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POPE LEO XIII 



w 

4 IV 



THE 

APPARITIONS AND SHRINES 

OF 

HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 

In Legend, Poetry and History 

FROM THE EARLIEST AGES 
TO THE PRESENT TIME 

Compiled from Approved Catholic Publications 



BY 



WILLIAM J. WALSH 

WITH INTRODUCTION BY 

MONSIGNOR BERNARD O REILLY, D.D. 



ILLUSTRATED 
VOLUME Two 



NEW YORK 

T. J. CAREY COMPANY 

Sixty-three Fifth Avenue 
LONDON 

BURNS & GATES, LTD. 



ST, BASIL S SCHOLASTICATE 

d&i 

J J 




APR 27 1953 



Copyright, 1904 

By 
T. J. CAREY COMPANY. 



Rooney & Otten Printing Co., 114-120 West 30* St., N. Y. 



DECLARATION 



The Editor and Publishers, in obedience to the decrees of 
Urban Vlll., protest that for all miraculous events, visions and 
apparitions ascribed in these columns to certain servants of 
God, which have not been formally investigated and approved 
by the Church, they claim no other authority and belief than 
that which is ordinarily conceded to narratives based upon 
merely human evidence, and do in no wise presume to pro 
nounce upon their authenticity or supernatural character. If 
the appellation of Saint or Blessed is therein applied to any 
person not canonised or beatified by the Church, it is done only 
in accordance with the usage and opinion of men. 

In view of and in accordance with the above declaration, 
the following authorization to publish is granted. 

NIHIL OBSTAT, 

REMIGIUS LAFORT, S.J.L., 

Censor. 

IMPRIMATUR, 

JOHN M. FARLEY, D.D., 

Archbishop. 

New York, December 8, 1904. 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

VOLUME TWO 

PAGE 

POPE LEO XIII Frontispiece 

ST. ANNE AND THE BLESSED VIRGIN 37 

VIRGIN AND THE ANGELS 93 

THE HOLY FAMILY - T 47 

VIRGIN, INFANT JESUS, AND ST. JOHN l8 9 

MADONNA AND SAINTS 2 79 

MYSTIC MARRIAGE OF ST. CATHERINE 3 2 7 



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Come a tbep tobo t)atie partaften 
<f eartb i^ utter mi 



CONTENTS 



PAGE 



Pope Leo XIII. and the Rosary 

Apparition to St. Felix of Valois 

St. John of Matha 6 

Our Lord and the Blind Man Hon. John Hay 

Apparition to the Princess Ermesinde 9 

Stella Matutina Princess Talbot Borghcse 14 

Devout Prayers of St. Mechtildis 

Apparition to B. Reginald of Orleans, O.P. . . . 

Child of Mary Rev. Matthew Russell, SJ 19 

Shrine of Our Lady of Mariners 21 - 

Sailor s Song, The Morwenna P. Hawker 24 

Apparition to St. Hyacinth 

Prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary.. . .Francesca Petrarch 29 

Apparition to St. Francis, F.O.S.F. . 

St. Francis of Assisi H. V. R. 35 

Apparition to B. Albert, the Great, Bp. O.P. 

Sweetness of the Mother of God, The 40 

Legend of the Cathedral of Cologne, A 

Bells of Cologne, The 43 

Attributes of Mary, The Rev. W. W. Lord 45 

Apparition to St. Peter Nolasco 47 * 

Mercy Charles IV. Stoddard 52 

Seven Corporal Works of Mercy, The 52 

Apparition to St. Raymund Nonnatus, O.M 

Death of St. Raymund - Magdalen Rock 55 

Apparition to the Seven Servites 

Stabat Mater Rev. John B. Tabb 70 

Shrine of St. Rose of Viterbo, V.O.S.F 73 

To-day 74 

Use of the Present Time F. Scupoh 75 

Act of Reparation to Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament 75 

Apparition to St. Simon Stock 

Brown Scapular, The Ave Maria 

Apparition to St. Clare, V 9* * 



viii CONTENTS 



PAGE 

Praise to the Blessed Sacrament Madame Swetchine 105 

"Pietate Tua." (Prayer.) 106 

Apparition to St. Peter Celestine 107 * 

Mary Rev. F. Gcramb, Trappist 108 

Apparition to St. Agnes of Monte Pulciano, V.O.S.D 109* 

Prayer to the Madonna Rev. Henry A. Brann, D.D. 112 

An Efficacious Prayer 113* 

To Jesus Crucified 113 

Apparition to St. Mechtilde, V. Ab. O.S.B 115 

How St. Mechtilde Prepared for Death 118 

How Advantageous it is to Hear Holy Mass 119 

Virgin s Dream, The The Rev. Francis J. Finn, SJ. 124 

Apparition to St. Gertrude, V. Ab. O.S.B 127 - 

St. Gertrude s Speaking Crucifix Rev. J. J. R., SJ. 145- 

Prayer for Peace 145 

Apparition to B. Benvenuta Bojani, V.O.S.D 147- 

He Grew in Wisdom Marion Ames Taggart 150 

Apparition to Paul of the Wood, Hermit 151 

Description of the Holy House 156 

Grove of Laurels, The M. 158 

Apparition to St. Clare of Rimini, W 161 

"Immaculate" St. Anthony s Messenger 162 

Apparition to St. Angela of Foligno, W.O.S.F 163- 

Of the Last Advice of Blessed Angela and Her Happy Death.. 167 

God Our Father 168 

To-day Magdalen Rock 169 

Apparition to St. Nicholas Tolentine, O.S.A 171 

Mother of Sorrows, The John Keble 173 

Apparition to Pope John XXII 175 

Shorter Purgatory, A 177 

Queen of Purgatory, The Rev. Frederick W. Faber 178 

Prayer to the Blessed Virgin St. William of Paris 179- 

Apparition to St. Bridget of Sweden, W 181 

Our Blessed Lady s Advice to St. Bridget 184 

Seven Principal Dolors of Our Blessed Lady, The 186 

Mother s Hymn, The William Cullen Bryant 187 

Apparition to St. Catharine of Siena, V.O.S.D 189 - 

Devotion to the Church 207 

Mystic Marriage of St. Katharine, V Dante G. Rossetti 207 

Apparition to Blessed Mary Mancini, W.O.S.D 209 

Prayer of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux Katherine E. Conway 212 

Prayer to the Most Holy Sacrament and to the Sacred Heart 212- 

Shrine of Our Lady of Folgoat 213 



CONTENTS ix 



PAGE 

Ave Maria Alfred Austin 2I ? 

Shrine of Our Lady of the Thorn 221 

"Angelus" Bell, The R. M. Milne s (Lord Houghton) 225 

Angelus Bell, The 22D ~ 

Angelus Domini and Regina Coeli, The 227 

To Our Mother Katherine E. Conway 228 

Our Lord and the Blind Man Hon. John Hay 229 - 

Shrine of Our Lady of the Forsaken 23r 

Legend of the Pyrenees, A 235 

Apparition to St. Bernardine of Siena, O.S.F 239- 

Name of Jesus, The Ave Maria 258 

Apparition to Ven. Joan of Arc, V 259 

Why Canonize Joan of Arc? Stanislaus 265 

Beatification of Joan of Arc Pope Leo XIII. 272 

Pope Honors Joan of Arc 2 75 

To Joan in Heaven ?>P- /. Coleman 276 

Apparition to Brother Ernest 

Immaculate Conception, The Robert Southey 283 

Apparition to St. Veronica, V 

Ave Maria - Lord B ^ YOn 28S 

Apparition to St. Catherine of Bologna 

Holy Family, The Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 290 

Apparition to B. Stephana Quinzani, V.O.S.D. . ... 291 

For My Lady s Day Rev. W. F. Ennis, 5V. 294 

Preface of the Blessed Virgin, The 295 

Shrine of Our Lady of Good Council. .Don Michael Barrett, OS.D 297 

Our Lady of Good Council Eleanor C. Donnelly 302 

Apparition to B. Lucy of Narni, O.S.D 35 

Stabat Mater of the Crib, The Annie R. Bennett 308 

Apparition of Our Lady of the Golden Sheaf 309 

"Victimae Paschali" Cardinal Martinelli 312 

Memorare, or Prayer of St. Bernard 312 

Apparition to B. Catharine of Raconigi, V.O.S.D 313- 

Immaculate Conception, The Charles Hanson Towne 316 

Apparition to B. Magdalen Pannatieri, V.O.S.D 31? 

Hymn to the Virgin Sir Walter Scott 320 

Apparition to Blessed Osanna, V.O.S.D 321 

Immaculate Conception Lady Catherine Petre 324 

Raphael s Famous Madonna of St. Anthony of Padua 325 

Raphael, the Divine Lydia Whitchcad Wright 326 

Raphael s Madonnas 332 

Mother and Child Richard Wilton 333 

Prayer : "Virgin Most Holy" 334- 



CONTENTS 



PAGE 

Apparition to St. Cajetan, F. Theatins 335^ 

In Mary s Arms Edmund of the Heart of Mary, C.P. 338 

Apparition to Gavan Dunbar, Bp 339 

St. Mungo s Bell Anna T. Sadlier 351 

Apparition to St. Ignatius De Loyola, F.SJ 353 

Ye Angels, Now be Glad 370 

Apparition to B. Dominica, V.O.S.D 373- 
Story of Italy, A Susan L. Emery 374 

Our Lady of Italy 



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POPE LEO XIII. AND THE ROSARY 




T is fitting that there should be recorded the 
acts of the Holy Father concerning the Rosary. 
On the ist of September, 1883, he issued the 
Encyclical Letter Supremi Apostolatus Ofhcio, 
in which the devotion of the Rosary was earnestly put forward 
as the great means of prayer against present evils, and its reci 
tation during the month of October enjoined. This may be 
called the formal institution of Rosary Month. On the 2Oth of 
November of the same year he addressed Letters Apostolic to 
the Father-General of the Dominican Order, praising the effect 
of his Encyclical in the Rosary devotions during October, and 
declaring that the petition of inserting "Queen of the Most 
Holy Rosary" in the Litany should be considered. On the loth 
of December a Decree was issued ordering the insertion of this 
title in the Litany of Loreto. On the 24th of December a Brief 
was published repeating the same order, and expressing the de 
sire of His Holiness that the Rosary should be recited daily 
in cathedral churches throughout the world, and in parish 
churches on Sundays and feast-days. On the 3Oth of August, 
1884, the Holy Father issued another Encyclical (Superiore 
anno ), in which, after expressing his great joy at the celebra 
tion of the Month of the Holy Rosary, he commanded the same 
for the ensuing month of October. In the year 1885 he estab 
lished the Rosary Month, to be continued until the peace and 
liberty of the Church be restored. On the nth of September, 
1887, the Festival of the Most Holy Rosary was raised to a 
double of the second class. And now we have a papal document 
again declaring the importance of the prayers to Our Blessed 
Mother, and the value of their constant recitation, and assign 
ing a Proper Mass and Office for the Feast of the Holy Rosary. 
"In thanksgiving for benefits received, and in more earnest 
prayer for future favors, the Holy Father commands and em- 



g APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

phatically repeats all that he has laid down in Encyclicals in 
former years and in Decrees of the Sacred Congregation of 
Rites with regard to the recitation of the Holy Rosary, par 
ticularly in the month of October. And having in times past 
made many efforts toward the increase of liturgical devotion 
to the Blessed Virgin under the invocation of the Rosary, wish 
ing to make another addition to this object, he has instituted 
for the feast of the Solemnity of the Rosary, on the first Sun 
day of October, a Proper Office and Mass, to be recited in 
future by the clergy, regular and secular, according to the rules 
which by his approval and design he has ordered to be issued 
by the Sacred Congregation of Rites." 

Among the numerous praises of the Rosary scattered 
through these pontifical documents, these will be remembered 
and quoted in time to come : "May the Christian nations cling 
more and more to the practice of the Rosary, to which our 
ancestors had recourse as an ever-ready refuge in misfortune, 
and as a glorious pledge and proof of Christian faith and devo 
tion. We have desired, and desire nothing more ardently, than 
that the fervor of the faithful in performing the devotion of 
the Rosary should not languish, but should remain firm; the 
Holy Father desiring to increase the devotion toward the 
Mother of God, especially by this form of prayer most pleasing 
to Her. Amongst the various forms of prayer used in the 
Church piously and well, the Rosary has many titles of praise 
especially this, that it was instituted to implore the help 
of the Mother of God against the enemies of the Faith; and, 
as all know, it has frequently consoled the Church in trial. 
Not only, therefore, is it proper for private prayer, but also for 
public occasions. This form of prayer should be restored to 
the honor it long held, when every Christian family marked 
each day with its recital. Hence we exhort and beseech all to 
say the Rosary every day with constancy. Care must be taken 
that, in these sad times for the Church, the holy custom of 
saying the Rosary be carefully observed, especially as this 
form of prayer is excellently suited to nourish the spirit of 
devotion," 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 



APPARITION 

TO 

ST. FELIX OF VALOIS, F. TRIN 
ITARIANS, CERFROI, FRANCE 

1212 



Slavery triumphed till a vision mild 

Beamed in beauty under Peter s dome, 
Bright vision of the Virgin and her Child 

Beneath the Standard of great Christian Rome. 

Thomas J. McGeoghegan. 




HE surname of Valois was given to this saint, 
according to some, because he was of the royal 
branch of Valois in France; but according to 
Joffred, Baillet, and many others, because he was 
of the province of Valois. The Saint was born in 1127, and 
when grown up renounced his estate, which was very con 
siderable, and retired into a great wood, in the diocese of 
Meaux, called Cerfroi. Here, sequestered from the world, 
and forgetting its shadows and appearances which grossly 
impose upon its deluded votaries, he enjoyed himself and 
God, and studied to purify, reform, and govern his own heart, 
and to live only to his Creator. In the calm and serenity 
of this silent retreat, letting others amuse themselves with 
the airy bubbles of ambition, and enjoy the cheats of fancy, 
and the flatteries of sense, he abandoned himself to the 
heavenly delights of holy contemplation (which raised his 
soul above all created things) and to the ereatest rieors 
of penance which were known only to God, but which 
fervor, love and compunction rendered sweeter to him than 
the joys of theatres. The devout hermit, had no thoughts 



4 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

but of dying in the obscurity of this silent retreat, when 
Divine Providence called him thence to make him a great 
instrument of advancing his honor amongst men. 

St. John of Matha, a young nobleman, a native of Pro 
vence, and doctor of divinity, who was lately ordained priest, 
having heard much of the wonderful sanctity of the holy 
hermit of Cerfroi, sought him out in his desert, and put 
himself under his direction. Felix soon perceived that his 
new guest was no novice in the exercises of a spiritual life; 
and it is not to be expressed with what fervor the two servants 
of God applied themselves to the practice of all virtues. Their 
fasts and watchings exceeded the strength of those who have 
not inured themselves by long habits to such extraordinary 
austerities : prayer and contemplation were their ordinary em 
ployment, and all their conversation tended to inflame each 
other to the most ardent love of God. After some time St. 
John proposed to the other a project of establishing a religious 
Order for the redemption of captives, a design with which he 
was inspired when he said his first Mass. Felix, though sev 
enty years of age, readily offered himself to do and suffer 
whatever it should please God in the execution of so charitable 
a design. They agreed to consult heaven by redoubling their 
fasts and prayers for three days : after which term they re 
solved to beg the approbation of the Holy See, and made an 
austere pilgrimage together to Rome, in the depth of winter, 
and arrived there in January, 1198. Innocent III., who was 
lately installed in St. Peter s chair, having read the strong let 
ters of recommendation which the bishop of Paris sent him in 
their favor, received them as if they had been two angels sent 
by God, and lodged them in his own palace. After many audi 
ences, and several deliberations with his cardinals and prelates, 
having consulted God by prayer and fasting, his holiness was 
persuaded the two hermits were moved by the Holy Ghost, 
and gave a solemn approbation of a new religious institute 
which he would have called of the Holy Trinity, and of which 
he appointed Saint John of Matha the superior-general. Eudo 
of Sully, bishop of Paris, and the abbot of St. Victor, were com- 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 



missioned by him to draw up a rule or constitutions, which 
they had already projected : and they were confirmed by his 
holiness on the seventeenth of December following. The holy 
founders who had taken a second journey to Rome to present 
their rule to the Pope, returned into France with its confirma 
tion, and were everywhere received with applause and bene 
dictions. King Philip Augustus authorized the establishment 
of their Order in France, and promoted it by his liberalities. 
Margaret of Blois gave them twenty acres of the wood where 
their hermitage was situate, with other benefactions ; and they 
built the monastery of Cerfroi, which is the mother and chief 
house of the Order, about a mile from their old cells.* This 
Order within the space of forty years was so much increased 
as to be possessed of six hundred monasteries. St. John being 
obliged to go to Rome to settle his institute there in the church 
of St. Thomas della Navicella, upon Mount Cselius, the direc 
tion of the new convents which were erected in France, was 
left to St. Felix, who, amongst other houses, founded one at 
Paris, in the church of Saint Maturinus, though the house was 
afterward rebuilt more spacious by Robert Gaguin, the learned 
and famous general of this Order, who died in 1501. St. John, 
after two voyages to Barbary, spent the two last years of his 
life at Rome, where he died on the twenty-first of December, 
in 1213. Saint Felix died in his solitude at Cerfroi a year and 
about six weeks before him, on the fourth of November in the 
year 1212, being four score and five years and seven months 
old. It is related, that a little time before his death, coming to 
choir to matins before the rest, he saw there the Blessed Vir 
gin with a company of heavenly spirits singing the divine office ; 
which vision is frequently represented in pictures of this Saint. 
It is the constant tradition of the Order, that these two founders 
were canonized by a bull of Urban IV., in 1260: though the 
bull is nowhere extant. That the festival of St. Felix was kept 
in the whole diocese of Meaux in 1210, is proved by an authen 
tic act, produced by Du Plessis. Alexander VII. in 1666 de- 



*The Trinitarians were sometimes called in England Red Friars; for though 
their habit is white, they wear a red and blue cross patee upon their scapular. 



6 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

clared his veneration to be of time immemorial. Innocent XI. 
in 1679 transferred the feast of St. John to the eighth of Feb 
ruary ; and that of St. Felix to the twentieth of November. 

St. Felix was seventy years of age, and worn out with aus 
terities, when he undertook his journey on foot to Rome. 
Burning, however, with zeal, and longing to save all those poor, 
suffering souls whose rescue he had planned, he seemed to feel 
no fatigue ; so that St. John, his companion, being amazed, could 
not forbear asking him how it was that neither the length of 
the way nor its dangers seemed to exist for him. Felix being 
thus forced to speak, acknowledged that he saw nearly all the 
time an angel before him, who held him up over the difficult 
passes, and spoke words of hope and courage to him which 
made him forget all but the object he had in view. 

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon us, because the Lord has 
anointed me to preach a release to the captives." Isaiah Ixi, I. 



ST. JOHN OF MATHA 

The life of St. John of Matha was one long course of self- 
sacrifice for the glory of God, and the good of his neighbor. 
As a child, his chief delight was serving the poor ; and he often 
told them he had come into the world for no other end but to 
wash their feet. He studied at Paris with such distinction 
that his professors advised him to become a priest, in order 
that his talents might render greater service to others ; and for 
this end, John gladly sacrificed his high rank and worldly 
advantages. At his first Mass an angel appeared, clad in white, 
with a red and blue cross on his breast, and his hands reposing 
on the heads of a Christian and a Moorish captive. To ascer 
tain what this signified, John went to St. Felix of Valois, a holy 
hermit living near Meaux, under whose direction he led a 
life of extreme penance. 

The angel again appeared ; and they then set out for Rome, 
to learn the will of God from the lips of the Sovereign Pontiff, 
who told them to devote themselves to the redemption of cap- 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 



tives. For this purpose they founded the Order of the Holy 
Trinity. The religious fasted every day, and gathering alms 
throughout Europe took them to Barbary, to redeem the Chris 
tian slaves. They devoted themselves also to the sick and 
prisoners in all countries. The charity of St. John in devoting 
his life to the redemption of captives was visibly blessed by 
God. On his second return from Tunis he brought back one 
hundred and twenty liberated slaves. But the Moors attacked 
him at sea, overpowered his vessel, and doomed it to destruc 
tion, with all on board, by taking away the rudder and sails, 
and leaving it to the mercy of the winds. St. John tied his 
cloak to the mast, and prayed, saying: "Let God arise, and 
let His enemies be scattered. O Lord, Thou wilt save the 
humble, and wilt bring down the eyes of the proud." Sud 
denly the wind filled the small sail, and, without guidance, 
carried the ship safely in a few days to Ostia, the port of 
Rome, three hundred leagues from Tunis. Worn out by his 
heroic labors, John died in 1213, at the age of fifty-three. 



OUR LORD AND THE BLIND MAN 

He stood before the Sanhedrim, 
The scowling Rabbis gazed at hiim, 
He reeked not of their praise or blame; 
There was no fear, there was no shame, 
For one upon whose dazzled eyes 
The whole earth poured its vast surprise. 
******** 

But still they questioned: Who art thou? 
What hast thou been? What art thou now? 
Thou art not he who yesterday 
Sat here and begged beside the way. 
******** 

He told the story o er and o er 

It was his full heart s only lore, 

A prophet on the Sabbath-day 

Had touched his sightless eyes with clay, 

And made him see who had been blind* 

Their words passed by him like the wind, 



APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

Which raves and howls, but cannot shock 
The hundred-fathom rooted rock. 



Their threats and fury all went wide; 
They could not touch his Hebrew pride, 
Their sneers at Jesus and His band, 
Homeless and harmless in the land; 
Their boasts of Moses and his Lord, 
All could not change him by one word. 
******** 

I know not what this man may be, 
Sinner or Saint; but as for me, 
One thing I know, that I am he 
Who once was blind, and now I see. 
******** 

The wisdom of the East was theirs, 
And honor crowned their silver hairs. 
The man they jeered and laughed to scorn 
Was unlearned, poor and humbly born ; 
But he knew better far than they, 
What came to him that Sabbath-day, 
And what the Christ had done for him 
He knew, and not the Sanhedrim. 

Hon. John Hay. 







HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 



APPARITION 

TO 

THE PRINCESS ERMESINDE 
CLAIREFONTAINE, LUXEMBOURG 

1214 



Dear to each heart are all Thy feasts, sweet Jesus 

Yet to my mind none half so sweetly charms 
As this, which brings Thee to us, ever smiling, 

A Babe, within Thy Virgin Mother s arms. 

C. O. M. 



BOUT two and a half miles to the southeast of 
Arlon, capital of Belgian Luxembourg, a charm 
ing valley gracefully winds its sinuous way be 
tween two wooded hillsides. Along its bottom a 
little stream dances merrily, watering the adjacent meadow- 
land, sweeping by an occasional farm-house, and gently 
murmuring throughout its course, as if in response to the 
luxuriant foliage that stoops to lave in its sparkling current. 
Known successively as Beaulieu, Bardenberg, and Claire- 
fontaine, this valley has from a very remote period enjoyed 
an unusual degree of celebrity. Around it cluster memories 
of Roman emperors, Carlovingian monarchs, and counts of 
Luxembourg; while its atmosphere is redolent of pious tradi 
tions that have to do with St. Martin, St. Bernard, and 
Blessed Eugene III. The circumstance, however, to which 
the valley owes both the greater part of its centuried fame 
and the revival of interest which it has recently attracted, is 
its having been for some hundreds of years a favorite shrine 
of Our Blessed Mother the seat of an ancient convent of 
Bernardine nuns known as the Religious of Our Lady of 
Clairefontaine. 




16 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

To give a brief sketch of this old-time sanctuary of the 
Blessed Virgin, happily restored within the past year, it will 
be convenient to speak first of the fountain, or spring, from 
which the locality takes its present name Claire fontaine 
(clear fountain). It may well be that from the very birth 
of Christianity in the Luxembourg district, Mary set this 
spring apart from all others of the valley; that the gratitude 
of the first Christians, charmed by the suave attraction of their 
benignant Mother, began there to proffer her public testimony 
of their love and homage. Be this as it may, about the middle 
of the twelfth century, when St. Bernard traversed the valley, 
the fountain which he blessed must already have attained a 
certain celebrity, else it had not attracted the holy monk s 
attention nor won the consecration of his prayers. 

Is there any other glory comparable to that of sanctity ? Is 
there any other renown so fated to live perpetually, even in 
the memory of men, as that which surrounds those who in their 
day put on "the vesture of holiness?" Writing of this inci 
dent (the blessing of the fountain) in the journey of St. Ber 
nard and Pope Eugene III. through the valley of Beaulieu, 
Mr. Godfrey Kurth says : 

"All the great and mighty ones of earth have trodden the 
Roman, highway that St. Bernard followed on his passage from 
Rheims to Treves from Agrippa who constructed it, to 
Goethe who sang its praises, and Napoleon who covered it 
with his victorious troops. Before the Emperor of the French,, 
other emperors of Rome and Germany had conducted thereon 
their multitudinous soldiers. Attila had traversed it with his 
furious hordes; whole nations and civilizations had passed 
along its course. Yet, strange to say, nothing of all this sur 
vives in the memory of men ; while the monk of Clairvaux 
the pale, emaciated ascetic, whose life seemed to be merely a 
momentary triumph over death has peopled with his name 
and his memory even the most solitary spot by which he passed 
in his hurried missions. St. Bernard, says tradition, stopped 
in the valley and blessed a fountain, whose limpid waters are 
still flowing. More than seven centuries have passed since that 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 



benison was given, and the fountain still retains the name of 
St. Bernard, and the faithful throng around it to implore 
the protection of the Saint whose glory lives among them as 
vividly as in the days of his greatest earthly triumphs. That 
which the omnipotence of Charlemagne was unable to ac 
complish, the simple blessing of the monk effected : it immor 
talized the name of the humble Luxembourg valley." 

It was in 1148 that St. Bernard passed through Beaulieu, 
or Bardenberg. Thirty-eight years later, there was born in 
Luxembourg Castle one who was to be the instrument through 
which additional glory should accrue to the valley and the 
fountain. The illustrious Ermesinde was the only daughter 
of Henry the Blind, Count of Namur and Luxembourg. A 
valiant princess, dowered with singular magnanimity of char 
acter, she was, besides, a true Christian heroine, whose virtues 
endeared her to her people, and have kept her memory as vivid 
as are those of her eminent descendants : the Emperor Henry 
VII.; the hero-king, John of Bohemia; or her saintly grand 
daughter, the Venerable Jeanne of Luxembourg. 

Among the glories of Ermesinde, her admirers dwell most 
fondly on her having been considered worthy to see with her 
bodily eyes the Blessed Virgin Mary. The apparition occurred 
in the springtime of the year 1214. Recently left a widow, 
Ermesinde had retired to her castle at Bardenberg, to spend 
her period of mourning in solitude and prayer. The Fountain 
of St. Bernard was one of her favorite haunts. A place already 
sanctified by prayer and by miracles, it held for her a powerful 
attraction; it seemed indeed redolent of the very aroma of 
heaven. 

Sitting one day on the root of a tufted oak whose branches 
overhung the fountain, she fell asleep and was favored with 
a vision. She beheld the heavens open, and a Lady of enchant- 
ting beauty lightly descending on a fleecy cloud. An instant 
later the celestial visitant had reached the hilltop above the 
spring. She held in her arms an Infant whose beauty sur 
passed that of the fairest children on earth. She approached ; 
and she, too, stopped at the fountain, standing opposite the 



12 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

enraptured Ermesinde. Suddenly around the beautiful Lady 
appeared a number of lambs, on whom she smiled as a mother 
and whom she lovingly caressed. A notable circumstance, 
on the back of each of these snow-white lambs two bands of 
black united in the form of a cross. Ravished with the charm 
of so beautiful a spectacle, Ermesinde feasted her eyes thereon, 
and would willingly have contemplated it forever. But the 
vision endured for a moment only. Coming to herself, the 
pious Countess resolved to build near the holy fountain a con 
vent for the Bernardine Sisters (of whom she was reminded 
by the lambs in her vision), to dower it, and look after its 
prosperity with maternal solicitude. 

The new community assumed the name of the Religious of 
Our Lady of Clairefontaine ; and Pope Alexander IV., in his 
Bull of Approbation and Affiliation to the Order of Citeaux, 
styles the convent "the monastery of Holy Mary, Virgin and 
Mother of God, of Clairefontaine." The convent grew rapidly, 
and proved a veritable source of blessings for all the surround 
ing country. Clairefontaine was a house of prayer; and the 
example of the pious Sisters who made it their home exerted 
a potent influence on the laity of the province, who thronged 
to the blessed sanctuary where Mary was pleased to scatter 
her favors with a prodigal hand. 

Charity was, perhaps, the virtue most in evidence at the new 
institute charity toward the poor of all the vicinage, who 
several times a week were provided with meals at the abbey; 
charity toward the ignorant, for the convent was a school 
where the chaplain instructed the boys, and the nuns the girls ; 
charity toward the helpless and suffering, the convent in 
firmary was never empty; charity, in a word, toward all the 
multitudinous subjects of that heavenly virtue. To prayer and 
benevolence the ladies of Clairefontaine, of noble families for 
the most part, joined manual labor, and worked in addition 
for the benefit of the poor. 

And so for centuries Our Lady s convent prospered beneath 
her gracious protection. "Its whole history," says the discern 
ing writer whom we have already quoted, "formed naught else 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 13 

than a ravishing Christian idyl, terminating in an elegy replete 
with chaste and holy sorrow." The elegy was chanted at the 
close of the last century. The terrible French Revolution 
brought its inevitable dowry of desolation and woe to the 
Clairefontaine Abbey and, on April 18, 1794, the convent and 
adjoining church were pillaged, sacked, and burned. When 
the frenzied marauders forsook the peaceful valley nothing 
but a mass of mournful ruins, broken arches, shattered col 
umns, devastated cloisters, and blackened remnants of outer 
walls, was left to perpetuate the memory of the house of God, 
the asylum of innocence and prayer, the fruitful source during 
hundreds of years of untold blessings to Luxembourg and its 
people. 

In 1875 the ruins of the old convent came into the posses 
sion of the Jesuit Fathers; and their project of restoring so 
famous a sanctuary of our Heavenly Mother took form on 
April the i8th, 1894, the hundredth anniversary of that sanc 
tuary s destruction. Their exploration of the ruins led to 
interesting discoveries, among others to that of the celebrated 
fountain itself over which the church had been built, and the 
tomb of the sainted Ermesinde, both in a state of excellent 
preservation. The stonework about the fountain, as well as 
the rocky stairway descending thereto, was quite intact; and 
though buried beneath a heterogeneous mass of broken ma 
sonry and superincumbent soil, the figure on the tomb was 
uninjured, as was the inscription which identified it. 

Yet another relic of the old Abbey that has come down 
through the centuries comparatively unscathed is the venerated 
statue of Our Lady of Clairefontaine. Originally placed above 
the portal of the church, it now stands on a column beneath 
the dome of the new chapel dedicated to Mary. We have 
called the statue a venerated one, and we might truthfully have 
added the epitaph, miraculous. Of undoubted antiquity, it was, 
according to the Abbe Reichling, erected by Ermesinde her 
self in memory of her vision. It is venerable because of the 
cultus of which for six hundred years it has been the object; 
invariably did pilgrims visiting the celebrated convent pause 



14 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

before this figure of Our Lady and proffer her the first fervor 
of their homage and love. And that it is miraculous is proven 
by the clearly authenticated fact that as often as the Venerable 
Jeanne de Luxembourg saluted it, the head of the statue was 
gently inclined, as if to return the greeting. 

One beautiful tradition that is still recounted in the Claire- 
fontaine district vouches for even a more remarkable prodigy. 
A servant of the convent, a maiden of spotless innocence and 
childlike faith, was accustomed, as often as she passed the 
church, to bow to the statue and exclaim, "Praised be Jesus 
Christ !" and the Virgin as often replied, "Amen !" One day, 
however, the pious servant forgot the usual salutation. The 
statue itself supplied the omission, exclaiming, "Praised be 
Jesus Christ!" 

But it were an endless task to cull from the garden of the 
Clairefontaine annals all the flowers of faith and piety and 
devotion to Mary that charm the heart of whosoever seeks 
therein for beauty and fragrance. As at all her other shrines, 
scattered far and wide over the habitable globe, the Blessed 
Virgin not infrequently vouchsafed to her Clairefontaine cli 
ents graces and favors that were palpably and unmistakably 
miraculous. Let us hope that the happy restoration of her 
ancient sanctuary may be signalized not less by a renewal of 
her extraordinary benefits than by an ever-increasing love for 
her in the hearts of all her children. 



STELLA MATUTINA 

E er the day throws its radiance athwart the dark skies 
The bright star of the morning comes forth from her shades ; 
But as soon as the glories of daylight arise, 
Then effaced by their power she trembles and fades. 

Then hail to thee, Mary, thou purest, and fairest! 
Welcome dawn of the sunshine of life o er the world! 
Mid the dark Orient clouds a bright star thou appearest, 
E er the banner of light in the skies is unfurled. 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 15 

But, oh ! in His beauteous, His wondrous attire, 
Comes the great orb of day in His might rolling on; 
And the glow of so dazzling effulgent a fire 
Fills the Heavens with the blaze of His glories alone. 

Still the beam of that star, e er so soft and so mild, 
Though absorbed in His light by our souls is still seen; 
Though our hearts are all burning with love of thy Child, 
We hail thee, blest Mother, we hail thee our Queen! 

Princess Talbot Borghese. 



DEVOUT PRAYERS MADE USE OF BY 
ST. MECHTILDIS 

1294. 

O Holy Mary! our soverign Queen! as God the Father, by 
His omnipotence, has made thee most powerful, so assist us at 
the hour of our death, by defending us against all the power 
that is contrary to thine. "Hail Mary," etc. 

O "loly Mary ! our sovereign Queen ! as God the Son has 
endowed thee with so much knowledge and splendor, that it 
enlightens all heaven, so, in the hour of our death, illumine 
and strengthen our souls with the knowledge of the true faith, 
that they be not perverted by error or pernicious ignorance. 
"Hail Mary," etc. 

O holy Mary ! our sovereign Queen ! as the Holy Ghost has 
plentifully replenished thee with the love of God, so instil into 
us at the hour of our death, the sweetness of divine love, that 
all bitterness at that time may become acceptable and pleasant 
to us. "Hail Mary," etc. 

Our Blessed Lady herself taught St. Mechtildis the above- 
mentioned triple salutation, promising her certain assistance for 
it at the hour of her death. 



APPARITION TO 

B. REGINALD OF ORLEANS, O. P. 
ROME, ITALY 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 



APPARITION 

TO 

B. REGINALD OF ORLEANS O. P. 
ROME, ITALY 

1218 



"I sing the story of a life divine, 

A woman s life, whose memory I adore; 
Oh, Mary-Mother, that sweet name of thine 
My humble heart shall worship evermore." 

Zorrilla. 



EGINALD was born at Saint-Gilles, in the south 
of France, and had taught Canon Law with 
applause in the University of Paris before being 
raised to the dignity of Dean of the Chapter of 
Orleans. Going to Rome, in company with his Bishop, in 
the year 1218, with the intention of visiting the tombs of the 
Apostles before going on pilgrimage to the holy places of 
Jerusalem, he there became acquainted with Saint Dominic. 
To him he opened his whole heart, telling him that he greatly 
desired to quit all things in order to go about preaching 
Jesus Christ in a state of voluntary poverty. The holy 
patriarch joyfully promised to receive him into the Order. 
Shortly after, Reginald was taken dangerously ill, and the 
blessed Dominic, as he himself related to the brethren, 
earnestly implored God that He would not take from him 
a son as yet hardly born, but that He would at least prolong 
his life, if it were but for a little while. And even while 
he prayed, the Blessed Virgin Mary, accompanied by the 
virgin martyrs, Saint Cecelia and Saint Catherine of Alex 
andria, appeared to Master Reginald and, extending her 
virginal hand, anointed his eyes, ears, nostrils, mouth, 
hands and feet z pronouncing certain words appropriate to 




1 8 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OP 

each anointing. Then she showed him the habit of the Friars 
Preachers, saying to him, "Behold the habit of thy Order," 
and she disappeared from his eyes, and Reginald perceived 
that he was cured. He related all that had passed to Saint 
Dominic, praying him, however, to keep the circumstances 
secret till after his death. Saint Dominic complied with his 
request ; and, in announcing to his brethren that the linen sur 
plice of the Canons Regular was to be exchanged for the woolen 
scapular, which was the particular part of the habit which the 
Blessed Virgin had been seen holding in her hands, he did 
not make known the reason of the change until after Reginald s 
death. This beautiful story is commemorated in the ceremony 
of clothing, in the words which accompany the giving of the 
scapular, "Receive the holy scapular of our Order, the most 
distinguished part of the Dominican habit, the maternal 
pledge from heaven of the love of the Blessed Virgin Mary 
towards us/ 

The remaining events of blessed Reginald s brief but bril 
liant career must be summed up in a few words. After his 
clothing, he departed for the Holy Land, and on his return, 
after founding a monastery in Sicily, he ruled the Order as 
Vicar whilst Saint Dominic visited Spain. At the same time 
he assumed the government of the monastery of Bologna, 
where, within six months, he received more than a hundred 
members into the Order, many of them men of great learning 
and distinction; so that it was a common saying that it was 
scarce safe to go and hear Master Reginald if you did not wish 
to take the Friar s habit. The great talents and success of 
Reginald induced Saint Dominic to remove him to Paris, to 
the great sorrow of his brethren; for, notwithstanding the 
severity of his discipline, they were tenderly attached to their 
saintly Prior and wept as though being torn from their 
mothers arms. 

At Paris, his burning eloquence drew all to hear him, and 
Yocations to the Order were as striking as at Bologna. Being 
one day asked how he, who had been used to so luxurious a 
life in the world, had found it possible to persevere in the pen- 



HEAVENS BRIGHT QUEEN 19 

itential life of the Order, Reginald humbly cast his eyes upon 
the ground and replied : "Truly, I do not think to merit any 
thing for that before the tribunal of God. He has given me so 
much consolation in my soul, that the rigors of which you speak 
have become very sweet and easy to me." 

One of the most remarkable subjects whom he drew to the 
Order was blessed Jordan of Saxony, to whom God was 
pleased to reveal the approaching death of Reginald in a vision, 
wherein he beheld a clear and sparkling fountain suddenly 
spring up in the Dominican Church of Saint James, and as 
suddenly fail. 

The death of the holy man took place in February, A.D. 
1 220, when he had worn the habit scarcely two years. When 
Abbot Matthew, who then governed the Community at Paris, 
went to announce to him that his illness was mortal and pro 
posed to administer to him the Sacrament of Extreme Unction, 
the dying man made answer : "I do not fear the assault of 
death, since the blessed hands of Mary anointed me in Rome. 
Nevertheless, because I would not make light of the Church s 
Sacrament, I will receive it, and humbly ask that it may be 
given to me." 

Blessed Reginald has ever been held in veneration in the 
Order, though he was not solemnly beatified until the ponti 
ficate of Pius IX. 

CHILD OF MARY 

"Child of Mary!" Name of honor, 

Prouder far than kingly crown, 
God himself to win that title 

From His heavenly throne came down; 
He, the First-born Child of Mary, 

Calls us to His Mother s side, 
Shares with us His dearest treasure, 

"Mother! twas for these I died." 

O Immaculate, unfallen, 

Tarnished by no breath of sin! 
Yet I dare to call thee "Mother!" 

Open, Mother, let me in ! 



20 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

Thou of Mercy s self art Mother, 

And thy heart is meek and mild, 
Open wide thy arms and take me 

As a mother takes her child. 

"Child of Mary." May my feelings, 

Thoughts, words, deeds, and heart s desires, 
All befit a lowly creature 

Who to such high name aspires. 
Ne er shall sin (for sin could only) 

From my sinless Mother sever 
Mary s child till death shall call me, 

Child of Mary then forever. 

Rev. Matthew Russell, SJ. 




HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 




SHRINE 

OF 

OUR LADY OF MARINERS 
LE GARDE, FRANCE 

1218 

Ave Maria! Mother hear us, 

Guide the sailor safe and free, 
Pity all thy wave-rocked children 

Drifting helpless on the sea. 

Irene. 

OWARDS the end of the twelfth or the be 
ginning of the thirteenth century, a fisherman of 
Marseilles being overtaken at sea by a tempest, 
tried in vain to regain the port, and was in dan 
ger of shipwreck. He was alone in his boat, which sprang 
a leak; the wind was adverse, and his rudder was lost. He 
now felt, with beating heart, that nothing less than a miracle 
could save him ; that he must bi d adieu to every hope of again 
beholding his dear family. Agitated by these thoughts, he 
raised his eyes to the rock (de la Garde), which rises like a 
sentinel of granite upon the mountain that overlooks the sea, 
port, and city of Marseilles. On the summit of this rock he 
fancied he saw an serial figure, whose transparent form could 
be traced in the deep obscurity which at this instant envel 
oped the earth and sky. He also imagined that the figure 
held out its hand to him in an encouraging manner. 

From the instant that he felt himself in danger of perish 
ing, the fisherman had never ceased to invoke the Star of 
the Sea, who is ever ready to aid poor mariners in their dis 
tress. He therefore firmly believed that she had come to his 
assistance. He fell on his knees, and, leaving his boat to her 
guidance, he sang with all his might the Ave Marts Stella, 
the deep tones of his voice rising above the roaring of the 
waves. 



22 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

The boat, as if drawn by a powerful hand, darted through 
the waters, and soon reached the foot of the mountain. The 
rescued fisherman sprang ashore, and eagerly ascended the 
steep declivity of the mountain, till he reached the top ; but 
nothing was to be seen. He then fell on his knees and returned 
thanks to his protectress. On reaching his cottage, he related 
his adventure to his family, who had been praying for his 
safety. 

All who heard the event wondered how it was possible for 
him to reach the shore alive ; and no one doubted that he owed 
his life to the miraculous interposition of Our Blessed Lady. 
Other seamen related how they had several times seen, at the 
summit of Mount la Garde, a most beautiful Apparition, which 
they could scarcely describe; but on its appearance, the tem 
pests calmed, and they were delivered from danger. They 
could not give any other interpretation to these events than 
that the Blessed Virgin had chosen this rock as the spot whence 
she loved to come to the help of distressed mariners. A chapel 
was therefore erected on the summit, and was enriched with 
a statue of Our Lady, which was called "Help of Mariners." 
This was in the year of grace 1218. 

Since that time, Our Lady of Help has always been regarded 
as the special protectress of Marseilles, and the refuge of dis 
tressed mariners. No one dreams of embarking on the short 
est voyage without placing himself under her protection; nor 
does any one undertake a long journey without visiting her 
chapel. 

The numerous ex-votos which adorn the Chapel of Our Lady 
Help of Mariners, and the rich plate and precious stones which 
fill her treasury, are striking testimonials of benefits received 
through her powerful patronage. 

Only a few years ago, a ship, long tossed about by tempest 
uous waves, was about to perish, when the sailors, seeing that 
all their own efforts were useless, threw themselves on their 
knees and fervently implored the aid of Our Lady of Help, 
their only hope. The passengers imitated them, and even the 
steersman left the wheel. At the moment that every eye 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 23 

was turned upward, a most wonderful spectacle or vision pre 
sented itself to the view. They all saw, dimly, a figure at the 
wheel, which seized it and directed the vessel s course. All 
remained kneeling, while they felt that the ship, by a miracu 
lous power, was gliding through the waves at an extra 
ordinarily rapid rate. Shortly afterwards the vessel tri 
umphantly entered the port, and the passengers and crew 
disembarked in safety. Following the first impulses of their 
hearts, the twenty-nine persons who were on board were bare 
footed, with their clothes still dripping with water, to the 
chapel on the rock, to chant the Magnificat, amid tears of 
gratitude. 

But it is not sailors alone who experience the powerful 
patronage of Our Lady of Help. In 1832, when the cholera 
appeared at Marseilles, and there was not a house in the city 
without its sick, the people assembled in the public squares, 
demanding that Our Lady of Help should be carried in pro 
cession. So the next day the clergy, vested in the penitential 
robes of the Church, the soldiers of the garrison, all the sea 
men in the port, and all those who were untouched by the pesti 
lential breath of the cholera, ascended the mount, and, amid 
tears and lamentations, brought Our Blessed Lady s image 
down to the city. 

She was borne through all the populous streets. All the 
sick saluted her from their windows, or, if unable to rise, from 
their beds. The children offered her flowers, and sang pious 
canticles. The day previous had scarce been long enough to 
inter the bodies of the dead, but on this day not a single 
funeral took place. The cholera had fled before the Health of 
the Sick, the Consoler of the Afflicted. 

Such miracles, unaccountable as they are to unbelievers, have 
been vouchsafed in every age of Christianity to those who 
devoutly honor and fervently invoke the all-powerful Mother 
of the Redeemer of the world. 

The year 1889 showed a large increase in the number of 
pilgrims and of offerings at the Shrine of Notre Dame de la 
Garde, at Marseilles. A short time ago the number of Com- 



24 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

munions during the year did not exceed forty-five thousand ; 
in 1889 they came up to seventy thousand, and the number of 
Masses celebrated was seven thousand. 



THE SAILOR S SONG* 

Queen of the waves! look forth across the ocean 
From north to south, from east to stormy west; 

See how the waters, with tumultuous motion, 
Rise up and foam without a pause or rest. 

But fear we not, though storm clouds round us gather; 

Thou art our Mother, and thy little Child 
Is the All-Merciful, our tender Father, 

Lord of the sea and of the tempest wild. 

Help, then, sweet Queen, in our exceeding danger; 

By thy seven griefs, in pity, Lady, save; 
Think of the Babe that slept within the manger, 

And help us now, dear Lady of the Wave! 

Up to thy shrine we look, and see the glimmer 

Thy votive lamp sheds down on us afar; 
Light of our eyes! oh! let it ne er grow dimmer, 

Till in the sky we hail the morning star. 

Then joyful hearts shall kneel around thine altar 
And grateful psalms re-echo down the nave, 

Our faith in thy sweet power can never falter, 
Mother of God ! Our Lady of the Wave ! 

Morivenna P. Hawker. 



*On a hill at S Addresse, a suburb of Havre, is erected a chapel dedicated to 
Notre Dame des Plots. It is visible to vessels passing up and down the Channel. 




HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 



25 




APPARITION 

TO 

ST. HYACINTH 
KIEV, RUSSIA 

122O 

The Mother of all mothers; yet, no less 

The Virgin of all virgins; yea, the more: 
For, tis from thy deific fruitfulness 

Have drawn all virgins their perennial store. 

Father Edmund, C.P. 

AINT HYACINTH belonged to the noble Polish 
family of Odrowatz, whence at a later date sprang 
the house of Kosta, which gave birth to St. 
Stanislas, the novice Saint of the Society of Jesus. 
St. Hyacinth was born near Breslau, in Silesia, in 1185. He 
was the brother of blessed Ceslas, and from infancy gave prom 
ise of unusual talent and virtue, and of extraordinary gifts, 
both of nature and grace, specially of a tender love and com 
passion for the poor. As a child, he would gaze at the portraits 
of his forefathers which hung in the halls of his ancestral 
home, and ask to be told the story of their exploits ; and, when 
he grew older, he would often encourage himself to higher 
things by the remembrance of their example. The early edu 
cation of the two brothers was superintended by their uncle, 
who was afterwards Bishop of Cracow, who was so struck by 
the precocious sanctity of Hyacinth as to predict that he 
would one day be raised to the altars of the Church. Both 
embraced the ecclesiastical state and accompanied their uncle 
on a visit to Rome, where, they were present when St. Dom 
inic raised the young Napoleon to life, and subsequently re 
ceived the habit of the Order from the hands of the holy 
Patriach in the chapter-room of Santa Sabina. 



26 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

St. Hyacinth, during his short period of probation, learnt 
faithfully to copy the life of St. Dominic, especially his spirit 
of prayer and penance, and his zeal for the salvation of souls. 
Their noviciate over, he and his companion set out for Poland, 
preaching and founding monasteries as they went along. Their 
route lay through Northern Italy, Styria, Austria, Moravia, 
and Silesia. On arriving at Cracow, they gathered around 
them a fervent band of novices and established a large mon 
astery. Faithful to the Dominican law of dispersion, St. Hya 
cinth soon dispatched blessed Ceslas and Henry of Moravia 
to plant the Order in Bohemia, whilst he set out to evangelize 
Prussia, Denmark, Scandinavia, and Russia. He realized St. 
Dominic s desire of preaching to the Cumans, amongst whom 
he found his brethren already laboring, and then continued his 
Apostolic journeys through Turkestan, Tartary, and Thibet, 
as far as the great wall of China. Modern missionaries have 
found traces of his labors in these countries. He also preached 
along the shores of the Black Sea, and in the islands of the 
Grecian Archipelago. 

He ever had a tender devotion to the holy Mother of God, 
and she in her turn showered on him many favors. She once 
appeared to him on the Feast of her Assumption, and gave 
him this consoling promise: "Hyacinth, my son, rejoice; for 
thy prayers are pleasing to my Son, the Saviour of the world ; 
and whatsoever thou shalt ask of Him in my name, thou shalt 
obtain through my intercession." From that day the Saint s 
confidence was so increased, that he was not afraid to ask even 
for things which were, naturally speaking, almost impossible 
of accomplishment; and his life became a series of miracles, 
such as it has been granted to few Saints to work since the 
days of the Apostles. 

One day, when the Saint was beginning his Mass in the 
monastery at Kiev, the Tartars suddenly broke into the city, 
and he and his community were compelled to take to flight. 
Still clad in his sacred vestments, St. Hyacinth took the Blessed 
Sacrament from the tabernacle and prepared to depart. But 
when he had got half way down the church, he heard a voice 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 27 

proceeding from a large alabaster statue of Our Blessed Lady, 
saying: "Hyacinth, my son, wilt thou leave me behind to be 
trampled under foot by the Tartars? Take me with thee." 
"How can I, holy Virgin?" replied the Saint; "thy Image is 
too heavy." "Take me, nevertheless," answered Our Lady; 
"my Son will lighten the burden." Then the Saint clasped the 
massive image with one arm, and, bearing the Blessed Sacra 
ment in the other, went forth courageously, and crossed the 
Dnieper dryshod, whilst his brethren who followed him, 
stretched their mantles on the water and embarking upon them, 
also crossed the river in safety. The miraculous image is still 
preserved at Lemberg. 

When the term of St. Hyacinth s earthly pilgrimage was 
drawing to a close, as he was one day saying Mass, he sud 
denly beheld a dazzling light descend from heaven, in the 
midst of which appeared a long procession of angels and vir 
gins, forming an escort to their Queen. The celestial company 
prostrated round the altar whilst the Saint offered the Holy 
Sacrifice. At its conclusion he saw Our Blessed Lady crowned 
by her Divine Son with a crown of flowers and stars, which 
Mary then took from her head and showed to him, saying: 
"Behold! this crown is for thee." 

He was taken ill on the following Feast of Saint Dominic. 
On the eve of the Assumption he made a touching address 
to his brethren, after which he rose to assist at the Matins and 
Mass of the festival. Then, kneeling on the altar steps, sup 
ported by his weeping children, he received the Holy Viaticum 
and Extreme Unction. They carried him back to his cell, 
where he calmly awaited his release. When the end was close 
at hand, he intoned the 3Oth Psalm : "In Thee, O Lord, have 
I hoped," and breathed forth his holy soul to God at the verse : 
"Into Thy hands I commend my spirit." It was the I5th of 
August, A.D. 1257. After his death he appeared in glory to 
the Bishop of Cracow, in company with the martyr Bishop, 
St. Stanislas. He was also seen by a holy nun who lived near 
Cracow, being led by Our Blessed Lady into heaven amidst a 
glorious company of angels and of Saints. 



28 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

Numerous miracles were worked at his tomb, including the 
raising of as many as fifty persons from the dead. He was 
canonized A.D. 1594 by Clement VIII., and Urban VIII. ex 
tended the celebration of his festival to the universal Church. 

The Russians, who follow the rites of the Greek Church, 
profess the greatest veneration for the Blessed Virgin. When 
they perceive her image, however far off, they prostrate several 
times, and multiply signs of the Cross with extreme rapidity. 
At Moscow, a statue of the Blessed Virgin, to which miracles 
are attributed, ornaments one of the gates of the Kremlin ; two 
bare-headed sentinels mount guard by it, night and day. The 
people never fail to uncover their heads respectfully when they 
pass before this image. 

The Czars were formerly crowned in the noble Muscovite 
cathedral of the Assumption, where the bodies of the Russian 
patriarchs are deposited; the enclosure of the sanctuary was 
covered with plates of silver and gold ; the sacred vessels and 
episcopal vestments of this cathedral are still of unparalleled 
richness; the picture of the Blessed Virgin, placed in a large 
gilt frame on Our Lady s altar, is carried in procession in a 
superb carriage all of plate-glass, like the coaches seen formerly 
at the coronation of the French Kings. Four horses richly 
caparisoned draw this modern triumphal car at a slow and 
solemn pace. 

This curious story comes from a celebrated Shrine at Wilna 
in Russia Poland : In February a Russian, who cannot now be 
identified, brought to the parish priest of the Ostra Brama 
chapel, Father Franklewicz, several very large wax candles, 
with the request that they might be kept burning night and 
day as a votive offering before Our Lady s image. 

The request excited no surprise, as even the schismatic Rus 
sians have a devotion to the Madonna and frequently bring 
offerings to the Shrine, but as it would have been imprudent 
to leave the candles burning all night without watching, the 
sacristan was told to sit up in a room near by the altar. About 
midnight the watcher extinguished the candles. Asked next 
morning why he had done so, the man declared that in his sleep 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 29 

he had repeatedly heard the cry, "Put out the candles!" and 
with some natural feeling of awe had done so. 

Upon careful examination, the candles turned out to be hol 
low and filled with gunpowder. There is no doubt an attempt 
had been made to destroy the famous Madonna, which for so 
many centuries had been looked upon, even by the Russians, 
as the mighty protectress of the Catholic Faith. 



PRAYER TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY 

Saintly Virgin, with every grace o erflowing, 

Thou whose humility so sweetly true and lowly, 

Mounted thee to heaven, whence my prayers thou nearest; 

Thou source and fount of mercy, 

Serene sun of justice, sending thy rays 

Through long dark years of sin, obscure and innumerable. 

Three sweetest of names hast thou in thyself made holy, 

Mother, daughter, spouse divine; 

Virgin glorious. 
Woman that soothes, consoles and enloosens our spirits from bruising 

bands, 

Spreading sweet freedom thro the world, and happiness, 
By the wounds thy saintly sufferings made, 
Send peace to rule my heart, thou truly blessed. 
Sacred and holy, thou Virgin divine, 
Delay not now, for I draw near the verge. 
These days of mine, more swift than fleeting arrow, 
In misery s gloom and sin 

Their way have lost; let not death win me so. 
The day draws near, hastened on by fleeting time, 
And death s dark wings lend aid to time s swift course; 
O Virgin ! sole and only one, 

This heart through conscience scourged, by death is now o ershadowed ; 
Poor gift, I give myself to thy Son holy, 
True man, true God. 
Receive a fainting spirit into thy peace eternal. 

Francesco Petrarch. 



APPARITION TO 

ST. FRANCIS, F.O.S.F. 

ASSISI, ITALY 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 31 



APPARITION 

TO 

ST. FRANCIS, F.O.S.F. 
ASSISI, ITALY 

1221 

Then into being sprang that image fair, 

The Mother of God: the Incarnation s gem; 
Immaculate and full of graces rare. 

Oh Dei Mater, Virgin-mystery. 
Oh all embracing heart of Mary mild, 

With earthly Mother s heart beyond compare, 
For it holds Jesus, holds the Holy Child; 

And thou art God s dear Mother, and our own. 

Ymal Oswin. 

|T. FRANCIS, the son of a merchant of Assisi, was 
born in that city A. D. 1182. Chosen by God to be 
a living manifestation to the world of Christ s poor 
and suffering life on earth, he was early inspired 
with a high esteem and burning love of poverty and humilia 
tion. The thought of the Man of Sorrows, who had not where 
to lay His head, filled him with holy envy of the poor, and con 
strained him to renounce the wealth and worldly station which 
he abhorred. The scorn and hard usage which he met with 
from his father and townsmen when he appeared among them 
in the garb of poverty were delightful to him. "Now," he ex 
claimed, I can say truly, "Our Father who art in heaven." But 
Divine love burned in him too mightily not to kindle like desires 
in other hearts. Many joined themselves to him, and were 
constituted by Pope Innocent III., into a religious Order, which 
spread rapidly throughout Christendom. St. Francis, after 
visiting the East in the vain quest of martyrdom, spent his life 
like his Divine Master now in preaching to the multitudes, 
now amid desert solitudes in fasting and contemplation. 
During one of these retreats he received on his hands, feet, 




32 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

and side the print of the five bleeding wounds of Jesus. With 
the cry, "Welcome, sister Death," he passed to the glory of his 
God October 4, 1226. 

In all the churches of the three Orders, instituted by St. 
Francis, there is a great festival celebrated every year on the 
2d of August, to which pious Christians hasten from far and 
near in Order to practice this devotion. This festival is called 
Portiuncula, which is in reality, as its singular name indicates, 
a festival of a peculiar kind. Portiuncula is neither a Saint 
nor a mystery, but it is the name of a small church near Assisi 
in Italy, which has become famous throughout the world by 
means of the memorable and most singular indulgence which 
St. Francis has gained for this little chapel. St. Bonaventure, 
the great doctor of the church, relates in his life of St. Francis, 
that the Saint was always inflamed with a wonderful love for 
sinners, and that he constantly bewailed the sad condition of 
men who, by committing mortal sin, stain and tarnish their 
souls, so dearly bought with the precious blood of Christ. He 
spent whole nights in prayer, offering himself as a sacrifice 
to God by means of the severest penances in order to find grace 
with God, through the merits of Our Divine Saviour and the 
intercession of the Blessed Virgin, for so many unhappy and 
blinded souls that do not seek for reconciliation, but in their 
impenitence hasten towards a most terrible judgment. Such 
pure and ready love was so pleasing to Our Divine Lord Jesus 
Christ, that He rewarded the Saint in a miraculous manner, 
offering him a means by which he might induce numberless sin 
ners of various countries and any age to sincere repentance. 
The lections of the Franciscan Breviary, drawn from the most 
reliable sources, relate the particulars of this event in the fol 
lowing manner: Of all the churches which the blessed father 
St. Francis loved and venerated, one in particular was the 
little chapel of St. Mary of the Angels, commonly called Por 
tiuncula. This apparently insignificant church, situated on the 
plains of the beautiful valley of Spoleta, a short distance from 
Assisi, the Saint made the first church of his Order, after 
having restored it from its decaving condition and sanctified 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 33 

it by his prayers, tears, and works of penance. In the year 
1 22 1, in the month of September, St. Francis had a vision in 
this holy place. Christ, accompanied by His Holy Mother and 
a multitude of Angels, appeared at the altar, encouraging him 
with kind words, "that he might ask a favor for the salvation 
of souls." The Saint, trusting in the intercession of the Most 
Holy Mother, with great confidence, addressed the Lord, say 
ing: "I, a poor sinner, ask of Thy Divine Majesty this favor 
for the Christian people: that all who, having sincerely con 
fessed and devoutly visit this church may obtain a general 
indulgence and full remission of all their sins." As Our Lord 
remained silent at this petition, St. Francis had recourse to the 
intercession of His Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and it 
was by her powerful assistance that he obtained the grant of 
his petition, with the injunction, however, to repair to the Vicar 
of Christ, Honorius III., who was then Sovereign Pontiff, and 
to ask this indulgence at his hands in the name of the Lord. 
Early the next morning the Saint set out with his disciple, 
Brother Masseo, towards Perugia, where the Pope was then re 
siding ; here in most simple terms he related to the Holy Father 
the mission he had received from Christ, and begged him, as 
Vicar. of Our Supreme Lord, to give his consent to the indul 
gence and thus seal the favor received from above. The Pope 
was surprised at this unusual petition and, notwithstanding his 
great veneration for the Saint, hesitated to give his consent and, 
this so much the more since all the cardinals who were present 
opposed the grant of the indulgence. The Lord, however, Who 
had granted this favor for the salvation of sinners, directed 
the heart of His Vicegerent in such a manner that he finally 
consented to this indulgence, and declared it valid for all future 
times without enjoining any other conditions than a sincere 
confession and a devout visit to the church of Portiuncula. 
But this favor he limited to only one day of the year, and as 
the Saint did not yet know what day of the year was to be 
chosen for the gaining of this indulgence, he continued to 
pray for fifteen months to gain the necessary light from God 
as to his doubt. It was only in the year 1223; that Christ ap- 



34 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

peared to him once more, declaring it to be His will, that the 
said indulgence was to last from the Vespers of the ist of 
August until sunset of the following day. In the "Annals of the 
Friars Minor" (by Wodling), it is related that the servant of 
God received from Our Divine Lord three white and three red 
roses of exquisite beauty as an external ratification of the 
reality of his vision, it being in the midst of winter, when a 
rose was nowhere to be found. Now the Saint, accompanied 
by three brothers, again went to the Pope, then in Rome, to 
whom he related the incident and presented the miraculous 
roses, whilst his three holy companions confirmed by their tes 
timony what they had heard of the vision. The Pope invited 
them for the next day to the consistory of the cardinals, where 
they might renew their petition. This was done, and so power 
ful was the impression which the sanctity and the few simple 
words of St. Francis made on the Pope and the cardinals that 
they opposed no longer. Thus the Pope confirmed this extraor 
dinary indulgence, and at the same time commissioned seven 
bishops to go to the little church of St. Mary of the Angels on 
the ist day of August, 1223, and there solemnly proclaim the 
said indulgence. For more than two hundred years this in 
dulgence could not be gained in any other church than the 
chapel of Portiuncula. Pope Sixtus IV. in 1480 was the first 
who granted that all the nuns who lived in confinement and 
followed the rule of St. Francis might gain this indulgence in 
their own chapel in order to prevent the many evils resulting 
from the journeying of so many religious. Finally Pope Greg 
ory XV. (1622) extended the indulgence to all the churches 
of the three Orders of St. Francis. Hence, all the faithful of 
the secular, as well as religious state may gain this indulgence 
in said churches as though in the chapel of Portiuncula itself, 
provided, however, that besides making a good confession they 
receive Holy Communion. This indulgence may be applied 
to the poor souls in Purgatory. 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 35 



ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 

I gaze upon His gentle face 

Deep furrowed by the course of tears 
Shed not for self self had no place 
Within his heart for many years. 
But oh, the tears unceasing flow 
That men their God so little know! 

"My God," he cries, "my God, my all! 
How blind the eye that will not see, 
How deaf the ear that heeds no call, 
How hard the heart that s closed to Thee I 
Alas, how many deaf and blind 
And hard of heart to God so kind ! 

"His praise the feathered songsters chant, 

The lowing kine, the bleating sheep, 
The fragrant flower, the tree, the plant 
The finny fishes of the deep; 
The clouds, the wind, the land, the sea 
All sing to God in harmony. 

"My God, my all," again he cries, 

"Would that a thousand hearts I had 
To love for those who Thee despise, 
To love for those who make Thee sad! 
A seraph s heart, ah, give to me 
That I may love Thee worthily! 

"What mean these marks in hand and feet? 

What means the lance-wound in your side? 
That I should share Christ s wounds, tis meet, 
Who serve a Master crucified. 
And so His livery I wear, 
The stigmata of Jesus bear." 

H. V. R. 



APPARITION TO 

B. ALBERT THE GREAT, BP., OP. 
PADUA, ITALY 




ST. ANNE AND THE BLESSED VIRGIN 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 37 



APPARITION 
TO 

B. ALBERT THE GREAT, BP., O.P. 
PADUA, ITALY 

1223 

Virgin! from all soil of sin 

Virgin pure! to thee we bow; 
Saintly Mother! chosen Queen 

One with the godlike thou! 

Goethe s "Faust." 

ILBERT THE GREAT was bom at Laubmg in 

Swabia, on the banks of the Danube, about A. D. 
1203. He was of noble parentage and sent to 
study at the University of Padua, where, however, 
ic made little or no progress, being naturally dull and incapa 
ble of learning. But in spite of his incapacity for human sci 
ence, blessed Albert made rapid advances in the science of the 
Saints and would willingly have devoted all his time to prayer 
and meditation. He was specially fond of praying in the 
Dominican Church ; but his uncle, who had charge of him, and 
who feared that he might be led to enter the Order, exacted 
from him a promise not to set foot in that church for a stated 
time. The promise was faithfully observed, but the youth con 
tinued to practice the devotion of the Rosary, which he had 
learnt from the Friars, earnestly imploring Our Blessed Lady 
to obtain for him light to know the way in which God willed 
that he should serve Him, and save his soul. One day, when 
he was thus praying before her image, she appeared to him 
surrounded by light, and gave him the assurance of her con 
tinual patronage and of his eternal salvation, provided he 
should enter the Order of Preachers, of which she had obtained 
the institution from her Divine Son. As soon, therefore, as 




38 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

he was free from the engagement entered into with his uncle, 
he received the habit from the hands of blessed Jordan of 
Saxony and was immediately sent to Cologne. 

There blessed Albert was the companion and brother in re 
ligion of some of the most learned men of the day ; and, being 
himself very dull, the humiliating contrast filled him with con 
fusion and discouragement. He was even on the point of 
giving up his vocation and abandoning the Order, when his 
Heavenly Mother once more came to his aid in a prophetic 
dream. It seemed to him that he was in the act of escaping 
from the monastery, when he found his way barred by some 
ladies of noble aspect, who, having inquired into the cause of 
his flight, led him to the feet of one who appeared to be their 
Queen, and bade him ask her for the help he needed. Albert 
accordingly entreated Mary to take pity on him, and to obtain 
for him an illuminating grace to understand philosophy, which 
was then the subject of his study. The Mother of God conde 
scended to his request, bidding him devote himself henceforth 
to prayer and study in the Order to which she had called him. 
He awoke to find himself no longer the same man, and the 
world very soon heard of the fame in every branch of science 
of "Albert the Philosopher." He became distinguished for 
his proficiency in natural science as well as in philosophy and 
theology. Indeed, his profound mastery of physical science in 
a day when such subjects were but little studied, gained for 
him, among the vulgar, the reputation of being a magician, in 
which character he figures in the popular tales and ballads of 
Germany. So deeply did he penetrate into the secrets of nature, 
that his humility became alarmed, and he prayed earnestly to 
his Heavenly Mother that she would not suffer his learning 
to be hurtful to his soul, and that he might use it solely for the 
glory of God. Our Lady once more appeared, and consoled 
him, promising him that his faith should not fail, and predict 
ing that, in token of his wisdom being a heavenly gift, it should 
all be taken from him in the midst of a public disputation some 
time before his death. 

After teaching in several of the monasteries of Germany, 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 39 

blessed Albert was sent to Paris, where such vast crowds 
flocked to hear him that he was obliged to deliver his lectures 
in the open air on a spot afterwards called "Place Maubert," 
i. e., the square of "Maitre (Master) Albert." 

After the death of blessed Jordan he governed the Order in 
the capacity of Vicar-general until the election of St. Ray- 
mund. He then returned to Cologne, and soon afterwards had 
as his disciples St. Thomas Aquinas, blessed Ambrose of Siena, 
blessed James of Mevani, and other learned men. When a 
virulent attack was made on the mendicant Orders by the jeal 
ous hatred of William de St. Amour, blessed Albert took a 
leading part in the defence. He ruled the German Province 
of the Order with great firmness and prudence, and maintained 
regular observance with the utmost strictness. Pope Urban 
IV. made him Bishop of Ratisbon, in which office he showed 
himself a true father of the poor and a faithful shepherd of 
the flock. After a time, by his earnest entreaties, he obtained 
permission to resign his dignity and retired to his beloved 
monastery of Cologne. He was compelled, however, to leave 
his solitude in order to take part in the General Council of 
Lyons, A. D. 1274, after which he returned to Cologne to re 
sume his life of prayer, study, and teaching. 

In the year 1277, in the midst of a public lecture, the holy 
old man suddenly lost the thread of his argument and found 
himself unable to proceed. Remembering the fulfilment of the 
words spoken to him by Our Blessed Lady long years before, 
he related to his astonished audience the history of his life, 
telling them how all his extraordinary intellectual gifts had 
come to him through Mary s intercession, and that their 
failure was a sign of his approaching death. The three re 
maining years of his life were entirely consecrated to exercises 
of devotion ; and having received the Last Sacraments he died 
without an illness, seated in his chair, surrounded by his 
brethren, on November 15, A. D. 1280. He was beatified by 
Clement X. 



40 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 



THE SWEETNESS OF THE MOTHER OF GOD 

The antiphon "Hail Holy Queen," which we recite every 
morning at the foot of the altar after the celebration of the 
Holy Sacrifice, ends with the exclamation : "O sweet Virgin 
Mary!" This invocation, with the two preceding it, welled 
forth from the heart of St. Bernard when on one occasion a 
great concourse of people in the Cathedral of Speier had fin 
ished the singing of the Salve Regina. 

Blessed Albert the Great, in one of those paraphrases so 
much affected by the Saints of the Middle Ages, has enumer 
ated as follows the sweetnesses which the pious soul may find 
in Mary : 

Sweet in her glance, full of mercy, she turns on us con 
tinually her maternal eyes. 

"Sweet in the tone of her voice, she melts in our behalf the 
Heart of her Son, and appeases His justice. 

"Sweet in her benignant smile, she binds together heaven 
and earth. 

"Sweet in her acquiescence to our desires, she graciously 
bends her head to listen to our slightest prayer. 

"Sweet in her greeting on the day of the Visitation, she 
floods with joy her cousin Elizabeth, and fills with the Holy 
Ghost the soul of John the Baptist. When we address her in 
the Ave Maria, she proffers us from heaven, with inexpres 
sible goodness, our salvation so fondly desired. 

"Sweet in the fruit of her womb, Mary, an aromatic plant, 
has produced the Flower of Jesse, whose perfume scents the 
earth ; she carried on the flourishing branch of her virginity 
this Fruit, which delights and satiates the very angels. 

"Sweet in her contact, she wraps in the crib with delicate care 
the members of her new-born Son ; and touches with not less 
admirable precaution the wounds of our souls. 

"Sweet in her carriage, she advances like a queen who scat 
ters at every step favors without number ; but especially when, 
with outstretched arms and smiling mien, she glides over the 




HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 



waves to preserve us from shipwreck, how sweet is not her 
attitude ! 

"Sweet in her respiration, her perfumed breath refreshes, 
dilates, and gives new life. 

"Sweet in each of her words, her lips distil milk and honey. 

"Sweet in her song, she intones the canticle of harmony in 
effable that only virgins may sing with her. 

"Sweet in her thoughts, she dreams only of establishing 
peace between her first-born, Jesus, and her other adopted 
children. 

"Sweet in that which is sweetest, affection, her Immaculate 
Heart is the sanctuary of all tenderness. 

"Sweet in the odors of her humility, she captivated God 
Himself. 

"Sweet to speak of, her very name is incomparable music. 

"Sweet to invoke, her solicitude never tires ; and so she be 
comes all things to all persons. 

"Svveet to discourse upon, she is the intoxicating wine at the 
banquet of sacred eloquence. 

"Sweet to the palate of the soul, she is the mysterious manna 
which delights all tastes. 

"Sweet to remembrance, the more we recall her goodness, 
the more the memory rejoices." 



A LEGEND OF THE CATHEDRAL OF COLOGNE 

Several years before the foundation stone of the famous 
Cathedral was laid, there lived a man who was far in advance 
of all his contemporaries in the cultivation of human knowl 
edge. This was Albertus Magnus, of the Order of St. Dom 
inic. At this period Conrad von Hochstaden occupied the 
archiepiscopal throne at Cologne, and had for some time been 
engrossed with the thought of erecting a vast and majestic 
cathedral. With this object in view he caused the friar to be 
summoned before him, and directed him to design a plan for 



4* APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

the erection of a building which should eclipse in splendor all 
then existing structures. 

Albertus cogitated day and night in his lonely cell over the 
grand idea which had been entrusted to him; he prayed fer 
vently and continuously that God would assist him. But, not 
withstanding all his meditation and prayer, a mist seemed to 
enshroud his imagination; no picture that he could reduce to 
shape would present itself. His heart was bowed down with 
anxiety as in the silent watches of the night he sat immersed 
in thought and reflection ; and yet the shadowy outline of a 
superb temple floated before his mind and seemed to fill his 
thoughts. When he was tired out with the strain of mental 
exertion, he would cast himself upon his knees and implore the 
Blessed Virgin to assist him in the task which he was unable 
to accomplish alone. In this way weeks passed by. 

On one occasion, when Albertus had been sitting by the 
flickering light of his lamp, deeply immersed in the construction 
of a design, after offering a fervent prayer for help, he became 
overpowered with sleep. It may have been midnight when he 
awoke. His cell was filled with a heavenly radiance, and the 
door leading to the hall of the monastery was standing open. 
Albertus rose in terror from his seat ; it seemed as if a flash 
of lightning had passed before his eyes, and he became aware 
of four men dressed in white cassocks entering his cell, with 
crowns of burnished gold, glistening like fire, on their heads. 
The first was a grave old man, with a long, flowing white beard 
covering his breast ; in his hand he held a pair of compasses ; 
the second, somewhat younger in appearance, carried a mason s 
square ; the third, a powerful man, whose chin was covered with 
a dark curly beard, held a rule; and the fourth, a handsome 
youth with auburn locks, brought a level. They walked in 
with grave and solemn tread, and behind them, in all her celes 
tial beauty, came Our Lady, carrying in her right hand a lily 
stalk with brightly gleaming flowers. She made a sign to her 
companions, whereupon they proceeded to sketch, with prac 
ticed hands, a design in lines of fire upon the bare walls of the 
cell. The pillars rose on high, the arches curved to meet them, 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 43 

and two majestic towers soared into the blue vault of heaven. 
Albertus stood lost in contemplation and admiration of the 
glorious picture thus presented to his gaze. 
5 As suddenly as it had appeared, the heavenly vision again 
vanished, and Albertus found himself alone ; but the plan of the 
splendid edifice, which had been drawn by the four celestial 
architects, under the direction of the Virgin Mother, was 
traced upon his memory in ineffaceable lines. Very soon after 
this he presented a plan of the Cathedral of Cologne to Arch 
bishop Conrad. The most high-flown aspirations of the prelate 
had been surpassed beyond measure. The foundations of the 
building were soon afterward laid, and future generations car 
ried on the erection, until completed as we now see it, a wonder 
of the whole world. 

THE BELLS OF COLOGNE 

The bells of the magnificent Cathedral of Cologne are in 
keeping with that wondrous edifice. The peal includes five 
mammoth bells composing the gamut F. G. A. B. C. The Em 
peror bell Kaiser glo eke, C, cast 1875, weighs 27 tons; Pretiosa, 
G, cast 1448, weighs a little over 11 tons; Speciosa, A, cast 
1449, weighs 6*/ 4 tons; "Bell of the Magi," H, recast 1880, 
weighs 3^4 tons; "St. Ursula s bell," F, cast 1862, weighs 2^ 

tons. 

The Emperor bell is larger and heavier than any other bell 
in Europe. It was successfully cast by Andreas Hamm in 
Frankenthal, after three abortive attempts. The perpendicular 
height is 14^ ft.; the diameter at bottom, Iij4 ft.; the cir 
cumference, 35^ ft. The bell is suspended by means of a 
screw to which the hammer is also attached. This screw weighs 
y 2 ton; the hammer, or tongue, is 10 ft. 10 in. long, and 
weighs 16 cwt. The metal is 10^ in. thick at the mouth, and 
4 in. thick above. The casting required the metal of 22 large 
cannon, captured from the French in the Franco-Prussian war, 
together with about 5 more tons of tin. 

The six arms which form the crown of the Emperor bell are 



44 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

ornamented with angels heads, and where they are connected 
with the bell itself they take the shape of lions claws. Imme 
diately below the crown the following inscription, in three 
lines, appears : 

Guilielmus, augustissimus imperator Germanorum, rex Borussorum, 
pie memor ccelestis auxilii accept! in gerendo felicissime conficiendoque 
nuperrimo bello Gallico, instaurato imperio Germanico bellica tormenta 
capliva seris quinquaginta millia pondo jussit conflari in campanam 
suspendendam in hac admirandae structure aede exaedificationi tandem 
proxima. Cui victoriosissimi principis pientissimae voluntati obsecuta 
societas perficiendo huic templo metropolitano constituta F. C. Pio 
P. IX. Pontifice Romano Paulo Melchers Archiep. Coloniensi, A D 
MDCCCLXXIV. 

"William, the august Emperor of Germany and King of Prussia, 
in pious memory of divine help received in carrying on and most hap 
pily terminating the latest war with France, on the German Empire 
being restored, commanded the captured cannon, weighing 50,000 Ibs., 
to be cast into a bell, which should be hung in this wonderful build 
ing, at last near its completion as a House of God. Agreeably to this 
most pious desire of the victorious prince, the society founded for the 
completion, of this temple had the bell made. Pius IX. being the Roman 
Pope, Paul Melchers being the Archbishop of Cologne, A.D. 1874." 

Over the figure of St. Peter runs the following inscription : 

Voce mea cceli populo dum nuntio sortes, 

Sursum corda, volant semnla voce sua 
Patronus qui voce mea templi atria pandis, 

Janitor et coeli limina pande simul! 

"When as messenger my voice the people calls, 

Their souls ascend, their voices emulous do rise. 
Oh, patron ! who at my appeal dost ope this temple s halls, 
Fling wide, celestial janitor, the threshold of the skies!" 

On the side opposite to that bearing the figure of the "Prince 
of Apostles" is the German escutcheon, with the following 
verse : 

Die Kaiserglocke heist ich; 

Des Kaiser s Ehre preis ich 

Auf heil ger Warte steh ich, 

Dem Deutschen Reich erfleh ich 

Dast Fried und Wehr 

Ihm Gott bescheer! 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 45 

"I m called the Emp ror bell ; 
The Emp ror s praise I tell. 
On holy guard I stand, 
And for German land, 
Beseech that God may please 
To grant it peace and ease!" 

In the first inscription the archiepiscopal arms may also be 
traced, and the mottoes are surrounded with garlands of 
Gothic arabesque, which have come out well in the casting. 
The form of the bell is rendered also less bare by projecting 
parallel rings of metal cast on to it. 



THE ATTRIBUTES OF MARY 

The sweetest name for woman, sounding 

in human ears, 
Mother and maid, with grace abounding, 

Is thine, Beata. 
So Heaven fulfilled its benediction; 

But earth endears, 
And Calvary crowns thee with affliction; 

Commiserata. 
On Israel s night, O virgin queenly, 

Foretold by seers 
Rose a meek star and burned serenely 

Thine, Consecrata. 
To thee so high, with heart so lowly, 

And maiden fears 
Came down an angel from the Holy, 

O Saluta! 
Never was yet, to mortal, greeting 

Like that which hears 
Thy virgin heart, with wonder beating; 

Ah, Consolata! 
Born is the king, the superhuman, 

Ring out ye spheres! 
And hail the long predicted woman, 

Bethlehem, Ephrata! 
Wake, dreamer lo! the Jews have crowned Him, 

And see the throne 
On which their hands have raised and bound Him; 



46 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

Is this the Christ? gray, ghastly, gory 

Thy Son, thy own? O Dolorosa, 
For this came Ave from the Glory, 

And Gratiosa! 
What is to thine the grief of others? 

To hear thy moan 
Sad Rama hushed her weeping mothers; 

Ah, Desolata ! 
The sword, with which thy Son was smitten, 

O pang unknown! 
Pierced through thy soul, as it is written; 

Predestinata. 
Now, with the mystic spirits seven, 

Burns, through all years, 
Thy star before His throne in heaven; 

Immaculata. 
Till earth and Heaven all ties shall sever, 

Midst angels tears, 
Of thee shall tongue of mortal never 

Say Obsurata. 

Rev. W. W. Lord. 



