The Alms of the Neapolitan Woman
To prove that the souls in Purgatory show their gratitude even by temporal favors, Fr. Rossignoli relates a fact that happened at Naples.
The Statue of Our Lady under our custody
In 1945 Pierina Gilli, a nursing sister at the hospital in Montichiari,Italy, in the Brescian Alps near Milano, was visited by Our Lady dressed all in purple with a heart displayed on her breast pierced by 3 swords. At the next appearance she had changed her dress to all white with a gold border (as at Fatima) and on her breast were three roses -- red, white and gold or yellow, which stand for prayer, sacrifice, penitence. Each time Pierina was visited Our Lady asked for the same things from the people. On December 8th Our Lady appeared to her in the Dom Cathedral on a huge white staircase lined with angels, and she asked Pierina to make a cross with her tongue on four bricks on the floor, after which Our Lady stepped off the staircase and onto the bricks. These bricks are now miraculous and they have been protected by a railing around them. In the suburb of Montichiari, at Fontanelle where there stood an unused abandoned well, Our Lady also appeared and Pierina was asked to descend the steps backwards and kiss each step, after which Our Lady placed her bare foot on each one all the way to the bottom, where she touched the waters twice with her hands. The waters are now miraculous and one side is used to drink from while the other is used to bathe in. The well is now called the Spring of Grace and there are many pilgrims who visit the site annually. Pierina has been forbidden by the bishop to visit the sites any longer, but she still has the benefit of Our Lady's visits to her in a private chapel in the Convent specifically set aside for these visits. At the Spring of Grace they still present statues of Our Lady, the Mystical Rose to be blessed during each month. The first 12 days are set aside for special prayers each month, and the 13th day is a day devoted to Our Lady and special prayers are said then. The statues which are blessed are sent throughout the world as Pilgrim Madonnas which have in many different spots been blessed by weeping real tears, tears of blood or tears of oil or Myrrh.
Also, when Our Lady appeared to Pierina she appeared with Francisco and Jacinta who each held up a hem of her cape on either side of her. The Miracle of the Sun also appeared at Montichiari-Fontanelle...as well as Our Lady appearing over the wheatfields, after which the grain was ground into flour to make communion wafers and a measure was set aside to send to Fatima to the bishop there, per Our Lady's request.
We Celebrate her Feast day on July 13 as Our Lady requested
Source - http://www.christusrex.org/www1/apparitions/http:/pr00016.htm
by James Likoudis
Mr. Likoudis is the former President of Catholics United for the Faith.
In many of his addresses, Pope John Paul II has noted that the 20th century has been perhaps the bloodiest and most murderous century in the history of mankind, giving the Church the most martyrs in her 2,000-year history. It should be a matter of profound reflection that the 20th century may be said to have begun with the martyrdom in 1902 of a young girl, Maria Goretti–not yet 12 years of age–who did not hesitate to give her life for the virtues of virginity and chastity so cherished by the Catholic Church.
In a beautiful homily commemorating the 100th anniversary of the birth of St. Maria Goretti, Pope John Paul II quoted St. Paul: "God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong, God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God" (1 Cor. 1:27-29). The Successor of Peter continued:
Yes, God chose her. Yes, God has clothed her with honor. He chose and clothed her with honor a simple little country girl who was born poor. He clothed her with honor by the power of His Spirit. "The natural person does not accept what pertains to the spirit of God–he does not accept because "he cannont understand it"; rather, "to him it is foolishness" (1 Cor. 2:14).
On the contrary, Maria Goretti understood. She was able to "accept what pertains to the Spirit of God." She did not flee from the Spirit’s voice, from the voice of her conscience. She did not give in. She rather chose death. Through the gift of fortitude, the Holy Spirit helped her to ‘judge’–and to choose with her young spirit. She chose death when there was no other way to defend her virginal purity. . . . Now Maria Goretti is forever in the glory prepared by God for the martyrs, already prepared in past ages, at the time of the Roman persecutions, by Agnes, Lucy, Agatha, Cecelia, and so many others. At the beginning of our century, this glory touched her, too. We thank the Blessed Trinity for this young life and for the martyrdom which crowned it. Through her life and heroic death, the Son of Man was glorified at the beginning of our century.
