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We all are part of a great story. The great story of the world is composed of past and present stories of lives of individual people. The portal mojpribeh.sk is focused on the most important moment of the story of the world and individual, the moment of personal experience of person with God.

Story - Marta Robinová

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Martha Robin (1902-1981) is one of the greatest mystics and stigmatics in the 20th century. Every Friday she relived the Passion and Crucifixion of Christ. Stigmas of the Redemptor’s wounds were found on her body. Nevertheless, what public opinion admired the most was that Martha did not consume anything except the Eucharist for 50 years.

In 1903 the whole region was stricken by a typhus epidemic that caused several victims. Baby Martha also got ill. She survived but her health conditions were severally compromised. She often missed school because of her poor health status. The parson had to prepare her for her first Communion at home. 15 August 1912 was a historical date for Martha’s family: she received Christ in the Eucharist for the first time. Several years later she confessed: “In the day of my first holy communion I became property of God. Jesus’ heart began to beat in my heart.“

Martha had a very good memory. She kept everything in her mind and she liked studying. Unfortunately, she ended school attending at the age of 14 because she had to help her parents at home. She was a calm and joyous child. She liked flowers a lot. She loved to work in the kitchen and in the garden. She liked folk songs and dance during evening meetings with the neighbours.

Gradual paralysis

In May 1918, at the age of 14, Martha began to suffer from severe headaches. On 25 November 1918, she suddenly fell on the ground while she was in the kitchen with her mother. Since then she was unconscious for 20 months. The doctors didn’t know what to do. They were not able to establish a diagnosis. Martha’s parents feared that she could die any time. Nobody realized she was living a state of “mystic unconsciousness” during which Jesus was spiritually preparing Martha to her great mission: showing Jesus’ love and mercy to all people. One day she woke up and resumed talking exactly from the point where she stopped at time of her fall into mystic sleep. Since the day she woke up Martha could move only with crutches. The disease was worsening. She was convinced that her mission is to suffer for the others. She learned from Mary how to believe in Jesus without limits. She had one only desire – fulfilling God’s will.

On 15 October 1925 (St. Theresa from Avila) Martha wrote her act of complete abandonment and sacrifice of her life to God. It was a private act of consecration, betrothal with Christ. She gave herself to Christ as a “sacrifice of love”: “Lord, my God, You asked your little servant to give You everything... You love my soul! I long for you and for your love and I forgo all the rest. Take my memory and all it is recorded in it. Take my mind and let it serve for Your greater glory... Take my will... Take my body, my senses, my wisdom, all my skills, my heart, and all my feelings... O, God of my soul! I love you... Hide me in Your depth. Take me to Your Kingdom.” Many mystics declared that as a sign of their mystic betrothal with Christ they received a golden ring. Martha stated that she saw that ring round her finger twelve times.

After this act of consecration to Christ, unusual things started to happen. On 2 October 1926 (memory of St. Therese from Lisieux), 24-year old Martha fell in a mystic status that lasted three weeks. When she woke up, she told her parents about the suffering she felt; paradoxically she felt at the same time how sweet and sublime God’s love is. She confessed: “When we suffer, it is school of love, so that we can love more and more.” During that period St. Therese from Lisieux visited her three times and told her she has to create the “Houses of Charity” all round the world.

Martha’s leg palsy worsened so much that she was not able to move autonomously. Since 29 February 1929 her disease affected her hands, shoulders, and digestive system muscles as well. Since then she was not able to swallow anything; she couldn’t drink and eat anything. She was bedbound until the day of her death (6 February 1981).

The miracle of the Eucharist

Doctor Jean Dechaume, a professor of the Faculty of Medicine in Lyon, was assisting Martha together with Doctor André Ricard. In their medical report as of 2 February 1929, they stated that her legs and arms became rigid and were not able to make any movement. Swallow muscle got also paralyzed and the patient could not be administered any food or drinks. Apart from that, she didn’t sleep at all. Science didn’t manage to explain how she could survive so many years without eating and drinking. The scientists also confirmed that the cause of her complete inertia was not her emotional, psychic or mental status. They also excluded nervous collapse, brain tumour or epilepsy. The causes of Martha’s illnees remained a mystery for science.

