Blessed Alexandrina Da Costa~Victim Soul of the Eucharist 


The village of Balazar is located 40 miles north of Oporto, made up of small houses of stone with a population of about 1,000 people. The village is surrounded by vineyards and fields of corn, dates and olives. The Church of Balazar is dedicated to the Holy Cross. Erected in 1832, commemorating the mysterious apparition that year of a cross made on the ground. In a report sent to the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Braga, the pastor of the parish testifies the happenings of that day:

“I’m writing to make you aware of the happenings in the Parish of St. Eulalia de Balasar. During our latest celebration of the Feast of Corpus Christi, the faithful were coming towards the Church and noticed a cross of a lighter color formed on the ground. The morning dew was all over the area, except on the cross. I myself went and touched and moved around the ground where the cross was formed, but the same image reappeared in the same place. Later, I ordered water to be poured over the same area, but the cross reappeared again and it has remained ever since.”

Many people came to see this phenomenon of the cross to venerate it with flowers and offerings. Till this day, the cross remains in the same place, and it continues to be a challenge to erase it. 

Alexandrina lives the mystery of Cross 

East of Balazar we find the Church of St. Eulalia where on April 2, 1904, Alejandrina Maria da Costa was baptized. She was born on Wednesday of Holy Week, March 30th of the same year. She is the daughter of very devout and hard working farmers. Her father died shortly after her birth. Alejandrina grew up with her older sister Deolinda in a very simple, devout, and pious environment. 

In the writings of Alejandrina de Costa, she makes three references to the cross, the last one dated Jan. 14th, 1955. While in ecstasy, she heard the voice of our Lord saying to her: “A century ago I revealed to this village the cross that comes to receive the victim. Oh Balazar, if you don’t respond ! . . . A cross made of dirt for the victim that is offered for nothing . . . The victim is chosen by God and has always existed in His eternal designs. Victim for the world, but favored more by celestial blessings, who has given ALL to heaven for love of souls, she accepts ALL. Trust, believe my daughter, I’m here!

All your life is written and sealed with a key of gold.” (Alejandrina: Her Agony and Her Glory)

During the first years of her life she was fascinated by the religious processions that took place around the village during days of great celebration. At age three, while resting one afternoon with her mother, she saw a jar of cream on the table. She leaned over carefully not to awaken her mother, and reached out for the jar. When her mother called her, she was surprised and the jar fell on the floor and broke into pieces. Having lost her balance, Alejandrina fell on the floor, consequently injuring her lip and created a scar for the rest of her life. She was then taken to the nearest clinic. Her mother, Maria Ana, anxiously cleaned off the blood flowing from her mouth. A generous assistant gave Alejandrina a bag of candies in order to calm her down, but Alejandrina responded by screaming, kicking, and hitting. 

“This was my first offense,” she wrote years later in her autobiography, dictated to her sister Deolinda by order of her spiritual director. Alejandrina was a very active, joyful child, full of life, but never jeopardizing her precocious spirituality with her humor and spontaneous character. 

Years later she wrote the following experience:

“Upon the death of our uncle, Deolinda and I stayed at the house with his family for seven days after his death to assist at the Masses offered for the deceased. One morning I was asked to go and get a bag of rice in the room where my uncle’s body lay. When I got to the door I did not have the courage to enter. I was so frightened that my sister had to get the rice. That same night I was ordered to go and close the window of that same room. As I approached the door, I felt my knees trembling and again I was unable to enter. I said to myself: ‘I have to fight against this fear,’ I opened the door slowly and walked around the room where my uncle was. Since that day, with the help of God, I am able to manage my fears.”

By the time she was ready for her First Communion, at age 7, Alejandrina had a profound love for the Eucharist, visiting the Blessed Sacrament with unusual frequency and doing spiritual communions on occasions she was unable to attend daily Mass. On one occasion, an aunt of Alejandrina who suffered from cancer asked her to remember her in her prayers. The child responded with such perseverance and fervor that this habit of prayer continued in the soul of Alejandrina ever since.

Later she wrote: “I’ve always had great respect for priests. At one time I found myself sitting on the stairs at the entrance of the village and I saw priests walk through the streets. I stood as I was accustomed to stand up in respect when they passed by in front of me. They took off their hats and said “May God bless you!” I realized people would stare at me because I had the habit of sitting at the same place on purpose in order to see the priests enter the village and show my reverence to them.”

Due to the privations of the rural life at the time, Alejandrina only assisted school for 18 months and was sent to work in the fields. She was hardworking and exposed to bad habits and vocabulary from the other workers who worked with her. After 3 years, an employee of the area tried to attack and abuse her. The Lord protected her with the grace of an extraordinary strength that came while she held the holy rosary in her hand.

