Devotion to the Holy Face: A Key to Happiness and Final Perseverance!

france_st_michel_church_217281

“I will defend them, I will preserve them and I assure them of Final Perseverance.”

– Jesus to Sr. Mary of St. Peter

(The revelation above is taken from the promises He gave her, regarding those who devote themselves to making reparation to His Holy Face).

Shrove Tuesday (February 9): Feast of the Holy Face

This coming Tuesday (February 9) is the Feast of the Holy Face of Jesus. How I have come to love this devotion! Some have a devotion to the Precious Blood; others to the Holy Wounds; others to the Sacred Humanity; others to the Passion of Our Lord – these are all admirable devotions. But do we realise that devotion to the Face of Christ, in a sense, combines all of these devotions?

Behold the Face of Christ, which was spat upon, beaten and mocked; behold the Precious Blood dripping down His Adorable Face; look upon the Wounds left by the Crown of Thorns; look at that Sacred Flesh torn by the malice of our sins; consider that, according to several chosen souls, the pain inflicted by the Crown of Thorns was one of His most intense sufferings! How can we not console this God, Who suffered so much for us? What will we do for Him? ‘I looked about, and there was none to help: I sought, and there was none to give aid…’ (Is. 63:5)

The Feast of the Holy Face is a truly glorious Feast; if you have the opportunity to attend Mass, you must! At every Mass, the Risen Lord is made present on our Altars; that Adorable Face, which is the delight of the Blessed, looks at us with infinite sweetness, hoping that our eyes will meet His. How blessed are those who make their souls a living Tabernacle for Love Incarnate! How fortunate, we say, was St. Thomas, to have placed his hand in the side of Christ. Do we not realise that we receive the same Christ into our souls?!

Before looking in greater detail at what some of the Saints have written about the Holy Face, let us pause to consider a few of the reasons why devotion to the Holy Face is so important:

  1. The Scriptures frequently tell us to seek the Face of God. ‘Seek ye the Lord, and his power: seek ye His Face evermore.’(1 Chron. 16:11) ‘Seek ye the Lord, and be strengthened: seek His Face evermore.’(Ps. 105:4)
  2. The Face of Jesus gives us confidence. His Divine Countenance is full of love and mercy; He is love and mercy, and His Face reflects the Love that consumes His Sacred Heart. How often have sinners been converted by looking at an image of Christ! Who can look at the Face of Jesus Crucified and not be moved? Our Lord said to St. Faustina that His Face on the image she had struck (the Divine Mercy image) resembles His expression from the Cross. Similarly, Our Lord told Sr. Benigna Consolata that, while hanging on the Cross, He unopened His bloody Eyes to look with tenderness upon His executioners, upon us!
  3. The Face of Jesus radiates light, warmth and life. “Frequently during her meditations, St. Gertrude saw the Divine Countenance of our Saviour resplendent as the sun, illuminating priests, inflaming the devout and converting sinners. Once she asked why the blessed Countenance of our Redeemer shone like the sun, and she received this explanation:

“Like the sun, My Countenance illuminates, warms and fructifies.”

  1. Jesus demands reparation in these very sinful times. Jesus is the Head of the Church; when the Church is persecuted, Jesus suffers (retroactively; He cannot suffer now). Our Lord has revealed to many of His Saints that the world is going to ruin because there is no one to make reparation. “Souls are not saved if nothing is done for them.” (Jesus to Sr. Benigna Consolata) The Face of Christ is suffering much; we must offer It, then, in reparation for sins. To the extent that the Divine Countenance is obscured by the wounds inflicted upon It by sinners, we must adore It.
  2. The Face of Jesus is one of the most efficacious means of effacing sins, growing in Divine Love, and saving our souls (as we shall see).

The Saints and the Holy Face

Many of the Saints had an ardent devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus; they loved Him by contemplating Him in His sufferings, and in His glory. Some of these holy souls include St. Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, St. Mechtilde, St. Gertrude, Ven. Leo DuPont, Sr. Mary of St. Peter, St. Edmund and Bl. Maria Pierina de Micheli.

Some Anecdotes and Revelations

+ “My child, as long as you look at Me, you will love Me; as long as you look at Me, you will serve Me; when you do not look at Me, you will not follow Me.” – Jesus to Armelle (‘Divine Communications,’ p. 235, Vol. 1)

++ “O Lord,” said St. Mechtilde; “enlighten the face of my soul with the brightness of Thy countenance.” Our Lord replied:

“The face of thy soul is the image of the Holy Trinity. The soul should see this image reflected in My face as in a mirror, and see whether he finds some stain in that image.”

Mechtilde understood that we should often contemplate our soul in this divine Mirror, the face of Jesus Christ, so as to discover any stains that might disfigure it, and wash them away before Holy Communion. Purity of conscience, then, is the first preparation, but the Sacred Heart expects more.”

+++ “All those who meditate frequently on the vision of My Divine Face, attracted by the desires of love, shall receive within them, by the virtue of My Humanity, a bright ray of My Divinity, which shall enlighten their inmost souls, so that they shall reflect the light of My countenance in a special manner in eternity.”

– Jesus to St. Gertrude

++++ “At the hour of Terce, our Lord appeared to St. Gertrude in the position in which He was when tied to the pillar between two executioners, one of whom tore Him with thorns, and the other bruised Him with a whip full of large knots; both striking His Face, which seemed so disfigured, that her very heart melted away with compassion; nor could she restrain her tears whenever she recalled that mournful spectacle during the day, since it appeared to her that none upon earth had ever been so cruelly used as her sweet Lord Jesus. Even the very pupil of the eye was torn and inflamed, both by the thorns and the blows of the scourge. It appeared also to her that her Lord turned His blessed Face from side to side; but when He turned it from one executioner, the other struck it still more furiously; then He turned to her, and exclaimed:

“Have you not read what is written of Me: Vidimus eum tanquam leprosum? “We have thought Him as it were a leper” (Is. liii. 4).

The Saint replied: “Alas, Lord ! what remedy can we find to soothe the agonising pains of Thy Divine Face!”

Our Lord replied:

The most efficacious and the tenderest remedy which you can prepare for Me is to meditate lovingly on My Passion, and to pray charitably for the conversion of sinners. These two executioners represent the laity, who offend God openly, striking Him with thorns, and the religious, who strike Him still more unpitiably with the knotted cords of secret sins. But both offend Him to the face, and outrage the very God of heaven.”

