Sunday, August 4, 2013

Wearing the Veil and Proper Attire in the Church

"[But] these you ought to have done, without neglecting the others."
~Matthew 23:23

We must practice charity without neglecting the traditions of the Church.

"Above all, don't look as if you approved of evil whatever you do..."
~Padre Benedetto Nardella, spiritual director of Padre Pio whom he described as the man who "formed" him

"Padre Pio is known for not tolerating any women in wearing low-necked dresses or short, tight skirts, he didn't even allow his spiritual daughters to wear transparent stockings, esp. in the confessional. [You read it, even 'in the confessional.'] When he saw anyone like that, he called them “clowns” and dismissed them. The same for boys and men, they are not allowed to enter the Church with three-quarter length sleeves and they had to wear long trousers. Padre Pio's religious brothers had to fasten a sign to the Church door: "By Padre Pio's explicit wish, women must enter the confessional wearing skirts at least 8 inches below the knee. It is forbidden to borrow longer dresses in church and to wear them to confession." Another sign read: "The Church is the House of God. It is forbidden for men to enter with bare arms or in shorts. IT IS FORBIDDEN FOR WOMEN TO ENTER in trousers, WITHOUT A VEIL ON THEIR HEAD, in short clothing, low necklines, sleeveless or immodest dresses." " (From "Prophet of the People: A Biography of Padre Pio" by Dorothy Gaudiose)

St. Bernadette of Lourdes wearing Veil
For 2,000 years, Catholic women have veiled themselves before entering a church or any time they are in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament (e.g., during sick calls).

Sacred Scripture presents several reasons for wearing the chapel veil. St. Paul tells us in his first letter to the Corinthians (11:1-16) that Christian women must cover their heads because it is a Sacred Tradition commanded by our Lord Himself and entrusted to Paul: "The things I am writing to you are the Lord's commandments" (1 Cor. 14:37). "That is why a woman ought to have a veil on her head, because of the angels" wrote St. Paul (1 Cor. 11:10).

Though I am not a Canon lawyer, the following is easy to understand.

It was written into the 1917 Code of Canon Law,
Canon 1262.2:
"Men, in a church or outside a church, while they are assisting at sacred rites, shall be bare-headed, unless the approved mores of the people or peculiar circumstances of things determine otherwise; women, however, shall have a covered head and be modestly dressed, especially when they approach the table of the Lord."

But though the 1917 Code of Canon Law was replaced by the 1983 Code, it is still somewhat in force as in the following. 

When the 1983 Code of Canon Law was produced, veiling was simply not mentioned (not abrogated, mind you, but simply not mentioned). However, Canons 20-21 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law make clear that later Canon Law abrogates earlier Canon Law only when this is made explicit and that, in cases of doubt, the revocation of earlier law is not to be presumed; quite the opposite:

Canon 20 A later law abrogates or derogates from an earlier law, if it expressly so states, or if it is directly contrary to that law, or if it integrally reorders the whole subject matter of the earlier law. A universal law, however, does not derogate from a particular or from a special law, unless the law expressly provides otherwise.  
Canon 21 In doubt, the revocation of a previous law is not presumed; rather, later laws are to be related to earlier ones and, as far as possible, harmonized with them.
Canons 27 and 28 add to the argument:
Canon 27 Custom is the best interpreter of laws.  
Canon 28 Without prejudice to the provisions of can. 5, a custom, whether contrary to or apart from the law, is revoked by a contrary custom or law. But unless the law makes express mention of them, it does not revoke centennial or immemorial customs, nor does a universal law revoke particular customs.

From Various Internet Sources 
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Eucharistic Miracle of St. John Marie Vianney

(Feast: August 4)

Of the Holy Parish Priest of Ars (+1859) it has been reported that when he distributed Holy Communion, a Holy Host floated from his fingers and by Itself was placed on the lips of the first communicant. One who became a witness to it but had previously doubted, converted himself and later became a priest.(1) The Holy Cure himself described the event:

"One day, two Protestant ministers came here, who did not believe in the Real Presence of Our Lord. I said to them, 'Do you think that a piece of bread could detach itself, and go, of its own accord, to place itself on the tongue of a person who came near to receive it?' 'No.' 'Then it is not bread.' There was a man who had doubts about the Real Presence, and he said, 'What do we know about it? It is not certain. What is consecration? What happens on the altar at that moment?' But he wished to believe, and he prayed the Blessed Virgin to obtain faith for him. Listen attentively to this. I do not say that this happened somewhere, but I say that it happened to myself. At the moment when this man came up to receive Holy Communion, the Sacred Host detached Itself from my fingers while I was still a good way off, and went off Itself and placed Itself upon the tongue of that man."(2)

1) Ferd. Holbock, Das Allercheiligate und die Heiligen, Stein am Rhein 1979, p. 187
2) Catechetical Instructions of the Cure of Ars:

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Monday, July 15, 2013

Eucharistic Miracle of St. Bonaventure, Seraphic Doctor of the Church

(Feast: July 15)

Not all Eucharistic Miracles are accompanied by visions.

On his deathbed our Saint longed with all the ardour of his seraphic soul for the sweet intercourse of Sacramental Communion. But the cause just mentioned made this impossible [i.e. his infirm state of health with a certain unknown type of epidemic that do not allow him to receive Communion]. Still, as far as possible to appease his pious longing, the Consecrated Host was brought into his room and placed beside him, so that his eyes might rest upon it. This only intensified his desire, until it would appear that the Lord could no longer withstand the ardour of his pleadings. A wonderful thing was then seen to happen. Without any visible agency the Sacred Host left the ciborium and, moving through the air towards the dying Saint, vanished within his breast!

At an earlier period in his life a somewhat similar occurrence is recorded. Bartholomew of Pisa and the author of the Chronicles of the Twenty-four Generals relate that, on a certain occasion, the pious General [Bonaventure], thinking himself unworthy, abstained for a long time from saying Holy Mass. But the Lord was touched by his humility, and one day as he was devoutly hearing Mass, a particle of the Consecrated Host, solely at the command of the Saviour, left the altar and entered his mouth, filling his soul with divine sweetness. It may be that both records are but different versions of the same fact, and we may doubt which of them is authentic. But if Bonaventure's malady were such as described, we should like to think that the Lord, pitying the loneliness and extremity of His dying servant, afforded him, even by a miracle, the supreme consolation which his passing spirit sighed for.

Saint Bonaventure:
The Seraphic Doctor
Minister-General of the Franciscan Order
Cardinal Bishop of Albano
by Rev. Fr. Laurence Costelloe, O.F.M.
Download the free eBook (PDF) at:

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Eucharistic Miracle of Blessed Anna Maria Taigi

(Feast: June 9)

Not all Eucharistic Miracles are accompanied by visions. 
Pope Benedict XV beatified Anna Maria Taigi on May 30, 1920.

Many other marvels might be mentioned of this holy woman in connection with the Blessed Sacrament; such, for instance, as occurred in the Church of San Carlino, the same where she had so fervently assumed the habit of the Third Order of the Trinitarians. An Irish priest was saying Mass, and Anna Maria was waiting to receive Communion, when behold! upon his turning round to the congregation holding aloft the Sacred Host and pronouncing the words: 'Ecce Agnus Dei; ecce qui tollit peccata mundi' [Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who takes away the sins of the world] the consecrated particle flew from his hands and rested on the lips of the servant of God.

