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.

* * * * * *

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.

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.

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…

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.

A Model Catholic Wife and Mother: Anna-Maria Taïgi

A Model Catholic Wife and Mother:

Anna-Maria Taïgi (1769-1837)

  By Dom Bernard Maréchaux, O.S.B.

  Published in Le Sel de la terre 62, Autumn 2007

Anne Marie Taigi is known above all for the mysterious sun by which God gave her to see contemporary events, especially freemasonic intrigues. In a Rome victimized by subversion, she would warn the pope (for example, when the Carbonari 1 wanted to assassinate him) or particular cardinals that they should avoid this or that visit or outing. Consulted by Msgr. Natali concerning the audiences that Leo XII (1823-1829) was to grant, she would respond with confidence: “You may receive such a one; but stay away from this other; and be on guard about this one,” etc. Miraculously instructed concerning the dangers that were threatening the Church, she gave valuable counsels to Gregory XVI (who condemned the first manifestation of “liberal Catholicism.”)

But the marvelous must not hide the most important: it is particularly through her conversion and life as a wife and mother of a family that Our Lord has established Anna-Maria Taigi as a model for others. (“I have destined you to be known to the entire world as an example of penance and as the model for married women.”) We will thus accord particular attention to these two features of Anna-Maria in the essay which follows 2.

All those who must speak about God to their children or neighbors can ask Anna Maria Taïgi for this grace, because her husband described her talent as follows: “She spoke of God without becoming wearisome.”

Birth and Early Life

Anna Maria was born in Siena (which is in the region of Tuscany, Italy) on May 29, 1769. She was baptized the very next day with the names Anna-Maria Antonia Gesualda. Her father, Luigi Giannetti Masi, was a pharmacist. He fell into complete financial ruin when Anna-Maria was only six years old, and so relocated his family to Rome, where he and his wife were taken on as domestic servants in well-to-do homes. Their journey (on foot) advanced very slowly, and it was thus that Anna-Maria found herself from early childhood carried along by what a poet might call “the sorrowful wind of poverty (il vento doloroso delle poverta)”

Born in Siena, Anna-Maria Taïgi can be associated with the group of Siena mystics, especially the virgin St. Catherine. She is not unworthy to be compared with the saint by the greatness of her sanctity, the heroism of her martyrdom of love, by the supernatural gifts with which she was clothed, or by her role as a victim and mediator before the Roman Court and sovereign pontiffs in Rome where she lived and died, as did St. Catherine. The same Siennese blood, renamed by its sweetness “sangue dolce” (the expression of St. Catherine) coursed in both women’s veins; the same impassioned love of Christ embraced the hearts of the virgin and this humble woman.

The parents of Anna-Maria were Catholics. Once arrived in Rome, they placed their child with religious sisters, who prepared her for her first Holy Communion and Confirmation, and then had her apprenticed with honest women to learn domestic tasks. She then became a housemaid where she was exposed to the greatest of worldly dangers, but God protected her naiveté. Her intelligence and vivacity were hardly ordinary, and vanity and love of adornments occupied the thoughts of her young head. She did not have bad intentions, but who knows where this dangerous path might have led?

But Domenico Taigi, a domestic at the princely home of the Chigis, asked her hand in marriage – and she agreed. He was a man without much refinement, but an honest and a serious Catholic. Anna-Maria was 21 years old when the two were married.

Conversion

After her marriage, Anna-Maria continued for a little while with her life of entertainments and worldliness. This was pleasing to her husband who was proud of his young, elegant and well placed wife, but displeasing to God who put an inexpressible disquiet in her soul even though she did not deviate from her duties. Our Lord had designs of lofty and eternal mercy on Anna-Maria, and so on the designated day, the divine hunter of souls captured her in His net with a beautiful blend of authority and extreme sweetness.

The following is an account of Anna-Maria’s conversion as stated in the official proceedings of her beatification:

Anna-Maria went to Saint Peter’s in worldly attire. A Servite religious, Father Angelo (Verandi), upon meeting her, heard a heavenly voice: “Take good notice of this woman. I will confide her to your care, and you will work for her transformation. She will sanctify herself, for I have chosen her to become a saint.” In effect, Anna-Maria, not able to resist the disquiet in her heart, had resolved to go to confession and change her life.

She entered Saint Peter’s and drawing near to a confessional said to the confessor who was in it, “Behold at your feet a poor sinner.” The confessor dismissed her with harshness saying “Go! You are not my penitent.” This response discouraged the poor woman and she made an incomplete confession. Although she left troubled, she made the resolution to entirely renounce for God all her vanities and the resulting offenses.

But she wanted to have recourse to the Sacrament of Penance again, and so this time she went to church of St. Marcellus. Upon entering, she saw a priest in the confessional and without knowing who he was, she took her place in the confession line. It was again Father Angelo, and he recognized her. When it was her turn in the confessional he said to her with graciousness, “You have finally fallen into my hands.” He told her of the words that he had heard in Saint Peter’s, and encouraged her with a great charity and evangelical sweetness to make a full conversion.

Anna-Maria did not hesitate henceforward to give herself totally to God; with the consent of her husband, she divested herself of all her worldly attire and clothed herself in a simple, coarse dress. She embraced with ardor the most extraordinary penances, such that her confessor had to moderate what she was doing. She wept torrents of tears over her faults; hair shirts, disciplines, fasting and other mortification became her delight. So as to create a barrier between herself and the world she asked her husband for permission to wear the habit of the Third Order of the Most Holy Trinity. Domenico agreed 3, but on the condition that she not neglect any of her duties as a wife and mother; and in fact she did remain wholly faithful.

So now we have seen the account of our Blessed’s conversion. At this point there is an observation that we believe to be well founded: the crisis of vanity is crucial for women. At a decisive moment, every woman must answer the question whether to choose the world with its vain “joys,” or Jesus crucified with the renouncements that this entails. If, at the feet of her crucifix, she sacrifices her taste for vain adornments, she will walk with great strides along the Christian path, even to the highest summits. If, however, she imagines an impossible union between God and the world, she will be restless in her conscience, peace will elude her, the Sacraments will lose their savor, she will be exposed to illusion and sin, and even her salvation in peril.

Anna-Maria gave herself to God with a complete generosity, trampling on the vain attractions of this world. From the very start, she rivaled the most experienced of saints.

Thirst for Penance

The thirst for penance of this humble woman was insatiable. She pursued it in everything, allowing nature no comfort or respite.

The instruments of penance that were used in cloisters were familiar to her, but she subordinated their use to the judgments of her confessor – upon whom she depended in all things, knowing that nothing has value in the spiritual life except through obedience.

But a mortified soul is able to mortify itself in everything it does. Serving at table for her husband and children, Anna-Maria reserved for herself the scraps – and even food that was spoiled. When the weather was very hot, she drank very little or not at all. (And to endure the torment of thirst in Rome is a penance worse than the pain of hair shirts or iron chains!) Sometimes one of her children would notice that her lips were not wet on her glass, and would cry out: “Papa, mama is not drinking!” And then at the directive from her husband, Anna-Maria would drink a little bit.

She arranged things so that she could undertake what can be called the “Roman devotions.” This was not only the Scala Sancta (quite well known to Roman pilgrims) where she climbed these special steps on her knees, but also the great stone staircase of the Ara-Coeli. Anna-Maria would visit the various crucifixes that were venerated in the churches of Rome, notably that which was in St. Paul Outside the Walls. She made the tour of “Seven Basilicas,” which was a long journey under a hot sun and a midst waves of dust. Upon entering the doors of St. Paul’s, she would remove her shoes and not put them back on until she returned into the city. The way of the cross at the Coliseum was also quite familiar to her. Those who have undertaken such penitential practices will appreciate these heroic mortifications of the servant of God.

All of these devotions were only a portion of the penances that she undertook. Can you see her with her face prostrate and touching the ground, shedding tears and sobbing? Anna-Maria thus lamented her sins. See how she afflicted herself! She would strike her head and face on the ground to the point of bleeding from her mouth. This is similar to what St. Francis of Rome would do: for an idle word she would strike her mouth with blows of her fist until blood flowed. Such penances were forbidden to Anna-Maria, but what a penitential spirit did she not manifest as she chastised herself in so many ways!

