Friday, March 8, 2013

Our Lady of Tears & Sr. Amalia of the Scourged Jesus

[Updated 08-19-2013: A Fuller Vision of March 8, 1930]

Sister Amalia of the Scourged Jesus was one of the first eight sisters and co-founders of the Institute of Missionaries of the Crucified Jesus, founded by Msgr. Count Francisco de Campos Barreto, Bishop of Campinas, Brazil. Like her contemporary, Therese Neumann, and in company with Saint Francis and Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, Amalia was graced with the singular but dreadful privilege of bearing the marks of the Passion of Christ upon her own body, the stigmata. It was to this young woman that both Our Divine Lord and His Blessed Mother spoke, revealing a beautiful devotion focused on the Tears of Sorrow. The Lord Jesus spoke and instructed her, and Our Lady further encouraged her to conquer the devil and even hell itself through the devotion of this rosary. ‘Get ready for this great battle’ were the parting words of Our Lady.

Sister Amalia Aguirre (1901- 1977)

The future nun was born in Rios, Spain on 22nd July 1901 and received her baptism eight days later. She made her First Communion and was Confirmed in the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Rios and was noted at the time to be a girl with the character of obedience; the first indication of her virtue. Amalia exhibited a propensity at this time for both goodness and charity towards others and also a care for the things of God. A closeness with Him was evident in her young life. Jesus became a great ‘book’ from which her eyes were never averted. Her spiritual growth and her practice of charity were learned from her parents, Andres and Emerita. Her home had been a fertile ground in which the seed of her vocation was able to grow to maturity. Amalia’s parents emigrated from Spain to Brazil in search of a better life and, after a period in which she remained behind caring for the sick of the Great Flu Pandemic, Amalia came to join them on 16th July 1919.

The Establishment of The Institute

In the late 1920s Amalia became involved with an Association of Missionaries of the Crucified Jesus. She was inspired by and strongly identified with the devotion of this group to the Passion of Jesus and to charitable work. In 1928, Msgr. Count Francisco de Campos Barreto convened some eight members of this Association, including Amalia, and between them founded a Congregation. Though the Order was to be both contemplative and active, the members retained secular dress in order to be accessible to ordinary folk. Called to the Contemplative Life and living the ‘Paschal Mystery’ the new Order was also dedicated to announcing the Gospel in the most difficult places where people lived. At this time Sister Amalia is described as having that same generous nature and sacrificial character she exhibited as a child. She made her Temporary Vows on 8th December 1927 – the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, and then on 8th December 1931, exactly four years to the day, took Perpetual Vows. Thus Amalia became a nun consecrated to Christ and His Church, taking the name in religion ‘Sister Amalia of the Scourged Jesus.’ She continued to live in community in Campinas until 1953 when she was transferred to Cassa de Nossa Senhora Aparecida (House of Our Lady of the Apparition) in Taubate, San Paulo. Her life was dedicated to the poor and needy and she developed a special concern for both children and widows. At some point Amalia received a vision in which she saw a home that should be constructed where poor children might find refuge, and promptly vowed to carry out this project. She began by seeking to assist twenty poor children who she fed.  So the work began which continues to this day. The vision of a ‘house of safety’ eventually came to fruition in 1969 when a home for Children was opened in the Village of Saint Gerald. The seed had been planted and watered by sacrifice; it was now seen to blossom. Here children would be able to receive instruction, be provided with food, clothes and shawls. Sewing, hygiene and religious education were taught and the house expanded due to the generosity shown by many well-wishers. Though Amalia was not to see the completed work as she died in 1977, new land was acquired and a large, spacious Home of Sr Amalia was opened on 18th June 1981. The practical love of this nun continuing to bear fruit when, in 2001, on the occasion of the anniversary of her birth, a center for alcoholics was opened. But in another way, her gift to the whole Church is only beginning to be discovered, for the events which occurred shortly after she joined the Order have led to a beautiful devotion which continues to spread through the Church.

I. The Vision of Our Lord on 8 November 1929

On 8 November 1929 Sister Amalia received a visit from a distressed relative whose wife was seriously ill and had been pronounced incurable by several doctors. With tears in his eyes the poor husband asked; ‘What will become of the children?’ His distressed state and desperation regarding the loss he and his children would shortly sustain, grieved Sister Amalia in her heart. At once she turned to God in prayer as she listened to the sad tale. She recounts an inner compunction calling her to make an immediate visit to the Lord, and went straight to the chapel where she laid these concerns before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Kneeling on the steps before the Altar and Tabernacle, she extended her arms and offered herself as a substitute for her relative. ‘If there is no longer any possibility of recovery for the wife of T… then I am prepared to offer my own life for the mother of the family.  What do You want me to do?’ 

