A Miracle of St. Therese: The Conversion of Fr. Hyacinthe Loyson

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[Source: ‘Collected Letters of St. Therese of Lisieux,’ Translated by F.J. Sheed, The Catholic Book Club, London, 1974]

Two Letters of St. Therese to her sister, Celine:
“He wants His little Flower to save Him souls, and for that He wants only one thing, that His flower should look at Him while it suffers its martyrdom… and this mysterious gaze passing between Jesus and His small flower will work marvels and will give Jesus a multitude of other flowers, particularly a certain faded, withered lily [Fr. Hyacinthe] that must be changed into a rose of love and repentance.” (26 April 1891)

“Dearest Celine, he is indeed guilty, more guilty perhaps than any sinner has ever been who was yet converted; but cannot Jesus do what He has never done before? And if He did not wish it, would He have put into the heart of His poor little brides a desire He could not fulfil? … No, it is certain that He desires more than we to bring back this poor lost sheep to the fold; a day will come when he will open his eyes…” (8 July 1891)

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Fr. Hyacinthe
“Hyacinthe Loyson died in Paris 9 February 1912, at the age of eighty-five, under major excommunication. He was assisted at the end by a priest of the Armenian Church, a representative of the schismatic Greek Church, and three Protestant pastors. It is worth observing that the poor erring creature had never ceased to repeat the invocation: ‘O my sweet Jesus.’ Therese, who had prayed for him throughout her religious life, offered her last Communion for him, in 1897, on 19 August, which at that time was the feast day of St. Hyacinthe.”

Details given under all reserves to the Lisieux Carmel:

From the abbey of St. Maurice at Clervaux (19 August 1912):
“At the moment of the unhappy man’s death, a privileged soul saw him supernaturally enlightened upon the whole extent of the sins of his life. This sight was the occasion of a terrifying temptation to despair over which, happily, he triumphed.”

From Pere Flamerion, S.J., grand exorcist of France (25 August 1912):
“You have asked us in the Virgin’s name if Hyacinthe is damned; we are forced to answer you that he is saved, through the intercession of Therese and the prayer of holy souls in the cloister, saved by a glance cast upon him by Our Lord before he was judged, an instant before.”

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‘His hands are turned and as of gold, full of hyacinths.’
– Cant. 5:14

A Saint Tells Us How to Become “a great Saint”

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A Petition to be Made During the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass

“Why is it you do not ask great graces at this favourable time? I earnestly advise and exhort you to ask God in every Mass, the grace to become a saint.

Do you think I advise you to ask too much? Well, I tell you it is not too much. Has not our good and loving Master promised us in the Gospel that for a cup of cold water, given in His Name, He will bestow the Kingdom of Heaven? How then can He refuse us a hundred heavens, were there so many, in return for the Blood of His Beloved Son, offered to Him on the Altar?

How can you, therefore, doubt that He will give you every virtue, and all the perfection required to make you a saint, and a great saint in Heaven?

O blessed Mass! Let your heart’s desires be then multiplied a thousand-fold, and ask as much as you will; remembering always that you are asking of God, Who cannot grow poor by giving, and, therefore, the more you ask, the more will He give you.
– St. Leonard of Port Maurice, ‘The Hidden Treasure’

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

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

 

‘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

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)

A 19th century Benedictine Mystic: Some Anecdotes and Sayings (Pt. 2)

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SOME ANECDOTES FROM THE LIFE OF FR. PAUL OF MOLL (d. Feb 24, 1896)

Even the Saints have Imperfections
Someone complained to Father Paul about an ecstatic. ‘Then do not believe,’ he said, ‘that these saintly souls have no faults. No saint in this world is exempt from faults.’

A Vision of Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament
“One day while I knelt in adoration before the Most Holy Sacrament exposed, I saw Jesus standing before me. He wore a white garment and was of dazzling beauty.” – Fr. Paul of Moll

Simultaneous Novenas
Father Paul advised a countryman to make a novena to St. Benedict. ‘I shall have to wait a few days,’ he replied, ‘for I have commenced a novena to St. Joseph.’
‘Nothing prevents you from making the two novenas at the same time; in Heaven, there is no jealousy among the saints.’

