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

Crucifix_by_Veit_Stoss
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’

A Sure Way to Convert Sinners, Even in their Final Moments!

“My Heart loves each soul infinitely.”

– Jesus to Bl. Dina Belanger

Nothing pleases Our Lord more than the salvation of souls. He came from Heaven to seek us. Each soul is extremely dear to Him. He makes use of the members of His Mystical Body to convert sinners, even at the hour of death:

“This is a brief hour in which God has secretly saved many a soul that to all appearances had been lost. I never saw a case where this happened to a person who had not done something good with a well-intentioned will.” – Mechtilde of Magdeburg

The Sacred Heart thrills with joy and Heaven rejoices when a sinner returns to God. How beautiful it is to bring souls to God!

God asks for your help:

“During My human life on earth, I could do no more for the salvation and sanctification of souls; and since that time, I have wished to continue the work of redemption through My life in souls. Pray and intercede with My Divine Father. Intercede, that means praying earnestly, praying untiringly, praying with certainty of being given what you are asking. Pray and intercede!” – Jesus to Bl. Dina

Our Lord revealed to Servant of God, Sr. Josefa Menendez, that confident and persevering prayer generally obtains the conversion of the souls for whom we pray; if they reject the graces offered, someone else receives them. Prayer, therefore, is never in vain! Also, Our Lord revealed to St. Gertrude that He converts souls in His own time; He alone knows when they will best be disposed to accept His grace.

The Precious Blood

The Precious Blood of Jesus is the price of our salvation. It is a gift of infinite value, perfectly pleasing to God the Father. Few souls know this, but the Precious Blood is God’s gift to us! This has been confirmed by theologians and Saints e.g. St. Mechtilde and St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi.

The following words ought to encourage us to pray for the conversion of sinners, even in their final moments. The prayers suggested (in italics) are remarkably powerful!

+ Ven. Louis de Blois (Blosius): “God Himself has deigned to reveal to His friends that these [the following] words, suggested to the faithful when dying, or piously said by word, or in the mind, by those who are dying, are of wonderful efficacy; so much so that no one who has the Catholic faith* can perish, if, in his last moments, with a truly sincere heart, he humbly says these words to God, or devoutly accepts them in his own mind. [*We may confidently hope that the efficacy of this prayer extends to all those who sincerely wish to be united to Christ. “Invincible ignorance” and other doctrines come into play here.]

The following words, said in the hearing of the dying, are of great profit:

“O Lord God, I am that miserable one, whom Thou, in Thy fatherly love, didst create, and through the most ignominious death of Thine only-begotten Son didst redeem from the power of the enemy. Thou only hast power and dominion over me, and canst save me according to Thy immense mercy.”

+ Ven. Leo Dupont: “I must tell you at the same time one of my devotions, borrowed from St. Teresa, and I would beg you to adopt it for your own use whenever occasion offers. The saint, on hearing of the death of one of her old friends, exclaimed, ‘Lord, if in the course of my whole life I have done any good thing, apply it to this soul’; and at the same instant she understood that the beautiful soul for which she had interceded was ascending into Heaven.”

+ Our Lord to Sister Mary of St. Peter: “Ask My Father for as many souls as I shed drops of Blood during My Passion.” By asking for the Precious Blood to be poured out on souls we prevent Its being, as it were, spilled out on the ground in vain. In His mysterious Providence God has put the salvation of others in our hands: we must ask for it, and ask fervently and often.

+ One of the best means of participating in the graces and blessings of the Precious Blood is to offer It to the Eternal Father. “An offering,” says Father Faber, is “more than a prayer.” In prayer, we are the recipients, but when we make an offering, God vouchsafes to accept something from us. St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi, when in ecstasy, once exclaimed:

“Every time a creature offers up the Blood by which he was redeemed, he offers a gift of infinite worth, which can be equalled by no other.”

God revealed the practice of making this offering to this Saintly Carmelite nun when He complained to her that so little effort is made in this world to disarm His Divine justice against sinners. Acting upon this admonition, she daily offered the Precious Blood fifty times for the living and the dead. She did this with so much fervour that God showed her on different occasions the numerous souls who had thereby been converted or delivered from Purgatory.

