Friday, September 30, 2005

Divine Mercy

Visionary St. Faustina

Poland, like France, was also a nation that would be torn apart by war and divisions, from within and outside its borders.
It is a nation that has suffered much persecution and destruction in its immense history, which has enfolded the world in the impact that Poland would have on many generations to come.
Poland became a unified country around, 1320 under the leadership of King Wladyslaw I. But it was in the 16th century that Poland truly came into its own and the country was proud of its democratic constitution, as it set the precedent for the rest of the world to follow.
But difficulties dogged its steps as wars with Russia, France, Austria and other intruders disturbed the peace which Poland had enjoyed. This path of destruction would follow for many centuries to come, in this troubled and tragic land.
But it was in 1905 that a child would be born to Poland who was named Helena Kowalska, this child would herald in one of the greatest Prophecies in the twentieth century, which would become known as 'Divine Mercy'.
Helena first received an inner calling in 1912, when she was just 7 years old, this would be followed by many more, once she came of age. And it was in 1924 that Helena could no longer ignore the promptings of Jesus to enter the Religious life, she joined the Sisters of Mercy in 1925 and received her habit in 1926, when she then took the name Sister Maria Faustina.
Our Lord deeply touched Sr. Faustina's heart on Good Friday 1928, where her spirit became inflamed by the suffering of Jesus, who suffered in our place. This was to have a lasting and profound affect on Sister Faustina, and the rest of the world.
It was in 1931 that Jesus appeared before Sr. Faustina and requested an image be painted which portrayed His ineffable love and mercy for His children. By showing equal streams of blood and water, as His Heart was pierced for the transgressions of all. The image was painted in 1934 by artist kazimirowski, though Sr. Faustina was unhappy with it, the image achieves what Jesus wished to portray, His Merciful love for all those who seek it.
Jesus' message illuminates in a more profound way that which is already revealed in the Gospels, that God loves all His children and wishes to have all men saved. This can only be accomplished by a filial love for God and obedience to His Commandments. But our Heavenly Father understands the human condition so it is Jesus who instructs all those who have willing hearts to return to the Sacrament of Penance and to restore what has been broken through sin.
Sister Faustina was to receive many dire warnings for mankind if it refused to follow the Commands of God, but also the revelation that no matter how dark a man's sin, God will forgive the penitent heart, through the Sacraments of the Church.
This is a revelation where God wishes to be seen as He truly is a Loving and Merciful Father who wishes to give all things to His beloved children, and that there is NO end to His Mercy if a soul is contrite. God does not wish to be portrayed as a fierce dictator, who harshly judges His children, but as a Loving Father who longs to have a relationship with His beloved children. This vision would help all peoples to see and to acknowledge that God is a tender Father, who longs for the well being of His people, most especially His lost children.
It was in 1935 that the Divine Mercy image was venerated and in 1937 that Holy cards were printed to hand out to all peoples so they too could know of God's infinite Mercy to all, irrespective of how far they had strayed from the Faith.
The Divine Mercy revelation is one of inestimable hope, but also of dire warnings for the world if it continued on a destructive path.
Some of our Lords revelations are, "I promise, that the soul that will venerate this picture will not perish. I further promise to that soul victory over its enemies already here on earth and especially in the hour of death. I, Myself, shall defend that soul as my own glory.....When punishments for sins shall come upon the earth, and your native land shall be in extreme abasement, the only salvation will be hope in Divine Mercy. I shall preserve the cities and homes which this picture shall be found; I shall protect likewise those persons who shall venerate and have confidence in My Mercy."
