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

Saint Philomena The Wonder Worker (poem)

The king and queen no baby had;
They longed to be a mum and dad;
To pagan gods they prayed each day;
But still no baby came their way.

Then good advice was given them;
It proved to be a priceless gem;
Christians are what you should be;
Then a baby blessing;
You shall see!

When this was done;
The grace was granted;
And with little Philomena;
They were enchanted! 

When little Philomena had reached twelve years;
Bad news filled up their eyes with tears;
On their country small and poor;
The emperor of Rome;
declared a war !

Let’s go to Rome;
The King told wife and daughter;
To plead with the emperor;
to prevent this slaughter.

At the mighty
Emperor’s court;
They pleaded with him;
the war to abort.

The emperor had a new idea;
He said there’s nothing more to fear.
Give me your daughter;
To be my wife;
And I promise her;
A wonderful life! 

The offer took them
By surprise;
A refusal would mean;
Their country’s demise.

The king and queen were filled with gladness;
But Philomena was overcome by sadness.

To be a bride of Christ;
She’d already taken a vow;
No way would Philomena;
Let it be broken now. 
The answer was a steadfast no;
The emperor now his force would show! 

To the dungeon Philomena was deployed;
All manner of torture was employed;
It was all to no avail;
The emperor’s methods were doomed to fail.
Because God Himself defended her soul;
Philomena kept her eyes on her heavenly goal. 

The maiden Philomena;
Was strengthened by faith and grace;
Until the day she could behold;
God face to face.

Finally the maiden Philomena was beheaded;
And the onlookers wept;
For many centuries in the catacombs;
She silently slept.   

At last her relics were located;
And the excavators were elated;
When Philomena’s relics,
Were bought up to the ground;
Miracles started to abound !

Some folks thought that miracles;
Had stopped with the Bible;
With Philomena;
They had a revival.

The sneering cynics;
Who had announced God’s demise;
Were by Philomena’s miracles;
Dealt a surprise.

Saint Philomena’s fame;
Spread everywhere;
And people ran to her;
Pleading in prayer.

No one was forgotten;
No one was left out;
The cripples;
The dying;
The sad;
And the needy;
All of them found;
Her miracles speedy.
 
From heaven she surveys;
All of our needs;
And on our behalf;
With God she pleads. 

Say a prayer to Saint Philomena;
And light her a candle;
Because there is no problem;
That she cannot handle.

There’s one thing more;
We should not ignore;
From her grave of silent obscurity;
She has come back to teach us;
About goodness and purity. 

 by Mary Ann Matulis

page3

Novena to St Philomena

(composed by St John Vianney) 

O great St Philomena, glorious virgin and martyr, Wonder-Worker of our age, I return most fervent thanks to God for the miraculous gifts bestowed on thee, and beseech thee to impart to me a share in the graces and blessings of which thou hast been the channel to so many souls.

Through the heroic fortitude with which thou didst confront the fury of tyrants and brave the frowns of the mighty rather than swerve from thy allegiance to the King of Heaven, obtain for me purity of body and soul, purity of thought and affection.

Through thy patience under multiplied sufferings, obtain for me a submissive acceptance of all the afflictions it may please God to send me, and as thou didst miraculously escape unhurt from the waters of the Tiber, into which thou wert cast by order of Thy persecutor, so may I  pass through the waters of tribulation without detriment to my soul.

In addition to these favours, obtain for me, O faithful spouse of Jesus, the particular intention I earnestly recommend to thee at this moment.

(state your petition)

O pure virgin and holy martyr, deign to cast a look of pity from Heaven on thy devoted servant, comfort me in affliction, assist me in danger, above all come to my aid in the hour of death.

Watch over the interests of the Church of God, pray for its exultation and prosperity, the extension of the Faith, for the clergy, for the perseverance of the just, the conversion of sinners, and the relief of souls in Purgatory, especially those dear to me.

O great Saint, whose triumph we celebrate on earth, intercede for me, that I may one day behold the crown of glory bestowed on thee in Heaven, and eternally bless Him Who so liberally rewards for all eternity the sufferings endured for His love during this short life. Amen.

Oh St Philomena, virgin and martyr, pray for us so that through your powerful intercession we may obtain that purity of spirit and heart that leads to the perfect love of God.  Amen.

