Paul Augustin Card. Mayer, OSB, would have been 100 years old today. He died on 30 April 2010.
Card. Mayer was a great friend and a mentor for me for many years and it was an honor to know him. He was the holiest man I ever met.
He was a monk his whole life. When I worked for him in the offices of the Pont. Comm. “Ecclesia Dei” his demeanor and way of collaborating with us was so humble that had we asked him to empty a wastebasket, he would have done it without thinking. He ordained me to the diaconate in the Basilica of San Nicola in Carcere in 1990 (Feast of the Sacred Heart). In the sight of John Paul II he knelt and asked for my blessing after my ordination and, during a visit to his monastery at Metten, he served my Masses and then waited on tables for guests in the refectory.
He had been Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for Vatican II and a peritus at the Council and was a writer of Optatam totius. He became Abbot of Metten, and was eventually the first rector of the Pontifical Roman Athenaeum of Sant’Anselmo in Rome. He was Secretary for the Cong. for Religious in the darkest days of mass exodus from religious life, though he helped to set up some fine orders along the lines of those we see growing today. He was the first Prefect of the combined Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments and made Cardinal Deacon in 1985 with the title of Sant’Anselmo on the Aventine. Later he was made Cardinal Priest pro hac vice. He was the first President of the P.C. “Ecclesia Dei“, which is where I met him. At the time of his death he was the oldest living Cardinal.
Monk for 79 years, and priest for 74, of the Order of Saint Benedict. Cardinal of Holy Roman Church.
Today at Mass I added prayers for him from the Orationes diversae pro defunctis. The Postcommunion of the prayers Pro episcopo cardinali defuncto, vel presbytero cardinali, qui episopali dignitate auctus fuerit.
Prosit, quaesumus, Domine,
animae famuli tui Pauli Augustini Presbyteri Cardinalis,
misericordiae tuae implorata clementia:
ut eius, in quo speravit et credidit,
aeternum capiat, te miserante, consortium.