The Life of Blessed Anna Maria Taigi:
The Roman Matron
by Edward Healy Thompson
Download the free eBook (PDF) at:

Saturday, July 13, 2013

The Brown Scapular and the Sabbatine Privilege

Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel: July 16

On July 16th 1251, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to Saint Simon Stock, Superior General of the Carmelite Order. Holding on her hands the Brown Scapular, she said: “Received, my beloved son, this Scapular of your Order; whoever dies wearing it shall not suffer eternal fire. It is a sign of salvation, a safeguard in danger… and a pledge of my special protection till the end of time... Wear the Scapular devoutly and perseveringly. It is my garment. To be clothed in it means you are continually thinking of me, and I in turn, am always thinking of you and helping you to secure eternal life.”

The Sabbatine Privilege: The Promise Extended into Purgatory

During another apparition, this one to Pope John XXII (1316-1334), the Blessed Mother generously granted what is known as the Sabbatine Privilege: that those who wear the Brown Scapular and fulfill certain conditions will be freed from Purgatory on the first Saturday after death: “I, the Mother of Grace, shall descend on the Saturday 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.”

This promise was also mentioned in a Bull issued on March 3, 1322 by Pope John XXII. Pope St. Pius V stated in his Bull “Superna dispositione” (18 February 1566): “With apostolic authority and by tenor of the present, we approve each of the privileges [of the Carmelite Order] and also the Sabbatine.” It was Pope Paul V (1605-1621) who settled a controversy concerning the Privilege when he issued a Decree on January 20, 1613 in which he gave priests permission to preach that the Blessed Virgin of Mt. Carmel “… will aid the souls of the Brothers and Sisters of the Confraternity of the Blessed Virgin of Mount Carmel after their death by Her continual intercession, by Her suffrages and merits and by Her special protection, especially on the day of Saturday which is the day especially dedicated by the Church to the same Blessed Virgin Mary…”

Recently, Our Lady confirmed the Sabbatine Privilege to Pere Lamy (1855-1931), Founder of the Religious Congregation of the Servants of Jesus and Mary, read at:

To receive the Scapular privileges one must be enrolled in the Brown Scapular. One should ask a priest to make this enrollment.

The conditions for obtaining the Sabbatine Privilege are:
  1. Wear the Brown Scapular faithfully.
  2. Observe chastity according to one’s state of life.
  3. Recite the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin daily, or, with permission, substitute for this another pious work, e.g., the daily recitation of five decades of the Rosary. Any priest with faculties to hear confessions (this includes most priests) has the faculty to commute (change) this third requirement. Those who are bound to recitation of the full Divine Office fulfill this condition by praying the full Office instead. Those who cannot read may instead abstain from eating meat on Wednesdays and Saturdays, unless Christmas Day falls on one of those days.
“In 1947 the General Chapter of our Order [Carmelite], held at Rome, decreed that the recitation of the Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be to the Father, [each] said seven times daily should be the minimum requirement when authorized priests substitute for the obligation of the Little Office or the abstinence. But this Chapter added that the devout client of Our Lady should not be satisfied by so little and should remember the greatness of the Promise and try to say the Rosary daily since Our Lady requested the daily Rosary.”
~ Fr. Howard Rafferty, O.Carm.

Until it is explained, the Scapular Promise seems unbelievable. Ever since Our Lady appeared to Saint Simon Stock on July 16, 1251, many—yes, thousands—have  found it almost impossible to believe that for so little a practice as belonging to Her Confraternity, one could be rewarded with salvation.

It seems that Our Lady returned to Heaven and considered, as it were, the great favor She had conferred. She saw the amazement of thousands at so small an action as wearing two pieces of cloth being favored by Her with so tremendous a Promise. So She returned again to earth, and this time to make a Promise still more astounding!

In the year after Saint Peter Thomas was informed by Her that “the Order of Carmel is destined to exist until the end of the world,” the Queen of Heaven conferred a favor through the habit of Her family which has caused the great Pope Benedict XV to exclaim: “Let all of you have a common language and a common armor: the language, the sentences of the Gospel; the armor, the Scapular of Mary which all ought to wear and which enjoys the singular privilege of protection even after death.”

For, on March 3rd, 1322, Pope John XXII had issued the following Bull: [See P. E. Magennis: The Sabbatine Privilege [New York 1923] for a demonstration of the authenticity of this script.] 

“John, Bishop and servant of the servants of God, to the faithful of Christ, collectively and individually: As though in the most sacred heights of paradise, the so sweet and charming harmony of the Angels is heard while the sense of sight is also delighted and Jesus is seen adorned with the glory of His Father. For He saith: I and the Father are one... He who seeth Me, seeth also the Father... and the choir of the Angels ceaseth not to say: Holy, Holy, Holy. Even so, the Assembly ceaseth not to pour forth praise to the Virgin on high, O Virgin, Virgin, Virgin, be thou our mirror alike and example... For she is adorned with the gift of Grace, as holy Church singeth...  Mary, full of Grace and Mother of Mercy... So that hill which is reputed of the Order of Carmel, praising with song and extolling and telling of this Mother of Grace... Hail, Queen of Mercy and our hope... So, as I prayed with bended knees, the Virgin of Carmel seemed to speak to me these words: O John, Vicar of my well-beloved Son, I shall snatch thee, as it were, from thy foe. Thee who art Pope, I make my Vicar for the solemn gift which I sought from My Son and have obtained by my prayers. So, it behooveth thee to grant a favor and confirmation to my holy and devout Order of Carmel, which took its rise with Elias and Eliseus on the mountain of that name. Whoso maketh profession, whoso observeth the Rule drawn up by my servant Albert the Patriarch, whoso unfailingly sheweth obedience thereunto and to that which has been approved by my dear son Innocent, so that thou mayest accept through the Vicar of my Son on earth what my Son hath ordained in Heaven: that he who shall have persevered in holy obedience, poverty and chastity, or shall enter the Holy Order, shall be saved. And if others for the sake of devotion shall enter holy religion, hearing the sign of the Sacred Habit and calling themselves associates of either sex of my aforesaid Order, they shall be freed and absolved from a third part of their sins on what day they enter.  . . So let the professed members of the said Order be freed from punishment and from guilt on what day they go from this world,” so that with hastened step they shall pass over Purgatory, I, THE MOTHER OF GRACE, SHALL DESCEND INTO PURGATORY ON THE SATURDAY AFTER THEIR DEATH AND WHOMSOEVER I SHALL FIND IN PURGATORY I SHALL FREE, so that I may lead them unto the holy mountain of life everlasting. ‘Tis true that you brothers and sisters are bound to recite the Canonical Hours, as it behooveth according to the Rule given by Albert. Those who are ignorant must lead a life of fasting on those days on which Holy Church doth so ordain. Moreover, unless through some necessity they be involved in some difficulty, they must abstain from flesh meat on Wednesday and Saturday, except on the Birthday of my Son. Now, when these words had been uttered, the sacred vision departed...”
Purgatory! Eye has not seen nor ear heard the tremendous suffering that word implies. Some theologians are of the opinion that the worst pain we could possibly suffer on earth-----utter moral abandonment while the body be tortured by the most diabolical cruelties-----cannot be compared to the least of the Purgatorial pains. Saint Mary Magdalen de Pazzi tells us that “the pains suffered by all the Martyrs are as a pleasant garden in comparison with the sufferings of the Souls in Purgatory.” [ Cf. Savaria, pg. 222.] Saint Cyril said: that, as for himself, he would rather suffer all the pains that have beset man from the time of Adam together with all that will beset him until the end of the world, rather than spend one day in Purgatory. For since nothing impure can enter Heaven, one must go to Purgatory and, there, only tremendous suffering can satisfy the temporal punishment due offenses against an Infinite Goodness. Saint Bridget beheld a Soul in Purgatory tortured inexplicably for having been vain and having thought more of frivolous diversion than of things spiritual. [Revelations (Rome, 1628) , Bk. V, ch. liii.] Saint Mary Magdalen de Pazzi, reports that a Saintly religious was detained sixteen days in Purgatory for three trifling faults and that she would have been there longer had it not been that she had been very faithful to her rule. A certain layman, although he was a good Christian, was fifty-nine years in Purgatory because of his love of comfort; another, thirty-five years for the same reason; a third, who was too fond of gambling, was in Purgatory for sixty-four years. And Saint Augustine says that the torments of Purgatory surpass all that a man can suffer on earth. [Treatise on Psalm xxxvii; cf Savaria, op. cit. 231.] But Mary, who through Her intercession has complete dominion over Purgatory, [St. Bernardine: Serm. 3, de Nom. Mar. a. 2, c. 3.] has come to Her special children to assure them that She will not suffer them to remain in its fires more than a week-----in fact, not beyond the day consecrated to Her Honor by the Church. With Saint Bonaventure, we hear Her saying in the words of Scripture: “I have penetrated the depths of the abyss, that is, the depths of Purgatory, to help those holy Souls.” [Glorie, viii, pg. 305. N. B.: Novarinus says, in Cit, Exs. 86, “Crediderim omnibus qui in flammis purgantur, Mariae meritis non solum leviores fuisse redditas illas poenas, sed et breviores, adeo ut cruciatum tempus contractum Virginis ope illius sit.” Such is the meaning of the Sabbatine Privilege.] Saint Bernardine said that the Blessed Virgin always liberates Her special devotees from the torments of Purgatory and Saint Denis the Carthusian and Saint Peter Damian had written that on the feasts of the Assumption, Christmas and Easter: “Our Lady descends into Purgatory and takes many souls from it.” [St. Dionysius, Cart. Serm. 2, de Ass. N. B. : Note that the Saint says that Mary descends and that on a certain day: Beatissima Virgo singulis annis in festivitate nativitatis Christi ad purgatorii loca cum multitudine angelorum descendit.”] But Our Lady has declared that She will not wait for the great Feasts to liberate Her devotees of the Scapular. Regardless of the punishment merited, provided they have observed chastity and practiced an act of piety regulated by their confessors, She will obtain for them the complete remission of their debt and their complete purification by the very first Saturday after their death and, on that day, escort them to eternal bliss.

