Stories

December 20, 2014

St. Charbel Makhlouf

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St. Charbel Makhlouf was born in Lebanon in 1828. After spending his first sixteen years as a priest in a monastery, he retired to the Hermitage of Saints Peter and Paul in 1875. For the next twenty-three years, he lived a very austere life, engaging in various forms of mortification.

His life essentially became one large episode of adoration for the Blessed Eucharist. Each day he prepared all morning for Mass, which he said at 11:00 a.m., and then spent the rest of the day in thanksgiving.

While saying Mass one day, he suffered a seizure. The Holy Eucharist had to be pried from his fingers. Eight days later, on Christmas Eve, he died.

The body of this Maronite monk remained incorrupt for over fifty years after his death, despite being found during one exhumation to be floating on a bed of water and mud. He was beatified in 1965 and from that time his body no longer remained exempt from the laws of nature.

Based on an entry in My Daily Eucharist, by Joan Carter McHugh, containing an excerpt from The Incorruptibles by Joan Carroll Cruz. Additional source: http://www.mysticsofthechurch.com/2010/10/saint-charbel-sharbel-makhlouf-maronite.html

December 19, 2014

Midnight Mass, 1930

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Father Hartl was present again in Resl’s room after the Midnight Mass on Christmas of 1930. “She felt…in a manner that cannot be explained naturally, the nearness of the Eucharist before it was brought to her…while lying in bed, she described exactly how the pastor (Father Naber) was taking the Blessed Sacrament from the tabernacle to bring her Communion. She descried vividly his coming to her home. The road was icy and she saw how carefully he walked and made a little detour.” Father Naber tells how, because he stopped en route to visit a parishioner who was sick, he was delayed in arriving at Resl’s home. She knew of this delay…

(Taken from an entry in My Daily Eucharist, by Joan Carter McHugh, containing an excerpt from The Story of Therese Neumann by Albert Paul Schimberg.)

December 18, 2014

St. Clement of Ancyra

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St. Clement of Ancyra was born in Ancyra, capital of modern-day Turkey, in the year 258. He was made the bishop of that city when he was but twenty years old. Suffering severe torture during the persecution against Christians instituted by the Emperor Diocletian (284-305), he was eventually sent to Rome itself.

While in prison there, many came to see him. Late at night, to avoid the suspicion of the guards, he conducted teachings in the Christian faith and performed baptisms. One such night, the people assembled with him saw the prison cell become illuminated by a great light. From the light came a young man in shining garments. He walked to St. Clement and handed him a large Host and a chalice. St. Clement divided the Host and distributed it among those gathered. He did likewise with the chalice.

The next day, many of those there were executed. It is reported that they died joyfully.

St. Clement did not die that day. He would suffer imprisonment and extremely cruel tortures for many years more before finally being beheaded as he stood at an altar performing Mass.

St. Clement of Ancyra is revered today by both the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Church.

Sources: Cruz, Caroll, Eucharistic Miracles (Charlotte, North Carolina, Tan Books, 2010) p. 254; and “Hieromartyr Clement the Bishop of Ancyra,” an article published by the Orthodox Church in America, http://oca.org/saints/all-lives/2014/01/23.

December 17, 2014

Montserrat

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In 1657, a conference of monks was held at the Monastery of Our Lady of Montserrat in Spain. A young girl approached one of those in attendance, Abbot Don Millán de Mirando, and begged him to celebrate three Masses for the soul of her deceased father. The girl implored him to do it, feeling it would save her father from the pains of purgatory. The abbot was moved by her passion and agreed to do it.

The next day, the girl and her mother were present at the Mass. During the consecration, when the Real Presence comes among the people, the girl saw her father kneeling at the step of the main altar, surrounded by flames. The abbot and the Most Reverend Father Don
Bernardo de Ontevieros, General of the Benedictine order in Spain were skeptical of what the girl related and asked her to put a tissue close to where she saw the flames. She did, and the tissue began to burn with a lively flame.

