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Category Archives: Prayers to Our Lady

“I CHOOSE THE LITTLE ONES AND THE WEAK”

“I CHOOSE THE LITTLE ONES AND THE WEAK”

THE APPARITION OF PELLEVOISIN, 1876

Estelle Faguette, lady’s maid to the Countess Arthur de La Rouchefoucauld, became very ill in Paris in May, 1875. She was admitted to hospital there, and the doctors diagnosed her illness as an advanced case of consumption. She was also suffering from a tumour which she had had for ten years. The doctors said there was no hope for her. Estelle was thirty-two years old at the time.

THE DOCTORS SAID THERE WAS NO HOPE FOR HER

A short time later,  she was moved to a house owned by her employers in Pellevoisin in the diocese of Bourges.

In September, 1875, Estelle wrote a letter to the Blessed Virgin. A new shrine to Our Lady of Lourdes had been erected near Pellevoisin. She asked a friend to take her letter to the shrine and hide it in the stones at the feet of the Virgin’s statue.

For a long time she could not resign herself to the thought of dying. “It’s not fair,” she said to herself. “God can’t take me now. I’m the only support of my mother and father and little orphan niece. How would they get along without me?”

AFTER A LONG STRUGGLE WITH HERSELF, SHE WAS ABLE TO MAKE AN ACT OF COMPLETE RESIGNATION 

After a long struggle with herself, she was able to make an act of complete resignation. “My God,” she prayed, “in expiation of my sins, let me suffer. Behold, I am ready; strike as it shall please You; only give me courage, patience, and resignation to Your holy will. If groans escape from my lips, receive them as prayers from my heart to Yours.”

On February 10, 1876, the doctor said she had only a few hours to live. When told that she could keep nothing in her stomach, he said, “It is useless to torture her for the short time she has to live.”

SHE SEEMED TO BE IN HER LAST AGONY

She was still alive on Tuesday, February 15, although she was expected to die momentarily. That morning she told the priest that the Blessed Virgin had appeared to her during the night and that she would be either dead or cured by the following Saturday. The next day she told the priest that she had seen the Virgin again and that she would be cured Saturday. On Thursday morning she emphatically repeated the statement to the priest and to several other people.

On Friday night she seemed to be in her last agony. The priest wished to hear her confession, but she said she would wait until the next day when she would be well. He was very uneasy about this, but he left without hearing her confession.

“YOU HAVE EDIFIED US BY YOUR COURAGE AND RESIGNATION”

On Saturday morning she told the priest that she felt as if she had been cured but that she could not move her right arm. She had lost the use of it four or five days earlier. The priest gave her Holy Communion.

“MAKE THE SIGN OF THE CROSS WITH YOUR RIGHT HAND”

Then he said to her: “My poor Estelle, you have edified us by your courage and resignation. Be full of confidence now, and to prove to us that what you have said is not an illusion, make the Sign of the Cross with your right hand.”

Estelle raised the hand, and the seven or eight people present saw her make the Sign of the Cross without the least difficulty.

Later that day she got up, dressed herself, ate a meal, and talked happily with her friends. The consumption was gone. The tumour, which had grown larger during her illness, had disappeared completely. The doctors who had been attending her said the cure could not have come from natural causes.

Estelle lived for many years after that and never had a relapse. In fact, her health remained better than it had been before her illness.

“DO YOU NOT SEE THAT SHE WEARS MY LIVERY?”

The next day Estelle wrote her account of the five apparitions. On the night of the 14th, she says, she was trying to get some rest “when suddenly the demon appeared at the foot of my bed. He was horrible and at once began to make grimaces at me. Scarcely had I seen him when our Blessed Lady appeared on the other side at the corner of my bed. She wore a pure white woolen veil, which fell in three folds. I can never describe how beautiful she was. Her features were regular, her colour white and rose tint, rather pale. Her large gentle eyes reassured me somewhat but not completely.

“The demon, perceiving the Blessed Virgin, drew back, dragging the curtain and the iron rod of my bed. This increased my terror which became unendurable. I crouched down in bed. He did not speak but turned his back to me.

“The Blessed Virgin said to him sharply: ‘What brings you here? Do you not see that she wears my livery, and that of my Son?’ He disappeared gesticulating. Then she turned to me and said gently, ‘Fear nothing; you are my daughter.’ Then I remembered that from the age of fourteen I have been a child of Mary. I now felt less fear.

“HAVE COURAGE”

She said to me gently: ‘Have courage; be patient; my Son will allow himself to be prevailed upon. You will suffer five days longer in honour of the five wounds of my Son. On Saturday, you will be either dead or cured. If my Son restores you to life, I wish you to publish my glory.'”

Our Lady told Estelle the next night that she was to be cured on Saturday. “If my Son has allowed Himself to be prevailed upon, it is because of your resignation and your patience.” Then our Lady reproved Estelle for the faults she had committed during her past life. They had seemed to be very small faults when she committed them, but now she saw that any sin is big in the eyes of God.

“I would have longed to cry out for pardon, but could not; my grief overcame me… Oh, how sad I felt.”

The next night our Lady reassured Estelle. “By your resignation you have expiated your faults… I am all merciful… Your good works and fervent prayers have touched my mother’s heart. Among others that little letter you wrote to me in September. What moved me were the words: ‘See the sorrow of my parents. If I fail them they are on the eve of begging bread. Remember, then, what you suffered when your Son Jesus was stretched out upon the Cross.'”

The fourth appearance was very much like the first three.

Estelle asked our Lady on the fifth if she should change her state in life. “One can be saved in every state,” was the answer. “Where you are, you can do a great deal of good, and you can publish my glory. What afflicts me most is the want of respect shown by some people to my divine Son in Holy Communion and the attitude taken for prayer, when at the same time the mind continues occupied with other things. I say this for people who pretend to be pious.”

After our Lady disappeared that night, Estelle was cured.

WHAT BEAUTY! WHAT SWEETNESS! 