When Saint Teresa was astonished at seeing a certain Carmelite carried straight to Heaven without even going to Purgatory, she was given to understand that he had been faithful to his rule and avoided Purgatory because of Bulls granted to the Carmelite order. [Autobiography, ch. xxxviii [near the end]: “I was amazed that he had not gone to Purgatory. I understood that, having become a friar and carefully kept the rule, the Bulls of the Order had been of use to him, so that he did not pass into Purgatory.” 

(N. B.: Fr. Zimmerman opines that this does not refer to the Sabbatine Bull and to the Bulls that confirm it; but since he gives no grounds for his opinion and since he had very “queer” ideas about the Sabbatine Privilege itself, readers of his edition of St. Teresa’s autobiography might discredit his opinion. Saint John of the Cross rejoiced to die on Saturday because of this “Sabbatine” Privilege. “Everyone should strive for it,” said Pope Pius XI. But there are many who miss this great Privilege. “Although many wear my Scapular,” Our Lady complained to the Ven. Dominic of Jesus and Mary, “only a few fulfill the conditions for the Sabbatine Privilege.” [R. P. Bauss, Das Fegfeuer (Mainz, 1883) ; cf. Scapulier-Biichlein (Graz, 1892), pg. 34.] Similarly, at her death the saintly Carmelite, Frances of the Blessed Sacrament, exclaimed:

“There are only a few who receive the Privilege because only a few fulfill the conditions.” “Is it true that wearers of the Scapular are actually freed from Purgatory on the Saturday after their deaths?” was one of the questions put to her father by Sister Seraphina in the celebrated communications with his suffering soul which caused international comment. “Yes,” was the answer, “‘when they have truly fulfilled all the obligations.”

And yet the privilege is very easily obtained. One must observe chastity according to his state in life. But this must be done, privilege or no privilege, and if one should have the misfortune of falling into grievous sin, it is the opinion of authorities that as soon as he repents and resolves never to sin again, his right to the privilege begins anew. The other condition for obtaining the Sabbatine Indulgence often varies. Our Lady required the daily recitation of the Office, or, if recitation of it should be impossible, the keeping of the fasts of the Church together with abstinence from meat on Wednesdays and Saturdays. However, if one cannot observe even this condition, then any other work may be substituted by a confessor, either inside or outside the confessional. (It is to be noted, however, that only a confessor with the special faculty... which faculty is often obtained together with the faculty of enrolling in the Scapular but which does not follow from the latter... can commute the saying of the Little Office to Abstinence from meat on Wednesdays and Saturdays. It is only this latter condition which can be commuted by all confessors...

It is a semi-triumph for Satan to cause Souls to suffer in Purgatory as the result of unrequited sin. Mary sees them, Her children, in unspeakable suffering in the Heart of Her Son, which longs to give bliss to these predestined ones whom He has ransomed at the price of His Blood, is deterred for a time from being finally united to them. Hence Satan celebrates a victory. How crushing it must be to him, an incarnation of pride, to be vanquished by so simple a Marian devotion as the Scapular! And where the promise of Salvation rendered him powerless against Souls who died in the Scapular, now a further promise almost completely curtails his power. To keep Souls in Purgatory which do not enjoy the Sabbatine Privilege he can use his wiles to prevent suffrages from being offered for them, but, before Mary’s new Scapular Promise, he is impotent. How true it is that the Immaculate crushes his head, the seat of pride, with her heel! We are again forcibly reminded of the cloud that appeared to Elias over Mount Carmel, the prophetic vision that gave rise to the title of the Scapular Queen, “Our Lady of Mount Carmel.”

For even as that little foot-shaped cloud brought material salvation and cooled the burning earth, so does Mary, through Her humble garment of Carmel, bring spiritual salvation and cool the fires of Purgatory.

Naturally Satan did not allow the Sabbatine Privilege to spread in the Church without a great struggle. In the opposition that has met it from every quarter it is not difficult to discern his forces at work. A privilege that is authoritatively confirmed by the Holy See, for which Popes have almost begged us to enter the Scapular Confraternity, should be utterly beyond question. A Pope granted it and Popes have ratified it: John XXII, Alexander V, Nicholas V, Sixtus, IV, Clement VII, Paul Ill, Saint Pius V, Clement VIII, Leo XI, Paul V, Urban VIII, Alexander VII, Benedict XIV, Pius VI, Pius X, Benedict XV, Pius XI. [Of the nine Popes who have sanctioned the Sabbatine Privilege, note these words of St. Pius V (Superna dispositione... Feb. 18, 1566): “With apostolic authority and by tenor of the present, we approve each of the privileges [of the Carmelite Order] and also the Sabbatine.”] But even though everyone knows that the indulgence comes through the Church, it has been mysteriously clouded by a discussion as to the authenticity of our present copy of the original bull! As in the case of the Scapular Vision we see a document being attacked and defended again and again, as though with the fall of that document the Sabbatine Privilege would cease to exist. The easiest way to dispel such a cloud is to point out to the querulous that if the Blessed Virgin did not grant the indulgence, what they refuse to attribute to Her they cannot refuse to attribute to the Popes.

Now, it seems that there is more in the Sabbatine Privilege than first appears. In what is probably the greatest of all Marian books, the author of which has been declared a Doctor of the Universal Church, the unusual opinion is voiced that if a Scapular wearer does a little more than Mary requires as conditional for obtaining the Sabbatine Privilege, he will never go to Purgatory at all.

