Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN TITLES, MIRACLES, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, Uncategorized

Feast of Madonna del Pilerio and Memorials of the Saints – 12 February

Madonna del Pilerio:   The term Pilerio probably derives from piliero (pillar), or it could be older and derive from the greek puleròs (guardian, guardian of the city gate).   The cult of the Madonna del Pilerio as the patron saint of Cosenza, dates back to the end of the 16th century.   It is said that in the year 1576, while the plague desolated different regions of Italy, a devotee, praying before the icon of the Madonna del Pilerio, noticed a stain similar to the pestiferous bubo (the marks of the plague), present on the face of the Image.   The phenomenon was noted by the people and by the ecclesiastical authorities. The stain was considered a prodigy and a revealing sign of the protection of the Madonna for the City of Cosenza, saved by her from the plague.   Since then the Virgin of Pilerio became the Protectress of the City.
The news of the prodigious sign did not take long to spread and from the neighbouring countries a growing rush of devotees began.   The pilgrimages continued over time and grew in number, so much so that in 1603, the Archbishop Monsignor Giovan Battista Costanzo (1591-1617), to better serve the influx of pilgrims, removed the painting from the place where it was and placed it before on one of the pillars of the central nave of the Duomo, then on the main altar and finally in 1607 in the specially built chapel dedicated to the Virgin and where even today is venerated.   On April 17, 1607, at the unanimous request of the inhabitants of Cosenza, the Archbishop Mgr. Costanzo crowned the Virgin of Pilerio Regina and Patrona della Città.  In 1783 a violent earthquake struck down on Cosenza. On that occasion another sign was found on the face of the image of the Pilerio.



St Alexius of Kiev
St Ammonius of Alexandria
Bl Anthony of Saxony
St Anthony Kauleas
St Benedict of Aniane (747-821)

Bl Benedict Revelli
St Damian of Africa
St Damian of Rome
St Ethelwald of Lindisfarne
St Eulalia of Barcelona
St Gaudentius of Verona
St Goscelinus of Turin
Bl Gregory of Tragurio
Bl Humbeline of Jully
St Jak Bushati
St Julian of Alexandria
St Julian the Hospitaller
Bl Ladislaus of Hungary
Bl Ludan
St Meletius of Antioch
St Modestus of Alexandria
St Modestus of Carthage
St Modestus the Deacon
Bl Nicholas of Hungary
St Sedulius
Bl Thomas of Foligno

Martyrs of Albitina – 46 saints:
During the persecutions of Diocletian, troops were sent to the churches of Abitina, North Africa on a Sunday morning; they rounded up everyone who had arrived for Mass and took them all to Carthage for interrogation by pro-consul Anulinus. The 46 who proclaimed their Christianity were executed. We know some of their names and stories.
• Ampelius
• Cassiano
• Ceciliano
• Cecilia
• Danzio
• Deciano
• Emeritus
• Ercolina
• Eva
• Fausto
• Felice (2 by this name)
• Felix
• Gennara (2 by this name)
• Gennaro
• Giriale
• Hilarion
• Maggiore
• Margherita
• Martino
• Mary
• Massimiano
• Matrona (2 by this name)
• Onorata
• Pelusio
• Pomponia
• Prima
• Quinto
• Regiola
• Restituta
• Rogatian (3 by this name)
• Rogato (2 by this name)
• Saturninus the Elder
• Saturninus the Younger
• Seconda (2 by this name)
• Thelica
• Victoria
• Vincenzo
• Vittoriano
• Vittorino
They were tortured to death in 304 in prison at Albitina, North Africa.

Martyred in England:
Bl George Haydock
Bl James Fenn
Bl John Nutter
Bl John Munden
Bl Thomas Hemeford

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
Josep Gassol Montseny

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Posted in DOGMA, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, MORNING Prayers, PAPAL MESSAGES, PAPAL PRAYERS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Thought for the Day – 11 February – Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes and the 26th World Day of Prayer for the Sick

Thought for the Day – 11 February – Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes and the 26th World Day of Prayer for the Sick

On 8 December 1854, Pope Pius IX proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception in the apostolic constitution Ineffabilis Deus.   A little more than three years later, on 11 February 1858, a young lady appeared to Bernadette Soubirous.   This began a series of visions. During the apparition on 25 March, the lady identified herself with the words:  “I am the Immaculate Conception.”

Bernadette was a sickly child of poor parents.   Their practice of the Catholic faith was scarcely more than lukewarm.   Bernadette could pray the Our Father, the Hail Mary and the Creed.   She also knew the prayer of the Miraculous Medal:  “O Mary conceived without sin.”

During interrogations Bernadette gave an account of what she saw.   It was “something white in the shape of a girl.”   She used the word aquero, a dialect term meaning “this thing.”   It was “a pretty young girl with a rosary over her arm.”   Her white robe was encircled by a blue girdle.   She wore a white veil.   There was a yellow rose on each foot. A rosary was in her hand.   Bernadette was also impressed by the fact that the lady did not use the informal form of address (tu), but the polite form (vous).   The humble virgin appeared to a humble girl and treated her with dignity.

Through that humble girl, Mary revitalised and continues to revitalise the faith of millions of people.   People began to flock to Lourdes from other parts of France and from all over the world.   In 1862 Church authorities confirmed the authenticity of the apparitions and authorised the cult of Our Lady of Lourdes for the diocese.   The Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes became worldwide in 1907.

Lourdes has become a place of pilgrimage and healing but even more of faith.   Church authorities have recognised over 60 miraculous cures, although there have been accounts of many more.   To people of faith this is not surprising.   It is a continuation of Jesus’ healing miracles—now performed at the intercession of his mother.   Some would say that the greater miracles are hidden.   Many who visit Lourdes return home with renewed faith and a readiness to serve God in their needy brothers and sisters.

There still may be people who doubt the apparitions of Lourdes.   Perhaps the best that can be said to them are the words that introduce the film The Song of Bernadette:   “For those who believe in God, no explanation is necessary.   For those who do not believe, no explanation is possible.”

Let us Pray:

Prayer to Our Lady of Lourdes
By St Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)

To Mary, Mother of tender love,
we wish to entrust all those
who are ill in body and soul,
that she may sustain them in hope.
We ask her also to help us to be welcoming
to our sick brothers and sisters.

Hail Mary, poor and humble Woman,
Blessed by the Most High!
Virgin of hope, dawn of a new era,
We join in your song of praise,
to celebrate the Lord’s mercy,
to proclaim the coming of the Kingdom
and the full liberation of humanity.

Hail Mary, lowly handmaid of the Lord,
Glorious Mother of Christ!
Faithful Virgin, holy dwelling-place of the Word,
Teach us to persevere in listening to the Word,
and to be docile to the voice of the Spirit,
attentive to His promptings in the depths of our conscience
and to His manifestations in the events of history.

Hail Mary, Woman of sorrows,
Mother of the living!
Virgin spouse beneath the Cross, the new Eve,
Be our guide along the paths of the world.
Teach us to experience and to spread the love of Christ,
to stand with you before the innumerable crosses
on which your Son is still crucified.

Hail Mary, woman of faith,
First of the disciples!
Virgin Mother of the Church, help us always
to account for the hope that is in us,
with trust in human goodness and the Father’s love.
Teach us to build up the world beginning from within:
in the depths of silence and prayer,
in the joy of fraternal love,
in the unique fruitfulness of the Cross.

Holy Mary, Mother of believers,
Our Lady of Lourdes,
pray for us. Amenprayer to our lady of lourdes by st john paul no 2 - 11 feb 2018our lady of lourdes pray for us no 2 - 11 feb 2018st bernadette pray for us - 11 feb 2018

Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us!

St Bernadette, pray for us!

