EIGHTEENTH CENTURY - THORNS AND THISTLES
|st. veronica giuliani|
The heretical and hypocritical writings of the Jansenists, the impious doctrines of Voltaire, Diderot, Rousseau, the Deist and Atheist illuminati, and of the enemies of all religion and civil government, kept this century in fermentation, and a dreadful explosion towards the end of it shook Europe to its foundation, and deluged France and other nations with human blood. The storm fell upon France with fearful and destructive violence. Her pious King Louis XVI, his wife, Queen Marie Antoinette, their only son Louis, heir to the throne, Princess Elizabeth, sister of the king and other members of the Royal Family, and thousands of the nobility of France, were murdered by the impious revolutionists. The Church had much to suffer in that unfortunate country by the total suppression of Christian worship. All religious houses were abolished and their property confiscated. More than ten thousand secular and regular clergy were put to death for their fidelity to their religion and vows. Fifty or sixty thousand more edified in their exile, Europe Asia and America by the holiness of their lives and their persevering zeal for the propagation of our Holy Faith. Many martyrs died also in China for their fidelity to religion. This century reckons more than sixty or seventy canonized or beatified saints, and a large number of eminent servants of God. Among the canonized saints shine with special luster, St. Alphonsus Maria Ligouri, founder of the Religious Congregation of our Most Holy Redeemer or Redemptorists, in the kingdom of Naples. St. Paul of the Cross, founder of the Religious Congregation of the most Holy Cross and Passion or Passionists, a native of the Republic of Genoa. St Leonard of Porto-Maurizio, in the same Republic, one of the greatest Missionaries of this century; St. Francis de Girolamo of the Society of Jesus; St Veronica Juliani; St Mary Francis of the five wounds. These two last saints are among the twenty privileged servants of God who are known to have received the sacred stigmata, and the Crown of Thorns, or suffered some special pain of the passion of our Lord. We pass to enumerate those who endured the Crown of Thorns.
38. St. Veronica Juliani
This truly admirable saint was born December 27th, 1660, at Mercatello, diocese of Urbino, in the States of the Church. When very young, she became a Capuchin nun in the Convent of St. Clara in the town of Castello. St. Veronica received the Crown of Thorns April 4th, 1693, when 33 years of age. In the night of Holy Saturday, 1697, she was stigmatized in her hands, feet and side, and frequently participated in a visible manner in the sufferings of our Lord's passion. This holy religious told her spiritual director, that all the instruments of the passion were engraven in her heart. This prodigy was verified after her death, which occurred July 9th, 1727. Veronica was beatified by Pope Pius VII and canonized by Gregory XVI, May 26th, 1839. See the life of the venerable servant of God, Sister Veronica Guiliani, by Father Francis Strozzi, a Jesuit. Also life of Blessed Veronica Guiliani, by Rev. Philip Salvatori, Rome, 1803. The late Cardinal Wiseman wrote an abridgment of her life, and that of four other saints canonized with her by Pope Gregory XVI, 26th May, 1839.
39. Sister Marie-Anne Magdalene Remusat
This great servant of God was born November, 30th, 1696, at Marseilles, France. Marie-Anne was only fifteen years of age, when she left the world, and retired to the Visitation Convent in her native city. This worthy daughter of St. Francis de Sales received the impression of the Crown of Thorns and the stigmata of the five wounds at 34 years of age. She died February 15th, 1730. See her life published by Girard in Lyons, 1868.
40. Saint Mary Francis of the Five Wounds
This ardent lover of Jesus crucified, was born on the feast of the Annunciation, 25th March, 1715 at Naples. When very young, she joined the third Order of St. Peter of Alcantara. Sister Mary Francis at 28 years of age began to experience every Friday all the sufferings of the passion, passing in a sensible and visible manner through all its dolorous stages. The different scenes of our Savior's passion were distinctly represented in her person, by the various pains which she successively endured with heroic patience. The agony in the garden of Gethsemani was visible in the extreme anguish of her soul and prostration of her body. The blows and the lashes inflicted on our Savior, could be seen in the blue marks, contusions, swellings and bleeding wounds on her person. The impression of the Crown of Thorns appeared in the streams of blood, flowing from her brow and round the head. During Lent, 1743, this holy religious received the stigmata of the five wounds in her hands, feet and side. In her profound humility, she continually entreated our Lord, to conceal these extraordinary favors from the eyes of men. This prayer was granted, but only after twenty-seven years of their visible duration. This wonderful servant of God died at Naples, October 6th, 1761. She was beatified by Gregory XVI, 15th October, 1843, and canonized by Pope Pius IX, together with St. Paul of the Cross, St. Leonard of Porto Maurizio and the twenty-seven Japanese Martyrs, on the eighteenth centenary of St. Peter and Paul, June 29th, 1867. The humble room where this great saint lived and died in the city of Naples is continually visited by large numbers of devout people and many have therein obtained extraordinary graces and favors through her intercession. See life of Maria Francesca by Father Bernard Lavioza published in Naples at the beginning of the present century. This interesting life has since passed through eight editions. Another life of blessed Maria Francesca was published at Naples in 1866 by Rev. Luigi Montella.