Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Feast Day: St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (1774-1821)

August 28, 1774 – January 4, 1821 

Early Life
Despite being born into the wealthy and Prominent Bayley family of New York, Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton's story is one stalked by tragedy and the death of her loved ones.

Both her maternal and paternal grandparents came from strongly religious backgrounds and the young Elizabeth was raised in the Episcopalian church. This combined with the loss of her mother aged 3 probably led to her quiet lifestyle of reading and contemplation.

Although Elizabeth's father remarried the year after his wife's death, her stepmother rejected both Saint Elizabeth and her sister so their father was forced to pack them off to live with their uncle, they stayed with him until their father's new marriage ended in separation. Elizabeth later identified this as one of many dark periods in her life.

Even in the darkest life there are moments of happiness and Saint Elizabeth's was her marriage to William Magee Seton. It was blessed with four children but yet again tragedy struck after four years when Will's father died.

Will was left with responsibility for the family business and his seven half brothers and sisters. Shortly afterwards the business lost several ships at sea, this loss was never recovered and bankruptcy was the only possible solution.

The stress damaged Will's health irrevocably and he succumbed to Tuberculosis. Desperate to improve his failing health, Elizabeth and their oldest daughter Anna Maria set sail with him to Italy where they hoped the warm climate and company of friends (The Filicchis) would improve Will's prospects.

This was not to be as when they arrived the Italian authorities quarantined them in a cold, dank lazaretto for a month due to fears of yellow fever. Will died a mere two weeks after they were released.

This left St Elizabeth a widow at 29 with sole charge of five young children. She remained in Italy with the Filichis for a year and in a desperate attempt to provide her with some measure of peace they introduced her to Catholicism.

Although this was to guide her steps towards her charity works and eventual canonization, initially it created many problems due to Elizabeth's Episcopalian background and doubts over conversion. It infuriated her family and friends who universally turned their backs on her leaving her reliant on the good will of her Italian friends.

Saint Elizabeth's conversion to Roman Catholicism
Death continued to take its toll with the loss of her daughter Anna Maria and her beloved sister in law Rebecca and there were the on-going problems of caring for young children with a minimal income.

In 1805, two years after her husband's death, Saint Elizabeth's doubts resolved and the Reverend Matthew O’Brien received her into the Catholic faith.

Despite this happy event Saint Elizabeth struggled for the next few years with the twin spectres of prejudice and poverty as she tried to acquire teaching work that would support her children. Despite her belief in God she remained a mother above all things.

For her unstinting faith Saint Elizabeth was rewarded in due course by her providential meeting with the Reverend Louis William Dubourg in 1806.

She accompanied him back to Baltimore where with the aid of the Sulpicians she would be a schoolmistress in a small school for children.

The Sulpicians were in the process of forming a small community based on the Daughters of Charity in Paris and Soon Saint Elizabeth joined this growing community. On March 25 1809 She swore vows of chastity and obedience to Archbishop John Carroll, he gave her the title ‘Mother Seton’ and in June she appeared with the sisters who were all dressed in black dress, cape and bonnet styled on Italian mourning dress.

The Sisters of Charity of St Josephs
A wealthy convert named Samuel Sutherland Cooper wished to begin an educational program for catholic girls and he made the wise choice of Saint Elizabeth to run it.

He purchased 269 acres near Emmitsburg in Maryland .

Tradition has it that Saint Elizabeth named the area St Joseph's valley and opened St Joseph's free school in 1810. This was the first Catholic free school for girls in America and with the opening of the St Joseph's Academy which accepted boarders meaning that the Sister's could subsidize their charitable mission the number of girls they could educate grew and grew.

Saint Elizabeth Seton was elected Mother of the Order and continued to fulfil that capacity until her death. In this capacity she dispatched sisters across America to combine education with social ministries such as St Joseph's Asylum, which was the first Catholic Orphanage in the US.

Combined with her inspirational writings and her care of poor families, orphans and widows Mother Seton made a lasting impact on catholic education and charity not only in America but also across the world.

The Sisters of Charity continue to make Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton s ideals a reality and to improve the lives of those oppressed by poverty to this day.

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Feast Day
Other than the numerous schools and colleges named after her there is a particular shrine dedicated to Saint Elizabeth Seton.

