The Power of Praying for Others 


The Devil ‘ s Rage Over St Gemma Galgani Prayers for Others

The Devil once said to St Gemma Galgani “You can pray for yourself, but if you pray for others, I will make you pay dearly for it”. And on another occasion the devil said to this great Saint, “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.” The devil appeared to affirm for St Gemma Galgani that our Prayers for other are seemingly more fruitful then when we Pray for our wants when he tried a new tactic to get St. Gemma to consider her own soul rather than only others when he exclaimed “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.” Through all this she was brutally beaten and never stopped praying for others letting herself be a victim for the human race as her Lord and Savior did on His Cross know that no servant Is greater than their Master. The devil seemed to be in a personal war with St. Gemma Galgani who at one point during one of his attacks started horribly cursing God and shouting “War! War against you and your spiritual director!”. This continued on a nightly bases with the devil mocking her and her prayers for others in the chance she would give up praying for others and which she took with the true patience of a saint. The devil caused her the most pains by blaspheming her True Love Jesus Christ continuously even one day he telling her “What are you doing” he said, “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? Through all these continued promises of earthly happiness and even acknowledging t her she may pray for herself just not others she persevered the devils attacks and eventually winning a great victory for mankind and guaranteed herself an exalted place in Heaven along with all Christ Saints.

The devils to Padre Pio: “You bother us more than Saint Michael.” “If you don’t snatch souls from us we will not bother you.”

What souls we can convert by our prayers. The one who saves a soul from hell saves this soul and his own as well.’ ~St. John Vianney 

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.

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

Sr.Mary Neuzil and Our Lady of America 


Born on the feast of Our Lady, Queen of the Angels

On August 2, 1916, Mildred Marie Neuzil was born of Austrian parents, John and Anna (Smerda) Neuzil. Born in Brooklyn, NY, baptized at Most Holy Trinity, and shortly after moved to Cleveland Ohio. In Austria, her father had been a gardener to Johann Strauss (a renowned Austrian composer), and in America he was a homebuilder.

At the age of 14, Mildred Neuzil entered the active religious congregation of the Sisters of the Precious Blood, a papal community, in Dayton Ohio. Three years later Mildred made her first vows as a professed religious. She received the name Sister Mary Ephrem, a name that means “doubly fruitful”. She carried out her duties mostly in domestic work and as a kindergarten teacher. Her first mission of activity included multiple diocesan jurisdictions in Washington, DC, where she remained until 1937, when she was sent to the Chancery in Cincinnati, Ohio. It was here that God gives her a holy man, priest and later Archbishop to guide her.

By 1940, Our Lord revealed to Sr. Mary Ephrem that her mission was to converge on the sanctification of the family.

”My daughter, I am not loved in the homes of men. And because I am not loved, the Divine Trinity refuses to dwell therein. Children are not taught to love Me, because those who have charge over them have no time or patience to do so.”

Our Lord confides in Sr. Mary His sorrow over sinful man

“My Heart beats with compassion for the sorrows of man. Oh how gladly would I help him bear the weight of his terrible cross, fashioned, for the most part by his own guilt! But alas, he will have none of My help.”

“Pray, pray, pray, oh My Little White Dove pray and sacrifice yourself for the souls of poor sinners. How many are lost because there are no prayers said for them, no sacrifices made for them.”

Sister began to share these experiences with her confessor Rev. Paul Leibold. He would remain her spiritual director for 32 years, from 1940-1972, when he died.

Sr. Mildred Mary Ephrem Neuzil on August 15, 1964

“My little white dove tell your spiritual father- him whom I have placed over you- to guide and direct you. Tell him that My Heart is pleased with his efforts to make Me loved. I will bless him and make his work fruitful in behalf of all the souls entrusted to his care and priestly ministrations. Tell him if he would please Me more to double his efforts in making known the love of My Heart for poor sinners…As a priest after My own Heart I will be with him in all his trials and sorrows. Tell him not to become discouraged at the crosses awaiting him, for I the great High-Priest go before him carrying the heaviest part of his cross...I seek always the humble and lowly of heart.”

Then Our Lord goes on to tell Sister Mary:

“…And since I have found two such souls, I have entrusted to them a great mission.”

In the winter of 1954, Our Lord warns her not become vain for He has chosen them out of their unworthiness and lack of virtue,

“Let this thought be with you always that you may remember that it is I working through you , who sanctify you for His glory and the salvation of souls…through you a great work will be accomplished. I am the Great Sculptor of souls. With hammer and chisel I form them that they may glorify My Father by their beauty and perfection. Be pliant in My Hands, oh My two lowly ones, My priest and My little white dove, and then will you be formed into My likeness and through you, I will be formed in souls.”

Our Lord not only expressed His sorrow at the loss of faith in the world, but those of chosen souls:

“Where are your prayers, oh My priests and religious? Where are your sacrifices? Do you not know that sinners will not be converted unless prayer and sacrifices call down the grace of God upon them? My chosen ones you in particular are responsible for the souls of poor sinners. It is to you I have entrusted them. You their spiritual fathers and mothers you must care for them and by your unceasing prayers on their behalf ,lead them safely to My Father’s House.”

For Sister Mary Ephrem her humility and simplicity would draw her ever closer to her suffering Savior. Our Lord would call her to cooperate in the salvation of souls by allowing her to share in His Passion. During a night vigil on the Feast of the Sacred Heart 1956 He reveals the sorrow of His Heart over the ingratitude and indifference shown to Him in the Sacrament of His love.

“Jesus came to me holding a large cross and a crown of thorns. He said to me:

‘So I come with My cross and My crown of thorns. Will you accept Me, My spouse?’

Of course I accepted,who could refuse Jesus anything?”

On the anniversary of my perpetual union with Jesus, He asked me again:

”Bride of My Heart do you still wish to suffer all things to give me to souls?”

I answered, “Yes! Yes, dear Lord, I am poor and wretched and unworthy but you know what is in my heart.”

As Sister Mary’s spiritual life progressed the messages became more pressing. She began to write them down more diligently. Sharing them with other priests and religious who found nothing adverse to faith or morals in their content. In fact they concluded the great emphasis on the Indwelling of the Blessed Trinity showed a theological understanding beyond what this sister had been able to obtain in her regular religious studies.

Her confessor, Father Paul Leibold, also progressed in his priesthood. From 1948-1949 he studied Canon Law at the Angelicum University in Rome, there he received Doctor of Canon Law Degree. In 1948 he became Chancellor Archdiocese of Cincinnati and Papal Chamberlain by Holy Father, 1950 Diocesan Consultor and Domestic Prelate by Holy Father, 1951 appointed Archdiocesan Administrative Council 1958 he was promoted to Auxiliary Bishop of Cincinnati, Ohio, and in 1966 he became the Bishop of Evansville,Indiana. On October 2, 1969 he was made Archbishop of Cincinnati.

In the fall of 1954 Our Lord’s words to Sister Mary Ephrem emphasized the great renewal needed for His people:

“My children every home and every soul is My Father’s house, for He made them and they are His, But many of them are no longer sanctified by His presence. Thieves have entered in and stolen from Him, His temples of prayer…If, My children, you will cleanse your temples My Father will return and We will come and make our abode with you.”

Our Lord prepares her for this great renewal by first sending her St. Michael, the Angel of Peace


“It was like a light in the midst of darkness. The whiteness of his robe stood out against the darkness about him. He was holding a green palm and a drawn sword in his left hand, the tips of both palm and sword resting against his left shoulder. The angel said to me:

‘Receive the palm of victory.’

I became suspicious. I could not think of any victory of mine that deserved such a reward. Besides it sounded a bit like flattery to me. I have always been wary of words of praise they put me on my guard…So I shook my head and resolutely went back to my prayers. But the angel would not go away:

‘You do not believe me. Will you accept the cross?’

For me this struck more nearly home. I said “Yes I will accept the cross.” To this he replied:

‘Then you will accept the palm and sword. With the sword the saints conquered themselves, the world, and the devil. I am the Angel of Peace. I come to those whose hearts are attuned to the Voice of God. To such as these I remain a perpetual light through blinding darkness, I was sent by Him who said,”I am the light of the world.”

