The Power of the Mass for the Poor Souls in Purgatory

The immense power of the Mass for the souls in Purgatory

On October 13, 1849, there died at the age of fifty-two, in the parish of Ardoye, in Flanders, a woman named Eugenie Van de Kerckove, whose husband, John Wybo, was a farmer. She was a pious and charitable woman who generously gave to charity in proportionate to her means. She had, to the end of her life, a great devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and abstained from meat in her honor on the Friday and Saturday of each week. Although her conduct was not free from certain faults, she otherwise led a exemplary and edifying life.

Eugenie had a servant named Barbara Vennecke, aged twenty-eight, who was known as a virtuous and devoted girl, and who had assisted her mistress in her last sickness, and after Eugenie’s death, she continued to serve her master, John Wybo, the widower of Eugenie.

About three weeks after her death, the deceased appeared to her servant under circumstances which we will now relate. It was in the middle of the night; Barbara slept soundly, when she heard herself called distinctly three times by her name. She awoke with a start, and saw Eugenie before her, sitting on the side of her bed, clad in a working dress, consisting of a skirt and short jacket. At this remarkable sight, Barbara was seized with astonishment. The apparition spoke to her: “Barbara,” she said, simply pronouncing her name. “What do you desire, Eugenie?” replied the servant.

‘Please take,” said the mistress, “the little rake which I often told you to put in its place; stir the heap of sand in the little room; you know to which one I refer. You will find there 500 franks; use it to have Masses said, two francs for each Mass, for my intention, for I am still suffering.” “I will do so, Eugenie,” replied Barbara, and at the same moment the apparition vanished. After awhile she fell asleep again, and reposed quietly until morning:

On awaking, Barbara thought that maybe it was all just a dream, but yet she had been so deeply impressed, so wide awake, she had seen her old mistress in a form so distinct, so full of life and she had received from her lips such precise directions, that she could not help saying, “This cannot have been a dream. I saw my mistress in person; she presented herself to my eyes and she surely spoke to me. It is no dream, but a reality.”

She therefore immediately went and took the rake as directed, stirred the sand, and drew out a purse containing the sum of five hundred francs.

In such strange and extraordinary circumstances the good girl thought it her duty to seek the advice of her pastor before spending the 500 francs on having Masses said, and went to relate to him all that had happened. The venerable Abbe R., then parish priest of Ardoye, replied that the Masses asked by the departed soul absolutely must be celebrated, but, in order to dispose of the sum of money, the consent of the husband, John Wybo, was necessary, since the money was found in his house. The latter willingly consented that the money should be employed for so holy a purpose, and the Masses were celebrated, being given two francs for each Mass.

We call attention to the circumstance of the Mass donations, because it corresponded with the pious custom of the deceased. The fee for a Mass fixed by the diocese at that time was a franc and a half, but during her lifetime Eugenie-through consideration and charity for the clergy, many of whom were quite poor- always gave two francs for each Mass that she made offerings for. Thus the extra 1/2 a frank Mass offering that she normally made was an act of charity and additional financial support for the priests who celebrated them.

Two months after the first apparition, while Masses were still being said for Eugenie’s intentions, Barbara was again awakened during the night. This time her chamber was illuminated with a bright light, and her mistress appeared before her with a radiant smile, beautiful and fresh in appearance as in the days of her youth, and was dressed in a robe of dazzling whiteness—“Barbara,” she said in a clear voice, “I thank you! For I am now delivered from the place of purification.’ Saying these words, she disappeared, and the chamber became dark as before.

The servant, amazed at what she had just seen, was full of joy, and she soon spread the remarkable story to everyone about the town . This apparition made the most lively impression upon her mind, and she preserves to this day the most consoling remembrance of it. It is from her that we have these details, through the favor of the venerable Abbe L., who was curate at Ardoye when these facts occurred.

This is but one of the many stories in regards to the power and efficacy of the Holy Mass wherein the Son of God Himself offers Himself upon the altar for the forgiveness of our sins, for it is a fact that of all that we can do in favor of the souls in Purgatory, there is nothing more powerful and precious than the offering of immolation of our Divine Saviour upon the altar. Besides being the express doctrine of the Church as manifested in her Councils, there are many miraculous facts, properly authenticated, which leave no room for doubt in regard to this point.

