Saint Lutgardis~First Stigmatist in Church History  


Lutgardis was born at Tongeren in 1182. She was admitted into the Benedictine monastery of St. Catherine near Sint-Truiden at the age of twelve, not because of a vocation but because her dowry had been lost in a failed business venture. She was attractive, fond of nice clothes and liked to enjoy herself. For Lutgarde, as for so many other women of her time, the cloister represented a socially acceptable alternative to the disgrace of unmarried life in the world.She lived in the convent for several years without having much interest in religious life. She could come and go as she pleased, and received visitors of both sexes.
According to her Vita, it was in the parlour, a welcome break in the monotony of monastic observance, that she was visited with a vision of Jesus showing her his wounds, and at age twenty she made her solemn profession as a Benedictine nun.Some of the sisters predicted that her change in behavior would not last. Instead, she became even more devout. Over the next dozen years, she had many visions of Jesus, Mary and St. John the Evangelist.Robert Bellarmine relates a story that Pope Innocent III, when recently deceased, appeared to Lutgardis in her monastery to thank her for the prayers and sacrifices she had offered for him during his reign as Roman Pontiff.

Accounts of her life state that she experienced ecstasies, levitated, and dripped blood from her forehead and hair when entranced. She refused the honor of serving as abbess. However, in 1205, she was chosen to be prioress of her community.

In 1208, at Aywières (Awirs), near Liège, she joined the Cistercians, a stricter order, on the advice of her friend Christina the Astonishing. The nuns of Aywières spoke French, not Lutgarde’s native Flemish. Despite her efforts, she found the French tongue impossible to master. Living, working, and praying in the midst of her sisters she experienced a loneliness and solitude that she had never known before.Nonetheless, she contributed powerful images to the developing Christocentric mysticism.

The prolific multiplication of Cistercian monasteries of women in the Low Countries obliged the White Nuns to turn to the newly founded friars, disciples of Francis and Dominic, rather than to their brother monks, for spiritual and sacramental assistance. Lutgarde was a friend and mother to the early Dominicans and Franciscans, supporting their preaching by her prayer and fasting, offering them hospitality, ever eager for news of their missions and spiritual conquests. Her first biographer relates that the friars named her mater praedicatorum, the mother of preachers.

Lutgardis was one of the great precursors of the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The first recorded mystic revelation of Christ’s heart is that of St Lutgardis.According to Thomas Merton, Lutgardis “…entered upon the mystical life with a vision of the pierced Heart of the Saviour, and had concluded her mystical espousals with the Incarnate Word by an exchange of hearts with Him.”When, in a visitation, Christ came to Lutgarde, offering her whatever gift of grace she should desire, she asked for a better grasp of Latin, that she might better understand the Word of God and lift her voice in choral praise. Christ granted her request and, after a few days, Lutgarde’s mind was flooded with the riches of psalms, antiphons, readings and responsories. However,a painful emptiness persisted. With disarming candour she returned to Christ, asking to return His gift, and wondering if she might, just possibly, exchange it for another. “And for what would you exchange it?” Christ asked. “Lord, said Lutgarde, I would exchange it for your Heart.” Christ then reached into Lutgarde and, removing her heart, replaced it with His own, at the same time hiding her heart within His breast.

During this time she is known to have shown gifts of healing and prophecy, and was an adept at teaching the Gospels.She was blind for the last eleven years of her life, and died of natural causes at Aywières. According to tradition, she experienced a vision in which Christ informed her of her death. She died on June 16, 1246, the day after the Feast of the Holy Trinity, St Lutgardis is considered one of the leading mystics of the 13th century.

Prophesies of Blessed Anna Maria Taigi 

Blessed Anna Maria Taigi’s prophecies, from “The Reign of Antichrist” by Reverend Gerald Culleton(1951)


“She knew with certainty the fate of the dead. Her gaze traveled to the ends of the earth and discovered there people on whom she had never set eyes, reading them to the depth of their souls. …The poor, the great of the world, the princesses of the Church came to her for advice or help. They found her in the midst of her household cares and often suffering from illness. 

She touched the sick, and they were cured; she warned others of their approaching end, and they died holy deaths. She endured great austerities for the souls of purgatory, and the souls, once set free, came to thank her….She suffered in body and soul… She realized that her role was to expiate the sins of others, that Jesus was associating her with His Sacrifice, and that she was a victim of His company. 

To tell the truth, her state of ecstasy was continual because her sense of the presence of God was continual. All pain was sweet to her….She went her way, her feet all bloody; with shining eyes she followed the Royal way.”

a) “God will send two punishments; one will be in the form of wars, revolutions and other evils; it shall originate on earth. The other will be sent from Heaven. There shall come over the whole earth an intense darkness lasting three days and three nights. Nothing can be seen, and the air will be laden with pestilence which claim mainly, but not only, the enemies of religion. 

It will be impossible to use any man-made lighting during this darkness, except blessed candles. He, who out of curiosity, opens his window to look out, or leaves his home, will fall dead on the spot. During these three days, people should remain in their homes, pray the Rosary and beg God for mercy.”

b) “All the enemies of the Church, whether known or unknown, will perish over the whole earth during that universal darkness, with the exception of a few whom God will soon convert. The air shall be infected by demons who will appear under all sorts of hideous forms.”

c) “Religion shall be persecuted, and priests massacred. Churches shall be closed, but only for a short time. The Holy Father shall be obliged to leave Rome.”

d) “France shall fall into a frightful anarchy. The French shall have a desperate civil war in the course of which even old men will take up arms. The political parties, having exhausted their blood and their rage without being able to arrive at any satisfactory settlement, shall agree at the last extremity to have recourse to the Holy See. Then the Pope shall send to France a special legate….In consequence of the information received, His Holiness himself shall nominate a most Christian King for the government of France.”

e) “After the three days of darkness, St. Peter and St. Paul, having come down from Heaven, will preach in the whole world and designate a new Pope. A great light will flash from their bodies and will settle upon the cardinal who is to become Pope. Christianity, then, will spread throughout the world. He is the Holy Pontiff, chosen by God to withstand the storm. At the end, he will have the gift of miracles, and his name shall be praised over the whole earth.”

f) “Whole nations will come back to the Church and the face of the earth will be renewed. Russia, England, and China will come into the Church.”

g) “During several successive days, Anna Maria beheld a most excessive darkness spreading itself over the whole world. She likewise saw falling ruins of walls, accompanied by much dust, as if a great edifice had tumbled down. This scourge was shown to her on divers occasions. This may indicate the ruins caused by frightful earthquakes, or the destruction effected by the wicked communists. We presume, and assume as pretty certain, that this darkness will be sensible, similar to that of Egypt, mentioned in Exodus, tenth chapter, and that it shall continue during three days.

h) “Religious shall be persecuted, priests shall be massacred, the churches shall be closed, but only for a short time; the Holy Father shall be obliged to abandon Rome.

i) “Our Lord said to her: ‘First five big trees must be cut down in order that the triumph of the Church may come. These five trees are five great heresies.’ Then the Servant of God said: ‘Two hundred years are hardly sufficient that all of this may happen.’ And Our Lord replied:’ It won’t take as long as you think!’

j) “First, several EARTHLY scourges will come. They are going to be dreadful, but they will be mitigated and shortened by the prayers and the penances of many holy souls. There will be great wars in which millions of people will perish through iron. But, after these earthly scourges will come the HEAVENLY one, which will be directed solely against the impenitent. This scourge will be far more frightful and terrible; it will be mitigated by nothing, but it will take place and act in its full rigor. However, in what this heavenly scourge will consist, God did not reveal to anyone, not even His most intimate friends.

St.Rita of Cascia~Disciple of the Crucified One 


On May 22, the Church celebrates the feast day of St. Rita of Cascia, who the late John Paul II called “a disciple of the Crucified One” and an “expert in suffering.”Known in Spain as “La Santa de los impossibiles” (the saint of the impossible), St. Rita has become immensely popular throughout the centuries. She is invoked by people in all situations and stations of life, since she had embraced suffering with charity and wrongs with forgiveness in the many trials she experienced in her life: as a wife, widow, a mother surviving the death of her children, and a nun.

Born in 1386 in Roccaparena, Umbria, St. Rita was married at the age of 12 to a violent and ill-tempered husband. He was murdered 18 years later and she forgave his murderers, praying that her twin sons, who had sworn to avenge their father’s death may also forgive. She was granted this grace, and her sons, who died young, died reconciled to God.

The saint heard the call to become a nun in the Augustinian convent at Cascia, but was refused entry at first. She asked the intercession of Sts. Augustine, Mary Magadalene and John the Baptist and was finally allowed to enter the convent where she lived the last 40 years of her life in prayer, mortification and service to the people of Cascia.

