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Her father and sister took her on a pilgrimage to Rome to try to get her mind off this crazy idea. It was the one time when being little worked to her advantage!


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Because she was young and small she could run everywhere, touch relics and tombs without being yelled at. Finally they went for an audience with the Pope. They had been forbidden to speak to him but that didn't stop Therese. As soon as she got near him, she begged that he let her enter the Carmelite convent. She had to be carried out by two of the guards! But the Vicar General who had seen her courage was impressed and soon Therese was admitted to the Carmelite convent that her sisters Pauline and Marie had already joined.

Her romantic ideas of convent life and suffering soon met up with reality in a way she had never expected. Her father suffered a series of strokes that left him affected not only physically but mentally. When he began hallucinating and grabbed for a gun as if going into battle, he was taken to an asylum for the insane. Horrified, Therese learned of the humiliation of the father she adored and admired and of the gossip and pity of their so-called friends. As a cloistered nun she couldn't even visit her father.

This began a horrible time of suffering when she experienced such dryness in prayer that she stated "Jesus isn't doing much to keep the conversation going. She consoled herself by saying that mothers loved children when they lie asleep in their arms so that God must love her when she slept during prayer. She knew as a Carmelite nun she would never be able to perform great deeds.

Great deeds are forbidden me. The only way I can prove my love is by scattering flowers and these flowers are every little sacrifice, every glance and word, and the doing of the least actions for love. She smiled at the sisters she didn't like. She ate everything she was given without complaining -- so that she was often given the worst leftovers. One time she was accused of breaking a vase when she was not at fault. Instead of arguing she sank to her knees and begged forgiveness. These little sacrifices cost her more than bigger ones, for these went unrecognized by others.

No one told her how wonderful she was for these little secret humiliations and good deeds. When Pauline was elected prioress, she asked Therese for the ultimate sacrifice. Because of politics in the convent, many of the sisters feared that the family Martin would taken over the convent. Therefore Pauline asked Therese to remain a novice, in order to allay the fears of the others that the three sisters would push everyone else around.

This meant she would never be a fully professed nun, that she would always have to ask permission for everything she did. This sacrifice was made a little sweeter when Celine entered the convent after her father's death. Four of the sisters were now together again. Therese continued to worry about how she could achieve holiness in the life she led. She didn't want to just be good, she wanted to be a saint. She thought there must be a way for people living hidden, little lives like hers.


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  6. Unfortunately when I have compared myself with the saints, I have always found that there is the same difference between the saints and me as there is between a mountain whose summit is lost in the clouds and a humble grain of sand trodden underfoot by passers-by.

    Instead of being discouraged, I told myself: God would not make me wish for something impossible and so, in spite of my littleness, I can aim at being a saint. It is impossible for me to grow bigger, so I put up with myself as I am, with all my countless faults. But I will look for some means of going to heaven by a little way which is very short and very straight, a little way that is quite new.

    We need no longer climb laboriously up flights of stairs; in well-to-do houses there are lifts. And I was determined to find a lift to carry me to Jesus, for I was far too small to climb the steep stairs of perfection. So I sought in holy Scripture some idea of what this life I wanted would be, and I read these words: And so there is no need for me to grow up: I must stay little and become less and less. She worried about her vocation: I have the vocation of the Apostle.

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    Martyrdom was the dream of my youth and this dream has grown with me. Considering the mystical body of the Church, I desired to see myself in them all. Charity gave me the key to my vocation. I understood that the Church had a Heart and that this Heart was burning with love. I understood that Love comprised all vocations, that Love was everything, that it embraced all times and places Then in the excess of my delirious joy, I cried out: O Jesus, my Love My vocation is Love!

    When an antagonist was elected prioress, new political suspicions and plottings sprang up. The concern over the Martin sisters perhaps was not exaggerated. In this small convent they now made up one-fifth of the population. Despite this and the fact that Therese was a permanent novice they put her in charge of the other novices.

    Then in , she coughed up blood.

