top of page

Click on image above  to view video about

St. Lydwine of Schiedam









Fount of love and sacred sorrow,

Mother, may my spirit borrow,

Sadness from thy holy woe;

May it love on fire within me

Christ, my God, till great love win me

Grace to please Him here below.


Aubrey de Vere.


Saint Patrick was a fifth-century Romano-British Christian missionary and bishop in Ireland. Known as the "Apostle of Ireland", he is the primary patron saint of Ireland, along with saints Brigit of Kildare and Columba. 

ST. PATRICK, from his ingress into the island in 432, impressed upon his hearers the beauty of holy virginity, and held up Mary as the type and model of female excellence, so that among his earliest converts were virgins who consecrated themselves to the service of God, and taking the Blessed Virgin as their model sought to re-enact in their lives the virtues which were so characteristic of her, and which must be ever dear to her heart. 


The hereditary devotion of the land is clearly evinced by St. Malachi, the intimate and friend of the great St. Bernard, the glory of his age, the ornament of the Church universal, and the author of the life of that noble-hearted son of Ireland.  He was interred far from his native shores in the chapel of the Blessed Virgin at Clairvaux, where, as St. Bernard tells us, "it had been his delight to spend long hours in prayer."  According to Messingham, one of the last public acts of St. Lawrence O’ Toole, who did so much to repel the invasion of the English, was to erect a new church in Dublin "to the honor of God and the Blessed Virgin Mother." 

Then came the Canons Regular from the Continent in the wake of the English, and they entered heartily into the Irish love and service of Mary. 


Nicholas Fagan, an Irishman by birth, took the habit of religion in the famous Cistercian abbey of Farrara, in Castile Spain, in the latter part of Queen Elizabeth’s reign.  After some years he was sent back to Ireland, where, though exposed to many dangers and more than once beaten, ill-used, and wounded by his enemies, he nevertheless managed to preserve his life, which he spent in apostolic labors.  He was very desirous of promoting the devotion to the Blessed Virgin as a powerful means of restoring and strengthening the Catholic faith, and for this purpose he placed an image of Our Blessed Lady, which he had brought with him from Seville in an oratory attached to the hospital of St. John in the city of Waterford, where numbers of Catholics devoutly resorted, in whose behalf, says Don Caspar Jongelino (in his work entitled "The Propora di S. Bernardo"), Our Lord, through the intercession of His Blessed Mother, worked many and astounding miracles at the Shrine. 


The remains of the former Franciscan Friary in Waterford City. It is believed to have been founded c.1241 by Sir Hugh Purcell (the belltower with its stepped battlements was added in the late 15th century) and remained in use for its original purpose for three centuries until the time of the Reformation. The site was subsequently granted by Henry VIII to a local merchant, Henry Walsh with a charter to convert part of it into an almshouse. This building has long been known as the French Church, having been used by Huguenots after they settled in Waterford towards the end of the 17th century.

There was a certain man who lived in the county of Kilkenny, whose arm had been withered from his birth, so that he could not so much as move it.  One night the Mother of God appeared to him, and commanded him to go to Waterford and visit her image, preserved in St. John’s Hospital, promising him if he did so the restoration of his arm.  On awaking he resolved to obey what he believed to be a Divine revelation and, going the same day to Waterford, he acquainted Father Fagan with the reason of his visit.  The good father bade him wait till the next day, when he would celebrate Mass and recommend his cure to God.  In the morning a considerable number of Catholics assembled in the oratory where Father Fagan said Mass, and at the moment of the Elevation, the man felt his hand suddenly and perfectly cured, so that he at once used it by fervently striking his breast.  Not wishing, however, to cause any disturbance at that moment by declaring what had happened, he held his peace till the end of the Mass, when he raised his arm now as healthy and whole as the other, and proclaimed his cure to all present. 


Another miracle of a somewhat different character, yet further increased the veneration of the Catholics for this holy image, which they visited in such throngs that the little oratory was never without some pious votary.  A certain Catholic of the neighborhood who retained the Faith, but unhappily lived a very disorderly life, had stolen some necklaces of great value, but not so secretly as to escape suspicion.  He was accused of the crime, but swore to his innocence, and the fact was not proved against him.  In company with several persons who had been present when he took the false oath, he went to hear Mass in St. John’s oratory before the holy image.  In the midst of the holy Mass the necklaces fell at his feet, without any one perceiving from whence they came.  The thief, finding himself detected, fell on his knees and confessed his crime, receiving a severe reproof from the venerable servant of God.* 

*Wadding, in his "Annals," mentions a miraculous Image preserved at the Francescan convent at Tralee, built about the year 1440 by Lord McCarthy, concerning which a very similar story is told of the discovery of a theft.  This Image continued to be venerated until the reign of Elizabeth, when it was concealed in a withered tree, which thereupon is said to have produced leaves, boughs, and blossoms, whereby the holy Image was more perfectly hidden from the view of the heretics.

