Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Our Lady of Coromoto

Our Lady of Coromoto

The Spaniards arrived at the region of Guanare, around 1591. The native Indians not wanting to have anything to do with the new settlers decided to move the tribe deeper into the forest and settled along the Tucupido River. The new settlers brought the Catholic religion to them but they refused to be converted. Fifty years passed and both groups lived in peace, the Coromoto Indians refusing to accept the Gospel that the Spaniards preached.

In 1651, the chief of the Coromotos and his wife see an extraordinary vision: in the ravine of the Tucupido River, upon the waters, a beautiful lady is looking at them with a loving expression on her face; the small child she carries also smiles amiably. The mysterious lady summons the Indian chief and orders him: "leave the forest with your people and go to the white men in order to receive the water on the head so as to be able to enter heaven".

The chief impressed by what he has seen and heard decides to obey the beautiful lady and leaves with his tribe to be schooled in the Christian religion by the Spaniards. The Indians being used to freedom find it very difficult to adjust to this new way of life. They leave after a short time and return to their village. The lady appears again, this time at the chief’s humble hut. Although the Virgin presents herself surrounded by a luminous aura whose rays fill the hut with fire, she does not succeed in moving the chief, who, annoyed, tries to throw her out and even takes his weapons in hand with the intention of threatening the inopportune lady. Smiling all the way, the Virgin approaches the chief gently and when he stretches out his hand angrily to catch her, she disappears before his eyes. A small holy card, where the image of the Lady was printed, was left in the Coromoto Indian's closed fist.

The Indians finally did what the lady asked of them being baptized and accepting the Catholic faith. This is how the Catholic faith was spread throughout Venezuela and today Venezuela is 95 % Catholic, the people having very devout devotions to Our Lady, especially to Our Lady of Coromoto.

The Virgin of Coromoto is a tiny relic that measures 27 millimeters high and 22 millimeters wide. The Virgin is painted seated, and on her lap sits the Child Jesus. It seems to have been drawn with a fine pen, sketched as a portrait done in Indian ink with dots and dashes. The Virgin and Child are looking straight ahead; their heads erect with royal crowns upon them. The back of the throne which supports them has two columns joined together by an arch. The Virgin's shoulders are covered by a crimson cloak with dark purple reflections, and a white veil falls symmetrically over her hair. She wears a straw colored tunic and the Child a white one. The image is kept inside a richly adorned monstrance where it is presented for the veneration of the faithful.

At the request of the nation's bishops, on October 7, 1944 Pius XII declared her "Patroness of the Republic of Venezuela" and her canonical coronation was celebrated on the third centenary of her apparition, on September 11, 1952. His Eminence Cardinal Manuel Arteaga Betancourt, Archbishop of Havana, representing Pope Pius XII, crowned the sacred image of Our Lady of Coromoto. The Venezuelans celebrate their patroness each year on three different occasions: February 2 and September 8 and 11. The National Sanctuary of the Virgin of Coromoto, a meeting place of great pilgrimages, was declared a Basilica by Pope Pius XII on May 24, 1949.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The Prophecies of St. Malachy

In the year 1130 upon the death of Pope Honorius II, Gregorio Papereschi was elected as Pope, and chose the name Innocent II.

Unfortunately for Pope Innocent II, not all the Cardinals agreed with his succession and so a defacto anti-pope was also elected who took the name Anacletus II.

These were troubling times for the reigning Pontiff as he led the Church through these difficult years. Pope Innocent II also decided to call a Tenth Ecumenical Council in 1139, to ratify his position and declare null and void the position which the usurper Anacletus II had taken.

It was during this time that Archbishop Malachy of Armagh met with Pope Innocent II, and it was also during this visit to Rome that Malachy would be the recipient of revelations of the future reigning Pontiffs.

Upon seeing this vision, Malachy wrote down what he had seen and then gave them to Pope Innocent II. This manuscript of Archbishop Malachy would then be relegated to the Vatican archives where they would lay undisturbed for centuries.