A short time after the visit of St. Michael the Blessed Virgin Mary speaks to Sr. Mary about Her holy life at Nazareth

“It is the wish of My Son that fathers and mothers strive to imitate me and my chaste spouse in our holy life at Nazareth. We practiced the simple virtues of family life, Jesus our Son being the center of all our love and activity. The Holy Trinity dwelt with us in a manner far surpassing anything that can ever be imagined. For ours was the earthly paradise where God walked among me…The Divine Trinity will dwell in your midst only if you are faithful in practicing the virtues of our life at Nazareth. Then, you also my children, you also will become another paradise. God will then walk among you and you will have peace.”

Our Lady reveals to Sr. Mary that she would like her help to bring peace into the world

This plan of the Virgin Mary will begin to unfold in a series of apparitions of Our Lady and St. Joseph. Sister Mary Ephrem had just recently been transferred to the “water cure” staffed by her order of nuns in Rome City, Indiana, to wait on tables. She was not very happy about the move. When she got to her room she felt, as she said later, ‘…like jumping out of the window.’

She left her room that night and went to the chapel, but the feeling did not leave her. ‘It seemed to me,’ she said, ‘like I was in a ring of evil. I couldn’t get out of it, and it was telling me to get out of there.’

One night she awoke with the sense that something was perched on her pillow a little behind her head. Before she could discern just what it was, she felt it grab her face across the eyes and pull down on them. She found no marks on her face afterward though. The next day she went to her superior and asked to be transferred back to Ligonier, Indiana. She could have gone if she had found someone to wait on tables in her stead, but she was unable to.

The apparitions of Our Lady of America


And on the eve of the feast of North American Martyrs, that is September 25,1956 while making a holy hour she once again becomes conscious of the presence of Our Lady. Though she did not see Her, Sr. Mary did see a part of Her white gown and blue sash. She was under the impression that Our Lady came as Our Lady of Lourdes. Our Lady stood near her and spoke:

“I am pleased my child with the love and honor my children in America give to me especially through my glorious and unique privilege of The Immaculate Conception. I promise to reward their love by working miracles of grace among them through the power of My Son’s Heart, and My Immaculate Heart. I do not promise miracles of the body, but of the soul.”

It is believed that greater miracles than those granted at Lourdes and Fatima could be granted here in America–The United States in particular–if we do as She desires.

The following day after mass and the community thanksgiving Our Lady appears to her again enveloped in a soft glow of light. Sister notices the smile on Our Lady’s beautiful countenance and the lily she held in her right hand. She wore a white veil reaching almost to the waist and a mantle and robe of pure white with not a single decoration of any kind. An oblong shaped clasp or brooch held the ends of the mantle together at the top. It was all gold as was the tall and brilliant crown she wore. Her hair and eyes seemed of medium brown. Her feet were bare, but not always visible as they were sometimes covered by the moving clouds on which Our Lady stood. Then she saw her heart appear encircled with red roses the symbol of suffering as it was revealed to me, and sending forth flames of fire. With her left hand Our Lady seemed to be holding up slightly the upper part of Her mantle so that Her Immaculate Heart could be seen. Then solemnly and distinctly in calm yet majestic tones I heard these words:

“I am Our Lady of America, I desire my children honor me by the purity of their lives.”

Sister Mary Ephrem longed to stay with Our Lady but obedience called her, and so she left the chapel with the other sisters to begin her daily duties. Our Lady understood and left her free for the moment, but later that day during the holy hour She spoke to Sr. Mary again:

“My child; I entrust you with this message that you must make known to My children in America. I wish it to be the country dedicated to my purity. The wonders that I will work will be the wonders of the soul….I desire, through My children in America, to further the cause of faith and purity among peoples and nations…”

Later, in a letter written to the archbishop, Sister Mary Ephrem outlines Our Lady’s wishes:

“It is to the Hierarchy, especially of the United States, that Our Lady is making her plea. They are her favorite sons, placed in high offices in order that they might do the most good. She herself has spoken thus to me.”

“Our Lady has made know to me how pleasing to her has been the devoted service with which the hierarchy has so ardently loved and honored Her, especially in this country. So she is making Her fond appearance to them for the carrying out of of this need of spiritual reform. God, dwelling in the soul through grace will sanctify, if if the individual makes the right use of His presence. This is Our Lady’s concern, souls redeemed by the Precious Blood of Her Son, must become holy through living with Him who dwells within them. In order for this to grow and become more and more fruitful of course there is the necessity of frequent and devout attendance at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the reception of the Sacraments….Peace will not be given until we have purified ourselves enough to receive it. If we fail to do this, God Himself will be obliged to do so in His justice and mercy, but the purifying punishment that He will send will be most terrible. It is from this Our Lady wishes to save us.”

She continues:

“Our Lady has asked that a statue be made as she appeared on Sept. 26th, 1956. After being solemnly carried in procession to the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington DC. She desires that there it be enshrined in a place of honor and venerated in a special way as ‘Our Lady of America’, the Immaculate Virgin. She desires also that a small statue or picture of the same likeness be honored in every home.”

The apparitions of Our Lady become more frequent. Our Lady was anxious to impress upon sister the importance of the message. Many times sister would tell Our Lady how unworthy she felt and that Our Lady could certainly find someone more fitted for so great a work. With deep compunction she tells Our Lady, “Oh Mother I am not worthy.”

To this Our Lady replied,

“I do not come to the worthy, my child, but to the lowly and humble of heart.”

An appearance of St Joseph

Shortly after Our Lady’s appearance to sister she began to have interior locutions of St. Joseph. He reveals to her that immediately after his conception, through the merits of Jesus and because of his exceptional role of Virgin-Father, he was cleansed from the stain of original sin:

“My pure heart was from the first moment of existence was inflamed with the love for God. Immediately at the moment my soul was cleansed from original sin, grace was infused into it in such abundance that excluding my holy spouse I surpassed the holiness of the highest angel in the angelic choir.”

St. Joseph revealed to Sister Mary Ephrem that his heart suffered with the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, for he knew beforehand of their passion yet would not be there to console them. He became in union with his holy spouse co-redemptor of the human race.

Sister writes that on October 13, 1956 the Holy Virgin appeared to her as she was working in her room. Our Lady was very beautiful and was smiling at her in her heavenly way. She held with both hands a small replica of a finished Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

“This is my shrine, my daughter, and I am very pleased with it. Tell my children that I thank them. Let them finish it quickly, and make it a place of pilgrimage. It will be a place of wonders. I promise this. I will bless all those who, either by prayers, labor or material aid, help to erect this shrine.”

From January 1957 on Our Lady’s warnings come to sister more often, stating that the hour grows late, and that Her Son’s patience will not last forever:

“It is now the darkest hour…but if men will come to Me, my Immaculate Heart will make it bright again with the mercy with which my Son will rain down through My hands. Tell the Bishops of the United States, My loyal sons, of My desires, and how I wish them to be carried out. Through him who is head over you, make known the longings of my Immaculate Heart to establish the reign of my Divine Son in the hearts of men, and thus save them from the scourge of heaven, both now and in the future.”

Our Lady asks Sr. Mary Ephrem for prayer and penance, to love and trust Her, and not to forget our poor Mother who weeps over the loss of so many of Her children.

“Sweet child, spouse of my Son, console my Immaculate Heart by many acts of self-denial. Tell my faithful sons that I ask this of them also. Let these acts, furthermore be presented to me with many acts of love,because it is these (acts of love) that make them most acceptable to me and my Son… Tell my dear and favored sons that I rely upon them to help me hasten the day when I shall be able freely and without reserve to work my miracles of grace in souls”,

And She requests an ever greater and consuming love for her Son, Jesus. A love which, unable to contain itself, will inflame those around us:

“It is love that counts, for without love there is no fire, and without fire there are only dying embers.”

On the feast of the Immaculate Heart, August 22, 1957, Our Lady reveals more parts of Her plan on how this great renewal will be accomplished:

“I wish to gather about Me, my tender child, soldiers and valiant bearers of the torch, an army of brave lovers who, as My torch-bearers, will rekindle the fire of Divine Love in the souls of men. Only those who are strong in love can become my soldiers to bear aloft, not the sword of destruction, but the sword of fire–the flaming torch of Divine Charity.”

