Monday, November 20, 2017

Novena to Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal



Opening Prayer:
O Most Holy Virgin, O my Mother, ask thy Son on my behalf for everything my soul and all mankind needs so that thy Reign be established on earth. My most earnest request is that thou mayest triumph in me and in all souls and implant thy Reign on earth.  Amen.



First Day Fourth Day Seventh Day
Second Day Fifth Day Eighth Day
Third Day Sixth Day Ninth Day



First DayFirst Day

The First Apparition
During the night of July 18-19, 1830, the Most Holy Virgin appeared for the first time to Saint Catherine Labouré, who had been awakened and led from the dormitory to the chapel by her guardian angel.
In the sanctuary, Saint Catherine later wrote:
“I heard something like the rustling of a silk dress, coming from the side of the tribune, close to Saint Joseph’s picture. She alighted on the steps of the altar on the Gospel side, in an arm chair like Saint Anne’s... As I looked up at Our Lady I flung myself close to her, falling on my knees on the altar steps, my hands resting in her knees. That was the sweetest moment of my life.”
Let us pray: O Most Holy Virgin, O my Mother, look on my soul with mercy, obtain for me a spirit of prayer that leads me always to have recourse to thee. Obtain for me the graces that I implore of thee and, above all, inspire me to pray for the graces that thou most wants to grant me. 
 
Our Father, Hail Mary & Glory Be...
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!



Second Day

Protection of Mary in times of trial
 “The times are very evil, misfortunes are going to befall France, the throne will be overthrown, the whole world will be overwhelmed with misfortunes of every kind.” The Holy Virgin looked very distressed as she said this. “But come to the foot of this altar. Here graces will be bestowed on anyone, great or small, who asks for them with confidence and fervor... A moment will come of such great danger that all will seem lost. But I shall be with you.”
Let us pray: O Most Holy Virgin, O my Mother, amidst the great desolation in the world and the Church, obtain for me the graces I ask of thee and inspire me, above all, to request the graces that thou most wants to grant me. 
  
Our Father, Hail Mary & Glory Be...
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!



Third Day


The Cross will be despised
 “The Cross will be despised and hurled to the ground, blood will run in the streets, the Side of Our Lord will be opened again. The archbishop will be stripped of his garments.” Here the Holy Virgin, her face filled with sadness, could no longer speak. “My child, the whole world will be plunged in sorrow,” she said to me.
Let us pray: O Most Holy Virgin, O my Mother, obtain for me the grace to live in union with thee, with thy Divine Son and the Church at this crucial moment in history, as tragic as the Passion, when all humanity is about to choose sides for or against Christ! Obtain for me the graces I implore, especially the grace of requesting that which thou most wants to grant me.

Our Father, Hail Mary & Glory Be...
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!



Fourth Day


Mary crushes the head of the serpent
At 5:30 on the evening of November 27, 1830, as Saint Catherine was praying in the chapel, the Holy Virgin appeared to her for the second time, standing as high as Saint Joseph’s picture to the right of the main altar.
“Her face was so beautiful that it would be impossible for me to describe it. Her robe was white as the glow of dawn... Her head was covered with a white veil that extended to her feet which rested on a half sphere, with her heel crushing the head of a serpent.”
Let us pray: O Most Holy Virgin, O my Mother, be my protection against the assaults of the infernal enemy. Obtain for me the graces I am asking of thee and, above all, inspire me to request the graces that thou most wants to grant me. 

Our Father, Hail Mary & Glory Be...
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!
 



 Fifth Day

The Virgin of the globe
The Holy Virgin holds a globe in her hands representing the whole world, and each person in particular, and offers it to God, imploring His mercy.
She wears rings on her fingers, bearing precious stones that shed rays, one more beautiful than the next, symbolizing the graces that the Holy Virgin pours out on those who ask for them.
Let us pray:  O Most Holy Virgin, O my Mother, obtain for me the graces I am asking of thee and inspire me, above all, to request the graces that thou most wants to grant me. 

Our Father, Hail Mary & Glory Be...
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!




Sixth Day

The invocation on the medal
 During the second apparition, Our Blessed Mother explained to Saint Catherine “how pleased she is when people pray to her and how generous she is with them; how she gives special graces to those who ask; and what a great joy she takes in granting them.”
At that point “a frame formed around Our Lady, like an oval, bearing the following words in gold letters: ‘O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.’”
Let us pray: O Most Holy Virgin, O my Mother, obtain for me the graces I am asking of thee and inspire me, above all, to request the graces that thou most wants to grant me. 


Our Father, Hail Mary & Glory Be...
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!



Seventh Day

Revelation of the medal
Then a voice was heard, saying, “Have a medal struck after this model. Those who wear it, blessed, around their neck will receive great graces. The graces will be abundant for those who wear it with confidence.”
Let us pray:  O Most Holy Virgin, O my Mother, obtain for me the graces that I ask of thee and inspire me, above all, to pray for the graces that thou most wants to grant me.

Our Father, Hail Mary & Glory Be...
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!
 
 
 



Eighth Day

The hearts of Jesus and Mary
 After contemplating the picture on the medal, Saint Catherine saw it turn to display the back. There she saw an “M,” the monogram of Mary, surmounted by a small cross and, below it, the hearts of Jesus and Mary, the first surrounded with thorns and the latter pierced with a sword.
Twelve stars surrounded the hearts and the monogram.
Let us pray: O Immaculate Heart of Mary, make my heart like unto thine. Obtain for me the graces I am asking of thee and, above all, inspire me to ask of thee the graces thou most wants to grant me.
  

Our Father, Hail Mary & Glory Be...
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!
 


Ninth Day

Mary will be proclaimed
Queen of the Universe Confirming the predictions of Saint Louis Grignion de Montfort,  Saint Catherine says that the Most Holy Virgin will be proclaimed Queen of the Universe: “Oh! how beautiful it will be to hear: Mary is the Queen of the Universe. The children and everyone will cry with joy and rapture.
That will be a lasting era of peace and happiness. She will be displayed on standards and paraded all over the world.”
Let us pray: O Most Holy Virgin, O my Mother, obtain for me the graces I am asking of thee and inspire me, above all, to pray for the graces that thou most wants to grant me.

Our Father, Hail Mary & Glory Be...
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!
 
 


 About the Miraculous Medal
In 1830, during the apparitions in the chapel on Rue du Bac in Paris, the Holy Virgin presented the Miraculous Medal to Saint Catherine Labouré: “Those who wear it, blessed, around their neck will receive great graces. The graces will be abundant for those who wear it with confidence.”
At the time of Saint Catherine Labouré’s death, the distribution of the medal in the world had surpassed the one billion mark. The innumerable conversions, cures and cases of extraordinary protection, quickly lead to its being called the “Miraculous Medal.”
Wearing and disseminating the Miraculous Medal means placing oneself under the protection of the Most Holy Virgin. It means placing oneself under the sign of the Immaculate and taking a stand in face of the troubles and indifference affecting the modern world.
“The whole world will be overwhelmed by misfortunes of all kinds... All will seem lost, but I shall be with you,” the Holy Virgin promised Saint Catherine, who repeated this prophecy till the end of her life.  The rays coming from Our Lady’s hands symbolize the graces she obtains for everyone who prays to her with confidence.





