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For the Preservation of the Deposit of the Faith
For the Kingdom of God to come!
Exclusive Representation of the Nativity Scene.
Miss Marie M. had the misfortune to be born of parents who were not very Christian and who, after having given her only bad examples, entrusted her education to ungodly mistresses of suspect morals. However, in the midst of her misguidance, a fatal consequence of the pernicious lessons she had received, this young person had preserved a certain natural attraction for virtue and for the reading of good books. These particular graces were like streaks of light that suddenly appeared, but soon faded away, leaving her in the same darkness.
She confessed that the devil had such a hold on her that she felt the evil influence he exerted on her in a sensitive way.
In the desire to see an end to her cruel trials, she became a nun at the age of 21. She could not find the rest she longed for; as in the world her soul was troubled and in darkness. She felt drawn to God, but an insurmountable barrier prevented her from reaching Him. And something indefinable held her captive under the chains of the devil. She thought she would put an end to her sorrows by making general confessions: after making four, she was still in the same state. For three whole years she suffered unheard of pains: her superior, moved with compassion, advised her to have recourse to Saint Joseph. She ran to throw herself at his feet, and no sooner had she invoked him with all the ardor and confidence of which a heart is capable, than she immediately felt relieved. She believed herself delivered from her sufferings at last; but as soon as she had left the chapel, her pains began again; the sting was still in the wound, the obstacle was not removed, but she knew from where her help and her deliverance could come. Full of confidence, she redoubled her fervor in her prayers, and she confessed that in the midst of her greatest trials, she always found relief at the altar of Saint Joseph. “I felt,” she said, “that the heart of Saint Joseph was a father’s heart, and that he was reaching out to me.”
It was then that she thought more seriously about a doubt she had never been able to clear up. She had no proof of having received baptism. Several people she had consulted had always told her, without examining, that she should not bother, that her fears were groundless.
She then decided to tell her superior, who replied, “Would you believe, my dear sister, that for some time I had the same thought, but I did not dare to tell you about it.” Many searches were made, but they were useless; none of the registers containing the baptismal acts of the time of her birth were found.
The parish was then administered by a constitutional intruder who neglected his duties entirely. After much investigation, a woman was found who was dangerously ill at the time and who had cared for Mary’s mother on the day of her birth. She assured them that she had been baptized, and that she had given her the water herself. This information caused great joy to the virtuous priest who had been commissioned to make inquiries; but, pressed by a sudden inspiration, he questioned this woman to find out how she had administered the baptism; and from her answers he discovered that not only was she ignorant of the principal mysteries of religion, but that she had only thrown water on the child’s head without uttering any words. The ecclesiastical superiors, having been consulted, replied that this poor nun should be baptized. It was the bishop of Bayonne, Mgr d’Arbou, who conferred the baptism on her on March 23, 1838, during the octave of the feast of Saint Joseph. To the name of Mary, her good Mother, which she already bore, she added that of Joseph, her good father, her second savior, and was called Sister Marie-Joseph. When she was baptized, the scales, so to speak, fell from the eyes of her soul, and she felt a peace in her heart that she had not yet tasted.
One must imagine her love and gratitude for the powerful protector from whom she had obtained such precious favors. She could not tire of speaking of her charity and the credit of Saint Joseph: “I would like,” she would say, “to have a hundred voices, I would like to be all voices, to make known the goodness and the benefits of the glorious Saint Joseph.” From the happy day of her baptism, this good nun led a new life and made new and rapid progress every day, under the guidance of her beloved patron, in the path of perfection, avoiding the slightest faults, and generously accepting the most painful sacrifices to nature, to resemble and to please her loving patron.
(N.B. The person who reported this fact had it from the very person to whom it happened).
The name of Joseph alone makes the demons of hell tremble. The protection of this great saint is a sure guarantee against the assaults of Satan.