Sr. Mary Ephrem longs to be hidden from the world and suffers for the Divine Mandate given to our country.

It was the will of God that Sister Mary Ephrem suffer for the loss of purity in the souls of men.

For Her part, Our Lady comforts sister and asks her to be patient, that the will of the Father must be dearer to her than all else, and that soon a haven of rest would be given to her–not a refuge from suffering and pain, but a nest of solitude for the little white dove. Most of all, the will of God must be paramount: “This is the lesson that every soul desiring intimate union with my Son must strive to learn.”

On many occasions the evil one is permitted to attack sister. He tempts her into thinking that she is being deceived. This fear causes her much suffering. For this reason St. Michael will be near her in a special way. He speaks to her often, encouraging her to spread the messages from heaven. St. Michael tells her that He has come to announce the coming of the kingdom , the kingdom of peace, exclaiming:

“Repent and rouse yourselves, O’ sons of men! Repent and make ready your hearts, that the King may establish His kingdom within you.”

And on February 3, 1957, Our Lady speaks on true peace and love:

Our Lady declares that peace must come from within, that to make our hearts more pleasing to her Son we must go to Her, His Mother. She asks for a reform of life as proof of our love for Her. She says: “The Holy Trinity looks down with infinite delight upon such souls [who seek to reform themselves] and makes them Their heaven upon earth.”

March, 1957: Our Lady pleads:

“O’ my sweet child, when will My desires be realized?…O’ my little one, daughter of my Pure Heart, you must pray with greater fervor, and offer yourself with greater love to the Heart of my Son.”

April, 1957: Our Lady continues Her warnings:

“My sweet child, unless my children reform their lives, they will suffer great persecution. If man himself will not take upon himself the penance necessary to atone for his sins and those of others, God in his justice will have to send upon him punishment necessary to atone for his transgressions.”

May 8, 1957: Archangel Michael appears again:

“Do not delay or the time of grace will pass and with it the peace you seek. … My little sister, the message is a dear one, there is no doubt. Make it known; do not hesitate. I, Michael, have made this request.”

July 1, 1957: Our Lady of the Nativity Cloister is established:

At the urging of Archbishop Karl J. Alter, the Precious Blood Sisters’ Chapter of 1954 voted to establish a cloister within its active community, an effort Sister Mary Florecita Bidart had worked toward for 20 years. In December of 1954, Bishop George J. Rehring gave permission for the cloister to be established in the Our Lady of Nativity Convent in New Riegel, Ohio, the Toledo diocese. The cloister gate was closed in the ceremony presided over by Bishop Rehring on July 1, 1957, the feast of the Most Precious Blood, establishing it as a truly Benedictine papal enclosure. At that time the cloister consisted of Sr. Mary Florecita Bidart, Foundress, and Sister Mary Leo (Louise) Voisard. The cloister was completely self supporting, mainly with its printing press. By April 1, 1965, the sisters had obtained canonical approval for their Constitution and by September of that year, the Holy See granted permission to erect a Novitiate within the Cloister, allowing women to enter from outside the active congregation in order to increase their membership.


August 5, 1957: Feast of Our Lady of Snows and the Divine Indwelling

Sr Mary writes: “Our Lady spoke on the great gift of the Divine Indwelling, sanctification from within. This is what she means by reformation and renewal. As Our Lady spoke this, she seemed at the time to be deeply occupied. Though the serenity of her countenance never left her, she spoke with a gravity that made her words all the more solemn. She seemed anxious to impress me with some idea of the greatness of this gift of God to us, namely, His Divine Presence within our souls through sanctifying grace.”

August 22, 1957: Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary:

Our Lady intensifies Her plea for a reform of life:

“What I have asked and continue to ask is a reformation of one’s life. There must be sanctification from within.”

She also tells Sister Mary to “…go to the Bishop. Tell him of the desires of my Heart. He will help you.”

Our Lady of America speaks to priests

September, 16-27, 1957: Our Lady’s admonition to priests to live lives of penance and self-denial, upholding the sanctity and dignity of their calling:

“My dear daughter and sweet child, write my words carefully, because they are of the utmost importance. I address them to my beloved sons, the priests, dedicated to the most intense and extraordinary imitation of my Son in the perfect carrying on of His Eternal Priesthood.

Beloved sons, so cherished and greatly blessed among the sons of men, be careful to uphold the sanctity and dignity of your calling. Let the faithful see in you the favored and especially loved imitators of the Son of God. Be modest in your dress and speech as becomes those of so exalted a vocation. The apparel and manners of a man of the world is not for you, who, though living in the world, must not take on its ways.

Dear sons, I ask you to practice self-denial and penance in a special manner, because it is you who must lead my children in the way of peace. Yet this peace will come only by way of the sword, the flaming sword of love. If, therefore, you love my Son and wish to honor Me, heed My admonition and be the first to give the example of a life of penance and self-denial.”

November 22-23, 1957: Mary appears as Our Lady, the Immaculate Tabernacle of the Indwelling God

“Our Lady appeared, standing on a globe, her right foot resting on a crescent moon, the left on the snout of a small fire breathing dragon. She was dressed all in white and her hair could be seen through her transparent veil which was long enough to half envelope the globe. The veil was held about her head by a wreath of white roses, and a white rose rested on each foot. On her breast, the Triangle and the Eye, the symbol of the Divine Indwelling, could be visibly seen. A strong beam of light shown from the Divine Presence within Our Lady onto the globe at her feet. Then halfway around the figure of Our Lady above her head appeared a scroll on which were written in letters of gold the words: “All the glory of the King’s daughter is within.” Though it did not appear that her lips moved, I heard these words quite plainly:

‘I am Our Lady of the Divine Indwelling, handmaid of Him Who dwells within.’

February 11, 1958: Our Lady renews the Fatima promise, saying:

“My Immaculate Heart will win in the end, and the Spirit of Christ will dwell in the hearts of men. Those in whom this Spirit is not found will be condemned to eternal hell-fire.”

Also on this occasion Our Lady tells Sister that nothing is accomplished without pain and bids her prepare to suffer much because suffering completes the work of divine grace in the soul. Then Our Lady also spoke of her particular interest in the youth of our nation and called on them to be leaders in this movement of renewal on the face of the earth, sharing with her army of chaste soldiers the title ‘Torchbearers of the Queen.’

“They must be prepared with the knowledge of the Divine Indwelling. It is to the youth of America that she is holding out this challenge.”

“America, with the United States in particular, is being given the tremendous, yet privileged, opportunity to lead all nations in a spiritual renewal never before so necessary, so important, so vital.”

More appearences of St Joseph

March 19, 1958: St. Joseph appears on his feast day and speaks on spiritual fatherhood

St. Joseph spoke of his spiritual fatherhood, of his great privilege in being chosen to be the Virgin-Father of Jesus, and of his perfect obedience to the Divine Will. He spoke of his special protection of the Holy Father and of the Church:

“Fathers must come to me to learn obedience to authority: to the Church always, as the mouthpiece of God, and to the laws of the country in which they live, insofar as these do not go against God and their neighbors.

Mine was perfect obedience to the Divine Will, as it was shown and made known to me by the Jewish law and religion. To be careless in this is most displeasing to God and will be severely punished in the next world.

Fatherhood is from God, and it must take once again its rightful place among men.

My special protection of the Holy Father and the Church should be made known to him. God wishes to make this known to him that he may receive thereby renewed consolation and encouragement. During the war, little daughter, it was I who saved him [Pope Pius XII] from death at the hands of his enemies.”

(Editor’s Note: Late in World War II, Hitler issued a direct order to the chief of the German SS in Rome to assassinate Pope Pius XII. The SS officer chose not to carry it out.)

March 30, 1958: St. Joseph asks to be honored on the First Wednesday of each month

St Joseph:

“Jesus and Mary desire that my pure heart, so long hidden and unknown, be now honored in a special way. Let my children honor my most pure heart in a special manner on the First Wednesday of the month by reciting the Joyful Mysteries of the rosary in memory of my life with Jesus and Mary and the love I bore them, the sorrow I suffered with them. Let them receive Holy Communion in union with the love with which I received the Savior for the first time, and each time I held Him in my arms. Those who honor me in this way will be consoled by my presence at their death, and I myself will conduct them safely into the presence of Jesus and Mary.”