Learn about the powerful intercession of The Holy Souls in Purgatory for their benefactors

Novena to St Philomena the Wonder Worker for the healing of autism:

http://missionbell.homestead.com/novenaforautisticchildren.html

Food for the needy (The power of the Hail Mary)

The_Grotto_of_Our_Lady_of_Lourdes_in_France_op_800x600

 

 

 

 

The following story should go far to show how acceptable to God the Hail Mary is. Jason is a volunteer worker for a charitable organisation which distributes food to the poor.  He purchased eighteen hams from the supermarket on the organisation’s credit card for distribution to the needy.  This would have been an expensive purchase.  For some unexplained reason the hams were not credited to the card. Jason brought this matter to the attention of the supermarket’s manageress. She shrugged her shoulders and said that nothing could be done about it and that the organisation did not have to worry about paying for the hams. Jason attributes this favour to his regular practice at the beginning of each undertaking of saying of one Hail Mary and simply asking Mary to help him with the charity work. Jason has received other striking helps in his work from this simple way of invoking Mary, including a large donation of the exact amount that he had assessed that the organisation was in need of to carry out its works and that he was about to apply to the head office of the organisation for.

 This is one of the stories in my book Help from Heaven (Answers to Prayer).

Press here   to read the book.

The Bambino of Aracoeli (Rome), Italy

Aracoeli

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The picture was taken by my husband Chris during a trip to Rome.           

This statue dating back to the end of the 15th century is a wood carving made in Jerusalem from an olive tree from Gethsemane by a pious Franciscan Friar.

According to tradition, the friar did not have the necessary paints to complete his work so it was miraculously completed by an angel. During his return trip to Rome a severe storm on the sea forced him to throw overboard his small case containing the precious treasure, but the case arrived at the port of Livorno by itself in the wake of the ship. 

Proceeded by the fame of unusual miracles the holy image was received with great joy in the Eternal City and was accorded special veneration. One day during the Christmas season, while the Bambino was lying in the crib, a noble Roman matron stole the statue and carefully hid it in her home. However becoming gravely ill she was obliged by her confessor to return the statue. 

A popular tradition has it that it left her house by itself during the night and returned to its place on the Campidoglio as the bells of the Basilica rang joyously announcing the miracle. 

Rich gifts of gold and precious stones give witness to the gratitude of the faithful for the innumerable graces received. These gifts were always furnished abundantly whenever the statue was sacrilegious despoiled. In 1798 a noble Roman citizen, Serafin Petrarca, saved the statue from being burned by the troops of Napoleon, by paying a huge ransom. 

The chapel of the Holy Bambino is continually visited by pilgrims from all parts of the world.  Mothers, before giving birth, visit Aracoeli to receive a special blessing and also bring their children to be consecrated to the Divine Child.  From time immemorial, the Bambino has been carried to the sick-bed of the faithful and oftentimes one could see in the Campidoglio Square a long line of carriages awaiting their turn. 

The ever-increasing fame of this miraculous image moved Pope Leo XIII and the Vatican to order its coronation which took place with solemn rites on May 2, 1897. This fame is attested to by the numerous letters of petition and thanksgiving which the Divine Infant receives daily from devout people from all corners of the globe; the little ones and the great of the world write to Him as to a dear friend. During Christmas time the children of Rome uninterruptedly come before the crib to sing jubilantly to the new-born Babe. 

  Learn about another devotion to the  Child Jesus   (The Infant of Prague)

St Therese of the Roses (a fifties hit song)

Several years ago a lady told me that there had been a 1950’s song on the hit parade called: St Therese of the Roses.  I wondered if that was possible and thought that it would be hard to verify. Pop tunes are rarely about things like that. (I know that Andy Williams has a well known recording of the song called:  The Village of St Bernadette, so such things are possible). The Village of St Bernadette is played occasionally on a Sydney commercial radio station. Recently I found the lyrics of: St Therese of the Roses, on the internet, soon after I had invoked her for a special favour. It is about a man who promises to pray in a candlelit chapel each night and asks St Therese to protect him and to guide him and his fiancé in their future marriage. Then the song talks about how St Therese guides everyone who comes to her for help.

I will quote here the promises of St Therese.

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. 