A little girl of Alicante strayed away into the mountains on 
the 1 8th of January, 1896. After a long, fruitless search she 
was finally, on the following morning, discovered by her friends 
at the edge of a precipice. To their great astonishment, instead 
of finding her dead, as they had feared, they found her well 
and lively. "Did you not suffer from the severe cold? Were 
you not frightened ?" they asked her. "No," she answered ; "a 
beautiful lady came to me and kept me under her cloak." This 
strange answer puzzled the hearers, but greater still was their 
astonishment when the little one, some days after, having en 
tered the church, cried out, on seeing the picture of Our Lady 
of Mount Carmel : "There is the lady who put me under her 
cloak !" The little girl repeats this saying every time an image 
of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is shown to her. San Juan de 
la Cruz, 15 March, 1896. 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 



47 



APPARITION 



TO 



ST. PETER NOLASCO F. O. OF MERCY 
BARCELONA, SPAIN 



1223 



The quality of mercy is not strain d: 
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven 
Upon the place beneath. It is twice bless d: 
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes. 



Shakespeare. 




T. PETER, of the noble family of Nolasco, was 
born in Languedoc, in 1189. At the age of 
twenty-five he took a vow of chastity, and made 
______ over his vast estates to the Church. Some time 

after, he conceived the idea of establishing an Order for the re 
demption of captives. The Divine Will was soon manifested. 
The Blessed Virgin appeared on the same night to Peter, to 
Raymund of Pennafort, his confessor, and to James, King of 
Arragon, his ward, and bade them prosecute without fear 
their holy designs. After great opposition, the Order was 
solemnly established, and approved by Gregory IX., under 
the name of Our Lady of Mercy. By the grace of God, and 
under the protection of His Virgin Mother, the Order spread 
rapidly, its growth being increased by the charity and piety 
of its members, who devoted themselves not only to collecting 
alms for the ransom of the Christians, but even gave them 
selves up to voluntary slavery to aid the good work. It is 
to return thanks to God and the Blessed Virgin that a feast 
was instituted, which was observed in the Order of Mercy, 
then in Spam and France, and at last extended to the whole 
Church by Innocent XII. , and the 29th of September named 
as the day on which it is to be observed. 



48 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

The history of this Apparition is associated with the mirac 
ulous Image of Our Blessed Lady in the Puig, whose celebrated 
shrine stands in the Spanish province of Valencia, between the 
towns of Murviedro and Valencia. Its origin is as interesting 
as it is antique. According to traditon, the venerated image of 
Mary which is an alto-relievo, not a statue was wrought 
by the hands of angels in a portion of the tomb of our Holy 
Mother; and, even as the Santa Casa of Loreto was miracu 
lously transported by celestial ministry, so the image of Puig 
was borne by angels from Jerusalem after the Assumption 
of the Blessed Virgin into heaven. 

Puig already possessed a sanctuary of Our Lady at that 
remote time a shrine erected by St. Eugene under the direc 
tion of St. James, who had predicted the miraculous arrival 
of the precious image. St. Eugene, the first Bishop of Val 
encia, received with joy the angels gift, placing it in the 
peaceful sanctuary, where it remained until the year 622. 
Then the priests who watched over the shrine, dreading the 
Moorish depredation, concealed it under ground, beneath an 
immense bell. For six centuries it remained in its subter 
ranean hiding place, but in 1223 Our Lady of Puig again 
miraculously saw the light of day. 

When James L, King of Aragon, was captured and taken 
as a prisoner to Carcassonne, he made a vow that, if released, 
he would found a religious order for rescuing Christian cap 
tives from the hands of infidels. No sooner was he free than 
he set about fulfilling his promise. 

On August i, 1223, the monarch had a vision, in which the 
Blessed Virgin ordered him to institute a religious society, to 
be known as the Order of Mercy for the Redemption of Cap 
tives. A similar vision was granted to the King s confessor, 
St. Raymond of Pennafort, who received the same injunctions ; 
whilst St. Peter Nolasco, then in Barcelona, was even more 
singularly favored, as his heavenly Visitor particularly speci 
fied her Divine Son s desire that the Order should be founded 
by St. Peter Nolasco, aided by St. Raymond and their royal 
patron. 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 49 

The King, rejoiced to find that God visibly approved his 
pious thought, was now animated with one desire that of find 
ing the most favorable spot on which to build the first house 
of the new Order. Again Heaven came to direct his move 
ments, or, perhaps more correctly, Our Lady of Puig brought 
him to the place she had chosen. One night his Majesty was 
astonished at beholding seven brilliant stars, hovering, so to 
speak, over a tiny hillock, known at Puig by the name of Cas 
tillo. Not to the King alone were the stars visible : all the 
country around witnessed the miracle. James, however, un 
derstood the sign : it was clear to him the seven stars were so 
many guiding spirits, showing him the spot to choose. The 
following day workmen began to dig away the earth forming 
the Castillo, and before long a pickax struck upon a metal 
object: it proved to be a large bell. On being raised, Mary s 
long-buried image came to view. The miraculous history at 
tached to it was cut, in Gothic characters, on the bell. 

An eye-witness of this touching discovery, a priest named 
Zimenes, from Daroca, related the scene and gave one of the 
inscriptions found on the bell : "O Holy Mary, pray for us ! 
May your image protect us, this image which was carved by 
angels hands in the stone of your tomb, and carried by them 
amongst us, where it has been honored by the visit of Apostles. 
We, your servants, venerate you. May the sound of this bell, 
which we made in 622, drive far from us all thunder and 
lightning." 

In a "History of Puig," by Guimerano, the same account is 
given; and likewise by Martin Zimenes in his "Conquest of 
Spain;" whilst the most precious testimony of all comes from 
Pope Benedict XII., who, in a papal bull issued in favor of the 
sanctuary in the year 1407, sets forth that the miraculous tra 
dition attached to the celebrated Shrine was perfectly authen 
ticated, and the circumstances relating to the finding of the 
image equally true. 

Soon a chapel stood on the spot, and the Castillo was put into 
a state of defence. Heaven had so visibly taken his cause in 
hand, the King of Aragon deemed the moment come in which 



SO APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

to march to the conquest of Valencia. The Moorish troops 
numbered more than forty thousand, whilst the King s army 
scarcely amounted to two thousand five hundred. Zahen, the 
Moorish King, made a fierce attack on Puig, confiding in the 
superiority of his numbers ; but all his calculations proved vain. 
The Catholic army, whose only force was fervent prayer, of 
fered in Mary s sanctuary before the attack, came off victori 
ous. In the midst of the bloody struggle St. George, as if to 
encourage them by his presence, appeared in the heavens on 
a white horse, his sword drawn and a red cross on his breast. 
Although the battle-field was covered with the Moorish dead, 
the Catholic troops lost only three men. 

To commemorate this signal victory, the King decreed that a 
beautiful chapel and spacious monastery should be erected on 
the spot where Mary s image had been found ; and before long 
the pious monarch brought triumphantly to his Heavenly Pro 
tectress the keys of the city of Valencia, of which he had taken 
possession. 

The Madonna of Puig ever showed her powerful protection 
in favor of the Kings of Spain. Even Pedro the Cruel sought 
her Shrine; and, after having been miraculously preserved in 
a violent tempest, he came barefoot before the altar to offer his 
cordial thanks. Once, on the eve of the Nativity, a pious 
client of Mary, unjustly a prisoner in a neighboring town, felt 
his chains suddenly fall, the prison doors open before him ; and, 
once free, he hastened to Puig to thank the Immaculate Vir 
gin, who had so often been invoked by him with confidence, and 
who had not been deaf to the voice of her child. 

During many years the seven stars were frequently seen, 
at intervals, hovering over the steeple of the church which 
quickly rose at Puig in honor of Mary ; and often the voices of 
angels were heard joining in the chants of the monks. On 
Saturdays especially, and after the recitation of the Salve 
Regina, the invisible singers blended their harmonious strains 
with those of the congregation ; and thus the sanctuary came to 
be called by a name which, translated from the Spanish, means 
the "Angels Room." 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 51 

On one occasion, in 1588, the image of Mary was carried 
from Puig to Valencia at the express desire of Philip II., for 
a splendid celebration about to take place in the latter town. 
During the sixteen days the ceremonies lasted the angel-singers 
were heard each day, delighting the pious worshipers by the 
celestial melody of their strains ; whilst the seven stars were 
visible each night, going from the "Angels Room" to Valencia 
Cathedral, wherein the miraculous statue had been placed. 

When the fete was over, Our Lady of Puig returned to her 
sanctuary. There she has remained ever since; though the 
good monks, the guardians of the Shrine, have long ago been 
dispersed, and their peaceful home laid bare. The splendors of 
the place are vanished visions, but the piety of Mary s clients 
has survived the wreck. The sanctuary is now a humble one, 
wherein are still repeated the holy litanies learned from the 
lips of angels ; whilst a devoted priest watches with jealous care 
over the miraculous image of Mary, as she clasps the Divine 
Infant to her breast. 

St. Peter, when at Algiers, guaranteed a large ransom for 
some noble Spanish captives, and wrote to Spain for the sum. 
The prisoners, however, finding their captivity intolerable, con 
trived meanwhile to escape. On this, Peter was taken up, 
scourged as a thief, and put on board a vessel, with orders to 
bring back from Spain the money promised. The Moorish crew 
had secret instructions, when at sea, to scuttle Peter s ship, and 
then to save themselves on board the convoy vessel. They did 
so, and left Peter without oar or sail in a sinking ship. But 
the Saint, trusting in God, stood up and, opening his coat to 
the wind, was carried safely into the harbor of Valencia. 

"I, the Lord, have called thee, that thou mightest bring forth 
the prisoner out of prison, and them that sit in darkness out of 
the prison-house." Isaias xiii, 7. 

St. Peter and his knights were laymen, not priests, and yet 
they considered the salvation of their neighbor intrusted to 
them. We can each of us by counsel, by prayer, but above all 
by good example, assist the salvation of our brethren, and thus 
secure our own. 



52 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 



MERCY 

In his last hour a good man lay alone, 

His couch, the naked earth; his pillow, stone. 

Thus faithless fortune left him, in the end, 

To perish in the dark, without one friend. 

Lifting his eyes, in great bewilderment, 

He saw seven shining angels o er him bent; 

And with his failing breath he cried, in fear, 

"Ye heavenly messengers! what do ye here?" 

Each angel in his turn made low reply, 

In voices of celestial melody: 

"I was a-hungered, and thou gavest meat;" 

"I was athirst, thy draught was passing sweet;" 

"And I was naked, and was clothed by thee;" 

"A captive, I, when thou didst ransom me ;" 

"I harborless till I thy harbor found;" 

"When I was sick thy mercy knew no bound ;" 

Then the last whispered, as he bowed his head, 

"And thou didst bury me when I was dead." 

Now a great glory filled the vault of night, 
A still small voice glowed like intensest light ; 
It seemed to fashion words that were as flame, 
One flashed and faded as another came: 
"And lo ! as thou hast done it unto these, 
So hast thou done it unto Me." At ease 
On his cold bed the good man breathed his last : 
A bed of roses now, and every blast 
Was softer, sweeter than an infant s breath, 
For the bright watchers by that bed of death; 
And as the spirit left its form of clay, 
Seven angels bore it in their arms away. 

Charles W. Stoddard. 



THE SEVEN CORPORAL WORKS OF MERCY. 

1. To feed the hungry. 

2. To give drink to the thirsty. 

3. To clothe the naked. 

4. To harbor the harborless. 

5. To visit the sick. 

6. To visit the imprisoned, and 
7- To bury the dead. 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 53 

APPARITION 

TO 

ST. RAYMUND NONNATUS O.M. 
CATALONIA, SPAIN 

1224 

How can I draw more near to Him 
Than thro this one so dear to Him? 
For if I call sweet Mary "Mother," 
As He did, am I not His brother? 

Charles H. Towne. 

IT. RAYMUND NONNATUS was born in Cata 
lonia, in the year 1204, and was descended of a 
noble family. In his childhood he seemed to find 
pleasure only in his devotions and serious duties. 
[is father, perceiving in him an inclination to a religious 
state, took him from school, and sent him to take care of a 
farm which he had in the country. Raymund readily obeyed 
and, in order to enjoy the opportunity of holy solitude, kept 
the sheep himself, and spent his time in the mountains and 
forests in holy meditation and prayer. Some time after, he 
joined the new Order of Our Lady of Mercy for the redemp 
tion of captives, and was admitted to his profession at Bar 
celona by the holy founder, St. Peter Nolasco. 

It is related in the annals of his Order that Our Blessed 
Lady appeared to him and told him to join the Order of Mercy 
for the redemption of captives from slavery. 

Then, two years after his profession, he was sent into 
Barbary with a large sum of money, where he purchased the 
liberty of a great number of slaves. When all this money 
was exhausted, he gave himself up as a hostage for the ran 
som of certain others. This generous sacrifice served only 
to exasperate the Mohammedans, who treated him with great 




54 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

barbarity, till fearing lest if he died in their hands they should 
lose the ransom which was to be paid for the slaves for whom 
he remained a hostage, they gave order that he should be 
treated with more humanity. He was then permitted to go 
about the streets, which liberty he made use of to comfort 
and encourage the Christians in their chains, and he converted 
and baptized some Mohammedans. For this the governor con 
demned him to be put to death by thrusting a stake into the 
body, but his punishment was commuted, and he underwent 
a cruel bastinado. This torment did not daunt his courage. So 
long as he saw souls in danger of perishing eternally, he 
thought he had yet done nothing. St. Raymund had no more 
money to employ in releasing poor captives, and to speak to a 
Mohammedan on the subject of religion was death. He could, 
however, still exert his endeavors, with hopes of some success, 
or of dying a martyr of charity. He therefore resumed his for 
mer method of instructing both the Christians and the infidels. 
The governor, who was enraged, ordered the Saint to be cruelly 
tortured and imprisoned till his ransom was brought by some 
religious men of his Order, who were sent with it by St. Peter 
Nolasco. Upon his return to Spain, he was nominated cardinal 
by Pope Gregory IX., and the Pope being desirous to have so 
holy a man about his person, called him to Rome. The Saint 
obeyed, but went no further than Cardona, when he was seized 
with a violent fever, which proved fatal. He died on the 3ist 
of August, in the year 1240, the thirty-seventh year of his age. 
It is related in the Annals of his Order that he had a vision of 
Our Blessed Lord at the hour of his death, and that Our Lord 
anointed him. 

Raymund of Pennafort was born A. D. 1175, of a Spanish 
noble family. At the age of twenty he taught philosophy at 
Barcelona with great success. Ten years later his rare abilities 
won for him the degree of Doctor in the University of Bologna 
and many high dignities. A tender devotion to Our Blessed 
Lady, which had grown up with him from childhood, deter 
mined him in middle life to renounce all his honors, and to 
enter the Order of St. Dominic. There again a vision of the 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 55 

Mother of Mercy instructed him to co-operate with his peni 
tent St. Peter Nolasco, and with James, King of Aragon, in 
founding the Order of Our Lady of Ransom for the Redemp 
tion of Captives. He began this great work by preaching a 
crusade against the Moors, and rousing to penance the Chris 
tians, enslaved in both soul and body by the infidel. King 
James of Aragon, a man of great qualities, but held in bond by 
a ruling passion, was bidden by the Saint to put away the cause 
of his sin. On his delay, Raymund asked for leave to depart 
from Majorca, since he could not live with sin. The King re 
fused, and forbade, under pain of death, his conveyance by 
others. Full of faith, Raymund spread his cloak upon the 
waters, and tying one end to his staff as a sail, made the sign 
of the Cross and fearlessly stepped upon it. In six hours he 
was borne to Barcelona, where, gathering up his cloak, dry, he 
went into his monastery. The King, overcome by this miracle, 
became a sincere penitent and a disciple of the Saint till his 
death. In 1230 Gregory IX. summoned Raymund to Rome, 
and made him his confessor and grand penitentiary, and di 
rected him to compile "the Decretals/ a collection of the scat 
tered decisions of the Popes and Councils. Having refused the 
Archbishopric of Tarragona, Raymund was chosen, in 1238, 
General of his Order, which post he resigned soon after to re 
sume his labors among the infidels and, in 1256, being then 
eighty<ne, was able to report that ten thousand Saracens had 
received baptism. He died A. D. 1275. 



DEATH OF ST. RAYMUND 

The blessed Raymund, named the Unshorn, 
Left Barcelona one sunbright morn, 
Left far behind him the city towers, 
His well-loved convent and orange bowers ; 
And Romeward journeyed by the decree 
Of him who ruled in St. Peter s See. 
But when the sun had twice rose and set 
In clouds of vermeil and violet, 



56 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

He at the Count of Cerdagne s door 
Craved for admittance in sickness sore. 
There labored heart-beat and failing breath 
Betokened to him approaching death ; 
And begged he loudly, with sob and tear, 
For Shrift and Housel, no priest was near. 
But to Christ he pleaded, and oft he prayed 
To Christ s dear Mother for help and aid, 
Till they who watched by his dying bed 
Looked to the doorway in awe and dread. 
With noiseless footsteps, that portal through 
Came a radiant company, two and two. 
Like Raymund s robes were their robes of white, 
And each one carried a taper bright; 
Their voices sounded in chant and prayer, 
No voice on earth might with theirs compare. 
They ranged themselves from the sick man s side 
In two white lines to the doorway wide, 
And One passed through them of aspect sweet, 
With bleeding wounds in His hands and feet; 
And shrift and Housel, old legends say, 
Had Raymund from Him upon that day. 
Then the white-robed company as before, 
Passed noiseless through the open door, 
And they who watched by that dying bed 
To Raymund turned in their fear and dread; 
But no words of his might their tears allay: 
His soul had burst from its house of clay. 

Magdalen Rock. 




HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 57 



APPARITION 

TO 

THE SEVEN SERVITES 
FLORENCE, ITALY 

1233 

Mother of Sorrow, Mother of Joy, 
Virgin untainted by sin s alloy; 
Eternal guard of the heavenly gate, 
Mary our Queen Immaculate. 

P. T. O^Reilly. 

HE Order of Servites, or Servants of Mary, is an 
order of friars, who follow the rule of Saint 
Augustine. It was instituted in Italy in the thir 
teenth century by seven rich men of Florence, and 
has for its special object meditation on the Dolors of the Most 
Holy Virgin, that its members may feel and share them with 
her, and propagate this devotion among the faithful. 

The coming of the Friars marks the very heart of the Middle 
Ages. St. Dominic was born in 1170, St. Francis in 1182, St. 
Bonfilius, the eldest of the Servites, in 1198; and the special 
task of each of the three Orders was closely allied to those of 
the others. St. Dominic took the doctrine of Christ as his 
charge, to preach it everywhere, and set it forth in all its splen 
dor; St. Francis embraced Christian morality, to practice it in 
all its heroism, and show the inexpressible sweetness which un 
derlay its most austere observances. The Seven Holy Founders 
of the Servite Order, like loving and tender children, devoted 
themselves to her who had borne Christ Himself in her immac 
ulate bosom, Christ, source of all truth and principle of all 
good ; to her, the inseparable coadjutrix of Jesus in the redemp 
tion of souls ; to her who gave to the world the Word full of 
grace and truth, the Saviour sacrificed in His infinite love for 
the salvation and the blessing of all men. 




58 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

Thus while St. Dominic and St. Francis manifested Christ to 
those eager to know and to love Him, the seven Saints of Flor 
ence showed forth the sweet and radiant face of the Virgin, the 
Mother who from Bethlehem to Calvary encircles with the 
aureole of her love Him who wrought the glory of God, who 
is the Conqueror of souls. 

Innocent III. was in the chair of St. Peter, keeping a brave 
heart among the many distractions of the Christian world. 
Germany was a prey to civil war between the Emperor Otho 
IV. and Philip of Swabia ; France was under the glorious rule 
of Philip Augustus, who, having returned from the third Cru 
sade, conquered Normandy, Maine, Anjou and Poitou, but 
showed himself a true son of the Church in submitting wholly 
to Innocent in the question of his marriage, having wished to 
repudiate his wife Ingeburge. Not so John in England, more 
disloyal to the Holy See than any King of England, till he 
arose who brought about the great apostacy. Spain was in the 
agony of the Mohammedan invasion. In the East, Jerusalem 
had again fallen into the power of the Infidel, and the Pope in 
cited and arranged the fourth Crusade. But the Eastern Em 
pire alone fell, and the Holy Places were not freed. 

Coming nearer to his own realm, the Pope looked out on a 
stormy and distracted land. Except the States of the Church 
and the kingdom of Sicily, then under a Regency, all the im 
portant towns were at strife with their neighbors, either form 
ing round them independent communes, or becoming the cen 
ters of small republics. They lived in a state of perpetual feud, 
happy only if they had peace within their own borders, as Flor 
ence had for the moment. Later, in Dante s time, who prob 
ably knew some of the early Servite Saints, there were no less 
than seven intrenched camps belonging to different factions 
within the City of Florence itself. Though of course politically 
divided by the two great parties, the Guelfs and the Ghibel- 
lines, their dissensions were but political ; war with those with 
out had not become civil war. 

The Church and the offices of religion constituted the whirl 
wind s heart of peace, and the many confraternities to which 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 59 

pious laymen belonged, brought men together, who would not 
otherwise have known each other, of all opinions and all sta 
tions. In them, Guelf and Ghibelline, merchant and prince, 
met on an equal footing. Such a Confraternity was that of the 
"Laudesi," or the Elder Society of Our Blessed Lady, founded 
in the year 1183. It was, in fact, just such a confraternity or 
sodality as we now know, mainly in connection with Jesuit 
churches, and under one of the titles of Our Lady. It was 
composed of the nobles and merchants of Florence, and met at 
the church of Santa Reparata. In the year 1233, just fifty years 
after its foundation, it numbered two hundred members, all of 
the best families in Florence, and was under the direction of 
a young priest, James of Poggibonsi. 

Of these two hundred members, seven became the saintly 
founders of the Servite Order, and the Confraternity of the 
Laudesi was, in the good providence of God, to serve as their 
noviciate. 

Bonfilius Monaldi was the eldest. He was born in 1198, the 
year of the election of Innocent III. The Monaldeschi, for 
such was the original name, were of French extraction, related 
to the royal House of Anjou. What may have been his occupa 
tion in the world is not known, but he was noted as being a 
young man of prayerful and ascetic life, who took the lead 
among his friends in all exercises of piety, so that, as soon as 
there was question among them of community life, they turned 
to him as their natural superior. He retained in religion his 
baptismal name. 

Alexis Falconieri was born in 1200, of a noble family, orig 
inally of Fiesole, but long settled in Florence. He was the eld 
est son of Bernard Falconieri, a knight, and one of the merchant 
princes who created the greatness of his native city. The fam 
ily were all strong adherents of the Pope, and opponents of the 
Emperor, in their unhappy quarrels. He made his course at 
the University, studying what were then known as the Humani 
ties, Latin and Greek, the usual classical course, as well as 
belles lettres, with great success ; but he was marked as espc- 



6o APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

daily prayerful, fond of reading religious books, and avoiding 
general society. At an early age he vowed himself to celibacy 
long before he knew what outward form his life would take. 
He never became a priest, but remained all his life Brother 
Alexis, he also keeping his own name. 

Benedict de TAntella was born in 1203, of a wealthy family, 
of foreign, perhaps German, or, as some think, Eastern extrac 
tion, who, long settled at Antella, had but recently come into 
Florence and become bankers. Benedict was extremely well 
educated, of very remarkable beauty, and called on by his posi 
tion to mix much in society. He was afterwards known in re 
ligion as Father Manettus. 

Bartholomew Amidei was born in 1204, of one of the oldest, 
richest, and most powerful families of the city. He claimed to 
be ancient Roman by origin. The Amidei were Ghibellines, 
and that Bartholomew received a most Christian education is 
among the many proofs that the bitter political strifes of the 
age were merely political, and hindered neither side from being 
good Catholics. His family, who lived much in the world, al 
lowed him to follow a secluded and religious life, which found 
its natural development in a religious Order. He took in re- 
igion his family, rather than his baptismal, name. 

Ricovero Uguccioni was born in the same year as Amidei, of 
a family both noble and mercantile. The lad was from a very 
early age remarkable for obedience, compassion for the poor, 
and love of solitude ; he was devoted to pious reading, yet none 
the less was a leader among his young companions who looked 
to him in all things. In religion he was known as Hugh. 

Gherardino Sostegni was born in 1205, of good family, but 
beyond this little is known of his worldly state. In religion he 
bore his family name Sostegni. 

John Manetti was born in 1206 ; of the higher ranks of the 
Florentine aristocracy, both in birth and riches. In religion he 
was afterwards known as Fr. Buonagiunta, or Bienvenu. 

Of these seven the eldest was thirty-four, the youngest about 
twenty-seven, when their great change in life came to them. 
They lived in various quarters of the city, they held divers 



HEAVENS BRIGHT QUEEN 61 

views on politics, their one bond of union was the Confraternity 
of Our Lady, though some among them knew one or two others 
with more or less intimacy. Monaldi, Amidei, Sostegni and 
Manetti were married, but Monaldi and perhaps another had 
already become widowers. Alexis Falconieri alone had, as has 
been said, taken a vow, but Antella and Uguccioni showed 
plainly to their families that their wishes tended in the same 
direction. There were many reasons why even those who 
sought after perfection should in Italy, and at that time, enter 
into the marriage state. The Cathari, a sect of heretics who 
had great success in Florence, made light of marriage, and 
under pretence of purity were grossly immoral. It was as nec 
essary to uphold true purity by affording examples of holy mar 
ried life, as of celibacy. But whether married, widowed, or 
single, these seven were especially eager after a life of per 
fection, in which they were aided, and to which they were 
stimulated, by their director. 

No new development in the Church of God is sudden; and 
it had come to pass that Gregory IX. in his pontificate gave 
special favor to two devotions, afterwards to be so closely as 
sociated with the servants of Mary. These were the Angelus 
and the Salve Regina. In 1230 Ardingo de Forasboschi be 
came Bishop of Florence, himself a native of the city, and be 
longing to one of the great Guelf families. Both on religious 
and on social grounds he had especial affection to the Laudesi, 
and its members. 

On the Feast of the Assumption, August 15, 1233, these seven 
young men, with other members of the Laudesi, having con 
fessed and communicated, were each and all making their 
thanksgiving after Mass. Each, unknown to those about them, 
fell into an ecstasy. Each seemed to himself surrounded by 
supernatural light, in the midst of which Our Lady appeared 
to them accompanied by angels, who spoke to each of them the 
words : "Leave the world, retire together into solitude, that you 
may fight against yourselves, and live wholly for God. You 
will thus experience heavenly consolations. My protection and 
assistance will never fail you." 



62 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

The vision faded, the congregation dispersed, only the Seven 
remained, each meditating what the vision might mean. Bon- 
filius Monaldi, as the eldest, did violence to his humility and 
broke the silence. He told what had befallen him, and that he 
was ready to obey Our Lady s call. Each in order recounted 
the same experiences, and the same resolve. 

As Monaldi had been the first to speak, so the little band at 
once decided that he must be the first to act ; they looked to him 
for guidance. He decided to seek counsel of their director, 
James of Poggibonsi, who concluded that was no mere fancy 
of pious youths, but a fact, a call from their Mother, manifest 
ing to them the will of God, to be obeyed without hesitation. 
Some were engaged in business, some in offices of state, four 
had family ties, which it was not easy to break, especially since 
the Church suffers no married man or woman to enter into re 
ligion unless the other party to the marriage contract does so 
too. It is believed that the two wives who still lived became 
afterwards Tertiaries of the Order ; at any rate the conditions 
were at the time fulfilled, all social and worldly arrangements 
were made; and by the eighth of September, the Nativity of 
the Blessed Virgin, they were free to obey, they had stripped 
themselves of all that bound them to the world. 

Meantime, and while waiting to know the further will of 
God, Monaldi and their director sketched out a plan of com 
munity life. They adopted a habit of grey wool, with a leath 
ern cincture, and found a house just outside the city walls, 
where they might pass much of their time in solitude and 
prayer, yet near enough to the city to give an example to those 
they had so lately left. All this was done with the approval of 
the Bishop; although there was as yet no notion of a new 
Order ; it was merely a question of certain men living a morti 
fied life in community ; he granted permission to James to live 
with them as their chaplain, to celebrate Mass in their oratory, 
and to reserve the Blessed Sacrament. 

So soon as their life arranged itself, and Monaldi was for 
mally elected as their Superior, they desired to submit them 
selves to the Bishop for his blessing. He wished to see the 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 63 

whole Brotherhood. Their entry into Florence was a strange 
contrast to what they had seemed a few days before, a band 
of rich young men in all the splendor of the dress of those 
days. Their appearance drew a crowd of sympathizers, of men 
indifferent and curious, of former companions, and of some 
who, recognizing their great renunciation and sancity, pressed 
to touch their garments, to kiss their hands and entreat their 
blessing. 

Suddenly, from the midst of the crowd, were heard the 
voices of children who cried : "Ecco, ecco, i Servi di Maria :" 
"See, the Servants of Mary." The same exclamation was made 
still more wonderfully on the following thirteenth of January, 
when, as two of the brethren, Falconieri and Manetti, were 
asking charity in the city, again infants in arms gave them 
their title. One of these children was Philip Benizi, afterwards 
to be one of the greatest Saints of the Order and its General. 
He was then only five months old, and spoke for the first time 
in crying "Mother, those are Mary s Servants, give them an 
alms." They had by this time, with the approbation of their 
Bishop, entered on a community life of mendicancy, devoting 
themselves especially to Our Lady, to whose honor they re 
served Saturday in each week. The habitation without the 
city walls which had seemed to them at first so solitary, and 
so fitted for an eremitical life became soon thronged by troops 
of citizens, curious to see the recipients of so great favors; 
and they therefore began to say among themselves that they 
were not wholly obedient to the voice which had said as plainly 
as to the disciples of old "Come ye apart into a desert place, 
and rest awhile." 

There is a windy mountain ten miles to the north of Flor 
ence, a spur of the Apennines, lonely and savage; this again 
was manifested to each of them in a vision as the place of 
their future abode; while at the same time a voice, sweet and 
sonorous, distinct yet mysterious, told them that this mountain 
was called Monte Senario, that on its height they were to dwell, 
and apply themselves to yet greater austerity ; that in this more 



64 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

rigorous and secluded life they might count always on the 
favor and succor of the Mother of God. 

Monte Senario was part of the episcopal domain of Florence, 
and the Bishop willingly granted to the solitaries the territory 
whereon they desired to settle. They went without delay from 
the house wherein they had rested nine months. At dawn of 
day, after receiving Holy Communion from their director, they 
skirted the walls of Florence in procession, carrying the Cross 
before them, and the image of the Blessed Virgin which had 
stood in their oratory. They climbed the mountain fasting, for 
it was the vigil of the Ascension ; they grounded the Cross, and 
set down the statue of Our Lady to make their evening prayer, 
unconscious where they could lay their heads, or even if and 
how their might raise a shelter for the Blessed Sacrament after 
the Feast of the morrow. They succeeded, however, in build 
ing a small shelter of boughs as a chapel, and so passed the 
last day of May, 1234. Their simple monastery, or rather 
hermitage, was built before the end of the same year; they 
dwelling till then in caves and crevices of the rocks. 

In this monastery they followed a mixture of hermit and 
community life, broken only by visits of two of their number 
each week to Florence in quest of alms, and by the acquisition 
of a small house of refuge in which they might shelter if 
fatigue or nightfall rendered it impossible for them to regain 
Monte Senario. Their lives were one unceasing round of 
austerity and devotion, but their future was still uncertain ; 
they had not ventured to form themselves into a religious 
Order, though encouraged to do so by their Bishop. They 
waited and prayed, and in their perplexity they asked a sign. 
It was given them somewhat as one was given to the Prophet 
Jonas when his gourd grew up in a night. 

Just below the crest of the mountain to the south, where 
there was some depth of richer soil, the hermits had planted a 
vine. On the 3rd Sunday in Lent, February 27, 1239, the 
brethren saw their vine clothed with green leaves and clusters 
of ripe grapes. All around smiled the verdure of spring, and 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 65 

the scent of flowers filled the air. They dared not interpret 
the prodigy. The superior despatched one of the community 
to tell to the Bishop the amazing news, and beg that he would 
give them counsel, for not only was he a man of most holy 
life, but one to whom also supernatural communication had 
already been vouchsafed. 

To him in a dream heaven revealed the interpretation of 
the prodigy. The seven hermits were seven branches of the 
mystic vine, the clusters were those who should join them 
selves to the Order; the Brethren were again, though as Re 
ligious, to mingle in the world. As always they obeyed 
the divine voice, however given; Easter was near at hand, 
when they would open their ranks to those who came, till 
then they would give themselves to earnest prayer. 

On Good Friday, April 13, 1240, which that year coincided 
with the Feast of the Annunciation, all for which the Seven 
Holy Founders had been preparing found its explanation. On 
the evening of that day, in their oratory, Our Lady once more 
appeared to them in a vision, surrounded by angels who bore 
in their hands religious habits of black, a book containing the 
Rule of St. Augustine, the title Servants of Mary written in 
letters of gold, and a palm branch. Then holding in her own 
hands the habit with which she seemed to clothe each of them ; 
she said : "I come, Servants well beloved and elect, I come 
to accomplish your desires and grant your prayers; here are 
the habits in which I wish you should in future be clothed; 
their black hue should always bring to mind the cruel Dolors 
which I felt by reason of the Crucifixion and Death of my 
only Son ; the Rule of St. Augustine, which I give you as the 
form of your religious life, will gain for you the palm pre 
pared in heaven, if you serve me faithfully on earth." The 
vision vanished, and the foundation of the Servite Order was 
definitely accomplished. 

But this was not all. Our Lady at the same hour appeared 
to the Bishop of Florence, and made to him the same com 
munication. He gladly went to Monte Senario for their 
clothing, and erected them so far as rested with him, intQ 



66 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

a formal Order, giving them their religious names, and al 
lowing them to admit new members. Of these their Director. 
James of Poggibonsi, was the first. The Bishop also urged 
on the Seven to prepare for ordination, wherein all obeyed, 
Alexis Falconieri only excepted. Nothing could overcome the 
great humility in which he desired to remain Brother Alexis. 

It were long to tell how, when the news of the vision went 
abroad, and the affluence of new members was known, other 
towns in North Italy desired to receive, and received, homes 
of the nascent Order, and of the new and special practices 
which distinguished them from others. Immediately and to 
this day the practice remains they began their Mass with 
Ave Maria, and ended it with Salve Regina, adding other de 
votions also to Our Lady of Dolors, who under that title 
had given herself as their special patron. Blessed Bonfilius 
established also the Third Order, and the Society of the Black 
Scapular, both of these as well as the Devotions seeming to 
appeal to the hearts and satisfying the needs of the time, and 
all things seemed to promise prosperity. But the Founders 
had to share in the dolors of their mother, and the time 
of peace was not yet. 

Gregory IX. died in August, 1241, without having formally 
confirmed the Order, and his successor Celestine IV., who 
had for the Servites great esteem and affection, who had also 
visited them at Monte Senario, only lived a fortnight after 
his election. The See remained vacant for nearly two years, 
till Innocent IV. was elected in June, 1243. One of his earliest 
acts was to send Peter of Verona, a Dominican, afterwards 
known as St. Peter Martyr, as Inquisitor to Northern Italy, 
with a view to putting down the heresy of the Cathari, and 
incidentally to enquire into the life of the Religious of Monte 
Senario. 

Peter of Verona conversed with Monaldi and Falconieri, 
and then prayed earnestly. He was answered by a vision in 
which Our Lady appeared to him, covered with a black mantle 
under which she sheltered religious in the same habit, and in 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 67 

the company were those with whom he had spoken. Then he 
beheld angels gathering lilies, and among them were seven of 
surpassing whiteness, which Our Lady accepted, and placed 
in her bosom. The Saint was convinced that the Order was 
of God, and after visiting Monte Senario reported favorably 
to the Pope. 

This is no place to speak of the favors heaped on the 
Fathers by various Popes, nor the difficulties which cast 
shadows on their way, of their missionary efforts, nor the 
spread of the Order into other lands, even in the life time of 
the Founders. To do so would be to write the history of 
the Order, and far exceed our limit. We can but say a few 
words on their edifying lives, their holy deaths. 

St. Bonfilius ruled the community till 1255, when after 
repeated endeavors, he succeeded in laying down his office, 
and the choice of the Fathers fell on St. Bonagiunta. Miracle 
had again marked him out as chosen of God. A merchant in 
the town, wearied by the Saint s exhortions to virtue, under 
pretence of aiding the needs of the convent, offered bread 
and wine, into which he had introduced poison, for the special 
use of Fr. Bonagiunta. The Saint partook of the food without 
hurt, then, suspecting evil, he made over it the sign of the 
Cross; the wine flask burst into shards, the bread was in an 
instant full of worms; and the terrified servant who had, un 
wittingly, brought the gift, returned to find his master sick 
unto death. 

St. Bonagiunta was the first to pass away. Worn with 
travel, always on foot, for the good of his Order, and the 
conversion of heretics, he felt his end approaching. On the 
last day of August, 1257, he said Mass with extraordinary 
devotion, and, calling his brethren together, spoke in prophetic 
words, of trouble which was soon to fall on the Order; and 
then set himself to meditate aloud on the Passion. When 
he came to the words Tn manus tuas, Domine, commenclo 
spiritum meum Into Thy hands, O Lord, I commend my 
spirit/ he extended his arms in the form of a cross and fell 



68 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

forward against the altar. His brethren, among whom was 
St. Philip Benizi, at his wish, supported him in that position, 
and so kneeing at the tabernacle of his Lord, he breathed forth 
his soul. 

St. Bonfilius was the next to hear his Master s call. He was 
Vicar General in the absence of the third General in Germany 
and in France. He too retired to Monte Senario, and died 
on January i, 1262, "less of any definite disease than of those 
heavenly flames which burnt up his heart." He and those 
around him were consoled by special revelations from Her 
whose faithful servant he had been. 

Three years later came the turn of St. Amideus. For a 
year he had felt his force failing, and had remained at Monte 
Senario. He led a hermit life, constantly remaining whole 
hours alone in his grotto. Alone he died on the third Sunday 
after Easter, April 18, 1265. His death was made known to 
his brethren by a wondrous sign. A tongue of fire shot from 
Monte Senario to heaven, while a sweet odor filled the whole 
convent : the Fathers did not doubt that, under this sign of 
flame, his heart, which had burnt with so vehement love, went 
to God. He was succeeded by Fr. Manetti as General, and he 
in his turn by the young Philip Benizi, into whose hands when 
he had committed his charge, St. Manetti also retired to Monte 
Senario, and died in St. Philip s arms. 

The three brave men who were left spared no fatigue. One, 
St. Alexis continued his hard life as a lay brother, two in spite 
of advancing years wore themselves with missionary labors 
in foreign lands with their new General St. Philip. In the 
spring of 1282, SS. Hugh and Sosthenes returned to Monte 
Senario. And as they went they spoke of all that their Lady 
had done for them, of the spread of the Order, of the deaths 
of those who had gone before. Raising their eyes to heaven, 
they desired that they also might be removed from this valley 
of tears and united to their Sovereign Good. Then they heard 
a voice which said : "Fear not, ye men of God, your consola 
tion is at hand." And once on their arrival they were stricken 
with fever, and died at the same hour on May 3, 1282. 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 69 

St. Philip Benizi was at that time in Florence, and, praying, 
he fell into a trance. He saw on Monte Senario, two angels 
pluck each a lily of perfect whiteness, and present them to 
Our Lady. He called his brethren around him, and knowing 
well what the vision meant, announced to them the deaths 
of the two holy Founders. 

Not till 1310 was St. Alexis called away. Tn his last years 
it was only in virtue of holy obedience that he allowed himself 
to lie on a couch of straw, and to relax his rule of rigid ab 
stinence. When he knew that this hour was come he called his 
brethren around him, and recited one hundred Aves, during 
which the angels circled around him in the form of doves. As 
he recited the last Ave he saw our Lord approach, and crown 
him with sweet flowers. He cried : "Kneel my Brothers, see 
ye not Jesus Christ, your loving Lord and mine, who crowns 
me with a garland of beauteous flowers? Worship Him and 
adore. He will crown you also in the same manner, if, full of 
devotion to the holy Virgin, you imitate her immaculate purity, 
her profound humility." 

So closed the life story of the Seven Founders, who, during 
the time they spent on earth, did all that in them lay to hide 
their merits under the veil of profound humility. Their 
sanctity was attested, not only by their heroic virtues, as they 
came to light, and by the miracles which accompanied them 
in their career, and illuminated their deaths, but also by a 
whole generation of saints, who arose on their traces, and 
became, as it were, their guard of honor. 

Foremost of these was St. Philip Benizi, whom we have 
so often named, whose life merits a separate essay. He was 
the most brilliant disciple of the Seven Founders, and did 
honor to his masters by his work and sanctity. Indeed, so 
great was the renown of his virtue, that he seemed even to 
cast into the shade the heroism of those who formed his charac 
ter, as he is their abiding honor. No other ever reflected 
their spirit more faithfully, seized their thought more ac 
curately, carried out their designs with such fidelity. Philip 



70 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

made a saint by saints, was in his turn the father of saints, of 
whom SS. Peregrine Laziosi and Juliana Falconieri, foundress 
of the Mantellate or Servite nuns, are the best known. 

The spread of the Order in its early days was remarkable, 
and it was soon divided into six provinces, containing about 
one hundred convents, four provinces in Italy, one consisting 
of Germany, one of France. Only in these later days has 
the order spread to England and to America, where to it, as 
to the Catholic Church in general, a vast field seems opening. 

More than four hundred years passed away after the death 
of St. Alexis during which the Order had its vicissitudes, its 
triumphs of grace, its dangers, alternations of honor and 
scorn. But in the course of the year 1752, the Seven Holy 
Fathers were solemnly declared Blessed, in 1888 they were 
canonized. Lovely and pleasant in their lives, in death they 
were not divided; their invocation is collective, none in the 
Sacred Order is greater or less than another ; the miracles 
necessary to their canonization were not wrought in connec 
tion with this or that one amongst them ; all together continue 
the work they began in common. 



STABAT MATER. 

In the shadow of the rood, 
Broken-hearted there she stood 

Near her Son and Lord : 
While her soul, His doom, lamenting, 
Yet in sacrifice consenting, 

Felt the cleaving sword. 

Came there ever to another 

Grief like thine, O wounded Mother, 

As thou looked st upon 
Him, the Son of God, all holy, 
And of thee, a Virgin lowly, 

Sole-begotten Son? 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 



Who so lost to human feeling 
As to hide his tears revealing 

Sympathy with thine? 
Who that e er was born of woman, 
In a tenderness so human 

Sees not love Divine? 

To the lash, for sin atoning, 

Lo! He bows! and thou, O moaning 

Mother, now must see 
Limb from limb His spirit languish, 
And His latest look of anguish 

Turned in love to thee! 

Let me near the fountain growing 
Of thy tenderness o erflowing, 

Drink my fill thereof; 
Let the fervid flames illuming 
All thy soul, a fire consuming, 

Kindle mine to love. 

Thou alone, no ransom needing, 
Let thy Son, the Victim bleeding 

For my sin atone: 
What for me my God and Brother 
Deigns to bear, O sinless Mother, 

Learn not thou alone. 

One with thee thy vigil keeping, 

One with thee, the Mourner, weeping 

Near His sacred side, 
Where thy soul in desolation 
Waits of woe the consummation, 

Let my soul abide. 

Virgin, Earth s divinest blossom, 
Spurn not from thy fragrant bosom 

Dews that fall for thee! 
Make me near thy Son remaining, 
Simon-like, His cross sustaining, 

One in sympathy! 

Let me from His life-distilling 
Wounds, mine empty chalice filling, 

Quaff the crimson wine. 
Lest the flames, devouring end me, 
In thy chastity defend me 

From the wrath Divine. 



APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

Lord, through her who brought Thee hither, 
Let me, hence departing whither 

Thou the way hast found, 
Come, through Death s opposing portal, 
To the Victor s palm immortal, 

With Thy glory crowned. 

Rev. John B. Tabb. 




HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 



73 



SHRINE 



OF 



ST. ROSE OF VITERBO, V.O.S.F. 
VITERBO, ITALY 

1250 



Mother! that moon beneath thy tread 

Thy scorn of earth to memory brings; 
That crown of stars above thy head, 

Thy love of great, eternal things. 
Whilst we, alas! love things that fleet, 

Our noble souls to earth bowed down; 
The shining stars beneath our feet, 

The pale-faced, changing moon our crown. 



Ave Maria. 




OSE was born in 1240, a time when Frederick II. 
was oppressing the Church, and many were faith 
less to the Holy See. The infant at once seemed 
filled with grace; with tottering steps she sought 
Jesus in His tabernacle, she knelt before sacred images, she 
listened to pious talk, retaining all she heard, and this when 
scarcely three years old. One coarse habit covered her flesh; 
fasts and disciplines were her delight. To defend the Church s 
rights was her burning wish, and for this she received her 
mission from the blessed Mother of God, who gave her the 
Franciscan habit, with the command to go forth and preach. 
When hardly ten years old, Rose went down to the public 
square at Viterbo, called upon the inhabitants to be faithful to 
the Sovereign Pontiff, and vehemently denounced all his op 
ponents. So great was the power of her words, and of the 
miracles which accompanied it, that the Imperial party, in fear 
and anger, drove her from the city. Exile only opened 
a wider sphere for her zeal, and she continued to preach in 
cessantly from place to place, till Innocent IV. was brought 
back in triumph to Rome, and the cause of God was won. 



74 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

Then she retired to a little cell at Viterbo, and prepared in 
solitude for her end. She died in her eighteenth year. Not 
long after she appeared in glory to Alexander IV., and bade 
him translate her body. He found it as the vision had said, 
but fragrant and beautiful, as if still in life. 



TO-DAY 

Dignare, Domine, die isto, Sine peccate. nos custodire 

Lord, for to-morrow and its needs 

I do not pray; 
Keep me, my God, from stain of sin, 

Just for to-day. 
Let me both diligently work 

And duly pray; 
Let me be kind in word and deed, 

Just for to-day. 
Let me be slow to do my will, 

Prompt to obey; 
Help me to mortify my flesh, 

Just for to-day. 
Let me no wrong or idle word 

Unthinking say : 
Set Thou a seal upon my lips, 

Just for to-day. 
Let me in season, Lord, be grave, 

In season gay; 
Let me be faithful to Thy grace, 

Just for to-day. 
And if to-day my tide of life 

Should ebb away, 
Give me Thy sacraments divine, 

Sweet Lord, to-day. 
In Purgatory s cleansing fires 

Brief be my stay; 
O bid me, if to-day I die, 

Come home to-day. 
So, for to-morrow and its needs 

I do not pray ; 
But guide me, guard me, keep me, Lord, 

Just for to-day. 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 75 



USE OF THE PRESENT TIME 

St. Rose lived but eighteen years, saved the Church s cause, 
and died a Saint. We have lived, perhaps, much longer, and 
yet with what result? Every minute something can be done 
for God. Let us be up and doing. 

If God gives us a particular work to do, He will most cer 
tainly enable us to accomplish it, however unsuitable the time 
and circumstances may appear. One day, when Rose was 
insisting, in the square of Viterbo, on the duty of being loyal 
Catholics, the crowd became so great that but few could hear 
her words. Still she preached on, and gradually the stone 
on which she was standing rose from the ground, and remain 
ing suspended in the air, supported the holy child in view of 
all till her discourse was finished, when it gently descended 
to the ground. 

"To-morrow never becomes to-day, nor does presently be 
come now. Through this evil custom of saying to-morrow/ 
presently/ each to-day and each now/ when present, brings 
forth a new to-morrow and another presently/ " F. Scupoli. 

"Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold now is the day 
of salvation." 2 Cor. vi.. 2. 



ACT OF REPARATION TO JESUS IN THE MOST 
HOLY SACRAMENT 

I adore Thee ! I bless Thee ! I love Thee ! O Sacred Heart 
of Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. I offer, 
through the Immaculate Heart of Thy holy Mother, the Sacred 
Hosts reposing in our tabernacles to atone for all the sacrileges, 
impieties, profanations, and other crimes by which Thou, O 
most loving Heart ! art outraged throughout the universe. 

300 days Indulgence. 



APPARITION TO 

ST. SIMON STOCK 

CAMBRIDGE, ENGLAND 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 77 

APPARITION 

TO 

ST. SIMON STOCK 
CAMBRIDGE, ENGLAND 

1251 

Carmel s fair Flower! 

Rod blossom-laden 
Smile on thy Dower, 

Meek Mother-Maiden! 
None equals thee. 

Grant us a sign 

Thou dost protect us, 
Mark us for thine; 
Shine and direct us, 
Star of the Sea! 

St. Simon Stock. 

HE object which I propose to myself in the pres 
ent paper is to give a brief account of the origin, 
the graces, and the indulgences of the Brown 
Scapular only, with the conditions upon which 
these spiritual favors may be gained. Since the introduction 
of this Scapular into general use among the faithful, so many 
questions have been proposed to the Sacred Congregation 
of Rites or to the Superior-General of the Carmelites relating 
to it, that it is very difficult for everyone to know what pre 
cisely is necessary to be done in order to reap all the spiritual 
advantages which the Church in her liberality has granted to 
the devout wearers of this livery of Mary. Some persons 
may do more than is absolutely necessary, while others may 
do less ; and while the one errs by imposing unnecessary 
obligations upon himself, the other commits a more fatal mis 
take in failing to fulfil what is prescribed, and hence reaps 
no advantage. Another difficulty which priests too often meet 
with in propagating devotions of this kind is that in almost 




7$ APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

every congregation one or more devout persons are found 
who are looked upon by others as authorities in matters 
relating to the devotions which all pious Catholics are accus 
tomed to practise, whether such persons are learned or not; 
and here as elsewhere it generally turns out that a little learn 
ing is a bad thing. Such pious souls being anxious to ex 
tend the devotions to which they are particularly attached, 
will recommend them to others ; and, either from the very 
excess of their unenlightened piety, or from the desire of 
making the gaining of the indulgences doubly sure, are not 
unfrequently prompted to make unwarranted additions to the 
conditions which the Church has laid down for the acquiring 
of these spiritual treasures, or to interpret them more strictly 
than the letter of the grant warrants; which amounts to the 
same thing. And, to increase the difficulty, it will generally 
be found that people will take the words of these persons 
in preference to that of the priest; at least such has been my 
experience. It is much to be desired that these pious souls 
were either more enlightened or more diffident. 

We owe the Scapular to the direct intervention of the Holy 
Mother of God, who in this new proof of her love for man 
chose St. Simon Stock as her instrument. This devout servant 
of Mary was a native of England, who had attached himself 
to the Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel soon after its 
introduction into his native land, had made such progress in 
the science of the saints, and had displayed such prudence, that 
he was ere long elected Superior-General of the Carmelites of 
the West. The Scapular was revealed to him in a celebrated 
vision with which the Mother of God favored him on the 
1 6th of July, in the year 1251, at Cambridge. Holding the 
Scapular in her hand, she said : "Receive, my beloved son, this 
Scapular of thy Order ; it is the special sign of my favor, which 
I have obtained for thee and for thy children of Mount Carmel. 
He who dies clothed with this habit shall be preserved from 
eternal fire. It is the badge of salvation, a shield in time of 
danger, and a pledge of special peace and protection." This 
address of the Mother of God is given in different words by 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 79 

different writers, but all are substantially the same. The vision 
has been called in question by certain writers ; but when I 
state that it has been confirmed by many well-authenticated 
miracles ; that Pope Benedict XIV., among others, accepted it 
as genuine, and that the indulgences granted by several Sover 
eign Pontiffs also suppose its genuineness, there is little room 
for further question. 

I shall not pause to inquire into the manner in which this 
devotion became, in the course of a very short time, extended 
not only to the members of the Order to which it was granted, 
but also to such of the faithful as wished to place themselves 
under the special protection of the august Mother of God. 
Nor shall I adduce any of the miracles by which it pleased 
Almighty God from time to time to confirm the belief of the 
faithful in the promises of the Mother of His Divine Son. 
We shall turn rather to the various questions that have arisen 
in connection with this devotion, in the discussion of which it 
is to be hoped will be found all the information necessary for 
those who wish to wear the Scapular with profit, or whose 
zeal may prompt them to recommend it to others.* 

The word scapular is derived from the Latin, and means 
the shoulder-blade, or in the plural, in which it is more com 
monly found, the shoulders. As a garment, it is a broad 
piece of cloth, with an aperture in it for the head, which hangs 
down in front and at the back almost to the ground, as may 
be seen in the habits of the Carmelites, the Benedictines, and 
some other religious orders. The Scapular worn by the faith 
ful is but a symbol of that worn by the religious of the Order 
of Mount Carmel. In form it must consist of two parts, each 
oblong or square, in accordance with the custom that has long 
been observed, fastened together with two strings, so that one 
part may hang on the breast and the other on the back. When 



*The sources from which I have mainly drawn my information are the most 
reliable: the Decrees of the Sacred Congregation of Indulgences and Holy Relics, 
lately published by the special order of the Holy Father; Father Schneider s 
German edition of "Maurel on Indulgences," which has received the special 
approbation of the same Congregation; and a good article on the subject in the 
Irish Ecclesiastical Record for May, 1883. 



8o APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

the Sacred Congregation was consulted as to whether it was 
lawful to make Scapulars of an oval, round, or polygonal 
form, the response was, that no innovation should be made ; in 
other words, that the form heretofore in use should be retained 
as the only proper one. (Decree Aug. 18, 1868. Schneider, 
p. 686, No. 9.) 

As regards the material of which it is lawful to make Scapu 
lars, it must be woolen cloth ; cotton, or silk, or other material, 
is strictly forbidden; and it must be further remembered that 
by the word cloth is strictly meant woven cloth, so that if 
threads of wool were knit or worked with the needle into the 
form of a Scapular it would not do. (Same Decree.) In 
color the Scapular must be brown or black. The habit of the 
Carmelites, of which it is a symbol, is brown, and hence that 
has always been regarded as the proper color for the Scapular ; 
but it was maintained by some that the wool of a black sheep, 
inasmuch as it was the natural color of the wool, and not 
dyed, would also do. When the question was brought before 
the Sacred Congregation, it replied that the members of the 
Confraternity gained the indulgences although the color of 
the Scapular was not precisely brown, provided the color sub 
stituted for brown was something similar to it, or black. ( De 
cree Feb. 12, 1840. Schneider, p. 686, No. 8.) It is per 
mitted, although it is not necessary, to ornament Scapulars 
with needle-work, even though the ornamentation be of a 
different color from that of the Scapular ; nor need such orna 
ment be worked with woolen thread ; silk, or cotton, or thread 
of any other kind may be used. But it is essential that the 
necessary color of the Scapular should predominate. It is 
not necessary to work any image or picture on the Scapular; 
it may, however, be done if the color of the Scapular is left 
to predominate. (Decree Aug. 18, 1868. Schneider, p. 686, 
No. 12.) 

Who may be invested with the Scapular ? The Church not 
only permits, but wishes that all the faithful should enroll them 
selves among the devout servants of the Mother of Christ, as 
she wishes them to make use of all the other means of grace 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 81 

which in her liberality she places within their reach; hence all 
Catholics may be lawfully and validly invested with the Scapu 
lar, there being nothing in the Bulls or Briefs of the Sovereign 
Pontiffs to forbid it. Even infants who have not yet come 
to the use of reason may be invested ; and when they reach the 
years of discretion it is not necessary for them to be again 
invested, or to do anything more than simply comply with 
the necessary conditions for gaining the indulgences, and im 
mediately they will begin to reap these spiritual advantages. 
(Decree Aug. 29, 1864. Schneider, p. 685, No. i.) 

By whom can a person be invested? By a priest of the 
Carmelite Order, or by any other priest having the requisite 
faculties or powers. In this country it is customary for Bishops 
to give all their priests, among other faculties, that of invest 
ing with the Scapular. A priest who has power to invest others 
may also invest himself. (Decree March 7, 1840.) It is not 
absolutely necessary that a priest, invested with the Scapular, 
should use the formula found in the Ritual of the Carmelites ; 
he may use any other, provided it is substantially the same. 
(Decree Aug. 24, 1844.) But one priest cannot bless the 
Scapular and another invest a person with it ; the blessing and 
investing must both be done by the same person. (Decree 
June 1 6, 1872.) The practice which prevailed in some places, 
of giving blessed Scapulars to pious laymen for distribution 
among the faithful is also forbidden under penalty of for 
feiting all the graces and indulgences attached to the Scapular. 
The Scapular must be received from the hands of a priest 
duly authorized to invest with it the faithful under his charge. 
(Decree Sept. 18, 1862.) If the first enrolment was invalid 
for any reason whatever, such as the Scapular not being of 
the requisite material, or form, or both parts being at one 
end of the strings, it is not sufficient for the person, so in- 
validly enrolled to get a Scapular and have it blessed : he 
must be again invested as if he had never before gone through 
the ceremony at all, as the same Decree declares. 

As to the place and manner of being invested, a person may 
receive the Scapular in any becoming place ; and the sick may 



8a APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

receive it in their beds. It is not necessary for the person be 
ing invested to hold the Scapular in his hands : it suffices that 
it be placed near him ; nor is a lighted candle or incense needed. 
But the priest who invests must himself, under penalty of 
nullity, place the Scapular on the neck of the person whom he 
invests ; but when the first Scapular is worn out or lost, or got 
rid of in any other way, all that is necessary is for the person 
to get another Scapular properly made, and put it on without 
blessing or ceremony. When a number of persons are in 
vested at the same time, all the Scapulars may be blessed at 
once; but the form of investment must be repeated as each 
Scapular is placed on the neck of the person who is to wear it. 
(Schneider, pp. 686-688.) In case a number of persons are 
to be invested at the same time, and there are not enough 
Scapulars for all, the same one may be successively placed on 
several persons one after another ; they can then procure Scapu 
lars each for himself as soon as convenient ; but the first Scapu 
lar each wears must be duly blessed. (Decree Aug. 18, 1868.) 
It was formerly necessary that persons receiving the Scapular 
should have their names enrolled with the Carmelites at Rome ; 
but Pope Gregory XVI dispensed with this obligation April 
30, 1838, which dispensation was confirmed by a Decree of 
the Sacred Congregation of Sept. 17, 1845. If a person puts 
off his Scapular for a longer or shorter time, either through 
carelessness or out of contempt, and afterwards resolves to 
commence wearing it, it is not necessary for him to be newly 
invested : it is sufficient to put on the Scapular again and wear 
it, trusting in the mercy of God that he will again be made 
partaker of the graces attached to the Confraternity. ( Schneid 
er, p. 688, Nos. 22, 23.) 

What are the spiritual advantages of wearing the Scapular? 
First, let us understand what precisely is meant by wearing it ; 
for on this depends the participation in these spiritual favors. 
By wearing the Scapular, then, is meant that it be so adjusted 
that one part hangs on the breast and the other on the back, 
one of the strings passing over each shoulder. If both parts 
be carried on the breast, or both on the back, it is not wearing 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 83 

it at all, in the sense of the Church, and the person so doing 
will not be entitled to any of the graces or indulgences. Much 
less would a person be entitled to them who carried the Scapu 
lar in his pocket. To keep the Scapular about him at all 
might indeed be a sign of devotion to Mary, and of confidence in 
her protection, and as such would receive a fitting reward ; but 
it is not in any sense to be regarded as wearing the Scapular. 
It is not necessary, however, that the Scapular should be worn 
next the person ; it may be worn over or under any part of 
the clothing. Indeed, the religious who wear the large Scapu 
lar are accustomed, as we know, to have it outside their habit. 
(Schneider, p. 686, No. n.) 

The spiritual advantages of wearing the Scapular are five 
fold : those which are received during life ; those received at the 
approach of death ; those after death ; the Sabbatine Indulgence 
or privilege, and the other indulgences granted to those who 
wear the Scapular. Much of what I shall say on these points, 
it is but just to state, is taken almost verbatim from the Irish 
Ecclesiastical Record (1883, PP- 3 2 6-333) As regards the ad 
vantages that may be received during life, it is to be remarked 
that the members of any Confraternity of the Scapular are as 
sociated with the religious order represented by that particular 
Scapular ; which means that they participate in the fruit of all 
the good works of the religious belonging to such order; that 
is, in the fruit of their prayers, meditations, Masses, fasting, 
penances, alms, and all else that goes to form the spiritual 
treasures of the order. Now, the Brown Scapular represents 
the Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. But the devout 
wearers of this Scapular enjoy favors not granted to those who 
wear the other Scapulars ; for Popes Clement VII. and Clement 
X. declared that the associates participate in a special manner 
in the fruit not only of the spiritual works of the Carmelites, 
to whom they are united as a confraternity, but also in all the 
good done throughout the whole Catholic Church. The asso 
ciates of this Scapular have received, as we have seen, the 
promise of the Blessed Virgin, according to the revelation made 
to St. Simon Stock, to be adopted as her favorite and priv- 



84 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

ileged children, and to enjoy during life her special protection 
both for soul and body. 

The favors granted at the approach of death to those who 
devoutly wear the Scapular are that there is for them, like for 
those who wear the other Scapulars, a formula for a general ab 
solution at the moment of death, independent of the "Last 
Blessing," which all the faithful are privileged to receive in 
their departing hour. Persons wearing the Scapular are also 
encouraged to hope for the special assistance of the Mother of 
God at the point of death, as she promised St. Simon Stock : 
"He who dies clothed with this Scapular shall not suffer eternal 
fire." This is what is called the "privilege of preservation." It 
means that the Blessed Virgin, by her powerful intercession, 
will draw from the divine treasury in favor of the associates 
special graces to help the good to persevere to the end, and to 
move sinners to avail themselves of favorable opportunities of 
conversion before death seizes on them. This privilege may 
also mean that sometimes, owing to the influence of the Blessed 
Virgin, the hour of death is postponed, to give an associate who 
is in sin a further opportunity of conversion ; and writers add 
that this privilege may be sometimes exemplified in the case of 
obstinate and obdurate sinners, when God permits death to 
come upon them when they are not wearing the Scapular, either 
as the result of forethought, or from indifference or neglect." 

As regards the graces after death, "the deceased members 
of the Brown Scapular have a special share in the fruit of the 
daily prayers of the Order of the Carmelites, and of the Holy 
Sacrifice which they offer once a week, and occasionally at 
other times during the year, for the deceased Carmelites and 
associates of the Carmelite Confraternity." 

The meaning of the Sabbatine Indulgence is this : "The asso 
ciates of the Scapular of Carmel enjoy, on certain conditions, 
however, which we will mention later on, the remarkable priv 
ilege known as the privilege of deliverance, or the Sabbatine 
Indulgence. This privilege refers to, and is grounded on, the 
promise of the Blessed Virgin, made to Pope John XXII., to 
withdraw promptly from purgatory, and especially on the first 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 85 

Saturday after death, associates of the Scapular of Carmel. 
The account of this revelation Pope John XXII. embodied in 
his famous Bull Sacratissimo uti culmine, more commonly 
called the Sabbatine Bull, on account of the promise of deliv 
erance on the first Saturday after death. The genuineness of 
this Bull has been questioned on the ground of internal tokens 
of the absence of authenticity, and also because it is not found 
in the Roman Bullarium. It is, however, printed in the Bul- 
larium of the Carmelites and in many other works." It may 
further be said that Pope Benedict XIV. admits its authentic 
ity. Leaving the discussion of the authenticity of this Bull 
to others whom it concerns more directly, it is enough for us 
to know that the privilege of deliverance has been explained 
and sanctioned by succeeding Popes. Paul V., when giving 
permission to the Carmelite Fathers to preach this indulgence 
to the faithful, explains the nature of it in this way : The Car 
melite Fathers, he says, are allowed to preach that the people 
can believe that the Blessed Virgin will help, by her con 
tinual assistance, her merits, and her special protection 
after death, and particularly on Saturdays, the day con 
secrated by the Church to the Blessed Virgin, the souls 
of members of the Confraternity of Mount Carmel who have 
died in the grace of God, and who have in life worn her habit, 
observed chastity according to their state, and recited the Office 
of the Blessed Virgin, or, if they are not able to recite the 
Office, who have observed the fasts of the Church, and ab 
stained from meat on Wednesdays and Saturdays, except when 
Christmas falls on either of these days/ The Second Nocturn 
of the Office of the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, given 
in the Roman Breviary, speaks of this privilege in much the 
same language. We read in this Office : It is piously believed 
since her power and mercy have everywhere great efficacy, that 
the Most Blessed Virgin consoles with special maternal affec 
tion the associates of this Scapular, when detained in the fire 
of purgatory, who have practised certain light abstinence, re 
peated certain prescribed prayers, and observed chastity ac 
cording to their state in life; and that she will endeavor 



86 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

to bring them to heaven sooner than would otherwise 
happen/ 

To recapitulate. The conditions requisite for gaining these 
spiritual advantages are the following: To observe exactly 
what has been prescribed regarding the material, color, and 
form of the Scapular ; to receive it from a priest duly author 
ized to give it; and to wear it constantly in the manner pre 
scribed. The conditions just mentioned are the only ones 
prescribed for membership of this Scapular confraternity or 
association. No prayers are necessary, no special good works; 
in a word, no other condition. I must, however, except the 
special advantage of the "privilege of deliverance," or "Sab- 
batine Indulgence," for which the following conditions, in addi 
tion to those necessary for membership of the Confraternity, 
are required : i. Chastity according to one s state. 2. The daily 
recitation of the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin, as given 
in the Roman Breviary. Those who say the Canonical Office 
(the Office said by all priests) comply by means of it with this 
condition, even though the Office is already, as in the case of 
priests, a matter of obligation. For those who cannot read, 
this condition has been changed into abstinence from meat on 
Wednesdays and Saturdays. (Decree Feb. 12, 1840. Schneider, 
p. 689, No. 27.) 

Although the wearing of the Scapular, and the conditions 
prescribed for gaining the indulgences and other spiritual 
favors, do not, absolutely speaking, induce any new obligation 
binding upon conscience, yet the person invested with the 
Scapular who through his own indifference or neglect should 
fail to fulfil the obligations of the Confraternity could not be 
regarded as free from at least some venial fault before God. 
(Schneider, p. 689, No. 26.) To gain the plenary and partial 
indulgences that are granted in addition to the favors and 
graces already enumerated, it is necessary to fulfil the other 
conditions prescribed for each of these particular indulgences. 

When the Superior-General of the Carmelites was asked 
whether the laying aside of the Scapular for a day would forfeit 
the indulgences and other favors or not, he replied that, as one 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 87 

day was but a small part of the year, there was no reason why 
we should conclude that the indulgences would be forfeited. 
(Schneider, p. 688, No. 20.) 

I shall not give all the indulgences that are granted to those 
who devoutly wear the Scapular and comply with the special 
conditions upon which each is granted; but shall quote the 
words of the Irish Ecclesiastical Record: "It is no small ad 
vantage to have numerous indulgences specially granted on 
easy conditions in favor of those who wear the Scapular. These 
conditions vary a good deal, and to know exactly what are the 
conditions required for a particular indulgence, we must ex 
amine the terms of the grant, or consult some approved book 
on indulgences that treats of it. To illustrate what we say we 
will mention a few of the indulgences granted in favor of those 
who wear the Brown Scapular, with the conditions attached : 
(i.) A plenary indulgence on the day of receiving the Scapu 
lar. Conditions: Confession and Communion. (2.) Plenary 
indulgence at the moment of death. Conditions : Confession, 
Communion, and the devout invocation with the lips, or at 
least with the heart, of the Holy Name of Jesus. (3.) 100 
days indulgence. Conditions : Devout recital of the Office of 
the Blessed Virgin. Thus each indulgence is granted on cer 
tain conditions, which can be known with accuracy only by in 
vestigating the particular case." Schneider (p. 380) further 
states that, by a Decree of the Sacred Congregation of Indul 
gences, June 22, 1865, all Masses said for the repose of the 
souls of deceased members enjoy the advantage of a privileged 
altar ; that is, a plenary indulgence is gained for the souls for 
whose repose the Holy Sacrifice is celebrated. The same author 
gives all the other indulgences granted to the Scapular, and the 
conditions upon which they may be gained. 

The indulgences and other spiritual advantages granted to 
those who devoutly wear this livery of Mary, which have been 
placed before the reader in this article, are a sufficient exhorta 
tion and inducement to all to clothe themselves with it, and 
hence I shall not pause to make any other. 



88 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 



THE BROWN SCAPULAR 

Blessed badge of service sweet! 

Livery of a Sov reign fair! 
Sign of fealty complete! 

Pledge of fond maternal care! 

Dear to me thy fabric coarse, 
Fairer far thy hue of brown 

Than the rays of rainbow source 
Poisoned in a jewelled crown. 

With the sacred scenes of yore, 
Thou dost gift my spirit s view 

Dreams of royal robes that bore 
E en thy texture and thy hue; 

Dreams of Nazareth Eden fair- 
Home wherein the holy Three 

Dwelt afar from worldly care, 
In a sweet obscurity, 

There, beside the cottage door, 
Clad in woolen raiment dun, 

Mary, spinning, ponders o er 
Sayings of her Blessed Son. 

Scapular of Carmel blest! 

Wakened by the mystic name, 
Visions rise of verdant crest, 

Crowned with ring of holy flame 

Carmel s Mount! whereon abode 
One whose pure, prophetic gaze 

Saw, at midnght, skies that glowed 
With the wondrous morning blaze. 

Now to Faith s illumined age, 
Floats my soul in dreams adown, 

And I see a saintly sage, 
Clad in coarsest robe of brown 

Holy Simon! Mid his prayer, 
Shines a sweet ecstatic scene 

Lo! the Mother-Maiden fair! 
Lo! the bright, celestial Queen! 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 89 

See ! within her shining hand, 

Carmel s Scapular of brown! 
Hark! she decks her sweet command 

With a blessed promise-crown : 

"Give this pledge of peace divine 

To my subjects fond and true, 
Bid them wear my service-sign, 

Coarse of texture, brown of hue, 

"For a matchless boon it bears 

Tis my promise made to thee 
Who this badge devoutly wears 

With the blest his lot shall be." 

Blessed promise ! peerless boon ! 

Let me read its meaning right, 
Let me ne er its truth impugn, 

Let me ne er its treasure slight; 

Of the badge of service blest, 

Faithful bearer must I be 
On an ever loyal breast 

Wearing that sweet livery; 

Thus the promise shall not fail- 
Thus the treasures shall be mine 

Crown of light that cannot pale, 
Royal robe of peace divine. 

Ave Maria. 




APPARITION TO 

ST. CLARE V. [F. POOR CLARES] 
ASSISI, ITALY 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 9 



APPARITION 

TO 

ST. CLARE V. [F. POOR CLARES] 
ASSISI, ITALY 

1253 

Fair Queen of Virgins: thy pure band, 

The lilies round thy throne, 
Love the dear title which they bear 

Most that it is thine own. 

Adelaide A. Procter. 




T. CLARE was born at Assisi (a city in Italy), on 
the I4th of February, 1193. Her father was called 
Favorino Sciffo, and her mother Hortulana. They 
were distinguished for their high lineage, great 
fortune, and above all, for their Christian virtues. She mani 
fested, from her earliest years, exceeding great piety and 
charity for the poor. From the tenderest age she was accus 
tomed to repeat frequently in the day the Angelical Salutation, 
and she counted her prayers on little stones, that she carried 
about her, in imitation of the anchorets in the East. 

At that time there appeared in the world, a man chosen by 
God to do wonderful works. The reputation which this man 
had acquired by his virtues already rendered him celebrated 
throughout Italy. He came to Assisi, where he continued to 
perform the same prodigies for which he had been distin 
guished elsewhere. An exterior remarkable for austerity, and 
yet modest and simple a sweet-toned, modulated voice, affec 
tionate and conciliating manners, sustained occasionally by a 
rapid and bold eloquence, were the chiefest characteristics of 
this new missionary of truth. He was everywhere known by 
the name of Francis of Assisi. 

Clare, like everyone else, hastened to hear this wonderful 
man, who possessed such singular power over human heart. 



92 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

She saw him and heard him with that emotion which the nov 
elty of the spectacle was calculated to awaken. "Ah ! what a 
courageous man !" she exclaimed, in the first impulse of her 
surprise; "he preaches boldly, and openly practiseth, what I 
have been merely meditating. This, doubtless, is the man 
chosen by Providence to calm the agitations of my heart, and 
to mark out the way which I ought to follow. Aid me, O God !" 
she cried, "and do not abandon me to the bewilderment of my 
thoughts.* Subsequently, she had reason to know that her 
presentiments of the influence that Francis was destined to ex 
ercise over her were not vain conjectures. 

It is quite true that all Francis sermons harmonized ad 
mirably with Clare s thoughts, and they were, therefore, calcu 
lated to make the liveliest impression on her heart. Neverthe 
less, she distrusted herself ever since the first moment that she 
heard the man of God, and she likewise distrusted the first im 
pulse which his preaching communicated. Everything urged 
her to follow the rigid rule of penance and self-renunciation 
that he inculcated, but she would not act precipitately in an 
undertaking which, according to her own foresight, was 
destined to produce such great results on the whole tenor of her 
life. Knowing the merits and great piety of Bona Guelfucci, 
the most intimate of her earliest friends, and her kinswoman, 
she candidly revealed to her all the workings of her heart : 
"Oh !" she said to her in conversation, "how weak are we, 
compared to that man, whose heroism we have been admiring ! 
See how he tramples prejudices, see how he triumphs over 
human passions. But has this extraordinary man known the 
world in his youth? Is it since his infancy that he has allied 
himself to supernal wisdom ? His humility, mortifications, his 
entire renouncement of all that constitutes the charms of life 
is all this the result of education or of temperament? His 
mode of life astounds me ; everything in his conduct edifies me ; 
but I would wish to know his beginnings, that I might be able 
to decide the amount of confidence I ought to give him, and 
thus discover what I myself may come to be in the course of 
time," 




VIRGIN AND THE ANGELS 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 93 

No one was better fitted to enlighten Clare on these points 
than Bona Guelfucci. She had the good fortune to find in this 
kinswoman a person of profound judgment, who reported to 
her all that was then currently told of Francis, in fact, all that 
was said of him, day after day. 

"His father," quoth she, "was a wealthy man; being a 
merchant, he thought of nothing but amassing money. He gave 
his son a most excellent education; and Francis soon mani 
fested considerable passion for the vain amusements of the 
world, and worldly possession. It is true, that he was very so 
licitous about the distressed, and that he looked on money as 
a means of satisfying the disposition that was congenial to him. 
It is also true, that he loathed the gross passions which tyran 
nize over the soul, and plunge it in shame and remorse. Never 
theless, like most of the young people who are captivated by 
illusions, he adopted the profession of arms ; but he soon dis 
covered that of all pursuits this was the one least suited to his 
requirements. He experienced troubles and reverses ; he was 
made prisoner ; he fell sick ; he had time to meditate ; and the 
first consequence of his reflections was, a clear perception of 
the instability and nothingness of all things earthly and, fur 
thermore, a conviction that an entire change of life was 
necessary." 

"But how," asked Clare, "has it happened that Francis could 
so suddenly abandon the world, and embrace a life so unlike 
that which he was wont to lead?" 

"A soul touched by God," replied Bona Guelfucci, "soon sur 
mounts all difficulties. From the moment that Francis had be 
gun to taste the heavenly gift, he detached himself insensibly 
from all that agreeable society which has no other object in 
view save amusements. He then applied himself to trample on 
pride and its suggestions, abandoning himself publicly to the 
most humiliating practices. Nay, he triumphed over a squeam- 
ishness, which revolted him, whilst approaching a mendicant 
wretchedly clothed, and covered with sores. He did himself 
violence, that he might be able to familiarize himself with them, 
and embrace them. Nav, he dressed them with his own cloth- 



94 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

ing, and put on theirs. Once triumphant over these repug 
nances, Francis recognized all mankind as an assemblage of 
weak, wretched creatures, whom he should instruct and console. 
He repeated incessantly, that they were his brethren ; that they 
had but one common Father, who was in heaven ; and that 
all their energies should be employed to serve Him, and love 
one another. Such is an epitome of the man whom you desire 
to know ; the man who speaks to us with such powers, unction, 
and charity." 

Clare s interview with her kinswoman removed all her wav 
erings. Some youthful aberrations of Francis s life made him 
appear to her to be still more deserving of esteem. St. Clare 
had never exposed her irreproachable youth to the eyes of men, 
or to the illusions which dazzled Francis for the moment ; and 
and she concluded, that a man of his character, who did not re 
nounce the world till he had tested it, was eminently qualified 
to guide and sustain a soul that was still weak. She then at 
tended more diligently and assiduously the instructions that the 
man of God ordinarily pronounced in the Church of St. George, 
at Assisi, and each time she heard him she reproached herself 
with being so weak, and so attached to a world where we have 
no lengthened tenure, and where we must encounter so much 
misery and affliction, She could not imagine anything more 
just or noble for a thoughtful soul, than to consecrate itself 
entirely to the service of the great and everlasting God. Dur 
ing these moments, recollection and silence inflamed her de 
sires; from the depths of her heart she cried to Francis for 
succor. She yearned for him to hear her, and to be near her, 
that she might pour out her whole soul to him. As yet she 
had never had any particular conversation with him, although 
she was well aware of the advantages that must result from an 
interview, but she hoped to find the favorable opportunity in 
good time. 

This opportunity at length presented itself, and Clare had 
some interviews with the man of God. One day, when in com 
pany with her faithful companion, Bona Guelfucci, Francis 
spoke to them with such power, of the vanity of the world, of 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 95 

the shortness of life, and of the necessity of attaching one s 
self to the acquirement of heavenly goods, that Clare resolved 
to put an end to all incertitudes and to renounce the world. 
She arranged with Francis as to the day on which she would 
put on the penitential habit. The ceremony was appointed for 
the I Qth of March, the day after Palm Sunday. Clare resolved 
to assist at the distribution of the palms, to receive hers from 
the hands of the Bishop, and next day retire to the convent of 
Portiuncula. 

On Sunday Clare arrayed herself in her richest robes and. 
accompanied by her mother and sisters, presented herself in 
the principal church of Assisi, where she devoutly assisted at 
the solemnity. Wholly absorbed in meditating the grand mys 
teries of the Church, and pondering deeply on the important 
step she was about to take on the next day, she forgot to go 
along with the crowd to receive her palm from the celebrant. 
The Bishop, perceiving this, went himself to present the palm 
to the young maiden. She received this mark of respect with 
mingled joy and surprise. Penetrated with the most lively 
gratitude, she remembered what Francis had said to her a few 
days before, and she looked on the palm, given her by the 
Bishop, as a sure pledge of the victory that she was about to 
obtain over the world : and she soon had need of all her courage 
and strength. 

Although Clare s parents lived in the fear of God, they were 
far from wishing that their daughter should abandon them for 
ever, to go and bury herself in a cloister. Clare, to her high 
lineage, added the attractions of wealth and rare beauty. The 
most distinguished men in the province knew that, in aspiring 
to Clare s hand, they were sure of finding the most eligible ad 
vantages ; and her father and mother seemed disposed to make 
their choice. They observed that for some time back their 
daughter had become more serious, and that she went often to 
Portiuncula to consult Francis. Little did they dream that she 
was about to be his proselyte. Far otherwise ; they believed 
that none but privileged souls could walk in the footsteps of 
the Saint; and their human affection for their child led them 



96 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

to conjecture that God did not call her to such an extraordinary 
life, which must separate them forever. Clare, on her part, had 
long sought to prepare them for this separation. From time to 
time she spoke to them of the advantage of solitary life, of the 
happiness o>f a soul that spurns all earth s pleasures, in order to 
serve God ; and as often did she convince them that there is no 
real happiness for a Christian who knows his religion, save in 
the performance of its duties. But these ingenious conversa 
tions did not fully reveal her secret. Perhaps she dreaded to be 
more explicit, lest they would render her unable to carry out 
her design. She knew the hot temper of her father, who, albeit 
a religious man, was nevertheless one of those who shrink from 
going too close to perfection : but whilst indulging the fastidi 
ousness of her parents, she was not the less determined on mak 
ing the sacrifice promptly, and she was now on the eve of 
consummating it. 

In compliance, therefore, with the arrangement made with 
St. Francis, she left her home on the Monday after Palm Sun 
day, which was the i8th of March, 1212. In the morning-time 
she quitted the paternal roof. That day was the happiest of her 
life, for it beheld her entering the monastery of Portiuncula, 
where Francis and his religious awaited her. They all came 
to the gate to meet her, singing the hymn, "Veni, Sancte Spir- 
itus." Clare advanced with a firm step to the altar of the 
Blessed Virgin ; and there prostrate, and with head bent to the 
floor, she begged humbly all those external signs that were to 
distinguish a penitent who had vowed to spend all her days 
in the shadow of the sanctuary and in evangelical mortifications. 

