“All the nations will come and worship before you” (Rev 15:4)
Miracle at Lourdes
On August 22, 1888, at 4:00 in the afternoon, for the first time, a procession with a final benediction for the sick with the Blessed Sacrament took place. It was a priest who proposed this devotional practice, and from that time, it has never been abandoned. When on that August 22 of 1888, the sick were blessed in front of the grotto of the Apparitions with the Blessed Sacrament, Pierre Delanoy, who had been suffering for many years from ataraxia (an illness which impedes the coordination of voluntary motion, and leads to certain death), was instantly cured just as the Monstrance passed him. From that date onward, the Eucharistic procession for the sick has never been interrupted. Ever since that time, the sick who make their way to Lourdes on pilgrimage are blessed with the Blessed Sacrament, and the miraculous healings which have been confirmed as the Blessed Sacrament passed by have been countless. The Shrine of Lourdes is a shining example of faith in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. (www.therealpresence.org)
Eucharistic Miracle: Pezilla-La-Riviere, France (1793)
During the violence and anti-Catholic furor of the French Revolution several brave French citizens took the Blessed Sacrament from their Church and kept the Real Presence of Jesus in their homes. The French government was enforcing a ban against Catholicism at the time, and even sold Churches and their sacred contents! Aware that their church was about to be sold, Rosa Llorens and Jean Bonafos went in and retrieved the Sacred Hosts from the tabernacle. If they had been caught, death would have been nearly certain. Despite the obvious danger, Rosa welcomed fellow brave Catholics who wished to adore Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament. The persecution of Catholics increased rapidly during the Reign of Terror, and many of the faithful suffered great losses of home and even life. Amidst this mayhem and persecution, the homes of Rosa Llorens and Jean Bonafos miraculously escaped unscathed, protected by the Divine Presence of Jesus in the Most Holy Eucharist.
St. Sebastian, Martyr, Patron of Athletes, Archers, & all who desire holy death Rome (d. 288)—Feast, Jan. 20
“Every time we receive Holy Communion, we are giving our lives as living sacrifices in union with the one sacrifice of Christ. We are offering ourselves crucified with Christ to the one true God, committing ourselves to adoring Him alone. We choose to announce Him as the only true King, and to conform our hearts, minds, souls, and bodies, to be like His, and to be His alone! St. Sebastian is the patron saint of soldiers, athletes, and plague-victims. His Eucharistic faith, His Eucharistic commitment, His Eucharistic self-sacrifice must be an example to all of us of our Eucharistic belief in One God, and a reminder that every day offers us the chance to recommit ourselves to that belief.” (Fr. Dominic Rankin, “St. Sebastian: One Eucharistic Faith”)
St. Agnes, Virgin & Martyr, Patroness of Youth & Rape Victims, Rome (3rd or 4th century)—Feast, Jan. 21
“O Saint Agnes, as a child you followed Christ and loved Him deeply even unto your martyrdom. Your faithfulness to Him gained you sainthood. United in death, in the tomb, you are now united to your heavenly spouse, Jesus, in eternal glory. Teach us to love Christ as you loved Him, to bear witness to Him with courage like yours, to put love for Him before our own lives. Show us the way to follow Christ so that we may follow the Lamb wherever He goes and be ready to risk everything to be faithful to Him. Joyful and young martyr, St. Agnes, share with us a taste of your innocence and joy. Amen. (From a novena to St. Agnes) St. Agnes pray for us to love Jesus Eucharistic!
Day of Penance for Violations to the Dignity of the Human Person—Feast, Jan. 22
“Once we say that the Holy Eucharist is Jesus Christ, we immediately see that it is He who is the final source of the graces which the world needs to not only cope with the culture of death but to promote the culture of life. . . . The impact of the pro-death philosophy is devastating in its consequences. Once you accept and approve the ‘right’ to kill innocent human beings, whether unborn or born, you open the door to every other crime of which selfish human nature is capable. The very meaning of law is obliterated.” (Fr. John Hardon, S.J.)