Miraculous Medal & Novena Banner

Most noble, profitable, and sweet

The devotion to the Eucharist is the most noble, because
it has God as its object; it is the most profitable for salvation,
because It gives us the Author of Grace;
it is the sweetest, because the Lord is Sweetness Itself.

Pope St. Pius X

St. Edmund the Martyr

Though only about fifteen years old when crowned in 855, Edmund showed himself a model ruler from the first, anxious to treat all with equal justice, and closing his ears to flatterers and untrustworthy informers. In his eagerness for prayer he retired for a year to his royal tower at Hunstanton and learned the whole Psalter by heart, in order that he might afterwards recite it regularly.

In 870 Edmund bravely repulsed the two Danish chiefs, Hinguar and Hubba, who had invaded his dominions. However, they soon returned with overwhelming numbers, and pressed terms upon him which as a Christian he felt bound to refuse. In his desire to avert a fruitless massacre, he disbanded his troops and himself retired towards Framlingham; on the way he fell into the hands of the invaders. Having loaded the king with chains, his captors conducted him to Hinguar, whose impious demands he again rejected, declaring his religion dearer to him than his very life.

His martyrdom took place in 870 at Hoxne in Suffolk. After beating him with cudgels, the Danes tied him to a tree, and cruelly tore his flesh with whips. Throughout these tortures Edmund continued to call upon the name of Jesus, until at last, exasperated by his constancy, his enemies began to discharge arrows at him. This cruel sport was continued until his body had the appearance of a porcupine, when Hinguar commanded his head to be struck off.

From his first burial-place at Hoxne his relics were removed in the tenth century to Beodricsworth, since called Bury St. Edmunds, where arose the famous abbey of that name. His feast is observed November 20, and he is represented in Christian art with sword and arrow, the instruments of his torture.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Fervently and devoutly

It is better to say one Pater Noster (Our Father) fervently and devoutly
than a thousand with no devotion and full of distraction.

St. Edmund the Martyr

St. Nerses I of Armenia

Born of royal descent, Nerses was the son of At'anagenes and his mother was the sister of King Tigranes VII and a daughter of King Khosrov III. His paternal grandfather was St. Husik I whose paternal grandfather was St. Gregory the Illuminator, who converted the Armenian king to Christianity and became the first Patriarch of Armenia.

Nerses spent his youth in Caesarea and married a Mamikonian princess named Sanducht, who bore him a son, St. Isaac the Great. After his wife's death, he was appointed chamberlain to King Arshak of Armenia, but entered the ecclesiastical state a few years later. In 363, despite his protest of unworthiness, Nerses was consecrated Bishop of Armenia.

He was greatly influenced by St. Basil and, in effort to bring better discipline and efficiency to his diocese convened the first national synod in 365. He encouraged the growth of monasticism and established hospitals. His good deeds and promotion of religion angered the King, who was later condemned by Nerses for murdering his wife Olympia. It is said that Arshak mixed poison with the Lord's holy and divine Body, the Bread of Communion, and administered it to her, killing the queen in church.

Arshak died in battle against the Persians shortly thereafter. Nerses discovered that Pap, the king’s successor, was more ungodly than his predecessor. On account of his sinfulness, the holy man forbade Pap from entering the church until he repented of his ways. Angered, Pap feigned repentance and invited Nerses to dine at the royal table where he poisoned and killed him in 337.
Photo by: Adelchi

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Which is better?

Better a few staunch and sincere Catholics,
than many compliant with the enemies of the Church
and conformed to the foes of our Faith.

St. Peter Canisius

St. Rose Philippine Duchesne

Born on August 29, 1769 in the French city of Grenoble, Rose Philippine was baptized in the Church of St. Louis. She was educated at the Convent of the Visitation of Ste. Marie d'en Haut and, against her father’s wishes, became a novice there when she was eighteen years old. However, the French Revolution caused much disruption for the nuns, and when the Sisters of the Visitation were expelled from their convents, Rose returned home.

She cared for the sick and the poor, helped fugitive priests, visited prisons, and taught children. Some time after the Revolution ended, she unsuccessfully tried to reestablish the Visitation community, and ultimately gave the convent to St. Madeleine Sophie Barat, foundress of the Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and joined the Order. When the Bishop of New Orleans, William Du Bourg, requested nuns for his thriving diocese in Louisiana, Rose and four other nuns made the trip to America in 1818.

Rose and the nuns were sent to Missouri, pioneers of the New World. There, as well in neighboring states, they established multiple schools, built a convent, an orphanage, a mission school for Indian girls, a boarding academy and a novitiate for her Order. However, the strenuous and difficult regime of work for her apostolate took its toll on her body. She died in St. Charles, Missouri in 1852 after spending more than 30 years as a pioneer in the evangelization of the New World. She was canonized in 1988. Rose was truly devoted to God, and prayed in her every spare moment. Because of this, the Indians began to call her “Quah-kah-ka-num-ad,” or "Woman-Who-Prays-Always."

Friday, November 17, 2017

I want to adorn myself

I want to adorn myself, not out of worldly pride,
but for the love of God alone – in a fitting manner, however,
so as to give my husband no cause to sin, if something about me were to displease him.
Only let him love me in the Lord, with a chaste, marital affection,
so that we, in the same way, might hope for the reward
of eternal life from Him who has sanctified the law of marriage.

St. Elizabeth of Hungary

St. Elizabeth of Hungary

Also known as Elizabeth of Thuringia, she was born in Hungary in 1207. She was a daughter of King Andrew II of Hungary and his wife Gertrude, a member of the family of the Counts of Andechs-Meran; Elizabeth’s brother succeeded his father on the throne as Bela IV; St. Hedwig, the wife of Duke Heinrich I, the Bearded, of Silesia was her mother’s sister, while another saint, Queen St. Elizabeth of Portugal, the wife of the tyrannical King Diniz, was her great-niece.

In 1211 a formal embassy was sent by Landgrave Hermann I of Thuringia to Hungary to arrange a marriage between his eldest son Hermann and Elizabeth, who was then four years old. This marriage was the result of political considerations and intended as a ratification of an alliance against the German Emperor Otto IV, a member of the house of Guelph, who had quarreled with the Church. Not long after the little girl was taken to the Thuringian court to be brought up with her future husband and, in the course of time, to be betrothed to him.

The court of Thuringia was at this period famous for its magnificence. Its centre was the stately castle of the Wartburg, splendidly placed on a hill in the Thuringian Forest near Eisenach, where the Landgrave Hermann lived. Notwithstanding the turbulence and purely secular life of the court and the pomp of her surroundings, little Elizabeth grew up a very religious child with an evident inclination to prayer and pious observances and small acts of self-mortification. These religious impulses were undoubtedly strengthened by the sorrowful experiences of her life.

