Saturday, April 1, 2017

ST. VINCENT FERRER


A famous saint that made thousands of miracles and the most gifted preacher of his time. Most often he would give his sermons outdoors because no church could accommodate the number of people who wanted to hear him speak about God's love. No worry if you would be far from him because you could hear him as clear as he would just be a stone throw away from you.

St. Vincent Ferrer was born on January 23, 1350 at Valencia, in Spain. It is said that his mother Constance did not experience pain during her pregnancy and delivery. His father had a prophetic dream in which an unknown Dominican preacher appeared to him and told him that he would have a son whose fame would be world-renowned. Also, a poor blind woman predicted that the child Constance bore within her was an "angel who would one day restore her sight" – which he did years later. His name was taken from St. Vincent Martyr, the patron saint of Valencia.

St. Vincent brought with him into the world a happy disposition for learning and piety, which improved from his cradle by study and a good education. In his childhood he rigorously fasted every Wednesday and Friday. The passion of Christ was always the object of his most tender devotion. The Blessed Virgin he ever honored as his spiritual mother.

Vincent is a lover of the poor. He treated them with the greatest affection and charity which caused his parents to make him dispenser of their bountiful alms.

The saint was honored to have a gift of tongues. Preaching on his own, he was understood by men of different languages, which is affirmed by Lanzano, who says that Greek, Germans, Sardes, Hungarians, and people of other nations declared they understood every word he spoke, though he preached in Latin or his mother tongue, as spoken at Valencia.

However far away people might be, everyone heard every syllable. He could make himself heard literally about three miles away, when it was of importance that he should be heard.

He also worked many wonders through the Sign of the Cross and through the Holy Name of Jesus. He warned lazy Christians who sloopily made a circular sign of the Cross that they were using a sign of the Devil instead!

The Moorish king had heard him; the multitude of his miracles was startling, and for a Muslim, upsetting. He could not get Vincent out of his head. Finally he decided he must see the man who worked the miracles. He sent for him. The saint arrives lame from a great sore in the leg and rode on his motheaten old donkey through all the splendors of the Alhambra grounds under the fixed stare of the marble lions. The king wanted to hear him preach. That in itself was a revolution. They murmured, they listened, and doubtless they understood though he spoke no Arabic. For, after three sermons, eight thousand Moors asked for Baptism. Some of the nobles, fearing the total subversion of their religion, obliged the king to dismiss him.

Aside from the Moors, the saint also converted about twenty-five thousand Jews.

Vincent would often preach on the roof of a house surrounded by trees. One day he stopped suddenly in his sermon. The people were startled. "Do not be shocked by this interval," he said, "I must wait upon grace." As the crowd began to laugh, a party of Jews were seen approaching: Grace had conquered them. Of sixteen rabbis, fourteen were converted. How he loved these new children of his; he loved to remind Christians who too readily forgot the fact that Jesus and Mary were of the Jewish race.

The people had recourse to him in every difficulty. The smallest villages fought to have him. In one place they took his hat, which assured pregnant women of a safe and easy delivery; in others, drove away a cloud of grasshoppers and a whole army of weevils with holy water. Once he came to the point of utter exhaustion. He could go no further and heaven came to his aid. In the very heat of a wild lonely forest, an excellent hotel appeared suddenly from nowhere to shelter him; leaving it the next day, he happened to forget his hat. One of the penitents went back to the inn - the hat was hanging on the branch of the tree at the very spot where the inn had stood.

Master Vincent came one time to the bedside of a sinner, to assist him in his last agony. The sinner clung to the saint; he felt that his tardy remorse, his imperfect contrition, his absence of penance, were insufficient to save him unless St. Vincent threw the whole of himself into the scale. He begged Vincent to make over to him a good share of the treasures of grace he had compiled. The saint had pity on his despair. He said: "I give God all my merits to be applied to you."  "Is that true?" The dyng man was distrustful. He did not know that what a saint says is definite. "Then write it down for me on a slip of a paper." The saint cheerfully did what he was asked and the man died clutching his precious document. Logically, Vincent had nothing left - he must begin to pile up another lot of graces to himself. But a few days later, while he was preaching, a paper whirled in the air above the heads of the crowd, like a dead leaf blown along by the wind. Finally it settled on the preacher's cloak. I need not tell you what it was. God had decided to pay for the sinner's salvation in a different coin. He returned Vincent his merits along with his check. For you never lose by the gift of one's self unless you only half give it.


