Tag: mystic

Blessed Maria Bolognesi: Mystic, Stigmatist, Visionary, And Victim Of The Demonic.

Blessed Maria Bolognesi: Mystic, Stigmatist, Visionary, And Victim Of The Demonic.

She died in 1980, a modern-day witness of Christ’s love for souls.

On October 21, 1924, an out-of-wedlock child was born and given the name Maria. At the time, Maria was not assigned a surname because her birth father (himself an illegitimate child) refused to wed Maria’s mother and instead left her.

Fortunately for Maria, the most influential person in the young girl’s life would be her grandma, Cornetto Cesira. She taught Maria all she could about God. Five years later, Maria’s mom married Giuseppe Bolognesi, and Maria was given her stepfather’s name.

When Maria was eight years old, she and her mom contracted meningitis. Her mom was close to death from the dreaded illness. However, Maria started to recover.

Maria was at the age to be preparing for her First Communion and the nun who was teaching her told her that Jesus would grant her a wish if she asked Him. She wished her mom would get better — and she fully recovered from the disease.

Filled with emotion and love for Jesus, Maria made her First Communion on May 22, 1932. In her diary, she wrote, “I cried with joy. Finally, my little heart also carries Eucharistic Jesus. I asked for so many, many graces: to love everyone, even my enemies. I came home, other families would have lunch at their homes, but in my home, there was nothing to eat, but still, I was so so happy.”

From June 21, 1940, to April 1, 1942, Maria exhibited strange behavior, and many have attested this was due to demonic persecution. She could not approach church buildings or any other religious buildings. Holy water was repulsive to her. Once, as she arrived at the bridge that spanned the river leading to the church, people saw her skirt being pulled from behind as Maria fought to move forward. There was no wind blowing at the time, yet she could not continue along the bridge.

Maria also began sweating blood, suffered from pneumonia, rheumatism, and a seemingly endless list of other ailments. She also developed heart problems. Doctors were utterly baffled by the number of afflictions the teenager was experiencing. Although suffering greatly she gave it over to Jesus, sharing herself with Him.

Maria received her first vision of Jesus Christ during Holy Week of 1942. It was Holy Thursday, April 2, when He appeared to her and gave her three rings with five rubies, the rings representing the Trinity, and the rubies representing His five wounds. Jesus promised her she would learn how to read and that her mother would repent of her sins and return to the Church. On April 11, with the permission of her spiritual advisor, Father Bassano Paiato, she began wearing a black habit.

Besides having to endure much pain and suffering throughout the 1940s, Maria also had those who began ridiculing her and mocking her “fake” visions. Among them were clergy. On March 5, 1948, three criminals attacked her and beat her, tied her up, gagged her and left her bleeding in the snow.

Instead of understanding and compassion, ridicule was heaped upon this servant of Jesus. At first, even the police did not believe her and accused her of “faking” the attack to garner attention. They were quickly proved wrong, and all charges against her were absolved.

Toward the end of the 1940s, Maria began to suffer from arthritis, colitis, developed appendicitis, and almost became blind. She would be taken to Rovigo and Padua for treatment and while there, would assist taking care of the orphans and visit the sick in the hospitals.

On January 25, 1954, a wound opened on her right hand. It was the beginning of the stigmata appearing on Maria. In August of 1954, the wounds appeared on Maria’s feet and Good Friday, 1955, she received the wound on her left side. The time was exactly 3 p.m.

Maria Bolognesi suffered from serious physical ailments her entire life. Jesus appeared to her several times showing her Heaven and, in November of 1957, both Heaven and Purgatory. Her first heart attack occurred in 1971 and her health continued to get worse and worse. On January 30, 1980, Maria Bolognesi passed away.

Maria was beatified on May 2, 2013. Pope Francis said, Blessed Maria Bolognesi spent her life in service to others, especially the poor and sick, enduring great suffering in profound union with the passion of Christ. We give thanks to God for her testimony to the Gospel!”

