DOUBLE / WHITE
The family of Jane Frances de Fremiot (1572-1641) in Dijon, France, was prominent and wealthy. Jane became the wife of the Baron de Chantal, a nobleman of honor and virtue. The happiness of the young couple ended nine years later, when the baron died in a hunting accident. His widow devoted herself to the care of their four children, and after a time placed herself under the direction of St. Francis de Sales. Under his guidance she founded the congregation of the Visitation of the Virgin Mary, for the education of girls.
Mass of a HOLY WOMAN, except
O Almighty and merciful God, who willed to add glory to Your Church through the new congregation founded by blessed Jane Frances, You inflamed this saint with such a love of Yourself that her wondrous strength of soul led her in the way of perfection during her whole life. May her merits and prayers bring us grace from heaven to overcome everything that hinders us, for we are conscious of our own frailty and trust solely in Your strength. Through our Lord . . .
Lesson from the book of Proverbs
When one finds a worthy wife, her value is far beyond pearls. Her husband, entrusting his heart to her, has an unfailing prize. She brings him good, and not evil, all the days of her life. She obtains wool and flax and makes cloth with skillful hands. Like merchant ships, she secures her provisions from afar. She rises while it is still night, and distributes food to her household. She picks out a field to purchase; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She is girt about with strength, and sturdy are her arms. She enjoys the success of her dealings; at night her lamp is undimmed. She puts her hands to the distaff, and her fingers ply the spindle. She reaches out her hands to the poor, and extends her arms to the needy. She fears not the snow for her household; all her charges are doubly clothed. She makes her own coverlets; fine linen and purple are her clothing. Her husband is prominent at the city gates as he sits with the elders of the land. She makes garments and sells them, and stocks the merchants with belts. She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs at the days to come. She opens her mouth in wisdom, and on her tongue is kindly counsel. She watches the conduct of her household, and eats not her food in idleness. Her children rise up and praise her; her husband, too, extols her: Many are the women of proven worth, but you have excelled them all. Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting; the woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her a reward of her labors, and let her works praise her at the city gates.
R. Thanks be to God.
Ps 44:3, 5.
Grace is poured out upon your lips; thus God has blessed you forever.
V. In the cause of truth and mercy and for the sake of justice: may your right hand show you wondrous deeds. Alleluia, alleluia.
V. In your splendor and your beauty ride on triumphant, and reign. Alleluia.
Cleanse my heart and my lips, O almighty God, who didst cleanse the lips of the prophet Isaias with a burning coal, and vouchsafe, through Thy gracious mercy, so to purify me, that I may worthily announce Thy holy Gospel. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Give me Thy blessing, O Lord. The Lord be in my heart and on my lips, that I may worthily and in a becoming manner, proclaim His holy Gospel. Amen.
P. The Lord be with you.
S. And with thy spirit.
Continuation ☩ of the Holy Gospel according to Matthew
R. Glory be to Thee, O Lord.
At that time, Jesus spoke this parable to His disciples: The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden is a field; he who finds it hides it, and in his joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls. When he finds a single pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net cast into the sea that gathered in fish of every kind. When it was filled, they hauled it out, and sitting down on the beach, they gathered the good fish into vessels, but threw away the bad. So will it be at the end of the world. The angels will go out and separate the wicked from among the just, and will cast them into the furnace of fire, where there will be the weeping, and the gnashing of teeth. Have you understood all these things? They said to Him, Yes. And He said to them, So then, every Scribe instructed in the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings forth from his storeroom things new and old.
R. Praise be to Thee, O Christ.
S. By the words of the Gospel may our sins be blotted out.
O Lord, let this life-giving sacrifice kindle in us the same fire of love that burned so ardently in the heart of blessed Jane Frances and consumed her in the flames of infinite charity. Through our Lord . . .
O Lord, pour out the Spirit of Your love upon us who have been fed with the Bread of Heaven. Grant us the grace to spurn earthly things through the prayers of blessed Jane Frances, so that we may seek You alone, our God, with pure hearts. Through our Lord . . .
A BRIEF ACCOUNT OF THE STORY OF
OUR LADY OF KNOCK, QUEEN OF IRELAND
On the evening of August 21, 1879 Mary McLoughlin, the housekeeper to the parish priest of Knock, County Mayo, ireland, was astonished to see the outside south wall of the church bathed in a mysterious light; there were three figures standing in front of the wall, which she mistook for replacements of the stone figures destroyed in a storm. She rushed through the rain to her friend Margaret Byrne's house.
After a half hour Mary decided to leave and Margaret's sister Mary agreed to walk home with her. As they passed the church they saw and amazing vision very clearly: Standing out from the gable and to the west of it appeared the Blessed Virgin, St. Joseph and St. John. The figure of the Blessed Virgin was life-size, while the others seemed to be neither as large nor as tall. They stood a little away from the gable wall about two feet from the ground. The Virgin was erect with her eyes toward Heaven, and she was wearing a large white cloak hanging in full folds; on her head was a large crown.
Mary Byrne ran to tell her family while Mary McLoughlin gazed at the apparition. Soon a crowd gathered and all saw the apparition. The parish priest, Archdeacon Cavanaugh, did not come out, however, and his absence was a disappointment to the devout villagers. Among the witnesses were Patrick Hill and John Curry. As Patrick later described the scene: 'The figures were fully rounded, as if they had a body and life. They did not speak but, as we drew near, they retreated a little towards the wall.' Patrick reported that he got close enough to make out the words in the book held by the figure of St. John.
An old woman named Bridget trench drew closer to embrace the feet of the Virgin, but the figure seemed always beyond reach. Others out in the fields and some distance away saw a strange light around the church. The vision lasted for about three hours and then faded.
The next day a group of villagers went to see the priest, who accepted the their report as genuine; he wrote to the diocesan Bishop of Tuam; then the Church set up a commission to interview a number of the people claiming to witness the apparition. The diocesan hierarchy was not convinced, and some members of the commission ridiculed the visionaries, alleging they were victims of a hoax perpetrated by the local Protestant constable! But the ordinary people were not so skeptical, and the first pilgrimages to knock began in 1880. Two years later Archbishop John Joseph Lynch of Toronto made a visit to the parish and claimed he had been healed by the Virgin of Knock.
In due course many of the witnesses died. But Mary Byrne married, raised six children, living her entire life in Knock. When interviewed again in 1936 at the age of eighty-six, her account did not vary from the first report she gave in 1879.
The village of Knock was transformed by the thousands who came to commemorate the vision and to ask for healing for others and themselves. The local church was too small to accommodate the crowds. In 1976 a new church, Our Lady Queen of Ireland, was erected. It holds more than two thousand and needs to, for each year more than a half million visitors arrive to pay their respects to the Blessed Virgin.
The Church approved the the apparition in 1971 as being quite probable, although it has never been formally stated. The Shrine at Knock is opened year round. In 1994 three life-sized statues were erected of Our Lady, St. Joseph and St. John.