During the second Mass, the girl saw her father standing next to the deacon, dressed in a vibrantly colored suit.

During the third Mass, she saw her father dressed in a white suit. At the end of the Mass, the girl exclaimed, “There is my father going away and rising into the sky!” The girl then thanked the community of monks on behalf of her father as he had asked her to do. Fr. Ontevieros, the Bishop of Astorga and numerous others were present.

The entire incident is reported in the New History of the Sanctuary and Monastery of Our Lady of Montserrat, written by the Benedictine priest R.P. Francio de Paula
Crusellas.

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/english_pdf/Montserrat.pdf.

December 16, 2014

Jeanne Fretel

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Jeanne Fretel was born on May 25, 1914. Between 1938 and 1946, she was operated upon seven times for tuberculous peritonitis and spent her life from one hospital to another. In 1947, her condition deteriorated further. She was emaciated, unable to get out of bed, needed strong doses of morphine daily and had a high oscillating fever.

In April 1948, the antibiotic streptomycin was prescribed, but by October, all seemed hopeless. Her fever and cachexia (wasting syndrome) were worsening. She was near death.

On October 5, 1948, she was taken to Lourdes, France. On her third day there, she received Holy Communion at the Mass for the Sick. Immediately afterwards, at the Grotto, her stomach had returned to normal, her fever and pains disappeared and a ferocious appetite overtook her. Suddenly, she could get up, walk and eat.

The next day, October 9th, the Medical Bureau verified the absence of signs, noted her weight of 44 kg. and asked her to come again. A year later, in October, 1949, the Medical Bureau noted her gain of 14 kg. and the continuation of her return to health. Considering those factors and the abrupt cessation of her fever and treatment with morphine, the Bureau concluded: “No explanation of this cure can be given. It is beyond the natural laws”.

Source: http://www.miraclehunter.com/marian_apparitions/approved_apparitions/lourdes/miracles3.html#fretel.

December 15, 2014

Blessed Alexandrina Maria da Costa

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Blessed Alexandrina Maria da Costa was born in Balasar, Portugal on March 30, 1904. From 1942 until the day of her death, October 13, 1955, she lived with the Eucharist as her only food.

For a period of 40 days, while in the Foce del Douro Hospital near Operto, she was under the continual care of several doctors. They witnessed her ability to live under this absolute fast.

All this did not occur in a vaccuum. Seventeen years before the fasting began, at age 21, she was paralyzed and left bedridden. Her attitude afterwards was a product of her faith. She told her Lord, “As you are a prisoner in the tabernacle and I am a prisoner on my bed for doing Your will, so we can keep ourselves company.”

Also, from Friday, October 3, 1938 until March 24, 1942, for up to 182 times, she mystically relived the sufferings of His Passion.

She was beatified by Pope John Paul II on April 25, 2004.

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/english_pdf/Dacosta.pdf.

December 14, 2014

One Hour that Changed So Much

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In her late teenage years, Maria, stopped going to Mass. This continued for many years. Friends brought her back to Mass, but she always did so with negative emotions. Then, in June, 1982, a critical moment arrived.

Her mother-in-law was dying of cancer and doctors gave her but one week to live. She was a kind and loving person, but did not believe in anything beyond this world. As many in the family were saying prayers for her, Maria decided to go before the Blessed Sacrament and offer a holy hour. She was distraught that her mother-in-law was going to die “without knowing she had a savior.” In her desperation, Maria offered God her life for that of her mother-in-law. It was a dramatic submittal that she did not fully appreciate at the time.

It was during this hour that Maria felt a peace come over her that she found impossible to describe. She had never felt anything like it before.

Her mother-in-law would walk out of the hospital, to the amazement of her doctors. Before she later died, she was reciting the Lord’s Prayer daily with nuns at St. Columbus Hospice, in Edinburgh.

