Saturday 4th December 2021

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

2019 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Twitter Feed

Pro-Life Group Calls for Removing Fauci After He's Caught Funding Aborted Baby Parts - https://t.co/kqxQXGgoG8

LifeNews.com - The Pro-Life News Source

.

LifeNews.com

Load More...

Biden says Pope Francis told him to continue receiving communion, amid scrutiny over pro-abortion policies

President Biden said that Pope Francis, during their meeting Friday in Vatican City, told him that he should continue to receive communion, amid heightened scrutiny of the Catholic president’s pro-abortion policies.  The president, following the approximately 90-minute-long meeting, a key…Continue Reading

Federal judge rules in favor of Gov. DeSantis’ mask mandate ban

MIAMI (LifeSiteNews) – A federal judge this week handed Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis another legal victory on his mask mandate ban for schools. On Wednesday, Judge K. Michael Moore of the Southern District of Florida denied a petition from…Continue Reading

The Eucharist should not be received unworthily, says Nigerian cardinal

Priests have a duty to remind Catholics not to receive the Eucharist in a state of serious sin and to make confession easily available, a Nigerian cardinal said at the International Eucharistic Congress on Thursday. “It is still the doctrine…Continue Reading

Donald Trump takes a swipe at Catholics and Jews who did not vote for him

Donald Trump complained about Catholics and Jews who did not vote for him in 2020. The former president made the comments in a conference call featuring religious leaders. The move could be seen to shore up his religious conservative base…Continue Reading

Y Gov. Kathy Hochul Admits Andrew Cuomo Covered Up COVID Deaths, 12,000 More Died Than Reported

When it comes to protecting people from COVID, Andrew Cuomo is already the worst governor in America. New York has the second highest death rate per capita, in part because he signed an executive order putting COVID patients in nursing…Continue Reading

Prayers For Cardinal Burke . . . U.S. Cardinal Burke says he has tested positive for COVID-19

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — U.S. Cardinal Raymond L. Burke said he has tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19. In an Aug. 10 tweet, he wrote: “Praised be Jesus Christ! I wish to inform you that I have recently…Continue Reading

Democrats Block Amendment Banning Late-Term Abortions, Stopping Abortions Up to Birth

Senate Democrats have blocked an amendment that would ban abortions on babies older than 20 weeks. During consideration of the multi-trillion spending package, pro-life Louisiana Senator John Kennedy filed an amendment to ban late-term abortions, but Democrats steadfastly support killing…Continue Reading

Transgender student wins as U.S. Supreme Court rebuffs bathroom appeal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed a victory to a transgender former public high school student who waged a six-year legal battle against a Virginia county school board that had barred him from using the bathroom corresponding…Continue Reading

New York priest accused by security guard of assault confirms charges have now been dropped

NEW YORK, June 17, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — A New York priest has made his first public statement regarding the dismissal of charges against him.  Today Father George W. Rutler reached out to LifeSiteNews and other media today with the following…Continue Reading

21,000 sign petition protesting US Catholic bishops vote on Biden, abortion

More than 21,000 people have signed a letter calling for U.S. Catholic bishops to cancel a planned vote on whether President Biden should receive communion.  Biden, a Catholic, supports abortion rights and has long come under attack from some Catholics over that…Continue Reading

Bishop Gorman seeks candidates to fill two full time AP level teaching positions for the 2021-2022 school year in the subject areas of Calculus/Statistics and Physics

Bishop Thomas K. Gorman Regional Catholic School is a college preparatory school located in Tyler, Texas. It is an educational ministry of the Catholic Diocese of Tyler led by Bishop Joseph Strickland. The sixth through twelfth grade school provides a…Continue Reading

Vatican observes ‘Earth Hour’

On Saturday, along with the Vatican, symbolic monuments of cities all across the globe turn off their lights, to demonstrate the serious global climate crisis. By Vatican News staff writer Vatican City State took part in the traditional international initiative Earth…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

Catechism

Adopt A Center

Today . . .

Fr. Altman torches bishops

BALTIMORE (ChurchMilitant.com) – A fiery persecuted priest is calling U.S. bishops to account for corruption and abuse within the Catholic Church. Wisconsin priest Fr. James Altman sent a scorching message to Catholic prelates today at Church Militant’s “Bishops: Enough Is Enough” prayer rally in Baltimore. The rally is within throwing distance of the location of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ annual fall meeting.

Is It Impossible?

