Tuesday, May 22, 2018

In the Earthquakes of Life, Hold onto Mary



In the beautiful city of Lima, Peru, close to the impressive Plaza de Armas, or Arms Square, is the Church of the Holy Rosary, more commonly called “of the Dominicans”.
In this Church, as you walk toward the main altar, on the left, there is a life-size statue of the Blessed Mother that will halt your steps. Maybe the first thing that will “grab” you is her beauty, then the joyful expression of her face.

She seems to say, I’m here–what are you worried about?
And then you’d pass on unless a friend held your arm and whispered,
“Stay. There is even more to this statue. She spoke to a saint once…Actually, to three saints!”
Then you’d take another look, possibly kneel and certainly pray. And then, leading the friend aside, you’d whisper back, “What did she say?!”

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St John MasiasAnd you’d hear this marvelous story:
Once, Saint John Masias who lived in Peru at the same time as St. Rose of Lima and St. Martin de Porres, was praying before this statue, called Our Lady of the Rosary, donated by Emperor Charles V, and beloved of Peruvians for her many miracles.
As he prayed, he felt rumblings…
Now, earthquakes are common in Peru, so John Masias probably stood still, hands folded, eyes wide, trying to gage the intensity of this rumble.
And then, as the reverberations continued, he stood up and turned to run when he heard the sweetest voice coming from the statue,
“Brother John, Brother John, where are you going?”
He stopped short and managed to answer,
“My Lady, like everybody else, I’m running from your Son’s severity…”
“Come back and don’t worry, am I not here?”
So he did. And after that, Brother John always affirmed that there was no better spot in all of Lima to weather an earthquake than by the statue of the Lady of the Rosary.

To this day, if an earthquake occurs during Mass, or when devotions are being held in this church, the faithful are asked not to leave. And never has it been known that anyone was ever harmed who stayed with the Statue of Our Lady of the Rosary in her church of the Dominicans.

You are now probably curious what else did this beautiful statue say to the other two holy contemporaries of St. John Masias.
St Rose of Lima
To St. Rose of Lima, who came one day to this same statue to ask her Blessed Mother which name she should go by, whether her official baptismal name of Isabel, or the nick name of Rose, she heard the same sweet voice that had regaled Masia’s ears:
Rose of Holy Mary”.
At another time it was the Infant Jesus who from His mother’s arms said to her, “Rose of my heart, I want you for my spouse.” To which the young saint fainted. It is no small thing to have God propose, you know.

St Martin de PorresAnd St. Martin de Porres the great miracle worker of Lima, came regularly to converse with the Blessed Lady, who one day, because the visit was so extended, ordered an angel to go ring the bell of St. Martin’s convent, which was the saint’s chore.

So, you see, dear reader, stay by Mary, stay with her Rosary, and there is no telling what she will do for you not only in the daily occurrences of life, but especially when life rumbles.

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 By Andrea F. PhillipsReferences: Revista Catolicismo, Nossa Senhora do Rosario, Padroeira de Lima, Peru by Valdis Grinstein.
Photo Attribution:  Church of Santo Domingo Lima-Imehling : Our Lady of the Rosary-TFP Peru : Saint John Masias-Kordas : St Rose of Lima-Seges : St Martin de Porres-Barcex

As my sufferings increase...

O loving Jesus,
increase my patience
according as my sufferings increase.

St. Rita of Cascia

St. Rita of Cascia

Rita was born in Roccaborena, Italy in 1381 to aged parents who were known for their charity, and who fervently thanked God for the gift of a daughter so late in life.

Extraordinarily pious from an early age, Rita set her heart on entering the Augustinian convent in Cascia, but her parents had plans for her to marry the town’s watchman, Paolo Mancini, and she submitted to their desires in the matter.

Her husband proved to have an explosive temper, and became abusive, but Rita bore with his ill-treatment patiently for eighteen years bearing him two sons, who fell under their father’s pernicious influence.

She wept and prayed for her husband and children unceasingly. Finally won over by her virtue, Paolo had a change of heart and asked her forgiveness. Soon after, involved in a local feud, he was ambushed and brought home dead. His two young sons vowed to avenge their father’s slaying, which was a new source of affliction for Rita, who begged God to take them before they committed murder. The Lord heard the saint’s heroic plea and her sons contracted a disease from which both died, not before being reconciled to their mother and to their God.

Free from all earthly cares, Rita turned to the Augustinians seeking admittance only to be told that she could not be accepted on reason of having been married. Rita prayed and persisted and it is said that one morning she was found inside the walls of the convent though none knew how, the doors having been locked all night. She was received then at age thirty-six.

In religious life she was a model of virtue, prayer and mortification. One day, after hearing a sermon on Our Lord's crown of thorns, she felt as if one of the thorns was being pressed to her forehead. On the spot, an open wound developed, and the stench it emitted became so offensive that she had to be secluded. She bore this wound until her death.

Rita died on May 22, 1457 and her body has remained incorrupt to this day.

So many miracles were reported after her death, that, in Spain, she became known as “la santa del impossible”, the saint of impossible cases, a title that spread throughout the Catholic world.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Mary Rewards Childlike Obedience


Mary Rewards
Childlike Obedience

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

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

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

Also Read:  

Pray without ceasing

We must pray without ceasing,
in every occurrence and employment of our lives – that prayer
which is rather a habit of lifting up the heart to God
as in a constant communication with Him.

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

St. Christopher Magallanes and Companions

Christopher Magallanes was born in 1869 in the province of Guadalajara, Mexico, of devout parents who were poor farmers. As a youth, he worked as a shepherd, but felt called to be a shepherd of souls. He entered the seminary at nineteen and was ordained at the age of thirty.

He worked as a parish priest in his hometown of Totatiche for two decades, and there also opened a carpentry business to help provide jobs for the local men.

When, in the first decades of the twentieth century, the atheistic Mexican government launched a merciless persecution of the Catholic Church, a new constitution banned the training of priests. In 1915, Fr. Christopher opened his own small seminary in Totatiche where he soon had a dozen students.

Consequently accused of trying to incite rebellion, Fr. Christopher was arrested on his way to say Mass, imprisoned and condemned to be shot without trial.  His few possessions he gave away to his jailer and he was executed on May 21, 1927 with another twenty-one priests and three lay Catholics. His last words were, “I die innocent, and ask God that my blood may serve to unite my Mexican brethren.” He was canonized by Pope John Paul II on May 21, 2000.
Second Photo by: Humberto

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Intentions for Pentecost Sunday

Pray for the reestablishment of the kingdom of God,
for the spread of the Faith,
for the praise and triumph of our Holy Mother Church …
Pray for the unfaithful
and for heretics and
for the conversion of sinners.

St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina