Category: Saints

St. Anthony Of Padua And The Heretics Mule 

St. Anthony Of Padua And The Heretics Mule 

St. ANTHONY of Padua and the Heretics Mule.

In the region of Tolosa, Blessed Anthony, having vehemently argued with a hardened heretic about the redeeming sacrament of the Eucharist, had nearly convinced and attracted him to the Catholic faith, except that, after many arguments in which he tried to back out, he added these words: 

“Let’s cut the chat and come to the facts. If you, Anthony, can prove with a miracle that in the Eucharist of believers there is, however hidden it may be, the true body of Christ, I will renounce every heresy and submit myself to the Catholic faith”. 

The Lord’s servant replied with great faith:

“I trust in my Saviour Jesus Christ that, for your conversion and for that of others, thanks to His mercy I will obtain what you ask”. 

The heretic stood up and, asking for silence with a gesture of his hand, said: 

“I’ll keep my beast of burden locked up for three days and I will starve him. After three days, in the presence of other people, I’ll let him out and I’ll show him some prepared fodder. You, on the other hand will show him what you believe to be the body of Christ. If the starving animal, ignoring the fodder, rushes to adore his God, I will sincerely believe in the faith of the Church”. 

The saint agreed straight away. The heretic then exclaimed: “Listen well, everyone!”. Why delay with many words? The day of the challenge arrived. People arrived from far and wide and filled up the square.

Christ’s servant, Anthony, was present surrounded by a crowd of faithful. The heretic too, with a number of his accomplices. God’s servant entered a nearby chapel, to perform the rites of the Mass with great devotion. Once finished, he exited where the people were waiting, carrying reverently the body of the Lord. The hungry mule was led out of the stall, and shown appetising food. Finally, asking for silence the man of God said to the animal with great faith: 

“In the name of virtue and the Creator, who I, although unworthy, am carrying in my hands, I ask you, o beast, and I order you to come closer quickly and with humility and to show just veneration, so that the malevolent heretics will learn from this gesture that every creature is subject to the Lord, as held in the hands with priestly dignity on the altar”. 

God’s servant had hardly finished speaking, when the animal, ignoring the fodder, knelt down and lowered his head to the floor, thus genuflecting before the living sacrament of the body of Christ. The faithful were filled with uncontrollable joy, the heretics and non-believers were filled with sadness and humiliation. God was praised and blessed, the Catholic faith was honoured and exalted; heretical depravity was shamed and condemned with everlasting insults. The heretic, renounced his doctrine in front of all present, and from then on was obedient to the precepts of the holy Church.

St. Don Bosco’s Vision Of The 2 Pillars In The Sea

St. Don Bosco’s Vision Of The 2 Pillars In The Sea

Saint Don Bosco Vision Of The Two Pillars In The Sea.

(Original Source: Biographical Memoirs, Vol. VII, Ch. 18, page 169 ff, Later reproduced in chapter 40 of the book “FORTY DREAMS OF ST. JOHN BOSCO“).

On May 14, 1862, Don Bosco had the joy of receiving the first religious professions of twenty-two members of the Sale­sian Society just constituted.

Then among the rest he told the newly professed that he had sure proofs that the Salesian Society, by God’s will, would prosper. And in speaking to them, he manifested an extraor­dinary satisfaction.

Some days later, on the 30th of May, he narrated the fol­lowing dream. It concerns the battles of the Church against many adversaries, the sufferings of the Pope and the final tri­umph through devotion to the Holy Eucharist and to Our Lady, Help of Christians.

I want to tell you a dream. It is true that he who is dream­ing is not reasoning, anyway I—who would even tell you my sins if I were not afraid that they would make you all run away and make the house tumble down—will tell you this for your spiritual profit. I had the dream some days ago.

The Dream.

Imagine yourselves to be with me on the seashore, or bet­ter, on an isolated rock and not to see any patch of land other than what is under your feet. On the whole of that vast sheet of water you see an innumerable fleet of ships in battle array. The prows of the ships are formed into sharp, spearlike points so that wherever they are thrust they pierce and completely destroy. These ships are armed with cannons, with lots of rifles, with incendiary materials, with other arms of all kinds, and also with books, and they advance against a ship very much bigger and higher than themselves and try to dash against it with the prows or to burn it or in some way to do it every possible harm.

The Ship of the Church.

As escorts to that majestic fully equipped ship, there are many smaller ships, which receive commands by signal from it and carry out movements to defend themselves from the opposing fleet.

The Two Columns.

In the midst of the immense expanse of sea, two mighty columns of great height arise a little distance, the one from the other. On the top of one, there is the statue of the Immac­ulate Virgin, from whose feet hangs a large placard with this inscription: Auxilium Christianorum—”Help of Christians“, on the other, which is much higher and bigger, stands a Host of great size proportionate to the column and beneath is another placard with the words: Salus Credentium—”Salva­tion of the Faithful.”

The Holy Father.

