Madonna Enthroned - by CARRACCI, Annibale - from Gemäldegalerie, Dresden . . . . Saints from left to right are Saint Matthew,
who Drew the First Icon of the Blessed Virgin; Saint Francis of Assisi, Kissing the Feet of Jesus; and Saint John the Baptist.
The Divine Mother has shown by Prodigies,
how Pleasing to her are the Visits paid-to her Images
Father-Segneri says, that the Devil did not know how to 'Repair' his Loses in the Overthrow of Idolatry, better than by Attacking Sacred Images, through the Instrumentality-of Heretics. But the Holy Church has 'Defended' them, even with the Blood-of Martyrs; and the Divine Mother has shown by Prodigies, how Pleasing-to her are the Visits 'Paid'-to her Images. Saint-John-Damascene had his Hand Cut-off, for having 'Defended', by his Writings, the Images-of Mary; but his Sovereign Lady Miraculously 'Restored' it to him. Father-Spinelli relates, that in Constantinople, a Veil which 'Covered' an Image of the Blessed Virgin, on every Saturday 'Drew' itself Aside, and after Vespers, again 'Closed', of its own Accord. The Veil of an Image-of our Blessed Lady, 'Visited' by Saint-John-of-God, was once 'Withdrawn' in a similar manner; so-much-so that the Sacristan thought that the Saint was a Robber, and Kicked him; but his Foot Instantly 'Withered'. Hence, all Mary's Clients often 'Visit' her Images, and the Churches 'Dedicated' in her Honor, with Great Affection. These are 'Precisely', according-to Saint-John-Damascene, the Cities-of-Refuge in which we can find Safety-from Temptations, and the Chastisements which we have Deserved-for our Sins. The First Thing that the Emperor-Saint-Henry used to do, on 'Entering' a City, was to 'Visit' a Church-of our Blessed Lady. Father-Thomas-Sanchez used never to 'Return' Home, without having 'Visited' some Church-of Mary. Let us not think it too-much, to-'Visit' our Queen every Day, in some Church or Chapel, or even in our own House, where for this purpose it would be Well to have in it, a Retired Part, a Little Oratory, with her Image, which should be kept 'Decorated' with Drapery, Flowers, Tapers, or Lamps; and before it, we should also 'Recite' her Litany, the Rosary, etc. For this Purpose I have 'Published' a Little Book (which has already been Reprinted Eight Times), of Visits to the Blessed Sacrament, as-well-as to the Blessed Virgin, for every Day in the Month. Some Devout Client-of Mary could also, have One of her Feasts 'Celebrated' in a Church or Chapel, with Greater Solemnity than it would otherwise be, and have it Preceded-by a Novena, with 'Exposition' of the Blessed Sacrament, or even with Sermons.
Here, however, it is well to 'Relate' a fact Recorded-by Father-Spinelli, in his Book of Miracles of the Madonna, Number 65. In the Year 1611, on the Vigil of Pentecost, an Immense Concourse-of-People had 'Assembled' at the Celebrated Sanctuary-of Mary, at Montevergine. The People had 'Profaned' the Feast with Dances, Excesses, and Immodest Conduct, when suddenly it was discovered that Fire was Bursting forth from the House-of-Amusement in-which they were Assembled, and in-less-than an Hour and a Half, it was Reduced-to Ashes, and more than 1500 Persons Lost their Lives. Five (5) Persons who 'Escaped', 'Deposed' an Oath, that they had seen our Blessed Lady herself, 'Set Fire' to the Place, with Two (2)Torches. After this, I 'Entreat' the Clients-of Mary to Keep-away as-much-as possible, from such Sanctuaries during Festivals, and also, as-far-as they can, to 'Prevent' others from going there; for, on such Occasions, the Devil 'Gains' more Profit, than the Blessed Virgin 'Derives' Honor by it. Let those who have this Devotion, 'Go' at a Time when there is no Concourse-of-People.
- End of Saint Alphonsus Writing -