And even years later when St. Bernard wrote about the life of St. Malachy no mention was made of the prophetic manuscript which Malachy had given to Pope Innocent II. This has led to confusion over the authenticity of the particular manuscript accredited to St. Malachy.

Although the prophecies are not encrypted, they do bear a signature code in that the future Popes are not named, but in symbolic language the manuscript hints at the titles and names of the future Popes.

Let us now examine the prophecies of St. Malachy, which were found in the Vatican archives.

St. Malachy in the last portion says, "In the final persecution of the Holy Roman Church there will reign Peter the Roman, who will feed his flock amid many tribulations, after which the seven-hilled city will be destroyed and the dreadful Judge will judge the people. The end."

But the prophecies begin with...

Pope No: 167 Celestine II (1143-1144) 1 Ex castro Tyberis(from a castle on the Tiber)Hist.: Celestin II was born in Citta di Castello, Toscany, on the shores of the Tiber

168 Lucius II (1144-1145) 2 Inimicus expulsus

169 Eugene III (1145-1153) 3 Ex magnitudine montis(Of the greatness of the mount)Hist.: Born in the castle of Grammont (latin: mons magnus), his family name was Montemagno

170 Anastasius IV (1153-1154) 4 Abbas Suburranus

171 Adrian IV (1154-1159) 5 De rure albo(field of Albe)Hist.: Born in the town of Saint-Alban

171 Adrian IV (1154-1159) 5 De rure albo(field of Albe)Hist.: Born in the town of Saint-Alban

Antipope Victor IV (1159-1164) 6 Ex tetro carcere Antipope Paschal III (1164-1168) 7 Via trans-Tyberina Antipope Calistus III (1168-1178) 8 De Pannonia Tusciæ

172 Alexander III (1159-1181) 9 Ex ansere custode

173 Lucius III (1181-1185) 10 Lux in ostio

174 Urban III (1185-1187) 11 Sus in cribo

175 Gregory VIII (1187) 12 Ensis Laurentii

176 Clement III (1187-1191) 13 De schola exiet

177 Celestine III (1191-1198) 14 De rure bovensi

178 Innocent III (1198-1216) 15 Comes signatus(signed Count)Hist.: descendant of the noble Signy, later called Segni family

179 Honorius III (1216-1227) 16 Canonicus de latere

180 Gregory IX (1227-1241) 17 Avis Ostiensis(Bird of Ostia)Hist.: before his election he was Cardinal of Ostia

The list continues to more recent times;

262 Pius XII (1939-1958) 106 Pastor angelicus(Angelic Shepherd)Hist.: This Pope was very mystical, and is believed to have received visions. People would kneel when they received telephone calls from him. His encyclicals add enormously to the understanding of Catholic beliefs (even if they are now overlooked because of focus on the Second Vatican Council, which occurred so soon after his reign).

263 John XXIII (1958-1963) 107 Pastor et Nauta(pastor and marine)Hist.: prior to his election he was patriarch of Venice, a marine city, home of the gondolas

264 Paul VI (1963-1978) 108 Flos florum(flower of flowers)Hist.: his arms displayed three lilies.

265 John Paul I (1978) 109 De medietate Lunæ(of the half of the moon)Hist.: Albino Luciani, born in Canale d'Agardo, diocese of Belluno, (beautiful moon) Elected pope on August 26, his reign lasted about a month, from half a moon to the next half...

266 John Paul II (1978-2005) 110 De labore Solis(of the eclipse of the sun, or from the labour of the sun)Hist.: Karol Wojtyla was born on May 18, 1920 during a solar eclipse. He also comes from behind the former Iron Curtain (the East, where the Sun rises). He might also be seen to be the fruit of the intercession of the Woman Clothed with the Sun labouring in Revelation 12 (because of his devotion to the Virgin Mary). His Funeral occurred on 8 April, 2005 when there was a solar eclipse visible in the Americas.

