St.Catherine of Siena~Mystic,Stigmatist and Doctor of the church

 


St. Catherine of Siena was born during the outbreak of the plague in Siena, Italy on March 25, 1347. She was the 25th child born to her mother, although half of her brothers and sisters did not survive childhood. Catherine herself was a twin, but her sister did not survive infancy. Her mother was 40 when she was born. Her father was a cloth dyer.
At the age of 16, Catherine’s sister, Bonaventura, died, leaving her husband as a widower. Catherine’s parents proposed that he marry Catherine as a replacement, but Catherine opposed this. She began fasting and cut her hair short to mar her appearance.

Her parents attempted to resist this move, to avoid marriage, but they were unsuccessful. Her fasting and her devotion to her family, convinced them to relent and allow her to live as she pleased. Catherine once explained that she regarded her father as a representation of Jesus and her mother as Our Lady, and her brothers as the apostles, which helped her to serve them with humility.


Despite Catherine’s religious nature, she did not choose to enter a convent and instead she joined the Third Order of St. Dominic, which allowed her to associate with a religious society while living at home.

Fellow Dominican sisters taught St. Catherine how to read. Meanwhile, she lived quietly, isolated within her family home.

St. Catherine developed a habit of giving things away and she continually gave away her family’s food and clothing to people in need. She never asked permission to give these things away, and she quietly put up with their criticisms.

Something changed her when she was 21. She described an experience she referred to as her “mystical marriage to Christ.” There are debates over whether or not St. Catherine was given a ring with some claiming she was given a bejeweled ring, and other claiming the ring was made of Jesus’s skin. St. Catherine herself started the rumor of the latter in her writings, but she was known to often claim the ring itself was invisible.

Such mystical experiences change people, and St. Catherine was no exception. In her vision, she was told to reenter public life and to help the poor and sick. She immediately rejoined her family and went into public to help people in need.


She often visited hospitals and homes where the poor and sick were found. Her activities quickly attracted followers who helped her in her mission to serve the poor and sick.

St. Catherine was drawn further into the world as she worked, and eventually she began to travel, calling for reform of the Church and for people to confess and to love God totally. She became involved in politics, and was key in working to keep city states loyal to the Pope. She was also credited with helping to start a crusade to the Holy Land. On one occasion, she visited a condemned political prisoner and was credited with saving his soul, which she saw being taken up to heaven at the moment of his death.

St. Catherine allegedly was given the stigmata, but like her ring, it was visible only to herself. She took Bl. Raymond of Capua has her confessor and spiritual director.


From 1375 onwards, St. Catherine began dictating letters to scribes. She petitioned for peace and was instrumental in persuading the Pope in Avignon to return to Rome.

She became involved in the fractured politics of her time, but was instrumental in restoring the Papacy to Rome and in brokering peace deals during a time of factional conflict and war between the Italian city states.

She also established a monastery for women in 1377 outside of Siena. She is credited with composing over 400 letters, her Dialogue, which is her definitive work, and her prayers. These works are so influential that St. Catherine would later be declared a Doctor of the Church. She is one of the most influential and popular saints in the Church.


By 1380, the 33-year-old mystic had become ill, possibly because of her habit of extreme fasting. Her confessor, Raymond, ordered her to eat, but she replied that she found it difficult to do so, and that possibly she was ill.

In January of 1380, her illness accelerated her inability to eat and drink. Within weeks, she was unable to use her legs. She died on April 29, following a stroke just a week prior.


St. Catherine’s feast day is April 29, she is the patroness against fire, illness, the United States, Italy, miscarriages, people ridiculed for their faith, sexual temptation, and nurses.

Quotes of St.Catherine of Siena

 


“Proclaim the truth and do not be silent through fear.”

“Nothing great is ever achieved without much enduring.”

“All the way to heaven is heaven, because Jesus said, “I am the way.”

“If you are what you should be, you will set the whole world on fire!”

“Every step of the way to heaven is heaven.”

 

 

“If you are what you should be, you will set the whole world on fire.”

“Turn over the rudder in God’s name, and sail with the wind heaven sends us.”

 

 

“We’ve had enough exhortations to be silent. Cry out with a thousand tongues – I see the world is rotten because of silence.”

“Speak the truth in a million voices. It is silence that kills.”

 

 

“These tiny ants have proceeded from His thought just as much as I, it caused Him just as much trouble to create the angels as these animals and the flowers on the trees.”

“It is surely justice to share our natural gifts with those who share our nature.”

 

 

“Oh, let us lose our milk teeth and cut instead the strong teeth of hate and love.”

 

 

“Be strong and kill yourself with the sword of hate and love, then you will not hear the insults and abuse which the enemies of the Church throw at you. Your eyes will not see anything which seems impossible, or the sufferings which may follow, but only the light of faith, and in that light everything is possible; and remember God never lays greater burdens on us than we can bear.”

 

 

“Wherefore they understood the Holy Scripture rather literally than with understanding, and taste only the letter of it, still desiring many other books; and they get not to the marrow of it, because they have deprived themselves of the light, with which is found and expounded the Scripture; and they are annoyed and murmur, because they find much in it that appears to them gross and idiotic. And, nevertheless, they appear to be much illuminated in their knowledge of Scripture, as if they had studied it for long; and this is not remarkable, because they have of course the natural light from whence proceeds science. But because they have lost the supernatural light, infused by grace, they neither see nor know My Goodness, nor the grace of My servants. Wherefore, I saw to thee, that it is much better to go for counsel for the salvation of the soul, to a holy and upright conscience, than to a proud lettered man, learned in much science, because such a one can only offer what he has himself, and, because of his darkness, it may appear to thee, that, from what he says, the Scriptures offer darkness. The contrary wilt thou find with My servants, because they offer the light that is in them, with hunger and desire for the soul’s salvation. This I have told thee, my sweetest daughter, that thou mightiest know the perfection of this unitive state, when the eye of the intellect is ravished by the fire of My charity, in which charity it receives the supernatural light. With this light the souls in the unitive state love Me, because love follows the intellect, and the more it knows the more can’t it love. Thus the one feeds the other, and, with this light, they both arrive at the Eternal Vision of Me, where they see and taste Me, in Truth, the soul being separated from the body, as I told thee when I spoke to thee of the blissfulness that the soul received in Me. This state is most excellent, when the soul, being yet in the mortal body, tastes bliss with the immortals, and ofttimes she arrives at so great a union that she scarcely knows whether she be in the body or out of it; and tastes the earnest -money of Eternal Life, both because she is united with Me, and because her will is dead in Christ, by which death her union was made with Me, and in no other way could she perfectly have done so. Therefore do they taste life eternal deprived of the hell of their own will, which gives to man the earnest-money of damnation, if he yield to it.”

 

“Otherwise you fall into contempt of your neighbor, if you judge his evil will towards you, instead of My will acting in him.”

 

 

“The sign that you have this virtue is patience, and impatience the sign that you have it not, and you will find that this is indeed so, when I speak to you further concerning this virtue.”

 

“Love follows knowledge”

“believe no happiness can be found worthy to be compared with that of a soul in Purgatory except that of the saints in Paradise. And day by day this happiness grows as God flows into these souls, more and more as the hindrance to His entrance is consumed. Sin’s rust is the hindrance, and the fire burns the rust away so that more and more the soul opens itself up to the divine inflowing.”

 

 

“I also wish you to look at the Bridge of My only-begotten Son, and see the greatness thereof, for it reaches from Heaven to earth, that is, that the earth of your humanity is joined to the greatness of the Deity thereby.”

 

 

“The soul is in God and God in the soul, just as the fish is in the sea and the sea in the fish”

“Be who you were created to be, and you will set the world on fire.”

 

 

Prayers to St.Catherine of Siena 

 

 

 

Prayer for the Gifts of Saint Catherine of Siena

God of Wisdom you made our sister Catherine burn with divine love in contemplating the Lord’s passion and in serving your Church. With the help of her prayers may your people, united in the mystery of Christ, rejoice forever in the revelation of his glory, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

Novena Prayer in Honor of St. Catherine of Siena

Heavenly Father, your glory is in your saints. We praise your glory in the life of the admirable St. Catherine of Siena, virgin and doctor of the Church. Her whole life was a noble sacrifice inspired by an ardent love of Jesus, your unblemished Lamb. In troubled times she strenuously upheld the rights of His beloved spouse, The Church. Father, honour her merits and hear her prayers for each of us, and for our whole parish family dedicated to her. Help us to pass unscathed through the corruption of this world, and to remain unshakably faithful to the church in word, deed, and example. Help us always to see in the Vicar of Christ an anchor in the storms of life, and a beacon of light to the harbour of your Love, in this dark night of your times and men’s souls. Grant also to each of us our special petition . . . (pause to pray for your own intentions). We ask this through Jesus, your Son, in the bond of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

“Lord, take me from myself and give me to yourself.” – St Catherine of Siena

 

Prayer to the Holy Ghost by Saint Catherine of Siena

Holy Spirit, come into my heart; draw it to Thee by Thy power, O my God, and grant me charity with filial fear. Preserve me, O ineffable Love, from every evil thought; warm me, inflame me with Thy dear love, and every pain will seem light to me. My Father, my sweet Lord, help me in all my actions. Jesus, love, Jesus, love. Amen.

Prayer of Saint Catherine of Siena to the Precious Blood of Jesus

Precious Blood,Ocean of Divine Mercy:Flow upon us!Precious Blood,Most pure Offering:Procure us every Grace!Precious Blood,Hope and Refuge of sinners:Atone for us!Precious Blood,Delight of holy souls:Draw us!Amen

 

Litany of St. Catherine of Siena

Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us. Lord, have mercy on us.

Christ, hear us. Christ graciously hear us.

God the Father of heaven, have mercy on us.

God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.

God the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.

Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, our mother, pray for us.

St. Dominic, glorious Patriarch, pray for us.

St. Catherine of Siena, pray for us.

St. Catherine benevolent mother of the poor, pray for us.

St. Catherine, kind mother of the suffering, pray for us.

St. Catherine, merciful mother of the sick, pray for us.

St. Catherine, refuge of the sorrowful, pray for us.

St. Catherine, intercessor for sinners, pray for us.

St. Catherine, rose pf patience, pray for us.

St. Catherine, model of humility, pray for us.

St. Catherine, lily of chastity, pray for us.

St. Catherine, vessel of graces, pray for us.

St. Catherine, zealous promoter of the honor of God, pray for us.

St. Catherine, luster of holiness, pray for us.

St. Catherine, example of mildness, pray for us.

St. Catherine, glory of the Order of Preachers, pray for us.

St. Catherine, fruitful mother of spiritual children, pray for us.

St. Catherine, promoter of peace, pray for us.

St. Catherine, terror of the evil spirits, pray for us.

St. Catherine, follower of Jesus, pray for us.

St. Catherine, who didst give the blossoms of thy innocent youth to the service of thy Heavenly Spouse, pray for us.

St. Catherine, who didst lead an angelic life in human flesh, pray for us.

St. Catherine, who didst tear thy virginal flesh with scourges, pray for us.

St. Catherine, whom Jesus, Himself, did feed with His Body and Blood, pray for us.

St. Catherine, who didst exchange thy heart with the Heart of Jesus, pray for us.

St. Catherine, who was blest with His Holy Wounds, pray for us.

St. Catherine, who was taken to Heaven to the celestial nuptials, pray for us.

St. Catherine, who didst receive a hundredfold, reward for all thy labors and merits, pray for us.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

Pray for us, O glorious Virgin, St. Catherine that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us Pray: O God, who didst enable Blessed Catherine, graced with the special privilege of virginity, and patience, to overcome the assault of evil spirits, and to stand unshaken in the love of Thy Name, grant we beseech Thee, that after her example treading under foot the wickedness of the world, and overcoming the wiles of all enemies, we may safely pass onward to Thy glory.Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

“Loved Undefiled” by St. Catherine of Siena 

Eternal God, eternal Trinity, You have made the Blood of Christ so precious through His sharing in Your Divine nature. You are a mystery as deep as the sea; the more I search, the more I find, and the more I find the more I search for You. But I can never be satisfied; what I receive will ever leave me desiring more. When You fill my soul I have an ever-greater hunger, and I grow more famished for Your light. I desire above all to see You, the true light, as you really are.

“My Nature is Fire” by St. Catherine of Siena 

In your nature, eternal Godhead, I shall come to know my nature. And what is my nature, boundless love? It is fire, because you are nothing but a fire of love. And you have given humankind a share in this nature, for by the fire of love you created us. And so with all other people and every created thing; you made them out of love. O ungrateful people! What nature has your God given you? His very own nature! Are you not ashamed to cut yourself off from such a noble thing through the guilt of deadly sin? O eternal Trinity, my sweet love! You, light, give us light. You, wisdom, give us wisdom. You, supreme strength, strengthen us. Today, eternal God, let our cloud be dissipated so that we may perfectly know and follow your Truth in truth, with a free and simple heart. God, come to our assistance! Lord, make haste to help us!

A Prayer for St. Catherine of Siena’s Intercession 

O Saint Catherine of Siena, God our Father enkindled the flame of holy love in your heart as you meditated on the Passion of Jesus His Son. Moved by His grace, you devoted your life to the poor and the sick, as well as to the peace and unity of the Church. Through your intercession, may we also come to know the love of Jesus, bring His compassion to all, and work for the unity of His Church. We ask this in Jesus’ Name and for His sake. God, You caused St. Catherine to shine with Divine love in the contemplation of the Lord’s Passion and in the service of Your Church. By her help, grant that Your people, associated in the mystery of Christ, may ever exult in the revelation of His glory. Amen.

