Blessed Luigi Novarese—At age nine, Doctors said his case was hopeless…His Mom turned to the Blessed Virgin for help.

Blessed Luigi Novarese                           Aleteia.org

By Larry Peterson

Luigi Novarese was born on July 20, 1914, in Casale Monferrato, located in northern Italy. He was the ninth and last child born to Giust Carlo Novarese and Teresa Sassone. Luigi’s dad died before the boy’s first birthday from pneumonia. His Mom, a devout Catholic, embraced her responsibility as a Mom and did her best to keep the family afloat. She was somehow managing when, in 1923, Luigi is struck with a life-threatening disease. He is diagnosed with bone-tuberculosis. The doctors tell his Mom there is no cure, and there is no hope.

Luigi’s Mom does not believe them. She is determined to save her boy and works as much as she can and saves every penny possible to cure her dying son. She does have one weapon the doctors do not have. She turns to the Blessed Virgin and begs her to help in Luigi’s recovery. Doctor’s tell her she should resign herself to the fact that her son is terminally ill and will not live. Teresa Sassone is undeterred and keeps on praying.

Luigi, following his Mom’s example, develops a deep devotion to the Blessed Mother. He writes a letter to Father Filippo Rinaldi, the head of the Salesian Order, asking him to have the students pray for him. Father Rinaldi tells Luigi that they will pray for the intercession of St. John Bosco and Our Lady Help of Christians.

On May 17, 1931, Luigi Novarese left the hospital for the last time.  He is 17 years old. The illness is gone, and doctors cannot explain it. But the disease caused Luigi’s one leg to become shorter than the other. This requires him to wear a special shoe for the rest of his life. He does not mind at all.

During his many hospital stays, Luigi became impressed with the work of the doctors and decided that he would become a doctor himself, if he survived. He had a change of heart when, in 1935, at the age of 21, his Mom died. Luigi thought about how hard his Mom prayed for his recovery and realized that he could serve the Lord by offering his suffering for those who are seriously ill.  He entered the seminary at Casale Monferrato, Italy. From there, he moved and completed his studies at the Capranica College in Rome. He was  ordained a priest at St. John Lateran Basilica on December 17, 1938.

While a student Luigi Novarese earned degrees in Theology and Canon Law. On May 1, 1942, Monsignor Giovanni Montini,  the future Pope Paul VI, asked Luigi to join his staff at the Secretariat of State for the Vatican. Father Novarese would remain there until May 12, 1970.

On May 17, 1943, while on staff within the Secretariat of State, Father Luigi founded the Marian Priest League. In 1947 he would co-found the Volunteers for Suffering and, in 1950, the Silent Workers of the Cross. In 1952, he founded the Brothers and Sisters of the Sick.

He still had more to do, so he was able to get permission from Pope Pius XII to launch an hour broadcast on Vatican Radio dedicated to the sick. In 1962, Pope John XXIII placed Father Novarese in charge of all Italian hospitals. Then, in 1970, he was put in charge of the health sector of the Italian Episcopal Conference, where he remained until 1977. During this time, he met Pope John Paul II, and when they met, the Holy Father embraced him.

Luigi Novarese died on July 29, 1984. He was 70 years old. He was beatified on May 11, 2013 at the Basilica of San Paolo fueri le Mura  (Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls) in Rome, Italy, by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone with the approval of Pope Francis. Blessed Luigi is the patron for the Apostolate of the Suffering, Silent Workers of the Cross, Maria Priest league, and Brothers and Sisters of the Sick.

Sidebar: Venerable Angiolino Bonetta,  the 14-year-old cancer victim, featured in Aleteia on July 22, was visited by Blessed Luigi Novarese in 1962, as part of his ministry of the Apostolate of the Suffering.

Copyright©Larry Peterson 202


The Unfailing Way to get out of Purgatory—Turn to Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Pope St. John Paul II said, “Over time this rich Marian heritage of Carmel has become, through the spread of the Holy Scapular devotion, a treasure for the whole Church.”

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel                                                                                                       public domain

By Larry Peterson

There is a place near where e prophet Elija lived, and it is one of the most biblical places on earth. It is 1,742 feet above sea level and hovers high over the coast of the Mediterranean. It was here where Elija prayed to God, asking Him to save Israel from the onslaught of an ongoing drought.

He prayed and prayed and would ask his servant to go up the mountain and look for signs of rain. On the seventh try, Elijah’s servant returned, exclaiming, “Behold, a little cloud that looked like a man’s foot rose from the sea.” Soon after, torrential rains fell upon the parched land. The crops grew, the animals thrived,  and the people were saved. The place was called Mount Carmel.

