Today in the Diocese of Brooklyn, New York, a special Year of Vocations begins under the patronage of St. John Vianney, the Cure of Ars, whose Feast it is on August 4th.
The Visitation Order of Holy Mary and the Cure of Ars are related in that several young women who pondered their vocation to the Visitation in the mid 1800’s actually went to consult with the Cure, St John Vianney.
Here are some incidents of these conferences:
“There are several nuns in the monastery of the Visitation of Bourg, who, having had recourse to the Servant of God, have obtained marked graces, in which this marvelous gift of repentance is revealed in a striking manner. One of them told us the story of her vocation.
“Having always had the idea that the Cure of Ars would tell me the time of my death, I had never wanted to go to him; This thought alone made me afraid; For death was for many years the terror of my soul, the specter that appeared in the midst of all my feasts, To trouble them, with all my joys to darken them. When my proud heart was at last broken and humiliated enough to merit God to speak to him, I heard his voice, and the cloister, which had always seemed worse to me than death, seemed to me the only asylum in which I waited for him. – Thus arranged, I left for Ars.
“I came to the holy Cure with such lively and full faith; I was so resolved to receive the words he would say to me as an oracle, that he could not fail to be inspired in my regard. When I found myself in front of him, I was seized with a feeling of religious terror, mingled with veneration, so that I did not know what I had come to ask of him. I knelt down to recover myself rather than to have his blessing; I really did not know where I was. He said to me, “What do you want, my child? “My Father, I come to consult you on a vocation. — For who? – For me. my father. – For you! Take four boards. – Four boards! Cried I, with a feeling of terror, which was impossible to render. – Yes, four boards. “But, Father, I do not understand…” And, by the way, I was scarcely able to understand; The earth seemed to fly under my feet; Everything turned before me; The saintly curate appeared to me at that moment as a being who had nothing human. I should have liked to cling to something; It seemed to me that I was going to fall. “He went on:” Well! It is as if there were already three planks, and you had a fourth to cover you; Do you understand now? I uttered a cry … my familiar specter, death, was before me. He added, retaining the grave and almost severe tone with which he had spoken to me before: “Death makes you afraid, my child? Then, taking a softer voice and with a celestial face, “Ah! death! It is the union of the soul with God! “But,” I replied, “I wish to die in the cloister.” “And where?” At the Visitation? Ah! Yes, “it is such a beautiful life! Nearby there is a monastery “that awaits you. Go on, my child, you will be well there. “
Where had M. Vianney learned that I was thinking of the Visitation, that I had already made two retreats there? What is strange is that I went out calm, as if the Saint had not spoken to me of the thing I feared the most.
“You know, Father, how I have become faithful. Now I have only to die for everything to be accomplished. May I die, before this complete death, die so entirely to myself that I live only in God and for God! Then I can realize the dream of mute my life: to die happy. ”
One of our sisters having gone to Ars before taking the habit, was called by M. Vianney a few moments after his entry into the church, to her great satisfaction and great astonishment. As soon as she had explained to him the object of her request, the holy Cure began to weep and said to her: “Go quickly, my dear, long ago the good God is waiting for you! At fifteen she had entered a religious house and had gone out because she refused to pay her dowry. She then joined a companion. The next day, quite occupied with this promise of which she had not spoken to the holy man, she returned to Ars; M. Vianney said to her, “My little one, you are not yet gone? Do not worry about your age; Go to the Visitation of Bourg; Tell the Reverend Mother that “I am sending you.”
There are at least 2 more stories as these but it is sufficient now to show how the Cure of Ars supported the Visitation with vocations!
Our Visitation Monastery in Brooklyn welcomes any woman or man discerning a vocation to join us every Sunday from 4PM-530PM for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, The Rosary and Evening Prayer.
We also invite any other persons who wish to pray with us in our Sacred Heart Chapel to join us at that time.
May Jesus grant you insight into His Will for your life!