Blessed Maria Bolognesi, please pray for us.


Source:

Aleteia

The Spiritual Life And Gifts Of Saint Seraphim Of Sarov 

The Spiritual Life And Gifts Of Saint Seraphim Of Sarov 

SPIRITUAL GIFTS OF THE SAINTS & MYSTICS OF THE CHURCH
Saint Seraphim of Sarov
August 1 and January 15 (July 19 and January 2 old calendar)
Saint Seraphim of Sarov was one of the greatest Russian ascetics and wonderworkers, with profound spiritual discernment. He was distinguished by a great humility. When being praised by all the world, he referred to himself as “the poor wretch Seraphim.”
Saint Seraphim (Prochoros Moshnin in the world) was born to a merchant family living in Kursk. At the age of 10 he fell seriously ill. In a dream during his illness he saw the Mother of God, who promised to heal him. Several days later a procession with the miracle-working Kursk icon of Theotokos changed its usual route due to bad weather and was passing by the house of the Moshnins. After Seraphim’s mother took him to kiss the icon, he started to get better very quickly. While young, Seraphim had to help his parents in their store, but he was not interested in trade. Young Seraphim liked to read the Lives of Saints, to go to church and to pray in seclusion.
At the age of 18, Seraphim decided resolutely to become a monk. His mother blessed him with a big copper cross, which he wore over his clothes for the rest of his life. He was accepted as a novice to the Sarov monastery.
From the very first day of his life at the monastery, Seraphim was noted for his abstention from food and sleep. He ate very little only once a day. He abstained from food completely on Wednesdays and Fridays. Having asked for a blessing from his elder instructor, he started going to the forest for prayers and meditation in seclusion. Soon he fell ill again and had to stay in bed from time to time. Again he was healed by the Mother of God, who appeared in his dream accompanied by several saints. Pointing at the Venerable Seraphim, She said to Apostle John the Theologian, “This one is of our kinship.” Then She touched his side with Her staff and healed him. He took monastic vows in 1786 (at the age of 27).
He was given the name Seraphim which means “fiery” or “burning” in Hebrew. Soon he was ordained a deacon. He proved to be as good as his name by his ardent praying. He spent all of his time in the temple, resting very rarely. Amongst such prayers, services and work in the name of God, Seraphim was blessed by the vision of angels participating in sermons and singing. During the Liturgy, on Great Thursday, he had a vision of the Lord Jesus Christ incarnate in human flesh as He was entering the temple together with Angelic Hosts and blessing those in prayer. Venerable Seraphim was so impressed by the vision that he could not speak for a long time.
In 1793 Venerable Seraphim was elevated to hieromonk, after which he daily served and partook of the Holy Mysteries for a year. Then Saint Seraphim began to go to a “far wilderness,” which was a desolate place in a forest 5 miles away from the Sarov monastery. He reached great perfection during that time. Bears, hares, wolves, foxes and other wild animals would come to the hut of the ascetic. Matrona Pleshcheyeva, an elderly nun from the Diveyev monastery, saw Saint Seraphim feeding a wild bear from his hands, relating that “especially remarkable was the face of the great elder. It was as cheerful and bright as an angel’s countenance.”
While living in the wilderness, Venerable Seraphim once was attacked and almost killed by a band of robbers. He was physically very strong and had an axe in his hands at the moment, but he did not defend himself. In response to their demanding money and threatening him, he put the axe to the ground, crossed his arms on his chest and gave himself up to the bandits. They started beating him with the head of his own axe. Blood came streaming from his mouth and ears, and he lost consciousness. Then they beat him with a billet, stamped and kicked him, and dragged him on the ground. They stopped torturing him only when they thought he was dead.
The only treasure the robbers could find in his hermitage was the Icon of the Mother of God (Pertinence), in front of which he always prayed. When after some time the robbers were caught and indicted, the venerable Seraphim spoke in their defense. After this assault he remained hunched over for the rest of his life.
Soon after this the Venerable Seraphim began to live the life like a pillar of faith. He spent days on a stone close to his “wilderness” and at night he would go deep into the forest. He would pray almost all the time with his hands lifted up to the sky. This ascetic feat continued for a thousand days.
After a particular vision of the Mother of God closer to the end of his life, the Venerable Seraphim assumed the task of being an elder. He accepted everyone who came seeking his counsel and guidance. Many thousands of people from various walks of life came to see the venerable old man, who enriched them by sharing his spiritual treasures acquired during the many years of serving God. Seraphim met the visitors with humbleness, joy and thoughtful caring. He greeted them saying, “You are my joy!” His advice to many was, “Pray to assume a peaceful spirit, and saved will be many around you.” The elder bowed to the ground, blessed and kissed the hands of every one who came to him. There was no need for the visitors to tell him about themselves, as he already knew what they had in their souls.
He would also say, “Cheerfulness is not a sin. Joy drives away fatigue, and fatigue brings despondency, and there is nothing worse than despondency.” Once he said to a monk, “Oh, if you only could know what joy and what sweetness is granted to the souls of the righteous in heaven, you should agree to bear all misfortunes, persecution and slander with gratitude. If this very cell would be full of maggots eating our flesh during all the days of our life here on earth, we should agree to it gladly with the only purpose of deserving the heavenly joy that our God has prepared for those who love Him.”
One of Seraphim’s close devotees and disciples, Motovilov, described a wonderful event of transfiguration of the great saint. It happened on a cloudy winter evening. Motovilov was sitting on a stump in the forest. Saint Seraphim was squatting in front of his disciple explaining to him the meaning of a Christian life and the aim of us, Christians, living on earth.
Seraphim was saying, “We must let the Holy Spirit into our hearts. Everything good that we are doing for Christ’s sake renders us the Holy Spirit, but most of all it is achieved through a prayer, which is always in our hands.”
Father,” – Motovilov asked – “how can I witness the grace of the Holy Spirit? How can I know if the Holy Spirit is with me or not?” Saint Seraphim provided examples from lives of Saints and Apostles, but Motovilov still could not grasp the idea. Then the venerable old man took him firmly by the shoulder and said, “We are both in the Holy Spirit now.”
Motovilov felt as if his eyes were opened and he saw that the face of the old man was brighter than the sun. His heart was filled with joy and peace, and his body felt warm like summer; there was a sweet scent in the air around them too.
Motovilov was overwhelmed by this sudden change and particularly by the glowing that was coming from the elder’s face. But Saint Seraphim said to him, “Have no fear, father. You could not have seen me, unless you yourself were now possessed by the Holy Spirit completely. Be grateful to the Lord for His mercy to us.” Then Motovilov understood what it meant when the Holy Spirit descends upon a person and transforms him.
Troparion

