Friday 21st July 2017

Home » saints » Currently Reading:

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Julie Billiart

April 7, 2014 saints No Comments

By CAROLE BRESLIN

Across North America there are churches and schools named after St. Julie Billiart. They carry on the tradition of the Sisters of Notre Dame of Namur founded by Julie and her friends during the turbulent years of the late 18th and early 19th century of the French nation when Catholics were being persecuted.
Throughout the history of the Church, there have been saints from families of both the very rich and the very poor. St. Julie Billiart, the sixth of seven children, arrived on July 12, 1751 to Jean-Francois Billiart and his wife Marie-Louise-Antoinette Debraine at Cuvilly in the Diocese of Beauvais, Picardy, France. Her parents were poor peasant farmers who could little afford an education for their seven children. If not for her uncle, Thibault Guilbert, the village schoolmaster, she may have not received any education at all.
However, little Julie knew her catechism by heart before her eighth birthday. In fact, a foreshadowing of her future vocation took the form of Julie teaching other children the catechism. She not only could repeat it back from memorization, but she internalized it and understood it in a way that can only come from time of prayer and wisdom granted by the Holy Spirit.
Recognizing her special gift, her parish priest, Fr. Dangicourt, prepared her to receive her First Communion at the early age of nine — the normal age to receive it being 14 years of age at the time. Remember that this was nearly 150 years before Pope Pius X changed the age for receiving the First Holy Communion to seven years of age.
At the age of 14, Julie took a vow of chastity, pledging herself to Christ. Despite the hard work required of her after the losses her family endured, she found time to visit the sick and the poor and to instruct children in the catechism. The villagers thought so highly of her piety and her charity that they began to call her the “Saint of Cuvilly.”
Sadly, this apostolic work would come to a sudden halt. As she sat in her family’s small house next to her father, the sudden and thunderous report of a pistol shot aimed at her father through the window brought on a paralysis and pain that would leave Julie bedridden for 22 years. Doctors could neither explain nor alleviate her situation, seemingly caused by the shock of the assassination attempt.
Julie did not let time pass her by. She spent many hours each day in prayer and contemplation, setting the foundation of her later work for the Lord. In addition, she lay in bed making laces for the liturgical linens and vestments for the priests. She also received many visitors seeking advice and spent time instructing children as well.
By 1790, the priest at the local church was replaced by a “constitutional priest.” The longstanding pastor had refused to take the oath demanded by the revolutionary government. Largely because of the influence of St. Julie, the people boycotted the schismatic priest, refusing to attend his services.
Furthermore, she was known to be hiding faithful priests who were being sought by the government agents. For these reasons she became a fugitive herself, moving from house to house to escape those who had threatened to kill her for her faithfulness to the true Church.
Finally, she was hidden in a wagon, carrying hay to Compiègne. Once again her friends had to carry her from house to house to escape the agents. Their pursuit was so relentless that she cried to our Lord, “Dear Lord, will you not find me a corner in Paradise, since there is no room for me on earth?”
The trauma brought on by the gunshot many years ago was greatly aggravated by the Jacobins’ pursuit. As a result, for quite some time her pain not only increased, but her ability to speak was lost for several months.
When the Reign of Terror came to end, she experienced some peace for a little while. A friend came to her and accompanied her back to Amiens where she stayed in the home of the Viscount Blin de Bourdon. This providential turn of events brought her together with the Viscountess of Gizaincourt, Frances Blin de Bourdon. These two women would pray and work together for the rest of Julie’s life.
Of course, the period of serenity was cut short when the persecution of Catholics reared its ugly head again. The two women were forced to move once more. This time they settled in the home of the Doria family in Bettencourt. Their teaching efforts were so successful that almost all the children came to their catechism classes and the adults returned to their practice of the faith.
Impressed with the personality and effectiveness of the bedridden girl and her friend, Fr. Varin urged them to set the foundations of the Institute of Notre Dame, which would devote itself to the teaching of children, young girls, and see to the formation of religious education teachers.
The devastation wrought by the French Revolution left the Church with few priests and many orphans. The sisters dedicated themselves to opening an orphanage and beginning night classes. Soon a group of priests came to lead a mission for the Sisters of Notre Dame. At the end of the mission, one of the priests, Fr. Enfantin, asked Julie to join him in a novena for a special intention to which she readily agreed.
After five days of the novena, the priests and sisters celebrated the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Fr. Enfantin turned to Julie and urged her, “Mother, if you have any faith, take one step in honor of the Sacred Heart.” After 22 years of paralysis, she stood and walked, realizing that she had been completely cured.
With her health restored, she worked even harder to spread the good work of the Sisters of Notre Dame and the Fathers of the Faith in other towns. Despite major setbacks by those who tried to destroy her work, she established many houses throughout the area.
Before her death on April 8, 1816, she established 15 convents and made over 120 trips. As she recited the Magnificat in the convent at Namur, she died. One bishop remarked that by her interior life and example of prayer she had saved many more souls than she did by her outward endeavors and activities.
St. Julie was canonized in 1969 by Pope Paul VI. Her feast day is April 8.
Dear St. Julie, how much you accomplished though bedridden for 22 years! Let us not hide behind our weaknesses, but trust in the grace of God to do His will. As St. Paul said, “I can do all things in Christ.” Amen.