A Prayer for the Coming of the Holy Spirit by St. Catherine of Siena 

Holy Spirit, come into my heart; draw it to Thee by Thy power, O my God, and grant me charity with filial fear. Preserve me, O ineffable Love, from every evil thought; warm me, inflame me with Thy dear love, and every pain will seem light to me. My Father, my sweet Lord, help me in all my actions. Jesus, love, Jesus, love. Amen.

A Prayer for Priests by St. Catherine of Sienna 

Father, I beseech You, direct the hearts and wills of the servants of Your Bride, the Holy Church, unto yourself so that they may follow the poor, bleeding, humble, and gentle Lamb of God on the way of the Cross. Make them angels in the shape of men; for after all, they have to administer and distribute the Body and Blood of Your Only Begotten Son! Amen.

A Prayer to God for fleeing of self-love by St. Catherine of Siena 

O omnipotent Father, God of truth, God of love, permit me to enter into the cell of self-knowledge. I admit that of myself I am nothing, but that all being and goodness in me comes solely from You. Show me my faults, that I may detest my malice, and thus I shall flee from self-love and find myself clothed again in the nuptial robe of divine charity, which I must have in order to be admitted to the nuptials of life eternal.

A Prayer for Fire Fighters to St. Catherine of Siena

Dominican Tertiary and Doctor of the Church, you were full of wisdom, the special gift of God, and you knew how to guide even Pontiffs, as well as how to extinguish fiery passions and restore true peace among people. How inspiring your spiritual writings and how heroic your abstemious life! Fires are today unfortunately all too common, including those caused by criminals. Please protect and encourage firefighters in their heroic efforts to save lives. Amen.

A Prayer for Mothers expecting a Child to St. Catherine of Siena 

Humble virgin and Doctor of the Church, in thirty-three years you achieved great perfection and became the counselor of Popes. You know the temptations of mothers today as well as the dangers that await unborn infants. Intercede for me that I may avoid miscarriage and bring forth a healthy baby who will become a true child of God. Also pray for all mothers, that they may not resort to abortion but help bring a new life into the world. Amen.

A Prayer to God to follow St. Catherine’s example 

Heavenly Father, Your glory is in Your saints. We praise Your glory in the life of the admirable St. Catherine of Siena, virgin and doctor of the Church. Her whole life was a noble sacrifice inspired by an ardent love of Jesus, Your unblemished Lamb. In troubled times she strenuously upheld the rights of His beloved spouse, the Church. Father, honor her merits and hear her prayers for each of us, and for our whole parish family dedicated to her. Help us to pass unscathed through the corruption of this world, and to remain unshakably faithful to the church in word, deed, and example. Help us always to see in the Vicar of Christ an anchor in the storms of life, and a beacon of light to the harbor of your Love, in this dark night of your times and men’s souls. Grant also to each of us our special petition.[State your intention here…]We ask this through Jesus, your Son, in the bond of the Holy Spirit. St. Catherine of Siena, Pray for us. Amen.

 

 

 

St.Louis de Montfort~Apostle of Mary

Between the years 1399 and 1419, a holy Dominican missionary from Brittany traveled throughout western Europe on foot, converting souls to the Faith and teaching the necessity of penance. This was the great “Apostle of the Last Judgment,” Saint Vincent Ferrer. Once, while preaching at La Cheze in France, he came upon the old chapel of Our Lady of Pity that had long since fallen into ruin through total disuse and neglect. Saddened by the pitiful sight and the thought of the heartless disregard that had caused it, Saint Vincent foretold that the chapel “will be restored by a man whom the Almighty will bring into the world at a distant date. He will appear as a stranger, will be insulted and balked, but he will achieve his purpose.”

That man did come to La Cheze, almost exactly three hundred years later. He too was a Breton who, like his early herald, tirelessly traveled on foot. And like another saint, Alexis, he lived as a beggar, sleeping under staircases or in open fields. Like Saint Bernardine of Siena, he was a powerfully compelling preacher; like Saint Bonaventure, a brilliant theologian; like Saint Vincent de Paul, he loved God’s poor; and like Saint Francis of Assisi, nursed the diseased. He was, in fact, so much like many of the great saints in their special virtues that he indeed was a very special saint himself. He was Saint Louis Marie de Montfort.

The Early Years

The name Jean Baptiste Grignion was well respected in his community. He was Crown lawyer of Montfort and the Parliament, as well as treasurer to the factory of St. Jean. Typical of country gentlemen of the time, Monsieur Grignion was a man of recognized position and no money. But he and his wife, Jeanne Robert, were rich in other treasures, for as many as eleven of their eighteen children became saints. Ten were taken into Heaven in infancy. The other, the greatest of the Grignion saints, was born on January 31, 1673. On the following day he was baptized and given the name Louis Marie.

Monsieur Grignion was known for his fiery temper which, with the hardships of raising a large family in near poverty, found frequent occasions to be vented. Young Louis, we are told, not only was often the victim of his father’s explosiveness, but also inherited the trait. In fact, he confessed in later years that his most difficult struggle against passions of the flesh was in subduing his violent temper.

Be that as it may, those who knew him in life only witnessed remarkable docility in his nature. Rather than human weaknesses, Louis Marie displayed extraordinary qualities of virtue, even from the early age of four years. “This angelic boy,” Pere de Cloriviere recalled, would console his mother “by words so full of unction and so beyond all material knowledge he would have, that it seemed as if the Spirit of God Himself gave them to him.” Apostolic zeal also was fully evident in his childhood, by his teaching catechism to other children and encouraging their devotion to the Blessed Virgin. For he himself had such strong devotion to his “good Mother” that he would spend hours at a time in the chapel praying to her. In childlike simplicity, he would lay before her all his spiritual and temporal needs, confident that he then had done everything necessary to obtain them.

The boy’s maternal uncle was the Abbe Robert, who said of him, “He showed such a horror of vice and such an inclination to virtue, that you would have thought him immune from Adam’s sin.” Indeed, a close friend of Louis Marie de Montfort, Jean Baptiste Blain, relates this example: “His whole childhood was spent in the most wonderful innocence. He knew so little of what may tarnish purity that when I was speaking to him one day of temptations against that virtue, he told me that he did not know what they were.” But he did know what would violate purity. He once found in his father’s library a book containing what he considered to be indecent illustrations. Monsieur Montfort saw nothing wrong with the pictures, for he did not have the boy’s sensitive conscience. Louis threw the book into the fire, knowing full well that his father would be outraged.

An exceptionally brilliant student, Louis was twelve when he entered St. Thomas’s, a Jesuit college in Rennes where schooling was given free to an enrollment of some three thousand students. The devout Jesuits at the college exercised an edifying influence on their pious student. After their example, and out of his own unbounded charity, he eagerly denoted himself to the care of the poor and the infirm. It was here also that he began his lifelong practice of rigorous penance and mortification with scourges, chains, hairshirts, and fastings. And it was here too that he received his vocation to the priesthood.


But to Louis Marie Grignion the priesthood meant much more than a vocation; it was to be total servitude and self-sacrifice to God. So in his priestly calling, he gave himself entirely to Jesus through Mary, vowing never to hold any personal possessions. Upon setting out for the Seminary of Saint Sulpice at Paris, for example, he promptly gave to some needy soul the ten crowns provided him for the trip and traded his new suit for a beggar’s rags. Moreover, he chose to make the seven-hundred-mile journey on foot, begging for his food along the way. So complete was his abandonment of worldly attachments that he even gave up his family name, to be known simply as Louis Marie of Montfort.

Since he was never one to voice even the slightest complaint, we learn only from classmates that Louis Marie’s attendance at Saint Sulpice was a punishing experience. For while he performed brilliantly in his studies, the young saint continually found his pious exercises under suspicion and criticism. Such practices as his visits to the chapel before and after every class, his spontaneous conversations with the Blessed Virgin wherever he came upon one of her statues, his acts of grueling mortification, and his forming an “absurd” association called “Slaves of Jesus in Mary” — all were jeered at and treated with scorn. Even his confessor and the superior suspected Louis of spiritual pride and tried, by every conceivable kind of humiliation, to break him down, but with no success.



His Works

In the year 1700, when Father de Montfort was ordained, the Church in France never seemed healthier, by physical appearances. There were over 100,000 ecclesiastics in the country, 130 bishops, more than l,000 abbeys, and “a veritable galaxy” of lesser monasteries. All the great Orders, as well as forty-two new religious congregations founded in the previous century, were flourishing there. Paris alone, whose population was just half a million, boasted forty six parishes, ten seminaries, eleven abbeys, one hundred religious communities, and twenty-six Catholic hospitals. All of which prosperity certainly would indicate that the Faith in France was vigorously alive and well. So often it is found, however, that the Church outwardly may never look healthier as an institution than when she is being ravaged internally by the malignant growth of error and heresy. And we usually discover in those instances that the root cause of the contradiction is a disproportionate attention having been placed on material endowment, to the tragic neglect of spiritual growth.

In this case, the body of the French Church had become critically undernourished through the spiritual ignorance of both the people and much of the clergy. Thus she was rendered dangerously susceptible to the three-fold disease that attacked her, in the forms of Protestantism, Gallicanism, and Jansenism. By far the most contagious and destructive of the three was Jansenism, a condemned heresy which not only refused to acknowledge its separation from the Holy Church, but maintained an audacious pretension of rigid Catholic orthodoxy. Though anything but orthodox, its doctrines certainly were rigid. In general, they placed Divine mercy and grace so far from the reach of all but the holiest souls that even the most ordinary human frailties were cause to despair of hope for forgiveness and salvation. With the extensive but subtle spread of this cold poison, vast multitudes were encouraged to withdraw from the Communion rail, believing their confessed unworthiness to receive Our Lord was a greater act of Christian humility. Hence they denied themselves of the most magnificent Gift that God, in His sublime condescension, so eagerly offered to mankind for its salvation — Himself. Many priests would even allow the faithful to die without the Sacraments. And, of course, devotion to the Merciful Heart of Jesus was considered to be a sin of presumption. To the Immaculate Heart of Mary, a sin of idolatry.

Meanwhile, with the Church in France now functioning in a spirit of political ambition instead of filial submission, many bishops demanded to be recognized as having an authority equal to that of the Bishop of Rome — which is the essence of Gallicanism. To defend their brazen defiance of the Pope, therefore, they sought refuge in an alliance with Jansenism, and thus heresy, being an expedient to personal power, gained protection and momentum from the ambitions of the hierarchy.

Small wonder, then, that Montfort, the obedient slave and champion of the Sovereign Queen of Heaven, found little favor in his native country. On the contrary, Jansenism had become so widespread that this holy priest, for the sixteen years from his ordination to his death, was to enjoy a life whose most conspicuous routine was enduring ridicule, humiliation, slander, threats, contradiction, interdiction, and ostracism. And we do mean “enjoy.” Saint Louis Marie loved nothing more than to suffer calumnies and persecution for his Master Who said: “If anyone will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” He prayed constantly for such crosses, in fact, and accordingly was blessed with an abundance of them. For he was repetitiously driven by his enemies from one diocese to another — from Nantes to Poitiers, to Angers, to Orleans, to Tours, to Paris, to Rennes, to Rouen, and back, again and again — in triumphant persecution.

Temporal enemies were not the only antagonists of the holy man. In Poitiers, cries and sounds of desperate struggles were heard coming from his room on several occasions. Once he had been seen dragging himself on his hands and knees, pleading, “O Mother of God, help me!” His assailant was Satan, as was confirmed in a letter written by Saint Louis Marie From Paris, saying, “Men and devils make war on me in this great city….”

But aside from sufferings, there are volumes of other details that comprise the monumental story of this remarkable man. An imposing figure of amazing strength and limitless energy, Saint Louis Marie de Montfort performed a variety of outstanding works that would stagger a hundred other men of zeal, as may be discerned from the following selective and extremely condensed accounts.

After ordination, it was a year before Louis finally obtained permission to preach. Conducting his first missions at Poitiers (where he also performed his first miracle by curing a blind man) his efforts were eminently successful, producing countless moral conversions. So completely had he captured the affections of the poor that they begged the bishop to give “kind Father de Montfort” a more definite assignment amongst them. Consequently, he was made chaplain of a local hospital — a poorhouse governed in chaos, abuse, and neglect. Animated as Louis was by great love for the poor, he labored tirelessly to comfort the wretchedly afflicted inmates, denying his own needs to allow better portions for the patients.


Trouble, as usual, was not long catching up to Louis Marie. Revolutionary reforms he had instituted at the hospital disgruntled certain staff workers who had an aversion to doing honest work, but none to misrepresenting their saintly chaplain as a tyrannical madman. Added to this, his habit of living and dressing like a beggar made him the subject of incessant community gossip. Then too, there was the “scandalous” incident concerning Marie Louise Trichet, daughter of a prominent and wealthy Crown lawyer. Under Montfort’s spiritual direction, she too took to a life of poverty, devoting herself, as Saint Louis’ first Daughter of Wisdom, to caring for the poor. Both the community and the family of this holy girl were shocked. Other unjust complaints continued to mount against the poor priest, until the bishop at last forbade him to say Mass. Louis then moved on.

The Poitiers affair typifies so many in Montfort’s life that it establishes the routine: always inflamed with dedication to his priestly duty, and always rewarded in the same cruel way — ostracism. Wherever he went he found that only his undeserved reputation had preceded him, so that invariably he was greeted with suspicion and contempt. But unfailingly he would leave behind him miracles, conversions, and fervent devotions which remained for generations as living landmarks of the route he had taken.

Journeying on foot to Paris, he arrived in 1704 at another hospital where he found that spiritual formation of most of the five thousand impoverished inmates had never progressed beyond the baptismal font — this, despite the presence of twenty-three priests attending them. Entering as an assistant chaplain, Father de Montfort, through his Christ-like manner of tenderly treating both the physical and spiritual afflictions of his poor patients, portrayed a compelling day-to-day sermon. He would cleanse their wounds at the same time that he washed the defilements of their souls with absolution, like Him Who said: “It is not the healthy who need a physician, but they who are sick. For I have not come to call the just, but sinners.” Such eloquence of mercy, however, was certain to excite Jansenist retaliation. Coming to dinner one evening, the saint found a note of dismissal on his plate.

