Tag Archives: Mother 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

Advertisements

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