The Conversion of Alphonse Ratisbonne

As this week’s Spiritual Tool, we recommend The Conversion of Alphonse Ratisbonne.

Alphonse Ratisbonne was a French Jew who was miraculously converted while at Rome in the Church of San Andrea della Frate. His brother had previously converted and become a Catholic priest, but Alphonse hated the Catholic church and vowed never to enter.

This is the story of the power of prayer and a miracle of grace. It is a powerful, delightful, and consoling story that every apostolic Catholic should know.

This is how Ratisbonne related his experience in the church that cold day in January of 1842. “All I can say is that the moment when the Blessed Virgin made a sign with her hand, the veil fell from my eyes; not one veil only, but all the veils which were wrapped around me disappeared, just as snow melts beneath the rays of the sun. I am asked how I attained a knowledge of these truths, since it is well known that I never opened a religious book, had never read a page of the Bible, and that the dogma of original sin, which is either denied or utterly forgotten by the modern Jews, had never for a single moment occupied my thoughts indeed, I doubt whether I had ever heard the words which express it. How, then, did I arrive at a knowledge of it? I know not. All that I know is that when I entered that church I was profoundly ignorant of everything, and that when I came out I saw everything clearly and distinctly.”

Baron de Bussieres states, “We have given in this volume a literal translation of the original accounts of the conversion of M. Alphonse Ratisbonne along with many other letters and documents relating to the miraculous conversion.”

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