The saints display a strong realization of the magnitude of sin. Is it the same with us?

Mother of a Family

It is important to recognize that the foundation of Anna-Maria’s great sanctity was her constant and unceasing carrying out of her daily duties as wife and mother, all elevated by her great love of God.

Concerning all this, we have the testimony of her husband Domenico Taigi from her process of beatification. A good Catholic, and a man of duty, Domenico knew nothing of mystical states. While Anna-Maria was often carried away in ecstasies (in spite of herself) by the strong power of the Spirit of Our Lord, Domenico thought that she suffered from some kind of sleeping sickness. Later, of course, he recognized such things as actions of God.

He was, moreover, aware of the great virtue of his wife and presented a testimony that reveals a profound emotion. He knew that she was very humble, sweet and patient; that she displayed a true spirit of religion, a great modesty in her conduct, and such wisdom and mastery of herself such that he could not but admire her without reserve.

Anna-Maria had seven children, four boys and three girls: Camillo, Alessandro, Luigi, Pietro, Aria, Sofia and Margharita. Three died at a young age. Only two daughters outlived their mother: Maria who never married and Sofia who became a widow with six children. Camillo had died at 42 years of age, and Alessandro at 35.

Domenico related that his saintly wife suspended her mortifications during all of her pregnancies, and took every precaution required of human prudence. She nursed all of her children and said that she could not understand how any mother could be indifferent to this duty. She formed her children in the ways of prayer; she taught them the first elements of religion.

She watched over the modesty of her little children with an extreme attention. Not only did the children have separate beds, but the beds all had curtains.

She never failed in her duty to correct her children, and she would not endure any fits of passion. She did not allow her children to be hit upon the head.

She neglected nothing so that her beloved little ones would have a solid religious instruction; she saw to it that her young daughters received Holy Communion every week, and her sons three times per month. These were the maximums allowed during the time period when Anna-Maria lived.

We also see that on one occasion Anna-Maria imposed a fast upon one of her not-so-young daughters for a fault that she had committed. This was not a very ordinary punishment!

Patience for Any Trial

Testimony concerning Domenico Taigi by his daughter Sofia:

My father was pious and serious as much as could be desired, but with a fiery, demanding temperament that was both arrogant and extravagant – which was quite a marvel. Upon returning home, he would whistle or knock. We had to thus run to let him in, at the risk of hurting ourselves. In fact, on two occasions my sister Mariuccia fell to the ground due to dashing too quickly, and one of these times she was holding our 5-month old baby sister in her arms. If he (Domenico) did not find everything to his liking he flew into a rage even to the point of seizing the tablecloth off of the dinner table and throwing everything in the air even though our meal was fully set out! Everything had to be ready at the precise moment, the soup had to be hot in the serving bowl, and the chairs in place. The same requirements he demanded for his clothing and for everything.”

Nevertheless, Domenico gave the following witness concerning his wife:

“I lived with this blessed soul for about 48 years. There was never a word of disgust, nor any contention. We lived in a continual peace like paradise. Her great tact was such that there was never any serious conflict between us. She knew how to charitably reprimand, and I owe to her the correction of several of my faults. She made her admonitions with an incomparable charity. All of her ways were of such a charm that they irresistibly compelled everyone to please her for the good of the family…

If she saw that someone was troubled or upset she would say nothing. She would wait until the person was calm and then with all humility and sweetness she would help the person to reflect. And while such altercations were rare, my poor wife was so prudent that as soon as she perceived any conflict, whether it was a matter of an old mother or a daughter-in-law, she hastened to defuse the dispute with a magnanimity that established a greater peace and harmony than had been there previously.”

(To be continued)

1 — Masonic sect.

2 — This essay was published in 1924 at Mesnil-Saint-Loup (France) under the title “Blessed Anna-Maria Taïgi of Rome, Mother of a Family.” Dom Maréchaux introduced this work with the following: “I have drawn everything I have written here from the most authentic sources, namely from the depositions given under oath for the beatification of Anna-Maria, large portions of which were published in the collection entitled Analecta Juris Pontificii (54th, 60th and 62nd editions).”

3 — The permission Anna-Maria received to dress with an austere simplicity, and then to adopt the religious habit of the Third Order Trinitarians, is worthy of a special comment. Domenico liked it that his wife was elegant, but then he consented to have his wife appear almost as an indigent. Is this not an indication that the love of adornment comes from the woman and that she is responsible for it, although she may hide behind the (false) idea that it is her husband who wants it?

Saint Vincent Ferrer

Saint Vincent Ferrer

  Model for Times of Crisis

   After the scandals given by Pope Francis

In 1973, to fortify the faithful against the scandals that Pope Paul VI inflicted on them, Fr. Calmel O.P. invoked “the friar preacher who without a doubt, of all the saints, worked the most directly for the papacy”.

With pope Francis, it is more than ever a topical question.

**

Angel of Judgement, legate a latere Christi, deposing a Pope 1 after endless patience, saint Vincent Ferrer (1350-1419) is also the intrepid missionary, full of benignity, brimming with wonders and miracles, who proclaimed the Gospel to large crowds of Catholic people. He carried in his apostle’s heart not only the Supreme Pontiff—so enigmatic, so obstinate, so hard—but also the whole flock of Jesus-Christ, the multitude of helpless common people, the « turba magna ex omnibus tribubus et populis et linguis » – the huge crowd of every tribe and people and tongue (Ap. 5:9).

Saint Vincent understood that the primary concern of the vicar of Christ was not, far from it, to loyally serve the holy Church. The Pope valued, above all, his dark will for power. But if, at least among the faithful, a fervent catholic life could be revived in the Church – the concern for living in conformity with the dogmas, and the sacraments received from the apostolic tradition – if a pure and vehement breath of conversion and prayer finally surges upon this languishing and desolate Christianity, then without a doubt a vicar of Christ could finally come who would be truly humble, have a Christian awareness of his preeminent duty, and concern himself with fulfilling it at best in the spirit of the Sovereign Priest. If the catholic people regains a life in accordance with apostolic tradition, then it will become impossible for the vicar of Jesus Christ, when he acts toward maintaining and defending this Tradition, to fall into some too deep errors, to let himself tend toward a certain complicity with lying. It will become necessary that, without delay, a good pope and perhaps a saintly Pope succeeds the bad and lost Pope. […]

The more we need a holy pope, the more we need to begin to put our life, with the grace of God and by adhering to Tradition, in the footsteps of the saints.

Then the Lord Jesus will eventually give the flock the visible shepherd whom He will have endeavored to make worthy. We must not add our particular negligence to the inadequacy or defection of the head. May the apostolic Tradition be at least living in the heart of the faithful even if, for the moment, it is languishing in the heart and the decisions of him who is responsible at the level of the Church. Then certainly the Lord will be merciful.

It is also necessary, for that purpose, that our interior life refers not to the Pope but to Jesus Christ. Our interior life, which obviously includes the truths of revelation regarding the Pope, should refer purely to the Sovereign Priest, to our God and Savior Jesus-Christ, so as to overcome the scandals that come to the Church through the Pope. This is saint Vincent Ferrer’s perennial lesson in apocalyptic times of one of the major deficiencies of the Roman pontiff.

(Fr Roger-Thomas Calmel O.P., « On the Church and the Pope in all times and in our times », in Itinéraires 173 (May 1973), pp. 22-41. Text reproduced in Le Sel de la terre 12b – special issue on Father Calmel – pp. 179-181.)

Translation by A. A.

1 — Benedict XIII, at the time of the Great Schism. Saint Vincent was convinced that Benedict XIII was the legitimate Pope, and he became his confessor. After some years, he realized that he was not. We don’t want to tell here that Pope Francis is not legitimate. It’s not up to us to judge.

Homage to Saint Vincent Ferrer

Homage to Saint Vincent Ferrer

   Great prophet of the Last Judgment

(1350-1419)

For the six-hundredth anniversary of his return to God

Commentary on the texts of the Mass of Saint Vincent Ferrer on April 5th,

in the Dominican Missal

by Father Mortier O.P.