Also, shortly after Maria’s holy hour experience, her whole family was converted. Maria herself acquired a passionate regard to repentence and prayer. She also says that graces continue in the lives of her family to this day.

She traces it all to one hour before the Real Presence.

Adapted from Proctor, Sister Patricia, O.S.C., 201 Inspirational Stories of the Eucharist, (Spokane, Washington, Francisan Monastery of Saint Clare, 2004) p. 297.

(Additional Note: the substance of the story recounted yesterday is described in the well-known Christmas Carol, “Good King Wenceslaus.”)

December 13, 2014

Good King Wenceslaus

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King Wenceslaus of Poland adored the Blessed Sacrament a great deal. He had such respect for it that, with his owne hands, he used to pick the wheat and grapes and aid in the making of the bread and wine for Mass. He often visited the Blessed Sacrament at night, even in the dead of winter.

Such visitations affected him greatly. An appreciable warmth emanated from the man as a consequence. It is reported that snow was not only pressed by his footsteps, it also melted. Once, on a very cold night, the servant who accompanied him suffered from the bitterness of it. The King instructed him to follow close behind and walk in the King’s footsteps. He did as told and no longer felt the coldness of the snow.

From: Mueller, Michael, C.S.S.R., The Blessed Eucharist Our Greatest Treasure (Charlotte, N.C., Tan Books, 2011) p. 57-58.

December 12, 2014

Washing the Altar Linens

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A young nun in Spokane, Washington was assigned to laundry duty. Some of the items that came to her for washing included altar linens, including purificators that come into contact with the Precious Blood. Prior to reaching her, they were always rinsed under careful procedures and checked for stains. Sometimes however, they still had stains when they arrived.

Prior to becoming a nun, this woman had been in training to be a medical technologist, a “lab tech.” In the course of such work, it was not uncommon for lab coats to incur stains from blood. To treat such stains, she often used distilled water. One of her lab partners had discovered this worked well. Distilled water causes red blood cells to burst.

Now, in her role as a nun, this information proved helpful. She tried to remove the stains on the purificators by treating them as wine stains. This proved ineffectual. She found respond, however, that the stains respoded to distilled water, just like blood stains did in her medical work.

Adapted from Proctor, Sister Patricia, O.S.C., 201 Inspirational Stories of the Eucharist (Spokane, Washington, Francisan Monastery of Saint Clare, 2004) p. 297.

December 11, 2014

Our Lady and Oil from the Tabernacle Lamp

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Miguel-Juan Pellicer was working in a field near Castellon in eastern Spain. He fell under a wagon wheel which ran over his right leg. After being taken to a hospital in Valencia where the doctors could not help him, he discharged himself so that he could travel to Zaragoza and beseech aid from the Madonna del Pilar. Upon arriving in the city, he went to the church commemorating Her appearance in that location to St. James the Greater. He then made a confession and received the Holy Eucharist.

Subsequently, he was taken to the local hospital and the doctors, diagnosing a sufficiently advanced case of gangrene, amputated his leg just below the knee. The leg was then buried in a cemetery net to the hospital.

For more than two years, Miguel-Juan subsisted as a beggar of alms near the church. Every morning he went to Mass and prayed before the Blessed Sacrament. He also made it a practice to rub his leg with oil taken from the lamp that marked His Presence in the tabernacle.

Feeling he had been away from his family long enough, he arrived back home in Calanda in March, 1640. One night, after a vigil in honor of the Blessed Mother, he went to bed having already rubbed his leg with oil he still had from the tabernacle lamp. During the night, his mother came to check on him and noticed not one but two feet extending outward from under the blanket. Inexplicably, he had recovered his amputated limb.

An official inquiry was opened in Zaragoza. Testimony was given at public hearings from 24 witnesses, including one of the amputating surgeons and others at the hospital. On April 27, 1641, the Archbishop of Zaragoza made the proclamation that a miracle had occurred.

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/Calanda.pdf, and a Wikipedia article,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miracle_of_Calanda.

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