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.Clare of Montefalco 


Like so many other towns in Umbria, Montefalco is a small city set on a hill. It overlooks the valley of Spoleto, and some distance to the north Assisi is visible. Here Clare Damiani was born about 1268; and as a little girl of six she was placed in the convent of Saint Illuminata, where her sister Jane was superior.

From the beginning little Clare observed the rule of the Third Order of St Francis and added severe penances, keeping strict silence, taking only bread and water, and sleeping on the ground. About eight years later, Clare and the other sisters moved to a new convent, that of Santa Croce, which had been built for them on a nearby hill. During these years all of them followed the rule of the Third Order; but in 1290 the bishop of Spoleto substituted the rule of St Augustine.

After the death of her sister in 1298, Clare, who distinguished herself by her spirit of prayer and penance and was then about thirty years old, was chosen superior. Not only did she carry out her duties as a religious and a superior in an exemplary manner, but she exerted an extraordinary influence also on the outside world. She confuted heretics, converted sinners, reconciled families which were at odds with one another, made peace between neighboring warring towns, drove out devils, foretold future events, healed the sick, and raised the dead. During the latter part of her life, she also received the gifts of ecstasy and supernatural knowledge.

It is related that our Lord, carrying His Cross, appeared to Saint Clare of Montefalco and said: “I have been searching for a long time, daughter, to find a firm and solid place on which to plant My Cross, and I have not found one more suitable than your heart. You must receive it and allow it to take root.”

Clare herself once told a sister in her convent: “If you seek the Cross of Christ, take my heart. There you will find the suffering Lord.”

When Saint Clare of Montefalco’s heart was opened after her death, the Cross and other instruments of the Passion were found within, formed solidly in fibrous tissue. As an example, the crucifix was found to be about the size of a person’s thumb. The corpus is white and clearly formed as if sculpted, except for the tiny wound of the lance, which is bright red. A white tissue covers the loins of the corpus. For this reason she is also called Saint Clare of the Cross.

There were also three pellets found in the gall of St Clare. About the size of hazel nuts, they were found to be symbols of the Holy Trinity for the following reason – any single one of them weighed exactly the same as the other two, and any one of them equalled the weight of two or all three of them together. These pellets can still be seen.

Commending her sisters to her Franciscan brother, Father Francis Damiani, Saint Clare of Montefalco died at the age of forty on August 17, 1308, and was buried in the chapel of Santa Croce Convent. Later a church was built next to it and dedicated to her. Here her body, which has been preserved incorrupt in a most unusual manner, can still be seen; in fact, it seems to be that of a living person who is asleep. The miracle of liquefaction and ebullition of her blood has also taken place. The cult which had been paid to her as Blessed from the time of her death was approved in 1624; and in 1881 Pope Leo XIII canonized her.

~from The Franciscan Book of Saints, edited by Marion Habig, OFM~



Relic of the heart of St.Clare of Montefalco.Her Heart was found in the form of a Crucifix.

Saint Lutgardis~First Stigmatist in Church History  


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

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

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

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

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

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

Therese Neumann~Mystic,Stigmatist,Victim Soul

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


Therese Neumann as a child

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

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

Fateful Injury

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

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

Confined to bed


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

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

The first miraculous intercession of Therese of Lisieux

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

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

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

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


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

Therese receives the holy Stigmata during Lent, 1926


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Her extraordinary mystical gifts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Countless other marvels

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

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

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

Her holy death


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

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

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


The house of Therese Neumann

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

Catholic Church position

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

Source:mysticsofthechurch.com

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

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

 


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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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


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

Quotes of St.Catherine of Siena

 


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

“Nothing great is ever achieved without much enduring.”

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

 

 

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

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

 

 

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

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

“Love follows knowledge”

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

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

 

 

Prayers to St.Catherine of Siena 

 

 

 

Prayer for the Gifts of Saint Catherine of Siena

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

 

Novena Prayer in Honor of St. Catherine of Siena

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

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

 

Prayer to the Holy Ghost by Saint Catherine of Siena

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

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

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

 

Litany of St. Catherine of Siena

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

Christ, hear us. Christ graciously hear us.

God the Father of heaven, have mercy on us.

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

God the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.

Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, our mother, pray for us.

St. Dominic, glorious Patriarch, pray for us.

St. Catherine of Siena, pray for us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Loved Undefiled” by St. Catherine of Siena 

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

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

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

A Prayer for St. Catherine of Siena’s Intercession 

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

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

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

A Prayer for Priests by St. Catherine of Sienna 

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

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

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

A Prayer for Fire Fighters to St. Catherine of Siena

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

Sr.Benigna Consolata Ferrero~Apostle of Love

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“O my Benigna! Be the Apostle of my love! Cry aloud so that all the world may hear, that I hunger, I thirst, I die to be received by My creatures.” – Our Lord to Sr. Benigna Consolata

Her Early Years

Maria Consolata was born in Turin on August 6, 1885, the Feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord. At Baptism, her pious parents, Signor Sebastiano Ferrero and Signora Carolina Pansa, gave their little one the names Maria, Consolata, Rosalia, Theresa, Philomena, and Gaetano. Like St. Therese of Lisieux and Sr. Maria Consolata Betrone (d. 1946), Maria was a “little soul”. This fact is reflected in her life and in the revelations she received from Our Lord, which can be found in her biography, “The Tendernesses of the Love of Jesus for a Little Soul” (a title suggested by Jesus).
Suffering entered the life of this “little one” at an early age. As an infant, her afflictions grew daily. Her health continued to decline until Signora Ferrero, perceiving this sad turn of events, took her child to the Church of St. Dalmazzo, where she knelt before an altar of Our Lady and invoked the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Virgin for the welfare of her beloved daughter. Not long afterwards, little Maria was restored to full health.
At the age of five, Maria began to attend school by herself. In her second year of school, she was accompanied by her younger sister, Adeline, who, being withdrawn from the maternal caresses of her mother could not hold back her tears. Only Maria Consolata was able to console her. This fact seems to prefigure the later years in Maria’s life, as Our Lord would call her, His “Benjamin”, to console His aching Heart, which is so wounded by the ingratitude and coldness of sinners.
Three years later, Maria’s mother placed her children in a boarding-school of the Sisters of St. Joseph. In the words of the Reverend Antonio Piccinelli (Maria’s chaplain in later years), little Maria “imbibed their spirit so abundantly” that her “virile and punctilious” nature was completely transformed by grace. She “overcame her natural tendencies so far, even while in the family circle, as to effect a total and visible change in her temperament.” Furthermore, she “manifested an eagerness to please others without any regard to the sacrifice it might entail upon such a disposition as hers.”
From an early age, Maria exhibited clear signs of a great love for God. She was always willing to help her neighbour, and while she was indulgent with others, always seeking to excuse their faults, she never let herself become attached to the complements that she received.
Maria’s great pleasure as a child was to spend time with Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. On one occasion, her family passed their summer holiday in the country-side, far from any Catholic Church. During this time, Maria had to content herself with frequent acts of spiritual communion, which Our Lord would later encourage, with the words: “I am in the Sacrament of My love for My creatures, and they make so little account of it! O do thou at least, My Benigna, make as many spiritual communions as possible to supply for the Sacramental Communions which are not made. One every quarter of an hour is not enough. Make them shorter, but more numerous. If a wife saw her spouse dying of hunger, she would go from door to door to beg for Him. My Benigna, seek to draw souls to receive Me in Holy Communion.”