On July 1, Estelle was kneeling in front of the fireplace when our Lady appeared for a sixth time. “What beauty! What sweetness! The ends of her cincture nearly reached the hem of her dress. She was all in white and remained standing… When I first saw her, she had her arms stretched out and from her hands there fell drops like rain. She looked at something fixedly, then taking one of the tassels of her cincture, she raised it to her breast on which she crossed her hands. She smiled, and, looking at me, said: ‘Be calm, my child; have patience; you will have sorrows, but I will be with you.'”

The following night, our Lady said that the Heart of her Son bears so much love for her “that He cannot refuse me any requests.” She also said, “I have come especially for the conversion of sinners.”

On July 3, our Lady returned, but her visit was short. She did not come again until September 9. “For a long time, the treasures of my Son have been open,” she said. “Let them pray.” Here Estelle said she was given to understand that Jesus had shown, through St Margaret Mary, the glory and the power of the devotion of His Most Sacred Heart.

The Blessed Mother raised a small piece of woolen cloth which she wore on her breast. Estelle saw a red heart on it.

(to be continued)

From: “The Woman Shall Conquer” by Don Sharkey, Prow Books/Franciscan Marytown Press, Libertyville, IL, 1954

 

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FATIMA: REVELATIONS TO LUCIA, 1925 – 1929

FATIMA: REVELATIONS TO LUCIA, 1925 – 1929

THE HEART ENCIRCLED WITH THORNS

“You must remain longer here below,” our Lady said to Lucia. “Jesus will use you to make me better known and better loved.”

So Lucia had remained on this earth long after her two cousins had been taken.

In January, 1918, the Holy See re-established the diocese of Leiria, after a lapse of sixty years. Fatima is part of this diocese. The Reverend Joseph Correia da Silva was named Bishop and took possession of his diocese August 5, 1920.

The new Bishop considered it one of his most important duties to investigate the complete story of the Fatima apparitions. He interviewed Lucia on June 13, 1921. He told her that he thought it would be best if she entered a convent school. The purpose of this was to take Lucia away from the devout people and curiosity seekers who were constantly around her and to give her a chance to forget the apparitions should they prove to be imaginary. The Bishop also wished to determine whether the many cures and conversions which were taking place at the Cova were induced by hysteria caused by her presence there. He wished to see whether the cures and conversions would continue to take place in her absence.

THE SISTERS OF ST DOROTHY 

“You must not tell anyone when or where you are going,” the Bishop said.

“Yes, Bishop.”

“You must not tell a soul at school who you are.”

“Yes, Bishop.”

“And you must not utter a word about Fatima.”

“Yes, Bishop.” Lucia would do whatever she was commanded.

It was not easy to leave her home and her mother, but she offered the sacrifice to save souls from hell. She entered a school conducted by the Sisters of St Dorothy. She was given a new name, Maria das Dores, and only the superior knew who she was.

When she completed the course of studies, she asked whether she might be admitted to the order. She entered the convent in 1925, became a novice on November 2, 1926, and two years later made her vows as a lay Sister. On October 3, 1934, she made her perpetual vows. She was known in the order as Sister Dores. This word means sorrows and is not a proper name in English. The nearest thing to it is Dolores.

THE FIRST SATURDAYS

On December 10, 1925, our Lady came back, as she had said she would, to request Communion of reparation on the First Saturdays. Lucia was praying in her cell at the convent when our Lady appeared, together with the Child Jesus elevated on a cloud of light. Our Lady rested one hand on Lucia’s shoulder. In the other, she held a heart surrounded with sharp thorns. The Child Jesus spoke first:

“Have pity on the Heart of your Most Holy Mother. It is covered with the thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment, and there is no one to remove them with an act of reparation.”

Then our Lady said:

“My daughter, look at my heart encircled with the thorns with which ungrateful men pierce at it every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. Do you at least try to console me and announce in my name that I promise to assist at the hour of death with the graces necessary for salvation all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, go to Confession and receive Holy Communion, recite the Rosary and keep me company for a quarter of an hour while meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary with the intention of making reparation.”

The request for the First Saturday devotion was repeated 1926 and 1927.

In 1927 our Lord spoke to Lucia from the tabernacle, while she was praying in the convent chapel in Tuy, Spain. He gave her permission to reveal two parts of the July apparition which had been kept secret until that time. These were the vision of hell and the long message beginning, “You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish throughout the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart…” This was the message which said that if people did not stop offending God another worse war would begin in the reign of Pius XI. It was also the message in which our Lady said, “If my requests are granted, Russia will be converted and there will be peace. If not, she shall spread her errors throughout the world, promoting wars and persecutions of the Church…”

“WORTHY OF BELIEF” 

For some reason, the authorities did not allow this message to be known to the world until 1942.

The third part of the July message has not yet been revealed. Acting on instructions from heaven, Lucia has written it down and the Bishop of Leiria has placed it in his archives.

In 1929, our Lady came to ask the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart. In the July apparition she had said she would come back to make this request. She asked that the consecration be made by the Holy Father in unison with all the bishops of the world.

Three years passed and nothing was done. Lucia again wrote to the Bishop. She quoted our Lord as saying, “The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, but it will be late.”

On October 13, 1930, the thirteenth anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun, the Bishop of Leiria published a pastoral letter in which he said that the apparitions of Fatima were worthy of belief. The investigation had been under way since 1922.

From: “The Woman Shall Conquer” by Don Sharkey, Prow Books/Franciscan Marytown Press, Libertyville, IL, 1954

 

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FATIMA 1917: “MEN MUST OFFEND OUR LORD NO MORE”

FATIMA 1917: “MEN MUST OFFEND OUR LORD NO MORE”

Through the shepherd children of Fatima, our Lady spoke to us who are living today.

Her words are just as pertinent today as they were in 1917. In fact, many parts of her message seem to be meant specifically for us. “If my requests are granted, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace” means infinitely more to us than it did to the world of 1917. At that time, Russia had just undergone a revolution and was so weak that she had been forced out of World War I. Who at the time, when the Allies were deeply embroiled in a war with Germany, could foresee that Russia would ever be a threat to the peace of the world? Now the fact is pounded home by each new day’s headlines.

