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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 July 12, 2020

“Know you not that you are the temple of God, and that the...

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July 12

 

“Know you not
that you are the temple of God, and
that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”
(1 Corinthians 3:16)

St. Paul the Apostle


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

Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. John Gualbert

Meeting his brother’s murderer in a narrow alley, he was a...

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St. John Gualbert

John Gualbert or Giovanni Gualberto, was a Florentine nobleman who one day, meeting his brother’s murderer in a narrow alley was about to slay him when the culprit, falling to his knees, implored mercy with his arms outstretched in the form of a cross. It was a Good Friday, and Gualbert, suddenly reminded of Jesus Crucified, embraced the man and forgave him.

Going on his way, John entered the monastery of St. Miniato where he knelt before a crucifix. As he prayed, the crucifix miraculously bowed his head in thanks for John’s act of generosity. Struck to the heart, Gualbert sought the abbot, asked to be given the religious habit, and was ultimately accepted.

He later left St. Miniato with a companion, looking for a more perfect way of life and founded, in Vallombrosa near Fiesole, a new order based on the primitive, austere rule of St. Benedict adapted to the particular circumstances of his time.

He was known for his zeal but also for his mildness, and for making the burden of discipline sweet. In his humility he never received even minor orders. He zealously fought simony, which is the sale of ecclesiastical posts.

His order grew and monasteries multiplied, which were a blessing to their regions and especially to the poor, as no beggar was ever turned away empty handed.

Popes sought his wise counsel, and Pope Alexander II testified that the whole country where he lived owed the extinction of simony to his zeal.

John Gualbert died on July 12, 1073 being eighty or more years of age. Pope Celestine III canonized him in 1193.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

John shared with me the story of his conversion from Protest...

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Walk to Conversion

In September, I brought the statue of Our Lady of Fatima to the home of Mr. John Black and his family in Kings City, California.  John shared with me the story of his conversion from Protestantism: about thirteen years ago he was visiting one of the 21 Spanish missions in California (though these are holy sites, they also serve as tourist attractions.)

“Who is this Junipero Serra anyways?”  he asked, as the tour guide shared the history of the mission. “Well,” the guide responded, “you are standing on his grave!”  Surprised, John looked down and read inscription on the stone. Sure enough, Blessed Father Junipero Serra was buried right there. “I became electrified,” John told me, “I had to learn more about this man and about the missions.”  The more he studied Blessed Serra, the founder of the first nine missions, the more impressed he became, and he decided to travel on-foot to all 21 missions. 

With the blessing of his wife, now left at home with their two infant sons, John left for his solo expedition, taking with him a single backpack, the bible and little money.  He told me that every mission he visited he felt the presence of someone receiving him, even if the mission was empty. He felt this ambiance in the missions so serene and uplifting, and began to realize it was the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament that made him feel so at home.

At one point, John collapsed from exhaustion near a mission run by Franciscans, who kindly hosted him for the night. Before he left the next day, one of the friars gave him a first-class relic of Blessed Serra. Since he was Protestant, John did not know what a relic was, but not wanting to appear rude, he accepted it. Not long after he left the Franciscans, John became lost in the wilderness in the middle of the night. Through his exhaustion and fear he heard a voice say, “Let’s help John.” He had the distinct feeling that Blessed Serra was guiding him, and gathered the strength and courage to continue. About six hours later, he stumbled upon the next mission. “It was kind of a miracle,” he said, “I was really lost!”

During his journey, John slowly came to a realization. “I know what you want from me, God,” he thought to himself one day, “you what me to became a Catholic. That is what this is all about!” However, he still had many questions about aspects of Catholicism that have been rejected by his Protestant faith – mainly about the Blessed Mother. Yet, from that point on he received answers to all of his questions, especially his reservations about devotion to Mary: he believed that it was once again Blessed Serra answering him.

With the help of Blessed Serra, one problem after another was resolved in the solitude of his travels. By the time John reached the final mission, he wholly decided to become a Catholic. “I realized that by having devotion to Mary, you love Our Lord even more,” he told me.

John returned home, filled with zeal and enthusiasm for his newfound faith. He shared his astonishing experiences with his wife, and she too converted. “I feel at home in the Catholic church,” John said, “and I have never loved Our Lord Jesus Christ more than I do now.”

by Joseph Ferrara

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John shared with me the story of his conversion from Protestantism: about fourteen years ago he was visiting one of the 21 Spanish missions in California 

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