The Stirrings of a Vocation


In one of her early manuscripts, Maria writes, “One day, my soul felt sweetly attracted and I heard the voice of my God; it was so sweet that I scarcely dared to make a movement for fear of hearing it no longer, and while listening I wept with emotion. Jesus told me that He would give Himself to me, that He would be to me as a mother to a child, and that He would furnish me occasions of suffering for Him.” Though these words were penned at the age of seventeen, it is possible that Maria heard Our Lord’s call prior to this time.
While still living in the world, Our Lord manifested to Maria His will that she live as though she were already in the convent. He revealed to her his insatiable thirst for souls, and promised to grant her a great thirst for the conversion of sinners. Maria expressed the desires of her heart in the following words: “O Jesus, do with me all that Thou wilt; I place in Thee all my confidence and I abandon myself to Thy loving cares; henceforth I wish to serve Thee in peace, joy and love, as Thou Thyself hast taught me; but let me implore Thee to grant me the grace of knowing Thee that I may love Thee with all my heart, and of knowing myself that I may humble myself profoundly.” Our Lord responded graciously to Maria’s firm resolution to become a saint. He said to her: “Thou hast taken the resolution to become holy: this is well and thou must not fail; but it is not to an ordinary sanctity thou art called; thou must aim at the most sublime perfection.”
Maria certainly reached a sublime degree of sanctity, but not without the cross. Maria Consolata suffered particular torments at the thought of having consented to sin. Her conscience was very delicate and at times she succumbed to scruples; however, her resolute desire to please God- a desire that He alone implanted in her soul- ensured her victory over the Devil, of whom Our Lord said, “The infernal enemy conquers religious souls more easily by discouragement than by any other temptation.” To these words, Jesus adjoined a spiritual counsel that will be appreciated particularly by those tried by temptations to discouragement: “He (the Devil) is overcome by unlimited confidence in Jesus; the more frequent the falls, the more should confidence grow in the divine Mercy.” “Our miseries entitle us to God’s mercy”, says Bl. Dom Columba Marmion.
“Involuntary imperfections cannot displease Me, unless the soul loves them”, said Our Lord to Sr. Benigna; “I love men so much! Yes, they have too narrow an idea of the goodness of God, of His mercy, of His love for His creatures. They measure God by creatures, and God has no limits; His goodness is without bounds. Surely these words should encourage us to confide in God’s mercy. We can rest assured that a firm resolution to love God, combined with a humble gratitude and trust in His mercy, will keep us firmly fixed on the path to eternal life. Our Lord confirmed this to Sr. Benigna on March 15, 1905: “Knowest thou the shortest way to arrive at Heaven? It is that of confidence in My merits and fidelity to grace.” Furthermore, Our Lord imparted a valuable lesson regarding the necessity, excellence and means of growing in humility: “There is no way that conducts more directly, more securely, more swiftly, and more sweetly to God than humility. But it is the humility studied in the Gospel, humility learned in My life, humility profoundly taught in the Holy Eucharist. If thou seek humility in these three sources, thou wilt ever find it… When there is humility, I give; when I find more, I give more…”


Like many Saints and victim souls, Sr. Benigna was chosen, not because of her strength or virtue, but because of her weakness and misery: “I have chosen thee because thou art wretched and miserable, in order that thou mayst attribute nothing to thyself and know that all good comes from God.” None need ever fear to approach Our Merciful Saviour, Who has said: “Even sinners can love Me and become saints” (revelation to Bl. Alexandrina). On September 12, 1915, Jesus dictated the “Decalogue of Mercy” to Sr. Benigna, which contain perhaps some of the most tender and encouraging words ever recorded: “(8) The more evil the state to which the soul is reduced by the sins of the past, by her disorders and passions, so much the more pleased is Love to have so much to accomplish in her. (9) Souls the most miserable, the most weak, the most infirm, are the best clients of Love, the most desired by the divine Mercy. (10) These souls, thus become, as it were, the predilette [favourite] of God, will, like so many living monuments, exalt and magnify the multitude of His mercies, sending up to God the reflections of living light, His own light, which they have received from Him during their mortal life- the multitude of kindnesses God has made use of to conduct them to eternal salvation. These souls will shine like previous gems, and will form the crown of the Divine Mercy.”
Sr. Benigna Consolata knew well her own misery; the “Decalogue of Humility” helped to ensure that; but this did not halt her on the path to God. Her love was too great to settle for anything less than constant sacrifice and perfect fidelity to God’s grace, which is the essence of sanctity. She possessed an insatiable desire to be united to Jesus in Holy Communion, and ultimately in Heaven. How consoling and joyous, then, must have been the sublime occasion on which Our Lord spoke thus to Sr. Benigna: “Thou art the Apostle of My Love; but when thy body shall be under the earth, and thy soul in Heaven like a little atom in My Heart for all eternity.” This is one of many intimate colloquies that occurred between Sr. Benigna and her divine Spouse, Who frequently addressed her as “My Nigna”, “Nigna of gold”, “My joy”, “My lily”, “My queen”, “My Benjamin”, and “the apple of My eye”.
Maria Consolata, the seraphic spouse of Our Lord, had a heart aflame for God and for souls. In relation to her vow to love God with her whole heart, Our Lord assured Maria: “Thou doest this already, but I wish to oblige thee to do it ever more and more perfectly… I want thee to lend Me thy mind, thy life, thy faculties, which are My gifts, that thou mayst become wholly the instrument of My mercy. The desire of seeing My Adorable Heart ever more known and loved ought to move thee to receive this mission with docility. Accept it, then, through the love thou hast for My Sacred Heart.”
On October 23, 1903, Our Lord sent Maria, who was then 18 years of age, to address a discouraged stranger with the following words: “Have confidence, Jesus loves you.” Maria overcame her “embarrassment”, having never before seen this particular person. Maria would write that “the enemy… was trying to cause the loss of this soul by distrust.” Jesus would frequently encourage Maria to intercede for sinners, for whom she suffered, like Our Savior, with such constant and intense love.
To add to her sufferings, Maria’s brother, John, fell ill. She tenderly nursed him, so that he would say to her: “O you are more necessary to me than food!” John’s health continued to decline until the day he received the Last Sacraments and died peacefully in his sister’s arms. Later, while in the Monastery, Maria would reflect on these events with a humble gratitude, acknowledging the wise designs of providence: “Our Lord wished to detach me from everything, that I might be His alone. In taking away from me that brother so beloved, He began to dig in my heart a void which He alone could fill.”
On one occasion, while she was suffering great desolation, Jesus consoled her thus: “Know that in those painful moments in which it seems as if the demon is about to tear thee from my Heart, thou art more closely united to Me by the strong bonds of love. Art thou not the happy prey of Love? How canst thou be afraid of the demon when the Almighty is with thee? I am the cuirass of thy soul; then fear not the blows destined for thee; a soldier fears not the snares of the enemy when he knows he is powerfully defended. And what I say to thee is not for thyself alone, but also for so many souls who are in the same state. I repeat it; I wish thee to make known to souls what I teach thee; CONFIDENCE IS THE KEY THAT OPENS THE TREASURES OF MY MERCY.”


On September 11, 1915, Our Lord dictated to his “Apostle of Mercy” the “Decalogue of Confidence.” The most beautiful doctrines are expressed through this Decalogue; for example, “(6) This God of love wishes to be to me a brother, friend and consoler. (7) This God of love carries His tenderness so far as to wish to be my physician, my medicine, and more than all, my spouse. (8) This God of love wishes to be despoiled of His gifts, as a tree is stripped of its fruits, which in no wise complains, but rather produces more fruit. The tree must wait another year, but I produce fruit at once. (9) This God of love seeks only miseries to consume, imperfections to destroy, weak wills to fortify, and good resolutions to strengthen.”
The confidence that Maria Consolata possessed was extraordinary. In her writings we find these words: “Jesus compares my soul to a ball, which when thrown violently to the ground, rises much higher than its point of departure; so my soul humbled by aridity rises again, by the grace of God, to the practice of pure love. He constantly predicts to me new sufferings, and does not fear to frighten me, assuring me that Crosses are most precious caresses which He reserves for privileged souls. He shows me the state of victim as a sublime state. At another time I heard from my Beloved a dolorous plaint. He revealed to me the sorrow of His Heart at being robbed of the love which is due to Him, while souls are making so bad a use of it everywhere. He compared Himself to a beggar who sees food thrown away and spoiled right before his eyes, food which would prevent him from dying of starvation.”

