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 #3
IN THE year 1370, a wealthy Belgian named Jonathan bribed a friend of his who had recently become a Catholic to procure a few consecrated Hosts. The convert repaired to St. Catherine's church one night, forced open the Tabernacle, took the ciborium containing sixteen of the Sacred Particles, and with the stolen booty directed his steps to Jonathan's house.
Rejoicing in his good fortune in possessing the God of the Christians, this wicked man, with a look of scorn and derision threw the Sacred Hosts on the table in the presence of his wife and son and several other heretics. Not long after, this Jonathan was killed by a band of highwaymen. His wife and son, alarmed at the dire visitation that had befallen their house, determined to take the consecrated Hosts to some of their friends in Brussels, lest perhaps a greater calamity might befall them. These impious men surpassed Jonathan in the outrages to which they subjected the Sacred Species. Spreading the Sacred Hosts before them and breaking them into pieces, they were astonished to behold blood flowing copiously from several of the Particles. Struck with fear, they took immediate steps to rid themselves of the mysterious objects, and in order to accomplish their purpose, they engaged a woman, recently converted to the Catholic Faith, to inform the priest.
At that time, Wenceslaus, King of Bohemia, reigned in Brussels. When he heard of the sacrilege, the king caused these wicked men to be arrested, and according to the laws of the time, he ordered their execution. This happened on the even of the Ascension of Our Lord, in 1370. To atone for this outrage, three of the Hosts were encased in a jeweled monstrance of gold-----an offering of many princes-----and borne in solemn procession to the church of St. Gudula, the Patroness of Brussels and was a cousin of St. Gertrude. St. Gudula, a member of the nobility, is known for her aid to the poor. This procession is still held annually. More than thirty thousand people participated at the five-hundreth anniversary in 1870, thus making reparation during the centuries for the insults heaped upon our Divine Lord in the Sacrament of His love.
The jeweled monstrance may be seen to this very day in the Zalazar chapel at St. Gudula's, upon the altar of the miraculous Sacrament. A citizen of Brussels, by the name of Giles van der Berghe, built a chapel upon the very spot where the atrocities had been committed. In this chapel three Masses are offered weekly in honor of the Most Holy Sacrament. Upon a stone over against the altar, an account of the horrid deed of the impious men is inscribed. The chapel later fell into the hands of Count Zalazar, whence the chapel derives it name. It is now the center of the Confraternity of Perpetual Adoration and of the Pious Union for supplying poor churches with altar linens and decorations for Divine liturgies.
O JESUS, O most sweet Jesus, hidden under the Sacramental Species, give me now such love and humility that I may be able lovingly to speak of this invention of boundless love, that all who hear of it may begin to love Thee in reality.
O good Lord! O great Lord! How humbly dost Thou hide Thyself for our sake! But, alas, how much is Thy bounty and love abused! Not only do sinners despise Thee in the Sacrament of love, because they see Thee not, but the good also, the just, treat Thee with indifference and coldness. Thou hast been so long with them, and they with Thee, that for want of a lively faith they have not known Thee. Though thou hast been with us so long, there are but few who know it, but few who are are penetrated with a sense of their unspeakable happiness. I hear Thee complain of us, O dear Jesus:
"Behold this Heart of Mine so full of love for men that It has shed
Its last drop of Blood for them!
I have given them My own Flesh and Blood as food and drink for their
Consider how this
Heart receives from most of men, in return for so great a love, nothing
but ingratitude and contempt.
But what grieves Me most is that I am thus treated even by good and just souls."
O Mary, Mother of Jesus Christ, and our dear mother! O all ye holy Angels, who, by thy adoration in our churches, make up for the little love which thy God and our Savior receives from men, obtain for us the grace to comprehend a little love of Jesus Christ in the Most Holy Sacrament.
------St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
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;
MAY the Sacred Heart of Jesus be loved everywhere!
Jesus, my God, I love Thee above all things.
A VERY striking incident is related by the Right Reverend George Hornyold, Bishop of the Diocese of York, England from 1752-1778.
In the year 1760, on an early spring day, the Bishop was on his way
from Derby to Leicester with the intention of making a short episcopal
visit in Higfields.
Traveling by horse he relied on his gentle steed. Late in the evening he came to a crossroad; the horse at once seemed to have changed his speed and began to race down the road leading to Witelsford in the direction of a forest. At the entrance of the woods the horse became immovable. The Bishop dismounted and tethered the animal to a tree. Whilst looking for some shelter to bivouac for the night, he heard a moaning within a short distance; he tried to follow the trail of the sound and most distinctly heard: "Heart of Jesus, have mercy on me." By the light of the moon he found an aged man, pale and weak, at the point of death. The Bishop braced up the man and gave him a swallow of wine out of his flask, Upon opening his eyes he cried out: "Get me a priest!" The Bishop at once made himself known, heard the man's Confession, anointed him and gave him the Holy Viaticum, as the Bishop always carried the Blessed Sacrament with him.
After the dying man had received the Sacraments, he would often whisper:
"O Sacred Heart of Jesus, I thank You." Opening his eyes once more, he
said: "In my youth I was very pious, but as soon as I became a soldier
I went from bad to worse, and committed all kinds of sins. But in spite
of my wickedness I never forgot the promise I made my mother in her dying
moments to repeat daily, 'Heart of Jesus, have mercy on me,' and now the
Lord has taken pity on me and sent me a priest. O Sacred Heart of Jesus,
I thank You!"
And the man gave up his soul to God. Bishop Hornyold now understood why his gentle horse had become so stubborn and brought him to this place. Whilst he continued on his journey he thanked the Sacred Heart for having been so generous to a godless soldier. This incident is chronicled in the archives of the church of Leicester. The Bishop concludes in these words: "Heart of Jesus, Thou alone art good and sincere in consolation and in generosity."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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