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Our Lady of Confidence

Our Lady of Confidence

 

On June 25, 1697, a Catholic home in the Eternal City celebrated the birth of a daughter! Little did the happy parents know that Divine Providence had destined this little girl to be a noble instrument in His hands to introduce into the Church one of the most beautiful invocations to the Holy Mother of God: “Madonna della Fiducia” — Our Lady of Confidence.

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While still a youth, Clare Isabella Forani became a religious and eventually became the venerable abbess of the convent of Poor Clares of Saint Francis in the city of Todi, Italy. She courageously adopted a severe life of penance from the outset and bore unspeakable trials for many years. Her sacrifices purified her soul and prepared her to receive the highest of mystical graces, and her visions and ecstasies were numerous. Such was the intensity of her participation in the suffering of Our Lord Jesus Christ that she received the Holy Stigmata of His Passion.

Sister Clare also nourished a very special devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, a devotion represented in sacred pictures which the talented servant of God painted with her own hand.

Many of Sister Clare’s pictures of the Madonna, either copies or originals, circulated widely due especially to her confessors who gave them to friends and acquaintances. The recipients always found succor in their needs.

Until her death in the odor of sanctity in 1744, Sister Clare always kept with her an oval picture portraying the maternal figure of the Virgin Mary with the Infant Jesus in her arms. Most extraordinary graces are attributed to this picture, which remains in the city of Todi. Especially benefited were the sick who had recourse to the intercession of the Blessed Mother before it.

 

My Mother, My Confidence

Image of Our Lady of Confidence - Our Lady holding the Child Jesus. Both are crowned.A copy of the picture is venerated today in the Major Seminary next to the Basilica of Saint John Lateran. It gave rise to a devotion to Our Lady under the title of Mother of Confidence. This renowned reproduction of Our Lady of Confidence arrived at the capital of Christendom accompanied by a copy of a document written by the Servant of God with a promise to those who venerate the picture. The parchment is conserved today in the archives of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, which is examining the case for Venerable Sister Clare Isabella’s beatification.

The seminary has always held the picture in great esteem. The students, having recourse to the miraculous image in their most pressing needs, always had their prayers answered by Our Lady. Noteworthy was the complete protection granted by Our Lady of Confidence to the seminarians against the scourge of Asiatic Cholera that claimed thousands of lives throughout Italy in 1837. When a new outbreak devastated the south of the country thirty years later and reached the City of the Pope, the protective mantle of the Madonna was again felt, granting immunity to the students of the seminary. During the First World War, the Blessed Virgin watched over the more than 100 seminarians who had recourse to her with redoubled confidence. Many seminarians were sent to the war and there are numerous letters written from the battlefield recounting the marvels worked by the Madonna for those who had sought her intercession.

 

The Promise

The greatest graces reserved for all those who have this devotion are contained in the promise of the Blessed Virgin Mary to the venerable Sister Clare Isabella. Below is a translation of this marvelous promise taken from an old parchment containing the consoling words of the Blessed Mother to Sister Clare:

“The divine Lady deigned to reveal to me that every soul that confidently presents herself before this picture will obtain from her Divine Son the general pardon for all her sins. Moreover, my divine Lady assured me with the love of a true mother that she would grant a special tenderness and devotion toward her to everyone who contemplated this picture.”

With the ejaculatory prayer, “My Mother my Confidence,” explains a pamphlet published by the Roman seminary, Mary offers everything but asks for nothing. It is a most ardent and efficacious expression of complete abandonment and confidence in the hands of the Blessed Mother. Just as the Apostle Saint Thomas at the feet of the resurrected Redeemer exclaimed with confidence, “My Lord and my God!” so also should devotees of the Virgin, before this miraculous picture, repeat with heartfelt confidence those sweet words,

“Mater mea Fiducia mea!” (My Mother, my Confidence!).

 


  

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Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for May 25, 2020

“I will take away not the grace but the feeling of grace...