St. Francis de Sales, Bishop, Doctor, France (1567-1622)—Feast, Jan. 24:
St. John Bosco, Priest, Salesian Founder, Patron of Editors, Italy (1815-1888)—Feast, Jan. 31
“If a well-known and trustworthy person were to go to a public square and tell all the idlers loitering there that on a certain hill they would find a gold mine and could take all they wanted, do you think anyone would shrug his shoulders and say he did not care? They’d be dashing there as fast as they could! “Well, now, doesn’t the tabernacle hold the most precious treasure ever to be found on earth or in heaven? Unfortunately, there are many who cannot see it because they are blind. Yet our faith unerringly tells us that endless riches are to be found there. People sweat and toil to make money, and yet, in the tabernacle dwells the Lord of the universe. He will grant you what you ask, if you really need it. Isn’t Our Lord Jesus Christ Lord and Master of all? Go to Him then. Ask and it shall be given you; knock and it shall be opened to you! Jesus longs to grant you favors, especially those you need for your soul.” (St. John Bosco)
The Presentation of the Lord—Feast, February 2
St. Agatha, Virgin, Martyr, Patroness of Nurses, Breast Cancer, Italy (251)—Feast, February 5
O glorious Saint Agatha, through whose intercession in Christ I hope for the restored health of body and soul hasten to lead me to the true Good, God alone. By your intercession O blessed Agatha, may I ever enjoy your protection by faithfully witnessing to Christ. You invite all who come to you to enjoy the treasure of communion with the Holy Trinity. Moreover, if it be for God’s greater glory and the good of my person, please intercede for me with the request of [mention request here]. Saint Agatha, you found favor with God by your chastity and by your courage in suffering death for the gospel. Teach me how to suffer with cheerfulness, uniting myself to Christ crucified with a simplicity and purity of heart. Amen. Saint Agatha, eloquent witness of Jesus Christ as Savior, pray for us.
Saint Agatha, the martyr who says to Jesus, “possess all that I am,” pray for us. Saint Agatha, concerned with the welfare of all God’s children, pray for us.
Bl. Rosalie Rendu, Daughter of Charity, Mother of the poor, France (1786-1856)—Feast, Feb. 7
A toddler during the French Revolution, Bl. Rosalie’s family hid priests and a Bishop in their home, who were disguised as laborers. Bl. Rosalie discovered the Bishop offering Mass one day, who later gave her First Communion secretly in the basement, by candlelight. As a sister, she prayed the Holy Rosary while working and visited the Holy Eucharist for solutions. During unrest, she climbed barricades to care for wounded on both sides.
St. Josephine Bakhita, Religious, Africa (1869-1947)—Feast, February 8
St. Miguel Febres Cordero, Patron of Christian Brothers, Ecuador (1854-1910)—Feast, February 9
Born with crippled feet, when he was five years old, St. Miguel was in the garden with his mother one day. He said “Look at the beautiful woman who is on the roses!” She was clothed in white, with a blue mantle. When St. Miguel ran to her, he was healed. God called him to join the Christian Brothers who taught him in school. Devoted to the Blessed Sacrament and Our Lady, he was a beloved teacher. When he was sent to work at a school in Spain, a revolution broke out. He rescued the Holy Eucharist and the children by bringing them across a bay.
St. Scholastica, Benedictine, Abbess, Miracle Worker, Italy (480-547)—Feast, February 10
Twin sister of St. Benedict, St. Scholastica was the first abbess of the order of nuns, founded by her brother. Devoted to the worship of the Eucharist at Mass, and Adoration, she remained very closely united to Jesus. When she died, St. Benedict saw her soul depart from her body, in the form of a dove, and ascend up into heaven!
