Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Why we lose taste for spiritual goods

The fact that spiritual goods
taste good to us no more, or
seem to be goods of no great account,
is chiefly due to our affections being infected
with the love of bodily pleasures, among which,
sexual pleasures hold the first place: for the love
of those pleasures leads man to have a distaste for spiritual things.

St. Thomas Aquinas

St. Bernard of Clairvaux

Bernard was born in 1090 in Dijon, France, the third son of Tescelin, the noble Lord of Fontaines, and Aleth, a daughter of the Lord of Montbard. He and his five brothers were well-educated and well-learned in Latin and military exercises, Bernard being educated with particular care by his parents, because, while yet unborn, a devout man had foretold his great destiny.

Bernard fought the temptations of youth with assiduous prayer and the practice of virtue, often to a heroic degree and, at an early age, determined upon a life of solitude. His ardent devotion to the Blessed Virgin, gave rise to some of the most sublime writings ever penned on the Queen of Heaven. He studied the Holy Scriptures so intensely that the Word of God became as it were his own language. In the year 1112, Bernard left his home to join the monastery of Citeaux, which followed the very austere Cistercian rule. Bernard brought with him some thirty men, among them four of his brothers and an uncle, who had no previous thought of the religious life.

In 1115, the abbot of Citeaux sent Bernard and twelve monks to build a new house in the region of Champagne. The beginnings of what came to be known as Clairvaux, were trying and painful. The monks lived under their new abbot most poorly, surviving off what little the coarse land had to offer. The austerities practiced were so severe that Bernard’s health was seriously impaired. Nevertheless, disciples flocked in droves to the new monastic community, and the monks soon numbered one hundred and fifty, among them his youngest brother and his own father.

Renowned for his wisdom, Bernard was often called upon by both Church and State authorities to settle disputes. He defended the rights of the Church against the encroachments of kings and princes and, in the schism that broke out in 1130, was chosen to judge between two rival popes. Until the death of the anti-pope in 1138, he was forced to leave the solitude of his cloister repeatedly by order of Pope Innocent II to combat the resurgence of the schism. In 1139, heresy took the place of schism, and he was once again championing the Church’s cause in the public arena. The year 1145 saw one of Bernard’s Cistercian sons elevated to the throne of Peter. Pope Eugene III lost no time in calling for a new crusade against the Muslims and commissioned Bernard to preach the crusade throughout Europe. His preaching was accompanied by numerous miracles and thousands flocked to the Cross.

As Abbot of Clairvaux for forty years, he founded one hundred and sixty-three monasteries in different parts of Europe. At his death, they numbered three hundred and forty-three. Having brought the Order out of obscurity, he is considered one of the founders of the Cistercian Order.

Bernard spent the last several years of his life in great pain. He saw the death of his contemporaries as a warning of his own approaching end and prepared himself accordingly. He died in 1153 and was canonized in 1174. Pope Pius VIII named Doctor of the Church in 1830.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Why so many souls go to hell

Pray, pray much,
and make sacrifice for sinners,
for many souls go to hell
because there is no one to sacrifice and pray for them.

Our Lady to Lucia dos Santos

St. John Eudes

John Eudes was born in 1601 in the Norman village of Ri, France, to devout parents who consecrated him to the Holy Virgin. In 1615 he made a vow of chastity while he was studying with the Jesuits of Caen. On that occasion he consecrated himself to Mary, from which time he was notable for his fervent devotion to her.

Eudes left the Jesuits to enter the Congregation of the Oratory, founded by the famous Fr. Pierre de Berulle, who worked to re-establish orthodoxy of doctrine and sanctity of life among the clergy. John Eudes thought that the training of priests should also be a priority, so in 1643, he left the Oratory and founded the Society of Jesus and Mary to specialize in seminary education. The first seminary of the Eudists Fathers, as they became known, opened in Caen, shortly followed by many others.

In order to convert women of ill-fame and assist those who had converted from a wayward life, he founded another institution, the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity. He also instituted the parish mission to evangelize neglected souls. For many years, he preached to large crowds in churches or open fields, in the courts of nobles and the King. His sermons were renowned for his strong condemnation of the vices of his audience, the brilliant eloquence with which he delivered them and, above all, the eminent sanctity which shone forth from him and gave substance to all his words.
He spread the devotion to the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, and was instrumental in procuring the Church’s approval of liturgical offices in Their honor. Always faithful to the Chair of Peter, he was persecuted by the Jansenists, whom he counter-attacked with energy.

He died on August 19, 1680, with the names of Jesus and Mary on his lips.

The Fourth Apparition of Our Lady - August 19, 1917


Header-Fourth Fatima Apparition

On August 13, the day the fourth apparition was to take place, the seers were not at Cova da Iria.
They had been abducted by the mayor of Vila Nova de Ourém, who attempted to force from them the secret revealed in the apparition of July 13. The children held fast despite the mayor imprisoning them, and threatening to plunge them in boiling oil.
Three Fatima Children in Jail-Painting
At Cova da Iria, thunder, followed by lightning, was heard at the usual time.
The spectators noticed a small white cloud that hovered over the holm oak for a few minutes. Phenomena of coloration were observed on the faces of the people, the clothing, the trees, and the ground.
Our Lady had certainly come, but she had not found the seers.
On August 19, at about four o'clock in the afternoon, Lucia was with Francisco and another cousin at Valinhos, a property belonging to one of her uncles, when the atmospheric changes that preceded the apparitions of Our Lady at Cova da Iria began to occur: a sudden cooling of the temperature and a waning of the sun.
Feeling that something supernatural was approaching and enveloping them, Lucia sent for Jacinta, who arrived in time to see Our Lady appear – heralded as before by a bright light – over a holm oak slightly larger than the one at Cova da Iria.


Lucia: What does Your Grace wish of me?
Our Lady: I want you to continue to go to Cova da Iria on the thirteenth of each month and to continue to pray the Rosary every day. On the last month, I will perform the miracle for all to believe.
Then Our Lady’s face became more serious, and even upset.
Our Lady: If they had not taken you to Ourém, the miracle would have been even greater.
Lucia: What does Your Grace want done with the money that the people leave at Cova da Iria?
Aijustrel - where Our Lady appearedOur Lady: Have two portable stands made. You and Jacinta with two other girls dressed in white carry one of them, and let Francisco carry the other one with three other boys. The portable stands are for the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. The money that is left over should be contributed to the chapel that they shall build.
Lucia: I would like to ask you for the healing of some sick persons.
Our Lady: Yes, I will cure some during the year.
Becoming sadder, she recommended anew the practice of mortification, saying lastly, 'Pray, pray much, and sacrifice for sinners, for many souls go to hell because there is no one to sacrifice and pray for them.'
As usual, she then began to rise toward the east. The seers cut boughs off the tree over which Our Lady had appeared to them and took them home. The boughs gave off a uniquely sweet fragrance.