After this serious incident, the child was returned to her home. This opportunity allowed her to renew her love and devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. In that same year, she became ill with typhoid. Her mother would give her the crucifix for her to kiss and Alejandrina would move her head and murmur : “ I want Jesus in the Eucharist.” Finally she recovered her health and was transferred to the hospital in Povoa located in the Atlantic coast. Upon returning to Balazar her health was poor, she was very weak and virtually paralyzed. Alejandrina dedicated herself to sewing with her sister Deolinda.

She became paralyzed to defend her purity 


 Just like Saint Maria Goretti, the Italian martyr of purity, Alejandrina would rather embrace death before yielding to sin. In 1918, an incident occurred that would mark Alejandrina’s life forever. She was in the second floor bedroom of her house with Deolinda and another young friend when three men approached and insisted with a strong voice to allow them to enter. Alejandrina looked out the window and recognized one of the men, the one who tried to attack her some years ago while working in the field. She rapidly closed the door, but the men were able to enter through an emergency door in the roof. Deolinda and the other young lady were able to flee, but Alejandrina was cornered in the room by this man. She screamed: “ Jesus, help me! ” hitting the man with her rosary.

Behind her was a window, about 13 feet high. It was the only way out. She preferred to jump out the window with the possibility of death before consenting to the low passions of this man. 

The fall was severe and with much pain. With excruciating pain and grinding her teeth she crawled her way into the house. Her vertical spine was irreparably injured. Alejandrina was 14 years old. What followed were many long years of pain that increased unceasingly, along with incapacity and depression, but she never yielded to desperation or weakness. 

Completely paralyzed on April 14th of 1924, she became bedridden for life at 20 years of age. Her distraught family prayed for her every night, united around her bed they would light two candles to the image of our Lady and prayed the Holy Rosary on their knees.Alejandrina would spend her days praying, meditating, asking our Blessed Mother for healing; she would ask Jesus “his blessing from heaven and from all the tabernacles in the world.”

Because of her increased love for prayer her distractions diminished. She started to desire more and more a life of greater union with Jesus. This union that she perceived could only take place by orienting all her incapacities and illness towards the Love of Jesus. She soon understood the idea that “suffering was her vocation.” At the end of this same year, Alejandrina found herself immersed in the sublime desire to offer herself to God as a victim soul for the conversion of sinners.

After praying and discerning, she felt confident that our Lord was calling her to live a life of love and reparation, offering voluntarily all the sufferings to the Beloved for the conversion of sinners. Like St. Paul, Alejandrina was able to say, “ At present I rejoice when I suffer for you; I complete in my own flesh what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ for the sake of his body, which is the Church.” (Colossians 1:24)

Alexandrina and Fatima

News of the apparitions of our Lady of Fatima started to reach the village, 200 miles south. Healings and miracles were reported at Fatima. A pilgrimage was organized to go to Fatima from Balazar. Having a great devotion and love to Our Lady, Alejandrina wanted to be completely sure of God’s will for her in relation to her call to suffering. She asked Our Lady to allow her to go and accompany the pilgrims. The parish priest and the doctors insisted that the trip would be deadly for her condition, so the pilgrims departed without her.

After all the pilgrims left, Alejandrina closed her eyes and started to pray, offering to the Lord the sacrifice of her abandonment and desolation. As she prayed her mind was transported to the Blessed Sacrament in the Church of St. Eulalia, close to her home. Unexpectedly, she received a divine illumination. She was able to understand that Our Lord is also a prisoner in the tabernacle.

This unity with Jesus allowed her to visit Him spiritually and to be constantly in His presence, loving Him unceasingly and praying, offering herself in immolation to console His Sacred Heart and to obtain the conversion of sinners. Recollected and moved by tears, Alejandrina pleaded to the Lord to allow her to suffer to the limit that she could tolerate if this would help the sinners to be delivered from the fires of hell.

She was unable to go to Fatima, but the Virgin Mary granted her the grace to understand and live the messages in the most perfect way, intimately uniting herself to the desire of the Blessed Virgin. By offering her passion in this way, Alejandrina became a victim soul for love of the Eucharist and the consecration to the Immaculate Heart, which are fundamental messages of Fatima.

In response to the courageous petition, her pain increased until becoming almost intolerable. Night after night, with very high fever Alejandrina awoke with her head on her pillow and with the rosary clasped strongly in her hands so as to receive strength from each Hail Mary. With tears, she prayed exclaiming and repeating the prayer Our Lady had taught her in Fatima: “Oh, Jesus, it is because I love you, for conversion of sinners and in reparation for all the offenses to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”

She lived the Passion of Jesus


Alejandrina experienced 180 ecstasies of the Passion, preceded by many hours of fear and horror as midday of Good Friday approached. This fear was generally accompanied by an intense sadness, nausea, and a strong sensation of loneliness.

