, meaning: "Pray, brethren". An invitation by the priest to a communal prayer to the faithful during Mass, at the beginning of the liturgy of the table, the sacrifice or canon.

Oremus

Latin, meaning: let us pray. A liturgical invitation for prayer.

Our Lady Help of Christians

A devotion which symbolizes the aid of Christians, especially in a world which aspires other values and where it can be difficult to adhere to Christian values and practices. The additional designation (in this case: "Help of Christians") is meant to highlight a specific quality of her. People worship Our Lady in a way which reflects their personal needs.

Our Lady of Lourdes

The Marian apparition to Bernadette at Lourdes. The additional designation (in this case: "of Lourdes") is meant to highlight a specific quality of her. People worship Our Lady in a way which reflects their personal needs.

Our Lady of Refuge

A devotion which highlights Our Lady as a refuge in every need, for everyone. The additional designation (in this case: "of Refuge") is meant to highlight a specific quality of her. People worship Our Lady in a way which reflects their personal needs.

Paternoster

A form of prayer beads, arranged in five times 10 beads, interrupted by a large bead and preceded by a crucifix plus one large, three small and one large bead. The crucifix is used to pray the creed, the large beads are used for the Lord's Prayer, and the small beads are used for the Hail Mary prayer. Every ten beads, a mystery in the life of Mary and Jesus is contemplated.

Pope Pius X

Pius X was born on June 2nd, 1835 in Riese, Italy, as the son of a postman. His youth was characterized by poverty and simplicity. To become a priest, he had to visit the gymnasium in the town of Castelfranco, about 7 km from where he lived. He walked this distance barefoot to spare his shoes.

In 1850, he went to the seminary of Padua. After his ordination, on September 18th, 1858, he worked as a chaplain in Tombolo.

In 1867, he became a priest in Salzano and in 1875 he became the canon of Traviso. In 1885, he was appointed Bishop of Mantua. His aim: "For the benefit of the souls, I shall spare no effort. Nothing will be more dear to me. I know it will take a great deal of effort. But the people of my diocese can always rely on my kindness and love." In 1893, he became cardinal and patriarch of Venice.

After pope Leo XIII's death in 1903, he traveled to the papal election, unknowing he would be elected himself. He had to be persuaded to accept this position, because he felt he wasn't capable of performing this strainful and dignified work. He described the aim of his pontificate as follows: "to restore all things in Christ".

His special wishes: he wanted to restore the liturgy in all its glory and dignity; the Eucharist, and religious formation. He created the communion for children and published an encyclical on the catechism.

His pontificate emphasized the battle against modernism, a tendency in the Catholic Church which promoted adaptation to modern society. He called it "the synthesis and the poison of all heresies". He reformed church music, canon law, and he founded the Bible Institute. He was dedicated to the achievement of Christ's social realm and believed it to be the big challenge of the future, the only correct answer to the socialist wave.

Pope Pius X died on august 20th, 1914. His beatification took place on June 3rd, 1951, and he was canonized on May 29th, 1954.

Priest Poppe

Edward Poppe was born on December 18th, 1890 in Temse (Belgium), in a modest family of a baker. In May 1909, he decides to become a diocesan priest. Even when he was still a seminarist (1910-1916), he had a strong desire to fulfill God's will to utmost perfection. He became a fervent devotee of Mary. In May 1916, he was ordinated in the Church. He became chaplain in Saint-Coleta, a poor laborer's parish in Ghent. He started a communion bond for the youngest children, introducing them to many aspects of Christianity. Poppe also chose to live in severe poverty and to be like one of his parishers.

Exhausted, due to his way of living and his weak health, he was transferred to a monastery in Moerzeke (1918-1922). His inner life transformed rapidly: a visit to the grave of Thérèse Martin (a Carmelite nun) on September 15th 1920, became a turning point in his spirituality. Her "little way" definitely became his "inner way". During the four years of contemplation and study, half of them bedridden, he wrote many essays for the "Eucharistic Crusade" of the Averbode abbey, which were often publicized in the youth magazine named "Zonneland" (Land of the sun).

Poppe made an appeal to all educators for a "crusade" to re-evangelize, based upon the Eucharist. His message was: "You first, then them."

