• July 6th - Bl. Ursula Ledochowska

    From rich@1:15/0 to All on Wed Jul 5 10:14:10 2017
    From: rich <richarra@gmail.com>

    July 6th - Bl. Ursula Ledochowska

    Blessed Ursula Ledochowska, foundress of the Ursuline Sisters of the
    Agonizing Heart of Jesus, is God's gift to us--a woman open to the
    prodding of the Holy Spirit, who fulfilled God's Will and served Hi=
    in His Plan of Salvation, from her birth on April 17, 1865, until her
    saintly death in Rome on May 29, 1939. Her strict family environment,
    consisted of aristocratic parents, who lived out their marital
    commitment, as a covenant of love, and expected their five children to
    practice self-discipline and to have an intimate relationship with
    God. From childhood, Blessed Ursula possessed a magnetic personality,
    and was loved by all. Her mother nicknamed her, "my ray of sunshine"
    and her siblings share how she put this into a life's plan of
    action--Francis, her younger sister remembers "for the youngest
    children she was like a second mother; she helped us with our lessons, surprised us, thought of new games to play, read the Passion of Jesus
    during Lent, prayed the Litany of the Saints, on All Saints Day." Her
    brother Wlodzimierz recalls, "she was sensitive and especially loved
    the poor and sick. She visited their homes, brought them medicine, and
    evoked laughter, creating an atmosphere of peace and joy."

    The Ledochowski family were Polish and members of the nobility,
    although she and Wladimir were born in Loosdorf, Austria. Her father
    was Count Antonius Kalka-Ledochowski. Her father's brother was Coun=
    Mieceslaus Ledochowski. Mieceslaus was archbishop of GnesenPosen in
    Prussian Poland from 1866 to 1886. Then he was ousted by the Prussian
    prime minister Bismarck and imprisoned for disregarding the
    anti-Catholic Prussian laws. Created a cardinal while in prison, this
    Polish hero eventually came to Rome where Pope Leo XIII appointed him
    prefect of the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith. (Because
    of the great authority that the holders of this office have over the
    foreign missions, they are often called =E2=80=9Cthe red popes=E2=80=9D.) M= aria
    Theresa's brother, Count Wladimir (1866-1942), joined the Jesuits a=
    from 1915 to 1942 served as 26th general of the Society of Jesus. By
    the way, the head of the Jesuits is often called =E2=80=9CThe black pope=E2= =80=9D. So
    the nephew of the =E2=80=9Cred pope=E2=80=9D became a =E2=80=9Cblack pope= =E2=80=9D. Thus, Countess
    Maria came from a family of churchly leaders. She was to show herself
    equally gifted in leadership.

    From 1885 to 1890, however, Maria Theresa was a courtier. Living in
    Salzburg, Austria, she was lady-in-waiting to the grand duchess of
    Tuscany, one of the Habsburg family. She had no special feeling for
    religious life until 1888 when she happened to read an address given
    by Cardinal Charles Lavigerie (1825-1892). Lavigerie was a French
    priest to whom Pope Leo XIII had entrusted the evangelization of
    Africa. As archbishop of Carthage and Primate of Africa, Lavigerie
    founded the Society of Missions of Africa (the =E2=80=9CWhite Fathers=E2=80= =9D) to
    pioneer African missions. He brought to his task a tremendous
    missionary enthusiasm, and it is to him in particular that Catholicism
    in Africa owes its modern beginnings.

    Countess Maria now felt called to help Lavigerie's double apostolat=
    to obliterate African slavery and spread the Catholic faith there.
    From 1889 on she began to publicize these causes. (She had gifts as a
    writer.) Her column soon attracted donations. Convinced now of her
    vocation, she left the court in 1891. In 1894, she decided to organize
    an association of laywomen to take care of publicity for the African
    missions and the administration of mission funds. It was called the =E2=80=9CSodality of St. Peter Claver for the African Missions and the Liberation of Slaves.=E2=80=9D Pope Leo XIII approved the society on April = 29,
    1894. In 1897, this became a full-fledged religious order. Its aim was
    not to furnish missionaries-on-the-mission but to secure for the
    actual missionaries worldwide public attention to channel funds to
    them and to print Catholic books for use in the missionary countries
    in many different African languages. (During her life she sent 96,000 catechisms and other books to Africa.) Mother Ledochowska was
    constantly on tour, speaking for her causes and establishing support
    centers, presenting exhibits, and promoting novenas =E2=80=9Cto touch the
    heart and open the purse.=E2=80=9D She had a real talent for organization. = But
    prayer remained the motive force of her whole campaign. She became
    known as =E2=80=9Cthe nursing mother of the African missions.=E2=80=9D Betw= een 1918
    and 1933 the baptized in Africa rose from 1.8 million to 4.9 million.
    Only God knows how much of this progress is due to the loyal =E2=80=9Cmarketing=E2=80=9D of this valiant woman.

    On June 20, 1983, Pope John Paul II beatified Blessed Ursula in
    Poznan, Poland. Her incorruptible body was transferred from the
    Generalate in Rome, and brought to rest in the Motherhouse in Pniewy,
    Poland on May 29, 1989.

    Saint Quote:
    [It] is not enough to pray, Thy kingdom come, but to work, so that
    the Kingdom of God will exist among us today.
    --Blessed Ursula Ledochowska

    Bible Quote:
    He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our
    iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with
    His stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5)

    Hymn from Corpus Christi.

    Jesus! my Lord, my God, my All! How can I love Thee as I ought?
    And how revere this wondrous gift, So far surpassing hope or thought?

    Had I but Mary's sinless heart To love Thee with, my dearest King!
    O, with what bursts of fervent praise Thy goodness, Jesus, would I sing!
    Sweet Sacrament! We Thee adore! O, make us love Thee more and more!

    F. Faber: Corpus Christi. (19th cent.)
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