Our Lady of Pellevoisin

Estelle Faguette lay dying of tuberculosis in Pellevoisin, a small French village. It was February 1876. 

In the early days of the illness, Estelle had asked God how could He have let this happen to her who was the sole support of her father and mother, and an orphan niece. Eventually, however, she perfectly abandoned herself to the will of God, offering up her sufferings in expiation of her sins. 

Then on the night of February 14, 1876, a demon appeared at the foot of her bed. Just after Estelle spied the demon, she saw the Blessed Mother at her bedside. Our Lady rebuked the demon and he immediately departed. Our Lady then looked at Estelle and said to her, “Fear nothing, you are my daughter.” Mary told her to have courage for she was to suffer five more days in honor of the five wounds of Christ. On Saturday she would either be dead or be cured. 

The next night Mary appeared to Estelle to inform her that she was to live. But Our Lady reproved Estelle for her past sins. Though Estelle had not lived a worldly life, she was overcome with remorse for her failings. 

The following evenings the Holy Virgin continued to appear to Estelle as she lay in her sickbed. Mary told her that, “I am all merciful.” On the fifth night Estelle asked Mary if she should change her state of life. Mary replied: 

One can be saved in every state. Where you are, you can do a great deal of good, and you can publish my glory.

After Our Lady left that night, Estelle was cured. In July of the same year the Holy Virgin visited Estelle for three consecutive days. Mary Immaculate explained that, “I have come especially for the conversion of sinners.” 

On September 9th, Our Lady again came to visit Estelle. Mary showed Estelle a Scapular of the Sacred Heart that she wore and said, “I love this devotion.” She paused and said, “It is here I will be honored.” 

A week later Our Lady visited Estelle announcing, “Let them pray and let them have confidence in me.” And she prophesized that “France will suffer.” 

In November, Our Lady once more came to visit Estelle. Mary told her that, “I choose the little ones and weak for my glory.” 

On the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8, 1876, the Blessed Mother appeared to Estelle for the fifteenth and last time. Mary Immaculate instructed her to go to the bishop, show him the Scapular of the Sacred Heart, and enlist his aid in promoting it. Mary said to Estelle, “See the graces I will bestow on those who will wear it with confidence, and who will assist in propagating it.” As Our Lady spoke she stretched out her hands and raindrops fell from them. In each drop Estelle read the names of different graces such as piety, salvation, confidence, conversion, health. Mary explained, “These graces are from my Son; I take them from His Heart; He can refuse me nothing.” A little later Mary left, never again to visibly visit Estelle in this life. 

Pope Leo XIII, in May 1894, approved the Archconfraternity of our Mother All Merciful of Pellevoisin. The Congregation of Rites in a decree issued on April 4, 1900 granted approval to the Scapular of the Sacred Heart. 

Estelle Faguette continued to live humbly in Pellevoisin until her death in 1929.