+++++ Meditation on the Sixth Station of the Cross (revealed to Sr. Benigna Consolata): Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus

The religious soul, My spouse, says the Lord, is the little Veronica, who wipes My face every time that she mortifies herself: the veil with which she wipes it, is her soul in which I leave My divine Features portrayed. The more pure and spotless the soul is, the more capable is she of receiving My divine Lineaments. If thou wouldst arrive near to Me thou must pass across My enemies, who are thine also, and from whom thou wilt have much to suffer; but the consolation which a single one of My divine Looks will impart, will repay thee with usury.

Pause, O good Jesus! I am very small, but I will rise on tiptoe to wipe Thy Face. I will use the very finest linen, the whitest and most delicate; and I will prepare this linen for Thee by my fidelity in three things: purity of intention, charity toward my neighbor, and the most ardent love possible toward Thee; and do Thou, O Jesus, celestial Beauty, give me a perpetual remembrance of Thee!

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!

++++++ “As Gertrude prayed for a person who had an ardent desire to advance in perfection, she received this instruction:

“Tell her from Me, that if she desires to unite herself to Me by the tie of special love, she must, like a noble bird, make a nest at My feet of the branches of her own nothingness and the palms of My greatness, where she may repose by a continual remembrance of her unworthiness, because man is always inclined to evil of himself, and not to good, unless he is prevented by My grace. Let her often reflect on My mercy, and on the paternal goodness with which I am ready to receive men when they have fallen, if they return to Me by penance. When she desires to leave this nest in order to seek for food, she must fly into My bosom, wherein, with affectionate gratitude, she must reflect on the different blessings with which I have enriched her by My superabundant kindness. If she desires to fly further, and to ascend higher on the wings of her desires, she must rise with the swiftness of an eagle to the contemplation of heavenly things, which are above her; she must fly around My face, supported like a seraph on the wings of charity, and gaze with the piercing eyes of her spirit upon the glory of the King of kings.”

Some Scriptures about the Holy Face

‘My heart hath said to thee: My face hath sought thee: thy face, O Lord, will I still seek.’ (Ps. 27:8)

‘The Lord turn his countenance to thee, and give thee peace.’ (Num. 6:26)

‘I have seen God face to face, and my soul has been saved.’ (Gen. 32:30) [We can pray this at every Mass during the Elevation of the Sacred Host]

‘Make thy face to shine upon thy servant: and teach me thy justifications.’ (Ps. 119:135)

‘For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of Christ Jesus.’  (2 Cor. 4:6)

The Delight of St. Gertrude

“When Thou didst display Thy most adorable Face, the source of all blessedness, as I have said, embracing me, unworthy, a light of inestimable sweetness passed through Thy Deified eyes into mine, passing through my inmost being, operating in all my members with admirable power and sweetness: first, it appeared as if the marrow were taken from my bones; then, my flesh and bones appeared annihilated; so much so, that it seemed as if my substance no longer had any consciousness save of that Divine splendour, which shone in so inexplicable and delightful a manner that it was the source of the most inestimable pleasure and joy to my soul.”

————

Sources: ‘The life and revelations of Saint Gertrude, virgin and abbess, of the Order of St. Benedict,’ ‘The Love of the Sacred Heart (St. Mechtilde),’ ‘Vademecum Proposed to Religious Souls (Sr. Benigna Consolata),’ ‘Devotion to the Holy Face’ (TAN Books), ‘The Golden Arrow’ (TAN Books).

For an excellent read:

http://www.mysticsofthechurch.com/2011/10/maria-pierina-de-micheli-holy-face-of.html

————

“Those who by words, prayers or writings defend My cause in the Work of Reparation, especially My priests, I will defend before My Father, and will give them My Kingdom.

– Jesus to Sr. Mary of St. Peter

 

Anniversary of an Extraordinary Soul: Yvonne-Aimée de Jésus

Yvonne-Aimee

February 3, 2016, marks the 65th anniversary of the death of Servant of God Yvonne-Aimée de Jésus. This privileged spouse of Jesus was the recipient of countless graces, including many extraordinary charismata. She bilocated, she prophesied, she had the stigmata. She was tormented by the devil. She let nothing shake her childlike trust in Jesus, King of Love. She was full of love for God and His Church. She sacrificed herself for others, especially priests.

“Only those who were very close to her [Mother Yvonne-Aimée] know to what point she suffered, in a great spirit of Redemption, most especially for priests.”

– Abbé Courtois

Let us ask for her powerful intercession; that we may give ourselves anew to God each moment, and that we may profit from the light that Our Lord imparted to her.

 

Three Revelations to Yvonne-Aimée de Jésus (from Jesus)

+ The value of small things (a confirmation of the little way):  

“I may not give you anything very much to do… but whatever it is, I want you to do it really well, and do it purely for love of Me.”

+ A lesson on humility:

“Realize that, left to yourself, you are nothing, because this will make you more wholly dependent upon your Lord Whom you love above all else. Try to be like the dust. Dust is not concerned about the good opinion of those who trample on it.”

+ The Malice of a Backbiting:

“A vicious tongue is more cruel than the lance which pierced My Heart. When it wounds another, it wounds a part of My Body – indeed, it wounds My Living Body, whereas the lance only pierced My dead Body. It causes Me more pain than the thorns caused My Head, or the nails My Feet and Hands. I love whoever it is whom that vicious tongue has attacked – I gave My own life for them.”

(Taken from ‘No Need for Surprise: Life of Yvonne-Aimée de Jésus’)

——-

If you would like to read some more of her revelations, here are a few:

Merciful Revelations to Sr. Yvonne-Aimée (d. 1951)

——-

 

Pax!

A “Challenge for Lent” from God Himself!

jesus-389345_960_720

These beautiful, beautiful words are taken from the revelations of Servant of God Sr. Benigna Consolata Ferrero (d. September 1, 1916, on a First Friday), titled ‘Vademecum Proposed to Religious Souls.’ 

“How ravishing and consoling are the pages of the Vade Mecum,
first of the writings dictated by the Pious Author [Jesus], whom we invoke
by saying: Pie Jesu! The Canon Saudreau, our acknowledged Master
in Mysticism, writes me that he recognizes the accent of Our Lord,
as we recognize the accent of a traveler from a foreign land.”

– from her biography

It is my great pleasure to share these inspiring words with you on what is the 100th anniversary of the death of Sr. Benigna Consolata, my dear “little sister.” Ask for her intercession and you will come to love her; she is another Seraphic soul, like St. Gemma, St. Catherine of Siena or St. Francis of Assisi.