Paul Louis Couchoud was an atheist philosopher and doctor. He was very interested in the case of Martha Robin. He wanted to see her. He wanted to assess whether her mystic life, stigmata, Eucharist as sole food, etc. is really the truth. After many initial difficulties, he finally managed to agree an encounter with Martha (thanks to an intervention of the bishop). A spiritual friendship rapidly developed between the doctor and the patient. Dr. Couchoud repeatedly visited the Robins. He confirmed that Martha had a full body paralysis; her swallowing muscles were blocked and she was not able to swallow down a drop of water. In his medical report, Dr. Couchoud wrote how much he admired the way the patient received the Eucharist. She didn’t swallow down the altar-bread, but it mysteriously penetrated into her body.

Martha didn’t pay too much attention to the fact that she could not eat. According to her words, Jesus “destined” her to live like that. The simple reason why she did not eat and drink was her muscle failure caused by the paralysis. She did not consume any food for more than 50 years, but she could not live without the Eucharist.

Eucharist was the most important event in Martha’s life. It was the only food that kept her alive. She received the Holy Communion only once a week, on Tuesday (and later in her lifetime, on Wednesday night). On the day when she was supposed to receive Jesus in the Sacrament, she used to pray from the morning and she repeated her act of dedication to Christ as of 15 October 1925. On that same day she also received the sacrament of the confession.

After receiving the Holy Eucharist she cried of joy and then fell in ecstasy – complete union with God. During her trance, her face was illuminated with a sort of supernatural light of joy and beauty. She stated this in a prayer:

„“I am so happy, my Beloved, because I feel that my heart beats in yours; I feel your presence in my heart; you are living and almighty. The Lord is inside me – what a mystery! I feel like in heaven. One day I will die and at the same time I will feel how you live in my heart, my Jesus. I wish one day people said that I was devoured by your love – not as a consequence of my effort, but thanks to your grace... My God, you make me so happy and blessed here on earth. I wonder how it will be in Heaven?“

During ecstasy mystics are directly in contact with God and they interrupt all connections with this world. Martha explained that during mystic states her soul was not really separated from the body, but it was ravished: “God first appears in awe. It is something never seen before. It is not possible to describe it! Then I feel calm. It is a timeless state. I don’t know exactly when it happens. I am not able to describe it... It occurs beyond me and inside me. I am ravished by love. It is not by force, but by love.”

On the following day after receiving the Eucharist Martha’s ecstasy ended and she returned to normal conditions. The most important thing for her was her life in faith, her personal relation with Jesus, not her supernatural states and experiences. Like St. John of the Cross, Martha stated that we should not long for supernatural spiritual experiences, because the desert of the spirit, the dark night of the faith is the most precious gift through which we can walk alongside Jesus on his Way of the Cross and get mature for love in heaven. We can walk this way only if our most important spiritual food is Jesus in the Eucharist.

Martha used to say: “When I receive the Sacrament, it is as though a living person is entering me... My mouth gets moist, but I cannot swallow down anything. The altar-bread is soaked by my body and I don’t even know how. The Eucharist is not common food. It pours new life in me every time I receive it. Jesus is inside my whole body as though I resurrected from the dead. The Eucharist is something more than union: it is fusion of two in one... People are keeping asking me if I really don’t eat and drink anything. I would like to tell them that I eat much more than them because I am fed with the Eucharistic Body and Blood of the Lord Jesus. I would like to warn them that they are blocking the effects of such food within themselves.“

For everyone, and in particular for science, the most admirable fact is that Martha didn’t eat, drink and sleep since 1929 until the day of her death in February 1981, i.e. more than 50 years. Nevertheless, her body functioned normally. Her sole food was the Holy Communion. Through such extraordinary wonder, through a permanent Eucharistic miracle, Christ wanted to show the great strength of the Altar-bread, if it is received with deep faith.

Through the example of Martha Robin He reminds us that we receive real life only if we accept Christ’s body and blood in the Eucharist. Through this manifest miracle Jesus wants us all to have zealous faith in the Holy Eucharist. He wants us to know that he himself is in the altar-bread – resurrected and glorified. “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day” (John 6, 53-54).

She suffered with Christ

Martha knew that if she unites with Christ in love, she will have to participate in his suffering for the salvation of the world and lead spiritual fight against the evil forces. In October 1927 the devil attacked her for the first time. He appeared as a terrible beast. Later in her life, the evil spirits appeared to her as human beings; they shook her, threw her from one side to another of her bed, or even smacked her.