+    +    +

(Carole Breslin home-schooled her four daughters and served as treasurer of the Michigan Catholic Home Educators for eight years. Mrs. Breslin’s articles have appeared in Homiletic & Pastoral Review and in the Marian Catechist Newsletter. For over ten years, she was national coordinator for the Marian Catechists, founded by Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ.)

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Bishops to Trump: Don’t abandon young people to deportation

Washington D.C., Jul 20, 2017 / 06:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Undocumented young people brought to the U.S. by their parents contribute to American society and deserve continued protections from the Trump administration, said the U.S. Catholic bishops this week. “These…Continue Reading

Facing outrage – Facebook unblocks Catholic pages

Dozens of Catholic Facebook pages have been blocked, according to several Catholic news organizations. UPDATE: Facebook has unblocked more than 20 Catholic-interest pages – blaming the issue on a technical glitch. “All Pages have now been restored,” a Facebook spokesperson…Continue Reading

Bishops stress hospitality for Camino de Santiago hosts

Santiago de Compostela, Spain, Jul 14, 2017 / 04:38 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The bishops of Spain and France have published a new letter emphasizing the importance of hospitality for people who host pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago, offering guidelines…Continue Reading

Cardinal Sarah wants ‘liturgical reconciliation’ between old and new forms of Mass

Sarah says phrase ‘reform of the reform’ should no longer be used but wants ordinary version of Mass to be more like the extraordinary form The Cardinal leading the Vatican’s divine worship office has called for a truce in the…Continue Reading

Video game store promotes graphic animated porn to 35 million child users

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 10, 2017 (NCOSE) – A mainstream online video game store, with an estimated 35 million users under the age of 18, is facilitating gamified sexual coercion and animated pornography featuring genitalia, ejaculation, to users of all ages. This…Continue Reading

Trump: ‘If We Do Not Have Strong Families and Strong Values…We Will Not Survive’

(CNSNews.com) – The values that bind America and Europe together – freedom, faith and family — are threatened from the outside by common enemies and from the inside by bureaucracy, President Donald Trump told a cheering crowd of Poles in…Continue Reading

House Republican says health care bill in jeopardy over Planned Parenthood

Rep. Trent Franks said Wednesday that if Planned Parenthood funding is added to the GOP health care bill, numerous Republican senators will no longer support it. “I think a lot of us are ‘no’ votes,” the Arizona Republican said. “We can’t continue…Continue Reading

Müller has a clear criticism of Francis

Critical criticism of Pope Franziskus was voiced by the Kurien Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Mueller. He told the “Passauer Neuen Presse” (Thursday) that Pope Francis Francis had informed him of the decision not to extend his office as a prefect of the…Continue Reading