I pray that God will one day raise Sr. Benigna to the Altars! Please join me! Thy Will be done!

(Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, the day after the Feast of the Holy Face!)

Challenge for Lent

“If this Challenge, says Jesus, is practiced with love and a real desire to please and console Me, it will cause in the souls of My spouses no little progress in intimate converse with My Sacred Heart, and will lead them to a closer union with Me.

In the Order of the Visitation a Disfida or Challenge is a schedule of practices of virtue, given by the Superior to the Sisters at certain seasons, as Lent, Advent, and at the approach of great Feasts, as Christmas, Pentecost.

It will be the duty of My dear spouses, their sweetest duty, during Lent to keep Me special company in My Passion, by meditating more frequently on My sufferings, the price of the Redemption of man. Above all, they should be at this time so many other Veronicas destined by love to wipe My Divine Face.

Every Religious House, every one of My spouses, shall be as a studio, where in the solitude of her heart she shall keep the eyes of her mind, especially those of the heart, fixed upon My Divine Features. This will be a study made as much as possible in silence and recollection. The religious soul will be the linen, on which, according to her devotedness, I will stamp My Divine Lineaments. But to come to a more precise
understanding, continues Jesus, I will say that it is My intention to make of My dear spouses so many of My living photographs, so that each soul shall see in her Sisters, even in the exterior, this work of grace.

The Challenge will be concerned for the most part with interior practices, because it is chiefly the work of the heart; but to these you will add exterior practices also, especially those of charity, gentleness and humility, virtues which unite hearts most closely.

1. It is My desire that hearts should let themselves be penetrated with the salutary thought of My Passion just as a material is penetrated with oil which you drop softly upon it. This is an invitation of Love, without obligation; but it will please Me if the Meditation on My Passion is made at least once a day. For My spouses the thought of My Passion ought to be a bouquet of flowers, borne always upon their hearts.

2. I desire that each soul should keep Me loving company the whole day long, habituating herself to accompany Me in thought. It would be well to choose for this purpose two or three thoughts at the close of each meditation; these one may often recall and so the more easily maintain her union with Me.

3. As love is not satisfied to contemplate but longs also to imitate, therefore each religious soul should determine upon a practice for Lent, to which she shall devote herself with particular care, by seeking to copy Me more faithfully. For example, if she wishes she may take silence.

4. Now let us commence the exterior practices :

(a) To make every Friday of Lent the Via Crucis [Way of the Cross], or recite the little Crown of My Sacred Wounds. If this can be done in common, at least once, it will give Me pleasure.

(b) In order to wipe My Face, like so many other Veronicas, My spouses shall perform their actions in the best manner possible, not alone with the interior disposition, but also with exterior perfection. Purity of intention will be the whiteness of the linen, and fidelity and love in execution will be its delicate softness.

(c ) They will take away the thorns from My Head by trying with exquisite charity to spare their neighbor all the little thorns of difficulty and little inconveniences, taking these for their own portion as much as lies in their power.

Whoever would show Me more tender love will make it her duty to heal the wounds her
neighbor may have received on occasions, and this by some kind words full of the sweet balm of charity. As to the practice of humility and gentleness, let it be this: to imitate Veronica in her courage in passing across the soldiers to come near Me; the soul most generous in humiliating herself, especially in public, will be the one on
whom I shall more quickly and clearly impress My Divine Features.

Religious Soul, does this Challenge please thee? It is a gift of My Love, not only to the Religious Community, but also to other souls who live in the midst of the world, because it is equally in their power to observe it in some points.”

 

“All those who honour My Holy Face in a spirit of reparation, will, by so doing, perform the office of the pious Veronica.”

– Jesus to Sister Marie de Saint-Pierre (Sr. Mary of St. Peter), October 27, 1845

Some Scriptures and Corresponding Revelations

  1. ‘I live in the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered himself for me.’ -Galatians 2:20

“You see what I have suffered; well, all that is for you.” – Jesus to Bl. Mother Anne of St. Bartholomew

2. ‘That eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man, what things God hath prepared for them that love him.’ – 1 Corinthians 2:9

“… no one before or after Me has as fully understood how glorious is the delight of the heavenly Kingdom as have I and anyone to whom I wish to reveal it.” – Jesus to St. Bridget (Bk 4, Ch 111)

  1. ‘through many tribulations we must enter into the kingdom of God.’ – Acts 14:22

“Temptation is a means of attaining perfection.” – Jesus to St. Bridget

  1. ‘Fear the Lord, all ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him.’ – Psalm 34:9

“See that you are faithful to me, and fear nothing.” – Jesus to Bl. Agnes de Langeac: (‘Divine Communications,’ p. 328, Vol. 1)

  1. ‘Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ, in my flesh, for his body, which is the church.’ – Colossians 1:24

“I am the Head of the Church, and all who are Mine are the members of this same Body and must continue in union with Me, expiation and sacrifice till the end of time…” – Jesus to Ven. Concepcion Cabrera de Armida

Pax Domini!

 

The Secret to Happiness

pieta-1-1422906

“Blessed indeed would we be if we received everything that happens as from God’s fatherly hand.”

– St. Francis de Sales

St. Alphonsus Liguori relates (‘Uniformity with God’s Will’) that Alphonsus the Great, King of Aragon, when asked whom he considered to be the happiest person in the world, replied:

“HE WHO ABANDONS HIMSELF TO THE WILL OF GOD AND ACCEPTS ALL THINGS, PROSPEROUS AND ADVERSE, AS COMING FROM HIS HANDS.” 

This is the key to happiness! ‘As for my God, His way is undefiled: the words of the Lord are fire tried: He is the protector of all that trust in Him.’ (Ps. 18:30) ‘And let them trust in thee who know thy name: for thou hast not forsaken them that seek thee, O Lord.’  (Ps. 9:10)

‘Who is wise, and will keep these things: and will understand the mercies of the Lord?’ (Ps. 107:43)

Adorable is the Will of God!

