Monday, February 29, 2016

What are the lips of an impure man?

The man of impure speech is a person whose lips
are but an opening and a supply pipe
which Hell uses to vomit
its impurities upon the earth.

St. John Vianney

St. Auguste Chapdelaine

Auguste was born in La Rochelle, on January 6, 1814, the eighth of nine children of Nicolas Chapdelaine and Madeleine Dodeman. The ancestral cradle of the Chapdelaines was located in Lower Normandy, near Mont Saint Michael, and the family could trace their Gallo-Roman and Viking ancestry back to the mid-thirteenth century.
After grammar school, Auguste went to work on the family farm. Being physically strong, it is understandable that his parents, needing him at home, would object to his desire to become a priest. But, with the sudden death of two of his brothers including the youngest, they realized that God wanted Auguste as a priest and acquiesced to his wish. On October 1, 1834, at the age of 20, he entered the minor seminary of Mortain, studying with 12- and 13-year-old boys.
His father died the following year. Making up for lost time by arduous study, Auguste entered the Seminary of Coutances and was ordained to the priesthood on June 10, 1843. He spent the next eight months with his family in La Rochelle before being appointed as associate pastor in Boucey, on February 23, 1844.
Before his assignment in Boucey, Father Chapdelaine confided to his brother that he had "not become a priest for those who already know God, but for those who don’t.” He wished to enter the French Foreign Missions immediately after ordination but submitted humbly to the will of his superiors. For seven years, he would remain in Boucey, under the guidance of the elderly and infirm pastor, Father Oury. Despite his parish work, Father Auguste never wavered in his desire: to found a mission church, then die! Still, he was not getting any younger. When Father Oury died in April, 1849, Father Chapdelaine was already 35 years old, the age limit to enter the French Foreign Missions. Yet, despite his ardent desire to enter, he would serve under the new pastor, Father Poupinet, for another two years. Then, in January, 1851, Bishop Robiou authorized him to leave the diocese for the Foreign Missions – if they would have a 37-year-old priest! Despite his age, Father Chapdelaine immediately reapplied for admission. In face of such zeal, he was accepted. Returning to La Rochelle he found his entire family assembled, not to bid him farewell but to his sister, Victoria, who had just died. After the funeral, Auguste announced his departure for Paris and let it be known he would never see his family again. Eight days later, he boarded the train for Paris. On March 15, 1851, the young man who had entered minor seminary at age 20 was now entering the French Foreign Missions two years over the age limit. Not only was his a late vocation but one that would be forever delayed in the attainment of its goals.
The motherhouse of the French Foreign Missions on Rue du Bac had produced so many martyrs for the Faith in Indochina and China that it was termed the “Polytechnic Institute of Martyrs." Directed by veteran missionaries, the seminary would evaluate Father Chapdelaine for his zeal, devotion and stamina to withstand the rigors of missionary life. Upon the completion of his probationary year, on March 29, 1852, Father Chapdelaine met with his director. For a long time after this meeting, he knelt before the altar, lost in prayer, then he penned a letter to his mother.
“... I am being sent to China. You must make the sacrifice for God and He will reward you in eternity. You shall appear before Him in confidence, at your death, remembering your generosity, for His greatest glory, in sacrificing what is dearest to you. As a sign of your consent, please sign the letter you will send me as soon as possible, and as a sign of your forgiveness for all the sorrow I have caused you, and as sign of your blessing, please add a cross after your name.” He then wrote to his brother, Nicolas. “I thank God for the wonderful family He has given me, and for the conduct of all its members.... It has been my greatest happiness on earth to have had such an honorable family.” Still, he made a final trip to Normandy, meeting his brother, Nicolas, and sister-in-law, Marie, in Caen on April 22, to make arrangements for Masses to be offered for his parents, for himself and for all his family members. On April 29, the imposing departure ceremony was held in the chapel of Our Lady, Queen of Martyrs. The next day, accompanied by five other missionaries, Father Chapdelaine left Paris. Being the oldest, he was given charge of the group and control of its purse.
After a few days in Brussels, the six apostles boarded the Dutch ship, Henri-Joseph, at Anvers on May 5, 1852. Violent storms, seasickness, and unfavorable winds dogged and delayed their voyage. They were not to set foot on dry land for four months, landing in Singapore on September 5. While in Singapore, the aspiring and zealous missionary was delayed in his quest yet again, robbed by bandits who took everything he had. He spent the next two years trying to replenish his wardrobe and the necessary supplies for his mission in China.
On October 15, a Portuguese vessel offered them passage north towards Hong-Kong. However, the torrential rains and fierce winds of the monsoon forced them to return to Borneo and then head towards the Philippines in a voyage filled with storms and hurricanes. Their vessel finally anchored in the harbor of Macao on the evening of Christmas Day, 1852. Hong-Kong lay only sixty kilometers away in the estuary of the Canton River, but it too was a dangerous undertaking, the area being infested with naval pirates. It took them another twelve hours to reach Hong-Kong, the gateway of the Celestial Empire. Received at the house of the French Foreign Missions, Father Chapdelaine and his companions were to remain with his missionary confreres in Hong-Kong for ten and a half months while perfecting their command of the Chinese language.
On October 12, 1853, accompanied by some Christians, he set out for the missionary territory assigned to him in the Chinese province of Guangxi. All the hardships of his journeys by sea were now replaced by those on land: fast-flowing rivers, high mountain ranges, and bandits. Encouraged by the small groups of Christians they encountered on their way, they reached the mission at Kouy-Yang in February, 1854 where they were received by three missionary confreres. While resting and awaiting the opportunity of penetrating into Guangxi, he was given the pastoral care of three villages. During this time, he adopted the dress and appearance of the Chinese: black suit, moustache and long thin beard, and his long hair bound in a queue down his back. He also wore the black hat common to Chinese scholars.
Finally, in 1854, Father Chapdelaine made the acquaintance of a young widow who was well versed in Sacred Scripture and knowledgeable of the Faith. Agnès Tsao-Kouy agreed to accompany him to Guangxi, located on the northeast border of Vietnam, and to catechize the 30-40 Christian families living there. In 1854, the authorities still held that no evangelizing by Christians was permitted. Father Auguste celebrated his first Mass in Guangxi on December 8, 1854. Nine days later, the authorities arrested him in Su-lik-hien. He spent the next 5 months in close confinement before his release was secretly obtained in April, 1855. His apostolic endeavors during the next 8 months bore abundant fruits, but were by no means uncontested.

