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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 January 22, 2021

The doctor should not meddle. The right of the child is equa...

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January 22

 

The doctor should not meddle.
The right of the child is equal to the right of the mother’s life.
The doctor can’t decide;
it is a sin to kill in the womb.

St. Gianna Beretta Molla


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Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Vincent Pallotti

He once dressed as an old woman to reach a dying person whos...

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St. Vincent Pallotti

Vincent Pallotti was born in Rome in 1795, the son of a well-to-do grocer. In school he was known as a “little saint” and, although bright, he was also considered “a bit slow” – an illusion amply disproved by the apostolic endeavors of his life.

He was ordained a priest when only twenty-three, and taking his doctorate in theology soon after, became an assistant professor at the Sapienza University of Rome.

As a close friend of St. Gaspar del Bufalo, a missionary in Italy, he decided to give up his teaching post for a more apostolic life. Inflamed by the missionary spirit, he longed to send missionaries throughout the world and to work for the conversion of the Mohammedans.

Don Pallotti, as he was known, was a great confessor and fulfilled that office at several colleges. He had an intense devotion to the Mystery of the Most Holy Trinity and a tender love for the Blessed Virgin Mary.

In 1835 he began the Society of Catholic Apostolate. He organized schools for shoemakers, tailors, coachmen, joiners and market-gardeners to improve their education and general pride in their trade. He started evening classes for young workers and an institute to teach better methods of agriculture.

Widely regarded as another St. Philip Neri, he was indefatigable in his work with those in need. Burning with zeal to save sinners, he once dressed as an old woman to reach a dying person whose relative had sworn to shoot the first priest to approach. He was also a great exorcist, and healed the sick with a word of encouragement or a blessing.  He foresaw the future, and once predicted the movement of Catholic Action, even its name.
Vincent Pallotti died on January 22, 1850 at the age of fifty-five. When his body was exhumed in 1906 and again in 1950, it was found to be completely incorrupt. It is enshrined in the Church of St. Salvatore in Onda in Rome.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

One night, the Blessed Virgin appeared to him and told him h...

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Mary and the Muslim

Don Octavio del Monaco was a wealthy citizen of 17th century Naples. Like many of his class, Don Octavius had several Muslim slaves in his household. These children of Islam were amazed at the kindness of their “master.” He fed and clothed them better than they received in their native land. In return, his slaves attended to their tasks with diligence, as Don Octavius did not over work them, but assigned them duties in keeping with their dignity as children of God.

If these Muslim slaves had any reason for complaint, it was the gentle persistence with which their master and his wife exhorted them to give up their false religion and become Catholics. Don Octavius even went so far as to invite the slaves to join his family in the chapel to worship the one true God with them!

Our story today is about one young slave in particular. His name was Abel, like the slain son of Adam and Eve. He felt drawn in a peculiar way to a lamp that burned in front of a shrine to Holy Mary. Abel would purchase the oil needed to keep the lamp lit from his own meager stipend. As he continued to practice this humble devotion, he would say, “I hope that this Lady will grant me some great favor.”

One night, the Blessed Virgin appeared to him and told him he must become a Christian. At first the Turk resisted. But she placed her hand upon his shoulder, and said to him: “Now no longer resist, Abel, but be baptized and called Joseph,” conferring on him a name that was very dear to her Immaculate Heart indeed.

On August the 10th, 1648, there was much rejoicing in Heaven, for on that day “Joseph” and eleven other Muslims converted to the Christian faith and were baptized. Their conversion was brought about by the kindness shown by Don Octavius and the special intercession of the Mother of God.

Our story does not end here. Even once this son of hers was safely baptized, Mother Mary delighted in visiting him. Once, after having appeared to him, she was about to depart. But the Moor seized her mantle, saying, “Oh, Lady, when I find myself afflicted, I pray you to let me see you.” In fact, she one day promised him this and when Joseph found himself afflicted he invoked her, and Mary appeared to him again saying, “Have patience", and he was consoled.

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

One night, the Blessed Virgin appeared to him and told him he must become a Christian.

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