May 1958: Sister Mary Ephrem enters Our Lady of Nativity Cloister to live a hidden life.

She writes:

“Several weeks after I had entered the Cloister in New Riegel, OH. and was overwhelmed with a sense of frustration and heaviness of heart, Our Lady suddenly appeared to me and said:

‘Do not be afraid! I will keep my promise and everything will be all right. Do not fear.’

These words consoled me very much, and I went to prayer with a peaceful heart.”

February 23, 1959: Sr. Mary places the message in the hands of the bishops:


Nine months before the National Shrine was finished, Our Lady admonished Sister “…to work on writing the message as soon as possible, so that it might be placed in the hands of the Bishops who will be responsible for its fulfillment.”

In a very serious manner, Our Lady warned sister that she must not delay any longer to do this [prepare the message] as the time is now. (Editor’s Note: Sister worked closely with Bishop Leibold and the bishops of the Toledo and Cincinnati dioceses.)

July 18, 1959: Jesus laments over His priests and religious:

Jesus: “Oh, the pride of souls! How they resist My grace! O My priests, My religious, what would I not do for you if you would only let me! I come daily laden with graces which you daily refuse. What am I to say to you, my best beloved? How long will you resist My love? It is from you I expect everything, and you give Me but the husks of your affections. How long will I bear with you, O My chosen ones? How long will you spurn My approaches?”

“My little white dove, it was this ingratitude on the part of My priests and My religious that caused Me so much sorrow in My passion. Oh, how they resist My grace! How they fight against My love! So fearful are they that I will deprive them of their tawdry trinkets that they turn their backs lest they see the reproach in My eyes.”

September, 1959: Pope John XXIII’s letter, given from Rome to the American Faithful on the dedication of the National Shrine: “It was an extremely gratifying and enduring joy that filled our hearts on receipt of news…that a shrine is to be dedicated to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God. There now rises up to heaven a shrine, high and massive, wondrously bright within…The Virgin Mother of God is our Mother, our Queen, the sure way by which we approach most speedily to Jesus Christ, Who was given to us by her. But a temple built of stones is of little significance unless there arises a temple mystically erected within our minds. Therefore…let an altar of the Most Blessed Virgin be set up in the heart of each one of the faithful; let families, held together by the sanctity of marriage, by mutual love, by moral integrity and a common spiritual life, reproduce her virtues and be fortified by her protection.”

November 20, 1959 was the day of dedication of the completed Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC. Exactly one month later, on December 20, 1959, Our Lady lamented the sin overwhelming the world:

“O my child, tell your spiritual father [Bishop Leibold] that I come again to warn and to plead. See, I weep, but My children show Me little compassion. They behold the sword in My heart, but they make little effort to withdraw it. I give them love; they give me only ingratitude. Weep, then, dear child, weep with your Mother over the sins of men. Intercede with Me before the throne of mercy, for sin is overwhelming the world and punishment is not far away

 Diary of Sr. Mary Ephrem

February 2, 1960: Bishop Leibold compiles the messages (handwritten/then later typed)

Bishop Paul Francis Leibold, V.G. of the Cincinnati Archdiocese where the Sisters of the Precious Blood’s Motherhouse is located, personally compiled the Diary “without direct references” to specific places in which apparitions or spiritual messages had occurred. He wrote the foreword and had Sister type the messages as a “private diary,” with the author remaining anonymous. To protect Sister Mary Ephrem’s identity and hidden life, she remained unnamed. In the Diary Sister Mary Ephrem is referred to as “a religious Sister,” the “Little White Dove,” or “this Sister.” This Diary existed in handwritten and/or typewritten form only at this time and was given only to some of the sisters internally and the necessary religious superiors and Church officials, not to the public.

The Virgin Mary’s message to the Archbishop requesting to have a medal struck

Our Lady of America, April 4, 1960:

 “Tell His Grace, my beloved son, that it is through the medal that he will receive the sign for which he asks. I ask him to have the medal struck and distributed everywhere and he will receive not only the one sign for which he has asked but so many, so many that he will have cause to be greatly astonished. My child, God works often through little and humble things and such instruments should never be despised but accepted and used with love and gratitude. It will be through the medal that God’s Will will be manifested and glorified and my desires carried out to the very end. I place my confidence in my faithful sons, the Bishops, who will not fail to take up my cause and make it bear much fruit for sanctification among so many and countless souls. Send this word then to my beloved son, the Archbishop, and have no fear sweet child for I will keep my promise for I am the ever faithful Virgin.

As Sister Mary Ephrem hesitated because of certain doubts and fears concerning the reception of this message, Our Lady appeared in the early morning hours of April 6, 1960 to gently reproach her for her lack of confidence. Our Lady told her not to delay in sending the bishop the words she had written. Our Lady encouraged her saying:

“My children must know my desires. If my desires are not fulfilled much suffering will come to this Land.”

May 1, 1961: Bishop Leibold puts his imprimatur on Sister Mary Ephrem’s sketch of the medal. Bishop Leibold then had the medal struck and personally paid for all medals until his death in 1972. (Note: Bishop Liebold became the Archbishop of Cincinnati in 1969). He designed the prayer pamphlet to go with the medal. It contained the Prayer to the Immaculate Conception and the Prayer to the Indwelling Most Holy Trinity, as well as the magnificent explanation of the medal itself. (See Pgs. 47-48 of the Diary for this pamphlet information.)

May 22, 1962: Bishop George Rehring of the Toledo diocese favors distribution of the medal by Bishop Leibold.

Sister Mary Florecita Bidart, foundress of the Our Lady of Nativity Cloister, wrote to Mother Aquinas of the Sisters of the Precious Blood informing her that Bishop Rehring was in favor of distributing the medal that symbolized so well the doctrine of the Divine Indwelling of the Most Holy Trinity, lived out so perfectly in the Holy Family, model for every family on earth and source of all true holiness. He gave suggestions for the promotion of the devotion. Mother Mary Aquinas wrote Sister Florecita on August 31, 1961:

“I was very happy to hear that Bishop Leibold will go ahead with the medal himself. It is a great relief to me to know that it is being made, and we hope it eventually will be circulated. I have great confidence in the message of our Blessed Lady.”

January 25, 1963: Imprimatur on the Prayer to the Indwelling Trinity Paul F. Leibold, V.G. of Cincinnati, OH gave his Imprimatur and Daniel Palarczyk, S.T.D., his Nihil Obstat to the Prayer to the Indwelling Most Holy Trinity.

July 1, 1963: Archbishop Leibold writes regarding the devotion:

“First I received the leaflets on our Lady of America. I will gradually drop them around places as the opportunity presents itself. I still think of it as a private devotion and await our Lady’s action to make the seeds you are planting grow and, as it were, cause a spontaneous demand for the object of devotion, rather than engaging in any high pressure pushing of it.”

September 3, 1971: Archbishop Leibold makes wooden plaques Archbishop Leibold made a series of wooden plaques of Our Lady of America. One hung in the Our Lady of the Nativity Convent in New Riegel and was used in processions at the convent. Another hung in his Chancery office in the Cincinnati, OH diocese. Later one was presented to the National Shrine by pilgrims from New Riegel, OH. In a letter to William Weberding of Weberding Woodworking Shop, the Archbishop made a proposal for the construction of a wooden or marble statue for an outdoor Shrine to Our Lady of America at the New Riegel Convent. He had a patron’s offer of $2000 for the statue which would aid in serving public devotions to Our Lady of America at the Convent where they were regularly celebrated. He also had 3 petite ivory statues made in India.Just before his death, Archbishop Leibold arranged a meeting with Luigi Riamondi, the Apostolic Delegate from Washington, DC, Msgr. Boffa, and his personal secretary, Fr. Francis Lammeier, to present a small ivory statuette to the Holy See and the Catholic Church. Posthumously, this statuette was presented to the Apostolic Delegate in August 1972 and is presumed to be in the Vatican Museum.

February 22, 1972: Our Lady’s image in the home:


“When a picture or statue of myself as Our Lady of America is placed in the home and honored there, then will my Son bless His people with peace. Believe in Me, dear child, believe in Me, for My love will never fail you.”