Introit:

In the midst of the Church the Lord opened his mouth, and filled him with the Spirit of wisdom and understanding. — He clothed him with a robe of glory. — He heaped upon him a treasure of joy and gladness.

Collect:

O God, who granted that multitudes of the Gentiles should come to the knowledge of Your name through the wondrous preaching of blessed Vincent, Your confessor; grant, we beseech You, that him whom he foretold on earth as the judge to come, we may be worthy to have as our rewarder in heaven.

Vincent Ferrer “opened his mouth in the Church”, but he opened it under the inspiration of God, prophetically. He is the great prophet of the Last Judgment. To understand this unique mission, it is necessary to put oneself in the situation of Saint Vincent, in the midst of the calamities, terrifying for the faith, which produced the Western Schism. The Christian peoples no longer knew who was the legitimate Head of the Church. There were two, three Popes, who were fighting over the tiara. Who was Peter’s successor, the authentic Vicar of Jesus Christ? The unity of the Church was in danger.

Kings, cardinals, and saints were actively engaged in returning to this unity. But the reality was terrifying for the faith and Christian discipline. The Western Schism appears as one of the most painful and threatening calamities that has weighed on the Church’s destiny. As such, the schism is a devastating prophecy of the end of the world.

God prophesies by deeds and by words. And the supreme calamity of the end of the world is prefigured, announced by previous world calamities, as the capture and destruction of Jerusalem, which dispersed the Jewish people; as fall of the Roman Empire allowed the barbarians to transform the nations, so the Western Schism endangered the Church herself, symbol of the antichrist at the end of time…

Vincent appears during the most acute period of this schism, when everything seems hopeless. He enters into this prophecy; he is part of it; it is incarnated, so to speak, in him. And that is why Vincent preaches to all the coming of the sovereign Judge. Fear God, he says, for the hour of his judgment has come. Still a prophetic hour, but so threatening that the people, terrified by the emphases of the man of God, massively converted. One heard Vincent, followed him, and saw throughout Europe this “Company” which did not leave him, eager to hear him. That is why Vincent also converted to the faith so many Jews, whose return to the true Messiah added one more aspect to the prophecy of the Last Judgment.

The liturgy, too, officially consecrates this extraordinary mission of Saint Vincent Ferrer.

Epistle:

Reading from the Book of the Apocalypse of the apostle St. John, ch. 14:6-7:

In those days, I saw another angel flying in midheaven, having an everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell upon the earth and to every nation and tribe and tongue and people, saying with a loud voice, “Fear God, and give Him honor, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made the heaven and the earth, the sea and fountains of waters.

One day St. Vincent was preaching before a multitude in Salamanca; he depicted the Last Judgment and quoted these words of the Angel, when suddenly he stopped. An intimate, divine light overcame his intelligence; he became conscious of himself; and in a loud voice, with the assurance of the supernatural revelation which dominated him, he exclaimed, “I myself am the Angel seen by St. John”. The affirmation was bold. There were murmurs; the crowd became turbulent. Vincent, strong from the received light, does not retreat. A woman had died in a neighboring house, and the corpse being brought over, he said: “Arise and declare to this crowd whether or not I am the Angel who must preach to everyone the Judgment Day. — Father, you are this Angel”. The corpse had risen; he had spoken.

The Church has authenticated this providential mission both in the bull of Saint Vincent’s canonization and in the liturgy.

Gradual:

The mouth of the just man shall meditate wisdom, and his tongue shall speak judgment. — The law of his God is in his heart, and his steps shall not be supplanted.

Tract:

He shone in his days as the morning star in the midst of a cloud, and as the full moon. — And as the sun when it shines, so did he shine in the temple of God. — And as the rainbow appearing in the cloudy sky, and as the flower of roses in the springtime. — And as the lilies that are on the brink of the water, and as the sweet-smelling frankincense in summertime. — As a bright fire, and frankincense burning in the fire. — As a massive vessel of gold, adorned with every precious stone.”

In Paschal time.Alleluia, alleluia! O glorious father Vincent, famous son of the Order of Dominic, pour forth your prayers to the sovereign judge for all the nations who are devoted to you..”

Gospel:

You are the salt of the earth, etc.” from the common of Doctors in the Roman Rite.

Offertory:

You have given him his heart’s desire, O Lord, and have not withheld from him the request of his lips; You have set on his head a crown of precious stones.”

Secret:

We offer to You, O Lord, these gifts of our love; and that they may be at once pleasing to You and helpful to us, may the blessed Vincent, Your confessor whom Your gifts made glorious before the world, become our devoted advocate with Your loving kindness.”

Communion:

To Vincent [to him that overcometh] I will give (Vincenti dabo) to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of my God.”

Vincenti dabo… There is a play on words with the name of Vincent, which English cannot render.

Postcommunion:

Filled with these divine gifts, we beseech You, O Lord, that through the glorious merits of blessed Vincent, Your confessor, we may taste the desired fruits of this saving victim”.

Fear the Lord, for his Judgment is near. The hour is coming, it sounds around us all the time. It reaches our neighbor: today for me, tomorrow for you! A personal but irrevocable judgment of which the supreme, universal, public one will only be its solemn confirmation. The book of our life, from which not one syllable is lost, will be opened before us, in the full light of truth. What will we have written on these pages? Our conscience itself will read and make the judgment. For at the Judgment of God we are, in short, under the implacable light of truth, its own judge. One sees oneself to the depths, at a glance, and one pronounces the sentence himself: worthy of God or unworthy. Everything is there. Worthy of God by His mercy which will have saved us, purified at least for the most part, the rest for Purgatory; but even with Purgatory, it is certain salvation, the eternal possession of God assured.

And then there is the other sentence, the awful one, the one where one says to oneself: I am lost!

Lost by my fault, because we see with cruel certainty that we are lost by one’s own fault. There, no remission. By one’s own weight, one goes down instead of going up; we descend into the eternal abyss. And each of us, often at the time when one least thinks of it, appears at the Judgment of God: Fear the Lord, for the hour of his judgment comes.

After twenty years of this incredible apostolate, to complete in his person the expressive figure of the end of time, on Wednesday, April 5, 1419, Vincent Ferrer died in Vannes, Brittany, France, the West of the world at that time. His death, like his life, retains the prophetic character of his mission.

(Fr. Mortier O.P., La Liturgie dominicaine ; Lille/Bruges, DDB, 1923, tome VII, p. 184 sq.)

(Translation of the Mass parts from the 1959 /Saint Dominic Missal: Latin ­– English)

Translation by A. A.

Consecration to the Most Holy Virgin

Consecration to the Most Holy Virgin

General ideas about the True Devotion or Holy Slavery to Jesus through Mary

According to Saint Lewis-Mary Grignion-de-Montfort

By Fr Gabriel DENIS

1) What is the purpose of this devotion?

The purpose of this devotion is to establish the absolute reign of the Blessed Virgin in our hearts, in order to make prevail in them the perfectly incarnated Wisdom, Jesus, Christ the King:

If, then, we establish solid devotion to our Blessed Lady, it is only to establish more perfectly devotion to Jesus Christ, and to provide an easy and secure means for finding Jesus Christ. If devotion to Our Lady removed us from Jesus Christ, we should have to reject it as an illusion of the devil; but so far from this being the case, devotion to Our Lady is, on the contrary, necessary for us, as I have already shown, and will show still further hereafter, as a means of finding Jesus Christ perfectly, of loving Him tenderly, and of serving Him faithfully” (Saint Lewis-Mary Grignion-de-Montfort).

2) What does this devotion consist of?

It consists of:

1) giving yourself entirely to the Blessed Virgin to be wholly with Jesus Christ through her;

2) to live habitually and always in a complete, whole, and perfect dependence of her will, following the example of the Son of God in Nazareth.

3) Why dedicate yourself to the Blessed Virgin?

We thus devote ourselves to the Blessed Virgin:

1) to imitate the dependence of Jesus who, in order to save us, wanted to be subject to Mary for thirty years;

2) to recognize the rights of the Holy Virgin, who, being Mother of God, has power over all creatures;

3) to receive more graces, because with Mary being in charge of applying to us the merits of the Redemption, we will be all the more favored, living more subject and more united to the divine Mother.

