Miracles of Our Lady, Stories of the Supernatural

The Conversion of Alphonse Ratisbonne

Born in 1814, Alphonse Ratisbonne was from a family of wealthy, well-known Jewish bankers in Strasbourg, France. In 1827, Alphonse’s older brother, Thèodore, converted to Catholicism and entered the priesthood, thus breaking with his anti-Catholic family whose hopes now lay in the young Alphonse. At 27, Alphonse was intelligent and well mannered. He had already finished his law degree, and decided to travel to Italy before marrying and assuming his responsibilities in the family business. However, God had other plans for him.

While in Rome, Alphonse visited works of art, and strictly out of cultural curiosity, a few Catholic churches. These visits hardened his anti-Catholic stance, and nourished his profound hatred for the Church. He also called on an old schoolmate and close friend, Gustave de Bussières. Gustave was a Protestant and several times had tried, in vain, to win Alphonse over to his religious convictions. Alphonse was introduced to Gustave’s brother, Baron de Bussières, who had recently converted to Catholicism and become a close friend of Father Thèodore Ratisbonne. Because of the Baron’s Catholicism and closeness with his turncoat brother, Alphonse greatly disliked him.

On the eve of his departure, Alphonse reluctantly fulfilled his social obligation to leave his calling card at the Baron’s house as a farewell gesture. Hoping to avoid a meeting, Alphonse intended to leave his card discreetly and depart straight away, but was instead shown into the Miraculous Medal house. The Baron greeted the young Jew warmly, and before long, had persuaded him to remain a few more days in Rome. Inspired by grace, the Baron insisted Alphonse accept a Miraculous Medal and copy down a beautiful prayer: the Memorare. Alphonse could hardly contain his anger at his host’s boldness of proposing these things to him, but decided to take everything good-heartedly, planning to later describe the Baron as an eccentric.

During Alphonse’s stay, the Baron’s close friend, Count de La Ferronays, former French ambassador to the Holy See and a man of great virtue and piety, died quite suddenly. On the eve of his death, the Baron had asked the Count to pray the Memorare one hundred times for Alphonse’s conversion. It is possible that he offered his life to God for the conversion of the young Jewish banker.

A few days later, the Baron went to the church of Sant’Andrea delle Fratte to arrange for his friend’s funeral. Alphonse reluctantly went with him, all the while making violent criticisms of the Church and mocking Catholic practices. When they arrived, the Baron entered the sacristy to arrange the funeral while Alphonse remained in the church.

When the Baron returned just a few minutes later, the young man was gone. He searched the church, and soon discovered his young friend kneeling close to an altar, weeping. Alphonse himself tells us what happened in those few minutes he waited for the Baron: “I had only been in the church a short while when, all of a sudden, I felt totally uneasy for no apparent reason. I raised my eyes and saw that the whole building had disappeared. Only one side chapel had, so to say, gathered all the light. In the midst of this splendor, the Virgin Mary appeared standing on the altar. She was grandiose, brilliant, full of majesty and sweetness, just as she is in the Miraculous Medal. An irresistible force attracted me to her. The Virgin made a gesture with her hand indicating I was to kneel.”

When de Bussières talked to Alphonse, he no longer found a Jew, but a convert who ardently desired baptism. The news of such an unexpected conversion immediately spread and caused a great commotion throughout Europe, and Pope Gregory XVI received the young convert, paternally. He ordered a detailed investigation with the rigor required by canon law, and concluded that the occurrence was a truly authentic miracle.

Alphonse took the name Maria Alphonse at baptism, and, wishing to become a priest, was ordained a Jesuit in 1847. After some time, and at the suggestion of Pope Pius IX, he left the Jesuits and joined his brother Thèodore in founding the Congregation of Our Lady of Sion, dedicated to the conversion of the Jews. Father Theodore spread his congregation throughout France and England, while Father Maria Alphonse went to the Holy Land. In Jerusalem, he established a house of the congregation on the plot of land where the praetorium of Pilate had formerly stood.

