The grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes in France

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 This is the famous grotto at Lourdes, France.  It is the place where Our Lady appeared to St Bernadette, on February 11,  in 1858.  There a miraculous spring there.

The Bambino of Aracoeli (Rome), Italy

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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)

The Devotion of the Three Hail Marys

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 My backyard Lourdes Shrine

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 comes from the book: Help from heaven (Answers to prayer), which can be read free-online by pressing  here.

The Hail Mary Prayer

Hail Mary full of grace
The Lord is with thee
Blessed art thou among women
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus
Holy Mary Mother of God
Pray for us sinners now
and at the hour of our death.  Amen.

Visual and audio reminders to pray for the Holy Souls in Purgatory

Use visual reminders to help you pray for the Holy Souls in Purgatory. One of the most obvious of these is a cemetery. Make a resolution to pray for the Holy Souls whenever you are passing a cemetery. Print out the St. Gertrude prayer for the Holy Souls and put it on your fridge door. Always put: Pray for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, on your to-do lists. When praying for the Holy Souls remember that there are many souls in Purgatory who have no one to pray for them. Among this group are Protestants. That is because Protestants don’t believe in Purgatory, so they don’t pray for the souls of their deceased relatives. Recommend to the intercession of the Holy Souls in Purgatory an end to the culture of death.  Also use audio reminders. The audio reminders that I am thinking of are radio advertisements for funerals. Some of them are very funny. They include dad’s flashy motor cycle taking pride of place outside the funeral director’s chapel and then there is the unique funeral for your loved one. In this add we are told about how the poor lady elephant on the African savanna is surrounded by her fellow elephants and we are given the details of how the elephant funeral went. Then there is the grand-daughter who finds it too hard to say something in front of all those people on grand-dad’s day i.e. the day of his funeral, so she asks her mother if she can make a DVD with her speech on grand-dad’s life to be screened at the funeral.
All this is good for a laugh. When you are finished laughing remember to say a prayer for relief of the Holy Souls in Purgatory who don’t care about flashy motor bikes, DVD’s and elephants. Their only desire is to enter into heaven and to see God.

More way to help the  Holy Souls in Purgatory  and their powerful intercession for their benefactors.

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

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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.

 

The Green Scapular

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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.