Nicholas Fagan was afterwards elected Bishop of Waterford, but died in 1616, before receiving consecration.  His tomb is still to be seen in the church of Waterford, bearing an inscription in Latin verse, and his memory is commemorated in the Cistercian Menology on March 8th. 



St. Lawrence, it appears, was born about the year 1125. When only ten years old, his father delivered him up as a hostage to Dermod Mac Murehad, King of Leinster, who treated the child with great inhumanity, until his father obliged the tyrant to put him in the hands of the Bishop of Glendalough, in the county of Wicklow. The holy youth, by his fidelity in corresponding with the divine grace, grew to be a model of virtues. On the death of the bishop, who was also abbot of the monastery, St. Lawrence was chosen abbot in 1150, though he was only twenty-five years old, and governed his numerous community with wonderful virtue and prudence. In 1161 St. Lawrence was unanimously chosen to fill the new metropolitan See of Dublin. About the year 1171 he was obliged, for the affairs of his diocese, to go over to England to see the king, Henry II, who was then at Canterbury. The Saint was received by the Benedictine monks of Christ Church with the greatest honor and respect. On the following day, as the holy archbishop was going to the altar to officiate, a maniac, who had heard much of his sanctity, and who was led on by the idea of making so holy a man another St. Thomas, struck him a violent blow on the head. All present concluded that he was mortally wounded; but the Saint came to himself, asked for some water, blessed it, and having his wound washed with it, the blood was immediately stopped, and the Archbishop celebrated Mass. In 1175 Henry II of England became offended with Roderic, the monarch of Ireland, and St. Lawrence undertook another journey to England to negotiate a reconciliation between them. Henry was so moved by his piety, charity, and prudence that he granted him everything he asked, and left the whole negotiation to his discretion. Our Saint ended his journey here below on the 14th of November, 1180, and was buried in the church of the abbey at Eu, on the confines of Normandy. His feast day is November 14th.

The name of St. Lawrence is associated with two sanctuaries of Our Blessed Lady, one in Dublin and another in Wales, the history of which is related in the exceedingly beautiful and interesting life of the Saint preserved by Surius, but without any particulars which would enable us to decide their precise locality.  St. Lawrence many times visited England and, on one of these occasions, returning from the court of Henry II., into his own country, he came to a certain sea-port in Wales, the name of which is not given, and was there detained by unfavorable winds.  There was in the neighborhood a church which had been recently built in honor of the Blessed Virgin, by a rich man of the country, but in consequence of the absence of the Bishop of the diocese, it had not yet been consecrated.  A certain hermit had constructed for himself a cell attached to this church, in which he lived, that he might serve God more freely.  To him the Blessed Virgin appeared in the night, richly adorned and with a majestic countenance, and inquired of him why her church had not yet been consecrated.  And the hermit replying, that it was because of the absence of the Bishop, she made answer, "I will not have it consecrated by him, but by Laurence of Dublin, for whose coming I have been waiting, that he, and none but he, might dedicate my church.  And this shall be a sign to him, for he shall not obtain a favorable wind until he has done my pleasure."  The hermit awoke, amazed with the vision and, as soon as it was day he sent for the lord of the adjoining castle who had founded the church, and declared to him what had taken place.  He at once went to the Archbishop, and invited him to his castle, and, receiving him honorably, made him a feast and implored him to deign to consecrate the church.  But the holy man replied that he could not do this in the diocese of another, and remained unmoved by all the prayers of his host.  Then the latter related to him the vision of the hermit, and all the words of the Blessed Virgin, till Laurence, convinced that it was indeed the will of God, and that the thing was not unlawful, but rather enjoined, the next day consecrated the church.  And as soon as the Mass and other holy rites were ended, and he had tasted bread, he entered into his ship and, with a favorable wind set sail for his own land.  And from that time innumerable miracles were performed, and Divine graces and favors poured out in this church. 


