Council of Trent

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Council of Trent

The nineteenth ecumenical council opened at Trent on 13 December, 1545, and closed there on 4 December, 1563. Its main object was the definitive determination of the doctrines of the Church in answer to the heresies of the Protestants; a further object was the execution of a thorough reform of the inner life of the Church by removing the numerous abuses that had developed in it. Continue reading

St. Lucy

St. Lucy, Virgin and Martyr

St. Lucy, one of the most renowned Christian heroines, first saw the light of the world at Syracuse, in Sicily. Her parents were of high rank and very rich; but Lucy cared not for temporal goods, and had already when quite young, vowed herself to the Lord. As her father had died early, her mother desired that she should marry a youth, her equal in rank and fortune, but still a heathen. Lucy was horrified at this proposal; but not to displease her mother by a refusal, she endeavored to delay giving a decisive answer, praying meanwhile to God to aid her. Her prayer was answered in an unexpected manner. Her mother became sick and needed her daughter’s assistance. Already four years had passed, and there was yet no hope of a recovery, when the mother, persuaded by Lucy, allowed herself to be carried to the tomb of St. Agatha, at Catania, which was celebrated for many miracles. On arriving there, Lucy, after long prayers, was overcome by sleep, in which St. Agatha, accompanied by many Angels, appeared to her and said: “What do you request of me, dear sister? Behold your mother is cured! Your faith has worked this miracle. Know then, that as God, for my sake, made Catania glorious, so will He, for your sake, make Syracuse famous; for, you have prepared for Him an agreeable dwelling by vowing your virginity to Him.”  Continue reading

Historical Account of the Apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe

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Historical Account of the Apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe

by Sister Gabriel, O.P., 1900

The story of the Apparition of our Lady can not be too often repeated, and it will be better appreciated in the faithful translation of the original Indian narrative by that zealous and devoted client of our Lady of Guadalupe, Rev. Andrew Garriga, who for some years was rector of the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe, San Francisco.

In the year of our Lord 1531, ten years after the Conquest, and four months after the end of the war (Clement VI. being Pope, and Charles V. King of Spain), one Saturday morning, before dawn, it being the 9th of December, an Indian–low and poor, humble and candid (one of the newly converted to the Catholic Faith), named Juan Diego, a native of Quatitlan, a town north of and distant from the capital of Mexico four leagues, who was married to another convert, Maria Lucia, then resident in a town nearer to the city, called Tolpetlac–was going to the Church of S. James, in the Barrio of Tlatelolco, to hear Mass and the catechetical instruction that the religious of S. Francis used to impart every morning to the Indians. Continue reading

Our Lady of Guadalupe

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Our Lady of Guadalupe

Patroness of Latin America
(1531)

One of the most beautiful series of apparitions of the Queen of Heaven occurred on the American continent on a December day of 1531, only ten years after the Spanish conquest. A fervent Christian Indian in his fifties, Juan Diego, a widower, was on his way to Mass in Mexico City from his home eight miles distant, a practice he and his wife had followed since their conversion, in honor of Our Lady on Her day, Saturday. He had to pass near the hill of Tepeyac, and was struck there by the joyous song of birds, rising up in the most melodious of concerts; he stopped to listen. Looking up to the hilltop, he perceived a brilliant cloud, surrounded by a light brighter than a fiery sun, and a gentle voice called him by name, saying, Juan, come. His first fear was transformed into a sweet happiness by this voice, and he mounted the slope. There he beheld the One he had intended to honor by hearing Her Mass. She was surrounded by a radiance so brilliant it sent out rays that seemed to transform the very rocks into scintillating jewels.

Where are you going, My child? She asked him. To Saint James to hear the Mass sung by the minister of the Most High in honor of the Mother of the Saviour. That is good, My son; your devotion is agreeable to Me, as is also the humility of your heart. Know then that I am that Virgin Mother of God, Author of Life and Protector of the weak. I desire that a temple be built here, where I will show Myself to be your tender Mother, the Mother of your fellow citizens and of all who invoke My name with confidence. Go to the bishop and tell him faithfully all you have seen and heard. Continue reading