Eucharistic Miracles

Eucharistic Miracle of Marseille,France

Eucharistic Miracle of Marseille-En-Beauvais, France – 1533

In the year 1532, toward the end of the month of December, thieves entered the parish church of Marseille en Beauvais and stole a precious silver ciborium that contained consecrated Hosts. The Hosts were abandoned under a large rock along a main street.

The first day of January, Mr. Jean Moucque was walking down that street despite a strong snow storm. While he was walking, a rock on the side of the road captured his attention, because it did not have any snow on it. When he lifted the rock, he was amazed to find the Hosts completely intact. He immediately told the pastor, Father Prothais, who, accompanied by many of the faithful, carried the Hosts into the parish church.

They placed a cross on the location where the Hosts were found, and in order to accommodate the large number of devoted faithful who would come to visit, eventually built the Chapel of the Sacred Hosts. The Lord worked many miracles at this chapel. The historian, Pierre Louvet describes some of these miracles in his Histoire de la Ville de Beauvais. There was the extraordinary story of the priest, Father Jacques Sauvage, who was completely healed after being paralyzed and having lost his ability to speak. Mr. d’Autreche, blind from birth, regained his sight.

Despite all of these graces given by God, the Bishop-Count of Beauvais, Odet de Coligny, became a heretic, converted to Calvinism and married Elizabeth of Hauteville. Like with Luther, lust can cause the strong to fall.

Before publicly renouncing his faith, he ordered the Hosts to be consumed. Today, the Chapel of the Sacred Hosts still stands and every year on the Second day of January, a Solemn Mass is celebrated in honor of the miracle of 1533.

January Feast Days

Blessed Ludovica Albertoni

Ludovica Albertoni was born in 1473 in Rome to the prominent nobles Stefano Albertoni and Lucretia Tebaldi. Her father died around 1475 and she was entrusted to the care of her paternal aunts who saw to it that she had a Christian education.

Her parents had arranged her betrothal and in obedience she married the nobleman Giacomo della Cetera in 1494. The couple moved to Trastevere where they raised three daughters, but it was a turbulent marriage since her husband possessed a sharp and often unpleasant temperament.However, she remained docile in her faith and steadfast while believing in her husband’s love for her despite his coldness. In May 1506 he died after a long illness leaving her widowed with her three children.Difficulties arose when her brother-in-law Domenico did not respect her rights regarding her inheritance. Albertoni fought him in court and won with her late spouse’s assets for her and their daughters.

Not long after this loss she joined the Third Order of Saint Francis at the San Francesco a Ripa church in Trastevere. She spent her fortune and her health caring for the poor.Albertoni became renowned for her religious ecstasies (including levitation) and became known as a miracle worker. In 1527 she tended to the poor during the Sack of Rome and for her efforts at alleviating the suffering became known as the “mother of the poor”.

In December 1532 news spread that her health was worsening and Albertoni died not long after from a fever on 31 January 1533; her final words were those of Christ’s last words on the Cross.Her remains were interred in the Saint Anne chapel at San Francesco a Ripa as was her wish. On 17 January 1674 her remains were relocated to a grand altar in the same church that Gian Lorenzo Bernini had constructed.

January Feast Days

St.John Bosco

John Bosco, also known as Giovanni Melchiorre Bosco and Don Bosco, was born in Becchi, Italy, on August 16, 1815. His birth came just after the end of the Napoleonic Wars which ravaged the area. Compounding the problems on his birthday, there was also a drought and a famine at the time of his birth.

At the age of two, John lost his father, leaving him and his two older brothers to be raised by his mother, Margherita. His “Mama Margherita Occhiena” would herself be declared venerable by the Church in 2006.

Raised primarily by his mother, John attended church and became very devout. When he was not in church, he helped his family grow food and raise sheep. They were very poor, but despite their poverty his mother also found enough to share with the homeless who sometimes came to the door seeking food, shelter or clothing.