I have seen St Therese keep her promises on many occasions, including healing my aunty of cancer. 

The story is in my book:  Help from heaven  (Answers to prayer).   The stories have been posted online.

Protection from danger at sea (The Holy Infant Jesus of Prague)

infantofprague
A friend told me the following story about her grandfather Joseph.  Joseph was on a ship off the coast of China prior to World War I.  A gale blew up and large waves lashed the ship. The ship was in danger of sinking.  Joseph was very devoted to the Holy Infant Jesus of Prague. He went to his cabin and took out his Infant Jesus of Prague statue and then stood on the deck and held it while praying. He received a vision of the Infant Jesus walking on the waves.  The gale stopped and the waves died down. The ship was no longer in danger of going down.

This story comes from my book: Answers to Prayer (Help from heaven), click here to read the book free on-line.

Only a Taste of Lourdes Water

A Jesuit Father writes the following account to a religious paper :

 

The horse which was to have brought me to the railway station, fell on the slippery streets, and, so I missed my train. This was indeed very vexing as I had taken every precaution to be in time. We arrived at the station just as the train was moving off; regrets were useless, so I patiently submitted to my lot, and thought I would say my Office during the time which would elapse before the next train, which was due in about an hour. This was no easy task in a busy station, but if I went away, I did not know what to do with a large bottle of Lourdes water, which I had with me. To put it in the luggage room did not seem quite reverent, but I noticed in the corner of the waiting-room, a man, closely wrapped up, who, to all appearance, meant to sit there for several hours. So I walked up to him, and asked if he were going to remain there for some time. “Yes,” was the reply. This ‘Yes’ was uttered shortly, and signified, rather, ‘What does it matter to you?’  “Are you going to stay till eleven o’clock?” “Yes,” was the curt rejoinder. His voice sounded still gruffer. “If I leave this article here, will you look after it?”  “What is it”? he asked. “Oh, nothing very particular; but will you have, the kindness to take care of it?”

 

In a sulky voice, I at length got the reply- “Very well, leave it there.” I then went off to a quiet spot under some trees, near the station. Having finished my Office, I bought a newspaper, in order to pass away the remaining twenty minutes. Scarcely had I begun to read, when I seemed to hear a voice saying to me: “Go and see what has become of the bottle!” “Stupid bottle!” I could have said but the remembrance of its contents restrained me. I wanted to read, but the voice seemed to repeat: “Go and see what has become of your bottle!” I could stand this no longer, so I went; the man was still there, the man of the slow, rough and morose answers, but he sat with his face buried in his hands, and the tears welling through his fingers. “Oh, Father”, he said, “I will tell you all, yes all.” (How I wondered at this unexpected manner of address.) “You see that I am already an old man. I was born and baptized in the Catholic Church, and until the age of eleven, I practised my religion; then I lost my mother, and my father being already dead, I was left alone in the world.

 

Fortunately, I was in the hands of a good master, but he was a staunch Protestant, and he eventually constrained me to embrace his religion; and to please him, I became a Protestant. Later on I married, and God gave me a good Catholic wife who continually entreated me to return to the religion of my childhood; but I put it off from year to year. When you went away, leaving this bottle standing here, I was curious to know what it contained, and to try what a papist priest’s brandy tasted like, but I soon perceived that it was only water after all. As soon as I had taken a mouthful, a change came over me, I felt determined to become a Catholic once more; and I will do so immediately. So I beg of you, Father, to hear my confession.” This announcement was so strange that at first I believed the good man had been drinking something more than my water, and so I wanted to get rid of him. “We have not any time now,” I replied, “for the train will be here in a few minutes; besides, this is not the place for such things. Come to me at X.”

 

“Now, Father, now,” was the rejoinder. “I cannot come to X; do hear my confession and I promise you that I will go to church next Sunday with my wife.” “Do you know,” I asked, “where this water comes from?” “No” he replied. “It is from the miraculous spring of the Immaculate Mother of God at Lourdes.” “Well then, it is the Blessed Virgin Mary who has obtained this grace for me,” he said. Thereupon I lost no more time and before the train left, I had reconciled this aged sinner to his God.