In the year 1213, Elizabeth’s mother was murdered by Hungarian nobles, probably out of hatred of the Germans. On December 31, 1216, the oldest son and heir of the landgrave, Hermann, who Elizabeth was to marry, died; after this she was betrothed to Ludwig, the second son. It was probably in these years that Elizabeth had to suffer the hostility of the more frivolous members of the Thuringian court, to whom the contemplative and pious child was a constant rebuke. Ludwig, however, must have soon come to her protection against any ill-treatment and his mother, the Landgravine Sophia, a member of the reigning family of Bavaria and a deeply religious and very charitable woman, became a kindly mother to the little Elizabeth.

The political plans of the old Landgrave Hermann involved him in great difficulties and reverses; he was excommunicated, lost his mind towards the end of his life, and died on April 25, 1217, still unreconciled with the Church. He was succeeded by his son Ludwig IV, who, in 1221, was also made regent of Meissen and the East Mark. The same year, Ludwig and Elizabeth were married, the groom being twenty-one years old and the bride fourteen. The marriage was in every respect a happy and exemplary one, and the couple were devotedly attached to each other. Ludwig proved himself worthy of his wife. He gave his protection to her acts of charity, penance, and her vigils, and often held Elizabeth’s hands as she knelt praying at night beside his bed. He was also a capable ruler and brave soldier.

They had three children: Hermann II (1222-41), who died young; Sophia (1224-84), who married Henry II, Duke of Brabant, and was the ancestress of the Landgraves of Hesse; and Gertrude (1227-97), Elizabeth’s third child, who was born several weeks after the death of her father and later in life became abbess of the convent of Altenberg.

The followers of St. Francis of Assisi had made their first permanent settlement in Germany the year of Elizabeth’s marriage to Ludwig. For a time, the German Franciscan Caesarius of Speier was her spiritual director and through him she became acquainted with the ideals of St. Francis. These strongly appealed to her and she began to put them into practice: she observed chastity, according to her state of life, and practiced humility, patience, prayer, and charity. Her position, however, prevented her from living one she ardently desired: voluntary and complete poverty. In 1225, with Elizabeth’s assistance, the Franciscans founded a monastery in Eisenach.

Shortly after their marriage, Elizabeth and Ludwig made a journey to Hungary; Ludwig was often after this employed by the Emperor Frederick II, to whom he was much attached, in the affairs of the empire. During the spring of 1226, when floods, famine, and the plague wrought havoc in Thuringia, Ludwig was in Italy attending the Diet at Cremona on behalf of the emperor. Under these disastrous circumstances Elizabeth assumed control of affairs, distributed alms, giving even state robes and ornaments to the poor. In order to care personally for the unfortunate she built below the castle of Wartburg a hospital with twenty-eight beds and visited the inmates daily to attend to their needs; at the same time she aided nine hundred poor daily. It is this period of her life that has preserved Elizabeth’s renown as the gentle and charitable chételaine of the Wartburg. Upon his return, Ludwig confirmed all that she had done in his absence.

The following year he set out with Emperor Frederick II on a crusade to Palestine but died of the plague on September 11 at Otranto. The news did not reach Elizabeth until October, just after she had given birth to her third child. Upon hearing the news the queen, who was only twenty years old, cried out: “The world with all its joys is now dead to me.” In that winter of 1227, Elizabeth directed the Franciscans to sing a Te Deum and left the castle of Wartburg, accompanied by two female attendants. Her brother-in-law, Heinrich Raspe, now acted as regent for her son Hermann, then only five years old.

At Pope Gregory IX’s recommendation, Master Conrad of Marburg, a well known preacher of the crusade and inquisitor, had become Elizabeth’s spiritual guide. He directed her by the road of self-mortification to sanctity, and after her death was very active in her canonization. Although he forbade her to follow St. Francis in complete poverty as a beggar, by the command to keep her dower she was enabled to perform works of charity and tenderness.

Elizabeth’s aunt, Matilda, Abbess of the Benedictine convent of Kitzingen near Würzburg, took charge of the widowed landgravine and sent her to her uncle Eckbert, Bishop of Bamberg. The bishop, however, was intent on arranging another marriage for her, although during the lifetime of her husband Elizabeth had made a vow of chastity in the event of his death; the same vow had also been taken by her attendants.

While Elizabeth was maintaining her position against her uncle the remains of her husband were brought to Bamberg by his faithful followers who had carried them from Italy. Weeping bitterly, she buried his body in the family vault of the landgraves of Thuringia in the monastery of Reinhardsbrunn. With the aid of Conrad she now received the value of her dower in money, namely two thousand marks; of this sum she divided five hundred marks in one day among the poor. On Good Friday, 1228, in the Franciscan house at Eisenach Elizabeth formally renounced the world; then going to Master Conrad at Marburg, she and her maids received from him the dress of the Third Order of St. Francis, thus being among the first tertiaries of Germany. In the summer of 1228 she built the Franciscan hospital at Marburg and on its completion devoted herself entirely to the care of the sick, especially to those afflicted with the most loathsome diseases. Conrad of Marburg still imposed many self-mortifications and spiritual renunciations, while at the same time he even took from Elizabeth her devoted domestics. Constant in her devotion to God, Elizabeth’s strength was consumed by her charitable labors, and she passed away in 1231 at the age of twenty-four.

Very soon after the death of Elizabeth miracles began to be worked at her grave in the church of the hospital. By papal command examinations were held of those who had been healed and at Pentecost of the year 1235, the solemn ceremony of canonization of the “greatest woman of the German Middle Ages” was celebrated by Pope Gregory IX at Perugia.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Stories of Mary 34: Mary Rewards Childlike Obedience




Mary Rewards
Childlike Obedience


(3 minute read - Enjoy!)

In 1832, the ravaging finger of cholera hit every home and house in the great city of Paris.
This terrible epidemic, a disease without cure, struck hundreds and beleaguered many more. And yet, an exceptional phenomenon was noticed. Those who devoutly wore a certain small medal around their neck were spared or relieved from the epidemic. Symptoms of the plague were observed to leave the victims and withdraw into the gutters of Paris.
What medal, what power, was this that through the course of time triumphed over such devastating odds? The answer lied among the winding streets of Paris, specifically at the bolted doors of a small sanctuary known as the Rue de Bac. It is here, at the convent of the Sisters of Charity, that so many miracles unfold by means of a small object: the Miraculous Medal.
The making of the Miraculous Medal came about through a humble nun, then a novice, whose body now lies beneath the stately main altar, incorrupt and untouched by time. She is none other than Saint Catherine Laboure. At the side of the altar is the chair that the Blessed virgin herself occupied when telling the awestruck novice of her wishes for the making of this medal.
Through the thousands of favors, cures, and conversions this medal has obtained, it quickly acquired its popular name.  And so it was that on my visit to the Rue de Bac I found myself graciously received by the Mother Superior, who allowed me to photograph evidence of the many prodigies that have occurred through the Miraculous Medal.
The kind sister who was assigned to accompany me through the convent told me of a recent miracle that cannot be left unrepeated. When telling it, she lowered her voice as if releasing a state secret; she was apprehensive since the Church had not yet officially accredited this latest phenomenon.

