Thursday, November 24, 2005

Our Lady of Pillar



St James the Greater, who was a brother to St. John, both of whom were Apostles of Christ. And upon the death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, St. James set out on his evangelisation to spread the Good news, to various parts of the world.

James the Greater was one of the Apostles who were closer to our Lord as was John and Peter all of whom were with Jesus at the Transfiguration. James is called the Greater to distinguish him from the other James who came after the Apostle James.

Upon the death and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus, James began his Mission in Israel where he spoke to all about the Good news and the Promise of our Lord for the Salvation of all men.

This would lead St. James to Spain, but upon talking to many peoples in that country James became despondent when no one seemed to take particular notice of his attempts to evangelise that nation. For James had a great and zealous love for our Lord Jesus and longed for others to share in this amazing love that God has for all men.

So though James was disappointed, and almost ready to retreat in defeat, he turned to prayer and upon praying to our Lord, James was to be the recipient of a vision of our Lady.

During this vision our Lady gave to James a statue, and also a pillar upon receiving this, our Lady requested, that a Church be built on that same spot, this so uplifted James that his heart near burst with love, and it also strengthened him for the mission that lay ahead of him.

James did as our Lady had requested and a Church was built which held the statue and the pillar, with the inscription 'Our lady of the Pillar'.

Upon the completion of the little Church, James the Greater, left Spain and returned to Israel where he was murdered on the orders of Herod, by beheading.

The place where the little Church was built now stands a Cathedral which many pilgrims visit to this day.

We owe so much to these brave Apostles who spread the Gospel near and far which was to cost many their lives, may we try to emulate their courage in this day.

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

Peace of Christ to ALL
Copyright © 2005 Marie Smith. All rights reserved.

Cause Of Our Joy

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Prophecies of Blessed Anna Maria Taigi



The eighteenth century was revolutionary years for most of Europe as revolutions brought tragedies to many countries and the move towards enlightenment questioned the old Order.

This would bring in much confusion to ordinary people as the 'great thinkers' of the day questioned all authority including the Catholic Church, and found most wanting as they favoured their own ego centric ideas.

During this time a man of great ambition decided he would try and rule the world and through his manic ego many lives would be lost as he warred with different countries. For Napoleon Bonaparte did not care about the man in the street but instead thought only of fulfilling his evil ambition to become Emperor of many nations, until he met his Waterloo!

And during these troubled times the Church too would not go untouched as Italy remained disunited into different Provinces which placed the Papal State into a vicarious position as differing Noble families fought amongst themselves for primacy! And invasions from other countries took place within Italy sometimes at the behest of the reigning Pope.

But there were Popes such as Pope Pius VI who tried to influence Emperor Joseph ll from his Anti Religious position, as the smell of revolution gained strength in France.

Into this volatile arena was born Anna Maria Masi in the year 1769 to her loving and devout parents, Gianetti and Maria Masi. And as the Masi family struggled financially they decided to move from Siena to Rome in search of work.

Anna Maria would spend her early years in several jobs to try and help support her parents and herself. This included jobs as a seamstress, a housemaid and working in a local factory. But it was as she worked as a housemaid that Anna Maria saw how the rich lived and joined in with the merriment and dancing.

So in 1709 Anna Maria met and married Dominico Taigi a man from a noble background, though he was not overly prosperous. They lived happily in the society circles of the day as they joined in the round of events, dances and gave little thought to their Faith.

But it was as she and her husband, went to confession that Anna Maria would be touched by the voice of God calling her to return to Him and give up the vanities in which she had surrounded herself.

It was this experience which totally turned Anna Maria from a flighty woman into a devout woman who lived her Faith and shared what she had with the poor. During this time Anna Maria joined the Third Order of Trinitarians as she made great steps in her spiritual development.

As Anna Maria embraced her Faith and turned her life around this brought questions from others as they queried her motives. But the gossip did not affect Anna Maria as she continued to observe daily Mass, availed herself of frequent Confession and also supervised her children with the support of her at times tired and irritable, husband Dominico.

During her spiritual growth God would grant many Graces to Anna Maria including that of being able to read souls, of experiencing visions and she also fell into ecstasies. But the driving force of Anna Maria's Faith was not the extraordinary occurrences but a life filled with humility, docility and meekness, as she spent many hours in prayer while waiting for her tired husband to return home.

Our Lord also gave messages to Anna Maria for herself and for the world, as Jesus said to her, "there are few, very few my daughter, even among the servants of God, who renounce spiritual delights in order to embrace suffering by love". And as God embraced Anna Maria the devil also assaulted her senses by trying to make her doubt God's Goodness as Anna Maria spent many years in spiritual aridity as she expiated for the souls of many. But through all this Anna Maria remained faithful to her one love, God and His Church!

Anna Maria was to see many events in the future through a ball of glowing light that would suspend itself near her as she prayed.

This great woman of Faith also foretold the election of Pope Pius lX and also the terrible sufferings that would touch many people in the years to come. And upon seeing a great Chastisement Anna Maria wept and begged to help avert this catastrophe where upon our Lord told her, "My Father and I will set all to rights, and after the chastisements those who survive must behave in the way I shall explain to you".

As Anna Maria saw in the glow of light that Rome would be threatened with wars and revolutions and that a great tribulation would come upon the entire world. As men of all religions tried to return to the Church which would also usher in confusion to those faithful to the Church in Rome.

