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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 July 9, 2020

If you persevere until death in true devotion to Mary, your...

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July 9

 

If you persevere until death
in true devotion to Mary,
your salvation is certain.

St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori


My Mother, I will stand with you on OCTOBER 10, 2020

Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Augustine Zhao Rong and Companions

“Let’s go, we are going to heaven today!” exclaimed Fr...

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St. Augustine Zhao Rong and Companions

Augustine Zhao Rong, is one of a group of 120 Catholics, among many more who were martyred between the years 1648 and 1930 in China.

Having come to China through Syria in the seventh century, down through the centuries Christianity has in turn thrived or gone into hiding, contingent upon the relations of China with the outside world.

Of the 120 martyrs mentioned above, eighty-seven were Chinese, ranging in age from nine to seventy-two, and four of them were priests. Thirty-three were foreign-born, mostly priests or women religious. Though the missionaries and religious tried to distance themselves from foreign policies, the Chinese government did not differentiate and saw them all as westerners.

The martyrdoms of China are most moving, each person having died heroically though many of them suffered torture and cruel deaths. Fr. Francis Li, grandson of a Chinese martyr, describes his grandfather going to his death joyfully saying to his brother and son, “Let’s go, we are going to heaven today!”

Zhao Rong was a bailiff of a county jail. During the persecution of 1772, he was moved by the words of Fr. Martinus Moye to his fellow Catholic prisoners, and, ultimately converted. He later became a priest, and when in 1815 another persecution broke out, he was arrested and tortured, and being aged, died of the ill treatment.

The group of 120 martyrs celebrate today headed by St. Augustine Zhao Rong was canonized by Pope John Paul II on October 1, 2000.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

The young men began to boast of some foolish love affairs. N...

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A Young Man and His Lady Love

In twelfth century England, a group of young men had gathered and were bragging of their various feats, as young men have done since the beginning of time.

The lively conversation went from archery to sword fighting to horsemanship, each trying to outdo the accomplishments of the others.

Finally, the young men began to boast of some foolish love affairs. Not to be outdone by his peers, a noble youth named Thomas declared that he, too, loved a great lady, and was beloved by her.

Thomas of Canterbury meant the most holy Virgin as the object of his affection, but afterwards, he felt some remorse at having made this boast. He did not want to offend his beloved Lady in any way.

Seeing all from her throne in heaven, Mary appeared to him in his trouble, and with a gracious sweetness said to him: "Thomas, what do you fear? You had reason to say that you loved me, and that you are beloved by me. Assure your companions of this, and as a pledge of the love I bear you, show them this gift that I make you."

The gift was a small box, containing a chasuble, blood-red in color. Mary, for the love she bore him, had obtained for him the grace to be a priest and a martyr, which indeed happened, for he was first made priest and afterwards Bishop of Canterbury, in England.

Many years later, he would indeed be persecuted by the king, and Thomas fled to the Cistercian monastery at Pontignac, in France.

Far from kith and kin, but never far from his Lady Love, he was attempting to mend his hair-cloth shirt that he usually wore and had ripped. Not being able to do it well, his beloved queen appeared to him, and, with special kindness, took the haircloth from his hand, and repaired it as it should be done.

After this, at the age of 50, he returned to Canterbury and died a martyr, having been put to death on account of his zeal for the Church.

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

The young men began to boast of some foolish love affairs. Not to be outdone by his peers, a noble youth named Thomas declared that he, too, loved a great lady, and was beloved by her.

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