On another occasion, as he was about going to England and had already got on board the vessel, some of the citizens of Dublin joined him, believing themselves sure of escaping the perils of the sea, if they sailed in his company.  However, they had not proceeded far before a great tempest arose, whereupon they all gathered round their holy pastor, imploring him by his prayers to deliver them from the death that appeared to threaten them.  But he encouraged them, assuring them that if they followed his counsel, not one of them should perish.  "You know," he said, "that we are even now building a church in Dublin, in honor of the Mother of God.  Promise, therefore, to give to this work bountifully of the fruit of those things which He has given to you, and I will promise you, on the part of God, a tranquil sea and a safe voyage."  They at once made the required promise, offering their alms to the Archbishop with a good and ready will; for the ship was loaded with their merchandise.  Then the heavens cleared, the sea grew calm, and they reached land in safety, praising God and His holy servant. 


In many a cottage home upon the lonely mountain side, or among the dreary bogs to which the fury of religious persecution had driven them, the children of the martyred sons of Erin gathered every evening, when the shades of night were closing in, to offer to their Mother Mary the daily tribute of the Rosary.  Throughout the land, from end to end, from anguished hearts the cry for help went up to Mary’s golden throne, and the form of prayer our ancestors most loved and clung to was the Family Rosary.  The younger members carried it across the seas and planted it in foreign lands.  The aged folk who lingered on at home, knelt down each night beneath the lowly cabin roof to say the Beads for the welfare of the sons and daughters they should never see again until they met upon the steps of Mary’s throne. 


And to-day the people of Ireland are as true to Mary as they ever were.  Devotion to the Blessed Virgin is an heirloom of the Irish race.  Irish Messenger of Sacred Heart. 







[The peasantry give to a strange mist which is sometimes seen hovering on the mountain tops, a beautiful appellation in Gaelic, signifying "The Veil of the Virgin Mary."] 

In a Wicklow valley, rich Imale 

The peasants tell you a wonderful tale; 

At the close of even, there falls, ‘tis said, 

A fleecy cloud on the mountain’s head, 

Of a fairy lustre, pure and pale, 

And they call it the Virgin Mary’s Veil. 


One day long past at the twilight time, 

A youth the mountain side did climb; 

Thoughtful his brow and passing fair, 

His modest eyes and wavy hair, 

The people said that he was a saint, 

That his soul of sin knew never a taint. 


And this was the reason, no doubt that he 

So favored of Heaven above should be; 

For the soul that is pure hath beauty rare 

And shines like the sun beyond compare, 

While the angels weep in their mansions aisled 

To gaze on a human heart defiled. 


The sun had sunk ‘neath the mountain’s head; 

The clouds were shimmering pink and red; 

A calm majesty was reigning there, 

And the youth soft breathed a fervent prayer, 

For lo! before him untinged and pale, 

Was the mist of the Virgin Mary’s Veil. 


Deep thrilled his heart with a reverent fear, 

As the mystic cloud came drifting near, 

He felt the awe of a Presence high,

A heavenly incense floated by, 

And he heard, as the mist enveloped him, 

A sound as of chanting seraphim. 


Then broke on his eyes such dazzling light 

He fain would cover his aching sight, 

But an angel voice bade him have no fear, 

He looked and beheld a vision near -

A woman whose beauty outshone by far 

The light of the lustrous morning star. 


Short moments of rapturous amaze 

Did the ravished youth on that vision gaze -

All crowned with the blazing orbs of night, 

And clothed in robes of living light -

Then spoke the Lady in tone so sweet 

It calmed his hot heart’s feverous beat: 


"The Virgin Mother of God am I, 

And come from my throne on high 

To claim the love of your youth as mine, 

God dowers me with souls that are pure like thine, 

Your spouse shall no earthly maiden be, 

You are mine for the long Eternity." 


The youth arose, the vision was gone, 

His face with a sacred luster shone, 

With a pilgrim’s staff in the morning grey 

He journeyed to blessed Melleray, 

And there with the pious monks did bide -

Ere a year the death of a saint he died. 


And thus I’ve told you the wonderful tale 

I heard in the beautiful Wicklow vale. 

The lesson of the moral all may see; 

God’s loveliest gift is purity. 

When we stand in the awful Judgment Light, 

May our hearts be robed with The Veil of White. 

Mary is rightly called "Our Lady of Peace," peace for sinners for the wretched soul weary and worn in the conflict with the world and the flesh, the demon of all demons.  Our Mother of Peace!  She "seems to waft a breath of Heaven into our overheated and noisy atmosphere and speaks to us of a far-off land where the suffering and the weary shall be at rest." 

bottom of page