The two brothers died in 1884, both famed and well-loved for their exceptional virtues.

~Source:America Needs Fatima

Miracles of Jesus, Stories of the Supernatural

Miraculous Crucifix of Our Lady of Guadalupe

The Miraculous Crucifix of Our Lady of Guadalupe

After the conquest of Mexico by Hernando Cortez in 1519, Christianity was introduced into the country by the prelates he brought with him from Spain. By the year 1525, missionary work was well under way, principally by the Franciscans, Dominicans, Augustinians and the Jesuits. Conversions were numerous and the Faith flourished. The Church operated in peace until the Mexican wars of independence took place between the years 1810 to 1821. Little by little, laws began to be passed against the Church through the influence of the Freemasons, an organization that had been introduced into Mexico by Joel R. Poinsset. When the Mexican Constitution was adopted in 1857, separation of church and state was decreed. Under the presidency of church-educated Benito Juarez and his successor, President D. Sebastian Lerdo de Tejada, laws against the Church were stringently enforced, producing a veritable persecution. Under the various laws, official recognition that was formerly given to ecclesiastical persons and corporations was withdrawn. No religious rite or demonstration of any kind was permitted outside church buildings. The state claimed possession of all church buildings. All religious orders were suppressed, as were all confraternities or organizations annexed to religious communities. According to law, all religious were reduced to the secular state and were forbidden to wear their religious habits in public. Superiors of communities were regarded as state criminals. The laws went on and on. Finally, in 1867, all relations with the Vatican were discontinued. Despite the restrictions placed on the Church in Mexico, the Faith was maintained.

Today, Mexico is regarded as being overwhelmingly Roman Catholic. Although Mexico’s churches were closed around the year 1921, the nation’s beloved shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe remained open for public services. The government apparently hesitated to close the shrine for fear of provoking an insurrection. It has been speculated that enemies of the Church plotted secretly to destroy the Faith by harming the miraculous image of Our Lady. If the image were destroyed, so they thought, the shrine would lose its attraction, and the number of services would gradually diminish until none were held at all. The plan was put into action on November 14, 1921. His identity remains a mystery, but it is known that an enemy of the Faith carried a large bouquet of flowers to the very altar situated under the miraculous image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Unknown to church personnel, an explosive device with a timer was hidden in the flowers. The bomb exploded with a great roar. Chunks of marble and masonry flew about, and stained glass windows were shattered; destruction of the altar and the sanctuary was extensive. Thankfully, no one was harmed. One can imagine that as soon as everyone recovered from the shock, their first concern was for the miraculous image. Much to the relief of everyone, the image remained perfectly intact; in fact, its thin glass covering was not even cracked. Amid cries of amazement, the preservation of the image and the security of the glass were regarded as miraculous.

Yet another miracle became known when it was discovered that the large bronze crucifix that had been positioned directly above the altar and beneath the image was now on the floor. The bomb had exploded with such force that the crucifix had been bent from the impact. The curve of the heavy crucifix attested to the strength of the bomb and reinforced the opinion that the preservation of the image was indeed miraculous. The man who had intended to destroy the Faith by planting the bomb had failed in his efforts, since the opposite response was produced.

A special Chapel of Reparation to the Blessed Sacrament was opened to atone for this outrage and for the many offenses committed against the Church since the adoption of the Constitution in 1857. Later, to preserve the image from other attempts by the Blessed Virgin’s enemies, the miraculous portrait was mounted behind bulletproof glass.

