In Ways That Baffle the Minds of "Modern" Men
Thomas A. Droleskey
Saint Catherine Laboure had great expectation in her heart as she waited and waited and waited for Our Lady to visit her again with news of the the mission that God has chosen to entrust to her. This chosen soul, however, suffered much in the one hundred thirty-two days between Our Lady's initial visit to her and the one that took place on November 27, 1830, in which the nature of that mission that God had chosen for her to undertake was revealed.
Saint Catherine Laboure was rebuffed by her confessor, Father Jean-Marie Aladel, C.M., even though he, without telling her, believed that what she said concerning Our Lady's visit to her was true. Saint Catherine, an obedient religious, understood that she would have to suffer the rebuffs and disappointment even though the calamities in France that Our Lady had foretold had come true after she had revealed them to Father Aladel The second French Revolution that broke out on July 27,1830, confirmed everything that Sister Catherine Laboure had informed Father Aladel would occur This obedient daughter of Saint Vincent de Paul and Saint Louise de Marillac simply had to wait as she held within the depths of her heart the treasures of Our Lady's visit to her on July 18, 1830, as she was given the privilege that not even Saint Bernadette Soubirous or Jacinta and Francisco Marto and Lucia dos Santo were given: to touch the very Mother of God herself.
Here is but a brief description of the sort of contentious relationship she had with Father Aladel after Our Lady had appeared to her on July 18, 1830, and again on November 27, 1830:
As soon as possible, Catherine, with a natural fear and trepidation,--she had been rebuffed so many times!--laid the whole matter of the Medal before Father Aladel. He listened patiently, but once more refused to put much stock in the visions of a novice.
The great vision of November 27, the vision of the Medal, was repeated again and again, probably five times in all. This very repetition seemed to insist on action, and each time Catherine was troubled afresh, for each time she knew she must approach Father Aladel again, and each time she dreaded the encounter more.
These encounters of confessor and penitent had become highly excitable and unpleasant. Voices were raised and hard words uttered. The sounds of battle drifted out of the confessional to startle the ears of the Sisters waiting their turn. although they did not know then what it all meant, Sisters later testified before the solemn tribunal convoked by Rome to investigate Catherine's sanctity, that they often overheard the voice of Father Aladel, its tone peremptorily commanding, and the voice of Sister Laboure, its tone just as peremptorily insisting. She testified herself, shortly before her death, that she once confessed to the priest that, in a moment of frustration, she had told Our Lady that she "had better appear to someone else, since no one will believe me," and that the priest in horror had called her a "wicked wasp." These pitched battles were not of her choosing, for there is further testimony of the Sisters who survived her that she approached the confessional trembling. She had a dogged and determined will, however, that would not sidestep any unpleasantness to achieve its objective, and a spirited tongue to pursue that objective against all argument and remonstrance. There is ample evidence of her tart rejoinders throughout her life.
Not that she was untractable or disobedient: that is another matter entirely. Father Aladel, who knew her soul best, never accused her of the slightest disobedience or rebellion. Quite the opposite: he called her most submissive. Therefore, when he would feel himself forced to call a halt to the discussion, his word was enough her, no matter how sorely she might suffer in silence. In the matter of her visions, nevertheless, she had a command from Heaven that must be obeyed, and she fought tooth and nail to obey it, to see the mission entrusted to her carried out. As always, it was her indomitable obedience that won the day. (Father Joseph Dirvin, CM, Saint Catherine Laboure of the Miraculous Medal, published by Farrar, Straus and Cudahy, Inc., in 1958, and republished by TAN Books and Publishers in 1984, pp. 100-101.)
Mind you, the description from the book written by Father Dirvin, who was an administrator at Saint John's University in Jamaica, Queens, New York, when I was undergraduate there from February of 1970 to the end of the Fall Semester in December of 1972, was about the battles that took place between penitent and confessor after Our Lady had appeared to Sister Catherine Laboure on Saturday, November 27, 1830. It was in God's good and providential time for her to appear at that time only after the chosen soul was tested in the four months between the two Marian apparitions as she grew in fervent expectation of the mission that was to be revealed to her. That period of waiting was only a preparation for the patience that Saint Catherine Laboure had do exercise over the course of forty-six years until she was permitted by Our Lady to reveal her identity to the world.
This is what happened on the night of Saturday, November 27, 1830:
Outside the convent on the rue du Bac, the City of Paris had grown quiet; people had gone back to their daily living. Charles X retreated to England, where he no longer ruled even "like and English king." Louis Philippe came to the throne. Although a Bourbon, he was not of the line of Bourbon kings, but of the Orleans family, and most certainly he wa snot the divine right monarch the royal Bourbons had been. Dubbed from the start "The Citizen King," he was the figurehead the new nation wanted.
Saturday, November 27, 1830, was just another day, busy like all the rest with prayer and work and study of the things of God. The next day would be the first Sunday of Advent. At half past five, all the Sisters, professed and novices alike, gathered in the chapel for/ their evening meditation. The chill November dusk had settled outside, and the chapel was in semi-darkness.
Catherine like this time of evening. She had always liked it, even at home: the laborious day was over and the tired mind found rest in thinking of God. Tonight, the quite voice of the Sister reading the prophecies of Christ's coming at Christmas seemed like the voice of Isaiah himself, calling down the centuries. In the darkness, time and place were no more; only the mind was alive. The voice stopped, and a great stillness followed.
Suddenly,Catherine's heart leaped. She had heard it--that rustling, that faint swish of silk she could never forget, the sound of Our Lady's gown as she walked! There it as again--and there was the Queen of Heaven, there in the sanctuary, standing on a globe. She shone as the morning rising, a radiant vision, "in all her perfect beauty," as Catherine said later.
Catherine's eyes widened with bliss at the sight. Yet they were not so dazzled but that, womanlike, they took note of every detail of the Virgin's dress: that her robe was of silk, "of the whiteness of the dawn," that the neck of it was cut high and the sleeves plain, that she wore a white veil which fell to her feet, and beneath the veil a lace fillet binding her hair.
The Virgin held in her hands a golden ball which she seemed to offer to God, for her eyes were raised heavenward. Suddenly, her hands were resplendent with rings set with precious stones that glittered and flashed in a brilliant cascade of light. So bright was the flood of glory cast upon the globe below that Catherine could no longer see Our Lady's feet.
Mary lowered her eyes and looked at Sister Laboure. Her lips did not move, but Catherine heard a voice.