At another time when St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi was in ecstasy, she saw all the holy patrons of the city of Florence [accompanied by innumerable other saints], before the throne of God interceding for sinners. Their petitions, however, remained unanswered. Then the guardian Angels of the poor sinners approached, but their prayers likewise remained unheard. Next came the multitudes of the blessed to make intercession for the guilty souls. While imploring God’s mercy, they were intent at the same time upon offering to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood, and on account of the merits of the Divine Blood, their petitions were granted. Ought not these examples incite us to offer the Precious Blood frequently during the day?

+ Precious Blood Offering: “ETERNAL Father, I offer Thee the most Precious Blood of Jesus Christ, in satisfaction for my sins, in supplication for the holy souls in Purgatory and for the needs of Holy Church [especially for the soul of (Name)].” – The Raccolta, 188

+ In order to obtain special graces through the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ, let us ask the Blessed Virgin Mary to offer It in our stead. This advice is given us by many devout servants of God, in particular by St. John Vianney [the Cure of Ars] who says that this is the best method of prayer. He furthermore adds: “My children, mark this well: whenever I obtained some grace, it was obtained in this manner, which I never found to fail.”

We can make this offering many times a day. We can use these words:

“IMMACULATE Heart of Mary, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of sinners, especially [Name].”

+ St. Gertrude’s writings are replete with most beautiful sentiments concerning the Precious Blood. To St. Mechtilde Our Lord once revealed Himself on the altar, with hands extended and Blood streaming from His Wounds:

“I show these bleeding Wounds to My Father to appease His wrath. He pardons when He sees the Blood.”

Sources: ‘Glories of the Precious Blood’ (TAN publishers); ‘A Book of Spiritual Instruction’ by Ven. Louis de Blois (Blosius); ‘The Life of Leon Papin-Dupont, The Holy Man of Tours’

A Powerful Meditation: The Thirty-Three Years of Jesus’ Life

“Our Lord revealed to Blessed Michael of Florence, the Camaldolese, how He longed that those who loved Him should honour the Thirty-Three Years with affectionate minuteness.”

– Fr. Faber (‘The Precious Blood or The Price of Our Salvation’) 

We think often of those we love. It is very difficult to love God if we do not take the time to know Him e.g. by means of prayer, meditation, and spiritual reading. In the late 19th century, it was revealed to Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich* that there were living approximately 100,000 souls who loved God greatly. Would we have been counted among this number?

A Fruitful Meditation

“The life of our loving Redeemer was all full of desolation, and bereft of every comfort. The life of Jesus was that great ocean which was all bitter, without a single drop of sweetness or consolation: For great as the sea is thy destruction:

This is what was revealed by our Lord to St. Margaret of Cortona, when he said to her that in his whole life he never experienced sensible consolation.”

(Taken from ‘The Passion and Death of Jesus Christ’ by St. Alphonsus)

How small our crosses are in comparison!

Furthermore, consider the incredible words of our Lord to St. Gertrude:

“Even though a soul be lacking in fervor, yet will I look upon her with much love, if she sometimes meditate upon My Passion. It is an exercise possessing a value in My eyes infinitely surpassing that of any other. Even a short meditation upon My Passion, is worth more than long and multiplied acts of piety that have no direct reference to My sufferings and death.”

 

* The writings of Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich are very edifying. Unfortunately, however, many of her prophecies have been manipulated by disobedient or confused Catholics. Here is one such example: http://jloughnan.tripod.com/forgery.htm (How much deception and apparent forgery I have encountered on the internet! Given that the number of false mystics greatly outnumbers the authentic mystics, we would be better off following the example of Bl. Elena Aiello, St. Padre Pio and other holy Saints and mystics who submitted to the Church at all times.)

The Conversion of Four Hardened Sinners

“I would gladly die for the sake of humanity all over again, if it were possible.”

– Jesus said to St. Bridget of Sweden

The Christian faith is one of perseverance. Love sets no limits. The Holy Spirit says through St. Peter: “And if the just man shall scarcely be saved, where shall the wicked and the sinner appear?” (1 Peter: 4) St. Leonard, in one of his sermons, said: “Weep over past sins, make a good confession, sin no more in the future, and you will all be saved.” Salvation is a gift that God is infinitely eager to give; He suffered and died for us so that we may receive this inestimable treasure. Can we honestly say that we would rather die than commit mortal sin? If not, then we do not desire to be saved (nor do we desire the salvation of others) as much as God desires to save us! (This, of course, is impossible!)