That the message of Fatima is directed to us is also emphasised by the fact that much of the message did not become known until 1942.

MUCH OF THE MESSAGE DID NOT BECOME KNOWN UNTIL 1942

This latter fact has puzzled a great many people. It puzzled the Rev. Thomas McGlynn, O. P., and, in 1947, he had the opportunity to ask Lucia about it. Lucia is the one living survivor of the children of Fatima. When Father McGlynn had the privilege of interviewing her, she was a Dorothean Sister. Since then, she has joined the Carmelites.

“It seems,” Father McGlynn said to Lucia, “from the words of our Lady in 1917, that the war of 1939-1945 was threatened as a punishment for sin. But the warning was not generally known until 1942, after the punishment had begun. How is this explained?”

HOW IS THIS EXPLAINED? 

Lucia replied that, in 1917, the people knew the important part of our Lady’s message, that is, that men must amend their lives, that they must not offend God, that He was already much offended.

In other words, our Lady let the people of 1917 know what she wished them to know at the time. They should have carried out her requests even though they did not know the punishment that awaited them if they failed.

Today, we not only know her requests, but we see that World War II was inflicted on the world as punishment for its sins. And we know that if we do not heed Mary’s requests, there will probably be a World War III.

WHAT DID HAPPEN AT FATIMA? 

The three children were watching their flocks as usual. They were ten-year-old Lucia dos Santos and her two cousins Francisco and Jacinta Marto, nine and seven respectively. They were in a natural depression among the hills which was called the Cova da Iria. They had said their Rosary, as was their custom, and they had begun building a stone playhouse.

Suddenly, a brilliant shaft of light pierced the air. Frightened, they looked about them. The sun shone brightly, and there was not a cloud in the sky. How could there have been lightning? Just the same, they decided that they had better go home. They gathered the sheep and started down the hill.

When they were halfway down, another shaft of light filled the air. Panicky, they turned toward the right, and there, standing above a small holm oak they saw a beautiful Lady.

“It was a Lady dressed all in white,” Lucia says, “more brilliant than the sun; shedding rays of light, clearer and stronger than a crystal glass filled with the most sparkling water, pierced by the burning rays of the sun.”

HER HANDS WERE JOINED IN AN ATTITUDE OF PRAYER

Her hands were joined in an attitude of prayer. From her right arm hung a string of pearly white beads ending in a cross of burnished silver. Her feet were bare and rested on a cloud that just touched the little evergreen.

“Do not be afraid,” the Lady said in a sweet voice, “I will not harm you.” (How similar to the first words spoken to the children of La Salette!)

The words and the voice were both reassuring, and Lucia summoned enough courage to ask, “Where are you from, Madam?”

“I am from heaven.”

“What do you wish of me?”

“I come to ask you to meet me here six months in succession at this same hour, on the thirteenth of each month. In October, I will tell you who I am and what I want.”

AM I GOING TO HEAVEN? 

Francisco could see the Lady but he could not hear her, nor could he hear any of the subsequent apparitions. Jacinta could both see and hear the Lady, but Jacinta did not talk to her. All conversation during the series of apparitions were between the Lady and Lucia.

“And I, am I, too, going to heaven?” Lucia asked.

“Yes, you shall.”

“And Jacinta?”

“She, too.”

“And Francisco?”

“He, too, but first he must say many Rosaries.”

Father John De Marchi in  The Immaculate Heart says that here the Lady’s beautiful and compassionate glance rested for a little while on Francisco. “For reasons we are not qualified to fathom, it held a shade of sadness and disapproval. Somewhere in his little heart the Lady must have read a fault that others could not see.

Lucia thought of two girls who used to come to her house to learn sewing from her sisters. Both girls had died only recently.

“Is Maria Nevers in heaven?”

“Yes, she is.”

“And Amelia?”

The document gives three different versions of our Lady’s answer to this question: “She is in purgatory”; “She is still in purgatory”; and “She will be in purgatory till the end of the world.”

Many people have objected to the third version, but Lucia has insisted that it is the correct one. She says there is nothing strange about it; a person can go to hell for all eternity for missing Mass on Sunday.

The Lady then said to the children: “Do you wish to offer yourselves to God and endure all the suffering that He may chose to send you, as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and to ask for the conversion of sinners?”

“Yes, we do!” Lucia answered eagerly.

“Then you will have much to suffer, but the grace of God will assist you and always bear you up.”

She opened her hands. From each palm came a stream of light which shone on the children and seemed to penetrate to the depths of their souls. Moved by an inward impulse the children fell to their knees and prayed: “Most holy Trinity, I adore You! My God, my God, I love You in the Most Blessed Sacrament.”

The Lady spoke again. “Say the Rosary every day to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war.”

“She began to elevate herself serenely,” Lucia says, “going in the direction of the east until she disappeared in the immensity of space.”

THIS WAS NOT THE CHILDREN’S FIRST EXPERIENCE WITH THE SUPERNATURAL 

This was not the children’s first experience with the supernatural. An angel, “the Guardian Angel of Portugal,” had appeared to them three times. On one occasion, as was mentioned in the preceding chapter, he had brought them Holy Communion. After each visit of the angel, they had felt heavy and tired. The Lady, however, left them with a feeling of lightness, of peace and of joy. After the Lady had disappeared, they knelt for a while having no desire to move or to speak or to do anything but meditate on the beautiful vision they had seen.

ONLY ONE THING CAN MAKE OUR LADY UNHAPPY, AND THAT IS SIN

After a time, they rose to their feet and began to look for the sheep. They found them grazing quietly on the grass.

They spent the rest of the afternoon in the fields talking about the wonderful visit from our Lady. Francisco, who had not heard anything, wanted to know everything the Lady had said. When told that he would go to heaven, but that he must say many Rosaries, he almost burst with happiness. “O my Lady,” he exclaimed, “I will say all the Rosaries you want.”

