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A LADY OF INCOMPARABLE BEAUTY APPEARED AT THE FOOT OF THE ALTAR

A LADY OF INCOMPARABLE BEAUTY APPEARED AT THE FOOT OF THE ALTAR

OUR LADY’S FIRST MESSAGE TO THE MODERN WORLD – PARIS, 1830

“Come to the chapel, the Holy Virgin is waiting for you.” Zoe Catherine Laboure, a postulant in the Daughters of Charity, awoke to see a child about four or five years old standing at the side of her bed. He was enveloped in a golden light. She later said that she believed him to be her guardian angel.

This happened in the mother house of the Daughters of Charity in Paris. The date was July 18,1830, the eve of the feast of St Vincent de Paul, founder of the community.

“BE AT EASE”

Catherine sat up, astonished and a little troubled. “How can I get up and running cross the dormitory without waking my companions?” she asked.

“Be at ease,” the child replied. “It is half past eleven and everyone is asleep. I will come with you.”

Catherine followed the child to the chapel, which, to her surprise, was lit up, “as if for Midnight Mass.” He led her to the altar rail, and she knelt down. “Here is the Holy Virgin,” he announced.

Almost at once, a sound like the rustling of silk caused her to look up. A Lady of incomparable beauty appeared at the foot of the altar. She stepped forward and sat on the chair normally reserved for the Director of the seminary. She was dressed in an ivory robe and blue mantle. A white veil fell over her shoulders.

“THE SWEETEST JOY OF MY LIFE”

Catherine rushed forward and threw herself to her knees. She rested her clasped hands on the knees of the Blessed Virgin. It was “the sweetest joy of my life,” she said later, “a delight beyond expression.”

“My child,” the Blessed Mother said, “God wishes you to undertake a mission. For it, you will have much to suffer, but you will overcome that by recalling that you do so for the glory of God…”

Much of what our Lady said was for Catherine’s ears alone and has never been revealed. The words which we do know began Mary’s message to the modern world, a message which was climaxed at Fatima and which has not yet been concluded.

“THE TIMES ARE EVIL” 

“The times are evil,” our Lady said. “Terrible things are about to happen in France. The throne will be destroyed, and the whole world will be convulsed by terrible calamities.

“But come to the foot of the altars. Here great graces will be poured out upon all who ask them with confidence and fervour. They will be bestowed upon the great and upon the small.”

Our Lady made some declarations about the community to which Catherine belonged, adding: “I love it very much.

“But grave troubles are coming. There will be great danger. Do not fear. God and Saint Vincent will protect the community. I myself shall be with you…

“DO NOT FEAR” 

“At one moment, when the danger is acute, everyone will believe all to be lost. You will recall my visit and the protection of God…

“There will be victims in other communities. There will be victims among the clergy of Paris. The Archbishop will die… The cross will be trampled upon… Blood will run in the streets… The world will be plunged into sadness…”

Catherine understood that some of the events described would take place soon. The others would take place in about forty years, or about 1870.

“I SHALL GRANT YOU MANY GRACES”

Our Lady’s last words to Catherine on this visit were: “My eyes are ever upon you. I shall grant you many graces. Special graces will be given to all who ask them, but people must pray.

When our Lady had disappeared, “like a cloud that had evaporated,” the child led Catherine back to her dormitory. The clock was striking two as she got back into bed.

THE PRODUCT OF AN OVERWROUGHT IMAGINATION? 

Catherine was not allowed to tell anyone of her experience, except her confessor, Father Aladel. The priest was inclined to dismiss the story as the product of an overwrought imagination.

A FEW DAYS LATER… 

Father Aladel was surprised a few days later when a Revolution broke out in Paris, but Catherine was not surprised. Our Lady had foretold it. Many were killed. Bands of men and boys broke into churches. Crucifixes were profaned. Convents were pillaged. Priests were ill-treated, and the Archbishop was forced to go into hiding. The mother house in the Rue du Bac shook with gunfire and was surrounded by an angry mob. It did seem that all was lost, but true to our Lady’s promise, the buildings remained unharmed.

“MANY PEOPLE DO NOT RECEIVE GRACES BECAUSE THEY DO NOT ASK FOR THEM”

Our Lady’s second visit to Catherine took place on November 27, 1830, four months after the first one. This time Mary appeared over the high altar in the convent chapel. Her head was covered with a soft white veil. She was standing on a globe. In her hands she held a smaller globe with a tiny cross at the top. She held it out as if offering it to God. Rays of light streamed down to the larger globe from some of the gems in her fingers.