"The ball which you see represents the whole world, especially France, and each person in particular."
These words stirred the heart of the Sister with fresh transports of joy, and the dazzling rays seemed to her to increase to blinding brilliance.
"These rays symbolize the graces I shed upon those who ask for them. The gems from which rays do not fall are the graces for which souls forget to ask."
At this moment, Catherine was so lost in delight that she scarcely knew where she was, whether she lived or died. The golden ball vanished from Mary's hands; her arms swept wide in a gesture of motherly compassion, while form her jeweled fingers the rays of light streamed around the Blessed Virgin, and written within it in letters of gold Catherine read the worlds:
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.
The voice spoke again:
"Have a Medal struck after this model.all who wear it will receive great graces; they should wear it around the neck. Graces will abound for persons who wear it with confidence."
The tableau revolved, and Catherine beheld the reverse of the Medal she was to have made. It contained a large M surmounted by a bar and a cross. Beneath the M were the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, the one crowned with thorns, the other pierced with a sword. Twelve stars encircled the whole.
And then the vision was gone.
Habit is a saving thing. Certainly it saved Catherine embarrassment or discovery in the next few minutes. She must have said the closing prayers of the meditation with the others; she must have taken her place in line to go to the dining hall; she must have recited the grace and sat down at the table. She did not remember. It was the chastening voice of the Mistress of Novices brought her back to earth.
"Sister Laboure must still be in ecstasy," it said dryly.
Catherine started in confusion. "Why the other novices had begun to eat!
The three great Apparitions of Our Lady to Saint Catherine Laboure--they are designated by number for convenience--were complete. The first, the Apparition of July 18, is sometimes called "The Virgin of the Chair"; the second and third, actually two phases of the Apparition of November 27, are known by the titles: "The Virgin of the Globe" or "The Virgin Most Powerful," and "Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal."
The Medal design submitted by the engraver in 1832 and accepted by Father Aladel was the second phase of the Great Apparition of November 27, representing Our Lady bestowing her graces upon mankind through the symbolism of the rays falling from her outstretched hands upon the globe at her feet. It was not the design originally intended, which was the first phase of the Great Apparition, the "Virgin of the Globe," offering the golden ball to heaven while the rays streamed from her hands upon the large globe on which she stood. Catherine herself remarked upon this change form the original design in her account of the apparitions given to Sister Dufes, her superior, in 1876, and her words carry a tone of complaint. If she saw fit to complain, it must be that Our Lady had wanted the Medal to represent her in the attitude of offering the golden ball. Why, then, the change?
Father Chevalier, Catherine's last director, in his deposition before the Beatification Tribunal, expresses the opinion that the change was made because of the difficulty of representing the attitude of the first phase in the metal, and also because Father Aladel thought it more prudent, in view of the anti-religious feeling at the time, to represent Our Lady in the attitude of the second phase. It is hard to see how the one attitude would been any more acceptable to anti-religious feeling than the other. The probable reason for the change is the first point made by Father Chevalier, that M. Vachette, the engraver, saw difficulty in delineating within the limits of the engraver's art at that time, the arms and the golden ball superimposed upon the stamped image of Our Lady's body. There would have been no such problem today , when dies can be cut so deeply and etched so finely, bit it was a problem in 1832. Father Aladel, with no technical knowledge of the problem, would have followed the advice of the engraver.
There is, of course, a difference of emphasis upon doctrine in the two representations, for the first phase of the Apparition, in addition to honoring the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady in the words "conceived without sin," expressly demonstrates the doctrine that Mary is the Mediatrix of All Graces. Very simply, this doctrine--considered by the Church to be certain although not yet solemnly defined--teaches that all prayers, and petitions, whether made to God directly, to Our Lady, or to the saints, are presented to God by His Mother; and that all graces, whether answers to prayer or gratuitously bestowed by God, pass to men through the hands of His Mother. In the first phase of the Apparition, the attitude of Our Lady, eyes raised to Heaven, lips moving in prayer, and the symbolic offering of the golden ball of the world, beautifully express the intercession of Mary, while the rays from her fingers express the bestowal of God's graces through her. In the second phase of the Apparition, the bestowal of the graces alone is represented by the rays flowing from the outstretched hands.
However, while Father Aladel must have regretted the inability to present the completeness of doctrine symbolized in the first phase, he must have considered the intercessory powers of Mary as Mediatrix to be sufficiently represented by the words of the prayer on the Medal: "Pray for us who have recourse to thee." There is no record of dissatisfaction on Catherine's part when she saw the first Medals, fresh from the press. her only comment was a call to arms: "Now it must be propagated." She, therefore, consented from the first to the Medal's propagation in its altered form. Our Lady would be expected to consult her on such an important change. The proof of the Medal's acceptability to Heaven is the vast multitude of graces bestowed from the beginning on those who wore it and recited the prayer engraved on it. Catherine's complaining reference to change, forty-four years later, may be laid to natural anxiety, with approaching death, as to whether she had carried out her mission exactly. Such anxiety could arise easily out of her very justifiable concern, which we shall hear more of, that the statue of "The Virgin of the Globe," also commissioned by Our Lady, had not been made.
At the command of her director, Catherine would out full accounts of her visions, in 1841, in 1856, and again in 1876. It is odd that, while these accounts are minute and detailed in their descriptions, they omit two significant details of the Medal. The first of these is the serpent whose head Our Lady crushed beneath her heel, as she stood upon the white globe of the earth. This was an obvious pictorial reference to Genesis III: 15, the sole scriptural text with any reference to the doctrine of Mary's Immaculate Conception. "She (the woman) shall crush thy head (the serpent's), and thou shalt lie in wait for heel." The second detail left out of Catherine's written accounts was the twelve stars on the back of the Medal. These stars refer probably to the Twelve Apostles, and are mentioned in the text from Apocalypse XII: 1, applied by theologians to Our Lady: "A woman, clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and the moon under feet, and on her head a crown a twelve stars." That Catherine transmitted the details of the serpent and the stars to the director, at least by word of mouth, is morally certain, for she approved the Medal which bore both details from the first. Besides, in 1836, when the artist LeCerf was painting canvases of the apparitions, she described the serpent to her director as "green with yellow spots"--a rather fearsome serpent, and one, certainly, to offend the sensibilities of an artist!