The town of Emmitsburg where she spent the majority of her life has built an outstanding Basilica where her remains are interred. They also have a museum and visitor center along with many buildings from her time there, which have been preserved for posterity.

Along with regular celebrations throughout the year such as The Stations of the Cross on Good Friday, they hold celebrations of St Elizabeth Ann Seton Feast on the 4th of January to which all are welcome.

Notably there is an annual pilgrimage for those in the Sea Services and their families on the 5th of October celebrating Mother Seton's role as Patroness of the Sea Services.
A shrine to Saint Elizabeth Seton can also be found in her birthplace of New York.
Located on 7 State Street, New York the striking colonial building in which she lived now houses a Catholic community who continue her good works.

It is also the home of the Our Lady of the Rosary Mission. In its time the Mission befriended more than 100,000 immigrant girls (of which 65,000 are listed in the parish archives).

Many of these came to America poor, Starving and friendless fleeing from the famine in Ireland. The shrine fed them, clothed them and sent them out into the new world of America armed with shelter and employment, meaning that there are many families who wouldn't exist if it wasn't for the free help and assistance provided before the inception of Ellis Island.

Around the world The Sisters of Charity of Saint Josephs continue to follow Saint Elizabeth's example by becoming life long pilgrims in Christ's service and celebrating God's love and Saint Elizabeth's example through their daily ministrations to the poor and work in education.

Elizabeth Seton had no extraordinary gifts. She was not a mystic or stigmatic. She did not prophesy or speak in tongues. She had two great devotions: abandonment to the will of God and an ardent love for the Blessed Sacrament. She wrote to a friend, Julia Scott, that she would prefer to exchange the world for a “cave or a desert.” “But God has given me a great deal to do, and I have always and hope always to prefer his will to every wish of my own.” Her brand of sanctity is open to everyone if we love God and do his will.

Quotes by St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
Elizabeth Seton told her sisters, “The first end I propose in our daily work is to do the will of God; secondly, to do it in the manner he wills it; and thirdly, to do it because it is his will.”

"We must pray without ceasing, in every occurrence and employment of our lives - that prayer which is rather a habit of lifting up the heart to God as in a constant communication with Him."

"The first end I propose in our daily work is to do the will of God; secondly, to do it in the manner he wills it; and thirdly to do it because it is his will. "

"The accidents of life separate us from our dearest friends, but let us not despair. God is like a looking glass in which souls see each other. The more we are united to Him by love, the nearer we are to those who belong to Him."

"And in every disappointment, great or small, let your heart fly directly to your dear Savior, throwing yourself in those arms for refuge against every pain and sorrow. Jesus will never leave you or forsake you."

"God is everywhere, in the very air I breathe, yes everywhere, but in His Sacrament of the Altar He is as present actually and really as my soul within my body; in His Sacrifice daily offered as really as once offered on the Cross."

“The heart preparing to receive the Holy Eucharist should be like a crystal vase.”"We must pray without ceasing, in every occurrence and employment of our lives - that prayer which is rather a habit of lifting up the heart to God as in a constant communication with Him."

Prayer by Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton
O Father, the first rule of Our dear Savior's life was to do Your Will. Let His Will of the present moment be the first rule of our daily life and work, with no other desire but for its most full and complete accomplishment. Help us to follow it faithfully, so that doing what You wish we will be pleasing to You. Amen.

Prayer in Honor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

Lord God, you blessed Elizabeth Ann Seton with gifts of grace as wife and mother, educator and foundress, so that she might spend her life in service to your people.

Through her example and prayers, may we, whose Faith Community is dedicated in her honor, learn to express our love for you in our love for all your children.

We ask this through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.

  • against in-law problems
  • against the death of children
  • against the death of parents
  • Apostleship of the Sea (two of her sons worked on the sea)
  • opposition of Church authorities
  • people ridiculed for their piety
  • Shreveport, Louisiana, diocese of
  • widows

As a pre-condition for canonization, the Catholic Church requires that for a saint who has not been martyred, at least two miracles take place at his or her intercession.[9] The Holy See recognised that this pre-condition was met by attributing three miracles to Elizabeth's intercession:
Curing Sister Gertrude Korzendorfer of cancer;
Curing Ann Theresa O’Neill of acute lymphatic leukemia; and
Curing Carl Kalin of encephalitis.