It was then that Amalia reported Jesus Himself spoke: ‘If you wish to receive this grace, ask Me for the sake of My Mother’s tears.’ 

Amalia inquired: ‘How must I pray?’ 

Thereupon Jesus told her the following invocations: ‘O Jesus, hear our prayer for the sake of the tears of Your Most Holy Mother!’ ‘O Jesus, behold the tears of the one who loved You most on earth and who loves You most ardently in heaven!’ 

Sister Amalia reports that after giving these words to her, Jesus said: ‘My daughter, whatever people will ask of Me for the sake of the tears of My Mother, I shall lovingly grant them. Later, my Mother will hand over this treasure to Our beloved Institute as a Magnet of Mercy.’

II. The Vision of Our Lady on 8 March 1930

Four months to the day, on 8th March 1930, Sister Amalia was again on her knees before the tabernacle when the promise of the Redeemer was granted to her. In her own words we hear: “I was in the chapel kneeling on the steps on the left side of the altar, when suddenly I felt myself raised up. Then I saw a woman of indescribable beauty approach. She was dressed in a garment of purple, a blue cloak and a white veil that draped to her breast and was drawn across her shoulders. She glided towards me smiling, and holding in her hand a rosary, which she called ‘corona’ (that is ‘crown’ or rosary). Its pearls shone like the sun and were as white as snow.

Do you know why I wear a blue mantle? To remind you of heaven, when you are feeling weary from your labors, and carrying the cross of your tribulations. My mantle reminds you of heaven, to give you indescribable joy and eternal happiness, and this will give courage to your soul and peace to your heart, to continue the struggle until the end! 

Do you understand the significance of my purple-violet tunic? I will tell you that you should remember, as you stand before the image of Tears, of the colors I wear, purple signifies pain. The pain that Jesus felt when they beat him, barbarically, on his body. My mother's heart and my soul were also lacerated by pain, on seeing Jesus.

My child, I will explain to you why I wear this white veil, around my breast and covering my head. White signifies purity, and being the white flower of the Holy Trinity, I could not appear without this whiteness. The sweet smile you see traced on my lips is for the immense happiness to be able to give mankind such a precious treasure!

My child, I will tell you about the rosary in my hands. I have named it the Crown (chaplet) of Tears. When you are near me, seeing this chaplet in my hands, remember that it signifies mercy, love, and pain... this chaplet of my blessed tears signifies that your Mother loves you. Use all its privileges, resort to it with confidence and love.

Handing me the rosary, she said: This is the rosary of my tears, which is being entrusted by my Son to His beloved Institute as a portion of His inheritance. The invocations have already given you by My Son. My Son wants to honor me especially with these invocations; and therefore, He will gladly grant all graces that are asked for the sake of my tears. This rosary will provide for the conversion of many sinners, especially those possessed by the devil. To the Institute of the Crucified Jesus is reserved a special honor; that is the conversion of many members of a wicked sect to the ‘flowering tree’ of the Church. Through this rosary the devil will be conquered and the power of hell will be destroyed. Get ready for this great battle.’

I will explain to you the reason I appear with my eyes inclined downward. Inspired painters have recorded my eyes looking upward to sing the glory of my Immaculate Conception. Then why are my eyes inclined downward in this apparition, into which you entrust yourself to my blessed tears? It signifies my compassion towards humanity, because I have come from heaven to alleviate your suffering. My eyes will always be directed to your sorrows and afflictions, whenever you ask my Son through the tears I shed. And as you are near my image, see that I gaze at you with eyes of compassion and tenderness. 

When the Blessed Virgin had finished speaking, she was seen no more.

III. The Vision of Our Lady on 8 April 1930

*Medal of Our Lady of Tears given to Sr. Amalia of the Scourged Jesus at Campinas, Brazil.
(In front) Our Lady of Tears as in the apparition with the inscription:
“O Virgin Most Sorrowful, Your Tears Have Destroyed the Infernal Empire.”
(At the back) The image of Jesus bound & scourged (Ecce Homo) with the inscription:
“By Your Divine Meekness, O Jesus Bound, Save the World from the Error which Threatens It.”