Two Places in Heaven
In the confessional, an ecstatic said to Father Paul that in a dream she had seen the Rev. Father’s soul carried to Heaven by angels and there placed near the choir of angels. He replied simply, ‘Yes indeed, my place is there.’
Then he asked, ‘Do you know your place in Heaven?’
‘No.’
‘Well, I know it.’  (“We may here remark that other ecstatics of our country [Belgium] likewise say that the Rev. Father Paul has a high place in Heaven, and that he is a very powerful protector. But the Church alone has the authority to confirm these assertions.”)

A Miracle Worker – Not in Life, but in Death
To an ecstatic Father Paul said, ‘You will not work any miracles during your life-time, but you will after your death.’

Devotion to the Nine Choirs of Angels 
“A very pious young girl was saying the Rosary in our church, in honor of the nine choirs of angels. I saw above her head nine silver strings which continually moved up and down. This symbolized the joy felt by the angels of the nine choirs at the homage which was paid to them.” – Fr. Paul of Moll (“Father Paul loved to propagate this devotion to the nine choirs of angels.”)

The Evil of Scandal
A Woman in Antwerp who sold liberal papers, being threatened with total blindness, went to Termonde to ask Father Paul to cure her. He replied, ‘You cannot be cured, because you sell bad papers.’

A Visit from Our Lady; Abandoned Souls in Purgatory; A Father in Heaven
“At a visit to Father Paul, in 1895, he said to me, ‘If I were to tell you something, would you believe me?’
‘Yes, Father.’
‘The Blessed Virgin appeared to me, and before disappearing she placed her hand upon my shoulder.'”

He also said to me, ‘There are souls in the fire of Purgatory who ask your prayers for their deliverance. You knew these persons well, and now they are forgotten by their children.’

He also told me that my father is in Heaven.” – From a young lady of Heusden (Ghent)

SOME SAYINGS OF FR. PAUL OF MOLL

It is Not Always Enough to Pray for Oneself (A Good Reason to Invoke the Saints!)
“In order to be heard, it is not only always sufficient only to pray oneself: one should also ask the prayers of others.” (The same was revealed to St. Gertrude the Great)

“It is written (Job 5:1): ‘Call . . . if there be any that will answer thee, and turn to some of the saints.’ … Therefore when we wish to pray to God, we should turn to the saints, that they may pray to God for us… Further, the saints who are in heaven are more acceptable to God than those who are on the way.”
– St. Thomas Aquinas

Novenas in the Morning
“It is better to make novenas in the morning than in the evening.”

Different Rewards in Heaven: To Each According to His Works
“It is wrong to imagine Heaven as a place whose inhabitants enjoy the same happiness. Heaven is a dwelling place where every work of charity, ‘werk van liefde,’ enjoys an eternal recompense.”

‘Dash Thy Little Ones Against the Rock’ (Ps. 136:9)
“When a demon suggests a bad thought, it is easy to resist the temptation; but if one does not immediately repel it, a second demon comes at once to help the first. Afterwards, in proportion as resistance is delayed, still other demons come and combine their efforts, and when one has to battle against seven devils all at once, it is very difficult not to succumb.”

[This Psalm verse, understood in its spiritual sense, is often explained thus by the Fathers: When we encounter evil thoughts and temptations, we are to take them captive while they are still young, and we are to dash them against the Rock, Christ.]

SOME EXCERPTS FROM THE LETTERS OF FR. PAUL OF MOLL

Love: An Everlasting Treasure
“I wish you an ardent love for God: it is the richest and most beautiful treasure you can wish or desire. All other treasures will disappear like smoke; but the treasure of love shall remain forever in Heaven.”

Love: The Bond of Perfection
“A sigh of love for God is worth more than a whole year of penance.” (i.e. penance performed habitually or in our own will).

God Loves the Children of Mary
“Mary being truly our Mother, how could God love our Mother so much without loving her children?”

Look Upon Christ, Not Your Miseries
“No matter how miserable he may be, provided he is no longer in the state of mortal sin, God loves him with an incomprehensible love.”

Source: ‘Father Paul of Moll: A Flemish Benedictine and Wonderworker of the Nineteenth Century, 1824 – 1896,’ by Edward Van Speybrouck (2nd ed., Benedictine Convent, Clyde, MO, 1914)

“Ask of me whatever you desire, and it will be procured for you.
And continue to ask, for when I am in Heaven,
my power will be greater.”

