Tag Archives: Mary

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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Death of a Luminary: Mother Angelica

9 Apr

Mother Angelica, Founder of world`s largest religious broadcasting network EWTN passed away on March 27th 2016. She was 92 years old.29angelica-web1-superJumbo

Birth and Early Life:
Mother Angelica was born April 20, 1923, as Rita Rizzo in an Italian neighborhood in Canton, Ohio. She was the only child of John and Mae Helen Rizzo . Her father, a tailor by trade, abandoned the family when Rizzo was very young and her parents divorced in 1929. Her mother maintained full custody of her but struggled with chronic depression and poverty.

Looking back upon this time in her life, Mother Angelica described herself and her mother as being “like a pair of refugees. We were poor, hungry, and barely surviving on odd jobs before Mother learned the dry cleaning business as an apprentice to a Jewish tailor in our area. Even then, we pinched pennies just to keep food on the table.” By the age of 16, Rizzo realized that her mother’s dry-cleaning job was a dead-end; through Rizzo’s efforts, her mother gained a better job that provided some relief from their dire poverty. “We lived in rat-infested apartments — our life was so hard. I was interested in survival so I didn’t do well in school. It’s hard when you’re hungry and cold to study,” she recalled in 1987.

She spent much of her early life plagued by an array of stomach ailments. In 1943, she claimed to have been cured by a Catholic faith healer, signaling the beginning of her interest in a religious vocation, according to a 2007 biography written by Mr. Arroyo, “Mother Angelica: The Remarkable Story of a Nun, Her Nerve, and a Network of Miracles.”

In 1944, she joined her religious order and professed her solemn vows in Canton in 1953 as Sister Mary Angelica of the Annunciation, of the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration, a contemplative order of Franciscan nuns in Canton. Another physical ailment — a spinal injury suffered in a fall, followed by two years of chronic pain — led her to promise to build a new monastery if cured. Her prayers answered, she set off in 1962 with four other sisters of her order to start Our Lady of the Angels Monastery in Irondale, a place with almost no Catholics.

There, Mother Angelica began writing booklets and recording audio cassettes to introduce Catholicism to her new neighbors. When a local television station gave her a half-hour of airtime, her on-camera charisma attracted Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network, which began airing her show on its satellite network. She said these appearances made her aware of the tremendous influence television has in spreading messages.

In an interview with The New York Times in 1989, Mother Angelica described how a visit to a television studio in Chicago ignited her entrepreneurial drive, and led to the birth of her worldwide enterprise. “I walked in, and it was just a little studio, and I remember standing in the doorway and thinking, it doesn’t take much to reach the masses,” she said. “I just stood there and said to the Lord, ‘Lord, I’ve got to have one of these.’”

With the support of her religious community, Mother Angelica began consulting with media experts about starting her own TV station, hatching the idea of EWTN. She was granted a license by the Federal Communications Commission, and EWTN went on the air in August 1981.She began with $200 and little knowledge about TV production. The operation started in a building meant to be a garage on the grounds of the Our Lady of the Angels Monastery she headed in the Irondale suburb of Birmingham. Originally its daily programming of several hours was carried by three cable systems.

In 1992, Mother Angelica launched the short-wave EWTN Global Catholic Radio which broadcasts in English and Spanish. In 1996, EWTN started a satellite-delivered AM/FM radio network with programming also available for rebroadcast by local stations.

In 1998, Mother Angelica stepped down as the head of EWTN and Deacon Steltemeier was appointed chairman and CEO. He died in 2013.

Awards & Recognition:
In 2009, Pope Benedict XVI awarded the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Cross to her and Deacon Bill Steltemeier, then-chairman of EWTN’s board of governors, for distinguished service to the church. The cross, whose name is Latin for “for the church and the pope,” is the highest papal honor that can be conferred on laypeople and clergy.Because of ill-health, Mother Angelica received the award in her private quarters. But in the public ceremony, Bishop Robert J. Baker of Birmingham said “Mother Angelica’s effort has been at the vanguard of the new evangelization and has had a great impact on our world.”

A 1995 profile in Time magazine called her “an improbable superstar of religious broadcasting and arguably the most influential Roman Catholic woman in America.”

Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia, a member of the network’s board of governors, said in its statement that Mother Angelica “succeeded at a task the nation’s bishops themselves couldn’t achieve.”

Mother Angelica’s outspokenness on church issues — her pet peeves were gender-neutral language in the liturgy and a change allowing girls to become altar servers — made her both friends and enemies among the Catholic faithful.

Quotes:
“Faith is having one foot on the ground and the other up in the air, waiting for the Lord to put the ground under it”

“We have lost the theology of risk and replaced it with a theology of assurance” that says “you have to know what’s going to happen before you embark on something new”

To Be With Christ

7 Feb

What a joy it is to be with Christ,
Full of mercy and compassion is he,
What a privilege to live for him,
Heaven is the reward we get

What a fame to die for him,
Eternity awaits with all its pleasures,
What an honor to be stripped of all goods,
Like St. Francis of Assisi I shall live.

What a pleasure if I shall be stoned to death,
Like St. Stephan I shall accept,
What a joy if I shall be thrown into sea,
Like Jonah I shall believe.

What if everything I own corrodes,
I shall remember from dust I come,
Whatever happens when happens,
My heart shall praise the Lord

References: By Thesupermat (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

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

Lovely Lady Dressed in Blue

27 Feb

Lovely Lady dressed in blue

Blessed Virgin Mary

Blessed Virgin Mary

Teach me how to pray!
God was just your little boy,
Tell me what to say!

Did you lift Him up, sometimes,
Gently on your knee?
Did you sing to Him the way
Mother does to me?

Did you hold His hand at night?
Did you ever try
Telling stories of the world?
O! And did He cry?

Do you really think He cares
If I tell Him things
Little things that happen? And
Do the Angels’ wings

Make a noise? And can He hear
Me if I speak low?
Does He understand me now?
Tell me, for you know.

Lovely Lady dressed in blue
Teach me how to pray!
God was just your little boy,
And you know the way.

Author: Mary Dixon Thayer

Popularized by: Archbishop Fulton Sheen