Why, then, do we not have more confidence in Him? If we are lacking in confidence, it is likely to be because we rely too much on ourselves, and because we make weak/vague resolutions to attain holiness. May our most merciful God give us a profound humility, a love for Him, and a desire for holiness and the salvations of souls! Before reading some beautiful conversion stories, here are some words of encouragement:

+ “Lost nations! Wake up for once, and if you want to ensure your eternity, commend yourself to God, have frequent recourse to Him, through these words or ones like them: ‘My Jesus, mercy!’ And I give you my word, since Jesus Christ gave you His before I did in His holy Gospel: ‘Ask, and it will be given you’ (Mt. 7:7), ask My help and you will have it, and with My help you will sin no more.’ I give you my word, I repeat – if you commend yourselves often to God by saying ‘My Jesus, mercy!’ from the bottom of your heart, you will sin no more, and you will be saved.” – St. Leonard

+ He damns only those who are determined not to be converted; they who have a spark of good will are saved.”

– Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich

+ “I saw too that, by prayer and the offering of sufferings for others, many souls that have done no good upon earth may be converted and saved at the hour of death.”

– Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich

1. (Taken from ‘The Sacred Heart: anecdotes and examples to assist in promoting the devotion to the Sacred Heart,’ 1899)

The following is a letter addressed to the Rev. Father Ramiere, the zealous promoter of the devotion to the Sacred Heart and of the Apostleship of Prayer: “Reverend and Dear Father: The arm of the Lord is not shortened. Yesterday it worked a great miracle in my behalf. Permit me to tell you all about it, so that you and all who read the account of my conversion, may unite with me in praising and thanking the infinite mercy of the Sacred Heart. I was sent, at the age of twelve, to an excellent and fashionable boarding school, where the teachers were a pattern of devotedness and zeal. But the spirit of darkness, who crept into the Garden of Eden, crept also into our dear institute. I was the one chosen by it to fall into its snares, and from a little angel was soon transformed into a veritable little fiend. It was sufficient to speak of confession, Holy Communion, or even to mention the name of God, to make me scoff and laugh at what was said. One day after my music-lesson, weary of the repeated remonstrances of my teacher, I exclaimed in a mocking tone: Satan, I give you my heart; come and take possession of it, it shall be ever yours. From that moment I never knew what it was to have a single hour of happiness. Satan was indeed my master, and left me no peace. I no longer loved God or the saints, but there was still a spark of affection left for our blessed Lady. Remorse tormented me, but I had not the courage to reveal to any one the torture I was enduring. A lady who took great interest in me and watched me closely, could not help exclaiming, on hearing me laugh: That is not the laugh of a human being, but of a devil. She was not mistaken. At last one of my friends, in the hopes of bringing about my conversion, proposed to me to join with her in making a novena to the Sacred Heart. Through the mediation of our blessed Lady, and for the sake of Our Lady, I consented. From the very first day I felt a change had taken place in me. I was no longer the same being, and on the last day of the novena Mass was said in honor of the Sacred Heart to obtain my conversion. Since then God has continued His work of mercy in my behalf. I am now, through a good confession, reconciled to Him and I intend consecrating the remainder of my life to that dear Saviour whose enemy I have been for the last eight weary years. Oh, pray for me, pray for me.”

2. (Taken from ‘The Glories of the Precious Blood’)

Eusebius of Caesarea, the “Father of Ecclesiastical History”, tells us how St. John the Apostle brought into Christ s fold a robber, whose life had been one long catalogue of crimes, and, when the poor man despaired of obtaining mercy from God, how the saint encouraged him by saying: “Fear not, my son; thou mayest yet hope for salvation: I will satisfy Jesus Christ for thee, I will gladly undergo death for love of thee, as the Lord endureth it for us. I will give my soul in the place of thine.” Thus did St. John pass on the satisfactions gained by himself to that poor sinner.

3. (Taken from ‘Saint Anthony: anecdotes proving the miraculous power of St. Anthony,’ 1899)

A man had for twenty-four years concealed in confession a grievous mortal sin, so that every time he received the sacraments he committed fresh sacrileges. At last a ray of light pierced through his darkened soul, and he implored the assistance of St. Anthony. One day whilst saying his prayers the saint appeared, and so forcibly pointed out to him the infinite justice of God, and the danger of eternal damnation, that, filled with terror, the poor sinner hastened to make a good confession and to be reconciled with God. 