Read:  Fifth Apparition

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Sunday, August 18, 2019

Immodesty in fashion

An excess of immodesty in fashion involves, in practice,
the cut of the garment.
The garment must not be evaluated according to the estimation of
a decadent or already corrupt society,
but according to the aspirations of a society
which prizes the dignity and seriousness of its public attire.

Pope Pius XII

St. Helena of Constantinople

Helena was born about the middle of the third century on the Nicomedian Gulf. The daughter of a humble innkeeper, she became the lawful wife of the Roman general Constantius Chlorus and bore him a son, Constantine, in the year 274.

When Constantius became co-Regent of the West in 292, he forsook Helena to marry Theodora, the step-daughter of the Emperor Maximianus Herculius, his patron. But her son remained faithful and loyal to his mother. Upon the death of Constantius, in 308, Constantine, who succeeded him, summoned his mother to the imperial court, conferred upon her the title of Augusta, ordered that all honor should be paid her as the mother of the sovereign, and had coins struck bearing her effigy.

Her son’s influence caused Helena to embrace Christianity after his victory over Maxentius. From the time of her conversion she led an earnestly Christian life and by her own influence and generosity favored the wider spread of Christianity. She had many churches built in the West where the imperial court resided.

Despite her advanced age, in the year 324, at the age of sixty-three, she undertook a journey to Palestine where she had resolved to bring to God, the King of kings, the homage and tribute of her devotion. When she “had shown due veneration to the footsteps of the Savior,” she had two churches erected for the worship of God: one was raised in Bethlehem near the Grotto of the Nativity, the other on the Mount of the Ascension, near Jerusalem. She also embellished the sacred grotto with rich ornaments.

Everywhere she went, Helena Augusta visited churches with pious zeal and enriched them by her benevolence. Her generosity embraced not only individuals but entire communities. The poor and destitute were the special objects of her charity.

Her memory in Rome is chiefly identified with the church of S. Croce in Gerusalemme, built in honor of the true Cross. Also enshrined in the basilica are the other relics of the Passion of Our Lord which the Emperor’s mother had brought back to Rome from the Holy Land.

Constantine was with his mother when she died, at the advanced age of eighty years or thereabouts. This must have been about the year 330, for the last coins which are known to have been stamped with her name bore this date. Her body was brought to Constantinople and laid to rest in the imperial vault of the church of the Apostles. In 849, her remains were transferred to the Abbey of Hautvillers, in the French Archdiocese of Reims.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

When you feel the assaults of passion and anger

When you feel the assaults of passion and anger,
then is the time to be silent
as Jesus was silent
in the midst of His ignominies and sufferings.

St. Paul of the Cross

St. Beatriz da Silva

Beatriz de Menezes da Silva was one of eleven children of Rui Gomez da Silva, the first Magistrate of Campo Maior, on the border of Spain and Portugal, and of Isabel de Menezes, an illegitimate daughter of Dom Pedro de Menezes, the 1st Count of Vila Real and the 2nd Count of Viana do Alentejo, under whom Silva served in Ceuta. João de Menezes da Silva, better known as Blessed Amadeus of Portugal and a noted reformer of the Order of Friars Minor, was her brother.

In 1447 Beatriz accompanied the Princess Isabel of Portugal, to Castile as her lady-in-waiting when Isabel left to marry King John II of Castile and became Queen of Castile and León. Although they had been close friends, Beatriz's great beauty began to arouse the irrational jealousy of the Queen, who had Beatriz imprisoned in a tiny cell without food.

During her incarceration, Our Lady, attired in the blue and white habit of the Conceptionist Order, appeared to Beatriz and instructed her to found an order in her honor. With much difficulty, she finally escaped her imprisonment after three days and took refuge in the Dominican monastery of Toledo. Beatriz lived with the Dominicans for nearly forty years without becoming a member of the Order.

Queen Isabel was a frequent visitor during those years and was of great material assistance to her former lady-in-waiting in the foundation of the religious order in honor of the Immaculate Conception of Mary Most Holy. In 1484 Beatriz, with some companions, took possession of a monastery in Toledo deeded to their new community by Queen Isabel. The new religious order adopted the Cistercian Rule in 1489, bound themselves to the daily recitation of the Office of the Immaculate Conception and were placed under obedience to the Archdiocese of Toledo.
Beatriz da Silva died on August 9, 1492, ten days before the solemn inauguration of her new Order. She is buried in the first monastery given to the Conceptionists by Queen Isabel, the motherhouse of the Order in Toledo. In 1501, Pope Alexander VI placed the Conceptionists under the Rule of St. Clare and, in 1511, Pope Julius II granted them a Rule of their own.

Among Beatriz da Silva’s illustrious spiritual daughters are to be found two remarkable mystics: Madre Mariana de Jesús Torres y Berriochoa (c.1563-1635) to whom appeared Our Lady of Good Success and were given many revelations concerning the crisis in the Church in the twentieth century and the Venerable María de Jesús de Ágreda (1602-1665) author of the Mystical City of God.

Friday, August 16, 2019

These are the consequences


One must live the way one thinks
or end up thinking
the way one has lived.

Paul Bourget

St. Stephen of Hungary

The first King of Hungary was born a pagan in 975, the son of the Hungarian chieftain Géza. Together with his father, he was baptized in 985 by St. Adalbert, the Archbishop of Prague, on which occasion he changed his heathen name Vaik (Vojk) to Stephen.

In 995, he married Gisela, a sister of Henry, the Duke of Bavaria, the future Emperor St. Henry II, and in 997 he succeeded his father as chief of the Hungarian Magyars.

In order to make Hungary a Christian nation and to establish himself more firmly as ruler, Stephen sent the Abbot Astricus to Rome to petition Pope Sylvester II for the royal dignity and the power to establish episcopal sees. The pope acceded to his wishes and, in addition, presented Stephen with a royal crown in recognition of his sovereignty.

