Download Free Templates http://bigtheme.net/ Websites Templates
  • Marian Reflections

  • 1

Marian thought for February

"Love, honor, and serve Mary. Procure making Her known, loved, and honored by others. Not only will the child of this Mother not perish, but he could also aspire to a great crown in Heaven" (St. John Bosco).

St. John Bosco was born on August 16, 1815, in Becchi, 25 kilometers away from Turin. Margherita, his mother, was an extraordinary woman who educated her sons in poverty and strength of spirit. Francis, his father, died of pneumonia when John was just 2 years old. When he was 9, John Bosco had the first dream that marked the rest of his life. In it God's plans for him (his work with the youth to bring them to Jesus and Mary) were unveiled to him. His desire was to become a priest, and to that end drew people to his house on Sundays and preached to them by two pear trees. He completed his primary education at a public school near his house, and secondary school in Chieri. To pay for his studies, he had to do all kinds of jobs. Finally, he was able to gain access to studies for the priesthood. He was ordained on June 5, 1841, and celebrated his first Mass in Turin. Immediately he dedicated himself to picking up street kids to form what would later be known as the Oratories of St. Francis de Sales. To attend to them, he founded the Salesian Priests who soon spread all throughout Italy, France, and Spain. St. John Bosco loved the youth and tried to educate them, tirelessly dedicating his entire life to this end. He died on January 31, 1888.

St. Teresa of Avila

s teresa avila

“Wonderful indeed it is, how pleasing to Our Lord is any service, which is done to his Mother.”

Saint Teresa was born in Avila, Spain, on March 28, 1515. She is known for reforming the Carmelite Order and for her writings about prayer. Her devotion to Mary began when she was little. It grew at her mother’s death, when St. Teresa asked the Virgin Mary to be her mother, seeing as how she did not have a mother on earth anymore.
The inspiration of reforming the Carmelites came about after her own personal “conversion.” When she was young she felt a great interior attraction to holy things. However, she was also fascinated by the world, and found herself in great danger. Her father decided to put her in the Santa Maria de la Gracia boarding school when she was 16 years old. During that time, she felt the call to religious life and in 1535 she entered the Carmelite convent of the Incarnation in Avila. A short time after professing her vows, she fell ill and her father brought her out of the convent. She recovered from the illness, but suffered from certain consequences of it the rest of her life. During her long recovery she learned to do the prayer of recollection by reading several spiritual books, like The Third Spiritual Alphabet. She felt the call to solitude and silence, and found herself in a time of personal battle with her weakness and sins. She had an experience in Lent of 1554 that left a mark on her soul. While praying in front of an image of the wounded Christ, she felt moved and with tears implored that He give her strength so as not to offend Him anymore. After this, she felt such a great desire to live in a state of perfection that the reformation of the Carmelites came about. She spoke about her desires to her confessor. After some time, she was able to found the Convent of St. Joseph in Avila. An intense time of founding and writing activity began for Teresa. She opened 17 convents, the last being Burgos. On the way back from that foundation, she traveled to Alba de Tormes, Salamanca, where she died on the night of October 15, 1582.

Saint Teresa of the Andes

teresa andes

"A sinner, like me, finds in you a protective mother, who has crushed the head of the dragon under your immaculate feet; in your eyes I find mercy, forgiveness and a shining light so as not to fall into the muddy waters of sin."

Saint Teresa was born into a Catholic family in Santiago, Chile on July 13th, 1900. Once she was 6 years old, she went to daily Mass with her mother and had a great desire to receive Holy Communion. She made her first Holy Communion on September 11th, 1910. She received communion daily and spent many hours with Jesus. The love that she had for the Mother of God gave her strength and sustained her in her path to follow Christ. By the time she was 14 years old she already knew that the Lord wanted her to be only His as a Carmelite. She helped prepare herself by reading the lives and writings of Carmelite saints. She entered into the Carmelite convent in 1919 and received the name “Teresa of Jesus.” She had been in the convent for less than a year when the Lord called her to Himself. Throughout her life she desired to resemble Christ: suffering and prayer were her ideals as a Carmelite. She died on April 12th, 1920 and was canonized by Pope John Paul II in Rome on March 21, 1993.

St. Anthony

antonio

“To thee, oh blessed Virgin, be praise and glory, because today we are filled with the goodness of thy house; that is, of thy womb.”

St. Anthony was born in Portugal. He is known as “of Padua” because of the Italian city of Padua where he died and where his relics can still be venerated today. Statues and devotion to him are found everywhere, which is why Leo XIII referred to him as “everyone’s Saint.” One biographer said of him, “He was powerful in deeds and in words. His body dwelled on this earth but his soul lived in Heaven.”