Saint Maria Bertilla Boscardin

Sr.Maria was beatified by Pope Pius XII in 1952, just 30 years after she died, and made a saint by Pope John XXIII nine years later. 
It was one of the quicker canonisations of modern history. Sometimes many decades or even hundreds of years pass before a person’s life is recognised with sainthood.  Boscardin’s came so swiftly that relatives and some of the patients she cared for were present at her canonisation ceremony. Indeed, her father, Angelo, was asked to provide testimony during the beatification process.
Born into a peasant family, who knew her as Annette, her life in Brendola, which is about 15km (9 miles) southwest of Vicenza, was tough.  She was seen as rather a slow-witted child, mocked by her peers and unkindly nicknamed ‘the goose’ even by the local priest. Her father, a drunkard, was often abusive and violent.
She wanted to become educated but her attendance at school was at times only sporadic because her family required her to work.Her ambition to become a nun was in part to escape from this unhappy childhood.  She was turned down by the first order to which she applied but the Sisters of St Dorothy in Vicenza admitted her to their convent, assigning her the religious name Maria Bertilla.
Her first job was at the order’s large charity hospital inTreviso,where she worked in the kitchen, peeling potatoes.  What she is said to have told the novice-mistress of the convent indicated that she had very low self-esteem but she asked for their help to become a better person.She found her calling after being assigned to work with the children being treated at the hospital, many of whom were suffering from diptheria, and needed constant attention.
One of the doctors at Treviso later testified that many of the children, separated from their families for the first time, arrived at the hospital so agitated that they would cry constantly for several days.But Sister Bertilla, he recalled, “succeeded in rapidly becoming a mother to them all. After two or three hours the child, who was desperate, clung to her, calmly, as to his mother and followed her wherever she went.”
When the First World War spread to Italy in 1915, Bertilla vowed she would make the ultimate sacrifice, if necessary, to care for the wounded.  An entry in her diary read: ‘Here I am, Lord, to do according to your will, under whatever aspect it presents itself, let it be life, death or terror.’As Treviso came under attack following the defeat of the Italian army at the Battle of Caporetto, she is said to have stayed with patients who could not be moved, praying and providing marsala wine for those who needed it.After the war, she was sent to a sanatorium to care for soldiers with tuberculosis. Next she was sent to a seminary to care for survivors of an epidemic.
She was unlucky with her own health, however.  Discovered to have a tumour in her early 20s, after which she underwent surgery, she fell ill again in her early 30s.The cancer had recurred. The only hope of a cure was to have another operation. But she was much weaker this time and died in October, 1922, two weeks after her birthday.Having suffered so much cruelty as a young girl and left home with little sense of self-worth, Maria Bertilla ultimately left a deep impression on those who knew her. 
She was initially buried in Treviso but after crowds regularly gathered at her grave, it was decided to erect a tomb for her in Vicenza. A memorial plaque placed on her tomb described her as “a chosen soul of heroic goodness … an angelic alleviator of human suffering in this place.” The tomb became a pilgrimage site where several miracles of healing were said to have taken place.
A number of churches in the area around Vicenza have been dedicated to Saint Maria Bertilla Boscardin, including one at Via Antonio Federico Ozanam in the west of the city and another in the village of Cagnano, about 40km (25 miles) south of Vicenza, which has a statute of her.

St.Cornelius the Centurion

Cornelius was a Centurion of the Roman cohort stationed at Caesarea, Palestine in the early 1st century.

A Roman pagan, he received the Holy Spirit while listening to the preaching of Saint Peter the Apostle; he sent for Peter who baptized the entire family. He was the first known Gentile convert to Christianity, and the baptism of his whole household points to the first century use of infant baptism. First bishop of Caesarea.

Readings

Now in Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of the Cohort called the Italica, devout and God-fearing along with his whole household, who used to give alms generously to the Jewish people and pray to God constantly. One afternoon about three o’clock, he saw plainly in a vision an angel of God come in to him and say to him, “Cornelius.” He looked intently at him and, seized with fear, said, “What is it, sir?” He said to him, “Your prayers and almsgiving have ascended as a memorial offering before God. Now send some men to Joppa and summon one Simon who is called Peter. He is staying with another Simon, a tanner, who has a house by the sea.” When the angel who spoke to him had left, he called two of his servants and a devout soldier from his staff, explained everything to them, and sent them to Joppa.

The next day, while they were on their way and nearing the city, Peter went up to the roof terrace to pray at about noontime. He was hungry and wished to eat, and while they were making preparations he fell into a trance. He saw heaven opened and something resembling a large sheet coming down, lowered to the ground by its four corners. In it were all the earth’s four-legged animals and reptiles and the birds of the sky. A voice said to him, “Get up, Peter. Slaughter and eat.” But Peter said, “Certainly not, sir. For never have I eaten anything profane and unclean.” The voice spoke to him again, a second time, “What God has made clean, you are not to call profane.”e This happened three times, and then the object was taken up into the sky.

While Peter was in doubt about the meaning of the vision he had seen, the men sent by Cornelius asked for Simon’s house and arrived at the entrance. They called out inquiring whether Simon, who is called Peter, was staying there. As Peter was pondering the vision, the Spirit said [to him], “There are three men here looking for you. So get up, go downstairs, and accompany them without hesitation, because I have sent them.” Then Peter went down to the men and said, “I am the one you are looking for. What is the reason for your being here?” They answered, “Cornelius, a centurion, an upright and God-fearing man, respected by the whole Jewish nation, was directed by a holy angel to summon you to his house and to hear what you have to say.”g So he invited them in and showed them hospitality. The next day he got up and went with them, and some of the brothers from Joppa went with him.