There was one further instruction concerning the Medal which Catherine gave Father Aladel orally. The priest was puzzled by the fact that there were no words on the back of the Medal, to balance the prayer on the front. He told Catherine to ask Our Lady what should be written there, Catherine consulted the Virgin prayer, and returned with the verbatim reply: "The M and the two Hearts express enough."
Aside from the importance of Catherine's written accounts as religious historical documents, they are, like all such writings not meant to be published, supreme revelations of the character of the one who wrote them. If we knew nothing whatever of Catherine Laboure, we should know from these accounts that she was a practical, commonsense sort of person, not to be rattled even by the glorious visions of another world/ Her first thought upon being awakened by the angel on the night of July18 was: We shall be discovered. On her knees in the chapel, awaiting the arrival of the Blessed Virgin, she kept craning her neck and peering into the dim recesses of the chapel, for fear "the night Sisters, up with the sick," would see her. When Our Lady finally came, Catherine did not throw herself upon the Virgin at once in ecstasy, but wondered whether this were really the Mother of God. Certainly she had a practical prudence, much like Our Lady's when she asked the Angel Gabriel: "How shall this be done?"
Again, she is revealed as an extremely observant person, who, even in the ecstasy of her apparitions, did not miss the smallest details, and a precise person, who did not fail to report them. Catherine tells us, for example, that Our Lady wore "three rings on each of her fingers." She tells us, further, that the rings were graduated in size, "the largest one near the base of the finger, one of medium size in the middle, the smallest one at the tip." She even noticed that the rings themselves were set with stones "of proportionate size, some larger and others smaller."
Her description of Our Lady's veil and headdress is a marvel of exactitude. "A white veil covered her head," Catherine wrote, "falling on either side to her feet. Under the veil her hair, was bound with a fillet ornamented with lace, about three centimeters in height or of two fingers' breadth, without pleats, and resting lightly on the hair.
This supreme accuracy carries over into the recording of the time and place of her visions. She saw the heart of St. Vincent "above the little shrine where the relic of St. Vincent was exposed in the chapel of the Sisters, over the picture of St. Anne and in front of St. Joseph's picture." One the night of July 18, she heard herself called by name at "eleven-thirty in the evening." She heard the noise of Our Lady's coming "from the side of the tribune near St. Joseph's picture." when she returned to her bed, "it was two o'clock in the morning, for I heard the hour strike." The opening paragraph of her account of the Great Apparition is incomparable: "On November 27, 1830, which fell upon the Saturday before the first Sunday of Advent, at five-thirty in the evening, in the deep silence after the point of meditation had been read--that is, several minutes after the point of the meditation--I heard a sound like the rustling of a silken gown, from the tribune near the picture of St. Joseph."
The precision of these descriptions, particularly the details of the Virgin's attire, makes all the more mysterious Catherine's omission of the serpent and the twelve stars, and her failure to give us the faintest clue as to Our Lady's age or personal appearance.
Catherine had a woman's eye for color. When the heart of St. Vincent was shown her in April, 1830, she recorded that it was successively "white flesh color," "fiery red," "dark red," and "vermilion." It finally appeared "sombre, the color of dead flesh." Certainly not every woman can boast this eye for nuance and shading. Her description of the Virgin's dress in the apparition of November 27: "of the whiteness of the dawn," has been the despair of artists, and they have gotten around the problem by painting the dress a flat white or cream color. Catherine, who, as a farm girl had often seen the day break, meant literally that Our Lady was clothed in the color of the dawn sky: a basic white with myriad tints of red, pink, saffron, and the palest blue.
Perhaps the most surprising trait revealed by Catherine Laboure in her written accounts is her flair for the right word or phrase. Certain descriptive flashes in her story of the Apparitions would be the envy of professional writers. When she tells us that the chapel all lighted for the coming of the Blessed Virgin reminded her of "Midnight Mass," the phrase is completely evocative. When the Virgin departed, "she faded away and became but a shadow, which moved toward the tribune the way she had come." At the cose of the Miraculous Medal Apparition, on the other hand, "everything disappeared from my sight, like a candle that is blown out." In describing the brilliant rays that flashed from Mary's hands, Catherine uses the word rejaillissant, thus suggesting a breath-taking picture of dazzling light "bursting from all sides," like a fountain. The rays grew so bright that they "flooded the base, so that I could no longer see the feet of the Blessed Virgin." Mary's hands were "bent down under the weight of the treasures of graces obtained." For an uneducated girl, Catherine's accounts are masterpieces of clarity and beauty. (Father Joseph Dirvin, CM, Saint Catherine Laboure of the Miraculous Medal, published by Farrar, Straus and Cudahy, Inc., in 1958, and republished by TAN Books and Publishers in 1984, pp. 92-100.)
It is interesting to note that two Marian doctrines, neither of which had been solemnly defined by Holy Mother Church, were promoted by Our Lady by means of the Miraculous Medal.
The first, of course, is the doctrine of her Immaculate Conception, which was proclaimed solemnly by Pope Pius IX on December 8, 1854. This is why Father Maximilian Kolbe, M.I., sought to promote the Miraculous Medal as part of the external display on the clothing of his Knights of the Immaculata as their very mission was from its outset to establish the City of Mary Immaculate.
Our Lady foretold this proclamation of a basic doctrinal truth that is, after all, contained in the Ave Maria, which comes from the very words spoken to her by Saint Gabriel the Archangel to her at the Annunciation ("Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women," Luke 2: 27), in anticipation of Pope Pius IX's solemn definition of it, a solemn definition that she ratified when she appeared to Saint Bernadette Soubirous in the Grotto of Massabielle near Lourdes, France, on March 25, 1858, identifying herself as "I am the Immaculate Conception" (see
Penance! Penance! Penance! Pray to God for Sinners). As Father Dirvin pointed out in his book about Saint Catherine Laboure, Saint Bernadette Soubirous was wearing a variation of the Miraculous Medal when Our Lady appeared to her in 1858:
In 1854, Pius IX made the momentous pronouncement that, beyond any shadow of doubt, Our Blessed Lady was "preserved and exempt from all stain of original sin, from the first moment of her conception." Pius himself recognized that the impetus of devotion to the Immaculate Conception that led to this definition had come from France. Indeed, it is certain that the Apparitions of the Miraculous Medal to Catherine Laboure in 1830 hastened the solemn declaration of the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception in 1854, just as at the Apparitions of Lourdes, wherein Our Lady declared: "I am the Immaculate Conception," set the seal of approval on it.