In December, 1855, Father Chapdelaine secretly returned to Guangxi, living in hiding among the Christian families of Su-lik-hien, ministering to their spiritual needs and converting hundreds of others. He was arrested on the night of February 25, 1856 and returned to the prison in Su-lik-hien where the Chinese magistrate had him sentenced to death. The French missionary had been denounced by Bai San, a relative of one of the new converts. He was subjected to excruciating tortures and indignities and then suspended in an iron cage outside the jail. He died from the severity of his sufferings; his head was decapitated and kept on public display for some time, his body was thrown to the dogs.
Two others accompanied him to his martyrdom: the widow-catechist, Agnès Tsao-Kouy, and a devout layman, Laurent Pe-man, an unassuming laborer. Beatified by Pope Leo XIII on May 27, 1900, they were also canonized together a century later.

Stories of Mary 24: The Divine Maternity

The Immaculate Conception

(10.5 minute read - Enjoy!)
When Garcia-Moreno1 fell under the blows of the assassins who struck him down out of hatred for Religion, a last flicker of light shone in his eyes as he murmured: “God does not die.” This is an extremely magnificent declaration of faith and hope. Truly, the Almighty cannot be vanquished!
Yet by choosing to manifest His abundant love through the work of Creation, it seems that the Lord suffered failure after failure. He created the angels to be companions of His infinite delights, yet many of them preferred to indulge their pride rather than enjoy the beatific joys of divine love.
He created our first parents for a happiness that far exceeds the most demanding expectations of the human heart. Yet they turned away from their Sovereign Benefactor out of ingratitude.
The Lord could not suffer what seemed to be a “double defeat.” Rather, He deserved a brilliant restitution. The incomparable Artist returned to work, conceiving the idea of an admirable creature whose beauty would far surpass man in the brilliance of his original innocence, and whose radiant perfection would outshine the light of the most splendid angels. When the time was fulfilled, He completed this masterpiece of His intelligence and love: He created the Virgin Mary.  The first privilege accorded her was her Immaculate Conception.

Blessed is the day the Queen of Heaven was conceived!
We must fully understand what this unique privilege means.
With the conception of Mary, the Most High did more than just condescend to obey the universal laws governing the coming of men into the world. He did not form Our Lady miraculously by virtue of the Holy Ghost as was later done with her divine Son.
Indeed, she had both a father and a mother. But the Lord, Who from all eternity had chosen Joachim and Anne to give life to the Queen of Heaven, had raised them to a great degree of holiness. Their noble mission places them so much higher than the other Saints that they undoubtedly deserve special homage.
We are too often unmindful of this, yet we could benefit by recognizing their sanctity, for these two great souls enjoy a powerful influence over the heart of their beloved daughter.
The privilege of the Immaculate Conception consists in Mary’s exemption from the fatal inheritance we carry into the world at birth. The same moment that gives life to our bodies gives death to our souls. We are born children of wrath—“natura filii irae.”2

Throughout our fleeting lives, we endure the heavy burden resulting from the fall of Adam.
Allowing ourselves to be seduced by error, we lack the self-mastery to resist the temptations that challenge us. Our corrupted flesh is seared by the abominable fire of concupiscence. Our hearts are rent by affliction, our bodies tortured by sickness. Finally, hideous death overcomes us—and we must suffer the supreme ignominy of the putrefaction that consumes our corpse and the worms that vie with one another for our remains!
How the curse from heaven due to Adam’s sin oppresses us! How understandable is the cry of anguish uttered by Job in his misery: “Let the day perish wherein I was born.”3
On the contrary, many, many times blessed was the day the Queen of Heaven was conceived! From the solemn moment when Our Lord created her soul and united it with her small virginal body, He made it, by the work of His powerful hands, to emerge all white, all radiant, all pure. Not a single minute, not a single second, not a single infinitesimal fraction of a second was this magnificent soul sullied by the stain of Original Sin. Not even for an infinitesimal fraction of a second could the serpent glare at Mary with a look of hateful pride nor covet her as his prey. Seeing this, the serpent recognized with overwhelming anger that the woman who had been promised had come, the immaculate one who would crush his head with her virginal heel.
Since Mary was preserved from Original Sin, it logically follows that she would not be subject to the consequences of that sin. Let us then contemplate how this is reflected in her virginal soul. No narrow-mindedness limited her intelligence, for hers was the most wise, penetrating, and enlightened intellect after that of Our Lord.

No weakness impaired her will, the most vigorous and ardent will ever created.
No selfishness restricted her heart, the most all-encompassing, generous, and caring heart ever known after that of her Son.
This glory of her Immaculate Conception was reflected in her body. She did not experience the concupiscence that wreaks such havoc within us. Sickness did not harm her. Finally, unlike the rest of men, Our Lady was subject to neither pain nor bodily death. Nevertheless, God willed that she experience both suffering and death that she might know the same torments we suffer. With this store of shared experience, Our Lady’s compassion for us is all the more maternal and merciful.
We have so far studied only a small part of this great mystery. The Almighty did much more than create Mary in a state of grace like that of the angels and our first parents. He graced her soul with the sum of all virtues to such an imminent degree that our minds cannot grasp its splendor.
Theologians teach that from that first moment, the Blessed Virgin surpassed in perfection not only the highest angel, but all angels and saints put together.
Her incomparable beauty is such that the Holy Ghost exclaims in admiration: “Thou art all beautiful, O my love, and there is no blemish in thee”—Tota pulchra es et macula non est in te.4
When Pope Pius IX defined the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, the Catholic world cried out with joy. The cannons of Castel Sant’Angelo, where the pontifical flag still waved in Rome’s brilliant light, fired and announced the glad news to the world. All over the world, the faithful proclaimed their joy. In many big cities, homes were spontaneously decked with banners and illuminated with candles and lanterns.
Christian hearts understandably rejoiced in seeing another flower of glory adorn the crown of their Mother. Does this privilege of the Virgin Mary, however, communicate the same kind of moral well-being to our souls? Does it not rather elevate Our Lady to such great height that she appears even farther removed from our misery? Quite the contrary! 
Our Catholic consciences would be poorly schooled indeed if we did not find the Immaculate Conception of Mary as the very basis for her virtually infinite goodness.
All men are endowed with a fundamental generosity rendering them at certain times capable of the most admirable self-sacrifice. Those who survived battles can testify to the unfathomable heroism that can spring forth from the human soul. Indeed, how many young people have requested dangerous missions in the place of their older comrades? They knew the dangers involved yet proceeded to their deaths with smiles on their lips. They believed their sacrifice would deliver a father whose small children were also smiling in the distant purity of their cribs.
Unfortunately, many obstacles prevent the full maturing of such natural generosity, a magnificent vestige of our original state of beauty. We know these obstacles all too well from personal experience. Are our hearts not moved at the sight of another’s distress? Yet does not the bitter voice of self-interest all too often cover up the instinctive response which springs from the heart? Are we not often insensitive to our neighbor’s suffering because of our love of comfort and pleasure?
Our selfishness paralyses and often completely stifles the goodness of our hearts.
The Queen of Heaven knows no such pettiness! No selfishness can prevent her from merciful gestures of compassion and tenderness toward her children.

