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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 Therese of Lisieux

s terese

"What a joy to remember that she [Mary] is our Mother! Since she loves us and knows our weakness, what have we to fear?."

Saint Therese of the Child Jesus was born in Alençon, France on January 2, 1873. Therese, the youngest of five children, lost her mother at the age of five. She was educated by her sisters and her father, who taught her to love the poor and to pray. Her sister, who was like a mother to her, entered the Carmelite Order. This new cause of suffering for Therese brought with it the certainty of her own call to Carmel, and she desired to enter the monastery as well. Due to the fact that she was only 15 years old, she decided to ask for the Pope's permission while on a pilgrimage to Rome. She pleaded before the Pope and he answered, "You will enter if God wills it." She was finally able to enter the Carmelite monastery, where she lived her spiritual childhood very intensely. She knew how to offer up the seemingly little everyday things to the Lord. She lived in self-denial and offered herself as instrument in God's hands. She contracted tuberculosis when she was 23 years old, and died a year later on September 30, 1897. She was beatified by Pope Pius XI in 1922 and canonized two years later. Her feast day is October 1st.

 
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