Montfort returned to the hospital at Poitiers and remained there a year before difficulties again forced his departure. He was, however, permitted to preach in outlying towns — filthy slums of degeneracy where the sight of a priest aroused bitter hatred. In time he worked so complete a conversion of these villages that evening Rosary devotions and processions became a way of life for all. Chapels were restored; saloons were converted into Rosary shrines; bonfires were built for burning impure books and pictures, confessions were heard in unending numbers; miracles were performed; people’s courts were convened under “Magistrate” Montfort for resolving disputes; and a hospital for incurables was begun. But, as always, someone in a position of power resented these spectacular achievements, and the missioner of mercy was summarily expelled from the diocese.

Apostle of France



Several years now had passed and Saint Louis still had no more idea of what his specific service to God was to be than he had on the day he was ordained. At least three times he had tried to devote his life to the poor and had met obstacles. Then too, he had always wanted to work in foreign missions, while at the same time he confessed an attraction to the contemplative life. Since his only reply from hierarchical superiors was hindrance rather than help, he decided to seek the counsel of the Pope. Walking a thousand miles to Rome, resting only at the Holy House of Loreto, he was granted an audience with His Holiness on June 6, 1706. Clement XI intuitively sensed beyond the humble appearance of the beggar priest before him that here was a man of extraordinary sanctity. The Pope, assuring Louis Marie that there was more than enough work for him in France, appointed him as Apostolic Missioner.

Returning home now fully confident that God’s Will had been revealed to him through the Vicar of Christ, Montfort joined the famous missionary company of Father Leuduger and spent eight months with him evangelizing the northeast provinces of France. It was during this time that the indefatigable slave of Our Lady fulfilled Saint Vincent’s prophecy, rebuilding the ruined church at La Cheze while somehow continuing uninterruptedly to conduct a major mission. His miracles throughout this period were numerous and included, besides many cures, several instances of his multiplying fragments of food during a time of famine to feed the throngs of beggars that regularly surrounded him. But these and countless other spectacular blessings disturbed the humble priest, inasmuch as they were not balanced with the usual measure of crosses. Fearing that spiritual pride might overtake him, he greatly intensified his acts of mortification — so much so that his confessor had to intervene and order that he lighten the terrible sufferings he inflicted on himself.

Difficulties did not long fail to arise, however, for some misunderstanding provoked the dismissal of Saint Louis by Father Leuduger, who later was to regret the decision. Montfort hereafter was on his own as the Pope’s Apostolic Missioner, joined only by religious brothers recruited for his small Company of Mary and occasionally assisted by other missionary priests. His successful work continued in the northern diocese of Saint Malo until its heretical bishop drove him away to Nantes, a seething cauldron of Jansenism. One of the more extraordinary phenomena associated with Saint Louis Marie de Montfort occurred here. A young girl, later to become the superior of a hospital, daily had been traveling a great distance to attend one of his missions. She arrived one day only to realize that she had forgotten to bring food for her return trip. As she sat tearfully on the church steps, exhausted, hungry, and too shy to ask for help, there suddenly appeared “a beautiful lady who, with an indescribably graceful gesture, offered her a piece of bread, saying gently, ‘Take this, my child, and eat it.’ A moment later she disappeared.”

It was here also that a group of about a dozen thugs brutally attacked Montfort, intending to beat him to death. This was the second attempt on his life, and like the first it was unsuccessful. Underestimating the humble saint’s might, the assailants soon found themselves in fear for their own lives and quickly retreated.

His work in Nantes continued, bringing with it many conversions and effectively dispersing much of the stifling atmosphere of Jansenism. Miracles abounded as well. For example, barren soil where his foot had trod, soon issued healthy harvests. And there were several reported apparitions of Our Lady to simple peasants following his missions. But again his accomplishments thus far were devoid of the crosses desired by Louis Marie — an “oversight” soon to be corrected.

The saint long since had adopted the practice of erecting impressively large Calvary scenes at the close of his missions. The grandest that he had ever undertaken was the Calvary at Pontchateau, thirty miles distant from Nantes. Though work on it had already begun, Louis remained doubtful about the site chosen for it and interrupted construction long enough to assemble his crew in the chapel to pray for Our Lady’s guidance. When work resumed, two doves were observed gathering dirt in their bills, flying away, and returning repeatedly for more. Discovering that the destination of the winged excavators was the highest point in Pontchateau, Montfort immediately recognized this sign from the Blessed Mother and relocated his operation. (Thirty-six years earlier, crosses were seen to descend from heaven amidst a great noise and singing and to suspend over this very spot — on the same day that Saint Louis Marie was born.) Before long, news of the tremendous project had traveled so far that pilgrimages of men and women of every station in life came from all over Europe to lend their generous help in hauling an estimated 300,000 cubic feet of earth which was to constitute the sprawling seventy-foot-high mount. The undertaking continued through a hard winter for fifteen months, during which time not only did many miracles of the usual variety occur, but “a woman of unearthly beauty” was seen appearing to Montfort on several occasions. Surmounted with three huge crosses — one fifty feet tall — and surrounded by an elaborate Rosary and gardens representing Eden and Gethsemane, the Calvary of Pontchateau was completed in 1710. Then came what had to be the most bitter heartbreak in the life of Saint Louis Marie.

One of his enemies, wielding considerable influence among government authorities, seeded the suspicion that the enormous shrine, which was to be solemnly blessed on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, could be used as a military stronghold by foreign powers warring on France. On the eve of the Feast, Father de Montfort received orders from the bishop prohibiting the blessing. Shortly afterwards the Calvary masterpiece, hill and all, was completely leveled. True, Saint Louis had prophesied that his beautiful Passion site, which had been so clearly blessed by Our Lady, would be destroyed and rebuilt twice before it would survive for the ages. But he had no idea that the first demolition would come so soon. His response, however, shows with what incomparable confidence this magnificent soul was resigned to God’s Will in that bitter trial: “Blessed be God! It was His glory I sought, not mine. I hope He will accept the gift I intended for Him, as though I had had it to give.”

Clouds of ecclesiastical censure finally parted in 1711 for the Breton priest. He was invited to work in the diocese of La Rochelle and from then on was able to preach an almost unbroken succession of missions with the wholehearted support of Bishop Champflour, a determined foe of heresy. Henceforth we find that his ordinary month-to-month activities — if we dare speak of miracles, mass conversions, and all other remarkable works performed by him as being “ordinary” — were redundantly routine right up to the time of his early death.

Yet while assured of the bishop’s staunch backing, Saint Louis had no relief from the hateful torments to which he had become so well accustomed. Much to the contrary, both Jansenism and Calvinism proved mighty forces to be contended with in the La Rochelle district. To illustrate, several attempts on his life by now already had been made, and fortunately — sometimes miraculously — he had escaped them all. But when he converted two of this city’s most prominent and vocal Protestants — one of whom entered a convent of Poor Clares — Calvinist rage could not be quieted. Threats were made against both the converts and Louis Marie. Frequently the great priest was greeted with a hail of stones, and more frequently with cries of “Kill Montfort!” One evening a powerful dose of poison was administered to his broth. Though he swallowed but a mouthful before noticing the deadly presence, the wicked deed was accomplished. Saint Louis did not die immediately from the poison, but the solution was so concentrated that even the small amount of a spoonful ravaged and gravely undermined his once robust health, and the slow, agonizing process of death was begun.

The usual suspicions were awaiting the saint in every new town along his path, and of course he won out over them in his usual fashion. A good example is his mission work at La Garnache. Montfort gained so many ardent followers there that a procession consisting of almost the entire village escorted him on to Sallertaine, the next stop on his crowded itinerary, where in contrast only a wary and hostile mob awaited him. But upon his approach to the church its doors, which had been barred against him, miraculously burst open. Needless to say, the inhabitants of Sallertaine in turn were hastily converted to deep admiration of the saint.

Though most of the time in the few years left for him was spent in the diocese of La Rochelle, Saint Louis Marie continued to make excursions to whatever places in France poor souls could be found. But then not always in such places was there even that token of good will by which the residents could benefit from his presence. On his third and final visit to Rennes, for example, his evangelizing was met only with stubborn obstinacy. Heart broken, he wrote in a farewell poem that a curse was upon the city and warned of its destruction. Five years later, most of Rennes was razed by a fire which raged for ten days.

Nothing could discourage him. He was asked to preach a mission on the Island of Yeu. England and France at the time were at war, and the waters he would have to cross were thick with English pirates. Warned of this, Montfort responded: “By all means, let us go. If the martyrs had been as timid as we are, they never would have received their palms.” While making passage, a miracle saved him and his company only a moment before two English warships could overtake them. Today a large boulder at the base of a steep hill gives testimony to the great saint’s arrival on the Island of Yeu. It had once been at the top of that hill, occupying the spot where Saint Louis decided to erect a Calvary cross. Several men had tried unsuccessfully to budge what the Breton priest dislodged with a touch.

The years of endless work and rigorous mortifications, combined with the severe effects of the poison, ultimately reduced his once strong frame to a pitifully gaunt and badly suffering hulk. It was the year 1716 and his end now was visibly in sight. By this time he already had founded his religious congregations, the Daughters of Wisdom and the Company of Mary. Moreover, he had left a legacy of devotion to the Blessed Virgin that was to survive, and in fact to help defeat, the Satanic Terror of the French Revolution — that evil precursor of Communist barbarity. What more could be asked of him? In his own mind, much. This incredible slave redoubled his labors, hoping to regain all the more souls for his “good Mother” and Her Divine Son right up to the moment he drew his last breath.

Somehow Saint Louis managed a new burst of energy from that wretched body which already looked fit for the grave. On Palm Sunday he began a mission at St. Laurent-sur-Sevre; it was to be his last. Leaving the pulpit one day, he was at the point of collapsing and had to take to his bed. His confessor ordered that the straw and the rock-pillow on which the holy man normally slept be replaced with a mattress. Louis reluctantly but obediently submitted and was given the Last Rites. Yet he insisted on receiving the many followers who wanted one last blessing from their beloved saint.

For several days he lay there dying with a statue of the Blessed Virgin in one arm and the indulgenced crucifix given him by Pope Clement XI in the other. He gave his last will and testament, asking that his heart be buried “under the steps of the altar of the Blessed Virgin.” On the following day, April 28, 1716, Satan made a final desperate bid, to which Saint Louis retorted loudly, “You attack me in vain; I stand between Jesus and Mary. I have finished my course. I shall sin no more.” With that the soul of Saint Louis Marie de Montfort was taken into Heaven. And his entire body was laid to rest beneath the altar of the Queen he loved so much.

His Teachings


There is a dual aspect to the glorious career of every saint. One, the most obvious, is that of the achievements realized in his own time, and the other is that of the benefits with which later ages have been abundantly blessed as the result of his holy works. But it is from the illustrious saint from Montfort that we see these characteristics beam forth most luminously. In fact, it well may be said that Louis Marie is even more a saint for our age than for his own. As he was an apostle to an unfaithful France of the eighteenth century, through his preaching and his works of mercy, so he is all the more the Apostle to a faithless world of the latter times, through his writings and his prophecies.

As a preacher he taught a simple people with simple lessons. Since the poor of France could not read, he gave them a treasure of humble yet beautiful poems and hymns by which they learned and long sustained their childlike faith. But as the Apostle of all later ages he presents a striking contrast in his teaching facilities.

Biographers, being mindful of his spiritual appetite for humiliation, affectionately describe Saint Louis Marie de Montfort as a holy “fool.” Fitting as the description may seem to be in that sense, it is in no way meant to imply that his mental faculties were deficient. On the contrary, he was a brilliant theologian. Indeed, we dare say that Holy Mother may one day confer upon him the honored title of Church Doctor, owing to the outstanding theological expositions given in his flawless writings.

Saint Louis Marie wrote five significant compositions, all of which are still in wide circulation even today. They are Love Of The Eternal Wisdom, Friends Of The Cross, True Devotion To The Blessed Virgin, The Secret Of Mary, and The Secret Of The Rosary. Georges Rigault aptly summarizes these works, observing, “Three words cover the gist of his teaching: Wisdom, the Cross, the Virgin — words which belong to each other: No Wisdom outside the Cross and without the aid of the Virgin.”

Wisdom here does not mean sagacity in the natural sense. Rather, it means “Jesus Christ, the Eternal Word of God, the second Person of the Blessed Trinity, Who took flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mary.” Saint Louis Marie writes, “To know Jesus Christ, the Eternal Wisdom, is to know enough. To know everything and not know Him is to know nothing. . . . A thousand times happier is the man into whose soul Wisdom has come to dwell. . . . To acquire Wisdom we must seek Him ardently, that is, we must be willing to abandon all, to suffer all, and to undertake all things in order to possess Him. There are but few who find Him because there are but few who seek Him in a manner worthy of Him.”

Hence he teaches the necessity of the Cross: “Born in the sorrowful Heart of the Saviour, [a friend of the Cross] comes into the world through His right side, stained with His Blood; he never forgets his birth and crosses, death to the world, the flesh, and sin are all he lives for, that even in this world he may be hid with Christ in God. . . . [He] triumphs over the devil, the world, and the flesh and their three-fold concupiscence. He overthrows the pride of Satan by his love for humiliation, he triumphs over the world’s greed by his love for poverty, and he restrains the sensuality of the flesh by his love for suffering.”