The children agreed that our Lady had seemed unhappy about something, and this was the only thing that marred their very great happiness. They were too young to comprehend fully the fact that only one thing can make our Lady unhappy, and that is sin. They were to realise this, however, before the series of apparitions was over. In 1846, Mary had wept because of the sins of the world; in 1917, sins were still making her very sad.

LUCIA’S MOTHER THOUGHT THE GIRL WAS LYING

The Lady returned every month as she had promised. The children underwent great suffering and had many occasions to remember her words, “Then you will have much to suffer.”

Lucia’s mother thought the girl was lying. The pastor of their church suggested the apparitions might be the devil. They had trouble with the authorities, just as Bernadette had had. The civil administrator of their district arrested the children and kept them in jail so that they missed the apparition scheduled for August 13. In that month, the Lady appeared to them on the 19th.

THEY GAVE THEIR LUNCHES TO POOR CHILDREN AND ATE BITTER ACORNS AND UNRIPE OLIVES

But these sufferings were not enough for them. They gave their lunches to poor children, and they ate bitter acorns and unripe olives. Each wore under his clothes a shaggy rope which itched and chafed. Our Lady had asked for sacrifices, and they delighted in thinking up new ones to offer her.

On June 13, the Lady told the children to “say the Rosary always.” To Lucia she said, “I want you to learn to read. Then I will tell you what else I want.

When Lucia asked that the three of them be taken to heaven, our Lady said: “I will take Jacinta and Francisco soon. But you must remain longer here below. Jesus will use you to make me better known and more loved. He wishes to establish throughout the world the devotion to my Immaculate Heart. I promise salvation to those who embrace it and their souls will be loved by God as flowers placed by myself as flowers to adorn His throne.”

“Then I am to stay here alone!” Lucia said, at the thought of being left behind.

“No, my child. You are suffering very much, but do not be discouraged. I will never leave you. My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God.”

Once more she parted her hands, and the children were enveloped by the light from her palms. Francisco and Jacinta were in a stream that went toward heaven, and Lucia was in a stream that spread over the ground. A heart surrounded by thorns was in front of the right palm. “We understood,” says Lucia, “that this was the Immaculate Heart of Mary, so offended by the sins of mankind, desiring reparation.”

“O JESUS, IT IS FOR YOUR LOVE…”

Four or five thousand people were on hand for the apparition of July 13. When our Lady appeared to the children, the crowd saw that the sun became dimmer and that a little cloud stood over the holm oak. The Lady told the children to continue to say the Rosary. “Say it with the intention of obtaining the end of the war. The intercession of the Blessed Virgin alone can obtain this grace for men.”

Lucia, thinking of her mother and all the people who doubted her story, said, “Will you please tell us who you are and perform a miracle so that everyone will believe that you really appear to us?”

“Continue to come here every month. In October I will tell you who I am and what I desire, and I shall perform a miracle so that everyone will have to believe you.”

Lucia requested the cure of some sick people. She was told that some would be cured and others not.

“Sacrifice yourself for sinners,” the Lady said, “And say many times, especially when you make any sacrifice: ‘O Jesus, it is for Your love, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.'”

THE VISION OF HELL 

As our Lady said these words she parted her hands as she had done the two previous months. The light from her palms seemed to penetrate the earth. The children saw a great sea of fire. “In this sea,” says Lucia, “were immersed burning demons and souls in human forms, resembling live transparent coals. Lifted up into the air by the flames, they fell back on all sides like sparks in a conflagration, with neither weight nor balance, amid loud screams and cries of pain and despair which horrified us and shook us with terror. We could tell the devils by their horrible and nauseous figures of baleful and unknown animals, but transparent as the black coals in a fire.”

Pale with terror the children raised their eyes to our Lady for help.

“You have seen hell,” said the Lady, “where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, our Lord wishes to establish throughout the world the devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If people will do what I tell you, many souls will be saved and there will be peace in the world. The war is coming to an end, but if the offences against God do not stop, another and worse one will begin in the reign of Pius XI.

“WHEN YOU SEE A NIGHT ILLUMINED BY AN UNKNOWN LIGHT…”

“When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that it is the great sign that God gives you that He is going to punish the world for its crimes by means of war, of hunger and of persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father.

“To prevent this, I shall come back to ask the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart and the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays. If my requests are granted, Russia will be converted and there will be peace. If not, she will scatter her errors throughout the world, provoking wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated.

“BUT IN THE END MY IMMACULATE HEART WILL TRIUMPH.”

“But in the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me; it will be converted, and a certain period of peace will be granted to the world.

“In Portugal, the dogma of the faith will be kept always.”

These grave words, the Lady said, were not yet to be revealed to the world. The girls were to repeat them to no one except Francisco.

She then told them another secret which has not as yet been revealed. Lucia has written it down and delivered it to the bishop of Leiria.

THE AUGUST 13 EVENTS

On August 13, the children were in jail at Ourem. The civil administrator threatened to boil them in oil if they did not tell the Lady’s secret. Though badly frightened, they could not think of disobeying our Lady. In disgust, the administrator finally freed them. A large number of people, not knowing that the children had been kidnapped, went to the Cova for the scheduled appearance of the Lady. At noon, there was a loud clap of thunder. Then, according to an eyewitness:

“Right after the thunder came a flash, and immediately we all noticed a little cloud, very white, beautiful and bright, that came and stayed over the holm oak. It stayed a few minutes, then rose toward the heavens where it disappeared. Looking about, we noticed a strange sight that we had already seen and would see again. Everyone’s face glowed, rose, red, blue, all the colours of the rainbow. The trees seemed to have no branches or leaves but were all covered with flowers; every leaf was a flower. The ground was in little squares, each one a different colour. Our clothes seemed to be transformed also into the colours of the rainbow. The two vigil lanterns hanging from the arch over the holy spot appeared to be of gold.

