Friday, 29 July 2016

The Rosary and the Eucharist

The Rosary is a marvellous fresco in 20 pictures, telling the story of salvation.

It is presented for our meditation in this order : Joyful, Sorrowful, Glorious, and Luminous.

These are 4 Phases in the Life of Jesus Christ and Mother Mary.

They teach us that God entered into history, making himself a Man who had a family, who suffered crucifixion for our salvation, who rose from the dead, and who shows us the way to heaven where he has prepared a place for us.

It shows how Mother Mary worked beside Jesus Christ in Life, Death, and Glory as well as in his Public Ministry.

The Rosary is a Prayer. But above all, it is a vivid example to arouse our generosity and draw us to Heaven.

When we come to the Eucharist, we come to Bethlehem for the Eucharist is the continuation of Christ's Incarnation on Earth. This is the theme of the Joyful Mysteries.

When we come to the Eucharist, we come to Calvary for here Jesus Christ makes present again His perfect sacrifice on the Cross and continues to immolate himself for love of us.

The Eucharist is the Fruit of Our Lord's Passion. This is the Theme of the Sorrowful Mysteries.

When we come to the Eucharist, we come to the Resurrection, for this is where Our Risen Saviour dwells !!

He is the Lamb on the throne, who shepherds us. The Eucharist is a foretaste of Heaven and a foreshadowing of the future glory that awaits us, where we will love God with God's very own love.

This is the theme of the Glorious Mysteries.

Finally, When we come to the Eucharist, We come to the Royal Banquet where Jesus Christ gives of himself freely to us Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity.

This is the Theme of the Luminous Mysteries.

Credits and References :

1) CEM
    Eucharistic Marian Centres Booklet
    The Rosary
    Page 9

2) Come to Me in the Blessed Sacrament
     By Missionaries of the Blessed Sacrament
     Pages 269-270
     Year 2003


Thursday, 28 July 2016

The Value of Praying the Rosary in front of the Blessed Sacrament

When we pray the Rosary, in front of the Blessed Sacrament we love Jesus Christ with the Heart of Mary.

When we pray the Rosary in front of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, we offer to Jesus Christ the perfect worship of Mary.

We unite our love for Jesus Christ to the perfect love and praise of Mary.

Jesus Christ receives our "Holy Hour" because no matter how weak our love Mother Mary encloses us in her heart and Jesus Christ accepts our hour with Him as coming directly from the Heart of His very own Mother.

The Immaculate Heart of Mary, repairs and makes up for what is missing in our very own hearts.

The 20 Mysteries of the Holy Rosary are centred around one central mystery of our faith ---- "The Holy Eucharist", where the work of our redemption is accomplished.

The Holy Eucharist continues and makes present all 20 mysteries of the Holy Rosary.

Credits and References :

Come to Me in the Blessed Sacrament
By Missionaries of the Blessed Sacrament
Page 268
Year 2003

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Take Courage It is I -- Do not be Afraid

The same Jesus Christ, who walked across the water and stretched out his hand to save a drowning Peter reaches out in the Blessed Sacrament to strengthen the weak and comfort the afflicted.

Even if you think, that you are the worst person in the world you are that much more welcome to come to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. He often said, that he came not for the well, but for the sick because the well do not need a Physician.

Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament is the "DIVINE PHYSICIAN" of our Soul. The farther away you think you are from God the more Jesus Christ wants you to come to him in the Blessed Sacrament.

He said a number of times that he came not for the self- righteous but for sinners.

The Greater Our Need and Desperation, the more clearly we should see Jesus Christ calling us to himself in the Blessed Sacrament. From the Blessed Sacrament, Jesus Christ says to us now what he said to Saint Peter a long time ago.

"Take Courage, It is I". Do Not be Afraid.

It is really the Jesus who loves you and who died for you who is truly present in the most Blessed Sacrament. We have nothing whatsoever to fear.

We should not let our sins keep us from coming to Him, because he is full of "Infinite Mercy".

We should not let the fact that we cannot pray well or have a busy schedule keep us from coming to Him because spending Time with Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament is the Best and Greatest Time that we will ever spend on earth.

Credits and References :

Come to Me in the Blessed Sacrament
By Missionaries of the Blessed Sacrament

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Some Interesting Stuff

Dear Friends in Jesus and Mary,

Many of you may be aware that I have a solid devotion to the Blessed Sacrament as well as to Our Lady under the title of Help of Christians.