The new King of the Hungarians endeavored above all to establish his nation on a sound moral foundation and to that end he suppressed blasphemy, murder, adultery and other public crimes, and established a feudal system throughout Hungary. To this day, King Stephen is universally recognized as the architect of the independent realm of Hungary.

He founded a monastery in Jerusalem and hospices for pilgrims at Rome, Ravenna, and Constantinople. A close friend of St. Bruno, he also corresponded with St. Odilo of Cluny. The last years of his life were embittered by illness and family troubles. When late in 1031 his only son, Emeric, lost his life on a bear hunt, his cherished hope of transferring the reins of government into the hands of a pious Christian prince were shattered.

During his lifetime a quarrel arose among his various nephews concerning the right of succession, and some of them even took part in a conspiracy against his life. He was buried beside his son at Stuhlweissenburg, and both were canonized together in 1083.
First Photo by: Andrzej Otrebski                                                                     Second Photo by: Granada Turnier

Thursday, August 15, 2019

It was fitting...

"It was fitting that she, who had kept her virginity intact in childbirth, should keep
her own body free from all corruption even after death. It was fitting that she, who
had carried the Creator as a child at her breast, should dwell in the divine tabernacles.
It was fitting that the spouse, whom the Father had taken to himself, should live
in the divine mansions. It was fitting that she, who had seen her Son upon the cross
and who had thereby received into her heart the sword of sorrow which she had
escaped in the act of giving birth to him,
should look upon him as he sits with the Father.

It was fitting that God's Mother should possess what belongs to her Son, and that
she should be honored by every creature as the Mother and as the handmaid of God."

Pope Pius XII — Definition of the Dogma of the Assumption
of the Blessed Virgin Mary 

Celebrating Our Lady of Glory on the Assumption

Header-Celebrating Our Lady of Glory on the Assumption
By Professor Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira 

In ancient times, people referred to the feast of the Assumption of Our Lady as the feast of Our Lady of Glory. They understood that the Assumption of Our Lady was not merely the physical event of her leaving this earth after resurrecting by virtue of her Divine Son and being taken to Heaven: it was also her glorification.
After her humble and unknown life on this earth, Our Lady had a greater role after the death of Our Lord as Queen and Mother of the Catholic Church. Our Lady went through all kinds of suffering, anguish and humiliations on earth. It is fitting that Our Lord glorified her in the eyes of men through her assumption.
She was glorified with this unique privilege whereby a merely human creature is taken to material heaven by the angels. From there, she certainly was taken in a mysterious way to the physical and immaterial heights of the heavenly Paradise, where she finds herself at this moment enjoying the beatific vision of God, Our Lord in an ineffable way.

Assumption of Our Lady Novena Banner

Many traditions and revelations about the assumption naturally affirm that this glorification by the angels was accompanied by indescribable manifestations of glory. Our Lady was a mere human creature with a nature far inferior to that of the angels. To show the great difference between natures, we need only recall how one saint saw her own guardian angel and was so dazzled by what she saw that she thought that she was seeing God. And yet guardian angels are among the lowest ranks of angels in heaven.
Our Lady of the Assumption-Image 1We can only imagine the glory of Our Lady who was taken to heaven by the highest Cherubim and Seraphim. She was served by God’s highest creatures with such a high respect and veneration that it was as if they considered themselves unworthy of presenting to her their prayers and veneration.
Thus, after bidding farewell to those on earth, Our Lady started rising off the ground in a most hallowed ecstasy; and at a certain point the manifestations of the angels began. If it is true that on Easter day all nature rejoiced, and that on Ascension day all nature was jubilant, then, of course, we can imagine the great and splendid joy of all nature on the Assumption of Our Lady.
We can imagine the splendid colors of the sky. How the stars of that night must have shone! If the sun danced and changed colors at Fatima, we can imagine the wonderful way it must have appeared on that day! The angels must have sung in magnificent harmony and all must have felt great and ineffable interior consolations!
The concrete and positive fact is that Our Lady allowed her inner glory to be manifested to all during the Assumption. We can imagine how she, who possessed a most holy soul and an inexpressible dignity and majesty, at that moment allowed her grandeur to be manifested in an extraordinary way. As Our Lord’s grandeur shone in His glorified body on Mount Tabor, so also her sanctity naturally and entirely shined forth in her eyes, countenance and body.
We can imagine this manifestation like a great flash of light that completely blotted out the sky. At that moment of this grandeur, she probably manifested a great maternal tenderness since she was a mother bidding farewell to her children. She also must have shown a great outpouring of mercy and supreme goodness as she made it clear to everyone that she would no longer be present on earth and that, at the moment she was leaving mankind, her great mission in the pinnacle of heaven was beginning.
Our Lady of the Assumption-Image 2Saint Therese of the Child Jesus said she wanted to spend her heaven doing good on earth. If this is true of the Little Flower, how much more we can say this of the glory of Our Lady! From the time of the Assumption onward, Our Lady’s glory has been increasingly manifested. We see this in the construction of a huge number of churches dedicated to her. As Saint Louis Grignion de Montfort aptly observes, no church on earth–except perhaps churches that are almost no longer churches–does not have at least one altar dedicated to Our Lady. Not one soul has been saved without having been one of her devotees. Men have received no grace except through the intercession of Our Lady.
In other words, her glory will increasingly grow until the end of the ages when the moment of the Last Judgment comes. On that day, everyone, including her, will be judged. However, since she is faultless and without guilt, Judgment Day will be the day of her supreme glorification. If all virtues and defects of all creatures will become known at the Judgment, what canticles of praise will Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Ghost and the Eternal Father sing of her on that day? It is beyond words. The joy of the Last Judgment will be this glorification of Our Lady at the end of history. When history is no more; when the life of humanity has come to an end and the final historic event is over, then she will receive a truly unfathomable glorification.


The preceding article is taken from an informal lecture Professor Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira gave on August 13, 1965. It has been translated and adapted for publication without his revision. –Ed.

