The Message of the Sacred-Heart of Jesus to Sister Consolata

The Message of the Sacred-Heart of Jesus

to Sister Consolata

  A Sermon Given in Avrillé,

  and Published in “Le Sel de la Terre” 74, Autumn 2010

We would like to take advantage of this month of June, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, by saying a few words about the message of the Sacred Heart to Sister Consolata.

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Public and Private Revelations

Let us make clear here at the outset that we will be speaking about what are called “private revelations,” and that these should not be confused with public Revelation.

Public Revelation is the Revelation given by God to the prophets of the Old Testament, and by Our Lord Jesus Christ – and the Holy Ghost after Pentecost – to the Apostles in the New Testament. The Church’s mission is to transmit infallibly, and to offer to our faith, this public Revelation that we must believe in order to be saved. This public Revelation ended with the death of the last Apostle, St. John.

But God, who governs the world, reserves for Himself the right to intervene in the course of human history to help men to save themselves.

Private revelations are revelations given by God, by the Lord Jesus, by Our Lady, or even by saints. These revelations are given to private persons, whether for their own salvation or the aiding their own souls, or for a certain part of the Church, or even for the entire Church. Such revelations add nothing to the deposit of Faith.

Before reading books about private revelations or apparitions, we should read works on doctrine that explain public Revelation and strengthen our faith. It is faith that gives charity its purpose. If our faith is weak, the works of mystics risk giving us an appearance of charity that in reality will be only sentimentalism.

Of course, we must be careful about private revelations, especially today when false mystics and false apparitions are plentiful.

The revelations of the Sacred Heart to Sister Consolata have all the guarantees of authenticity: they have been approved by the local Church authorities, and several bishops have also attached indulgences to the invocation taught to Consolata by Our Lord.

Sister Consolata Betrone

Piérina Betrone – who would become Sister Consolata – was born in 1903 in Saluzzo, Italy. She was called home to God in 1946 at the age of 43, after only 17 years in religious life.

Wanting to devote herself since her youth, she first entered the Daughters of Mary, Help of Christians, founded by St. John Bosco in Turin for the education of young girls. Various interior trials, however, prevented her from remaining; and Providence then oversaw her entrance at the age of 26 into the Poor Clares – cloistered sisters dedicated to a very penitential life.

Nothing seemed more opposed to the active temperament of Piérina: “Nothing attracted me about the capuchin sisters,” she wrote. “The renouncement is complete.” But Our Lord only hid His servant so that He could give her a global apostolic influence, somewhat as with St. Therese of the Child Jesus. In fact, Sister Consolata considered herself as a spiritual daughter of St Therese.

The Message of Jesus to the World

Essential Highlights of the Message

Mercy and Confidence

The message that Our Lord wants to transmit to the world through Sister Consolata as His intermediary is, above all, a message of mercy and confidence, as with all manifestations of the Sacred Heart:

The devil has promised himself the destruction of the world,” said our Lord, “and I, its salvation. I will save it by the triumph of My mercy and My love. Yes, I will save the world in My merciful Love.”

But during the era when the Sacred Heart manifested Himself to Sister Consolata, there was an economic crisis and then World War II – which made it seem that Our Lord was proving His justice rather than His mercy. But this was not so.

What Our Lord said concerning the global economic crisis that started in 1929 also applies today, and especially if the crisis intensifies:

The current misery that reigns in the world is not the work of My justice, but of My Mercy. A certain lack of money prevents many faults, and in the economic restrictions numerous are the prayers that rise up to Heaven. Do not think that I am insensitive to the sorrows of the earth. I love souls and I want to save them. For this purpose I use rigor, but believe Me, it is out of pure Mercy. In abundance, souls forget Me and are lost, whereas in times of misery they turn toward Me and are saved.”

Regarding the war (World War II), Our Lord told Sister Consolata in December, 1940:

— “Take heed, if I grant peace today, the world will return to its mire.”

— “But, Lord,” replied Consolata, “so many youths are being slaughtered!”

— “The greatest part of these young soldiers, remaining at home, will stagnate in vice,” responded Our Lord. “But on the battlefield, to the contrary and far from the occasions of sin, they will die with the help of their chaplain and will be saved. Two or three years of cruel and intense sufferings, crowned by an eternity of joy, is this not preferable to an entire life of sin that will finish in eternal damnation? How many young people will thank God in eternity for dying in this war that has saved them forever? The just (who suffer in the war) will see their merits increase.”

At all times, the sinner must never despair of being pardoned. Our Lord told Sister Consolata the following – and this must be applied to all souls, even the greatest of sinners:

Your miseries have a limit, but My Heart does not. If it happens that you commit a fault, do not allow yourself to sink into sadness, but come immediately and cast it into My Heart, while renewing in great calm your resolution to practice the opposite virtue. Thus, each of your faults will be as a step forward.”

Of course, this does not dispense from the obligation of confession, at least for mortal sins.

The Mercy of Our Lord for His creatures calls for a return of confidence without limits. On August 14, 1934, Sister Consolata would even make a vow of confidence written out on paper in her own blood:

Starting today and until my death, I want never to open the door, oh Jesus, to any thought of discouragement or defiance.”

Jesus replied: “If you had placed your confidence in yourself alone, or if you had only relied on one of my creatures to reach the summits, you would have taken only ‘turtle steps.’ But since you put your trust in Jesus, you will be relying on His Omnipotence. I will thus accomplish marvels and we (together) will take the steps of a giant.”

Honor God by your confidence,” Jesus would repeat often.

Consolata, in the heart of the Church, you will be confidence.”

Even Judas would have been saved if he had had confidence. His greatest sin was not having had confidence in the infinite Mercy of the Heart of Jesus.

The Call to Love

If the first part of the message of the Sacred Heart to Sister Consolata is a message of Mercy and confidence, the second part is a message of Love, and more precisely it is a call to love along the lines of the revelations of the Sacred Heart at Paray-le-Monial (i.e., to St. Margaret Mary.)

Our Lord came to light the fire of charity on earth. In exchange for the Love that He has shown for us, especially by dying on the Cross for us, He asks for a reciprocity of love. But as love is continuing to diminish in the world, Our Lord, through His servant St. Margaret Mary, came to ask of those who still loved Him, a compensation of love to make reparation for the coldness of men toward Him, and thus giving love to Him for those who do not love Him and obtaining their conversion. This was the purpose of the First Friday Communions of Reparation and the holy hour of adoration on the preceding (Thursday) evenings.

Our Lord had also asked the king of France – Louis XIV at the time – to consecrate himself and France to the Sacred Heart. This would have led to an immense surge in devotion to the Sacred Heart among his people – and from there it would have spread to the entire world, considering the great influence that France had at that time. But alas, the French kings did not heed the requests because they did not understand that this earth is a battlefield between the faithful people of Jesus and Mary on one side, and the devil and his adepts on the other. And that if in this battle we do not rely on divine powers, we cannot resist the diabolical and superhuman powers that unceasingly wage war against the Church and Christianity. Having preferred to organize politics according to their human ways, they left the field wide open for the devil and his henchmen to destroy the entire Christian social order: such was the French Revolution.

Ever since the Revolution (1789), as the world has accelerated towards its destruction, Our Lord’s pleas have become more urgent: He tried without success to have France consecrated to the Sacred Heart by Louis XVIII in order to save the Restoration; then it was the revelation of the scapular of the Sacred Heart to Estelle Faguette (a Dominican tertiary) at Pellevoisin; then there were manifestations of the Sacred Heart to a mother of a family, Madame Royer, and also to Claire Ferchaud of Loublande; then to sister Josefa Menendez at Poitiers. And we must not forget the vision at Tuy, Spain where Sister Lucia of Fatima saw the word Mercy that was written in fiery letters under one of the crucified arms of Our Lord.

To make a counterbalance to the sins of the world, and to allow mercy and pardon to flow down to souls, Our Lord had asked one very simple thing from sister Josefa Menendez: to multiply acts of love through all the actions of our everyday lives:

I want you to give me souls. For this, I ask nothing more than love for Me in all your actions. Do everything out of love, suffer out of love, and above all give yourself to my divine Love.”

Charity, indeed, is given to us by God so that we exercise it.

St. Thomas Aquinas tells us: “Charity consists more in loving than in being loved.”

Thus, the first object of charity is God before our neighbor. To exercise charity we must, above all, make interior acts of the love of God.

