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This is the story of a marvelous miracle that took place a few days before Christmas of 1956 in Communist-occupied Hungary. The story comes to us through a Fr. Norbert, a parish priest in Budapest, who later fled to the West.

Gertrude was a rabidly militant Communist who was an elementary teacher in a girls’ school. She made it her mission to try to steal her pupils’ Catholic faith, and missed no opportunity to either mock their belief, or to slyly indoctrinate them in Marxist propaganda.

One particular pupil, Angela, an intelligent, devout little leader, asked Fr. Norbert to let her receive Holy Communion daily to help her bear up under her teacher’s constant persecution.

“She will persecute you worse,” Fr. Norbert warned, but the ten year old insisted she needed Jesus more than ever.
 

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Sure enough, from that day, sensing something different, Gertrude began a veritable psychological torture campaign.

Come Infant Jesus image 1On December 17, the schoolmistress devised a cruel trick meant to strike a deadly blow against what she termed “ancient superstitions infesting the school”.

In a sweet voice, she began to question the children, promoting atheistic materialism, arguing that things only exist that can be seen and touched. To illustrate her point, she asked Angela to step out of the room. Then she had the whole classroom call to her,

“Angela, come in!” called the girls in unison.

Angela entered, intrigued, but suspecting a trap.

“You see, girls,” oiled Gertrude, “because Angela is a living person, someone we can see, hear and touch, when we call her she hears us. But suppose…we were to call the Infant Jesus, in whom some of you seem to believe…do you think He would hear you?”

There was a loaded silence; then some voices timidly said,

“Yes we do.”

“What about you, Angela”, asked the teacher.

Now Angela understood. She expected a trap, but not one so terrible. But she answered with ardent faith,

“Yes! I believe that He hears me!”

Now Gertrude laughed loud and long. Then, turning to the class, she shot;

“Well! Then call Him!”

Silence.

The Communist’s arguments had not been totally ineffective.

Suddenly, Angela rushed to the front of the class, her eyes glistening. Facing her classmates she shouted,

“Listen girls, we are going to call Him! Let’s all call together: come, Infant Jesus!”

All the girls sprang to their feet and began, “Come, Infant Jesus, come, Infant Jesus…”

Come Infant Jesus image 2Gertrude was startled. She had not expected this reaction.

But the young ones continued. There was now an aura of expectant hope around the little leader.

When anticipation was at a height, the classroom door opened soundlessly, an intense brightness shining there, then entering the classroom and slightly increasing like the light of a great, gentle fire. In the midst of this splendor, there was a globe that shone with an even clearer light.

As the girls and teacher watched, riveted to the floor, the globe opened disclosing a handsome Infant dressed in a refulgent tunic. His smile was ravishing, as the little girls smiled back, in perfect peace and joy. Then, gently, the globe closed and disappeared through the door.

The children were still raptly gazing in the direction of the door, when they were jolted back to earth by a sharp scream.

“He CAME!” Screamed the terrified school mistress, “He CAME….!!!” And she fled down the hallway.

Fr Norbert questioned the little girls one by one. He attested under oath that he did not find the least contradiction in their accounts.

As for Gertrude, she was interned in an asylum. The tremendous shock of the apparition affected her godless mind, and she never stopped repeating, “He came, He came!”

 


Based on an account by Maria Minovskca in Magnificat Magazine, Braga, Portugal.

 

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Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for November 18, 2019

Better a few staunch and sincere Catholics, than many compli...

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November 18

 

Better a few staunch and sincere Catholics,
than many compliant with the enemies of the Church
and conformed to the foes of our Faith.

St. Peter Canisius


DEFEND Our Lady's HONOR !

Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Rose Philippine Duchesne

During the French Revolution, the Sisters of the Visitation...

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St. Rose Philippine Duchesne

Born on August 29, 1769 in the French city of Grenoble, Rose Philippine was baptized in the Church of St. Louis. She was educated at the Convent of the Visitation of Ste. Marie d'en Haut and, against her father’s wishes, became a novice there when she was eighteen years old. However, the French Revolution caused much disruption for the nuns, and when the Sisters of the Visitation were expelled from their convents, Rose returned home.

She cared for the sick and the poor, helped fugitive priests, visited prisons, and taught children. Some time after the Revolution ended, she unsuccessfully tried to reestablish the Visitation community, and ultimately gave the convent to St. Madeleine Sophie Barat, foundress of the Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and joined the Order. When the Bishop of New Orleans, William Du Bourg, requested nuns for his thriving diocese in Louisiana, Rose and four other nuns made the trip to America in 1818.