On the following day he entered Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends. When Peter entered, Cornelius met him and, falling at his feet, paid him homage. Peter, however, raised him up, saying, “Get up. I myself am also a human being.” While he conversed with him, he went in and found many people gathered together and said to them, “You know that it is unlawful for a Jewish man to associate with, or visit, a Gentile, but God has shown me that I should not call any person profane or unclean. And that is why I came without objection when sent for. May I ask, then, why you summoned me?” Cornelius replied, “Four days ago at this hour, three o’clock in the afternoon, I was at prayer in my house when suddenly a man in dazzling robes stood before me and said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and your almsgiving remembered before God. Send therefore to Joppa and summon Simon, who is called Peter. He is a guest in the house of Simon, a tanner, by the sea.’ So I sent for you immediately, and you were kind enough to come. Now therefore we are all here in the presence of God to listen to all that you have been commanded by the Lord.”

Then Peter proceeded to speak and said, “In truth, I see that God shows no partiality. Rather, in every nation whoever fears him and acts uprightly is acceptable to him. You know the word [that] he sent to the Israelites as he proclaimed peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all,k what has happened all over Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached, how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the holy Spirit and power. He went about doing good and healing all those oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.m We are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and (in) Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree. This man God raised (on) the third day and granted that he be visible, not to all the people, but to us, the witnesses chosen by God in advance, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.n He commissioned uso to preach to the people and testify that he is the one appointed by God as judge of the living and the dead. To him all the prophets bear witness, that everyone who believes in him will receive forgiveness of sins through his name.”

While Peter was still speaking these things, the holy Spirit fell upon all who were listening to the word. The circumcised believers who had accompanied Peter were astounded that the gift of the holy Spirit should have been poured out on the Gentiles also, for they could hear them speaking in tongues and glorifying God. Then Peter responded, “Can anyone withhold the water for baptizing these people, who have received the holy Spirit even as we have?”q He ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they invited him to stay for a few days. – Acts 10:1-49

St.Paul of the Cross

St. Paul of the Cross,visionary and mystic, was a seeker. He had a questioning heart. He was a man on a lifelong journey of faith that took him inward to the deepest part of his soul and outward as a preacher to the harshest terrains. His heart was attuned to the needs of those suffering around him. That same longing resonates in the hearts of young and old alike today.

Deeply believing that, “The world lives unmindful of the sufferings of Jesus which are the miracle of miracles of the love of God,” St. Paul of the Cross set out to establish a religious order, Congregation of the Passion of Jesus Christ, Passionists, which would be dedicated to spreading the message of the love of Christ Crucified. He knew this message was imperative in helping those who suffer find hope, healing, compassion, mercy and love. Passionists now have communities on every continent.

Paul was determined to gather companions who would live together in community and promote this new message. It took from 1720 to 1741—twenty-one years of humble service as a hospital chaplain and traveling preacher combined with quiet perseverance in the face of official Church rejection—for Paul to receive his first papal authority to found his religious order, The Congregation of the Passion of Jesus Christ.

For over 40 years, Paul and his companions, the Passionists, preached the loving memory of the passion and death of Jesus Christ. Paul challenged those who listened to die a mystical death with Christ so as to rise up with Christ to a life of faith and love. The sick and the poor remained special recipients of Paul’s care, but he also preached to the clergy and reminded them of their obligations to serve the neglected. After many years of preaching, teaching and serving the Passionist community as its founder and leader, Paul died in 1775. His feast day is celebrated in the United States on Oct. 20

The Fury of the Devil at the Loss of Souls

SISTER JOSEFA MENENDEZ WITNESSES THE RAGE OF SATAN AT LOSING THREE SOUL’S

From the Diary of Sister Josefa Menendez, From the Book The Way of Divine Love

These are a few notes of Sister Josefa’s about Hell. She wrote with great reticence on this subject. She did it only to conform to Our Blessed Lord’s wishes, Our Lady having told her on Oct. 25th, 1922: “Everything that Jesus allows you to see and to suffer of the torments of hell, is so that you may make it know to your Mothers. (who eventually published it for the world after Josefa’s death.) So, forget yourself entirely, and think only of the glory of the Heart of Jesus and the salvation of souls.”