Also included, these words of infinite and Divine Love, "The greatest sinner has the greatest right to have hope in My Mercy. The soul which invokes My Mercy brings Me untold delight. I grant it graces beyond its expectations. I cannot punish a soul which has recourse to My pity and compassion even though it be the greatest sinner . . . In My unfathomable and inscrutable mercy, I seek to justify it."
But also this warning, "Write that before I come as the just one, I first open wide the gates of My Mercy. He who does not want to pass through the gates of mercy, will have to pass through the gates of justice." And Jesus continues to instruct and warn Sr. Faustina with these words, "I have eternity for the punishment of these. Now, I prolong the time of My Mercy. But, woe to him who does not recognize the time of My visitation.. Secretary of My Mercy, you are obliged not only to write and proclaim My Mercy, but also to implore graces for sinners, that they too may praise My Mercy."
Jesus also tells Sr. Faustina this dire warning for the world if it does not repent and turn to the Father of Mercy, “all light in the heavens will be extinguished, and there will be great darkness over the whole Earth. Then the Sign of the Cross will be seen in the sky, and from the openings where the Hands and the Feet of the Savior were nailed will come forth great lights which will light up the Earth for a period of time. This will take place shortly before the last day”.
Jesus continues to Sr. Faustina in this direction for souls, “lukewarm souls who have just enough warmth to keep them alive” ......“And who knows anything about this feast? No one! Even those who should be proclaiming My Mercy and teaching people about it often do not know about it themselves!”
Our Lady also warned Sr. Faustina with this, “I gave the Savoir to the world; as for you, you have to speak to the world about His great Mercy and prepare the world for the Second Coming of Him who will come, not as a merciful Savoir, but as a Just Judge! Oh, how terrible is that day! Determined is the Day of Justice, the day of divine wrath! The Angels tremble before it!”
But always Jesus emphasises His Mercy to all those who listen and another warning to any who would obstruct this message with these words, “place within their own hearts obstacles to My Mercy, which so greatly wants to act within them. … Let souls who are striving for perfection particularly adore My Mercy, because the abundance of graces which I grant them flows from My Mercy. I desire that these souls distinguish themselves by boundless trust in My Mercy. … The more a soul trusts, the more it will receive. Souls that trust boundlessly are a great comfort to Me, because I pour all the treasures of My graces into them. I rejoice that they ask for much, because it is My desire to give much, very much”.
And on a more individual basis the Lord gave this warning to Sr. Faustina to warn those who fall away from the Faith willingly, "There are souls with whom I can do nothing. They are souls that are continuously observing others, but know nothing of what is going on within their own selves. They talk about others continuously...Poor souls, they do not hear My words; their interior remains empty. They do not look for Me within their own hearts, but in idle talk, where I am never found. They sense their emptiness, but they do not recognise their own guilt....Instead of correcting themselves, their hearts swell with envy, and if they do not come to their senses, they plunge in even deeper. A heart, which thus far is envious, now begins to be filled with hate. And they are already at the edge of the precipice. They are jealous of my gifts in other souls, but they themselves are unable and unwilling to accept them.".
But always our Lord leaves us with words of hope, "Strive for a life of recollection so that you can hear My voice, which is so soft that only recollected souls can hear it."
But at the core and centre of these Divine Prophecies for the world delivered to us by the Saintly Sister Faustina are words of Divine hope and joy in knowing of God's tremendous Love for His wayward children. These words though strong are also a sign to each of us to once again embrace the love of God and of our fellow man as we enter the new millennium.
For to each of us a measure has been given, do you wish to drink from the cup of God's Divine Mercy or the Cup of His Divine Justice, the choice is yours..
I would encourage all to read the book of Divine Mercy written by Saint Faustina.
Peace of Christ to you ALL
Copyright © 2005 Marie Smith. All rights reserved.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Our Lady of Syracuse

