Eucharistic Miracles

Eucharistic Miracle of LaRochelle,France

Eucharistic Miracle of LaRochelle,France (1461)

The Eucharistic miracle of La Rochelle concerns the instantaneous cure of a boy, paralyzed and mute since the age of seven, when he received Holy Communion at Mass on Easter Sunday in 1461. He was completely healed of his paralysis and was once again able to speak. The most authoritative document that visually describes this miracle is the painted-manuscript preserved still today in the Cathedral of La Rochelle.

During Easter of 1461, Mrs. Jehan Leclerc brought her twelve year old son, Bertrand, to the Church of St. Bartholomew. Bertrand had been paralyzed and mute since the age of seven due to a terrible fall. When the time for Holy Communion arrived, he indicated to his mother that he also wanted to receive Jesus in the Eucharist. Initially the priest did not want to give the young man Communion, because the boy was not able to go to Confession given his muteness.

The young man, however, continued to beseech the priest for Communion and, in the end, the priest did permit him to receive the Blessed Sacrament. From the first moment that Bertrand received the Host, he began to feel shaken by a mysterious force. He was able to move and to speak. He was cured.

According to the hand-written document, immediately after the miraculous event Bertrand’s first words were, “Adjutorium nostrum in nomine Domini!” (“Our help is in the name of the Lord!”) The most authoritative document that visually describes this miracle is the painted manuscript preserved to this day in the Cathedral of La Rochelle .

There are two drops of Blood from our Lord, Jesus Christ, collected on Calvary during the Passion, preserved in the church of Neuvy-Saint-Sépulcre in Indre. They were brought to France in 1257 by Cardinal Eudes returning from the Holy Land.

This relic of the coagulated Blood is known to be pure, because the Precious Blood was not mixed with water or earth. From the year 1257, the relic had been kept in this church which was built in the first half of the year 1000 and modeled on the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.

In order to honor the holy relic of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus, numerous indulgences have been granted. The Archbishop of Bruges, André Frémiot, founded the Confraternity of the Most Precious Blood in the year 1621.

Two years later, Pope Gregory XV granted new indulgences to the faithful devoted to the Sacred Blood. Each Monday of Easter and every first day of July, a Solemn Mass is celebrated and there are processions to adore and honor the Sacred Relic. There have been many graces attributed to invoking the Sacred Blood of Neuvy-Saint-Sépulcre.

January Feast Days, Marian apparitions

Our Lady of Pontmain

On January 17, 1871, Eugene Barbadette (12) and brother, Joseph (10) heard the priest pray through Blessed Mary at Mass for mercy to come to the area. Paris was already besieged by Prussian forces, and war-torn France was in complete disarray. The little town of Laval nearby would be the next to fall to the invading Prussians.

That wintry night, looking outside the family’s barn at 6:00 p.m., Eugene noticed in the cold starry night that a section of the sky was without stars. Suddenly, in that very area, a young woman of 18 years old appeared to be hovering in the sky and smiling down at him. She was strikingly beautiful and wearing a dark blue dress covered with stars and a black veil with a golden crown on top. He gasped a yell of surprise, and brother, Joseph came to him and stared up at the apparition as well. Their parents then came to see what was going on but could not see what the boys continued to marvel at. The mother boxed their ears, scolded them, and then forced them to come in and eat dinner.

The visionary children who were able to witness the spectacle in the sky.

The visionary children who were able to witness the spectacle in the sky.

They ate hastily, rushed back outside, and again saw the beautiful lady in the sky. Joseph records the details later in his writings as follows:

“In the air above Augustin Guidecoq’s house, I saw a woman of extraordinary beauty. She appeared to be young, about 18-20 years of age and tall of stature. She was clad in a garment of deep blue. When we were told to describe exactly the shade of blue, we could only do so by comparing it to balls of indigo such as laundresses use for rinsing linen. Her dress was covered with golden stars, pentagonal in form, all of the same size and brilliant, but without emitting rays. They were not very numerous and seemed scattered over the blue without regard to method. The blue garment was ample, showing certain strongly marked folds, and without girdle or compression of any kind from the neck to the feet. The sleeves were ample and long, falling over the hands.