Posted in DEVOTIO, DOGMA, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Quote of the Day – 11 February – Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes and the 26th World Day of Prayer for the Sick

Quote of the Day – 11 February – Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes and the 26th World Day of Prayer for the Sick

“I am the Immaculate Conception.”

Our Lady of Lourdes to St Bernadette
25 March 1858i am the immaculate conception - 11 feb 2018

Posted in MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on SUFFERING, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – – 11 February – 6th Sunday of Year B, Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes and the 26th World Day of Prayer for the Sick

One Minute Reflection – – 11 February – 6th Sunday of Year B, Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes and the 26th World Day of Prayer for the Sick

….if you will, you can make me clean…Mark 1:41.

REFLECTION – “Jesus, who is present in our suffering neighbour, wishes to be present in every act of charity and service of ours, which is expressed also, in every glass of water we give “in his name” (cf Mk 9:41). Jesus wants love, the solidarity of love, to grow from suffering and around suffering. He wants, that is, the sum of that good which is possible in our human world. A good that never passes away. The Pope, who wishes to be a servant of this love, kisses the forehead and kisses the hands of all those who contribute to the presence of this love and to its growth in our world. He knows, in fact and believes that he is kissing the hands and the forehead of Christ himself, who is mystically present in those who suffer and in those who, out of love, serve the suffering.”…St Pope John Paul, Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes – 1979jesus, who is present in our suffering neighbour - st john paul - 11 feb 2018

PRAYER – Christ of our sufferings,
Christ of our sacrifices,
Christ of our Gethsemane,
Christ of our difficult transformations,
Christ of our faithful service to our neighbour,
Christ of our pilgrimages to Lourdes,
Christ of our community, today, in St Peter’s Basilica,
Christ our Redeemer,
Christ our Brother!
Amen.
Our Lady of Lourdes, Pray for us that we may live this solidarity of love, in You and with You and for You, amen.our lady of lourdes pray for us - 11 feb 2018

Posted in MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, MERCY, MORNING Prayers, Papa FRANCIS, PAPAL HOMILIES, PAPAL MESSAGES, QUOTES on the CHURCH, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The HOLY CROSS, The WORD, WORLD DAYS of PRAYER

Message of the Holy Father for the 26th World Day of the Sick – 11 February 2018

Message of the Holy Father

Mater Ecclesiae: “Behold, your son… Behold, your mother.
And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.”
(John 19:26-27)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The Church’s service to the sick and those who care for them must continue with renewed vigour, in fidelity to the Lord’s command (cf. Lk 9:2-6; Mt 10:1-8; Mk 6:7-13) and following the eloquent example of her Founder and Master.

The theme for this year’s Day of the Sick is provided by the words that Jesus spoke from the Cross to Mary, His Mother, and to John: “Woman, behold your son … Behold your mother. And from that hour the disciple took her into his home” (Jn 19:26-27).

1. The Lord’s words brilliantly illuminate the mystery of the Cross, which does not represent a hopeless tragedy, but rather the place where Jesus manifests his glory and shows his love to the end.   That love in turn was to become the basis and rule for the Christian community and the life of each disciple.

Before all else, Jesus’ words are the source of Mary’s maternal vocation for all humanity. Mary was to be, in particular, the Mother of her Son’s disciples, caring for them and their journey through life.   As we know, a mother’s care for her son or daughter includes both the material and spiritual dimensions of their upbringing.

The unspeakable pain of the Cross pierces Mary’s soul (cf. Lk 2:35) but does not paralyse her.   Quite the opposite.   As the Lord’s Mother, a new path of self-giving opens up before her.   On the Cross, Jesus showed His concern for the Church and all humanity and Mary is called to share in that same concern.   In describing the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, the Acts of the Apostles show that Mary began to carry out this role in the earliest community of the Church.   A role that never ceases.

