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Header-Our Lady Resurrects butchered wife and children

 

The Terrible Incident in Lublin

The gruesome tragedy of 1540 left an indelible imprint on the minds and spirit of the inhabitants of Lublin some few miles from Jasna Gora.

There lived a man, a butcher by trade, who was owner and operator of a large slaughter house. Marcin Lanio and his wife, Margorzata, enjoyed a rather prosperous life, in company of their two sons, Piotrus, who was four, and Kazimierz, age two.

 

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Tragedy

It happened one day that Marcin, accompanied by his helper, went to town on a shopping tour. The mother was preoccupied in the kitchen, preparing batter for bread which she was about to bake. As it happened, she ran short of yeast, so she left the house momentarily to borrow some from one of her neighbors. The two youngsters were left alone at home.

Piotrus, the older of the two, who on many occasions had seen the butchers slaughter the livestock in the yard, decided to imitate them. In his childish mind he figured that the most convenient victim would be little Kazio sleeping innocently in a nearby crib. Without much forethought, he took a large sharp knife and slashed the throat of his sleeping infant brother.

Seeing the flow of blood, he soon realized that something terrible had happened. He was overcome with fear of punishment and hid inside the large baker’s oven left open by the absent housewife. Within a matter of moments, the unsuspecting mother, having returned and not hearing the children thought them to be asleep.

Consequently, she went about with her baking and started a log fire in the prepared oven. All of a sudden the blood froze in her veins as she hears the agonizing screams of her son, Piotrus, now helpless in the depths of the burning oven. Frantically, she pulled him out, but it was too late. Piotrus, her son, had suffocated in the smoke-filled chamber and now she held this lifeless form in her arms.

As she looked about paralyzed by this sudden turn of events, her staring eyes were fixed on another gruesome sight. She saw in the blood-soaked crib the lifeless body of her younger son – dead.

Shocked, she stood there staring and then, as consciousness returned, became completely demented, striking her head against the wall; pulling her hair and finally tore her clothes to shreds. In her condition, she looked like a ghost from another world.

It was then, that Marcin her husband returned home. He did not stop to think. As he saw the condition of his wife between the two corpses of his sons, he took an ax and crushed the skull of his wife with one blow.

 

Reaction

His mind cleared after a little while and realized what he had done. Dreadful fear and remorse seized his body and soul. His mind, however, became enlightened by a sudden heavenly impulse. He did not submit to despair but listened to the advice of pious friends and neighbors. He placed his entire and unshaken faith in Mary of Jasna Gora, she would not forsake him in his critical moment. He felt then and there, that the Madonna of Czestochowa to whom he was always so devoted would give back to him the family.

All the neighbors by now, mostly out of curiosity assembled at the scene of the tragedy. Their surprise was augmented by the scene which followed. Marcin Lanio, without a word, loaded the three blood-soaked corpses into a wagon, and with the sign of the cross, turned the horses in the direction of Czestochowa. The bystanders watched this gruesome and tragic scene, some in fear, others in tears. This indeed was a public act of faith!

 

The Journey

In silence Marcin continued his hopeful journey through narrow roads, shaded by overhanging branches. The sides of the road were lined with a great number of skeptical people. Some of them in amazement wondered what prompted this man to be transporting three corpses in an open wagon. Many questioned his sanity and what he intended to do, since they knew that normally once the dead are dead, they so remain.

Marcin paid no heed to them, because his mind and heart were focused on the Blessed Mother. He continued the pilgrimage in silent prayer fortified by unshaken confidence. Then he saw in the distance the shining cross on the cloister steeple. As the journey continued, he soon heard the sound of evening bells calling the faithful to prayer. His spirit was suddenly refreshed as the horses began to gallop and his prayer became more fervent and confident.

 

At the Church

Finally, he arrived at the Church and with the help of some understanding bystanders carried the three corpses in improvised caskets into the chapel. He himself did not enter because he had neither the strength nor courage; but he lay prostrate before the main door. In tears he kissed the feet of the faithful as they entered the chapel and begged them to pray and intercede for his family before the throne of the Miraculous Madonna of Czestochowa.