4. (Taken from ‘The Life of St. Frances of Rome,’ 1855) 

The kind of apostolate which by this time she exercised in Rome was very remarkable; and her power over men’s minds and hearts scarcely short of miraculous. There was a subduing charm, an irresistible influence in her words and in her manner, which told on every variety of persons. The expression of her countenance, the tones of her voice, her mere presence, worked wonders in effecting conversions, and in animating to virtue those whom she approached. Her gift of reading the thoughts of others, which had increased ever since the archangel had become her companion, enabled her in several instances to bring about conversions, several of which are related at length by her biographers. Amongst them was that of a young woman who was lying dangerously ill in one of the hospitals of the city. Francesca had been distributing food to the sick, and was then attending the death-bed of a young man, who was about to receive the last Sacraments, when a piercing cry from one of the adjoining wards reached her ears. She hastened to the spot, and found a young woman stretched on one of the narrow beds, and dying in all the agonies of despair. No sooner had she looked upon the poor creature than her dreadful history was supernaturally revealed to her. She had some time before had an illegitimate child, and, under the pressure of shame and terror, had destroyed it. The consciousness of this crime was driving her to despair, and she had not courage to confess it. But now words were whispered in her ear, which went straight to the point on which the awful struggle turned; which spoke of the horrible misery of dying impenitent and unabsolved, and of the boundless mercy which has provided a remedy for the deepest stains of sin, the Blood of Jesus applied to the soul by the grace of the Sacrament. For a long time the poor creature resisted, turned her head away, and refused to be comforted. But when Francesca, in still more pressing terms, alluded to the intolerable burden of an unacknowledged crime, of the life-giving humiliation of a sincere confession, of the dire confusion of an unforgiven soul on the Day of Judgment; of the love of Jesus, of the tenderness of Mary, of the indulgence of the Church, the sweetness of pardon, the peace of reconciliation; then the stubborn heart yielded, the seared spirit was softened. Bursting into tears, the dying sufferer exclaimed, “A priest! A priest!” and one was at hand at the first call of contrition, and answered that expiring cry, as Matthew did the royal prophet’s confession: “The Lord forgives; thou shalt not perish.” And shortly after in Francesca’s arms the pardoned sinner breathed her last.

Deo Gratias!

A Beautiful (And Extremely Encouraging) Revelation From Our Lord, Jesus, To Sr. Benigna!

(I have divided the words up for the sake of contemplation):

“Do not be so avid of conversation with creatures: here is the Creator who speaks to you: am I not sufficient for you?

Nigna, where can you find a heart that loves you more? Where, Nigna, where?

My Heart is an abyss of Mercy, and you know it not already? Have I not given you many times this happy experience? Yes, Nigna, give Me this consolation give Me your miseries. I wish to be your Rag-gatherer, that is one who buys rags, that even pays for those offered him. Give Me your miseries and I will pay you: I will draw you from an imbroglio [a complicated situation] and it will give Me pleasure.

But you must sell them to Me by an act of profound humility, not spiteful, but fervent and affectionate. And then, My Benigna, give Me those things which you know not what to do with, and I will fashion of them something useful for souls. Allow My Love to act. Call Me what you please, either the Raggatherer of Love or that of Mercy; both titles please me.

Love and Mercy are, as it were, the breath of My most meek Heart. I inspire, that is, I draw into Myself the miseries of My poor, weak creatures to consume them in the fire of My Divine Charity; and then I respire, that is, I breathe forth from My most Loving Heart that fire which devours It and is capable of inflaming many hearts. I must needs consume the miseries of My poor, weak creatures, and I never tire of cleansing souls again and again, because I cleanse them in My most Precious Blood.

Thou canst not believe, O Benigna, the pleasure I experience in the office of Saviour; it is My happiness; and I make the most beautiful masterpieces precisely from souls that I have drawn from the lowest things, from the mud, because I have more material to work upon.”

Taken from (perhaps) my favourite book on the spiritual life, ever: ‘Vademecum Proposed To Religious Souls’, which can be read for free: http://archive.org/details/vademecumpropose00ferruoft