My Dear Brother and Sister in Christ, my Friends
Miriam Bauardi of Jesus Crucified, , the sister of Bethlehem or the “Little Arab girl,” was born on January 5, 1846 in the town of Ibillin what was then southern Syria (now Israel) in the Ottoman Empire, between Nazareth and Haifa. She was the thirteenth child and only daughter (all the boys died in infancy) of the family Melkite, Greek Catholics of the Middle East. At the age of just under three years she became an orphan, and her upbringing and that of her brother was by relatives; a wealthy uncle, who after some time brought her to Alexandria in Egypt, and there he adopted her. When the girl was 13 years old her adoptive father betrothed her without her knowledge to a young relative of his wife, but shortly before the wedding, she heard an inner voice: ‘Mariam you are not to marry, but to devote yourself to God’. So the engagement was broken, causing the rage of her uncle-father, who for several months tormented her in various ways.
She said of herself: “I am a little nothing”. She sang … “floating above the linden trees”. She lived despite her injuries and one day she saw the Holy Spirit. He revealed to her a secret: You can be a source of help for priests. She was ashamed that He should come into her humble environment but she saw Him, she talked with Him as with her brother. She said on 14 November 1871. “I suffered because I did not feel God. My heart was like iron. I could not think of God, I called the Holy Spirit and said, ‘It is you who helps us to know Christ. The Apostles were a long time with Him, but did not understand Him, but one visit from You was enough to make them to understand. You now must come to me and show me Jesus as He is.” “The Lord showed me everything” – she said. – “I saw before me a Dove, over an overflowing cup, as if it were the source. What poured out of the cup, bedewed the Dove and washed me. I heard a voice which came with this wonderful light. He said: ‘Whosever shall call on the Holy Spirit (…) will find me through Him. His consciousness is like a delicate flower field. If it is a father or mother, then peace will reign in their family. The peace will be in their heart, both in this and the next world. They will not die in darkness, but in My peace. Earnestly, I want you to say that all priests who will celebrate the Mass of the Holy Spirit once a month, would honour me. And whoever will honour me and will participate in the Mass, will be honoured by the Holy Spirit; and will have light in themselves; in the depths of their souls will be peace. It is He who will come to heal the sick and awaken those who sleep. As proof of this, all those who will celebrate this Mass, or who participate in it, and who will invoke the Holy Spirit will leave Mass, having experienced this peace in the depths of their souls. They will not die in darkness “.
Mariam’s devotion to the Holy Spirit was not common in her time. And yet her spiritual journey seemed to be guided by the Spirit in unprecedented ways. Inspired by having received a special prayer to the Holy Spirit during one of her ecstatic experiences, she was convinced that devotion to the Holy Spirit, who was then commonly known as the Paraclete, was needed by the whole Church. She even sent a petition to Pope Pius IX asking him to cultivate a greater devotion within the Church to the Holy Spirit. No one knows what the pope thought of this at the time, but 20 years later Pope Leo XIII published an encyclical about devotion to the Paraclete.
“The world and religious communities are seeking novelties in devotions, and they are neglecting true devotion to the Paraclete. That is why there is error and disunion, and why there is no peace or light. They do not invoke light as it should be invoked, and it is this light that gives knowledge of truth. It is neglected even in seminaries…Every person in the world that will invoke the Holy Spirit and have devotion to Him will not die in error.”
Specific lifeline. One Votive Mass to the Holy Spirit a month. – ‘I’ve seen so many things brought about by this devotion, celebration, that you could write thick volumes ‘– said Little Arab girl –‘ but I cannot talk about it. I am uneducated, can neither read nor write. The Lord will shed the light on whomever He wishes’ … Why should we not believe her word? We will offer one Mass each month as the Votive Mass to the Holy Spirit (this month will be this Tuesday at 7.00pm).
A few sayings of Blessed Sister Mariam while in ecstasy:
|– “I am in God, and God is in me. I feel that all creatures, the trees, the flowers belong to God and also to me. I no longer have a will, it belongs to God. And all that is God´s is mine.” – “Pay attention to little things. Everything is great before the Lord. The Lord does not want robbery in the sacrifice. Offer and give Him everything.
– “In heaven, the most beautiful souls are those that have sinned the most and repented. But they made use of their miseries like manure around the base of the tree.”
– “Be very charitable; when one of your eyes sees what is not right, shut it and then open the other one! Change everything into good.” – Her prayer: Holy Spirit, inspire me, Love of God, consume me, on the right path lead me. Mary, Mother, look at me, Jesus bless me. From all evil, from all illusions, from all danger save me. Amen
With love, friendship and prayers – Fr Marcin