There is more. God formed the soul of Mary as the most faithful image of His adorable perfections.
God’s infinite goodness causes Him to fill us with more and more abundant blessings; indeed, this led the Incarnate Word to the supreme folly of the cross. Like her Son, the Blessed Virgin carries within her heart a ceaselessly burning fire of love for us. She would gladly sacrifice her life a thousand times over for our benefit.
Since she is a mere creature, her suffering on Calvary did not have infinite value like that of Jesus, but it did almost equal in intensity that of the Savior. That she did not die of sorrow at the foot of the cross is, in fact, a veritable miracle.
Does it not seem that Our Lady herself wanted to explain to us the relationship between her original purity and her goodness? Recall the miraculous grotto at Lourdes on the banks of the Gave, where she established the throne of her mercy. Prodigies occur without ceasing. How did the pure lady of the apparition answer when Bernadette asked her name? Joining her hands, her countenance lit with a most luminous smile, and lifting her eyes to heaven, she said with an expression of ineffable gratitude:
“I am the Immaculate Conception.”
Speaking thus, she implicitly told us:
“Let us join together in thanking the Most High for having preserved me from Original Sin. Since I am all pure, I am also all good.”

* * * * * * * * *

May these considerations inspire you to a practical and unshakable faith in Mary’s goodness.  With Saint Bernard, believe firmly that you will never invoke our Heavenly Mother in vain.
Confide the desires of your soul to her. She will fortify you in your temptations and give you a small spark of her love for Jesus. This spark will enkindle the sweet fire of divine charity in your soul.
Confide the cares of your heart to her. Are you hurt by moments of ingratitude or scorn, which can be so especially cruel when coming from the persons you love? Are you broken by sorrows that suddenly extinguish the joy of your meager existence?
Tell Mary your troubles; she will console you, and your tears of grief will turn into tears of gratitude.

Confide your material cares to her.
She will arrange everything according to your true best interests. In all of your difficulties, in every circumstance, at every moment, look to the gentle Star of the Sea, invoke Mary!—“Respice stellum, voca Mariam.”5

1. Gabriel Garcia-Moreno, president of Ecuador in the mid-nineteenth century, was martyred and died for the Faith by Freemasons after receiving Holy Communion in 1875. back to text
2. Ephes. 2:3. back to text
3. “Pereat dies in qua natus sum, et nox in qua dictum est: conceptus est homo.” (Job 3 :3). back to text
4. Canticle of Canticles, 4:7. back to text
5. Saint Bernard. Second sermon on the words of the Gospel “Missus est angelus Gabriel” (“The angel Gabriel was sent”). back to text
This devotional article is taken from Crusade Magazine, November-December, 1999; a Special Edition dedicated almost entirely to the Most Holy Trinity and the Blessed Virgin Mary in the form of a work by Fr. Raymond de Thomas de Saint-Laurent as a token of reparation for the many blasphemies and insults that are continuously hurled against them.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

A damnned soul in Hell writes a “letter from beyond”

Letter From Beyond Header

Introduction to Letter from Beyond:
This letter recounts the tragic story of the eternal damnation of a young woman named Ani. Both the narrative and the letter transcribed below were found among the papers of a deceased nun, who in the world was known as Claire and worked with the condemned woman. This letter was revealed to Claire in a dream shortly after Ani was killed in a car accident.
The narrative received an Imprimatur from the diocese of Treves, Germany in 1953, authorizing its publication as highly instructive. While an Imprimatur is not an affirmation of authenticity, it guarantees that the text is free from doctrinal error. The letter first appeared in a book of revelations and prophecies. Fr. Bernhardin Krempel, Doctor of Theology, published it separately and lent it more authority with his footnotes showing the letter’s absolute concordance with Catholic Doctrine. We publish these footnotes here and in the PDF.

Send Me the Letter from Beyond PDF

I had a friend. That is, we shared a mutual closeness as friends and neighbors while we worked in the same office.
Later, when Ani got married, I never saw her again. From the moment we met, we had between us more amiability than real friendship. So when she moved to the elegant neighborhood of villas far from my home after her marriage, I didn’t miss her very much.
In mid-September of 1937, while I was vacationing at Lake Garda, my mother wrote to me: “Imagine, Ani N. died. She lost her life in an automobile accident. She was buried yesterday in the cemetery of Woodstock.”
The news shocked me. I knew that Ani had never been truly religious. Was she prepared when God suddenly called her? The next morning I attended Holy Mass, which was said for her, in the chapel of the nun’s boarding house where I stayed. I prayed fervently for her eternal repose and also offered my Holy Communion for that intention.
I felt increasingly ill at ease throughout the day, and that night I slept restlessly. I awoke suddenly, hearing something like the door of my room being shaken. As I turned the light on, the clock on my nightstand showed ten minutes after midnight. I could see nothing. The house was silent. The waves of Lake Garda could be heard breaking monotonously on the wall of the boarding house garden. I did not hear the wind at all.
Still, on waking, I had had the impression of having heard something else besides the door shaking. It was a sound similar to when my former boss ill-naturedly tossed a letter on my desk–swish, thump…
 I considered for a moment whether or not I should get up. Ah! It was nothing but a figment of my imagination brought on by the news of her death, I assured myself. Rolling over, I prayed a few Our Fathers for the souls in Purgatory, and again fell asleep.
LetterI then dreamed that I rose at six o’clock to go to the chapel. On opening the door to my room, I stepped on a parcel containing the pages of a letter. Picking it up and recognizing Ani’s handwriting, I screamed.
Trembling as I held the pages in my hands, I was, I must confess, so shaken that I could not even utter an Our Father. I was almost suffocating. There was nothing better to do than flee that spot and go into the open air. I hastily arranged my hair, put the letter in my purse, and rushed from the house.
Outside, I followed a winding path up through the hills, passing olive and laurel trees and the neighboring farms, and going beyond the renowned “Gardesana” highway.
The morning broke radiantly. On other days, I would stop every hundred paces, enchanted by the magnificent view of the lake and Garda Island. The soft blue of the water refreshed me and, like a child admiringly gazing at her grandfather, I would gaze upon ashen-colored Mount Baldo rising 7200 feet above the opposite shore of the lake. That day, however, I did not have eyes for any of that. After walking a quarter of an hour, I mechanically let myself sink to the bank and leaned against two cypress trees where the day before I had taken such pleasure in reading “The Damsel Teresa.” For the first time I regarded the cypress trees as symbols of death, something I had taken no notice of in the south, where these trees are common.
I took up the letter. It lacked a signature, but it was, beyond a doubt, in Ani’s handwriting. There was no mistaking the large S nor the French T that used to irritate Mr. G. at the office.
The style was not hers, at least not her usual style of speaking. She conversed and laughed so amiably, with her blue eyes and her graceful nose. Only when we discussed religious topics did she become sarcastic and fall into a rude tone like that in the letter, whose agitated cadence I now entered.