Francis remained silent for a few moments, and than turning 
to the young maiden, explained to her the advantages and ob 
ligations of the new state which she had chosen to embrace. In 
a few words he told her that she had voluntarily resigned the 
wealth and comforts which the people of the world must resign 
in spite of themselves ; that the peace of the soul, which she was 
about to gain by her sacrifice, was far more desirable than the 
tumultuous pleasures which the world provides, which fleet 
away rapidly, and which always leave behind them in the 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 97 

heart s depths bitterness and sorrow. He gave her to under 
stand that the God to whom she consecrated herself was faith 
ful to his promises, magnificent in his rewards, and that he 
often gave back, even in this world, more than he had received 
thus, as it were, anticipating that ineffable crown of glory 
which he bestows in heaven on those whose energies were de 
voted to him whilst here below. 

Clare knew the truth of these words, and she had already 
begun to taste the interior sweetness which follows such a sac 
rifice as hers. The young maiden then cast away from her, 
with her own hand, the vain ornaments that covered her head. 
Then St. Francis cut off her hair, and gave her the penitential 
robe, which was nothing else than a sort of sack, which she 
fastened to her body with a cord. She was at this period nine 
teen years of age. As St. Francis had not as yet any nuns of 
his Order he sent her to the Benedictine monastery of St. Paul, 
where she was received with great marks of affection. The 
Poor Clares date from this epoch the foundation of their Order. 

Clare s retirement, and all the circumstances that accom 
panied it extraordinary as the whole proceeding was could 
not but make a great impression in Assisi. The world the 
would-be wise of the period, who judge events only according 
to their prejudices regarded the act of this young maiden as 
an inexcusable imprudence ; and they characterized it further 
as the result of a weak mind, which had suffered itself to be 
overborne by the vehement harangues of an enthusiast. Her 
parents knew not what to think. They determined, however, 
at all risk, to tear her from the monastery where she had been 
located. They flattered themselves that threats and promises 
would shake the resolution of the young proselyte, who as yet 
had not had time to confirm herself in her state, and that by 
such means they would once more see her under the ancestral 
roof. 

They proceeded, therefore, to the monastery ; they demanded 
to see and speak to the young religious, who did not doubt that 
every species of attempt would be made to remove her. She 
was not disconcerted. She appeared before her parents with 



98 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

an expression so satisfied and so decided, that they were 
astounded. 

Hortulana, her mother, was the first to arrive. Her address 
to her child was friendly and pathetic, the only style of address 
that was likely to affect her. "You leave us, my child," she 
commenced, "precisely at the moment when you could requite 
us for all the cares we have bestowed on your infancy, and 
console the infirmities and reverses which time and events al 
ways bring on declining years. Have I been a cruel mother to 
thee ? Daughter, you know how I loved thee ! Thou wert my 
consolation and joy. In thee I centered all my most treasured 
hopes, and now you abandon me without warning. In the 
night time, I may say, thou didst fly from me. Thou hast 
quitted the tenderest of mothers to bury thyself in dark seclu 
sion; to dwell amongst persons of all ages, of all characters; 
and, above all, amongst those whom thou knowest not. Daugh 
ter, if a mother s voice can yet persuade thee, surely thou wilt 
return with me, instead of precipitating, by obstinate perse 
verance, the death of her who gave thee life." 

Clare was too sensitive not to be affected by her mother s 
appeal. Tears flowed down her cheeks, and they were her 
only answer. Resuming the serenity of her character, she re 
vealed her feelings, and gave her mother to understand the 
motives which had determined her. " Tis true," said she, 
"that I have left you ; but I have left you for the King of kings ; 
the best of fathers ; for the God who died for me. This God, 
ah ! so little known in this age, is worthy of my services. He 
has deigned to speak to my heart ; he has supported my weak 
ness. I am astonished myself at the courage he imparted to me 
to shatter all the ties that bound me to you ; but these ties are 
not entirely broken ; religion does not destroy our natural feel 
ings, it only perfects and sanctifies them. I will always love you 
as I ought. The ardour and sincerity of my prayer seem to 
promise that I may yet be useful to you ; that we shall not be 
separated for ever; and that, perhaps, the moment for our 
re-union is not so far off as you might be led to imagine." 

This language of moderation and gentleness somewhat 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 99 

calmed Hortulana s chagrin, whilst it only intensified that of 
Favorino. He told his daughter that her mystic language 
pleased him not ; that he did not comprehend it ; that her con 
duct dishonored her family, and that he would never consent 
to her burying herself in a cloister; that if the indulgent and 
confiding conduct of her mother had favored her absconding, 
he knew how to take means to compel her to return. At this 
moment he grew excited ; rushed at her ; and was about to tear 
her from the midst of the religious who surrounded her, when 
she appealed to him thus: "What wouldst thou, my father? 
Profane not, I conjure thee, this asylum of peace, by menaces 
or violence. This is the home to which God has called me, and 
I have already broken all the ties that bound me to the world." 
She then showed him her shorn head, which was the first sign 
of her self-dedication to religion; then, casting herself at his 
knees, and holding by the corner of the altar, she exclaimed, 
"No, Lord, I will never abandon Thee ; the efforts of the world 
and hell shall be unavailing. I wish not to live, save for Thee 
alone." Clare s generous resistance disconcerted her parents 
and, downcast by the failure of their attempts, they retired to 
plan some new scheme for the attainment of their object. They 
soon had recourse to other devices. They employed their rela 
tives, and other persons remarkable for their position and vir 
tues, but all was useless, and the young religious continued 
unshaken. Calmly and contentedly she pursued the course 
which she so courageously opened to herself. 

After this, St. Francis removed her to the monastery of 
St. Angelo de Panso, situated in the vicinity of Assisi ; and this 
monastery belonged to the Order of St. Benedict. Her sister 
Agnes came to join her here, and subjected herself to the same 
discipline. The parents persecutions were now renewed 
against the two sisters, but their constancy triumphed, and 
Francis gave the habit to Allies, who was now only fourteen 
years of age. He placed the two sisters in a small house con 
tiguous to the Church of St. Damian ; and he appointed Clare 
superioress of the young monastery. 

Doubtless, it was owing to the prayers of the Saint that 



ioo APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

Hortulana, her mother, and many other female members of 
her family, subsequently embraced, along with the two sisters, 
all their penitential austerities. 

The community soon reckoned sixteen members, three of 
whom belonged to the illustrious house of the Ubaldini of 
Florence. Even princesses found more happiness in the pov 
erty of Clare than they had ever known in their grand posses 
sions, pleasures and mundane honors. In a few years the new 
Order made rapid increases. It had monasteries at Perugia, 
Arezzo, Padua, Rome, Venice, Mantua, Bologna, Spoleto, 
Milan, Siena, Pisa, and in all the principal cities of Germany. 
Agnes, daughter of the King of Bohemia, founded one in 
Prague, and there she became a religious. 

St. Clare and her community practised austerities which 
hitherto had been unknown to their sex. They went bare 
foot, kept perpetual abstinence, and never spoke, except when 
necessity or charity obliged them. Not content with prac 
tising general mortifications, Clare wore sackcloth, and fasted 
almost throughout the whole year. She passed part of the 
night in prayer ; and often would this tenderly-reared lady, who 
had slept on a rich couch beneath the paternal roof, use no other 
bed than a few branches scattered on the floor, and the trunk 
of a tree for a pillow. 

Such austerities so weakened her health, that St. Francis, 
and the Bishop of Assisi, compelled her to lie down on a 
wretched bed, and never to allow a day to pass without taking 
some refreshment. Notwithstanding this extraordinary love 
of penance, none ever saw anything like gloom or sadness about 
her; on the contrary, her features were cheerful and serene, 
and this proved what happiness she derived from her morti 
fications. 

St. Francis desired that her Order should be principally based 
on poverty ; he therefore determined that the community should 
subsist on whatsoever the charity of the faithful gave them. 
He ruled, moreover, that they should have no fixed income. 
St. Clare was always animated by the same spirit, and her love 
of poverty was most admirable. A very great property having 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 101 

lapsed to her at her father s decease, she distributed all to the 
poor, and retained nothing for her monastery. When Pope 
Gregory IX. was about to introduce some modification into the 
rule regarding poverty, and when he was about to endow the 
monastery of St. Damian, she conjured him, in the most ef 
fective manner, to make no change whatsoever in their obliga 
tion, and the Pope acquiesced in her desire. The other religi 
ous bodies memorialled Innocent IV. to allow them to possess 
some property, and at the same period Clare implored this Pon 
tiff to sanction the evangelical poverty observed in her Order. 
This prayer was granted in 1251. Innocent IV. wrote the Bull 
with his own hand, and moistened it with his tears. Clare s 
humility kept pace wth her love of poverty ; although superior 
ess, she claimed no exemption ; all her ambition was to be the 
servant of the servants of God ; she washed the feet of the lay 
sisters when they returned from questing; she served at table 
and attended to the sick, even when afflicted by the most nause 
ating maladies. Always first to rise in the morning, she imme 
diately repaired to the choir to prepare everything for the divine 
office. Always rapt in prayer, she arose from her knees with 
features glowing with the heavenly fires that consumed her 
soul ; and then her language possessed an unction and energy 
that kindled a heavenly warmth in the hearts of all those to 
whom she spoke. 

The peace and tranquillity enjoyed by the religious in the 
Convent of St. Damian, under the government of their superi 
oress, caused them to be respected and cherished more and 
more; but God was pleased, at this moment, to permit one of 
those extraordinary events, which augmented the veneration 
in which our Saint was held, and which rendered her so cele 
brated as to become a pillar of strength, not only for her com 
munity, but furthermore, for her country, and for all Italy. 

The Emperor Frederic II. had been ravaging the valley of 
Spoleto, which belonged to the Holy See. His army was chiefly 
composed of Saracens and other infidels. He flung into this 
part of Italy twenty thousand enemies of the Church. These 
barbarians, thirsting for pillage and carnage, laid siege to 



102 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

Assisi; they attacked the Convent of St. Damian, which was 
outside the walls; and a soldier was in the act of scaling the 
walls of the convent, when the companions of Clare, alarmed 
by the danger that menaced them, began to invoke Heaven, 
and ran to the arms of their mother, there to find protection 
against the fury of their assailants. Clare, confiding in the 
mercies of Heaven, calmed the fears of her trembling com 
munity, and then addressed her God in the following prayer : 
"Surely, Lord, thou hast not brought together so many inno 
cent victims into thy sanctuary in order that they might become 
the spoil of the impious? Thou wouldst not have supported 
us to this day; thou wouldst not have heap?d so many blessings 
on us, that we might be trodden under foot, or that we might 
perish in the most frightful manner in a manner so incom 
patible with the condition of virgins consecrated to thy service ? 
. . . No, Lord, I hope in thee, thou wilt not permit that 
our souls, which live for thee, should perish under the swords 
of those who blaspheme thy holy name." Her prayer ended, 
a gentle voice seemed to say to her: "Thou shalt always be 
under my protection." Sick as she was, she then proceeded 
to the gate of the monastery, and caused the ciborium, contain 
ing the Holy Sacrament, to be carried before her ; calmly and 
recollectedly she braved the fury of the enemy, whilst she dis 
played before the infidel s eyes Him in whom she had placed 
her hope and salvation. Thus did the Lord prove to her that 
it costs Him no trouble to operate miracles in favor of those 
who place their confidence in Him. No sooner had those fero 
cious men beheld Clare, surrounded by all these august circum 
stances, than they were seized with a sudden terror ; an invisible 
power agitated and confounded them; they abandoned the 
monastery and town, and dispersed and fled in such hot haste, 
that many of them were dangerously wounded. 

The storm was dissipated for the while, but not for any 
lengthened period. Some years afterwards Frederic com 
menced his spoliations in the Duchy of Spoleto. Assisi was 
besieged again. Clare then assembled her religious, and told 
them that as they depended on the town for their sustenance 



HEAVENS BRIGHT QUEEN 103 

they should assist it by all means in their power, now that it 
was in a direful extremity. She told them to humble them 
selves before our Lord, and to pray him to rescue their fellow- 
citizens. For an entire day and night they wept and prayed, 
and, at last, obtained their request. The enemy suddenly al 
tered his plans, raised the siege, and returned without doing 
any mischief. Soon afterwards their general, who was a cruel 
and proud man, lost his life. 

Like St. Francis, Clare had a tender devotion for the myster 
ies of the birth and passion of our Lord. She never meditated 
the sufferings of the Son of God without shedding tears, and 
experiencing the liveliest emotions of the divine love. Some 
times, when surrounded by the sisterhood, she would take up 
the crucifix and discourse to them on all the advantages they 
could derive from deep recollectedness in presence of that holy 
object. "Sisters," she would say to them, "behold the super 
abundant treasure out of which I take all that I require. If 
I be downcast or feeble, the cross strengthens and supports me ; 
if I am perplexed, it clears up my doublings; if I suffer, it 
reanimates and encourages me; if I am afflicted, if I weep, it 
is the Cross that dries my tears, and consoles me. In darkness 
it is my light; in despair and terror it is my hope and my sup 
port; in sickness and sorrow it sweetens my tribulations and 
shortens my sufferings. Oh ! how I hope when on my death 
bed that this holy sign will defend me against my invisible 
enemies; and that when I stand before my Judge, it may be 
my consolation and my joy." 

Behold what happened a few days before her death. The 
Merciful Mother, accompanied by a multitude of virgins in 
snow-white dresses and wearing splendid crowns of gold on 
their heads, came to visit her. The glorious Virgin herself was 
among them as an empress, with an imperial diadem resplendent 
with precious stones. From her countenance issued such 
splendor that it outshone the sun s. Thus clothed in glory she 
approached the humble servant of God, folded her in her arms, 
and most lovingly pressed her to her bosom and, giving her 
the holy kiss of peace, she filled her heart with a strength and 



104 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

a consolation wholly celestial. All the virgins who accom 
panied her surrounded the bed of the dying Saint, and spread 
on it a golden cover, as being the couch of the Spouse who was 
soon to come and visit His beloved to lead her to heaven. 

At length, Clare s illness seized her, and when her com 
munity exhorted her to bear her sufferings resignedly, she an 
swered: "I have never tasted the bitterness of the Lord s 
chalice. In all my life I have never found anything to afflict 
me. Whosoever loveth God can turn pain into sweetest pleas 
ure." The Sovereign Pontiff, learning that she was approach 
ing her earthly term, made a journey from Perugia to Assisi, 
to see her. He conversed with her, and retired after deriving 
much benefit from this spiritual interview. After giving her 
the absolution of all her sins, he withdrew, saying: "A happy 
man were I if my soul were so pure in the eyes of God as 
that of this holy maiden. . . ." 

Clare, encircled by her dear sisterhood, recommended them 
to love poverty, then blessed them in the name of God, and as 
sured them that they should never be deserted by her. 

After remaining, for some time, to all appearances dead, 
these last words were heard falling from her lips : "Fear not, 
my soul, He whom thou hast served accompanies thee. What 
dost thou await? He who created thee has had pity on thee. 
He has always loved thee with a love tenderer than that of a 
mother for her child. Blessed forever be thou, my God, who 
hast sustained me in all the circumstances of my life." She 
then grasped the crucifix, and pressing it to her lips, expired. 
Her death took place August nth, A.D. 1253. She was in the 
sixtieth year of her age, and the forty-second of her religious 
profession. 

Surrounded by thousands, she was buried on the day follow 
ing. Myriads pressed to the body of her whom every one re 
garded as a Saint. Pope Innocent IV. assisted at her obsequies 
with many cardinals. Alexander IV. canonized her in 1255, 
i.e., two years afterward. 

Five years after her death her body was solemnly translated 
from the Church of St. Damian to the new monastery that has 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 105 

been built within the walls of the city, by the Pope s command. 
The church that bears her name was erected in 1265. Pope 
Clement V. consecrated the grand altar, under the invocation 
of the Saint, and her relics are there even to this day. 

The Order of St. Clare, which increased greatly during the 
life of the Saint, spread itself widely after her decease. A 
great number of convents of this Order exist in almost every 
part of the world. 

PRAISE TO THE BLESSED SACRAMENT* 

Clear vault of heaven serenely blue, 
How many stars come shining through 

Thy azure depths? 
Beyond all count are they, 
Praised be the Blessed Sacrament, 

As many times a day. 

Fair world, the work of God s right hand, 
How many are the grains of sand, 

In all thy fame? 
Beyond all count are they, 
Praised be the Blessed Sacrament, 

As many times a day. 

Green meadows, wide as eye can see, 
How many o er thy sward may be, 

The blades of grass? 
Beyond all count are they, 
Praised be the Blessed Sacrament, 

As many times a day. 

Ye groves and gardens, rich and fair, 
What countless harvests do you bear; 

Of fruit and flowers? 
Beyond all count are they, 
Praised be the Blessed Sacrament, 

As many times a day. 



*In the house of Madame Swetchine in the Rue St. Dominique, Paris, was a 
"beautiful private chapel, which was adorned with a multitude of precious stones 
from the Russian mines, gleaming around the ineffable presence of the Divinity. 
Mary, too, was there. On the base of her silver statue was her monogram in 
diamonds, which Madame Swetchine had worn as lady of honor to the Empress 
Mary of Russia." 



io6 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

Great ocean, boundless, uncontrolled, 
How many do thy waters hold, 

Of briny drops? 
Beyond all count are they, 
Praised be the Blessed Sacrament, 

As many times a day. 

High Sun, of all things centre bright, 
How\many are the rays of light, 

That from thee dart? 
Beyond all count are they, 
Praised be the Blessed Sacrament, 

As many times a day. 

Eternity! oh! rest sublime, 
How many moments of our time, 

Are in thy length? 
Beyond all count are they, 
Praised be the Blessed Sacrament, 

As many times a day. 

Madame Swetchine. 



PRAYER "PIETATE TUA" 

Loosen, O Lord, we pray Thee, in Thy pity, the bonds of 
our sins, and by the intercession of the Blessed Mary, ever 
Virgin Mother of God, the blessed Apostles, Peter and Paul, 
and all Saints, keep us, Thy servants, and our abodes in all 
holiness ; cleanse us, our relations, kinsfolk, and acquaintances, 
from all vices ; adorn us with all virtues ; grant to us peace and 
health ; repel our enemies visible and invisible ; curb our carnal 
desires ; grant us healthful seasons ; bestow Thy charity upon 
our friends and our enemies ; guard Thy holy city ; preserve our 
Sovereign Pontiff Leo XIII., and defend all prelates, princes, 
and Christian people from all adversity. Let Thy blessing be 
ever upon us, and grant to all the faithful departed eternal rest. 
Through Christ our Lord. Amen. 

40 days. loo years and as many quarantines, if said every 
Saturday for a month. 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 107 



APPARITION 

TO 

ST. PETER CELESTINE 
AQUILA, ITALY 

1275 

Oh, Maid divine! beholding in thy Son, 
Life more divine, though first from thee begun; 
Earth s loveliest art thou, wearing on thy brow 
The thought of something lovelier still than thou. 

Edward IV. Mason. 




S a child, Peter had visions of Our Blessed Lady, 
and of the angels and Saints. They encouraged 
him in his prayers, and chided him when he fell 
into any fault. His mother, though only a poor 
widow, sent him to school, feeling sure that he would one day 
be a Saint. At the age of twenty, he left his home in Aquila 
to live in a mountain solitude. Here he spent three years as 
saulted by the evil spirits and beset with temptations of the 
flesh, but consoled by angels visits. After this, his seclusion 
was invaded by disciples, who refused to be sent away; and 
the rule of life which he gave them formed the foundation of 
the Celestine Order. Angels assisted in the church which Peter 
built; unseen bells rang peals of surpassing sweetness, and 
heavenly music rilled the sanctuary, when he offered the Holy 
Sacrifice. Suddenly he found himself torn from his loved 
solitude by his election to the Papal throne. Resistance was 
of no avail. He took the name of Celestine, to remind him of 
the heaven he was leaving and for which he sighed, and was 
consecrated at Aquila. After a reign of four months, Peter 
summoned the cardinals to his presence, and solemnly resigned 
his trust. St. Peter built himself a boarded cell in his palace, 
and there continued his hermit s life; and when, lest his sim 
plicity might be taken advantage of to distract the peace of the 






io8 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

Church, he was put under guard, he said: "I desired nothing 
but a cell, and a cell they have given me." There he enjoyed 
his former loving intimacy with the Saints and angels, and 
sang the Divine praises almost continually. At length on 
Whit Sunday, he told his guards he should die within the week, 
and immediately fell ill. He received the last Sacraments ; and 
the following Saturday, as he finished the concluding verse of 
Lauds, "Let every spirit bless the Lord!" he closed his eyes 
to this world and opened them to the vision of God, A.D. 1296. 



MARY 

Mary! a name too pure for mortal lips, 
First borrowed from the songs of heaven 
Or language of the Seraphim, 
It stirs the soul, yet soothes our fears 
Oh, Mary! who, in joy or tears, 
While onward o er the surges driven, 
Hath e er unaided, called on thee, 
Thou star of life s tempestuous sea ! 
Sweet name of power and Virgin love, 
Fair as the spotless heavens above, 
Bright as the wave beneath the Sun, 
Pure as the cloudless diamond. 

Rev. F, Geramb.Trappist. 




HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 



109 



APPARITION 

TO 

ST. AGNES OF MONTE PULCIANO, 

V. O. S. D. 
MONTE PULCIANO, ITALY 

1277 

Saint Agnes, bright gem in the grand Court of Heaven, 

Whose jewelled gates glisten with jasper and gold; 
What words to the children of earth have been given 

To speak of thy worth, of thy glory untold? 
What pearl could compare with thy pure soul so holy? 

What ruby s rich depths with thy heart s fervent love? 
What amethyst s glow with thy meek life so lowly? 

What diamond with thy dazzling beauty above? 

Eliza M. Bulger. 




AINT AGNES was born of virtuous parents in the 
vicinity of Monte Pulciano, in Tuscany, in the 
year 1268. Extraordinary signs and a piety far 
beyond her years presaged what this child was one 
day to become. Whilst very young, she succeeded in extorting 
from her parents permission to enter an exceedingly austere 
convent. After a few years she was sent to assist in the founda 
tion of another convent for the education of young girls at 
Porcena, of which she became Abbess, in virtue of a special 
dispensation from the Holy See, when only fifteen. She led 
a life of continual prayer and rigid penance; and God vouch 
safed to show how pleasing she was in His sight by many signs 
and wonders. Flowers of exquisite fragrance and beauty 
would spring up on the spot where she had prayed; showers 
of manna, in the shape of little white crosses, would fall upon 
her in the presence of a crowd of witnesses ; she was favored 
by frequent visions, and ten times received Holy Communion 
from an angel s hand. So great was the poverty of her con 
vent that money and provisions often failed; in these circum- 



i io APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

stances the wants of the community were sometimes supplied 
by miracle. 

After seventeen years spent at Porcena, the inhabitants of 
Monte Pulciano entreated Saint Agnes to found a convent 
within their w r alls. She had recourse to prayer in order to as 
certain the will of God, and, as she prayed, a wonderful vision 
was granted her. She seemed to herself to be standing on the 
seashore, and three large and splendidly equipped boats floated 
on the waters before her. In one of these stood St. Augustine, 
St. Francis was in another, whilst on the prow of the third, 
she beheld St. Dominic. Each of the three Saints pressingly 
invited her to his boat, especially St. Francis, who alleged the 
resemblance of the habit she then w T ore with that of his daugh 
ters, the Poor Clares. After a long dispute, St. Dominic said 
to his two companions : "It will not be as you desire ; the Lord 
has disposed that Agnes should embark on my boat." So say 
ing, he drew her on board, and immediately a heavenly messen 
ger stood beside the Saint and made known to her that she 
was to establish a community of virgins, as desired, at Monte 
Pulciano, on a hill which had hitherto been the resort of women 
of evil life, and that her daughters were to take the habit and 
follow the rule of St. Dominic. 

This was accordingly done, and the Saint governed the new 
Community with the same wisdom and sweetness with which 
she had formerly ruled at Porcena, and was favored with the 
like demonstrations of God s watchful providence. Whilst at 
Porceno, Our Blessed Lady one day appeared to her and placed 
the Divine Infant in her arms. Before restoring Him to His 
Mother, the Saint had possessed herself of a little cross which 
was suspended from His neck by a slender thread. This treas 
ure she had left behind her on going to Monte Pulciano, and 
she wrote to claim it. The Community at Porcena, who were 
in great grief at losing their holy Abbess, absolutely refused 
to give up the cross; whereupon the Saint betook herself to 
prayer, and it was immediately brought to her by an angel. 

When the end of her earthly pilgrimage drew near, she was 
granted a Divine warning of the sufferings which awaited her 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN m 

as a final purification before receiving her crown. One Sun 
day, at daybreak, as she was allowing herself a little rest after 
prayer, it seemed to her that an angel took her by the hand and, 
leading her under an olive-tree, as though to remind her of 
Our Lord s agony in Gethsemane, presented her with a 
chalice containing an exceedingly bitter draught. "Drink this 
chalice, Spouse of Christ," said the angelic visitant ; "the Lord 
Jesus drank it for thee." The servant of God eagerly obeyed 
for the love of her Divine Bridegroom ; but, before she had 
drained the cup, the vision disappeared and she found herself 
once more in her cell. This vision was repeated on nine con 
secutive Sundays, and soon afterwards the Saint was attacked 
by the long and painful illness which brought her to the grave. 
In compliance with the wishes of her sisters, she sought 
relief by going to some medicinal springs at a short distance 
from the convent. There Our Lord was pleased to honor His 
faithful Spouse by many prodigies. A miraculous hot water 
spring gushed forth which afterwards bore her name, and was 
found far more health-giving than any of the former springs. 
Finding she derived no benefit from the baths, she returned 
to her convent, which she had been very unwilling to quit. As 
she lay stretched on her bed of suffering, her spiritual children 
knelt around her, weeping over their approaching loss. "If 
you loved me," she said to them with a sweet smile, "you 
would rejoice, because I am about to enter into the joy of my 
Spouse. Be not afflicted beyond measure at my departure 
hence; from heaven I shall not lose sight of you; I shall be 
your mother, your companion, and your sister whenever you 
call upon me in your wants." Her last words were : "I go to 
Him who is my only hope." Her holy and happy death, which 
was followed by many wonders, took place on the 2Oth of 
April, A.D. 1317. Her life was written by blessed Raymund 
of Capua, who became confessor to the community some fifty 
years after her death. Readers of the life of St. Catherine 
of Siena will be familiar with the wonders which accompanied 
the visit of that Saint to the tomb of St. Agnes, and with the 
revelation made to her that the two were to enjoy a like glory 



ii2 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

in heaven. St. Agnes was canonized by Benedict XIII., A.D. 
1726. 

Our Lord deigned to say to St. Catherine of Siena: If thou 
ask Me, Why didst Thou keep that sweet virgin St. Agnes in 
such want? I should reply, that I did this that I might sat 
isfy her by My providence ; for having been three days without 
bread, she said to Me : My Father and Lord, hast Thou taken 
these daughters out of their father s home to starve ? Provide, O 
Lord, for them. Then I inspired a creature to take her five 
small loaves. They sat down to table, and I gave her so much 
virtue in breaking the bread that they were all fully satisfied, 
and it sufficed them a second time." 

St. Agnes asked in faith, and her prayers were always 
granted. Ours are often unheard, because we doubt if God 
will hear them. 

"We ought to be persuaded that what God refuses to our 
prayer He grants to our salvation." St. Augustine. 

"Therefore I say unto you, all things whatsover you ask 
when ye pray, believe that you shall receive; and they shall 
come unto you." Mark xi, 24. 



PRAYER TO THE MADONNA 

Thou potent star of ocean s gloomy deeps, 
That ceaseless vigil o er our voyage keeps, 
Shine on our lives in splendor ever clear, 
Mother of Christ, thy suppliants deign to hear. 

Thou snow-white bud in God s fair garden grown, 
Thou Sharon Rose in fullest beauty blown; 
Into our hearts thy sweet perfume distill, 
And make us, Mary, do thy holy will. 

Of maids and mothers thou supreme and blest, 
In whose chaste womb the Child Divine found rest ; 
Have gracious mercy on the dead we love, 
And bring them quickly to thy realm above. 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 113 

Our hearts are sad, fond mother, be our friend; 
Our lives are lone, thy hand consoling lend; 
The path has pitfalls, Mary, be our guide, 
Curb thou our senses and put down our pride. 

Our sins are many, Virgin, make them few, 
Our souls are stained, their spotless robes renew, 
Cursed Satan for us hath spread many a snare, 
Preserve us, Mary; Mother, hear our prayer. 
Rev. Henry A. Brann, D. D., Rector St. Agnes Church, N. Y. 



AN EFFICACIOUS PRAYER 

O St. Joseph, father and protector of virgins, faithful guar 
dian to whom God confided Jesus, Innocence itself, and Mary, 
the Virgin of virgins, oh! I entreat and conjure you by Jesus 
and Mary, by this double charge which was so dear to you, 
obtain for me that, preserved from all stain, innocent in my 
thoughts, pure in heart, and chaste in body, I may constantly 
serve Jesus and Mary in perfect charity. Amen. 
loo days Indulgence. 

My loving Jesus, I give Thee my heart, I consecrate myself 
wholly to Thee out of the grateful love I bear Thee, and as a 
reparation for all my unfaithfulness to grace, and with Thine 
aid I purpose never to sin again. 

too days Indulgence, once a day. Plenary once a month if 
said daily. 



TO JESUS CRUCIFIED 

O Lord Jesus! by that bitterness which Thou didst suffer 
for me on the Cross, chiefly when Thy blessed Soul was sep 
arated from Thy body, have mercy on my soul, now and at its 
departure from this world, that it may be admitted to life 
eternal. 

An Indulgence of seven years after Holy Communion. 



APPARITION TO 

ST. MECHTILDE, V. AB. O.S.B. 

HELDELFS, GERMANY 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 



APPARITION 

TO 

ST. MECHTILDE, V. AB. O.S.B. 
HELDELFS, GERMANY 

1293 

Wonderful, beautiful, 
Tender and dutiful, 

Holiest Maid; 
Joyfully, gratefully, 
All that belongs to me, 
Body and soul, at thy feet I have laid. 

Cardinal von Geissel. 

WO holy sisters, SS. Gertrude and Mechtilde, were 
Countesses of Hackuborn, and cousins of the Em 
peror Frederick II. Mechtilde was born in the year 
1264. At the age of seven years she was placed in 
the Benedictine Convent of Rodersdorf. Her mind was care 
fully cultivated, and she wrote Latin with unusual elegance. She 
made her religious vows in the same house, and while yet 
young was removed to Diessen, near the Lake Ambre in 
Bavaria, where she was appointed superioress of the convent, 
which at that time belonged to the Order of St. Benedict. This 
convent Mechtilde made a school of virtue ; and knowing that 
strict discipline and a steady observance of rule are the means 
by which religious persons are to attain the perfection of their 
state, she taught all her sisters the greatest diligence in these 
respects. She was afterwards removed to the convent of 
Edelstetin. In this new situation she redoubled her ardor in 
the sanctification of her soul as well as that of her sisters. 

Her life was crowded with wonders. She has in obedience 
recorded some of her visions, in which she traces in words of 
indescribable beauty the intimate converse of her soul with 
Jesus and His Blessed Mother. She was gentle to all; most 




ii6 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

gentle to sinners, filled with devotion to the Saints of God, to 
the souls in Purgatory, and above all to the Passion of Our 
Blessed Lord, and to His Sacred Heart. She ruled her con 
vent with great wisdom and love for thirty-eight years. Her 
life was one of great and almost continual suffering, and her 
longing to be with Jesus was her daily thought. She was the 
younger sister of St. Gertrude; she was at the same convent 
as her sister for some years. Her life was a continual exercise 
of every virtue. Such was her fervor at the Divine Office, that 
she was often ravished into an ecstasy ; and so great was the 
purity of her soul, that Our Lord deigned to converse famil 
iarly with her, and revealed His secrets to her. Our Lord said 
to St. Mechtilde : "Whenever any one sighs towards Me with 
love in meditating on My Passion, it is as though he gently 
touched My Wounds with a fresh budding rose, and I wound 
his heart in return with the arrow of My love. Moreover, if 
he shed tears of devotion over My Passion, I will accept them 
as though he had suffered for Me." 

Once as St. Mechtilde was ill, on the Feast of the Assump 
tion, she was unable to fulfil her intention of saying as many 
Ave Marias as the Blessed Virgin had been years on earth; 
but she tried to supply for this devotion in some degree by the 
three aspirations Ave, Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum. 
As she offered them with great fervor for herself and those 
committed to her care, Our Blessed Lady appeared to her in 
glory, clothed with a green mantle covered with golden flowers 
in the form of trefoils, and said to her: "Behold! how I am 
adorned with as many flowers as those for whom you have 
prayed have uttered words in their petitions to me ; the bril 
liancy of these flowers corresponds to the fervor of their peti 
tions ; and I will turn this to their advantage, to render them 
more agreeable to my Son and all the celestial court." 

St. Mechtilde observed also that the Blessed Virgin had 
some roses with six leaves amongst the trefoils, and that three 
of these leaves were golden and enriched with precious stones ; 
while the other three, which alternated with the former, were 
distinguished by an admirable variety of colors. The three 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 117 

golden leaves indicated the threefold division of the Ave Maria 
which she had made during her sickness; and the three other 
leaves were added by our Lord the first, to reward her for the 
love with which she saluted and praised His most sweet 
Mother; the second, for her discretion and prudence in regu 
lating her devotions during her illness; and the third, for the 
confidence which she had that the Lord and His loving Mother 
would accept the little she had done. 

At Prime St. Mechtilcle besought our Lord to obtain His 
Blessed Mother s favor for her, as she feared she had never 
been sufficiently devout to her. Our Lord then, after bestow 
ing many marks of tenderness and filial affection on His 
Blessed Mother, said to her : "Remember, My beloved Mother, 
that for your sake I am indulgent to sinners, and regard My 
elect as if she had served you all her life with devotion." 

At these words this most pure Mother gave herself entirely 
to Mechtilde, for the sake of her Divine Son. As the Collect, 
Deus, qui virginalem, was read at Mass, our Lord appeared 
to renew in His Blessed Mother all the joys which she had 
experienced in His Conception, His Birth, and the other mys 
teries of His Humanity. At the words Ut sua nos defensione 
munitos, which the Saint read with special devotion, she beheld 
the Mother of God extending her mantle as if to receive be 
neath its shelter all those who fled to her patronage. The 
holy angels then brought all who had prepared themselves very 
fervently for this feast, and presented them to her as fair young 
virgins, who stood before her as before their mother; while 
these good angels defended them from the snares of evil spirits, 
and carefully incited them to good actions. 

The Saint understood that they had obtained this angelic 
protection by the words : That defended by her protection, etc., 
for at her command the angels never fail to protect and defend 
those who invoke this glorious virgin. 

A number of little animals appeared afterwards under the 
mantle of the Blessed Virgin ; and they signified those sinners 
who address themselves to her with devotion. The Mother of 
Mercy received them with the greatest charity, and covered 



u8 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

them with her mantle, thus manifesting with what affability 
she treats those who have recourse to her ; how she protects 
them even during their wanderings ; and, if they recognize their 
faults and return to her, she reconciles them to her Son by a 
sincere penance. At the Elevation, St. Mechtilde saw our 
Divine Lord imparting Himself with all the joys of His 
Divinity and Humanity to all those who had assisted at Mass 
with special devotion in honor of His Blessed Mother, and 
who had desired to serve her devoutly on the day of her As 
sumption ; so that, being sustained by virtue of the Adorable 
Sacrament, they were strengthened in their good desires, even 
as food strengthens and invigorates the human frame. 

After Mass the community proceeded to Chapter, and the 
Saint saw a multitude of angels surrounding our Lord, who 
appeared to wait with great joy for the arrival of the religious. 
Marveling at this, she said to our Lord : "Why hast Thou 
come to this Chapter, O most loving Lord, surrounded by such 
a multitude of angels, since we have not the same devotion 
now as on the Vigil of Thy Divine Birth ?" Our Lord replied : 
"I come as the Father of a family to receive those who have 
been invited to eat at My house. I come also from respect to 
My Mother, to announce the solemn festival of Her Eminent 
Assumption, and to receive all who are prepared to celebrate 
this feast with holy dispositions. I come also to absolve, by 
the virtue and authority of My Divinity, all those who humble 
themselves for the negligences which they have committed con 
cerning their Rule." He added : "I am present on all these 
festivals, and see all that you do, although, on the Vigil of 
My Nativity, I assisted in an extraordinary manner." 

HOW ST. MECHTILDE PREPARED FOR DEATH, 
AND RECEIVED EXTREME UNCTION 

When St. Mechtilde, of happy memory, was confined to bed 
in her last sickness, about a month before her death, she began 
to think of her end, and to reflect on some works which she 
had written. But on Sunday, as a person prayed for her, ask- 



HEAVENS BRIGHT QUEEN 119 

ing that she might have the grace of a happy death, under 
the protection of the Divine Mercy, so that she might abandon 
herself to it with humble confidence when receiving the Body 
and Blood of Christ, she knew in spirit that God had drawn 
this soul to Himself entirely, and that He had only restored 
her for a brief space, that He might again abide in her. Then 
she said to the Lord : "Lord, why dost Thou wish her to con 
tinue on earth?" He replied: "It is to perfect the work which 
My Divine dispensation has decreed; and she will contribute 
to this in three ways : by the repose of humility, the table of 
patience, and the joy of virtue. For example: in all that she 
sees or hears from others, let her always humble herself and 
consider herself the most unworthy of all. Thus will I rejoice 
in the repose of her heart and soul. Secondly, let her embrace 
joyfully, and suffer all her trials and sicknesses willingly for 
love of Me; thus she will prepare Me a table of sumptuous 
delights. Thirdly, she will offer Me a joyful spectacle if she 
exercises herself in every kind of virtue." 

When the nuns were reciting the Salve Regina, at the words 
Eia ergo, St. Mechtilde prayed very earnestly to the Blessed 
Virgin for the beloved sisters whom she was about to leave, be 
seeching Her to have a special care of them ; as if she, who 
during her life had been so devoted to her community, so ten 
der and loving, desired to secure an advocate for them after 
her death in the person of the Mother of Mercy. And this 
blessed Queen took the hand of the dying religious, as if she 
was accepting the charge of the community from her. Then, 
as they read the prayer Ave Jesu Christ e, at the words via 
dulcis, she beheld the Lord Jesus showing His beloved spouse 
the way by which He purposes to draw her sweetly to Himself. 

HOW ADVANTAGEOUS IT IS TO HEAR HOLY MASS 

Once, as St. Mechtilde offered the adorable Host to the 
Eternal Father, at the moment of the Elevation, in satisfaction 
for all her sins, and in reparation for all her negligence, she 
beheld her soul presented before the Divine Majesty with the 



120 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

same sentiments of joy in which Jesus Christ who is the 
splendor and living image of the glory of His Father, and 
the Lamb of God without spot offered Himself on the altar 
to God His Father for the salvation of the whole world; be 
cause the Eternal Father considered her as purified from all 
sin by the merits of the spotless Humanity of Jesus Christ, and 
enriched and adorned with all the virtues which, through the 
same Holy Humanity, adorned the glorious Divinity of His 
Son. 

As the Saint returned thanks to God for these graces with all 
her power, and took pleasure in considering the extraordinary 
favors which He had communicated to her, it was revealed to 
her that whenever any one assists at Mass with devotion, oc 
cupied with God, and offers himself in this Sacrament for the 
whole world, he is truly regarded by the Eternal Father with 
the tenderness merited by the sacred Host which is offered to 
Him, and becomes like to one who, coming out of a dark 
place into the midst of sunlight, finds himself suddenly sur 
rounded by brightness. Then the Saint made this inquiry of 
God : "Is not he who falls into sin deprived of this good, even 
as one who goes from light into darkness loses the favor of 
beholding the light ?" The Lord replied : "No ; for although 
the sinner hides My Divine light from him, still My goodness 
will not fail to leave him some ray to guide him to eternal life ; 
and this light will increase whenever he hears Mass with de 
votion or approaches the Sacraments." 

Our Lord said to St. Mechtilde : "Receive it as a most cer 
tain truth that if anyone hears Mass devoutly and fervently, 
I will send him for his consolation and defence in the hour of 
death, as many of the glorious spirits around My Throne as 
he shall have heard Masses with devotion." "The Sacrifice 
of the Mass," says the Council of Trent, "is the same with that 
which heretofore was offered upon the Cross; it is the same 
Victim ; and He who offered Himself is the same who now 
daily offers Himself by the hands of the priest." St. Liguori 
says : "All the honor which the angels by their adorations, or 
men by their work, their penances, and martyrdoms, have ever 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 121 

given or shall give to God, have not given, and cannot give, 
so much glory to the Lord as one single Mass; for all the 
honors given by creatures are finite, but from the Sacrifice of 
the Altar God receives an infinite honor, because the Victim 
offered is of infinite worth. The Mass, then, is an action which 
gives God the greatest honor that can be given Him ; it is a 
work that beats down most effectually the power of the devil, 
which affords the greatest relief to the souls in purgatory, 
which appeases most efficaciously the anger of God against 
sinners, and which brings to men on earth the greatest bene 
fits." "Could we see on entering a church," says the author 
of the Devout Soul, "legions of angels and Saints prostrate in 
adoration of the majesty of their Lord, together with the 
Blessed Virgin Mary, and all the cherubim, the seraphim, the 
virtues, the principalities, the powers, the thrones, the arch 
angels, the angels, all the choirs of angels and Saints, what 
should we think of those who dare to be irreverent at so holy 
and venerable a celebration ? The devils fear Jesus Christ and 
bow before Him, and may not those who behave irreverently 
at the Holy Mass be called worse even than devils?" 

As the nuns read this response amongst others, Ave Sponsa, 
the Blessed Virgin approached the dying nun, to prepare her 
for enjoying the delights of the Divinity. Then Our Lord Jesus 
for the sake of His blessed Mother, who alone merited to 
be called, and to be both a Virgin and a Mother took a neck 
lace of marvelous beauty, adorned with radiant gems, and 
placed it on the dying religious ; granting her the special privi 
lege of being also called a virgin and mother, on account of 
the fervor and devotion with which she had guided her 
religious. 

The Matins had commenced, when it became apparent that 
St. Mechtilde was about to expire ; the community were there 
fore summoned again from the choir to assist at her happy 
death. Our Lord then appeared to the dying Saint as a Spouse 
radiant with beauty, crowned with honor and glory, and said 
to her tenderly : "Now, My beloved, I will honor you before 
your neighbors that is, before this congregation, which is so 



122 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

dear to Me." Then He saluted her soul in an ineffable man 
ner by each of His Wounds, so that each saluted her in four 
different manners : namely, by a melodious harmony, by an 
efficacious vapor, by a fruitful dew, and by a marvelous light. 
Thus did our Lord call His elect one to Himself: the exquisite 
harmony indicated all the loving words which she had ad 
dressed to God, or uttered for the benefit of others ; and these 
words were fructified exceedingly by passing through the 
Divine Heart. The vapor signified all her desires for the glory 
of God or the salvation of her neighbor ; and these desires were 
marvelously increased by passing through the Wounds of 
Tesus. The dew which poured forth so abundantly represented 
the love which she had for God, or for any creature for His 
sake; and it was also greatly increased in sweetness by these 
Sacred Wounds. The marvelous light signified all the suffer 
ings which she had endured from her infancy, either in body 
or mind, which were ennobled beyond all human power of com 
prehension by union with the Passion of Christ; and that her 
soul was sanctified thereby, and impressed with the marks of 
Divine charity. 

The community then returned to the choir to say Matins. 
At the twelfth Response, O lampas, this soul appeared standing 
before the Blessed Trinity, praying devoutly for the Church. 
Then God the Father saluted her lovingly by these words : 
"Ave, electa mea (Hail, My elect one), who, by the example 
of your holy life, may truly be called the lamp of the Church, 
abounding in oil that is, your prayers for the whole world." 
Then the Son of God addressed her thus : "Guade, spousa mea 
(Rejoice, O My spouse), who may truly be called the medica 
ment of grace, since by your prayers you have obtained the 
restoration of so many to My favor." The Holy Ghost added : 
"Ave, immaculata mea (Hail, My spotless one), who may be 
called the nurse of the faithful, since you have fed and nour 
ished so many spiritually." 

After this the Eternal Father conferred on her, by His om 
nipotence, the grace of assisting those who, through human 
frailty, distrusted the Divine Mercy, and of strengthening in 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 123 

them the gift of hope; the Holy Spirit conferred on her the 
privilege of enkindling fervor and love in cold and tepid hearts ; 
lastly, the Son of God gave her, through the merits of His 
most precious Death and Passion, the grace of curing souls en 
feebled by sin. 

During the Preface of the High Mass, our Lord appeared to 
St. Mechtilde, drawing her towards Him, and imparting new 
graces and favors to her soul, as if to prepare her for the 
enjoyment of eternal beatitude. At last the joyful moment 
came when she was to pass to the eternal embraces of her 
Spouse ; and the Lord of Glory, who is so great in His majesty 
and so tender in His love, invited her to Him, saying: "Come, 
blessed of My Father, possess the kingdom prepared for you." 
[Matt, xxv, 34.] He reminded her also of the signal favor 
which He had conferred on her some years before, by giving 
her His Heart, as He said these words, to be her consolation 
and protection. Then He said: "And where is My gift? In 
reply, she offered Him her heart, plunging it into His; and 
our Lord touched her heart with His, absorbing her into Him 
self, and putting her in possession of eternal glory, where we 
hope she will obtain many favors for us by her interces 
sion. 

When her end drew nigh she returned to Diessen, where she 
died not long after, A.D. 1300. Her meditations are amongst 
the choicest treasures of the Church. 

"We wept little," says her biographer, "for her glory stayed 
our tears. There was a vast multitude commending the Saint 
to God, or rather, through her, commending themselves to Him. 
All around were widows and orphans mourning their immeas 
urable loss. There were the crowds of sick, whom she had 
healed. She had insured their silence through life by threats 
that their sickness would return if they betrayed the secret of 
their healing; but now their tongues were unloosed, and one 
told how he had been blind and now saw, and another how 
he had been deaf and now heard. There were those who had 
boen paralytic, and many others with countless infirmities, who 



124 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

told how the Saint had healed them. And very many infirm 
who had come to her funeral, recovered health." 

Sympathy is the greatest force of the heart of man, and an 
especial note of all who have done great things for God. St. 
Mechtilde "anointed all the afflicted with the sweet ointment 
of her pity, her compassion, and her sympathy." 

THE VIRGIN S DREAM 

Oh happy tree to shelter her! 

A shiver shakes each happy leaf; 
The boughs bend down as though they were 

Full-conscious for those moments brief: 
The boughs bend down lo! at her breast 
The Infant Saviour takes His rest. 

Each lisping leaf a shiver shakes: 

It is the Infant s lullaby. 
No other sound the silence wakes 

Than lisp of leaf; yet from the sky 
Three listening angels lean to hear, 
Three radiant angels hush to hear, 
Then winged by love they draw anear; 

They cannot but draw nigh. 

They close around where trustingly 

In Mary s arms the Infant sleeps, 
And in a hush of harmony 

Upon her ear their music creeps : 
A hush so faint and low the strain, 
Like softest fall of summer rain. 

And while her eyes are won to rest, 
The angels woo her thoughts away 

To where the music of the blest 

The solemn sanctus of the blest 

Rolls through the halls of lasting day: 

The solemn sanctus up to Him 

Before whom bend the Cherubim. 

Such wealth of sound on mortal ear 

Ne er fell, not even in Paradise, 
When flaming Seraphs oft drew near, 

With melodies brought from the skies, 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 



On mortal ear ne er anthem fell, 
Such witchery of sound ne er fell, 
Its ecstacy no words may tell. 

And lifted up was Mary s soul 
To heights none else may hope to gain; 

Waves on her raptured spirit roll 
Of joy that is akin to pain; 

Oh, could that anthem ever ring 

Meet music for her Infant King! 



It stops! and Mary opes her eyes 

k 



Sweet Mary opes her lovely eyes 



And fixes them on Him 
Who calm upon her bosom lies. 

Ah ! what are Seraphim, 
And all the heavenly host on high- 
Their music all to one faint sigh 
From that dear Child Whose peerless love 
Had brought her heaven from above? 

Rev. Francis J. Finn, SJ. 




APPARITION TO 

ST. GERTRUDE, V. AB. O.S.B. 

HELDELFS, GERMANY 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 127 



APPARITION 

TO 

ST. GERTRUDE, V. AB. O.S.B. 
HELDELFS, GERMANY 

1292 

ST. GERTRUDE S SALUTATION TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN 

Hail Lily white! of the Trinity bright! 

No flower rare with thee can compare. 

Vermilion Rose! the Godhead s repose, 

No azure blue can rival thy hue! 

Rose without thorn! of whom Christ was born, 

Nursed by thy care, thy milk was His fare. 

Primrose so sweet! one boon we entreat, 

Grace for us win to live without sin, 

This we implore and ask for no more. 

1HE illustrious Benedictine Abbess was born at 
Eisleben, a small town in the county of Mansfield, 
on the 6th of January, 1263; and thus, as it has 
been happily remarked, a star of no ordinary bril- 
lancy was given to the Church on the day on which that 
Church was mystically led by a star to her Incarnate God. 

When the Saint had attained her fifth year, she was placed 
in the famous Benedictine convent of Rodersdorf, where she 
was soon joined by her younger sister, Mechtilde. Here, un 
der the careful training of the nuns, who then, as now, devoted 
themselves to the education of those confided to their charge, 
Gertrude advanced in wisdom and learning, both human and 
divine. 

At an early age she was conversant with the Latin tongue, 
could read and converse in that language, her reading was ex 
tensive for that age in which literature was confined to parch 
ment, manuscripts, and oral instruction. 




128 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

And now the Spouse of virgins began to speak to the heart 
of His chosen one, and to withdraw her from those exterior 
occupations, no longer necessary for mental cultivation, that 
she might listen without distraction or hindrance to those whis 
pers of His love which we also, despite our unworthiness, are 
permitted to hear and to enjoy. 

The Saint has informed us when and how the first of these 
heavenly communications was vouchsafed to her. It was on 
Monday, the 25th of January, "at the close of day, the Light 
of lights came to dissipate the obscurity of her darkness, and 
to commence her conversion." And Jesus came, as He mostly 
comes to His beloved ones, as she performed an act of humility 
and obedience. 

Her sisters were not slow to perceive that their companion 
was specially favored by Heaven. One religious, who had 
long suffered from some painful temptations, was warned in 
a dream to apply to Gertrude for relief, and to recommend her 
self to her prayers. The moment she complied with this in 
junction, the temptation ceased. It would appear that Ger 
trude was specially designed by Providence to assist others, 
even during her lifetime, by her merits and intercession, as 
well as by the gift of counsel with which she was singularly 
favored. 

A person of great sanctity, who was praying for the Saint, 
felt a singular impulse of affection for her, which she believed 
to be supernatural. "O Divine Love!" she exclaimed, "what 
is it You behold in this virgin which obliges You to esteem her 
so highly and to love her so much !" Our Lord replied : "It 
is My goodness alone which obliges Me ; since she contains and 
perfects in her soul those five virtues which please Me above 
all others. She possesses purity, by a continual influence of 
My grace; she possesses humility, amidst the great diversity 
of gifts which I have bestowed on her for the more I effect 
in her, the more she abases herself; she possesses a true 
benignity, which makes her desire the salvation of the whole 
world for My greater glory; she possesses a true fidelity, 
spreading abroad, without reserve, all her treasures for the 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 



same end. Finally, she possesses a consummate charity ; for she 
loves Me with her whole heart, with her whole soul, and with 
her whole strength ; and for love of Me she loves her neighbor 
as herself." 

After our Lord had spoken thus to this soul, He showed 
her a precious stone on His heart, in the form of a triangle, 
made of trefoils, the beauty and brilliancy of which cannot be 
described, and He said to her: "I always wear this jewel as 
a pledge of the affection which I have for My spouse. I have 
made it in this form, that all the celestial court may know by 
the brightness of the first leaf that there is no creature on earth 
so dear to Me as Gertrude, because there is no one at this 
present time amongst mankind who is united to Me so closely 
as she is, either by purity of intention or by uprightness of 
will. They will see by the second leaf, that there is no soul still 
bound by the chains of flesh and blood whom I am so disposed 
to enrich by My graces and favors. And they will observe 
in the splendor of the third leaf, that there is no one who refers 
to My glory alone the gifts received from Me with such sin 
cerity and fidelity as Gertrude ; who, far from wishing to claim 
the least thing for herself, desires most ardently that nothing 
shall be ever attributed to her." Our Lord concluded this 
revelation by saying to the holy person to whom He had thus 
condescended to speak of the perfections of our Saint : "You 
cannot find Me in any place in which I delight more, or which 
is more suitable for Me, than in the Sacrament of the Altar, 
and after that, in the heart and soul of Gertrude, My beloved ; 
for towards her all My affections, and the complacencies of My 
Divine love, turn in a singular manner." 

Our Lord gives His Blessed Mother to St. Gertrude to be 
her mother, in order that she may have recourse to her in all 
her afflictions. 

St. Gertrude having learned by Divine revelation that she 
was about to endure some trial for the increase of her merit, 
began to fear through human weakness; but the Lord had 
compassion on her infirmity, and gave her His most merciful 
Mother, the Empress of Heaven, for her mother, so that, when 



130 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

the burden of her grief appeared beyond her strength, she 
might always have recourse to this Mother of Mercy, and by 
her intervention obtain relief. 

Some time after, as she was much grieved because a devout 
person obliged her to reveal the singular favors with which 
God had honored her on the preceding feast, she had recourse 
to the Mother of the afflicted, in order to learn from her what 
she ought to do on this occasion. "Give freely what you pos 
sess," she replied ; "for my Son is rich enough to repay all that 
you expend for His glory." But as the Saint desired to conceal 
as much as possible the great favors granted to her, even while 
she partly revealed them, she desired to know from her heav 
enly Spouse how far her conduct was agreeable to Him. Pros 
trating herself at His feet, she implored Him to make known 
His will to her, and to give her the desire of accomplishing it. 
Her confidence merited for her this reply, which she received 
from the Divine Mercy : "Give my money to the bank, that 
when I come I may receive it with usury" (Luke xix., 23). 
And thus she learned that the reasons which she had considered 
good, and even inspired by the Spirit of God, were merely 
human; so that from thenceforth she imparted more freely 
what was revealed to her, and not without reason ; for Solomon 
has declared : "It is the glory of God to conceal the word, and 
the glory of kings to search out the speech." (Prov. xxv., 2.) 

St. Gertrude offered herself to God during her prayers and 
inquired how He desired her to occupy herself at the time. He 
replied "Honor My Mother, who is seated at My side, and 
employ yourself in praising her." Then the Saint began to 
salute the Queen of Heaven, reciting the verse, "Paradise of 
delights," and extolling her because she was the abode full of 
delights which the impenetrable wisdom of God, who knows 
all creatures perfectly, had chosen for His dwelling; and she 
besought her to obtain for her a heart adorned with so many 
virtues that God might take pleasure in dwelling therein. Then 
the Blessed Virgin inclined towards her, and planted in her 
heart the different flowers of virtue the rose of charity, the 
lily of chastity, the violet of humility, and many other gifts; 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 131 

thus showing how promptly she assists those who invoke her 
assistance. 

Then the Saint addressed her thus : "Rejoice, model of dis 
cipline;" praising her for having ordered her desires, judg 
ment, and affection with more care than the rest of mankind 
and for having served the Lord, who dwelt in her, with such 
respect and reverence, that she had never given Him the least 
occasion of pain in her thoughts, words or actions. Having 
besought her to obtain for her also the same grace, it appeared 
to her that the Mother of God sent her all her affections under 
the form of young virgins, recommending each in particular 
to unite her dispositions to those of her client, and to supply 
for any defects into which she might fall. By this also she 
understood with what haste the Blessed Virgin assists those 
who invoke her. Then the Saint besought Our Lord to supply 
for her omissions in devotion to His Blessed Mother, which 
He was pleased to do. The following day, as Gertrude prayed, 
the Mother of God appeared to her in the presence of the ever- 
adorable Trinity, under the form of a white lily, with three 
leaves, one standing erect, and the other two bent down. By 
this she understood that it was not without reason that the 
Blessed Mother of God was called the white Lily of the Trinity, 
since she contained in herself, with more plentitude and per 
fection than any other creature, the virtues of the Most Holy 
Trinity, which she had never sullied by the slightest stain of 
sin. The upright leaf of the Lily represented the omnipotence 
of God the Father, and the two leaves which bent down, the 
wisdom and love of the Son and the Holy Spirit, to which the 
Holy Virgin approaches so nearly. Then the Blessed Virgin 
made known to her that if anyone salutes her devoutly as the 
white Lily of the Trinity, and the vermilion rose of heaven, she 
will show her how she prevails by the omnipotence of the 
Father, how skilful she is in procuring the salvation of men by 
the wisdom of the Son, and with what an exceeding love her 
heart is filled by the charity of the Holy Ghost. The Blessed 
Virgin added these words : "I will appear at the hour of death 
to those who salute me thus in such glory that they will antici- 



132 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

pate the very joys of heaven." From that time the Saint fre 
quently saluted the Holy Virgin or her images with these 
words : "Hail, white Lily of the ever-peaceful and glorious 
Trinity! hail, effulgent rose, the delight of heaven, of whom 
the King of Heaven was born, and by whose milk He was 
nourished ! do thou feed our souls by the effusions of thy Di 
vine influences?" 

On another occasion, a devout person who was praying for 
the Saint, heard these words : "She for whom thou prayest is 
My dove, who has no guile in her, for she rejects from her 
heart as gall all the guile and bitterness of sin. She is My 
chosen Lily, which I love to bear in My hands; for it is My 
delight and My pleasure to repose in the purity and innocence 
of this chaste soul. She is My rose, whose odor is full of 
sweetness, because of her patience in every adversity, and the 
thanksgiving which she continually offers Me, which ascend 
before Me as the sweetest perfumes. She is that spring flower 
which never fades, and which I take pleasure in contemplating, 
because she keeps and maintains continually in her breast an 
ardent desire, not only for all virtues, but for the utmost per 
fection of every virtue. She is as a sweet melody, which rav 
ishes the ears of the blessed ; and this melody is composed of all 
the sufferings she endures with so much constancy." 

St. Gertrude was chosen abbess in the year 1294. The year 
following, the religious moved to Heldelfs. The Saint was 
elected to this important charge at the early age of thirty no 
slight testimony to her singular prudence and extraordinary 
virtue. For forty years she continued to edify and guide her 
spiritual children, many of whom had attained a high degree of 
sanctity. As superioress, she was distinguished for charity 
and zeal. While others suffered, whether in body or in mind, 
she could not rest, and where there was need of amendment, 
her tears and prayers brought repentance and renewed fervor, 
rather than any severity of reproof, which her office might have 
more than sanctioned. The importance of her work, and its 
immense value in the eyes of her Divine Spouse, was mani 
fested to her by a remarkable vision, which must ever be a 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 13:, 

special subject of instruction and consolation for those simi 
larly circumstanced and, indeed, for all religious. 

Our Lord appeared to her, bearing on His sacred shoulders a 
vast and magnificent building. "Behold," He said, "with what 
labor, care, and vigilance I carry this beloved house, which is 
none other than that of Religion. It is everywhere threatened 
with ruin, because there are so few persons who are willing to 
do or to suffer anything for its support and increase. You, 
therefore, should suffer with Me in bearing it; for all those 
who endeavor, by their words or actions, to extend Religion, 
and who try to re-establish it in its first fervor and purity, are 
so many pillars which sustain this holy house; and comfort 
Me by sharing with Me the weight of this burden." 

From that moment the Saint devoted herself, with all the 
sanctified energy of a naturally ardent temperament, to the 
work so dear to her Spouse. Her convent became indeed a 
"pleasure-house" of delight to the Spouse of Virgins. Under 
her guidance the fervent increased in fervor and the saintly 
advanced rapidly in perfection. Many were favored with in 
timate and most blessed communications from heaven ; one at 
least, Mechtilde, her sister in the flesh as well as in the spirit, 
obtained even on earth a recognition of her sanctity, and 
ranks amongst those who are invoked upon the Church s 
altars. 

The union of the Saint with her Lord became so intimate that 
even the fear of sudden death appeared unable to disturb her 
peace for a moment. On one occasion, as she journeyed from 
one convent to another, she was suddenly thrown down a steep 
mountain-path. "My sweet Lord," she exclaimed, "how happy 
should I have been if this fall had brought me sooner to Thee." 
Her companions inquired if she would not fear to die without 
the Sacraments. "I desire most ardently," she replied, "to re 
ceive the Sacraments before I die ; but I prefer the providence 
and will of my Lord and my God even to all the Sacraments, 
for I believe this is the best preparation for death. It is indif 
ferent to me ; for I trust, in whatever manner I die, that I shall 
not be deprived of the mercy of my God, without which my 



134 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

eternal ruin would be inevitable, whether I die an unprepared 
death, or whether I have long anticipated my end." 

One Friday, when the Saint had spent the whole night in 
meditation, and had been prevented from sleeping by the ardor 
of her love, she remembered with what tenderness she had 
snatched the iron nails from a crucifix which she always kept 
near her, and replaced them by nails of sweet-smelling cloves, 
and said to God : "My Beloved, how didst Thou accept my 
drawing the iron nails from the Sacred Wounds of Thy Hands 
and Feet, to place these cloves therein, which give an agree 
able odor?" Our Lord replied: "It was so agreeable to Me, 
that in return for it I poured the noble balsam of My Divinity 
into the wounds of your sins. And for this all the Saints will 
praise Me eternally ; for your wounds, by the infusion of this 
liquor, will become agreeable." "But, Lord," inquired the Saint, 
"wilt Thou not grant the same grace to those who perform the 
same action?" "Not at all," he replied; "but those who do it 
with the same fervor will receive a similar reward ; and those 
who, following your example, do likewise with all the devotion 
of which they are capable, will receive a lesser recompense." 

Gertrude then took the crucifix and clasped it in her arms, 
kissing it tenderly, until she felt herself growing weak from 
her long vigil, when she laid it aside and, taking leave of her 
Spouse, asked His permission to go and rest, that she might 
recover her strength, which was almost exhausted by her long 
meditation. 

The happy manner in which she combined the duties of the 
active life with that unceasing union with her Beloved which 
so specially characterized her spiritual life was shown to St. 
Mechtilde in a vision. On one occasion, as she chanted, she 
beheld Our Divine Lord seated on a high throne, around which 
St. Gertrude walked without turning her eyes from her Mas 
ter even for a moment. At the same time she appeared to ful 
fil her exterior duties with the most perfect exactness. As her 
holy sister mused in amazement on the vision, she heard these 
words : "This is an image of the life which My beloved Ger 
trude lives ; thus does she ever walk in My presence, never re- 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 135 

laxing in her ardent desire to know and and to do what is most 
pleasing to My heart. As soon as she has ascertained it, she 
executes it with care and fidelity, and then promptly passes 
to some other duty, seeking in her zeal always to find some new 
virtue to practice. Thus her whole life is a continuous chain 
of praise, consecrated to My honor and glory. * 

"But, Lord," replied Mechtilde, "if the life of St. Gertrude 
is so perfect, how is it that she cannot support the imperfections 
of others, and that they appear so great to her ?" 

Our Lord replied, with admirable sweetness : "It is because 
she cannot endure that her own heart should be sullied with the 
slightest stain and, therefore, she cannot see without emotion 
the least defect in the heart of another." 

It was the custom of the Saint, when she was offered any 
choice in articles of clothing or other necessaries, to close her 
eyes, and then to put out her hand and take whatever she 
touched. Then she received whatever fell to her lot with the 
most lively gratitude, as a present from Our Lord Himself. 
Indeed, her devotion to Divine Providence was a special fea 
ture in her sanctity, and one which procured her many favors. 
What could be refused to one who trusted so utterly to Eternal 
Love! 

The sanctity of St. Mechtilde was well known to the Saint, 
and she frequently asked her advice and prayers. Once, as St. 
Mechtilde prayed fervently for her, in compliance with her 
desire, she beheld Our Divine Lord attired as a Bridegroom, 
and clothed in a robe of green lined with gold. His beauty 
surpassed that of millions of angels, and He tenderly embraced 
with His right arm her for whom she prayed. It appeared to 
her that Gertrude also embraced her Lord, and that her heart 
was attached to the wound in the side of Jesus. As she sought 
in amazement to comprehend this wonderful Vision, she heard 
these words : "Know that the green and gold of My vestments 
represent the operation of My Divinity, always new, and al 
ways acting by the influence of My love. Yes," he added, 
after again repeating the same words, "My operation is always 
new, and always in action in the soul of Gertrude; and the 



136 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

union which you behold of her heart with My side shows that 
she is attached so inseparably to Me, that she is in a condition 
to receive every moment the infusions of My Divinity." 

St. Mechtilde then asked if St. Gertrude, who was so dear 
to God, never committed any fault; and why she appeared so 
ready at any moment to change her occupation, and to do, as if 
by chance, whatever came into her mind, her conscience ap 
pearing to be equally at rest whether she prayed, wrote, read, 
instructed, reproved, or consoled. 

Our Saviour replied : "I have united My Heart so closely to 
her soul by the ties of My mercy, that she has become one spirit 
with Me. It is on this account she obeys so promptly all the 
desires of My will; so that the harmony and understanding 
which exists between the soul of Gertrude and Mine, and as the 
moment a man has willed in his heart a movement of his hands, 
they accomplish his desire, because they are entirely subject to 
the will of the heart; and as one desires in his mind that his 
eyes should look on any object, and his eyes immediately open 
to obey him, so Gertrude is ever with Me, and at every mo 
ment is ready to obey the movements which I suggest." 

THE SAINT AS ABBESS TENDERNESS TOWARDS OTHERS CARE 

OF THE SICK HER LAST ILLNESS 

The Saint was elected abbess on the 3d of May. 1294, and 
governed her convent for forty years and six months. In the 
exercise of her charge she conducted herself with great wis 
dom, sweetness and prudence, for the glory of God and the 
benefit of mankind ; in charity and love towards God, in piety 
and vigilance towards her neighbor, in profound humil 
ity and mortification towards herself. The sick had special 
reason to extol her charity and her care, for she visited them, 
supplied them with every necessary and, far from contenting 
herself with consoling them merely by words, she served them 
with her own hands. Her religious were often obliged to in 
terfere in these exercises of devotion, lest their beloved supe 
rior should exceed her strength, and exhaust her enfeebled 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 137 

frame, in these duties of love. Even in her dying moments, her 
thoughts, as we shall see later, were constantly occupied with 
a sick sister; nor could she be satisfied until she was carried 
to her to console her. So true a mother was this blessed Saint 
to the children whom God had given her. 

^Vhile, then, she thus flourished in all kinds of virtue and, 
like a mystic rose, emitted a sweet odor of sanctity, agreeable 
alike to God and man, when she had concluded the fortieth year 
of her office as abbess, she was attacked with illness. This 
illness was for her a favorable touch of the Almighty hand, 
who willed to free her from the ties of the flesh and miseries 
of earth, and to draw to Himself this noble and generous soul. 
She had brought up in the convent, and received to profession, 
more than a hundred religious; and of this great number we 
never knew one who had the same esteem and veneration for 
any person as for their beloved abbess. Her power of winning- 
others was so great and so engaging that even the young chil 
dren who were placed in the convent conceived so tender and 
strong an affection for her that as soon as they were instructed 
in the things of God, and learned that she was their spiritual 
mother, they would have considered it a fault and a disrespect 
to say that they loved either father or mother or any other rela 
tive more than the Saint. 

A dangerous attack of illness made the religious fear that 
this star, which shone so brightly by the light of the Sun of 
Justice, was about to set ; and, as they apprehended, when they 
were no longer guided by the wisdom of so amiable and holy 
a mother, nor animated by the brilliancy and force of her ex 
ample, that they might stray from the strictness of the narrow 
path of holy religion, they had recourse to the Father of 
Mercies, and addressed to Him their earnest prayers for her 
recovery. And He who is so sovereignly good despised not 
the sighs and tears of these poor children, but because it was 
not convenient that He should grant them what was contrary 
to the immutable decrees of His Providence, He heard them in 
another manner, and in the way which was most useful and ad 
vantageous for their salvation, since, by making them consider 



138 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

the approaching decease of their mother as the commencement 
of her happiness, he filled them with consolation, and enabled 
them to rejoice in her happiness. 

For several months before her death, St. Gertrude entirely 
lost the use of speech, and was only able to articulate the words, 
"My spirit." Those who attended her in vain endeavored to 
ascertain what she meant ; it appeared almost miraculous that 
she was able to pronounce them, while otherwise totally de 
prived of utterance. As she repeated them constantly, the re 
ligious, St. Mechtilde, prayed to our Lord to know the mean 
ing of the words. Our Lord replied: "Because I, the Lord 
God, dwelling in her, have so drawn and united her spirit to 
Mine, that she sees Me alone in every creature, therefore, in 
her words, in her answers, and in her prayers, she makes men 
tion of Me as the Person in whom her spirit lives. And when 
ever she acts thus, I intimate to the whole heavenly host that 
it is to Me alone she looks, and for this she will have everlast 
ing glory in heaven." 

The Saint still listened with attention when anyone spoke to 
her of God ; and so great was her fervor that she insisted on 
being brought daily to assist at the Adorable Sacrifice, although 
one of her limbs was useless and the other in such a state that 
she could not bear it to be touched without suffering great pain. 
Still she took the greatest care to conceal her real state, and 
avoided the least sign of pain, lest she should be deprived of 
her highest consolation. Her life-long devotion to the Office 
now manifested itself to all. At the times at which she had 
been so long accustomed to watch and pray she remained 
awake and alert, although even when taking necessary food 
she was constantly overcome by sleep. 

A month after the Saint had lost the use of speech she ap 
peared so ill that it was considered necessary to administer the 
last anointing without delay. As the religious were preparing 
for the holy rite, Our Divine Lord appeared to St. Gertrude 
under the form of a Spouse of exceeding beauty and, extend 
ing His arms to her, as if to invite her to Himself, moving in 
whatever direction she turned her face. It was revealed to one 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 139 

of the religious that Our Lord had so much love for His faith 
ful servant that He ardently desired to receive her into the 
arms of His mercy and to put her in possession of the glories 
of heaven. The religious inquired how it could be that her be 
loved mother equalled in merit those Virgin Saints whom the 
Church had canonized because they had shed their blood for 
the faith. She received this reply : "Since the first year in 
which she held office as abbess she united and conformed her 
will so perfectly to Mine as to have merited an equal reward. 
But now that her virtues have increased with her years, I have 
given her a yet greater share of glory and merit." 

When the happy day of release came, which the Saint had so 
long desired, Our Lord appeared to her with His Divine coun 
tenance radiant with joy. At His right hand stood His Ever- 
blessed Mother, and at His left the beloved disciple John. An 
immense multitude of Saints attended the King of all Saints, 
and amongst their glorious ranks were seen a band of virgins 
who appeared to the religious of the convent and joined them 
selves with them. Our Divine Lord approached the bed of the 
dying Saint, showing such marks of tenderness and affection 
as were more than sufficient to sweeten the bitterness of death. 
When the Passion was read, at the words, "And bowing His 
head, He gave up the Ghost," Our Lord inclined towards His 
faithful spouse, and opened wide His adorable Heart, as if 
transported with love, pouring forth all its tenderness on her. 
It might have seemed enough ; but even on earth there was yet 
more consolation reserved for her who had been faithful even 
until death. 

As the sisters prayed and wept around her bed, the religious 
so favored by Our Lord ventured to address Him thus : "O 
most sweet Jesus! we beseech Thee, by the goodness which 
prompted Thee to give us so dear a mother, that, as Thou art 
about to take her from this world, Thou wouldst condescend 
to our prayers and receive her with the same affection as Thou 
didst Thy Blessed Mother, when she went forth from the 
body." Then Our Lord, with exceeding clemency, turned to 
His Blessed Mother and said to her : "Tell Me, My Mother, 



HO APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

what I did most pleasing to you when you were leaving the 
world; for they ask me to bestow a similar favor on their 
mother?" "My Son," replied the Holy Virgin, sweetly, "my 
greatest joy was the grace which You showed me of receiving 
me in the secure asylum of Your holy arms." Our Lord re 
plied : "I granted this because My Mother, when on earth, ever 
remembered My Passion with such intense anguish." Then 
he added : "I granted this favor to My chosen one in recom 
pense for the care which you had, while yet on earth, to medi 
tate often in your mind and to revere by your grief and your 
tears, the mystery of My Passion. Gertrude must, therefore, 
render herself in some sort worthy of this favor, by the pain 
and difficulty which she will suffer to-day in breathing. The 
patience which she will thus be called upon to exercise will place 
her in a state somewhat similar to that to which you were often 
reduced by the recollection of My sufferings." 

St. Gertrude accordingly continued in her agony the entire 
day ; but Our Lord did not leave her to suffer alone. His heart 
had already been opened to her, and from thence she drew the 
help and consolation she needed. Celestial spirits also sur 
rounded her bed, and she beheld them inviting her to paradise, 
and heard their celestial harmony as they sung continually : 
"Come, come, come, O lady ! the joys of heaven await thee ! 
Alleluia ! Alleluia !" 



HER DEATH OF HER ETERNAL JOYS OUR LORD CONSOLES HER 

RELIGIOUS REVELATIONS OF HER SANCTITY OUR 

LORD BLESSES HER TOMB 

The moment of release came at last, and Gertrude passed to 
the eternal embraces of her Spouse. The religious, whose reve 
lations seemed scarcely less wonderful than those of her saintly 
superior, heard Our Divine Lord address her thus : "Behold, 
now, you are to be united to Me, and to become My own for 
ever, by the sweet embrace which I will give to your soul, and 
in which I will present you to My eternal Father by the close 
embrace of My heart." As if Our Lord would say, that 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 



though His almighty power had detained her until that moment 
on earth in order that she might amass a greater fund of merit, 
His extreme goodness and the impatience of His love, if we 
may be permitted so to speak, could no longer defer her hap 
piness, or leave His treasure in the mire of earth ; but that He 
desired to transport her without delay to Paradise, and to have 
the satisfaction of seeing her enjoy eternal blessedness. 

"And now this happy, and a thousand times blessed, soul 
took her flight to heaven, and retired into the sanctuary of the 
Divinity. I mean into the sweetest Heart of Jesus, the faith 
ful and magnificent Spouse who had opened it to her by so 
great an excess of His bounty. Who can imagine the feelings 
which so extraordinary a favor excited in this holy soul, the 
wonders which she discovered, the glories with which she was 
enlightened, and the avidity with which she drank in the pure 
and holy delights which flowed upon her from the Divinity as 
from a fountain. We will not undertake to speak here of the 
welcome or of the caresses which she received from her Divine 
Spouse, which the excellence of His bounty and His infinite 
perfections rendered so amiable, nor of the joy and the thanks 
givings with which the angels and Saints attended her triumph, 
nor of the praise which they gave to her eminent virtue ; for our 
mind is too weak and our pen too poor to relate such things; 
and it is more safe and agreeable to our duty to content our 
selves with sharing in the common joy of the blessed who as 
sisted at her entrance into glory, and to sing canticles of 
thanksgiving to God, who, by His mercy, has raised her to such 
a high honor. 

"This sun of the religious life, which had shed abroad so far 
the light of good example, shining no more on earth, and this 
soul, which was but as a drop of water in comparison with God 
having entered happily into the infinite ocean of the Divinity, 
from whence she had come forth by creation, the sisters of her 
convent were at first cast down, and in great sadness. They 
endeavored, nevertheless, to rise, looking with the eyes of faith, 
as it were, at the sublime land of glory in which they believed 
their mother had been placed. But, on the other hand, as they 



142 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

considered the greatness of their loss, and that they had been 
deprived of so excellent an abbess, whose like had never been, 
nor could ever be hoped to be seen by them, they fell again into 
deep grief and shed many tears. But in the end the hope of 
their mother s happiness increasing more and more in their 
souls, they began to rejoice with her, and to beseech her to con 
sole them herself with her maternal tenderness and affection; 
and then they began to manifest their joy by singing the re- 
sponsory Surge, Virgo, et nostras, which was commenced by the 
religious who had the greatest share in the confidence of St. 
Gertrude and in the favors with which heaven had honored her, 
and who was, therefore, the more obliged to interest herself 
in her triumph. 

"Thus this virginal body, which had been the temple of Jesus 
Christ, was borne by the hands of these virgins into the chapel, 
and placed before the altar. Then, all the community being 
prostrated in prayer round the corpse, they beheld the soul of 
the Saint, radiant with glory, standing before the throne of the 
most Holy Trinity, and praying for the salvation of all those 
who had been formerly under her guidance." 

While the Mass was being said for the repose of her soul, 
the religious who had been so dear to her prayed to God, and 
represented her affliction to Him. Our Lord deigned to console 
her by this reply: "Why are you so afflicted for the death of 
Gertrude ? If I have taken her from you, am I not able to sup 
ply what is wanting to you? If, after the decease of a gentle 
man, the lord to w r hom his lands belong, takes possession of 
them, and unites them to his own domains by a just right, and 
if this lord has a high reputation for equity, there may well be 
confidence in him that he will not abandon the children of the 
deceased, and that he will give them what will be necessary for 
their subsistence, how much more just is it, then, that you 
should confide in Me, who am goodness itself, and that you 
should hope firmly, if you turn to Me with your whole heart, 
that I will give to each of you that which you think you have 
lost in her." 

After the corpse had been interred, while the response Reg- 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN U3 

num mundi was singing, wonderful signs of the beatitude of 
Gertrude were beheld in heaven, and the very walls and pave 
ment of the convent seemed to thrill with joy. 

The Saint appeared with a troop of virgins of admirable 
beauty. She held a lily and other flowers in her right hand, 
and at her left were the religious of her community who had 
already attained eternal beatitude. In this glorious triumph 
they marched before the throne of God ; and when the words 
quern vidi, were chanted, God the Father bestowed gifts on 
them; at the words, quam aniavi, God the Son bestowed His 
liberality on them ; and at the In quern credidi the Holy Spirit 
granted similar favors. When they sung quern dilexi, St. Ger 
trude turned towards her heavenly Spouse and saluted Him 
with ardent love. As they chanted the response Libera me, 
Domine, many souls were seen entering heaven with great joy, 
who had been released through the Masses said that day, and 
by the merits of the Saint. Amongst others, a lay brother who 
had been somewhat negligent in spiritual things, but who had 
been much relieved by the intercession of the Saint. 

On the thirtieth day St. Gertrude appeared again to this re 
ligious, but with a splendor which far surpassed the visions 
she had seen before. The reason of this was, that God willed 
that the merit which she had acquired by His grace in suffering 
her infirmities and sickness with so much patience, should ap 
pear exteriorly, and that the beauty of her soul should shine 
forth visibly. A book of gold, richly adorned, was seen before 
the throne of God, in which were written all the instructions she 
had given to those persons who had been under her guidance 
while she was on earth; to which was yet to be added all the 
advancement in virtue which they had attained either by her 
teaching or example. 

At Mass, the religious prayed with great fervor that Our 
Lord would reward their blessed mother for her maternal love 
and care. Our Lord replied : "I grant your prayer, and con 
sent that each of you should make a similar petition to Me ; for 
I have such a good will for this soul that there is scarcely any 
gift or grace which I am not disposed to grant her." Then 



144 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

looking at the Saint lovingly, He said : "You have bestowed 
your benefits well, since they are returned to you so gratefully." 
Gertrude then prostrated before the throne of His glory, to 
thank Him for the fidelity of those who had been formerly un 
der her guidance, and said : "Eternal, boundless, and unceas 
ing praise be to Thee, my sweetest Lord, for all Thy benefits ; 
and blessed be the moment in which Thou didst will to prepare 
and sustain me to receive such rewards. O God of my life, do 
Thou answer them for me ?" Our Lord replied : "I will fix the 
eves of My mercy upon them." He then made the sign of the 
Cross twice with His most holy hand ; and by this He gave to 
each member of the community the grace of giving good ex 
ample, and the grace of having a pure intention of Divine love 
in their hearts. 