On the feet, which the dress left uncovered, were chaussons (shoes), the same blue as the dress, and ornamented with golden bows. On the head was a black veil, half covering the forehead, concealing the hair and ears, and falling over the shoulders. Above this was a golden crown resembling a diadem, higher in front than elsewhere and widening out at the sides. A red line encircled the crown at about the middle. The hands were small and extended toward us as in the ‘miraculous medal’ but without emitting rays.

The face was slightly oval. To the freshness of youth was added exquisite delicacy of feature and of tint, the complexion being pale rather than otherwise. Smiles of ineffable sweetness played about the mouth. The eyes, of unutterable tenderness, were fixed on us. I give up further attempting to describe the beautiful figure of her who looked down upon us and smiled. Like a true mother, she seemed happier in looking at us than we in contemplating her”

But when a local nun heard the startled mother’s story, she reminded her that Mary often comes to young children. Going on the theory that maybe only children could see Mary, she brought two young girls, Francoise Richer and Jeanne-Marie Lebosse (ages 9 and 11) from the convent school to the family’s farm. The nun made certain to not tell the young girls anything. Although not having heard what the two brothers had seen, the two young girls immediately began describing, excitedly, the exact same image of the Virgin Mary down to the last precise detail.

Clusters of people began to gather — within 20 minutes after this vision had begun — yet, none of the adults could see anything. Three more small children began pointing at the sky and describing the same apparition of Mary. Even a two-year old in her mother’s arms started clapping with joy, looking up into the sky, and holding out her arms as if wanting Our Blessed Mother to come pick her up. A total of about 60 villagers gathered before the barn and knelt in the snow to begin praying. Sister Mary Edward began leading the Rosary. The children reported that Our Lady smiled throughout the Rosary, appearing very much alive and showing the dazzling whiteness of her teeth.

Afterward, Father Guerin led in singing hymns and reciting other prayers. The children reported that the Lady became more beautiful and her garments more intense in illumination in proportion to the devotion of the people. “Oh, there are so many stars (on her dress) that the Blessed Virgin will soon be gilt (golden) all over.”

The four young children who could describe what was happening said that three bright stars formed a triangle around Mary. A darker blue oval backdrop appeared and formed around her. Two candles appeared inside the oval on either side of her shoulders. Two more candles appeared inside the oval on either side of her knees. A small red heart appeared on her left side. About forty stars only visible to the children gathered beneath her feet. The villagers were all able to witness the formation of the three stars in a triangle.

As Sister Mary Edward began the Magnificat, the children cried out that the image was changing again. A white band about a yard wide unrolled itself under her feet and extended across the roof of Guidecoq’s house. These words appeared on the banner:

“Mais priez, mes enfants.” (But pray, my children.)

As the Magnificat continued, the dreadful news arrived that the Prussians were now at nearby Laval and heading soon toward Pontmain. More letters appeared on the banner:

“Dieu vous exaucera en peu de temps.” (God will hear you in a little while)

“Mon fils se laisse toucher.” (My Son permits Himself to be moved)

So she was telling them that God had heard their prayers and fears about the invasion of soldiers, and that he would answer their needs shortly. He would answer because he is a God who allows himself to be touched by pleading and prayers. The crowd sang hymns, but when “My Sweet Jesus” was sung, the children reported that she looked sad. A blue band, the same color as the sky, began passing over the words and erasing them. As the white banner rolled away, the Virgin lifted her hand to the level of her shoulders. She seemed to be moving her fingers and speaking, but nothing was heard.

Her hands were then joined over her heart and a large red cross with a darker red image of Jesus appeared in her hands. A star seemed to move and light four candles about her. When the crowd sang Ave Maris Stella, the red crucifix disappeared and a small white cross about eight inches high appeared on each of her shoulders. Mary looked upward. Prayers continued and Mary smiled as the crosses disappeared. She opened her arms outward and downward. A white veil appeared at her feet and rose slowly upward until Our Lady was completely concealed by it.

It was now about 9:00 p.m.; the experience had lasted a total of three hours!

By the next morning the town learned that the Prussian soldiers had witnessed a vision of the Virgin Mary on the outskirts of their town. The startled and frightened soldiers had told their Prussian superiors,

“Madonna is guarding the country and forbidding us to advance! We can go no further – an invisible Madonna is barring the way.”

Within eleven days the Prussian soldiers had mysteriously retreated and abandoned the country they had planned to invade and occupy. A truce was signed and the war ended.

