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 #2
Petrossa, Spain-----1559VIEW AN IMAGE OF THE SAINT
The object of his love and devotion was the Most Holy Eucharist, and this Divine Sacrament was the occasion of his most frequent ecstasies. When he approached the sacred mysteries his heart was always content, because whatever difficulties otherwise beset him, then it rested in his Beloved. The Saint on such occasions lost consciousness of all things around him and prayed as though no one but Jesus Christ and himself existed in the world. On this account he preferred to be close the Most Adorable Sacrament, and caused a little opening to be made in his cell through which he could see the high altar.
It pleased God to reward him for his intense devotion to the Blessed Sacrament by the following miracle:
In Petrossa, where the Saint lived for a time in a monastery, the Feast of Easter was to be celebrated with the greatest ceremony and splendor. The mayor of the town, therefore, entreated the Saint to celebrate Mass out of regard for the people, who came from all parts of the surrounding country. The news spread rapidly that Peter was to say the High Mass. The crowd that gathered was so large that the church proved too small for the congregation, and an altar had to be erected in open air.
Satan, who had grown exceedingly jealous of this Saint, resolved on this occasion to use every means to distract the people in their prayers and devotion. Hardly had the choir begun to sing the Credo when a storm arose, threatening at every moment to destroy the altar. Although the people were alarmed, Father Peter remained calm and peaceful. In the midst of this commotion he sang the Preface and continued until he came to the Memento, which he offered to God with a gentle sigh. Thereupon a second storm arose, the thunder rolled on all sides and lightning zigzagged through the clouds, whilst floods of rain poured down upon the fields. The Saint quieted the people. Although the rain flooded the whole surrounding country, not a single drop fell upon the altar nor upon the faithful, neither did the wind extinguish any of the candles. In fact, over the entire spot where they were assembled, it remained as quiet as the interior of the church. After the Holy Sacrifice was over a great song of thanksgiving rose to Heaven from the faithful for this fresh proof of the sanctity of the servant which God vouchsafed to display by this miracle!
Peter of Alcántara, whose life span was from 1499-1562, was born
the son of the Governor of the same place bearing the Saint's name, in
the region called Estremadura, Spain. He studied at the university of Salamanca
and when he was sixteen he joined the order of the Observant Franciscans
at Manjaretes, where he practiced great austerities and penances. He was
sent to found a friary when he was but twenty-two and as yet not ordained,
which occurred in 1524. He served as the Superior in various friaries of
the Order, finally being granted his request for solitude at the friary
in Lapa. He also served as court chaplain for King John III of Portugal
and in 1538 was elected the Provincial of the province of St. Gabriel at
Estremadura. Here he formulated a strict rule that the province would not
accept; he resigned in 1540 and lived as a hermit with Friar Martin of
St. Mary on Arabida Mountain near Lisbon. Eventually Pope Julius III gave
him permission to build a friary of Conventuals for his stricter rule in
1555, the beginning of the Franciscans of the Observance of St. Peter of
Alcántara, known as the Alcantarines, devoted to a life of austerity
and penance. When other houses accepted his rule, St. Joseph Province was
erected in 1561 and moved from Conventual to Observant jurisdiction. In
1560 he met St. Teresa of Avila, who included much of what he told her
about himself in her autobiography; he had become her confessor and adviser,
encouraging in her work of reforming the Carmelites. He wrote Treatise
on Prayer and Meditation, which was later used b St. Francis de Sales,
and was gifted with many supernatural experiences. He died in the convent
at Estremadura on October 18, was canonized in 1669, and was declared the
patron of Brazil in 1862. His Feast Day is October 22 on the Novus Ordo calendar, October 19 on the Traditional calendar.
O MOST Sweet Jesus, infinite Goodness, Who hast said: "If any man thirst, let him come to Me and drink;" I thirst for Thee; my heart sighs to possess Thee and calls upon Thee with the greatest earnestness. Come, O cherished Spouse of my soul, and my only love. Come, and from Thy riches supply my extreme poverty. Delicious Manna, come to appease my hunger. Yea, I feel an irresistible desire to posess Thee, and I expect Thee with all the impatience of love.
Give Thyself to me, and it is enough; for without Thee all consolation is nothing to me, whilst with Thee, suffering is joy to me, temptation is triumph, and death is the entrance into eternal life. Amen.
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;
SWEETEST Jesus, grant me an increase of faith, hope, and charity, a
Send forth Thy light and Thy truth; they have conducted me and brought
A Sacred Heart Reading
A RELIGIOUS of the Order of St. Francis, named Alphonsus, had labored successfully in propagating the kingdom of God amongst the natives of India. To evangelize these poor souls sitting in the shadow of death was the object of his zeal and his preaching. After some years, he resolved to abandon his apostolic works and retire to a solitary place, that he might attend only to his personal sanctification. He wanted to become a hermit after such a strenuous life.
One day as he was kneeling before an image of the Sacred Heart, and praying with great fervor, he heard a mysterious voice which appeared to come from the Heart of Jesus, and which said to him: "Your prayers are pleasing to Me, Alphonsus; but your preachings and your apostolic journeys were still more pleasing in My sight, for they caused many to bless and honor My Father. There are in India thousands of souls who neither know nor invoke His Holy Name: will you allow them to perish? And will you be indifferent to the glory of My Father, that glory which was the object of all My toils and sufferings?"
The religious replied, weeping: "Lord Jesus, I refuse not to labor; I will become again the apostle of Thy Heavenly Father, and so long as I know there exists a corner of the earth where He is not known or loved, I shall never enjoy a moment's rest." He left his solitude and returned to India, where he honored God by the toils of his apostolate, and finally by the pains of Martyrdom.
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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