When John was nine years old, he had the first of several vivid dreams that would influence his life. In his dream, he encountered a multitude of boys who swore as they played. Among these boys, he encountered a great, majestic man and woman. The man told him that in meekness and charity, he would “conquer these your friends.” Then a lady, also majestic said, “Be strong, humble and robust. When the time comes, you will understand everything.” This dream influenced John the rest of his life.

Not long afterwards, John witnessed a traveling troupe of circus performers. He was enthralled by their magic tricks and acrobatics. He realized if he learned their tricks, he could use them to attract others and hold their attention. He studied their tricks and learned how to perform some himself.

One Sunday evening, John staged a show for the kids he played with and was heartily applauded. At the end of the show, he recited the homily he heard earlier in the day. He ended by inviting his neighbors to pray with him. His shows and games were repeated and during this time, John discerned the call to become a priest.

To be a priest, John required an education, something he lacked because of poverty. However, he found a priest willing to provide him with some teaching and a few books. John’s older brother became angry at this apparent disloyalty, and he reportedly whipped John saying he’s “a farmer like us!”

John was undeterred, and as soon as he could he left home to look for work as a hired farm laborer. He was only 12 when he departed, a decision hastened by his brother’s hostility.

John had difficulty finding work, but managed to find a job at a vineyard. He labored for two more years before he met Jospeh Cafasso, a priest who was willing to help him. Cafasso himself would later be recognized as a saint for his work, particularly ministering to prisoners and the condemned.

In 1835, John entered the seminary and following six years of study and preparation, he was ordained a priest in 1841.

His first assignment was to the city of Turin. The city was in the throes of industrialization so it had slums and widespread poverty. It was into these poor neighborhoods that John, now known as Fr. Bosco, went to work with the children of the poor.

While visiting the prisons, Fr. Bosco noticed a large number of boys, between the ages of 12 and 18, inside. The conditions were deplorable, and he felt moved to do more to help other boys from ending up there.

He went into the streets and started to meet young men and boys where they worked and played. He used his talents as a performer, doing tricks to capture attention, then sharing with the children his message for the day.

When he was not preaching, Fr. Bosco worked tirelessly seeking work for boys who needed it, and searching for lodgings for others. His mother began to help him, and she became known as “Mamma Margherita.” By the 1860s, Fr. Bosco and his mother were responsible for lodging 800 boys.

Fr. Bosco also negotiated new rights for boys who were employed as apprentices. A common problem was the abuse of apprentices, with their employers using them to perform manual labor and menial work unrelated to their apprenticeship. Fr. Bosco negotiated contracts which forbade such abuse, a sweeping reform for that time. The boys he hired out were also given feast days off and could no longer be beaten.

Fr. Bosco also identified boys he thought would make good priests and encouraged them to consider a vocation to the priesthood. Then, he helped to prepare those who responded favorably in their path to ordination.

Fr. Bosco was not without some controversy. Some parish priests accused him of stealing boys from their parishes. The Chief of Police of Turin was opposed to his catechizing of boys in the streets, which he claimed was political subversion.

In 1859, Fr. Bosco established the Society of St. Francis de Sales. He organized 15 seminarians and one teenage boy into the group. Their purpose was to carry on his charitable work, helping boys with their faith formation and to stay out of trouble. The organization still exists today and continues to help people, especially children around the world.

In the years that followed, Fr. Bosco expanded his mission, which had, and still has, much work to do.

Fr. Bosco died on January 31, 1888. The call for his canonization was immediate. Pope Pius XI knew Fr. Bosco personally and agreed, declaring him blessed in 1929. St. John Bosco was canonized on Easter Sunday, 1934 and he was given the title, “Father and Teacher of Youth.”

In 2002, Pope John Paul II was petitioned to declare St. John Bosco the Patron of Stage Magicians. St. Bosco had pioneered the art of what is today called “Gospel Magic,” using magic and other feats to attract attention and engage the youth.

