What is the Ultimate Reason for the Incarnation?

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Why Was The Word Made Flesh?

To what end did the second Person of the Most Blessed Trinity, in all things equal to the Father (cf. Heb. 1:3, Jn. 3:35, Jn. 10:30 etc.), become man (Jn. 1:14)? Was it to call ‘sinners to penance’ (Lk. 5:32)? Was it that we ‘may not remain in darkness’ (Jn. 12:49), but rather that we might see (Lk. 9:39)? Was it to bring us to the ‘Bosom of the Father’ (Jn. 1:18; Ps. 18:6, Vulgate)? Yes: the Word became Flesh for all these reasons. ‘For God indeed was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself…’ (2 Cor. 5:19)

But that is not all.

Love Seeks Union
While it is true that God desires ‘all men to be saved’ (1 Tim. 2:4), He does not will that we merely be saved; it is not enough, in an of itself, for a love like His, that we be in a state of sanctifying grace; love seeks union, and the greater the love, the more sublime the union.

More than our reconciliation, then, God desires our sanctification – that is, the most complete reconciliation possible. He wants us to be one with Himself; He wants to consume us in His Word, in the fire of His Love. To adapt a well-known saying of St. Augustine, you might say that the Sacred Heart of Jesus is restless until It rests in us. ‘My son, give me thy heart! … I thirst!’ (Prov. 23:26; Jn. 19:28)

Aim Higher
“I’ll be lucky to get to Purgatory!” some say. But that is not enough. It is in affront to Divine Love to hope for anything less than the greatest intimacy with God (‘Be ye perfect…’ – that is, all His). Why so? Because God, as infinite and undivided Love, has given Himself to us without reserve (cf. Rom. 8:32); He is a ‘jealous God’ (Deut. 4:24), Who created us for one thing: Love. “I alone,” said Our Lord to St. Mechtilde, “can fill the heart of man.” Creatures, He further explained, cannot satisfy us, nor can any number of earthly goods, for they are less than man; they were created for us, not we for them.

To love us: this is His great joy, His solace, His glory. How He thirsts for our love! ‘If thou didst know the gift of God, and Who He is that saith to thee, Give Me to drink; thou perhaps wouldst have asked of Him, and He would have given thee living water’ (Jn. 4:10).

God: Our Common Vocation
Think about it: the God-Man, in Whose Sacred Heart is contained an infinite ocean of love, thirsts for our love! How He longs – He Who ’emptied Himself’ (Phil. 2:7) – to pour Himself out upon us, thereby giving us to share, with Him, in an ineffable communion with the Most Blessed Trinity: As the Father hath loved me, I also have loved you. Abide in My love. (Jn. 15:9) “[T]he works of grace,” writes Ven. Juan G. Arintero OP, “since they make us enter into the joy of the Lord, into the intimate and secret life of the Divinity, and into friendly and familiar fellowship with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, raise us up to a participation in those ineffable communications which are effected ad intra, in the very Bosom of God.” (quoted in ‘Cradle of Redeeming Love’ by John Saward)

What a vocation! ‘I press towards the mark, to the prize of the supernal VOCATION OF GOD in Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 3:14) St. Therese was right: “MY VOCATION IS LOVE!” ‘God is Love.’

This brings us to the answer to our initial question: What is the ultimate reason for the Incarnation? The answer?

The Ultimate Reason for The Incarnation
We will let Our Lord speak:

+ ‘I am come THAT THEY MAY HAVE LIFE, and may have it more abundantly… UNTO THE PRAISE OF THE GLORY OF HIS GRACE.’ (Jn. 10:10; Eph. 1:6)

And what is this Life of which our Saviour speaks? It is His own Life:

+ ‘By this hath the charity of God appeared towards us, because God hath sent His only begotten Son into the world, THAT WE MAY LIVE BY HIM.’ (1 Jn. 4:9)

There is the answer: Our Lord came that we might live ‘THROUGH HIM, AND WITH HIM, AND IN HIM’ for the Father’s glory (cf. Per ipsum of the Mass; Eph. 1:3-10).

This all brings us to the means by which God effects this sublime union: the Adorable Eucharist.

The Sacrament of Love
As the living Father hath sent Me, and I live by the Father; so he that eateth Me, the same also shall live by Me. (Jn. 6:58)
That they all may be one, as Thou, Father, in me, and I in Thee; that they also may be one in Us; that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me.
And the glory which Thou hast given Me, I have given to them; that they may be one, as We also are One: I in them, and Thou in Me; THAT THEY MAY BE MADE PERFECT IN ONE: and the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as thou hast also loved Me.’ (Jn. 17:21-23)

“My beloved,” said Our Lord to Sister Catherine Agnes Planche, “I wish you to love Me with the same love that I have eternally for My Father.”

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‘For by ONE OBLATION He hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.’
– Heb. 10:14

Ven. Louis de Blois: Thoughts on Paradise

Below you will find a compilation of quotes on the topic of Paradise. These have been taken from different works by Ven. Louis de Blois (principally ‘Spiritual Works of Louis of Blois, Abbot of Liesse,’ R & T Washbourne, 1903).

As a preliminary consideration, it will be worthwhile to reflect on a spiritual light given to St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi. She learnt that, whereas earthly pleasures, being less than man, enter into him, the joys of Paradise, conversely, are so much greater than man, that he enters into them. Earthly joys, she writes, are like a glass of water; heavenly, like a limitless ocean. St. Thomas concurs with this thought, as do all other theologians, at least implicitly; impelled, as they are, by the inexorable laws of sound philosophy. ‘Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord’ (Mt. 25:21).

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THOUGHT ON PARADISE:
Putting Things in Perspective: The Depths of Mary’s Joy
In fact, if all the joys of the world, all peace, all delights and pleasures were gathered into one, they would appear mere bitterness compared with the least joy that the Blessed Virgin possessed.

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The Company of Countless Angels and Saints
We shall enjoy for ever the society of Mary, the Mother of God, most beautiful, most sweet, most kind, most lovable, of the holy angels and the other citizens of heaven, and we shall know them all right well as our friends… Each one distinctly and perfectly knows every one of the citizens of heaven, and abounds with every sort of riches, delight and joy… [We shall be blessed to] behold the most Blessed Mother of God, to join the chorus of Angels, to have perpetual fellowship with the holy Patriarchs and Prophets, with the holy Apostles and Martyrs, with the holy Confessors and Virgins: to know all the citizens of heaven, and to rejoice with each of them in their eternal happiness.

‘Better is One Day in Thy Courts Above Thousands…’
Truly, that blessed heavenly country is our only fatherland; where an everlasting day always shineth forth, better far than a thousand days here below.

The Hour of Death: Man’s “Hour”
Happy is the hour, and most desirable the moment, when the heavenly Spouse joyfully meets the holy soul coming forth from the prison of the body with gentle words, and invites it, saying, “Arise, make haste, my love. For winter is now past, the rain is over and gone. Flowers have appeared in our land; the vines in flower yield their sweet smell, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land” (Cant. ii. 10, 11, 12). Come forth with joy, most dear daughter: tremble not, nor be afraid; thou art brought out of exile, thou leavest the miseries of the calamitous world. For “nor mourning, nor crying, nor sorrow, shall be any more” (Apoc. xxi. 4). Henceforth, the corruptible body shall not weigh down the soul: for when thou art admitted into the joy of thy Lord, thou shalt rejoice for ever in the gift of immortality.

No Need for Food and Drink
They who shall possess God will not need corruptible food and drink, for they will be full of God. God will be to them, food and drink, and whatsoever they can desire; they will have all things in Him, with whose vision they will be filled.

Endless Desire, Endless Satisfaction
They will ever see Him, and ever be satisfied; and they will desire ever to see Him, and ever to be satisfied. They will desire without anxiety, and they will have their fill without satiety.

Beauty Incomparable
Thy gates shine with choice pearls; thy streets are paved with the purest gold; thy walls are bright with most precious stories. In thee, delicious gardens and pleasant vales are ever fresh; in thee, perennial flowers and violets continually flourish; in thee, the cinnamon and balsam incessantly breathe forth an ineffable odour of sweetness; in thee, all kinds of beautiful things abound without fading, remain without passing away, exist without corruption, are eternal without change. In thee is a climate temperate and serene, beyond all human conception; in thee, are peace and repose surpassing all imagination; in thee, is eternal day, and one life in all; in thee, is certain security, and secure eternity, and eternal tranquillity, and tranquil happiness, and happy sweetness, and sweet joy: in thee shall the just shine as the sun (Matth. xiii. 43).

Absolutely Nothing is Lacking
No one can seek, or desire, or love anything, which he will not find in thee. That only which is nothing worth, is not in thee. Oh, what an ocean of unalloyed bliss, what a torrent of unmixed joy, what an abyss of purest delight is it to see the God of gods in Sion (Psalm Ixxxiii. 8), to discern that incomprehensible glory of the Most Holy Trinity: clearly to contemplate that surpassing fairness, perfectly to taste that ineffable sweetness, from whence flows out all the beauty and sweetness of created things…

A Land Free of Every Affliction
… there is no infirmity, no corruption, no fear, no thoughts, no anxiety, no grief, no poverty, no affliction, no sorrow or misery (Apoc. xxi. 4). There wilt thou most happily enjoy that supreme and unchangeable Good, which eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of mortal man (1 Cor. ii. 9).

Like Iron Cast into the Fire
For thou shalt clearly see the glorious Trinity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the One supremely desirable God. Thou will be in God and God will be in thee in a most excellent manner. Being thus united to God, thou wilt perfectly taste the sweetness of His goodness, and wilt be utterly inebriated with the torrent of divine delights (Psal. xxxv. 9). Thou wilt then most fully know and feel, with what immense love He has loved thee from all eternity.

The Lamb is the Lamb Thereof
Filled with unspeakable and incomprehensible joy, thou wilt behold the Human Face of thy Beloved Jesus, which is verily all gracious, glorious, and sweet; for His beauty and fairness far surpass all that can in this life be wished for or desired.

Beauty, Peace, Truth
There, all are adorned with incorruptible beauty, and enjoy an imperturbable peace. There all are ever glorified by the serene light of the Godhead, and obtain full knowledge of the truth.

God Possesses All Perfections Perfectly
Thou needst not fear lest any of those things which please thee here should be absent. For all the beauty, elegance, sweetness, grace, perfection, and excellence that can here be found in all creatures, exist there most exuberantly and superessentially. In short, there is the influx of every good.

33 Forever
We shall all rise again at the age at which the Lord Jesus was when He died for us. The old man of a hundred years and the infant of one night old will be of the same stature. And although the good may now be lame, or blind, or deformed; yet they will then rise again sound, whole, fair, beautiful, and free from every blemish.

The Glory of the Risen Body
The bodies of the elect will then emit a most sweet odour, and will be seven times more brilliant than the sun, since the glory of their souls will penetrate them. They will also be impassible, so that they can suffer no injury. And they will be endowed with such agility that wherever the soul may wish to be, thither it will in a moment transport the body. They will moreover be so subtle that they will penetrate solid and thick substances with less difficulty than the light of the sun penetrates glass.

