Thursday, March 15, 2018


GABRIELLE BOSSIS was a French Catholic laywoman, actress and mystic, best known for her mystical work Lui et Moi, published in English translation as He and I. The book recounts her dialogues with Jesus, which came to her as an "inner voice" and which she recorded in a series of journals from 1936 to shortly before her death in 1950. (It very clearly smacks of the writings of St. Faustina, in its message, though the language is a bit more modern).

Jesus’ messages to her were short and ones that can be found in the writing of great mystics through the ages:

Express your hope in Me. Come out of yourself. Enter into Me.
Do not fail to give Me your sufferings. They help sinners..
Try to understand My yearning for you, for all My children.

Gabrielle was born in Nantes, France in 1874,  the youngest child of a family of four. As a child in a well to do aristocratic family, she was taught and raised in proper social graces and etiquette, and she grew up to be a graceful, happy and high spirited young woman, but as from her childhood she possessed a strong yearning for God and the things of the Spirit.

She obtained a Degree in Nursing, and enjoyed the fine arts of that time, including sculpting, painting, illuminating and music. Later in life she discovered that she had another talent- that of writing moral plays and also acting. From that point on until two years before her death she traveled extensively in France and abroad, producing her own plays and acting in the principal role. Those who still remember her remark about her infectious laughter and her unfailing charm.

On very rare occasions in her early life, Gabrielle had been surprised by a Mysterious Voice, which she heard and felt with awe, and sometimes anxious questionings, which she perceived to be the Voice of Christ. It was only at the age of 62, however, that this touching dialogue with the "Inner Voice" began in earnest, continuing  until two weeks before her death on June 9, 1950.

While still living, Gabrielle had maintained a strict discretion about her experiences, and although her spiritual director had begun to publish the words she heard from Jesus, her identity was kept a secret. “He and I” became a huge spiritual success and continues to touch hearts up to the present day. The journal  has been published in numerous languages and has become a source of deep inspiration and edification for those who read it.

Amazingly enough her work was not put into print for the public by the French but by a Canadian (Imprimateur also Canadian) Another French mystic Venerable Marthe Robin (foundress of the Foyers of Charity) was instrumental in informing Evelyn Brown, the English translator of "He and I", about Gabrielle  and her writings, thus being the instrument in leading Evelyn to eventually became the one to translate "He and I" into English. I could find nothing about the two mystics connecting or how Evelyn found her way to Marthe.

Saturday, March 10, 2018


The Fourth Sunday of Lent is called Laetare Sunday, when the Church takes a bit of breather from Lenten practice as we sing  “Rejoice, Jerusalem … be joyful, all who were in mourning!”

We look with expectation to the great Solemnity of Easter for which we have been preparing ourselves  during the Lenten season. By its anticipation of the joy of Easter, Laetare Sunday is meant to give us hope and encouragement as we slowly progress towards the Paschal Feast. The priest  has taken off the purple of Lent and wears pink this day- a sign of joy- reminding us of the new life around us with flowers, lambs, calves.

"Holy Communion is the feast of the soul - that is to say, a source of deepest joys. As bread imparts to the body strength and a feeling of contentment, so does the Bread of Life bring peace and joy to your heart because of the wonderful fruits of grace it produces in your soul."   Fr. Lawrence Lovasik. (d. 1986)

This spiritual joy brought to you in the Eucharist will make you bear the trials and sufferings of life with a more peaceful, con­tented heart. “So you have sorrow now, but I will see you again and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.” (John 16:22)

“Today the liturgy invites us to cheer up, because Easter, the day of Christ’s victory over sin and death, is drawing nearer. Where is the spring of Christian joy but in the Eucharist, which Christ left as a spiritual food, while we are pilgrims on this earth?

This Eucharistic food provides for the faithful of all ages a profound joy, which is at one with love and with peace, and which springs forth from one’s communion with God and with one’s brothers.”  Pope Benedict XV

”During His earthly life, Jesus was ever kind and compassionate. You may hope for everything from Him in Holy Communion, since you take Him into your heart. He will be your best comforter and helper.” Fr. Lovasik

Wednesday, March 7, 2018


Someone who appears once in a while in the Magnificat, is a little known mystic- at least in our country.   She is a good example that one does not have to be a religious living in the cloister to become a saint . She gives hope to all who feel that they are too far away from holiness to follow Christ.

LUCIE CHRISTINE (b.1844) was the pseudonym of an upper middle class Frenchwoman, Mathilde Boutle. She married at 21, raised five children, all the while suffering verbal and physical abuse at the hands of an alcoholic husband.

She grew up in a religious home, and even in childhood seems to have been attracted to silent devotion or "mental prayer."

Mathilde was of the leisured class, leading the ordinary life of a person of her type and position. She married in 1865 and at the age of forty-three she became a widow. In 1908, after nineteen years of blindness, she died at the age of sixty-four.