At Pampeluna, they had just condemned an innocent man to death. Vincent pleaded for him in vain. As he was being led to the scaffold, they passed a corpse being taken to burial on a stretcher. Vincent suddenly addressed the corpse: "You who have no longer anything to gain by lying, is this man guilty?" Answer me!" The dead man sat up and affirmed, "He is not." Then Vincent, to reward him for that service, offered him back the burden of earthly life. "No, Father," he replied, "for I am assured of salvation." And he went off to sleep again and was carried to the cemetery.

Another marvelous episode. It happened in Gerona. In the thick of the crowd stood a man somber, glowering, rage stamped on every feature. Near him was his wife with an infant in her arms, still at the breast. The man devoured by a frenzy jealousy. Brother Vincent saw him, saw what fire burned in him, and preached upon jealousy. Suddenly he turned to the man. "You doubt your wife's faithfulness, do you not? You think this child is not yours? Well, watch!" Then he cried in a great voice to the child: "Embrace your father!" The infant stirred, stood upright, turned towards the man and held out his arms. And thus was the man cured and the family peace restored.

St. Vincent touch each heart at the point he chose, the point that charity suggested to him, and invariably at the precise moment. He knew for example that a shepherd in the heart of the mountains had so great confidence in him that he came to hear him, leaving his flock, only staying to draw a circle round them with his staff -- counting on the saint to see that the sheep did not go out of the circle or the wolves come into it. Vincent knew it, whether he had guessed it or read it in the man's eyes; or perhaps God revealed to him the poor shepherd's naive arrangement and let him know that He meant to grant his prayer. At any rate, Vincent told him before all the crowd: Your sheep are safe; God is watching over them." Similarly, we are told that mothers did not hesitate to leave their babies to come to his sermons. They confided the infants to the angels -- as Vincent advised them to. He doubted nothing, this man --- God least of all.

Multitudes of miracles did St. Vincent Ferrer which would make us tired of reading and hearing. It's like almost every move he makes were miracles. No doubt he is one Saint whom we could pray for especially for our dire needs.

Let us pray :

ST. VINCENT FERRER PRAY FOR US!

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Related links :  ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI, ST.PEDRO CALUNGSOD, ST. LORENZO RUIZ,  
                         ST. JOHN VIANNEY, ST. PERPETUA AND FELICITY,
 

Sunday, August 31, 2014

PRAYER FOR CHINA AND THE PHILIPPINES

 

      Most Blessed Virgin Mary, amid the crisis brought about by the territorial claims of China, we come to your presence seeking your queenly protection and motherly help. We pray for peace and the safety of the Philippines,   as we keep in mind the spiritual welfare of those who advance their territorial claims to the detriment of the security of our country.

     May the love of your Maternal Heart attract the Chinese people to your Son, Jesus. May your Immaculate Heart be the center from which the rays of the light and love for the Sacred Heart will radiate forth throughout China, becoming for them the unquenchable fountain from which the living water of the Divine Mercy will flow. Through your intercession, may the Lord grace the Chinese people with faith, hope and love, that by your maternal mediation of grace, the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit will be worshipped and glorified in that vast expanse of land. (Adapted from a message of Jesus to Sister Lucy of Fatima as documented in a letter of the Seer to the Bishop of Gurza, May 27, 1943)

    Remember o most Virgin that the Philippines is your beloved "Pueblo Amante de Maria" and that we belong to you absolutely, totally, always and forever. We are all yours and all that we have is yours, O most loving Jesus through Mary, Mediatrix of All Grace.

Imprimatur: Ricardo Cardinal Vidal - June 19


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MARY Mediatirx of All Grace prophesied on October 17, 1949, to Teresita Castillo that China wants to destroy the world including the Philippines.

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Cardinal Ricardo J. Vidal, archbishop emeritus of Cebu has written to the Philippine bishops that on October 17, 1949, Mary Mediatix of All Graces has told Teresita Castillo; "Pray hard for China's dream is to invade the world. The Philppines is one of it's favorites. Money is the evil force that will lead the people of the world to destruction."

