Stories

March 21, 2016

A Pile of Ashes

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St. Cyprian was born in about the year 200 and died in 258. He was the bishop of Carthage for about the last 10 years of his life, until he suffered a martyr’s death, at the hands of the Roman authorities, for refusing to deny his faith.

He related the story of a man who, though he professed belief in Catholicism, actually practiced idolatry. This man went to receive Holy Communion, but found he could not. When the Host was placed in his hands, it changed to a pile of ashes.

Based on: Cruz, Caroll, Eucharistic Miracles (Charlotte, North Carolina, Tan Books, 2010) p. 203.

March 20, 2016

The Number “2900”

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The following is a complement to yesterday’s story. The same man, during this same period of time, repeatedly had the number “2,900” come into his thoughts each time he went to Eucharistic Adoration. He could not figure out any reason for this.

As previously stated, he was in the process of discerning whether to become a priest. When he subsequently started to investigate the process for pursuing this goal, he learned that the address of the seminary was 2,900 Noblestown Road.

A small matter perhaps, but still significant in its implications.

Source for this story: Proctor, Sister Patricia, O.S.C., 201 Inspirational Stories of the Eucharist (Spokane, Washington, Francisan Monastery of Saint Clare, 2004) p. 242.

March 19, 2016

One Was Hanging From The Other

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A man was attending Mass in St. Anthony Chapel in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania one day in 1993. He made a rather demanding prayer, asking the Lord for something strange to take place if he was, as he was contemplating, supposed to become a priest.

When the priest attempted to give him Communion, he grasped a Host which was stuck to another Host. There was something strange about this, because the Hosts were not stuck together side by side, but one was hanging from the other. The priest attempted to separate them, but found that he could not. So, the man received both of the Hosts.

Source for this story: Proctor, Sister Patricia, O.S.C., 201 Inspirational Stories of the Eucharist (Spokane, Washington, Francisan Monastery of Saint Clare, 2004) p. 242.

March 18, 2016

Nivia

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Nivia, a wife and mother, was living in Puerto Rico. Following an insect bite, she became very ill. She had a high fever, experienced pain in her bones, was completely bedridden, suffered from an intense headache and and could not open her eyes because light bothered them too much. After a week, she felt worse and believed that her death was imminent.

Her mother had come to take care of her and her children. On Sunday, she asked her mother to turn on the television so that she could at least listen to the Mass. She was following each part of the Mass closely and participating in the prayers. Then the consecration occurred and the time for Communion arrived. She wished so deeply to receive the Eucharist that, as she recalled it years later, she still succumbed to tears.

Then, she says that she saw Christ himself, wearing a white tunic, carrying a gold ciborium and coming toward her. He gave her Communion. The feelings she experienced were not describable with words.

Afterwards, her fever was gone and she was able to open her eyes. She then returned to good health.

While she believed in the Real Presence before this, she is now outspoken in her encouragement to others with regard to adoring Him and receiving Him with thankfulness.

Source of this story: Proctor, Sister Patricia, O.S.C., 201 Inspirational Stories of the Eucharist (Spokane, Washington, Francisan Monastery of Saint Clare, 2004) p. 21.

March 17, 2016

St. Patrick and the Prince’s Grandfather

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As today is St. Patrick’s Day, it is fitting to report a story involving the most illustrious Saint. It has been said that St. Patrick performed a thousand miracles. Here is one of them that has come down through the ages.

The Saint succeeded in bringing a certain Humestian prince into the Faith. He was baptized, along with all his people. He would not, however, accept Patrick’s teaching on the resurrection from the dead. It seemed beyond all possibility that a human person, once dead and in some manner of decomposition could ever be raised to a pristine condition and improved nature. The Saint made various attempts to convince him, with references to Scripture, examples and signs, but the man would not be shaken. He then challenged Patrick, saying that if Patrick raised his own grandfather, who had been buried many days, he would believe.

Patrick then went to the grandfather’s tomb, accompanied by the prince and all the people. Patrick made the sign of the cross over it with his staff and ordered that the tomb be opened. He prayed devoutly and did raise the buried man to life. This man then related to those present the torments of hell and implored St. Patrick, first for baptism, and second for the Eucharist. Patrick consented to both requests. The man then returned to his place in the tomb and his former state.

No one doubted further St. Patrick’s teaching on the life that exists after this one.

It is reported that St. Patrick himself wrote of this incident and others like it in a letter to a friend who lived across the sea.

See O’Leary, Rev. James, D.D., The Most Ancient Lives of St. Patrick (New York: P.J. Kennedy, 7th ed., 1880) p. 228-29. An ebook version, The Project Gutenberg eBook, The Most Ancient Lives of St. Patrick, by Various, ed. by James O’Leary, can be viewed at https://archive.org/stream/saintpatrick00oleauoft#page/n5/mode/2up; see chap. LXXXII.

March 16, 2016

He Fired A Rifle Directly Into It

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In reading through The Healing Power of the Eucharist by Fr. John Hampsch, C.M.F., I came across a story involving some cloistered nuns in North Vietnam. It seems that Communist soldiers bolted into their convent one night and were confronted by the mother superior. She asked them to leave and then continued by imploring them to respect the sanctity of their chapel. She gave as her reason that the “King of Kings” was in there.

A lead soldier demanded to see this “King of Kings.” He was directed to the tabernacle and told that Jesus was in fact inside, in the form of the Blessed Sacrament.

The soldier then took a rifle and fired a shot directly into it. The soldier himself fell down, however. He was dead from a heart attack.