The book is The Glories of Mary by Saint Alphonsus Ligouri. 

After the death of St. Alphonsus, there was a clamor for his canonization. When his body was solemnly exhumed, upon removal of the inner coffin covering his remains, a most remarkable sight met the eyes of the examiners: there, in the coffin, where the body and episcopal robes had decomposed, the Scapular lay incorrupt. Was it Mary’s testimony to that most unusual statement, in Saint Alphonsus’ famous book, concerning the Sabbatine Privilege of Her Scapular?

It is noteworthy that many devotees of the Scapular Queen hope and pray for the grace of dying on Saturday, and receive their request. An edifying incident occurred some “years ago when, despite the opinion of her doctor that she should die on Wednesday, a certain lady earnestly protested that ever since she had sought the Sabbatine Privilege she had begged Mary not to let her die until Saturday, and she felt certain that she would not die until that day. To the doctor’s surprise, she did not.  Saint John of the Cross died in 1591 saying: “The Mother of God and of Carmel hastens to Purgatory with grace, on Saturday, and delivers those Souls who have worn Her Scapular. Blessed be such a Lady who wills that, on this day of Saturday, I shall depart from this life!”  Saint Alphonsus asks: “Can we not hope for the same grace if we also do a little more than Mary asked?” Saint Alphonsus himself did more, and with the result that the Mother of God came to his death bed personally to bear his beloved Soul straight to Her Divine Son.

As was said, although all else perished in his tomb, Mary’s Scapular remained incorrupt. The Virgin of the Scapular is so full of love for Her children, so unspeakably good and completely condescending, that She is not content with being at their side in death, but She aids them after death. It is little wonder that Pope Leo XIII, as he saw death approaching, called his familiars to his bed and said: “Let us make a novena to Our Lady of the Scapular and I shall be ready to die!”

“Mary’s love is limitless and Her mercy extends to all. Nevertheless, She has Her favorites. There is no one in the world for whom She prays more readily than the religious of Mount Carmel and all who are affiliated to them, because She has a particular tenderness for them. The reason is that the religious of Carmel were the first to consecrate themselves to Her. They are Her eldest. And the protection which Mary accords to them does not stop at the end of this life but follows on into the next life. She causes them to avoid the torments of Hell and, if they are in Purgatory, She obtains speedy deliverance for them!”


“For the gate of the inner court which looks to the east shall be shut for six days, but on the Sabbath it shall be opened.” ~ Offertory of the Mass on the Scapular Feast.

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Apparitions to Pére Lamy (1855-1931), Founder of the Religious Congregation of the Servants of Jesus and Mary

Pére Lamy (Father John Edward Lamy) 1855-1931 is a Mystic and Founder of the Religious Congregation of the Servants of Jesus and Mary

[Typographical errors of the original article were already corrected]

The source for this information is from the book “Pere Lamy” by Comte Paul Biver, translated from the French by Monsignor John O’Connor, 1973, Tan Books and Publishers, available by clicking here.

The author Comte (Count) Paul Biver was a very close friend of Pere Lamy. He conducted numerous informal interviews of Pere Lamy in his house not long before his death in 1931 (in fact, he died in the house of the author on Dec. 1, 1931). These interviews are contained in this extraordinary saintly biography full of spiritual inspiration. Concerning Pere Lamy his bishop said: “I have in my diocese another Curé of Ars.” This holy priest had visions of the past and of the future, of Our Lord, the Blessed Mother, St. Joseph and the Angels –even Lucifer. He founded the Religious Congregation of the Servants of Jesus and Mary, built a Chapel to Our Lady of the Woodlands, cared for countless wounded soldiers and sick people during World War I, was called the Priest of the “ragpickers” and hooligans for having directed a Youth Movement and cared for countless street boys in Troyes and La Courneuve and was a parish priest for over 30 years. The many accomplishments of his life are an amazing proof to us of what one priest can do. Profound and enlightening are his statements on religious subjects. He said the Rosary almost continually, slept but one or two hours a night, could smell sin even through a penitent's perfume, conversed regularly with his guardian angel, effected miracles and made prophecies.

Jean Edouard Lamy was born on June 23, 1853 at Le Pailly, France. His father Jean Fredrick was a farmer and also a masonry worker and his mother Marie Janinel was a diligent and loving housewife. About his childhood, his sister, Mrs. Vauthelin testifies: “My brother and I slept in the same room from our earliest years, and our parents only lodged us apart when I was 12 years and he was 15. From the moment that I began to observe things about me, until I was 12 years old, I have never once seen him in his bed. He was all night praying, kneeling on his stool without support, before the statue of Mary Immaculate. She was set upon the chimney piece and lit by a little lamp which he had got from our mother. I never once woke without seeing him in this attitude. Never for years have I seen his bed unmade. Perhaps he lay down one time or another, I could not swear to it, but I never once saw him lie down. Our mother noticed it from time to time and used to say to him: ‘But, my child, the Blessed Virgin does not ask as much as that.' And yet, we were working hard, he and I, during the daytime. Twice a week we used to go together to sell our stuff at the market at Langres (6 miles distant), loaded up to the limit; and he working in the fields from morning till night, and he even broke stones on the high road.”

First Mystical Visions
Pere Lamy recounted: “… It was in 1863, the vigil of St. John the Baptist; a Saturday, I believe. I was at Buisson de la Plaine. I was minding my parents' cows and also minding the cows with me was Anne Richard. I said, ‘Look there, Annette, the lovely lamb on the hill.’ The lamb was on Le Cognelot, there to the right of Noidant on the bald part of the mountain (about 2 miles away), lighting up the whole hill. He was standing up, holding in his left foot the standard cross bent towards Chalindrey, and a white pennant floating from it. His head was turned towards Le Pailly. You could see his eyes perfectly. It was a very fine lamb. Distance makes no difference to these things, and when you are a child nothing surprises you unduly. Annette said it was a bad sign. Why? I don't know at all, and so I told her it wasn't a bad sign. He gazed at us for a while and then suddenly disappeared. The sky had darkened and lightning was beginning. I said, ‘I am bringing home my cows.’”

“Don't tell this story till I have crossed over the bridge (into the other world)” [Speaking to Comte Paul Biver, the author. He repeatedly said this during the interviews with the author as he did not want anything pertaining to him published prior to his death.]

“As for the Blessed Virgin, She appeared to me with Her hands like those in the Immaculate Conception… I had a little statue of Our Lady of The Crypt, at Chartres (The Virgin of the underground chapel in Chartres Cathedral), of whom the Druids told a prophetic legend centuries before the Christian era. I was making a little procession under the line of poplar trees, holding my statue like this (he lifted both hands the height of his forehead, with an imaginary image between thumb and index). I sang Her Litanies. She showed Herself to me among the branches of the poplars, almost at the top, very high up, Her head bent, gazing at me. There were very tall poplars there, nicely aligned. She stayed there the whole time of the Litany. She withdrew a little, but I kept on my road. The more I advanced the more She seemed to retreat. She returned, and I finished my Litany. She then rose a little above the branches and at once disappeared.”

“At first, I thought it was a mirage which happens sometimes near water or in the mountains. I was mistrustful. I kept on the Litanies during the apparition as if nothing mattered. I was only a child. I said to myself: ‘I hope that good Lady likes to be there up among the poplars.' After that I sat down at the foot of the poplar tree and I said my Rosary and I fell asleep. The Blessed Virgin minded my cows for I found them round about me when I woke up. Not one had gone far. All the same I had been very much moved with it. Later I said to the parish priest: ‘Ah, Monsieur Le Curé, I have seen a strange thing. I have seen a person at the top of the poplar trees. I really think it is the Blessed Virgin. I was doing a procession.’ ‘Were you all alone?’ ‘Yes, all alone and I had that image of the Virgin of Sous-Torre.' The priest said to me, ‘What in the world would She have to do with you?’ The Curé then gave me a slap in the face, but right in my inner consciousness I kept that remembrance. She herself reminded me when She appeared to me at Gray [see below]: ‘You saw me at Pre-Jacquot.’”