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Justice at Last
Then, indeed, the Saints, who during the winter of this exile, like trees stripped of all adornment, appeared lowly and were esteemed barren, will be clothed with unspeakable glory and beauty, and will flourish like palm-trees for ever and ever.

The Power of Praise: A Sublime Revelation Given to St. Mechtilde

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A Sublime Revelation to St. Mechtilde

On a certain day, while the Benedicite* was being sung in choir, Our Lord addressed these words to St. Mectilde:

“Whenever anyone sings that hymn, or a similar one [e.g. Psalms 148 – 150] in which all creatures are summoned to praise God, those creatures all come spiritually into My presence and praise Me for that person and for all men in general for all the benefits I have given them.” (Pt. 3, Ch. 7)

[*i.e. The Benedicite. This is a text based on Chapter 3 of the book of Daniel, the first verse of which is: ‘BENEDICITE omnia opera Domini, Domino: All ye works of the Lord, bless the Lord.’]

A Biblical Foundation
If this seems far-fetched, listen to St. Paul:

For all things are yours,
whether it be Paul, or Apollo, or Cephas,
or the world,
or life,
or death,
or things present,
or things to come;
for all are yours;
and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.’
1 Cor. 3:22-23

And yet again:

‘He that spared not even His own Son,
but delivered Him up for us all,
how hath he not also, with Him, given us all things?’
– Rom. 8:32

This ought to be the source of all our confidence! The treasury of Christ’s riches are ours! We access these riches by faith. This explains Our Lord’s words to St. Mechtilde: “CONFIDENCE BY ITSELF CAN EASILY OBTAIN ALL THINGS.”

A Model of Confidence
There are many: St. Therese, Bl. Columba Marmion, St. Gertrude, Sr. Benigna Consolata, St. Gemma Galgani, etc. But let’s take another example: Mechtilde of Magdeburg (another holy Mechtilde). “She took all Christendom,” writes Bl. Columba Marmion, “in the arms of her soul to present it to the Eternal Father that it might be saved.
‘Let be,’ said Our Lord to her, ‘it is too heavy for thee.’
‘No, Lord,’ replied the Saint, ‘I will lift it up and bear it to Thee with Thine own Arms, that so Thou mayest bear it Thyself upon the Cross.’

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“This Divine Life that Jesus possesses personally and in its plenitude, He wills to communicate and lavish upon us:
I am come that they may have life,
and may have it more abundantly.”

– Bl. Columba Marmion

 

Mary: Mother of the Eucharist

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‘With the Bread of Life and understanding, she shall feed him…’
– Ecclus. 15:3

Mary Invites us to Holy Communion
“Among the Biblical figures of Mary,” writes St. Peter Julian Eymard, “there are several which represent her inviting us to Holy Communion. Such is the table of the Temple upon which rested the loaves consecrated to the Lord. ‘Hail, Mary,’ says St. Ephraim, ‘spiritual table of faith, who dost offer the true Bread to the famished world!’

‘Why [asks Pinna] does this holy Doctor [St. Ephraim] give to Mary the title of table instead of ark, since the Ark contained the miraculous manna? Ah! it is because the Ark hid what it held; whilst the table exposed to view the food that was laid on it, and seemed to invite the guests to partake of it… It is because the Ark contained only manna, while the table holds not only bread, but all kinds of savory food and delicious drinks, also. Now, Mary, in offering Jesus to us in Holy Communion, gives us a Bread which has in Itself all flavors, and which satisfies every desire.'” ‘Instead of which things thou didst feed thy people with the food of angels, and gavest them bread from heaven prepared without labour; having in it all that is delicious, and the sweetness of every taste’ (Wis. 16:20; Cf. Communion Antiphon for XIII Sunday after Pentecost, usus antiquior).

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In another place,” continues St. Peter Julian, “Mary is compared to the [sanctuary] lamp which ought, according to the Law, to be placed very near the table of the sanctuary. ‘What means this prescription?’ asks Conti. ‘Without doubt, to light up that holy table and the sacred loaves that it holds. It is thus that Mary attracts us by the light of her inspirations, in order to show us the Eucharistic Bread which will make our delight.'”

“But a still more striking indication of Mary’s power over the dispensing of this ineffable grace of Communion, is the word of St. Peter: ‘As new-born babes, desire the rational milk without guile, that thereby you may grow unto salvation…’ (1 Pt. 2:2)

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Cornelius a Lapide says that many interpreters understand by this spiritual milk the Eucharist, which in the early Church was given immediately after Baptism, and even to infants. The Eucharist has, indeed, the color of milk. Like milk, It is sweet to the taste, and like It, again, It marvelously nourishes the soul.

St. Peter’s expression, Concupiscite, “Desire ardently,” shows us with what eagerness we ought to desire this spiritual milk. ‘Do you not see,’ says St. Chrysostom, ‘with what haste little infants seize the mother’s breast? Ah! with still greater eagerness let us run to the source of this Blessed Beverage! Let us, like new-born babes, suck in the grace of the Holy Spirit.’ ‘Come over to me, all ye that desire (concupiscitis) me,’ says our Blessed Mother, ‘and be filled with my fruits’ (Ecclus. 24:26; Epistle for Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel).

The Eucharist is, then, the milk of our soul. But how suggestive of Mary is this word “milk”! Who gives the milk to the babe but the mother? All you that thirst, come to the waters: and you that have no money make haste, buy, and eat: come ye, buy wine and milk without money, and without any price’ (Is. 55:1; Epistle for Feast of Mary, Mediatrix of All Graces, May 31).

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Who shall give thee to me for my Brother, sucking the breasts of my Mother, that I may find Thee without, and kiss Thee, and now no man may despise me?’ (Cant. 8:1)

Mary, give us that substantial Milk of our soul!… Thou dost give us in Communion a Divine Milk, God Himself changed into milk for our weakness, for our infancy, for, as St. John Damascene declares: ‘The Virgin’s milk is changed into the Flesh of the Saviour, and it is that Milk – that Milk, itself, without doubt – that we receive at the Holy Altar…” ‘Out of the mouth of infants (infantium) and of sucklings (lactentium) thou hast perfected praise, because of thy enemies, that thou mayst destroy the enemy and the avenger.’ (Ps. 8:3)

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St. Augustine, glancing from the Cross to the Altar, knew not by which God testified the more love for him, and he exclaimed: ‘… UPON THE CROSS HE OPENS TO ME HIS HEART; AT THE ALTAR, HE PRESENTS TO ME THE BREAST, AND FEEDS ME WITH DIVINE MILK!’ ‘He hath filled the hungry with good things…’ (Mary, Mother of all the Living, Lk. 1:53, echoing Ps. 106:9)

(From ‘Month of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament,’ The Sentinel Press, 1903, by Father Eymard [St. Peter Julian]; Scriptures in italics have been added)

+ Happy Feast of the Nativity of Mary, Mother of God, and our dearest Mother!
+ And happy “feast of the Littlest Souls”
!

‘Man Ate The Bread of Angels’ (Ps. 77:25): The Eucharist as Milk

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ECCE PANIS ANGELORUM: Behold the Bread of Angels!

As new-born babes, desire the rational milk without guile, that thereby you may grow unto salvation…’
– 1 Pt. 2:2

The Food of Little Ones
“Clement of Alexandria thus quotes the [aforementioned] passage: ‘As new-born babes, desire ye the word!’ Yes, it is the Word, the Milk of those who are converted and become little children, who are born again of the Holy Ghost; it prepares them for the solid food of the eternal feast, that is, for the Word unveiled.

Our Holy Mother, the Church
… It is that heavenly dew which fell from the bosom of the Father into the womb of the Virgin-Mother; and this same, the Word Incarnate, gives Himself to the Church, for she, too, is Virgin and Mother.

Pure as a virgin, and affectionate as a mother, she invites her children to come, and she feeds them on this rational milk, this Word, this most beautiful One among the sons of men; she gives her little ones the Body of Christ, and strengthens them with the Word of the Father.

Oh! let us run to this blessed Mother of ours, and drink of that Word, who turns all our evils away from us, making us forget, by correcting, them. The mother’s breast is everything to her child — life, joy, its whole world.

… And yet, a mother’s milk is but an image of the One I am speaking of. That other ceases, when the first few months are gone; but the one I partake of is an inexhaustible spring; it forms me into the perfect man, making me reach the age of the fulness of Christ.

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A Favourite Symbol of the Eucharist in the Early Church
… St. Perpetua relates, that, on the evening before she and her companions were to suffer martyrdom, Pastor put a delicious milk into her mouth: the details she gives of that touching scene, show us that she is speaking of the Blessed Sacrament.

… For, as St. Augustine so admirably explains this doctrine, ‘Man does not live on one food, and Angel on another: truth, divine Wisdom, is the one food of every intelligence. The Angels, the Powers, the heavenly spirits, feed on it; they eat of it; they grow upon it, and yet the mysterious food lessens not. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God: take it, if you can; eat it; it is food.

Sublime and Consoling Wisdom from St. Augustine
Perhaps, you will say to me: ‘Oh! yes, it is verily food; but I — I am a babe; what I must have is milk; else I cannot reach that Word you tell me of.’ Well! since it is milk you require, and yet there is no other food for you save this of heaven (the Word), He will pass through the flesh, that he may thus be brought within reach of your lips, for food does not become milk, except by its passing through flesh. It is thus a mother does. What the mother eats is what her child drinks; but the little one not being, as yet, strong enough to take the bread as it is, the mother eats it, and then gives it to her child under a form that very sweetly suits the babe. He does not receive the food such as it lay upon the table, but after it has passed through the flesh, and so made suitable to the child.

Therefore was the Word made Flesh, and dwelt among us; and ‘man hath eaten, thus, the bread of Angels.’ Eternal Wisdom came down even to us, by the Flesh and Blood of Him that was our Saviour; he came as milk, which was full of all blessing to us.”

(Taken from Dom Gueranger’s, ‘The Liturgical Year,’ 1879, Tuesday within the Octave of Corpus Christi)

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“The Bread of Angels is Virginal Milk.”
– St. Therese of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face

Some Consoling Biblical Titles for Christ

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FROM THE BOOK OF PSALMS
My Mercy (Ps. 58:18)
My Saviour (Ps. 26:9)
My Helper (Ps. 18:5)
My Redeemer (Ps. 18:5)
My Patience (Ps. 70:5)
My Protector (Ps. 3:4)
My Joy (Ps. 31:7)
My Hope (Ps. 70:5)

FROM ELSEWHERE
‘My Beloved’ (Cant. 2:16)
‘Our Everlasting Saviour’ (Bar. 4:22)
‘Saint of Saints’ (Dan. 9:24)

************
A Prayer Inspired by Some of the Aforementioned Titles
My Mercy (Ps. 58:18), have mercy on me, O God, according to Thy great mercy (Ps. 50:3).
My Saviour (Ps. 26:9), save me for Thy mercy’s sake (Ps. 6:5).
My Helper (Ps. 18:5), make haste to help me (Ps. 69:2).
My Redeemer (Ps. 18:5), redeem me and have mercy on me (Ps. 25:11).
My Patience (Ps. 70:5), give me constancy in my mind (Jud. 9:14).
My Protector (Ps. 3:4), protect me under the shadow of Thy Wings. (Ps. 16:8).
My Joy (Ps. 31:7), give joy to the soul of Thy servant (Ps. 85:4).
My Hope (Ps. 70:5), I believe to see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living (Ps. 26:13).