The supreme commander on the big ship is the Sovereign Pontiff. He, on seeing the fury of the enemies and the evils among which his faithful find themselves, determines to sum­mon around himself the captains of the smaller ships to hold a council and decide on what is to be done.

In Conclave.

All the captains come aboard and gather around the Pope. They hold a meeting, but meanwhile the wind and the waves gather in storm, so they are sent back to control their own ships.

There comes a short lull. For a second time the Pope gath­ers the captains together around him, while the flag-ship goes on its course. But the frightful storm returns.

The Pope stands at the helm and all his energies are directed to steering the ship towards those two columns, from the top of which and from every side of which are hanging numer­ous anchors and big hooks, fastened to chains.

The Battle.

All the enemy ships move to attack it, and they try in every way to stop it and to sink it. Some with writings or books or inflammable materials, of which they are full, others with guns, with rifles and with rams. The battle rages ever more relentlessly.

The enemy prows (battering rams on the front of the ships) thrust violently, but their efforts and impact prove useless. They make attempts in vain and waste all their labor and ammunition, the big ship goes safely and smoothly on its way. Sometimes it happens that, struck by formidable blows, it gets large, deep gaps in its sides, but no sooner is the harm done than a gentle breeze blows from the two columns and the cracks close up and the gaps are stopped immediately.

Destruction of the Enemy.

Meanwhile, the guns of the assailants are blown up, the rifles and other arms and prows are broken, many ships are shattered and sink into the sea. Then, the frenzied enemies strive to fight hand to hand, with fists, with blows, with blas­phemy and with curses.

All at once, the Pope falls gravely wounded. Immediately, those who are with him run to help him and they lift him up. A second time the Pope is struck, he falls again and dies. A shout of victory and of joy rings out amongst the enemies, from their ships an unspeakable mockery arises.

A New Pope.

But hardly is the Pontiff dead than another Pope takes his place. The pilots, having met together, have elected the Pope so promptly that the news of the death of the Pope coincides with the news of the election of the successor. The adver­saries begin to lose courage.

Haven of Rest.

The new Pope, putting the enemy to rout and overcoming every obstacle, guides the ship right up to the two columns and comes to rest between them. He makes it fast with a light chain that hangs from the bow to an anchor of the column on which stands the Host, and with another light chain which hangs from the stern, he fastens it at the opposite end to another anchor hanging from the column on which stands the Immaculate Virgin.

Rout of the Enemy.

Then a great convulsion takes place. All the ships that until then had fought against the Pope’s ship are scattered, they flee away, collide and break to pieces one against another. Some sink and try to sink others. Several small ships that had fought gallantly for the Pope race to be the first to bind themselves to those two columns.

Many other ships, having retreated through fear of the bat­tle, cautiously watch from far away the wrecks of the bro­ken ships having been scattered in the whirlpools of the sea, they in their turn sail in good earnest to those two columns, and, having reached them, they make themselves fast to the hooks hanging down from them and there they remain safe, together with the principal ship, on which is the Pope. Over the sea there reigns a great calm.

Don Bosco Explains:

At this point Don Bosco asked Don Rua:

“What do you think of the story?” Don Rua answered: 

“It seems to me that the Pope’s ship might mean the Church, of which he is the head. The ships, men, the sea, this world. Those who defend the big ship are the good, lovingly attached to the Holy See. The others are her enemies, who try with every kind of weapon to annihi­late her. The two columns of salvation seem to be devotion to Mary Most Holy and to the Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist.”

Don Rua did not speak of the Pope who fell and died, and Don Bosco also was silent about him. He simply added: 

“You are right! Only I ought to correct one expression. The enemy ships are persecutions. The most serious trials for the Church are near at hand. That which has been so far is almost noth­ing in the face of that which must befall. Her enemies are represented by the ships that tried to sink the principal ship if they could.

Only two means are left to save her amidst so much confusion: DEVOTION TO MARY MOST HOLY and FREQUENT COMMUNION, making use of every means and doing our best to practice them and having them practiced everywhere and by everybody.”

*(Don Bosco did not give any other explanations about this dream).

St. John Bosco’s Dream: The Snake And The Rosary And The Power Of Confession

St. John Bosco’s Dream: The Snake And The Rosary And The Power Of Confession

Saint Don Bosco: The Snake And The Rosary And The Power Of Confession.

I want to tell you a dream I had some nights ago, most probably on the eve of the Assumption. I dreamed that I was at my brother’s home at Castelnuovo d’ Asti with all my boys. While they were at play, a total stranger came up to me and asked me to go with him. He took me to a meadow alongside the playground and pointed to a huge, ugly snake, over twenty feet long, coiled in the grass. Frightened, I wanted to run off, but the stranger held me back. 

Get closer and take a good look,” he said.

What?” I gasped. “Don’t you realize that the monster could spring on me and gobble me up in no time?”

Don’t be afraid! Nothing of the sort will happen, just come with me.”

Nothing doing! Im not crazy!”

Then stay where you are,” the stranger replied. And he went to fetch a rope.