An Incident During His Military Service
In 1875, John Edward Lamy was trained as a soldier in the 91st Regiment of Infantry; he was promoted corporal on November 10, 1876, and sergeant on March 4, 1878. He was demobilized 7th October that year.

“I lived at Mezieres with the other soldiers. We had sixty Christian soldiers. We had formed [it was he that founded] a group, the Legion of St. Maurice. We kept together well and recruited some good young fellows. Three times a week there was a meeting of the Legion; prayer and spiritual reading; they were picked fellows. We had a chaplain, the Abbé Henri Nicole, who is a canon of Rheims. There were 80 Haut-Marnais in that regiment, and the greater part of them were good.”

“At the camp of Chalons, in 1875, I was sick, or at least, tired out. During these heavy maneuvers we had, every day, two hours rest. We were bound to stay in barracks and lie flat on the bed. I used that time to recite the Little Office [of the Blessed Virgin Mary]. Often, overcome by fatigue, I used to fall asleep before even reciting one Psalm, and always when they sounded the end of rest, my fingers were at the last verse of the book. The Blessed Virgin (at Gray in 1909 [see below]) told me that She came near me in the camp at Chalons in 1875. She turned the leaves, She told me, and put back my fingers in the last page. Subdued as I was, I thought that I had said the Office and then I took my rest. That was what She wanted in Her motherly goodness.”

During his military service the powder charge of a comrade's rifle exploded in his right eye. He never complained but he lost his sight on that side. Later in life, he progressively developed severe cataracts in his left eye, causing him complete blindness for 3 years, until a successful operation partially restored his vision in his left eye. He once asked the Blessed Virgin why she never cured his eyesight. She told him it was better for him to be that way, so as to keep him humble.

A Vision of St. Joseph–Call to the Priesthood

“I had always wanted to be a priest and now could not imagine how it could be done. I did not think I had the necessary qualifications. I was in despair and was going to give up. It was then St. Joseph appeared to me. He fixed my vocation. It was at Troyes in the Chapel of Our Lady of Good Hope, in the early days of March. He spoke with me quite a long time and pointed out my vocation. He said: ‘Be a priest; become a good priest.’ That does not mean to say that I did, but I strained every effort to come to that point. ‘Be a priest.’ He was very urgent, with a very firm tone, putting out his hand as if to swear. It was in the evening. The young people had just gone. I closed the door and went into the chapel for a few minutes for a moment of recollection. In the daytime it was very hard for me to do that. It was 11 o'clock at night, or later than 10:20 p.m. In the chapel there was a gas-jet [heater] turned low, which had been lighted earlier for prayers. I was kneeling at the kneeler in front of the first pillar in the right aisle. St. Joseph appeared standing on the floor beside the pillar. He was lit with his own light. The saint was in his glory; not in his great glory; in his milder glory. As I saw him, St. Joseph must be no more than 60 years of age. His beard was like his hair; he is not bald but going very grey. He wore a brown suit with something round the neck which folded down in front. He was clothed in a rough strong-looking material; I think he had a belt. The Blessed Virgin speaks of him as ‘my holy husband' and the word ‘holy’ in Her mouth is something to remark. St. Joseph showed himself to me barefoot like the Blessed Virgin and Our Lord do always. A short while after this, I received Minor Orders (March 1, 1885). It was St. Joseph who foretold me my departure from Troyes without giving me any details.”

Apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Gray
“This was the 9th September, 1909. I had come [to Gray] nearly every year, and the parish priest of Violot was with me. They gave me handsome vestments put out for a prelate who was to come and who didn't arrive. I began my Mass. The Abbé Lemoine was in the interior of the chapel to the right, on the kneeler which is still there. The Blessed Virgin appeared to me suddenly, and at the same time the devil. It caused me violent emotion. I was in great doubt but I did not dare to believe because of my unworthiness, that I was facing the Most Blessed. It was so much beyond me. The Blessed Virgin came down from the ceiling, throned in great glory, so gently, so gently. She was as if in a furnace of light. Her glory went through everything gradually. The candles, the chalice, the altar vestments and myself, like the sun going through water. How far did the glory reach? You need to know what the glory of God is, when you think of what He gives to the dearest of His creatures. It was just like a sun. I never saw the end of it. She came down from the ceiling like that, with Her hands joined. She wore a little smile before letting Her voice be heard. When She uncrossed Her hands, it seemed to make an eddy around Her.”

“She first exchanged a word or two with the demon. During the descent, She said to Lucifer, who appeared behind Her, ‘Is that you?’

[Lucifer answered:] ‘I have leave from the Father.’

‘So be it.’ replied the Blessed Virgin.

Then, as if She were questioning him, ‘You know how to obey the Father?’ He gave no answer but I felt crushed. She extinguished Her glory. The lesser glory never left Her during all the Mass. I still stayed at the Dominus Vobiscum. Had I dared, I would have fled into the vestry, if I had not been at the altar. When I looked at the parish priest of Violot, he put his two hands over his face and his face in his book, and leaned his whole weight on the kneeler. I kept saying, ‘I shall be well defended.’ She talked. She asked me questions. I did not dare to answer. She stood upright. She was of middle height. With the movement that She made, there was like a little storm of glittering spangles. Her crown only appeared when She stood up. Her feet were just about the height of those chairs. She stayed a little above the ground. With the right hand, She signed to me very maternally, ‘Go on,’ to give me back my courage. I said within myself, ‘If you are the Blessed Virgin, show me.’ She said: ‘I am the Mother of God.’ When She said, ‘I am the Mother of God,’ very gently, I seemed to melt away within. I did not doubt the word of the Mother of God. I believed Her, but She came in poor company (the fiend).”

“When I commemorated the martyrdom of St. Gorgonius She smiled gently. It was the prayer of Her Nativity. At the ut quibus beatae Virginis, I bowed to Her. She bowed to me, very graciously. What humility, even in Heaven. (And for me, a mountebank of the umpteenth class.) I saw Her reflection in the glass before me in the altar-card. The interview went on, and so as not to cause too long a break, She signed to me to read the Epistle.”

“The little altar server said: ‘Is it the Blessed Virgin, Father?’ as he took the book from the Epistle side to the Gospel side. I said to him, low, ‘Don't talk, you will make Her go away,’ She looked on him with motherly tenderness. She stayed aside to let him pass and took Her place again at the middle of the altar. When I said the Munda cor meum, She left the middle of the altar and went to the Gospel side.”

“After the Gospel, the priest comes back to say the Creed. She took her place again at the side of the priest, almost in front of the book. She let him begin the Creed; at the Incarnatus est, She bowed as if to say, ‘That is so.’ At the Sub Pontio Pilato, She put forward Her closed hands upon the altar, clenching Her fists in a gesture of mighty sorrow. Her arms were just beside me (and Pere Lamy showed a distance of five inches). I was so upset that I made a mistake. I muddled things. When She saw that I wasn't getting over it, She went on with the Creed as if She were saying the Mass. My mistake had given me such a shock. She put me back where I stopped, very gently. (And, smiling, he said): She knows Her prayers well.”

“At the Memento, She recommended the priest to ask more. There is great store, and still greater to be given.”