– Fr. Paul of Moll to a friend

St. Therese’s Hungarian Sister (d. May 13, 1933)

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“After my death I will pass a review on all the Monasteries of the Visitation, and where there is disorder, I will appear as a ghost.”

A Little Soul Who Died of Love

Adelaide (Etelka) Bogner (in religion: Sr. Mária Margit Bogner) was born on December 15, 1905. On May 13, 1927, she was to write in her diary, “To die of love.” Exactly 6 years later, on May 13, 1933, Our Lord took her to Himself. “I cannot die by myself,” she had written in her diary during her last retreat (quoting Fr. Grou) – “God must do it. He must consume His victim in the fire of Love.”

One can almost imagine Our Lord’s delight in responding to the confidence of His beloved daughter, who desired to live for Him alone, whatever the cost. “Nothing,” she said, “is impossible to the boldness of love. I turn to You with an unlimited confidence and I am sure that even if You should make me die you would accomplish my desires.” ‘But the God of all grace, who hath called us into His eternal glory in Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a little, will Himself perfect you, and confirm you, and establish you.’ (1 Pt. 5:10)

Some Saintly 27-year-olds

Ven. Mária Margit’s holy death calls to mind a number of other holy souls who died at the tender age of 27 – namely, Ven. Philomena of St. Columba (d. Aug 13, 1868), Dom Pius de Hemptinne (d. Jan 27, 1907), Bl. James Kern (d. Oct 20, 1924), St. Rafael Arnáiz Barón (d. April 26, 1938) and Ven. Benedetta Bianchi (d. Jan 23, 1964).

A Sister of Therese

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Ven. Mária Margit Bogner is a truly remarkable soul. Like St. Therese – with whom she shared such a special friendship – she is playful, humorous, intelligent, artistic, and all aflame with love for Jesus. Is it a coincidence, then, that she died on the 50th anniversary of St. Therese’s cure by the Virgin of the Smile? Is it a coincidence that Ven. Mária Margit (i.e. Margaret Mary) died on the 13th anniversary of the canonization of St. Margaret Mary?

A Great, Short Biography

If you want a delightful friend in Heaven, and a powerful intercessor, I am confident that you will find joy in reading the following short life of this holy little soul:

‘The Life of the Venerable Maria Margit Bogner, a Religious of the Visitation of Holy Mary of Erd, Hungary 1905–1933, A Violet in the  Odor of Sanctity’:
http://visitationspirit.org/2013/11/a-life-of-venerable-sister-maria-margit-bogner-vhm/

Two Powerful Intercessors: Venerable Mária Margit Bogner and St. Therese

While still alive in the flesh, Ven. Mária Margit wrote of St. Therese: “With joy I now have this new heavenly teacher and I listen to her lessons with a beating heart. She is always near me and she tells me how I should work.”

“She is always near me.” Can we doubt that, from their place in Heaven, these two spouses of Christ now work together in a special way for souls?

“When I am in heaven,” said St. Joseph Benedict Cottolengo to a religious Sister of St. Vincent, “where one can do everything, I will help you more than now I do. I will hold to the cloak of the Mother of God and keep my eyes fixed on you.” Surely these words can be applied to St. Therese and to Ven. Mária Margit, if not to all the saints.

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“From now on I will do nothing except by you, with you, in you and for you.”
– Sr. Mária Margit (Dec 8, 1926, addressing Our Lady)

Venerable Mária Margit Bogner and the Littlest Souls

It is my belief that Ven. Mária Margit Bogner (who I discovered in October, 2017) has a special predilection for little souls – especially the littlest among them. If you are one such soul, ask for her intercession and see for yourself.

Below are some quotes from Ven. Mária Margit Bogner, whose death (May 13, 1933) falls on the anniversary of ‘Littlest Souls’ (Started May 13, 2012). [Mária Margit Bogner was declared Venerable by Pope Benedict XVI on June 28, 2012.]

“I have heard much spoken about the Little Flower of Lisieux. I thought I knew her life. Nevertheless, it is not so. Reading her autobiography, I have put my hands into hers, with confidence that she will guide me: ‘My path is sure.’ Yes, she invites all little souls to follow her – the littlest souls that cannot lift themselves to the flight of eagles.”

