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I Dare You

9 Sep

“Have you the courage to submit yourself to a very simple and innocent test? Only to wear a little something I will give you; look, it is a medal of the Blessed Virgin. It seems very ridiculous, does it not? But, I assure you, I attach great value and efficacy to this little medal. [Also] you must say every night and morning the Memorare, a very short and very efficacious prayer which St. Bernard addressed to the Blessed Virgin Mary.” dared Theodore de Bussieres to Alphonse Ratisbonne a staunch Aethist and Anti-Catholic after a heated discussion about Catholicism. Ratisbonne agreed to wear the Miraculous Medal out of Dare and to say the Memorare. He wanted to prove that Catholicism was a ridiculous religion.

Ratisbonne lived up to his side of the bargain, finding it easy to recite the Memorare. On 20th January 1842 at the behest of Theodore de Bussieres, he accompanied him to the Church of St. Andrea delle Fratte to make arrangements for the funeral of a friend of Theodore in Rome. When Ratisbonne entered the church it appeared to be engulfed in a marvellous light. He looked to an altar from where the light was coming and saw the Virgin Mary, appearing as she did on the Miraculous Medal and in his own words  “The Church seemed to disappear, or rather I should say, O my God, I saw one thing alone! No human words can even try to convey what is beyond expression. When M. de Bussieres returned, I was in tears and unable to answer questions. I seized the medal which was on my breast and kissed the image of the Virgin. Oh! I have seen Her! I have seen Her! I was not able to say more. I felt within me something so solemn and sacred as to require me to ask for a priest.” Ratisbonne left the church in tears, clutching his Miraculous Medal. Several days later received into the Catholic Church.

Background
Alphonse Ratisbonne was born in France on May 1, 1814, to a wealthy Jewish family. His brother Theodar Ratisbonne converted to Catholicism in 1827 and went on to become a Catholic priest. This made Alphonse furious and in his own words “When my brother became a Catholic, and a priest, I persecuted him with a more unrelenting fury than any other member of my family. We were completely sundered; I hated him with a virulent hatred, though he had fully pardoned me.” Ratisbonne started hating Catholics in general and gradually in stopped believing in God. In his words “made me believe all I heard of the fanaticism of the Catholics, and I held them accordingly in great horror.”

After studying law at Paris he became a member of his uncle’s famous banking firm, and in 1841 betrothed to the daughter of his oldest brother. As she was only sixteen years old, the marriage postponed, and Ratisbonne entered upon a pleasure trip to the Orient. Though nominally a Jew, he was a scoffer at religion, and, after his brother Theodor conversion, a rabid enemy of everything Catholic. On his intended tour to the Orient, he came to Rome, where One day when visiting his friend Ratisbonne met a Catholic convert, Theodore de Bussieres, who knew Ratisbonne’s priest-brother. While this made Ratisbonne hate the man, he enjoyed conversing with him because of his knowledge.

After his conversion to the Catholic faith and return to Paris his betrothed shocked and rejected him and his new religion. Ratisbonne then entered the Jesuits and ordained a priest in 1847. He assisted his brother, Theodor, in founding the Sisterhood of Our Lady of Sion in 1843, and entered the Society of Jesus. Desirous, however, to devote himself entirely to convert Jews, he left the society with the consent of Pius IX, transplanted the Sisters of Sion to Jerusalem in 1855, and built for them in 1856 the large Convent of Ecce Homo with a school and an orphanage for girls. In 1860 he erected the Convent of St. John on the mountain at Ain Karim, together with a church and another orphanage for girls. Alphonse laboured here till his death on May 6, 1884, and buried in the cemetery of the convent.

The Memorare:
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided.Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me.
Amen.

References: https://aleteia.org/2017/08/14/how-a-radical-atheist-became-a-catholic-priest/
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12659a.htm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marie-Alphonse_Ratisbonne
http://www.philomena.org/miraculousmedal.asp

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The Miracle of the Sun

3 Jun

The Miracle of the Sun still continues to defy science till date. Witnessed by around 30,000 to 40,000 people in Cova Da Iria on October 13, 1917, is the most undisputed of all the miracles confirmed by the Catholic Church. Also this miracle was only a sign about the prophecies made by the apparitions of Mother Mary to the three shepherd children Jacinta, Fransico Marto and Lucia dos Santos. Catholics have regarded Mary as a “miracle worker” for centuries, and this view has continued into the 21st century. So, is it fake or a made up story? Let`s look at the accounts of people who actually were present Catholics & Anit-Catholics alike.

“The sun, at one moment surrounded with scarlet flame, at another aureoled in yellow and deep purple, seemed to be in an exceedingly swift and whirling movement, at times appearing to be loosened from the sky and to be approaching the earth, strongly radiating heat.” Dr Domingos Pinto Coelho, writing for the Catholic newspaper Ordem.