Elijah saw the cloud as the symbol mentioned in the prophecies of Isaiah (Isaiah 7:14) Therefore, the Lord Himself will give you a sign: the Virgin shall be with Child, and bear a Son and name Him Emanuel.”

Many hermits lived on Mount Carmel, and following Elijah’s example would continually pray for the advent of the much-awaited Virgin who would become the mother of the Messiah. The very beginnings of the Carmelite Order can be traced back to Elijah and the hermits of Mount Carmel. Many consider these hermits as the first Carmelites.

These hermits lived on Mount Carmel during the 12th and 13th centuries. In the midst of their hermitages, they built a chapel dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, whom they called the Lady of the Place. In the 13th century, Simon Stock was on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. He had been elected as the 6th superior-general of the Carmelites.

He joined a group of hermits on Mount Carmel. On Sunday, July 16, 1251, Simon Stock was kneeling in prayer when Our Lady appeared to him. The Blessed Mother said to Simon, “Hoc erit tibi et cunctis Carmelitis privilegium, in hochabitu moriens salvabitur.” (This shall be the privilege for you and for all the Carmelites, that anyone dying in the habit shall be saved.”

It is said that the Blessed Mother gave the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (also known as the Brown Scapular) to Simon Stock. Six months later, on January 13, 1252, the order received a letter of protection from Pope Innocent IV, defending them from any harassment or denial of this event.

Most of us know of the Sabbatine Privilege. This is attached to the wearing of the Brown Scapular. The name, Sabbatine Privilege, comes from a papal bull issued by Pope John XXII on March 3, 1322. According to the Holy Father, the Blessed Virgin gave him the following message in a vision which was directed to all those who wear the Brown Scapular. “I, the Mother of Grace, shall descend on the Saturday (Sabbath) after their death and whomsoever I shall find in Purgatory, I shall free, so that I may lead them to the holy mountain of life everlasting.”

Based on Church tradition, three conditions must be fulfilled to obtain the benfeits of this Privilege and the Scapular:  1) wear the Brown Scapular; 2) Observe chastity according to one’s state in life; 3) pray the Rosary. Also, to receive the spiritual blessings associated with the Scapular, it is necessary to be formally be enrolled in the Brown Scapular by either a priest or a layperson who has been given the authority to do so. Once enrolled, no other scapular needs to be blessed before wearing. The blessing and imposition are attached to the enrolled person for life.

The feast day of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is July 16, the same day she appeared to Simon  Stock. Interestingly, Simon Stock was never officially canonized. He has been venerated by the Carmeilites since 1564. And with Vatican approval, he has been given the feasr day of May 16. He is also called Saint Simon Stock and churches and schools have been named after him,

On the 750th anniversary of the bestowal of the Brown Scapular, Pope St. John Paul II said, “Over time this rich Marian heritage of Carmel has become, through the spread of the Holy Scapular devotion, a treasure for the whole Church.”

copyright©Larry Peterson 2020


When Jesus Rose from the Dead where was the Blessed Mother? Ask Pope St. John Paul II

Jesus and His Mom                                            wikipedia.commons.org

By Larry Peterson

When Easter morning arrived, someone was missing. That someone is the very lynchpin of the Salvation story. That someone is the Blessed Virgin, Mary. She is nowhere to be seen or heard. Where was she?

We will hear from the gospel of John 20:1-9 how —“Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciples He loved and told them, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we do not know where they have put Him.”

So where was Our Lady when Jesus rose from the dead?  She was His mother. She was nearby throughout the passion and watched Him carry His cross. She watched as they drove the nails through His hands and his feet.  She stood agonizingly and helplessly by as He was raised on the cross. For three hours she stood there watching every drop of blood leave her boy’s body. She was at the foot of the cross when He died.

The following week, on the Second Sunday of Easter ( Divine Mercy Sunday), the gospel is once again from John, this time 20: 19-31. This is when, with the doors locked,  Jesus appears to all of them (except “doubting”  Thomas). Once again, the Mother of our Savior is never mentioned.  Why is that?

No Mom should ever have to witness such cruelty heaped upon her own child. Who could have loved him more than she? Doesn’t it seem absolutely unquestionable that the first person who Jesus appeared to after He rose was His Mother? Yet there is not a single mention of the Blessed Virgin in the Resurrection narratives.

