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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.

Our Lady of Fatima

s lucia

"Are you suffering a great deal? Don’t lose heart. I will never forsake you. My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God" (Our Lady's words to Sister Lucia in Fatima during the second apparition on June 13, 1917).

Lucia was born on March 22, 1907 in Aljustrel, Fatima (Portugal). When she saw Our Lady for the first time she was only 10 years old. In 1921, she entered the Dorothean Sisters but it was God's plan that she would become a Discalced Carmelite Nun. This finally took place in 1948 when she entered the Carmelite Convent of "St. Teresa" in Coimbra (Portugal). Our Lady had said that Francisco and Jacinta would shortly go to Heaven but that Lucia must stay in order to make her messages known. That is what Lucia did until she died on February 13, 2005, after which, her cause of beatification has also been introduced. In her "memoires" she left us the narrative of the apparitions and other writings. Amongst her writings, the following passage can be read in which she speaks about the Rosary: "The Most Holy Virgin in these last times in which we live has given a new efficacy to the recitation of the Rosary to such an extent that there is no problem, no matter how difficult it is, whether temporal or, above all, spiritual, in the personal life of each one of us, of our families… that cannot be solved by the Rosary. There is no problem, I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot resolve by the prayer of the Holy Rosary".

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