Persecution of the Church continued. Under the regulations mentioned above and many more that are not noted here, many priests and nuns were martyred, including the saintly Fr. Miguel Pro, who was a victim of a firing squad in 1927. Fr. Pro’s cause for canonization was introduced in 1952. He has since been declared Blessed. We are pleased to note that Mexico’s relations with the Vatican were restored in September of 1992, after a span of 125 years. President Carlos Salinas de Gortari oversaw constitutional reforms that ended the most rigorous restrictions on the Church. Clergy can now vote and wear clerical garb in public. The crucifix that experienced the force of the explosion that was meant for the image of Our Lady is now displayed in the foyer of the new basilica. Resting on a pillow, the crucifix is kept in a decorated glass enclosure. Countless pilgrims gaze in wonder at this object that attests to the miraculous nature of the portrait of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

~Source:”Miraculous Images of Our Lord”

Miracles of Jesus, Stories of the Supernatural

Miraculous Crucifix of Limpias

Miraculous Crucifix of Limpias Spain

When entering the sixteenth-century Church of St. Peter, attention is immediately captured by the beautiful life-size figure of the crucified Savior located above the main altar. Arranged on either side of the crucifix, and somewhat below it, are larger-than-life size figures of the Sorrowful Mother and St. John the Apostle. Believed to have been the work of Pedro de Mena, who died in 1693, the crucifix was given to the church by Don Diego de la Piedra Secadura, who had been born at Limpias in 1716.

The crucifix is a meditation on the sufferings of Our Lord and is thought to portray the Crucified in the final moments of His agony. Measuring six feet tall, the corpus is clothed with a loin cloth that is held in place with a rope. The feet are one atop the other and are pierced with a single nail. The index and middle fingers of both pierced hands are extended as though giving a final blessing. The face of Our Lord is of a particular beauty, with it’s eyes of china looking towards Heaven so that, for the most part, only the whites of the eyes are visible.

The first recorded miracle involving this crucifix took place in 1914, five years before the grand miracles of 1919. The recipient of the favor was Don Antonio Lopez, a monk belonging to the Order of the Pauline Fathers who conducted a college in Limpas. his entire account reads as follows:

One day in the month of August, 1914, I went into the parish church of Limpias, by order of my friend D. Gregorio Bringas, to fix the electric light over the high altar. In order to work more comfortably I put two large cases on the altar, an on them a ladder, the ends of which I leaned against the wall that serves as a background to the figure of the Crucified One.

After I had worked for two hours, in order to rest myself a little I began to clean the figure so that it could be seen more clearly. My head was on a level with the Head of Christ, and at a distance of only a couple of feet from it. It was a lovely day and through the window in the sanctuary a flood of light streamed into the church and lit up the whole altar. As I was gazing at the crucifix with the closest attention, I noticed with astonishment that Our Lord’s eyes were gradually closing, and for five minutes I saw them quite closed.

Overwhelmed with fright at such an unexpected spectacle, I could still hardly quite believe what I saw, and was about to come down from the ladder. Notwithstanding, my bewilderment was so great that my strength suddenly failed me; I lost my balance, fainted, and fell from the ladder onto the edge of the altar itself and down the steps into the sanctuary.

Another Miracle was when Archpriest D. Eduardo Miqueli was celebrating Holy Mass, both missionaries were occupied in the confessional. Fr. Agatangelo, however, delivered the day’s sermon based on the words “My son, give me thy heart.” (pro.23:26). While he was speaking, a girl of about 12 entered the confessional of Fr. Jalon and told him the eyes of Christ on the cross were closed.Thinking that her claim was a product of her imagination, the priest ignored her claim until other children also came to him with the same message.

After the parish priest was called from the sacristy and was told the eyes of the Crucified were opening and closing and that the figure was turning His gaze from side to side, he, too, fell on his knees to pray. But his prayer was soon interrupted by many of the people who declared that the figures was perspiring. Fr. Jalon climbed up and saw that the perspiration covered the figures neck and chest. after touching the neck he looked upon his fingers that were wet with the fluid. As verification of what had taken place, he showed his moistened fingers to the congregation. Fr. Agatangelo later saw the miracle several times when he prayed alone in the church at night.