See: Hampsch, John H., C.M.F., The Healing Power of the Eucharist (Cincinnati, OH, St Anthony Messenger Press, 1999) p. 47-48.

March 15, 2016

The Woman Who Laughed

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Once, I had occasion to see the Vatican International Exhibition on the Eucharistic Miracles of the World. Included in the events portrayed there was one that occurred in Rome, during a Mass presided over by Pope St. Gregory the Great in the year 595. The Pope and Saint was a witness himself to the event.

During Communion, a certain noblewoman came forward to receive the Eucharist. When he presented It to her, she laughed. He refrained from giving It to her and asked why she had laughed. Her reply was that the Host was just a wafer. She herself had taken part in making it and she knew it was only bread.

The Pope then stopped to pray for the woman, that she might be enlightened as to the Truth available to her, and asked those present to do the same. In the sight of many witnesses, the Host that was to have been distributed to her changed into flesh and blood. The woman cried and repented.

The Host itself has been preserved. It is housed, to this very day, near a Benedictine monastery in Andechs, Germany.

Source: http://www.therealpresence.org/eucharst/mir/english_pdf/Rome1.pdf.

March 14, 2016

Not Necessary to Pray Any Longer

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I was recently given a copy of Hidden Treasure by Louis Kazmarek (Plattsburgh, N.Y.: M.B.S.), and I came across the story in it (p. 98-99), of a priest named Aloysius Ellacuria, C.M.F. He founded the Missionaries of Perpetual Adoration. A young mother, who was suffering from cancer and told that she had not long to live, came to him one day in the 1970s. He took her into a chapel, to pray before the Blessed Sacrament. He asked her whether she believed Our Lord was present in the Eucharist and she answered that she did. Fr. Ellacuria told her that as Jesus healed the sick in his time as a man on earth, and as He is the same One who is present in the Host, they could ask Him to heal her as well.

They said a series of three Our Father’s, three Hail Mary’s and three Glory Be’s and were about to continue when the woman said, “Father, I don’t think it is necessary to go on—I feel healed.”

The next day X-rays were taken and they no longer showed the effects of the cancer. After some examination or tests, her doctor said that she had cells in her body, where the cancer had been, which were now the cells of a new-born baby.

Apparently, Fr. Ellacuria witnessed many miracles in his work in spreading devotion to the adoration of the Real Presence, this being but one of them.

December 25, 2015

In a Column of Angels

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Karen was relatively new to the Catholic Church in the 1990s, having just joined a year or two before. It was on one particular day that she asked God to show her what really took place during the transubstantiation at Mass. Instantly, she saw the Holy Spirit coming down very quickly, in the center of a column of angels.

While we celebrate the time that God came among His people, over 2,000 years ago, to a place 1,000s of miles away, should we not be even more grateful that He comes among us, now, wherever we may be when Mass is said.

Adapted from: Proctor, Sister Patricia, O.S.C., 201 Inspirational Stories of the Eucharist (Spokane, Washington, Francisan Monastery of Saint Clare, 2004) p. 21.

December 24, 2015

She Wanted Him to Leave Right Away

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Before Father Anthony entered the seminary, he dated a girl named Carrie in Pittsburgh. He was getting more and more involved in his parish and this caused some friction. They were partially broken up at the time of this story.

Early one Saturday morning, Anthony was engaged in Eucharistic adoration. It was about 1:45 a.m. A lot of noise began to come from the back of the church. He turned and saw that it was Carrie. She sat in the pew behind him. This was very unusual for her. She said, “Come with me, I have to talk with you, I am very upset.” He replied that he would soon, but she would have to wait until 2:00 a.m., when the next adorer arrived. It was not appropriate to leave the Lord alone.

She then began to scream and got even more upset. For eight minutes, she railed that he did not love her and other similar things. She never would look directly at Anthony and when he moved toward her, to offer some comfort, she repeatedly backed away. Although there were only a few minutes remaining before he could go with her, she suddenly left.

The next adorer arrived two minutes early and Anthony quickly left himself. He drove to his home, which was only half a mile away. He knew Carrie lived six miles away and would not have had a chance to get there yet, but he called her anyway. He intended to leave her a message. To his surprise, Carrie answered the phone when he called.

She sounded like she was being aroused from a sleep and, when he explained the reason for his call, she replied that she had no idea what he was talking about. She explained that she had been out with some girlfriends the night before, but they had all gone home early. She had been in bed since 10:00 and had not gone anywhere.

There was much of this experience that had not made sense to Anthony at the time. Why did Carrie not look at him in the church; why had she kept backing away when he approached? Also, why was she so insistent he leave with her right away, when to do so would have been an act of great disrespect for the Lord?

He has often wondered when he had been visited by the devil that night.

If this was a work of his imagination, would he have imagined Carrie doing the things she did, things that surprised even him? That is a possibility.

Also to be noted is that Anthony had been instrumental in having Eucharistic adoration started at his church. He was immersed in a journey that eventually led to the priesthood. If the devil was to pick a time for visiting him, this was an opportune one.

This Christmas Eve, we are well aware there is a good deal of malevolent behavior in the world. Many recent events in the news speak of man’s inhumanity to man. Like Father Anthony, however, we have a Real Presence to which we can turn, a Presence here among us now because of the night, so long ago, when He first came to be among us.

Adapted from: Proctor, Sister Patricia, O.S.C., 201 Inspirational Stories of the Eucharist (Spokane, Washington, Francisan Monastery of Saint Clare, 2004) p. 24.

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