Saturday, October 15, 2011

Text of the letter prophesied to Father Hermann Cohen by the Curé of Ars.

Father Hermann Cohen's mother died
receiving Holy Baptism.
In the eyes of the unwise

'she died as an unconverted Jewess'

in spite of the many prayers offered for her by
her priestly son.

I have translated the following from his life
which will be of interest for all of us
who pray
for souls that seem to live and die
without the grace of conversion.

Note that Fr. Hermann
had consecrated his mother to Our Lady

hundreds of times and offered many prayers for her salvation;
he never lost hope in his mother's cause.

Rev. Fr. Hermann Cohen, O.C.D.

The last moments for Mrs. Cohen arrived on 13 December 1855. Father Hermann was preaching Advent in Lyons at the time and he announced this sad news to his friend in these terms:

"God has struck a terrible blow to my heart. My poor mother is dead ... and I remain in incertitude! However we have so much prayed that we must hope that something has passed between her soul and God during these last moments that we cannot know about. ..."

We can easily imagine the pain of Father Hermann in learning of the death of his mother. He had so much prayed and so much had prayers said for her conversion, and she came to appear before the tribunal of God without having received holy Baptism! ...

" I also have a mother," would he write one day, "I have left her to follow Jesus Christ, she no longer calls me her 'good son'. Already her hair is silvered, already her brow is furrowed, and I am afraid to see her die. Oh! no I would not like to see her die before loving Jesus Christ, and already for many years I await for my mother that which Monica awaited for Augustine..."

God seemed to have despised all his prayers and rejected his loving and legitimate desires. His faith and his love were put through a harsh trial. Nevertheless, if his sorrow was deep, his hope in the infinite goodness of God would not allow itself to be struck down. ...

Saint Jean Marie Vianney
Curé of Ars

A short time later, he confided to the Curé of Ars his disquiet about the death of his poor mother who died without the grace of Baptism. "Hope!" replied the man of God, "hope; you will receive one day, on the feast of the Immaculate Conception a letter that will bring you great consolation."

Six years waiting.

These words were almost forgotten, when, on the 8th December 1861, six years after the death of his mother, a Father of the Company of Jesus handed to Father Hermann the following letter.

(The person who wrote this letter died in the odour of sanctity; she was well known in the religious and ascetical world by her written works on the Eucharist.)

The letter read:

On the 18th October, after Holy Communion, I found myself in one of those moments of intimate union with Our Lord, where he made me so feel his presence in the sacrament of His love that Faith seemed no longer necessary to believe him there.

After a short time, He had me hear His voice and He wanted to give me some explanations relative to a conversation that I had had the night before.

I remember that, in that conversation, one of my friends had manifested her surprise that Our Lord, who has promised to accord everything to prayer, had however remained deaf to those of Reverend Father Hermann who had so many times addressed Him to obtain the conversion of his mother; her surprise went almost as far as discontentment, and I had had difficulty in having her understand that we must adore the justice of God and not to seek to penetrate its secrets.

I dared to ask of my Jesus how it was that He, who was goodness itself, had been able to resist the prayers of Father Hermann, and not grant the conversion of his mother.

This was His (Our Lord's) response:

Why does Anna always want to sound the secrets of my justice and why does she seek to penetrate mysteries that she cannot comprehend?

Tell her that I do not owe my grace to anyone, that I give it to whom I please and that in acting in this way I do not cease to be just, and justice itself.

But that she may know that, rather than not keep the promises that I have made to prayer, I will upset heaven and earth, and that every prayer that has my glory and the salvation of souls for object is always heard when it is clothed in the necessary qualities.

He added: "And to prove to you this truth, I willingly make known that which passed at the moment of the death of the mother of Father Hermann".

My Jesus then enlightened me with a ray of His divine light and had me understand or rather to see in Him that which I want to try to relate.

At the moment where the mother of Father Hermann was on the point of rendering her last breath; at the moment that she seemed deprived of awareness, almost without life; Mary, our good Mother, presented Herself before Her Divine Son, and prostrate at His feet, She said to Him:
"Pardon and mercy, o my Son! for this soul who is going to perish. Yet another instant and she will be lost, lost for eternity. I beseech you, do for the mother of my servant Hermann, that which you would like to be done for your own, if She was in her place and if you were in his. The soul of his mother is his most precious good; he has consecrated her to me a thousand times; he has consecrated her to the tenderness and solicitude of my heart. Could I suffer her to perish? No, no, this soul is mine; I will it, I claim it as an inheritance, as the price of your blood and of my sufferings at the foot of your Cross."

