April 16, 2019 A.D.
A deep devotion to Joan of Arc helped to foster a love for France in the heart of a Friend of Medjugorje. Seeing Joan of Arc, who saved France, as a precursor to Our Lady’s coming to Medjugorje to save the world, a Friend of Medjugorje felt pulled to retrace the steps of Joan of Arc, visit St. Catherine of Laboure’s chapel where she received the Miraculous Medal from Our Lady, and pray in the great cathedrals in Paris, such as the famous Sacre Coeur and Notre Dame. On one such trip, while speaking to an audience of Medjugorje followers about Our Lady’s appearances in Medjugorje and how France was used by Heaven to help predict and pave the way for Medjugorje, a Friend of Medjugorje broke down and wept seeing the secularization of this once great Catholic nation. After praying in front of the relics of the Crown of Thorns for several hours in the Cathedral of Notre Dame in the mid 1990’s, upon returning home to Alabama, he told those in the Caritas Community that he could not shake the feeling that Paris was going to burn one day. A Friend of Medjugorje wrote of this recent tragedy at the Notre Dame Cathedral:
Is France so much more decadent than any other place in the world? No, it is not. But, then, sin is not necessarily the problem. Sin has a remedy. Christ died for us to have salvation. What is the cure for sin? The acknowledgement of our sins and the seeking to reconcile with God, the Father, through monthly confession. If sin is not the problem in the world today, what is? The problem is the denial of sin. This may be a sensitive time to speak of this, but one must ask why did God allow this sacred 850 year old Cathedral, named for Our Lady and among the most prominent symbols of Christianity in Europe, to burn—right as we enter into Holy week? Though saved from total destruction, it will take a long time to rebuild, and the sacred relics and art that were lost can never be replaced. But thank God, the Crown of Thorns of Our Lord was saved. We could not imagine that Our Lady would allow that most precious relic to be destroyed.
Joan of Arc was beatified in Notre Dame Cathedral in 1909 by Pope Pius X—centuries after she was burned at the stake. Our Lady, Notre Dame, who has been appearing in Medjugorje for nearly 40 years has largely gone unnoticed in this country of France. Yet, France owes its very existence to divine intervention when Heaven chose a young girl to head up the French military in the 100 Year War against the English and through Joan, France defeated them. Despite the sacrifice Joan made of her life for her country and countrymen, they did not defend her from the English who burned her at the stake. Yet, she rose from the ashes to be proclaimed a saint and hero of France long after her death. There is much to ponder in these events, and not to do so is to risk seeing an opportunity for conversion. Consider this message Our Lady gave in the early years of the apparitions:
February 21, 1985
All of Paris was on her knees as they watched in horror the burning of this divine edifice. As one journalist said:
“The soul of the French nation is disappearing, the very heart of Paris and France were wounded today.”
But when the shock fades away, will life go on as normal? We must pray that all of France will hear Our Lady’s call to them to convert, to go back to the sacraments and particularly, to confession, just as Our Lady has called the whole world to do. If not, what will be the future cost?
As quoted yesterday, A Friend of Medjugorje stated:
“This is an omen. For this Cathedral to be burning down, just as we begin Holy Week, and it is the Church where Jesus’ Crown of Thorns has been housed within it for the past several hundred years, God is speaking through this event.”
But the omen, a Friend of Medjugorje says, is not just for France, but for the whole world.
On Behalf of a Friend of Medjugorje
Caritas of Birmingham
Operated by the Community of Caritas