 For seven years she was unable to forget her first crucifixion. She wrote: ” All seemed to be present before me, I felt the fear and horror of those bitter hours, the anxiety of my spiritual director at my side, and my family in tears and horrified.” Minutes after midday on October 3rd, 1938, Our Lord invited Alejandrina to immerse herself in His Passion: “See, my daughter, Calvary is ready, do you accept?” Alejandrina courageously accepted. Witnesses held their breath while she was in ecstasy. Even though she was paralyzed, she would recover movement in her body and almost levitated from her bed with the same movements of Jesus in the Agony of the Garden of Olives to Calvary.

At the end of one of her ecstasies at 3:00 pm, Alejandrina raised her arms in thanksgiving and exhausted in horror, she immediately cried: “No, Jesus, no, Jesus, crucify me !! Forgive, forgive, forgive !!! They have the same right as I have, you died on the cross for them, like you did for me. Jesus I don’t want any soul to go to hell. I love you for them. Forgive them Jesus, remember me in my crucifixion. Hell is the worst place.” This dialogue reminds us of Saint Gemma Galgani, a mystic of the end of the 19th century.

A few days later, Alejandrina suffered terrible pain, she vomited blood and was tortured by an unquenchable thirst. Water was not enough; she was unable to swallow a drop of water. She started to perceive the strong odor of sin: “they were repulsive odors,” she related in her autobiography. “Perfumes and violets were brought to me, but I rejected them because I was still tormented by this vile odor. Just to remember these things make me suffer.” 
She is nourished only on the Eucharist

One day she heard the voice of God say to her: “You will not be nourished any longer with food from the earth. Your food will be My Flesh, your drink will be My Divine Blood, your life will be My Life. You receive it from me when I unite my Heart to yours. Do not be afraid, you will no longer be crucified like in the past, now new trials await you that will be the most painful ones. But at the end I will take you to heaven and the Blessed Mother will accompany you.”

Her last ecstasy of the Passion occurred on March 27,th 1942 on the Feast Day of Our Lady of Sorrows.


During the last 13years of her life, Alejandrina ate and drank nothing. She was nourished exclusively by the Holy Eucharist.

Her thirst was only satisfied by God Himself. She was submitted to many medical studies; the last one was performed by: professor Joao Marques, a teacher of Medical Sciences at the University of Pernambuco; a well-known conference speaker from the faculty of this university; a professor of the nutrition department of the School of Social Services; and the President of the Gastronomy and Nutrition of Pernambuco.

Alejandrina shared with her spiritual director what the Lord said to her: “You will live only on the Eucharist because I want to show the entire world the power of the Eucharist and the power of My life in souls.”

During her long agony she heard the voice of God saying to her: “Give me your hands because I want to nail them to mine. Give me your head because I want to crown it with thorns like it was done to Me. Give me your heart because I want to pierce it with a lance like My Heart was pierced by one. Abandon yourself completely to ME . . .Help Me in the redemption of humanity.”

Her death


Alejandrina died a little after receiving the Holy Eucharist on October 13th, 1955, the 38th anniversary of the miracle of the sun in Fatima. Her last words before death were: “Don’t cry for me, today I’m immensely happy . . . . at last I’m going to heaven.”

To the priest, pilgrims, and reporters who crowded the place, she gave a message that should move all humanity: “Do not sin anymore. The pleasures of this life are worth nothing. Receive Holy Communion; pray the Holy Rosary daily. This resumes everything.”
 At her her death, Alejandrina requested to be buried facing the tabernacle of the Church, saying: “In life I always desired to be united to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and to look at the tabernacle at all times that I was able; after my death I want to continue contemplating, always having my eyes constantly on Our Eucharistic Lord.”

She dictated to her sister Deolinda her epitaph which still exists today over her tomb: “Sinners: if the ashes of my body are worthy enough to save you, come close. If it is necessary, step on them until they disappear, but do not sin anymore. Do not offend Our dear Lord anymore. Convert. Don’t lose Jesus for all Eternity. He is so good !!”

The process of beatification for Alejandrina was solemnly opened by the Archbishop of Braga in 1973, completed, and sent to Rome. Many miracles occurred through her intercession. 

Alejandrina Maria de Costa was solemnly beatified by Pope John Paul II on April 26th, 2004.