We must make clear here, however, that this does not necessarily mean sensible acts; charity is not found in the senses but in the will. The acts of love of which we are speaking are interior actions through which we tell our Lord of our union with His will, even in the middle of the greatest dryness and aridity of the senses.

A Formula

With Sister Consolata, Our Lord added something very specific: he taught an invocation – a formula – that would tell God of our love. This formula is the following: “Jesus, Mary, I love you. Save souls.”

This is an easy formula to observe, and which can be used by all age groups, and in all conditions of life and even health.

And above all, when it is said with all one’s heart (and not in a mechanical manner of course) this formula is a perfect act of love as it contains the love of Our Lord, Our Lady and souls. It is the most perfect summary of our catholic religion.

Our Lord is indicating here a very simple spiritual path to transform our individual lives into acts of supernatural love, while helping us offer through this love all of our everyday actions and all the events of our lives.

Of course, it is not necessary to pronounce this invocation with our lips. It is sufficient to pray it interiorly.

This practice is certainly not obligatory. Spiritual paths are varied in the Catholic religion, corresponding to the differences in souls. But for those who embrace it, the fruits of this devotion are numerous.

Fruits of this Practice:

If we say often “Jesus, Mary, I love you. Save souls” this will first of all dispose our souls to receive new infusions of charity that will increase our love of God and neighbor. Then we will live in an entire abandonment to Providence and a total availability to our neighbor.

One ‘yes’ to everything out of gratitude and appreciation; and one ‘yes’ to everyone with a smile, seeing and treating Jesus in everyone,” says Father Lorenzo Sales 1.

To say often “Jesus, Mary, I love you. Save souls” is also an apostolic formula that obtains fruits for all souls, said Our Lord: “souls in purgatory, as well as those in the Church militant; guilty souls as well as the innocent ones; those dying, and those who are atheists, etc.” Our Lord revealed to Sister Consolata that by her acts of love, she would harvest an immense number of souls.

As “the smallest act of pure love has more value in the eyes of God, and is more useful to the Church…than all exterior works [without this pure love] put together,” as St. John of the Cross said, so these acts of love also form a great power against the enemies of the Church and Christianity. This young Poor Clare, Consolata, deep in her convent in Italy, even played a decisive role in the victory of the Catholic Spaniards over communism in 1936. To Sister Consolata, who prayed for this intention, Our Lord said:

Yes, I will give to you the victory over communism in Spain. But you, do everything possible to give Me the unceasing act of love. The victory over communism in Spain will say to the world how much Jesus concedes to the unceasing act of love.”

This must encourage us today. With little exterior means – and in fact we have hardly any – we can do a lot to counteract the current assaults of Satan against the Church and Christianity.

Lastly, when facing a task to accomplish, or before trials and crosses of every sort, if we say, “Jesus, Mary, I love you. Save souls,” this will allow us to respond “yes” to all the requests for sacrifice that Jesus makes of us, and it will permit us to endure our sufferings by offering them in love.

Answer to an objection, and conclusion

One will perhaps object that it is not so easy to think of saying this formula throughout the day. Father Lorenzo Sales gives an enlightening and inspiring response:

A dozen acts of love during the day -– which is within everyone’s reach -– accumulate in an impressive way over the course of a month and a year. And as the habit grows, the numbers will increase, and union with Our Lord will be ever deepened.”

There will thus form, in all parts of the world, a continuous wave of love that ascends toward Heaven so as to come back down to earth in a torrent of mercy and pardon 2.”

**

Whether or not we embrace this practice, let us take advantage in any case of this month of the Sacred Heart by rekindling our love for Our Lord and Our Lady, as well as our zeal for the salvation of souls.

Sermon by a Dominican Father of Avrillé

Translation by Mrs F.

From: “Le Sel de la Terre,” Number 74, Autumn 2010.

1 — Father Lorenzo Sales, biographer of sister Consolata, in La toute petite voie d’amour, Message abrégé du Cœur de Jésus à soeur Consolata Betrone, Sherbrooke (Québec), Editions Saint-Raphaël, 1995, p. 50. The biography of sister Consolata by Fr Lorenzo Sales, is called: Sœur Consolata Betrone, Mulhouse, Salvator, 1963; edited again by Résiac.

2 — Father Lorenzo Sales, Jésus parle au monde, Fribourg (Switzerland), Éditions Saint-Canisius, 1957, p. 185-186.

Order of the Knights of Our Lady – Observance of the Holy Hearts of Jesus & Mary

Order of the Knights of Our Lady

  Observance of the Holy Hearts of Jesus & Mary

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The Church and Christendom

In order to promote Christendom, i.e. the social and political reign of Our Lord, Holy Mother Church established two important institutions. First of all, the royal or imperial anointing and coronation, a sacramental which gives a participation in the Kingship of Christ, and graces in order to fulfil the corresponding mission. However, faced with the social chaos after Charlemagne’s death, the Church reminded even barons and knights that they had, at their own level, the same duties as the kings. Consequently, She Christianised the military dubbing, modelling it after the coronation rite and giving it an official mission along with the corresponding graces. This is how Christendom reached its apex.

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However, in order to protect Christendom, the Church also founded another two institutions: the Crusades, with the temporary vow of the Cross, and Military Orders –Orders of Chivalry– of a permanent nature, with religious vows for religious knights and private vows for secular knights. So, how could the kingship of Christ be restored today? Probably using institutions established for that very purpose. By definition, they are the best way to reach the goals they were given: good for all times and everywhere.

The Knights of Our Lady

It is upon these institutions (the knight’s dubbing and orders of knighthood) that the Order of the Knights of Our Lady (Militia Sanctæ Mariæ) was founded in 1945 in France, where it was canonically erected in Chartres, as well as in Germany, Switzerland, Portugal, and Spain. The Order nevertheless suffered a break-up after Vatican II. Finally, some faithful members founded a traditional branch of the Order in 1970, whose first knights were all dubbed by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre.

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Of course, one does not enter the Order as one would join an association. The postulant is received as a squire after a minimum formation of 6 months. After another 2 years, he may take temporary vows as a donate for a 2-year period, which is indefinitely renewable. Then, at the call of the Master in Council, he may be admitted to his final profession, and to the knightly dubbing.

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Introduction to the Order

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He then exchanges the donate’s grey mantle for a white one, and makes the three private vows: Conversion of life (living according to the Rule), Fidelity to the Order (obedience within the limits of the Rule and brotherly mutual help) and Defence of the Church (similar to the vow of Crusade, to defend the Church and Christendom, even at the peril of one’s life). The next day, after the whole night vigil-at-arms and Mass, he is girded with the sword as a knight.

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The Order today

The knights commit themselves to the recitation of the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the entire Rosary every week, to set aside a certain time for daily mental prayer, to go on a yearly closed retreat, to pursue their doctrinal and spiritual formation, to train physically, to attend the monthly chapter meetings of their local commandery, and to participate in the combats of the Order for the reign of Christ the King.

The wives and daughters of members may also be admitted. There are also pages and cadets, who prepare for knighthood from a young age, and may remain in the Order all their lives, without having to change orientation or spirituality.

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Today, the Order has members in Europe, the Americas, Asia and Australasia. The knightly vocation certainly is the vocation par excellence for laymen. Archbishop Lefebvre solemnly called upon them during his priestly jubilee in 1979 saying: “We must make a Crusade […] in order to restore Christendom, as the Church desires it to be […]. with the same principles […]. You must act […]. You should get organised […].” The knights are also active in the fields of charitable action and help, the service to the sick during pilgrimages, doctrinal and physical formation, and the education of the youth. Their main thrust however is in the winning back of minds and hearts, as well as of the political and social institutions of society, to Christ the King.

Contact: militiasanctaemariae@orange.fr

In a World Falling Apart

In a World Falling Apart

  Editorial of Le Sel de la Terre 4

  (Spring 1993)

  Published again on our French Website in April 2020

We hear from various places that the world is going to experience a serious crisis soon. For those who have read and meditated a bit on the Apocalypse, there is no reason to be surprised. The world has abandoned God; God will leave the world to fend for itself…

Pope Pius XII said that our world had to be remade right down to its foundations 1. If the world collapses in front of us, we must be able to offer it a solid foundations for recovery. In other words, it is essential to reflect seriously on the principles of the temporal and supernatural orders. One does not hold up a building about to fall by restoring its facade.