Maria Consolata is called to the Order of the Visitation

In order to fulfil the designs of Providence, Maria was beckoned by Our Lord to “enter into the Order of the Visitation”, of which He said: “The Monastery will be the pulpit in which thou shalt make Me known. Having no need of strength, I shall lean upon thy weakness. I use the ignorant to confound the strong.” Maria’s parents conducted their daughter to the Monastery of Pozzo Strada; the answer was not favourable, but in March of 1906, she was accepted by the Sisters of Pignerol. The biography of Sr. Benigna Consolata elaborates on this event: “Now it happened that while the venerated Mother of Pignerol was still in a state of indecision, our young Postulant was taken with a slight indisposition. This was at once made a pretext to restore her to her family; thus painful explanations were avoided; and her relatives were overjoyed at the final determination. Maria obeyed without a word. But who could reveal her martyrdom? Her heart was crushed. She repressed silently her bitter tears. Was this blessed Cloister, the object of her sighs, to be forever closed against her? Yet had not Jesus told her a thousand times He wished her to be a Visitine? The fear of illusion, of having deceived herself and others, returned to torture her; and the enemy on his side tormented her incessantly, laying snares upon snares for her.”
What relief must Maria must have felt when Our Lord communicated to her interiorly His desire that she enter the Visitation of Como, which she was unaware existed. Again, we read in her biography: “Such were the ways of Providence over this soul, and the hidden and admirable designs by means of which Jesus introduced her into the “place of her repose.” The Most Honored Mother Maria Louisa Sobrero, whom our dear Turin with incomparable kindness had lent us, was then Superior. She knew the Ferrero family and held them in high esteem. Having made inquiries at Pignerol as to the dismissal of Maria Consolata from that Monastery, and having been apprized that the only obstacle to her admission was the extraordinary way by which she seemed to be led, Mother Maria Louisa hastened to open her arms and her heart to the dear aspirant.”
“Maria Consolata arrived among us on December 30, 1907, accompanied by her venerable father and her dear aunt; she was then twenty-two years old. Matured, purified by suffering, enriched by the virtues she had so long practiced in the shadow of the Cross, she seemed already formed to the religious life.”
As a religious, Maria took the name Sister Benigna Consolata. She spent eleven months as a Postulant, before making her profession of the simple vows on November 23, 1909. On November, 1912, Sr. Benigna Consolata made her solemn profession. What incomparable joy must have been hers on this special day. In the words of a fellow Sister, when speaking of her Beloved Spouse, Sr. Benigna’s eyes “appeared beautiful and luminous; one could read in them the virginal purity of her soul and the divine love which devoured her.” Furthermore, “she always spoke sweetly, peacefully”, and she only spoke after having consulted Our Lord.
Although she was a model religious, Jesus, in order to preserve her humility, granted a special grace whereby others would perceive only her involuntary imperfections and defects. The Mother Superior made it known to several of the Sisters that it caused her suffering when she was required to give a reprimand; however, “when there was question of Sister Benigna Consolata, He gave her a special grace, for she humbled her severely and fearlessly.”
Knowing her misery, Sr. Benigna possessed “not only a real contempt for herself, but she desired that everyone else should despise her.” Speaking of such a humble disposition, which can in no way be compared with despondency or self-loathing, Our Lord said: “My Benigna, the purity of love consists in the perfection of sacrifice; and there is no sacrifice which pleases me so much as that of one’s honor and reputation. When a soul has attained to the love of contempt in order that God may be glorified in her, I look upon her with so much love that if she could see Me she would die of joy.”
Combined with her profound humility was perfect obedience. Her fidelity to the Rule was a source of edification to her fellow Religious. “One day”, recalls a Sister of the Novitiate, “having gone with my Sister Benigna Consolata to the garden to gather the dry leaves, I observed that since there were so few, it would be a loss of time to carry them to the place assigned; but she answered with her ordinary sweetness: ‘My Sister, our Mother desires we should carry them there; we ought to obey although we had to pick up only a single leaf.’ I was greatly edified, and I saw that until then I had not understood obedience.”
On another occasion, Sr. Benigna Consolata and the other Sisters were asked by the Mother Superior to find a turtle that had been presented as a gift to the Monastery. After a brief period, all of the Sisters but Sr. Benigna Consolata discontinued their search. “My Jesus,” she said, “obedience works miracles; help me to do our Mother’s will.” Her humble obedience was rewarded by God: she soon returned with the turtle. No sacrifice was too insignificant for Sr. Benigna.


The life of Sr. Benigna was marked with heroic sacrifice. Not only was she ever attentive and docile to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit, but she furnished every moment with mortification, so as to arrive more speedily at that “sublime perfection” which Our Lord had called her to. “Act in such a way”, said Jesus, “that wherever the body can find relief, it may meet, on the contrary, only constraint and suffering; refuse it even the least pleasure.”
Speaking of her sufferings, Sr. Benigna said: “I am sometimes so oppressed with sorrow, so troubled through the fear of not corresponding with God’s grace, that I can scarcely trust in His goodness- It is principally in prayer that my sufferings are augmented: while there I ought not and wish not to be mindful of aught but God; but alas! all sorts of thoughts present themselves to my mind. The demon, delighted, takes hold of the occasion to torment me. Overwhelmed, I am tempted to leave off prayer through dread of making it badly; but I do not yield, and continue in spite of suffering. If I could tell my sufferings to someone it seems to me I should be relieved; but God alone knows these interior pains. When I would manifest my state to my Director, I have so slight a remembrance of it that I cannot find terms to express myself; for these are spiritual sufferings that at times I myself cannot comprehend.”
Although this dear spouse of Jesus suffered greatly, she was encouraged frequently by Our Lord, Who assured her that her sufferings would not go unrewarded: “Cast a glance upon Jesus on the Cross, and thou wilt see thy program of mortification. Spiritual consolations will be thy recompense.” These words are reminiscent of the words that Jesus addressed to Ven. Concepcion Cabrera de Armida: “Penance is a great virtue… and receives in Heaven a most sublime recompense.”
One can imagine with what confidence Sr. Benigna, when afflicted by untold sufferings and temptations, must have hastened to find refuge in the Sacred Heart of her Beloved, Which ever seeks to comfort and bless His dear creatures: “Thou canst not imagine, O my spouse, the pleasure I experience in remaining with My creatures! I am always in search of hearts that love Me, and I find only a small number. I lavish upon them the plenitude of My graces; I have so great a love for the souls who are faithful to Me and let Me do what I please with them, that I am as ready to gratify them as if it were a law to Me.” Such tender words are addressed to all souls: “I have immense treasures of grace for all: and whoever comes to Me shall be overwhelmed with them… I love men so much! … I love poor sinners so much! … Write, My Benigna, that all may know this: It is certain that a hundred sins offend Me more than one alone; but if this single sin is distrust of Me, it wounds My Heart more than the hundred others, because distrust wounds My Heart to Its innermost core.”
Jesus often complained to Sr. Benigna of the unfathomable sorrow of His Sacred Heart. “Behold”, said Jesus; “I beg the love of My creatures, who refuse it to Me and squander it upon things which pass away. They do not even think of giving it to Me- if thou knewest, Maria, how painful it is to love so much and not to be loved! I do not grow weary, I am always seeking love and no one gives it to me; not only they will not love Me, but they hate Me. Dost thou know what hinders Me from striking sinners? It is the prayers of the just; they disarm My divine Justice.”
If Our Lord complained of His sufferings, He also begged for the love of souls, including those who wound Him most. Even the most shameful sinners should be inspired with confidence in God’s mercy after reading the tender revelations given to Sr. Benigna Consolata. Jesus continually made known to her that He yearns to save even the most sordid sinners. He invites all sinners to bathe their souls in His Precious Blood, which was shed for our salvation: “Provided I find good will in a soul, I am never weary of looking upon its miseries- My love is fed by consuming miseries; the soul that brings Me the most, if the heart is contrite and humble, is the one that pleases Me most, because she gives Me an opportunity of exercising more fully My office of Saviour. But what I wish particularly to say to thee, My Benigna, is that the soul ought never to be afraid of God, because God is all-merciful; the greatest pleasure of the Sacred Heart of thy Jesus is to lead to His Father numerous sinners; they are My glory and My jewels… Sins may be enormous and numerous; but provided that the soul returns to Me, I am always ready to pardon all, to forget all.”

Her Final Conflict and Entrance into Eternal Life

 

Towards the end of 1916, Sr. Benigna was invited by Jesus to enter into solitude, in preparation for her death. “Ask permission of thy Mother,” He said, “to withdraw into solitude from the eve of the 20th of June to July 2 inclusively… Twelve days are not too much to prepare thee for death.” She returned from this treat with a glowing countenance, but this happiness was to be followed by great trials.
On the 28th of August, Sr. Benigna was plunged into an ocean of sadness. At about four o’clock in the afternoon, a great interior struggle commenced. Her countenance was transformed from one of great serenity into one of immense agitation. She was frequently heard to repeat, “I am lost”, and other terrible words that reveal the extent of her interior martyrdom. The Monsignor was called on to administer the holy exorcisms, which successfully drove Satan away from his victim. As midnight drew near, Sr. Benigna Consolata’s usual, sweet appearance returned. Her Confessor consoled her, instructing her to consider herself, at such painful moments, as “the prisoner of the Heart of Jesus”. Joyously, she exclaimed: “Benigna, prisoner of Jesus!”
On Friday the 1st of September, 1916, Sr. Benigna Consolata received the Holy Viaticum for the last time, after which her health continued to decline, though without affecting her consciousness, which she preserved. Her biography describes the touching account of her passing into eternal life as follows: “Frequently with great fervor she murmured the sacred names of Jesus and Mary. Toward half past one she recited with pain, but intelligibly, the act of contrition. At half past two our Confessor entered to renew the holy Absolution and recite the prayers for the Recommendation of the Departing Soul- At three o’clock, while she rested peacefully in the arms of our Mother, Sister Benigna Consolata opened her eyes suddenly, appeared to fix them on a distant and luminous point, and expired sweetly. The Confidant of Jesus had gone to be united to the Heart of her God!”

