The Miraculous Child Jesus of Loretto

An ancient miraculous statue of the Child Jesus, which originally came from Switzerland, is devoutly kept at the Loreto convent of the Capuchin nuns in Salzburg, Austria.

The principal personality in its history is Fr. John Chrysostom Schenk, a Capuchin priest who was given the statue by a superior. Fr. Chrysostom was so devoted to his ivory statue of the Child Jesus that he was eventually nicknamed “Christkindl Pater.” The good priest made a wooden carrying case for the statue that enabled him to carry it more easily on his errands of mercy. At times he loaned it to the sick, but if they delayed in returning it, the statue was frequently returned to the good priest in a miraculous manner.

Fr. Chrysostom died a most holy death on November 25, 1634. Because he had so often carried his beloved statue with him on his apostolic errands, the image was well known. It soon became a center of devotion in Salzburg, where it is still venerated under the name Miraculous Child Jesus of Loreto.

~Source:”Miraculous Images of Our Lord”

St.Teresa of Avila’s Secret Informer

St.Teresa of Avila’s Secret Informer

Saint Teresa of Avila traveled often to start new convents or to visit the many old ones she had already founded across Spain.

With so many travels, she needed a way to keep herself informed on what went on in each convent in her absence. Her trust in Saint Joseph was such that she enthroned his statue in every convent, asking him to take charge of the sisters while she was away.

Saint Joseph obliged. But not in a way that most people would expect. Upon Saint Teresa’s return to each convent, she went to the Saint Joseph statue. And he faithfully reported everything the nuns had done since her departure.

In turn, Saint Teresa proceeded to correct the sisters for faults they had committed in her absence. And it didn’t take long for the nuns to realize who the miraculous reporter was: the Saint Joseph statue.

As a result, the nuns started calling their statue of Saint Joseph, el Parlero, which in English is the Speaker. And in fact, the statue shows Saint Joseph with his mouth open, in a speaking position.

“Saint Joseph gave me everything I asked for”

I took for my advocate and lord the glorious Saint Joseph and commended myself earnestly to him; and I found that this my father and lord delivered me both from this trouble and also from other and greater troubles concerning my honor and the loss of my soul, and that he gave me greater blessings than I could ask of him.

I do not remember even now that I have ever asked anything of him which he has failed to grant. I am astonished at the great favors which God has bestowed on me through this blessed saint, and at the perils from which He has freed me, both in body and in soul. To other saints the Lord seems to have given grace to succor us in some of our necessities but of this glorious saint my experience is that he succors us in them all and that the Lord wishes to teach us that as He was Himself subject to him on earth (for, being His guardian and being called His father, he could command Him) just so in Heaven He still does all that he asks.

This has also been the experience of other persons whom I have advised to commend themselves to him; and even to-day there are many who have great devotion to him through having newly experienced this truth.

I used to try to keep his feast with the greatest possible solemnity; but, though my intentions were good, I would observe it with more vanity than spirituality, for I always wanted things to be done very meticulously and well. I had this unfortunate characteristic that, if the Lord gave me grace to do anything good, the way I did it was full of imperfections and extremely faulty. I was very assiduous and skilful in wrongdoing and in my meticulousness and vanity.

May the Lord forgive me. I wish I could persuade everyone to be devoted to this glorious saint, for I have great experience of the blessings which he can obtain from God. I have never known anyone to be truly devoted to him and render him particular services that did not notably advance in virtue, for he gives very real help to souls who commend themselves to him. For some years now, I think, I have made some request of him every year on his festival and I have always had it granted. If my petition is in any way ill directed, he directs it aright for my greater good.

If I were a person writing with authority, I would gladly describe, at greater length and in the minutest detail, the favors which this glorious saint has granted to me and to others.

But in order not to do more than I have been commanded I shall have to write about many things briefly, much more so than I should wish, and at unnecessarily great length about others: in short, I must act like one who has little discretion in all that is good. I only beg, for the love of God, that anyone who does not believe me will put what I say to the test, and he will see by experience what great advantages come from his commending himself to this glorious patriarch and having devotion to him.

