The miraculous picture of Our Lady of Good Counsel at the monastery of New Norcia, Western Australia

There is a miraculous picture of Our Lady of Good Counsel at the monastery of New Norcia in Western Australia. This painting was given to the Benedictines in 1845 by Saint Vincent Pallotti, when they were leaving Rome to start missions in Western Australia. In December, 1847 a terrible bushfire was ranging and threatened to destroy the monastery.  The picture was placed against the standing corn in front of the fire. As soon as the sacred image of Mary was placed before the raging fire, the wind blew  in the opposite direction, carrying the flames away from the Mission where everything was already burned black. The fire soon died away. The native people who witnessed this were amazed. On another occasion the mourners in a funeral procession were in danger of perishing because bushfires had hemmed them in on all sides. Dom Salvado seeing this in the distance, got the picture from the church and ran with it toward the fire area and prayed to Our Lady to save the people.  The wind changed direction and the danger passed.

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What is the name of that saint?

I am afraid of dogs.  Sometimes I have the misfortune to meet one in the street and have a hard time coping.  A friend gave me this piece of advice, which she received from her mother-in-law. When you come across a dog in the street call upon St Roch to get it away from you and he will do so. I was very pleased to hear this and wished that I had learnt it much earlier in my life, but better late than never. I informed my friend that the feast of St Roch was the following day and told her his story. The next time I came face to face with a dog in the street, I became paralyzed with fear and could not remember the name of the saint who was going to rescue me. Silently I prayed “Lord, I can’t remember the name of the saint who gets rid of dogs, but PLEASE HELP ME!”  The dog went away.

Pray for the souls of deceased priests

Don’t forget to include in your prayers for the dead, the souls of priest.  They are often overlooked because people think that they went straight to heaven.  No doubt some of them did, but not all of them. They are human beings like us with merits and faults.

Go to this webpage for some reflections on this subject.

and also go to this page for information on the powerful intercession of the Holy Souls in Purgatory and ways to help them.

Charity for the Holy Souls in Purgatory is the best form of charity.

Prayers for healing for those who suffer from cancer

Today an email was forward to me with the following message:

My daughter Salma, who is just 12 years old is battling for life at a local hospital, she is suffering from cancer and is presently in the last stage. The doctors have given up all hope but then I have trust in Jesus and in the power of Prayers. Therefore as a helpless mother of a dying child I beg all of you to pray for my daughter, please include her as a part of each and every prayers of yours. Please pray to Jesus that He should give her body the strength to respond to the medication, that He should somehow miraculously heal her of this disease and grant her a healthy and long life (AMEN)

Please, please pass this message on to as many brothers and Sisters as you can. If even ten percent of you would remember to pray for my daughter then it would mean a lot for us.. Your prayers and Gods Grace is our ONLY hope.

KUWAIT – SABAH HOSPITAL

With Regards

Reni Jose

Update
I have enrolled Salma in the Perpetual Prayer campaign and ongoing novenas for the healing of cancer

In this prayer campaign and the novenas, the Holy Souls in Purgatory are prayed for and invoked for healing for the people who have cancer.
(Mary Ann)

Pain relief for everyday aches and pains (the kind that is not caused by serious illnesses)

When you have pain it is important to seek medical advice as to what is causing that pain and follow the doctor’s advice. It might be stemming from a serious cause.
Even if it is not, you may still experience occasional everyday sort of pain in your lower back, hip, leg, arm etc.
My neighbour advices the following which helps to relieve pain.  If you have pain in your arm or leg or lower back, rub the area with firm downward strokes with some skin cream. (I would then wipe off the skin cream with tissue or paper towel), then apply a heat producing product such as Dencorub. This is a brand name for a common pain relieving cream.  I do not have shares in this or in any other company.  Any similar product will do. It is worth a try!

When you have pain it is important to seek medical advice as to what is causing that pain and to follow the doctor’s advice. It might be stemming from a serious cause.

Even if it is not, you may still experience occasional everyday sort of pain in your lower back, hip, leg, arm etc.

My neighbour advices the following which helps to relieve pain.  If you have pain in your arm or leg or lower back, rub the area with firm downward strokes with some skin cream. (I would then wipe off the skin cream with tissue or paper towel), then apply a heat producing product such as Dencorub. This is a brand name for a common pain relieving cream.  I do not have shares in this or in any other company.  Any similar product will do. It is worth a try!

