On September 24, 1911, a young woman arrived in Lourdes, France. She was a wife and mother of three children. The births had been difficult, however, and left her with severe health problems, including a uterine prolapse, dyspepsia and mucomembranous-enteritis, a digestive disorder that did not allow her to eat food normally.
Her anemic condition continued to decline and, after medical treatments produced no relief, she travelled to the Marian apparition site with her husband. For the first day and a half, she was so ill that it was decided she could not visit the Grotto or go to the baths. Death was thought to be near.
In the afternoon of the 26th, she took part in the Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. After receiving it, she felt better, spoke and sat up on her couch. She was then carried back to the Sept-Douleurs Hospital, where she asked for food and ate solid food for the first time in two years.
Nine months after her return home, she later, on June 23, 1912, it was found that her prolapse had virtually disappeared and was judged to be in excellent health.
On September 8, 1912, Mgr. Pierre Cezerac, Bishop of Cahors, declared her cure miraculous. She is one of the 69 confirmed miracles that have occurred at Lourdes.
The Moorish occupation of Spain lasted, in varying extents, from 711 until 1492. The time in between saw a continually fluctuating map of the Iberian peninsula, as a struggle for control was waged by the Christians and the Muslims.
On March 3, 1231, a Moorish king by the name of Zeyt-Abu-Zeyt, along with his entire family, converted to Christianity. The reason for this change was the subject of many accounts written at the time, including one by the official historian for Spain’s King Ferdinand III.
A certain priest, Don Gines Perez Chirinos de Cuenca, travelled into the Moorish territory of Murcia and preached the Gospel amongst the people there. Inevitably, he was captured and taken to King Zeyt-Abu Zeyt. The king was curious about the Catholic Mass and ordered Fr. Chirinos to perform one. The priest explained that he did not have the necessary articles to fulfill such a request. So, the King had some of his men go to neighboring Cuenca and obtain them from a church there.
At some point after he had begun the Mass, Fr. Chirinos realized that he did not have a Cross and stopped the Mass. The King questioned him as to why he had stopped and he replied as to the need for a Cross. The King then asked if that was not what was being brought in at that moment. In the presence of all assembled there, two angels were seen bringing it in and placing it on the altar, where it then remained. At the moment of consecration, the King saw a Baby in place of the Host, who looked at the King endearingly.
Each year, a festival is held in May in honor of the event. In 1998, Pope John Paul II granted it the privilege of being the fifth city in the world to celebrate the Perpetual Jubilee (one holy year every seven in perpetuity).
Sources: “The Eucharistic Miracles of the World,” a Vatican international exhibition, as reported by The Real Presence Eucharistic Adoration Association, http://www.therealpresence.org/eucharst/mir/english_pdf/Caravaca.pdf, and the Wikipedia entry for the city of Caravaca de la Cruz, http://www.therealpresence.org/eucharst/mir/english_pdf/Caravaca.pdf.
When celebrating Mass in this healing way, people are healed not only interiorly but also physically (1 Cor 11:17-34). The Eucharistic prayers expect healing of the whole person. Before Communion the priest prays, “Let this not serve unto condemnation but unto health of mind and body.” The prayer for healing is followed by the centurion’s, “Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed.” Even St. Augustine, who believed that the physical healing occurred only in earlier times, had to retract his views because he saw the Eucharist, as well as other means, bring physical healing. As a chaplain bringing the Eucharist, I too have witnessed physical healings even recorded on heart monitors.
…Eucharistic healing occurs when we give Christ our hardened, unforgiving hearts and receive his heart of flesh opened on Calvary. There he released to us His forgiving Spirit as promised: “A new heart I will give you and a new Spirit I will put within you (Ez 36:26). Memories are healed when hearts are exchanged on Calvary.
The Eucharist has a built-in pattern for exchanging hearts on Calvary.
(Taken from My Daily Eucharist II by Joan Carter McHugh, and an excerpt contained there from Healing Life’s Hurts: Healing Memories through the Five Stages of Forgivenss, by Matthew Linn, SJ and Dennis Linn.)
In the central part of France lies a village called Pressac. There, on Holy Thursday, 1643, a mid-day Mass was said. Afterwards, a chalice containing one consecrated Host, as was the custom, was left on the altar covered by a veil. The altar consisted of a marble slab supported by four heavy wooden pillars.
Two hours later, fire could be seen coming from the church. When the people were able to inspect the damage, they found the marble slab on the ground. The four wooden pillars had been reduced to ashes. They also found remnants of the chalice. The upper portion had melted, but the base remained. Also, a thin bubble of metal was observed over the stem of the base. As the upper portion melted, it fell away to the sides, around the contents housed by the tin bubble, the consecrated Host.
The spectacle was seen by many, testimony was recorded and a declaration made of the miraculous event promptly made.
The Host was not preserved. As the next day was Good Friday, it was consumed during the service held then. A picture of the chalice, however, may still be seen. If you wish to do so, click on this link: http://www.therealpresence.org/eucharst/mir/english_pdf/Pressac.pdf.
Source: source: “The Eucharistic Miracles of the World,” a Vatican international exhibition, as reported by The Real Presence Eucharistic Adoration Association, http://www.therealpresence.org/eucharst/mir/engl_mir.htm.