“Engineers that have studied the case reckoned that an incredible amount of energy would have been necessary to dry up those pools of water that had formed on the field in a few minutes as it was reported by witnesses. The prediction of an unspecified “miracle”, the abrupt beginning and end of the event, the varied religious backgrounds of the observers, the sheer numbers of people present, reports of sightings by people up to 18 kilometres (11 mi) away, and the lack of any known scientific causative factor make a mass hallucination or mass hysteria unlikely. Given the indubitable reference to God and the general context of the story, it seems that we must attribute to Him alone the most obvious and colossal miracle of history.” De Marchi

“From the road, where the vehicles were parked and where hundreds of people who had not dared to brave the mud were congregated, one could see the immense multitude turn toward the sun, which appeared free from clouds and in its zenith. It looked like a plaque of dull silver, and it was possible to look at it without the least discomfort. It might have been an eclipse which was taking place. But at that moment a great shout went up, and one could hear the spectators nearest at hand shouting: “A miracle! A miracle!”

Before the astonished eyes of the crowd, whose aspect was biblical as they stood bareheaded, eagerly searching the sky, the sun trembled, made sudden incredible movements outside all cosmic laws—the sun “danced” according to the typical expression of the people.

Standing at the step of an omnibus was an old man. With his face turned to the sun, he recited the Credo in a loud voice. I asked who he was and was told Senhor Joao da Cunha Vasconcelos. I saw him afterwards going up to those around him who still had their hats on, and vehemently imploring them to uncover before such an extraordinary demonstration of the existence of God.

Identical scenes were repeated elsewhere, and in one place a woman cried out: “How terrible! There are even men who do not uncover before such a stupendous miracle!”

People then began to ask each other what they had seen. The great majority admitted to having seen the trembling and the dancing of the sun; others affirmed that they saw the face of the Blessed Virgin; others, again, swore that the sun whirled on itself like a giant Catherine wheel and that it lowered itself to the earth as if to burn it in its rays. Some said they saw it change colours successively….” O Seculo (a pro-government, anti-clerical, Lisbon paper)

“… The silver sun, enveloped in the same gauzy grey light, was seen to whirl and turn in the circle of broken clouds … The light turned a beautiful blue, as if it had come through the stained-glass windows of a cathedral, and spread itself over the people who knelt with outstretched hands … people wept and prayed with uncovered heads, in the presence of a miracle they had awaited. The seconds seemed like hours, so vivid were they.” A reporter for the Lisbon newspaper O Dia.

“We made our arrangements and went in three motor cars on the early morning of the 13th. There was a thick mist, and the car which went in front mistook the way so that we were all lost for a time and only arrived at the Cova da Iria at midday by the sun. It was absolutely full of people, but for my part, I felt devoid of any religious feeling. When Lucia called out: “Look at the sun!” the whole multitude repeated: “Attention to the sun!” It was a day of incessant drizzle but a few moments before the miracle it stopped raining. I can hardly find words to describe what followed. The sun began to move, and at a certain moment appeared to be detached from the sky and about to hurtle upon us like a wheel of flame. My wife—we had been married only a short time — fainted, and I was too upset to attend to her, and my brother-in-law law, Joao Vassalo, supported her on his arm. I fell on my knees, oblivious of everything, and when I got up I don’t know what I said. I think I began to cry out like the others. An old man with a white beard began to attack the atheists aloud and challenged them to say whether or not something supernatural had occurred.” Senhor Alfredo da Silva Santos (Lisbon)

“The sun’s disc did not remain immobile. This was not the sparkling of a heavenly body, for it spun round on itself in a mad whirl when suddenly a clamour was heard from all the people. The sun, whirling, seemed to loosen itself from the firmament and advance threateningly upon the earth as if to crush us with its huge fiery weight. The sensation during those moments was terrible.” —De Marchi attributes this description to Dr. Almeida Garrett, Professor of Natural Sciences at Coimbra University.[29] Theologian Father Stanley L. Jaki wrote that it was actually given by Dr José Almeida Garrett, a young lawyer, and is often mistakenly attributed to his father, a professor of natural sciences at the University of Coimbra,[17] named Dr. Gonçalo de Almeida Garrett.

“As if like a bolt from the blue, the clouds were wrenched apart, and the sun at its zenith appeared in all its splendour. It began to revolve vertiginously on its axis, like the most magnificent Firewheel that could be imagined, taking on all the colours of the rainbow and sending forth multicoloured flashes of light, producing the most astounding effect. This sublime and incomparable spectacle, which was repeated three distinct times, lasted for about ten minutes. The immense multitude, overcome by the evidence of such a tremendous prodigy, threw themselves on their knees.”―Dr. Manuel Formigão, a professor at the seminary at Santarém, and a priest.

