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Showing posts with label Catholic Visionaries. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Catholic Visionaries. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Our Lady of Nicaragua (Our Lady of Cuapa)




Bernardo Martinez was a very simple, middle-aged rancher with great humility. In the valley of Cuapa, Nicaragua, he took care of the small sacristy. From the time he was a young boy, he had done the cleaning in the chapel, opened doors for services, prepared for all celebrations, rang the bells and led the Rosary hours all without pay. Bernardo's grandmother had been very devout, and she taught him to have a great love for Our Holy Mother Mary, and the Rosary. Bernardo was very poor, owning a single calf and bathing in a nearby stream.

On two different nights in April of 1980, Bernardo had gone to the sacristy, where he found the lights turned on. Bernardo was sure some of the local women had left the lights on, and he had lightly scolded them.

Then, on the night of April 15, 1980, Bernardo saw the glow of the lights from the sacristy, and entered to turn them off. What he found instead, was not the sacristy lights on, but the statue of the Virgin Mary illuminated all by itself. Because of Bernardo's humility and simplicity, he thought that the statue lit up because Mary was mad at him for blaming some of the women for leaving the lights on.

Bernardo later said:

I thought The Holy Virgin, the Holy Mother, is angry with me because I have been quarreling with the people. I decided to ask their forgiveness because I was so moved at seeing Her so illuminated.

After the public apology, I told all the people (who were there praying the Rosary) what I had seen (the illuminated statue). But I asked them to keep it secret. It was not so. The secret spread throughout all of Cuapa and I suffered due to this because some of them ridiculed me.

The people continued to ridicule Bernardo, even his priest. People would ask if Mary was talking to him; the priest would ask him for news as if he was making fun; and then told him to pray to Mary and ask Her if there was anything she wanted from the people.
Bernardo did pray, but his prayer was:

Blessed Mother, please do not request anything of me. I have many problems in the church. Make your request known to some other person because I want to avoid any more problems. I have a great many now. I don't want any more.

The man Mary had chosen to receive Her message exemplifies what the Gospels say we all should be: simple, childlike, humble, prayerful, and obedient. Bernardo Martinez was himself such a man.

On May 8, 1980, Bernardo had gone fishing. He was returning around 3 o'clock to go feed the animals, and then go to the chapel to pray the Rosary with the people at 5 o'clock. As he was going on his way, he saw 2 lightening flashes. On the second flash, the Virgin Mary appeared to him. Here are his own words:

"It looked like the statue of the Virgin of Fatima. I was immobile. I had no inclination to run, to yell, I felt no fear, I was surprised. I had thought and said: What am I seeing? Could it be the same statue of the Virgin that they brought and placed here for me? The statue from the chapel? Is it in order to play a joke on me because I said I saw it illuminated? Is it a trick? But no! I would have seen them carrying it.I then passed my hand over my face because I thought that what I saw was a dream. And I said, Could it be that I am asleep, but I have not tripped over anything."

"And when I removed my hands from my face, I saw that she had human skin and that her eyes moved and She blinked. I then said, in my thoughts, because I could not move my tongue I said: She is alive. She is not a statue. She is alive! My mind was the only thing that I could move. I felt like numb, my lower jaw stiff and my tongue as if asleep, everything immobilized, as I said, only the ideas moved in my head. I was in those thoughts when She extended Her arms --- like the Miraculous Medal which I never had seen, but which later was shown to me. She extended Her arms and from Her hands emanated rays of light stronger than the sun. She was... She rested up high and the rays that came from Her hands touched my breast. When she gave out Her light is when I became encouraged to speak, although somewhat stammering. I said to her: What is your name?"

"She answered me with the sweetest voice I have ever heard in any woman, not even in persons who speak softly. She answered me and said that Her name was Mary. I saw the way She moved Her lips. I then said: She is alive! She spoke! She has answered my question! I could see that we could enter into a conversation, that I could speak with Her. I asked her, then, where She came from. She told me with the same sweetness:

"I come from Heaven. I am the Mother of Jesus. At hearing this I immediately asked Her --- remembering what the priest had told me --- I asked Her: What is it you want? "I want the Rosary to be prayed everyday."

"I then interrupted and said to Her: Yes, we are praying it. --- The priest brought us the intentions of the San Francisco parish so that we would unite ourselves with them.

"She told me: I don't want it prayed only in the month of May. I want it to be prayed permanently, within the family, including the children old enough to understand; to be prayed at a set hour when there are no problems with the work in the home."

"She told me that the Lord does not like prayers we make in a rush or mechanically. Because of that She recommended praying of the Rosary with the reading of bible citations and that we put into practice the Word of God."

"When I heard this I thought and said, How is this? because I did not know the Rosary was biblical. That is why I asked Her and said, Where are the biblical citations?"

"She told me to look for them in the Bible and continued saying: "Love each other. Fulfill your obligations. Make peace. Don't ask our Lord for peace because if you do not make it there will be no peace. Renew the Five First Saturdays. You received many graces when all of you did this."

"Before the war we used to do this. --- We went to Confession and Communion every First Saturday of the month. --- But since the Lord already had freed us from the shedding of blood in Cuapa, we no longer continued this practice. Then She said:

"Nicaragua has suffered much since the earthquake. She is threatened with even more suffering. She will continue to suffer if you don't change. --- Pray! Pray, my son, the Rosary for all the world. Tell believers and non-believers that the world is threatened by grave dangers. I ask the Lord to appease His Justice, but if you don't change, you will hasten the arrival of a Third World War."

"After She had said these words, I understood that I had to say this to the people and I told her: "Lady, I don't want problems. I have many in the Church. Tell this to another person." She then told me:

"No, because Our Lord has selected you to give the message."

After this first vision of Our Lady, there would be five more visions of Her, and one vision of an angel.

Not wanting any more problems or ridicule from the people, Bernardo kept the vision to himself, and began to avoid the area where the vision had occurred. He felt guilty for remaining silent, and felt as though he had a great weight upon him. On May 16, 1980, Bernardo was walking through a pasture on his way to take his calf to the river to water it. Once again he saw 2 lightning flashes, and Mary appeared before him:

"I thought she had come to complain about all that she had told me to say. I felt guilty for not having spoken as she had asked and at the same time, in my mind, I said: "I don't go to the place where she appeared because she appears there, and now, she appears to me here. I will be in a fine state, she will be following me wherever I am." It was with this in mind, when she told me with a tone -- with her voice soft -- but with a tone as if in reprehension: "Why have you not told what I sent you to tell?" I then answered her: "Lady, it is that I am afraid. I am afraid of being the ridicule of the people, afraid that they will laugh at me, that they will not believe me. Those who will not believe this, will laugh at me. They will say that I am crazy." She then said to me: "Do not be afraid. I am going to help you, and tell the priest." Saying this, there was another flash of lightning and she disappeared.

Bernardo then told all the people who came to his house about his vision, and then he told the priest. The priest told him that what he had already seen he could tell the people, but if he had any more visions he was to tell no one but the priest.