In evidence to this we now provide another incident, related by the historian Ferdinand of Castile. From 1324-1327 there was at Cologne two Dominican Religious of distinguished talent, one of whom was Blessed Henry Suso (1295-1366). They shared the same studies, the same kind of life, and above all the same desire for sanctity, which had caused them to form an close friendship.

When they had finished their studies, seeing that they were about to be separated to return each one to his own convent, they agreed and promised one another that the first of the two who should die should be assisted by the other for a whole year by the celebration of two Masses each week–on Monday a Mass of Requiem, as was customary, and on Friday that of the Passion, in so far as the Rubrics would permit. They promised each other that they would do this, gave each other the kiss of peace, and left Cologne.

For several years they both continued to serve God with the most edifying fervor. The priest religious whose name is not mentioned was the first to be called away, and Father Suso received the news with sentiments of resignation to the Divine will. As to the contract they had made, time had caused him to forget it. However, he prayed much for his friend, imposing new penances upon himself and many other good works, but he did not think of offering the Masses which he had promised a number of years previously.

One morning, while meditating in retirement in the chapel, he suddenly saw appear before him the soul of his departed friend, who, regarding him with tenderness, reproached him with having been unfaithful to his word from which he had a perfect right to rely upon with confidence. Blessed Suso, surprised, excused his forgetfulness by relating the many prayers and mortifications which he had offered, and still continued to offer, for his friend, whose salvation was as dear to him as his own.

“Is it possible, my dear brother;’ he added, “that so many prayers and good works which I have offered to God do not suffice for you?” “Oh no,” dear brother, replied the suffering soul, “these are not yet sufficient. It is the Blood of Jesus Christ that is needed to extinguish the flames by which I am consumed; it is the Holy Sacrifice which will deliver me from these frightful torments. I implore you to keep your word, and refuse me not that which in justice you owe me.”

Blessed Suso hastened to respond to the appeal of the suffering soul; he contacted as many priests as possible and urged them to say Masses for his friends intentions and, to repair his fault, he celebrated, and caused to be celebrated, a large number of Masses that very same day. On the following day several priests, at the request of Father Suso, united with him in offering the Holy Sacrifice for the deceased, and he continued his act of charity for several days.

After a short time the priest friend of Suso again appeared to him, but now in a very different condition; his countenance was joyful, and he was surrounded with beautiful light. “Thanks be to you, my dear friend” he said “behold, by the Blood of my Saviour I am delivered from my sufferings. I am now going to Heaven to contemplate Him whom we so often adored together under the Eucharistic veil.”

Afterwards, Blessed Suso prostrated himself to ‘thank the God of infinite mercy, because he now understood more than ever the inestimable value of the Mass.’

~Source:Purgatory –Explained by the Lives and Legends of the Saints” by Father F.X. Schouppe, S.J~

St.Gemma Galgani Obtains the Release of a Soul in Purgatory

“Gemma knew by Divine inspiration that in the Convent of Passionist Nuns at Corneto [Italy] there was a Religious Sister very dear to God who was near death. She asked me about it, and on my answering that it was so, she at once began to implore of Jesus to make that particular Religious expiate all her faults on her deathbed, so that breathing her last she might enter Paradise at once. Her prayer, at least in part, was heard. The Sister suffered greatly and died in a few months. Gemma told those in her home of it in order that they might pray for the deceased, and she gave her name, Maria Teresa of the Infant Jesus, as she was not known in Lucca. After her death, this soul appeared to her full of sorrow, imploring her help as she was undergoing great torments in Purgatory for certain defects.

Nothing more was needed to set all the fibers of Gemma’s heart in motion. From that moment she gave herself no rest: she fervently offered prayers, tears and loving petitions to Our Lord.

“Jesus, save her,” she was overheard to exclaim. “Jesus, take Maria Teresa to Paradise without delay. She is a soul that is most dear to Thee. Let me suffer much for her; I want her to be in heaven.”