 

The Miracle

For a moment, silence which seemed to last an age filled the edifice. Then, the outburst of spontaneous voice almost burst open the walls of the structure, as all joined in a hymn of thanksgiving to the Blessed Madonna of Czestochowa. Prominent among them were the voices of the once dead children and their resurrected mother.

Soon the fame of this miracle became world–wide and the Emperor ordered a true copy of this miraculous portrait to be made and placed in the Cathedral in Vienna.

 


 

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Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for November 24, 2020

The devotions we practice in honor of the glorious Virgin Ma...

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November 24

 

The devotions we practice in honor of the glorious Virgin Mary,
however trifling they may be,
are very pleasing to Her Divine Son, and
He rewards them with eternal glory.

St. Teresa of Avila


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Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Andrew Dung-Lac and the Martyrs of Vietnam

Vietnamese Christians were ordered to trample on a crucifix...

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St. Andrew Dung-Lac and the Martyrs of Vietnam

Born in 1795 in the Tonkinese town of Bac-Nihh in North Vietnam, Tran An Dung was the son of pagan parents. In search of work for themselves in 1807, his parents moved to the ancient citadel of Hanoi. Here their twelve-year-old son was taken care of by a catechist and for three years was instructed in the Catholic faith. Baptized in Vinh-Tri, he received the Christian name Andrew (Anrê) in baptism and went on to learn both Chinese and Latin and himself became a catechist. He was selected for further studies in theology and was ordained to the priesthood on March 15, 1823.

An exemplary pastor, Andrew was ardent and indefatigable in his preaching, often fasted, and drew many to the Faith by his simple and moral life. As a testament of the love which his congregation had for him, in 1835, when he was imprisoned during the persecution of the Annamite emperor Minh-Mang, his freedom was purchased exclusively by donations from his parishioners.

The Vietnamese Christians suffered unspeakably during this time. Beginning in 1832 Minh-Mang expelled all foreign missionaries and commanded all Vietnamese Christians to demonstrate their renunciation of the Catholic Faith by trampling on a crucifix. Churches were destroyed; religious instruction was forbidden. Christians were branded on the face with the words ta dao (false religion) and Christian families and villages were obliterated. Many endured extreme privations and hardship; many more were put to death for their fidelity to the Faith.

To avoid further persecution by the authorities, Andrew Dung changed his name to Lac and relocated to a different region. While visiting a fellow priest, in order to confess himself, Dung-Lac was arrested with Father Peter Thi on November 10, 1839. In exchange for a monetary ransom paid to their captors, the two priests were liberated, but their freedom was short-lived. Re-arrested not long afterwards, they were taken to Hanoi and severely tortured. They were beheaded shortly before Christmas Day on December 21, 1839.

The priests, Andrew Dung-Lac and Peter Thi, were beatified on May 27, 1900 by Pope Leo XIII and formed part of a group of Vietnamese martyrs beatified together on that day. Another group, Dominicans all, was beatified on May 20, 1906 and a third on May 2, 1909 both by Pope St. Pius X. A fourth group, which included two Spanish bishops, was beatified on April 29, 1951 by Pope Pius XII. All 117 martyrs were canonized in Rome on June 19, 1988 by Pope John Paul II.

These 117 martyrs met their deaths during several persecutions of Christians that swept through the Vietnamese peninsula between the years 1625 and 1886. Approximately 130,000 gave their lives for the Catholic Faith and further beatifications may be expected from amongst their glorious ranks. Among the 117 that have been canonized were 96 Vietnamese and 21 foreign missionaries. Of the Vietnamese group 37 were priests and 59 were lay people, among whom were catechists and tertiaries. One of them was a woman, mother of six children. Of the missionaries 11 were Spaniards: 6 bishops and 5 priests, all Dominicans; and 10 were French: 2 bishops and 8 priests from the Société des Missions Etrangères in Paris.

The tortures these martyrs endured were among the worst in the history of Christian martyrdom. The means included cutting off limbs joint by joint, ripping living bodies with red hot tongs, and the use of drugs to enslave the minds of the victims. Among the 117 Martyrs of Vietnam, 76 were beheaded, 21 were suffocated, 6 burnt alive, 5 mutilated and 9 died in prison as a result of torture.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

In the midst of this splendor, the Virgin Mary appeared stan...

