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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 BIBLE READING (EZEKIEL 1:2-5, 24-28)

IT WAS SOMETHING THAT LOOKED LIKE THE GLORY OF THE LORD.

On the fifth day of the month, the same was the fifth year of the captivity of king Joachin,

The word of the Lord came to Ezechiel the priest the son of Buzi in the land of the Chadeans, by the river Chobar: and the hand of the Lord was there upon him.

And I saw, and behold a whirlwind came out of the north: and a great cloud, and a fire infolding it, and brightness was about it: and out of the midst thereof, that is, out of the midst of the fire, as it were the resemblance of amber:

And in the midst thereof the likeness of four living creatures: and this was their appearance: there was the likeness of a man in them.

And I heard the noise of their wings,
like the noise of many waters, as it were the voice of the most high God: when they walked, it was like the voice of a multitude, like the noise of an army, and when they stood, their wings were let down.

For when a voice came from above the firmament, that was over their heads, when they stood, their wings were let down.

And when a voice came from above the firmament, that was over their heads, they stood, and let down their wings.

And above the firmament that was over their heads, was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of the sapphire stone, and upon the likeness of the throne, was a likeness as of the appearance of a man upon it.

And I saw as it were the resemblance of amber as the appearance of fire within it round about: from his loins and upward, and from his loins downward, I saw as it were the resemblance of fire shining round about.

As the appearance of the rainbow when it is in a cloud on a rainy day: this was the appearance of the brightness round about.

[And I saw, and I fell upon my face.]
V. The word of the Lord.
R. Thanks be to God.

 
 

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THE TRUE METHOD OF LIFE: PUT ETERNITY INTO EVERYTHING YOU DO

SURSUM CORDA!

LIFT UP YOUR HEARTS!

“Yes, surely, on this day (Ascension) more than ever, let us lift up our hearts! Let them rise to heaven, as if drawn after our Saviour. But let them not ascend merely to enjoy for a few hours the spectacle of His glory. The Church wishes our ascension to be permanent; she wishes that our souls should MAKE FOR THEMSELVES A DWELLING IN HEAVEN, that our earthly life should be a search after celestial treasures.

Let us make this divine consummation the true object of our lives, the vision of our souls, the goal of all our desires and efforts. Let us place our hearts so high that no seduction can reach them. Put eternity into everything that you do; it is the true method of life.”
– Apostolat de la Jeunesse

 

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TODAY’S BIBLE READING (TOBIT 11:5-15)

HE HAD SCOURGED ME AND HAS HAD PITY ON ME, AND NOW I SEE MY SON.

Anna was sitting, watching the road by which her son would come. She was sure at once it must be he and said to the father, “Here comes your son, with his companion.”

Raphael said to Tobias before he reached his father, “I give you my word that your father’s eyes will open. You must put the fish’s gall to his eyes; the medicine will smart and will draw a filmy white skin off his eyes. And your father will be able to see and look on the light.”

The mother ran forward and threw her arms round her son’s neck. “Now I can die,” she said “I have seen you again.” And she wept. Tobit rose to his feet and stumbled across the courtyard through the door. Tobias came on towards him (he had the fish’s gall in his hand). He blew it into his eyes and said, steadying him, “Take courage, father!” With this he applied the medicine, left it there a while, then with both hands peeled away a filmy skin from the corners of his eyes. Then his father fell on his neck and wept. He exclaimed, “I can see, my son, the light of my eyes!” And he said:

“Blessed be God!
Blessed be his great name!
Blessed be all his holy angels!
Blessed be his great name
for evermore!
For he had scourged me
and now has had pity on me
and I see my son Tobias.”

V. The word of the Lord.
R. Thanks be to God.

 

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TODAY’S BIBLE READING (ACTS 11:1-18)

GOD CAN GRANT EVEN THE PAGANS THE REPENTANCE THAT LEADS TO LIFE.

