1/18 There is no sacrifice without denying oneself, and sacrifice and denying oneself give rise to the most pure and perfect love.

11/16/03 – Vol. 6

This morning, as I was outside of myself, I found myself with Baby Jesus in my arms, and with a virgin, who laid me on the ground to make me suffer the crucifixion – not with nails, but with fire, placing a charcoal of fire on my hands and feet. Blessed Jesus was there assisting me while I was suffering, and said to me: “My daughter, there is no sacrifice without denying oneself, and sacrifice and denying oneself give rise to the most pure and perfect love. And since sacrifice is sacred, it happens that it consecrates the soul to Me, as a sanctuary worthy of Me to make of it my perpetual dwelling. So, let sacrifice work in you to render your soul and body sacred, so that everything may be sacred in you; and consecrate everything to Me.”

1/17 The soul gives Jesus a dwelling in time, and He gives it to the soul in Eternity.


Little Daughter of the Divine Will, Luisa Piccarreta

11/12/06 – Vol. 7

Continuing in my usual state, I was saying to blessed Jesus: ‘Oh, how I wish to love You, to be loved more by You!’

And He, in my interior, told me: “I love you so much that I never leave you, and I dwell in you continuously.”

And I: ‘Thank You for your benignity in dwelling in me, but I am not so content; I would be more content and would feel safer if I could dwell in You.’

And He (Jesus): “Ah, my daughter, in time you give a dwelling to Me (Jesus), and in Eternity I will give it to you; and be well content and sure that the One who dwells in you has the power to maintain your dwelling fortified and free of any danger.”

1/17 Our Lady appears at Pontmain, France in 1871

M_Our Lady of Hope

Pontmain, France  1871
Our Lady of Hope

It is the darkest hour of the War of 1870. Prussian armies have invaded a large part of France, and the nation is in complete disarray. On the morning of January 17, 1871, Prussian troops are at the outskirts of Laval in the district of Mayenne. The city is preparing to pay the heavy military assessment levied against it: three million francs in gold. “The rout of fleeing soldiers is unimaginable. They are deaf to the command of officers. Two of them have been shot down in their tracks, but this example has had no effect on the others. In the 39 years that I have been in the service, never have I found myself in such a distressing situation,” writes the Commander of the 16th Corps.

A Sign of Hope
     Toward evening on January 17, Pontmain, a small town in the north of Mayenne, lies under a blanket of snow. People are anxious, but everybody is going about work as usual. In a barn in the middle of town two boys, Eugene and Joseph Barbedette, are helping their father pound stalks to feed to the horses. Some minutes before six o’clock in the evening, taking advantage of a break from work, Eugene leaves the barn and sees in the sky a “Lady” dressed in a dark-blue robe sprinkled with stars. She spreads her lowered hands in a gesture of welcome and smiles on him.  Joseph comes along a few moments later and also sees the Lady. But the father of the boys sees nothing. Undaunted, they call their mother, who also fails to see anything even after going back to the house for her eyeglasses. There is nothing to it, declare the parents, and the boys are to get on with work and then come in for supper. After a quick meal, the boys still see the beautiful Lady, so the Sisters of the school are called. Again, they see nothing. But two little girls with them do see the beautiful Lady and describe the star-studded blue robe, the dark veil, and the crown of gold.

Evening of Prayer
     The town now gathers around the two small boys. Father Gu?rin, pastor of Pontmain for 35 years, is called and there, in the snow, a vigil of prayer ensues, a veritable dialogue with the Virgin. While the people are praying, the apparition grows and is covered and surrounded with stars. A large blue oval with four candles attached encloses it. The people kneel, some in the snow, some in the barn, whose small door is open. Sister Mary Edward, kneeling at the door, leads the Rosary.  The Lady becomes more beautiful and increases in size as prayer continues. The increase is harmoniously proportioned.  The blue oval expands accordingly, and the stars surrounding the apparition seem to move aside to make way for the oval, ranging themselves two by two at the feet of the Lady. Those which spangle her robe multiply and the dark blue of the robe brightens.