And a more terrible sight did Anna Maria see when looking into the ball of light, 'Here shall come over the whole earth an intense darkness lasting three days and three nights. Nothing will be visible, and the air will be laden with pestilence which will claim mainly, but not only, the enemies of religion.- On this terrible occasion so many of these wicked men, enemies of His Church, and of God, shall be killed by this divine scourge, that their corpses round Rome will be as numerous as the fish, which a recent inundation of the Tiber had carries into the city. All the enemies of the Church, secret as well as known, will perish over the earth during that universal darkness, with the exception of a few, whom God will soon convert. The air shall be infected by demons, who will appear under all sorts of visible forms.' As her vision continued, "It will be impossible to use any man-made lighting during this darkness, except blessed candles. He, who out of curiosity, opens his window to look out, or leaves his home, will fall dead on the spot. During these three days, people should remain in their homes, pray the Rosary and beg God for mercy."

As one can imagine Anna Maria's soul was full of horror as she saw these visions of future chastisements, but our Lord comforted her troubled soul with these words, "those to whom I shall grant the spirit of humility, those will be the victors."

And as Anna Maria's life became filled with illness, still she saw her globe of light which illuminated her soul as she foresaw, that many German people would embrace, "one religion, one German philosophy in one German fatherland"! That many would also embrace the reasoning of the mind rather than trust in God and His Providence. Also that freemasonry would become acceptable as many sought to destroy the Catholic Church!

Through all these visions and messages from our Lord Anna Maria never lost her hope nor did her Faith lessen, and though she would see the great Chastisements she also never lost her peace of heart.

As she saw the Church and its people suffering, so too did she see the humble of heart receive their Just reward from a Merciful God.

Anna Maria lived a life totally devoted to God and her family as she raised her children to be loving and good Catholics and helped her husband to understand the import of her many visions and messages for the world. She lived a life of suffering, spiritual aridity and withstood the calumny of those who were jealous of her piety and holiness. All this did not change Anna Maria as she clung to her beloved Lord with true docility of spirit.

Anna Maria Taigi died in 1837.

Blessed Anna Maria Taigi was beatified in 1920 by Pope Benedict XV.

Peace of Christ to ALL
Copyright © 2005 Marie Smith. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Our Lady of Betania



Maria Esperanza was born in the small of San Rafael in Venezuela in the year 1928. Her mystical experiences started at an early age, which included a vision of St. Therese of Lisieux. Maria's health was never good and she came close to death several times, but through prayer and Divine intervention Maria always recovered.

Maria proved herself to be a very devout child and longed to enter the Religious life in order to serve God, but through another vision of St. Therese she was told that God wished for her to be a good wife and mother and to evangelise the world about the Catholic Faith. At the same time a vision of Jesus Sacred Heart told her to live in Rome where she stayed with the Sisters of the Ravasco Institute.

Not long after this Maria met and married her husband Geo Bianchini Giani in the year 1956, they would have 7 children.

Maria Esperanza is known world wide for her great devoutness and piety, and had gained the approval of her local Bishop. She was a woman who, despite her enormous gifts, remained humble and meek in heart.

Some of the Gifts bestowed on Maria were the stigmata, levitation, the gift of healing others, bilocation and she was told by both Our Lord and Lady what could happen to the world if people did not amend their ways.

There would also be a Eucharistic miracle when a Host which had been Consecrated by the local priest, showed signs of blood, Fr. Otty Aristizabal immediately informed Church authorities and after some tests the blood was proven to be of a human origin.

In 1974 Maria and her husband Geo moved their family to Finca Betania, upon the instructions of Our Lady, who would make this a haven of peace in an often bleak world. In one of her visions Our Lady also allowed herself to be seen by at least 100 people all of whom swore to what they had witnessed to the Church officials.

This began an investigation by the Church into these mystical experiences of seeing Our Lady, after three years it gained Ecclesiastical approval. And though the Church has approved of the appearance of Our Lady, the messages that Maria Esperanza has received are still under investigation.

Some of the messages given to Maria by Our Lady are warnings of future calamities if we do not stop the trend towards secularism, Our Lady has said, "I come to reconcile them, to seek them out, to give them faith, which has disappeared in the noise and din of an atomic awakening which is at the point of bursting out. My message is of faith, love and hope. More than anything, it brings reconciliation between people and nations. It is the only thing that can save this century from war and eternal death...If a change does not come and a conversion of life, one will perish under the fire, war and death...".

Our Lady also told Maria this, "Forgive one another. Love one another. Serve one another. Pray for the Church. Pray for priests. Return to the Sacraments, dear little children. Confess your sins while the sun shines. Sacrifice yourselves for the conversion of sinners and for peace in the world. All of you are children of God. All are loved."

Maria was also given this warning to the world, "There is coming the great moment of a great day of light. The consciences of this beloved people must be violently shaken so that they may 'put their house in order' and offer to Jesus the just reparation for the daily infidelities that are committed on the part of sinners...".

The summary of Our Lady's messages to Maria Esperanza are basically a warning to the peoples of the world. Not to instil fear into the hearts of the Faithful but to strengthen them and once again help those who have strayed from the Path of God's Will.

Our Lady's messages are spoken from the immense love she feels for all her children, no matter the background or how sinful their past. If we amend our lives, partake of the Sacraments and pray for the world, we will be fulfilling the Commandments of God. And from this will spring peace of heart and peace in Nations as all gather around Our Lady who reconciles all to her Immaculate Heart.

But in order to gain this peace we must first desire it and seek it through prayer.

The visionary Maria Esperanza died on August 7, 2004.

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

Peace of Christ to ALL

Copyright © 2005 Marie Smith. All rights reserved.

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