Also Read:  The Assumption of Our Lady into Heaven


The Virgin Mary Book Banner

Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

"It was fitting that she, who had kept her virginity intact in childbirth, should keep her own body free from all corruption even after death. It was fitting that she, who had carried the Creator as a child at her breast, should dwell in the divine tabernacles. It was fitting that the spouse, whom the Father had taken to himself, should live in the divine mansions. It was fitting that she, who had seen her Son upon the cross and who had thereby received into her heart the sword of sorrow which she had escaped in the act of giving birth to him, should look upon him as he sits with the Father. It was fitting that God's Mother should possess what belongs to her Son, and that she should be honored by every creature as the Mother and as the handmaid of God."
"Thus St. John Damascene, an outstanding herald of this traditional truth, spoke out with powerful eloquence when he compared the bodily Assumption of the loving Mother of God with her other prerogatives and privileges.

"Gathering together the testimonies of the Christians of earlier days, St. Robert Bellarmine exclaimed: 'And who, I ask, could believe that the ark of holiness, the dwelling place of the Word of God, the temple of the Holy Spirit, could be reduced to ruin? My soul is filled with horror at the thought that this virginal flesh which had begotten God, had brought him into the world, had nourished and carried him, could have been turned into ashes ... '"

Quotes above are taken from Pope Pius XII’s Apostolic Constitution Munificentissimus Deus defining the Dogma of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Mary is the most perfect and most holy work of God

Mary is the most perfect and most holy work of God, for
as St. Bonaventure said,
God can create a greater and more perfect world,
but He cannot exalt a creature to higher dignity
than that to which He exalted Mary.

St. Maximilian Maria Kolbe

St. Maximilian Maria Kolbe

The second son of pious parents, St. Maximilian Kolbe was born on January 8, 1894 at Zdunska Wola in Poland, which at that time was under Russian occupation. In Baptism he received the name of Raymond.

Seriousness and recollection marked his nature even as a child. One day, while correcting him, his mother chided him saying, “Son, I don’t know what is going to become of you!” This comment so impressed itself upon him that Raymond turned to Our Lady in prayer asking her the same question. The Virgin Mary appeared to him and presented him with two crowns, one of white roses, the other of red ones. She asked him if he were willing to accept either of them, explaining that the white one symbolized a life of perfect chastity and the red that he would die a martyr. The boy joyfully replied that he would accept both. For the rest of his life, Raymond preserved a strong and tender devotion for the Blessed Virgin who, time and time again, was to prove his unfailing intercessor and constant protector. His confidence in Our Lady was total.

Raymond Kolbe enrolled in the Franciscan minor seminary at Lwów in 1907 where he received the religious name of Maximilian. He professed his final vows in 1914 in Rome, at which time he adopted the additional name of Maria in honor of his devotion to the Blessed Virgin, whom he invoked under the title of “the Immaculata.” Ordained in 1918, he returned to Poland the following year with doctorates in theology and philosophy, but seriously ill with tuberculosis. His lectures and conversations during his year and a half in the sanatorium of Zakopane, where he was sent for his own recovery from the brink of death, became the catalyst of a number of conversions.

Friar Maximilian was an avid defender of Holy Mother Church and of the Holy Father. While still a seminarian in Rome, he organized the Militia of the Immaculata – a spiritual army explicitly founded to combat Communism and Freemasonry, which were taking hold in Russia and Europe, to work for the conversion of sinners and the enemies of the Catholic Church through the intercession of the Virgin Mary. He boldly launched into publishing as a means of apostolate and was soon running one of the largest publishing houses in the entire world that produced a daily newspaper, a monthly magazine, a calendar, and books on various topics, all printed in several languages. Radio was likewise utilized as a means of evangelization and to speak out against the growing atrocities of the Nazi regime.

In 1927 Maximilian Kolbe founded Niepokalanów, the “City of the Immaculata” where he fulfilled the office of superior until 1930. The next six years he spent as a missionary in Japan where he taught philosophy in the major seminary. There he also founded a second “City of the Immaculata” which became one of the great missionary centers in Japan. From 1936 until his death, he again served as superior in Niepokalanów, Poland. By 1939 the religious community there consisted of 762 friars and presented a considerable moral force in Poland on the very eve of the Second World War.

Maximilian Kolbe was arrested by the German Gestapo on February 17, 1941. He was transferred to the Auschwitz concentration camp three months later. At the end of July, when three prisoners disappeared, ten men were picked to be starved to death in punishment and as a warning to anyone else who attempted to escape. Kolbe volunteered to take the place of one of the men who was a young husband and father.

While awaiting death, Maximilian helped prepare the souls of the condemned men and encouraged them by constant reminders that they would soon be in heaven. After two weeks of starvation and dehydration, he was the only one left alive and on August 14 the guards gave him a lethal injection of carbolic acid. His emaciated body was cremated on the feast of the Assumption of Mary.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

How a country gains respect

He who is faithful to God
is faithful to his country and to his family,
and the more the fear of God animates the citizens of a country,
the greater and the more respected will the nation be.

St. Frances Xavier Cabrini

Sts. Pontian and Hippolytus

Pontian was elected pope in 230 and reigned until the year 235. The schism of Hippolytus continued during his episcopate. Towards the end of his pontificate there was a reconciliation between the schismatic party and its leader with the Roman pontiff. After the condemnation of Origen at Alexandria, a synod was held by Pontian in Rome, which concurred in the decisions of the Alexandrian synod against Origen.

In 235 during the reign of Maximinus the Thracian a persecution directed chiefly against the heads of the Church began. One of its first victims was Pontian, who with Hippolytus was banished to the unhealthy island of Sardinia. To make the election of a new pope possible, Pope Pontian resigned his holy office on September 28, 235. Consequently, Anteros was elected in his stead but reigned for less than two months. Shortly before this or soon afterwards Hippolytus, who had been banished with Pontian, became reconciled to the Roman Church, and with this the schism he had caused came to an end.

How much longer Pontian endured the sufferings of exile and harsh treatment in the Sardinian mines is unknown. According to old and no longer existing accounts, he died in consequence of the privations and inhuman treatment he had to bear.

Pope Fabian (236-50), successor to Pope Anteros, had the remains of Pontian and Hippolytus brought to Rome at a later date and Pontian was buried in the papal crypt of the Catacomb of Callixtus.

Monday, August 12, 2019

How to make all things easy

The reformation of the soul starts in
self-knowledge and confidence in God.
Our self-knowledge will let us know
we have many things to correct and reform

and that it cannot be done by our own efforts.
Confidence in God will let us hope in Him, know that we can do all in Him,
and that with His grace all things are possible and easy.