On June 1, 1972, Archbishop Paul F. Leibold died suddenly. Before his death, Archbishop Leibold had decided to build a large outdoor Shrine to Our Lady of America at the New Riegel, OH. cloister property. His letters indicate he would have officially approved this message had he lived long enough to do so. Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk succeeded Archbishop Leibold in the Cincinnati archdiocese. Paul F. Leibold was born on December 22, 1914 in Dayton, OH. He was educated at the Marianists’ Chaminade High School and the University of Dayton. On May 18, 1940 he was ordained at St. Peter’s in Chains Cathedral in Cincinnati, OH. He was made Auxiliary Bishop in Cincinnati on April 10, 1958, Titular Bishop of Trebenna on June 17, 1958, Bishop of Evansville, IN on April 4, 1966 and Archbishop of Cincinnati on July 23, 1969 where he served his people well until his sudden, untimely death on June 1, 1972. The Archbishop was greatly loved and revered by his flock as evidenced by the overflowing crowd that attended his funeral. He is buried in Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Cincinnati.

Thousands attend Archbishop Leibold’s funeral Mass. The Archbishop’s personal secretary, Father Francis G. Lammeier, wrote Sister Mary Ephrem on August 13, 1972:

“With things as busy as they are, I still do not have time to think. I still am not fully aware that the Archbishop died. I am no dreamer; I know he is dead and is enjoying his reward, but I just can not realize it or be aware of it. I still think often, he will come in the office or I will see him and he will give me that quiet and peaceful smile. I think of him so often. I said many times, I was privileged to be associated with him. He kept a tremendous schedule. If I had been Secretary and Master of Ceremonies with any other Bishop with this schedule, I would have been out of my tree. But with him, it was indeed a pleasure. Often I got tired and certainly he did, but there was no pressure of any kind. He was the kindly, understanding and humble priest. He did not stand on dignity or position but was just himself. He was the Archbishop and I most assuredly respected him for his position, but he was also a dear friend.”

In August, Father Lammeier sent the plaque of Our Lady of America that hung in the Cincinnati Chancery and a large collection of letters/ personal spiritual writings of the Archbishop’s to Sister Mary Ephrem for safe keeping and to be organized for future investigation and publication. He confirmed how deeply the Archbishop believed in this message. During these times Our Lady continued to appear to Sister Mary and continued to make known the longings of Her Immaculate Heart.

November 22, 1980: Message to the leadership of the United States:

Our Lady of America: “It is the United States that is to lead the world to peace. If the United States is faithful to this mandate from heaven, and yet fails in the pursuit of peace because the rest of the world will not accept Its leadership or cooperate, then the United States will not be burdened with the punishment that will come.”

February 11, 1981: The shortness of time and a terrible purification that is to fall upon all nations:

Sister Mary Ephrem is told of the shortness of time allotted to us to pray and make the necessary sacrifices to bring about world peace. There is an urgency about Our Lady’s warnings of a terrible purification that is to fall upon all nations. She advises us to pray the family rosary with as many family members present as possible, and to pray the prayer to the Immaculate Conception, Patroness of the United States, because the Forces of Evil are enveloping the world. Our Lady warns their hatred is now particularly focused on the United States because of the Divine Mandate given it to lead the world to peace.

April and July, 1981: Special warnings from Our Lady and Our Lord on the insidiousness of evil

Our Lady of America:

“Dear child, evil is so insidious that it often passes for good. The simple and pure of heart alone can detect the difference. Also, many good works are thwarted and destroyed by well intentioned people who are manipulated by the powers of evil because they do not possess that finer sense of being able to detect a false spirit from a true one.”

Our Lady of America’s final message to Sr. Mary

In the winter of 1984 Our Lady came to Sr.Mary Ephrem with this final message:

“What happens to the world depends upon those who are living in it. There must be much more good than evil prevailing in order to prevent the holocaust that is so near approaching. Yet I tell you, My daughter, that even should such a destruction happen because there were not enough souls who took My warnings seriously, there will remain a remnant untouched by the chaos who, having been faithful in following Me and spreading My warnings, will gradually inhabit the earth again with their dedicated and holy lives. These souls will renew the earth in the power and light of the Holy Spirit, and these faithful children of Mine will be under My protection, and that of the Holy Angels, and they will partake of the life of the Divine Trinity in a most remarkable way. Let my dear children know this, precious daughter, so that the will have no excuse if they fail to heed my warnings.”

Sister Mary Neuzil’s final years

Sister Mildred Mary Ephrem led a life of hidden sufferings which she accepted with love and great patience. Given a haven of rest, but not from suffering as Our Lady said, she endured a broken hip in January 1994 which compounded her physical adversities. With crippling arthritis, a ruptured appendix and especially severe asthma, Sister’s distresses were, at times, life threatening. . Despite adversity Sister worked tirelessly for Our Lady of America and her cloistered family. With each step closer, and usually on the eve of each victory reported for Our Lady of America, Sister Mildred would suffer intense physical pains and many times battled spiritual attacks designed to discourage her from praying.

Attacks from the Devil

For example, just before World Youth Day 1993, one night she suffered from terrible abdominal pain and the “old Boy” (her name for Satan) suddenly appeared as his horrible real self, trying to entice her to “Just say that you made it all up and I promise you will not suffer anymore pain.”

She stated, “If God required her life or suffering, so be it.” She reported on the “old Boy’s” physical assaults and hateful glares. After World Youth Day her physical pain intensified with each victory; she was especially inflicted with the terrible crippling pain of osteoarthritis complicated by rheumatoid arthritis. Medical treatments to alleviate pain were negligible or made her suffering worse with the complications of side effects. She would hide her moans when people were near her. Certain points on her body radiated such excruciating pain that it was sometimes quietly wondered if she had the hidden stigmata.

Her deteriorating condition pained all who saw her gnarled hands and body contorted into a near 45-degree angle before she died. Especially tortured by the sight of Sister Mary Ephrem’s enduring pain was Sr. Joseph Therese, CIT, her long time companion, caregiver and cherished Sister, who broke down in tears several times, crying, “I can’t watch you suffer like this anymore.”

They were bonded by love and endured all for love of Jesus. They even shared August 2nd birthdays – the feast of Our Lady, Queen of the Angels! Sister Mary Ephrem was often seen surrounded by angels and loved to send people from her presence with “May the angels go with you!”

January 10, 2000: The death of Sr. Mary Ephrem Neuzil, the “little secretary of Jesus’ Heart” and the “little white dove”

Her Holy Death

On January 10, 2000, the first year of the New Millennium, this humble, holy soul, Sister Mary Ephrem (Mildred Marie) Neuzil, at age 83, was set free from the cross she had so willingly embraced for the cause of Our Lady of America. She was set free to receive her full communion with the Most Holy and Triune God that had dwelt so intimately within her while on earth. Her funeral Mass was celebrated at the Basilica of Our Lady of Consolation in Carey, OH by nephew Fr. Gregory Neuzil from Tennessee. Friends from around the country, including niece Elaine Bratrovsky of Colorado, traveled to Carey that snowy winter day to bid her farewell, knowing they, too, had lived with and known another saint. Fifty white roses were brought for Sister Mary Ephrem by Ellis Maria Taylor of the Reparation Society in Baltimore, MD. Eulogies were delivered by Theresa Wukusick from Ohio, Anita Marovich from New Jersey, and Audrey Frank from California. The song to Our Lady of America, written by Sister Mary Ephrem and put to music by Richard Paul Rencher, was sung by Marty Rotella of the Divine Mercy and Life Foundation in New Jersey. Sister’s body, laid to rest in a handmade wood casket with Our Lady of America’s picture encased in the lid, is temporarily laid to rest in a vault at St. Wendolyn’s Cemetery, Fostoria, Ohio.

Sister Mary Ephrem Neuzil committed the completion of her work and the protection of the purity of the message of Our Lady of America to her only remaining companion in the Lord, Sister Joseph Therese (Patricia Ann) Fuller and trusted her to guard it against all contamination with her very life.

Overall, thus far the devotion and messages of Our Lady of America have been favorably received by the Church

On May 31, 2007, Most Reverend Raymond L. Burke, then Archbishop of St. Louis, wrote a Letter to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops outlining the results of his review of the history and canonical status of devotion to Our Lady of America. Those interested can read the original document here.

