From Weedy@21:1/5 to All on Wed Apr 7 23:26:39 2021
On Humble Submission to God [II]
When a man humbly admits his faults, he soon appeases his fellows, and
is reconciled to those whom he had offended. God protects and delivers
a humble man; He loves and comforts him (I Pet.5:5; James 4:6). To the
humble He leans down and bestows great success, raising him from
abasement to honour. To him He reveals His secrets (Matt.9:25) and
lovingly calls and draws him to Himself. Even in the midst of trouble,
the humble man remains wholly at peace, for he trusts in God, and not
in the world. Do not consider yourself to have made any spiritual
progress, unless you account yourself the least of all men.
--Thomas à Kempis --Imitation of Christ Bk 2, Ch 2
April 8th – St. Julia Billiart V (RM)
(Also known as Julie)
Born in Cuvilly (near Beauvais), Picardy, France, on July 12, 1751;
died on April 8, 1816.
Julie was co-foundress of the Sisters of Notre Dame of Namur, the order
that today conducts Trinity College in Washington. Most religious
foundresses have what “the World” would consider dull, routine lives.
Julie Billiart’s happened to be full of unsought adventures.
The saint’s parents were prosperous French peasants, but as time
passed, they became impoverished. Julie, one of their 7 children,
shone at the local school, and from the start evidenced a special
fondness for studying and teaching religious subjects. Seeing in her
an unusual soul, her pastor allowed Julie to make her first communion
at the age of nine (13 was then the rule), and when she was 14, he
permitted her to take a private vow of chastity. The needs of the
local poor, and of her own family, quickly called forth her ready
compassion. She even overworked in order to keep the family going.
Neighbors were already referring to this genial, helpful, prayerful
young woman as the “Saint of Cuvilly.”
Then Julie received a shock that was to affect her for many years.
She was sitting at home with her father when somebody from outside
shot at him through the window. The assailant missed, but the fright
so jarred Julie’s nervous system that she entered into a strange and
painful illness that bore down upon her for the next two decades and
gradually paralyzed her limbs. Her wits were not impaired, however,
nor her devotion to the “Good God”. She accepted immobility with great
Next came the French Revolution.
One revolutionary policy was to set up the “Constitutional Church”, a “Catholic” body independent of the pope. Priests loyal to the pope
were now forced to go underground. Julie stuck with the papacy, and,
at great risk, offered shelter to these loyal priests. Infuriated with
her refusal to comply with the “national” church, the government authorities began to hunt out the poor invalid. One day friends helped
rescue her from the threat of burning alive by carrying her to safety
in a cart under a sheaf of hay. Five times in all she had to be
spirited away from the police. The ordeal merely weakened her further,
and she lost her voice.
After the Reign of Terror (during which 16 of her friends, Carmelite
nuns, were guillotined), Mlle. Billiart had a respite. Going to
Amiens, she met a devout woman of like mind, the Viscountess Frances
Blin de Born. When Father Joseph Varin, head of the Jesuit-like
“Fathers of the Faith”, met these two women, he saw them ideally
fitted to begin a new religious order dedicated to the care of poor
children, the education of girls, and the training of religious
teachers. He founded the order in 1803, with Julie and Frances and a
few others as the nucleus, despite the fact that Julie still remained
Then came a remarkable event. Father Enfantin, a missionary priest,
began a great mission at Amiens, which the nuns of the new sisterhood
attended. Enfantin, seeking a cure of Sister Julie, asked her to join
him in a novena of prayers. The intention was her cure, but he did not
reveal it to her. At the end of the nine days, he addressed this
invalid of 22 years, “Mother, if you have any faith, take one step in
honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.” Julie obeyed. She rose, stood
firmly on her feet, and realized that she was completely cured.
Thereafter, Mother Julie was able to give all her strength to the
spread of her community.
Not that difficulties were lacking. A new priest-director tried to
change the whole rule, and when opposed in this, he attacked the
co-foundress. He even turned the bishop of Amiens against Mother
Julie. The sisterhood therefore transferred its center from Amiens to
Namur in Belgium. One of Julie’s duties in 1815 was the care of those
wounded in the nearby battle of Waterloo.
During the remainder of her life, Mother Julie established 15 more
convents. Of St. Julie the bishop of Namur said, “Mother Julie is one
of those souls who can do more for God’s Church in a few years than
others can do in a century.” Even in our troubled church today, it
would take only a handful of great leaders to start a general healing.
Send them to us, O Good God!
The fame of her sanctity spread abroad and was confirmed by several
miracles. The process of her canonization was begun in 1881. She was
beatified on May 13, 1906 by Pope Pius X and canonized in 1969 by Pope
Paul VI. St. Julie's predominating trait in the spiritual order was
her ardent charity, springing from a lively faith and manifesting
itself in her thirst for suffering and her zeal for souls. Her whole
soul was echoed in the simple and naive formula which was continually
on her lips and pen: Oh, qu'il est bon, le bon Dieu (How good God is).
She possessed all the qualities of a perfect superior, and inspired
her subjects with filial confidence and tender affection. Julie is
known as the smiling saint.
Even though knowledge is true, it is still not firmly established if unaccompanied by works. For everything is established by being put
--Saint Mark the Ascetic
And if he will not hear them: tell the church. And if he will not
hear the church, let him be to thee as the heathen and publican. Amen
I say to you, whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, shall be bound
also in heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be
loosed also in heaven. (Matthew 18:17-18) DRB
Our Morning Offering – 8 April
Most Merciful Jesus,
whose very nature it is
to have compassion on us
and to forgive us,
do not look upon our sins
but upon our trust which we place
in Your infinite goodness.
Receive us all into the abode
of Your Most Compassionate Heart
and never let us escape from It.
We beg this of You by Your love
which unites You to the Father
and the Holy Spirit.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze
upon all mankind and especially upon poor sinners,
all enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus.
For the sake of His sorrowful Passion,
show us Your mercy,
that we may praise the omnipotence of Your mercy
forever and ever.