Help for a heel spur (a home remedy)

If you have a heel spur, it is important to see a doctor. There are various ways to treat heel spurs depending on their severity.
 
Home Remedy
One of these is the following: you fill up a glass soft drink bottle with hot water and screw the lid on tightly. You daily roll the foot which is affected by the heel spur, back and froth over the bottle with the hot water in it. About ten minutes, twice a day would be good. The more the better. If you cannot cope with the heat of the water, you can leave it out or use a rolling pin.  This can have a beneficial healing effect and reduce the pain. 
 

Update 

 

I received the following useful comment on this topic from a doctor whose method is a bit different from the one that my doctor recommended. I think that it is worth reading. 

1.      Before you start the home remedy, please see a podiatrist or foot doctor specialist. I have never heard of using a hot water bottle; I usually suggest cold water. The effect of using a hot water bottle would stretch the plantar fascia (heel spur) certainly, but it would take a long time to properly heal the plantar fascia, depending on the extent of the injury. I have a great interview with Dr. Robert Schleip for the blog that discusses plantar fasciitis (heel spur)

My comment:

Thank you for this comment. I saw a reference to using cold water on some websites and in these the water in the bottle was frozen.  There is one other thing that I would like to mention.  The link to the doctor’s blog has a useful article on treating foot troubles, but it mentions yoga and I have read to be careful of using anything that has connections with pagan religons and unfortunately Yoga has.  As far as I know Pilates (exercises) doesn’t have this connection.  I take the point though that stretching is a useful tool in healing.

The reason that it is not good to use Yoga which has its roots in a pagan religion is because it can be a pathway to the occult.

Not speaking! (funny story)

A lady that I know, has the surname of Not.  The phone rang one day and she picked it up and said:  Susan Not speaking.  The person at the other end of the phone took advantage of this and jokingly  said:  Yes you are!  You are a liar!  I just heard you speaking!

Promises of Saint Therese of Lisieux

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Promises of Saint Therese of Lisieux

“I will spend my heaven doing good upon earth”
“After my death I will let fall from heaven a shower of roses”

The “roses” that Saint Therese referred to in the prophecy quoted above: is the term which she used to describe her miracles and favours. The feast day of Saint Therese is celebrated on October 1.
Prayer to St Therese of the Child Jesus
St. Therese, the little flower, please pick me a rose from the heavenly garden and send it to me with a message of love. Ask God to grant me the favour I thee implore and tell Him I will love Him each day more and more.

The Holy Infant Jesus Chaplet

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Sister Marguerite of  the Blessed Sacrament (1619 – 1648) composed this chaplet.  Jesus promised her that the faithful who recited it in memory of His Birth, His flight into Egypt and His Hidden Life at Nazareth would be assisted by Him in all their spiritual and temporal wants and would also gain purity of heart and innocence. 

There are a special set of chaplet beads to say this chaplet (little Rosary of the Infant Jesus of Prague). 

Start by thinking about the goodness of the Infant Jesus.  (There is a medal on the chaplet beads with the Infant Jesus’ picture) and recite the following prayer. 

Divine Infant Jesus, I adore Thy Cross and I accept all the crosses Thou will be pleased to send me.  Adorable Trinity, I offer Thee for the glory of the Holy Name of God. all the adorations of the Sacred Heart of the Holy Infant Jesus. 

Next recite the following prayers in honour of the holy family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph 

“And the word was made Flesh and dwelt amongst us” 

Then recite an Our Father prayer 

“And the word was made Flesh and dwelt amongst us” 

Then recite an Our Father prayer 

And the word was made Flesh and dwelt amongst us” 

Then recite an Our Father prayer 

Then say the following prayers in honour and in memory of the 12 years of Jesus’ sacred Infancy. 

