Holy Water is a Sacramental that remits venial sin. Because of the blessing attached to it, Holy Church strongly urges its use upon Her children, especially when dangers threaten, such as fire, storms, sickness and other calamities. Every Catholic home should have always in it a supply of Holy Water. Untold spiritual wealth is concentrated in a tiny drop of blessed water, and we give it so little thought.
If we realised now, as we shall realise after death, the many benefits that may be derived from Holy Water, we would use it far more frequently, and with greater faith and reverence. Holy Water has its great power and efficacy from the prayers of the Church, which its Divine Founder always accepts with complacency.
These are some of the petitions the priest makes to God when he blesses water:
"O God — grant that this creature of Thine (water) may be endowed with divine grace to drive away devils and to cast out diseases, that whatever in the houses or possessions of the faithful may be sprinkled by this water, may be freed from everything unclean, and delivered from what is hurtful. Let everything that threatens the safety or peace of the dwellers therein be banished by the sprinkling of this water, so that health which they seek by calling upon Thy Holy Name be guarded from all assault".
These prayers ascend to heaven each time you take Holy Water and sprinkle a drop either for yourself or for another, whether he be present and God's blessings descend for soul and body. The devil hates Holy Water because of its power over him. He cannot long abide in a place or near a person that is often sprinkled with this blessed water.
Holy Water, sprinkled with faith and piety, can move the Sacred Heart to bless your loved ones and protect them from all harm of soul and body. When worry and fear take possession of your heart, hasten to your Holy Water font, and give your dear ones the benefit of the Church's prayer.
Only in purgatory can one understand how ardently a poor soul longs for Holy Water. If we desire to make a host of intercessors for ourselves, let us try to realise now some of their yearning, and never forget them at the Holy Water font. The holy souls nearest to heaven may need the sprinkling of only one drop to release their pining souls.
Because Holy Water is one of the Church's sacramentals, it remits venial sin. Keep your soul beautifully pure in God's sight by making the sign of the cross carefully while saying: "By this Holy Water and by Thy Precious Blood wash away all my sins, O Lord."
All of the above was contained in a leaflet bearing the Imprimatur of Thomas O'Leary, D.D., Bishop, Springfield, 1939.
Even at Garabandal holy water proved significant in bringing about the conversion of one visitor there in August 1961. Robert Francois (Fr. Turner of France) tells of it in O Children Listen to Me. Muriel Catherine, a 19-year-old non-Catholic from Paris went to Garabandal with her friend, Ascencion de Luis, who had taught her some of the rudiments of the Catholic faith. They witnessed an ecstasy during which Mari-Loli and Jacinta spoke of Muriel Catherine to the Vision. The seers said: "She is not baptised, she is not baptised! ... Well, help her ... Oh! Because of her parents!..."
Mari-Loli took hold of a bottle of holy water that a priest had given to her to be thrown towards the apparition. She threw the contents upwards in front of her. But instead of following its normal course, the water fell in a little shower on Muriel Catherine, without touching others close by her. Muriel Catherine cried out, "She has drenched me."
In view of her parent's opposition to Catholicism, Muriel Catherine had to become of age to be formally baptised. She was baptised, aged 21, under the Christian name of Maria del Carmen Catherine.
Reprinted with kind permission from GARABANDAL International October-December 2002, by Maureen Landy
The "Symbolic" Baptism of Muriel Catherine
Muriel Catherine, a nineteen-year-old woman from Paris, of a Jewish father and a Protestant mother, was practising no religion when she met Ascension de Luis from Burgos. the latter taught her a few rudimentary notions of the Catholic faith. The two friends went up to Garabandal on Monday, August 28, Feast of St. Augustine, the most famous convert in the Church history, except St. Paul.
At about 0:30 a.m., on August 29, they attended an ecstasy of Mari-Loli and Jacinta, who spoke about Muriel to their Vision. The visionaries tehn exclaimed: "She is not baptized! She is not baptized! . . . Come, let's help her . . . Ah, because of her parents! . . . " Loli suddenly stretched out her arm, and grasped a bottle of holy water that a priest had given her to throw towards the apparition as a "test". The girl opened the bottle and threw the contents upwards, in front of her. But instead of following its normal course, the water mysteriously bent its path, and in its inexplicable trajectory, fell as a little shower on Muriel!
PHOTO: Maria del Camen Catherine's first Communion.
Muriel already had faith. But to be baptized, she had to wait until she came of age, the parents being opposed to her initiative. She was baptized in the cathedral of Burgos, at twenty-one years of age, on October 20, 1963, under the name of Maria del Carmen Catherine.
Muriel represents the first of three cases of a typical "conversion" linked directly to Garabandal. The two other cases are those of Maximo Foerschler, an Evangelist and of Barbara Painter, an Anglican Protestant.
From the book GARABANDAL by Jacques Serre, The "Symbolic" Baptism of Muriel Catherine