Here, word for word, is the “Letter from Beyond” of Ani V. as I read it in the dream.

Reading the LetterClaire!
Do not pray for me. I am damned. As I tell you this and relate to you certain circumstances and details about my condemnation, do not think that I do so out of friendship. Here we no longer love anyone. I do it as “a part of that power that always desires evil but always produces good.”

     In truth, I would like to see you here where I will remain forever.1
     Do not be surprised at my intent. Here we all think the same way. Our will is petrified in evil—in what you call “evil.” Even when we do something “good,” as I do now in opening your eyes about Hell, we don’t do it with good intentions.2
     Remember that we knew each other for four years in M. You were 23 and had already worked in the office for six months when I arrived. You kept me out of trouble many times, and frequently gave me good advice while I worked as your trainee. But, what is that which is referred to as “good”? At the time I praised your “charity.” Ridiculous! Your help arose from pure vainglory, as I had already suspected.
     Here we don’t acknowledge good in anyone!
     You knew me in my youth, but I will fill in certain details.
     According to my parents’ plans, I should never have existed. In their carelessness, I was conceived in disgrace. When I came into the light, my two sisters were already 14 and 15 years of age.
     I wish that I had never been born! I wish I could annihilate myself at this moment and escape these torments! There could be no pleasure comparable to being able to end my existence, like a piece of clothing reduced to ashes.3 But I must exist; I must be as I have made myself, with the entire blame of my end upon my own shoulders.
     When my parents, still unmarried, moved from the countryside to the city, they drifted away from the Church, and they kept company with people who had fallen away from religion. Having met each other at a dance, they were “obliged” to get married six months later. During the wedding ceremony a few drops of holy water fell upon them, just sufficient to draw my mother to Sunday Mass a few times a year. She never taught me to pray correctly. She wore herself out in daily concerns, even when our situation was not difficult.
     It is only with deep repugnance and unspeakable disgust that I write words such as pray, Mass, holy water, and church. I profoundly detest those who go to church, as well as everyone and everything in general.
     For us, everything is a torment. Everything we come to understand at death, every recollection of life and of what we know, becomes a burning flame.4
     And all of these memories serve to show us the horrible aspect of the graces we rejected. How this torments us! We do not eat, we do not sleep, nor do we walk with our legs. Being spiritually enchained, we reprobates gaze in terror at our misspent lives, howling and gnashing our teeth, tormented and filled with hatred.
     Are you listening? Here we drink hatred as if it were water. We all hate one another.5
     More than anything else, we hate God. I will try to make you understand how this is.
     The blessed in Heaven must necessarily love God, for they constantly behold Him in His awe-inspiring beauty. That makes them ineffably happy. We know this, and the knowledge infuriates us.6
     On earth, men know God through Creation and Revelation and are able to love Him, but they are not forced to do so.
     The believer—I say this seething—who contemplates and meditates upon Christ stretched upon the Cross will love Him.

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     But the soul whom God approaches and surrounds, and rejects as Avenger and Judge, that soul hates God as we hate Him.7 This soul hates Him with all the strength of its perverse will. It hates Him eternally, in virtue of the deliberate resolution to reject God in which it ended its earthly life. This perverse act of the will can never be rescinded, nor would we ever want to do so.
     Do you now understand why Hell must be eternal? It is because our obstinacy never diminishes and never ends.
     Being compelled to do so, I add that God is still merciful towards you. I say “compelled” because even though I write this letter, I cannot lie as I would like to do. I put on the paper much that goes against my will. I also have to choke down the torrent of insults I would like to spew forth.
     God showed mercy towards us in that He did not allow us to do all the evil we wanted to do while on earth. Had He permitted us to do so, we would have greatly added to our guilt and chastisement. He allowed us to die prematurely—as is my case—or permitted attenuating circumstances.
     Even now He is merciful towards us, for He does not oblige us to draw near to Him. He allows us to remain in this distant place of Hell, thus diminishing our torment.8 Every step closer to God would torment me more than every step you might take toward a fire.
     You were astonished one day when I told you in passing what my father had told me some days prior to my First Communion: “Take care, little Ani, that you get a beautiful dress; the rest is nothing but a sham.” I was almost ashamed for having shocked you so, but now I laugh about it. The best part of this sham was that Communion was only allowed at twelve years of age. By then, I had already amply sampled the world’s pleasures and had easily left everything religious aside, so I didn’t take Communion seriously.
     The new custom of allowing children to receive Holy Communion at seven years of age infuriates us. We strive in every possible way to frustrate this, making people believe that in order to receive Communion there must be comprehension, that it is necessary for children to have committed mortal sins before receiving. The “white God” [that is, the Sacred Host] will then be less prejudicial than if He were received with faith, hope, and love, the fruits of Baptism—I spit upon all this!—which are still alive in a child’s heart. Do you recall that I already had this same point of view on earth?
     I return now to my father. He fought a lot with my mother. I rarely told you this because I was ashamed of it. Ah! What is shame? Something ridiculous! We are indifferent to everything. My parents no longer slept in the same room. I slept in my mother’s room, and my father slept in the adjoining room, to which he would retire at any hour of the night. He drank heavily and exhausted all our wealth. My sisters were employed and needed the money they made, so Mother began to work. In the last year of her bitter life, Father often beat her when she refused to give him money.
     He was always very kind to me. I told you about this one day and you were scandalized with my capriciousness—but what was there about me that didn’t scandalize you?—such as when I twice returned new pairs of shoes one day because the style of the heel wasn’t modern enough for me.
     On the night in which a mortal stroke took my father, something happened that I never told you, because I feared a disagreeable interpretation on your part. Today, however, you ought to know it. The fact is memorable, for it is the first time that my true spirit, like that of a cruel executioner, revealed itself.
     In BedI was asleep in my mother’s bedroom. She was sleeping deeply, as her regular breathing indicated. Suddenly, I heard someone utter my name. An unfamiliar voice murmured, “What would happen if your father were to die?”
     I no longer loved my father, since he had begun to mistreat my mother. Properly speaking, I no longer loved anyone; I only clung to certain people who were still kind to me. Love without a natural motive scarcely exists except in souls that live in the state of grace, which I did not.
     I responded to that mysterious questioner, “Surely he is not dying.”
     After a brief interval, I heard the same well-understood question, without troubling myself as to where it came from.
     “Whatever! He’s not dying,” was the sullen reply that escaped me.
     For the third time I was questioned: “What would happen were your father to die?”
     In a flash it passed through my mind how Father often came home somewhat drunk, scolding and fighting with Mother, and how often he embarrassed us in front of our neighbors and acquaintances!
     I then cried out stubbornly: “All right, then, it’s what he deserves. Let him die!”
     Afterwards, everything became still.
     The following morning, when mother went upstairs to tidy up Father’s room, she found the door locked. Around noon they forced it open. Father was lying half-dressed on his bed—dead, a corpse. He probably caught a cold while looking for a beer in the cellar. He had been sick for a long time.
[Could it be that God had depended upon the will of a child, to whom this man had shown some goodness, to grant him more time and an opportunity to convert?]
     You and Marta made me enroll in the association of young ladies. I never told you that I found the instructions of the two directors to be quite conniving. I found the games amusing enough. As you know, I quickly came to hold a preponderant role in them, which flattered me. I also found the outings pleasant, sometimes even allowing myself to be taken to Confession and receive Holy Communion. I really had nothing to confess, for I never took account of my thoughts and sentiments. I was still not ready for worse things.
     One day you admonished me: “Ani, you will be lost if you don’t pray more.” In truth I prayed very little, and always reluctantly and with annoyance.
     You were undoubtedly right. All those who burn in Hell either did not pray, or did not pray enough. Prayer is the first step toward God. It is always decisive, especially prayer to her who is the Mother of God, whose name we are not permitted to say. Devotion to her draws innumerable souls away from the devil, souls whose sins would otherwise have cast them into his hands.
     I continue, furious at being obliged to do so…
     Praying is the easiest thing on earth, and justly so, for God linked salvation to this simplest of actions.
     To those who pray assiduously, God grants, bit by bit, so much light and strength that even a drowning sinner is able to raise himself up definitively through prayer, even though he be immersed in mud up to his chest.
     In fact, in my last years of life I no longer prayed, and thus deprived myself of the graces without which no one can be saved.