When his health got better, he was appointed to Leopoldsburg to become the mental coach of the clergymen from all over the country who performed their military service. A heart crisis in 1923 obliged him to return to Moerzeke, where he died on June 10th, 1924.

Poppe was soon worshipped in Flanders and his grave in Moerzeke became a place of pilgrimage. Cardinal Désiré-Joseph Mercier mentioned considered him an ideal priest, very spiritual, ascetic and prepared to sacrifice his life to Christian faith. The Averbode abbey, which often had cooperated with him, advocated his beatification, which happened on October 3rd, 1999.

Remembrance house

The remembrance house is both a memorial house and a museum. The Brothers of Love bought the house to create a memorial place. An extensive collection of pictures and everyday objects from the Wijns family home at the Wuytslei 23 is preserved there. Herman's children's bed can be seen, but also the oak table where Herman was laid out after his decease. Other pieces of the collection include his overcoat, which he procured by folding advertisements; the Holy Hart statue with which he danced around after his father finally found a job, and the crucifix which he had saved from the trashcan on the day of his fatal accident. Address: Van Heybeeckstraat 23 - 2170 Merksem (Antwerp).

Rosary

1. a form of prayer beads, made up of five times 10 beads, interrupted by a large bead and preceded by a cross plus one large, two small beads and one large bead.

2. the prayer itself, which is performed as follows: the cross is used to pray the creed, the large beads are used for the Lord's Prayer, and the small beads are used for the Hail Mary prayer. This cycle is called a chaplet. A rosary consists of three chaplets. Every ten beads, a mystery in the life of Mary is contemplated. The rosary, which has a strong emphasis on the veneration of Mary, dates from the 15th century and was originally devised as a replacement for the official liturgy of the hours, which was considered too complicated by ordinary people. This form of prayer was gradually abandoned in the 20th century, due to the proliferation of the Liturgical Movement. The feast of the rosary takes place on the first Sunday of October.

In saecula saeculorum

Latin expression, meaning: "for ever and ever"

Saint Eduardis Institute

A school at Merksem, directed by the Brothers of Charity

Salve Regina

Latin, meaning: "Hail, Queen". The first words from the longest Mary antiphon (hymn) sung during the vespers (the official evening prayer of the Church).

Sanctuary lamp

Eternal flame, being fueled by bees wax or vegetable oil. In churches, it is placed in front of the tabernacle to indicate God's special presence.

The Sorrowful mysteries

The praying of the Rosary is traditionally dedicated to one of three sets of "Mysteries". There are 15 Mysteries, divided into 3 groups of 5: the Joyful (sometimes Joyous) Mysteries; the Sorrowful Mysteries; and the Glorious Mysteries. In 2002, Year of the Rosary, Pope John Paul II added an additional set called the Luminous Mysteries (or the "Mysteries of Light"). The Mysteries give a summary of the gospel. The rosary is a meditation the mysteries or the events in the life of Christ, which reveal to us God's plan to save humanity. The sorrowful mysteries are the sad events from the life of Jesus and Mary:

  1. Jesus prays in desperation to His Heavenly Father in the Olive Garden
  2. Jesus is being scourged
  3. Jesus' crown of thorns
  4. Jesus carries his cross to the Golgotha hill
  5. Jesus dies at the cross

Stola

A broad garment used during liturgy. It is worn around the neck, over the alb. It symbolizes the burden of Jesus' cross. The chasuble was worn over it as a mantle of love. The required liturgical colors used to be incorporated into the chasuble. After the Second Vatican Council, these garments were toned down and simplified. The liturgical colors are now shown on the stola, removing the need to have more than one chasuble.

Wafer

An unconsecrated Host, made with unyeasted bread.

Young nobility

The first magazine concerning Herman Wijns was published in 1986 under the name of "Young Nobility". Over the years, it evolved into a luxurious booklet, which eventually became too expensive to produce. In 2008, the "Young Nobility Newsletter" appeared, a much simpler and less elaborate publication. As a reference to the previous magazine, the name "Young Nobility" was retained. It refers to Herman's noble character; he always stood up for the poor and the weak. Because of his exemplary life, he belongs to the "spiritual nobility".