There was great joy in France in 1858 when it became known that Mary had appeared to Bernadette Soubirous, a peasant girl of the French Pyrenees. No one was happier than Catherine Laboure. "You see," she exclaimed, "it is our own Blessed Mother, the Immaculate!"
On the day of the first national pilgrimage of France to the grotto at Lourdes, a group of the Sisters of Enghien were standing at the front door of the house, deep in conversation. Catherine joined them, and, before they knew was happening, she had launched into a detailed description of the ceremony taking place at that moment in Lourdes. Several days later, the Parisian papers verified everything that she had said.
It is interesting to conjecture whether Catherine had her knowledge of an event occurring several hundred miles away by clairvoyance or whether she was bilocated, being actually present at Lourdes and Enghien at one and the same time. There are several well-authenticated cases of bilocation in religious history, notably those of St. Catherine of Siena, St. Alphonsus Liguori, and, more recently, of the English lay apostle, Teresa Higginson. Whatever the way in which Catherine Laboure came to a knowledge of this distant event, her knowledge was definitely of supernatural origin.
A tangible reminder of the very real connection between the Apparitions of Paris and Lourdes was the medal Bernadette wore around her neck during her meetings with the Mother of God. It was not a Miraculous Medal. It was not a Miraculous Medal, but a sort hybrid: the face of the medal was an exact copy of the from the Miraculous Medal, but the back was devoted to St. Teresa of Avila. The medal was given to Bernadette to parish priest of St. Thomas-d'Aquin in Paris, who was on pilgrimage to Lourdes, and eventually it found its way to the rue du Bac, where it now reposes in the archives. (Father Joseph Dirvin, CM, Saint Catherine Laboure of the Miraculous Medal, published by Farrar, Straus and Cudahy, Inc., in 1958, and republished by TAN Books and Publishers in 1984, pp. 178-179.)
The second doctrine confirmed by the Miraculous Medal is the doctrine of Our Lady as the Mediatrix of All Graces, which has yet to proclaimed solemnly but is, as Father Dirvin noted above, theologically certain. And the fact that Our Lady herself revealed it to be so and that Pope Pius IX himself gave approval to the Miraculous Medal should make us simple peasants who are not decreed theologians jump with joy at the great gift that the Mother of God has given us, to know what Saint Louis Grignion de Montfort had taught us in True Devotion to Mary, summarizing the doctrine taught by various saints, namely, that Our Lady is indeed the Mediatrix of All Graces:
The conduct which the Three Persons of the Most Holy Trinity have deigned to pursue in the Incarnation and the first coming of Jesus Christ, They still pursue daily, in an invisible manner, throughout the whole Church; and They will still pursue it even to the consummation of the world in the last coming of Jesus Christ.
God the Father made an assemblage of all the waters and He named it the sea (mare). He made an assemblage of all His graces and he called it Mary (Maria). This great God has a most rich treasury in which He has laid up all that He ha of beauty and splendor, of rarity and precariousness, including even His own Son: and this immense treasury is none other than Mary, whom the saints have named the Treasure of the Lord, out of whose plenitude all men are made rich.
God the Son has communicated to His Mother all that He acquired by His life and His death, His infinite merits and His admirable virtues; and He has made her the treasurer of all that His Father gave Him for His inheritance. It is by her that He applies His merits to His members, and that He communicates His virtues, and distributes His graces. She is His mysterious canal; she is His aqueduct, through which He makes His mercies flow gently and abundantly.
To Mary, His faithful spouse, God the Holy Ghost has communicated His unspeakable gifts; and He has chosen her to be the dispenser of all He possesses, in such wise that she distributes to whom she wills, as much as she wills, all His gifts and graces. The Holy Ghost gives no heavenly gift to men which He does not have pass through her virginal hands. Such has been the will of God, who has willed that we should have everything pass through Mary; so that she who, impoverished, humbled, and who hid herself even unto the abyss of nothingness by her profound humility her whole life long, should now be enriched and exalted and honored by the Most High. Such are the sentiments of the Church and the holy Fathers.
If I were speaking to the freethinkers of these times, I would prove what I have said to simply here, drawing it out more at length, and conforming it by the Holy Scriptures and the fathers, quoting the original passages and adducing various solid reasons, which may be seen at length in the book of Father Poire, La Triple Couronne de la Ste. Vierge. But as I speak of particularly to the poor and simple, who being of good will, and having more faith than the common run of scholars, believe more simply and more meritoriously, I content myself with stating the truth quite plainly, without stopping to quote Latin passages, which they would not understand. Nevertheless, without making much research, I shall not fail to bring forward some of them from time to time. (Saint Louis Grignion de Montfort, True Devotion to Mary, as translated by Father Frederick William Faber, TAN Books and publishers, pp. 14-16.)
Our Lady, of course, ratified this exquisite summary of Catholic teaching that is understandable to those of us who are monolinguists by her apparition of November 27, 1830, to Saint Catherine Laboure.
The Miraculous Medal also presaged the widespread devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary that would be ushered in when she appeared from May 13, 1917, to October 13, 1917, to Jacinta and Lucia Marto and Lucia dos Santos in the Cova da Iria near Fatima, Portugal.
All of this is quite baffling to the minds of "modern" men, steeped in rationalism and naturalism, men who are very unwilling to believe the miracles that did take place shortly after the Archbishop of Paris, Hyacinthe-Louis de Quelen, who was Archbishop of Paris, France, from October 20, 1831, to December 31, 1839, gave approval for what we know now as the Miraculous Medal to be struck and propagated:
Catherine always kept some of these first Medals with her throughout her life. About ten of them survive today, jealously guarded in the archives of the Sisters of Charity in Paris. One of them is on exhibition in the Miraculous Medal Art Museum in Germantown, Philadelphia. They are essentially the same the Medals we know today, except that they are not the masterpieces of artistry and engraving effected by modern craftsmen. Little, flat, oval pieces of some alloy, they are a far cry from the ravishing vision Catherine saw, yet they are the sole reason for the vision. Our Lady herself came down form Heaven to model them.
The propagation of the Medal urged by Catherine was carried out so swiftly that it was miraculous in itself. The first supply of Medals vanished in no time. Pope Gregory XVI placed one of them at the crucifix on his desk. Father Gillet, Redemptorist founder of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, in America, had the design of the Medal placed on his ordination card in 1836.