Here are two articles one on a Pope who was a Pope of the Eucharist.

The other article is on a Motto of Mine called "To Jesus Through Mary".

Please read them slowly meditating on the pearls of advice in these 2 articles.

1) Pope Saint Pius X Pope of the Holy Eucharist

Read the whole article here

2)  To Jesus Through Mary

Read the whole article here


Monday, 25 July 2016

A Mother and the Blessed Sacrament

Introduction :

Mrs Mary Vaughan was an English Catholic born in England in the early years of 1800.

They must have had a Chapel at Home.

She found time rather "Made Time" to sit before the Blessed Sacrament and pray for her Family and Dear Ones and for Vocations among children and specially among her children.

She was splendidly blessed. Of her 13 Children, Five Daughters entered the Convent and Six of her Eight Sons became Priests.

Of these, Three became Bishops.

One was the Auxiliary Bishop of Salsford, another was Archbishop of Sydney, Australia, The Third and the eldest Herbert Vaughan was the great Cardinal Archbishop of Westminister -- Builder of Westminister Cathedral and founder of 2 Religious Orders.

Cardinal Vaughan stated that he owed his vocation to the priesthood to his Mother's Prayers before the Holy Eucharist where Jesus Christ is present Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity.

At the young age of 21, he wrote "During the day my mother often prayed before the Blessed Sacrament. Every Morning before breakfast, she was in the Chapel for half an hour or more.

After Breakfast, An Hour in the morning was always spent in meditation before the Holy Eucharist in the Chapel.

I do not remember, ever seeing her looking anywhere except at the Blessed Sacrament or into her Book during these visits.

Even to this day, I am struck with my sweet mother's ardent devotion and immense love for the Blessed Sacrament.

Conclusion : May God Give us such Mothers like Mrs Mary Vaughan who had a solid devotion to the Person of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament where He is really and substantially present.

Credits and References :

A Mother, Lover of the Divine Host
By Father Cajetan Lobo S.D.B.
Don Bosco's Madonna, Mumbai
November 1986

Sunday, 24 July 2016

The Message of the Rosary Parts 1-3

The Message of the Rosary Part - 1

The Glorious Mysteries :
The Glorious Mysteries give us a preview, so to say, and a foretaste of the glory that awaits us in the life to come, which eye has not seen and ear has not heard and the human heart has not experienced. For this reason they most powerfully stimulate Christian fervour and perseverance. Now, and not only in heaven, must we rise in a spiritual sense with Christ from the death of sin and walk in newness of life; now our thoughts and desires must dwell in heaven and delight in the company of angels and saints; now we must prepare our body for its glorified life by giving unstintingly of our physical strength to the service of God. I
In the light of these mysteries we recognize the important role which bodily pain and hardship plays in the Christian way of the cross and we learn to mortify the body with all its evil inclinations now so that it may live eternally. Not only in heaven but now must Mary be our Queen in whose service we glory and the imitation of whose virtues we make the ambition of our lives. Under the influence of the Holy Spirit these mysteries convey invincible courage, patience, peace and joy. The Holy Spirit has made us His temples and dwells in us now, so that full of the Holy Spirit we shall rise in glory on the day of resurrection.
Read the whole article here