Thou didst love Christ from thy youth, O blessed one.

and longing to work for Him alone thou didst struggle in the wilderness with constant prayer and labor.

With pertinent heart and love for Christ thou was favored by the Mother of God.

Wherefore we cry to thee:

save us by thy prayers, O Seraphim our righteous Father.

Blessed Ann Catherine Emmerich – The Mystic Who Fed On Only Communion, And Had The Great Gift Of Seeing The Past, Present And Future 

Blessed Ann Catherine Emmerich – The Mystic Who Fed On Only Communion, And Had The Great Gift Of Seeing The Past, Present And Future 

Blessed Ann Catherine Emmerich on her sick bed

Anne Catherine Emmerich was told by Our Lord that her gift of seeing the past, present, and future in mystic vision was greater than that possessed by anyone else in history. 

Born at Flamske in Westphalia, Germany, on September 8, 1774, she became a nun of the Augustinian Order at Dulmen. She had the use of reason from her birth and could understand liturgical Latin from her first time at Mass. 

During the last 12 years of her life, she could eat no food except Holy Communion, nor take any drink except water, subsisting entirely on the Holy Eucharist. From 1802 until her death, she bore the wounds of the Crown of Thorns, and from 1812, the full stigmata of Our Lord, including a cross over her heart and the wound from the lance.