Message of Hope
    After recitation of the Rosary, the people sing the Magnificat “in the sonorous tone of the Bretons.”  A white banner then appears on which large letters of gold slowly form. The two small boys try to decipher them while prayer goes on. After some moments, they can read:

“PRAY, MY CHILDREN.  GOD WILL ANSWER BEFORE LONG.  MY SON LETS     HIMSELF BE MOVED.”

     The message produces a strong emotional reaction in the crowd. After a momentary silence the pastor suggests they sing the hymn “Mother of Hope.”  The children leap for joy and clap their hands while repeating: “SEE HOW SHE SMILES! OH, HOW BEAUTIFUL SHE IS!” At the end of the hymn the banner bearing the inscription vanishes.

Sign of the Cross
     The prayer of the people takes a penitential turn with the singing of the hymn: “Gentle Jesus, Pardon now our penitent hearts…”      A sadness appears in the Virgin and is reflected in the children. A large red crucifix is then seen, surmounted by a placard bearing in beautiful red letters the name: JESUS CHRIST.  The Virgin presents the crucifix to the children. The sadness seen in her makes a deep impression on Joseph.  Later he will write:

“Her sadness was more than anyone can imagine. I saw my mother overwhelmed with grief when, some months later, my father died. You know what such grief in a mother’s face does to the heart of a child. But, as I remember, what instinctively came to mind was the sadness of the Most Blessed Virgin, which must have been the sadness of the Mother of Jesus at the foot of the Cross that bore her dying Son.”

“It’s All Over …”
     While all this is happening, the crowd continues to pray. Some moments later the red crucifix vanishes and the Virgin resumes her initial posture, arms extended downward. A small white Cross appears on each of her shoulders. The Lady smiles once more. At the suggestion of the pastor evening prayer is begun. People kneel where they happen to be, in the barn or in the snow. A large white veil appears at the feet of the Virgin, slowly lifts and gradually enshrouds her. When evening prayer is finished, the apparition vanishes. “IT’S ALL OVER,” declare the two small boys. The time is about nine o’clock in the evening and everybody leaves for home.

Conclusion
     This clear manifestation of the Mother of God tells us of her Son and renews our hope. There is no need to add anything, except perhaps to say that we ought to receive the message of Pontmain with the same joy and simplicity of soul as these villagers. Without fanfare or extraordinary demonstration, for two hours and more they prayed and listened to what the message meant for them.

Source:  Dictionary of Mary, (N.Y.: Catholic Book Publishing Co., 1985).

1/16 Historical Feast Day of Our Lady Refuge of Sinners

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Today in the pre-1955 Traditional Catholic Missal is the Mass in Some Places (pro aliquibus locisof Our Lady Refuge of Sinners.

The Refuge of Sinners Madonna is a painting by the Italian artist Luigi Crosio. It was painted in 1898 originally for the Kuenzil Brothers of Switzerland. In 1964 the Swiss province of the Schoenstatt Sisters purchased the original painting. It was then also called the Mother Thrice Admirable Madonna.

Collect Prayer:

O Almighty and merciful God, Who in the Blessed Virgin Mary hast given sinners a refuge and a help, grant us, who are protected by her, the forgiveness of all our sins and the blessings of Thy mercy. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

TAKEN FROM THE GLORIES OF MARY, CHAPTER 3, PART 2
by St. Alphonsus Liguori
Redemptorist Fathers, 1931
with Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur
There are three sources for our knowledge of and devotion to Our Lady, Refuge of Sinners:

St. John Bosco was given a vision wherein it was revealed that Our Lady is the resort of sinners and also the Lady of the Blessed Eucharist.

St. Alphonsus Liguori had a tremendous devotion to the Mother of God and suffered from scruples. He is known as the Doctor  of the Church who has promoted devotion to Our Lady as the hope or refuge of sinners and in his book, the Glories of Mary, he has several pages devoted to her as that refuge; the pages are scattered throughout, almost as a running theme within the overall theme.