Send Me the Letter from Beyond PDF

     Here we no longer receive any grace at all. Even if we did receive a grace, we would reject it with disdain. All the vacillations of earthly life end in the beyond.
     In earthly life, man can pass from a state of sin to a state of grace. From grace he can fall into sin. I often fell out of weakness, rarely out of malice. With death, this inconstant “yes” and “no,” this rising and falling, comes to an end. Through death, every individual enters into his final state, fixed and unalterable.
     As one advances in age, these rises and falls become smaller. True, until one dies one can either convert or turn one’s back upon God. In death, however, one decides mechanically, with the last tremors of his will, in the same way he did throughout his life.
     A good or bad habit becomes second nature, and this is what moves a person one way or another in his final moments. So it was with me. For years I had lived apart from God. Consequently, when I received that final call of grace, I decided against Him. It was fatal not because I had sinned so many times, but rather because I had so often refused to repent and amend my life.
     You repeatedly admonished me to hear sermons and to read pious books, but I regularly excused myself, citing a lack of time. Could I have done anything more to increase my inner uncertainty?
     By the time I reached this critical point, shortly before I left the association of young ladies, it would have been difficult for me to follow any other path. I felt unhappy and insecure. I had erected a huge wall against my conversion, which you must not have perceived. You must have thought my conversion easy when once you said to me: “Ani, make a good confession and everything will be all right.”
     I suspected that what you said was true, but the world, the flesh, and the devil already had me securely in their clutches, such as I was then. I never believed in the action of the devil, but now I attest that the devil powerfully influences people such as I was then.9  Only many prayers on the part of others and my own prayers, together with sacrifices and sufferings, would have managed to wrench me away from him. And this only slowly.
     There are very few people who are physically possessed, but many who are possessed interiorly. The devil cannot suppress the free will of those who give themselves over to his influence, yet, as a chastisement for the person’s almost total apostasy, God permits the person to be dominated by “evil.”
     Although I hate the devil, I like him because he and his helpers, the angels that fell with him at the beginning of time, strive to cause the loss of the people on earth. There are myriad demons. Uncountable numbers of them wander through the world, like a swarm of flies, without their presence even being suspected.
     It does not fall to us who have been condemned to tempt you; this is left to the fallen spirits.10 Our torments increase every time they bring another soul to Hell, but hatred is capable of anything!11
     Even though I trod tortuous byways, God sought me out. I prepared the way for grace by means of works of natural charity I often did by the natural inclination of my character. At times, too, God beckoned me to a church. When, despite work at the office during the day, I took care of my sick mother, no small sacrifice for me, I strongly felt these attractions of God.
     Once, in the hospital chapel where you used to take me during our free time at mid-day, I was so moved that I found myself but one step away from conversion. And I cried.
     The pleasures of the world, however, flowed over this grace like a torrent. The thorns choked out the wheat. Rationalizing that religion is sentimentalism, according to the manner it was discussed in the office, I cast this grace to the ground, like so many others.
     In ChurchOnce you reprimanded me because in church, rather than genuflecting, I made only a hasty nod of my head. You thought it was laziness, not suspecting that I already no longer believed in the presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. I now believe it, though only naturally, in the manner that one believes in a storm, the signs and effects of which one perceives.
     In the interim, I had arranged a religion for myself. The general opinion in the office, that after death souls would return to this world in other beings and would pass through yet other beings in an endless succession, pleased me. With this, I banished the distressing problem of the hereafter to the point that it no longer troubled me.
     Why did you not remind me of the parable of the rich man and poor Lazarus, in which the narrator, Christ, immediately after their deaths, sent one to Hell and the other to Paradise? But, what would this reminder have accomplished? Nothing more than your pious advice.
     Bit by bit I found a god, one privileged enough to be called a god, and distant enough that I didn’t have to deal with him. I was even confused enough to make of myself, at will and without changing my religion, a pantheistic god or even a proud deity.
     This “god” had neither a heaven to console me nor a hell to frighten me. I left him in peace. This is what my adoration of him consisted of.
     One easily believes in what one loves. With the passing of years, I became sufficiently convinced of my religion. I lived well with it, without its causing me any inconvenience.
     Only one thing would have been able to bring me to my senses: a profound and prolonged suffering. But this suffering never came. Do you now understand that “Whom God loves, God chastises”?
     The association of young ladies organized an outing one July day. Yes, I liked those outings, but not the sweetly pious women who went on them.
Recently, an image far different from that one of Our Lady of Graces had been placed upon the altar of my heart. Beside that of Our Lady there stood the gentlemanly figure of Max N., who worked in the warehouse. A short time prior to this we had conversed several times. On this occasion, he asked me out on the very Sunday of the ladies’ outing. Another woman whom he had been dating was in the hospital.
     He noticed, of course, that I had my eyes on him, but I had never thought of marrying him. He was well-to-do, but too friendly toward any and every young lady. Up to that time I had wanted a man who belonged to me alone, and I alone to him. Thus, I had always kept a certain distance.
[This is true. There was something noble about Ani, notwithstanding all her religious indifference. It astonishes me that “honest” people are also capable of falling into Hell if they are dishonest enough to flee from encountering God.]
     Max heaped every kindness upon me on the day of that outing. Our conversation, of course, was certainly not that of your pious women.
     On the following day in the office, you reprimanded me for not having gone with you. I then told you of my Sunday amusements.