Words of Sr.Consolata

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“I will send you treasures of happiness from Heaven.” – Sr. Benigna Consolata
Words of Sr. Benigna Consolata
“If souls knew what it means to suffer, and suffer for God, not a soul would be found who would not be willing to suffer for Him.”
‘O my Mother, how I suffer! but I am happy.”
“I weep because I see Jesus, who is doing Himself violence to make me suffer; He is forced to it, having chosen me for a victim; but it costs Him to hide from me His love.”
“My Jesus, one would say that Thou canst not live without me. What is it that attracts Thee to my soul? Then hast Thou not the Angels? Dost Thou not find Thy happiness in Thyself?” “My Benigna,” He answered, “it is true, all this is true; but it is also true that I have a human Heart, and that I love Men I have told thee this already, but I tell thee again that thou mayst write it, my little Secretary of Love; then I will cause it to be read, that souls may believe in My excessive love; men are my brothers.”
“The enemy tried to tempt me to pride by making me out a saint: I complained to Jesus, who told me to answer him: ‘With the aid of my God I will be one, because of a sinner He can make a great saint.”
“He said to me in a sweet, sad tone: ‘My Benigna, give me souls!’ The plaintive words of my Adorable Master moved me profoundly. ‘How shall I give Thee souls, my Jesus?’ ‘By sacrifices’, He responded.” (June 13, 1915, the Feast of the Sacred Heart)
Words of Our Lord to Sr. Benigna Consolata

“The attraction of the most sweet Heart of Jesus is to console those who suffer, to compassionate the miseries of His poor creatures, and ever to show them mercy. It will be thy mission to console the infinite love of God, which seeks solace from its little creature.”
“Let all thy actions bear the impress of Reparation and thou wilt console My Heart.”
“Finally, to attain more speedily to perfection, she should have God alone in view in all things, His glory, His good pleasure; doing this, she will always be at peace.”
”Maria, no longer go begging the love of creatures; were they to give themselves entirely to thee thou wouldst not be satisfied. God alone can suffice for thee. Maria, thou hast need of a heart which loves thee, which understands thee; it is the Heart of God thou needest. Speak to Me as thou wouldst to an earthly friend, to whom one tells everything. I know thee, I share thy sufferings, I offer Myself to be thy Model and on this thou must carefully form thyself.”
“Benigna, the more a soul humbles herself, the more she approaches to Me.”
“I wish thee to be faithfully faithful, my Benigna. A little act of fidelity may be the principle of great graces. Exact observance is, as it were, a perpetual Communion for the faithful soul; for with each point of the Rule well observed, she receives an increase of grace; and when the soul receives an increase of grace, I communicate Myself to her.”
“My Benigna, if souls had more faith, they would live on mortification as they live on bread, whereas they fly it as they would the plague.”
“Benigna, few souls walk with a rapid step in the way of love, because there are very few who enter generously into the way of sacrifice. If one is constant in sacrifice, she is constant in love: if she falters in sacrifice, she falters in love.”
“When I permit temptation, it is not through cruelty, but to give the soul an opportunity of merit.”

“What is here written in My Heart? Love Me! If thou lovest Me, thou wilt repair; if thou repairest, thou wilt console Me; and then thou wilt be a faithful spouse: Love, Reparation, Consolation, Fidelity.”
“Nigna of gold, goodnight, adieu!”

Some Comparisons between Sr. Benigna Consolata’s Revelations and those of other Victim Souls

The inspiring revelations given to Sr. Benigna Consolata share much in common with the spirituality of St. Faustina, Sr. Josefa Menendez, Bl. Dina Belanger, Sr. Consolata Betrone, St. Therese of Lisieux, and other holy “little souls.” Our Lord frequently manifested to Sr. Benigna Consolata the tender mercy of His Sacred Heart- especially towards little souls, of whom He said: “The little ones are my weakness.” To each of the aforementioned individuals, God has entrusted the message of His merciful love. The following themes are common to each of these holy women: confidence in the mercy of God, knowledge of our misery, childlike simplicity and humility, and the value of love, which transforms even the most trivial acts into something sublime.


Here are but a few examples of the similarities between Sr. Benigna Consolata’s writings and those of the aforementioned saints and mystics:
1. + “Thou art the Apostle of My Love.” (Jesus to Sr. Benigna Consolata)
+ “Apostle of My mercy.” (Jesus to St. Faustina)
+ “Apostle of Love.” (Jesus to Bl. Dina Belanger)
+ “Apostle of My love.” (Jesus to Sr. Josefa Menendez)
2. + “Thou shalt make thy Purgatory in the flames of My pure love-“ (Jesus to Sr. Benigna, July 14, 1903)
+ “… the Fire of Love is more sanctifying than is the fire of Purgatory.” (St. Therese)
3. + “Even the single little prayer, ‘I trust in Thee’, ravishes My Heart, because Faith, Love and Humility are comprised in this short prayer.” (Jesus to Sr. Benigna Consolata)
+ “Jesus, I trust in You!” (Words repeated throughout Sr. Consolata Betrone’s diary)
+ “Jesus, I trust in You!” (Prayer dictated by Our Lord to St. Faustina)
+ “How easy it is to please Jesus, to ravish His Heart. We have merely to love Him, while, at the same time, forgetting ourselves.” (St. Therese)
4. + “To exercise Justice is for Me to go against the current; it does violence to Me.” (Jesus to Sr. Benigna)
+ “If only you knew how I suffer when I must dispense justice. You see, My Heart needs to be comforted; It wishes to dispense mercy, not justice!” (Jesus to Sr. Consolata Betrone)
+ “I do not want to punish aching mankind, but I desire to heal it, pressing it to My Merciful Heart. I use punishment when they themselves force Me to do so; My hand is reluctant to take hold of the sword of justice.” (Jesus to St. Faustina)
5. “Little things are little things, but fidelity in little things is a great thing.” (Sr. Benigna Consolata)
+ “Little things done out of love are those that charm the Heart of Christ.” (St. Therese)
+ “Great love can change small things into great ones, and it is only love which lends value to our actions.” (St. Faustina)
+ “The smallest act, if done out of love, acquires such merit that it gives Me immense consolation.” (Jesus to Sr. Josefa Menendez)
6. + “One act of love alone will repair a thousand blasphemies.” (Jesus to Sr. Benigna Consolata)
+ “One ‘Jesus, Mary! I love You! Save souls!’ repairs a thousand blasphemies!” (Jesus to Sr. Consolata Betrone)
7. + “Souls are not saved if nothing is done for them. I died on the Cross to save them—I ask of thee no great thing—only a word withheld, a look repressed, a pleasant thought banished, in a word all that restrains and mortifies nature. These little things, united to My infinite merits, acquire a great value.” (Jesus to Sr. Benigna Consolata)
+ “One faithful soul can repair and obtain mercy for many ungrateful ones… Every soul can be instrumental in this sublime work [saving souls]… Nothing great is required, the smallest acts suffice: a step taken, a straw picked up, a glance restrained, a service rendered, a cordial smile… all these offered to Love are in reality of great profit to souls and draw down floods of grace on them.” (Jesus to Sr. Josefa Menendez)
+ “If only you knew how many souls can be saved by those little acts!” (Our Lady to Sr. Josefa Menendez)
+ “To pick up a pin for Love can convert a soul. It is Jesus alone who can give such value to our actions. Let us then love Him with all our heart.” (St. Therese)
8. + “As the fire is fed with combustibles, and increases according as they are supplied, so My mercy is nourished with the miseries it consumes, and the more it receives the more it increases.” (Jesus to Sr. Benigna Consolata)
+ “There is no misery that could be a match for My mercy, neither will misery exhaust it, because as it is being granted- it increases.” (Jesus to St. Faustina)
Many more comparisons could be made, but these few are sufficient to give us some idea of the importance of this message for mankind. Jesus wants each of us to love and console Him. To do this we must remain little, have great confidence in His mercy, and have a firm resolution to become holy. To do this, we may profit by keeping in mind the words dictated by Our Lord to Sr. Benigna in the “Decalogue of Confidence”: “(1) I have a God who is all mine. (2) This God, all mine, is my Father. (3) This God, all mine, wishes that I should be all His forever. (4) This God of love came down from Heaven to earth on purpose to seek me. (5) This God of love asks me for my heart… (10) This God of love goes in search of those whom the world despises, abhors and abandons, that is, of poor sinners; and after having converted them through the delicacies of His charity and the attractions of His mercy, if He meets with the correspondence He seeks, He makes them masterpieces of holiness.” At another time, Our Lord said: “And why should you become a saint except to please your Jesus ever more and more.”
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Prayer written by the Servant of God Sr. Benigna Consolata Ferrero:

O’ Jesus, True Charity and God of Love, Goodness without limits: I, a miserable sinner, in order to honor Thy incomparable mercy, offer, give and abandon myself forever to the love of Thy most amiable and tender Heart.
Source:mysticsofthechurh.com

Blessed Anna Maria Taigi~Wife,Mother,Mystic,Visionary,Advocate for the Souls in purgatory and soul caretaker

Blessed Anna Maria Taigi (1769-1837) -Wife, Mother and Mystic


-Among many other extraordinary mystical gifts, Anna Maria Taigi was often given a remarkable sun-globe wherein she saw past, present and future happenings.

