Category Archives: Provincial Annals

Beatification of Louise de Marillac – DC pilgrimmage to Rome, May 1920 (part 3)

Louise de Marillac

Louise de Marillac, 1591-1660 (Image courtesy of Vincent de Paul Image Archive, DePaul University)

(Account of Sister Margaret O’Keefe from the Provincial Annals used with permission of the Daughters of Charity Provincial Archives)

May 9 – Sunday. Went to St. Peter’s at 8 the High Mass commenced at 10 – even though we had tickets it was necessary to be there early on account of the great crowd. Tribunes were erected for the occasion. Sister Eugenia [Sister Eugenia Fealy, Visitatrix of the St. Louis Province] and I were in the one next to our M[ost] H[onored] Mother and we sat on red velvet chairs; the draperies were red and gold. High up over the altars a magnificent gold frame of very elaborate design the picture veiled was in the centre. The procession was the grandest of course I ever saw – the long lines of Bishops and Cardinals the officiating Bishop minister with his retinue. When all were seated an ecclesiastic read from a pulpit a long document in which the names of St. Vincent and Louise Legras occurred frequently. When this was finished the Bishop removed the veil from the reliquary which was place on the altar on a throne at the same moment the curtain fell and all the Cardinals and prelates knelt to venerate the relic. Then the glorious Te Deum burst forth. the missionaries, our brothers were directly below us and they joined in the singing, every other verse was Gregorian. then came the Solemn High Mass only the Introit and anthems were Gregorian, the Gloria and Credo etc. were Perosi and very beautiful, in four parts with Bass, Tenor and Soprano, solos interspersed there was no repetition – and the Amen was long drawn out and died away in a soft sweet note. Cardinal Merry Del Val with his retinue came in after the celebrant and was the last in the procession.

We finished dinner at twenty minutes before two – at half past Two we started for St. Peter’s the doors were to open at 3 and the ceremony to take place at 5.30. The crush outside the door was indescribable, a lady fainted and had to be taken out by the soldiers – there were several of the latter about but they could not control the jam. At last we reached our places in the tribune and waited patiently until the silver trumpets announced the entrance of the Holy Father [Pope Benedict XV] – the long procession as in the morning, followed by the Swiss Guard the Pope’s Guard and the Vicar of Christ blessing the people as he passed thro the Church. We had Benediction – the procession, in front of the Pope was borne the relic given by O.M.H Mother and behind it a large pyramid of flowers. It was all a grand sight and a great manifestation of faith, people were standing even on top of the confessionals handkerchiefs waves as he passed then the crowd came before the altar to venerate the relic, and we left.

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Beatification of Louise de Marillac – DC pilgrimmage to Rome, May 1920 (part 2)

Louise de Marillac

Louise de Marillac, 1591-1660 (Image courtesy of Vincent de Paul Image Archive, DePaul University)

This is the second in our series of posts on the beatification of Louise de Marillac. The account, written by Sister Margaret O’Keefe and taken from the Provincial Annals, is used with permission of the Daughters of Charity Provincial Archives.

May 8. Saturday. Via Appia. Went to the Church Domine quo vadis! It is outside Rome on the way to the Coliseum, and on the spot where St. Peter met our Lord and asked him whither He was going. A large marble statue of our Lord with the cross, stands passing the door.

Saturday P. M. Most wonderful visit of all the Catacombs! The Trappists have charge, the monk who was our guide had been a patient in our Sisters’ Hospital, and took the trouble to show us everything. We had each a lighted taper, and as we went in single file thro those narrow passages lined with empty tombs, down in the bowels of the earth our souls were thrilled with various emotions – At St. Cecilia’s tomb there is a beautiful marble statue in the place where her boy lay, and near by an altar – nine Masses had been said there that morning. These were the Catacombs of St. Callixtus on the Appian Way.

Tomorrow our series will conclude with the account of Louise’s beatification ceremony.

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Filed under Benedict XV, Church History, Louise de Marillac, Popes, Provincial Annals

Beatification of Louise de Marillac – DC pilgrimmage to Rome, May 1920 (part 1)

Louise de Marillac

Louise de Marillac, 1591-1660 (Image courtesy of Vincent de Paul Image Archive, DePaul University)

(Account of Sister Margaret O’Keefe taken from the Provincial Annals. Used with permission of Daughters of Charity Provincial Archives)

On May 9, 1920, Louise de Marillac, co-founder of the Daughters of Charity, was declared Blessed by Pope Benedict XV . Today’s is the first of three posts with accounts of Sister Margaret O’Keefe, then Visitatrix of the Emmitsburg Province, who traveled to Rome for the beatification ceremony.

May 6. Thursday. Went to St. Paul’s without the Walls. It is quite a long ride and we saw some of the old walls of Rome and other interesting things. The Church is magnificent and beautiful beyond expression. The Chapel of the Crucifix where St. Ignatius and his first companions made their first Vows, and where our Lord from His Cross spoke to St. Bridget of Sweden as she prayed before the crucifix. The magnificent Confessio where the relics of St. Paul and his disciples, Timothy are kept. The porphyry pillars in the Church were the gift of Mehemet Ali Viceroy of Egypt.

May 7. Friday. St. Mary Major. Our Lady of the Snow. Majestic and most beautiful 36 white marble pillars taken from a temple of Juno the beautiful paneled ceiling is richly decorated with the first gold brought from South America. The relics of Saint Matthew. The Borghese Chapel has precious marbles and is one of the richest in Rome. Above the beautiful altar is the Madonna painted by St. Luke. Sistine Chapel – in the center beneath the altar is the Chapel of the Manger in which are preserved some boards taken from the Manger in which our Lord was laid.

San Pietro in Vincoli. The chains which bound St. Peter in Jerusalem were brought from the Holy Land by the Empress Eudoxia and presented to Leo I. they are kept in a beautiful shrine under the high altar. It is enclosed by railings and marble steps lead down. A priest happened to come out of the confessional, and seeing us came and explained the different parts. Before opening the Shrine he put on a surplice and lighted two candles on the altar – turned a crank, and the doors of bronze and gold opened in the centre and slid back, revealing a beautiful gold shrine in which were the heavy iron chains so arranged that you could see them plainly, we knelt before them deeply impressed. We procured from the sacristy small chains blessed, that had touched this most precious relic. It was well worth climbing the three long flights of stone steps leading up to this hill.

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