Showing posts with label Roman Catholic Church. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Roman Catholic Church. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Our Lady of Nicaragua (Our Lady of Cuapa)




Bernardo Martinez was a very simple, middle-aged rancher with great humility. In the valley of Cuapa, Nicaragua, he took care of the small sacristy. From the time he was a young boy, he had done the cleaning in the chapel, opened doors for services, prepared for all celebrations, rang the bells and led the Rosary hours all without pay. Bernardo's grandmother had been very devout, and she taught him to have a great love for Our Holy Mother Mary, and the Rosary. Bernardo was very poor, owning a single calf and bathing in a nearby stream.

On two different nights in April of 1980, Bernardo had gone to the sacristy, where he found the lights turned on. Bernardo was sure some of the local women had left the lights on, and he had lightly scolded them.

Then, on the night of April 15, 1980, Bernardo saw the glow of the lights from the sacristy, and entered to turn them off. What he found instead, was not the sacristy lights on, but the statue of the Virgin Mary illuminated all by itself. Because of Bernardo's humility and simplicity, he thought that the statue lit up because Mary was mad at him for blaming some of the women for leaving the lights on.

Bernardo later said:

I thought The Holy Virgin, the Holy Mother, is angry with me because I have been quarreling with the people. I decided to ask their forgiveness because I was so moved at seeing Her so illuminated.

After the public apology, I told all the people (who were there praying the Rosary) what I had seen (the illuminated statue). But I asked them to keep it secret. It was not so. The secret spread throughout all of Cuapa and I suffered due to this because some of them ridiculed me.

The people continued to ridicule Bernardo, even his priest. People would ask if Mary was talking to him; the priest would ask him for news as if he was making fun; and then told him to pray to Mary and ask Her if there was anything she wanted from the people.
Bernardo did pray, but his prayer was:

Blessed Mother, please do not request anything of me. I have many problems in the church. Make your request known to some other person because I want to avoid any more problems. I have a great many now. I don't want any more.

The man Mary had chosen to receive Her message exemplifies what the Gospels say we all should be: simple, childlike, humble, prayerful, and obedient. Bernardo Martinez was himself such a man.

On May 8, 1980, Bernardo had gone fishing. He was returning around 3 o'clock to go feed the animals, and then go to the chapel to pray the Rosary with the people at 5 o'clock. As he was going on his way, he saw 2 lightening flashes. On the second flash, the Virgin Mary appeared to him. Here are his own words:

"It looked like the statue of the Virgin of Fatima. I was immobile. I had no inclination to run, to yell, I felt no fear, I was surprised. I had thought and said: What am I seeing? Could it be the same statue of the Virgin that they brought and placed here for me? The statue from the chapel? Is it in order to play a joke on me because I said I saw it illuminated? Is it a trick? But no! I would have seen them carrying it.I then passed my hand over my face because I thought that what I saw was a dream. And I said, Could it be that I am asleep, but I have not tripped over anything."

"And when I removed my hands from my face, I saw that she had human skin and that her eyes moved and She blinked. I then said, in my thoughts, because I could not move my tongue I said: She is alive. She is not a statue. She is alive! My mind was the only thing that I could move. I felt like numb, my lower jaw stiff and my tongue as if asleep, everything immobilized, as I said, only the ideas moved in my head. I was in those thoughts when She extended Her arms --- like the Miraculous Medal which I never had seen, but which later was shown to me. She extended Her arms and from Her hands emanated rays of light stronger than the sun. She was... She rested up high and the rays that came from Her hands touched my breast. When she gave out Her light is when I became encouraged to speak, although somewhat stammering. I said to her: What is your name?"

"She answered me with the sweetest voice I have ever heard in any woman, not even in persons who speak softly. She answered me and said that Her name was Mary. I saw the way She moved Her lips. I then said: She is alive! She spoke! She has answered my question! I could see that we could enter into a conversation, that I could speak with Her. I asked her, then, where She came from. She told me with the same sweetness:

"I come from Heaven. I am the Mother of Jesus. At hearing this I immediately asked Her --- remembering what the priest had told me --- I asked Her: What is it you want? "I want the Rosary to be prayed everyday."

"I then interrupted and said to Her: Yes, we are praying it. --- The priest brought us the intentions of the San Francisco parish so that we would unite ourselves with them.

"She told me: I don't want it prayed only in the month of May. I want it to be prayed permanently, within the family, including the children old enough to understand; to be prayed at a set hour when there are no problems with the work in the home."

"She told me that the Lord does not like prayers we make in a rush or mechanically. Because of that She recommended praying of the Rosary with the reading of bible citations and that we put into practice the Word of God."

"When I heard this I thought and said, How is this? because I did not know the Rosary was biblical. That is why I asked Her and said, Where are the biblical citations?"

"She told me to look for them in the Bible and continued saying: "Love each other. Fulfill your obligations. Make peace. Don't ask our Lord for peace because if you do not make it there will be no peace. Renew the Five First Saturdays. You received many graces when all of you did this."

"Before the war we used to do this. --- We went to Confession and Communion every First Saturday of the month. --- But since the Lord already had freed us from the shedding of blood in Cuapa, we no longer continued this practice. Then She said:

"Nicaragua has suffered much since the earthquake. She is threatened with even more suffering. She will continue to suffer if you don't change. --- Pray! Pray, my son, the Rosary for all the world. Tell believers and non-believers that the world is threatened by grave dangers. I ask the Lord to appease His Justice, but if you don't change, you will hasten the arrival of a Third World War."

"After She had said these words, I understood that I had to say this to the people and I told her: "Lady, I don't want problems. I have many in the Church. Tell this to another person." She then told me:

"No, because Our Lord has selected you to give the message."

After this first vision of Our Lady, there would be five more visions of Her, and one vision of an angel.

Not wanting any more problems or ridicule from the people, Bernardo kept the vision to himself, and began to avoid the area where the vision had occurred. He felt guilty for remaining silent, and felt as though he had a great weight upon him. On May 16, 1980, Bernardo was walking through a pasture on his way to take his calf to the river to water it. Once again he saw 2 lightning flashes, and Mary appeared before him:

"I thought she had come to complain about all that she had told me to say. I felt guilty for not having spoken as she had asked and at the same time, in my mind, I said: "I don't go to the place where she appeared because she appears there, and now, she appears to me here. I will be in a fine state, she will be following me wherever I am." It was with this in mind, when she told me with a tone -- with her voice soft -- but with a tone as if in reprehension: "Why have you not told what I sent you to tell?" I then answered her: "Lady, it is that I am afraid. I am afraid of being the ridicule of the people, afraid that they will laugh at me, that they will not believe me. Those who will not believe this, will laugh at me. They will say that I am crazy." She then said to me: "Do not be afraid. I am going to help you, and tell the priest." Saying this, there was another flash of lightning and she disappeared.

Bernardo then told all the people who came to his house about his vision, and then he told the priest. The priest told him that what he had already seen he could tell the people, but if he had any more visions he was to tell no one but the priest.

On June 8, 1980 Bernardo had a night time appearance from  Our Lady. She showed him 4 visions that Bernardo described as being like a movie in the sky. First, he saw a large group of people dressed in white, their bodies radiating light, singing and marching towards heaven. These were the first Christians. Second, he saw another large group of people (Dominicans), dressed in white with large luminous Rosaries in their hands. One of them carried a very large book. He read, then everyone silently meditated on the words,  and then they all prayed the Our Father and ten Hail Marys

Mary told Bernardo:

"They are the first ones to whom I gave the Rosary. That is the way that I want all of you to pray the Rosary."