Lucie Christine said her mysticism was "very simple. “My soul lives in God, by a glance of love between Him and myself". Anyone can learn to "be silent before God," she said, "to look at Him, and let Him look at you."

Her time was spent in family and social duties, sometimes in Paris, sometimes in her country home.  She appeared to her neighbors remarkable only for her goodness, gentleness, and love of religion. Nothing could have been more commonplace than her external circumstances.

Her inward life, unsuspected by any but her parish priest, for whom her journal was written, had a richness and originality which entitle her to a place among the Catholic mystics. Her writings show that she was intelligent and also had and an almost psychic gift of premonitions of important and tragic events. This peculiarity, which she disliked and never spoke of, persisted through life.

Her spiritual journal, published in 1912, reveals a sensitive, idealistic, and affectionate woman who was somewhat unpractical, very easily wounded, tempted to irritability, and inclined to worry.
"The excessive wish to be loved, appreciated, admired by those whom I love," was one of the temptations against which, as a young woman, she felt it necessary to pray: another was the longing for enjoyment, for personal happiness. It was only after eight years of intermittent mystical experience that she learned the secret of inward peace: to "lose her own interests in those of God, and receive a share in His interests in exchange."

Her spiritual life developed gradually and evenly, and unlike some mystics, there was no falling off her horse, like St. Paul. One day, when she was meditating on a passage in the Imitation of Christ, she saw and heard within her mind the words  “God alone”.  From this time on she aimed to conquer her natural irritability and dislike for the boredom and unrealities of a prosperous existence, and give her all to Christ in her daily duties as mother and wife.

More and more, as her mystical consciousness grew, the life of contemplation became her delight; and it was plainly a real trial to be distracted from it for trivial purposes. In company, or busied with household duties, she went for hours with "her soul absorbed, its better part rapt in God." She "tried to appear ordinary," and made excuses if her abstraction was observed. (Reminds  me of Raissa Maritain- see Blog  2/15/11).  

Her religious practice certainly centered on the Eucharist, so she is a good “saint” for us to study this Lent. "I am nourished by God's substance."  God, she says, gives Himself to us that we may give Him again through our love of others.

Lucie-Christine makes clear to us, as few mystics have done, the immense transfiguration which can occur even in the most “ordinary life"!    "My one prayer is, that I may not feel joy and grief so vividly: that I may feel only Thee."

Saturday, March 3, 2018


Daniel Bonnell
…if we let ourselves be purified by the sanctifying power that flows from the Eucharist, if we offer ourselves to the Lord in this Sacrifice and receive Him into our innermost souls in Holy Communion, then we cannot but be drawn ever more deeply into the current of His divine life. We shall grow into the mystical Body of Christ, and our heart will be transformed into the likeness of the Divine Heart.
                            St. Benedicta of the Cross

I never know why, when I read what a saint has said, why I bother in my own words to say the same thing. Perhaps it is why they are saints! 

For us, here and now,  after 2000+ years, the Holy Eucharist is  still the source of unity for the Mystical Body of Christ, the 
Church, and the link between the liturgy and  the corporal works of mercy. 

As members of  Christ’s Church, we  are bound together by a supernatural life communicated to us by Jesus Himself through the Eucharist. "We being many are one bread, one body; for we all partake of the one bread"  (I Cor. 17). 

Having passed from this world to the Father, Christ gives us in the Eucharist the pledge of glory with Him. Participation in the Holy Sacrifice identifies us with His Heart, sustains our strength along the pilgrimage of this life, makes us long for eternal life, and unites us even now to the Church in heaven, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and all the saints.  (Catechism of the Catholic Church  - 1419)

Wednesday, February 28, 2018


Almost a year and a half after an August 2016 earthquake in the central area of the Italy, a tabernacle with 40 intact and consecrated hosts was found amid the rubble in Our Lady of the Assumption church in the town of Arquata.

According to the Italian daily Avvenire, inside the tabernacle “the ciborium was overturned but the lid was still on. And despite all the months that had gone by, the hosts were whole, without any alteration.”

 The Bishop of Ascoli Piceno, Giovanni D’Ercole, told Avvenire what was discovered: “A fresh baked aroma was still noticeable, which is very moving. It is a sign of hope for everyone. It tells us that Jesus also suffered the earthquake like everyone else, but he has come out alive from among the rubble.”

Fr. Angelo Ciancotti of the Ascoli Piceno cathedral said that getting into the tabernacle was not simple: “The problem was opening it up, but my collection of tabernacle keys helped me.”

The priest opened the tabernacle with one of the keys in his extensive collection, and said that inside an overturned ciborium, “was the Body of Christ which for more than a year and a half remained intact, without any change in color, shape or scent.”