Miraculous Medal & Novena Banner

It all began when a Brazilian couple visited the Rue de Bac.
They came to ask Our lady of the Miraculous Medal to cure their five-year-old girl, who was paralyzed from her waist down. The parents fervently prayed for a cure and, at a certain point, the mother encouraged her child to approach and touch the chair in which the Blessed Virgin had sat.
Without explanation, the child refused to do so. The parents were naturally perplexed. After some time, they left and made their way back to Brazil. On the airplane, the mother questioned her daughter as to why she had refused to approach the chair.
To both parents’ bewilderment, the child responded in a matter of fact voice: “Because,” she said, “the lady told me not to.”
Still puzzled, the parents said nothing further about the matter. Upon arriving in Brazil, however, the little girl stood up on her own and proceeded to leave the airplane. She had been cured!
I was amazed, not to say a little skeptical. The sister, calm and serene at my slight incredulity, merely smiled and said, “My son, every day we receive letters attesting new miracles that have been granted to many.
If we were to put each incident on a small plaque and place these on the wall, I don’t think we would have enough walls. Furthermore,” she went on, “since each case is thoroughly screened by the Church before it is approved as an authentic miracle, we catalogue them in our library in alphabetical archives because there are so many.”
I would have liked to describe in greater detail these miracles, but it is not easy. Nevertheless, they serve to show that whoever prays devoutly and confidently to the Blessed Virgin will never go unheard or unanswered, if it is for your salvation.

Miraculous Medal & Novena Banner


 This “Stories of Mary – Stories of the Rosary” is taken from Crusade Magazine, March -April, 2001, M-50, p. 36, “Miracle at Rue de Bac” by Felipe Barandiaran.

This pierces My Heart

“The confidence that I truly have the power, the wisdom
and the goodness to aid a soul faithfully in all her miseries,
is the arrow which pierces My Heart,
and does such violence to My love that I can never abandon her.”

Our Lord to St. Gertrude the Great

St. Margaret of Scotland

Born around the year 1046, Margaret was a pious and virtuous English princess of the House of Essex. She and her family fled north to the court of the Scottish King Malcolm Canmore to take refuge from William the Conqueror. Malcolm was captivated by Margaret’s goodness and beauty, and in the year 1070, they were married at the castle of Dunfermline.

A veritable blessing for the people of Scotland, Margaret brought civilization, culture and education to the rough Scots. She benefited her adopted country both academically and spiritually by obtaining good priests and educators for her people. She softened her husband’s temper, cultivated his manners, and helped King Malcolm to become known throughout the land as one of the most virtuous kings of Scotland.

Margaret bore Malcolm six sons and two daughters and reared them with utmost attention to their Christian faith. One of her daughters later married Henry I of England and three of her sons occupied the Scottish throne. Margaret lived a most austere life, giving herself mostly to God by fasting often, denying herself sleep and praying for long periods of time, the king often sharing in her prayers.

In 1093, King William Rufus of England attacked Scotland, and Malcolm was killed in battle. Margaret, already on her deathbed, died four days later. She was buried in the Abbey of Dunfermline, one of the many churches she and her husband had founded. Canonized in 1250, she was named patroness of Scotland in 1673.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Sheer Power of Mary's Name

At the name of Mary, the angels rejoice and the demons scramble.
Thomas a Kempis, author of the famous Imitation of Christ, affirms that:
“The devils fear the queen of heaven so much that by just hearing her name pronounced they fly from the person who utters it like from a burning fire”.
St. Ambrose compares her name to a sweet ointment, because whenever pronounced, it is a healing balm to our sinful souls.
“The name of Mary heals sinners, rejoices hearts and inflames them with God’s love”, says St. Alphonsus Liguori in his Glories of Mary.
Our Blessed Lady revealed to St. Bridget that there is not on earth a sinner, no matter how far he may be from God’s love who, on invoking her name with the resolution to repent, does not cause the devil to flee from him or her. No matter how imprisoned a sinner may be in the devil’s grip, as soon as the latter hears this sinner pronounce the sweet name of Mary, he is obliged to release him or her.
Our Lady also revealed to St. Bridget that in the same way as the devils fly from a person invoking her name, so do the angels approach pious souls that pronounce her name with devotion.
So, fellow sinners, this Lent let us invoke this “air-clearing” sweet and powerful name of Mary often! We and our loved ones will be the better, the freer and the happier for it!
Taken from The Glories of Mary by Saint Alphonsus Liguori

If we possess this, we possess God

It is by the path of love, which is charity, that
God draws near to man and man to God.
But where charity is not found, God cannot dwell. 
If, then, we possess charity, we possess God,  
for “God is Charity” (1 John 4:8).


St. Albert the Great

St. Albert the Great

Albert Bollstadt was born at the German castle of Lauinger on the River Danube in 1206. Nothing is known of his youth, but he studied at the University of Padua and in 1222, became a Dominican, much to the anger of his family. He taught at Cologne in 1228, and later, at a University in Paris, where he received his doctorate in 1245. He returned to Cologne in 1248 upon the request of his Dominican superiors to establish a school of advanced learning. He became regent of the school there, and during that time taught St. Thomas Aquinas.

Albert was well learned in physics, geography, astronomy, mineralogy, chemistry and biology, and authored many writings on these subjects. His reputation as a scientist grew from his endeavors at Cologne. He carried on experiments in chemistry and physics created a large collection of plants, insects and chemical compounds. However, he is most renowned for allowing the philosophies of Aristotle to become acceptable to Catholicism: with his learned background, he rewrote the works of the great man using the science of theology.

In 1260, he was appointed Bishop of Regensburg but resigned after less than three years. However, he was still called upon to advise Pope Urban IV and was sent on several diplomatic missions. He lived the rest of his life in Cologne, traveling to Lyons in 1274 to take part in the council there.  His final appearance in public was in Paris where he defended the teaching of his late student, Thomas Aquinas.

He died in Cologne on November 15, 1280 and is buried in the Church of St. Andrea. He was canonized and declared a Doctor of the Church in 1931 by Pope Pius XI. For his great knowledge and scientific writings, he is considered the patron of scientists.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

No less a sin

Not to oppose error is to approve it;
and not to defend truth is to suppress it;
and indeed to neglect to confound evil men, when we can do it,
is no less a sin than to encourage them.

Pope St. Felix III

St. Laurence O'Toole

Born in 1128 in County Kildare, Ireland, Laurence was the son of Murtagh, chieftain of the Murrays. When he was ten years old, Laurence was taken hostage by King Dermot McMurrogh of Leinster in a raid and, after two years of mistreatment by his captor, was sent to live with the Bishop of Glendalough.

