Intercession of St Therese in the lives of six Mystics


The miraculous intercession of St Therese of Lisieux in the lives of 6 Mystics

By: Glenn Dallaire

When studying the lives of the Mystics of the Church, certain remarkable facts come to light. One of these would certainly be the extraordinary appearences of Saint Therese "the Little Flower" in the lives of the mystics. In light of this St Therese, it seems, could perhaps be condidered a "Patroness of Mystics". And then again, did she not write in her Autobiography-- "I will spend my heaven doing good upon the earth. I will let fall a shower of roses"

Servant of God, Brother Marcel Van C.Ss.R.-The spiritual brother of St Therese
Brother Marcel Van strongly desired to become a saint, but was frightened at the austere sacrifices that he thought were necessary to becoming one. He wrote in his Autobiography: “In spite of my great desire to attain holiness, I was certain that I would never achieve it, because to be a saint, you have to fast, lash yourself with a whip, wear a rock around your neck and little chains covered with spikes, a coarse horsehair shirt, endure the cold, the scabies, etc...My God, if it is like this, then I give up... All that is way too much for me.”
The appearance of St Therese of Lisieux –The Story of a Soul One day, Van spread out on a table books on the lives of many Saints. He said a prayer, asking God to guide him, promising that he would read whatever book his hand fell upon. Then, with his eyes closed, he put his hand down at random. “I opened my eyes. My hand was resting on a book I had never read before—“The Story of a Soul" by Saint Therese of the Child Jesus.”

Marcel Van quickly looked over the book—one that he had never read before, but dismissed it as containing nothing unusual. But he soon reproached himself saying “Ah, by acting like this, you have broken your promise!” I then took the book again with my head full of muddled questions—‘What is this “Story of a Soul”??? Who is this St. Therese of the Child Jesus??? Where did she come from???’ What is certain is that is that she resembles many thousands of other saints.’

“Then I summarized her life in an amusing manner in these terms---'Since her birth until her last breath she had many ecstasies, and performed a number of miracles. She fasted on bread and water only taking one meal a day. She spent the night in prayer and gave herself to discipline until she bled. After her holy death her body emitted a very pleasant fragrance and many extraordinary things happened at her tomb. Finally she was canonized by the holy Church...etc...’

“Today I see clearly how rash these statements were without knowing anything about St. Therese. I had dared to sketch out her life in such a summary manner. Oh my dear sister, you must necessarily be a Saint of great courage to put up with me and the foolish statements that I made about you!”

As promised, Van then began to read the book. He states:
“I had scarcely read a few pages when two floods of tears were flowing down my cheeks...What moved me so deeply was little Therese's reasoning:
'If God only stooped to the level of the most beautiful flowers, the symbol of the Holy Doctors, His love wouldn't be quite absolute, because it is Love's nature to stoop to the farthest limit... Just as the sun shines at the same time on the cedars and on every little flower as if it were the only one on earth, so does Our Lord take care of every soul as if there were no other soul like it'


“I understood then that God is Love... Like St Therese, I can sanctify myself through all my little acts... A smile, a word or a look, provided that everything is done in love. What happiness!....From now on, sanctity will no longer frighten me....my tears were flowing like an inexhaustible spring.”

“I had received therefore, that afternoon, a source of grace and happiness. “The Story of a Soul” had become my dearest friend, and followed me everywhere and I did not cease reading or rereading it, without ever getting weary of it. There was nothing in this volume which did not conform to my thoughts, and what pleased me even more in the course of my reading was to see clearly the spiritual life of Therese was identical to mine. Her thoughts, even her yes or no were in harmony with my own thoughts, and the little events of my life. Truly, never in my life have I met a book which was so well adapted to my thinking and feelings as is “The Story of a Soul”. I can confess that the story of Therese's soul is the story of my soul....”

The next morning, Van woke up and kneeled before the altar of the Blessed Virgin Mary and prayed: “... Blessed Virgin, my Mother: Today is truly the first day that I have been given to taste such a sweet happiness; the day which introduces me to a new way.... From now on, my Mother, guide me in my new way to teach me to love God perfectly, and to offer myself to Him in total confidence. I dare to express a wish to you: That I may be wrapped in your love, as was formerly Therese, the Little Flower. I even wish you to give me this Saint as my guide in her “Little Way”. Oh what happiness there would then be for me since I feel that my life cannot free itself from the feelings of childhood that God has engraved in my soul as an innate gift”

Then turning to Jesus, he prayed: “Oh Jesus, my only and beloved master, you know that I love you and look only to respond to your wishes. You have aroused in my mind the desire to become a saint. Then, you made me find, in a very simple manner, the “Little Way” by which you guided St. Therese of the Child Jesus. You have used the hand of this little Saint to write for the use of souls, the sweet councils to which you have led her on her little way. Today, I know that you love me, and that in your immense love you behave towards me as with a little child. Oh, how you deserve to be loved in return! From now on I have decided to follow in your footsteps as you wish, and so that each of my steps conforms to your Will, I wish, oh my God, that you grant me this favor: Give me St. Therese of the infant Jesus is my guide, so that she can teach me to love you as I ought, since I am very ignorant. Grant me also the grace to persevere in your love right to the end, so as to love you afterwards eternally, in the homeland of love reserved for those who love you.”
Van becomes the little spiritual brother of St Therese
Soon afterwards, Van went on foot to a nearby hill to pray and read. Suddenly, in the silence, he was startled by a voice that was calling him. “Van, Van, my dear little brother!” But, no one was around him! The voice spoke again: “Van, my dear little brother!” ‘I was stunned and a little troubled, but I remained calm and guessed immediately that this voice which called me was a supernatural voice—-I then let out or hurried cry of joy—“Oh, it's my sister Therese!” “Yes, it is indeed your sister, Therese... From now on, you will personally be my little brother, just as you have chosen me to be your big sister... From this day on, our two souls will be just one soul, in God's one love... from this moment I will let you know all my beautiful thoughts on love that which has occurred in my life, and has transformed me in the infinite love of God.... it is God himself, who has arranged this meeting. God wants the lessons of love that He taught me before in the secret of my soul to live on in this world, and He has deigned to choose you as a little secretary to carry out His work, which He wishes to entrust to you.... ”

This first appearance of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus went on for quite sometime, and there were many other appearences of St Therese who became a "spiritual director" to Brother Van. So those interested should read "The Autobiography of Marcel Van" to read all of the intercessions of St Therese in the life of Br. Marcel Van.

However, before leaving Van on this first occasion, St. Therese says in closing: ‘I love you because you are a soul who is a member of my friends of Love. As for you my little brother, my only wish is to see accomplished the works that the divine Love desires so ardently for you. So, little brother, listen to me: from now on in your relations with our heavenly Father, do not fail to follow my advice. But for now it is late, allow me to end our conversation here, since it is already mealtime. Tam and Hien are waiting for you, and Tam is getting impatient..... I am giving you a kiss.....We will have plenty of opportunities to talk together again. And we can do it no matter where, without fear that anyone might know.’
“Therese stopped talking, and I was like someone coming out of a dream; half anxious and half happy, and when she said ‘ I am giving you a kiss’ , I immediately felt as if a gentle breeze was touching my face. And I was overcome by such a joy that I momentarily lost consciousness. Some of this sweet joy stays with me today, but I do not know what to compare it with exactly.”

From then on, St Therese became Van’s close companion and spiritual director, intimately guiding him in his spiritual life and his ascent towards God.

I created an article with more information about St Therese's appearences to Br. Marcel Van here.



St. Therese obtains a miraculous cure for Rhoda Wise

Rhoda Wise lived in Ohio with her husband and daughter. She was a Protestant who was in the last stages 0f stomach cancer when St Therese interceeded for her in a remarkable way.



Through the extraordinary intercession of St Therese, she was miraculously cured of stomach cancer and also a complex lower leg fracture, which caused her to be bedridden. Rhoda also had a remarkable conversion and ended up becoming a Catholic, and through the grace of God she later became a remarkable mystic and stigmatist, and lead countless souls to God. Here is a summary of the extraordinary intercession of St Therese in her life. We will begin with a few of her Diary entries that were written before her miraculous cure:

March 25: "…I feel tonight as if even God has forgotten me. I just cannot bear anymore. I know I am going to be in terrible misery if I go home and do not have someone to do my dressings all the time. [Rhoda had what the doctors believed to be stomach cancer, with an open wound in her abdomen that continuously leaked acidic stomach fluids, which caused her painful burning in this area -editor]. I know I cannot get the care I need, for it takes money to do that and there isn't any ... Oh God, I wonder what the outcome will be. You have never failed me yet dear Jesus, and I know that you won't now. When the clouds were darkest and I was in despair you always showed me a way out, so I'll just trust that you to take me out of this .... "

In April her intense suffering continued, mixed with deep faith and prayer.
April 20: "…I am praying so hard to St. Therese and she is going to help me. She seems so close to me. I am not laughing now, Little Flower, but trusting and praying I may be helped. I could look at your beautiful picture all day. All I do is look at your picture and whisper a prayer for help. I know you are listening to me. Won't you please help me?"

In her diary on May 16 she writes: “…It is awful to be like this. God, if I am not to get well, let me die right now. Each day I wish there would be no tomorrow. I did not think it possible for anyone to suffer so much. This drainage about sets me crazy. If I could go to sleep for just one night it would be heaven for me. Little Flower and Jesus, I am praying so hard for you to make me well, and if that is not to be, let me die at once. These dressings are terrible. No one wants to do them. I can hardly do them anymore either."

Miraculous cure
June 28, 1939: "I guess everyone will say I am dreaming again or seeing things. What happened to me was done by no dream. I saw Jesus again last night standing in my bedroom door. While I looked at Him, He said, 'Here I am as I promised.' St. Therese, the Little Flower, was right by Him. She came to my bedside. She wanted the cover off me. I pushed it off. She then wanted the dressings off, so I pushed them off. She put her hand on my stomach and said, 'You doubted me before. You have been tried in the fire and not found wanting. Faith cures all things.' She walked back to Jesus and when I looked at Him He said, 'I will come again. There is work yet to be done.' They vanished. I looked at my stomach. I was entirely healed. Not one drop of anything had even come out of my stomach. That awful irritation and everything was gone. What my feelings were I can never tell…."