Bernardo then saw a third group all dressed in brown robes, apparently they were the Franciscans.

"These received the Rosary from the hands of the first ones."

The fourth group Bernardo saw was a very large group dressed in normal street clothes and all carrying Rosaries. Light radiated from all of their bodies, and their bodies were all beautiful. Bernardo told Mary he wanted to go with this last group because they were all dressed like he was.

Mary's reply to him was:

"No! You are still lacking. You have to tell the people what you have seen and heard. I have shown you the glory of Our Lord and you people will acquire this if you are obedient to Our Lord, to the Lord's Word; if you persevere in praying the Holy Rosary and put into practice the Lord's Word."

Bernardo wanted to tell everyone about this vision, but he obeyed his priest and told only him. This is always a true test of any apparition, and that is the obedience of the seer to the priests and bishops.

On July 8, 1980 an Angel appeared to Bernardo and foretold several events which shortly took place. One of those events was the murder of Bernardo's cousin which could have been prevented if he had listened to Bernardo's warnings.

On September 8, 1980, Mary appeared to Bernardo as a child of six or seven years old. Her message to him was the same as the first time and Bernardo asked Her if She wanted a church built in her honor, as one man had already given him 80 Cordobas for that purpose.

Mary told Bernardo:

"No! The Lord does not want material churches, He wants living temples which are yourselves. Restore the sacred temple of the Lord. In you is the gratification for the Lord. Love each other. Love one another. Forgive each other. Make peace. Don't just ask for it, make peace. From this day on do not accept even one cent for anything. Always continue firmly in the catechism. Little by little you will comprehend all that the catechism signifies. As a community group meditate on the beatitudes, away from all the noise. I am not going to return on the 8th of October, but on the 13th." (Note: October 13 is the Feast of Fatima.)

On October 13, 1980, Mary appeared to Bernardo at Cuapa for the final time. Bernardo and fifty people went to the site of the apparitions. They prayed the Rosary and sang "Holy Queen of Heaven" when suddenly Bernardo and the witnesses saw:

..."a big luminous circle formed over the ground. Everyone without a single exception saw it. It was like a single ray that fell and marked this luminous circle on the ground. The light came from above. The light that came was like a spotlight that on touching the ground was scattered. Seeing how this light fell over the heads of everyone who was there, I again looked upward and saw that a circle gave off lights in different colors, without coming from the sun. It was not at that spot as the sun was already setting.

"A little girl, being held by the hand of her mother, tried to release her hand, telling her mother that the Lady was calling her. The mother held her even more firmly and did not let her move. The child's mother told me this herself after the apparition was over.

"It was 3:00 in the afternoon. One could feel a small breeze that moved softly. Pleasant, like a fresh shower, but which did not wet us. While we observed this, we were silent and continued seeing that circle of light which gave off colored lights from the exact center, where the sun is at twelve noon.

"All of a sudden a lightning flash, the same as the other times; then, a second one. I lowered my eyes and I saw the Lady."

When Mary's form appeared Bernardo pleaded with Her to allow herself to be seen by the others for they didn't believe. Her face turned pale, and Her garments gray, and She began to cry. Bernardo began to cry too when he saw how this hurt her, and he began to apologize profusely. Mary told him:

"It saddens me to see the hardness of those persons hearts. But you will have to pray for them so that they will change. Pray the Rosary. Meditate on the mysteries. Listen to the Word of God spoken in them. Love one another. Love each other. Forgive each other. Make peace. Don't ask for peace without making peace, because if you don't make it, it does no good to ask for it.

"Fulfill your obligations. Put into practice the world of God. Seek ways to please God. Serve your neighbor as that way you will please Him.

"They ask of me things that are unimportant. Ask for Faith in order to have the strength so that each can carry his own cross.

"The suffering of this world cannot be removed. That is the way life is. There are problems with the husband, with the wife, with the children, with the brothers. Talk, converse, so that problems will be resolved in peace. Do not turn to violence. Never turn to violence. Pray for faith in order that you will have patience.

"You will no longer see me in this place."

Bernardo began to shout, begging "Don't leave us my Mother!"

Mary said:

"Do not be grieved. I am with all of you even though you do not see me. I am the Mother of All you sinners.

"Love one another. Forgive each other. Make peace, because if you don't make it, there will be no peace. Do not turn to violence. Never turn to violence.

"Nicaragua has suffered a great deal since the earthquake, and will continue to suffer if all of you don't change. If you don't change you will hasten the coming of the Third World War.

"Pray, pray, my son, for all the world. Grave dangers threaten the world. The Mother never forgets Her children, and I have not forgotten what you suffer. I am the Mother of all of you sinners. Invoke me with these words.

"Holy Virgin, You are my Mother, the Mother to all of us sinners."

With those words, Our Lady of Nicaragua left, and never again appeared in that place. Her message was complete...pray the Rosary, meditate on Christ's life, meditate on the Beatitudes, pray as a family, never rush or mechanically say prayers, make your own peace, and put the Word of God into practice daily.

Bernardo Martinez, that simple humble man who received these visions, continued to be the sacristan at his parish for awhile. 

When the Bishop of Juigalpa, Bishop Pablo Antonio Vega, authorized him to reveal the miracle, and crowds of pilgrims began coming to Cuapa, the Sandinistas began to persecute Bernardo. They tried to bribe Bernardo with the offer of free farm land if he would say that the Virgin was Sandinista. He refused. They then launched a televison and newspaper campaign calling Bernardo insane, hysterical, and hallucinatory. A woman began to follow him, and tried to seduce him, but he would not be swayed. The faithful who protected Bernardo discovered lurking photographers, and one morning defended him from Sandinista  police who had invaded his house and tried to kidnap him.

To protect Bernardo, the Church brought him to a seminary where he devoted himself to gardening and took great joy in telling the seminarians about his visions.

In 1995. at the age of 64 years, Bernardo was himself ordained a priest in the Cathedral of León, Nicaragua. He would later celebrate the Mass of the Resurrection in this same cathedral. 

Bernardo Martinez died as a holy priest in 2000.



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You may click here to read Bernardo Martinez's officiasl statement on the apparitions at Cuapa given to Bishop Mons. Pablo Antonia Vega, Prelate Bishop of Juigalpa.

In 1982, both Bishop Bosco M. Vivas Robelo, Auxiliary Bishop and Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Managua and Bishop Pablo Antonio Vega M., Prelate Bishop of Juigalpa (the diocese where the apparitions took place) released statements positively affirming the apparitions. You may read those by clicking here.





Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Very First Marian Apparition - Our Lady of the Pillar ~ Canterbury Tales by Dr. Taylor Marshall



The following excerpt is from the blog "Canterbury Tales" by Dr. Taylor Marshall:

  • The first recorded Marian apparition occurred while the Blessed Virgin Mary was still on earth. According to tradition, the Apostle Saint James the Greater (brother of Saint John the Evangelist) was sent by Saint Peter to Spain to evangelize the Gentiles of that province. While praying by the banks of the Ebro at Saragossa, the Holy Mother of God bilocated and appeared to the Apostle. She instructed him to build a church there, which he did.


