Monday, April 4, 2016
Thursday, March 31, 2016
THE STORY OF GABRIEL GARGAM
The case of Gabriel Gargam is probably one of the best known of all the thousands of cures at Lourdes, partly because he was so well known at the Shrine for half a century, partly because it was a twofold healing, spiritual and physical. Born in 1870 of good Catholic parents, he gave early promise of being a clever student and a fervent Catholic. The promise was not fulfilled in the most important respect for, at 15 years of age, he had already lost his faith. He obtained a position in the postal service and was carrying out his duties as a sorter in December of 1899, when the train on which he was traveling from Bordeaux to Paris collided with another train, running at 50 miles per hour. Gargam was thrown fifty two feet from the train. He lay in the snow, badly injured and unconscious for seven hours. He was paralyzed from the waist down. He was barely alive when lifted onto a stretcher. Taken to a hospital, his existence for some time was a living death. After eight months he had wasted away to a mere skeleton, weighing but seventy-eight pounds, although normally a big man. His feet became gangrenous. He could take no solid food and was obliged to take nourishment by a tube. Only once in twenty-four hours could he be fed even that way. He brought suit for damages against the railroad. The Appellate Court confirmed the verdict of the former courts and granted him 6,000 francs annually, and besides, an indemnity of 60,000 francs.
Gargam's condition was pitiable in the extreme. He could not help himself even in the most trifling needs. Two trained nurses were needed day and night to assist him. That was Gabriel Gargam as he was after the accident, and as he would continue to be until death relieved him. About his desperate condition there could be no doubt. The railroad fought the case on every point. There was no room for deception or hearsay. Two courts attested to his condition, and the final payment of the railroad left the case a matter of record. Doctors testified that the man was a hopeless cripple for life, and their testimony was not disputed.
Previous to the accident Gargam had not been to Church for fifteen years. His aunt, who was a nun of the Order of the Sacred Heart, begged him to go to Lourdes. He refused. She continued her appeals to him to place himself in the hands of Our Lady of Lourdes. He was deaf to all her prayers. After continuous pleading of his mother he consented to go to Lourdes. It was now two years since the accident, and not for a moment had he left his bed all that time. He was carried on a stretcher to the train. The exertion caused him to faint, and for a full hour he was unconscious. They were on the point of abandoning the pilgrimage, as it looked as if he would die on the way, but the mother insisted, and the journey was made.
Arrived at Lourdes, he went to confession and received Holy Communion. There was no change in his condition. Later he was carried to the miraculous pool and tenderly placed in its waters – no effect. Rather a bad effect resulted, for the exertion threw him into a swoon and he lay apparently dead. After a time, as he did not revive, they thought him dead. Sorrowfully they wheeled the carriage back to the hotel. On the way back they saw the procession of the Blessed Sacrament approaching. They stood aside to let it pass, having placed a cloth over the face of the man whom they supposed to be dead.
As the priest passed carrying the Sacred Host, he pronounced Benediction over the sorrowful group around the covered body. Soon there was a movement from under the covering. To the amazement of the bystanders, the body raised itself to a sitting posture. While the family were looking on dumbfounded and the spectators gazed in amazement, Gargam said in a full, strong voice that he wanted to get up. They thought that it was a delirium before death, and tried to soothe him, but he was not to be restrained. He got up and stood erect, walked a few paces and said that he was cured. The multitude looked in wonder, and then fell on their knees and thanked God for this new sign of His power at the Shrine of His Blessed Mother. As Gargam had on him only invalid's clothes, he returned to the carriage and was wheeled back to the hotel. There he was soon dressed, and proceeded to walk about as if nothing had ever ailed him. For two years hardly any food had passed his lips but now he sat down to the table and ate a hearty meal.
On August 20th, 1901, sixty prominent doctors examined Gargam. Without stating the nature of the cure, they pronounced him entirely cured. Gargam, out of gratitude to God in the Holy Eucharist and His Blessed Mother, consecrated himself to the service of the invalids at Lourdes.
He set up a small business and married a pious lady who aided him in his apostolate for the greater knowledge of Mary Immaculate. For over fifty years he returned annually to Lourdes and worked as a brancardier. The Golden Jubilee of his cure was the occasion of a remarkable celebration during the French National Pilgrimage in 1951. Mr. Gargam sat in a chair in the Rosary Square, surrounded by 1,500 sick and 50,000 other pilgrims while a description of his twofold healing was given by the celebrated apologist, Canon Belleney. His last visit to the Shrine was in August 1952: he died the following March, at the age of eighty-three years.
Place Your Prayers at the Grotto of Lourdes
Posted by Dust Boy at 1:17 PM
Wednesday, March 30, 2016
Sunday, September 20, 2015
The 14th century was a time of great social and institutional turbulence set against the backdrop of the Black Death. This most haunting meditation on the suffering and death of Christ by Richard Rolle of Hampole, an English mystic and hermit, reflects the intensely personal religious fervor of the time. It is marked by a vivid awareness of Our Lord’s redemptive sacrifice, man’s sinfulness and the constant need to "set thine heart burning in Christ’s love." Translated from the Latin. Published to iTunes by My Mother Mary.
