Stories

December 24, 2016

She Asked, He Gave

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It was a few days before Ascension Thursday in 2003 and something happened for which Carol Ann needed to go to confession. There were no confession times that were scheduled to take place before Thursday. She did have a spiritual director whom she could ask for a personal confession time, but she was too embarrassed ask him.

Carol Ann seriously wanted to receive Communion on Thursday, but knew she had to be reconciled to Him first. Her town, however, had a church with perpetual adoration. She went there without exactly knowing why. She prayed for His understanding if she did not receive Him on Thursday.

Then she went out of the chapel to where some books and reading material were kept. At that very time, a priest passed her on his way into the sacristy. It was an unusual time of night for a priest to be there.

She returned to the chapel, knelt and resumed her prayer when she heard, “You asked for a way.” There were other people in the room, but they were all silent. Carol Ann asked, “what?” Once more she heard a voice. It said, “You asked for a way, and that way is outside.” She now understood.

Still not satisfied to some degree, she mildly protested that she did not even know this priest and was not comfortable confessing to him. For a third time, there in His presence, she heard a voice beckoning to her. It said simply, “You asked, I gave.”

She once more located the priest and made her confession. He was most understanding and helped her with her difficulty.

She went back into the chapel and felt very much at peace.

Source: Proctor, Sr. Patricia, OSC, 201 Inspirational Stories of the Eucharist (Spokane, Washington, The Franciscan Monastery of St. Clare, 2004) p. 179-80.

December 23, 2016

A Visit of the Christ Child to Eten, Peru

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It was the night of June 2, 1649, during the Vespers and the solemn exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in honor of the feast of Corpus Christi. At the end of the service, the Franciscan monk Jerome de Silva Manrique, was about to return the monstrance to the tabernacle, but he suddenly stopped. In the Host there appeared the brilliant face of a Child, framed by thick brown curls falling to the shoulders. All the faithful present in the church observed the same vision.

A few weeks later, on July 22, during the celebrations in honor of the Patroness of the City, St. Mary of Magdalene, another spectacle took place. According to the testimony of Brother Marco Lopez, superior of the convent in Chiclayo, during the exposition of the Most Holy Sacrament, “The Divine Child Jesus again appeared in the Host, dressed in a purple tunic. Beneath it he wore a shirt up to the middle of the chest.”This conformed with the custom of the Mochican Indians, inhabitants of the city. The symbolism for those inhabitants was that they too were accepted and loved by the Christ Child.

In the same apparition, which lasted about 15 minutes, many also saw appearing in the Host three small white hearts, united among themselves, symbolizing the Three Persons of the Holy Trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, present in the consecrated Host.

To this day, the feast in honor of the miracle of the Divine Child of Eten, continues to attract thousands every year.

This event is among those included in an international exhibition of Eucharistic miracles approved by the Vatican.

Source: http://www.therealpresence.org/eucharst/mir/english_pdf/Eten.pdf

December 22, 2016

Sandra and the Heart of Peace

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Sandra grew up Catholic. Even from a young age, every time she went into a Catholic church, she felt a curious “tugging” of her heart. She never told anyone about it, however.

At one point in her adult life, she moved to Irondale, Alabama, the home of the Eternal Word Television Network begun by Sister Angelica. She started to visit the Our Lady of the Angels Chapel on the EWTN grounds. She felt the same tugging. It progressed such that she felt even if she simply drove by the chapel.

Finally, she asked someone about it, who told her that it was because Jesus, truly present in the Blessed Sacrament, was inside the chapel. She felt like someone who has just made a dramatic discovery. She phoned childhood friends to ask if they knew about this. She was surprised to find that they had. She had grown up Catholic, but was only now learning a good deal about her faith.

She began to visit the chapel often just to stare at Him and be there. One day she was in the chapel praying for help. She was divorced and was raising two children herself, without any child support. She asked Jesus to reveal Himself, to show that He was really hearing her prayers.

She says that she suddenly saw a beam of light come towards her. She looked at the monstrance and saw Jesus’ human heart beating and pulsating, surrounded by fire. Rather than feeling uneasy or disturbed, she says that she “never felt such peace before in my life.” that she “knew in that instant that He was really there,” and that “He loved me.” She says that it felt as if “time stood still,” and that she wanted this experience to go on forever, but that it lasted only a few minutes.

She has told this story to many people, and they all say that they themselves feel a peace about them just listening to her.