267 Benedict XVI (2005-) 111 Gloria olivæThe Benedictine order traditionally said this Pope would come from their order, since a branch of the Benedictine order is called the Olivetans. St Benedict is said to have prophesied that before the end of the world, a member of his order would be Pope and would triumphantly lead the Church in its fight against evil. While the Holy Father chose the name "Benedict", this does not seem enough to fulfil the prophecy. Nor is it clear how Benedict XVI (a Bavarian) is "Glory of the Olives". Since he is said to have remarked in the Conclave after saying he would take the name Benedict that it was partly to honour Benedict XV, a pope of peace and reconciliation, perhaps Benedict XVI will be a peacemaker in the Church or in the World, and thus carry the olive branch.

And then as stated above we come to the last Pope listed, which will herald in a great time of persecution for the Church before the Judge will judge his people.

There is much controversy surrounding this particular Prophecy as no names have been mentioned and therefore this has led to more speculation over the meaning of the prophecies written down by St. Malachy.

And many are also debating whether the prophecies were actually written by this Saint, or by another person who came many years later.

I encourage all to read these prophecies, with due care and discernment, and to place their confidence in the Word of God and the Teachings of the Catholic Church.

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

Prophecies of St. Malachy

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Our Lady of Mount Carmel

The origins of the Carmelite Order vary, some say that a group of men who emulated the life of the prophets Elias and Eliseus, formed a small community to live lives of austere penances and prayer. Others say the Carmelite Order began its formation when some disillusioned crusaders banded together and made their home in the mountainous ranges known as Carmel in Palestine, during the 12th century.

This group also had a particular devotion to the Virgin Mary and considered her their true Mother they were soon referred to as 'the hermits of Mary of Mount Carmel' under the guidance of Berthold. But it wasn’t until St Albert; Patriarch of Jerusalem formulated a Rule that the Order was legitimised in Rome by Pope Innocent IV after some amendments were made.

But it is Simon Stock who was the recipient of the brown Scapular that we will examine. Simon Stock from a very early age showed an aptitude and love of prayer much beyond his years, he also displayed a singular love and devotion for our Lady.

Simon was born in the year 1164 to a very devout family who lived in the Kent area of England and though his parents loved their rather serious son, it wasn’t shared by all his siblings. As Simon became the object of bullying by one of his elder brothers, this led Simon to live in the forests in the hollow of a large oak tree, where he would pray, practice many forms of penance and lived on wild berries, apples and other nuts and fruit that was in season.

It was while he lived in the forest that Simon received a vision telling him that an Order of men from Palestine would visit England and that Simon should embrace these religious men of great Faith. These holy men from Palestine upon their arrival in England in the year 1212 were settled in the Kent and Northumberland regions with the help of Lord Vescy and Lord Gray. Simon was immediately impressed with their deep love and devotion to Mary the Mother of God and their way of praying with deep contemplation. He joined this Order in the same year and went on to further his studies in theology at Oxford in which he excelled, while many noted his obvious sanctity which pervaded his whole interior and shone in his exterior.

So it was that in 1215 Simon Stock was appointed Vicar General of the Order, where he had control over the western provinces. But it was in 1226 that Simon set sail for Rome to obtain confirmation and validation of the Rule first set down by St. Albert, which he did obtain from Pope Honorius III, which was ratified by Pope Gregory IX in 1229.

But it was in 1251 that Simon who was undergoing difficulties to keep the Order to its original format knelt in prayer and it was here that our Lady appeared to the troubled Simon. Our Lady appeared to be wearing a brown garment and upon her arms lay a brown piece of material, which would be known as the Brown Scapular. Upon Simon receiving this Scapular, our Lady assured him that anyone who wore this Scapular would not suffer the pains of hell so long as the soul adhered it's promise and led lives worthy of the Brown Scapular. As our Lady said to Simon, "Receive, My beloved son, this habit of thy order: this shall be to thee and to all Carmelites a privilege, that whosoever dies clothed in this shall never suffer eternal fire .... It shall be a sign of salvation, a protection in danger, and a pledge of peace."

Simon was deeply moved to receive such a blessing from our Lady and was overcome with awe and gratitude that this blessing from our Lady was a sign of God's Grace for the Order of Carmel which he loved dearly.