Prayer

Mother of Jesus and our Mother, hear our prayer. We consecrate to you our bodies and our hearts. Mold them Blessed Mother, fill them with your love. Like Alejandrina, may we also be close to the tabernacle with Jesus, so that we may serve Him like lighted lamps while we live in this world. Bless and sanctify us, Oh, loving Mother of Heaven! May we also be prisoners of love. Purify us so that we may desire what is undesirable for love of Jesus, your Son and Our Lord. 

Novena for personal use

Oh Jesus, who rejoice in the simple and humble souls, many times ignored, forgotten and despised by men! Exult your Servant Blessed Alejandrina who always desired to live hidden in the world and away from greatness.

Oh, Lord Jesus so often in our times we need lessons on holiness, which is the full realization of our human and Christian vocation, and, therefore, the elevation of the human being to the beauty of love and moral state. Bless your Servant Blessed Alejandrina, and hear the petitions which we offer through her intercession. Grant us especially the grace …………..(name the intention), if it is for honor and glory of your Name Jesus, and the glorification of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and salvation of sinners, for whom Blessed Alejandrina admirably immolated herself. Amen 

“Keep me company in the Blessed Sacrament. I remain in the tabernacle night and day, waiting to give my love and grace to all who would visit me. But so few come. I am so abandoned, so lonely, so offended…. Many…do not believe in my existence; they do not believe that I live in the tabernacle. They curse me. Others believe, but do not love me and do not visit me; they live as if I were not there… You have chosen to love me in the tabernacles where you can contemplate me, not with the eyes of the body, but those of the soul. I am truly present there as in Heaven, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity.”

Blessed Alexandrina, pray for us to increase our love for the Eucharist!

 https://youtu.be/-SdJjHPb92s

St.Therese and The Murderer~The Incredible Power of Spiritual Motherhood 

The following took place in 1887, when Thérèse Martin was fourteen years old.


“One Sunday when I was looking at a picture of Our Lord on the Cross, I saw the Blood coming from one of His hands, and I felt terribly sad to think that It was falling to the earth and that no one was rushing forward to catch It. I determined to stay continually at the foot of the Cross and receive It. I knew that I should then have to spread It among other souls. The cry of Jesus on the Cross – ‘I am thirsty’ – rang continually in my heart and set me burning with a new, intense longing. I wanted to quench the thirst of my Well-Beloved and I myself was consumed with a thirst for souls. I was concerned not with the souls of priests but with those of great sinners which I wanted to snatch from the flames of hell.


“God showed me He was pleased with these longings of mine. I’d heard of a criminal who had just been condemned to death for some frightful murders. It seemed that he would die without repenting. I was determined at all costs to same him from hell. I used every means I could. I knew that by myself I could do nothing, so I offered God the infinite merits of Our Lord and the treasures of the Church. I was quite certain that my prayers would be answered, but to give me courage to go on praying for sinners I said to God: ‘I am sure You will forgive this wretched Pranzini. I shall believe You have done so even if he does not confess or give any other sign of repentance, for I have compete faith in the infinite mercy of Jesus. But I ask You for just one sign of his repentance to encourage me.’

“This prayer was answered. Daddy never allowed us to read any newspapers, but I thought I was justified in looking at the stories about Pranzini. On the day after his execution I eagerly opened La Croix and I had to rush away to hide my tears at what I read. Pranzini had mounted the scaffold without confessing and was ready to thrust his head beneath the guillotine’s blade when he suddenly turned, seized the crucifix offered him by the priest, and thrice kissed the Sacred Wounds.

“I had been given my sign, and it was typical of the graces Jesus has given me to make me eager to pray for sinners. It was at the sight of the Precious Blood flowing from the Wounds of Jesus that my thirst for souls had been born. I wanted to let them drink of this Immaculate Blood to cleanse them of their sins and the lips of my ‘first child’ had pressed against the Sacred Wounds! What a wonderful reply to my prayers! After this striking favour my longing for souls grew greater every day. I seemed to hear Jesus say to me what He said to the Samaritan Woman: ‘Give me to drink.’ It was a real exchange of love: I gave souls the Blood of Jesus and offered Him these purified souls that His thirst might be quenched. The more I gave Him to drink, the more the thirst of my own poor soul increased, and He gave me this burning thirst to show His love for me.” (From early in chapter 5 of Story of a Soul)