We find the following passage in Pere Baron s Incendie, 
Vol. n, lib. iii., c. 28: "St. Gertrude, having made a dona 
tion of all her merits and good works to the souls in Purgatory, 
the demon appeared to her at the moment of her death, and 
mocked her, saying : How vain thou art ! and how cruel thou 
hast been to thyself ! For what greater pride can there be than 
to wish to pay the debts of others without paying one s own ? 
Now, we will see the result ; when thou art dead thou wilt pay 
for thyself in the fires of purgatory, and I will laugh at thy 
folly, whilst thou weepest for thy pride. Then she beheld her 
Divine Spouse approaching her, who consoled her with these 
words : In order that you may know how agreeable your 
charity for the souls of the departed has been to Me, I remit to 
you now all the pains of Purgatory which you might have suf 
fered ; and as I have promised to return you a hundred for one, 
I will further increase your celestial glory abundantly, giving 
you a special recompense for the charity which you have exer 
cised towards My beloved souls in Purgatory, by renouncing 
in their favor your works of satisfaction. " 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 145 



SAINT GERTRUDE S SPEAKING CRUCIFIX 

The Virgin, radiant with a heavenly light, 
Was bowed in prayer within her narrow cell ; 

And while the crucifix fast held her sight, 
Adown her cheeks the tear-drops copious fell. 

She weeps whilst pond ring what her Saviour bore: 
On Calvary s height she stands in spirit now, 

And wipes with loving care the dust and gore, 
That make so foul His beauteous, God-like brow. 

At length the Cross is elevated slow ; 

And oh ! with what desire His Gertrude burns 
To think how she may ease His peerless woe; 

And, guileless, loving soul, a way she learns ! 

She grasps her Saviour s image on the rood, 
On which He dying lay, to prove His love; 

The nails extracts that bind Him to the wood, 
And for each one inserts a fragrant clove ; 

Then smiles content. And soon a voice she hears, 
Her Jesus voice unto her heart addressed, 

Lauding her act and calming all her fears, 
A foretaste of the gladness of the Blessed. 

Not him who sorrow for his fellow makes, 
But him who sweetly soothes another s woe, 

Like the Samaritan, his Saviour takes 
Unto His Heart, and laves from guilt as snow. 

Rev. J. /. ., SJ. 



PRAYER FOR PEACE 

Anth. Give peace, O Lord, in our days ; for there is none other 

that fighteth for us but only Thou our God. 
V. Let there be peace in Thy strength, O Lord. 
R. And plenty in Thy strong places. 



APPARITION TO 

B. BENVENUTA BOJANI, V.O.S.D, 
CIVIDALE, AUSTRIA 







THE HOLY FAMILY 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 147 



APPARITION 

TO 

B. BENVENUTA BOJANI, V.O.S.D. 
CIVIDALE, AUSTRIA 

1292 

Madonna, Queen and Mother! sweeter strains 
Than thy inspiring never hath been sung 
Thou art the poet s purest, brightest dream. 
Fairest! ah, break the captive s cruel chains; 
Sweet are life s charms, yet sweeter far among 
Thy court to see thy glorious beauty beam. 

G. W. 5. Norris. 

LESSED BENVENUTA was born at Cividale, in 
the province of Friuli, in the Austrian dominions, 
about A. D. 1254. The family already consisted 
of six daughters, and the father earnestly desired 
a son. Those who were present at the child s birth were, there 
fore, afraid to tell him that his hopes were again disappointed ; 
but he guessed the truth from their silence, and exclaimed : 
"She, too, shall be welcome !" Hence the little one received the 
beautiful Italian name of Benvenuta [Welcome]. From her 
earliest childhood she gave evidence of singular piety. When 
only seven years old she was in the habit of daily reciting a 
hundred Paters and Aves in honor of the adorable Trinity, and 
a thousand Aves in honor of Our Blessed Lady. On Saturdays 
she doubled her devotions, and on the festival of the Annuncia 
tion, which was specially dear to her, she was accustomed to 
salute her heavenly Mother with as many as three thousand 
Aves. A married sister, who was tenderly attached to Ben 
venuta, strove to induce her to wear costly attire and to accom 
pany her to dances and other festivities; but the saintly child 
would tear the ornaments from her hair and, wrapping herself 
in a coarse veil, seek a hiding-place in a wood at the back of 




148 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

the house, whence she could see a church dedicated to Our 
Blessed Lady, which stood on the summit of a hill. The grass, 
which all around grew rank and thick, was worn away by her 
continual genuflections and prostrations. 

To the constant exercise of prayer she soon learnt to add 
that of severe bodily austerities. When she was twelve years 
old she began to wear a hair-shirt and girdle herself with a 
rope, which, as she grew, became buried in the flesh, causing 
her intense pain. Fearing that, if she disclosed the circum 
stance to her parents, they would oblige her to submit to a 
surgical operation, for which she felt extreme repugnance, she 
had recourse to prayer and, presently beheld the rope lying 
unbroken on the ground before her. For this reason she is 
generally represented with a rope in her hand. She chose Our 
Blessed Lady as her Mother, and made a vow of virginity in 
her honor. She also placed herself in a special manner under 
the patronage of St. Dominic by entering the Third Order, and 
she did her best to imitate the penitential life of the holy 
Patriarch. She spent the greater part of the night in watch 
ing; and, when she felt herself overcome by sleep, she would 
rub her eyes with vinegar, thus rendering it impossible for her 
to close them. Thrice every night she took a severe discipline 
with an iron chain ; she practised much fasting and abstinence, 
denied herself the use of wine, and took her scanty rest lying 
on the bare ground with a stone for her pillow. By these aus 
terities, for which in her fervor and simplicity she had not 
deemed it necessary to ask the permission of her Confessor, she 
reduced herself to a state of extreme weakness and suffering. 
Then St. Dominic appeared to her and bade her manifest all 
her penitential practises and their consequences to her spiritual 
Father. Benvenuta felt great repugnance to obey this com 
mand, and it was not until it had been thrice repeated with 
some severity that she at length yielded. Thenceforth she was 
compelled by obedience somewhat to mitigate the extreme aus 
terity of her life and to undertake no penitential practises with 
out permission. 

Satan early made this holy virgin the object of his malignant 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 149 

attacks, both in soul and body. He was constantly appearing 
to her under various forms and, finding himself unable to lead 
her into sin, he strove at least to terrify her and to shake her 
confidence in God; but Benvenuta, whose courage in all these 
encounters was heroic, so humbled the proud spirit as to compel 
him to confess that he should be ashamed to appear before his 
companions after being thus reviled and baffled by a girl. These 
temptations and struggles, joined to her fasts and vigils, and 
her continual prostrations and prayers, so exhausted her 
strength that at last she fell ill and continued in a state of very 
great suffering for five years, unable to retain any food and 
living on nothing but water. At length, having made a vow 
to go on pilgrimage to the tomb of St. Dominic, at Bologna, if 
her health was restored, she was miraculously cured. 

Many souls were delivered from purgatory through the 
prayers and penances of blessed Benvenuta, and appeared to 
her to thank her for their release. Amongst these were her 
own father and brother. The visions and supernatural favors 
bestowed on this humble servant of God were of singular 
beauty. The following are the only examples which can be 
quoted in this brief narrative. One day, when she was pray 
ing in a church, she beheld a poor child of exquisite beauty, 
and, calling him to her, she inquired if he could say the Hail 
Mary. "Can you say it?" asked the child. Benvenuta imme 
diately began to recite it; and, when she came to the words, 
"Blessed is the fruit of thy womb," the child said : "And I am 
He," and then disappeared. Having once prepared herself 
with special devotion to celebrate the festival of our Lord s 
Nativity, as she was praying in the church on Christmas night 
and begging the Blessed Virgin to allow her to behold the Di 
vine Babe, she suddenly saw a lady bearing an infant in her 
arms and accompanied by an old man who carried a stick. The 
Lady bade her return home, telling her she would there see 
what she desired. Benvenuta obeyed; and, when she reached 
the house the same vision was again vouchsafed to her, and the 
Blessed Virgin laid the Divine Infant in her arms, and per 
mitted her to caress Him for more than an hour, 



150 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

Before the death of blessed Benvenuta, which happened 
when she was in her thirty-eighth year, Our Lady revealed to 
her that the devil would appear to her under a most horrible 
form, striving to tempt her with vain fears ; but her heavenly 
Mother promised that she would herself hasten to her assist 
ance, as indeed, happened. The servant of God, after a short 
but terrible conflict with the evil one, departed this life in great 
peace and joy on the 3Oth of October, A. D. 1292. Her sanc 
tity was attested by many miracles, and she was beatified by 
Clement X. 

HE GREW IN WISDOM 

He grew in wisdom day bv day, 
Close nestling at His Mother s knee; 

She taught His baby lips to pray, 
Her own voice joining reverently. 

From her He learned our human speech, 
The lessons of the birds and flowers, 

Such simple love as she could teach, 
Through all those precious hidden hours. 

And when the stars shone overhead 

And night fell soft on Nazareth, 
Held fast within her arms, He read 

The sacred scrolls with bated breath. 

Sometimes He paused, with tiny hand 

Laid softly on His Mother s cheek; 
She thought a thrill passed o er the land, 

To hear the words His tongue would speak. 

Gazing within His eyes, she saw 

His wisdom growing day by day; 
In turn He taught her Israel s law 

Her Child, Who loved not childhood s play. 

But deep within her mother-heart 

She hid His wisdom through the years, 

And when He slept she sat apart, 
And pondered it mid falling tears. 

Marion Ames Tag gar t. 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 



APPARITION 

TO 

PAUL OF THE WOOD, HERMIT 
RECANATI, ITALY 

1294 

O House of Nazareth! Earth s heaven! 

Our households now are hallowed all by thee; 
All blessings come, all gifts are given, 

Because of thy dear earthly Trinity. 

Rev. Frederick W. Faber. 

AIR Italy has many shrines, but the first and dearest 
of them all is a certain rude stone cottage on the 
shores of the Adriatic. Brought hither by angelic 

hands, it has ever been the favorite place of pil- 

grimage for Catholics, not only of Italy, or even Europe, but 
of the world. Tis justly so, for within its sacred precincts 
the most stupendous mystery of all time was accomplished. 
The Word was made flesh there, and began to dwell amongst 
men. The wonderful story of the Holy House is familiar to 
most of us from childhood. A brief resume of this, and then 
for a glance at the actual Loretto of to-day. 

From earliest Christianity the house in Nazareth of Galilee 
that had been the home of the Holy Family was known and 
held in the highest veneration. To it in humble pilgrimage 
had come the Empress mother of Constantine the Great 
St. Helen; the poet-lauded Tancred, the flower of stainless 
chivalry ; the gentle mystic of Assisi, St. Francis ; and the brave 
St. Louis, king of France. But darker days had come upon 
the holy places. Mahometan cruelty reigned throughout Pal 
estine. All Christians were either butchered or expelled, and 
Shrines dedicated to the most sacred memories were defiled or 
ruthlessly destroyed. Nor could the sacred abode in Galilee 




152 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

have escaped ruin, but that God willed that it should be pre 
served for the veneration and consolation of the faithful 
through many succeeding centuries. One day it was seen no 
more in Nazareth. At the same time it was known that a 
small stone structure had miraculously appeared at Tersotto, 
a small town of Dalmatia, on the eastern shores of the Adriatic. 
Inquiry proved the identity of this stone cottage with that of 
Nazareth, and at once great devotion began to be shown it. 
Within a year, however, it disappeared as miraculously as it 
had come, and was immediately afterward found on the west 
ern shores of the same sea, somewhat towards the north of 
Italy. This second event was on December loth, in the year 
1294. Doubtless, such a tale sounds unusual in this age of 
incredulity, but everything thus far recorded is proved by 
actual existing documents. Tis still better proved by the un 
interrupted series of miracles that for six long centuries have 
rewarded the faith and piety of devout pilgrims from the four 
quarters of the globe. The present century is no exception in 
this respect to the five that have preceded it. Nor is a visit 
to Loretto now any less interesting than in past years. 

For hours before it actually comes into view we are travel 
ing the far extending shores of the Adriatic. The scenery at 
first rather flat and uninteresting, changes perceptibly as we 
near our destination. Beautifully undulating hills, covered 
with forests and vineyards succeed one another almost with 
regularity. The valleys between are at times under perfect cul 
tivation, at others are long stretches of meadow land. Suddenly, 
in the distance, we catch a glimpse of a town built upon a hill, 
from the midst of which rises a stately cathedral, slightly 
oriental in its peculiarly shaped dome. Tis Loretto. 

A moment more and we have drawn up at the railway sta 
tion in the lower town, have taken our places in one of the 
many busses there awaiting us, and are toiling away up the 
steep hill. A drive of twenty minutes and we have reached 
the upper town, quaintly built, as all Italian towns are, in very 
irregular, rough-paved streets. That leading direct to the 
basilica might well be described as one long set of booths. It 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 153 

is narrow, and nearly every house on each side is a shop for the 
sale of souvenirs. Five minutes more and we are crossing the 
large square in front of the cathedal. It is called, with pe 
culiar appropriateness, the square or piazza, of the Madonna. 
In the centre a beautiful fountain casts grateful sprays up into 
the sultry summer air. To the left, as we ascend the step, is 
a large bronze statue of Sixtus V., said to be one of the 
finest statues in bronze existing. A few steps further and we 
have pushed aside the heavy curtain at the door, and are within 
the basilica. 

The very first object to claim our attention is the Holy 
House, standing directly under the dome, heavily encased in 
superb marble, and surrounded with numerous rich and ever 
burning lamps. What floods of emotion rush through our 
souls as we advance slowly up the nave, and turning to our 
right, enter beneath the hallowed portals of what was once, so 
long ago, the house of Jesus, Mary, Joseph. What wonder 
that in trembling awe and love we kneel, and there in "the 
dim religious light" pour forth our souls in sweetest prayer? 
The very stones whisper to us of peace, of happiness, of love. 
For many long years these sacred walls contained the most 
perfect heaven earth ever knew. It seems that we could never 
tire of kneeling there and praying at that sacred spot. 

A high Mass is going on as we enter, the choir answering 
from without. And now, as we glance around, we find that 
we are in a room some twenty feet long by ten or twelve broad. 
The arched ceiling is not the original one. This last was re 
moved by one of the Popes and placed under the mosaic pave 
ment. At the farther end is an altar raised by at least three 
steps, and in the wall back of this is a niche containing a wood 
en statue of the Blessed Virgin and the Divine Child, said by 
tradition to have been carved by the evangelist St. Luke. The 
figures, both of Virgin and Child, are of ebony black, and there 
are. marks upon them to show that at one time they were gilded. 
The cloth forming the dress of the statue is fairly ablaze with 
jewels of rarest value. The altar is alight with lamps and 
candles placed in every available spot. The high Mass over, 



154 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

a low Mass begins, and this ended, another. Thus the divine 
service goes on uninterruptedly the whole morning, and often 
into the afternoon. And how thrilling it is to hear Mass here, 
but, above all, how deeply impressive to say Mass. There are 
two altars for the conveniences of visiting priests one within 
the Holy House, the other built against that wall which faces 
the entrance of the basilica. This latter is called the altar of 
the Annunciation, from a sculpture of that mystery in the 
marble casing of that part of the Holy House. Amongst the re 
maining sculptures are the Birth of the Virgin, the Adoration 
of the Magi, the Adoration of the Shepherds, the Espousals 
of Mary with Joseph. Running all about the Holy House is a 
broad step of solid marble. In itself it is remarkable, but what 
makes it still more so are two deep grooves at about equal 
distances apart, completely encircling the Shrine. They have 
been made by the knees of countless pilgrims who, turn by 
turn, have gone around the Holy House in that humble, prayer 
ful posture. What an intense, living faith is this ! What wond 
er that Mary blesses these faithful servants of Jesus and of 
her ! The dome is richly painted, representing the various 
mysteries of the Holy Rosary, and the titles of Mary given 
her in what is familiarly known as .the Litany of the Blessed 
Virgin, or of Loretto. On the right is the beautiful Spanish 
Chapel, the most complete of all yet erected. Tis here that 
the Reverend Canons daily chant the Divine Office. Their 
dress we notice is like that of the ordinary canons, purple and 
ermine, except that, like bishops and abbots they carry a pec 
toral cross. Further on is the German chapel, which, together 
with the French chapel, is still in an unfinished state. We see 
enough of each, however, to realize that when thrown open to 
the public they will be, indeed, beautiful, and fully worthy of 
the sanctuary they will adorn. 

Two inscriptions in English, placed on each side of the 
nave, next attract our attention. The one on the Gospel side 
was written during the sixteenth century by an English Jesuit, 
but has become so obsolete in its wording as to be almost un 
intelligible. This was apparently true even two centuries later, 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 155 

for the second inscription, on the Epistle side, purports to be 
a translation of the first into more modern English. Even this 
second has several old-fashioned and obsolete words. A third 
translation will soon be needed. 

A glance at the massive bronze baptismal font, and we pass 
into the Hall of Treasures, just off from the Church. It is some 
sixty feet long by perhaps twenty-five broad. In cases all 
around the walls are arranged the gifts of the ages past. It 
would, indeed, be difficult to find a more rare, varied and valu 
able collection. Everything imaginable from ordinary gold 
rings and watches, to the richest diamond necklaces and crown- 
jewels, is there and in profusion. Tis the wealth of nations. 

As we walked along the length of the hall, admiring its costly 
and often curious treasures, our eyes suddenly rested upon a 
large silk American flag, with the inscription upon it : "Lour- 
des, Paray le Monial, Loretto." Dear "Old Glory," how de 
lightful the surprise to meet thee thus unexpectedly, so far, far 
away from the sweet home of liberty and ours ! And how fitting 
to find thee here here in Mary s earthly home, her favorite 
Shrine! Thou art a witness unto all the world of the ardent 
faith and love and devotion of her children of America. 

A moment more and we have re-entered the church. Ap 
proaching the Holy House we go into it through a door back 
of the altar. Here a priest, vested in surplice and stole, takes 
out from its resting place and puts into our hands a small 
earthen dish made of red baked clay, coated on its outer sur 
face with solid gold. It was with the Holy House when it ar 
rived, and tradition is that with its aid Mary was wont to 
prepare the simple repasts of the Holy Family. How beautiful 
the thought! We reverently and lovingly touch it with our 
lips and place upon it the medals and pictures that we wish 
to have blessed. Then, having entered our names upon the 
book of visitors, we enter once more into the Holy House to 
say one long, loving, farewell prayer. That Mary, ever Vir 
gin, hears that prayer we are sure, and as we rise and pass 
slowly adown the long nave, lingering a moment as we turn 
again at the door, and then step out upon the broad Square 



156 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

of the Madonna, we feel that Mary s loving blessing rests upon 
us to guide, guard and cheer us through the long years to come. 



DESCRIPTION OF THE HOLY HOUSE 

The Holy House is a chamber of rough, dark-reddish stone, 
thirty-one feet long and thirteen feet wide, with a square win 
dow on its west side, and a rude chimney in its eastern wall. 
In front of the chimney is a cube of cement stone, upon which 
St. Peter is believed to have celebrated Mass when the Apostles, 
after the Ascension, turned the home of the Holy Family into 
a church. Over the altar, radiant in diamonds and rubies, and 
illuminated by the never-dying flame of sixty-two golden lamps, 
is an image of the Virgin and Child. 

The following story is found among the traditions of the 
Holy House of Loretto. At a distance of about thirty miles 
from that city, a little girl, seven years of age, was employed 
in keeping sheep. Her parents who were living in the neigh 
borhood, had brought up this child religiously, and had im 
parted to her a great devotion to Our Blessed Lady. She de 
lighted in nothing so much as in invoking the dear names of 
Jesus and Mary, and her infantine piety was the edification 
of those who knew of it. One day this little girl, seeing her 
flock quietly at pasture, was praying to the Blessed Mother, 
when on a sudden she saw a beautiful Lady approaching her. 
She was alarmed at first, for it was a strange sight to see 
in that lonely place ; and, besides, she had never before seen 
any but the persons among which she had lived. But, though 
she was alarmed at first, the sweet and kindly aspect of the 
Lady took away all her fear, and she felt her heart full of 
confidence. The Lady asked her to come with her where she 
was going. "But who will take care of my sheep whilst I am 
away ?" asked the little girl. "Do not fear," the Lady answered, 
"trust me for them." She took hold of the child s hand, and 
they went on their way, and in a short time they arrived at 
Loretto. The Blessed Virgin (for it was no other, though the 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 157 

maiden knew it not) led her into a stately Church of splendor, 
such as the simple child had never seen before. They passed 
on, through the midst of the church, into a gorgeous chapel 
lighted up by innumerable tapers, and there, resplendent with 
the most beautiful and radiant jewels, was the Statue of the 
Virgin. The innocent child was rapt in astonishment and de 
light at every thing she saw; she felt so tender a devotion 
that she almost thought she was in Paradise. With her whole 
heart she made an offering of herself to Mary, and was ab 
sorbed in happy prayer, how long she knew not. At length 
that loving guide warned her that it was time to depart. The 
child was very sorry to leave the holy place; but she again 
set forth, hand in hand with her guide. Their walk seemed 
but short, and she found her sheep all safe, feeding quietly 
where she had left them. At nightfall she conducted them as 
usual to the fold, and went home to her parents. 

She told them joyfully what she had seen, and entreated 
them to take her again to see the grand chapel, whither the 
Lady had conducted her. They knew of no such chapel in the 
neighborhood, and could not imagine what she was talking 
about. But she would not be pacified ; she still insisted to go 
again to the chapel where she had seen so many lamps all 
lighted up, and so many people at their prayers. At last they 
bade her hold her peace, and the innocent child obeyed; but 
was not the less certain that she had not been dreaming when 
she walked with the Lady to the grand chapel. 

However, after some time had elapsed, it happened that her 
father and mother resolved to go on pilgrimage to Loretto, 
arid take all their family thither, this little girl with the rest. 
The moment they entered the chapel, O joyful sight for her, 
the innocent child recognized the very chapel into which the 
Lady had taken her. There was the same altar, the same 
Statue of the Blessed Virgin, the same Infant Jesus. She 
knelt down, shedding tears of joy and consecrated herself 
again, as she had done before to that heavenly Mother, who 
it was now evident had been her guide. Her parents, con 
vinced at last that the dear child had been the object of Divine 



158 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

favor, looked on her with astonishment and awe; and when 
afterwards she showed a desire to embrace the life of per 
fection, they put no obstacles in her way. 

She joined a religious community of which at length she 
became the superioress ; and it is related of her, that she always 
once a year visited the Shrine of Loretto, in gratitude for the 
wonderful grace which had at first guided her thither. And 
more than this, she died in the odor of sanctity. 

"God was not pleased," says Father Torsellini, "that the 
Holy House of Mary should remain exposed to the profana 
tions of barbarians ; He transported it by the hands of angels 
into Tersotto, and thence to the March of Ancona, in the midst 
of a laurel wood belonging to a pious and noble widow, named 
Lauretta. The report goes," he adds, "that on the arrival of 
the Holy House, the great trees of the Italian forest bowed 
down in token of respect, and retained that position till the 
axe, or old age had levelled them." 

Soon afterwards the blessed Virgin appeared in a vision to 
St. Nicholas Tolentino, O. S. A., and also to a holy hermit, 
called Paul of the Wood, who lived near Recanati, announcing 
in each case the event which had occurred and making known 
the true character of the house. The last-named afterwards 
described the event in a letter which he wrote to Duke Charles 
of Sicily, in 1297. 

THE GROVE OF LAURELS 

Sweetly low the laurels bending. 

Trail their bright leaves on the sod, 
For the angels are descending 

With the Holy House of God. 
O er the Adriatic gliding, 

Bathed in light most heavenly fair, 
Silently the air dividing, 

Angels their blest burden bear. 
Blissful dome, most dear and holy, 

Speeding softly o er the sea, 
Laurel branches bowing lowly 

Bid us bend the suppliant knee. 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 159 

Dome whose humble walls enfolded 

In the land of Galilee, 
How, the maid whom Heaven had molded 

Mother of our God to be; 
Dome wherein her infant beauty, 

Infant purity, and truth, 
Nourished ever for mystic duty, 

Waiting her angelic youth, 
Welcome, by the angels guided, 

Softly o er the summer sea, 
Blest the air so late divided 

By the house of Galilee. 

Blest the ground whereon it rooted, 

And forever there shall bloom, 
Flowers with light unearthly crested, 

Verdure midst the desert s gloom. 
From these walls the infant maiden 

Saintly glory round her form, 
To the temple sweetly laden, 

Bore her tribute pure and warm; 
Not of gold, nor flowers that wither, 

She her votive offering made 
But a holier gift brought hither, 

And upon the altar laid. 

Twas herself, the "Star of Morning," 

"Lily of Judea" fair, 
Sweetly God s dear Shrine adorning 

Unreserved she offered there; 
Here returning from the Temple, 

With her holy Spouse, once more 
This sweet flower, so pure and simple, 

Lived the humble life of yore; 
Blissful dome, most dear and holy 

Speeding softly o er the sea, 
Laurel branches bowing lowly 

Bid us bend the suppliant knee. 

Gentlest Mother, humbly kneeling, 

Sorrowful within thy walls 
Sound of heavely pinions, stealing, 

Softly, as we listen, falls ; 



i6o APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

While we see thy beauty holy, 

Beaming with a light divine, 
And majestic Gabriel slowly 

Enters where thy glories shine; 
Hear that voice like purling waters 

Falling sweetly on the ear! 
"Mary, blest of Israel s daughters, 

God the Lord is with thee here." 

"Full of grace," tis He who led thee, 

Sinless, pure, His chosen one! 
And the power shall overspread thee, 

And His will in thee be done; 
From thy tender heart s pure fountain, 

God shall be incarnate made, 
And the tide from sin s dark mountain 

At thy holy feet be stay d." 
"Handmaid of the Lord behold me!" 

Joyful word, falls on the ear. 
Sinful earth, let light enfold thee. 

Lo! the Word Incarnate here! 

Fairest dome, the angel s treasure, 

Earth can hold no Shrine so blest, 
And our hearts in untold measure, 

Pour their tribute here to rest ; 
By our loving Mother guarded, 

Here we hope her aid to gain, 
And our love at last rewarded, . 

Heaven shall echo our refrain. 
Blissful dome, most dear and holy, 

Speeding softly o er the sea, 
Laurel branches bending lowly 

Bid us bend the suppliant knee. 




HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 161 



APPARITION 

TO 

ST. CLARE OF RIMINI, W. 
RIMINI, ITALY 




Ave Maria! Queen and Virgin blest, 

Virgin most pure, behold, on thee we call, 
Entreating pity from thy loving breast, 

Maternal pity for thy clients all. 
Ave! we hail thee. Hear, O hear us now! 

Receive the homage offered to thy power; 
Invoking thee to whom the angels bow. 

Assist us, Mother, in death s dreaded hour. 

Marcella A. Fitzgerald. 

LARE was the daughter of wealthy and noble 
parents; she herself was twice married, and her 
life, up to her conversion, was spent in the enjoy 
ment of the riches and pleasures of the world. 
Once, as she prayed in the Franciscan Church at Rimini, Our 
Blesse^.La^v_a22eared, surrounded by angels and saints. "Of 
what avail," she said, "to your first husband, whom you loved 
so well, were his honors, his fortune, and his youth, since 
death has taken him from you and from them ?" In a moment 
Clare saw the folly of her life, and her resolve was taken. 
The hair-shirt, the sharp discipline, these were to be hers for 
the future. A small cell, a board to sleep on, bread and herbs 
to eat, for these she was to exchange the comforts and re 
finements of the world. To these austerities she added an 
active zeal for good works; she served a community of Poor 
Clares as a lay-sister ; she would run messages for the poorest ; 
she offered herself as a slave to ransom a criminal in the 
common prison of the town. But as her life drew to a close 
she inclined more and more to contemplation. With the com 
panions whom her example had gathered round her, she found 
ed a convent of Beguines, and there waited for her release. In 



162 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

a Vision of the Passion, she heard the words, "Arise, My be 
loved; haste and come." The end was not far off. She died 
February 10, 1326. 

We know nothing more of St. Clare than that she lived 
in the world as the world lives. How few of us are not con 
scious of sins more grievous? And yet compare our penance 
with hers. 

In the beginning of her conversion St. Clare was often 
tempted to return to the softness of her former life ; but she re 
sisted every impulse of this kind, however harmless in itself, by 
constant ejaculatory prayer and self-imposed penance. One day, 
having been tempted to some slight act of self-indulgence in eat 
ing, she searched with much trouble for a disgusting insect, 
and, having found one, placed it in her mouth, saying, "Eat, 
glutton ; eat, then, this dainty dish." From that hour she never 
suffered another temptation with regard to food or drink. 

"And when thou shalt seek the Lord thy God thou shalt 
find Him ; yet so if thou seek Him with all thy heart and with 
all the affliction of thy soul." Deut. iv., 29. 

"IMMACULATE" 

Pure are the lily s petals. 

That close round a heart of gold ; 
Pure is the fleece of lambkin, 

The whitest of the fold. 
Pure are the liquid crystals, 

That spangle the meadow s breast; 
Pure is the snow, new-fallen, 

On the towering mountain s crest. 

Pure is the soul, just merging 

From the cleansing font of grace; 
Pure, the adoring seraph, 

In the light of Jehovah s face. 
But thou, O my Queen and my Mother, 

Whom nations call "blessed" and great, 
Art purer than saint or than seraph: 

Thou art Immaculate! 

St. Anthony s Messenger. 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 



63 



APPARITION 



TO 



ST. ANGELA OF FOLIGNO, W.O.S.F. 
FOLIGNO, ITALY 

1303 



Her, San Sisto names, and her Foligno, 
Her, that visits Florence in a vision, 
Her, that s left with lilies in the Louvre, 
Seen by us and all the world in circle." 



Robert Browning 




HE Book of the Visions of Blessed Angela of 
Foligno is simply the history of her spiritual and 
mystical life, from the first steps which she took on 
the Way of Perfection, to the day when Our Lord 
came to take her home, "prepared as a bride adorned for her 
husband." For touching simplicity and beauty it stands among 
other writings of the same kind, and as it was taken from her 
own lips, it may be regarded as the canticle of the love of one 
of the tenderest of human souls under the guidance of the 
love of God. 

These visions were written from her own lips, by her own 
confessor, Brother Arnold, of the Friars Minor, lest the wis 
dom of this world which pufTeth up (in other words, the earth 
ly wisdom of their inflated spirit, who speak great things and 
do but little) should remain unconfounded by the Eternal 
Wisdom of God. He hath raised up a woman of the secular 
state, bound to the world, entangled by ties to husband and chil 
dren and riches, simple in knowledge, weak in strength, but 
who, by the power of God, infused into her through the Cross 
of the God-Man, Jesus Christ, hath broken the chains of the 
world, and mounted up to the summit of evangelical perfection. 
This holy woman was born at Eoligno, in Italy, and at the 



1 64 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

time of her conversion her husband was alive, and she had 
many children. But, after her conversion, she performed 
as great a penance as her body could bear. And besides this, 
she underwent very many temptations and torments in body 
and soul. For she suffered torments invisibly from the powers 
of darkness, and these were all the more severe, as the evil 
spirits are better acquainted with different means of tormenting 
man than any human creature. Hence it happened that when 
a certain person worthy of belief marvelled much at this, and 
had great compassion, hearing, as he did, from this faithful 
servant of Christ, how horribly she was tormented, he saw 
by revelation of God that it was all true. Thus he, too, from 
that time, compassionated her with marvellous fellow-feeling, 
and was moved to exceeding great devotion. Moreover, the 
faithful servant of Christ prayed very much and was most 
careful in her confessions. And one time she confessed to 
me, according to her wont, with so perfect a knowledge of 
her sins, and heartfelt contrition, and with so many tears from 
the beginning to the end of her confession, and with such 
earnestness of humility that I wept, believing for certain that, 
were all the world to be deceived, yet God would not suffer 
her to be deceived, so great was her truthfulness. And on 
the following night, having been very ill, it was with great 
difficulty that she came the next morning to the church, where 
I celebrated Mass and gave her Communion ; and I know that 
she never communicated without receiving from God some 
great grace, and, as it were, a new grace continually. More 
over, so great was the efficacy of the lights and consolations 
which she received in her soul, that very frequently they flowed 
over upon her body, so as to be seen. Hence, at times, when 
she was standing with me, her soul was lifted up, nor was 
she able to understand anything of what I was reading to her. 
And she was changed in face and in body by reason of the 
words which God spake unto her, and so great was her devo 
tion and delight in these consolations, that at times her eyes 
shone like candles, and her face was like a rose. And at times, 
too, her frame seemed to fill out, and in face she became 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 165 

glorious and like unto the angels, and she forgot to eat and 
drink, as if her spirit no longer lived in her body. 

At one time I was in church hearing Mass, and about 
the Elevation I was rapt in spirit, and there appeared to me 
the most Blessed Virgin Mary, who said : "My daughter, dear 
unto my Son and to me, now hath my Son come to thee, and 
thou hast received His blessing." And she made me under 
stand that her Divine Son, Jesus Christ, after the Consecration 
was on the altar as if she would tell me news of a new joy. 
Moreover, these words gave me such joy and gladness that 
I know not if any one could explain it. For Our Blessed Lady 
spoke with such humility, and at the same time I felt a new 
feeling in my soul, and great sweetness. Hence, I wondered 
how I had been able to stand when I was so joyful. And 
after this she said to me : "Now that thou hast received the 
blessing of my Son, it is fitting that I should give thee my 
blessing also." Then she blessed me and said : "Be thou blessed 
of my Son and me ; and strive diligently and earnestly to love 
Him, as much as thou art able, for thou art much loved, and 
thou shalt come at last to that which is infinite." And then 
my soul received such joy as I had never known before. More 
over, I knew that there is nothing which so inflames the soul 
with burning love as when Christ comes to visit the soul, for 
then all the members feel and know He is present. 

At another time I was lifted up, and was not then at prayer, 
but was sitting at rest, for it was after dinner. Hence I was 
not thinking of anything, when suddenly I felt myself lifted 
up, and I saw the Blessed Virgin in glory, and when I under 
stood that a woman was placed in such majesty and glory and 
dignity as she was, I was greatly delighted, for to see her was 
joy unutterable. The Blessed Virgin stood praying for the 
human race, and I saw her in such glory and majesty that I 
cannot express it. And at the sight I was delighted. And while 
I was gazing on her, of a sudden there appeared her Divine 
Son, Jesus Christ, sitting by her side in His glorified humanity. 

And when I understood how that Flesh had been illtreated 
and reviled and crucified, and all the wrongs and contempt and 



1 66 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

ignominy that He had borne for us, and which I then saw in 
a marvelous manner, my delight was so great that it cannot 
be expressed, and I lost my speech, and thought that I should 
die. And this vision lasted for three days, and yet I was not 
prevented from eating, though I eat but little and did not 
speak to any one, but when the name of God was mentioned 
I felt great delight. 

HOW SHE SAW OUR BLESSED LADY OFFERING OUR LORD IN THE 
TEMPLE, AND HOW CHRIST WAS PLACED IN THE ARMS OF THIS 
HOLY WOMAN, AND IT WAS TOLD HER THAT, BECAUSE THE 
LORD HAD OFFERED HIMSELF SHE ALSO OUGHT TO OFFER HER 
SELF TO HIM. 

On the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin, early 
in the morning, while I was in the church of the Friars Minor, 
at Foligno, a voice spoke to me, and said : "This is the hour 
in which Our Lady came with her Divine Son into the Temple." 
And I heard these words with great joy. Then my soul was 
lifted up and I saw Our Blessed Lady entering into the Temple, 
and I went to meet her with great reverence and love. And 
while I was afraid to approach her, Our Lady smiled sweetly 
and held out to me her Divine Son, Jesus, and said : "O lover 
of my Son, take Him !" and she placed her Son in my arms, 
and He seemed to have His eyes closed, as if he slept, and 
He was wrapped in swaddling clothes. 

And Our Blessed Lady sat down as if wearied by her jour 
ney, and made such beautiful and pleasing signs, and her 
presence was so good and gracious, and it was so sweet and 
pleasant a thing to see her, that I not only regarded the Child 
Jesus, but was forced also to look on Our Lady. While I thus 
stood, on a sudden, the Child remained in my arms and opened 
and shut His eyes, and then looked again, and in the look of 
those eyes of His I felt and had such love that it wholly over 
came me. For from those eyes of His there went forth so 
great a splendor and light of love and joy that it is unutterable. 
And then, on a sudden, there appeared an immense and ineffa- 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 167 

ble majesty, and He said to me : "He who hath not seen Me lit 
tle, hath not seen Me great." And he added : "I have come to 
thee and offered Myself to thee, that thou mayest offer thy 
self to Me." Then my soul, in an indescribable manner, offered 
itself to Him, and afterward I offered myself and my children, 
who follow me in all things. I also offered, keeping back 
nothing for myself either of mine or of theirs. And my soul 
understood that God graciously accepted that offering and re 
ceived it with great readiness. 

But of the cheerfulness and ineffable joy and delight which 
I had when I understood that God received my offering with 
such great benignity I can say nothing, for it is impossible for 
me to make it known. Another time I saw the Blessed Virgin 
exhorting me to knowledge, and blessing me, and she told me 
of her dolors and her compassion for her Divine Son. 



OF THE LAST ADVICE OF BLESSED ANGELA, AND 
HER HAPPY DEATH 

At the time of her death, being in ecstacy, she said : "Christ, 
the Son of God, hath now presented me to the Father, and 
these words were said to me : O my bride, my beautiful one ! 
O, thou that are loved by Me with great love, I desire not that 
thou shouldst come to Me with sorrow, but with joy, and with 
the royal robe. And he showed me the royal robe, even as 
a bridegroom shows it to his bride, but it was not of purple, 
nor of scarlet, but it was a kind of marvellous light, with which 
the soul is clothed. And then the Eternal Father showed me 
the Bridegroom, who said: Come, My beloved bride, come 
for all the Saints are waiting for thee with joy. And He said 
also : I will not give thee in charge of the angels, nor to the 
Saints to lead thee, but I will come for thee, and I will take 
thee to Paradise. " 

And when the hour for passing away drew nigh, she said 
many times : "O Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit." 
And then her friends said : "Wilt thou go away and leave us ?" 



168 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

And she answered : "So much have I hidden from you, but 
now I hide it from you no longer, and I say to you that I must 
go away forever." On that same day, when all her pains had 
ceased, by which she was greatly tormented in all her mem 
bers, she was lying in such great peace of body and gladness 
of spirit that already it seemed as if she were tasting of the 
joy that had been promised her. And then we asked her if 
she was happy, and she said she was. And she lay exceeding 
joyful in repose of body and gladness of spirit, until, after 
Compline on Saturday, many of the brethren standing round 
her and ministering to her the holy mysteries, and on that 
same day, the Octave of the Innocents, she fell into a light 
sleep, and rested in peace. Then was this holy soul taken up 
into the abyss of God s infinity, where she received from 
Christ, her Spouse, the stole of innocence and immortality, 
and will reign with Him forever. Whither, too, may He bring 
us all by the virtue of His Cross, and through the merits of 
His Virgin Mother, and the intercession of this most holy 
mother Angela ! 

The blessed Angela passed away from the troubles of this 
world into the joys of heaven which had been promised her 
long before, in the year of our Lord s Incarnation, one thous 
and three hundred and nine, on the fourth day of January, in 
the reign of Pope Clement the Fifth. 



GOD OUR FATHER 

Look upon the Infant Jesus and learn from Him, as did 
B. Angela, the love of God, your Father in heaven, and of 
Christ, your Brother on earth. 

"I said the Our Father with so much contrition and recol 
lection, pronouncing every word, that though I was plunged in 
great anguish by the thought of my sins, I yet received im 
mense consolation, and tasted something of the bliss God grants 
His beloved ones. I have never found a better way for real- 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 169 

izing His mercy than by saying that prayer which Jesus Him 
self taught us." B. Angela. 

The solitude of a sick bed, constant pain, incessant tempta 
tions, the loss of every earthly friend, all these only con 
vinced B. Angela of her absolute dependence on her Father in 
Heaven. She learned to love poverty, sorrow, and contempt 
as the sole companions which He had chosen for His Son and, 
by studying the life of the God-man, she acquired so perfect a 
detachment, and such an intimate knowledge of the things of 
God that the writings of the penitent worldling rank high 
among the revelations of the Saints. 



TO-DAY 

Where the seven-hilled city s towers 

Rise aloft, and Tiber flows ; 
In the Indian banyan bovvers, 

Mid the polar ice and snows; 
Where the western streams are flowing 

To the ocean s briny breast, 
Where the Southern Cross is glowing 
North and south and east and west ; 
In the sunshine s golden splendor, 

In the wintry shadows gray, 
Myriad voices praise the tender 
Mother-Maiden all the day. 

In cathedrals famed in story, 

Rich in many a jeweled Shrine; 
And in abbeys gray and hoary, 

Whence arises song divine ; 
In the cloisters dim and holy 

Where the virgins softly tread, 
In the wayside chapel lowly 
Where the peasants prayers are said; 
From the hearts with sorrows laden, 
And from joyous hearts and gay, 
Rise the praises of the Maiden 
Who is Queen in Heaven to-day, 



170 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

And tis not alone by mortals 

That such glorious strains are sung, 
But beyond the golden portals 

All the heavenly host among, 
Martyrs high their palm boughs bearing, 

Seraphs in their robes of snow, 
Saints of many a nation wearing 
Crowns well worn on earth below, 
Sing the word that earth is singing 

From the dawn to evening late; 
All the courts of heaven are ringing 
With the word "Immaculate." 

Magdalen Rock. 



So, with every pulsation of our hearts, with the warmest 
throbbings of our bosoms, and with the earnest desires of our 
souls, let us venerate this Mary because such is His will, who 
decreed that we should have everything through her. This, 
I say, was His will ; but it was on our account. St. Bernard. 



Gregory XIII. By the Rosary the anger of God ceases and 
the intercession of Mary is sought. 

Paul III. By the Rosary, St. Dominic averted the anger of 
God from France and Italy. 

Pius V. Owing to the spread of the Rosary the faithful, 
roused with these meditations, penetrated with these prayers, 
become by degrees other men, the darkness of heresy is scat 
tered and the light of Catholic Faith shines in all its lustre. 

Pius IX. The Rosary is the most efficacious prayer for the 
increase in the hearts of the faithful of devotion to the Mother 
of God. 

Leo XIII. The most complete expression of Christian 
piety. 

The Rosary Magazine. 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 



171 



APPARITION 



TO 



ST. NICHOLAS TOLENTINE, O.S.A. 
TOLENTINE, ITALY 



Look down on us, thy children, 

O Mother, dear, look down; 
The mother s face beams kindly 

When other faces frown: 
Though thou art Queen of Heaven, 

And reign st in joy above, 
Yet still, O dearest Mother, 

Look down on us with love. 



Rev. M. Russell, S. J. 




ORN in answer to the prayers of a holy mother, 
and vowed before his birth to the service of God, 
Nicholas never lost his baptismal innocence. His 
austerities were conspicuous even in the austere 
Order the Hermits of St. Augustine to which he belonged, 
and to the remonstrances which were made by his superiors, he 
only replied, "How can I be said to fast, while every morn 
ing at the altar I receive my God?" He conceived an ardent 
charity for the Holy Souls, so near and yet so far from their 
Saviour ; and often after his Mass, it was revealed to him that 
the souls for whom he had offered the Holy Sacrifice had been 
admitted to the presence of God. Amidst his loving labor for 
God and man, he was haunted by fear of his own sinfulness. 
"The heavens," said he, "are not pure in the sight of Him 
whom I serve, how then shall I, a sinful man, stand before 
Him?" 

As he pondered on these things, Mary, the Queen of all 
Saints appeared before him. "Fear not, Nicholas." she said, 
"all is well with you : my Son bears you in His heart, and I 
am your protectress." Then his soul was at rest ; and he heard, 



172 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

we are told, the songs which the angels sing in the presence 
of their Lord. He died September 10, 1310. 

In the midst of his agony the face of the blessed Nicholas 
became radiant with joy, and he saw in vision our Lord, His 
Blessed Mother, and St. Augustine inviting him to join them. 
Then embracing a relic of the True Cross, he cried : "Hail, 
Holy Cross, found worthy to bear the ransom of the world, 
which lay on thee! May that ransom, even Jesus Christ, by 
thee defend me from the enemy of my soul !" And so saying 
he rendered up his spirit to God. 

Would you die the death of the just? There is only one 
way to secure the fulfilment of your wish. Live the life of 
the just. For it is impossible that one who has been faith 
ful to God in life should make a bad or an unhappy end. 

"The souls of the just are in the hand of God, and the 
torment of death shall not touch them." Wisd. iii, I. 

On one occasion, when St. Nicholas was very ill, Our Lady 
appeared to him in vision, and sweetly told him to procure a 
little bread, and eat it moistened in water, and he would be 
cured. The Saint did so, and he was instantly restored to 
health. From this fact the Blessed bread of St. Nicholas had 
its origin. The Church has approved a special benediction, 
which can be used only by members of the Augustinian Order. 
In virtue of Two Decrees of the Holy Congregation one of 
the 3<Dth September, 1622, the other i6th July, 1627 it is 
expressly prohibited to anyone, unless an Augustinian, under 
any pretext whatsoever, to use this benediction, without special 
faculties to do so, obtained in writing, from the Father-Gen 
eral, for the time being, of the Augustinian Order. This fac 
ulty is easily obtained in those places in which the Order of 
St. Augustine is not established. This holy bread, dipped in 
clear water, was frequently used by St. Nicholas in his life 
time with the greatest success in curing the sick, especially in 
fevers, in extinguishing conflagrations, in allaying storms, in 
overcoming sorceries and witchcrafts, and all other illusions of 
the devil. Pope Eugene IV. gave his apostolic sanction for 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 173 

ever to the use of this bread, when in the Bull upon the canon 
isation of St. Nicholas of Tolentine, he ordered that this bread 
should be yearly, on the festival of St. Nicholas, the loth day 
of September, blessed and distributed at the churches, chapels, 
and altars of the Hermits of St. Augustine, to the people, for 
their use thereof upon the above occasions, &c., in manner and 
form here following, viz. : 

When at any time you will make use of this blessed bread, 
you are to say with a lively faith and sure confidence in God 
by the merits of this His saint, three Paters and three Aves to 
the honor of the Most Holy Trinity, and then the Salve Regina, 
or Hail Holy Queen, etc., to the praise and honor of the 
Queen of Heaven, the ever Blessed Virgin Mary ; and, in fine, 
the following anthem and oration to the honor of St. Nicholas 
of Tolentine, viz. : 

Ant. Nicholas, the truly poor man of Jesus Christ, a virgin 
chosen by God, observing perpetual obedience, hath adorned 
the Order of Hermits with his prodigies and miracles. 

V. Pray for us, O Blessed St. Nicholas. 

R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. 

LET US PRAY. 

Grant, we beseech Thee, O Almighty God, that Thy Church, 
which is illustrated with the glory of the prodigies and miracles 
of St. Nicholas, Thy blessed Confessor, may by his merit and 
intercession enjoy perpetual peace and unity, through Christ 
our Lord. 

THE MOTHER OF SORROWS 

Thou wept st, meek maiden, Mother mild, 
Thou wept st upon thy sinless Child 

Thy very heart was riven; 
And yet, what mourning matron here 
Would deem thy sorrows bought too dear 

By all this side of Heaven. 

A Son that never did amiss, 
That never shamed His Mother s kiss 
Nor cross d her fondest prayer. 



174 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

Even from the tree he deign d to bow 
For her His agonized brow, 
Her His sole earthly care. 

Ave Maria! blessed Maid! 
Lily of Eden s fragrant shade, 

Who can express the love 
That nurtured thee so pure and sweet, 
Making thy heart a shelter meet 

For Jesus, holy Dove? 

Ave Maria! Mother blest! 

To whom, caressing and caress d 

Clings the Eternal Child ; 
Favored beyond Archangel s dream, 
When first on thee, with tenderest gleam, 

The new-born Saviour smiled. 

Ave Maria! thou whose name 
All but adoring love may claim, 

Yet may we reach thy shrine; 
For He, thy Son and Saviour, vows 
To crown all lowly, lofty brows 

With love and joy like thine. 

John Keble. 




HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 175 



APPARITION 

TO 

POPE JOHN XXII. 
AVIGNON, FRANCE 

1316 

No Voice above can plead for us 

Sweet Mother, like to thine! 
No love so brightly, softly glows, 

Except His love Divine. 

Enfant De Marie of St. Clare. 

ATHER CROISET, in the second volume of his 
"Devotion to the Blessed Virgin," gives an extract 
from the Bull of Pope John XXIL, which that 
Sovereign Pontiff issued in 1316, on occasion of 
the Apparition with which that Pope was favored by Our 
Blessed Lady, who addressed to him those words, so consol 
ing to the servants of that great Queen ; words relating exclu 
sively to the Confraternities of the Scapular, but applicable also 
to those of her dear children who put their confidence in her. 

One morning that he had, as usual, risen very early to pray, 
being on his knees, the Queen of Heaven appeared to him 
and said: 

"John, Vicar of my Son, it is to me you are indebted for 
your exaltation to the dignity which you enjoy, in consequence 
of my solicitations in your behalf with my Divine Son, and 
as I have delivered you from the snares of your enemies, so do 
I expect that you will give ample and favorable confirmation 
of the holy Carmelite Order, which was first instituted on 
Mount Carmel. . . . And if among the religious or 
brethren of the Confraternity, who depart from this life, there 
should be any who for their sins have been detained in purga 
tory, I, their glorious Mother, .will descend, on the Saturday 




1 76 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

after their death, and deliver those whom I shall find there, 
and take them up to the holy mountain of eternal life." 

These are the very words of the Bull of the 3d March, 1322, 
whereby Pope John XXII. made the promulgation of this 
privilege, which he at the same time confirmed in all its ex 
tent, saying : "I accept, then, this holy indulgence, I corroborate 
and confirm it on earth, as Jesus Christ, by reason of the merits 
of His glorious Mother, has conceded it in Heaven." (Bull- 
arium Carmelitarium, tome n.) This is called the Sabbatine 
Bull, which has been approved of by Pope Alexander V., Clem 
ent VIL, Pius V. and Gregory XIIL, and seventeen other 
Pontiffs. Most certain it is that twenty Popes would not have 
confirmed the Bull of their predecessor, John XXIL, if they 
had not believed that the Apparition of the Blessed Virgin, 
therein related, was incontestable. 

The Sacred Congregation of Rites also acknowledged it, for 
it is stated as a pious belief, in the lessons of the solemn com- 
moration of Our Lady, which the Carmelites celebrate on the 
1 6th of July, and these lessons having been examined and ap 
proved of by Cardinal Bellarmine, were confirmed by the sacred 
Congregation in 1609, and subscribed by the Prefect of the 
said congregation, in the name of Pope Paul V., this appro 
bation was renewed in 1612. Moreover, the congregation of 
the holy office of the Inquisition, under Paul V., in 1613, con 
firmed this privilege on the following occasion : 

An inquisitor of the kingdom of Portugal attempted to pre 
vent the Carmelites from stating the privilege of the Sabbatine 
Bull in their public sermons ; the affair having been referred to 
Rome, the Congregation of the Holy Office, after a strict ex 
amination of the prerogatives of the Holy Scapular, issued a 
decree to serve as a rule of conduct for the future; this de 
cree, of which the following is a literal translation, was ap 
proved by Pope Paul V., in 1613 : 

"The Carmelite Fathers are authorized to preach that the 
faithful may piously believe, with regard to the assistance given 
to the souls of the Carmelites, and the members of the Con 
fraternity of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, to wit: That the 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 177 

Blessed Virgin will relieve, by her continual intercession, by 
her suffrages, by her merits, and by her special protection, 
and particularly on the Saturday (being the day consecrated 
to her by the Church), the members of the Confraternity who 
shall have died in the state of grace, have worn the Scapular 
during life, observed chastity, each one according to their state 
of life, recited the Little Office, or, who not being able to read, 
shall have observed the fasts of the Church, and abstained from 
flesh meat on Wednesdays and Saturdays, unless when Christ 
mas Day happens to fall on either of those days." 

The Sabbatine Bull was also examined and authorized by the 
most famous universities, colleges and schools of Christendom ; 
by the university of Cambridge, in England, in 1374, by that 
of Bologna, in Italy, in 1609, and by that of Salamanca, in 
Spain. Moreover, Urban VIII., Clement X., and Innocent 
XL, confirmed the decree of the Sacred Congregation of Rites 
relative to the office of the i6th of July. 

In fine, Benedict XIIL, by his decree, Urbis et orbis, of 
September, 1726, approved of the office for the festival of Our 
Lady of Mount Carmel, July 16, and commanded all the faith 
ful of both sexes who are bound to recite the canonical hours, 
to do it under the rite of great double. 

There are a number of graces and advantages attached to 
this holy habit, which fully accounts for the devout anxiety 
which the faithful have alwavs manifested to receive it. 



A SHORTER PURGATORY 

In addition to the indulgences which the members of the Con 
fraternity of the Scapular may gain in this life, they also enjoy 
a special privilege and an extraordinary advantage, which is 
commonly called the Sabbatine privilege. This privilege has 
for its security the promise made to Pope John XXII., by the 
Blessed Virgin, and as before stated, it is inserted in the les 
sons approved of by the Church for the feasts of the solemn 
commoration of the Blessed Virgin Mary, celebrated by the 



1 78 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

Order of the Carmelites on the i6th of July, where we read 
these words: "Not only in this world Our Blessed Lady has 
beatified with many prerogatives this Order, so acceptable to 
her, but also in the other world (she everywhere being great 
in power and mercy) doth favor those that are enrolled in the 
society of the Scapular; for whilst they are purged by the fire 
of purgatory, she doth comfort them with maternal affection, 
and by her prayers doth very speedily bring them into the 
celestial country, as is piously believed/ 

The excellency and greatness of this privilege will easily 
appear, if we consider how terrible the torments of purgatory 
are ; according to St. Gregory, St. Augustine, St. Bernard, and 
others, they are not in any way to be compared to the pains 
of this life, nor to those pains which the holy martyrs 
endured. Moreover, the angelical doctor, St. Thomas, 
saith : "That they do exceed the pains which Jesus Christ 
suffered in His holy passion, which, notwithstanding, were 
the most cruel and bitter that ever any creature endured in 
this life ; besides, they are not torments for an hour, or a day, 
as those of this world, but they may and do last twenty, thirty, 
or a hundred years." From these fearful torments the mem 
bers of the Scapular are soon relieved if they perform what the 
members of the Scapular are obliged to do, and die in the state 
of grace invested with the holy habit. 

The Holy Virgin, in giving the Scapular to St. Simon, made 
him a most consoling promise. She put no bounds to the con 
fidence of those who should wear her habit. In the engagement 
she made to protect them there is no condition. Her words 
are precise : "Whoever shall die wearing this habit, shall not 
suffer eternal fire." 



THE QUEEN OF PURGATORY 

O turn to Jesus, Mother, turn 
And call Him by his tenderest names, 

Pray for the Holy Souls that burn 
This hour amid the cleansing flames. 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 170 

Ah! they have fought a gallant fight 

In death s cold arms they persevered, 
And after life s tmcheery night 

The harbor of their rest is neared. 

In pains beyond all earthly pains, 

Favorites of Jesus ! there they lie, 
Letting the fire wear out their stains 

And worshiping God s purity. 

Spouses of Christ they are, for He 

Was wedded to them by His Blood; 
And angels o er their destiny 

In wondering adoration brood. 

They are the children of Thy tears : 

Then hasten, Mother, to their aid, 
In pity think each hour appears 

An age while glory is delayed. 

O Mary, let thy Son no more 

His lingering spouses thus expect ; 
God s children to their God restore, 

And to the Spirit His elect. 

Rev. Frederick W. Faber. 



PRAYER TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN 

BY ST. WILLIAM OF PARIS 

I come to thee, glorious Mother of God, whom the Church of 
the Saints calls Mother of Mercy ; thou art she, O Mary, who 
has never met with a refusal ; whose mercy has never failed any 
one, nor whose clemency rejected any suppliant. God forbid, 
mediatrix of men, and their only hope, after thy Son, that my 
sins should be an obstacle to exercising towards me thy merci 
ful Office. Ah, no; assuredly, I hope that thou wilt deign to 
obtain for me the grace to expiate them, and to repent of them 
sincerely. Amen. 



APPARITION TO 

ST. BRIDGIT OF SWEDEN, W. 

ALVASTRA, SWEDEN 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 



181 



APPARITION 



TO 



ST. BRIDGET OF SWEDEN, W. 
ALV ASTRA, SWEDEN 



Mary, whose eyes have looked upon Him dying, 

Whose arm hath held Him as a little child, 
O bid Him look on us all suppliant lying, 

O blessed one and Virgin undefiled. 
Plead with Him, Mother of the sheep that love Him, 

Kneel to Him, Lily of celestial fields; 
Mary, thy love is round Him and above Him, 

And thou canst move the sceptre which He wields. 

/. 5\ 



Fletcher. 




tians. 



ETWEEN five and six hundred years ago there 
lived in Sweden the celebrated Governor Birger 
and his lady Ingeborg, both of royal descent, and 
(a much more important fact) exemplary Chris- 
Not content with acquitting himself of all religious 
duties, the Governor s devotion led him to additional practises. 
For instance, every Friday he fasted, went to confession and 
received Holy Communion, in order to obtain from God the 
grace to support with patience the trials that might come to him 
from week to week. Much of his wealth was expended in the 
building of churches and convents, and another goodly portion 
was distributed during the pilgrimages to Jerusalem, Rome, 
and other holy places which Birger s ardent piety induced him 
to visit. 

It is not, however, with Birger s remarkable fervor and zeal, 
nor with the equally notable devotion of Ingebor^, that this 
sketch has to do; but rather with the little daughter of this 
noble and virtuous couple Bridgit, born in 1302. I may as 
well tell our young folks at once, I dare say, that this particular 



182 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

Bridgit is going to turn out, as perhaps they have begun to sus 
pect, a genuine Saint. Her feast falls in the month of October. 
Having told my young friends this much, I may further inform 
them that this St. Bridgit, the author of the celebrated "Revela 
tions," is not to be confounded with the illustrious patroness 
of Ireland the St. Bridget, or St. Bride, who lived and died 
seven or eight centuries before our little Swedish heroine was 
ever heard of. 

There is a story told of a visit which Ingeborg paid to a 
neighboring convent some time before Bridgit s birth. Seeing 
the richness of the noble lady s dress and toilet, one of the nuns 
said to herself: "Well, there s one proud woman, anyway/ 
The very next night a mysterious personage appeared to this 
uncharitable nun and said to her : "You deceive yourself with 
regard to my servant Ingeborg. She is at heart truly humble, 
and seeks only to avoid the praises of the world by dressing 
according to her position. Simpler clothes would cause her to 
be remarked. I shall bless her with a daughter who, through 
love for me, will obtain such graces that she will be the admira 
tion of the whole world." 

The birth of this predicted daughter was signalized by an 
extraordinary occurrence. At the hour of her birth a very 
saintly priest saw above her father s house a brilliant cloud, in 
the midst of which sat a virgin holding a book in her hand. 
The virgin said to the priest : "Birger has just been presented 
with a daughter whose renown will become world-wide." In 
her future life Bridgit realized to their fullest extent these 
marvelous promises made in her infancy. 

Her mother dying when she was only a few months old, she 
was brought up by her aunt. She was three years old before 
she could articulate a syllable ; but then all at once her tongue 
appeared to be loosened, and she spoke clearly, and so sensibly 
that one who heard her would have thought she had been going 
to school for a good while. 

It was natural that the child of a couple so thoroughly Cath 
olic as were Birger and Ingeborg should early display tender 
piety toward our crucified Redeemer. Her devotion to Our 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 183 

Lord s Passion was by far the most precious legacy left her by 
those truly admirable parents. Our Blessed Saviour showed 
her how agreeable her love was to Him. One night He sent 
His Mother to visit Bridgit. The latter woke up suddenly and 
saw near her bed an altar whereon the Queen of Heaven was 
sitting, holding in her hand a rich crown. 

"Come hither, Bridgit," said Our Lady. Bridgit jumped 
out of bed at once and approached the altar. "Should you like 
to have this crown? said Mary. "Yes," timidly answered 
Bridgit. At the same moment the crown was placed on her 
brow, and the servant of God felt the pressure of the circlet 
on her forehead very distinctly. 

Bridgit was quite a little girl when she beheld this Appari 
tion, but she remembered it all her lifetime. When she was 
ten years old Our Lord Himself appeared to her, and this still 
further increased her love for Him. 

One day, as she was listening to a sermon on the Passion, 
her heart was very deeply touched, and she felt that there could 
possibly be no greater happiness than really to love Christ. 
The following night Our Lord showed Himself to her just as 
He appeared at His crucifixion. "See," He exclaimed, "how 
I am maltreated ! Look at Me, My daughter !" Bridgit thought 
that Jesus had just been outraged anew by someone, and cried 
out: "Ah! Lord, who has treated Thee thus?" "Those who 
despise Me," was the reply, "and who are insensible to the love 
I bear them." 

From that day Bridgit became so absorbed in the contempla 
tion of Our Lord s sufferings that she could scarcely give her 
attention to anything else. The mere thought of those bitter 
sufferings was sufficient to draw torrents of tears from her 
compassionate heart. 

All through her life Bridgit received very rare graces from 
God and, among others the gift of miracles. I shall cite just 
one miracle here to show how kind-hearted she was toward the 
poor. 

One very hot day, about noon, a poor and sickly woman 
reached Bridgit s door, and had merely strength enough to 



184 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

utter one request. "Some milk for the love of God!" cried 
the woman. "A little milk will support me ; without it I shall 
die." Bridgit hastened to get the milk, but could find not a 
drop in the house. Kitchen, dining-room, cellar all were 
searched in vain. "He who changed water into wine at Cana 
can also change water into milk," thought Bridgit ; and, with 
out a moment s doubt, she presented the jug of water to the 
sufferer s lips. The woman drank eagerly, and declared that 
she had never tasted milk so excellent. 

St. Bridgit heard Jesus one day addressing Mary in these 
words : "Oh, My Mother, thou knowest how I love thee ; ask 
from Me, then, whatever thou dost desire, for there is no de 
mand of thine that will not be graciously heard by Me." And 
the reason that he added was beautiful : "Mother, when thou 
wast on earth, there was nothing thou didst refuse to do for 
love of Me; now that I am in heaven, it is just that I refuse 
nothing which thou dost ask of Me." 

St. Bridgit advises mothers to make all possible efforts to 
increase the number of the servants of Mary; that practice is 
infinitely pleasing to her, for she recommended it to St. Bridgit, 
saying: "See that thou makest thy children be also mine." 
This applies specially to little children who must be nourished 
with the milk of devotion to the Blessed Virgin. 

On another occasion Our Lady said to St. Bridgit : "I am the 
Mother of all souls in Purgatory ; for all the pains they have 
deserved for their sins are every hour, as long as they remain 
there, in some way mitigated by my prayers." Revelations 
St. Bridgit. 



OUR BLESSED LADY S ADVICE TO ST. BRIDGIT 

"This is to teach thee that without my Son thou art nothing 
and canst do nothing, and that there is not a sin into which 
thou wouldst not have fallen if He had not preserved thee from 
it. Now I will give thee three remedies against thy tempta 
tions. When thou art assailed by thoughts contrary to holy 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 185 

purity, say, "J esus > Son of God, who knowest all things, help 
me to take no pleasure in vain and sinful thoughts." When 
the temptation to talk comes to thee, say, "J esus Son of God, 
who wert silent before the unjust Judge, restrain my tongue 
till I have considered what and how to speak." When inclined 
to work, or rest, or take refreshment according to thy fancy, 
say, "Jesus, Son of God, Who wert bound with cords, guide 
my hands and all my limbs, so that my works may all be done 
according to Thy good pleasure." And this shall be a sign to 
thee, that from this day forth the servant, that is, thy body shall 
no longer lord it over its master, that is thy soul." 

The Blessed Mother of God went on to admonish her never 
to leave off praying, because of the assaults of the devil, but to 
persevere through them all, and to rest assured that, so long as 
she did not consent to his suggestions, but abhorred them with 
all her heart, they would be so many jewels in the crown pre 
pared for her in Heaven. I. Revelations vi, 94. 

It is not surprising that St. Bridgif s special devotion led her 
as a pilgrim to the Holy Land. On her way back to Sweden 
she died at Rome in the year 1373. 

Our Blessed Lady, when speaking of her clients, said to 
St. Bridgit: "I, their most dear Lady and Mother, will meet 
them at death, that they may have consolation and refreshment/ 

This loving Queen takes the souls of her clients under her 
protection, and presents them to the Judge, her Son, and thus 
certainly obtains salvation for them. This is what happened 
to Charles, the son of St. Bridgit, for whose salvation, because 
he died in the dangerous state of a soldier, his holy mother 
trembled; but the Blessed Virgin revealed to her that Charles 
was saved through the love which he had borne her, that she 
herself assisted him at death, and suggested the Christian acts 
necessary to be made at that moment. The Saint at the same 
time saw Jesus on a throne, and the devil bringing two accusa 
tions against the Holy Virgin : the first, that Mary had hin 
dered him to tempt Charles at the hour of death ; the second, 
that Mary herself presented the soul to judgment, and thus had 
saved him without allowing him to bring forward the charges 



1 86 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

on which he claimed his soul. She then saw the Judge banish 
Satan, and the soul of Charles was carried to Heaven. 



THE SEVEN PRINCIPAL DOLORS OF 
OUR BLESSED LADY 

Our Blessed Saviour, as related in the book of the Revelations 
with which St. Bridgit was favored, promised His holy Mother, 
that whoever should piously commemorate, and affectionately 
compassionate her dolors, and invoke her assistance through 
the merits thereof, should not quit this world without a true 
compunction for his sins; that in his afflictions, particularly 
at the hour of his death, he should find aid and relief; and 
moreover, that for the sake of her dolors, no favor should be 
refused to her intercession if the same was for the real good and 
advantages of her clients. 

A nobleman, who for sixty years of his life past had never 
had access to the sacraments, and who had given way to the 
passions of his body and mind, and abandoned himself to the 
slavery of his spiritual enemy, fell sick, and was in the utmost 
danger of death. Hopes of salvation he had none; and so 
desperate was his case that he would not give heed to the 
salutary advice of his director, or admit into his mind the 
thoughts of reconciling himself to his Creator by means of 
the sacrament of penance. Nevertheless, in the midst of the 
excesses of so profligate a life, he had never lost sight entirely 
of some small devotion and regard to the ever blessed Mother 
of God. Jesus Christ, who manifests the riches of His mer 
cies particularly to such as cast a favorable eye towards her, 
raised in him so great a compunction for his sins, that enter 
ing into himself, and in the utmost contrition of his heart, he 
bewailed his past errors, made a general confession of his whole 
life, received the holy Eucharist, and on the sixth day after, 
died in all peace and quiet of mind, and with the sentiments of 
joy which flow from a well-grounded confidence in the mercy 
and bounty of our suffering Redeemer, and His sacred passion. 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 187 

In effect, our blessed Saviour revealed, soon after his death, to 
the holy St. Bridgit, that the said penitent died in grace, was 
a blessed soul, and owed his happiness in a great measure, to 
the tender affectionate compassion which he had ever found 
and nourished in his heart, so often as he heard others speak 
of the sacred dolors of Our Blessed Lady, or happened to en 
tertain the memory of them in his mind. 



THE MOTHER S HYMN 

Lord, who ordainest for mankind 

Benignant toils and tender cares, 
We thank Thee for the ties that bind 

The mother to the child she bears. 

We thank Thee for the hopes that rise 

Within her heart, as, day by day, 
The dawning soul, from those young eyes, 

Looks with a clearer, steadier ray. 

And grateful for the blessing given 

With that dear infant on her knee, 
She strains her eyes to look to heaven, 

The voice to lisp a prayer to Thee. 

Such thanks the Blessed Mary gave 

When from her lap the Holy Child, 
Sent from on high to seek and save 

The lost on earth, looked up and smiled. 

All Gracious ! grant to those who bear 
A mother s charge, the strength and light 

To guide the feet that own them care 
In ways of love and truth and right. 

William Cullen Bryant. 



APPARITION TO 

ST. CATHARINE OF SIENA, V.O.S.D. 
SIENA, ITALY 




VIRGIN, INFANT JESUS AND ST. JOHN 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 189 



APPARITION 

TO 

ST. CATHARINE OF SIENA V.O.S.D. 
SIENA, ITALY 

1370 

Oh, come and see a spotless Virgin kneeling 1 , 

Oh, come and hear an angel at her side, 
The earliest tidings of our joy revealing: 

The herald of the glorious Christmas-tide. 

Rose Mulholland. 

T. CATHARINE was born at Siena, a town in 
Italy not very far from Florence, in the year 1347. 
Her parents, Giacomo and Lapa Benincasa, were 
good people of the middle class, and her father, 
who was a dyer by trade, was noted for his piety. Catharine, 
and a twin sister who died in infancy, were the youngest of 
twenty-five children. 

From a very early age the little Catharine gave tokens of 
future holiness ; when she was but five years old, her love of 
the "Hail Mary" was so great, that she would kneel down on 
each step of the staircase, both on coming up and going down, 
to repeat it. Many times also her mother saw her. while ful 
filling this pious practice, being lifted by the hands of angels, 
who would bear her quickly to the top of the steps. She was 
moreover so sweet and gracious that the neighbors surnamed 
her "Euphrosyne," a Greek name which means joy or delight, 
and her speech was so wise and winning that it sank deeply 
into the hearts of all who knew her. 

When she was in her sixth year, Our Lord favored her with 
a wonderful and beautiful vision. She was coming home one 
day from visiting her eldest and married sister, together with 
her little brother Stephen, who was a year or two older than 
herself. Suddenly above the church of St. Dominic, she saw 




I9Q APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

a magnificent throne, on which was seated Our Divine Saviour, 
clad in pontifical robes, wearing a tiara, and having with him 
the blessed Apostles St. Peter and St. Paul, and St. John the 
Evangelist. At this sight Catharine stopped short, dazed with 
the splendor before her and, gazing lovingly on her beloved 
Redeemer, beheld Him making the sign of the Cross over her, 
at the same time smiling on her with looks full of love. Rapt 
into ecstasy, the child forgot where she was, the public street, 
the passers by, and remained with uplifted eyes, motionless as a 
statue, till she was somewhat roughly recalled to herself by 
her brother Stephen. He had walked on, thinking that she 
was following him, when he suddenly became aware that she 
was no longer by his side. He turned round and beholding her 
standing in the middle of the street called out to her to make 
haste and rejoin him. 

Finding she gave no heed, he walked back, and pulling her 
by the hand, asked why she did not come on. Awakened as 
from deep sleep, Catharine lowered her eyes and looked at him, 
"If thou didst but see what I see/ she said, " thou wouldst 
not disturb me," and instantly raised her eyes again. But alas ! 
the vision had disappeared : and the little maiden wept long and 
bitterly, fearing that by her fault she had lost that glorious 
sight. 

From this moment Catharine was no longer a child, and an 
ardent love of God became the only motive of her actions. 

She learned to know, without reading or any human help, 
the lives of the Saints and especially that of St. Domnic, and 
felt a burning desire to imitate their penances, prayers, and 
practices of virtue. She sought out lonely places, and there 
scourged herself and watched and prayed. When she was 
about seven she determined to leave her father s house, and 
lead, as far as she could, a hermit s life. So one morning she 
took a loaf of bread and set out very early before the house 
hold was awake. She knew the way to her sister s house, so 
thither she bent her steps, but when she reached it instead of 
going in, she passed it by and went out at the gate of the 
city. No longer seeing any houses, she thought she had found 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 



a desert, and after walking a short distance came to a cave in 
a rock. Full of joy she entered and set herself to pray, but 
scarcely had she begun her prayer when she felt herself gently 
raised from the earth, as high as the roof of the cavern. In 
this state she remained till the afternoon, when an interior voice 
warned her that it was not yet time for her to leave home and 
that God had other things in store for her. She therefore 
set out on her way back, but feeling herself too weak to walk 
so far, she earnestly asked Our Lord to help her, and in one 
moment found herself close to her parents house. She was 
received by them as if she had returned from visiting her sister, 
and the story of her attempt at a hermit s life remained un 
known till she revealed it to her confessor. 

Not long after this, Catharine, in whose heart the remem 
brance of the glorious vision we have narrated was ever pres 
ent, and who from the time she had been allowed to gaze on 
the supreme beauty of her Saviour, had never ceased to hunger 
for a closer union with Him, made a vow of virginity. She 
presented her offering through the most pure hands of His 
Virgin Mother, and the sequel of her life will show how faith 
fully she kept it. From this time, too, dates an increase of 
austerities in her already so mortified life she gave up eating 
meat, and took more frequent disciplines. Moreover, she felt 
in her heart, young as she still was, an ardent desire for the 
salvation of souls; and along with this desire sprang up a 
great devotion to those Saints who had given themselves in a 
special way to an apostolic career. She learnt by revelation 
that St. Dominic founded his Order of Friar Preachers for this 
sublime end, and from this time therefore, she conceived a par 
ticular veneration for the Dominican order. When she saw 
any of the Friars passing her father s house, she would follow 
after them, and kiss, with love and reverence, the prints of their 
feet. She longed to be one of them, and to work with them for 
the souls of sinners : and the thought of disguising herself as 
a man in order to gain entrance among them even came into 
her head. This idea haunted her the more, as she knew that 
St. Euphrosyne, by whose name she had once been called, had 



192 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

adopted a similar device and, under the garb of a monk, had 
passed many years in a monastery. But God, who did not 
desire this of her, at length gave her to understand in prayer, 
that such was not His Will ; and Catharine, ever obedient to 
the inward voice which spoke so clearly to her heart, turned 
from the thought, and waited in patience for whatever her 
Divine Spouse should show her in the future. 

One day her father chanced to go into the room of his son 
Stephen, which, empty most part of the day, had been chosen 
by Catharine as a retreat during the few minutes she some 
times still had at her disposal. On entering, Giacomo saw his 
daughter kneeling motionless in a corner of the apartment and, 
to his surprise, saw hovering over head a dove of unsullied 
whiteness. At the noise made by his approach the beautiful 
bird rlew out of the half-opened window, and the father in 
astonishment asked Catharine whence it came. "My father," 
replied the Saint, "I saw no dove nor yet any other bird in 
this chamber." Wondering much, Giacomo withdrew, pon 
dering deeply over what he had seen, though for the present 
he kept it as a secret locked up in his own heart. 

By this, and the sight of Catharine s daily virtues, God was 
preparing the hearts of her relations for her entrance into the 
great and holy Order of St. Dominic, which, as we shall see, 
was to be the next step in the life of His chosen spouse. 

One night, not long after the events just recorded, when 
Catharine was asleep she had a great and glorious vision. She 
saw before her several saints, founders of religious orders, and 
amongst others St. Dominic, whom she recognized by the lily 
of dazzling whiteness he held. Each of the holy founders in 
his turn invited Catharine to join his order, but she without 
hesitation moved towards St. Dominic. Instantly the Saint 
stepped forward to meet her, and offered her the habit of the 
Sisters of his order, known as Sisters of Penance : "Take cour 
age, dearest daughter," he said, "fear nothing, for thou shalt 
for certain receive and wear this habit." Overcome with joy, 
Catharine burst into tears and returned humble thanks to God 
and the holy patriarch. Being moreover filled with a new and 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 193 

dauntless courage, she that very day chose a moment when all 
the members of her family were gathered together, and in 
formed them in words which could not be gainsaid, that she felt 
the time was come to tell them of the vow of virginity which she 
had made, and that she begged them henceforth never to speak 
of marriage to her, for her resolution of belonging to God alone 
was fixed and irrevocable. Struck by her unwonted attitude and 
the energy of her words, her parents and brothers and sisters 
attempted no reply, but burst into tears ; and for some moments 
no sound was heard in the room save that of their weeping. 
Her father was the first to recover himself, and declared that 
henceforth neither he nor any other of the family would op 
pose her wishes, but that she should be free to follow the call 
of her heavenly Spouse. Catharine, whose heart was filled 
with unspeakable joy, in spite of the sighs and tears of those 
who- surrounded her, immediately returned thanks, first to God 
for the mercy shown to her, and next to her parents, who had 
at this moment fulfilled the dearest wish of her heart by promis 
ing that she should no longer be hindered in her entire sur 
render of herself to the one object of her affections. 

She instantly began planning out a life in conformity with 
this grant of freedom : she spent long hours in prayer during 
the day; and even most part of her nights were passed in this 
holy exercise. She abstained entirely from meat, and from the 
minute portion of wine which hitherto she had been used to 
mingle with her water; her food consisted only of raw herbs, 
and little by little she brought herself to subsist without any 
nourishment whatsoever. She wore upon her delicate body a 
rough hair shirt, and when for reasons of cleanliness she cast 
this aside, it was but to gird herself with a chain of iron, so 
hard and terrible that it sunk deep into her flesh and seared 
it as if it were red-hot. Her poor mother watched all these 
fearful macerations with bitter grief, and one day, when St. 
Catharine was engaged in taking a cruel discipline and was 
literally covered with streams of blood flowing down to the 
ground, she entered her room. Alas ! alas ! my daughter, what 
doest thou? Wilt thou kill thyself?" she exclaimed, and as if 



194 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

bereft of her senses, she began to run about the house, raving 
and uttering piercing cries till the neighbors came rushing in, 
appalled at the unusual sounds. When they entered the house, 
and saw with their own eyes both the affliction of the mother 
and the proofs of the austerities of Catharine, we are told that 
they knew not which to pity most, the heart-broken parent, or 
the innocent young girl who, to expiate the sins of others, had 
inflicted on herself such terrible and unheard of torments. 