In the year 431 A.D, the Council of Ephesus affirmed the Dogma of the Divine Maternity. This explains to us that the greatness and majesty that was bestowed on Our Lady was wrapped into a bundle of pure Love from God.  He was the Father of her child. She was the Mom. Every drop of Jesus’s DNA comes from His Mom. The Father and Son are God. Jesus Christ is truly Human and Divine, separate yet one. Yet she is not mentioned in the Resurrection gospel readings.

From the CCC 496: Mary’s Virginity:

From the first formulations of her faith, the Church has confessed that Jesus was conceived solely by the power of the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary, affirming also the corporeal aspect of this event: Jesus was conceived “by the Holy Spirit without human seed.” The Fathers see in the virginal conception the sign that it truly was the Son of God who came in a humanity like our own…

Back to the question; Where was our Blessed Mother, the Mother of the Risen Christ, Her only Child, on Easter Sunday? We can turn this question over to none other than Pope St. John Paul the Great. The Holy Father, speaking from Vatican City on May 21, 1997, said:

“The unique and special nature of the presence of the Virgin at Calvary, and her perfect union with the Son in his suffering on the Cross, seem to postulate a very particular participation on her part in the mystery of the Resurrection.”

“The Blessed Virgin, who was present at Calvary and at the Cenacle, “was probably also a privileged witness to the Resurrection of Christ, in this way completing her participation in all the essential moments of the paschal mystery. Embracing the risen Jesus, Mary is, in addition, a sign and anticipation of humanity, which hopes to reach its fulfillment in the resurrection of the dead.”

If Pope St. John Paul II says she was there; She was there—AMEN.

Copyright©2019 Larry Peterson


Blessed Laura Vicuna—This Patroness of Abuse Victims traded her life for her mother’s salvation.

She told her mother, “Mama, I offer my life for you.”

Blessed Laura Vicuna age  12          public domain

By Larry Peterson

Laura Vicuna was born on April 5, 1891, to a mand named Joseph Domenico Vicuna. Joseph came from a family of Chilean aristocrats. Laura’s mother’s name was Mercedes Pino and she was the daughter of farmers. Joseph Vicuna had married a woman who was considered “beneath him.” As a result, his family disowned him.

Mercedes and her daughters, Laura and Julia,  were okay while Joseph was alive. However, civil war broke out in Chile and quickly spread to Santiago. The family fled to Temuco, but a short time later, Joseph was killed in battle.  Everything changed for Mercedes and her daughters. As far as her husband’s family was concerned, Mercedes did not even exist. Despised and rejected by the aristocratic Vicuna clan, Mercedes took her two daughters and moved to Argentina.

When Mercedes arrived in Argentina, she quickly discovered that work was not plentiful, and life could turn hard. A local rancher, named Manuel Mora, sensed Mercedes vulnerabilities and offered her a job working for him. However, it was not a job where you could go home every day. On the contrary, Mercedes was told that she would have to live with Mora at the ranch. Manuel Mora also told Mercedes that if she agreed to live with him, he would send Laura to school that was taught by the nuns. Marriage was not an option.

Mercedes weighed her options and knew in her heart that moving in with Manuel and sleeping together was wrong. But she desperately wanted her daughters to receive a Catholic education. She knew that she could never afford to send them to the Catholic school. So she moved into Manuel Mora’s ranch with her children.

When Laura was of age, Manuel kept his promise and had Laura enrolled in the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (Salesian Sisters of Don Bosco).  Before long Laura began developing a deep love for the Catholic faith.  She began spending extended periods of time in prayer and learning all she could about Jesus and the Blessed Mother.

Written in her First Communion notebook were the words, “Oh my God, I want to love and serve you all my life. I give you my soul, my heart, my whole self.”  She became so pious that many of her classmates began to ignore her. She even tried to join the Salesians, but she was only ten and was told that she would have to wait until she was a bit older.”

Laura loved her school, but her joy at being a student there turned to concern and worry when she returned home for vacation. She now realized that her mother was living with Manuel as his wife. She knew this was a sinful thing to do and began praying that her mom would leave Mora and once again follow God’s commandments.

She was a child of eleven years of age, and Manuel Mora, who probably already harbored lust for the growing girl, heard that she had voiced a desire to become a nun. Enraged at this idea, Manuel beat Laura severely several times to make her forget about becoming a nun. He told her and her mother that if she did not forget the “ridiculous idea” of becoming a nun, he would stop paying for her education with the Salesians. The nuns heard of this and told Mercedes that both of her daughters would have full scholarships to the school and that there was no need for worry.