Source: Proctor, Sr. Patricia, OSC, 201 Inspirational Stories of the Eucharist (Spokane, Washington, The Franciscan Monastery of St. Clare, 2004) p. 171-72.

December 21, 2016

Walldurn

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It was during the year 1330, in Walldurn, Germany, that Fr. Heinrich Otta was saying a Mass. By accident, he spilled consecrated wine, the Blood of Christ, onto the corporal, a linen altar cloth. Immediately upon spilling, the Precious Blood formed on the corporal an image of the Crucified Christ, surrounded by eleven identical images of the Head of Christ crowned with thorns. The priest did not have the courage to reveal the miracle and for many years he kept the corporal hidden under the altar. It was only near the point of his death that he confessed, then told the story of the event and revealed the corporal.

From the beginning, the corporal has had much veneration and many extraordinary healings are attributed to it. Pope Eugene IV confirmed the miracle in 1445. The miracle was famous across Europe and for centuries was depicted by many artists.

A basilica, the Church of Saint George, was constructed in Walldurn between 1698 and 1728 by Franz Lothar von Schonborn, the Archbishop of Mainz. The relic of the corporal with the Blood is preserved today, placed on the side altar in the basilica. Every year, several thousands of pilgrims visit Walldurn to venerate the sacred relic.

Source: http://www.therealpresence.org/eucharst/mir/english_pdf/Walldurn.pdf

December 20, 2016

While The Sisters Were At Mass

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In November of 1926, Sister Benigna Sibila Alsina began to suffer from an ulcer near the stomach. The pain progressed each passing day until it became quite unbearable. This situation lasted for three years. An operation could likely have taken care of the problem, but the Sister’s extreme weakness was prohibitive.

In May of 1930, the other nuns in her convent house began a novena to St. Anthony Mary Claret, to implore his prayers to the Lord for Sister Benigna. The following morning, the nuns went to Mass, when the Lord Himself makes Himself present in the Eucharist. During this time, Sister Benigna felt an incredibly dramatic change, as if something were being physically pulled from her stomach. Immediately, all her pain disappeared. She could resume life as a normal member of her religious community and take meals as she had before the onset of her illness.

Her doctors were unable to explain the change.

Source: My Daily Eucharist II, by Joan Carter McHugh, relating an excerpt from Saint Anthony Mary Claret: A Sketch of His Life and Works by Fr. Thomas, CMF.

December 19, 2016

The Boy and the Angel

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The following story comes from an area south of Alexandria in Egypt, during the third to fifth centuries. It is among a series of Eucharistic miracles approved by the Vatican.

Fr. Daniel the Faranite attests: “Our Fr. Arsenius told us of a monk of the Scete (southern part of the Nitrian Desert in Egypt) who was a hard worker but lacked instruction in the Faith. In his ignorance he would say: ‘The Bread we receive is not really the Body of Christ, but is a symbol of that Body.’ Two of the more experienced monks heard his statement and, aware that he was a good and pious monk, decided to speak to him since they attributed his words to his ignorance and not to malice. So they informed him: ‘What you are saying contradicts our Faith.’ The accused replied: ‘Unless you can show me evidence, I will not change my mind.’ The older monks told him: ‘We will pray to God about this mystery and we believe God will show us the truth.’

A Week later, on Sunday, all of them went to the church. At the consecration, in place of the Host, a Young Boy was seen. When the priest raised the Eucharistic Bread an angel appeared with a sword and pierced the Boy and when the priest broke the Host, Blood ran into the chalice. At the Communion, the angel took Bloodied Particles from the Host and brought them to the monks to receive. At this the doubter cried out ‘Lord, I believe that the Bread is Your Body, and that Your Blood is in the chalice.’ Immediately the Bloodied Flesh he had in his hand became the Eucharistic Bread and he communicated reverently.

Source: http://www.therealpresence.org/eucharst/mir/english_pdf/Scete.pdf

December 18, 2016

What’s In A Name

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Ellen was a full-time nurse with a busy life when she first started making weekly visits to the Blessed Sacrament. Before the end of one year, she graduated to making visits several times each week. Then she started to make the visits an hour long. Then she began to do an hour each day.

After a few years, she decided on a different course for her life, that of a religious, consecrated to serving the Lord.

In June of 2000, she became an aspirant, and in February of 2001 she was to become a postulant at the Santa Clara Monastery in Canton, Ohio. The order into which she was seeking to enter allowed postulants to pick the name they would use as a religious, and so, she went about asking her mother and otherwise working to select a name. She had one that she liked, Mary Ellen.

