Teach the Children!
Everywhere, this seems to be a request, even a command from Mary. It is what Our Lady said to Adele Brisse in the US in the mid 1800s. Recently, during the visions to the thousands of people who came to Hrushiv, in the Ukraine, Our Lady said:
"Teach the children to pray. Teach children to live in truth and live yourselves in truth. Forgive nations which have harmed you.
"Constantly say the Rosary. The Rosary is the weapon against Satan. He fears the Rosary. Say the Rosary everyday... constantly at any gathering of people.
"My children, keep all the prayers that I have entrusted to you for your correction and the preservation of your souls. Do not neglect your prayer. Teach the children, for this shall save them.
"Repent and love one another. The times are coming, which have been foretold, as being those in the end times. I come to you with tears in my eyes and I implore you, pray and work for good, and for the glory of God."
Tan books circulates an interesting book about Teresa Helena Higginson (1844-1905) a visionary and stigmatist known as "The spouse of the Crucified."
Jesus promised her that the devotion to the Holy Head of Jesus would one day achieve world wide prominence. She was led to know that her vocation in life was to TEACH the poorest of God's children how to love Him.
Brother John Aranguren, S. J. was born in Guipuzcoa, Spain, and he was working in the town of Pasto, near Bogota, Columbia, in the School of St. Francis Xavier. He was a Jesuit brother teaching Catechism to children who had been baptized Catholics but who would never have known about God if it were not for his devotion and interest in teaching them the rudiments of their faith.
One day he noticed a swelling of his tongue. It increased until he could only talk with great difficulty. It was cancer.
The cancer was first discovered at the end of 1948, and on the 30th of August 1949 he underwent the first operation in Palermo Hospital in Bogota. This first operation removed several teeth and much tissue, but the tumor recurred over a wider area. He was going to be operated on again on the 19th of September, when during the night of September 18th to 19th, a miracle took place.
In a hospital in Bogota, the brother was to have his tongue removed by Dr. Pablo Tovar Borda. He was resigned. He understood that it was either his tongue or his life, and he obeyed his Superiors. He would never speak again. He would never again explain to little children who God was...that they had a Guardian Angel...that they must fulfill ten commandments in order to keep in God's love and obtain Heave.
During the night before the operation, the brother awoke. Standing beside his bed was his mother, who had died long before this. She seemed absolutely real. She was accompanied by a radiantly beautiful Lady dressed in white, with a golden globe suspended around Her neck, and much love and light that filled him with amazement and joy. His mother explained that this was Our Lady of Fatima, and that She had come to cure him and also to give him a message.
Our Lady then reached down and touched his tongue. Instantly the cancer disappeared and Our Lady said: "Continue to teach the children Catechism, but also teach them how to pray the Rosary. Do not tell anyone about this until you have spoken to the doctor."
Still filled with the joy of the vision, the poor brother hardly realized what had happened. It was only when darkness had returned to the room that he began to move his tongue and gradually the realization of the apparition and the cure had come to him. It was true! It wasn't a dream! He could move his tongue normally! He could talk normally! He wanted to jump out of bed and run and shout and tell everyone what had happened. But he remembered the words of Our Lady: "Do not tell anyone about this until you have spoken to the doctor." And the doctor would not be there until the time of the operation to remove his tongue!
In order to keep himself from disobeying Our Lady, he remained in silent prayer until morning. The orderly came to give him the anesthesia and prepare him for the operation. He shook his head, refusing it. The orderly tried to insist, explaining: "It is either your tongue or your life, so do not hesitate."
The brother simply continued to shake his head. When the orderly tried with some force to give the anesthesia, he resisted also with force. The orderly sought reinforcements, but the brother made it clear that he would not accept the anesthesia.
When the doctor came, the men said to him in distress: "Doctor, he won't take the anesthesia. He seems to be afraid of the operation."
The doctor repeated what he had told him before: it was either his tongue or his life. But now the brother was free to speak!
"Doctor, Our Lady of Fatima appeared to me during the night and cured me. The cancer is gone!"
Of course, not believing this, the doctor began the examination. It was true. The cancer had disappeared. The brother was released from the hospital and he continued teaching Catechism in the Missions of Colombia, even into his 80s.
He also began teaching the children, with equal fervor, with equal zeal, how to pray Our Lady's Rosary!
In Valpariso, Chile, at the start of this century Fr. Mateo Crawley-Boevey SS. CC., well known as the great Apostle of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, was a young priest. Fr. Mateo told this story wherever he preached and he found that where people were prepared to earn "three golden coins" with love, many graces were obtained and many conversions followed.
