Lumen Gentium, 58
In 1246 St. Simon Stock was named Prior General of the Carmelite Order. St. Simon understood that, without the Virgin Mary’s intervention, the order was not going to last very long. He turned to Mary and placed the order under her protection, for they belong to Her. In his prayer he addressed Her as Flower of Carmel and Star of the Sea, begging Her to protect the community. In response to this fervent prayer, the Virgin Mary appeared to St. Simon Stock on July 16, 1251, and gave him the Scapular and the following promise: “This shall be a privilege for you and all Carmelites, that anyone dying in this habit shall not suffer eternal fire.”
This ancient Hispanic rite was part of the group of Latin language liturgies that were constituted in the West between the fifth and seventh centuries.
Bartolo Longo was born in Latiano, a province of Brindisi, Italy, on February 10, 1841. He went to Naples in 1863 to finish his education and got involved in spiritism because of professors and bad company. He completely abandoned the Catholic Faith in which he had been educated. Discontent, assaults from the devil and deep sadness led him to search for help, which he found in a Catholic professor. The words of the professor were a shock for Bartolo: "You're going to die in a lunatic asylum and be condemned for eternity!" Later he went to a Dominican, Fr. Alberto Radente. On the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in 1865, he went to Confession and returned to the Church. This caused great joy in his family, which had not ceased to beg God for his conversion since he had gone astray. After Bartolo's conversion, a thought tormeneted him: "How could he be saved after the life he lived in the past? He felt a voice inside of him say, "If you spread the Rosary you will be saved." He understood that his vocation was to spread the Rosary and devotion to Our Lady of the Rosary. In his lifetime he saw several works in favor of this mission and its extension throughout the world. A large church would be erected in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary. He did not limit himself to this mission alone, but also helped in different works of Christian charity directed especially toward orphans and the poor. He died on October 5, 1926, and was beatified by Pope John Paul II on October 26, 1980.
This ancient Hispanic rite was part of the group of Latin language liturgies that were constituted in the West between the fifth and seventh centuries.Saint John Berchmans was born in Belgium on March 13, 1599, to a good catholic family. He was one of five children, 3 of whom consecrated themselves to the Lord. He always behaved well at home, helping his mother as much as he could. He studied at the seminary in Mechelen and then entered the Jesuit novitiate of the same city. John was distinguished by his charity, study and piety. He had a great devotion to the Blessed Virgin whom he wanted to love with a very affectionate love, not wanting to stop until he achieved such love. He always lived under the gaze of this sweet Mother. During his life he was a defender of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary, and in the last year of his life, John had committed himself, signing with his own blood, to "affirm and defend the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception wherever it is found". He wanted to practice all the virtues and made an effort to observe perfectly his obligations, without excuses. He took advantage of his daily crosses, worked passionately for the glory of God, did everything by supernaturalizing the intention. He said "when you have to pray, pray with all love; when you have to study, study with all interest; when you have to practice a sport, practice it with all enthusiasm." He wanted to do things always with more love. He studied thinking about the future apostolate he would have and the souls he would meet. He died young saying that his greatest consolation was never having broken, in his religious life, any rule or order of his superiors and never having committed a venial sin. Before dying he pressed close to his chest a crucifix, a rosary and the book of the Rules, saying "these are my three most beloved garments, with them I die happy." He died on August 13, 1621. His last words were: Jesus, Mary.
Saint Catherine was born in France in 1806. Her mother passed away when Catherine was 9 years old. This made her entrust herself to the Virgin Mary in a special way so that She would be her Mother. Since a young age, Catherine desired to dedicate her life to God in the religious life. Her father resisted her going because there was no one to attend to the duties at home. Disconsolate, she begged the Lord insistently to grant her what she desired: to become a religious. One night in a dream, she saw an elderly priest who said to her, "One day you will help me take care of the sick." When she was 24, she visited her sister and saw in the convent Saint Vincent de Paul's portrait. She recognized the elderly priest from her dream and understood that she had to dedicate her life there. After insisting a great deal, she obtained permission and was accepted by the community. On November 27, 1830, she was praying in the convent's chapel when the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to her, completely radiant and shedding beautiful rays of light from her hands to the earth. She entrusted Catherine the making of an image of the apparition and a medal. On one side, the medal would have the Virgin Mary's initials--m and a cross--with the quote, "Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee." The medal was made, and through it many miracles and special graces were obtained for those who wore it and prayed the prayer on it. From 1830 until 1876, when she died, Catherine lived in the convent and no one thought that she was the one the Virgin Mary had appeared to. Eight months before her death, Catherine told her new superior about all of the apparitions in detail, and it was known who was the one who had seen and heard the Virgin Mary. Pope Pius XII declared her a saint in 1947.