The Message of the Rosary Part-- 2

Many Catholics, especially intelligent and well-meaning friends of the liturgical revival, seem puzzled by the fact that in the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima the rosary played such a prominent part. Is not the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass more important? Holy Mass is the unbloody re-enactment of the Sacrifice of our salvation, the centre of divine worship, the source of grace from which we hope for a renewal of the world in Christ. Why was not more frequent attendance at Holy Mass urged by our blessed Mother? Yet, it is certain that any request or recommendation coming from our blessed Mother cannot but be the best. Mary, as the Spouse of the Holy Spirit, the Mother of the Saviour and the Mediatrix of all Graces, has no more ardent desire than to lead us to a fuller appreciation of the mysteries of our redemption, to a more abundant participation in their life-giving grace. If she attaches so much importance to the rosary, the reason can only be that the rosary is the most practical means to bring about these happy results. The rosary will lead us to the altar of sacrifice, to Holy Mass and Holy Communion, to a more intimate union with Jesus and a profounder grasp of the spirit of the Church.
Asking for the recitation of the rosary, Our Lady of Fatima asks for an intelligent, understanding recitation, and that calls for reflection on the prayers that compose it, the Sign of the Cross, the Creed, the Our Father and Hail Mary, the Glory be, prayers which are, so to say, a compendium of the doctrines of our holy Faith. Their frequent, thoughtful repetition cannot but fix them more deeply in our minds and help applying them to our lives. To these prayers are added the mysteries which recall the principal events in the life of Jesus and Mary; they are so to say beautiful lamps, white and crimson and gold, illuminating our road to heaven. Meditation on these mysteries is necessary for the proper recitation of the rosary. Our Lady of Fatima requests it particularly for the observance of the five first Saturdays. It is evidently her wish that we become familiar with the contents of these mysteries; learn their beautiful lesson for our own lives and their practical significance for the world at large.
To secure a speedier and more general fulfilment of this wish of our blessed Mother the following reflections have been written. They may be used as instructions or readings, especially on the occasion of the five first Saturdays.
In our days, when an appalling ignorance of religion is widespread even among Catholics, when the spirit of the world surges up and down all the avenues of life, when there is so little understanding of the interior life, such general flight from the cross, such tragic forgetfulness of spiritual ideals and values, the rosary, with its mysteries, acts as an ever-present teacher of religion, as an inspiration and driving power for a life of living faith.
The rosary, far from interfering with the liturgical worship of the Church becomes its best support, inasmuch as it makes us lovers of Christ, and lovers of Christ will be drawn to the altar of His Eucharistic presence, sacrifice and Communion. As always, so it is true in this case: Through Mary to Jesus.
The Joyful Mysteries :
These mysteries introduce us into the wise and loving designs of God, according to which the Saviour of men was to enter this world and to be prepared for His tremendous sacrifice of our salvation during the years of His infancy and hidden life. They hold up before us the ideal of the interior life, the life of prayer and holy desire, of intimate communication with God in our hearts and with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, of complete surrender to the dispensations of Divine Providence, of loving faithfulness in humble and lowly duties, of silent endurance in the many unseen trials of the soul that strives after perfection. Whatever may be the external circumstances of a man's life, even though it may be most active, a life of leadership and grand achievement, the spirit of the joyful mysteries is indispensable for it, if it is to be a holy life leading to God, our last end. Intimate contact with God is the hidden power plant that makes external activity fruitful for eternity.

Read the whole article here

The Message of the Rosary Part --3

Whereas in the Joyful Mysteries the sacred writers record at some length the part which Mary played in them, the same writers are silent about her part in the sorrowful mysteries. All that we learn from them is that the Mother of Jesus stood beneath the cross, and that from the cross Jesus recommended her to St. John as his Mother, and St. John to her as her son. But what we know about Mary and her relation to Jesus is sufficient to supply the rest. Mary shared in the sufferings of her Divine Son as no other human person ever did or could have done, and she did it with sentiments of complete submission to the will of God and love for souls.
The Sorrowful Mysteries of the rosary illustrate the sacrificial character of the Christian life. The crosses of life are manifold, but they can all be reduced to the one or other of the sufferings commemorated in these sorrowful mysteries. In particular they are: Fear, anxiety, disgust experienced with regard to the crosses that actually afflict us or that we see approaching: bodily pain, humiliation, the labours and hardships imposed upon us by our vocational duties, bitterness against those whom we consider the cause of our suffering, the urge to throw off the cross when patience gives out.
The general lesson inculcated by these mysteries is patience, the spirit of penance and love of the cross, and that is the object our Lady of Fatima had in view when she asked for meditation on the mysteries of the rosary.

Read the whole article here

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Lourdes -- Where Jesus Christ is the Central Attraction

Introduction :

In the Apparitions at the Grotto, Mother Mary led Saint Bernadette to Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist and today intercedes for pilgrims and leads them to Jesus Christ.

At the Grotto in the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes, a Statue of Mother Mary stands on the right side and the altar for the Holy Eucharist is at the centre, because the Holy Eucharist is the "Centre of Devotion".

The Lourdes Motto is very simple.

"Through Mary to Jesus". Our Blessed Lady asked that a Chapel be built here wherein the "Living Sacrifice of the Mass" be offered up in supplication and atonement.

Devotion to Holy Mass and Frequent Holy Communion are the "Fruits of a Lourdes Pilgrimage".

Every major Marian Shrine is Christ-centred because it is centred around the Holy Eucharist.

Most of the reported miracles that take place at Lourdes, take place not only amidst a bath in those sacred waters but most specially during a Blessing with the Blessed Sacrament.