There are specific devotions and feast days associated with our Lady of Refuge and or Our Lady of Confidence. The first is known as Our Lady of Montserrat [Spain]. The other is closely associated with Montserrat and Our Lady of Guadalupe and is a main devotion in Mexico. We have obtained a copy of the most famous of all of the Refuge images, that of the artist, Joseph de Paez. The image there is not quite as dark as Our Lady of Montserrat. All images of Our Lady of Refuge have her wearing the same crown as Our Lady of Confidence and also Jesus in her arms with His crown also, again just like the image of Confidence. So Our Lady must want sinners to also have confidence in her. While our Lady appears differently depending on the culture of the time, she really looks just like herself; thus, there is some resemblance in all her appearances and it is as if she is showing us all as we need to see her yet being herself physically speaking. I do not think it is a coincidence that her image as Refuge and Confidence are so similar. This presentation will focus on what St. Alphonsus instructs us regarding confidence in Mary as the refuge of sinners.

People outside the Church cannot endure our calling Mary our hope. They say that God alone is our hope, and that he curses those who put their trust in creatures according to Jeremiah the prophet in chapter 17, verse 5. They argue that since mary is a creature, she cannot be our hope. Yet, despite of this, the Church recommends that all priests and religious raise their voices every day in the name of the faithful and call mary by the sweet name of “Our Hope.”

St. Thomas Aquinas says that we can place our hope in a person in two ways—–as a a principle cause and as a mediate cause. Thus, those who expect something from a king put their trust in him as their sovereign, and in his ministers or his favorite intercessors. When the favor is granted, it really comes from the king, though the favorite is the intercessor or intermediary. hence the petitioners have a right to call this intermediary through whom they received the favor, their “hope.”

The King of Heaven, being infinite Goodness, desires in the highest degree to enrich us with His graces. But because confidence is a necessary condition for being heard, and because He wants to increase our confidence, He has given us His own mother as our Mother and intercessor, and granted her all power to help us. Those who put their trust in creatures alone, apart from God, as sinners are tempted to do, and who do not hesitate to outrage the Divine Majesty, just to gain the friendship and patronage of another human being, are certainly cursed by god in the sense intended by Jeremiah.

But those who place their trust in Mary, who [being the Mother of God] is able to secure grace and eternal life for them, are truly blessed and acceptable to the heart of God. he desires to see this greatest of all His creatures honored, since she honored and loved Him in this world more than all human beings and Angels together.

St. Bernard expounds the reason behind this when he says: “See the designs of God—–designs which make it possible for Him to dispense His mercy more abundantly. For, desiring to save the whole human race, He has laid the full price of redemption in Mary’s hands, letting her dispense it at her pleasure.”

And who needs this special intercessor and Mediatrix of all graces more, than the sinner, especially one tempted by despair? Mary does not know how to refuse compassion, she does not let the comfortless go away uncomforted, and she will persuade her Son to pardon the penitent and grieving sinner.

1/15 Letter #45 from the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta to Mother Cecilia

Fiat! – In Voluntate Dei!

My good and reverend Mother,

Thank you very much for your dear letter and for the good news you send me, especially about your eyes.  I was really concerned, but now I thank God.  We are making the third edition of the “Queen of Heaven” with a beautiful appendix.  I would have liked to make you a surprise.  The typography is going very slowly, so it hasn’t come out yet, but it’s about to be finished.  As soon as it comes out, the first copy will be for you, and you will hear new surprises from the Queen – what she has done, what she does and wants to do for us.  After I send it to you, you will send me your impressions, and I believe that you will love the Celestial Queen more.

Now, my dearest Mother, I send you my wishes for the birth of the little King Jesus.  It is easier to get what we want from the little ones, because they have no self-interest.  Sometimes it is enough to give them a caress, a kiss, or to dry their tears, to obtain what we want.  I believe that your Maternity will give all this to little Jesus, and He will give you His Most Holy Will as a gift for His birth.  He could not give you a greater gift, because with It you will have sanctity and peace at your disposal; you will feel the Creative Virtue within you, which has the virtue of transforming your acts – even a little “I love You” – into as many Lives of Love, which are incessantly in the act of loving the One who loves us so much.