But Rhoda also had another serious health problem. She had severely broken her foot and ankle one night when she inadvertantly stepped into a sewer hole. The doctors tried repairing the damage to her lower leg and ankle by repeatedly putting various leg casts upon it, but could not seem to repair the severe damage to the bones and surrounding ligaments. She was therefore confined to her bed and unable to walk. In her joy of being cured of her stomach cancer wound, she understandably hadn't even thought about asking St. Therese to obtain a cure also for her foot, because the appearence of Jesus and the Saint along with the instantaneous cure of her abdomen completely astounded her, and filled her heart and soul with unimaginable joy!

The Miraculous Cure of Her Foot –The Second Miracle
Rhoda writes again in her Diary:
Aug. 10, 1939: ".....Tomorrow I go in the hospital again. God, may this be the last cast, and if it is Thy Will, may my foot be straight and may I walk."
The cast they applied to Rhoda's foot was to be on until November 10. Rhoda's doctor told her there would be a person ready who would fit her with a brace as soon as the cast came off, and that she would be wearing the brace for the rest of her life. The doctor and everyone else was about to see for a second time that Jesus and St Therese had other plans.
Aug. 15, 1939:[Feast of the Assumption on the Blessed Virgin Mary] "Oh, what a day! I was so happy to begin with because the Little Flower came to me and cured my foot. I was sitting up in bed and crying because my foot hurt me so much. The Little Flower came and said, 'That is a little thing. Stand up and walk.' I stood right on my feet and the cast broke and I stepped right out of it. She then said, 'Go to church now' .... "

Another miracle! Who can imagine the joy of Rhoda, her family and all who knew her! Her husband George nearly fainted when he walked into the room and saw her standing on her own, the cast shattered all over the floor. Needless to say this second miracle drew a flood of persons wanting to see and talk to the woman of the miracle. Her apostolate of leading souls to God began and God increased his grace upon her by giving her the stigmata and other mystical gifts.

Click here for the complete story of the American Mystic, Rhoda Wise

St Therese appears and obtains a miraculous cure for Therese Neumann

Therese Neumann was a well known German mystic and stigmatist who lived in Germany from 1898-1962. St Therese obtained an extraordinary cures for her both on the day of her Beatification, and on the day of her Canonisation.

The first miraculous intercession of Therese of Lisieux
After four years of suffering with paralysis and blindness, a very joyful day was approaching for Therese. Sunday, April 29, 1923 was the day scheduled for the beatification ceremonies in Rome of the Carmelite nun, the saintly Therese of Lisieux, who had promised before her death to let fall from Heaven a "shower of roses." In the bedroom of Therese, flowers were arranged to adorn the pic­ture of the “Little Flower” which Therese had received from her father. Many days before she had begun a Novena in spiritual preparation for the day when the Little Flower would be officially numbered among the beatified.

The day of the Beatification arrived and as the ceremonies at St. Peter's in Rome were draw­ing to a close, the newly beatified Therese of Lisieux "showered a bouquet of roses" on her devoted sufferer; at the instant of beatification, Therese found that her eyesight was completely restored.

The second miraculous intercession of Therese of Lisieux
On May 17, 1925, when Therese of Lisieux was canonized and became officially recognized as a saint of the Catholic Church, Therese Neumann heard her voice. Softly and dis­tinctly, the saint said to her, "Therese, do you not want to become well? Therese answered, ''Anything is all right with me: to be healthy, to remain sick, to die, whatever is the will of God.” The voice continued, seemingly wanting to test her spirit- "Therese, would it not cause joy to you if you received some relief of your suffering, at least to be able to sit up and walk again?” Therese answered, "Anything that comes from God causes joy in me.” Again the voice said: "Therese, I shall obtain for you a small joy. You shall now be able to sit up and to walk, but you will still have much to suffer. However, be not afraid; you have received help through me in the past and I will also help you in the future.”

As St Therese of Lisieux was speaking, it was as though two strong hands lifted Therese from her bed, and after being paralyzed for six and one half years, she found herself completely healed. Not only was she healed of the paralysis, but of the gaping bedsores on her body as well. According to medical reports, some of those sores were deep enough to expose her bone. In a matter of sec­onds, the sores were completely healed and were covered with a fresh layer of skin.
A third intercession of St Therese of Lisieux occurred on November 13, 1925, when Therese again became very ill with an acute attack of appendicitis, for which her Physician ordered that she be taken to the hospital at once. As arrangements were being made, St Therese again appeared to her in a vision, and obtained for her an instantaneous cure. These extraordinary graces inspired in Therese Neumann a deep and most profound trust and confidence in God, which was very much needed in what was soon to come in her life.

One year later Therese Neuman was to receive the holy Stigmata during Lent, 1926.

Click here for more information on the victim soul Therese Neumann.

St Therese appears on two occasions to the Servant of God, Maria Esperanza

Maria Esperanza de Bianchini (1928-2004) of Betania, Venezuela is a very recent mystic who cause for Beatification-Canonisation is currently at the stage of "Servant of God" in the Catholic church. Maria Esperanza had two very notable visions of St Therese of Lisieux, and perhaps others.

The first vision of St Therese to Maria occured when Maria was only five years old. The vision took place when Maria was at a port saying farewell to her mother who was leaving for an extended trip. Quoting from the book "A Bridge to Heaven- Interviews with Maria Esperanza of Betania" by Michael H. Brown, Maria explains this first appearence of St Therese "The Little Flower":

"...When we were at the port saying good-bye to my mother, I was on the dock and everyone was saying good-bye to my mother, and I stared at the river that was coming very strongly at us. I was watching waves that were really strong and were going up and down. And I remained there, staring. I had a pain in my heart, feeling as if I couldn't separate myself from my mother. When I saw Saint Therese ... it seems like a distant dream right now. I saw Saint Therese smiling with these big beautiful blue eyes. How precious. And she stayed there staring at me."

[The person conducting the interview asks Maria] 'Many visionaries see Jesus, Mary, or other heavenly visitors in different ways. The Virgin often comes in different appearances according to the culture and circumstances. We realize that heavenly entities can make themselves appear any way they want to. For example, Saint Therese had brown eyes, yet you saw them differently.'

"There was such a blue, an intense blue in her eyes, almost green. It was such an intense color, it tore at my heart. And she smiled. She arose from the waters, came from the waters and smiled at me. I'm trying to recall everything now, when I was there looking, watching Saint Therese coming up from the water with a rose in her hand. It was a very, very beautiful red rose. And she threw it at me. And I moved around. I don't know how I did it, but I caught it in my hands. And I was so little at the time. I was playing, and I ran to my mother who was leaving, and we were all saying good-bye to her. And I said, "Mom, Saint Therese, Saint Therese!' And my mother said to me, "Oh, my love, God gave you this rose!'"

Maria is given the Stigmata for the first time through the interecession of St Therese
The second appearence of St Therese in the life of Maria Esperanza occured in 1954 when Maria was 26 years old. She was living in a convent at that time, hoping to become a religious Sister. Quoting again from the aforementioned book, Maria states:

"One day when we were there in prayer, on October 3, 1954, I saw from the altar after Mass ended, there was something incredible that I felt. I saw Saint Therese of the Child Jesus. She threw a rose to me, and this rose, I tried to catch it, just as I had done when I was five years old. But it was a fresh rose. It happened that it pinched me right in my hand, and I saw blood start to come out of my hand.
I got very scared, and I felt at that moment that He told me I should not be here anymore, that I should go to Rome to see the Holy Father, because the Lord wants me in the world. "You will be a mother". And they [the Sisters] sent me to Rome. I didn't know what to tell the sisters. It made me ashamed. I felt very bad. I cried alot. It was very difficult, but I had to leave."


Maria Esperanza was to become a wife and mother, just as St Therese had predicted. Click here for more information about the Servant of God, Maria Esperanza.

St Therese appears to the Servant of God, Marthe Robin on three occasions

The Servant of God Marthe Robin was an extraordinary French mystic, stigmatist, and victim soul who suffered for over 50 years in union with Jesus for the conversion of souls. She died recently in 1981. There was quite a close connection between Thérèse and Marthe. Marthe was drawn to the Carmelite life as she entered her twenties, but this hope was frustrated by growing illness. However, in 1925 she received mystical visits from Thérèse on three occasions, and these had a profound effect on her.

October 3, 1926, the day of the first celebration of the feast of Saint Therese of Lisieux, who had been canonized the preceding year, Dr. Aristide Sallier of Saint-Uze visited and found Marthe in a coma. "There is nothing more that can be done," was all he said. The Parish Priest, Fr. Faure could only replace the doctor at the bedside to administer the Sacrament of the Sick to "his parishioner," as he called her. It was the second time that she had received it. Everyone expected that each day would bring her death. The coma lasted three weeks.

Apparitions of Saint Therese of Lisieux
But while the coma progressed and death seemed to be imminent, Marthe experienced three apparitions of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus. The Carmelite of Lisieux revealed to her that she would not die yet and that she would recover, and that she was to be a victim soul who would extend her mission throughout the entire world. Having surprisingly come out of her coma, Marthe confided the messages of St Therese to Fr. Finet, even adding, laughingly, "Oh that rascal, in the end, she's left it all to me!"

