The Holy Eucharist is the continuation of Christ’s incarnation on earth. The mystery of the Eucharist gives us the joy of having Christmas everyday. When we come to the Blessed Sacrament we come to Bethlehem, and name which means “house of bread.” Jesus chose to be born in Bethlehem because He would dwell with us forever as the “Living Bread” come down from heaven. When the shepherds and the Magi came to adore Him, they brought Him so much joy with their humble visit to Bethlehem that their visit has been praised and retold down through the centuries. God has never stopped honoring them for honoring His Son in Bethlehem.
So, too, your humble visit to Jesus today in the Blessed Sacrament brings Him so much joy that it will be retold for all eternity and bring the world closer to His promise of peace on earth.
We are as privileged in being called to adore Him today as were Mary, Joseph, the shepherds and the Magi then, because here Jesus continues His incarnation on earth…The Word again becomes flesh and dwells among us, veiled under the species of the Sacred Host, where the same Jesus born two thousand years ago as a little babe in Bethlehem is truly, really, bodily and personally present to us in this most Blessed Sacrament.
(Taken from My Daily Eucharist by Joan Carter McHugh, and an excerpt contained there from Rosary Meditations from Mother Teresa of Calcutta by Fr. Martin Lucia, MSS.)
On August 21, 1879, Mary McLoughlin and Mary Beirne were walking past the Village chapel in Knock, Ireland. They both saw something unusual. Word soon spread after that and others came. Fifteen people gave testimony to the commission of inquiry that formed later.
They all attested to seeing, with some minor variations, a lamb on an altar. Behind the lamb was a cross. To the right side of the lamb, stood a figure holding a book that was taken to be John the Evangelist holding a book of the Gospels. To his right, was the Virgin Mary and Joseph. The vision did not come and go, nor was it momentary. It lasted for several hours. The scene was bathed in a brilliant light and, though it was raining heavily that night, the ground under the apparition was quite dry.
The scene clearly represents the Catholic Mass. The first part of the Mass involves readings from Scripture and the Gospels. This leads to the second part, and the re-presentation to the Father of the sacrifice of the Lamb of God on the Cross. At every Mass, Mary and Joseph are in attendance.
The Holy Family that was present at the first Christmas is thus present at every Mass, when Christ comes again and again to His people in the Blessed Sacrament.
(Source: “The Official Testimonies of the Fifteen Witnesses to the Knock Apparition on August 21, 1879,” http://www.knock-shrine.ie/uploads/documents/The%2015%20Depositions%20arranged%20alphabetically.pdf.)
Giovanni Savino and his wife were devoted followers of Padre Pio. One day after Mass, Padre Pio uncustomarily embraced him and said, “Courage, Giovanni, I am praying to the Lord that you might not be killed.” For the next two days, Padre Pio repeated this ominous warning.
Savino had been among those working on an addition to San Giovanni Rotundo, Pio’s monastery. On the third day, February 15, 1949, Savino and another man placed some dynamite under a boulder. When the fuse failed to ignite the charge, Savino went forward to investigate. The dynamite went off in front of him.
His face was badly mangled, his right eye was a “bloody pulp” and his left eye had many “foreign bodies” in it. Doctors gave up any hope of saving the right eye but thought perhaps they could save the left one.
Padre Pio asked everyone to pray for Savino. He exposed the Blessed Sacrament and prayed before His Presence himself for three days. On February 25, Savino smelled a sweet fragrance, something that others frequently reported in connection with an intervention by Padre Pio. Savino also felt three slaps on his forehead. The understanding he had at the time was that Pio was next to his bed.
Later that same morning, the ophthalmologist came to examine him. Savino told him he could see. The ophthalmologist asked him to turn his head so he could see his left eye. Savino responded that it was the right eye with which he could see. The doctor said he must be mistaken, but Savino insisted to the contrary. Upon examination, the left eye was found to still have its horribly distorted condition. Still, Savino could see with it. For the following 25 years of his life, Savino could still see with it. The left eye never regained the power of sight.
The ophthalmologist had been an atheist at the time. He converted to the Catholic Faith as a result of this incident.
Padre Pio was said to be a procuring cause of more than a thousand physical healings. This one time, when he asked others to pray for a miracle, he asked them to pray before the Eucharist. He asked them to pray to Real Presence. He asked them to pray directly to Christ Himself.
(Source: “The Miracles of St. Padre Pio,” by Brother Lawrence Mary, M.I.C.M., Tert., http://www.basilica.org/pages/ebooks/Brother%20Lawrence%20Mary-The%20Miracles%20of%20Saint%20Padre%20Pio.pdf.)
Julius Stephi was a twenty-month-old baby. He had meningitis and pneumonia. The agony he experienced was causing him to literally pull his hair out. Three physicians had been unsuccessful in trying to reverse the tide of his illness.