It is of utmost significance, that there is a Huge Basilica at Lourdes dedicated to Pope Saint Pius -- The Tenth -- The Pope of the Holy Eucharist.

In the Pius The Tenth Basilica the sick, the crippled, and others are daily blessed by the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist.

The chief form of reparation at Lourdes will always be through the Holy Eucharist. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is infinite reparation for the sins and errors of mankind.

When we come to Mother Mary, she looks upon us with motherly affection and tenderness and directs us to her Son in the Blessed Sacrament who is the Saviour of the World.

Conclusion :

To sum up Lourdes, is a "House of Gold", A Treasure House of grace, a "Tower of Ivory, beaconing the way to sanctity and salvation; a garden in the wilderness ready to enrich our souls and thirsting with the desire of our "Eucharistic Love".

Immaculate Queen of Heaven, Pray for us.

Credits and References :

1) Lourdes
    Page 27
   Don Bosco's Madonna, Mumbai
   May 2008
   Vol -10, N0-1

2)  Guide to Lourdes
     Special Centenary Edition 1958
     By Rev. Father J.A. Shields Pages 34 and 67
     Published by C.J. Fallon Ltd
     Republic of Ireland


Monday, 18 July 2016

Francis Kesy and His 4 Companions 1920-1942

Introduction :

On September 1, 1939 Hitler invaded Poland at the beginning of the Second World War.

The Salesian House in Poznan on Wroniecka  Street was occupied and turned into barracks for German Wehrmacht Soldiers.

Polish Catholic Youngsters continued to gather in the woods outside the City as well as in the City's many parks.

In September 1940, Francis Kesy  and 4 of his companions from the Oratory were arrested by the Gestapo and accused of belonging to a secret and illegal organisation.

They were taken to the fearful Fort 7 near Poznan where they were horribly tortured by the Gestapo and interrogated.

Following this, they were taken to various other prisons where they were brutally tortured. Taken back to Poznan, they were processed, accused of high treason and condemned to death.

Conclusion :

They were martyred by Nazi Soldiers at Dresden on August 24, 1942. They constantly prayed the Rosary as well as engaged in Morning and Evening Prayer.

Their Faith never wavered. They were Martyrs till the very end.

Credits and References :

Francis Kesy and His 4 Companions
Page 10
Don Bosco's Madonna, Mumbai
March 2016
Vol- 17, N0-11


Saturday, 16 July 2016

Mother Mary in the Magisterium of the Church

Introduction :

The First Encyclical expressly devoted to Marian Devotion was written by Pope Leo, the Thirteenth (1878-1903).

He was a Pope who intensely perceived and shared the sufferings of the world and offered from his vast cultural experience, not something simply devotional.

This great Pope taught that the prayer and the affectionate knowledge of the Mother of God should be anything but sentimental.

It was the closest approach to the "Mystery of Christ" that was effected through the humanity of a simple woman who did not pretend to understand everything but 'pondered everything in her heart'.

Encyclicals on the Holy Rosary :

In the first six years of his pontificate, Pope Leo wrote two encyclicals on the Mother of God.

In the years that followed, from 1891 to 1898, he wrote 8 other encyclicals, one each year in which he continued to invite Catholic Christians to pray to the Mother of God and he offered them effective and precise reflections on her irreplaceable role in the History of Salvation.

The main theme however, of every written text dwelt on the validity of  praying the Rosary.

The Rosary is a meditation on the Life of Jesus Christ through the eyes of Mother Mary whose gaze is a gaze of love and of meditative silence.

This encyclical traces the grand lineage of the history of the Holy Rosary beginning from Saint Dominic ( 1170-1221) who was the "one who first introduced the term the "Holy Rosary" and who through his followers propagated this devotion.

It goes on to enumerate the military victories attributed to praying the Holy Rosary and the various others who acknowledged it as the most powerful weapon to overcome every kind of evil.

In the Thirteenth Century, when Saint Dominic prayed the Rosary the enemies and heretics were defeated.

Pope Leo, The Thirteenth in the manner of the celebrated Saint Dominic "warmly exhorts all Catholic Christians to tirelessly fulfil the pious exercise of praying the Holy Rosary either privately or publicly asking that the whole month of October be consecrated and devoted to the heavenly Queen of the Rosary".

Conclusion :

"Mother of God", the title that Pope Leo, the Thirteenth uses more frequently than any other is the oldest and most important dogmatic title of the Madonna and which was defined by the Church at the Council of Ephesus in 431 A.D. to be believed by all Christians.

