May 4: Our Lady the Helper, Normandy, France
The Abbot Orsini wrote: “Our Lady the Helper, three leagues from Caen, in Normandy. Every year a solemn procession is made to this chapel.”
Caen is a city of over 100,000 people in the province of Normandy in north western France. It is probably most famous for the attractive historical buildings that have survived dating from the time of the reign of William the Conqueror, who was buried here.
Unfortunately, much of the city was destroyed in the year 1944 during World War II. I can find no reference to Our Lady the Helper in Normandy, but it is possible that the chapel was destroyed during the French Revolution, or else during one of the World Wars. Like the motto of the city, which once used to be, “One God, one King, one Faith, one Law,” it may no longer exist.
The Blessed Virgin Mary spoke thus to Ven. Mary of Agreda:
“If I was the model to be imitated in the way I responded to the coming of God into the soul and into the world by showing due reverence, worship, humility, and thankful love, it follows, that if thou art solicitous in imitating me, the Most High will come and produce the same effects in thee as in myself; through they may be not so great and efficacious. For if the creature, as soon as it obtains the use of reason, begins to advance toward the Lord as it should, directing its footsteps in the path of life and salvation, His Most High Majesty will issue forth to meet it, being beforehand with his favors and communications; for to Him it seems a long time to wait for the end of the pilgrimage in order to manifest Himself to His friends.”
“Thus it happens, that by means of faith, hope and charity, and by the worthy reception of the Sacraments, many divine effects, wrought by His condescension, are communicated to the souls. Some are communicated according to the ordinary course of grace and others according to a more supernatural and wonderful order; and each one will be more or less conformable to the disposition of the soul and to the ends intended by the Lord, which are not known at present. And if the souls do not place any obstacle on their part, He will be just as liberal with them as with those who dispose themselves, giving them greater light and knowledge of His immutable being, and by a divine and exceedingly sweet infusion of grace, transforming them into a likeness of Himself and communicating to them many of the privileges of the beatified. For after He is found He allows Himself to be taken possession of and enjoyed by that by that hidden embrace, which the Spouse felt, when She said: “I will hold Him and not dismiss Him.” Of this possession and of His presence the Lord himself will give many token and pledges, in order that the soul may possess Him in peace like the blessed, although always only for a limited time. So liberal as this will God, our Master and Lord, be in rewarding the objects of His love for the labors accepted by them for His sake and fearlessly undertaken to gain possession of Him.”
I have very limited information about this feast of Mary. Have you visited this shrine? Do you have more information, or a great story about this? Please share it!
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