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 [I.A.] Hagiografia de Santa Raphaella, Arcanjo (ING-Traduzir)

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Ana Catarina de Monforte
Condessa de Ourém
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MensagemAssunto: [I.A.] Hagiografia de Santa Raphaella, Arcanjo (ING-Traduzir)   Seg Maio 23, 2011 8:21 pm

The Hagiography of Saint Raphaella, the Archangel

    ***
    Doubts

    An old woman had been walking since the sun was setting. She ached a lot as she moved. For three months she had felt her strength diminishing and her legs gradually giving out, and yet she walked and walked, stopping only to sleep and gather her strength. She knew whom she would find. A man living in a little house, a one-eyed man much sought-after who called himself the 'one born out of time.' Night had now fallen, and this traveler was afraid, she didn't know where to sleep, and she didn't like the look of the path.

    She continued to walk, faster, pressing herself now, determined to arrive as if her life depended on it. If she died then it would be finished. Oh, her parents hadtold her that after death she would live...that God was there to save her. But that was impossible, if God was there, there would not be so many miseries and lifewould not exist. Why be separated, only to return to Him after death. This story really did not hold true. That was going to be her case if she didn't arrive soon. The story of God was beginning to titillate her. She began to panic now. She was almost running, in any case the efforts that she put in were just as strong. This was no longer possible, in one gulp she turned and faced into the void (or so she believed) and screamed.

    "If you exist, show yourself. Don't hide yourself away, even if you are incapable of loving what you created, or if you are unable to uphold your commitments, or if you must make this world suffer for your own pleasure. Show yourself!"

    There was a thunderous rage already in the head of this poor woman as she waited for this God of whom she had heard so many speak but had never seen. What was most astonishing was that she, who didn't believe in anything, was persuaded that she was going to receive an answer.... an answer, certainly, she was going to have one, but very far from that which she expected. No matter what else might be upon her heart, from deep cried out the truth.


    ***
    Revelation


    Instead of the deadly currents that it had promised, a soft light flooded out, and it was impossible to know from where it came. It was as if even the darkness shone.

    A voice made itself heard, coming from everywhere and nowhere at the same time. It was reassuring and seemed to come from the depths of time.


    "Raphaella, Raphaella,
    why do you shout?
    Your cries scatter into echoes in the mountains and disturb the course of the rivers. The little ones of the world are petrified with fear by your cries, and the wisest are made to fight."


    The old woman didn't know how to answer. She was extremely touched by what she had just heard. Hearing the voice of God was always an extraordinary thing, but this was even more so because He called her by name. How long had it been since she was called by name? No one had ever used her name, not once since her father left. Nicknames had replaced her true name. Raphaella, whose heart was beginning to open again, still doubted and the fiery hatred in her eyes was not yet extinct.

    What she had taken as an act of love at the beginning transformed with her anger into affront. Her soul wasn't ready to receive simple love, so it was impossible for her to receive the strongest love in existence. But, the absolute power of God and the knowledge that he had of his daughter began its work.

    - "How dare you call me by my name, You, God of the blessed thoughts and the evil hand?"
    - "Doesn't a father call his children by their first name?"
    - "Yes, but a father cares for his children, he cherishes and loves them."
    - "Isn't this what I do?"

    By saying these words, God showed the Earth.

    "Raphaella,
    here is the layout of your life.
    These footprints mark your steps."

    - "If these footprints are my steps, whose footprints are alongside them?"
    - "Those are mine, Raphaella, I have walked at your side since you came into the world."
    - "And in the most difficult moments, there aren't two sets of footprints. Why weren't you there when I needed you the most?"
    - "I was there, and if you don't see two sets of prints it's because then I was carrying you, my child."

    Her heart of stone, so difficult to convince, became at that moment a heart of flesh. Raphaella understood then that she was in the presence of her father and, falling to her knees, she begged his forgiveness.