“St. Mary Magdalene of  Pazzi derived such consolation at hearing the words “will of God,” that   she usually fell into an ecstasy of love.” (St. Alphonsus)

“[Everything] I give or permit happens for the sanctification of My servants.” (The Eternal Father to St. Catherine of Siena)

“It sometimes happens that the just for their greater merit have a most painful death. This is in order that those who have loved virtue may at once soar up to Heaven freed from their sins.” (Jesus to St. Bridget)

“Abandonment to the Will of God is the secret of happiness on earth. Say, then: meus cibus est, ut faciem voluntatem ejus: my food is to do His Will.” (St. Josemaria Escriva, # 766, p. 181, ‘The Way’)

“An act of complete acceptance of the Will of God: ‘Is that what you want, Lord? … Then it’s what I want also!” (St. Josemaria Escriva, #762, p. 180, ‘The Way’)

“The soul that really loves, accepts all from the Hands of its Good Master. It is enough that He gives it, to make the gift welcome.” (Dom Pius de Hemptinne, p. 254, ‘A Disciple of Dom Marmion’)

Imitate Little St. Therese

“You have had many trials today,” someone said to St. Therese. “Yes, but I love them. I love everything that the dear God gives to me.”

“Nothing is too great to suffer in order to win the palm of eternal life.” – St. Therese

A Revelation to St. Bridget

From ‘Book 5, The Book of Questions, Interrogation 13’:

Third question. “Why do some people suffer excessive hardship, while others live more or less free from hardship?”

Answer to the third question. “As to why greater hardships are given to some, I answer: I am the Maker of all things. Thus, no hardship comes without My permission, as it is written: ‘I am God creating woe,’ (Isaiah 45:7) that is, permitting hardship. Hardship does not befall the heathen without me and without a reasonable cause… those who had neglected and abused reason might be taught by suffering, and in order that I, God, who permitted it all, should be known and glorified by every nation…

There is indeed less hardship for some and more for others in order to turn people away from sin and so that those who suffer hardships in the present might be comforted in the future. All those who are judged and who judge themselves in this age will not come into future judgment. As it is written: ‘They shall pass from death into life.’ There are also some that are protected from suffering, but this happens so that they do not incur a harsher judgment by grumbling at their sufferings. Many there are who do not deserve to suffer in this world.

There are also some people in this life who are afflicted neither in body nor in spirit. They pass their lives as carefree as though God did not exist, or as though God is sparing them for the sake of their righteous works. Such people should be filled with dread for fear that I, God, who spare them in the present, come suddenly and condemn them more harshly as being without contrition.

There are also those who enjoy health of body but are troubled in their soul about the contempt of God, while others enjoy neither health of body nor inner consolation of soul and yet persevere as far as they are able in my service and honor. There are others, too, who are always sick, from their mother’s womb up until their death. I, the God of all of these, regulate their sufferings so that nothing happens without cause or reward, for many people, who were asleep before their trials, have their eyes opened by suffering.”

The Perfect Prayer

Jesus: “THY WILL BE DONE” (Mt. 6:10)

Mary: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word.” (Lk. 1:38) [A powerful prayer, to be repeated frequently throughout the day, is “FIAT” – “Be it done…”]

“I cannot tell you what a beautiful thing the Will of God seems to me. For some years past, my Communions, my prayers, my intentions have all been for God’s Will to be done.”

– St. Mary MacKillop

 

Prayer and Suffering

open-bible-and-crucifix-11290876552hWG

“Be apostles, like him [St. Padre Pio, who modelled his life on the Divine Master], of prayer and suffering!”

– Pope St. John Paul II, addressing the “Servants of Suffering,” Dec 2, 2004

“You cannot conceive,” said Jesus to Sr. Josefa Menendez, “how great is the reparatory value of suffering.” Suffering, you see, nourishes and perfects love, and it is love alone that has any value in God’s eyes; it is love alone that save souls.

Do not think that “suffering” means unpleasantness. Quite the contrary. It may be the case that certain sufferings are unpleasant to bear; but our God is the God of joy. “Joy is the echo of God’s life in us.” (Bl. Dom Columba Marmion) The Cross is necessary to perfect our love, which is the cause of our joy. Here is a simple formula to remember this truth:

  1. Charity (love) unites us to God, the Source of joy.
  2. Suffering nourishes and perfects love, thereby uniting us more intimately to God.
  3. Therefore suffering nourishes and perfects joy.

Bl. Charles de Foucauld, most likely moved by love and humility, sometimes felt guilty that he was the unworthy recipient of such intense joy. He wanted to suffer like and for his Saviour. But, like Bl. Charles, we must remember that joy is a fruit of love; we can no more refuse this gift of God than a flower can refuse its fruit.

‘And not only so; but we glory also in tribulations, knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience trial; and trial hope; And hope confoundeth not: because the charity of God is poured forth in our hearts, by the Holy Ghost, who is given to us.’ (Rom. 5:3-5)

If we suffer, let us praise God; if we experience joy, let us praise Him!

***

Joy is still compatible with sorrow; don’t think that our union with God can be measured by feelings:

JOY in the Spiritual Life: Q + A

***

“Prayer, all prayer,” says Servant of God Fr. John A. Hardon, “is always efficacious. But prayer takes on extraordinary power to win graces, for the one praying and for all mankind, when it is united with patient suffering.”

Next time you suffer or make a sacrifice – be it ever so little – do it for God alone (and by extension, for souls, who are so dear to Him). “God and souls.” (St. Faustina)

Some Powerful Quotes About Prayer and Suffering

“You will save more souls through prayer and suffering than will a missionary through his teachings and sermons alone.” – Jesus to St. Faustina

 “… by it [suffering] many more souls are saved than by the best of sermons.” – Little St. Therese (on the day of her canonization) to Servant of God Teresa Neumann

“It is blindness to avoid pain even in very small things, for not only is it of great worth to ourselves, but it serves to guard many from the torments of Hell.” – Sr. Josefa Menendez

“You know that sin is an infinite offense and needs infinite reparation . . . that is why I ask you to offer up your sufferings and labors in union with the infinite merits of My Heart. You know that My Heart is yours. Take It, therefore, and repair by It.”

– Jesus to Sr. Josefa Menendez

 

‘Devotion for the Dying’: The Most Pleasing Devotion to Jesus and Mary

‘He must know that he who causeth a sinner to be converted from the error of his way, shall save his soul from death, and shall cover a multitude of sins.’ (James 5:20)

In her absolutely remarkable work, ‘Devotion for the Dying: Mary’s Call to Her Loving Children,’ Ven. Mother Mary Potter (d. April 9, 1913) demonstrates, beyond question, that we can and must pray for the salvation of dying sinners. (*Chapter 10 alone is worth the price of the book*).