Our Lady of America told Sr. Mary Neuzil that greater miracles than those granted at Lourdes and Fatima will be granted here in America if Our Lady’s request are carried out by Her Bishops. Let us pray and make sacrifices that this may soon come to be.

Primary Source:mysticsofthechurch.com

~Our Lady of America and Sr Mary Neuzil, pray for us!

 

For more information on Our Lady of America and/or purchase statues,medals,pictures please visit:

Our Lady of America Apostolate

 

 

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

Blessed Alexandra da Costa~Mystic and Victim Soul


Alexandrina da Costa was born on March 30, 1904 in Balasar, Portugal, about 200 miles from Fatima. On Holy Saturday of 1918, while Alexandrina, her sister Deolinda and a young apprentice were busily sewing, three men violently entered their home and attempted to sexually violate them. To preserve her purity, Alexandrina jumped from a window, falling 13 feet to the ground. Like St Maria Goretti, she was ready to die rather than consent to the man’s lustful advances. Her injuries were many, and the doctors diagnosed her condition as “irreversible” and they correctly stated that the paralysis she suffered would only get worse.
Until age 19, Alexandrina was still able to “drag herself” to church where, hunched over, she would remain in prayer, to the great amazement of the parishioners. With her paralysis and pain worsening, however, she was forced to remain immobile, and from April 14, 1924 until her death, that is for 31 years, she would remain bedridden and completely paralyzed.
During these early years, Alexandrina asked the Blessed Mother for the grace of a miraculous healing, promising to become a missionary if she were healed. She resolved to try to storm heaven for a cure. She promised to give away everything she had, to dress herself in mourning for the rest of her life, to cut off her hair, if only she was cured. Her anguished family and cousins joined in the assault on heaven, but the paralysis stayed. Worse still, her condition began to deteriorate until the slightest movement caused her agonising pain. Once again she hovered on the brink of death, and the last sacraments were administered several times.
Little by little, however, God helped her to see that suffering was her vocation and that she had a special call to be the Lord’s “victim”. The more Alexandrina understood that this was her mission, the more willingly she embraced it. She began to long for a life of union with Jesus. This union, she perceived, could only be realised by bearing her illness and incapacity for love of him. The idea of suffering being her vocation suddenly dawned on her. Without knowing how, she offered herself to God as a victim soul for the conversion of sinners.
Seemingly in response to this remarkably courageous request, her pain steadily intensified until it became almost unendurable. Night after feverish night she would lie awake gasping and struggling to pray, her head soaking the pillow, her fingers clenching her rosary with tight desperation as if squeezing relief from the clamped beads. “O Jesus,”she would pant, repeating the prayer taught by Our Lady at Fatima, “this is for love of thee, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the offences against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.” Despite the fierceness of her pangs, she persevered with her prayerful sacrifice, day after interminable day, month after prolonged month, year after year.
Her love for the Blessed Virgin Mary


Alexandrina had a fervent devotion to the Blesssed Mother. Her ardent devotion to Our Lady, which she had cultivated since childhood, became a springboard from which she was able to leap more securely into the arms of Christ. Early on, her parish priest lent her a statue of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and afterwards Alexandrina scraped together every penny she could to buy a similar statue of her own. In time, this statue was almost kissed smooth. Concerning the Blessed Mother and her original request for a cure, she once said: “Our Lady has given me an even greater grace [than a cure]: first abandonment; then complete conformity to God’s will; finally, the thirst for suffering”.

Her devotion to the Eucharist

Many times througout her long bedridden days she would turn her thoughts and her spirit to the tabernacle at the nearby Church, and would offer such prayers as::

“My good Jesus, you are a prisoner and I am a prisoner. We are both prisoners. You are a prisoner for my welfare and happiness and I am a prisoner of your hands. You are King and Lord of all and I am a worm of the earth. I have abandoned you, thinking only of this world which is the destruction of souls. But now, repenting with all my heart, I desire only that which you desire, and to suffer with resignation. O my Jesus, I adore thee everywhere thou dwellest in the Blessed Sacrament. Where thou art despised, I stand by thee. I love thee for those who do not love. I make amends for those who offend thee. Come into my heart.” 

Her devotion to the Holy Mass


As the long painful months stretched in to years, Alexandrina began to yearn for the holy sacrifice of the Mass to be celebrated in her humble room. It seemed to her to be a grace beyond attainment and she kept the desire to herself. But in the autumn of 1933, on hearing that a holy Jesuit priest, Fr Mariano Pinho, would be preaching in the district, she told her sister Deolinda of her ardent wish. The latter promised to do what she could.

Shortly after, the parish priest wrote and asked Alexandrina if it would please her to assist at Holy Mass. She replied at once, “It would be such a joy for me that I do not know how to express myself, but it would be a great hardship for any priest to come fasting on such a cold morning… “And so it was on 20 November 1933 that Fr Pinho SJ celebrated the first Mass in her little room, now the goal for pilgrims from all over the world. Though Mass was to be said there many times later, Alexandrina never quite recaptured the trembling joy of the first occasion. “With that first Mass,” she said afterwards, “Our Lord began to increase his tenderness towards me, and at the same time the weight of my cross. Blessed be the grace which, in his goodness, is never lacking to me.”

An appearance of Jesus


Shortly after the first Mass had been celebrated in her room, she reputedly received a vision of Christ. Here is her account of that memorable occasion :

“One night Jesus appeared to me in natural dimensions, as if he had just been taken down from the cross. I could see deep, open wounds in his hands, his feet and his side. The Blood streamed from these wounds, and from the breast it came with such force that, after having drenched the garment around his waist, it flooded onto the floor. Jesus drew near to the edge of my bed. With great love I was able to kiss the wounds in his hands and I longed to kiss those in his feet. But due to my paralysis, I was unable to do so. Though I said nothing of this desire to Jesus, he knew what was in my mind and with his hands he held up one foot and then the other and offered them to me to kiss…. Enraptured, I contemplated the wound in his side and the Blood that was gushing from it until, filled with compassion, I threw myself into his arms and cried out, “O my Jesus, how much you have suffered for me!” I remained in his arms for some moments and he finally disappeared.”

This sublime vision left an indelible impression on Alexandrina: even many years later, its memory was so vivid that it still seemed to be visible.
Ascent to Calvary


Writing to her spiritual director at that time, Fr Mariano Pinho S.J. she says:

“-Just a few words because my strength does not permit more. I passed the night badly. I could not find a position. So the days pass, one better and another worse, with this cross which Our Lord gives me. (Nov 6,1933.)

-In the night from Saturday to Sunday, I do not know what passed through my head. I was sleeping and I awoke: I seemed to die. This strange phenomenon lasted but a short while, but it repeated itself often. I think it was caused by my backbone. I hope Our Lord listens to me, but his Holy Will be done… Very often I ask, “O my Jesus, what do you wish me to do ?” And every time I listen I hear only this answer, “Suffer, love and make reparation.” (March 28 1933.)

“-Blessed be the Lord who has called me into this world in order to suffer and bear so many tribulations! To all this, I unite many sins which grieve me more than anything else. I ask every day for suffering and I feel great spiritual consolation when I suffer more, because I have more to offer to my Jesus. However, there are things which cost so much, but God’s Will, not mine be done.” (Dec 30, 1933.)

-“My suffering has increased considerably and I can now take only liquids due to a swelling in my mouth. Maybe as it has come, so it will go away. With the weakness in which I find myself, it will be impossible for me to live very long…. The lack of food causes me further suffering while liquids often cause me to vomit. I ask God every day not to abandon me for a moment, knowing well that without him I could not bear anything.” (Mar 8, 1934.)

-“I would like to thank you for your birthday greetings by my own hand and I do it by writing a few lines. They will certainly be my last. I ask pardon, I cannot continue. (She gives the pen to her sister.) My suffering has increased still more. It is because of this that these will be the last lines which I write to you. It is impossible to hold the pen for even a few moments, the pain is so great. I had a beautiful Easter present from Jesus: besides physical suffering, he has given me spiritual suffering.” (April 7,1934.)
Two months later in another letter, she spoke of the displacement of some of her ribs and added :

-“I cannot lean on them without great pain, nor bear the garments over them…. Does everything contrary come from God, or could they come from the devil, since there have been incidents in my life which appear to be his work. “(June 22, 1934.) »

This reference to the devil was the first indication of the diabolic assaults from which she was beginning to suffer.