“And the word was made Flesh and dwelt amongst us” 

Then recite a Hail Mary prayer 

“And the word was made Flesh and dwelt amongst us” 

Then recite a Hail Mary prayer 

“And the word was made Flesh and dwelt amongst us” 

Then recite a Hail Mary prayer 

“And the word was made Flesh and dwelt amongst us” 

Then recite a Hail Mary prayer 

“And the word was made Flesh and dwelt amongst us” 

Then recite a Hail Mary prayer 

“And the word was made Flesh and dwelt amongst us”

Then recite a Hail Mary prayer 

“And the word was made Flesh and dwelt amongst us” 

Then recite a Hail Mary prayer 

“And the word was made Flesh and dwelt amongst us” 

Then recite a Hail Mary prayer 

“And the word was made Flesh and dwelt amongst us” 

Then recite a Hail Mary prayer 

“And the word was made Flesh and dwelt amongst us” 

Then recite a Hail Mary prayer 

“And the word was made Flesh and dwelt amongst us” 

Then recite a Hail Mary prayer 

“And the word was made Flesh and dwelt amongst us” 

Then recite a Hail Mary prayer 

Then recite the following prayer: 

“Holy Infant Jesus, bless and protect us”

More Infant Jesus topics

The Devotion of the Three Hail Marys

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 This devotion goes back to some revelations with which benedictine nun St. Mechtilde was favoured. Mechtilde was the daughter of the Count of Hackeborn, Germany. When she was seven, she was taken to the cloister of Ruderdorf to visit an elder sister of hers, Gertrude who was a Benedictine nun.

At the end of the visit, the little girl would not leave her sister. She eventually joined the nuns and together with her elder sister went to found a new Cloister at Helfta. Shortly after, Mechtilde, although still very young,  was made novice and choir mistress.

Among her novices she had Gertrude who became St. Gertrude, known as the Great. It was this pupil who secretly, helped by another nun, collected Mechtilde’s memoirs which came down to us. Mechtilde died in 1299.

From the start Mechtilde was a shining example of humility, piety religious observance and of great patience. She bore with great patience constant physical pain which tormented her throughout life. She often meditated on the mystery of death and every time she implored Our Lady to be with her always, especially at that moment. She was also favoured with visions and colloquies with Our Lord and Our Lady.

One day Our Lady appeared to her and assured her: “Dear daughter, I will most certainly grant you the grace that you insistently ask of me, but I request you to say, every day, Three Hail Marys in honour of the power, wisdom and love with which the Holy Trinity deigned to fill my heart. If you do that I promise you final perseverance. Mechtilde was made to feel that his promise was not for her alone but for all who would undertake to practice this devotion.

The devotion soon spread all over among the faithful.  It was approved by Pope Benedict XV on July 20, 1921. The papal document says “Nothing gives us more joy than helping the Christian people to develop their devotion towards the Virgin Mary, mediatrix of all divine graces …. We raise and constitute into an Arch Confraternity or Primary Society, with all the usual privileges, the Association of The Three Hail Marys, canonically already existing at Blois (on the Loire, in France) in the chapel dedicated to the Most Blessed Immaculate Virgin Mary.

In order to respond full to the request of Our Lady and merit the grace of a happy death, one must have the true knowledge of what this devotion implies.  It is not enough to recite the Three Hail Marys  in a general way,  but it is necessary to recite the Three Hail Marys with the precise aim pointed out by Our Lady: “To honour the Holy Trinity for the three privileges granted to the Mother of God: power, wisdom and love.

Again the full value of this devotion is not measured only by this primary purpose, but by the power it has to obtain extraordinary spiritual and material graces. One could hardly dream of giving an adequate number of all the graces granted throughout the centuries. Extraordinary cures from infirmities; study courses completed with success, when the odds were so many; miraculous protection in dangers of all kind; severe temptations and bad habits overcome; conversions to a better life etc….

No one could deny so many real graces obtained by so many.  As a sample of the spiritual power of this devotion I will quote here one example written in first person by whoever received the grace. “I was slave of a bad habit against purity. For three long years I struggled in vain.  All the means I could think of, or which were suggested to me proved useless. I felt guilty of sins and even sacrileges, knew no peace of mind and was beginning to despair. Then one day I was told of this devotion and began to practice it. Almost at once I was strong enough not to fall into sin. There were occasions when I almost wanted to go back to my evil ways again, but something stronger than my bad will was there to prevent me. Thank you Mother for helping me out of a situations that was seriously endangering both my material and spiritual life.”