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    She kept working without telling anyone until she became so sick a year later everyone knew it. Worst of all she had lost her joy and confidence and felt she would die young without leaving anything behind. Pauline had already had her writing down her memories for journal and now she wanted her to continue -- so they would have something to circulate on her life after her death. Her pain was so great that she said that if she had not had faith she would have taken her own life without hesitation.

    But she tried to remain smiling and cheerful -- and succeeded so well that some thought she was only pretending to be ill. Her one dream as the work she would do after her death, helping those on earth. She herself felt it was a blessing God allowed her to die at exactly that age. After she died, everything at the convent went back to normal. One nun commented that there was nothing to say about Therese.

    But Pauline put together Therese's writings and heavily edited them, unfortunately and sent copies to other convents. But Therese's "little way" of trusting in Jesus to make her holy and relying on small daily sacrifices instead of great deeds appealed to the thousands of Catholics and others who were trying to find holiness in ordinary lives. Within two years, the Martin family had to move because her notoriety was so great and by she had been canonized. Therese of Lisieux is one of the patron saints of the missions, not because she ever went anywhere, but because of her special love of the missions, and the prayers and letters she gave in support of missionaries.

    This is reminder to all of us who feel we can do nothing, that it is the little things that keep God's kingdom growing. Elizabeth of Hungary Patron services, tertiaries, widows, and young brides Birth: At the age of four she was sent for education to the court of the Landgrave of Thuringia, to whose infant son she was betrothed. As she grew in age, her piety also increased by leaps and bounds. In , she married Louis of Thuringia and in spite of her position at court began to lead an austerely simple life, practiced penance, and devoted herself to works of charity.

    Her husband was himself much inclined to religion and highly esteemed her virtue, encouraging her in her exemplary life. They had three children when tragedy struck - Louis was killed while fighting with the Crusaders. After his death, Elizabeth left the court, made arrangements for the care of her children, and in , renounced the world, becoming a tertiary of St. She built the Franciscan hospital at Marburg and devoted herself to the care of the sick until her death at the age of 24 in Elizabeth is the patron saint of bakers, countesses, death of children, falsely accused, the homeless, nursing services, tertiaries, widows, and young brides.

    Her symbols are alms, flowers, bread, the poor, and a pitcher. October 28 Patron of Desperate Cases. Jude, known as Thaddaeus, was a brother of St. James the Less, and a relative of Our Saviour. Jude was one of the 12 Apostles of Jesus. According to Eusebius, he returned to Jerusalem in the year 62, and assisted at the election of his brother, St. Simeon, as Bishop of Jerusalem. He is an author of an epistle letter to the Churches of the East, particularly the Jewish converts, directed against the heresies of the Simonians, Nicolaites, and Gnostics.

    This Apostle is said to have suffered martyrdom in Armenia, which was then subject to Persia. The final conversion of the Armenian nation to Christianity did not take place until the third century of our era. Jude was the one who asked Jesus at the Last Supper why He would not manifest Himself to the whole world after His resurrection.

    Little else is known of his life. Legend claims that he visited Beirut and Edessa; possibly martyred with St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Feast day: November 13 Patron of immigrants Death: Frances was born in Lombardi, Italy in , one of thirteen children. At eighteen, she desired to become a Nun, but poor health stood in her way. She helped her parents until their death, and then worked on a farm with her brothers and sisters. One day a priest asked her to teach in a girls' school and she stayed for six years.

    At the request of her Bishop, she founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart to care for poor children in schools and hospitals. Filled with a deep trust in God and endowed with a wonderful administrative ability, this remarkable woman soon founded schools, hospitals, and orphanages in this strange land and saw them flourish in the aid of Italian immigrants and children.

    Frances is the patroness of immigrants. To read more about their history To read more about their foundress St. After her death and the marriage of her eldest sister, Teresa was sent for her education to the Augustinian nuns at Avila, but owing to illness she left at the end of eighteen months, and for some years remained with her father and occasionally with other relatives, notably an uncle who made her acquainted with the Letters of St. Jerome, which determined her to adopt the religious life, not so much through any attraction towards it, as through a desire of choosing the safest course.