Those who practice prayer should have a special affection for him always. I do not know how anyone can think of the Queen of the Angels, during the time that she suffered so much with the Child Jesus, without giving thanks to Saint Joseph for the way he helped them. If anyone cannot find a master to teach him how to pray, let him take this glorious saint as his master and he will not go astray.

May the Lord grant that I have not erred in venturing to speak of him; for though I make public acknowledgment of my devotion to him, in serving and imitating him I have always failed. He was true to his own nature when he cured my paralysis and gave me the power to rise and walk; and I am following my own nature in using this favor so ill.

St.Teresa of Avila’s Visions of Souls in Mortal Sin

St.Teresa of Avila’s Visions of Souls in Mortal Sin

Volume 1 of The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila, Chapter 38, parts 23 & 24 & 25:

“Once, while approaching to receive Communion, I saw with my soul’s eyes more clearly than with my bodily eyes two devils whose appearance was abominable. It seems to me their horns were wrapped around the poor priests’s throat, and in the host that was going to be given to me I saw my Lord with the majesty I mentioned placed in the priest’s hands, which were clearly seen to be His offender’s; and I understood that that soul was in mortal sin. What would it be my Lord, to see Your beauty in the midst of such abominable figures? They were as though frightened and terrified in Your presence, for it seems they would have very eagerly fled had You allowed them. This vision caused me such great disturbance I don’t know how I was able to receive Communion, and I was left with a great fear, thinking that if the vision had been from God, His Majesty would not have permitted me to see the evil that was in that soul. The Lord Himself told me to pray for him and that He had permitted it so that I might understand the power of the words of consecration and how God does not fail to be present, however evil the priest who recites them, and that I might see His great goodness since He places Himself in those hands of His enemy, and all out of love for me and for everyone. I understood well how much more priests are obliged to be good than are others, how deplorable a thing it is to receive this most Blessed Sacrament unworthily, and how much the devil is lord over the soul in mortal sin. It did me a great deal of good and brought me deep understanding of what I owed God. May He be blessed forever and ever.”

“At another time something else happened to me that frightened me very much. I was at a place where a certain person died who for many years had lived a wicked life, from what I knew. But he had been sick for two years, and in some things it seems he had made amends. He died without confession, but nevertheless it didn’t seem to me he would be condemned. While the body was being wrapped in its shroud, I saw many devils take that body; and it seemed they were playing with it and punishing it. This terrified me, for with large hooks they were dragging it from one devil to the other. Since I saw it buried with the honor and ceremonies accorded to all, I reflected on the goodness of God, how He did not want that soul to be defamed, but wanted the fact that it was His enemy to be concealed.

I was half stupefied from what I had seen. During the whole ceremony I didn’t see another devil. Afterward when they put the body in the grave, there was such a multitude of them inside ready to take it that I was frantic at the sight of it, and there was need for no small amount of courage to conceal this. I reflected on what they would do to the soul when they had such dominion over the unfortunate body. May it please the Lord that what I have seen -a thing so frightful!-will be seen by all those who are in such an evil state; I think it would prove a powerful help toward their living a good life. All of this gives me greater knowledge of what I owe God and of what He freed me from. I was very frightened until I spoke about it to my confessor, wondering if it was an illusion caused by the devil to defame that soul. Although it wasn’t considered to be the soul of someone with a very deep Christian spirit. Truly since the vision was not an illusion, it frightens me every time I think of it.”