How pleasing this devotion is to Our Lord, Who is Love Incarnate, and to Our Lady, who is the Spouse of the Holy Spirit! The Saints tell us that we can do nothing more charitable than pray and offer sacrifices for the dying. Who are in greater need than the dying? They are on the threshold of eternity; the state in which they die will determine their eternity; for ‘in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be.’ (Eccles. 11:3)

An All-Important Task

Make no mistake: if we neglect this all-important work, many unfortunate souls, who need our prayers, will be damned. “Francisco,” said Bl. Jacinta Marto to her older brother; “are you praying with me? We must pray very much to save souls from hell, so many go there. So many!” This need not be the case!

“Pray, pray very much, and make sacrifices for sinners; for many souls go to Hell, because there are none to sacrifice themselves and to pray for them.”

– Our Lady of Fatima

‘Do unto others…’

Put yourself in the place of the dying sinner, and ask yourself this simple question: “If we traded places, would I hope that they would pray and make sacrifices for my eternal salvation?” If your answer is “yes”, as I’m sure it is, then you are bound to do the same for dying sinners. ‘All things therefore whatsoever you would that men should do to you, do you also to them.’ (Mt. 7:12)

The Smallest Acts Suffice to Save Souls

We must not underestimate God’s mercy. Even the smallest acts, offered with a pure intention to Love, can be of great benefit to souls. “To pick up a pin for love,” exclaims St. Therese, “can convert a soul.” Glorious words.

“We of ourselves, it is true,” writes Ven. Mother Mary Potter, “could not by the offering of our whole lives make satisfaction to God for even one of the venial sins we think so lightly of when we commit them, but God views our good actions as the fruit of the Passion of His Beloved Son; and thus it is that a good action is more pleasing, necessarily so, to Him than a bad action is displeasing.” (p. 157–158)

“This is the consideration of God’s fairness, for, though my justice is so great that I leave nothing unexamined or unpunished, yet I am also so merciful and fair that I demand nothing beyond what nature can bear. Moreover, I forgive great punishment for the sake of a good intention and great sin in return for a little reparation.”

– Jesus to St. Bridget of Sweden (Book 4, Ch 89)

Some Sage Advice from Ven. Mother Mary Potter

Each day, offer everything you do in reparation for dying sinners. If you read the Bible, for example, offer it for those who have spent their time reading ungodly literature; if you eat, offer this act for those who have been given in to sins of gluttony; and so on. Renew this intention frequently; you will save many souls thereby. This is an extremely powerful means of sanctifying our every act. The treasury of merits and graces that we amass by acting thus is incomprehensible. ‘And whosoever shall give to drink to one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, amen I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.’ (Mt. 10:42)

The Two Thieves

Jesus, King of Love, was crucified between two thieves. One, it seems, was damned; the other responded to God’s call and was saved. He is now known as St. Dismas.

Perhaps we have not considered this before – but the thieves represent us. How often have we robbed God of glory by squandering the unfathomable gift of Divine Grace, which He purchased with the price of His Precious Blood? How often have we proudly attributed to ourselves the good that is within us? How often have we, like Judas, delivered Jesus over to the hands of His crucifiers, so that we might indulge in some carnal sin? Alas, I am guilty of this myself! “My Jesus, mercy! The sins of my youth and my ignorances do not remember. According to thy mercy remember thou me: for thy goodness’ sake, O Lord.” (Ps. 25:7)

Ultimately, our death will resemble one of the two thieves. It is for us to ensure that we die like St. Dismas. Furthermore, we must do what we can do ensure that others are converted, especially those “in most need of [God’s] mercy,” namely, dying sinners. St. Dismas, pray for us!

An Invitation from Jesus and Mary

Jesus tells us: ‘love one another, as I have loved you.’ (Jn. 13:34) These are the words of the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, ‘Who gave himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present wicked world, according to the will of God and our Father.’ (Gal. 1:4) In imitation of our Lord, we too must lay down our lives for our brethren – especially our dying brethren.

Look at our sweet Mother, Mary, at the foot of the Cross; look at her whose soul was pierced with a sword for the sake of her Son, and for that great multitude who will be forever separated from His loving embrace (Lk. 2:35). What a perfect example she is for us all! There she prayers for her Son’s crucifiers, for us; there she offers her own sufferings for the salvation of a prodigious number of sinners. If thousands were saved by Bl. Alexandrina’s sufferings (united to the sufferings and merits of Jesus) – as Our Lord confided to her – then think of how many souls were, and are, saved through the prayers and sufferings of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of God!

“Our Blessed Lady told me that many souls escape Hell through her intercession. She often obtains the grace of repentance for a soul when it is just leaving the body. In that moment of extremity she obtains for the soul a feeling of love of God, a feeling of repentance.”

-SG. Père Lamy (p. 141 of his biography)

In thanksgiving to Jesus and Mary, let us firmly resolve, from this day forward, to cultivate a tender devotion to the dying; let us entrust this intention to our Blessed Mother, to our patrons Saints, and to our Guardian Angel. Let us have recourse to Mary, the Mother of Mercy; let us pray her Rosary; let us offer her our indulgences at the beginning of each day; let us offer her our merits, and she will see to it that we stay close to her Son; she will see to it that our prayers and sufferings are not wasted; she herself will offer them to God, bathed in the Precious Blood of Jesus, and united to her own merits. Do this and many, very many souls will be saved!

“Our Lady offers our prayers to God; she beautifies them; she makes them [more] pleasing in His sight… The recitation of the Rosary – that is what Lucifer hates.”

– SG. Père Lamy (p. 140, p. 157)

“… the imitation of both of our lives [Jesus and Mary] must be simultaneous on earth; Mary’s life was modeled on Mine… The souls who love her most and who are most like to her, are the souls who are most like to Me most perfectly. You must imitate her in the practice of virtues, I always told you, especially in her humility and her purity of heart. Observe the virtues she practiced in her solitude, in the last stage of her life, her outlook, and her soul wholly turned toward heaven, and her self effacement, glorifying Me on earth.”

(Jesus to Ven. Concepcion Cabrera de Armida, Diary, Feb. 18, 1917 – a few months before Our Lady’s apparitions at Fatima)

The Power of Prayer

The following anecdote beautifully captures the essence of this “devotion for the dying.” It is taken from p. 294 of ‘St. Vincent Ferrer, His Life, Spiritual Teaching, and Practical Devotion.’

“The Saint passing to Pampeluna, and his sanctity being well known to all the inhabitants, they besought him to interest himself in behalf of the spiritual needs and conversion of a person of notoriously bad character, who would continue impenitent to the last day of her life. The charity of St. Vincent, which desired nothing so much as the salvation of souls, drew him promptly and with joy into the presence of this poor sinner. He unhappily found her completely hardened. She was obstinate and so despairing of her salvation that she exclaimed, blaspheming:

“It is impossible for me to be saved; God cannot pardon either the multitude or the enormity of my sins.”