 

St Philomena and the doctor’s Bill

A lady told me this story which happened over eighty years ago in Ireland.  One of her relatives was very ill.  The family did not telephone the doctor to come to the house because they knew that if they did not have the money to pay him that he would refuse to come. They prayed to St. Philomena for help for the sick family member.  Later on in the day the doctor came to the house to see the sick girl.  They were stunned and asked him who had asked him to come.  He said that a tall girl with long black hair had come into his office and had paid the fee and asked him to come down to their home to visit the sick girl. The family had not talked about the matter to anyone except to St. Philomena in prayer. 

 Novena to St Philomena the Wonder Worker for the healing of autism 

Please visit the autism novena webpage for the details of how to enrol a person who has autism in the novena.

The Green Scapular

green_scapular0007

The Blessed Virgin Mary revealed the Green Scapular to Sister Justine Bisqueyburu, in France, in 1840.  Our Lady promised that there would be many conversions when this scapular was used with confidence in her intercession.  The scapular should be blessed a priest. There is no enrollment required.  Daily say the prayer attached to this Scapular. “Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death”. This prayer can be said in favour of another. If the prayer is not said by the person to whom the scapular is given then it should be said by the person who is giving the scapular. It can be worn, or it can be placed in the clothing, on the bed, or simply in the room with the person.

Learn about the Miraculous Medal.

The 54 Day Rosary Novena

our-lady-of-the-rosary-of-pompeii1

 The 54 day rosary novena is a simple devotion which was revealed by Our Lady to a girl in Italy in the 19th Century. It is done in the following way: You say the Rosary for 54 consecutive days in a row. The first 27 days are for the petition and the next 27 days are for thanksgiving. Regardless of anything that has happened, you still go ahead and thank Our Lady for the outcome.                            

I and many other people have experienced terrific answers to prayers that seemed to have been bordering on the impossible. One of these petitions was very big and I had prayed my heart out for it for about two years and this seemingly impossible request was granted in the most wonderful way after I did a 54 day Rosary Novena as a final resort to get it granted and the answer was far more abundant than I had even requested or imagined when I made my petition. I can highly recommend this devotion to you.  Its power has been demonstrated to me in wonderful ways and I certainly am not alone in enjoying its fruits.  Many people throughout the world had done so too. Making this novena is a good way to keep up your motivation for saying the rosary on a daily basis.  

Read my book: Help from Heaven (Answers to prayer) including those from the 54 day Rosary novena by pressing here.

 

St Therese and the fishing expedition

There was a fishing village which was in danger of starvation becausethe fishermen had been very unsuccessful in catching fish that year. Then one of the boats in the fishing fleet was put under the protection of Sister Therese as she was then known. (This was well before her canonisation).  The boat which was put under her protection was amazingly successful in its catch on the first fishing night that Sister Therese was asked for her help.  The other boats in the fishing fleet did not invoke her protection. They caught nothing at all.

Read more about St Therese here.

The promise of St Therese of the Child Jesus (The Little Flower).

“I will let fall from heaven….a shower of roses”

These ‘roses’ are favours and miracles.

The Rosary of the Holy Wounds of Our Lord Jesus Christ also known as the Chaplet of Mercy

Here is a way to help the Holy Souls in Purgatory. Great benefits are conferred by the Sacred Wounds on the Holy Souls.

 

Promise of Our Lord to Sister Mary Martha Chambon:

‘The soul who during life has honoured and studied the Wounds of Our Lord Jesus Christ and has offered them to the Eternal Father for the souls in Purgatory, will be accompanied at the moment of death by the Holy Virgin and the angels: and Our Lord on the Cross all brilliant in glory will receive her and crown her.”

 

Offer the following prayers for the relief of the Holy Souls in Purgatory

 

The Rosary of the Holy Wounds of Our Lord Jesus Christ also known as the Chaplet of Mercy

 

(May be said on the Rosary beads)

 

On the large beads: Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Wounds of Our Lord Jesus Christ to heal the wounds of our souls.

 

On the small beads: My Jesus, pardon and mercy through the merits of Thy Holy Wounds.

 

These two invocations were taught by Our Lord to Sister Mary Martha Chambon, deceased, in the Visitation of Chambery, France, March 21, 1907. The sister received from Our Lord a double “mission”, constantly to invoke the Holy Wounds herself, and to revive this devotion in the world.