“When the signs disappeared, the people were sure that our Lady had come, and, not finding the children, had returned to heaven. They felt that our Lady was disappointed…”

OUR LADY MADE IT PLAIN THAT HER PRINCIPAL CONCERN IS FOR SOULS

The August apparition took place on the 19th, while the children were tending sheep in a hollow called Valinhos. The Lady appeared over a holm oak slightly taller than the one in the Cova. “I want you to continue to come to the Cova da Iria on the thirteenth and to continue to say the Rosary every day,” the Lady told them.

“What do you wish us to do with the money and the offerings that the people leave at the Cova da Iria?” Lucia asked.

“Two litters should be made; you and Jacinta are to carry one with two girls dressed in white; Francisco is to carry the other with three boys also dressed in white robes. The money placed on the litters is for the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.”

Our Lady repeated her promise of a miracle. “In October, I shall perform a miracle so that all may believe in my apparitions. If they had not taken you to the village, the miracle would have been greater. St Joseph will come with the Baby Jesus to give peace to the world. Our Lord will also come to bless the people. Besides, Our Lady of the Rosary and Our Lady of Sorrows will come.”

Lucia asked for the cure of some sick persons and was told that some of them would be cured within the year. Our Lady made it plain, by her next words, however, that her principal concern is for souls.

“Pray, pray a great deal and make sacrifices for sinners,” she said gravely, “for many souls go to hell because they have no one to sacrifice and pray for them.”

“TO US HAD BEEN GIVEN THE GRACE TO SEE THE CHARIOT THAT HAD BORNE HER FROM HEAVEN” 

Many of the people who were present for the apparitions of September 13 saw a luminous globe cross the sky and stop over the holm oak. Then later it rose and disappeared toward the sun. Monsignor John Quaresma, who was one of the many to behold this phenomenon, said: “The three little shepherds had seen the Mother of God herself; to us had been given the grace to see the chariot that had borne her from heaven to the barren and inhospitable hills of Aire.”

There was another unusual feature of this apparition. Many people saw white flowers which seemed to shower from the sky and disappear before they touched the ground.

While the crowd was seeing these things, our Lady was saying to the children, “Continue to say the Rosary to bring about the end of the war.”

She repeated her promise of a miracle the following month. Then she said, “God is content with your sacrifices, but does not wish you to sleep with the rope. Wear it only during the day.”

Someone had given Lucia a bottle of cologne with the request that it be presented to our Lady. It was probably the nicest gift a Portuguese peasant woman could think of. Our Lady graciously refused the gift, saying: “That is not necessary for heaven.”

AHEAD OF THE PROMISED MIRACLE, THE ROADS BECAME CLOGGED WITH PEOPLE MAKING THEIR WAY TOWARD FATIMA

In July, August, and September, our Lady had promised a miracle in October. Lucia had told a number of people about this promise, and the word spread rapidly through Portugal. Unbelievers scoffed at the idea and waited confidently for October 13. They were sure that there would be no miracle and that the entire story of Fatima would be exposed as a hoax. Those who believed talked the matter over excitedly. Think of it! A miracle promised in advance and in their own country of Portugal!

Several days ahead of the promised date, the roads became clogged with people making their way toward Fatima. “Nearby communities, towns and villages, emptied of people,” said the Lisbon newspaper O Dia.“… They came on foot, by horse or by carriage. They travelled the highways and the roads, between the hills and pine groves. For two days these came to life with the rolling of the carriages, the trot of the donkeys and the voices of the pilgrims.”

Lucia’s mother tried to get the girl to retract her story. Other people warned her that something very serious would happen if there were no miracle. It was said that there would be bombs in the crowd. The families of the children were very much frightened, but the children themselves were calm and serene.

“There will be a miracle, because our Lady promised it,” Lucia said.

On the night of the twelfth, a cold wind came out of the north bringing with it a chilling rain. This caused the most acute discomfort to the pilgrims who had to sleep in the open, but it did not dampen their ardour.

THE COLD RAIN DID NOT DAMPEN THE PILGRIMS’ ARDOUR

The next day was cold and rainy, but the pilgrims were not daunted. By 11:30, more than 70,000 of them had gathered at the Cova. They sang hymns, recited prayers and said the Rosary. Seldom has there been a more striking demonstration of faith. Our Lady must have been very much pleased with the Portuguese people that day.

A path had to be cleared through the throng for Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta. “Put down your umbrellas,” Lucia said. The word spread throughout the crowd, and all umbrellas were lowered. Lucia does not know now why she made this request.

At two o’clock wartime, noon sun time, Lucia saw the flash of light that always preceded our Lady’s appearances.

“Silence, silence, our Lady is coming,” Lucia cried.

Our Lady came out of the east and again stopped above the holm oak.

“Who are you, Madam, and what do you want of me?” Lucia asked.

“I am the Lady of the Rosary, and I desire a chapel built in my honour in this place.

“People must continue to say the Rosary every day. The war will end soon, and the soldiers will return to their homes.”

“I have so many things to ask you,” Lucia said.

“I will grant some of them, the others, no.”

“MEN MUST OFFEND OUR LORD NO MORE, AND ASK PARDON FOR THEIR SINS”

Assuming a sadder air, the Lady said, “Men must offend our Lord no more, and they must ask pardon for their sins, for He is already much offended.” It was the same as the message of La Salette but in different words: “If my people will not submit, I shall be forced to let go the hand of my Son. It is so strong, so heavy, that I can no longer withhold it.”

Our Lady stretched forth her hands, and the light again shone from her palms. She pointed toward the sun which seemed dim in comparison with the light from her hands. Then she seemed to disappear in her own radiance.

High up in the sky appeared a representation of the Holy Family. St Joseph held the Child Jesus on his left arm. To the right was the Blessed Virgin dressed in the blue and white robes of Our Lady of the Rosary. St Joseph and the Child Jesus made the Sign of the Cross over the world three times.

The vision faded, and then Lucia alone beheld our Lord dressed in red as the divine Redeemer. He blessed the world. Beside him stood Mary dressed in the purple robes of Our Lady of Sorrows.

In the third and last of those visions, Lucia saw the Blessed Virgin clothed in the brown robes of Our Lady of Carmelite.

