Tag: visions

The White Ladder To Heaven – Our Lady 

The White Ladder To Heaven – Our Lady 

The White Ladder to Heaven: Our Lady.

Once, in a dream, Friar Leo, Friar of Saint Francis of Assisi beheld a vision of the making ready of the Divine judgment. He beheld the Angels making music with trumpets and diverse instruments, and calling together a marvellous great crowd in a meadow. And on one side of the meadow was set a ladder all rosy red, which reached from earth even unto heaven, and on the other side of the meadow was set another ladder all white, which descended from heaven to earth. 

On the top of the red ladder, Christ appeared a Lord offended and exceeding wrath. And St. Francis was nigh unto Christ but a few steps lower down; and he came farther down the ladder, and with a loud voice and great fervour called and said:

“Come ye, my friars, come confidently, fear not, come, draw nigh unto the Lord, for He calleth you”. 

At the voice of St. Francis and at his bidding, the friars went and climbed up the red ladder with great confidence. And, when they were all thereon, some fell off the third step, and some off the fourth step, others off the fifth and the sixth; and at the last all fell, so that there remained not one upon the ladder. And so great ruin of his friars, St. Francis, as a pitiful father, was moved to compassion, and besought the Judge for his sons, that He would receive them to His mercy. And Christ showed His wounds all bloody, and said unto St. Francis: “This have thy friars done unto Me”.

And St. Francis delayed not, but, even as he interceded, came down certain steps, and cried unto the friars that were fallen from the red ladder and said: 

“Come ye, rise up, my sons and friars, be of good courage and despair not, but run to the white ladder and climb up it, for by it ye shall be received into the Kingdom of Heaven; run, friars, through paternal admonishment, to the white ladder”. 

And on the top of the ladder appeared the glorious Virgin Mary, the Mother of Jesus Christ, all pitiful and kind, and welcomed those friars; and without any difficulty they entered into the eternal kingdom. To the praise of Christ.

The Miraculous Life Of St. Agnes Of Montepulciano.

The Miraculous Life Of St. Agnes Of Montepulciano.

St. Agnes of Montepulciano

Although St. Agnes of Montepulciano was not in any way a “child saint,” like her little Roman patroness, there is about her something of the same simplicity, which makes her name appropriate. Some of the best known legends about her concern her childhood.

Agnes was born in 1268, in a little village near Montepulciano, of the wealthy family of De Segni. Her birth was announced by great lights surrounding the house where she was born, and from her babyhood she was one specially marked out for dedication to God. By the time she was six years old she was already urging her parents to let her enter the convent. When they assured her that she was much too young to be admitted, she begged them to move to Montepulciano, where she could be near enough to the convent to make frequent visits. Since a state of armed truce existed between the cities near Montepulciano, her father was unwilling to move from his safe retreat, but he did allow the little girl to go occasionally to make visits in the convent of her choice.

On one of these visits an event occurred which all the chroniclers record as being prophetic. The little girl was traveling in Montepulciano with her mother and the women of the household, and, as they passed a hill on which stood a house of ill fame, a flock of crows swooped down on the little girl and attacked her with beak and claw. Screaming and plunging, they managed to scratch and frighten her badly before the women drove them away. Upset by the incident, but devoutly sure of themselves, the women said that the birds must have been devils, and that they resented the purity and goodness of little Agnes, who would one day drive them from that hilltop. Agnes did, in fact, build a convent there after years.

When she was nine years old, Agnes insisted that the time had come to let her enter the convent. She was allowed to go to a group of Franciscans in Montepulciano, whose dress was the ultimate in primitive Franciscanism; they were known, from the cut of the garment, as “Sisters of the Sack.” The high born daughter of the Segni was not at all appalled at the rude simplicity with which they followed their Father Francis; she rejoiced in it. For five years she enjoyed the only complete peace she would ever have; she was appointed bursar at the age of fourteen, and she never again was without some responsibility to others.

She reached a high degree of contemplative prayer and was favored with many visions. One of the loveliest is the one for which her legend is best known: the occasion of a visit from the Blessed Virgin. Our Lady came with the Holy Infant in her arms, and allowed Agnes to hold Him and caress Him. Unwilling to let Him go, Agnes hung on when Our Lady reached to take Him back from her. When she awakened from the ecstasy, Our Lady and her Holy Child were gone, but Agnes was still clutching tightly the little gold cross He had worn on a chain about His neck. She kept it as a precious treasure. Another time, Our Lady gave her three small stones and told her that she should use them to build a convent some day. Agnes was not at the moment even thinking about going elsewhere, and said so, but Our Lady told her to keep the stones three, in honor of the Blessed Trinity and one day she would need them.

Some time after this, Agnes was called upon to leave Montepulciano to help in the foundation of a new convent of the Franciscans in Proceno. Here, to her distress, she was appointed abbess. Since she was only fifteen, a special dispensation had been obtained to allow her to take the office. On the day when she was consecrated abbess, great showers of tiny white crosses fluttered down on the chapel and the people in it. It seemed to show the favor of heaven on this somewhat extraordinary situation.