 

Promise of Our Lord to Sister Mary Martha: “I will grant all that is asked of Me by the invocation of  My Holy Wounds. You must spread the devotion.”

 

(Sources consulted: Devotion to Christ’s Sacred Wounds and the Pieta Prayer book).

Instant Art (Father Paul of Moll O.S.B.)

One of my daughters suffered from a learning disability (autism).  She was having great difficulty learning to speak.  I made up special speech books for her from cheap second hand children’s’ picture books that I brought in bulk from church and school fetes. I had exhausted my supply of the picture books on this project and wanted to make up some more speech books for my daughter. About that time I read a book about a Benedictine priest of Belgium who lived in the nineteenth century.  He was a wonderworker and a zealous promoter of the Saint Benedict Medal. One day I casually prayed to him in these words, “Father Paul of Moll, you are going to have to get me some more children’s picture books or give me some art ability.” After the prayer I went and got a large art sketch book.  There was a book in the house which was illustrated with some cartoons of animals doing human activities like cooking the dinner and mowing the lawn. The pictures in the book were small. I sat down and looked at the cartoon book and began to sketch into the art book.  I did not stop to look at the drawings that I was doing. When I finally checked my work, I was astounded to see that I had made pages of professionally drawn pictures, scaled up to large size to fit the pages. I have never had this art ability before or since. From my book: Help from heaven (Answers to prayer), which can be read free on-line at the following place:

http://missionbell.homestead.com/HelpFromHeavenBook.html

There are many stories in the book. Please have a look. If you wish to give me feedback, you will find my email address on the webpage.

Car that was “dead” is now running well (A favour of The Holy Souls in Purgatory)

Car that was “dead” is now running well  (The Holy Souls in Purgatory)
Right now I am feeling total awe, immense gratitude and the overwhelming feeling of just WOW. I say the Saint Gertrude prayer for The Holy Souls in Purgatory many times a day, since I found it on your web site. Yesterday when I was ready to go to Mass, I tried to start my car and there was nothing. It just would not turn over. I tried it several times during the day and my son tried it before he went to bed, but it still would not start. Before going to Mass this morning, I went to your web page, (as I do every morning before Mass) to say the prayer. I decided to read some of the things on the web page, which I did the first time that I found your web site, but have not done since then. I read about you not being able to open the lock on your door and about your husband helping. I thought that “I should pray to The Holy Souls in Purgatory about my car”, so before I went out, (I was intending to walk to Mass), I asked them to please pray that my car would start. I put the key in the ignition and said “please Holy Souls, pray that it starts,”  I turned the key and my car started! I was what you could call struck dumb. I could not believe it, they actually heard me and answered my prayer, so I offered up my Mass and my Eucharist for them. I pray that more and more people pray to and for The Holy Souls in Purgatory. They need our prayers, and they DO listen to us and pray for us. Just ask my car.  B.M. (USA)
This is the web link that is referred to in the story about the car:
This story comes from my book Help from heaven (Answers to prayer), which can be read free on-line at:
I welcome your feedback on the book.

My book on answers to prayer (on line free): (An Appeal for more stories)

Dear Friends,

I have recently put up online the first edition of my book: Help from heaven (Answers to prayer).  

There are many stories of answers to prayer. They cover several saints, the guardian angels, St Raphael the Archangel, Our Lady and Our Lord (invoked under several titles), the Miraculous Medal, The Divine Mercy, The Sacred Wounds of Our Lord, The intercession of the Holy Souls in Purgatory for their benefactors, etc. There are also prayers, an article on how to meditate on the Rosary, an article on miracles, some poems etc. The stories came from friends, relatives and  acquaintances.  

The book is an apostolate to help people. It is not a commercial venture. 

I thought that it would be good if the book contained more stories of answers to prayers. If you have a story of an answer to prayer (that is original) that you think might be suitable for the book, please email me at:

 catacomb@bigpond.com 

Through your feedback the book might be improved.

Greetings and prayers for all your intentions,

Mary Ann

(Australia) 

The book is in two parts and can be read at the following links:   

Help from heaven (part one)

http://missionbell.homestead.com/HelpFromHeavenBook.html 

Help from heaven (part two – final section) 

http://missionbell.homestead.com/HelpFromHeavenBookPartTwo.html 

Please let your family and friends know about the book also, so that they can have a look.