Our Lady of Lourdes, France (1858)—Feast, February 11
“At Lourdes, even Mary has stepped aside to make way for Christ. There is no place in the world where Christ in the Eucharist is more glorified. The procession of the Eucharist by candlelight is the high point of each day. Here the pilgrims are joined in faith, and all the countries of the world are united as the procession winds from the grotto to show that Jesus is the Gift of the Virgin Mary. Now she stands at the side of her Son so that He may console” (Rev. Msgr. John F. Davis). Our Lady of Lourdes, please pray for all in need of healing of body, mind and spirit.
St. Valentine, Martyr, Italy (c. 269)—Feast, February 14
While imprisoned for his faith, St. Valentine sent his friends notes to remind them that God, Who is Love, is always with us. “The greatest love story of all time is contained in a tiny white Host.” (Ven. Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen)
St. Claude de la Colombiere, Priest, Jesuit, France (d. 1682)—Feast, February 15
“Following the example of Claude La Colombiere, the faithful understand that such a spiritual attitude can only be the action of Christ in them, shown through Eucharistic communion: to receive in their heart the Heart of Christ and to be united to the sacrifice which he alone can offer worthily to the Father.” (St. John Paul II)
The Chair of St. Peter the Apostle—Feast, February 22
Prayer for the Pope: All praise and glory are Yours, Lord Jesus: You have made us Your body, Your Church, and help us to bear fruit for our Heavenly Father. You choose St. Peter as the rock, and sent him to feed Your flock and to strengthen his brothers and sisters, continue to help Your Church through the guidance of our Pope N. (name), and keep us faithful in Your service. Jesus, our Brother, You are Lord forever and ever. Amen.
St. Angela of Foligno, Widow, Mother, Secular Franciscan, Italy (1248-1309)—Feast, February 28
“This Sacrament really contains You, O my God, You whom the Angels adore, in whose presence the Spirits and mighty Powers tremble. Oh! if we could only see You clearly as they do, with what reverence would we approach this Sacrament, with what humility would we receive You.” (St. Angela of Foligno)
St. Katharine Drexel, Religious, Blessed Sacrament Sisters foundress, America (1858-1955)—Feast, March 3
A wealthy heiress, St. Katharine cared for her stepmother who had terminal cancer for three years. During that time, she developed a close relationship with Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. This kindled a great love for the poor and the oppressed, especially Native Americans. She ended up founding a religious order for this purpose. Due to serious illness, St. Katharine spent the last eighteen years of her life almost immobile. She spent long hours of prayer before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament interceding for souls.
St. John of God, Religious, Patron of Heart Patients, Portugal (1495-1550)—Feast, March 8
“Labor without stopping; do all the good works you can while you still have the time.” (St. John) St. John was a holy youth and spent the first part of his life as a shepherd. As a young man St. John joined the military and veered from his faith, but later converted and dedicated his life totally to God. St. John founded the Brothers Hospitallers of St. John of God who tirelessly care for the sick.
St. Louise de Marillac, Mother and Religious, Daughter of Charity, France (1591-1660)—Feast, March 15
“With all my heart I desire You, O Bread of Angels! Do not look on my unworthiness which separates me from You, but look on Your love which so often has invited me to approach You.” (St. Louise)
St. Patrick, Bishop and Patron of Ireland (d. 461)—Feast, March 17
St. Patrick’s intercession is known for multitudinous conversions and miracles. Through the Holy Eucharist, St. Patrick received the graces to bring Ireland faith in the true presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. St. Patrick wrote: “May Christ be with us! May Christ be before us! May Christ be in us, Christ be over all!”
St. Joseph, Patron of Universal Church, Spouse of Blessed Virgin Mary—Feast, March 19
Feast of the Annunciation of the Lord—Feast, March 25
“At the Annunciation Mary conceived the Son of God in the physical reality of his body and blood, thus anticipating within herself what to some degree happens sacramentally in every believer who receives, under the signs of bread and wine, the Lord’s body and blood.” (Pope St. John Paul II)
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