Castillo was a young Carmelite nun then in Lipa City. And the incident was known as the Lipa Apparitions. Before becoming Cebu Patriarch, Vidal was Lipa archbishop. Vidal said the last part of the message "gives us a reason to be hopefull." It read:

"Prayer. Sacrifices, self-denials and the daily recitation of the Holy Rosary will soften the heart of my Son as I said before."

It is thus to the Queen of Prophets under her title of Mediatrix of All Grace to whom we will have recourse in order to avert the buildup of tension and to check the territorial ambitions of this Asian superpower. It is by following this path of prayer and penance sounded out in Fatima and reiterated at Lipa that our beloved Philippines will be spared the scourge of war and the domination of a communist giant.

The Philippines cannot by any stretch of imagination equal or overtake China in economic growth or prevail in a military confrontation. China can bring to bear its huge financial, material and human resources, as well as its advanced military capability in any struggle with a smaller and poorer country like the Philippines with its ill-equipped armed forces. The first and only line of defense the Philippines has is the mantle of protection, provided by the Blessed Virgin Mary. Only She can help us! To whom then shall we go?

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From an article of Josephine Darang. A photocopy of it was given to me by a friend.

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These are one of the rose petals that one day rained a place in Lipa City, Philippines.






Visit: http://www.christusrex.org/www1/apparitions/pr00013.htm

Sunday, November 3, 2013

PRAYER OF ST. GERTRUDE THE GREAT



A prayer which would  release 1,000 souls from purgatory each time it is said. The prayer was later extended to include living sinners as well. The approval and recommendation below does NOT include this extension.

       Eternal Father I offer Thee the most precious blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the masses said throughout the world today, for all the Holy Souls in purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinner in the universal church, those in my own home and within my family. 

Amen.

 
 

 

 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

St. Francis of Assisi



Saint Francis of Assisi is popularly known as the Patron Saint of animals and the environment as well. His feast day is on October 4. In this time many animals are brought to church to be blessed by priest.

St. Francis was born Giovanni di Pietro di Bernardone but nicknamed Francsco "the Frenchman" by his father, Pietro di Bernardone, a prosperous silk merchant, which made him belong to a rich family. He went to school for only a few years, sufficient enough for acquiring the skills a cloth merchant needed. As a teen-ager, he belonged to a gang of rowdies from rich Assisi families who, of a night, would eat a fine dinner, get drunk, and commit every kind of debauchery. Francis, a high-spirited boy, was their leader and paid the bills, which made him popular

As a youth, Francesco was also a devotee of troubadours and was fascinated with all things Transalpine. Although many hagiographers remark about his bright clothing, rich friends, and love of pleasures, his displays of disillusionment toward the world that surrounded him came fairly early in his life, as is shown in the "story of the beggar." In this account, he was selling cloth and velvet in the marketplace on behalf of his father when a beggar came to him and asked for alms. When a business deal was finished, Francis abandoned his wares and ran after the beggar. When he found him, Francis gave the man everything he had in his pockets. His friends quickly chided and mocked him for his act of charity. When he got home, his father scolded him in rage.

Francis’s world was filled with violence—between the papacy and the Holy Roman Empire, between Assisi and other towns, and, in the town itself, between the merchant class and the local nobility.  In 1202, around the age of twenty-one, he himself went to war, in a battle between Assisi and Perugia. He was apparently glad to go. He got to wear fine clothes and ride an excellent horse. But Assisi was soon defeated, and Francis spent a year in a dank prison, with rats, before his father was able to ransom him.
Upon his return to Assisi in 1203, Francis returned to his carefree life and in 1204, a serious illness led to a spiritual crisis. In 1205, Francis left for Puglia to enlist in the army of the Count of Brienne. A strange vision made him return to Assisi, deepening his ecclesiastical awakening.

It was believed that in prison the change in Francis began. As his friends noticed, he had lost heart for revelry. He began to avoid the sports and the feasts of his former companions. In response, they asked him laughingly whether he was thinking of marrying, to which he answered, "yes, a fairer bride than any of you have ever seen," meaning his "Lady Poverty". He spent much time in lonely places, asking God for enlightenment. He took to nursing lepers, the most repulsive victims in the lazar houses near Assisi.