And during this time Gemma writes the following in her Diary:

“It was around 9:30 and I was reading; all of a sudden I am shaken by a hand resting gently on my left shoulder. I turn in fright; I was afraid and tried to call out, but I was held back. I turned and saw a person dressed in white; I recognized it was a woman; I looked and her expression assured me I had nothing to fear: “Gemma,” she said after some moments, “do you know me?” I said no, because that was the truth; she responded: “I am Mother Maria Teresa of the Infant Jesus: I thank you so very much for the great concern you have shown me because soon I shall be able to attain my eternal happiness.”



All this happened while I was awake and fully aware of myself. Then she added: “Continue still, because I still have a few days of suffering.” And in so saying she caressed me and then went away. Her countenance, I must say, inspired much confidence in me. From that hour I redoubled my prayers for her soul, so that soon she should reach her objective; but my prayers are too weak; how I wish that for the souls in Purgatory my prayers should have the strength of the saints’.”

And the dear victim of expiation suffered without ceasing for sixteen days, at the end of which God was pleased to accept her sacrifice and to release that soul. This is how Gemma herself told me of it:

“Toward half-past one it seemed to me that the Blessed Mother herself came to tell me that the holy hour I was making was drawing to an end. Then almost immediately I thought I saw Sr. Maria Teresa coming toward me clad as a Passionist, accompanied by her Guardian Angel and by Jesus. Oh, how she was changed since the day I first saw her! Smiling, she drew close to me and said: “I am truly happy, and I go to enjoy my Jesus forever.” She thanked me again. Then she made sign of bidding me good-bye with her hand, several times, and with Jesus and her Guardian Angel she flew to Heaven. It was about half-past two o’clock in the morning.”

~Source:”The Life of St Gemma Galgani” by Venerable Father Germanus Ruoppolo C.P~

Angels in the Cockpit

David Moore and his wife,Florence discovered in July 1971 that Florence’s mother was dying of cancer.The Moore’s lived in the small town of Yoakum,Texas and they began driving back and forth to Hendersonville,North Carolina to visit the sick woman.After one trip,David decided to leave the car in North Carolina for Florence to use and take the bus back to Texas.

“It was the worst idea I ever had”,he says laughing.”Forty six hours of riding and listening to babies cry!On our budget I couldn’t afford to fly,but I made a vow to walk if I had to—anything to avoid getting on another bus!”

The following week as David packed and planned a hitchhiking route to Hendersonville,Henry Gardner phoned.Henry had heard about David’s transportation problems,and he volunteered to fly David to North Carolina in his small Cessna 180 and get in some sightseeing at the same time.David accepted gratefully.

David had never flown in a small plane,and he was nervous as the two men taxied down the runway early the next morning.But the little aircraft lifted gracefully, and David sat back to handle his unfamiliar duties as navigator.Within half an hour however as they neared Houston,they ran into fog.

“This is no problem,”Henry reassured an increasingly nervous David.”We Have aviation maps on board,and look—you can see the Houston radio towers rising above the fog.All we have to do is watch the towers,and we can tell where we are.”

He was right,and their journey continued.But the fog worsened,and just outside Jackson,Mississippi,the plane’s radios and instruments died.Now the pair couldn’t see anything on the ground,nor could they talk to people in the control tower.

Just as David was becoming desperate,the fog lifted for a moment to reveal the airport directly beneath them.Henry took the plane down smoothly,and within minutes they found an airport mechanic.Relieved,the two men grabbed a quick lunch and were soon airborne,with instruments and radio restored and fuel tanks filled.

Everything went smoothly for a little while.The sun had come out,and David’s tension diminished.He began to enjoy the flight and his bird’s – eye view of the ground.As they traveled northeast,he could see Atlanta off to his right.”I was really excited,”David says,”knowing that soon I would be with my wife and daughter again.”

But as the plane passed Greenville,South Carolina,the fog,which had been patchy and broken,turned once again into a continuous gray mass.There was enough visibility for Henry to clear the first mountain range,but as the two looked into the distance,they saw a solid wall of fog,and their hearts sank.Henry radioed Asheville’s airport for instructions.

“Our field is closed because of the fog,”the air traffic controller responded,”and we have no capability for instrument landing.Return to Greenville and land there.”

“But I can’t,”Henry protested.”We’re almost out of fuel–we don’t have enough to fly back to Greenville.”

There was a silence.Then,”Okay,” the radio voice snapped.”We’ll get the ground crew ready.Come in on an emergency landing.”

