“Blessed be God in His Angels and Saints” *
During a recent retreat as I spent time with Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament Jesus reminded me of a commitment I made last year to three nuns in Rome which I had not yet fulfilled. By relating to you the entire story it should serve to increase your faith, reveal the efficacy of the intercession of the Saints and Our Blessed Mother and uphold the truth of the Church’s teaching about the extraordinary graces that are accorded from Our Lord through the hands of His holy Mother to those who make use of the sacramentals which have been given as gifts from heaven to His Church, if only the one using them exercises even the smallest “mustard seed of faith.” Also, by writing this account I may fulfill my promise to the nuns to broadcast widely this favor I received from their holy foundress and to bring glory to Our Lord and bless Him in His saints.
Jesus has blessed me abundantly with the gift going to Rome with eleven other Christian women from Jerusalem to attend the Holy Mass in Saint Peter’s Square for the Beatification of our beloved Pope John Paul II on May 1 – the Feast of the Divine Mercy. As I was thinking about this precious opportunity our Lord reminded me of the promise I made to three Sisters of Charity belonging to Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta’s Order last year while I was waiting in line to enter the Basilica where Our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI would say the 2010 Easter Vigil Mass.
My 14 year old daughter Daliah and I left our hotel near the Borghese Gardens during the afternoon of Holy Saturday and headed by tram to St Peter’s Square. By the generous grace of Our Lord I had been given five passes to the Easter Vigil Mass. As only my daughter and I would attend the Mass that night, I thought how sad it was that the other three passes may go unused when there were thousands of people from around the world who desired to be with Our Lord on this most sacred of nights at the Great Mass celebrated by Christ’s Holy Vicar but who had not been fortunate enough to obtain tickets as I had.
In the tram as we were approaching the stop near the Vatican I shared these feelings with my daughter and said to her, “let’s pray to Jesus and tell him how much we want to share our extra tickets so three persons who love Him would be able to adore Him in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. We prayed our Lord “to send three nuns to claim the tickets” because we believed that they surely would be Jesus’ faithful adorers. My daughter and I then got off the tram, found our way to the court and took our places at the end of the long line of people that was winding around St Peter’s Square awaiting entry into the Basilica for the Great Mass of the Easter Vigil. Hundreds of people filed in behind us in a matter of minutes. Daliah and I were positioned in the middle of the queue that curved all around the court of St Peter’s Square, with hundreds of people in front of us and hundreds of people behind us. As I stood there waiting I imagined in my spirit the vision from the Book of Revelation of the Throne of God and of the Lamb where all the faithful children of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit would be gathered before Him in the Heavenly Court…
I heard the number of those who had been marked with the seal, one hundred and forty-four thousand marked from every tribe of the Israelites…
After this I had a vision of a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation, race, people, and tongue. They stood before the throne and before the Lamb, wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands. They cried out in a loud voice:
“Salvation comes from our God, who is seated on the throne, and from the Lamb.”
All the angels stood around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They prostrated themselves before the throne, worshiped God, and exclaimed:
“Amen. Blessing and glory, wisdom and thanksgiving, honor, power, and might be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”
Then one of the elders spoke up and said to me, “Who are these wearing white robes, and where did they come from?”
I said to him, “My lord, you are the one who knows.” He said to me, “These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
“For this reason they stand before God’s throne and worship him day and night in his temple. The one who sits on the throne will shelter them.
They will not hunger or thirst anymore, nor will the sun or any heat strike them.
For the Lamb who is in the center of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to springs of life-giving water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”(Revelation 7:4-17)
In the midst of this beautiful meditation, Daliah and I saw three nuns in white and blue saris coming straight towards us in the queue. The nuns were wearing the distinctive habit of the Sisters of Charity of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta’s Missionary Order. They approached us and asked us, “Do you have three passes for us for the Mass tonight?” We were astounded. I quickly replied with immense joy and amazement “Yes, we do have tickets for you! For all three of you! We have exactly three tickets and we just prayed on the tram coming over here for our Lord to send three nuns to claim them!” They gratefully took the passes and joined Daliah and me in the long queue and gleefully as “sisters” we began to share with each other about our wonderful life in our Lord Jesus Christ. As we were speaking with the three Sisters of Charity a large group of their sisters arrived who already had passes for the Mass, and they came up to us and stepped into the line with us. (I quietly begged pardon from the people behind us for the 15 or so nuns who had jumped the queue, but told them not to mind, as there are plenty of “rooms in our Father’s House!” (John 4:12)
Filled with joy at Jesus’ immediate answer to our prayer in the tram and granting our heart’s desire to give the passes to exactly three nuns I began to share with the sisters an account of the time when I received a great favor from Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta whose sanctity the whole world was blessed to witness. I love and venerate her for so transparently and powerfully revealing the Life of Christ in her own humble life. This tiny nun, who like St Paul, was in body the smallest of stature yet in her soul she was totally conformed to the image of the Son of God, full of the Holy Spirit, and reached the “full knowledge of the Son of God, to mature personhood, to the extent of the full stature of Christ.” She, like St Paul, spoke the Truth in Love boldly before “kings and emperors,” – the mighty and powerful ones of the age, even unto the hallowed halls of the Congress of the United States of America where speaking in the power and wisdom of the Holy Spirit the little Saint warned these great men, “The fruit of abortion is nuclear war.”
“When you hear of wars and reports of wars do not be alarmed; such things must happen, but it will not yet be the end.
Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes from place to place and there will be famines. These are the beginnings of the labor pains… You will be arraigned before governors and kings because of me, as a witness before them.
But the gospel must first be preached to all nations
… do not worry beforehand about what you are to say. But say whatever will be given to you at that hour. For it will not be you who are speaking but the Holy Spirit.” (Mark 13:7-11)
Here is the account I shared with the three nuns of the precious favor that I received from their holy Foundress of the Sisters of Charity:
In 2007 during my trial of breast cancer I met by the Lord’s Providence another breast cancer patient with whom I journeyed through the months of my chemotherapy and radiation treatment. Her cancer was much more advanced and according to her doctors her prognosis was very poor. The doctors had told her that her life expectancy was about six months to two years. I loved Donna at our first encounter at St Luke’s Hospital as the Holy Spirit flooded me with His love and compassion for her and He gave me a great grace of deep faith to trust our Lord for her healing.
Now there was a man full of leprosy in one of the towns where he was; and when he saw Jesus, he fell prostrate, pleaded with Him, and said, “Lord, if you wish, You can make me clean.”
Jesus stretched out His hand, touched him, and said, “I do will it. Be made clean.” And the leprosy left him immediately. ( Luke 5:12-13)
The day that I met Donna I began to pray and offer up sacrifices for her and I asked others to intercede for her healing. Many other faith-filled Christians from several churches in the area where we lived and even throughout the world in various countries as far away as Medjugorje began to pray for her. Donna’s hope rose and her faith strengthened, and she prayed fervently to Jesus to grant her longer life so she could raise her young son to adulthood and teach him to have faith in the Good Lord. Her son was five years old at the time of Donna’s stage 4 cancer diagnosis in 2006. Donna felt a great devotion to the Mother of God and asked her to intercede with to her Divine Son for her healing. As our spiritual relationship progressed, aware of this love Donna had for Our Blessed Mother, one morning before I went to daily mass, while praying, I had a sudden realization that Donna did not have a Miraculous Medal* and I felt a strong desire right then to obtain one for her. I continued praying for her healing and then I thought to ask for the help of the Saints in heaven for Donna to receive graces of strength and faith. I began a litany starting with St Paul and ending with Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta imploring them to pray with me to Our Compassionate Jesus to heal His beloved Donna and increase her faith.
A short while later, I left my house to go to daily Mass at a church across the valley near the hospital. I lifted my heart and soul to adore our Thrice-Holy God during the Mass and then proceeded to leave the church. As I was nearing the big doors, an unfamiliar woman approached me and asked me a question which stunned me. “Do you have a devotion to Blessed Mother Teresa?” to which I responded, “Well, yes, I do, along with many Saints.” Then she put out her hand and said to me, “Take this, this is for you.” In her hand was a Miraculous Medal! Not three hours had passed since I had prayed to my Friends in heaven before Our gracious Lord Jesus, His Holy Mother and His Saints had responded to my supplication. They had desired to give this wonderful gift – the Miraculous Medal – to Donna to encourage her, lift her hope, and deepen her faith. I learned that Mother Teresa was known as the 20th century’s “Apostle of the Miraculous Medal”, as she (and her Order) distributed tens of thousands of these medals to people during her lifetime. I gave the medal to Donna the next time I saw her and told her the extraordinary way I had received it for her, direct from heaven. It is now 4 years since that remarkable event and Donna is still raising her son who is now 10 years old.
** (The Miraculous Medal, also known as the Medal of the Immaculate Conception, is a medal created by Saint Catherine Labouré following a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Many Catholic Christians around the world (and some non-Catholics) wear the Miraculous Medal, which they believe will bring them special graces through the intercession of Mary if worn with faith and devotion. On the night of July 18, 1830, Catherine awoke upon hearing a voice of a child calling her to the sisters’ chapel located in the Rue du Bac, Paris, where she heard the Blessed Virgin Mary say to her, “God wishes to charge you with a mission. You will be contradicted, but do not fear; you will have the grace to do what is necessary. Tell your spiritual director all that passes within you. Times are evil in France and in the world.”
On November 27, 1830, the Blessed Mother returned to her and displayed herself inside an oval frame, standing upon a globe, wearing many rings of different colors, most of which shone rays of light over the globe. Around the margin of the frame appeared the words Ô Marie, conçue sans péché, priez pour nous qui avons recours à vous (in English, O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee). As Catherine watched, the frame seemed to rotate, showing a circle of twelve stars, a large letter M surmounted by a cross, and the stylized Sacred Heart of Jesus crowned with thorns and Immaculate Heart of Mary pierced with a sword. Asked why some of her rings did not shed light, Mary replied, “Those are the graces for which people forget to ask.” Catherine then heard Mary ask her to take these images to her father confessor, telling him that they should be put on medallions, and saying “All who wear them will receive great graces.”)
*The Divine Praises
Blessed be God.
Blessed be His Holy Name.
Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true man.
Blessed be the name of Jesus.
Blessed be His Most Sacred Heart.
Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.
Blessed be the Holy Spirit, the paraclete.
Blessed be the great Mother of God, Mary most holy.
Blessed be her holy and Immaculate Conception.
Blessed be her glorious Assumption.
Blessed be the name of Mary, Virgin and Mother.
Blessed be Saint Joseph, her most chaste spouse.
Blessed be God in His angels and in His Saints.
May the heart of Jesus, in the Most Blessed Sacrament, be praised, adored, and loved with grateful affection, at every moment, in all the tabernacles of the world, even to the end of time. Amen.