“The Blessed Virgin foretold the War. She spoke to me very maternally, about my childhood, founded the pilgrimage of Our Lady of the Woodland; told me She wanted a new congregation. With great energy She condemned Modernism, treated of several different matters, defending me from Lucifer.”

“She was dressed in a deep blue gown, with Her white veil, the sleeves gathered in at the wrists, and bare feet. The neckline of Her dress is just below the chin. The gown is ample and quite simple. But anything She wore would be equally becoming. Her proportions are perfect. Everything in Her is perfect. Her eyes are very changeable; they can take all the colors, but there is one settled color all the same. When She lived on earth they were neither brown nor altogether blue. Rather periwinkle. Her ears are visible. So is the start of the hair on the forehead. In the same way you can see the plaits of hair at the side. The only statue resembling her in the least is the one (Rue du Bac, above the entrance door of the Ladies of Charity), where She is giving an audience to Catherine Labouré, That has the face, just as long, but She has not that forehead. She looks too young in that statue, and yet you cannot make Her old. I have never been able to tell Her age. The Virgin is very dark. (‘I am black, but comely.’) Her demeanour is very simple. She seldom inclines Her head but looks you straight in the face, just like Her Divine Son, but you feel that beyond, how Their gaze pierces into the entire world.”

“When the Blessed Virgin speaks as a mother, She wears a crown made from a spray of roses, of lilies, and of daisies, with a silver band, quite narrow, at a third of the height. These flowery sprays are arranged like the fingers; a white rose, almost open, a single lily, almost open, and a daisy. Naturally, these flowers often repeated, form a circle. As for the green branches at the base of the crown, they are very sober in color. It is a bell-shaped crown. You could pass your hand between Her crown and the veil on Her head. But when She condemned Modernism, She wore a crown of matchless beauty. If the crown of flowers can be copied, the other one, the great one, cannot be even dreamed. It is made up of clusters of jewels and light. The jewels are very fine, small for the most part and a few large. They are harmoniously arranged like the grains in an ear of corn, with sparkling lights inset between the stones and throwing them into relief. There are blue stones, some red, some violet but less numerous than the blue. Amongst the most beautiful are the pale blue stones. I am almost sorry I didn't ask Her for one. Of those stones, some hang and others cluster. There is quite a play of lights, some outside and some inside the crown. It is like a diadem, rising in the middle. All that I have seen in the museum look like cobble work beside a finely finished shoe. There is no crown on earth like that. She wears it when She speaks as a sovereign Lady. She is majestic. She wore it without the glory, or else She would be frightening and She does not come to frighten.”

“After the Creed, She spoke of the War in very sorrowful tones. ‘It will be slow to kindle. It will set all Europe on fire. It will set the world on fire. There will be about five millions killed, but (turning towards Lucifer) I shall save many in spite of you.’ The fiend said, ‘They'll pass through the gorge of the Vosges.’ The Blessed Virgin, ‘No, no, they will pass through Belgium.’ Satan said, ‘They are just as guilty on one side as the other.’ Satan understands guilt very well. The Blessed Virgin half turned towards me and the bottom half of the church filled with a white cloud which opened. The wall disappeared and then I saw there a town with a mighty river. I think it is Belgrade. I saw the pictures of the War. I had a curious sensation. I felt quite well that I was in the church, but I was also transported far away. I cannot exactly reckon the thing up. I have perfectly reckoned up the favor the Blessed Virgin was doing me by showing me those countries. She brought me through an immense landscape. I am giving you very incomplete explanations but I cannot find words for these things. I saw ships of war with enormous funnels. I saw the landscapes, but later on I took awful trouble to place them and that wasn't possible at all. You see the great rivers, mountains, sea. How place them on the maps? All is not over. There are scenes which I did not see unfold. The best for you just now is to keep quiet.”

“The priest recommended his parish to the Blessed Virgin. The Blessed Virgin protected it in a special way during the War, especially on the day of the explosion. She looked at me very steadily; ‘While he is alive, the Germans will not pass this way—at Le Pailly.’ After a little silence She added, ‘Even after his death. That is his cradle, the village where he was born. I shall be the Protectress of those lands!’ Just then the pictures of the War left off and the wood came on the scene. They have nothing in those countries, nothing… no pilgrimage. Lucifer said to Her, ‘You are already called Our Lady of Lourdes; you are going to call yourself Our Lady of the Woodlands.’ She turned Her head lightly. I followed the direction and She showed me a shanty. I saw the shanty, I saw the little statue; perhaps She shows it because of its gestures. The Virgin (it is awkward and badly done) spreads Her cloak to protect us and the Child is blessing the earth on which there is no cross. Just at this moment, She stood aside a bit to let the boy with the book pass.”

“I had not been to the Bois Guyotte for many years but I recognized it at once. I saw it twenty-five miles away as if I were in it. The wood was being cut way altogether. At Gray I saw the forest all in disorder and I saw people in the wood, cross-cut saws squaring the tree trunks, perhaps more than a hundred persons. There were horses, harnesses. I could hear carters swearing under the eyes of the Blessed Virgin, and they did not check themselves. The wood was in a lamentable condition, trees cut down, stripped, branches everywhere hanging down to the ground. It was in September and the wood was already turning russet. The house was shown to me just as it is, but in a lamentable condition. Still there were a good few panes of glass left but these had all gone when I bought it. There were great slabs of plaster fallen down. There was no sanctuary naturally. I saw it close up. Just at that time, the chapel, which had formerly been a hunting-lodge, had become a woodman's shelter. Of the other hut which I had known near the well, there remained one post.”

“I will not say anything much of what was told to me concerning the monasteries. She spoke to me a long time about the community at Gray. She visits the communities. She told me so. She visits them. She taught the holy women Herself. She had grouped the holy women, the widows, and she had them with Her. She was with Her apostles. The scattering of the congregations were a punishment rather for the people than for individuals. She showed me all the monasteries in France in times past and times to come, with their inmates. I saw Clairvaux.” and Pere Lamy sketched a complete picture of this ideal monastery in the heroic time of St. Bernard, with its blessed Abbot and its monks, whom he described one by one. He spoke also of the future religious of Grossesauve re-populated: “As I knew the district well, my attention was focused on the priory. I remarked how the ancient building was made and I saw the monks that lived in centuries gone by. They were shown to me in procession, two by two and four by four, with their heads down. They went into the three hundreds. The desert shall again be peopled and I saw buildings that are to be.”

“Later on, when Madame Caillier asked me to pray for Remiremont, I found the very place when I found myself with Her [the Blessed Virgin] in front of the Holy Mount. I picked out Remiremont from the many landscapes which I saw then. I saw many of those abbeys. They died out gradually under commendatory abbots. The monks were not numerous, only enough to till the ground, and the revenue was very small. I have seen white monks, brown monks and black. I don't want to say how touched I was by that. What interested me was to see the congregation bud and grow. I shall be a foundation stone. The monasteries will flourish again, the convents will fill up again. After these calamities, souls in great numbers will come and dwell in them again.”

“She talked to me and gave me a plan of my own daily life, up to and including the Sub tuum at the end of evening prayer which was not always recited well. She reminded me of the Sabbatine Privilege. ‘You must do what is laid down.’ She is very strict on respect for the Pope's orders. She went over my whole life. The Blessed Virgin explained to me all my childhood. She said that without Her, I would have been killed a hundred times, when I was doing antics in the pear tree. The pear tree was in the fruit garden of my father and mother on the other side of the road from their house where the barn is. Then how She had saved my life when I had typhoid fever. Neither the doctor nor my mother knew what it was. It was cured in one day by toast and water. Then She spoke to me of the burning down of our house. She told me who lit the fire. It had brought my family to the greatest wretchedness. My outfit was already in the making for me to go to the little seminary. I was 19 years old and the fire made me put it off. I could only go after my military service. She said, ‘I wanted him a priest; you see, he is a priest.’”

