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I recently returned from a diocesan pilgrimage in the footsteps of St Paul in Greece, Turkey and Rome.
On the last day, in Rome, I visited the Church of Sant'Andrea delle Fratte where, on 20 January 1842, a non-believing Jew, Alphonse Ratisbonne, was instantaneously converted to Catholicism at the behest of the Virgin Mary.
By then, his brother Theodore had already become a Catholic and a Jesuit, and had founded the Order of Our Lady of Sion, for men and women. This was the only order in the Catholic Church which prayed for, and worked towards the entry of the Jewish people into the Catholic Church.
Sadly, the leadership of this Order now does its best, all supposedly in 'the spirit of Vatican II', to ditch the charism of the Ratisbonne brothers, by pioneering the so-called 'Two Covenant' theory, whereby Jewish people have all the graces for salvation and (supposedly) do not need the graces and merits won for all of us, Jews and Gentiles, by the greatest Jew who ever lived, died on the cross, and rose again - Jesus Christ, Yeshua Ha'Mashiach.
That the 'Two Covenant' theory is a nonsense, nay heresy, has been highlighted very recently in Paris, when a prominent Orthodox Rabbi, a widower with six children, was instantaneously converted to Catholicism in front of a crucifix in the Church of St Augustine.
Incidentally, this was the same crucifix in front of which Blessed Charles de Foucauld was converted from a life of sin to a complete commitment to Jesus.
The story of the Rabbi continues, following his baptism in Paris on 14 September 2008, not surprisingly on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, showing the direct action of the Lord.
Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 22 No 1 (February 2009), p. 16
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