After a pilgrimage to Rome, where he joined the poor in begging at the doors of the churches, he said he had a mystical vision of Jesus Christ in the country chapel of San Damiano, just outside of Assisi, in which the Icon of Christ Crucified said to him, "Francis, Francis, go and repair My house which, as you can see, is falling into ruins." He took this to mean the ruined church in which he was presently praying,
 and so he sold some cloth from his father's store to assist the priest there for this purpose.

His father, Pietro, highly indignant, attempted to change his mind, first with threats and then with beatings. In the midst of legal proceedings before the Bishop of Assisi, Francis renounced his father and his patrimony, he stripped naked in public, placed his clothes at his father’s feet, and said that from then on God, not Pietro di Bernardone, would be his father

For the next couple of months he lived as a beggar in the region of Assisi. Returning to the countryside around the town for two years, he embraced the life of a penitent, during which he restored several ruined chapels in the countryside around Assisi, among them the Porziuncola, the little chapel of St. Mary of the Angels just outside the town, which later became his favorite abode, spent whole days there, praying. Finally, he began sleeping there as well.

In a written document about him, Francis said that his conversion was due to his work with lepers, a number of whom lived outside Assisi. He explained, “God allowed me to begin my repentance in this way: when I lived in sin, seeing lepers was a very bitter experience for me. God himself guided me into their midst and among them I performed acts of charity. What appeared bitter to me became sweetness of the soul and body.” Lepers were horrifying to people at the time, not only because of their unsightly affliction—black boils, truncated limbs—but because the disease was thought to be caused by sin. If a leper wanted to approach a town, he had to do so at night and ring a bell to warn people of his presence. 
In Roberto Rossellini’s “The Flowers of St. Francis” (1950), the best of the many movies made about the saint, a leper, sounding a bell, goes past the hut where Francis and his fellows are bedded down. Francis rouses himself, catches up with the man, and embraces him. We see the leper only darkly: his blackened skin, its clammy sheen. We see Francis’s face directly, with no tears, just an ardent gaze. This is one of the most appalling and thrilling scenes in Western cinema, and it epitomizes the idea that evidently fired the young Francis. As he saw it now, the more a person was despised, the more he or she resembled Jesus in his last agonies, when he was abandoned by almost all the people he had come to save. To obey Jesus, therefore, you had to join those who were abandoned. At this point, in the words of Francis’s “Testament,” “God gave me brothers.”

In 1206, the year that he renounced his inheritance, two young Assisians joined him. By 1208, the group numbered twelve. The Franciscan movement had begun. In Francis’s view, property, by arousing envy and, therefore, conflict, was the one thing most destructive to peace in the world. Thus the community lived, as completely as possible, without property. To be part of the group, a man had to sell all his goods, give the money to the poor, and, like Francis, sever all ties with his family. Francis’s followers dressed the way he did—dirty tunic, no shoes. Their home was a wretched little shack outside the town. When the owner decided he wanted to house his donkey there, they were kicked out. Then, in a district called the Portiuncula, they found a ruined church, Santa Maria degli Angeli, and they built wattle-and-daub cells around it. This remained their headquarters for the rest of Francis’s life. 

By day, the brothers did the kinds of work that Francis felt were sanctioned by the Gospel. They renovated churches, tended to lepers, performed manual labor for farmers and artisans, preached, and prayed. They could accept a payment of bread and fruit for their labor, but they were not allowed to have money. Nor could they, in any way, save up for the next day. They could not own any dwelling they lived in. (They rented the church in the Portiuncula from a local abbot.) They could not store up food. They couldn’t soak vegetables overnight.

An entailment of the rule of poverty was humility. In the “Testament,” Francis writes that he and the other friars were subject to all, superior to no one. (He eventually called the group the Friars Minor, as they are still known today.) They were to see themselves as brothers even to people whose lives directly opposed their aims—notably, the rich.