For the last 15 years of her life she received a stigmata-like thorn wound in answer to her prayers to be more profoundly conformed to the passion of the Lord Jesus. Rita was bedridden for the last four years of her life, consuming almost nothing except for the Eucharist. She died of tuberculosis at the age of 70 on May 22, 1456.

On the 100th anniversary of her canonization in 2000, Pope John Paul II noted her remarkable qualities as a Christian woman: “Rita interpreted well the ‘feminine genius’ by living it intensely in both physical and spiritual motherhood.”

St. Rita was canonized in 1900 by Pope Leo XIII. She is the patron saint of impossible causes, sterility, abuse victims, loneliness, marriage difficulties, parenthood, widows, the sick, bodily ills and wounds.
Prayer to Saint Rita

O glorious St. Rita, your pleadings before the divine crucifix have been known to grant favors that many would call the impossible. Lovely St. Rita, so humble, so pure, so devoted in your love for thy crucified Jesus, speak on my behalf for my petition which seems so impossible from my humbled position. ( Here mention your request ). Be propitious, O glorious St. Rita, to my petition, showing thy power with God on behalf of thy supplicant. Be lavish to me, as thou has been in so many wonderful cases for the greater glory of God. I promise, dear St. Rita, if my petition is granted, to glorify thee, by making known thy favor, to bless and sing thy praises forever. Relying then upon thy merits and power before the Sacred Heart of Jesus I pray. Amen.


Novena Prayer to St. Rita of Cascia
O Holy Patroness of those in need, St. Rita, whose pleadings before thy Divine Lord are almost irresistible, who for thy lavishness in granting favors hast been called the advocate of the hopeless and even of the impossible; St. Rita so humble, so pure, so mortified, so patient and of such compassionate love for thy Crucified Jesus that thou couldst obtain from him whatsoever thou askest, on account of which all confidently have recourse to thee, expecting, if not always relief, at least comfort; be propitious to our petition, showing thy power with God on behalf of the suppliant; be lavish to us as thou hast been in so many wonderful cases, or the greater glory of God, for the spreading of thine own devotion, and for the consolation of those who trust in thee.

We promise, if our petition is granted, to glorify, thee by making known thy favor, to bless and sing thy praises forever. Relying upon thy merits and power before the Sacred Heart of Jesus,

We pray: (mention your request) By thy perfect union with the Divine Will, 

By the heroic sufferings during thy married life,  

By the consolation thou didst experience at the conversion of thy husband, 

By the sacrifice of thy children rather than see them grievously offend God, 

By thy miraculous entrance into the convent, 

By thy severe penances and thrice daily bloody scourgings, 

By the suffering caused by the wound thou didst receive from the thorn of thy crucified Savior, 

By the divine love which consumed thy heart, 

By that remarkable devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, on which alone thou didst exist for four years, 

By the happiness with which thou didst part from thy trials to join thy Divine Spouse, 

By the perfect example thou gavest to people of every state of life. 

Pray for us, O holy St. Rita, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

(Say the novena each day for nine days. After your prayer is answered, please share your story with others.)


Oration To The Saint of The Impossible

O excellent St. Rita, worker of miracles, from thy sanctuary in Cascia, where in all thy beauty thou sleepest in peace, where thy relics exhale breaths of paradise, turn thy merciful eyes on me who suffer and weep! Thou seest my poor bleeding heart surrounded by thorns Thou seest, O dear Saint, that my eyes have no more tears to shed, so much have I wept! Weary and discouraged as I am, I feel the very prayers dying on my lips. Must I thus despair in this crisis of my life? O come, St. Rita, come to my aid and help me. Art thou not called the Saint of the Impossible, Advocate to those in despair? Then honor thy name, procuring for me from God the favor that I ask. (Here ask the favor you wish to obtain.) Everyone praises thy glories, everyone tells of the most amazing miracles performed through thee, must I alone be disappointed because thou hast not heard me? Ah no! Pray then pray for me to thy sweet Lord Jesus that He be moved to pity by my troubles and that, through thee, O good St. Rita, I may obtain what my heart so fervently desires.

(Pray the Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father, three times.)

Those wishing to offer a novena should repeat this prayer for nine days.

Prayer to St. Rita in Special Need

O powerful St. Rita, rightly called Saint of the Impossible, I come to you with confidence in my great need. You know well my trials, for you yourself were many times burdened in this life. Come to my help, speak for me, pray with me, intercede on my behalf before the Father. I know that God has a most generous heart and that he is a most loving Father. Join your prayers to mine and obtain for me the grace I desire (here mention your request). You who were so very pleasing to God on earth and are so much so now in heaven, I promise to use this favor, when granted, to better my life, to proclaim God’s mercy, and to make you more widely known and loved. Amen.

Venerable Marthe Robin~French Mystic,Stigmatist and Victim Soul

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Marthe Robin was born on March 13, 1902 in Chateauneuf de Galaure, France in a region known as “the Plain”. She was one of six children. Her father Joseph, was a good natured farmer, not very religious in that he only went to Mass on Easter and big Feast days, although towards the end of his life, due to Marthe’s extraordinary example and virtue, he had a deep conversion and “died a saint” according to a statement made by Marthe. Her mother, Amelie-Celeste Chosson, was happy and gracious housewife and mother, and like her husband, was not initially devout in religious practice, however she too had a deep conversion towards the end of her life, once again presumably through the holy influence and example of Marthe.

Beginning in May, 1918 at age 16, Marthe began experiencing painful headaches. On November 25th she collapsed in her kitchen and was unable to get up without assistance. The Doctor was sent for and it was thought that she had encephalitis. At times she would often cry out in pain. During this time she had her first vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary; her sister Alice who was in the bedroom with her, saw a great light that surrounded the room, but she herself did not see the Blessed Mother.

Offering herself to the Love and Will of God

From her childhood, Marthe always had “conspicuous” religious devotion and tendency; conspicuous in that her parents and family were not very devout Catholics; only going to Mass on major feast days. As her illness and suffering progressed, her legs weakened, and she was confined to a chair more and more. During this time her spiritual life blossomed and she was very inspired and edified by the life of the “Little Flower”, Therese of Lisieux, who was canonized on May 17, 1925 by Pope Pius XI. Later that year, on October 15, 1925, the Feast of St Teresa of Avila, she felt inspired to make a “Act of Abandonment to the Love and the Will of God”, composing the text of the Act of Abandonment herself.

Desk alongside Marthe Robin's bed

Marthe Robin’s Room

Another Serious Illness

 
Barely a year after having made her act of abandonment to the will of God, Marthe again fell gravely ill. It was on October 3, 1926, the day of the first celebration of the feast of Saint Therese of Lisieux, who had been canonized the preceding year. Dr. Aristide Sallier, of Saint-Uze came to The Plain and found Marthe in a coma. “There is nothing more that can be done,” was all he said. The Parish Priest, Fr. Faure could only replace the doctor at the bedside to administer the Sacra­ment of the Sick to “his parishioner,” as he called her. It was the second time that she had received it. Everyone expected that each day would bring her death. The coma lasted three weeks.

Marthe Robin bedroom

Marthe Robin’s Bedroom

Apparitions of Saint Therese of Lisieux

But while death seemed to be imminent, Marthe experienced three apparitions of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus. The Carmelite of Lisieux revealed to her that she would not die yet, that she would recover, and that she would extend her mission throughout the entire world! That is what Marthe confided to Fr. Finet, even adding, laughingly, “Oh that rascal, in the end, she’s left it all to me!” Behind the suffering and the mysticism, this sense of humor is the best indication of Marthe’s mental health.

Love for God and suffering

After her death, some pages of a notebook were discovered in which she described the sufferings she endured during 1927:
“….it was impossible to make the least movement without the assistance of my very devoted mama, not that I did not retain at least partial use of my arms and my hands, but that they had become very clumsy. Nevertheless I thank the Good God for everything that He sends me, and particularly for His having left me at least this last mobility, as some consolation to my dear parents, and so that I may perform a few light tasks for them. Oh, that I may never work except with Him and for Him! Still, I feel that I am crushed, both physically and mentally. Everything causes me anguish and overwhelms me … I no longer know how to react. But so be it! But too much-too much about my poor self, and it seems it would be better for me to dwell more upon all that God is doing in my soul, and for my soul, every minute….”

“My soul is plunged into and, as it were, swept away toward that Jerusalem of Love, by the powerful allurements and inspirations of God Himself, who now and then seems to desire to absorb me wholly into Himself. I am afraid of all this! … I am so alone, spiritually and mentally, and meanwhile I understand that I must abandon myself to Him without any reservations. So be it! I have so much need to say this “Fiat” often, which unites me with Jesus, and with Mary, my most beloved Mama, and consum­mates my immolation.