As soon as Archbishop de Quelen had received some of the first Medals, he put one in his pocket and went to visit Monseigneur de Pradt, former chaplain to Napoleon and unlawful Archbishop of Malines, who lay dying in Paris. This prelate had sided with Napoleon in the Emperor's quarrel with the Church, and had been excommunicated by the Holy See. he had furthered his contumacy by accepting the archbishopric of Malines from Napoleon's hands. Ousted from his illegal possession of the See at the Emperor's downfall, he now lay on his deathbed, unreconciled to the Church and defiant. He received Archbishop de Quelen, but steadfastly refused to discuss the all-important object of the visit, the abjuration of his errors. At length, Archbishop de Quelen, admitting defeat, withdrew. He had not yet left the house when the sick man suddenly called him back. In that stroke of time he had capitulated to the Queen of the Medal. Completely docile and repentant, he made his confession and was received back into the saving bosom of the Church. He died a peaceful death the next day, the first signal triumph of the Miraculous Medal.
The first order of 20,000 Medals proved to be but a small start. The new "Medals of the Immaculate Conception" began to pour from the presses in streams, spilling over France and escaping to the world beyond. Wonders sprang up in their wake, miracles of mercy and healing and grace. By December 1836, the firm of Vachette had sold several million medals. Eleven other Parisian engravers had equaled this number, and four Lyon engravers were hard at work to meet the demand.
Excitedly, people passed the Medal from hand to hand.
"Take this Miraculous Medal. . . ."
Its formal name was forgotten. It was the "Miraculous Medal even in those first days, for the power working through it was seen to be truly miraculous. It would never be called anything else. Even the Liturgy accorded it the proud title conferred on it by the people who accepted it with faith and love.
If the wildfire spread of the Medal was miraculous, the wonders it worked were more so. No sacramental of the Church had made such impact on the Catholic world since the Rosary had routed the Albigensian and the Turk. Its name was honestly come by, for it literally worked miracles. It seemed to specialize in the impossible, the conversion of the hardened sinner, the cure of hopelessly ill. And yet it only seemed to specialize in these startling favors because they were startling. Actually it blanketed all the ills of daily living, if only because there were so many of these. People came to count on this Miraculous Medal in every need. And it is this universal concern of Mary for every necessity of her children, ordinary and extraordinary alike, that has endeared the Medal to all the world.
There would be no point in cataloguing the wonders worked by the Medal in those early days, for it works the same wonders today. There are hundreds of modern conversions to match that of Monseigneur de Pradt. The hopelessly ill are still cured. And there are countless lesser favors flowing in a steady stream from the outstretched hands of the Queen of the Medal. The national Shrine of the Miraculous Medal in Germantown, Pennsylvania, records 500 such favors, actually reported, every week. The favors that go unreported must be, conservatively, ten times that number. And this at but one tiny spot on the globe. (Father Joseph Dirvin, CM, Saint Catherine Laboure of the Miraculous Medal, published by Farrar, Straus and Cudahy, Inc., in 1958, and republished by TAN Books and Publishers in 1984, pp, 92-101.)
Father Dirvin was not exaggerating the power of the Miraculous Medal.
Ordinary Catholics all across the vast expanse of the ecclesiastical divide are still devoted to Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, distributing Miraculous Medals as plentifully as they were distributed in those first days in France. An elderly man I met on a charter flight in 1984 from Rome, Italy, to New York, New York, operated by AirTran when it was a charter airline told me that he was taking back to Berwick, Pennsylvania, thousands of Miraculous Medals after having been to France. He had story after story to tell of the miracles wrought by Our Lady's Miraculous Medal. And another man, a former benefactor of ours for whom we pray every day without fail, told me in May of 1999 that he would rather distribute a million Miraculous Medals than given another dime to any politician running for elected office. That comment started me on my own path of withdrawing from the world of partisan politics in which I was still somewhat enmeshed in order to concentrate in my writing and in my speaking on the root causes of our social problems that rest in the overthrow of the Social Reign of Christ the King wrought by the Protestant Revolution and institutionalized by the allied, interrelated but nevertheless multifaceted naturalistic forces of Judeo-Masonry.
As noted in Part One of this commentary two days ago, the miracle that brought Our Lady's Miraculous Medal worldwide attention was the conversion of the Catholic-hating Jewish man named Alphonse Ratisbonne. Even with this great miracle, however, Saint Catherine Laboure desired to remain unknown to even the future Father Marie-Alphonse Ratisbonne:
News of the "Madonna del Ratisbonne" and his miraculous conversion had Rome agog, and quickly fanned out through all Europe, especially in diplomatic and financial circles, where Ratisbonne and Bussieres and De la Ferronnaya were widely known. Interest centered especially on the Medal which, until this time, had only the approbation of the Archbishop of Paris. Rome immediately instituted an inquiry, and twenty-five sessions were held between February 17, 1842, and June 3, 1842. The findings of the court "fully recognized the signal miracle wrought by God through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in the spontaneous and complete conversion of Marie Alphonse Ratisbonne from Judaism to Catholicism." It was a major triumph of the Miraculous Medal.
Ratisbonne entered with the Jesuit Fathers to study for the priesthood and spent ten years in the bosom of the Society. When, however, his superiors repeatedly turned down his request to go to China, he left, for, as he put it, his true vocation was to be an apostle, "not a sixth-form master." He joined his brother Theodore, who had formed the Congregation of Our Lady of Sion for the evangelization of the Jews, and spent more than thirty years in the Holy Land as a missionary to his own people.
Ratisbonne made several attempts to converse with the unknown Sister who had been given the Miraculous Medal in 1830, but never got beyond Father Aladel, who told him regretfully that the Seer insisted on remaining unknown. The Holy Father himself, Gregory XVI, became intensely interested, and wanted to converse with the Sister, but Catherine was adamant. Had the Pope commanded her to come forward, there would have been an interesting development, for it would seem that she would have had to obey the Vicar of Christ. As it was, Gregory did not insist, but he left her in her silence. (Father Joseph Dirvin, CM, Saint Catherine Laboure of the Miraculous Medal, published by Farrar, Straus and Cudahy, Inc., in 1958, and republished by TAN Books and Publishers in 1984, pp. 170-171.)
Just ponder over this for a moment or two.