Only the Catholic Church has the remedy for this great crisis that threatens us. This remedy is Our Lord Jesus Christ and His divine grace, “gratia sanans et elevans 1”. Only He can heal human nature broken by original sin. He is the only salvation for individuals and institutions, as Pope Pius X said:

No! It must be energetically recalled in these times of social and intellectual anarchy where everyone poses as a doctor and a legislator; we will not build the city otherwise than how God built it; society will not be rebuilt if the Church does not lay the foundations and direct its work. No! Civilization is no longer to be invented, nor is the new city to be built in the clouds. It was, it is: it is Christian civilization; it is the Catholic city. It is only a question of unceasingly establishing and restoring it on its natural and divine foundations against the ever-reappearing attacks of an unhealthy utopia, revolt, and impiety: omnia instaurare in Christo1.”

But who today is going to give us these principles of the natural and Christian orders, these natural and divine foundations as Saint Pius X says? Unfortunately, we should not expect them from the current Roman authorities. Let us quote cardinal Ratzinger:

It would be absurd to want to go backwards, to return to a system of political Christianity. But it is true that we have a responsibility in this world and wish to bring our contribution as Catholics to it. We do not want to impose Catholicism on the West, but we want the fundamental values of Christianity and the dominant liberal values in the world today to be able to meet and enrich each other 1.”

It couldn’t be clearer: the Conciliar Church made the principles of liberalism its own, and we would vainly ask for the principles of a Christian social order.

We have to look for these principles in the Common Doctor, Saint Thomas Aquinas, as Pope Pius XI taught:

Since he is the perfect theologian, as we said, he gives certain rules and precepts of life not only for individuals, but also for the family and civil society, which is the object of domestic and political morals. Hence, these magnificent chapters found in the second part of the Summa Theologica on the paternal or domestic regime and legitimate power in the city or the nation; the natural law and international law; peace and war; justice and property; laws and obedience; the duty to watch over the good of individuals and public prosperity, both in the supernatural and natural orders. If, in particular and public affairs and in international relations, these precepts were religiously and inviolably observed, they would suffice to establish among men that “peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ” that the entire world so ardently desires. We must therefore hope that one studies more and more the teachings of Aquinas on the law of nations and the laws which govern the mutual relations of nations, because these teachings contain the foundations of a true League of Nations, as we say today 1.”

While the Freemason takes in hand his square and compass to build a New World Order, a modern Tower of Babel, we must study, in the infallible doctrine of the Popes before Vatican II, and in the works of saint Thomas Aquinas, the immutable principles capable of guiding those who want to rebuild a Christian world.

Thus, there is no question of being discouraged by the heap of ruins and the seemingly insurmountable difficulties that stand before us! This is not a time for discouragement, but for work. Humble and obscure work perhaps, but deep, tenacious work, offered in homage to the Holy Trinity, from Whom we know that success will come on the day that He, in His eternal Wisdom, has set.

From Sadness to Cheerfulness

From Sadness to Cheerfulness

  According to the “Dialogue” of St Catherine of Siena

  Meditation for a Time of Trials

  By Fr de Paillerets O.P.

Resignation

St Catherine is not surprised that sufferings, of any kind, cause tears to flow. But she doesn’t want them to be evil tears, purely human tears, that show our excessive attachments to the good things of this world, and even if those good things can have us in chains.

If a trial is sent to us, it has this precise purpose: to detach us from the world and from ourselves, so that we put ourselves entirely in the hands of Divine Providence.

The soul does not learn how to suffer the first time around. In the beginning, even if the tears are good, they are still mixed with a lot of self-love. And so, crying over herself “tears of tenderness and compassion“, — even if she accepts the sufferings in expiation for her sins — the soul has not yet, for all that, yet “thrown underfoot and entirely renounced her own will“.

God [who spoke to Catherine] says that she must learn “to despise herself and to hate herself perfectly, at the same time as she arrives from there, at a knowledge and familiarity with My goodness, which will turn her love into a fire. She begins from that moment to unite and conform her will to Mine, and to find and see in herself an entirely new joy and compassion. The joy that she feels in herself is from loving Me and the compassion that moves her is for the neighbor closest her [herself]”. So self-love has disappeared. “She doesn’t regret her own suffering, the damage to herself.” (89)

It is entirely necessary that we aim and move toward total acceptance and patient resignation to the things God wills. This is because, since we have categorically refused to align ourselves with the rebels against God, we don’t have any other path to pursue than the hatred of ourselves.

The thorns and tribulations” of this earth couldn’t even begin to make us turn back. Again, with the light of reason and of the holy faith, we must clearly see the love of God, which cannot will anything but what is good for us.

Respect for the Will of God

My servants “know that it is for their good and not out of hatred for them, but out of love, that I send trials to them.”

“…they purify themselves from their sins, by contrition of heart, they acquire merits from their perfect patience, and their trails will be rewarded by an infinite Good. They know that every suffering in this life lasts only a short while, like [earthly] time itself. Time is like the balancing point of a scale, nothing more! When time runs out, it is the end of suffering. It’s not very much!

With respect, they put up with everything that happens to them, judging it a grace to be tested and tried by me, and willing nothing other than what I will.

That’s how my servants bear their present trials, they go with patience through the thorns, which do not injure the heart. Their heart was not taken away from them by self-love involving the feelings!” (45)

For sure, self-love does not easily let go of its place without resistance. Beneath the deliberate acceptance of the will, self-love makes feelings of sadness, but we must not let it take the fort. What do these suffering feels count for compared to the essential peace to be found in the will? It’s in that sense that we read these words:

Whoever is born into this life is subject to pains, be they bodily or spiritual. My servants have bodily pains, but their spirits are always free; I mean that these bodily pains do not cause any sadness, because their will is in accord with Mine. However, it is in the will that man really suffers.”

Joyful Acceptance

Joy calls us so much, the joy of love. And this joy must invade us. God doesn’t want us to be satisfied with mere resignation. Or, even more, it is His love which brings joy to birth in the soul which suffers in accord with His will.

That’s what the soul has met in the teaching and example of the Lamb without stain. And so, passing by way this Word, she puts up with and takes “with a true and sweet patience all the pains and all the afflictions that I send to her for her salvation. She receives them with the strength of a courageous man, without choosing which one she prefers. She is not satisfied with accepting things patiently with mere resignation, but she cheerfully accepts them. As long as she has something to suffer she is happy! The soul is invaded with such a great joy, such a perfect tranquility of spirit, no tongue would know how to express it.” (89)

The cheerful joy of the strong, the patient, the loving: it’s not too high, to great for us. I want to say that Christ calls us all, and that we should not fear to desire this and to arrive at it. It might be that this will require long and painful efforts to conquer and to follow the Lamb. The Lord gives to some a rapid route that he doesn’t give to others. That doesn’t matter, as long as we welcome his designs with a trusting respect.

From the book of Rev. Father de Paillerets O.P., The Cross and Joy, 1932.

Translation by Fr M.

Epidemic: The Solution!

Epidemic:

the Solution!

by Cardinal Schuster OSB

Commentary on the Prayers of the Votive Mass in Times of Epidemic

Great calamities or public misfortunes are generally inflicted by God as punishments for the sins of the nation. The individual will expiate his faults in the next world, but nations and states cannot do so, and therefore the Lord punishes their social sins here. He desires, by these public scourges, to bring them to repentance, and the surest means to avert the divine justice is the conversion of the people and their return to God.

St. Gregory had this object in view when he instituted the famous Litania Septiformis with the procession to the Vatican Basilica, in order to stop the plague desolating Rome in 590. This thought inspires the following Collect:

God, who desirest not the death but the repentance of sinners, mercifully look upon thy people who return to thee; and grant that they, being devoted to thee, may by thy mercy be delivered from the scourges of thine anger. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son…

[…] The plague was raging throughout the kingdom of David, and slew seventy thousand victims in three days. The angelic minister of the sanctity of God was sent to punish the sin of vainglory committed by the king, when he ordered the census of the nation to be taken. The people suffered for his sin on the principle of solidarity so strongly felt by the ancients, who regarded the sins or the virtues of parents and rulers as drawing down punishment or blessings upon their children and subjects.