Click here for more information the mystic, stigmatic and victim soul Marthe Robin

St Therese appears in a dream to St Faustina Kowalska
Thanks to a readers suggestion, we have an additional appearence of St Therese in a "dream" of St Faustina Kowalska in entry #150 of her Diary, "Divine Mercy in My Soul"

(150) "I want to write down a dream that I had about Saint Therese of the Child Jesus. I was still a novice at the time and was going through some difficulties which I did not know how to overcome. They were interior difficulties connected with exterior ones. I made novenas to various saints, but the situation grew more and more difficult. The sufferings it caused me were so great that I did not know how to go on living, but suddenly the thought occurred to me that I should pray to Saint Therese of the Child Jesus. I started a novena to this Saint, because before entering the convent I had had a great devotion to her. Lately I had somewhat neglected this devotion, but in my need I began again to pray with great fervor."

"On the fifth day of the novena, I dreamed of Saint Therese, but it was as if she were still living on earth. She hid from me the fact that she was a saint and began to comfort me, saying that I should not be worried about this matter, but should trust more in God. She said, "I suffered greatly, too," but I did not quite believe her and said, "It seems to me that you have not suffered at all." But Saint Therese answered me in a convincing manner that she had suffered very much indeed and said to me, "Sister, know that in three days the difficulty will come to a happy conclusion." When I was not very willing to believe her, she revealed to me that she was a saint. At that moment, a great joy filled my soul, and I said to her, "You are a saint?" "Yes," she answered, "I am a saint. Trust that this matter will be resolved in three days:" And I said, "Dear sweet Therese, tell me, shall I go to heaven?" And she answered, "Yes, you will go to heaven, Sister." "And will I be a saint?" To which she replied, "Yes, you will be a saint." "But, little Therese, shall I be a saint as you are, raised to the altar?" And she answered, "Yes, you will be a saint just as I am, but you must trust in the Lord Jesus." I then asked her if my mother and father would go to heaven, will [unfinished sentence] And she replied that they would. I further asked, "And will my brothers and sisters go to heaven?" She told me to pray hard for them, but gave me no definite answer. I understood that they were in need of much prayer."

"This was a dream. And as the proverb goes, dreams are phantoms; God is faith. Nevertheless, three days later the difficulty was solved very easily, just as she had said. And everything in this affair turned out exactly as she said it would. It was a dream, but it had its significance."

In accordance with the words of St Therese in her dream, Maria Faustina Kowalska was raised to the altars and formally canonised a Saint on Divine Mercy Sunday, April 30, 2000.

St Therese & Blessed Elena Aiello--The Little Flower miraculously helps with the foundation of a little girls orphanage

Lastly there is the extraordinary intercession of St Therese in the life of Blessed Elena Aiello, the Italian mystic and stigmatic who was recently Beatified on September 14, 2011.

St Therese appeared and assisted Blessed Elena on several occasions, miraculously assisting her in finding the house that was to become an orphanage for young girls, along with being a convent for Mother Elena and her religious sisters.

One day Elena went on a bus and was pondering where she was going to find the house she needed for the foundation of an orphanage for young girls. She had beseeched her patron saints and particularly St. Therese of the Infant Jesus. A young Carmelite nun walked on the bus and the two struck up a conversation. The nun asked her if she was looking for a house. Elena, thinking it was one of the sisters in the area, kissed her hand and told her how hard it was to find one. The nun smiled sweetly and said, “Come, I will show you the house.”

When they got off the bus, the nun pointed to a balcony and said the woman has an offer of 260 lire but will take 250 from you. When Elena looked back at the nun, she noticed there was an unusual glow around her and then saw a bouquet of roses cascading from the crucifix in her hand. Suddenly the nun faded away and Elena recognized that she was speaking to St. Therese of Lisieux and full of excitement went to speak to the landlady. Everything was exactly as St. Therese had said. The landlady accepted the 250 lire. Elena told the Archbishop and he suggested that Elena name their first house in Cosenza after St. Therese, which Blessed Elena gladly did.

St Therese makes another appearence
One time St. Therese of the Infant Jesus appeared to several of the little ones who were praying while sewing in the work room. Sister Elena rushed downstairs to the shouts, “We have seen the Carmelite Saint!”
Upon arriving, Sister Elena too saw the saint smiling at her, and she knew that St Therese's presence was a sign of her heavenly concern and an assurance of her ongoing assistance for Mother Elena's orphanage and her fledgling religious community of Sisters.

The third intercession of St Therese was in fact a double miracle. God's Divine Providence never failed to take care of what was needed for the orphanage, even by means of extraordinary interventions. On September 11, 1935, Sister Elena spent a painful night. It so happened that there was no food on hand in the kitchen for the noon meal. Sister Angela asked Mother Elena for some money to purchase food, and Elena replied that she had none, but encouraged Sister Angela to trust in God and that He would surely provide for His children. In the mean­time a Priest came in, requested to say Mass and walked to the Sacristy right away. Not having anything on hand, Sister Elena told Sister Angela to first go and hear Mass and that somehow the Lord would provide. Elena's prayer in union with that of the Sisters and of the orphan girls, was quickly heard. For right after the Elevation, a strong fragrance spread through the Chapel.
Sister Elena was at the time reciting the Office of the Blessed Virgin from the second page of her prayer book. Suddenly she spotted a 50 lire bill between the prayer card of Our Lady of Sorrows and that of St. Teresa. She was positive that nothing of the kind had previously been in her prayer book as she had re­cited the very same prayer, on that very same page, on the previ­ous evening.
Anyway, after Mass and after handing the 50 lire bill for the day's needs, Sister Elena with all the girls went back to the Chapel, and there within earshot, she prayed to God to let her find another 50 lire in her prayer book at the same place as an unquestionable proof that the first 50 lire had not been forgotten by someone, but that they were actually the gift of Divine Provi­dence. During the day, some of the bigger girls and even one or two of the Sisters went searching through that prayer book which had been left at its place. In the evening, when the Community assembled in the Chapel for the evening prayers, while the "Con­fiteor" was being recited, the same kind of a fragrance as in the morning was felt. Elena got greatly excited. She didn't dare open her prayer book, but passed it on to Sister Teresa to do so. Sister obeyed and there were the additional 50 lire between the two prayer cards, at the same place. In the white circle there was a green handwriting, 50 + 50 = 100 with some letters of the Greek alphabet.
The following morning Elena related the incident to her Confessor, Canon Mazzuca, who insisted on looking at the 50 lire banknotes-No. 01670 and 0039. However, the inscription on the white circle had completely disappeared. Father Benjamin Mazza, who wished to retain those banknotes, exchanged them with one for 100 lire, which is now in the possession of Blessed Elena’s Community.

~St Therese of the Child Jesus, pray for us!

-For those interested, there is an excellent FREE audiobook here which details a number of miracles through the intercession of St Therese that were used for her beatification, or were reported to her Sisters at the Carmel of Lisieux. The stories come from the book "Soeur Therese of Lisieux, The Little Flower of Jesus" edited by Father TN Taylor.
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"I will spend my heaven doing good upon the earth. I will let fall a shower of roses" -St Therese of Lisieux in her Autobiography "The Story of a Soul"

Brother Marcel Van -Spirtual Brother of St Therese of Lisieux


The Servant of God, Brother Marcel Van C.Ss.R. (Redemptorist)
-The little spiritual brother of Saint Therese of Lisieux

Brother Marcel Van was born Joachim Nguyên Tan Van on March 15, 1928, in a village in North Vietnam (Tonkin). He lived with his older sister Le and was later joined by a younger sister, Te. His father was a tailor and his mother was a housewife who sometimes worked in the rice paddies. His mother was a very devout Catholic, and was meek, kind and charitable towards everyone. Sadly however, as Van’s childhood years progressed, his father took to gambling and alcohol, causing the family much suffering. As a child, Van was a kind and sensitive boy, full of love and tenderness and did not like to be separated from his mother.

From a tender age, Van showed a remarkable early piety and devotion, and as a child he organized processions in honor of the Blessed Virgin with his younger sister Te, along with his cousins and playmates. From an early age he loved to pray with his mother, and they would often say a rosary together. At age six, he joyfully received First Holy Communion. He would later write of this blessed day:
“The hour has come, the moment so greatly desired has arrived... I gently draw out my tongue to receive the Bread of Love. My heart is overcome by an extraordinary joy... In an instant, I have become like a 'drop of water' lost in the vast ocean. Now there remains only Jesus, and I am Jesus' little nothing.”

From this day on, Van would receive Communion most every day. Shortly thereafter, he received the sacrament of Confirmation. A future prospect took shape in his heart as he later wrote: “I longed to become a priest, so as to bring the Good News to non-Christians.” He discovered later in life that to be a priest was not the will of God for him.

He began school at age seven, however his first teacher was excessively severe with the students, beating them with a cane at every turn. Van's health began to fail: "I became thinner and more pale by the day," he later wrote in his autobiography, “and it is because of the very strict educational system that I have came to such a state of exhaustion.”

Van is called to suffer
Van's mother then entrusted him to Father Joseph Nha, the parish priest in Huu-Bang. This priest ran a “House of God” which was an institution where young boys started more in-depth schooling in religion, while continuing their studies and helping the priest. The most capable among them could be admitted to the Minor Seminary, a goal which Van aspired to since he was hoping to become a priest. For Van, everything started well. He was very fond of his new life, and became a star student. But one of his teachers (called “masters”) named Vinh, would take Van into a private room and beat him repeatedly with a cane, stating that he was training him in what he called “the perfect life”. He threatened him and made him submit to the beatings in secret. After two weeks, the priest's laundrywoman noticed traces of blood on Van's clothes, and Father Nha, made aware of the situation, had the child see a doctor and strictly forbade Vinh from any contact with Van.

At times, Father Nha would present Van as an example to the lukewarm catechist students, which of course drew unfriendly attention to him. The catechists, now jealous of Van, organized a sort of tribunal to “try” him. After several humiliating scenes, they criticized him for receiving Communion every day. This reproach brought about a spiritual crisis: “I was disturbed and I suffered terribly to think that, without being worthy like the saints, I had had the boldness to receive Communion every day... I then saw the faults from my early childhood return.” In this difficult trial, Van turned to Mary and recited his Rosary with a deep devotion.

