St. Jeanne de Valois

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St. Jeanne de Valois

Queen and Foundress of the Order of the Annonciades
(1464 – 1505)

Queen and foundress of the Order of the Annonciades, b. 1464; d. at Bourges, 4 Feb., 1505. Daughter of one king and wife of another, there are perhaps few saints in the calendar who suffered greater or more bitter humiliations than did Madame Jéhanne de France, the heroic woman usually known in English as St. Jane of Valois. A daughter of Louis XI by his second wife, Charlotte of Savoy, she was hated from birth by her father, partly because of her sex and partly on account of her being sickly and deformed. Sent away to be brought up by guardians in a lonely country château, and deprived not only of every advantage due to her rank, but even of common comforts and almost of necessities, it was the intense solitude and abjectness of her life that first made Jeanne turn to God for consolation, and that gave her very early a tender and practical devotion to the Blessed Virgin. She is said to have had a supernatural promise that some day she would be allowed to found a religious family in honour of Our Lady. The mysteries of the Annunciation and Incarnation, as set forth in the Angelus, were her great delight.

For political purposes of his own, Louis XI compelled Jeanne to marry Louis, Duke of Orléans, his second cousin, and heir presumptive to the throne. After her marriage, the princess suffered even more than before, for the duke hated the wife imposed upon him, and even publicly insulted her in every possible way. She, imagining virtues in her husband that did not exist, loved him tenderly, and when he got into disgrace and was imprisoned exerted herself to mitigate his sufferings and to get him freed. No sooner, however, was the duke, on the death of Charles VIII, raised to the throne of France as Louis XII, than he got his marriage with Jeanne annulled at Rome, on the ground that it was invalid, from lack of consent, and from the fact that it had never been consummated (see ALEXANDER VI); and the saint’s humiliations reached their climax when she found herself, in the face of all France, an unjustly repudiated wife and queen. Continue reading

Dominica V Post Epiphaniam

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Dominica V Post Epiphaniam

Evangelium
Matt 13:24-30

At that time, Jesus spoke this parable to the crowds: The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men were asleep, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. And when the blade sprang up and brought forth fruit, then the weeds appeared as well. And the servants of the householder came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ And the servants said to him, ‘Will you have us go and gather them up?’ ‘No,’ he said, ‘lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. Let both grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will say to the reapers: Gather up the weeds first, and bind them in bundles to burn; but gather the wheat into my barns.’

 

Devotions in Honor of the Apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary Immaculate, Our Lady of Lourdes

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Devotions in Honor of the Apparitions
of the Blessed Virgin Mary Immaculate, Our Lady of Lourdes

The following prayers are recited as a novena in preparation for the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes — Feb. 2-10 — and on the Feast — Feb. 11th.

Instruction and Reflection on the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes

This great title of Our Lady is one of the best known to all Catholics and yet whose message is most shamefully neglected and forgotten. In accord with God’s love for the poor and simple of heart, the Blessed Virgin Mary chose St. Bernadette Soubirous, a young, humble maiden of little education, as Her instrument to convey to mankind Her message of Maternal concern and urgent repentance.

It was in the year 1858 that the Mother of God appeared to this little shepherd girl, in a distant grotto, in the French foothills of the Pyrenees, commonly known as Massabieille. As with all of Our Blessed Lady’s Apparitions, She appeared to the humble and those most hidden from the world, because it is in these hearts that God works His greatest wonders of grace. In a series of 18 apparitions from February to July, the Mother of God offered a message of hope, warning, and consolation, but especially one urging mankind to return to the love of Her Divine Son, through prayer, penance, and reparation for sins.

“I am the Immaculate Conception.” In an age such as ours, so decadent and Godless, these words come as a ray of Hope and a pledge of victory. In no other age has Satan reaped such abundant fruit as in ours, and never has the battle for God and His Honor looked so bleak. Sin and vice have smothered the light of God’s Grace, and Satan has successfully established his kingdom. When all seemed lost, God sent His Immaculate Mother to be our sole refuge.
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Saint Andrew Corsini

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Saint Andrew Corsini

Bishop of Fiesole
(1302-1373)

Saint Andrew was born in Florence in 1301 of the illustrious Corsini family. A short time before the birth of Saint Andrew, his mother experienced a strange dream, in which she had given birth to a wolf which became a lamb upon entering a Carmelite church. After a dissolute youthful life Andrew repented, when one day in 1318 his desolate mother told him of her dream. He rose and went to the altar in the church where his parents had offered to God the child they hoped to obtain from His mercy; there he prayed to the Blessed Virgin with tears, then went to beg his admission to the Carmelite Order.

He began a life of great mortification. Ordained a priest in 1328, he studied in Paris and Avignon, and on his return became the Apostle of Florence, and Prior of his convent there. In 1360 he was consecrated Bishop of Fiesole, near Florence, and gained a great reputation as a peacemaker between rival political factions and for his love of the poor. He was also named papal nuncio to Bologna, where he pacified dissenting factions and won the hearts of the nobility with whom he was associating. He wrought many miracles of healing and conversion during his lifetime.  Continue reading