St. Jane Frances de Chantal

St. Jane Frances de Chantal

Born at Dijon in France in 1572, Jane was very pious and religious from a very young age. In 1592 she married the Baron de Chantal, who inherited many debts along with his title. Despite the early financial worries, she and her husband were devoted to each other and to their four children. She restored order in the household, which was on the brink of ruin, and was generous with the little she had by allowing the poor to visit her home for food. Often people who had just received food from her would pretend to leave, go around the house and get back in line for more. When asked why she let them get away with this, she replied, "What if God turned me away when I came back to him again and again with the same request?"

In 1601, the Baron was accidentally killed while hunting. It was said he forgave the man who shot him before he died. Left a widow with four young children at the age of twenty-eight, Jane took a vow of chastity and begged God to send her a spiritual guide. In a vision, God showed her the one He had intended for this very purpose. During Lent in the year 1604, while visiting her father in Dijon, the young widow recognized the orator preaching the sermon as the mysterious director who had been shown to her, and placed herself under his guidance. Francis de Sales was the Bishop of Geneva and later co-founded the Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary with her.

St. Francis de Sales’ method of attaining perfection consisted in always keeping one’s will united to the Divine will, in taking so to speak one’s soul, heart, and longings into one’s hands and giving them into God’s keeping, and in seeking always to do what is pleasing to Him.

The Order of the Visitation was founded in 1610 for those women desirous of seeking perfection but unable to subject themselves to the austere practices of penance and mortification in force in all the religious orders at the time.

Often sought after for spiritual counsel, Mother de Chantal would frequently advise: "Should you fall even fifty times a day, never on any account should that surprise or worry you, instead, ever so gently set your heart back in the right direction and practice the opposite virtue, all the while speaking words of love and trust to Our Lord after you have committed a thousand faults, as much as if you had committed only one. Once we have humbled ourselves for the faults which God allows us to become aware of in ourselves; we must forget them and go forward."

Jane Frances de Chantal died in 1641 at sixty-nine years of age and was canonized in 1767.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Miracle Worker, Virgin & Martyr


“Let the little children come unto me, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matt 19:14)

Daughter of Light
What do St. John Vianney, St. Madeleine Sophie Barat, St. Peter Eymard, St. Frances Xavier Cabrini and St. Pio of Pietrelcina all have in common? Besides being saints, that is!
They were all devoted to St. Philomena, a mysterious saint whose life and heroic death were not uncovered for a millennia and a half after she died.
St. Philomena (meaning “daughter of light”) lay quietly in her resting place in Rome for over 1,600 years. Then, in His infinite wisdom, God decided it was time to reveal this pearl of great price to the whole world and she made her “debut” in 1802, when the bones of a female between the ages of 13 and 15 were discovered in the catacomb of St. Priscilia.
An inscription near her tomb read "Peace be with thee, Philomena," along with drawings of two anchors, three arrows and a palm. Near her bones was discovered a small glass vial, containing the remains of blood. Because it was a popular custom of the early Christians to leave symbols and signs of martyrdom such as these, it was easily determined that St. Philomena was a virgin and a martyr.
Her popularity soon became widespread, with her most memorable devotees being St. John Vianney, St. Madeleine Sophie Barat, St. Peter Eymard, and St. Peter Chanel. After being miraculously cured, Ven. Pauline Jaricot insisted with Pope Gregory XVI to begin the examination for the beatification of St. Philomena, who was to become known as the "wonder worker." After hundreds of other miraculous cures, she was beatified in 1837.
Pope Leo XII granted permission for the erection of altars and churches in her honor. Pope Gregory XVI authorized her public veneration, and named her patroness of the Living Rosary.
The cure of Pope Pius IX, while archbishop of Imola, was attributed to St. Philomena. In 1849, he named her patroness of the Children of Mary. Pope Leo XIII approved the Confraternity of St. Philomena, and raised it to an Archconfraternity. Pope Saint Pius X raised the Archconfraternity to a Universal Archconfraternity, and named St. John Vianney its patron.
St. Philomena holds a special place in the hearts of all America Needs Fatima members, as she was named the Patroness of the Living Rosary and the Patroness of the Children of Mary. She is the only person recognized as a saint solely on the basis of her powerful intercession, and powerful it is! She has come to the aid of countless souls who have turned to her and placed their hope in Our Lord’s words that “the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

Filling in the Blanks
Now, as amazing as the discovery of the saint’s tomb was, there still remained many questions about this saint. Where did she come from? Who were her parents? Why and how did she die? In 1833, she obligingly appeared to Dominican Sister Maria Luisa di Gesù (1799–1875), revealing details about her short life and her heroic death.
According to Sister Maria Luisa di Gesù, St. Philomena told her she was the daughter of a king in Greece who, with his wife, had converted to Christianity in the late third century.
At the age of about 13 she took a vow of consecrated virginity. When the Emperor Diocletian threatened to make war on her father, her father went with his family to Rome to ask for peace.
The Emperor fell in love with the young Philomena and, when she refused to be his wife, he subjected her to a series of torments:
  • scourging, from whose effects two angels cured her;
  • drowning with an anchor attached to her (two angels cut the rope and raised her to the river bank);
  • being shot with arrows, (on the first occasion her wounds were healed; on the second, the arrows turned aside; and on the third, they returned and killed six of the archers, after which, several of the others became Christians).
Finally, the Emperor had her decapitated. The story goes that the decapitation occurred on a Friday at three in the afternoon, as with the death of her Spouse, Jesus Christ.
When her tomb was discovered in 1802, two anchors, three arrows, a palm and an ivy leaf, symbols of her martyrdom, were found on the tiles there.
St. Philomena also revealed to Sr. Maria that her birthday was January 10th, and that her martyrdom occurred on August 10th, which happened to be the exact same date that her relics arrived in Mugnano, Italy, where they remain for veneration to this day.

Favorite of the Cure of Ars
One day, St. John Marie Vianney, Curé of Ars (1876-1859), was given a very special gift from a very special lady. Ven. Pauline Jaricot, foundress of the Living Rosary, she talked to him often about the mysterious Saint of Mugnano and introduced St. Philomena to him formally by giving him one of her relics.
There is not a biography of the Curate of Ars where St. Philomena is not mentioned. In France he was the greatest promoter of her devotion. He had a statue of St. Philomena placed in his parish church, and then built a Basilica in her honor in Ars. This holy man of God, in his characteristic humility, attributed all the miraculous works that occurred in Ars to the intercession of St. Philomena.
It is further recorded that he called St. Philomena the New Light of the Church Militant, a title befitting this little child who, because of her great love for God amidst trial and persecution, is truly a saint for our times.
St. John Vianney commissioned this painting of St. Philomena and it is housed in the Shrine of Ars, France.

