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Header - Stories of Mary 22

 

“If mother only knew what has become of me!
My lips mouth the Our Fathers and the Hail
Marys, but my soul has no religion,
and I’ve become so sinful…”

 

 

(3.5 minute read - Enjoy!)

 

In the mid 1800’s there lived in Paris a good woman who, after her husband died, was left destitute. The widow had an only son, Hubald, who was her pride and joy.

Worn down by poverty, sacrifice, and worry, she became critically ill.

Calling her son to her bedside she said, “Hubald, son, I am about to die. I would like to make a last will.”

“Mother,” remonstrated the lad, “We’ve never had less; what can you possibly leave me?”

“I have a treasure to leave you,” said his dying mother, “Reach under my pillow.”

Doing so, Hubald pulled out a Rosary.

“This is what I leave you, my son,” gasped the mother, “I have nothing else, but this Rosary is enough. In honor of your dying mother, promise me that you will say it every day.”

“I promise,” said Hubald, his eyes awash. “I promise never to let a day pass without praying the Rosary on your beads.”

And so the lady breathed her last. After the funeral, alone and penniless in the world, the young man joined the army and was sent to the Crimea. Hubald proved a worthy soldier, and quickly attained military rank. At the age of thirty he was promoted to Colonel.

Unfortunately, his spiritual life did not keep pace with his military advancement. Gradually, through the years, Colonel Hubald had given up all practice of religion and all religious sentiment. Still, he kept his sacred promise to his dying mother, and no matter how busy or stressed, he found fifteen minutes each day in which to finger her beads, and recite the Rosary.

At times he thought regretfully, “If mother only knew what has become of me! My lips mouth the Our Fathers and the Hail Marys but my soul has no religion, and I’ve become so sinful…”

On September 7, 1855, when the army camped in the vicinity of Malakoff, during the siege of Sebastopol, Hubald lay in his cot. He was thus reflecting on the faithlessness and sinfulness of his life, when he felt a tap on his shoulder.

“Colonel, are you awake?”

Turning, Hubald recognized the Army Chaplain. As they shook hands, the priest felt the Rosary beads.

“I’m so glad to see you praying the Rosary, Colonel. I did not think you so devout.”

“I’m not, Father. I say the Rosary in remembrance of my Mother…” And he proceeded to relate his story.

Taking advantage of the emotion of the moment, the good priest spoke words of encouragement and comfort to Hubald, assuring him that God wanted nothing more than to forgive him all his sins.

“Colonel, why don’t you open your soul in Confession? I assure you that your heart will know the peace and serenity which you no longer believe possible.”

Touched by grace, the soldier humbly bowed his head, and making a general confession, unloaded years of sin and remorse. As the priest raised his hand in absolution, an indescribable joy flooded Hubald’s soul.

While he basked in this new-found feeling, there was a trumpet blast and the cry,
“To arms!”

Assembling his troops, the Colonel rode into the fray. There was a fierce battle, men falling on all sides, but hours later the victory went to the French.

Among the dead, struck by a fatal bullet, was found Colonel Hubald. In his pocket he had his mother’s beads.

The Rosary had opened heaven to him.

 


 Rewritten by Andrea F. Phillips, based on a story by Rev. James Alberione, in his book Glories and Virtues of Mary

 

 

Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for March 3, 2021

Those who educate children well are more to be honored than...

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March 3

 

Those who educate children well
are more to be honored
than they who produce them;
for the latter only gave them life,
the former give them the art of living well.


Aristotle

  
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Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Katharine Drexel

Catherine made her social debut in 1879 as a wealthy, popula...

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St. Katharine Drexel

Katharine Drexel was born Catherine Marie Drexel on November 26, 1858, the second daughter of Francis Anthony Drexel, a wealthy banker, and his wife, Hannah, who died very shortly after Catherine’s birth. Francis married again two years later, and he and his new wife, Emma, had another daughter when Catherine was five.

The three Drexel children were well educated and enjoyed many social and material privileges. They were privately educated at home by their tutors and would often tour parts of the United States and Europe with their parents. They were brought up to the practice of the virtues and assisted their parents every week when they opened their home to the care and aid of the poor.

Catherine made her social debut in 1879 as a wealthy, popular young heiress. However, her life took a profound turn when, after nursing Emma Drexel for three years during a terminal illness, she realized that her family’s fortune could not buy freedom from pain or death. She became a very active and staunch advocate for the black and native Americans after witnessing their plight during a family trip to the Western United States in 1884.

At the prompting of Pope Leo XIII, the young heiress became a missionary religious in 1891 and established the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament to work among the American Indians and Afro-Americans. Her decision to enter religion rocked Philadelphia social circles, one newspaper carrying the banner headline: “Miss Drexel Enters a Catholic Convent—Gives Up Seven Million."

Over the course of the next sixty years, Mother Katharine Drexel, as she became known, devoted herself and her fortune to propagating her missionary work. By the time of her death in 1955, at the age of ninety-six, she had established a system of Catholic schools for blacks in thirteen states, twenty-three rural schools, and fifty missions for Indians in sixteen states. Her most famous establishment was Xavier University for Blacks in New Orleans in 1915 – it was the first of its kind in the United States and faced great opposition from radical racists.

Mother Katharine Drexel was canonized by Pope John Paul II on October 1, 2000, the second native-born American ever to be declared a saint after St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in 1774.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

Handing him a Rosary she asked him to go to Mass for a week....

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Payback

At Anna’s mother’s funeral a man came up to her and after offering his deepest sympathy, took the grieving daughter aside, “I must tell you a story about your good mother and something she did for me…”

He proceeded to recount how, many years before he was involved in an extra-marital affair. One day, when dining with the woman in a restaurant, Anna’s parents had come in and pretended they had not seen them.

But next day he picked up the phone to hear Anna’s mother inviting him over for a piece of pie.

“You know how good your mother’s pie was…But there was also a tone of urgent authority in her voice, so I went.”

After enjoying his piece of pie, Anna’s mother revealed that she had, indeed, seen him and his girl-friend the night before.

“Though I vehemently denied it, your mother would not relent...She proceeded to remind me of the time when I was out of work and she had cooked for my family day in and day out.”

“Now, I want payback,” she demanded.

“I reached for my wallet, but she said,”

“Not that way.”

Handing him a Rosary she asked him to go to Mass for a week. She instructed him to say the Hail Mary and Our Father assigned to each bead while thinking of something good about his wife, his children and their family life.

“If at the end of this week you still think this woman is better for you, just mail me back the Rosary, and I will never say a word about this again.”

At this point, the man telling the story reached into his pocket. Pulling out a worn Rosary, he said,

“This is the Rosary your mother gave me all those years ago. My wife and I have said it together every day since.”

 Based on a story from 101 Inspirational Stories of the Rosary by Sister Patricia Proctor, OSC

Handing him a Rosary she asked him to go to Mass for a week. She instructed him to say the Hail Mary

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