March 25, 2013

The Three Hundred Witnesses

“St. Dominic was once saying Mass in London, England, in the presence of the King and Queen and three hundred other persons. As he was making the memento for the living, he suddenly became enraptured, remaining motionless for the space of a whole hour. All present were greatly astonished, and did not know what to think or to make of it. The king ordered the Server to pull the priest’s robe, that he might go on with his Mass. But on attempting to do so, the Server became so terribly frightened that he was unable to comply with the king’s order. After an hour’s time, St. Dominic was able to continue the Mass, when, behold ! at the elevation of the Sacred Host, the king and all who were present saw, instead of the Host in the hands of the priest, the holy Infant Jesus, at the sight of which all experienced great interior joy. At the same time they beheld the Mother of God in great brilliancy and splendor, and surrounded by twelve bright stars. She took the hand of her Divine Infant to bless with it all those who were present at the Mass. At this blessing many experienced an ineffable joy, and shed tears of tenderness. At the elevation of the chalice every one saw a cross uprising from it, with Jesus Christ hanging upon it in a most pitiable condition, and shedding all His Blood. The Blessed Virgin was also seen sprinkling, as it were, the sacred blood over the people, upon which every one received a clear knowledge of his sins, and a deep sorrow for the same, so much so that every one who saw them could not help weeping with them.

“Mass being ended, St. Dominic ascended the pulpit, and addressed the people as follows: ‘… You have all seen with your own eyes, and experienced in your own hearts, the wonderful things which Jesus -Christ has done in the Most Blessed Sacrament … It is not only one or a few of you who have seen these wonderful things, but the entire three hundred here assembled have witnessed them. Now, if there be but one little spark of divine love in your hearts, sentiments of gratitude and hymns of praise in honor of the Divine goodness and Majesty ought to flow incessantly from your lips.’”*

Is it to be doubted that something special indeed occurred before this group of 300 witnesses? Is it to be thought that the people who reported the event, in which the heavy weight of sin was emphasized, all lied? Is it to be thought that they all simply exaggerated, along the same lines, or that their stories were later changed to be consistent, again by those believing in the sacrifice on the Cross for our sins?

This Lent, let us believe, rather than disbelieve. Let us give thanks for the sacrifice on the Cross.

*Muller, Michael, The Blessed Eucharist, Our Greatest Treasure (Fr. Pustet, New York and Cincinnati, 1880) p. 215-215.


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