Our Lady of Tears

Syracuse is a Provence of Italy, and it was in the year 734 BC that a group of Greek citizens settled there to raise their families and make a living. But as always the unexpected can happen, and Syracuse was no exception, for it was overtaken by a group of corrupt tyrants who tried to rule the people there in 211 BC with an iron fist.

Syracuse was to face war with the Greeks, Carthage and many other foes including a Muslim invasion which lasted several centuries.

But let us turn our attention to the year 1953 when a miraculous event happened to the Jannuso family, when upon marrying both Antonina and Angelo were given an image of our Lady as part of their wedding gifts.

This image was to prove integral to the health of Antonina when she discovered she was pregnant, both Antnonina and Angelo were ecstatic to become parents and longed for their much loved baby with all their hearts.

But Antonina Jannuso was to have a problematic pregnancy which brought both wife and husband closer as they struggled to maintain her health so as to save their beloved baby within the mother’s womb.

For Antonina was diagnosed with Toxaemia, which can imperil the health of both mother and baby, so Angelo was extremely worried and very anxious for his lovely wife and baby.

The couple as Antonina's condition worsened turned to prayer to console and strengthen them but also to heal Antonina from this critical condition and spare both Mother and child.

It was during prayer that much to Antonina's amazement, she looked at the image of our Lady upon her bedroom wall and noticed that it seemed to be shedding tears, Antonina leaned forward to see if her eyes could be playing tricks but to her astonishment it did indeed look as if the image was weeping profusely! Antonina called out to her relative to come and see this miraculous sign, when her sister in law arrived she found Antnonina trembling at such a sight of the weeping picture of our Lady.

Her sister in law could barely contain her shock and called out to her Mother to also come and witness this miraculous occurance. Antoninia started to fret thinking that maybe this event was to warn her of her babies health, both her relatives were also a little frightened at such a sight and took the plaster image of our Lady out to their neighbours who also confirmed that they too could see it.

The whole Jannuso family was in shock and disarray wondering what this meant and for the future of both Antonina and her baby, the whole family took to praying with great fervour for the protection of Antonina, Angelo and their beloved baby.

It was prayer that brought tranquillity back to Antonina and she took pity upon this blessed image and tried to soak up the tears with her kerchief and also some cotton wool. For Antonina did not like to see our Lady so upset and wished to comfort her.

This image of our Lady would weep continuously for a 4 day period, and during these four days many Priests also visited the family to witness this miraculous occurrence. These Priests also alerted Church authorities who took samples of these tears for scientific study. The Jannuso family needed no proof for they knew that these tears truly came from a Mothers heart and the Blessed Mother at that! They were in awe at such a wonder and perturbed to see our Lady weep so much, their hearts were wrung as they too wept alongside this image.

After examining the tears the scientists concluded that the tears were indeed of human origin. But the family and many of the Priests had never doubted that these tears shed were those of our Holy Mother, who wept for her children.

It was also through this miraculous event that Antonina found herself healed from her critical condition and she praised our Lady and Lord for healing her of this illness and keeping her baby safe within her womb.

The tears that were gathered up by many of the visiting Priests were also sent to other countries where miraculous healings would take place.

This miraculous occurrence led to both Antonina and Angelo embracing their Faith with greater fervour and also the conversion of many neighbours and relatives who had strayed from the Faith.

Upon reporting this even to Pope Pius Xll, the Bishops of the area made a statement approving this miraculous event as valid.

I would encourage you all to read more about the miracle of our Lady of Syracuse.

Peace of Christ to you ALL

Copyright © 2005 Marie Smith. All rights reserved.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Our Lady of Akita

Where and when? Akita - Japan, 1973 - 1975

Visionary:Sister Agnes Katsuko Sasagawa

On June 12, 1973, the extraordinary events began when Sr. Agnes saw suddenly brilliant beams from the tabernacle. This also happened 2 days following that day.

On June 28, 1973, Sister Agnes got a cross shaped wound in the palm of her left hand. De wound came back time after time in the next weeks and it was very painful.

On July 6th, 1974, Sister Agnes heard a beautiful voice from behind the statue of Our Blessed Mother, in the chapel where she was praying. This statue was made from massive block of wood from the Katsura-tree. Her guardian angel also appeared and learned her how to pray. On that same day, some of the sisters noticed that some drops of blood came fromthe right hand of the statue of Our Blessed Mother.This happened another 4 times. The wound in the hand of the statue also in a crossshape and remained till September 29th. After that it disapeared.

On September 29th the statue started to sweat, specially on the forehead and the neck. The "sweat" smelled like a soft perfume. Hundreds of people were able to witness the events. Scientific research pointed out that it was real human tears, sweat and blood. Sister Agnes also has stigmata in the palm of her right hand.

Two years later, on January 4th 1975, The statue of Our Blessed Mother started to weep. Over six years and eight months the statue kept on crying with a few exceptions. In total it was 101 times registrated.

A Korean woman with terminal braincancer suddenly was healed when she was praying at the statue in 1981. This was confirmed also by Dr. Tong-Woo-Kom of the St. Paul hospital in Seoul. A second miracel was the healing of Sr. Agnes he rdeafness, she became deaf a year before the events. In 1974 she got her hearing back.


July 6th 1973:"My daughter, my novice, you obeyed me by following me and leave others. Is the infirmity of your ears painfull? Your deafness will be healed for sure. Are you suffering because of the wound of your hand? Pray for the sins of people. Every person in this community is my irreplaceble daughter. Do you pray well the prayer of the Handmaids of the Eucharist?Let us pray together."

"Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, truly present in Holy Eucharist, I consecrate my body and soul to be entirely one with Your Heart, being sacrificed at every instant on all the altars of the world and giving praise to the Father pleading for the coming of His Kingdom."

"Please receive this humble offering of myself. Use me as You will for the glory of the Father and the salvation of souls."

"Most holy Mother of God, never let me be separated from Your Divine Son. Please defend and protect me as Your Special Child. Amen."

When the prayer was finished, the Heavenly Voice said:"Pray a lot for the Pope, for the bishops and the priests. Since your baptism you always prayed faithfully for them. Keep praying for them, a lot, a lot. Tell your superior that everything that happened today and obey him in all he tells you. He asked you to pray with fervor."

August 3 1973:
On August 3 Sr. Agnes received a second message:"My daughter, my novice, do you love the Lord? If you love the Lord, listen then to what I want to say to you". "It is very important, tell it to your superior.""Many in this world are saddening the Lord. I desire that all souls will console Him, so that the anger of the HeavenlyFahter will soften. I wish, together with my Son, that the souls who will repair by suffering and their poverty for the sinners and the ingrates." So the world would know his anger, the Heavenly Father is preparing punishment and purification on all mankind. With my SonI intervene as often as I can to appease the wrath of the Father.I have prevented the coming of calamities by offering Him the sufferings of the Son on the Cross, His Precious Blood, and the loving souls who console Him form a cohort of victim souls. Prayer, penance and sacrifices can soften the wrath of the Father. I also want this from your community, that it love poverty, that it sancitfy itself and pray in reparation for the ingratitude and outrages of so many men. Recite the prayer of the Handmaids of the Eucharist in awareness of its meaning. Practice this,offer this in reparation for the sinners. Let everybody strive to his capability to dedicate herself to the Lord. "Even in a secular institute prayer is neccessary. Souls that want to pray are united.Without too much attention to the form, be faithful and fervent in prayer to console the Lord."

After a silence:"Is it true what you are thinking in your heart?"
Did you really decide to become a rejected stone?My novice, you wish to belong to the Lord without reserve,You can make your vows come true to commit yourself to the cross with 3 nails. These are poverty, chastity and obedience. Of these 3 obedience is the foundation.In total abandon, let your superior lead you. He will understand you and lead you."

October 13 1973:"My beloved daughter, listen well to what I want to tell you.Inform your superior."

After a short silence:"If humanity doesn´t show any repent and better themselve,the Father will punish humanity terribly. It will be a bigger punishment then the flood, something that has never happened before. Fire will fall from the sky and will destroy a huge part of humanity, the good ones and the bad ones, priests nor faithfull people will be spared. The survivors will be left all alone and envy the dead. The only remaining arms is the Rosary and the Sign that My Son has left behind. Repeat every day the Rosary. Pray the rosary for the Pope,the bishops and the priests.

"The work of the devil will even penetrate in the Church in a way that cardinal will be against cardinal and bishop against bishop. The priests that venerate me will be insulted and ridiculed by their brothers. The Church will be full of the ones that accept compromises. The devil will make many priests and faithfull to leave the Lord."

"The devil will specially turn against the souls that are consecrated to the Lord. The thoughts of losing of so many souls is the cause of my sadness. If the sins will increase, there will me no pardon anymore."

"Speak with courage to your superior. He knows how he can encourage you to let pray, and to accomplish works of reparation."

It is the Bishop Ito, who directs your community."

"You still have to ask something?Today will be the last time that I will speak with you with a living voice. From now on, obey the one who send to you and your superior."
"Pray often the rosary. Only I am able to save you of the calamities that will come. Those who trust me will be saved."

Church approves messages, weeping statue as supernatural

In April 1984 the local bishop of Niigate, Mgr. John Shojiro,declared after many years of investigation that the eventsof Akita are supernatural, and authorizes throughout the entire diocese the veneration of the Holy Mother of Akita.

On April 22 1984 is, after consulting with the Holy See, the messages of Our Lady of Akita were approved by the Bishop of the diocese. In the Japanese village of Akita, a statue of the Madonna, according to the testimony of more than 500 Christians and non-Christians, including the Buddhist mayor of the town, has shed blood, sweat and tears. A nun, Agnes Katsuko Sasagawa has received the stigmata and has received messages from Our Lady.