His grandmother, Magdalena Vogel visited him and saw the child’s torment. She then continued on her way to Mass at St. Augustine’s Church in Pittsburgh. As the time of consecration approached, when the priest asks for Jesus to descend and be with his people in the Blessed Sacrament, Mrs. Vogel saw an image in her mind of Fr. Seelos, her confessor from years before. She prayed to him: “Father Seelos, while you were on earth you had the power to change bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ. Now that you are in heaven, you are not less powerful. Please ask God to heal my grandchild.”
While she was saying this prayer, she heard the large the bell ring. This church had a tower and, at the precise moment of the Consecration during the Sunday High Mass, they rang that bell.
After Mass, Mrs. Vogel returned to her grandson. She was met at the door by her daughter. Julius had stopped writhing from pain. He had stopped as the bell rang. An hour later, he woke up. For two days, he had refused all food. Now he was hungry. Julius was again healthy.
(Based on an account stated in My Daily Eucharist II by Joan Carter McHugh, and an excerpt contained there from Nothing Short of a Miracle by Patricia Treece.)
A little boy was brought to this outdoor Mass who was suffering from very severe burns and sores on his body. I remember thinking, “My goodness, there’s really nothing that can be done. It’s so bad. We have no doctors or medicine here.”
I admired the priest. We prayed with the little boy, then the priest said to the old woman who had carried him to the Mass, “Just leave him under the table here and let’s continue with the celebration of the Eucharist.”
As we approached the Consecration, I had my eyes closed. When I opened them, I discovered that people were prostrate on the ground. They lifted up their eyes to adore the Lord. The look on their faces made me think, ”They really believe that this is Jesus.” Then when I looked at the Sacred Host, in my own imagination, I got the most beautiful image of Jesus with his two hands out. He was smiling with great love and compassion. He was embracing these poor people and saying, “Come to me, all who are weary, and I will give you life and faith.” After the Mass, I went around to see how the little boy was. I looked at the child and he was fine. There wasn’t a thing wrong with his little body.
(Taken from My Daily Eucharist II by Joan Carter McHugh, and an excerpt contained there from Miracles Do Happen by Sr. Briege McKenna, OSC.)
Once, Friar Joseph was travelling with another priest when they entered a village church. The priest commented that there was no burning lamp at the altar and questioned whether a consecrated Host was perhaps not kept there. Friar Joseph knew inwardly that He was present and, without answering directly, astonished his companion, by rising from the ground, flying to the tabernacle on the altar and giving adoration to the Presence within.
This story would be hard to believe on its own. However, there are 70 others involving this Friar Joseph for which witnesses gave accounts and the circumstances recorded, not to mention many others that were not so recorded. These acts of levitation were witnessed by men and women of every station in life, sheperds, townspeople, noblemen, a Spanish ambassador and Pope Urban VIII. They many times included whole groups of people. Sometimes, they even involved Friar Joseph taking the hand of another person and both of them being lifted in the air.
Friar Joseph did not experience such events in isolation. As one who started having ecstasies while still a young child, he never ceased to pray fervently, fast and practice various self-sacrifices, consider himself a sinner or have the most profound respect for the Eucharist.
Also, a great number of miracles are known in connection with Friar Joseph: physical cures, instances of being able to see into the soul and know the sins of others persons, bilocations, predictions of future events and more. For these reasons and others, he was canonized by the Catholic Church in 1763, one hundred years after his death. He is now known as St. Joseph of Copertino.
If but one of the miraculous stories about him is true, then the question must be asked whether his faith in God was justified or whether he just happened to possess some mysterious power as a freak occurrence of nature.
He certainly did not think so. On his deathbed, as the bell sounded to announce that the Blessed Sacrament was being brought to him as Viaticum, he rose and once more, from the door of his room to the stair above his chapel, flew to the wonder of those present. He did not want his Lord to have to come to him. He would go to Him.
Source: Saint Joseph of Copertino, by Fr. Angelo Pastrovicchi, O.M.C. (Rockford, Illinois, Tan Books, 1980).
I had four abortions before I was married; had a nervous breakdown at eighteen; and became addicted to drugs and alcohol in my twenties. I attempted suicide even times, unable to understand why I had to live a life without meaning. My husband, chosen by my parents, was an atheist.
Once a Catholic priest taught me two lines of prayer that turned my life around: “Jesus, may all that is You, flow into me. May Your Body and Blood be my food and drink.”
Meanwhile, I was diagnosed with leukemia. This was in addition to diabetes that I had for twenty years. I knew the key to my healing was finding a place where I could receive the real Body and Blood of Jesus. Something inside kept telling me that if I could receive the Body and Blood of Jesus I would be healed.