By permitting this, God commits no injustice, for it is merely a question of temporal goods which he is in no way bound to bestow, and if he deprives certain individuals of these advantages, it is for their eternal welfare. For instance, the plague was in reality ordered to the greater good of the Israelites, for God, who does not punish the same sin twice, allowed them to expiate their sins by that death, and the poor victims were carried away by the pestilence at the moment when it was to the greater advantage of their souls. Even those who by the inscrutable judgement of God were not saved, were spared from adding to their guilt, and their eternal punishment was less terrible in consequence.

David propitiated the Lord by erecting a votive altar on the spot where he had beheld the angel with the drawn sword; that altar is a symbol of our Redeemer who reconciles all humanity to God through the merits of His Precious Blood.

[…] When confronted with some great catastrophe such as an earthquake or a pestilence, the pride of man is brought low; all his discoveries and his exalted wisdom are powerless before God, whose touch can wither and dissolve the earth.

— Man raises his towers of Babel, his palaces and monuments, as though they were to endure for ever, but an earthquake of the duration of a few seconds is sufficient to make of a populous city a heap of ruins.

— Science performs miracles; man thinks that he has penetrated all the secrets of nature, he boasts that he has mastered creation and has now no need of God. An epidemic breaks out: a mysterious bacillus slays thousands and thousands of victims, and upsets all the calculations of the learned. It is a microbe, an almost invisible organism, which annihilates human pride. Such is our life, the span of which can be shortened by such microscopic enemies.

God alone is strong, wise, and good. In him only can we trust, for he alone will never fail us. All other things, science, art, glory, health, and strength, are but vanity.

[…] When the Word took flesh he conferred upon that flesh the power to bestow health, grace, and holiness. The saints, especially in early Christian times, regarded the Holy Eucharist as a remedy not only of the soul but for the body. The Fathers of the Church relate many cases of bodily cures effected by Holy Communion.

St. John Chrysostom tells us that many sick people were restored to health after having been anointed with the oil from the lamps which burnt before the altar. […] since the second century the bishop always blessed the oils for the sick at the Sunday Mass. When, subsequently, the performance of this rite was limited to the Missa Chrismalis of Maundy Thursday, the faithful of Rome in the Middle Ages used to bring their own phials of oil to be blessed by the Pope or the clergy celebrating with him. This Oleum Infirmorum was reverently preserved in every house as holy water is now.

A great change has taken place since those days in the mind of Christians, some of whom now appear to have a great fear of Extreme Unction.

[…] the Book of Numbers (xvi, 48) […] tells how the people of Israel rebelled against Moses, and how fourteen thousand were destroyed by fire from heaven. The great legislator commanded Aaron his brother to place himself as mediator between the bodies of the dead and the living, and the justice of God. The prayers of Aaron ascended like incense and God was placated.

This is the place and the vocation assigned to the clergy. The priest is called away from the multitude to be a mediator between God and man. Among all the ministries and offices he is chosen to fulfil, there is no office more worthy, none more essential, than the offering up of the Eucharistic Sacrifice and liturgical meditation, the psalmody in loco sancto, in quo orat sacerdos pro delictis et peccatis populi. The priest makes prayer and intercession for the sins of others, for it is understood that he must be holy and pure from every sin, or else si non placet, non placat, as St. Bernard wisely says. St. Jerome, too, when speaking of the legal purifications of the Jews, remarks: “Does any man among the people fall into sin? The priest prays for the culprit and his sin is forgiven. But should the priest sin, who shall make intercession for him?

In time of plague when the chief need is to find the cause and the remedy for the disease, the Church is indeed wise to point out the true source of all evil, sin. When this is removed by a sincere return to God, the epidemic will disappear, God will be placated, and will restore his grace, which will purify the body, too, from every contagion.

Cardinal Schuster O.S.B., Liber Sacramentorum, volume 9

Vromant et Cie, Bruxelles, 1933

p. 247-253

For a more complete look at this topic, read the following article on Fatima found on our website:

The Message of Fatima, the last remedy given to the world

Sanctification of Sunday in Times of Crisis and Persecution

Sanctification of Sunday

in Times of Crisis and Persecution 


In these days when attendance at Mass is impossible for many of the faithful, remember that we must distinguish:

The Command of God, which is general (You will sanctify the day of the Lord)

— And the Command of the Church which clarifies the command of God by obligating one to assist at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

Normally, both are obligatory, under pain grave fault, on all baptized persons who have reached the age of reason, but circumstances can dispense one from the command of the Church (attendance at Mass) without this dispensing from the command of God.

When attendance at Mass is impossible, it is necessary to sanctify Sunday in another way, giving time to prayer and catholic instruction (at least the equivalent of a Low Sunday Mass, which normally includes a sermon).

One can, for this, read the texts of the Mass and pray a rosary (5 or 15 decades), if possible as a family.

It’s advised to make a spiritual communion (for that, one can read in the missal or in a prayer book the prayers before communion to excite in us a great desire for union with Our Lord, then we can read the prayers after communion).

St. Thomas Aquinas says: “the effect of the sacrament can be secured by every man if he receives it in desire, though not in reality. […] so likewise some eat this sacrament spiritually before they receive it sacramentally” (III q. 80, a. 1, ad. 3).

The Catechism of the Council of Trent says those “are said to receive the Eucharist in spirit only […] who, inflamed with a lively faith which worketh by charity (Gal. 5:6), partake in wish and desire of that celestial Bread offered to them”.

If it is difficult to get to confession as often as before, one should also arouse in his soul acts of perfect contrition, regretting our sins for the suffering they have caused to Our Lord during His Passion, and having the firm purpose to go to confession with a priest as soon as possible. The Way of the Cross (which you can do at home) is a great way to achieve this perfect contrition. Just kneel at each station, then get up to go to the next station.

These principles apply to Sundays and to Holy Days of obligation.

Prayers taken from the Mass in time of epidemic

Collect:

O God, who wiliest not the death of the sinner but that he should repent: welcome with pardon Thy people’s return to Thee: and so long as they are faithful in Thy service, do Thou in Thy clemency withdraw the scourge of Thy wrath. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son…

Secret:

Let the sacrifice which we now offer succor us, O Lord; may it wholly release us from sin and deliver us from all ruin and destruction. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son…

Postcommunion:

Graciously hear us, O God our Savior: deliver Thy people from the terrors of Thy wrath, and assure them of that safety which is the gift of Thy mercy. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son…

A Solely Pastoral Rupture? Part 2

A Solely Pastoral Rupture?

(Part 2)

A Commentary of the book Ecclesial dissensions, a challenge for the Church.

Written by Fr Pierre-Marie Berthe, SSPX

From La Simandre, January/February 2020

Bulletin of the Fraternity of the Transfiguration

Mérigny – France

In this period of the year during which the Church asks us to pray, from January 18 to 25, for the return to Catholic unity of separated Christians, we read in the aforementioned book, written recently, (p. 800) in Chapter I: How to prepare for future reconciliations (p. 794) and in paragraph C: Laws which manifest and arouse the desire for unity between Christians, the following words:

So that the desire for unity between Christians has a concrete form, it is up to the legislator to plan meetings, exchanges, prayers. When Catholics and non-Catholic Christians address prayers together, they must ask for the grace to strive to overcome their differences in order to be united in faith and charity around the successor of Peter. In addition, these common prayers of supplication must be done far from the altar to recall the distance that remains to be covered, before considering a formal reconciliation.

These lines are still surprising despite emanating from a priest of Tradition, because, until the conciliar revolution, Catholics were asked not to associate with non-Catholic Christians and, all the more so, not to pray with them.

The encyclical Mortalium Animos of Pius XI specifies the opposite of what is written above: So, Venerable Brethren, it is clear why this Apostolic See has never allowed its subjects to take part in the assemblies of non-Catholics: for the union of Christians can only be promoted by promoting the return to the one true Church of Christ.

But then, since there is a contradiction between the words of our author and those of Pope Pius XI—which is nevertheless the expression of the perennial magisterium of the Church—we are entitled to ask the question: Where did our author find the inspiration for what he wrote? Would the answer not be found in two documents:

> In Unitatis Redintegratio of November 21, 1964 (text of Vatican Council II):

§ 8: In certain special circumstances, such as the prescribed prayers ‘for unity,’ and during ecumenical gatherings, it is allowable, indeed desirable that Catholics should join in prayer with their separated brethren. Such prayers in common are certainly an effective means of obtaining the grace of unity.

