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Good evening Father Angelo and happy Easter, even if well in advance.

I noticed you mentioned how the Saints, I think of Little Therese of the Child Jesus, 

or others that you refer to… prepared to receive the Holy Eucharist, what did they meditate in the following few minutes with the Body and Blood of Christ present in them?

Thank you so much.

I greet you with great joy knowing that you help many people on this website (and even out of it).

Thank you from the bottom of my heart,


Answer from the priest

Dear Stefano,

I can share three examples with you:

that of St. Therese of Lisieux, that of St. Catherine of Siena and that of St. Faustina Kowalska.

1. Saint Therese in the Story of a Soul, describes how she prepared for her First Communion, seems to tell us how she usually prepared for her encounter with Jesus. Here is what she did in the three months prior to her First Communion: “Every day I engaged in a large number of “practices”, which bloomed as many flowers, I made an even greater number of aspirations that she had written in my little book for each day, and those acts of love formed the buds ”(Story of a Soul, 102).

Those practices contained so many acts of love that she used to do taking advantage of every opportunity to bring them to the Lord, so as not to go to meet him empty-handed, while he came with full hands.

Not that Jesus needs our acts of love, but precisely those acts serve to open our hearts to receive the many graces that the Lord wants to pour out on you.

At the same time Saint Therese performed particular acts of virtue, recommended by her own sister who entered the monastery.

Likewise, many aspirations rose from her heart in the form of short prayers, also prepared by her sister.

2. For thanksgiving, apart from what happened on the day of her First Communion in which she felt that her heart merged with that of the Lord and she felt at that moment little Therese had disappeared and only the Lord was left, many other times she felt a great spiritual aridity because she had asked the Lord to give others (sinners, priests) the consolations she would have liked to have been given to her.

She writes: “I cannot say that I have often received consolation during my thanks, perhaps it is the moment when I have less.

But I find this natural because I offered myself to Jesus as a person who desires to receive his visit not for her own consolation, but for the pleasure of the One who gives himself to me.

I imagine my soul as free land, and I pray the Holy Virgin to clear away the debris that could prevent my soul from being free, then I beg her to raise herself a vast tent, worthy of Heaven to embellish it with her ornaments, and I invite all the Saints and Angels so that they can come to give a magnificent concert.

It seems to me, when Jesus descends into my heart, that he is happy to see himself received so well, and I am happy too.

This does not prevent distractions and sleep from coming to visit me but, coming out of thanksgiving and seeing that I did it so badly, I resolve to spend the rest of the day in thanksgiving “(Story of a Soul, 225).

3. Here is how Saint Catherine of Siena prepared herself.

Blessed Raimondo da Capua relates it to us in the biography of Saint Catherine which he himself wrote and to which he gave the title of Legenda maior.

One night before the feast of St. Alexis (17 July) “while Catherine was praying and in prayer she was kindled with desire for Holy Communion, it was revealed to her that the next morning she would have certainly received the Holy Communion; and this, because it was often and willingly denied to her due to the lack of discretion of the friars and nuns, who at that time were at the head of that fraternity.

Having had the revelation, she immediately began to beg the Lord to purify her soul and deserve to receive such a venerable Sacrament worthily.

As she prayed and asked with greater insistence, she felt an abundant rain pour over his soul like a river, but it was neither water nor any other common liquid: it was blood mixed with fire. Through this rain she felt that her soul was purified with such vehemence, that even the body suffered the same sensation, and she felt purified not only from the filth, but from the corruption of fomite concupiscence” (Legenda maior 188).

Catherine therefore prepared for Communion by asking the Lord to purify her soul with so much fire as to remove not only every stain from her, but even the inclination to evil. That inclination that theologians call the fomite of concupiscence.

4. And here is what happened in Communion and in the period immediately after.

“She never approached the sacred altar, without being shown many things superior to the senses, and especially later when she had received Holy Communion.

Often she saw a child hidden in the hands of the priest, sometimes a child a little older, sometimes she saw a burning furnace of fire into which the priest seemed to enter at the very moment that he received the Sacred Species.

When she received the most venerable Sacrament, it often happened that she smelled a great and such a sweet scent that she almost passed out.

Seeing or receiving the sacrament of the altar, a new and unspeakable joy was always generated in her soul, so much so that her heart leapt in her chest for joy, producing such a loud sound that even her companion could hear. After having heard this over and over again, she reported it to her confessor brother Thomas.

He made a thorough investigation and, once found that it was true, he wrote it down for eternal memory.