    Unable to obtain her father's consent she left his house unknown to him on Nov. The wrench from her family caused her a pain which she ever afterwards compared to that of death. However, her father at once yielded and Teresa took the habit. After her profession in the following year she became very seriously ill, and underwent a prolonged cure and such unskillful medical treatment that she was reduced to a most pitiful state, and even after partial recovery through the intercession of St. Joseph, her health remained permanently impaired.

    During these years of suffering she began the practice of mental prayer, but fearing that her conversations with some world-minded relatives, frequent visitors at the convent, rendered her unworthy of the graces God bestowed on her in prayer, discontinued it, until she came under the influence, first of the Dominicans, and afterwards of the Jesuits.

    Meanwhile God had begun to visit her with "intellectual visions and locutions", that is manifestations in which the exterior senses were in no way affected, the things seen and the words heard being directly impressed upon her mind, and giving her wonderful strength in trials, reprimanding her for unfaithfulness, and consoling her in trouble. Unable to reconcile such graces with her shortcomings, which her delicate conscience represented as grievous faults, she had recourse not only to the most spiritual confessors she could find, but also to some saintly laymen, who, never suspecting that the account she gave them of her sins was greatly exaggerated, believed these manifestations to be the work of the evil spirit.

    The more she endeavoured to resist them the more powerfully did God work in her soul. The whole city of Avila was troubled by the reports of the visions of this nun. It was reserved to St. Francis Borgia and St. The account of her spiritual life contained in the "Life written by herself" completed in , an earlier version being lost , in the "Relations", and in the "Interior Castle", forms one of the most remarkable spiritual biographies with which only the "Confessions of St.

    Augustine" can bear comparison. To this period belong also such extraordinary manifestations as the piercing or transverberation of her heart, the spiritual espousals, and the mystical marriage. A vision of the place destined for her in hell in case she should have been unfaithful to grace, determined her to seek a more perfect life.

    After many troubles and much opposition St. Joseph at Avila 24 Aug. Four years later she received the visit of the General of the Carmelites, John-Baptist Rubeo Rossi , who not only approved of what she had done but granted leave for the foundation of other convents of friars as well as nuns. In the "Book of Foundations" she tells the story of these convents, nearly all of which were established in spite of violent opposition but with manifest assistance from above.

    Everywhere she found souls generous enough to embrace the austerities of the primitive rule of Carmel. Having made the acquaintance of Antonio de Heredia, prior of Medina, and St. John of the Cross, she established her reform among the friars 28 Nov. A new epoch began with the entrance into religion of Jerome Gratian, inasmuch as this remarkable man was almost immediately entrusted by the nuncio with the authority of visitor Apostolic of the Carmelite friars and nuns of the old observance in Andalusia, and as such considered himself entitled to overrule the various restrictions insisted upon by the general and the general chapter.

    On the death of the nuncio and the arrival of his successor a fearful storm burst over St. Teresa and her work, lasting four years and threatening to annihilate the nascent reform. The incidents of this persecution are best described in her letters. The storm at length passed, and the province of Discalced Carmelites, with the support of Philip II, was approved and canonically established on 22 June, Teresa, old and broken in health, made further foundations at Villanuava de la Jara and Palencia , Soria , Granada through her assistant the Venerable Anne of Jesus , and at Burgos She left this latter place at the end of July, and, stopping at Palencia, Valladolid, and Medina del Campo, reached Alba de Torres in September, suffering intensely.

    Soon she took to her bed and passed away on 4 Oct. After some years her body was transferred to Avila, but later on reconveyed to Alba, where it is still preserved incorrupt. Her heart, too, showing the marks of the Transverberation, is exposed there to the veneration of the faithful. She was beatified in , and canonized in by Gregory XV, the feast being fixed on 15 October. Teresa's position among writers on mystical theology is unique. In all her writings on this subject she deals with her personal experiences, which a deep insight and analytical gifts enabled her to explain clearly.