“It seems to me that I am no more than a very tiny thing in the arms of God, and that I will remain so until I die … I do not know what He wants to do with me, but I desire it all. Everything is good that comes from God and that He wants of us. Yes, all is good to me … All is infinitely dear and sweet to my soul because it is He who wishes it so, He who manages it all. I take refuge in His heart, united with Mary my Mother whom I love so much, and I shall not leave it any more … I know that He will not expel me.” (March 2, 1927).

Fifteen days later, she added: “I test how sweet it is to love, even in suffering, and I shall say above all in suffering; for suffering is an unsurpassed school of true love … It is the living language of Love, and the great teacher of humankind. One learns to love, and one does not really love except in and by suffering, for true suffering instructs us, not through human delights, but through the stripping away and renouncing of self on the Cross.”

Further Paralysis: Marthe Ceases to Eat and Sleep

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As of March 25, 1928 (Feast of the Annunciation) Marthe’s legs became completely paralyzed. Hence­forth she was bedridden for life. She lay in the room next to the kitchen and which faces onto the courtyard. Her legs had contracted and twisted out of shape. We leave it to the reader to contemplate such a experience. This time of her paralization also coincided with an extraordinary grace of total abstinence from all food and drink. This extraordinary phenomenon may be incredi­ble, but it has also been known in the cases of other mystics. From 1928 to 1981, the year of her death, Marthe did not consume anything except the Eucharist that was brought to her once or twice a week. The host, entering into her, instantly disappeared without any normal ingestion. Marthe could not swallow anything else. As far back as the beginning of that year, when her mother had brought her a cup of coffee, it had immediately flowed back out of her mouth. Mrs. Robin groaned, “Look at my poor little one, in what a state she is!” And Marthe’s father wept, “But she has done nothing bad!” He was pitiful, a childhood friend of Marthe’s told me.

Thenceforth, Marthe had no ingestive or digestive processes whatever, and, in addition, she entirely ceased to sleep; she was completely stripped. According to medical men, a total loss of sleep is even more extraordinary than not taking any food or drink. We can assume that one does not enter into such a state without agony. It appears that at this time Fr. Netton began to come to visit and console Marthe. And it was at this point that the Blessed Virgin began to increase the frequency of her appari­tions.

The Devil Breaks Two of Her Teeth

Late in the year 1928, two Capuchin Priests who were preaching a Mission in her hometown were visiting all the sick in their free time. When they met Marthe they were quickly impressed by her devotion and her resignation and acceptance to her paralysis. When they returned that day to the Rectory of the Church, they said to the Pastor “that is a Saint that you have there!” Encouraged by these holy Priests she felt called to join their number by entering into the Third Order of St Francis on November 2, 1928. But the Enemy, of whom the Evangelists speak, began to harass her. The Lord had said to Satan, “Have you noticed my servant, Job, and that there is no one on earth like him?” We can wager that he would have been able to say the same of Marthe. Satan was so enraged after her entry into the Third Order of Saint Francis, that on the very night after the ceremony Marthe ex­perienced her first manifestation of the devil. Mrs. Robin, who slept in a bed just beside her daughter’s, said, “I don’t know what happened, but she uttered a frightful scream!”
“Satan,” a confidant of Marthe’s reported, “had struck her a blow with his fist, breaking two teeth. It was she who told me.” “Did you see the broken teeth?” “Yes, yes.” This same episode was related by Fr. Perrier.

Marthe Loses the Use of Her Hands

The paralysis of her legs occurred on the feast of the Annunciation, 1929. On Candlemas Day, February 2, 1929, Marthe lost the use of her hands. She had offered them to the Lord, and he had taken her at her word! Goodbye to letter writing and to embroidery! “I kept my thimble on my finger for about a week, and finally I said to mama, ‘You know, you must take off my thimble, now!’ ” Undefeated by this new paralysis, Marthe learned to write with a pencil in her mouth.

Thus, at age 27, this is the state to which she was reduced: her arms and legs held her down in her bed; her legs were partly bent; she was twisted, with a pillow under her back, and a stiff cushion to support her knees; her right arm lay across her chest and her left arm was stretched out along her body. She could not move. When Mrs. Bernard (the daughter of Mrs. Ferdinand Robin) went to help Mrs. Robin to change the bed linen, Marthe endured torments as soon as she was lifted.

In this uncomfortable and unchangeable position Marthe remained, without drinking, without eating, and without sleeping, for more than fifty years. “Oh Jesus, you have made me your little victim,” she said on July 12, 1929, “as you have wished to be mine, and that of all mankind. All my life, oh my God, is yours … oh Cross, Cross of my Savior … oh divine ladder that joins earth to heaven, you are the altar upon which I must consume my sacrifice and consume my life in immolation and love. ”

 

The Stigmata of Marthe Robin

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Towards the end of September, 1930, Jesus appeared to Marthe and asked her “Do you wish to be like Me?”She did not know exactly what our Lord meant by this, but recalling that she had offered herself completely to Him five years earlier, she wanted everything that He wanted. She at once made her “fiat” with all the love and devotion of her heart. Sometime during the early part of October (possibly on the 4th, the feast of Saint Francis, the stigmatized saint), Jesus Crucified appeared before the eyes of Marthe. At once he took her paralyzed arms, rigid since February 2, 1929, and opened them wide. At that moment a tongue of flame leapt from his side, separated in two, and struck both of her feet and both of her hands; a third tongue of flame struck Marthe on the heart. She bled from her hands, her feet, and her heart.

Later, whether it was the same day is not known, Jesus imprinted his crown of thorns on Marthe’s head. The marks extended down to her eyes and bled freely. This crown appeared on her forehead “like purple veins”; several months afterward (at Marthe’s request, as an act of humility) they completely disappeared.
Still later, Jesus intervened again, imposing upon Marthe the wood of the Cross; Marthe felt crushed-dislocated because of the burden of the Cross with its enormous weight.

Her parents saw their daughter covered with blood, and were overwhelmed. According to Marthe, her mother “understood that this condition had come from God with Marthe’s abandonment to the Divine will.”

Her parents nevertheless called for Dr. Aristide Sallier of Saint-Uze. His medical studies had obviously not prepared him to cope with such a phenomenon. Right away, he tried to have his patient drink something. It was impossible; the liquid came out through her nose. The doctor recognized that he had come to the end of his resources. One day he acknowledged his helplessness, and said to Marthe. “Mademoiselle. pray for me!”

On the Friday following her stigmatization, Marthe began to relive the Passion of Jesus.

People come from all over to visit Marthe

Rumors of these events did not take long to circulate throughout the neighboring countryside. and soon a number of people were “ascending to The Plain” to see Marthe and to pray with her, uniting themselves through her with the Passion of Christ. This apostolate of welcoming visitors for the good of souls continued for 50 years, that is, until the end of her life. Fr. Faure and Fr. Perrier were the first to organize such visits for the edification of the souls of the parishoners entrusted to them.

The visitors so increased that, beginning in 1931 or 1932, the permission of Fr. Faure was needed to “ascend to The Plain.” Why Fr. Faure’s permis­sion? Simply because the Robin family would have been too embarrassed to refuse anyone admittance to their home.

Already, a ritual had spontaneously come about: one awaited one’s turn in the kitchen in the company of Marthe’s mother, whose patience was touching. Finally one entered Marthe’s room, chatted with her, and showed her the gifts one had brought, not only the oranges that people habitually gave (for the sick, since Marthe neither ate nor drank), but all sorts of things that Marthe then had the pleasure of sending to the poor and to missionaries. This was the origin of what todays retreatants at Chateauneuf call “Marthe’s basket.”—gifts that Marthe sent to the poor and missionaries.

 

The death struggles of her own will

“Here is the end of the year 1930,” she said on the night of December 31st, ”My whole being has undergone a transformation as mysterious as it is profound. A year of trials, a year of pain. A year of graces and of love. My real joy on my sickbed is profound, lasting because it is divine …. I reflect upon the road I have traveled since the beginning of my illness, and from this reflection emerges only Love, and gratitude towards God who is so merciful and so good. What a labor! What growth God has wrought in me! But what leapings of the heart, what death-struggles of the will it takes to die to self!”

A Passion That Recurs Every Week

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The ever increasing number of visitors, the glimpses of glory (‘ ‘It was so beautiful up there”) must not make us forget that Marthe continued to suffer every day, unceasingly and more and more painfully. Right up until 1981. One can scarcely imagine that this Calvary lasted fifty years.
Marthe suffered in her body. Even when the bed linen had to be changed it was necessary to take all sorts of precautions; despite them, Mrs. Robin and Mrs. Ferdinand Robin (who came to help) knew well enough that they caused her great agony. Marthe suffered also in not being able to eat or drink, not because she had taken some vow, as is sometimes said, but because she had no salivation and no power of normal ingestion. Her sole nourishment was the Eucharist. For fifty years Marthe lived only by means of it.