The apostles and the brothers in Judea heard that the pagans too had accepted the word of God, and when Peter came up to Jerusalem the Jews criticised him and said, “So you have been visiting the uncircumcised and eating with them, have you?” Peter in reply gave them the details point by point:

“One day, when I was in the town of Jaffa,” he began, “I fell into a trance as I was praying and had a vision of something like a big sheet being let down from heaven by its four corners. The sheet reached the ground quite close to me. I watched it intently and saw all sorts of animals and wild beasts – everything possible that could walk, crawl or fly. Then I heard a voice that said to me, ‘Now, Peter; kill and eat!’ But I answered: Certainly not, Lord; nothing profane or unclean has ever crossed my lips. And a second time the voice spoke from heaven, ‘What God has made clean, you have no right to call profane.’ This was repeated three times, before the whole of it was drawn up to heaven again.”

Just at that moment, three men stopped outside the house where we were staying; they had been sent from Caesarea to fetch me, and the Spirit told me to have no hesitation about going back with them. The six brothers here came with me as well, and we entered the man’s house. He told us that he had seen an angel standing in his house who said, ‘Send to Jaffa and fetch Simon known as Peter; he has a message for you that will save you and your entire household.’

“I had scarcely begun to speak when the Holy Spirit came down on them in the same way as it came on us at the beginning, and I remembered that the Lord had said, ‘John baptised with water, but you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit.’ I realised then that God was giving them the identical thing he gave to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ; and who was I to stand in God’s way?”

This account satisfied them, and they gave glory to God. “God”, they said, “can evidently grant even the pagans the repentance that leads to life.”

V. The word of the Lord.
R. Thanks be to God.

 

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TODAY’S BIBLE READING (ACTS 9:1-20)

THIS MAN IS MY CHOSEN INSTRUMENT TO BRING MY NAME BEFORE PAGANS.

Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing threats to slaughter the Lord’s disciples. He had gone to the high priest and asked for letters addressed to the synagogues in Damascus, that would authorise him to arrest and take to Jerusalem any followers of the Way, men or women, that he could find.

Suddenly, while he was travelling to Damascus and just before he reached the city, there came a light from heaven all round him. He fell to the ground, and then he heard a voice saying, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” “Who are you, Lord?” he asked, and the voice answered, “I am Jesus, and you are persecuting me. Get up now and go into the city, and you will be told what you have to do.” The men travelling with Saul stood there speechless, for though they heard the voice they could see no one. Saul got up from the ground, but even with his eyes wide open he could see nothing at all, and they had to lead him into Damascus by the hand. For three days he was without his sight, and took neither food nor drink.

A disciple called Ananias who lived in Damascus had a vision in which he heard the Lord say to him, “Ananias!” When he replied, “Here I am, Lord,” the Lord said, “You must go to Straight Street and ask at the house of Judas for someone called Saul, who comes from Tarsus. At this moment he is praying, having had a vision of a man called Ananias coming in and laying hands on him to give him back his sight.”

When he heard that, Ananias said, “Lord, several people have told me about this man and all the harm he has been doing to your saints in Jerusalem. He has only come here because he holds a warrant from the chief priest to arrest everybody who invokes your name.” The Lord replied, “You must go all the same, because this man is my chosen instrument to bring my name before pagans and pagan kings and before the people of Israel; I myself will show him how much he himself must suffer for my name.” Then Ananias went. He entered the house, and at once laid his hands on Saul and said, “Brother Saul, I have been sent by the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on your way here so that you may recover your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Immediately it was as though scales fell away from Saul’s eyes and he could see again. So he was baptised there and then, and after taking some food he regained his strength.

After he had spent only a few days with the disciples in Damascus, he
began preaching in the synagogues, “Jesus is the Son of God.”

V. The word of the Lord.
R. Thanks be to God.

 

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PRAYER TO JESUS, OUR DIVINE MASTER

Jesus, Divine Master,
we adore you as the Word Incarnate
sent by the Father
to instruct us in life-giving truth.
You are uncreated Truth, the only Master.

You alone have words of eternal life.
We thank you for having ignited in us
the light of reason and the light of faith,
and for having called us to the light of glory.

Master,
show us the treasures of your wisdom,
let us know the Father,
make us your true disciples.
Increase our faith,
so that we may attain to the eternal vision in heaven.
Amen.

 

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