The man born as Alphonse Tobie Ratisbonne in Strasbourg, France, on May 1, 1814, knew immediately after his miraculous conversion that he had to be an apostle of the Catholic Faith. Could you imagine Father Marie-Alphonse Ratisbonne securing permission from Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI to work in the Holy Land for the conversion of the Jews? No? Isn't that a sign of the false "pontiff's" apostate mind and heart that rejects the necessity of seeking with urgency those who adhere to the Talmud and its blasphemous lies and its false rites that are "sacred" only to the devil? Shouldn't it tell you something, just a little something, that Ratzinger/Benedict almost never mentions Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary in his journeys to various countries, to say nothing of promoting the wearing of Our Lady's Miraculous Medal?
Our Lady knew that we would be living in these times of such great confusion as the operation of error prophesied by Saint Paul has indeed deceived many of the elect and deprived most Roman Rite Catholics in the world of the Sanctifying Graces that are meant to flow from her loving hands through the ministration of true priests as they administer the Sacraments. Acting at the behest of her Divine Son, Christ the King, Our Lady did not want to leave her children that she had given spiritual rebirth to in such great pain as she stood by the foot of His Holy Cross feeling the torments of the Fifth Sword of Sorrow pierce her Immaculate Heart through and through without supernatural aids. She has thus given us, in addition to the Most Holy Rosary and the Brown Scapular, the Miraculous Medal and the Green Scapular, which was given to Sister Justine Bisqueyburo in the same convent of the Daughters of Charity on the Rue du Bac where Saint Catherine Laboure had been given the instructions concerning the Miraculous Medal by the Mother of God herself:
In 1840, Our Lady came again to the house on the rue du Bac, to reveal her Immaculate Heart to novice named Justine Bisqueyburu. Sister Justine had entered the novitiate on November 27, 1839, the ninth anniversary of the Apparition of the Medal. Toward the end of January she entered upon her retreat in a prayer hall, behind the Chapel of the Apparitions. This prayer hall contained a miraculous statue of the Blessed Virgin which was very old and which had figured several times in the supernatural protection of the Sisters and their house. During the exercises of retreat, the Blessed Virgin appeared suddenly to Sister Justine, on January 28, 1840. She wore a long white dress and a blue mantle. She was barefooted and bareheaded, her hair falling free to the shoulders. In her hand she her her Immaculate Heart, pieced with a sword, and surrounded with flames. This vision was repeated several times as the retreat continued, and later on the principal feasts of the Blessed Virgin. On September 8, 1840, the feast of Our Lady's Nativity, the vision took on an added detail. The Virgin carried the Immaculate Heart in her right hand, and suspended from her left hand, a kind of scapular of green cloth. On the face of the scapular was a representation of Mary as she had appeared in the preceding apparitions, and on the back "a heart all burning with rays more brilliant than the sun, and as transparent as crystal, this heart, surmounted by a cross, was pierced with a sword, and around it were the words: "Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death." The Green Scapular, as this sacramental is popularly called, is not really a scapular, but rather a "cloth medal," for it consists of only one piece of material, and is worn about the neck as a medal would be worn. Sister Justine confided her vision to Father Aladel, as Catherine Laboure had done, and found the same difficulty in having the scapular made as Catherine had encountered with the Medal. It was not until 1846, after Our Lady had complained several times that her gift to the Community was not appreciated, that the approbation of Monseigneur Affre, the Archbishop of Paris, was finally sought and obtained for the distribution of the scapular.
In spite of the slowness of the authorities to act, heaven continued to lavish its treasures on the Community of St. Vincent. Throughout the year 1845, another Sister of Charity, Sister Appolline Andreveaux, stationed at the Hospice de Saint Jean in Troyes, received several visits of Our Lord in His Passion. On July 26, 1846, Christ appeared to Sister Appolline, holding in His hand a red scapular. One piece of the scapular bore the image of Christ on the Cross, surrounded by the instruments of the Passion, and the words: "Holy Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, save us." The other piece bore representations of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, surmounted by a cross, and the words: "Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, protect us."
Sister Appolline was to meet with prompter action than either Sister Catherine or Sister Justine. Sister Appolline had confided her visions, in writing, to Father Etienne, and the Superior General sought and obtained approbation for the making of the scapular from Pope Pius IX in 1847, during the same audience in which the Pontiff approved the Children of Mary. (Father Joseph Dirvin, CM, Saint Catherine Laboure of the Miraculous Medal, published by Farrar, Straus and Cudahy, Inc., in 1958, and republished by TAN Books and Publishers in 1984, pp. 164-166.)
So many graces for the daughters of Saint Vincent de Paul! So many graces for us at a time of tremendous sacramental barrenness.
Do not let anyone--and I mean anyone--dissuade you from believing in the power of the Miraculous Medal or the Green Scapular. Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has even given us the Red Scapular to promote devotion to His own Passion and to those matchless Hearts of love that are intertwined with each other, His own Most Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, His Most Blessed Mother. The only way out of the mess that we find ourselves in at this time, my few and increasingly fewer readers, is through the Immaculate Heart of Mary as entrust ourselves to the tender mercies of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through the very Immaculate Heart out of which this ocean of mercy was formed in Our Lady's Virginal and Immaculate Womb.
Father Frederick William Faber, who had studied the not-yet-canonized Father Louis Grignion de Montfort's True Devotion to Mary for fifteen years, almost the entirety of his life as a Catholic priest following his conversion from Anglicanism, before he translated it from French into English, reminded us that we must promote True Devotion to Mary and reject the ways of "modern men" who are so baffled by what appears to them to be but childish practices and superstitions:
All those who who are likely to read this book [True Devotion to Mary] love God, and lament that they do not love Him more; all desire something for His glory--the spread of some good work, the success of some devotion, the coming of some good time. One man has been striving for years to overcome a particular fault, and has not succeeded. Another mourns, and almost wonders while he mourns, that so few of his relations and friends have been converted to the Faith. One grieves that he has not devotion enough; another that he has a cross to carry which is a peculiarly impossible cross to him; while a third has domestic troubles and family unhappinesses which feel almost incompatible with his salvation; and for all these things prayer appears to bring so little remedy.
But what is the remedy that is wanted? What is the remedy indicated by God Himself? If we may rely on the disclosures of the saints, it is an immense increase of devotion to our Blessed Lady; but, remember, nothing short of an immense one. Here in England, Mary is not half enough preached. Devotion ot her is low and thin and poor. It is frightened out of its wits by the sneers of heresy. It is always invoking human respect and carnal prudence, wishing to make Mary so little of a Mary that Protestants may feel at ease about her. Its ignorance of theology makes it unsubstantial and unworthy. It is not the prominent characteristic of our religion which it ought to be. It has no faith in itself. hence it is that Jesus is not loved, that heretics are not converted, that the Church is not exalted; that souls which might be saints wither and dwindle; that the Sacraments are not rightly frequented, or souls enthusiastically evangelized.