Fr. Ciancotti told Avvenire that “there was no bacteria or mold as happens with hosts after a few weeks. Even though they were more than a year and a half old, they seemed to have been made the day before.”

In his opinion “this prodigious and inexplicable discovery” is “a miracle, but above all a message for everyone: it is a sign that reminds us of the centrality of the Eucharist.”
“Jesus is telling us” with these intact hosts that “'I am in your midst. Trust in me.'” he concluded.


Sunday, February 25, 2018


The Mass makes present the Sacrifice made by Jesus on the Cross, and to this Sacrifice we add our own “sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving” offering up all that we have and all that we are.

So many feel that Lent is the time to offer up, what I would call trivial things, such as no desserts ( I am sure the Lord could care less if we eat sweets or not), when the real purpose of Lent is to look into our hearts and see where we need to be healed and grow into the life He has called us to.   

The Eucharist, Jesus’ own Body and Blood given for us, should be our focus for Lent.  If we truly believe that Jesus is our salvation, our healing, and our peace, then we would receive Him daily.

“Every celebration of the Eucharist is a ray of light of the unsetting sun that is the Risen Jesus Christ. To participate in Mass means entering in the victory of the Risen, being illuminated by His light, warmed by His warmth.”  Pope Francis

One saint who understood the meaning of Christ’s Body given for us, was St. Peter Julian Eymard (d. 1868). His apostolate of the Eucharist met with widespread opposition, especially among priests of his own day. The focus of the opposition was St.Peter Julian’s emphasis on the real, corporeal and physical presence of the living Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. What he discovered was what the Church had always believed. But he contributed to a major development of doctrine in understanding the reality of Christ’s Eucharistic presence now on earth.

St. Peter had his critics but he also had his friends. Not the least of his admirers was the Cure of Ars (St. John Vianney) who knew St. Peter Julian personally. The Cure wrote of him, “He is a saint. The world hinders his work, but not knowingly, and it will do great things for the glory of God. Adoration by priests! How wonderful! Tell the good Fr. Eymard I will pray for his work every day.”

“His priests or His faithful people must give Him everything; the matter of the sacrament, the bread and the wine; the linen on which to place Him or with which to cover Him; the corporals, the altar cloths. He brings nothing from heaven except His adorable person and His love."  St. Peter Julian

St. Peter Julian teaches us that Jesus  is to be imitated twice over: once as the Son of God, who came to deliver us and once again as the same Incarnate God who is now living His glorified life in the Blessed Sacrament. 

“The Lord Jesus, by making Himself into bread broken for us, pours over us all His mercy and His love, as He did on the cross, so as to renew our hearts, our existence and our way of relating with Him and our brothers,”  (Pope Francis)

Friday, February 23, 2018


Soon to be Blessed, VERONICA ANTAL  was a Romanian Roman Catholic professed member from the Secular Franciscan Order and member of the Militia Immaculatae. She was known for her strong faith and her love for the Mother of God. She had long desired to enter the religious life as a nun but settled on the Secular Franciscans after the communist regime suppressed convents and monasteries in Romania. Since her death she has been known as both "Saint Veronica" and has also been titled as the "Maria Goretti of Romania" due to the manner of her death similar to that of St. Maria.

Veronica Antal was born on 7 December 1935 in BoteČ™ti, the first of four children to George and Eva. Her parents spent so much time at work in the fields that her grandmother Zarafina raised her and instructed her in the faith  and it was in her childhood that her devotion to the Blessed Virgin was manifested.

Her schooling was spent in her hometown from age seven where she earned good grades before leaving to join her parents to work in the fields. When she was sixteen that she desired to enter the convent as a Franciscan nun and  to help children.  Her longing never materialized because the communist regime had suppressed all convents and monasteries in Romania.

Instead she joined the Secular Franciscan Order  making a private vow to remain chaste. Veronica walked five miles to the nearest church just so that she could receive the Eucharist. She also joined the Militia Immaculatae that St Maximilian Kolbe founded. Not long before her death she began reading about St Maria Goretti and confided later to two friends that she wished to act much like the saint.

Veronica  on left

On the evening of 24 August 1958 she returned from her local parish after having just received Confirmation when Pavel Mocanu began to harass her en route home. He made indecent proposals to her and then attacked her in a vain effort to rape her. But Veronica fended him off to the point he stabbed her to death with a knife 42 times.

 Her parents grew alarmed that she had not returned home so searched for her. Laborers en route to work discovered her corpse in the middle of a field on  August 26 and discovered one of her rosaries clasped in her hands. Her face was downwards covered in blood with a cross of corn pods on her back. Her funeral was celebrated on 27 August. 

Her beatification cause opened in 2003 and she became a Servant of God. Pope Francis confirmed that she died to preserve herself as a virgin against evil which confirmed her beatification (as opposed to needing a miracle). 

The beatification will occur in Romania pending formal confirmation of a date and location.