Early life



Blessed Anna Maria Taigi was born in Siena, Italy on May 29, 1769. Her parents, Luigi Giannetti and Maria Masi were of a poor, working class family, and Anna was of Italian and Tuscan blood. She was Baptised Anna Maria Antonia Gesualda on the day after her birth. Due to the collapse of her fathers buisness, when she was 6 years old she moved with her parents to Rome, where she remained the rest of her life .
In Rome, Anna Maria (she was nicknamed “Annette”) attended for 2 years parochial school of the Filippini Sisters the “good Mistresses” as they were called. Following her schooling, she worked as a household maid and several other non-skilled occupations in an effort to help with the family finances. Throughout her childhood and teenage years, she seemed to be of average piety and spirituality.

At age 20, on January 7, 1790, she married Domenico Taigi, who was a poor porter or “servant” of the chef for Prince Chigi. Domenico’s morals and piety were very good, but he had a terrible temper. Or, as the decree for Anna’s Beatification puts it “his [Domenico] manners were rough and uncultured and his temperment undesirable.” His brusque and turbulent manner and quick temper caused Anna much suffering, but it also caused her to exercise her virtue of patience, meekeness, humility and forgiveness. She learned that a smile and silence often appeased his wrath. He never was physically abusive to her, but he certainly was a tyrant at times. Nevertheless, he loved her deeply, as once can easily detect the frank and sincere testimonies that he gave during the official process of her Beatification. As the years progressed, bore seven children, three of whom died in childhood. The remaining two boys and two girls grew to maturity with her ever attentive concern for both their religious and moral upbringing, along with their secular education.


The Call of God- Her deep conversion



Describing her life as a young wife, one source states “”Chaste in morals, attached to her wifely duties, Anna-Maria yet lived more for the world than for God.” However, an increasing sense of spiritual disturbance began to mingle with Anna’s frivolities and worldliness. One day she went to the Basilica of St. Peter’s. There was a great throng. She was leaning on the arm of her husband, all radiant and decked with her prettiest necklaces. They were in the piazza, surrounded by Bernini’s colonnade. The jostling of the crowd threw her against one Father Angelo, a Servite. He had never seen the young woman before, but he heard an interior voice say: “Notice that woman, for I wiII one day confide her to your care and you will work for her transformation. She shall sanctify her­self, for I have chosen her to become a saint.”

Eventually Anna Maria made up her mind to leave her worldliness aside and to make a good confession, so she went to a neighboring church, seeking in con­fession the solution to her unsettled conscious. She chose a confessional surrounded by numerous penitents, but on entering it in her turn tears overcame her, and she cries: “Father, you have at your feet a great sinner.” The priest wondered for a moment who the unknown might be, and then said brusquely:
“Go away; you are not one of my penitent.” How­ever, he consented to hear a hasty recital. Yet discovering nothing to justify her passionate out­burst, he gave her absolution and curtly slammed back the slide, leaving the unfortunate woman more troubled than ever.

There followed a period of discouragement. In a soul of poorer caliber the matter might have had a tragic ending; in truth it had an ending as fortunate as that of St. Teresa of Avila, so misunderstood and mishandled by one confessor after another.
After having savored this humiliation, Anna returned to pray in the church of St. Marcellus, where she had been married. Entering one of the confessionals in trepidation, she found herself in the presence of the curate, a religious of the Servite Order, Father Angelo Verandi. It was he who in the piazza in front of St. Peter‘s had heard the Lords voice say to him: “Take notice of that woman …. I am calling her to sanctity.”

Now, our Lord enabled him to recognise her: “So you have come at last my daughter,” he said. “Our Lord loves you and wants you to be wholly His” and he told her of the message he had received before at St. Peter’s. Anna had spent three years in vain worldly triflings, and now a new life was to begin. Concerning Anna’s spiritual direction, Father Angelo needed it to undertake a task so infinitely delicate. For Anna Taigi was neither a Carmelite Nun nor a devout widow, but the young wife of Domenico, by whom she was to have seven children in a dozen years. There lay her essential duty. Everything else: penances, prayers, miracles, ecstasies, could play their part only in so far as the obligations of her state would allow. Consequently it was no good for Father Angelo just to re-read St. Teresa; he had to have, together with mystical learning, a robust common sense and a profound humility to guide this young mother and wife.

The first demand of the Master was purification: to that end God immediately gave Anna a keen conscience of her own weaknesses and misery. St. Catherine of Genoa describes these terrible enlightenments given by God concerning our sins by saying:
“He finds fault with everything.”


This spirit of penance, so far as the Beata was concerned, dated from the moment of her confession at St. Marcellus, and was never to leave her. Upon returning home, she prostrated herself before the new little altar that she had made in her room, gave herself a pitiless scourging and beat her head severely many times on the floor till the blood came. Father Angelo soon had to check this thirst for penance and austerities and to remind her she was a wife and mother and that such extraordinary penances were not her duty—her duty must lie in the holy fulfillment of her state in life.

The ever-present difficulty was that her husband Domenico was no St. Joseph. The first of Anna’s miracles was to get him to consent to forgo all those luxuries in which he led the way and sought her participation. Wonderful to say, he surprisingly became resigned to the holy will of his wife.

“About a year after our marriage,” he says in his official deposition, “the Servant of God, while yet in the flower of her youth, gave up for the love of God, all the jewelry she used to wear–rings, ear-rings, necklaces, and so on, and took to wearing the plainest possible clothing. She asked my permission for this, and I gave it to her with all my heart, for I saw she was entirely given to the love of God.”
This miracle of grace moves one more than the cure of incurables, of which we are yet to recount. “I have chosen her …. I call her to sanctity.” -Such was the message of our Lord as heard by Father Angelo. God had decreed that this woman of twenty-one years, who was suckling a new-born baby, was to be a Saint and a great help for the Church.

Anna begins to hear an inner Voice
Not long after her fervent coming to God, our Lord pointed out the first step in her ascent to Him- The enormous value of simplicity and charity towards others:
“Remember that you must be prudent in everything. The devil, My daughter, is a spirit of contradiction. He who is under the devil’s influence cannot rest either day or night. My spirit, on the other hand, is a spirit of love and peace, full of condescension for every­thing that is not sin. Who possesses My peace, possesses all things: Many souls do severe penance in order to reach this great good. None can reach the peace of my elect unless strives to become as simple as a child and to acquire from the start true charity. Who possesses charity, My daughter, possesses patience. Charity works with zeal and love. It speaks evil of no one, for it fears to lose the precious pearl of My friendship. It understands all, sees all notices all, but it covers all with Its mantle. It excuses the faults of its neighbors, and sympathizes with his sorrows and says to itself: ‘Truly, I would be even worse, if You did not come to rescue me.’

“You must know,” said Jesus to her, “that when I speak to you I produce in you tenderness, peace, compunction for your sins and above all, humility. Know well, my daughter, that no matter how much he desires to love me, if a man enter not the straight path of humility he will keep on stumbling. Man has within himself a dust that settles round his heart; it is called self-love ….Man is full of pride, and I have nothing to do with the proud. Only the humble find favor in My sight. He who wishes to taste My delights must despise the world, and expect to be despised by it in turn.”

“I make My abode in humble souls that are full of simplicity. The more lowly and uncultured they are, the more I take pleasure in them. As to these wise and learned professors whose heads are. full of the fumes of pride, I put them down from their seats, and you yourself shall soon learn where I send them. Thus ends their false wisdom and self-advertise­ment. Oh My daughter, I exalt those who humble themselves. They merit My Kingdom, and to these I unfold all My secrets. Love then to meet with contempt, for love of contempt is a true foundation of virtue.”
The Blessed Virgin Mary also became her guide and helped her to prepare for the mission that God had called her to:

“Know well, My dear daughter, that here below you will have for every one. good day a hundred bad ones, because you must be like My Son Jesus. You must be devoted above all to doing His will and submitting your own constantly to His in the state of life to which it has pleased Him to call you; there­in lies your special vocation. Later on, when people come to examine your conduct closely, every indi­VIdual must be able to convince himself that it is possible to serve God in all states and conditions of life without the performance of great exterior penances, provided only one fights vigorously against one’s passions and conforms oneself in all things to the holy will of God. Remember it is far more meritorious to renounce one’s own will and submit oneself entirely to the will of God than to perform the greatest bodily mortifications.”

Anna Maria is given the extraordinary miracle of a mystic globe-sun
Jesus told Anna Maria that by being a simple wife and mother she was to be a sign that holiness and union with God is available to everyone. He further stated “Jesus described her mission: “I destine you to convert sinners, to console people of all sorts and conditions-priests, prelates, My very Vicar himself. All who listen to your words will be granted signs and graces at My hands …. But you will also meet with false and treacherous people; you will be submitted to ridicule, scorn and calumny, but you will endure it all for love of Me.”