While he was praying on the mountain of Verna, during a forty-day fast in preparation for Michaelmas (September 29), Francis is said to have had a vision on or about September 14, 1224, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, as a result of which he received the stigmata. Brother Leo, who had been with Francis at the time, left a clear and simple account of the event, the first definite account of the phenomenon of stigmata "Suddenly he saw a vision of a seraph, a six-winged angel on a cross. This angel gave him the gift of the five wounds of Christ."

Suffering from these stigmata and from trachoma, Francis received care in several cities (Siena, Cortona, Nocera) to no avail. In the end, he was brought back to a hut next to the Porziuncola. Here, in the place where it all began, feeling the end approaching, he spent the last days of his life dictating his spiritual testament. He asked his superior to have his clothes removed when his last hour came and for permission to expire lying naked on earth, in imitation of his Lord. He died on the evening of October 3, 1226, singing Psalm 142(141) – "Voce mea ad Dominum".


PRAYER OF ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there in injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith
Where there is despair, hope
Where there is darkness, light
Where there is sadness, joy.
Oh Divine Master, grant that I may not so much
Seek to be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and
It is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen

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ST. VINCENT FERRER
ST JOHN VIANNEY
ST. LORENZO RUIZ
ST. PEDRO CALUNGSOD





Monday, January 21, 2013

True Life in God


     


   "I have chosen you as a blank canvas to fill it up only with My Work which I will name; True Life in God."

       I first heared about Vassula Ryden from a priest who gave us a retreat. I was amazed at how concretely God has been manifesting Himself through her.

      It was in 1985 while she was in Bangladesh with her family, when God started to communicate to her. She could never have imagined that God would unexpectedly reveal Himself. It is God that dictates, inspires and reveals to her His words of Wisdom to pass them on to His people so that they know His Will.  

     Vassula RydĂ©n belongs to the Greek Orthodox Church. She is Greek, born in Egypt. Her husband's professional obligations meant that she had to live most of her life in third world countries. 

       Vassula never received any catechetical instruction or theological formation. God Himself taught her everything; as He once said to her: ‘I have chosen you as a blank canvas to fill it up only with My Work which I will name: ‘True Life in God.’ (June 10, 1987). The ‘True Life in God’ divine messages are an urgent call to make peace with God and amend our lives through repentance. They are a call to reconciliation, love and unity.

    “Be like a loud book, a book written by the Most High,” God told Vassula in the beginning. He foretold her back in 1986 that His message, with His help, will go around the world and so it did. Since 1988 Vassula has been invited to speak in more than 79 countries and has given over 1000 presentations. In all of this apostolic work, Vassula receives no personal royalties, fees, or benefits for her efforts. So far, the books have been translated by volunteers into more than 42 languages.

     Several renowned theologians and priests, with great enthusiasm have studied the messages and consider them not only to be in harmony with the Scriptures and the Tradition of the Church but also said that they have given them a better insight of the Scriptures and of the essence of God. They have confirmed their authenticity and divine origin by writing books and analyzing the unique case of Vassula.

Prophecy

 

     Through all these years, Our Lord has tried and is still trying to awaken a true understanding in all of us by repeatedly giving us reminders: recalling what was said in the past through Scriptures, by the Holy Prophets and His own Commandments; God will not allow us forever to offend His Holy Name and so, repeatedly He has been warning us that the world, living without Him, is self-destroying itself in its apostasy and provoking His Holy Justice to fall on them. Prophecies such as the destruction of the Twin Towers, the Tsunami in 2004, the fall of communism in Russia and other prophecies, were foretold to Vassula and have all come true. If the world, will not repent and the churches will continue to be deaf to His callings for reconciliation and unity, a unity in diversity, a great chastisement of fire will be sent to the world. “Those who have ears let them hear, those who do not want to hear let them not hear”, this is what God said to Vassula to tell this generation and to all the Churches. 

Feeding the Poor


      In Scriptures it is written that faith without good works is quite dead. After experiencing our Lady in a vision, Vassula was asked by our Holy Mother to reach out to the needy and feed the poor as well, for spiritual food was not enough. Since then, many houses called Beth Miriam (house of Mary) started to function to feed the poor.  Those houses are progressing to have schools as well for the poor children. There are now many worldwide.


Visit  http://www.tlig.org/en/ for more information about TLIG or True Life In God.