“My soul is invaded by a torrent of graces and love. You cannot give me more and I, what will I give you? All belongs to you. My only good is my misery. I give it to you. You accept it, isn’t it true? You must take it because you know that my union with you depends on that.”

“I wish to give to souls a little of that which fills me to overflowing.”

A Calendar of the Littlest Souls

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Why such a Calendar?
To encourage devotion to some of the “littlest souls” mentioned in the previous post (novenas, spiritual reading, spiritual friendship, etc.). Why? Because most of us are very weak and imperfect souls, and these holy souls can help us in different ways to attain a greater union with God. It is no coincidence that, in recent times, God has raised up so many souls that speak of littleness, abandonment, confidence, Divine Mercy, etc.

The following dates are included:

  • D.O.B.
  • Date of Death
  • Feast Day – if applicable (Trad. = Traditional Calendar; New = New Calendar)

Some important preliminary points:

  • The “littlest souls” are principally to be imitated in their voluntary littleness – i.e. in their audacious, childlike and total abandonment of self to the infallible, immutable, adorable and infinitely perfect Will of God.
  • We should not, and indeed cannot, imitate the saints/Saints in everything. No two souls are the same; God leads all to Himself in a somewhat unique manner. His Will alone sanctifies souls.
  • St. Therese, the youngest Doctor of the Church, has in some sense been held up by holy Mother Church as the flag-bearer for “little souls.” Her message is fundamentally universal.
  • Mary, Mother of the Incarnate Word, is also Mother of the Church. It follows, then, that she is Mother of all the Little Ones. (For the sake of simplicity, Our Lady’s Feasts have not been included on this calendar, nor have the Feasts of St. Joseph.)

CALENDAR (by Month)

January 1: Death of Marie Therese Desandais (d. 1943)
January 2: Birth of St. Therese (1873)
January 3: Death of Ven. Mother Anne-Margaret Clement (d. 1661)
January 6: Birth of St. Gertrude the Great (b. 1256)
January 7: Death of Ven. Louis de Blois (d. 1566)
January 7: Birth of St. Bernadette Soubirous (b. 1844)
January 14: Birth of Sr. Mary Aimee de Jesus (b. 1839)
January 16: Death of Mother Marie Madeleine Ponnet (d. 1914)
January 27: Death of Dom Pius de Hemptinne (d. 1907)
January 29: FEAST DAY, Trad., of St. Francis de Sales (New: January 24)
January 30: Death of Bl. Columba Marmion (d. 1923)

February 3: Death of Mother Yvonne-Aimee (d. 1951)
February 4: Birth of Sr. Josefa Menendez (b. 1890)
February 4: FEAST DAY, New, of Bl. Marie-Eugene of the Child Jesus
February 6: Death of Ven. Marthe Robin (d. 1981)
February 18: FEAST DAY, Trad., of St. Bernadette Soubirous (New: April 16)
February 22: Birth of Rhoda Wise (b. 1888)
February 24: Death of Fr. Paul of Moll (d. 1896)
February 25: Birth of Fr. Lukas Etlin (b. 1864)

March 3: Birth of Fr. Willie Doyle (1873)
March 7: Birth of Fr. Paul of Moll (b. 1824)
March 12: Birth of St. Gemma Galgani (b. 1878)
March 13: Birth of Ven. Marthe Robin (b. 1902)
March 15: Birth of Ven. Louise Margaret (b. 1868)
March 15: Birth of Marcel Van (b. 1928)
March 27: Death of Bl. Marie-Eugene of the Child Jesus (d. 1967)
March 30: Birth of Bl. Alexandrina da Costa (b. 1904)

April 1: Birth of Bl. Columba Marmion (b. 1858)
April 6: Birth of Sr. Consolata Betrone (b. 1903)
April 8: Birth of Therese Neumann (b. 1898)
April 11: FEAST DAY, Trad./New, (and Death) of St. Gemma Galgani (d. 1903)
April 12: Death of St. Teresa of the Andes (d. 1920)
April 16: Death of St. Bernadette Soubirous (d. 1879)
April 21: Birth of Dom Pius de Hemptinne (b. 1879)
April 26: Birth of Sr. Mary of the Holy Trinity (b. 1901)
April 30: Birth of Bl. Dina Belanger (b. 1897)