Another apparition took place on Palm Sunday, April 13, 1919, when two prominent men of Limpas approached the altar. Speaking of hallucination and mass hysteria as they looked upon the crucifix, one of them suddenly pointed upward and feel to his knees, crying for mercy and proclaiming his belief in the miracle. On Easter Sunday April 20, in the presence of a group of nuns know as the Daughter of the Cross who conducted a girls school in Limpas. They saw the eyes and lips of Santo Cristo move. Rev. Baron Von Kleist reports that:

Many said the Savior looked at them; at some in a kindly manner, and at others gravely, and at yet others with a penetrating and stern glance. Many of them saw tears in His eyes; others noticed that drops of blood ram down from the temples pierced by the crown of thorns; some saw froth on His lips and sweat on His body; others again saw how He turned His eyes from side to side, and let His gaze pass over the whole assembly of people; or how; at the Benediction, He made a movement of the eyes as if giving the bless; how at the same time He moved the thorn- crowned head from on side to the other. Others had the impression that a deep, submissive sigh was wrested from His breast, some believed they saw Him whisper-in short, the most varied manifestations were observed on this crucifix.

One of the first to declare his experience to the secular press was the well-known and highly respected D. Adolf Arenaza. His testimony was published May 5, 1919 in the newspaper La Gazeta del Norte, which was published in Bilbao. He reported that he joined a procession going to Limpas in order to visit the crucifix. While looking through his field-glasses he saw the movement of the eyes four times. He further stated that it could not have been and effect of the light nor and hallucination, since people saw the miracles from all parts of the church. He then asked, “Does Our Lord really move His eyes… I am rather of the opinion that He really does move them, for I have seen it myself.”

Several albums are found in the sacristy of the church of the Limpias. these contain well over 8,000 testimonies of people who had seen the wonderful apparitions. Of these 2,500 were sworn on oath.

The first Bishop to be favored with an apparition was Don Manuel Ruiz y Rodriguez of Cuba, who went to Limpas following a visit to Rome. After returning home he composed a detailed pastoral letter to the members of his diocese in which he told of the miraculous crucifix. He disclosed that he had seen the figure close and open the mouth, how it moved it’s head from one side to the other how the face took on an expression of Death. Later he again saw the mouth move. “He shut it very slowly but opened it quickly… the closing of the mouth was slow until one lip touched the other.

Finally a report made by a medical student D. Heriberto de la Villa which was published in the paper Del Pueblo Astur on July 8, 1919. Little by little the breast and face became dark blue, the eyes move to the right then the left, upwards and down, the mouth somewhat open, as if He was having breathing difficulty. I also noticed that above the left eyebrow a wound formed, out of which a drop of blood flowed over His eyebrow, and remained stationary by the eye-lids. I believe it is my duty to swear upon oath what I had seen, and I did so in the sacristy of the church.

I will conclude with a brief report made by a journalist. After watching the movement of the eyes and mouth he stated:I could perceive two movements of the jawbone, as if He were saying two syllables with His lips. I shut my eyes quite tight and asked myself: “What will He have said?” The answer was not long in coming, for in my innermost self I clearly heard the significant and blessed words, “Love Me!”

Perhaps that is why Our Lord performed so many wonders for eyes of believers and unbelievers. At Limpas He demonstrated the agony of His death and the extent of His love for us, not only to evoke sentiments of pity and repentance, but also to ask, no, to plead with us to love Him in return.

~Source:”Miraculous Images of Our Lord”

Miracles of Our Lady, Stories of the Supernatural

Miracles of the Hail Mary

On November 21, 1858, the learned Protestant theologian Dr. Hugo Lammer, of Brannsberg, embraced the Catholic Faith. Soon afterwards he became a priest, and in 1883 was made canon and professor of theology in Breslau.

The cause of his conversion may be related briefly as follows: He read an explanation of the Hail Mary and was so pleased that he began to recite it daily. Here are his own words: “I began to recite the sweet Ave Maria, and to implore Mary’s powerful intercession for my speedy entrance into the True Church. The sting of intellectual conceit became extracted, and in my solitary dwelling, on my knees before the crucifix, I fought, with tears,many interior battles. Mary banished all scruples, and when later, I knocked at the door of the True Church, I could say with the greatest conviction Credo to every tenet of the Catholic religion.”