> In the encyclical of John Paul II Ut Unum Sint of May 25, 1995, in the section on the priority of prayer:

§ 21: This love finds its most complete expression in common prayer. When brothers and sisters who are not in perfect communion with one another come together to pray, the Second Vatican Council defines their prayer as the soul of the whole ecumenical movement.

Besides, our author also proposes dialogue as a means of resolving dissension (p. 781-782-783-784). Now this is precisely the same dialogue that Pope John Paul II proposed in Ut Unum Sint under the title Dialogue as a means of resolving disagreements. (§ 36 to 39).

Note that dissension, divergence, or other similar terms are expressions used so as not to offend non-Catholic Christians, our author specifies, contrary to schism or heresy (pp. 13-14, 25).

Let us remember that the current ecumenism, officially advocated since Vatican II until today, is a false ecumenism which breaks with the attitude that the Church has always held. It rejects the principle of returning to the Catholic Church.

It is therefore extremely surprising to discover from the pen of an author, who is supposed to refuse the last atypical Council and its innovative side, propositions which would seem to stem from Vatican II and its developments.

Translation by A.A.

A Solely Pastoral Rupture?

A Solely Pastoral Rupture?


La Simandre, bimonthly bulletin of the Fraternity of the Transfiguration (Maison Saint-Joseph, Le Bois, F. 36220 Mérigny), in its November-December 2019 issue, published a very remarkable opinion on a recent book by the Rev. Fr. Pierre-Marie Berthe (SSPX).

Le Sel de la terre.

IS IT ACCURATE to write that “The rupture [between Archbishop Lefebvre and Cardinal Ratzinger in May-June 1988] occurred for pastoral reasons, but not for doctrinal and liturgical reasons(Les dimensions ecclésiales, un défi pour l’Église catholique, Cerf, 2019, p. 711)?

This sentence, written by a priest, seems to reduce the conflict existing since Vatican II to a human side, to “a lack of mutual trust”.

It is true that this sentence introduces another: “It [the rupture] leaves the Protocol of Accord intact, which constitutes a solid basis for a future reconciliation”.

Father, if there was a rupture between Archbishop Lefebvre and the Roman authorities at the time, it was not for psychological reasons, but for doctrinal reasons. You go so far as to write that “Cardinal Ratzinger was unable to dispel the concerns of the Archbishop”.

The fight for the Mass of all Ages and against the New Mass is doctrinal. I hope you are convinced of this. Archbishop Lefebvre declared this New Ordo “equivocal” and “dangerous for the faith”.

The fight against the errors of Vatican II is doctrinal. Again, I hope you are convinced of this.

So please, if you do not see that, do not pretend to be the spiritual son of Archbishop Lefebvre. He is the one who ordained the first priests of our Fraternity, and as long as we have a clear head, we will not accept the soul of his fight being misrepresented.

Perhaps it would be better that you leave your community for a quick recognition, which you will easily obtain, given your ideas, in a diocese or in Rome.

Ah! These canonists who want an agreement at all costs and who are ready for all compromises, even if they are doctrinal. For them there is no crisis in the Church and, therefore, no state of necessity.

LE SEL DE LA TERRE N° 111, WINTER 2019-2020

continued: A Model Catholic Wife and Mother: Anna-Maria Taïgi

A Model Catholic Wife and Mother:

Anna-Maria Taïgi (1769-1837)

  (continued) 

  By Dom Bernard Maréchaux, O.S.B.

  Published in Le Sel de la terre 62, Autumn 2007

Patience for any trial

Testimony of Domenico Taigi, her husband

Fairly frequently, I would return home in a bad mood. She had the talent of calming me. She knew well when to be silent, but she also knew even better how to speak and when she should do so.”

Another witness reported:

Fairly often, Domenico would return home in a bad mood after a day of squabbles among his fellow servants; but he always found in Anna-Maria the consolations that he needed. She always studied him so as to better understand his tastes and to please them, and his sorrows so as to lighten them. As soon as he arrived at the door, she sensed if he was in distress and she would pleasantly say, “Is it true that you had many stresses today? Yes, it is so! Well, then, do sit down and rest freely because here everything is going well 1.”

She arranged that her little family would have various innocent pastimes. Most often it was to attend an event at a church in the city; other times it was to enjoy the country. On such occasions, Anna-Maria would relax her austerity a little so as to take part in the communal enjoyments. Once on a certain Friday, she allowed herself to take a bit of food between her meals. She was corrected from above for her indulgence.

But there were certain boundaries over which she should not transgress:

When her son found a bride, and her daughter became engaged, after all the relevant information was gathered and the parental consents granted, Anna-Maria did not want the engagement to be longer than one month. She insisted that the youths not be together except in her sight, and the religious ceremonies concluded with a simple family meal.

We like to show our blessed governing her family in the traditional Catholic principles that foster mutual love and nourish respect. Her home was a thus little paradise. Prayers were said together in a little oratory where she would spend part of her nights in prayer, or where sometimes Mass was celebrated.

To raise and care for a family with seven children was always a difficult task when supported only by resources earned by Domenico’s daily labor. In his service to the Chigi household that often kept him until late in the evenings, Domenico earned only the equivalent of 25 euros ($33) each month. Anna-Maria supplemented this very modest wage by her own personal labors undertaken during what would have been her times of rest.

There were complications. The mother and father of this saintly woman ended up under her oversight: she had to feed and care for them for several years, and the condition of her father required particularly burdensome and even unpleasant duties. Also, since the Chigi family left Rome during the French occupation, Domenico lost his income for a time. And a dreadful famine was declared in Rome. Squeezed on all sides, Anna-Maria did not lose heart. She learned how to make women’s corsets and shoes, which she would spend part of her nights doing. God came to her aid in ways that can be considered miraculous.

After her mother and father passed away in bona pace [good peace], Anna-Maria was able to breathe easier. But then we see that her daughter Sofia became a widow and came back home with six little children. The great heart of our blessed opened up to these innocent ones and she adopted them without hesitation. Sofia already knew the apostolic charity of her mother, but this admiration was to grow as she saw even more of Anna-Maria’s energy and confidence in God.

While poverty reigned in the household, so too did peace. The daughter-in-law of Anna-Maria, the wife of Camillo, who lived for a while in the Taigi home, had a particularly difficult character. The saintly woman endured these difficulties with an angelic patience.

We do not want to omit any of the character traits that show through in Anna-Maria’s actions, and so by uniting everything we can reconstruct a portrait that is worthy of the “Strong Woman of Solomon.” Here indeed was a great woman. And since Anna-Maria was from humbler conditions 2, this is the only difference that distinguishes the one woman from the other.

We will see that women of the highest rank and people in the Roman court all had relationships with the wife of the Chigi servant. Anna-Maria was able to obtain assistance for them in their times of distress. She made nothing of it. She distributed supernatural assistance all around her, and even miracles; she never accepted what was offered to her in exchange. It was not pride. It was simply the application of the Gospel maxim: what you have received freely, give freely. She pushed the enforcement of this even to scrupulosity.

Model of Mothers-in-law

Domenico relates:

My wife always made peace reign, a heavenly peace in the family even though we were numerous, of different characters, and especially when Camillo my son came to live with us during the first years of his marriage. Our daughter-in-law had a very difficult personality. She wanted to command things, but the servant of God knew very well how to make everyone happy. Even if I were to speak of everything, it would not be sufficient.”

Fr. Bessieres comments:

Model of spouses and mothers, here now is also the model for mothers-in-law! Can this masterpiece even be imagined? Anna-Maria imposed peace, under the rainbow of Noah, where to the right were situated spouses and in-laws, a daughter-in-law and two tribes of children, seven on one side and six on the other 3!”

The Contemplative and the Mysterious Sun

On the foundation of this humble life as wife and mother of a family, God was pleased to construct a spiritual palace of magnificent proportions. After her renouncement of the vanities of the world, there blossomed in Anna-Maria all the gifts and graces from above, her profound recollection, intimacy with God, ease of ecstasy, and her exercise of heroic virtues. And God crowned his heavenly generosity with a truly extraordinary favor: he took up His abode in a mysterious sun and so appeared in this way to the eyes of His servant who enjoyed the continuous presence of her Lord by this means for the duration of 47 years. Let us enter into some of the details of this phenomenon that we can say is unique in the lives of the saints.