************
An Important Spiritual Lesson
All that you seek can be found in Christ. Do you desire mercy? He is mercy. Are you in need of joy? He is joy. Are you wanting in patience? He is your patience. Go to Him for everything.

God Loves Nothingness
Believe and know that He draws you by His love alone. Give Him the consent of your faith. Give Him your poverty, your misery, your sins. God does not disdain nothingness; this is His vast domain of activity. “My child,” said Our Lord to Armella Nicolas, “make room for Me.”

‘To Live is Christ’
Know that God is the sanctity of the soul. Your wretchedness is no obstacle to His goodness; the only hindrance is your lack of faith and abandonment. Be little in His arms! He is your Abba, your ALL!

You will learn this littleness by gazing at your Mother, the littlest of all of His ‘most dear children’ (Eph. 5:1): ‘BEHOLD THY MOTHER’ (Mt. 12:47).

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The Most Essential Christian Prayer Book

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On the Lips of Saints
During the final days of Bl. Columba Marmion (d. Jan 30, 1923), a certain individual was trying to encourage him to confide in God’s mercy. The gist of what the latter said was this: “Think of all the good works you have performed: remember all the conferences you have given, the books you have written, the sermons you have preached.” Shaking his head, the holy Abbot simply had this to say: ‘Deus meus, misericordia mea!’ (‘My God, my mercy!’).

Where did he learn this beautiful little prayer? Was it his own composition? Did he find it in the writings of a pious author? Was it revealed to a chosen soul? No. These words come straight from the Psalter – that is, the book of Psalms. We will find no better prayer book; every word comes from the Heart of God. This explains the preference of so many desert fathers, priests, religious, and Saints in general, for the Psalter.

‘Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise Thy name:
the just wait for me, until Thou reward me.’

– Final words of St. Francis of Assisi (Ps. 141:8)

What better way to address Him than in those words which were inspired by the Holy Spirit, Whosearcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God’ (1 Cor. 2:10)? Are His words not ‘spirit and life’ (Jn. 6:64)?

If you wish to ‘put on Christ’ (Gal. 3:27), you must have ‘the mind of Christ’ (1 Cor. 2:16), and if you wish to have the mind of Christ, you must let your heart be dissolved in His prayer, in His life. ‘It is written,’ said Our Lord (quoting the book of Deuteronomy), ‘that Man liveth not by bread alone, but by every word of God’ (Lk. 4:4). Open your Bible, then; listen to your God, Who calls on you, saying: ‘For I am the Lord thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it’ (Ps. 80:11).

“The Psalms form indeed the chief of all books of prayer.”
– Bl. Ildephonsus Schuster

The Psalms: A Key to the Heart of Christ
“The holy Gospels, writes Bl. Cardinal Schuster, “relate the life of Jesus in all its details and expound His teaching, but the Psalms of David show us the mind of our Saviour, and make known to us His preferences, His feelings, His struggles and His anxieties, and tell us of the accents of deep love in which He prayed to His heavenly Father.

Throughout His life, Jesus addressed Him in the words of the Psalter, and on the Cross, during His last agony, the twenty-first psalm was on His lips. We might almost liken the Psalter to a sacerdotal book of prayers which the eternal Pontiff recited whilst offering up to His Father the sacrifice of His own life…

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The private piety of present-day Catholics would gain much if, letting themselves be influenced by the example of our common Mother, the Church, who appoints for her ministers the weekly recital of the Psalter, they, too, would make more use of this prayer-book, which was inspired by the Holy Ghost and adopted for our example by our Saviour Jesus Christ Himself.” (‘The Sacramentary,’ p. 156, vol. II)

The Value of a Fervent Communion

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‘Miraculous communion du Saint Teresa of Jesus’ by Niccolò Bambini.

‘Deus Cordis Mei: Thou art the God of my heart’
The graces of a fervent Communion are incalculable. One Communion was sufficient to cause Bl. Imelda (d. May 12, 1333) to die of love, so great was her longing for the God of her heart (Ps. 72:26).  “Tell me,” she would sometimes say, “can anyone receive Jesus into his heart and not die?” ‘My soul hath thirsted after the strong living God; when shall I come and appear before the face of God? My heart is ready, O God, my heart is ready!’ (Ps. 41:3; Ps. 107:2).

“No tongue can express,” writes the Venerable Abbot Blosius, “no heart can comprehend how boundless are the spiritual goods which come to the soul from the devout reception of this sweet Sacrament of the Eucharist.” (‘A Spiritual Mirror’) ‘He that spared not even His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how hath He not also, with Him, given us all things?’ (Rom. 8:32)

Four Fruits of a Fervent Communion
Listen to the words of “the devout Blosius” (St. Alphonsus), “a great Benedictine mystic” (Bl. Columba Marmion). The following words are from his work, ‘A Book of Spiritual Instruction’:

“O most worthy and most sweet Sacrament, in which, under the species of bread and wine, we receive the whole Christ, namely, the Body, the Blood, the Soul and the Godhead of Christ; we receive the whole Trinity, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. For the three Persons of one Godhead and essence cannot be separated from one another. The whole Trinity, therefore, dwells in the Body of Christ, because the whole Godhead is in It. The fruits, therefore, of the most Blessed Sacrament are many and precious.

(1) He who receives the Lord’s Body with due devotion is cleansed from all sins, even from those mortal sins of which he is not conscious or does not remember to have committed, provided only that he is in the disposition of mind to confess and do penance for them if he did know that he had fallen into them.

(2) He is made partaker of all those good things which Christ has merited for us in His Life, Passion and Death.

(3) Yea, also, he becomes a sharer in all the good things that have been done since the time of Adam, and will be done until the end of the world.

(4) Lastly, he is united to Christ and incorporated with Him, and therefore receives force and power to resist vice and to persevere in good works; and now, adorned with a more pure and excellent life, he is transformed and changed into God, and filled with all the grace of the most glorious Trinity.”

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‘Elevation of the Host’ by Wenceslaus Hollar

‘Thou hast prepared a Table before me against them that afflict me.’
– Psalm 22:5

Meet the Littlest Souls…

The LITTLEST SOUL that loves Me,
becomes a Paradise for Me.”
The Child Jesus (from St. Therese’s Christmas play, 1894)

Meet the Littlest Souls: 
[i.e. Some of the “littlest souls.” For a brief explanation of this term, see the tab at the top of the page, titled ‘A Call to All Souls.’]

**Some links have been provided throughout this blog post for those who wish to learn more about some of these holy souls.

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Mary, Mother of God
and Mother of the Church
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‘For whatsoever he commanded, Esther [a figure/type of Mary] observed: and she did all things in the same manner as she was wont at that time when he brought her up, a LITTLE ONE.’ (Est. 2:20)
33 Reasons to Consecrate Yourself to Mary: 
https://littlestsouls.wordpress.com/2017/08/15/33-reasons-to-consecrate-yourself-to-mary/

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St. Joseph, Foster-Father of Jesus Christ
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May Your almighty arm uphold me! I place myself entirely into Your loving, Fatherly arms.”
– St. Joseph (p. 47, ‘The Life of Saint Joseph…’, Ven. Maria Cecilia Baij, O.S.B.’)
Why You Should Love St. Joseph:
https://littlestsouls.wordpress.com/2016/03/19/why-you-should-love-st-joseph/

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St. Therese of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face
Born: January 2, 1873
Died: September 30, 1897
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It is needful to remain little before God and to remain little is to recognize one’s nothingness, expect all things from the good God just as a little child expects all things from its father…”
‘St. Therese of Lisieux, the Little Flower of Jesus’:
https://archive.org/details/saintthaeraeseof00thaeuoft

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Sister Françoise-Thérèse (i.e. Léonie Martin, sister of St. Therese)
Born: June 3, 1863
Died: June 17, 1941
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“I wish to stay small, so that I can have the audacity to believe that I will not go to Purgatory.”

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Sr. Benigna Consolata Ferrero
Born: August 6, 1885
Died: September 1, 1916
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“Souls the most miserable, the most weak, the most infirm, are the best clients of Love, the most desired by the Divine Mercy.”
– Jesus to Sr. Benigna Consolata
‘The Tendernesses of the Love of Jesus for a Little Soul’:
https://archive.org/details/sisterbenignacon00como
‘Vademecum Proposed to Religious Souls’ (a favourite of St. Faustina):
https://archive.org/details/vademecumpropose00ferruoftfaustyna2
St. Faustina Kowalska
Born: August 25, 1905
Died: October 5, 1938
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“O my Jesus, You yourself must help me in everything, because You see how very little I am, and so I depend solely on Your goodness, O God.”
‘Divine Mercy in My Soul – The Diary of St. Faustina’:
https://archive.org/details/St.FaustinaKowalskaDiary

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St. Elizabeth of the Trinity
Born: July 18, 1880
Died: November 9, 1906
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“Perhaps we may know of faults and infidelities on our part; let us abandon them to love which is a consuming fire, and thus we shall have our Purgatory.”
‘The Praise of Glory: Reminiscences of Sister Elizabeth of the Trinity’:
https://archive.org/details/praiseofgloryrem00eliziala

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Ven. Mother Anne-Margaret Clement
Born: May 7, 1593
Died: January 3, 1661
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“For I love little ones, I communicate Myself to them, and My pleasure on earth is to be with the humble.”
– Jesus to Mother Anne-Margaret Clement

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Bl. Marie-Eugene of the Child Jesus
Born: December 2, 1894
Died: March 27, 1967
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“It seems to me that the mission of the little Blessed [now St. Therese] is to spread divine love in souls in the form which God wills for our times.”

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Ven. Mária Margit Bogner
Born: December 15, 1905
Died: May 13, 1933
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“I am so small that the good God will not have the heart to throw me into the fire.”
‘The Life of the Venerable Maria Margit Bogner’:
http://visitationspirit.org/2013/11/a-life-of-venerable-sister-maria-margit-bogner-vhm/

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Mother Marie Therese Desandais
Born: 1876
Died: January 1, 1943
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“Give to God the joy of your confidence; cry out to your Merciful Love. You can never see in this life what an act of faith and trust is worth in Heaven.”
– Jesus to Mother Marie Therese Desandais

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Marcel Van
Born: March 15, 1928
Died: July 10, 1959
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“God wants the lessons of love that He taught me before in the secret of my soul to live on in this world, and He has deigned to choose you as a little secretary to carry out His work, which He wishes to entrust to you.”
– St. Therese to Marcel Van
Short Bio:
http://www.mysticsofthechurch.com/2010/08/brother-marcel-van-spirtual-brother-of.html

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Dom Pius de Hemptinne
Born: April 21, 1879
Died: January 27, 1907
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“God is love. The love which our heavenly Father bears to us is the primary cause of our sanctification.”

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St. Gemma Galgani
Born: March 12, 1878
Died: April 11, 1903
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“Fear nothing, for the Heart of Jesus is the throne of Mercy, where the miserable are the most readily received.”