Each night after evening prayers, the catechists would open the “tribunal” and would question and accuse Van, and for punishment would beat him with a cane, or strip him of his clothing. Along with the “master” (teacher), some of these same student catechists often took to drinking alcohol, and would invite girls of the neighborhood to join them in the Presbytery when Father Nha was absent. Father Nha himself seemed to forget his one time favorite catechist student, and more and more removed Van from his studies and made him his servant.

During this same period tragedy struck at home. Floods had destroyed some of his family's property and possessions, and making matters worse his father squandered what little left that they had on gambling and drinking, leaving his mother, brother and sisters in utter poverty. His mother could no longer send money or clothes, which left him in poverty and under the complete care of Father Nha, who now looked at Van as a servant, instead of a student.

Eventually, Van left the “House of God” with several other catechists, in hopes of entering a seminary and becoming a priest, however unable to find any seminary or work that would accept him, he was obligated to return. The atmosphere at the house did not change much—alcohol, gambling, foul language, the presence of shameless girls. Van had to devote the majority of his time to manual labor. When he reached the age of twelve, he received his certificate of studies” , but he was not allowed to advance to the next level of his schooling, and all his time was spent working.

Eventually, he ran away to return to his parents' home, but because of their poverty they sent him back to Huu-Bang. Two months later, Van ran away again and began living as a beggar on the streets. “My profession,” he wrote, “consisted from then on of holding my hand out to passers-by... After a week of this life, I was unrecognizable. My hands and feet were thin, my skin was tanned by the sun and my cheeks were hollow... And yet I found this life of a poor vagabond not at all difficult. On the contrary, I felt a peaceful joy in suffering for God. I knew that by escaping, I had avoided sin, I had avoided what grieves the Heart of God.”

A terrible temptation
Concerning this period he wrote: “I came to consider myself a despicable creature. The devil made this thought develop in me—if people could no longer endure me, how could God still endure me? I'm going to die soon and I will have to go to Hell.”
As always, Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary remained his hope, and he continually gained comfort and peace through praying the rosary. One day, he opened his heart to a priest who comforted him with these words: “Willingly accept all these trials and offer them to the Lord. If God has sent you the cross, it is a sign that He has chosen you.”

A calling from the Lord
Thanks to a friend, Van was admitted to the Minor Seminary in Lang-Son in 1942. Six months later, for lack of funds, the institution had to close its doors, but Van was able to continue his studies in the parish of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus in Quang-Uyên, under the direction of two Dominican fathers. He strongly desired to become a saint, but was frightened at the austere sacrifices that he thought were necessary: “In spite of my great desire to attain holiness, I was certain that I would never achieve it, because to be a saint, you have to fast, lash yourself with a whip, wear a rock around your neck and little chains covered with spikes, a coarse horsehair shirt, endure the cold, the scabies, etc...My God, if it is like this, I give up... All that is way too much for me.”

The appearance of St Therese of Lisieux –The Story of a Soul
One day, Van spread out on a table books on the lives of many Saints. He said a prayer, asking God to guide him, promising that he would read whatever book his hand fell upon. Then, with his eyes closed, he put his hand down at random. “I opened my eyes. My hand was resting on a book I had never read before—“The Story of a Soul “ by Saint Therese of the Child Jesus.”

Marcel Van quickly looked over the book—one that he had never read before, but dismissed it as containing nothing unusual. But he soon reproached himself saying “Ah, by acting like this, you have broken your promise!” I then took the book again with my head full of muddled questions—‘What is this “Story of a Soul”??? Who is this St. Therese of the Child Jesus??? Where did she come from???’ What is certain is that is that she resembles many thousands of other saints.’

“Then I summarized her life in an amusing manner in these terms---'Since her birth until her last breath she had many ecstasies, and performed a number of miracles. She fasted on bread and water only taking one meal a day. She spent the night in prayer and gave herself to discipline until she bled. After her holy death her body emitted a very pleasant fragrance and many extraordinary things happened at her tomb. Finally she was canonized by the holy Church...etc...’

“Today I see clearly how rash these statements were without knowing anything about St. Therese. I had dared to sketch out her life in such a summary manner. Oh my dear sister, you must necessarily be a Saint of great courage to put up with the erroneous judgments that I have held on your life!”

As promised, Van then began to read the book. He states:
“I had scarcely read a few pages when two floods of tears were flowing down my cheeks...What moved me so deeply was little Therese's reasoning:
'If God only stooped to the level of the most beautiful flowers, the symbol of the Holy Doctors, His love wouldn't be quite absolute, because it is Love's nature to stoop to the farthest limit... Just as the sun shines at the same time on the cedars and on every little flower as if it were the only one on earth, so does Our Lord take care of every soul as if there were no other soul like it'

“I understood then that God is Love... Like St Therese, I can sanctify myself through all my little acts... A smile, a word or a look, provided that everything is done in love. What happiness!....From now on, sanctity will no longer frighten me....my tears were flowing like an inexhaustible spring.”

“I had received therefore, that afternoon, a source of grace and happiness. “The Story of a Soul” had become my dearest friend, and followed me everywhere and I did not cease reading or rereading it, without ever getting weary of it. There was nothing in this volume which did not conform to my thoughts, and what pleased me even more in the course of my reading was to see clearly the spiritual life of Therese was identical to mine. Her thoughts, even her yes or no were in harmony with my own thoughts, and the little events of my life. Truly, never in my life have I met a book which was so well adapted to my thinking and feelings as is “The Story of a Soul”. I can confess that the story of Therese's soul is the story of my soul....”

The next morning, Van woke up and kneeled before the altar of the Blessed Virgin Mary and prayed: “... Blessed Virgin, my Mother: Today is truly the first day that I have been given to taste such a sweet happiness; the day which introduces me to a new way.... From now on, my Mother, guide me in my new way to teach me to love God perfectly, and to offer myself to Him in total confidence. I dare to express a wish to you: That I may be wrapped in your love, as was formerly Therese, the Little Flower. I even wish you to give me this Saint as my guide in her “Little Way”. Oh what happiness there would then be for me since I feel that my life cannot free itself from the feelings of childhood that God has engraved in my soul as an innate gift”

Then turning to Jesus, he prayed: “Oh Jesus, my only and beloved master, you know that I love you and look only to respond to your wishes. You have aroused in my mind the desire to become a saint. Then, you made me find, in a very simple manner, the “Little Way” by which you guided St. Therese of the Child Jesus. You have used the hand of this little Saint to write for the use of souls, the sweet councils to which you have led her on her little way. Today, I know that you love me, and that in your immense love you behave towards me as with a little child. Oh, how you deserve to be loved in return! From now on I have decided to follow in your footsteps as you wish, and so that each of my steps conforms to your Will, I wish, oh my God, that you grant me this favor: Give me St. Therese of the infant Jesus is my guide, so that she can teach me to love you as I ought, since I am very ignorant. Grant me also the grace to persevere in your love right to the end, so as to love you afterwards eternally, in the homeland of love reserved for those who love you.”

Van becomes the little spiritual brother of St Therese
Soon afterwarsa, Van went on foot to a nearby hill. Suddenly, in the silence, he was startled by a voice that was calling him. “Van, Van, my dear little brother!” But, no one was around him! The voice spoke again: “Van, my dear little brother!” ‘I was stunned into little troubled, but I remained calm and guessed immediately that this voice which called me was a supernatural voice—I then let out or hurried cry of joy—“Oh, it's my sister Therese!”— “Yes, it is indeed your sister, Therese... From now on, you will personally be my little brother, just as you have chosen me to be your big sister... From this day on, our two souls will be just one soul, in God's one love... from this moment I will let you know all my beautiful thoughts on love that which has occurred in my life, and has transformed me in the infinite love of God.... it is God himself, who has arranged this meeting. God wants the lessons of love that He taught me before in the secret of my soul to live on in this world, and He has deigned to choose you as a little secretary to carry out His work, which He wishes to entrust to you.... ”

“...God our Father watches over the slightest details of our lives... God is Father and this Father is Love. His goodness and kindness are infinite... But ever since the day that our first parents sinned, fear has overcome the heart of man and has taken away from him the thought of a God who is our infinitely good Father... So God sent his Son... Jesus came to tell His brothers on earth that the Father's love is an inexhaustible source... We are immensely fortunate to be the children of God. Let us be thankful of this and never give in to excessive fear... Never be afraid of God. He is all loving Father. He knows only how to love, and He wishes to be loved in return.. Do not be afraid to speak familiarly with God as with a friend. Tell Him about everything that comes to your mind—your marble games, a mountain climb, the teasing of your friends, your outbursts, your tears, or the little fleeting pleasures'...”—But little sister, God already knows all these things"...'That's true, little brother... However, to give and to receive love, He must stoop and He does this as if He has forgotten that He knows everything, in the hope of hearing an intimate word burst forth from your heart.'

'When you feel joy, offer him this joy which swells your heart, and by doing so you will transmit your joy to Him. Can there be a greater happiness than a couple loving one another and exchanging all that they possess? To act in this way with God is to say ‘thank you’ to Him, which pleases Him more than thousands of touching canticles. If on the other hand, you are invaded by sadness say to Him again with an honest heart: ‘Oh my God, I am really unhappy’ and ask Him to help you to accept this sadness with patience. Believe this: Nothing gives as much pleasure to the good God than to see on this earth a heart which loves Him, and who is sincere with Him with each step, and with each smile; as well with tears as with as with little momentary pleasures.”

This first appearance of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus went on for quite sometime, and one should read "The Autobiography of Marcel Van" to read it in its entirety.

Before leaving Van on this first occasion, St. Therese says in closing: ‘I love you because you are a soul who is a member of my friends of Love. As for you my little brother, my only wish is to see accomplished the works that the divine Love desires so ardently for you. So, little brother, listen to me: from now in your relations with our heavenly Father, do not fail to follow my advice. Now, it is getting late, so allow me to end our conversation here, since it is already mealtime. Tam and Hien are waiting for you, and Tam is getting impatient..... I am giving you a kiss.....We will have plenty of opportunities to talk together again. And we can do it no matter where, without fear that anyone might know.’