On June 8, 1980 Bernardo had a night time appearance from  Our Lady. She showed him 4 visions that Bernardo described as being like a movie in the sky. First, he saw a large group of people dressed in white, their bodies radiating light, singing and marching towards heaven. These were the first Christians. Second, he saw another large group of people (Dominicans), dressed in white with large luminous Rosaries in their hands. One of them carried a very large book. He read, then everyone silently meditated on the words,  and then they all prayed the Our Father and ten Hail Marys

Mary told Bernardo:

"They are the first ones to whom I gave the Rosary. That is the way that I want all of you to pray the Rosary."

Bernardo then saw a third group all dressed in brown robes, apparently they were the Franciscans.

"These received the Rosary from the hands of the first ones."

The fourth group Bernardo saw was a very large group dressed in normal street clothes and all carrying Rosaries. Light radiated from all of their bodies, and their bodies were all beautiful. Bernardo told Mary he wanted to go with this last group because they were all dressed like he was.

Mary's reply to him was:

"No! You are still lacking. You have to tell the people what you have seen and heard. I have shown you the glory of Our Lord and you people will acquire this if you are obedient to Our Lord, to the Lord's Word; if you persevere in praying the Holy Rosary and put into practice the Lord's Word."

Bernardo wanted to tell everyone about this vision, but he obeyed his priest and told only him. This is always a true test of any apparition, and that is the obedience of the seer to the priests and bishops.

On July 8, 1980 an Angel appeared to Bernardo and foretold several events which shortly took place. One of those events was the murder of Bernardo's cousin which could have been prevented if he had listened to Bernardo's warnings.

On September 8, 1980, Mary appeared to Bernardo as a child of six or seven years old. Her message to him was the same as the first time and Bernardo asked Her if She wanted a church built in her honor, as one man had already given him 80 Cordobas for that purpose.

Mary told Bernardo:

"No! The Lord does not want material churches, He wants living temples which are yourselves. Restore the sacred temple of the Lord. In you is the gratification for the Lord. Love each other. Love one another. Forgive each other. Make peace. Don't just ask for it, make peace. From this day on do not accept even one cent for anything. Always continue firmly in the catechism. Little by little you will comprehend all that the catechism signifies. As a community group meditate on the beatitudes, away from all the noise. I am not going to return on the 8th of October, but on the 13th." (Note: October 13 is the Feast of Fatima.)

On October 13, 1980, Mary appeared to Bernardo at Cuapa for the final time. Bernardo and fifty people went to the site of the apparitions. They prayed the Rosary and sang "Holy Queen of Heaven" when suddenly Bernardo and the witnesses saw:

..."a big luminous circle formed over the ground. Everyone without a single exception saw it. It was like a single ray that fell and marked this luminous circle on the ground. The light came from above. The light that came was like a spotlight that on touching the ground was scattered. Seeing how this light fell over the heads of everyone who was there, I again looked upward and saw that a circle gave off lights in different colors, without coming from the sun. It was not at that spot as the sun was already setting.

"A little girl, being held by the hand of her mother, tried to release her hand, telling her mother that the Lady was calling her. The mother held her even more firmly and did not let her move. The child's mother told me this herself after the apparition was over.

"It was 3:00 in the afternoon. One could feel a small breeze that moved softly. Pleasant, like a fresh shower, but which did not wet us. While we observed this, we were silent and continued seeing that circle of light which gave off colored lights from the exact center, where the sun is at twelve noon.

"All of a sudden a lightning flash, the same as the other times; then, a second one. I lowered my eyes and I saw the Lady."

When Mary's form appeared Bernardo pleaded with Her to allow herself to be seen by the others for they didn't believe. Her face turned pale, and Her garments gray, and She began to cry. Bernardo began to cry too when he saw how this hurt her, and he began to apologize profusely. Mary told him:

"It saddens me to see the hardness of those persons hearts. But you will have to pray for them so that they will change. Pray the Rosary. Meditate on the mysteries. Listen to the Word of God spoken in them. Love one another. Love each other. Forgive each other. Make peace. Don't ask for peace without making peace, because if you don't make it, it does no good to ask for it.

"Fulfill your obligations. Put into practice the world of God. Seek ways to please God. Serve your neighbor as that way you will please Him.

"They ask of me things that are unimportant. Ask for Faith in order to have the strength so that each can carry his own cross.

"The suffering of this world cannot be removed. That is the way life is. There are problems with the husband, with the wife, with the children, with the brothers. Talk, converse, so that problems will be resolved in peace. Do not turn to violence. Never turn to violence. Pray for faith in order that you will have patience.

"You will no longer see me in this place."

Bernardo began to shout, begging "Don't leave us my Mother!"

Mary said:

"Do not be grieved. I am with all of you even though you do not see me. I am the Mother of All you sinners.

"Love one another. Forgive each other. Make peace, because if you don't make it, there will be no peace. Do not turn to violence. Never turn to violence.

"Nicaragua has suffered a great deal since the earthquake, and will continue to suffer if all of you don't change. If you don't change you will hasten the coming of the Third World War.

"Pray, pray, my son, for all the world. Grave dangers threaten the world. The Mother never forgets Her children, and I have not forgotten what you suffer. I am the Mother of all of you sinners. Invoke me with these words.

"Holy Virgin, You are my Mother, the Mother to all of us sinners."

With those words, Our Lady of Nicaragua left, and never again appeared in that place. Her message was complete...pray the Rosary, meditate on Christ's life, meditate on the Beatitudes, pray as a family, never rush or mechanically say prayers, make your own peace, and put the Word of God into practice daily.

Bernardo Martinez, that simple humble man who received these visions, continued to be the sacristan at his parish for awhile. 

When the Bishop of Juigalpa, Bishop Pablo Antonio Vega, authorized him to reveal the miracle, and crowds of pilgrims began coming to Cuapa, the Sandinistas began to persecute Bernardo. They tried to bribe Bernardo with the offer of free farm land if he would say that the Virgin was Sandinista. He refused. They then launched a televison and newspaper campaign calling Bernardo insane, hysterical, and hallucinatory. A woman began to follow him, and tried to seduce him, but he would not be swayed. The faithful who protected Bernardo discovered lurking photographers, and one morning defended him from Sandinista  police who had invaded his house and tried to kidnap him.

To protect Bernardo, the Church brought him to a seminary where he devoted himself to gardening and took great joy in telling the seminarians about his visions.

In 1995. at the age of 64 years, Bernardo was himself ordained a priest in the Cathedral of León, Nicaragua. He would later celebrate the Mass of the Resurrection in this same cathedral. 

Bernardo Martinez died as a holy priest in 2000.



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You may click here to read Bernardo Martinez's officiasl statement on the apparitions at Cuapa given to Bishop Mons. Pablo Antonia Vega, Prelate Bishop of Juigalpa.

In 1982, both Bishop Bosco M. Vivas Robelo, Auxiliary Bishop and Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Managua and Bishop Pablo Antonio Vega M., Prelate Bishop of Juigalpa (the diocese where the apparitions took place) released statements positively affirming the apparitions. You may read those by clicking here.





Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Very First Marian Apparition - Our Lady of the Pillar ~ Canterbury Tales by Dr. Taylor Marshall



The following excerpt is from the blog "Canterbury Tales" by Dr. Taylor Marshall:

  • The first recorded Marian apparition occurred while the Blessed Virgin Mary was still on earth. According to tradition, the Apostle Saint James the Greater (brother of Saint John the Evangelist) was sent by Saint Peter to Spain to evangelize the Gentiles of that province. While praying by the banks of the Ebro at Saragossa, the Holy Mother of God bilocated and appeared to the Apostle. She instructed him to build a church there, which he did.


Click the link below to read the entire article:


The Very First Marian Apparition - Our Lady of the Pillar ~ Canterbury Tales by Dr. Taylor Marshall

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The Prophecies of Anne Catherine Emmerich


Anne Catherine Emmerich was born in humble conditions to a very devout couple so she learnt from an early age to love her Faith. But Anne's life was not like that of other children her age in that she was the recipient of visions and messengers of God from her youth.

God blessed Anne with many gifts including that of reading hearts, the hidden stigmata, and she survived only on the Eucharist for many years. This remarkable young girl would also converse with her guardian Angel and also come under attack by the demonic forces, none of which affected her Faith except for it to grow even more depthful than it already was.

Venerable Anne would also be visited by our Lord Jesus and our Lady where upon she received messages for the world, warning all people to once again embrace and live their Faith.

Some of these messages given to Anne were, 'that every parish and diocese, each city and country has its own particular and powerful guardian angel.' Anne Catherine was to see and be told many things including these messages from Heaven, She revealed that to gain an indulgence we must approach the Sacraments with true repentance and a firm purpose of amendment–or we do not gain it. She deposes that it is more holy to pray for the Poor Souls in Purgatory than for sinners who are still alive, for Anne had a particular love and devotion for the poor souls in Purgatory. She was also told that 'more Protestant souls stayed in Purgatory the longest not because they were worse than anyone else, but because so few people prayed for the repose of their souls or offered up Masses for their soul.'

Anne went on to describe what she has seen and 'describes the nature, extent and power of victim souls, and their role in the life of the Church. She describes the condition of St. Lydwine of Schiedam, a victim soul during the time of "three popes," and how her body came apart into three pieces, joined only by the slenderest of sinews. She saw only 6 victim souls in her time working like herself on behalf of the Universal Church, and about 100,000 Catholic people worldwide who were great in their faith.'

This great Saint went on to experience mystical visions and receive even more prophecies for our troubled world including these, 'She saw the strong link–even long after their deaths–between holy souls in Heaven and their descendants here on earth, lasting even centuries. And that Enoch and Elias are in Paradise where they await their return to the world to preach at the End of Time. Also this too, she revealed that Our Lord suffered from the wound in His shoulder more than from any other.'

And a warning for the world for those would listen to the signs of the times, she said that, "a false church, and wicked men scheming against the Catholic Church and doing much harm–both in her own time and in the future. And actually saw in a vision this, the enemies of the Church tearing it down and trying to build a new one on strictly human plans–but none of the saints would lend a hand. Later, this church of men is destroyed and the saints of God join in to rebuild the true Church of God, which becomes more glorious than ever before".


But once again our Lord leaves us with hope through this most pious of souls as Anne was told, that the there would be a revival in the Priesthood and the Religious order after a period of great decadence.


Anne also describes seeing this in her words, "All over the world I saw numberless infusions of the Spirit; sometimes, like a lightning-stroke, falling on a congregation in church, and I could tell who among them had received the grace; or again, I beheld individuals praying in their homes, suddenly endowed with light and strength. The sight awoke in me great joy and confidence that the Church, amid her ever-increasing tribulations, will not succumb; for in all parts of the world I saw defenders raised up to her by the Holy Ghost. Yes, I felt that the oppression of the powers of this world serves but to increase her strength."


Anne also went on to say what had been revealed to her, "what is most painful for me to repeat, that if only one priest offered the Unbloody Sacrifice as worthily and with the same sentiments as the Apostles, he could ward off all calamities from the Church." "Owing to the spirit of the world and tepidity, if the Savior returned to earth today to announce His doctrine in person, He would find as many opponents as He did among the Jews."


And though Anne Catherine suffered much not only physically but also from the disdain of her fellow Religious Sisters, still she lived a life of quiet humility and holiness.


I would encourage all to read more about this great Saint of the Church, Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich.


Copyright © 2007 Marie Smith. All rights reserved.




Thursday, January 18, 2007

Our Lady of Lourdes



Visionary St. Bernadette Soubirous

Lourdes is probably one of the best known Apparitions of Our Lady, which also verified and made clear the Dogma/Doctrine of The Immaculate Conception, which was authorised by Pope Pius IX on December 8, 1854.

But let us take a closer look at this young girl and the message of Our Lady, which was entrusted to the young Bernadette Soubirous. She was born into a poor peasant family, in the year 1844, the first of six siblings. These were difficult years for her family and five of her brothers were to die at very young ages. Bernadette herself almost died of cholera, but, was able to survive this illness. As the family was destitute neither parent could afford medications.

Because of the poverty of her parents, Bernadette lived at different times with a foster mother at Bartres. Being that she was so poor, Bernadette was denied a decent education, and could neither read nor write. This was discovered as she began to receive instruction to prepare for her first Communion.

But it was in the year 1858 on February 11th, that Bernadette’s life would be changed forever. It was a cold day and Bernadette with two of her sisters were sent out to gather firewood for their cold and austere home. Being fragile in health, Bernadette did not cross the stream, but instead decided to wait for her sisters.

It was here that Bernadette thought she heard what sounded like a clap of thunder, as she pulled her shawl closer about her shoulders. It was as she was gazing at the sky to see if there were storm clouds, that Bernadette first saw a very beautiful woman looking at her from across the stream. The beautiful lady was dressed in what looked like a luminous white dress with a sash of blue around her waist and two golden roses on her feet. Bernadette was awestruck but also frightened as to what to do, she then saw the beautiful lady make the sign of the Cross before she disappeared, no words were spoken.

Bernadette was entranced by this beautiful lady, and thereby she returned to what is the grotto at Massabielle. It was on February 18th that Our Lady told Bernadette that she would not live a happy life on earth, but that her happiness was assured in Heaven. Our Lady gave several messages to Bernadette asking for Penance from the people and a greater devotion to our Lord and Savior.

It was here that Our Lady requested that Bernadette dig the ground so that a spring could burst forth. Bernadette immediately began digging the ground, taking no account of some of the derision from the crowds. Eventually a spring did burst forth which remains to this day.
But it was the message on March 2nd where Mary told Bernadette, "Tell the priests that people should come here in procession and that a chapel should be built on the site." Also on March 25th, the Blessed Virgin revealed to Bernadette, "I am the Immaculate Conception."

Our Lady was true to her word and Bernadette upon the completion of the messages from the Blessed Virgin Mary, decided after suffering ridicule and the curious crowds which followed her around, to enter the Religious life.