”She also spoke to me about the Miraculous Medal. She spoke about a plaster statue after the medal which someone had given me a long time ago. In my childish faith I thought I was doing something wonderful painting that statue; a veritable daub. I had painted the Blessed Virgin white, Her cloak blue, Her veil white. In some wild notion, I had painted the girdle yellow. ‘He thought to give me a yellow girdle,’ She said, ‘it was ugly, very ugly,' laughing very heartily, ‘but I liked the intention.’ I was eight years old or a little less. That statue was burned in the fire. The Holy Mother said, ‘For a moment, I meant to save that statue, but there was no need.’ I went looking for that statue in the remains of the fire and I gathered up bits in my hat. I carried that rubbish to the new house and I buried it at the root of the black-currant bush. The Blessed Virgin added, ‘He put them in his hat.’… She asked for penance, a return to God, but no one put it into commission. I thought I said enough of it at La Courneuve. I repeated it every time, every Sunday. People used to say, ‘He is a good man, but he is always on about the War, and you must do this and that; there's a bee in his bonnet! They said simply that I had a slate off. They used to say, ‘He said it; he said it again and you will see he will say it on Sunday.’ Afterwards they say, ‘Ah, if we had only known I…’ ‘But I told you often enough.’ ‘Oh, but we didn't believe it!’ She asked for holiness in family life. She asked us to give up disorder and go back to orderly lives and then all will be restored. God does not demand more for forgiveness.”

“I have not told you a tenth of what I saw. There are many things that I cannot set down. There are things it would not be good to say even forty years hence. And then the present time is perhaps the least favorable that ever was for revelation. I don't speak for one fraction of the people, the fervent Catholics; those simply do not need revelation.”

“I have made notes (accidentally destroyed by Miss Delarue), but even in those notes you will find lines of full stops at certain passages. I took those notes on the back of funeral notices. They are in the boxes where I put my papers at Le Pailly. Only a year after did I speak of them. Now I am getting old. I shall die very soon from now and I feel more free. I have read passages from these notes on the apparition at Gray to a priest among my friends. He said to me at the end of the reading, ‘But it is you that is in this; I guess it. It must be well founded.’ I answered him that it was very well founded. ‘What especially astounded the late Bishop of Langres is, I believe, father, that dialogue between Mary and Lucifer, and also the somewhat candid style of the conversation. She speaks as She chooses, She is not highfalutin. She said to me, 'I am coming into the family circle.’”

Father Lamy’s only nephew was killed during the war. It was a huge loss for himself and his sister Rosine Vauthelin, whom he especially loved.

Apparitions of Our Lord
Pere Lamy used to say his Mass with an extraordinary fervor, which almost transfigured him. That was the time when Divine favors were often granted him, in a sensible fashion; the time also when Christ showed Himself most frequently to His servant.

“Before saying Mass I always invoked St. Peter Fourier, because he used to say his Mass with exceptional devotion. In the church at Gray, where his heart is kept, the Blessed Virgin said of him that he is a real saint. He must be holiness itself because She does not pay compliments lightly.” (St. Peter Fourier, 1565-1640, was a Canon Regular of St. Augustine, and Vicar of Mattaincourt in the Vosges. He founded the Congregation of Our Lady. He is the second patron saint of Lorraine, and died in exile at Gray which was then under the domination of Spain.)

“In celebrating Mass one is cut away from all earthly thoughts. You only get back to earth at the Memento. Those are the two moments in which you set out before God all that touches us on the human side. Then you come back a little to yourself.”

“I generally see the Sacred Species surrounded with light. You feel a sweetness, a gentleness out of the ordinary. Yes, at such moments, you think no more of the earth; you feel something so heavenly. It is the effect of the presence of Our Lord. I also feel the presence of the holy angels who help me at Mass, but not every time.”

“Do not ask me what man or woman is at the service when the Blessed Sacrament is on the altar. I no longer see anyone. I quite discern there are people about. I saw quite well that it was the curate who handed me the monstrance. How poorly we receive Our Lord! You should say to Him, ‘You are received in a stable on rough straw, but both you and Your Mother were put up in a stable at Bethlehem.’ Fortunately, She is there to receive Him. Neither He nor His holy Mother is hard to please.”

“Our Lord comes generally alone, whether He shows Himself suffering, or risen in glory, or whether He shares, and in some sort celebrates, the Mass. You feel small, small, small, and Our Lord makes Himself small so as not to frighten us by His greatness. And the attention is so concentrated on Him that you think of nothing else.”

“He follows the prayers at Mass as if He were assisting at Mass. He lets you do the praying.”

“He disappears at the third of the last prayers, so that the priest can communicate.”

“Very rarely He has an aureole; you could not bear the glory of Our Lord. He is generally preceded by red clouds. I call them that color because I cannot find the right word. They are neither brown nor purple. A white light appears, which opens out. Then He is there, quite simple. It is wondrous majesty. You never get used to it.”

“When Our Lord shows Himself in His sorrowful state, He has none of His habitual glory about Him. He is not luminous, as usual. He shows His Hands, when He speaks, He makes gestures, more sober than the Blessed Virgin. I have never seen Him smile. As a Child He smiles, but as a Man, He is no longer smiling. He appears cold; you might almost say sad. He has the dignity of a man. I find Our Lord very dignified. He inspires respect, true, but He also inspires confidence. His eyes are blue, His look very gentle. You feel when Our Lord is looking at you, but also how His look goes into the infinite. It is the same with the Blessed Virgin. Our Lord appears about 33 years of age. He is a man. Our Lord and the Blessed Virgin have quite straight noses; both He and His holy Mother have the real complexion of Their country, and so has St. Joseph. When I have seen a man from the East, I have recognized Their color. In brown there are shades, as in black.”

“Our Lord's hair is dark auburn. His hair is fairly long, falling down as low as His shoulders. Some falls forward too, and Our Lord is enveloped, so to speak, in His hair, like that. He is not heavily bearded. You can make out the cleft of the chin here. The beard is not luxuriant, but handsome. It is lighter in color than the hair; not red and not blonde, either. His hair does not come down over His forehead. His ears are visible. He has a very beautiful face. His voice is grave, not slow, but His gravity gives it a certain slowness.”

“Our Lord is not very tall. He is dressed in brown stuff, not the same as the Capuchins, but like brown sheep. His gown is brown with wide sleeves like ours (cloak sleeves) but in His sleeves you see the white underneath, and a cloak on His shoulders. The gown is thick, warm. It has large folds.”

“I have never seen wounds in the head of Our Lord, but only those in the feet and hands. He shows Himself to me with hands and feet swollen and a little bit of flesh torn loose upon them. The nails must have been square, as long as your pencil. The heads of the nails were very wide and stamped a violet mark on the hand, or rather on the wrist. You can see the place of them clearly. The inside of the nail must be hollow, for it makes a ring in the inside. The feet are bluish, bleeding, and the hands also. What suffering! ... and Christians hunt enjoyment so when in the green wood they do these things, what will be done in the dry?”

“I often touch His feet, which are between the chalice and the canon when He is standing upright on the altar during the Mass. I touch His side, and I feel the wound in His side and His ribs through His cloak, when I raise the Host. I stay and rest It against His side.”