Simon Stock died in the year 1265 but the promise our Lady made to him and all those who wear the Brown Scapular still hold to this very day.

Many miracles and conversions have been attributed to the Brown Scapular including a soldier who had led a very dissolute life. During a battle the soldier was grievously wounded by he prayed that the Virgin Mary would not let him die till he had confessed his sins to a Priest. The soldier died upon receiving Absolution of his sins, the doctor who later probed the wound found that the brown Scapular had become embedded in the soldier’s heart.

Our Lady also appeared to Pope John XXII and said to him in this particular vision, to those who would wear the Brown Scapular, "I, the Mother of Grace, shall descend on the Saturday after their death and whomsoever I shall find in Purgatory, I shall free, so that I may lead them to the holy mountain of life everlasting."

It is also to be remembered that both Bernadette of Lourdes and the children of Fatima witnessed to seeing our Lady dressed as our Lady of Mt. Carmel, in the apparitions of Lourdes and Fatima.

But we need to understand that the Brown Scapular is not a 'lucky charm' and only those who promise to live the spirit of Carmel may wear this particular Scapular. For upon receiving the Scapular one must promise to live its spirituality and observe a life of prayer, simplicity and humility.

In accordance to Church Tradition there are three conditions imposed upon those who wear the Brown Scapular, in order to share in the spiritual benefits and the promises made by our Lady. Those who wear the Brown Scapular must live lives of chastity according to your state in life, pray the Rosary with deep contemplation and the enrollment in the Brown Scapular which then makes one a member of the family of Carmel.

If any are interested in becoming enrolled in the Brown Scapular it would be best to approach your Parish Priest or the Order of Carmel which is nearest your region.

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

Gold Lapel Decade Rosary, Our Lady of Mt Carmel

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.

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.

Roses Fountains And Gold

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The Prophecies of St. Nilus

In the year 324 AD, emperor Constantine, was finally able to overcome many of his enemies, and upon this victory emperor Constantine formalised Christianity as the official religion of the land.

Though there is some dispute in how sincerely Constantine himself followed the Christian religion. It was also around this time that Constantinople became the capital of what was the Holy Roman Empire, which then took the name 'New Rome', the Byzantium capital of the Roman Empire.

As we know from history many heroic Christians were persecuted and martyred for their Faith, as Christians were in the minority in that particular area.

But Constantinople was a crucial part of the trade route as it lay between what was then the golden horn and the Sea of Marmara, this would cause friction for many years to come, as different powers and primacies fought for power.

It was around the year 400 AD onwards that Nilus became known as a disciple and friend to St. John Chrysostom, and under the direction of this great Saint, Nilus was to prove himself to be an apt pupil and also as deeply devout as was St. John himself.

This love of God also affected the entire family of Nilus as he alongside one of his sons left his family so as to spend his time praying and offering Penance at Mt Sinai as a monk. His wife and other children would also follow the same route, as they lived in the religious community in Egypt.

Upon being ordained a Priest, Nilus became well known for his writings and theological input in the growing of the Church, while it was still in its infancy. Through his vast knowledge and grasp of all things Holy even emperors consulted with this great Priest, but Nilus allowed nothing to disturb or distract him from his Faith.

And though Nilus would be well reknowned for his letters which denounced paganism and various heresies he also spoke up about the unfair treatment of his great friend St. John Chrysostom.

Though Nilus was a well reknowned correspondent, and thought nothing of criticising his brother clergy and even emperors, when he found them to be in error, there seems to be no recording of when he was given these prophecies of furture events.

But through his writing St. Nilus warns those who read them and have the wisdom to discern these fortuitous events. He states clearly the Era of great concern being the 19 and twentieth centuries.

As St. Nilus says, "the people of that time will become unrecognizable. When the time for the Advent of the Antichrist approaches, people's minds will grow cloudy from carnal passions, and dishonor and lawlessness will grow stronger. Then the world will become unrecognizable. People's appearances will change, and it will be impossible to distinguish men from women due to their shamelessness in dress and style of hair. These people will be cruel and will be like wild animals because of the temptations of the Antichrist. There will be no respect for parents and elders, love will disappear, and Christian pastors, bishops, and priests will become vain men, completely failing to distinguish the right-hand way from the left. At that time the morals and traditions of Christians and of the Church will change. People will abandon modesty, and dissipation will reign. Falsehood and greed will attain great proportions, and woe to those who pile up treasures. Lust, adultery, homosexuality, secret deeds and murder will rule in society."