Guided by the bishop, Laurence became a monk, and in 1161, was consecrated as the Archbishop of Dublin. His first act as archbishop was to begin the reform of the clergy under his charge and require the canons of his church to receive the rule of the regular canons of Arrouaise, a rule reputed for its sanctity and austerity. Laurence himself followed this rule, and as an act of charity, had over thirty poor people dine with him every night. He became beloved for his charity, and was much sought after for his fatherly wisdom and advice.

In 1175, Laurence traveled to England to negotiated a treaty between King Henry II and Rory O’Conor, the new monarch of Ireland who succeeded to the throne after the death of Dermot McMurrogh. Henry was impressed by the holy man’s piety, and Laurence successfully negotiated peace.

Laurence died on November 4, 1180, and was canonized in 1225.
Photo by: Andreas F. Borchert

Monday, November 13, 2017

This is what the powers of hell fear

Men do not fear a powerful hostile army
as much as the powers of hell fear the name and protection of Mary.

St. Bonaventure

St. Frances Xavier Cabrini

Born on July 15, 1850 into a family of Italian farmers near Lombardi, Frances was the youngest of thirteen children. Her parents, Augustine and Stella Cabrini, died in 1870 when she was eighteen, and Frances lived with her sister, Rosa. Though she was always a devout child, Frances became truly close to God as she grew older, and she became renowned for her holiness.

Around the year 1874, Frances was invited by her parish priest to assist at the House of Providence, an orphanage where she remained for six years. In 1877, she and seven of her close friends took their first vows. That same year, the Bishop asked her to found the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart to care for poor children in schools and hospitals. She and her seven followers organized themselves at an old Franciscan friary at Codogno, and there Frances wrote a rule for the sisters to follow. By 1887, the process for the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart to become officially recognized by the Church had begun, and houses were founded all over Italy.

In 1889, Pope Leo XIII asked Frances to travel to New York with six of her sisters to work among the Italian immigrants. When she arrived on March 31, she discovered the plan had fallen through: there was no building in which to teach, no orphanage and no home for the hard-traveled nuns to stay. Archbishop Corrigan apologized and suggested the nuns return to Italy, to which Frances replied, “No, Monsignor, not that. The Pope sent me here, and here I must stay,” and within a few weeks, she made progress with her mission, ultimately establishing schools, hospitals, and orphanages.

In 1892, Frances completed her most well-known achievement: the Columbus Hospital in New York. This success led to houses and schools being opened in Brazil, Chile and Europe. By 1907, the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart were officially recognized by the Catholic Church. Their small community had grown to over a thousand, and free schools, orphanages and convents had been established in eight countries.

Her body had been failing for six years, but Frances’s death came suddenly. She died in the convent in Chicago on December 22, 1917. She was canonized in 1946.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Why we suffer

Without the burden of afflictions it is impossible to reach the height of grace.
The gift of grace increases as the struggles increase.

St. Rose of Lima

St. Josaphat Kunsevich

John Kunsevich was born in Lithuania around the year 1580. His father, a burgess for a wealthy family, raised his son as a Catholic and instilled in him a great love for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. As a young man John spent much of his time learning Church Slavonic as he desired to assist and participate more fully in the divine worship that he loved so much. In 1604, he entered the Monastery of the Holy Trinity at Vilna taking the name Josaphat, and dedicated his life to uniting the Ruthenians with the Roman Church.

Josaphat was ordained a deacon and soon after, a priest, becoming widely known as a Catholic reformer. While retaining unity with Rome, Josaphat opposed the total Latinization of the Ruthenian peoples and the suppression of Byzantine traditions. He was beloved for his great sermons and preaching, eventually becoming abbot of the monastery in Vilna. By 1617, he was consecrated Bishop of Vitebsk, and after the death of the archbishop a year later, succeeded him. He immediately sought unity with Rome, and began to reinstate Catholic practices that had fallen into disuse. By 1620, he succeeded in the endeavor.

Soon after Josaphat’s great victory, however, his work began to unravel. Meletius Smotritsky, the Archbishop of Polotsk, claimed that Josaphat’s goal was to completely eliminate Byzantine traditions in the name of Catholic unity, and Latinize all Ruthenians. Meletius gained a number of followers and so frenzied was the agitation against him that a plan was contrived to kill Josaphat. As he walked to church for morning prayers, he was attacked by the group of Meletius’ followers. He was beaten and shot as his attackers cried, “Kill the papist!” His mutilated body was dragged to the river Dvina and carelessly thrown into the water.

St. Josaphat was canonized in 1867, the first saint of the Eastern churches to be officially canonized.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

What we need most

What we need most in order to make progress is
to be silent before this great God with our appetite and with our tongue,
for the language He best hears is silent love.

St. John of the Cross

St. Martin of Tours

Martin was born in German Sabaria about the year 316. His father, a military tribune, was transferred to Pavia when Martin was still quite young and the boy accompanied him to Italy. Upon reaching adolescence, Martin was enrolled in the Roman army in accordance with the recruiting laws of the time. Touched by grace at an early age, he was among the first attracted to Christianity, which had been in favor in the military camps since the conversion of Emperor Constantine.

Martin's regiment was soon sent to Amiens in Gaul, and this town became the scene of the celebrated "legend of the cloak." One bitterly-cold winter day, Martin met a shivering and half-naked beggar at the gates of the city. Moved with compassion, Martin divided his coat into two parts and gave one to the poor man. The part he kept for himself became the famous relic preserved in the oratory of the Frankish kings and known to all as “Saint Martin’s cloak.”

Martin, who was still only a catechumen, soon received Baptism and was finally released from military service at Worms on the Rhine. Freed from his obligations, he hastened to set out to Poitiers to enroll himself among the disciples of St. Hilary, the wise and pious bishop whose reputation as a theologian was already spreading beyond the frontiers of Gaul. However, he desired to see his parents again and returned to Lombardy across the Alps. The inhabitants of this region were infested with Arianism and bitterly hostile towards Catholicism. Martin did not conceal his faith and was very badly treated by order of Bishop Auxentius of Milan, the leader of the heretical sect in Italy. He was very desirous of returning to Gaul, but learning that the Arians also persecuted their opponents in that country and had even succeeded in exiling St. Hilary to the Orient, he decided to seek shelter on the island of Gallinaria, now Isola d’Albenga, in the middle of the Tyrrhenian Sea.

As soon as Martin learned that an imperial decree had authorized St. Hilary to return to Gaul, he hastened to the side of his chosen master at Poitiers in 361. After having obtained permission from him to embrace the life of a hermit, which he had adopted in Gallinaria, he settled in a deserted region now called Ligugé. His example soon drew a great number of monks who settled near him. Such was the beginning of the celebrated Benedictine Abbey of Ligugé. Martin remained about ten years in this solitude and often left it to preach the Gospel in the central and western parts of Gaul where the rural inhabitants were still plunged in the darkness of idolatry and given up to all sorts of gross superstitions. The memory of these apostolic journeys survives to our day in the numerous local legends where Martin is the hero and which roughly indicate the routes that he followed.