But the surest, the easiest, the happiest, the most perfect way to Jesus Christ is through Mary. And this brings us to the great genius of Saint Louis Marie in explaining Our Lady’s role in the redemption of mankind. In his treatise on True Devotion To The Blessed Virgin, he wrote, “It is through the most holy Virgin Mary that Jesus came into the world, and it is also through her that he has to reign in the world. . . . It was through Mary that the salvation of the world was begun, and it is through Mary that it must be consummated. . . . Devotion to Our Blessed Lady is necessary for salvation. . . . He who has not Mary for his Mother has not God for his Father.

“It is necessary for the greater knowledge and glory of the Most Holy Trinity, that Mary should be more than ever known. . . . Mary must shine forth more than ever in mercy, in might, and in grace in these later times: 1 in mercy to bring back and lovingly receive the poor strayed sinners who shall be converted and shall return to the Catholic Church; in might, against the enemies of God, idolaters, schismatics, Mahometans, Jews, and souls hardened in impiety, who shall rise in terrible revolt against God. . .; and finally, she must shine forth in grace, in order to animate and sustain the valiant soldiers and faithful servants of Jesus Christ who shall battle for His interests.

“But the power of Mary over all the devils will especially shine forth in the latter times, when Satan will lay his snares against her heel: that is to say, her humble slaves and her poor children, whom she will raise up to make war against him. They shall be little and poor in the world’s esteem . . . and persecuted as the heel is by other members of the body. But in return for this, they shall be rich in the grace of God, which Mary shall distribute to them abundantly.”

Who shall these servants, slaves, and children of Mary be? The saint answers himself: “They shall be the ministers of the Lord who, like a burning fire, shall kindle the fire of divine love everywhere.” And “they shall be ‘like sharp arrows in the hand of the powerful’ Mary to pierce her enemies.”

How does one become a slave of the Blessed Virgin? The easiest way is by first carefully studying True Devotion, for which Pope Saint Pius X granted an Apostolic Benediction. (The original English translation by Father Frederick W. Faber is the best.) Then by confidently making, and faithfully living by, the following Act of Consecration to the Mother of God, composed by Saint Louis Marie de Montfort:In the presence of all the Heavenly Court I choose thee this day for my Mother and Mistress. I deliver and consecrate to thee, as thy slave, my body and soul, my goods, both interior and exterior, and even the value of all my good actions, past, present and future; leaving to thee the entire and full right of disposing of me, and all that belongs to me, without exception, according to thy good pleasure, to the greatest glory of God, in time and in eternity.

Source:catholicism.org

Quotes of St.Louis de Montfort



“Have you strayed from the path leading to heaven? Then call on Mary, for her name means “Star of the Sea, the North Star which guides the ships of our souls during the voyage of this life,” and she will guide you to the harbor of eternal salvation.”

“God the Father has communicated to Mary His fruitfulness, as far as a mere creature was capable of it, in order that He might give her the power to produce His Son, and all the members of His mystical body.”

“The works of Jesus and Mary can also be called wonderful flowers; but their perfume and beauty can only be appreciated by those who study them carefully—and who open them and drink in their scent by diligent and sincere meditation.”


“If, then, we establish solid devotion to our Blessed Lady, it is only to establish more perfectly devotion to Jesus Christ, and to provide an easy and secure means for finding Jesus Christ. If devotion to Our Lady removed us from Jesus Christ, we should have to reject it as an illusion of the devil; but so far from this being the case, devotion to Our Lady is, on the contrary, necessary for us—as I have already shown, and will show still further hereafter—as a means of finding Jesus Christ perfectly, of loving Him tenderly, of serving Him faithfully.”

“In order to rid ourselves of self, we must die ourselves daily. That is to say, we must renounce the operations of the powers of our soul and the senses of our body. We must see as if we saw not, understand as if we understood not, and make use of the things of this world as if we made no use of them at all (1 Cor. 7:29-31). This is what St. Paul calls dying daily (1 Cor. 15:31). “Unless the grain of wheat falling into the ground die, itself remaineth alone,” and bringeth forth no good fruit (Jn. 12:24-25).”

“three steps to climb to go to God: the first, which is the nearest to us, and the most suited to our capacity, is Mary; the second is Jesus Christ; and the third is God the Father. To go to Jesus, we must go to Mary; she is our mediatrix of intercession.”


“There have been some saints, but they have been in small numbers, who have walked upon this sweet path to go to Jesus, because the Holy Ghost, faithful Spouse of Mary, by a singular grace disclosed it to them. Such were St. Ephrem, St. John Damascene, St. Bernard, St. Bernardine, St. Bonaventure, St. Francis de Sales, and others. But the rest of the saints, who are the greater number, although hall all had devotion to our Blessed Lady, nevertheless have either not at all, or at least very little, entered upon this way. That is why they have had to pass through ruder and more dangerous trials.”

“Mary has produced, together with the Holy Ghost, the greatest thing which has been or ever will be—a God-Man; and she will consequently produce the greatest saints that there will be in the end of time.”


“Both Saint Bernard and Saint Bonaventure say that the Queen of Heaven is certainly no less grateful and conscientious than gracious and well-mannered people of this world. Just as she excels in all other perfections, she surpasses us all in the virtue of gratitude; so she would never let us honor her with love and respect without repaying us one hundred fold. Saint Bonaventure says that Mary will greet us with grace if we greet her with the Hail Mary.”

“One and the same mother does not bring forth into the world the head without the members, nor the members without the head; for this would be a monster of nature. So in like manner, in the order of grace, the Head and the members are born of one and the same Mother; and if a member of the mystical Body of Jesus Christ—that is to say, one of the predestinate—was born of any other mother than Mary, who has produced the Head, he would not be one of the predestinate, nor a member of Jesus Christ, but simply a monster in the order of grace.”


“Saint Dominic has divided up the lives of Our Lord and Our Lady into fifteen mysteries which stand for their virtues and their most important actions. These are the fifteen tableaux ; or pictures whose every detail must rule and inspire our lives.”

“O sweet Jesus, may every good feeling that is fitted for Thy praise, love Thee, delight in Thee, admire Thee. God of my heart and my Portion, Christ Jesus, may my heart faint away in spirit and mayest Thou be my life within me! may the live coal of Thy love grow hot within my spirit, and break forth into a perfect fire; may it burn incessantly on the altar of my heart; may it glow in my innermost being; may it blaze in hidden recesses of my soul; and in the day of my consummation, may I be found consummated with Thee. Amen.”


“By the word Ave (which is the name Eve, Eva), I learned that in His infinite power God had preserved me from all sin and its attendant misery which the first woman had been subject to. “The name Mary which means ‘lady of light’ shows that God has filled me with wisdom and light, like a shining star, to light up Heaven and earth. “The words full of grace remind me that the Holy Spirit has showered so many graces upon me that I am able to give these graces in abundance to those who ask for them through me as Mediatrix. “When people say The Lord is with thee they renew the indescribable joy that was mine when the Eternal Word became incarnate in my womb. “When you say to me blessed art thou among women I praise Almighty God’s Divine mercy which lifted me to this exalted plane of happiness. “And at the words blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus, the whole of Heaven rejoices with me to see my Son Jesus Christ adored and glorified for having saved mankind.”

“Now, if the Councils, the Fathers, and even experience show us that the best means of remedying the irregularities of Christians is by making them call to mind the obligations of their Baptism, and persuading them to renew the vows they made then, is it not only right that we should do it in a perfect manner, by this devotion and consecration of ourselves to Our Lord through His holy Mother? I say “in a perfect manner,” because in thus consecrating ourselves to Him, we make use of the most perfect of all means, namely, the Blessed Virgin.”

“To say the Holy Rosary to advantage one must be in a state of grace or at the very least be fully determined to give up mortal sin.”


“I have just said that to say the Rosary to advantage one must be in a state of grace “or at least be fully determined to give up mortal sin;” first of all, because, if it were true that God only heard the prayers of those in a state of grace it would follow that people in a state of mortal sin should not pray at all. This is an erroneous teaching which has been condemned by Holy Mother Church, because of course sinners need to pray far more than good people do. Were this horrible doctrine true it would then be useless and futile to tell a sinner to say all, or even part of his Rosary, because it would never help him.”

“TO pray well, it is not enough to give expression to our petitions by means of that most excellent of all prayers, the Rosary, but we must also pray with real concentration for God listens more to the voice of the heart than that of the mouth. To be guilty of willful distractions during prayer would show a great lack of respect and reverence; it would make our Rosaries fruitless and would make us guilty of sin. How can we expect God to listen to us if we ourselves do not pay attention to what we are saying? How can we expect Him to be pleased if, while in the presence of His tremendous Majesty, we give in to distractions just as children run after butterflies? People who do this forfeit Almighty God’s blessings which are then changed into curses because they have been praying disrespectfully. “Cursed be he that doth the work of the Lord”

“Among Catholics those who bear the mark of God’s reprobation think but little of the rosary (whether that of five decades of fifteen). They either fail to say it or only say it very quickly and in a lukewarm manner.”

“Let us recall here, as a proof of the dependence we ought to have on our Blessed Lady, what I have said above in bringing forward the example which the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost give of this dependence. The Father has not given, and does not give, His Son, except by her; He has no children but by here, and communicates no graces but through her. The Son has not been formed for the whole world in general, except by her; and He merits and His virtues except through her.”


“All the gifts, virtues and graces of the Holy Ghost are distributed by Mary, to whom she wishes, when she wishes, the way wishes and as much as she wishes.”

“She embellishes our works, adorning them with her own merits and virtues. It is as if a peasant, wishing to gain the friendship and benevolence of the king, went to the queen and presented her with a fruit which was his whole revenue, in order that she might present it to the king. The queen, having accepted the poor little offering from the peasant, would place the fruit on a large and beautiful dish of gold, and so, on the peasant’s behalf, would present it to the king. Then the fruit, however unworthy in itself to be a king’s present, would become worthy of his majesty because of the dish of gold on which it rested and the person who presented it.”

“It is an easy way. It is the way which Jesus Christ Himself trod in coming to us, and in which there is no obstacle in reaching Him. It is true that we can attain divine union by other roads; but it is by many more crosses and strange deaths, and with many more difficulties, which we shall find it hard to overcome. We must pass through obscure nights, through combats, through strange agonies, over craggy mountains, through cruel thorns and over frightful deserts. But by the path of Mary we pass more gently and more tranquilly.”


“At this point, the Blessed Virgin appeared to him, accompanied by three Angels of heaven, and she said: “My dear Dominic, do you know which weapon the Blessed Trinity has used to reform the world?” “My Lady,” replied St. Dominic, “you know better than I because next to your Son Jesus Christ you were the chief instrument of our salvation.” Our Lady added: “I want you to know that the principal means has been the Angelic Psalter, which is the foundation of the New Testament. That is why, if you want to win these hardened hearts for God, preach my Psalter.” The Saint arose, comforted. Filled”

“Vatican Council II (1962–1965): ‘The maternal duty of Mary toward men in no way obscures or diminishes this unique mediation of Christ, but rather shows its power. All her saving influence on men originates not from some inner necessity, but from the divine pleasure. It flows forth from the superabundance of the merits of Christ, rests on His mediation, depends entirely on it and draws all its power from it.’ . . . ‘The practices and exercises of devotion to her recommended by the Church in the course of the centuries [are to] be treasured.’ (Lumen Gentium: 60, 67).”

“God the Father made an assemblage of all the waters and He named it the sea (mare). He made an assemblage of all His graces and he called it Mary (Maria). This great God has a most rich treasury in which He has laid up all that He has of beauty and splendour, or rarity and preciousness, including even His own Son: and this immense treasury is none other than Mary, whom the saints have named the Treasure of the Lord, out of whose plenitude all men are made rich.”

“It is by her that He applies His merits to His members, and that He communicates His virtues, and distributes His graces. She is His Mysterious canal; she is His aqueduct, through which He makes His mercies flow gently and abundantly.”


“When we read then in the writings of Sts. Bernard, Bernadine, Bonaventure and others that in Heaven and on earth everything, even God Himself, is subject to the Blessed Virgin, they mean that the authority which God has been well pleased to give her is so great that it seems as if she had the same power as God; and that her prayers and petitions are so powerful with God that they always pass for commandments with His Majesty, who never resists the prayer of His dear Mother, because she is always humble and conformed to His will.”

“In a word, we know that they shall be true disciples of Jesus Christ, walking in the footsteps of His poverty, humility, contempt of the world, charity; teaching the narrow way of God in pure truth, according to the holy Gospel, and not according to the maxims of the world; troubling themselves about nothing; not accepting persons; sparing, fearing and listening to no mortal, however influential he may be. They shall have in their mouths the two-edged sword of the Word of God. They shall carry on their shoulders the bloody standard of the Cross, the Crucifix in their right hand and the Rosary in their left, the sacred Names of Jesus and Mary in their hearts, and the modesty and mortification of Jesus Christ in their own behavior.”

“infallible mark of reprobation to have no esteem and love for the holy Virgin;”

“She is so intimately united with Thee that it were easier to separate the light from the sun, the heat from the fire; nay, it were easier to separate from Thee all the angels and the saints than the divine Mary, because she loves Thee more ardently and glorifies Thee more perfectly than all the other creatures put together.”

“All true children of God have God for their father and Mary for their mother; anyone who does not have Mary for his mother, does not have God for his father.”

“Mary is the fruitful Virgin, and in all the souls in which she comes to dwell she causes to flourish purity of heart and body, rightness of intention and abundance of good works. Do not imagine that Mary, the most fruitful of creatures who gave birth to a God, remains barren in a faithful soul. It will be she who makes the soul live incessantly for Jesus Christ, and will make Jesus live in the soul”


If we do not risk anything for God we will never do anything great for Him.”

Mary alone gives to the unfortunate children of unfaithful Eve entry into that earthly paradise where they may walk pleasantly with God and be safely hidden from their enemies. There they can feed without fear of death on the delicious fruit of the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They can drink copiously the heavenly waters of that beauteous fountain which gushes forth in such abundance.