Click the link below to read the entire article:


The Very First Marian Apparition - Our Lady of the Pillar ~ Canterbury Tales by Dr. Taylor Marshall

Sunday, October 30, 2011

JIMMY AKIN.ORG

Listen to this excellent podcast by Jimmy Akin, as he gives an unbiased explanation as to how things stand with Medjugorje. Click the link below:

JIMMY AKIN.ORG

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The Prophecies of Anne Catherine Emmerich


Anne Catherine Emmerich was born in humble conditions to a very devout couple so she learnt from an early age to love her Faith. But Anne's life was not like that of other children her age in that she was the recipient of visions and messengers of God from her youth.

God blessed Anne with many gifts including that of reading hearts, the hidden stigmata, and she survived only on the Eucharist for many years. This remarkable young girl would also converse with her guardian Angel and also come under attack by the demonic forces, none of which affected her Faith except for it to grow even more depthful than it already was.

Venerable Anne would also be visited by our Lord Jesus and our Lady where upon she received messages for the world, warning all people to once again embrace and live their Faith.

Some of these messages given to Anne were, 'that every parish and diocese, each city and country has its own particular and powerful guardian angel.' Anne Catherine was to see and be told many things including these messages from Heaven, She revealed that to gain an indulgence we must approach the Sacraments with true repentance and a firm purpose of amendment–or we do not gain it. She deposes that it is more holy to pray for the Poor Souls in Purgatory than for sinners who are still alive, for Anne had a particular love and devotion for the poor souls in Purgatory. She was also told that 'more Protestant souls stayed in Purgatory the longest not because they were worse than anyone else, but because so few people prayed for the repose of their souls or offered up Masses for their soul.'

Anne went on to describe what she has seen and 'describes the nature, extent and power of victim souls, and their role in the life of the Church. She describes the condition of St. Lydwine of Schiedam, a victim soul during the time of "three popes," and how her body came apart into three pieces, joined only by the slenderest of sinews. She saw only 6 victim souls in her time working like herself on behalf of the Universal Church, and about 100,000 Catholic people worldwide who were great in their faith.'

This great Saint went on to experience mystical visions and receive even more prophecies for our troubled world including these, 'She saw the strong link–even long after their deaths–between holy souls in Heaven and their descendants here on earth, lasting even centuries. And that Enoch and Elias are in Paradise where they await their return to the world to preach at the End of Time. Also this too, she revealed that Our Lord suffered from the wound in His shoulder more than from any other.'

And a warning for the world for those would listen to the signs of the times, she said that, "a false church, and wicked men scheming against the Catholic Church and doing much harm–both in her own time and in the future. And actually saw in a vision this, the enemies of the Church tearing it down and trying to build a new one on strictly human plans–but none of the saints would lend a hand. Later, this church of men is destroyed and the saints of God join in to rebuild the true Church of God, which becomes more glorious than ever before".


But once again our Lord leaves us with hope through this most pious of souls as Anne was told, that the there would be a revival in the Priesthood and the Religious order after a period of great decadence.


Anne also describes seeing this in her words, "All over the world I saw numberless infusions of the Spirit; sometimes, like a lightning-stroke, falling on a congregation in church, and I could tell who among them had received the grace; or again, I beheld individuals praying in their homes, suddenly endowed with light and strength. The sight awoke in me great joy and confidence that the Church, amid her ever-increasing tribulations, will not succumb; for in all parts of the world I saw defenders raised up to her by the Holy Ghost. Yes, I felt that the oppression of the powers of this world serves but to increase her strength."


Anne also went on to say what had been revealed to her, "what is most painful for me to repeat, that if only one priest offered the Unbloody Sacrifice as worthily and with the same sentiments as the Apostles, he could ward off all calamities from the Church." "Owing to the spirit of the world and tepidity, if the Savior returned to earth today to announce His doctrine in person, He would find as many opponents as He did among the Jews."


And though Anne Catherine suffered much not only physically but also from the disdain of her fellow Religious Sisters, still she lived a life of quiet humility and holiness.


I would encourage all to read more about this great Saint of the Church, Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich.


Copyright © 2007 Marie Smith. All rights reserved.




Thursday, January 18, 2007

Our Lady of Lourdes



Visionary St. Bernadette Soubirous

Lourdes is probably one of the best known Apparitions of Our Lady, which also verified and made clear the Dogma/Doctrine of The Immaculate Conception, which was authorised by Pope Pius IX on December 8, 1854.

But let us take a closer look at this young girl and the message of Our Lady, which was entrusted to the young Bernadette Soubirous. She was born into a poor peasant family, in the year 1844, the first of six siblings. These were difficult years for her family and five of her brothers were to die at very young ages. Bernadette herself almost died of cholera, but, was able to survive this illness. As the family was destitute neither parent could afford medications.

Because of the poverty of her parents, Bernadette lived at different times with a foster mother at Bartres. Being that she was so poor, Bernadette was denied a decent education, and could neither read nor write. This was discovered as she began to receive instruction to prepare for her first Communion.

But it was in the year 1858 on February 11th, that Bernadette’s life would be changed forever. It was a cold day and Bernadette with two of her sisters were sent out to gather firewood for their cold and austere home. Being fragile in health, Bernadette did not cross the stream, but instead decided to wait for her sisters.

It was here that Bernadette thought she heard what sounded like a clap of thunder, as she pulled her shawl closer about her shoulders. It was as she was gazing at the sky to see if there were storm clouds, that Bernadette first saw a very beautiful woman looking at her from across the stream. The beautiful lady was dressed in what looked like a luminous white dress with a sash of blue around her waist and two golden roses on her feet. Bernadette was awestruck but also frightened as to what to do, she then saw the beautiful lady make the sign of the Cross before she disappeared, no words were spoken.

Bernadette was entranced by this beautiful lady, and thereby she returned to what is the grotto at Massabielle. It was on February 18th that Our Lady told Bernadette that she would not live a happy life on earth, but that her happiness was assured in Heaven. Our Lady gave several messages to Bernadette asking for Penance from the people and a greater devotion to our Lord and Savior.

It was here that Our Lady requested that Bernadette dig the ground so that a spring could burst forth. Bernadette immediately began digging the ground, taking no account of some of the derision from the crowds. Eventually a spring did burst forth which remains to this day.
But it was the message on March 2nd where Mary told Bernadette, "Tell the priests that people should come here in procession and that a chapel should be built on the site." Also on March 25th, the Blessed Virgin revealed to Bernadette, "I am the Immaculate Conception."

Our Lady was true to her word and Bernadette upon the completion of the messages from the Blessed Virgin Mary, decided after suffering ridicule and the curious crowds which followed her around, to enter the Religious life.

She eventually entered the Sisters of Notre Dame, but after a health scare she was given the last rites, the Church therefore gave approval for Bernadette to make her vows. Bernadette was able to recover and spent time working in the Sacristy as part of her duties.

Bernadette was a very humble soul and disliked the 'fame' that seemed to plague her. She always referred to herself when questioned by the curious as 'the broom placed behind the door once it has been used', she never sought nor received special treatment. If anything the opposite occurred, when some in her community became jealous of the favour that was shown to this young nun. She suffered in silence many cruel taunts and persecutions from within her religious community. After suffering much agony and in her death throes, she cried out "Blessed Mary, Mother of God, pray for me! A poor sinner, a poor sinner".

Bernadette died on April 16, 1879, at the age of 35.

She was canonized in 1933 by Pope Pius XI.

Upon exhuming the body of this Great Saint her body was found incorrupt and she lay in a glass reliquary, in the convent chapel.

I encourage all to read about this most momentous Vision, Our Lady of Lourdes.

Copyright © 2007- 2013 Marie Smith. All rights reserved.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Our Lady of America



"It is the United States that is to lead the world to peace, the peace of Christ, the peace that He brought with Him from heaven."