How to stay level-headed

Gladly endure whatever goes against you
and do not let good fortune lift you up: for
the latter destroys faith, while the former demands it.

St. Clare of Assisi

St. Clare of Assisi

Once, during an enemy attack against Assisi, the fierce Saracens invaded San Damiano, entered the confines of the monastery and even the very cloister. Fainting in terror, their voices trembling with fear, the sisters cried out to their Mother, St. Clare. What happened next was recorded by the Franciscan friar, Tommaso da Celano:

“Saint Clare, with a fearless heart, commanded them to lead her, sick as she was, to the enemy, preceded by a silver and ivory case in which the Body of the Saint of saints was kept with great devotion. And prostrating herself before the Lord, she spoke tearfully to her Christ: ‘Behold, my Lord, is it possible You want to deliver into the hands of pagans Your defenseless handmaids, whom I have taught out of love for You? I pray You, Lord, protect these Your handmaids whom I cannot now save by myself.’ Suddenly a voice like that of a child resounded in her ears from the tabernacle: ‘I will always protect you!’ ‘My Lord,’ she added, ‘if it is Your wish, protect also this city which is sustained by Your love.’ Christ replied, ‘It will have to undergo trials, but it will be defended by My protection.’ Then the virgin, raising a face bathed in tears, comforted the sisters: ‘I assure you, daughters, that you will suffer no evil; only have faith in Christ.’ Upon seeing the courage of the sisters, the Saracens took flight and fled back over the walls they had scaled, unnerved by the strength of she who prayed. And Clare immediately admonished those who heard the voice I spoke of above, telling them severely: ‘Take care not to tell anyone about that voice while I am still alive, dearest daughters.’’”
The miracles performed during her life by this first spiritual daughter of St. Francis were indeed numerous. Her confidence in her divine Spouse was total and unconditional. Having once renounced all earthly possessions for love of Him, she tenaciously thwarted every attempt – even by several well-meaning popes – to mitigate the absolute poverty she and her religious sisters had so willingly embraced. After St. Francis’ death in 1226 and until her own in 1253, Clare continued to hold fast to the counsels St. Francis had given her and to direct the order in the true spirit of its founder: total renunciation of all earthly possessions and an unconquerable faith and confidence in Divine Providence.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

This is worth more than all the knowledge in the world

There is more value in a little study of humility
and in a single act of it
than in all the knowledge in the world.

St. Teresa of Avila

St. Lawrence Martyr

St. Lawrence, one of the deacons of the Roman Church, was one of the victims of the persecution of Valerian in 258, like Pope Sixtus II and many other members of the Roman clergy. At the beginning of the month of August, in the year 258, the Roman emperor issued an edict, commanding that all bishops, priests, and deacons should be put to death. This imperial command was immediately carried out in the city of Rome. On the 6th Pope Sixtus II was apprehended in one of the catacombs, and executed without delay. As he was led to execution, Lawrence followed him. “Father, where are you going without your deacon?" he said. "I am not leaving you, my son," answered the Pope, "in three days you will follow me." Two other deacons, Felicissimus and Agapitus, were put to death the same day. Three days later, on the 10th of August of that same year, Lawrence, the last of the seven deacons, also suffered a martyr’s death.

St. Ambrose of Milan and the poet Prudentius, give particular details about St. Lawrence’s death. Ambrose relates that when St. Lawrence was asked to bring forth the treasures of the Church he hastily traveled throughout the city, gathering the poor. On the third day, he brought them to the prefect, who believed the Church had treasure hidden away, and said, “These are the treasures of the Church." The disappointed prefect angrily condemned Lawrence to death. The saint was stripped of his clothing and tied on top of a gird-iron over a slow fire that roasted his flesh little by little. Defiant in spite of his intense suffering, the holy deacon audaciously commanded his executioners “Turn me over. That side is cooked.” The holy audacity of this deacon-martyr inspires noble souls until today.

St. Lawrence is considered one of the most venerated martyrs of the Catholic Church since the fourth century.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Pray and read

Prayer purifies us,
reading instructs us …
If a man wants to be always in God’s company,
he must pray regularly and read regularly.
When we pray, we talk to God; when we read, God talks to us.

St. Isidore of Seville

Bl. Amadeus of Portugal

João Mendes da Silva, better known as the Blessed Amadeus of Portugal, was born in 1420 in Campo Maior on the eastern side of the country. The youngest son of twelve children, he was closely related to the Counts of Vila Real and Viana do Alentejo, whose lands lay near the border of Portugal and Spain. St. Beatriz da Silva, the foundress of the Order of the Immaculate Conception, was one of his sisters, and a strong devotion to this prerogative of Our Lady – centuries before it was defined as a dogma – was a profound spiritual characteristic they both shared.

João was married very young, but soon after entered the Hieronymite monastery of Santa Maria de Guadalupe in Spain, where he spent about ten years. Inspired by a vision of the Immaculate Conception of Mary Most Holy to join the Franciscans, he sought admission to their friary in Ubeda in Lombardy where he entered as a lay brother in 1452 and took the name of Amadeus.

Initially not well received by his confreres, some of whom took him for a religious fraud, he was widely persecuted within the Order bearing all the humiliations inflicted upon him with great patience. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1459 at the insistence of his superiors. Amadeus subsequently became renowned throughout the houses of the Order for his holiness and miracles.

In 1469, he founded the Friary of Notre Dame de la Paix under the protection of the Archbishop of Milan. This friary soon became the center of a Franciscan reform which eventually spread throughout Italy and beyond. When the Minister General of the Franciscan Order, Francesco della Rovere, was elected to the throne of Peter as Pope Sixtus IV, he summoned Amadeus to Rome to be his confessor and counselor.

The reform of the Franciscan Order begun by St. Amadeus led to his founding of a distinct branch of the Friars Minor which was ultimately named after him. Amadeus later returned to Milan, where he died in 1482.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

This is not true love

What a weakness it is to love Jesus Christ
only when He caresses us,
and to be cold immediately once He afflicts us.
This is not true love.
Those who love thus love themselves too much
to love God with all their heart.