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    8. The Thomistic substratum may be traced to the influence of her confessors and directors, many of whom belonged to the Dominican Order. She herself had no pretension to found a school in the accepted sense of the term, and there is no vestige in her writings of any influence of the Areopagite, the Patristic, or the Scholastic Mystical schools, as represented among others, by the German Dominican Mystics.

      She is intensely personal, her system going exactly as far as her experiences, but not a step further. A word must be added on the orthography of her name. It has of late become the fashion to write her name Teresa or Teresia, without "h", not only in Spanish and Italian, where the "h" could have no place, but also in French, German, and Latin, which ought to preserve the etymological spelling.

      As it is derived from a Greek name, Tharasia, the saintly wife of St. John Bosco Feast day: What do dreams have to with prayer? Aren't they just random images of our mind? Nine years earlier when Pope Pius IX met with the future saint who worked with neglected boys, he learned of the dreams that John had been having since the age of nine, dreams that had revealed God's will for John's life. So Pius IX had made a request, "Write down these dreams and everything else you have told me, minutely and in their natural sense. Despite Scripture evidence and Church tradition respecting dreams, John had encountered skepticism when he had his first dream at the age of nine.

      The young Bosco dreamed that he was in a field with a crowd of children. The children started cursing and misbehaving. John jumped into the crowd to try to stop them -- by fighting and shouting. Suddenly a man with a face filled with light appeared dressed in a white flowing mantle. The man called John over and made him leader of the boys. John was stunned at being put in charge of these unruly gang. The man said, "You will have to win these friends of yours not with blows but with gentleness and kindness. The man told John that this is the field of John's life work.

      Once John changed and grew in humility, faithfulness, and strength, he would see a change in the children -- a change that the man now demonstrated. The wild animals suddenly turned into gentle lambs. When John told his family about his dream, his brothers just laughed at him. Everyone had a different interpretation of what it meant: His own grandmother echoed the sage advice we have heard through the years, "You mustn't pay any attention to dreams. Eventually that first dream led him to minister to poor and neglected boys, to use the love and guidance that seemed so impossible at age nine to lead them to faithful and fulfilled lives.

      He started out by learning how to juggle and do tricks to catch the attention of the children. Once he had their attention he would teach them and take them to Mass. It wasn't always easy -- few people wanted a crowd of loud, bedraggled boys hanging around. And he had so little money and help that people thought he was crazy. Priests who promised to help would get frustrated and leave.

      Two "friends" even tried to commit him to an institution for the mentally ill. They brought a carriage and were planning to trick him into coming with him. But instead of getting in, John said, "After you" and politely let them go ahead. When his friends were in the carriage he slammed the door and told the drive to take off as fast as he could go! Through it all he found encouragement and support through his dreams. In one dream, Mary led him into a beautiful garden. There were roses everywhere, crowding the ground with their blooms and the air with their scent.

      He was told to take off his shoes and walk along a path through a rose arbor. Before he had walked more than a few steps, his naked feet were cut and bleeding from the thorns. When he said he would have to wear shoes or turn back, Mary told him to put on sturdy shoes. As he stepped forward a second time, he was followed by helpers. But the walls of the arbor closed on him, the roof sank lower and the roses crept onto the path.

      Thorns caught at him from all around. When he pushed them aside he only got more cuts, until he was tangled in thorns. Yet those who watched said, "How lucky Don John is! His path is forever strewn with roses! He hasn't a worry in the world. No troubles at all! Finally he climbed through the roses and thorns to find another incredible garden. A cool breeze soothed his torn skin and healed his wounds. In his interpretation, the path was his mission, the roses were his charity to the boys, and the thorns were the distractions, the obstacles, and frustrations that would stand in his way.

      The message of the dream was clear to John: Often John acted on his dreams simply by sharing them, sometimes repeating them to several different individuals or groups he thought would be affected by the dream. The groups he most often shared with were the boys he helped -- because so many of the dreams involved them. For example, he used several dreams to remind the boys to keep to a good and moral life. In one dream he saw the boys eating bread of four kinds -- tasty rolls, ordinary bread, coarse bread, and moldy bread, which represented the state of the boys' souls.