    "Hold your tears, Raphaella, this is a joyous time, you believed wrongly but at least you stayed faithful to your thoughts. Now that you see, your conviction will save you and show others the path that I have traced for them.

    - "Father,
    why didn't you show yourself, why didn't you ever tell me that you were there?"

    - "I did tell you, my child, but your ears wouldn't listen. I showed myself to you, but your eyes wouldn't see. I offered you my hand, but you wouldn't take it. And then I revealed myself to your heart, and you believed.

    I let you to choose because you are free. You didn't want to receive me, so I didn't assert myself.
    Your sought me, and I appeared.
    Many questions are still knocking around inside you, but be patient. I will answer them in your heart at the proper time.
    If you fall, I will lift you up."


    ***
    Questions


    From this moment on, the light melted into the landscape. Even though it wasn't as intense, Raphaella could see it, and this light guided her through the night. It could have showed her the path, but Raphaella knew it already. It could have clarified the darkness, but Raphaella had no need for that. Instead, this light showed her the inner path to her soul and drove out all darkness.

    She had left Oanylone several days earlier, and the person she sought lived far away. He was one of the only to leave when the city was far from torments.

    While walking, she continued to think about her meeting with God. He had acted like a father in this respect, he had acted like her true father who had left the city of Oane, one never knew why, and he who had given her so much, who had loved her so, had disappeared completely. This was one of the most touching things. God loves each of us--it's so beautiful but also difficult to believe. Why is there misery and misfortune? And why do some die before finding him? If she knew him, the answer to this last question came to her as an indisputable truth: God leaves men on Earth in total freedom. They have a choice between following his path or walking away from it, going where the great path cannot even be seen. There God was absent, or rather one refused to see him, because God is everywhere. God, although omnipotent, leaves man to his free will.

    But then, if God leaves man to free-will in his own life, why does he play sometimes to the detriment of freedom or with the happiness of others? Why does the freedom of one encroach on the freedom of others?

    She continued to walk, she must arrive at the hut. She was tired, more and more, but such a thirst for God resided in her that stopping seemed a waste of time.

    She finished by finding the slum which surrounded the house for which she had been searching. She entered through what appeared to be a door and saw no one. There was nothing there but a parchment:

    "When you were born, you didn't choose your brother.
    Whoever he is, you must learn to live with, and live for, him.
    If your brother radiates the love of God, then this love can join you together.
    If, on the other hand, your brother turns away from this divine love, it falls to you to show it to him, as if your life depended on it.
    But, what good is it to give your life for someone who doesn't want to see?
    If you succeed, you give him a chance to join God and the angels after his death, and for this reason you will join them also.
    If you fail, it's you will join them.

    However, it is said also, don't linger on your brother if his eyes can't see, think and work for the greatest number because those for whom you have worked, they also can work for others.

    Therefore, is it better to give your life to try to save one of them who doesn't want to be saved, or to give your life to save a multitude who have a burning desire to see?"

    Raphaella read and understood everything. Each man is placed in a situation in which he can evolve, not only through God's desires or the evil inspired by the creature without name, but also according to the manner by which each brother and each sister use their free-will and liberty. The schemes of each, if not payed for on Earth, will be paid for when God comes to find them.

    The obvious truth of this divine love transformed Raphaella. She knelt tearfully and prayed that the Lord, God of the Universe would give her the strength to serve him humbly and lovingly everywhere forever.

    She prayed for an entire night and then rose in the morning filled with new assurance. She was confident, God was there in her, and she lived in Him.

    An aura of benefaction and love shone around her. Even if eyes were unable to see it, the soul could sense it because the soul was, after love, the most powerful gift that God had given to man.

    ***
    The First of Her Holy Acts

    Raphaella approached Oanylone and sensed already the veil of discord that weighed on the city. Indeed, the Creature Without Name had sown doubt in their hearts so that they would turn away from the truth and before that she set off dimly sensing God's reaction.

    More and more, the population was divided into two groups, those who remained faithful to God and those who, believing or not, were left penetrated by doubts.