St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

St. Dominic de Guzman

Dominic was born in 1170 in Castile, Spain to Felix Guzman and Joan of Aza (who later became a blessed). He was sent to school in Palencia when he was fourteen, and while he was still a student, was made Canon of the Cathedral of Osma. He went on to complete his studies and was ordained a priest, taking up his role at Osma.

Around the year 1204, Dominic accompanied the bishop of Osma to Denmark. Their travels took them through Languedoc, in southern France, where the Albigensian heresy, the belief that the body is evil, was rampant. The host at an inn where they stopped was an Albigensian. Dominic spent a whole night in discussion with him and by morning he had converted the innkeeper. That is when Dominic saw his true vocation in spreading and defending the Catholic Faith.

With papal permission, Dominic spent nearly ten years preaching in France with a small group of men living under the rule of St. Augustine. Then, in the year 1216, his small group became a community: the Order of Preachers. Dominic sent his followers far and wide, establishing friaries in Spain, France and Italy.

Dominic became ill and died in 1221 at the age of fifty-two.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

When we fall...

One may fall,
one may not be always faithful;
but Love, knowing how to draw profit from all,
very quickly consumes whatever may displease Jesus, leaving nothing
but profound and humble peace in the depths of the soul.

St. Thérèse of Lisieux

St. Cajetan

Cajetan was born in 1480 in Vicenza, Italy to Caspar, the Count of Thiene and Mary di Porto, both members of the nobility of Vicenza. He educated himself in theology and Cannon Law, and in 1516, was ordained a priest. He joined the Oratory of Divine Love in Rome, a group devoted to piety and charity, shortly after his ordination. He returned to Vicenza in 1528 and joined a religious order similar to the Oratory of Divine Love, but consisting only of men of the lowest stations of life. He sought out the sick and poor and served them.

In 1524 Cajetan was part of a group of holy men who strived to reform the Church, which was in moral chaos at that time. He and three other men made their profession in the presence of a papal delegate and named their congregation The Theatine Clerks Regular.

Cajetan died in 1547, after a life of service to the Catholic Church and to the poor. He was canonized in 1671.

Novena to Our Lady of the Assumption (Feast: August 15)

Novena to Our Lady of the Assumption - August 7th to the 15th


Prayer:
Lord Jesus Christ, You have destroyed the power of death and given the hope of eternal life for body and soul. You granted your Mother a special place in your glory, and did not allow decay to touch her body. As we rejoice in the Assumption of Mary, grant us renewed confidence in the victory of life over death. Amen.


Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
Day 4 Day 5 Day 6
Day 7 Day 8 Day 9


Day 1
Painting of Our Lady being taken up to heaven by the angels. Immaculate Virgin, Mother of Jesus and our Mother, we believe in your triumphant assumption into heaven where the angels and saints acclaim you as Queen of Heaven and earth.
We join them in praising you and bless the Lord who raised you above all creatures. With them we honor you.
We are confident that you watch over our daily lives and we ask that you intercede for us now.
(Mention your request)

We are comforted by our faith in the coming Resurrection and we look to you for prayers and comfort.
After this earthly life, show us Jesus, the blessed fruit of your womb, O kind, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.
O Queen Assumed into Heaven, pray for us. Amen.


 
Painting of Our Lady surrounded by angelsDay 2
Mary, Assumed into Heaven, we venerate you as the Queen of Heaven and earth.
As you tasted the bitterness of pain and sorrow with your Son on earth, you now enjoy eternal bliss with Him in Heaven.
Loving Queen, intercede for us in our needs.

(Mention your request)

We praise Jesus for giving us such a loving mother.
O Queen Assumed into Heaven, pray for us. Amen.


 
Day 3
Painting of Our Lady being taken to heaven by angels
O Mother, Assumed into Heaven, because you shared in all the mysteries of our Redemption here below, Jesus has crowned you with glory.
With your most glorious and powerful intercession, help us O loving Mother and present to Jesus our request.

(Mention your request)

O Queen assumed into Heaven, pray for us. Amen.



Day 4
Painting of Our Lady floating in a cloud above her tombO Dearest Mother Mary, Assumed into Heaven, God placed you at His right hand that you may intercede for his little ones as the Mother of God.
In the midst of all the saints you stand as their Queen and ours — dearer to the Heart of God than any creation. You pray for your children and grant us every grace won by our loving Savior on the Cross.
Please intercede for us in our needs and ask Jesus to grant our request if it be for the good of our souls.

(Mention your request)

O Queen Assumed into Heaven, pray for us. Amen.


 
Day 5
Painting of Our Lady's AssumptionO merciful and loving Mother, may your glorious beauty fill our hearts with a distaste for earthly things and an ardent longing for the joys of Heaven.
May your merciful eyes glance down upon our struggles and our weakness in this vale of tears.
Hear then loving Mother, our request and plead to Jesus for us.

(Mention your request)

Crown us with the pure robe of innocence and grace here, and with immortality and glory in Heaven.
O Queen Assumed into Heaven, pray for us. Amen.



Day 6
Painting of Our Lady crowned with starsMary, our dear Mother and mighty Queen, take and receive our poor hearts with all their freedom and desires, all the love and all the virtues and graces with which they may be adorned.
All we are and all we might be, all we have and hold in the order of nature as well as of grace, we have received from God through your loving intercession.
Help us dear Mother to surrender to God all that we have, including our petitions.

(Mention your request)

Our Lady and Queen, into your gentle hands, we entrust all, that it may be returned to its noble origin.
O Queen Assumed into Heaven, pray for us. Amen.



Day 7
Painting of Our Lady honored by the angels and saints in heaven, and mourned by the apostles on earthMary, Queen of every heart, accept all that we are and bind us to Jesus with the bonds of love so that we may be yours forever and may be able to say in all truth:
“I belong to Jesus through Mary”.
Our Mother, Assumed into Heaven and Queen of the Universe, ever-Virgin Mother of God, obtain for us what we ask, if it be for the glory of God and the good of our souls.

(Mention your request)

Our Mother, assumed into Heaven, we love you. Give us a greater love for Jesus and for you.
O Queen Assumed into Heaven, pray for us. Amen.



Day 8
Mary, Queen Assumed into Heaven, we rejoice that you are the Queen of Heaven and Earth. You have given your holy fiat to God and became the Mother of our Savior.
Obtain peace and salvation for us through your prayers, for you have given birth to Christ our Lord, the Savior of all mankind.
Intercede for us and bring our petitions before the Throne of God.