On Christmas, 2001, however, at Mass, when the priest elevated the Host for adoration, a thought came to her to, “Ask Jesus Now.” As she stared at the Eucharist, the name “Ishmael” made a very clear impression on her.

At the time, she did not know how to spell it, nor could she recall having heard it before. After Mass, she researched the name and then discovered that it was the name given to Abraham’s oldest son.

At any rate, she then proposed the name to her spiritual advisor, Fr. Ken Tietgen, and to her abbess, Sister Marion. Both disapproved the name of Sister Ishmael. Ellen felt strongly that the Lord Himself had communicated to her the very idea of this name and that it was His desire. She then prayed to Him, in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament again, and earnestly pleaded with Him to tell both Fr. Ken and Sister Marion, as she was only seeking to do His will.

Less than three hours remained before a meeting of the monastery community which would decide upon her name request. It was then that she received a long distance telephone call from Fr. Ken. He too had prayed before the Blessed Sacrament about her request and now gave his approval.

A half an hour later, Sister Marion revealed that she had woken up from a sleep and went, as well, to pray before the Blessed Sacrament about her name request. She too, now gave her approval.

Feeling that the Real Presence of Christ had so much to do with the choice and approval of her name, she added a title to the end of her name, so that she was now called Sister Ishmael of the Real Presence. The order of nuns into which she was seeking admission was the Sisters of Perpetual Adoration.

Source: Proctor, Sr. Patricia, OSC, 201 Inspirational Stories of the Eucharist (Spokane, Washington, The Franciscan Monastery of St. Clare, 2004) p. 290-93.

December 17, 2016

Communion Across the Waves

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Agatho was the Bishop of Palermo when he happened, at a certain time, to be sailing from Sicily to Rome. Lashed to the ship on which he was travelling was a small boat. On board was a single man who had the task of steering it. During the journey, a tremendous storm arose and the ships became separated. The small boat was feared to have capsized and the man drowned.

Agatho’s ship itself was in serious danger of foundering. At last, they made it to the island of Ostika, where the ship required some repairs before it could continue on to Rome. On the island, the Bishop offered a Mass for the poor man who he thought had died.

When he arrived in Rome, he found that very same man near the place he landed. The man related how he struggled against the waves, for days, to keep the boat afloat. When he was exhausted from the strain, and from the lack of food and water, he thought he could not continue any more. He thought his end was at hand.

Then, he said, he saw a man standing before him, who offered him bread. As soon as he had partaken of it, his strength returned in force. Shortly after that, he was picked up by a ship and taken to home.

As the man recounted some of the details, the Bishop was able to discern that the day the day on which he offered Mass for the man was the same day on which bread was offered to the man by his mysterious visitor on the sea.

Source: Cruz, Caroll, Eucharistic Miracles (Charlotte, North Carolina, Tan Books, 2010) p. 206-207.

December 16, 2016

Good from Evil

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In 1995, a man was praying before the Blessed Sacrament in Medjugorje, Bosnia-Hercegovina. All of a sudden, his own life began to play out before his eyes like a movie, in remarkable detail and with a tremendous aspect of reality.

He saw events from his childhood that he had forgotten. He saw events from a completely different perspective and was able to understand the meanings of them that, up to then, had been hidden from him.

He rejoiced in the good things he had done and, surprisingly, saw how God even drew benefit from evil things he had done. He said, “God used the evil there had been in my life to bring me to Him, and I was amazed to see in what a marvelous way He had succeeded in leading me through evil as well as through good.”

Source: Brown, Michael H., Secrets of the Eucharist (Goleta, CA, Queenship Publishing Co., 1996), p. 84.

December 15, 2016

Saint Alphonsus — Light as a Feather

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One day in October, 1784, Fr. Tannoia was saying Mass. St. Alphonsus Ligouri was in attendance. The Saint was now close to 90 years old. He had to be helped into the church and into his seat. His assistant had exerted himself greatly in seeing this done.

While Fr. Tannoia said Mass, St. Alphonsus was praying before the Blessed Sacrament, the Eucharistic Presence to which the Saint had such a fervent and well-noted devotion. After some time, Fr. Tannoia heard some rustling from the area of the Saint and glanced sideways in that direction. He then saw, with his own eyes, the Saint raised into the air above his seat.

After the Mass was concluded, he again saw the Saint floating in the air, a happening that occurred “quietly and easily as though a light feather was being moved.”

Source: Cruz, Caroll, Eucharistic Miracles (Charlotte, North Carolina, Tan Books, 2010) p. 289.

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