    Because these men were weak, they need only hear that God doesn't exist to turn away from him. It was easier to say that God did not love them and that there was no hope, than it was for them to see that any sin could be prevented by good sense.

    Raphaella saw this weakness. She met with a handful of brothers and sisters to keep hopeful and maintain the firm conviction that God loves them. She prayed for each man to find the path to God, so that each one would see that he is not alone.

    The conviction and assurance she showed proved that it was possible for her to preach, and she could convince many people with her words.


    ***
    The Punishment


    At this time, the divine punishment fell. It started with lighting crashing at the highest point in the sky, and then it rained entire rivers. One by one, men lost their lives. Then came tongues of fire running over each man. The worst were tossed into the eternal flames of the night star, where they were promised a new existence of suffering and fear.

    Those who believed were also given a new life. They were elevated to the daytime star to be closer to the divine glory. Raphaella and six others were elevated to the rank of archangel in order to inspire the seven virtues for centuries and centuries.


    ***
    Her Dispatching


    One day on earth,
    A man was in pain.
    He loved God with all his heart, but he had never dared to proclaim to those around him the love that he carried within him.
    His followers cursed God and never ceased to blaspheme.
    The man didn't dare to respond. He was aware of his sin but couldn't act, constrained by his fear.
    He returned to his house, one evening, and fell on his straw mattress in tears.
    He confided in God the difficulties he had in assuming his faith in front of his friends. He said, crying even more beautifully, that he only dreamed of announcing his beliefs, but that he was afraid...
    How could he dare proclaim his faith?
    He couldn't stay like this, keeping God to himself, he must tell them... he must shout it to the whole world!
    And so God, listening to his child, dispatched Raphaella with these words:

    "Go Raphaella, that he will triumph!"

    With a presence that one feels but doesn't see, Raphaella descended and met with the man.
    The following day, when he went to see his friends, and they began to talk about God in negative terms, he failed saying nothing to them. Then, he sensed an invisible force near him, and, in a firm tone, he said that he didn't want for them to use the name of his God ill-advisedly. When he finished, no one said anything.
    God was his God, thus no one should blaspheme when he could hear them!
    At this moment, when his friends glanced at him with nasty expressions, when he failed to be paralyzed by fear, Raphaella breathed her breath into him and thus gave him a voice.

    He then continued calmly, but his words had the force of a cry. "God loves us, you don't have the right to say that about him!"
    However, the men surrounding him didn't understand and wouldn't leave him to think freely. They jumped on him and tore at his limbs.
    He surrendered his soul that day, suffering horribly, but was proud that he had finally honored his beliefs.
    Raphaella took the soul of this good man and presented it herself to the Almighty.


    ***
    The Prayer


    Raphaella filled the pure hearts of those who prayed to her with the strength to uphold their beliefs and behave accordingly, so that men are capable not only of wanting good, but also of doing good.
    But even if she inspired the conviction, it was God who spoke through her mouth.

    After the soul of the man inspired by Raphaella was returned to the sun, the assassins looked at one another. They had killed their own friend. Then, the corpse was engulfed with giant flames, which disappeared very quickly. The body remained intact, except that the torso was inscribed with the following, in gold letters:

    Oscermine's Prayer to God.
    Invocation of Saint Raphaella

    O God!
    You of whom I believe,
    You who guide my steps,
    Give me the strength to profess the majesty of Your Name
    As well as the love and adoration that I feel for you.
    Send me Your Archangel, Raphaella, so that she may walk at my side,
    That I would not face alone the enemy of my faith and my beliefs.
    That my action will obey my heart and that even my left hand will follow the commands of my right.
    That my heart fears You.
    And that I announce Your Holy Name.
    God, deign to lift Your hand that Raphaella will descend and come to my aid.
    Amen!


Translated by Venerable Eraine, Venerable Arynna, and the members of the Ordre of Saint Jérôme and released unto the English speaking faithful, 20th of April 1458

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