On the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel 1934 she wrote,


-“I have the impression that the ribs of the breast have united to those of the back, causing me such great agony that I do not know how to bear it. When the pain is unendurable, I find half my body lying on the bed and the other half on Deolinda’s lap. This obliges my sister to pass whole nights in my company. It even costs me a lot to speak.” (July 16, 1934)

-“I have repeated to Jesus: send me as much suffering as you wish, provided that I can make reparation for the offences which You receive.”(August 15, 1934.) »
On September 6, 1934 Alexandrina experienced an extraordinary ecstasy, in which the compassionate voice of Christ seemed to invite her to draw closer to his Sacred Heart and share in the intense fire of his redeeming pain :

“Give me your hands, because I want to nail them with Mine. Give me your feet, because I want to nail them to my feet. Give me your head, because I want to crown it with thorns as they did to me. Give me your heart, because I want to pierce it with a lance as they pierced mine. Consecrate your body to me; offer yourself wholly to me… Help me in the redemption of mankind.”And Alexandrina generously consented to the request of Jesus.

Attacks by the devil

Alexandrina’s life of suffering in expiation for sin was now to be challenged by the powers of darkness. From 1934 onwards, she began to be assailed by hideous visions and howling, blasphemous taunts that God had abandoned her, that suicide was the imperative alternative to a life of agonising futility. Realising that the spirit of Satan is primarily one of rebellion, she placed her will entirely in the hands of her spiritual director and never once took it back, even when it cost her a great deal.

Whenever Fr Pinho was unable to visit her, he asked Alexandrina to inform him of everything that happened to her. On 14 September 1934 she wrote to him as follows :

«Do you want to know what that “black face from Hell” recently beat into my head? Here it is:

“Whatever I write to you will be the cause of my condemnation… and that if I do not obey him… the worst will happen.” 

It makes me weep. »

Seeing her so afflicted, Our Lord reportedly appeared to her a month later and said, “Whom do you wish to obey, Me and your director — or the devil ?”His words reassured Alexandrina, but the devil returned to the attack. He raved :

‘Excommunication, a thousand excommunications if you continue to write to your spiritual director! Already you are burning in Hell. Be converted, unhappy one! Be converted, miserable wretch! It is the affection I have for you that makes me speak in this way. I come now from your Christ who told me to take you, because he can no longer save you. He was distressed by your writings.’

The devil added that it was useless for her to pray, that there was no salvation for her, that nobody would be able to help her, that she would be condemned.

Alexandrina recalled :

‘One moonlit night after prayers I felt a need to sleep, when suddenly into my room came a great darkness… I perceived a black shadow and saw it jump towards me, and it said to me, “I come on behalf of your Christ to carry you to Hell, bed and all.” I kissed the crucifix and the voice continued, “You kiss that wicked thing!” He then ordered me to do things that I cannot speak of… It was only when I took holy water that I was left in peace.’

She continued :

‘Every now and then I see a rapid light. Twice I have seen two very big eyes, wide open, staring at me, but they disappeared quickly. On Sunday, I heard a very sweet voice saying, “My daughter, I come to tell you not to write anything of what you see: your sight is deceiving you. Don’t you feel how weak you are ? You displease me with this; it is your Jesus who speaks to you, not Satan.” I was suspicious and began to kiss the crucifix. The voice became enraged and thundered, “If you continue to write I will destroy your body. Do you think I could not do it?”‘

In a letter to Fr Pinho dated 14 February 1935, Alexandrina wrote, “The demon wanted me to remove the sacred objects which I wore and the crucifix which I held in my hand. He told me that he had secrets to confide to me, but first I must take off those objects which he hates.”
For long periods, while she endured fresh sufferings, Our Lord seemed to have abandoned her, for she no longer heard the reassurance of his voice. The devil exploited this opportunity to the utmost by sowing in her soul the seeds of immense doubt as to the value of her sufferings, by striving to convince her that she would be damned, and by again trying to induce her to commit suicide. “I took holy water, as I have done on similar occasions”, she told Fr Pinho. “I prayed long and earnestly, ‘O my Jesus, never, never do I wish to offend you. I resolve in advance not to say or do anything which could offend you.”

She went on :

“There are days when the devil makes me feel so exhausted and puts so many evil suggestions and doubts into my mind, that were it not for the goodness of God, he would have won me already… He has tempted me so much that on some days I feel that Hell itself is about to engulf me. He urges me to kill myself, and says he will give me the means to do this without any cost. He adds that I am suffering here for no recompense, that Our Lord does not love me at all, that my spiritual director does not believe a word of what I write to him, that what I feel in myself when Our Lord speaks to me is caused by the weather, or by my illness.”
Frequently when the seer pressed the crucifix to her lips, the devil would sneer in a threatening voice. Once he raged :

‘If it were not for that imposter which you have in your hand, I would put a foot on your neck. I would reduce your body to a pulp. But you will see that He will do this to you Himself. You will then wish to come to me, but I will not accept you. Thank that object of superstition… I don’t fear it any more, but I hate it!’

Alexandrina’s courage was repeatedly tested to the full. On 2 February 1935 she spoke of seeing “red beings that I do not know how to describe” and went on, “Alas! If only I had a priest to open my heart to… How can I avoid such distress ? I weep, but they are tears of resignation to the holy Will of God.”

All this time her physical sufferings continued and her ecstasies grew more numerous and profound.
Tearfully, Alexandrina begged Our Lord to intervene and end the attacks. Gently and compassionately, he explained how he needed this further suffering of hers to help more sinners. He reputedly told her in a number of ecstasies :

‘My daughter, suffering is the key to Heaven. I have endured so much to open Heaven to all mankind, but for many it was in vain. They say “I want to enjoy life, I have come into the world only for enjoyment.” They say “Hell does not exist.” I have died for them, and they say they did not ask Me to do so. They have formed heresies against Me. In order to save them, I select certain souls and lay the cross on their shoulders. Happy the soul who understands the value of suffering! My cross is sweet if carried for love of Me… I chose you from your mother’s womb. I watch over you in your great difficulties. It was I who chose them for you, that I might have a victim to offer me much reparation. Lean on my Sacred Heart and find therein strength to suffer everything.’
Nourished only by the Eucharist

On Good Friday, March 27, 1942, a new phase began for Alexandrina- She received no nourishment of any kind except the Holy Eucharist. This extraordinary miracle continued for 13 years and seven months until her death. Concerning her living on the Eucharist alone, Jesus told her in an ecstasy:

“You will not take food again on earth. Your food will be My Flesh ; your blood will be My Divine Blood, your life will be My Life. You receive it from me when I unite My Heart to your heart. Do not fear, my daughter….”
Medical doctors remained baffled by this phenomenon and thus began various tests on Alexandrina, acting in a very cold and hostile way towards her. This increased her suffering and humiliation, but she remembered the words that Jesus himself spoke to her one day: “You will very rarely receive consolation… I want that while your heart is filled with suffering, on your lips there is a smile”.

She was ordered by the Church authorities to undergo strict testing in a Hospital for 40 days and the various medical tests confirmed her absolute fast, stating:

The official report issued by Dr Araujo confirmed the prodigy as scientifically inexplicable”. The key sentence stated: 

“It is absolutely certain that during forty days of being bedridden in hospital, the sick woman did not eat or drink… and we believe such phenomenon could have happened during the past months, perhaps the past 13 months… leaving us perplexed.”

The report is signed Dr Gomez de Araujo of the Royal Academy of Medicine, Madrid, specialist in nervous diseases and arthritis.