Marthe suffered in her heart to see that her parents were tormented by not being able to do anything for her. Above all, she suffered in her soul because the sin of the world is hateful and because Love is not loved. And this spiritual suffering was at its greatest every Friday when Marthe relived the crucifixion for so many years. Later, the agony of Christ began for her on Thursday evenings. “He desires to relive in me His Passion up until his last breath and His descent into hell, and even his resurrection, although I remain on the cross so as to continue this life of crucifixion that is His will for me; that He wills for me for his glory and for the redemption of souls all over the world. ”

Fr. Finet more than once told of his pathetic dialogue between them that preceded her entry into the agony of the Passion: “Father, do you know that today is Thursday’?” “Yes, my child.” “You know, Father, that this evening … ” “Yes, my child.” “Father, I worry I will not be able to bear it.” “Yes, yes, my child!”
And, little by little, during the course of the day on Thursday, Marthe increasingly felt the pangs of the Passion. She was in combat against the infernal regions unleashed, against the Devil, who beat her head against the furniture near her couch. And Marthe wept tears of blood.

Like Christ at Gethsemane, she carried the sins of the world. She was overwhelmed and horrified; she became sin. Sometimes she would say to Fr. Finet, “Do not come near me! I will make you dirty!” She groaned, unable to say any more.
She prayed. She no longer prayed to Jesus, because she was one with Jesus, so closely was she living in him. She prayed to the Father. One sensed that she was Jesus in agony in the Garden of Olives. She could be heard to say, “Let this chalice pass from me.” And then, “Father, let your will be done!’ ,

The torment continued from Thursday night throughout the whole of Friday. Marthe relived all the scenes of the Passion. This drew to a close with confidence and peace in God, on Friday night at hours that varied, when she cried, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.”
She would have a great sigh; her head fell to the left, then backwards. It was finished. One would think she was dead. She was in ecstasy.
Then on Saturday she came to herself. Sometimes it was not until Sunday, or (in the last years of her life) only on Monday morning, or even Monday afternoon.

“The Chateau”

One of the Divinely inspired projects in the heart of Marthe Robin was to build a Christian school for girls. Her spiritual director, Father Faure felt this project was doomed to failure, because the town and in fact the whole region was quite overrun with “free thinkers” who were not in favor of Christian schools. It took two years for her to convince him to make the first steps for the project. He consulted all the Priests of the Canton, 17 at that time, and 16 of the 17 thought the idea was “crazy”, given the prevailing spiritual climate of the area at that time.
To summarise the story: The building that became the Chateau was purchased and renovated, and on October 12, 1934 the Chateauneuf de Galaure school was opened. As of today, the Chateauneuf de Galaure boasts two secondary schools and an agricultural school, with a total of about 1000 students.

The “Foyers de Charite”

The second Divinely inspired project in the heart of Marthe was the “Foyers de Charite” (Houses of Charity) , which where something totally new in the Church—they are retreat houses built and organized by consecrated lay people, and directed by a Priest. The first Foyers de Charite retreat took place on September 7, 1936, preached by one of Marthe’s close friends, Father Finet. As of 2006, there are 75 Foyers in 41 countries.

Her holy death

Marthe Robin grave stone
After 50 years of suffering in union with Jesus for the conversion of souls, Marthe Robin entered her eternal reward on the First Friday of the month (devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus) February 6, 1981.

Let us close with these words of Marthe, which summarize well her life of love:
“I am Thy prey, oh Jesus, in the Cross and in joy, in cruel trials and in sharpest pain; oh how sweet it is to suffer when it is a sacrifice to Thee! And when one has as one’s sun the great fire of Thy heart. I know where love dwells, I have seen the shining of Its flame, And for Thy heaven, oh Jesus, I would gather flowers. Painful torments bloody my soul, but unceasingly I repeat, ‘I thank Thee, my Savior.”

“Oh Virgin Mary, let me each day be more docile, more patient, more simple; unnoticed and forgotten. I do not ask that God bring about in me things that are visible, but only that I be a small, lowly child, sweet and humble of heart.”

“My Lord and my God, to You I abandon myself. You wish me here, and here I shall remain, with no thought of leaving; if you wish me elsewhere, that is what I too wish. I know, oh Jesus, that always and everywhere You are saving me for yourself. Oh my Jesus, how thy little victim suffers, but how she loves Thee, with as much love as she has received … oh Jesus, keep me always. I belong to Thee; give me patience and peace in everything.”

~Venerable Marthe Robin, pray for us!

“In the Heart of Jesus I drown sin, hatred and godlessness.” -Marthe Robin

Therese Neumann~Mystic,Stigmatist,Victim Soul

Servant of God Therese Neumann was born on Good Friday, April 8, 1898, in the small village of Konnersreuth, Bavaria, Germany, and was the eldest of ten children. Interestingly, this also happens to have been the very year when St. Therese of Lisieux, the Little Flower, who later played such an important part in Therese Neu­mann’s life, passed to her eternal reward. Therese Neumann, however, was named after the other Therese, that is, St. Teresa of Avila, the extraodinary mystic and reformer of the Carmelites. From her youth, her nickname was “Resl”. Church and school records identify little Resl as a person of ordinary intelligence and attainment. Her grades were average. It might be said that the one exceptional thing about her was her quiet, unobtrusive piety.


Therese Neumann as a child

Her family was always in poor circum­stances, owning a small farm, the earnings of which were supplemented by Mr. Neumann’s income as a tailor. It was fortunate that Therese, the eldest child, was sturdy and able to assist her parents in caring for her younger brothers and sisters. Therese’s vital role in the rearing of the younger chil­dren was especially necessary when her father was called into the service during the First World War. She regarded no task as beyond her strength and was as able as most men to carry on the heavy farm work. She remarked that while she did a man’s work, she also had a man’s appetite. This girl who was to later to live without any food, at this time ate more than the average man.

Therese’s ambition was to become a missionary sister, and she was especially hopeful that she would be sent to Africa. She had a special love for the outdoors in all its varied beauty. This deep love of wildlife was manifest in the variety of plant and bird life which enlivened her little room.

Fateful Injury

A far-reaching event happened in her life, without anyone realizing it, on the fateful Sunday of March 10,1918. Fire broke out in the barn of Martin Neumann, Therese’s uncle, for whom she was working. As part of a bucket brigade, she was lifting pails of water to someone higher up in the stable. To do this better, she stood on a stool. After sustained exertion, her clothes water-soaked, she became utterly ex­hausted and fell to the floor. With very severe pains in her spine, and unable to walk alone, she was helped by a woman to reach her home nearby.
The fall had caused partial paralysis of the spine, accom­panied by very severe cramps in her legs. Physicians were called in to evaluate her condition, but they were unable to bring any relief to her serious condition. She became worse every day. One thought that caused Therese great sorrow was that she felt that her chances of becoming a missionary sister were fading away.

Through an act of the will she forced herself in every way to be as active as her limited strength would permit. These efforts resulted in several addi­tional accidents and injuries. One day she fell from her chair; while prone on the floor, she struggled to get to her feet, but could not do so without help; on one occasion, perhaps hitting her head, she had been struck almost blind. In her continued efforts to move around, she often fell again. One of her most serious falls was down the basement steps in her home. These falls increased the severity of her painful cramps. Added to all this, fainting spells occurred which often left her unconscious for several days. The Physicians seemed powerless to help Therese or to hold out any hope to her grieving family. This sorrow reached a climax in March, 1919, when Therese became totally blind.

Confined to bed


Thus, a tremendous change had occurred in the life of Therese Neumann. A short while ago she had been a strong and healthy girl, with the ability to work hard; now she found herself struck with partial paralysis – a burden to the very ones she would like so much to help. It was during this time that her spiritual life blossomed. She offered herself up to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. She enjoyed spiritual reading, so her family members took turns reading to her about our Our Lord, the Blessed Mother, and the saints. The story of Therese- the Little Flower of Jesus was one of her favorites. Along with the pains in her legs and back, bedsores caused by her long confinement in this helpless condition added to her great sufferings. Dr. Mittendorfer, of Munich, stated that these sores were so deep that the bones were exposed. Also at times she had such severe nausea that she was forced to live only on liquids.

Her spiritual director, Father Naber
Father Naber, pastor since 1909 of the parish of St. Lawrence in Konnersreuth, had been Therese’s spiritual director for nine years. He was a very devoted pastor, espe­cially to those most in need of comfort. Therese, perhaps the most afflicted of all the people in Konnersreuth, was rightfully given a large measure of his paternal care and spiritual guidence. He was deeply impressed by the resignation with which Therese bore her many sufferings.

