Thursday, May 30, 2013

Relation and Difference between Devotion to the Holy Eucharist and Devotion to the Sacred Heart

Note: Father Joseph de Gallifet (1663–1749) was a French Jesuit priest, known for his promotion of the devotion of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. He was under the direction of St. Claude de la Colombière, the confessor of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque.

There is an intimate relation between devotion to the Holy Eucharist and devotion to the Sacred Heart. Both tend to honor the same Man-God, Our Lord Jesus Christ. We offer acts of homage to the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus; nevertheless these two devotions should not be confounded one with the other; they are two separate devotions.

“There have been,” says Father Gallifet in his admirable work The Adorable Heart of Jesus, “from the beginning, people who asserted that there was no essential difference between devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and that to the Sacred Heart, and who consequently rejected the latter as only adding a new name to a very old devotion.”

“These two devotions differ from each other: first, in their objects; secondly, in the motives for honoring these objects; thirdly, in the essential end of their institution. This is to say—they differ in the three most important points which can distinguish devotions one from the other.”

“They differ in the first place in their object; for in the one is proposed alone the adorable Heart of Jesus Christ, without any reference to the rest of His body. In the other the entire body of Jesus Christ is proposed under the sacramental species, without any special reference to His Heart.

“They differ, in the second place, in the motives for honoring the object, for in the devotion to the Blessed Sacrament the motive for honoring the body of Jesus Christ is the infinite dignity of this adorable flesh, which, through its union with the Word, is worthy of the adoration of angels and men. In the devotion to the Sacred Heart the essential motive for honoring it is the love with which it is inflamed, and the sufferings it endured through the ingratitude of men, which has relation to the divine Heart, and to no other part of the body.”

“In short, in instituting the feast of the Blessed Sacrament the object was to render to Jesus Christ, abiding amongst us, the adoration, the gratitude, and the love which are so justly due to Him in this ineffable mystery. It is in order to satisfy these obligations that the Church has instituted the festival of the Blessed Sacrament with its solemn octave, with processions, decorations, and all the pomp and magnificence with which this feast is celebrated. But in that of the Sacred Heart the principal object of its institution is to make reparation to Our Lord for the insults His love has received in the holy sacrament through the ingratitude of men—a reparation which Jesus Christ desires should be directed to His Heart, which is, as it were, the source and the seat of this love.”

“The Heart of Jesus is the symbol of His love; the Blessed Sacrament is the effect of His love. While these two devotions are very distinct one from the other, nevertheless there is a bond of union between them, since the body of Jesus Christ, really present in the Holy Eucharist, contains this adorable Heart, which is the object of a special worship.”

“In her Divine Office the Church herself reveals the motive of the worship we render the Sacred Heart of Jesus, when she declares that the feast of the Sacred Heart was established in order that the faithful might honor with more devotion and zeal, under the symbol of the Sacred Heart, the love of Jesus Christ, which induced Him not only to suffer and to die for the redemption of mankind, but also to institute the sacrament of His body and blood in commemoration of His death.”

The Blessed Sacrament Prayerbook, pp. 625-627
by Fr. F.X. Lasance

Friday, May 24, 2013

Maria de Agreda (Life of the Venerable) by Bishop Jose Ximenez Samaniego

Download the "Life of the Venerable Mary of Jesus of Agreda" (English Version) written by Bishop Jose Ximenez Samaniego in Spanish and translated from the French of Abbe Joseph A. Boullan at:



Ven. Mary is the author of the masterpiece "The Mystical City of God: The Divine History and Life of the Virgin Mother of God"

Tags: Venerable, Mary of Agreda, Maria of Agreda, Maria de Agreda, Jose, Ximenez Samaniego, Jimenez Samaniego, Boullan, Mystical City of God, Mistica Ciudad de Dios

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Raising of the Dead by Venerable Maria of Agreda

In one extraordinary report that her prayers were instrumental in the restoration of life to a dead man, the humble nun swore the witnesses to secrecy until after her death. The following account derives from witnesses’ sworn testimony in official records documenting the apostolic process in her cause for canonization. 

In 1660, with the bulk of writing [her visions] behind her and a certain slowing in the intensity of correspondence with the king [Philip IV] due to each of their increasing ages and health concerns, Sor María frequently retreated in quiet devotions. On one such day, she knelt in prayer in the lower choir adjacent to the church. Unbeknownst to her, or any of the other nuns, two workmen approached the minor sacristan who assisted the priest in caring for the church. The men asked for and received permission to set a large chest just inside the church door, indicating only that it contained merchandise for safekeeping. 

Deep in meditative prayer, Sor María heard “sad moans and profound lamentations.” In the report, she indicated that she had been frightened and disturbed because the sighs sounded horrible and seemed hopeless. She told how she approached the church doorway and saw the chest. The crying, she realized, came from there. Then she realized that the chest was a coffin harboring an anguished soul, one that had died impenitent. To Sor María there could be no worse fate. She prayed for God to put new life into the soul, so it could repent before facing judgment. In struggling for more understanding, Sor María said she realized not only that the coffin had been placed in the church in secret, but that a more astounding secret lay within: the body inside was none other than that of her brother, Padre Francisco Coronel. He had at one time held a position of authority at a Franciscan college in Madrid, but in later years he had felt that his efforts were not sufficiently rewarded and had returned to Ágreda, discontented, ambitions thwarted, bitter toward God and the church. 

Sor María grieved for her brother. She called upon God’s “infinite omnipotence and divine justice” to concede “new life for a brief time and space,” so her brother could confess his sins. In response, she felt prompted to arrange for a confessor to hear her brother’s confession. She left immediately to do so and did not return to the church. 

A neighboring priest responded to the call, almost frightened to death himself, he later reported, at the prospect of attending to a dead person. He was accompanied by another—perhaps the sacristan—who later served as a witness. 

Coronel, they attested, stepped out of his coffin and prostrated himself cruciform before the altar. After some time, he “came to the feet of the confessor, and made a painful confession.” The witness, who had left during the confession and penance, returned and saw Coronel reenter his coffin, arms raised toward the choir platform in gratitude to his sister. Then he reclined, the lid was closed, and the same two workmen carried it away. 

The priest who took Coronel’s confession made a complete record of the event, including his initial death and the witness’s testimony. Then he sealed the record. It remained a secret throughout the lifetimes of the three remaining participants. Finally, over a century later, church officials broke the seal and added the amazing account to Sor María’s growing file for sainthood.

María of Agreda: Mystical Lady in Blue
by Marilyn H. Fedewa