Bishop Francisco was travelling in Europe at the time of these visions. He attended the Passion Play at Oberammergau and also visited the German mystic and stigmatic Therese Neumann. Whilst on this journey he spread the knowledge of the revelations and the devotion of the Chaplet. He also spoke of a third vision on 8 April 1930, in which the Blessed Mother revealed a Medal of the Tears to be worn. Reports began to emerge of innumerable conversions as a result of wearing this Medal. Furthermore news came of requests granted and healing occurring as a result of the Chaplet of Tears. The practice of reciting the Chaplet for nine days, receiving the Sacraments and performing works of charity has indeed led to many blessings.

In 1934 Bishop Francisco wrote: “Innumerable graces have been received through the praying of the rosary to honor the tears of our dear Lady. The reason lies in the promise of the holy Savior, 'no favor will be refused, when asked of Him for the sake of the tears of His most holy Mother.'

It is well known, that the holy Savior rewards in a special way the sincere reverence for the sorrows of His most holy Mother, which alone are the cause of her tears. Also from Germany, Holland, and Belgium many report of extraordinary favors and graces. They prayed the rosary of our Lady of the Tears daily for nine days, received the holy sacraments and performed works of mercy.

From religious, we understand, that the praying of this rosary is a very dear habit to which they attribute extraordinary graces. For that reason, they pray it daily often to ask graces for themselves and others, the conversion of sinners, heretics, and atheists, to obtain graces for priests and missionaries, to help the dying, and to free the poor souls from Purgatory.

A believing, pious soul, for whom the good of the holy Church, and the honor of God is close at heart, knows without special guidance, what it can and will obtain from our gracious Redeemer through the tears of His most holy Mother.

When sorrow and suffering fill our heart, we direct our thoughts to God. Through the tears of Mary, His most holy Mother, we soften the heart of God, even though it is ever ready to grant us kindness, graces and blessings.

 At the present, so it seems to us, the blessed tears of the Mother of Jesus are especially powerful to win the heart of God.

There exist other examples of visions of Our Lady shedding tears including; La Salette, 1846, and the incidents at Syracuse, 1953. At La Salette the Virgin was seen weeping for humanity while at Syracuse a terra-cotta image of Our Lady exhibited tears. Enormous crowds bore witness to the miracle leading Pope Pius XII to declare in wonder, ‘O the Tears of Mary!’

How to Pray the Rosary of Our Lady of Tears

The rosary transmitted to Sister Amalia by the Mother of God consists of forty-nine white beads, which is divided into seven parts by seven larger beads of the same color -- similar to the Rosary of the Seven Sorrows of Blessed Virgin which can be used if the Rosary of Tears is not available. At the end, there are attached three more small beads and a medal of our dear Lady of Tears.

Through these instructions we are obviously directed to honor Mary our Mother on account of her sorrows, for which she shed many tears. The Medal of our Lady of Tears is an essential part of the rosary, but it must be the way it was revealed to Sister Amalia by the Mother of God on April 8, 1930. In Germany, this medal is made with the specified inscription in all the European languages. The rosary beads are recommended but not required in praying.

On the Medal of Jesus
O crucified Jesus, we fall at Your feet and offer You the tears of the one, who with deep compassionate love accompanied You on Your sorrowful way of the Cross. O good Master, grant that we take to heart the lessons which the tears of Your most holy Mother teach us, so that we may fulfill Your holy will on earth, that we may be worthy to praise and exalt You in Heaven for all eternity. Amen.

In the large beads (instead of the “Our Father”):
V. O Jesus, look upon the tears of the one who loved You most on earth,
R. And loves You most ardently in heaven.

In the small beads (instead of the “Hail Mary”):
V. O Jesus, listen to our prayers,
R. For the sake of the tears of Your most Holy Mother.

On the final three beads:
V. O Jesus, look upon the tears of the one who loved You most on earth,
R. And loves You most ardently in heaven.

On the Medal of Mary
O Mary, Mother of Love, Sorrow and Mercy, we beseech you to unite your prayers with ours so that Jesus, your Divine Son, to whom we turn, may hear our petitions in the name of your maternal tears, and grant us, not only the favors we now ask, but the crown of everlasting life. Amen.

With your tears, O sorrowful Mother, destroy the rule of Satan. Through Your divine tenderness, O Jesus bound and fettered, defend the world from the errors that threaten it. Amen.

The following says that this devotion was only Approved for Faith Expression:

From Various Internet Sources
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