If you put all the love of all the mothers into one heart it still would not equal the love of the Heart of Mary for her children.

Pray with great confidence, with confidence based on the goodness and infinite generosity of God and upon the promises of Jesus Christ. God is a spring of living water which flows unceasingly into the hearts of those who pray.

The cross is the greatest gift God could bestow on His Elect on earth. There is nothing so necessary, so beneficial, so sweet, or so glorious as to suffer something for Jesus. If you suffer as you ought, the cross will become a precious yoke that Jesus will carry with you.

She [Mother Mary] is an echo of God, speaking and repeating only God. If you say “Mary” she says ‘God’.

We fasten our souls to Your hope, as to an abiding anchor. It is to Her that the saints who have saved themselves have been the most attached and have done their best to attach others, in order to persevere in virtue. Happy, then, a thousand times happy, are the Christians who are now fastened faithfully and entirely to Her, as to a firm anchor!

How different are theirs from ours! Their roses are pleasures of the flesh, worldly honours and passing riches which wilt and decay in no time, but ours, which are the Our Father and Hail Mary which we have said devoutly over and over again, and to which we have added good penitential acts, will never wilt or die, and they will be just as exquisite thousands of years from now as they are today.’

‘You must expect then to be shaped, cut and chiseled under the hammer of the Cross, otherwise you would remain unpolished stone, of no value at all, to be disregarded and cast aside. Do not cause the hammer to recoil when it strikes you. Yield to the chisel that is carving you and the hand that is shaping you.’


Prayers of St.Louis de Montfort


St. Louis De Montfort’s Prayer to Mary


Hail Mary, beloved Daughter of the Eternal Father! Hail Mary, admirable Mother of the Son! Hail Mary, faithful spouse of the Holy Ghost! Hail Mary, my dear Mother, my loving Mistress, my powerful sovereign! Hail my joy, my glory, my heart and my soul! Thou art all mine by mercy, and I am all thine by justice. But I am not yet sufficiently thine. I now give myself wholly to thee without keeping anything back for myself or others. If thou still seest in me anything which does not belong to thee, I beseech thee to take it and to make thyself the absolute Mistress of all that is mine. Destroy in me all that may be displeasing to God, root it up and bring it to nought; place and cultivate in me everything that is pleasing to thee.

May the light of thy faith dispel the darkness of my mind; may thy profound humility take the place of my pride; may thy sublime contemplation check the distractions of my wandering imagination; may thy continuous sight of God fill my memory with His presence; may the burning love of thy heart inflame the lukewarmness of mine; may thy virtues take the place of my sins; may thy merits be my only adornment in the sight of God and make up for all that is wanting in me. Finally, dearly beloved Mother, grant, if it be possible, that I may have no other spirit but thine to know Jesusand His divine will; that I may have no other soul but thine to praise and glorify the Lord; that I may have no other heart but thine to love God with a love as pure and ardent as thine I do not ask thee for visions, revelations, sensible devotion or spiritual pleasures. It is thy privilege to see God clearly; it is thy privilege to enjoy heavenly bliss; it is thy privilege to triumph gloriously in Heaven at the righthand of thy Son and to hold absolute sway over angels, men and demons; it is thy privilege to dispose of all the gifts of God, just as thou willest.

Such is, O heavenly Mary, the “best part,” which the Lord has given thee and which shall never be taken away from thee–and this thought fills my heart with joy. As for my part here below, I wish for no other than that which was thine: to believe sincerely without spiritual pleasures; to suffer joyfully without human consolation; to die continually to myself without respite; and to work zealously and unselfishly for thee until death as the humblest of thy servants. The only grace I beg thee to obtain for me is that every day and every moment of my life I may say: Amen, So be it–to all that thou didst do while on earth; Amen, so be it–to all that thou art now doing in Heaven; Amen, so be it–to all that thou art doing in my soul, so that thou alone mayest fully glorify Jesus in me for time and eternity. Amen.

St.Louis de Montfort’s Prayer to Jesus


O most loving Jesus, deign to let me pour forth my gratitude before Thee, for the grace Thou hast bestowed upon me in giving me to Thy holy Mother through the devotion of Holy Bondage, that she may be my advocate in the presence of Thy majesty and my support in my extreme misery. Alas, O Lord! I am so wretched that without this dear Mother I should be certainly lost. Yes, Mary is necessary for me at Thy side and everywhere that she may appease Thy just wrath, because I have so often offended Thee; that she may save me from the eternal punishment of Thy justice, which I deserve; that she may contemplate Thee, speak to Thee, pray to Thee, approach Thee and please Thee; that she may help me to save my soul and the souls of others; in short, Mary is necessary for me that I may always do Thy holy will and seek Thy greater glory in all things. Ah, would that I could proclaim throughout the whole world the mercy that Thou hast shown to me ! Would that everyone might know I should be already damned, were it not for Mary! Would that I might offer worthy thanksgiving for so great a blessing! Mary is in me. Oh, what a treasure! Oh, what a consolation! And shall I not be entirely hers? Oh, what ingratitude! My dear Saviour, send me death rather than such a calamity, for I would rather die than live without belonging entirely to Mary. With St. John the Evangelist at the foot of the Cross, I have taken her a thousand times for my own and as many times have given myself to her; but if I have not yet done it as Thou, dear Jesus, dost wish, I now renew this offering as Thou dost desire me to renew it. And if Thou seest in my soul or my body anything that does not belong to this august princess, I pray Thee to take it and cast it far from me, for whatever in me does not belong to Mary is unworthy of Thee.
O Holy Spirit, grant me all these graces. Plant in my soul the Tree of true Life, which is Mary; cultivate it and tend it so that it may grow and blossom and bring forth the fruit of life in abundance. O Holy Spirit, give me great devotion to Mary, Thy faithful spouse; give me great confidence in her maternal heart and an abiding refuge in her mercy, so that by her Thou mayest truly form in me Jesus Christ, great and mighty, unto the fullness of His perfect age. Amen.

St.Fidelis of Sigmaringen

 

 


Fidelis was born in 1577 at Sigmaringen, Prussia. His father Johannes Rey was burgomaster of the city. He entered the University of Freiburg in Breisgau to study law and philosophy. After receiving his degree, he was chosen to be tutor to three young princes with whom he traveled in France and Italy. The father of St. Fidelis was burgomaster of Sigmaringen, Prussia
In 1611, he returned to Freiburg to earn his doctorate in canon and civil law, and then began practice as a lawyer in Kolmar. Disappointed with the open fraud in the law courts and general corruption of society, he decided to abandon the world. He was ordained a priest the following year, and immediately after was received into the Capuchin Order at Freiburg at age 35. He took the name of Fidelis.

In notes that he left about his life during that period, he wrote: “From now on I want to live in complete poverty, chastity, and obedience amidst sufferings and persecutions and in austere penance and profound humility. I came from the womb of my mother with nothing, and with nothing I desire to return to the arms of my Savior.”

St. Fidelis was a remarkable orator. He preached in numerous German, Austrian and Swiss cities. From the beginning of his apostolic career, he struggled tirelessly to convert heretics; nor did he confine his efforts to the pulpit, but also used his pen. He wrote many pamphlets against Calvinism and Zwinglianism.

He was named Superior first at the Monasteries of Rheinfelden and Freiburg, and afterwards at Feldkirch, where he exerted a strong influence. Because of this, he was also appointed by the Papal Nuncio to reform monasteries of other Orders.

Since Calvinism was spreading over Switzerland, especially in the region of the Grisons, the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith appointed the Capuchins to combat it there. Fr. Fidelis was chosen to be head of the mission.


“Shortly you will see me no longer,” he prophesied in a sermon in Feldkirch, “for I was called to shed my blood for the Faith.”

St. Fidelis labored indefatigably and with such success in the region that the heretics became alarmed and set themselves to inflame the people against him. They spread rumors that his mission was political rather than religious, and that he was preparing the way for the subjugation of the country by Austria.

In January 1622 on returning to the region of the Grisons, he was met everywhere with the cry: “Death to the Capuchins!” On April 24, 1622, being then at Grusch, he made his confession and afterwards celebrated Mass and preached. Then he set out for Sevis. When he arrived, he entered the church and began to preach, but was interrupted by a sudden tumult both within and without the church. Several Austrian soldiers who were guarding the doors of the church were killed by the attackers and Fidelis himself was struck.

Outside the church he was surrounded by a crowd led by Calvinist preachers who offered to save his life if he would apostatize. Fidelis replied: “I came to extirpate your heresy, not to embrace it.” The Calvinists killed him with blows of swords.

It is interesting to note the action of this great orator, St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen. He was so successful in his sermons that the Holy See chose him to head the group of Capuchin preachers sent to the region infested by Calvinism, a branch of the Protestant heresy. The intention of the Holy See was to convert those who had been fooled by the heretics, and also to prevent Catholics from falling into the same trap.

Through his sermons, he had an enormous influence in the city of Feldkirch, the capital of an Austrian province in the Alps. There he had already strongly attacked the Protestants. He was designated, then, to enter Switzerland to continue the assault against the heretics. Before he left, he had a premonition revealing that he would suffer martyrdom there. As a supernatural, indomitable, energetic man, he did not step back because of that threat; on the contrary, he went forward facing death with a kind of joy. It is the attitude of a warrior.

To this tenacity he added another proof of valor: he infuriated the Calvinists. No one aggravates the enemy unless he counts victories over them. To prevent more of his remarkable successes, the Calvinists decided to murder him. They plotted his death and carried it out. He became a martyr.

St. Fidelis was, therefore, an audacious, strong, and vigorous missionary who willingly faced martyrdom. He presents to us an admirable example of fortitude. This is the spirit that should be seen in the notes he wrote about his life:“From now on I want to live in complete poverty, chastity, and obedience amidst sufferings and persecutions and in austere penance and profound humility. I came from the womb of my mother with nothing, and with nothing I desire to return to the arms of my Saviour”


Let us ask St. Fidelis the Sigmaringen who strongly attacked the Revolution of his time to give us the love for wisdom that oriented his life in order to make us zealous counter-revolutionaries – as he was – for the glory and exaltation of Holy Mother Church

Quotes of St.Fidelis Sigmaringen

 


“It is because of faith that we exchange the present for the future.”

“O Catholic faith, how solid, how strong you are! How deeply rooted, how firmly founded on a solid rock! Heaven and earth will pass away, but you can never pass away. From the beginning the world opposed you, but you mightily triumphed over everything. This is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith. It has subjected powerful kings to the rule of Christ; it has bound nations to his service. What made the holy apostles and martyrs endure fierce agony and bitter torments, except faith, and especially faith in the resurrection? What is it that today makes true followers of Christ cast luxuries aside, leave pleasures behind, and endure difficulties and pain? It is living faith that expresses itself through love. It is this that makes us put aside the goods of the present in the hope of future goods. It is because of faith that we exchange the present for the future.

“I am sent to you to confute, not to embrace your heresy. The Catholic religion is the faith of all ages, I fear not death. . . Pardon my enemies, O Lord: blinded by passion they know not what they do. Lord Jesus, have mercy on me. Mary, Mother of God, succor me!” – St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen, upon his death

 

Divine Mercy Sunday 2017

 

Mercy Sunday or the Feast of Divine Mercy 

 

The Revelations of Our Lord to St. Faustina

According to the doctrine of the Church we must distinguish between those matters communicated by God through the prophets, the apostles and the other sacred writers, and found in Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition, and the private revelations or apparitions He grants to individuals. These latter are given for our guidance, usually refer also to things in Public Revelation which must be believed, but in and of themselves are not of the faith. The revelations given to St. Faustina are private revelations about the Divine Mercy. As with most approved private revelations, much is simply the repetition in a new way of the perennial truths of the Catholic Faith. Other elements have a prophetic content, or make promises or requests, which depend entirely on the credibility of the witness, Sister Faustina.

A private revelation could obtain no higher degree of human credibility, the standard of reason applied by the Church, as one in which the mystic is canonized and the requests are acted upon by the Holy See. No one today disputes the devotion to the Sacred Heart, for example, which is now well-founded in Tradition, even though the impetus for its specific theological development was a private revelation. The same is true of the Mercy Devotion. The Pope in his prophetic office has sounded many of the same warnings as St. Faustina, as he has of Our Lady of Fátima. Nonetheless, while it may be imprudent or unreasonable to not accept the specific promises and warnings of St. Faustina, given the authentication of her life and message by the Church, it is not contrary to the faith. The conscience of each must nonetheless judge, avoiding both blind credulity and incredulity. As St. Thomas Aquinas teaches, “Virtue is in the middle.” Or, as St. Paul says, “Test all things, retain what is good” (1 Thes. 5:21).

The Feast of Mercy


One of the requests of Our Lord which the Church has acted upon is the Feast of Mercy. On 30 April 2000, at the Canonization of Sr. Faustina, the Pope responded to this request by establishing on the Sunday after Easter a Feast dedicated to the Divine Mercy. The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments officially notified the world’s Bishops of this decree on 23 May 2000. Today, the liturgical calendar, or Ordo, of all dioceses in the world now reflect that the Sunday after the Solemnity of Easter is the “Second Sunday of Easter or Divine Mercy Sunday”.

Some confusion exists over the fact that this day is not officially called “The Feast of Mercy”. Feast can be understood in two senses, as a liturgical class, or as a general way for referring to all special days regardless of their liturgical class.

According to the first sense, liturgical class, Mercy Sunday is a Solemnity, the highest possible liturgical class (solemnity, feast, memorial, optional memorial). Beginning with Easter Sunday, the Solemnity of Solemnities, the Church celebrates an octave (8 days) of the Resurrection. This practice goes back to the Old Covenant and the Jewish practice of celebrating feasts, such as Unleavened Bread (of which Passover is a part), for eight days. Each day of the Octave is a Solemnity, in essence an extension of Easter Sunday. The principal prayers of the Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours are those of Easter Sunday. This octave concludes with the Gospel account of Easter night, in which Jesus instituted the Sacrament of Penance, that is, of His Divine Mercy.

