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Do we lie to our children when we tell them fairytales, parents may ask?

Indeed not!

No fairytale matches what in reality God can do and will do for those who trust His omnipotence. Thus, fairytales are a way of “wetting the appetite” of children for the marvelous, wonder-filled world of God’s miracles, and, finally Heaven.

In my Catholic home, as I graduated from fairytales to the lives of the saints, I was pleasantly surprised to find amazing parallels between their stories with the marvelous tales of my childhood.

Actually, my fairytales paled compared to the riveting miracles, God Our Lord, and Mother Mary, true “Fairy God’s Mother”, had worked in these saints’ lives. And then, one day, I was awe-struck on being shown a photo of the incorrupt body of Saint Bernadette Soubirous, who saw the Blessed Mother eighteen times in Lourdes, France in 1858.

 

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Here was the real “Sleeping Beauty”!

St Bernadette - True Sleeping BeautyThe incorruption of the bodies of some saints is a phenomenon, which science cannot explain. Far from “mummified”, these bodies are preserved without exterior aid, some having escaped not only the ravages of natural decomposition, but also the added putrefying effect of humidity, and even the corrosiveness of lime.

The first saint in Catholic history to have escaped normal decay is the Roman virgin Saint Cecilia, martyred in 177 A.D, her integral body discovered in 1599. Throughout history, about 250 such bodies were exhumed and found to be in different stages of preservation.

Bernadette of Lourdes, who died at age 36, was first exhumed thirty years after her death. Before the local bishop and other authorities, the body was recognized to be amazingly intact with even internal organs preserved. Because of some discoloration of the skin, a light wax cover was placed over her face and hands for eventual public veneration.

St Bernadette - Pic 3Indeed, in life young Bernadette had been incorruptible.

Perhaps, the young visionary’s outstanding qualities were utter simplicity, and piercing honesty. After seeing the Blessed Virgin, and initiating the miraculous fountain of Lourdes, she remained true to herself, despite the center of feverish attention.

Unmoved by the acclaiming public that promptly conferred saintly stardom on her, young Bernadette answered the grueling clerical investigators with utter transparency, disconcerting directness and uncanny wisdom for one so young and only recently lettered.

When entering the the convent of the Sisters of Nevers, she thought it only logical that she be assigned to menial tasks.

St Bernadette in glass coffinShe lived in fidelity to her vows, pure, simple, true, and a lover of her daily cross, her one desire to be with her “lady” who had appeared to her and sealed her heart for heaven.

She now reposes, enshrined in a crystal urn in the chapel of St. Gildard, Nevers, France, a true Sleeping Beauty, stung by the curse of death, but peacefully awaiting the return of her divine Bridegroom.

So, no – fairy-tales don’t lie!

 


By Andrea F. Phillips

References:
https://www.catholicpilgrims.com/lourdes/bb_bernadette_body.htm
https://www.visionsofjesuschrist.com/weeping216.htm
Catholic Online

 

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Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for September 23, 2019

In all the events of life, you must recognize the Divine wil...

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September 23

 

In all the events of life, you must recognize the Divine will.
Adore and bless it,
especially in the things which are the hardest for you.

St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina


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Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Pio of Pietrelcina

Offering himself as a victim for the end of the war, Padre P...

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St. Pio of Pietrelcina

Francesco was born in the small Italian village of Pietrelcina on May 25, 1887. His parents, Grazio Forgione and Maria Giuseppa Di Nunzio, were peasant farmers, but they recognized their son was close to God. When he was only five years old, he solemnly consecrated himself to Jesus. It is said he often spoke with Our Lord, Our Lady and his guardian angel, who defended him against attacks by the devil. He joined the Capuchin Franciscans at the age of fifteen, and took the name Pio with his religious vows. After seven years of study he was ordained to the priesthood in 1910.

During the same month he was ordained, Padre Pio was praying in the chapel when Our Lord and His Blessed Mother appeared and gave him the Stigmata. However, the wounds soon faded and then disappeared. “I do want to suffer, even to die of suffering,” Padre Pio told Our Lady, “but all in secret." Soon after, he experienced the first of his spiritual ecstasies.

Pio was in the military for a short time, but was discharged due to poor health. Upon his return to the monastery, he became a spiritual director. He had five rules for spiritual growth: weekly confession, daily Communion, spiritual reading, meditation, and examination of conscience. He often advised, "Pray, Hope and Don’t Worry."

In July of 1918, Padre Pio received the visible Stigmata, the five wounds of Christ (hands, feet and side), after offering himself as a victim for the end of the war. By 1933, the holy priest was recognized by the Church and by 1934 had attracted thousands of pilgrims that attended his masses and frequented his confessional.

On September 23, 1968, Padre Pio said his final Mass, renewed his vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience and died in his cell after suffering from grave physical decline. Before his death, Padre Pio orchestrated and oversaw the building of the “House for the Alleviation of Suffering,” a 350-bed medical and religious center.

He was canonized on June 16, 2002 by Pope John Paul II. An estimated 300,000 people attended the canonization ceremony.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

“What is that?” Asked a curious voice as America Needs F...

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The Power of a Picture

“What is that?” Asked a curious voice as America Needs Fatima custodian Jose Ferraz stepped into the hotel elevator in Altamonte Springs, Florida. “This is the Pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima,” replied Mr. Ferraz, “I take Her to visit people in their homes to spread the Fatima message.” He then handed the woman, who was a maid at the hotel, America Needs Fatima’s most popular picture. “This is a picture of Her.” The woman gasped. “I know that picture! It inspired a conversion.” She then asked excitedly, “Do you have a minute to hear the story?” 

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As Mr. Ferraz listened, he learned that the woman, Maria Vegra, had a 22-year old son who had recently passed away after three weeks in the hospital due to a fatal injury received in a car accident. While in the hospital, a priest would visit him every day to administer Holy Communion. The priest consistently offered the sacrament to the neighboring patient of Maria’s son, another young man who was also in critical condition. The young man would say, “No. I don’t believe in God.” But the priest continued to offer salvation. “Let me hear your confession and give you Holy Communion and Last Rights,” the priest said, “it will save your soul and get you to heaven.” Time after time, the young man stubbornly refused.

During the weeks of hospitalization and fruitless medical treatments, Maria had taken her son a picture of Our Lady of Fatima a friend had given her from an America Needs Fatima mailing.

She knew Our Lady’s watchful gaze would give her son peace in his last days. The day after she placed Our Lady’s picture at the foot of her son’s bed, she heard the voice of his stubborn neighbor: “please,” he said, “bring the picture closer to me. I want to look at the Lady.” 

Surprised but willing, Maria placed the picture in the middle of the two suffering men. 

After three days of letting the nearby picture of Our Lady touch his heart as he gazed into Her eyes, the suffering patient relented. “Please,” he called out, “bring me the priest. I want to receive the sacraments.”

A few days later, the young man died a Catholic. With a simple picture of Our Lady of Fatima, God touched a heart and saved a soul. 

 By Catherine Ferdinand

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“What is that?” Asked a curious voice as America Needs Fatima custodian Jose Ferraz stepped into the hotel elevator in Altamonte Springs, Florida. “This is the Pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima,” replied Mr. Ferraz, “I take Her to visit people in their homes to spread the Fatima message.” He then handed the woman, who was a maid at the hotel, America Needs Fatima’s most popular picture. 

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