The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila, Volume 1, Chapter 31,

A person came to me who had been in mortal sin for two and a half years. It was one of the most abominable I’ve heard of, and in all this time he hadn’t confessed or made amends; and he was saying Mass. Although he was confessing other sins, of this one he asked how he could confess something so ugly. He had a great desire to give it up, but he wasn’t able to help himself. He made me feel great pity, and my seeing that he offended God in such a way caused me deep sorrow. I promised him I would beg God very much to liberate him and that I would beg God very much to liberate him and that I would get others better than myself to do the same, and I wrote to him through a certain person he told me I could give the letters to. And so it happened that after receiving the first letter he went to confession. For God desired (through the many very holy persons to whose prayers I recommended him) to grant this soul that mercy; and I, although miserable, did what I could with great care. He wrote to me that he was so much better that for days he had not fallen into the sin, but that the torment the temptation gave him was so intense it seemed from what he suffered he was in hell; he asked me to commend him to God. I in turn recommended him to my sisters through whose prayers the Lord must have granted me this favor, for they took the matter very much to heart. No one could guess who the person was. I begged His Majesty to mitigate those torments and temptations and that those devils would come to afflict me, provided that I would not offend the Lord in anything. As a result, for a month I suffered severe torments; it was during this time that these two things I mentioned happened.

The Lord was pleased that they leave him; this he wrote to me, for I told hm what I was going through during that month. His soul was fortified, and he was left completely free. He didn’t have enough of thanking God and me as though I had done anything. But the reputation I had from the fact that the Lord granted me favors benefitted him. He said that when he found himself very distressed he read my letters, and the temptation left him. He was very impressed by what I had suffered and how he had been freed. Even I was amazed, and I would have suffered many more years to see that soul free. May the Lord be praised for everything, for the prayer of those who serve Him (as I believe do these sisters in this house) can do much. But since I sought these prayers, the devils must have been more angry with me; and the Lord on account of my sins permitted this.

Also one night during this time I thought they were choking me; after much holy water had been sprinkled around, I saw a great multitude of them go by, as though they were being thrown down a precipice. There are so many times that these cursed creatures torment me, and so little is the fear I now have of them, seeing that they cannot stir unless the Lord allows them, that I would tire your Reverence and tire myself if I told about all these instances.

May what was said be of help that the true servant of God might pay no attention to the scarecrows the devils set up in order to cause fear. We should know that each time we pay no attention to them they are weakened and the soul gains much more mastery. Some great benefit always remains, which I won’t go into so as not to enlarge. I shall only mention what happened to me on the night of All Souls: while I was in the oratory after having recited a nocturn and while saying some very devotional prayers that come at the end, a devil appeared on the book so that I couldn’t finish the prayer. I blessed myself, and he went away. When I began again to recite the prayers, he returned. I believe it was three times I began, and until I threw holy water at him I couldn’t finish. I saw that some souls left purgatory at that instant; little must have been lacking to their freedom, and I wondered if he had aimed at preventing this.

A few times I’ve seen him in physical form, but many times with no physical form-as for instance in the vision mentioned above in which without seeing any form one knows he is there.

I also want to tell the following because it frightened me a lot: one day on the feast of the Trinity, being in the choir of a certain monastery and in rapture, I saw a great battle of devils against angels. I couldn’t understand what that vision meant. In less than fifteen days it became easily understandable on account of a certain conflict that arose between people of prayer and many who were not, and a lot of harm was done in the house in which it took place. It was a battle that lasted a long time and caused much disquiet.

At other times I saw a large multitude of devils around me, and it seemed that a great brightness encircled me, and this prevented them from reaching me. I understood that God was watching over me so that they could not get to me in order to make me offend Him. From what I sometimes saw in myself, I understood that it was a true vision. The fact is that now I have understood so well the little bit of power he has provided I’m not against God, that I have almost no fear . The powers of devils are nothing if these devils do not find souls cowardly and surrendered to them: it is with such souls that they show their power. Sometime, in the temptations I already mentioned, it seemed to me that all the vanities and weaknesses of the past were again awakening within me; I had really to commend myself to God. At once the torment came of thinking that since those thoughts arose in me the favors I experienced must all be from the devil. It seemed to me that there shouldn’t have been even the first stirrings of a bad thought in one who was receiving so many favors from the Lord. But then my confessor put me at peace.