David gripped the sides of his seat.They seem to be flying in a dense gray blanket,and the Asheville control tower couldn’t possibly see them.How were he and Henry going to land?”We can use the aviation maps,just like we did before,”Henry reassured David,and after a brief scan of the blueprint,he began his blind descent.The airport runway should be beneath them—but what if it wasn’t?

Suddenly a voice came over the radio:”Pull it up!Pull it up!”

Henry immeadiately pulled up on the stick.As he did so,the men saw a split in the fog,and the view beneath sent tremors of fear through each one of them.Instead of being over the runway,they were above an interstate highway!Had they descended a few feet farther,they would have hit a bridge and certainly crashed.

The two looked at each other.They were almost out of fuel,and inside the grayness it was impossible to know where they were.Henry tried to descend again but almost hit the tips of some trees poking above the fog.Again,he pulled up sharply.There seemed to be no way out of their dilemma.Without enough fuel–or guidance from the control tower–how could they possibly land?

Then,with enormous relief,they heard the controller’s composed voice breaking into the tense silence in the cockpit.”If you will listen to me.”he said,”I’ll help you get down”

“Go ahead”,Henry radioed back in relief.

The controller began his instructions.”Come down just a little,”he said.”Now over to the right.Down a little more….

David gripped the seat,praying intently.Thank God the controller had been able to pick them up on radar,despite the airport’s apparant lack of the necessary instruments.But would they make it in time?It seemed impossible.The fuel needle hovered on E,but the voice went on with calm authority:”Not so fast.Easy,easy now….”Was this nightmare fight ever going to end?And would he see his wife and daughter again?

“Raise it up a little now.No,you’re too far left.”The journey seemed to be taking forever.But all of a sudden the controller said,”You’re right over the end of the runway.Set it down….now!”

Obediently,Henry dropped the plane through the fog,and the two men recognized the beginning of a runway just ahead,with lights along both sides.It was the most welcome sight they had ever seen.Within minutes,they had touched down.Tears of gratitude and relief filled David’s eyes when he saw Florence standing at the end of the runway.

The plane taxied to a stop,and the two men offered a quick prayer of thanksgiving.Then Henry turned on the radio again.”Thanks so much,” he told the air traffic controller,his voice shaky with relief.”You probably saved our lives.”

But the controller’s response stopped both men in their tracks.”What are you talking about?We lost all radio contact with you when we told you to return to Greenville”.

“You what?”Henry asked,incredulous.

“We never heard from you again,and we never heard you talking to us or to anyone else,”the controller told them.”We were stunned when we saw you break through the clouds”.

David and Henry looked at each other.Who had guided them through the grayness and onto safe ground?They would never know for sure.But even today David never hears a small airplane without thinking of that flight.”I know now that insignificant as I may be in this big world,God always has his eye on me”,he said.”He sustains me through the storm and the fog.”

~Source:”Where Angels Walk”~

How to Make One’s Business Prosper

Two businessmen resided in the same French town. Both were engaged in the same line of commerce, but while one was prosperous, the other found it very hard to gain a sufficiency, notwithstanding that he worked harder and rose earlier than his friend. Reduced to extremities, he resolved to seek advice from his prosperous colleague, hoping to learn the secret of his success. “My good friend,” replied the wealthy merchant, “I have no secrets, I work just as you work. If there is any difference in our methods, it is this: I go to Mass daily. You do not. Follow my sincere advice, hear Mass every morning, and I feel sure that God will bless your work.” The poorer man did as he was advised, and soon, in some unaccountable way, his difficulties ceased and his business prospered beyond all his expectations.

Mary Assists Her Servants in Purgatory

Father Eusebius Nierembergh relates that there lived in the city of Aragona a girl, named Alexandra who, being noble and very beautiful, was greatly loved by two young men.

Through jealousy, they one day fought and killed each other. Their enraged relatives, in return, killed the poor young girl, as the cause of so much trouble, cut off her head, and threw her into a well.

A few days after, St. Dominic was passing through that place, and, inspired by the Lord, approached the well, and said: “Alexandra, come forth,” and immediately the head of the deceased came forth, placed itself on the edge of the well, and prayed St. Dominic to hear its confession. The saint heard its confession, and also gave it communion, in presence of a great concourse of persons who had assembled to witness the miracle.