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Your first question was: “Did you go to Mass?” Crazy! How could I have gone to Mass when we had agreed to leave at six in the morning? Do you still remember that I added excitedly, “The good God is not so mean as your little priests!” Now it falls to me to confess to you that, His infinite goodness notwithstanding, God takes everything much more seriously than any priest.
     After this first outing with Max, I attended just one more meeting of the young ladies’ association. Certain things attracted me at Christmastime, but I had already dissociated myself from you interiorly.
     Movies, dances, and outings followed. At times Max and I argued, but I knew how to keep him interested in me.
     My rival, upon being released from the hospital, was furious, and I found her very disagreeable. Her anger worked in my favor, though, for my discreet calm made a great impression upon Max and, ultimately, led him to choose me over her.
     I knew just how to denigrate her. I would speak calmly, seeming to be entirely objective, but spewing venom from within. Sentiments and insinuations such as these rapidly lead one to Hell. They are diabolical, in the true sense of the word.
     Why am I telling you this? To show you how I came to separate myself entirely from God.
     To be so distant from God, it was not necessary to be entirely familiar with Max. I knew that if I lowered myself to that before the time, he would look down on me, so I restrained myself and refused. In truth, I was ready to do anything I thought useful. Determined to win Max, I would stop at nothing.
     Little by little we fell in love, for both of us possessed estimable qualities that we could mutually appreciate. I was talented and made of myself an able conversationalist, and so I eventually had Max in my hands, assured that I alone possessed him, at least in those last months before our wedding.
     This is what constituted my apostasy from God: I made a mere creature into my god. In no other way is this more fully realized than in the relationship between two creatures of the opposite sex; love is stifled in matter. This becomes the allure, the sting, and the venom of the object that is loved.  The "adoration" I rendered Max became an ardent religion.
     Church towerAt this stage of my life I would hypocritically run off to church during the office lunch hour, to the good-for-nothing priests, the mumbling of the Rosary, and other foolishness.
     You strove to encourage this, with some intelligence but apparently without suspecting that, in final analysis, I no longer had anything to do with these things. I sought only to set my conscience at ease—I still needed that—in order to justify my apostasy.
     In the depth of my soul I lived in revolt against God. You did not perceive that. You always thought I was still Catholic. I wanted to be seen as such, even going so far as giving a donation to the church, thinking that a little bit of “insurance” couldn’t hurt.
     As certain as you were about your answers, they always went in one ear and out the other. I was sure that you could not be right. Taking into consideration our strained relationship, when my marriage put some distance between us, the pain of our separation was slight.
     I went to Confession and Holy Communion one more time before my wedding, but it was a mere formality. My husband felt the same way. But why not? We fulfilled those formalities just like any others.
     You would call that “unworthy.” But after that unworthy Communion I had greater peace of mind. It was the last of my life.
     Our married life was generally harmonious. We had the same opinion on just about everything. That included our shared opinion regarding children: We didn’t want the burden. Deep down, my husband wanted one, naturally, but no more. Ultimately, I was able to banish the idea. I preferred fine clothing and furniture, tea with the ladies, rides in our car, and like amusements.
     There passed a year of earthly pleasure from our wedding day until my sudden death.
     Every Sunday we went for a drive or visited my husband’s relatives—I was ashamed of mine. My husband’s relatives, like us, swam well on the surface of life.
     Inside, however, I never felt truly happy. Something always gnawed at my soul. I hoped that death, certainly far in the future, would end everything.
     When still a child, I once heard in a sermon that God rewards the good one does. If He cannot do this in the next life, He will do it on earth. Thus, without my expecting it, I received an inheritance from my Aunt, and my husband had the good fortune of seeing his salary raised considerably. With this, we were able to decorate our new house very well.
     My religion was in its last agony, like daylight’s last glimmer in the distant sky. The clubs and cafes of the city and the restaurants where we ate when traveling did not draw us any closer to God. Everyone who frequented them lived as we did, concerned about externals, not essences or things of the soul.
     While on vacation we visited a famous cathedral, seeking only to savor the artistic value of the masterpieces it contained. I counteracted the religious air it radiated, chiefly that of the Middle Ages, seizing every opportunity for ridicule. Thus, I criticized a lay brother who served as our guide for being a bit unkempt and awkward; I criticized the trade of the pious monks who made and sold liqueur; I disparaged the eternal pealing of the bells calling people to churches that care only for money. I was thereby able to reject every grace that came knocking at my door.
     In particular, I let my ill humor flow profusely over every old depiction of Hell in books, cemeteries, and elsewhere, showing devils roasting souls in red or yellow fire while their long-tailed associates continually bring more victims.
     Claire, while Hell might be poorly drawn, it can never be exaggerated.
     Above all, I always scoffed at the fire of Hell. Do you recall our conversation on the fire of Hell when I jokingly put a lit match under your nose and asked, “Does it smell like this?”
     You quickly blew out the match, but here the fire is never extinguished. Moreover, the fire of which the Bible speaks is not the torment of conscience. Fire means fire. One must understand Our Lord’s declaration in its literal sense: “Depart from Me, ye accursed, into everlasting fire.” Literally!

