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Our Lady of Confidence

Our Lady of Confidence

 

On June 25, 1697, a Catholic home in the Eternal City celebrated the birth of a daughter! Little did the happy parents know that Divine Providence had destined this little girl to be a noble instrument in His hands to introduce into the Church one of the most beautiful invocations to the Holy Mother of God: “Madonna della Fiducia” — Our Lady of Confidence.

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While still a youth, Clare Isabella Forani became a religious and eventually became the venerable abbess of the convent of Poor Clares of Saint Francis in the city of Todi, Italy. She courageously adopted a severe life of penance from the outset and bore unspeakable trials for many years. Her sacrifices purified her soul and prepared her to receive the highest of mystical graces, and her visions and ecstasies were numerous. Such was the intensity of her participation in the suffering of Our Lord Jesus Christ that she received the Holy Stigmata of His Passion.

Sister Clare also nourished a very special devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, a devotion represented in sacred pictures which the talented servant of God painted with her own hand.

Many of Sister Clare’s pictures of the Madonna, either copies or originals, circulated widely due especially to her confessors who gave them to friends and acquaintances. The recipients always found succor in their needs.

Until her death in the odor of sanctity in 1744, Sister Clare always kept with her an oval picture portraying the maternal figure of the Virgin Mary with the Infant Jesus in her arms. Most extraordinary graces are attributed to this picture, which remains in the city of Todi. Especially benefited were the sick who had recourse to the intercession of the Blessed Mother before it.

 

My Mother, My Confidence

Image of Our Lady of Confidence - Our Lady holding the Child Jesus. Both are crowned.A copy of the picture is venerated today in the Major Seminary next to the Basilica of Saint John Lateran. It gave rise to a devotion to Our Lady under the title of Mother of Confidence. This renowned reproduction of Our Lady of Confidence arrived at the capital of Christendom accompanied by a copy of a document written by the Servant of God with a promise to those who venerate the picture. The parchment is conserved today in the archives of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, which is examining the case for Venerable Sister Clare Isabella’s beatification.

The seminary has always held the picture in great esteem. The students, having recourse to the miraculous image in their most pressing needs, always had their prayers answered by Our Lady. Noteworthy was the complete protection granted by Our Lady of Confidence to the seminarians against the scourge of Asiatic Cholera that claimed thousands of lives throughout Italy in 1837. When a new outbreak devastated the south of the country thirty years later and reached the City of the Pope, the protective mantle of the Madonna was again felt, granting immunity to the students of the seminary. During the First World War, the Blessed Virgin watched over the more than 100 seminarians who had recourse to her with redoubled confidence. Many seminarians were sent to the war and there are numerous letters written from the battlefield recounting the marvels worked by the Madonna for those who had sought her intercession.

 

The Promise

The greatest graces reserved for all those who have this devotion are contained in the promise of the Blessed Virgin Mary to the venerable Sister Clare Isabella. Below is a translation of this marvelous promise taken from an old parchment containing the consoling words of the Blessed Mother to Sister Clare:

“The divine Lady deigned to reveal to me that every soul that confidently presents herself before this picture will obtain from her Divine Son the general pardon for all her sins. Moreover, my divine Lady assured me with the love of a true mother that she would grant a special tenderness and devotion toward her to everyone who contemplated this picture.”

With the ejaculatory prayer, “My Mother my Confidence,” explains a pamphlet published by the Roman seminary, Mary offers everything but asks for nothing. It is a most ardent and efficacious expression of complete abandonment and confidence in the hands of the Blessed Mother. Just as the Apostle Saint Thomas at the feet of the resurrected Redeemer exclaimed with confidence, “My Lord and my God!” so also should devotees of the Virgin, before this miraculous picture, repeat with heartfelt confidence those sweet words,

“Mater mea Fiducia mea!” (My Mother, my Confidence!).

 


  

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Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for April 22, 2021

Mary was raised to the dignity of Mother of God rather for s...

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April 22

 

Mary was raised to the dignity of Mother of God
rather for sinners than for the just, since
Jesus Christ declares that
He came to call not the just, but sinners.

St. Anselm

 
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Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Theodore of Sykeon

Endowed with the gift of prophecy and miracles, on a second...

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St. Theodore of Sykeon

Born in the Roman Galatian town of Sykeon in Asia Minor, Theodore was the son of a woman of ill repute, who kept an inn along the imperial highway.

As a child, he was so given to prayer that he would often give up a meal to spend time in church. From an early age he shut himself up first in the cellar of his mother’s house and then in a cave beneath a disused chapel. Later, for a time, seeking to further escape the world, he sought solitude on a mountain.

On a pilgrimage to Jerusalem Theodore assumed a monk’s habit, and though only eighteen years of age, was ordained a priest by his own bishop. His life was most austere, wearing an iron girdle about his body and only sparingly partaking of vegetables.

Endowed with the gift of prophecy and miracles, on a second pilgrimage to the Holy Land, he obtained abundant rain after a severe drought.

Theodore founded several monasteries, and ruled as abbot in Sykeon. He was consecrated Bishop of Anastasiopolis, though he deemed himself totally unfitted. After ten years he succeeded in relinquishing his post and retired to Sykeon.

From Sykeon he was recalled to Constantinople to bless the emperor and the senate and there healed one of the Emperor’s sons of a skin disease, reputedly leprosy.

Theodore had a great devotion to St. George and did much to propagate devotion to him.

He died in Sykeon on April 22, 613.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

In the mountainous region of Trent in Germany, there lived a...

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The Robber Who Stole Heaven

In the mountainous region of Trent in Germany, there lived a notorious robber who made his living by bringing misfortune on others. His occupation being what it was, he would only increase his property by decreasing that of his victims.

One day, he was admonished by a local religious to change his course of life and thereby insure his eternal salvation. The only answer the robber gave was that for him there was no remedy.

"Do not say so," said the religious, "do what I tell you. Fast on each Saturday in honor of the Virgin Mary, and on that day of the week do no harm to anyone. She will obtain for you the grace of not dying in God’s displeasure.”

The robber thought to himself, “This is a small price to pay to insure my salvation; I will do as this holy man has prescribed.” He then obediently followed the religious’ advice, and made a vow to continue to do so. That he might not break it, from that time on he traveled unarmed on Saturdays.

Many years later, our robber was apprehended on a given Saturday by the officers of justice, and that he might not break his oath, he allowed himself to be taken without resistance. The judge, seeing that he was now a gray-haired old man, wished to pardon him.

Then the truly miraculous occurred. Rather than jump for joy thanking the judge for his leniency, the old robber, said that he wished to die in punishment of his sins. He then made a public confession of all the sins of his life in that same judgment hall, weeping so bitterly that all present wept with him.

He was beheaded, a death reserved for the nobility, rather than hanged. Then his body was buried with little ceremony, in a grave dug nearby.
Very soon afterwards, the mother of God came down from Heaven with four holy virgins by her side. They took the robber’s dead body from that place, wrapped it in a rich cloth embroidered with gold, and bore it themselves to the gate of the city.

There the Blessed Virgin said to the guards: "Tell the bishop from me, to give an honorable burial, in such a church to this dead person, for he was my faithful servant." And thus it was done.

All the people in the village thronged to the spot where they found the corpse with the rich pall, and the bier on which it was placed. And from that moment on, says Caesarius of Heisterbach, all persons in that region began to fast on Saturdays in honor of she who was so kind to even a notorious robber.

From the Glories of Mary, by St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori.

In the mountainous region of Trent in Germany, there lived a notorious robber who made his living by bringing misfortune on others. 

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