May 4: Death of Sr. Mary Aimee de Jesus (d. 1874)
May 7: Birth of Ven. Mother Anne-Margaret Clement (b. 1593)
May 8: Birth of Ven. Fulton Sheen (b. 1895)
May 13: Death of Ven. Maria Margit Bogner (d. 1933)
May 14: Death of Ven. Louise Margaret (d. 1915)
May 24: Death of Sr. Gertrude Mary (d. 1908)
May 25: Birth of St. Padre Pio (b. 1887)

June 8: FEAST DAY, New, (and Death) of Bl. Mother Mary of the Divine Heart (d. 1899)
June 23: Birth of Pere Lamy (b. 1853)
June 25: Death of Sr. Mary of the Holy Trinity (d. 1942)

July 7: Death of Rhoda Wise (d. 1948)
July 10: Death of Marcel Van (d. 1959)
July 13: FEAST DAY, Trad., (and Birth) of St. Teresa of the Andes (b. 1900) (New: April 12)
July 16: Birth of Mother Yvonne-Aimee (b. 1901)
July 18: Birth of St. Elizabeth of the Trinity (b. 1880)
July 18: Death of Sr. Consolata Betrone (d. 1946)
July 20: Birth of Sr. Jeanne Benigne Gojos (b. 1615)

August 6: Birth of Sr. Benigna Consolata Ferrero (b. 1885)
August 16: Death of Fr. Willie Doyle (d. 1917)
August 21: Birth of St. Francis de Sales (b. 1567)
August 25: Birth of St. Faustina (b. 1905)

September 1: Death of Sr. Benigna Consolata Ferrero (d. 1916)
September 4: FEAST DAY, New, (and Death) of Bl. Dina Belanger (d. 1929)
September 8: Birth of Bl. Mother Mary of the Divine Heart (b. 1863)
September 18: Death of Therese Neumann (d. 1962)
September 23: FEAST DAY, New, (and Death) of St. Padre Pio (d. 1968)
September 30: Death of St. Therese (d. 1897)

October 3: FEAST DAY, New, of Bl. Columba Marmion
October 3: FEAST DAY, Trad., of St. Therese (New: October 1)
October 5: FEAST DAY (and Death) of St. Faustina (d. 1938)
October 13: FEAST DAY, New, (and Death) of Bl. Alexandrina da Costa (d. 1955)
October 28: Birth of Sr. Gertrude Mary (b. 1870)

November 5: Death of Sr. Jeanne Benigne Gojos (d. 1692)
November 7: Birth of Mother Marie Madeleine Ponnet (b. 1858)
November 8: FEAST DAY of St. Elizabeth of the Trinity
November 9: Death of St. Elizabeth of the Trinity (d. 1906)
November 16: FEAST DAY, Trad./New, of St. Gertrude the Great
November 17: Death of St. Gertrude the Great (d. 1302)
November 19: FEAST DAY, Trad./New, (and Death) of St. Mechtilde (d. 1298)

December 1: Death of Pere Lamy (d. 1931)
December 2: Birth of Bl. Marie-Eugene of the Child Jesus (b. 1894)
December 9: Death of Ven. Fulton Sheen (d. 1979)
December 15: Birth of Ven. Maria Margit Bogner (b. 1905)
December 16: Death of Fr. Lukas Etlin (d. 1927)
December 28: Death of St. Francis de Sales (d. 1622)
December 29: Death of Sr. Josefa Menendez (d. 1923)

[If you see anything that needs updating, please let me know!]

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.”

Sr Benigna Consolata Ferrero 2

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
+

“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
+
“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/

Pere_Lamy_John_Edward_Lamy

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
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“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

Josefa_Menendez

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/

Lukas_Etlin[1]

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.”

Rhoda_Wise_3

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
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“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/

Miguel_Cabrera,_Santa_Gertrudis,_1763_Mexico

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
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“… 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
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“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
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“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
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“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
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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
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‘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
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“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

Maria_Droste_zu_Vischering_Münster
Bl. Mother Mary of the Divine Heart
Born: September 8, 1863
Died: June 8, 1899
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“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)