The Exorcism of Nicola Aubrey 

It is indeed a remarkable fact that, as the devil made use of Luther, an apostate monk, to abolish the Mass and deny the Real Presence; in like manner, God made use of His arch-enemy, the devil, to prove the Real Presence. He repeatedly forced him publicly to profess his firm belief in it, to confound the heretics for their disbelief, and acknowledge himself vanquished by Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. For this purpose, God allowed a certain Mme. Nicola Aubrey, an innocent person, to become possessed by Beelzebub and twenty-nine other evil spirits. The possession took place on the eighth of November, 1565, and lasted until the eighth of February, 1566.Her parents took her to Father de Motta, a pious priest of Vervins, in order that he might expel the demon by exorcisms of the Church. Father de Motta tried several times to expel the evil spirit by applying the sacred relics of the holy cross, but he could not succeed; Satan would not depart. At last, inspired by the Holy Ghost, he resolved to expel the devil by means of the sacrament of Our Lord’s Body and Blood. Whilst Nicola was lying in a state of unnatural lethargy, Father de Motta placed the Blessed Sacrament upon her lips, and instantly the infernal spell was broken; Nicola was restored to consciousness, and received Holy Communion with every mark of devotion. As soon as Nicola had received the sacred Body of Our Lord, her face became bright and beautiful as the face of an angel, and all who saw her were filled with joy and wonder, and they blessed God from their inmost hearts. With the permission of God, Satan returned and again took possession of Nicola.

As the strange circumstances of Nicola’s possession became known everywhere, several Calvinist preachers came with their followers, to “expose this popish cheat,” as they said. On their entrance, the devil saluted them mockingly, called them by name, and told them that they had come in obedience to him. One of the preachers took his Protestant prayer book, and began to read it with a very solemn face. The devil laughed at him, and putting on a most comical look, he said: “Ho! Ho! My good friend; do you intend to expel me with your prayers and hymns? Do you think that they will cause me any pain? Don’t you know that they are mine? I helped to compose them!”

“I will expel thee in the name of God,” said the preacher, solemnly.

“You!” said the devil mockingly. “You will not expel me either in the name of God, or in the name of the devil. Did you ever hear of one devil driving out another?”

“I am not a devil,” said the preacher, angrily, “I am a servant of Christ.”

“A servant of Christ, indeed!” said Satan, with a sneer. “What! I tell you, you are worse than I am. I believe, and you do not want to believe. Do you suppose that you can expel me from the body of this miserable wretch? Ha! Go first and expel all the devils that are in your own heart!”

The preacher took his leave, somewhat discomfited. On going away, he said, turning up the whites of his eyes, “O Lord, I pray thee, assist this poor creature!”

“And I pray Lucifer,” cried the evil spirit, “that he may never leave you, but may always keep you firmly in his power, as he does now. Go about your business, now. You are all mine, and I am your master.”

On the arrival of the priest, several of the Protestants went away – they had seen and heard more than they wanted. Others, however, remained; and great was their terror when they saw how the devil writhed and howled in agony, as soon as the Blessed Sacrament was brought near him. At last the evil spirit departed, leaving Nicola in a state of unnatural trance. While she was in this state, several of the preachers tried to open her eyes, but they found it impossible to do so. The priest then placed the Blessed Sacrament on Nicola’s lips, and instantly she was restored to consciousness. Rev. Father de Motta then turned to the astonished preachers, and said: “Go now, ye preachers of the new Gospel; go and relate everywhere what you have seen and heard. Do not deny any longer that Our Lord Jesus Christ is really and truly present in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar. Go now, and let not human respect hinder you from confessing the truth.”

During the exorcisms of the following days, the devil was forced to confess that he was not to be expelled at Vervins, and that he had with him twenty-nine devils, among whom were three powerful demons: Cerberus, Astaroth, and Legio. On the third of January, 1566, the bishop arrived at Vervins, and began the exorcism in the church, in the presence of an immense multitude. The True Mass

“I command thee, in the name and by power of the real presence of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, to depart instantly,” said the bishop to Satan in a solemn voice.

Satan was, at last, expelled the second time by means of the Blessed Sacrament. On leaving, he paralyzed the left arm and right foot of Nicola, and also made her left arm longer than her right; and no power on earth could cure this strange infirmity, until some weeks after, when the devil was at last completely and irrevocably expelled. Nicola was now taken to the celebrated pilgrimage of Our Lady at Liesse, especially since the devil seemed to fear that place so much. Next day Father de Motta began the exorcism in the church of Our Lady at Liesse, in the presence of an immense multitude. He took the Blessed Sacrament in his hand, and, showing it to the demon, he said: “I command thee, in the name of the living God, the great Emmanuel Whom thou seest here present, and in Whom thou believest.”


“Ah, yes!” shrieked the demon, “I believe in Him.” And the devil howled again as he made this confession, for it was wrung from him by the power of Almighty God.

“I command thee, then, in His Name,” said the priest, “to quit this body instantly.”