The first miraculous intercession of Therese of Lisieux

After four years of suffering with paralysis and blindness, a very joyful day was approaching for Therese. Sunday, April 29, 1923 was the day scheduled for the beatification ceremonies in Rome of the Carmelite nun, the saintly Therese of Lisieux, who had promised before her death to let fall from Heaven a “shower of roses.” In the bedroom of Therese, flowers were arranged to adorn the pic­ture of the “Little Flower” which Therese had received from her father. Many days before she had begun a Novena in spiritual preparation for the day when the Little Flower would be officially numbered among the beatified.

The day of the Beatification arrived and as the ceremonies at St. Peter’s in Rome were draw­ing to a close, the newly beatified Therese of Lisieux “showered a bouquet of roses” on her devoted sufferer; at the instant of beatification, Therese found that her eyesight was completely restored.

Her Miraculous Cure- The second miraculous intercession of Therese of Lisieux
On May 17, 1925, when Therese of Lisieux was canonized and became officially recognized as a saint of the Catholic Church, Therese Neumann heard her voice. Softly and dis­tinctly, the saint said to her, “Therese, do you not want to become well?
Therese answered, ”Anything is all right with me: to be healthy, to remain sick, to die, whatever is the will of God.”
The voice continued, “Therese, would it not cause joy to you if you received some relief of your suffering, at least to be able to sit up and walk again?”
Therese answered, “Anything that comes from God causes joy in me.”
Again the voice said: “Therese, I shall obtain for you a small joy. You shall now be able to sit up and to walk, but you will still have much to suffer. However, be not afraid; you have received help through me in the past and I will also help you in the future.”

As St Therese of Lisieux was speaking, it was as though two strong hands lifted Therese from her bed, and after being paralyzed for six and one half years, she found herself completely healed. Not only was she healed of the paralysis, but of the gaping bedsores on her body as well. According to medical reports, some of those sores were deep enough to expose her bone. In a matter of sec­onds, the sores were completely healed and were covered with a fresh layer of skin.


A third intercession of St Therese of Lisieux occurred on November 13, 1925, when Therese again became very ill with an acute attack of appendicitis, for which her Physician ordered that she be taken to the hospital at once. As arrangements were being made, St Therese again appeared to her in a vision, and obtained for her an instantaneous cure. These extraordinary graces inspired in Therese Neumann a deep and most profound trust and confidence in God, which was very much needed in what was soon to come in her life.

Therese receives the holy Stigmata during Lent, 1926


In February of 1926, Therese fell ill with what was believed to be influenza. On the morning of the first Friday of Lent, March 5, 1926, Therese had a weak spell which forced her to stay in bed. She was alone in her bedroom during most of these hours, in a condition which seemed to be a state of semi­-consciousness, which at least in part was an Divine ecstasy. As she lay thus on her bed of suffering, Therese sud­denly saw the Divine Redeemer in the Garden of Geth­semani. “I saw Him kneeling on the ground, and I saw everything else in the garden, the trees, the rocks, and also the three disciples. They were not sleeping, but in a sitting position, leaning on a rock. They looked quite exhausted. All at once I felt such vehement pain in my side that I thought my last moment had come. Then I felt something running down my body. It was blood.”” The blood kept on trickling until toward noon of the next day, and Resl remained so weak that she hardly knew where she was.

As the day went on, she noticed that her nightgown was stained with blood on her left side. She found that the blood came from a wound slightly above her heart. Not wanting to cause her parents any fur­ther anxiety, she decided not to tell anyone about the wound, feeling certain that it would soon heal on its own. She managed to clean her side, and then she hid the bloody cloth under the mattress of her bed. The wound, about one and one half inches above her heart, was the first of her stigmata and represents the place where the lance of Longinus penetrated the sacred body of Jesus. The wound was oblong shaped, about one and three-eighths inches in length and three-sixteenths of an inch wide.

On the night of the second Thursday of Lent, into the second Friday of Lent, March 12,1926, she had another bout of weakness and began feeling ill and was once again confined to her bed. During the early hours of Friday morning, she was rapt in a vision and saw the Saviour, first in the Garden of Olives and then at the pillar of scourging, and the wound in her side bled again. In her childlike simplicity and limited education, she of course did not understand the significance of what was happening to her. It was on this second Friday of Lent that she confided in her sister Creszentia, telling her about the wound above her heart.

On the third Friday of Lent, March 19, 1926 she saw in an ecstasy Christ in Gethsemani and as He was crowned with thorns, and the side wound began bleeding once more. This once again alarmed Therese and her sister, neither of whom understood the significance of the wound. Not long after this, her mother noticed it and asked what had happened, and Resl answered that the wound had come of itself. Because Therese seemed unconcerned about the wound, her mother thought it was relatively insignificant, gave it no further thought. After all, Therese was a grown woman at this time, just two weeks shy of her 28th birthday.

On Passion Friday (the Friday before Holy Week) March 26, 1926, she saw the Saviour carrying the wood of the cross and falling under its weight. The wound in her side bled again at this time and an open wound appeared on the back of the sufferer’s left hand. This new wound could no longer be kept a secret and nor could the wound she bore above her heart, as it began bleeding profusely, and her Father soon discovered it in her attempt to assuage the bleedi . Even the bloodstained cloths which Therese had tug with cloths. Also, the cloths that were previously tucked under the mattress were then discovered.

On the night of Holy Thursday, April 2, 1926, Therese saw in a ecstatic visions the complete Passion of Our Lord, from the Garden of Gethsemane up to His death on the Cross, beginning at about midnight on Holy Thursday, and ending with our Saviour’s death on the Cross at 3pm on Good Friday afternoon. The suffering which came upon Therese during those hours was so excruciating that words cannot describe it. From the addi­tional wounds on her hands and feet, which were now all completely penetrating, blood flowed profusely, as it did from her eyes, rolling down both cheeks and collecting upon her throat and chest.

The sight of Therese suffering on her bed in this pitiable condition was almost more than her family could stand. As the hours passed and her suffering increased, they real­ized that they were witnessing something of divine origin. Father Naber had intended to anoint Therese, giving her the Sacrament of Extreme Unction (Last Rites of the Church), but at 3pm that after­noon the ever-increasing, excruciating pain climaxed in the final death struggle. Then, abruptly, it all ended, and Therese fell lifelessly back into her pillows, exhausted even beyond the last ounce of her strength.
After a few hours, Therese gradually returned to her normal physical condition. Her parents and Father Naber were so moved by what they saw that it was some time before they regained his composure. After she had been washed up, Father Naber carefully observed that Therese bore on the back of each hand and on the instep of her feet, “round, open wounds from which clear blood flows.” The wounds caused her intense pain; she said that the feeling was as if something “was sticking in there.” The side wound caused her great pain also, and in this wound the pain seemed to come from deeply inside.

At the culmination of Holy Week, during the morning hours of Easter Sunday, 1926, Therese had another ecstatic vision in which she saw the risen Christ, dressed in a white garment. From this time onwards, the sufferings of the Passion of our Lord would be experienced by Therese each week, usually beginning on Thursday evenings and lasting until Friday afternoon.


The Crown of Thorns and the Scourging
On Friday, Novem­ber 5, 1926, Therese received nine wounds about her head from the Crowning of Thorns, and also wounds on her shoulders and back which represented her participation in the Scourging. From this point on, the wounds from the Crown of Thorns required her to constantly wear a head-cloth, which can be seen in the many photographs of her. Thus the stigmata on the body of Therese Neumann became complete, including the wound above her heart, penetrating wounds on her hands and feet, the nine wounds on her head, and the wounds on her shoulders and back. Not one of the wounds ever disappeared; they never healed, and they were still imprinted on her body at the time of her death.

Therese sustained entirely by the Eucharist –Total abstinence from food and drink
On the anniversary of her death, September 30, 1927, St Therese of Lisieux appeared to Therese in a vision and told her that henceforth she would live entirely off the Eucharist, and would have not need for earthly food. This total abstinence from food and drink continued until her death in 1962. The fast actually began in 1922, but was not a total and complete fast from food or drink until September of 1926.
This led to a request by the Bishop of Regensburg that Therese submit herself to a period of medical observation. The request was for a fifteen-day observation, for specialists in these matters considered such a period sufficient. They asserted that hunger might pos­sibly be borne longer than that, but a complete fast of two weeks without taking any liquid nourishment was not possible. Resl’s father agreed to comply with the episcopal request, and so from July 14 to 28 inclusive, in the year 1927, Therese was under the observation of four Mollersdorfer Sisters, members of a nursing order, who came to her home. They were placed under oath by the Regensburg ordinariate before and after the observation. All were well qualified for the task, and carried out with the most scrupulous care the directions of Dr. Seidl, the medical supervisor.