The next step that St. Catharine took was to try and get 
herself received as a member of the Third Order of St. Dominic, 
mindful of the promise made her by its holy Founder. Her 
mother after much persuasion, agreed to ask the Sisters to re 
ceive her among them, but at first met with very ill success. 
The Sisters declared that Catharine was far too young, and also 
that their ranks were wont to be filled only by widows of mature 
age and good fame, who were able to live alone and were 
capable of taking care of themselves. Lapa, nothing loth to 
have her daughter s plans upset, hastened home with the news, 
but failed none the less to deter Catharine from her endeavor. 
She was obliged to return anew to the nuns, though unluckily 
for our Saint her demand again met with a decided refusal. It 
chanced, however, that just at this time St. Catharine fell ill 
of small-pox, and Lapa, who loved her best of all her children, 
nursed her with the tenderest care and trembled at the fear 
of losing her. St. Catharine thought this a good opportunity 
for once more bringing forward her request. "Dearest mother/, 
she said, "if you wish me to live, I beseech you to procure me 
the habit I have so long wished for, for you must know that 
if I do not obtain it, you will not keep me long either in that 
habit or any other." Terrified at these words, Lapa hastened 
back to the Sisters, who were somewhat touched at the mother s 
grief, and answered, "If thy daughter be not too fair, we will 
consent to receive her." "Come yourselves," Lapa answered, 
"you will be the better able to judge." So they followed her 
to the house where the maiden was lying on her sick bed, and 
on account of her disease they could not discern the beauty 
of her features. Moreover, they were so struck by the wisdom 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 195 

of her words and the ardor of her desires that they no longer 
demurred, but to Catharine s unbounded joy, at last agreed 
that as soon as she was cured they would receive her into their 
company. Then indeed, she speedily began to pray for the 
recovery of her health, which up till then she had had little 
care for, and Our Lord seeing her longing desires to dedicate 
her life to His service, was not slow in granting her request. 
She was scarcely cured when, accompanied by her mother and 
other relations, she presented herself at the Church of the 
Dominican Fathers and there, in the presence of about a hun 
dred sisters of the Third Order, was clothed with the holy 
habit of Penance. Some may perchance be tempted to wonder 
why St. Catharine did not go a step further if she were bent 
on becoming a nun, and enter one of the many enclosed mon 
asteries of her native city, instead of remaining- under her 
father s roof. But the answer to this is easy : God had raised 
up the Saint to do the work of an apostle, and for labor which 
enclosure would have rendered impossible. She was therefore, 
we must believe, providentially guided to embrace a life, which, 
while it left her free to come and go as the spirit of God should 
direct, would at the same time confer on her a religious charac 
ter, and give more weight and authority to her words and deeds. 
It would not, however, appear that St. Catharine herself was 
in any way conscious at this time of her after destiny ; her one 
idea was to become a perfect religious, and to imbue her mind 
with the spirit of the Dominical Order. "Behold, thou art be 
come a nun," she would say to herself, "beware lest thou con 
tinue to live as thou hast hitherto done, but with thy garments, 
change also thy way of life and customs." And she devoted her 
self more ardently than ever to praver and penance. She never 
left her narrow cell except to go to church, and her silence was 
so rigorous that for three whole years she never spoke unless 
it were in confession. The three great characteristics of the 
Order of Friar Preachers imprinted themselves indelibly on her 
soul during the years which followed her entrance into it, for, 
to her practices of prayer and penance, she joined the most 
burning desire for the salvation of souls, thus proving herself 



196 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

a worthy daughter and fervent disciple of St. Dominic, who 
left as a heritage to his spiritual sons, contemplation, mortifica 
tion, and the apostolic life. During this time also which her 
after life shows to be one of preparation, she had long and 
terrible combats to endure against the spirit of darkness. He 
assailed her with every form of temptation, and assaulted the 
spouse of Christ with the foulest sights and imaginations ; but 
the only outcome of his impotent malice was to ground her still- 
more firmly in heroic virtue and to win for her the choicest 
favors of her Lord. Once, after one of the most terrible com 
bats she had had to undergo, Our Divine Saviour appeared to 
her as if hanging on the Cross, and consoled her with most 
sweet and loving words. Emboldened by His condescension, 
St. Catharine ventured to ask Him, "Lord where wert Thou 
when my heart was so troubled with these loathsome tempta 
tions ?" "My daughter," replied her most gracious Saviour, "I 
was in thy heart." And soon after the vision vanished, leav 
ing a heavenly joy lingering for many days in her soul. Nor 
was this favor the greatest of those bestowed on her in reward 
for her constancy, and for the humility which had rendered her 
proof against all the darts of the enemy. After many other 
celestial visitations, too long to dwell on in this short sketch, 
her Lord granted her one of the highest favors He has ever 
vouchsafed to give to any of His saints. One day, just before 
Lent, He showed Himself to her and after conversing with her 
for some moments, was joined by Our Blessed Lady and the 
Beloved Desciple, with St. Paul and St. Dominic. Lastly came 
the royal psalmist, King David, bearing his harp, on w r hich he 
began to play tunes of unearthly sweetness. Then the most 
Holy Mother of God advanced towards Catharine, and taking 
her by the hand, led her to her Divine Son, and begged Him 
to condescend to espouse her to Himself. He consented by 
bowing His head, and taking out a ring set with four precious 
pearls with a marvellously rich diamond in the centre, put it on 
the finger of her right hand, saying these words : "Behold I 
here espouse thee to Myself in faith, which shall endure in 
thee from this time forward, evermore, without change or 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 197 

shadow, until the time when thou shalt celebrate with Me in 
heaven the eternal nuptials. Wherefore, from henceforth, take 
courage and be not dismayed, but do whatever thou art told, 
for now that thou are armed with an invisible strength, thou 
wilt be able to withstand and overcome all thy enemies." Then 
the vision disappeared, but the mystic ring remained on the 
finger of Catharine, though visible to herself only. 

Thus was the spouse of Christ made ready to begin the work 
to which she was destined. Clothed in the habit of the 
Dominican Order, her virtue tried and made perfect in in 
firmity, and finally loaded with celestial favors by Our Lord 
Jesus Christ, she was now to appear before the eyes of men, 
and to take part in the active work for souls in which she had 
hitherto only concurred by her prayers and penances. 

The first interruption in St. Catharine s hitherto solitary and 
secluded life came from our Lord Himself. One day after she 
had been long engaged in prayer, He told her that she was to 
go down and join the family at dinner, and that she should after 
that be again free to return to Him. St. Catharine was thund 
erstruck at this announcement, and at first besought Our Lord 
to let her stay with Him, pleading her inability to eat. But 
Our Lord stood firm and told her that she was now about to 
put in practice the precept of loving her neighbor for the sake 
of God, that she had always sighed and prayed for the salva 
tion of souls, and that leaving her wonted solitude was the first 
step to more active work in their behalf. St. Catharine then 
hastened to obey, and though the prospect of again mixing in 
intercourse with others was by no means pleasing to her, took 
her place at the family repast. This first step was followed by 
fresh exertions and weanings from her hermitical way of life, 
and she began anew to perform many household works, such 
as sweeping, washing, and cooking. But this outward change 
made none in her heart; whenever she could, she flew back 
to her cell, and all day long her remembrance of the presence 
of God in her soul was so unbroken that she kept up the most 
intimate communication with Him despite all external employ 
ments. 



198 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

Her accustomed ecstasies, far from being suspended were 
more frequent and wonderful than ever, and became more ap 
parent to others. When her mother, Lapa, saw her for the 
first time in a trance, she was so alarmed at the stiffness and 
contraction of her limbs, that she ran to her and pulling her 
violently by her neck, which was somewhat awry, tried to 
straighten it by force. Happily, however, a bystander, seeing 
the danger of what she was doing, uttered a cry, and Lapa gave 
over her well-meant but injudicious endeavors. When St. Cath 
arine shortly after returned to herself, she felt as if her neck 
had been all but broken, and declared to Brother Raymund, 
her ghostly father, that if her mother had continued her efforts 
any longer, she would certainly have caused her death. 

Another day, when St. Catharine was preparing the family 
supper, she sat down by the hearth to turn the spit, but little by 
little her arm ceased to move, and soon fell helplessly by her 
side, while her soul was ravished in heavenly contemplation. 
Lisa, her sister-in-law, saw what was the matter, and quietly 
took her place leaving her to the enjoyment of celestial favors. 
When the meat was roasted, Lisa placed it on the table, and, 
after serving the others took her own repast, Catharine mean 
while being absorbed in ecstasy. The meal having come to an 
end, the family dispersed and Lisa, seeing it was useless to 
wait for her, went away to see after her children and husband. 
After a long absence she went back to the kitchen to see if 
Catharine had yet come to her senses, but what was her dis 
may to see the Saint lying motionless on the hot burning coals. 
Screaming as loudly as she could, "Alas, alas, Catharine is 
burnt," she rushed to her and caught her up as quickly as 
she could. Her alarm, however, was changed to wonder when 
she could discover neither on her person nor on her clothes 
any traces of fire. Her garments were not even singed, though 
the fire that day had been fiercer than usual, nor was there any 
smell of burning. The fire of God s holy love which burnt 
in her heart had prevented the outward flames having any effect 
on her bodily frame. 

This was not St. Catharine s only escape from fire at this 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 



period. Once when she was praying in the Church of St. Dom 
inic, being again rapt in ecstasy, she leaned her head against 
a pillar on which there stood a wax candle. By some chance the 
lighted candle fell down upon her head, and there it remained 
burning till it was all wasted away, and yet did no harm to 
the Saint, nor even to the veil or wimple with which she was 
covered. Twice, too, she was thrown by the fiend himself into 
the fire; the second time he dashed her with such force into 
a pan of burning coals, that the pan, which was of earthenware, 
was completely smashed. But St. Catharine, who was not in 
the least hurt or daunted, got quickly up and said merrily to a 
woman who was standing by: "See what work Malatasca (for 
so she called the demon) maketh here." 

Having now once more resumed her place in her own family, 
St. Catharine s next step was to undertake more active works 
in favor of the poor and sick of the neighborhood. Possessing 
nothing of her own, she craved her father s leave to give away 
food and money, and obtained from him a large and hearty 
consent. Before all his household, "Let no one," he said, "hin 
der my beloved daughter in the distribution of alms ; I give her 
full control over all that is in the house." It need scarcely be 
said that St. Catharine took full advantage of this permission, 
and gave away whatever she could lay her hands on so lavishly 
that murmurs began to arise in the family. One day especially, 
all were much disturbed when it was discovered that a large 
barrel of wine which they had hoped would last for a long 
time, was found empty. In fact the discontent was so loudly 
expressed that Giacomo was much distressed. Catharine, how 
ever, asking him the cause of his trouble, bade him fear nothing 
and going to the cask and there kneeling down, besought Our 
Lord not to allow the alms she had given to the poor to become 
a cause of dissension in the family. She then made the sign 
of the cross over the barrel, and the wine began to flow again 
in abundance. On numerous other occasions also did God 
come to the help of His faithful servant. Once when she was 
confined to bed by sickness, she learnt that a poor widow in 
the city was dying of hunger, as well as her two children. 



200 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

Touched with pity, Catharine implored Our Lord to give her 
strength enough to come to their rescue. She then arose 
though it was not yet dawn, and loaded herself with every 
species of provision. As soon as the bell, before whose chim 
ing none might stir out, sounded, she set forth on her errand 
of charity, and had nearly reached the poor woman s abode 
when her burden, which had hitherto seemed quite light, became 
so heavy that she felt as if she could not take another step. 
Again she turned to God with humble trust in His mercy, and 
entreated Him to enable her to fulfil her charitable task; and 
being once more strengthened, she reached the house, and find 
ing the door open, went softly in and put down her load. She 
was turning homewards when for the second time all her 
strength forsook her, and seeing that it was the will of her 
Divine Spouse thus, as it were, to sport with her she spoke to 
Him with a mixture of familiarity and reverence : "O my sweet 
Saviour, why makest Thou game of me in this manner the day 
cometh on, and dost Thou wish that all the world should see my 
folly ? Grant me, I beseech Thee, strength to go home again." 
Then she tried to walk along but found herself barely able to 
creep; the widow, too, who had been awakened by the noise, 
came down into the street and there recognized her benefac 
tress. At last, however, Our Lord heard the prayer of St. 
Catharine, and she was enabled to reach home before the broad 
daylight came on. 

Twice Our Lord Himself appeared to her in the form of 
a beggar, and asked alms from her hand, and both times He 
came to her during the following night, commending her for 
her charity and promising her eternal gifts in exchange; in 
fact it would be impossible in this short life to enumerate all the 
wonderful events which now became almost of daily occur 
rence in the history of our Saint. 

The course of our story now at length leads us to the affairs 
of the Church itself, for whose special aid St. Catharine had 
doubtless been marked out by God from the first. There had 
been existing in Italy for a long time an undercurrent secretly at 
work against the Holy See. The Pope, residing himself at 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 201 

Avignon, had appointed legates as rulers of the Pontifical 
States, or to represent him in the various republics of the 
peninsula. These were for the most part foreigners, and as such 
universally hated. The plague of 1374 had been followed by 
a terrible famine in Tuscany, and on account of some difficulty 
in procuring corn from the Papal States for the use of the 
Florentines, the population, having at their head an ex-captain 
of the Pope s army, flew to arms and openly defied the au 
thority of the then reigning Pontiff Gregory XL A sharp 
struggle ensued; the populace profaned churches and monas 
teries, massacred priests, and in their fury flayed alive the 
Papal Nuncio, and actually buried him before life was extinct. 
Sixty strong places or fortresses belonging to the church more 
over, fell into the hands of the Florentines. 

St. Catharine had watched the storm gathering from Pisa 
where she was at that time, and when it burst used every effort 
to keep Pisa, Lucca, and Siena within the bounds of duty. 
She, moreover, herself wrote two letters to the Holy Father 
imploring his indulgence, which letters exercised so salutary 
an influence on the mind of the Pontiff that he sent deputies 
to Florence bearing propositions of peace. Unhappily an act 
of treason on the part of the authorities put a stop to these 
negotiations, and soon affairs were worse than ever. Recog 
nizing at last, however, the necessity of submission, the Floren 
tine rulers sent for Catharine and implored her to go herself 
to Avignon, there to try and make terms of peace. The Saint 
at length consented, and set out for the Papal Court, where 
she was received by Pope Gregory with the greatest honor. 
It would be too long to go into all the details of what followed ; 
suffice it to say that after long and strenuous efforts, and being 
herself once nearly murdered by the Florentines to whose city 
she had returned during the course of the negotiations, she 
had the happiness of seeing peace restored between the reign 
ing Pontiff and the inhabitants of the beautiful though re 
bellious Florence. 

This work, great as it was, was not. as is probably well known 
to most of our readers, by any means the crowning achievement 



202 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

of St. Catharine. While at Avignon she had spoken to the 
Holy Father with the greatest openness and courage on the 
abuses of many kinds which she saw around her, both among 
pastors and people. More than this she had vehemently ex 
horted him to proclaim a new crusade against the infidels and 
had seconded the efforts which he made at her entreaty, with 
all her power. She wrote to many princes of Europe, and 
strove by words of burning eloquence to stir up in their hearts 
an ardor akin to her own and there was every appearance of 
her succeeding, when the premature, and, to human eyes, dis 
astrous death of Gregory, put a stop to her efforts in this 
direction. The crusade did not take place, and the reforms 
she had worked for were delayed, but it was granted to her 
to see the fulfilment of the third of the great designs with 
which the love of Holy Church had inspired her. It was 
permitted to her after long and painful labors to be the means 
of restoring the Popes to Rome from their exile at Avignon. 
In 1377, after an absence of the Papal Court for 72 years, 
Gregory XI. made his solemn entry into his capital, and Rome, 
so long widowed, seemed delirious with joy at once more wel 
coming its Pontiff. But she who by her prayers and exhorta 
tions to Gregory had been the instrument of this great work 
was not on that day of public rejoicing to be seen amid the 
exulting throng. From Genoa, where she had repaired to meet 
and encourage the Pope on his way to Rome, she had hastened 
back to her native place, there in the silence of her poor cell 
to pour out her ardent prayers for the welfare of Christ s 
Church and for the guidance of His representative on earth. 
Fain would she have ended her days thus, but it was not long 
before, in the terrible calamities which again overtook the 
church, she was summoned by the Sovereign Pontiff to be his 
counsellor, and to prove herself the stay and pillar of Christen 
dom in these moments of peril. 

Urban VI. who had succeeded Gregory XL on the throne 
was of harsh and unbending character ; and the French cardi 
nals, alienated by his severity, found a pretext for leaving 
Rome and proceeding to Fondi, in the kingdom of Naples, there 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 203 

elected an anti-pope, whom they proclaimed under the name 
of Clement VII. 

This was the beginning of the great schism which for seventy 
years tore the robe of the mystic Bride of the Son of God, 
and at one time no less than three popes, two, of course, anti- 
popes, presented their claims to the eyes of the bewildered 
world. During the thick of these troubles Urban sent for 
Catharine to come to Rome, and yielding obedience the Saint 
took up her abode in the Holy city. It were vain in these few 
pages to try and enumerate all the labors she undertook to 
bring back the erring to their allegiance to the one lawful 
successor of St. Peter. Firm in her adherence to Urban, her 
voice was ever raised in his defence. Once even, during a 
consistory, the Pope sent for her, and ordered her to address 
the assembled cardinals. She spoke of the appalling evils 
caused by schism with such inspired truth and courage, that 
the Pontiff at the end summed up her discourse, and declared 
that all present, including himself, had been brought to shame 
by the words of the intrepid virgin. "Our timidity is con 
founded by her courage," he exclaimed. 

St. Catharine had not the happiness of living to see the con 
clusion of the troubles of the church, but she foretold their 
end before she died, and bade her disciples rejoice in the com 
ing triumph of the cause of God. She continued to live on 
in Rome, where a spiritual family had gathered round her, 
and the details of her life there with its records of her states 
of supernatural prayer, of her miracles and of the Divine fa 
vors showered upon her, are not among the least remarkable 
of her marvellous career. 

Though the events which filled St. Catharine s life were so 
many and so wonderful, yet they were all crowded into a very 
short space of time, for she had but just completed her thirty- 
third year when she was called to her heavenly reward. 

As has before been said, she led a life of wonderful union 
and close intercourse with God after she had taken up her 
abode within the walls of Rome, and one day in the ardor of 
her soul, she exclaimed, "O Sovereign Clemency, behold my 



204 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

body, I offer it up unto Thee as an anvil on which are to be 
bruised the sins of the wicked I offer Thee my life, now, or 
whenever Thou pleasest." 

Our lord was pleased to take her at her word, and for four 
months her body was as a target, receiving all the shafts of 
the Divine wrath. Once after having by her prayers and 
remonstrances with the rebels, quelled an insurrection against 
the Pope, our Lord said to her, "Leave this people to their 
fate, for my justice requires that I should no longer suffer 
their iniquities." Catharine nevertheless pleaded their cause 
so earnestly that they were spared, as formerly the ungrate 
ful Israelites at the prayer of Moses, but not with impunity 
to herself. The powers of hell had leave to torment her vir 
ginal body and in their rabid fury, practised such cruelties 
upon her, that, according to the accounts of eye witnesses, it 
would be impossible, without having seen them, to form any 
idea of their intensity. 

More like a phantom than a human being, parched with 
thirst, and yet unable to swallow a single drop of water ; con 
sumed by an interior fire which scorched her at every breath, 
St. Catharine never ceased from her wonted activity, nor to 
show on her face her habitual expression of heavenly joy. Dur 
ing Lent, after a most mysterious visitation from God, her 
sufferings increased to that degree, that her continuance in 
life was a daily miracle. No longer able to go out in the early 
morning, Mass was said for her every day in the little chapel 
attached to her house, and by the express desire of Our Lord, 
she also communicated daily. After this, gathering up all her 
remaining strength, she would force herself to go to St. Peter s 
to pray for the Church, and it was while thus engaged that she 
there received the intimation of her approaching end. 

During the Lent of this same year, or rather from the third 
Sunday of that holy season, for eight consecutive weeks she 
was so consumed by sufferings, both interior and exterior, 
that during all that time she was unable to lift her head. Lying 
stretched on planks she appeared to be already in her coffin; 
and it was only when Holy Communion was brought to her that 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 205 

her almost inanimate frame seemed to be re-inkindled with 
a breath of life. Once, when Brother Raymund was saying 
Mass in her chamber, at the moment of Communion, St. Cath 
arine, who had been lying perfectly motionless, suddenly arose, 
and to the stupefaction of the by-standers, walked unaided to 
the altar, and then knelt down to receive the Adorable Sacra 
ment. After having communicated, she fell into the ecstasy 
customary with her on receiving the Body of Our Lord, and 
when that had ceased, she was found incapable of regaining her 
bed alone, so that her companions were obliged to carry her 
to it. 

And now the end was close at hand that death "precious 
in the sight of the Lord," of which, however, space will only 
allow us to say a few brief words. Besides the thought of 
the Church which never left her, St. Catharine s last days were 
filled with solicitude for her beloved spiritual family who, 
collected round their mother, were watching in deep sorrow 
the approach of her last moments. Prayer, obedience, charity 
to each other, and devotedness to the Church and Sovereign 
Pontiff, were the themes of her parting instructions to them. 
Especially did she dwell upon the last point, telling them at the 
same time that she considered being allowed to die for the 
Church, as she undoubtedly was doing, the greatest grace 
that had ever been bestowed upon her. On the Sunday before 
the Ascension she received Extreme Unction, and afterwards 
it seemed as if the demons were allowed for the last time to 
assault her. She was heard denying accusations, and some 
times she appeared to turn disdainfully from an invisible speak 
er. After which, she repeated no less than sixty times, "I have 
sinned, Lord, have mercy on me." Before her were placed 
some relics with a cross in the middle, and fastening her eyes 
on the holy symbol she made aloud a confession of all the sins 
of her life. She then begged for absolution and for the plenary 
indulgence granted to her for her last moments by Gregory XI. 
and Urban VI. Several times also she asked her mother s 
blessing, for Lapa, ever faithful, was watching by her beloved 
daughter. But the poor mother, overwhelmed with grief, re- 



206 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

plied by begging Catharine to obtain by her prayers that she 
might not offend God in her sorrow. Then the dying Saint 
prayed aloud for the Pope, the Holy Church, and for all those 
confided to her care. Finally she made the sign of the Cross, 
and having implored the help of the Precious Blood, she ut 
tered the words, "O Blood, O Blood ! Father, into Thy hands I 
commend my spirit," and with a countenance radiant as that 
of an angel, she bowed her head, like even in her death to the 
One Supreme Object of her affections. Her precious death 
took place on the 2Qth of April, 1380, her thirty-third year 
being barely completed. 

We have been obliged to pass over in silence the accounts 
of the many and heroic virtues displayed during the last months 
of her earthly pilgrimage ; we have not been able to dwell on 
her wondrous love of the Blessed Sacrament, her devotion 
to the Precious Blood, to the Virgin Mother of her Divine 
Spouse, and to the saints, His friends and imitators. We have 
not paused to offer to our readers any of the sayings of heavenly 
wisdom which fell from her lips and were gathered up by her 
friends and disciples; nor has it been possible to notice the 
writings which she has left behind her to enrich the Church of 
God, but if these short pages succeed in giving some idea, how 
ever slight, of the virtues and heroism of the Saint of Siena, 
their purpose will have been fulfilled. 

St. Catharine was buried in Rome, as befitted her who had 
given her life for the Church, and her pure and holy body still 
rests under the High Altar of the Minerva. 

In our own times she has been proclaimed Patroness of the 
Holy City ; and God grant that her still being allowed to rest 
in its centre may be a pledge that He has not forgotten the 
needs of the Church in the present day, but that in His own 
good time He will restore Rome to her lawful Master, and 
that Master to the position so iniquitously wrested from him. 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 207 



DEVOTION TO THE CHURCH 

The seraphic St. Catharine willingly sacrificed the delights 
of contemplation to labor for the Church and the Apostolic 
See. How deeply do the troubles of the Church and the con 
sequent loss of souls afflict us? How often do we pray for 
the Church and the Pope? 

Long had the holy Virgin foretold the terrible schism which 
began ere she died. Day and night she wept and prayed for 
unity and peace. But the devil excited the Roman people 
against the Pope, so that some sought the life of Christ s Vicar. 
With intense earnestness did St. Catharine beg our Lord to 
prevent this enormous crime. In spirit she saw the whole 
city full of demons tempting the people to resist and even slay 
the Pope. The seditious temper was subdued by Catharine s 
prayers, but the devils vented their malice by scourging the 
Saint herself, who gladly endured all for God and His Church. 

"O Lord, let all the parts of my body, all my bones, all the 
marrow within my bones, be beaten and pounded together in 
a mortar ; only restore Thy Holy Church to her comeliness and 
beauty." St. Catharine. 

"Christ loved the Church, and delivered Himself up for it." 
Ephes. v. 25. 



MYSTIC MARRIAGE OF ST. KATHARINE V. 

(Lines on a picture by Memling, at Bruges.) 

Mystery: Katharine, the bride of Christ. 
She kneels^; and on her hand the Holy Child 
Setteth the ring. Her life is sad and mild, 

Laid in God s knowledge ever unenticed 

From Him, and in the end thus fitly priced. 
Awe and the music that is near her, wrought 
Of angels, hath possesed her eyes in thought; 

Her utter joy is hers, and hath sufficed. 



208 



APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 



There is a pause, while Mary Virgin turns 

The leaf and reads. With eyes on the spread book, 

That damsel at her knees reads after her. 

John whom He loved, and John His harbinger, 
Listen and watch. Whereon so e er thou look, 
The light is starred in gems, and the gold burns. 

Dante G. Rosseiti. 




HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 209 



APPARITION 

TO 

BLESSED MARY MANCINI, W.O.S.D. 
PISA, ITALY 

1372 

"O Virgin! pure and good, 

Delay not till I reach my life s last year; 

Swifter than shaft and shuttle are, my days 

Mid misery and sin 

Have vanished all, and now Death only is behind." 

Francesco Petrarch. 

LESSED Mary Mancini, who is best known under 
the name of Blessed Mary of Pisa, was called 
Catharine in baptism, and belonged to the noble 

, family of the Mancini. Whilst still in tender years 

she began to receive many wonderful supernatural favors. 
When three years old she was warned by her guardian angel 
that the portico under which her nurse had laid her was in an 
unsafe condition ; and the moment she left it the building fell 
to the ground. At five and a half she was favored with an 
ecstasy, in which she found herself transported to a palace in 
Pisa, in which Peter Gambacorti, one of the chief citizens, was 
a prisoner. The unhappy nobleman was at that moment under 
going torture, but at the prayer of the innocent child the rope 
by which he was suspended broke and he was set free. Our 
Blessed Lady bade the little Catharine daily recite seven Hail 
Mary on his behalf, telling her that she would one day be 
supported at his expense. 

When twelve years old Catharine s friends compelled her to 
marry ; and before she was sixteen she found herself a widow. 
Her family insisted on her once more engaging in the mar 
ried state ; but her second husband died when she was twenty- 
four. Most of her children had passed away in infancy, and 




aio APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

the others did not long survive their father ; so that Catharine 
then found herself able to follow her attraction to prayer and 
penance with greater freedom than had hitherto been pos 
sible. She absolutely refused to yield to the solicitations of her 
brother, who wanted her to take a third husband ; and choosing 
as her companion a pious servant well advanced in years, she 
devoted herself to a life of contemplation, austerity, and active 
works of charity. Every night she took a severe discipline 
and devoted several hours to prayer, rising for this purpose as 
soon as she heard the first bell for Matins ring in the church of 
the Friars Preachers. Early in the morning she went to their 
church and assisted at all the Masses, and then returned home 
to spin. Her afternoon was also divided between devotional 
exercises in the Church and humble labor. She distributed 
her earnings to the poor and sick, whom she constantly visited, 
only retaining for herself just sufficient to provide the neces 
sities of life. She received many of the sick poor into her 
house, nursing them with the utmost tenderness and serving 
them with her own hands. 

One day she found at her door a young man of extraordinary 
beauty, but very poorly clad and covered with wounds. She 
brought him into the house and washed and dressed his sores, 
and before dismissing him, bade him return as often as he stood 
in need of the same charitable offices. The young man laid 
his hand on her head and gave her a solemn blessing, adding 
that he would not fail to visit her again. After his departure, 
Catharine, going to perform her customary mortification of 
drinking some of the water with which she had washed his 
wounds, tasted such ineffable sweetness, that she began to 
suspect she had been favored by some heavenly visitant. Then 
her guardian angel told her that, in reward of her charity to 
His poor, her Divine Spouse had come in the garb of a beggar 
to receive her services. 

In the year 1375, St. Catharine of Siena visited Pisa and a 
sweet and holy friendship sprang up between her and the holy 
widow. On Easter Sunday, when they were both praying in 
the chapel of the Annunciation in the Domincan Church, they 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 211 

were in the sight of all the people covered by a beautiful and 
shining cloud, out of which flew a white dove. It was prob 
ably at that time the seraphic Saint of Siena persuaded her 
namesake to enter the Third Order of St. Dominic; though 
others say that the latter took the step in consequence of a 
vision in which St. Catharine appeared to her after death, and 
in which she gave her many practical instructions in the spiri 
tual life. 

In the course of time, the holy widow retired into the en 
closed Convent of the Holy Cross, apparently of the Second 
Order, receiving in religion the name of Sister Mary. Some 
of the relaxed habits of the age seem to have crept into this 
otherwise edifying community ; and only some of its members, 
including blessed Mary and the young blessed Clara Gam- 
bacorti, practised poverty in all its strictness. At the end of 
eight years the two blessed servants of God, accompanied by 
five other Sisters, withdrew into the new Convent of St. Domi 
nic, which Peter Gambacorti had built for his daughter; and 
thus was fulfilled the prophecy which Our Lady had made to 
blessed Mary long years before, that she should one day be 
supported at the expense of that nobleman. There they lived 
in great fervor and strictness of observance. Blessed Mary 
continued to be favored in religion as she had been in the world, 
with many supernatural favors and revelations. To obtain the 
explanation of one of these, she had recourse to Alfonso Vada- 
terra, Bishop of Jaen and former Confessor to St. Bridgit. He 
was one of the most distinguished men of his day and an inti 
mate friend of the Gambacorti family ; and his reply to Blessed 
Mary is still preserved. After the death of Blessed Clara, her 
faithful companion succeeded her in the office of Prioress. She 
at length happily departed this life on January 22, A.D. 1431, 
and was beatified by Pius IX. 



212 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 



PRAYER OF SAINT BERNARD OF CLAIRVAUX 

Remember, Mother, throned in Heaven s splendor, 

That never on this earth has it been said 
That any heart which sought thy pity tender 

Was left imcomforted. 

So, wearied of world-friendship s changing fashion, 

And bankrupt of world-treasures utterly, 
And trusting in thy mercy and compassion, 

I come at last to thee. 

Why name to thee my needs in my entreating 
Thou, taught in human hearts by the Divine 

Long time agone, when soft His heart was beating, 
Fond Mother, close to thine. 

O plead with Him who on thy breast was cherished 
Sweet Sharer in the world s Redemption Pain! 

O let it not be said that I have perished, 
Where none came yet in vain. 

Katherine E. Conway. 



PRAYER TO THE MOST HOLY SACRAMENT AND 
TO THE SACRED HEART 

Behold, my most loving Jesus, to what an excess Thy bound 
less love has carried Thee. Of Thine own Flesh and Precious 
Blood, Thou hast made ready for me a banquet in order to give 
me all Thyself. What was it that impelled Thee to this trans 
port of love for me? It was Thy Heart, Thy loving Heart! 
O adorable Heart of my Jesus! burning furnace of Divine 
Love ! within Thy most sacred wound receive Thou my soul ; 
that in that school of charity I may learn to requite the love of 
that God Who has given me such wondrous proof of His love. 
Amen. 

loo days, once a day. 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 213 



SHRINE 

OF 

OUR LADY OF FOLGOAT 
BRITTANY, FRANCE 

1380 

Of Thee, bright Queen of Heaven, we dare 

To beg for aid, when hopes have flown, 
Oh! waft Thy fragrance, Lily rare, 

O er hearts that love has made Thine own, 
And gently bend to hear our prayer. 

Lucille Sullivan. 




N the year 1380, there lived near Lesneven, in Bre- 
tagne, a good old man named Salaun or Soloman. 
He had no one to care for him, and as he had 
t===== ^____ some curious ways, and did not associate with any 
person, the people thought him crazy, and he was commonly 
known in the village as Solomon the Idiot. He walked with 
his eyes on the ground, but his heart was in heaven, and the 
Good God heard all that he did not say with his lips. Too lit 
tle in mind to be a shepherd, he was loved by God, 

Yet old and crippled as he was, he might be seen every even 
ing at sunset hobbling towards the chapel of the Blessed Vir 
gin near the seashore, where the pious peasants were wont to 
gather, and sing hymns in honor of Our Lady. He would 
remain behind after the others had gone home, and only when 
the whole village was wrapt in sleep would he arise and seek 
his miserable cabin. He would be up next morning even before 
the busy fisherman had trimmed his craft, or the industrious 
farmer was in the field. 

Sometimes he fasted many days at a time, living on prayer 
alone ; when he found himself very faint and almost exhausted 
with hunger, he would knock at the door of a cottage, and 
say humbly, in a low voice : "Salaun would like to eat some 



214 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

bread." In all his life he never said anything but that 
except, "Ave Maria." Barefooted, covered with rags, he went 
on his way; some laughed, some jeered, and some drew back 
with a sort of awe ; and the wicked little boys cried after him : 
"Fou du bois ! Fou du bois !" from which comes the name of 
the Chapel Folgoat. He was of the woods; here, where the 
Blessed Virgin s Chapel is built he slept under an oak, near 
a beautiful fountain. The oak stood where the altar is now. 
The sick \vlio have been healed by its waters know well where 
the fountain is. 

When winter came, and the work in the fields was done, 
the people did not fail to continue their custom of going every 
evening to the chapel. And as surely as it began to grow dark, 
so surely would old Solomon be found there, though the snow 
might lie knee-deep and the wind blow ever so hard. One even 
ing, however, the good people missed his familiar face. They 
sang their hymns as usual, and then prepared to leave the 
chapel. But they had not gone far, when, to their great 
astonishment, they saw the old man lying in the snow near the 
sea-shore. His unkempt hair and matted beard were heavy with 
icicles. He rolled his glassy eyes, softly muttered, "Ave Ma 
ria!" and died. They buried him in an out-of-the-way field, 
for they thought an idiot ought not to be laid in consecrated 
ground ; and there was no one to mark the spot with a cross 
or a stone. 

When gentle spring followed winter, and the hawthorn blos 
somed, and the lark sang its tuneful note, a person happened 
to pass near the place where Solomon was buried. Great was 
his wonderment to see a snow-white lily rising from the out 
cast s grave. Going nearer, his surprise was increased to see 
on the petals of the lily in letters of gold the words, "Ave 
Maria!" 

A crowd soon gathered around, but no one could explain the 
strange occurrence: no one had planted the lily there, nor 
could any one account for the wondrous words. At length, 
the Bishop, hearing of the event, came in state to Lesneven. 
It was a lovely morning ; all the people of the village and the 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 215 

neighboring towns had assembled, and after Solemn High 
Mass the multitude formed in procession, and, headed by two 
acolytes and a cross-bearer, walked to the grave where the 
body of Solomon the Idiot was buried. The lily was still there. 
After prayers had been recited, the Bishop ordered the grave to 
be opened. The astonishment of the beholders knew no bounds 
when it was discovered that the root of the lily was the old 
man s heart. 

Not many years afterwards the name of Solomon the Idiot 
was added to the roll of the patrons of Bretagne, and in all 
their trials and afflictions the good people never failed to in 
voke the aid of "Holy Solomon." 

A church was erected by the owner of the land over the spot 
where the pious imbecile was buried. It is one of the most 
beautiful and famous in all Brittany, and when seen in the 
morning sunlight looks like a lace-work of stone, a veritable 
dream of the Orient. 

Though we must distrust to a certain degree the accounts 
given by Breton enthusiasm since the sixty sanctuaries dedi 
cated to the Blessed Virgin in the Leonais country are not all 
beautiful or grand, still in this church there is a nameless 
something at once humble and magnificent, an exquisite deli 
cacy, a grave, sweet poetry, simple and sublime, like the plain 
chant of our hymns. 

At the entrance one finds himself before the stone of Ker- 
santon, on which may be deciphered, although with difficulty, 
the well-nigh obliterated inscription of Duke John, the con 
queror of Charles de Blois in that famous war of succession in 
which Brittany fell into the hands of the English. 

On entering the sacred edifice the visitor, in spite of the 
majesty of the exterior, will not be prepared for the bewildering 
wealth of wonders which are heaped up in this tomb of the 
poor "idiot," whose suffering soul while on earth testified by 
many miracles to the favor which he enjoyed with the Most 
High. He was gentle, this mendicant, gentle as a little child, 
and "meek and humble of heart." 

With what beauty, with what grandeur these stories of 



216 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

Catholic sanctity are embalmed ! And what a superhuman 
teaching is found in this fact, reproduced under a thousand dif 
ferent forms on every page of the annals of Brittany the 
monarch humbly kneeling at the tomb of a mendicant, the sov 
ereign bowing his perishable sceptre before this immortal relic 
the staff which supported the tottering steps of "the Idiot of 
the Woods !" 

The church of Our Lady of Folgoat, more than any of the 
sanctuaries of Brittany, renders homage to heavenly poverty. 
Around the fountain where the saintly mendicant moistened his 
piece of dry bread, under the branches of the oak where he 
slept, a reigning prince reared this granite forest, and age after 
age has brought its wealth to adorn this ducal foundation, 
which, like a flower, has expanded more and more in each suc 
ceeding century. 

The Mount of Salvation may be seen from afar (La Mon- 
tagne du Saint), so named, says an old Breton chronicler, "be 
cause from these holy heights the Queen of Heaven guards 
and saves the good people of Brittany." On this mount is 
perched the Cathedral of the Solitudes, where the faithful of 
the whole world come to pray to the Immaculate Queen of 
Heaven, invoking the while the intercession of a beggar, to 
whom God had not vouchsafed the light of reason, and who, 
during his life of poverty and suffering, could utter no other 
prayer save the two words, "Ave Maria." 

As one stands in the dark wing of the choir, where the sun 
light has not penetrated to caress the marvel in stone which 
crowns the gallery, they will notice that here in this land of 
fruits, the stone-cutters had lavished the vine everywhere, as 
the principal motif of the ornaments. The vine is a symbol of 
the Eucharist, and typifies love and sacrifice. The unknown 
architects of the Ages of Faith, who built so many master 
pieces, knew well that we can never have the love of Jesus 
brought too frequently to our minds ; and their eloquent poems 
in stone repeat in a thousand different ways the chant of our 
joy, the acclamation of our tenderness : Adoremus in cetermtm 
Sanctissimnm Sacramentmn ! 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 217 

Near the great tower of the church there is a smaller one, 
built by the Duchess Anne, who, if we may credit the old 
chronicles, sold Brittany to France, that she might be truly 
Queen. 

Of this famous Church and Shrine Chateaubriand writes : 
"The dawning day illuminates their twin towers. Now they 
appear to be crowned with a capital of clouds, magnified in the 
vapory atmosphere. The birds take them for forest-trees ; little 
black crows fly around their summits and perch in their gal 
leries. But suddenly confused sounds are heard in these sacred 
heights, frightening away the little birds which had taken 
refuge there. The Christian architect, not content with build 
ing these forests of granite, wished also to preserve the mur 
murs of the woods, and, by the organ and the swaying bronze, 
he has reproduced in the Gothic cathedral the echoes of the 
winds and the reverberation of the thunder in the forests. The 
ages evoked make their solemn voices heard; the sanctuary 
trembles, while these enormous bells are startling the echoes 
over our heads, announcing during all time the Incarnation of 
our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." 



AVE, MARIA 

A Breton Legend 

In the Ages of Faith, before the day 
When men were too proud to weep, or pray, 
There stood in a red-roofed Breton town, 
Snugly nestled twixt sea and down, 
A chapel for simple souls to meet 
Nightly, and sing with voices sweet, 

Ave, Maria. 

There was an Idiot, palsied, bleared, 
With unkempt locks and a matted beard, 
Hunched from the cradle, vacant eyed, 
And whose head kept rolling from side to side; 
Yet who, when the sunset-glow prew dim, 
Joined with the rest in the twilight hymn, 

Ave, Maria. 



2iS APPARITIONS AND SHRINES Off 

But, when they up-got and wended home, 
Those up the hill-side, these to the foam, 
He hobbled along in the narrowing dusk, 
Like a thing that is only hull and husk; 
On as he hobbled, chanting still, 
Now to himself, now loud and shrill, 

Ave, Maria. 

When morning smiled on the smiling deep, 
And the fisherman woke from dreamless sleep; 
And ran up the sail, and trimmed his craft, 
While his little ones leaped on the sand and laughed, 
The senseless cripple would stand and stare, 
Then, suddenly holloa his wonted prayer, 

Ave, Maria. 

Others might plough and reap and sow, 

Delve in the sunshine, spin in snow, 

Make sweet love in a shelter sweet, 

Or trundle their dead in a winding sheet; 

But he, through rapture and pain and wrong, 

Kept singing his one monotonous song, 

Ave, Maria. 

When thunder growled from the ravelled wrack, 
And ocean to welkin bellowed back, 
And the lightning sprang from its cloudy sheath, 
And tore through the forest with jagged teeth; 
Then, leaped and laughed o er the havoc wreaked, 
The Idiot clapped with his hands and shrieked, 

Ave, Maria. 

Children mocked and mimicked his feet, 
As he slouched, or slided along, the street; 
Maidens shrank as he passed them by, 
And mothers with child eschewed his eye; 
And half in pity, half scorn, the folk 
Christened him, from the words he spoke, 

Ave, Maria. 

One year, when the harvest feasts were done, 
And the mending of tattered nets begun, 
And the kittiwake s scream took a weirder key, 
From the wailing wind and the moaning sea, 
He was found, at morn, on the fresh strewn snow, 
Frozen and faint and crooning low, 

Ave, Maria. 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 219 

They stirred up the ashes between the dogs, 
And warmed his limbs by the blazing logs, 
Chafed his puckered and bloodless skin, 
And strove to quiet his chattering chin; 
But, ebbing with unreturning tide, 
He kept on murmuring, till he died, 

Ave, Maria. 

Idiot, soulless, brute from birth, 

He could not be buried in sacred earth; 

So, they laid him afar, apart, alone, 

Without a cross, or turf, or stone, 

Senseless clay unto senseless clay, 

To which none ever came nigh, to say, 

Ave, Maria. 

When the meads grow saffron, the hawthorn white, 

And the lark bore his music out of sight, 

And the swallow outraced the racing wave, 

Up from the lonely, outcast grave 

Sprouted a lily, straight and high, 

Such as she bears to whom men cry, 

Ave, Maria. 

None had planted it; no one knew, 
How it had come there, why it grew; 
Grew up strong, till its stately stem 
Was crowned with a snow-white diadem 
One pure lily, round which, behold, 
Was written by God, in veins of gold, 

Ave, Maria. 

Over the lily they built a Shrine, 

Where are mingled the mystic Bread and Wine 

Shrine you may see in the little town 

That is snugly nestled twixt deep and down ; 

Through the Breton land it hath wondrous fame, 

And it bears the unshriven Idiot s name, 

Ave, Maria. 

Hunchback, gibbering, blear-eyed, halt, 
From forehead to footstep one foul fault, 
Crazy, contorted, mindless-born, 
The gentle s pity, the cruel s scorn 
Who shall bar you the Gates of Day, 
So you have simple faith to say, 

Ave, Maria. 

Alfred Austin, 



SHRINE OF 

OUR LADY OF THE THORN 
CHALONS, FRANCE 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 



221 



SHRINE 

OF 

OUR LADY OF THE THORN 
CHALONS, FRANCE 

1400 

The Catholic who hears that Vesper bell, 

Howe er employed, must send a prayer to heaven. 

In foreign lands I liked the custom well, 

For with the calm and sober thoughts of even 

It well accords; and wert thou journeying there, 

It would not hurt thee! to join that Vesper prayer. 

Robert Southey. 




T the time when Christianity underwent that ex 
traordinary disturbance which, under the title of 
the Great Western Schism, gave to the Church two 
heads, and seemed to falsify the promise of unity 
made by her divine Founder, France was ruled by Charles VI. 
All her fair provinces experienced the misfortunes of war, but 
none so deeply as Champagne. On all sides were combats, in 
cendiarism, and famine; her fields lay fallow, and the victims 
that escaped war and famine were destroyed by epidemics. As 
St. Augustine has said, "New wounds broke out ere the old 
were healed." 

It was in the midst of such dire calamities that God granted 
His people a distant glimpse of their deliverance. On the 24th 
of March, 1400, the eve of the Annunciation, some shepherds, 
who were tending their flocks on a hillside about two leagues 
from Chalons, perceived a bright light issuing from a rustic 
oratory dedicated to St. John the Baptist. On approaching it, 
they saw a luminous bush, whose branches, leaves, and thorns 
burned without being consumed ; and in the midst of the flames 
stood a statue of the Blessed Virgin. Illusion was impossible : 
the miracle continued all that night and the next day 

The news of the wonderful occurrence quickly spread, and 



222 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

people hastened to the spot from every direction. Charles of 
Poitiers, who was then Bishop of Chalons, came, at the head of 
his chapter and clergy, to view the burning bush. As if the mis 
fortunes of the French people were similar to those of the 
Hebrews under Pharaoh, here might be seen exactly the same 
prodigy which Moses witnessed at the foot of Mount Horeb. 
It was of a character even more touching than that former 
miracle ; for here, in the midst of the flames, shone the image 
of the Mother of the Redeemer. The Bishop of Chalons, with 
evidences of the most ardent faith, carried the image with his 
own hands and deposited it in the Oratory of St. John. And it 
was this identical statue which was solemnly crowned by order 
of the Pope only a few months ago. 

The devotion of the people soon found expression in the con 
struction of a magnificent church, erected on the spot where the 
miracle occurred, and destined to receive, on its completion, the 
miraculous statue. In twenty-four years the principal parts 
of the structure were finished. The new edifice did not resem 
ble in architectural design the Byzantine style, which imitates 
the dome of heaven, and of which St. Sophia s of Constanti 
nople and St. Mark s of Venice are examples. Nor did it sug 
gest the style preferred by the ancient Romans the semicir 
cular arch, which recalls, in its austerity and its subdued light, 
the catacombs of Rome. It was rather of Gothic design, which 
has been inspired by Nature herself ; its nave and columns are 
the boles of venerable trees, whose branches, stretching ever 
upward, meet to form those inflexed arches whence the style 
derives its name. 

On viewing the Church of the Thorn, the majority of the 
delighted people would fain believe that their prayers took 
wings to waft them to heaven. Its vault, like the inverted keel 
of a ship, served only to remind them still more of a Christian s 
hope of immortal joys. The grandeur of God, and the duties 
of adoration and obedience which we owe Him, penetrated their 
souls when they beheld the altar where the presence of the 
Eucharist was indicated by majesty of outline and richness of 
decoration. At various intervals were beautiful stained-glass 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 223 

windows, depicting sacred scenes from the Old and the New 
Testament the Bible of the people. 

The rustics, who were less familiar with art than their neigh 
bors of the town, were so charmed with the beauty of the work 
and the rapidity of its construction, that they adopted a charm 
ing legend, to the effect that the work of building had never 
been interrupted by night or by day ; for when, at the approach 
of evening, the laborers quitted their workshops and went to 
rest, angels took their places and worked until the first faint 
rays of the sun appeared in the eastern sky. 

Such is the church where the miraculous statue of the Blessed 
Virgin was deposited, and where it received the homage of all 
generations until the French Revolution. If, during that 
troublous epoch, the revolutionists destroyed in one hour that 
which was the result of centuries of labor, it is but due to them 
to say that they had the grace to spare the Church of the Thorn. 
On December 6, 1793, however, the venerable statue was put 
in a place of greater security by M. Bertin, the cure of the par 
ish. Seven years later he himself brought it from its hiding- 
place and replaced it on the altar. 

Only Heaven could have inspired the faith and piety which 
led people, sovereigns, and clergy in such numbers to the feet 
of Our Lady of the Thorn. That there has been a popular 
stream of confidence, the very stones of the church suffice to 
prove, the fact that this imposing pile should have been raised 
so far from any city. That crowds of pious pilgrims have vis 
ited the spot is also attested by the numerous miracles which 
have been worked at 1 Epine. Among others we may mention 
the resuscitation of a still-born infant, brought from Cernon- 
sur-Coole, which took place on the I5th of August, 1641 ; the 
cure of a paralytic (May 9, 1642), who was carried from St. 
Julien de Courtisols : she left her crutches in the church as an 
cx-voto offering; the cure of a blind man of Mairy-sur-Marne 
(August 15, 1661), who recovered his sight at the feet of Our 
Lady of the Thorn; also, in September, 1788, the restoration to 
life of a child from Vanault-le-Chatel, who had died without 
baptism, 



224 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

Our own century has had a share in the miracles of 1 Epine. 
In 1852 a young man afflicted with leprosy a disease with 
which science has combated in vain left Verdun and came to 
implore relief at this sanctuary. He was suddenly cured of 
his horrible malady; and sixteen years later he attested that 
he had never felt the slightest symptoms of its return. On the 
1 2th of May, 1873, another cure that of a young girl which 
was pronounced supernatural by the deposition of the attend 
ing physician, gave evidence that Providence still continues to 
show forth Its mercies at this favored Shrine. 

One cannot judge of the wealth of its votaries, nor of the 
abundance of the graces they received, from the archives of 
the church ; for the Huguenots, and later the malefactors of 
93, completely sacked the sacred edifice. But the missing docu 
ments have an equivalent in the universal traditions of the 
province. 

Of all the surviving forms of devotion to Our Lady of the 
Thorn, the most touching is that of the presentation of little 
children on many principal feasts of Mary. At sight of them, 
clothed in white and pressing eagerly about her venerated 
image, the heart of a Christian must be rilled with holy joy. 
But it must ache, also, at the thought of so many others, in less 
favored lands, who grow up without having learned either to 
know, to love, or to honor Our Blessed Lady. 

After the people, we must recall the princes and sovereigns 
of France who have visited this Shrine : Charles VI., who 
favored the construction of the church and the immunity of its 
receipts; Charles VII., who twice visited the sanctuary; Mar 
garet of Scotland, the Dauphiness, who made the pilgrimage 
from Chalons to 1 Epine on foot ; Louis XL, who came thither 
to fulfil the vow he had made in the prison of Peronne;* the 
Duchess of Orleans, Princess Palatine, in the seventeenth cen 
tury; Queen Marie Leczinska, in the eighteenth; Napoleon, in 
1812; Charles X., in 1828; and finally Louis Philippe, in 1831. 

*In 1471 he gave 200 crowns to the church of 1 Epine. The year following he 

published an edict commanding the striking of the clock at the beginning, in the 

middle, and at the end of each day, whence comes the custom of reciting the 
Angelus. 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 225 

In speaking of the august pilgrims of 1 Epine we must men 
tion the name of Joan of Arc ; for we shall see that history fol 
lows the footsteps of that heaven-sent liberator from the mo 
ment when she touched the soil of Chalons. L Epine! the 
name must have suggested to her pleasant memories of her 
childhood. She had passed many happy days in its vicinity ; for 
she had resided for some time with a maternal uncle at Ser- 
maize which is only a few leagues from 1 Epine. It was about 
the time when the miracle of the burning bush had attained its 
greatest publicity ; when people came thither from long dis 
tances, rilled with enthusiastic faith. There is little doubt that 
Joan was among the number. In 1429 she was again at 
Chalons, only a short distance from the spot which had thrilled 
her youthful heart; but under what different circumstances! 
She was on her way to raise the siege of Orleans, to take part 
in the consecration of the King at Rheims. 

This beautiful sanctuary of Our Lady of the Thorn has not 
been ignored by the Holy See, and several Popes have encour 
aged its frequentation by signal favors, particularly Calixtus 
III., Pius II., and Gregory XV. Leo XIII., having heard the 
origin and the history of the devotion, and an account of the 
benefits derived from the pilgrimages, said with emotion, when 
the solemn coronation of the venerable statue was proposed: 
"Yes, Our Lady of the Thorn shall be crowned, and in my 
name. Prepare for her a diadem worthy of the Mother of God, 
of the people whom she protects, and of French art." 



THE "ANGELUS" BELL 

Against the sunset glow they stand 
Two humblest toilers of the land, 
Rugged of speech and rough of hand, 

Bowed down by tillage; 
No grace of garb or circumstance 
Invests them with a high romance, 
Ten thousand such through fruitful France, 

In field and village. 



326 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

The day s slow path from dawn to west 
Has left them, soil-bestained, distrest, 
No thought beyond the nightly rest 

New toil to-morrow; 
Till solemnly the "Ave" bell 
Rings out the sun s departing knell, 
Borne by the breezes rhythmic swell 

O er swath and furrow. 

O lowly pair! You dream it not, 
Yet on your hard unlovely lot 
That evening gleam of life has shot 

A glorious presage; 

For prophets oft have yearned, and kings 
Have yearned in vain to know the things 
Which to your simple spirit brings 

That curfew message. 

Turn to the written page, and read 
In other strain the peasant s creed, 
With satyr love and vampire greed 

How hearts are tainted. 
Read to the end unmoved who can, 
Read how the primal curse on man 
May shape a fouler Caliban 

Than poet painted. 

And this is Nature ! Be it so : 

It needs a master s hand to show 

How through the man the brute may grow 

By Hell s own leaven; 
We blame you not; enough for us 
Those two lone figures bending thus, 
For whom that far-off Angelus 

Speaks Hope and Heaven. 

R. M. Milnes (Lord Houghton). 



THE ANGELUS BELL 
"He heard the Angelus from convent towers." 

It is a custom of the Roman Catholic Church to repeat morn 
ing, noon and evening a prayer to the Virgin called Angelus 
Domini. It is also the custom that a bell should be rung at 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 227 

morning, noon and sunset, as a call to recite the Angelas, or to 
give notice of the hour when it is recited. It is a very beautiful 
custom, and as the notes of the Angelus bell peal out among 
the peasantry of Europe, the workers stop and silently bow 
their heads, until the prayer is over. It is a habit which well 
might be copied throughout the whole length and breadth of 
the land. 

Jean Francois Millet, a farm laborer who painted his own 
people, was so inspired that he painted The Angelus/ a mag 
nificent picture exhibited all over the world, and finally bought 
at auction in England several years ago by the American Art 
Association for $116,000. Subsequently the picture was bought 
from the American Art Association for $150,000 by Monsieur 
Chauchard, a merchant of Paris. 

The picture represents two peasants, a man and a woman, 
standing in the field with humbly bowed heads, while in the dis 
tance a slender church spire pierces the pink sky, from which 
the holy notes of the Angelus are pealing. The picture is very 
beautiful ; quiet, strong, soothing, filled with the peaceful seren 
ity which comes with homage to the Divine Power. 



THE ANGELUS DOMINI AND REGINA CGELI 

ANGELUS DOMINI 

V. The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary, 

R. And she conceived of the Holy Ghost. 

Hail, Mary, etc. 

V . Behold the handmaid of the Lord, 

R. May it be done unto me according to Thy word. 

Hail, Mary, etc. 

V. And the Word was made Flesh: 

R. And dwelt amongst us. 

Hail, Mary, etc. 

V. Pray for us, holy Mother of God : 

R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. 



228 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

LET US PRAY 

Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our 
hearts, that we to whom the Incarnation of Christ Thy Son was 
made known by the message of an angel, may, by His Passion 
and Cross, be brought to the glory of His Resurrection. 
Through Christ our Lord. Amen. 

REGINA CCELI 

O Queen of Heaven, rejoice; Alleluia. 

For He whom thou didst merit to bear ; Alleluia. 

Hath risen, as He said ; Alleluia. 

Pray for us to God; Alleluia. 

V . Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary ; Alleluia. 
R. For the Lord hath risen indeed. Alleluia. 

LET US PRAY 

O God, Who didst vouchsafe to give joy to the world, 
through the resurrection of Thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ; 
grant, we beseech Thee, that through His Mother, the Virgin 
Mary, we may obtain the joys of everlasting life. Through 
Christ our Lord. Amen. 

/oo days, each time to all who at the sound of the bell, morn 
ing, noon, and evening at sunset, shall say the Angelus on their 
knees. Plenary once a month. It is said standing on Saturday 
evening and Sunday. In Paschal-tide the Regina Coeli is said 
instead, standing. Those who do not know the Regina Coeli, 
may say the Angelus. 



TO OUR MOTHER 

Tray for us now at the hour of our death." 

Mother, the skies are dim, 

The air is cold, 
And forms of terror grim 

The mists unfold. 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 229 

Weary am I and weak, 

And sore afraid; 
O Virgin pure and meek, 

Sweet Mother, aid ! 

If, I could see thy face, 

Twere almost Heaven ; 
A sign of pitying grace, 

And sin forgiven. 

But oh, this awful gloom, 

Within, without! 
The fiends of wrath and doom 

Despair and doubt ! 

Oh, for one bright hour more 

Of strength supreme, 
Like those I wasted o er 

My life s long dream! 

But, Mother, if thon plead 

With thy dear Son, 
In this, my woeful need, 

My Heaven is won. 

Katherine E. Conway. 



OUR LORD AND THE BLIND MAN 

He stood before the Sanhedrim, 
The scowling Rabbis gazed at him. 
He reeked not of their praise or blame; 
There was no fear, there was no shame, 
For one upon whose dazzled eyes 
The whole earth poured its vast surprise. 
******* 

But still they questioned : Who art thou ? 
What hast thou been? What art thou now? 
Thou art not he who yesterday 
Sat here and begged beside the way. 
******* 

He told the story o er and o er; 
It was his full heart s only lore, 



230 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

A prophet on the Sabbath-day 
Had touched his sightless eyes with clay, 
And made him see who had been blind. 
Their words passed by him like the wind, 
Which raves and howls, but cannot shock 
The hundred-fathom rooted rock. 
******* 

Their threats and fury all went wide; 
They could not touch his Hebrew pride, 
Their sneers at Jesus and His band, 
Homeless and harmless in the land ; 
Their boasts of Moses and his Lord, 
All could not change him by one word. 
******* 

I know not what this man may be, 
Sinner or Saint; but as for me, 
One thing I know, that I am he 
Who once was blind, and now I see. 
******* 

The wisdom of the East was theirs, 
And honor crowned their silver hairs. 
The man they jeered and laughed to scorn 
Was unlearned, poor and humbly born; 
But he knew better far than they, 
What came to him that Sabbath-day, 
And what the Christ had done for him 
He knew, and not the Sanhedrim. 

Hon. John Hay. 




HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 231 



SHRINE 

OF 

OUR LADY OF THE FORSAKEN 
VALENCIA, SPAIN 

1414 

O Maiden Mother! Light s new dawning 

Bright Star of Morn! first flower of Spring! 
Around whose neck the Baby Jesus 

So lovingly was wont to cling! 
O thou, whom by a thousand titles 

Already grace thy suppliant sons, 
Be pleas d to be what infants lisp thee, 

Madonna of the little ones. 

Rev. T. Harper, S.J. 




N the native place of the famous Cid, the warrior, 
the noble city of Valencia, is venerated the beauti 
ful miraculous image of Our Lady of Los Desam- 
parados. In that city, embalmed by the fragrance 
of aromatic gardens rising majestically above the Mediterra 
nean, there are also many temples, including the Cathedral, 
dedicated to the Mother of God. 

The devotion of the Valencians to the Queen of Heaven is 
as remarkable and edifying as that witnessed in the provinces 
of Andalusia; Nuestra Senora de los Desamparados (Our Lady 
of the Forsaken) is invoked by the people in all their difficulties 
and afflictions. Amongst the churches dedicated to the Blessed 
Virgin is one under the title of Los Desamparados, to which 
there is a brotherhood attached, established four hundred years 
ago, whose origin and aim are worthy the admiration of all who 
have a heart capable of appreciating works of genuine charity. 

In the year 1380, ten pious men of Valencia resolved to de 
vote their lives and fortunes to the laudable object of rescuing 
and providing for children abandoned by their unnatural 
parents. After mature deliberation and prayer, they organized 
a religious community to which they gave the name of "Monte 



2 3 2 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

de Piedad." They then rented a house, collected the orphans, 
and begged alms from door to door for them. Their charity 
went still further for they received also aged and infirm people 
and pilgrims. 

These heroic acts of charity soon reached the ears of Don 
Martin, King of Aragon, who, highly approving the zeal and 
charity of the members, declared himself their protector. After 
their community had been in existence twenty years, they placed 
themselves and their pious labors in a special manner under the 
protection of the Mother of God. They knew that this heav 
enly Mother is the Queen of Charity, and exercises it not only 
towards mortals in general, but especially towards those who 
know how to unite the love of God with that of their neighbor. 

After much prayer and deliberation, they resolved to call their 
community "The Brotherhood of Innocent Children and of the 
Mother of the Forsaken." They next wished to have a statue 
of Mary for their new establishment lately erected by the munif 
icence of the King of Spain. They consulted Father Juan 
Gilaberto, to whose zealous preaching was due, next to God, 
their vocation and united action. He undertook to have one 
executed by an excellent artist, but God, in whose eyes works 
of charity and mercy are so acceptable, resolved to reward them 
in a miraculous manner. 

It was in the year 1414. that three pilgrim youths arrived at 
the door of their monastery, soliciting lodging for the night. 
They were hospitably received by the superior, who, in the 
course of the evening spoke to them about the wished-for 
statue. They told him they were sculptors by profession and, 
in reward for his hospitality, and for the honor and glory of 
Mary, the Mother of God, they would carve him such a statue 
as was never before seen in all Spain. They asked to be fur 
nished with a block of marble, tools, and provisions for three 
days, and to be left undisturbed during that time. They locked 
themselves up in a large room ; and, to the no small amazement 
of the good Abbot and his brethren, not a sound of hammer or 
chisel was ever heard during the three days. 

The fourth day arrived without bringing any tidings of the 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 233 

three young men or the statue. The monks knocked repeatedly 
at the door without receiving any answer. At that time there 
was living in the city a blind and paralyzed woman, who, by her 
patience and resignation to the will of God through all her suf 
ferings, had arrived at a very high degree of sanctity. This 
holy woman, hearing of the circumstance, consulted God in 
prayer in order to know what was to be done. She then told 
the monks to force in the door and they would find their statue, 
but not the young men, for they were heavenly visitants. 

The good priest, Father Gilberto, opened the door, and lo! 
to the astonishment of all, found no sculptors, but a lovely 
statue of Our Blessed Lady, such as was never seen in Spain 
before or since; and at the same moment the holy woman was 
entirely cured of her paralysis and blindness. All were unan 
imous in the opinion that they were angels, since neither the 
tools nor victuals were touched by them, and the block of mar 
ble remained as when purchased. The happy news of the beau 
tiful statue and its miraculous origin spread rapidly over the 
city. The inhabitants flocked to its feet to thank God and His 
Holy Mother for this new proof of their love. It was called 
Nuestra Senora de los Desamparados (Our Lady of the For 
saken). It is four feet high, the head a little inclined, the left 
arm, as usual, holding the Infant Jesus, while in the right is 
held a beautiful bouquet of silver. No person has ever been 
able to tell of what material the statue is composed. 

The great number of jewels adorning this statue are very 
valuable, and serve to show the tender devotion and gratitude 
of the people for miraculous favors received. It occupied, and 
was venerated in the place where the angels formed it during 
many years, until, in the year 1489, the Bishop and clergy, see 
ing the wonderful miracles worked there, and the throngs of 
visitors becoming so great, had it removed to the Cathedral 
Church. 

But Mary, the sweet Help of Christians, was not to be with 
out a splendid temple for her wonder-working statue. The 
Count of Oropesa, Viceroy of Valencia in the year 1646, saw 
the city attacked by pestilence, and great numbers carried off 



234 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

daily, himself also contracting the disease. With a firm and 
unshaken faith he invoked Our Blessed Lady, and immediately 
the pestilence ceased. In gratitude to Mary, the people with 
their Viceroy, resolved to build a noble temple that would be 
a lasting monument of their devotion towards her. 

With the pious Viceroy taking the lead, the citizens com 
menced the building, the completion of which took fifteen years. 
As a still further mark of their gratitude, they resolved that 
Our Lady of the Forsaken should be publicly proclaimed 
patroness of Valencia. Accordingly, on the i8th day of March, 
1697, tne Archbishop, with all his clergy, the civil authorities, 
and all the people, amidst the booming of cannon, sounding of 
trumpets and loud acclamations of the people, proclaimed her 
their Protectress, while her miraculous statue was carried in 
procession. 

The church stands in the principal plaza and is rich in archi 
tecture. It has three fronts, with arches and columns in the 
Ionic style. The interior of the sanctuary presents a beautiful 
appearance ; it is oval in form, the arch frescoed, and the walls 
enriched with precious marbles. The floor is of Geneva mar 
ble. The miraculous statue reposes on the main altar, which 
was built in the present century. This altar has two columns 
of jasper, and its pillars and mouldings are of the Corinthian 
order. The table of the altar, as well as four statues of the 
evangelists, are also of precious marble. At the sides of the 
high altar stand the statues of St. Vincent, Martyr, and St. 
Vincent Ferrer the latter a son and patron of Valencia to 
whom the people pay great devotion. The sanctuary is sep 
arated from the church by a railing of brass. The statue has 
for its basis a cloud of solid silver. 

The statue of Our Lady of the Forsaken is one of the richest 
in Spain ; for it has a crown sparkling all over with the richest 
of diamonds. The mother of the King, Isabella II., in the year 
1859, visited Valencia and made rich presents to the Holy 
Shrine, putting under Mary s protection her son, Don Alfonso 
XII., then Prince of the Asturias. The amount of her presents 
was valued at $50,000. Christina of Bourbon, grandmother of 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 235 

King Alfonso, also made very rich presents to this sanctuary. 
There is an account of two most remarkable miracles wrought 
at this Shrine. The statue, as before remarked, has in its right 
hand a lily of silver. At one time an innocent man, condemned 
to death for murder, while passing by this church on his way 
to execution, was allowed to pray before the statue : when lo ! 
to the astonishment of all, the right hand holding the lily was 
seen to move several times. The people cried "a miracle ! He is 
innocent! set him free!" The Viceroy being consulted, an 
swered : "How can I condemn him now ?" The liberated man 
repaired to the church to thank his Protectress, vowing to love 
and honor her and proclaim her praises all his life. 

A rich man of Naples, Italy, was condemned to death for a 
murder he never committed; but Our Lady appeared to him 
and told him he would be set at liberty. He told his confessor 
of it, describing her as venerated in Valencia, though he had 
never seen or heard of her statue there, describing even the 
number and appearance of the diamonds in her crown. The 
next day, the real culprit gave himself up, and the innocent 
man was set at liberty. He made a vow to travel until he found 
a statue representing her as she appeared to him in his vision. 
After sixteen months travel, he arrived in Valencia, and going 
to the beautiful church of Our Lady, exclaimed : "I have found 
what I have long sought, for there is Mary the Mother of 
Jesus, my Saviour, just as she appeared to me." He remained 
long in that holy sanctuary, returning thanks to his blessed 
Mother, and then returned to his own country, full of gratitude 
and devotion. 

A LEGEND OF THE PYRENEES 

Deep in the Pyrenees dwelt Pierre the drover, 
With six small children clamoring for bread 

While he had none to give them, and, moreover, 
A seventh child was coming to be fed. 

Poor Pierre went forth at night and wandered lonely, 
He knew not where, with heart so sad and sore, 

His thoughts were centred on his young ones only 
Whose cries rang in his ears still more and more. 



236 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

"Halt!" said a threatening voice, "your gold count over/ 

(It was the robber chief El Capitan) 
"Alas, my lord, I m but a wretched drover 

Flying from hungry months as best I can." 

He told his story to the lawless ranger, 
"Here take this gold and buy your children food, 

And when the stork comes with the little stranger, 
I ll stand as gossip while I m in the mood." 

The outlaw kept his word, thus lightly given ; 

A boy was born, but after three short years 
He died, and his young soul took flight to heaven, 

And at the gate he stood with ravished ears. 

"Enter, my child," said Peter, "swell the chorus 

That surges round the Throne of the Most High," 

"I cannot," said the child, "Apostle glorious, 
Except you also let my godsire by." 

"And who is he?" "A robber of the mountain." 

"My son, a robber cannot enter here," 
At which the boy sat down, and like a fountain 

Dropped from his eye tear after bitter tear. 

But then approached a lady robed in splendor, 
Celestial brightness shone around her head, 

To him she said in accents soft and tender 

"My child, why weepest thou? Come in, nor dread." 

It was our Mother Mary, Queen of Glory, 
Who spoke thus sweetly to the drover s child, 

Who, gathering courage, told his simple story, 
Which, having ended, Mary, Mother, smiled. 

"Take to thy godfather this cup a measure 
From which my Son drank vinegar and gall 

When sore athirst, and, when tis filled with treasure, 
The gates of Heaven will open at his call." 

El Capitan outside his cave lay sleeping, 

A pistol and a dagger in his hands; 
But, when the shades of eve around were creeping, 

He wakes, and starts, for lo ! beside him stands 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 237 

A cherub with a lovely face and holy, 

And wings of silver. "Spirit, who art thou 
Who comest from high Heaven to me so lowly, 

A man of crime tis written on my brow." 

"My godfather, the Blessed Virgin Mary 

Sends thee this cup to fill it with thy tears. 
For thy salvation s sake, then, be not chary 

Of them, and weep away the sins of years." 

Years fled. St. Peter stood at Heaven s portals, 
And saw approach two figures robed in white; 

And well the Guardian knew that they were mortals, 
Redeemed and saved, who came to claim their right. 

One was a cherub, with the stamp of Heaven 

Set on his face ; the other, meek and mild, 
Seemed as a sinner who had been forgiven 

Through penitence. Thus spoke the angel child: 

"Behold this cup ; tis filled to overflowing 
With tears of anguish for the misspent years." 

"Enter," Saint Peter said, with face all glowing, 
"There is no passport like repentant tears." 

J. C. H. 



PRAYER TO ST. PHILOMENA VIRGIN AND 
MARTYR 

O glorious St. Philomena ! who animated by a burning love 
for Jesus, our Saviour, didst shine in Holy Church by the 
splendor of perfect virginity and the practice of the most heroic 
virtues, obtain for us of thy Divine Spouse the grace to keep 
ever unsullied the precious treasure of chastity, and to practice 
with generosity the virtues of our state, that having, after thy 
example, walked in His footsteps during our life on earth, we 
may with thee rejoice in His glory, through all eternity. Amen, 



APPARITION TO 

ST. BERNARDINE OF SIENA, O.S.F. 
SIENA, ITALY 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 239 



APPARITION 

TO 

ST. BERNARDINE OF SIENA, O.S.F. 

SIENA, ITALY 

1417 

Jesu, Word of God Most highest, 
Who to suppliants nought deniest, 
Who free grace to souls suppliest 
Those who stand thy Mother nighest 
Thou preserve and make like Thee. 

Adam of St. Victor. 

JANY years ago the devotion to the Holy Name of 
Jesus struck deep roots in the hearts of the faithful. 
Nowadays it is one of the most popular of Catholic 
devotions; and its popularity is due in great meas 
ure, if not altogether, to the burning zeal and eloquence of Saint 
Bernardine of Siena, a son of Saint Francis, and one of the 
most prominent missionaries of the fifteenth century. No 
doubt, this devotion, like all solid devotions, can boast a still 
more remote antiquity: was it not in the Name of Jesus that 
Peter bade the man "who was lame from his mother s womb" 
and "who lay at the gate of the temple," arise and walk ? When 
the Apostles preached, or baptized, or wrought miracles, they 
did all this in the Name of Jesus: around that Holy Name 
crowded a throng of memories linked to the personality of Him 
who bade them go forth and preach to all nations the Gospel of 
the Kingdom of God. A little later, one of the earliest Chris 
tian poets connects every title of the Incarnate God with the 
Name of Jesus. Later still, Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, whose 
Jesus dulcis memorla breathes such refreshing piety, made the 
precincts of the cloister ring with the praises of the Holy 
Name. 
It was left, however, to Saint Bernardine of Siena, in the 




240 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

opening half of the fifteenth century, to be the apostle, the 
popular exponent, of this genuine Catholic devotion : it was he 
who brought it home to the hearts of the people. Through 
his powerful influence the name of Jesus became the rallying 
cry of the soldiers of the Cross, the holy standard under which 
they fought and conquered the enemies of Christ s Kingdom, 
and their own salvation. 

It was on the 8th of September, in the year 1380, a few 
months after the decease of that faithful spouse of Christ, 
Saint Catherine of Siena, that Bernardino or Bernardine, as 
we call him Albizeschi was born. Tollo, his father, belonged 
to the ancient and noble family of the Albizeschi. Before his 
marriage, his prudence, humanity, and uprightness had won 
for him the affection and esteem of the Sienese, and the latter 
showed their appreciation of his sterling qualities of mind and 
heart by appointing him, in the year 13/7, to the governorship 
of Massa, a little town dependent on the commune of Siena, 
and about thirty miles distant from that city. It was in this 
town of Massa that Bernardine was born. Nera, the Saint s 
mother, was the daughter of Bindus Raynorius, and through 
the influence of her father she became the wife of Tollo Albi 
zeschi. She died in the year 1383, at the early age of twenty- 
two, and three years later Tollo followed her into eternity. 
Bernardine was thus left an orphan when he had barely reached 
his seventh year. 

Diana, the Saint s maternal aunt, took charge of her sister s 
child, and, during the five years he remained under her foster 
ing care and tuition, instilled into his heart a spirit of fervor 
and piety, for which she herself was remarkable. Even at this 
tender age Bernardine was conspicuous for his love of Our 
Blessed Lady, his love of holy purity, and his assiduous at 
tendance at church; he listened with particular delight to the 
sermons, and on his return home would in his own boyish 
fashion repeat whatever fragments he remembered, and imitate, 
whilst delivering them, the gestures and attitude of the 
preachers. 

When Bernardine had reached his eleventh year, two of his 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 241 

father s brothers, Christopher and Angelo, recalled him to 
Siena to begin his education. He was thus brought under the 
influence of John of Spoleto, a master celebrated at that time 
for learning and piety. 

The old chroniclers have left us but scanty details of this 
period of Bernardine s life ; but from expressions scattered 
here and there in these ancient documents, we gather that 
Bernardine proved himself a willing and docile scholar. He 
was beloved by everybody who came in contact with him. His 
cheerful and open countenance, his bright eyes, sparkling with 
intelligence, attracted the attention of everyone; whilst his apti 
tude for knowledge and manly disposition of character earned 
for him golden opinions from his master. He was kind and 
considerate, and though affable and yielding, he could, if need 
were, assume in the presence of his companions an unbending 
and dignified attitude. He hated vulgarity in any shape or 
form, and his schoolfellows were well aware of it; sometimes 
they would forget themselves so far as to indulge in coarseness 
and levity, but at the approach of Bernardine all this would 
suddenly cease. All these natural qualities of mind and heart 
were enhanced a hundred-fold by grace : for virtue took a 
strong hold of this generous and noble soul. Holy purity shed 
its lustre around his youth, and marked him with its own in 
delible stamp. He could not bear the slightest impropriety ; his 
features colored with shame if he happened to hear an im 
modest word. One day, as he was playing with his companions 
on the piazza, a man ventured to use some improper language : 
quick as lightning, Bernardine struck at him with all his might, 
and hit the offender just below the chin. In after years Ber 
nardine was preaching on this same piazza, when a man was 
observed to be listening intently to the words of the preacher, 
and sobbing bitterly; this was the man whom Bernardine had 
as a boy so unequivocally rebuked for his intemperate and loose 
language. 

From his infancy Bernardine showed a tender devotion for 
Mary, the Immaculate Mother of God. He loved her with 
all the enthusiasm and devotion of his noble and chivalrous 



242 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

heart. She was the depositary of all his thoughts, the guardian 
of all his affections ; her name was ever on his lips ; to please 
her was his sole delight. The incident we are about to relate 
will serve to illustrate his love for the Queen of Angels, as well 
as to give us another trait of his character. 

After the death of Diana, his maternal aunt, his cousin 
Tobia watched over him. One day Bernardine informed his 
cousin that he was in love. This information alarmed the good 
lady, who trembled at the thought that her cousin might en 
danger his innocence at an age when youth feels for the first 
time the warning thrills of awakening passions. Bernardine 
noticed no doubt the anxiety that preyed upon his cousin s 
mind ; so the next day he volunteered some further informa 
tion. He was, he said, not only in love ; but the thought of her 
whom he loved never left him night or day; moreover, he 
continued, he went to see her twice a day just outside the 
Camellia gate, on the way leading to Florence. This went on 
for a few days ; the lad had some revelation to make each day 
about her whom he called his sweetheart, without ever saying 
who she might be, or where precisely she dwelt. Tobia, whose 
anxious curiosity grew apace with every fresh revelation, could 
bear it no longer; she determined to follow her cousin, and 
watch his movements. The next day therefore that Bernardine 
went in the direction of the Camollia gate, she hastened after 
him, and from a coign of vantage, where she could see without 
being seen, was agreeably surprised to discover her cousin 
kneeling before a statue of the Madonna his hands joined in 
fervent prayer, and his eyes fixed on the image of his Queen : 
shortly afterwards he arose, and returned home beaming with 
joy and gladness. Tobia had thus discovered the secret of 
Bernardine s love; so the next day, when her unsuspecting 
cousin came to tell her in his own playful way about the lady 
of his thoughts, she smiled, but held her peace. 

His zeal was so pleasing to Our Blessed Lady, that she pro 
cured for him the grace of his religious vocation, and, after 
having favored him with many benedictions, she even deigned 
to appear to him one day, and address him thus : "Your devo- 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 243 

tion pleases me, and, as a pledge of still greater reward, I 
give you the gift of preaching, and the power to perform 
miracles; these are gifts which I have obtained for you from 
my Divine Son ; and I add to them the promise that you shall 
share eternally in the happiness I enjoy in Heaven." 

Meanwhile Bernardine had made rapid strides in the way of 
knowledge, and had gradually made himself proficient in phil 
osophy, civil and canon law, but above all in the study of Holy 
Scripture. The Word of God caused him intense satisfaction. 
He delighted to probe into and discover the hidden manna 
which the inspired writings contain, and he thus, perhaps un 
consciously, prepared himself for that grand work of the apos- 
tolate which was to make his name famous throughout the 
length and breadth of his native land. 

In the year 1400 Pope Boniface the Ninth promulgated a 
jubilee indulgence. Bernardine had just attained his twentieth 
year, and had already made rapid progress in the science of 
the Saints. An opportunity was now afforded him of showing 
of what stuff Saints are made. Thousands of pilgrims passed 
through Siena that year on their way to Rome. Unfortunately 
the plague broke out among them, and so terrible were its 
ravages that the accommodation at the hospital Santa Maria 
della Scala was taxed to its utmost extent. A number of priests, 
twenty-two members of the Confraternity della Scala, besides 
eighteen ladies who had nobly offered their services to tend the 
sick, were struck down and died victims to their charity. In 
these circumstances few were willing to face the pestilential 
atmosphere of the hospital. 

At the call of Christian charity the generous-hearted Ber 
nardine never hesitated. Turning his back on the brilliant ca 
reer that was opened to him in the world, he came forward and 
offered his services to the hospital. His noble example influ 
enced twelve other young men, who all betook themselves to 
the bedsides of their suffering brethren, and remained at this 
post of honor as long as the terrible calamity lasted. The 
scourge raged for four months, and during that short period 
claimed two thousand victims. 



244 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

When Bernardine s services could be dispensed with, he re 
turned home his constitution shattered by the incessant toil 
and hardships he had so nobly borne. For several weeks he 
lay in a precarious condition, and after a slow recovery he rose 
from his bed of sickness a changed man. During those weary 
hours of pain and suffering, he had heard in the inmost re 
cesses of his soul the gentle whisper of God s voice, and, obe 
dient to the call of the Holy Spirit, he resolved to retire from 
the world, and devote himself entirely to the service of his 
Divine Master. For two years he withdrew from the busy 
turmoil of life and its surroundings, and, after mature delibera 
tion, sought admission into the Order of Saint Francis in the 
year 1403. He received the holy habit on the 8th of Septem 
ber, and twelve months later made his profession. Another 
year elapsed whilst he prepared himself for Holy Orders, and 
on the 8th of September, 1404, he sang his first Mass and 
preached his first sermon on Our Blessed Lady in a little chapel 
not far distant from Columbaria, where he spent the first years 
of his religious life. 

As a religious, Bernardine strove to acquire those virtues 
which shone so conspicuously in the Blessed Francis. The 
poverty, humility, disinterestedness, and charity of the Seraphic 
Patriarch seemed to live once more in his ardent and enthusi 
astic disciple. Bidding adieu with a light heart to all the world 
holds dear, he sold his extensive patrimony, and distributed the 
proceeds in alms to the poor; he thus embraced that lifelong 
martyrdom his soul yearned after the martyrdom of poverty. 
So profound was his humility that he shrank from the dignity 
of the priesthood, and it was only at the earnest entreaty of his 
superiors, and in obedience to their will, that he consented at 
all to be ordained. Later on in the same spirit he refused suc 
cessively the bishoprics of Siena, Ferrara, and Urbino, hiding 
his humility under the playful remark that "he preferred to be 
bishop of the whole of Italy rather than bishop of one small 
city." 

Bernardine loved all those who came in contact with him, 
and was beloved by them in return. The annals of the Fran- 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 24$ 

ciscan Order testify to the deep spiritual affection that existed 
between him and " his very dear companion and most faithful 
disciple," John Capistran. Moreover, he never lost his affec 
tion for those who had watched over him in his infancy, and 
had lavished every care on him when he was left alone in the 
world at the early age of six. One day he was preaching at 
Milan, when he suddenly stopped, and left the pulpit a prey 
to some strong and visible emotion ; his eyes filled with tears, 
and he seemed heart-broken. The audience thronged around 
him, and sought the cause of his sorrow. "I have just lost," 
he replied, sobbing, "her who was the guardian angel of my 
infancy, and a second mother to me." He referred to his 
cousin Tobia, whose death God had just revealed to him in a 
miraculous way. 

His charity, like that of his Divine Master, embraced even 
his enemies. Some of the brethren reported in his hearing 
some of the violent accusations launched against the Saint by 
those whom they called his enemies. "Enemies ?" replied Ber- 
nardine. "I have no enemies ! Do not call those my enemies 
who afford me occasions of greater merit and means of 
sanctification !" 

