Angels, Miracles of the Saints

Angels in the Life of St.Zita

Daughter of poor peasants, Zita was born at Monsagrati, close to Lucca. Because of the great poverty of her family she was sent at only 12 years old, to go to work in the home of the noble family Fatinelli. Because of her great goodness and generosity, she made herself valued by all. She died in that home in 1278.

The poets Fazio of Umberti and Dante memorialized her in their works, linking her name to the city of Lucca, city of which the Saint is patron, in addition to being the patron saint of housekeepers and maids.

Because of her abilities and virtues Zita was given, by her owners, care of the whole family. One morning she went to

Holy Communion in the nearby Church of Saint Frediano and she was so fervent in her thanksgiving that she lost track of time. This was the day she was supposed to bake bread. She ran home worried about recuperating the lost time. She opened the cupboard and found to her astonishment that the flour was already mixed and rising and she had only to cook it in the oven. She searched and questioned anyone who might have done this, but in vain. The Lord then revealed that the Angels had prepared the bread while she was at prayer.

One evening Saint Zita was preparing for the midnight Mass of Christmas. Heavy snow had fallen in Lucca and since Zita had given away all the warm wraps she owned to the poor, her mistress insisted that she wear her fur coat. The Saint before entering the Church of Saint Frediano, saw a poor man seated on the steps who was freezing in the cold. She gave the poor man the fur coat and asked him to return it to her as it was not hers.At the end of the Mass, Zita remained in prayer for a long time. When she left the church it was already past dawn. The poor man was nowhere in sight and he had taken the fur coat with him! Zita did not think much of the reproaches from her owner but felt bad that she had made the poor man wait so long. She made her way home and met with expected blame from her employer. Around dinner-time there was a knock at the door. It was the poor man carrying the fur coat. When he went to take his leave a blinding light filled the room. Everyone was astonished. A joy never felt before pervaded their souls. That poor man was the Guardian Angel of Saint Zita.

An ancient manuscript narrates that one year a famine severely struck the city of Lucca. Grain became very expensive due to profiteering. After Zita had given all the bread in the house to the poor one morning, and not knowing what to do to provide for other poor people that came to her at the house of the Fatinelli’s, she gave them the contents of a large case filled with fava beans her patron was supposed to sell. When the owner ordered her to verify the contents of the case and give it to the buyer, Zita, trusting in Providence, opened it up and saw that the case was once again filled to capacity.

Angels, guardian angels

Angels in the Life of Luisa Maria Benedetta

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

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

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

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

Angels, guardian angels

Angels in the Life of Blessed Alexandrina Maria da Costa

Alexandra Maria da Costa was born in Balasar Portugal in March 30,1904.Stricken by a progressive paralysis in 1925, she was forced to stay in bed in the midst of atrocious sufferings. She decides to be the Tabernacle lamp: every day in spirit she visits Jesus present in the Eucharist and offers herself up for sinners. Jesus gives her this program of life: “To love, to suffer, to make reparation.” From 1938 on, she relives the sufferings of the Passion of Jesus: every Friday she miraculously gets out of bed and once again makes present the various stages of the Via Crucis.

In the Diary of Alexandrina (1904- 1955), we find some instances of the action of the Angels in her life. In particular, when the priest cannot go and bring her Communion,Angels will take his place and give her Communion. “Yesterday I had the joy of receiving my dear Jesus. I have had the habit of asking Our Lady to send a multitude of Angels, Cherubim and Seraphim to accompany Jesus from the Tabernacle to me and to come herself with another multitude, to prepare the throne of my soul, to receive Jesus herself, and to make thanksgiving for me. With my eyes open, I began to see in front of me a multitude of Angels forming a great arch. On one side, there were larger figures holding something in their hands: I don’t know what. In the middle, there was an even larger figure, but I could hardly make it out. In front, there was a throne with such beautiful colors and, on the other side, golden rays were emanating and flooding over them. Seeing this, I thought it was the Blessed Mother accompanied by her Angels, as I had asked her to.”

