DAILY CATHOLIC     FRI-SAT-SUN to FRI-SAT-SUN     July 10-19, 1998     vol. 9, no. 134 through 139

GETTING TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER


    INTRODUCTION      "Getting to the Heart of the Matter" is what Sister Mary Lucy Astuto pinpoints in every issue when she takes a common sense approach to living our faith with her practical columns. In this issue, she prepares us for the feast of Saint Ann, mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary with a special novena that begins July 17 in her column ST. ANN, OUR HEAVENLY GRANDMOTHER.

         Her column, along with columns by Father John Hampsch, C.M.F. and Father Stephen Valenta, OFM Conv., provide effective, vital insights into our faith and ways of fulfilling God's Will every day in every way. You can visit Sr. Lucy at her web site for Heart of Mary Ministry at http://www.heartofmaryministry.com or you can reach her at Srmarylucy@aol.com by e-mail.


ST. ANN, OUR HEAVENLY GRANDMOTHER

          I've found over the years that it can't hurt to plan ahead. Looking at my calendar, the Feast of Saint Ann is July 26th. That means a novena to St. Ann begins July 17. Within the last two months I have come to have a very special appreciation for our Heavenly Grandmother, St. Ann.

          We know that St. Ann was the wife of a man named Joachim. They were wealthy, very pious, but also childless in their older age. They prayed most fervently that God would give them a child and that, if so, they would dedicate their child to the service of God. Their prayer was heard. At the age of 58, (according to a modern mystic) Ann gave birth to a beautiful girl, Mary, who was to become the mother of Our Savior, Jesus. According to the same mystic mentioned above, St. Ann died before Mary was betrothed to Joseph.

          I shall quote to you what Iíve read about St. Ann in hopes that an increased knowledge of her will contribute to your greater love of her.

          "According to an ancient and uninterrupted tradition, the body of St. Ann was carried to what is now France by Lazarus and his sisters who had been banished from Palestine for their Faith. St. Annís remains were taken to the city of Apt, France. Her body was buried in an underground Church due to the storms of persecution in the Roman empire. For centuries, hordes of barbarians overran the country and the exact spot where Ann had been buried was lost in obscurity.

          "In the eighth century after the great emperor Charlemagne destroyed the power of the barbarians, he set about rebuilding the holy places.

          "It was at this time that the body of St. Ann was miraculously discovered. During Easter services at the Cathedral of Apt, a 14 year old boy, deaf, mute, and blind since birth, became suddenly very excited, and made signs with his staff that they should dig beneath the steps of the main altar.

          "The officials dug there and found a walled cavern. A burning lamp flooded the place with unearthly splendor. No sooner had they entered than the light went out. More wondrous still, at that very moment, the boy could see, speak and hear. ĎThe body of St. Ann, mother of the Virgin Mary, is in yonder recessí were his first words. As the recess was thrown open, a sweet fragrance like oriental balm filled the air and they discovered a cypress casket. It contained the body of St. Ann, wrapped with folds of precious cloth. On the casket was the inscription: ĎHere lies the body of blessed Ann, mother of the Virgin Mary.í Charlemagne had a narrative of the occasion sent to the Pope to report the astounding event. The letter and the Popeís answer are still in existence. Since then for eleven centuries the Cathedral at Apt has been a great attraction for pilgrims. Visitors there will find piles of testimonials to the wonders wrought by Christ at the intercession of St. Ann." (Taken from a booklet about St. Ann.)

          Great saints of the Church such as St. Jerome, St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, and St. Teresa of Avila had great devotion to St. Ann, calling on her in desperate cases.

          St. Ann is very powerful in interceding for healings of mind, soul and body.

          How can Jesus refuse the wishes of his grandmother? How can Our Lady refuse the wishes of her mother?

          I have personally experienced the powerful effects of St. Annís intercession. I urge you to call on St. Ann to aid you in your needs. Our Heavenly Grandmother loves each of us very much. Remember, the novena to St. Ann begins on July 17. You might like to check out a website on St. Ann that I recently discovered which will help you observe this special novena.

          God bless you!


July 10-19, 1998       volume 9, no. 134 through 139
GETTING TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER by Sister Mary Lucy Astuto

DAILY CATHOLIC

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