Cindy Paslawski      The media pundits were off and running at the mouth and pen about the US Bishops who are holding their annual fall meeting. In all their theological expertise, writers from Savannah to Los Angeles were proclaiming that Joe Biden should not be forbidden to receive the Holy Eucharist.      I do not recall a Bishop telling members of the secular media what to write, so where do these media theological “experts” get…Continue Reading

Catholic Bishop Slams Biden for Supporting Abortion: “63 Million Babies Have Been Murdered. It’s a Bloodbath”

Catholic Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone called out President Joe Biden this week for supporting the abortion “bloodbath” that has destroyed nearly 63 million unborn babies’ lives in the United States. The San Francisco archbishop has been outspoken in his criticism of political leaders like Biden who profess to be Catholic while openly advocating for the killing of unborn babies in abortions. In a new interview with America Magazine, Cordileone pointed out that Biden no longer even claims…Continue Reading

Barrett and Kavanaugh Supply Majority to Deny Religious-Liberty Claim on Vaccine Mandate

Late Friday, Justices Amy Coney Barrett and Brett Kavanaugh joined Chief Justice John Roberts and the Supreme Court’s three progressives in denying a preliminary injunction to a group of medical professionals who sought to be exempted from Maine’s vaccine mandate because of their religious convictions. Justice Neil Gorsuch filed a compelling dissent in the case, John Does 1-3 v. Mills, joined by his fellow conservative justices, Clarence Thomas and Sa

Catholic Politicians and Non-Admittance to Holy Communion

Praised be Jesus Christ! Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, For the past several months, the intention of the Church in the United States of America has been very much in my prayers. At their coming November meeting, the Bishops of the United States will be considering the application of Canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law: “Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others…Continue Reading

Return Of The “Law And Order” Issue

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN According to Gallup, on the issue of crime, President Joe Biden is 18 points underwater. While 57 percent of Americans disapprove of how he is handling crime, only 39 percent approve.Biden’s dismal rating was recorded before the verdict came in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial — not guilty on all five counts…Continue Reading

n New Book… Cardinal Sarah Calls Catholic Priests To Spiritual Renewal

By HANNAH BROCKHAUS ROME (CNA) — In a new book, Robert Cardinal Sarah calls priests to spiritual renewal, saying that it will not come through structural changes, but through rediscovering the priest’s mission and identity as the presence of Christ in the world.“Christ never created structures. Of course, I’m not saying they aren’t necessary. Organization…Continue Reading

City Of Philadelphia . . . To Pay $2 Million To Catholic Foster Care Agency In Settlement

By CHRISTINE ROUSSELLE PHILADELPHIA (CNA) — The city of Philadelphia will pay Catholic Social Services a $2 million settlement and reinstate their foster care contract after the Supreme Court unanimously found in June that the city had discriminated against the group due to their religious beliefs.Most of the money will be used to pay Catholic…Continue Reading

This Season . . . Thank Private Property

By JOHN STOSSEL Happy Thanksgiving!But beware the “tragedy of the commons.” It almost killed off the pilgrims.Now, via Washington, D.C., it’s probably coming for us.Tragedy of the commons is a concept from an essay by ecologist Garrett Hardin. He wrote how cattle ranchers sharing a common parcel of land soon destroy that land. That’s because…Continue Reading

Biden’s War On Religious Liberty Spikes

By BILL DONOHUE (Editor’s Note: Catholic League President Bill Donohue commented November 18 at catholicleague.org on the latest attacks on religious liberty.) + + Never has religious liberty been more seriously threatened than it is today. That the man responsible for this all-out assault professes to be a Catholic is all the more offensive. It…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Q. Attending parochial school in the 1950s, we read about Fr. Miguel Pro, who was martyred during the Mexican Revolution. We learned that the revolution was led by the Communists. However, now it seems that it was led by the Masons. Which one was it? Or was it both? — R.K., via e-mail.A. A priest-friend of ours who is from…Continue Reading

Chaos In Firm Control Of U.S. Church

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK I am currently working my way through a sociological and psychological work entitled The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self. In this academic pursuit of over 400 pages, a Christian professor by the name of Carl R. Trueman attempts to explain, among other things, why so many people are no longer Christian. Or, rather,…Continue Reading

Four Common Tactics Of The Devil

By MSGR. CHARLES POPE (Editor’s Note: This essay on the Devil’s tactics first appeared on Msgr. Pope’s blog and it is reprinted here with permission.) + + On recent years there has been a resurgence of interest in demonic possession. Movies and books, along with human fears and fascinations, are largely the cause. Although actual demonic possession is somewhat rare,…Continue Reading

A Spiritual Exile

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Second Sunday Of Advent (YR C) Readings: Baruch 5:1-9Phil. 1:4-6, 8-11Luke 3:1-6 In the readings today, we hear the same basic message from three different sources. The words of the Prophet Isaiah are applied to St. John the Baptist regarding his purpose and his message: “Every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill made…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: Kudos to Catholic League President Bill Donohue on his new book The Truth About Clergy Sexual Abuse (available at Ignatius.com). In a statement, Donohue says that his book demonstrates that “the sexual abuse scandal effectively ended decades ago.” This is confirmed, he said, “by the 2020 Annual Report on clergy sexual abuse published by the National Review Board…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Damien Of Molokai

By DEB PIROCH Born the seventh child to Belgian farming parents, young Joseph de Veuster — later St. Damien — was first called to the priesthood after a mission given by the Redemptorists in 1858, when he was 18. Having been told to stop school because he was needed on the home farm, Joseph, like his two older sisters and…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Margaret Of Castello

By DEB PIROCH “Again the kingdom of heaven is like to a merchant seeking good pearls. Who when he had found one pearl of great price, went his way, and sold all that he had, and bought it” (Matt. 13:44-45).The other famous biblical reference to pearls is in The Gospel According to St. Matthew. Christ says: “Give not that which…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)