It is the foundation of all of Mary's greatness and the beginning of Mariology itself.

It is the most ecumenical of all titles, not only because it was defined by a Council, but also because it is unique and unanimously accepted at least in principle by all Christian Groups.

Pope Leo, the Thirteenth who was not very familiar with ecumenism, shows however that he speaks prophetically even without realising it in the name of God; the Pope launches out with the Mother of God towards that unreachable horizon which is the union of all people of every time and culture who are universally and immensely loved by God.

Credits and References :

Mary in the Magisterium of the Church
By Franco Careglio
Pages 28-30
Don Bosco's Madonna, Mumbai
May 2013
Vol- 15, N0-1


Friday, 15 July 2016

Our Lady's Brown Scapular

Tomorrow, July 16 is the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

Happy Feast to one and all.

Here is an amazing article on the Brown Scapular.


'Prompted by Our constant love for the tender Mother of God, and mindful also of Our own enrolment from boyhood in the Confraternity of this same Scapular, most willingly do We commend so pious an undertaking, and We are certain that upon it will fall an abundance of divine blessings. FOR NOT WITH A LIGHT OR PASSING MATTER ARE WE HERE CONCERNED, BUT WITH THE OBTAINING OF ETERNAL LIFE ITSELF, WHICH IS THE SUBSTANCE OF THAT PROMISE OF THE MOST BLESSED VIRGIN, WHICH HAS BEEN HANDED DOWN TO US. We are concerned with that which is of supreme importance to all, and with the manner of achieving it safely.
For the Holy Scapular, which may be called the Habit or Garment of Mary, is a sign and a pledge, of the protection of the Mother of God. But not for this reason, however, may they who wear the Scapular think that they can gain eternal salvation while remaining slothful and negligent of spirit, for the Apostle warns us: 'In fear and trembling shall you work out your salvation.
'Let all of you have a common language and a common armour; the language, the words of the Gospel; the armour, the Scapular of the Virgin of Carmel . . . which enjoys the singular privilege of protection even after death.
-Pope Benedict XV.
'This most extraordinary gift of the Scapular -from the Mother of God to St. Simon Stock . . . brings its great usefulness not only to the Carmelite Family of Mary but also to all the rest of the faithful who wish, affiliated to that Family, to follow Mary with a very special devotion.
-Pope Pius IX.
'The Carmelite Scapular, because of its nobility of origin, its extraordinary spread among Christian peoples for many centuries, the spiritualizing effects produced by it and the outstanding miracles worked in virtue of it, render the Scapular of Carmel commendable to a wondrous degree.
-Pope Leo XIII.
'Let us now make a novena to Our Lady of Mount Carmel and I shall be ready to die. -Pope Leo XIII during his last illness.
'The Scapular is, in a true sense a habit.' Those who receive it are, by their clothing, associated in a more or less intimate way with the Order of Carmel. Those who wear it profess to belong to Our Lady in the same way as the Knight of the Thirteenth Century, the century of the Scapular Vision, felt that he was ever under the watchful eye of his Lady. He was valiant and sure in battle, and when wearing his Colours,' would rather have died a thousand times than allow them to be tarnished.
-Pope Pius XII.
'It becomes clearer day by day that the way for men to return to God is assured by Mary, that Mary is the basis of our confidence, the guarantee of our security, the foundation of our hope.
-Pope John XXIII.
'Therefore, all Carmelites, whether they live in the cloisters of the First and Second Orders, or are members of the Third Order Regular or Secular, or of the Confraternities, belong to the same Family of our Most Blessed Mother and are attached to it by a special bond of love. May they all see in this Keepsake of the Queen herself, a mirror of humility, and purity; may they read in the very simplicity of the Garment a concise lesson in modesty and simplicity; and above all, may they behold in this same Garment, which they wear day and night, the eloquently expressed symbol, of their prayers for the divine assistance; finally may it be to them a Sign of their Consecration to the most Pure Heart of the Immaculate Virgin, which (consecration) in recent times We have so strongly recommended.
'And certainly this most gentle Mother will not delay to open, as soon as possible, through her intercession with God, the gates of heaven for her children who are expiating their faults in Purgatory- a trust based on that Promise known as the Sabbatine Privilege.
-Pope Pius XII.
Read the whole article here

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Leo Burger -- One with Christ

Introduction :

Hergensweiller is a pretty part of Southern Germany. On the 23rd of September 1912, Leo Burger was born into a very large, devout, and God-Fearing Catholic Family.