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus

O God, who founded the salvation of the human race 
on the Incarnation of your Word, 
give your peoples the mercy they implore, 
so that all may know there is no other name 
to be invoked but the Name of your Only Begotten Son. 
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity 
of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

From the Jarrow Scriptorium
This feast is celebrated on the second Sunday after Epiphany (double of the second class). It is the central feast of all the mysteries of Christ the Redeemer; it unites all the other feasts of the Lord, as a burning glass focuses the rays of the sun in one point, to show what Jesus is to us, what He has done, is doing, and will do for mankind. It originated towards the end of the fifteenth century, and was instituted by the private authority of some bishops in Germany,Scotland, England, Spain, and Belgium. The Office and the Mass composed by Bernardine dei Busti (d. 1500) were approved by Sixtus IV. The feast was officially granted to the Franciscans 25 February, 1530, and spread over a great part of the Church. The Franciscans, Carmelites, and Augustinians kept it on 14 Jan.; the Dominicans 15 Jan. AtSalisbury, York, and Durham in England, and at Aberdeen in Scotland it was celebrated 7 Aug., at Liège, 31 Jan., atCompostela and Cambrai, 8 Jan. (Grotefend, "Zeitrechnung", II, 2. 89). The Carthusians obtained it for the secondSunday after Epiphany about 1643; for that Sunday it was also extended to Spain, and later, 20 Dec., 1721, to theUniversal Church. The Office used at present is nearly identical with the Office of Bernardine dei Busti. The hymns "Jesu dulcis memoria", "Jesu Rex admirabilis", "Jesu decus angelicum", usually ascribed to St. Bernard, are fragments of a very extensive "jubilus" or "cursus de aeterna sapientia" of some unknown author in the thirteenth century. For the beautiful sequence "Dulcis Jesus Nazarenus" (Morel, "Hymnen des Mittelalters", 67) of Bernardine dei Busti the Franciscanssubstituted a prose sequence of modern origin: "Lauda Sion Salvatoris"; they still celebrate the feast on 14 January.

Altar of the Holy Name of Jesus, with the
IHS monogram at the top, 
Lublin, Poland.
We give honour to the Name of Jesus, not because we believe that there is any intrinsic power hidden in the letters composing it, but because the Name of Jesus reminds us of all the blessings we receive through our Holy Redeemer. To give thanks for these blessings we revere the Holy Name, as we honour the Passion of Christ by honouring His Cross (Colvenerius, "De festo SS.Nominis", ix). At the Holy Name of Jesus we uncover our heads, and we bend our knees; it is at the head of all our undertakings, as the Emperor Justinian says in his law-book: "In the Name of Our Lord Jesus we begin all our consultations". The Name of Jesus invoked with confidence 
  • Brings help in bodily needs, according to the promise of Christ: "In my name They shall take up serpents; and if they shall drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them: they shall lay their hands upon the sick, and they shall recover". (Mark 16:17-18) In the Name of Jesus the Apostles gave strength to the lame (Acts 3:6; 9:34) and life to the dead (Acts 9:40).
  • It gives consolation in spiritual trials. The Name of Jesus reminds the sinner of the prodigal son's father and of the GoodSamaritan; it recalls to the just the suffering and death of the innocent Lamb of God.
  • It protects us against Satan and his wiles, for the Devil fears the Name of Jesus, who has conquered him on the Cross.
  • In the Name of Jesus we obtain every blessing and grace for time and eternity, for Christ has said: "If you ask the Father anything in my name he will give it you." (John 16:23) Therefore the Church concludes all her prayers by the words: "Through Our Lord Jesus Christ", etc.
So the word of St. Paul is fulfilled: "That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth" (Philippians 2:10).

A special lover of the Holy Name was St. Bernard, who speaks of it in most glowing terms in many of his sermons. But the greatest promoters of this devotion were St. Bernardine of Siena and St. John Capistran. They carried with them on their missions in the turbulent cities of Italy a copy of the monogram of the Holy Name, surrounded by rays, painted on a wooden tablet, wherewith they blessed the sick and wrought great miracles. At the close of their sermons they exhibited this emblem to the faithful and asked them to prostrate themselves, to adore the Redeemer of mankind. They recommended their hearers to have the monogram of Jesus placed over the gates of their cities and above the doors of their dwelling (cf. Seeberger, "Key to the Spiritual Treasures", 1897, 102). Because the manner in which St. Bernardine preached this devotion was new, he was accused by his enemies, and brought before the tribunal of Pope Martin V. But St. John Capistran defended his master so successfully that the pope not only permitted the worship of the Holy Name, but also assisted at a procession in which the holymonogram was carried. The tablet used by St. Bernardine is venerated at Santa Maria in Ara Coeli at Rome.