After a thorough investigation, the ecclesiastical authority fully approved in February of 1875 the appearances of the Virgin Mary in Pontmain. The Barbadette barn first became a chapel, and then a large basilica, years later in 1900, for “Our Lady of Hope.”

Joseph Barbadette became a priest and a member of the Congregation of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate. Brother Eugene became a priest of the archdiocese. Francoise Richer became a housekeeper for a priest, and Jeanne-Marie Lebosse became a nun.

~Source:divinemysteries.info

January Feast Days

St.Anthony the Abbot

Following the death of his parents when he was about 20, Anthony insured that his sister completed her education, then he sold his house, furniture, and the land he owned, gave the proceeds to the poor, joined the anchorites who lived nearby, and moved into an empty sepulchre. At age 35 he moved to the desert to live alone; he lived 20 years in an abandoned fort.

Anthony barricaded the place for solitude, but admirers and would-be students broke in. He miraculously healed people, and agreed to be the spiritual counselor of others. His recommendation was to base life on the Gospel. Word spread, and so many disciples arrived that Anthony founded two monasteries on the Nile, one at Pispir, one at Arsinoe. Many of those who lived near him supported themselves by making baskets and brushes, and from that came his patronage of those trades.

Anthony briefly left his seclusion in 311, going to Alexandria, Egypt to fight Arianism, and to comfort the victims of the persecutions of Maximinus. At some point in his life, he met with his sister again. She, too, had withdrawn from the world, and directed a community of nuns. Anthony retired to the desert, living in a cave on Mount Colzim.

Descriptions paint him as uniformly modest and courteous. His example led many to take up the monastic life, and to follow his way. Late in life Anthony became a close friend of Saint Paul the Hermit, and he buried the aged anchorite, leading to his patronage of gravediggers. His biography was written by his friend Saint Athanasius of Alexandria.

His relationship with pigs and patronage of swineherds is a little complicated. Skin diseases were sometimes treated with applications of pork fat, which reduced inflammation and itching. As Anthony’s intervention aided in the same conditions, he was shown in art accompanied by a pig. People who saw the art work, but did not have it explained, thought there was a direct connection between Anthony and pigs – and people who worked with swine took him as their patron.

When Anthony was about eighteen or twenty years old, his parents died. Not six months after his parents’ death, as he was on his way to church for his usual visit, he began to think of how the apostles had left everything and followed the Savior, and also of those mentioned in the book of Acts who had sold their possessions and brought the apostles money for distribution to the needy. This was all in his mind when, entering the church just as the Gospel was being read, he head the Lord’s words to the rich man: “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all you have and give the money to the poor – you will have riches in heaven. Then come and follow me.” It seemed to Anthony that it was God who had brought the saints to his mind, and that the words of the Gospel had been spoken directly to him. Immediately he left the church, and gave away to the villagers all the property he inherited, about 200 acres of very beautiful and fertile land. He sold all his other possessions, as well, giving to the poor the considerable sum of money he collected. However, to care for his sister he retained a few things. He gave himself up to the ascetic life, not far from his own home. He did manual work because he had heard the words: “If anyone will not work, do not let him eat.” He spent some of his earnings on bread and the rest he gave to the poor. Seeing the kind of life he lived, the villagers and all the good men he knew called him the friend of God, and they loved him as a son and brother.”

– from the Life of Saint Anthony by Saint Athanasius

“Saint Anthony told his monks: When, therefore, they demons come by night to you and wish to tell the future, or say ‘We are the angels,’ give no heed, for they lie…. But if they shamelessly stand their ground, capering and change their forms of appearance, fear them not, nor shrink, nor heed them as though they were good spirits. For the presence either of the good or evil by the help of God can easily be distinguished. The vision of the holy ones is not fraught with distraction: ‘For they will not strive, nor cry, nor shall anyone hear their voice’ (Matthew 12:19; Isaiah 42:2). But it comes quietly and gently that an immediate joy, gladness, and courage arise in the soul. For the Lord who is our joy is with them, and the power of God the Father.”

– Ambrose: Life of Saint Anthony

The days are coming when men will go mad; and, when they meet a man who has kept his senses, they will rise up against him, saying, “You are mad, because you are not like us.”

– Saint Anthony