He was born in the year 1195. The name given to him at baptism was Fernando, but when he joined the Order of Friars Minor, he changed his name to that of Anthony because of his devotion to the great patriarch of monks and the official patron of the chapel in which he received the Franciscan habit.
From the time of his youth, he had many difficulties. He was harshly assaulted by temptations against purity, but he did not allow himself to be defeated and with the help of God, dominated his passions. He was strengthened by visiting the Most Blessed Sacrament. He renewed the consecration he had made as a child to the Most Blessed Virgin, to whom he had entrusted his purity.
In 1220, while he studied in Coimbra with the regular canons of St. Augustine, the King, Don Pedro of Portugal, brought relics of the Franciscan Friar Saints who shortly beforehand had obtained the glorious crown of martyrdom in Morocco. Upon seeing the relics, a deep desire was born in his heart to give his life for Christ. Shortly afterwards, some Franciscan Friars arrived to where he was and helped him to open his heart. He was admitted to the Order at the beginning of 1221 and almost immediately afterwards was given permission to journey to Morocco. His goal? To preach the Gospel to the Muslims. On his way, he fell gravely ill and was forced to return to Europe. Due to strong winds, the ship on which he sailed had to take a different route and stopped in Messina, the capital of Sicily. From there, he travelled to Assisi. St. Anthony, full of extraordinary intellectual and spiritual gifts, gave himself over to prayer and the service of the other Friars. Having discovered a great gift for preaching, he fully dedicated himself to it and eventually became very famous.
People came from all over to listen to him and touch him. He arrived at Padua. News spread of the miracles he performed and it was said of him that he radiated holiness. He said, “The great danger of the Christian is to preach and not practice, believe but not live according to what he believes.” His lived out what he preached. Despite his poor health, he completely dedicated himself to his Brothers and tirelessly worked for souls. In the spring of 1231, after having preached a series of sermons, St Anthony’s health declined and he took to rest. Aware of his imminent end, he asked to be taken to Padua. He never reached the city. On June 13, 1231, in the private room of the Poor Clares’ chaplain at Arcella, he received the last sacraments. He sang a hymn to the Blessed Virgin and smiling, said, “I see Our Lord coming,” and died.

He was canonized before a year had passed since his death and seven centuries later, Pope Pius XII declared St. Anthony a “Doctor of the Church.”

St. John Eudes

juan eudes

"The heavens are the work of your thy hands" but the Heart of the Mother of God is the unequaled masterpiece of His omnipotence, His unfathomable wisdom and His infinite goodness."

St. John Eudes was born in the year 1601 in Ri, close to Argentan (France). His parents, Isaac Eudes and Martha Corbin, went on a pilgrimage to a shrine of Our Lady asking for the grace to have a child, because they had already been married for two years. Nine months later, John was born and four more children after him. Since childhood he showed an inclination towards religious matters. When he was 14, he entered the Jesuit school at Caen. Although his parents would have preferred that he marry and continue working on the family farm, he took a vow of chastity. In the year 1621, he received minor orders. He began to study theology in Caen. He was soon admitted in the Congregation of the Oratory by the Founder, Fr. Berulle, who allowed John to preach seeing his exemplary conduct. He was ordained a priest on December 20, 1625. He was a tireless missionary. He cared for the sick, risking his own life, and gave himself completely over to the conversion of souls. In prayer, the Lord asked more of him. He left the congregation and formed an association of diocesan priests in order to create seminaries for the formation of zealous priests. The association took on the name: "Congregation of Jesus and Mary." He followed the path of missions, opening new communities, writing books, prayers, and letters full of spiritual doctrine. He helped people to love the Hearts of Christ and the Virgin Mary. After a spiritually fruitful life, he died on August 19, 1680. He was canonized by Pope Pius XI on May 31, 1925..

From the Gospel of St. John

cana

"Do whatever he tells you" (John 2:5).

Sacred Scripture contains very few words pronounced by the Virgin Mary. Some of them are the commandment she gave at the Wedding Feast at Cana.


"On the third day there was a marriage at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there; Jesus also was invited to the marriage, with his disciples. When the wine failed, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “O woman, what have you to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Now six stone jars were standing there, for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the steward of the feast.” So they took it. When the steward of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, “Every man serves the good wine first; and when men have drunk freely, then the poor wine; but you have kept the good wine until now.” This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory; and his disciples believed in him. After this he went down to Capernaum, with his mother and his brethren and his disciples; and there they stayed for a few days" (John 2:1-12).

Mary is not far from our needs. As a good Mother she is aware of what we need and intercedes for us. At the same time she shows us something important: We must ask, but we must also act. What do we have to do? Whatever Jesus tells us. As always, Mary turns our gaze toward Him.

St. Ignatius of Loyola

san ignacio

"For as much as you love Mary Most Holy, she will always love you much more than you can love her."

St. Ignatius of Loyola, whose motto was “Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam” (“For the greater glory of God”), was born into a noble family in Loyola in the year 1491. He pursued a military career, which abruptly ended on May 20, 1521. He was fighting to defend the castle of Pamplona when a cannonball broke his leg. During his convalescence, Inigo asked to read a book. He wanted to read a book on chivalry but the only books that could be found in the castle of Loyola were about the life of Christ and the lives of the Saints. At first he had little interest in these books, but soon he began to enjoy them and would spend entire days reading. He said, “If these men were made of clay like me, then I can also do the same as them.” This was the beginning of his conversion. He still had much to battle against between his attraction for God and a life solely dedicated to Him, and the glory and success that the world offered him. In the end, Inigo resolved to imitate the Saints. He went to the Holy Land, was imprisoned for the Inquisition, studied in Paris… all of which he did under the gaze of the Lord, who prepared a group of companions for him who would eventually form “The Company of Jesus.” All of the actions of this Saint referred back to the his goal to do everything “for the greater glory of God.” From the moment of his conversion, St. Ignatius placed all of his happiness in working for God and suffering for His sake. He died on July 31st, 1556. He was canonized in 1622.