|Child Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary|
Many of us have seen the holy cards or statues of Saints such as St Anthony and the young St Stanislaus Kostka for example, tenderly cradling the baby Jesus in their arms—but are we familiar with the beautiful true stories behind these depictions?
Some may be surprised to know that in fact many Saints and holy persons over the centuries have reported seeing the Child Jesus in visions, and what is even more consoling are the beautiful messages our Lord and the Blessed Virgin Mary chose to convey during these heavenly appearances. In addition, a good number of Saints have actually held the Infant Jesus in their arms during their visions- a heavenly grace which quite understandably brought them an almost inconceivable joy. So let us now explore some of these heartwarming stories.
|St Rose of Lima with the Infant Jesus|
|"See, oh see how I love Thee!|
|(Head bandage covering the wounds of the crown of thorns)|
|Teresa of Avila with Child Jesus|
As a young nun, Catherine de’ Vigri was given many visions; in one of them, Jesus came alive on the crucifix when she was praying before it while alone in her cell. But in one of her most beloved visions, she was given to see the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Child Jesus. It happened on one Christmas Eve while she was praying; the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to Catherine, holding in Her arms the baby Jesus. Referring to herself in the third person, Catherine wrote:
|St Faustina Kowalska|
|St Gemma's child Jesus shrine- Gemma would place her letters to her priest-spiritual director beneath this shrine and her guardian Angel would take the letters and deliver them, placing them atop his desk in Rome, some 225 miles away.|
The baby Jesus appears another time to Gemma
Monsignor, [Giovanni Volpi]
In order to obey Father Gaetano, I must tell you something which happened to me a few days ago. One evening while I was writing, I heard my name called. I turned and saw a Lady with a Child in her arms. She held the Baby out to me and I took Him. Then the Lady said to me, "You, daughter, have received your health back, and therefore, I wish that you serve my Son in the Passionist Order." Having said these words, She took the Child, blessed me, looked at me, and then when She had taken some steps, turned to me again and said: "You are to tell your Confessor that what he has refused to you, he must not refuse to Me, because I am the Queen of Heaven. I have asked you to join the Company of Passionists, and you should do what I have asked of you."
Then, after She had said these words the Lady went away.
After this I did nothing but weep all night, because I have no one willing to help me in this matter. I feel, however, now, that since the Madonna has commanded me, she is going to help me. I have made a resolution to go to the convent on my own responsibility. The Most Holy Virgin will sustain me. I could go away just as I am, without any preparation. I will be glad to make any sacrifice to enter the Passionists. For this is a command from the Madonna and I ought to obey.
-Those interested in reading about St Gemma's Child Jesus shrine and the miraculous angelic letter deliveries can read more here.
|Venerable Margaret Parigot|
This mission, therefore, was to be the grand, unique occupation of Margaret's life; and her entire existence was to love and honor Jesus' infancy and childhood.
“I wish you to institute an association of which I will inspire the rules. . . this association will be My family, the Family of the Infant Jesus, this is the title you shall give it. (- Jesus in a vision to Venerable Margaret)
(1550-1568) St Stanislaus was born in Poland in 1550. His father was a Polish senator and his family was a part of the Polish nobility.
As a child and later as a teenager, young Stanislaus was very devoted to his studies and to prayer. At the age of 14 he was sent along with his older brother Paul and Dr. John Bilinski, a traveling companion, to study at the Jesuit College in Vienna.
At age 16, Stanislaus was struck with a very serious illness and was bedridden. He continued to get worse and what made this situation even worse is that Stanislaus had wanted very deeply to receive Holy Communion, but his Lutheran landlord named Kimburker, a Senator friend of his fathers, would not allow it in his house., because at that time anti-Catholic sentiment was high among the Lutherans in that area. As time progressed, Stanislaus felt as if he were dying, and he did not want to die without receiving Viaticum (Holy Communuion). He prayed fervently to his patron Saint, St Barbara, Virgin and Martyr, to obtain the grace of somehow being able to receive Holy Communion before he died.
Later that night, he received a vision of his patron Saint Barbara, who appeared to him surrounded by a whole contingent of angels. Right after receiving Holy Communion, he then had vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary and baby Jesus, and the Blessed Mother gave Her baby Jesus to Stanislaus to hold, and the Virgin Mary told Stanislaus that it was Jesus' will for him to become a Jesuit. When he came out of the ecstasy, he found that he was completely healed. Upon his recovery, for the next few years he pursued his calling to become a Jesuit, and at age 17 he completed enough studies and preparation to be accepted into the Jesuit Order, and to demonstrate his determination, Stanislaus walked the 350 miles to Rome (which included crossing the Alps) and there the Jesuit superior general St. Francis Borgia accepted him as a Jesuit.
On August 9, 1568, Stanislaus became very ill with a fever. To those around him he predicted he would soon die, and he then wrote a letter to the Virgin Mary asking that he be in heaven on the feast day of her Assumption on Aug. 15, just six days away. And so it was that at age 18 his mission on this earth was completed, and Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary called Stanislaus to Themselves on the great Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, August 15, 1568.
St Therese of Lisieux (1873-1897) -known in religion as St Therese of the Child Jesus, once had a special grace (perhaps a vision?) from the Child Jesus on Christmas Eve, 1886, just a few days before her 14th birthday. It was an experience which she ever after referred to as "my conversion" and it left a profound influence on her life. Here are her own words which she wrote in her autobiography "A Story of a Soul" which describe the very special event:
"On that blessed night the sweet infant Jesus, scarcely an hour old, filled the darkness of my soul with floods of light. By becoming weak and little for love of me, He made me strong and brave: He put His own weapons into my hands so that I went on from strength to strength, beginning, if I may say so, 'to run as a giant."