“Therese stopped talking, and I was like someone coming out of a dream; half anxious and half happy, and when she said ‘ I am giving you a kiss’ , I immediately felt as if a gentle breeze was likely touching my face. And I was overcome by such a joy that I momentarily lost consciousness. Some of this sweet joy stays with me today, but I do not know what to compare it with exactly.”

A call to religious life
From then on, St Therese became Van’s close companion and spiritual director, intimately guiding him in his spiritual life and his ascent towards God. As stated earlier, Van had always wanted to become a priest. “For that” he wrote, “I had sacrificed everything by imposing many spiritual and physical labors upon myself.”
But one day Therese told him, “Van, my little brother, I have something important to tell you... But it will make you very sad... God has made it known to me that you will not be a priest.” Upon hearing this, Van began to cry and said “I will never be able to live if I am not a priest...”

“Van”, Therese resumed, “if God wants your apostolate to be carried out in another field, what do you think of that?... What remains most perfect is doing the will of our Father in Heaven... You will be above all an apostle through prayer and sacrifice, as I myself was before.” Therese then guided Van's gaze to this very important passage from the Story of a Soul: “I understood that Love alone put the members of the Church in motion... I understood that Love contains all vocations, that Love was all, that it embraced all time and all places... in a word, that it is Eternal.”

Van was wondering what all this meant-- “Therese, my sister, what does this hidden vocation involve, if I am not to become a priest?”—“You will enter a monastery where you will devote yourself to God.”

One night during the winter of 1942-1943, Van had a mysterious dream. "I saw someone coming towards the head of my bed... This person dressed completely in black was rather tall, and his face reflected great kindness... He asked me the question-- 'My child, do you want to...?' But before he could finish I spontaneously answered, 'Yes.' “ Several days later, Van discovered a statue in the house that bore a strange resemblance to his dream.

It was a statue of Saint Alphonsus of Liguori, founder of the Redemptorists. Soon afterwards, St. Therese confirmed his vocation to be a Redemptorist Brother, then gave him notice of new trials. “Little dear brother, you will encounter thorns on the way, and the sky that is now calm will be covered with dark clouds...You will shed tears, you will lose your joy and you will be like a man reduced to despair... But remind yourself that the world treated Jesus like this and that a Redemptorist resembles his Savior... Nevertheless, do not be afraid. During this storm, Jesus will continue to live in the boat of your soul... Little brother, you will no longer hear me talk so familiarly with you as I do now. Do not think that I am abandoning you. On the contrary, I constantly remain close to you like a big sister should... In this world, suffering is the proof of your love, and suffering gives your love all its meaning and value.”

Thereafter, he asked to be admitted to the Redemptorists in Hanoi. Van was received at the Redemptorists in Hanoi first as a household helper and, on October 17, 1944 he was finally admitted as a postulant and received the name Brother Marcel. The day after his religious profession, Brother Marcel Van had heard Jesus tell him: “My child, for the love of mankind, offer yourself with Me so that they might be saved.”
Thus assured of the value of suffering united to that of Christ, he wrote: “Jesus wanted to use my body to endure suffering, shame, and exhaustion, so that the flame of Love that consumes His divine Heart might spread in the hearts of all men on earth.”

After an initial period of joy, crosses appeared, especially in the form of his confreres' ridicule. Starting in his novitiate, at his spiritual director's request, he wrote his autobiography. For two years, Jesus, Mary, and Therese favored him with intimate conversations. But on September 9, 1946, the day after his first profession, Jesus told him, "My child, your portion now is to sacrifice the moments of sweet intimacy with me, to allow me to go in search of sinners... Then, my little Van, know that you will have to suffer because of your Superiors and Brothers. But these trials will be the sign that you are pleasing to My Heart. I am begging for all these sufferings to unite you to Me in the work of sanctification of priests.”

Like his spiritual sister St. Therese, his vocation, in part, was to suffer for Priests. And soon came the “night of the soul” for Brother Marcel. For the most part, most of the mystical graces and consolations disappeared and only the monotony of sacrifice in pure faith remained. In 1950, the young Brother was sent to Saigon, Vietnam, then to Dalat. In July 1954, North Vietnam was handed over to the Communists. Many Catholics fled for the South. Several Redemptorists remained in the house in Hanoi to take care of the Christians who stayed. Brother Marcel understood that Jesus was asking him to join them. “I am going there,” (to Hanoi) he wrote, “so that there might be someone who loves God in the midst of the Communists.” After several weeks, he wrote to his sister Anne-Marie: “Quite often I am overcome with sadness, and I only think, 'Oh, if only I hadn't come to Hanoi... But there was so much insistence in Jesus' voice!”

On Saturday, May 7, 1955, as he was going to the market, he was arrested and taken to the criminal investigation office, then jailed. Five months later, he was transferred to the central prison in Hanoi, where he met many Catholics and priests. He wrote to his Superior: “If I wanted to live, it would be easy for me. I would only have to accuse you. But don't worry, I will never agree to it.” Then, to his confessor: “In the last months, I have had to struggle as hard as I can and endure all the torture of brain-washing. The enemy has used many tricks to make me capitulate, but I have not allowed any weakness.” And to his sister: “Nothing can take the weapon of love from me. No affliction is capable of removing the kind smile that I let appear on my thin face. And who is the caress of my smile for, if not for Jesus, the Beloved?... I am the victim of Love and Love is all my happiness, an indestructible happiness.”

One year after his arrest, calm and self-controlled, he appeared before the court in Hanoi. Upon his refusal to confess that he had electioneered for the president of South Vietnam, he was condemned to 15 years of imprisonment in a “re-education” camp. He was taken to Camp No. 1, where he came across many Catholics. He wrote: “I am very busy, like a little parish priest. Apart from the hours of forced labor, I must constantly welcome the people who come one after the other looking for comfort from me... God Himself has made known to me I am doing His will here. Many times, I have asked of Him the favor of dying in this camp, but every time, He has answered me: “I am ready to follow your will as you always follow Mine, but there are souls that still need you...” Each time Brother Van would submit to God's will.

In August 1957, Brother Marcel Van was transferred to Camp No. 2. After an escape attempt to go look for consecrated Hosts, he was recaptured, beaten, and locked up in an unhealthy cell. Everything became harder for him—no more visits, no more mail, and, at the beginning of 1958, he spent three months in irons, alone, without support and without light, except for that which shone in his heart. Consumed by tuberculosis and beriberi, he flew to God at midday on July 10, 1959, at the age of 31 years, 4 months.

The Cause for the Beatification of Brother Marcel Van as a confessor of the faith opened on March 26, 1997, in the diocese of Belley-Ars, France. Click here for more info on the proposed Beatification of Marcel Van.
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Primary sources for this article:
-“The Autobiography of Brother Marcel Van” Gracewing Publishing, 2006.

-http://www.clairval.com/lettres/en/2004/01/17/2210104.htm

For more information on Brother Marcel Van, contact: Les Amis de Van, 15, Rue de l’ Orangerie, 78000 Versailles, France
Les Amis de Van French website: http://www.wix.com/marcel_van/amis-de-van

~Brother Marcel Van, pray for us!
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"I am the victim of Love, and Love is all my happiness--an indestructible happiness..." -Servant of God, Br. Marcel Van

How to get rid of evil spirits, demons & ghosts


Centuries old advice on how to fight and remove evil spirits

By: Glenn Dallaire

This article is especially written in consideration for those who are being openly oppressed or attacked by demons and evil spirits, and are seeking to rid themselves or their homes of the influences or presence of malevolent spirits.

Having spent years studying the lives of dozens of Saints and Mystics for this website, one quickly discovers the role that God allows the demons to play for example in the lives of the mystic-saints. God Himself explains it when He said to St Gemma Galgani:
“You will be trampled underfoot by the devils. Prepare yourself, my daughter, the demon at My orders will be the one that will add the last touch to my plan that I will accomplish in you, that is, your sanctification."

-And what an incredibly hellish war the devil waged against Gemma! Those interested can read more about it here.

But the point is that literally every mystic that I have read have been assailed by the evil spirits through the express permission of God. But then, why would God allow the demons to attack the mystics or anyone for that matter? It is to draw us closer to Himself. God permits, at times, the devils to assail us, that we might turn to Him in prayer, with a renewed trust in His love and concern for us. The extraordinary priest St John Vianney, who's straw bed the devil tried to burn when he was sleeping in it, once remarked that "the devil is like a dog on a chain. He can only go so far as God permits."
So the first rule to remember is that God is always in absolute control, and the devil can do nothing without God's permission.

God always seeks to draw good out of everything, and He can draw good even out of evil, if we let Him. An excellent example of how God draws good out of evil is the Passion and Death of Jesus Himself. The Gospel of John says that at the last supper Satan entered Judas and he then went and betrayed Jesus. -You certainly know the story--Jesus was captured, tortured, and was nailed to a Cross, and died a torturous death. But was the death of the Son of God, this at act of pure evil, a victory for satan and the demons? No! -it was in fact satans defeat, because through Jesus' death on the cross we can be forgiven of our sins, if we desire to be. So we can readily see how God can and does transform evil into good.

A spiritual battle must be fought with spiritual weapons
So, how does all this correlate to those who are battling with demons, and want to rid themselves of the evil spirits? Firstly we need to look at how Jesus fought and expelled and cast out the demons. Among others you will certainly want to read Mark 5:1, Mark 1:23, and perhaps the most telling is Mark 9:29 in which the apostles were unsuccessful in driving a demon out of a boy. So afterwards they asked Jesus why they could not drive the demon out, and Jesus replies: "This kind can only be driven out by prayer and fasting."