The Child Jesus of Deols

The distinguished Benedictine Abbey at Déols (a suburb of Chateauroux) was founded in the year 917 by Ebbes the Noble. Sometimes called the Breast of St. Peter because of its influence and service to the Church, the Abbey’s privileges have been confirmed by 30 popes. It was in front of this venerable abbey that the spectacular miracle of Déols took place.

A column situated in a place of honor supported a statue of the Blessed Virgin holding the Child Jesus. Here the villagers were accustomed to pause for a moment of prayer. Located in front of the column and the abbey was an area where the people frequently gathered in friendly exchange. Also gathering there during the English occupation were rough English soldiers who delighted in mocking the poor and especially the people who prayed before the blessed statue.

The miraculous event took place on May 31, 1187, when the English soldiers were engaged in a game of dice. The soldier who lost the game became enraged. To vent his anger, he picked up a large stone and flung it at the statue, breaking off the hand of the Holy Child. According to the historian Philippe Auguste, a contemporary of the event, “A stream of blood poured from the arm of the broken image and made a pool on the earth below. The fellow who flung the stone was seized with madness, and dropped down dead on the spot. John Lackland, and Adhemar, Viscount of Limoges, carefully collected the blood and deposited it in a rich chapel erected in England and dedicated to the Virgin.” According to the historian, Rigord, countless cures were effected by the application of this blood. News of the miracle spread everywhere.

The English soldiers who were in Déols, but who were not present at the time of the miracle, took particular interest in the report since one of their own had instigated the phenomenon and died as a result. To satisfy their curiosity that the event had taken place as reported, a company of soldiers went to the spot the next day. Among them was the brother of the English king, who recovered the hand of the Infant Jesus. After picking it up, he wrapped it in his cloak, when suddenly bright red blood began to flow from the stone hand—to the terror of all the spectators. In addition to these two blood sheddings, other prodigies are said to have taken place. These were so spectacular that they caused Philippi Auguste, King of France, and Richard the Lion Hearted, King of England, to become reconciled for a time.

After the miracle, the statue was removed to a chapel in the abbey church. Dedicated to Our Lady of Miracles, the chapel became the site of numerous pilgrimages in which, through the years, several popes, a number of future Saints and many noblemen took part. During the French Revolution, the abbey was pillaged and plundered. The statue of Our Lady and the Child Jesus was viciously broken and seriously damaged. The disfigured statue was providentially retrieved by an elderly woman, who secretly kept it until peace was restored. After the miraculous statue was returned to the possession of the Church, it was repaired and clothed in elegant garments.

A confraternity that was established in 1187 in memory of the blood shedding flourished until the Revolution but was reorganized in 1830. Members of this confraternity, in addition to many pilgrims, commemorate the miracle of Notre-Dame de Déols every year on May 31, the anniversary of the miracle. During an elaborate ceremony in the year 1899, the archbishop of Bourges demonstrated the Church’s affection for the statue by bestowing precious crowns on the heads of both Mother and Child. The abbey that figured in the miracle is still in ruins. The statue of Mother and Child is now found in one of the chapels of St. Etienne’s Church, where the Child Jesus remains without His hand in sad remembrance of the disrespectful action that took place over 800 years ago.

~Source:”Miraculous Images of Our Lord”

Julian the Apostate Saved By the Sign of the Cross

The impious emperor Julian the Apostate did not hesitate to hold communications with the devil. On one occasion, accompanied by a noted magician, he entered a dark, subterranean cavern where the devil was wont to be honored. Horrible noises greeted his affrighted ears. Hideous figures became visible in the gloom, so that the Emperor was terrified.

Mindful of the power of the Sign of the Cross, which he had so often made as a child, he now instinctively signed himself with this holy Sign. Instantly the horrible noises ceased, the dreadful figures disappeared and all was peace. The impious emperor, regaining his lost courage, once more attempted to perform the devilish rites, whereupon the devils again appeared and struck terror into his heart. Again, filled with fear, he made this holy Sign and the devils fled headlong from the cavern. This episode is related both by St. Gregory and St. Augustine.

