Stories

March 21, 2014

St. Alphonsus de Ligouri

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One morning, as soon as he had received the host, he sighed aloud with tears, “What have you done? You have brought me a host without Jesus—an unconsecrated host!” An investigation was undertaken and it was learned that the priest who had celebrated Mass that morning had been so distracted that he had left out everything from the Memento for the Living to the Memento for the Dead in Roman Canon, and so had completely omitted the consecration of the bread and wine. The Saint had detected the absence of Our Lord from the unconsecrated host.

*Manelli, Fr. Stefano M, Jesus Our Eucharistic Love (New Bedford, MA, Immaculate Mediatrix, 1996), p. 71).

March 20, 2014

A Transfusion of His Blood

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Fr. Charles Banet is a seventy-three year old priest who has suffered from a blood disease he has had for many years. Recently diagnosed with prostate cancer, he was told one afternoon he would have to discontinue radiation therapy because his blood platelet count was alarmingly low … Back home in Holy Rosary rectory he asked Fr. Robert DeGrandis, with whom he lived, and Annie Ross Fitch, who was visiting, to pray over him … Annie inquired if he had said Mass yet that day. When he said he hadn’t, she suggested that when he say Mass, he ask Jesus to give him a transfusion of His Blood. So he did jiust that. When he was about to drink the Precious Blood he said, “Jesus … I want … if you can afford it … I’d like a transfusion of Your Blood in anticipation of the evaluation they’re going to make of my blood tomorrow.”

The next day Fr. Banet went for another blood test and they told him that his blood tested perfect. “I guess it ought to be because it’s Jesus’ Blood” he said spontaneously, to which they kind of laughed then dropped that line of thinking. This was the first blood test in many years which tested perfect. Today Fr. Banet is completely healthy and cancer free and no medical explanation was ever given for the healing of his blood.

(Taken from My Daily Eucharist II by Joan Carter McHugh, and an excerpt contained there from the documentary film, Living Presence, by The Mercy Foundation.

March 19, 2014

The Saint Did Not Make a Move

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One day, a priest who did not believe in the special gift of the Saint (St. Catherine of Siena) responded to a request to bring Holy Communion to St. Catherine when she was sick, but with a host that was not consecrated. At the entance of the priest, the Saint did not make a move, as she was accustomed to do, in order to adore the Eucharistic Jesus, but instead, fixed her eyes on the priest and reproved him openly for the deception and for the sin of idolatry in he wanted her to fall.*

*Manelli, Fr. Stefano M, Jesus Our Eucharistic Love (New Bedford, MA, Immaculate Mediatrix, 1996), p. 70).

March 18, 2014

As Soon as the Priest Gave Me Jesus

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I attended my prayer group and Father Rookey was there to celebrate Mass. Because I wasn’t able to walk, Communion was brought to me. At the end of the Mass, Father prayed over me and many others. Leaving the prayer group, I wasn’t able to walk normally, but I declined the use of a wheelchair. I persevered while inching toward the car.

I had the chance to attend Mass on Monday, August 22, 1994. Dad drove Mom and I along with our neighbor to 5:00 pm Mass at Immaculate Conception Church in Chicago. When I entered the church, I knew I wanted to be as close to the tabernacle as possible. I began praying fervently as I pulled myself from pew to pew. My fervency increased as Mass built up to the Consecration which is the most powerful part of the Mass. My prayer was simple. I said, “Lord, if you will it, I can walk out of church. Only you can heal me.” At the same time, I thanked Jesus.

During the Consecration, the pain left. When it came time to receive Holy Communion, I made my way slowly to the priest. As soon as the priest gave me Jesus, I began walking back to my pew. I walked out of church as though there had never been a problem. After getting out of the car in the garage, I told Mom what had happened, and to prove it, raced her to the back door. I told her I was healed after receiving Holy Communion and she was sppechless. She and our neighbor saw me walk because I had Eucharist. (Irene Hand)

(Taken from My Daily Eucharist II by Joan Carter McHugh, and an excerpt contained there from Father Peter Mary Rookey, OSM: Do You Believe that Jesus Can Heal You? by Margaret M. Trosclair, SOSM.)

March 17, 2014

A Gentle Call to Return

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As I sat there in front of the tabernacle, I recalled all the things I had done in life to be happy. My thoughts lead me back to when I was seventeen. At that time I was very happy and began wondering why. So I asked myself what was missing that I had then but don’t have now. The answer immediately flashed in my heart: God! Soon after the visit I went to confession, but because I was ashamed I neglected to tell all. I stepped out of the confessional and sat there in the church saying, “Jesus I love you,” repeating the words the priest had told me to say for my pennance.