Rose and the nuns were sent to Missouri, pioneers of the New World. There, as well in neighboring states, they established multiple schools, built a convent, an orphanage, a mission school for Indian girls, a boarding academy and a novitiate for her Order. However, the strenuous and difficult regime of work for her apostolate took its toll on her body. She died in St. Charles, Missouri in 1852 after spending more than 30 years as a pioneer in the evangelization of the New World. She was canonized in 1988. Rose was truly devoted to God, and prayed in her every spare moment. Because of this, the Indians began to call her “Quah-kah-ka-num-ad,” or "Woman-Who-Prays-Always."

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

In the midst of this splendor, the Virgin Mary appeared stan...

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The Conversion of Alphonse Ratisbonne

Born in 1814, Alphonse Ratisbonne was from a family of wealthy, well-known Jewish bankers in Strasbourg, France. In 1827, Alphonse’s older brother, Thèodore, converted to Catholicism and entered the priesthood, thus breaking with his anti-Catholic family whose hopes now lay in the young Alphonse. At 27, Alphonse was intelligent and well mannered. He had already finished his law degree, and decided to travel to Italy before marrying and assuming his responsibilities in the family business. However, God had other plans for him.

While in Rome, Alphonse visited works of art, and strictly out of cultural curiosity, a few Catholic churches. These visits hardened his anti-Catholic stance, and nourished his profound hatred for the Church. He also called on an old schoolmate and close friend, Gustave de Bussières.

Gustave was a Protestant and several times had tried, in vain, to win Alphonse over to his religious convictions. Alphonse was introduced to Gustave’s brother, Baron de Bussières, who had recently converted to Catholicism and become a close friend of Father Thèodore Ratisbonne. Because of the Baron’s Catholicism and closeness with his turncoat brother, Alphonse greatly disliked him.

On the eve of his departure, Alphonse reluctantly fulfilled his social obligation to leave his calling card at the Baron’s house as a farewell gesture.

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Hoping to avoid a meeting, Alphonse intended to leave his card discreetly and depart straight away, but was instead shown into the house. The Baron greeted the young Jew warmly, and before long, had persuaded him to remain a few more days in Rome. Inspired by grace, the Baron insisted Alphonse accept a Miraculous Medal and copy down a beautiful prayer: the Memorare. Alphonse could hardly contain his anger at his host’s boldness of proposing these things to him, but decided to take everything good-heartedly, planning to later describe the Baron as an eccentric.

During Alphonse’s stay, the Baron’s close friend, Count de La Ferronays, former French ambassador to the Holy See and a man of great virtue and piety, died quite suddenly. On the eve of his death, the Baron had asked the Count to pray the Memorare one hundred times for Alphonse’s conversion. It is possible that he offered his life to God for the conversion of the young Jewish banker.

A few days later, the Baron went to the church of Sant’Andrea delle Fratte to arrange for his friend’s funeral. Alphonse reluctantly went with him, all the while making violent criticisms of the Church and mocking Catholic practices. When they arrived, the Baron entered the sacristy to arrange the funeral while Alphonse remained in the church.

When the Baron returned just a few minutes later, the young man was gone. He searched the church, and soon discovered his young friend kneeling close to an altar, weeping.  Alphonse himself tells us what happened in those few minutes he waited for the Baron: “I had only been in the church a short while when, all of a sudden, I felt totally uneasy for no apparent reason. I raised my eyes and saw that the whole building had disappeared. Only one side chapel had, so to say, gathered all the light. In the midst of this splendor, the Virgin Mary appeared standing on the altar. She was grandiose, brilliant, full of majesty and sweetness, just as she is in the Miraculous Medal. An irresistible force attracted me to her. The Virgin made a gesture with her hand indicating I was to kneel.”

When de Bussières talked to Alphonse, he no longer found a Jew, but a convert who ardently desired baptism. The news of such an unexpected conversion immediately spread and caused a great commotion throughout Europe, and Pope Gregory XVI received the young convert, paternally. He ordered a detailed investigation with the rigor required by canon law, and concluded that the occurrence was a truly authentic miracle. 

Alphonse took the name Maria Alphonse at baptism, and, wishing to become a priest, was ordained a Jesuit in 1847. After some time, and at the suggestion of Pope Pius IX, he left the Jesuits and joined his brother Thèodore in founding the Congregation of Our Lady of Sion, dedicated to the conversion of the Jews. Father Theodore spread his congregation throughout France and England, while Father Maria Alphonse went to the Holy Land. In Jerusalem, he established a house of the congregation on the plot of land where the praetorium of Pilate had formerly stood.

The two brothers died in 1884, both famed and well-loved for their exceptional virtues.  

By Armando Santos  

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In the midst of this splendor, the Virgin Mary appeared standing on the altar"

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