His religious brethren were not slow to appreciate the ster 
ling qualities of this true son of Saint Francis. In due course 
they acknowledged the talent and virtue of their brother by 
appointing him successively Lector of Theology, Guardian, and 
Novice-Master. The onerous duties entailed by these various 
offices were rendered more onerous still by the circumstances 
that surrounded Bernardine during his tenure of them. Though 
a detailed account of these circumstances would be out of place 
in a short sketch of the Saint s life, we cannot overlook them 
altogether, as they will enable the reader to understand the in 
fluence St. Bernardine exerted over his brethren an influence 
that had for its ultimate goal a wider propagation by the Fran 
ciscans of the devotion to the Holy Name. 

Bernardine had scarcely received the sacred unction of the 
Priesthood, when, at the command of his superiors, he went 
forth to preach the word of God. His first sermon, we are told, 



246 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

charmed the whole audience, and gave an early promise of the 
apostolic triumphs that awaited him in his future career. Mean 
while, however, his voice grew so hoarse and weak that it 
proved a serious impediment to his effective preaching, and 
some there were who whispered that the young religious would 
soon have to retire from this field of the Apostolate. Perplexed, 
but in no way discouraged, the Saint had recourse to Our 
Blessed Lady, and requested her, if it were the will of God, to 
obtain for him a complete cure. His prayers were answered ; 
in due course his voice lost all its hoarseness, and henceforth, 
to use the expression of one of his contemporaries, it "be 
witched his hearers" by its harmonious flexibility and power of 
penetration. 

It was not, however, till the year 1418 that Bernardine en 
tered into the foremost rank of the great preachers of the Chris 
tian Renaissance. As has been said, he had filled the important 
positions of Guardian, Lector of Theology, and Novice-Master. 
This hidden life in the cloister, which duties imposed by Holy 
Obedience necessarily enforced upon him, did not prevent him 
from sallying forth now and then to preach the Gospel, and to 
oppose the growing worldliness and spirit of religious indiffer 
ence which the votaries of a Pagan Renaissance spread far and 
wide. Thus we find him at Alexandria in Lombardy about the 
year 1408, side by side with St. Vincent Ferrer, the great 
Dominican Apostle of that period. Bernardine went often to 
listen to the sermons of his saintly brother-in-arms, and these 
two holy souls communed together on the evils that infested 
Italy during this epoch. The Franciscan was present one day 
whilst Vincent was preaching, when the latter suddenly broke 
off his sermon, and foretold to the astonished audience the 
future greatness of the humble son of St. Francis : "Know, my 
brethren," he exclaimed, "that there is amongst you a religious 
of the Order of St. Francis who, in a few years, will be 
conspicuous throughout Italy. Though he is now only a 
a young man, whilst I am already bent with age, nevertheless, 
believe me, he will be honored in the Church of God before I 
am. I shall retire to France and Spain, and those Italian 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 247 

provinces that I have not yet evangelized I shall leave to him." 
This prediction was realized to the letter. Ten years later, 
when the fame of Bernardine began to spread, Vincent retired 
to France, as he had foretold. The latter part of his prophecy 
was also fulfilled, for Bernardine was canonized and venerated 
as a Saint by the Church two years before St. Vincent. 

Ten years later this prophecy was vividly brought back to 
Bernardine s memory by the extraordinary behavior of one of 
the junior religious of the Friary of Fiesole,near Florence, over 
which the Saint was then presiding. One night this religious, 
impelled by some irresistible power, ran up and down the clois 
ter, crying aloud : "Brother Bernardine, hide no longer the 
talents God has given thee! Go and preach to the people of 
Lombardy !" For two consecutive nights the same incident took 
place, and Bernardine, who happened to be away at the time, 
was duly informed on his return of the strange occurrence. 
Coupling this event with the prophetic words he had heard ten 
years before from the lips of St. Vincent Ferrer, the holy Guar 
dian had immediate recourse to prayer, and caused others to 
pray, too, with the result that he became convinced that this 
was a direct call from God, which it was his duty to obey with 
out delay. 

Bernardine s vocation thenceforth was set in a clearer light, 
and the work God intended him to do assumed a definite char 
acter and shape. He resolved to devote himself entirely to the 
ministry of preaching, and set about immediately fulfilling the 
task imposed upon him by Almighty God. He was told to go 
to Lombardy, and to Lombardy he went; for in the year 1418 
we find him practising a Lenten course at Milan. A cultured 
Milanese has left us a graphic account of the impression made 
upon the inhabitants of the city by the holy missionary s words. 
Crowds gathered around the pulpit eager to catch every sen 
tence of the preacher. They never tired or grew weary, though 
we have it on record that Bernardine preached sometimes for 
four or five hours ; the ordinary business of the city was sus 
pended. Attracted and subdued by the doctrine of this new 
Apostle, men who were at enmity for years forgot their differ- 



248 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

ences and forgave each other ; sinners repented of their vices ; 
worldlings entered into themselves and forsook pleasure; the 
factions which divided society, and fought against each other, 
flung aside their shibboleths and battle-cries, and ranged them 
selves under the banner of Christ with no other device but the 
holy name of Jesus. 

The same triumph awaited Bernardine at Siena, Ferrara, 
Bologna, Florence, and Venice, and as his fame spread, the 
whole of Italy, from Lombardy in the north to the Kingdom 
of Naples in the south, was eager to listen to him. To all he 
delivered the same message ; for all he had the same exhortation 
to extinguish the spirit of faction and hatred that tore asunder 
the petty republics of the peninsula, to imbue themselves with 
the spirit of the Gospel, to gather together under the standard 
of their King and Master, Jesus Christ. 

For Bernardine had in all his sermons but one object in view 
the spreading of the knowledge and love of Christ. His own 
soul, nurtured in the school of poverty and detachment, trained 
and disciplined by humility, obedience, and self-renunciation, 
was all aglow with fire of divine charity. Indeed, this passion 
ate affection and tender devotion for his Master contained the 
w r hole secret of Bernardine s success as a preacher and mis- 
sioner. A celebrated preacher of those days was once asked 
the reason why the sermons of the Franciscan Friar bore so 
much more fruit than his own : ^Brother Bernardine," an 
swered he, in a spirit of genuine humility, "is a furnace of 
Divine Love, and how can that which is only warm kindle a fire 
in the souls of others ?" 

This spirit of charity betrayed itself in every sermon of the 
Friar, and made a deep and lasting impression on his audience. 
It inspired him with the loftiest themes for his discourses, 
and furnished him with that burning eloquence which with 
drew his hearers from the world and its vain amusements and 
pleasures, and threw them at the feet of Jesus Christ, ^neas 
Piccolomini, who in later years became Pope and assumed the 
name of Pius II., has recorded his impressions of the preach 
ing of Bernardine, and he tells us that the inexhaustible foun- 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 249 

tain of the Saint s eloquence, together with his profound and 
orthodox teaching, attracted the admiration of all, and caused 
him to be venerated, like another St. Paul, as a vessel of divine 
election. 

Another cause of the Saint s popularity as a preacher can be 
traced to the fact that he realized early in his career the necs- 
sity of going to the people and preaching to them in their own 
plain and simple language. Two centuries previously the 
Seraphic Patriarch of Assisi had re-introduced into the world 
the long-forgotten style of eloquence in which St. Peter spoke 
to the assembled people outside the Temple. "I admonish and 
exhort preachers," says St. Francis in his Rule, "that when they 
preach, their language be well considered and simple, for the 
benefit and edification of the people, discoursing to them of 
vices and virtues, punishment and glory." No one understood 
the spirit of this salutary exhortation better than those great 
Apostles of Italy Bernardine, John Capistran, and James of 
the Marches ; and never was there an age in which the primitive 
kind of Christian eloquence was more needed than that in 
which these three holy men flourished. The Renaissance move 
ment, as we shall have occasion to mention later on, was play 
ing havoc with the grand ideals of clergy and laity alike. The 
pulpit itself was not free from the latent poison of Humanism. 
Sermons were interlarded with quotations from, and references 
to, the literary productions of the Augustan era : while the so- 
called barbarisms and solecisms of the Gospel writers shocked 
the classic refinement of the purists, and were therefore care 
fully tabooed. Every sentence was modeled upon the inflated 
and turgid periods of Cicero, or pointed with some witty ex 
tract from Horace ; and so it gradually came to pass that the 
heralds of Christianity became more concerned about the form 
and literary merit of their sermons than about the subject-mat 
ter they contained. 

Bernardine emancipated himself from these unchristian 
methods, and discarded the fetters that fashion and convention 
ality threw around the preacher. Whenever he preached to 
the people, he spoke to them in the vernacular so as to be un- 



25Q APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

derstood by all, treated his subject from their point of view, 
and was thus enabled to gather abundant fruit in his Master s 
vineyard. So great indeed was the concourse of people that 
thronged around the holy missioner that he was frequently 
obliged to preach to them from an improvised pulpit in the 
open square or on the market-place. Indeed, he was not par 
ticular, as the following incident shows, where he preached to 
the people. 

It was Shrove Tuesday, and the whole population of a little 
town, where the Saint happened to be staying for the time 
being, had abandoned itself to the usual orgies of the carnival, 
and crowded the theatre in the evening. Bernardine proposed 
to his guardian, Fr. James of the Marches, a visit to the theatre. 
The superior was bewildered beyond measure by this strange 
proposal, but feeling assured that the holy missionary, who was 
then in the zenith of his career, was inspired by God to make 
it, he readily assented. Accompanied by a lay-brother, the 
Saint set out, and managed somehow to penetrate behind the 
scenes. Ensconced in some remote corner, he listened to the 
plaudits of the frenzied populace as they greeted some favorite 
comedian. At last the first act was concluded. Seizing this 
opportunity, Bernardine rushed on to the stage and began 
forthwith to preach to the audience. His features were pale, 
his voice trembled with emotion, his whole bearing was full of 
majestic dignity, whilst in impassioned language he inveighed 
against the vanities and pleasures of the world. "Do you 
know," he exclaimed in solemn accents, "where you are? You 
are standing on the edge of the precipice of hell," and there 
and then he advanced the proofs of his statement; for almost 
immediately there appeared before the eyes of the frightened 
audience the vision of a lost soul. "Why art thou damned?" 
demanded the Saint, as he turned towards the weird Appari 
tion, "I am damned," answered the latter, "because I came 
hither to enjoy myself, and thus spent my life in forgetfulness 
of my God." It then went on to describe in detail some of the 
sins it had committed during life, and dwelt in particular on 
those usually occasioned by plays and entertainments such as 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 



the one they were listening to that evening. "You have heard !" 
exclaimed the Saint, when the Apparition had finished. "Do 
penance now," he continued, "or you will all perish like this 
cursed soul !" The Apparition then vanished, and Bernardine 
returned to his monastery, only to find on his return the little 
church crowded with penitents eager to make their peace with 
God. 

Such are in brief some of the characteristic features of Ber- 
nardine s preaching. His eloquence was that of a man who 
realized and felt the evil conditions which surrounded society 
in those days ; it was the eloquence of an enthusiast in the cause 
of Jesus Christ a cause he had deeply at heart, and which he 
strove to forward by every means in his power. The chroniclers 
of his age have left us the details of the prodigious success he 
attained in spite of the many obstacles that barred his progress. 

This then was the task that Bernardine undertook : to make 
Jesus Christ live once more in the thoughts and affections of 
men, cultured and uncultured, noble and plebeian. With this 
aim before him he preached in the vernacular to the multitudes 
that thronged around him about the power and greatness of 
Jesus Christ. He impressed upon them the fact that the ex 
emplar of a Christian s life was not to be found in the unbridled 
excesses of pagan gods and goddesses, but in the chastity, pa 
tience, meekness and humility of the lowliest of the sons of 
men. He often repeated to himself, and made his audience re 
peat, the Holy Name of Jesus ; for that Name summed up all 
the prerogatives of the Son of God made man. He had always 
beside him, when he preached, the sacred monogram as a silent 
reminder to all that it was Jesus he preached, that it was Jesus 
he wished to impress upon their hearts, that it was to the life 
of Jesus he wished them to adapt their own lives. The Name 
of Jesus was to be their watchword against the insidious foes 
that used the veil of culture to hide their heathen tendencies. 
They might be cultured scholars if they willed, but they were 
to be above all things Christians in thought and manners. Such 
then was the burden of Saint Bernardine s message to the gen 
eration of men who surrounded him ; and to bring that message 



252 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

home to the people he used every artifice his native eloquence 
suggested. Every vice was ruthlessly exposed by him, virtue 
was exalted, the judgments of God proclaimed in language that 
brooked no contradiction. 

The limits imposed upon us in this short sketch deter us 
from following the Saint on his Apostolical expeditions, and 
recording the numerous miracles that bestrew his path wher 
ever he went, and lent support to his preaching. For well-nigh 
thirty years he was engaged in this work of the sacred ministry, 
and wherever he passed he was greeted as a popular and be 
loved herald of his Divine Master. The effects of his preach 
ing were most marked ; he preached Jesus Christ, and the peo 
ple, at his bidding, turned to Jesus ; the name of Jesus, ever on 
his own lips, was hymned and praised by the multitudes that 
crowded around him ; and the sweet and glorious memories 
that thronged around it impressed themselves deeply upon the 
consciences of men. Long-standing feuds were brought to a 
satisfactory issue; peace and harmony entered where, before 
the advent of the Franciscan, there was naught but disorder 
and hateful revenge ; hardened sinners were converted to God, 
and the spirit of luxury, that poisoned the spiritual and re 
ligious life of clergy and laity alike, gave way to sentiments of 
unworldliness and self-sacrifice. 

The following incident will serve to illustrate the stupendous 
power exerted by Bernardine over his audience. The Saint 
came to Rome to preach in the year 1424. As a result of his 
labors, "In June of that year," writes the Secretary of State, 
Infessura, "a great funeral pile of playing cards, lottery tickets, 
musical instruments, false hair, and feminine adornments, was 
erected on the Capital, and all these things were burned." A 
similar scene was enacted at Bologna, and on this occasion the 
vendors of dice came to the Saint to complain that since he had 
begun to preach in their midst their occupation was gone, and 
their trade ruined. Bernadine took compassion on them ; he 
showed them how to manufacture in wax the monogram of the 
Holy Name, and so great was the demand for these sacred 
symbols that the erstwhile ruined tradesmen retrieved their 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 253 

fortune, and became much richer than they were before. To 
show, moreover, how successful the Saint had been in his en 
deavors to propagate the devotion of the Holy Name under 
this new form, it will suffice to mention that as early as the 
year 1427 a number of priests had placed the monogram over 
the principal altar in their churches ; others had it inscribed on 
the walls; others preserved the banner on which Bernardine 
had painted it surrounded with rays, and which accompanied 
him on all his Apostolical wanderings; many of the cities of 
Italy, like Siena, where it is to be seen to this day, caused the 
sacred monogram to be placed in large characters outside the 
Town-hall. 

The novel form in which this old devotion was enshrined 
was, of course, objected to. The practice, it was freely said by 
some, savored of superstition, and led to idolatry. The people, 
it was feared, might look upon the tablet as a kind of talisman, 
and might adore the symbol itself instead of Him whose Name 
was inscribed upon it. These thoughts and fears were noised 
abroad by Andrew Biglio, an Augustinian Friar, and by the 
partisans of Manfred, a Dominican. Bernardine defended the 
form of the devotion, and gave a clear exposition of doctrine 
on the subject. In spite of this, however, his enemies tri 
umphed for the nonce, and the Saint was cited to Rome, where 
Martin the Fifth, the then reigning Pope, gave him a cool re 
ception. His enemies spread abroad the report that Bernardine 
was accused and found guilty of heresy, and wherever he went 
the finger of scorn was pointed at him. 

Meanwhile the humble son of St. Francis took no notice of 
his slanderers and their accusations, but calmly awaited the 
decision of the Commission of Inquiry appointed by the Pope 
resolved to submit to and obey that decision, whatever it might 
be. In these circumstances, St. John Capistran, the friend and 
disciple of Bernardine, came to the assistance of his confrere. 
He had already acquired a fame for his sanctity and preach 
ing, so when he boldly entered Rome, holding aloft the banner 
of the Holy Name, the people hailed his advent with delight; 
and the Pope, witnessing the universal satisfaction his pres- 



254 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

ence caused, gave him permission to defend Bernardine. On 
the day appointed for the session of the Commission, so clearly 
did those two champions of the Holy Name answer all the ob 
jections brought forward against the new devotion, that the 
whole inquiry resulted in the triumphant justification of Ber 
nardine. Martin the Fifth, with all his clergy, joined in a 
solemn procession in honor of the Holy Name; he moreover 
ordered Bernardine to preach at St. Peter s, and in the other 
churches of the Capitol. For eighty-two days the Saint was 
thus engaged, and ^Eneas Piccolomini, afterwards Pope Pius 
II., has chronicled these Apostolical labors. "All Rome," he 
writes, "flocked to his discourses. He frequently had Car 
dinals, and sometimes even the Pope himself amongst his audi 
ence, and all with one voice bore witness to his marvelous 
power and success." 

This striking triumph encouraged Saint Bernardine in his 
undertaking; he was helped, moreover, in his great task by 
such men as St. John Capistran and St. James of the Marches, 
and in general by the whole body of the Franciscans. It served 
also to perpetuate the devotion in the Church of God. A few 
years later, for instance, we find St. John Capistran leading 
the heroic army of John Humgades under the protection of 
the Holy Name. Joan of Arc, an illustrious and saintly mem 
ber of the Third Order, inscribed the sacred monogram on her 
standard, and died with the name of Jesus on her lips. Con 
fraternities of the Holy Name were established everywhere ; 
St. Bernardine himself founded one in Rome, the center of 
which was at the (since famous) Church of the Gesu. St. Ig 
natius of Loyola* chose the monogram for the arms of the 
glorious institute he founded. In 1530 Clement VII. approved 
a special office of the Holy Name, and allowed the Franciscans 
to celebrate a feast in its honor on the I4th of January, the an 
niversary of Bernardine s signal triumph at Rome. Finally, in 
the year 1772, Clement XIII. extended this feast to the whole 
Christian world, and fixed for its celebration the second Sunday 
after Epiphany. 

*St. Ignatius was a member of the Roman Confraternity of the Holy Name. 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 255^ 

Bernardine had by his preaching and strenuous efforts pre 
pared the way for all these glorious results; he had the dis 
tinction of having been chosen by God to bring this devotion 
home to the people. It was in his hands a powerful instrument 
to undo the mischief caused by the literary dilettanti, who 
strove their utmost to haul down the standard of Jesus Christ, 
and set up in its stead the impure ideals of pagan irreligion and 
immorality. Through it he renewed and transformed to a 
great extent the social and political life of the cities of his be 
loved Italy and for his fearless defence of, and staunch ad 
herence to, this sacred cause, even if for naught else, his mem 
ory shall be held in benediction by a grateful Christian 
posterity. 

The events narrated in the two last paragraphs offer the 
most salient features of St. Bernardine s career. Whilst his 
progress through the Italian peninsula was marked by one 
long series of Apostolic triumphs, God was pleased to sanction 
the authority and doctrine of this servant by the gift of 
miracles. Indeed, the path of the humble Franciscan was 
strewn with wonders. The sick were brought to him and a 
sign of the cross on their forehead restored them to health. The 
tablets on which Bernardine inscribed the Holy Name were 
made use of by the Saint to work some wonderful cures. Even 
the Friar s enemies were the objects of his attention and solici 
tude. A man who had heaped scorn and derision on him fell 
from a roof one day and was well-nigh killed. Bernardine, 
hearing of the occurrence, ran to the spot, gave his blessing to 
the unfortunate wretch, and with his blessing gave him back 
the use of his limbs. On another occasion the holy missionary 
was journeying to Mantua, and found his way blocked by a 
deep stream ; he begged the ferryman to row him over, but this 
the latter refused to do because the Saint had no money to pay 
his fare. Nothing daunted, Bernardine calmly spread his man 
tle on running waters, and on this miraculous raft crossed over 
in safety. 

Another day, as he was preaching on the text of the Apoca 
lypse, "A great sign appeared in the heavens," a star of won- 



256 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

derful brightness suddenly in broad daylight appeared over his 
head, and was seen by the surrounding crowd. All these won 
derful prodigies, and many more, too numerous to relate, 
served to enhance Bernardine s reputation for sanctity in the 
minds of the people ; and long before his death he was vener 
ated as a Saint by the multitudes who thronged to listen to his 
preaching. 

In the midst of all these external occupations the work of 
personal sanctity was advancing steadily in the soul of Ber- 
nardine; he was a living exemplar of those virtues he wished 
his hearers to practise. He w r as a model of regular observance 
to all his brethren, and his energy in the great work of the 
Observantine Reform never slackened. Towards the end of 
his career he associated John Capistran in his Apostolate, and 
these two saintly souls vied with each other in the practice of 
humility and obedience. In turn they commanded one another, 
and never undertook any great work without consulting each 
other. They fought together under the same banner of the 
Holy Name of Jesus, and participated in each other s triumphs, 
just as they shared each other s humiliations. 

In the year 1438 Bernardine was appointed, as we have al 
ready stated elsewhere, Vicar-General of the Cisalpine Prov 
inces of the Observantine Reform ; thus a serious responsibility 
devolved upon him. In the government of the Order he was 
ably assisted by St. John Capistran, and St. James of the 
Marches, another of his disciples. Nevertheless, the duties that 
crowded themselves into his daily life, combined with the in 
cessant labors of the Apostolate, which he never relaxed, taxed 
his gradually waning energies to their utmost extent, until at 
last he broke down under the strain. 

In the year 1444 we find him preaching at Aquila in the king 
dom of Naples. Here death was awaiting him. As soon as he 
felt the touch of its icy hand, he asked for, and received the 
last consolations of Holy Church, then, following the example 
of his Seraphic Father, he caused himself to be laid on the 
ground, and in this humble attitude passed away to his eternal 
reward. He was sixtv-four vears old when he died. The 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 157 

Friars were chanting vespers, and the last words the Saint 
heard upon earth summed up his whole life, and were emble 
matic of his Apostolic career : "Father, I have manifested Thy 
Name to the men whom Thou hast given me out of the 
world. ... I pray for them : I pray not for the world. . . . 
and now I come to Thee." 

When the news of Bernardine s death spread abroad there 
was universal regret. "The Star of Italy" it was said, had set ; 
the Saint was dead. Saint James of the Marches was miracu 
lously informed about the sad event. He was preaching on the 
market square of Todi, at the very hour when Bernardine 
was breathing his last, when suddenly the preacher stopped, 
remained silent for a short while, and then exclaimed : "Dear 
people, let us weep and lament : at this hour a great column of 
Holy Church has been broken by death ; the most brilliant star 
of Italy has disappeared." 

Numbers flocked to the Saint s tomb, and many were the 
miracles wrought there. St. John Capistran, faithful to his 
life-long attachment to, and veneration for, his saintly brother, 
longed to see his name enrolled amongst the canonized Saints 
of the Church, and worked with untiring energy to further the 
cause of his friend s glorification. Eugenius the Fourth, urged 
by the incessant request of St. John, appointed a Commission 
of Cardinals and Bishops to make the necessary inquiry into the 
virtues and sanctity of the humble son of St. Francis, but he 
died before the Commission had finished its labors, and so for 
a time the canonization had to be put off. 

On the accession of Nicholas the Fifth, however, St. John 
renewed his efforts, and a new Commission was appointed. The 
report was favorable, and on the 27th of February, 1450, six 
years after the holy missionary s death, he was formally canon 
ized by Nicholas the Fifth, to the intense joy of the whole of 
Italy. Thus were the efforts of St. John Capistran crowned 
with success, and both he and St. James of the Marches had the 
consoling satisfaction of being able to venerate and honor as a 
Saint of God him to whom they were bound by the closest ties 
of friendship and love while on earth. 



258 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 



THE NAME OF JESUS 

Oh, sweetest name! Oh, name of grace and love! 

Most High, most low! 
Most great, most humble, human and divine, 

That man can know: 
That telleth us alike of heavenly joy 

And earthly woe. 

The mighty angel, pure from blight of sin, 

Who bore to earth 
This gentlest, tenderest name, ne er understood 

Its priceless worth, 
Nor fathomed the unfathomed depths of love 

That gave it birth. 

Low at Messiah s feet the Jewish maid 

Knelt to adore, 
And worshipped Him with every sacred name 

The ancient law 
Gave unto God, patriarch s and prophets knew 

Ages before. 

But when, with yearning, mother-love, she let 

Her soft lips press 
The little face upraised, or tiny hand 

Lifted to bless, 
"Jesus, my Jesus !" broke from her full heart 

In fond caress. 

"Jesus !" first word on simple, childish tongues, 

In guileless prayer; 
"Jesus!" last murmur on the sinner s lips 

Saved from despair, 
Or dying saint s, who sees heaven s portals ope, 

And Jesus there. 

Not unto dread and mighty names that speak 

In awful tone, 
God s power and justice, every knee is bowed; 

Jesus alone 
Doth claim the fealty of adoring love 

As all His own, 

Ave Maria, 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 250 

APPARITION 

TO 

YEN. JOAN OF ARC V 
DOMREMY, FRANCE 

1429 

Gentle crook! Oh, that I never 

For the sword had bartered thee! 
Sacred oak! why didst thou ever 

From thy branches speak to me? 
Would that thou to me in splendor, 

Queen of Heaven hadst ne er come down! 
Take all claim, I must surrender 

Take, oh take, away thy crown! 

/. C. F. Fan Schiller. 

HERE are in the great human family certain 
privileged nations whose providential destiny has 
been and still is to exercise far beyond their ter 
ritorial frontiers precious and fecund influences in 
aid of the highest interests of religion and of civilization, and 
in this manner to link themselves in closest ties to other coun 
tries of the earth. Such has been thy destiny, France, and 
such is still thy destiny. Thou hast been and thou art a 
world-nation ; and when citizens of other countries, bene 
ficiaries of thy favors, with hearts overflowing with grati 
tude and affection, come to thy shores, they will refuse to 
believe that they are unwelcomed by thee, and unbidden to 
take part in thy sweetest joys and most sacred festivities. 

"JESUS, MARY," ON HER BANNER. 

When her last ray of hope at Orleans was sinking, God 
sent Joan d Arc to save France and His Church. Sweet, 
beautiful, sublime Jeanne! Most sweet, most beautiful, most 
sublime figure of womanhood, outside of the Virgin Mother 
of Nazareth, known to history. 

Archbishop Ireland, on the Maid of Orleans, 




260 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

In the year 1412 was born a peasant girl named Joan of Arc, 
who, until she was seventeen years old, was unable to handle a 
sword or mount a horse. To her modern Frenchmen probably 
owe the fact that the Sovereign of England does not now wear 
the crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, Ireland, and 
France. No purely secular heroine has attained to such celeb 
rity as Joan of Arc. 

That she is one of the chief glories of France is the convic 
tion of every impartial mind which is familiar with a history 
redolent of glory. After the greatest generals of France had 
failed, she conducted a successful campaign against the ene 
mies of her country. 

Her birthplace was the village of Domremy, nigh to Vau- 
couleurs, on the border of Champagne and Lorraine. There 
her father, Jacques d Arc, and her mother, Isabelle, simple 
peasants, esteemed for their industry and virtue, lived labori 
ously, comforted only by their three sons and two daughters. 
From their earliest years these children were trained to labor 
and to fear God. Of the five, the daughter, Jeanne, had been 
noted for piety from her infancy. Loving work, she was as 
expert with a spade as with a needle, could spin with the best, 
and was as trusty among the hills with the sheep as if under 
the eye of her mother. A joyous child, companionable and 
fond of play, Jeanne was even fonder of prayer. In the midst 
of a merry game she w r ould slip away, kneel behind a hedge, 
breathe a prayer and return to be as merry as the merriest. 
To the Blessed Virgin she was especially devout. Near to 
Domremy were several chapels dedicated to Our Lady. With 
a candle, a garland of field flowers, an orison, Jeanne embel 
lished each altar. It all the offices of the village church she 
was faithful, and most exemplary in confessing and in receiv 
ing the Holy Communion. Obedient to her parents, she was 
also a loving sister, a kindly neighbor, generous to the poor, 
tender to the ailing. All these adornments of womanhood 
Jeanne d Arc had acquired without ever learning the esteemed 
art of reading or of writing. 

These details may have interested de Beaudricourt, though 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 261 

it is more than probable that he knew many peasant girls no 
less virtuous or pious. However, this was not the whole of 
the story. In her thirteenth year thus she told the captain 
and often during the three years that had since passed, heav 
enly beings had appeared to her and had spoken to her. 
Jeanne s home adjoined the parish church; and it was in the 
garden, close to the church wall, on a summer s day in 1425, 
at mid-day, that a glorious light shone on her, and out of the 
light issued a voice, saying: "J eanne > be good and pious, go 
often to church !" The resplendent light, the mysterious voice, 
affrighted the girl, as, certainly, they would have affrighted 
you or me. Who spoke, she knew not. Whence came that in 
describable radiance and the voice whose speech she could 
never forget? A second, a third time, she heard the voice, 
though perceiving no form. Then a form appeared, a com 
manding form accompanied by a multitude of unearthly, 
though real, beings. Finally she grew into the knowledge that 
the wondrous light she had first seen, more lustrous than the 
noonday sun, was but the shadow of the splendor of the Arch 
angel Michael ; the voice was the Archangel s voice ; the mul 
titude with him was a squadron of his immortal, invincible 
army of angels. 

The mysterious voice, on that first summer-day, counselled 
her to be a Christian, and no more; but, as time passed, por 
tentous words were spoken to her. She had heard of the wars. 
Her parents were loyal to the crown. Before her clay, Dom- 
remy had suffered from the enemies of France. The history 
of her country, she knew well ; the traditions were familiar to 
her ; but one can easily understand that the peasant girl of thir 
teen was not prepared to assume that she had been selected to 
save France, to rout victorious armies, to make a king and unite 
a nation. Still, Michael, promising prudently, suggested much, 
and finally ordered. She had a mission from heaven, he said, 
to succor the King of France. During three years, the simple 
girl listened, trembled, wondered, feared. Then Our Blessed 
Lady and two sainted women came to aid her : Catharine and 
Margaret. They encouraged her, calmed her. To neither 






262 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

mother, nor father, nor confessor, did she disclose her secret. 
Alone she bore her burden, day after day, year after year. A 
rare sacrifice was demanded of her by God, if her guides were 
trustworthy. The parental home, mere human love of every 
sort, she must renounce, if Michael, Catharine and Margaret 
spake true. Should she doubt? To prove her confidence in 
them and in their word, she made a vow of virginity. Come 
what may, henceforward she is the Lord s. 

When, after three years of companionship with the Arch 
angel and with Saints Catharine and Margaret, Jeanne first 
presented herself to Robert de Beaudricourt, at Vaucouleurs, 
it was not to please herself, or to satisfy an idle fancy. She 
would not have dared to take a step so unbecoming to a modest 
girl, were it not that the directing Archangel, and her guiding 
Saints as well, had insisted, saying: "You must seek out Rob 
ert de Beaudricourt, and have him give you an armed escort 
to bring you to the dauphin; him you shall crown King at 
Rheims, and drive the foreigner from the kingdom." To St. 
Michael, to SS. Catharine and Margaret, Jeanne put a most 
natural question. "How," she asked, "shall I, who am only a 
peasant girl, give orders to men-at-arms?" Whereupon Arch 
angel and Saints responded : "Child of God, great-hearted 
child, you needs must go ; God will aid you." 

Dismissed by de Beaudricourt as one bereft of reason, Jeanne 
was not discouraged. She returned home. Her parents were 
unaware of her venturesome journey. She had left them to 
visit a cousin. As of old, she worked in the house and in the 
field ; but the Saints were not silent. Indeed, they commanded 
her anew to go forth and free the city of Orleans from the 
enemy. No longer could she resist. In the early part of Janu 
ary, 1429, once more she set forth, without saying a word to 
father or mother. Durant Laxart, who still had faith in her, 
accompanied her to Vaucouleurs. There de Beaudricourt was 
as obstinate as ever. The girl s claims were not lessened by 
time. "No one in the world," said she, "neither the king nor 
the duke, nor the daughter of the King of Scotland, nor anyone 
else, can recover the kingdom of France ; from me alone shall 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 263 

it have aid, although I had rather spin alongside of my poor 
mother ; for such is not my condition in life. But I must go 
and do that; for .30 my Lord wishes." Then once again they 
asked : "Who is your Lord ?" and she gave the same answer : 
"He is God." 

The people of Vaucouleurs saw Jeanne and heard her words ; 
and they believed in her. They noted her modesty, her piety, 
her sincerity. The soldiers trusted her; they had faith in her 
mission. People and soldiers united to provide for her jour 
ney to the king, buying a horse, armor and arms. As she was 
called to do a warrior s work, Jeanne determined to dress like 
a man. 

When de Beaudricourt learned the temper of the people, he 
consulted the royal council ; and at length, on February 23, 
permitted her to set out for Chinon, where Charles was playing 
king ; nay, more, he presented her with a sword. Long before 
she reached Chinon the name of Jeanne the Maid was known 
in camps, villages, cities. At Orleans they had heard of her, 
and of her promise to raise the siege, and a deputation of offi 
cers had been sent to meet her at Chinon and to report whether 
there was, indeed, reason for hoping. 

Having placed the king on his throne, it was her fortune 
henceforward to be thwarted. More than one military plan 
was entered upon which she did not approve. Too well she 
felt the end was nigh at hand. Still she continued to jeopard 
her person in battle as before; severe wounds had not taught 
her caution ; and at length she was made prisoner by the Bur- 
gundians, and finally given up to the English. 

The object now was to vitiate the coronation of Charles 
the Seventh as the work of a witch, and for this end Joan was 
tried for sorcery. She resolutely defended herself from the ab 
surd accusation. Never from the foundations of the earth was 
there such a trial as this, if it were laid open in all its beauty 
of defense and all its malignity of attack. 

O child of France ! shepherdess, peasant girl ! trodden under 
foot by all around thee, how I honor thy flashing intellect, 
quick as the lightning and as true to its mark, that ran before 



264 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

France and laggard Europe by many a century, confounding 
the malice of the insnarer and making dumb the oracles of 
falsehood ! "Would you examine me as a witness against my 
self ?" was the question by which many times she defied their 
arts. The result of this trial was the condemnation of Joan 
to be burnt alive. 

Woman, sister ! there are some things which you do not 
execute as well as your brother, man no, nor ever will. Yet, 
sister, woman, cheerfully and with the love that burns in 
depths of admiration, I acknowledge that you can do one thing 
as well as the best of men you can die grandly ! On the 2Oth 
of May, 1431, being then about nineteen years of age, Joan of 
Arc underwent her martyrdom. She was conducted before 
mid-day, guarded by eight hundred spearmen, to a platform of 
prodigious height, constructed of wooden billets, supported by 
occasional walls of lath and plaster, and traversed by hollow 
spaces in every direction for the creation of air-currents. 

With an undaunted soul, but a meek and saintly demeanor, 
the maiden encountered her terrible fate. The executioner 
had been directed to apply his torch from below. He did so. 
The fiery smoke rose upward in billowing volumes. A monk 
was then standing at Joan s side. 

Wrapt up in his sublime office, he saw not the danger, but 
still persisted in his prayers. Even then, when the last enemy 
was racing up the fiery stairs to seize her, even at that moment 
did this noblest of girls think only for him the one friend that 
would not forsake her and not for herself, bidding him with 
her last breath to care for his own preservation, but to leave 
her to God. 

"Go down," she said ; "lift up the cross before me, that I 
may see it in dying, and speak to me pious words to the end." 
Her last audible word was the name of Jesus. A soldier who 
had sworn to throw a fagot on the pile turned away, a penitent 
for life, on hearing her last prayer to her Saviour. He had seen, 
he said, a white dove soar to heaven from the ashes where the 
brave girl had stood. 

The executioner gathers up the remains. A few bones he 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 265 

finds and a little dust. These he looked for; but with terror 
does he perceive a heart; and he trembles as, touching it, he 
feels it warm ; warm, not with the faint heat exhaled from 
wood-ashes, but with that generous ardor that smoulders in 
the members of the Saint. Trusting not to the fagots he had 
nourished the flames with oil and sulphur. The heart should 
have been burned to a crisp. Now he remembers that, before 
mounting the pyre, the girl-victim had besought the bystanders 
to give her a cross ; and that, none being at hand, a gentle Eng 
lish soldier had formed one, roughly, out of a couple of bits of 
stick. Kissing this rude cross devoutly, she had placed it over 
her heart, close to her flesh. The wooden cross was no more ; 
but the heart it had pressed, remained. Was this a sign ? 
Neither the executioner, nor the curious onlookers, who won 
dered with him, dare say yes. Bones, ashes, and even the heart, 
were cast into the river Seine. An English Cardinal, the Car 
dinal of Winchester, so ordered. 

Did that young girl deserve the punishment meted out to 
her on the 3Oth of May, 1431, in the market-place of Rouen? 
To-day, we know the truth about her, and men of every land 
love to tell her story ; and most all, those who, like her, glory 
in the cross and believe and trust in Him whom her burning 
lips greeted as her pure soul flew heavenward. 



WHY CANONIZE JOAN OF ARC? 

PASTORAL LETTER OF HIS LORDSHIP, THE BISHOP OF ORLEANS, 
ON THE CAUSE OF JOAN OF ARC. 

MY VERY DEAR BRETHREN : Man s faith in the admirable 
virtue of Joan of Arc is neither of to-day nor of yesterday. 
When questioned by the judges at the process of rehabilitation, 
the humble people of Domremy rendered the most flattering- 
tribute to the childhood and youth of their glorious compatriot. 
She had left in her native village an indelible memory of good 
ness, sweetness, simplicity, candor and piety. "There was no 
one like her." 



266 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

Our predecessors in Orleans declared in their turn that they 
mistook her for an angel of God when upon an April evening, 
she entered their walls at the head of an army, whose soldiers, 
converted by her, had replaced (for a time) licentious songs 
by hymns and canticles; blasphemies by decorous speech; and 
had converted the loose habits of the camp into ways of an 
austere morality. They remembered and spoke of her tears of 
devotion at Holy Communion, her prudence in battle, her piety 
and compassion for the wounded and the dying, her meekness 
and magnanimity under insult, her firmness and her modesty 
in counsel. 

These beautiful accounts are confirmed by her confessor, 
Pasquerel, and her equerry, d Aulon, who followed her 
throughout unto the end, by d Alenc,on and Dunois who en 
joyed her friendship, and by many others who drew a sketch 
of Joan which, even to the casual observer, reveals the glorious 
heroine. 

The whole man is never known until he has passed through 
affliction and death it is trial and death which perfect life. 
The sufferings of Joan and her death ; the prison of Rouen and 
the funeral pyre of the Vieux-Marche have surrounded her 
with an aureole so brightly luminous as hardly to have been 
equaled by any other who has similarly fought and suffered 
trial and death. More than one have compared the judgment, 
the condemnation and the agony of Joan to the judgment, 
condemnation and agony of Jesus. We cannot urge this com 
parison without something of blasphemous irreverence; how 
ever, those who have attempted it, merit respect ; their idea is 
explainable; it is more than ingenious it is solid; and surely 
it is no small glory for this martyr* child to be even thought 
of in this connection. 

If Juvenal des Ursins, Archbishop of Rheims, Guillaume 
Giartier, Archbishop of Paris, and Richard of Longueil, 
Bishop of Coutances, who were commissioned by Calixtus III. 



i. We do not pretend to employ this word Martyr or in other places holy or saint 
applied to the Venerable Joan other than in a general sense and in one authorized by 
the Church. 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 267 

to preside over the process of rehabilitation, had been able to 
question certain Englishmen, would they not have obtained, 
even from them, confessions of great value? Would not cer 
tain soldiers have testified to the vision of the maiden s soul, 
taking flight under the form of a dove, just as in later years the 
spirit of St. Theresa escaped from its mortal habitation at the 
last hour? 

Would not the executioner, who applied the torch, have re 
vealed the fact that under the glowing coals he had found the 
virgin s heart untouched and throbbing; that nothing neither 
fire nor boiling oil had been able to affect this flesh, hallowed 
by love of country, of our Lord and His Saints ; since it had 
pleased God to manifest by a miracle His judgment upon the 
abominable crime which had just been consummated. Would 
not this same executioner have sunk, trembling, on his knees 
before the tribunal of Rheims, as he did before the confessional, 
where he went to implore absolution, exclaiming: "We are 
lost, we have burned a Saint!" 

But has not Heaven itself proclaimed the virtues of Joan? 
Truly, who would admit that such an intimate communication 
could have been established and could have continued for seven 
years between the Maid and St. Michael, St. Catharine and St. 
Margaret, had not Joan led a life worthy of such favors? I 
know the teachings of Theology concerning this sort of graces ; 
I know that it holds them to be gratuitous ; I reverence this 
doctrine as I reverence everything that pertains to my faith, 
but I know also that Almighty God wishes and seeks fitting 
reasons for all the wonders which it pleases Him to accomplish. 
Joan herself was convinced that sin woull deprive her of these 
visions. When asked whether she was in the state of grace, 
she replied : "If I am not, may God so render me. If I am, 
may God preserve me therein." She declared she would prefer 
death to mortal sin, and she added "that she believed St. 
Michael, St. Catharine and St. Margaret would abandon her in 
case she offended the good God." 

This view is that of common sense. Finally, was it not be 
cause of the virtue which he saw resplendent in her that the 



268 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

Archangel addressed her by this singular title, Daughter of 
God. "Go, daughter of God ! Go ! Go !" 

Joan s reputation for sanctity has been abiding in the Church. 
The chronicles of the fifteenth century proclaim it, except, of 
course, those which are partial to the English cause. 

La Saussaye inscribes our venerable Joan in his Martyrol- 
ogy, certainly not among the Saints (he could not should not 
do that) but among those pious souls venerated and honored 
by the Church. 

Benedict XIV treats of the cause of Joan in his incompar 
able work on the canonization of Saints and, on the authority 
of one of the greatest Roman advocates of this time, Alibrandi, 
discreetly admitted his astonishment that her cause had not 
been introduced. 

Symphorian Guyon, after quoting La Saussaye, celebrates 
her merits "as a martyr for her virtue." 

Our age, curious concerning all that is interesting in history, 
has had the good fortune to have Quicherat edit the process of 
Joan of Arc. By this process we have come to know and see 
what was unknown and unseen in the past. Through these 
manuscripts arranged, translated and signed by enemies, we 
are enabled to judge of the character of Joan of Arc. Numer 
ous histories and documents, sometimes learned, at all times 
serious, tracing things to their very source, have shown her to 
us such as she is. Consequences have not been slow to follow. 
There are none among those who claim any knowledge of his 
tory who are not convinced of the virtues of the Maid. And 
if proof were needed, it would suffice perhaps to state that 
when we requested the Catholic prelates to send us letters as 
sociating themselves with the humble but urgent prayer which 
we were addressing to the Sovereign Pontiff, beseeching him 
to beatify the liberator of Orleans, more than eight hundred 
responded to our appeal Cardinals, Bishops, Abbes, Rectors 
of Institutions. The five divisions of the earth know our Joan 
and venerate her. 

In order perfectly to embody this past and present homage, 
Mgr. Dupanloup resolved to present the cause of Joan of Arc 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 269 

to the Holy See. In 1869, tne numerous bishops, grouped 
around him and sympathizing with the sentiments of his noble 
soul, signed a petition praying that the Sacred Congregation of 
Rites might inquire and examine into the cause of Joan of Arc 
surnamed, "The Maid of Orleans." 

As Ordinary it became his duty to begin the process. This 
he did in 1874. He established a tribunal under the presidency 
of M. L abbe Branchereau. The Postulators were Mgr. Des- 
noyers and M. Collin. In 1876, the Archbishop took to Rome 
the work of this tribunal. 

M. Captier, at that time Procurator-General of the Congre 
gation of St. Sulpice, was charged with the duty of watching 
(in the character of Postulator) over the interest of the cause 
in the Eternal City. No one in Orleans has forgotten that the 
great bishop breathed his last on the eleventh day of October, 
1878. 

M. Captier invited Mgr. Couillie, who had succeeded Mgr. 
Dupanloup, to continue the investigation. He exerted himself 
to ascertain whether the memory of the virtues of Joan of 
Arc still endured, not among the learned, for that fact was 
established and well established, but among the people. 

The tribunal of 1874 again resumed its sittings, and at the 
proper time the result of its investigations was once more 
placed before the Congregation of Rites. 

The examination of the report was long and minute. The 
Promoter Fidei, Mgr. Caprara, obliged by his office to offer ob 
jection, spared none of the resources of a wonderfully fertile 
and well regulated mind. On his side, the advocate Alibrandi, 
an eminent man, with the aid of M. Minetti, and chiefly of 
M. Captier, made an elegant and noble plea. Finally, the pre 
siding judge, His Eminence Cardinal Parocchi, delivered upon 
the virtues of Joan, a discourse so vigorous and so eloquent 
that Pope Leo XIII. was heard to remark that nothing more 
powerful could be conceived. 

The result of all these efforts was that, in 1894, just twenty 
years after the commencement of the process, Mgr. Couillie, 
Archbishop of Lyon, Administrator- Apostolic of the Diocese of 



270 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

Orleans, received the gratifying intelligence that the cause was 
introduced, and Joan declared venerable. 

Dating from this time the efforts of the Bishop of Orleans 
ceased. Everything was left to the wisdom of the Congrega 
tion of Rites. 

From 1894 to 1895, we conducted the process called the non- 
cult of Joan of Arc. This was very brief. Our conclusions 
were admitted by the Congregation of Rites in 1896. 

In 1897, we received the order to establish a new tribunal 
which from this time in the name of the Sovereign Pontiff 
recorded information upon the heroic virtues of the Venerable 
Joan. 

The tribunal opened on the first of March, 1897, and closed 
on the twenty-second of November of the same year. We 
field 122 sessions of, at least, eight hours a day. Immediately 
after the final adjournment I took to Rome the proceedings of 
this tribunal, which contained about 3,000 pages. 

In the year 1898 the officials of the Rota examined the de 
tails of the record of the proceedings with respect to its judicial 
forms. 

In 1899 the venerable Cardinal Archbishop of Paris and the 
Bishop of Orleans, prepared an abstract of proceedings upon 
the reliability of the publications of Quicherat, relative to Joan 
of Arc. The Promoter of the Faith, acting by virtue of special 
permission from the Pope, accepted these documents without 
recourse to the ordinary formalities. 

During the course of this same year, 1899, the advocate com 
menced the preparation of his plan from the documents we had 
furnished him. This he continued in 1900. However, His 
Lordship, the Promoter of the Faith, raised some objections. 
The advocate has answered them. The discussion before the 
consultors will open on the I7th of the approaching December, 

This first public act of the Congregation of Rites is very 
important. If, as we ardently hope, the process is pushed for 
ward, doubtless it will be renewed with the same formalities 
of pleading, first before the cardinals, then before the Sovereign 
Pontiff, to whose determination will be left the final decision 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 27* 

in this most important step of the procedures. This is why we 
wish to recommend its success to all who are interested in the 
work. 

Believing firmly in the greatness of Joan, in the innocence 
of her child-like soul, in her sanctity as head of the army and 
as a victim, we recall what was said to us, not by a Frenchman, 
but by the great Belgian historian, Godfrey Kurth: "Mon- 
seigneur, I do not know history, nobody knows it, although I 
have studied it for forty years. But I have never met, among 
all its glorious characters, since the time of Christ and His 
Virgin Mother, a soul which appears to be more perfect, more 
elevated, than that of Joan of Arc." Convinced that our coun 
try will unite around Joan of Arc in a spirit of Christian and 
patriotic joy, that at her altars atheism will not declare its 
hatred; we exhort the religious of our diocese and all pious 
souls to offer a communion on the I7th of December for the 
success of this cause of the Venerable Joan of Arc. Those 
who cannot communicate may at least recite a prayer for that 
intention. We exhort the priests of our diocese to offer up 
the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for the same intention. On the 
1 7th of December, the Blessed Sacrament will be exposed in 
the chapels of our cloistered communities from eight o clock in 
the morning until six in the evening. At six o clock Bene 
diction will be given. We will be happy to have the exposition 
of the Blessed Sacrament in other communities, where it is 
possible, but we lay no obligation upon them. 

We authorize our reverend pastors to expose the Blessed 
Sacrament for the same intention wherever and whenever they 
may find a sufficient number of adorers, be it on the I7th of 
December or on the Sunday previous. At least on the pre 
ceding Sunday, Benediction may be given, during which the 
rosary may be recited. 

We think in all loyalty that everything that could be done 
on the part of this land to promote the cause has been ac 
complished. The final word must come from God. In sup 
plication, then, let us pray. STANISLAUS, 

November 18, 1901. Bishop of Orleans. 



272 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

THE BEATIFICATION OF JOAN OF ARC 

RECOMMENDED TO OUR PRAYERS BY HIS HOLINESS, LEO XIII. 

The Holy Father desires before he dies to give his children 
one more intercessor in heaven, to place upon the altars of the 
Church and present to the veneration of the faithful one more 
of those remarkable personages whom God raises up from 
time to time to be models of virtue, marvels of sanctity, doers 
of mighty deeds in the cause of truth and justice. 

The heavens show forth the glory of God, the earth is His 
footstool, nature through all her works displays His power and 
wisdom. But nowhere do His divine attributes shine forth 
more splendidly than in the life of a Saint. As living beings 
surpass inanimate matter, as the moral order surpasses the 
physical, so Christian sanctity, divine in its origin, supernatural 
in its operations, is far more sublime than anything that nature 
can produce. 

In honoring the Saints, we honor God, for we know that all 
their virtues and all their holiness were the gift of God. This 
truth they themselves clearly discerned, and hence they were 
always humble even amid the praises of men. In the words 
of the Queen of Saints, they were always saying: "He that is 
mighty hath done great things to me ; and holy is His name." 
For they well knew that they could not even pronounce the 
name of Jesus in a spirit of faith without the Holy Ghost. It 
is true they co-operated of their own free will with God s 
graces, and thus merited an ever-increasing out-pouring of His 
favors in this life and eternal glory in the next. But they were 
deeply penetrated with the truth of the great Apostle s words 
when he said : "By the grace of God I am what I am ; and His 
grace in me hath not been void." And even though they had 
labored more abundantly than others, they could say with 
all truth : "Yet not I, but the grace of God with me." 

In the Saints, therefore, we praise and glorify God who 
has done such great things to men, who has shown forth in 
them His mercy, His love, His generosity, His sanctity, His 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 273 

power to lift up the needy from the dunghill and make them 
sit with princes, even with the angelic princes of the heavenly 
hierarchy. He hath regarded the lowliness of his servants and 
that is why all generations shall call them blessed. 

The beatification of Joan of Arc would be most opportune 
at the present time. She comes before the modern world daz 
zling it by her heroism, winning it by her sweet maidenhood, 
calling forth the admiration of Catholics and non-Catholics, 
Frenchmen and Englishmen. She is the ideal and champion 
of the legitimate aspirations of the day, while at the same time 
she corrects the errors by which those aspirations are too often 
clouded. 

To-day men are crying out for freedom and autonomy. Joan 
gave freedom and autonomy to a down-trodden people. Men 
are crying out for progress and national prosperity. Joan 
opened a new era of progress and prosperity to her country. 
To-day there is a desire to enlarge the sphere of woman s 
usefulness. Joan led an army to battle and refounded a 
kingdom. To-day we long for peace and fraternity. Joan 
put an end to a hundred years war and two rival nations for 
get their differences when they think of her. 

But what a rebuke is her life to the errors that beset us ! 
The great mistake of our times is the attempt to divorce the 
natural from the supernatural. Man in his folly thinks he is 
sufficient for himself ; he needs no God, no religion to help him 
carry out his enterprises. If anyone wants religion let him 
indulge his tastes in private, but let him not be dragging re 
ligion into the affairs of daily life. It is too sacred a thing for 
such contact. It is of another world and is out of place when 
it tries to meddle with the affairs of this world. Let God 
remain in the churches where we may, if we please, make a 
ceremonious call on Him once a week, but let the doors be 
shut during the days of labor. What has religion to do with 
business, with politics, with war, with social life? 

But Joan comes before us in shining armor with her white 
banner of Jesus and Mary in one hand, her drawn sword in the 
other, to enter the field of war, of politics, of social life, in the 



274 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

name of God. She tells us that God s providence guides the 
destinies of nations as well as of individuals, that nothing here 
below escapes His all-seeing eye, nothing is far from His all- 
pervading presence, that nothing can happen but by His com 
mand or with His permission. She tells us that by Him kings 
reign and that of Him are ordained the powers that be, and that 
if He humbles a nation for its correction He can also raise it 
up again. She tells us that every enterprise of life ought to 
be undertaken for Him and in His name. 

She teaches us reverence for authority. She sought out the 
King in his retirement and humiliation when almost all had 
forsaken him, because he was the lawful ruler. She insisted 
on having him crowned and anointed by God s minister. She 
showed respect to her very judges who in defiance of all law 
and justice condemned her to a terrible death. 

But above all she teaches us how retirement, contemplation, 
mysticism, so far from unfitting one for great actions, are the 
best preparation for them. The ordinary good Christian prac 
tises ordinary virtue ; the contemplative does the deeds of 
heroes and of giants. His is a life of union with God and 
partakes of the power of God. Witness the life of St. Ber 
nard, St. Augustine, St. Francis Xavier, and so many other 
contemplatives and mystics who have achieved such marvels in 
the active life. 

Joan s vocation, certainly an extraordinary one, made it 
necessary for her to don the accoutrements of a warrior, to 
live among men and be a leader of men. But she never thought 
of trying to ape the ways of men. Strong in her vow of vir 
ginity, she ever displayed the simplicity, the gentleness, the 
modesty, the delicate refinement that are woman s crown and 
glory, that charm the upright, shame the dissolute and compel 
the respect of all. 

She rides forth then, that warrior maiden, that mirror of 
knighthood and of womanhood, the champion of the Apostle- 
ship of Prayer, fighting by day and praying by night that God s 
kingdom may come, that Christian principles and Christian 
charity may reign throughout the world. 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 275 

Let us pray then with the Holy Father that we may soon 
be able to invoke her as Blessed, and that her beautiful life 
and powerful intercession may inspire the faithful with fresh 
ardor and win over to the truth those who still dwell amid the 
darkness of error. 



POPE HONORS JOAN OF ARC 

An imposing ceremony preceding the beatification of Joan 
d Arc occurred in the Vatican, January 6th, 1904. The Pope 
was acclaimed by the great audience. He delivered a speech 
before the Congregation of Rites, in which he said he hoped 
that Frenchmen, having such glorious ancestry, would be 
worthy of them and would especially appreciate the present 
distinction conferred by the Church and put an end to the 
campaign against religion. 

BEATIFICATION 

The decree on the Heroic Virtues of Joan of Arc was read 
on the Feast of the Epiphany in the Consistorial Hall of the 
Vatican Palace, in the presence of the Holy Father, who was 
surrounded by the members of his court and a number of Car 
dinals and distinguished visitors to Rome. In the decree a 
sketch is given of the Maid of Domremy, who is described as 
having emulated the courage of Deborah, Jael and Judith. 
The struggle which she made for her country is noticed in 
some detail, and the account of the final scene is as follows: 
"Her cause having been tried by most corrupt judges, the inno 
cent virgin was condemned to be burnt and bravely endured 
the penalty on the 3oth May, 1431, her eyes fixed on the cru 
cifix, her lips pouring forth fervent prayers and asking prayers 
for the authors of her death in the presence of the great crowd 
there assembled." The steps taken in the cause of her beati 
fication are then mentioned, and it is added that "the Holy 
Father decreed that in the case of Joan of Arc such sure 
knowledge had been acquired with regard to the theological 



276 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

virtues of faith, hope and charity towards God and the neigh 
bor, and with respect to the cardinal virtues of prudence, 
justice, fortitude, temperance, and the like, that it was safe to 
proceed, further, that is, to the discussion of the four miracles." 
This decree his Holiness ordered to be published and inserted 
in the Acts of the Sacred Congregation of Rites. 

The decree having been promulgated, Mgr. Touchet, Bishop 
of Orleans, thanked the Holy Father for having at the com 
mencement of a Pontificate which gave so much promise paid 
this honor to the Heroine of Orleans, who was the incarnation 
of French patriotism. "May the good and chivalrous child," 
said the Bishop in concluding, "may Joan of Arc, renewing one 
of the noblest works of her mortal career, obtain for France 
holy peace of mind and the union of hearts for France, which 
is so gentle when it is united, and so humane when it is 
peaceful." 

The Pope delivered a brief address in Latin, expressing the 
joy this occasion afforded him. His Holiness said that amidst 
the difficulties of the present hour, the life of the heroic maiden 
gave Catholics and lovers of France a lesson in courage and 
self-sacrifice. 



TO JOAN IN HEAVEN 

And all the priests and friars in the realm 
Shall in procession sing her endless praise. 

No longer on St. Denis will we cry, 

But Joan la Pucelle shall be France s saint. 

Shakespeare, Henry VI., Act I, Scene 6. 

The lips that curse to-day the hero s fall 

To-morrow vote him laurels and applause; 
Impartial Time doth justice unto all, 

No blindfold goddess she, of erring laws. 
Four hundred years of slander shrink dismayed 

Beneath the shrivelling fervor of her glance, 
And lo! with praise of thee, O shepherd maid! 

Resound the stately sanctuaries of France. 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 277 

For what is death, that men should fear to lose 

The labored drawing of a little breath? 
Or what is life, that coward men should choose 

Its lease of pain before heroic death? 
Thy country grovelled neath the tyrant s yoke, 
The Vision called, the Heavenly voices spoke, 
And pledge to Christ and France thy virgin veins. 
Twas thine to crown with victory her cause. 

Yet not in vain 

Didst thou the bitter dregs of anguish drain, 
And pledge to Christ and France thy virgin veins, 
Where now are grasping England s chains? 
No smallest link upon thy land remains; 
Gone with thy judges and thy murderers, 

And they were hers. 

Yea, many a cause and many a leader since 
Have bowed the head to Death, the sov reign prince. 
And where they rose shall others yet arise 
And with ephemeral fancies snare men s eyes 
And have their little day and pass again. 

New hours demand new men, 

And wise is he, indeed, 

Who sees and shapes new ends to meet new need. 
But all shall be as grass of yesterday, 
While France is greater far than they ; 
And France remains and suppliant seeks thine aid 
With hands outstretched to thee, O Martyr Maid! 

For ancient feuds, old passions and old hates 
Watch at her walls and prowl about her gates. 
And deadlier foes and subtler shapes of sin 
Lurk at her heart and plot her ruin within. 
Sons recreant, devising blight and curse, 
With wiles insidious would her heart divorce 
From all that made her glorious and great 
And raised her to her proud estate 
From truth and honor, and her wise belief 
In justice, of all virtues chief. 
For, walking humbly in the eyes of God, 
France aye held Empire s rod; 
And kneeling, reverent, at Our Lady s feet 
And drawing thence all heavenly virtue sweet, 
France aye has been the France of high renown, 
Sceptered with love and wearing honor s crown. 



278 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

From that bright place of glory thou hast won, 
Rapt in the vision of the Sire and Son, 
In this dark hour that menaces thy land, 
Above her hearthstones stretch protecting hand ! 
Gainst impious men who forth from school and shrine 
Would scourge thy Christ and in the fields of France, 
Would raze thy Christ s sweet empery divine, 
Oh, gird thee now with new deliverance ! 

Thy virtues emulating and thy fame 
By hearths that burn with Chastity s pure flame, 
The maids and matrons of thy land beseech 
Thee o er their homes thy shield of love to reach. 
For blest that land and armor d against ill 
Where civic virtues wait on woman s will, 
Where reverent manhood worships wife or maid 
Queen-like in holy purity arrayed. 
She, fenced around by chivalry, perchance 
May suffer, but she cannot suffer long, 
Nor, wronged, be victim of enduring wrong. 
Such happy land is France. 

And, lifting high truth s oriflamme, behold 
Her phalanx d daughters, God-inspired, stand, 

As thou gainst tyrant England didst of old, 
To drive dishonor from their honored land. 
And, patient long and kindling slow 
To wrath, their hearts for Christ aglow, 

About His altars menaced by the law, 

At woman s hest her sons devoted draw. 

While these love virtue, oh, she cannot fall, 

Mother of Chivalry, beloved Gaul. 

For not in spoil of sea or soil 

Or ships in ocean waters 
A nation thrives, but in the lives 

Of noble sons and daughters. 
While these shall last, in honor fast, 

The happy land shall flourish. 
Nor foes prevail, but when they fail 

Then laws and peoples perish. 

But thou above thine ancient land 
Wilt stretch in patronage thy hand. 
For howsoe er disguised in snowy fleece, 
Christ s watchdogs lulling into perilous peace, 







MADONNA AND SAINTS 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 279 

The wolves of Hell upon Christ s fold would prey, 

And shepherds false would lead astray 

Christ s lambs in error s devious way, 
The heart of France, as in her ardent youth, 

Throbs still for Christ and Truth. 
And from a thousand Shrines thy people s love 
Like incense rises to thy feet above, 
Beseeching thee in humblest suppliance 

To ward from harm thy France. 

Thy country s sin, the insult and the shame, 
The scaffold s doom, the faggot and the flame 
All these shall pass and be remembered not; 
Fair Charity with kindly tears shall blot 
From France s shield the black, corroding stain, 
Caught from thy blood, O Lily of Lorraine! 
Thy land, so fair, of life shall be bereft 

Nor smallest trace be left 

To after years to tell 

That Freedom once had here her choicest citadel; 
The hero s heart shall lose its thirst for fame 
And truth be dead and virtue but a name, 
Ere men shall cease to honor thee who gave 

To France, to Liberty, to Truth 
In battle s bloodiest breaches undismayed, 
Neath insult meek, in persecutions brave 

Thy love, thy life, thy stainless youth, 
O Virgin, Patriot and Martyr Maid! 

P. 7. Coleman. 




APPARITION TO 

BROTHER ERNEST 

CLIFTON, ENGLAND 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 



APPARITION 

TO 

BROTHER ERNEST 
CLIFTON, ENGLAND 

143 

each me to weep, sweet Mother-Maid, 
As thou didst weep for thy dear Son, 
How Christ would love me if I shed 
One tear for Him like thine just one. 

Charles H. Toivne. 

ELLUACENSIS relates that, in a town in Eng 
land, there was, in the year 1430, a younj 
nobleman called Ernest, who, after having given 
all his patrimony to the poor, became a monk, and 
ed so perfect a life that the superiors of the monastery had 
a great esteem for him, particularly on account of his tender 
devotion to Our Blessed Lady. It happened that the city was 
attacked by the plague; the Abbot commanded Ernest to go 
and pray before the altar of Mary, and not to depart from 
it until the blessed Virgin gave him an answer. After remain 
ing three days before the altar, Mary directed him to say 
certain prayers ; he obeyed, and the plague ceased. But after 
wards his devotion to Mary grew cold ; the devil assailed 
him with many temptations, particularly with those against 
purity, and to fly from the monastery. The miserable young 
man, in consequence of not recommending himself to Mary, 
resolved to throw himself from a wall, and so escape from 
the monastery; but, as he was passing by an image of Marv 
on the corridor, the Mother of God spoke to him and said : 
"My son, why do you leave me?" Ernest was filled with 
astonishment and compunction, and, falling on the ground, 
said, "But, my Lady, dost thou not see that I can no longer 




282 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES Off 

resist the temptation? Why dost thou not assist me?" The 
holy Virgin replied, "Why have you not invoked me? Had 
you recommended yourself to me, you should not be reduced 
to this unhappy state; from this day forward recommend 
yourself to me and fear not." Ernest returned to his cell, 
but the temptations returned ; he neglected to recommend him 
self to God, or to Mary, and therefore he at length fled from 
the monastery and giving himself up to a most wicked life, 
rushing from one sin into another, he in the end became an 
assassin. He took an inn, in which during the night he mur 
dered and robbed the poor travelers who passed by the way, 
among them a young gentleman who came to the inn. The 
murderous innkeeper entered during the night, for the purpose 
of murdering him. But, behold! on the bed he sees not the 
young man, but Christ Crucified, covered with wounds, who 
looking at him with eyes full of pity, said : "Is it not enough 
for you, O ungrateful man ! that I have died once for you ? 
Do you wish to kill me a second time? Stretch forth your 
hand and murder Me again." Ernest was filled with confusion, 
began to weep, and said with tears : "Lord, here I am ; since 
Thou hast shown me so many mercies, I wish to return to 
Thee." He then instantly left the inn, in order to return to his 
monastery, and to do penance for his crimes ; but being met on 
the way by the ministers of justice, he was brought before 
the judge, and in his presence confessed all the murders he had 
committed. He was condemned to be hanged, without being 
even allowed time to go to confession. He then recommended 
himself to Mary; he was thrown off the scaffold, but the 
Virgin saved his life ; she herself took the halter from his neck, 
and said to him : "Go back to the monastery, do penance, and 
when you see in my hands a paper declaring that your sins 
are pardoned, prepared for death." Ernest returned, and re 
lating to the Abbott all that had happened, performed great 
penance. After many years, he saw in the hands of Mary a 
paper assuring him of pardon, he immediately prepared himself 
for eternity and died a holy death. 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 283 



THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION 

Robert Southey, the (Protestant) poet-laureate of England, 
in 1819, wrote "A Tale of Paraguay," the fiftieth stanza of 
Canto II. bearing testimony to the familiar idea and received 
belief of the Immaculate Conception, although many years be 
fore its proclamation as a dogma. 

The Indian woman, Monnema, recalling the stories she heard 
in her youth, describes plainly certain men who had come to the 
Indian s land, sent by the Great Spirit to do "the Father s 
work." She says of them : 

"They served a maid more beautiful than tongue 
Could tell or heart conceive. Of human race, 

All heavenly as that Virgin was, she sprung; 
But for her beauty and celestial grace, 
Being one in -whose pure elements no trace 

Had e er inhered of sin or mortal stain, 
The highest heaven was now her dwelling place, 

There as a queen divine she held her reign, 

And there in endless joy forever would remain. 
Her feet upon the crescent moon were set, 
And moving in their order round her head,. 

The stars compose her sparkling coronet. 
There at her breast the Virgin Mother fed 
A Babe Divine, who was to judge the dead; 

Such power the spirit gave this awful Child ; 
Severe He was, and in His anger dread, 

Yet always at His Mother s will grew mild, 

So well did He obey that Maiden undefiled." 

Sometimes she had descended from above 
To visit her true votaries, and requite 
Such as had served her well. 

Robert Southey. 



Hail Mary! The glorious Archangel Gabriel enjoys in 
Heaven a peculiar distinction for being the first to address this 
salutation to Our Blessed Lady. St. Mechtilde. 

It is quite a remarkable feature in the history of the Order 



284 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

of Poor Clares that, in spite of its stringent poverty and rigor 
ous austerities, it has, at all times, been eagerly sought after 
and embraced by ladies of the highest rank and position in 
society. 

It is surprising to see amongst its members such a vast array 
of queens and princesses, and other noble dames, who volun 
tarily exchanged a life of wealth and luxury for one of poverty 
and penance. Yet while these illustrious personages reflect a 
certain lustre upon the institute, by reason of the exalted station 
they occupied in the world, they, themselves, however, will tell 
you that far from considering themselves as having added any 
thing to the renown of the order, they looked upon it as the 
highest honor and privilege to have been allowed to join its 
humble ranks. 

And, in fact, we find that such individuals, as a rule, seemed 
to realize the life of a Poor Clare more than others, and were 
more conspicuous for their love of poverty, penance and 
humility. 

Another fact worth noticing is this, that the very superiority 
they enjoyed by nature and education, being ennobled and 
purified in the school of humility, made them better fitted for the 
government of religious communities and, in this respect, they 
contributed largely to the spread and advancement of the order. 

The establishment of the Order of Poor Clares in this coun 
try is another illustration of the truth of these remarks. Mother 
Constanzia Bentivoglio, who died January, 1902, and was one 
of the founders in this country, was of noble family, her father, 
Count Bentivoglio, having been one of the rescuers of Pope 
Pius IX. She was also a relative of Pope Leo XIII. She died 
January, 1902, 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 285 



APPARITION 

TO 

ST. VERONICA, V. 
MILAN, ITALY 

H45 

Hear thy children, gentlest Mother, 

Prayerful hearts to thee arise; 
Hear us while our evening Ave 

Soars beyond the starry skies. 

Darkling shadows fall around us, 

Restful stars their watches keep; 
Hush the heart oppressed by sorrow, 

Dry the tears of those that weep. 

Flora Stanfield. 

ERONICA S parents were peasants of a village 
near Milan. From her childhood she toiled hard 
in the house and the field, and accomplished cheer 
fully every task. Gradually, the desire for perfec 
tion grew within her; she became deaf to the jokes and songs 
of her companions, and sometimes, when reaping and hoeing, 
would hide her face and weep. Knowing no letters, she began 
to be anxious about her learning, and rose secretly at night to 
teach herself to read Our Blessed Lady told her that other 
things were necessary, but not this. She showed Veronica 
three mystical letters, which would teach her more than books. 
The first signified purity of intention ; the second, abhorrence 
of murmuring or criticism ; the third, daily meditation on the 
Passion. By the first she learned to begin her daily duties for 
no human motive, but for God alone. By the second, to carry 
out what she had thus begun by attending to her own affairs, 
never judging her neighbor, but praying for those who mani 
festly erred. By the third, she was enabled to forget her own 
pains and sorrows in those of her Lord, and to weep hourly, 
but silently, over the memory of His wrongs. She had con- 




286 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

slant ecstasies, and saw in successive visions the whole life of 
Jesus, and many other mysteries. Yet by a special grace, 
neither her raptures nor her tears ever interrupted her labors, 
which ended only with death. After three years patient wait 
ing she was received as a lay-sister in the convent of St. 
Martha, at Milan. The community was extremely poor, and 
Veronica s duty was to beg through the city for their daily 
food. Three years after receiving the habit, she was afflicted 
with constant bodily pains, yet never would consent to be re 
lieved of any of her labors, or to omit one of her prayers. By 
exact obedience, she became a living copy of the rule, and 
obeyed with a smile the least hint of her superior. She sought 
to the last the most hard and humbling occupations, and in 
their performance enjoyed some of the highest favors ever 
granted to a Saint. She died in 1497, on tne da 7 sne had fore 
told, after a six months illness, aged fifty-two years, and in 
the thirtieth of her religious profession. 

When Veronica was urged in sickness to accept some ex 
emption from her labors, her answer was : "I must work while 
I can, while I have time." Dare we, then, waste ours? 

The people of Italy come and say their prayers before some 
picture or image of the Madonna, entering into all their hopes 
and fears, doubts and anxieties, every detail of their domestic 
circumstances, quite as naturally as a child confides its little 
troubles or desires to one of whose sympathy and assistance 
it has reason to be assured. At one time you may see a poor 
woman who is going on a journey, or removing from her usual 
place of residence, come to take leave of her favorite Madonna, 
and talk to her, and lament over the separation, and in every 
respect converse with her as though she were her nearest and 
dearest friend from whom she was about to part; or you may 
see another go hastily into a church, evidently under the pres 
sure of some sudden trial, throw herself at the feet of the Ma 
donna, and cover them with kisses; then, amid the most con 
vulsive sobs, and with anything but the silent prayer of Anna, 
in which "only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard at 
all," tell her the whole history of what has happened, and im- 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 287 

plore her interference; gradually her agitation subsides; she 
has communicated her troubles to one who will be sure to help 
her, and, strengthened by this consolation, she rises from her 
knees with a calm and cheerful countenance, to go forth to 
bear them patiently. Yet she can scarcely make up her mind 
to leave the sanctuary of her peace. As she withdraws with 
slow and unwilling steps, ever and anon she turns her head to 
waft another kiss to the Madonna; and you may hear such 
parting exclamations as these from her lips : "Addio, mamma 
mia, I have told you everything ; I am going away now, and I 
reckon upon your help; you understand me; I know you ll 
not disappoint me ; addio, mamma mia, addio." 

And lest any of my readers should think that this child-like 
simplicity is confined to the lower and uneducated classes, I 
cannot resist the temptation of presenting them with one or 
two extracts from a little book of devotions published some time 
ago by a distinguished advocate, at that time one of the judges 
in Naples. This is a specimen of the kind of address which he 
uses towards the Madonna : "Listen to me, my mother, you 
must grant me what I have asked for ; for if you refuse, what 
will people say of you? Either that you could not, or that 
you would not, help me. That you could not, nobody will be 
lieve, for they know you too well for that ; and then, that you 
would not I protest I would rather be told that you had not 
the power than that you had not the will ; for what ! shall it 
be said that my own mother, the mother of mercy, grace, and 
kindness, had not the will to relieve the necessity of one of her 
children? Oh, what then will become of her reputation? 
Think of this, my mother, and extricate yourself from the 
dilemma if you can." And again : "You think, perhaps, my 
mother, that you have given me a great deal already. I do not 
deny it; but you owe me still more than you have given me. 
Everyone knows that your riches are inexhaustible; that you 
are the Queen of heaven and earth, the dispenser of grace and 
the gifts of God. But then consider, I pray of you, that those 
riches were given you, not for yourself alone but for your chil 
dren : for me, the last and most unworthy of them all ! Was 



288 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

it not to redeem us that the Son of God became man, and chose 
you for His Mother? Behold, then, all that you have is ours; 
it was given you for us ; it belongs to us. Now you cannot den} 
that all that you have yet given me is as nothing compared 
with what you possess. You are therefore my debtor, and you 
owe me much. Is it not so? What answer have you to make 
to this ? 

AVE MARIA 

Ave Maria ! o er the earth and sea, 

That heavenliest hour of heaven is worthiest thee! 

Ave Maria! blessed be the hour 
The time, the clime, the spot, where I so oft 

Have felt that moment in its fullest power 
Sink o er the earth so beautiful and soft 

While swung the deep bell in the distant tower, 
Or the faint dying day hymn stole aloft, 
And not a breath crept through the rosy air, 
And yet the forest leaves seem d stirr d with prayer. 

Ave Maria! tis the hour of prayer; 

Ave Maria! tis the hour of love; 
Ave Maria ! may our spirits dare 

Look up to thine and to thy Son s above. 
Ave Maria! oh, that face so fair, 

Those downcast eyes beneath the Almighty Dove! 

Lord Byron. 




HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 289 

APPARITION 

TO 

ST. CATHERINE OF BOLOGNA 
BOLOGNA, ITALY 

1460 

O wondrous depth of grace Divine 

That He should bend so low! 
And Mary, oh, what joy twas thine, 

In His dear love to know. 

Joy to be Mother of the Lord, 

And thine the truer bliss, 
In every thought, and deed, and word, 

To be forever His. 

Henry W. Baker. 




ATHERINE, the daughter of a noble Italian 
family, was placed when only eleven at the court 
of Margaret, Princess d Este, at Ferrara. She soon 
wearied of the splendors around her, and retired at 
the age of fourteen to serve God in religion. After some years 
she made her profession as a daughter of St. Clare, and was 
sent to found a convent of the Order of Bologna. She was 
tried by many false apparitions and terrible temptations, but 
she overcame them all, by persevering obedience, and God 
made known to her the illusions of the devil, and consoled her 
by heavenly visions. She gained from these trials a salutary 
fear of the majesty of God. A deep conviction of her own 
nothingness made her court contempt and seek the most pain 
ful occupations in the convent. She considered herself the 
cause of all the sins of her neighbors. This humility drew 
Jesus into her soul, to enkindle therein the consuming fire of 
love. She had a great devotion to St. Thomas of Canterbury, 
who appeared to her. She saw also in vision other Saints, with 
Our Blessed Lady, and our Lord Himself, who bade her mark 
the words they were singing, (l Et gloria ejus in te videbitur." 
[This prophecy was verified in the extraordinary preservation 



290 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

of her body, which remains incorrupt to this day, sitting in her 
habit, and miraculously supported. Her holy death took place 
in 1463. 

On Christmas eve, 1460, Catherine passed the night in 
church. She recited one thousand "Hail Marys," with great 
fervor in honor of the Mother of God. In reward of her 
humble adoration of His Incarnation, Jesus appeared to her at 
midnight in His Mother s arms. This kind Mother gave her 
Divine Child to Catherine and allowed her to caress Him. Al 
though her heart was overflowing with the joy of that hour, 
Catherine spoke not of her vision, until her secret was betrayed 
to her sisters, by the brilliant color of that spot upon her pale 
face where she had received the kiss of the Divine Infant, a 
spot marked now, after a lapse of 400 years, by the brighter 
tint of her incorrupt flesh. 

"O consciousness of my nothingness, how great is your 
force! it is you that have unbarred all the gates of my soul, 
and given entrance to Him who is infinite." St. Catherine of 
Bologna. 

"Adore ye Him that made heaven and earth, the sea and the 
fountains of waters." Apoc., xiv, 7. 

The soul of man is endowed with many noble powers, and 
feels a keen joy in their exercise; but the keenest joy we are 
capable of feeling, consists in prostrating all our powers of 
mind and heart, in humblest adoration before the majesty of 
God. 

THE HOLY FAMILY 

O Child of beauty rare 

O Mother chaste and fair 

How happy seemed they both, so far beyond compare! 

She in her Infant blest, 

And he in conscious rest; 

Nestling within the soft, warm cradle of her breast! 

What joy that sight might bear 

To him who sees them there, 

If, with a pure and quiet untroubled eye 

He looked upon the twain, like Joseph standing by. 

Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe. 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 291 



APPARITION 

TO 

B. STEPHANA QUINZANI, V.O.S.D. 
BRESCIA, ITALY 

1464 

"All in stoles of snowy brightness 

Unto thee the Angels sing, 
Unto thee the Virgin Choirs, 
Mother of th Eternal King. 
Joyful in thy path they scatter 

Roses white and lilies fair, 
Yet with thy chaste bosom s whiteness 
Rose nor lily may compare." 

Off. Purity of B. V. M. 




TEPHANA QUINZANI was born A.D. 1457, near 
Brescia in Italy. Her parents were of the middle 
class in life and were both of them fervent in the 
practice of their religious duties. From her earliest 
childhood Stephana continually heard an interior voice repeat 
ing to her the words: "Charity, charity, charity!" When only 
five years old she consecrated herself to God with her whole 
heart, and at the age of seven she made the three vows of pov 
erty, chastity, and obedience, adding a promise to assume later 
on the habit of the Third Order of St. Dominic, to which her 
father belonged. Our Lord then appeared to her, accompanied 
by His Blessed Mother, St. Dominic, St. Thomas Aquinas, and 
St. Catherine of Siena, and espoused her to Himself, bestow 
ing on her a magnificent ring, which was seen by many persons. 
About the same time, her family removed to Soncino, and 
Stephana placed herself under the spiritual direction of blessed 
Matthew Carreri of the Order of St. Dominic, who one day 
told her that at his death he should make her his heiress. The 
child did not then understand the meaning of these words, but, 
when the servant of God departed this life, she felt her heart 



292 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

painfully and mysteriously wounded, and at the same time 
blessed Matthew appeared to her and explained that this was 
the inheritance he had promised her. 

When about twelve years old, she went to hear a sermon on 
the Feast of St. Andrew. That great Apostle appeared to her 
in vision, holding in his hands a large cross, and addressed her 
in the following words : "Behold, my daughter, the way to 
heaven. Love God, fear God, honor God ; flee from the world 
and embrace the Cross." Love of the Cross became thence 
forth her characteristic virtue, so that it was said of her that 
there were but two things for which she had an affection, 
namely, Holy Communion and sufferings. In all her visions 
the Cross bore a remarkable part, and she gave herself up, not 
only to the practice of the severest austerities, but to an almost 
uninterrupted meditation on the Passion of her Divine Spouse. 
She was even permitted in some degree to undergo His suffer 
ings in her own person, participating on Fridays in a mys 
terious manner in Our Lord s agony and sweat of blood, His 
scourging at the pillar, His crowning with thorns, and His 
crucifixion. Her confessor, who wrote her life, testified to hav 
ing seen the sacred Stigmata on her hands and feet, and the 
marks of the crown of thorns upon her head. 

In one of her raptures she was given to understand that all 
the angels and Saints together, including even Our Blessed 
Lady herself, are unable to love God as much as He deserves 
to be loved. Then an abyss of love opened before her eyes, 
and she cried out : "O my Lord and Redeemer, grant me the 
grace to love all this love ; otherwise I care not to live." But 
our Lord smiled upon her and told her that her wish was an 
impossible one, as her finite will could not embrace that abyss 
of infinite love. Nevertheless, to comfort her, He said that He 
would accept her good will, as though she really loved to the 
extent to which she desired, adding : "Think not that this great 
abyss of love remains unloved; for, if creatures cannot love 
it, it is loved by Me, who am Infinite good." 