The 70,000 pilgrims did not see any of this, but they were seeing something very spectacular. Our Lady did not forget that she had promised them a miracle.

THE MIRACLE OF THE SUN

The crowd heard Lucia shout, “Look at the sun!” (She does not remember saying this.) At that moment, the clouds parted suddenly and revealed the sun which looked like a phosphorescent disk. Everyone could look at it without blinking, although there was no fog and the clouds no longer obscured it.

The testimony as to what happened after that differs greatly. Most persons saw the sun spin about in the sky, throwing off rays of light in all directions like a gigantic pinwheel. This light, they say, was yellow, red, green, blue and violet successively. The people stood spellbound as they beheld this manifestation of God’s power.

Then the sun suddenly detached itself from the sky and plunged toward the earth. The terrified people thought they would be crushed by it. Most of them fell to their knees in the churning sea of mud.

“Save us, Jesus!” went up the cry from hundreds of throats. “Our Lady, save us!”

Many fervently said the Act of Contrition.

Just when it seemed certain that the world would be destroyed, the sun stopped its downward plunge and climbed back to its accustomed place in the sky. It again became the brilliant sun of every day.

Some witnesses declare that the sun spun in the sky, stopped for an instant, then spun in the other direction and that this process was repeated. Others say its spinning was one continuous motion with no stopping. Many are sure that the sun plunged toward them in a straight line; many are equally sure that it came toward the earth in a zigzag path. Estimates of the length of time the display lasted vary from a few seconds to twelve minutes.

When a number of people have seen a very important event, it is only natural to expect some variations in their stories. Carlos de Azevedo Mendez, however, has an account that is at complete variance with most of the others. Here is his version as told to Father McGlynn: “The rain stopped; the clouds split open into tatters – thin transparent strips. The sun was seen as a crown of fire, empty in the middle. It went round on itself and moved across the sky. It could be seen behind the clouds and in between them, rolling around and moving horizontally. Some cried, ‘I believe’; others ‘Forgive!’ The crowd prayed in terror.”

Senhor Mendez saw clouds, while practically all the others declare the sun spun around in a cloudless sky. For him the sun moved horizontally across the sky; for others it came rushing toward the earth. To him the sun was a crown of fire, empty in the middle, to others it was a disk. He did not see the coloured lights mentioned by others.

One woman to whom Father McGlynn talked did not see the sun at all. She saw nothing unusual except the sudden stopping of the rain. She was a rare exception. Practically everyone else in that crowd of 70,000 persons agree that something wonderful and awe inspiring happened to the sun although they do not agree as to the details of what happened. It seems that each person saw what God deemed best suited to his particular needs. The fact that impressions were so different ferestalls any interpretation if the miracle as a natural phenomenon. So does the fact that it was not registered on any scientific instruments anywhere.

Was it mass hypnosis? Did the people just think they saw the sun behave in such peculiar manner? This is rendered extremely unlikely by the fact that the rain had been pouring down until the minute the miracle occurred. In that cold drenching rain, a solar display is the last thing the people would have imagined.

If the mass hypnosis idea is rendered unlikely by the rain, it is rendered impossible by the fact that people as far as twenty miles away from the Cova da Iria saw the phenomena.

One of the best proofs of the reality of the miracle is the space given to it by the Portuguese newspapers. The intellectuals of Portugal were infected by the same materialism as their counterparts in other countries. They had declared that miracles were impossible. But there was no denying what they had seen with their own eyes. Page after page in the daily newspapers was devoted to the wondrous occurrence.

PAGE AFTER PAGE IN THE DAILY NEWSPAPERS WAS DEVOTED TO THE WONDROUS OCCURRENCE

Lucia dose Santos, a poorly educated ten-year-old girl, had announced three months in advance that a miracle would take place at noon on October 13, 1917, and that miracle had taken place. This was God’s sign that the message of Fatima was genuine, a message that should be studied and carried out by everyone.

“I shall perform a miracle so that all will believe,” our Lady had said to Lucia, and she had carried out her promise.

From: “The Woman Shall Conquer” by Don Sharkey, Prow Books/Franciscan Marytown Press, Libertyville, IL, 1954

 

 

 

 
 

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ARISE! THE COLD BLASTS FROM EARTH HAVE RECEDED (HYMN)

ARISE! THE COLD BLASTS FROM EARTH HAVE RECEDED (HYMN)

Arise! the cold blasts from earth have receded,

And in the fields are lovely flowers smiling,

For thee, O gracious Mother, bearer of Life.

Arise, O Mary!

 

Beautiful Lily blooming ‘mid the brambles,

Death’s haughty author thou alone didst conquer,

Plucking life-giving tree of fruits the fathers

By sin did not taste.

 

Ark of sweet wood not destined for ruin,

Holding the manna, whence springs forth the power

Summoning forth the bones arisen again

From depths of the tomb.

 

Thou handmaid, faithful to the Ruler of hearts,

Thy flesh cruel decay could never even touch,

Thy soul of Spirit partaking without end,

Has winged to the stars.

 

Leaning on thy beloved, arise, go heav’nward!

Accept the crown with stars for thee bedecked,

List to the hymn thy children sing on this day,

Calling thee blessed.

 

Praise to the Triune Godhead everlasting,

Who hath caused thee, O Virgin, to be crowned,

And providently willed our Queen thou shouldst be

Also our Mother.

Amen.

– From: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2020 in Prayers to Our Lady

 

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THE MOTHER OF GOD – BY ST JOHN CHRYSOSTOM

THE MOTHER OF GOD – BY ST JOHN CHRYSOSTOM

SERMON OF ST JOHN CHRYSOSTOM (FOUND IN METAPHRASTES) 

The Son of God did not choose for his mother a rich or wealthy woman, but that blessed Virgin, whose soul was adorned with virtues. For it was because the blessed Mary had observed chastity in a way that was above all human nature, that she conceived Christ the Lord in her womb. Let us then fly to this most holy Virgin and Mother of God, and avail ourselves of her patronage. Therefore let all you, who are virgins, flee to the Mother of the Lord; for she, by her patronage, will guard you that beautiful, precious, and incorruptible possession.