2. John, the beloved disciple, is a figure of the Church, the messianic people.   He must acknowledge Mary as his Mother.   In doing so, he is called to take her into his home, to see in her the model of all discipleship and to contemplate the maternal vocation that Jesus entrusted to her, with all that it entails:  a loving Mother who gives birth to children capable of loving as Jesus commands.   That is why Mary’s maternal vocation to care for her children is entrusted to John and to the Church as a whole.   The entire community of disciples is included in Mary’s maternal vocation.

3. John, as a disciple who shared everything with Jesus, knows that the Master wants to lead all people to an encounter with the Father. He can testify to the fact that Jesus met many people suffering from spiritual sickness due to pride (cf. Jn 8:31-39) and from physical ailments (cf. Jn 5:6). He bestowed mercy and forgiveness upon all, and healed the sick as a sign of the abundant life of the Kingdom, where every tear will be wiped away. Like Mary, the disciples are called to care for one another, but not only that. They know that Jesus’ heart is open to all and excludes no one. The Gospel of the Kingdom must be proclaimed to all, and the charity of Christians must be directed to all, simply because they are persons, children of God.

4. The Church’s maternal vocation to the needy and to the sick has found concrete expression throughout the two thousand years of her history in an impressive series of initiatives on behalf of the sick.   This history of dedication must not be forgotten.   It continues to the present day throughout the world.   In countries where adequate public health care systems exist, the work of Catholic religious congregations and dioceses and their hospitals is aimed not only at providing quality medical care but also at putting the human person at the centre of the healing process, while carrying out scientific research with full respect for life and for Christian moral values.   In countries where health care systems are inadequate or non-existent, the Church seeks to do what she can to improve health, eliminate infant mortality and combat widespread disease.   Everywhere she tries to provide care, even when she is not in a position to offer a cure.   The image of the Church as a “field hospital” that welcomes all those wounded by life is a very concrete reality, for in some parts of the world, missionary and diocesan hospitals are the only institutions providing necessary care to the population.

5. The memory of this long history of service to the sick is cause for rejoicing on the part of the Christian community and especially those presently engaged in this ministry.   Yet we must look to the past above all to let it enrich us.   We should learn the lesson it teaches us about the self-sacrificing generosity of many founders of institutes in the service of the infirm, the creativity, prompted by charity, of many initiatives undertaken over the centuries, and the commitment to scientific research as a means of offering innovative and reliable treatments to the sick.   This legacy of the past helps us to build a better future, for example, by shielding Catholic hospitals from the business mentality that is seeking worldwide to turn health care into a profit-making enterprise, which ends up discarding the poor.   Wise organisation and charity demand that the sick person be respected in his or her dignity and constantly kept at the centre of the therapeutic process.   This should likewise be the approach of Christians who work in public structures;  through their service, they too are called to bear convincing witness to the Gospel.

6. Jesus bestowed upon the Church his healing power:  “These signs will accompany those who believe… they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover (Mk 16:17-18). In the Acts of the Apostles, we read accounts of the healings worked by Peter (cf. Acts 3:4-8) and Paul (cf. Acts 14:8-11).   The Church’s mission is a response to Jesus’ gift, for she knows that she must bring to the sick the Lord’s own gaze, full of tenderness and compassion. Health care ministry will always be a necessary and fundamental task, to be carried out with renewed enthusiasm by all, from parish communities to the most largest healthcare institutions.   We cannot forget the tender love and perseverance of many families in caring for their chronically sick or severely disabled children, parents and relatives.   The care given within families is an extraordinary witness of love for the human person, it needs to be fittingly acknowledged and supported by suitable policies.   Doctors and nurses, priests, consecrated men and women, volunteers, families and all those who care for the sick, take part in this ecclesial mission.   It is a shared responsibility that enriches the value of the daily service given by each.

7. To Mary, Mother of tender love, we wish to entrust all those who are ill in body and soul, that she may sustain them in hope.   We ask her also to help us to be welcoming to our sick brothers and sisters.   The Church knows that she requires a special grace to live up to her evangelical task of serving the sick.   May our prayers to the Mother of God see us united in an incessant plea that every member of the Church may live with love the vocation to serve life and health.   May the Virgin Mary intercede for this Twenty-sixth World Day of the Sick; may she help the sick to experience their suffering in communion with the Lord Jesus and may she support all those who care for them.   To all, the sick, to healthcare workers and to volunteers, I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing.