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May 25

 

“I will take away
not the grace but the feeling of grace.
Though I will seem to leave you
I will be closer to you.”

Our Lord to St. Mary Magdalene de’ Pazzi


My Mother, I will stand with you on OCTOBER 10, 2020

Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

Pope St. Gregory VII

In 1073 at the death of Alexander II, the people of Rome cri...

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Pope St. Gregory VII

Pope Gregory VII was born Hildebrand in Tuscany, Italy. Little else is known of his early life. Hailed, historically, as one of the greatest of the Church's pontiffs and one of the most remarkable men of all time, his name, Hildebrand, meant “bright flame”. Those who hated him, which were many, interpreted the name as “brand of Hell”.

Hildebrand was a Benedictine monk, for a time living in Cluny, from whence he certainly gleaned the monastery’s ideal of societal reform.

As a cleric, he became chaplain to Pope Gregory VI, and a few years later, under Leo IX was made Cardinal Deacon. A man of outstanding energy and insight, Hildebrand became a power in Rome. It is greatly due to him that the practice of electing popes through a college of cardinals was established.

In 1073 at the death of Alexander II, the people of Rome cried out for the holy genius who had helped steer the Church for twenty years, “Hildebrand for Pope! Holy Peter wants Hildebrand, the Archdeacon!” Once before the holy monk had eluded the tiara but this time a proper college of cardinals, seconding the popular cry, induced him to accept an honor duly his.

Hildebrand assumed the name Gregory VII, and threw his energy and zeal into a continued reform, especially fighting simony (the sale of ecclesiastical posts) and clerical incontinence.

He confronted Emperor Henry IV head- on about his practice of choosing men for ecclesiastical positions. On meeting with dogged resistance, the pontiff finally had recourse to excommunication which drastically curtailed the proud monarch’s power, ultimately bringing Henry on foot to the Pope at the Castle of Canossa. Because of Henry’s rebellious obstinacy, Pope Gregory saw fit to leave him out in the cold for three days before receiving and reinstating the royal penitent.

But Henry failed to make any true personal reform and alienated his princes who elected another ruler. Still, he later rallied and went as far as electing another Pope, a Clement III, calling down upon himself another sentence of excommunication. He also attacked and entered the Eternal City in 1084, which forced Pope Gregory into exile. Henry had his protégée “pope” crown him Emperor. Ultimately repelled by an army fighting for the true pope, the Emperor Henry left Rome, but complications sent Gregory VII again into exile, this time to die.

His last words before his death were a summary of how he had lived, “I have loved justice and hated iniquity, therefore I die in exile.”

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

There was once a young country wife who practiced devotion t...

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Mary and the Simple Country Wife

There was once a young country wife who practiced devotion to Holy Mary, just as her mother had taught her to do. This simple young lady considered herself fortunate to have married a handsome soldier. Little did she know that her soldier-husband had made a deal with the devil, that he would sell his wife for a certain sum of money.

One crisp, autumn morning the couple went out for their customary walk. Oddly, this time the young man insisted on heading towards the forest. It was at the forest where he intended to deliver his young bride over to the devil.

On their way to the forest, the couple passed in front of a Church dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The wife, overtaken with a desire to enter the church begged her husband to allow her to pray a Hail Mary in that church.

As the young lady entered the church, Holy Mary came forth from it, taking the form of the wife and accompanied the man into the forest.

When they at last approached the devil at the forest, he said to the man, “Traitor! Why have you brought me instead of your wife, my enemy, the mother of God?”

“And you,” said Mary, addressing the devil, “how have you dared to think of injuring my servant? Go, flee to hell.”

And then, turning to the man, Mary said to him, “Amend your life, and I will aid you.”

She then disappeared and that wretched man repented, amended his life and became a husband worthy of his simple country wife.

From the Glories of Mary, by St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori.

 

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There was once a young country wife who practiced devotion to Holy Mary, just as her mother had taught her to do. This simple young lady considered herself fortunate to have married a handsome soldier.

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