When, for the love of God, blessed Stephana had made an 
entire renunciation of her own will in the hands of her con- 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 293 

fessor, Our Lord appeared to her and said: "My daughter, 
since for the love of Me thou hast generously stripped thyself 
of thine own will, ask what thou wilt and I will grant it to 
thee." The holy Virgin replied almost in the words used by 
St. Thomas Aquinas under similar circumstances : "I desire 
nothing but Thyself, O Lord." 

At the age of fifteen Stephana received the habit of the Third 
Order of St. Dominic, from which time she devoted herself to 
the care of the sick and poor in the hospitals, and to every kind 
of active charity. Our Lord was pleased to work miracles by 
her hands, multiplying food and money and restoring the sick 
to health. Her reputation for sanctity extended far and wide. 
The Republic of Venice and the Duke of Mantua pressed her 
to come and found convents in their territories ; but she re 
fused, in the hope of being able to establish one in Sancino. 
This she was at length able to accomplish, placing it under the 
invocation of St. Paul the Apostle and peopling it with a fer 
vent community of thirty, whom she had carefully trained to 
the practices of the religious life. In consequence of the war 
between France and Venice, the nuns were obliged, after a 
time, to withdraw from their convent and take shelter within 
the walls of the town. 

It was during this interval that blessed Stephana passed to 
her reward on 2nd January, A.D. 1530, at the age of seventy- 
three. She was laid to rest in the church attached to her con 
vent, to which her community was afterwards able to return. 
It is, however, now suppressed, but blessed Stephana is still 
held in great veneration by the people of Soncino. She was 
beatified by Benedict XIV. in the year 1740. 

In the life of Blessed Stephana, a Dominican nun, mention 
is made of a sister named Paula, who died at the convent of 
Mantua, after a long life of eminent virtue. The body was 
carried to the church and placed uncovered in the choir among 
the religious. During the recitation of the Office, blessed 
Stephana knelt near the bier, recommending to God the de 
ceased religious, who had been very dear to her. Suddenly 
the latter let fall the crucifix, which had been placed between 



294 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

her hands, extended the left arm, seized the right hand of 
blessed Stephana, and pressed it tightly, as a poor patient in 
the burning heat of a fever would ask the assistance of a friend. 
She held it for a considerable time, and then, withdrawing her 
arm, sank back lifeless in the coffin. The religious, astonished 
at this prodigy, asked an explanation of the blessed Sister. 
She replied that, whilst the deceased pressed her hand, an in 
articulate voice had spoken in the depths of her heart, saying: 
"Help me, dear sister, help me in the frightful torture which 
I endure. O ! if you knew the severity of the Judge who de 
sires all our love, what atonement He demands for the least 
faults before admitting us to the reward ! If you knew how 
pure we must be to see the face of God ! Pray ! pray, and do 
penance for me, who can no longer help myself." 

Blessed Stephana touched by the prayer of her friend, im 
posed upon herself all kinds of penances and good works, until 
she learned, by a new revelation, that Sister Paula was delivered 
from her sufferings, and had entered into eternal glory. 

Copied from the Dogma of Purgatory by Rev. F. X. 
Schouppe, SJ. 

FOR MY LADY S DAY 

Beneath no ivied tower I stand, 
With song on lip and lute in hand 

To greet my Lady s day. 
No fickle hand opes lattice pane 
To wave in love mayhaps, disdain, 

At me, her knight so gay. 

Apart from city s crowded street, 
Where re pain and pleasure voiceless meet, 

I find my Lady s throne. 
Expectant are her eyes for mine, 
Her yearning arms would me entwine 

And claim me all her own. 

She leans adown most lovingly 

To hear my heart make melody 

In sweet yet wordless song, 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 2 95 

What words my Lady s love can tell! 
She reads my tangled heart songs well 
My heart hath been hers long. 

My Lady dwelt far o er the sea 
In times agone in Galilee 

Where roller-birds flash bright. 
But now deep mystery of love, 
Though Queen of royal courts above, 

She s near me day and night. 

I trow you know this Lady mine, 
Not mine alone, but also thine, 

Is Lady Mary fair. 
What birthday gift for Mary blest? 
A blameless life she prizeth best, 

And simple child-like prayer. 

Rev. W. F. Ennis, S. J. 



THE PREFACE OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN 

This is called the Miraculous Preface ; for, as the story goes, 
the greater part was miraculously put in the mouth of Pope 
Urban II. as he was one day singing High Mass in the Church 
of Our Blessed Lady at Placentia. He began by chanting the 
Common Preface, but when he had come to that part where 
the Prefaces generally turn off to suit the occasion he heard 
angels above him singing as follows: "Who, by the over 
shadowing of the Holy Ghost, conceived thine Only-Begotten 
Son, and, the glory of her virginity still remaining intact, 
brought into the world the Eternal Light, Christ Jesus, our 
Lord." The holy Pontiff caused these words to be afterwards 
inserted in the Common Preface at the council held in the 
above place in 1095, and, for this reason the Preface of the 
Blessed Virgin is ascribed to him. Father O Brien s History 
of the Mass. 



SHRINE OF 

OUR LADY OF GOOD COUNCIL 
GENAZZANO, ITALY 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 



297 



SHRINE 

OF 

OUR LADY OF GOOD COUNCIL 
GENAZZANO, ITALY 

1467 

Sweet Lady of Good Counsel, 

Oh list with tender heart, 
To all the tales of misery 

Which from our lips depart; 
And bid us hope with fondest love, 
That Heaven be our home above. 

Rev. J. A. White. 

HE great sanctuary of Our Lady of Good Counsel 
is her church bearing that title at Genazzano, a 
small town about twenty-four miles southeast of 
Rome. In pagan times Genazzano was the scene 
of the revolting rites connected with the worship of Venus. 
When Christianity took root there a church was built under 
the auspices of Pope St. Mark (A.D. 336-352), and was one 
of the earliest known to have been dedicated to Our Lady. 
This church bore the title of the Virgin Mother of Good Coun 
sel. It stood near the ruins of the temples and statues of 
Venus a memorial of the triumph of purity over sensuality. 
The 25th of April each year a day set apart for heathen 
games and sacrifices became in Christian times the festival 
of Our Lady of Good Counsel (it has since been changed to 
the 26th) and was celebrated by the people of the neighborhood 
with every sign of rejoicing. Thus for centuries was Our 
Blessed Lady honored under this special title on the mountain 
which bore, half-way up its ascent, the little town of 
Genazzano. 

The place, however, was destined to become the seat of a 
more widespread devotion. At Scutari, in Albania, in the 




298 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

humble little Church of the Annunciation, there was in the fif 
teenth century an ancient picture of the Virgin Mother, said 
to have been miraculously conveyed thither from the East. 
When the Turks threatened to overrun the adjacent country 
this picture was removed from its position by invisible hands, 
and borne southward toward Rome, enveloped in a white cloud, 
which floated quickly through the air. 

On April 25, 1467, which happened to be a Sunday, a large 
crowd of people had assembled at Genazzano for the patronal 
festival, when, in the sight of all, a white cloud, floating 
through the heavens, descended toward the ancient church of 
Our Lady, and remained stationary near the rough wall of one 
of the chapels, which was undergoing enlargement and was 
still unfinished. At the same time all heard wonderful music 
in the air as the cloud descended; and, to the astonishment of 
the multitude, the bells of Our Lady s church, untouched by 
human hands, broke forth into a peal of welcome, to be an 
swered in the same marvelous way from the bell towers of all 
the other churches of the town. As the cloud cleared away it 
was discovered that a picture of the Madonna was stationary 
by the rough wall toward which the cloud had moved, where 
it remained, upheld, as it seemed, by angel hands. The picture, 
which to the delighted people appeared to have come from 
Heaven, was hailed with acclamation as the "Madonna of 
Paradise." A few days after its arrival it was identified as the 
ancient fresco from the Church of the Annunciation at Scutari, 
by two men who had witnessed its removal from that place, 
and had followed its course. 

The Church of Our Lady of Good Counsel at Genazzano, 
then served by the Hermits of St. Augustine, had fallen into 
a state of great dilapidation. A devout Augustinian Tertiary, 
known in after years as the Blessed Petruccia, had given all her 
substance toward its restoration, hoping by her example to stir 
up the zeal of her fellow-townsfolk. She had begun by en 
larging the Chapel of St. Blaise, on the north side of the church, 
but the funds at her disposal would suffice to accomplish only 
a very small portion of the work; and as no one else came to 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 299 

the rescue, the restoration stopped, amidst the jeers of those 
who had tried to dissuade the holy widow from her project. 
She, however, was full of confidence in the help of the Ma 
donna. Though eighty years of age, she hoped to see the com 
pletion of her work, and her confidence was rewarded. 

The miraculous advent of the picture stirred up the enthusi 
asm of the country, and the church was thoroughly restored; 
the Chapel of St. Blaise, where the blessed picture had rested, 
becoming a rich and beautiful shrine for the Madonna in the 
lifetime of the holy woman who had begun its restoration, and 
who was laid to rest at the foot of its altar. From the ancient 
church which it had made its resting-place, the miraculous pic 
ture came to be called by the title of Our Lady of Good Coun 
sel. Since the time of its coming the picture has remained in 
its first position near the wall of St. Blaise s Chapel, unsup 
ported in any way, as many eye-witnesses have testified. Al 
though the main church has been twice rebuilt, the shell of the 
chapel remains as it was in the fifteenth century. 

The Shrine of Our Lady of Good Counsel during the four 
centuries of its new life has grown into one of the most favored 
in Italy the scene of many miracles, and the resort of count 
less pilgrimages. The little chapel of Blessed Petruccia has 
been adorned with priceless gifts from the great ones of the 
earth, anxious to show devotion to the Virgin Mother of Good 
Counsel. 

The loving devotion of Pope Leo XIII. to the Mother of 
God has been shown in various ways throughout his pontificate, 
one of the most recent proofs of which is the grant to the 
Hermits of St. Augustine of the faculty to bless and impose 
upon the faithful the Scapular of Our Lady of Good Counsel. 
Moved by the growing need of Our Blessed Lady s special help 
and protection under the difficulties which oppose the faithful 
practice of the Catholic religion in our age, these good religious 
suggested a new method of propagating the devotion amongst 
the faithful. Our Lady s title of Madonna of Good Counsel 
?eemed to speak of the special need of these days the gift of 
Counsel. In so many nations claiming to be Christian educa- 



3co APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

tion has been divorced from religion ; the training of the young 
has been taken from the Church and given to her enemies ; and 
by these means everything good and holy has been brought to 
contempt. God and His Saints have been driven from the 
schools, and everything pious and devout has been held up to 
ridicule. Nothing has been neglected by which faith may be 
weakened and eventually destroyed. The Virgin Mother of 
Good Counsel must needs be invoked to put an end to these 
evils, and to make Catholic principles flourish as of old. 

With this end in view, these pious religious petitioned the 
Holy Father to deign to grant faculties to their Order to in 
stitute a scapular to be worn by the faithful, and thus to afford 
an easy and popular method of spreading the devotion more 
widely. It was already well known that Leo XIII. had shown, 
even when a young ecclesiastic, a special love for the devotion. 
When he became Pope he followed the examples of many of 
his predecessors in enrolling himself in the Pious Union; and 
the picture of Our Lady of Good Counsel in the Pauline 
Chapel a beautiful copy of the miraculous picture enthroned 
over the altar there by Pius IX. had often been the object of 
his long and ardent prayers. A small copy of the picture, more 
over, was always on his writing-table. The Holy Father, there 
fore, as had been expected, was full of sympathy with the 
project. He himself suggested the design for the Scapular. 
One portion was to bear a copy of the miraculous picture, with 
the title beneath, Mater Boni Consilii; the other the Papal 
Tiara and cross keys ; and underneath the adaptation from 
Scripture, which the Holy Father had long before written, 
with his own hand, under one of the copies of the famous Ma 
donna : Fili acquiesce consiliis ejus, "My son, hearken to her 
counsels." 

After the decree had been issued by the Sacred Congregation 
of Rites, and the Scapular thus formally approved of by the 
Holy See, the Holy Father gave a further proof of his devo 
tion to Our Lady of Good Counsel by declaring his resolution 
of being the first to receive and wear the new Scapular. Ac 
cordingly, the Pontifical sacristan, the Rt. Rev. Bishop Piffari, 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 



the confessor of His Holiness, invested the Vicar of Christ 
humbly kneeling to receive it like one of the simple faithful 
with the Scapular of Good Counsel. 

Since then many thousands of Christians have hastened to 
enroll themselves amongst the clients of Our Lady of Good 
Counsel; for the Holy Father, not content with the sympathy 
and encouragement he had already given to the work, would 
also attract the faithful by the promise of special rewards. 
Accordingly, the treasury of the Church was opened in an un 
usually liberal way. Besides a plenary indulgence on the day 
of admission (which may be gained, if preferred, on the Sun 
day or some feast immediately following), and on the 26th of 
April, Or within the octave, plenary indulgences are also 
granted for the Feasts of the Immaculate Conception, Nativity, 
Annunciation, Purification, and Assumption of the Blessed Vir 
gin, the Feast of St. Augustine, and in articulo mortis. To 
gain these, confession and Communion are required. Partial 
indulgences of seven years and seven Lents may be gained on 
the Feasts of the Presentation and Visitation of Our Lady, 
without approaching the Sacraments, by visiting a church and 
praying for the intentions of the Pope. But the special favors 
granted are those of an indulgence of one hundred days every 
time Our Lady of Good Counsel is invoked, either vocally or 
mentally ; and a like indulgence of one hundred days for every 
good work done with a contrite heart for the conversion of 
sinners. 

When we reflect that these partial indulgences may be gained 
every day, times without number, we can realize how highly 
the Pope has favored this new Scapular ; and consequently how 
earnestly he desires the faithful to make use of this easy means 
of honoring the Virgin Mother of Good Counsel, and of ob 
taining her special help in these troubled times. 

DOM, MICHAEL BARRETT, O. S. D. 



302 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 



OUR LADY OF GOOD COUNSEL 

Over the sea from Scutari 

To Genazzano quaint and fair, 
In the mystic glow of the long ago, 

Floated a picture through the air. 

A picture old, worth a rim of gold, 

Where the rarest skill of the Byzantine, 

Had softly limned, on a fresco dim, 
The Virgin Queen, and the Babe Divine. 

His blessed face in her close embrace, 
She held the Infant, firm and fast, 

And fair to trace in their tender grace, 
The arms of the Child were round her cast 

While pure and pale, from her fringed veil 
The lily-face of the Mother shone, 

The yellow light of His halo bright, 
Melting and mixing with His own. 

Over the sea from Scutari, 

In April dusk, in April dawn ; 
Through sunset hues and morning dews, 

A drifting star when stars were none, 

By viewless hands of Angel bands 

Borne safe to Genazzano fair, 
Over the sea from Scutari, 

Floated the fresco through the air. 

The night was chill, the streets were still, 
The picture passed through the little town, 

At twilight fall o er the broken wall 
Of an ancient chapel settling down; 

And there in the dawn of the April morn, 
The wondering people saw it shine, 

Suspended low o er a wall of snow, 
With no support save the Hand Divine! 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 33 

Pure and bright as the orient light 

The Maiden-Mother and her Child, 
Mysterious borne to that spot folorn, 

Over the ancient ruin smiled; 

The ruddy flame of the sunlight came 

To wrap the Fresco round and round. 
"A miracle ! A miracle !" 

The people cried as they kissed the ground. 

And there they knelt, and there they prayed 

Around the Lady of the Air ; 
And day by day in a magic way, 

A shrine majestic, builded there; 

Where high in space, o er the Altar-place, 

Its wondrous wanderings safely ended, 
Serene and fair, in the upper air 

The shining picture hung suspended. 

The curious hand might pass a wand 

On every side, above, below : 
All unsustained, on its height remained, 

The Image none might name or know; 

Till a stranger-priest from the golden East 

Told of a fresco fair to see 
Which drifted away one April day 

From the walls of a church in Scutari. 

A star of peace on darkening seas 
Where storm-tossed ships were blindly sailing, 

A light to shoals of exiled souls, 
A pilgrim patroness unfailing, 

Behold they named her as she sat, 

Her Babe upon her breast of snow 
The Guardian sweet of wandering feet, 

Madre del Buon Consiglio! 

O Maid divine! in far off shrine 

Beyond the purple, rolling sea, 
In all our wanderings far and wide 

Our Mother of Good Counsel be! 



304 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

In all our fears, our doubts, our tears, 

Our nights of sleepless bitterness, 
Be thou the star that shines afar, 

To gild the clouds of dark distress. 

And o er the sea, O love! to thee 

Our pilgrim hearts shall gladly go, 
And grateful share thy tender care, 

Madre del Buon Consiglio! 

Eleanor C. Donnelly. 




HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 



35 



APPARITION 

TO 

B. LUCY OF NARNI, O.S.D. 

NARNI, ITALY 

1483 

When doubt and fear my soul assail, 

And Faith can see no light, 
When the dread monarch shall unveil 

His terrors to my sight, 
O Virgin Mother! from above, 

In that last hour of doom, 
Then bear me in thine arms of love 

Beyond earth s mist and gloom. 



Henry Coyle. 




LESSED LUCY was born at Narni, in Italy, on 
the 1 5th of November, 1476, of the noble family 
of the Broccolelli. When she was a little child, 
one of her uncles brought some toys and pious ob 
jects from Rome as presents to his nephews and nieces. Lucy 
immediately made choice of a rosary and a little statue of the 
Infant Jesus as her share of the gifts ; and this "Christarello," 
as she called it, became the cherished object of her devotion. 
Going one day, when she was seven years old, to visit another 
uncle, in whose house she remembered to have seen a room, 
on the ceiling of which was a painting representing the holy 
angels, she wanted to see the picture once more. She was un 
willing to have any companion who might disturb her devo 
tions, and yet the staircase which led to the room was too steep 
and difficult for her to climb alone. She therefore had recourse, 
as usual, to the Infant Jesus, and found herself miraculously 
taken to the room in question. Whilst praying there, she was 
favored with a heavenly vision of Our Divine Lord, accom 
panied by His Blessed Mother, St. Dominic, St. Catherine of 
Siena, and a glorious troop of angels and Saints. Jesus then 



3o6 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

espoused her to Himself, placing a precious ring on her ringer ; 
and St. Dominic and St. Catharine took her under their special 
protection, the former bestowing upon her the Scapular of his 
Order, which she continued to wear under her secular attire 
until she was able to assume it in public. Many other heav 
enly favors, together with the gift of prophecy, were granted 
to her during her childhood ; and she was thrice miraculously 
restored to health by St. Catharine of Siena, and St. Peter 
Martyr. 

As she grew older her family sought to give her in mar 
riage, but Lucy firmly and courageously resisted ; until at 
length Our Blessed Lady revealed to her that it was the will 
of God that she should accept the hand of a certain Count 
Pietro, and that her married life was to be an imitation of the 
holiness and purity of the holy house of Nazareth. Though 
she then had the management of a large household, which is 
said to have been as devout and well-ordered as a religious 
community, blessed Lucy relaxed nothing of her customary 
exercises of prayer and practised heroic penance, daily receiv 
ing the discipline at the hands of one of her maids. Prompted 
by a spirit of humility, she would dress herself in coarse and 
shabby clothes and, during several hours every day take part 
with her servants in the domestic work of the house, after 
which she resumed the rich attire suitable to her rank. 

After four years of married life, blessed Lucy resolved, in 
obedience to the express command of Heaven, to leave her hus 
band and carry out her early desires of consecrating herself 
entirely to her Heavenly Spouse. She retired for a time to her 
mother s house, where the Prior of the Dominican Convent of 
Narni gave her the habit of the Third Order in the presence of 
witnesses, and a week later received her to profession. She 
then proceeded to Rome, where her uncles procured her ad 
mission into a convent dedicated to St. Catherine of Siena, in 
which she spent nearly a year. After that, she was sent to 
found a Convent of the Order at Viterbo ; and three years later, 
when she was twenty-three years of age, at the earnest request 
of Duke Hercules d Este, the Pope commanded her to go to 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 307 

Ferrara and establish a convent in that city, of which she was 
appointed perpetual prioress. During that time she suffered 
much from the Count, her husband ; but she at length succeeded 
in inducing him to take the habit of St. Francis, in which he 
lived and died holily. 

Amongst many other miraculous visions and favors, blessed 
Lucy was visibly marked with the Sacred Stigmata. She was 
held in great esteem for her sanctity and miracles, and for her 
spirit of prophecy. But Our Blessed Lord loved His faithful 
spouse too well to leave her without a large share in His own 
chalice of suffering. Accordingly, after the death of her patron, 
the Duke of Ferrara, some members of the Community whom 
she had occasion to reprove for their evil lives, conspired 
against her, and by their calumnies, which were believed by the 
superiors of the Order and by the Sovereign Pontiff himself, 
procured her deposition from office. She was made to take 
the lowest place, deprived of any voice in the affairs of the 
convent she had founded, forbidden to go out of the house or 
to speak with seculars, or even to her confessor, in whose place 
another confessor was assigned her who was prejudiced against 
her. For the remaining thirty-eight years of her life blessed 
Lucy thus remained beneath the shadow of the Cross, often 
afflicted also in body by serious illness in which she received 
no assistance from the Community, who had allowed them 
selves to be so strangely blinded to her true character. But 
Our Blessed Lord sent His Saints to visit and console her from 
Heaven and, on one occasion miraculously transported blessed 
Catherine of Raconigi, who was then living, from her home in 
Savoy, to spend the night in the cell of blessed Lucy, whom 
she had ardently desired to see. 

The end came at last on the I5th of November, A. D. 1544. 
Having received the Last Sacraments and, with the joyful cry 
on her lips, "Away, away to Heaven !" she happily departed to 
her Spouse, whilst angelic melodies floated in the air around. 
Then the eyes of her sisters were opened, and they buried her 
with great honor. Many miracles followed after her death, 
and she was beatified bv Benedict XIII. 



3 o8 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

THE STABAT MATER OF THE CRIB 
Stabat Mater speciosa juxtum fenum gaudiosa, Dum jacebat parvulus. 

Stands the Mother more than beauteous 

Where her blessed Christ is laid ; 
In the stable by the manger, 

Stands the loving Mother-maid. 

How her virgin soul is thrilling, 

Thrilling with unearthly bliss ! 
She hath seen Him, she hath heard Him, 

She hath felt His Infant kiss ! 

For our sins and for His nation 

He, the little Jesus lies, 
In the stable with the oxen, 

Tears are in His infant eyes. 

Nato Christo in prcesepe, 

So the white winged angels sing, 
Coming down from highest heaven 

Praises to the Crib to bring. 

Stands the holy peaceful Joseph, 
With the spotless Virgin flower, 

Speechless in their holy rapture- 
Speechless at that midnight hour. 

Make me feel the pain He suffers, 

From the cradle to the grave 
Who in that poor stable lying, 

Comes from heaven my soul to save. 

Bind me close and ever closer, 

To that Babe of Bethlehem, 
To the gentle Jesulino, 

Love must find new names for Him. 

And when dying, let me see Him, 

Let me clasp Him to my breast; 
Loving, living, dying, 

Let me go to endless rest. 

Annie R. Bennett, nee Gladstone. 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 309 



APPARITION 

OF 

OUR LADY OF THE GOLDEN SHEAF 
AMMERSCHWIHR, FRANCE 

1491 

Ave Maria! tis the evening hymn, 

Of many pilgrims on the land and sea; 

Soon as the day withdraws, and two or three 

Faint stars are urning, all whose eyes are dim 

With tears or watching, all of weary limb; 

Or troubled spirit yield the bended knee, 

And find, O Virgin life, repose in thee. 

T. W. Parsons. 

AR off beyond "the blue Alsacian mountains," in 
the former department of the Haut-Rhin, where 
the dark ridges of the Vosges Montagnes look 
down on the smiling plains of our ever-loved and 
mourned Alsace, lies the quiet village of Ammerschwihr. It is 
half hidden on the wooded hillside, unknown to the ordinary 
traveler, loved by all the country round for Mary s Shrine. 
This venerable French sanctuary is now all the more revered, 
as it seems that, despite the right of conquest, the hallowed 
spot must still remain la terre de France. French, in truth, 
have ever been the hearts of those who pour forth their fervent 
prayers at the Shrine situated on the very limits of the two 
rival nations on the long boundary line, where the slender 
stakes, placed at intervals all along the frontier, alone mark the 
separation of the fair land of France Regninn Maries from 
the territory of her conqueror. 

Very simple, but charming in its poetry and simplicity, is the 
legend attached to this old sanctuary. In 1491 a country 
laborer was bitten by a serpent, as he passed along a path on 
the hillside, returning from his day s mowing. He died from 
the effects of the bite ; and his pious widow placed a statue of 




310 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

Our Lady of Compassion in the trunk of the oak tree near 
which her husband had met with the accident, together with an 
appeal to passing travelers to pray, on that spot, for the repose 
of his soul. 

A short time after, on the I4th of September of the same 
year, a blacksmith, named Thierry Schoere, on his way to the 
neighboring town of Morschwihr, stopped to pray before the 
statue. Scarce had he begun his devotions when Mary, in all 
her heavenly glory, appeared to him. She said : "My son, the 
people of the country around have aroused the anger of God 
by their sins ; and if they do not repent, many scourges will 
come upon them. The ice you see in my hand is an image of 
the hail ready to fall in all seasons, and destroy the harvests; 
whereas the stalk of corn, with its three ears, which I carry in 
the other hand, shows the time of fertility, and the blessings 
ready to be showered on the country if the people repent. Rise, 
go to Morschwihr, and tell the people what you have seen and 
heard." "But, Lady," said Schoere, "no one will believe me." 
"Nearly all will believe you," answered the celestial visitor, as 
she disappeared. 

The blacksmith felt both deeply touched and greatly troubled 
wishing to obey the Queen of Heaven, and dreading the ridi 
cule of the people. He went to the town, and there fear tri 
umphed. His purchase of wheat being completed, he was 
about to return home, without having spoken of the celestial 
Apparition, when, to his astonishment, he found it utterly im 
possible to lift his bags of grain. Despite all his efforts, and 
those of the friendly neighbors who hastened to assist him, the 
bags remained hopelessly fixed to the ground. Understanding 
the wonder as a merciful warning, Schoere hastened to relate 
the vision. The priests and magistrates believed him ; the peo 
ple did penance ; and, in remembrance of the heavenly admoni 
tion, a chapel was erected on the hillside and dedicated to Our 
Lady of the Golden Sheaf. It became a popular sanctuary, and 
was favored some years later by a great miracle. 

One morning a wretched man received Holy Communion in 
the chapel, for the sole purpose of profaning the Sacred Host. 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 



Scarcely had he received the Bread of Life when he left the 
chapel, and threw the Host into the grass outside. Instantly 
a stalk of wheat, bearing three ears, sprang up, and the Sacred 
Host settled on the miraculous stem. A swarm of bees flew 
to the spot, and wove a beautiful network around the Host, thus 
forming a waxen ostensorium; while angel voices filled the 
air, entrancing those who witnessed the prodigy. The Father 
guardian of the sanctuary, having been summoned, carried the 
Sacred Host to Its resting-place in the tabernacle. 

The pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of the Golden 
Sheaf became one of the most celebrated in Alsace. In 1636 the 
passage of the Swedes arrested her triumphs for a time. The 
cruel invaders burned her sanctuary ; but, strange to say, Mary s 
statues one an earthen image, the other carved in wood were 
found, later on, beneath the ruins, both uninjured in the least. 
The earthen statue was the original image placed in the oak 
by the pious widow, and still exists in the chapel built in 1656 
by Monsieur du Lys, a canon of St. Die, who belonged to the 
family of the Venerable Jehanne de Lorraine. 

Owing to the efforts of this holy priest, the Alsacian pil 
grimage was happily revived. After his death the Capuchins 
of Colmar took charge of the sanctuary till the Revolution. 
Then the two statues were transferred, for greater security, 
to the parish church; and the inhabitants of Ammerschwihr 
bought the chapel, thus preserving it from destruction. In 1804 
pious pilgrims sought out the venerated Shrine, and soon Our 
Lady of the Golden Sheaf beheld her children at her feet once 
more. Since 1842 the sanctuary has been cared for by mis 
sionaries, and each year at least 30,000 pilgrims visit the Shrine. 

May Our Lady of the Golden Sheaf hear the fervent prayers 
offered by so many devoted hearts among the children of her 
own favored nation ! May their loving hopes be one day real 
ized ; and may her faithful clients, in the near future, surround 
their Mother s Shrine in their own country, and no longer be 
obliged to seek it in a stranger s land. 



312 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 



"VICTIMAE PASCHALI" 

(Selected for the New York Times by Archbishop Martinelli, as 
the best Easter verse in the Roman Catholic Ritual.) 

Forth to the paschal Victim, Christians, bring 
Your sacrifice of praise : 
The Lamb redeems the sheep : 

And Christ, the sinless One, 

Hath to the Father sinners reconciled. 
Together, Death and Life 

In the strange conflict strove; 

The Prince of Life, Who died, 

Now lives and reigns. 
What thou sawest, Mary, say, 

As thou wentest on the way. 

I saw the tomb wherein the Living One had lain; 

I saw his glory as He rose again ; 

Napkin and linen cloths, and angels twain : 

Yea, Christ is risen, my hope, and He 

Will go before you into Galilee. 

We know that Christ indeed has risen from the grave: 
Hail, thou King of Victory! 
Have mercy, Lord, and save. 

Cardinal Martinelli. 



MEMORARE OR PRAYER OF ST. BERNARD 

Remember, O most loving Virgin Mary, that it is a thing 
unheard of that anyone ever had recourse to thy protection, im 
plored thy help, and sought thy intercession, and was left for 
saken. Filled, therefore, with confidence in thy goodness, I fly 
to thee, O Mother, Virgin of virgins; to thee I come, before 
thee I stand, a sorrowful sinner. Despise not my words, O 
Mother of the Word ; but graciously hear and grant my prayer. 
Amen. 

300 days. Plenary once a month. 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 313 

APPARITION 

TO 

B. CATHARINE OF RACONIGI, V.O.S.D. 
RACONIGI, ITALY 

1500 

As kneeling day by day 
We to our Father duteous pray, 
So unforbidden we may speak, 
An Ave to Christ s Mother meek. 

John Keble. 




LESSED Catharine was born at Raconigi in Pied 
mont, Italy, A. D. 1486. The place of her birth was 
an old half-ruined hut, exposed to all the inclem 
ency of the weather, for her parents had been re 
duced to extreme poverty in consequence of the war then raging 
between the Duke of Savoy and the Marquis of Saluzzo. The 
child had to suffer many hardships from her infancy, but she 
bore all with patience, and even in those tender years was hon 
ored with many wonderful tokens of the Divine favor. One 
day she broke a cup which her mother greatly valued, and, as 
she was weeping inconsolably in fear of being punished, a beau 
tiful child suddenly appeared in the room, picked up the broken 
pieces, and restored the cup to her whole and entire, and then 
vanished from her sight. At the age of five, Our Blessed Lady 
mystically espoused her to the Infant Jesus, in presence of many 
angels and Saints, and in particular of St. Jerome, St. Peter 
Martyr, and St. Catharine of Siena. On that occasion Our 
Divine Lord gave these three Saints to her as her special 
patrons and protectors, and also commanded a seraph to watch 
over her for the remainder of her life, in addition to the angel 
who had guarded her from her birth. Her heavenly espousals 
with the Beloved of her soul were renewed on two subsequent 
occasions with circumstances of great solemnity. 
When she was fourteen, as she was praying earnestly before 



3H APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

daybreak on the Feast of St. Stephen, and telling that glorious 
Protomartyr that the Apostles had especially given women into 
his keeping, and that therefore she hoped he would take her 
under his protection and help her to preserve her virginity, he 
appeared to her, bidding her be of good courage, for her prayer 
was heard, and she should presently be filled with the grace of 
the Holy Spirit. Then three rays of light descended upon her, 
and she heard a voice saying : "I am come to dwell with thee, 
and to purge, illuminate, enkindle, and animate thy soul." Nor 
was this the only time on which she visibly received the Holy 
Ghost. He had come upon her in the form of a dove when she 
was only five years old; and He came on two later occasions, 
once as a shining cloud, and again under the form of tongues 
of fire. 

One Christmas night, as she was meditating on the birth of 
the Divine Infant, the seraph who had been given as her guar 
dian transported her to Bethlehem, where she beheld the Holy 
Child in vision, and was permitted to take Him into her arms 
and caress Him. Several times her Divine Spouse took her 
heart out of her body to cleanse and beautify it, as He had done 
to her patroness, St. Catharine of Siena. Indeed, the tokens 
of Divine favor granted to her bore a strong resemblance to 
those bestowed on the seraphic Saint of Siena, and the whole 
character of the sanctity of both was, so to speak, cast in the 
same mould. 

Like St. Catharine, she became a member of the Third Order 
of St. Dominic, still continuing to live amongst seculars ; like 
her, too, she received the impression of the sacred Stigmata, 
which, by her own request, were invisible to the eyes of others. 
She was permitted to share in the sufferings caused to her 
Divine Spouse by His crown of thorns ; she often received Holy 
Communion in a miraculous manner; and, like St. Thomas 
Aquinas, she was girded by the hands of angels. The words, 
"Jesu, spes mea," "J esus my hope," were several times in 
scribed in letters of gold upon her heart. 

And all the while this wonderful life of visions and raptures 
was being lived, blessed Catharine s surroundings were those of 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 31$ 

a poor peasant woman, obliged to work hard to earn daily bread 
for herself and her family. She would sometimes feel tempted 
to repine at being thus continually kept at her weaving with 
out a minute s respite ; and once, when she was only nine years 
old, as she thought of the hunger and want her poor mother 
had to endure, she leant her head on her loom and burst into 
tears, fervently commending the misery of her home to the 
providence of God. Then her Divine Spouse appeared to her 
under the form of a child as forlorn and destitute as herself 
and asked an alms of her. She answered, that, much as she 
would have desired to help Him, she had not a single thing on 
earth that she could bestow. Then the Holy Child made Him 
self known to her, gave her a piece of money to provide food 
for the family, and encouraged her to bear poverty cheerfully 
after His example. 

As a true daughter of St. Dominic, blessed Catharine was 
full of zeal for souls, and once besought her Divine Spouse 
to shut the gates of Hell. When told that her desire was an 
impossible one, she implored that He would exercise His justice 
on herself and have compassion on poor sinners. She was 
often taken in a miraculous manner to visit persons who lived 
at a great distance from her home, that she might warn them 
of the spiritual dangers which threatened them. By her prayers 
and penances she obtained the release of many souls from 
Purgatory, and she was sometimes permitted to take their suf 
ferings upon herself, and thus to hasten their admission to the 
joys of Paradise. 

After a life of wonderful union with God and entire self- 
renunciation, she died, abandoned by her friends and deprived 
even of her confessor, on September 4, A.D. 1547, in her sixty- 
second year. She was beatified by Pius VII. 

We read in the life of B. Catharine de Raconigi that, one 
day, when suffering so intensely as to need the assistance of 
her sisters in religion, she thought of the souls in Purgatory, 
and, to temper the heat of their flames, she offered to God the 
burning heat of her fever. At that moment, being rapt in 
ecstasy, she was conducted in spirit into the place of expiation, 



316 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

where she saw the flames and braziers in which the souls are 
purified in great torture. Whilst contemplating, full of com 
passion, this piteous spectacle, she heard a voice which said 
to her : "Catharine, in order that you may procure most effica 
ciously the deliverance of these souls, you shall participate, in 
some manner, in their torments." At that same moment a spark 
detached itself from the fire and settled upon her left cheek. 
The sisters present saw the spark distinctly, and saw also with 
horror that the face of the sick person was frightfully swollen. 
She lived several days in this state, and, as B. Catharine told 
her sisters, the suffering caused by that simple spark far sur 
passed all that she had previously endured in the most pain 
ful maladies. Until that time Catharine had always devoted 
herself with charity to the relief of the souls in Purgatory, but 
from thenceforward she redoubled her fervor to hasten their 
deliverance, because she knew by experience the great need in 
which they stood of her assistance. 

THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION 

Because them wert the flower wherein 
Heaven s holiest Dew would one day rest; 

Because upon thy lily heart 
Would hide, ere long, the Perfect Guest, 

Lo! God kept sin apart from thee, 

Lest sin should taint Christ s purity. 

Because thou wert ordained to be 

The cup to hold the Living Wine; 
Because upon thy breast alone 

Would rest the Christ-child s head Divine, 
God did preserve thee pure within, 
Immaculate, unknown to sin. 

O perfect flower, wherein was laid 

The perfect Gift, God s only Son! 
O matchless lily, on whose heart 

Slept peacefully the Matchless One, 
There was no flower on earth like thee 
To woo from heaven Divinity ! 

Charles Hanson Toume. 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 3 7 



APPARITION 

TO 

B. MAGDALEN PANNATIERI, V O.S.D. 
TRINO, ITALY 

1503 

Oh, Mother! Blessed Mother, pray forgive 
My wayward heart, and teach me how to live 
A Christian life, so pleasing in thy sight, 
That, day by day, I may receive the light 
Which shines in hearts of those who love thee well, 
And learn at sorrow never to rebel. 

Elliot Ryder. 




LESSED MAGDALEN PANNATIERI was born 
at Trino, in the north of Italy, A.D. 1443. She 
was richly gifted, both by nature and grace, and 
received an excellent education. Whilst still a 
child, she chose Jesus Christ for her Spouse, and bound herself 
to Him by a vow of perpetual virginity, endeavoring to keep 
her heart detached from all earthly things. Desiring to con 
secrate herself more entirely to the Beloved of her soul, she 
took the habit of the Third Order whilst very young and strove 
to make her life resemble those of St. Dominic and St. Cathar 
ine of Siena. She practised severe fasts all the year, dis 
ciplined herself to blood every night, wore a rough hair-shirt, 
and took her scanty rest on the bare ground, spending the 
greater part of her time in fervent prayer. 

She was favored with frequent raptures and apparitions ; on 
every festival she was granted a vision of the mystery or of the 
Saint honored by the Church on that day. This was particu 
larly the case in Holy Week, when she was admitted to a mys 
terious and visible participation in the sufferings of her Divine 
Spouse, and in Easter Week, when her countenance appeared 
radiant with celestial light. Our Blessed Lady often manifested 



318 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

herself to her and laid the Divine Child in her arms. She was 
frequently visited by the holy Apostles, SS. Peter and Paul, to 
whom she had a special devotion. Many times she was taken 
in spirit to the holy places of Palestine, of which she was able 
to give a minute and accurate description. She assured her 
confessor that she had never asked anything of our Lord or 
of His Blessed Mother which had not been granted to her, 
either wholly or in part, according to the fervor of her sup 
plication. God bestow r ed on her the gift of miracles and of 
prophecy, and made known to her the terrible calamities which 
were threatening her native country in the wars between the 
French king Francis L, and the Emperor Charles V., who made 
Northern Italy their battle ground. By her fervent supplica 
tions she succeeded in averting the Divine wrath from her own 
village of Trino. 

The heroic sanctity of blessed Magdalen and the ardent zeal 
with which, as a true daughter of St. Dominic, she devoted 
herself in procuring the salvation of souls, made her a special 
object of hatred to the devil, who was permitted to assail her 
with many and grievous temptations, and even to appear to her, 
scourging and tormenting her in a horrible manner. But her 
courage in the midst of these infernal attacks was undaunted. 
Blessed Magdalen had a very special devotion to the Most Holy 
Name of Jesus. The Passion of her Divine Spouse was the 
frequent subject of her contemplation, and she longed to un 
dergo pain and humiliation for Him who had suffered so much 
and been so deeply humbled for her. 

After spending the morning in adoration of the Blessed Sac 
rament, she was accustomed daily to visit all the sick in the vil 
lage, ministering to their spiritual and temporal needs with the 
utmost charity. She loved to serve her Divine Spouse in the 
person of His poor. She would entertain them at her table, 
even when they were suffering from the most loathsome dis 
eases, serving them herself, and making her own meal on the 
leavings of their repast. She had a wonderful gift of influ 
encing others, and spoke with such sweetness and efficacy that 
people were never weary of listening to her holy exhortations. 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 319 

When she knew that the end of her earthly pilgrimage was 
near, she summoned all the Sisters of the Third Order around 
her, humbly begged their pardon for any offence or bad ex 
ample she might have given them, earnestly exhorting them to 
mutual charity and the observance of their Rule, and bade them 
an affectionate farewell, promising to be mindful of them in the 
presence of their Heavenly Spouse, whom she hoped shortly to 
behold face to face. When the news of her illness spread 
abroad, people came in crowds from all the surrounding coun 
try, anxious to see and speak to her once more and to commend 
themselves to her prayers. She welcomed them all with tender 
charity and gave them wise and holy counsels. 

Suddenly the servant of God, fixing her eyes on one corner of 
the chamber in which she lay, bade the bystanders make room 
for heavenly visitors. She then seemed to be rapt in ecstasy, 
her countenance radiant with joy. Those who knelt around 
could see nothing, but were conscious of a celestial fragrance 
which perfumed the air. When blessed Magdalen came to her 
self, she told her confessor that our Lord and His Blessed 
Mother had been to visit her, accompanied by St. Catharine the 
Martyr and several Saints of the Order. She then made her 
general confession and received the Last Sacraments with the 
deepest sentiments of contrition and devotion ; after which she 
sweetly intoned the hymns Jesu nostra redemptio and Ave 
Maris Stella, which she sang throughout in company with those 
who were assisting at this holy and happy death bed, as also 
the psalm : "In Thee, O Lord, have I hoped," as far as the 
words : "Into Thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit." The 
same celestial fragrance again perfumed the air, announcing 
that our Lord had fulfilled the promise made to His servant 
that He would come again with His Blessed Mother and the 
Saints and take her to Himself ; and blessed Magdalen calmly 
breathed forth her soul to Him. It was the I3th of October, 
A.D. 1503. Her death was followed by many miracles, and she 
was beatified by Leo XII. 



320 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 



HYMN TO THE VIRGIN 

Ave Maria ! maiden mild, 

Listen to a maiden s prayer; 
Thou canst hear, though from the wild ; 

Thou canst save amid despair. 
Safe may we sleep beneath thy care, 

Though banished, outcast, and reviled 
Maiden! hear a maiden s prayer, 

Mother, hear a suppliant child! 

Ave Maria! 

Ave Maria ! undefiled ! 

The flinty couch we now must share, 
Shall seem with down of eider piled, 

If thy protection hover there. 
The murky cavern s heavy air 

Shall breathe of balm if thou hast smiled, 
Then Maiden ! hear a maiden s prayer ; 

Mother, list a suppliant child ! 

Ave Maria ! 

Ave Maria! stainless styled, 

Foul demons of the earth and air, 
From this their wonted haunt exiled, 

Shall flee before thy presence fair. 
We bow us to our lot of care 

Beneath thy guidance reconciled; 
Hear for a maid a maiden s prayer, 

And for a father hear a child ! 

Ave Maria ! 

Sir Walter Scott. 




HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 321 



APPARITION 

TO 

BLESSED OSANNA, V.O.S.D. 
MANTUA, ITALY 

1504 

True Gate of Heaven! As light through glass 

So He who never left the sky 
To this low earth was pleased to pass, 

Through thine unstained Virginity. 

Aubrey de Vere. 




LESSED OSANNA was born of wealthy parents 
at Mantua, Italy, A.D. 1449. When she was six 
years old, the family went to spend the summer in 
the country. One day as little Osanna was wan 
dering alone in the meadows by the riverside, an angel appeared 
to her and instructed her in the love of God, saying to her: 
"See how every creature proclaims with all its might, Love 
God, all ye dwellers on the earth, for He hath made all things 
in order to win your love/ " Soon afterwards our Lord Him 
self met her on the same spot in the form of a lovely child, 
with a crown of thorns upon His head, and bearing on His 
shoulders a heavy Cross. 

"My beloved child," said He to Osanna, "I am the Son of 
the Virgin Mary and thy Creator. I have always loved chil 
dren, because their hearts are pure. I willingly admit virgins 
as My spouses ; I guard their virginity ; and when they call upon 
Me with the words, O Good Jesus, I instantly come to their 
assistance." This vision was the call to Osanna to follow her 
Divine Spouse in the path of His sufferings, and she responded 
to it by an act of entire consecration of herself to His Will. 
It was her ardent desire to dedicate herself solemnly to God s 
service in some convent, but, after many negotiations for this 
object had failed, it was revealed to her that she was not to 



322 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

enter the cloister, but to sanctify herself in the world, as a 
Tertiary of the Order of St. Dominic. This determination 
caused great grief to her parents ; nor was it until a dangerous 
illness had brought her to the brink of the grave that they 
would consent to her receiving the habit, which she at last did 
at the age of fourteen. It was not, however, permitted to her 
for a long series of years to make her solemn profession. She 
constantly longed for this happiness, but, understanding that 
the obstacles which were continually raised against it were or 
dained by God for her greater perfection, she humbly sub 
mitted herself to His Divine Will. It was not until she had 
attained the age of fifty-five, that, in the last year of her life, 
she at length publicly bound herself by the vows of religion. 
She had, however, at the time of her clothing, made a private 
vow of obedience, and would never do the slightest thing with 
out the leave of those who were placed over her. 

Blessed Osanna was favored with continual raptures and 
ecstasies in prayer, which she was unable to conceal from the 
busy eyes of the curious, and these heavenly favors were made 
a constant subject of reproof and persecution. The other Ter- 
tiaries persisted in regarding them as nothing but a voluntary 
affectation of sanctity, and threatened to deprive her of the 
habit unless they ceased. They also murmured greatly because, 
as the fame of her sanctity spread, persons of rank thronged 
about her to ask her counsel or to gratify their curiosity. But 
Osanna s patience and humility were never in the least dis 
turbed. Her Divine Spouse had made known to her, as in 
earlier times to St. Catharine of Siena, and later to blessed 
Margaret Mary, the secret of His Heart ; and we are expressly 
told that it was to that never-failing fountain of consolation 
that she had recourse whenever tribulation pressed heavily upon 
her. And, when prevented from approaching the Sacrament 
of Penance as often as she would have wished, she confessed 
her daily frailties to her Good Jesus, as she loved to call Him. 

The nuptials with the Beloved of her soul, which she so ar 
dently desired to accomplish by her profession, and which were 
in that manner delayed for so many years, were mystically sol- 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 323 

emnized in the presence of the Mother of God and the whole 
court of Heaven. This and other spiritual favors more and 
more increased the fire of Divine love which burnt within her 
and filled her with an equally ardent desire to suffer. Grieving 
that she could not be more conformed to the likeness of her 
crucified Lord, she one day cast herself at His feet, exclaiming : 
"O my only Love! Must the thorns then be for Thee alone, 
the nails and the Cross ; and for me sweetness and consolation ? 
Ah ! not so. I will not share Thy glory unless Thou make me 
also share Thy pains." And thus for two years she incessantly 
besought the Eternal goodness to grant her that which her soul 
longed after, a conformity of suffering. Then at length the 
crown of thorns was granted to her, and, later on, the sacred 
Stigmata. At each of these heavenly favors, the agony of her 
mortal frame increased to an almost inconceivable extent ; yet 
still she was not satisfied. A longing arose in her heart to 
share in those unknown and awful sufferings which filled the 
heart of Jesus whilst He hung upon the Cross. Then, in an 
swer to her prayer, her Divine Spouse plunged into her loving 
heart a long and terrible nail. The agony of this transfixion 
must have caused her death, had not the same Divine hand 
relieved her; but this cutting and dividing of her heart was 
often repeated in after years, in answer to her unsatisfied en 
treaties. During this life of mysterious suffering, Osanna 
ceased not to labor for the souls of others by prayer and works 
of charity, and often offered her body and soul to God to re 
ceive the chastisement due to inveterate sinners or to the poor 
souls in Purgatory. 

Her approaching death was announced to her four years pre 
viously by blessed Columba of Rieti, who appeared to her in 
great glory at the moment of her own departure out of this 
life. 

The death of blessed Osanna took place on the i8th of June, 
A.D. 1505. Three years afterwards her body was still incor 
rupt. Leo X. gave permission for her feast to be celebrated in 
the diocese of Mantua, and this privilege was extended to the 
Dominican Order by Innocent XII, 



324 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 



IMMACULATE CONCEPTION 

Guide thou my pen, O Mother, best and dearest; 

For how can sinner write on theme so high? 
Inspire my heart with visions brightest, clearest, 

For nothing will be hard if thou art nigh. 

Speak to my soul, and tell the wondrous story, 
How God forever marked thee as His Own 

Fair Vessel that should hold such floods of glory, 
Yea, hold Himself, the great Eternal One. 

And pure He destined thee, and pure preserved thee, 

In soul and body bright, Immaculate;; 
From the dread curse original reserved thee, 

One Pearl amid a world so desolate. 

Bravely, O Mother, has thy heart responded; 

Well hast thou treasured every loving grace; 
Never, for one brief hour, hast thou desponded, 

Or shrunk from the stern duties of thy place. 

From first to last, in holy trust believing 
Things that were far beyond all human lore, 

From first to last, yet higher gifts receiving, 
And offering up to God the fruit they bore. 

Thy heart is one vast field for meditation: 
Mother, I write no more I can but pray; 

And raise my heart in grateful adoration 
To Him who worketh in a wondrous way. 

Mother, look down in holiest compassion 
On those who will not see how dear thou art: 

Drive far from them the clouds of pride and passion, 
And join us all within thy loving heart. 

Lady Catherine Petre. 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 



325 




RAPHAEL S FAMOUS MADONNA 
OF ST. ANTHONY OF PADUA 

1506 

No wonder painters rave and men go wild, 
O er Raphael s Madonna and the Child; 
For what can tell a tale of perfect bliss, 
If not the blending trust and love in this. 

The Overland Monthly. 

HE picture measures 96 by 67 inches. The Blessed 
Virgin forms the center of the principal panel. 
She is seated on a richly adorned throne, and her 
dress consists of a red robe and a blue mantle 
worked with gold. 

On her right knee she holds the Infant Saviour, who is 
clothed in a white tunic edged with blue; embroidered on the 
shoulder of the tunic is the parti-colored Scapular of St. An 
thony of Padua. The Holy Child wears also a blue cloak and 
a brown belt. 

There is an expression of tender feeling depicted on the face 
of the Virgin Mother as she looks down at the little St. John 
who is standing by her other knee. He is dressed in a shirt of 
camel s hair and robes of green, gold and purple. With folded 
hands he is looking up lovingly at the Divine Infant, who an 
swers with a blessing. 

At either side stand the Saints Catherine and Cecilia, and 
in front of them are St. Peter and St. Paul, each holding an 
open book. A conspicuous feature in all these figures is their 
monumental attitudes and the grand style of their draperies. 

The picture has always been considered a gem of art, and 
it is now further distinguished by bringing the highest price 
ever paid for a canvas. 



326 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 



RAPHAEL THE DIVINE 

The news from the Old World that one of our American 
money kings has purchased a Raphael Madonna for a half mil 
lion dollars creates a sensation in art circles that sends a ripple 
of interest even out into the midst of the "madding crowd." 

Five hundred thousand dollars for a picture but what a 
picture ! A celebrated Madonna by Raphael "the Divine." 
Our estimation of the almighty dollar goes up a bit. Money, 
enough of it to buy a famous Madonna, is something worth 
having, after all. 

The Paris despatch tells us that the picture in question was 
painted by Raphael in 1505, for the Convent of St. Anthony of 
Padua at Perugia. It was guarded by the nuns for one hun 
dred and seventy years, and then, in order to pay the debts of 
the institution, they parted with their treasure. It passed into 
the hands of the Colonnas, a princely Italian family. For one 
hundred and twenty years it was in the private gallery of the 
Colonnas. In 1802 it left their gallery for that of Ferdinand, 
King of Naples. It shared the changing fortunes of that mon 
arch, and after his death it was sold to M. Sedelmeyer, from 
whom it was recently purchased by our great magnate, J. Pier- 
pont Morgan, for $500,000. 

Not since the Ansidei Madonna was sold from the Blenheim 
collection to the British National Gallery in 1884, at a cost of 
over three hundred thousand dollars, has such a sum of money 
changed hands at the sale of any one picture. 

Even those of us who have but gathered of the crumbs and 
fragments that fall by the way from the beautiful art world, 
must feel our hearts burn with longing to know more of the 
life and the work of this great painter of Madonnas, called by 
those of his own generation "Raphael the Divine." And is he 
not divine ? This great master of art, in whose pictures of the 
Madonnas "there prevails now the loving mother, now the ideal 
of feminine beauty . . . until he reaches the most glorious 
representation of the Queen of Heaven." 




MYSTIC MARRIAGE OF ST. CATHERINE 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 327 

Many connoisseurs have divided the works of Raphael into 
three classes : his first style, when under the influence of his 
instructors manner; his second, when he painted in Florence, 
and his third style, distinguishable in his works executed after 
he settled in Rome. The first manner is said to embody the 
greatest purity and religious feeling; his last is held to have 
attained the highest art, while his middle, or Florentine style, 
exemplifies his powers freed from the manner of his instructors 
and as yet untainted by conventionalism of classic art. The 
Madonna now in J. Pierpont Morgan s possession is after the 
Florentine style. 

From the Plan Book, a work of public instruction, the fol 
lowing interesting items are taken : 

"Most of us know and love that most beautiful and famous 
of all the Madonnas, the Sistine Madonna, and the Madonna 
of the Chair, but how many of us know anything of the artist 
who produced these masterpieces? Fie is said to have lived 
the most perfect life and to have been most generally beloved 
and praised of all the painters in the world. It is easy to be 
lieve this when we look at his pictures and see his thoughts 
pictured on canvas." 

The writer tells us of Raphael s birthplace, Urbino, a little 
town nestled among the Apenine Mountains, a section noted 
for its landscape beauty. The house where he was born still 
stands, and from its windows you can see the Adriatic Sea. We 
are told of his father, who was an artist and a poet, and of the 
mother, "a woman of unusual sweetness of disposition and 
beauty of character." His home life was an ideal one, and 
everywhere around him, in sky and sea and land, was beauty, 
and the child Raphael s soul felt the impress. But when he was 
twelve years of age he was left an orphan, and as he had shown 
talent in painting, he was sent by his uncle to a painter by the 
name of Perugino, who had a studio in Perugia, a town not far 
from Urbino. When this artist saw the work of Raphael, he 
was much pleased and exclaimed : "Let him be my pupil ; he 
will soon become my master." Raphael remained nine years 
in the studio in Perugia. He returned to Urbino only to remain 



328 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

but a brief season. He had heard of Florence, its beautiful art 
treasures, and he longed to go there. At last this wish was 
realized. A lady who was much interested in the genius of the 
young painter gave him a letter to the Governor of Florence, 
asking that he be allowed to see the art treasures of the city. 

"While Raphael was painting Madonnas in Florence," con 
tinues the narrator, "a great honor came to him. The Pope 
called him to Rome. He was given the commission to decorate 
buildings which belonged to St. Peter s and apartments of the 
Vatican." 

Much stress is laid upon the sweetness and gentleness of the 
character of Raphael by the writer, and his exceeding humility 
is particularly emphasized. On one occasion, when Pope Julius 
II. directed that certain frescoes should be erased and their 
places rilled by Raphael Raphael, forgetting the honor to his 
own genius, set about copying as many as possible of the por 
traits ordered to be destroyed. 

Our Lady s special artist, her painter in ordinary, is Raphael. 
"No artist," writes Darras, "has painted the Blessed Virgin 
with more affection. It would seem that Raphael had conse 
crated his genius to the Mother of God; and of the manifold 
forms in which he has depicted her blessed image, there is not 
one before which we do not feel constrained to kneel." 

"The mere collection of all the Virgins painted or even de 
signed by Raphael," says Quartremere de Quincy, "and the de 
tail of the variations which he introduced into his compositions, 
would form an abridged history of his genius." 

At the approach of death, his love for his Blessed Mother 
grew more ardent and more confiding than ever. He expressed 
the desire of being buried in the Church of Sancta Maria ad 
Martyres (the former Pantheon), and added a wish that a 
marble statue of Our Lady should be placed above his tomb. 
Finally, on Good Friday, in 1520, fortified by the Sacraments 
of the Church, and loyally reliant on the good offices of Her to 
whom in childhood he had been dedicated, and whom he had 
so often glorified during his brief career, the artist-servant of 
Mary passed away. 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 329 

Raphael died on his thirty-seventh birthday, and all the city 
mourned for its best loved artist, for it is said he had friends 
in every class of people. "By prince and peasant he was uni 
versally beloved," is chronicled of him. "He had," writes one, 
"what every living person may have, a spirit that did not find 
fault; lips that spoke no censure of anyone, but praise where 
praise was possible, and such self-control that not an enemy 
was ever made by his temper or lack of consideration for 
others." 

So far we have glimpsed our painter through non-Catholic 
eyes ; now let us turn to the writings of Eliza Allen Starr, and 
view him through the Catholic vision, with the halo of his re 
ligion about him. Of his home she writes : 

"Come with me to it; knock at the modest door; enter the 
spacious but unostentatious apartments. Still better, meet there 
the pious, affable poet and painter, Giovanni Santi ; his lovely, 
gentle, pious wife and the angelic boy, to whom they gave so 
fitly the name of Raphael; from his very birth an angel of 
beauty, of amiability, of tender piety. But the atmosphere of 
the home how shall we describe it ? An atmosphere of peace, 
for it was an atmosphere in which Giovanni Santi could paint 
Madonnas. The favorite pastime of the little Raphael was to 
play with the brushes and colors in his father s studio, and his 
first recollection went back to some Madonna on his father s 
easel. The life led by this family of the Strada Del Monte 
was not only a good Christian life, but an ideal Christian life. 
Saints and angels, their feasts, their patronage came into the 
daily routine of the household, which was not content with the 
crumbs dropped from the Christian table, but sat as guests at 
the board and partook of its heavenly delights. That charm 
which invests the dogmas, the practices of a Christian s year 
and a Christian s week, and even hour ; which makes the sound 
of the Angelus bell so dear and the recitation of the Angelus 
so consoling; which makes the Rosary a veritable string of 
meditations as beautiful, as poetic as the roses of Persia; this 
charm was felt and understood and fully valued by the family 
of the Santi. 



330 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

"Nothing lovelier as a merely human habitation was ever 
known on earth than this household on the Strada del Monte 
in Urbino, but this did not save it from sorrow." 

And here Miss Starr tells us of the death of the grandmother 
and that of the mother only four days later, and of the three 
years companionship between Raphael and his saintly father 
ere he, too, was taken from earth, and Raphael was left an 
orphan. We seem to enter with singular sympathy into the 
loneliness of the child as we read: At eleven years of age 
Raphael was an orphan. No one can say what was the effect 
of all this upon the imagination of the wonderful boy, to whom 
God had given what God alone can bestow, not only life, but 
the genius which vivifies the lives of others." 

And further on we read with emotions of grateful relief: 
"In the studio of Perugino all the most sacred traditions of 
Umbria were faithfully nourished in the soul of his pupil, and 
thus the aroma of his first tender years on the Strada del 
Monte was never dissipated." 

No attempt is made here to give any idea of Miss Starrs 
tributes to Raphael and his work, but simply an effort is made 
to see him surrounded by the halo of his religion, and particu 
larly that of the early influences of his pious, beautiful home 
life. And in regard to this she adds in conclusion : 

"The home in which Raphael was born, endowed with the 
heritage of Christian ideality, may well excite the emulation 
of the mothers and fathers of to-day. It was not the occupa 
tion of an artist, the mere handling of the implements of art, 
which made that home so attractive; so powerful, too, as an 
incentive to perfection. It was rather the sentiments of piety, 
of veneration, which guided its avocations, refined its manners, 
elevated its tastes; above all, it was the faithful cherishing of 
the traditions of piety which had come down with the ages, 
and which made each generation a participator in the heroism, 
the sanctity of all which had gone before, even to the Apostolic 
day and generation. It is only in such a society that such 
works as the Madonnas of Raphael can be produced, or even 
appreciated. We must come as they came, loving worshipers 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 331 

to the Crib of the Babe of Bethlehem. We must kneel there 
with Mary and Joseph, St. John Baptist and Elizabeth, if we 
would enter into our possession as Christians of that poetry in 
art which is an exponent of the highest faith as well as of the 
highest culture." 

Raphael s "Sistine Madonna" is always mentioned among 
the greatest pictures of the world, and some places is at the 
head of the list. The Mother with the beautiful Christ Child 
in her arms stands upon the clouds. On one side is St. Bar 
bara ; on the other, St. Sixtus. At her feet are two little 
cherubs with unlifted eyes. The legends regarding these lovely 
cherubs will probably interest my young readers more than 
those relating to St. Sixtus or St. Barbara. The legends dis 
agree ; each can choose for himself which to accept as the origin 
of the beautiful little faces. 

According to one legend, when the great artist was painting 
this picture two pretty boys watched him as he worked, in the 
attitudes of the cherubs, and so the thought came to him to 
place them at the feet of the Madonna and Christ Child. 

Another legend tells us that when Raphael was lying in bed 
one night with his thoughts dwelling on his work, he fell asleep, 
and in a dream seemed to see these cherubs leaning on the 
footboard before him. When he awoke, this lovely dream 
haunted him, and at last became a part of his great painting. 

Another legend shows us the picture finished without the 
cherubs and hung up for exhibition with a railing before it to 
protect it from injury. It tells us that two pretty boys got be 
hind this railing and leaned upon it ; that Raphael came in, and 
seeing them, afterward added them to his picture as adoring 
cherubs. But this painting was designed by the artist for a 
standard or banner to be carried in procession and was used 
by the monks as an altar piece; so its history does not har 
monize very well with that legend. 

The story I like best to associate with the cherubs is this : 
that when Raphael was traveling over the country longing for 
some models to represent the beautiful thoughts he had in his 
mind, he saw a lovely mother with sweet twin boys looking up 



332 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

into her face with the rapt expression of the cherubs, while 
she told them the story of the Christ Child. 

The artist won the love and confidence of these boys, invited 
them to his studio, and they gladly became models for his 
famous picture. 

Several reasons are given for the name of the painting 
"Sistine Madonna/ Some say it comes from the six figures. 
Others say it is so called because it was painted for the Convent 
of St. Sixtus at Piacenza. Some think the name refers to one 
of the figures, St. Sixtus. 

This painting is now one of the treasures of the Art Gallery 
at Dresden, having been bought by Augustus III., elector of 
Saxony, of the monks of Piacenza for nearly thirty thousand 
dollars. Its value has recently been estimated at over seven 
hundred thousand dollars. 

The little tower behind St. Barbara refers to her imprison 
ment, the punishment she received for her steadfastness to the 
Christian religion. 

The halo about the Madonna and the little Child come from 
many angel faces. The curtains drawn aside suggest a vision. 

"An admirer of this painting declares with enthusiasm that 
one might study it every day for a year, and on the last day 
of the year find in it a new beauty and a new joy." Lydia 
Whitehead Wright. 



RAPHAEL S MADONNAS 

"Even after his epic work in the Vatican," Armengaud ob 
serves, "we may see that the Virgin remains the supreme cre 
ation of Raphael. Upon her he concentrated all the effort and 
all the progress of his art. His Madonnas resemble those 
Hours which he painted more or less robust or delicate accord 
ing as they go away from or draw nearer to the sun ; they gain 
redoubled force, expression, and plenitude as they approach 
the noonday of his genius that noonday which had no even 
ing. From the Virgin of Perugia to the Madonna of St. Six 
tus, Mary traverses in his work a whole armament of beauty. 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 333 

At the end Mary no longer belongs to earth ; she appears to him 
only across the incalculable distances of her Assumption. Her 
human family has given place to the saintly and angelic court ; 
her countenance lightens and becomes transfigured; the fem 
inine and motherly smiles vanish from her lips : immutable 
serenity, eternal peace, impassible felicity are the only senti 
ments that her irradiated features henceforth express." 

In the Madonna di San Sisto, Raphael has carried this form 
of composition to the highest perfection. When Sir Frederick 
Leighton was asked what work of art (as a painting) he con 
sidered the greatest in the world, he answered at once, The 
Madonna di San Sisto," adding that for grandeur of subject, 
virility and simplicity in the composition and color, and above 
all, for the poetic tenderness and grace that pervade the whole 
work, he knew of nothing as a work of art that came within 
measurable distance of it. It throbs with the thought of 
"Divinity so near to humanity, that the Son of God could be 
born of a woman and rest in the shelter of mother love." 

It is estimated that Raphael left one hundred and twenty 
pictures of Our Blessed Lady. They express in wonderful 
variation the loveliness, tenderness and purity of the Virgin 
Mother, and the beauty, grace and serene innocence of the 
Divine Child. The most celebrated of Raphael s Madonnas are 
the Madonna di Foligno, in the Vatican ; the Madonna of the 
Fish, at Madrid; the Madonna di San Sisto, at Dresden; the 
Madonna called the Pearl, at Madrid, and the lovely pastoral 
Madonnas, the Belle Jardiniere of the Louvre Gallery; the 
Madonna in the Meadow, in the Belvedere Gallery, Vienna, 
and the Madonna of the Goldfinch of the Uffizi, Florence. 



MOTHER AND CHILD 

In vesture white, the Eternal Child 
Lay on His mother s lap and smiled : 

What joy to see the longed-for sight 

Her Spotless Lily of delight, 
Her Love, her Dove, her Undefiled, 



334 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

She recked not of her anguish wild, 
The sorrow upon sorrow piled. 

His dead form, swathed one awful night 

In vesture white. 

Oh, let our hearts this birthday bright 
The sorrow and the joy unite; 

While, by the twofold grace beguiled 

Of suffering Man and Infant mild, 
We walk with Him on faith s calm height, 
In vesture white. 

Richard Wilton. 



"Mary is the glory of virgins, the joy of mothers, the support 
of the faithful, the crown of the Church, the true model of faith, 
seal of piety, the rule of truth, the ornament of virtue, the Sanc 
tuary of the Holy Trinity." St. Proclus. 



PRAYER "VIRGIN MOST HOLY" 

Virgin most holy, Mother of the Word Incarnate, Treasurer 
of graces, Refuge of us poor sinners; we fly to thy maternal 
love with lively faith, and we ask thee to obtain for us grace 
ever to do the will of God and thine own. Into thy most holy 
hands we commit the keeping of our hearts ; beseeching thee for 
health of soul and body, in the certain hope that thou, our 
most loving Mother, will hear our prayer. Wherefore with 
lively faith we say, 

Hail, Mary, etc., thrice. 

Defend, O Lord, we beseech Thee, us Thy servants, through 
the intercession of the Blessed Mary, ever Virgin, from all in 
firmity, both of body and soul ; and mercifully protect from the 
snares of enemies those who, with their whole heart, prostrate 
themselves before Thee. Through Christ our Lord. Amen. 

100 days, once a day. 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 



335 



APPARITION 



TO 



ST. CAJETAN [F. THEATINS] 
LOMBARDY, ITALY 

1517 



Since Jesus is King 
And Mary our Mother, 

Then Mary is Queen, 
And Jesus our brother. 



Max Walter Mannix. 




T. CAJETAN was born at Vicenza in 1480, and 
was dedicated from infancy to the Blessed Mother 
of God. After having made legal studies with 
great distinction at Padua, he was appointed Pro- 
thonotary Apostolic at the Roman Curia. But he gave all the 
time he could spare to the w r ork of pious fraternities, spending 
his fortune in building hospitals and devoting himself in per 
son to the nursing of the plague-stricken. Finally, his zeal for 
souls led him to resign his office and enter the priesthood. In 
1524, in conjunction with Bishop Caraffa, who was afterwards 
Pope, he founded the first congregation of regular clerks, 
which took its name from Chieti, or Theate, the See over which 
his co-laborer had presided. 

"They embraced a more than Franciscan poverty," says Mr. 
Arnold, " for they bound themselves not only to have no prop 
erty or rents, but to abstain from asking for alms, being per 
suaded that the providence of God and the unsolicited charity 
of the faithful would sufficiently supply their wants." 

The Theatins devoted themselves to preaching the admin 
istration of the sacraments, and the careful performance of the 
rites and ceremonies of the Church. They have produced many 
eminent, men, including Cardinal Thomassi and Father Ven 
tura, The holy brotherhood lived in Rome on Mount Pincio, 



336 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

and the year after settling there, the Constable of Bourbon, 
commander of the army of Charles V., marched from Milan 
to Rome, and took the city in May, 1527. Philibert of Chalons, 
Prince of Orange, who succeeded in command after the wicked 
Constable had been slain, plundered the city, and was guilty 
0f great cruelties. The house of the Theatins shared the fate 
of the rest, and St. Cajetan being recognized, and imagined 
to be possessed of great wealth, was barbarously scourged and 
tortured to extort from him his supposed treasure. 

The mystery of the Nativity was his special subject of con 
templation, in which the eternal love of God for man was made 
so wonderfully manifest. It was in the year 1517, when, ac 
cording to his custom, Cajetan was rapt in ecstasy before the 
altar of the Crib on Christmas eve. Tears flowed down his 
cheeks, so deeply was he moved by the mystery of the birth 
of the Lord, whom he pictured to himself as a little helpless 
Child lying in the arms of His Mother. Then arose in his 
heart the great desire to entreat the venerable Mother of God 
that she would lay the Divine Child in his arms, but his hu 
mility permitted him not. Whilst, however, his heart longed 
for this favor, behold! there appeared to him St. Jerome and 
St. Joseph, who desired him to hold out his arms and approach 
them to the Divine Mother. He did so, and the Queen of 
Angels truly laid the Child Jesus in his arms. The happiness 
which entered into his heart, passes description. The impres 
sion which this vision left behind never departed from the holy 
man during the course of his life, but so often as he received 
the Body and Blood of the Lord in Holy Communion he paused 
a little, believing that Mary herself was there offering him, 
under the form of the most Holy Sacrament, her Divine Child 
to caress. 

St. Cajetan was the first to introduce the custom of the Forty 
Hours Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament as a means of 
counteracting the heresy of Calvin, who propagated a fearful 
disrespect for the Eucharistic Presence of our Lord. 

He always cherished a tender devotion to the Blessed Virgin 
and when, writes Father Bowden: 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 337 

"He was on his death-bed, resigned to the Will of God, eager 
for pain to satisfy his love, and for death to attain to life, he 
beheld the Mother of God, radiant with splendor, and sur 
rounded by the ministering seraphim. In profound venera 
tion, he said: Lady, bless me! Mary replied: Cajetan, re 
ceive the blessing of my Son, and know that I am here as a 
reward for the sincerity of your love, and to lead you to Para 
dise. She then exhorted him to patience in fighting an evil 
spirit who troubled him, and gave orders to the choirs of angels 
to escort his soul in triumph to Heaven. Then turning her 
countenance full of majesty and sweetness upon him, she said: 
Cajetan, my Son calls thee. Let us go in peace. " 

When his hour of death came, his physicians told him not to 
lie on the floor, but he replied, "My Saviour died upon the 
Cross ; suffer me to die upon ashes." Thus died St. Cajetan on 
the 7th August, 1547. 



THE ORIGIN OF THE CONGREGATION OF THE PERPETUAL ADORA 
TION AND THE EXPOSITION OF THE FORTY HOURS 

Several Fathers of the Theatine Order, taking example by 
the zeal of their saintly founder, could not endure that Our 
Divine Redeemer, who in His love stays with us in the Most 
Holy Sacrament under the form of an insignificant Host, should 
be so little sought, honored, and praised with thanksgiving. 
The thought, therefore, occurred to them to found a congrega 
tion whose members should undertake in turns to pray before 
the Blessed Sacrament. All the hours of the year were dis 
tributed amongst the members, so that every hour of the year 
the Most Holy Sacrament should be adored in deepest humility. 

Besides the devotion of the perpetual adoration, which was 
the result of the love of our Lord, the same congregation 
founded that of the Exposition of the Quarent Ore, or Forty 
Hours, in honor of the forty hours during which the body of 
Jesus lay in the grave. 



338 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 



IN MARY S ARMS 

He comes not to awe me 

To thrill me with fear: 
He seeks but to draw me, 
To woo me, to win me: 
This frail heart within me, 
He holds it so dear! 

He conies not in splendor, 

Though Fountain of light. 
In guise the most tender 

He hastens to meet me 

In babe-form to greet me 

This calm Christmas night 

The arms of Thy Mother, 

How sweetly they hold Thee, 
Divine Baby-Brother! 

Ah, let me dare say it 
For fond looks betray it 
Mine too would enfold Thee! 

But nay! Let Her press Thee 

To that sinless breast: 
Mine would but distress Thee! 
So oft has it griev d Thee, 
And wrong d and deceiv d Thee, 
Twould trouble Thy rest. 

My Queen, I adore Him 

Enthroned on thy Heart: 
And meekly implore Him 
That I in its pleading, 
Its pure interceding, 
May ever have part. 

Through thee, Blessed Mother, 

He comes to be mine 
My Saviour, My Brother. 

Through thee, while I take Him, 
Return will I make Him, 
My life-love in thine! 

Edmund of the Heart of Mary, C. P. 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 



339 



APPARITION 

TO 

GAVAN DUNBAR BP. 
ABERDEEN, SCOTLAND 

1520 

"Forgive, great Mother, all the years 

Wherein I passed thee by unknown; 
Forgive the weak, unworthy fears 

Of faithfulness to Jesus throne. 
Men say that loving thee, I dim 
The glory of thy Son Divine, 
But otherwise I learn of Him, 

And call thee His, and find thee mine." 

William C. Dix. 

OT far from the shores of the German Ocean, 
situated between two great rivers, the Dee and 
the Don, is the ancient city of Aberdeen. In the 
year mo, when David I. was King of Scotland, 
it became the see of a bishop, whose cathedral was the Church 
of St. Macarius. Although at that time this city was one 
of the most important in the kingdom, it has since lost much 
of its celebrity on account of its proximity to New Aberdeen, 
which has sprung up almost at its side. It is now more gen 
erally known by the name of Old Aberdeen, or the "Altoun." 
What made this city so famous in times gone by was its 
attachment to the Catholic religion. From the earliest times 
the faith was preached there by saintly bishops and holy 
monks who, by their example and piety, as well as by the 
miracles which God wrought at their hands, converted the 
followers of paganism to the true God. In after times a cele 
brated university was founded there, from which, as from a 
luminous centre, many men illustrious for their sanctity and 
learning issued, to spread the light of the Gospel throughout 
the whole kingdom, and even to countries beyond the seas. 




340 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

It was only toward the middle of the sixteenth century, when 
heresy devastated the land, that this fair spot also gave way 
and yielded to the force of the tempest. 

In the cathedral church of St. Macarius, there was a statue 
of Our Lady made of wood. For more than six hundred 
years this image had been an object of veneration to the faith 
ful. Many miracles were wrought and many spiritual favors 
were granted by Our Blessed Mother in behalf of those who 
sought her aid at this venerable Shrine ; and immense multi 
tudes of the faithful came, even from afar, to pray there, and 
to implore the protection of Our Lady of Aberdeen. 

At the beginning of the sixteenth century there lived in 
Aberdeen a Bishop named Gavin Dunbar. His eminent sanctity 
procured for him the esteem and respect of every one, even 
of those who were enemies of the Catholic religion. His resi 
dence was near the cathedral, and he never allowed a day to 
pass without going to the altar of Mary and pouring out his 
soul in fervent prayer. It was also by Our Lady s help that 
he succeeded in erecting a bridge of seven arches over the river 
Dee. After the custom of Catholic times, he constructed a little 
chapel on the first arch of the bridge ; in it he placed the holy 
image of Mary, which he caused to be solemnly translated from 
the cathedral in the Altoun to its new sanctuary, in order that 
those who were setting out upon a journey or returning home 
might place themselves under her protection. The chapel has 
now entirely disappeared, although its site is still pointed out; 
and the fishermen who at the present day ply their craft on that 
part of the river give it the name of "Chapel Nook," or the 
"Chapel Corner." 

Not far from this chapel, near the end of the bridge, sprang 
up a little fountain of limpid water, and many miracles are 
recorded to have been wrought by its use through the inter 
cession of Our Lady. One day a heretic, to show his hatred 
for the Mother of God, threw a quantity of filth into the well. 
But God s vengeance soon overtook him. On the spot he was 
seized with a terrible malady; a hunger which nothing could 
satiate seemed to consume his bowels, and he cried out : "I am 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 341 

stricken by God for what I have done!" And he warned all 
who saw and heard him never to speak against, or in any way 
dishonor, the Holy Virgin, lest a similar evil should overtake 
them. The heretics themselves, who were witnesses of the 
crime and of the awful punishment which followed, were forced 
to acknowledge that it came from the hand of God. 

After this event, and in order to preserve the Shrine from 
further profanation, the Bishop caused the statue to be carried 
back to its former resting-place in the Lady Chapel of the 
Cathedral. Here, as before, it drew together immense multi 
tudes, and became more famous than ever on account of the 
number of miracles which the Queen of Heaven wrought in 
favor of her devoted clients. 

One day, in the year 1520, the Bishop was on his knees pray 
ing and weeping before the holy image, when suddenly he heard 
a voice come forth from the statue, which said that, on account 
of the sins of the people, great calamities were about to befall 
the Scottish nation, and that Scotland would apostatize from 
the true faith. "Alas, Gavin !" continued the voice, "thou art 
the last bishop of this city, in these times, that shall enter into 
the kingdom of heaven." The terrible corruption of morals 
which soon afterward spread over the land carried with it 
people of every age and condition, and opened an entrance to 
that great heresy which even at the present day devastates that 
unhappy country. 

More than a century after the death of the holy Bishop, Al 
mighty God, who is honored in His Saints, wished to glorify 
on earth the memory of that great servant of Mary, even in 
that very city where the light of the Catholic faith, which for 
nearly twelve hundred years had shone so brilliantly, was now 
almost extinct. A Protestant gentleman having died, his rela 
tive chose for his interment the place where the remains of the 
saintly Bishop had been deposited. Their astonishment was 
great when, on digging the grave, the sexton came upon the 
coffin of the holy prelate. Opening it, they found the body 
robed in episcopal ornaments, without the slightest sign of cor 
ruption, as fresh and beautiful as the day on which it had 



342 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

been interred. Surprised at the news of this wonder, the min 
ister of the cathedral went in person to witness it. On exam 
ination it was found that the body emitted no disagreeable 
odor, and was perfectly entire. The minister, through a senti 
ment of respect, commanded the grave to be closed at once, 
and forbade anyone to touch what had been so wonderfully 
preserved. Seven years afterward the Regent, accompanied by 
thirteen schismatic bishops and a number of gentlemen of rank, 
went to the tomb of the holy man, and ordered it to be opened 
in their presence, that they might be personal witnesses of what 
had been recorded. When the grave was opened, the body was 
again found fresh and untouched by corruption, while from the 
countenance issued rays of light, which filled the beholders with 
astonishment, although their hearts still remained hardened, 
and they refused to accept the teachings of the true faith. 

It is impossible at this late day to ascertain the history of the 
statue of Our Lady of Aberdeen. It is the constant tradition 
of our forefathers that from the middle of the eleventh century 
that is, from the time when St. Margaret was Queen of Scot 
land this image was held in great esteem, and that even then 
pilgrims came to offer up their prayers before it. During the 
terrible days of persecution, when the enemies of God and 
religion overran the country, desecrating the magnificent sanc 
tuaries erected by our pious ancestors, their fury was especially 
directed against holy images. They tore down the pictures of 
God and His Saints which adorned the walls of the churches, 
and broke or burned the statues of the Immaculate Mother. 
But Our Lady of Aberdeen escaped their sacrilegious hands. 
Mary wished to show in a special manner how dear to her was 
this image, and historians tell us that it is the only one now in 
existence belonging to Scotland previous to the Reformation. 
The following is a brief account of how the Blessed Virgin pre 
served her favorite image from the profanation of the icono 
clasts. 

When the report reached Aberdeen that the followers of the 
apostate priest Knox were on their way to the city, some fervent 
Catholics took the holy image from its altar in the cathedral, 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 343 

and concealed it in a spot where they thought no one would 
suspect it to be. Unfortunately, its hiding-place was discov 
ered, and it fell into the hands of the heretics. Their rage at 
the sight of this image was beyond expression. More than 
once they endeavored to destroy it, but an invisible hand al 
ways protected the statue, and their impious design was frus 
trated. Some of the men, when on the point of raising the 
hammer to break it, were so overcome by a sentiment of invol 
untary respect that they left it untouched. Finally, one of them 
took it with him to his home, and here again Mary manifested 
her affection for this image by a twofold miracle. 

