Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Our Lady of Apparitions, Madrid, Spain (1449) and Memorials of the Saints – 2 March

Our Lady of Apparitions, Madrid, Spain (1449) – 2 March:

The Abbot Orsini wrote: “Our Lady of Apparitions, at Madrid, so called because, in the year 1449, the Blessed Virgin appeared during eight following days to a young woman named Yves and ordered her to build a Church in her honour, on the spot where she should find a Cross planted to Our Lady.”

Cubas de la Sagra is a municipality in Spain in the Province and autonomous community of Madrid. The approved apparitions of Our Lady in 1449 that occurred there, are now almost inexplicably unknown, barely mentioned in passing, or treated as a legend in some books, if even recognised as a point on some ancient map. It is true that the hosts of Napoleon looted and destroyed the Sanctuary and Monastery built there and that, the war in 1936 did not leave one stone upon another but, the memory of what happened there in 1449 must not be forgotten, at least by Catholics!
In the year 1449, Cubas was only a village with a simple Church dedicated to Saint Andrew. The population of Cubas, however, lived quite forgetful of their duties to God and their sins were so many, that it seemed even to them, that the hand of God must be hovering over the land, ready to punish them.
The Chronicles speak then of a young girl of 12, named Ines, (sometimes Yves or Agnes), who was but of humble birth. Still, there was something about her that made her different from other girls her age. She fasted, confessed regularly, and prayed daily the 15 mysteries of the Rosary. Perhaps her deep faith and religiosity may explain what happened next.
On Monday, 3 March 1449, Ines was tending pigs on the outskirts of town in a place called Cecilia, when at noon a woman appeared, a lady bright and beautiful dressed in cloth of gold. She was surrounded by ligh, and asked Ines what she was doing there. Ines stated that she was tending the pigs. The Lady then said that the people were no longer keeping the fasts and told Ines the necessity of fasting. The lady said that the people of Cubas must change their ways, confess and cease their debauchery and offences against God, or He would soon punish them. There would be a great pestilence that would come upon them from which many would die. Perhaps knowing the hardheartedness of the people, Ines asked if she, too, or her mother and father, would die of this pestilence. She was told only that it would be as God desired. The lady then disappeared.
At first Ines did not tell anyone of the incident, for she thought no-one would believe what had happened.
On Tuesday, 4 March, Ines was again tending the pigs, this time near the stream of Torrejon . At about the same time of day, at noon, just as the day before, the Lady reappeared. She asked Ines if she had told the people what she had been told to say but Ines answered that she dared not to, for she suspected that she would not be believed. The Lady then commanded Ines to warn the people and that if they did not believe, she would give her a sign. Ines asked the Lady who she was but she said she would not yet reply, before once again disappearing. Finally Ines decided to tell her father, Alfonso Martinez, who did not give any importance to the events recounted by his daughter but thought it a children’s story, a story invented in the imagination of a young girl. He told Ines to be quiet when she tried to tell anyone about the warning.
On Friday, 7 March, Ines was keeping the pigs in New Prado, when the Lady reappeared again as before. She asked Ines if she had told what she had been commanded to say. Ines answered that she had told her mother and father and many others. The Lady told Ines to publish what she had said to all the people without any fear or trepidation.
When Ines went home at the end of the day, she told her parents what had happened. Her father told her she was lying and to “shut up” but her mother encouraged Ines, saying, “Well, still, say it.”
By Sunday, 9 March, word had spread. A Priest, Juan Gonzalez, with some other men, went to Ines’ home and talked to her parents. Afterwards, the Priest went to say Mass . Ines went out with the pigs, accompanied by her brother Juan, to a place called The Ciroleda. Ines’ father left them and went to Mass. The Ciroleda was a watery meadow that the pigs liked. Ines left her brother after a time, looking for one of the pigs that had slipped away and soon lost sight of her brother. All by herself, she knelt on the soft earth, asking the lady to return, even though she was afraid.
The Lady appeared again as before, telling Ines to rise. “Lady, who are you?” Ines asked. “I am the Virgin Mary,” the lady answered and approaching Ines, took her right hand and squeezed her fingers and thumb together making some kind of a sign . She then told Ines to go to the Church and show the sign to the people as they left Mass. Ines told her brother to watch after the pigs and went to the Church, arriving just as Mass was finished. She was crying and went to kneel before the Altar of Mary. There, she told everyone what had happened.
I cannot decipher what the sign was in Ines’ hand but whatever it was, the people examined her hand and many believed. The following day the Priest led the notables of the town and the faithful in a procession to the place of the last apparitions, carrying a wooden Cross. When they arrived, Ines walked forward alone with the Cross. The Virgin Mary herself took the Cross, telling Ines to have a Church built there in her honour.
Th Cross was permanently placed where the Virgin, Our Lady of Apparitions, had been last seen and many miracles occurred there, including 11 people who were brought back to life . A Church was begun shortly after the apparitions of the Virgin were approved. It stood for nearly five centuries, when it was destroyed in the 1936 fire, caused during the Civil War. Many of the Nuns who were living in the Convent nearby, were martyred. In 1949 the reconstruction was completed in part by the Regiones Devastadas, who placed the current Cross in the same place where the first had been.
According to tradition, Ines ended her life in the Monastery of Santa Maria de la Cruz after having children and being widowed. It is said that anyone who goes to visit the place, with faith, receives special graces and that miracles still occur there.