Prayer and fasting! Therein lies the primary spiritual weapons to be used to get rid of demons and evil spirits. Jesus said prayer first, because prayer is the first and most important weapon to be used against the devil. This can not be emphasised enough! Prayer unites us to God, and draws us closer to Him, and it is God alone who can free us from the demonic presences. We can do nothing without He Whom sustains us!

The other weapon against the devil that Jesus mentions is fasting. This is self-explanatory, but what is sometimes forgotten is the spirit that must accompany fasting. We are to fast from food in a spirit of sacrifice in reparation for our sins. Our sins are what separate us from God, so we are to fast in a spirit of penance and reparation for our sins, to put us in the proper disposition that God might forgive us of these sins. So, firstly prayer, and then fasting done in a spirit of reparation for our sins, is the primary recourse against evil spirits. The demons have no power over those who are closely united to God in prayer, and who are in a state of grace.

The devil does not make peace treaties
God loves us. And because God loves us, the devil and the demons hate us, because they hate God. "Cast all your worries upon him because he cares for you. Be sober and vigilant. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." (1 Peter 5:7)
Satan and the demons do not make any peace treaties. They know only war. They prowl about the world constantly seeking to ruin our souls, to cause us to despair of God's mercy, and to drag us to hell. So, we need to follow in Jesus' holy example and face the evil spirits head on, with courage. We must do battle and fight the good fight. We cannot run away, because as Father John Corapi always says "surrender is not an option!"

Key points for Catholics in the fight against the demonic
Eucharist/Confession/Rosary/Sacramentals
Catholics are in a privileged position in the battle against the evil spirits, because the Catholic church has been fighting against the powers of hell since Jesus instituted the Church upon Peter, the first Pope, and the Apostles (the Bishops) some 2000 years ago. For in the Holy Gospel Jesus says: "You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it." (Matt 3:16)

Along with prayer and fasting Catholics have powerful weapons to be used in the fight against evil presences. The most important of these is Sacramental Confession (also known as the Sacrament of Reconciliation) where sins are confessed to God, and forgiveness of sins is obtained. A soul free from sin is in a state of grace and has nothing to fear from the devil! Along with Confession, the Mass and the frequent reception of the Eucharist are the most efficacious means of battling with evil. Also prayers before the Blessed Sacrament (Eucharistic adoration) is exceedingly powerful, because then one is praying right at the feet of the Lord.

Crucifixes
The devil flees from Jesus on the cross so if you do not already have one, get a Crucifix and have it blessed by a priest, and place it in a appropriate and worthy place in your home--and most especially, pray to Jesus before it each day. Also, if you do not have one, get a crucifix on a necklace, get it blessed and wear it with devotion and prayer.

Prayers to the Virgin Mary, the Saints and Angels
(Pictured to the left is the Virgin Mary crushing the head of the evil serpent)
By the express power and will of God, the most Blessed Virgin Mary, the Angels and the Saints assist us in our battle with evil. Jesus gave us His Mother while He was dying, hanging between heaven and earth upon the Cross (John 19:26). And next to Jesus, our Mother in heaven is our greatest help and advocate against the devil and his minions. And the greatest prayer asking for our Blessed Mothers help is the most Holy Rosary. The Rosary is a chain that binds the evil spirits. Those interested might want to read more on the Blessed Virgin Mary's role in the battle against the demons here.

Along with the Blessed Virgin Mary certain Saints and Angels are especially powerful against the wickedness of the devil. St Michael the Archangel for example---the prayer to him has been recited for over a century and is exceedingly powerful---"St Michael the archangel, defend us in battle. Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O' Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, cast into hell satan, and all the evil spirits, who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen."

Throughout the centuries, the relics of the Saints have shown to be exceedingly powerful against the demons. Pray to the Saints, and if possible keep a relic on your person.

Catholic sacramentals
Sacramentals, especially holy water and blessed salt should be sprinkled in the affected areas of the home, and the holy water and blessed salt should be sprinkled on one's food and drink to protect from within. (*see note about exorcised holy water and salt below). Along with the relics of the Saints, blessed medals and holy cards carry with them the blessing of the Catholic Church, and the protection of the Saint whose image is on the medal or holy card. Also, the burning of blessed candles and blessed incense is recognised to be a very powerful weapon against the demons.

And so, to summarize the spiritual weapons needed to rid oneself or one's home of evil spirits:
First and foremost is prayer which draws us closer to God; fasting in a spirit of reparation for one's sins; Confession; Holy Communion; Eucharistic adoration; Prayers to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Angels and Saints, asking for their heavenly help and intercession; and the usage of Sacramentals (holy water, blessed salt, holy cards, medals, burning of blessed candles and blessed incense etc.). Abandon and renounce any sin in your life. Additionally, if your home appears to be the source of the demonic infestation, then it would be very prudent to get it blessed by a priest.

Additional important considerations
In closing, those oppressed by evil spirits should remember that faith, hope and love--most especially love, will help disarm the demons that plague them or their dwelling. The devil seeks to drive us to the opposite of faith, hope and love--that is doubt, despair and hatred---most especially despair. Do not not despair! Love and trust in Jesus and He will conquer and cast out the evil spirits.

Also, those who have ever engaged in dark practices such as demonic worship, invoking and calling upon the dead (thru ouija boards, medium and psychic practices etc) the occult, dark forms of witchcraft and wicca, black magic etc. MUST RENOUNCE THESE PAST PRACTICES before God and sincerely repent and ask for forgiveness for having engaged in them. Such practices offend God and open a portal to the demonic, and therefore the portal must be closed through sincere repentance and the desire for the mercy and forgiveness of God.

Finally, ask Jesus to pour out His precious blood upon you and your loved ones because the precious blood of Jesus is infinitely powerful.

*Note: There is a special ritual of prayer called an "exorcism blessing" that any Priest can recite to give salt and holy water a special blessing. This exorcised salt or holy water is especially powerful against evil spirits.
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"....And to keep me from being too elated by the abundance of revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, an Angel of Satan to beat me, to keep me from being too exalted." Saint Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:7

PRAYER AGAINST DEMONIC SPIRITS AND EVERY EVIL
(Special thanks to Catholic prayers blog)

Heavenly Father, I love You, I praise You, and I worship You. I thank You for sending Your Son Jesus Who won victory over sin and death for my salvation. I thank You for sending Your Holy Spirit Who empowers me, guides me, and leads me into fullness of life. I thank you for the Blessed Virgin Mary, my Heavenly Mother, who intercedes with the holy angels and saints for me.

Lord Jesus Christ, I place myself at the foot of Your cross and ask You to cover me with Your Precious Blood which pours forth from Your Most Sacred Heart and Your Most Holy Wounds. Cleanse me, my Jesus, in the living water that flows from Your Heart. I ask You to surround me, Lord Jesus, with Your Holy Light.

Heavenly Father, let the healing waters of my baptism now flow back through the maternal and paternal generations to purify my family line of satan and sin. I come before You, Father, and ask forgiveness for myself, my relatives, and my ancestors, for any calling upon powers that set themselves up in opposition to You or that do not offer true honor to Jesus Christ. In Jesus' Holy Name, I now ask that you reclaim any territory, both spiritual and temporal, that was handed over to satan and place it under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

By the power of Your Holy Spirit, reveal to me Father, any people I need to forgive and any areas of unconfessed sin. Reveal aspects of my life that are not pleasing to You, Father, and any ways that have given or could give satan a foothold in my life. Father, I give to You any unforgiveness; I give to You my sins; and I give to You all ways that satan has a hold in my life, that any and all ties and bonds to evil may be broken in the Name of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Thank You heavenly Father for Your forgiveness, Your love and Your mercy.

Heavenly Father, allow Your Son Jesus to come now with the Holy Spirit, the Blessed Virgin Mary, the holy angels and the saints to protect me from all harm and to keep all evil spirits from taking revenge on me in any way.

(Repeat the following sentence three times: once in honor of the Father, once in honor of the Son, and once in honor of the Holy Spirit.)

In the Holy Name of Jesus, I seal myself, my family and relatives, this place (home, church, car, plane, etc...), in the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ, and I ask Jesus to pour out His precious Blood upon us, to wash and cleanse us of all of our sins, and to break any bonds of the evil one upon ourselves or this place.

(To break and dissolve all satanic seals, repeat the following paragraph three times in honor of the Holy Trinity because satanic seals are recited three times to blaspheme the Holy Trinity.)

In the Holy Name of Jesus, I break and dissolve any and all curses, hexes, spells, snares, traps, lies, obstacles, deceptions, diversions, spiritual influences, evil wishes, evil desires, hereditary seals, known and unknown, and every dysfunction and disease from any source including my mistakes and sins. In Jesus' Name, I sever the transmission of any and all satanic vows, pacts, spiritual bonds, soul ties, and satanic works. In Jesus' Name, I break and dissolve any and all links and effects of links with: astrologers; bohmos; channelers; charters; clairvoyants; crystal healers; crystals; fortune tellers; mediums; the New Age Movement; occult seers; palm, tea leaf, or tarot card readers; psychics; santeros; satanic cults; spirit guides; witches; witchdoctors; and, Voodoo. In Jesus' Name, I dissolve all effects of participation in seances and divination, ouija boards, horoscopes, occult games of all sorts, and any form of worship that does not offer true honor to Jesus Christ.

In the Name of Jesus, I rebuke all evil spirits that have any attachment to me, my loved ones, or this place, in particular the spirit of _________________. I command you to go directly to Jesus, without manifestation and without harm to me or anyone, so that He can dispose of you according to His Holy Will.

I thank You, Heavenly Father for Your Love. I thank You, Holy Spirit for your heavenly gifts. I thank You, Jesus, for setting me free through the infinite power of your Precious Blood. I thank You, Blessed Virgin Mary, for interceding for me with the holy angels and the saints.