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One might ask how it is that the spirit can be affected by material fire.
     How then, on earth, does the soul suffer when one’s finger is held in a fire? The soul itself does not burn, but what pain the whole person endures!
     In like manner, here we are imprisoned by the fire in our beings and faculties. Our souls are deprived of their natural movements; we can neither think nor want what we want.12
     Do not try to comprehend the mystery that, contrary to the laws of material nature, the fire of Hell burns without consuming.
     Our greatest torment consists in knowing with certainty that we will never see God.
     Oh, everything which we purposely ignored on earth tortures us here!—When the knife but lies on the table, it gives one only a cold feeling. One can see its keen edge, but not feel it. But the moment it enters one’s flesh, he screams with pain.
     Before, we only saw the loss of God; now we feel it.13
     All souls do not suffer equally. The more frivolous, malicious, and determined someone was in sin, the more the loss of God weighs upon him, and the more torture he feels due to the creation he has abused.
     Catholics who are damned suffer more than those of other beliefs because, in general, they received more lights and graces without taking advantage of them.
     He who knows more suffers more than those who had lesser knowledge.
     He who sinned out of malice suffers more than those who fell from weakness.
     No one, however, suffers more than he deserves. Would that this were not true, so that I might have some reason to hate!
     You once told me that no one falls into Hell without knowing that that is his destination, as was revealed to a saint. Though I laughed at that, I yet entrenched myself behind the thought that there was still time for me to convert—that is how I thought in my heart.
     What you said is true. Certainly, before my sudden end, I did not know Hell as it truly is. No human being does. But of this I had no doubt: were I to die, I would enter into eternity in a state of revolt against God, and I would suffer the consequences.
     As I already declared, I didn’t turn back but persevered along the same path, impelled by habit, whereby people act with greater deliberation and regularity as they grow older.
     My death occurred in the following way:
     Car AccidentA week ago—I speak to you in terms of the way in which you measure time; judging by the pain I have endured, I should already have been burning in Hell for ten years—on a Sunday, my husband and I went for a drive, my last one.
     The day broke radiantly. I felt well, as I rarely did, but a sinister feeling came over me.
     On our way home my husband and I were unexpectedly blinded by the lights of a car rapidly approaching from the opposite direction. My husband lost control of our car.
     “Jesus!” I shouted, not as a prayer, but as a scream. I felt a crushing pain—a trifle in comparison with my present pain. I then lost consciousness.
     Strange! On that very morning, the idea that I could, after all, go to Mass again came to me unexpectedly. It sounded to me like a supplication. Clear and determined, my “No!” nipped the thought in the bud. I must finish with this once and for all, and I assumed all the consequences.
     And now I endure them.
     You know what happened after my death. The fate of my husband, my mother, of my body and burial, all of this you know down to the last details, as do I through a natural intuition we have here. We have only a confused knowledge of what transpires in the world, but we know what closely concerned us.
     At the moment of my death I awoke from darkness. I found myself suddenly enveloped by a blinding light. It was at the same place where my body lay. It seemed almost like a theater, where the lights suddenly go out, the curtain noisily opens, and a tragically illuminated scene appears: the scene of my life.
     I saw my soul as if in a mirror. I saw the graces I had trampled underfoot from the time I was young until that final “No!” to God. I felt like an assassin brought to trial with my inanimate victim before me.—Repent? Never!14  Was I ashamed of myself? Not at all!
     Notwithstanding, it was impossible for me to remain in the presence of the God I had denied and rejected. Only one thing remained for me: the fire.
     Thus, as Cain fled from the body of Abel, so did my soul flee far away from this overwhelming sight.
     That was my private judgment.
     The invisible Judge spoke: “Depart from Me!” and my soul swiftly fell, like a sulfurous shadow, into the place of eternal torment!15

Closing information from Claire
Thus ended the letter from Ani about Hell. The last words were so twisted as to be almost illegible. When I finished reading the last word, the entire letter turned to ashes.Holding letter
What is that I hear? Amidst the harsh tones of the lines I imagined reading there resounded the sweet sound of a bell. I awoke suddenly to find myself still in bed in my room. The morning light of daybreak found its way in. From the parish church came the sound of the bells ringing the Angelus.
Had it all been but a dream?
I had never felt such consolation in the Angelic Salutation as I did after this dream. Pausing, I prayed three Ave Marias. It then became clear, most clear to me: One must always cling to Our Lord’s blessed Mother, venerate Mary as her own child, if one does not want to suffer the same fate told you—albeit in a dream—by a soul that will never see God.
Still frightened and shaking due to that night-time revelation, I got up, dressed myself hastily, and rushed to the chapel of the house.
My heart beat violently. The guests kneeling closest to me looked at me with concern. Perhaps they thought that I was so excited and flushed because I had run down the stairway.
That afternoon in the garden I encountered a kindly, nearsighted lady from Budapest, frail as a child, suffering greatly, yet of lofty spirit and fervent in the service of God. She said to me, “Miss, Our Lord does not want to be served in haste.” But she then perceived that something else had upset and preoccupied me. She added kindly: “Let nothing distress you—you know the advice of Saint Teresa—let nothing alarm you. Everything passes. He who possesses God lacks nothing. God alone suffices.”
While she humbly whispered these words to me she seemed to be reading my soul.
“God alone suffices.” Yes, He has to be enough for me, in this life and in the next. I want to possess Him there one day, as numerous as may be the sacrifices I have to make here in order to triumph. I do not want to fall into Hell.

Send Me the Letter from Beyond PDF

Notes:1. Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Supplement (New York: Benziger Brothers, Inc., 1948), Q. 98, art. 4—”Therefore, they [the damned] will wish all the good were damned.” [back to text]
2. Ibid., art. 1—The determined will“is in them always evil; and this because they are completely turned away from the last end of a right will…. Hence even though they will some good,they do not will it well so that one e able to call their will good on that account.”[back to text]
3. Ibid., art. 3, ad. 3—”Although not to be is very evil in so far as it removes being, it is very good in so far as it removes unhappiness, which is the greatest if evils, and thus it is preferred not to be.”[back to text]
4.Ibid., art. 7—”In the damned there will be actual consideration of the things they knew heretofore as matters of sorrow, but not as a cause of pleasure. For they will consider both the evil they have done, and for which they were damned, and the delightful goods they have lost, and on both counts they will suffertorments.”[back to text]
5. Ibid., art. 4—”Even as in the blessed in heaven there will be most perfect charity, so in the damned there will be the most perfect hate.”[back to text]
6. Ibid., art. 9—”The damned, before the judgment day, will see the blessed in glory, in such a way as to know, not what that glory is like, but only that they are in a state of glory that surpasses all thought.”[back to text]
7. Ibid., art. 8—”The damned do not hate God except because He punishes and forbids what is agreeable to their evil will: and consequently they will think of Him only as punishing and forbidding.”[back to text]
8. Summa, I, Q. 21, art. 4, ad. 1—”Even in the damnation of the reprobate mercy is seen, which, though it does not totally remit, yet somewhat alleviates, in punishing short of what is deserved.”[back to text]
9. “Be sober and watch, because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goes about seeking whom he may devour”(I Peter 5:8).“Put you on the armor of God, that you may be able to stand againstthe deceits of the devil. For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places” (Ephes. 6:11-12).[back to text]
10. Summa, Suppl., Q. 98, art. 6, ad. 2— “Men who are damned are not occupied in drawing other to damnation, as the demons are.”[back to text]
11. Ibid., art. 4, ad. 3—”Although an increase in the number of the damned results in an increase of each one’s punishment, so much the more will their hatred and envy increase that they will prefer to be more tormented with many rather than less tormented alone.”[back to text]
12. Summa, Suppl., Q.70, art. 3—”The fire of its nature is able to have an incorporeal spirit united to it as a thing placed is united to a place; that as the instrument of Divine justice it is enabled to detain it enchained as it were, and in this respect this fire is really hurtful to the spirit, and thus the soul seeing the fire as something hurtful to it is tormented by the fire.”[back to text]
13.“The separation from God is a torment as great as God.” Phrase attributed to Saint Augustine.[back to text]
14.Q. 98, art. 2—”The wicked will not repent of their sins directly [that is, out of hatred of sin], because consent in the malice of sin will remain in them; but they will repent indirectly [that is, because of the consequent suffering].[back to text]
15. That the punishment of Hell is eternal is a dogma, certainly the most terrible of all, rooted in Sacred Scripture. “Then he shall say to them also that shall be on his left hand: Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matt. 25:41). See also Judith 16:21; Matt. 25:46; II Thess. 1:9; Jude 1:13; Apoc. 14:11 and 20:10; and others. That the word eternal is not to be understood or interpreted as long is clear by such expressions as “unquenchable fire” (Matt. 3:12; Mark 9:43) and “…the fire is not extinguished” (Mark 9:45). If illustration of this dogma were not appropriate, then Our Lord would not have told the parable of poor Lazarus and the rich man.