The directions were very strict and carefully calculated to meet every possible contingency. Therese was not to be left alone for a single moment, day or night, whether at home, in church, or out of doors. For this reason, even her customary confession was foregone. The Sisters were to bathe Therese, but with a damp cloth instead of a sponge. The water for mouth washes was to be measured and remeasured before to Resl so she could swallow the Host was to be measured by the Sisters before it was given to her. Periodic weigh­ing of the body, taking of the pulse and temperature were prescribed. Blood smears were to be made during the Friday ecstasies and compared with a blood smear from the ear lobe taken on another day, after which the hemo­globin content was to be determined.

According to the Miinchner medizinische Wochenschriit supplement, No. 46, 1927, the directions went so far as to demand that “All excretions – urine, vomit, and stools – must be gathered, measured, and weighed, and immediately sent to the physician for analysis.”
Professor Ewald of Erlangen, an opponent of any super­natural explanation of this phenomenon, admitted in a brochure on Konnersreuth that the keenest and most relentless attention was given to the matter of food throughout the period of observation. Despite the constant alertness, it could never be ascertained that Therese Neumann took nourishment or attempted to take it. The professor claimed that the stigmatist ought to have lost weight heavily, but such was not the case. She did lose considerably (3 to 8 pounds in a few days is no slight loss) following the days of ecstasy, but regained this in the course of the same brief period. Without taking food or drink she gained 5 to 6 pounds, so that at the conclusion of the observation her weight was the same as before.

Dr. Ewald also draws attention to the fact that about 400 grams of water are taken from the body daily through exhalations. It is to be especially noted that to meet the demands of exhalation is a purely phys­ical process and almost totally independent of the consti­tution of the individual. To the loss in this manner must be added that which accompanies the bleeding, perspira­tion, etc. “Therese ought long since to have been dried up like a mummy. But she is fresh-looking and lively, has saliva, and moist mucous membrane. One may indulge in the most fantastic imaginings, a prolongation of metabolism as in hibernation, or Iakirism – though The­rese does not hibernate, but moves, speaks, reads, writes letters, goes about – this increase in weight simply cannot be explained; for something cannot come from nothing.”

Dr. Seidl, who had been Therese Neumann’s attending physician since at least 1918, testified under oath in a Munich court case on April 15, 1929, that there could be no question of Therese having taken any nourishment during the period of observation. He maintained flatly that the abstention of all nourishment by Therese Neumann was a fact, which he had not the least reason to doubt. He added that since September, 1926, the stigmatist took no nourishment at all, not even a bit of water, as she had at the time of the fifteen days’ observation.


She was once asked how it was possible that she lived on the Eucharist alone, and she responded “The Saviour can do all things. Did He not say that “my Flesh is real food, and my blood is real drink?”

Her extraordinary mystical gifts

Therese was given many visions of Our Lord, and she also was “shown” many details of the earthly life of our Lord, from His birth until His Resurrection. She was often visited by our Blessed Mother, the Saints and Angels. It is common knowledge to many who visited Konnersreuth that Therese always recognized priests as priests. This was a particularly mysterious phenomenon which baffled many visitors. One day a man dressed in the formal attire of a bishop came to Konnersreuth and visited Father Naber and Therese. Father Naber was very cordial to him, as he always was, but when Therese came into the room she immediately recognized that this was not a man with consecrated hands. She robustly turned him about in no uncertain terms, telling him to get out and stay out, saying: “You imposter!”
It was later reported to the parish that this man was arrested by the police as a con man who wanted to collect money under false pretenses.

Therese explained that she was able to recognize any ordained priest by his “consecrated hands”. On occasion (especially during World War II) Priests would come dressed as ordinary lay persons, and she would immediately identify them, addressing them by saying “Hello Father”. She could also immediately tell the difference between consecrated and unconsecrated Hosts. She was able to recognized the presence of the Blessed Sacrament in a church as far away as one mile. When Father Naber asked her on several occasions, in locations unfamiliar to her, whether the Blessed Sacrament was present, her answer was always immediate and definite. When she approached the Blessed Sacrament-whether it was in the tabernacle of a Catholic Church or carried on the person of a priest making a sick call-her wounds reflected this joy, and the pain subsided temporarily.

Knowing that Therese always recognized a Catholic Church having the Blessed Sacrament present, a priest once asked her, “Is it also true that you can feel when a visitor has received Holy Communion?” “Yes,” she said, “but only within a cer­tain length of time.”

Once while Therese was in ecstasy, a Benedictine priest came to the Neumann home in the company of other visitors. Shortly after they entered the room, Therese motioned to the priest to come nearer to her bed. Then she reached out and clasped a relic that was suspended from the Benedictine’s habit. After holding the relic close to her heart, she kissed it. She explained that it was a relic of the True Cross, and further identified it as a particle from the lower section of the Cross, close to where the nail had transfixed the Saviour’s feet. During the few moments taken to identify this relic, Therese’s sufferings seemed to subside, but they resumed immediately thereafter.

On another occasion while Therese was in ecstasy, she asked a visiting priest to show her his rosary. When the priest handed it to her, she kissed it devoutly and explained that this rosary had once been used by Blessed Kreszentia of Kaufbeuren, Bavaria. The priest knew the history of this particular rosary to be precisely as Therese stated it.

On one occasion a gentleman brought a relic along from Italy. As Therese was touched by the relic, she immediately responded that it was from a saint in Heaven who knew the Holy Father very well. She also told the name of the saint; it was Contardo Ferrini, who was not known at all in Ger­many and whose connection with the Holy Father was known by only a few trusted people. Again Therese startled the visi­tors by telling the incidents of his life, which they themselves did not know. It turned out that she was correct, as always.

It was discovered that there was only one thing that would bring Therese out of a Passion ecstasy momentarily, and that was the blessing of a Catholic priest (or bishop) who might be present. She would respond to the blessing with the words: Thanks be to God, Father. (or your Excellency).

Countless other marvels

Because this article is now quite lengthly, we will simply relate a few other remarakble matters, without going into details. One can read further into these matters in the books that have been published. As a Victim Soul, Therese suffered primarily for the souls of sinners. There are many documented events which give ample proofs to the fact that remarkable conversions were made in persons chosen by God, and obtained through specific sufferings that she was given. She obtained these conversion by her participation in the Passion in union with Jesus. In other words, she suffered in union with Jesus for the conversion of sinners. At times she was “shown” whom a particular was that she was suffering for.

On other occasions, she took upon herself the physical sufferings of others, always of course, through the permission of God. She once took upon herself a throat disease that threatened the vocation of a young seminarian. She suffered this throat ailment for many years, until the day when the newly ordained seminarian, now a Priest, celebrated his first Mass. At that moment, the diesease completely disappeared. Interestingly, the taking upon herself of this throat disease coincided with the beginning of her perpetual fast from eating and drinking in 1922.

Lots of details can be found in the books concerning her use of various languages in her ecstasies, including Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic, Portuguese etc…It seemed that she was able to speak and understand whatever the native tongue of the one whom was appearing to her, for example the Hebrew Greek and Aramaic of those of Jesus’ times, the Potuguese of St Anthony, the Latin of St Lawrence and even the French dialect of the Pyrenees in the vision of St Bernadette at Lourdes.

Her holy death


In the late 1950’s Therese began having heart troubles. As time when on, she began having mild attacks of the heart. On the day of her death, she received an rare grace, that of as a miraculous Communion, an event which usually happened only on high feastdays; the Host appeared on Therese’s tongue, having been given her by Our Lord Himself. The time was 10:30 a.m.

After the vision and the reception of Our Lord, Therese was fully conscious, and during an attack she was still able to ring for her sister Marie. Therese appeared to be very uncomfortable, and it was apparent that the death struggle was in progress. Marie was greatly alarmed and immediately called Father Naber. As he stepped into the room, Therese Neumann had already presented her holy soul to her dear Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Thus on September 18, 1962, one of the greatest mystics and stigmatists of our time passed to her eternal reward.

The pastor of Konnersreuth at the time, Father Schumann, performed the Rite of Extreme Unction. No one in the room really believed that Therese was dead. She had died more than a hundred deaths in her lifetime, and many times everyone thought of her permanent passing from this earth. Candles were often lit on such occa­sions, because there was no pulse, no breathing or heartbeat; and she had often been pronounced dead by doctors. How­ever, this time, after a period of hours had passed, they finally called in three doctors, who eventually pronounced her dead.


The house of Therese Neumann

With good reason, the doctors were ordered to watch and check the body of Therese, starting Tuesday, September 18 until the follow­ing Saturday before the coffin was closed for the funeral. The scientific verdict after the final examination by the doc­tors was: there existed no death odor, no death spots, and there was no death stiffness. Also, there was no breathing, and Therese’s lips remained fresh and moist. It must be remembered that at that ime in Germany, people were not normally embalmed, and neither was Therese, and furthermore, the record shows that at the time of Therese’s death on Tuesday until her burial on Saturday, the area was experiencing a heat wave, which normally would precipitate decomposition, but after 5 days of laying in state, her body remained as a living person with no usual signs of death.