Lowering her eyes, our Lady said to Catherine: “This ball you see is the world. I am praying for it and for everyone in the world. The rays are graces which I give to those who ask for them. But there are no rays from some of these stones, for many people do not receive graces because they do not ask for them.”

AN OVAL FRAME APPEARED AROUND OUR LADY

The vision changed. An oval frame appeared around our Lady. The small globe disappeared, and our Lady dropped her hands to her sides. She became brighter and lovelier as she did so. Around the oval frame appeared in gold the words: “O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.”

O MARY CONCEIVED WITHOUT SIN, PRAY FOR US WHO HAVE RECOURSE TO THEE

A voice said to Catherine: “Have a medal made according to this picture. All those who wear it when it is blessed will receive many graces, especially if they wear it suspended from their necks.”

Suddenly the entire picture seemed to turn. On the reverse Catherine saw the letter M surmounted by a cross with a crossbar beneath it. Below were two hearts. That of our Lord was encircled by a crown of thorns while that of our Lady was pierced by a sword. Enclosing the entire picture were twelve stars within a golden frame.

In December, the Blessed Virgin appeared for the third time and repeated her request for the medal.

Catherine again transmitted the request to her spiritual adviser, Father Aladel, but the priest did not know what to do. He did not wish to be in the position of disobeying an order from heaven, but he said to Catherine: “I do not have the authority to have such a medal struck. Besides, it is to say ‘O Mary conceived without sin,’ and the Immaculate Conception is not a dogma of the Church.” (In 1830, this doctrine had not yet been promulgated. That was to come twenty-four years later.)

HE CONSULTED THE ARCHBISHOP

Father Aladel investigated Catherine’s story very carefully, and he prayed for divine guidance. Then he consulted the Archbishop of Paris. The medals were struck and distributed in Paris two years after our Lady had made her request. By this time, Catherine had received the habit of the Daughters of Charity, and had taken the name Sister Catherine.

SHE CARRIED HER SECRET TO THE GRAVE

Sister Catherine was so humble that she did not tell anyone that the Blessed Mother had appeared to her. Not more than two or three persons knew to whom our Lady had given her request for the medal. Even the other Sisters in her convent did not know. Sister Catherine carried her secret to the grave.

During the War of the Commune in 1871, many of the events fortold by our Lady in the first apparition came true. Blood ran in the streets. Many priests were killed. Msgr. Duboy, Archbishop of Paris, was brutally murdered. The insurrectionists were strongly influenced by the teachings of Karl Marx…

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

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Posted by on October 15, 2019 in Words of Wisdom

 

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TODAY’S GOSPEL READING (LUKE 11:5-13)

TODAY’S GOSPEL READING (LUKE 11:5-13)

ASK, AND IT WILL BE GIVEN TO YOU. 

Jesus said to his disciples: “Suppose one of you has a friend and goes to him in the middle of the night to say, ‘My friend, lend me three loaves, because a friend of mine on his travels has just arrived at my house and I have nothing to offer him’; and the man answers from inside the house, ‘Do not bother me. The door is bolted now, and my children and I are in bed; I cannot get up to give it to you.’ I tell you, if the man does not get up and give it him for friendship’s sake, persistence will be enough to make him get up and give his friend all he wants.

So I say to you: Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For the one who asks always receives; the one who searches always finds; the one who knocks will always have the door opened to him. What father among you would hand his son a stone when he asked for bread? Or hand him a snake instead of a fish? Or hand him a scorpion if he asked for an egg? If you then, who are evil, know how to give your children what is good, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

V. The Gospel of the Lord.
R. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

 
 

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“GIVE ME CHASTITY, BUT NOT YET”

“GIVE ME CHASTITY, BUT NOT YET”

There is a famous instance of a holy man of old times, who, before his conversion, felt indeed the excellence of purity, but could not get himself to say more in prayer than ‘Give me chastity, but not yet.’

I will not be inconsiderate enough to make light of the power of temptation of any kind, nor will I presume to say that Almighty God will certainly shield a man from temptation for his wishing it; but whenever men complain, as they often do, of the arduousness of a high virtue, at least it were well that they should first ask themselves the question, whether they desire to have it. We hear much in this day of the impossibility of heavenly purity… are you sure that the impossibility which you insist upon does not lie, not in nature, but in the will? Let us but will, and our nature is changed ‘according to the power that worketh in us’… We dare not trust ourselves on the waters, though Christ bids us.

– Bl. John Henry Newman; What you are from not desiring a gift, this you make an excuse for not possessing it; P. S. V, 349-50

 

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TODAY’S GOSPEL READING (LUKE 11:1-4)

TODAY’S GOSPEL READING (LUKE 11:1-4)

LORD, TEACH US TO PRAY. 