From a humble labourer, His Father rose to the post of Inspector of Constructions.

Every Evening, the whole family prayed the Family Rosary. Every Morning, before school the Parents with the children attended the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

The Youngster Grows Up :

At School, Leo immediately distinguished himself with his application to study. He had a keen intellect.

Between play and study, he revealed his secret attraction for the "Blessed Sacrament". Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist attracted him like a magnet. His Eucharistic Love like any love gradually became irresistible.

He frequented the Middle School at Lindau that was 12 KM from his town.

During his time at Lindau, he began his day with Holy Mass and Holy Communion. Before leaving the Church, he spent a few moments in prayer, entrusting his life to the Madonna.

The Young Vocation :

Leo's two older brothers were already studying at the Salesian Minor Seminary at Burghausen for the Priesthood.

Leo wanted to follow them in their footsteps and spoke to his father about this important matter.

His Parents were exceedingly happy but they asked him to reflect, to pray to Our Lady, and to wait. Leo prayed for a long time so that he would be able to make a good decision.

On January 27th 1927, the 15 year old Leo was accepted by the Minor Seminary at Burghausen.

From the first day, his favourite place was the Chapel near the Tabernacle.

Whenever, Leo disappeared, and was nowhere to be found he would be discovered before the Blessed Sacrament gazing at Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist with love.

He was extremely happy when the Blessed Sacrament was solemnly exposed in the Monstrance on the Holy Altar.

One with Jesus Christ :

Those close to him testified : "Leo Burger resembled Dominic Savio".

I often saw him spending much of his free time before the picture of Mary, Help of Christians. His frequent visits to Church only showed how much he burned with love for the Eucharistic Saviour and how he loved the Mother of the Saviour.

Leo Burger once wrote in a letter -- Jesus Christ and I are one. Before the Blessed Sacrament, there is just Jesus Christ and Me, and Me and Jesus Christ.

I couldn't think of anything more beautiful.

Meeting God :

On July 15th 1929, Leo Burger came home exhausted, hoping to recover. But, he was immediately sent to Bed as seriously ill.

He immediately realized that he would be meeting God soon.

While, in Bed he celebrated his last birthday ( November 23rd 1929). He was 17 years old.

At Christmas, he wanted all his dear ones around his bed and together they sang Silent Night in German.

His first preoccupation was that his parents should not worry as he grew more ill.

On the Feast of the Epiphany, in the Year 1930 he serenely received Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist for the last time.

On January 8th 1930, he calmly and consciously passed away at 4.00 in the afternoon.

Conclusion :

Leo Burger was the German Dominic Savio.

Credits and References :

One with Christ ---- Leo Burger
By Paolo Risso
Pages 13-15
Don Bosco's Madonna Mumbai
April 2007, Vol 8, N0-12


Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Martyr For the Crucified Christ ----- Blessed Helen Kafka

Introduction :

In 1894, in the humble house of a Cobbler at Hussowitz - Brunn (now Moldavia), Helen Kafka was born the sixth of seven children.

As soon as she started speaking, she began to stammer. In the Year 1896, when she was just 2 years old her family migrated to Vienna, Austria to seek a better life.

At the age of 6, Helen went to school, but because of her stammering the teacher forbade her to speak for 3 months with the hope that she would recover from that serious defect.

The "Cure" seemed to work and Helen soon started to express herself freely and boldly like other children.

At 15, she was forced to leave school and had to take up the job of a housemaid. In her heart, She nurtured a great love for Jesus Christ.

She wanted to consecrate herself only to Him.

Jesus Christ in the sick :

She was successful in obtaining a job at the hospital in Lainz, Austria that was run by the Sisters of Christian Charity, a Viennese Congregation.

Her desire to become a "Nun" and consecrate herself to Christ became more intense than ever. Her Parents opposed her but she prayed and tried to convince her parents about her vocation.

Ultimately, She ran away from Home.

At the age of 20, she joyfully entered the institute she had grown to love so much. Dressed in her religious habit she took the name of Sister Maria Restituta following a young martyr who was killed in 304 A.D. during the persecution of the Emperor Diocletian.

In 1914, the "Great War" began. The Novice Restituta lent her services at the hospital at Modling as nurse in the operation theatre and also as an anesthetist. There was nothing that could intimidate or frighten her.