Alexandra hesitates to recount this vision to her Spiritual Father but receives this order and this explanation from Jesus: “Say everything, everything. I have shown you all this so that you may see that your prayers are acceptable to Heaven. You have seen Our Lady with her Angels, the Cherubim and Seraphim with their instruments. They came to prepare your soul. Then they thanked me, loved me and praised me, just like in Heaven. I am on a throne within you.”

Besides seeing the Angels, she was also tormented by Satan. In her Diary, we read: “Satan comes once in a while with his temptations, with his attempts to lead me into evil, into doubt or despair. On one of these afternoons, I felt as if my flesh were on fire and my body burning in the flames. I was not alone and one of the people present said: ‘What an odor of burnt clothes!’ My sister went to my mother who was in the kitchen to ask if something was burning. She said no. This very strong and irritating odor was in the room. I stopped feeling the flames which had been consuming me, and the odor disappeared. My God, my bed is on fire and I can’t get out of it! Oh, what will hell be like! What is eternal despair like!”

On October 13, 1955, she died saying: “I am happy because I’m going to Heaven.” Pope John Paul II beatified her on April 25,2004.

Angels, guardian angels

Angels in the Life of Venerable Anna of Saint Augustine

Angels in the Life of Venerable Anna of Saint Augustine

~1555 – 1624

Anna was born in Valladolid on December

11, 1555. In 1577 she was accepted at the

Carmelite Monastery of Malagón where in

1578 she professed her final and solemn vows.

She was favored by extraordinary

mystical experiences and these were examined and authenticated by St. Teresa of Avila herself. She charged her with the foundation of the monastery at Villanueva de la Jara and made her its Prioress. She was later sent to the monastery of Valera of Abajo. In 1616she returned once again as Prioress of the Monastery at Villanueva where she spent her remaining years.

From her infancy, Venerable Anna

was favored by extraordinary communication

and mystical graces with God. Particularly

unique was her rapport with the Infant

Jesus, her teacher and her consolation.

Thanks to her autobiography, written in

obedience to the wishes of her spiritual

director, Father Joseph of Jesus and Mary, we

know of all these supernatural experiences,

including all those with the Angelic orders.

When, for example, she was nominated

Prioress of the Monastery at Villanueva

against her will, Our Lord appeared to her

accompanied by two angels of unsurpassed

beauty. Our Lord then asked her: Why are

you so troubled? I am giving you these two

angels to assist you! They were her own

Guardian Angel and an extraordinary one.

One day, this extraordinary Angel appeared

to her, carrying an immense cross upon his

shoulders. The cross signified the trials

awaiting her. Seeking some consolation, she

then paid a visit to the Blessed Sacrament

where Our Lord appeared to her, standing

and surrounded by Angels in adoration,

radiant with such light that the entire

Chapel was completely illuminated.

These two Angels assisted her for

the duration of her term as Prioress. And

they continued to visit her long after her

term of office as Prioress was over.

Anna was born in Valladolid on December

11, 1555. In 1577 she was accepted at the

Carmelite Monastery of Malagón where in

1578 she professed her final and solemn vows.And they continued to visit her long after her term as prioress was over.

October Feast Days

Guardian Angels

Each person on earth has a guardian angel who watches over him and helps him to attain his salvation. It has been a common theological opinion that this angelical guardianship begins at the moment of birth; prior to this, the child would be protected by the mother’s guardian angel. But this is not certain, and since we now know that the soul is infused at the moment of conception, it may be that the angelic guardianship also begins at that moment. In any case, this protection continues throughout our whole life and ceases only when our probation on earth ends, namely, at the moment of death. Our guardian angel accompanies our soul to purgatory or heaven, and becomes our coheir in the heavenly kingdom.