He relates one day an 8 year old girl told him that Jesus spoke to her every time she received Holy Communion. Father was somewhat skeptical and requested her to ask Jesus to give him proof. The proof Father requested was the sudden conversion of a certain man who was a big sinner, a fallen away Catholic, an enemy of the Church... and also that this man should come to him for Confession.
About a week later when Fr. Mateo was hearing confessions, the young girl told him that this sinner was coming up to the church. As the priest was leaving the confessional, the fallen away Catholic came into the church and walked over to Fr. Mateo and asked him to help him with his confession. He said that it was the first one since he was baptized. He did know what came over him that morning but he suddenly understood the necessity of going to confession. Father realized that he had received the proof he requested.
The young girl told the priest that Our Lord revealed to her that He would give the graces to repent and mend his ways to this fallen away Catholic, and also to many other souls. He said, "Always ask Me for souls and I will give them to you, and tell Father Mateo to ask Me for souls. I will give them to him, too, but first you must become My missionary."
She thought she was too young to be a missionary. Our Lord assured her that He would make her His missionary and that she would have to pay a certain price for souls. "I want you," said Jesus, "to earn three golden coins a day." Our Lord then explained what He meant by golden coins.
St. Louis de Montfort, in his book The Secret of the Rosary, mentions that one day St. Gertrude had a vision of Our Lord counting gold coins. She summoned the courage to ask Him what He was doing. He answered, "I am counting the Hail Mary's that you have said. This is the money with which you can pay your way to Heaven."
When the children at Fatima asked the Archangel how to make sacrifices, the Archangel replied: "Make everything you do a sacrifice and offer it as an act of reparation to God."
Our Lady of Fatima emphasized this when She told them:
Let us do more to save our own souls and the souls of many others, especially our own family members. Adults, and children as well, can become missionaries, buying beloved souls by these little acts of love which so please Jesus and Mary. Let us start collecting "golden coins" for Heaven. You know the way...and the benefits are out of this world!
Padre Pio on Women's Dress
from Prophet of the People, by Dorothy M. Gaudiose, pp. 191-2
Women received especially rough treatment from Padre Pio because of current fashions. He had always been a merciless enemy of feminine vanity. "Vanity," he said, "is the son of pride, and is even more malignant than its mother. Have you ever seen a field of ripe corn? Some ears are tall; others are bent to the ground. Try taking the tallest, the proudest ones, and you will see that they are empty; but it you take the smallest, the humblest ones, they are laden with seeds. From this you can see that vanity is empty."
Padre Pio wouldn't tolerate low-necked dresses or short, tight skirts, and he forbade his spiritual daughters to wear transparent stockings. Each year his severity increased. He stubbornly dismissed them from his confessional, even before they set foot inside, if he judged them to be improperly dressed. On some mornings he drove away one after another, until he ended up hearing very few confessions.
His brothers observed these drastic purges with a certain uneasiness and decided to fasten a sign on the church door: "By Padre Pio's explicit wish, women must enter his confessional wearing skirts at least eight inches below the knees. It is forbidden to borrow longer dresses in church and to wear them for the confessional."
The last warning was not without effect. There was a furtive exchange of skirts, blouses, and raincoats, that took place at the last moment in the half-lit church to remedy any failings.
The women made their adjustments, but perhaps not exactly enough. Padre Pio continued to send some away before giving them a chance to confess. He would glower at them, and grumble, "Go and get dressed." And sometimes he added, "Clowns!" He spared no one... persons he saw for the first time, or his long-time spiritual daughters. Often the skirts were decidedly many inches below the knees, but not sufficiently long for his moral severity.
As the years began to weigh on Padre Pio, his daily hours in the confessional were limited to four, equally divided between men and women. In addition to being dressed properly, they had to know the Italian language, even though he could somehow understand people speaking another language. But he knew Italian, Latin, and very little French, consistently refusing to hear confessions except in Italian or Latin.
Sometimes when Padre Pio refused to absolve his penitents and closed the small confessional door in their faces, the people would reproach him asking why he acted this way. "Don't you know," he asked, "what pain it costs me to shut the door on anyone? The Lord has forced me to do so. I do not call anyone, nor do I refuse anyone either. There is Someone else Who calls and refuses them. I am His useless tool."
Even the men had rules to follow. They were not permitted to enter the church with three-quarter length sleeves. Boys as well as men had to wear long trousers at church, if they didn't want to be shown out of the church, that is. But women in short skirts were his prime targets. Padre Pio's citadel was perhaps the only place in the world where the fashions of the 1930s still ruled in the 1960s
(Do you recall what Our Lady of Fatima said about "certain fashions"?)