A GREAT WONDER

The blessed Mary, ever a Virgin, dearest brethren, was in truth a great wonder. For what greater or more wonderful one has ever at any time been discovered, or can at any time be discovered? She alone is greater far than heaven and earth. What is holier than she? Not the prophets, not the apostles, not the martyrs, not the patriarchs, not the angels, not the thrones, not the dominations, not the seraphim, not the cherubim; in truth no creature whatever, whether visible or invisible, is to be found greater or more excellent than she. She is at once the handmaid of God, and his mother; at once a Virgin and a parent.

SHE IS THE MOTHER OF HIM WHO WAS BEGOTTEN OF THE FATHER BEFORE THE BEGINNING OF ALL THINGS

She is the mother of him, who was begotten of the Father before the beginning of all things; whom Angels and men acknowledge to be the Lord of all things. Would you know how much greater is this Virgin than any of the heavenly powers? They stand in his presence with fear and trembling, and veiled faces; she offers human nature to him whom she brought forth. Through her we obtain the forgiveness of our sins. Hail, then, O mother, heaven, maiden, virgin, throne, ornament, glory and foundation of the Church: pray without ceasing for us to Jesus, your Son and our Lord, that through you we may find mercy in the day of judgment, and may be able to obtain those good things which are prepared for those who love God, through the grace and loving-kindness of Jesus Christ our Lord: to whom, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, be glory, and honour, and dominion, now and forever, world without end. Amen.

– From: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964

 
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Posted by on January 1, 2020 in Prayers to Our Lady

 

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KNOCK, 1879 – OUR LADY IN IRELAND

KNOCK, 1879 – OUR LADY IN IRELAND

OUR LADY OF KNOCK 

It rained all day in the little village of Knock in County Mayo, Ireland, on that memorable twenty-first day of August in 1879.

At seven o’clock that evening, fifteen-year-old Margaret Beirne was sent to lock up the church. After she had done so, she noticed a brightness over the building. This was most strange, especially on a rainy day, but Margaret was not curious enough to investigate the matter.

A little later Mary McLoughlin, the priest’s housekeeper, passed within a short distance of the church. She was on her way to see Mrs. Beirne and her daughter Mary, both of whom had just returned from a short trip. Miss McLoughlin noticed a strange light at the south gable of the church. In the light she saw three figures representing the Blessed Virgin, St Joseph and a bishop. Standing beside the figures was an altar on which were a cross and a lamb. She decided that the pastor had probably bought some new statues in Dublin. She did not mention the incident while at the Beirne home.

WHEN THEY CAME WITHIN VIEW OF THE CHURCH, THEY SAW THE LIGHT AND THE FIGURES 

About eight or a quarter after, she decided that it was time to go home. Mary Beirne, Margaret’s older sister, offered to walk part way with her. When they came within view of the church gable, they saw the light and the figures.

“Oh, look at the statues!” Mary Beirne exclaimed. “Why didn’t you tell me that Father got new statues for the chapel?” Mary McLoughlin answered that she knew nothing about them. When they came closer, Mary Beirne cried out, “They’re not statues. They’re moving. It’s the Blessed Virgin!” And she ran home to get her mother and her brother.

SHE RAN HOME TO GET HER MOTHER AND HER BROTHER 

The news spread and other people also came to see. Fourteen persons in all saw the figures. A fifteenth witness, Patrick Walsh, lived half a mile from the chapel. From his fields he saw a large globe of golden light at the southern gable. He had never before seen such a brilliant light. The next day he enquired about it and learned of the apparitions.

The other fourteen people all testified that they saw the Blessed Virgin clothed in white garments, wearing a large brilliant crown. Her hands were raised as if in prayer and her eyes were turned towards heaven.

At Mary’s right was St Joseph. His head was inclined towards the Blessed Virgin as if paying her respect. He was somewhat aged, with a grey beard and greyish hair. At Mary’s left stood St John the Evangelist, vested as a bishop, his left hand holding a book and his right hand raised as if in preaching. To the left of St John was an altar on which were a cross and a young lamb. One witness said he saw angel’s wings hovering about this altar.

The figures stood out from the gable wall and were about a foot and a half or two feet above the ground. The gable was bathed in a cloud of light.

THE VISION LASTED FOR ABOUT TWO HOURS 

The vision lasted for about two hours. The rain was falling all the while, but the figures and the spot above which they stood were perfectly dry.

Fourteen-year-old Patrick Hills, one of the witnesses, tells us that “the figures were full round as if they had a body and life. They said nothing; but as we approached them they seemed to go back a little towards the gable.”

Of our Lady he says: “I distinctly beheld the Blessed Virgin Mary, life size, standing about two feet or so above the ground, clothed in white robes that were fastened at the neck; her hands were raised to the height of the shoulders as if in prayer, with the palms facing one another, but slanting inward towards the face… Her eyes were turned towards heaven. She wore a brilliant crown… and over the forehead where the crown fitted the brow, a beautiful rose. The crown appeared… of golden brightness… The upper parts of the crown appeared to be a series of sparkles, or glittering crosses. I saw her eyes, the balls, the pupils and the iris of each. I noticed her hands especially, and face… The robes came only as far as the ankles. I saw the feet and the ankles; one foot, the right, was slightly in advance of the other.

I DISTINCTLY BEHELD THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

“At times… all the figures appeared to move out and again to go backwards. I went up very near. One old woman went up and embraced the Virgin’s feet, and she found nothing in her arms or hands. They receded, she said, from her.”

Patrick Hill also tells us that he came so close to the figure of St John “that I looked into the book. I saw the lines and the letters.”

FIFTEEN PEOPLE IN ALL SAW THE FIGURES

Mary McLoughlin ran to tell the priest, Archdeacon Bartholomew Cavanagh, about the figures. He understood her to say that they had disappeared, and he did not go out to look. “I have regretted ever since that I neglected to do so. I shall always feel sorry that the sight of the apparitions has been denied me, but God may will that the testimony to His Blessed Mother’s presence should come from the simple faithful and not through priests.”