But Laura was worried about her mom’s soul. She remembered what Jesus had said, “No one has greater love than to give up one’s life for one’s friends,”  Laura decided to give her own life in exchange for her mom’s salvation. She asked Jesus to take her so her mom could be saved. Soon after, the child became seriously ill with pulmonary tuberculosis.

Laura’s health quickly deteriorated. Before she passed away, she told her mom,  “Mama, I offer my life for you. Before I die, mother, would I have the joy of seeing you repent?”

Her mother cried out, “I swear I will do whatever you ask of me! God is the witness of my promise.”  Laura smiled and said, “Thank you Jesus. Thank you Mary. Goodbye, Mother, now I die happy.”

Laura Vicuna, weakened by beatings from Manuel Mora,  died from her illness on January 22, 1904. She had not reached her thirteenth birthday. She was beatified by Pope St. John Paul II on September 3, 1988  She is a patroness of abuse victims, incest victims, and loss of parents.

Blessed Laura Vicuna, please pray for us.

copyright©Larry Peterson 2020


Maria de Mattias—Her mirror was her best friend until one day she saw a beautiful Lady looking back at her …The Lady told her, “Come with me.”

St. Maria De Mattias                                                                wikipedia.org

By Larry Peterson

Maria de Mattias was born and baptized on February 4, 1805, in the small town of Vallecorsa, about 50 miles south of Rome. Her father, Giovanni de Mattias, came from a prominent family in the area and was well-to-do. Maria was the second of four children. Her sister Vincenza was eleven years older than her, so they did not have much in common socially. Her two brothers, Antonio and Michele, were both several years younger.

During this time, political turmoil was a way of life in Vallecorsa.  There were political factions that were always fighting each other. Many of the young local men were gang members, and they were continually raiding and intimidating the villagers. Gang leaders planned kidnappings because children from families with money often brought handsome ransoms.  Maria, being from a family with money, was a prime candidate for abduction.  She did not leave her home unless accompanied by her father.

Maria was quite vain and spent inordinate amounts of time looking at herself in the mirror while brushing her long blond hair. However, that all changed as she approached her sixteenth birthday. One day, as she was preening herself, she saw a Lady looking back at her from inside the mirror. Maria did not know what to make of this, and then the Lady said, “Come with me.”

Maria began to converse with the Lady and asked for her help. She wanted to learn how to read. Her father did not believe that girls needed to know how to read or write, so Maria had never learned. The Lady told her not to worry and that she would help her. Soon Maria was able to take letters and put them into words, and before long, the young woman was reading. With the heavenly help of an extraordinary Lady, she had taught herself to read.

She kept at it and soon was reading spiritual books that the family had at home. The Lady told her she was the Blessed Mother, and during several more conversations, Maria realized that she was to dedicate her life to God. The only thing left for her to do was figure out how.

During the Lenten season of 1822, Gaspar del Bufalo, (the founder of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood) came to town with his mission team to preach. The mission went on for three weeks, and the topics covered were death, judgment, punishment, and hell versus God’s love, mercy, and forgiveness.

Maria heard Gaspar ask his listeners to imitate Jesus by giving their lives for their brothers and sisters who needed it. When the mission was over, Maria de Mattias was filled with love for her neighbor and was determined to bring about conversion and salvation to those whom Christ loved.

Gaspar del Bufalo had a right-hand man by the name of John Merlini. In 1824, he sent Merlini to Vallecorsa to preach the mission. Merlini and his followers had been busy putting together associations for girls, women, boys, men, and priests. Maria felt drawn to this man but was afraid to approach him.

Finally, she did, and they became good friends. Merlini put her in charge of the Daughters of Mary, the girl’s association. Maria took charge, and more and more girls began coming to her house for talks, study, and prayer. Before long, older women were coming to the house. The De Mattias house had turned into a school for young and old alike.

On March 4, 1834, when she was 29 years old, and under the guidance and help of John Merlini, Maria founded the Sister Adorers of the Blood of Christ. The order was established primarily to be a teaching order.  Maria made a public vow of chastity, and John Merlini gave her a small gold heart imprinted with three drops of blood. This became the symbol of the order, and to this day a silver heart with three red dots is worn by the sisters all over the world. Pope Pius IX gave papal approval to the Order in 1855, and John Merlini became Maria’s spiritual director.

Today more than 2000 sisters continue the work of their foundress in countries all around the world including Brazil, Viet Nam, South Korea, the United States, Bolivia, Guatemala, and even Liberia where five of the sisters were martyred in 1992.