From the Vatican, 26 November 2017
Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

FRANCIS26th world day of the sick - 11 feb 2018 = pope francis message and theme

Posted in MARIAN TITLES, MIRACLES, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

The Memorial of the Apparitions of Our Lady of Lourdes/Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception and the 26th WORLD DAY OF PRAYER FOR THE SICK

Blessed Memorial of the Apparitions of Our Lady of Lourdes/Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception – (11 February and 16 July of 1858) – Patron of the ill and infirm, protection from disease, France, 6 cities and a Diocese.the-immaculate-conception1our lady of lourdes 2

The memorial commemorates the eighteen (18) apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Saint Bernadette Soubiroux that occurred between 11 February and 16 July of 1858 near the town of Lourdes in the Hautes-Pyrenees region of France.   Though there would be other people with her, only Saint Bernadette could see the Lady.

During the 9th appearance, on 25 February, the Lady told Bernadette to drink from a spring that suddenly appeared in the grotto where the apparitions occurred.   During the 12th appearance, on 1 March, a visitor washed her arm in water from the spring and some nerve damage in it was immediately cured.   There is a tradition of miraculous cures at the grotto, or received by those who drink or are bathed in its waters. Bernadette later said that the water had no special properties but it helped focus the faithful who received the cures through faith and prayer.

During the 13th appearance, on 2 March, the Lady told Bernadette to tell local priests that they should build a chapel at the grotto and have processions to be made to it;  the priests were understandably sceptical but due to the numbers of pilgrims coming to the area, construction of several churches was started within a few years.

During the 16th appearance, on 25 March, the Lady identified herself as “the Immaculate Conception”.

Due to the number of people gathering at the site and making treks to the area, on 8 June 1858, the mayor of Lourdes barricaded the grotto and stationed guards to prevent public access;  visitors were fined for kneeling near the grotto or talking about it and Bernadette saw the last appearance of the Lady from outside the barricade.   The grotto was re-opened to the public in October 1858 by order of Emperor Louis Napoleon III and the pilgrims have not stopped coming since.lady-of-lourdeslourdes in stained glassour lady of lourdes 4

Church Approval:

• on 18 January 1862 Bishop Bertrand-Sévère Mascarou-Laurence, with the authorisation of Pope Pius IX, declared that the faithful are “justified in believing the reality of the apparition”
• national French pilgrimages to the site began in 1873
• the basilica of Notre-Dame de Lourdes was consecrated in 1876
• Blessed Pope Pius IX formally granted a canonical coronation to the statue of Our Lady in the courtyard of the basilica on 3 July 1876
• Church of the Rosary consecrated in 1901
• a special office and Mass were authorised by Pope Leo XIII
• observance of the feast extended to the whole Church by St Pope Pius X in 1907

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Posted in MARIAN TITLES, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, WORLD DAYS of PRAYER

Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes, the 26th World Day of Prayer for the Sick and Memorials of the Saints – 11 February

Our Lady of Lourdes (11 February and 16 July of 1858)  – (Optional Memorial)

World Day of the Sick

St Ampelius of Africa
St Ardanus of Tournus
Bl Bartholomew of Olmedo
St Caedmon
St Calocerus of Ravenna
St Castrensis of Capua
St Dativus the Senator
Bl Elizabeth Salviati
St Etchen of Clonfad
St Eutropius of Adrianopolis
St Felix the Senator
St Gobnata
St Pope Gregory II
Bl Gaudencia Benavides Herrero
St Helwisa
St Jonas of Muchon
St Lucius of Adrianople
St Pope Paschal I
St Pedro de Jesús Maldonado-Lucero
St Saturninus of Africa
St Secundus of Puglia
St Severinus of Agaunum
St Soter of Rome
St Theodora the Empress
Bl Tobias Francisco Borrás Román

Guardians of the Holy Scriptures: Also known as –
• Anonymous Martyrs in Africa
• Martyrs of Africa
• Martyrs of Numidia
• Martyrs of the Holy Books
A large number of Christians tortured and murdered in Numidia (part of modern Algeria) during the persecutions of Diocletian, but whose names and individual stories have not survived. They were ordered to surrender their sacred books to be burned. They refused. Martyrs. c 303 in Numidia.