She eventually entered the Sisters of Notre Dame, but after a health scare she was given the last rites, the Church therefore gave approval for Bernadette to make her vows. Bernadette was able to recover and spent time working in the Sacristy as part of her duties.

Bernadette was a very humble soul and disliked the 'fame' that seemed to plague her. She always referred to herself when questioned by the curious as 'the broom placed behind the door once it has been used', she never sought nor received special treatment. If anything the opposite occurred, when some in her community became jealous of the favour that was shown to this young nun. She suffered in silence many cruel taunts and persecutions from within her religious community. After suffering much agony and in her death throes, she cried out "Blessed Mary, Mother of God, pray for me! A poor sinner, a poor sinner".

Bernadette died on April 16, 1879, at the age of 35.

She was canonized in 1933 by Pope Pius XI.

Upon exhuming the body of this Great Saint her body was found incorrupt and she lay in a glass reliquary, in the convent chapel.

I encourage all to read about this most momentous Vision, Our Lady of Lourdes.

Copyright © 2007- 2013 Marie Smith. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The Visions and Miracles of Saint Padre Pio



Much has been written about that great man of the Church known as Padre Pio, let us examine some of the more extraordinary experiences that touched the life of Padre Pio, those who were close to him and for the world.

Francesco Forgione was born in the year 1887 to poor parents, Grazio and Maria who were farmers in the region of Pietrelcina, though a poor family the Forgione family were rich in love of God and the Church. From early youth the young Francisco had a horror and aversion towards sin to the extent that he would often refuse to play with his contemporaries as they often swore and behaved badly. So the young boy lived a life of deep prayer even in one so young, he felt the call to live as holy as possible in order to please God and God alone! He would often practice penances even to having a rock as his pillow and going without meals, in order to make reparation for his sins and the sins of others. Francisco at the young age of 16 entered the Order of the Capuchin Friars and in January 1903 he took the habit and the name Brother Pio. In 1907 Brother Pio took his final Vows, and was known as Padre Pio.

Though God would touch Padre Pio's life in extraordinary ways, within himself Padre Pio was known for his uncompromising nature, his compassion to all he met and his determination to remain faithful to the Teachings of the Church and his Order, and all in a spirit of humility. Even though he embraced and lived in a spirit of humility and meekness this did not mean that the devil left him alone in fact the opposite was the case, for the devil truly fears a humble and meek spirit that is devoted to God.

Even from a young age the devil would assault this most noble boy with horrible and terrifying dreams, but the young boy held fast to his Faith and trusted in God's Mercy and relied on Him for strength. Upon becoming a Priest the devil increased his attacks upon this holy soul, but now the devil became direct and took to physically attacking this holy Priest with his diabolical assaults upon his person. Padre Pio bore all the pain in a spirit of humbleness and intense prayer as he drew closer to his source of strength, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Through the intensity of his prayer life Padre Pio felt the comforting presence of the Blessed Mother and his Guardian Angel, which strengthened him as his spirit was illumined as to the intensity of the spiritual battle he would face with the enemy of God, Satan himself!

Padre Pio was shown a vision from his youth what this spiritual battle would entail, as he recounted later, "he saw himself in the middle of a large hall between two groups of people, one group had beautiful faces, the other hideous ones. Just then a huge monster came from the end of the hall toward him, but Jesus appeared, in order to give Francesco strength. Before the monster could reach Francesco it was struck by lightening and disappeared. The Lord said to him, "That is the fiend against whom you will have to fight." This vision would prove to be fortuitous, as many pilgrims sought this holy Priest in the Sacrament of Penance, and led Padre Pio into a deeper prayer life, for this holy Priest did not fear Satan but he did fear offending God, a fear shared by many Mystics within the Catholic Church.

Throughout his life Padre Pio had always practiced severe mortifications and austerities in order to overcome the temptation of the body and live for Christ alone. As Padre Pio exclaimed, " I am happier than ever when I am suffering, and if I would listen to the promptings of my heart, I would ask Jesus to give me all the sufferings of men." Though Padre Pio trusted God with absoluteness, he distrusted himself and at times doubts would impose themselves upon him as he confided to a friend, "How difficult, Father, is the way of Christian perfection for a soul so ill-disposed as mine. My badness makes me fearful at every step I take." As in the case of Padre Pio and many other Mystics at times our Lord will allow a soul to undergo extreme aridity of soul in order to strengthen that which is weakest in their nature, but God never abandons a soul even if that soul has lost all 'feelings' of God.

God knows man's frailty and so illuminates the soul with the Spirit and comforts the afflicted soul with His own Presence and also the comforting presence of our Lady, which strengthens the soul to continue to fight the good fight. Padre Pio was also Graced with the Gift of bi-location, and also carried within him the odor of sanctity, where people could smell the scent of roses wherever Padre Pio happened to be. Another Gift given to Padre Pio was the Stigmata where a soul is marked with the sufferings of the Crucified Christ, upon their person, when this first occurred Padre Pio described these wounds as such to his Superior, "red patches, about the size of a cent, and accompanied by acute pain....the pain was much more acute in the left hand and it still persists. I also feel some pain in he soles of my feet." This Gift of the Stigmata would bring both joy and suffering to this holy Priest as he became the focus of much unwanted attention, this truly mortified this humble Priest, as he and his Superiors coped with the ever growing crowds of people who came to be near Padre Pio. Around this time Padre Pio also described another extraordinary occurrence to his Superior, "While I was hearing the confessions of our boys on the evening of 5th, I was suddenly filled with extreme terror at the sight of a celestial being whom I saw with my mind's eye. He held a kind of weapon in his hand, similar to a steel sword with a sharp, flaming point. At the very instant I saw all this, I saw the person hurl the weapon into my soul with all his might. It was all done in a split second. I was hardly able to cry out and felt as if I were dying. I cannot ell you how much I suffered during this period of anguish. Even my insides were torn and ruptured by that weapon, everything lashed by fire and steel. From that day on, I was wounded to death. In the depths of my soul, I feel an open wound with causes me to suffer continual agony." Only few Saints have been honoured to share the wounds of Christ, one of whom was St. Francis of Assisi.