And continues with these dire warnings," at that future time, due to the power of such great crimes and licentiousness, people will be deprived of the grace of the Holy Spirit, which they received in Holy Baptism and equally of remorse."

St. Nilus also warns the Church of future calamities, as he states, "The Churches of God will be deprived of God-fearing and pious pastors, and woe to the Christians remaining in the world at that time; they will completely lose their faith because they will lack the opportunity of seeing the light of knowledge from anyone at all. Then they will separate themselves out of the world in holy refuges in search of lightening their spiritual sufferings, but everywhere they will meet obstacles and constraints. And all this will result from the fact that the Antichrist wants to be Lord over everything and become the ruler of the whole universe, and he will produce miracles and fantastic signs. He will also give depraved wisdom to an unhappy man so that he will discover a way by which one man can carry on a conversation with another from one end of the earth to the other. At that time men will also fly through the air like birds and descend to the bottom of the sea like fish. And when they have achieved all this, these unhappy people will spend their lives in comfort without knowing, poor souls, that it is deceit of the Antichrist. And, the impious one! – he will so complete science with vanity that it will go off the right path and lead people to lose faith in the existence of God in three hypostases."

And his final warning for all mankind if they do not amend their ways and follow the true Teachings of the Bible and The Church, "Then the All-good God will see the downfall of the human race and will shorten the days for the sake of those few who are being saved, because the enemy wants to lead even the chosen into temptation, if that is possible... then the sword of chastisement will suddenly appear and kill the perverter and his servants."

This ends the prophecies of St. Nilus as we recall that all this was revealed to a man living around 400 AD, yet he describes so eloquently that which is plain to see for those living in this century. It is not known what year St. Nilus died but many speculate the time to be around 430 AD.

We should with much prayer examine this most astonishing of prophecies and spend much time pondering what all of us can do to stop and hopefully appease the outrage of our Heavenly Father. For though God loves His children, and shows us much Mercy still He also is Perfect Justice, therefore let us amend our lives and live to please our most loving God.

I would encourage all to read more about the prophecies of St. Nilus and to pray much for discernment upon reading these revelations.

Peace of Christ to ALL

Copyright © 2005 Marie Smith. All rights reserved.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Our Lady of Walsingham

England in medieval days was a mixture of Normans, and, Anglo Saxons, which combined the nationalities of Germans, Danish, French and Dutch.

The Normans and the Britons lived side by side with a mutual agreement to close off the sea way to prevent further Viking intrusions, a move that benefited both countries. And it was in 1042 that Edward the Confessor took the Throne of England.

But conditions during this period were less than sanitary, as diseases such as cholera, dysentery and the common cold wiped out whole regions. Even child birth was considered a dangerous condition in that many mothers died whilst in labour.

It was also in 1044 that Aldred was made Bishop of Worcester, before being promoted to Archbishop of York in 1060. Upon receiving the pallium from Pope Nicholas II, after a misunderstanding, Aldred returned to England. He would at a later date support the move to have William the Conqueror as Monarch and it was Aldred who performed the ceremony and crowned William of Orange, King in 1066, after the battle of Hastings.

But it was in 1061 that a woman began to receive visions of Our Lady. Being of noble birth, Lady Richeldis de Faverches, was astonished at the beauty of our Lady and immediately crossed herself so as to be protected against unwanted visitations from the evil one, Lady Richeldis need not have feared, for it was indeed Mary who appeared before her.

Our Lady was to show Lady Richeldis the home she had lived in at Nazareth, the same house that the Archangel Gabriel appeared to her to inform Mary of the good news. Our Lady then said to Lady Richeldis, "Let all who are in any way distressed or in need seek me there in that small house that you maintain for me at Walsingham. To all that seek me there shall be given succour."