How do you get someone to love God?

Good example
is the most efficacious apostolate.
You must be as lighted lanterns and
shine like brilliant chandeliers among men.
By your good example
and your words,
animate others to know and love God.

St. Mary Joseph Rossello

America Needs Fatima - Best 2 Minute Defense for God's Marriage

St. Romanus of Condat

Romanus was just 35 years old when he dedicated his life to that of a hermit, living humbly in prayer in the Jura Mountains between Switzerland and France. At first, Romanus lived under the protection of a large tree, and survived on the seed he had brought with him. Before long, however, he was joined by his brother, sister and a number of other followers. The brothers’ built two monasteries and a nunnery for their sister and each sibling governed their respective establishments.

Romanus decided to visit the place of martyrdom of the Theban Legion, a band of 6600 Catholic soldiers who were killed in 286 A.D. when they refused to assist in the eradication of Christianity. As he traveled, the holy monk came upon two lepers, and miraculously cured them. News of this miracle spread, and Romanus became well-known as a man of God.

Romanus died around 460 and was buried in the church of the nunnery where his sister governed.
Photo by: Giogo

Stories of Mary 23: The Hail Mary Of A Protestant

(A true story)

The boy, after listening to their erroneous reasoning could
not bear it any longer, and full of indignation,
he interrupted them, saying: ...

(4 minute read - Enjoy!)

A little six year old Protestant boy had often heard his Catholic companions reciting the prayer "Hail Mary." He liked it so much that he copied it, memorized it, and would recite it every day.
"Look, Mommy, what a beautiful prayer," he said to his mother one day.
"Never again say it," answered the mother. "It is a superstitious prayer of Catholics who adore idols and think Mary is a goddess. After all, she is a woman like any other. Come on, take this Bible and read it. It contains everything that we are bound to do and have to do."
From that day on the little boy discontinued his daily "Hail Mary" and gave himself more time to reading the Bible instead.
One day, while reading the Gospel, he came across the passage about the Annunciation of the Angel to Our Lady. Full of joy, the little boy ran to his mother and said: "Mommy, I have found the 'Hail Mary' in the Bible which says: 'Hail full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou amongst women.' Why do you call it a superstitious prayer?"
On another occasion he found that beautiful salutation of St. Elizabeth to the Virgin Mary and the wonderful canticle MAGNIFICAT in which Mary foretold that "the generations would call her blessed."
He said no more about it to his mother but started to recite the "Hail Mary" every day as before. He felt pleasure in addressing those charming words to the Mother of Jesus, our Savior.
One day, when he was fourteen, he heard a discussion on Our Lady among the members of his family. Every one said that Mary was a common woman like any other woman.
The boy, after listening to their erroneous reasoning could not bear it any longer, and full of indignation, he interrupted them, saying:
"Mary is not like any other children of Adam, stained with sin. No! The Angel called her FULL OF GRACE AND BLESSED AMONGST WOMEN. Mary is the Mother of Jesus Christ and consequently Mother of God. There is no higher dignity to which a creature can be raised. The Gospel says that the generations will proclaim her blessed and you are trying to despise her and look down on her. Your spirit is not the spirit of the Gospel or of the Bible which you proclaim to be the foundation of the Christian religion."
So deep was the impression which the boy's talk had made that his mother many times cried out sorrowfully: "Oh, my God! I fear that this son of mine will one day join the Catholic religion, the religion of Popes!"
And indeed, not very long afterwards, having made a serious study of both Protestantism and Catholicism, the boy found the latter to be the only true religion and embraced it and became one of its most ardent apostles.
Some time after his conversion, he met his married sister who rebuked him and said indignantly: "You little know how much I love my children. Should any one of them desire to become a Catholic, I would sooner pierce his heart with a dagger than allow him to embrace the religion of the Popes!"
Her anger and temper were as furious as those of St. Paul before his conversion.
However, she would change her ways, just as St. Paul did on his way to Damascus. It so happened that one of her sons fell dangerously ill and the doctors gave up hope of recovery.
Her brother then approached her and spoke to her affectionately, saying:
"My dear sister, you naturally wish to have your child cured. Very well, then, do what I ask you to do. Follow me, let us pray one 'Hail Mary' and promise God that, if your son recovers his health, you would seriously study the Catholic doctrine, and should you come to the conclusion that Catholicism is the only true religion, you would embrace it no matter what the sacrifices may be."
His sister was somewhat reluctant at the beginning, but as she wished for her son's recovery, she accepted her brother's proposal and recited the "Hail Mary" together with him.
The next day her son was completely cured. The mother fulfilled her promise and she studied the Catholic doctrine. After long preparation she received Baptism together with her whole family, thanking her brother for being an apostle to her.

 This story was related during a sermon given by the Rev. Fr. Tuckwell:
"Brethren," he went on and said, "the boy who became a Catholic and converted his sister to Catholicism dedicated his whole life to the service of God. He is the priest who is speaking to you now! What I am I owe to Our Lady. You, too, my dear brethren, be entirely dedicated also to Our Lady and never let a day pass without saying the beautiful prayer, 'Hail Mary', and your Rosary. Ask her to enlighten the minds of Protestants who are separated from the true Church of Christ founded on the Rock (Peter) and 'against whom the gates of hell shall never prevail.'"