November Feast Days

St.Andrew

Andrew, Peter’s brother, and John were the first disciples to follow the Lord. With tender delicacy the Gospel (John 1:35-42) describes their first meeting with Jesus. Andrew did not belong to the inner circle of the apostles, Peter, James and John, and the evangelists narrate nothing extraordinary about him (John 6:8); but tradition (resting on apocrpyhal Acts) extols his great love of the Cross and of the Savior; and the Church distinguishes him both in the Mass (his name occurs in the Canon and in the Libera since the time of Pope St. Gregory I who had a special devotion to him) and in the Breviary.

The story of his martyrdom rests on the apocryphal Acts which lack historical foundation. The pagan judge exhorted him to sacrifice to the gods. Andrew replied: “I sacrifice daily to almighty God, the one and true God. Not the flesh of oxen and the blood of goats do I offer, but the unspotted Lamb upon the altar. All the faithful partake of His flesh, yet the Lamb remains unharmed and living.” Angered by the reply, Aegeas commanded him to be thrown into prison. With little difficulty the people would have freed him, but Andrew personally calmed the mob and earnestly entreated them to desist, as he was hastening toward an ardently desired crown of martyrdom.

When Andrew was led to the place of martyrdom, on beholding the cross from a distance he cried out: “O good Cross, so long desired and now set up for my longing soul I confident and rejoicing come to you; exultingly receive me, a disciple of Him who hung on you.” Forthwith he was nailed to the cross. For two days he hung there alive, unceasingly proclaiming the doctrine of Christ until he passed on to Him whose likeness in death he had so vehemently desired. –The legendary account of our saint’s martyrdom has this value: it presents to us the mysticism of the Cross of later times.

Excerpted from The Church’s Year of Grace, Pius Parsch.

Novenas

Novena to the Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Day 2

Day 2

PRAYER TO THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

O God, who by the Immaculate Conception

of the Blessed Virgin Mary, did prepare a worthy dwelling place for Your Son, we beseech You that, as by the foreseen death of this, Your Son, You did preserve Her from all stain, so too You would permit us, purified through Her intercession, to come unto You. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end.

Amen.

O Mary, ever blessed Virgin, Mother of God, Queen of angels and of saints, we salute you with the most profound veneration and filial devotion as we contemplate your holy Immaculate Conception, We thank you for your maternal protection and for the many blessings that we have received through your wondrous mercy and most powerful intercession. In all our necessities we have recourse to you with unbounded confidence. O Mother of Mercy, we beseech you now to hear our prayer and to obtain for us of your Divine Son the favor that we so earnestly request in this novena…

(State your intention here…)

O Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Mother of Christ, you had influence with your Divine Son while upon this earth; you have the same influence now in heaven. Pray for us and obtain for us from him the granting of my petition if it be the Divine Will.

Amen.

Marian apparitions, Miracles of Our Lady

Our Lady of Beauraing

The Virgin With The Golden Heart

Beauraing,Belgium 1932

THE little village of Beauraing is located about sixty miles southeast of Brussels, Belgium, and had about two thousand people at the time of the apparitions. Most of the people in the region made their living by farming, and some worked in nearby quarries and forests, while many had gardens which helped in supplementing their food supply. At one time, the people had been staunch Catholics, but by 1932, many had drifted away from the Church. Some were indifferent toward the Catholic Faith while others were hostile to it. Not helping the situation was the Labor Party which was Marxist and anti-Catholic, and which had carried the district in many elections. It was a time of unrest in the world as well, because the Communists were in power in Russia and were trying to extend their godless rule throughout the world. Benito Mussolini was master of Italy, and Adolf Hitler was soon to have complete power in Germany.

In this terrible world situation, the Blessed Virgin displayed her motherly concern by visiting Beauraing thirty-three times. The visionaries were five children, four girls and one boy, who belonged to two families. The children of the Voisin family were Gilberte, who was thirteen, Fernande, fifteen, and their younger brother, Albert, eleven. The two girls of the Degeimbre family were Andrée, fourteen, and Gilberte, nine. It became a habit for four of the children to walk each evening to the Academy where Gilberte Voisin attended school until 6: 30 p.m. When Gilberte was dismissed, the little group returned home. Arriving at the convent school, which was operated by the Sisters of Christian Doctrine, they entered the gate and walked to their favorite place to wait, a garden that displayed a small Lourdes grotto. Beyond the garden was a street and above it a small bridge that crossed over it.