The Battle of Lepanto

THE VICTORY IN LEPANTO THROUGH OUR LADY OF THE HOLY ROSARY

Prior to this date there were serious threats to the Christian faith from the Ottoman invasion. In fact, on 1566, Pius V wrote the Grand Master of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem to dissuade him from his idea of leaving the island of Malta in anticipation of the imminent victory of the Turks: “Let go of the idea of leaving the island. Your mere presence in Malta inflames the courage to Christians and imposes respect from the Ottomans. Know that he fears you and all your soldiers.” The Grand Master changed his mind and stayed on the island.

By the end of 1566 Pius V alerted all Catholic nations encouraging them to form a League in defense of Christianity. However, due to their internal problems, the leaders of the Catholic nations did not heed his call.

Three years elapsed when the Ottomans destroyed the Venetian arsenal and sent an ultimatum: either Venice give up Cyprus or war.

A league was formed among Spain, Cyprus and the Papal States under the command of Don Juan of Austria, 24 years of age, to defend Christianity was formed. The League had 200 galleries, 100 transports, 50,000 Spanish, Italian and German soldiers, 4,500 light cavalry, and the number of guns needed.

On the day of the battle, everything against the odds for the Christians:

  • the numerical superiority of the Turks: 286 against 208 ships;
  • the wind direction was favorable to the Turks, while the Catholics had to row against the current to approach the enemy.

Juan de Austria, carrying a crucifix, inspected all ships and ardently proclaimed: “Put all your hope in God Almighty, who reigns and governs the universe. Remember, you are going to fight for the Faith; and no frail-hearted will win Heaven.”

Alí-Pashá fired the cannon to call on the Christians to fight. Don Juan accepted the challenge response with another cannon fire. Concomitantly, the wind changes its direction unexpectedly favoring the Christian side.

Meanwhile in Rome the Pope awaited news, fasting and redoubling his prayers for victory. The Pope urged the Cardinals, monks and faithful do the same entrusting the event to the powerful efficacy of the Rosary.

On October 7, he was with his treasurer, Donato Cesi who was discussing with him some financial matters. Suddenly the Pope turned away from his treasurer, opened a window and entered into ecstasy. Then, he turned to his treasurer and said: “Go with God. Now it is not the time to discuss these matters but the time to give thanks to Jesus Christ as our squad have just come out victorious”. He then went to his chapel.

On the night of 21 to October 22, Cardinal Rusticucci woke uo the Pope to confirm the vision he had. With manly tears St. Pius V repeated the words of the old Simeon, “Nunc dimittis servum tuum, Domine, in pace (Lord, now you can let go your servant to rest in peace” (Luc.2,29). The next morning he proclaimed the good news at St. Peter’s after a procession and a solemn singing of “Te Deum”.

Thereafter, October 7 was dedicated to Our Lady of Victories and later on to Our Lady of the Holy Rosary. By popular acclamation, the advocation “Help of Christians” was added to the Litany of Loreto. Chapels with the invocation of Our Lady of Victories begin to emerge in Spain and Italy. At the Venetian Senate hangs a painting of the battle which the following inscription below it: “Non virtus, non arma, non duces, sed Maria Rosarii victores nos fecit (Neither the troops nor weapons, nor the commanders, but Mary of the Rosary who made us the victorious).”

Mystical Experiences of St.Francis of Assisi

Mystical Experiences of St.Francis of Assisi

~Francis when he pronounced the name Bethlehem felt the honey in the mouth. When he began to do penance and to show mercy to the lepers, he could say: “What had seemed bitter to me was changed into sweetness of soul and body”.

The chariot of fire

~At about midnight who was awake and praying in silence she saw the door of the house a bright chariot of fire that took two or three laps here and there about the room, it rested on a large globe, shining like the sun illuminated the dark night.