“I feel incapable of describing what I saw. I looked fixedly at the sun, which seemed pale and did not hurt my eyes. Looking like a ball of snow, revolving on itself, it suddenly seemed to come down in a zig-zag, menacing the earth. Terrified, I ran and hid myself among the people, who were weeping and expecting the end of the world at any moment.”—Rev. Joaquim Lourenço, describing his boyhood experience in Alburitel, eighteen kilometres from Fátima

“On that day of October 13, 1917, without remembering the predictions of the children, I was enchanted by a remarkable spectacle in the sky of a kind I had never seen before. I saw it from this veranda …”—Portuguese poet Afonso Lopes Vieira

The event was declared of “supernatural character” by the Catholic Church in 1930. The event is seen as the fulfilment of a promise by Mary, mother of Jesus to the shepherd children she appeared to several times before October 13, 1917. According to the children’s accounts, Mary, referred to as the Lady of Fátima, promised them she would perform a miracle to show people they were telling the truth, and so caused the Sun to make violent movements in the sky.

Also as a conclusion, all the prophecies made by Mary in the apparitions to the three shepherd children have come true or ongoing.

“My God, I believe, I adore, I hope, and I love you. I ask pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love you.”

 

 

 

 

To a Little Cat

20 Feb

Full of zeal it jumps around,IMG_1309
Mesmerized by the beautiful butterflies that surround,
The honey bee with it`s colorful hues,
The fallen Areca Nut with wonderful contours

The little pussy cat has just opened its eyes,
Excited by the green nature around it hops and jumps,
It tries to grab everything that`s colorful,
The little flowers to fallen leaves of foliage plentiful

Lionel comes seeing his pussy cat playing,
Equally joyful is he like the cat at gaming,
God of small things, pleasure infinite,
When he to will have fun with pussy finite

He picks a palms twig and holds it up,
The pussy jumps it finally to tiredness it succumbs,
Joy of everyone at home,
The little cat has finally come

Common man`s fate

30 Jan

Laxman_with_common_man
All trials and troubles he bore without fuming and fretting,
All financial miseries with happiness,
Never did he waste a single instant,
Simple man was he full of joyousness

His youth spent in easing food and shelter for his children,
He wasted his life for their  delights
Keeping nothing for himself of any man`s gem,
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication he naturalized

He had time for God and family,
Even in his old age he sang with a divine voice,
He spent his time doing handicrafts and things auxiliary,
Never did he check his bank correspondence

Was he a junk, was he a sceptic,
Was he a failure in worlds sight,
Was he a hero in God`s metric,
Common man was he by right

The world honors men with richness,
Seldom do we check their moral wellness,
But divine majesty has no favorites,
We are honored based on our deeds and goodness

References: “Laxman with common man” by RKL-Info – Personal Collection. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Laxman_with_common_man.jpg#/media/File:Laxman_with_common_man.jpg

 

To a Little Myna

6 Jun

“Common Mynah on a tree.” by Vimal Ram S – Own work

Little Myna on a tree,
With sweet chirps of wee,
From one tone to another it changes it tee,
As if part of an orchestra of infinite zee

It`s unaware that its melodies fill the onlookers with glee,
Many wonder of its magical voice spree,
With yellow mask around its eyes of bee,
It moves around with infinite gee

In various colors and looks you fee,
Common Brown Myna to colorful see,
Inspiration of a singer lee,
Your constant singing spreads melodies of glee

Then I spot three near a restaurant pre,
Hunting for food from leftover ghee,
Filling each others beak as with angelic gee,
Refilling their belly with God’s given Manna free

Our Lady of Fatima

16 May

The World`s first Love it is,Our Lady of Fatima
Crafted by God himself,
Any Women of Immaculate Conception,
He chose as Mother to his only Son for Earthly Inception.

The Angel of the most high appears to her,
Blessed are though among Women it tells her,
Not knowing the meaning of his words,
She begins to ponder in her heart the mystery of redemption.

Bright moon shining in the darkness,
From now all nations will call thee blessed,
The world`s first Love indeed it is,
God`s manifestation of Divine Love

Lovely Lady is she,
Full of compassion for poor sinners,
interceding for us tirelessly,
In front of God of infinite Mercy

The worlds first love is a beautiful book written by Archbishop Fulton J Sheen, available to read here

Laughing Dove

9 May

Laughing Dove, laughing all the way,
R0laughing-dovetund head, pink feathers, lovely beak,
Hu hu hoo you laugh throughout,
Suprised by your laughter the pigeons have grown envious of your ways.

Your frail constitution gives advantage to the Pigeons,
They chase you while you are munching the grains,
But you seldom care the mighty Pigeons and claim your share,
Eating merely on the leftover grains you gain strength for the day.

In various forms and colors you exists everywhere,
On high rooftops to low grasslands your laughter spreads throughout,
From wandering ships to dense forest you are a surprise visitor,
Always in pursuit of happiness and laughter you fly throughout.

Pleasure of twitchers life, Oh lovely Dove,
Because of your laughter I am convinced of God`s ultimate providence,
My God, I believe, I adore, I hope, and I love You.
I ask pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope, and do not love You.