This frightened her. “My God, whom are You choosing for this task? I am a creature unworthy to tread the earth.” “I see that also,” answered the Voice. “It is I who will guide you by the hand, as a lamb is led by the shepherd, to the altar of sacrifice.”

As she was praying one day in the church of St. Andrew della Valle, before the crucifix she heard this question from the lips of the Crucified: “What is your wish? To follow Jesus poor and naked and stripped of all, or to follow Him in His triumph and glory? Which do you choose?” “I embrace the Cross of my Jesus,” she answered. “I will carry it, like Him, in pain and ignominy. I await at His Hands triumph and glory in the hereafter.”


It was in 1790, the very year of her call, that the Beata was the object of a most unique and remarkable favour.
The Decree of the Beatification thus refers to it:
“Among other gifts the most remarkable was that for a space of forty-seven years she saw a kind of sun in whose light she descried things at hand and things afar off foresaw future events, scrutinized the secrets of hearts and the most hidden and most inward impulses.” Suddenly, then, in her humble home, Anna saw a little above her head, as it were a blazing sun crowned by a circle of thorns; two long thorns clasped it round; in the centre was the Eternal Wisdom (presumably), represented by a young woman seated in contempla­tion. Films of cloud dimmed the dazzling light, but an interior voice told her that the clouds would disappear according to the increasing measure of her purification. In this light she was to see, until her death, not only everything that might conduce her to perfection, but also everything that could help win others for God and allow her to help the Church militant or suffering.

Cardinal Pedicini, who knew Anna Maria for over 30 years, and whose position in the great Roman congregations shows a man little given to credulity or wild assertions speaks at great length in his judicial depositions concerning this prodigious gift:
“For forty-seven years, day and night, at home, at church, in the. street, she saw in this sun, which became increasingly brilliant, all things on this earth both physical and moral; she penetrated to the depths and rose up to heaven, where she saw the eternal lot of the dead. She saw the most secret thoughts of persons nearby or far off; events and personages of bygone days ….She had only to think of a thing and it presented itself in a clear and, complete manner …. A mere glance at this mystic sun and she entered at will into the most secret council-rooms of kings.

She saw the people who handled affairs, the places concerned, the opinions that each one held, the sincerity or guile of the ministers; all the back-door diplomacy of our era, and also the decrees of God for the confusion of these mighty ones. She saw the plotting and the dark ­gatherings of various sects; the members of these societies, their ranks, their ceremonies–all in the minutest detail and in all parts of the world–all as if it were happening in her room ….We may say that this gift was one of omniscience for it was the knowing of all things in God so far as the intelligence is capable of such knowledge in this life…. She saw distant sea ships being wrecked and heard the cries of the shipwrecked; she penetrated into the prisons of China and Arabia … where confessors of the faith, slaves and prisoners languished in agony …. In this way did she exercise an un­bounded apostolate, won souls to grace in every part of the globe, and prepared the way for missionaries; the entire world was the theatre of her labours …. Nor let anyone think I am exaggerating, for, on the contrary, I find myself incapable of describing the wonders of which I was for thirty years the witness.”

The Cardinal added that if obedience compelled the holy woman to hide nothing from him, she took extreme pains to remain hidden herself from people whom she benefited by means of the lights God gave her. Above all, she was most anxious to receive no gifts from them. Princes of the Church, kings, queens, Popes and saints came to ask this humble woman to teach and enlighten them to the secrets of heaven. She enlightened them to the extent demanded by obedience, putting far from her all spirit of curiosity, not even asking an explanation of those things she failed to understand.

“A prodigy unique” in the annals of sanctity is the way the Decree of Beatification speaks of it, and it is to be explained by the unique circumstances in which the world and the Papacy then were. A crumbling world threatened to involve the Church and the Papacy in its own ruin. Her mission then was to help those who were in charge of guiding the Church through this difficult and turbulent period. Her husband stated:

“She prayed for the Holy Father, for the Cardinals and Bishops, for the conversion of sinners, for heretics, for all the world, for evil tongued people…it all seemed to me a paradise”
Concerning this miraculous sun, in a book by Louis Veuillot entitled “The Fragrance of Rome” we read:

“In the Decree that introduces the Process for Beatification of Anna Maria Taigi it is said that she was chosen by God to draw souls to Him; to be a victim of expiation, to avert great catastrophes, all by the power of her prayers….to the opened floodgates of iniquity God opposed a simple woman.”

“Shortly after she had entered on the way of perfection there began to appear to her a golden globe which became as a sun of matchless light; in this all things were revealed to her. Past and future were to her an open book. She knew with certainty the fate of the dead. Her gaze travelled 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. One glance sufficed; upon whatever she focused her thoughts, it was revealed to her and her under­standing. She saw the whole world as we see the front of a building. It was the same with nations as with individuals; she saw the cause of their distresses and the remedies that would heal them.

“By means of this permanent and prodigious miracle, the poor wife of Domenico Taigi became a theologian, a teacher and a prophet. The miracle lasted forty-seven years. Until her death the humble woman was able to read this mysterious sun as an ever-open book. Until her death she looked into it solely for the glory of God; that is, when charity suggested or obedience demanded it. Should things for which she had not looked or which she did not understand appear, she re­frained from seeking to know more and asking explanations.”

“The poor, the great of the world, the princes 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 refused neither her last crust of bread nor the most precious moments of her time, yet she would accept neither presents nor praise.
“Her most powerful friends could not induce her to allow them to favor her children beyond the conditions in which they were born. When she was at the end of her resources she told God about it, and God sent what was necessary.

“She thought it good to live from day to day, like the birds, A refugee queen in Rome wished to give her money. ‘Madame,’ she kindly said, ‘how simple you are. I serve God, and He is richer than you.’
“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 in 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 to be a victim in union with Him. The pains of Divine Love have an intoxication that no words can explain. After Holy Communion there were times when she sank down as though smitten by a prostrating stroke. 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.”

“Behold, then, the spectacle God raised to men’s sight in Rome during that long tempestuous period which began at the time the humble Anna­ Maria took to the way of saints. Pope PlUS VI dies at Valence; Pius VII is a prisoner at Fontainebleau; the Revolution will reappear before Gregory XVI reigns. Men are saying that the day of the Popes is over, that Christ s law and Christ Himself are on the wane, that science will soon have relegated this so-called Son of God to the realm of dreams . . . . He will work no more miracles.”

“But at precisely this time God raised up this woman to cure the sick …. He gives her know­ledge of the past, present and future. She declares that Pius VII will return to his seat in Rome. She sees even beyond the reign of Pius IX She is God’s answer to the challenge of unbelief.”

Her ecstasies and her love and devotion to the Holy Eucharist
Along with receiving the extraordinary ongoing vision of the sun, Anna Maria began to be drawn into ecstasies along with hearing the inner Voice. Most often, she was often drawn into ecstasy while receiving Holy Communion, but also even during the most humble tasks of washing clothes or even while eating. Her husband and children did not understand what was happening to her once when Anna fell into ecstasy at the table and came back to her senses he grumbled at her saying: “How can you doze at table? You are stupefied with sleep. You must go to bed earlier.” After the death of his wife he suspected the true nature of things: “I do really believe that my wife was favored with heavenly gifts. As to ecstasies, I could never discern any. I remember, however, that at night-time, as we said the Rosary, there were times when she did not answer. At table, also, it often happened that she was absent-minded, sometimes with a fork in her hand, sometimes without movement. I spoke to her and she took up again what she had left off, giving me a smile.”

When she thus went to sleep with her eyes towards heaven, her daughter Mariuccia once said tearfully:
“Mamma is dead. Mamma is dead.” “No! she is praying.” Sophie would say by way of correction.
“Be quiet, she’s asleep,” Domenico would growl. “Let her alone; she had no sleep last night.”

While reciting the daily family Rosary, ecstasy was quite common and at this Domenico was still more shocked. “It is shameful to go to sleep like that during prayers, when one has the whole night for sleeping” (Statement taken during the Process and Summary).

“When I used to go to see her in the morning,” says Cardinal Pedicini, “I often found her in ecstasy, and was obliged to wait patiently till she came to herself. Ecstasy would again seize her in the middle of our conversation. I would wait again. Only obedience had power to call her to herself.”

Her confessor says, “I was often the witness of her ecstasies when we used to visit the seven basilicas in company with Cardinal Pedicini. At that time she usually went to Communion in the chapel of the Holy Crucifix at. St. Paul’s. Immediately after Com­munion she entirely lost herself in transport. Yet, as we needed to contmue the pilgrimage, I ordered her quickly in the name of obedience to recall her mind and follow us without delay. She obeyed.”