The Saint began, then, with all the energy of his soul to offer her powerful reasons which might encourage her to hope for a generous pardon from God. But it was useless, that soul was hardened in evil. Seeing this, St. Vincent raised up his heart to God, made a short prayer, and led by a divine inspiration, he promised the sinner that her absolution should come in writing from heaven, if she would promise to make her confession. The wretched woman began to ridicule a pledge so extraordinary and which appeared to her impossible; yet she said to the Saint:

“If it be so, I am very willing to (p. 293) confess.”

Then, the Saint procured pen and paper, and wrote these words:

“Brother Vincent Ferrer beseeches the most Holy Trinity to grant the sinner here present the absolution of her sins.”

He then folded the paper, and cast it into the air; the document flew out of the house; but some minutes afterwards it returned folded and closed. Wonderful to relate, on opening it, St. Vincent found the following promise written in letters of gold:

“We, the most Holy Trinity, at the request of our Vincent, grant the sinner of whom he speaks, the pardon of her faults; We dispense her from all the punishment which she ought to undergo; and if she confesses, she shall be carried to heaven in half an hour, where she shall reign eternally with us… From heaven… We, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.”

St. Vincent read the answer, and without delay the happy woman made her confession; in half an hour afterwards her soul took its flight to heaven. Oh! happy sinner! If so extraordinary a favour was obtained for this great sinner at the prayer of our Saint, while he was yet living, what ought not we to expect from him – great sinners as we are, but who are devoted to him – now that, consumed with charity, he rejoices in God Whom he beholds face to face, and who being near to Him, continually intercedes for those who have recourse to his prayers!” (p. 294)

‘God is wonderful in his saints: the God of Israel is he who will give power and strength to his people. Blessed be God.’

(Ps. 69:35)

My Own Experience of Fatima

On May 13, 2012, the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima (and the anniversary of the First Apparition), I received a strong inspiration to start this blog. It was only after I started writing that I realised it was May 13.

This, I believe, was no coincidence. I believe Our Lord was effectively telling me this: “My son, I have suffered much on your account; so, too, has my Mother. But do not despair. I have given her to be your Mother, a most merciful Mother. In gratitude for so much love, of which you have been the object, entrust yourself to her, love her; rest in her arms like a little child, and teach others to do the same.”

I am not claiming that I had a locution or anything of the kind. I did not. But I did receive an impression that, in response to so much love from Jesus and Mary, I must share at least a little of that immeasurable love with others – many, if not all, of whom have abused fewer graces than I have.

Over the years, the truth of Mary’s love for me has only increased, and she has helped me on countless occasions to renew my trust in the infinite love of her Divine Son. On one such occasion, I was in Church, praying, but with great difficulty (I think it was the year 2013). I was quite discouraged at the time. As I had my head down, a young man came up to me. I had never seen him before; I have never seen him since. “Here,” he said, handing me some Rosary beads; “these are for you.” How kind, I thought! I looked carefully at these beautiful Rosary beads, which were marked with a single word: FATIMA.

Our Lady has been very good to me.

On December 3, 2015, I had an opportunity to visit Fatima. It was incredible. I cannot attempt to describe it. One truly feels her presence there, just like at Lourdes.

Please join me, dear friend, in honouring Jesus and Mary by making our lives a constant sacrifice of praise and love.

“Are you willing to offer yourselves to God and bear all the sufferings He wills to send you, as an act of reparation for the conversion of sinners? … Say the Rosary every day, to bring peace to the world and the end of the war.”

– Our Lady of Fatima (May 13, 1917)

“Do not be afraid to love the Immaculata (Mary) too much because we could never equal the love that Jesus has for Her, and His imitation is our sanctification.”

– St. Maximilian Kolbe

A Final Word

Stay close to Mary, Help of Christians, and you will be saved; not only that: you will become a Saint; you will save many souls, and your death will be a most glorious one, a cause of delight to the Courts of Heaven!

‘… precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.’

(Ps. 116:15)

God’s Providence: Fascinating Connections between 10 Mystics

The purpose of this article is to accentuate the wisdom, mystery and beauty of God’s Providence. I have chosen to focus on Providential events in the lives of 10 remarkable Catholic Mystics – each of whom were fervent (female) devotees of the Sacred Heart. It is my hope that in reading this article, many (of the relative few who read this blog) will be inspired to learn more about these remarkable women. Furthermore, it is my hope and prayer that you will seek their intercession and friendship. As Soeur Gertrude-Marie says: the more we love God, the more we will love His Saints.

Reading the lives of the Mystics* has been a passion of mine for quite some time. I confess that I am captivated by the love of these generous souls, who inspire me to seek their intercession, and to imitate, at least to some degree, their humility, purity and charity.

[*St. Therese is the only “ordinary” Mystic in this article; the others were the frequent recipients of visions, locutions and such.]

Read. Pray. Befriend. Imitate.

— Note: Much, much more could be said about the similarity between these great women. One has only to compare the revelations of Sr. Benigna Consolata and St. Faustina, for example, to see that their lives and writings are imbued with the message of Divine Mercy. Divine Mercy truly is the message for our times – our troubled, confused, despairing, atheistic, evil times. To this message we must respond with childlike confidence – another characteristic trait of the holy souls to whom this article refers.]