Once people heard about this miraculous occurrence and the other Gifts given to Padre Pio they flocked to him in thousands, whereupon Padre Pio would often be in the Confessional for up to and over 18 hours a day. This remarkable Priest also had the Gift of reading souls, so those people who came to him through the Sacrament of Penance would often be reminded by him of their forgotten sins. These are the testimonies of several people who experienced Padre Pio's extraordinary Gifts. In one case a man felt he had sinned by gluttony and so he went to see Padre Pio as he explains in his own words, "Once I ate too many figs and I felt guilty about it. I thought I had committed a sin of gluttony. Since I would have confession with Padre Pio the next day I thought I would confess it then. The following day as I was walking slowly on the road to the convent, I made an examination of conscience. The sin of gluttony did not come to mind. Padre Pio heard my confession but before concluding and before the absolution I said to him, "I think I am guilty of yet another sin but I can’t remember it." "Don’t worry," he answered me smiling: "for two figs." This is another testimony by a man who went to Padre Pio in the Confessional, "I had decided to give up smoking and to offer this small sacrifice to Padre Pio. Since then, every evening, with the intact packet of cigarettes in my hand, I stayed in front of his image telling him, ‘Father...it is one...’ The second day, ‘Padre, it is two…’ Three months later, I went to San Giovanni Rotondo to see Padre Pio after doing the same thing every evening. ‘Padre,’ I told him as soon as I saw him, ‘I haven't been smoking for 81 days, 81 packets...’ Padre Pio said, ‘I know everything you know, you made me count the packets every evening." Though Padre Pio was a compassionate and kind Priest still he had no time for hypocrites as is seen by these two cases who also went to him for Confession, "A man of some distinction within his own community had the reputation of being a good Catholic, admired and esteemed by all who knew him. Actually he was living in sin. He had neglected his wife, and was now compensating for his loneliness by a relationship with another woman. On one occasion he went to confession to Padre Pio. In order to justify himself, he started talking about a "spiritual crisis." But he had not counted on facing an "extraordinary" confessor. Padre Pio stood up at once and shouted, "What spiritual crisis? You are a litterbug! And God is angry with you. Go away!" As is seen here Padre Pio had no time for those who were trying to use and abuse the Sacrament of Penance for their own purposes. Once again we have another case of a woman caught in serious sin when she went to Padre Pio, "A woman had come from England to see Padre Pio and for him to hear her confession. She went to his confessional but Padre Pio closed the window saying: "I am not available to you." The woman stayed for a few weeks and during this time, daily returned to his confessional and daily was turned away. Finally, Padre Pio consented to hear her confession. She asked the Padre why he made her wait so long to be heard. Padre Pio answered: "And You?" "How long have you made Our Lord wait?" You should wonder how Jesus could welcome you after you committed so many sacrileges. You have delayed your judgment for years, besides sinning against your husband and your mother you have received Holy Communion in mortal sin. The woman was stunned and reformed. She cried when she received absolution. She returned to England a few days later, very happy." It is here that we learn a valuable lesson in the seriousness of sin and to not take the Sacrament of Penance without complete remorse and sorrow for one's sins!

There were also many miraculous events which happened near or around Padre Pio, once during the years of the war food had got so low that many of his fellow Priests were in terrible need of bread. As the townsfolk were also suffering the Priests gave much of their food rations away till one day they were left with hardly no supplies for themselves, so they prayed that the Lord would provide them with some sustenance whereupon the Priests were amazed to see Padre Pio's arms full of bread. When his fellow Priests questioned as to how Padre Pio came upon such a treasure he replied that a pilgrim had knocked on the door and given the bread to him. Another miraculous event occurred when a mother and father who were at Mass came home to find that their young daughter had been accidentally burned in a hot tub of water. The parents immediately sent for a doctor who told them to take their daughter immediately to hospital as she could die at any moment. The parents were terrified and in deep anguish over their beloved child, when suddenly they heard their daughter cry out to them as she said, "Mommy, I don’t have a wound anymore!" "Who has taken your wound?" I asked her out of curiosity. She answered: "Father Pio has come. He took my wounds by putting his whole hand on my burn."

Even the Holy Souls in Purgatory would seek out the help of this holy Priest. One such case was when a soul from Purgatory appeared before Padre Pio, he then told Padre Pio that he had died in a fire and that God had granted him permission that he was able to visit Padre Pio and to request a Mass be offered for the repose of his soul. The next morning Padre Pio offered up the Mass and the soul was able to enter Paradise to spend eternity in Heaven. Another case was when a woman who had just lost her mother appealed to Padre Pio, whereupon after offering a Mass for the repose of her mothers soul, she too entered Eternal Glory into the Kingdom of Heaven.

These are only a few of the miraculous events which happened around Saint Padre Pio a most holy Son of the Church.

I would encourage all to read more about this most illustrious Saint, Padre Pio of Pietrelcina.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Our Lady of Kibeho



The visions which happened at Kibeho Rwanda are astounding in its implications, for this is a prophecy fulfilled in our time, and what our Lady warned of was soon to take place in that tragic land.

Our Lady began appearing to seven children in the year 1981 in Kibeho, Rwanda, they are Alphonse, Anathalie, Marie Claire, Agnes, Stephanie and Vestine. One of the astounding facts with one of the visionaries was Emanuel who was born with the name, ' Sagastasha' who was a poor boy with no Christian teaching at all, and spent most of his time as a farm labourer as he had no education. Yet 'Sagastasha' life would be changed when our Lord appeared to him and personally taught him the Lords prayer and also fundamental Teachings of the Catholic Church, of which he would have had no knowledge! This vision of Jesus deeply impacted on the young Sagastasha who then changed his name to Emmanuel, for like St. Paul, Sagastasha could no longer return to his former life and instead he was converted to Christianity.

Remember that Our Lords and our Lady's messages to these young children were before the terrible suffering that would be inflicted on the Rwandan people as the world looked on in almost total indifference as the Hutu tribe committed genocide against the Tutsi tribe. Let us examine some of these messages to the seers of Kibeho, Rwanda.

Alphonsine who happened to be at school on November 28 1981 was surprised to see a beautiful lady standing before him of incomparable beauty and when he queried who she was the Lady's reply was, "I am Mother of the Word. I have heard your prayers. I would like you and your companions to have more faith. Some do not believe enough." Our Lady also warned Alphonsine that our Lord wanted her to be recognised by all that she was indeed the Mother of God and that many need to prepare the world for the return of her son, Jesus. The beautiful Lady then said, "If I am now turning to the parish of Kibeho it does not mean I am concerned only for Kibeho or for the diocese of Butare or for Rwanda, or for the whole of Africa. I am concerned with and turning to the whole world."

In a message to Emmanuel Our Lady said to him, "There isn't much time left in preparing for the Last Judgment. We must change our lives, renounce sin. Pray and prepare for our own death and the end of the world. We must prepare while there is still time. Those who do well will go to Heaven. If they do evil, they will condemn themselves with no hope of appeal. Do not lose time in doing good and praying. There is not much time and Jesus will come." Emmanuel also saw Jesus who warned him with these words to the world, "too many people treat their neighbors dishonestly. The world is full of hatred. You will know my Second Coming is at hand when you see the outbreak religious wars. Then, know that I am on the way."

In a messages to Marie Claire, " We must meditate on the passion of Jesus and on the deep sorrow of his Mother. We must recite the Rosary and the beads of the Seven Sorrows of Our Lady to obtain the grace of repentance." And again Marie Claire heard this, "The world has turned against God. We must repent and ask for pardon." Our Lady also warned that too many people were embracing worldly ways and beliefs and urged the children as a message to the world to once again return to the one true Faith through the Narrow door. Mary continued to tell Marie Claire as a message to the world, "Do repent! Do repent! Do repent..."When I tell you this, I do not speak to you alone, but I speak also to all the others. Men of our times have emptied each thing of its true meaning: he who commits a fault does not recognize that he did wrong." Again Our Lady reiterated to Marie Clare this message, "What I ask of you is repentance. If you recite this chaplet, while meditating on it, you will then have the strength to repent. Today, many people do not know any more how to ask forgiveness. They nail again the Son of God on the Cross. So I wanted to come and recall it to you, especially here in Rwanda, for here I have still found humble people, who are not attached to wealth nor money".