On November 29, 1932, while waiting for Gilberte, Albert was the first to notice a luminous lady walking on the bridge. He at once exclaimed, “It is the Virgin Mary walking atop the bridge.” The figure then proceeded to move in mid-air toward the treetops within the garden. Albert’s companions also saw the Lady, and when the nun opened the school door for Gilberte to leave, Gilberte also saw the Lady. Sister Valeria was alerted by the children, but she dismissed the story as simply child’s play since she saw nothing. The children excitedly informed their parents who were extremely skeptical but listened as the children described the beautiful Lady as wearing a long white gown with a silk veil that flowed down to where a small cloud covered her feet. They said that as the Lady drew near to them she seemed to emanate a bright light. Her hands were folded in prayer and she smiled at them, but said nothing.

The next evening, when Gilberte was leaving the school, all five children once again saw the beautiful Lady walking along the bridge. When they again reported it to their parents, their parents became furious and thought that someone was trying to scare them. The next evening, Mrs. Degeimbre took a stick with her to inspect the bushes for the prankster. While Mrs. Degimbre was thrashing the bushes, the children were heard to cry, “Oh, oh.” This time the Lady was near the Lourdes grotto, her hands joined in prayer, her eyes raised to Heaven. She looked at the children, smiled and while rising from the ground, she disappeared.

For the next apparition, the Lady appeared under the arch of a hawthorn tree in the convent garden. It was there that she appeared for all the following visitations. During the early visions, the Lady did not carry a Rosary, but later there was always one suspended from her right arm. For each of the visions, as soon as the children saw the lady they simultaneously dropped to their knees and recited the Hail Mary in high-pitched voices.

The children again described the vision as looking young, about eighteen or twenty; her eyes were a beautiful deep blue and rays of light formed around her head like a crown. She wore a long, white, heavily pleated gown without a belt. The children said that the dress reflected a kind of blue light and the Virgin’s hands were pressed together as if in prayer, but she parted them as she vanished from sight. On December 2, when the Lady again appeared, Albert made himself the spokesman of the group and asked: “Are you the Immaculate Virgin?” The lady smiled and nodded her head. “What do you want?” Albert asked. The Lady’s first words were “Always be good.” She appeared two more times that day and during the last time she asked: “Is it true you will always be good?” “Yes,” Andrée cried. “We will always be good.” The Lady then disappeared.

Crowds began to form, but no one except the children saw the vision. When the Lady asked the children return on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, approximately fifteen thousand people assembled, expecting a great miracle. During this apparition, the children recited the Rosary while they waited for the Lady, who asked for a chapel to be built. During this apparition, a number of doctors made an attempt to distract the children during their ecstasy by pinching, slapping, by shining a flashlight in their eyes and even attempting to burn their fingers, but the children were unaffected. Four days later, the Lady announced, “I am the Immaculate Virgin.” Fernande, on December 23, asked the Lady, “Why do you come?” The Lady answered: “That people might come here on pilgrimage.” On December 29, the Blessed Virgin opened her arms in the usual gesture of farewell, and it was then that Fernande saw in the region of the Virgin’s chest, a heart of gold surrounded by glittering rays. Our Lady then said, “Pray. Pray very much.”

During the next vision, all the children children saw the golden heart. In the following apparitions the Blessed Mother said, “I will convert sinners … I am the Mother of God, the Queen of Heaven. Pray always.” Another time she gave a secret to each child and asked, “Do you love my

Son? Do you love me? Then sacrifice yourself for me.”

During the last vision she showed her heart of gold, said, “Good-by,” and disappeared. Some of the children wept in heart-wrenching disappointment.

When the visions ended, the children visited the hawthorn tree each day to recite the Rosary. Their families never benefited financially from the visions, although they were frequently visited by the curious.

In 1933, it was estimated that over two million pilgrims visited the hawthorn, which by then was protected by a bronze railing. Cures also bestowed legitimacy for unbelievers and many cures were investigated investigated and regarded as miraculous. And, according to the Lady, many of the visitors were converted, including some Communists who at first meant to scoff and ridicule. All of Belgium knew of the visions, and because of some criticism and opposition, the bishop almost immediately initiated an investigation in 1935. In 1936, Bishop Heylen consulted with Pope Pius XI who praised the heroic faithfulness of the children in going to the hawthorn every night for prayers. Many documents, studies and letters were circulated between the Holy Office, various cardinals and diocesan officials, so that by February 2, 1943, Bishop Charue accepted the validity of the visions of Our Lady of Beauraing and participated in official ceremonies celebrating the recognition. The Holy Father once again gave his personal approval of the apparitions by blessing the Sanctuary and the pilgrims in 1947. On July 2, 1949, Bishop Charue wrote to the clergy of his diocese:We are able in all serenity and prudence to affirm that the Queen of Heaven appeared to the children of Beauraing during the winter of 1932–1933 especially to show us in her maternal Heart, the anxious appeal for prayer and the promise of her powerful mediation for the conversion of sinners.