June 1988, Vatican City -- Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, gives definitive judgement on the Akita events and messages as reliable and worthy of belief.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Our Lady of Czestochowa

The Black Madonnna

The small town of Czestochowa was purportedly founded in the 11th century in what was then medieval Poland. A land of few luxuries and much harshness, where superstitions and religion sometimes became mixed.

This small town would have gone unnoticed if not for a small event which would take on huge repercussions, as peoples became more civilized in a country of mostly illiterate savages.

For it is reported that the image of the black Madonna was painted by St. Luke himself as he sat and listened to Our Lady as she told him about her son Jesus, and relayed to him the events that happened which became the Gospel of St. Luke!

Luke himself is reported to have been a convert to Christianity, it was St. Paul himself a fellow citizen of Rome who described Luke as a ‘glorious physician'. Luke was said to be born in Syria, and upon his conversion after he had heard Paul preach he became an active member of the Christian community in Antioch.

The painting that St. Luke had drawn on some cypress wood then disappeared until the year 326 A.D when whilst travelling in Jerusalem, St. Helen had accidentally stumbled upon this most miraculous of all signs, she was awestruck at such a treasure!

Our Lady of Czestochawa was to have quite a chequered past as well as a lively history for it once again reappeared in the year 1382 where Prince Ladislaus, decided to place it at the Church in Czestochowa.

Sadly the painting was desecrated when someone tried to destroy it by slicing at the face of our Lady, luckily he did not succeed in out rightly destroying it. Till this day one can still see the slice marks where with his sword he slashed at the images face.

This image of our Lady was to be accredited with saving Poland from several invasions of Poland. Once, when Sweden tried to invade the country and the peoples prayed to the Black Madonna and the invading Swedish forces fled for their lives. It was this event which led up to King Casimir proclaiming that our Lady would henceforth also be known as Queen of Poland. As a grateful people rushed to give prayers of thanksgiving to this most miraculous of images.

When once again an invading force looked like overtaking Poland, the people turned to the Black Madonna to protect their beloved land from the invasion of the Russians. Their prayers were heard and the Russians turned back, after being defeated in the battle along the Vistula River!

Poland is yet another country that could be described as a nation of tears, for it was to suffer much under the invasion of the German Army in 1939 and then once the war had finished the Russians became the occupiers!

During all this tragedy and suffering on an epic scale the peoples of Poland clung tenaciously to this image of our Lady, the Black Madonna. For this image seemed to strengthen them during the most arduous and heartbreaking times in the course of Poland’s traumatic history.

The late Pope John Paul ll made several visits to Our Lady of Czestochowa to venerate and honour this most auspicious and beloved Holy Image of our Lady, which meant so much to the Polish people.

During the course of the many centuries when many of the Polish peasants would light candles as they prayed before this Holy image, it led to the picture becoming the shade of black.

But it is unique that from the early beginnings of Christianity to the present day the Black Madonna survives, who knows in the coming centuries the many miracles it will accomplish!

I would encourage all to read more about Our Lady of Czestochowa.

Peace of Christ to you ALL

Copyright © 2005 Marie Smith. All rights reserved.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Our Lady of Pontmain

Our Lady of Hope

The years 1870 to 1871 and beyond were to be critical and very difficult years for France as Bismarck embarked on a course of German unification, which was to bring untold tragedy to the people of France. So began the Franco/Prussian war, in which France was totally unprepared, therefore making Bismarck’s job that much easier, but for the peoples of France it was to herald in great strife and difficulties.

It was in the year 1871 on a very brisk and chilly January evening that an event was to touch a particular family in the village of Pontmain. This family was not unusual in anyway, yet what they were to see and experience was the epitome of unusual, for it was on January 17th, that the family whilst working in their barn they came upon a vision of a very beautiful lady.

The family was small and consisted of parents, father Cesar, his wife, Victoire, and their three children, all of them boys. It was the second to eldest son, Eugene who first saw this most surprising vision of a lady dressed in a blue gown which seemed to be sprinkled with gold stars and a black veil and crown upon her head. The lady smiled gently at Eugene who stood awestruck at such a sight!