These are the words of Our Lady to Sister Mary Ephrem who belongs to the Order of Precious Blood Sisters which is based in Indiana. During these visitations Our Lady emphasised to Sister Mary the need for America to return to the virtue of purity and to focus on the family as all important. A message that is greatly needed in this fast paced generation. As well as receiving messages from our Lady Sister Mary was also visited by our Savior, St. Joseph as well as the Arch Angels.

Sister Mary was a normal woman with no outstanding features so it came as a shock to this most humble Nun to be the recipient of Divine Messages for America and the world. At first Sister Mary took no note of the mystical events that were happening to her in that she thought all her fellow sisters were receiving the same Gift. This was not so and in confusion Sister Mary spoke to her Spiritual Director, Monsignor Paul Leibold who took this most humble sister under his wing. Monsignor Paul Leibold upon investigating these supernatural occurrences and in witnessing the humble disposition of Sister Mary Ephrem gave his approval thereby validating this humble Sister and the most important message of our Lord and Lady.

Let us now look at some of these Divine messages given to Sister Mary. Our Lord spoke to Sister Mary giving her these messages to the world;

"My little white dove, if the world is dying, it is because it will not let Me give it life."

" I am the resurrection and the life, and unless souls seek their life in Me, they will only find death and destruction."

"They fear man-made destroyers of life, yet destruction is in themselves. Man destroys himself through the evil that is in himself."

"Implements of war kill only that which is without. Man kills that within himself which none but he can kill."

"God is light, man is darkness, and unless he comes into the light, he will be forever in darkness."

"The Voice of My Heart is the Voice of Mercy. If man will not listen, there is no more I can do, for he ties My hands."

"My little white dove, do you know what I find most lacking in the world today? It is FAITH. There are so few souls that believe in Me and My love. They profess their beliefs and their love, but they do not live this belief. Their hearts are cold, for without faith there can be no love."

We must remember that these words were spoken to Sister Mary in the 1950's. Which leaves one to think what our Lord would say now for when Sister Mary received these messages Roe VS Wade had yet to reach the courts. How through our sins we wound our relationship with our most Loving and Merciful God. To continue with the messages give to Sister Mary Ephrem:

"My heart beats with compassion for the sorrows of man. Oh, how gladly would I help him bear the weight of his terrible cross, fashioned, for the most part, by his own guilt! But alas, he will have none of my help. So I am forced to stand by the side of the road and watch him struggle hopelessly in his agony."

"O man, what have I done to you that you should refuse My aid?"

As our world becomes more and more secularized and parents take on one job or two jobs each, families become fractured and dysfunctional. In the end though what are families working for? Or has the reason been lost in the fight to keep up with appearances. Surely it is time to consider a more simpler way of life where the spiritual welfare of your family come first, and though it is a parents responsibility to provide for their families who decides what is best? Advertisements which demand you must buy this item in order to be fulfilled and other sundry adverts which only emphasises the materialistic and not the spiritual. Here is our Lords words to Sister Mary concerning the family unit:

"My daughter, I am not loved in the homes of men. And because I am not loved, the Divine Trinity refuses to dwell therein."

"Children are not taught to love Me, because those who have charge over them have no time or patience to do so."

"My Heart grieves over My children in the world. Their hearts are being drawn farther and farther away from Me. They will not even listen to My Mother, because they have never been taught to listen."

"Woe to parents who set a bad example to their children! Terrible will be their judgment. I will demand a strict account of every soul entrusted to their care."

"Woe to children who disobey and show disrespect towards their parents!"

As we can see these are very cautionary words indeed when even parents allow alcohol to be served at parties so they can be seen as 'hip' and progressive. Still there is hope, a time where families can once again embrace a more simpler life without the needs of gadgets and gizmo's.

"Blessed are the homes that honor My Name and the Name of My Father."

"Blessed are the homes where I am loved, for there the Holy Trinity dwells."

"Blessed are the parents and children who have made a home for God in their hearts."

"Little secretary of My Heart, write these instructions for the sanctification of My people."

Once when Sister Mary was visiting a sister house she was in prayer when an Angel of light appeared to her. Sister Mary described him as having a sword in his left hand his robe was bright white as he was bathed in a glow of pure white. In his hand he held a green palm and offered this palm to Sister Mary as the Angel said, "receive the palm of Victory." This disturbed Sister Mary as she felt herself not worthy of such notice and also she was opposed to any form of flattery. Was this Angel from God or was it Satan trying to fool her? Sister Mary's suspicions were allayed when the Angel said to her, "You do not believe me. Will you accept the cross?" When Sister Mary heard these words her response was, ' Yes, I will accept the cross." The Angel then responded with these words, "Then you will accept the palm and the sword. With the sword and the saints conquered themselves, the world and the devil. I am the Angel of Peace. I come to those whose hearts are attuned to the Voice of God. To such as these I remain a perpetual light through blinding darkness. I was sent by Him Who said, "I am the Light of the world."

Upon hearing this Sister Mary was given to know that this was St. Michael the Arch Angel.
Not long after this message from St. Michael, Sister Mary would be visited by Our Lady who had this message to give to the world and most especially families:

"It is the wish of my Son that fathers and mothers strive to imitate me and my chaste spouse in our holy life at Nazareth. We practiced the simple virtues of family life, Jesus our Son being the center of all our love and activity. The Holy Trinity dwelt with us in a manner far surpassing anything that can ever be imagined. For ours was the earthly paradise where again God walked among men."

"As in our little home no sin was to be found, so it is the wish of the Heart of my Son and my Immaculate Heart that sin should, as far as possible, be unheard of in the homes of our children."

"The Divine Trinity will dwell in your midst only if you are faithful in practicing the virtues of our life at Nazareth. Then, you also, my children, you also will become another paradise. God will then walk among you and you will have peace."

" I need your help to bring peace into the world. Do not disappoint me."

We see once again the great emphasis placed on the importance of family life, Our Lady did not say to make sure you have the latest in DVD players or the latest CD's. We are urged instead to place the Trinity as first place in the family unit.

Our Lady also imparted these words to Sister Mary:

"I am pleased, my child, with the love and honor my children in America give to me, especially through my glorious and unique privilege of the Immaculate Conception. I promise to reward their love by working through the power of my Son's Heart and my Immaculate Heart miracles of grace among them. I do not promise miracles of the body, but of the soul."

" For it is mainly through these miracles of grace that the Holy Trinity is glorified among men and nations. Let America continue and grow in its love for me, and I in return, in union with the Heart of my Son, promise to work wonders in her. My child, I desire that this be known."

" I am Our Lady of America. I desire that my children honor me, especially by the purity of their lives."

As I mentioned earlier we must remember that these messages were given at a time of innocence in America this is why the very same messages need to be heard today as they are most needed. Let us reflect on the content of these revelations and ponder within our own hearts if our families reflect those of the Holy Family of Nazareth.

I would encourage all to read more about Our Lady of America.

Peace of Christ to ALL

Copyright © 2006 Marie Smith. All rights reserved.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Our Lady of Tre Fontane



Bruno Cornacchiola though raised a Catholic grew to not only detest everything Catholic but also nursed a deep hatred for the Catholic Church and vowed action in order to bring down the Church he so hated.

Bruno's hatred of the Catholic Church was not helped in that he grew up poor and so kept company with unruly boys of his own age. After only receiving a rudimentary education Bruno joined the military which seemed to suit his need for constant excitement and fed his need to hate someone or something.