Jesus is obscured because Mary is kept in the background. Thousands of souls perish because Mary is withheld from them. It is the miserable, unworthy shadow which we call our devotion to the Blessed Virgin that is the cause of all these wants and blights, these evils and omissions and declines. yet, if we are to believe the revelation of the saints, God is pressing for a greater, a wider, a stronger, quite another devotion to His Blessed Mother. I cannot think of a higher work or a broader vocation for anyone than the simple spreading of this peculiar devotion of the Venerable Grignion de Montfort. Let a man but try it for himself, and his surprise at the graces it brings within it, and the transformations it causes in his soul, will soon convince him of its otherwise almost incredible efficacy as a means of salvation of men, and for the coming of Christ. Oh, if Mary were but known, how much more wonderful would be our faith, and how different would our Communions be! Oh, if Mary were but known, how much happier, how much holier, how much less worldly should we be, and how much more should we be living images of our sole Lord and Saviour, her dearest and most blessed Son! (Father Frederick William Faber, preface to True Devotion to Mary, pp. xxi-xxiii.)
This is, of course, why the great apostle of True Devotion to Mary in recent times, Father Maximilian Kolbe, M.I.., promoted total Marian consecration in conjunction with the Miraculous Medal that Our Lady herself had instructed Saint Catherine Laboure to have struck and propagated. True devotees of Our Lady do not fear the sneers of other. They do not fear what will happen to their professional "respectability" if they mention the Holy Name of Mary in public and promote her Most Holy Rosary and Brown Scapular and Green Scapular.
We live at a time when the conciliar revolutionaries have indeed made of Our Lady so little of Our Lady and have made of the Holy Faith Itself so little of the Holy Faith that Protestants and others would not be offended. Behold the wretched results as a supposed "pontiff" endorses a vile means to "protect" those committed to lives of sin from the personal consequences of their perverse behavior and as one of his "bishops" can dismiss various references to God with a breezy, casual, flippant Whatever You Want.
It cannot be that way with us. We must use the sacramentals that Heaven has given us by means of Our Lady, who desires us, her most beloved children, to be with her in Heaven for all eternity to praise and adore and to give thanks to the Most Blessed Trinity of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost to all eternity. And just as the Son of God became Man in her Virginal and Immaculate Womb, passing through her miraculously on Christmas Day, so is it case that we are meant to ascend to Him, Christ the King, through the same Mother of God.
Saint Louis de Montfort taught us that True Devotion to Mary will be the singular characteristic of these latter times: that just as Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ came into the world through Mary as a humble Child, so will it be the case that He will come in glory at the end of time after Our Lady has prepared the children of election for that Second Coming of His:
In as much as grace perfects nature, and glory perfects grace, it is certain that Our Lord is still, in Heaven, as much the Son of Mary as He was on earth; and that, consequently, He has retained the obedience and submission of the most perfect Child toward the best of all mothers. But we must take great pains not to conceive this dependence as any abasement or imperfection in Jesus Christ. For Mary is infinitely below her Son, who is God, and therefore she does not command Him as a mother here below would command her child who is below her. Mary, being altogether transformed into God by grace and by the glory which transforms all the saints- into Him, asks nothing, wishes nothing, does nothing contrary to the eternal and immutable will of God. When we read then in the writings of Sts. Bernard, Bernardine, Bonaventure, and others that in Heaven and on earth everything, even God Himself, is subject to the Blessed Virgin, they mean that the authority which God has been pleased to give her is so great that it seems as if she had the same power as God; and that her prayers and petitions are so powerful with God that they always pass for commandments with His Majesty, Who never resists the prayer of His dear Mother, because she is always humble and conformed to His will.
If Moses, by the force of his prayer, stayed the anger of God against the Israelites in a manner so powerful that the most high and infinitely merciful Lord, being unable to resist him, told him to Let Him alone that He might be angry with and punish that rebellious people, what must we not, with much greater reason, think of the prayer of the humble Mary, the Mother of God, which is more powerful with His Majesty than the prayers and intercessions of all the angels and saints both in Heaven and on earth.
In the Heavens Mary commands the angels and the blessed. As a recompense for her profound humility, God has empowered her and commissioned her to fill with saints the empty thrones form which the apostate angels fell by pride. The will of the Most High, who exalts the- humble (Lk. 1:52), is that Heaven, earth and Hell bend, with good will or bad will to the commandments of the humble Mary, whom He has made sovereign of Heaven and earth, general of His armies, treasurer of His treasures, dispenser os His graces, worker of His greatest marvels, restorer of the human race, Mediatrix of men, the exterminator of the enemies of God, and the faithful companion of His grandeurs and triumphs.
God the Father wishes to have children by Mary till the consummation of the world; and He speaks to her these words: "Dwell in Jacob" (Ecclus. 24:13); that is to say: Make your dwelling and residence in My predestined children, prefigured by Jacob, and not in the reprobate children of the devil, prefigured by Esau.
Just as in the natural and corporal generation of children there are a father and a mother, so in the supernatural and spiritual generation there are a Father, who is God, and a Mother, who is Mary. All the true children of God, the predestinate, have God for their Father and Mary for their Mother. He has not Mary for his Mother has not God for his Father. This is the reason why the reprobate, such as heretics, schismatics and others, who hate our Blessed Lady or regard her with contempt and indifference have not God for their Father, however much they boast of it, simply because they have not Mary for their Mother. For if they had her for their Mother, they would love and honor her as the true child naturally loves and honors the the mother who has given him life.
The most infallible and indisputable sign by which we may distinguish a heretic, a man of bad doctrine, a reprobate, from one of the predestinate, is that the heretic and the reprobate have nothing but contempt and indifference for Our Lady, endeavoring by their words and examples to diminish the worship and love of her, openly or hiddenly, and sometimes by misrepresentations. Alas! God the Father has not told Mary to dwell in them, for they are Esaus. (Saint Louis Grignion de Montfort, True Devotion to Mary, as translated by Father Frederick William Faber, TAN Books and publishers, pp. 16-18.)