– Jesus to St. Gemma Galgani
A Website Devoted to St. Gemma:
http://www.stgemmagalgani.com/

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Père Lamy
Born: June 23, 1853
Died: December 1, 1931
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“I have only to ask; I hear the humble and trustful prayer of little ones.”
– Our Lady to Père Lamy
Short Bio:
http://www.mysticsofthechurch.com/2009/11/pere-lamy-father-john-edward-lamy.html

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Mother Marie Madeleine Ponnet
Born: November 7, 1858
Died: January 16, 1914
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“Heaven, Heaven’s glory, is measured by love, according to the annihilation, according to the confidence that expects everything and receives everything.”
– Our Lord to Mother Marie Madeleine Ponnet
A Few Samples of Her Writings, etc.:
http://visitationspirit.org/?s=marie+madeleine+ponnet

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Fr. Paul of Moll
Born: March 7, 1824
Died: February 24, 1896
+
“God does not demand of you, in order to be a child of love, that you should do more than you are able to do, but all He says to you is, “My child give me your heart!” And I add thereto, “Do everything for love of Jesus.”
‘The Very Rev. Fr. Paul of Moll: A Flemish Benedictine and Wonder-Worker of the 19th Century’:
https://archive.org/details/veryrevfatherpa00speygoog

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Ven. Louis de Blois (Blosius)
Born: October, 1506
Died: January 7, 1566
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“He intimately knows thy weakness, and mercifully consoles thee in the Gospel, where the holy Angels are related to have sung at the Birth of Christ those words most ardently longed for: ‘Peace to men of good will’ (St. Luke, ii. 14). They said not, Peace to men of great or of perfect holiness… but in order that the weak and the little ones who are of good will might receive consolation, they joyfully said, ‘Peace to men of good will.'”
‘A Book of Spiritual Instruction’:
https://archive.org/details/bookofspirituali00bloi

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Sr. Josefa Menendez
Born: February 4, 1890
Died: December 29, 1923
+
Do not forget that it is your nothingness and littleness that act as magnets to attract Me to you.”
– Jesus to Sr. Josefa Menendez
‘Beautiful Words of Our Lord to Sr. Josefa Menendez’:
https://littlestsouls.wordpress.com/2012/10/06/beautiful-words-of-our-lord-to-sr-josefa-menendez/

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Fr. Lukas Etlin
Born: February 25, 1864
Died: December 16, 1927
+
“Often during your work raise your heart to God with an act of love.”

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Rhoda Wise
Born: February 22, 1888
Died: July 7, 1948
+
“You will win many souls through your devotion to the Sacred Heart and the Little Flower.”
– Jesus to Rhoda Wise
Short Bio:
http://www.mysticsofthechurch.com/2010/03/rhoda-wise-american-mystic-stigmatic.html

St Mechtilde Hackeborn

St. Mechtilde
Born: 1241
Died: November 19, 1298
+
“Every desire that a soul has ever had to possess Me is inspired by Me…”
– Jesus to St. Mechtilde
‘The Life of St. Mechtildis’:
https://archive.org/details/lifeofstmechtild00rome
‘Tender Words of Our Lord to St. Mechtilde’:
https://littlestsouls.wordpress.com/2012/08/26/tender-words-of-our-lord-to-st-mechtilde/

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St. Gertrude the Great
Born: January 6, 1256
Died: November 17, 1302
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“As a tender mother soothes the troubles of her little one by her kisses and embraces, so do I desire to soothe all your pain and grief by the sweet murmur of My loving words.”
– Jesus to St. Gertrude
‘The Life and Revelations of St. Gertrude’:
https://archive.org/details/thelifeandrevela00gertuoft

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St. Francis de Sales
Born: August 21, 1567
Died: December 28, 1622
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“Little children live in great confidence; they never think that their father either wishes to beat them, or is preparing an inheritance for them; but only think of loving him, because they are carried in his arms, and are cherished and provided for in every way by the care of their good father.”
‘The Consoling Thoughts of St. Francis de Sales’:
https://archive.org/details/TheConsolingThoughtsOfStFrancisDeSales

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Ven. Louise Margaret de la Touche
Born: March 15, 1868
Died: May 14, 1915
+
“… offer yourselves as holocausts to be consumed in the fire of Love, in order that this Love may be diffused throughout the world and inflame souls.”
– Jesus to Ven. Louise Margaret

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Bl. Dina Belanger
Born: April 30, 1897
Died: September 4, 1929
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“My Heart so loves souls that to obtain the affection of a single one, though it were the most miserable, the least worthy, I would have suffered infinitely more than I did during My whole mortal life, had it been possible.”
– Jesus to Bl. Dina Belanger
Short Bio:
http://www.mysticsofthechurch.com/2010/09/blessed-dina-belanger-mother-ste-cecile.html

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Mother Yvonne-Aimée of Jesus
Born: July 16, 1901
Died: February 3, 1951
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“Above all, try and do ordinary things well. The opportunity to do great things comes rarely and you are quite capable of doing them when it does come. Just concentrate on doing the little things really well.”
– Jesus to Yvonne-Aimee
‘Merciful Revelations to Sr. Yvonne-Aimee’:
https://littlestsouls.wordpress.com/2015/10/04/merciful-revelations-to-sr-yvonne-aimee-d-1951/

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St. Teresa of the Andes
Born: July 13, 1900
Died: April 12, 1920
+
“In the end, I offer myself entirely to Jesus. I want to lose my nothingness in the abyss of His infinite love and power.”

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Sr. Jeanne Benigne Gojos
Born: July 20, 1615
Died: November 5, 1692
+
“Thou only failest, dear soul, in being too fearful. Why dost thou doubt, and what canst thou fear when thou art protected by the Most High, who can do and does all for thee? Thou canst not fail in hope in Him without wronging His love; that love which banishes all distrust between true lovers.” 

– An angelic revelation to Sr. Jeanne Benigne Gojos
The Life and Revelations of Sr. Jeanne Benigne Gojos:
https://littlestsouls.wordpress.com/2016/03/24/the-life-and-revelations-of-sister-jeanne-benigne-gojos/

Consolata_Betrone

Sr. Consolata Betrone
Born: April 6, 1903
Died: July 18, 1946
+
“Tell the world how good I am, how like a parent, and how in return I desire only love from My creatures.”
– Jesus to Sr. Consolata Betrone
Short Bio and Some Revelations:
http://www.mysticsofthechurch.com/2010/02/servant-of-god-sr-consolata-betrone.html

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Sr. Mary of the Holy Trinity
Born:
Died: June 25, 1942
+
“I love you because you cannot do without me, and because I long to see you happy; I love you because I have given my life for you.”
– Jesus to Sr. Mary of the Holy Trinity
Short Bio and Some Revelations:
http://www.mysticsofthechurch.com/2009/11/sister-mary-of-holy-trinity-poor-clare.html

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 Ven. Marthe Robin
Born: March 13, 1902
Died: February 6, 1981
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“I often talk about her [St. Therese]. She is such a ‘big sister’ to me, so close, whose doctrine based entirely on love was so beneficial to my soul during the time of great darkness and no less great solitude, in which I found myself.”
Short Bio:
http://www.mysticsofthechurch.com/2009/11/marthe-robin-mystic-stigmatic-victim.html

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Bl. Alexandrina da Costa
Born: March 30, 1904
Died: October 13, 1955
+
I want you in My Arms with the same simplicity of a baby in those of its mother. Give Me your heart to place in Mine in order that you will have no other love but for Me and for the things that are Mine.”
Short Bio:
http://www.mysticsofthechurch.com/2009/11/blessed-alexandrina-da-costa-mystic-and.html

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Sr. Gertrude Mary
Born: October 28, 1870
Died: May 24, 1908
+
‘You do not believe firmly enough that I love you with most tender affection. You are not sufficiently penetrated with the thought that you must be like a child with Me. There is in you too strong a feeling of fear and I wish you to exchange it for a feeling of filial love.’
– Jesus to Sister Gertrude Mary
‘Sister Gertrude Mary: A Mystic of Our Own Days’:
https://archive.org/details/sistergertrudema00leguuoft

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Fr. Willie Doyle
Born: March 3, 1873
Died: August 16, 1917
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“Kneeling at the grave of the Little Flower I gave myself into her hands to guide and to make me a saint.”
‘Father William Doyle, S.J.:
https://archive.org/details/fatherwilliamdoy00orahuoft
‘Scruples and Their Treatment’:
https://fatherdoyle.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/scruples-and-their-treatment.pdf

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Sr. Marie-Aimee de Jesus
Born: January 14, 1839
Died: May 4, 1874
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And I for My part have given you a fear, but it should make you overcome all others; it is the fear of mistrusting Me.”
– Jesus to Sr. Marie-Aimee de Jesus

Abate-Marmion
Bl. Dom Columba Marmion
Born: April 1, 1858
Died: January 30, 1923
+
“Saint = Child of God.”
‘Christ, the Ideal of the Monk’ (a useful book for all Christians):
https://archive.org/details/ChristTheIdealOfTheMonk

THerese-Neumann
Therese Neumann
Born: April 8, 1898
Died: September 18, 1962
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Die to yourself more and more, but keep always the simplicity of a little child.”
– St. Therese to Therese Neumann (Sept 30, 1925)
‘Konnersreuth, A Medical and Psychological Study of the Case of Teresa Neumann’:
https://archive.org/details/konnersreuthmedi00rwhy

Fulton-Sheen

Ven. Fulton Sheen
Born: May 8, 1895
Died: December 9, 1979
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“It does not require much time to make us saints; it requires only much love.”
‘The World’s First Love’:
https://archive.org/details/worldsfirstlove013240mbp

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Bl. Mother Mary of the Divine Heart
Born: September 8, 1863
Died: June 8, 1899
+
“Is not My strength superior to every weakness?”
– Jesus to Bl. Mother Mary of the Divine Heart
Short Bio (c.f pp. 245-249, ‘Maria of the Sacred Heart):
https://archive.org/details/holinesschurch00kempuoft

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St. Padre Pio
Born: May 25, 1887
Died: September 23, 1968
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“Charity is the greatest gift: it is in this virtue that the soul is sanctified.”
A Website Devoted to St. Padre Pio:
http://padrepiodevotions.org/

Bernadette_Soubirous_en_1861_photo_Bernadou_3

St. Bernadette Soubirous
Born: January 7, 1844
Died: April 16, 1879
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“… bring virtue out of my weakness and glorify yourself in my misery, O my Jesus, the only refuge of my soul.”
‘Our Lady of Lourdes: Lourdes, its Grotto, Apparitions and Cures’:
https://archive.org/details/ourladyoflourdes00walsuoft

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St. Mary Magdalene
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“Thou gavest me no kiss; but she, since she came in, hath not ceased to kiss my feet.”
– Jesus (Lk. 7:45)

 

 

 

 

 

Ven. Maria Giuseppina Teresa Marcucci (d. February 10, 1960)

 
 Let us give our soul to Him, telling Him that we long to love but Him alone ; let Him do all, for we are
feeble and childish, and it is such joy to be the little
babe of the good God !” (St. Eliz)
 