      He said he would be glad to talk to any boys who wanted to know which bread they were eating and then proceeded to use the occasion to give them moral guidance. He died in , at the age of seventy-two. His work lives on in the Salesian order he founded. John Bosco found God's message in his dreams. If you have some question or problem in your life, ask God to send you an answer or help in a dream.

      Then write down your dreams. Ask God to help you remember and interpret the dreams that come from God. Saint John Bosco, you reached out to children whom no one cared for despite ridicule and insults. Help us to care less about the laughter of the world and care more about the joy of the Lord. Dominic Savio Feast day: March 9 Patron of the Falsly Accused Birth: Dominic Savio was born in Italy in One day when he was just four, he disappeared and his good mother went looking for him. She found the little fellow in a corner praying with his hands joined and his head bowed.

      He already knew all his prayers by heart! At five, he was an altar boy. When he was seven, he received his First Holy Communion. On that solemn day, he chose a motto: Yes, Dominic was an ordinary boy with an extraordinary love for God. At the age of twelve, Dominic entered the school run by St. Don Bosco examined him first and at the end of the questions, Dominic asked,.

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      Everyone in the school saw from the way he prayed that this boy was different. He greatly loved all the boys, and even though he was younger, he used to worry about them. He was afraid that they would lose the grace of God by sinning. One day, a fellow brought a magazine full of bad pictures to school. In a minute, a group of boys had gathered around him to see it. Just one peek was enough for him. He grabbed the magazine and tore it to pieces!

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      Dominic had a ready answer. No one said anything after that. They all realized that Dominic was right. Another time he stopped a terrific stone-throwing fight between two angry boys. Holding up a little crucifix between them, he said, "Before you fight, look at this and say, 'Jesus Christ was innocent and He died forgiving His murderers. I am a sinner, and I am going to hurt Him by not forgiving my enemies. The two boys were so ashamed of themselves that they apologized, and promised to go to confession too.

      One day Dominic began to feel sick and was sent home to get better. While at home he grew worse, instead, and received the last Sacraments. He was only fifteen then, but he did not fear death. In fact, he was overjoyed at the thought of going to Heaven. Just before he died, he tried to sit up. Suddenly his face lit up with a smile of great joy and happiness. Then he spoke no more, for he had gone to Heaven.

      Dominic is the patron saint of choir boys and of the falsely accused. This latter title was given to him due to the following incident. One time, two boys filled the school stove with snow and garbage during the cold winter months. When the teacher came back into the room, they falsely accused Dominic of doing the "dirty" deed. Although disciplined in front of the entire class, Dominic refused to tell on the two mischievous boys. When the truth was later revealed, Dominic was asked why he didn't confess to his innocence.

      He remarked that he was imitating Our Lord, Who remained silent during His persecutions and crucifixion. Before the reform of the Roman calendar, Christopher was listed as a martyr who died under Decius. Nothing else is known about him. There are several legends about him including the one in which he was crossing a river when a child asked to be carried across. When Christopher put the child on his shoulders he found the child was unbelievably heavy. The child, according to the legend, was Christ carrying the weight of the whole world.

      This was what made Christopher patron saint of travelers and is invoked against storms, plagues, etc.. His former feast day is July Before the formal canonization process began in the fifteenth century, many saints were proclaimed by popular approval. This was a much faster process but unfortunately many of the saints so named were based on legends, pagan mythology, or even other religions -- for example, the story of the Buddha traveled west to Europe and he was "converted" into a Catholic saint!

      In , the Church took a long look at all the saints on its calendar to see if there was historical evidence that that saint existed and lived a life of holiness. In taking that long look, the Church discovered that there was little proof that many "saints", including some very popular ones, ever lived. Christopher was one of the names that was determined to have a basis mostly in legend. Therefore Christopher and others were dropped from the universal calendar. Some saints were considered so legendary that their cult was completely repressed including St.

