Friday, September 19, 2008

The Twenty-Fifth Day of the Month of St. Anne

St. Joachim and St. Anne Witness Mary’s Arrival in Heaven.

St. Stanislas Kostka always manifested a great desire that his death might occur shortly before the Feast of the Assumption, so that he might be present at the heavenly celebration of that glorious day. He asked and obtained this grace through the intercession of St. Laurence. If then the anniversary of that great event causes such great rejoicing in Heaven, that the elect experience an increase of happiness which, in the words of the above mentioned young Saint, is as a fresh Paradise within Paradise, what can we think of the very day itself when this Queen of all hearts made her solemn entry there in body and soul? And, if this day was such a glorious one for all the inhabitants of Heaven, what must it have been for the two Saints who had been deemed worthy of being her parents?

After her divine Son’s Ascension, Mary had hut languished on earth, and it was only her submission to the divine Will which had enabled her to continue to dwell here and to calm those loving transports which might, at any time, have severed the frail bonds that held captive her pure body which was, so to speak, spiritualized by divine love. The Angels and blessed were burning with the desire to behold her amongst them, that she might take possession of the throne destined for her. It seemed to them as if something was wanting even in the beauty of Heaven until she should have arrived. As for Joachim and Anne, they had so ardent a desire of seeing their blessed Daughter glorified that, while accepting the Will of God Who still retained her in exile, it seemed to them as if their happiness, immense though it was, would be incomplete until her arrival.

Yielding at length to so many ardent desires, the Lord permitted that death, or rather love, should sever the chains of the illustrious exile; and, when after a momentary separation from her body, her pure and holy soul was again united to it and had glorified it, JESUS gave the signal for her triumph. Accompanied by a countless multitude of Angels, He went to meet her, says St. Bernardine, and taking her by the hand, took His flight with her to Heaven. What a marvelous spectacle then met the eyes of the blessed Anne and her glorious spouse! Their Daughter, incomparably more beautiful than the Seraphim, completely eclipsed the natural sun by her brilliance, for she was clothed with the glory of the sun of righteousness. Supported by her divine Son, she soared gently towards the heavenly dwellings, beautiful as the dawn which gilds the clouds with its earliest rays, fragrant as the aromatic incense that exhales in the temple.

All hearts were drawn to her, and, although the Angels were dazzled by her beauty, they rejoiced in it and would willingly have still further enhanced it, even at their own expense if it had been possible. All of them pressed around her to gaze on her again and again and drink in the sweet odors of her virtues. On beholding her approach, those Angels who had remained in Heaven asked: "Who is she that cometh up, fair as the moon, sweet and comely as Jerusalem, terrible as an army set in array?" And those who surrounded her replied: "It is Mary, our Queen, the Mother of our King JESUS!" When the sacred procession had arrived in Heaven, Joachim and Anne beheld the Son of man presenting their beloved Daughter to the Eternal Father, who, tenderly embracing her, crowned her Queen of the whole universe. Then all the choirs of Angels approached to offer her their homage and fealty; then the Saints drew near, greeting her as their co-redemptrex and their Mother. And when, in their turn, her most blessed parents approached, what feelings filled their hearts? In what terms can they have expressed themselves? "Our Lady! blessed be God for having given Thee to mankind; blessed be He for having vouchsafed to be born of thee, to deliver us from sin and death! Blessed be He for having chosen us, all unworthy as we are, to have given thee existence! Happy was the day when thou was born in our house! And now, Mary, we shall never beseparated from thee; we shall always behold thee, thy happiness will for ever increase ours. Blessed for ever be the Lord Who by casting His eyes on thee has made us the happiest of parents." "And blessed are you also, revered father and most-beloved Mother," would Mary reply, "blessed are you for ever for having obtained my birth by your prayers and thus having given me that existence which enabled me to fulfil the highest destiny to which a creature could be called to fulfil, and also for having obtained for me so many graces of predilection! Blessed are you for all the tender care with which you surrounded me; blessed are you that, not withstanding your great love of me, you consecrated me to the Lord. Next to Him, you shall be eternally the dearest objects of my grateful love."

Pious reader, we leave you to ponder on these ineffable subjects; your own heart will say more to you than can be expressed by our words which are all unworthy of so sublime a theme.


A Sister of Charity of Quebec writes (Jan. 12th, 1886): One of my brothers, had left his family, his wife and his country to go, and like many others, seek better fortune in the United States. During the first years of his absence, he corresponded frequently with those he had left behind him, but gradually he neglected this duty till, at last, we had no news of him for ten years. Our greatest trouble was knowing that he was completely neglectful of all Christian and religious practices.

During the course of 1885, it was my privilege to be frequently at St. Anne de Beaupre and I profited by it to pray fervently that our "prodigal son" might be restored to us. I felt so confident that my prayers would be heard, that I even fancied I might recognize my brother among the throng of pilgrims from all parts that flocked to the shrine.

My last pilgrimage was drawing to a close, but before leaving I went to bid farewell to the Saint and casting myself on my knees and looking up at the numerous ex-voto offerings decorating the trellis-work around her statue, I said to her: "Good Mother, thou dost grant grace to every one; for three years I have been asking thee to find for me, my lost brother. Thou knowest that I am uneasy about his eternal salvation and yet thou seemest not to hear my one ardent prayer. Tell me, I beseech thee, whether he is still living." At that moment I seemed to hear an interior voice saying to me: "You shall know." I left with my heart at ease, for I was filled with hope. Imagine my surprise when, the very next day, I received a letter from a person perfectly unknown to me or my family, announcing that my brother was still living but was lying dangerously ill in a Protestant hospital in New York. Though rejoiced to hear of his being still alive, I felt the greatest uneasiness when I thought of his state of isolation, perhaps deprived of necessary care and attention, and still worse of his religious state. I again addressed myself to St. Anne, pleading for this poor lost sheep in danger of being eternally lost, if the good shepherd did not Himself cure the wounds of his soul and draw him into His own Divine Heart. Again St. Anne showed herself to be a loving Mother, and she so disposed of events that I was enabled to go myself to New York and removed my weak and dying brother to a Catholic hospital. After my return to Quebec, the Rev. Jesuit Father to whose special care I had commended our poor Oliver, wrote me word that he had died in the best dispositions, reconciled to the God he had served in his youth.


My sweetest and most amiable Mother Mary, I rejoice in thy happiness and glory more than in all the favors thou canst grant me; and I bless the Lord for having made thee so beautiful, so holy, so lovely; I rejoice that He loves thee more than all His other creatures together. Why cannot I love thee as thy greatest servants have loved thee, as St. Bernard, St. Stanislas, St. Philip Neri, St. Alphonsus! Why cannot I even surpass them and be the foremost among the hearts that love thee! If my desires are acceptable to thee, do thou accomplish them, for thou canst do so. Blessed parents of our lovely Queen, if you cannot always obtain for me the temporal favors I ask, you cannot refuse to pray for me when I call on you to obtain for me the inestimable gift of the love of JESUSand Mary. Obtain for me this love and I shall be satisfied.

St. Joachim and St. Anne, obtain for me that, next to JESUS, I may love Mary above all.


Like her divine Son, Mary specially favors those who not only implore her aid in time of need, but also love her with a pure and ardent love and rejoice in her happiness.

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