Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Three Kings and Blessed Elizabeth Canori Mora

On October 19, 1816 the Feast of St. Peter of Alcantara, Elizabeth was going to Holy Communion, when she heard a voice, which said to her : "On the 23rd Our Lord will contract with you a sacred marriage. This favour which I bestow upon you equals that which I was pleased to grant to my worthy servant Catherine of Siena."

Midnight of the 23rd of October had scarcely struck when the room was illuminated. The Blessed Virgin appeared, carrying in her arms the Blessed Infant. The Divine Child called Elizabeth, and told her to come to Mary, the Throne of His mercies. At this sight, Elizabeth was so confused that she desired to conceal herself. She approached them, trembling. Then the Divine Infant placed on her finger a precious ring, and communicated to her so much love that she seemed to be in the midst of an immense fire. He then gave her a new heart, like His own, and purified her in a miraculous water which poured forth from His sacred side. 

This ceremony was accomplished in the presence of a numerous company, who shared in the happiness of the new Spouse of the King of Glory. Elizabeth received the congratulations of the Queen of Heaven, who on this occasion held the office of Bridesmaid; of St. Joseph, her chaste and virginal Spouse; of the Three Kings, of the Patriarchs of the Order of the Most Blessed Trinity, and a multitude of angelic Spirits. The delight which the saintly Mother experienced during this night made her beside herself, and during fifteen days she fell into continual ecstasies.

One day the holy and venerable Pontiff, Pius VII, had a fall, from which fatal consequences were feared. The Blessed Elizabeth, profoundly afflicted at the news of this accident, began to pray most ardently for his cure. Our Lord ordered her to send to him a small vial of the water of Jesus of Nazareth [the miraculous image of "Ecce Homo," or Jesus scourged and crowned with thorns, that she had, see photo]. She desired to obey, but who would undertake to present this beneficial water to the Sovereign Pontiff? At the same moment that she conjured God to come to her aid, she found herself suddenly transported in spirit into the apartment of the Holy Father. There she saw the Three Kings, who themselves presented the miraculous water to the august patient. A few days later it was reported throughout Rome that the Holy Father had been completely cured. 

A man named De Sanctis, of Marino, lost a splendid mare, which he valued exceedingly. The sorrow he experienced, added to the extraordinary exertion which he had made to find it, caused him to fall dangerously ill. His son, Matthew de Sanctis, distressed by his father's condition, went to Rome to see the saintly Mother, and in her presence gave way to uncontrollable grief. 

Elizabeth, much moved, led the young man to her Oratory, and told him to recite three Our Fathers and three Hail Marys in honour of the Three Kings, with the assurance that he would recover the lost mare. After some other prayers to Jesus of Nazareth [the miraculous "Ecce Homo" image in her Oratory] she informed him that his father was already better. Then she said to him; " Listen, Matthew, where do you wish the mare to be left if she should be recovered? Would you like her to be taken to your friend, John Fioravanti?" The young man replied that he would like this to be done. 

Seven or eight days after the son of De Sanctis returned to Rome, and, to his great satisfaction, he found the animal in the stable of his friend Fioravanti. He asked the coachman who brought her. He told him that the animal was brought back by a well-dressed young peasant, and that when he went to seek him to give him a reward he was not to be found. Matthew de Sanctis hastened to Elizabeth to inform her of what had occurred, and to thank her. She replied to him : "Go, and return thanks to Jesus of Nazareth and the Three Kings."

Life of the Venerable Elizabeth Canori Mora
Translated from the Italian by Lady Herbert 
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