St. Maria De Mattias was canonized by Pope John Paul II on May 18, 2003. We ask her to pray for us.

Copyright©Larry Peterson 2019


Roe v Wade—46 years later hurting Baby Turtles is illegal but, in America, killing Baby People is a “guaranteed right.”

Loggerhead Sea Turtle                                    en.wikipedia commons.org

By Larry Peterson

Sea turtles are protected by Florida’s Endangered and Threatened Species Act of 1977. They are also protected by federal law which prohibits disturbing sea turtles while they are “nesting” (aka; unborn). Also, the Marine Turtle Protection Act  states that “no person may take, possess, disturb, mutilate, destroy, cause to be destroyed, sell, offer for sale, transfer, molest or harass any marine sea turtle or its nests or eggs at any times.”

Yes, we sure love our turtles, especially here in Florida where they nest around the entire peninsula. In fact, we love them so much we have penalties for “disturbing” them.  A first offense could cost a person up to 60 days in jail and a $100–$500 fine. A second charge could put you in the slammer for six months with a punishment of $1000.  After that, the penalties continue to increase with each additional offense. Federal penalties include jail time and fines up to $15,000 for each offense.

Naturally, we do need laws to protect our wildlife and our environment. But what about “Baby People?” Don’t they count? Why is it perfectly “legal” to kill Baby People who have not been born and you can go to jail for harming or disturbing a baby turtle that has not been born? Does that make sense?

The Loggerhead Sea Turtle is one of these protected turtles. It can be found (like Baby People) all over the world. However, its primary habitat is the Florida coast, north to Virginia. It is estimated that these turtles build 67,000 nests a year along the beaches. The female lays her eggs in the sand and buries them. After two months they hatch, crawl to the sea and begin their lives. Those that survive will live close to 60 years.

It is illegal to harm, harass, or kill any sea turtles, their eggs, or hatchlings. It is also illegal to import, sell, or transport turtles or their products. It is perfectly legal to kill Baby People who have not been born. Since Roe vs. Wade was passed in 1973, over 61,000,000 abortions have been performed in the United States. Sixty-one million baby people have been vanquished from existence, many of them burned alive via the Saline Abortion method. That extrapolates out to, on average since 1973,  1,326,086  Baby People a year killed in America.

In 2017 there were 3.86 million births in the United States. That means that approximately one out of every four pregnancies in our country results in a life extinguished. Sea turtles are given every chance to survive with the government going so far as to put people in prison who might interfere with their survival. On the other hand, Baby People are welcomed into legalized and sweetly painted extermination camps and, unmercifully and without fanfare or emotion, eradicated.

Whatever are we doing? We civilized people have allowed a portion of our past to be destroyed. We are allowing our present to be vilified by what can only be called a great lie fabricated as the virtue of “helping” women. We have short-circuited the future of our children and grandchildren. We have  taken away from them the possibility of another Rembrandt, or a Mozart or a Jonas Salk, or a Martin Luther King Jr., or even an Abraham Lincoln living among them.

Most of all, we have taken away the meaning of the beauty and wonder of human life. We have changed it from a wondrous mystery, given to us by God our Creator. Instead, we have turned it into a disposable commodity that can be discarded at will under the guise of “reproductive rights.” Does not “reproductive rights” mean having the freedom to reproduce—not to destroy? Un-reproducing leaves only one result; that result is death.

There is a world-wide abortion counter that ticks off the abortions around the world as they happen. Look for yourself. More than one life a second is being aborted. Genocide of the innocent, living in and out of the womb, is rampant on planet Earth. Whatever have we wrought?

As the great Pope, St. John Paul II said, “A nation that kills its own children is a nation without hope.”

©Larry Peterson copyright 2019


Choosing Government over God has a Difference; One is Death, and the other is Life

AP photo

(I chose not to put any photos of Alfie in here.  His parents deserve some privacy)

 

“I do not hesitate to proclaim before you and before the world that all human life — from the moment of conception and through all subsequent stages — is sacred because human life is created in the image and likeness of God.”

Pope St. John Paul II

 

By Larry Peterson

The saga of Alfie Evans sickened me. Except for two overriding factors, his death was unnecessary. First, the feigned necessity of his death is embedded within the secular practicality of a 21st-century  judicial system. Secondly, among many medical practitioners who lean on their own omniscient ability, it was in Alfie’s “best interests” to die. You see, they had to help him because he refused to do it on his own. He had become a “burden” to secularism.