Anne Catherine Emmerich possessed the gift of reading hearts, and she saw, in actual, visual detail, the facts of Catholic belief which most of us simply have to accept on faith. The basic truths of the catechism–angels, devils, Purgatory, the life of Our Lord and the Blessed Mother, the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, the grace of the Sacraments–all these truths were as real to her as the material world. Her revelations make the hidden, supernatural world come alive. 

Below are some of the most enthralling of these revelations: 

– She saw that each parish and diocese, each city and country has its own particular and Powerful Guardian Angel.

She saw that the Church never has allowed children of Catholics to be raised outside her fold, and that as soon as solidly established, she banned mixed marriages.

-She saw how the various indulgences we gain actually remit specific punishments which otherwise would await us in Purgatory.

She revealed that to gain an indulgence we must approach the Sacraments with true repentance and a firm purpose of amendment–or we do not gain it.

She deposes that it is more holy to pray for the Poor Souls in Purgatory than for sinners who are still alive.

-She describes the nature, extent and power of victim souls, and their role in the life of the Church. She describes the condition of St. Lydwine of Schiedam, a victim soul during the time of “three popes,” and how her body came apart into three pieces, joined only by the slenderest of sinews. 

She saw only 6 victim souls in her time working like herself on behalf of the Universal Church, and about 100,000 Catholic people worldwide who were great in their faith.


 She revealed that saints are particularly powerful on their feast days and should be invoked then. 

-She saw that many saints come from the same families, the antiquity of which often extends far back into the Old Testament.

She saw the strong link–even long after their deaths–between holy souls in Heaven and their descendants here on earth, lasting even centuries.

She saw that the Garden of Eden, with all it contained, was a perfect picture of the Kingdom of God.

She revealed that Enoch and Elias are in Paradise where they await their return to the world to preach at the End of Time.

– She revealed that Our Lord suffered from the wound in His shoulder more than from any other. * (Decades later, Padre Pio told Pope John Paul II, the same thing). 

She continually saw a false church, and wicked men scheming against the Catholic Church and doing much harm–both in her own time and in the future.

She saw in a vision the enemies of the Church tearing it down and trying to build a new one on strictly human plans–but none of the saints would lend a hand. 

Later, this church of men is destroyed and the saints of God join in to rebuild the true Church of God, which becomes more glorious than ever before.

She saw the revival of the priesthood and the religious orders after a period of great decadence.

-She describes in detail her visions of heaven, which she saw as “the Heavenly Jerusalem.” 

Quotes from Ven. Anne Catherine Emmerich:

“The Church is the only one, the Roman Catholic! And if there were left upon earth but one Catholic, he would be the one, universal Church, the Catholic Church, the Church of Jesus Christ against which the gates of Hell shall never prevail.”

“Then I had the sweet assurance that Mary is the Church; the Church, our mother; God, our father; and Jesus, our brother.”

“O who can tell the beauty, the purity, the innocence of Mary! She knows everything, and yet she seems to know nothing, so childlike is she. She lowers her eyes and, when she looks up, her glance penetrates like a ray, like a pure beam of light, like truth itself! It is because she is perfectly innocent, full of God, and without returns upon self. None can resist her grace.”

“All over the world I saw numberless infusions of the Spirit; sometimes, like a lightning-stroke, falling on a congregation in church, and I could tell who among them had received the grace; or again, I beheld individuals praying in their homes, suddenly endowed with light and strength.

The sight awoke in me great joy and confidence that the Church, amid her ever-increasing tribulations, will not succumb; for in all parts of the world I saw defenders raised up to her by the Holy Ghost. Yes, I felt that the oppression of the powers of this world serves but to increase her strength.”

“There is no created good so lightly esteemed, so carelessly trifled away by an immense majority of human beings as the fugitive moments of this short life so rapidly flying toward eternity.”