“It was at Mass at Gray when I saw Our Lord lying in the altar (9th September, 1909). Matter is no more for glorified bodies. He put himself at the level of the altar, lifting the corporal and the Sacred Host (Pere Lamy shows by a gesture that the body of Our Lord was in the altar, flush with the surface of the table). He said, ‘A year from now’ ... I saw Him twice at Gray; the first time like that; the second time at Gray, 9th September, 1910, He was standing upright. The second time He spoke to me. Our Lord, being on the altar, was listening to my prayer. At La Courneuve, seeing that my slumming was absolutely in vain, and the more I work the less result I got, I complained to Our Lord. Everything I did turned out wrong. My soul was sorrowful indeed. I set forth my pain to Our Lord. Placing the Sacred Host against His breast, I said, ‘It is evidently the result of my unworthiness. I ask You, my good God, to ask Your holy Mother to deign to tell You what I tell You. You are Her Son, and I also am Her son. You cannot hold out against Her prayer.’ And through His mantle I could feel the shape of His ribs. I also felt a lively warmth which comforted me. After the Consecration, the devil was at the right hand of the altar; he said in a contemptuous voice: ‘Good Lord, what a prayer!’ At that moment, the altar was, as it were, on fire and Our Lord, turning His face from the fiend, answered him, ‘He is my Mother's Client.’ Nothing more. There are details, but I leave them out.” [Comte Biver asked:] “When Our Lord appeared lying in the altar, had the altar table disappeared ?” “The altar table remained. You see yourself in a pail of water. Matter, all the same, has no resistance, whether it is wood or stone. It is a very difficult thing to make understood. Matter does not cease to be so, but it lets itself be penetrated. When Our Lord passes behind the altar, the tabernacle disappears. The gaze rests upon His presence, but matter never interferes. Never have I seen the chalice disappear, nor the Sacred Host.”

“Our Lord told me that the [First World] War had three causes; Blasphemy, Sunday labor, and the desecration of marriage. When a young man or a young girl falls into sin, it is nothing in comparison. It is a grave sin, but after all it is human weakness.”

“Many priests, offering the Holy Sacrifice, do not take sufficient account of this. They do not understand how great is the power at one's disposal. How the sacrifice of Our Lord is of infinite value.”

By a special favor, Pere Lamy could feel when the soul for whom he was celebrating the Mass got profit from it. Whether it is a lessening of his pains in purgatory, or in Heaven by a momentary increase of glory…: “I said Mass for him [a certain person]; it wasn't an arid Mass like sometimes, but I had great consolation. I don't say he is in Heaven; I know nothing about that, but I have no doubt that he is in God's mercy.”

Pere Lamy saw Our Lord in the scenes of His Holy Childhood. At other times in the pains of His passion, but to the best of our knowledge he never described in detail more than two visions of Jesus Crucified, which came about in quite strange circumstances: “Out in the orchard it was given to me to see Our Lord on the Cross. I saw Him while some boys were stealing my pears. I was actually running after them with a rake, saying: ‘I will show you.’ Then, suddenly, there He was.”

“It was in the month of September during the holidays, on a Sunday… I cannot remember the year. I was at the Guild. I had the key and went into the property. I was keeping a watch on the fruit because I used to give it to the children. There was quite a band of thieves there. I lay down in the grass to hide because the grass was very high. As they came near I got up, seized a rake, and ran after them as fast as I could, brandishing the rake and shouting: ‘You rascals, you wait!’ I raised the rake though I did not intend to injure them. When I reached the wall by the road, there was Our Lord on the Cross—about where you are now. The boys were overcome with amazement and so was I. Our Lord did not want me to strike the boys, and so He appeared. I heard them saying: ‘Jesus, Jesus is there with the Curé.’ No doubt, some of them saw Him, but they kept running all the same. I had had wire-netting put up, and those boys got out above and below the wire-netting, scratching out the earth with their hands like dogs or rabbits. They were from a revolutionary family, reds, and all that's reddest.”

“Our Lord was almost torn asunder. The arms were straight out, at right angles to the body. He had on His Head what looked like a bush of thorns, like a basket upside down. It was a hood of thorns. What an outrage! He had one foot nailed upon the other, I think, but it was His Face I was looking to. To make the crown they must have put several branches together and twisted them, and then hammered them in with cudgel blows. It was a mass of sharp points. He wore grey linen round His loins, knotted at the back, not at the side.”

“I could almost have touched His Feet, by lifting my hand. It was an apparition willed by Our Lord and not the scene of Calvary. On Calvary the Cross was very high, and it was set in the earth and choked with stones. But in the apparition no hole was marked in the ground. The cross appeared near the outer corner of the orchard, facing me, with its back to the street. The boys were running away from me very fast, but after the apparition they ran faster.”

“On Holy Saturday, 1914 or 1915, I saw Jesus Christ Crucified, His cross was set against the altar on the Gospel side. The children were making a noise in church; it was near the time of the fair. I knocked on the wood of the altar to make them keep quiet (Pere Lamy made gestures with the left hand), and as I turned to the side I saw Our Lord on the Cross. He seemed to say to me, ‘You have hardly any patience, see what I endure.’ Our Lord stayed during the Magnificat of the Holy Saturday Mass. He was alive. But He said nothing.”

“In Our Lord's case, it is so natural. Our Lord is always so natural. He hangs on the cross as if He were a child. Our Lord carries a bush of thorns on His head. I cannot say a crown of thorns; it is a real bush. His head is covered with them. That head-dress keeps Him from resting His head backward against the wood or leaning it against His shoulder and His head is not inclined very much forward. When He dies, His head bows forward. They pulled His arms like wild beasts; they knew how to inflict suffering. His arms are stretched out… stretched… stretched…”

“The wound of the lance is low down on the left side. Yes, I say true, the left side, below the ribs, almost in the stomach. There are painters who represent the wound in the breast. It is a large, vertical opening. The steel went through from below upwards. The cross must have been very tall.”

“Oh, souls, souls! They do not see what they have cost Our Lord. They are judged and valued at a high price. When they want to break from the world, everything is lined up against them.”

“In a word, to whom much is given, much is demanded.”

On being asked for advice on how to obtain the grace of an answered prayer, Father Lamy replied: “First and foremost, you must be in a state of grace. Before praying, you have to kneel in the Confessional. Then, pray with confidence, and then finally with perseverance.”

“The devil stands behind the Mother of God: If you let her pass by, you will find the devil.”

You must pay dearly for spiritual graces. Better not to have any; you are in total darkness afterwards. If the Blessed Virgin was behind that door, I would not ask Her to come in. All that is to be paid for… by tears of the heart, than tears of the body.”

Pere Lamy died on Tuesday, December 1st, 1931 at his friend Comte Paul Bivers house (the author of the book used for this article).

Here is a link to the French website of the Religious Congregation of the Servants of Jesus and Mary that Pere Lamy founded. There are many great photographs of Pere Lamy on this website.

The original article is posted at Mystics of the Church at:

More on Pere Lamy and the Sabbatine Privilege:
“Pere Lamy, who saw the coming triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, said: ‘As for Our Lady, Her kindness gets Her everywhere... The Blessed Virgin said again to me one day that those who have fulfilled the conditions of Her Sabbatine Privilege will be drawn out of Purgatory by Her on the first Saturday after death.’ This was said in 1924, not long after Pope St. Pius X had given permission for the use of the Scapular medal adding, in the papal decree, ‘not excluding the Sabbatine Privilege.’ The Pope gave this permission for serious reasons, such as conditions in the trenches during the First World War Pere Lamy said: ‘How precious then is the Brown Scapular which brings us deliverance from such places of pain, for Purgatory is extremely painful. The Blessed Virgin told me that She thought it better to stay behind 15 years, dragging one's weight on earth, than to spend 15 minutes in Purgatory.’ ”

~ John M. Haffert, “God's Final Effort,” Chapter 17