Not very ecumenical of Saint Louis Grignion de Montfort. Indeed, Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI has exalted Protestants as "believers" even though most of them disparage Our Lady while others misrepresent her, as did the Protestant producers of The Nativity Story motion picture that made its world premiere in the Paul VI Audience Hall in the Vatican on Sunday, November 26, 2006, with his own full approval and blessing. Our Lady is essential to our salvation, something that Protestants and many, although far from all, conciliarists believe. It is also sad to note that there are some fully traditional Catholics who, perhaps being tinged with a bit of the Jansenist spirit, tend to minimize Our Lady's role in these latter days, believing, rather pridefully, it should be noted, that "we" can "solve" things quite without her help, a proposition that is quite wrong and quite insulting to Christ the King, Who has sent us His Most Blessed Mother in these latter times to help us to save our immortal souls in spite of ourselves and our terrible sins.
Saint Louis Grignion de Montfort explains:
God the Son wishes form Himself, and, so to speak, to incarnate Himself in His members, every day, by His dear Mother, and He says to her: "Take Israel for your inheritance." (Ecclus. 24:13). It is as if He had said: God the Father has given for an inheritance all the nations of the earth, good and bad, predestinate and reprobate. The ones I will lead with a rod of gold. and the others with a rod of iron. Of the ones, I will be the Father and the Advocate; of the others, the Just Punisher; and of all, the Judge. But as for you, My dear Mother, you shall have for your heritage and possession only the predestinate, prefigured by Israel; and as their Mother, you shall bring them forth and take care of them; and as their sovereign, you shall conduct them, govern them and defend them.
"This man and that man is born in her" (Ps. 86:5), says the Holy Ghost through the Royal Psalmist. According to the explanation of some of the Fathers, the first man that is born of Mary is the Man-God, Jesus Christ; the second is a mere man, the child of God and Mary by adoption. If Jesus Christ, the Head of men, is born in her, then the predestinate, who are the members of that Head, ought also to be born in her, by a necessary consequence. One and the same mother does not bring forth into the world the head without the members, or the members without the head; for this would be a monster of nature. So in like manner, in the order of grace, the head and the members are born of one and the same Mother; and if a member of the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ--that is to say, one of the predestinate--were born of any other mother than Mary, who has produced the Head, he would not be one of the predestinate, nor a member of Jesus Christ, but simply a monster in the order of grace.
Besides this, Jesus being at present as much as ever the fruit of Mary--as Heaven and earth repeat thousands and thousands of times a day, "and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus"--it is certain that Jesus Christ is, for each man in particular who possesses Him, as truly the fruit and the work of Mary as He is for the whole world in general; so that if any one of the faithful has Jesus Christ formed in his heart, he can say boldly, "All thanks be to Mary! What I possess is her effect and and her fruit, and without her I should never have had it." We can apply to her more than St. Paul applied to himself the words: "I am in labor again with all the children of God, until Jesus Christ my Son be formed in them in the fullness of His age." (Cf. Gal. 4:19)
St. Augustine, surpassing himself, and going beyond all I have yet said, affirms that all the predestinate, in order to be conformed to the image of the Son of God, are in this world is hidden in the womb of the most holy Virgin, where they are guarded, nourished, brought up and made to grow by that good Mother, until she has brought them forth to glory after death, which is properly the day of their birth, as the Church calls the death of the just. O mystery of grace, unknown to the reprobate, and but little known even to the predestinate! (Saint Louis Grignion de Montfort, True Devotion to Mary, as translated by Father Frederick William Faber, TAN Books and publishers, pp. 18-20.)
Saint Louis Grignion de Montfort also explained that just as Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ came into the world through Mary as a humble Child, so will it be the case that He will come in glory at the end of time after Our Lady has prepared the children of election for that Second Coming of His:
I have said that this world would come to pass, particularly at the end of the world an indeed presently, because the Most High with His holy Mother has to form for Himself great saints who shall surpass most of the other saints in sanctity as much as the cedars of Lebanon outgrow the little shrubs, as has been revealed to a holy soul whose life has been written by M. de Renty.
These great souls, full of grace and zeal, shall be chosen to match themselves against the enemies of God, who shall rage on all sides; and they shall be singularly devout to our Blessed Lady, illuminated by her light, strengthened with her nourishment, led by her spirit, supported by her arm and sheltered under her protection, so that they shall fight with one hand and build with the other. With the one hand they shall fight, overthrow and crush the heretics with the heresies, the schismatics with their schisms, the idolaters with their idolatries and the sinners with their impieties. With the other they shall build (Esd. 4:7) the temple of the true Solomon, and the mystical city of God, that is to say, the most holy Virgin, called by the fathers the "Temple of Solomon" and the"City of God." By their words and their examples they shall draw the whole world to true devotion to Mary. This shall bring upon them many enemies, but shall also bring them many victories and much glory for God alone. This is what God revealed to St. Vincent Ferrer, the great apostle of his age, as he has sufficiently noted in one of his works.
This is what the Holy Ghost seems to have prophesied in the Fifty-eighth Psalm: "And they shall know that God will rule Jacob and all the ends of the earth; they shall return at evening and shall suffer hunger like dogs and shall go round the city." (Ps. 58: 14-15) This city which men shall find at the end of the world to convert themselves in, and to satisfy the hunger they have for justice, is the most holy Virgin, who is called by the Holy Ghost, the "City of God" (Ps. 86: 3) Saint Louis Grignion de Montfort, True Devotion to Mary, as translated by Father Frederick William Faber, TAN Books and publishers, pp. 26-27.)
We need to pray to Our Lady for the graces so that we can be one of these souls despite our sins and our best efforts to avoid being so formed!
Let us resolve to give all of the sufferings of the moment, no matter they be personal or civil or ecclesiastical, to the Throne of the Most Blessed Trinity through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, counting it as a true privilege to alive in our troubling times as we seek to make reparation for our own many sins and ingratitude and lukewarmness and worldliness by offering up everything that we are called to suffer without complaint as the slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary who display our Miraculous Medals and use the shield of the Brown Scapular, praying as many Rosaries each day as our state-in-life permits.
We have only Heaven to gain.
What we we waiting for?
Immaculate Heart of Mary, triumph soon!
Vivat Christus Rex! Viva Cristo Rey!
Isn't it time to pray a Rosary now?
Viva Cristo Rey!
Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint John the Evangelist, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.
Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, pray for us.
Saint Andrew the Apostle, pray for us.
Saint Bibiana, pray for us.
See also: A Litany of Saints