“In a book entitled Healing Through the Mass (pages 84-85, published by Resurrection Press and authored by Fr Robert DeGrandis S.S.J.), I read the following. NASA did some experimenting with a special type of camera that could see the energy levels in the human body. This is then seen on a monitor. This energy shows up as an aura around the body. NASA’s interest in the experiment was to investigate the effects of space travel on astronauts in orbit. Experimenting in a hospital they discovered that when a person is dying, the aura around the body is thinner and gets thinner and thinner until the person dies. The scientist carrying out this investigation in the hospital and his associate were behind a two-way mirror. They could see with their camera another man coming into the room with light coming from his pocket. Then the man took the object from his pocket and did something so that in the camera the whole room was filled with light and with their camera they could no longer see what was happening. They ran to the room to see what was causing so much light to appear in their camera. They discovered that the dying man was being given Holy Communion. Afterwards with their camera they could see that the aura around him was brighter. Although in his fifties, the scientist conducting the experiment decided to become a priest after witnessing that.”
(The above was taken from a website called “frtommylane,” http://www.frtommylane.com/homilies/year_a/18.htm#eucharist.)
It was September 8, 1848, the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Mother. St. John Bosco was about to say Mass. “The boys who gathered in the church numbered almost 600. The sacristan had prepared a ciborium with enough hosts to be consecrated for the congregation, but a last-moment distraction prevented him from placing it on the altar. The ciborium reserved in the tabernacle contained only about 20 consecrated Hosts. After the Consecration, at the moment of the elevation of the Host, the sacristan realized his mistake, but could do nothing but await the saint’s confusion, and later a well-deserved reprimand for his oversight. At Communion time, when St. John Bosco uncovered the ciborium that he had removed from the tabernacle and saw the small number of Hosts in it, his expression betrayed his disappointment over the fact that he would be unable to give Holy Communion to all the boys. Nevertheless, gazing heavenward, he quietly prayed for a moment and then walked toward the railing, where the communicants devoutly awaited him. “
“After he had distributed Communion to the first row of boys, another group took their places. One row succeeded another, and then another, yet the supply in the ciborium was not exhausted. When Don Bosco returned to the altar, all the boys had communicated and there remained within the ciborium a goodly quantity of Hosts. It is said that the sacristan was thoroughly bewildered.”
(Quoted parts taken from Eucharistic Miracles, by Joan Carroll Cruz (Charlotte, North Carolina, Tan Books, 2010) p. 228.)
“Robert Hopcke was a Lutheran seminarian in September, 1978 when he attended Mass at a Catholic Church near the campus of the University of Pennsylvania with his friend Vincent Mandato. He recounted: ‘At Mass, just before the homily, I remember smelling very distinctly the odor of roses … I didn’t think much of it, and it seemed to go away only to come back again, just as sweet and just as strong during the Creed. At that time, I recall looking around to see who the woman was nearby who had doused herself with so much scent, but there was no woman near us. I tried to locate a flower arrangement in the church that could be giving off such a perfume, but again, there was no arrangement nearby, and no roses in the church at all. I thought perhaps it could be the scented candles, but the strength of the odor was such that the faraway candles would have had to fill the church with their scent, and surely I would have smelled such a powerful fragrance immediately upon entering the church and not halfway through the Mass. The odor seemed to fade again, and came back for the third and final time during the consecration of the Host.‘”
After the Mass, his friend Vincent asked him if he had smelled something strange during the Mass. When Hopcke confirmed having the same experience, Mandato suggested that Hopcke talk to Mandato’s parents back in Plainfield, New Jersey. Hopcke was on his way there the next day. Upon arriving, he followed Mandato’s suggestion.
Mandato’s father had known a certain Capuchin priest back in Italy, Padre Pio. Mandato’s mother had a further connection, she was his cousin. Many wondrous stories had circulated about the man for years, miraculous healings, bilocations, the ability to tell people about sins they had even forgotten during their confessions, and other inexplicable happenings. In speaking of these later, “Hopcke concluded: ‘Not having known Padre Pio personally, as have the Mandatos, and having, I like to think, a very rational, logical mind, I neither totally believe nor disbelieve the stories of Padre Pio. The sheer volume of them tends to make me believe that something totally miraculous took place in the presence of that holy, devout Capuchin.‘”
During his visit to Vincent’s parents, as Hopcke began to explain the events that had taken place at church, “the elder Mandato finished the description: ‘It was very sweet and very strong, like the scent of roses, a garden of roses in decline, and it came and went a number of times, three or four times.’” Hopcke then stated that this was exactly like the experience he had. Mrs. Mandato told him that he had received a grace from Padre Pio. She had no doubt. Many people had experienced such a smell in connection with Padre Pio. It was something for which he was well-known.
Hopcke himself was not convinced. He remained skeptical, but still cannot explain the sweet smell, the fact that his friend separately knew of it, the fact that it came and went and the fact that there was no other observable cause.