The following true story is told by an English priest: “One day a workman came to the presbytery, and asked to speak with me at once. He said that he was not a Catholic, but he would be very grateful if I would kindly visit his wife, who was very ill, and he believed that she had not very long to live. I asked him if she were a Catholic. ‘No,’ he answered, ‘but she insists on seeing you, and will not hear of a clergyman of any other religion.’ “On reaching the house, I was welcomed most eagerly by the poor woman. She at once declared that she was convinced of the Catholic Truth, and begged me to instruct her in the doctrine of our religion. I was astonished at all this, for I learned that not one of her relations or neighbors were Catholics. I at once began my instruction. “Before her death, she made her husband solemnly promise to become a Catholic, to send their children to the Catholic school, and to have them brought up in the Faith. After his wife’s death, he faithfully carried out this promise. He declared that he owed his conversion mainly to the extraordinary patience and cheerfulness which his wife showed during her painful illness. “Astonished at the exceptional graces the poor woman had obtained, I asked her if she had ever entered a Catholic church. Having received an answer in the negative, I continued: ‘Have you ever spoken to a Catholic priest?’ ‘No.’ she answered, ‘When I was a little girl, I often played with Catholic children, and I learned a lovely prayer from them, which I have repeated every night, before going to bed.’ Then she recited the Hail Mary; the secret was at last discovered. In the hour of death, Mary, her Heavenly Mother, had claimed her for her own in return for her love and fidelity in saying the Hail Mary.” Every time we say the Hail Mary we give to God’s Blessed Mother immense immense pleasure. We in fact offer her anew all the joys and graces which she received when the Archangel Gabriel announced to her that she was made God’s Mother. When we say the Hail Mary we should say with great trust the words: “Pray for us, sinners, now (that is, during our life) and at the hour of our death.” If we ask Our Lady every time we say the Holy Mary [the second part of the prayer] for a holy death, she will surely obtain it for us.

~Source:”How to be Happy,How to be Holy”

Stories of the Supernatural

Miracles of St.Philomena

Miracles of St.Philomena

The night before the arrival of the relics of St.Philomen at Mugnano Italy, a poor man who had been compelled to remain in bed for several months, absolutely unable to work, hearing of the arrival of the remains of the Holy Martyr on the morrow, prayed fervently to the Saint during the night, begging that he might at least be able to see and kiss the precious relic. The Saint seemed deaf to his prayer, for the pains, far from lessening, became more intense. When, however, the bells announced the arrival of the sacred treasure, he dragged himself from bed in spite of his sufferings and made heroic efforts to go and meet the procession. On leaving the house, he was perfectly cured.

For nine days the crowds flocked unceasingly to the church to venerate the relics, the ninth day being marked by notable miracles. A poor widow besought the Saint during Mass to cure her crippled boy who was unable to stand. At the elevation of the Sacred Host, the boy jumped up from where he was and ran to the urn of the Saint’s relics to thank her for his cure. At the conclusion of the Holy Sacrifice, the child walked about the town, to the delight of the admiring throngs, who rang bells and beat drums and finally, seizing the boy, bore him in procession through the streets. The report of this miracle brought still greater crowds to the afternoon devotions.

A poor mother dipped her finger in the oil of the Saint’s lamp and anointed the eyes of her little child who had lost his sight from smallpox and whom the doctors declared incurable. The moment the mother anointed the lids, the child recovered its sight. A freethinker was so profoundly moved at the sight of this new prodigy that he had the blessed light of faith restored to him. He declared himself a believer and gave large donations for the building of a church in honor of the Saint.

Some days later, a lady brought her crippled daughter to the Sanctuary and, cutting off the child’s curls, hung them near the urn of the Saint’s relics, making at the same time a generous offering to the Sanctuary. There was no apparent response at the moment, but on her return home the child, to the amazement and delight of all present, left the carriage and walked into the house. She had regained the perfect use of her limbs.

A blind man came and gave a valuable ring as an ex voto offering, confident that he would be cured. Nothing happened in the Sanctuary, but on reaching home, he recovered the full use of his eyes.