They were amazed by not only the light that enters the body, but also in the spirit which had extraordinary effects. Meeting, they wondered the significance of the phenomenon, then realized that this was definitely the soul of the blessed Father. It was an extraordinary gift bestowed by God to Francis for his purity and his ardent love for the creatures.

The leper

~One day while Francis was thinking of leaving the worldly life, riding through the fields outside the walls of Assisi, he heard distinctly the sound of a bell. He saw a disfigured be coming to meet him, he was a leper with tainted meat, calcified that emitted a stench unbearable.

Francis had to flee the motion because he knew that leprosy was a disease very contagious, but overcame his repugnance, he descended from his horse, approached the leper and kissed him with the kiss of love. Climbed on horseback, he turned to greet the leper, but that was gone. That leper was Jesus Christ descended to earth to receive a kiss from his servant.

Francis in his will he wrote:

“When I was in sin, too bitter to me seemed to see the lepers, and the Lord led me among them, when I left, what first estimation bitter, I was changed into sweetness of soul and body, and after I left the world&qot;.

The Seal of Christ

~Francis, with a few companions, reached the summit of La Verna, where he practiced for several days an increasingly ardent prayer. On 14 September 1224, the day of the Exaltation of the Cross in the early hours of the morning Francis was marked by the stigmata. Celano says: “A man who was above him, like a seraph with six wings, hands outstretched and feet together and secured to a cross. Two of the wings were outstretched over his head, two were outstretched as if to fly, and Both were wrapped around the body. When the servant of the Most Blessed saw these things, he was filled with the biggest surprise, but still could not understand what this vision meant. But he was full of happiness and rejoiced greatly to the courteous and kind look with which you could look at the seraph, whose beauty was priceless … And while he was unable to reach an understanding of what the vision and the strangeness perplexed his heart, the marks of nails began to appear in his hands and his feet just as she had seen them just before the crucified man above him … In addition, his left flank was as if he had been pierced by a spear.

Lupo

~The whole town of Gubbio lived under the specter of a wolf that appeared in the city was in the frequent killing of animals and men, the poor and frightened people to defend themselves were forced to shut within the walls.

Francis had compassion for these people and inspired by the Lord, left the town to meet the Wolf. When he saw the animal coming towards him, stopped him with a gesture of the cross and said, “Brother Wolf, come to me, I command thee from Christ that you do not hurt either to me or anyone, I promise you that people will ensure your livelihood, you’re? “. The Wolf meek as a lamb, held out his paw to Francis to accept the pact proposed in front of all citizens dazed. The Wolf lived long among the residents without doing any harm. The inhabitants, in memory of such a wonderful miracle, began building a church that still exists is called the church of the “Victory”.

Predictions

~One day the poor man of Assisi stood in prayer to obtain from God as the lighting would be his life and that of his brethren. Immediately felt inundate the intimate heart of ineffable joy and immense sweetness. He was kidnapped outside of himself and lighting could contemplate clearly divine the future. After contemplation, and returned full of joy, said to his brothers: “Beloved, comforted and rejoice in the Lord, do not mourn the fact that they are few, are not intimidated by my and your ease, because, as the Lord has revealed to me He will make us a countless multitude, and we propagate to the ends of the world. I saw a lot of people come to us, willing to live with the holy habit of common life and according to the Rule of Blessed Religion. still ringing in ears the noise of their coming and going in accordance with the command of the holy obedience! I saw the streets crowded with them, from almost all nations”.

Swallows

~One day, while St. Francis spoke to the people gathered in the square in Aviano, a flock of swallows fluttering so strong as to prevent his voice came to the company. Francis spoke to them in the following words: “My sisters the swallows, now it’s my turn to speak, because you have already done enough, hear the word of God silent and quiet, until the delivery is finished.” The flock quickly to the amazement of the crowd fell silent and remained so until the sermon was finished. Those present were amazed in front of this sign and said, “Truly this man is a saint and a friend of the Most High.”