Jesus to Mother Anne Margaret Clement: ‘I offered Myself to death through obedience and because I loved you. If you love Me you will sacrifice yourself as I did, being obedient in little things as in great. That is the martyrdom of the soul that loves Me perfectly.’ (p. 259–260, Vol. 2)

Jesus to Mother Clement: ‘I am your certain hope. You must never begin to be mistrustful. The souls that love Me are always full of hope, and their trust in expecting everything from My love prevents them from ever being confounded.’ (p. 213, Vol. 1)

 

 

St. Michael: “Make known to men the great power which I have with the Most High. Tell them,” he says, ” to ask of me
all they wish. Tell them that my power in favour
of those devoted to me is without limit. Make
known my greatness.” ^ Several times, now, on
different days, our Lord reveals to her that ” He
would add two precious jewels to His Heart for its
perpetual glory ; ” — by which she understands (i)

33 Reasons to Consecrate Yourself to Mary

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‘Thy face is full of graces.’  Esther 15:17

+ CONTENTS

PART I:

  • ‘And Her Riches I Hide Not’ (Wis. 7:13)
  • ‘De Maria Numquam Satis’ – Of Mary, Never Enough!
  • ‘Oculi Mei Semper Ad Dominum’ (Ps. 24:15) – My Eyes are Ever Towards the Lord
  • Mary Magnifies the Lord; She Leads Souls to the Most-High
  • Mary: Terror of Demons
  • ‘Her Children Rose Up, and Called Her Blessed’ (Prov. 31:28)
  • The Ave Maria: A Simple Key to Understanding Marian Devotion
  • A Simple Yet Infallible Means for Coming to Know Mary
  • A Final Word for the Centenary of Fatima

PART II:

  • 33 REASONS TO CONSECRATE YOURSELF TO JESUS, THROUGH MARY (This material is suitable for use as a preparation for Total Consecration, or as a renewal of one’s Consecration)
  • Act of Consecration to the Most Holy and Immaculate Virgin

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+++++++

PART I

************

And Her Riches I Hide Not’ (Wis. 7:13)

In 17th century France, a holy Visitandine, Sr. Jeanne Benigne Gojos (d. 1692), was to echo the teaching of so many Saints, Doctors, mystics and theologians who had preceded her; and a prodigious number, in turn, would echo the sentiments of this little-known Servant of God. Speaking of a vision in which she was privileged to behold the august Queen of Heaven, she declares:

“O God! who can relate the beauty and the grandeur of that incomparable Queen!… I am not afraid of asserting that nothing that has ever been said of the glory enjoyed by that sovereign Queen of Heaven comes even near to what I have seen of it; so that the little sight of it which was granted me took away all the pleasure I used to have before in hearing her praises proclaimed, so low and unworthy has the human expression of them seemed to me since then.”

Upon hearing such words, it might seem somewhat presumptuous to attempt to speak of the dignity and beauty of Our Lady – but this is certainly not the case. St. Alphonsus did not write ‘The Glories of Mary’ for nothing, and the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church does not put the following words on the lips of the Mother of God without just cause: ‘They that explain me shall have life everlasting’ (Ecclus. 24:31). Let us proceed, then, to reflect a little upon the unique prerogatives of the Mother of God.

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‘De Maria Numquam Satis’ – Of Mary, Never Enough!

One must always bear in mind that, however much we honour Our Lady, we will never be able to honour her as much as God Himself, Who, through ‘the angel Gabriel’ (Lk. 1:26), was the first to call her ‘blessed’:

‘Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.’ (Lk. 1:28)

Yes, blessed, truly blessed is Mary, ‘fairest among women’ (Cant. 1:7), for even prior to the Incarnation she was ‘full of grace’ and the Lord was with her! “For who could call her empty,” asks St. Bernard, Doctor of the Church, “whom the angel greeted as full of grace? Nor was this all, but he also declared that the Holy Ghost would come upon her. For what purpose, but to fill her to overflowing?And why this, but so that when the Spirit should come and find her already full, she would then brim over, and overflow upon us?”

“So full of grace” is she, that St. Thomas, Doctor of the Church, does not hesitate to say that “… it overflows onto all mankind.” “She is so filled with dilection,” said Our Lord to Bl. Agnes de Langeac (d. 1634), “that it is she who gives love to the Cherubim and Seraphim.”

But of course, for Our Lady is “the sacred and living ark of the living God, who conceived her Creator Himself” (St. John Damascene, Doctor of the Church) – that is, He of Whose ‘fulness we all have received’ (Jn. 1:16). She is “the Mother of the Lord, the temple of the living God, the tabernacle of the Holy Spirit” (St. Isidore, Doctor of the Church); she is the Immaculate Conception, of whom it is said: ‘Wisdom hath built herself a house’ (Prov. 9:1) – and, more emphatically still: ‘NOW ALL GOOD THINGS CAME TO ME TOGETHER WITH HER, AND INNUMERABLE RICHES THROUGH HER HANDS.’ (Wis. 7:11).

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‘Who is she,’ we ask, ‘that cometh forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set in array?’ (Cant. 6:9) Do these words not constitute an apt description of the Immaculate Virgin? Undoubtedly. “She is,” said Jesus to Bl. Agnes de Langeac, “the true unchanging moon that has banished darkness by her virtues… She is the most beautiful and the most perfect of all creatures.” “Because she was humblest among angels and men,” said an Angel to St. Bridget of Sweden (whose revelations were approved by the Ecumenical Council of Constance), “she has been raised up highest over all creation, the most beautiful creature of all and the one most like to God Himself.” (The Angel’s Discourse, Ch. 20)

“It is not possible for the Mother of God not to be heard, according to that which Solomon spoke to his mother by way of a figure:

MY MOTHER, ASK: FOR I MUST NOT TURN AWAY THY FACE (3 Kings 2:20).

– St. Antoninus

‘Oculi Mei Semper Ad Dominum’ (Ps. 24:15) – My Eyes are Ever Towards the Lord

In the book of Ezekiel we read: ‘And he brought me back toward the outer gate of the sanctuary which looked toward the east; and it was shut. And the Lord said to me: This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall pass through it: because the Lord the God of Israel hath entered in by it, and it shall be shut’ (Ezek. 44:1-2). What is this mysterious east gate of which the Scriptures speak? “The east gate,” writes St. Aelred of Rievaulx, “is Mary most holy. For the gate which faces east generally receives the brightness of the sun first. So, Mary most blessed, who always looked to the east, to the brightness of God, first received within herself the ray, indeed, the whole fulness of the brightness of the true sun – the Son of God, of whom Zachary said: The rising sun visited us from on high (Lk. 1:78).”

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If only souls knew what a treasure they possess in Mary! What dignity belongs to our dearest Mother, ‘exceedingly beautiful’ (Jud. 8:7) and ‘to all men’s eyes incomparably lovely’ (Jud. 10:4)! ‘There is not such another woman upon earth in look, in beauty, and in sense of words’ (Jud. 11:19).

With St. Ephraem (d. 373), Doctor of the Church, let us proclaim unhesitatingly: “With the Mediator, you [Mary] are the Mediatrix of the entire world.” The priest, acting ‘in persona Christi,’ often imparts a blessing to souls in the following words: “Dominus vobiscum” (“The Lord be with you”); but only of our Blessed Mother, the resting-place of the Most-High (cf. Ecclus. 24:12), could it be said, even while still dwelling in this ‘vale of tears’ (Ps. 83:7): “Dominus tecum” (“The Lord is with you”).

Yes, dear Queen of Heaven, Jesus is and ever will be the Blessed Fruit of your womb; nourish us, then, with ‘the Bread of Life’ (Jn. 6:48) ‘[in] whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge’ (Col. 2:3). “Show thyself a mother,” for you are ‘the mother of all the living’ (Gen. 3:20). ‘And do thou call upon the Lord, and speak to the king for us, and deliver us from death’ (Esther 15:3). ‘Blessed art thou, by thy God, in every tabernacle of Jacob, for in every nation which shall hear thy name, the God of Israel shall be magnified on occasion of thee’ (Jud. 13:31).

Mary Magnifies the Lord; She Leads Souls to the Most-High

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‘And Mary said: My soul doth magnify the Lord’ (Lk. 1:46). Yes, Mary ‘doth magnify the Lord’ – these words are, in some sense, a distillation of all Marian theology. Why did the Eternal Father entrust Mary with His only-begotten Son, if not because, in the words of Almighty God to St. Catherine of Siena, Doctor of the Church, she is the “sweet bait” of Heaven, whose raison d’être is to conquer Satan and lead souls to intimate union with Jesus? ‘Yea, Father; for so hath it seemed good in Thy sight’ (Mt. 11:26). ‘For this will be a glorious monument for Thy name, when he shall fall by the hand of a woman’ (Jud. 9:15).

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Ask yourself: Do the Saints detract from the glory of God? Certainly not; for God is ‘glorified in His saints’ (2 Thess. 1:10); the ‘brightness of the saints’ (Ps. 109:3) reflects His infinite, Uncreated Glory. How, then, can one argue that Mary detracts from the glory of God, when history and Scripture reveal that ‘she maketh the friends of God and prophets’ (Wis. 7:27)?

Read the following, slowly: ‘And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she cried out with a loud voice, and said: Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb’ (Lk. 1:41-42). Do not fear that Mary could lead you from the Way, for He is always with her: ‘I found Him whom my soul loveth: I held Him: and I will not let Him go’ (Cant. 3:4). Mary was and, in some sense will forever be, ‘found with child, of the Holy Ghost’ (Mt. 1:18). “The two,” says St. Bernadette Soubirous, “cannot be separated. Jesus and Mary always go together.” One who blesses Mary will, without fail, bless God and draw down His favours! ‘Blessed art thou, O daughter, by the Lord, the most high God, above all women upon the earth’ (Jud. 13:23).

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Mary: Terror of Demons

Satan hates nothing more than when a soul draws nigh to the Mother of God. Why? Because she is our most powerful advocate with her Divine Son; she is, quite literally, the Mother of Mercy (c.f. Ps. 143:2; Ps. 58:18). “Call Me Mercy,” said Our Lord to Ven. Louise Margaret (d. 1915).

Oh Lady, what the prayers of all these saints can obtain, in union with thine, thou canst obtain, by thy intercession alone without their aid.”

St. Anselm, Doctor of the Church

“God gave her such power over the evil spirits,” said an Angel to St. Bridget of Sweden, “that whenever they attack anyone devoutly imploring her aid, they scatter right off in fear and flee far away at her merest nod” (The Angel’s Discourse, Ch. 20). The demons are terrified of the Immaculate; they are powerless against her. God will not so much as allow the demons to speak a word against Mary. ‘And she was greatly renowned among all, because she feared the Lord very much, neither was there any one that spoke an ill word of her’ (Jud 8:8). ‘The Lord hath blessed thee,’ O powerful Virgin, ‘by His power, because by thee He hath brought our enemies to nought’ (Jud. 13:22).