It was in the early days of the conversion of the servant of God that this remarkable phenomenon manifested itself. She was in her oratory when the mysterious sun appeared before her eyes of flesh. It was the same size as the sun that shines on us every day. It was in flames, with its disk of a matte gold. Little by little, and following Anna-Maria’s progress in the spiritual life, it became increasingly resplendent — so much so that during the last period of her life it shone as seven suns. This sunburst did not overwhelm her view, even when she had a nearly lost eye that could not endure light.

The sun in itself contained representations that gave her mystical meanings. In its upper portion was a thick and tangled crown of thorns, and on each side a very long and harsh thorn was situated. These 2 thorns, appearing like 2 sticks, crossed into the lower part of the disk. Within the sun’s middle section, and a little to the right, a divinely beautiful woman was seated: from her forehead a double ray of light mounted up to heaven. Her feet rested toward the left on the edge of the sun. The images and smoke that rose out of the earth were propelled with force outside the disk. Sometimes symbolic figures passed before her without obscuring the disk.

According to plausible interpretations of theologians, the solar disk represented the Incarnate Word; the seated woman represented Eternal Wisdom; the thorns and crossed sticks represented the Sacrifice of the cross to which the Word-made-Flesh submitted.

The marvel was that the sun reflected for the eyes of Anna-Maria all the events that were happening in the entire world: plots of secret societies, conspiracies in the process of being carried out, wars, deaths of famous people, floods and cataclysms. Our Blessed Anna-Maria announced these before anyone could have had any natural knowledge. Weeks later, news of the events would arrive, and never was the clairvoyance of our seer incorrect. But still more remarkable was this: she read consciences with an absolute confidence; she knew the eternal fate of souls after their deaths and she followed them whether they were in heaven, purgatory or hell. With views of the present she joined prophetic announcements of the future; other times it was events from the past that took on life before her eyes and thus did she inform Pius VII of a particular incident from his childhood. In a word, the book of divine knowledge opened for her in this mysterious sun: as saints see everything in God, she saw everything in this mirror.

In the presence of such a constant and ongoing phenomenon, our dear blessed held herself as annihilated: Who could thus endure such a spectacle? Of herself, the servant of God never dared to raise her eyes to the disk-sun. It was necessary that she be urged to do so by a strong interior inspiration or her charity for the needs of another that constrained her. The Savior evidently proposed that she make of herself a victim. When she saw a deluge of evils ready to converge upon the Church, she offered herself to prevent this. When she saw a soul on the edge of its eternal damnation, she immolated herself to save it.

She had wanted to keep silence regarding all the heavenly favors of which she was the recipient, but as an obedient daughter she had to open herself to her confessor, who himself consulted with high ecclesiastic dignitaries. These men recognized the veracity of the information given by Anna-Maria concerning events that were outside the realm of normal knowledge. They determined that her phenomena was useful for the Church and for souls. They permitted that the humble woman was consulted, and they themselves consulted her. Numerous times she had to give heavenly warnings and to reveal divine secrets. It became very clear that she had become a victim and her life henceforth was a martyrdom.

And while the sorrow caused by the view of her mystical sun was severe enough to make her a victim, this was not all of her martyrdom. The devil, furious that his plans were revealed by a poor woman, rushed upon her with a veritable rage. He struck her cruelly, as he had done previously with St. Frances of Rome. She submitted to the most woeful maladies and to the most complicated infirmities. She had an eye that suffered as if it had been pierced by a thorn; she felt the stench of the sins of the world; she tasted in her mouth an intolerable bitterness. At any given moment, she was assailed with temptations against the faith; deprived of all sweetness and consolation, surrounded by darkness, and thus consigned to a hell-like imprisonment. She endured these spiritual trials, worse than death, with an invincible patience.

The devil tried to induce her to thoughts of despair; Anna-Maria wondered tearfully whether she would be saved. But here Our Lord intervened: He gave the most formal of assurances to his beloved victim.

The evil spirit raised up evil people to overwhelm her with calumnies, which came back upon the evildoers themselves. Our Lord declared that He would send upon them the injuries that were hurled against His servant and that He would punish them severely and even mercilessly in this world and in the next. And, in fact, these people became insane or were reduced to poverty and died sadly. It was only due to the strength of Anna-Maria’s self-immolation that several of these were rescued from their eternal damnation.

Those on the contrary who showed her sympathy obtained graces of conversion or advancement in the ways of God.

Apparitions, Gift of Miracles

The portrait of our Blessed’s sufferings that we have outlined has been frightening. One wonders how a human being could have endured an entire lifetime thus tortured in all her members, both body and soul. But among those who are familiar with the lives of the saints, one is certainly aware that ineffable consolations alternate with heartbreaking sufferings, and that if at times a saint has been lowered to the depths of hell’s entrance, they are also sometimes lifted up to the threshold of heaven. And even more than this, something humanly impossible happens wherein there develops a coexistence within the saints between their ravishments of divine intimacy and their violent sufferings. And this was true of Anna-Maria.

Her spirit did not cleave to the earth, but was always ready to fly away. In thousands of small incidents, she perceived the indications of the goodness of God that are poured out upon all His creatures but which carnal people do not recognize. The song of a bird, the perfume of a flower, the breath of a light breeze could be sufficient to send her into an ecstasy. And even more so would a circumstance of the life of Jesus Christ or an interior touch of the Holy Spirit. And these ecstasies would occur everywhere: in her home, or during meals, in the streets of the city, or in churches. She would say to Jesus, “Leave me be, as I am a mother of a family!”

From time to time our Blessed heard heavenly voices. The Madonna spoke to her from the apse of the Ara-Coeli Church (Santa Maria in Ara-Coeli, Rome). The Child Jesus appeared to her (in the church with this title) in great beauty, in a Host, and said to her: “I am the flower of the fields, I am the lily of the valley. And I am totally yours.” At Sant’Andrea della Valle Church, the Savior revealed Himself to her amidst a resplendent light and with a majestic mantle. Her Holy Communions were typically accompanied by raptures of ecstasy; and when she was in a church she was able to “feel” where the Eucharist was located.

One apparition of our Savior that is notable among all others occurred when she lived on the “via del Sdrucciolo” near the Chigi palace. Anna-Maria was gravely ill and during the night people feared for her life. Toward dawn, Jesus appeared such as is typically attributed to Him as the Nazarene: with a violet garb and with a magnificent blue mantle with folds and layers. He was as imposing as a king, but tender as a spouse. He took Anna-Maria’s right hand in His and held it tightly for a long time He told her that He was taking her as His spouse and that he was bestowing upon her hands the gift to cure sick people. When He disappeared – He Whose grace and beauty ravish hearts – Anna-Maria experienced a great sadness and let out a loud cry. People ran near to her bed, but she reassured everyone and announced that she was cured. She got up, washed and went about her ordinary business.

One time she saw the globe of the earth as if surrounded by flames that threatened to consume it. On one side, Jesus on the Cross poured out streams of blood; the Virgin was at His feet, weeping and casting aside her mantle, calling out to Heaven on behalf of sinners and offering the Blood of her divine Son to appease the wrath of God. Anna-Maria melted into tears and supplications, and God pardoned.

Nevertheless, miracles burst forth from contact with the hand of this humble woman. We will relate but a few of these marvels only, and one among many worked upon her granddaughter Pepina, which were in reality numberless. Anna-Maria never wanted to receive anything from the sick that she cured.

The conversions brought about by her prayer and by her intervention were actually even still more surprising. Some freemasons or carbonari came back to God and made honorable amends because the Servant of God took an interest in them; likewise, devoted priests consoled the Church by their return. In general, her prayers for a soul, supported by her penances, obtained their effect; however in the cases of souls who had abused the mercy of God, she could not prevent the divine just judgments from falling upon such sinners.

Deeply Involved in the Life of the Church

From her conversion in 1790 until her death in 1837, by means of her miraculous sun, Anna-Maria was deeply involved with the life of the Church. She entered into relationships with important people in the Roman Court, and through them she was known by the pontiffs who reigned on the chair of Peter in her lifetime. For example, Cardinal Pedicini would consult with her. This prince of the Church introduced her process of beatification.

Our humble blessed predicted point by point the details of the return of Pius VII (prisoner in Savone) to Rome during a time when nothing could have foretold such a happy event. She recalled to him a detail of his childhood that only God could have revealed to her, and she predicted his noble death.