After Holy Communion, when she felt ecstasy overwhelming her, she cut matters short and hastened back to her kitchen, but the Spirit often overcame her in the road, so much so that she had to have a companion. The sight of a cross, of a flower, or of a statue of Our Lady, would halt her, ravished in the love of God. Naturally the gossipers missed nothing, and she suffered on account of their uncharitable tongues and culmunies.

Her extraordinary Charity



One day in winter, when she came out of the Pieta church with Mgr. Natali, she met in the street a young man who was almost naked; his eyes were. haggard; he was crying with cold and hunger, a veritable spectre covered with filth, from whom the passers-by drew aside as from one smitten with the plague. Anna ran to him, took him by the hand, led him to her home, warmed him, washed him dressed him, restored and consoled him, gave him alms, and sent him away with a thousand expressions of regard, so that he wept and could find no word to answer.

Another day she had reached the church of Our Lady of Consolation when. she came upon a poor woman stretched on the road, foaming at the mouth, in a fit of epilepsy. The passers-by shunned her with averted heads. Anna drew near, wiped away the slaver, lifted her up and went to a neighboring shop to buy her a cordial. Charity is contagious. The crowd stopped, a voluntary collection was organised and given to the poor woman. Once she had restored her, Anna effaced herself and went to the church. There an ecstasy awaited her. Like St. Martin of old, who had just shared his cloak with a poor man of Amiens, she heard Our Savior say to her: “Thank thee, my daughter, for the care you have given to Me.”

At the hospital of St. John, for Incurables, in the St. James quarter, there were similar incidents. Sophie [her daughter] who accompanied her, saw her mother going from bed to bed, distributing sweetmeats and help­ing the sick to bring up phlegm. The patient she singled out was a woman whose face was eaten away by a cancer. Her head had been covered by a veil. The moment she heard Annette a murmur of joy came from behind her mask. Anna went to her, caressed her, washed her, and, while rocking her like a baby, spoke to her of heaven.

“At this hospital of St. James” (it is still Sophie referring to the same case) “there was a woman called Santa whose husband had given her a conta­gious disease that ravaged her face. For that reason her head was covered in a hood. I think, too, she was no longer able to see. Whenever she heard Mamma’s voice, she used to cry: ‘Here is my angel’. My mother would remain a long time with her. I would call and press her to come away, for the stench was very bad. But she would answer: ‘But smell the fragrance of her soul: she will go straight from bed to paradise.’ ”

Another day, when she heard that the daughter of one of her bitterest persecutors was ill, she went to pay her a visit, and to comfort her mother. At every visit she took some sweetmeats. In the end she made the sign of the Cross over the daughter with her statue of Our Lady, and the sick woman recovered.

Anna Maria given the grace to obtain cures

The grace of healing was bestowed upon this humble woman, as it was formerly upon the Apostles in an official manner. Soon after her con­version, when she was gravely ill in her humble home, she was preparing herself for death when our Saviour appeared to her, dressed in a great blue cloak; He took her by the left hand and told her He took her for His spouse and granted to that hand the gift of curing the sick. Then he said:

“You may get up. You are cured.” She cried out aloud and got up.

Sometimes Anna was content with touching a sick person with this sore hand which bore the invisible mark of her power. More often, so as to avoid admiration, she made use of a statue of Our Lady, or St. Philomena, of a relic, or of oil from the votive-lamp. Here are a few anecdotes: A lady of the princely house of the Albani was dying of cancer of the womb. She appealed to Anna’s confessor, and he appealed to Anna. The Beata gave him a drop of oil from the votive-light, saying: “Let her put the oil on the affected part and invoke Our Lady.” It was done. The following night the tumor broke painlessly and the invalid was cured. Overwhelming gratitude followed. The noble lady multiplied her offers of kindly offices and Anna ended by allowing her to undertake the upkeep of the votive-lamp, the oil of which had been the instrument of cure. The first bottle of oil was brought with demonstrations of eternal gratitude. Anna, though still a young woman, knew enough about the durability of gratitude among men and women. She smiled and said, “Quietly, daughter ! You run too fast, and will grow cold. Remember, however, that you have made a promise, and, if you fail to keep it, misfortune will follow.”

Some months later the noble lady made an excuse for no longer sending the weekly bottle. She had to economize and was cutting out unnecessary expenses. She had scarcely sent the message when a series of disasters occurred among her extensive properties. A long illness completed her ruin. Anna pleaded for her, but Our Lord declared He had a peculiar horror of ingratitude. All that she obtained was the conversion of the poor woman.

A Princess Doria, a religious of SS. Dominic and Sixtus, was similarly afflicted with cancer of the womb. She sent a secret message to Anna, saying:
I do not wish to show my complaint to anybody, wherefore it is your duty to cure me.”
“But what,” Anna replied, “do you imagine I am? I am only a poor woman and a sinner at that.”
“It is useless for you to make excuses. You are what you are, but I will you to obtain my cure. I have told you; it is for you to think about it. It is your business.”
So Anna therefore spoke to Our Lord, and the same evening she sent some cotton fabric soaked in oil. The following day the growth had disappeared.
The same thing happened to a religious oblate of the Child Jesus, only she had no confidence, and had a poor opinion of Anna. Anna was not even a religious, but a laywoman of no birth! Her confessor rebuked her. In the end, the day before the surgeon was to operate, the religious, in desperation, made her decision to use the cotton soaked in oil. The next day the surgeon found that he had only to put back his instruments; the evil had vanished. The doubting Thomas was never finished praising the sanctity of that woman, even though she was married and the mother of a family.

And here are scenes that are the Gospel over again. Jesus had just cured the mother-in-law of St. Peter at Caparnaum. The sick heard of it and flocked to Him by every road, and even by way of the roof. So also Anna, with Mgr. Natali, went to the house of a woman whose daughter was dying of the croup. The doctors had given her up, only the mother pleaded with Anna in the tones of the Chananite woman. Anna consoled her, saying:

“It will be nothing.” She made the sign of the Cross upon the swollen throat. The little girl was cured. The whole neighborhood was stirred. Another mother, whose daughter was smitten with the same epidemic, asked for help. Anna cured this one also. There was a third neighbor. Her little boy was tormented with an abscess in the ear. With a caress of her right hand Anna cured the child. The mother had not finished thanking her when the second mother, whose little daughter had been cured ran up to her, bringing her little boy, smitten with diphtheria. The child was freed from the disease by a sign of the Cross. It is said that the series of cures continued, and I know well that smiles are likely to be raised by such tales, but I content myself by answering with Pascal’s astonishment at his own folly: “What a fool I am! If Jesus Christ is God, what difficulty is there in it?”

A cure that made more noise, and one of which I have already said a word, was that of Marie-Louise de Bourbon, the dethroned Queen of Etruria. Expelled from her State, General Miollis had placed her under house-detention in the Convent of SS. Dominic and Sixtus, where she lived surrounded by a small court. But the sadness that gnawed at her devel­oped into epilepsy. She had to be shut up in apart­ments covered with thick carpets, where she rolled about uttering frantic cries. After these attacks she lay motionless and as though dead. Remedies proved ineffective.
The Queen having heard of the cure of Princess Doria, summoned Anna, and begged her to plead with God for her. Anna told her to have confidence in the Blessed Virgin, and then, with her little statue of Our Lady, made the sign of the Cross. The attacks of epilepsy fled for ever, and the Queen was able to go out and about in Rome without hindrance. The medical world made a great to-do about the cure of a queen such as it had not made for two broom-wielders, and that is why Anna preferred to cure the broom-wielders. But the Queen showed a royal gratitude towards her benefactress, made her her adviser, her sister in God unto death, and faithfully kept alight the votive-lamp that had been so speedily deserted by the other noble lady.

This cure was the beginning of a new series. It was Anna’s confessor who recommended a young man also smitten with epilepsy. She found the in­valid in bed, broken by a crisis of the disease. His parents stood by in distress. Anna said, with the utmost cheerfulness: “Come on! Up you get! Quick! I can’t abide seeing people in bed. You will not die of that, at least.”

The sick man threw off the bedclothes and rose, cured. His stunned parents had not recovered from their amazement before Anna fled. The gratitude of the now miraculously cured man lasted a good month, during which he came often to assure Anna of his undying thanks and to offer her his services without wages. She smiled and said : “You will very soon forget”

He forgot so soon that he was not seen again. He was speedily punished, was smitten with a fresh complaint, did not dare to approach his benefactress, and ended sadly. But as in the case of the votive­lamp, God soon sent a faithful servant who asked no wages; it was Luigeto Antonini, who, in spite of banter and sarcasm, remained loyal to his bene­factress until death, and made a deposition at the Process.