The emblem or monogram representing the Holy Name of Jesus consists of the three letters: IHS. In the Middle Ages the Name ofJesus was written: IHESUS; the monogram contains the first and last letter of the Holy Name. It is first found on a gold coin of the eight century: DN IHS CHS REX REGNANTIUM (The Lord Jesus Christ, King of Kings). Some erroneously say that the three letters are the initials of: "Jesus Hominum Salvator" (Jesus Saviour of Men). The Jesuits made this monogram the emblem of theirSociety, adding a cross over the H and three nails under it. Consequently a new explanation of the emblem was invented, pretending that the nails originally were a "V", and that the monogram stands for "In Hoc Signo Vinces" (In This Sign you shall Conquer), the words which, according to a legendary account, Constantine saw in the heavens under the Sign of the Crossbefore the battle at the Milvian bridge (312).

Urban IV and John XXII are said to have granted an indulgence of thirty days to those who would add the name of Jesus to theHail Mary or would bend their knees, or at least bow their heads when hearing the Name of Jesus (Alanus, "Psal. Christi et Mariae", i, 13, and iv, 25, 33; Michael ab Insulis, "Quodlibet", v; Colvenerius, "De festo SS. Nominis", x). This statement may betrue; yet it was only by the efforts of St. Bernardine that the custom of adding the Name of Jesus to the Ave Maria was spread in Italy, and from there to the Universal Church. But up to the sixteenth century it was still unknown in Belgium (Colven., op. Cit., x), whilst in Bavaria and Austria the faithful still affix to the Ave Maria the words: "Jesus Christus" (ventris tui, JesusChristus). Sixtus V (2 July, 1587) granted an indulgence of fifty days to the ejaculation: "Praise be to Jesus Christ!" with the answer: "For evermore", or "Amen". In the South of Germany the peasants salute each other with this pious formula. Sixtus Vand Benedict XIII granted an indulgence of fifty days to all as often as they pronounce the Name of Jesus reverently, and a plenary indulgence in the hour of death. These two indulgences were confirmed by Clement XIII, 5 Sept., 1759. As often as we invoke the Name of Jesus and Mary ("Jesu!", "Maria!") we may gain an indulgence of 300 days, by decree of Pius X, 10 Oct., 1904. It is also necessary, to gain the papal indulgence in the hour of death, to pronounce at least in mind the Name of Jesus.


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Robert's Heirloom Rosaries- Copper Collection- Rosary of the Sacred Heart of Jesus/St. Teresa The Little Flower

Robert's Heirloom Rosaries- Copper Collection- Rosary of the Sacred Heart Of Jesus and St. Teresa The Little Flower.

Pater Nosters are 12 MM Tensha, Aves are 8 MM Natural Solodite Semi-Precious Stones. All Components are solid copper. Rosary Center and beautiful Philipine Crucifix are recast from Museum Pieces so we can continue to enjoy these beautiful devotional sacramentals of past centuries. Click here for additional photos: to take the pictoral tour of my unbreakable sacramentals click here:, to contact me direct;y, email: Prayers and Blessings!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas at Greccio

St. Francis at Greccio
by Terry Nelson
Francis set out again on the roads of Umbria. Again he went up the rugged path along the woodlands of Fonte Colombo and joyously greeted the little church so dear to him. 

The days that followed were among the happiest of his life. Christmas was drawing near. Pleasant weather had returned, and in the cloister formed by the wooded hills, a clear light shone in the joyful, immaculate mornings. Toward evening, the long slow notes of cornemuses rose from the valley, playing ancient pastorals. Tenderly they dwelled on the miraculous dream of the return of the Son of God to earth as a baby, little and poor, clasped to the breast of the Virgin.

