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DAILY QUOTE for February 11, 2016

They think I'm a saint...When I'm dead, they'll come and tou...

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February 11

 

They think I'm a saint...
When I'm dead, they'll come and touch holy pictures and rosaries to me, and
all the while I'll be getting broiled on a grill in purgatory.
At least promise me you'll pray a lot for the repose of my soul.

St. Bernadette Soubirous


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SAINT OF THE DAY

Our Lady of Lourdes

She began to scratch the loose gravel off the ground inside...

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Our Lady of Lourdes

On February 11, 1858 in the Pyrenean village of Lourdes, France, a beautiful young lady appeared to a poor, fourteen-year-old girl named Bernadette Soubirous. Bernadette and her sister were searching for firewood near the Grotto of Massabielle. Bernadette was often ill, so when her sister removed her stockings in order to wade across the river, the frail girl remained where she was. Soon, a strange silence filled the air. She turned her head towards the grotto and saw in the opening of the rock a young and beautiful lady. "The Lady" was dressed in white with a yellow rose at each foot and a rosary draped over her arm. Removing her own rosary from her pocket, Bernadette knelt down before "the Lady" and began to pray.

This was the first of eighteen apparitions of the Blessed Mother to the young girl. During the sixteenth apparition on March 25, the feast of the Annunciation, Our Lady identified herself as "the Immaculate Conception." Bernadette ran to her pastor’s house, repeating to herself over and over again the strange name that "the Lady" had given her so as not to forget it. At that time, the "Immaculate Conception" was not a well known term: just four years earlier, on December 8, 1854, Blessed Pope Pius IX had proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception in the apostolic constitution Ineffabilis Deus. Although unknown to the young illiterate Bernadette, the name that "the Lady" had given her was to her dumbfounded pastor more confirmation than he had ever expected.

Complying with Our Lady’s request, there is now a church at the grotto. Our Lady asked that people come in procession, and persevere with prayer and personal conversion.

 During the ninth apparition, Our Lady asked Bernadette to kneel and wash in the spring. Confused, because there was no spring near Massabielle, she began to scratch the loose gravel off the ground inside the grotto. As she did so, a small pool formed, and she cupped her hands together and drank, and then washed her face. The next day, the pool was overflowing and water was dripping down over the rock. To this spring are attributed countless cures, though only 67 are officially recognized by the Church and medicine. The shrine is considered the most visited place of pilgrimage and healing in the world. The celebration of the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes was extended to the universal Church in 1907.

First Photo by: Manuel González Olaechea

WEEKLY STORY

Why Ash Wednesday? Why Ashes?

Catholics proclaim their Faith in the public square as they...

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Why Ash Wednesday? Why Ashes?

Ash Wednesday is the first day of the season of Lent symbolic of the forty days Our Lord fasted in the desert. Occurring forty six days before Easter, it is consequently moveable-as early as February 4 and as late as March 10.

The ashes applied to the forehead, made from the palms of the previous year’s Palm Sunday, are blessed, perfumed with incense, and hydrated with a little holy water or oil as a binding agent. Thus treated, the ashes are considered a Sacramental.

The Catholic Church is replete with sacramentals, holy objects, words and rituals that we can see, touch and hear to help convey to our spirit an attitude of openess to Grace.

The ash used on Ash Wednesday, accompanied by the words "Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return," or, "Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel" places us in a disposition of penance and humility, which is the attitude needed for a fruitful, Grace-filled Lent.

Sacramentals are specially potent when well explained to children who are so visual and touch oriented. They are a powerful means to convey the unseen mysteries of our Faith to their young minds. 

 

WOC Devotional Set Flag

Catholics proclaim their Faith in the public square as they go about marked with a black cross.