And it's yours for free!
Posted by Dust Boy at 11:25 AM
Monday, July 27, 2015
She was of middle height. She appeared to be quite young, and had the grace of the age of twenty years. But, without losing aught of its tender delicacy, this lustre, so fleeting in time, had in her the stamp of eternity. Further, in her features so divinely marked, there were mingled in some sort, but without disturbing their harmony, the successive and distinct beauties of the four seasons of human life. The innocent candor of the Child, the absolute purity of the Virgin, the tender seriousness of the highest of Maternities, and Wisdom superior to that of all accumulated ages, were summed up and melted into each other, without injuring the effect of each in this marvelous countenance of youthful womanhood. To what can we compare it in this fallen world, where the rays of the beautiful are scattered, broken and tarnished, and where they never appear to us without some impure admixture? Any image, any comparison would be a degradation of this unutterable type. No majesty existing in the universe, no distinction of this world, no simplicity here below, could convey any idea of it or assist us to comprehend it better. It is not with earthly lamps that we can render visible, and, so to say, light up the stars of heaven.
Even the regularity and the ideal purity of these features, in which nothing clashed, shields them from any attempt at description. Need we however say, that the oval curve of the countenance was infinitely graceful; that the eyes were blue and so sweet that they seemed to melt the heart of everyone upon whom they turned their gaze? The lips breathed forth divine goodness and kindness. The brow seemed to contain supreme wisdom, that is to say, the union of omniscience with boundless virtue.
Her garments of an unknown texture, and doubtless woven in the mysterious loom which furnishes attire for the lilies of the valley, were white as the stainless mountain snow, and more magnificent in their simplicity than the gorgeous robe of Solomon in all his glory. Her robe, long and training, falling in chaste folds around her, suffered her feet to appear reposing on the rock, and lightly pressing the branches of the wild rose which trailed there. On each of them in their virgin nudity there expanded the mystic rose of a bright, golden color.
In front, a girdle―blue as the heavens―was knotted half-way round her body and fell in two long bands reaching within a short distance of her feet. Behind, a white veil fixed around her head and enveloping in its ample folds, her shoulders and the upper part of her arms, descended as far as the hem of her robe.
She wore neither rings, nor necklace, nor diadem, nor jewels of any description; none of those ornaments with which human vanity has decorated itself in all ages. A chaplet, with beads as white as drops of milk strung on a chain of the golden hue of harvest, hung from her hands, which were fervently clasped. The beads of the chaplet glided one after the other through her fingers. The lips however of this Queen of Virgins, remained motionless. Instead of reciting the rosary, she was perhaps listening in her own heart to the eternal echo of the Angelic Salutation, and to the vast murmur of the invocations coming from the earth.
She was silent; but later her own words, and the miraculous events which we shall have to recount, plainly testified that She was the Immaculate Virgin, the most august and holy Mary, Mother of God.
This marvelous apparition gazed on Bernadette, who, in the first shock of amazement, had, as we have already said, sunk down, and without assigning any reason to herself, had suddenly prostrated herself on her knees.
Excerpt for OUR LADY OF LOURDES
By Henri Lasserre, 19th century
Posted by Dust Boy at 6:04 AM
Sunday, July 19, 2015
|An old photo from Lourdes, France - 1958|
OUR LADY OF LOURDES
Mr. Clyde King, the steady sacristan at my parish here in northern California, approached me one day after Mass last year, asking if perhaps I could fill in for him for about ten days. He might be going out of town, though this was not yet assured . . . .
He was planning, or rather hoping, to go to Lourdes; he has been battling melanoma since 2009. He had had one surgery to remove a tumor from his left temple, and another one in late 2010 to remove three more tumors just beneath his jaw line . . . . For the moment, all the melanoma had been removed. Still, he put in an application to join an annual pilgrimage . . . .
He was put on the waiting list. He responded with equanimity, saying simply that Mary will decide who ends up going. Soon afterwards, the radiologist called and somberly informed him that a routine follow up PET scan revealed the presence of yet another and severe (stage 4 melanoma) tumor - this time in his chest, on the right side of his windpipe. Both surgery and treatment would be required.
With no knowledge of that dispiriting medical development, the pilgrimage organizers then notified him - approximately a week before the pilgrimage to Lourdes was set to begin - that a space had opened up.
While he was in Lourdes, his doctor - quite concerned about the results of yet another test taken just before he left - contacted his wife in order to set up a new appointment as soon as possible. He was set to return on a Wednesday. So without her husband's knowledge, she scheduled an appointment for Thursday. More tests were taken that day. The results came back the following Monday - and the doctor was utterly nonplussed to discover that all signs of the melanoma had disappeared. His regular oncologist would later tell him: "I don't believe in miracles, but in your case, I may have to rethink that." . . . That was about ten months ago - and every subsequent test has verified his cancer-free status.
The Magnificat - February, 2013 page 152
The Magnificat - February, 2013 page 152
Posted by Dust Boy at 7:01 AM