When St. Lidorius, second Bishop of Tours, died in 371 or 372, the clergy of that city desired to replace him by the famous hermit of Ligugé. But, as Martin remained deaf to the prayers of the deputies who brought him this message, it was necessary to resort to a ruse to overcome his resistance. A rich citizen of Tours by the name of Rusticius went and begged him to come to attend to his wife who was in the throes of death. Without suspicion, Martin followed him in all haste, but hardly had he entered the city when, in spite of the opposition of a few ecclesiastical dignitaries, popular acclamation constrained him to become Bishop of Tours.
Consecrated on July 4, Martin fulfilled the duties to his office with all the energy and dedication that he had demonstrated in the past. He did not however change his way of life. He fled from the distractions of the large city and settled himself in a small cell a short distance from Tours, beyond the Loire. Other hermits soon joined him there and thus was gradually formed a new monastery that surpassed the Ligugé and came to be known as the Majus Monasterium, the “great monastery” or Marmoutier.

Thus, by an untiring zeal and great simplicity Martin administered to his pastoral duties and so succeeded in sowing Christianity throughout the region of Touraine. Nor was it a rare occurrence for him to leave his diocese when he thought that his appearance in some distant locality might produce some good. He even went several times to Trier, where the emperors had established their residence in order to plead the interests of the Church or to ask pardon for some condemned person.

His role in the matter of the Priscillianists and Ithacians was especially remarkable. Martin hurried to Trier, not to defend the Gnostic and Manichaean doctrines of Priscillian, but to remove him from the secular jurisdiction of the emperor. The Council of Saragossa had justly condemned the Spanish heresiarch Priscillian and his partisans and angry charges were brought before Emperor Maximus by some orthodox bishops of Spain, led by Bishop Ithacius.

Maximus at first consented to Martins’s request but when he departed, Maximus yielded to the solicitations of Ithacius and ordered Priscillian and his followers to be beheaded. Deeply grieved, Martin refused to communicate with Ithacius. However, when he went again to Trier a little later to ask pardon for two rebels, Narses and Leucadius, Maximus would only pardon them on the condition that Martin make his peace with Ithaeius. To save the lives of his clients, Martin consented to this reconciliation, but afterwards reproached himself bitterly for this act of weakness.

After a last visit to Rome, Martin went to Candes, one of the religious centers created by him in his diocese and there he was stricken with a malady, which ended his life. Ordering himself to be carried into the presbytery of the church, he died there at the age of about eighty-one, with the same exemplary spirit of humility and mortification that he had always practiced in life.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Victory

No one, however weak, is denied a share in the victory of the cross.
No one is beyond the help of the prayer of Christ.

Pope St. Leo the Great

Pope St. Leo the Great

Although he descended of a noble Tuscan family, Leo was born in the Eternal City. He was already known outside of Rome even as a deacon under Pope Celestine I, and had some relations with Gaul during this period. During the pontificate of Pope Sixtus III, Leo was sent to Gaul by the Emperor Valentinian III to settle a dispute and bring about a reconciliation between Aëtius, the chief military commander of the province, and the chief magistrate, Albinus. This commission is a proof of the great confidence placed in the clever and able deacon by the Imperial Court. While Leo was away in Gaul, the Pope died on August 19, 440 and the deacon-delegate was chosen as his successor. Returning to Rome, Leo was consecrated as Vicar of Christ on September 29 of the same year, and governed the Church for the next twenty-one years.

Whilst the Eastern Empire was distracted by heretical factions, the Western was harassed by barbarian hordes. Halted in his ruinous advance through Gaul by the Roman general Aëtius, Attila the Hun turned south into Italy. Leaving blood and desolation in his wake, he sacked Milan, razed Pavia and laid waste whole provinces. The weak Emperor Valentinian III shut himself up in Ravenna, and the Romans, in the utmost terror, expected to see the barbarian invaders speedily before their gates. Such was the state of affairs when Pope Leo went to meet Attila.

They found the proud tyrant near Ravenna and contrary to the general expectation he received the pope with great honor, gave him a favorable audience, and, at his suggestion, concluded a treaty of peace with the empire on the condition of an annual tribute. It is said that Attila saw two venerable personages, supposed to be the apostles Peter and Paul, standing on the side of the pope whilst he spoke. The barbarian king immediately commanded his army to forbear all hostilities, and soon after recrossed the Alps, and retired beyond the Danube. On his way home “the Scourge of God” was seized with a violent vomiting of blood, of which he died in 453.

It was the glory of this saintly pope to have checked Attila’s fury and protected Rome, when it was in no condition to be defended. Pope Leo rose to its defense once again in the year 455, this time prevailing upon the Arian Vandal king Genseric to restrain his troops from slaughter and burning, and to content himself with the plunder of the city, thus demonstrating by his example that even in the worst of times, a holy pastor is the greatest comfort and support of his flock.

His militant vigilance was not limited to the defense of merely earthly treasures, but was above all active in the spiritual realm. Leo’s chief aim was to sustain the unity of the Church. Not long after his elevation to the Chair of Peter, he saw himself compelled to combat energetically the heresies which seriously threatened church unity even in the West.

Former adherents of Pelagius (who denied original sin and its effects and believed in man’s self-justification without grace) who had been admitted to communion without an explicit abjuration of their heresy were directed to do so publicly before a synod and to subscribe to an unequivocal confession of Faith.

He emphatically warned the Christians of Rome to be on their guard against the Gnostic teachings of the Manichæans who, among other tenets, denied the divinity of Jesus Christ, taught an elaborate form of dualism, professed salvation through knowledge and repudiated marriage as evil. His pastoral zeal in waging war against Manichæism was ably followed up by a number of imperial decrees and the edict of June, 445 establishing civil punishments for the obdurate adherents of the sect.

In Spain, the heresy of Priscillianism still survived, and for some time had been attracting fresh adherents. In response to a letter from Bishop Turibius of Astorga regarding the spread of its false teachings in his jurisdiction, Pope Leo wrote a lengthy refutation of its errors and ordered that a council of neighboring bishops should be convened to determine to what extent the heresy had contaminated the hierarchy of the surrounding provinces. He also called for a universal synod of all the main pastors in the Spanish provinces. These two synods were in fact held in Spain to deal with the Gnostic-Manichæan doctrines of the Priscillianists.

In 448, Eutyches appealed to the pope after he had been excommunicated by Flavian, the Patriarch of Constantinople, on account of his Monophysite views which denied the hypostatic union of Christ and the fact that Jesus was both fully God and fully man. In response, Pope Leo wrote a sublime dogmatic letter to Flavian, concisely setting forth and confirming the doctrine of the Incarnation, and the union of the Divine and human natures in the one Person of Christ.