One would think with such hatred eating at his very soul, that Bruno would be a lost cause, but God and our Lady thought differently. So even though Bruno went on his own evil path, soon God would intervene by sending the Mother of God to appeal to him directly.

Before this though, Bruno decided to go and fight in the Spanish civil war, though he had no particular ideology Bruno fought simply for the love of it. When he arrived in Spain Bruno met up with a Lutheran man who convinced Bruno that the Catholic Church was the cause of all the world evils and needed to be destroyed, most especially the Pontiff! These words fed Bruno's already active hatred of all things Catholic, and he vowed then to one day kill the Pope!

This was no empty threat for while in Spain Bruno bought a dagger in order to carry out this evil deed, his heart was indeed in the depths of darkness as his family also felt the wrath of this hate filled man. Bruno was not a good husband and constantly beat his wife, he also threw out any statues or other religious items from his home. The Cornacchiola household was certainly NOT a happy one, as his wife lived in fear everyday of her life and the children suffered as they themselves were beaten and witnessed their fathers violence towards their mother.

Due to his violent nature Bruno demanded that his wife leave the Catholic Church and join a protestant Church, under great duress Bruno's wife did just that but only after she had applied conditions that Bruno would make the Nine Fridays devotion. Bruno scoffed at this 'challenge' and so did as his wife suggested, it had little impact on this enraged man and so Iolanda left the Catholic Church and joined her husband in the new Protestant Church, though she was sorely grieved at taking this action.

Bruno eventually found a steady job as a tram conductor in Rome, but this brought no relief to the family as Bruno's violence intensified against Iolanda and his children who had to deal with his abuse and drunkenness. Iolanda though did not give up hope and constantly prayed for the salvation of her husband and the well being of their children.

This man's heart was so full of hate that he soon became an avowed communist much to his wife's distress. Bruno had also not forgotten his vow to kill the Pope and so he began to plan the ultimate crime, to assassinate the reigning Pontiff.

One day while he was preparing an anti-Church and anti-Mary speech, Bruno took his children to the park where he sat and wrote notes on his speech as his children played ball. As Bruno prepared his notes he could hear his children gleefully playing together, this did not deter Bruno from his course.

It was only when the children cried out that they had lost their ball that Bruno with great irritation left his notes and began to help his children look for the missing ball. While Bruno and his children were searching for the ball Bruno could hear his son Gianfranco say over and over 'oh beautiful lady, beautiful lady'. Very much in fear for his son Bruno searched for Gianfranco and found him kneeling transfixed before the small grotto, soon all three of Bruno's children knelt in awe at the sight of this most beautiful lady. Bruno immediately tried to get his children away from the Grotto but to no avail, he as strong as he was could not lift his own little one's. Finally Bruno yelled, 'God help us!'

Upon yelling this out, Bruno could finally see what his children were seeing, as two hands reached out and touched his eyes he gradually saw before him the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. He also felt a swelling of great inner joy at the sight of his most gracious and lovely woman. Bruno like his children could not move or remove his eyes away from this glorious woman who was wearing a green mantle over a white dress with a rose sash tied at her waist. Her expression was one of deep sadness and Bruno felt immediate compunction over the sad look in her eyes, but still he could not tear his eyes away from such a sight as this most wondrous lady.

As Bruno took in this sight he also noticed that the beautiful and sad lady held a book in her hands which she cradled close to her heart and beneath her feet was a broken crucifix on top of a black cloth. Bruno could hardly believe what he was seeing but he could not move as he listened to our Lady speak to him.

Our lady bent a little towards Bruno and said these words to him, "I am she who is related to the Divine Trinity. I am the Virgin of Revelation. You have persecuted me, now is the time to stop! Come and be part of the Holy Fold which is the Celestial Court on earth. God's promise is unchangeable and will remain so. The nine First Fridays in honor of the Sacred Heart, which your faithful wife persuaded you to observe before you walked down the road of lies, has saved you." Our Lady continued to instruct Bruno as she said, "Live the divine doctrine. Practise Christianity. Live the Faith....The Hail Marys that you pray with faith and love are like golden arrows that go straight to the heart of Jesus," and, "Pray much and recite the Rosary for the conversion of sinners, of unbelievers and of all Christians."

Bruno was stunned at her words and a transformation began to take place within the heart of this man who had been driven by hate but had now been touched by Divine Love through the help of our Lady. Bruno's heart began to beat with the chorus of love rather than the loud and raucous diatribe of hate, a miracle had happened within the soul of this one man which would affect his life forever more.

Our Lady also had more messages for this simple man who's life would never be the same again, as she continued to speak with him, "I promise this special favour: With this sinful soil (the soil of the grotto) I shall perform great miracles for the conversion of unbelievers and of sinners.....Science will deny God and will refuse His calls." Our lady then spoke of her Assumption into heaven, "My body could not and did not decay. I was assumed into Heaven by my Son and the angels." The Blessed Mother also instructed Bruno with a special message for the Holy Father himself, "You must go to the Holy Father, the Pope, the Supreme Pastor of Christianity, and personally tell him my message. Bring it to his attention. I shall tell you how to recognize the one who will accompany you to see the Pope."

After this message Our Lady disappeared leaving a pungent scent of roses, Bruno was almost in shock at what he had seen and heard, he would never be the same again. Upon returning home, Iolanda could smell the scent of roses and when she enquired the children blurted out that they had seen a most beautiful lady, Iolanda with tears in her eyes forgave her husband as Bruno begged her forgiveness for his vicious behaviour towards her and their children.

Bruno was indeed a changed man and he with his entire family re-converted back to the Catholic Faith which filled his wife's heart with great joy. Never again would Bruno raise his hand in violence against his family.

It would take two years before Bruno could fulfill Our Lady's request when he and a group were invited to pray the Rosary in private with Pope Pius XII. After completing this most holy prayer the Pope then asked if anyone wished to speak with him. Bruno immediately raised his hand and with great sorrow he knelt before the Pope and begged his forgiveness for his years of hatred and his intention to kill this holy man of God, the Pope unhesitatingly gave Bruno his forgiveness.

Even though over time many would try and use this simple man for their own purposes, Bruno has maintained what he saw and what our Lady revealed to him. He also continued to remain a devout Catholic with a sincere devotion to the Mother of God.

I would encourage all to read more about Our Lady of Tre Fontane, with due consideration that the Church is investigating this amazing vision of our Lady of Revelations.

Peace of Christ to ALL

Copyright © 2006 Marie Smith. All rights reserved.

Monday, May 22, 2006

St. John Bosco's Dog... or Angel?



Saint John Bosco was a heroic man who cared deeply about the young boys he cared for. Through his perseverance he began a school for wayward boy's, to help them return to the Faith and to become men of strength. Though John Bosco loved his boys and saw through their hard facades, not everyone held the same opinion, and many wished that he would remove his school from their area.

John Bosco was also a strong man of great Faith and he fought courageously against those espousing heretical views, this incurred the wrath of some who disputed with the Church's Teachings.

Some of the townspeople felt so strongly that they even plotted to take his life and thereby destroy his schools, but what people plot and what God plans are two different things!

John Bosco had weathered some attacks against his person when out and about performing his Priestly duties. One night as John Bosco was returning home he felt that he was being followed and growing wary of the constant harassment, this brave man hastened his steps. It was not long before the footsteps he could hear were gaining ground, when suddenly out of the cold mist John Bosco saw a very large dog come towards him. The dog soon fell into step beside him, and after reaching his goal John Bosco also discovered that the man following him had been frightened off by the huge dog.