Saint John Bosco is the patron saint of apprentices, editors and publishers, schoolchildren, magicians, and juvenile delinquents. His feast day is on January 31.

January Feast Days

Blessed Maria Bolognesi

Maria Bolognesi was born as Maria Semiolo on 21 October 1924 in Rovigo to Giuseppe Samiolo. Her natural father – himself illegitimate – did not want to wed her mother and split from her which left Bolognesi to live until 1929 in her mother’s home with her mother’s name. Her maternal grandmother Cornetto Cesira was perhaps the most influential individual in her childhood in terms of instilling in the girl a religious education and love for God. Bolognesi received the name of her stepfather after her mother married Giuseppe Bolognesi in 1929; the pair went to live with him.Her step-grandfather was Luigi Bolognesi.

In 1932 she ran a high fever and her mother at the same time had contracted meningitis and was on her deathbed. Bolognesi had begun to prepare for her First Communion at this time and the nun that was instructing her at the time told her that Jesus Christ would grant her a wish. She wished that her mother would recover and she managed to recover from the disease; Bolognesi went on to make her First Communion on 22 May 1932 with much emotion.

Her stepfather often beat her mother due to his somewhat abrasive nature but he and her mother still had their son Luigi on 21 June 1940. In summer 1941 she received demonic possession and could not enter a church as a result with the blessings of priests failing to have an effect on her. She was at one stage even tied to a chair so that Father Santo Magro could bless her but this too failed.Bolognesi was taken to a mental hospital for evaluation but the Bishop of Rovigo Guido Maria Mazzocco blessed her from the window of his residence before she was taken there. The doctors later deemed her to be sane because she felt normal and was relieved of the possession.

She grew up in a poor household and was able to attend the first and second grade of her initial schooling while her peers often marginalized her. She dropped out of school as a child in order to work to support her parents and siblings and worked as an agricultural laborer in order to achieve this.

Bolognesi received her first vision of Jesus Christ in the evening of 1–2 April – on the occasion of Holy Thursday – bestowing upon her three rings and five rubies which was a representation of the Five Wounds. In the vision the Lord assured her that she would learn how to read and also promised her that her mother would turn from her sins – her mother began converting back to the faith on 15 March 1947.Around this time her spiritual director was the old priest Bassiano Paiato. On 8 May 1942 she had another vision of Christ. On 11 April 1942 she began to wear a black habit with the express permission of Father Paiato. Difficulties began to arise at this time for Father Magro became skeptical of her experiences and began to besmirch her in public to his parishioners. Difficulties escalated on 5 March 1948 when three male criminals attacked her while back on 27 February the Lord had warned her about this and told her that her guardian angel would be there with her. Bolognesi was knocked unconscious and was tied and muffled with flesh stripped from her legs and hands. She was left injured in the snow with two toenails almost torn off.Because people were skeptical of this the police sergeant took her to the magistrate and accused her of having faked the account though she was later absolved of these charges on 25 October 1948.

In the 1940s she began to suffer from arthritis as well as suffering from both colitis and appendicitis while almost becoming blind in 1950. For treatment she would often have to go to Rovigo and Padua. Her new spiritual director from 28 June 1951 was Mgr. Rodolfo Barbieri and her first meeting with him was less than a month after. Bolognesi looked after orphans and assisted children whose parents were without jobs and would also make frequent visits to the sick in hospitals. In 1944 she gained the pierced wound on her side while in July 1951 suffering the pain of the Lord’s flagellation; this culminated on 25 January 1954 when she wrote in her spiritual journal of a wound that had opened up in her right hand – the first signs of the stigmata. In August 1954 she resided with some Augustinian nuns in Ferrara and there received the wounds in her feet; she was hospitalized in February 1955 and had a vision telling her to leave Rovigo on 16 March. She went to a spiritual retreat in Sperlinga and received the left wound of the stigmata on 2 April 1955. En route back home from Sperlinga she stopped at San Giovanni Rotondo where she had a fever and her shoes full of blood. She found an inn and remained there and had a vision of Christ on Good Friday 8 April 1955 at 3:00pm.