      Christopher's cult was not suppressed but it is confined to local calendars those for a diocese, country, or so forth. His name Christopher, means Christ-bearer. He died a martyr during the reign of Decius in the third century. Kateri Tekakwitha Feast day: July 14 Patron of the environment and ecology Birth: April 17, Beatified By: Kateri was born near the town of Auriesville, New York, in the year , the daughter of a Mohawk warrior. She was four years old when her mother died of smallpox.

      The disease also attacked Kateri and transfigured her face. She was adopted by her two aunts and an uncle. Kateri became converted as a teenager. She was baptized at the age of twenty and incurred the great hostility of her tribe. New Liturgical norms - bottom or our home page. Since the renovation, the stained glass windows of Our Lady of Fatima Church have two central themes: The crucifix on the rededos in the back of the altar was formerly located at the rear of the church.

      It now takes its proper place as the central focal point of the Church, especially when the faithful come together to celebrate the Eucharist. The Marian theme begins with the window that depicts the Magnificat, Mary's great prayer of faith and praise, which she proclaimed upon her Visitation to her cousin, Elizabeth, who, filled with the Holy Spirit, first named Mary Blessed among Women, and told her that her child, the fruiot of her womb, would be Most Blessed.

      This first window expresses so wonfderfully the joyful YES that Mary kept speaking to God along all the steps of her faith journey. It enourages us to ask "What does it mean? Mary stands in the groin of a dead or barren tree, encircled by branches that have somehow sprung forth with new life and join together above her. Fiften golden "A"s are randomly suspended by chains from the spiky branches. Mary is dressed in an ample flowing deep red robe, lined in green placed over a blue gown. She holds the Christ Child who is dressed in swaddling clothes while holding a golden orb, on which a cross is mounted.

      The trunk of the tree has been cut off, the Mother, the Child and the tree stand out like bright jewels coming forth from a sea of darkness. The image of the Virgin, standing in a dry or barren tree, is derived from Ezekial The dry or barren tree is the Tree of Knowledge which the Lord caused to wither when Adam and Eve ate from its forbidden fruit. Guillaume deDeguilleville was a 14th Century author who inspired Petrus Christus to paint new branches growing out of a dead tree to represent a grafting on from the Tree of Life.

      There are different levels of meaning here. One speaks of Mary's special birth. She had been conceived by the thought-to-be-barren St. Thus her birth brings hope and life, where none was considered to be possible. Another meaning anticipates God's invitation to Mary to become Mother of the Saviou. Thus, by her stance in the tree, she stands in this picture between death and barrenness below and new life and fruitfulness above. Mary's critical YES to God's invitation was her fundamental act of faith that helped reverse the downward spiral of mankind away from God and toward sin and alienation that had begun with the fateful NO of Adam and the first Eve.

      Symbolically, Mary's affirmation revived the once dead or dry tree, but it was the birth of her Son, the fruit of her faith and womb, that produced the real fruit on the newly green or fertile tree. In our glass window, Mary holds the Christ Child, who in turn holds a golden orb, or sphere, crowned by the Cross.

      This symbolizes Christ's sovereignty over the world He holds, and which He will save by the sacrifice of His own life on the Cross. The resemblance to the Crown of Thorns, one of the principal instruments of Christ's Passion, in the circular form of the limbs above and the spiky branches of the tree, reminds us of how great was the love of Christ for us.

      It produces new life for this symbolic tree, but especially for us, His Church. Upon these brances of the new life hang fifteen golden "A"s. They stand for the first letter of the Ave Maria or Hail Mary. The number fifteen reflects the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary.

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      Two things are celebrated here. First, Mary is honored as the new Eve, because Ave was the word spoken to her by the archangel Gabriel, and is the very reverse of Eva, the name of our first mother, whose NO created the need for the Saviour later brought forth by Mary, the new Eve. The next window presents Mary as the new Eve. Eve herself sits dejectedly in darkness, whereas Mary is shown moving into the light.