For twenty years, Agnes lived in Proceno, happy in her retreat and privileged to penetrate the secrets of God in her prayer. She was a careful superior, as well as a mystic; several times she worked miracles to increase the house food supply when it was low. Once she was called back to Montepulciano for a short stay, and she went willingly enough, though she hated leaving the peace of her cloister for the confusion of traveling. She had just settled down, on her return, with the hope that she had made her last move and could now stay where she was, when obedience again called her back to Montepulciano this time to build a new convent. A revelation had told her that she was to leave the Franciscans, among whom she had been very happy, and that she and the sisters of the house she would found should become Dominicans.

In 1306, Agnes returned to Montepulciano to put the Lord’s request into action. All she had for the building of the convent were the three little stones given her by the Blessed Virgin, and Agnes who had been bursar, and knew something about money realized that she was going to have to rely heavily on the support of heaven in her building project. After a long quarrel with the inhabitants of the hilltop she wanted for her foundation, the land was finally secured, and the Servite prior laid the first stone, leaving her to worry about where the rest of the stones were coming from. Agnes laid hand to the project and guided it safely to completion. The church and convent of Santa Maria Novella were ready for dedication in record time, and a growing collection of aspirants pleaded with her to admit them to the new convent.

She explained that the rule was not to be Franciscan, but Dominican. All the necessary arrangements were made, and the new community settled down. They had barely established the regular life when one of the walls of the new building collapsed. It was discovered that the builders had cheated, and that the whole convent was in danger of falling on top of them. Agnes met the new problem with poise. She had many friends in Montepulciano by this time, and they rallied round to rebuild the house.

Then the convent was once again completed, and had become, as hoped, a dynamo of prayer and penance, Agnes decided to go to Rome on pilgrimage. It is interesting to note that Second Order convents of the fourteenth century were so flexible in the matter of enclosure. She made the trip to Rome and visited the shrines of the martyrs. The pope was in Avignon, so she did not have the happiness of talking to him. But she returned to Montepulciano full of happiness for having seen the holy places of Rome.

At the age of forty nine, Agnes’ health began to fail rapidly. She was taken for treatment to the baths at Chianciano – accompanied, as it says in the rule, by “two or three sisters” but the baths did her no good. She did perform a miracle while there, restoring to life a child who had fallen into the baths and drowned. But she returned to Montepulciano to die on the 20th of April, 1317.

She died in the night, and the children of the city wakened and cried out, “Holy Sister Agnes is dead!” She was buried in Montepulciano, and her tomb soon became a place of pilgrimage.

One of the most famous pilgrims to visit her tomb was St. Catherine of Siena, who went to venerate the saint and also, probably, to visit her niece, Eugenia, who was a nun in the convent there. As she bent over the body of St. Agnes to kiss the foot, she was amazed to see Agnes raise her foot so that she did not have to stoop so far. Agnes of Montepulciano was canonized in 1796.

St. Agnes of Montepulciano, Pray For Us!

The Extraordinary Story Of The Victim Soul And Saint Who Had Visions Of Heaven, Saints And Also Spoke To Blessed Virgin Mary.

The Extraordinary Story Of The Victim Soul And Saint Who Had Visions Of Heaven, Saints And Also Spoke To Blessed Virgin Mary.


“Her shoulders had to be bandaged to keep them from falling asunder… As the Pope could no longer guard the entire flock, Lidwina lost the use of her right eye, and the left was so weak that she could not endure the light. 
Soon the entire dismemberment and devastation of the Church was cast upon her… as Christianity for forty years was divided between popes and anti-popes, so, too, was Lidwina’s body literally separated into two parts.

(The Life and Revelations of Anne Catherine Emmerich by Very Rev. Carl E. Schmöger, C.SS.R).

Although we are all called to take up our cross, not everyone is called to be a victim soul.

Saint Lidwina of Schiedam, a victim soul born in Schiedam, Netherlands in 1380, lived in Holland during the Western Schism while two anti-popes split the Church.

Throughout the internal Church attacks, dioceses falling apart, confusion spreading like wildfire, and the laity losing faith, God hand-picked St. Lidwina to become a powerful instrument of expiation for the good of His Church.

St Lidwina was invited to share in Christ’s great mystery of suffering and love from a very young age.

While ice skating during a bitter winter, a friend knocked over 15-year-old Lidwina, causing her to break a small rib in her right side. A hard abscess grew around the broken rib which never healed.

From that point on, she was bedridden, could not eat or drink without vomiting, suffered from burning fevers, ulcers and tumors, and her organs suffered terribly. She also fractured her forehead, which extended to the middle of her nose and a cleft from her lower lip to her chin that would often bleed.

She could not see from her right eye and had a weak left eye. For thirty-three years, until her death, St Lidwina’s body deteriorated, and became a spectacle of pure suffering, defying the laws of nature.

Several years passed. Lidwina was deprived of a spiritual director, receiving Holy Communion only at Easter when she was carried to Church.

