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  • Marian Reflections

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Marian thought for February

«It was not enough for God to give us his Son on a Cross, but he also gave Mary to us. When we honor the Virgin Mary, we will love Jesus more. When we place ourselves under her mantle we will better understand divine mercy. How great is God, how sweet is Mary!» (St. Rafael Arnáiz)

St. Rafael Arnaiz Baron was born on April 9, 1911 in Burgos, Spain. He studied in the Jesuit school, where he received his First Holy Communion in 1919. He showed a very great openness to the things that had to do with God from a very early age. The first signs of the illness that would mark the rest of his life appeared in 1922. His father, who believed that his recovery was due to the Virgin Mary’s special intervention, took Rafael to Zaragoza in thanksgiving and consecrated him to Our Lady of Pilar. As years went by, he developed many different traits, such as friendship. He also grew in his Christian life. God placed the desire in his heart to consecrate himself in monastic life. He met the Trappist monks of San Isidro de Dueñas and felt very attracted to that life, because he saw that it corresponded to his intimate desires. He entered there on January 15, 1934. He had to leave the convent three times due to the diabetes that God mysteriously used to test him. Each time he returned, he came back with more desires to be generous and faithful. These desires were fulfilled on April 26, 1938, when he left this world at only 27 years of age. He was declared Blessed by Pope John Paul II in 1992 and canonized on October 11, 2009.

Saint Teresa of the Andes

teresa andes

"A sinner, like me, finds in you a protective mother, who has crushed the head of the dragon under your immaculate feet; in your eyes I find mercy, forgiveness and a shining light so as not to fall into the muddy waters of sin."

Saint Teresa was born into a Catholic family in Santiago, Chile on July 13th, 1900. Once she was 6 years old, she went to daily Mass with her mother and had a great desire to receive Holy Communion. She made her first Holy Communion on September 11th, 1910. She received communion daily and spent many hours with Jesus. The love that she had for the Mother of God gave her strength and sustained her in her path to follow Christ. By the time she was 14 years old she already knew that the Lord wanted her to be only His as a Carmelite. She helped prepare herself by reading the lives and writings of Carmelite saints. She entered into the Carmelite convent in 1919 and received the name “Teresa of Jesus.” She had been in the convent for less than a year when the Lord called her to Himself. Throughout her life she desired to resemble Christ: suffering and prayer were her ideals as a Carmelite. She died on April 12th, 1920 and was canonized by Pope John Paul II in Rome on March 21, 1993.

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