My Mother, how beautiful it is to live in the Divine Volition!  Everything is ours; God Himself feels the need to give Himself at the mercy of His creatures, to love them and to be loved by them.  I wouldn’t know what else to wish you, more beautiful and more useful than this:  may the Divine Volition enwrap you so much as to make you feel, see and touch nothing but Divine Will.

I leave you in the Divine Volition…

1/14 Anniversary of the episcopal ordination of Msgr. Leonardo D’Ascenzo, the Archbishop of Trani-Barletta-Bisceglie

“I expand the circle, and, like a fisherman, I catch those who must serve Me for the Kingdom of the Divine Will.”


Msgr. Leonardo D’Ascenzo, the Archbishop of Trani-Barletta-Bisceglie
(Click here for website)

From website on 1/17/2018

 

On Sunday January 14,  2018, at 4:30 p.m., at the sports hall “S. Bandinelli “in Velletri, there was the Eucharistic Celebration for the Episcopal Ordination of Msgr. Leonardo D’Ascenzo who was elected Archbishop of our Diocese (Trani-Barletta-Bisceglie).

The celebration was presided by Msgr. Vincenzo Apicella, bishop of Velletri-Segni (the main officiator) and by numerous bishops of Lazio and Puglia, including the Archbishop of Bari, Msgr. Francesco Cacucci and the bishop of Anagni-Alatri Msgr. Lorenzo Loppa, serving as co-consecrators.

All the liturgy of ordination was sober, authoritative and full of emotions, and after the imposition of hands and the prayer of ordination, Msgr. Apicella oiled Msgr. Leonardo with the Sacred Chrism and with great emotion by all there was the delivery of the Gospel, of the ring, of the miter, and of the pastoral.

The rite ended with the first blessing of Msgr. Leonardo, who with great amazement and general emotion, made himself small among us climbing up the terraces of the sports hall to symbolically embrace all of us.

The harvest is plentiful. This is the expression that I chose as my motto after the announcement of my appointment as archbishop of Trani-Barletta-Bisceglie. It is the expression that more than any other recurs in pastoral work for vocations, the area that characterized in particular my priestly ministry. It is the expression that marked my whole story”. Those were the first words of thanksgiving that the newly ordained Archbishop Leonardo D’Ascenzo said in his greeting at the celebration.

“You can imagine how I was deeply surprised – Msgr. D’Ascenzo continued – when I learned that the readings of tonight would have been those that are considered texts with an evident vocational content.  Reflecting on this Word of God, I was able to get some of my similarities with the biblical character of Samuel in particular his ability to return to sleep at least three times after being awakened during the night. Like him, I’m very good at sleeping, I think I look like him. I hope to be like him in the availability to the call, in the capacity to grow and not to let a single Word of the Lord fall into emptiness”. Archbishop D’Ascenzo stole a smile and applause with a frank and reassuring air that convinced the more than 1500 participants in the celebration at the sports hall.

Moreover, also Bishop Apicella in his homily mentioned the theme of vocation. He recalled that “the inscrutable mystery of the Trinity is the divine act par excellence. So for us Christians to transmit the Spirit of God, with the power of the Father and the Son in the inscrutable mystery of the Trinity, is the correct meaning of “tradition”.

That was the wish for don Leonardo, rector of the Seminary of Anagni, now called to lead the new community of Puglia. Bishop Apicella continued: “we often get confused between voices and bells: we seek the first places, the greetings in the squares, the titles, the honors, but we forget that Christ is the center, and that we as disciples must make us small, servants, and occupy the last place. It is an apprenticeship that lasts a lifetime. Precisely in the logic of the parish, Don Leonardo could experience that the logic of service is the meaning of life”. Bishop Apicella concluded: “Don Leonardo is a true man, that is, he loves the truth, even if it is inconvenient, he tells the truth, he does the truth. We are sure that he will be a true shepherd for the people who is awaiting him and we wish him in his presbytery as many priests as those he educated in the Seminary of Anagni. ”

“We will walk together, in communion, in search of what God has in His heart for us, a portion of His people at the school of the Gospel. Supported by the Eucharist, we trust in the maternal intercession of Mary, Mother of Graces, to be the beginning of a renewed experience with Jesus”. The  new ordained archbishop concluded with those words taking leave of the assembly.