According to the general sense of feast, it is legitimate to refer to Divine Mercy Sunday as the Feast of Mercy, even though it is a Solemnity. A feast is the celebration of a saint or a special day. Regardless of liturgical class, we refer to a saint’s day as his or her feast day. Thus, it is appropriate here, too, to speak of the Feast of Mercy, or Easter, or Pentecost, all of which are Solemnities.

The Promise


According to St. Faustina, Our Lord promises to those who go to confession and communion on this day, the remission of the guilt and the punishment of sins.

On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of My mercy. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. On that day all the divine floodgates through which grace flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet. My mercy is so great that no mind, be it of man or of angel, will be able to fathom it throughout all eternity. (Diary of Sr. Faustina, 699)

Many take this to mean that they must go to Confession ON Mercy Sunday. This is not true. To receive the benefits of the Promise one must be in the state of grace. The Lord does not promise the absolution of grave sin on Mercy Sunday, but points us to the Sacrament of Penance. To receive the grace we should be disposed. This is done by a confession near the time of Mercy Sunday. According to the Cardinal of Krakow, the confession which a Catholic makes during Lent in preparation for Easter is sufficient. Priests do not have to provide confession on Mercy Sunday so that Catholics can satisfy this condition. Since it is a Sunday the condition of Communion can be easily satisfied (including at the Saturday Vigil Mass). Our Communion, as our Confession, should be especially devout.


Some refer to this grace as a Plenary Indulgence. While the effect is the same, complete remission of sin and the punishment due to it, it is not granted by the Church but by a promise of the Lord. Also, the conditions are fewer, only Confession and Communion. While the Lord also asks for veneration of His Image on Mercy Sunday, as well as acts of mercy, these do not appear to be essential to the Promise, though they certainly could manifest the disposition, or lack of disposition, of the person seeking it. The receipt of the grace is not magic, but necessarily involves the opening of our hearts to mercy. This is best done by deeds, words and thoughts of mercy towards others. That, too, takes God’s grace, but we can surely expect the actual graces to be merciful available to us on Mercy Sunday, if we but trust. The message clearly states the Lord’s willingness for the greatest generosity on this day. We do what our circumstances permit us, and trust in God. This is true also of those whose circumstances do not permit them to get to Communion on that day, such as the infirm and the home-bound. God does not ask the impossible.

The Image


I want the image solemnly blessed on the first Sunday after Easter, and I want it to be venerated publicly so that every soul may know about it. (Diary 341)

The Holy See has not obliged anything in this regard. Indeed, whatever a parish does beyond the liturgical celebration of the Divine Mercy is regulated by the bishop and the pastor. However, there are several ways that a willing pastor can facilitate the public veneration of the Image of the Divine Mercy.

1. A parish which has just acquired the Image of the Divine Mercy for public veneration should have it blessed according to the rite for the “Blessing of an Image of Our Lord” (Book of Blessings, 1263-1276). Every parish should have this ritual book. This rite, however, may not be used within the Mass. Such a solemn blessing would be conferred only once on a particular Image.

2. A previously blessed image can be displayed in the Sanctuary during Mass. There is already in the rubrics the provision for incensing an image during the incensations of the Mass.

3. A previously blessed image can be left in the sanctuary for veneration by the faithful throughout the Feast of Mercy.

4. A previously blessed image can be used in processions, be the object of veneration during a communal recitation of the Chaplet of Mercy, or other devotions as the parish may celebrate during the Feast of Mercy.

Similar things can be done in the home also, privately venerating the Image, by the use of devotional candles, by a public display of the Image, family prayer, etc… These images should also be blessed. However, they do not receive the solemn blessing of an image used for “public veneration” (#1 above), just the simply blessing ordinarily given to religious objects (Book of Blessing 1442ff). This could even be done communally, if the pastor is willing.


Source:EWTN.com

Ocassions of Sin 


Avoid idleness, dissipated companions, immodest conversations, and, more than all, evil occasions, especially where there is danger of incontinency; and for this reason one cannot be too cautious in keeping one’s eyes from dwelling on any dangerous objects. For a person that does not avoid the voluntary occasions of sin, especially those which have frequently proved fatal to his innocence, it is morally impossible to persevere in the grace of God: He that loves the danger shall perish in it.


–St. Alphonsus Liguori, The Way of Salvation and Perfection

St.Agnes of Montepulciano

St. Agnes of Montepulciano may be best known for an incident that occurred many years after her death. About seventy years after Agnes died, St. Catherine of Siena made a pilgrimage to the shrine of this revered Dominican foundress. St. Catherine bowed to kiss Agnes’ foot, the saint raised it up toward her. Catherine may not have been totally surprised, as miraculous characteristics had surrounded Agnes’ life.
This “little lamb” was born not far from Montepulciano in 1268. She expressed a desire to give her life to God and practiced pious exercises from an early age. Now and then, her parents gave in to her requests to visit the various convents in town. On one such occasion, Agnes and her mother were passing a house of ill repute, when a flock of crows suddenly descended upon her, pecking and scratching the little girl. Her mother remarked that the crows represented demonic forces threatened by her purity. Indeed, years later, Agnes would be asked to found a convent on that very spot.

In her teens, Agnes joined the Franciscans in Montepulciano and rose to become its prioress. Small white flakes in the form of crosses fell gently from the heavens in celebration. It is said that the sisters have preserved some of these until today. In 1306, God inspired Agnes to found a Dominican convent with three stones given her by the Blessed Mother in honor of the Trinity. The Blessed Mother had visited Agnes many times. On one of these occasions she allowed Agnes to hold the Christ Child, but Agnes showed great reluctance in giving him back.


Toward the end of her life, Agnes sought healing from some famous springs. Although she did not receive healing herself, her prayers effected the resurrection of a child who had drowned in the springs. In 1317, Agnes died in Montepulciano and received her long-awaited reward.Many years after her death she was found incorrupt and still is to this day.

Feast: April 20

St.Bernadette~Humble Servant of Mary 


St. Bernadette was born in Lourdes, France on January 7, 1844. Her parents were very poor and she was the first of nine children. She was baptized at St. Pierre’s, the local parish church, on January 9. As a toddler, Bernadette contracted cholera and suffered extreme asthma. Unfortunately, she lived the rest of her life in poor health.

(The clothing St.Bernadette wore)

 
On Thursday, February 11, 1858, fourteen-year-old Bernadette was sent with her younger sister and a friend to gather firewood, when a very beautiful lady appeared to her above a rose bush in a grotto called Massabielle (Tuta de Massavielha).
The woman wore blue and white and smiled at Bernadette before making the sign of the cross with a rosary of ivory and gold. Bernadette fell to her knees, took out her own rosary and began to pray.


Bernadette later described the woman as “uo petito damizelo,” meaning “a small young lady. Though her sister and friend claimed they were unable to see her, Bernadette knew what she saw was real.
Three days later, Bernadette, her sister Marie, and other girls returned to the grotto, where Bernadette immediately knelt, saying she could see “aquero” again. She fell into a trance and one girl threw holy water at the niche and another threw a rock that shattered on the ground. It was then that the apparition disappeared.
On February 18, Bernadette said “the vision” asked her to return to the grotto each day for a fortnight. With each visit, Bernadette saw the Virgin Mary and the period of daily visions became known as “la Quinzaine sacrée,” meaning “holy fortnight.”


When Bernadette began to visit the grotto, her parents were embarrassed and attempted to stop her, but were unable to do so. On February 25, Bernadette claimed to have had a life-changing vision.
The vision had told her “to drink of the water of the spring, to wash in it and to eat the herb that grew there” as an act of penance. The next day, the grotto’s muddy waters had been cleared and fresh clear water flowed.

(Pictured above cap of St.Bernadette)
On March 2, at the thirteenth of the apparitions, Bernadette told her family the lady said  “a chapel should be built and a procession formed.”

(Shoes of St.Bernadette)
During her sixteenth vision, which Bernadette claims to have experienced for over an hour, was on March 25. Bernadette claimed she had asked the woman her name, but her question was only met with a smile. Bernadette asked again, three more times, and finally the woman said, “I am the Immaculate Conception.”


Though many townspeople believed she had indeed been seeing the Holy Virgin, Bernadette’s story created a division in her town. Many believed she was telling the truth, while others believed she had a mental illness and demanded she be put in a mental asylum. Some believed Bernadette’s visions meant she needed to pray for penance.


Church authorities and the French government rigorously interviewed the girl, and by 1862 they confirmed she spoke truth. Since Bernadette first caused the spring to produce clean water, 69 cures have been verified by the Lourdes Medical Bureau, and after what the Church claimed were “extremely rigorous scientific and medical examinations,” no one was able to explain what caused the cures.


The Lourdes Commission that initially examined Bernadette, ran an analysis on the water but were only able to determine it contained a high mineral content.

Bernadette believed it was faith and prayer that was responsible for curing the sick.
Bernadette asked the local priest to build a chapel at the site of her visions and the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes is now one of the major Catholic pilgrimage sites in the world. 

Many other chapels and churches has been built around it, including the Basilica of St. Pius X, which can accommodate 25,000 people and was dedicated by the future Pope John XXIII when he was the Papal Nuncio to France.

Following the miracles and constructions, Bernadette decided she did not like the attention she was getting and went to the hospice school run by the Sisters of Charity of Nevers, where she was taught to read and write. Though she considered joining the Carmelites, her health was too fragile.

(Convent where St.Bernadette lived and died)
On July 29, 1866, Bernadette took the religious habit of a postulant and joined the Sisters of Charity at their motherhouse at Nevers. Her Mistress of Novices was Sister Marie Therese Vauzou and the Mother Superior at the time named her Marie-Bernarde, in honor of her grandmother.
Bernadette spent the rest of her life there working as an infirmary assistant, and later a sacristan.

People admired her humility and spirit of sacrifice. Once a nun asked her if she had temptations of pride because she was favored by the Blessed Mother. “How can I?” she answered quickly. “The Blessed Virgin chose me only because I was the most ignorant.”


Unfortunately, she was diagnosed with tuberculosis of the bone in her right knee and was unable to take part in convent life. She died in the Sainte Croix (Holy Cross) Infirmary of the Convent of Saint-Gildard at the age of 35 on April 16, 1879, while praying the holy rosary.


Even on her deathbed Bernadette suffered severe pain and, keeping with the Virgin Mary’s admonition of “Penance, Penance, Penance,” she proclaimed “all this is good for Heaven!” Bernadette’s last words were, “Blessed Mary, Mother of God, pray for me. A poor sinner, a poor sinner.”

(St.Bernadette shortly after her death)
The nuns of Saint-Gildard, with the support of the bishop of Nevers, applied to the civil authorities for permission to bury Bernadette’s body in a small chapel dedicated to Saint Joseph, which was within the confines of the convent. Permission was granted on April 25, 1879, and on April 30, the local Prefect pronounced his approval of the choice of the site for burial. On May 30, 1879, Bernadette’s coffin was transferred to the crypt of the chapel of Saint Joseph, where a very simple ceremony was held to commemorate the event.


Thirty years later, on September 22, two doctors and a sister of the community exhumed her body. They claimed the crucifix and rosary she carried had been oxidized but her body remained incorrupt. The incorruption was cited as one of the miracles supporting her canonization.
The group washed and redressed Bernadette’s body then buried it in a new double casket. The Church exhumed her body again on April 3, 1919, and the doctor who examined her said, “The body is practically mummified, covered with patches of mildew and quite a notable layer of salts, which appear to be calcium salts … The skin has disappeared in some places, but it is still present on most parts of the body.”
In 1925, Bernadette’s body was exhumed yet again. This time relics were sent to Rome and an imprint of her face was molded, which was used to create a wax mask to be placed on her body. There were also imprints of her hands to be used for the presentation of her body, which was placed in a gold and crystal reliquary in the Chapel of Saint Bernadette at the mother house in Nevers.
In 1928, Doctor Comte published a report on Bernadette’s exhumation in the second issue of the Bulletin de I’Association medicale de Notre-Dame de Lourdes, where he wrote:

“I would have liked to open the left side of the thorax to take the ribs as relics and then remove the heart which I am certain must have survived. However, as the trunk was slightly supported on the left arm, it would have been rather difficult to try and get at the heart without doing too much noticeable damage.

“As the Mother Superior had expressed a desire for the Saint’s heart to be kept together with the whole body, and as Monsignor the Bishop did not insist, I gave up the idea of opening the left-hand side of the thorax and contented myself with removing the two right ribs which were more accessible.
“What struck me during this examination, of course, was the state of perfect preservation of the skeleton, the fibrous tissues of the muscles (still supple and firm), of the ligaments, and of the skin, and above all the totally unexpected state of the liver after 46 years. One would have thought that this organ, which is basically soft and inclined to crumble, would have decomposed very rapidly or would have hardened to a chalky consistency. Yet, when it was cut it was soft and almost normal in consistency. I pointed this out to those present, remarking that this did not seem to be a natural phenomenon.”
Saint Bernadette is often depicted in prayer with a rosary or appealing to the Holy Virgin. She was beatified in 1925 and canonized by Pope Piuis XI in December 1933. Saint Bernadette is the patroness of illness, people ridiculed for their piety, poverty, shepherds, shepherdesses, and Lourdes, France.

