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.)
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)
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.)