Did you know that Canada once had a stigmatist in its midst?
On July 11, 1833, Aurelie Caouette was born in Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec. She was a devout girl, and by the age of six her parents saw her floating in prayer towards Jesus in the tabernacle. Alarmed, they consulted their parish priest. The priest remained calm, noting that young Aurelie was a normal child, of good humour, and very pious. In fact, he even permitted Aurelie to receive first Communion early, at the age of nine (the standard age was thirteen then).
In 1852 Aurelie received the stigmata. It was mostly hidden, though at various times of the year blood would gush visibly from her head, side, and hands. Later in 1852 Aurelie vowed a life of virginity, and took on the name Catherine. Historian Charles Coloumbe states that she did so in honour of St. Catherine of Sienna, who also suffered the pain of the stigmata (p. 127). However, her biography states that it was actually in honour of the martyr St. Catherine of Alexandria. Either way, Catherine-Aurelie persevered in prayer and eventually, with the encouragement of Montreal's holy Bishop Ignace of Bourget, founded the Sisters of the Precious Blood on September 14, 1861. This was just 12 years after Blessed Pope Pius IX instituted universally the Feast of the Precious Blood.
Devotion to the Precious Blood via Catherine-Aurelie's Order grew quickly. When Catherine-Aurelie died in 1905, there were many houses of the Order in three different countries. And devotion continued to spread after her death as well. The height of devotion to the Precious Blood perhaps came under Blessed John XXIII. In 1960 he approved the Litany of the Precious Blood, made the Feast of the Precious Blood a first class Feast (July is the month dedicated to the Precious Blood), and he also inserted the line "Blessed be His Most Precious Blood" into the Divine Praises.
In the early 1960s there were 26 houses of the Order, including houses in Hamilton (where they make hosts), Edmonton, and even Regina. However, what can be said other than that Pope Paul VI happened. Amidst the ravishing of the Church's great liturgical feasts and customs, in 1969 Paul VI suppressed the Feast of the Most Precious Blood, stating that Corpus Christi was enough for the Church. Catherine-Aurelie's Order immediately felt the brunt of this decision, and many of the houses have since been shut down.
Our Canadian stigmatist was declared venerable on December 1, 2016.
Photo from Quebec's Department of Culture website
Intro photo from histoiresainteducanada.ca
Popular posts from this blog
An update of my thoughts on Exodus 90 can be found HERE . Exodus 90 is underway for many Catholic men. It is an intense 90 day program based on prayer, asceticism, and fraternity. For 90 days these men will take cold showers, abstain from alcohol and most media, fast twice per week, give up snacks and desserts, along with various other spiritual tasks. I applaud such a penitential spirit. The inevitable…. HOWEVER… However, I do have two concerns about Exodus 90 which could use some explaining. 1: Sundays The Church already has a wise, if not perfect, system of fasting and feasting. Catholics are encouraged to do penance on Wednesdays and Fridays (some add in Saturdays as well). In addition, there are specific periods of penance (Lent, Advent, Ember Days). Feasting occurs on Sundays as well as on major Feast Days and Solemnities (e.g. the Assumption of Mary). There is a built in balance to life. My problem with Exodus 90 is that, from what I hear, Sundays and F
There is always a certain amount of fear and trembling when I begin writing a piece on a somewhat unfamiliar subject. Perhaps all that will be demonstrated here is my ignorance and incompetence. To which I suppose my wife would reply: “You’d think you’d be used to that by now.” But I write this piece simply for the fact that Catholic trends, even good ones, need sober reflection and refinement. I refer to the Exodus 90 program. [i] Earlier in 2020 – simpler times to be sure - I listened with interest to a podcast on Exodus 90. In it I heard that this program, which was founded in 2013, is an intense 90 day program based on prayer, asceticism, and fraternity. For 90 days men take cold showers, abstain from alcohol and most media, fast twice per week, give up snacks and desserts, meet weekly with a small group of participants, exercise regularly, all the while following a regimented prayer schedule. I applaud such a penitential spirit (though it seems that cold showers in the de
951 Songs/Psalms/Commentaries $17.09 USD Oregon Catholic Press Every now and then a book comes along which is rich in wisdom and beauty, and profoundly enlightening to all who encounter it. The latest Breaking Bread 2021 hymnal is not one of those books. Tiresome, inane, fluffy, fruity, and worthless are all words that come to mind when I consider the latest liturgical offering from our bishops. 2020 was a rough year. 2021 is already off to a mortifyingly awful start. Enough with the suspense. Let's dive into it. Behold a few examples of what to expect at a church near you in 2021: At first I misread this title and thought it was Guns & Roses with Knocking on Heaven's Door. And then I thought of Paul McCartney singing "Someone's knocking at the door...." Sadly, it is neither. I love the juxtaposition though. "Somebody's knock-in' at your door," versus the Stabat Mater . I can just see the choir director, "Hmm... shall we meditate on t
Mark Twain once mused that “all you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure.” These seem like fitting words to begin as I, quivering with emotion, scribe a few words on the death of the fictional (and yet real) Susan from the Parish Council . Her ignorance was inestimable, her confidence impenetrable, and her success undeniable. Not that I can confirm Susan has indeed passed from this life to her eternal… reward. To further cite Twain, perhaps reports of her death have been greatly exaggerated. I suppose Susan can rise from any alleged demise. Truth be told, if Susan is not cremated first, I imagine her funeral as such, with the priest requesting additional “ministers” of Holy Communion, and Susan rising from the casket to pump the Purell and serve Jesus to all her sisters and brothers. But for now, I will dare to speak of Susan as having died. Her online “group newsletter” via Facebook/Twitter has gone silent. She warned recently she was sick
The following is a talk I recently gave at a Catholic men's group: Let’s begin by examining the secular “wokeness” on fasting. Gone are the days of weight loss programs like Weight Watchers… where you simply eat less each meal! Sounds simple, right? Fewer calories means you lose weight. The problem is that it never worked that well. The reduced number of calories per meal also reduced one’s energy as well, dipped into muscle storage, and offered frugal results. Science now shows that full out fasting is the perfect method for proper health. The secular world’s latest trend is intermittent fasting . One builds up how long a person can go in between meals. The ideal is to eat one meal a day. The meal could consist of almost your regular day’s intake (say 75%). What happens is that your body, when full out fasting, actually dips into fat storage for energy. You maintain your energy, lose weight, and it’s perfectly healthy, if not natural. Science shows that intermittent
It is our first full day on our family vacation. After being imprisoned far too long in our little area due to COVID regulations, we are bursting at the seems to traverse and climb the Rocky Mountains. But first, a night in Drumheller, Alberta. The scenery is stunning, yet we are perhaps too excited to see the mountains to give Drumheller its due respects. Also of note, we are a little rusty at camping. It's been a few years since we went on a major trip. This being the first full day, we are disheveled already, and misplacing items left and right. Never mind. It is morning, and before we pack up the campsite I decide to go for a quick jog. I take out my combat rosary , place it on the picnic table at our site, and head out for some exercise throughout the stunning landscape. What a beautiful place. Alas, I return, and our packing up begins in haste. Soon enough we head into the van, eager to hit the highway. Suddenly I slam on the brakes! "Where's my combat rosary!?!"