She prayed for the successor of Pope Pius VII, Leo XII. She announced the former pope’s death and saw the state of his soul as a beautiful diamond when it departed this world, already in light but still imperfectly purified. She foretold the short reign of Pius VIII. When he was ill, she declared that he would recover but then fall ill again and then quickly die. She then announced the elevation to the papacy of Maur Cardinal Cappellari, who took the name of Gregory XVI. She had the greatest veneration for him and sent several communications regarding the dangers that were threatening the Church.

During this time period, there was a particular group of holy people in Rome: the blessed (and now Saint) Gaspar de Bufalo; Mgr. Strambi, Passionist bishop of Macerata; Msgr Menocchio, Sacristan of His Holiness; Dom (Saint) Vincenzo Palloti, and Felix de Montefiascone, Capuchin. Anna-Maria was involved with all of these and when they came to visit, her sun shone with an extraordinary brilliance. She saw brother Felix rise straight up to Heaven; she saw Mgr. Strambi do likewise after a period in purgatory.

It was given to her to unmask several falsely pious people who sought to acquire a reputation for holiness. She was not surprised to see souls being lost that people thought were on the road to salvations — priests, ecclesiastic dignitaries, religious sisters and brothers – as they had forgotten that it is not the religious habit that saves, but humility, charity, and fidelity to God.

On one occasion, two priests were discussing in her presence their thoughts on the number of the elect. One asserted that the number was great, while the other maintained that according to the words of Our Lord Himself (Mt.7:13) it was a small number. Both men had recourse to our blessed and asked her to consult her sun. God then gave her to know the fate of the souls who had died in the last 24 hours: very few, not even ten, went straight to heaven; a certain number went to purgatory; and the rest all fell into hell like flakes of snow. Assuredly this is terrible and is due to the perversion of ideas and the general corruption of morals everywhere, in spite of the advances that a merciful God extends.

Nevertheless, there were some consoling aspects in Anna-Maria’s revelations. She saw, for example, how God takes a fatherly care of the souls that He wants to save, helping provide occasions for them to do good works, or drawing them little by little in the way of penance and salvation. Alms given to the poor or pardon granted to an enemy can be decisive in determining the balance of the scales of divine judgments.

In sum, Anna-Maria’s revelations drawn from the mysterious sun could penetrate a soul with a profound fear of God – the fear that is so necessary to Catholic life. Likewise, the visions could excite souls to a true vigilance over themselves, and to a great humility because people would see that deficiencies in uprightness and purity of intention were severely punished in purgatory. Lastly, the revelations convey confidence when we see all the astounding favors with which the humble and loving Anna-Maria was blessed by God, the efficacy that He gave to her prayers and immolations, and the great number of souls whose salvation was due to her. Oh, God, please give us similar saints!

Death and Beatification of Anna-Maria

She died of a chest inflammation on June 9, 1837, after announcing her death several days previously and having endured with the greatest patience the pains of a malady that lasted seven months. An order from Heaven prohibited meat, and she became bedridden on October 24, 1836. She was not, however, deprived of Holy Communion, as Mass was celebrated each day in her domestic chapel. Pope Gregory XVI permitted her to receive Communion without any Eucharistic fast. The Monday before her death, after receiving both Holy Communion and a Heavenly apparition, she announced clearly that she would die on the Friday of that week.

It is impossible to convey the expression of happiness that shone on her face. She asked for her husband, thanked him for his solicitude, and had with him a final and private conversation. She called for her children, exhorted them to fidelity to God, devotion to the Blessed Virgin, and daily recitation of the Rosary together. Lastly, after blessing her children and bidding her final goodbye to her husband, she recollected herself so that she could think solely of Heaven.

Her sickness worsened in the following days and she received Viaticum and Extreme Unction. A Trinitarian Father gave her the indulgences of his Order, as she was a tertiary. And although she suffered horribly, God permitted that she was abandoned by everyone during the three last hours of her agony. It was not until the very last moment that two priests came running to recite the prayers for the dying. She died during an invocation to the Precious Blood of Jesus, at 12:30 am.

The death of this holy woman made for a sensation in Rome. No one was indifferent, from the average man all the way to the sovereign pontiff. On instructions from Gregory XVI, Cardinal Odesalchi had Anna-Maria buried in a special section of the Agro Verano, the great cemetery in Rome near Saint Lawrence Outside the Walls. The coffin was sealed and the tomb was marked with an inscription in marble.

Miracles exploded through her intercession. Introduction of her cause took place under Pius IX, January 8, 1863. In 1865 the body of the servant of God was found to be incorrupt and transported to Blessed Mary of Peace. It was then buried in the church of the Trinitarians at Saint Chrysogonus. Pius X proclaimed her heroic virtues on May 4, 1906 and the two miracles required for beatification were approved by Benedict XV on January 8, 1919. The beatification took place at Saint Peter’s on May 20, 1920, Feast of the Holy Trinity.

Our Lord had said to Anna-Maria: “I have chosen to place you among the ranks of the martyrs.” Likewise, He said: “I have destined that you be known throughout the entire world as an example of penance and as the model of married women.” The humble woman was confused to have to repeat such words to her confessor, to whom she was obliged to tell everything. But today, these words have been proven true.

Annex:

Anna Maria Taigi (1769-1837) and Napoléon (1769-1821)

Napoleon and Anna Maria Taigi never met. Yet Providence has established mysterious bonds between them – links of opposition, but also intercession and compensation – throughout their lives:

*Both were born the same year (1769), both of Tuscan parents.

*Since 1790 (she and Napoleon are 21 years old), Anna Maria Taigi is favored with the mysterious sun, in which she can follow the progress of the French Revolution, but also the rise of the young Bonaparte, who is appointed general at 24 and commander-in-chief of the Army of Italy at 26 years.

* 1798: On the orders of Napoleon, and thanks to his brother Joseph, the Roman Republic is proclaimed. Pope Pius VI was kidnapped by Massena and imprisoned in Vienna, then in Valencia – where he died in 1799. From Rome, Anna Maria follows and describes his agony. But she also announces the coup d’etat on Brumaire 18: Bonaparte will reopen France to the priests. The concordat of 1801 will allow the renewal of French Catholicism.

* Austerlitz (1805), Iena (1806), Eylau (1807): the mysterious sun shows in real time – or even in advance – to the eyes of Anna Maria the fresco of the events of the world. She sees the successive victories of the Emperor, and, at the same time, the Masonic convents, the mass graves of Europe, where thousands of soldiers die without priests, Spain on fire, the Church administered by the Emperor like a regiment, daily crushed, open to schism, bishops prone to resistance, imprisoned, the Pope threatened… And a voice repeats to Anna Maria: You must fulfill in your flesh what is lacking in my passion, for my Church and my vicar.

* February 2, 1808: the troops of Napoleon occupy Rome and point their artillery on the Quirinal where Pius VII lives. The Papal States are united to the Empire, the pope is arrested and incarcerated. Anna Maria long since announced these events and their unfolding. God explained to her that he left the ungodly free to act, but that he would stop them at the moment when they thought they were about to triumph, provided that she, on her part, satisfied his justice. As soon as she sees in her sun the threats that Napoleon makes to the Church, she reminds God of her promise and offers herself to suffer “so that the arms of the impious are broken and their power dispersed.”

* 1809: While Napoleon wins the Battle of Wagram, Pius VII, thrown into a locked carriage, is dragged from Florence to Turin, then from Turin to France, from where it is brought back to Savona, and finally to Fontainebleau, where he seems to be dying. For five years Anna Taigi followed his tribulations hour by hour and informed the cardinals about them. But she also predicts his deliverance. Our Lord explains to her: “For what purpose have I raised up Napoleon? – He is the minister of my anger to punish the iniquity of the wicked and to humble the proud. An impious one destroys other ungodly people.” Napoleon himself declared, on his part: “I feel myself pushed towards a goal that I do not know. When I have reached it, as soon as I am no longer useful, then an atom will be enough to knock me down.” Anna Taigi announces from the beginning that the pope’s captivity will last five years. She describes in advance to Cardinal Pedicini and Bishop Natali the future campaign of Russia, the abdication of the emperor, and the return of Pius VII to Rome.

