Stories

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.

December 10, 2014

St. Bernard

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St. Bernard was in the church of St. Ambrose in Milan. As he was preparing to say Mass, a lady of high rank was brought to him. For many years she had been sick. She no longer had her sight, her hearing or her speech. Her tongue had also become enlarged and protruded out of her mouth.

During the Mass, as often as he made the Sign of the Cross over the Host, he also made it over the sick woman.When he broke the Host and said, “Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum” (the peace of God be with you always), she was immediately cured. They rang the bells of the church. People from all over the city flocked to see miracle and all gave thanks to God.

From: Mueller, Michael, C.S.S.R., The Blessed Eucharist Our Greatest Treasure (Charlotte, N.C., Tan Books, 2011) p.208.

December 9, 2014

He Did Not Want To Go

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Yesterday, on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, an elderly priest gave a homily. He recalled a time when he was a young priest. It seems he and a fellow priest had thirty days off and were trying to decide where they should go. Of all the options they had before them, his friend wanted to go to Lourdes, France. Our storytelling priest, however, did not want to go. He recalled a kind, but skeptical nun that he had in high school. She did not believe in all the supposed happenings at Lourdes, even the first one, the apparation of the Our Mother to St. Bernadette of Soubirous. He likewise was skeptical. Still, he agreed to go.

When they were at the grotto, his friend went up and placed his hand on the stone behind the spot where Our Blessed Mother appeared to Bernadette. Our homilist watched him, sitting on a bench disinterestedly. Then an elderly man went up, fell to his knees on the hard marble and prayed in earnest. Our homilist sensed his own dispassion and was somewhat shamed. He then went up and, still skeptical, actually kissed the stone. Suddenly, he recounts, he was overwhelmed with a feeling of peace that still stands out in his memory some fifty years later.

Afterwards, they happened to meet two other visitors at a local restaurant. As they began to talk, one of the men explained that he had been coming to Lourdes for twenty years. It seems that he too did not want to come to Lourdes at first. His wife was the cause in his case. When they arrived, she explained that she had signed them both up to do some volunteer work in the hospital located there. He spent most of his time around sick people and he much preferred to go to a resort beach on the Mediterranean, but there was little he could do about it now. Then, she explained she had signed them both up to wheel some patients down to where they were having a procession with the Blessed Sacrament. He had a similar reaction to this news.

They of course went. The person he was assigned to wheel was a cancer patient. Her stomach was greatly distended. There was little that could be done for her. As they attended the ceremony, the priest with the monstrance passed right in front of her. She had prayers said on her behalf with the Holy Eucharist raised directly over her. The procession moved on.

She then said that she was cured. Her caretaker did not believe her. To his utter astonishment, however, right there, he could see that her stomach was not distended any longer. When they returned to the hospital, he told the doctors personnel there that he wanted x-rays taken of her immediately. Her pancreas and her liver had been half eaten away before this episode. Now, the x-rays showed this had changed as well.

Since then, this man in the restaurant had been coming back to Lourdes. Over this time, he had organized teams of doctors to make regular trips to Lourdes as well and care for the people who came.

The homilist who did not want to go to Lourdes at first had an encounter that he could remember his entire life. At that time, the gift he was given was an indescribable peace. Twenty years earlier, the gift given to a cancer patient was an immediate physical healing in the presence of the One who stays with us, even unto the end of time.

December 8, 2014

Douay, Belgium

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In the church of St. Denis in Douay, Flanders, a certain priest had finished distributing Holy Communion when he noticed a Host lying on the floor. He knelt to pick it up, but it levitated and placed itself on the purifier. He called others to come near the altar and they all saw an image of the Lord in the Host, in the form of a beautiful child.

A man named Thomas Cantipratensis heard of the marvel and went to Douay. He sought out the deacon and declared the purpose of his visit. He was taken to the ciborium that housed the sacred Host, which the deacon then opened. They both beheld the Saviour. Cantipratensis describes the image he saw as: “the head of Jesus Christ, like that of a full grown man. It was crowned with thorns. Two drops of blood trickled down His forehead and fell on His cheek.” Cantipratensis then says that: “with tearful eyes I fell prostrate before Him. When I arose again, I no longer saw either the crown of thorns or the drops of blood, but only the face of a man whose aspect inspired great veneration.”

From: Mueller, Michael, C.S.S.R., The Blessed Eucharist Our Greatest Treasure (Charlotte, N.C., Tan Books, 2011) p.12.

December 7, 2014

St. Colette

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During her long life, Colette was to raise from the dead no less than four people. This gift of the highest form of miracle … placed beyond any doubt, by the fact that these four resurrections were cited during the process of her beatification.

The second person whom she raised from the dead … was named Jehan Boisot, and he was fifteen years old. At the time that Perrine was writing her biography he was still alive. His heartbroken parents could not resign themselves to lose their boy, and the powers attributed to Colette seemed to offer a last chance of holding him from death. At all events, they decided to make the attempt. They carried the bier to the convent chapel, and the father and mother implored Colette to give them back their son. It was early in the morning.

Colette made no reply and went to hear Mass. And then, as if she had made use of the Holy Sacrifice on behalf of this child, she commanded him to arise, and he lifted himself off the bier and walked.