Barberi’s poor health led to Mgr. Adelino Marenga becoming her new spiritual director on 24 September 1956 and she met him in their first meeting on the following 14 October. Bolognesi received a vision of Christ again at 3:00pm on 1 November 1957 in which He took her to see both Heaven and Purgatory and in spring 1958 was bedridden until 1959. She visited the tomb of Saint Gemma Galgani in Lucca on 29 September 1959 – to whom she fostered a devotion to.On 3 July 1959 she had another vision in which Christ said He would take her to Heaven and she saw it again on the following 6 July. She saw Heaven once again on 21 October 1959 at 2:00am in which she was roused from her sleep and then again on 22 January 1960. Marenga died in 1964 and her final spiritual director was Mgr. Aldo Balduin.

Bolognesi suffered a heart attack in 1971. She had taken up painting in 1968 due to poor health that led to this heart attack. It was said that Padre Pio used to appear to her in bilocation in her Rovigo home even after the friar had died in 1968.

Bolognesi died due to a heart attack on 30 January 1980 at 2:00am and her remains were later transferred to the parish of Bosaro.

Angels, guardian angels

St.Josemaria Escriva’s Devotion to His Guardian Angel

Saint José Maria Escriváof Balaguer, founder of Opus Dei, had a great trust in his Guardian Angel. It is interesting to note that Opus Dei was founded exactly on October 2, 1928, the feast day of the Guardian Angels.

Concerning the protection of his Guardian Angel, it is said that one time, while walking down the street, the Saint was attacked by a stranger in plain daylight. He was grabbed around the neck and risked being killed, if it were not for the interference of a young stranger who caused the attacker to immediately release him. Saint José María attributes the violence to the devil and his rescue to the protection of his Guardian Angel.

His familiarity with his Guardian Angel was so great that whenever he made an entrance, he let his Guardian Angel go first. Similarly, when he greeted someone, he first greeted the person’s Guardian Angel. He recalls that one time, he broke his watch and asked his Guardian Angel to wake him up at a specified time. The Angel faithfully woke him up at the requested time. For this reason, sometimes the Saint called his Angel in confidence “my little alarm clock”.

Saint José María had the habit of dedicating every Tuesday to his Guardian Angel and all Guardian Angels. He writes in his book The Way: “Have faith in your Guardian Angel. Treat him like an intimate friend and he will repay you in thousands of services in your ordinary daily doings.”

Saint José Maria Escrivá was born in Barbastro, Spain on January 9, 1902. Around 15-16 years old he began to feel the calling to the priesthood. In 1918 he entered the Seminary of Logroño, and in 1920 he trans- ferred to the Seminary of Saint Francis of Paul in Zaragoza. In 1923 he started studying Law at the University of Zaragoza and on March 28, 1925 he was ordained a priest.

In the spring of 1927 he moved to Madrid, where he dedicated himself to the poor and sick, especially the incurable and dying patients in the hospital. He became chaplain of the “Patron of the Sick”, a charitable initiative of the Apostolic Dames of the Sacred Heart, and docent of an academic university. On October 2, 1928 the Lord showed him Opus Dei. On February 14, 1930 he started the apostolate of Opus Dei with the women. In 1934 he was named Rector of the Patron of Saint Elizabeth.

On February 14, 1943 he founded the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross, inseparably united to Opus Dei, which allows the ordination of lay people as members of Opus Dei and their incardination to the service of the work. Subsequently, also the priests incardinated in the diocese could share the spirituality of Opus Dei, still resting on the dependence of their respective diocesan order.

In 1946 he moved to Rome, where he remained for the rest of his life. He died on June 26, 1975. Pope John Paul II beatified him on May 17, 1992 and on October 6, 2002 canonized him a Saint.