Then, St. Dominic ordered her to speak and tell why she had received that grace.

Alexandra answered, that when she was beheaded, she was in a state of mortal sin, but that the most holy Mary, on account of the rosary, which she was in the habit of reciting, had preserved her in life. Two days the head retained its life upon the edge of the well, in the presence of all, and then the soul went to purgatory.

But fifteen days after, the soul of Alexandra appeared to St. Dominic, beautiful and radiant as a star, and told him, that one of the principal sources of relief to the souls in purgatory is the rosary which is recited for them; and that, as soon as they arrive in paradise, they pray for those who apply to them these powerful prayers.

Having said this, St. Dominic saw that happy soul ascending in triumph to the kingdom of the blessed.

St. Bernardine of Sienna says, that in that prison of souls who are spouses of Jesus Christ, Mary has a certain dominion and plenitude of power to relieve them, as well as deliver them from their pains. And, in the first place, as to relieving them, the same saint, applying the words of Ecclesiasticus: I have walked in the waves of the sea: adds, visiting and relieving the necessities and sufferings of my servants, who are my children.

St. Bernardine says, that the pains of purgatory are called waves, because they are transitory, unlike the pains of hell, which never end: and they are called waves of the sea, because they are very bitter pains. The servants of Mary tormented by those pains are often visited and succored by her.

See, then, how important it is, says Novarino, to be a servant of this good Lady; for she never forgets such when they are suffering in those flames. And although Mary succors all the souls in purgatory, yet she always obtains more indulgences and alleviations for those who have been especially devoted to her.

This divine mother, in her revelations to St. Bridget, said: I am the mother of all the souls in purgatory; and all the sufferings which they merit for the sins committed in life are every hour, while they remain there, alleviated in some measure by my prayers.

This kind mother sometimes condescends even to enter into that holy prison, to visit and console these her afflicted children. I have penetrated into the bottom of the deep: as we read in Ecclesiasticus;* and St. Bonaventure, applying these words, adds: I have penetrated the depth of this abyss, that is, of purgatory, to relieve by my presence those holy souls.

Oh, how kind and beneficent is the holy Virgin to those who are suffering in purgatory! says St. Vincent Ferrer; through her they receive continual consolation and refreshment.

And what other consolation have they in their sufferings than Mary, and the help of this mother of mercy? St. Bridget one day heard Jesus saying to his mother: Thou art my mother, thou art the mother of mercy, thou art the consoler of those who are in purgatory.

And the blessed Virgin herself said to St. Bridget, that as a poor sick person, suffering and deserted on his bed, feels himself refreshed by some word of consolation, so those souls feel themselves consoled in hearing only her name.

The name alone of Mary, a name of hope and salvation, which these beloved children often invoke in that prison, is for them a great comfort.

But, then, says Novarino, the loving mother, on hearing herself invoked by them, adds her prayers to God, by which these souls receive comfort, and find their burning pains cooled as if by dew from heaven.

But not only does Mary console and succor her servants in purgatory; she also releases them from this prison, and delivers them by her intercession.

From the day of her glorious assumption, in which that prison is said to have been emptied, as Gerson writes; and Novarino confirms this by saying, that many weighty authors relate that Mary, when about to [be assumed] to paradise, asked this favor of her Son, that she might take with her all the souls that were then in purgatory; from that time, says Gerson, the blessed Virgin has possessed the privilege of freeing her servants from those pains.

And this also is positively asserted by St. Bernardine, who says that the blessed Virgin has the power of delivering souls from purgatory by her prayers and the application of her merits, especially if they have been devoted to her.

And Novarino says the same thing, believing that by the merits of Mary, not only the torments of these souls are assuaged, but also abridged, the time of their purgation being shortened by her intercession: and for this it is enough that she presents herself to pray for them.

St. Peter Damian relates, that a certain lady, named Marozia, after death, appeared to her god mother, and told her that on the day [feast day] of the Assumption of Mary she had been released by her from purgatory, with a multitude of souls exceeding in number the whole population of Rome.

