To prove that the souls in Purgatory show their gratitude even by temporal favors, Fr. Rossignoli relates a fact that happened at Naples.
__Maria Goretti's heroic story of love and forgiveness would not be complete without one of its first miraculous fruits: the conversion of Alessandro Serenelli, Maria's murderer.
Immediately after his brutal assault on young Maria Goretti, Alessandro was imprisoned temporarily in Nettuno and then transferred to Regina Coeli prison in Rometo stand trial. After vehemently denying his guilt, he finally broke down in the face of overwhelming testimony. Since he was a minor, he was sentenced to only thirty years hard labor.A priest came to see him soon afterward, and he turned on the cleric in rage, howling like a maniac and lunging at him.In the days which followed, Alessandro lost his appetite and grew nervous. After six years of prison, he was near the brink of despair. Then one night, Maria appeared to him in his cell. She smiled at Alessandro and was surrounded by lilies, the flower symbolic of purity.From that moment, peace invaded Alessandro's heart, and he began to live a constructive life.After serving his sentence, Alessandro took up residence at a Capuchin monastery, working in the garden as a tertiary. He asked pardon of Maria's mother and accompanied her to Christmas Mass in the parish church where he spoke before the hushed congregation, acknowledging his sin and asking God's forgiveness and the pardon of the community.Forty years later, on June 24, 1950, Maria was canonized at St. Peter's basilica in Rome, with Alessandro's heart now firmly converted to the Lord. A miraculous fruit of Maria's life, indeed!
Alessandro Serenelli died on May 6th, 1970 in the Capuchin convent of Macerata. He left the following testimony, dated May 5, 1961, as his spiritual legacy:
_"I'm nearly 80 years old. I'm about to depart. "Looking back at my past, I can see that in my early youth, I chose a bad path which led me to ruin myself.
For Biography of St. Maria Goretti click this link http://ajpm.weebly.com/1/post/2012/06/st-maria-goretti.html
St. Catherine Laboure, A sister in France in 1830, was given the grace to have Mary visit with her 3 times. The second time, St. Catherine saw her standing on a globe with rays of light streaming from her hands. Around Mary were the words:
"O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to Thee."
Mary told St. Catherine to have a medal made that looked exactly like that.
St. Catherine did what Mary told her. The medals were called the Medal of the Immaculate Conception. As soon as people started wearing the medals, miracles were happening. People started calling them the Miraculous Medal.
Miraculous Medal Prayer
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.
The following is from Father Tommy Lane's homily on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.
I know that very many of you wear the Miraculous Medal. You may not know that it really is the medal of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady...
The entire homily can be read here.
SOURCES: http://www.ainglkiss.com | http://hicatholicmom.blogspot.com
The Facade of the Church
_By Claire Soares
Friday August 16, 2001 11:39 AM
ROME (Reuters) - If you end up in purgatory after you die, never fear. Just remember to send a message to those surviving you, care of a riverside church in Rome. The Church of the Sacred Heart houses one of the world's most unusual and smallest museums -- a collection of signs sent from beyond the grave by souls stranded in purgatory.
Scorched fingerprints on prayer books, handprints burnt on to wooden tables, and singed pillowcases and shirt sleeves seem to be the purgatory equivalent of paper and pen. "Most of our visitors are motivated by curiosity. But faith is the key to understanding the relics," Roberto Zambolin, the church's priest-cum-tour-guide, told Reuters on Friday.
Catholics believe spirits, stuck between heaven and hell until they have atoned for their sins, can hasten their entry to paradise if family and friends on earth pray for them. And some purgatory residents obviously felt their loved ones needed a gentle reminder. Branding an imprint of his left hand on to a light-brown wooden table was one 18th-century friar's way of reminding colleagues to say more masses and speed his soul to heaven, Zambolin says. On a single day in 1731, the deceased Friar Panzini not only marked the table, but burnt a handprint on to paper and twice clutched at the sleeves of a nun's tunic, leaving scorch marks.
Panzini's spiritual smoke signals are a taster of what's on display in a bare room, dubbed the Little Purgatory Museum, off to the side of the church. While most tourists to Rome flock to the Coliseum or the Vatican, some stray off the beaten track to the quiet and unassuming museum to ponder the mysterious relics, gathered from all over Western Europe. "I'd say we get about 4,000 visitors a year -- young, old, Italians, foreigners, believers, non-believers," Zambolin said.
Fr. Panzini’s Handprint and Cross
__SPOOKY BUT TRUE?
Peering at four fiery fingerprints emblazoned on a prayer book, Austrian students Michael Weisskof and Karl-Heinz Larcher debated the validity of the relics."I believed in purgatory before, but seeing these relics reinforces my faith," 25-year-old Larcher said. But his 19-year-old friend was more hesitant.
"I'm not sure what I think. They are certainly spooky but even if it's not true, it's a good story," Weisskof said.
The museum, about 100 years old, was the brainchild of Victor Jouet, a French priest who travelled to Belgium, France, Germany and Italy, scooping up relics to display in his gothic church on the banks of the Tiber.
Jouet died in the museum's only room in 1912, surrounded by his treasures, but the collection lives on despite a discussion in the late 1990s about whether to close it. "We realised that most visitors were not Christians but those interested in the paranormal, or in some cases the devil," Zambolin said.