Cardinal Joachim Meisner, one of the four ‘dubia’ cardinals, has died aged 83

Former German Bishops’ Conference president and Archbishop of Cologne Cardinal Joachim Meisner has died at the age of 83. Cardinal Meisner served as Archbishop of Cologne for 25 years. A spokesman for the archdiocese said he died on Wednesday morning…Continue Reading

Vietnamese Catholic blogger sentenced to 10 years in prison

HANOI, Vietnam – A Vietnamese court sentenced a Catholic blogger to 10 years in prison for propaganda against the Communist government. Rights activists described the sentence as “heavy.” Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, 37, also known as “Mother Mushroom,” was tried…Continue Reading

‘It’s not all black and white’: New cardinal criticizes 4 cardinals asking Pope for clarity

ROME, June 30, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — One of Pope Francis’ newly appointed cardinals is already calling out fellow cardinals who are questioning the new direction in which the Pope is trying to move the Church. Archbishop Juan José Omella of…Continue Reading

Vatican’s Cardinal Pell charged with sex abuse, vows to defend himself in Australia

Australian police on Thursday charged Cardinal George Pell, a top adviser to Pope Francis, with multiple historical sex crimes, bringing a worldwide abuse scandal to the heart of the Vatican. As Vatican economy minister, Pell is the highest-ranking Church official…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Today . . .

Pro-Life Group Slams Republican Opposing Senate Bill to Defund Planned Parenthood

Senator Shelly Moore Capito is one of three Republicans in the Senate who opposes the Senate bill to defund Planned Parenthood and repeal Obamacare. She has flip-flopped from suporting the bill to opposing it — but her political calculations are not playing well at home. The junior senator from West Virginia previously voted to repeal the failing ObamaCare legislation but did so expecting a certain veto from then President Obama. Now, it appears that Capito…Continue Reading

In latest appointments, Pope names new members of Roman Rota

Vatican City, Jul 20, 2017 / 06:15 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Fr. Pierangelo Pietracatella and Fr. Hans-Peter Fischer are the newest members of the Roman Rota, and mark the latest in a string of appointments Pope Francis has made this summer as part of his ongoing effort to restructure the Roman Curia. Hailing from the northern Italian diocese of Toronta, Fr. Pietracatella, a member of the Rota, has been named as it’s new Chief of Office.…Continue Reading

Archbishop Chaput Responds to Vatican Magazine Attack On Pro Trump Supporters . . .

chaput

History is full of great quotations that people never said. One of the best lines comes from Vladimir Lenin. He described Russian progressives, social democrats, and other fellow travelers as “useful idiots” – naïve allies in revolution whom the Bolsheviks promptly crushed when they took power. Or so the legend goes. In fact, there’s no evidence Lenin actually spoke those words, at least in public. But no one seems to care. It’s a compelling line,…Continue Reading

Vatican spokesman slams U.S. archbishop for defending Catholic teaching on LGBT

TORONTO, July 17, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Vatican spokesman Fr. Thomas Rosica has penned a strongly worded defense of Fr. James Martin’s new pro-gay book Building a Bridge. In it, he slams Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput, without specifically mentioning him by name, for issuing a correction to Fr. Martin for his abandonment of Catholic teaching on homosexuality. Fr. Rosica, a Basilian priest and CEO of the Canadian-based Salt and Light Media, wrote July 15 that he was filled with…Continue Reading

Pope Benedict XVI says Church is ‘on the verge of capsizing’

bennedict

July 15, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Pope Benedict XVI sent a sobering message at the funeral of Cardinal Joachim Meisner today, saying he was moved at the dubia cardinal’s ability to “live out of a deep conviction that the Lord does not abandon His Church, even when the boat has taken on so much water as to be on the verge of capsizing.” The Church “stands in particularly pressing need of convincing shepherds who can resist the dictatorship of…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)