More than once Sister Josefa witnessed the fierce struggle of the devil to wrestle from divine mercy souls that he already believed his. Then the sufferings of Josefa enter, as it seems, into God’s plans, as a rescue of these poor souls, who will owe her the last and definitive victory, at the moment of death.

“The devil was very angry because he wanted three souls to be lost … He was screaming with anger: Let them not escape … they are leaving … Strong … strong!” This way, without ceasing, with shouts of rage that answered, by far, other demons. For several days I witnessed these struggles.

“I begged the Lord to do whatever He wanted, as long as these souls did not get lost.” I also went to the Virgin and She gave me great peace of mind because she left me willing to suffer everything to save them, and I believe that She will not allow the devil to come out victorious. ”

“The devil shouted a lot: Do not let her … be alert to everything that can disturb you … Do not let her escape … make her despair … The confusion was tremendous of screams and blasphemies, then I heard him say furiously: It does not matter, I still have two left … Take away their confidence … I understood by those words that one had escaped, that it had already passed into eternity, because I was shouting: Soon … Hurry … Let these two not escape … Take them, let them despair … Soon, they are going away.

“Immediately, with a grinding of teeth and a rage that can not be said, I felt those tremendous cries:

Oh God’s power that have more strength than me …! I still have one …, and I will not let you take it …! Hell all was no more than a scream of despair, with a great disorder and the devils screamed and complained and blasphemed horribly. I knew with this that the souls were saved. My heart jumped with joy, but I was unable to make an act of love. I still feel in the soul the need to love … I do not feel hatred towards God like these other souls, and when I hear that they curse and blaspheme, it causes me great sorrow; I do not know what I would suffer to prevent Our Lord being insulted and offended. What hurts me is that spending time eternity here, I will be like the others. This makes me suffer a lot, because I still remember that I loved Our Lord and that He was very good to me. I feel a lot of torment, especially these last days. It is as if a river of fire enters my throat and passes through my entire body, together with the pain I have said before. As if they were pressing me from behind and ahead with burning plates …

I can not say what I suffer … it is so much pain … It seems that the eyes are out of place and as if they were pulling to tear … The nerves are very tight. The body is bent, you can not move a finger …

The smell that is so bad, you can not breathe, but all this is nothing in comparison to the soul, that knowing the goodness of God, is forced to hate him and, above all, if he has known and loved him, suffers much more … “

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”

Blessed Jerzy Popiełuszko

Blessed Jerzy Popiełuszko~Feast Day:October 19

Blessed Jerzy lived his entire life under the brutal soviet regime that had occupied his home of Poland. Born in 1947, after he left school he felt a call to train for the priesthood. The staunchly anti-Catholic soviet regime made him serve his army duties in a special force, aimed to keep young people from becoming a priest. Despite this he persevered and, after becoming a priest, he became heavily involved with fighting for workers’ rights and opposing communism.

As Poland was experiencing a period of martial law, the Catholic Church was the only force that could voice protest comparatively openly, as the regular celebration of Mass gave opportunities for public gatherings in churches, something that could not be done elsewhere without people being arrested.

Fr Popiełuszko used this opportunity to speak out against the Communists’ cruel oppression of the Polish people, workers and Church. His sermons were routinely broadcast by Radio Free Europe, and became famous throughout Poland for their uncompromising stance against the regime. The secret police tried to silence or intimidate him. When those techniques did not work, they fabricated evidence against him; he was arrested in 1983, but soon released on intervention of the clergy and pardoned by an amnesty.

Soon after all this, the secret police decided the best course of action was to assassinate him and, after a failed attempt, they kidnapped him and beat him to death.

In 2009, Blessed Jerzy Popiełuszko was given Poland’s highest honour, the Order of the White Eagle.

The Miracle that led to Blessed Jerzy Popiełuszko’s Beatification

Listen, Father Jerzy, today is September 14, your birthday. So if you are supposed to do something, this is the day!” So prayed Father Bernard Brien beside the bed of a dying man. As soon as the priest left the hospital room, the comatose patient opened his eyes and asked his wife what had happened. A few days later his medical team, after many tests, observed that his widespread cancer had completely disappeared. The doctors were astounded.