Our Lady warned Agnes with these words regarding loose morals, and that people needed to "make of their bodies an instrument destined to the glory of God and not an object of pleasure at the service of men." Mary warned the children that the wicked snares of the devil were bewitching people away from the Narrow road and that many people were walking on the wide path of perdition. Our Lady warned Vestine that many were taking the wide road because it was the easier option and that the world was not just indifferent to God but had indeed turned against God. This troubled Vestine greatly as our Lady also gave some hope when she told Vestine that through 'prayer from the heart" and meditation on the sufferings of our Lord and Lady, people will be led back to God. Vestine was then shown hell, purgatory and Heaven in a vision, from this Vestine was shown figures that seemed to be in a place of fire, where the pain was terrible not because of the flames but the knowledge of the total absence of God, the figures were terrifying. Vestine also saw a group of people who were singing yet they were also suffering from a temporary separation between themselves and God. Last of all Vestine was shown a place of radiant light and beauty, where people were in perfect happiness.

To Anathalie, Mary cautioned her and the world to, "Wake up, stand up, wash yourselves and look up attentively. We must dedicate ourselves to prayer, we must develop in us the virtues of charity, availability, and humility." Anathalie also said that our Lady comes to her children out of love, to bring warnings of catastrophes so that the world will once again embrace God and live faithfully to the Gospel message of her Son. Mary told Anathalie that the true road, the narrow road "is the one of suffering....Return to God, the Source of Living Water." Our Lady continued in the same vein when she said to Anathalie as an appeal to the world, "I speak to you, but you do not hear Me. I want to lift you, but you remain down. I call you, but you turn a deaf ear. When will you do what I ask of you? You remain indifferent to all My appeals. When will you understand? When will you take interest in what I want to say to you? I give you signs, but you remain incredulous. How long will you turn a dead ear to My appeals?"

More stunningly our Lady also gave this message of warning to Alphonse in 1989, "I speak to you who hold power, and! who represent the nation: save the people, instead of being their torturers. Don't rob the people; share with others. Be careful not to persecute, to muzzle those who want to denounce your errors. I say it to you, I repeat it, whatever you do, even though you try everything to harm somebody because he loves his fellow men, defends human rights, fights for the respect of the life of others, and for the truth and all that is good, and even because he fights so that God may be loved and respected, whatever you do, you can do nothing against him." The Virgin Mary also said to Alphonsine: "I love you very much. If I came, it is because you needed it."

The messages that Stephanie received were of the same vein as our Lady warned her and the world in these words, "We must be converted, we must pray and mortify ourselves. Satan tries to ruin us. God wants our prayers from the heart." Our Lady continued by instructing Stephanie that "they should turn to me in their hearts and I will listen to them....God loves you all, really. It is the devil who wants to ruin you. You must refuse all means that he is using to tempt you." Stephanie then instructed the crowds in her own words that our Lady wished for us to humble ourselves and to be available for God to acknowledge within ourselves we are nothing so to turn to prayer most especially to pray with our heart.

Our Lady then showed the children of Kibeho what would happen in their country if people refused to believe and live her messages. All of the children screamed in horror as they saw in a vision, trees in flames, a river of blood flowing with corpses which had been decapitated and floating limbs of people, as Mary warned the children and the world that we were on 'the edge of catastrophe'. As the children described this horrific scene in these words, "A river of blood, people were killing each other, abandoned corpses with no one to bury them. A tree all in flames, bodies without their heads. There was crying and screaming. At different times, all seven of the Kibeho visionaries experienced this horrifying vision. They saw a river of blood that formed because people were killing each other indiscriminately. "Corpses, some without heads, were strewn everywhere and were so numerous they could not be buried" This especially saddened Agnes who saw the death of her own parents. Our lady then warned the seers to leave Rwanda, unfortunately some didn't.

What is known is that two of these seer's lost their lives in the killing fields that became Rwanda, where approximately over 800,000 people were brutally murdered as the U.N and the world watched, some with indifference, others with horror!

Marie Claire who was killed in the town of Byumba in 1994.

Emmanuel died while trying to escape.

The whereabouts of Stephanie is unknown.

While Anathalie, Agnes, and Alphonsine all survived the genocide that struck Rwanda in 1994.

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



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Our Lady of Kibeho
Our Lady of Kibeho

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Our Lady of the Rosary



Even before his birth Dominic de Guzman was blessed, in that his mother experienced a 'dream' in which she saw the form of a dog with a burning torch in its mouth which signified the fire of God's Truth, this 'dog' then came from her womb. Later Joan conceived a son and named him Dominic upon his birth his devout mother noticed a sign of the moon or a star on his little forehead.

Dominic was blessed to have been born into a holy and devout family who lived to serve God and live their daily lives based on fulfilling God's Will. The family were blessed to have Priests, Religious and very holy familial connections to their beloved Church, many of whom would become Saints!

Dominic upon receiving good and solid catholic instructions then answered the call to become a Priest in 1195. And as Father Dominic attended to his flock he also spent many hours in prayer and practiced penances on behalf of sinners.

But it was a cold night in July 1206 in the town of Prouille that Dominic would be the recipient of a vision that would inspire the world and bring many Graces from God. It was here that Dominic saw what seemed to be a globe of light which came from the sky above, this happened for the next two consecutive nights. Dominic was amazed and awestruck at such a sight and also humbled when he recognised our Lady who upon hearing his prayer came to help him, for Dominic was in dismay at the heresies he had heard preached. But our Lady soothed Dominic with these words, 'Wonder not that you have obtained so little fruit by your labors, you have spent them on barren soil, not yet watered with the dew of Divine grace. When God willed to renew the face of the earth, He began by sending down on it the fertilizing rain of the Angelic Salutation. Therefore preach my Psalter composed of 150 Angelic Salutations and 15 Our Fathers, and you will obtain an abundant harvest.' Our Lady then gave to Dominic the Holy Rosary to be prayed for the salvation of sinners and the edification of the faithful as she told him, "One day through the Rosary and the Scapular I will save the world".

Dominic stared at our Lady in wonderment of her beauty and the peace which enveloped her and suffused within him a spirit of tranquility. The words of our Lady strengthened Dominic's resolve and he returned to confront the pervading heresies, which were running rampant at that time. Dominic preached about the Mysteries of God including the Incarnation, Redemption and Eternal life, Dominic spoke with such holy conviction that many listened to him as he taught a new way to pray. For Dominic had been instructed by our Lady to make clear to the faithful what is pleasing to God, and what brings the sinner closer to God is only achieved through prayer. Dominic continued instructing the people by dividing the mysteries into different formats and included praying ten Hail Mary's after each Mystery. This different way of prayer would become known as praying the Holy Rosary, this form of prayer was to bring all peoples back to God as the heresies were thrown away and burnt when people began embracing and praying the Rosary.