4) How should you give your whole self and practice this absolute dependence to the Most Holy Virgin?

We must choose a remarkable day to give her, in an act of solemn consecration:

1) our body ;

2) our soul;

3) our earthly goods;

4) our spiritual goods ;

5) all the value of our good past, present and future deeds.

By virtue of this consecration and to live habitually in her dependence, we must do all our actions through Her, with Her, in Her and for Her, so that we always look at Her as acting together with us, and to destine to Her all the good that we can do.

5) What does it mean to act through Mary, with Mary, in Mary and for Mary?

— To act “through Mary” is never to go to our Lord without going through Her, to let yourself be led in all things by Her spirit;

— “with Mary” is to take the Holy Virgin as the model of all that one has to do, and endeavor to imitate Her;

— “in Mary” is staying within the beautiful Heart of Mary with complacency, remaining in peace, relying on Her with confidence, taking refuge in Her, and losing yourself without reservation;

— “for Mary” is doing all actions for Her, for Her profit and glory, in order to do them more surely for the glory of God.

6) How does this consecration differ from those that are made on the occasion of Baptism and in the Congregations of the Children of Mary?

On the occasion of Baptism and in the Congregations of Children of Mary, one is placed under the protection of the Blessed Virgin, as a child under the tutelage of his mother, or as someone poor under the protection of someone rich, in order to have a greater part of their kindness, favors, and love; but one does not sacrifice, for that, neither the value of one’s acts, nor the liberty to rely on yourself.

Here, on the contrary, by giving everything entirely to the Blessed Virgin, for no longer do we belong to ourselves, we abandon at the same time all the rights we naturally have from our good works. She can, therefore, dispose of them as She wills, as She deems fit, without intending anything but the honor of living in her dependence as slaves by love, in order to be by it slaves of Jesus; hence this title given by the Blessed Father Montfort to this devotion: Slavery of Jesus in Mary.

7) In what sense should we consider this abandonment of all our rights to the Blessed Virgin?

To clearly understand the answer to this question, it must be remembered that each of our works, made in a state of grace and by reasons of faith contains:

1) a satisfactory (atoning) or impetratory (begging) value that we can communicate to others, and which serves, to compensate for the penalty due to sin or to obtain some benefit particular;

2) a meritorious value which is our own, that we do not share with anyone, and which brings to our soul an increase of graces and merits.

Now, by this voluntary abandonment we make of all our rights, the Blessed Virgin becomes absolute headmistress: 1) of all of the satisfactory (atoning) and impetratory (begging) value of our good works, so She can apply them how She wants, as She pleases, according to the greatest glory of God;

2) of all their meritorious value, that is, to say of the graces of our merits. But because these graces and those merits of our own are incommunicable, She will want to guard them preciously, like a beautiful and rich treasure, to grant us enjoyment at the great day of eternity.

8) How can we help our parents, friends, and benefactors, both alive and deceased, if we are not free to dispose the value of our good works in favor of who we want?

Far from opposing that we come to the aid of those who are dear to us, or who commend themselves to us, this devotion authorizes us, on the contrary, to pray for them with more confidence than ever:

Just as well as a rich person,” says the saint of Montfort, “who, wanting to show his esteem for a great prince, gives his entire fortune to him. Would not that man have greater confidence in asking the prince to help one of his friends who needed assistance? Indeed the prince would only be too happy to have such an opportunity of proving his gratitude to one who had sacrificed all that he possessed to enrich him, thereby impoverishing himself to do him honour. The same must be said of our Lord and our Lady.

For those consecrated as slaves, it is of their kindness and power never to be outdone in gratitude.

While the application of our good works does not depend anymore on our will, Jesus and Mary “will assist, of our humble and submissive commendation, of our small spiritual merit, or by other ways, our parents, friends and benefactors” alive and dead, when they will be in need. It is even a duty of justice and charity that they will recognize and fulfill better than us.

9) What are the main benefits we find for ourselves in the slavery of Jesus in Mary?

We, being stripped of all that we have to give it to the Most Holy Virgin, are right to believe:

1) That the good Mother, having accepted our offering, is obliged at the same time to consider us always as her good, to protect us and defend us against our enemies, to give us the ways of salvation, and to obtain for us all of the graces we need in life;

2) That our good works, passing by her hands before arriving at God, are purified, augmented, embellished with its virtues, and presented by Herself to Jesus Christ, they will be favorably welcomed, and thus make them more meritorious in His eyes:

3) That, being shown to be generous and selfless, parting with our own goods to put them back in Her hands, she acquits our debts towards God in this life and will not permit that we stay a long time to suffer in Purgatory after our death.

Also, in the slavery of Jesus through Mary, a fervent, animated soul of special love for the Most Holy Virgin, arrives more surely and more promptly to a perfect sanctification than by any other spiritual way. “Show me a new road to go to Jesus Christ,” says the saint of Montfort, “pave it with all the merits of the saints, adorn it with their heroic virtues, illuminate and enhance it with the splendor and beauty of the angels, have all the angels and saints there to guide and protect those who wish to follow it. Give me such a road and truly, truly, I boldly say, and I am telling the truth, that instead of this road, perfect though it be, I would still choose the immaculate way of Mary. It is a way, a road without stain or spot, without original sin or actual sin, without shadow or darkness.”

10) What are the obligations of this devotion?

To be a slave to Jesus in Mary:

1) We must have made our consecration;

2) By virtue of this consecration, one must seek to live according to her spirit, that is to say, in union with Mary.

The act of consecration is a contract that always lasts unless it is formally retracted. The saint of Montfort asks us to renew it frequently, even if it is brief.

To help us do our consecration well and to live united with Mary, he also shows us a few particular external and internal practices.

11) Does this devotion oblige under pain of sin?

It does not oblige under pain of sin, but one could find in their negligence a lack of conformity to grace. It is a great medium of salvation and of perfection that we must neither despise should nor neglect.

12) What are the external practices of this devotion?

These practices are:

1) To prepare for the consecration in offering to God, for thirty days, one’s prayers, meditations and good works, with intention and in following way: twelve days to purge the spirit of the world, six days to get the knowledge of oneself, six days to get to know the Blessed Virgin, and six days to get to know Jesus Christ. This preparation completed, the consecration is done pronouncing the formula composed by the saint of Montfort himself 1;

2) To renew each year the act of consecration, after preparing for three weeks in the same way as the first time. This preparation can coincide with the month of May; it would be an excellent exercise for the month of Mary;

3) To make a small offering to the Holy Virgin, the day of the first consecration and the day of the renovation, as a mark of universal dependency towards Mary;

4) To recite every day some prayer in honor of the Most Holy Virgin; for example, the Magnificat, a chaplet, or the Holy Rosary, especially the Little Crown of the Blessed Virgin, praying three times one Pater, four Aves, and 1 Glory Be.

5) To devoutly celebrate the Feasts of the Blessed Virgin, particularly the Annunciation, the main festival of the present devotion.

13) What are the interior practices?

These practices are:

1) Offering to Our Lord Jesus Christ, every morning, by the hands of his Holy Mother, all of our thoughts, desires, words, and actions, by pronouncing these words or other similar ones: “I am all yours, and all that I have, I offer to you, my kind Jesus, by Mary, your Most Holy Mother” or “I give myself up, I give myself entirely to you, my dear Mother.”

2) To live all day in union with Mary, seeking to act everywhere and always through Her, with Her, in Her, and for Her, as it was explained above (fifth question). For this, in the course of the day, do all works habitually with this thought: “My good mother, act in me…speak in me…work in me.” All this is to be done peacefully, gently, without effort, without restraint, but also with fidelity and perseverance.

14) What are the fruits of this devotion?

Souls who know how to enter the spirit of this devotion are happy, a thousand times happy. They find their consolation invoking and blessing Mary as their powerful Queen; their pleasure to obey their dear Headmistress without delay. They discover in contemplation of her virtues a ravishing beauty and, in the imitation of her, strength and incomparable joy. They live in their Mother’s company with the trust and abandonment of a child. They draw from the intercession of the Most Holy Virgin (becoming for them the conduit of all graces) such a great abundance of goods that they withdraw fast from sin to live fully according to God. It is Jesus and Mary who reign in their hearts and they do not delay not to reign there perfectly.

