Stories

December 5, 2019

Mathilde Besancon

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Mathilde Besancon lived in Grenoble, in southeastern France. In 1854, when she was only 5 years old, she was the victim of a freakish accident. While playing with an older girl, 12 or 13 years old, she was lifted up by her head, in a very forceful manner. Her neck was severely injured and she could no longer hold her own head erect. Several months passed, but the injury continued without improvement.

Her parents decided to travel to the village of Ars, and pray at the shrine to St. Philomena located there. They did, but to no avail. They solicited the prayers of the local pastor, Father (now Saint) John Vianney, and attended a Mass he celebrated. At the moment of consecration, breaking the silence, a cry came from Mathilde. She stood up, and exclaimed, “O mother, I am cured. Look.”

The injury troubled her no more.

Source: Trochu, Abbe Francois, The Cure D’Ars (Charlotte, N.C., Tan Books 2007) p. 559.

December 4, 2019

Fifteen Minutes

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“Know also that you will probably gain more by praying fifteen minutes before the Blessed Sacrament than by all the other spiritual exercises of the day. True, Our Lord hears our prayers anywhere, for He has made the promise, ‘Ask, and you shall receive,’ but He has revealed to His servants that those who visit Him in the Blessed Sacrament will obtain a more abundant measure of grace.”

– St. Alphonsus Liguori

December 3, 2019

Sister Maria Celeste

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Sister Maria Celeste Crostarosa was born in Naples, during the year 1696. It was the same year as St. Alphonsus Liguori, also born near Naples. Their paths would later cross.

On April 25, 1725, she was a nun in a convent located at Scala, a town built on a steep slope overlooking the bay of Amalfi, about 20 miles south of Naples. After receiving Holy Communion that day, she received a vision. It was the Lord, who gave her instructions for a new order, the present-day Redemptoristine nuns. She received a clear understanding of all that was to be included in the rules for this new order and directed to write it all down. The purpose of this new order was to keep a memory alive in the world of all that the Savior had done for mankind.

Nearly 300 years later, the order continues to do that.

It began on a day still well-remembered, when Sister Maria Celeste received Holy
Communion.

Source: Miller, Fr. D.F., C.SS.R, and Aubin, Fr. L.X., C.SS.R, St. Alphonsus Liguori (Rockford, Illinois: Tan Books and Publishers, Inc., 1987) p. 47-48.

December 2, 2019

Desire and Devotion

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“I understand that, each time we contemplate with desire and devotion the Host in which is hidden Christ’s Eucharistic Body, we increase our merits in heaven and secure special joys to be ours later in the beatific vision of God.”

– St. Gertrude

December 1, 2019

Marion Carroll

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It was 30 years ago when Marion Carroll went to visit the Marian shrine in Knock, Ireland. 110 years before that, it was the site of a 2-hour apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Joseph, St. John the Evangelist and the Lamb of God.

Carroll went to the shrine very ill, but, in her words, she “didn’t go to Knock that day for a cure.” For 17 years, she had been battling multiple sclerosis. For the prior 2 years, she had been suffering from recurrent kidney infections. At the time of her trip, she was completely paralyzed, was blind in one eye, had very little vision in the other, “couldn’t “talk right and had epilepsy. Carried on a stretcher to the place where Bishop Colm O’Reilly would pass, she received a blessing from him with the monstrance holding the Holy Eucharist.

“He held it up and blessed me and I got this beautiful feeling – it was a magnificent feeling – and then the whispering breeze telling me that if the stretcher was opened that I could get up and walk … The only way I could describe it is like a whispering breeze. If I could paint it, it would be like a meadow with soft grassw blowing gently …”

She remained in the stretcher while Mass was said in the basilica. Afterwards, she was taken to St. John’s Respite and Care Centre in Knock. She asked the nurse to open her stretcher, and the nurse said later she did so merely to humor Carroll.

As soon as the stretcher was opened, her leg swung to the ground and she “stood straight up and didn’t even feel stiff.” Her voice returned and she had full use of her arms and legs. She was completely healed.

After 30 years of inquiry, the medical bureau at Knock, headed by Dr. Diarmuid Murray, concluded that there was no medical explanation for her recovery.

Source: https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/i-didnt-go-to-knock-that-day-for-a-cure-ms-sufferer-recalls-day-a-miracle-changed-her-life-38461632.html.

April 20, 2019

We Adore and We Praise

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“We adore Thee most holy Lord Jesus Christ, here in all Thy Churches, which are in the whole world, because by Thy holy cross, Thou hast redeemed the world.”

– St. Francis of Assisi

April 19, 2019

Consolation 1900 Years Earlier

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During adoration, Jesus said to me, “My daughter, know that your ardent love and the compassion you have for Me were a consolation to Me in the Garden (of Olives).”

Kowalska, Saint Maria Faustina, Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska (Stockbridge, MA, Marian Press, 2010), entry no. 1664.

April 18, 2019

Visit Jesus Often, Or Not

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“Do you want the Lord to give you many graces? Visit Him often. Do you want Him to give you few graces? Visit Him rarely. Do you want the devil to attack you? Visit Jesus rarely in the Blessed Sacrament. Do you want him to flee from you? Visit Jesus often.

– St. John Bosco

April 17, 2019

St. Francis Borgia

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Once St. Francis became quite ill. He was quite weak, numb and insensitive to all attempts to rouse him to some conscious state. Even pain inflicted on him yielded no results. Day after day this continued, the whole day through.

Day after day, however, there was one exception. For two hours each morning, spent in preparing for reception of the Blessed Sacrament and in thanksgiving after it, he was awake and cheerful, appearing to be in good health.

Source: Shapcote, Emily Mary, Legends of the Blessed Sacrament (London, Burns & Oates) p.84.

April 16, 2019

Where Every Good Thought is Conceived

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When I stand up to talk, people listen to me; they will follow what I have to say. Is it any power of mine? Of course not … But the secret of my power is that I have never in fifty-five years missed spending an hour in the presence of our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. That’s where the power comes from. That’s where sermons are born. That’s where every good thought is conceived.

– Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

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