Upon the people accepting this new form of prayer, Dominic went on to found a new Order 'The Confraternity of the Rosary' which began approximately around the year 1216 or 1218. For Dominic remembered our Lady's words, "I have obtained from my Son that all the members of the Confraternity have in life and in death all the Blessed as their associates."

But Dominic was to be the recipient of other Divine visions when seeing Saint Peter and Saint Paul who upon giving him a Staff and a book said to him, "Go and preach, because you have been chosen by God for this work".

Dominic through his great love of the Church and of his obvious piety and holiness proved worthy of these visions as the Rosary is still prayed with great Reverence to this very day.

But let us be mindful of our Lady's words when praying the Rosary, that we also do not waste our time on barren soil but to pray the Rosary with our hearts and not merely 'say it'.

I would encourage all to read more on the Holy Rosary.

Peace of Christ to ALL

Copyright © 2006 Marie Smith. All rights reserved.



Thursday, December 08, 2005

The Prophecies of St. John Bosco



Italy during the nineteenth century was rife with thoughts of revolution, followed by insurrections. Even the Papal States did not go untouched and many times the Reigning Pontiffs would have to seek the help of either France or Austria.

Because of the heavy handed Austrian occupation of different parts of Italy this would lead many into secret societies in order for the people of Italy to rid themselves of the Austrian military.

These revolutions would often place the Pontiff in a precarious position, as it tried to maintain order and also justice. Unfortunately this was also the Era of free thinkers and those who refused to follow any authority, as they sought to overthrow differing Governing Bodies and also defied The Church!

Into this landscape was born one John Bosco in the year 1815 to a poor family who though devout struggled to educate their family. Unfortunately John's Father died when he was very young, which left his mother, Margaret to raise her children on her own.

John Bosco, was blessed with a curious mind and an exuberant personality which won him many friends. And it would be this that held him in good stead when he became a Priest and worked towards providing a good education for the poor boys in his area.

But John Bosco also had another distinction for God had blessed him with visions of future events and warnings for his country, the youth's he looked after and the world.

The visions John received started at the tender age of only nine years old and would be with him till the end. And upon instruction from Pope Pius IX, John complied with the Popes request to write his visions down for prosperity and the edification of the Faithful.

These visions of John Bosco would inform him of boys that were in his care who were about to die, this enabled Fr. John to make sure the boys soul was not in a state of sin.

But John Bosco also received these visions, as if in a dream, which he relayed in his writings. One of these was in the year 1870, where he explains what he saw and heard, "War will come from the south, peace from the north. The laws of France no longer recognize the Creator. The Creator will reveal Himself by visiting her three times with the scourge of His wrath. The first time He will destroy her pride by defeat, pillage, and destruction of crops, cattle, and men. On His second visit the great whore of Babylon, which the faithful grievingly call Europe's brothel, shall lose her leader and fall prey to chaos."Paris! Paris! Instead of fortifying yourself with the Lord's name, you surround yourself with houses of ill repute. You yourself shall destroy them; your idol, the Pantheon, will be razed to the ground, so that it may truthfully be said that 'iniquity has lied to itself. Your enemies will plunge you into anguish, famine, terror, and the contempt for My law, says the Lord."

As John continued to speak of what he was told,"On My third visit, you shall fall under the foreign yoke. From afar your enemies will see your palaces in flames, your home in ruins, soaked in the blood of your heroes who are no more."But behold, a great warrior from the north appears, a banner in his right hand, his arm bearing this inscription: 'Irresistible is the hand of the Lord. 'At that moment the Venerable Old Man of Rome went forward to meet him, wielding a flaming torch. The banner then grew larger and its blackness became white as snow; in its center stood out the name of the Almighty in golden letters."

The vision continued with this ominous warning, "Now the voice of Heaven is addressed to the Shepherd of Shepherds. You are in solemn conference with your co-workers but the enemy of good never stands idle. He cunningly plots and sets all his wiles against you. He will sow discord among your helpers and will rear enemies among My sons. The powers of the world shall vomit fire. They would love to smother My words in the throats of the guardians of My law, but they shall not succeed. They shall do much harm, but only to themselves. Hurry! If knots cannot be untied, sever them. Do not halt in the face of difficulties, but go forth until the hydra of error has been beheaded At this blow earth and hell shall tremble, but he world will be saved and the faithful shall exult. Gather around you only two co-workers, yet wherever you go,carry on the task entrusted to you and bring it to completion. Days go by swiftly and your years are reaching their appointed number, but the great Queen shall always assist you, and, as in the past, She shall always be magnum et singulare in Ecclesia praesidium.

And the vision continued, "But you, O Italy, land of blessings, who has plunged you into desolation? Not your enemies, but your own friends. Do you not hear your children begging for the bread of faith, unable to find one to break it for them? What shall I do? I shall strike the shepherds and scatter the sheep so that those who sit upon the chair of Moses may seek better pastures and their flock may gently listen and be fed. "But My hand shall be heavy upon both flock and shepherds. Famine, plague, and war shall cause mothers to mourn the blood of their sons and husbands shed on foreign soil. "What shall befall you, ungrateful, effeminate, proud Rome? You have reached a point when you seek and admire nought in your sovereign but luxury, forgetting that both your glory and his lies on Golgotha. Now he is old, frail, defenceless, and dispossessed. Nevertheless, though captive, his words cause the whole world to tremble.

"O Rome! Four times shall I come to you! The first time I shall smite your regions and its people. The second time I shall bring slaughter and destruction to your very gates. Should not that make you open your eyes? A third time shall I come, and I will demolish your defences and defenders. At My Father's command, terror, dismay and desolation will reign."

And this particular vision goes on to exhort the Faithful to remain strong and hold onto the Truth's of the Church, and warns against those who prefer more 'worldly' pleasures at the risk of their eternal soul.

But our Lord also consoles the faithful with these words given to John from the same vision, "Things follow too slowly upon each other, but the great Queen of Heaven is at hand; the Lord's power is Hers. Like mist She shall scatter Her enemies. She shall vest the Venerable Old Man with all his former garments."There shall yet come a violent hurricane. Iniquity is at an end, sin shall cease, and before two full moons shall have shone in the month of flowers, the rainbow of peace shall appear on the earth. "The great Minister shall see the Bride of his King clothed in glory. Throughout the world a sun so bright shall shine as was never seen since the flames of the Cenacle until today, nor shall it be seen again until the end of time."

Even though St. John Bosco would see these incredible and terrifying sights and as our Lord revealed to him the future of the world if man did not repent and return to God. Still John Bosco in himself never lost his peace of mind or soul, but instead relied on prayer to placate the mighty hand of Justice.