Catholic Church position

The process of Beatification and Canonization for Therese Neumann was officially opened on February 13, 2005 by Bishop Gerhard Mueller of Regensburg, Germany and is therefore officially considered a “Servant of God” by the Catholic church. Gratitude for favours received through Therese Neumann’s intercession
and prayer requests attributed or entrusted to her should be reported to the Chairman of the Department for Beatification and Canonization Processes, Rev. Domvikar Georg Schwager, Schwarze-Bären-Str. 2, D-93047 Regensburg or Kath. Pfarramt, Kirchplatz 3, D-95692 Konnersreuth.

Source:mysticsofthechurch.com

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“You are given not only to suffer with our dear Saviour, but you will be joyful with Him too. But remain always submissive and childlike.” -St Therese of Lisieux to Therese Neumann

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.

 

 

 

Union with Christ~Mystics who died at age 33

St Catherine of Siena 1347-1380 -mystic, stigmatic, victim soul

St Faustina Kowalska 1905-1938 -mystic, victim soul, bore invisible stigmata

Sr. Josefa Menendez 1890-1923 -mystic, victim soul, bore crown of thorns.

St Michael of the Saints 1591-1625 -priest, mystic and victim soul

Blessed Mariam Baouardy 1846-1878 -mystic, stigmatic, victim soul

Marie Rose Ferron 1902-1936-American mystic, stigmatic & victim soul


Servant of God, Domenica Lazzeri 1815-1848 -mystic, stigmatic, victim soul


Servant of God, Louise Lateau 1850-1883 -mystic, stigmatic, victim soul


Teresa Musco, 1943-1976 -mystic, stigmatic, victim soul


“Oh my Jesus, take everything I have and cherish. I am ready to suffer until the last one is converted, even for one hundred years, if You so wish it!”

 -American mystic and stigmatic, Marie Rose Ferron

Source:mysticsofthechurch.com

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

St.Gemma Galgani and the souls in purgatory 

St Gemma intercedes for the souls in Purgatory

“….Mention must also be made of the zeal of this child of Heaven in the aid of the suffering souls in Purgatory. If love when it is true has no bounds, certainly hers that had reached the summit of per­fection must have been unlimited. Her zeal for the poor suffering souls was indeed extraordinary. She often offered fervent prayers, together with penances and her immense spiritual and corporal sufferings, for all of the souls in Purgatory in general. At the same time, just as was her way with sinners, she always had some particular soul on her mind for whose relief she was especially interested. “Yes, suffer!” she used to say, “suffer for sinners, and even more so for the suffering Souls, and in a particular way for N … ” (whom she named). And our loving Lord, who likewise ardently desires to draw those holy souls to Himself, moved His servant to an increase of zeal and continually suggested to her new modes of expiation. “The Angel has told me,” she said, “that this evening Jesus will let me suffer a little more for a soul in Purgatory, that is, for two hours beginning at nine o’clock.” That suffering was very great, as she herself confessed: “My head pained me more than usual, and every movement I made was torture.” Heaven accepted the expiation of so worthy a creature, and the pains of those blessed Souls from day to day grew less and their suffering was shortened.


Gemma knew by Divine inspiration that in the Convent of Passionist Nuns at Corneto [Italy] there was a Religious Sister very dear to God who was near death. She asked me about it, and on my answering that it was so, she at once began to implore of Jesus to make that particular Reli­gious expiate all her faults on her deathbed, so that breathing her last she might enter Paradise at once. Her prayer, at least in part, was heard. The Sister suffered greatly and died in a few months. Gemma told those in her home of it in order that they might pray for the deceased, and she gave her name, Mary Teresa of the Infant Jesus, as she was not known in Lucca. After her death, this soul appeared to her full of sorrow, imploring her help as she was undergoing great torments in Purgatory for certain defects.

Nothing more was needed to set all the fibers of Gemma’s heart in motion. From that moment she gave herself no rest; -prayers, tears and loving petitions to Our Lord.

“Jesus, save her,” she was overheard to exclaim. “Jesus, take Mary Teresa to Paradise without delay. She is a soul that is most dear to Thee. Let me suffer much for her; I want her to be in heaven.”

During this time Gemma writes the following in her Diary:

“It was around 9:30 and I was reading; all of a sudden I am shaken by a hand resting gently on my left shoulder. I turn in fright; I was afraid and tried to call out, but I was held back. I turned and saw a person dressed in white; I recognized it was a woman; I looked and her expression assured me I had nothing to fear: “Gemma,” she said after some moments, “do you know me?” I said no, because that was the truth; she responded: “I am Mother Maria Teresa of the Infant Jesus: I thank you so, so much for the great con­cern you have shown me because soon I shall be able to attain my eternal happiness.”All this happened while I was awake and fully aware of myself. Then she added: “Continue still, because I still have a few days of suf­fering.” And in so saying she caressed me and then went away. Her countenance, I must say, inspired much confidence in me. From that hour I redoubled my prayers for her soul, so that soon she should reach her objective; but my prayers are too weak; how I wish that for the souls in Pur­gatory my prayers should have the strength of the saints’.”

And the dear victim of expiation suffered without ceasing for sixteen days, at the end of which God was pleased to accept her sacrifice and to release that soul. This is how Gemma herself told me of it:

“Toward half-past one it seemed to me that the Blessed Mother herself came to tell me that the hour was drawing nigh. Then almost immediately I thought I saw Mary Teresa coming toward me clad as a Passionist, accompanied by her Guardian Angel and by Jesus. Oh, how she was changed since the day I first saw her! Smiling, she drew close to me and said: “I am truly happy, and I go to enjoy my Jesus for ever.” She thanked me again. Then she made sign of bidding me good-bye with her hand, several times, and with Jesus and her Guardian Angel she flew to Heaven. It was about half-past two o’clock in the morning.”

God converted the world through the labors of twelve poor fishermen. And now He continues to save many through the secret tears, penances and pains of humble souls who are dis­carded by the world, and yet are great in His eyes. One of them assuredly was this saintly Virgin of Lucca.”

“My God, open Your heart to me. Oh Jesus, open to me Thy sacramental breast, because I wish to place all my affections there. Oh Jesus, how much I love You! But why do You treat me so lovingly, while I offend You with such countless ingratitudes? This thought alone, if I could but comprehend it, should be enough to turn me into a furnace of love.”

–St Gemma Galgani

St.Gemma Galgani’s battles with the devil 


“….And to keep me from being too elated by the abundance of revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a Angel of Satan to beat me, to keep me from being too exalted.” 2 Corinthians 12:7
God, in order to purify His elect and render them victims of expiation for themselves and for others, makes use even of the demons, who because of their hatred of souls and their increased intelligence become very profitable instruments to the attainment of His ends.

Thus our Lord, when He made known to our holy founder, St Paul of the Cross (founder of the Passionists –editor) that He willed to raise Him to a high degree of sanctity, spoke thus “I will have thee trampled underfoot by the devils”.

And, in like manner, Jesus said to His servant Gemma: “Be prepared My child. The Devil, at my bidding, will be the one who, by the war he will rage against you, will give the last touch to the work that I will accomplish in you.”


In a early letter to Father Germano, Gemma writes:

“During the last two days Jesus has been telling me after Holy Communion: ‘My daughter, the devil will soon wage a great war against you.’ These words I hear in my heart continuously. Please pray for me …. Who will win this battle: the devil or my soul? How sad this thing makes me! Where will the war come from? I am for ever thinking about it instead of praying Jesus to give me strength and help. Now I have told you, and I leave this matter to you, that you may help me.

Your poor,

Gemma” 


Gemma soon learned that the best way to defend herself against the demons and to reach God’s ends is through prayer, which she practiced with all the ardor of her soul. What then did not the enemy do to prevent it? To weary her he would try to upset her temperament; he caused her violent headaches so that she might be obliged to go to bed, rather than remain in prayer and strove in numerous other ways to distract her from this holy exercise. “Oh” she once said to me “What torment this gives me, not to be able to pray! What fatigue it costs me! How many efforts does not that wretch make to make it impossible for me to pray! Yesterday evening he tried to kill me, and would have succeeded if Jesus had not come quickly to my aid. I was terrified and kept the image of Jesus in my mind, but I could not pronounce His name.”
At other times, he attacked her differently “What are you doing” he said, blaspheming, “how stupid you are to pray to that malefactor. Look at the harm He does thee, keeping thee nailed to the Cross with Himself. How then can you care for Him, for Him whom you don’t even know, who makes all who love Him suffer?” But these and all his other evil suggestions were as dust before the wind, and only served to afflict her at hearing her Jesus outraged by such blasphemies.


