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), and St. Rafael Arnáiz Barón (d. April 26, 1938).

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.”

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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!]

An Offering of Oneself to Merciful Love

“I thirst for your love, just as a parched man thirsts for a spring of fresh water!”

– Jesus to Sr. Consolata Betrone (p. 50, ‘Jesus Appeals to the World,’ St. Paul’s)

“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 (p. 52, JATTW)

The following delightful prayer will surely please those who, like St. Therese, have, or desire to, offer themselves as a holocaust to Merciful Love:

An Act of Pure Love

“Jesus, God of infinite charity, Goodness inexhaustible, I, a miserable creature nothing worth, in order to honor Thy ineffable Mercy, offer myself, give and consecrate and abandon myself forever to the love of Thy most loving and tender Heart. My Jesus, as it is impossible that fire should not burn and consume a little blade of straw cast into it, so let Thy burning charity consume this poor little heart of mine, which wishes to be all Thine. Jesus, be to me a Jesus; Jesus, be to me a Jesus; Jesus, be to me a Jesus!” (Prayer given by Our Lord to Sr. Benigna Consolata Ferrero)

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Worth reading is St. Therese’s prayer, ‘Living on Love’:

Living on Love !…

On the evening of Love, speaking without parable, Jesus said : « If anyone wishes to love me All his life, let him keep my Word. My Father and I will come to visit him. And we will make his heart our dwelling. Comimng to him, we shall love him always. We want him to remain, filled with peace, In our Love !… » Living on Love is holding You Yourself. Uncreated word, Word of my God, Ah ! Divine Jesus, you know I love you. The Spirit of Love sets me aflame with his fire. In loving you I (…)

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“Finally I enkindle in the soul that loves Me such a fire of love, of desire of imitation,
that she can no longer live except to labor for God, to suffer for God, to immolate herself for God. Sacrifice is her life, as oil is the life of the burning flame.
(Jesus to Sr. Benigna Consolata, from ‘The Decalogue of Highest Perfection’)

“Free yourself of the burden of this world’s goods, and I will personally fill you with those which are heavenly unto your soul’s supreme consolation.”

– Jesus to Ven. Juan de Jesus Maria (p. 280, ‘The Principles of Monasticism’)

[Dear reader: I try to post weekly. Sometimes this is not possible. I will do my best. PAX!]

 

 

Prayer and Suffering

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

https://littlestsouls.wordpress.com/2015/04/22/joy-in-the-spiritual-life-q-a/

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

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

Some Powerful Quotes About Prayer and Suffering

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

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

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

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

– Jesus to Sr. Josefa Menendez