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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 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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