The soul is the noblest part of us; the body, although inferior to our spirit, has its great importance in earthly life, being an instrument for doing good. The body needs health and it is a gift from God to enjoy health.
It is known that there are countless diseases that can affect the human body. How many lie in bed for months and even for years! How many stays in hospitals! How many bodies are tormented by painful surgical operations!
The world is a valley of tears. Only faith can give light on the mystery of pain. Health is often lost due to immorality in eating and drinking; for the most part the organism wears away because of the vices and the disease that follows is the punishment for that vice.
Jesus healed the paralytic near the bath of Silo, a paralytic who had been lying in bed for thirty-eight years; meeting him in the Temple, he said to him, “Here you are already healed! Do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse will happen to you!”(St. John, V, 14).
At other times, the disease can be an act of God’s mercy, so that the soul detaches itself from earthly joys, purifies itself more and more, to atone sins on earth rather than in Purgatory, and so that the physical suffering will serves as a lightning rod to sinners, imploring them much graces. How many privileged saints and souls have spent their lives in this state of immolation!
The Church calls the Madonna: “Salus infirmorum” (Health of the Sick), and exhorts the faithful to resort to Her for the health of the body.
How could father of a family feed his children if he did not have the strength to work? How would a mother take care of the housework if she did not have good health?
Our Lady, Mother of Mercy, is happy to implore the health of the body to those who invoke Her with faith. People who experience the goodness of the Virgin are without number.
“White Trains” (trains dedicated to bring the sick) often leaving for Lourdes, many pilgrimages to the various Marian shrines, the altars of the Madonna are all covered with ex-voto / “cuorivoto” (votive offering in thanksgiving for graces received) .. all this demonstrates the effectiveness of the appeal to Mary.
In every sickness, let us therefore turn to the Queen of Heaven! If the health of the body will be useful to the soul, this will be obtained; if the illness will be more useful spiritually, the Madonna will obtain the grace of holy resignation and the strength in supporting the sickness and pain.
Any prayer is effective in times of need. St. John Bosco, apostle of the Virgin Help of Christians, recommended a particular novena, with which prodigious graces were obtained.
Here are the indication of this novena:
1) Recite for nine days in succession three Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, with the ejaculation prayer: May the Most Holy and Most Divinely Sacrament be praised and thanked every moment!
– also recite three Hail Holy Queens’ to the Blessed Virgin, with the invocation: “Maria Auxilium Christianorum, now pro nobis!” (Mary Help of Christians, pray for us)
2) During the novena receive the Holy Sacraments of Confession and Communion.
3) To obtain graces more easily, wear the medal of the Our Lady around the neck and promise, according to your possibilities, some offerings in thanksgiving to Our Lady.
The Count of Bonillan had his wife seriously ill with tuberculosis. The sufferer, after several months spent in bed, was reduced to such an indignity that she weighted only twenty-five kilograms. The doctors considered any remedy useless.
The Count then wrote to Don Bosco, asking for prayers for his wife. The answer was: “Lead the sick to Turin”. The Count wrote saying that his wife could not absolutely make the trip from France to Turin. But Don Bosco insisted that he set off on this journey.
The sick countess arrived in Turin in a most pitiful conditions. The following day, Don Bosco celebrated Mass at the altar of Our Lady Help of Christians; the Count and his wife were present.
The Blessed Virgin performed the miracle: at the moment of the Communion the sick woman felt perfectly healed. While before she did not have the strength to take a step, she was able to go to the altar rail to receive holy communion; after the Mass she went to the sacristy to talk with Don Bosco and she returned peacefully to France completely restored.
Our Lady, invoked with faith, answered the prayers of Don Bosco and of the Countess. The fact occurred in 1886.
A Little Spiritual Flower Offering to our Lady (fiorétto spirituale):
– Recite nine Glory Be, in honor of the Holy Choir of Angels.
Prayer to Mary:
– Mary, health of the sick, bless all the sick people!
Adapted and Translated from:
MARIA REGINA AND MOTHER OF MERCY (Month of May) – by DON GIUSEPPE TOMASELLI