Martyrs of Africa – 5 saints: A group of five Christians who were martyred together; we know nothing else but the names of four of them – Cyriacus, Oecominius, Peleonicus and Zoticus.

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Posted in MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN TITLES, MORNING Prayers, NOVENAS, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, Uncategorized

Novena to Our Lady of Lourdes – DAY NINE– 10 February

Novena to Our Lady of Lourdes – DAY NINE– 10 February (we Pray the Novena for our own intentions and for the sick, the infirm within our own communities but also for all those throughout the world who suffer, especially those who have no-one to pray for them in preparation for the Wold Day of the Sick on 11 February.)

DAY NINE
O glorious Mother of God,
to you we raise our hearts and hands
to implore your powerful intercession
in obtaining from the benign Heart of Jesus
all the graces necessary
for our spiritual and temporal welfare,
particularly for the grace of a happy death.
O Mother of our Divine Lord,
as we conclude this novena for the special favour
we seek at this time.
……………………………(make your request)
Mary and Bernadette
We feel animated with confidence that your prayers in our behalf
will be graciously heard. O Mother of My Lord,
through the love you bear to Jesus Christ
and for the glory of His Name,
hear our prayers and obtain our petitions.
O Brilliant star of purity, Mary Immaculate, Our Lady of Lourdes,
glorious in your assumption,
triumphant in your coronation,
show unto us the mercy of the Mother of God,
Virgin Mary, Queen and Mother,
be our comfort, hope, strength, and consolation. Amen.

Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.

Saint Bernadette, pray for us.day nine - our lady of lourdes - 10 feb 2018

Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Our Morning Offering – 9 February – The Memorial of Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich

Our Morning Offering – 9 February – The Memorial of Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich (1774-1824)

A Magnificat
Translated from the German by Olga Warnke of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary

My soul glorifies the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour!
For He has blessed me lavishly
and makes me ready to respond.
He shatters my little world
and lets me be poor before Him.
He takes from me all my plans
and gives me more than I can hope for or ask.
He gives me opportunities
and the ability to become free
and to burst through my boundaries.
He gives the strength to be doing,
to build on Him alone,
for He shows Himself
as the ever greater One in my life.
He has made known to me this!
It is in my being servant that it becomes possible.
For God’s kingdom to break through
here and now.
Amen.a magnificat - 9 feb 2018

Posted in SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The PASSION, VATICAN Resources

Saint of the Day – 9 February – Blessed Anna Katharina Emmerick/Anne Catherine Emmerich (1774-1824)

Saint of the Day – 9 February – Blessed Anna Katharina Emmerick/Anne Catherine Emmerich (1774-1824) – Handicapped, Virgin, Religious, Penitent, Marian Visionary, Mystic, Ecstatic, Writer and Stigmatist.   Her body is incorrupt.

1-blessed-anne-catherine-emmerich-william-hart-mcnichols

Anna Katharina Emmerick was born on 8 September 1774 in the farming community of Flamsche near Coesfeld.   She grew up amidst a host of nine brothers and sisters.   She had to help out in the house and with the farm work at an early age.   Her school attendance was brief, which made it all the more remarkable that she was well instructed in religious matters.   Her parents and all those who knew Anna Katherina noticed early on that she felt drawn to prayer and to the religious life in a special way.