Quotes of beautiful St.Bernadette 

 

 

“If one dream should fall and break into a thousand pieces…never be afraid to pick up one of those pieces and begin again.Thats the beauty of being alive….we can always start all over again.Enjoy God’s amazing opportunities bestowed on us.Have faith in him always…”

 

“The Eucharist bathes the tormented Soul in light and love.Then the soul appreciates the words,”Come to me all who are sick and I will restore your health”.
“I shall spend every moment loving. One who loves does not notice her trials; or perhaps more accurately, she is able to love them.”
“Oh Jesus and Mary, let my entire consolation in this world be to love you and to suffer for sinners.”
“Oh Jesus, I would rather die a thousand deaths than be unfaithful to You!”

 

 

“Oh my Mother, to you I sacrifice all other attachments so that my heart may belong entirely to you and to my Jesus.”
“Love overcomes, love delights. Those who love the Sacred Heart of Jesus rejoice.”
“Jesus, my God, I love You above all things.”

 


 

What she said about her inner life:

“Jesus alone for Master, Jesus alone for Riches …”

“God speaks in the depths of the person, without the noise of words.”

 

“O Jesus, give me I pray … the bread of humility, the bread of obedience … the bread of charity.”

“I want my whole life to be inspired by love.”

 

“I shall always have enough health, but never enough love.”

“Our first movement doesn’t count but the second does.”
“I’m happier with my crucifix on my bed of pain than a queen on her throne.”

 

 

“They think I’m a saint… When I’m dead, they’ll come and touch holy pictures and rosaries to me, and all the while I’ll be getting broiled on a grill in purgatory. At least promise me you’ll pray a lot for the repose of my soul.”

“The Blessed Virgin used me like a broom and than put me back in my place”

 

 

“What will be the crown of those who humble within and humiliated without,have imitated the humility of the Savior in its fullness”

From the Private Notes of Bernadette Soubirous:

“My Jesus fill my heart with so much love that one day it will break just to be with you.My Jesus,you know I have placed a seal on my heart.Remain there always.”

“Watch over me Father,so that everything I may do with the intention of pleasing Jesus.”
“O Jesus and Mary, let my entire consolation in this world be to love you and to suffer for sinners.”

 

 

“O Jesus, I would rather die a thousand deaths than be unfaithful to you!”
“I must die to myself continually and accept trials without complaining. I work, I suffer and I love with no other witness than his heart. Anyone who is not prepared to suffer all for the Beloved and to do his will in all things is not worthy of the sweet name of Friend, for here below, Love without suffering does not exist.”
“I shall spend every moment loving. One who loves does not notice her trials; or perhaps more accurately, she is able to love them.”

 

 

 

“O my Mother, to you I sacrifice all other attachments so that my heart may belong entirely to you and to my Jesus.”
“I shall do everything for Heaven, my true home. There I shall find my Mother in all the splendor of her glory. I shall delight with her in the joy of Jesus himself in perfect safety.”
“From this moment on, anything concerning me is no longer of any interest to me. I must belong entirely to God and God alone. Never to myself.”

 
What she said a few days before her death:

“My Jesus! Oh, how I love him!”

“I am ground like a grain of wheat.”

“I won’t forget anyone!”

 

 

Last Words of St.Bernadette

“Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for me, a poor sinner.

 

 

Prayer of St.Bernadette

“Let the crucifix be not only in my eyes and on my breast, but in my heart.O Jesus! Release all my affections and draw them upwards. Let my crucified heart sink forever into Thine and bury itself in the mysterious wound made by the entry of the lance.”



Prayer to St. Bernadette

O Saint Bernadette, who, as a meek and pure child, did eighteen times at Lourdes contemplate the beauty of the Immaculate Mother of God and received her messages, and who afterwards wished to hide yourself from the world in the convent of Nevers, and to offer thyself there as a victim for the conversion of sinners, obtain for us the grace of purity, simplicity and mortification that we also may attain to the vision of God and of Mary in Heaven. Amen. 



NOVENA TO SAINT BERNADETTE SOUBIROUS

(Say for nine days, or as a perpetual novena.)

Dear Saint Bernadette, Chosen by Almighty God as a channel of His Graces and Blessings, and through your humble obedience to the requests of Our Blessed Mother, Mary, you gained for us the Miraculous waters of Spiritual and physical healing.

We implore you to listen to our pleading prayers that we may be healed of our Spiritual and physical imperfections. 

Place our petitions in the Hands of our Holy Mother, Mary, so that She may place them at the feet of Her beloved Son, Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, that He may look on us with mercy and compassion: (Make Petition)

Help, O Dear Saint Bernadette to follow your example, so that irrespective of our own pain and suffering we may always be mindful of the needs of others, especially those whose sufferings are greater than ours. 

As we await the Mercy of God, remind us to offer up our pain and suffering for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins and blasphemies of mankind.

Pray for Saint Bernadette, that like you, we may always be obedient to the will of Our Heavenly Father, and that through our prayers and humility we may bring consolation to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary that have been so grievously wounded by our sins. 

Holy Saint Bernadette of Lourdes, Pray for us.

AMEN.

One Decade of the Rosary.

Memorare.

O Mary conceived without sin,pray for us who have recourse to Thee. (Say (3) Three Times)


 

To make a virtual pilgrimage to  visit the convent of St.Gildard in Nevers France where the beautiful incorrupt body of St.Bernadette is:

https://youtu.be/yd6A0JDJquk

Blessed Margaret of Castello~Patron of the sick,unwanted and outcasts 

In our society, where medical testing can be done to assure that only children without defects are born, those who are born with handicaps are often regarded as “tragic” oversights. In this light, the “unwanted” of the world have a patron saint in a medieval woman who was born a crippled, blind and hunchbacked dwarf.

Bl. Margaret of Castello was born in the fourteenth century in Metola, Italy to noble parents who wanted a son. When the news was brought to the new mother that her newborn daughter was a blind, hunchbacked dwarf, both parents were horrified. Little Margaret was kept in a secluded section of the family castle in the hopes that her existence would be kept secret. However, when she was about six years old, she accidentally made her presence known to a guest. Determined to keep her out of the public eye, her father had a room without a door built onto the side of the parish church and walled Margaret inside this room. Here she lived until she was sixteen, never being allowed to come out. Her food and other necessities were passed in to her through a window. Another window into the church allowed her to hear Mass and receive Holy Communion. The parish priest became a good friend, and took upon himself the duty to educate her. He was amazed at her docility and the depth of her spiritual wisdom.

When Margaret was sixteen years old, her parents heard of a shrine in Citta di Castello, Italy, where many sick people were cured. They made a pilgrimage to the shrine so that she could pray for healing. However, Margaret, open to the will of God, was not healed that day, or the next, so her parents callously abandoned her in the streets of the town and left for home, never to see her again. At the mercy of the passersby, Margaret had to beg her food and eventually sought shelter with some Dominican nuns.

W. R. Bonniwell writes, “Her cheerfulness, based on her trust in God’s love and goodness, was extraordinary. She became a Dominican tertiary and devoted herself to tending the sick and the dying” as well as prisoners in the city jail.


How does Margaret’s story apply to our times? Her parents wanted a boy, and if not a boy, at least a perfect girl. In the eyes of the world, she was useless, and what right do useless people have to live? Bl. Margaret helped innumerable others by her life and her good deeds, finding holiness by uniting her sufferings to Christ’s. And now, some 670 years after her death, she teaches us valuable lessons by her very being.


(Relic of Blessed Margaret of Castello)

Bl. Margaret lived a life of hope and faith, practicing heroic charity, though little was shown her in return. She came from a home where she was deprived, not because her parents had no wealth, but because they valued their material wealth and status more than their spiritual treasures.

Deprived of all human companionship, Margaret learned to embrace her Lord in solitude. Instead of becoming bitter, she forgave her parents for their ill treatment of her and treated others as well as she could. Her cheerfulness stemmed from her conviction that God loves each person infinitely, for He has made each person in His own image and likeness. This same cheerfulness won the hearts of the poor of Castello, and they took her into their homes for as long as their purses could afford. She passed from house to house in this way, “a homeless beggar being practically adopted by the poor of a city” (Bonniwell, 1955).


(Blessed Margaret of Castello’s Blessed remains venerated in St.Dominic’s church in Citta di Castello,Italy)

Bl. Margaret died on April 13, 1320 at the age of 33. More than 200 miracles have been credited to her intercession since her death. She was beatified in 1609. Thus, the daughter that nobody wanted is now one of the glories of the Church.


Feast: April 13

Source:nashvilledominican.org

St.Teresa of the Andes~God the Joy of my Life 


Juana Enriqueta Josefina Fernandez Solar was born in Santiago, Chile, on 13 July 1900., 1 of 6 children. Her family was well-off and faithful to their Christian faith. Her deep relationship with God began when she was young, but she had many difficult personality traits to overcome – she was proud, self-centred and stubborn and easily angered. Her brothers took great joy in provoking her. Very early Juanita felt attracted toward God. She liked to go to church with Ofelia (the servant girl who used to take care of her). One day, being in Chacabuco, she took the hand of a priest friend of the family and told him: “Father, let us go to heaven!” When they were out of the house the priest asked her: “Now, Juanita, where is the way leading to heaven?” Juanita answered: “This way”, pointing toward the Andes cordillera. The priest told her: “After climbing the high mountains heaven shall still be far, very far. No, Juanita, this is not the way leading to heaven. Jesus in the tabernacle is the royal way to reach there.”
In 1906 an earthquake shook the city of Santiago. In her Diary Juanita wrote that it was at this time that Jesus began to take possession of her heart.
Juana was educated in the college of the French nuns of the Sacred Heart. Quickly Juanita felt a great desire to make her first communion. She would often ask when she would be able to do it but would be told that she was too young. Then she would ask to be taught to do communions of desire. After insisting a lot Juanita was admitted to first communion. Understanding that God was going to dwell within her, she set about acquiring all the virtues that would prepare her for this great day and managed to transform her character completely. She wanted to prepare herself through confession and prayer, offering many little sacrifices to Jesus. “I prepared myself for one year. During that time the Virgin helped me to purify my heart from all imperfections.” She made her first communion on September 11, 1910, in Santiago. In her Diary she wrote about this event which impressed her for life. She would try as much as possible to receive communion every day. After her First Communion, she began to receive mystical graces and interior locutions from God.

1st Communion

It was Lucho who taught Juanita how to pray the rosary. Both made the promise to pray it every day, a promise Juanita kept until her death (only one time, she writes, being very small, she forgot). “From that time on, one can say that Our Lord took me by hand with the most holy Virgin.”
In 1914 Juanita read Story of a Soul of Thérèse of Lisieux (who was not yet beatified). She endured the pain of an appendectomy at this time and suffered poor health in general. She began to hear the call of Christ inviting her to give herself totally to him and to become a Carmelite.
During the year 1915 Juanita began boarding with her sister Rebeca at the Sacred Heart high school. She suffered greatly leaving her family house but understood nonetheless that the Lord was preparing her for the great separation when she would enter the Carmel. She was to appreciate the school which enabled her to live a fervent Christian life.
At school, she began to write a Diary, and to nourish and strengthen her spiritual life through silent prayer, daily mass and sacrifice. Although not an exceptional student, she dedicated herself totally to her studies, including topics she did not like (such as physics and chemistry) in order to please Jesus and her parents. She liked also to help poor or less gifted students. Very early Juanita showed a great love for poor people and helped them as much as she could. It was in this same year (1915) that she met on the street a child in rags hungry and shivering with cold. She introduced him into her house, gave him to eat and asked him where he lived. She discovered that the child was living in a slum in Santiago’s suburb. She visited his family and until her entrance into Carmel in 1919, took care of him, calling him Juanito, having him eat in her family house and giving him clothes from her brothers. She went as far as organizing a raffle whose prize was her watch in order to earn money to buy shoes for Juanito. She took care of his human and Christian education.

On December 1915 Juanita pronounced a private vow of chastity, promising not to have any other spouse than Jesus Christ. She would renew this vow several times.
Juanita spent her vacations in Chacabuco where she has a true apostolate among the farmer’s families, gathering people for the missions, doing catechism for the children, playing with them, organizing a choir, consecrating houses to the Sacred Heart. She had a gift to transmit to children the truths of faith. Due to bad management by Juanita’s father, the Chacabuco estate was sold in 1917 and Juanita’s family had to adopt a simpler way of life. While the family mourned the loss of Chacabuco, Juanita saw in this painful event a providential call to detach herself from earthly goods. On June 15, 1917, Juanita became a Child of Mary and during her entire life kept a strong spiritual bond with Mary to whom she entrusted everything. She read the spiritual writings of Bl Elizabeth of the Trinity (a French Carmelite who died in 1906 in Dijon and would be beatified in 1984) with whom she discovered a great spiritual affinity. She tried to live as much as possible in the presence of God whom she loved more and more. She told her brother Lucho: ““Christ so foolish in his love, has driven me madly in love “. In September of 1917 she came in touch for the first time with the Carmel of Los Andes, having the interior conviction that it was the place where God was calling her.

In August of 1918 Juanita left Sacred Heart school to be a substitute in the family house for her elder sister Lucia who had just got married. She dedicated herself to her task and accepted any sacrifice for her family’s happiness: “I did not believe that family life was a life of sacrifices. This helped me to prepare myself for religious life.” Her brother Lucho would say that she was “the jewel of the house“. Juanita wrote in her Diary: “I must strive to look for the happiness of all. My resolution is to sacrifice myself for all.”

(Juanita with Rebeca, who became a Carmelite nun in the same Carmel as her sister after St. Teresa’s death. See her picture as a Carmelite below.)