At these words, and especially at the sight of the Blessed Sacrament, the devil suffered the most frightful torture. At one moment the body of Nicola was rolled up like a ball; then again she became fearfully swollen. At one time her face was unnaturally lengthened, then excessively widened, and sometimes it was as red as scarlet. Her eyes, at times, protruded horribly, and then again sunk deeply into her skull. Her tongue hung down to her chin; it was sometimes black, sometimes red, and sometimes spotted like a toad. The priest still continued to urge and torture Satan. “Accursed spirit!” he cried, “I command thee, in the Name and by the real presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ here in the Blessed Sacrament, to depart instantly from the body of this poor creature.

“Ah, yes!” cried Satan, howling wildly, “twenty-six of my companions shall leave this instant, for they are forced to do so.”

The people in the church now began to pray with great fervor. Suddenly Nicola’s limbs began to crack, as if every bone in her body were breaking; a pestilential vapor came forth from her mouth, and twenty-six devils departed from her, never more to return. Nicola then fell into an unnatural swoon, from which she was aroused only by the Blessed Sacrament. On recovering her senses, and receiving holy communion, Nicola’s face shone like the face of an angel. The priest still continued to urge the demon, and used every means to expel him.

“I will not leave, unless commanded by the bishop of Leon,” answered the demon, angrily.

Nicola was now taken to Pierrepont, where one of the demons, name Legio, was expelled by means of the Blessed Sacrament. Next morning Nicola was brought to the church. Scarcely had she quitted the house, when the devil again took possession of her. The bishop who was requested to exorcise Nicola, prepared himself for this terrible task by prayer and fasting, and other works of penance. On arrival of Nicola in the Church, the exorcism began. “How many are you in this body?” asked the bishop.

“There are three of us,” answered the evil spirit.

“What are your names?”

“Beelzebub, Cerberus, and Astaroth.”

“What has become of the others?” asked the bishop.

“They have been expelled,” answered Satan.

“Who expelled them?”

“Ha!” cried the devil, gnashing his teeth, “it was He whom you hold in your hand, there on the paten.” The devil meant our dear Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.

The bishop then held the Blessed Sacrament near the face of Nicola. The demon writhed and howled in agony. “Ah, yes! I will go, I will go!” he shrieked, “but I shall return.”

Suddenly Nicola became stiff and motionless as marble. The bishop then touched her lips with the Blessed Sacrament, and in an instant she was fully restored to consciousness. She received holy communion, and her countenance now shone with a wondrous, supernatural beauty. Next day Nicola was brought again to the Church, and the exorcism began as usual. The bishop took the Blessed Sacrament in his hand, held it near the face of Nicola, and said:

“I command thee in the name of the living God, and by the real presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ here in the sacrament of the altar, to depart instantly from the body of this creature of God, and never more to return.”

“No! No!” shrieked the devil, “I will not go. My hour is not yet come.”

“I command thee to depart. Go forth, impure, accursed spirit! Go forth!” and the bishop held the Blessed Sacrament close to Nicola’s face.

“Stop! stop!”, shrieked Satan; “let me go! I will depart – but I shall return.” And instantly Nicola fell into the most frightful convulsions. A black smoke was seen issuing from her mouth, and she fell again into a swoon.

During her stay in Leon, Nicola was carefully examined by Catholic and Protestant physicians. Her left arm, which had been paralyzed by the devil, was found entirely without feeling. The doctors cut into the arm with a sharp knife; they burnt it with fire; they drove pins and needles under the nails of the fingers; but Nicola felt not pain; her arm was utterly insensible. Once, while Nicola was lying in a state of unnatural lethargy, the doctors gave her some bread soaked in wine (it was what the Protestants call their communion, or Lord’s Supper); they rubbed her limbs briskly; they threw water in her face; they pierced her tongue until the blood flowed; they tried every possible means to arouse her, but in vain! Nicola remained cold and motionless as marble. At last, the priest touched the lips of Nicola with the Blessed Sacrament, and instantly she was restored to consciousness, and began to praise God.

The miracle was so clear, so palpable, that one of the doctors, who was a bigoted Calvinist, immediately renounced his errors, and became a Catholic. Several times, also, the Protestants touched Nicola’s face with a host which was not consecrated, and which, consequently, was only bread, but Satan was not the least tormented by this. He only ridiculed their efforts.

On the twenty-seventh of January, the bishop, after having walked in solemn procession with the clergy and the faithful, began the exorcism in church, in the presence of a vast multitude of Protestants and Catholics. The bishop now held the Blessed Sacrament close to the face of Nicola. Suddenly a wild, unearthly yell rings through the air — a black, heavy smoke issues from the mouth of Nicola. The demon Astaroth is expelled forever. During the exorcism which took place on the first of February, the bishop said:

“O accursed spirit! Since neither prayer, nor the holy gospels, neither the exorcisms of the Church, nor the holy relics, can compel thee to depart, I will now show thee thy Lord and Master, and by His power I command thee.”