Eugene called his father who was irritated at the interruption, as the day had been long and he was tired, but he went outside to see what the fuss was about. He was more than irritated when he could not see what Eugene was pointing at, but it was his other son Joseph who also exclaimed that he too could see this most wondrous lady. Upon hearing all the yelling Victoire also decided to join her husband and boys to see what the outcry was about, she too was joined by a neighbour.

Victoire was puzzled as she could also see nothing, but she knew her boys were not ones for lies, so it was her suggestion that maybe the beautiful lady was the Blessed Virgin and they should all pray the Rosary. But as the adults could see nothing and the time had come for supper, Victoire and Cesar decided to go inside for their family meal.

The two boys quickly finished off their meal and requested permission to once again go outside and see if our Lady were still there. Upon going outside both boys exclaimed that our Lady was still present, the parents decided to ask the local teacher, Sister Vitaline to come and see if she could do anything to help them.

Unfortunately the sister could also see nothing, so she requested that three other children be brought to the farm of the Barbadette family. When the three girls arrived two of them exclaimed loudly and with great excitement that they too could see the vision though the third and youngest child could not.

During all this commotion a crowd gathered around including the local priest, Michel Guerin, and though the adults could see nothing they began praying the Rosary. It was as they were reciting the Decades that the children excitedly exclaimed that four candles were now surrounding our Lady, two at her shoulder and two at her knees enveloping our Lady in an oval of light, and upon her heart the appearance of a red cross. As the prayers continued the children excitedly informed the crowds of the changing appearance of the vision of our Lady as she increased in her size, and that stars which had gathered around this vision was now becoming a part of her garment.

The children could not contain themselves, as they excitedly continued to inform the villagers of what they could see, they all said that now our Lady was showing a banner at her feet which read, "But pray, my children". Upon the instructions of the Priest the crowd began to recite the Litany to our Lady, as the crowd sang this prayer more words showed up on the banner, "God will soon answer you" and also "My Son allows Himself to be moved."

The children could barely contain their excitement upon receiving a visit from the most Pure and Holy Virgin Mother, but Our Lady's _expression was soon to change to sadness, as the children watched awestruck at the red cross which appeared before our Lady with the figure of Jesus in a deep shade of red. The children continued to inform the adults of the changes that were happening to the vision of Our Lady and all told that one of the stars was lighting four of the candles which surrounded Our Lady, they then saw the Crucifix disappear. The group of villagers then recited the night prayers, as the children said that a white veil was appearing and then obscuring the vision of our Lady, upon this the apparition ended!

At this time and in a move that still defies military reason, the Prussian army decided not to enter Laval only a short distance from Pontmain, and to return to Paris! In March, an armistice was signed and the war ended.

It was also in March of the same year that a canonical enquiry began into the Apparition at Pontmain, and upon further investigation, the Bishop decided in favour of The Apparition of Pontmain in February 1872.

Two of the Barbadette boys, Joseph and Eugene, entered the Priesthood, whilst another young village girl who had also seen this miraculous vision of our Lady became a religious.

A large basilica was built at Pontmain and consecrated in 1900.

I would encourage all to read further upon this amazing apparition, Our Lady of Pontmain.

Peace of Christ to you ALL

Copyright © 2005 Marie Smith. All rights reserved.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Our Lady of Prompt Succor

Our Lady of Perpetual Help

In the 13th to 14th centuries Italy was still evolving into the united country it would become, but until that time came, Italy was in essence a grouping of cities with their own ruling Principalities. At times this became difficult, as many provinces became uneasy bedfellows, and various factions were formed, and in the centre of most things was the Seat of Peter, the ruling Pontiff, who was also at times placed into precarious and unenviable alliances, which was not always profitable to its own interests.

The cities that gained the most at this particular time were those of Florence, Venice, Siena, Genoa, Pisa, etc. It was during the trade route, which saw some cities flourish whilst others were abandoned, that some governments formed medieval communes, which was meant to distribute wealth more securely and under a fair system.

So it was during this time of opening trade and difficult political intrigues that a picture of Our Lady of Prompt Succor was brought to Italy via a prosperous merchant who unfortunately died, whilst trying to have it displayed so all could venerate it.

This Holy image was placed in the care of the Augustinians who were based in Rome, but unfortunately the French invaded Rome, and so the Holy image disappeared for many years.