"The Church didn't want to encourage something that wasn't to do with faith. But in the end the decision was made to keep it open. The collection does start discussions about Catholic ideas," he added. And although most of the fiery signals date back to the 19th century or earlier, Zambolin doesn't think the lack of modern-day signs has any significance.
"We don't get any new objects sent to us, but we don't need new signals to believe in purgatory today."
_Taken from www.OLRL.org
THE STORY OF GABRIEL GARGAM
The case of Gabriel Gargam is probably one of the best known of all the thousands of cures at Lourdes, partly because he was so well known at the Shrine for half a century, partly because it was a twofold healing, spiritual and physical. Born in 1870 of good Catholic parents, he gave early promise of being a clever student and a fervent Catholic. The promise was not fulfilled in the most important respect for, at 15 years of age, he had already lost his faith. He obtained a position in the postal service and was carrying out his duties as a sorter in December of 1899, when the train on which he was traveling from Bordeaux to Paris collided with another train, running at 50 miles per hour. Gargam was thrown fifty two feet from the train. He lay in the snow, badly injured and unconscious for seven hours. He was paralyzed from the waist down. He was barely alive when lifted onto a stretcher. Taken to a hospital, his existence for some time was a living death. After eight months he had wasted away to a mere skeleton, weighing but seventy-eight pounds, although normally a big man. His feet became gangrenous. He could take no solid food and was obliged to take nourishment by a tube. Only once in twenty-four hours could he be fed even that way. He brought suit for damages against the railroad. The Appellate Court confirmed the verdict of the former courts and granted him 6,000 francs annually, and besides, an indemnity of 60,000 francs.Gargam's condition was pitiable in the extreme. He could not help himself even in the most trifling needs. Two trained nurses were needed day and night to assist him. That was Gabriel Gargam as he was after the accident, and as he would continue to be until death relieved him. About his desperate condition there could be no doubt. The railroad fought the case on every point. There was no room for deception or hearsay. Two courts attested to his condition, and the final payment of the railroad left the case a matter of record. Doctors testified that the man was a hopeless cripple for life, and their testimony was not disputed.Previous to the accident Gargam had not been to Church for fifteen years. His aunt, who was a nun of the Order of the Sacred Heart, begged him to go to Lourdes. He refused. She continued her appeals to him to place himself in the hands of Our Lady of Lourdes. He was deaf to all her prayers. After continuous pleading of his mother he consented to go to Lourdes. It was now two years since the accident, and not for a moment had he left his bed all that time. He was carried on a stretcher to the train. The exertion caused him to faint, and for a full hour he was unconscious. They were on the point of abandoning the pilgrimage, as it looked as if he would die on the way, but the mother insisted, and the journey was made.Arrived at Lourdes, he went to confession and received Holy Communion. There was no change in his condition. Later he was carried to the miraculous pool and tenderly placed in its waters – no effect. Rather a bad effect resulted, for the exertion threw him into a swoon and he lay apparently dead. After a time, as he did not revive, they thought him dead. Sorrowfully they wheeled the carriage back to the hotel. On the way back they saw the procession of the Blessed Sacrament approaching. They stood aside to let it pass, having placed a cloth over the face of the man whom they supposed to be dead.As the priest passed carrying the Sacred Host, he pronounced Benediction over the sorrowful group around the covered body. Soon there was a movement from under the covering. To the amazement of the bystanders, the body raised itself to a sitting posture. While the family were looking on dumbfounded and the spectators gazed in amazement, Gargam said in a full, strong voice that he wanted to get up. They thought that it was a delirium before death, and tried to soothe him, but he was not to be restrained. He got up and stood erect, walked a few paces and said that he was cured. The multitude looked in wonder, and then fell on their knees and thanked God for this new sign of His power at the Shrine of His Blessed Mother. As Gargam had on him only invalid's clothes, he returned to the carriage and was wheeled back to the hotel. There he was soon dressed, and proceeded to walk about as if nothing had ever ailed him. For two years hardly any food had passed his lips but now he sat down to the table and ate a hearty meal.On August 20th, 1901, sixty prominent doctors examined Gargam. Without stating the nature of the cure, they pronounced him entirely cured. Gargam, out of gratitude to God in the Holy Eucharist and His Blessed Mother, consecrated himself to the service of the invalids at Lourdes.He set up a small business and married a pious lady who aided him in his apostolate for the greater knowledge of Mary Immaculate. For over fifty years he returned annually to Lourdes and worked as a brancardier. The Golden Jubilee of his cure was the occasion of a remarkable celebration during the French National Pilgrimage in 1951. Mr. Gargam sat in a chair in the Rosary Square, surrounded by 1,500 sick and 50,000 other pilgrims while a description of his twofold healing was given by the celebrated apologist, Canon Belleney. His last visit to the Shrine was in August 1952: he died the following March, at the age of eighty-three years.
DEC 2 , 2011 - Spiritdaily.com - Mariette Beco, the girl who had eight apparitions of the Virgin Mary, between January 5th and March 2nd 1933, passed away on December 2nd in the "Home de la Vierge des Pauvres" at Banneux, Belgium. She was 90 years old. The woman was very famous in the French part of Belgium and many foreigners visited the shrine. A little time after the apparitions of the Virgin, who presented Herself to Mariette as "The Virgin of the Poor," a chapel was build at the place of the apparitions.