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 #7
ON the great thoroughfare leading from Arras on to Cambrai, in the northern part of France, lies the important town of Douai. A priest distributing Holy Communion on April 14, 1254, in the church of St. Ann in this town, accidentally let one of the Particles slip from his fingers and fall to the ground. Kneeling down with the greatest reverence to pick It up, he saw the Sacred Host carried to the altar by angelic hands, and placed on the corporal. He forthwith called the attention of the canons and the congregation to this wonder, but when they looked towards the altar they beheld not the Sacred Host but a beautiful child. The news immediately spread throughout the town, and the people hastened to the church to witness the heavenly vision.
"When I heard of it," writes Thomas Cantrimpre, to whom we are indebted for this account, "I also went to Douai, and on reaching the priest's house I asked him to take me to the church where the miracle had occurred, which he immediately did. In the meanwhile the Host had been placed in the tabernacle, but the church was still crowded with the faithful, all being most eager to get another glimpse of Our Lord. As soon as the priest opened the tabernacle, a loud cry was heard from every part of the edifice: 'He is there! See the beautiful Child, our Divine Saviour!' Struck with astonishment, I stood looking into the tabernacle, for what appeared to others in the form of a child appeared to me in the usual form of bread. I wondered why I could not behold what others could see. I examined my conscience, but found that I was not guilty of any grievous sin.
"As these thoughts were passing through my mind, I too, witnessed something wonderful. Jesus Christ appeared to me as a full-grown man. On His head rested the crown of thorns, whilst Blood seemed trickling from His forehead. Instantly I fell on my knees and adored my Saviour. Then rising up, I no longer saw the crown of thorns nor the flowing Blood. His face had assumed a most majestic and venerable aspect. It was turning a little to one side so that the right eye was visible. The nose was long and straight, the eye was soft yet luminous, the hair clustering on the shoulders. The forehead was broad, but the cheeks slightly sunken. All this gave Him the appearance of an ascetic. Such was the vision I saw. For a whole hour the Sacred Host assumed various aspects, Our Lord appearing in different forms to different people. To some He seemed to be on the Cross, to others He was visibly present as a judge; but to most He appeared under the form of a little child."
Every year the citizens of Douai celebrated with great solemnity the anniversary of the day on which the vision had occurred. The feast was called "Saint-Sacrement du Miracle." Every hundred years there is a grand and impressive commemoration, extending over the space of three days. In 1792 the miraculous Host disappeared; it was believed to have been found again, but for want of certainty no honor was afterwards paid to it. [J. Schuster, Manual des Catechismus, p. 323. Berzelin, Annals of Flanders (1615). Saraghaga, Les Hosties de miracles. Cath. Encyc., vol. VII, p. 493.]
O JESUS in the Most Blessed Sacrament, have mercy on us.
My JESUS, why dost Thou love me so much? What good dost Thou see in me that Thou art so enamored of me? Hast Thou already forgotten my sins, which have offended Thee so grievously? Oh, how can I love anything else than Thee, my Jesus, my all? No one has ever done so much to make me happy, O loving, O most lovable Jesus.
O my soul, rejoice and sing a song unto the Lord! Alleluia! Praise the Lord, ye servants of God; praise ye the name of the Lord henceforth, now and forever. From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same, the name of the Lord is worthy of praise. Who is as the Lord our God, Who dwelleth on high and looketh down on the low things in Heaven and on earth! Raising up the needy from the earth, and lifting up the poor out of the dunghill, that He may place them with princesses, with the princes of His people. Alleluia! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and let all that is within me bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and never forget all He has done for thee; Who forgiveth all thy iniquities; Who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; Who crowneth thee with mercy and compassion: Who satisfieth thy desires with good things. He hath not dealt with thee according to thy sins, nor rewarded thee according to thine iniquities: for, according to the height of Heaven above the earth, He has strengthened His mercy towards them that fear Him; and as far as the West is from the East, so far hath He removed our iniquities from us. Bless the Lord, all ye Angels; you that are mighty in strength and execute His word, hearkening to the voice of His orders.
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 am firmly resolved, with the help of Thy grace, never to sin again.
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;
BENEDICTION and glory, wisdom and thanksgiving, honor, power and strength to our God forever and ever. Amen.
Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on us.
Saviour of the world, have mercy on us.
A Sacred Heart Reading
WE read a very remarkable incident in the life of St. Gertrude, whose soul was so wonderfully enlightened by Almighty God, and to whom He revealed many sublime truths. On the feast of St. John she was favored with a miraculous vision; the Beloved Disciple appeared to her at the Last Supper, leaning on the breast of the Redeemer, and at the same moment it was vouchsafed to her to experience something of the ineffable delights which flowed from the Sacred Heart of Jesus unto that of His Evangelist. St. Gertrude, addressing him, said: "Apostle of love, you had the inexpressible happiness of reposing on the bosom of Jesus, and listening to the beatings of His Heart; why, in your Gospel, did you not speak of the sentiments and adorable riches of this Divine Heart?"
"My daughter," replied St. John, "know that to me was confided the charge of instructing the infant Church concerning the person of the Incarnate Word, in order that she might transmit this fundamental truth to future ages. But God has reserved for these last times the knowledge of the delights and riches of the Heart of Jesus, so that by this means the world, when becoming old and chilled by the universal indifference of mankind, might be renovated by the fire of Divine Love."
Christians, we now live in the midst of those unhappy times of which the Beloved Disciple speaks. Alas, the fire of charity is extinguished in nearly all hearts; but let us take courage, devotion to the Sacred Heart will rekindle it!
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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