In the midst of so much suffering, the servant of God found comfort in the direction and advice of her spiritual director (the author of these lines -editor). This the wicked enemy could not bear, and tried to turn her away from her spiritual guide. He depicted her director as an ignorant, fanatical, deluded man and with so many arguments strove to convince and terrify her that the poor child thought herself all but lost. Hence on one occasion she wrote “For some days, Chiappino* (a name she called the devil) has pursued me in every guise and way, and has done all in his power against me. This monster keeps on redoubling all his efforts to ruin me and tries to deprive me of whomever directs or advises me. But even should this happen, I am not afraid” (notice her virtue of detachment). Seeing that with all his efforts he could not succeed in shaking her confidence in her director, he resorted to acts of violence, and, assaulting her while she persevered in writing, he snatched the pen from her hand and tore up the paper then dragged her from the table, seizing her by the hair with such violence that it came off in his brutal claws. Then withdrawing in fury he shouted “War, war against thy Father, (Venerable Germanus, the author of these lines –editor) war as long as he lives!” “Believe me Father” she said to me “to hear this despicable wretch one would say that his fury was against you more than against me”.

*(Gemma’s nickname for the devil was “Chiappino”, which is the equivalent of “burgular”. St John Vianney’s nickname for him was “Grappin”, which is the equivelent of “wrestler” -editor)


(Pictured above St.Gemma Galgani’s diary burned by the devil)

He carried this audacity so far as to feign to be a priest to whom Gemma used to make her confession. She had gone one day to Church, and while preparing herself to make her confession, she saw that the Priest was already in the confessional, at which she momentarily wondered, not having seen him pass and enter. At the same time she felt very much disturbed in spirit, as generally happened when in the presence of the evil one. She entered the confessional however, and began her confession as usual. The voice and ways were indeed those of the confessor, but his talk was foul and scandalous, accompanied by improper gestures. “My God” she exclaimed, “what has happened?” At such a sight and at such words the angelic child trembled, and her presence of mind returning, she hurriedly left the confessional, and saw as she did so that the pretended “confessor” had disappeared. It was the Devil, who by his coarse and fiendish ways had sought to deceive her, or at least make her lose all confidence in the minister of God.

Failing in this attempt, the enemy made another. He appeared to Gemma in the form of an angel, resplendent with light, insinuating himself with the most subtle cunning, so as to throw her off her guard. Then as with Eve in the Garden of Eden, he depicted things in the falsest colors “Look” he said “I can make thee happy if only you will swear to obey me”. Gemma, who this time did not feel in her soul the usual disturbance indicating the presence of the demon, stood listening in her simplicity. But God came to her aid. After the first wicked proposal, her eyes were opened. She stood up exclaiming “My God! Mary Immaculate!” Make me die rather!” and with these words she rushed to the feigned “angel” and spat in his face. At the same moment she saw him vanish in the form of fire.

Again Gemma writes “Once more I have passed a bad night. The demon came before me as a giant of great height and kept saying to me “For thee there is no more hope of salvation. Thou are in my hands!”. I replied that God is merciful and therefore I fear nothing. Then, giving me a hard blow on the head in a rage he said “accursed be you!” and then he disappeared. I then went to my room to rest, and there I found him. He began again to strike me with a knotted rope, and wanted me to listen to him while he suggested wickedness. I said no, and he struck me even harder, knocking my head violently against the ground. At a certain point, it came to my mind to invoke Jesus’ Father “Eternal Father, through the most precious blood of Jesus, free me!” I then don’t quite know what happened. That contemptable beast dragged me from my bed and threw me, hitting my head against the floor with such force that it pains me still. I became senseless and remained lying there until I came to myself a long time afterwards. Jesus be thanked!”


Another time Gemma writes “Today I thought I was to be entirely free from that nauseous animal, and instead he has knocked me about greatly. I had gone to bed with the full intention of sleeping, but it turned out otherwise. He began to beat me with such blows that I feared I would die. He was in the shape of a big black dog, and he put his “paws” on my shoulders, hurting me greatly. I felt it so much in all my bones that I thought that they were broken. Also, when I was taking holy water he wrenched my arm so violently that I fell to the floor from the pain. The bone was dislocated, but went back into place because Jesus touched it for me, and all was remedied”. Knowing her mission as soul victim, the Devil once said to her “You can pray for yourself, but if you pray for others, I will make you pay dearly for it”.

In her Diary Gemma writes:

“The devil, in the form of a great black dog, put his paws upon my shoulders, making every bone in my body ache. At times I believed that he would mangle me; then one time, when I was taking holy water, he twisted my arm so cruelly that I fell to the earth in great pain.After a while I remembered that I had around my neck the relic of the Holy Cross. Making the Sign of the Cross, I became calm. Jesus let me see Himself, but only for a short time, and He strengthened me anew to suffer and struggle.”

Another time in her Diary she writes:


“This evening I felt I could not collect myself; I said a few evening prayers and went to bed. To tell the truth, I foresaw a bit of a storm because Jesus had warned me a few days ago, saying: “The enemy will try you with one final battle, but it will be the last because now that is enough.” I could not help but thank Him for the strength He had always given me, and I prayed that He would want to give me strength for this final test as well, that is to say last night.I went to bed, as you know well, with the intention of sleeping; slumber was not long in coming when almost instantly a tiny, tiny man appeared, all covered in black hair. What a fright! He put his hands on my bed and I thought he wanted to hit me: “No, no,” he said, “I am not able to hit you, don’t be afraid,” and as he said this he lay down on the bed.I called Jesus to help me but he did not come, but this doesn’t mean he abandoned me. As soon as I called his name I felt liberated, but it was sudden.Other times I had called Jesus but He had never been ready like last night.You should have seen the demon afterward, how angry! He rolled around on the floor, cursing; he made one last effort to take away the cross I had with me but then he instantly fell backward. How good Jesus was with me last night. The devil, after that last effort, turned toward me and said that since he had not been able to do anything, he wished to torment me the rest of the night. “No,” I told him; I called my guardian Angel, who opened his wings and alighted next to me; he blessed me and the devil ran away. Jesus be thanked. This morning I learned that at the very moment the devil was rising in fury, the scapular of Our Lady of Sorrows had been placed on me [by Ce­cilia Giannini] and I realized that when the devil was trying to take some­thing off of me, it could be nothing but that. My Mother, Our Lady of Sor­rows, also be thanked.”


Another time in her Diary she writes:
“It happened today as usual. I had gone to bed, in fact I was asleep, but the devil did not wish this. He presented himself in a disgusting manner; he tempted me but I was strong. I commended myself to Jesus asking that He take my life rather than have me offend Him. What horrible temptations those were! All displease me but those against Holy Purity make me most wretched. Afterward he left me in peace and the Angel Guardian came and assured me that I had not done anything wrong. I com­plained somewhat, because I wished his help at such times, and he said that whether I saw him or not, he would be always above my head.”


In his biography, Father Germanus writes:

“With a view to protect her from these Satanic attacks and apparitions, I enjoined on her, under whatever form the persons of the other world might appear to her, to at once repeat the words “Viva Gesu!” (“Long live Jesus!” –editor). I was unaware that our Our Lord Himself had given her a similar remedy in the words: “Benedetto sio Dio e Maria!” (Blessed be God and Mary!)

And the docile child, in order to obey both, used to repeat the double exclamation-

“Viva Gesu! Benedetto sio Dio e Maria!” (Blessed be Jesus! Blessed be God and Mary!) The good spirits always repeated her words, whereas the malignant ones either did not reply, or else pronounced only a few words, such as “Viva” or “Benedetto”, without adding any name. By this means Gemma recognized them and scorned them accordingly. ”


Regarding the attacks from the devil, at times she would find comfort in her sense of humor. She once wrote to Father Germano stating “If you would have seen him Father, when he fled making faces, you would have burst out laughing! He is so ugly!…. But Jesus told me not to be afraid of him”

Certainly Satan must have growled with rage at the zeal of this holy girl, finding how she snatched his choicest victims from him. He often appeared to her with eyes of fire and in threaten­ing tones said: “While acting for yourself, do as you please, but listen well, do nothing for the conversion of sinners; if you attempt it, I shall make you pay dearly for it.”


At other times assuming the role of prudent counselor he would say: “How and where comes such presumption? You are laden with sins, and all the years of thy life would not suffice to bewail and expiate them, and yet you lose time about the sins of others? Do you not see that your own soul is in danger? A strange gain, that of think­ing for others and neglecting thyself.” And on another occasion the infenal demon said “Don’t you see that Jesus no longer hears you and that He will no longer have anything to do with you?” But through the grace of God, and the will of Gemma, all the devils temptations were made in vain.