St. Denis the Carthusian relates, that on the festivals of the birth and resurrection of Jesus Christ, Mary descends into purgatory, accompanied by troops of angels, and releases many souls from their torments. And Novarino believes that the same thing happens on every solemn festival of the holy Virgin.

Every one has heard of the promise made by Mary to Pope John, to whom she appeared, and ordered him to make known to all those who should wear the sacred scapular of Carmel, that on the Saturday after their death they should be released from purgatory.

And this was proclaimed by the same pontiff, as Father Crasset relates, in a bull which he published. It was also confirmed by Alexander V., Clement VIL, Pius V., Gregory XIII. , and Paul V., who, in 1612, in a bull said: “That Christians may piously believe that the blessed Virgin will aid by her continual intercession, by her merits and special protection, after death, and principally on Saturday, which is a day consecrated by the Church to the blessed Virgin, the souls of the members of the confraternity of holy Mary of Mount Carmel, who shall have departed this life in the state of grace, worn the scapular, observing chastity according to their state of life, recited the office of the Virgin, and if they have not been able to recite it, shall have observed the fasts of the Church, abstaining from flesh meat on Wednesdays, except on Christmas-day.

And in the solemn office of the feast of holy Mary of Mount Carmel, we read that it is piously believed, that the holy Virgin, with a mother’s love, consoles the members of the confraternity of Mount Carmel in purgatory, and by her intercession conducts them to their heavenly country.”

Why should we not also hope for the same graces and favors, if we are devoted to this good mother? And if with more special love we serve her, why cannot we hope to obtain the grace of going immediately after death to paradise, without entering into purgatory? as we read that the holy Virgin said to the blessed Godfrey, through brother Abondo, in these words: “Go and tell brother Godfrey to advance in virtue, for thus he will be a child of my Son, and mine also; and when his soul quits the body, I will not permit it to go to purgatory, but I will take it and present it to my Son.”

And if we would assist the holy souls in purgatory, let us endeavor to remember them in all our prayers to the blessed Virgin, applying to them especially the holy rosary, which procures for them great relief.

Prayer

Oh Queen of heaven and of earth, oh mother of the Lord of the world, oh Mary, creature most great, most exalted, most amiable, it is true that many on the earth do not love thee and do not know thee; but there are innumerable angels and

saints in heaven who love and praise thee continually. On this earth, too, how many souls burn with love of thee, and live enamored of thy goodness.

Ah, if I, too, might love thee, my most lovely Lady! Oh, that I might always be engaged in serving thee, in praising thee, in honoring thee, and in striving to awaken love of thee in others.

A God hath been enamored of thee, who, by thy beauty, if I may so speak, hast drawn him from the bosom of the eternal Father, to come upon the earth and become man and thy Son; and I, a miserable worm, shall I not be enamored of thee?

Yes, my most sweet mother, I also will love thee, love thee much, and do all in my power to make thee loved by others.

Accept, then, oh Mary, the desire I have to love thee, and help me to fulfill it: I know that thy lovers are regarded with much favor by thy God. Next to his own glory, he desires nothing more than thy glory, in seeing thee honored and loved by all.

From thee, oh Lady, I await all my blessings. Thou must obtain the pardon of all my sins, thou must obtain for me perseverance, succor in death, deliverance from purgatory, in a word, thou must conduct me to paradise.

All this thy lovers hope from thee, and they are not deceived. This I also hope, who love thee with all my heart, and above all things next to God.Amen.

Converted by the Holy Spirit

Cardinal Newman had a great love for the Holy Spirit.He was brought up by his parents in the Protestant religion.Unfortunately he had the strongest prejudices against the Catholic Church.

At an early age he began to see that his own religion could not be the true one,so full was it of contradictions and errors.

He spent years trying to find the Church of Christ.He read history,he argued with eminent divines and consulted many learned friends,but all in vain.He failed to recognize in the midst of so many claims the religion given us by Jesus Christ.

Finally, one day he received from God,who was pleased with his good intentions,an inspiration.

“What have I been doing!”he exclaimed.”I have labored much,I have studied,I have read many books,I have consulted good friends,but I have not prayed enough,I have not sufficiently asked God’s light and guidance.”

Then falling on his knees he prayed fervently.The clouds of doubt began to disappear,and he at last saw the truth of the Catholic Church.