During the exorcism, which took place after Mass, the bishop held the Blessed Sacrament in his hand, and said: “O accursed spirit, arch-enemy of the ever-blessed God! I command thee, by the precious blood of Jesus Christ here present, to depart from this poor woman! Depart accursed, into the everlasting flames of hell!”

At these words, and especially at the sight of the Blessed Sacrament, the demon was so fearfully tormented, and the appearance of Nicola was so hideous and revolting, that the people turned away their eyes in horror. At last a heavy sigh was heard, and a cloud of black smoke issued from the mouth of Nicola. Cerberus was expelled. Again Nicola fell into a death-like swoon, and again she was brought to consciousness only by means of the Blessed Sacrament. During the exorcism which took place on the seventh day of February, the bishop said to Satan:

“Tell me. Why hast thou taken possession of this honest and virtuous Catholic woman?”

“I have done so by permission of God. I have taken possession of her on account of the sins of the people. I have done it to show my Calvinists that there are devils who can take possession of man whenever God permits it. I know they do not want to believe this, but I will show them that I am the devil. I have taken possession of this creature in order to convert them, or to harden them in their sins; and, by the Sacred Blood, I will perform my task.”

This answer filled all who heard it with horror. “Yes,” answered the bishop, solemnly, “God desires to unite all men in the only holy faith. As there is but one God, so there can be but one true religion. A religion like that which the Protestants have invented, is but a hollow mockery. It must fall. The religion established by Our Lord Jesus Christ is the only true one; it alone shall last forever. It is destined to unite all men within its sacred embrace, so that there shall be but one sheepfold and one shepherd. This divine Shepherd is Our Lord Jesus Christ, the invisible head of the holy Roman Catholic Church, whose visible head is our holy Father the Pope, successor of St. Peter.”

The devil was silent – he was put to shame before the entire multitude. He was expelled once more by means of the Blessed Sacrament. In the afternoon of the same day the devil began to cry: “Ah! Ha! You think that you can expel me in this way. You have not the proper attendance of a bishop. Where are the dean and the archdean? Where are the royal judges? Where is the chief magistrate, who was frightened out of his wits that night, in the prison? Where is the procurator of the king? Where are his attorneys and counselors? Where is the clerk of the court?” (The devil mentioned each of these by name.) “I will not depart until all are assembled. Were I to depart now, what proof could you give to the king of all that has happened? Do you think that people will believe you so easily? No! No! There are many who would make objections. The testimony of these common country-people here will have but little weight. It is a torment to me that I must tell you what you have to do. I am forced to do it. Ha! Cursed be the hour in which I first took possession of this vile wretch.

“I find little pleasure in thy prating,” answered the bishop. “There are witnesses enough here. Those whom you have mentioned are not necessary. Depart! then; give glory to God. Depart – go to the flames of hell!”

“Yes, I shall depart, but not today. I know full well that I must depart. My sentence is passed; I am compelled to leave.”

“I care not for thy jabbering,” said the bishop, “I shall expel thee by the power of God: by the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ.”

“Yes, I must yield to you,” shrieked the demon wildly. “It tortures me that I must give you this honor.”

The bishop now took the Blessed Sacrament in his hand, and held it close to the face of the possessed woman. At last, Satan was compelled to flee once more. The next morning, after the procession was ended, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was offered up as usual. During the consecration, the possessed woman was twice raised over six feet into the air, and then fell back heavily upon the platform. As the bishop, just before the Pater Noster, took the Sacred Host once more in his hand, and raised it with the chalice, the possessed woman was again whisked into the air, carrying with her the keepers, fifteen in number, at least six feet above the platform; and, after a while, she fell heavily back on the ground.

At this sight, all present were filled with amazement and terror. A German Protestant named Voske fell on his knees; he burst into tears; he was converted. “Ah!” cried he, “I now believe firmly that the devil really possesses this poor creature. I believe that it is really the body and blood of Jesus Christ which expels him. I believe firmly. I will no longer remain a Protestant.” After Mass, the exorcism began as usual.

“Now, at last,” said the bishop, “thou must depart. Away with thee, evil spirit!”

“Yes,” said Satan, “it is true that I must depart, but not yet. I will not go before the hour is come in which I first took possession of this wretched creature.”

At last the bishop took the Sacred Host in his hand, and said: “In the name of the adorable Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Ghost – in the name of the sacred body of Jesus Christ here present – I command thee, wicked spirit, to depart.”