Many nights when John Bosco traveled around the town and most especially in the more dangerous districts, often times the dog would miraculously show up just when John Bosco most needed him. The dog became such a friend on his dangerous missions that John Bosco named him, Grigio.

One night when Father John Bosco was returning home an assassin tried to shoot him dead and upon failing this the man rushed forward to beat this wonderful Priest to death! When suddenly John Bosco cried out for his dog 'Grigioooo' the dog immediately came to John Bosco's aid and bit the attacker with all his might. The attacker after a cry of pain ran from the scene, Grigio had saved John Bosco's life!

This scene was repeated when on another occasion two men set forth to murder this annoying Priest and so they lay in wait upon him in the shadows. Upon seeing John Bosco the two men rushed forward and covered his head with a sack, they then began to beat him but not for long, for once again Grigio seemed to spring from out of no-where and grabbed one of the assailants by the neck. It was John Bosco who then had to save the life of his attacker as he commanded Grigio to set his assailant free.

The dog soon became John Bosco's closest companion even to the extent of preventing Father John from leaving his home, perhaps Grigio knew when this brave Priest needed to be kept safe and the safest place was home!

One night when Father John Bosco was eating a convivial dinner with friends, the family decided to feed this great protector of their friend Father John. So the husband prepared to give scraps to Grigio only to find that this huge dog had vanished, but where and how? Because of the dangers that faced Father John the family had bolted all the doors and windows. Where had Grigio disappeared too and more importantly how?

Who was this courageous and fierce protector of Father John Bosco, an ordinary dog or an Angel sent to protect him?

I would encourage all to read more about the life of this great Saint John Bosco.


Friday, May 12, 2006

Our Lady of Fatima-The Real Message


Catholic Apparitions

The visitation of Our Lady to three children in Fatima, Portugal is one of the most famous apparitions of our Lady in the world. It stands alongside Lourdes as one of the most revered and respected appearances of Our Lady. But unlike Lourdes, Fatima has also become a centre point for confusion amongst the faithful who misunderstand the important message given to the three young children of Fatima, Lucia dos Santos, Jacinta Marto and her brother Francisco Marto.

Many Catholics already know of the miracle of Fatima where the sun was seen to spin and also many of the messages given to the world by Our Lady as a warning, but what has caused dissension is the third secret of Fatima. Many people have chosen to believe that the Vatican has entered into a vast conspiracy to keep the secret from the world, this is not so!

As in all apparitions Our Lady can reveal nothing further than what has already been foretold in the Bible, so there is no 'new revelation' that needs to be known. What The Blessed Virgin Mary has done is merely illuminate and make present the Word of God through Scripture so that those who do not reflect on what God has revealed through the Bible will quickly remedy this by studying the Bible alongside our Catholic Traditions and Doctrine.

As the Word reveals in Mathew, "Jesus said to them in reply, "See that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, saying, 'I am the Messiah,' and they will deceive many. You will hear of wars and reports of wars; see that you are not alarmed, for these things must happen, but it will not yet be the end. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be famines and earthquakes from place to place. All these are the beginning of the labor pains. Then they will hand you over to persecution, and they will kill you. You will be hated by all nations because of my name. And then many will be led into sin; they will betray and hate one another. Many false prophets will arise and deceive many; and because of the increase of evildoing, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who perseveres to the end will be saved....If anyone says to you then, 'Look, here is the Messiah!' or, 'There he is!' do not believe it. False messiahs and false prophets will arise, and they will perform signs and wonders so great as to deceive, if that were possible, even the elect. So if they say to you, 'He is in the desert,' do not go out there; if they say, 'He is in the inner rooms,' do not believe it." We see this piece of Scripture correspond within the Catholic Catechism, 672 Before his Ascension Christ affirmed that the hour had not yet come for the glorious establishment of the messianic kingdom awaited by Israel[561] which, according to the prophets, was to bring all men the definitive order of justice, love and peace.[562] According to the Lord, the present time is the time of the Spirit and of witness, but also a time still marked by "distress" and the trial of evil which does not spare the Church[563] and ushers in the struggles of the last days. It is a time of waiting and watching.[564]...674 The glorious Messiah's coming is suspended at every moment of history until his recognition by "all Israel", for "a hardening has come upon part of Israel" in their "unbelief" toward Jesus.[568] St. Peter says to the Jews of Jerusalem after Pentecost: "Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for establishing all that God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old."[569] St. Paul echoes him: "For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead?"[570] The "full inclusion" of the Jews in the Messiah's salvation, in the wake of "the full number of the Gentiles",[571] will enable the People of God to achieve "the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ", in which "God may be all in all".[572] And once again we read in the Catechism these words of instruction for the Faithful, 675 Before Christ's second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers.[573] The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth[574] will unveil the "mystery of iniquity" in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh.[575]

With the visions of Fatima and the messages Our Lady is simply reminding us of what we should inherently know, to pray with our hearts, to study God's Word, to participate in the Sacraments of the Church, most especially the Sacrament of Penance, in order to receive the Eucharist in a state of Grace. To be obedient to the Churches Teaching and its Authority and the real meaning of Fatima is to practice acts of penance in reparation for the many sins committed against God.

As much as many people would like to think, there is NO smoking gun when it comes to the revelations of Fatima. The Catechism states quite clearly about private revelation, 67 Throughout the ages, there have been so-called "private" revelations, some of which have been recognized by the authority of the Church. They do not belong, however, to the deposit of faith. It is not their role to improve or complete Christ's definitive Revelation, but to help live more fully by it in a certain period of history. Guided by the Magisterium of the Church, the sensus fidelium knows how to discern and welcome in these revelations whatever constitutes an authentic call of Christ or his saints to the Church."

It cannot be stated more clearly than this, that though Our Lady cannot reveal to us anything over and above what has been revealed through her Son our Lord Jesus Christ. The Blessed Virgin Mary does warn us to return to the fundamentals of our Faith by following the Word given to us at such a price and to the Authority of the Catholic Church and the Vicar of Christ.

This is the message given to the three Seers written down by Sister Lucia, regarding the 'third secret', "After the two parts which I have already explained, at the left of Our Lady and a little above, we saw an Angel with a flaming sword in his left hand; flashing, it gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world on fire; but they died out in contact with the splendor that Our Lady radiated towards him from her right hand: pointing to the earth with his right hand, the Angel cried out in a loud voice: 'Penance, Penance, Penance!'. And we saw in an immense light that is God: 'something similar to how people appear in a mirror when they pass in front of it' a Bishop dressed in White 'we had the impression that it was the Holy Father'. Other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious going up a steep mountain, at the top of which there was a big Cross of rough-hewn trunks as of a cork-tree with the bark; before reaching there the Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins and half trembling with halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the corpses he met on his way; having reached the top of the mountain, on his knees at the foot of the big Cross he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him, and in the same way there died one after another the other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious, and various lay people of different ranks and positions. Beneath the two arms of the Cross there were two Angels each with a crystal aspersorium in his hand, in which they gathered up the blood of the Martyrs and with it sprinkled the souls that were making their way to God." Though the language is symbolic it also correlates to Scripture and the Catechism, which warns of a falling away as souls grow cold, "And then many will be led into sin; they will betray and hate one another. Many false prophets will arise and deceive many; and because of the increase of evildoing, the love of many will grow cold."

