Angels, guardian angels

Angels in the Life of Luisa Maria Benedetta

Servant of God Luisa Maria Benedetta was born in Savona to a noble and profoundly Christian family. From the time she was little she was drawn to religious life and in 1905 she took her perpetual vows assuming the name Sister Mary Josephine of Jesus, Spouse of the Heart of Jesus.

One time Jesus appeared to her and confided in her: “I want you as mediator between God and men… Pray, petition, make amends, I am keen on forgiving; be keen on asking and obtaining my forgiveness… Transport yourself in spirit inside the poorest churches of the countryside and there adore and repair. Make yourself the adorer of abandoned Hosts, the repairer of offended Hosts….”

From then on Sister Mary subjected herself to great penance for the love of sinners and this very much irritated the demon that appeared to her and threatened her with these words: “How can you tolerate this life which you have imposed upon yourself? …And all of the humiliation and deprivation that still awaits you? …It is impossible…you expect too much of yourself and your own courage.”

Shortly after that she became afflicted by illnesses that doctors could not explain. She accepted with resignation the illness that brought her to her death in 1917. She had many encounters with her Guardian Angel that guided her and gave her advice. In her writings Sister Mary tells: “In spite of the lessons of my Guardian Angel, I found myself in a state in which I felt the rigor of God’s judgment inside of me. I was attacked by strong temptations. Trapped by despair, I called out to my Guardian Angel, as usual, who having yet pity on me took me to the entrance of the garden of Gethsemane where Jesus was in agony. Being yet far away, he put me on the ground and the view of Jesus suffering profoundly penetrated my soul and I lost any perception of pain inside of me. I did not see or hear any suffering other than that of Jesus. My only desire then became to comfort the Lord. My Angel, seeing my suffering said to me “there is a need for victimized souls to console Jesus. Where are those who consent to suffer with him in agony until they sweat blood?’ Then he signaled for me to get closer to Jesus but since I did not dare, considering myself unworthy, he said to me: ‘Advance without fear, this is the place of prayers for sinners’. Then I got closer and the value of prayer and compassion for sinners became clear to me. I found my resting place. Sometimes my Guardian Angel would lead me in spirit to the death bed of someone dying, or a prisoner, or near a soul fallen into sin, or near desecrated Hosts, or to Purgatory. He told me that a great ‘prayer’ is synonymous with a great ‘suffering’ but a suffering that is full of love… I then asked God for the grace to take this suffering with me forever.

December Feast Days

St.Barbara

St.Barbara ~ Feast Day December 4

Saint Barbara, also known as the Great Martyr Barbara, was an early Christian Greek martyr born mid-third century in Heliopolis, Phoenicia.

Barbara was the daughter to a rich pagan named Dioscorus. After the death of Barbara’s mother, Dioscorus dedicated his life to his only daughter.

Barbara was known for being extremely beautiful. As a way of “protecting” her, Dioscorus shielded her from the world by locker her high up within a tower. He allowed only her pagan teachers to see her.

Barbara spent her days gazing upon the hills and admiring all of God’s creations. She often pondered about the “First Cause and Creator of so harmonious and splendid a world.” She soon realized the idols her father and teachers worshiped were not of God’s creation.

Barbara secretly became a Christian and dedicated her life to knowing the true God and making Him known to others. She offered herself completely to the Lord, choosing a life of consecrated virginity.

As Barbara grew older, her father, Dioscorus began presenting men to her for marriage. She refused them all and warned her father that his persistence could forever damage their relationship.

Dioscorus allowed for Barbara to leave her tower, hoping some freedom would change her attitude. Barbara used this opportunity to meet other Christians. They taught her about the Lord Jesus, the Holy Trinity and the Church. A priest from Alexandria, disguised as a merchant, baptized Barbara into Christ and His Church.

While Barbara was out exploring the world, her father had a private bath-house built for her. The original architectural plans were for two windows to be built, but, while her father was away, Barbara advised the workers to make a third window ? creating a Trinity of light.

Barbara’s bathhouse became a place full of healing power and many miracles occurred there. St. Simeon Metaphrastes even compared it to the stream of Jordan.

After Dioscorus returned, Barbara informed him she had become a Christian and would no longer worship his idols. Full of rage, her father grabbed his sword and went to strike her. Before he could do so, Barbara ran off.

Her father chased after her, but was abruptly stopped when a hill blocked his way. The hill opened and hid Barbara within a crevice. Dioscorus searched and searched for his daughter, but could not find her.

Dioscorus came across two shepherds and asked them if they had seen her. The first denied, but the second betrayed Barbara. Some legends indicate that he was turned to stone and his flock was turned into locusts.

Her father Dioscorus beat his daughter, locked her up and starved her. He then handed her over to Martianus, the prefect of the city. Together, they continued to beat and torture her, but Barbara never renounced her Christian faith. She prayed to Jesus and he appeared to heal her wounds. This only made Martianus try harder to get her to renounce the Lord and her Christian faith. She refused and her Lord gave her strength to stand firm.

Barbara, along with another virtuous Christian woman named Juliana, were injured with rakes and hooks and led naked throughout the city.

After Barbara prayed, an angel came and covered the pair with a robe and torches used to burn Barbara went out when they came near her.

Finally, Barbara was condemned to death by beheading by her father. Her martyrdom took place on December 4th.

Seen as a punishment for their actions, Dioscorus and Martianus were both killed after being struck by lightning.

In the 6th century relics of St. Barbara were taken to Constantinople. Six hundred years later, they were taken to Kiev by the daughter of the Byzantine Emperor Alexius Comnenos. Today, they rest at the St. Vladimir cathedral in Kiev.

Doubt and questions surrounding the history of St. Barbara caused her to be removed from the General Roman Calendar, but not from the Catholic Church’s list of saints.

~Source:Catholiconline.org

Novenas

Novena to Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Day 6

Day 6

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.

Glorious and immortal Queen of Heaven, we profess our firm belief in your Immaculate Conception preordained for you in the merits of your Divine Son. We rejoice with you in your Immaculate Conception. To the one ever-reigning God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, three in Person, one in nature, we offer thanks for your blessed Immaculate Conception. O Mother of the Word made Flesh, listen to our petition as we ask this special grace during 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.