Francis wanted everyone to share in the joy of this "feast of feasts." He wanted the poor and the hungry to sit at the tables of the rich and oxen and asses, the humble beasts who had warmed the cold body of the baby Jesus with their breath, to be given more than the usual amount of grain and hay.

"If I could speak to the emperor," he said, "I would ask that a general law be made requiring all who can to scatter corn and other grains along the roads so that the birds might have an abundance of food on such a great and solemn day, especially our sisters the larks."

A few days before Christmas, Francis sent for a noble of Greccio, acastello nearby, a man Giovanni for whom Francis had a very. special love because of his goodness. To him Francis disclosed the plans he had made.

It would be, he said, so good, so edifying, to call to mind the birth of the Christ Child on the night of Christmas, to have "set before our bodily eyes in some way the inconveniences of his infant needs, how he lay in manger, how, with an ox and an ass standing by, he lay upon the hay where he had been placed." His poetic gifts enabled him to give vivid life to the scene. Giovanni was enthralled.

Brothers from nearby Franciscan places were invited. Many torches and candles were needed to make a great light in that night that has lighted up all the days and years with its gleaming star." Men and women worked unceasingly to prepare them. All had been made ready in the forest by Christmas Eve, the Vigil of Christmas: the manger, the hay, the ox and ass. Francis inspected it and was pleased. At last he had found a way to make a living presentation of the concept in which he passionately believed, in a drama that could not fail to stir even the most stolid. The lowly manger would show forth God - small, poor, humble. Greccio would become a new Bethlehem.

Night fell and obscured the dark beech trees, the steep cliffs, the hermitage, the valley. A profound waiting silence lay over the great stage. Then it began to snow, and there was nothing but an immense whiteness in the calm and peaceful night. It seemed that unseen bells were ringing out the ancient invocation: "Peace on earth to men of good will" In the great, white quiet, every petty, malicious, and unworthy feeling died away.

As the hours passed, far-away lights appeared in the valley and began to move up to the hermitage. Again, as once before, shepherds were walking in the night to "come and adore Him."

In reading over the description written by Thomas of Celano, who certainly got his information from someone who was there, we ourselves can see the marvelous scenes.

A thousand torches blaze up in the darkness, joyous moving lights, like the enchanted lights in a festival of fantasy in legends arising from the deeps of a magic forest. And still it is snowing. A whirlwind of flakes dances in the flickering flames of the torches. Great crackling bonfires add their light and voice to the jubilation of flames that shine out on the harsh and lonely mountain. The night, writes Thomas, is "lighted up like the day."

A great throng crowds about the manger, where the ox and the ass bring the ancient miracle to life again. The people, writes Thomas, are "filled with new joy over the mystery."

From the group of kneeling friars arises the mighty chorus: "Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice; let the sea and what fills it resound..." The song rises to the tops of the white oaks on which reflections of the red fires dance; it expands into the invisible sky. It travels to the distant mountains.

Everything proclaims solemnity, beauty, and joy: the priest with the gold chasuble who celebrates the Mass, the altar shining with lights, the brothers in their pure white surplices, the forest ringing with the joyous hymn, the rocks that "make answer to their jubilation." A single harmony unites all things and all creatures - perhaps even the angels who sang on the night that Christ was born are singing again, too, beyond the intense light.

Francis vested as a deacon, sings the beautiful lesson: "She gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger..."

His voice rings out like heavenly music that none of those present could ever forget: "a strong voice, a sweet voice, a clear voice, a sonorous voice." The nobleman Giovanni is so overwhelmed by it that as Francis reads, he sees the baby Jesus "lying in the manger lifeless, and ... the holy man of God go up to it and rouse the child as from a deep sleep."

"This vision was not unfitting," writes the friar, "for the Child Jesus had been forgotten in the hearts of many; but, by the working of his grace, he was brought to life again through His servant Saint Francis and stamped upon their fervent memory.

Then Francis preaches to the people, and "he spoke charming words concerning the nativity of the poor King and the little town 6f Bethlehem." Speaking the word "Bethlehem" (Betlemme) says Thomas, his voice seems to resemble the sound of a lamb.