Hardly had the sacred suppliant ceased speaking, when a strong, powerful grace, came forth from the source of all graces, from the adorable Heart of our Jesus, and came to enlighten the soul of the poor dying Jewess; instantly triumphing over her stubbornness and resistances.

This soul immediately turned herself with loving confidence towards Him whose mercy had persued her as far as the arms of death and said to Him: "O Jesus, God of the Christians, God whom my son adores, I believe, I hope in Thee, have pity on me."

In this cry, heard by God alone and which came from the intimate depths of the heart of the dying woman, were enclosed the sincere sorrow for her obstination and for her sins, the desire of baptism, the express will to receive it and to live according to the rules and precepts of our holy religion, if she had been able to return to life.

This leap of faith and hope in Jesus was the last sentiment of that soul; it was made at the moment when she brought towards the throne of the divine mercy. Breaking away the weak bonds which held her to her mortal casing, she fell at the feet of Him who had been her Saviour (a moment) before being her Judge."

After having showed me all these things, Our Lord added:

"Make this known to Father Hermann; it is a consolation that I wish to accord to his long sorrows, so that he will bless, and have blessed everywhere, the goodness of the heart of my Mother and Her power over mine."

Totally unknown to Reverend Father Hermann, the poor invalid who has just now penned these lines is happy to think that she has perhaps spread a little consolation and balm on the still bleeding wound of the heart of this son and priest. She dares to ask the alms of his fervent prayers, and she likes to believe that he will not refuse to one, who, even though unknown to him, is united to him by the sacred bonds of the same faith and of the same hopes. ..."

What appears to add great authority to this letter, is that it had been announced six years in advance by the venerable Cure of Ars.

End of translation.

(pp. 126 - 129, Vie du R.P. Hermann, en religion Augustine-Marie du T.S. Sacrament, Carme Dechausse, par M. l'Abbe Charles Sylvain, Paris, 1883.
From the French life of Rev. Father Hermann, in religion Augustin-Marie of the Most Holy Sacrament, Discalced Carmelite, by Fr. Canon Charles Sylvain, Paris 1883.)

Publised with the approbation of and recommendation of His Grandeur Mgr. Gay, Bishop of D'Anthedon, Auxiliary of His Eminence Cardinal Pie, Bishop of Poitier, 4 Dec. 1880
and of His Grace Mgr. de la Bouillerie, the Archbishop of Perga, Coadjutor of Bordeaux, 23 July 1881
of His Lordship Mgr. Adolphe-Louis Perraud, Bishop of Autun and Member of the French Academy, 8 March, 1882
and of the Most Reverend Father Luc of St. John of the Cross, Father General of the Discalced Carmelites, 4 May, 1880)


  1. Wow! God's Mercy is truly infinite. What a fantastic story.

    Gloria in excelsis Deo!

  2. How beautiful! It makes me think of those among my own family who have left the Catholic Faith, and even the Christian faith. I pray for them, with tears as well as with words. I think it was St Pio who said we must pray, and hope, and never lose heart.

  3. \\I think it was St Pio who said we must pray, and hope, and never lose heart.\\

    Jesus said this in Luke 18:1.

    There is a verse in the Bible that says that mercy triumphs over judgement.

    I can't find the verse, but we know from the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ that this is so.

  4. Oh, the unfathomable depths of His Mercy!

  5. She died as an unconverted Jewess in spite of the many prayers offered for her by by her priestly son.

    Too many Catholics today fail to see the plight of such a soul as cause for prayers and tears.

    Thank you for sharing this remarkable story of faith and divine mercy.


  6. Thank you for posting this, which is of great comfort to those of us who have family and friends who are apparently far from the church.

    However, she did not 'die as an unconverted Jewess.' She appeared to do she. She in fact, unknown to the unwise, converted - we have the word of Our Lord through His mystic that this was true.

    This private revelation supports baptism by desire. It does not support salvation of the unconverted.