(Mention your request)

Through your prayers, may our souls be filled with an intense desire to be like you, a humble vessel of the Holy Spirit and a servant of the Almighty God.
Pray for us O Queen Assumed into Heaven, pray for us. Amen.


 
Day 9
Painting of Our Lady being assumed into heaven surrounded by angels with the apostles belowO Blessed Mother Assumed into Heaven, after years of heroic martyrdom on earth, we rejoice that you have at last been taken to the throne prepared for you in Heaven by the Holy Trinity.
Lift our hearts with you in the glory of your Assumption above the dreadful touch of sin and impurity.
Teach us how small earth becomes when viewed from heaven. Make us realize that death is the triumphant gate through which we shall pass to your Son and that someday our bodies shall rejoin our souls in the unending bliss of heaven.
From this earth, which we tread as pilgrims, we look to you for help.
In honor of your Assumption into Heaven, we ask for this favor:

(Mention your request)

At the hour of our death, lead us safely to the presence of Jesus to enjoy the vision of God for all eternity together with you.
Pray for us O Queen Assumed into Heaven, pray for us, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Amen.





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The Legend of the Locket

I was in my first sleep when the sound of the doorbell awakened me, whereupon I sprang from my bed, and, after a few hurried preparations, hastened to throw open the door.

It was a bitter cold night in January, and the moon without threw its pale light over the wan spectral snow-covered landscape. The sharp gust that swept into the hall as I opened the door made me pity the delicate-looking child who stood at the threshold.
Her hair gleamed with a strange and rare effect in the moonlight, long golden hair that fell in graceful ripples about her shoulders. She was lightly dressed, this little child, as she stood gazing straight and frankly into my eyes with an expression at once so beautiful and calm and earnest that I shall never forget it.
Her face was very pale, her complexion of the fairest. The radiancy about her hair seemed to glow in some weird yet indescribable fashion upon her every feature. These details I had not fairly taken in when she addressed me.
"Father, can you come with me at once? My mother is dying, and she is in trouble."
"Come inside, my little girl," I said, "and warm yourself. You must be half frozen."
"Indeed, Father, I am not in the least cold." I had thrown on my coat and hat as she made answer.
"Your mother's name, my child?"
"Catherine Morgan, Father; she's a widow, and has lived like a saint. And now that she's dying, she is in awful trouble. She was taken sick about a few hours ago."
"Where does she live?"
"Two miles from here, Father, on the border of the Great Swamp; she is a stranger in these parts, and alone. I know the way perfectly; you need not be afraid of getting lost."
A few minutes later we were tramping through the snow, or rather I was tramping, for the child beside me moved with so light and tender a step, that had there been flowers instead of snowflakes beneath our feet I do not think a single petal would have been crushed under the airy fall of her fairy feet.
Her hand was in mine with the confiding clasp of childhood. Her face, for all the trouble that was at home, wore a gravely serene air, such as is seldom seen in years of sprightly, youthful innocence.
How beautiful she looked!
More like a creature fresh from the perfect handiwork of God than one who walked in the valley of sin, sorrow, trouble and death.
Locket Upon her bosom I observed a golden locket fashioned in a heart shape.
She noticed my glance, and with a quick movement of her fingers released the locket and handed it to me.
"It's a heart," I said.
"Read what's on it, Father."
"I can't, my little friend; my eyes are very good, but are not equal to making out reading on gold lockets by moonlight."
"Just let me hold it for you, Father. Now look."
How this child contrived, I cannot say; but certain it is, that at once, as she held the locket at a certain angle, there stood out clearly, embossed upon its surface, the legend:
"Cease! the Heart of Jesus is with me." 
"Mamma placed that upon my bosom one year ago, when I was very sick, Father." And kissing the locket, the child restored it to its place.
We went on for a time in silence. I carried the Blessed Sacrament with me; and, young as she was, the girl seemed to appreciate the fact. Whenever I glanced at her, I observed her lips moving as in prayer, and her eyes seemed, in very truth, fixed upon the place where rested in His sacramental veil the Master of Life and of Death.
Suddenly the girl's hand touched my sleeve-oh, so gently!
"This is the place, Father," she said in soft tones that thrilled me as they broke upon the stillness; and she pointed to a little hut standing back in the dim shadows of three pine trees.
I pushed open the door, which hung loosely upon its hinges, and turned to wait her entrance. She was gone. Somewhat startled, I was peering out into the pallid night, when a groan called me to the bedside of the dying woman.
A glance told me there was no time to lose. The woman lying in that room had hardly reached middle life, but the hand of Death had touched her brow, upon which stood the drops of sweat, and in her face I read a great trouble.
I was at her side in an instant; and, God be thanked for it, soon calmed and quieted the poor creature. She made her confession, and in sentiments of faith and love such as I have rarely seen, received the Last Sacraments of the Church.
Standing beside her, I suggested those little prayers and devices so sweet and consoling at the dread hour. I noticed, as the time passed on, that her eyes frequently turned toward a little box at the farther end of the room.
"Shall I bring you that box?" I asked.
She nodded assent.
On placing it beside her, she opened it with trembling hands and took out the dress of a child.
"Your little daughter's dress?" I said.
She whispered, and there was love in her tones: "My darling Edith's."
"I know her," I continued. "She brought me here, you know."
I stopped short and caught my breath. The woman half rose in her bed; she looked at me in wonder that cannot be expressed. I, no less amazed, was staring at a golden, oval locket fastened to the bosom of the child's dress which the woman was holding in her hands.

"Madam," I cried, "in the name of God, tell me, where is your daughter? Whose is that locket?"
"The locket is Edith's. I placed it here on the bosom of her dress when my little girl lay dying a year ago. The last thing my darling did was to hold this locket to her lips, and say:
'Cease! the Heart of Jesus is with me.'
"She died a year ago."
Then the mother's face grew very sweet and very radiant.
Still holding the locket in her hands, she fixed her eyes straight before her.
"Edith, my dear Edith, we are at last to be united in the Sacred Heart. I see you, my darling: ‘Cease! the Heart of Jesus is with me."'
Her voice faded with the last syllable into silence.
She and Edith were again united.

From Fr. Finn's Mostly Boys (New York: 1896), pp. 90-95.
Illustrations by: AF Phillips