* 1814: Anna Taigi predicts a year in advance that Pius VII will officiate in St. Peter’s Basilica on the day of Pentecost 1814. This is fulfilled literally. On April 4, Napoleon signed his abdication at Fontainebleau in the same palace where he imprisoned Pius VII. May 24, 1814, is the triumphal entry of the Pope into the Eternal City.

* May 5, 1821: Napoleon dies in Sainte-Hélène. The news will not arrive in Rome until two and a half months later, but on the very day of her death, Anna Taigi describes it to Msgr. Natali. She sees the exile’s bed, arrangements, to­mb, ceremonies, funeral, and destiny in eternity.

* February 1st, 1836: Letizia Bonaparte, mother of Napoleon, dies in Rome, where she took refuge. The funeral takes place in the church Santa Maria in Via Lata, right in front of the house of Anna Taigi. She will have her mass of burial in the same church, a year later (June 11, 1837). During her last four years, Anna Maria met Napoleon’s uncle, Cardinal Fesch, several times. It is not known whether he echoed their conversations in passing this judgment on the fallen emperor: “God did not break him; he humbled him, and this is the way of salvation.”

Translated by Mrs M.F.

1 — – Cited by Albert Bessieres, SJ, Blessed Anna-Maria Taigi, Mother of a Family. Paris, DCB, 1936, p. 79, 84-86.

2 — In fact, Anna-Maria held a certain “rank.” Her husband was a servant, but in a princely home. He wanted his wife herself to have a servant girl that she would treat as a child of the house. This brought embarrassment for Anna-Maria.

3 — Albert Bessieres, SJ, Blessed Anna-Maria Taigi, Mother of a Family, p. 85.

Letter from the Dominicans of Avrillé No. 33: January 2020

Letter from the Dominicans of Avrillé

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No. 33: January 2020

Between the Donkey and the Ox

The Blessed Virgin Mary was in no way subject to the travails of childbirth; she could have held the Divine Infant tenderly in her arms, or on her breast: why then did she lay Him down between two animals? Our Lady had three reasons for this: that the Scriptures may be accomplished; to comfort her Son; and to teach us a moral lesson.

1) It was prophesied that the Messiah would be placed between two animals so that they may adore Him. Just imagine, then, the joy of the Blessed Virgin in seeing her Son being adored by the ox and the donkey! And what must have been Her sorrow in seeing Him rejected by the Jews? Thus was accomplished the prophecy of Isaiah, saying:

Hear ye, O heavens, and give ear, O earth, for the Lord hath spoken. I have brought up children, and exalted them; but they have despised me. The ox knoweth his owner, and the donkey his master’s crib; but Israel hath not known me, and my people hath not understood. (Isaiah Ch. 1]

2) The Virgin also laid Her Son in a manger so that the animals could warm Him with their breath […].

3) Furthermore, the Virgin wanted to give us moral instruction.

  • Firstly, the ox is a large animal equipped with two horns, representing the temporal and spiritual powers. The donkey, which carries the burden, represents those who submit to these powers. The Virgin placed Her Son in the middle of the two to show that all can be saved […].

  • Secondly, the ox is a pure animal offered in sacrifice by the priests under the Old Testament. It therefore represents the priests, whereas the donkey represents the laymen. The Virgin placed Her Son between the two, showing thereby that all men can be saved.

  • Also, the ox, which doesn’t carry the burden, symbolize the rich, who do not work with their hands. The donkey symbolizes the workers who imitate his patience.

  • Fourthly, the ox equipped with horns signifies devout people, fortified by virtues. The donkey, which does not have horns, signifies sinners who nonetheless can be saved, if they do penance.

  • Lastly, the ox, which ruminates and has a hoof split in two, represents those who are learned in Holy Scripture: they ruminate in study, and have knowledge of both Testaments. The donkey represents the ignorant. Christ is placed between the two, thereby fulfilling the prophecy of the psalmist:

Homines et jumenta salvabis Domine, quemadmodum multiplicasti misericordiam tuam! Men and beasts thou wilt save, O Lord: O how hast thou multiplied thy mercy! [Ps. 35]

All men, whether powerful or weak, learned or rich, are as beasts of burden… that is, blind and hardened sinners that You, Lord, have come to save!

Community Chronicle

September 14th: Pontifical High Mass, during which H.E. Bishop Faure confers the sub-diaconate to Br. Agostinho (from Brazil), and the diaconate to Br. Alain (from Canada).

The order of sub-deacon includes the implicit vow of perpetual chastity, and the recitation of the breviary. For religious, these obligations start already with the pronouncement of perpetual vows. At Solemn High Mass, the sub-deacon presents the chalice and paten to the deacon, pours the drop of water in the chalice, and sings the epistle. He is also charged with the purification of the altar linens.

The order of deacon is a sacrament. The deacon is the minister of the bishop and the priest at the altar. He sings the Gospel, and may be authorized to preach. In certain cases, he is the “extraordinary minister” of Baptism and Holy Communion.

September 23rd: Solemn High Requiem Mass for the repose of the soul of Mrs. Kobayashi (mother of our Br. Nishi), who passed away in Japan a week earlier.

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October 19th: Solemn High Mass for the habit-taking of two clerical brothers — destined for the priesthood — and one “oblate brother.” Such is the name given to a layman freely offering himself to a life of service in the Friary. He wears the same habit as the professed lay brothers (except when he’s away from the Friary), and he is affiliated to the Third Order. The most famous of these oblate brothers is none other than St. Martin of Porres (1569-1639). By humility, he considered himself unworthy of professing religious vows until he was obliged by obedience to do so.

October 26th: Our student brothers join the seminarians for a pilgrimage to Alençon and Lisieux, in the footsteps of St. Theresa.

November 3rd: Fr. Marie-Laurent presides a procession in the streets of Angers, from the Cathedral to the Church of the Holy Trinity, in public reparation for the idolatrous worship of the “earth goddess” (Pachamama) in the Vatican gardens, in the presence of Pope Francis. A good number of faithful joined with the seminarians and the young people from “The Friends of the Sacred Heart” for the ceremony.

Of all sins, idolatry is the gravest. This is because in and of itself, no matter what the interior intention is of the person who is acting, idolatrous worship is a negation and destruction of the Divine Being in that which distinguishes it from all other: that is, precisely the fact of being unique and absolutely without rival.” (Fr. Pègues O.P., commentary of the Summa Theologica)

November 8th: Fr. Marie-Laurent is in Ireland to replace Fr. Ballini for the weekend: Masses and preaching in Cork, Tralee and Longford.

November 24th: The yearly winter market for the benefit of St. Philomena’s School has now been transferred outside, due to the growing number of faithful overflowing into the vestibule during the Sunday Masses. Fortunately we were graced with good weather, but we’re hoping that the construction of the Parish Hall will soon provide us with a more secure solution.

December 8th: Procession in Angers for the feast of Immaculate Conception.

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News From Our Worksites

In waiting for the construction permit that will allow us to finally launch the work on our Parish Hall Project (with the much needed cafeterias for the two schools), we’ve been able to make a few improvements on the grounds of the Boys’ school: installation of a covered porch:

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and a temporary roof to protect what’s left of an ancient tower (which is set to be renovated, in order to serve as a study hall):

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Crisis In The Church

In October of 2019, a synod took place in Rome, with the theme “The Amazon: new paths for the Church […].” The preparatory document indicated already that “to announce Christ supposes listening respectfully to the natives in their intimate relation with nature and Mother Earth.” In order to render the synod’s objectives more tangible, Francis decided to inaugurate the gathering with a ceremony in the Vatican gardens.

“Representatives of the indigenous peoples” from the Amazon placed their idol of Mother Earth on a blanket, along with, among other curiosities, the statuette of a serpent…

idol on blanket

After various pagan rites accomplished by the natives, the Pope planted a tree while a priestess raised a “bowl of offering” toward the sky.

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Ednamar de Oliveira Viana (this priestess, who organized the ceremony) explained on the same day the meaning of this act: “To plant is to believe in a life that grows and is fertile, in order to satisfy the ‘creation hunger’ of Mother Earth. That brings us back to our origin, by a re-connection with the divine energy.”

adoration of tree

These pagan ceremonies being performed before the Pope cry vengeance from Heaven. However, let us remember that this is only the logical conclusion of Vatican II’s heresy of Ecumenism: if all religions are on an equal footing, what’s wrong with worshiping Mother Earth?

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