Lord Jesus, fill me with charity, compassion, faith, gentleness, hope, humility, joy, kindness, light, love, mercy, modesty, patience, peace, purity, security, tranquility, trust, truth, understanding, and wisdom. Help me to walk in Your Light and Truth, illuminated by the Holy Spirit so that together we may praise, honor, and glorify Our Father in time and in eternity. For You, Lord Jesus, are, "...the way, the truth, and the life" (John 14:6 ), and You "...have come that we might have life and have it more abundantly" (John 10:10 ).

"God indeed is my savior; I am confident and unafraid. My strength and courage is the Lord, and he has been my savior" (Isaiah 12:2 ).

Amen. Alleluia. Amen.

Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta -The little daughter of the Divine Will


Luisa Piccarreta of Corato, "The Little Daughter of the Divine Will" (1865-1947)

Early years
Luisa was born in Corato, province of Bari, Italy, on the morning of April 23, 1865. Her parents, Vito Nicola Piccarreta and Rosa Tarantino had four daughters: Maria, Rachele, Luisa and Angela. Luisa was born on Sunday morning, the first Sunday after Easter. Both her parents were practicing Catholics and she was baptised in the local parish Church that same evening.

During her early years, Luisa experienced her first visions (Luisa calls them dreams) of the evil spirit, who terrorized her frequently, making her very frightened. She tried to conquer her fears by hiding behind her bed, or in seeking refuge in the arms of her mother, in which she felt safe. She soon learned to turn to God in prayer, and beseeched the Blessed Virgin Mary for protection. And our Blessed Mother soon responded to the prayers of little Luisa. One day, being once again assailed and terrorized by the evil spirit, Luisa turned to her Celestial Mother, who lovingly spoke to her:
"Why do you fear? Your Angel is by your side, Jesus is in your heart, and your Celestial Mother keeps you under Her mantle. Why do you fear then? Who is stronger; your guardian Angel, your Jesus, your Celestial Mom, or the infernal enemy? Therefore, do not run away, but stay, pray, and do not fear."
At that instant all the evil manifestations disappeared and a deep peace overcame her.

With her heart filled with the love for her God she received Jesus in Eucharist for the first time at age nine, and she often remained in prayer and adoration for hours before the Most Blessed Sacrament in her parish Church of Santa Maria Greca. At age eleven she consecrated herself to the Blessed Virgin and thus became a "daughter of Mary", and with great fervor she spread devotion to the heavenly Mother among the girls of her neighborhood. Devotion to Mary became one of the fundamental characteristics of her spirituality in fact, and later in life she wrote a book of meditation on Our Lady entitled “The Virgin Mary in the Kingdom of the Divine Will”.

Her call to become a victim soul –suffering in union with Christ
While at home at age thirteen, Luisa heard a uproar coming from the street, and she went out to the balcony to see what was happening. There a terrible vision appeared before her eyes: the street was crowded with shouting people and with armed soldiers who were leading three prisoners. Among these, Luisa recognized Jesus, carrying the cross on His shoulders. With deep sorrow and terror, Luisa contemplated this sad procession, but when the Divine Convict was under her balcony, He raised His head and said to her: "Anima, aiutami!" ("Soul, help me!").

At this scene, Luisa cried out and immediately lost her senses.
This extraordinary event marked for Luisa a decisive turning point in her life, because on that day she accepted the call to become a victim of expiation for the sins of humanity. The sufferings which she accepted upon herself lessened the pains of others, including souls in purgatory, and helped bring about conversions. In addition, Luisa’s state of victimhood provided an outlet for the Justice of the Lord, thus reducing the chastisements that should have rained down upon humanity. St. Annibale Di Francia wrote that the prayers, sufferings and tears of Luisa had mitigated a good many of the divine chastisements described or foretold in her Diary.

As she grew older, the communications with Jesus became full-blown supernatural phenomena, which included her Mystical Marriage with the Lord, the Invisible Stigmata, and the Indwelling of the Holy Trinity.

State of unconsciousness and accompanying humiliations
After she accepted her state of victim, Luisa was often drawn into a state of complete unconsciousness: her body would stiffen, becoming hard like stone, to the point that no one, even when joined together, was able to move her. Each morning Luisa would be found stiff and in a unmovable position. This phenomena was completely strange and misunderstood by her family and those who knew her, which often caused them to rail against her and humiliate her. However her family was immensely worried, especially her parents, who subjected her to visits by doctors, who were dumbfounded before such an extraordinary clinical case, unable to make any diagnosis. All of this was for Luisa a trial of unheard-of suffering, which the Lord would make her go through to increase her humility and trust in Him.

Receiving no help from the doctors, her family turned in desperation to the local priests. Father Lojodice, a devout Passionist Priest was called to her home. Father Lojodice drew near the bed of Luisa and blessed her, and to the surprise of all, she immediately regained her normal faculties and lucid state. This fact, so extraordinary, produced the conviction in Luisa and her relatives that Father Lojodice was a Saint. From that day, Father Lojodice went to Luisa every time he was called by her family; and every time, without fail, his blessing freed Luisa from her state of immobility. After a short time, Father Lojodice left Corato, being called by his Superiors to another place. This event caused great sorrow to both Luisa and her family. Luisa lamented with her Jesus:
"Why do you cause all these things when you come into me? Can we not love each other without others knowing anything? Have pity on me! Free me from this terrible humiliation."
And Jesus responded: "Have you not promised to suffer for me? So now let yourself be led by Me along the ways of suffering."

The power of the Priesthood
After the departure of Father Lojodice, another priest was called, who blessed her, and to the stupefaction of the priest himself and of all who were present, Luisa once again regained consciousness. This fact produced in Luisa the conviction that all priests were saints. However, one day the Lord said to her:
"Not because all of them are saints – if only they were so! They all have this power because they are priests, and all the faithful are submitted to their priestly authority, created and wanted by Me. You must always be submitted to their priestly authority, you must obey always, and never go against their will, because they are the continuation of my priesthood in the world. The unworthiness of some does not annul their priesthood."

The humiliations and the sufferings which Luisa had to bear during this period were unspeakable. She was misunderstood by most and was considered proud, false, a cheater, and a person who wanted to draw attention upon herself. Most painfully for Luisa, these accusations were also shared by her parents at times. But the most terrible humiliations she received were from the priests, who completely misjudged the frequent ecstatic state of Luisa. When they were called by her family in order to free her from her usual state of immobility, they would refuse to go; and if they did go, they would often overwhelm her with the most bitter reproaches. Once they left her in that state for as long as twenty-five days.

Her desire to become a Nun
During this time, Luisa expressed to her parents her desire to become a cloistered nun. Her parents were absolutely opposed to the idea. Luisa kept insisting, so one day her mother took her for a visit to the cloistered nuns at Trani, where they met with the Mother Superior. But her mother, not wanting her little Luisa to cloister herself in a monastery, revealed to the Mother Superior in detail all the defects and the strange phenomena surrounding her daughter, adding that she was a sickly girl of weak constitution. Obviously, these details provoked a definitive refusal on the part of the Superior, who immediately dismissed her, saying that life in the monastery was very hard, and that her frail health would not allow her to enter the religious life.
Luisa returned to Corato with her heart full of sadness and she immediately poured out her sorrow to Jesus:
"Had You not promised me that I would become a nun?"

And the Lord answered:
"You will be a nun, but the true little nun of my Heart. You will remain cloistered in a room, without ever moving, in which you will pray, suffer, and be always with Me."

And so it happened as Jesus promised. Luisa remained in her room nailed to her bed of suffering for almost seventy years.

She no longer desires to eat
Beginning at age sixteen she one day awoke from an ecstasy and felt a great repugnance for any food; so she began to refuse to eat. She was soon forced to eat by her parents, and she did so out of obedience, but as soon as she ate she would bring it up immediately. Her family attributed this to a new act of capriciousness or desire for attention on her part, and therefore she had to suffer new and bitter reproaches. However, this was the Will of God, Who was preparing Luisa to live only from the Eucharist and His Divine Will. In fact, this extraordinary phenomenon lasted until her death.

Luisa ate only once a day and then very little, out obedience to her confessor; but immediately after eating she would bring up the food, whole, fresh and to the surprise of all--sweetly fragrant. In his prudence, her confessor was opposed to this new prodigy, and ordered her to eat, even if she brought up everything after a little while. Her Confessor is reported to have said that “ . . . she must eat every day and every one must know that she eats, or they will set the police at her door as they did with Teresa Newman, and with all the publicity of the newspapers."

Luisa becomes completely bedridden
Near the end of 1888, at the age of twenty-three, Luisa asked her confessor, Father Michele De Benedictis permission to suffer in bed for a certain time, about forty days. "If this is the Will of God, stay", Don Michele said; but the bed was never again abandoned by Luisa, who was then, in 1888, twenty-three years old, and remained, always sitting, nailed to the bed, for the fifty-nine years until her death, which occurred on March 4, 1947. From then on Luisa becomes completely bedridden in a state of suffering.

Luisa is ordered to write her diary
Ten years later, in 1898, Father Gennaro Di Gennaro became her new confessor delegated by the bishop, and thus he remained for 24 years. Father Gennaro, an enlightened and prudent priest, realizing the wonders that the Lord was working in this soul, ordered her to put into writing all that the Grace of God operated in her. Luisa did not expect or welcome this order, to which she had to submit with docility, even though it strongly clashed with her humility.

Luisa was to write everything going back to the very beginning, without neglecting anything; and she was to give everything to him, day by day. The excuse of being an illiterate woman, for she had attended school only up to the second elementary grade, had no success: her new confessor was immovable. Though weeping from what was to her a great humiliation, Luisa humbly submitted herself to the request and thus she began to write her volumes (36 in all) in the form of a diary. It was February 28, 1899. She wrote the last chapter of Volume 36 on December 28, 1938. On the day that she was ordered to stop, she immediately stopped and no longer wrote.

