Oh, Dearest Mother, Sweetest Virgin of Altagracia, our Patroness. You are our Advocate and to you we recommend our needs. You are our Teacher and like disciples we come to learn from the example of your holy life. You are our Mother, and like children, we come to offer you all of the love of our hearts. Receive, dearest Mother, our offerings and listen attentively to our supplications. Amen.

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Posted: Nov 29 2011 at 8:17pm | IP Logged Quote JennGM

Blessed Mother's Last Christmas by Sister Mary Cleophas, S.C.L, illustrations by Sister Rose Patrice, S.C.L.

St. Paul Editions (Daughters of St. Paul), 1940, and 1963. Imprimatur and Nihil Obstat.

I really love all the old books by the Daughters of St. Paul, and grabbed this little book the other day. Unfortunately I didn't find too many online, but if you see a slim volume with this title, snatch it.

It's a short story with nice pastel drawings, a little bit crude, but not off-putting. The story is that it is Our Lady's last Christmas, and she wants to go to revisit Bethlehem. St. John the Apostle takes her, and they go to the Stable. When they arrive, they see footprints and find an older man sitting there. He was one of the shepherds from that first Christmas and wants to know what happened to Jesus.

Mary retells the events of his life, and while she talks, St. John sets up an altar. The shepherd is amazed that Jesus came to die, and at first is sad that he won't get to meet him, but then Mary and John explain that he can be with him every day at Mass.

It is so touching at the end:

Old Joel bent his head down low. Then he said slowly, "he will be here again, the same Savior! This is wonderful news. I am glad you told me about it." Then he looked up into Our Lady's beautiful eyes. "But He will not come to me. I can't hold Him in my arms again. He will not come to me. I cannot eat that Bread in which He is hiding. I am just a poor sinner! Tell me, please, what can an old man like me do when Jesus comes here tonight?"

Then Our Lady called St. John. She said, "Old Joel wants to baptized, John. He will receive Jesus tonight."

So St. John got some water. As he poured the water on Old Joel's head, he said the same words that Jesus told him to say, "I baptize thee in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."

When Old Joel lifted his head, his eyes were shining with a new joy. He knew that now all his sins had been washed away. He knew that God the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit had come to make a new home in his soul. The happy old man whispered over and over, "Jesus is really coming here again. He will be here soon. He is coming to me. He will live in me. Jesus, I believe in You. I hope that You will take me to Heaven! I love You and I want You to come!

No one could tell of the joy that came in the old, old stable that night. At midnight, St. John began to pray the Mass, and soon, in the stillness of the night, three loving hearts again adored the little Son of God, the sweet little Savior. Old Joel felt that Heaven was there again. In Bethlehem, which means the City of Bread, Jesus became the bread of their souls

After that, Old Joel told the story over and over again of how Mary, the Mother of God, helped to get ready to receive his first Holy Communion.

I think this is so fabulous! It's definitely a treasure, and I think it would be perfect reading for St. John's feast day, and for pre-Christmas reading, especially by those preparing for their First Communion or have received already.

Jennifer G. Miller
Wife to & ds1 '03 & ds2 '07
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Posted: Nov 29 2011 at 8:59pm | IP Logged Quote SeaStar

Wow- what a find! I will be on the look out for a copy

Melinda, mom to ds ('02) and dd ('04)

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Posted: Nov 29 2011 at 9:18pm | IP Logged Quote MaryM

Oh my gosh - sounds amazing! So you hadn't seen this one before just finding it now? How many more treasures are there out waiting to be discovered again?

You must have super spidey book senses...

Mary M. in Denver

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Posted: Nov 29 2011 at 10:14pm | IP Logged Quote SarahCD

Oh, that is SO beautiful! WOW!!

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Posted: Nov 30 2011 at 7:31am | IP Logged Quote CrunchyMom

MaryM wrote:
Oh my gosh - sounds amazing! So you hadn't seen this one before just finding it now? How many more treasures are there out waiting to be discovered again?

You must have super spidey book senses...

Yes this.

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Posted: Nov 30 2011 at 5:34pm | IP Logged Quote DominaCaeli

This looks just fabulous! Thank you so much for sharing!

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