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‘Her Children Rose Up, and Called Her Blessed’ (Prov. 31:28)

In imitation of so many great Saints, whose divine Election has been confirmed by extraordinary charity and countless miracles, let us make the words of the Almighty Father, of St. Gabriel and of St. Elizabeth our own – especially by means of praying the Holy Rosary. “The recitation of the Rosary – that is what Lucifer hates” (Père Lamy). There is nothing to fear. “He who loves Jesus,” says St. Crescentia, “will also love His Mother. He who loves the Mother will likewise love the Son.” The Saints bear witness to this. The words of St. Maximilian Kolbe are being confirmed every day: “It can be said that all the Saints are the work of the Blessed Virgin, and that a special devotion to her is their common characteristic.” ‘Her children rose up, and called her blessed’ (Prov. 31:28). ‘And he that honoureth his mother is as one that layeth up a treasure’ (Ecclus. 3:5).

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If we wish to have God as our Father, we must take for our Mother her who said: ‘from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed’ (Lk. 1:48). So be prudent: ‘Receive the words of thy handmaid, for if thou wilt follow the words of thy handmaid, the Lord will do with thee a perfect thing’ (Jud. 11:4). And what does ‘the handmaid of the Lord’ (Lk. 1:38) say to us? ‘Whatsoever He shall say to you, do ye’ (Jn. 2:5). ‘All that shall be good and best before His eyes, I will do. And whatsoever shall please Him, that shall be best to me all the days of my life’ (Jud. 12:14).

Imitate St. John, the “Disciple whom Jesus Loved” and “the Guardian of the Virgin”*: ‘Behold thy mother’ (Jn. 19:27). ‘But the Mother of the child said: As the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. He arose, therefore, and followed her’ (2 Kings 4:30). ‘And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own’ (Jn. 19:27).

*St. Gertrude the Great had a vision in which she beheld these words inscribed on golden lilies that were attached to the shoulders of St. John.

“Consider, Bernard, my son, that he [St. John] is the first-born of my adopted sons and the model of my cherished ones: aspire to imitate his love for me and for my most holy Son.”

– Our Lady to Bl. Bernard Francis de Hoyos

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“Know that the distance from Heaven to Earth is not so great as from my love to thine.” – Our Lady to St. Alphonsus Rodriguez (d. 1617) “Give up thy devotion to Mary, and I will cease to tempt thee.” – Satan to St. Alphonsus Rodriguez

The Ave Maria: A Simple Key to Understanding Marian Devotion

Take note of the structure of the ‘Hail Mary.’ If one looks at this powerful little prayer in Latin – the Church’s “mother-tongue,” and that language so feared by the demons – they will discover that it consists of 31 words. Now, pay close attention to the middle-word of the Ave Maria, the first word of which (‘Ave’) ought to remind us that it was subsequent to Gabriel’s ‘Ave’ that Eva’s knot of disobedience was untied (‘Ave’ is ‘Eva’ backwards):

Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum.

Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui,

IESUS. 

Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus,

nunc, et in hora mortis nostrae.

Amen.

Let this simple observation be for us a reminder that the Rosary – as with all authentic Marian devotion –is Christo-centric, and that if we wish to seek Jesus, Who is an infinite ‘treasure hidden in a field’ (Mt. 13:44), we must seek Him in and with Mary, who is that ‘plentiful field, which the Lord hath blessed’ (Gen. 27:27).

Also, notice how the Holy Name of Jesus is nestled between Maria, gratia plena – Mary, full of grace, and Sancta Maria – Holy Mary. We, too, should let Mary embrace us. ‘Take hold on her, and she shall exalt thee: thou shalt be glorified by her, when thou shalt embrace her’ (Prov. 4:8). Can anything but an immense good come from imitating Jesus in this regard? Did He not live in the closest union with Our Lady for the 30 years preceding His public ministry? (Again, look at the structure of the prayer). And did He not remain close to Mary – at least in spirit – throughout His public ministry, even until the end?

A Simple Yet Infallible Means for Coming to Know Mary

The purpose of this article is to lead us to Jesus, through Mary; this is the end of all authentic Marian devotion. If the thought of asking for Mary’s intercession leaves you feeling a bit perplexed, begin by praying the following Scriptures, and, provided that you are seeking God, you will find that, in time, God will reward you with a sincere affection for she who is the sweetest, dearest, purest Queen of Hearts:

‘Hail [Mary], full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women’ (Lk. 1:28) ‘and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb [Jesus]’ (Lk. 1:41-42). ‘[Jesus,] I am Thine: save Thou me’ (Ps. 118:94). ‘I am Thy servant, and the son of Thy handmaid’ (Ps. 115:16). ‘O look upon me, and have mercy on me: give Thy command to Thy servant, and save the son of Thy handmaid’ (Ps. 85:16).

A Final Word for the Centenary of Fatima

This year (2017) is not only the centenary of Mary’s apparitions at Fatima, Portugal; it also marks the 175th anniversary of the discovery (in 1842) of St. Louis de Montfort’s masterful work, ‘True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin.’ This book is a classic: it is prophetic, inspiring and altogether life-changing if one takes time with it. Why else would Our Lady herself have left a copy of ‘The Secret of Mary’ (which is essentially a distillation of ‘True Devotion’) on Ven. Marthe Robin’s divan bed, saying that she desired this book to be spread across the globe? (While bedridden and too weak to make the Sign of the Cross, Ven. Marthe Robin was assisted by the guiding hand of her Blessed Mother – so solicitous is Mary for the welfare of her children!)

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It is my hope that this humble article will contribute in some way to fulfilling Our Lord’s desire that souls entrust themselves without reserve to their Blessed Mother. The fruits of this devotion are eternal.

This article henceforth follows a very simple structure:

  1. A quote from ‘True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin’ by St. Louis de Montfort
  2. An accompanying quotation

If you want to know more about how and when to consecrate yourself to Mary, according to the recommendations of St. Louis de Montfort, you will find the following link useful:

https://www.fisheaters.com/totalconsecrationmontfort.html

Also, ‘The Secret of Mary’: http://www.ewtn.com/library/montfort/secret.htm

At the end of the article you will find a beautiful little formula for consecrating yourself to Mary. This prayer was dictated by Our Lord to Sr. Benigna Consolata Ferrero (d. 1916).

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PART II

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33 REASONS TO CONSECRATE YOURSELF TO JESUS, THROUGH MARY

WEEK 1

-1- Mary is Mediatrix of All Graces

‘The Holy Ghost gives no heavenly gift to men which He does not pass through her virginal hands.’

“I am the mediatrix between God and men; all graces pass through my hands.” – Our Lady to St. Veronica Giuliani

-2- Mary’s Will is Perfectly Aligned with God’s Will

‘Mary, being altogether transformed into God by grace [so to speak], and by the glory which transforms all the Saints into Him, asks nothing, wishes nothing, does nothing which is contrary to the Eternal and Immutable Will of God.’

“Mother, when thou wast on earth, there was nothing thou didst refuse to do for love of Me; now that I am in Heaven, it is just that I refuse nothing which thou dost ask of Me.” – Jesus to Our Lady (From ‘The Revelations of St. Bridget’ as quoted in ‘The Glories of Mary’)

-3- Mary’s Intercession is All-Powerful with God

‘To Mary, His faithful Spouse, God the Holy Ghost has communicated His unspeakable gifts; and He has chosen her to be the dispensatrix of all He possesses, in such sort that she distributes to whom she wills, as much as she wills, as she wills, and when she wills, all His gifts and graces.’

“To increase my confidence, my Divine Spouse made me aware most convincingly of the great power over His Heart which He has given to His mother holy Mother; and He assured me that in her intercession she is all–powerful with Him.” – Ven. Maria Dominica Clara Moes

-4- Jesus is Perfectly Obedient to His Blessed Mother

‘Inasmuch as grace perfects nature, and glory perfects grace, it is certain that Our Lord is still, in Heaven, as much the Son of Mary as He was on earth; and that, consequently, He has preserved the most perfect obedience and submission of all children towards the best of all mothers.’

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‘And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them.’ (Lk. 3:51)

-5- Jesus Willed to Begin His Miracles by Mary

‘He sanctified St. John in the womb of St. Elizabeth his mother; but it was by Mary’s word. No sooner had she spoken than John was sanctified; and this was His first and greatest miracle of grace. At the marriage at Cana He changed the water into wine; but it was at Mary’s humble prayer; and this was His first miracle of nature.’

‘And the wine failing, the mother of Jesus saith to him: They have no wine.’ (Jn. 2:3)

-6- Jesus Wills to Continue His Miracles by Mary

‘He has begun and continued His miracles by Mary, and He will continue them to the end of ages by Mary also… Mary has produced, together with the Holy Ghost, the greatest thing which has been, or ever will be, which is a God-Man; and she will consequently produce the greatest things that there will be in the latter times. The formation and education of the great Saints, who shall come at the end of the world, are reserved for her. For it is only that singular and miraculous Virgin who can produce, in union with the Holy Ghost, singular and extraordinary things.’

‘He that shall find me, shall find Life, and shall have salvation from the Lord.’ (Prov. 8:35)

 -7- Mary is the Forma Dei, the “Mould of God”

‘He who is cast in this mould is presently formed and moulded in Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ in him. At a slight expense and in a short time he will become God [in a manner of speaking], because he has been cast in the same mould which has formed a God.’

“This tender Mother has a particular care for souls who abandon themselves to divine Providence; she exhorts me to give myself up to her Son, to keep myself, by fidelity to the presence of God, susceptible to the touches of grace;

‘and then,’ she adds, ‘all will be easy to thee, and the Will of God will be the desire of thy heart’;

she will have me free from fear and under the reign of pure love. Once, though I saw her not, I heard her sweet voice say to me:

‘My daughter, thou shalt participate in some of my loving sufferings; but I promise thee my assistance.’” – Sr. Jeanne Benigne Gojos

WEEK 2

-8- To be Moulded in Mary is the Shortest Path to Sanctity

‘Mary is a holy place, and the holy of holies where Saints are formed and moulded. Take notice, if you please, that I say the Saints are moulded in Mary. There is a great difference between making a figure in relief by blows of hammer and chisel, and making a figure by throwing it into a mould. Statuaries and sculptors labour much to make figures in the first manner; but to make them in the second manner, they work little, and do their work quickly.’

“One day the saint [St. Francis of Assisi] saw his sons trying to reach our Lord by a ladder that was red and very steep; after climbing a few rungs, they would fall back. Our Lord then showed St. Francis another ladder, white and much less steep, at whose summit appeared the Blessed Virgin, and He said to Francis:

‘Advise your sons to go by the ladder of My Mother.’” – Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange

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-9- The Path of Mary is Short, Sweet, Secure, Meritorious

‘… doing your actions by our Blessed Lady, as this practice teaches you, you abandon your own intentions and operations, although good and known, to lose yourself, so to speak, in the intentions of the Blessed Virgin, although they are unknown*. Thus you enter by participation into the sublimity of her intentions, which are so pure, that she gives more glory to God by the least of her actions — for example, in twirling her distaff or pointing her needle – than St. Lawrence by his cruel martyrdom on his gridiron, or even all the Saints by all their heroic actions put together. It was thus that, during her sojourn here below, she acquired such an unspeakable aggregate of graces and merits, that it were easier to count the stars of the firmament, the drops of water in the sea, or the grains of sand upon its shore, than her merits and graces. Thus it was that she gave more glory to God than all the Angels and Saints have given Him, or ever will give Him. O prodigy of a Mary! thou canst not help but do prodigies of grace in souls that wish to lose themselves altogether in thee!’