The most integral aspect of the message of Fatima is not one of scandal or a dramatic scene of 'signs and wonders' the REAL message of Fatima is that of 'Penance, Penance, Penance'. We know that sins abound everywhere and that we too are all sinners, therefore to appease the Divine Justice of God our Lady reminds us to offer Penance to God in reparation for the sins committed against His Divine Majesty. As the then Cardinal Ratzinger wrote, "key word" of the third secret of Fatima "is the triple cry, 'Penance, Penance, Penance!'' Once again it cannot be stated more clearly than what has been spoken by Bishops, Cardinals and Popes.

Those who seek the 'sensational' in the messages of Fatima, have missed the point entirely, Our Lady is beyond human hysterics, the Queen of Heaven always points the way to her Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. The Blessed Mother simply reminds her children to follow the Word of God which is Life and to be OBEDIENT to the Catholic Churches Teaching, irrespective of what society is teachings for God's Moral Law eclipses man made laws. Those who do prefer to believe the more 'sensational' aspects of Fatima do so out of ignorance in that the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is not to be mistaken for the time when our Lord returns to Judge the Living and the dead as is spoken in the Credo. It is Christ Himself which will herald in that peace which the Word Reveals in the book of Revelation, "Behold, I am coming soon. I bring with me the recompense I will give to each according to his deeds. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end...The one who gives this testimony says, "Yes, I am coming soon." Amen! Come, Lord Jesus! "

What Our Lady of Fatima is asking of the Faithful is to offer up penances for the conversion of Russia and the world, in order to avoid and mitigate Gods Divine Wrath against a faithless people.

Through the valid Consecration of Russia made by Pope John Paul II united with the Bishops and for which Sister Lucia conveyed to the Pope our Lady's acceptance of this Consecration, the communistic hold over Russia has ceased. The Faithful must now continue to pray and offer penance to God for sins committed against Him and for the sins which cry out to Heaven for Divine Justice.

This is the essential message of Fatima as our own generation becomes more secularized and belief in Jesus Divinity is now questioned not only by non believers but also by those who 'profess to believe', yet they deny the fundamentals of our Catholic Faith.

Has our Faith reached a stage of 'coldness' that is a question each person must ask of themselves.

I would encourage all to read more about our Lady of Fatima and its message for the world.

Peace of Christ to ALL

Copyright © 2006 Marie Smith. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Our Lady of Zeitun


Marian Apparitions

It was an ordinary evening in a small town called Zeitun in Egypt, some of the towns people were outside their doors chatting as they waited for their husbands to come home. The day had started as any other day, women cooked the breakfasts for their husbands and children, completed the housework and other chores. Men went to work just like any other ordinary day, some feeling tired while others enjoyed their job. Children did their chores and played games, nothing was different, or was it?

In the year 1968 something very different took place in this nondescript little province of Egypt, for it was the evening of April 2nd that two men noticed a woman who seemed to be floating upon the roof of a Church, the men at first thought they were witnessing a woman in distress and so cried out to save her. Some of the women in neighbouring houses came out to see what the fuss was about and they too saw the woman floating above the Church which was named St Mary's which was of the Orthodox denomination.

Upon hearing of the woman the resident Priest came out to see for himself who was upon the roof of his Church! Even though the Priest mixed among the crowds he himself saw nothing, but one person after another with loud exclamations all saw this floating woman, till finally one of the women cried out, "It is our Holy Mother"!

The crowds stood stunned at such a sight, some were overcome with joy while others fretted that perhaps this was the beginning of the end! None though denied what they were seeing, for indeed it was a woman who seemed to glow as she looked at them from above the Church as she swayed and glided around the roof of the Church. Many people were amazed to see such a thing and right before their very eyes with many thousands of witnesses, some were deeply touched that Our Lady would deign to visit them, simple ordinary folk.

Our Lady rarely shows herself to the elite in society but prefers to reveal herself to little ones who are in need of her special Graces given to her from God. With her appearance at Zeitun our Lady allowed all to see her even political leaders of the country and also the wealthy some of whom were self proclaimed atheists!

Thousands of people poured into this little town to see for themselves this awe inspiring spectacle of the appearance of Mary, but just like Knock our Lady was silent. Many speculated as to the reasons why? Some suggested that this was the very place that the Holy Family had made their home when they had to flee Israel. Others suggested that perhaps Our Lady was warning of future calamities, the answer is no-one knows.

What we do know is that in 1968 Our Lady at times surrounded by lights of angelic beings allowed herself to be seen by thousands of people of all persuasions whether they be atheist, Orthodox, Catholic or Muslim all know and testified to what they had seen with their own eyes and through some of their camera lens as many took photo's of our Lady.

Why did our Lady not speak? Perhaps her silence speaks louder than any words for in the Bible Our Lady spoke very little yet pondered much....maybe it is her example we should follow, to speak little and ponder much on the Mysteries of God as did this most Blessed Mother.

In this age of terror perhaps we need to absorb Our Lady's silent appearance and to contemplate the Will of God in our lives.


I would encourage all to read more about Our Lady of Zeitun.

Peace of Christ to ALL

Copyright © 2006 Marie Smith. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The Visions and Miracles of Saint Padre Pio



Much has been written about that great man of the Church known as Padre Pio, let us examine some of the more extraordinary experiences that touched the life of Padre Pio, those who were close to him and for the world.

Francesco Forgione was born in the year 1887 to poor parents, Grazio and Maria who were farmers in the region of Pietrelcina, though a poor family the Forgione family were rich in love of God and the Church. From early youth the young Francisco had a horror and aversion towards sin to the extent that he would often refuse to play with his contemporaries as they often swore and behaved badly. So the young boy lived a life of deep prayer even in one so young, he felt the call to live as holy as possible in order to please God and God alone! He would often practice penances even to having a rock as his pillow and going without meals, in order to make reparation for his sins and the sins of others. Francisco at the young age of 16 entered the Order of the Capuchin Friars and in January 1903 he took the habit and the name Brother Pio. In 1907 Brother Pio took his final Vows, and was known as Padre Pio.

Though God would touch Padre Pio's life in extraordinary ways, within himself Padre Pio was known for his uncompromising nature, his compassion to all he met and his determination to remain faithful to the Teachings of the Church and his Order, and all in a spirit of humility. Even though he embraced and lived in a spirit of humility and meekness this did not mean that the devil left him alone in fact the opposite was the case, for the devil truly fears a humble and meek spirit that is devoted to God.

Even from a young age the devil would assault this most noble boy with horrible and terrifying dreams, but the young boy held fast to his Faith and trusted in God's Mercy and relied on Him for strength. Upon becoming a Priest the devil increased his attacks upon this holy soul, but now the devil became direct and took to physically attacking this holy Priest with his diabolical assaults upon his person. Padre Pio bore all the pain in a spirit of humbleness and intense prayer as he drew closer to his source of strength, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Through the intensity of his prayer life Padre Pio felt the comforting presence of the Blessed Mother and his Guardian Angel, which strengthened him as his spirit was illumined as to the intensity of the spiritual battle he would face with the enemy of God, Satan himself!

Padre Pio was shown a vision from his youth what this spiritual battle would entail, as he recounted later, "he saw himself in the middle of a large hall between two groups of people, one group had beautiful faces, the other hideous ones. Just then a huge monster came from the end of the hall toward him, but Jesus appeared, in order to give Francesco strength. Before the monster could reach Francesco it was struck by lightening and disappeared. The Lord said to him, "That is the fiend against whom you will have to fight." This vision would prove to be fortuitous, as many pilgrims sought this holy Priest in the Sacrament of Penance, and led Padre Pio into a deeper prayer life, for this holy Priest did not fear Satan but he did fear offending God, a fear shared by many Mystics within the Catholic Church.