She laid in darkness and spent many nights sobbing to herself. Like a forsaken home that was once a place of excitement and warmth, so too did Lidwina temporarily depart from her joyful and lively self, for suffering and abandonment moulded her into a vessel of despondency and despair.

But St. Lidwina’s world was set on fire when she finally understood the potent mystery of love: love that is willing to suffer is life-giving.

In the words of St Mother Teresa, “I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.”

By meditating upon the Passion of Christ with the aid of her new-found spiritual director, Fr. John Walters of Lyden, a spark ignited within St Lidwina, allowing her to find happiness in her pain through fortitude, patience and trust in God’s will.

True peace came upon St. Lidwina after she received the gift of tears. She then comprehended God’s unconditional love and care, which opened the floodgates to renewal and consolation.

One day after receiving the Eucharist, she cried uncontrollably for fourteen days. This experience inundated her spirit with perfect consolation.

Like a spring of cleansing water, Lidwina’s discovery of the redemptive strength of love allowed her to recommit to prayer, fasting and penance. The more suffering she endured, the closer she was to the Cross of Christ.

After eight years of suffering, she said: “It is not I who suffer; it is my Lord Jesus who suffers in me!

St. Lidwina’s Visions.

Eventually, St Lidwina was graced with the supernatural gift of ecstatic visions.

She was often visited by her guardian angel and the saints, and saw Heaven and Purgatory. In his book Saint Lydwine of SchiedamThomas à Kempis described St. Lidwina’s incredible visions:

“She saw also how the holy martyrs, confessors, prophets, virgins, and other orders of the blessed enjoyed their glory in themselves…

“When she gazed upon these joys, many saints, addressing her sweetly, comforted her and, exhorting her to patience, spoke thus: ‘What trouble or harm is it to those who are here now, that in the world they suffered many adversities for Christ?’

After many familiar colloquies…Christ’s Mother addressed these words to her: “Most dear daughter… let your heart be strengthened in the bearing of sorrows; because for these things which you suffer now, you shall gain wondrous and great glory.”

In one vision, she was shown a rose-bush and heard the words “when this shall be in bloom, your suffering will be at an end”.

In 1433 she said, “I see the rose-bush in full bloom!”

That year on Easter Sunday, she saw Jesus coming towards her to administer the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick. St Lidwina then died peacefully and completely wrapped in God’s love.

After she died, her house was turned into a hospital, and a stone chapel was built near her grave.

Although St Lidwina courageously bore the wounds of the persecuted Church, God abundantly rewarded her through Eternal Life. He allowed her to receive all that she had sacrificed for the good of the Church and salvation of souls.

Saint Lidwina’s legacy lives on, her story echoing across the centuries to give hope to all the silent victims and patient sufferers throughout history.

Just as Christ turned to His Father in his vulnerability, crying, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” St. Lidwina also turned to God, with weeping eyes, but full of hope.

She united her despair, abandonment and expiatory pains to Christ’s Passion for the good of humanity. She was a victim of love.

Today, St. Lidwina’s message can be heard loud and clear: suffering that is embraced with love is life-giving, fruitful and salvific.

St. Lidwina’s story of perseverance through adversity is often the key to unlocking our extraordinary destinies. We sometimes must fall to our lowest point, so that through God’s help, we can stand up tall.

To all those grappling with chronic illness, sickness, abandonment and hopelessness, may you also look to God in the same way that Saint Lidwina did, weeping but hopeful, uniting your sufferings to Christ, knowing that you can one day partake in His infinite glory.

The Universe, The Entire Planetary System And The Angels By Blessed Catherine Emmerich (6).

The Universe, The Entire Planetary System And The Angels By Blessed Catherine Emmerich (6).

…continued 

“The moon is chilly and rocky, full of high mountains, deep cavities, and valleys. She both attracts and repels the earth. Her waters are constantly rising and falling, drawing up masses of vapor from’ the earth which like great clouds fill up the hollow places; again they appear to over­flow and gravitate so powerfully upon the earth that men become melancholy. I see in her many human figures flying from light into darkness as if hiding their shame, as if their conscience were in a bad state. This I see more frequent­ly in the centre of the moon. In other parts are fields, worship offered to God on moon. 

The soil is yellow and strong; the vegetation like pitch, fungi, or mushrooms. The moon exerts a wonderful influence over the earth and all nature. Men regard her so wistfully, because one nat­urally turns to what belongs to him. I often see descending from her huge clouds like masses of poison which generally hang over the sea; but the good Spirits, the Angels scatter them and render them harmless. Certain low districts the earths are cursed on account of sin there committed, and over them I see falling poison, darkness, fog. The noblest races live in the most highly favoured regions.

“The souls that I see hiding in darkness seem to be with­out suffering or joy, as if imprisoned till the Day of Judg­ment. The moon’s light is dull, of a bluish white, and the farther from the moon, the brighter it becomes.

“Comets are full of baneful influences; they are like birds of passage- Were there not between them and the earth so great tempests and other influences exercised by the spirits, they might easily do the latter much harm. They are the abodes of the passionate spirits. Their tail, their influence, follows as smoke from fire…

To be continued.

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