The chapel that the Lady requested was built and consecrated on August 21, 1954. Many confessionals were added for the converted sinners while the former Academy convent was converted into a home for ill pilgrims. None of the children were called to the religious life, instead, they all married and raised their children in the good graces of the Catholic Faith. The visionaries always shunned attention, saying that they were merely instruments through whom Our Lady gave her message to the world—one of the messages being proof of her tender love for the world by the displaying of her golden heart. Our Lady of Beauraing. Our Lady appeared thirty-three times to five children in 1932 in the village of Beauraing in Belgium. She asked that the children be good and pray very much, and that people come there on pilgrimage.

~Source:”See How She Loves Us”~

November Feast Days

BLESSEDS DENIS OF THE NATIVITY AND REDEMPTUS OF THE CROSS

BLESSEDS DENIS OF THE NATIVITY (OCD), AND REDEMPTUS OF THE CROSS (OCD), RELIGIOUS AND MARTYRS

Blessed Denis and Blessed Redemptus died for their faith on 29 November 1638. Both of these two men are interesting as they were late vocations, having had successful careers before becoming Carmelite friars. They both earned the title of the first martyrs of the Carmelite Reform.

Blessed Denis of the Nativity was born Denis Berthelot at Honfleur, France on December 12, 1600. As a young man he sailed abroad to Spain, England and America, becoming a skilled pilot. He worked as a cartographer and naval captain for the kings of France and Portugal. Because of his valor and genius, he became first pilot of the kings of France and Portugal. Some of his cartography, the Maritime Tables, is still preserved in the British Museum.

In 1635, while in Goa, he took counsel with his spiritual director, Father Philip of the Most Trinity, and consequently joined the Discalced Carmelites. He made his profession on Dec. 25, 1636, with the name of Dionysius of the Nativity. He was ordained a priest on Aug. 24, 1638. According to the testimony of the same Father Philip, he was an example of virtue to all the religious, both in the novitiate and after his profession. He was graced with the gift of contemplation; and more than once during prayer he appeared surrounded by heavenly splendors.

Thomas Rodriguez de Cunha ,born in  Portugal in 15 March 1598  had made his own profession as a lay brother in 1615 in the same house, taking the name in religion of Redemptus of the Cross. His early career before becoming a Carmelite included military service in India at Goa. He accompanied the viceroy, Joao Coutinho, Count of Redondo, to India.  He distinguished himself for bravery and had become captain of the guards in Mylapore. He  became acquainted with the Carmelites in Tatta (Sind) and later evinced a desire to join them as a non-cleric.

Shortly after the Ordination to the priesthood of Blessed Denis, the Portuguese ambassador to the sultan of Achen wanted Bl. Denis to join him as a spiritual guide, as well as a Maritime expert.   Brother Redemptus was sent by the superiors of the Order to accompany Father Denis of the Nativity as part of an ambassadorial mission from the Portuguese Empire to the Sultan of Aceh. The mission was led by Dom Francisco Sousa de Castro as ambassador. Father Denis, in turn, took as companion, Brother Redemptus.

The two left Goa with the delegation on Sept. 25, 1638, and after a successful voyage arrived at Achén on Oct. 25.  However, the Sultan of Achen imprisoned them. They were tormented and their persecutors tried mightily to convince them to renounce their Catholic faith and become Muslims. This they steadfastly refused to do and they suffered a cruel death for their Christian faith on November 29, 1638. They were beatified by Pope Leo XIII on 10 June 1900.

Novenas

Novena to Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Day 1

Day 1

PRAYER TO THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

O God, who by the Immaculate Conception

of the Blessed Virgin Mary,

did prepare a worthy dwelling place for Your Son, we beseech You that, as by the foreseen death of this, Your Son, You did preserve Her from all stain, so too You would permit us, purified through Her intercession, to come unto You. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

God, world without end.

Amen.

O most Holy Virgin, who was pleasing to the Lord and became His mother, immaculate in body and spirit, in faith and in love, look kindly on me as I implore your powerful intercession. O most Holy Mother, who by your blessed Immaculate Conception, from the first moment of your conception did crush the head of the enemy, receive our prayers as we implore you to present at the throne of God the favor we now request…

(State your intention here…)

O Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Mother of Christ, you had influence with your Divine Son while upon this earth; you have the same influence now in heaven. Pray for us and obtain for us from him the granting of my petition if it be the Divine Will.

Amen.