God alone!

Translation by J.F.

1 — You will find it in his « Treatise of the true devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary ».

Personal Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

PERSONAL CONSECRATION TO THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS

Imprimatur of Bp J.C. Chamont Auxiliary Bishop of Montreal

November 16, 1940

1. Importance of the Devotion to the Sacred Heart

Three Classes of Souls

Rest a little, Christian soul, from the bustle of life, and give ear to the words of love which the Heart of Jesus speaks to you, that God of love and mercy whose only care is for your good.

Tell Me, are you happy? Are you contented? Is your heart at peace? Do you enjoy the unruffled depths of ocean?

Perhaps you are to be numbered among those unhappy souls who weep because at every step they take they find themselves in sin: who, like doves with their wings clogged with mud, fail to soar up to the clear blue sky. Or perhaps you are making your way but slowly along the steep and narrow path of virtue, weighed down by cold torpor or that wasting disease of the spirit called tepidity. Or perhaps you are one of those who are neither sinners nor tepid, but whose downcast features reflect discouragement within because, like eagles with clipped wings, they spend their whole life rising into the air only to fall back to earth discouraged, or, like travelers journeying along a boundless stretch of shifting sands, they lose heart at the sight of such little progress achieved after so many years of weary travel. What compassion I have for all these poor souls! And how many indeed they are!

A Great Remedy

But just listen now to those consoling words I have confided to My most intimate friends. For I desire them to be, as it were, silvered conduits or electric cables carrying the grace and light of My loving Heart out to the world.

The treasures of grace and blessings which this Sacred Heart contains are infinite. I do not know of any devotion in the spiritual life better suited to raise a soul in a short time to the highest perfection and to make it taste the real sweetness to be found in the service of Jesus Christ 1.”

I do not know, my dear child, if you understand the meaning of devotion to the Sacred

Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ, of which I speak to you. It produces fruit and a great change in all those who consecrate themselves to it and practice it with fervor 2.”

By means of this devotion to the Sacred Heart, people in the world will find all the helps necessary to their state of life, peace in their families, relief in their labors, the blessing of heaven on all their undertakings, consolation in their troubles; and it is precisely in this Sacred Heart that they will find a haven of refuge during their whole life and particularly at the hour of death.

“How sweet it is to die after having had a tender and constant devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus! 3

“See to it, above all, that religious embrace this devotion, for they will derive from it such help that no other means will be necessary to reestablish primitive fervor and the most exact observance in the least observant communities, and to raise to the summit of perfection those communities which live in the most perfect observance 4.”

One Friday, during Holy Communion, He spoke these words to His unworthy servant, if she is not mistaken: ‘I promise thee in the excessive mercy of My Heart that its all-powerful love will grant to all those who go to Communion on the First Fridays of nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they shall not die in its disfavor nor without receiving their sacraments, My Divine Heart being their assured refuge at that last moment’ 5.

Our glorious protector, St. Michael, accompanied by a countless host of angelic spirits, assured me anew that the cause of the Sacred Heart was entrusted to him as one of the most important enterprises for the glory of God and the utility of the Church that has ever taken place in the world during the whole course of the centuries. This mystery hidden for centuries, this sacrament manifested anew to the world, this design from all eternity in favor of all people, now revealed to the Church, is, so to speak, one of those which arrest the attention of God, ever careful for our good and the glory of the Savior6.”

I seem to see interiorly that light, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, that adorable sun which sheds down its rays on earth sparingly at first, then in greater abundance, and finally illuminating with them the whole earth. And He said to me: ‘By the splendor of this light peoples and nations will be illuminated, and by its heat they will be made warm.’ 7

Tell me now, My child, if, after having read these lines, you do not feel the persuasion coming over you that devotion to the Sacred Heart is something really extraordinary in the world. Yes, it is, indeed, and if you still have any lingering doubts, then make a careful study of the question for yourself and you will soon gain conviction. It is this personal conviction I desire in all My faithful, most of all in My priests and religious: not that they should believe just because they have heard of it, but rather that they should discover it from personal experience. By this means alone will they become convinced, and only they who are convinced will do great things. If only you were one of these, convinced through and through of the power and greatness of My Heart!

Two Kinds of Devotion

My most precious gems lie hidden at the bottom of the coffer, because there are many who have not yet noticed them. This divine devotion is like a vein of gold running through the field of the Church. Those layers of the ground which are usually exploited lie on the surface and can thus be easily discovered and turned to advantage. For example, who is unaware of the value of Holy Communion on the First Fridays of the month, or the value of the consecration of the family to the Sacred Heart of Jesus? Or who has not from time to time assisted at some feast in My honor? Or who has not become a member of some confraternity and performed its simple devotional exercises? All these are like travelers who pass over a vein of gold, stir up the earth a little, gather a few grains of the precious metal, and then continue on their way. It is only the few who set themselves to delve deeply into the mine; only the few become miners by profession.

2. Consecration

CONSECRATION is the fundamental practice of devotion to My Sacred Heart. How often, though, it becomes a mere matter of routine! Many pious souls make their consecration every day, reciting it from their prayer books and yet, when all is said and done, they are not really consecrated; they do not make the consecration, but merely recite it; they are reciters of consecrations.

Listen, then, and I shall tell you in what the full consecration consists, as I have explained it Myself to My most intimate friends, and as they have taught it in their writings and confirmed it by their example.

a) A Pact

The consecration can be reduced to a pact, in the sense in which I proposed it to My first apostle in Spain, Bernardo de Hoyos, and previously in similar terms to St. Margaret Mary: “Take care of My honor and My interests, and My Heart will make this pact with you, too.” As absolute Lord I could indeed demand this without submitting to any conditions; but I prefer to make a friendly bargain with My children.

Will you not then conclude this pact with Me? Have no fear lest you may be the loser by it. I am so kind and beneficent in My dealings with creatures that one would think I was a dupe. Moreover, it is not a pact which will bind you under sin of any sort, for I do not like obligations which stifle!

I want love, peace and generosity not fear or anguish of conscience.

The pact contains two clauses, one binding Me, the other binding you. My part is to care for you and your interests, and your part is to care for Me and Mine. Is that not a beautiful pact?

b) First Part of the Consecration

Let us begin with My part. I shall take care of you and your interests. For that, it is necessary for you to leave absolutely everything in the hands of My Divine Providence: your soul, your body, your life, your health, your family, your business, and in a word — everything. I wish to arrange all that concerns you according to My good pleasure, and for that I require a free hand. So, too, you must hand over to Me all the keys of your house, that I may come in and go out at will.

You must not be keeping an eye on Me and what I do, nor demand any account from Me, even though you may not perceive the reason for My actions in your affairs, and yes, even though at times this may seem to be to your detriment. If at times you may have to grope your way blindly on, then you will have the consolation of knowing that you are in safe hands.

When you hand everything over to My keeping, you must not want to have everything arranged according to your wishes; that would be imposing conditions on Me and seeking your own interests; but rather I must arrange everything in a way that seems best to Me as King and Lord. I must have complete liberty of action even though I may foresee that My plans will at times cause you pain.

You see only the present; but I see the future. You see, as it were, through a microscope, while I see through a powerful, long range telescope.

Hence solutions which seem very suitable for the present may turn out quite disastrous in the long run. There will be occasions, too, when I shall deliberately permit the upset of your plans in order to test your faith and trust, and to increase your merit.

I do not mean by all this, however, that you are to surrender yourself to a sort of fatalistic quietism and simply neglect all spiritual affairs. You must take as a fundamental guiding principle those words of the Gospel which read: “When you have done all you have been commanded to do, say, ‘We are useless servants. We have done no more than our duty.’”(Lk. 17:10).

In everything you must make just as much effort as if success depended on you alone, and then say to me with humble trust: “Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, in my weakness I have done all that I can; the rest depends on You. I leave it to Your Providence.” When you have prayed thus, set aside all uneasiness and enjoy the still peace of a lake on a quiet autumn evening.

* What is to be offered up?

As I have just said, you must hand over to Me everything with absolutely no exceptions. Those who make an exception trust Me little.