A blind girl, twenty years of age, whom the Neapolitan doctors declared beyond the reach of all human aid, came to Mugnano. Entering the church, she declared that she would not leave it until she was cured. Her faith was put to a rigorous test, for all her prayers seemed in vain. She, on her part, only grew more persistent and refused to leave the church for dinner. In the evening, when the Sanctuary was being closed, she found herself obliged to seek a lodging for the night. Lo! As she was leaving the church, a faint glimmer of sight was given her. Next day she returned and remained the whole day in prayer. Again, on leaving at night, she saw much better, but still imperfectly. On the third day, about noon, she saw more clearly still. At evening time her sight was entirely restored so that she threaded a small needle with the finest thread. Cures of body and mind now began to follow in quick succession, not only in the Sanctuary but at great distances from it.

A young mother was suffering intense pains when giving birth to her child. Unfortunately, she was all alone. A beautiful young girl suddenly appeared by her side and asked if she could do anything to help her. Her presence itself proved enough to allay all pain. When the young girl took her leave, the poor woman asked her name. “I am Philomena; they call me Philomena of Mugnano.” The appearance of the Saint was so natural that it did not awaken the smallest suspicion in the mind of the sufferer of who she really was. On telling a friend of the unexpected visit, she learned that a Saint of that name had come to Mugnano from Rome. When she was better, accompanied by her friend, she made a pilgrimage to the Sanctuary. Glancing at the image of the Saint, she at once exclaimed: “It is she! It is she! Yes, she was my celestial visitor!”

A distinguished lawyer of Naples, Don Allessandro Serio, who had a property near Mugnano, suffered for many years from a dangerous internal illness. He and his wife came to Mugnano to beg for his cure. They followed all the exercises of the novena which was being celebrated. The Saint, however, seemed deaf to their supplications, for on the 8th day of the novena, Don Allessandro was taken ill, and he had to be removed to his lodgings, where he speedily sank into unconsciousness, so that he was unable to make his confession. His wife, in the extremity of her grief, seized a picture of St. Philomena and called on the Saint for help. She only asked that the invalid might be able to confess, for she now despaired of a cure, which in all truth seemed impossible. She promised a marble altar to the Saint if this favor were granted. Scarcely had the prayer been made, when Don Allessandro regained his senses and began his confession, during which he was completely restored to health. Mindful of the promise, the altar was ordered to be made. A new wonder was in store for the happy couple. One of the masons, when giving the last touches to the table of the altar, struck it so roughly that, to the consternation of all, it was broken in two pieces, leaving between the parts a large fissure fully the width of a finger. The unfortunate workman tried to remedy the break with cement, but the Little Saint herself came to the rescue, and the marble became most perfectly joined, leaving only a line or vein as a mark of the prodigy. This wonder was testified to by many witnesses, and an inscription commemorating it was placed in the church.

Louis of Mariconeoit, a Frenchman, married an English girl. The marriage proved to be an ideally happy one. But the joy was short-lived, for after six months, the young bride became seriously ill. She earnestly longed for the happiness of being a mother, but the doctors declared that her state of health made such a thing absolutely impossible. The young couple came to the neighborhood of Naples in the hope of a cure. Unfortunately, any little hope they had entertained was soon rudely dispelled. The patient’s condition grew rapidly worse. Hearing of the marvellous cures wrought at Mugnano, she shut herself up one day in her own room and, falling on her knees, poured forth this short and fervent prayer to St. Philomena: “Since my condition is desperate, from the human point of view, and since I have no earthly hope left, I place all my confidence in you and trust that you will cure me, for you are powerful in Heaven and are good to all who seek your help. Despite my sufferings, I will go tomorrow to visit you in Mugnano, and I will ask you not only to restore me to health but to grant me the blessing of becoming a mother, and I will give my child the name of Philomena. Moreover, I promise to direct all the yearnings of its young heart towards God.” The following day, she visited the Saint’s shrine and made her prayer with great confidence. A year later, she returned in perfect health, the happy mother of a beautiful child. Countless mothers like her have to thank St. Philomena for similar favors.