The Birth (and Death) of 10 Great Mystics

1615

  • July 20: Birth of Servant of God (SG.) Sr. Jeanne Benigne Gojos (d. November 5, 1692)

1647

  • July 22: Birth of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque (d. October 17, 1690)

1870

  • October 28: Birth of (SG.?) Sr. Gertrude Mary (Anne-Marie Bernier) (d. May 24, 1908)

1873

  • January 2: Birth of St. Therese of Lisieux (d. September 30, 1897)

1885

  • August 6: Birth of SG. Sr. Benigna Consolata Ferrero (d. September 1, 1916)

1890

  • February 4: Birth of SG. Sr. Josefa Menendez (d. December 29, 1923)

1897

  • April 30: Birth of Bl. Dina Belanger (d. September 4, 1929)

1901

  • July 16: Birth of SG. Mother Yvonne-Aimee de Jesus (d. February 3, 1951)

1903

  • April 6: Birth of SG. Consolata Betrone (d. July 18, 1946)

1905

  • August 25: Birth of St. Faustina (d. October 5, 1938)

Dates Connecting the Aforementioned

July 22 (Feast of St. Mary Magdalene)

  • 1615: Baptism of Sr. Jeanne Benigne Gojos. “This dear child received the grace of Baptism on the Feast of St. Magdalen, which seemed to foretell that the little creature would be, as indeed she was, a true lover of Jesus, but [in her case] always innocent.” (p. 6 of her biography)
  • 1647: Birth of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque (It was also on her birthday in 1690 that “… a little less than three months before her death, she heard more distinctly than ever the call of the Spouse.” (p. 283 of her biography)

Some revelations received on July 22:

  • 1921: Our Lady said to Sr. Josefa Menendez: “While you suffer, the devil has less power over that soul [for which you offer your sufferings].” (from ‘The Way of Divine Love’)
  • 1922: Jesus appeared to Sr. Josefa Menendez at the beginning of Holy Mass. “In one hand,” she writes, “He held His Heart and with the other He beckoned to me: “Behold the Prison I have prepared for you from all eternity. In My Heart you will henceforth live lost and hidden forever.”

August 25

  • 1671: St. Margaret Mary is clothed in the black habit of the Visitation Order.
  • 1905: Birth of St. Faustina (Trivia: August 25, 1883, marks the death of SG. Louise Lateau; she was a stigmatist, who, like St. Faustina, died at age 33)

Some revelations received on August 25:

  • 1915: Sr. Benigna Consolata received the “Decalogue of Love” from Our Lord.
  • 1920: Sr. Josefa has a remarkable vision of Jesus. She writes: “I cannot attempt to describe Him. He was standing upright, vested in white; He held His Heart in His hands, as in a brazier of fire.”
  • 1934: Sr. Consolata Betrone was reading a book which mentioned punishments threatened by Our Lord. Jesus consoled her: “Consolata, look up to Heaven… Have confidence!” (p. 19)

September 8 (Feast of Our Lady’s nativity/birthday)

  • 1890: Solemn Profession of St. Therese.
  • 1939: Sr. Consolata Betrone was transferred to the new foundation of Moriondo, Moncalieri, in Turin, Italy.
  • 1942: Sr. Consolata Betrone reconsecrated the Littlest Ones (those who will follow her in her unceasing act of love) to the Immaculate Virgin Mary, who said to her: “Upon all, and upon each one, I will look with predilection, as I have done with you!”

Some revelations received on September 8:

  • 1920: Jesus said to Sr. Josefa Menendez: “Which do you prefer, My Will or yours?”
  • 1921: Jesus said to Sr. Josefa Menendez: “Let your soul occupation be to love Me; Love will give you strength.”
  • 1922: Jesus said to Sr. Josefa Menendez: “O slake My thirst to be loved by souls, especially to be loved by those I have chosen… I do not look at the act, I look at the intention. The smallest act, if done out of love, acquires such merit that it gives Me immense consolation… I want only love, I ask for nothing else.”
  • 1928: Jesus said to Bl. Dina Belanger: “I want My life in you to be a canticle of praise for the glory of My Father. From now on, I want you to sing with Me the eternal canticle of My sacred and glorious Heart. Let Me radiate through you the love and joy of eternity.” (p. 352 of her autobiography)
  • 1936: Jesus said to Sr. Consolata Betrone: “Make every effort, Consolata; it is for your own good! It is upon the effort that I now insist, that you offer Me unceasingly an act of love!” (p. 104 of ‘Jesus Appeals to the World’)

November 5

  • 1690: St. Margaret Mary made a Vow of perfection.
  • 1692: Death of Sr. Jeanne Benigne Gojos.
  • 1908: Sr. Benigna Consolata received the white habit of the Visitation Order.

Some revelations received on November 5:

  • 1907: Our Lord gave Sr. Gertrude Mary a “superb necklace.” “This necklace,” He said, “is the symbol of faithfulness.” (p. 161)
  • 1934: St. Faustina writes (Diary, 341): “I am very surprised that You bid me to talk about this Feast of Mercy, for they tell me that there is already such a feast and so why should I talk about it?” Jesus replied: “And who knows anything about this feast? No one! Even those who should be proclaiming My mercy and teaching people about it often do not know about it themselves. That is why I want the image to be solemnly blessed on the first Sunday after Easter, and I want it to be venerated publicly so that every soul may know about it.”

Further Connections between the Aforementioned

+ Sr. Jeanne Benigne Gojos and St. Margaret Mary:

  • A little-known fact is that Sr. Jeanne Benigne Gojos – herself a great mystic – prophesied that Sr. [Saint] Margaret Mary would be instrumental in making known the Sacred Heart. Mother Marie Geltrude Provane de Leyni writes: “It is certain that in the year 1657 she [Sr. Jeanne] made known to me several of the graces of our Sister Mary Margaret Alacoque, of whom there was no talk as yet in our country. She told me that she was a person by whom God would be glorified, and that she would teach a very profitable devotion in the Church.” (p. 400 of Sr. Jeanne Benigne’s biography)

+ Sr. Jeanne Benigne Gojos and Sr. Benigna Consolata:

  • While Sr. Benigna was still living at home, her spiritual director gave her some books to read, including a biography of Sr. Jeanne Benigne Gojos. “The reading of these lives,” she writes, “cast more deeply the roots of my vocation.” (p. 41 of her biography)
  • The author of Sr. Benigna’s biography writes: “Our Honored Mother Maria-Louisa in giving her this name [Benigna/Benigne], seemed to enter into the designs of God since there was to be more than one trait of resemblance between these two privileged souls.” (p. 37)

+ Sr. Jeanne Benigne Gojos, Sr. Benigna Consolata and Sr. Consolata Betrone:

  • Mother de Chantal [St. Jane Francis de Chantal] writes: “I have endeavoured, more than for any other foundation [of Visitation nuns], to ask of God light to choose for that of Turin, which gives us the entrance into Italy, no subjects but those capable of taking into it the true spirit of our little Congregation. I hope that our Lord may have granted me this grace for them all, but I am sure I have obtained it with regard to Sister Jeanne Benigne.” (p. 20) (Sr. Benigna Consolata was born in Turin, and Sr. Consolata was transferred to, and died in, Turin.)
  • (Trivia: Jesus said to Sr. Benigna Consolata: “Thou shalt go to the Visitation. 1. Because it is My Will; 2. Because at the Visitation thou canst not only become holy, but thou canst attain to the degree of sublime perfection which I destine for thee; 3. For the spiritual good of others.” – p. 30)

