The following history of the Fourteen Holy Helpers is taken from the St. Joseph’s Cathedral bulletin dated October 18, 1959. It was written by then-rector Monsignor Joseph Kundinger. “There is in the archives of the St. Joseph’s Cathedral the first Record Book started by Rev. M.M. Marco from the date October 12, 1864 (95 years ago). ...The information which we are interested in is the GIFT of the “14 Holy Helpers”. The pictures were ordered from Fredrick Pustet, New York (a firm still in existence) and imported from Germany (Heusel & Rorbacher). The total cost with the transportation from Europe($10.05) was $169.50. The date: in the year 1885. The feast of the “Fourteen Holy Helpers”: is celebrated on August 8th. The name represents a group of Saints, devotion to whom as a body was German in origin and largely German in diffusion. The devotion to the 14 Holy Helpers is an example of the medieval popular tendency to honor the saints more for what they would do for their devotees than for what they had done in their earthly lives. There is only one church in the U.S. (Baltimore, Md.) dedicated to these Saints as a group. The devotion spread to Bohemia, Moravia, Hungary, Italy & France. In France the number is 15, includes the Blessed Virgin Mary. The idea behind the selection of these “Helpers” is indicated by an alleged or real promise of the saints to help in a particular necessity. You can recognize them in art:Add a comment
O Mary Conceived Without Sin, Pray for Us Who Have Recourse to Thee!
Catherine Laboure was beckoned to the chapel just before midnight on July 18, 1830 by a child who announced Our Lady as the Mother of God in the first of several apparitions. She was told that she would be given a mission and to tell only her confessor. During the second apparition on November 27 Mary was seen standing on a globe with rays of light extending from her out stretched hands. An oval surrounded her with the words: O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you. Suddenly appeared the letter M surmounted by a cross with a bar beneath it. Below the monogram were two hearts: The heart of Jesus was encircled with a crown of thorns and hers was pierced by a sword. She was instructed to have a medal made from the image. Church authorities were reluctant to have the medals struck but finally relented because the medal reflected Catholic doctrine and devotion to Mary Immaculate. The medal was named Medal of the Immaculate Conception but because of the miracles that happened to those who wore it and their devotion to the Blessed Mother, it quickly became known as the Miraculous Medal. The dogma of the Immaculate Conception was defined and promulgated by Pope Pius IX in 1854, some twenty four years after the second apparition during which the image was defined and the medal requested.Add a comment
In 1858 Our Lady appeared to Bernadette Soubirous eighteen times beginning on February 11. During those apparitions Our Lady asked for a chapel to be built in her honor and when the parish priest asked for a sign, she told Bernadette: I am the Immaculate Conception. The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception had been declared by Pope Pius IX only four years before in 1854 and the priest accepted the apparitions as authentic. Our Lady instructed Bernadette to drink and bathe in a near by spring.
However, Bernadette found only dry ground, but did dig in the area. She was ridiculed and left the area to return the next day to see water flowing from the ground. Almost immediately there were miracles reported taking place at the spring which continues to flow today. The shrine at Lourdes is the most visited pilgrim site in the world where physical and spiritual healing continue to take place.
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