It is also something to cause wonder that it ended with the consecration of the Host, as if that was a moment of culmination, as if there was nothing that could follow it. Someone known by the writer of this post experienced just such a smell once. It was in the presence of the Eucharist, at Marytown in Illinois. It was an experience shared by the person he was with and mutually related later, just as happened in the story above. There may not have been any connection with Padre Pio, but there was a connection, in both of these episodes, with the Eucharist.
(Quoted parts taken from Padre Pio: The True Story, by C. Bernard Ruffin (Huntington, Indiana, Our Sunday Visitor, Inc., 1991) p. 321-22.)
Raymond of Capua, beatified by the Catholic Church in 1899, was the confessor of St Catherine of Siena. He tells of an occasion when he celebrated Holy Mass without St. Catherine being present. At the proper time after the Consecration he broke the Host, but instead of separating it in half, it divided into three parts, two large and one small. This small part, “whilst I was attentively regarding it, appeared to me to fall on the corporal, by the side of the chalice over which I made the fracture. I saw it clearly descend toward the altar, but I could not distinguish it on the corporal.” After searching in vain, Raymond continued with the Mass. Afterward, he carefully covered the altar and asked the sacristan to guard the surrounding area.
Hurrying to find Catherine, Blessed Raymond related the incident of the missing particle and voiced his suspicion that perhaps Catherine had mystically received it. Catherine reassured him with the words, “Father, have no further anxiety respecting the particle of the Sacred Host. Truly I tell you as my confessor and spiritual father, that the Heavenly Bridegroom brought it to me Himself and I have received it out of His divine hand .“
(Taken in almost complete part from Eucharistic Miracles, by Joan Carroll Cruz (Charlotte, North Carolina, Tan Books, 2010) p. 261-62.)
On October 16, 2010, a party of 46 pilgrims from Switzerland gathered to board a bus to Medjugorje. Among the travellers was a blind woman Joëlle and her 12-year-old daughter Vinciane. They were accompanied by Claudia, a family friend.
…The following day, most of the group climbed Mt Krizevac, but for Joëlle and a few others, including the pastor, they prayed instead at the Way of the Cross that surrounds the statue of the Risen Christ. The main group on Krizevac prayed earnestly for the needs of Joëlle, and in the hope that she might recover her sight. Six hours later they came off the mountain in time to attend evening Mass at St James.
It was during this Mass that something remarkable happened. At the distribution of the Eucharist Joëlle raised her head and saw in front of her a priest wearing a white alb. She looked up and was able to see the lights in the church, its high ceiling and windows. The shock to Joëlle was so great that she started to feel unwell again and asked her friend to take her outside. When Joëlle made her exit she turned to Claudia and said, “I see the light!”
…Afterwards some pilgrims told how they were placed behind Joëlle when she received communion, and how they had experienced such a strong smell of roses at the time.
…Joëlle later gave more details about her healing. She said that it was on the first night after Mass that she was able to distinguish light, see people’s faces and their lips move. During the following days her vision gradually improved. She is now able to see her two brothers and parents after 42 years of being blind. She said it was her parents who taught her to love Jesus and Mary and she has never stopped praying to them. She said she is also grateful for the gift of Vinciane, her “torch”, as she describes her daughter.
After she regained her sight Joëlle was faced with many difficulties adjusting to her new world, especially at the sight of so many tall buildings and seeing so many people. This would often produce an adverse reaction in her and she would feel sick. But Joëlle said that with the grace of Jesus and Mary she will overcome the problems and challenges that her healing has brought. Now she can distinguish colours, houses, trees and vegetation, cars, people, the sun, and her cat! And although she is still under the care of an ophthalmologist, Joëlle said that she has firm faith that Jesus will complete the work he has started. Her daughter is now able to have her own room in their apartment and has said to her mother, “Peace lives in our apartment!”
A final word from Joëlle: “This healing has given me the body of an adult, but left me with the heart of a child..”
Marie Therese Canin was born in 1910. By the time she was 26 years of age, tuberculosis had killed her parents and had attacked her spinal column (Pott’s Disease) as well as her abdomen.
For more than 10 years, her life was one continuous round of hospital admissions and operations, (bone grafts to her spine and sacro-iliac joint). There were fleeting improvements allowing minimum activity. From the beginning of 1947, her general health declined, with oedema of both lower limbs, a vaginal fistula, and very frequent collapses. In this state, verging on cachexia, weighing only 38 kg. she arrived in Lourdes on October 7, 1947.
On October 9th, she was in attendance for the Procession of the Blessed Sacrament, where the Eucharist is carried in a monstrance through the assembled crowd. After the procession, she felt better, could get up, move about, and eat the evening meal.
She was examined by the Medical Bureau the next day and was considered, from her physical characteristics, as presenting a complete improvement.
Her condition remained the same after a year, without any set-back. She was examined again by the Medical Bureau in June of 1948, which found that she had regained her former weight, 55 kg. All those present at the Bureau verified that she was cured, with no medical explanation able to be given.
At the Meeting of the National Medical Committee on February 27, 1949, it was confirmed that “there was no natural or scientific explanation for this cure”.
Three years later, on June 6, 1952, the Archbishop of Marseilles declared that the cure of Marie-Therese Canin was in fact miraculous.