*An act which can easily be renewed, e.g. by the simple prayer: “I renounce myself; I give myself to you, my Blessed Mother!”

“By way of Mary the road is easier because the Blessed Virgin supports us by her gentleness; nevertheless, it is a more meritorious road because Mary obtains for us a greater charity, which is the principle of merit. The difficulties to be overcome are certainly an occasion of merit, but the principle of merit is charity, the love of God, by which we triumph over these difficulties. We should remember that Mary merited more by her easiest acts, such as a simple prayer, than did the martyrs in their torments, for she put more love of God into these easy acts than the saints did in heroic acts. Since the road by way of Mary is easier and more meritorious, it is shorter, surer, and more perfect; more easily travelled, progress on it is more rapid. By submission to the Mother of God, a person makes greater progress in a short time than he would make in many years relying excessively on his own personal prudence. Under the direction of her whom the Incarnate Word obeyed, he walks with giant steps.” – Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange

-10- With Mary’s Intercession, We Need Not Fear the Enemy

‘… God has given Mary such a great power against the devils, that, as they have often been obliged to confess, in spite of themselves, by the mouths of the possessed, they fear one of her sighs for a soul more than the prayers of all the Saints, and one of her menaces against them more than all other torments.’

“In the instruction of the beatification of St. Francis de Sales, one of the witnesses was a female religious who knew him in the first monastery of the Visitation in Annecy. She referred that on one occasion a young man, who had been possessed by the devil for the last five years, was brought before the Bishop of Genevre (Msgr. Charles Auguste de Sales, St. Francis’ nephew and successor in the bishop’s seat) to be exorcized. The interrogations of the devil were carried out next to the mortal remains of St. Francis. During one of these sessions, the devil cried out, full of fury:

‘Why should I have to leave?’

A religious of the Sisters of the Visitation was present, who, when she heard this, invoked the Blessed Virgin: ‘Holy Mother of God, pray for…’. When the devil heard these words – as the nun explained in her declaration – the devil cried out even louder:

‘Mary, Mary! For me there is no Mary! Don’t pronounce that name, which makes me shudder! If there were a Mary for me, like there is for you, I would not be what I am! But there is no Mary for me.’

Shaken by this scene, some of the people present began to cry. The devil continued:

‘If I had just an instant of the many that you people lose…! One lone instant and one Mary, I would not be a devil!’

-11- Satan is Supremely Humiliated by Our Lady

‘… Satan, being proud, suffers infinitely more from being beaten and punished by a little and humble handmaid of God, and her humility humbles him more than the Divine power…’

“… I am more humiliated to be defeated by a human creature than being defeated by Him.” – Satan (during an exorcism performed by Fr. Gabriele Amorth, d. 2016)

-12- Mary is The Treasury of God

‘God the Father made an assemblage of all the waters, and He named it the sea (mare). He has made an assemblage of all His graces, and He has called it Mary (Maria). This great God has a most rich treasury in which He has laid up all that He has of beauty, of splendour, of rarity, and of preciousness, even to His Own Son; and this immense treasury is none other than Mary, whom the Saints have named the Treasure of the Lord, out of whose plenitude all men are made rich.’

‘Come over to me, all ye that desire me, and be filled with my fruits. For my spirit is sweet above honey, and my inheritance above honey and the honeycomb.’ (Ecclesiasticus 24: 26-27)

-13- Mary Presents Us to Jesus

‘The Most High God came down to us in a perfect way through the humble Virgin Mary, without losing anything of His divinity or holiness. It is likewise through Mary that we poor creatures must ascend to almighty God in a perfect manner without having anything to fear.’

“If you are willing to be my daughter, pupil, and handmaid, I shall be your mother, mistress, and teacher. And when you have been sufficiently instructed and educated by me, I shall lead you to your dear spouse, my Son, who will receive you into His Hands, as I have just now received you.” – Our Lady to St. Elizabeth of Hungary (d. 1231)

-14- Mary, by God’s Design, Presents Our Gifts to God

‘Mary presents our good works to Jesus. She does not keep anything we offer for herself, as if she were our last end, but unfailingly gives everything to Jesus. So by the very fact we give anything to her, we are giving it to Jesus. Whenever we praise and glorify her, she sings today as she did on the day Elizabeth praised her, “My soul glorifies the Lord.”’

“During this beautiful month [May, the Month of Mary] live as closely united in spirit with your celestial Mother as possible, and give her all that you do, so that she can present it to Me. This divine Mother will sweetly take your part, and before consigning to Me what you have offered her, she will give it a finishing touch. This ought to inspire you to place your filial confidence in her…” – Jesus to Sr. Benigna Consolata

WEEK 3

-15- Mary Makes of Us and Our Gifts a Pleasing Offering to God

‘Rebecca made Jacob approach the bed of his father. His father touched him, embraced him and even joyfully kissed him after having satisfied his hunger with the well-prepared dishes which Jacob had brought him. Then inhaling most joyfully the exquisite perfume of his garments, he cried: “Behold the fragrance of my son is as the fragrance of a field of plenty which the Lord has blessed.” The fragrance of this rich field which so captivated the heart of the father, is none other than the fragrance of the merits and virtues of Mary who is the plentiful field of grace in which God the Father has sown the grain of wheat of the elect, his only Son. How welcome to Jesus Christ, the Father of the world to come, is a child perfumed with the fragrance of Mary! How readily and how intimately does he unite himself to that child!’

“Our Lady offers our prayers to God; she beautifies them; she makes them pleasing in His sight.” – Père Lamy

-16- Submission to Mary Brings Great Glory to God

‘He gave more glory to God, His Father, during all those years of submission and dependence than he would have given by spending them working miracles, preaching far and wide, and converting all mankind. Otherwise he would have done all these things.’

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“Blessed are they who serve her, who love and imitate her.”

– Jesus to Bl. Agnes de Langeac

-17- Mary Obtains Liberty of Spirit for Her Children

‘One day the Blessed Virgin appeared to Mother Agnes and put a gold chain around her neck to show her how happy she was that Mother Agnes had become the slave of both her and her Son. And St. Cecilia, who accompanied our Lady, said to her, “Happy are the faithful slaves of the Queen of heaven, for they will enjoy true freedom.” Tibi servire libertas.’

‘I am the mother of fair love, and of fear, and of knowledge, and of holy hope… He that hearkeneth to me, shall not be confounded: and they that work by me, shall not sin.’ (Ecclesiasticus 24: 24, 30)

-18- Mary Delivers her Children from Scruples and Fear

‘The Mother of fair love will rid your heart of all scruples and inordinate servile fear. She will open and enlarge it to obey the commandments of her Son with alacrity and with the holy freedom of the children of God. She will fill your heart with pure love of which she is the treasury. You will then cease to act as you did before, out of fear of the God who is love, but rather out of pure love. You will look upon him as a loving Father and endeavour to please him at all times. You will speak trustfully to him as a child does to its father. If you should have the misfortune to offend him you will abase yourself before him and humbly beg his pardon. You will offer your hand to him with simplicity and lovingly rise from your sin. Then, peaceful and relaxed and buoyed up with hope you will continue on your way to him.’

“I am the Mother of fair love, of fear, of knowledge, and of hope; I will always remain your Mother.” – Our Lady to St. Crescentia

-19- Mary is Our Mother of Perpetual Help

‘It is true that on our way we have hard battles to fight and serious obstacles to overcome, but Mary, our Mother and Queen, stays close to her faithful servants. She is always at hand to brighten their darkness, clear away their doubts, strengthen them in their fears, sustain them in their combats and trials. Truly, in comparison with other ways, this virgin road to Jesus is a path of roses and sweet delights. There have been some saints, not very many, such as St. Ephrem, St. John Damascene, St. Bernard, St. Bernardine, St. Bonaventure, and St. Francis de Sales, who have taken this smooth path to Jesus Christ, because the Holy Spirit, the faithful Spouse of Mary, made it known to them by a special grace. The other saints, who are the greater number, while having a devotion to Mary, either did not enter or did not go very far along this path. That is why they had to undergo harder and more dangerous trials.’

“My daughter, be submissive to my Son, and I will ever be thy Mother.” – Our Lady to Sr. Jeanne Benigne Gojos

-20- Mary is our Mother of Mercy

‘She is so full of love that no one who asks for her intercession is rejected, no matter how sinful he may be. The saints say that it has never been known since the world began that anyone had recourse to our Blessed Lady, with trust and perseverance, and was rejected. Her power is so great that her prayers are never refused. She has but to appear in prayer before her Son and he at once welcomes her and grants her requests. He is always lovingly conquered by the prayers of the dear Mother who bore him and nourished him.’

“No one is so cold in his love of God (unless he is damned) that he will not experience the devil releasing him from his habitual sins if only he invokes my name with the true intention of never returning to his evil deeds… And there is none who is so great a sinner, but I am ready to help him; and my Son to give him grace, if he ask mercy with charity.” – Our Lady to St. Bridget (Bk 6, Ch 52; Bk 1, Chapter 9)

-21- Mary is “More Mother than Queen”

‘She is kind, she is tender, and there is nothing harsh or forbidding about her, nothing too sublime or too brilliant. When we see her, we see our own human nature at its purest. She is not the sun, dazzling our weak sight by the brightness of its rays. Rather, she is fair and gentle as the moon, which receives its light from the sun and softens it and adapts it to our limited perception.’

“… when I was seeking how best to invoke and honour her, my good Angel said to me:

‘She will be pleased if thou salutest her in these few words: Ave Mater Dei carissima, dulcissima, refugium meum, ora pro me’ [Hail dearest, most sweet Mother of God – my refuge; pray for me].” – Sr. Jeanne Benigne Gojos

WEEK 4

-22- Mary Clothes Us with Her Own Merits and Virtues

‘She imparts new perfume and fresh grace to those garments and adornments [of her children] by adding to them the garments of her own wardrobe of merits and virtues. She bequeathed these to them before her departure for Heaven, as was revealed by a holy nun of the last century, who died a holy death. Thus all her domestics, that is, all her servants and slaves, are clothed with double garments (cf. Prov. 31:21), her own and those of her Son. Now they have nothing to fear from that cold which sinners, naked and stripped as they are of the merits of Jesus and Mary, will be unable to endure.’

“It was also in her Communions that our Benigne learnt to deck herself, so to speak, with the virtues of her beloved Mother, praying her to purify her by her purity, to sanctify her by her sanctity, and to make her perfect by her perfection. ‘Remember, O Mother of God,’ she said, ‘that thy Divine Son has committed to thee the care of making me agreeable in His eyes.’” (p. 374 ‘The Life of Sister Jeanne Benigne Gojos: Lay–Sister of the Visitation of Holy Mary,’ 1878)

-23- Submission to Mary is the Shortcut to Perfection

‘We advance more in a brief period of submission to Mary and dependence on her than in whole years of self-will and self- reliance. A man who is obedient and submissive to Mary will sing of glorious victories over his enemies. It is true, his enemies will try to impede his progress, force him to retreat or try to make him fall. But with Mary’s help, support and guidance, he will go forward towards our Lord. Without falling, retreating and even without being delayed, he will advance with giant strides towards Jesus along the same road which, as it is written, Jesus took to come to us with giant strides and in a short time…

Why do you think our Lord spent only a few years here on earth and nearly all of them in submission and obedience to his Mother? The reason is that ‘attaining perfection in a short time, he lived a long time,’ even longer than Adam, whose losses he had come to make good. Yet Adam lived more than nine hundred years!

