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DAILY QUOTE for July 8, 2015

To love God is something greater than to know Him. St. Th...

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July 8

 

To love God
is something greater
than to know Him.

St. Thomas Aquinas


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SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Withburga

Our Lady appeared to her telling her to send two nuns to...

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St. Withburga

Withburga was the youngest of the four daughters of King Onna of East Anglia, a devout Christian ruler. All of his daughters and one son are canonized.

Onna was killed in battle against Penda of Mercia, and after her father’s death Withburga went to Dereham in Norfolk where she gathered a few young girls and started a small convent. She eventually built a church and the story goes that not having much nourishment to give to the workers, Our Lady appeared to her telling her to send two nuns to the stream where they would find two does that could be milked.

And so the nuns had regular milk to add to their daily sustenance. As news of this marvel spread, people began to flock to the convent to the point that a leader in Dereham became jealous of Withburga’s popularity. He set out on his horse to kill the does, but the horse threw him and he broke his neck. This story is depicted on a large sign in the town of Dereham.

Withburga died on March 17, 743 shortly after the completion of the church. Fifty years later, her body was found perfectly incorrupt. In 974, on being moved to Ely near the bodies of her two sisters, it was still found whole and pliable. The people of Dereham tried to bring their saint back, but being unsuccessful, found at their return that a well had sprung in the empty tomb of Withburga. They took it as a sign from their saint for their consolation. This spring has never dried up.

WEEKLY STORY

Walk to Conversion

John shared with me the story of his conversion from Prot...

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Walk to Conversion

In September, I brought the statue of Our Lady of Fatima to the home of Mr. John Black and his family in Kings City, California.  John shared with me the story of his conversion from Protestantism: about thirteen years ago he was visiting one of the 21 Spanish missions in California (though these are holy sites, they also serve as tourist attractions.)

“Who is this Junipero Serra anyways?”  he asked, as the tour guide shared the history of the mission. “Well,” the guide responded, “you are standing on his grave!”  Surprised, John looked down and read inscription on the stone. Sure enough, Blessed Father Junipero Serra was buried right there. “I became electrified,” John told me, “I had to learn more about this man and about the missions.”  The more he studied Blessed Serra, the founder of the first nine missions, the more impressed he became, and he decided to travel on-foot to all 21 missions. 

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Mission San Juan Capristrano, CA

With the blessing of his wife, now left at home with their two infant sons, John left for his solo expedition, taking with him a single backpack, the bible and little money.  He told me that every mission he visited he felt the presence of someone receiving him, even if the mission was empty. He felt this ambiance in the missions so serene and uplifting, and began to realize it was the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament that made him feel so at home.

At one point, John collapsed from exhaustion near a mission run by Franciscans, who kindly hosted him for the night. Before he left the next day, one of the friars gave him a first-class relic of Blessed Serra. Since he was Protestant, John did not know what a relic was, but not wanting to appear rude, he accepted it. Not long after he left the Franciscans, John became lost in the wilderness in the middle of the night. Through his exhaustion and fear he heard a voice say, “Let’s help John.” He had the distinct feeling that Blessed Serra was guiding him, and gathered the strength and courage to continue. About six hours later, he stumbled upon the next mission. “It was kind of a miracle,” he said, “I was really lost!”

During his journey, John slowly came to a realization. “I know what you want from me, God,” he thought to himself one day, “you what me to became a Catholic. That is what this is all about!” However, he still had many questions about aspects of Catholicism that have been rejected by his Protestant faith – mainly about the Blessed Mother. Yet, from that point on he received answers to all of his questions, especially his reservations about devotion to Mary: he believed that it was once again Blessed Serra answering him.

With the help of Blessed Serra, one problem after another was resolved in the solitude of his travels. By the time John reached the final mission, he wholly decided to become a Catholic. “I realized that by having devotion to Mary, you love Our Lord even more,” he told me.

John returned home, filled with zeal and enthusiasm for his newfound faith. He shared his astonishing experiences with his wife, and she too converted. “I feel at home in the Catholic church,” John said, “and I have never loved Our Lord Jesus Christ more than I do now.”

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by Joseph Ferrara

John shared with me the story of his conversion from Protestantism: about thirteen years ago he was visiting one of the 21 Spanish missions in California