Luisa is given the GIFT OF THE DIVINE WILL
On November 22, 1900, the Lord makes known to Luisa that He wants to give her an extraordinary gift: THE GIFT OF THE DIVINE WILL. This particular grace which God gives to the creature from Himself constitutes a special and free gift. Except for the Blessed Virgin Mary, Luisa is to be the first to receive this grace, but God desires that it must be extended to all of humanity who desire to accept this new event of grace. But it was to begin in the most complete silence and in the greatest hiddenness of this Soul. Beginning with Luisa, God desired to send the message of the Divine Will, this grace in which the Holy Spirit wants to renew the face of the earth: the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in Heaven. So beginning with Luisa a new event of grace is to begin in souls, through which God wants to enrich humanity.

As the years progressed, the Lord revealed to Luisa profound and ever deeper insights into the Divine Will. His purpose was to seek perfect fulfillment in Luisa of the Fiat petition of the Our Father, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Fiat Voluntas Tua sicut in Coelo et in terra.) He taught her that the three great phases or Fiats of God’s Work are the Creation, Redemption, and Sanctification. The Sanctification will be completed when the Divine Will is done on earth as it is in heaven. Luisa is to live the life of the Divine Will within her own soul, and her writings will inspire and teach others how to do so. This will help fulfill the Sanctification, which will bring about a new era of love, the era of the Third Fiat.

Her daily life
Luisa lived in the strictest poverty, on a small income derived from lace making, which she carried out while sitting up in her bed during the day. Although she wished to live in obscurity, people of all ranks, from the humblest peasants to high-ranking prelates of the church visited her, seeking spiritual advice or consolation.

Luisa never left her bed of suffering and remained sitting in the same position for 64 consecutive years, not counting the first six years when she was often bedridden. Remarkably, she never contracted any bedsores which are normally inevitable for those bedridden.

In the morning Luisa would be found immobile and immovable, huddled in her bed, stiff as though petrified, to the extent that no one could manage to move her, until her confessor or any other priest would come in prayer to bless her; only then would Luisa be able to move and be released. So her sister Angelina and faithful Rosaria would place her again in her usual sitting position, while the priest would begin Holy Mass on a movable altar which was in her room. With the permission of Pope Leo XIII, renewed later by Pope St. Pius X, Mass was allowed to be offered in her bedroom daily.

Luisa participated in the Mass with great devotion; she received Communion every day, and then remained in meditation for about two hours. Afterwards, she would begin her work of “tombolo” (Italian lace sewing).

Each morning before starting her day, out of obedience Luisa was to read to her confessor all that she had written in her diary the night before, and give it to him. This lasted until 1938. These writings formed 36 volumes, many of which have now been published.

Around one o’clock Luisa ate a small amount of food, which she would normally bring up afterwards. In the afternoon she would remain in prayer for a few hours and would recite the Rosary, and then begin her ordinary work. Later in the evening Luisa would begin to write in her diary all that the Lord had worked in her during that day. In this way her day would end. This way of life lasted until her death.

Her Bishop receives a miracle
In 1917 a new Archbishop of Trani, with jurisdiction over Corato, was appointed. His name was Archbishop Regime. Unfortunately he was influenced by some jealous local clergy who were hostile to Luisa, and therefore he was skeptical of Luisa’s reputation for sanctity. Thus he determined to sign a decree preventing priests from visiting her room and saying Mass there. As his hand approached the paper to sign it, his arm and part of his body were at once paralyzed.

Thankfully, he immediately realized the significance of his poor judgement and he asked to be taken immediately to Luisa’s home. Even before he arrived, Luisa asked a companion who was present to open the door, because God enlightened her that the bishop was coming. Supported by two priests, he entered her house for the first time. As soon as she saw him, Luisa asked Archbishop Regime for his blessing. At that moment he was able to raise his arm and bless her as if nothing had happened. He was instantly cured!

He remained with her for two hours that day, and from then on he often visited Luisa’s home, where the two would engage in edifying spiritual conversations. This miraculous episode struck a holy fear in the clergy, which allowed her Confessor henceforth to minister to her under peaceful circumstances. Also, after this event, St. Annibale Di Francia began to visit Luisa more often. St. Annibale would eventually become one of Luisa’s Extraordinary Confessors.

In 1922, her confessor, Fr. Gennaro died, and by order of the bishop Fr. Francesco De Benedictis took his place. Fr. Francesco died in January, 1926. The Bishop, then, appointed a young priest, Fr, Benedetto Calvi, parish priest of Santa Maria Greca, who assisted her until her death. In 1928 she went to live in the convent of the orphanage of the Institute of St. Anthony, founded by St. Annibale. He had already established other orphanages, but had this one specifically erected in Corato so that Luisa could reside there in the company of the nuns of his Institute

As a victim soul for the salvation of sinners, Luisa was struck by deep trials and sufferings, which would certainly have crushed most other persons, but which through the grace of God were surpassed through her prayer and by her profound humility, obedience and faith. Her confessor and the persons who were close to her, especially her faithful friend Rosaria, suffered tremendously along with her, and while some of weaker spirit abandoned her, they remained at her side with humility and faith, until the triumph of the Work of God.

Her holy death
Luisa died in Corato at 6:00 am on March 4, 1947. She had been ill for two weeks with pneumonia . She was 81 years, ten months and nine days old. She died of pneumonia after fifteen days, which was the only clinical illness that she was ever diagnosed with.

The remarkable phenomena after her death
As she appears in the pictures taken at that time, the dead body of Luisa is sitting on the little bed, just as when she was alive; nor was it possible to stretch it out through the strength of various people. She remained in that position; so a special casket had to be built. Her body was not subject to the "rigor mortis" typical of all human bodies after death. This was noticed each day she was exposed to the eyes of the people of Corato, and to those of many foreigners who came to Corato for the purpose of seeing and touching with their own hands this unique and marvelous case: all were able, with no effort, to move the head to all sides, raise her arms and bend them, bend her hands and all the fingers. Even the eyelids could be lifted and her bright eyes, which were not veiled, could be observed. Luisa seemed to be alive, as though sleeping, while a group of doctors, convened for the purpose, after a careful examination of her body, declared that Luisa was actually dead, and therefore it was to be considered a true death and not an apparent death, as many had imagined.

Because of the unending crowd that thronged around “the saint” as she was then often called, the Civil Authority was forced to keep her on her little deathbed for 4 full days. To the surprise of Physicians and also the city Health Officer there was no sign of corruption even to the end of the fourth day.

Notably, in death Luisa remained seated, as she had always lived, and sitting she was to go to the cemetery in a casket which was built for the purpose, with the sides and the front of glass, so that all might see her, just as a queen on her throne, clothed in white, with the "FIAT" on her breast – the little daughter of the Divine Will, whom the Lord wanted to remove from her silence and humility only at her death.

More than forty priests, the Capitolo [the Ecclesiastical authorities] and the local Clergy, were present; many religious sisters, who brought her on their shoulders in turns, and an immense crowd of citizens. The streets along which the procession was to pass, were packed - incredibly; even the balconies and the roofs of the houses were crammed with people, and the procession proceeded with great difficulty. The funeral was celebrated in the Matrice Church by the many religious present. Father Benedetto described the funeral as a “veritable triumph”.

After the funeral Mass, all the people of Corato followed the body of Luisa to the cemetery, and everyone tried to bring home a souvenir of the flowers which had accompanied and touched the body. A few years later, the body of Luisa was transferred to her Parish Church of Santa Maria Greca, and placed in a special niche to the right of the central nave, where she lies today, humbly waiting for the glorification of the Church.

Persecution and the Cause for Beatification/Canonization
Luisa suffered a persecution from the Vatican during the Pontificate of Pius XI. The Holy Office placed three devotional works of Luisa on the Index, because it seems that they had been highly edited by her perhaps over-zealous Confessor, Canon Don Benedetto Calvi, and apparently some of the doctrine contained therein was judged questionable. However, the Index did not apply to any of her Diaries. In fact, the first nineteen volumes of her Diary had already been published and given the Nihil Obstat by her Extraordinary Confessor, St. Annibale, and were granted the Imprimatur by the local Archbishop.

In May of 1938 a priest representing the Holy Office arrived at Luisa’s residence. He asked her for the three works that had been edited by her Confessor, and then required Luisa to turn over thirty-four original notebooks, which contained the writings which comprised her Diary up to that time. This, in spite of the fact that the local ordinary had officially approved the first nineteen volumes for publication.

These original handwritten manuscripts remained in the exclusive possession of the Vatican until 1996, when they were allowed to be photocopied by the Diocesan Tribunal of her Cause. The only volumes that had ever been in print were the first nineteen books, and volumes thirty-five and thirty-six. For a period of almost sixty years, volumes twenty thru thirty-four had never been read except by her Confessors and perhaps some few privileged acquaintances of Luisa, although some parts of volume twenty had made it to print.

When the totally unexpected news of this suppression by the Vatican arrived in July of 1938, Luisa responded as a true saint, immediately sending her Archbishop a letter professing her complete submission to the judgment of the Church.

When her Cause for Beatification and Canonization was officially proposed, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, at that time the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, nullified the previous condemnations of the Index, thereby removing the impediment to her Cause. Thus on the Feast of Christ the King, Sunday November 20, 1994, the process for the Cause of the Servant of God, Luisa Piccarreta, was finally opened.

And most recently, the second theologian assigned to evaluate the writings of Luisa Piccarreta by the Vatican Congregation for the Causes of the Saints has given a positive, that is, a favorable judgement. This means that both of the official censors librorum for the cause of Luisa have found nothing contrary to the faith in her writings, and her cause can now go forward.
-Source: Padre Bernadino Bucci

~Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta, pray for us!

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Primary sources for this article are the book "The Life of the Mystic Luisa Piccarreta, Journeys in the Divine Will - the Early Years" by Frank M. Rega and also "Luisa Piccarreta -The Little Daughter of the Divine Will" written by Father Bernardino Giuseppe Bucci, Parish Priest Cappuccino

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