In addition to the formal medical report, there was a certificate signed by Drs Lima and Azevedo. It read as follows :

«We the undersigned, Dr C. A. di Lima, Professor of the Faculty of Medicine of Oporto and Dr E. A. D. de Azevedo, doctor graduate of the same Faculty, testify that, having examined Alexandrina Maria da Costa, aged 39, born and resident at Balasar, of the district of Povoa de Varzim… have confirmed her paralysis… And we also testify that the bedridden woman, from 10 June to 20 July 1943 remained in the sector for infantile paralysis at the Hospital of Foce del Duro, under the direction of Dr Araujo and under the day and night surveillance by impartial persons desirous of discovering the truth of her fast. Her abstinence from solids and liquids was absolute during all that time. We testify also that she retained her weight, and her temperature, breathing, blood pressure, pulse and blood were normal while her mental faculties were constant and lucid and she had not, during these forty days, any natural necessities.»The certificate continues :

«The examination of the blood, made three weeks after her arrival in the hospital, is attached to this certificate and from it one sees how, considering the aforesaid abstinence from solids and liquids, science naturally has no explanation. The laws of physiology and biochemistry cannot account for the survival of this sick woman for forty days of absolute fast in the hospital, more so in that she replied daily to many interrogations and sustained very many conversations, showing an excellent disposition and a perfect lucidity of spirit. As for the phenomena observed every Friday at about 3 p.m. (i.e. her ecstasies), we believe they belong to the mystical order… For the sake of the truth, we have prepared this certificate which we sign. Oporto, 26 July 1943.»

Her holy death


Early on the morning of the 13th, the 38th anniversary of the final appearance of Our Lady at Fatima and the miracle of the sun, she cried out with passionate fervour, “Oh my God, I love you ! I am yours completely ! Oh how I long to fly to you! Will it be today ? Oh I would be so happy… so happy !” A streaming vision of the Immaculate Heart of Mary gently assured her, “I am about to take you.” Through the white radiance she heard the voice of Jesus, “You are in the number of my saints”, and that of the eternal Father, “This is our well beloved daughter.”

As dawn broke, she wore a seraphic smile and asked Deolinda for the crucifix and medal of Our Lady of Sorrows to kiss. When these were brought to her, Deolinda asked, “What are you smiling at now?” And Alexandrina could only murmur, “At Heaven… Heaven.”

Shortly before 8 am. she received Holy Communion again with an overflowing love and devotion. It was her last. Then, as the hushed stillness of the room quivered with praying priests, pilgrims and relatives, she uttered a last piercing message to them and to all mankind in this perilous nuclear age: “Do not sin. The pleasures of this life are worth nothing. Receive Communion, pray the Rosary every day. This sums up everything.”
At midday, her trembling joy at the swift approach of paradise burst forth anew. “Oh I am so happy, so happy because I am going to Heaven at last !” The doctor begged her to remember them there and Alexandrina smilingly nodded. She then asked all present to recite the prayers for the dying. These were led by Mgr Mendes on his knees and his moving words seemed to impel that blessed soul forward to the divine embrace.
Her unrelenting agony racked her to the very end, but she withstood the fearful pain with dogged, prayerful fortitude. And as the sun sank in the reddened sky, Alexandrina’s life slowly ebbed away. Feebly she kissed the crucifix and medal of Our Lady of Sorrows again. “Goodbye,” she whispered almost inaudibly to her weeping relatives, “we will meet again in Heaven.” When Deolinda choking back her sobs, murmured “Yes, in Heaven… but not yet”, as if to hold her back a little longer, Alexandrina sighed, by now secure and decisive. “Yes, in Heaven! I am going to Heaven… quickly… now !”

At 8 p.m. her lips closed to kiss the crucifix for the last time and did not open again. At 8.29 p.m. that heart which had beaten only for love finally ceased.

~Blessed Alexandrina da Costa, pray for us!

Blessed Alexandrina Maria Da Costa OFFICIAL NOVENA PRAYER


O Jesus, who art pleased with simple and humble persons, who are so often ignored, forgotten and despised by men, raise to the glory of Thy altars Thy humble Servant Alexandrina, who always desired to live hidden from the world and aloof from its vanities and praises. Thou well knowest, Lord Jesus, how in our times there is need of lessons in holiness, which is the true fulfilment of every human and Christian vocation and, consequently, the elevation of a creature to the supreme height of moral beauty. Invest then, O Jesus, Thy Servant with the immortal halo of glory and hear our prayers, which we through her intercession offer to Thee; especially grant us the favour which we ask ( mention your petition here) if it be for the honour of Thy Blessed Name, the glory of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the salvation of sinners, on whose behalf the pious Alexandrina so wholly and generously offered herself a victim. Amen.

Blessed Alexandrina Maria da Costa, pray for us!

Nihil Obstat

Braga, 14th April 2005

P. Manuel Moreira da Costa Santos

Imprimi potest

Braga, 14th April 2005

D. Jorge da Costa Ortiga + Archbishop of Braga

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.

St.Gemma Galgani and her Guardian angel 


Born in 1878 in Lucca, Italy, she was outstanding for her angelic purity, child-like simplicity, candor, and innocence, virtues that no doubt help account for the special privilege she received. Gemma’s confessor and biographer provides us with details of her familiarity with her guardian angel.
“Gemma,” he writes, “saw him with her eyes, touched him with her hand as if he were a being of this world, remained talking with him as one friend with another. ‘Jesus has not left me alone,’ she said. ‘He makes my guardian angel stay with me always….’

“‘If I am sometimes culpable, dear Angel, don’t be angry with me. I want to be grateful to thee,’ she said to him.


“And the angel answered: ‘Yes, I shall be thy guide and inseparable companion. Dost thou not know who it is that gave me charge of thee? It is the merciful Jesus.’

“Unable to restrain her emotion at this, the angelic girl stood rapt in ecstasy with her angel. The angel sometimes let her see him raised in the air with outspread wings, his hands extended over her or joined in an attitude of prayer. At other times, he knelt beside her.

“I myself,” continues her confessor, “have often attended Gemma’s meditations with her angel.… I noted that every time she raised her eyes to look at the angel, listen to him, or speak to him, even aside from the time of meditation and prayer, she lost the use of her senses. At those moments one could prick, burn, or shake her without her feeling it.

“Her angel guardian was to Gemma a second Jesus, so to speak. She made known to him her own wants and those of others. In her sufferings she wanted him always by her side. She entrusted him to lay several matters before the throne of God, before the Divine Mother and her patron saints, giving him closed and sealed letters to them with a request to bring her the answers promptly. Those letters, as a matter of fact, disappeared.”

She also kept the angel busy with many letters to people in this world, often to her confessor.

“It was thus,” he writes, “that she kept the heavenly messenger continually on the move, and he most gladly favored her. Even without being called, he hastened to her in every need and danger. He restrained the power and malicious ruses of the devil, who was always just as vigilant in his efforts to do her harm. Instances are not wanting of this blessed guardian’s constant watchfulness. Once when Gemma was at table with her family, one of those present did not hesitate to blaspheme the Holy Name of God. Upon hearing this, she fainted in horror and, falling, would have dashed her head against the floor had her angel not hastened to her aid. He took her hand, supported her, and with a single word restored her.

“The most important mission of Gemma’s angel was in what concerned her spiritual advancement. While he served on one side as her watchful protector, on the other she found in him a perfect master of Christian perfection.

“The holy guardian knew how to show severity when necessary. One day she told me of this in the following words: ‘My angel is a bit severe, but I am glad for it. During the past few days he called me to order as many as three or four times a day.’

“Seeing the great charity lavished on her, Gemma loved her angel immensely, and his name was always on her lips as well as in her heart. ‘Dear Angel,’ she would say, ‘I so love you!’

“‘And why?’ he would ask.

“‘Because you teach me to be good, to remain humble, and to please Jesus.’

“Another time, Gemma wrote: ‘I was in bed, suffering greatly, when I suddenly became absorbed in prayer. I folded my hands and, moved with heartfelt sorrow for my countless sins, I made an act of deep contrition. My mind was wholly plunged in this abyss of crime against my God when I beheld my angel standing by my bed. I felt ashamed of being in his presence, but he was more than courteous with me, and said kindly: “Jesus loves thee greatly; love Him greatly in return.” Then he added: “Art thou fond of Jesus’ Mother? Salute her very often, for she values such attention very much and unfailingly returns the greetings offered her; and if thou dost not feel that she does, know that thus she makes a proof of thine unfailing trust.” He blessed me and disappeared.’”

May Saint Gemma’s intimacy with her angel, so simple, spontaneous, and full of profound humility, be an example for us all. 

Excerpts taken from Fr. Germanus C.P. (her spiritual director), Blessed Gemma Galgani, 1903, pp. 207-216.