The life and example of this young virgin-martyr can teach us much concerning the truth that every young person can attain a high degree of holiness, as we have seen with two more recent blesseds, Jacinta and Francisco Marto, to whom Our Lady of Fatima appeared in 1917. They were but nine and ten years old. St. Dominic Savio, who was the student of St. John Bosco, was only 15. St. Dominic Savio’s motto "death rather than sin!" was to be actually realized in the bloody martyrdom of St. Maria Goretti, who suffered 14 stab wounds from her 19-year-old attacker, Alessandro Serenelli, inflamed with lust. Her reply to previous overtures to commit sins of impurity had always been "No!" A young peasant girl who could not read or write, Maria remained fully conscious of the instructions she had received for her First Communion: "When we commit sin, we renew the Passion of Christ." During the evening of that First Communion, when a special family celebration was held, her mother Assunta had told her, "My darling, today Jesus has claimed you as His. Never offend him, ever."
On that fatal day, July 5, 1902, when confronted by Alessandro, the young girl had repeatedly cried out to her assailant, "No! E peccato! Dio non lo vuole!" "No! It is a sin! God forbids it! You will go to hell!" On her deathbed a day later, in her agony, she forgave her murderer. In answer to the priest who asked her: "Maria, Jesus died while forgiving the penitent thief at His side. Do you forgive with all your heart your attacker and murderer?" "Yes! Yes!" she replied, "For the love of Jesus, I forgive him, and I want him to be with me one day in heaven!"
The conversion of the morose, hardened, and embittered Alessandro a few years later was to prove one of the young saint’s greatest miracles. Alessandro’s own account reveals how on October 10, 1910, as he lay on his prison bunk, Maria Goretti appeared to him in a dream, dressed in dazzling light and handing him white lilies which turned into flames in his arms. His striking conversion was accompanied by an admission of guilt and of his victim’s innocence and virtue. A once unrepented murderer would now accept his continued imprisonment lasting 18 more years as the occasion for expiating his crime. He would be often heard saying, "I hope for salvation, since I have a saint in heaven praying for me."
Our age needs heroic role models for youth who are caught in a destructive "culture war" in which no values are considered worthy of belief or commitment. Catholics have been warned about the powerful intellectual currents threatening all Christian values involving the dignity of the human person, and especially the dignity of women. The Roman Pontiffs from St. Pius X at the turn of the century to Pope John Paul II have repeatedly insisted on the need to uphold the dignity of the human person in the face of attacks against Christian sexual morality. Patrick Mitchell, addressing the ideological tampering with gender that has become endemic in our time, has written:
In the last century, the western world has turned a corner and entered an era appropriately called "post-Christian." Whole nations have abandoned the Christian faith in favor of no religion at all. Where faith has survived, it has been pruned of its inconvenient aspects. This is most true of Christian teaching on the sexes. The Christian mystery of the man and the woman, handed down from the apostles and preserved entire by the saints of every age, has become a scandal to modern man, a stumbling block that causes the weak in faith to falter. Just as the divinity of the crucified Christ was too much for the ancient Greeks to believe, so the humanity of the fallen Eve is too much for many modern men and women to accept. Centuries of Christian teaching on the relationship between the sexes have been abandoned and forgotten.
The harmful effects of "women’s liberation" and now "children’s liberation" from family and Church have yet to be grasped. Radical feminist ideology with its revolutionary notions of sexual equality and freedom directly conflicts with Christian teaching and even distorts our understanding of God. Such ideology is not that of the saints and blesseds of the Church, who understood the necessity of chastity for self-mastery and self-discipline. The virtue of chastity lived in every state of life (single, married, priesthood, and consecrated religious) enables the person to live by the Holy Spirit. Our Lord Jesus Christ loved the virtue of holy purity, and the saints safeguarded this virtue in order to be pleasing to God.
St. Maria Goretti knew the importance of chastity for union with God and its necessity for the wholesomeness of both personal and social life. She knew instinctively as a child of God what St. Paul taught: "For this is the will of God, your sanctification . . . that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like heathen who do not know God" (1 Thess. 4:3-5). She had grasped in the depth of her soul the lessons of the Catechism as taught by her parents and her village priest–that Christians belong to God totally, body and soul, flesh and bones, with all their senses and faculties. She knew that she was "God’s temple" and that sins of impurity defiled that temple and endangered one’s salvation. She was aware of the beauty of sacramental marriage (she doubtless expected to marry some day and have a family), but she also knew priests and women religious who had freely chosen celibacy and virginity for the sake of the kingdom of God.
In every age, the saints of God have proven that they were God’s servants by their lives of faith and purity of soul. In St. Maria Goretti, youth have a heavenly patroness who, in Pope John Paul’s words, is "a model of Christian life," "a model of authentic holiness," and "the Agnes of the 20th century." Not yet 12 years of age, she was a countercultural sign to a world in the process of rejecting God and genuine love. She continues to radiate the light of Christ amidst the decadence and impurities of the modern world, remaining an inspiration to both parents and youth to live the Christian life and, if necessary, to suffer martyrdom in defense of Catholic morality.