“Man’s value before God is estimated by the dispositions of his heart, its uprightness, its good-will, its charity, and not by keenness of intellect or extent of knowledge.”

“If the Church is true, all in her is true; he who admits not the one, believes not the other.” 

“What the Pilgrim [Clement Brentano, her self-appointed secretary] gathers he will bear far away, for here there is no desire to have it. But it will produce fruit where he goes, and that same fruit will one day return and make itself felt even here.”

“From the lips of those that pray I see a chain of words issuing like a fiery stream and mounting up to God, and in them I see the disposition of the one who prays, I read everything. The writing is as varied as the individuals themselves.”

“I saw Adam’s bones reposing in a cavern under Mt. Calvary deep down, almost to water level, and in a straight line beneath the spot on which Jesus Christ was crucified.”

“Mass badly celebrated is an enormous evil. Ah! it is not a matter of indifference how it is said! . . . I have had a great vision on the mystery of the Holy Mass and I have seen that whatever good has existed since creation is owing to it.”

“Were man and the earth in perfect harmony, there would be paradise here below. Prayer governs the weather . . . I see the life of nature intimately connected with that of the soul.” 

“She said what is most painful for me to repeat, that if only one priest offered the Unbloody Sacrifice as worthily and with the same sentiments as the Apostles, he could ward off all calamities from the Church.”

“I can never grieve for a person who dies resignedly, nor for a child suffering patiently; for patient suffering is the most enviable state of man.”

“Now, for all who are not in living union with Jesus Christ by faith and grace, nature is full of Satan’s influence.”

“Owing to the spirit of the world and tepidity, if the Savior returned to earth today to announce His doctrine in person, He would find as many opponents as He did among the Jews.”

“Now I saw clearly by this that the dear God looks only at the heart in time of prayer.”

“No grace, no degree of sanctity surpasses in intrinsic dignity and grandeur the sacerdotal [priestly] character.”

“The poor souls suffer inexpressibly.”
“Many stay a long time in purgatory who, although not great sinners, have lived tepidly.”

“The prayer most pleasing to God is that made for others and particularly for the poor souls. Pray for them, if you want your prayers to bring high interest.”

Novena To Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina 14th – 22nd September 

Novena To Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina 14th – 22nd September 

Novena Prayers
O St. Pio, I come to you today knowing that you are truly a miracle worker. As one who is close to Jesus, I ask that you would pray for these my intentions:

(State your intentions here)

I pray with the words of Pope John Paul II as I beg for your prayers on my behalf:

“Glorious, humble and beloved Padre Pio. Teach us, we pray, humility of heart, so that we may be counted among the little ones of the Gospel to whom the Father promised to reveal the mysteries of His Kingdom. Help us to pray without ceasing, certain that God knows what we need even before we ask Him.

“Obtain for us the eyes of faith that will help us recognize in the poor and suffering, the very face of Jesus.

“Sustain us in the hour of trouble and trial and, if we fall, let us experience the joy of the sacrament of forgiveness. Grant us your tender devotion to Mary, mother of Jesus and our Mother.

“Accompany us on our earthly pilgrimage toward the blessed Homeland, where we too, hope to arrive to contemplate forever the Glory of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”

Amen

In closing, St. Pio, we pray the prayer you composed for Confidence and Trust in God’s Mercy:

“O Lord, we ask for a boundless confidence and trust in Your Divine Mercy, and the courage to accept the crosses and sufferings which bring immense goodness to our souls and that of Your Church.

Help us to love You with a pure and contrite heart, and to humble ourselves beneath Your cross, as we climb the mountain of holiness, carrying our cross that leads to heavenly glory.

May we receive You with great faith and love in Holy Communion, and allow You to act in us as You desire for your greater glory.

O Jesus, most adorable Heart and eternal fountain of Divine Love, may our prayer find favor before the Divine Majesty of Your heavenly Father.”

Amen.

All glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end.

St. Padre Pio, Pray for us!

Amen.

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