Once Jesus was in a certain place praying, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” He said to them, “Say this when you pray:

‘Father, may your name be held holy,
your kingdom come;
give us each day our daily bread,
and forgive us our sins,
for we ourselves forgive each one who is in debt to us.
And do not put us to the test.’”

V. The Gospel of the Lord.
R. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

 

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ST EDWARD THE CONFESSOR

ST EDWARD THE CONFESSOR

ST EDWARD, KING AND CONFESSOR – MEMORIAL: OCTOBER 13

Edward, called the Confessor, nephew of St Edward, king and Martyr, was he last of the Anglo-Saxon kings. When he was ten years old, the Danes, who were then devastating England, sought him out to kill him. He was forced to flee into exile to the court of his uncle, the Duke of Normandy, where his innocence of life won the admiration of all.

HE WAS FORCED TO FLEE INTO EXILE

The tyrants who robbed his brothers of their lives and their kingdom were eventually overthrown, and Edward was recalled to his country. There he devoted himself to removing all traces of havoc wrought by the enemy, beginning with the sacred temples of God.

HE FORESAW MUCH OF ENGLAND’S FUTURE HISTORY BY DIVINE INSPIRATION 

He was famous for the gift of prophecy and foresaw much of England’s future history by divine inspiration. He had a very special devotion to St John the Evangelist, and on the day predicted by that saint, he died a most holy death, namely on the Nones of January, in the year of salvation 1066. Pope Alexander III enrolled him among the saints.

PRAYER:

O God, who crowned blessed King Edward with the glory of eternity, grant us, we beseech you, so to venerate him on earth that we may be worthy to reign with him in heaven. Through our Lord…

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

 

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THE MESSENGER FROM GOD’S HIGH THRONE (HYMN)

THE MESSENGER FROM GOD’S HIGH THRONE (HYMN)

The Messenger from God’s high throne

His secret counsel making known

Hails Mary, child of David’s race,

God’s Virgin Mother, full of grace.

 

The Mother Maid with joyous feet

Her friend, John’s mother, goes to greet;

He, stirring in the enclosing womb,

Declares that Christ his Lord has come.

 

The Word, who ere the worlds began,

From God the Father’s thought forth ran,

Of Mary, Virgin undefiled,

For us is born a mortal child.

 

Christ to the Temple courts they bring;

The King’s own law subjects the King;

The world’s Redeemer for a price

Is there redeemed, our sacrifice.

 

The joyful Mother finds once more

The Son she mourned as lost before;

While doctors by His speech were shown

The mysteries they had never known.

 

The Mount of Olives witnesseth

The awful agony of God;

His soul is sorrowful to death,

His sweat of blood bedews the sod.

 

And now the traitor’s work is done:

The clamorous crowds around Him surge;

Bound to pillar, God the Son

Quivers beneath the blood-red scourge.

 

Lo! clad in purple soiled and worn,

Meekly the Saviour waiteth now

While wretches plait the cruel thorn

To crown with shame His royal brow.

 

Sweating and sighing, faint with loss

Of what hath flowed from life’s red fount,

He bears the exceeding heavy Cross

Up the verge of Calvary’s mount.

 

Nailed to the wood of ancient curse,

Between two thieves the Sinless One

Still praying for His murderers,

Breathes forth His soul, and all is done!

 

All honour, laud, and glory be,

O Jesu, Virgin-born to thee;

All glory, as is ever meet,

To Father and to Paraclete. Amen.

 

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

 

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TODAY’S GOSPEL (MARK 4:26-34)

TODAY’S GOSPEL (MARK 4:26-34)

A MAN THROWS SEED ON THE LAND. WHILE HE SLEEPS THE SEED IS GROWING; HOW, HE DOES NOT KNOW.

Jesus said to his disciples: “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man throws seed on the land. Night and day, while he sleeps, when he is awake, the seed is sprouting and growing; how, he does not know. Of its own accord the land produces first the shoot, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. And when the crop is ready, he loses no time: he starts to reap because the harvest has come.”

He also said, “What can we say the kingdom of God is like? What parable can we find for it? It is like a mustard seed which at the time of its sowing in the soil is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet once it is sown it grows into the biggest shrub of them all and puts out big branches so that the birds of the air can shelter in its shade.”

Using many parables like these, he spoke the word to them, so far as they were capable of understanding it. He would not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything to his disciples when they were alone.

V. The Gospel of the Lord.
R. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

 

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