St Absolon of Caesarea
St Agnes of Prague/Bohemia (1211-1282) Nun, Princess
Biography:

https://anastpaul.com/2017/03/02/saint-of-the-day-2-march-st-agnes-of-praguebohemia/
St Angela of the Cross Guerrero
St Basileus the Martyr
St Chad (c 620-672) Bishop
https://youtu.be/udGje1A3rKY?list=PL5_ax08Z6UX_HfTiVbAxhSWvSCy6g-pzv

Bl Charles the Good
St Cynibild of Laestingaeu
Bl Engelmar Unzeitig
St Felix of Treves
St Fergna the White
Bl Girolamo Carmelo di Savoia
St Gistilian
St Joavan of Brittany
St John Maron
St Jovinus the Martyr
St Lorgius of Caesarea
St Lucius of Caesarea
St Luke Casali
St Quintus the Thaumaturge
St Slebhene
St Troas
St Willeic

Martyrs of Campania – Approximately 400 northern Italian Christians martyred for their faith by pagan Lombards. Their story was recorded by Pope Saint Gregory the Great, who reports that they people spent their final days supporting each other with prayer. c579 in Camnpania, Italy.

Martyrs of Porto Romano – 4 saints – Group of Christians martyred in the persecution of Diocletian. The only other information that survives are the names of four of them – Heraclius, Januaria, Paul and Secondilla. c305 at Porto Romano at the mouth of the River Tiber, Rome.

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 2 March

Thought for the Day – 2 March

Sometimes we have to break out of the mold into which others have placed us and hew our own unique pathway to God.   A princess is expected to be a princess but St Agnes saw something more valuable and more important and refused the throne of an empress.   She knew what she wanted and would let nothing stand in her way.   When God calls, we leave all else behind!

St Agnes of Prague, pray for us!

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Posted in LENT, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Quote of the Day – 2 March

Quote of the Day – 2 March

“Happy the soul to whom it is given to attain this life with Christ, to cleave with all one’s heart to Him whose beauty all the heavenly hosts behold forever, whose love inflames our love, the contemplation of whom is our refreshment, whose graciousness is our delight, whose gentleness fills us to overflowing, whose remembrance makes us glow with happiness, whose fragrance revives the dead, the glorious vision of whom will be the happiness of all the citizens of the heavenly Jerusalem.   For He is the brightness of eternal glory, the splendour of eternal light, the mirror without spot.”