I write this because I have experienced circumstances similar to Alfie’s parents. My wife was on life-support, but unlike Tom and Kate Evans, I had the task of allowing the machines to be turned off.  It was not a judge or a doctor or the courts or anything like that. It was ME,  the woman’s husband. The end result was different.

My wife, Loretta, had been ill for a long time and on April 6, 2002, she fell into a coma. By that evening she was on life support. There was a Catholic living will on file for each of us, and I signed a DNR (do not resuscitate). A DNR gave me control over life ending processes. Even though her final breaths were expected, signing the DNR was, for me, akin to signing a death warrant.

Although my wife was a middle-aged adult and Alfie was a baby, the parallels in each case are quite similar. Alfie, at the age of seven months, developed seizures and they caused him to go into a “semi-vegetative state.” Alfie did have brain function, but most doctors agreed that his condition (which they were not sure of) was incurable. Most importantly, his parent’s rights to try to save him were stripped from them by the courts.

We tried for three days to wean Loretta off the ventilator. Each time her breathing stopped in less than a minute. Six doctors told us it was “no-use.” On the third day, my grown children took turns going to their mom’s bedside to say their “good-byes.” One at a time they came from that room sobbing like babies. I was last and sat by her side, looking at her, holding her hand and saying whatever it was I was saying. Those words I do not remember. I do remember one word; I was called a “murderer” by someone in Loretta’s family.

Unlike Alfie’s parents, I had control over the machine that was doing her breathing (she had been on life-support for three weeks).  Three of the doctors were there and the chief-of-staff. I asked them to pray with us, and they all did. The machine was switched off, and the intubation tubes were removed. A minute passed by and she kept breathing. Then two minutes passed by and then five and ten and then one hour. The cardiologist said, “Don’t be fooled, she won’t make it.”

Three days later she was up in a room, and three weeks later she came home. She had earned the title of “The Miracle Woman of Northside.” Her recovery was not only baffling; it was unexplainable. Ironically, cancer killed her exactly one year later. The “murderer” comment was never retracted.

In Alfie’s case, his parents had no choice. They were invoking God along with countless others around the world.  The Pope had secured citizenship for Alfie, and the Italians were ready to transport him to Italy to be cared for. Unfortunately, in the world of the “nones,” secularists, and atheists, God is not part of the equation. He was the common denominator in ours.

Virtually every court in the U.K. ruled against the parent’s rights. The government and their “experts” knew best; Alfie must DIE. I cannot imagine standing by as my child’s life was taken from him by court order. It is incomprehensible to me.

So the state took away the parent’s right to protect their child. They subjugated Natural law and vanquished the very nucleus of any successful civilization, the family.  They pulled Alfie’s tube.  He lived for five days breathing on his own. Was that a message from above that those in charge should have tried harder?

Unfortunately for Alfie, his “quality of life” was not deemed worthy to move forward. Loretta kept breathing and did use oxygen intermittently. If the doctors were in charge of the breathing apparatus, they might have simply left it off when her breathing failed on the first day.

Unlike the Evans, we were able to take three days before we agreed to leave it off.  On the third day, she kept on breathing on her own and came out of the coma. Doctors do NOT know everything. They are definitely not equal to the God who created each and every one of them.

I can end this with one irrefutable fact. Tom and Kate Evans will go home, and when they close the door behind them, they will realize that little Alfie is gone—permanently. Therein lays the lonely heartache they will forever live with. You cannot understand that unless you too, have lived it.

Please pray for them both that within each other they find the strength to move on. What happened to them and their son was a terrible thing.

copyright©Larry Peterson 2018


Blessed Alexandrina Maria da Costa; Mystic, Victim Soul, and member of the Salesian Cooperators

Blessed Alexandrina da Costa                                           en.wikipedia.org

By Larry Peterson

Alexandrina Maria da Costa was born in Balazar, Portugal, in 1904. Her father abandoned his family when she was very young leaving his wife, and two daughters, Deolinda and Alexandrina, destitute. Consequently, Alexandrina, who had only attended school for a mere eighteen months, was forced to go to work. The young girl had unusual strength and was able to work long hours doing heavy farm work. She was all of nine-years-old when she began working in the fields.

Alexandrina came down with a severe infection when she was 12. She nearly died but did survive. The effects of the illness had left their mark, and the young girl suffered greatly every day.  Even though in constant pain she continued working in the fields. When she became a teenager, she began to work as a seamstress alongside her sister.