Then as I sat in church looking at the tabernacle I felt a gentle call to return to confess what I neglected. So I went back to the confessional and confessed that I was a drug dealer and abused myself with drugs. I’ll never forget the excitement and happiness in the priest’s voice as he said, “That’s OK. I’m glad you came back. You don’t have to say any extra prayers, but consider coming to confession more often. Now I’ll absolve you.” As the priest raised his hand to make the sign of the cross a wonderful sensation came over me, my whole body became so light. My legs felt like rubber and I could hardly stand up.

(Taken from My Daily Eucharist II by Joan Carter McHugh, and an excerpt contained there from Come to Me: Forgiveness, Inner Healing and Deliverance Through Confession, by Thomas B. Hyatt.)

March 16, 2014

Angels Revere Priests

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St. Francis de Sales had a special devotion toward the holy angels charged with the guardianship of the tabernacles. His veneration for these angelic guardians was increased by an instance which showed that these pure spirits revere not only the Sacred Species, but also the ministers who consecrate and handle them.

After having conferred Holy Orders on a pious young man, St. Francis noticed that the newly ordained priest hesitated before a door as if to let someone pass before him. “Why do you pause?” asked the saint. “God favors me with the sight of my guardian angel,” replied the priest. “Before I was ordained to the holy priesthood, my angel always remained at my right and preceded me. Now he walks at the left and refuses to go before me.” Such is the great veneration which the angelic spirits show even to God’s ministers because of their reverence for the Blessed Sacrament.

(Taken from My Daily Eucharist II by Joan Carter McHugh, and an excerpt contained there from The Guardian Angels: Our Heavenly Companions, by Tan Books and Publishers.)

March 15, 2014

Ascending to Heaven

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Once I (St. Theresa of Avila) was in a college of the Company of Jesus, suffering severely in soul and body, as I have said I sometimes used to, and still do, to such an extent that I was hardly capable of thinking a single good thought. On that night a brother of that house of the Company had died (this was Alonso de Henao, who had come from the Jesuit College at Alcala and died on April 11, 1557); and, while I was commending him to God as well as I was able, and hearing a Mass that was being said by another Father of the Company, I became deeply recollected and saw him ascending to Heaven in great glory, and the Lord ascending with him. I understood that it was by a special favor that His Majesty bore him company.

(Taken from My Daily Eucharist II by Joan Carter McHugh, and an excerpt contained there from The Autobiography of St. Theresa of Avila, by E. Allison Peters.)

March 14, 2014

Johnny

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Father Richard Woldum had only shortly been ordained a priest when he was assigned to be a chaplain at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Alton, Illinois. He tells the following story about an experience there:

“One morning I received a call to come to the emergency room to see an 11-year-old boy named Johnny who was dying. I found him on a breathing machine, his head swollen very large.

“Johnny’s parents told me that he had been riding his bike on a gravel road near his home when a truck came flying over the hill and hit him head-on. The collision caused him to be thrown into the nearby field. When the ambulance arrived the medics found his head cut wide open with half his brains scattered in the field. They literally picked up pieces of his brain, shoved them into his head, and took him to the hospital.

“When I asked Johnny’s parents if he had been baptized, they said, ‘No,’ They informed me they attended no church but prayed at home as a family. I asked them if they would like me to baptize Johnny. They glanced at each other as if to say, “It couldn’t cause any harm,’ then said to me, ‘Go ahead.’ They also said if I wanted to I could baptize him into the Catholic faith. That night, with the parents and two nurses as witnesses, I baptized Johnny.

“The next morning I was doing communion rounds when my beeper went off. Johnny’s doctor wanter me in the intensive care unit. ‘What you do last night?’ he asked in broken English, as I met him outside Johnny’s room. I explained to the doctor, a Buddhist, that I had baptized Johnny (with the permission of his parents) so that he could go to heaven. When I asked him why he was so concerned, he informed me that the boy’s swelling had disappeared. The doctor was still convinced that the boy would die, however; or if he lived, remain a vegetable, never moving, talking or even moving his eyes.

“That night Johnny’s parents thanked me for baptizing him. I then explained about the anointing of the sick, and asked if they would like Johnny to receive that sacrament. With their agreement and in their presence, I annointed Johnny.

“The next morning during communion rounds the doctor again paged me on my beeper. He met me at the door of intensive care and directed me to Johnny’s room, explaining on the way that he had heard from the nursed that I had again prayed for Johnny.

“Then he pointed to Johnny’s eyes and asked, ‘What you do?’ I saw that Johnny’s eyes were moving. ‘It was just the power of Jesus through prayers for the sick,’ I responded. He gave a fairly sarcastic grin and said, ‘It no matter. Boy no talk or move. He remain vegetable.’