Let this example inspire us to begin practicing this devotion, if we have not done so yet or to make use of it more consciously and with greater devotion if we are practicing it already. While doing so let us give first place to our spiritual needs, like the strength to avoid sin and the desire to become better spiritually day by day.

The center of this devotion is at Blois in the beautiful shrine dedicated to Notre Dame de la Trinite. Our Lady of the Holy Trinity, built in 1937. There also is the centre of the Arch Confraternity of the Three Hail Marys.

A personal testimony

I prayed this devotion repeatedly during a crisis and four hours later the problem was solved perfectly. Below is another testimony regarding the Three Hail Marys.

A severe cough  (The devotion of the Three Hail Marys)
During a long bus trip, Clare developed a very severe cough that was loud and prolonged. The lady who was sitting behind her took out a holy card of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal and silently continuously prayed a devotion that is known as The Three Hail Marys, to ask for a healing of the cough. Later on another passenger came up to the lady and touched her with a relic of Saint Philomena. The next morning Clare was completely free of the cough.

The Three Hail Marys Devotion consists of saying three Hail Marys followed by the invocation “O Mary my mother keep me from mortal sin”. This devotion is in honour the power, wisdom and love with which the Blessed Trinity has infused into the heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Many favours have been granted throughout the centuries to those who practice this devotion.

This story is published in my book:  Help from heaven (Answers to prayer) which can be read free on-line here.

The custom of observing a moment of silence for the dead (what is behind this)

The custom of observing a moment of silence for the dead, has always appeared to me to be silly and useless, but now that I know that it was practiced by my Irish ancestors and that it has a real meaning and purpose, (offering silent prayers to God for the relief of the Holy Souls in Purgatory),  I am ashamed of myself for thinking that. 

The explanation of the practice is helpful, but a lot of people will still stand for the moment of silence with some vague thoughts of the deceased, which will accomplish nothing except to make them feel emotional and also many people don’t believe in the doctrine of Purgatory.  Not believing in something that is real, does not make it go away. 

A devotion to the Holy Souls in Purgatory should be part of the life of every Catholic. If you don’t want to go there after death, you should do what you can now, for the Holy Souls in Purgatory. From what I have read based on visions of saints and holy people, when souls are being released from Purgatory, the ones who were devoted to the Holy Souls in Purgatory, when they were living on this earth are usually released before the souls who did not have this devotion. 

This is a link to the teaching of St Therese of the Child Jesus on how to avoid Purgatory and go straight to heaven. 

http://www.franciscan-sfo.org/ap/litfwrpu.htm 

People have told me how grateful they were to get to read this information. For those of us who take Purgatory seriously, there can be considerable worry about spending time there.  There needn’t be.  The teachings at the link provided will explain why.

Purgatory is real and is alluded to in the bible

When we die we can no longer pray for ourselves, but others can pray for us. That there is a place which we call Purgatory is alluded to in the bible in these words: “It is a holy and wholesome thing to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from their sins.” (II Macab. XII., 46)

The powerful intercession of the Holy Souls in Purgatory for their benefactors and ways to help them

Embarrassing and/or funny moments at Church

Do any of you have stories to tell of funny or embarrassing things that have happened at church? I will start off by relating one of my stories.

During my dad’s requiem Mass, the priest, his cousin made an embarrassing slip of the tongue. Instead of saying: Let us stand for the final commendation, he said, Let us stand for the final condemnation!

Painting of the Holy Souls in Purgatory

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In the left hand corner of this picture is depicted the souls in Purgatory.  (Note the angel in blue, who is pulling a soul out of Purgatory to take it to heaven). This painting is in a chapel in Rome, Italy.

Our Lord dictated the following prayer to St Gertrude the Great to release many souls from Purgatory each time it is said.
Prayer of St. Gertrude the Great.
Eternal Father, I offer Thee the most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son,  Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the holy souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal Church, those in my own home and within my family.   Amen.

Our Lord dictated the following prayer to St Gertrude the Great to release many souls from Purgatory each time it is said.

Prayer of St. Gertrude the Great

Eternal Father, I offer Thee the most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son,  Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the holy souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal Church, those in my own home and within my family.   Amen.