In 1930 Martha received the gift of the stigmas from Jesus. During prayer she saw something almost indescribable: a sort of luminous “fire arrow” coming out of Jesus’ heart. Martha said: “Jesus first asked me to show him my hands. It looked like an arrow came out of his heart and it divided into two rays of light. Each one of them perforated one of my hands. Then, Jesus asked me to sacrifice my feet. And I saw another arrow coming out and perforating my feet. Everything happened extremely fast. Then, Jesus asked me to offer my chest and my heart. Their perforation was much more intensive. Jesus placed a crown of thorns over my head and he pressed it strongly.”

Since then, Martha had the same wounds as crucified Jesus on her body. The wounds were abundantly bleeding even in the presence of her parents. Where did she take so many litres of blood from? She did not eat or drink anything. Such an important loss of blood would scientifically mean immediate death. Doctors were astonished. They were not able to understand or explain all those mysterious deeds.

On 30 December 1930 Martha dictated the following letter: “This year an intimate union of my soul with God took place. I underwent a mystic and profound transformation. Despite illness I experience deep and long lasting joy, because it comes from God! What a wonder! I needed a lot of agony of my will in order to die to self.”“

The doctors who took care of Martha wrote that in October 1931 the patient started to experience the Passion of the Lord every Friday. Stigmas appeared on her head, hands, feet, and flank and her wounds were abundantly bleeding.

It happened every Friday. She experienced the same suffering as Christ. It was physical and spiritual pain caused by the abandonment and by the sensation of the absence of God – which Jesus expressed with his words: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mt 27, 46). This was the ultimate result of the sins of all people that Jesus voluntarily took upon himself, in order to eliminate all sins and to free mankind from devilish slavery. Martha experienced the passion together with Jesus for the salvation of the sinners. Her suffering culminated with the “death” on the Cross that she experienced every Friday at three o’clock. After “death” Martha stood before the judgment (that every one of us is waiting for too). When the judgment ended, she felt separation of soul from body and expectation of resurrection. On Sunday morning, on priest’s words Martha returned to ordinary life.

Through her unity with Jesus in the mystery of his passion and cross, Martha Robin became a real genius of spiritual life. Her geniality concerned her life wisdom, her knowledge of the final goal of our human life, and of the ways that lead to it. This French mystic was conscious of the great drama of the fight between good and evil, which is going on in all human hearts. She knew that the worst tragedy for mankind is sin and living as though God doesn’t exist. She knew that sinners are Satan’s slaves and their punishment is eternal damnation. Martha’s spiritual geniality resided in the fact that she was continuously participating in the redemption deed that Christ accomplished for us through his passion, death, and resurrection. Martha was united with Christ in his sacrifice on the cross for the salvation of the world; because she intended to save sinners from eternal fire and help them get back to right life behaviour. She offered her prayers and suffering for the sake of other people. She took upon her their suffering and prayed for their conversion. Her pain was particularly intense when she didn’t feel God’s presence. Feeling the absence of Jesus was “hell” for Martha. She was one thing with Christ who became sin for us. “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor 5, 21). On Sunday morning Martha was full of joy for Christ resurrection, definitive victory over the devil, sin, and death. Therefore, Martha participated in the whole drama of our redemption which is retrieved during the Holy Mass. In this way – through Martha – Jesus wants to tell us: “Every Christian life is a holy mass and every soul in this world is altar-bread. Take the whole of yourself, without reserves, and offer yourself to God together with Jesus, with his divine sacrifice which in uninterruptedly carried out for the redemption of the world.“

She led every one to Christ

News of strange Martha’s illness rapidly spread in her surroundings and in the region. More and more people went to visit this unusual lady and asked for prayer, advice, etc. Thousands of people crossed the threshold of her room. They covered important functions within the Church, State (cardinals, bishops, priests, ministers, professors, rich entrepreneurs); but there were also many poorer factory workers, peasants, and other people who were slave of different forms of addiction or suffered from suicide thoughts. Martha gave very simple and concise answers or advice. She had an answer to all questions. She was always able to give advice. She said she was going to bring the burden of all sufferers upon her own shoulders. In this way she could pay their debt caused by their faults and sins. For example, after a prostitute confessed all her sins in her past life, Martha took upon herself all the misery caused by her sinful behaviour.

She led everybody to Christ who heals our wounds, calms our pains, and solves all problems. In several occasions one only word from Martha changed life of people. She welcomed sinners with great compassion. She loved them with Christ’s love. The devil was constantly tempting her; so she knew very well the burden of guilt (even better than the sinners themselves). For this reason, by uniting with Christ in prayer and in the Eucharist, and by accepting her suffering for the sake of sinners, she led a continuous and victorious fight against evil forces and freed thousands of people from devilish slavery.


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