Though he was St. Pius X’s secretary of state, he is best known for this prayer against pride.
“That others may be praised and I unnoticed, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.” This is just one of the striking invocations in this line-up of petitions asking God to sap the strength our pride, the root and crown of all our sins.
Rafael Merry del Val y Zuelta was the second of four sons born to Carlos Merry del Valas and Sofia Josefa de Zulueta. Rafael was born in the Spanish embassy in London, England, in 1865. The unusual surname “Merry” came from Irish merchants who had settled in Seville, Spain, in the 18th century. His family could trace their lineage back to the 12th century.
Living and growing up in London allowed for young Rafael to receive the best academic training offered by the British schools. However, despite his aristocratic background, the boy always displayed a genuine and personal humility tempered by integrity and modesty that he carried throughout his life.
From an early age, Rafael felt the call to the priesthood. He attended a Jesuit preparatory school and from there went on to Upshaw College. He already had earned a Doctorate in Philosophy at the Pontifical Gregorian University when he was ordained to the priesthood on December 30, 1888. He followed by earning a Doctorate in Theology and then a Licentiate in Canon law. He was already visible on Pope Leo XIII’s radar.
If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.
Here are some numbers:
- 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
- Aleteia is published every day in eight languages: English, French, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
- Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
- Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
- Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
- We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)
As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.
Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!