St Clare of Assisi to St Agnes of Prague

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(Read the entire letter here: http://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/bread_on_the_trail/2011/08/a-letter-of-st-clare-to-blessed-agnes-of-prague-on-christian-contemplation.html)

Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 2 March

May the Lord……make you overflow with love for one another and for all…………1 Thes 3:12

REFLECTION – “Therefore, most beloved sister, or should I say, Lady worthy of great respect because You are the spouse and the mother and the sister of my Lord Jesus Christ and have been adorned resplendently with the sign of inviolable virginity and most holy poverty. Be strengthened in the holy service which You have undertaken out of an ardent desire for the Poor Crucified, Who for the sake of all of us took upon Himself the Passion of the Cross and delivered us from the power of the Prince of Darkness to whom we were enslaved because of the disobedience of our first parents and so reconciled us to God the Father.”………….St Clare of Assisi to St Agnes of Prague

PRAYER – Loving Father, grant me the grace to strive after perfect love. Help me to bring forth frequent acts of love so that I may grow in this greatest of virtues. Help me to be a loving support to all you need me in any way, stranger or friend. Fill my heart with the love You have for me and the unceasing love of Your Divine Son who died for me. St Agnes of Prague, pray for us! Amen

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Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 2 March – St Agnes of Prague/Bohemia

Saint of the Day – 2 March – St Agnes of Prague/Bohemia (1211-1282) Princess, Nun, Foundress, Abbess, Missionary of Charity and Mercy – Patron of the Czech Republic and Prague

Agnes was born in Prague sometime around the year 1211.   She was the daughter of the Czech King Premysl Ottokar I of Bohemia and Queen Constancia.   Her father promised that she would marry the son of German Emperor Friedrich II, later King Henry VII, Duke of Swabia and sent her to the Austrian Babenberg court to study court manners.   However, Duke Leopold VI of Babenberg persuaded the Emperor to allow his son to marry with his daughter Margaret – so Agnes returned to Bohemia.   She was later engaged to marry the English king Henry and even his father, emperor Friedrich II, who in the meantime had become a widower.   However, when inspired by the holy life of Francis and Clare of Assisi, who left their rich families and lived in smaller monasteries and shared the destiny with the poor, Agnes decided to become a bride of Christ.

In around 1232, supported by her brother and mother, Agnes founded the Hospital of St. Francis for poor and ill people and established the Hospital Brotherhood that later developed into the Order of the Knights of the Cross with the Red Star.   A year later, two monasteries were founded near the Hospital: the male monastery for the Smaller Brothers of St. Francis and the female convent for the Clares.   The three building complex created the first dominating Gothic landmark in Prague which could compete with the residential palace at Hradčany.

Agnes joined the Clares, the female branch of the Franciscans, in 1234, along with another seven girls from wealthy Czech noble families. She became the abbess of the later St. Agnes Convent for a lengthy 47 years maintaining a great friendship through letters with St Clare of Assisi, some which still survive.

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St Clare of Assisi and St Agnes of Prague

Agnes always aimed for peace within the Czech lands.   It was she who negotiated the reconciliation between King Wenceslas I and his son Premysl Ottokar II averting a possible civil war which would otherwise become unavoidable.   In addition, her intervention miraculously prevented a Tatar invasion.

Agnes died in March 1282 in the St. Agnes Convent.   She was spoken of highly due to her education, charity and mercy and she was a very important personality of political, cultural and social life.   Legends about her extraordinary life appeared instantly after her death.

Although Elisabeth of Bohemia and Emperor Charles VI made great effort in terms of Agnes’ beautification, it did not happen until 1874 upon proposal by Prague Archbishop and Cardinal Friedrich Joseph Schwarzenberg.   She was canonised on 12 November 1989 by Pope John Paul II.    The canonisation ceremony in Rome was witnessed by an unbelievable ten-thousand Czech pilgrims.