In Leo’s conception of his duties as supreme pastor, the maintenance of strict ecclesiastical discipline occupied a prominent place. This was particularly important at a time when the continual ravages of the barbarians were introducing disorder into all conditions of life, and the rules of morality were being seriously violated. Leo used his utmost energy in maintaining this discipline, insisted on the exact observance of the ecclesiastical precepts, and did not hesitate to rebuke when necessary.

The primacy of the Roman Church was thus manifested under this pope in the most various and distinct ways and we cannot but admire the clear, positive, and systematic manner in which Leo, fortified by the primacy of the Holy See, took part in this difficult entanglement.

Leo was no less active in the spiritual formation of souls, and his sermons are remarkable for their profundity, clearness of diction, and elevated style. Five of these discourses, delivered on the anniversaries of his consecration, manifest his lofty conception of the dignity of his office, as well as his thorough conviction of the primacy of the Bishop of Rome.

Leo died on November 10, 461, and was buried in the vestibule of Saint Peter’s on the Vatican. In 688 Pope Sergius had his remains transferred to the basilica itself, and a special altar erected over them. They rest today in Saint Peter’s, beneath the altar specially dedicated to St. Leo. In 1754 Benedict XIV exalted him to the dignity of Doctor of the Church.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Miracles Attributed to the Miraculous Medal

From America, Europe and Asia


The United States:

Texas (1841)
From a letter written by Bishop Odin, Vicar Apostolic of Texas:
April 11, 1841
Once I had the occasion to see, in the town of Nacogdoches, how much Mary Immaculate deigns to hear those who place all their confidence in her. A lady from Maryland was given a Miraculous Medal by her confessor as she departed from her home state to go to live in Texas. As he gave it to her, he recommended she always pray: “O Mary conceived without sin, etc.” and told her that this good Mother would not permit her to die without receiving the sacraments.
She was faithful to his advice. Having been bedridden for four years, many times her friends thought her last moment had come. However, her confidence in Mary Immaculate always made her hope she would have the joy of receiving the sacraments before departing this life. As soon as she heard of our arrival, she immediately sent us a message. She received the Holy Viaticum and Extreme Unction and died some days later full of gratitude to her Heavenly benefactress.

Louisiana (1865)
In the hospital of the Daughters of Charity in New Orleans, a nun tried to instruct a Protestant in the truths of the Faith and to dispose him to receive Baptism. However, he did not want to speak about the subject.
One day she showed him a Miraculous Medal and explained its origin to him. He seemed to pay attention, but when she offered it to him, he became annoyed and snapped angrily: “Take that away, this Virgin is just an ordinary woman.” “I will leave it on the table,” the nun replied, “I am certain that you will think about what I said.” He did not answer her, but, in order not to see the medal, he placed his bible on top of it.
Every day the nun, with the pretext of cleaning the table, made sure the medal was still there. Days passed and the sickness became increasingly worse.
One night when he was suffering acutely, he saw a marvelous light around his bed, while the rest of the room was in total darkness. Surprised, he struggled to get up in spite of his frailty and turned up the flame in the gas lamp to see if he could discover what this strange light was. He could find nothing and returned to his bed.
Moments later he noticed that the light came from the medal. He then took it into his hands and kept it there the rest of the night. As soon as the nun’s rising bell rang at 4 o’clock in the morning, he called the nurse and asked him to tell the nun that he wanted to be baptized.
They advised the chaplain immediately who exclaimed “That is impossible!” He had spoken with the sick man many times and knew how he felt about the matter.
Nonetheless, he went to him and found him perfectly disposed and receptive to him. He baptized him and gave him the sacraments, and a little while later the sick man died, praising God and the Holy Virgin for the graces he had received.

New York (1866)
A girl, some twenty years old, came to the hospital covered with the most repugnant scabs which the doctors had said were incurable. The nun, who cared for her wounds, one day told her that the Most Holy Virgin had the power to cure her and that, if she wanted to wear the medal and ask for a cure, she would obtain it. Knowing the doctors had given up, she answered roughly: “I do not believe in your Holy Virgin, nor do I want a medal.” “Very well then,” the nun answered, “in that case, keep your wounds.”
Some days later, she asked for the medal and placed it around her neck, and prepared to be baptized. Shortly thereafter she left the hospital in perfect health to the great astonishment of the doctors who had been unanimous in considering her sickness incurable.


Europe:

France (1834)
Father Bégin, an eyewitness to this cure that took place in Saint-Maur where he was chaplain, wrote a report in which he attested to the following facts:
a) that the sick person was gravely ill;
b) that she was cured on March 14, 1834; and
c) that she declared that she only used the medal and prayer.
One hundred witnesses from the nursing home signed this document.
The bishop of Châlons also added his signature to the document:
“We certify that the testimony of Father Bégin should be taken as wholly trustworthy, as well as that of the nuns and so many others who were eye witnesses and spoke according to their consciences without any other interest except that of stating the truth. Châlons, May 30, 1834 + M.S.F.V., Bishop of Châlons.”

Mrs. C.H., a 70-year-old widow, had been admitted in impoverished circumstances to the nursing home of Saint-Maur because of a bad fall that occurred on August 7, 1833. She walked with great difficulty and even with the help of a crutch needed someone’s arm for support. She also found it hard to sit and only with great difficulty was she able to rise again. It was almost impossible for her to climb stairs, as she had to hold on to whatever she could to do so. She could not bend down or kneel, and had to drag her left leg, as that was where the problem lay.
At the beginning of January, 1834, she was told of a medal that was reported to be miraculous. Described as having, on one side, Mary crushing the infernal serpent and on the reverse of the medal were depicted the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary and the letter “M” with a cross on top, she also heard of marvelous things that had happened to those who wore it with confidence.
From that moment she felt her heart enkindled with the consoling hope of finding some relief that the wearing of this medal promised to her, and she could not wait for the moment she would receive one. Finally, on March 6, she received the much longed-for medal as a gift from Heaven. She then went to confession in order to dispose herself to receive the favor she desired.
The following day, the first Friday of the month, after receiving Holy Communion, she started a novena to the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. She venerated the medal, which she wore around her neck, twenty times a day. In a short while, she obtained a happy answer to her requests. After only seven days of the novena, she felt free from the painful infirmities she had suffered so cruelly for seven months.
We cannot describe the surprise and admiration of everyone on the morning of March 14th upon seeing this woman walk about unaided when the previous evening she had been crippled. She was able to bend down, kneel, go up and down stairs. Everyone cried out: “Miracle!” and was greatly edified by such a prodigious cure. They congratulated her on such a great grace from God and Mary Most Holy.
The Mother Superior, who had taken care of her innumerable times since she had been taken ill and daily witnessed her sufferings, wanted a Te Deum to be sung by the whole community in the house chapel to celebrate solemnly this extraordinary grace. The sick lady remained cured and no longer felt the effects of her former infirmity.