The house that our Lady requested was eventually built and many pilgrims were to visit this most Holy site including Kings and Queens. King Edward I attributed a miracle to our Lady when he was spared from an impending accident when he made a pilgrimage to Waslingham. Henry the VIII also visited Walsingham, but, unfortunately it was during his reign as King, that he ordered the destruction of Walsingham, seeing it as a threat to his own command as Head of the Church of England.

During and after the persecutions of Catholics in England, pilgrimages to Walsingham decreased as many embraced the new Church of England in defiance of Rome! But nothing that Our Lady wishes is ever destroyed, and so Walsingham too would rise again, despite anti-Catholic sentiments.

So it was that in the nineteenth century a woman known as Charlotte Boyd endeavoured to retore this most Holy of shrines back to its former glory in honour of our Lady. Charlotte Boyd upon completing the project then gave it to Downside Abbey. This project was to touch Charlotte, and during its restoration she converted to the Catholic Faith, yet another miracle of Walsingham.

So through war and peace, persecution and acceptance, the shrine at Walsingham was not totally destroyed and is one of the major tourist attractions in England.

For whatever our Lady requests, through love of her immaculate Heart it will conquer all who stand opposed to honouring our Holy Mother. Our Lady of Walsingham will stand as a cherished and beloved Gift to the peoples of England and the world.

I would encourage all to read further about our Lady of Walsingham.

Peace of Christ to ALL

Copyright © 2005 Marie Smith. All rights reserved.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Vision of Pope Leo Xlll

Vincenzo Pecci was born in an Era of political intrigues and upheavals, as Italy began the task of uniting their troubled country, which endured many wars.

As it was Italy struggled under the leaderships of the Hapsburgs, Napoleon and the Savoy's until 1860 when Victor Emmanuel ll became King of Italy. It was not until 1929 that the Italian government of the day recognised and gave independence to the Holy See, which then became Vatican City, a country within a country.

But it is Vincenzo Pecci who in the year 1878 became Pope Leo Xlll, who would impact many Catholics around the world, with his leadership through difficult times but also through a vision which was given to him from above.

This vision terrified the Holy Father and he trembled at the prospect of what he saw and for the future of the Church. It was as he finished Mass that the Pope fell as if he had fainted, many rushed to his aid, as the Holy Father lay there ashen faced.

When the attending Priests were able to rouse Pope Leo Xlll from his collapse there was great relief as many thought the Holy Father was having a heart attack. But it was not a heart attack but something entirely different which would haunt this Pope until his death.

After the Priests revived the Pontiff, he was heard to say, "oh, what a horrible picture I was permitted to see!" The attending Priests were shocked and dismayed at what the Pope was to reveal to them all.

The Holy Father over many days revealed to all what he had seen and heard, for upon his completion of Mass, he heard two voices one of which was God and the other Satan. As Satan demanded that he be given one hundred years on earth to create havoc and to try and destroy the Church, Jesus then gave Satan permission. For Jesus knew that no force on earth nor hell would ever defeat the Catholic Church!

But what Pope Leo Xlll saw terrified him and filled him with deep anguish as he saw the depths to which many men and women would sink into depravity and debauchery and how much the Church would suffer. He saw in this vision the destruction of nearly all that was decent as immodesty and uncouthness thrived in a century of unparalleled war and evil.

So the Holy Father wrote out a prayer to protect the Catholic Church and its faithful from this evil onslaught, he composed the Prayer to St Michael, this is the shorter version;

"Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our defence against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do you, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and the other evil spirits who prowl about the world for the ruin of souls. Amen."

The Pope spent many years exhorting the faithful to remain strong and to pray much in order to overcome this evil as he also tackled the influence of 'Modernism/liberalism' within the Church.

Like Pope Leo Xlll let us continue to pray this awesome prayer to St. Michael for the protection of our Church and the faithful. Let this also be a warning for those who dissent from the Church's Teachings.

Peace of Christ to you ALL

Copyright © 2005 Marie Smith. All rights reserved.

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.
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