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The Conversion of Alphonse Ratisbonne

Born in 1814, Alphonse Ratisbonne was from a family of wealthy, well-known Jewish bankers in Strasbourg, France. In 1827, Alphonse’s older brother, Thèodore, converted to Catholicism and entered the priesthood, thus breaking with his anti-Catholic family whose hopes now lay in the young Alphonse. At 27, Alphonse was intelligent and well mannered. He had already finished his law degree, and decided to travel to Italy before marrying and assuming his responsibilities in the family business. However, God had other plans for him.

While in Rome, Alphonse visited works of art, and strictly out of cultural curiosity, a few Catholic churches. These visits hardened his anti-Catholic stance, and nourished his profound hatred for the Church. He also called on an old schoolmate and close friend, Gustave de Bussières.

Gustave was a Protestant and several times had tried, in vain, to win Alphonse over to his religious convictions. Alphonse was introduced to Gustave’s brother, Baron de Bussières, who had recently converted to Catholicism and become a close friend of Father Thèodore Ratisbonne. Because of the Baron’s Catholicism and closeness with his turncoat brother, Alphonse greatly disliked him.

On the eve of his departure, Alphonse reluctantly fulfilled his social obligation to leave his calling card at the Baron’s house as a farewell gesture.

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Hoping to avoid a meeting, Alphonse intended to leave his card discreetly and depart straight away, but was instead shown into the house. The Baron greeted the young Jew warmly, and before long, had persuaded him to remain a few more days in Rome. Inspired by grace, the Baron insisted Alphonse accept a Miraculous Medal and copy down a beautiful prayer: the Memorare. Alphonse could hardly contain his anger at his host’s boldness of proposing these things to him, but decided to take everything good-heartedly, planning to later describe the Baron as an eccentric.

During Alphonse’s stay, the Baron’s close friend, Count de La Ferronays, former French ambassador to the Holy See and a man of great virtue and piety, died quite suddenly. On the eve of his death, the Baron had asked the Count to pray the Memorare one hundred times for Alphonse’s conversion. It is possible that he offered his life to God for the conversion of the young Jewish banker.

A few days later, the Baron went to the church of Sant’Andrea delle Fratte to arrange for his friend’s funeral. Alphonse reluctantly went with him, all the while making violent criticisms of the Church and mocking Catholic practices. When they arrived, the Baron entered the sacristy to arrange the funeral while Alphonse remained in the church.

When the Baron returned just a few minutes later, the young man was gone. He searched the church, and soon discovered his young friend kneeling close to an altar, weeping.  Alphonse himself tells us what happened in those few minutes he waited for the Baron: “I had only been in the church a short while when, all of a sudden, I felt totally uneasy for no apparent reason. I raised my eyes and saw that the whole building had disappeared. Only one side chapel had, so to say, gathered all the light. In the midst of this splendor, the Virgin Mary appeared standing on the altar. She was grandiose, brilliant, full of majesty and sweetness, just as she is in the Miraculous Medal. An irresistible force attracted me to her. The Virgin made a gesture with her hand indicating I was to kneel.”

When de Bussières talked to Alphonse, he no longer found a Jew, but a convert who ardently desired baptism. The news of such an unexpected conversion immediately spread and caused a great commotion throughout Europe, and Pope Gregory XVI received the young convert, paternally. He ordered a detailed investigation with the rigor required by canon law, and concluded that the occurrence was a truly authentic miracle. 

Alphonse took the name Maria Alphonse at baptism, and, wishing to become a priest, was ordained a Jesuit in 1847. After some time, and at the suggestion of Pope Pius IX, he left the Jesuits and joined his brother Thèodore in founding the Congregation of Our Lady of Sion, dedicated to the conversion of the Jews. Father Theodore spread his congregation throughout France and England, while Father Maria Alphonse went to the Holy Land. In Jerusalem, he established a house of the congregation on the plot of land where the praetorium of Pilate had formerly stood.

The two brothers died in 1884, both famed and well-loved for their exceptional virtues.  

By Armando Santos  

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In the midst of this splendor, the Virgin Mary appeared standing on the altar"

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