Italy (1836)
Testimony of a parish priest of Bologna on February 8, 1836.
There was a young man in my parish, 27 years of age, who lived a dissolute life. In order to have fewer impediments to his excesses, he had left the family home. Sometime later he became gravely ill with pneumonia. Dr. Giovanni Pulioli, a distinguished doctor, treated him; but the illness was stronger than the medicine of the day.
The youth was left in a lamentable state, unable to move. By then he was living scandalously with a woman and had declared, from the beginning of the illness, that he would not consent to a priest being called.
My chaplain went to visit him and exhorted him to put an end to the scandal through marriage; but he failed to convince the young man. I went there and spoke with him about legitimizing the union, rather than breaking it up; but I found him to be in a state of complete religious indifferentism.
Despite my every effort to persuade him, I also failed. I then thought it better to allow him to reflect a little while and to return another day to find out his decision. In the meantime, I asked him to have recourse to the Most Holy Virgin, refuge of sinners; and, without telling him, I placed a Miraculous Medal in his pillow and departed.
I did not need to return to the house of my own accord; the sick youth himself called me through his mother with whom he had already reconciled himself. He told me that he had reasons, which were justified, for not speaking personally with the woman with whom he had been living, and requested I ask her to leave. The unfortunate woman condescended and left.
Once I had accomplished this, I told the sick youth how happy I was. When I presented the medal to him, he began to kiss it with feelings of sincere gratitude, even though the state of his health was extremely grave. He then showed signs of sincere repentance and confessed his sins, received the Holy Viaticum and Extreme Unction, because we expected him to die at any moment. This took place on January 19, 1836.
The young man felt the greatest tranquility, which he attributed to the Most Holy Virgin. From then on he started to feel better and had totally recuperated within a few days. He still perseveres in his good resolutions and is full of love for his Heavenly benefactress whose medal he keeps as something precious, frequently kissing it with great devotion.
I myself witnessed this fact and I write not only with the young man’s approval, but at his request, so that it may serve for the greater glory of God that, through the intercession of Mary Most Holy, this miracle took place. To this written testimony I have appended the medical report proving the sickness and the cure.

Belgium (1836)
On November 9, 1835, Rosalie Ducas from Jauchelette, near Jodoigne, suddenly lost her sight. She was only four and a half years old, in perfect health with no signs of illness. Any light or breeze disturbed her to the point of having to cover her face with a cloth folded in four. The pains the child suffered day and night caused everyone much grief.
At this point, a pious person brought a blessed Miraculous Medal. The mother took it and started a novena. She put another medal around the girl’s neck on June 11, 1836 at about 6 o’clock in the evening. By midnight the girl had stopped complaining. On the fourth and fifth day of the novena, her eyes opened. The parents redoubled their supplications to the Most Holy Virgin. On the ninth day in the afternoon, the girl regained her sight completely to the great surprise of the neighbors and all those who witnessed the event.
The parish priest of Jodoigne-la-Soveraine, who had given the medal to the family, went to see the girl who lived only a mile and a half away, and testified that she had recovered her sight completely. No pain whatsoever was left. These facts are known by everyone and attest to the honor we owe to the Virgin Mary.


Asia:

China (1838)
Father Perboyre told the next story on August 10, 1839. It is interesting to mention that this missionary was taken prisoner one month later out of hatred for religion. He confessed the Faith generously for a whole year amidst horrible tortures and then had the joy of receiving the martyr’s palm on September 11, 1840.
While I was on mission in the Christian community of Honan in November 1837, the Christians there presented a woman to me who had been suffering from mental confusion for eight months. They added that she ardently desired to make her confession to me even though she was incapable of doing so and implored me not to deny her this consolation that she had so much at heart.
Her unfortunate state really made the exercise of my ministry appear futile. But I heard her confession out of compassion and as she departed I gave her a Miraculous Medal so she would be under the protection of the Virgin. She did not understand the value of this holy remedy, but she soon recognized its virtue as she started to get better.
Her progress was such that she was another person after four or five days. Her mental confusion, her worries that had caused her mortal anguish—in which I had noticed a diabolical influence—gave way to common sense, tranquility and happiness.

Macau (1841)
Letter from a missionary in Macau dated August 25, 1841.
A widow who had been brought up as a pagan had only one son. One day she saw him come under the power of the devil, in other words, possessed. Everyone fled from him as he wandered through the fields making fearful cries. If someone dared to grab him, the boy would immediately throw the person to the ground.
The poor mother was full of pain and sorrow, but Divine Providence had pity on this unfortunate family. One day the boy was more tormented than ever, not knowing where he went and brutally repelling all who drew near. In his wanderings he came upon a Christian, who, animated by a lively faith and seeing that the devil tyrannically mistreated the unfortunate boy, told those who were close by to leave. He said that only he was able to calm him down, hold him and return him to his mother. This manner of speaking surprised the pagans. They warned him of the danger, but let him get on with it.
This Christian carried a Miraculous Medal and took it into his hand. Drawing near to the possessed boy, he showed it to him, ordering the devil to leave him alone and depart, which happened immediately. The boy, seeing the Christian with the medal, threw himself to the ground before this image without knowing what it was. The pagans, who had watched him from afar, were astounded.
The Christian then said to him that he should rise and follow him. In this manner he brought him to his mother’s house. As soon as the boy saw her he said: “Do not cry, I am free. The devil left as soon as he saw this medal.”
Imagine the joy of the mother upon hearing these words. She did not know whether or not she was dreaming. The Christian certified the truth of what the boy was saying and told her what had happened. He added that her son would be free forever as long as he renounced the idols and became a Christian. The boy sincerely promised to do so and both of them began removing the false gods from a sort of altar where they were kept.


Conclusion:
I hope these marvelous stories may also help you, dear reader!
The Miraculous Medal continues to multiply its prodigies even today. We know of countless other impressive stories of conversions, graces of moral regeneration, cures of attachment to vices, and infallible protection against the action of the devil. There are innumerable accounts of cures and relief procured in every kind of illness, as well as assistance to expectant mothers and of astounding protection against assault, robbery, kidnapping, accidents and other dangers. And who can count those who have found employment and resolved financial difficulties by means of this devotion? Even in our days, so lacking in true Faith, the facts that take place never cease to surprise and edify us.
When she revealed the Miraculous Medal, Our Lady clearly promised that “everyone who wears it, when it is blessed, will receive great graces, especially if they wear it around their neck.” She did not put restrictive conditions; she said “everyone.” And then completed the phrase with: “The graces will be abundant to those who use it with confidence.”
We all need great graces, especially in these difficult and critical times. Let us turn to the Virgin Mother of God in all our needs and concerns, and ask her with a childlike confidence to answer our prayers.
Dear reader, are you not also in need of a particular grace? Or maybe someone in your family is in need of one, or one of your friends? It was for people like you that the Virgin, the best of all mothers, in her unfathomable mercy, gave the Miraculous Medal.




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PRAY:  Novena to Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal

Without noise of words

Jesus needs neither books nor Doctors of Divinity
in order to instruct souls; He, the Doctor of Doctors,
He teaches without noise of words.

St. Thérèse of Lisieux