CUF president emeritus Jim Likoudis writes from Montour Falls, NY.
This article was originally published in Lay Witness magazine, July/August 2002.
MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD of OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
The month of July is dedicated to the Most Precious Blood of the Redeemer. Supreme homage is given to the Sacred Blood. As we adore the Sacred Heart, because it is the Heart of Jesus, who is God, so we adore the Most Precious Blood.
The Blood of Jesus is the fountain of salvation. Each drop that flowed from the wounds of the Saviour is a pledge of man's eternal salvation. All races of the earth have been ransomed, and all individuals, who will allow the saving power of the Sacred Blood to be applied to their soul, are heirs of heaven. St. John Chrysostom calls the Precious Blood "the saviour of souls"; St. Thomas Aquinas, "the key to heaven's treasures"; St. Ambrose, "pure gold of ineffable worth"; St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi, "a magnet of souls and pledge of eternal life". The sins of mankind, in their number, in their offense to the Supreme Being, in the effects on transgressors, are immense; yet, the Precious Blood of Jesus is not frightened by numbers, it has in Itself the power to appease an angered God and to heal wounded creatures.
The Precious Blood is a cleansing bath. Unlike all other blood, which stains, the Blood of Jesus washes clean and white. According to the words of St. John, in the Apocalypse, the Angels wonder, and the question is asked: "These that are clothed in white robes, who are they?" The Lord answers: "These are they that have washed their robes, and have made them white in the Blood of the Lamb." For no other reason did the Precious Blood flow but to regain for the souls of men the beautiful dress of innocence, and , once regained, to preserve it throughout life and into eternity.
The Blood of the Saviour is a well of consolation for troubled hearts. Can anyone, confidingly, look at the Sacred Blood trickling down from the Cross without taking courage to carry on, in spite of the difficulties which are the common lot of all? One glance at the Cross must be able to drive away fear. And, another, must be able to instill trust in Him who did not rest until the last drop, mingled with water, flowed out of an opened Heart. He, who was willing to do so much for men, must be willing to overlook and forget the frailties which they deeply regret; He must be willing to come to their assistance when harassed, to defend them when tempted, to comfort them when afflicted. The Blood of Jesus must be for Christians what the north-star is to sailors.
Would that men on earth honored the Precious Blood in the manner in which they who are in heaven give honor and praise and thanksgiving! They proclaim that It purchased the glory which they enjoy. Without It, they would have remained slaves of Satan and outcasts from the eternal mansions of God. Let us profess that we owe to the Sacred Blood of Jesus all that we have in this life, and that to It we shall owe all that we shall enjoy in a better and eternal life!
May: the Month of Our Lady
As we end this month, we would like to thank Most especially The Almighty God for the success of our activities once again this month. We Hope that Our Lord will continue to guide all our activities and bless all our efforts for the Greater glory of his Name. Also, we would like to thank the Family Rosary Crusade for donating some of their rosaries to us for our on-going mission. It will really help us for our block rosaries in different poor Barangays. Let's once again remember the events that Happened recently namely: The May Crowning with Catechesis, Veneration of the Relic of 5 Passionist Saints, St. Arcangelo Tadini and St. Rita of Cascia, and the Block Rosary at Brgy. Baybay. For more photos please visit our official Facebook fanpage http://www.facebook.com/ajpmclm
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam!
The Hail Mary of a Protestant
(A true story)
A little six-year-old Protestant boy had often heard his Catholic companions reciting the prayer "Hail Mary." He liked it so much that he copied it, memorized it and would recite it every day. "Look, Mommy, what a beautiful prayer," he said to his mother one day.
"Never again say it," answered the mother. "It is a superstitious prayer of Catholics who adore idols and think Mary a goddess. After all, she is a woman like any other. Come on, take this Bible and read it. It contains everything that we are bound to do and have to do." From that day on the little boy discontinued his daily "Hail Mary" and gave himself more time to reading the Bible instead.
One day, while reading the Gospel, he came across the passage about the Annunciation of the Angel to Our Lady. Full of joy, the little boy ran to his mother and said: "Mommy, I have found the 'Hail Mary' in the Bible which says: 'Hail full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou amongst women.' Why do you call it a superstitious prayer?"
On another occasion he found that beautiful Salutation of St. Elizabeth to the Virgin Mary and the wonderful canticle MAGNIFICAT in which Mary foretold that "the generations would call her blessed."