Your soul

Place your soul in My Hands: your salvation, your degree of glory in Heaven, your progress in virtue, your faults, your passions, your wants, everything. There are persons who are always worried, fearful, and discouraged in the spiritual life. If this is the result of mortal sin, then it is as it should be. The state of mortal sin is indeed so wretched that no matter what the cost you must leave it, for it makes you My enemy. Make a big effort, come hurrying to Me with all speed, and I shall assist you. Go to confession often, every week if possible, for that is an excellent remedy. Moreover, if you have a sincere desire to amend your life, great faults are not an obstacle to consecrating yourself to Me. For the consecration itself will be a capital means of extricating yourself from that state.

There is another class of people who do not sin mortally, but nevertheless are always gloomy and downcast because they feel they are making no spiritual progress. Now, I do not approve of that. In this matter, too, one must do everything possible as far as human weakness allows, and leave the rest in My hands. Heaven is a beautiful garden which must be complete with every variety of plant. Not all can be cypresses or lilies or carnations. There must also be thyme!

Offer yourself then for this place. All this perturbation, those worries and anxieties, in persons who do not sin seriously proceed from their seeing their own honor more than Mine. Virtue and perfection have a double aspect: that of being for your own good, and that of being for Mine. You must strive after them earnestly but peacefully, because they are for My good. For have we not already agreed that you are to surrender all your interests, in so far as they are yours, to Me? For the rest, you must not forget that I shall accomplish the work of your perfection much better than you would yourself.

Your body

I shall also take care of your health and life. These, too, you must entrust to Me. I know what is best for you; you do not. Take the ordinary means to preserve or restore your health. Lay aside all groundless fear and anxiety, and leave the rest to Me. Persuade yourself that it is not doctors or medicine alone that bring a cure for sickness, but it comes to you from My hands.

Your family

Parents, wife and husband, children, brothers and sisters, relatives. There are persons who find no difficulty in offering themselves to Me but who balk at confiding to Me some member of their family for whom they have a special affection. As though I would simply abscond with everything that was entrusted to My Goodness! That is indeed a poor idea to entertain of Me.

These people say sometimes that they have no difficulty themselves in suffering, but that they cannot bear to see their loved ones suffer. They think that consecration to Me and immediate suffering for all those connected with them are one and the same thing. I wonder where they get that idea from? A genuine and sincere consecration has the effect of alleviating the crosses which all must carry in this world.

Temporal goods

Possessions, business, career, occupation, employment, home. I do not require souls who love Me to give up all these things, unless I have called them to the religious life. On the contrary, they must take proper care of them since these goods constitute part of the obligation of their state. I only ask them to hand everything over to Me, to take every reasonable means to ensure success, and to leave the result to Me without worry or anxiety.

Spiritual goods

You know that in every act of virtue you perform in the state of grace, and also in all the prayers which will be offered up for the repose of your soul after death, there is a certain portion which you can renounce in favor of others either living or dead. I want you to make Me a complete gift of this portion to distribute as I wish. I know better than you on which persons the establishment of My Kingdom depends most. I also know those who are in most need of help, and those in whom your merits will produce the best results. Thus I shall be enabled to lay this portion out to better advantage. This free gift of yours does not, of course, prevent you from offering up prayers for certain people as obedience, charity or piety may demand on occasion.

You must surrender to Me with full confidence everything you possess, for Me to dispose of as I wish; and although I do not wish you to make this consecration from motives of self- interest, yet you will find that on the whole your affairs will turn out better, although sometimes indeed I shall test your confidence and permit results to fall short of your expectations. Your concerns will prosper in proportion to the zeal you show in promoting My interests. The more you think of Me, the more will I think of you. The more you occupy yourself with My interests, the more will I occupy Myself with your interests. The greater care you take of My affairs, the greater shall I take of yours. But, My child, do try to be less self-interested. There are persons who think of nothing but themselves: their spiritual world is a planetary system in which they occupy the solar position; and everything else, including My interests, are minor planets circling around them. That is a bad astronomical system in which the ego is the hub of the universe.

c) Second Part of the Consecration

This now brings us to the second part of the consecration: “You will care for My honor and My interests.” That is the most important part for you, because it is, properly speaking, your side of the pact. The preceding was Mine and if I asked you to give Me everything, it was in order to get rid of any obstacle which might hinder the fulfillment of My part. Your side of the pact is the care of My spiritual interests. You must throw yourself, heart and soul, into the task of promoting these so that your zeal may be the gauge of your love.

Do you know what My interests are? I have only one: souls. They are My interests, My treasures, My love. I seek, as I told My servant Margaret, “to establish the Kingdom of My Love in all Hearts,” My Kingdom has not yet come. Externally it has spread to a certain extent among Catholic peoples, but that deep interior Kingdom by which My love and My wishes will be the true law and rule of conduct for souls has, alas, only spread but little in people’s hearts. It is not through lack of soil. Numerous souls are prepared for My Kingdom and their number goes on increasing from day to day. But there is a lack of apostles. Give me a heart magnetized by My Divine Heart and you will see how soon other souls will become magnetized in their turn.

Ways of Apostolate

How easy it is to be My apostle. No sex, no age, no state in life, is excluded. There are many ways of doing the work:

Prayer

That is, to be constantly petitioning heaven for the spread of My Kingdom, to ask it of My Father, of Myself, of My holy Mother, of My saints; to ask in the church, at home, in the street, during your daily work: “Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy Kingdom come.” That is the aspiration which must be on your lips the whole day long. Repeat it, then, twenty, fifty, a hundred, two hundred times a day until it has become a habit with you. Seek out ways and means of keeping it before your mind. Who cannot be an apostle in this way? How really wonderful is this apostolate of ejaculatory prayers!

Give me a number of souls constantly shooting these little arrows up to heaven and tell Me if they will not meet with success! It is the little droplets of water which evaporate, go up into the air, form the clouds in the sky and then pour down again as the rain fertilizing the earth.

Sacrifice

In the first place the passive sacrifice of acceptance. How many inconveniences, troubles and sorrows — sometimes small, sometimes great — come your way every day as they came also to Me, to My holy Mother, and to My saints.

If you could bear all this in silence, with patience, even with joy if possible, and offer it all up that I may reign, what a rich apostolate you would be practicing. The Cross is of supreme value: that is why it costs so much. Alas! How many crosses are wasted by people, and they are such precious gems. Then, there is the active sacrifice of self-denial. Try to acquire the habit of constantly overcoming yourself in small things. That is an excellent practice of the spiritual life. You are walking along the street and feel an urgent desire to have a look at such and such an object; then don’t look at it. You would like to taste such and such a delicacy; then don’t taste it. You are innocently accused of some small thing or other, and silence will not cause any evil of great moment; then keep silent. And so forth in similar cases, offering everything so that I may reign. If you feel urged to it by your generosity, you could also undertake even greater penances. You see what magnificent scope there is here for the apostolate! And an apostolate such as this works wonders.

Daily Occupations

Some people say they cannot work for the Kingdom of Christ because they are always too busy; as if the very duties of their state and walk in life could not be converted into works of the apostolate by being accomplished well! Everything depends on the intention with which it is done. The very same piece of wood may be used as fuel for a fire, or as material for a sacred picture to be placed on the altar. During your daily round of work, strive to raise your eyes frequently to Me, to take pleasure in doing everything well for love of Me, so that your works may thus become golden coins which you set aside to My credit for the establishment of My kingdom on earth. You must also strive, but quietly, to become holier and holier every day. For the holier you are, the more efficacious will your works be for My glory.

Exterior Apostolate

Sometimes you could further some enterprise of My Divine Heart as, for example, by recommending this or that practice of the devotion to those with whom you come into frequent contact. You might be able to persuade them to consecrate themselves to Me as you have done yourself. You may find it hard to talk about the subject; then why not pass on a pamphlet or little booklet? Try to spread such literature, either by distributing it yourself, or else by bringing it to the notice of others.

There are, then, countless ways possible of working for the spread of My Kingdom. If you remain inactive, then you cannot plead lack of equipment as an excuse. There is not a moment of the day in which you cannot do something that I may reign. It is very easy to be My apostle, and what a wonderful calling! Your whole life will be suffused and illuminated by a noble ideal!