We owe to the Princess of Palestrina the account of the cure of her brother-in-law, Cardinal Barberini. “I used to love to confer with Anna. When I could not see her I wrote to her. She prayed to God for me, and for all that concerned me, and the result was always as she foretold. She was frank and friendly. If my children were ill I turned to her. My brother­in-law, Mgr. Barberini, was stricken with a fatal disease a little before his promotion to the cardinal­ate, and I told the holy woman this. The terrible illness grew worse, and yet she bade me fear nothing and not to be troubled, but to have recourse to St. Philip Neri. She also sent a relic of the saint.”

It was an un-hoped for cure, and actually from the moment the Beata began to pray Our Lord had said to her: “The prelate’s death is decreed by the divine counsel.” Yet Anna only insisted the more for this impossible cure, and obtained it. Our Lord told her no one would attribute it to her, and in fact it was credited to St. Philip Neri. That, however, was fresh reason for insistence. Anna never believed in patenting her good deeds.

The Luigeto Antonini, whom I have just named, the knight and servant of the Beata, and the agent of her miracles, deposed that he assisted at a great number of cures. “Oftentimes I accompanied her on such errands. When she could not go in person she sent me with a little cotton soaked in the oil of the lamp that burned before her statue of Our Lady.” And the good young fellow was no more astonished at being the agent of cures than were the little Indians sent on similar errands to the sick by St. Francis Xavier. He himself, when attacked by sciatica, which tied him to his bed, or constrained him to walk with crutches, spoke to the Beata, who cured him with a sign of the Cross. From then onwards he could go limping but alert here and there through the town at all times. If he caught a cold or a catarrh in going the Beata’s errands, it was enough for him to tell his “Mamma”, and a sign of the Cross put all to rights.” Headaches or pains in the chest, swellings and other miseries which he contracted in the service of the saint fled at a sign of the Cross.

Here is a moving incident. In Anna’s last illness the Abbe, worn out with going for the doctor, the priest, her friends, fell ill of congestion. The Beata beckoned him to come near, and tracing on his breast the sign of the Cross said: “Go to bed. Go to sleep for half an hour and all will be well. I have too much need of you at this moment to allow you to be ill.” Half an hour later he was cured, but Anna was in her agony.

Her death and postmortem -Blessed Anna Maria Taigi is found to be an incorruptable



Anna Maria Taigi died 4:00am on the morning of June 9, 1837, after having received Viaticum and the Sacrament of the sick given by the local Curate (Parish Priest). Our Lord had promised Anna that the cholera would spare Rome until her death. She had scarcely breathed her last when the scourge broke out amidst scenes of indescribable panic. The death of the Beata at first passed unnoticed, but piety recovered quickly and the body was left exposed for two days for the veneration of the faithful in the church of Santa Maria, in Via Lata. On the Sunday evening a devout cortege conducted it to the new cemetery, in the Campo Verano, where, conformably to the instructions of Gregory XVI, it was enclosed in a leaden sepulchre, with seals affixed, near the chapel. Mgr. Natali had caused a mask of the face to be taken before the body was placed in the coffin.

After a few days, in spite of the cholera, the procession of pilgrims began. Ordinary folk, bishops, cardinals, elbowed one another near the humble tombstone. Cardinal Odescalchi forthwith instructed Mgr. Natali to collect all the documents, from which Mgr. Luquet, postulator of the cause, published the first biography. It had an immediate success, and was translated into several languages.
The fame of her sanctity increased day by day.

Mgr. Natali and Domenico did not know to whom to reply first. “Many people,” says the latter, “who had known her plied me with all sorts of questions as to how she died. Some asked one question, some asked another. Some spoke of the special gifts she had received from God; others of the graces they had received through her intercession while she was yet alive. Everybody spoke well of her, praised her and described her as full of merits and virtues. As for me, I always thought highly of her and I declare that Our Lord took this, His good servant, away from me, because I was not worthy of her.”

Cardinal Pedicini, while drawing up his volumi­nous memoirs of her, went often to pray at her tomb. Cardinal Micara, the Capuchin, doyen of the Sacred College, and Prefect of the Congregation of Rites, always carried a picture of her about his person. The Venerable Bernard Clausi, of the Minim Order of Franciscans, who often asked for her prayers, said to all who came his way: “If she is not in heaven, there is no room there for anybody.”

The Venerable Vincent Pallotti called Anna “his secretary, his plenipotentiary, charged with all the interests of his congregation in the presence of the Most Holy Trinity”.
The Blessed Mary Euphrasia Pelletier, foundress of the Good Shepherd Congregation, confided to her the thorny questions she had to deal with in Rome.
Mgr. Flaget, Bishop of Louisville, who was to die in the odour of sanctity, had visited the Beata during her last illness and sang her praises throughout the United States.

The number of miracles increased and the people deplored the fact that the body of the Beata rested so far from Rome. By order of the cardinal-vicar it was brought to the church of Our Lady of Peace. The coffin, sealed for eighteen years, was re-opened, and the body was found as fresh as if it had been buried the day before. In spite of instructions for secrecy, and although the middle of the night was chosen as the moment of removal, a vast crowd came to acclaim “The Saint of Rome and its Palladium”.

Pope Pius IX surrounded the servant of God with great veneration. On the eve of the battle of Mentana, pictures representing him beside Anna-Maria pray­ing for the triumph of the Church, were spread far and wide. Learning that she had expressed a wish to be buried in the church of the Trinitarians, he had the body brought on August 18, 1865 to the basilica of San Chrysogono. Three years later the coffin was again opened, and though the clothes of the Beata had decayed, her body was still intact.The sisters of St. Joseph took off the poor clothing and replaced it by new. For eight days the body was exposed for the veneration of the faithful; the whole neighbourhood of Trastevere seemed on the move, and troops were necessary to ensure order. The body, enclosed in a double coffin of lead and of cypress, was near the chapel of the Blessed Sacra­ment in a memorial tomb, and, later on, in the chapel to the left, under the altar within a large glass shrine which allowed it to be seen in the habit of a Trinitarian Tertiary. The hands were joined in front of the breast. The face, giving an impression of infinite serenity, was covered in a light wax mask beneath the white coif.

Meanwhile the Process took its course. After the official enquiry entrusted to Mgr. Natali, the juridical enquiry was begun in 1852. Thirty wit­nesses upon oath were heard–Cardinals, bishops, nobles, servants, two daughters of the Beata and finally, leaning on his stick, with hunched shoulders, an old man of ninety-two years, the man who, after God, had the most to do with making Anna-Maria a saint-Domenico. In 1863 Pope Pius IX introduced the Cause of Beatification; on 4th March, 1906, Pope Pius X declared the heroicity of her virtures. On May 30, 1920, Pope Benedict XV ranked Anna-Maria Taigi, mother of a family, amongst the Blessed. A little while later he made her the special protectress of mothers of families and the patroness of the Women’s Catholic Union.

When her holy remains were once again examined in 1920, they were found to be no longer incorrupt, and were at that point subject to the normal processes of decomposition. A wax covering has been placed over the face and hands, preserving her resemblance. The holy remains of Blessed Anna Maria Taigi lie in state in the Chapel of the Madonna in the basilica of San Chrysogono in Rome. Her Memorial feastday is celebrated in the Church on June 9.

~Blessed Anna Maria Taigi, pray for us!

Prayers of Blessed Anna Maria Taigi


Prayer given by Our Blessed Mother herself to Blessed Anna Maria Taigi 

Prostrate at thy feet, O great Queen of Heaven, we venerate thee with the deepest reverence and we confess that thou art the Daughter of the Father, the Mother of the Divine Word, the Spouse of the Holy Ghost. Thou art the store-keeper and the almoner of the Divine Mercies … For this reason, we call thee Mother of Divine Compassion. Behold us here in affliction and anguish! Deign to show us thy true love. We beg thee to ask the Holy Trinity, most fervently, to grant us the grace ever to conquer the devil and the world, and our evil passions; the efficacious grace that sanctifies the just, converts sinners, destroys heresies, enlightens infidels and brings all men to the true Faith. 

Obtain for us this great gift that all the world may form but one people united in the One True Church. 

Mary, Mother of Holy Hope, pray for us

O Blessed Anna Maria Taigi, by that humble submission with which you believed in and adored the august mystery of One God in Three Persons, obtain for me from the Most Holy Trinity the favor which I confidently implore.

Blessed Anna Maria Taigi, by the great love and tender pity with which you honored the mysteries in the life of Jesus, obtain for me from Him the favor which I earnestly implore.

O Blessed Anna Maria Taigi, through your filial devotion to the Blessed Virgin, obtain for me from Her the favor which I humbly implore. Amen
Here is a video I took of the incorrupt body of Blessed Anna Maria Taigi while on pilgrimage in Rome


https://youtu.be/VmQp7nXk83A

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