  7. @ Davidforster
    Thank you. Point incorporated now.
    Fr. MM

  8. I like the edited version of the introduction. It puts a fine point on the moral of the story, which is that we should neither presume too much nor too little on the mercy of God. To have been unconcerned for the soul of an "unconverted Jewess" while she lived would have been as unwise as to have presumed that she remained unconverted at the moment of death.


  9. From the Catholic Encyclopedia, it says...among his works five collections of 'sacred' songs with accompaniment, pious but somewhat shallow. This also holds good of his Mass (shallow). Can you explain WHAT is your point of favouring Jews at the moment? At least have the decency to be true to yourselves and spit it out: You are NOT followers of Christ, but Anti-Christ Jews.

  10. Thank you for giving me hope through this post. I will renew my efforts for my ex and his family, as well as my daughter, all of whom I have despaired of long ago, due to their obstinacy. Mary, Mother of Mercy, pray for us!

  11. @ Anonymous

    You will note by the references at the bottom of the post (in red) that distinguished churchmen faithful to the Church's tradition considered Reverend Father Cohen's life to be quite extraordinary.

    You may also deduce that the Curé of Ars did not dismiss Father Cohen as you seem inclined to do.

    What matters is not how you judge him or his mother, nor how you judge me; what matters dear friend is how you will yourself be judged.

    We all stand before the gates of Eternity and we will, each of us, receive either God's mercy and heaven, or His Justice and the eternity of burning in the fires of hell with the devils and the damned.

    St. Teresa thanked God that she would be judged by God and not by men. I too thank God that He in His omniscience will judge me; and that you will not be my judge on that momentous occasion.

    I wish for you, the grace received by Mrs. Cohen:

    That Our Lady will intercede for you, and that She will obtain for you a merciful judgment. That would be nice. You could then ask Mrs. Cohen herself why her story was posted at this moment; perhaps it was Providence that inspired it.

    For myself, I posted this story for two reasons:

    1) I have only found this story in French and I thought it worthwhile to translate it for our friends and families; to console them.

    2) I translated it precisely because there are many souls for whom we pray, who seem to live and die as lost souls, leaving us no signs of final repentance.

    The story of Mrs. Cohen is a reminder from heaven that we should not abandon any soul but that we should continue to pray for them in spite of the external circumstances that look to be hopeless.

    God bless you Anonymous,
    May we meet in a blessed eternity, Adieu!

  12. Arlene, the anti-Catholic mother of my friend Nena, is at this moment dying. This story is a huge consolation. Please, Dear Fathers and Readers, beg the grace of Arlene's conversion from the Immaculate Heart of Mary. A Green Scapular is near her. Please offer the prayer, "Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen." I will let you know when she passes.
    Thank you, and God bless you!

  13. I just found out that Arlene passed away last night without a priest. Please offer a prayer, and thank you.

  14. For many years I have been praying for my husband's conversion to the Catholic faith. He was baptized in the protestant faith, but does not believe that Jesus is God because he thinks this is too fantastic. He prays the rosary with us every day, sometimes attends Mass and has taken us to various shrines...but he says it is impossible for him to believe in the divinity of Christ.
    Please pray for Luiz.
    Thank you.

  15. I would be very interested in how one consecrates another to the Immaculate Heart of Mary? Is there an appropriate prayer?
    May God bless you for your prayers you offer for all the holy souls.

  16. I am from a Jewish background and pray every day for my father's conversion to the faith. I must admit that it angers me that ecumenism since Vatican II has created a huge obstacle to his salvation by trying to hide the candle of truth under a bushel. There is but one true Church outside of which no-one can be saved.

    The story of Rosalie Cohen shows that even up until the very last moment of life a person can be reconciled to God and added to His Mystical Body the Church.

    I can only now trust in God's promises to prayer and take great comfort from what happened to Rosalie. Thank you, Father.

  17. Thank you for translating this wonderful story in English, it is a real grace!

  18. What a wonderful letter. My son would like to know if anyone knows the name of the nun who wrote the letter to Father Cohen. Thank you for your assistance.

  19. Two excellent sermons about Fr. Cohen can be found online here:

  20. May the name of our Lord Jesus Christ be praised and adored and honor to the sweet and Blessed Mother Mary the Virgin everlasting.