Every work of the day will be stamped with the seal of apostleship, of the great apostleship of love. Every work will be converted into the gold of charity. What a consolation it will be at the hour of death to look back on five, ten, twenty years, or even more, of 365 days each, all spent in this way.

Reparation

Do you wish to love Me really and truly? Love includes two things: procuring for loved ones all the good they lack, and freeing them from the evil which oppresses them. By means of the apostolate you procure Me for the good, you give Me souls; by reparation, you free Me from the evil, you wash My Divine Heart clear of the stains which have been inflicted on it by sin. Yes indeed, and injury may be removed by giving Me satisfaction. And how much could you not give Me, not only for your own sins, but also for the innumerable sins committed every day! I do not wish to burden you with many practices; the same prayers, sacrifices, daily works, and enthusiastic communication which are excellent ways of apostolate, are also very useful for reparation if done with this intention: “That You may reign, forgive us our trespasses – – that You may reign in reparation for the times we have offended You.” These are aspirations which should always be on our lips. My life had a two-fold purpose in the world: that of the Apostle to establish the Kingdom of God, and that of the Priest and Victim to expiate the sins of all. I should like you to fulfill both, too. By devotion to My Sacred Heart, I hope to make everyone into an exact copy of Myself, into a small Redeemer. What a sublime and wonderful thing for you!

3. Conclusion

Courage, then, and forward march! Thousands of others with the same flesh and blood as yours have done it. Choose a feast day, the first that comes. In the meantime, prepare yourself by quietly reading over these ideas. When the appointed day comes, go to confession, receive Holy Communion devoutly, and then make your consecration to Me; for you could not find a better moment than when I am in your heart. It is very necessary, though, that the consecration should be complete; that it should constitute a whole program of life. Hence, to make it easier for you, there is an Act of Consecration included below which contains everything essential. You are not bound to anything under pain of sin, even venial. I want a big heart, generosity and love. I only ask you to do what you can: and who is there who cannot do this?

And do not forget to renew it daily at home or in the church; for this daily renewal is very important. If you do not renew it, it will quickly slip from your mind; if you do renew it, then you will end up fulfilling it. Choose this holy way with decision and determination and you will soon feel a warm stream of new, life-giving blood flowing through your veins.

In conclusion, two pieces of advice. Firstly, do not forget Me in the Tabernacle. Honor paid to my image is certainly very pleasing to Me, but My own Person is of far more value than the image. The Eucharist is in a special manner My sacrament, for it is the sacrament of love.

I should like you to receive Me often, and, if possible, to pay Me visits during the day. You have no idea how I reward these friendly calls! Secondly, you might be able to find a little time during the course of the day to read and think over something about devotion to My Sacred Heart. Thus, day-by-day, the seeds of this divine devotion will be taking deeper root in your heart.

Act of Consecration

O QUEEN OF HEAVEN, most loving Mother, I (Name) though full of weakness and quite unworthy, yet encouraged by the gracious invitation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, desire to consecrate myself entirely to Him. Conscious of my own unworthiness and inconstancy, I desire to offer everything through your maternal hands and with child-like trust in your loving care, and I look to you to assist me in the fulfillment of my resolutions.

MOST SACRED HEART OF JESUS, King of love and goodness, full of recognition for Your favors, freely and with all my soul do I accept this pact between You and me. I shall care for Your interests, and You will care for mine. You know indeed that You will gain less by it than 1. I wish everything of mine to be Yours, and place everything in Your hands: my soul, my eternal salvation, my freedom, my interior progress, my wants, my body, my life and my health. I place in your hands, the small number of my good works I am able to perform, or which others will offer up for me during my life or after my death, if they can be of service to You. I also place in your hands my family, my possessions, my work, so that You may be King of all that is mine and may dispose of everything according to Your pleasure. I, for my part, will do my best in all these affairs, but I shall rest contented with whatever Your loving Heart decides in my regard, difficult though it may be.

In return, I ask that the time still left to me not be wasted. I desire to do something big, something really big, that You may reign in the world; by my prayer and aspirations, by my daily tasks, by the suffering which I accept here and now, by my little acts of self-denial, I desire that every moment of my life may be spent in propagating and establishing Your divine Kingdom. May Your seal be on everything I do until the end of my allotted time, and then may my last breath be spent in words of love for Your most Sacred Heart.

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy Kingdom Come!

May the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great shepherd of the sheep by the Blood of the eternal covenant, Jesus Our Lord, furnish you with all that is good, that you may do His will. May He carry out in you what is pleasing to Him through Jesus Christ, to Whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.” (Heb.13:20-21)

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in You!

1 — Msgr. Gauthey: Vie et œuvres de S. Marguerite-Marie, Paris, 1920,

3rd ed., Vol.II, p. 627.

2 — Msgr. Gauthey, Ibid.., letter 50, p.324.

3 — Msgr. Gauthey, Ibid.., letter 141.

4 — Msgr. Gauthey, Ibid.., part 2, letter 141.

5 — Msgr. Gauthey, Ibid, letter 86, p. 397.

6 — Uriarte, Vida del P. Hogos. Part 3, ch.l, p.251, 2nd ed.

7 — Chasle: Sœur Marie du Divin Coeur, ch. XI, p.359.

Sermon of Bishop Gerardo Zendejas in Avrillé – February 9, 2019

Sermon of Bishop Gerardo Zendejas in Avrillé for taking of Cassocks, Tonsures, First and Second Minor Orders for Saint-Louis Grignion-de-Montfort Seminary and the Dominicans

Saturday February 9, 2019

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+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and of the Holy Ghost

Dear Bishop Faure, Father Prior, Priests, Brothers, Sister, my dear Brethren….

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Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, our venerable Founder, has always encouraged us with his 1974 doctrinal declaration, like a testament for preserving Catholic Tradition as essential element in Catholicism. Here are some exerts of his words…

Even though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema.” (Gal. 1;8)…

“… The lex orandi cannot be profoundly changed without changing the lex credendi. The New Mass is in line with the new catechism, the new priesthood, new seminaries, new universities, and the charismatic or Pentecostal church, all of which are in opposition to orthodoxy and to the all time Magisterium.

This reform, since it has issued from Liberalism and Modernism, entirely is corrupt. It comes from heresy and results in heresy, even if all its acts are not formally heretical. It is thus impossible for any faithful Catholic who is aware of these things to adopt this reform, or to submit to it in any way at all. To ensure our salvation, the only attitude of fidelity to the Church and to Catholic doctrine, is a categorical refusal to accept the reform.

It is for this reason that, without any rebellion, bitterness or resentment, we pursue our work of the formation of priests under the star of all times Magisterium, in the conviction that we can thus do no greater service to the holy Catholic Church, to the Sovereign Pontiff, and to future generations….”

My dear brethren, let us give thanks to Our Lord Jesus Christ, Lord of Lords and King of Kings, Who allows us to meet here once again at Avrillé to participate together in this ceremony of Tonsure and Minor Orders, which are ascending steps for the continuation of the Catholic Priesthood according to the Traditional Roman Rite of Ordination, as Archbishop Lefebvre has transmitted to us the Deposit of the Faith so that we should continue to do likewise for future generations.

Dear Seminarians and Dominican Brothers, God willing, you might be future priests; and you, dear faithful, should pray for religious vocations to come out from your young families. Therefore, let’s summarize, as it seems to me, in two points these words “for future generations.”

1) The preservation of the Catholic Priesthood

2) The Royalty of Our Lord Jesus Christ professed by Episcopal Ministry

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1) The Catholic Priesthood

As Archbishop Lefebvre constantly insisted, the raison d’être for a Catholic priest is the Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and the continuation of His Cross on Calvary through the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The priest must necessarily live the precepts of the Gospel, namely, poverty-obedience-chastity through prayer and abnegation, in order to preserve his raison d’être. If a priest neglects the Cross of Jesus Christ, he is certainly losing the essential element for the eternal salvation of his soul and of many others.