While having a very intense spiritual life Juanita lived as a young girl of her time. She liked to be with her family and friends. She enjoyed sport very much, especially swimming and tennis. She enjoyed the beauty of the sea and of the mountains. She had a very deep contemplation of the mystery of God in silent prayer, while being natural, kind and joyful with her friends. Although she suffered often because of her poor health and of spiritual purifications in her heart coming from God’s grace, Juanita was joyful and liked to joke.
In January of 1919 she visited for the first time the Carmel of Los Andes. There she received the confirmation that this was the place where God was calling her.
On March 25, 1919, she wrote a magnificent letter to her father to ask for permission to enter the Carmel, telling him that since her childhood she had searched for happiness but understood that only God could make her completely happy for ever. She wished to belong totally to him in a life dedicated to prayer and penance. Deeply moved, her father in tears granted her permission. Then Juanita felt in her heart at the same time the greatest joy and the greatest suffering: joy because she would consecrate herself totally to Christ who attracted her so much, suffering because she would have to leave her family whom she loved so much and who would suffer a lot from the separation.
On May 7, 1919, she entered the Carmel of Los Andes and received the name of Teresa de Jesús (Teresa of Jesus).
Entering into the Carmel of Los Andes on May 7, 1919, Teresa began her postulancy, the first step of her religious life. She enjoyed in her heart a very deep joy for having given herself totally to God, renouncing what was dearest to her (her family) in order to follow Christ. From the beginning she strived to fulfil the Carmelite rule with perfection, great fidelity and love, offering herself for the humblest and most disagreeable works. She believed that Carmelite life consisted in three things: to love, to suffer and to pray for the conversion of sinners, the sanctification of priests and the Church.


With the permission of her prioress, who understood that the new postulant was an exceptional soul, Teresa kept up a busy correspondence. Her letters radiated the love of Christ and the joy to fully belong to him. Touched by her witness, several of her friends would enter religious life.


On September 8, 1919, Teresa was accepted to the novitiate and the reception of the habit. She received it on October 14, 1919, in the presence of her family and of many friends. All the witness were impressed by her radiating joy.
Teresa received in her monastery many graces of union to God, although she was not exempt from spiritual trials, especially temptations and spiritual dryness. She had a privileged relationship with her prioress, but the prioress’ assistant made her suffer a lot by constantly correcting her.
In the first days of March, 1920, Teresa told her confessor that she had only one month more to live on earth. She asked him for permission to do extraordinary penances. The confessor did not believe her (how could she know the time of her death?) and told her to be satisfied with observing the Carmelite rule with perfection.


(cell of St.Teresa of the Andes)

Teresa was stricken by an illness which she knew would lead her to death. Nonetheless she participated in all the spiritual exercises of Lent that year, including the rigorous fasting.
On Good Friday, April 2, 1920, Teresa began her way of the cross following Christ. She spent many hours in prayer in the choir. The sisters noticed that she had a burning fever and told her to go to bed. Several physicians examined her without managing to diminish the fever which devoured her. Their diagnosis was an advanced typhus.

On April 7, Teresa had the joy of pronouncing her religious vows in articulo mortis: according to the custom, a novice in danger of death could pronounce her vows (however, if she recovered, she had to return to the novitiate).


After great physical and spiritual sufferings, Teresa surrendered her soul to God and died on April 12, 1920, at 7:15 pm. She was going to enter true life, to fall into the arms of the one whom she had loved above everything on earth, to be eternally immersed in love.”

The burial took place on April 14. The sisters and the family were surprised to see the convent’s chapel flooded by people who, although they had not known Teresa, come to venerate the little saint who just died, as they say. Thus Teresa’s fame of holiness was immediate and would grow in the following years. The sisters received very quickly many testimonies coming from people who received graces through Teresa’s intercession.
(Rebecca sister of st teresa of the andes)



(Rebecca as a Carmelite)

On November 23, 1920, the younger sister of Teresa, Rebeca, entered the Carmel of Los Andes, convinced that God was calling her to substitute her sister in the community. She valiantly followed in the footsteps of Teresa until her own holy death in 1942.
Teresa possessed an enormous capacity to love and to be loved, joined with extraordinary intelligence. God allowed her to experience his presence. Knowing him, she loved him; and loving him, she bound herself totally to him, even through many interior trials. She was beatified by Pope John Paul II in Santiago de Chile on 3 April 1987 and canonised by him on March 21st 1993 in Rome. She is the first Chilean to be declared a Saint. She is the first Discalced Carmelite Nun to become a Saint outside of Europe and the fifth Saint Teresa in Carmel (together with Saints Teresa of Avila, of Florence and of Lisieux, Edith Stein).


(Tomb of St.Teresa of the Andes)
Text abridged from the Community of St John http://www.teresadelosandes.org
Quotes of St.Teresa of the Andes 

Jesus alone is beautiful; he is my only joy. I call for him, I cry after him, I search for him within my heart. I long for Jesus to grind me interiorly so that I may become a pure host where he can find his rest. 


I want to be athirst with love so that other souls may possess this love. I would die to creatures and to myself, so that he may live in me. Is there anything good, beautiful or true that we can think of that would not be in Jesus? Wisdom, from which nothing would be secret. Power, for which nothing would be impossible. Justice, which made him take on flesh in order to make satisfaction for sin. Providence, which always watches over and sustains us. Mercy, which never ceases to pardon. Goodness, which forgets the offenses of his creatures. Love, which unites all the tendernesses of a mother, of a brother, of a spouse, and which, drawing him out of the abyss of his greatness, binds him closely to his creatures.   


Beauty which enraptures…what can you think of that would not be found in this Man-God? Are you perhaps afraid that the abyss of the greatness of God and that of your nothingness cannot be united? There is love in him. His passionate love made him take flesh in order that by seeing a Man-God, we would not be afraid to draw near him. This passionate love made him become bread in order to assimilate our nothingness and make it disappear into his infinite being. This passionate love made him give his life by dying on the cross. Are you perhaps afraid to draw near him? Look at him, surrounded by little children. He caresses them, he presses them to his heart. Look at him in the midst of his faithful flock, bearing the faithless lamb on his shoulders. 


Look at him at the tomb of Lazarus. And listen to what he says of the Magdalene: “Much has been forgiven her, because she has loved much.” What do you discover in these flashes from the Gospel except a heart that is good, gentle, tender, compassionate; in other words, the heart of a God? He is my unending wealth, my bliss, my heaven. 


St.Teresa of the Andes intercede unceasingly for us!

St.Gemma pleads for the conversion of a sinner 

St Gemma pleads with God for the conversion of a sinner—-A sinners miraculous return to God with the help of the Blessed Mother and the intercession of St Gemma


…I will not rise from here. Save him. Promise me that You will save him. I offer myself victim for all, but particularly for him….

The miraculous conversion that occured the day Father Germanus meets Gemma for the first time.

Monsignor Giovanni Volpi, Gemma’s confessor since childhood, knew of the reputation of Passionist Father Germanus Ruoppolo CP, for being not only an expert in Mystical Theology, but also his reputation for holiness. He wished to share his responsibility and judgement of the extraordinary things that were beginning to happen to Gemma, so he prevailed upon Father Germanus’ Provencial to order Father Germanus to examine his penitent (Gemma). Father Germanus was not interested in meeting Gemma, and upon hearing from Monsignor Volpi of some of the extraordinary things that were happening to her, he suggested (to his later embarrassment) that Monsignor Volpi perform an exorcism upon Gemma! However, at the insistence of Monsignor Volpi, Father Germanus was ordered by his Provencal to examine Gemma, so in September, 1900, Father Germanus reluctantly went to meet Gemma at the home of her “adopted” family, the Giannini’s.


Father Germanus writes- “I went there on the 1st of September, 1900, and I stayed with the Giannini family, with whom Gemma was living. Upon seeing me, the dear child recognized me at once (Gemma was shown him previously in a vision, so she “knew” him even before meeting him- editor), and coming forward to welcome me with great joy, she thanked and blessed the Lord in her soul……”
“My feelings on that occasion, still vivid in my memory, baffle explanation. Our Lord was certainly preparing me to see great things by which every shadow of a doubt remaining in my mind should be dispelled. It happened to be a Thursday, at about the middle of supper, Gemma, feeling signs of a coming ecstasy, rose from the table and left the room. After a little while, her adopted mother (Cecilia Giannini –ed.) came to call me. I followed her and found Gemma in ecstasy.”


Gemma pleads with God for the conversion of a sinner

The subject of the ecstacy was the conversion of a sinner, and the form was a wrestling between Gemma and the Divine Justice to obtain this conversion. I confess that I have never beheld anything more affecting. The dear child was sitting on her bed, with her eyes, face and all her person turned towards the part of the room where Our Lord appeared to her. She was not agitated, but earnest and resolute, like one in a struggle who is determined to win at any cost.
She began by saying, “Now that You have come, Jesus, I renew my supplications for my sinner. He is Thy child and my brother; save him, Jesus”; and she named him. He was a stranger whom she had met in Lucca, and moved by spiritual impulse, she had already warned him by word of mouth, and by letter to listen to the dictates of his conscience, and not be contented with the mere public reputation of being a good Christian.


Jesus seeming disposed to deal as a just Judge with this man, remained unmoved by the entreaties of His servant. But she, not deterred, rejoined: “Why today, 0 Jesus, do You not hear me? For one soul only You have done so much! (meaning herself -editor) Why then will You not save this other one? Save him, Jesus, save him. Be good, Jesus. Do not say that to me. In Thy mouth, Who art Mercy itself, that word ‘abandon’ sounds bad. You must not say it. You have not measured the Blood that You have shed for sinners, and now do You wish to measure the enormity of our sins? Do You not listen to me? And I, to whom must I turn? You have shed Thy Blood for him as well as for me. Will You save me and not him? I will not rise from here. Save him. Promise me that You will save him. I offer myself victim for all, but particularly for him. I promise not to refuse Thee anything. Will You grant it to me? It is a soul. Remember, 0 Jesus, it is a soul that has cost Thee so much. He will become good and not relapse.”

In answer to all her entreaties, Our Lord put forward the Di­vine Justice. But she, growing still more fervent, replied: “I am not seeking Thy Justice. I am imploring Thy Mercy. Then Jesus, go in search of that poor sinner; press him to Thy Heart and You will see that he will be converted. At least try it … Listen, Jesus, You say that You have made many forcible attempts to con­vince him, but You have not yet called him ‘son.’ Try that now, and tell him that You are his Father and that he is Thy child. You will find that on hearing this sweet name of ‘Father,’ his hardened heart will soften.” And here Our Lord, to prove to Gemma what reason He had for remaining firm, began to show her one by one, with the most minute circumstances of time and place, the evil deeds of that sinner, adding that he had filled up their mea­sure. The poor child showed her dismay. She let her hands fall and heaved a deep sigh, as if she had almost lost the hope of suc­ceeding. But quickly recovering from the shock, she returned to the attack.


“I know, Jesus,” she said, “I know it, that he has offended Thee thus grievously. But I have done worse and, for all that, You have shown me Mercy. I know, I know, 0 Jesus, that he has made Thee weep. But now, Jesus-You must not think of his sins. You must think of the Blood You have shed. What immense Charity, o Jesus, have You not lavished on me! Use with my sinner, I implore of Thee, all those delicacies of Infinite Love that You have used toward me. Remember, Jesus, that I want his salvation. Triumph, triumph, I ask for him of You in Charity.”

In spite of all these efforts, Our Lord remained inflexible, and Gemma again relapsed into anguish and discouragement, remain­ing silent, as if she had abandoned the strife. Then, all of a sud­den, another motive flashed to her mind that seemed invincible against all resistance. She became all animated and spoke thus:


“Well, I am a sinner. You Yourself have told me so, and that a person worse than me You could not find. Yes, I confess it, I am the worst sinner, and I am unworthy that You should listen to me. But look, I present Thee another advocate for my sinner; it is Thine own Mother who asks You to forgive him. See! Oh, imagine saying no to Thy Mother! Surely You cannot now say no to Her. And now answer me, Jesus, tell me me that You will save my sinner.”

The victory was gained, the whole scene changed aspect, the tenderhearted Saviour had granted the grace, and Gemma, with a look of indescribable joy, exclaimed: “He is saved, he is saved! Thou hast conquered, Jesus; triumph always thus.” And then she came out of the ecstasy.

This most affecting scene lasted quite half an hour. The words in which I have described it were in part taken down in writing, and in part preserved in my memory, from which I have faithfully drawn them. When it was over, having withdrawn to my room, with my mind engrossed by a thousand thoughts, I suddenly heard a tap at my door. “A strange gentleman, Father, has called and wishes to see you.”I bade him come in. He threw himself at my feet sobbing and said: “Father, hear my Confession.” Good God! I thought my heart would burst. It was Gemma’s sinner, converted that same hour. He accused himself of all that I had heard repeated by her in the ecstasy. He had forgotten one thing only, and I was able to remind him of it. I consoled him, told him what had just hap­pened, got his leave to narrate these wonders of the Lord, and after a mutual embrace we parted. Some years have passed since that event, and I still seem to find myself present at it. In my copi­ous notes I have particulars of other conversions similar in many ways to that just described and equally well authenticated. For the sake of brevity and to avoid uncalled for repetition, I have not given them here.

The fact narrated speaks for itself. There is no place for imagination or hysteria here. The devil is able to drag sinners to perdi­tion, but not to convert them, much less in such a way as we have seen.


Notwithstanding my admiration at what I had witnessed, I did not stop there. I began my studies with great earnestness in order to make certain of Gemma’s spirit. These studies lasted nearly three years without interruption. Guided by ascetic and mystical theology and by modern physiological science, I put her through lengthened trials so as to be able to say at last that I had not neglected any such steps, and it is worth observing that not one of them failed. The pious Bishop, her confessor, in his turn was satisfied. He approved of all that I had done and expressed his desire that I should take up the direction of Gemma. She, who more than anyone else feared being the victim of delusion, seemed to rise from death to life on learning my final assurance that what was happening to her was from God and that she could freely allow herself to be guided by the Holy Spirit in that way. ”

The information in this article is from “The Life of St Gemma Galgani” by Venerable Father Germanus CP