Angels are servants and messengers from God. “Angel” in Greek means messenger. In unseen ways the angels help us on our earthly pilgrimage by assisting us in work and study, helping us in temptation and protecting us from physical danger.

The idea that each soul has assigned to it a personal guardian angel has been long accepted by the Church and is a truth of our faith. From the Gospel of today’s liturgy we read: “See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father” (Matthew 18:10). The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that “the existence of the spiritual, non-corporeal beings that Sacred Scripture usually calls ‘angels’ is a truth of faith (328).” From our birth until our death, man is surrounded by the protection and intercession of angels, particularly our guardian angel: “Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life (336).” The Church thanks God for our helpers, the angels, particularly on this feast day and September 29 which is the feast of Saint Michael, Saint Gabriel, and Saint Raphael, archangels. Today’s feast appeared in Spain during the sixteenth century. It was extended to the universal Church and made obligatory in 1670.

Be alert in your every action as one should be who is accompanied by angels in all your ways, for that mission has been enjoined upon them. In whatever lodging, in whatever nook or corner you may find yourself, cherish a reverence for your guardian angel. In his presence do not dare to do anything you would not do in mine. Or do you doubt his presence because you do not see him? Would it really help if you did hear him, or touch him, or smell him? Remember, there are realities whose existence has not been proven by mere sight.

Brethren, we will love God’s angels with a most affectionate love; for they will be our heavenly co-heirs some day, these spirits who now are sent by the Father to be our protectors and our guides. With such bodyguards, what are we to fear? They can neither be subdued nor deceived; nor is there any possibility at all that they should go astray who are to guard us in all our ways. They are trustworthy, they are intelligent, they are strong — why, then, do we tremble? We need only to follow them, remain close to them, and we will dwell in the protection of the Most High God. So as often as you sense the approach of any grave temptation or some crushing sorrow hangs over you, invoke your protector, your leader, your helper in every situation. Call out to him and say: Lord, save us, we are perishing.

~St. Bernard

Angels, guardian angels

Apparition of St.Michael in Rome

In the year 590, when Saint Gregory the Great was elected pope, Rome and all of Italy was in the midst of a deadly plague. In fact, Pope St Gregory was elected because his predecessor, Pope Pelagius, himself died of the epidemic on Feb 7th, 590. On April 25 of that year, the holy pope St Gregory requested a public procession through the streets of Rome to beg for an end to the epidemic. An icon of Our Lady that was painted by Saint Luke the Evangelist was carried at the head of the prayerful entourage.

As the procession wound along the Tiber River, the Litany of Saints was intoned. At the conclusion of the litany, Saint Gregory’s gaze was drawn upwards and he suddenly saw the heavens open. Saint Michael the Archangel along with numerous other Angels descended above the crowd and a heavenly perfume seemingly filled the air. The angels began singing the “Regina Coeli” to the Blessed Virgin Mary, who was seated on a throne above Michael and the Angels.

Completely overwhelmed by the incredible sight, Saint Gregory concluded the angelic chorus by singing out the closing lines of the Regina Coeli: “Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia! Gaude et lætare, Virgo Maria, alleluia! Quia surrexit Dominus vere, alleluia.” (Pray for us to God, alleluia! Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia! For the Lord has truly risen, alleluia!).

At the conclusion of the vision, the great pope witnessed Saint Michael sheathing his sword, and to the great joy of all the inhabitants the horrific plague came to an end. The beautiful Church called Castel Sant’Angelo (pictured left and also above) stands at the site where Saint Michael and his fellow angels had appeared on that day along with the Blessed Virgin Mary.

From then on, the date of the apparition  (April 25th) marking the end of the plague thus became the fixed date for the annual procession that would come to be known throughout the Catholic world as the “Greater Litanies”, since it was St Michael along with the Angels who joined in reciting the Litanies on that day. Nowadays the “Greater Litanies” processions are sometimes called “St Mark’s processions” because the date also coincides with the feast of St Mark.