But, when God wishes our Lady to be Venerated, then nothing will stand in His way, and through Divine Providence, the image reappeared 40 years later. And upon its discovery Pope Pius lX took an interest in it, for he had remembered praying before it as a young boy.

This Holy Image become greatly loved in all parts of the world and a great devotion was built upon our Lady of Succor. Including the America's when the Ursuline Order arrived in New Orleans, and upon the arrival of Mother St. Michel, who brought with her a statue of Our Lady of Prompt Succor.

And during the difficult years of the war in New Orleans in 1815, many turned to this religious Icon to pray for the safety of their fighting men and protection of their beloved city, from British invaders. Whilst casualities were high amongst the British soldiers, the American soldiers under their leader Andrew Jackson faired much better. Therefore many felt that their prayers were heard, and the people gave thanks that they were saved from further loss and invasion from foreign troops.

Many in later years were to also embrace this Image of Our Lady and pray for protection against hurricanes and other disasters. And it was also in later years that this particular image would also acquire a new name beside the residing name, Our Lady of Prompt Succor also became known as our Lady of Perpetual Help.

I encourage all to learn more about Our Lady of Prompt Succor.

Peace of Christ to you ALL.

Copyright © 2005 Marie Smith. All rights reserved.

Gold Lapel Decade Rosary, Our Lady of Perpetual Help

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Our Lady of Vailankanni

Our Lady of Health, Vailankanni

The history begins in the 16th century when the first apparition of Our Lady was to a shepherd Hindu boy, carrying milk and was on his way from Vailankanni to a customer in Nagapattinam. The little boy rested near a waterpond when he saw suddenly a graceful Lady of exquisite beauty, holding in her hands a sweet child. Both wore halo´s around their heads. Our Lady asked the boy for some milk for her child and the boy gave it to her willingly. Our Lady and the Child then smiled to the boy. When he reached the customer and told the story he didn´t believe the boy. Then suddenly the milk started to surge over the pot and flowout. The place then was called "Our Lady's Tank".

The second appariton took some years later with a poor widow and her son near Vailankanni. The boy was lame by birth and every day he sat under a banyan tree at a place called Nadu Thittu and sold buttermilk to the people who passed by and were thirsty. Then on one day he saw a very bright light in front of him and a beautiful Lady with a divine Child in her arms asked the boy for a cup of buttermilk. After that She asked him that he would go to a Catholic gentleman at Nagapattinam to put up a chapel in her name, at the place she appeared. Then the boy realised he was not lame anymore and could walk so ran to the Catholic gentleman at Nagapattinam and they both returned to the site that Our Lady had appeared and she appeared again to them both.The man built a Chapel at "Nadu Thittu' where now still the Shrine Basilica is.The Lady then was called "Our Lady of Good Health".

The third time Our Lady appeared was in the 17th century when a Portuguese merchant vessel was sailing from Macao to Colombo in a terrible storm. They prayed and begged Mary the star of the Sea to save them. And they promised to build a church if they would land safely. The sea then became calm and the ship landed near the shore of Vailankanni on September 8th, the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lady. They gave thanks and tribute to Our Lady and they improved the little thatched chapel that the Catholic gentleman build and made a beautiful stone built Chapel. On their next visit they decorated the Altar with porcelain plates of biblical illustrations to thank Our Lady.

The celebration of this feast is an annual festival which lasts for 9 days and attracts over one and a half million pilgrims every year. Not only Catholics but also non-Christians. Hundreds of miraculous cures are reported every year.

Historical Data of Vailankanni Shrine

1. The history of Our Lady of Health, Vailankanni, dawned in the 16th century
2. In September 1771, Vailankanni which had been a substation of Nagapattinam Parish, was raised to the status of a Parish.
3. The majestic Shrine facing the East, was renovated twice in 1920 and 1933.
4. His Holiness Pope John the XXIII, raised the Shrine to the status of 'Basilica' on the 3rd November 1962. The apparitions of Our Lady, the Miraculous statue of Our Lady, the countless miracles, the magnificent architecture and beauty of the Shrine, were the motives for this Shrine to become a Basilica.
5. The storeyed extension Basilica was blessed and opened in 1975.
6. In 1985,the little Chapel at Our Lady's Tank, was built a new and blessed.
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