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DAILY QUOTE for March 4, 2015

God always grants us the graces necessary to win, but He...

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March 4

 

God always grants us the graces necessary
to win,
but He cannot do anything
unless we cooperate with our good will.

St. Joseph Marello

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Casimir of Poland

Casimir appeared to the Lithuanian army and showed them w...

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St. Casimir of Poland

Casimir was the third of thirteen children born to King Casimir IV of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, and Elizabeth of Habsburg, an Austrian princess, daughter of Emperor Albert II.

Casimir and two of his brothers studied under the historian Jonh Dlugosz, a man of great knowledge and piety. Under the holy man, the young prince, already devout from infancy, embarked upon the pursuit of sanctity. Giving himself up to devotion and mortification, he often spent part of the night in intense prayer and meditation. Prince Casimir also had a great devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

At the death of Casimir’s uncle, King Ladislaus of Hungary, Matthias Corvinus a Hungarian nobleman was elected king. In 1471, at the instance of a group of Hungarian noblemen, Casimir IV decided to advance his fifteen-year-old son Casimir for the throne of Hungary. Both father and son participated in the endeavor. A Polish army of 12,000 advanced on Buda, but the campaign was unsuccessful.

Returning to Poland, Casimir resumed his studies. The prince was known for his intelligence, capacity, wisdom and charm. For four years, while his father was away in Lithuania, he administered Poland. Around this time his father tried to arrange a marriage for him to Kunegunde of Austria, daughter of Frederick II, but the prince refused, choosing to remain celibate.

Shortly after, the saintly prince succumbed to a severe attack of lung trouble. While on a journey to Lithuania he died at the court of Grodno on March 4, 1484 at the age of twenty-six.

A miracle attributed to Prince Casimir in 1518 caused his brother Sigismund I to advance his cause for canonization. During the Siege of Polotsk, Casimir appeared to the Lithuanian army and showed them where to cross the Daugava River and relieve the city besieged by the Grand Duchy of Moscow.

Canonized in 1522 by Pope Adrian VI, St. Casimir is greatly revered in Poland.

WEEKLY STORY

Holding Hands with The “Gate of Heaven”

Of all the invocations to our Lady, Gate of Heaven is one...

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Holding Hands with The “Gate of Heaven”


Of all the invocations to our Lady, Gate of Heaven is one of the most beautiful. This title gained a new meaning for me when I arrived for a Fatima home visit at the house of Dominique McGuire and found her in tears. Her mother, Marie Jeannine Michel, a native from Haiti, had suffered a massive heart attack the day before and was now dying. I was more than happy to take the statue to visit her at Rex Hospital in Raleigh, North Carolina. It was painfully clear, when we arrived in the Intensive Care Unit, that this poor soul was reaching the end. Over the next couple of hours we prayed numerous rosaries, litanies and the prayers for the dying by her bedside. We also struggled to provide the dying women with all the spiritual assistance we could.

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As we prayed, the attending nurse, who happened to be Catholic, kept calling local Churches to find a priest who would administer last rites. Whenever she entered the room to care for Mrs. Michel she would join in the responses to the Hail Mary. Overwhelmed by the scene, she exclaimed, “I hope when I am dying someone will bring the statue to visit me and pray the rosary.”

Moments before the priest arrived, Dominique asked me if I had an extra scapular for her mother. I did not. As the priest administered the last rites I scurried from the room in search of this precious sacramental, only to find I was the only person wearing one. Mrs. Michel was in much more need of it than me, so with the help of a doctor we temporarily removed her oxygen mask and placed my scapular around the dying woman’s neck. Dominique then took her Miraculous Medal and pinned it on to the scapular.

The most moving part of this visit occurred when Mrs. Michel opened her eyes and showed signs she wanted to speak. When they removed the oxygen mask, Dominique told her mother, in their native tongue, that “Momma Mary” was in the room. Since Mrs. Michel seemed to be already looking into eternity, with a type of “fog of death” in her gaze, I carried the statue over next to her bed. Surprisingly she reached up and took hold of our Lady’s hands and held on for some moments. The oxygen mask was then replaced as the nurse administered morphine to deaden the pain she was experiencing. Mrs. Michel died at 6:00 AM the following morning with Dominique praying beside her bed.

While the America Needs Fatima home visitation program is a very rewarding apostolate, nothing on earth compares to the satisfaction of a visit like this. A person going through such a moving ordeal, however, could naturally ask, “Was there something more we could have done?” In the case of Mrs. Michel, the answer is a resounding no. She received the last rites of Holy Mother Church, was clothed in the brown Scapular, and was almost continuously surrounded by the melodious sound of the Angelic Salutation. Hours before she passed into eternity, Mrs. Michel also had the grace to hold hands with She who truly is the Gate of Heaven.

By: Norman Fulkerson

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Of all the invocations to our Lady, Gate of Heaven is one of the most beautiful. This title had a new meaning for me when I arrived for a Fatima home visit at the house of Dominique McGuire and found her in tears.

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