He describes his conversion in the following beautiful hymn,written not long after his conversion.

Lead Kindly Light

LEAD, Kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom

          Lead Thou me on!

The night is dark, and I am far from home

          Lead Thou me on!

Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see

The distant scene—one step enough for me.

I was not ever thus, nor pray’d that Thou

          Shouldst lead me on.

I loved to choose and see my path, but now

          Lead Thou me on!

I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears,

Pride ruled my will: remember not past years.

So long Thy power hath blest me, sure it still

          Will lead me on,

O’er moor and fen, o’er crag and torrent, till

          The night is gone;

And with the morn those angel faces smile

Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile.

He became a catholic and following his example,more than a thousand Protestant ministers were converted and a very host of laymen.

~”The Holy Ghost:Our Greatest Friend”

Our Lady of Victory

Wigratzbad, Germany

1919 and 1938

THE FIRST APPARITION

IN THE year 1919, when Antonie Radler was twenty years old, she contracted the Spanish influenza and was desperately ill. The fervent prayers of her mother persuaded the Blessed Virgin to appear at the patient’s bedside. When the apparition laid her hands on the young victim, Antonie was instantly healed.

Fully recovered, Antonie was working one day in her father’s butcher shop when the Gestapo arrived and ordered her to replace the painting of the Virgin on the wall with that of the Führer. She was ordered to salute him in the Nazi fashion, saying, “Heil Hitler” instead of the usual Bavarian greeting of “Grüss Gott.” Antonie refused and barely escaped several attempts on her life. She always maintained that her Guardian Angel, in the form of a mysterious cyclist, protected her.

The parents were so delighted and grateful with her escape from harm that they erected a small Lourdes grotto in their garden. This was blessed by Father Basch, pastor of their parish, on October 11, 1936, the feast day of the Maternity of Mary. The following month, while at prayer before the statue, Antonie saw Mary smile sweetly and heard the words, “O Beloved Lady of Victory, conceived without sin, pray for us.”

Then, while praying at the Lourdes grotto on December 15, 1936, during the octave of the Immaculate Conception, and while reciting the third sorrowful mystery of the Rosary, Antonie heard an “angelic chorus” singing, “O Mary! Immaculate, conceived without sin. Beloved Lady of Victory, pray for us.”

THE SECOND APPARITION

The history of this appearance of the Blessed Mother at Wigratzbad now shifts to a young girl named Cecilia Geyer who, on February 22, 1938, about half past six in the morning, after hearing a murmur, saw the Blessed Virgin appear in a bright cloud. Cecilia said that suddenly, I found myself in the little grotto of Antonie and heard this message, ‘Build a chapel here for me. I shall trample underfoot the serpent’s head. People will come here in large numbers and I will pour upon them a flood of graces. St. Joseph, St. Anthony and the souls in Purgatory will help you.’”

The Lady then directed, “Go now and worship my Son in the Blessed Sacrament.” Realizing that all the churches were closed at that hour, Cecilia asked the vision where should she go? Then, “before my astonished eyes there appeared a chapel in the place designated by the Lady. Inside, on the altar, surrounded surrounded by beautiful rays of light was Jesus in a monstrance.”

THE BLESSED VIRGIN APPEARS TO ANTONIE IN PRISON

The history of the chapel now reverts to Antonie Radler. Work on the building of a chapel requested by Our Lady was begun on July 2, 1938, on land donated by her parents. All went well until the night of November 21, when Antonie was arrested by the Nazis and incarcerated in the local prison. She underwent numerous interrogations, but on the night of December 7 to 8 she beheld a large cloud arising in her cell. Suddenly the Virgin appeared to her and announced her impending release. She would spend Christmas with the family. Antonie was eventually released on December 18, the Feast of the Expectation of Our Lady.

Today, the chapel built at the sight of the apparitions is host to an estimated five hundred thousand pilgrims each year. Among the visitors in 1991, was Bishop Stimpfle, Archbishop of Augsburg, who assisted at the funeral of Antonie and delivered the funeral oration. No official statement was made by the bishop regarding the apparitions, but he was known to say, “I know that Wigratzbad is authentic!”

~Source:”See How She Loves Us”~