Historic and Inspirational Stories of the Blessed Sacrament with Prayers
FR. FREDERICK A. REUTER, K.C.B.S.
with Imprimatur and Nihil Obstat, Feast of the Assumption, 1922
THE STORY OF
THE BLESSED SACRAMENT #1
LONG YEARS ago, a young American girl journeyed from her home in Vermont to a convent in Montreal. She had read about nuns and had a great desire to see for herself what a convent was like. She was a Protestant and her people were not too well pleased at her request, but they granted it. She would learn much in the convent, they said. Other Protestant girls had competed their convent education, so why not Fanny?
One day Fanny went to the door of the old Congregation Convent in the heart of Montreal, where the portress admitted her and the good religious welcomed her most tenderly. Weeks passed; Fanny was not happy. She openly mocked the rites she could not understand. The children wondered much, and fearing that they would be scandalized, the Reverend Mother decided to send the young girl back to her people in Vermont.
Among the sisters was one who had a deep attachment for the Protestant pupil, who she long to bring into the fold, and make her life satisfied and happy.
"I grieve to send the child home," said Mother, "but she does not improve and there is nothing else to be done."
"Give her another trial, dear Mother," pleaded the Sister. "Let her stay with us a few more weeks. God and His Blessed Mother may change her heart."
The Superior granted the petition and again was disappointed with the result. The last day of Fanny's probation was drawing near. It was September 8, the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Fanny spent the afternoon with the teacher she loved, but there was nothing in her conduct to show a change of spirit. She was still a doubter and spoke her thoughts in words that deeply grieved the religious. Yet, Fanny helped to prepare the flowers for the altar, for Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.
The Sister lifted the vase and was about to take it to the chapel, when something made her pause.
"Why not send Fanny? Fanny the unbeliever!" Turning to the girl she bade her take the vase and place it on the altar. "Be sure," added the Sister, "to adore Our Lord when you are there."
Fanny laughed and went away with the flowers. She did not believe. Why should she bow before the altar? In her home town Catholics were called idolaters. She would not become one. Thinking thus she reached the gate of the Sanctuary, opened it, but could go no further. She made another effort and yet her feet seemed powerless to move. For the third time she tried, only to fail; and them overcome by awe and a strange compelling influence, she fell upon her knees and said her act of faith, the first she had ever made. Her God was Present in the Tabernacle, and there, humbled and ashamed, she knelt for some time. Then rising, she approached the altar and placed the fragrant flowers before the Blessed Sacrament.
Fanny's conversion was complete. "After such a miracle," she said, "I must give myself to my Savior." there was bitter opposition to overcome, but at last her mother yielded, and accompanied her daughter to Montreal, where, in the chapel of the Hotel-Dieu, Fanny realized that her lifework was to be among those holy women.
High above the altar a picture of the Holy Family looked down upon the Americans, "See, dear mother, Saint Joseph wants me here," said Fanny, and there she found absolute contentment.
Wonderful are the ways that our dear Lord opens to His children to find their true home. Our hearts are stirred by the Divine Mercy that gave to Fanny Allen the grace to become a Catholic and a devoted religious, the first American nun.
Fanny Allen was born November 13, 1784, at Westminister, Vermont, and she died of lung trouble at Hotel-Dieu, Montreal, December 10, 1819. Her father was General Ethan Allen the patriot who professed no religious belief.
DEAREST LORD! Make us remember when the world is cold and dreary and we know not where to turn for comfort, that there is always one spot bright and cheerful the-----Sanctuary. When we are in desolation of spirit; when all who are dear to us have passed away, like summer flowers, and none are left to love us and care for us, whisper to our troubled souls that there is one friend Who dies not-----One Whose love never changes-----Jesus on the altar.
When sorrows thicken and crush us with their burden, when we look in vain for comfort, let Thy dear words come forth with full force from the Tabernacle: "Come to Me all ye who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will refresh ye." Thy friendship, dearest Lord, henceforth shall be the dearest treasure we possess. It shall compensate for the treachery and ingratitude of creatures.
It shall be our consolation when the wild flowers are growing over the best-loved ones, and when all who hold a dear place in our hearts are withered and gone. With Thy friendship the world shall never be dreary, and life never without a charm. Would that we would realize the pure happiness of possessing Thy sympathy. Would that we could feel-----when we are crushed and humbled-----when the hope we have lived for has withered-----when sorrows and trials that we dare not reveal to any, make our souls sick well nigh unto death-----when we look in vain for someone to understand us, one who will enter into our miseries, make us remember that there is One on the altar Who knows every fiber of our hearts, every sorrow, every pain special to our peculiar natures, and Who deeply sympathizes with us, and to suffer seems nothing to the bitterness of suffering alone.
ACT OF CONTRITION
O MY GOD I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, because Thou art infinitely good and infinitely worthy of all my love, and because sin displeases Thee. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to never more offend Thee by sin.
MY JESUS, I believe that Thou art present in the Most Blessed Sacrament. I love Thee above all things, and I desire to receive Thee into my soul. Since I cannot now receive Thee Sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace Thee as if Thou wert already come, and unite myself wholly to Thee. Never permit me to be separated from Thee. Amen.
SOUL OF CHRIST, be my sanctification;
HAIL, O true Body, born of the Virgin Mary, and which for man was sacrificed upon the Cross.Be thou blessed, O holy Virgin, through whom we received the Heavenly Bread that preserves and increases true life within us.
VIEW AN IMAGE OF THE HOLY FAMILY
A Sacred Heart Reading
A PIOUS lady who died in 1860, at the age of thirty-two years, gad a great devotion to the most holy hearts of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. She took a particular pleasure in often invoking the names of the Holy Family, and in teaching them to her little child when seated on her knee. In her joys and sorrows, she never wearied repeating the holy aspirations: Jesus, Mary, Joseph. Many a time were tears of devotion seen to fill her eyes whilst she pronounced those blessed names. She appeared then in a sort of ecstasy, and her heart was inflamed with devotion to the Holy Family, Whom she wished, she used to say, to love in the name of all hearts.
During a long, painful illness she frequently cried out: "Jesus, Mary, Joseph, when I have suffered sufficiently, call me to you." Towards the end, scarcely able to speak, she breathed one name: "Jesus, Jesus." That name was her great consolation, her last cry of hope and farewell. At length, after a lingering martyrdom, she gently expired, her hand on the head of her child to bless it, her eyes raised to Heaven and the name of Jesus on her lips. O beautiful and precious death. O ever blessed names, Jesus, Mary, Joseph! O hearts burning with love and tenderness.
-----From The Month of the Sacred Heart, 1885
MAY the Heart of Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament be praised, adored and loved with grateful affection, at every moment, in all the Tabernacles of the world, even to the end of time! Amen.
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