Things changed quickly for Alexandrina. It was Holy Saturday in 1918, and Satan was doing his best to destroy Holy Week for as many people as he could. Alexandrina, Deolinda, and an apprentice seamstress were working together when three men broke into the house. They were determined to sexually violate the three young women. Alexandrina, staring into the faces of evil, refused to be accosted. To preserve her purity, she managed to jump from a window. The distance down was almost 14 feet.

Alexandrina’s injuries were severe. She was paralyzed, and doctors described her condition as irreversible. They also said she would continue to deteriorate. However, Alexandrina, filled with faith, still managed to drag herself to church. Although hunched over from her injuries, she would remain in prayer for hours. Her condition continued to worsen, and she ultimately became immobile. By the age of 21, she was permanently bedridden and paralyzed.

Alexandrina had a great devotion to the Blessed Mother and prayed over and over for a miraculous cure. She promised to give away all her possessions, to cut off her hair, and wear black the rest of her life if she would get cured. However, that was not to be, but God did answer her prayers, albeit in another way.

Slowly but surely Alexandrina began to understand that her suffering was an actual vocation and that she had been called to be a “victim” for Jesus. She said, Our Lady has given me an even greater grace:  first, abandonment; then, complete conformity to God’s will; finally, the thirst for suffering.”

God poured down His graces on Alexandrina, and the young, paralyzed woman began to long for a life of union with Jesus. She now understood that to do this she would have to bear her debilitating condition for love of Him. This was the point where Alexandrina offered herself to God as a “victim soul.”

Starting on October 3, 1938, and continuing through March 24, 1942, every Friday Alexandrina would literally “live” the three-hour passion of Jesus. Her paralysis would seem to leave her, and she would relive the Stations of the Cross experiencing overwhelming physical and spiritual pain.

The following is from Pope St. John Paul II’s homily at her beatification: “On 27 March 1942, a new phase began for Alexandrina which would continue for 13 years and seven months until her death. She received no nourishment of any kind except the Holy Eucharist, at one point weighing as few as 33 kilos (approximately 73 pounds).——- Jesus himself spoke to her one day:  “You will very rarely receive consolation… I want that while your heart is filled with suffering, on your lips there is a smile.” From that point on Alexandrina, no matter the intensity of her pain always had a ready smile for anyone who came to see her.

In 1944, Alexandrina became a member of Don Bosco’s Association of Salesian Cooperators. She joined so she could offer her sufferings for the sanctification of youth. Alexandrina died on October 13, 1955. She was 51 years old.
On April 25, 2004, she was declared Blessed by Pope John Paul II who stated that “her secret to holiness was love for Christ.”

Blessed Alexandrina Maria da Costa, please pray for us.

copyright©Larry Peterson 2018

 


Baby Turtles vs. Baby People…and the Winner is?

By Larry Peterson

Loggerhead Turtle…wikipedia2common

In Florida, sand as white as snow curls up the Gulf Coast from Naples north to the panhandle area with some of the most beautiful beaches on the planet. People come from all over the world to visit these beaches and bask in the brilliant Florida sun and fish and swim in the calm and clear Gulf waters. But there is one thing these folks and all folks had better not do while visiting these beaches. If they do not want to wind up in jail, they had better avoid the Loggerhead Sea Turtles. They are on the Endangered Species List and they nest on the beaches.

We have in place in this country a law called the Endangered Species Act. Under this act wildlife considered “endangered” are protected by law from being killed, maimed or harmed in any way. There are many good points to this law as some of our most revered wildlife, like the Bald Eagle, have been saved from possible extinction. But, what about the “Baby People”? Don’t they count?

The Loggerhead Sea Turtle is one of these protected turtles. It can be found (like baby people) all over the world. However, its primary habitat is the Florida coast north to Virginia. It is estimated that these turtles build 67,000 nests a year along the beaches. The female lays her eggs in the sand and buries them. After two months they hatch, crawl to the sea and begin their lives. Of all the hatch-lings maybe 8000 baby turtles survive.  They will live close to 60 years.

It is illegal to harm, harass, or kill any sea turtles, their eggs, or hatchlings. It is also illegal to import, sell, or transport turtles or their products. It is perfectly legal to kill baby people who have not been born. In the United States, since Roe vs Wade was passed in 1973, over 58,000,000 abortions have been performed. Fifty-eight million baby people have been vanquished from existence, many of them burned alive via the Saline Abortion method. That extrapolates out to 1,348,837 baby people a year killed in America.