Getting over disappointments (mending a broken heart)

I once took a sewing course. The sewing teaching was a lady who dispensed wisdom as she taught sewing.  She told us about a girl that she knew, who was heartbroken after breaking up with her boyfriend.
Someone asked the girl to sew a wedding dress. The girl got to work on this project and had such a great time making the dress that she got over her boyfriend in a week!
If something does not work out the way that you hoped it would, find something else to concentrate on and put your energy into that and you will recover much faster from your disappointment and heartache.

I once took a sewing course. The sewing teaching was a lady who dispensed wisdom as she taught sewing.  She told us about a girl that she knew, who was heartbroken after breaking up with her boyfriend.

Someone asked the girl to sew a wedding dress. The girl got to work on this project and had such a great time making the dress that she got over her boyfriend in a week!

If something does not work out the way that you hoped it would, find something else to concentrate on and put your energy into that and you will recover much faster from your disappointment and heartache.

Praying for the Poor Souls in Purgatory is an excellent project to pour your energy into.

Backyard garden shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes

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The Aussie Farmer (poem)

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I bought a farm
Which was run down.
It was fifty miles
To the nearest town.

I ploughed the ground
And planted the seeds,
Watered the plants,
And tore out the weeds. 

With water levels low,
In the tank,
New artesian wells
Into the ground
I sank.

Some rain was needed
For the crop,
But there wasn’t even
One small drop.

I waited, waited,
For the rain,
And finally
One day it came.

It rained non-stop,
Every day,
Washing all
The crops away!

Then the bushfires started
And the barn burnt down.
I quit the farm
And headed for town.

A bakery shop in the town,
I now run,
And dough I am making
By the ton.

More of my poems

The grotto of Our Lady at Lourdes, France

Our Lady of Lourdes Pray for us.

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The chapel in the convent at Nevers, France

St Bernadette’s incorrupt body is on display in this chapel.

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St Bernadette looks really serene as though she is having a good sleep.

The Miracle of the Eucharist, in Lanciano, Italy

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                           The miracle of the Eucharist in Lanciano, Italy.

Happy feastday St Anthony (The custom of St Anthony’s bread)

True son of St Francis that he was St Anthony had a great love for the poor and even now he still continues to help them by encouraging the devotion known as St Anthony’s bread. This is a very old devotion too and it had its origin in Padua as the result of another miracle.
A little child whose parents lived near the Basilica, which was then being built fell into a vessel of water and drowned. The poor mother was heart broken but great as was her grief she had a greater confidence in the power of St Anthony. She begged him to help and give her back her babe promising that if her prayers were heard she would give the child’s weight in grain to the poor. Towards midnight while the bereaved mother was still praying the child rose up as if from sleep. After this miracle the practice developed of promising alms to the poor in return for favours received through the intercession of the saint. Today this practice is widespread and in most of our churches boxes are provided to receive alms for the poor from those who have been assisted by this great friend of the poor.
Great impetus was given to this devotion by a simple incident that occurred towards the end of the last century. A pious French girl Louise Bouffier who owned a small linen store in Toulon, found difficulty, one morning, in opening the door of her shop. After repeated efforts she sent for a locksmith, whose assortment of keys proved useless. Deciding that the lock must be forced, the man departed to get tools for the purpose. While he was away, Louise prayed earnestly to St. Anthony, promising him bread for his poor if the door was opened without injury to the lock. When the locksmith returned she asked him to try his keys once more, telling him of her promise to the Saint. The man did as she asked, and with the first key he tried, opened the door without any difficulty.

This incident greatly strengthened Louise Bouffier’s confidence in St. Anthony.  She increased her devotion to him, always promising bread to the poor.  Her friends followed her example with the result that, in a short time the rear of her store became a centre for St. Anthony’s Bread in Toulon. People of all ranks and conditions came there to pray before the statue of St. Anthony which had been erected.

Alms of bread arrived in great quantities, until the task of distributing it became too difficult. Then it was decided to accept money offerings for the poor, who were thereby enabled to purchase not only food, but clothing and other necessities. The thank-offerings also took the form of alms for the education of poor boys for the Priesthood.

More customs in honour of St Anthony

The life of St Anthony

Favours granted by St Anthony

Prayers to St Anthony to seek his intercession