– From: “The Woman Shall Conquer” by Don Sharkey, Prow Books/Franciscan Marytown Press, Libertyville, IL, 1954

 
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Posted by on October 26, 2019 in Prayers to Our Lady

 

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E’EN HEAVEN ITSELF GOD SET ASIDE (HYMN)

E’EN HEAVEN ITSELF GOD SET ASIDE (HYMN)

E’en heaven itself God set aside

In Maiden Mother to abide,

To clothe himself in earthly clay,

Our Ransomer, for men to slay.

 

The Maiden  brought him forth to light

To save us from our sorry plight;

He bought us with his very Blood

On Cross ‘mid pain in cruel flood.

 

May joyful hope, – a welcome guest,

Drive terror forth from every breast:

Our tears and prayers the Son will heed

If Mother for us intercede.

 

The Son accepts the Mother’s prayer;

Where rest her wishes, his are there.

Then let us love her each and all

And in the strife upon her call.

 

Be glory to the Three-in-One

Who ‘riched the Virgin with the Son;

To God in heaven let earth upraise

Through age on age a hymn of praise.

Amen.

 

– From: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964

 

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OCTOBER – THE MONTH OF THE HOLY ROSARY

OCTOBER – THE MONTH OF THE HOLY ROSARY

Pope Clement XI firmly held to the opinion that  [ apart from the Victory of Lepanto ] other famous victories must be attributed to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin. In 1716, Charles VI, Emperor Elect of the Romans, won a tremendous triumph in the kingdom of Hungary over an overwhelming army of Turks, on the very day on which the feast of the dedication of the basilica of Our Lady of Snows was being celebrated. Indeed almost at the very moment of battle, the confraternity of the most holy Rosary was offering up public and solemn prayer in the Eternal City.

PUBLIC AND SOLEMN PRAYER IN THE ETERNAL CITY

An immense number of people took part in this demonstration. They poured forth with great devotion fervent prayers to God for the overthrow of the Turks. They implored the powerful intercession of the Virgin Mother of God for the help of Christians. In view of this victory, and also of the raising of the siege of the island of Corcyra which followed almost immediately, Clement made this decree. That the memory of these extraordinary favours may be perpetuated forever, that the faithful might be thankful forever, Clement extended the observance of the feast of the most holy Rosary to the universal Church. He ordered that it be continued to be celebrated under the rite of a double major.

HE BESOUGHT THE FAITHFUL ALL OVER THE WORLD TO RECITE THE ROSARY FREQUENTLY 

Benedict XIII decreed that all these things be written into the Roman Breviary. When the Church was experiencing one of the most turbulent periods in her history, when for a long time a veritable fury of hard pressing evils was raging, Leo XIII, in a series of Encyclical letters earnestly besought the faithful all over the world to recite the Rosary frequently, especially in the month of October. He raised the rank of the rite of the feast and added to the Litany of Loreto the invocation, “Queen of the most holy Rosary.” He granted as well a special office to be recited on the solemn feast by the Universal Church. Let us, therefore, ever honour the most holy Mother of God by the devotion very dear to her. May she who so many times has answered the prayers of Christ’s faithful in the recitation of the Rosary, who brought their earthly enemies to destruction and defeat, grant victory over the powers of hell to us also.

– From: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964

 

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THE VICTORY WAS AN ANSWER TO ALL THE PRAYERS

THE VICTORY WAS AN ANSWER TO ALL THE PRAYERS

From this holy devotion of the Rosary countless benefits have been showered the length and breadth of Christendom. Among these most certainly can be reckoned that famous victory which the Christian princes, aroused by the plea of Pope St Pius V, won over the vastly superior power of the Turks at Lepanto.

THE VICTORY OF LEPANTO 

As this victory was won on the very day on which the confraternities of the most holy Rosary throughout the world were offering up their rosaries, as they had been asked to do, there can be no doubt that this victory was an answer to their prayers.

PERPETUAL THANKSGIVING 

So convinced of this was Gregory XIII that he proclaimed that for so singular a blessing there should be offered everywhere on earth perpetual thanks to the blessed Virgin, under the title of the Rosary. He decreed also that in every church where an altar of the Rosary had been erected, its office should be celebrated in perpetuity under the rite of a double major. Other pontiffs also have granted almost innumerable indulgences to the recitation of the Rosary and to Rosary Confraternities.

– From: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964

 

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IRISH PRAYER TO OUR LADY

IRISH PRAYER TO OUR LADY

ANCIENT IRISH PRAYER TO OUR LADY 

This prayer, in the original tongue, is in constant use among Irish speakers, in the West of Ireland, and there is attached to it a tradition that the Blessed Virgin will graciously manifest herself at the hour of death to those who say it with devotion every day. 

O glorious Virgin, Mother of God, blessed among all nations, worthy of praise and the greatest of praise, intercede for me with thy beloved Son. O honoured Lady, Mother of the King of Angels and Archangels, assist and deliver me from every difficulty and danger.

O Blossom of the Patriarchs, the Virgins and the Angels, Hope of Glory, Beauty of Virgins, Admiration of the Angels and Archangels, remember me, and forsake me not, I beseech thee, at the terrible hour of my death. O Star of the Sea, Gate of Heaven, Temple of God, Palace of Jesus Christ, Harbour of Safety, Power of all Nations, Pearl of all Sweetness, Hope of the Faithful; O Queen who shelters the guilty, who surpasses in radiance the Virgins and the Angels, thy presence gives joy to all the hosts of Heaven.

Therefore, O Mother of Mercy, I place in the protection of thy holy hands my going out, my coming in, my sleeping, my waking, the sight of my eyes, the touch of my hands, the speech from my lips, the hearing of my ears, so that in everything I may be pleasing to thine own beloved Son. Amen.

– From: St Anthony’s Treasury, 1916

 

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