In 2014 there were 3.93 million births in the United States. That means that approximately one out of every four pregnancies in our country results in a life extinguished. Sea turtles are given every chance to survive with the government going so far as to put people in prison who might interfere with their survival. On the other hand, baby people are welcomed into legalized and sweetly painted extermination camps and, unmercifully and without fanfare or emotion, eradicated.

Whatever are we doing? We civilized people have allowed a portion of our past to be destroyed. We are allowing our present to be vilified by what can only be called a great lie fabricated as the virtue of “helping” women. We have short-circuited the future of our children and grandchildren by taking away from them the possibility of another Rembrandt, or a Mozart or a Jonas Salk, or a Martin Luther King Jr., or even an Abraham Lincoln living among them.

There is a world wide abortion counter that ticks off the abortions around the world as they happen. Look for yourself. More than one life a second is being aborted. Genocide of the innocent, living in and out of the womb, is rampant on planet Earth. Whatever have we wrought?

As the great St. John Paul II said, “A nation that kills its own children is a nation without hope.”

copyright©Larry Peterson 2017 All Rights Reserved

 


Antonia Mesina—Martyred "In Defensum Castitatis" (In Defense of Purity) at the age of 15

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

By Larry Peterson

Pierina Morosini and Antonia Mesina were two women from Italy. Born a generation apart they led strikingly similar lives. Pierina was the oldest of eight children and had to work and help her mother with her younger siblings. Antonia was the second born of ten children and was also required to help her mother with the younger children.

Both young women were exemplary Catholics and were determined to live chaste lives.  Both were martyred “in defensum castitatis” (in defense of purity), Antonia in 1935 and Pierina in 1957. They were both  declared Blessed on October 4, 1987 by Pope St. John Paul II. Even though their stories are similar they are also separate and unique. As a writer, I felt they each deserved individual space. This is about Antonia. (Pierina’s story is in another article).

Antonia was born on June 21, 1919, in Orgosolo, a town high up in the mountains of Sardinia. She was the second of ten children. Her dad was a corporal in the cavalry who helped guard the town perimeter and her mom did her best to teach her children the Catholic faith. As was the custom at the time Antonia was baptized at the age of nine days and confirmed the following year.

Antonia was admired by her teachers and liked by all her classmates. She was kind and studied hard and was very respectful of others. When she was in fourth grade her mom developed a serious heart condition. The doctors ordered her to bed and Antonia was forced to leave school and take over her mother’s duties. The young girl had to do the cooking, the cleaning, the baking, the laundry and go to the market. Her mom called her ,”the flower of my life”. Antonia never complained and always seemed to manage a smile.

Every week Antonia had to bake the bread for the family. This was not a simple process. It included gathering the firewood and grinding the grain into flour. This was, indeed, making something from “scratch”. On May 17, 1935, Antonia asked her friend, Annedda, if she would go with her to help her gather wood from the forest. Annedda agreed and off they went.

As they walked along, Antonia, who had joined Catholic Action a few years earlier, was trying to convince Annedda, that she should join too. Antonia was very enthusiastic about the spiritual benefits received and about all the good works that Catholic Action brought to members. She told her how they even were taught catechism at their meetings.

When they had gathered up enough wood they began their return walk home. Annedda noticed a young man in the woods nearby. She recognized him from school and knew it was Ignazio. When she looked again he was gone. A few minutes later Antonia screamed. The young man had snuck up behind Antonia and wrestled her to the ground. He was determined to have his way with the 15 year-old but she fought him furiously.

Twice Antonia managed to break free while Annedda ran screaming through the woods for someone to help them. The third time Ignazio managed to subdue her. She was fighting against his advances so hard that he went into a rage. He grabbed a nearby rock and began beating Antonia in the head with it. Over and over he pounded the innocent teenager until she stopped moving. It was discovered later that he had hit her 74 times. It was also found that she had never been violated.

Ignazio tried to deny his involvement but Annedda was able to identify him. In addition, his bloody clothes, which he tried to hide, were found near his home. The 19 year-old was sentenced to death and executed by firing squad on August 5, 1937.

Antonia Mesina’s beatification process began under Pope John Paul I in September of 1978 and she was declared a “Servant of God”. She was declared Venerable Antonia Mesina in 1986 and Pope St. John Paul II declared she had died “in defensum castitatis’ in May of 1987. She and Pierina Morosini were beatified together, two young women who gave their lives for Jesus rather than submit to being forcibly assaulted.

Blessed Antonia Mesina and Blessed Pierina Morosini, please pray for us.