His Lordship, the Bishop of Lucena, was much in need of a professor of sacred eloquence for his diocesan seminary. The priest on whom his choice fell was Canon Vincent Redago. But the appointment was manifestly impossible, for the Canon was far advanced with consumption and already had frequent hemorrhages. His state was so grave that he was preparing himself for death, which he recognized could not be far distant. What was the good man’s surprise when the Bishop announced his nomination! “What, my Lord!” he exclaimed, “have you the power to cure me?” “No,” replied the Bishop, “I have not, but there is someone else who has. See, I bring you a picture of Saint Philomena. Recommend yourself to her and you will get the health necessary to perform the duties I impose on you.”The Canon took the picture and placed it lovingly on his breast. He was instantly cured and perfectly able to undertake the task placed on him by the Bishop.

A young sculptor lost the use of speech and hearing for close to 20 years. Aware of the prodigies wrought by the dear Thaumaturga [miracle-worker], he made a novena to her during Holy Week. It was in the year 1837. On Holy Thursday night, he seemed to see St. Philomena surrounded by a throng of heavenly spirits and smiling at him. Delirious with joy, he uttered a great cry—he was cured. Shortly afterwards he went to Mugnano to pour out his grateful thanks at the Shrine of his heavenly benefactress.

A good Irish lady was sorely tried by God. To her great grief, four children, one after the other, were born dead. When the fifth was expected, she was filled with consternation and begged her sister, a nun, to pray for her. Her sister replied by recommending a novena to Saint Philomena, in which she herself promised to join. Shortly afterwards, a beautiful child, full of life and health, was born. In accordance with her promise promise she called the child Philomena. A happy home is the reflection of Heaven, and the love which unites the members of a Christian household is a foretaste of the never-ending bliss of the Father’s home above.

The Baron and Baroness of Lepore were blessed by God with supreme happiness. The union and love which bound these two hearts together was indeed enviable. A great trial, however, was in store for the happy couple. The health of the Baroness began to fail, and soon a fatal illness manifested itself. Medical skill proved unavailing. Remedy after remedy failed to check the course of the disease, and soon death became a question of moments. The feast of the Translation of St. Philomena’s relics was being celebrated for the first time in Terlizzi, near the castle where the Baroness lay dying. As life was slowly ebbing away, a friend hastened there with an image of the wonder-working Saint. The Baron eagerly seized it, showed it to the dying lady and touched her with it. She was cured so perfectly that both husband and wife were enabled to start a few days later for Mugnano to thank the dear Little Saint. The devotion spread rapidly all over Italy passing from city to city, from town to town, penetrating even to remote villages. Children received her name in Baptism; the poorest peasants kept lamps burning before her picture: chapels were built, statues erected in her honor; and in whatever town, village or church she was honored, wonderful prodigies and cures were wrought, and the moral condition of the inhabitants speedily underwent a radical transformation. In one church alone, within a few months after the devotion began, 1,200 silver ex votos were offered at her altar, besides many others of gold, jewels and precious stones—an eloquent testimony to the graces bestowed. In another, the cures, conversions and prodigies were so numerous that it was commonly said that nothing more wonderful happened in Mugnano itself.

“Saint Philomena the Wonderworker”

Miracles of Jesus, Stories of the Supernatural

The Miraculous Child Jesus of Loretto

An ancient miraculous statue of the Child Jesus, which originally came from Switzerland, is devoutly kept at the Loreto convent of the Capuchin nuns in Salzburg, Austria.

The principal personality in its history is Fr. John Chrysostom Schenk, a Capuchin priest who was given the statue by a superior. Fr. Chrysostom was so devoted to his ivory statue of the Child Jesus that he was eventually nicknamed “Christkindl Pater.” The good priest made a wooden carrying case for the statue that enabled him to carry it more easily on his errands of mercy. At times he loaned it to the sick, but if they delayed in returning it, the statue was frequently returned to the good priest in a miraculous manner.