“Yes, yes, it is true!” shrieked the demon wildly; “It is true. It is the body of God. I must confess it, for I am forced to do so. Ha! It tortures me that I must confess this, but I must. I speak the truth only when I am forced to do it. The truth is not from me. It comes from my Lord and Master. I have entered this body by the permission of God.”

The bishop now held the Blessed Sacrament close to the face of the possessed woman. The demon writhed in fearful agony. He tried in every way to escape from the presence of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. At length a black smoke was seen issuing from the mouth of Nicola. She fell into a swoon, and was restored to consciousness only by means of the Blessed Sacrament. The eighth of February, the day appointed by God on which Satan was to leave Nicola forever, arrived at last. After the solemn procession, the bishop began the last exorcism.

“I shall not ask thee any longer,” said the bishop to Satan, “when thou intendest to leave, I will expel thee instantly by the power of the living God, and by the precious Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, His beloved Son, here present in the Sacrament of the Altar.”

“Ha, yes!” shrieked the demon. “I confess that the Son of God is here really and truly present. He is my Lord and Master. It tortures me to confess it, but I am forced to do so.” Then he repeated several times, with a wild, unearthly howl: “Yes, it is true. I must confess it. I am forced to leave, by the power of God’s body here present. I must – I must depart. It torments me that I must go so soon, and that I must confess this truth. But this truth is not from me; it comes from my Lord and Master, who has sent me hither, and who commands and compels me to confess the truth publicly.”

The bishop then took the Blessed Sacrament in his hand, and, holding it on high, he said, with a solemn voice: “O thou wicked, unclean spirit, Beelzebub! Thou arch-enemy of the eternal God! Behold, here present, the precious Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, thy Lord and Master! I adjure thee, in the name and by the power of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, true God and true man, who is here present; I command thee to depart instantly and forever from this creature of God. Depart to the deepest depth of hell, there to be tormented forever. Go forth, unclean spirit, go forth – behold here thy Lord and Master!”

At these solemn words, and at the sight of our sacramental Lord, the poor possessed woman writhed fearfully. Her limbs cracked as if every bone in her body were breaking. The fifteen strong men who held her, could scarcely keep her back. They staggered from side to side; they were covered with perspiration. Satan tried to escape from the presence of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. The mouth of Nicola was wide open, her tongue hung down below her chin, her face was shockingly swollen and distorted. Her color changed from yellow to green, and became even gray and blue, so that she no longer looked like a human being; it was rather the face of a hideous, incarnate demon. All present trembled with terror, especially when they heard the wild cry of the demon, which sounded like the loud roar of a wild bull. They fell on their knees, and with tears in their eyes, began to cry out: “Jesus, have mercy!”

The bishop continued to urge Satan. At last the evil spirit departed, and Nicola fell back senseless into the arms of her keepers. She still, however, remained shockingly distorted. In this state she was shown to the judges, and to all the people present; she was rolled up like a ball. The bishop now fell on his knees, in order to give her the Blessed Sacrament as usual. But see! Suddenly the demon returns, wild with rage, endeavors to seize the hand of the bishop, and even tries to grasp the Blessed Sacrament itself. The bishop starts back; Nicola is carried into the air and the bishop rises from his knees, trembling with terror and pale as death.

The good bishop takes courage again; he pursues the demon, holding the Blessed Sacrament in his hand, till at length the demon, overcome by the power of Our Lord’s sacred body, goes forth amidst smoke, and lightning, and thunder. Thus was the demon at length expelled forever, on Friday afternoon, at three o’clock, the same day and hour on which Our Lord triumphed over hell by His ever-blessed death.

Nicola was now completely cured; she could move her left arm with the greatest ease. She fell on her knees and thanked God, as well as the good bishop, for all he had done for her. The people wept for joy, and sang hymns of praise and thanksgiving in honor of our dear Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. On all sides were heard the exclamations: “Oh, what a great miracle! Oh, thank God that I witnessed it! Who is there now that can doubt of the real presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Sacrament of the Altar!” Many a Protestant also said: “I believe now in the presence of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament; I have seen with my eyes! I will remain a Calvinist no longer. Accursed be those who have hitherto kept me in error! Oh, now I can understand what a good thing is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass!”

A solemn Te Deum was intoned; the organ pealed forth and the bells rung forth a merry chime. The whole city was filled with joy.

This great triumph of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament over Satan occurred in the presence of more than 150,000 people, in the presence of the ecclesiastical and civil authorities of the city, of Protestants and Catholics alike. I have published a lengthy account of this extraordinary affair in a little volume entitled “Triumph of the Blessed Sacrament.”

 
The above was taken from Chapter 5 of the book The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass by Fr. Michael Muller, C.Ss.R. (Imprimatur: Archbishop McClosky, New York – 1884); published by TAN Books.

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