The Calvinists, having discovered the house wherein the 
statue had been placed, entered it several times with the inten 
tion to destroy the image ; but, although it had been put in one 
of the most conspicuous places in the house, they could not see 
it, and had to withdraw without carrying out their evil design. 

The second miracle was the conversion of the man who had 
taken the statue under his protection. As in former times, 
when the Ark of the Covenant was sheltered in the house of 
Obededom, God showered down His blessings in abundance 
upon him and his family, so the Immaculate Virgin poured 
down upon this good man the blessings of Heaven. Penetrated 
with wonder at the miracles of which he had been an eye-wit 
ness, and touched by the grace of God, he and his family ab 
jured the errors in which they had been brought up, and were 
received into the True Fold. 

After his conversion this good man resolved to place the 
image of Our Lady, now doubly dear to him, under the care 
of some one who would be able to afford a more secure pro 
tection than he could give it. There happened to come to 
Aberdeen at that time a noble Scottish Catholic named William 
Laing, who was styled Procurator to the King of Spain. The 
convert entrusted his beloved image to William, who received 
it with sentiments of unfeigned devotion, and for a time suc 
ceeded in concealing it in his house. The fanatics, however, 
at length discovered its hiding-place, and once more determined 
to destroy it. But to prevent this William had it secretly con- 



344 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

veyed on board a vessel belonging to the King of Spain, which 
happened to be in the Aberdeen harbor at the time. He gave 
orders to the captain, Antony Rochahague, to convey it to 
Flanders, and place it in the hands of the Archduchess (In 
fanta) Isabella, then governess of the Low Countries, whose 
devotion to the Queen of Heaven was known throughout Eu 
rope. This was in the year 1623 or 1625. 

Here again Satan, who seemed full of wrath because his 
agents in Scotland had allowed the statue to escape destruction, 
made a last effort to destroy it. But how vain are his schemes 
against those who are under Mary s protection ! Scarcely had 
the ship left the harbor when a terrible tempest arose, and the 
bark was tossed to and fro by the violence of the hurricane. 
The masts were thrown down and the sails destroyed, and when 
the tempest abated nothing was left but the hulk on the surface 
of the deep. A few hours later the ship encountered a pirate 
vessel from Holland, which rapidly advanced to seize her. An 
tony made a brave resistance, and, considering the disabled 
state of his ship, the victory he gained must be attributed to the 
protection of the Queen of Heaven, whose image was on board. 
When the piratical craft had been put to flight, a favorable 
wind and tide brought the other ship in sight of land, and in 
a short time the anchor was cast in the bay of Dunkirk. 

When the Governor of that city saw a ship entering port 
without masts or sails, and was told that it contained the mirac 
ulous statue of Our Lady of Aberdeen, he was struck at the 
marvel, and a sudden thought entered his mind. He deter 
mined to take possession of the statue, and, after a time, send it 
as a present to the King of Spain. But Our Lady soon mani 
fested her displeasure at this project, and sent him a dangerous 
illness, which brought him to the brink of the grave. This 
made him reflect on his conduct; he recognized his fault, and 
immediately countermanded the orders he had given for the 
seizure of the statue. 

By a wonderful disposition of Providence, it happened that 
the Archduchess Isabella came to visit Dunkirk at that time. 
When the Governor heard of her arrival he sent at once for 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 345 

Father de los Rios, her chaplain, and with tears in his eyes 
told him what he had done, of the malady with which he was 
afflicted in consequence, and begged him to go to the ship and 
receive the sacred image, and convey it to the Archduchess, to 
whom it had been sent. As soon as this had been done the 
sick man was restored to perfect health, to the wonder and 
admiration of all the people. 

The Archduchess Isabella, full of gratitude to the Mother of 
God for this special manifestation of her affection toward her, 
received the sacred image with indescribable emotion. She 
gave order that it should be at once taken to Brussels, and 
placed in the chapel of her palace with great pomp. In the 
meantime, to secure an exact and authentic record of the vari 
ous wonderful events she had heard related with reference to 
the statue, she charged William Laing to go to Scotland and 
collect all documents relating to its previous history, and to 
make strict and careful inquiry not only as to the honor and 
veneration which centuries of faith had rendered to the image 
in that country, but also concerning the miracles and favors 
granted to the people through the intervention of Our Lady of 
Aberdeen, that the glory of our Heavenly Mother might be 
handed down to all generations. 

In 1626 Father de la Rios requested the Archduchess Isa 
bella to permit the miraculous statue of Our Lady of Aberdeen 
to be transferred from the chapel of her palace in Brussels to 
the newly built church of the Augustinian Fathers, that it might 
be exposed once more to the public veneration of the faithful. 
To make reparation, as far as possible, for the outrages which 
the heretics of Scotland had offered to the Most Holy Virgin, 
the Archduchess ordered that the translation of the statue 
should be made with the greatest possible solemnity. 

Sunday, May 3, Feast of the Finding of the Holy Cross, was 
the day appointed for the ceremony. The evening before, the 
bells of the city rang out a joyful peal for a whole hour, to 
announce to the inhabitants of the surrounding country the ap 
proach of the great festival. To induce the faithful to cele 
brate the occasion with all possible devotion, Urban VIII., who 



346 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

then occupied the Chair of Peter, granted a plenary indulgence 
to all who, having communicated, would join in the procession 
of the sacred image. And James, Archbishop of Malines, to 
afford the clergy and people an opportunity of gaining this in 
dulgence, issued a pastoral letter commanding the Holy Sacri 
fice to be offered up in all the churches of Brussels from an 
early hour. 

At length the day dawned with unusual splendor, and was 
ushered in by the ringing of bells and the thunder of artillery. 
The new church of the Augustinians was beautifully decorated 
for the occasion. Magnificent tapestry ornamented the walls, 
the pillars were wreathed with garlands of evergreens and 
flowers, while the altars shone with a splendor rarely witnessed 
on earth. The pious princess, with her own hands, placed on 
the venerated statue a robe glittering with gold, precious stones, 
and her own most costly jewels. 

All the clergy, nobility, and magistracy of the city were pres 
ent, as well as the members of the different religious com 
munities. The people, in holiday attire, flocked to the environs 
of the palace, and the crowd was so dense that it was only with 
the greatest difficulty the clergy reached the palace gates. The 
streets presented a gay appearance. Exquisite banners and 
oriflammes of every color floated in the breeze, and joy and hap 
piness were depicted on the faces of the multitude. 

At a given signal the procession moved forward. The pupils 
of the college conducted by the Augustinian Fathers came first, 
mounted on horses richly caparisoned; they bore aloft mag 
nificent banners on which was embroidered the image of Mary. 
After them came the Cross, borne by one of the clergy, and ac 
companied with lights ; then the various confraternities, re 
ligious orders, and collegiate bodies, marching in two lines, 
under their respective banners; these were followed by the 
clergy of the different parishes, in their most precious vest 
ments, and by the canons of the cathedral in copes of cloth 
of gold. Then came an immense multitude of children clad in 
white, some of whom carried baskets of flowers with which 
they carpeted the streets, while others bore caskets of perfumes 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 347 

which embalmed the air. Farther on, toward the end of the 
procession, in the midst of unparalleled magnificence, placed 
upon a portable altar borne by eight priests, appeared the statue 
of Our Lady of Aberdeen, crowned with flowers and glittering 
in the sunlight with dazzing brightness. Finally, under a 
splendid canopy borne by four of the Augustinian Fathers, 
walked the Archbishop of Malines, carrying the Blessed Sacra 
ment. Immediately followed the Archduchess, accompanied 
by his Eminence the Cardinal Archbishop of Patras, Apostolic 
Nuncio of Belgium. At his side in grand military costume, 
walked the commander-in-chief of the Spanish army, Ambrose 
Spinola. The Archbishops of Cambrai and Cesaro, the court 
of Mansfield, the nobility and magistrates, closed the 
procession. 

The streets through which the pious cortege passed were 
densely crowded, and the people looked on with religious awe, 
while hymns and sacred canticles filled the air. As the Blessed 
Sacrament appeared the crowds knelt down to adore, and even 
those who were least religious felt their souls filled with en 
thusiasm and respect. 

When the procession entered the church the statue was 
placed on a magnificent altar prepared for it, and the Arch 
bishop of Malines proceeded at once to offer up the Holy Sac 
rifice for the intentions of the Archduchess. The scene at that 
moment cannot well be described. The church all illuminated, 
the altars decorated with richest ornaments, the priests robed 
in vestments sparkling with gold, the statue of Our Lady sur 
rounded with a halo of glory, the pealing of the bells, the swell 
ing notes of the organ and lesser musical instruments, all 
combined to remind one of the glory the angels and Saints ren 
der to God in Heaven. "On that day," says the historian, 
"Our Lord was adored in spirit and in truth; and the Virgin 
of virgins received the homage which her Divine Maternto 
merited, and which had been refused her in a city she one 
loved so well." 

When the Holy Sacrifice was over the Augustinian Father? 
went in a body to thank the Archduchess for her kindness, and 



348 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

to assure her that they would not cease to pray for her before 
the holy image, that success might attend her in her temporal 
and spiritual enterprises, all of which, they knew, she under 
took solely for the honor of God, the welfare of religion, and 
the good of her subjects. From that time the statue of Our 
Lady of Aberdeen began to be generally known as Our Lady 
of Good Success, on account of the many extraordinary favors 
the Blessed Virgin obtained for those who prayed before it. 

That same day the illustrious Archduchess, in honor of the 
event, made generous offerings to the convents of the city, and 
distributed as alms in each parish one thousand loaves of bread 
and a large sum of money. When the poor people had partaken 
of her generosity their joy and gratitude knew no bounds ; they 
hastened to the church to pour forth their prayers before Our 
Lady s image for their kind benefactress, and then repaired to 
the palace to offer to her the thanks of their devoted hearts. 

In the evening a grand display of fireworks closed the pro 
ceedings of the day. But the gratitude of the people was not 
yet satisfied. For ten days the solemnity lasted, and during 
that time Archbishop Conruse, of Tuam, Ireland, and the 
Abbots of Grimberghen and Dillingen, with several other 
prelates, offered up the Holy Sacrifice at Our Lady s altar. 
Each day some distinguished preacher mounted the pulpit to 
proclaim, in glowing words to a devout multitude, the glories 
of the Immaculate Queen of Heaven. These honors given to 
Our Lady produced abundant fruit in the souls of the people, 
some of whom obtained an increase of faith and piety, while 
others found peace and joy for their souls wounded by sin. 

The 1 2th of May brought this popular festival to an end. 
On that day the Holy Sacrifice was solemnly offered up by his 
Eminence Cardinal de la Cueva in presence of the nobility and 
the court. At the Gospel Father de la Rios, whose name as a 
preacher was known far and near, ascended the pulpit to speak 
once more of Our Lady s glory and her maternal love. The 
words he uttered went straight to the hearts of his audience, 
many of whom were moved to tears. 

In the evening a magnificent procession again formed, when 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 349 

the image of Our Lady of Aberdeen was borne in triumph 
through the city, and the mitred Abbot of Caudenberg, sur 
rounded by the clergy and followed by the people, carried the 
Blessed Sacrament. When the procession returned to the 
church the organ and other musical instruments poured forth 
strains of joy ; after which the Cardinal intoned the Te Deum 
in thanksgiving to God for the glory He had bestowed on His 
Most Holy Mother. 

The Queen of Heaven did not delay long before testifying 
to these good people how pleased she was with the reception 
they had given her beloved image in its exile in a foreign land. 
The noble Lord Henry Meullmans, Abbot of Cundenberg, who 
carried the Blessed Sacrament at the closing procession, was 
one of the first to experience the power of Mary s intercession. 
For a long time this pious prelate suffered from a disease which 
the physicians declared to be incurable. But when the solemn 
ity began, on the 3d of May, he prayed to Our Lady with great 
fervor that she would grant him a cure. On the octave day, 
as he went to the altar to say Mass, all at once he was delivered 
from the malady. After the Holy Sacrifice he told the people 
what had occurred, and asked them to join him in thanking his 
heavenly Benefactress. During the remainder of his life he 
consecrated himself especially to her service, and published 
on every side her great goodness and mercy. 

But this was only the first of a countless number of favors 
which followed. People from all parts crowded to this hal 
lowed sanctuary ; some were bowed down under the weight 
of physical sufferings, and had come to solicit aid from the 
Health of the Weak ; whilst there were others whose perverse 
dispositions had hitherto resisted every effort of grace, men 
under the tyranny of pride, avarice, hatred, and ambition. 

Among the favors obtained through the intercession of Our 
Lady of Aberdeen may be mentioned the cure of Catherine 
Raes, who had the misfortune, in a fall, to dislocate the cap 
of her knee. For months she suffered intense pain, and the 
surgeons were unable to afford any relief. Seeing that all 
human aid was useless, she had recourse to Heaven. A novena 



35Q APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

to Our Lady of Aberdeen was begun, and on the third day, at 
the conclusion of a Mass offered for the invalid, she felt a sud 
den inspiration to rise. Without a moment s hesitation she, 
who had not been able to leave her bed since the accident, rose 
and began to walk about as if nothing were the matter, to the 
great surprise of her family and other persons who were pres 
ent. This extraordinary cure was testified to by several of the 
clergy. The Archbishop of Malines ordered the circumstances 
to be investigated with the greatest care, and the witnesses to 
be rigorously examined; whereupon, finding their testimony 
strong and unanimous, he declared the fact to be miraculous. 

In the year 1633 there lived in the town of Amiens a magis 
trate named Louis Clarisse. He was afflicted with a dangerous 
malady, and so great were his sufferings that it was thought 
his days on earth were numbered. Although the doctors had 
given him up, the poor man did not lose courage. It was about 
this time that the devotion to Our Lady of Aberdeen had 
reached Amiens. He immediately had recourse to the Blessed 
Virgin under this sweet title, and his prayer was heard. Not 
only did he improve at once, but he afterward enjoyed better 
health than ever before. 

In the year 1695 Brussels had to sustain a siege; the battle 
raged with intense fury outside the city, and the shells were 
bursting in the streets and causing terrible destruction. All 
the houses around the church of the Augustinian Fathers were 
laid in ruins, while the sacred edifice itself remained untouched. 
The Fathers attributed this to the protection of Our Lady of 
Aberdeen, whose statue was in the church. Every year, on the 
anniversary of the event, they held a special solemnity in 
thanksgiving for their preservation. 

One hundred years after Our Lady of Aberdeen landed on 
the shores of Belgium the faithful of Brussels celebrated a 
solemn festival with an octave. Nothing was spared to make 
the occasion a memorable one. Large crowds flocked to the 
church to honor the Immaculate Virgin, and their fervor and 
joy knew no bounds. A sodality in honor of Our Lady of 
Aberdeen was established, and people of every rank, from the 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 



Archduchess Isabella, who governed the Netherlands, to the 
poorest beggar in the country, hastened to enroll their names, 
and to place themselves and all that were dear to them under 
the protection of the Queen of Heaven. 

In the year 1796 the terrible Revolution which swept over 
France reached Brussels. The churches were pillaged and the 
relics of the Saints scattered to the winds. The fanatics broke 
to pieces sacred images, and put to death the priests of God 
who remained faithful. But Our Lady of Aberdeen here again 
took care of her beloved statue. In the midst of universal ruin 
it escaped uninjured. The Augustinian Fathers had to fly from 
their monastery, but before their departure they confided the 
image to a man named John Baptist Joseph Morris, who con 
cealed it carefully for nine years. In 1805 Napoleon I., Em 
peror of the French, granted the Fathers permission to return, 
and once more the statue of Our Lady was exposed to the ven 
eration of the faithful. Some years later, on April 7, 1814, it 
was solemnly transferred to the church of Finistere, not far dis 
tant, and was placed in a niche near St. Joseph s altar, where it 
remained till 1852. In that year a beautiful side chapel was 
built in honor of the Blessed Virgin, in which, on a magnificent 
altar of white marble, was placed the image of Our Lady of 
Aberdeen, where it may still be seen. 



ST. MUNGO S BELL* 

Of old in a Scottish city, 

As the ancient annals tell, 
A peal for the souls departed 

Used to sound from St. Mungo s Bell. 

It tolled from the high church-steeple, 

On the midnight air it fell; 
It vied with the birds at Vesper, 

And at dawn rang St. Mungo s Bell. 



*Until the Reformation a famous bell was preserved at Glasgow. It was sup 
posed to have been brought from Rome by St. Kentigern. Hence the popular 
appellation of St. Kentigern s or Mungo s Bell. It was tolled to invite the faith 
ful to pray for the dead. 



35* APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

"Remember the dead; remember 

Their pains all our woes excel; 
Give comfort of dirge and soul Mass, 

Oh, pray!" said St. Mungo s Bell. 

It startled the lonely watcher, 

And the reveller knew full well, 
As he paused in his course to listen, 

What portended St. Mungo s Bell. 

The nun in her cloister heard it, 

And the monk in his quiet cell; 
They prayed with a holy fervor 

At sound of St. Mungo s Bell. 

While the soldier at lone camp-fire, 
As the night shades round him fell, 

Half shudd ring whispered an Ave 
So solemn, St. Mungo s Bell. 

The knight and the mail-clad baron, 
With a fear no mirth could dispel, 

Heard voices of souls departed 
In the tolling of Mungo s Bell. 

The poor in their hovels drew nearer 
To the world of the dead at the knell, 

And the evil-doer trembled 
At the warning of Mungo s Bell. 

When the blight of the Reformation, 

Like a cold and a cruel spell, 
Seemed to sever this world from the other, 

It silenced St. Mungo s Bell. 

Through shadows of past generations 

Let its brazen tongue still tell 
The sorrows of souls departed, 

Let us heed the St. Mungo s Bell. 

Anna T. Sadlier. 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 



353 




APPARITION 

TO 

ST. IGNATIUS DE LOYOLA, F.SJ. 
MANRESA, SPAIN 

1522 

Beautiful Mother, we deck thy shrine, 
All that is brightest and best of ours; 

Found in our gardens, we reckon thine 

God thought of thee when He made the flowers. 

Rev. K. D. Beste. 

N the summer of 1521 some Spanish soldiers were 
holding the unfinished citadel of Pamplona, against 
an invading army of the French. A cannon shot 
from the assailants dislodged a fragment of stone 
which wounded the left leg of a young Spanish officer, while 
the ball itself broke his other leg. He fell, and, as he had been 
the soul of the defence, the fortress fell with him. The con 
querors honored the bravery of their gallant foe ; they dressed 
his wounds, and carried him gently to his home not very far 
distant, and there set him free. 

His name was Inigo or Ignatius de Loyola, one of the sons 
of a nobleman of ancient family, whose old castle lay in the 
broad and beautiful valley from which the family surname was 
derived. Young Inigo had been sent as page to King Ferdi 
nand the Catholic, the first monarch of a united Spain. But the 
youth wearied of the soft life at court ; he longed to be a sol 
dier. His relative, the Duke of Najera, took him into his ser 
vice and he won his spurs in actual war at the conquest of the 
town from which the Duke took his title. He was as true as 
he was brave, and universally popular. Though a man of the 
world, and fond of society, his lips were never sullied with a 
foul word, nor his life by a disgraceful deed. He was a poet, 



354 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

too, in his own way, and sang the praises of St. Peter in a long 
epic. 

The army surgeons had very unskilfully set his broken leg, 
and he had to go through such horrible operations that his life 
was despaired of. On the eve of SS. Peter and Paul he re 
ceived the last Sacraments. But that very night St. Peter ap 
peared to him, and he perfectly recovered his health. Still he 
was deformed and crippled ; for not only was the leg that had 
been broken much shorter than its fellow, but the bone stood 
out with an unsightly lump. The fashionable hose of those 
days would reveal the deformity, and the young officer bade 
the surgeons, at the cost of any torture to himself, to reduce 
the disfigurement and to stretch the limb. He bore without 
flinching a very martyrdom of vanity. For an active mind like 
his the sick room was itself a torture ; and to quiet his mind 
and to kill time, he asked for a novel of the period some ro 
mance of knight-errantry. But books were rare in those days, 
and there were none of that kind in the Castle of Loyola. They 
brought him a Spanish translation of Ludolf of Saxony s Life 
of Christ, and a volume of the Lives of the Saints. For want 
of anything more to his taste, these he read and read again. 
Inigo, with the spirit of a soldier who never flinched before any 
odds, said to himself : "What St. Francis did, and St. Dominic 
did, why cannot I do?" What most attracted his fearless soul 
were the self-inflicted penances of the Saints. This seemed to 
him the point which he ought most to try to imitate, and he only 
longed to gather strength and to leave his bed, in order that he 
might put in practice his stern resolve to leave house and home 
and all the world holds dear to lead a life of austerity and 
seclusion. 

Those were days of tremendous issues for God s Church. 
The riches and the luxury of the time, the ferment of new ideas 
which the learning of the East and the invention of printing 
had produced, the newborn paganism and laxity of life, all had 
made the soil ready for a rank crop of evil within the Church, 
and even of revolt against her teaching. At this very time 
Luther, the apostate monk, had thrown aside the mask and 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 355 

publicly burnt the Pope s Bull as a sign of open rebellion. In 
England and in France, as in Germany, error was lifting its 
head, and everything presaged a mighty moral convulsion, of 
which even the most foreseeing could not measure the results. 

One night Ifiigo, stirred by his longings for higher things, 
leapt from his bed ; and, kneeling before a picture of Our Lady, 
dedicated himself in an ardent prayer to his Blessed Mother. 
A tremor as of an earthquake shook the castle, and split the 
solid walls with a rent, which can be seen even to this day. Hell 
seemed to have realized how great a recruit had been enrolled 
in God s army. Mary appeared to her servant with the Blessed 
Child in her arms, and accepted by her presence the offering 
thus made. Long before his strength had fully returned, Ifiigo 
bade good-bye to his brother, who was then the head of the 
house. The lord of Loyola had half divined the purpose of 
Ignatius, and strove in every way to retain him. But he tore 
himself away under the pretext of being obliged to pay a visit 
of compliment to his relative, the Duke of Najera. No sooner 
had liiigo fulfilled this duty, than he sent back his two attend 
ants, and on his mule, for he was still very lame, he pushed 
right across the North of Spain to that great sanctuary of Our 
Lady which nestles under the crags and peaks of Montserrat. 
On his way he bound himself by a vow of chastity in honor of 
Our Lady. Shortly after he fell in with a Moorish gentleman, 
many of whom were still in Spain. The Mohammedan denied 
the virginity of Mary after the birth of Our Lord, and Ifiigo 
strenuously upheld it. When the Mussulman had left him, it 
seemed to the converted cavalier that he had done wrong in 
letting the blasphemer go unpunished ; and in doubt as to what 
he ought to do, he let his mule go its own way, ready to re 
venge the honor of his Lady if it should follow the Moor. How 
ever it turned off by another road, and Ifiigo was saved from 
staining his hands with blood under a misguided impulse. 

When our Saint had scaled the precipitous mountain, he 
made a most exact and general confession to one of the Bene 
dictine monks, a saintly Frenchman. It was so broken with 
sobs and tears of contrition that it was not completed for three 



356 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

days. Then, at nightfall, on the vigil of the Annunciation, he 
stripped himself of all his fine clothes, to his very shirt, and 
gave them all to a poor man, putting on a rough dress of sack 
cloth, which went down to his feet. In this his new armor, 
like the squires of those days before receiving knighthood, he 
spent the night at the statue of Our Lady, on his knees or lean 
ing on his pilgrim s staff, within the old church. There, at 
Mary s Shrine, in the first light of dawn, he hung up his rapier 
and dagger the badges of a gentleman in those days and 
then approached Holy Communion. 

Before day had fully broken over the huge spires of Mont- 
serrat, with one foot bare, but the other, still swollen and sore, 
in a rough sandal of esparto grass, such as the Spanish peasants 
wear to this day, he came down the rough mountain side. He 
had given his mule to the monastery. Some kind souls showed 
him the road to a shelter in the nearest town, and there, in the 
poor-house or hospice of St. Lucy in Manresa, he went to live 
among the poor of Jesus Christ. He made himself the poorest 
of the poor. Once so particular about his appearance, he now 
let his hair and nails grow, and tried to conceal under squalor 
and neglect all signs of his noble birth and breeding. He 
begged his food from door to door, and gave the best he got 
to the sick and hungry. His only food was bread and water ; 
save that for his Sunday dinner he added a few herbs savored 
with ashes. The most fetid and loathsome of the sick were the 
object of his tenderest care, and no service was too revolting 
for him. Seven hours of his day were spent in prayer, with 
out counting those which he gave to hearing Mass and attend 
ing the public services of the Church. But Ignatius, as he now 
began to be called, wished for a spot where his prayers and 
penances might be unobserved. He found it in a long narrow 
cavern in a defile not far off running down to the swift river 
Cardoner. Its entrance was hidden by a rich growth of thistles 
and thorns, while from a fissure in the rock he could look out on 
the jasfged heights of Montserrat. There he was free to pass 
his time in prayer, there he could spend his days in absolute 
fast, there he could wield the scourge unseen or unheard, and 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 357 

bind his waist with a cruel girdle of prickly leaves, still to be 
seen at Manresa. But there, too, in return, God communicated 
to him His choicest gifts. Within that cave was revealed to 
him that system of Christian perfection which is known by the 
name of the Spiritual Exercises, taught him by Our Blessed 
Lady and impressed on his soul by practical experience and 
fidelity to grace. 

There is hardly a spot in that picturesque town which does 
not remind us of God s dealings with St. Ignatius, and of the 
heroic penance and profound humility which prepared him for 
the great work God destined for him. 

There is the Cross of Tort, looking out over the bright river 
and rich valley, with Montserrat rising up dark and weird be 
yond. On his knees before this sacred sign the mysteries of the 
Catholic Faith were made known to St. Ignatius with such 
vividness, that in after life he used to say that even if those 
truths were to be made known to him in no other way, he was 
prepared to die a martyr s death for each doctrine of the Church 
from the knowledge of it he received in Manresa. There, too, 
is the Church of the Dominicans, such kind friends to the 
Saint, where the ineffable depths of the Blessed Trinity were 
opened to him, and where he was privileged to understand the 
mystery of the presence of Our Lord on the Altar. There in 
the adjoining convent, now, alas! a theatre, he was tenderly 
nursed by the good Fathers through a severe illness which was 
the result of his awful austerities and his still more terrible 
scruples. There again within the ruins of the hospice, covered 
by a fair chapel, is the spot where was his little room which 
looked out on the old Church of St. Lucy. This was the scene 
of the marvelous rapture, like to the sleep of death, lasting for 
a whole week and more, during which, in spite of the reserve 
under which Ignatius hid the favors of God, it seems certain 
that he saw the future of the Society which he was called to 
found. 

Temptations of disgust at his squalid, hard, cruel life ; tempta 
tions of vain-glory at the honor which his marvelous virtues 
began to win for him ; doubts about the genuineness of his past 



35$ APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

confessions all these trials and many others gave him a prac 
tical insight into that mysterious warfare which is waged with 
more or less violence in every soul. 

A year or so had now gone by since Ignatius came to Man- 
resa. He had passed through a fiery probation, by which the 
old life was burned away, and the soul purified and free was 
ready to receive like molten metal a new form. The life of Our 
Lord had, by prayerful study and painstaking practice, become 
his life. It was time for work. Longings which had not yet 
taken perfect shape, the seeds of mighty works for God, were 
stirring in his soul. And so he left Manresa, and made his way 
alone, though many would have gladly borne him company, to 
the beautiful city of Barcelona, with its church towers rising 
from gardens of myrtles, and cedars, and orange groves, there 
to take ship for Civita Vecchia, and for the Holy Land. While 
waiting for a fair wind, a fortnight or so went by. Through 
a fierce storm, in the early spring, Loyola crossed the 
Mediterranean. 

They were wild and lawless times for the weak and defence 
less, but Ignatius, on landing at Gaeta, pushed forward to Rome 
and there he spent Holy Week and Easter week. On Low Sun 
day he was admitted to receive the blessing of that great and 
good Pope, the Belgian Adrian VI. Everyone told Ignatius 
that it was useless for a poor man to think of going to the Holy 
Land. The Crescent was everywhere victorious, and the brave 
knights of St. John had just been forced to yield up their for 
tress of Rhodes. But our Saint, who had learned for Christ s 
sake to love poverty and pain, went on to Venice, and even 
gave away what had been forced upon him to pay his passage. 
He begged his food by day and slept by night like a vagrant 
under the arcades in the great square of St. Mark. One of the 
Council of Ten, Mark Antony Trevisano, a Venetian noble 
man, was wakened up at night by hearing words like these: 
"While you are sleeping in a soft bed, My servant is lying on 
the bare ground !" He got up at once, and went to look for 
this servant of God. He stumbled upon the sleeping stranger, 
and made him come to his palace. But Ignatius disliked its 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 359 

luxury and splendor, and succeeded in obtaining a free passage 
on a Venetian man-of-war bound for Cyprus. So boldly did 
he reprove the bad life of some on board, that, but for a con 
trary wind, the sailors would have cast him away on some 
desert island. At Cyprus Ignatius found a pilgrim ship, and on 
the last day of August he landed at Jaffa. To be in Jerusalem 
was to him such a happiness that he would have stayed there 
all the rest of his life, if God, by means of the Provincial of 
the Franciscans, had not bade him leave. 

Two months brought Ignatius back to Italy, and he set off 
from Venice poor as ever and on foot for Genoa. 

Ignatius had at last efficiently completed his preparatory 
studies and, in the October of 1529, he entered the College of 
St. Barbara, which was close by his former College of Mon- 
taigu. He was given a room in an old turret, where he found 
a young Savoyard, Peter Favre, who had already taken his 
degree in Philosophy, and who, at the request of his professor 
Pefia, undertook to help him in his course. His room was 
shared by a young professor, Francis Xavier, from the North 
of Spain, in the neighborhood of Loyola. He was of high 
family, very gifted in body and mind, but he cared little for the 
pious sayings and unworldly ways of Ignatius. However, con 
stant acts of kindness, the power of example, the often repeated 
reminder, "What does it profit a man if he gain the whole 
world ?" broke down the stubborn will of the young professor, 
whose dreams of earthly glory made way for an all-absorbing 
thirst for suffering and humiliation, in order to be like his 
Lord. Two other Spanish students, who had known St. Igna 
tius at Alcala, James Lainez and Alphonsus Salmeron, followed 
him to Paris, and soon renewed their acquaintance with him. 
A Portuguese, on the endowment of St. Barbara, Simon 
Rodriguez, and the Spaniard Nicholas Bobadilla, who was at 
tending the lectures of Xavier at the College of Beauvais, were 
joined to this close circle of friends. 

One story must be told out of many of what Ignatius did for 
souls. A young man was carrying on a criminal intrigue, and 
our Saint knew that on his way the sinner used to cross a bridge 



360 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OP 

over a branch of the lake of Gentilly. It was a bitter night, 
and Ignatius stood up to his neck in the icy water, and there 
awaited his coming. "Go," cried the Saint, as the youth passed 
by, "I will do penance here every evening till you amend." 
The sight touched the sinner s heart, and he turned home a 
penitent. 

Ignatius finished his philosophy in 1534, when he took his 
degree of Master of Arts. He began at once his theological 
studies at the great Dominican College close by. Meantime 
he saw the hour had come to give some permanent shape to 
his work, and so to prevent the new band of followers from 
drifting away under any storm of difficulty that might arise. 
Five of the six companions had made the Exercises with extra 
ordinary fervor under Ignatius, which Xavier s duties as pro 
fessor alone had debarred him from doing; and to each our 
Saint commended his rules for the choice of a state of life. To 
none but Favre had he revealed his own design of going to 
work for God in the Holy Land. He invited each separately 
and under promise of secrecy to make up his mind by a certain 
time, and on that day to come to him with his decision. To 
their surprise, the six friends when they met found that they 
were all of one mind, ready to go with St. Ignatius to the end 
in close following of Christ, their King and Captain. 

Their resolve was to bind themselves by vow to perpetual 
poverty and chastity, and to visit the Holy Land; and if, as 
had happened to St. Ignatius, they could not remain there, or 
were even prevented from going, they would put themselves 
entirely at the disposal of the Pope. 

In the beginning of January, 1537, after a journey full of 
hardships, through hostile armies, through the snows and frost 
of the Alps, and through countries and towns full of hostile 
Protestants, the companions whom he had left in Paris came to 
forget all their sorrows in being once more with their father 
Ignatius. To him and to them it was an additional pleasure to 
see their little band increased by two fresh recruits from Pans, 
and others from Venice. The hospitals were their home, and 
the scene of their marvelous devotion and victory over self in 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 361 

the service of the sick and poor. When Lent arrived, St. Ig 
natius sent them all to Rome to spend the Holy Week there, 
and to get the Pope s blessing and the leave from him to re 
ceive Orders and to preach and hear confessions. He did not 
dare to go himself, for he feared to meet Dr. Ortiz, who was 
then at Rome as one of the agents of Charles V., pleading the 
cause of our brave Queen, Catherine of Aragon. Ortiz proved 
the very best friend of the pilgrims, for he presented them to 
the Pope, Paul III., who sent them back with all and more than 
they had dared to ask or hope for. On the Feast of St. John 
the Baptist, St. Ignatius and those of his companions who were 
not priests, were ordained priests at Venice, and then one and 
all retired into solitude to prepare for their Apostolic work, 
and wherein the newly anointed might make ready for their 
first Mass. St. Ignatius, B. Peter Favre and Father Lainez 
took up their abode in a ruined monastery outside the walls of 
Vicenza. There were neither doors nor windows-frames in the 
building, and their food was the hard, dry crusts which they 
begged. But the forty days in that desert were turned into 
Paradise by the glimpses of heavenly things which made all 
suffering forgotten. That period over, the Fathers went out 
into the streets of Vicenza to preach and to instruct, and though 
they knew but little Italian, their zeal, the sight of their wearied 
and wasted forms, and the power of their holiness wrought 
wonders among the people. 

All the companions then gathered together at Vicenza ; and 
there it was agreed that, as the way to the Holy Land was in 
definitely closed by the war between the Catholic powers and 
the Turk, they should offer their services to the Pope. Accord 
ingly, St. Ignatius, with B. Peter Favre and Lainez went on to 
Rome, to put themselves and their brethren entirely at the dis 
posal of the Pope. As they drew near the city, close by the site 
of ancient Veii, in the broad Campagna which spreads around 
the capital of the Christian world, there is a wayside chapel at 
a place called La Storta. As St. Ignatius had journeyed along, 
the two Fathers who were with him had said Mass, and the 
Saint had approached Holy Communion each day. His heart 



3^2 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

was full of thoughts of love towards his Sacramental Lord. 
He entered the chapel to pray, and when he came out, it was 
evident that he had been deeply stirred. "I know not," he said, 
"what awaits us in Rome. Perhaps we shall be crucified there." 
In fact, as he went on to tell, Jesus had appeared to him bearing 
His Cross, and the Eternal Father had commended Ignatius 
to the care of His Blessed Son with these words, "Receive this 
man as Thy servant." Then Our Lord had turned to him and 
said, "I will be favorable to you in Rome." 

It was during the Lent of 1537 that St. Ignatius arrived 
there with his two companions. Those whom he had left be 
hind were busy gathering in the harvest of the souls in various 
cities of Italy, nor could St. Ignatius remain idle in face of so 
much to be done. Pope Paul III. received him and his com 
panions with the greatest kindness. He appointed FF. Lainez 
and Favre as lecturers in the Roman university, while he left 
Ignatius free to exercise his zeal. 

By the Easter of 1538 God s time had come for laying broad 
and deep the Constitutions of the new Order, and St. Ignatius 
in his wise humility summoned around him all his brethren, to 
aid him by their prayers and counsel in this most important 
work. By the orders of the Vicar of the Pope, Cardinal Carafa, 
the pulpits of various churches were assigned to them, and 
marvelous was the change wrought by their burning discourses 
and bright example. 

But none had the power of St. Ignatius words, simple and 
straightforward, without adornment, a soldier s speech, but 
irresistible because the expression of deepest conviction and 
the fruit of perpetual prayer. He preached in his native tongue 
in the Spanish Church of Our Lady of Montserrat, hard by the 
English hospice, which is now the venerable English College. 
So engrossed were these Apostolic men with their work, that 
it sometimes happened that night came upon them before they 
had had time to remember that they had not yet broken, their 
fast. 

But a sudden tempest arose. One of the many whom the 
moral corruption of the time and the widespread attacks against 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 



the faith had led astray, an Augustinian Friar from Piedmont, 
had come to preach in Rome, under the patronage of persons 
of high rank. The followers of St. Ignatius soon detected that 
his sermons contained, under a careful disguise, the errors of 
Calvin and Luther. They began at once to treat in their in 
structions, without any allusion to the preacher, upon various 
points on which the Piedmontese Friar was leading the people 
astray. His defence was to retort upon St. Ignatius the accu 
sation of heresy, and openly to assert that, over and over again, 
our Saint had been convicted of false doctrine. His assertions 
were supported by a group of men who came primed with false 
evidence. The accusations were destructive of all prospect 
of future good, and St. Ignatius, so willing to court contempt 
and ignominy when only himself was concerned, boldly de 
manded a public enquiry and a sentence in the public courts. 
God took the matter in hand; the four ecclesiastical judges be 
fore whom he had been tried were all, for one reason or other, 
in Rome just at that very time, and their evidence was con 
clusive. An attempt was made to hush up the affair in order 
to shelter some persons high placed, who would have been 
compromised by an official sentence. But St. Ignatius was con 
vinced that an authoritative recognition of his innocence and 
freedom from error was absolutely necessary to prevent the old 
accusation from continually reappearing. He went to the Pope, 
then at his country house at Frascati, and boldly laid the whole 
matter before him. A full and judicial sentence was published 
in due form in his favor. The Friar escaped to Geneva, and 
there openly professed Lutheranism. 

On Christmas night that same year, 1538, in the subterranean 
chapel of the Basilica of St. Mary Major, where the relic of the 
Holy Crib of Bethlehem was kept, St. Ignatius said his first 
Mass. He had not thought a year and a half too long a 
preparation ! 

Now that peace had been restored, it was time to settle defi 
nitely the form and shape of the Order. Ignatius recommended 
the others to seek in prayer and penance and at the Holy Sac 
rifice the light they required ; and there is still existing a sort 



364 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

of diary in which he used to note down the thoughts vouch 
safed to himself at that time in prayer. There are, too, at 
Rome the minutes drawn up and signed by the Fathers during 
their careful and prolonged deliberations. Not to interrupt 
their labor for souls, they only met at night-fall, and then dis 
cussed at length the various subjects which were before them. 

The resolutions of the Fathers were laid before Paul III. on 
September 3, 1539, by the fast friend of St. Ignatius, the great 
Cardinal Contarini, who was also the friend of our Cardinal 
Pole. The Pope gladly gave a general approval. But St.Igna- 
tius was desirous of a still more explicit recognition. The 
scheme was handed over to a commission of three Cardinals, of 
whom one especially was strongly opposed to the approbation 
of any fresh religious order in the church. But the prayers 
and penances of our Saint won the day, and even Cardinal 
Guidiccioni, who had been most determined, owned that some 
irresistible impulse forced him to give a consent against his 
own wishes. Paul III. read over the scheme himself with great 
attention, and exclaimed on doing so : "The ringer of God is 
here !" On the 2;th of September, a Bull of the Pontiff set the 
seal of Christ s Vicar on the work of St. Ignatius. 

Already B. Peter Favre had been sent as the counsellor of 
Ortiz to the conference on religion at Worms, while at the sug 
gestion of Gouvea, the old rector of St. Barbara s, John III. of 
Portugal, had asked and obtained St. Francis Xavier and F. 
Rodriguez as missionaries for India. Four of the other Fathers 
had been called away to labor in various parts of Italy. It was 
absolutely necessary, before they were scattered over the world, 
at once to elect a superior. The four were recalled to Rome, 
and in the Lent of 1541 they were all gathered into the narrow 
and poverty-stricken house beside the little Church of Santa 
Maria della Strada, which had been given to them. Three days 
were spent in prayer ; no discussion was allowed ; the result 
was to come from God. On the day fixed the votes of those 
present and of those who were absent were opened, and all, 
save the vote of the Saint himself, fell on Ignatius. He de 
clared most positively that the sins of his present and past life 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 365 

totally unfitted him for such a post ; and, in spite of the protest 
of his brethren to the contrary, insisted that a new election 
should take place, after four days of fresh prayer and consid 
eration. The second voting had the same result. Ignatius re 
fused as absolutely as before; no persuasion could change his 
mind, till at length, as a compromise, he volunteered to lay 
bare all his defects and crimes to his confessor, a Franciscan 
Father, and abide by his decision. He never doubted what the 
result would be. 

Accordingly, he spent the last three days of Holy Week in 
the Franciscan house of St. Peter in Montorio, the traditional 
scene of St. Peter s crucifixion, which looks down from the 
Janiculan hill upon the domes and bell-towers of Rome. Ig 
natius spent the time in earnest effort to paint his own char 
acter in the blackest colors and so to prove his utter unworthi- 
ness for the office of General ; and then on Easter day he went 
triumphantly to his father confessor to hear his verdict. "By 
your refusal you are acting against the Holy Ghost," was the 
Friar s only reply. Even then Ignatius begged him to recon 
sider his opinion, and when he had done so to write his answer 
to the Fathers. Then and then only did St. Ignatius bow his 
head and, in accepting the painful burden of superior, his life 
henceforward was merged in the sorrows and successes of the 
Society. 

On the Friday in Easter week St. Ignatius and his com 
panions went on that touching pilgrimage, trodden by so many 
millions of Catholics, to the Seven Churches of Rome. It 
brought them at length to the solemn Basilica of St. Paul, so 
stately in its solitude, with its forest of marble pillars and its 
glittering mosaics. There at the altar of the Blessed Sacra 
ment, before a picture of Our Lady and Child, then at the left 
of the venerable high altar, St. Ignatius said Mass, and at the 
Communion, with the paten in one hand and the formula of 
vows in the other, he made his solemn profession, sealing it 
with the reception of his King and Captain, and the five other 
Fathers then followed his example. After Mass, they went 
to visit each of the privileged altars of the basilica, and then 



366 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

meeting round the high altar, which is still standing, they gave 
each other the kiss of peace, their hearts full of gratitude that 
it had been given them to fulfil publicly and in face of the world 
at the Shrine of the Apostle of the Gentiles, what had been 
begun in the secret vault of Montmartre. 

The remaining sixteen years of his life were chequered with 
many clouds of trouble, cheered though they were by the steady 
progress of the Society in unwearied struggles with vice and 
with error. Ignatius himself never left Rome, save on two 
occasions, when he went as peacemaker to Tivoli, and once to 
a castle of the Colonnas in the territory of Naples. But he fol 
lowed with the deepest interest the labors of St. Francis Xavier 
in India and Japan, of B. Peter Favre and his other Fathers 
in Italy, Germany, the Low Countries, in Savoy, in Spain, Por 
tugal and elsewhere, cheering them with frequent letters. B. 
Peter he welcomed home when at length, after eight years ab 
sence and hardship, obedience brought him back to Rome to 
die in his arms. St. Francis Borja, Viceroy of Catalonia, and 
Duke of Gandia, left his state and broad lands to fill the void 
caused by Favre s death. St. Ignatius made every son of his, 
however distant, in India or in Brazil, feel the warm beatings 
of a Father s heart in those wonderful letters which tell better 
than anything its tenderness, its courage, its strength, and when 
needs be, its sternness. 

To far off Japan, to mysterious Abyssinia, to Ireland torn 
by heresy and faction, to Scotland tottering to its ruin, to the 
Congo, opened out long before the days of modern travel by 
the children of Ignatius, the General from his little room at 
Santa Maria della Strada, sent his brave sons on the message 
of peace. To England he would have sent them if his zeal had 
not been baffled by politicians. Then as ever his children had 
to suffer even from Catholic hands and in Catholic countries, 
and every sorrow of theirs found its echo in his soul, so jealous 
for the glory of God, and so sensitive to their sufferings, so 
indifferent to his own. 

The walls of his humble rooms still exist, their holiness is 
still respected, and they could tell that the source and spring 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 367 

of all he did was his constant union with God, a prayer which 
found its food in every creature of the Creator. For each 
flower, each star, each beautiful object in creation lifted his 
heart up to Heaven. He loved to step out at night on a bal 
cony, which has been preserved, and to gaze upon the calm still 
ness of a southern starlit sky, as if lifting his eyes longingh r 
towards his home, and he would sigh and say "How vile the 
earth is when we look at Heaven !" So constant grew this his 
habit of looking upwards that he was known familiarly to pas 
sers-by as the man whose eyes were ever heavenward. Such 
was his devotion at office that his tears flowed in such streams 
that there was peril of his losing his sight ; and it was at length 
found necessary to obtain for him a dispensation from the Pope 
and a prohibition to say his breviary. At Mass his devotion 
got the better of him so completely that he often spent an hour 
at the altar, and was forced to celebrate in private, while the 
saying of two Masses on Christmas night threw him into a 
fever. 

St. Ignatius was naturally very fond of the chants and ser 
vices of the Church, but he sacrificed this pleasure and departed 
so far from the practice of former days as to lay no obligation 
of choir on his Order. He felt the absolute need of devoting 
all its time to the active work of teaching, of preaching and ad 
ministering the Sacraments, and he would leave to others that 
sublime duty of echoing on earth the perpetual service of the 
blessed before the Throne. Still he valued at its full the 
Liturgy, and when the ceremonies of Holy Week were to be 
gone through in his church, he was so anxious that they should 
be done as well as possible, that he used to send for those who 
were to take part in them, and make them rehearse them several 
times in his presence. 

Much as the Saint valued prayer, much as he sought in it 
the light and grace which he needed for himself, and which 
he asked for others, yet he ever taught by his own practice how 
necessary it was to join to it self-conquest; for otherwise, as 
he remarked, persons given to prayer easily become too wedded 
to their own ideas. His constant prayer was "Grant me, O 



368 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

God, humility and loving reverence." His lowly opinion of 
himself was shown, not only in his first refusal of the office of 
General, but in his effort to resign the post, even long before 
his health had so far incapacitated him that pity for his feeble 
ness forced his children to accept the resignation. His plea 
was that it was easy to find one who would fill the post better 
or less ill than he. He ever feared that others should take him 
for anything more than he was. His confessor had hinted that 
if he outlived the Saint he would have marvels to disclose. The 
Saint gave him a severe public penance ; and when the Father 
died before his penitent, his friends suspected that this was in 
answer to the prayer of St. Ignatius. 

The holiness of our Saint stood the test of the Apostle s say 
ing, for never did he offend by the tongue. He was most care 
ful not to exaggerate or to use superlatives, so common in 
southern speech. Never did he say a word against another nor 
use a harsh word of reproach, nor did he allow himself to ex 
press an unfavorable judgment of anyone. He always pre 
ferred to get those who were in fault to acknowledge their 
error, so the more successfully to be able to correct them. What 
was perhaps most notable in him was the complete control 
which he had obtained over his naturally fiery temper. He was 
sweet and gentle, when sweetness and gentleness were needed, 
and yet could at the right time speak with such severity as to 
make the offender tremble before him, though the next moment 
he would return to his usual calm. He adjusted this severity 
to a nicety, according to the virtue of the person with whom he 
had to deal, and while considerate and gentle with the weak, 
he might have appeared hard and exacting to a fault when deal 
ing with men of tried virtue, like Lainez. 

A proof of St. Ignatius wise foresight and of his blindness, 
when needs be, to thoughtless faults, was best seen in his long 
suffering the freaks of the boy novice Ribadeneira, whose 
grateful pen WP.S afterwards to give us the charming biography 
of the Saint. In one of his fits of juvenile waywardness the 
youth showed the power which Ignatius could exert over hearts, 
by walking all the way from Louvain to Rome in the midst of 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 369 

a cruel winter to seek comfort in his troubles in the sight of 
his friend and father. The sick had a special place in the heart 
of St. Ignatius. When he had ordered some extra comforts 
for the invalids and the bursar told him there was not money 
in the house even to buy food for the community, he bade him 
sell some of the very small supply of crockery and furniture 
which the house then possessed and get the delicacies for the 
sick. 

His hidden life is told us in the more than human wisdom 
of his Exercises, of which it was ever the outward expression. 
Therein we can read the maxims which he carried out in every 
detail of his life. The secret of his success, the source of the 
courage which supported him are to be found in his quiet trust 
in God. Yet he fully recognized how God demands that man 
should do his part. However, stiff and decided he might be in 
carrying out his resolves when once he saw it was God s wish, 
his action was wisely slow, and he studied carefully and chose 
the best times and the seasons. At all other times he anxiously 
sought and readily followed the opinion of others. 

He had also a Saint s discernment when to lay aside human 
prudence and cast his care on God. His hands were already 
well rilled with pious works, beyond and above his care of the 
Society, and yet he undertook the whole responsibility of the 
refuge for fallen women at St. Martha, and braved the scoffs 
and vile insinuations of the wicked, and the worldly-wise criti 
cisms of the good. No labor was too great, he urged, to pre 
vent one single mortal sin, or to promote God s glory in any 
way; and once, when that was at stake, he stayed fourteen 
hours waiting without food for an audience at a great man s 
door. 

The reward came at last. Ignatius was now sixty-five. He 
was constantly prostrated by illness. Age had not bent his up 
right form, nor blanched his hair, his face was winning and 
full of a noble dignity. Yet the responsibilities of his world 
wide work, and the heats of a more than unusually hot Roman 
slimmer brought on a fever. But it did not seem serious. On 
the last day but one of July, 1556, he suggested to his Vicar 



370 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

that it was time to go and beg for him the Papal blessing, as he 
was near his end. Neither the doctors nor the Fathers could 
believe this, and so the message was delayed, even the last Sac 
raments were not administered. Next morning was Friday, 
and at early dawn St. Ignatius was found actually dying, and 
before the holy oils could be brought, about an hour after sun 
rise, he expired with the words, "Jesus, Jesus" on his lips. 

In 1622 Gregory XV. canonized our Saint. His relics lie in 
a sumptuous chapel, within the Church of the Gesu which was 
built in the place of Santa Maria della Strada. 

YE ANGELS, NOW BE GLAD 

Ye angels, now be glad, 

And thou exult O earth! 
Loyola s happy shade 

Rejoice at thy Saint s birtK. 

Loyola s son, all hail, 

By angels crowned above^ 
Ignatius, father dear, 

Accept thy children s love. 

On Pampeluna s walls 

The leader of the band, 
Behold our youthful Saint 

Defends his native land. 

Stretched on a bed of pain 

Christ s holy life he reads, 
While for his mis-spent youth 

His heart now sorely bleeds. 

"Begone, Oh sinful world, 

I ll never serve thee more," 
He cries, "I ll bear the Cross 
Which Jesus for me bore." 

Manresa s sacred grot 

Beholds him prostrate lie, 
Communing with his God, ^ 

And hears his fervent cry. 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 371 

At Peter s sainted throne, 

Behold its champion kneels, 
The sword of truth resolved 

In its defence to wield. 

A champion of peace 

On many a well-fought field, 
His victories left no stain 

On his untarnished shield. 

His conflicts now are passed, 

His mission here is done, 
.With Saints he reigns above, 

And Heaven s forever won. 




APPARITION TO 

B. DOMINICA, V.O.S.D. 

FLORENCE, ITALY 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 373 

APPARITION 

TO 

B. DOMINICA, V.O.S.D. 
FLORENCE, ITALY 

I 5 2 5 

We beg for pardon, and we know tis granted, 

We see in Thy Face, oh, Babe Divine, 
Thy Mother s gentle voice has pleaded for us, 

Redeemed once more we leave Thy sacred shrine. 




N a village near Florence there lived a young- girl, 
the daughter of poor parents, named Dominica. 
From her childhood she honored the Holy Virgin, 
fasted with that intention every day in the week, 
and on Saturdays distributed amongst the poor the food of 
which she had deprived herself. She placed the flowers of her 
garden before the image of Mary, who, from her earliest youth, 
loaded her with the most signal favors. At the age of ten years, 
being one day at the window, she saw in the street a beautiful 
woman, holding by the hand a child whose feet and breast were 
wounded. "Who has wounded that child?" asked Dominica. 
"Love," replied the mother. Dominica, charmed with the 
beauty of the child, asked him if his wounds were painful. He 
made no answer, but the mother said : "Tell me, my daughter, 
what induced you to crown those images with flowers?" "My 
love for Jesus and for Mary," replied the girl. On the instant 
the Holy Virgin appeared under the form of a great Queen, 
surrounded by light : the Child shone like a sun. He took those 
same flowers and laid them on the head of Dominica, who, rec 
ognizing in these august personages, Jesus and Mary, had pros 
trated herself before them. Thus ended the Vision. Dominica 
subsequently took the habit of St. Dominic, and died in the 
odor of sanctity in the year 1552. 

-~From Year of Mary, 



374 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 



A STORY OF ITALY 

Where the silver waves of Arno past the towers of Florence flow, 
Where in verdant fields of Florence, scarlet lilies bud and blow, 
Dwelt a poor and saintly maiden, full three hundred years ago. 

For the love of Mary Mother, she had fasted every day, 
To the poor of Blessed Mary she had given the food away, 
And on Mary s joyous Saturdays had gathered garlands gay. 

Then, where Mary Mother s Image made her dwelling always bright, 
Clasping close the dear Child Jesus all the day and all the night, 
She had laid the brilliant garlands as an offering in their sight. 

One day, looking forth, beheld she a woman wondrous fair, 

With her, waiting in the street, a little child was there; 

Both stretched forth beseeching hands, as asking food and care. 

But behold ! when food she brought them, needed they no opened door, 
In the room they stood beside her. Lo, on hands and feet He bore; 
That fair Child who noiseless entered deep, dread wounds that 
pierced them sore. 

Then she spoke unto the woman : "Who could wound this little child ?" 
"Love it was," the woman answered, and her voice was sweet and mild ; 
"Doth it hurt thee?" asked the maiden. He for answer only smiled. 

Wounds on tender hands; ah, pity! wounds on tender tiny feet, 
On the young Child s breast a deep wound where the gentle heart doth 

beat, 
Yea, but from the awful wound-prints comes a fragrance passing sweet. 

"Is this ointment? what can buy it?" "Faith and works," the mother 

said, 

Humbly then the maiden offered unto child and mother bread, 
But it was by love for Jesus that the little Child was fed. 

Even the word itself refreshed Him, all His face with gladness shone, 
Quoth He : "Love Him, love Him ever. That shall lead thee safely on, 
Teach thee how to serve Him truly, till thou stand before His throne." 

Sweeter, sweeter came the fragrance from the wounds so dread to see, 
"O my God !" exclaimed the maiden, "what can Heaven s fragrance be, 
$irtcc th* orlor in my dwelling makes me die of love to Thee!" 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 375 

And then radiant, changed and glorious, robed in garments of a queen, 
All enshrined in brilliant brightness was that wondrous woman seen; 
And the little Child, resplendent as the sun in Heaven His mien. 

Jesus, Mary, stood before her. Down upon her knees she fell, 
Ah! the rapture of that vision, who may think and who can tell? 
Needs saint s pen for saintly story, and what saint could write it well, 

Like that holy little maiden, low upon my knees I lie, 
Unto Jesus and to Mary with an aching heart I cry: 
Hungry, thirsty, faint and weary, feed me, feed me, lest I die. 

Banish from me earthly riches, take all earthly love from me, 
Love Divine is all I ask for in my shame and misery; 
I will never cease to ask it till the Face of God I see. 

What doth feed Thee, Child of Mary, make my own and only food! 
Though He slay me, make me love Him, Mary, Mother of my God; 
By thy Mother-heart I ask it, and by His Most Precious Blood. 

Child whose Sacred Heart was riven, Child whose hands and feet have 

bledl 

Give me deep, sincere repentance wherewith Thou art comforted; 
Then by my love let me feed Thee : by Thy love let me be fed. 

Susan L. Emery. 



OUR LADY OF ITALY 

Longfellow makes Prince Henry in the Golden Legend solil 
oquize as he and Elsie come into Italy : 

"This is, indeed, the Blessed Mary s land 
Virgin and Mother of our dear Redeemer." 

Yet we must not claim too much even for lovely Italy. Spain 
is also "the land of the most holy Mary." In the vision of 
Catharine Laboure, the rays from the outstretched hands of 
the Blessed Mother of God fell most abundantly on her native 
France. Even in England of to-day, it is easy to find from her 
ancient churches and the customs and traditions which linger 
among her people, a reason for her olden title, "Our Lady s 
D^wer." 



376 APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF 

The humblest woman or child in Italy understands Our 
Lady s place in the Church as well as the theologian. Look at 
yonder young peasant mother, with the cruel grief in her tear 
ful dark eyes ; listen to her as she lifts imploring hands and 
sways back and forth in the passion of her prayer, seeking the 
intercession of her dear Madonna for a sick child or a way 
ward husband at some favored Shrine : "Help me ; you can do 
it, you understand my need, because you are a woman and a 
mother." 

To the Italian, "the dear Redeemer" is always the Son of 
His Mother, alike on Calvary as in Bethlehem ; and to their 
logical minds he who praises the Son, be it ever so fervently, 
and disparages the Mother, is not a good Christian. 

In Rome alone nearly one hundred churches are dedicated 
to the Blessed Virgin, from the Basilica of St. Mary Major s 
in the Esquiline, one of the four patriarchal basilicas, to the 
little circular chapel of Our Lady of the Sun in the Velabrum, 
supposed to be an old-time Temple of Vesta. 

St. Mary Major s is a very ancient church, dating from the 
reign of Pope Liberius, A. D. 352. The story of its origin is 
the vision of John the Patrician and his wife, the chosen site 
covered with snow in summer, in memory of which miracle 
the Church keeps the feast of Santa Maria ad Nives Our 
Lady of the Snow on August 5, when rose-leaves fall through 
the dome of St. Mary Major s during Mass, in token of that 
wondrous snowfall of old. 

In this church is the Borghese Chapel, the largest and most 
magnificent family chapel in the world, whose decorations are 
an exposition of the Catholic teaching in regard to Our Lady 
conceived Immaculate, Mother of Christ, ever Virgin. One 
of the Madonnas, attributed to St. Luke, is above the altar. 
The four great prophets, leading with Isaiah, who foretold the 
Virgin Mother, are in the pendatives of the dome. Aaron and 
David, her priestly and her kingly ancestors; St. Joseph, her 
spouse, and St. John the Evangelist, her adopted son, are com 
memorated in statues; St. Luke, who gives the sufficient 
foundation of all Catholic devotion to her in the first chapter 



HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN 377 

of his Gospel, is the subject of a large fresco. The Doctors of 
the Church who wrote best of her, the spiritual and military 
conquerors in her name, the defenders of her Immaculate Con 
ception, her poets, and the women-saints who, like her, were 
wedded virgins, are all depicted in this chapel. 

The forest of white pillars in the nave of the Basilica, the 
first American gold in its ceiling, speak eloquently in fact and 
symbolism in Our Lady s honor. Yet St. Mary Major s in its 
vastness and whiteness, oppressed and dazzled me. Much 
more appealing and devotional was Santa Maria in Trastevere 
titular church of His Eminence Cardinal Gibbons which, 
for the mosaics in the sanctuary and some other points of fam 
ily resemblance, I called a little sister of St. John Laterals. 




INDEX. 

VOL. PAGE. 

Account of the Miraculous Cure of Estelle IV 123 

Act of Reparation to Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament. ..II 75 

Adoration of the Wise Men, The I 19 

Albigenses, The I 354 

An Alpine Monument to Mary IV 179 

An Efficacious Prayer II 113 

Angelus Bell, The II 226 

"Angelus" Bell, The (Poetry) II 225 

"Angelus Bird," The (Poetry) Ill 162 

Angelus Bird, The Ill 163 

Angelus Domini and Regina Coeli, The II 227 

"Angelus," The Ill 145 

Annunciation, The I 9 

Annunciation, The (Poetry) I 10 

Antiquity of Shrines I 61 

Apparition of Jesus to Our Blessed Lady, The I 3 2 

" Our Blessed Lady I 251 

" Our Lady of Wroxhall I 325 

" Our Lady of the Golden Sheaf II 39 

" Our Lady All Merciful IV 119 

" Our Lady of Tilly IV 205 

" the Blessed Virgin to the Saint Ill 252 

" to Abbott John Kingston I 299 

" " Alphonse M. Ratisbonne Ill 295 

" the Apostles and Disciples I 45 

" B. Albert, the Great, Bp. O.P II 37 

" B. Anne Catharine Emmerich Ill 203 

" B. Lucy of Narni, O.S.D II 305 

" " Benoite Rencurel, V Ill 191 

" B. Benvenuta Bojani, V.O.S.D II 147 

" Bernadetta Soubirous IV 17 

" Blessed Lidevine, V Ill 113 

" Blessed Mary Mancini, W.O.S.D II 209 

" Blessed Osanna, V.O.S.D II 321 

" B. Magdalen II 317 

" Brother Ernest II 281 

" B. Catharine of Raconigi, V.O.S.D II 313 

" Catherine Labourie, V Ill 275 

" B. Dominica, V.O.S.D II 373 



INDEX. 



VOL. PAGE. 

Apparition to B. Edmund Campion Ill 67 

" Francis M. Shanuboga IV 35 

" Gavan Dunbar, Bp II 339 

" B. Hermann Joseph I 3H 

" B. John Massias, Lady Brother, O.P Ill H7 

" Juan Diego HI 13 

" King William the Good I 257 

" B. Lucy of Narni, O.S.D II 305 

" B. Magdalen Pcnnatieri, V. O.S.D II 317 

" Mary Magdalene Kade IV 59 

" B. Margaret M. Alacoque, V Ill 209 

" Mary Wilson IV 45 

" " Maximin and Melanie Ill 305 

" Our Lady of Hope IV 99 

" Our Lady of Sorrow IV 173 

" Paul, an Indian Boy Ill 291 

" Paul of the Wood, Hermit II 151 

" Pope John XXII II I7S 

" " Peter De Basto, Lay Brother, SJ Ill 97 

" Rev. Michael De La Fontaine, SJ Ill 105 

" Thomas Michaelek Ill 101 

" the Princess Ermesinde II 9 

" the Seven Servites II 57 

" B. Reginald of Orleans, O.P II 17 

" St. Agnes of Monte Pulciano, V.O.S.D.... II 109 

" St. Aloysius Gonzaga, SJ Ill 91 

" St. Alphonsus Maria De Liguori, L>.C V S.S.R. Ill 251 

" St. Alphonsus Rodriguez, SJ Ill 59 

" St. Angela of Foligno, W.OS.F II 163 

" St. Bernardine of Siena, O.S.F II 239 

" St. Bernard, Ab. D I 287 

" St. Bonitus, Bp I 203 

" St. Bridgit of Sweden, W II 181 

" St. Catherine of Bologna II 289 

" St Catharine, V M I 141 

" St. Catharine of Siena, V. O.S.D II 189 

" St. Cajetan, F. Theatins II 335 

" St. Clare, V II 91 

" St. Clare of Rimini, W II 161 

" St. Dominic, F.O.P I 353 

" St. Dunstan, Bp I 243 

" " St. Egwin, Bp I 209 

" St. Felix of Valois II 3 

" St, Francis, F.Q.S.F,. . , , H 3* 



INDEX. 



VOL. PAGE. 

Apparition to St. Gertrude, V. Ab. O.S.D II 127 

St. Gregory Thaumaturgas I 103 

" St. Henry I 249 

" St. Hyacinth II 25 

" St. Ignatius De Loyola, F.SJ II 353 

" St. Ildefonsus, Abp I 193 

" St. Jerome Emiliani Ill 9 

" St. John Damascene I 219 

" St. John the Evangelist I 49 

S.S. Julian and Basilissa, M.M I 149 

" St. Mechtilde, V. ab. O.S.B II 115 

" St. Monica, W I 157 

" St. Nicholas Tolentine, OS. A II 171 

" St. Norbert, Abp. F I 273 

" St. Peter Celestine II 107 

" St. Peter Nolasco II 47 

" St. Philomena, VM I in 

" " St. Raymond Nonnatus, O.M II 53 

" St. Rose of Lima, V.O.S.D Ill 125 

" B. Stephana Quinzani, V.O.S.D II 291 

" " St. Simon Stock II 77 

" St. Stanislaus Kostka, SJ Ill 41 

" St. Teresa, V. Ab. (Carmelite) Ill 27 

" St. Thomas a Becket I 281 

" St. Veronica, V II 285 

" St. William, Ab. F I 263 

" Yen. Joan of Arc, F II 259 

" Ven. Ursula Benincasa, V Ill 137 

Arch-Confraternity of Our Lady of Pellevoisin IV 144 

As Fair as Snow, as Pure and White IV 232 

Assumption, The I 35 

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, The Ill 178 

At Bethlehem I 256 

At Our Blessed Mother s Shrine I 66 

Attributes of Mary, The II 45 

Ave I 94 

Ave Maria II 217 

Ave Maria II 288 

Ave Maria, The IV 244 

Battle of Muret, The I 358 

Beatification of Joan of Arc II 272 

Bells of the Angelus Ill 39 

Bells of Cologne, The II 43 

Birthday of Mary, The I 216 



INDEX. 



VOL. PAGE. 

Birth of Our Lord, The I 13 

Blessed Mary s Month, The Ill 7 

Bright Queen of Heaven I 328 

Brown Scapular, The II 88 

Burning Babe, The Ill 273 

Chapel of the Sagario, The I 195 

Cathedral of Chartres I 76 

Child of Mary II 19 

Childhood of Mary I 8 

Christmas I 14 

Christmas Day Ill 100 

Christmas Masses, The I 206 

Christmas Legend, A I 205 

Christ in the Temple I 25 

Christ s Beautiful Mother Ill 106 

Churches in America Dedicated to Mary IV 3 

Closing Years of St. Rose s Life Ill 133 

Coronation of Our Blessed Lady in Heaven I 41 

Cradle song of the Virgin I 83 

Daily, Daily Ill 103 

Death of St. Dominic, The I 359 

Death of St. Joseph, The Ill 34 

Death of St. Raymund II 55 

Decree of the Sacred Congregation I 161 

Description of the Holy House II 156 

Devout Prayers of St. Mechtildis II 15 

Devotion to the Church II 207 

Eighth Apparition to Estelle IV 132 

Ejaculations IV 318 

Ejaculatory Prayer IV 181 

Eleventh Apparition to Estelle IV 134 

Evenings in Greece IV 302 

Feast of Our Lady of Victory, The I 364 

Festival of the Assumption, The Ill 178 

Fifteenth Apparition to Estelle IV 139 

Finding of Our Lord in the Temple, The I 25 

First Crusade, The I 204 

First Mass, The Ill 260 

Flight Into Egypt, The I 21 

Florence IV 256 

"For, Behold, from Henceforth All Generations Shall Call 

Me Blessed." Ill 89 

For My Lady s Day II 294 

Fourteenth Apparition to Estelle IV 138 



INDEX. 



VOL. PAGE. 

Fr. De La Colombiere on the Scapular IV 301 

Garland of Holy Thoughts, A IV i? 

Girlhood of Mary I 

God Our Father II 168 

Good Use of Time Ill 255 

Graces Obtained through the Intercession of Blessed Mar 
garet Mary IV 290 

Grove of Laurels, The II 158 

Guardian of America, The Ill 236 

Guida s Queen IV 239 

Hail, Holy Queen I 296 

Hail, Mary! II 283 

Hail, Star of the Sea I 102 

Heavenly Trinity on Earth I 28 

Heaven s Bright Queen I 39 

He Grew in Wisdom II 150 

Her Heavenly Favors, Temptations, Virtues Ill 126 

Her Interior Sufferings, Mystic Espousals Ill 129 

Her Ladder of Grace Ill 1 1 

Herman s Gift I 317 

Holy Family, The II 290 

Holy Name of Mary IV 193 

Holy PicUre, The IV 309 

How Advantageous It Is to Hear Holy Mass II 119 

How St. Mechtilde Prepared for Death II 118 

Hymn to Our Lady, A IV 4 

Hymn to St. Aloysius Ill 95 

Hymn to the Virgin II 320 

"Immaculate." II 162 

Immaculate Conception II 324 

Immaculate Conception, The II 283 

Immaculate Conception, The II 316 

In Lone Premontre s Valley I 278 

In Mary s Arms II 338 

Innocence Rescued I 26 

Invocation of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament IV 300 

Invocation to the Prioress Tale I 181 

Ireland s Offerings to Our Lady of Lourdes IV 32 

Irish Lamp at Lourdes, The IV 33 

Judea Palestine I 7 

Knight of Our Lady of Mercy, The IV 277 

Last Advice of Blessed Angela and Her Happy Death II 167 

Lead, Kindly Light Ill 249 

Legend of the Cathedral of Cologne, A II 41 



vi INDEX. 



VOL. PAGE. 

Legend of the Holy Infancy, A I 314 

Legend of the Pyrenees, A II 235 

Legend of the White Thistle I 95 

"Let the Name of Mary be Blest." Ill 177 

Letter from Estelle IV 143 

Let Us Pray IV 181 

Lilies of the Valley Ill 153 

Loveliness of Mary, The , Ill 256 

Love of Christ s Little Ones Ill 10 

Madonna Delia Strada Ill 24 

Madonna of Perugino I 261 

Many Pearls of Price Ill 150 

Marianisches Lob-Gesang IV 307 

Mary II 108 

Mary at Cana of Galilee I 27 

Mary at the Foot of the Cross I 31 

Mary Kept All These Words IV 117 

Mary Immaculate Ill 114 

"Mary s Lullaby" IV 43 

Mary s Power with Her Son I 27 

Mary to Christ at Cross I 48 

Massabielle IV 225 

Mater Admirabilis I 232 

Mater Dolorosa I 108 

"Memorare" of Our Lady of Lourdes I 221 

Memorare of St. Joseph, The I 23 

Memorare, or Prayer of St. Bernard II 312 

Memorare to the Sacred Heart of Jesus I 217 

Mercy II 52 

Monks of the Blessed Virgin IV 297 

Morning Prayer IV 318 

Mother and Child II 333 

Mother of God Ill 150 

Mother of Grace, The IV 314 

Mother s Hymn, The II 187 

Mother of Sorrows, The II 173 

Mother s Secret, A IV 55 

Miracles of Lourdes, The IV 25 

Miracles of Our Lady of La Salette Ill 334 

Miraculous Medal IV 306 

Miraculous Madonna I 191 

Miraculous Statue, The IV 200 

Mission of the Order, The I 362 

Muzarabic Chapel of Toledo, The I 199 



INDEX. 



VOL. PAGE. 

Mystical Rose, The I 42 

Mystical Rose, The (Poetry) Ill 201 

Mystic Bridal of St. Catharine, The I 147 

Mystic Marriage of St. Katharine II 207 

My Lady s Ways I 250 

My Medal Ill 302 

Name of Jesus, The II 258 

Never Out of Call I 172 

Ninth Apparition to Estelle IV 133 

O Jesus, Mary, Joseph ! Ill 35 

O Star of Galilee I 270 

Our Blessed Lady s Advice to St. Bridgit II 184 

Our Lady of Consolation IV 154 

Our Lady of Dale IV 304 

Our Lady of Good Council II 302 

Our Lady of Grace IV 202 

Our Lady of Italy II 375 

Our Lady of Pellevoisin IV 148 

Our Lady of Perpetual Help IV 96 

Our Lady of Pity I 349 

Our Lady of Marpuigen IV 263 

Our Lady of Martyrs IV 172 

Our Lady of Mount Carmel II 46 

Our Lady and the Rosary I 365 

Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in Preparation and Reali 
zation IV 10 

Our Lady of the Snow I 156 

Our Lady of the Snow Ill 185 

Our Lady s Statue IV 275 

Our Lady of Victory Ill 112 

Our Lord s Coming I 20 

Our Lord and the Blind Man II 7 

Passion of Mary, The IV 189 

Peace Ill 288 

"Pietate Tua" (Prayer) II 106 

Pilgrimage at Lourdes, A IV 28 

Pilgrimage to Auriesville IV 171 

Pious Exercise IV 317 

Pope Celestine IV 309 

Pope Honors Joan of Arc II 275 

Pope Leo XIII. and the Rosary II i 

Practice in Honor of Mary I 286 

Practice in Honor of Mary I 20 

Praise to the Blessed Sacrament II 105 



viii INDEX. 



VOL. PAGE. 

Precious Blood, The HI 232 

Preface of the Blessed Virgin, The II 295 

Prayer IV 34 

Prayer Before a Crucifix IV 299 

Prayer Composed by Estelle, A IV 123 

Prayer in Honor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help IV 312 

Prayer for the Conversion of Heretics IV 256 

Prayer for a Good Death HI 201 

Prayer for Peace II J 45 

Prayer for Victory in Temptations IV 317 

Prayer of St. Bernard of Clairvaux 

Prayer to Our Lady HI lSl 

Prayer to Our Lady of Good Council IV 306 

Prayer to Our Lady of Perpetual Succor IV 305 

Prayer to Our Lady of Pity IV 257 

Prayer to Our Lady of Sorrows IV 316 

Prayer to St. Aloysius 256 

Prayer to St. Ildephonsus Ill 256 

Prayer to St. Joseph HO 

Prayer to the Blessed Virgin Ill 4 

Prayer to the Blessed Virgin II 179 

Prayer to the Blessed Virgin Ill 289 

Prayer to the Blessed Virgin II 29 

Prayer to the Blessed Virgin IV 

Prayer to the Blessed Virgin IV 3* 1 

Prayer to the Blessed Virgin IV 3*5 

Prayer to the Holy Virgin 271 

Prayer to the Madonna 1 12 

Prayer to the Most Holy Sacrament II 212 

Prayer to St. Philomena II 237 

Prayer to the Queen of Peace IV 31 

Prayer "Pietate Tua" IQ 6 

Prayer : "Virgin Most Holy" II 334 

Purification, The 1 7 

Purification (Poetry) l8 

Queen Above All Other Women IV 250 

Queen Immaculate IV 258 

Queen of Purgatory II 1 7& 

Queen of the Rosary IV 150 

Queen of Seasons, The HI 66 

Raphael s Famous Madonna of St. Anthony of Padua II 325 

Raphael, the Divine II 326 

Raphael s Madonnas II 322 

Real Treasure of Precious Indulgences of the Rosary, A. . IV 312 



INDEX. 



VOL. PAGE. 

Remarkable Conversion of an East Indian IV 38 

Return from Egypt, The I 23 

Revelation to St. Joseph, The I 12 

Reverence for the Blessed Sacrament IV 303 

Rosary, The I 357 

Royal Name of Mary, The IV 70 

Sailor s Song, The II 24 

Santa Rosa and Her Bird Ill 135 

Santo Bambino, The Ill 180 

Scriptural Life of Heaven s Bright Queen I I 

Sentiments of a Child of Mary Ill 207 

Seven Joys of Our Blessed Lady in Heaven, The I 284 

Seven Principal Dolors of Our Blessed Lady, The II 186 

Seventh Apparition to Estelle IV 131 

Seven Corporal Works of Mercy, The II 52 

Shorter Purgatory, A II 177 

Short Prayer to the Blessed Virgin Ill 178 

Shrine of Our Lady Comforter of the Afflicted Ill 165 

" Our Lady of Bon-Secours Ill 233 

" " Our Lady of Boulogne I 183 

" " Our Lady of Capocroce Ill I 

" Our Lady of the Catacombs I 85 

" " Our Lady of Chartres I 67 

" " Our Lady of Consolation IV 151 

* " Our Lady of Copakabana IV 253 

" " Our Lady of Folgoat II 213 

" Our Lady of the Forsaken II 231 

" " Our Lady of Glastonbury I 175 

" Our Lady of Good Council II 297 

" Our Lady of the Golden Fountain I 163 

" " Our Lady of Graces IV 195 

" Our Lady of Healing Ill 117 

" Our Lady of Hermits I 223 

" " Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception IV i 

" " Our Lady of Light Ill 239 

" " Our Lady of the Lilies Ill 151 

" " Our Lady of Lourdes (Ireland) IV 209 

" Our Lady of Lourdes (New Mexico) IV 183 

" Our Lady of Lujan Ill 155 

" Our Lady of Martyrs IV 157 

" " Our Lady of Melheha IV 219 

" " Our Lady of the Milk Ill 37 

" " Our Lady of Montserrat I 235 

" " Our Lady of Mariners II 21 



INDEX. 



VOL. PAGE. 

Shrine of Our Lady of the Oaks IV 235 

" Our Lady of Liesse I 319 

" " Our Lady of Perpetual Help IV 73 

" Our Lady of Pilar I 70 

" Our Lady of Pity I 341 

" Our Lady of Prompt Succor Ill 263 

" " Our Lady of Puy I 97 

" " Our Lady of the Sacred Heart IV 5 

" " Our Lady of the Snow I I5i 

" Our Lady of the Thorn II 221 

" " Our Lady of Trim I 3<>3 

" " Our Lady of Victories Ill 107 

" Our Lady of Ville-Maria Ill 183 

" " Our Lady of Walsingham I 320 

" " Our Lady of the Way Ill 23 

" Our Lady of the Wilderness Ill 257 

" Our Lady of Zebrzydowski IV 220 

" " Our Lady of Zo-Se IV 87 

" the Madonna of the Orphans IV 241 

" " the Miraculous Madonna IV 247 

" Santo Bambino HI 179 

" " St. Rose of Viterbo, V.OS.F II 73 

Sixth Apparition to Estelle IV 130 

Song of Praise to the Blessed Virgin IV 308 

Sphinx, The 22 

Stabat Mater II 7 

Stabat Mater of the Crib, The II 308 

St. Agnes Eve I 139 

St. Augustine and His Mother IV 311 

St. Dunstan I 247 

St. Francis of Assisi 35 

St. Gertrude s Speaking Crucifix II 145 

St. John the Baptist 3 

St. John Damascene I 220 

St. John the Evangelist 59 

St. John of Matha II 6 

Star of the Sea I 3O2 

Star of the Sea, The 190 

Statue, Shrine and Pilgrimage IV 188 

Stella Matutina T 4 

St. Lawrence of Dublin Ill "9 

St. Mungo s Bell H 351 

Story of Italy, A 374 

St. Stanislaus . m 57 



INDEX. 



VOL. PAGE. 

St. Thomas a Becket I 285 

St. Thomas of Canterbury (Hymn) I 285 

Sweetness of the Mother of God, The II 40 

Te Deum Laudamus of St. Bonaventure, The IV 313 

Tenth Apparition to Estelle IV 134 

Thirteenth Apparition to Estelle IV 137 

Three Prayers I 351 

To-Day II 74 

To-Day II 169 

To Jesus Crucified II 113 

To Joan in Heaven II 276 

To Mary the Help of Christians I 366 

To Our Mother II 228 

To the Blessed Virgin IV 70 

Twelfth Apparition to Estelle IV 136 

Use of the Present Time II 75 

Veil of the Virgin Mary, The Ill 122 

Veni Creator Spiritus IV 155 

Verses on St. Monica I 162 

Vespers of the Slain, The I 308 

Vesper Hymn I 322 

"Victimse Paschli" II 312 

Vigil of the Immaculate Conception Ill 10 

Vigil of St. Ignatius of Loyola I 241 

Virgin, The IV 255 

Virgin Mary to the Child Jesus, The Ill 20,3 

Virgin Mother Mary IV 96 

Virgin s Dream, The II 124 

Virgin of Sagario, The I 201 

Virgin of Sagario, The ( Poetry) I 201 

Virgo Gloriosa I 150 

Virgin of Guadalupe, The Ill 22 

Vision of St. Ildefonsus, The I 194 

Visit of Our Lady after Holy Communion IV 15 

Visitation, The I 1 1 

Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary I 12 

Vox Populi, Vox Dei Ill 330 

Weeping Madonna of La Salette, The Ill 336 

Why Canonize Joan of Arc ? II 265 

Wreck of vValsingham I 339 

Ye Angels, Now be Glad II 370 

Youghal and the Miraculous Statue IV 198 

Zeal for Our Lady s Honor I 194 



WALSH, W.J. 

Apparitions and shrines 
""""" 3 bright Queen. 



BQT 
1061 
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