At the end of his episcopal ordination, Msgr. D’Ascenzo greeted his community of origin and all those who had been close to him in these years, his whole family, in particular his father Giairo. Almost all the 19 bishops of Puglia were present, about 700 representatives of the Church of Trani-Barletta-Bisceglie, as well as civil authorities and mayors. Archbishop D’Ascenzo will officially enter the Archdiocese of Trani-Barletta-Bisceglie on January 27.

The celebration, thanks to the descent of the Holy Spirit, was enriched with love. It gripped the new Bishop and his faithful in an embrace so rich in love that we cried with joy.

We thank the Lord for this great gift that He has given us. May He bless, enlighten and protect our Shepherd in sharing his life with ours.

It is our necessary duty, as sons and daughters of the Divine Will, to commit ourselves to pray for our new Archbishop Leonardo, so that he can, as his predecessors did  (Bishops Carata, Cassati and Pichierri), accompany the last stretch (we hope) of the journey for the beatification of the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta. We are aware that God, in order to carry out His work, uses His ministers so that the Kingdom of the Divine Will  can spread and build up His Church, just as Jesus Himself told Luisa on January 18, 1928: “My daughter, all of my works hold hands, and this is the sign that they are my works – that one does not oppose the other; on the contrary, they are so bound among themselves, that they sustain one another… With my coming upon earth, I did not destroy Sacred Scriptures; on the contrary, I supported them; and my Gospel, which I announced, opposed them in nothing; on the contrary, they sustained each other in an admirable way. And in forming the new nascent Church, I formed the new priesthood, which does not detach itself either from Sacred Scriptures or from the Gospel. All are intent upon them…Now, that which I manifest on my Divine Will, and which you write, can be called ‘the Gospel of the Kingdom of the Divine Will’. In nothing does It oppose either Sacred Scriptures or the Gospel which I announced while being on earth; on the contrary, It can be called the support of one and of the other. And this is why I allow and I call priests to come – to read the Gospel, all of Heaven, of the Kingdom of my Divine Fiat, so as to say, as I said to the Apostles: ‘Preach It throughout the whole world.’ In fact, in my works I make use of the priesthood; and just as I had the priesthood before my coming in order to prepare the people, and the priesthood of my Church in order to confirm my coming and everything I did and said, so will I have the priesthood of the Kingdom of my Will…

And I enjoy that more of my ministers get to know that there is this treasure so great, of making known the Kingdom of my Divine Will; and I use this to form the first priests of my coming Kingdom of my Fiat. My daughter, it is a great necessity to form the first priests; they will serve Me like the Apostles served Me to form my Church; and the ones who will occupy themselves with these writings in order to publish them, putting them out to print them – to make them known, will be the new evangelists of the Kingdom of my Supreme Will… Therefore, in these circumstances I expand the circle, and, like a fisherman, I catch those who must serve Me for a Kingdom so holy. Therefore, let Me do, and do not be worried.”

 

“WELCOME AMONG US,  HIS EXCELLENCE!”

Fiat!

Giuseppina Ferri

1/13 The soul gives Jesus a dwelling in time, and He gives it to the soul in eternity.

11/12/06 – Vol. 7

Continuing in my usual state, I was saying to blessed Jesus: ‘Oh, how I wish to love You, to be loved more by You!’ And He, in my interior, told me: “I love you so much that I never leave you, and I dwell in you continuously.” And I: ‘Thank You for your benignity in dwelling in me, but I am not so content; I would be more content and would feel safer if I could dwell in You.’ And He: “Ah, my daughter, in time you give a dwelling to Me, and in eternity I will give it to you; and be well content and sure that the One who dwells in you has the power to maintain your dwelling fortified and free of any danger.”