As 2012 draws to a close, we ask you to remember Ad Jesum Per Mariam Catholic Lay Ministry when making your charitable donations. During this "Year of Faith," Pope Benedict is calling the faithful, first, to personal conversion, and then to evangelization – both of which are part of our mission. By supporting AJPMCLM , you help evangelize the world – and what could be more important! Please remember to keep us between your gas and electric bill!" You can donate now by logging onto https://ajpm.weebly.com/support-us.html for more details
In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 2 asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.” 3 When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet: 6 ‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherdmy people Israel.’”
7 Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. 8 Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.” 9 When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. 11 On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.
The Escape to Egypt13 Now after they had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” 14 Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt, 15 and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet, “Out of Egypt I have called my son.”
The Massacre of the Infants16 When Herod saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, he was infuriated, and he sent and killed all the children in and around Bethlehem who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had learned from the wise men. 17 Then was fulfilled what had been spoken through the prophet Jeremiah:
18 “A voice was heard in Ramah,
wailing and loud lamentation,
Rachel weeping for her children;
she refused to be consoled, because they are no more.”
Taken from the N.R.S.V. Bible
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BY: MICHAELANN MARTIN
Issue: How can families better live the spirit of Advent and Christmas in their homes?
The Catholic Church has designated the four weeks preceding Christmas as Advent, a time to “prepare the way of the Lord” for His coming as our King and Savior. In addition, the Church teaches that:
[w]hen the Church celebrates the liturgy of Advent each year, she makes present this ancient expectancy of the Messiah, for by sharing in the long preparation for the Savior’s first coming, the faithful renew their ardent desire for his second coming. By celebrating [John the Baptist’s] birth and martyrdom, the Church unites herself to his desire: “He must increase, but I must decrease” (Catechism, no. 524; original emphasis).
How the Saints Got Started
_ By the late Father Kilian McGowan, C.P.
Saints are not prefabricated. Too many people seem to think that they had a halo handed to them at their Baptism. Let's blame some of their biographers who sometimes picture them as a spiritual elite dispensed from the normal struggles and ups and downs of average mortals. Be sure of one thing: saints are made, not born!
The truth is that they are ordinary persons like ourselves, full of the same miseries, and subject to the same weaknesses. The start of their great holiness was usually quite simple and ordinary. In fact, it seems to be a law of Divine Providence that the higher the holiness, the more hidden and simple the beginnings of it.
Holiness is like a mighty river. It owes its greatness to the dozen of smaller streams that feed it...to hundreds of rivulets...and to thousands of raindrops that dropped from the skies. You'd hardly notice one of these tiny rivulets; but you can't fail to admire the strength, beauty, and majesty of a mighty river.
So it is with great holiness. It starts with the raindrops of many actual graces from God. When these daily graces are faithfully corresponded with, they grow into the streams of growing sanctity. Finally, they lead to an immense river of God's sanctifying grace that sweeps all before it. Yet, it all started with seemingly insignificant graces.
Why is this growth so tiny and so gradual at its beginning? Because essentially holiness is but the life of grace. Planted at Baptism, it is subject to the normal laws of growth and development. God rarely produces a saint by casting him into a mold and producing a finished product. Rather, the Master Workman puts together the pieces until His masterpiece is completed.
There are hundreds of examples to prove that great holiness usually has small beginnings. With Francis of Assisi, it started when he bypassed a beggar; with Ignatius of Loyola, it began with boredom during his convalescence from battle wounds. With some other saints, it started with a close look at a corpse.
The exuberant, fun-loving, sensitive Francis returned to the beggar and offered him help. Later on he gave away everything and became wedded to Lady Poverty. He knew that God finds an empty heart irresistible. And he was right. God began to pour such a love into the heart of Francis that eventually it led to the seraphic transformation at Mt. Alvernia.
The passionate Ignatius was mending wounds received at Pampeluna. To ease his boredom, he took to reading. Fortunately the only available books were a life of Christ, and the lives of the saints. These started the reformation and the resolutions that changed the life of the founder of the Jesuits...and the countless thousands that have followed him.
Suppose Francis hadn't returned to help that beggar? He might have broken the link in a chain of graces that led to the holiness of one of the most beloved saints in history. And suppose Ignatius hadn't tried to ease his boredom with some inspirational reading. The Society of Jesus might never have been founded and its great and varied works, never accomplished.
And so it is with any saint. Their start was hardly different from anything that could happen, or has happened, to any of us. Sanctity is the only true success in life, and this success has its start in a very ordinary and sometimes hidden way. Indeed, it could happen to you...and it should!
(Used with permission, from the Passionist Priests, to help spiritually guide the layman.)