“It was now the third night, counting the night of the accident. I suggested to the parents that they permit me to give Johnny the sacrament of confirmation. They agreed.

“The following morning, his legs and arms were moving. The doctor said to me in front of the parents, ‘I no longer in control.’ He was simply unable to explain what was happening. The parents turned to me and said they wanted to become Catholics. I recommended that they wait and see what happened to Johnny before making a final decision.

“That evening when I explained to them about the Eucharist, they said they wanted this for Johnny too. I gave him some Precious Blood through an eye dropper. The next morning he was making sounds.

“The weekend was now upon me. It was Labor Day 1979 and I went home to celebrate my grandmother’s 90th birthday. When I checked in on Johnny upon my return, I learned he had been transferred to the third floor, which was the surgery unit. I went upstairs to see him, fearing that he had gone back to surgery. He was sitting on his bed, talking to his mother.

“After his recover they took another x-ray of his head and found that the part of his brain that had spilled out into the field had grown back.
When I eventually talked to Johnny’s parents about becoming Catholics, they informed me they would continue praying at home. The doctor in the case started looking into Christianity. Three nurses converted to Catholicism.”

(DeGrandis, Robert, S.S.J., Healing Through the Mass (Totowa, New Jersey, Resurrection Press, 1992) p. 13-15.)

March 13, 2014

A Dying Man’s Epitaph

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Sir William Ramsey first discovered fragments of the following stone epitaph in 1883:

Citizen of a famous city, I erected this (tomb) in my lifetime,
so that my body may one day repose in it.
My name is Abericus,
and I am a disciple of the Chaste Shepherd…
He it is who taught me the scriptures of faith …
He it is who sent me to Rome to contemplate
its majesty, to behold a Queen adorned
in golden apparel and shod with sandals of gold.
I beheld there a people marked with a shining
seal. I also saw the plain of Syria
and all the cities, and Nisibi, and beyond
the Euphrates; everywhere I discovered
my companions. With Paul for my guide,
I was led everywhere in faith; everywhere (faith)
served me as food a Fish from the Spring—large
and pure, (it had been) caught by an immaculate
Virgin.
She constantly offers it to her dearest friends
to eat; she likewise possesses the best of wine
which she serves for their drink with the bread.

I, Abericus, dictated this (text)
engraved in my presence;
I am seventy-two years old.
Let the brother who understands these lines
pray for Abericus. Let no one place
any other tomb above this one…*

Abericus was bishop of Hieropolis in Phrygia (modern day Turkey). His use of the term “fish” as a reference to the Eucharist was common for early Christians, who may have begun the use of such symbols as code words while under the threat of Roman persecution. Here, Abericus uses it to refer to “food” that is “pure,” which an “immaculate Virgin” offers to her friends to “eat,” to whom she also offers “wine” to eat with “the bread.” The word “fish” thus plainly does refer to the Eucharist.

Abericus died around 200 A.D. As he says, he dictated this epitaph in anticipation of his own death. If there was to be one final marker for people to understand the meaning of his life—this was it. For this second century man, living in the shadow of the Apostles, there was no separation between this life and the life in the Eucharist. It was the one thing that mattered most to him.

For two thousand years, the Church has clung to this so-called superstitious notion. As the more than 120 stories posted along with this one attest, many from our modern times, a great number of real-life events speak to the fact the presence in which Abericus believed is much more than a mere notion.
(* Gaudoin-Parker, Michael, The Real Presence Through the Ages (New York, Alba House, 1993) p. 8.)

March 12, 2014

Do Not Fear, I Am With You

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Today, I experienced a good deal of sorrow because of a certain person, a lay person, that is. On the basis of one true thing, she said many things which were fictitious. And because they were taken to be true and spread around the whole house, when the news reached my ears, my heart felt a twinge of pain. How can one abuse the goodness of others like that? But I resolved not to say a word in my defense and to show even greater kindness toward that person. I became aware, however, that I was not strong enough to bear this calmly, because the matter lingered on for weeks. When I saw the storm building up and the wind beginning to blow sand straight into my eyes, I went before the Blessed Sacrament and said to the Lord, “Lord Jesus, I ask You to give me the strength of Your actual grace, because I feel that I will not manage to survive this struggle … ”

Then I heard the words, Do not fear, I am with you. When I left the altar, an extraordinary peace and power filled my soul, and the storm that was raging broke against my soul as against a rock; and the foam of the storm fell on those who had raised it. … Let every soul beg for the help of actual grace… (No. 1150)

(Taken from My Daily Eucharist II by Joan Carter McHugh, and an excerpt contained there from Divine Mercy in My Soul, by St. Faustina.)

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