And the light that shines in the darkness is truly the light of the dawn, the beginning of a new day for all who were there - that light that touches the faces, envelops the motionless plants, reaches into the snow-covered valley and up to the icy heights that still echo with the sound of silvery voices: Rejoice! Rejoice! 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Robert's Heirloom Rosaries- Copper Collection- Rosary Of Our Lady Of La Salette

This is a very manly rosary and is made with a number of significant pieces. The Aves are round 8 MM Natural Black Onyx Agate. The Pater Nosters are gorgeous 12 MM LANTERN STYLE Natural Black Onyx Agate. The entire rosary is made of solid COPPER. The real beauty of Copper is it looks like Rose Gold.

The rosary center is a beautiful tribute to Our Lady Of La Salette. The beautiful Trinity Crucifix adds the final touches to this wonderful piece. The rosary center and crucifix are antique museum pieces that have been recast so we can continue to enjoy and pray with these wonderful pieces of past centuries..

Click here for additional photos and info


Two shepherd children - Maximin Giraud and Mélanie Calvat - reported a vision of the Virgin Mary on a mountaintop near La Salette, France, on September 19, 1846 around 3.00 p.m. during their cowherding. They were eleven and fourteen years old at the time and had received only a very limited education.

The apparition consisted of three different stages. Firstly, the children beheld in a resplendent light a beautiful lady clad in a strange costume. She was seated on a rock and in tears, with her face resting in her hands. This took place at the ravine called ravin de la Sezia

Secondly, she stood upright and talked to the children, speaking alternately in French and in the regional patois. She charged them with a message which they were to deliver to all her people. This also took place in the ravin de la Sezia. After complaining of the impiety and sinfulness of men, and threatening them with dreadful chastisements in case they should persevere in evil, she promised them the Divine mercy if they would amend. Finally, she communicated to each of the children a special secret, before disappearing into the sky. This happened on the plateau called Mont-sous-les-Baisses.

They told of their experience to their employers, Baptiste Pra and Pierre Selme. These wrote the account down September 20, 1846, the day after the apparition, in a letter.[2]

Maximin Giraud was questioned upon his story by the mayor of the village, Pierre Peytard September 21, 1846.

Pra and Selme informed Louis Perrin, the parish priest of La Salette. Impressed by the account, Perrin preached about it at Holy Mass and informed the archpriest of Corps, Pierre Mélin. He interrogated the children on 26 September 1846. The bishop of Grenoble, Philibert de Bruillard, was officially informed by Mélin on October 4, 1846.

In October 1846 Mélanie and Maximin were questioned by Mathieu Cat, a diocesan priest. On November 2 the children were interrogated by ... Archier, a religious. The news of the apparition spread like wildfire. Maximin's father, Jean-Maximin Giraud, not being religious at all, converted on November 8, 1846. This was one of many conversions.

Soon several miraculous cures took place on the mountain of La Salette, and pilgrimages to the place were begun. The first pilgrimage took place on November 24, 1846, with both children participating. On May 31 about 5,000 pilgrims participated in another pilgrimage, on the occasion of the planting of a crossway up the mountain.

November 25 another interrogation took place, by father ... Marcellin. In March and April 1847 both seers were repeatedly questioned by François Lagier, a French priest who spoke the local patois fluently. On April 16 and May 26, 1847 both children were interrogated by a city magistrate of Grenoble, the local juge de paix Fréderic-Joseph Long. The children were reinterrogated by canon Nicolas Bez, another parish priest.[3] They were interrogated again by Pierre Lambert, another diocesan priest on the apparition May 29, 1847.[4]

The first miraculous cure that was recognised as such was that of Claire Pierron S.S.J., known as Sister Saint-Charles, of Avignon on April 16, 1847. The second was that of Mélanie Gamon, of Corps, on August 15, 1847.

On July 22, 1847 Clément Cardinal Villecourt, bishop of La Rochelle made a personal pilgrimage to La Salette. He met both children and questioned them. September 17, 1847 both children were reinterrogated by father ... Boisseaux.

One year after the apparition, September 19, 1847, over 50,000 pilgrims came to La Salette to celebrate the anniversary.

This is considered an “unbreakable rosary.” -as each bead is individually wire wrapped and should never come apart. However- dropping it on a hard surface may crack the beads. You should always take great care of this sacramental.

Be sure and have it blessed by one of your parish priests.