She had an ardent love for Jesus Christ Crucified and for the Holy Eucharist. Her bright and energetic spirit came from Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament.

She spent a long time in prayer every morning at Holy Mass adoring Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist which is the representation of His Sacrifice.

During the day, she often lifted her eyes to the Crucifix that was hung in every room and even in the operation theatre.

Vienna is invaded by the Nazis :

In 1938, the Nazis invaded Vienna, Austria. Hitler didn't want any nuns running the hospitals and ordered the Crucifix be removed from all public places just as some want to do today.

Sister Helen succeeded in secretly continuing to assist the sick and the dying. The new surgeon was a Nazi Fanatic and though he desperately needed her experience he sent a report about her.

When the Nazis removed the Crucifix from the hospital at Modling, she rebelled and replaced it.

When they built a new wing at the hospital, Sister Helen hung the Crucifix in all the rooms knowing very well what would happen to her.

This is the Place for the Crucifix !!

Her gesture was a challenge to the false cross ---- the swastika ---- the symbol of Nazism. Hearing that she had put back the Crucifix she was reported to the Gestapo. On Ash Wednesday in 1942, she was arrested by the SS for the crime of libel because she called Hitler a bloodthirsty dictator.

She was accused of high treason and imprisoned in Vienna. Her long Calvary of a year began.

Towards, the end of March 1943 her death sentence arrived from Berlin, signed by Martin Bormann himself, one of the highest ranking Nazis.

Sister Helen succeeded in sending a last message to her fellow sisters.

"For Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament I live, and for Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament I want to die".

On March 30th 1943, Sister Helen Restituta Kafka was beheaded at Vienna under the blade of the guillotine.

Before turning herself over to the executioner, she asked the chaplain : "Father, please make the sign of the Cross on my forehead".

Saint Pope John Paul the Great, beatified her in 1998 as a "Martyr of the Crucifix".

Conclusion :

In these our times, there are some people who wish to remove the Crucifix from Homes, Schools, Public Places, and sometimes even from Churches.

This Humble Daughter of Austria with unusual authoritativeness tells us "Do not touch the Crucifix".

Credits and References :

Martyr for the Crucified
Blessed Helen Kafka
by Paolo Risso
Pages 13-15
Don Bosco's Madonna Mumbai,
June 2008
Vol -10, N0-2


Thursday, 7 July 2016

Feast of Saint Peter Julian Eymard Priest of the Eucharist August 2, 2016

Introduction :

Saint Peter Julian Eymard was born in the Diocese of Grenoble, France on February 4, 1811 in the town of La Mure.

An Extraordinary Passion for the Blessed Sacrament took root in his heart from a young age.

After a number of years in the Marian Sanctuary of Our Lady of Laus, Peter Julian met Father Touche, an Oblate of Mary Immaculate who seeing the beauty of the young man's soul advised him to direct his life towards the Priesthood by studying Latin and receiving Holy Communion more often.

Peter Julian Eymard was ordained a Priest at the age of 23 on July 20, 1834. He was entrusted with the ministry of Vicar and then of Parish Priest in the Diocese but secretly Peter Julian wanted to be a Religious.

Father Eymard always encouraged the souls under his care to practice "Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament". The results were remarkable for children and youth as well as for Families.

Priceless Value :

God inspired Peter Julian with the idea of founding a Congregation of Men and Women Religious devoted to Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and the propagation of this devotion among the laity.

It was at the feet of Our Lady of La Salette that he conceived the plan for this foundation.

This would be the great preoccupation of his life.

The Important Sacrifice :

In 1864, setbacks and trials further united Father Eymard to the redeeming Cross, the sole means of salvation of souls. In union with Christ's Sacrifice, Father Eymard accepted his election for life as Superior General of the Fathers of the Blessed Sacrament, even though he was hoping to become a simple religious again.

On the night of July 21, 1868 Father Eymard exhausted, very thin, incapable of taking in any food at all arrived at La Mure to rest on his Doctor's Orders.

He celebrated the last Mass of his life in Grenoble in the Chapel devoted to "Perpetual Adoration".

On Saturday August 1, he received Extreme Unction at 1.00 in the morning. At daybreak, a Father from his Congregation celebrated Mass in his room and gave him Holy Communion.

He was presented with the Image of Our Lady of La Salette, which he pressed to his heart.

At the beginning of the afternoon, his last breath could hardly be heard. His soul had entered Heaven into the infinite Goodness of God forever.