Alliance Defending Freedom… Condemns ABC’s “Journalistic Malpractice”

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Counsel and Director of Communications Kerri Kupec commented July 13 on ABC News’ abandonment of objectivity in repeating false accusations against ADF made by the ultra-partisan Southern Poverty Law Center. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke at an Alliance Defending Freedom meeting on July 11, “and some in…Continue Reading

A Book Review… A Non-Polemical Study The Third Secret Of Fatima

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY On the Third Part of the Secret of Fatima, by Kevin Symonds (En Route Books and Media, 2017, 582 pages, $35.00 paperback, $10.05 Kindle). On the Third Part of the Secret of Fatima is a quite comprehensive treatment of this difficult subject, and one based on extensive documentation and copious footnotes.…Continue Reading

A Pope Who Understood The American Vision

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY (Editor’s Note: Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor in chief of CNSnews.com. Creators Syndicate distributed this column.) + + + It was a bright April day in Washington, D.C., when a large crowd gathered on the South Lawn of the White House to greet a man celebrating his 81st birthday. The…Continue Reading

Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic . . . A Disturbing Portrait Of The Present-Day American Left

By STEPHEN M. KRASON (Editor’s Note: Stephen M. Krason’s Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic column appears monthly [sometimes bimonthly] in Crisis. He is professor of political science and legal studies and associate director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is also cofounder and president of…Continue Reading

Trump, Benedict, And Remembering Thought Quarterly

By JUDE DOUGHERTY Thought was the title of a highly respected Fordham University quarterly, published from 1926 to 1992. During that period, its website tells us, it published 267 issues containing over 5,000 English-language contributions by philosophers, theologians, literary intellectuals, and others. Among its well-known contributors were Dietrich von Hildebrand, Bernard Lonergan, Jacques Maritain, Walker…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Q. I never hear our priest talk about the Apostolic Pardon. Please explain this blessing to me and why I don’t hear much about it. — M.G., Alabama. A. Once the Sacrament of Penance has been given to a dying person, says the document Pastoral Care of the Sick (n. 201), “the priest may give the Apostolic Pardon for the…Continue Reading

The Pearl Of Great Price

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Seventeenth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: 1 Kings 3:5, 7-12 Romans 8:28-30 Matt. 13:44-52 In the Gospel reading today, our Lord tells us that the Kingdom of Heaven is like something that is hidden: a treasure buried in a field, a merchant searching for a pearl, or an item pulled ashore in a net.…Continue Reading

Maiorem Hac Dilectionem . . . A New Way Toward Beatification

(Editor’s Note: Below we publish the full text of the Holy Father’s motu proprio on a new way toward beatification, titled, Maiorem hac dilectionem. It takes its title from the words of our Lord as recorded in the Gospel According to St. John, “Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends”…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Charlie Gard Case A Warning For Faith

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The world has become embroiled in the story of Charlie Gard, the British infant caught in the web of the National Health System, the bureaucrats of which have decided that he must be denied any further help and “allowed to die.” Any further efforts of doctors to aid him are seen as the cause of…Continue Reading

The Church Of Jesus Christ… Christ Founded The Catholic Church

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 1 Suppose that you meet a man from a country where Christianity is little known. He had heard about Jesus Christ, but in a rather vague manner. He was also told that Jesus founded a church, and that church was the one he should join if he wanted to be saved. Very well. But…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Bonaventure

By CAROLE BRESLIN There are many saints who have been called saints long before the formal process for canonization was put in place. Some of the names by which we know them may not be the names they were given at birth, but indicate their special gifts. For example, St. Veronica, known from the sixth station of the cross, may…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Bridget

By CAROLE BRESLIN One of St. Teresa of Calcutta’s most quoted sayings would fit with this column’s saint, “God hasn’t called me to be successful. He has called me to be faithful.” What encouraging words for anyone seeking to do God’s will, knowing that the cross, the setbacks, and the obstacles are all part of working for the Kingdom of…Continue Reading