That sound did not at all resemble the gurgling that occurs naturally in the bowels of man, but it was a noise that had nothing to do with the natural “(Legenda Maior 181).

5. Here then is what she asked the Lord and how her prayer had an immediate effect on the people she prayed for.

“The same year, on the 18th of August, the power of the Lord manifested itself once again over her, while in the morning she received Holy Communion (…).

Having received Communion, it seemed to her that her soul entered into the Lord, and the Lord into her, as the fish enters the water and the water surrounds everything; and she felt so absorbed in God that as soon as she could went back to her cell she threw herself on the wooden bed, which she had made herself, and remained there for a long time as if she was dead.

Later her body rose high and remained in the air like that without support, as three witnesses claim to have seen. Finally she went back down to the bed, and she began to softly say words of life sweeter than honey, and so wise, that they touched all the companions who heard her. Then she began to pray for all and for some in particular, especially for her confessor.

At that moment he was in the church of the friars, without thinking of anything that invited him to recollection; actually, as he writes, not really willing to pray.

However, while the virgin was praying for him, he found himself in a moment in which his thoughts turned to holy things, and he felt a great need to pray like never before, and inside his heart he experienced something new.

Amazed, he wondered anxiously where such a grace came from. He was still thinking when by chance he ran into one of the companions of the holy virgin, who told him: “Father, I assure you that during that hour Catherine prayed a lot for you”. From the coincidence of the hour, he immediately understood the origin of the sudden illumination he had had” (Legenda maior 192).

“When questioned more widely, he learnt that the virgin, while praying for him and for the others, asked the Lord to give them eternal life”.

The confessor then went to see her, and asked her how the vision had taken place, and she, forced to obey, after having told what we already know, added: “I insistently asked for eternal life for you and for others for whom I prayed and the Lord promised it to me when, not out of disbelief but to have certain proof, I asked him: “What sign do you give me, O Lord, that you will do what you say? And he told me: – Stretch out your hand – I stretched it out to him, and he put out a nail, put it in the middle of the palm of my hand, and pressed it so hard against the nail that it seemed to me to be pierced and I felt so much pain, as if it had been pierced by an iron nail hit with a hammer. Thus, by the grace of my Lord Jesus Christ, I already have his stigmata in my right hand, which, although invisible to others, I still feel them, and they give me continuous pain ”(Legenda maior 193).

6. Catherine also says, once Communion has been made, before the sacramental presence of the Lord within us fails, the Lord himself imprints his mold on the soul, conforming it even more to himself.

7. We now look at St. Faustina Kowalska.

In a single story she describes how she prepared herself and how she was with him after having received our Lord in her heart.

Here is what she wrote on 10.1.1938: “The most solemn moment of my life is when I receive Holy Communion. For every Holy Communion I feel a great desire and for every Holy Communion I thank the Holy Trinity. Angels, if they could feel envy, they would envy us two things: the first – the fact that we can receive Holy Communion; the second – suffering.

Today I prepare myself for Your coming, like a bride awaiting the coming of the Bridegroom.

My groom is a great Lord. The heavens can’t contain Him.

The Seraphims, who are next to him, veil their face and repeat incessantly: Holy, Holy, Holy.

This great Lord is my Spouse.

For Him the Choirs sing, before Him the Thrones prostrate themselves, in front of His splendor the sun seems to have gone out. And yet this great Lord is my Spouse.

Oh my heart, get out of this deep amazement in seeing how others adore him, there is no more time now, he is coming, he is already at your door.

I go to meet him and invite him to the bottom of my heart, humbling myself deeply before His Majesty.

But the Lord raises me from the dust and as a bride invites me to sit by His side and to confide in Him everything I have in my heart.

And I, encouraged by His goodness, bow my head on His chest and I talk to Him about everything.

At first I tell Him about what I would never tell to anybody else.

Then I speak of the needs of the Church, of the souls of poor sinners, of those who need Your Mercy.

But time passes quickly. Jesus, I must go out to fulfill the duties that await me. Jesus tells me that there is still a moment to say goodbye. A deep mutual gaze and for a moment we seemingly separate, while in reality we never divide.

Our hearts are continuously united; although on the outside I am busy with various commitments, the presence of Jesus keeps me in a deep recollection without any interruption”.

The best wish we can have is that at least remotely we may resemble these Saints.

I mention it from my heart and I assure you of a special memory in the Mass that I am going to celebrate so that you too, like the Blessed Raymond, can feel something like what he felt when Saint Catherine prayed for him during Communion.

I wish you well and bless you.

Father Angelo