Care and cleaning- clean the stones with a damp soft cloth. Never use any type of cleaning fluids or pastes on the stone beads- the stones are porous and will absorb the cleaning material. It is non-reversible. The components being made of copper can be cleaned with any good copper cleaning product- but take care not to get the cleaning fluids on the beads. I hope you enjoy praying it as much as I enjoyed designing and building it.

God Bless You and your loved ones.

Visit my blog, titled: "Robert's Heirloom Rosaries" as the following address:

Monday, December 12, 2011

Our Lady of Guadalupe – December 12

Our Lady of Guadalupe – December 12

Written by Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira

Our Lady of Guadalupe - Photos from wikipedia

Biographical selection:
These are some of the dialogues between Our Lady and Juan Diego, taken from written narrations inspired by the account of Indian scholar Antonio Valeriano around the middle of the 16th century.

In the first apparition, Our Lady addressed Juan Diego, speaking in the Mexican idiom: “Juanito, my son, the humblest of my children, where are you going?"

"Noble lady, I go to the church in Tlatelolco to listen to such divine matters as our priests teach us," he replied.

She said, “Know for certain, dearest of my sons, that I am the perfect and ever-Virgin Mary, Mother of the true God, the Lord of all things and Master of Heaven and Earth. I ardently desire a temple to be built here, where I will show and offer all my love, compassion, help, and protection to the people and those who look for me. I am your merciful Mother, the Mother of all who live in this land and of all mankind. I will hear the weeping and sorrows of those who love me, cry to me, and have confidence in me, and I will give them consolation and relief.

“Therefore, so that my designs might be fulfilled, go to the house of the Bishop of Mexico City and tell him that I sent you, and that it is my desire to have a temple built in this place. Tell him all that you have seen and heard. Be assured that I shall be grateful and will reward you for diligently carrying out what I have asked of you.”

Juan Diego bowed low and said, “My holy one, my Lady, I will go now and do all that you ask of me. Thy humble servant bids thee farewell.”

The second apparition: That same afternoon Juan Diego returned to the hilltop from the Bishop’s palace where he had delivered the message. The Holy Virgin was waiting for him. He told her:

“Noble lady and most loved Mistress, I did what you commanded. Even though it was difficult to be admitted to speak with the Bishop, I saw His Excellency and communicated to him your message. He received me kindly and listened with attention. But when he answered me, it seemed as if he did not believe me. …

“So I beg you, noble Lady, entrust this message to someone of importance, someone well-known and respected, so that they might believe in him. For I am a nobody, a piece of straw, a lowly peasant, and you, my Lady, have sent me to a place where I have no standing. Forgive me if my answer has caused you grief or displeasure, my Lady and my Mistress.”

Above, an enlarged view of the right eye of Our Lady of Guadalupe shows the face and shoulders of a man, who appears to be Juan Diego. Below, a picture of Juan Diego from an early painting.

The third apparition: The Holy Virgin insisted that she wanted Juan Diego to give her message to the Bishop. He did so, and this time the Indian returned to Our Lady saying that the Bishop had asked for a sign to prove that what he said was true.

Our Lady told him: “Very well, my dear little one, return here tomorrow and you will take to the Bishop the sign he has requested. With this he will believe you and no longer doubt you or be suspicious of you. Know, my beloved little one, that I will reward your solicitude, effort and fatigue spent on my behalf. Go now. I will await you here tomorrow.”

The fourth apparition: The next day, instead of going to the hilltop, Juan Diego took a different route that bypassed it to find a priest for his uncle who was gravely ill. Juan Diego was certain that Our Lady would not see him.

But she appeared to him along the road he had taken and asked him: “What is this, my little son? Where are you going?”

Juan Diego answered: “My beloved Lady, God keep you! How are you this morning? Is your health good, my dearest Lady? It will grieve you to hear what I have to say. My uncle, your poor servant, is sick. He has taken the plague and is near death. I am hurrying to your house in Mexico City to call a priest to hear his confession and give him the last rites. When I have done this, I will return here immediately so I may deliver your message. Forgive me, I beg you, my Lady, be patient with me for now. I will not deceive you and tomorrow I will come in all haste.”

She answered: “Listen to what I am going to tell you, my son, and let not your heart be disturbed. Do not fear that plague or any other sickness or anguish. Am I not here, I, who am your mother? Are you not under my protection and care? Am I not your life and health? Are you not in the folds of my mantle and the embrace of my arms? What else do you need? Do not be grieved or disturbed by anything.”