He died at age 57 in the house in which he had been born.

Conclusion :

Peter Julian Eymard's canonization benefited from a solemnity unusual in the History of the Catholic Church.

The day after the closing of the first session of the Second Vatican Council, December 9, 1962 Pope John the 23rd in the presence of 1,500 Council Fathers entered him into the catalogue of Saints.

Credits and References :

Saint Peter Julian Eymard
By Monks of the Abbey
of Saint Joseph of Clairval,
Pages 12-14
Don Bosco's Madonna, Mumbai
August 2011, Vol- 13, N0-4


Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Saint Bridget of Sweden -- Prophetess of Europe of the Middle Ages

Introduction :

Saint Bridget, daughter of Birgir -- Royal Blood Prince of Sweden was born about the year 1302 of highly pious parents.

Having lost her virtuous mother soon after birth, little Bridget was raised by one of her highly virtuous aunts.

She could not speak before the age of 3, but as soon as she spoke, she began praising God.

In early childhood, serious discourses on Religion pleased her and grace powerfully filled her heart so that only pious readings attracted her.

At the age of 10, she was particularly touched by a sermon she heard on the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

The following night she, believed that she saw Our Lord nailed to the Cross and all covered with Blood and Wounds.

At the same time, she heard a voice saying : "Look upon Me, My daughter."

"O Dear Lord asked Saint Bridget, "Who has treated You so cruelly ??

Our Lord Jesus Christ replied :"Those who despise Me and are insensitive to My Love for them."

That Mysterious dream left so deep an impression on her, that from then on she continually meditated on the sufferings of Our Lord Jesus Christ which drove her to tears.

At the age of 15, through obedience she was married to Prince Ulf -- a very pious young man and they had eight children. One of her daughters became Saint Catherine of Sweden.

Conclusion :

Saint Bridget's example more than her instructions sanctified her large family. Her "Revelations" and other celestial favors made her all the more fervent and humble.

Saint Bridget died at Rome in 1373 after having returned from a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

Saint Bridget practiced "Mental Prayer" and meditated often on the Life and Sufferings of Our Lord Jesus Christ throughout the Year.

Saint Bridget founded the Brigittines.

Saint Bridget of Sweden canonized on October 7, 1391 by Pope Boniface the Ninth is particularly popular in Scandinavia, Germany, Poland, and Hungary.

The Feast of Saint Bridget of Sweden is celebrated on July 23.

Credits and References :

1) The Magnificent Prayers of Saint Bridget of Sweden
    based on the Passion and Death of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
   Page 6
  Taken from the Revelations of Saint Bridget
 Tan Books and Publishers Inc,
 P.O. Box 424
 Rockford, Illinois - 61105

2) Saint Bridget of Sweden
    By the Monks of Saint Joseph
   De Clairval Abbey, France
   Page 14
  Don Bosco's Madonna, Mumbai
  July 2015 Vol - 17, N0-3

Note : The 15 prayers composed by Saint Bridget of Sweden on the Passion of Our Saviour Jesus Christ can move you to tears.

The 15 Prayers of Saint Bridget of Sweden.

Monday, 4 July 2016

On the Holy Rosary

Dear Friends in Jesus and Mary,

The Holy Rosary has a very special place in my "Spiritual Life".

Recitation of the Holy Rosary has helped me to cope with the ups and downs of life.

My Mother used to often tell me, that if you are troubled in any way ---- "Go to Jesus and Mary" by reciting the Holy Rosary. They will never let you down.

When I recite the Holy Rosary, I often think of the unique and special relationship between Jesus Christ and Mother Mary during their life on earth.

I have never stopped reciting the Holy Rosary when I learnt it at the age of 10.

I believe that the Holy Rosary is a Miraculous Prayer in itself and if said with faith and devotion it is a great help on a daily basis.

Here are two beautiful articles on the Holy Rosary.

1) The Seven Dolour Rosary.

2)  Suggestions on saying the Holy Rosary

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Two Amazing Articles on the Blessed Sacrament

Dear Friends in Jesus and Mary,

I have a solid devotion to Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament.

This was nurtured in me by my Mother now deceased during my teenage years.

The Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Holy Sacrament of the Altar continuously amazes me.

The Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament strengthens me 24-7-365.

Here are 2 amazing articles on the Blessed Sacrament.

1) An Hour with Our Saviour

2) The True Apostle of the Sacred Heart

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