But the most famous of St. John Bosco's vision is this one and still holds as a warning for us all today. As John saw and heard, and recounted, "In the midst of this endless sea, two solid columns, a short distance apart, soar high into the sky. One is surmounted by a statue of the Immaculate Virgin, at whose feet a large inscriptions reads:" 'Auxilium Christianorum' ('Help of Christians') . The other, far loftier and sturdier, supports a Host of proportionate size, and bears beneath it the inscription: 'Salus credentium' ('Salvation of believers'). "The flagship commander - the Roman Pontiff- standing at the helm, strains every muscle to steer his ship between the two columns, from whose summits hang many anchors and strong hooks linked to chains. The entire enemy fleet closes in to intercept and sink the flagship at all costs. They bombard it with everything they have: books and pamphlets, incendiary bombs, firearms, cannons. The battle rages ever more furious. Beaked prows ram the flagship again and again, but to no avail, as, unscathed and undaunted, it keeps on it course. At times, a formidable ram splinters a gaping hole in its hull, but immediately, a breeze from the two columns instantly seals the gash.

And the same vision continues with this warning, "Meanwhile, enemy cannons blow up; firearms and beaks fall to pieces; ships crack up and sink to the bottom. In blind fury, the enemy takes to hand-to-hand combat, cursing and blaspheming. Suddenly the Pope falls, seriously wounded. He is instantly helped up, but struck a second time, dies. A shout of victory rises from the enemy, and wild rejoicing seeps their ships. But no sooner is the Pope dead than another takes his place. The captains of the auxiliary ships elected him so quickly that the news of the Pope's death coincides with that of his successor's election. The enemy's self-assurance wanes. "Breaking through all resistance, the new Pope steers his ship safely between the two columns; first, to the one surmounted by the Host, and then the other, topped by the statue of the Virgin. At this point, something unexpected happens. The enemy ships panic and disperse, colliding with and scuttling each other.

"Some auxiliary ships, which had gallantly fought alongside their flagship, are the first to tie up at the two columns. Many others, which had fearfully kept far away from the fight, stand still, cautiously waiting until the wrecked enemy ships vanish under the waves. Then they too head for the two columns, tie up at the swinging hooks and ride safe and tranquil beside their flagship. A great calm now covers the sea. "

These visions of St. John Bosco though told over a century ago still hold true in today’s world as 'secularisation and modernism' infiltrate the Church and consumerism consumes the masses. But even though The Church will go through purgation still we hold true to Jesus Promise that even the gates of hell will not prevail against The Church.

I would encourage all to read about the Visions of St. John Bosco.

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

Monday, August 08, 2005

Our Lady of La Salette



Visionaries Melanie Mathieu and Maximin Giraud


In the years 1845 to 1850 were troubling times for Europe of epic proportions as we will discover. This was a time when many in Europe were still feeling the effects of the the French Revolution, which devastated France and sent tremors into neighbouring countries.

But it is the year 1846 that we will focus on, for this was the year when Our Lady appeared to two illiterate youths, namely Melanie Mathieu and Maximin Giraud.

These were two simple children, who's main job was to protect the cattle on the pasture above La Salette, for their employers. These two children had received very little in the way of education and came from very poor families.

But it was on Saturday 12th September 1846 that would irrevocably change the lives of these two youths forever, for it was on this day that the two children would see a beautiful Lady of indescribable beauty.

This beautiful Lady appeared to them as if on a circle of light, and when the light opened it revealed this most beautiful Lady sitting on a rock with her head in her hands as she wept inconsolably. She seemed to be wearing a long, white dress with pearls studded on it and also a white shawl, hanging from her neck was a crucifix and upon her head a Crown.

The two children were very upset to see one so beautiful, weeping so bitterly and both were also a little afraid, when confronted with this most wondrous Lady, they did not know what to do nor how to console her.

Our Lady looked at both children and still weeping she told them to warn the people that unless they changed their way, great tribulations would strike the population, for she could no longer hold back the Hand of her Son.

The children were horrified at what Our Lady was to reveal to them, and also overwhelmed. She warned of a coming famine that would corrupt cropts and bring untold misery and tragedy to many families. Our Lady told the children the reason why such punishment would come, as nearly all people had lost sight of God and were dismissive of Him, even unto blaspheming His Holy Name!

Our Lady told the children these words, "If my people do not obey, I shall be compelled to loose my Son's arm. It is so heavy I can no longer restrain it. How long have I suffered for you! If my son is not to abandon you, I am obliged to entreat Him without ceasing. But you take no heed of that. No matter how well you pray in the future, no matter how well you act, you will never be able to make up to me what I have endured on your behalf. I have given you six days to work. The seventh I have reserved for myself, yet no one will give it to me. This is what causes the weight of my Son's arm to be so crushing. The cart drivers cannot swear without bringing in my Son's name. These are the two things which make my son's arm so heavy."

Our Lady then went on to ask the children, "Do you say your prayers well, my children?" Both Melanie and Maximin told the truth and declared they did not pray much at all, Our Lady beseeched them to practice and keep a good prayer life, she also said that so few practiced prayer nor attended any type of Worship, except for a very few elderly people in the villages.

She once again warned both children of the coming Chastisements if people did not ammend their ways or repent of their sins. Our Lady also imparted secrets to each child and recommended that both children share with the world her message of grief and to warn people to once again embrace God, or they would face a great Tribulation!

When the children told the local community and the Presiding Bishop they both faced much opposition and at times open ridicule leading to persecution, not too many people wanted to hear of coming chastisements. But even though Melanie nor Maximin had great education, they both remained steadfast and resolute in warning the world of what Our Lady had commissioned them to do!

Unfortunately what Our Lady predicted came to pass in the Great Potato Famine which spread from Europe to Ireland with untold and unparalelled tragedy. During the years 1845 to 1850, more than a million Irish people starved to death, and millions more left the shores of Ireland never to return to their homeland again.

The children eventually confided the secrets given to each of them privately to the Reigning Pontiff Pope Pius1X, at his request. The Pope was later heard to exclaim, " These are the secrets of La Salette: Unless the world repent, it shall perish!"

Later Mgr de Bruillard as Bishop of Grenoble released this statement:"We declare that the apparition of the Blessed Virgin to two shepherds, on September 19, 1846, on a mountain in the Alps in the parish of La Salette, bears in itself all the marks of truth and that the faithful are justified in believing without question in its truth. And so, to mark our lively gratitude to God and the glorious Virgin Mary, we authorise the cult of Our Lady of La Salette."

As for both Melanie and Maximin they were to lead complicated lives, both tried to enter religious communities which they failed at. Maximin after trying to gain employment, eventually started his own religious shop selling devout items, due to many unsrupulous people, there were questions raised about his level of business acumen. Maximin died a holy death at only 38 years old.

Melanie herself also tried different religious Orders none of which worked out. Being of an outspoken nature, Melanie did not attract large groups of friends, Melanie possessed a deep honesty but little personal 'charm'. She eventually died alone in Italy at the age of 73.

The message of La Salette still holds true for today, and I would encourage all to read of this momentous Vision, our Lady of La Salette.