She then told him that he should not worry about the sickness of his uncle, for he would not die at this time and that, in fact, he was already cured.

Calling herself Holy Mary of Guadalupe, she told Juan Diego to go up the nearby hilltop where he would find flowers aplenty, even though it was winter. He found Castilian roses and gathered many and placed them in his tilma, a long cloak used by Mexican Indians. He came back to the Virgin, who rearranged them and commanded him to go to the Bishop without opening it until he was in the Prelate’s presence.

After a long wait and much difficulty getting past the servants of the palace, Juan Diego finally stood before the Bishop. He unfolded his tilma, and the roses fell out. The Bishop and his attendants fell on his knees before him, for a life-size figure of the Holy Virgin was printed on the poor tilma of Juan Diego. It was December 12, 1531.

Comments of Prof. Plinio:

There are many aspects of these apparitions that have often been the subject of commentaries: that Our Lady chooses simple and pure souls to speak to mankind, that she is pleased to appear to humble peasants, that she challenges the human respect of her emissaries, etc. I think that these are good points, but they have already been stressed.

The tilma in the Cathedral of Mexico City
An aspect that receives less attention that I believe is very interesting is the attitude of the Indian Juan Diego before Our Lady and the language he used to address her. His manner and language have an extraordinary tonus that corresponds to Our Lady’s attitude toward him from the beginning of the apparition. Our Lady treated him as a dearly loved son, with an extraordinary kindness, as if he were a child.

There is a marvelous contrast we can see in the general conduct of Our Lady. On one hand, there is the love she has for great souls, the heroic souls who accomplish great things in the lives of peoples and civilizations; on the other hand there is the love she has for small, simple souls entirely turned toward her and forgetful of their own virtue. It is marvelous to see how she speaks to these small souls with love and a particularly touching tenderness.

The attitude of Juan Diego is also interesting. He is a simple man, without any education, but in his simplicity he addresses Our Lady as a truly courteous man. He greets her, he inquires about her well being, he describes how he executed the mission he received as if he were a real diplomat, and he explains to Our Lady the practical cause for his failure.

He had presented himself in the Bishop’s palace to transmit the message of Our Lady and was treated disdainfully by the servants and valets of the palace. So he reasoned thus: If I were a noble and powerful man, I would be well received and my message would have more credibility.

He thought he was doing a good thing by giving this counsel to Our Lady: You should choose someone important to deliver your message; then the Bishop will receive him well and everything will go as you have asked. One sees in him the humble desire to not appear or shine and also, to a certain measure, his desire to avoid trouble. So in his charming simplicity he gave her that advice.

Juan Diego showed diplomacy and courtesy
There are many qualities in this response, but here I want to stress his tact. He gives her a fine diplomatic counsel to resolve the situation. He also closes his suggestion in a courteous way: My Lady, I beg you not to be displeased with me. It was not my intention to anger or irritate you.

That is to say, he found a good way to excuse himself while presenting his suggestion. He is a simple peasant, but we can see a certain nobility in this attitude. One can also see that Our Lady liked the way he presented his idea. She probably smiled kindly at his diplomatic advice, but she did not accept it. On the contrary, she asked that he return to speak with the Bishop.

It seems that Juan Diego was willing, but found that he needed to postpone the task. His uncle was sick and seemed close to death, so he went to find a priest for him. He thought that Our Lady could wait until the next day. But she caught him on the different route he took to avoid her. Then she not only cured his uncle, but worked the miracle the Bishop had demanded. So finally, with that miracle, the apparition of Our Lady was approved by the Bishop.

There is a lesson for us in this episode: Wherever true virtue exists, courtesy and noble manners develop as a consequence of it. The opposite is also true: When virtue is no longer present, courtesy and nobility of manners disappear. Juan Diego was from a very simple social level; notwithstanding, he acted as a noble when he dealt with Our Lady.

The Catholic courtesy that bloomed in Europe was, at base, a daughter of the virtue that society practiced in the Middle Ages. When this virtue died away and the Revolution started to be accepted by society, courtesy lost its root and began to move toward the complete brutality of manners that exists in Communist countries or the blatant vulgarity that prevails in the Western countries that adhered to egalitarianism.