I found it in a Catholic church during my first healing Mass, which I attended with a friend. At the Consecration I saw a vision of a lamb slain on the altar. It was the Lamb of God. I knew then that this was where I would find the Body and Blood of Jesus, and that it would bring me healing. I was received into the Catholic Church in May 1985.
When I met Father DeGrandis in 1985 he told me I needed to forgive my father for some ways he hurt me as a child. I began a regular program of saying the “Forgiveness Prayer.” On his retreat I was healed of diabetes and the leukemia went into remission.
I thank God for my second chance. I especially thank the Lord for allowing me to receive Him in the Eucharist. “Take this,” He said. “This is My Body (Mk 14:22).
(Taken from My Daily Eucharist II by Joan Carter McHugh, and an excerpt contained there from Healing Through the Mass, by Fr. Robert DeGrandis, SJ.)
It was in the Blessed Eucharist above all that Sister Marie-Bernard, true to her faith, sought this living Jesus. Members of the Community bore eloquent testimony to the recollected manner in which she prepared for Holy Communion, and her complete absorption in the Divine Presence during her thanksgiving. To the question, “What do you do that you take so long over your thanksgiving?” she replied: “I think that Our Lady is giving me the Child Jesus. I welcome Him and I talk to Him, and He talks to me.” Her spiritual notes give a more enlightening glimpse: “I was nothing and of this nothing, Jesus made something great.” “It is because through Holy Communion I partake of the Godhead in some way. Jesus gives me His Heart, I am thus linked closely with Him, spouse of Jesus, friend of Jesus, that is to say, another Jesus.”
Some of her companions stated that during her thanksgiving, the face of Sister Marie-Bernard would “light up—as during the apparitions at Masabielle.” The parish priest, not over-imaginative, had already mentioned something similar with regard to his little parishioner. Without doubt, Holy Communion, or rather, Holy Mass, was the culminating point of Sister Marie-Bernard’s spiritual life; to be deprived of it during her illnesses cost her more than all her sufferings. “If one must go from Tabor to Calvary, one returns from Calvary to Tabor with Jesus, that is our foretaste of heaven.” If instead of Tabor we say the Blessed Eucharist, then this saying of Sister Marie-Bernard will best express the source of her spiritual happiness, her hope and her love.
Sister Marie-Bernard, known as Bernadette Soubirous before she had taken her vows, was the girl whom no one initially believed when she said she had seen the Blessed Mother at a grotto in France. Today, that grotto at Lourdes is a pilgrimage destination for millions, Sister Marie-Bernard is now St. Bernadette, and countless physical and spiritual healings have taken place because of what Sister Marie-Bernard saw when no one else did. If she saw Jesus in the Eucharist, should we not stop and enjoy a minute or two considering this?
(First two paragraphs above taken from My Daily Eucharist II by Joan Carter McHugh, and an excerpt contained there from Bernadette and Her Rosary by Fr. Andre Ravier, SJ.)
I pray that our Lord provides me with the guidance I seek. In return, I will always turn to you in good times and bad, to be my friend, my teacher and my Father.
Father Eymard’s sermons were quite of a new kind; they filled his hearers with admiration. People had never heard anyone speak about the Eucharist as he did They would have listened to him for hours. In less time than it takes to tell, his reputation covered Toulon, and the priests of the city vied with one another in inviting him to come and preach in their churches on the days of weekly adoration which they were quick to sponsor. People of course, looked upon him as a saint, whose words seemed to be inspired.
One evening he preached such a wonderful sermon in the Cathedral of Toulon that some of those present could not help telling him so. Somewhat surprised, he said: “Do you really think I said fine things? An hour before preaching, I was not yet prepared. But that hour I spent before the tabernacle. There I said to Our Lord, ‘Let us go preach.’ It was Our Lord who preached.”
This story seems to recount such a little thing. There is no dramatic physical healing which cannot be explained by medical science, there is no extraordinary vision which is simultaneously seen by dozens or hundreds, there is no consecrated Host that remains intact while a fire destroys a church around it, nor any other spectacular event that is venerated for centuries afterward. Yet, it is every bit a revelation of His Presence. This website itself has seen prior accounts of persons known to its administrator who have experienced just this real effect. They know their own limitations. They sense when something comes so easily that it pronounces those limitations, but gently. The realization breaks over the person from his own interior, causing him or her to feel no self-criticism, but only a grateful wonder and awe.
Father Eymard knew that feeling. To him, no one should be surprised by an unusually good work. No one should doubt that the good that we do is not to our own credit, that He is with us, and that any moments when we shine are simply moments when we let Him live in us. People who spend time in Adoration understand this; they have a common sense of this. There is no surprise to them at what emanates from such time. Why should there be? What should one not expect?
(First two paragraphs above taken from My Daily Eucharist II by Joan Carter McHugh, and an excerpt contained there from Champion of the Blessed Sacrament: Saint Peter Julian Eymard, by Fr. Martin Dempsey)