Anna Katharina laboured for three years on a large farm in the vicinity.   Then she learned to sew and stayed in Coesfeld for her further training.   She loved to visit the old churches in Coesfeld and to join in the celebration of Mass.   She often walked the path of Coesfeld’s long Way of the Cross alone, praying the stations by herself.   She wanted to enter the convent but since her wish could not be fulfilled at that time, she returned to her parental home.   She worked as a seamstress and, while doing so, visited many homes.

Anna Katherina asked for admission to different convents but she was rejected because she could not bring a significant dowry with her.   The Poor Clares in Münster finally agreed to accept her if she would learn to play the organ.   She received her parents’ permission to be trained in Coesfeld by the organist Söntgen.   But she never got around to learning how to play the organ.   The misery and poverty in the Söntgen household prompted her to work in the house and help out in the family.   She even sacrificed her small savings for their sake.

Together with her friend Klara Söntgen Anna Katharina was finally able to enter the convent Agnetenberg in Dülmen in 1802.   The following year she took her religious vows.   She participated enthusiastically in the life of the convent.   She was always willing to take on hard work and loathsome tasks.  Because of her impoverished background she was at first given little respect in the convent.   Some of the sisters took offence at her strict observance of the order’s rule and considered her a hypocrite.   Anna Katharina bore this pain in silence and quiet submission.

From 1802 to 1811 Anna Katharina was ill quite often and had to endure great pain.

As a result of secularisation the convent of Agnetenberg was suppressed in 1811 and Anna Katharina had to leave the convent along with the others.   She was taken in as a housekeeper at the home of Abbé Lambert, a priest who had fled France and lived in Dülmen.   But she soon became ill.   She was unable to leave the house and was confined to bed.   In agreement with Curate Lambert she had her younger sister Gertrud come to take over the housekeeping under her direction.

During this period Anna Katharina received the stigmata.   She had already endured the pain of the stigmata for a long time.  The fact that she bore the wounds of Christ could not remain hidden.   Dr Franz Wesener, a young doctor, went to see her and he was so impressed by her that he became a faithful, selfless and helping friend during the following eleven years.   He kept a diary about his contacts with Anna Katharina Emmerick in which he recorded a wealth of details.

A striking characteristic of the life of Anna Katharina was her love for people.   Wherever she saw need she tried to help.  Even in her sickbed she sewed clothes for poor children and was pleased when she could help them in this way.   Although she could have found her many visitors annoying, she received all of them kindly.   She embraced their concerns in her prayers and gave them encouragement and words of comfort.

Many prominent people who were important in the renewal movement of the church at the beginning of the 19th century sought an opportunity to meet Anna Katharina, among them Clemens August Droste zu Vischering, Bernhard Overberg, Friedrich Leopold von Stolberg, Johann Michael Sailer, Christian and Clemens Brentano, Luise Hensel, Melchior and Apollonia Diepenbrock.   The encounter with Clemens Brentano was particularly significant.   His first visit led him to stay in Dülmen for five years.   He visited Anna Katharina daily to record her visions which he later published.

Anna Katharina grew ever weaker during the summer of 1823.   As always she joined her suffering to the suffering of Jesus and offered it up for the salvation of all.   She died on 9 February 1824.   She was buried in the cemetery in Dülmen.   A large number of people attended the funeral.   Because of a rumour that her corpse had been stolen the grave was reopened twice in the weeks following the burial.   The coffin and the corpse were found to be intact.

Clemens Brentano wrote the following about Anna Katharina Emmerick: “She stands like a cross by the wayside”.   Anna Katharina Emmerick shows us the centre of our Christian faith, the mystery of the cross.

The life of Anna Katharina Emmerick is marked by her profound closeness to Christ.   She loved to pray before the famous Coesfeld Cross and she walked the path of the long Way of the Cross frequently.   So great was her personal participation in the sufferings of our Lord that it is not an exaggeration to say that she lived, suffered and died with Christ. An external sign of this, which is at the same time, however, more than just a sign, are the wounds of Christ which she bore.

