Post by Elizabeth on Feb 12, 2020 2:57:05 GMT
Our Lady of Lourdes
The first of the eighteen apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary to the humble Bernadette Soubirous took place at Lourdes on February 11, 1858. On March 25th, when Bernadette asked the beautiful Lady Her name, She replied: I am the Immaculate Conception. The Church for long centuries had believed in Her Immaculate Conception, Her exemption from every trace of the original sin which through Adam, our first and common father, separated man from his God. It was never proclaimed a dogma, however, until 1854. Mary Herself, in 1830, had asked of a Vincentian Sister at the Rue du Bac in Paris, that a medal be struck bearing Her likeness and the inscription: O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to Thee.
Our Lady by Her apparitions at Lourdes in 1858 seems to convey Her appreciation for the formal proclamation of Her great privilege, by Pius IX, in 1854. Countless and magnificent miracles of healing have occurred at Lourdes, confirmed by physicians and recorded in the Lourdes shrine Book of Life. To name but one: a doctor wrote a book describing the great miracle he had witnessed for a dying girl, whom he had observed on the train that was carrying handicapped persons from Paris to Lourdes. He had not expected her to survive and return home from the sanctuary.
Through the Lourdes Apparitions, the devotion of persons in all parts of the world to the Immaculate Mother of God has been wonderfully spread, and countless miracles have been wrought everywhere through Her intercession. The Virgin Mother of God is truly the chosen Messenger of God to these latter times, which are entrusted to Her, the chosen vessel of the unique privilege of exemption from original sin. Only with Her assistance will the dangers of the present world situation be averted. As She has done since 1858 in many places, at Lourdes, too, She gave us Her peace plan for the world, through Saint Bernadette: Prayer and Penance, to save souls.
Saint Severinus, of a noble family in Burgundy, was educated in the Catholic faith at a time when the Arian heresy reigned in that region. He forsook the world in his youth and dedicated himself to God in the monastery of Agaunum, which consisted only of scattered cells until, some time later, the Catholic King Sigismund built there the great Abbey of Saint Maurice.
Saint Severinus became the holy abbot of Saint Maurice, with its distinct convents for men and women, all of whom bore voluntarily the yoke of penance and celibacy without solemn vows. The Abbot had governed his community for many years in the exercise of penance and charity, when, in 504, Clovis, the first Christian king of France, who was lying ill of a fever, sent his chamberlain to conduct the Saint to court. After his physicians had for two years endeavored without success to cure him, Clovis was told that the sick from all parts recovered their health by the prayers of Saint Severinus. The Abbot therefore took leave of his monks, and told them he would never see them again in this world.
On his journey he healed Eulalius, Bishop of Nevers, who had been for some time deaf and dumb; he also healed a leper at the gates of Paris. And coming to the palace he immediately restored the king to perfect health, by covering him with his own cloak. He cured many other sick persons at the court and in Paris. The king, in gratitude, distributed large alms to the poor and released all his prisoners.
Saint Severinus, returning toward Agaunum, stopped at Chateau-Landon in Gatinais, where two priests served God in a solitary chapel. Foreseeing his imminent death, he asked admittance among them, and they received this stranger, whom they soon greatly admired for his sanctity. His death followed shortly after, in 507. This site became the Abbey of Saint Severinus, with a beautiful church dedicated to him. His relics were later scattered, when this church was plundered.