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass should certainly keep up that grace which we have received at our baptism. When our godparents have said we renounce Satan, his works and allurements, the priest has also said to us “serva mandata; Keep the Commandments of God.” Then he put the white veil on our head, and in giving out a candle to us through the intermediary of our godparents he has said – “Keep intact the purity of your soul as this linen with which you are covered, and then you shall have eternal life.” We must therefore fulfill our baptismal promises so that we could enter in the Kingdom of heaven.

For those who have entered in religious life, they have pronounced their religious vows, engaging in a solemn way themselves even more than any faithful, devoting themselves not only to almighty God but also the whole Church. That’s why pronouncing their vows of religion, they have engaged themselves in a public and official way, acknowledged by the Church, practicing the vows of poverty, obedience and chastity. This is the raison d’être for a religious – he has made his profession to tend to perfection, and to strive for holiness.

And you, who are going to be tonsured – my dear Levites, as Archbishop Lefebvre used to called us – you are going to receive the cassock and the tonsure; but these two things are very distinct: One can receive the religious habit, yet without receiving Tonsure.

One enters into the clergy by the tonsure; this is the Tradition in the Catholic Church. In receiving the tonsure, there is already a promise to go to the Altar – to ascend to the altar. A Tonsured can be promoted by his superiors to receive Minor Orders, and in preparation to receive the Major Orders: a Sub-Deacon commits himself to his vow of chastity forever; a deacon approach closer to the altar by preaching, baptizing and giving holy communion; and then comes the priesthood – a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

As Saint Thomas Aquinas teaches, there are two signs which determine someone’s vocation, this is to say – the inclination of the person who wants to pursue a religious vocation, and the acceptation or calling from the bishop to receive step-by-step the holy Orders. As a matter of fact, many people are willing to follow their vocation but very few of them are promoted by the calling of the bishop.

To those who are receiving Minor Orders, the Bishop is about to warn you saying: “You must give example by your life; you must sanctify the faithful by the example of your life, not only by words, not only by performing your functions, but also by the example of your life.”

In fact, in every admonition he gives to the Order of Lector or Porter, as well as to the Order of Exorcist or Acolyte; the bishop reminds the exigency to engage oneself in following Our Lord Jesus Christ in order to perform the most important act, which Our Lord did – His sacrifice.

Doubtless to say that throughout the history of the church, all the disasters and misfortunes have come in general from the lukewarm clerics and religious. Why?

For clerics have befallen into sins of the flesh, or have chosen some comfort in sharing the world, or have indulged some Satan’s pride alike. Many of them have abandoned the royal way of the Holy Cross, which is scandal for the Jews and foolishness for the pagans…. Unfortunately, there are many religious souls practicing a double standard in life, in one hand a worldly private life and on the other a public tepid life.

What to do about that? The Archbishop reminds us once again that…

…This is not a human battle. We are in close fight with Satan. It is a struggle that demands all the supernatural forces which we need, in order to fight against him who wants to radically destroy the Church; he wanted to do so since Our Lord has born; and he wants to continue on abolishing and destroying the Mystical Body, wiping out His reign and all His institutions whatever they may be.

We have to be conscious of this dramatic, apocalyptic struggle in which we live, and not minimize it. To the extent of, if we minimize it, our eagerness in the battle grows less. We then become weaker and dare no more to proclaim the Truth….” (Archbishop June 29, 1987)

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2) The Royalty of Our Lord Jesus Christ professed by Episcopal ministry.

We have received the means to instruct formally with Catholic doctrine the future priests, in order to administer to them, the Sacrament of the Holy Orders according to Traditional Roman Rite. You well know that there can be no priest without a bishop. Thus, bishops by divine institution are shepherds of souls, directed for their eternal salvation through the means of the Sacred Magisterium, and of the legislative and judicial power. They are responsible to Christ for their divine commission. At their Episcopal consecration, the power of Order endows them in particular to sanctify souls by the administration of the sacrament of Confirmation and of the Holy Orders.

Indeed, Archbishop Lefebvre by consecrating bishops has formally continued the constitution of the Catholic Church in order to keep Tradition alive. In providing the Episcopal ministry descending in direct line from the Apostolic succession without doubt, the marks of One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church are being preserve through today’s crisis of the Faith and of the world.

More than ever, there is a major conflict between Faith and authority. The normal and ordinary situation of the Catholic Church certainly is that the pope, bishops and priests must lead an orientation according to the Catholic tenets of our Faith, which have divinely revealed to us and are exteriorly commissioned to the hierarchy, or at least they should not contradict them. At the contrary, we are in the deepest of an extraordinary crisis within the Church. It is evident for us that the New Evangelization of today’s Pope, coming as consequence of the Vatican II reforms, is diametrical opposed to the Catholic Magisterium of all time; it is a “New Gospel,” which Saint Paul has warned us to let it be an ANATHEMA!

In fact, last few years papal interventions, which are leading the dramatic crisis to desecrate the Catholic Faith, such interventions have rejected the Royalty of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Thus, the Roman authorities have proclaimed Liberalism as the ruling principle of Religious Liberty in individual consciences and in public laws of institutions and Governments. The Vatican II document on Religious Liberty declares that no Government of any Country is competent in religious matter; therefore they cannot decide what religion is true, or what religion is false. State Laws must consequently let all religious errors – whatever they are – be spread out in their autonomous social domain, because Man is free to have his own Religion, with his own moral decisions and own ways of worship, including those ones done against nature.

For Tradition, Jesus Christ is true God and true Man, as well as a true King in all domains – yesterday, today and forever. Pontius Pilate asked to him, then are you a King? Yes, yourself have said: I am a King, for that I have born. I have come to the world in order to give testimony of the Truth…

So, instead of preaching about the Royalty of our Lord Jesus Christ the modern Roman authorities have constantly uncrowned and humiliated our King of Kings and our Lord of Lords. In the same token a large number of Traditional priests, including bishops, have been compromising the Universal Kingship of Our Lord by progressive public omission and by silent commission. It is precisely what Liberalism has silently engaged in the SSPX leadership in working for an agreement with today’s Roman authorities, promoters of Pope Francis New Evangelization. Here is a mystery of iniquity!

That’s why we should remind ourselves these words of the Archbishop Lefebvre:

It is for this reason that, without any rebellion, bitterness or resentment, we pursue our work of the formation of priests under the star of all times Magisterium, in the conviction that we can thus do no greater service to the holy Catholic Church, to the Sovereign Pontiff, and to future generations….”

With integrity and fidelity to the Traditional doctrines and practices of the Catholic Church, we resist the “novelties” preached since the Second Vatican Council, those novelties were wanted, both encouraged and imposed by the highest Roman authorities. Even though, we believe against any human appearance, and hope against any human hope, that Tradition must restore all things in Christ, and rather sooner than later, today’s chaos will go away, because the gates of Hell will not prevail against the Church.

There is no question for us of separating ourselves from Rome, either of putting ourselves under any foreign government, or of establishing a sort of parallel church as the Bishops of Palmar of Troya [Bp. Din-Thuc consecrations line] have done in Spain. They have even elected a pope, have formed a college of cardinals… It is out of the question for us to do such things. Far from us to be this miserable thought of separating ourselves from Rome! (Archbishop June 30, 1988)

God alone knows how far this apostasy can go. Indeed, we have some duties of state to keep up, as Our Lady of Fatima told us to do, if we want to remain Catholic and if we want to continue the Church. Within the Episcopal ministry, we have serious obligations urging us, primarily, to multiply the priests who believe in Our Lord Jesus Christ, and in His royalty, and in His Social Kingship according to the doctrine of the Church.

After thirty years of the 1988 Episcopal Consecrations, we really appreciate Archbishop Lefebvre’s operation survival in keeping the mark of Apostolicity in the Holy Catholic Church, conferring Episcopal consecrations with legitimate validity for the continuation of the Apostolic Traditions.

Let’s us renew our consecration to the Mother of God, as Saint Cyril of Alexandria called her Theotokos, preaching that all Our Lady’s privileges derive from her Maternity. She can only have perfect faith in the divinity of her Divine Son. And we should ask from Our Lord such faith that she had in Her King and our King, in Her Lord and Our Lord. Therefore, we should believe the incredible so that we could do even the impossible – in restoring all things in Christ.

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Viva Cristo Rey!