Jesus lived a long time, because he lived in complete submission to his Mother and in union with her, which obedience to his Father required. The Holy Spirit tells us that the man who honours his mother is like a man who stores up a treasure. In other words, the man who honours Mary, his Mother, to the extent of subjecting himself to her and obeying her in all things will soon become very rich, because he is amassing riches every day through Mary who has become his secret philosopher’s stone.’

V0035640 Christ appears to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

“I then confided thee to the care of My Holy Mother, that she might fashion thee according to My designs.”

– Our Lord to St. Margaret Mary

-24- He Who Seeks Jesus, Must Love Mary

‘He who wishes to have the fruit well ripened and well-formed must have the tree that produces it; he who wishes to have the fruit of life, Jesus Christ, must have the tree of life, which is Mary; he who wishes to have in himself the operation of the Holy Ghost must have His faithful and indissoluble Spouse…’

“For anyone who wants to follow me and yield to my advice will find grace at my hands and salvation. And you should know for certain, daughter, that anyone who does not love me will not be able to find grace from my Son or, consequently, from the Holy Spirit.” – Our Lady to St. Elizabeth of Hungary

-25- Mary is Queen of Hearts

‘Mary is the Queen of heaven and earth by grace, as Jesus is the King of them by nature and by conquest. Now, as the kingdom of Jesus Christ consists principally in the heart and interior of a man – according to that word, ‘The kingdom of God is within you,’ – in like manner the kingdom of our Blessed Lady is principally in the interior of a man, that is to say, his soul; and it is principally in souls that she is more glorified with her Son than in all visible creatures, and that we can call her, as the Saints do, the Queen of hearts.’

“Through the love which you have for my blessed Mother, tell your spiritual director that as I asked Margaret Mary for devotion to my divine Heart, so I ask you to urge the consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of my Mother…” – Our Lord to Bl. Alexandrina da Costa (d. October 13, 1955)

-26- Mary Glorifies God in Us

‘The soul of Mary will be communicated to you to glorify the Lord. Her spirit will take the place of yours to rejoice in God, her Saviour, but only if you are faithful to the practices of this devotion… ‘When will that happy day come,’ asks a saintly man of our own day whose life was completely wrapped up in Mary, ‘when God’s Mother is enthroned in men’s hearts as Queen, subjecting them to the dominion of her great and princely Son? When will souls breathe Mary as the body breathes air?’ When that time comes wonderful things will happen on earth. The Holy Spirit, finding his dear Spouse present again in souls, will come down into them with great power. He will fill them with his gifts, especially wisdom, by which they will produce wonders of grace. My dear friend, when will that happy time come, that age of Mary, when many souls, chosen by Mary and given her by the most High God, will hide themselves completely in the depths of her soul, becoming living copies of her, loving and glorifying Jesus?’

‘O magnify the Lord with me; and let us extol His name together.’ (Ps. 33:4)

-27- The Immense Value of Consecrating Oneself to Mary

‘Other congregations, associations, and confraternities set up in honour of our Lord and our Blessed Lady, which do so much good in the Church, do not require their members to give up absolutely everything… But this devotion makes us give Jesus and Mary all our thoughts, words, actions, and sufferings and every moment of our lives without exception. Thus, whatever we do, whether we are awake or asleep, whether we eat or drink, whether we do important or unimportant work, it will always be true to say that everything is done for Jesus and Mary. Our offering always holds good, whether we think of it or not, unless we explicitly retract it.  How consoling this is!’

Josefa_Menendez

“If only you knew how many souls can be saved by those little acts!”

– Our Lady to Sr. Josefa Menendez

-28- The Holy Spirit Bears Fruit in Mary

‘God the Holy Ghost being barren in God — that is to say, not producing another Divine Person — is become fruitful by Mary, whom He has espoused. It is with her, in her, and of her, that He has produced His Masterpiece, which is a God made Man, and whom He goes on producing in the persons of His members daily to the end of the world.’

“… And this explains what is said of Mary in the holy Canticles: ‘Thy belly is as a heap of wheat, set about with lilies (Cant. of Cant. 7:2).’ St. Ambrose explains this and says: Although in the pure womb of Mary there was only one grain of wheat, which was Jesus Christ, yet it is called a heap of grain, because in that one grain were contained all the elect, of whom Mary was to be the mother. Hence, William the Abbot wrote: Mary, in bringing forth Jesus, who is our Saviour and our life, brought forth all of us to life and salvation.” – St. Alphonsus Liguori

WEEK 5 (5 days)

-29- Mary Has a “Right and Domination” Over the Souls of the Elect

‘… Mary has received from God a great domination over the souls of the elect; for she cannot make her residence in them, as God the Father ordered her to do (c.f. Ecclus. 24:13), and form them in Jesus Christ, or Jesus Christ in them, and strike the roots of her virtues in their hearts, and be the indissoluble companion of the Holy Ghost in all His works of grace—she cannot, I say, do all these things unless she has a right and domination over their souls by a singular grace of the Most High, who, having given her power over His only and Natural Son, has given it also to her over His adopted children, not only as to their bodies, which would be but little matter, but also as to their souls.’

‘Arise, O Lord, into Thy resting place: Thou and the ark, which Thou hast sanctified.’ (Ps. 131:8) [‘resting place’ – i.e. Heaven/the soul; ‘the ark’ – i.e. Our Lady, the New Ark of the Covenant]

-30- Devotion to Mary is a Sign of Predestination

‘God the Father wishes to have children by Mary till the consummation of the world; and He has said to her these words: In Jacob inhabita — “Dwell in Jacob,” — that is to say, Make your dwelling and residence in My predestinated children, figured by Jacob, and not in the reprobate children of the devil, figured by Esau.’

“Christ in His agony on the Cross had said to her: ‘Behold thy son.’ For centuries now she has been faithful to this commission, never allowing anyone finally to perish—provided he also has been mindful of those other words spoken to him by the Saviour: ‘Behold thy Mother.’” – St. Robert Bellarmine (‘De Gemitu Columae,’ lib. 2, cap. 9.)

-31- Mary is the Way unto The Way

‘The Church, with the Holy Ghost, blesses our Lady first, and our Lord second, — Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui Jesus. It is not that Mary is more than Jesus, or even equal to Him – that would be an intolerable heresy; but it is that, in order to bless Jesus more perfectly, we must begin by blessing Mary. Let us, then, say with all the true clients of our Lady against these false scrupulous devotees: Mary, thou art blessed amongst all women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus… Indeed we only honour Mary that we may the more perfectly honour Jesus, inasmuch as we only go to her as to the way in which we are to find the end we are seeking, which is Jesus.’

‘In me is all grace of the way and of the truth, in me is all hope of life and of virtue.’ (Ecclus. 24:25)

-32- Love of Mary Cannot but Lead to Love of Jesus

‘It would be easier to separate light from the sun than Mary from Jesus. So united are they that our Lord may be called, “Jesus of Mary”, and his Mother “Mary of Jesus.”’

“The souls who love her most and who are most like to her, are the souls who are most like to Me most perfectly.” – Jesus to Ven. Concepcion Cabrera de Armida (Diary, Feb. 18, 1917)

-33- The Purpose of Devotion to Our Blessed Mother is to Adore the Fruit of Her Womb 

‘In Fr. Boudon’s book [‘The Holy Slavery of the Admirable Mother of God’] we read of different popes who gave their approval to this devotion, the theologians who examined it, the hostility it encountered and overcame, the thousands who made it their own without censure from any pope. Indeed it could not be condemned without overthrowing the foundations of Christianity. It is obvious then that this devotion is not new. If it is not commonly practised, the reason is that it is too sublime to be appreciated and undertaken by everyone… If, then, we are establishing sound devotion to our Blessed Lady, it is only in order to establish devotion to our Lord more perfectly, by providing a smooth but certain way of reaching Jesus Christ. If devotion to our Lady distracted us from our Lord, we would have to reject it as an illusion of the devil. But this is far from being the case.’

“You must be devoted above all to doing His Will…” – Our Lady to Bl. Anna Maria Taigi

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Act of Consecration to the Most Holy and Immaculate Virgin

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“O most sweet and amiable Virgin Mary, most beloved Daughter of the Eternal Divine Father, most tender Mother of the Eternal Divine Son, most holy Spouse of the Eternal Divine Spirit, I come to thee, O most loving Mother, to consecrate myself entirely to thee.

Thou art all pure, all beautiful; thou art the Immaculate, and I, O most benign Mother, am only misery, only sin, only prone to evil. Thou, O Mary, art the Immaculate, and hast always been the delight of the most Holy Trinity; thou hast ravished the Heart of God thy Father, thy Son, thy Spouse, with the immaculate whiteness of thy holy Soul.

O most compassionate Mother, cast a glance of pity on this poor soul, made the target of so many fierce temptations; and by thy power, put to flight the infernal enemy. In these tremendous assaults, O most pitiful Mother, I come to take refuge in thy Immaculate Heart; and do thou, O most merciful Queen of Virgins, preserve my Lily pure and present it thyself to Jesus.

My most tender Mother, I expect thee at the hour of my death; and until that hour I shall thank thee and implore thee to watch over me that I may please Jesus in all things. Grazie, O Maria!”

++ References ++

A list of some the works quoted in this article:

  • ‘True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin,’ by St. Louis de Montfort
  • ‘The Life of Sister Jeanne Benigne Gojos: Lay–Sister of the Visitation of Holy Mary,’ by Mother Marie Geltrude Provane de Leyni
  • ‘The Three Ages of the Interior Life,’ by Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, TAN Books
  • ‘The Revelations of St. Birgitta of Sweden’
  • ‘The Revelations of St. Elizabeth’
  • ‘The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ,’ Federico Suárez
  • ‘Vademecum Proposed to Religious Souls,’ by “A Pious Author” (i.e. Our Lord)
  • ‘The Life of Ven. Maria Crescentia Hoess,’ New York, Cincinnati, and St. Louis: Benziger Brothers
  • ‘Divine Communications (vol. I and II),’ by Rev. Auguste Saudreau
  • ‘Wife, Mother and Mystic,’ TAN Books
  • ‘Conchita: A Mother’s Spiritual Diary,’ by Marie-Michel Philipon
  • ‘The Glories of Mary,’ by St. Alphonsus Liguori
  • ‘The Way of Divine Love,’ TAN Books
  • ‘The Agony and The Glory,’ TAN Books
  • ‘The Autobiography of St. Margaret Mary,’ TAN Books
  • ‘Père Lamy,’ by Biver

Galg_gem

“You love to call me Mamma, but I love to call thee child.”

– Our Lady to St. Gemma Galgani (‘Blessed Gemma Galgani,’ by Father Amedeo, C.P.)