Throughout his life Padre Pio had always practiced severe mortifications and austerities in order to overcome the temptation of the body and live for Christ alone. As Padre Pio exclaimed, " I am happier than ever when I am suffering, and if I would listen to the promptings of my heart, I would ask Jesus to give me all the sufferings of men." Though Padre Pio trusted God with absoluteness, he distrusted himself and at times doubts would impose themselves upon him as he confided to a friend, "How difficult, Father, is the way of Christian perfection for a soul so ill-disposed as mine. My badness makes me fearful at every step I take." As in the case of Padre Pio and many other Mystics at times our Lord will allow a soul to undergo extreme aridity of soul in order to strengthen that which is weakest in their nature, but God never abandons a soul even if that soul has lost all 'feelings' of God.

God knows man's frailty and so illuminates the soul with the Spirit and comforts the afflicted soul with His own Presence and also the comforting presence of our Lady, which strengthens the soul to continue to fight the good fight. Padre Pio was also Graced with the Gift of bi-location, and also carried within him the odor of sanctity, where people could smell the scent of roses wherever Padre Pio happened to be. Another Gift given to Padre Pio was the Stigmata where a soul is marked with the sufferings of the Crucified Christ, upon their person, when this first occurred Padre Pio described these wounds as such to his Superior, "red patches, about the size of a cent, and accompanied by acute pain....the pain was much more acute in the left hand and it still persists. I also feel some pain in he soles of my feet." This Gift of the Stigmata would bring both joy and suffering to this holy Priest as he became the focus of much unwanted attention, this truly mortified this humble Priest, as he and his Superiors coped with the ever growing crowds of people who came to be near Padre Pio. Around this time Padre Pio also described another extraordinary occurrence to his Superior, "While I was hearing the confessions of our boys on the evening of 5th, I was suddenly filled with extreme terror at the sight of a celestial being whom I saw with my mind's eye. He held a kind of weapon in his hand, similar to a steel sword with a sharp, flaming point. At the very instant I saw all this, I saw the person hurl the weapon into my soul with all his might. It was all done in a split second. I was hardly able to cry out and felt as if I were dying. I cannot ell you how much I suffered during this period of anguish. Even my insides were torn and ruptured by that weapon, everything lashed by fire and steel. From that day on, I was wounded to death. In the depths of my soul, I feel an open wound with causes me to suffer continual agony." Only few Saints have been honoured to share the wounds of Christ, one of whom was St. Francis of Assisi.

Once people heard about this miraculous occurrence and the other Gifts given to Padre Pio they flocked to him in thousands, whereupon Padre Pio would often be in the Confessional for up to and over 18 hours a day. This remarkable Priest also had the Gift of reading souls, so those people who came to him through the Sacrament of Penance would often be reminded by him of their forgotten sins. These are the testimonies of several people who experienced Padre Pio's extraordinary Gifts. In one case a man felt he had sinned by gluttony and so he went to see Padre Pio as he explains in his own words, "Once I ate too many figs and I felt guilty about it. I thought I had committed a sin of gluttony. Since I would have confession with Padre Pio the next day I thought I would confess it then. The following day as I was walking slowly on the road to the convent, I made an examination of conscience. The sin of gluttony did not come to mind. Padre Pio heard my confession but before concluding and before the absolution I said to him, "I think I am guilty of yet another sin but I can’t remember it." "Don’t worry," he answered me smiling: "for two figs." This is another testimony by a man who went to Padre Pio in the Confessional, "I had decided to give up smoking and to offer this small sacrifice to Padre Pio. Since then, every evening, with the intact packet of cigarettes in my hand, I stayed in front of his image telling him, ‘Father...it is one...’ The second day, ‘Padre, it is two…’ Three months later, I went to San Giovanni Rotondo to see Padre Pio after doing the same thing every evening. ‘Padre,’ I told him as soon as I saw him, ‘I haven't been smoking for 81 days, 81 packets...’ Padre Pio said, ‘I know everything you know, you made me count the packets every evening." Though Padre Pio was a compassionate and kind Priest still he had no time for hypocrites as is seen by these two cases who also went to him for Confession, "A man of some distinction within his own community had the reputation of being a good Catholic, admired and esteemed by all who knew him. Actually he was living in sin. He had neglected his wife, and was now compensating for his loneliness by a relationship with another woman. On one occasion he went to confession to Padre Pio. In order to justify himself, he started talking about a "spiritual crisis." But he had not counted on facing an "extraordinary" confessor. Padre Pio stood up at once and shouted, "What spiritual crisis? You are a litterbug! And God is angry with you. Go away!" As is seen here Padre Pio had no time for those who were trying to use and abuse the Sacrament of Penance for their own purposes. Once again we have another case of a woman caught in serious sin when she went to Padre Pio, "A woman had come from England to see Padre Pio and for him to hear her confession. She went to his confessional but Padre Pio closed the window saying: "I am not available to you." The woman stayed for a few weeks and during this time, daily returned to his confessional and daily was turned away. Finally, Padre Pio consented to hear her confession. She asked the Padre why he made her wait so long to be heard. Padre Pio answered: "And You?" "How long have you made Our Lord wait?" You should wonder how Jesus could welcome you after you committed so many sacrileges. You have delayed your judgment for years, besides sinning against your husband and your mother you have received Holy Communion in mortal sin. The woman was stunned and reformed. She cried when she received absolution. She returned to England a few days later, very happy." It is here that we learn a valuable lesson in the seriousness of sin and to not take the Sacrament of Penance without complete remorse and sorrow for one's sins!

There were also many miraculous events which happened near or around Padre Pio, once during the years of the war food had got so low that many of his fellow Priests were in terrible need of bread. As the townsfolk were also suffering the Priests gave much of their food rations away till one day they were left with hardly no supplies for themselves, so they prayed that the Lord would provide them with some sustenance whereupon the Priests were amazed to see Padre Pio's arms full of bread. When his fellow Priests questioned as to how Padre Pio came upon such a treasure he replied that a pilgrim had knocked on the door and given the bread to him. Another miraculous event occurred when a mother and father who were at Mass came home to find that their young daughter had been accidentally burned in a hot tub of water. The parents immediately sent for a doctor who told them to take their daughter immediately to hospital as she could die at any moment. The parents were terrified and in deep anguish over their beloved child, when suddenly they heard their daughter cry out to them as she said, "Mommy, I don’t have a wound anymore!" "Who has taken your wound?" I asked her out of curiosity. She answered: "Father Pio has come. He took my wounds by putting his whole hand on my burn."

Even the Holy Souls in Purgatory would seek out the help of this holy Priest. One such case was when a soul from Purgatory appeared before Padre Pio, he then told Padre Pio that he had died in a fire and that God had granted him permission that he was able to visit Padre Pio and to request a Mass be offered for the repose of his soul. The next morning Padre Pio offered up the Mass and the soul was able to enter Paradise to spend eternity in Heaven. Another case was when a woman who had just lost her mother appealed to Padre Pio, whereupon after offering a Mass for the repose of her mothers soul, she too entered Eternal Glory into the Kingdom of Heaven.

These are only a few of the miraculous events which happened around Saint Padre Pio a most holy Son of the Church.

I would encourage all to read more about this most illustrious Saint, Padre Pio of Pietrelcina.

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