Fr. Chrysostom died a most holy death on November 25, 1634. Because he had so often carried his beloved statue with him on his apostolic errands, the image was well known. It soon became a center of devotion in Salzburg, where it is still venerated under the name Miraculous Child Jesus of Loreto.

~Source:”Miraculous Images of Our Lord”

Stories of the Supernatural

St.Teresa of Avila’s Secret Informer

St.Teresa of Avila’s Secret Informer

Saint Teresa of Avila traveled often to start new convents or to visit the many old ones she had already founded across Spain.

With so many travels, she needed a way to keep herself informed on what went on in each convent in her absence. Her trust in Saint Joseph was such that she enthroned his statue in every convent, asking him to take charge of the sisters while she was away.

Saint Joseph obliged. But not in a way that most people would expect. Upon Saint Teresa’s return to each convent, she went to the Saint Joseph statue. And he faithfully reported everything the nuns had done since her departure.

In turn, Saint Teresa proceeded to correct the sisters for faults they had committed in her absence. And it didn’t take long for the nuns to realize who the miraculous reporter was: the Saint Joseph statue.

As a result, the nuns started calling their statue of Saint Joseph, el Parlero, which in English is the Speaker. And in fact, the statue shows Saint Joseph with his mouth open, in a speaking position.

“Saint Joseph gave me everything I asked for”

I took for my advocate and lord the glorious Saint Joseph and commended myself earnestly to him; and I found that this my father and lord delivered me both from this trouble and also from other and greater troubles concerning my honor and the loss of my soul, and that he gave me greater blessings than I could ask of him.

I do not remember even now that I have ever asked anything of him which he has failed to grant. I am astonished at the great favors which God has bestowed on me through this blessed saint, and at the perils from which He has freed me, both in body and in soul. To other saints the Lord seems to have given grace to succor us in some of our necessities but of this glorious saint my experience is that he succors us in them all and that the Lord wishes to teach us that as He was Himself subject to him on earth (for, being His guardian and being called His father, he could command Him) just so in Heaven He still does all that he asks.

This has also been the experience of other persons whom I have advised to commend themselves to him; and even to-day there are many who have great devotion to him through having newly experienced this truth.

I used to try to keep his feast with the greatest possible solemnity; but, though my intentions were good, I would observe it with more vanity than spirituality, for I always wanted things to be done very meticulously and well. I had this unfortunate characteristic that, if the Lord gave me grace to do anything good, the way I did it was full of imperfections and extremely faulty. I was very assiduous and skilful in wrongdoing and in my meticulousness and vanity.

May the Lord forgive me. I wish I could persuade everyone to be devoted to this glorious saint, for I have great experience of the blessings which he can obtain from God. I have never known anyone to be truly devoted to him and render him particular services that did not notably advance in virtue, for he gives very real help to souls who commend themselves to him. For some years now, I think, I have made some request of him every year on his festival and I have always had it granted. If my petition is in any way ill directed, he directs it aright for my greater good.

If I were a person writing with authority, I would gladly describe, at greater length and in the minutest detail, the favors which this glorious saint has granted to me and to others.

But in order not to do more than I have been commanded I shall have to write about many things briefly, much more so than I should wish, and at unnecessarily great length about others: in short, I must act like one who has little discretion in all that is good. I only beg, for the love of God, that anyone who does not believe me will put what I say to the test, and he will see by experience what great advantages come from his commending himself to this glorious patriarch and having devotion to him.

Those who practice prayer should have a special affection for him always. I do not know how anyone can think of the Queen of the Angels, during the time that she suffered so much with the Child Jesus, without giving thanks to Saint Joseph for the way he helped them. If anyone cannot find a master to teach him how to pray, let him take this glorious saint as his master and he will not go astray.

May the Lord grant that I have not erred in venturing to speak of him; for though I make public acknowledgment of my devotion to him, in serving and imitating him I have always failed. He was true to his own nature when he cured my paralysis and gave me the power to rise and walk; and I am following my own nature in using this favor so ill.