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On August 13, the day the fourth apparition was to take place, the seers were not at Cova da Iria.

They had been abducted by the mayor of Vila Nova de Ourém, who attempted to force from them the secret revealed in the apparition of July 13. The children held fast despite the mayor imprisoning them, and threatening to plunge them in boiling oil.

At Cova da Iria, thunder, followed by lightning, was heard at the usual time.

The spectators noticed a small white cloud that hovered over the holm oak for a few minutes. Phenomena of coloration were observed on the faces of the people, the clothing, the trees, and the ground.

Our Lady had certainly come, but she had not found the seers.

On August 19, at about four o'clock in the afternoon, Lucia was with Francisco and another cousin at Valinhos, a property belonging to one of her uncles, when the atmospheric changes that preceded the apparitions of Our Lady at Cova da Iria began to occur: a sudden cooling of the temperature and a waning of the sun.

Feeling that something supernatural was approaching and enveloping them, Lucia sent for Jacinta, who arrived in time to see Our Lady appear – heralded as before by a bright light – over a holm oak slightly larger than the one at Cova da Iria.

 

Lucia: What does Your Grace wish of me?

Our Lady: I want you to continue to go to Cova da Iria on the thirteenth of each month and to continue to pray the Rosary every day. On the last month, I will perform the miracle for all to believe.
Then Our Lady’s face became more serious, and even upset.

Our Lady: If they had not taken you to Ourém, the miracle would have been even greater.

Lucia: What does Your Grace want done with the money that the people leave at Cova da Iria?

Our Lady: Have two portable stands made. You and Jacinta with two other girls dressed in white carry one of them, and let Francisco carry the other one with three other boys. The portable stands are for the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. The money that is left over should be contributed to the chapel that they shall build.

Lucia: I would like to ask you for the healing of some sick persons.

Our Lady: Yes, I will cure some during the year.
Becoming sadder, she recommended anew the practice of mortification, saying lastly, 'Pray, pray much, and sacrifice for sinners, for many souls go to hell because there is no one to sacrifice and pray for them.'
As usual, she then began to rise toward the east. The seers cut boughs off the tree over which Our Lady had appeared to them and took them home. The boughs gave off a uniquely sweet fragrance.

 


 

 

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DAILY QUOTE for March 26, 2017

There is no danger if our prayer is without words or reflect...

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March 26

 

There is no danger
if our prayer is without words or reflection
because the good success of prayer depends neither on words nor on study.
It depends upon the simple raising of our minds to God,
and the more simple and stripped of feeling it is,
the surer it is.

St. Jane Frances de Chantal


 With MARY on the Way of the Cross

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Braulio of Zaragoza

He was afflicted by the loss of his sight, a heavy cross for...

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St. Braulio of Zaragoza

Braulio was a brilliant scholar and a pupil of St. Isidore, who founded a university in Seville, Spain. He eventually became a mentor to his mentor, and went on to advise not only ecclesiasts but kings.

At the death of his brother, Bishop John of Zaragoza, Braulio was nominated as his successor, a dignity he accepted. As bishop, he labored with zeal for his people, and also to extirpate the last vestiges of Arianism, still festering among them despite the conversion of King Recaredo.

He took part in the Council of Toledo, and was charged by the same council to write a response to Pope Honorius I who had accused the Spanish bishops of pastoral negligence. His defense was both dignified and convincing.

The good bishop spent many a night in prayer in the Church of Our Lady of the Pilar, which houses a miraculous statue delivered to St. James, the first apostle of Spain, by Our Lady herself.

He abhorred luxuries of all kinds, wore a hair shirt beneath the vestments of his office, and led a simple, austere life. An ardent preacher and a keen apologist, Braulio's deep sincerity was as convincing as his clear arguments. His generosity to the poor was only matched by the care he took of his flock.

Towards the end of his life he was afflicted by the loss of his sight, a heavy cross for anyone but especially burdensome to a scholar. As death approached, he gave up his spirit to his Lord while reciting the Psalms.

WEEKLY STORY

Freed from a Contract with the Devil

Eutychian, Patriarch of Constantinople, relates the followin...

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Freed from a Contract with the Devil

Eutychian, Patriarch of Constantinople, relates the following well-known story of Theophilus (6th century). The Patriarch was an eyewitness of the fact which we relate here, and which is also confirmed by St. Peter Damian, St. Bernard, St. Bonaventure, St. Antoninus, and others.

Theophilus was an archdeacon of the Church of Adanas, a city of Cilicia, and was so well esteemed that the people wished him to become their bishop, but his humility prevented his consent.

Afterwards, some malicious persons slandered him, and he was deposed from his office. Upset and blinded by passion, he went to a magician, who induced him to apply to Satan for help in his misfortunes. 

The devil answered that if he wished his assistance, he must renounce Jesus, and Mary his mother, and hand over to him the act of renunciation, written with his own hand.  Theophilus executed the vile document. On the following day the bishop, having heard of the wrong done him by his calumniators, asked his forgiveness, and restored him to his office. 

But Theophilus began to feel so tortured by the pangs of remorse over the great crime he had committed, that he wept continually.

Entering a church, he prostrated himself in tears before an altar of the Blessed Virgin, exclaiming: “O, mother of God, having you who art so merciful, I will not despair of your help.”

Thus he persevered for forty days, weeping and praying to the Holy Virgin.

Behold, one night the mother of mercy appeared to him and said: “O, Theophilus, what have you done? You have renounced my friendship and that of my Son, and for whom, but for the sake of your enemy and mine!”

“O, Lady,” answered Theophilus, “it is in thy hand to pardon me, and to obtain my pardon from thy Son.”

Then, Mary, seeing his confidence, answered, “Take courage and I will pray for thee.”

Theophilus, encouraged by these words, redoubled his tears, his penance, and his prayers, remaining constantly at the foot of the altar. And, behold, Mary appeared to him again, and with a joyful countenance said to him:

“Theophilus, rejoice, I have presented thy tears and thy prayers to God; He hath accepted them, and hath already pardoned thee; henceforth be grateful and faithful.”

“Lady,” replied Theophilus, “this is not sufficient to console me; the enemy still possesses the impious deed, by which I have renounced thee and thy Son; thou canst obtain it for me.”

After three days, Theophilus awoke one night, and found the paper on his breast.

The next day, when the bishop with a large assembly were present in church, Theophilus cast himself at his feet, related the whole story, weeping bitterly, and handed him the infamous writing, which the bishop immediately ordered to be burned in the presence of the congregation. The people wept for joy, praising the goodness of God, and the mercy of Mary towards that miserable sinner.

Theophilus returned to the church of the Virgin, and there, three days later, died happily, with thanksgivings to Jesus and his holy mother on his lips.

References:  Glories of Mary, New Revised Edition of 1888, p.196

Eutychian, Patriarch of Constantinople, relates the following well-known story of Theophilus (6th century). The Patriarch was an eyewitness of the fact which we relate here,

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