+ Sr. Benigna Consolata and St. Therese:

  • Maria Consolata (Sr. Benigna Consolata) received several names, including Consolata, Rosalia, Philomena, and Theresa. The title of her biography is “The Tendernesses of the Love of Jesus for a Little Soul” – a title that was recommended by Our Lord Himself.
  • Therese compares herself to a “little ball”: “I had offered myself to the Holy Child some time before. I told him not to use me as a plaything for the worthy but as a little ball of no value that he could throw on the ground, kick, pierce, leave in a corner, hold close to his heart, as he wished; in a word, I wanted the Holy Child to play, I wanted to please him, I wanted to abandon myself to his childlike caprices.” Contrast these words with those of Sr. Benigna Consolata: “Jesus compares my soul to a ball, which when thrown violently to the ground, rises much higher than its point of departure; so my soul humbled by aridity rises again, by the grace of God, to the practice of pure love.” (from her biography)

+ St. Faustina and St. Margaret Mary:

  • Feb 15: Death and Feast Day of St. Claude Colombiere (St. Margaret Mary’s confessor) and Bl. Sopocko (St. Faustina’s confessor).

+ Sr. Benigna Consolata and St. Faustina:

  • Benigna Consolata died on September 1, 1916, at 3 o’clock (on a First Friday). We are not told if this is in the morning or afternoon, but it is possible that it was 3pm (“the hour of great mercy” – Jesus to St. Faustina). This would be significant because, in the words of Our Lord, both of these holy souls were “Apostles” of His mercy.

+ St. Therese, Yvonne-Aimee, Sr. Consolata Betrone and St. Faustina:

  • After her death, St. Therese spoke to Yvonne-Aimee and St. Faustina, and Our Lord spoke to Sr. Consolata about St. Therese. For example: “You will help me to shower roses upon the earth!” (St. Therese to Yvonne-Aimee)

A Final Word:

What does all this mean? Are some of these similarities mere coincidences?

In response to the first question, the following point must be reiterated: the message of Divine Mercy is the message for our times (every other message, such as the Holy Face devotion, is linked, at least implicitly, to the Divine Mercy). Only merciful love can cleanse this world of its “sinful filthiness” (Jesus to Sr. Consolata Betrone).

As to the latter: Well, there is no need to get bogged down by drawing minute philosophical distinctions, which will be of little profit to souls. Not every little event has a particular meaning, per se. Suppose you spill some curry on your new white shirt (purely hypothetical… *cough*); does this event have meaning? In a limited sense, perhaps.

“With God, nothing is empty of meaning.” (St. Irenaeus). We must distinguish between “meaning” with a capital ‘M’ and meaning with a lower case ‘m.’ We often cannot differentiate. Don’t bother trying (especially if it distracts you from God Himself). Simply know that the infinite Wisdom, Knowledge and Love of God ordains all things for our greater good.

Pax Domine!

Patron Saint Selections, 2016

Dear friends,

Firstly, if anyone would still like to participate: you are most welcome. I will continue with the selection for another few days.

Okay. For those who have commented: thank you for your kind words and/or for participating! Here are the results, starting with the first comment:

Lisa H: St. Therese

Rebecca: Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity

Shelley: St. Faustina

Tommy: Bl. Dom Columba Marmion

Kelly: St. John Paul II
Catherine: Bl. Mother Teresa
Denise: Bl. Dom Columba Marmion

Maryann: Sr. Benigna Consolata Ferrero

Josie: Sr. Benigna Consolata Ferrero

ES: Ven. Marthe Robin
KP: Pope St. John Paul II
BU: Sr. Jeanne Benigne Gojos
JF: Sr. Mary of the Holy Trinity
RB: St. Padre Pio
LS: St. Francis de Sales
TR: Sr. Gertrude Mary
RR: St. Therese
JC: St. Gemma Galgani
AR: Sr. Mary of the Holy Trinity
KN: St. Crescentia Hoess
MN: Sr. Mary of the Holy Trinity
GN: Fr. Paul of Moll
YN: Sr. Josefa Menendez
BN: Pope St. John Paul II
KR: Sr. Gertrude Mary
JR: Bl. Dom Columba Marmion
NR: Ven. Marthe Robin

Get to know your heavenly friend! A few of these holy souls are lesser known. Try archive.org for Sister Gertrude Mary, St. Crescentia, Sr. Jeanne Benigne Gojos, Sr. Benigna Consolata, and Fr. Paul of Moll.

Offer at least one Mass in thanksgiving to your new patron and to God. St. Gertrude assures us that this is most pleasing to God and His saints.

Let me know how everything goes!

Jesus, I trust in You!

“Little Soul” Patron Saint for 2016 (“Jubilee of Mercy”)

image

Soeur Gertrude-Marie (Sister Gertrude Mary) d. 1908 [This is a shot I took of the photo on her tomb in Angers, France, on December 26, 2015.]

(A quick word: I had an inspiring trip throughout Europe; I will write a little bit about it later. Thank you for your prayers!)

Patron Saint for 2016

Some of you will know of the holy tradition of choosing a patron saint for the year; perhaps some of you already have.

There is good reason to believe that we do not choose our “heavenly friends”; they choose us. This was the belief of Sr. Gertrude Mary, for example, and it is confirmed in the life of St. Faustina and many others.

The thought came to me recently to conduct a patron saint of the year selection of my own; but it will be somewhat unique. This patron saint program (if you could call it that) will include a selection OF “little souls” FOR “little souls.” In other words, the saints or holy souls that I will be choosing from will be little souls i.e. humble, childlike, confident souls…

We are all called to be “little  ones.” The saints are eager to help us; they want us to praise God with them, both here and hereafter. How eagerly must they desire to help us in this “Year of Mercy”, as proclaimed Providentially by Pope Francis I!

**How to Participate**

Simply leave your name (or initials, a pseudonym, or whatever you prefer) in the comments section, and I will announce the results tomorrow. You may leave several names if you wish to request a patron saint for several people.

I will pray very seriously before making these selections, which I will draw from a “hat.”

I encourage you to participate! The more, the merrier!

[Note: The “saints” that I will be choosing from are not necessarily canonized or Blessed etc. They have all been praised for their virtue, however, by many competent – and often holy – authorities. In no manner do I intend to undermine the authority and judgement of holy Mother Church.]

All you Saints and Angels, pray for us!