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Anna Katharina Emmerick was a great admirer of Mary.   The feast of the Nativity of Mary was also Anna Katharina’s birthday.   A verse from a prayer to Mary highlights a further aspect of Anna Katharina’s life for us.   The prayer states, “O God, let us serve the work of salvation following the example of the faith and the love of Mary”.   To serve the work of salvation – that is what Anna Katharina wanted to do.

In Colossians the apostle Paul speaks of two ways to serve the gospel, to serve salvation. One consists in the active proclamation in word and deed.   But what if that is no longer possible?   Paul, who obviously finds himself in such a situation, writes: “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church” (Col 1:24).

Anna Katharina Emmerick served salvation in both ways.   Her words, which have reached innumerable people in many languages from her modest room in Dülmen through the writings of Clemens Brentano, are an outstanding proclamation of the gospel in service to salvation right up to the present day.   At the same time, however, Anna Katharina Emmerick understood her suffering as a service to salvation.   Dr Wesener, her doctor, recounts her petition in his diary:  “I have always requested for myself as a special gift from God that I suffer for those who are on the wrong path due to error or weakness, and that, if possible, I make reparation for them.”   It has been reported that Anna Katharina Emmerick gave many of her visitors religious assistance and consolation.   Her words had this power because she brought her life and suffering into the service of salvation.   In serving the work of salvation through faith and love, Anna Katharina Emmerick can be a model for us all.

Dr Wesener passed on this remark of Anna Katharina Emmerick:  “I have always considered service to my neighbour to be the greatest virtue.   In my earliest childhood I already requested of God that he give me the strength to serve my fellow human beings and to be useful.   And now I know that he has granted my request.”   How could she who was confined to her sickroom and her bed for years serve her highborn?   (vatican.va)

Her Works:  • The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ
• The Life of Jesus Christ and Biblical Revelations
• The Lowly life and Bitter Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Blessed Mother

Anna was Beatified on 3 October 2004, by St Pope John Paul II.  However, the Vatican focused on her own personal piety rather than the religious writings associated to her by Clemens Brentano.   Her documents of postulation towards canonisation is handled by the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter.   Father Peter Gumpel who was involved in the analysis of the matter at the Vatican told Catholic News Service: “Since it was impossible to distinguish what derives from Sister Emmerich and what is embroidery or additions, we could not take these writings as a criteria. Therefore, they were simply discarded completely from all the work for the cause”.

In 2003 actor Mel Gibson brought Anne Catherine Emmerich’s vision to prominence as he used her book The Dolorous Passion as a key source for his movie The Passion of the Christ.   Gibson stated that Scripture and “accepted visions” were the only sources he drew on and a careful reading of Emmerich’s book shows the film’s high level of dependence on it.

In 2007 German director Dominik Graf made the movie The Pledge as a dramatisation of the encounters between Anne Catherine and Clemens Brentano, based on a novel by Kai Meyer.the passion 1the passion

House of the Virgin Mary

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Neither Brentano nor Emmerich had ever been to Ephesus and indeed the city had not yet been excavated;  but visions contained in The Life of The Blessed Virgin Mary were used during the discovery of the House of the Virgin Mary, the Blessed Virgin’s supposed home before her Assumption, located on a hill near Ephesus, as described in the book Mary’s House.

In 1881, a French priest, the Abbé Julien Gouyet used Emmerich’s book to search for the house in Ephesus and found it based on the descriptions.   He was not taken seriously at first but sister Marie de Mandat-Grancey persisted until two other priests followed the same path and confirmed the finding.

The Holy See has taken no official position on the authenticity of the location yet but in 1896 Pope Leo XIII visited it and in 1951 Pope Pius XII initially declared the house a Holy Place. St Pope John XXIII later made the declaration permanent. Blessed Pope Paul VI in 1967, St Pope John Paul II in 1979 and Pope Benedict XVI in 2006 visited the house and treated it as a shrine.