Take this end,” he said on his return, “and grip it tightly with both hands. I’ll hold the other end, and we’ll let it dangle over the snake.”

And then?”

Then we’ll snap it across its back.”

You must be crazy, the snake will leap up and tear us to pieces.”

Go on! Click it up to full size and give yourself a fright”!

“No, it won’t. Leave that to me.”

“Count me out! I have no intention to risk my life for a thrill of this kind!”

Again I tried to run away, but the stranger once more assured me that I had nothing to fear, because the snake would do me no harm. He talked so persuasively that I stayed on and agreed to his plan. He went around to the other side of the monster. We stretched the rope and then snapped it across the snake’s back. The monster immediately sprang up and struck at the rope, but as it did so, it ensnared itself as in a noose.

“Hold on!” the stranger shouted. “Don’t let go!” He ran to a nearby pear tree and tied his end of the rope to it. Then he came to me and tied his end of the rope to it. Then he came to me and tied my end to the iron grating of a window in the house. The snake kept furiously struggling to free itself, writhing, thrashing and flailing about. In its fury, it tore itself to pieces, scattering its flesh over the area, till it was slashed to a mere skeleton. The stranger then untied the rope and coiled it up, “Now watch very carefully!” he said as he put it into a box and closed it. By this time the boys had swarmed about me. Within a few moments he opened the box. We looked in and were astounded to see the rope shaped into the words Ave Maria – “Hail Mary.”

How did that happen?” I asked.

The snake,” the man replied, “is a symbol of the Devil, whereas the rope stands for Ave Maria, or rather, the Rosary, a succession of Hail Marys with which we can strike, conquer and destroy all of Hell’s demons.”

What followed is even stranger and more amazing.

Now, while taking with that stranger about the rope, the snake and what they symbolized, I turned around and saw boys picking up scraps of snake meat and eating them. “What are you doing?” I shouted. “Are you mad? That meat is poisonous.”

Its delicious!” They replied.

And yet no sooner had they swallowed it than they would crumple to the ground, and their bodies would swell and harden like stone. I was helpless, because, despite this, more and more boys kept eating that meat. I shouted and yelled at them, and even slapped and punched them, to keep them from eating, but in vain. For every one who crumpled to the ground, another took his place. Then I called the clerics and told them to go amoung the boys and do all they could to make them stop eating that meat. My order was ineffective; worse yet, some clerics themselves began to eat it and they too fell to the ground. Nearly out of my mind at seeing so many boys lying about me in such a pitiful state, I turned to the stranger.

What does this mean?” I asked. “These boys know that this meat will kill them, yet they eat it. Why?”

“Because ‘the sensual man does not perceive the things that are of God!’ That’s why!” He answered.

“But isn’t there some way of saving these boys?”

“Yes, there is.”

“What?”

“Anvil¹* and hammer.”

“Anvil and hammer? What for?”

“To put the boys back in shape.”

“You mean I am to put them on an avil and strike them with the hammer?”

“Look,” the stranger said, “this whole thing is a symbol. The hammer symbolizes Confession, and the anvil symbolizes Holy Communion. These are the remedies you must use.”

I went to work and found the treatment very effective, but not for all. While most boys were restored to life and recovered, a few did not, because their Confessions were bad.

¹*Anvil – a heavy iron block with a smooth face, frequently of steel, on which metals, usually heated until soft, are hammered into desired shapes.

Source:

Taken From ‘The Forty Dreams of Don Bosco’.

St. Rita And The White Bees

St. Rita And The White Bees

Saint Rita And The White Bee’s.

Saint Rita, who had known her share of suffering at the hands of her abusive husband, and after the loss of her sons, prayed for more suffering—to be united with Christ in His suffering. 

One day, as holy Scholars tell us, Saint Rita was kneeling in prayer before a replica of the Crucified Christ. She implored, “Oh my Jesus, let me share in Thy suffering at least by one of Thy thorns.” At that moment, a single thorn from the crown surrounding Jesus’ head flew through the air and speared directly into Sister Rita’s forehead. This wound bled until the end of her life and caused her considerable pain and suffering. It also emitted a repulsive stench, such that Rita spent the majority of her last 15 years in seclusion. 

Two hundred years after she died, an interesting phenomenon occurred. At the Monastery in Cascia, where Rita had spent the latter half of her life, white bees—similar to those who had swarmed her as an infant– were observed to come out of the walls of the Monastery during Holy Week of each year. These bees remained until the feast day of Saint Rita on May 22nd, and then returned to hibernation until Holy Week of the following year.

Pope Urban VIII, learning of the bees, requested that one of them be brought to him in Rome. After a careful examination of the bee, he tied a silk thread around it. Setting it free, the bee was later discovered in its hive at the Monastery in Cascia, 138 kilometers away. And so the tradition of the bees began. The holes in the wall where the bees traditionally remain until the following year, are plainly in view for pilgrims journeying even today to the Monastery.

-St. Rita Of Cascia, Pray For Us! 

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