See My Daily Eucharist II by Joan Carter McHugh, and an excerpt contained there from St. Colette and Her Reform by Madame Ste. Marie Perrin.

December 6, 2014

St. Angela of Foligno

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It is reported that St. Angela of Foligno subsisted on the Eucharist as her only food, for twelve years.

That of course does not seem possible. Neither does the fact that her incorrupt body can be viewed in the Church of St. Francis, in Foligno, Italy. She died in 1309.

See My Daily Eucharist II by Joan Carter McHugh, and an excerpt contained there from Witnesses to the Eucharist by Fr. Hugh F. Blunt, LLD; see also http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g227667-d6765469-r211132280-Chiesa_di_San_Francesco-Foligno_Province_of_Perugia_Umbria.html.

December 5, 2014

The Doves

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In 1946, a great procession travelled, on foot, the almost 90-mile distance from Cova da Ira, Portugal to Lisbon. It carried a statue of the Blessed Virgin from the site where she appeared in 1917, more commonly known as Fatima, to the capital of the country. The reason was to commemorate the declaration by King John IV, 300 years earlier, of Mary as the patroness of his country.

As the statue was carried into Lisbon, a priest by the name of Father Oliveira was walking close enough alongside to touch it. A short while later, he wrote of an event that all the newspapers of the time carried with much attention and which was “on the lips of every person in the nation.”

On its way to Lisbon, the statue stopped in a town called Bombarral. While it was there, someone freed four doves into the air. Three of them flew down and perched themselves at the feet of the statue. They then proceeded to stay there, for almost two whole weeks afterwards. The procession with the statue moved from town to town, amid bands playing, fireworks exploding and flowers being thrown right at the statue. Day and night, however, the doves remained.

The culmination of the proceedings was a Solemn Mass with a general communion for the throng of people that had gathered. As the Mass progressed, the doves remained at the feet of the statue as before. When the bell sounded to announce the consecration, two of the doves left the statue. One flew to the Epistle side of the altar and one to the Gospel side. When the bishop raised the consecrated Host, they “alighted and folded their wings, one on each side, as though in adoration.”

As the time for communion arrived, the third dove took to flight as well. It placed itself atop the golden crown on the head of the Madonna. As the celebrant elevated the Host, saying “Ecce Agnus Dei” (“Behold the Lamb of God”), it “spread its white wings and held them open.”

It may of course be that two of the doves independently decided to occupy one side of the altar at the same time as the other, that they both folded their wings when the Presence was raised due to some coincidence, and that the third dove flew to a high point and spread its wings at the time for universal adoration of the Eucharist because it needed room to stretch. It may also be, as so many of the faithful then believed, that He was truly present and a few of his creations could sense it.

Sources: http://eucharisticadoration.com/articles/42/1/Miracle-of-the-Doves/Page1.html; http://www.pilgrimvirginstatue.com/IPVSNEWS4.pdf.

December 4, 2014

Canosio

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In 1630, the Maira River flooded and threatened the small village of Canosio in northwest Italy. The pastor of the town, Father Antonio Reinardi, led a procession to the river with the Blessed Sacrament. He urged the villages to pray and vowed that, if the village was saved, it would hold an annual feast in honor of Corpus Christi. When they arrived at the river and he blessed the raging waters, the rain imediately stopped and the river then returned to its normal level.

To this day, the pledge to honor the Body of Christ every year has been kept.

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/Canosio.pdf.

December 3, 2014

If There Were Only Someone to Whom I Might Distribute Them

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Blessed Balthasar Alvarez used to visit the Blessed Sacrament often and sometimes would spend whole nights there. Once when kneeling before the altar, he was given a vision of the Lord, who appeared within the Host in the form of a little child. His hands were full of precious stones and He said, “If there were only someone to whom I might distribute them.”

How great His desire must be.

Sources: Mueller, Michael, C.S.S.R., The Blessed Eucharist Our Greatest Treasure (Charlotte, N.C., Tan Books, 2011) p. 55; Liguori, St. Alphonsus M., Visits to the Most Blessed Sacrament, etc. (London, T. Jones, 1849) p. 61.

December 2, 2014

A Wonderful Peace

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On May 9, 2011, on a blog site for Catholics in New Zealand, someone posted the following account:

“I recall an experience many years ago when, and while still a lapsed catholic, I went to mass for some comfort, during a particularly anxious and difficult time of life. I went forward for communion (despite my skepticism with catholicism. I recall very clearly the wonderful peace I experienced after I had taken communion which was very welcome but unexpected, in the midst of my emotional turmoil. I hadn’t even had an experience quite like that during my Catholic youth. “

There is no authentication for this, nor could there be for such a private account. Even if true, it does not seem particularly dramatic. It was dramatic enough for the person writing it, however, for him or her to remember it “many years” later. Lastly, to continue a skeptical approach, one might say that such an episode could always be explained as the working of the person’s own psyche, some outgrowth of inner desires. One indication to the contrary, though, is that the feeling was so “unexpected.”

While many other stories to be found here include miraculous healings or other such extraordinary events, this story seems quite small indeed. Perhaps that makes it all the more special. It may be that we need to understand He can speak to all of us. We do not have to be the recipient of some amazing encounter. Sometimes a whisper can have just as powerful an impact.

Source: http://www.beingfrank.co.nz/reason-to-believe

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