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”

The Saints and the Sign of the Cross

In the lives of the Saints we find other innumerable proofs of the power of the Sign of the Cross.

St. Dominic raised the dead to life by the holy Sign.

St. Vincent Ferrer worked hundreds hundreds of miracles by this blessed Sign.

Tertullian relates that the Christians in the first centuries began everything with the Sign of the Cross.

When they left their homes or reentered them, they blessed themselves.

Arising in the morning or going to rest at night, they made the Sign of the Cross with great devotion.

In all dangers and temptations they made the same holy Sign.

St. Patrick made the Sign of the Cross 400 times a day.

All good Christians should strive to make the Sign of the Cross as frequently as possible.

By this blessed Sign, devoutly made, we give immense glory to God, for we offer to Him the infinite merits of the death of Jesus Christ.

But never, never should a Christian make the Sign of the Cross hastily or irreverently.

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

The Child Jesus of Deols

The distinguished Benedictine Abbey at Déols (a suburb of Chateauroux) was founded in the year 917 by Ebbes the Noble. Sometimes called the Breast of St. Peter because of its influence and service to the Church, the Abbey’s privileges have been confirmed by 30 popes. It was in front of this venerable abbey that the spectacular miracle of Déols took place.

A column situated in a place of honor supported a statue of the Blessed Virgin holding the Child Jesus. Here the villagers were accustomed to pause for a moment of prayer. Located in front of the column and the abbey was an area where the people frequently gathered in friendly exchange. Also gathering there during the English occupation were rough English soldiers who delighted in mocking the poor and especially the people who prayed before the blessed statue.

The miraculous event took place on May 31, 1187, when the English soldiers were engaged in a game of dice. The soldier who lost the game became enraged. To vent his anger, he picked up a large stone and flung it at the statue, breaking off the hand of the Holy Child. According to the historian Philippe Auguste, a contemporary of the event, “A stream of blood poured from the arm of the broken image and made a pool on the earth below. The fellow who flung the stone was seized with madness, and dropped down dead on the spot. John Lackland, and Adhemar, Viscount of Limoges, carefully collected the blood and deposited it in a rich chapel erected in England and dedicated to the Virgin.” According to the historian, Rigord, countless cures were effected by the application of this blood. News of the miracle spread everywhere.

The English soldiers who were in Déols, but who were not present at the time of the miracle, took particular interest in the report since one of their own had instigated the phenomenon and died as a result. To satisfy their curiosity that the event had taken place as reported, a company of soldiers went to the spot the next day. Among them was the brother of the English king, who recovered the hand of the Infant Jesus. After picking it up, he wrapped it in his cloak, when suddenly bright red blood began to flow from the stone hand—to the terror of all the spectators. In addition to these two blood sheddings, other prodigies are said to have taken place. These were so spectacular that they caused Philippi Auguste, King of France, and Richard the Lion Hearted, King of England, to become reconciled for a time.

After the miracle, the statue was removed to a chapel in the abbey church. Dedicated to Our Lady of Miracles, the chapel became the site of numerous pilgrimages in which, through the years, several popes, a number of future Saints and many noblemen took part. During the French Revolution, the abbey was pillaged and plundered. The statue of Our Lady and the Child Jesus was viciously broken and seriously damaged. The disfigured statue was providentially retrieved by an elderly woman, who secretly kept it until peace was restored. After the miraculous statue was returned to the possession of the Church, it was repaired and clothed in elegant garments.

A confraternity that was established in 1187 in memory of the blood shedding flourished until the Revolution but was reorganized in 1830. Members of this confraternity, in addition to many pilgrims, commemorate the miracle of Notre-Dame de Déols every year on May 31, the anniversary of the miracle. During an elaborate ceremony in the year 1899, the archbishop of Bourges demonstrated the Church’s affection for the statue by bestowing precious crowns on the heads of both Mother and Child. The abbey that figured in the miracle is still in ruins. The statue of Mother and Child is now found in one of the chapels of St. Etienne’s Church, where the Child Jesus remains without His hand in sad remembrance of the disrespectful action that took place over 800 years ago.

~Source:”Miraculous Images of Our Lord”

Eucharistic Miracle of Tumaco

On January 31, 1906, an earthquake having a magnitude of 8.8 on the Richter scale, occurred off the coast of Columbia. Ranking as one of the ten worst on record, it caused a tsunami that was felt as far north as San Francisco and as far west as Japan.

In Panama City, it picked up boats and hurled them long distances, crashed into the market area and wreaked tremendous damage. The worst effects of the tsunami were concentrated along the northern parts of Ecuador and southern parts of Columbia. In the middle of this area, at the outer edge of a bay, lay the small island of Tumaco.

About 10:00 in the morning, the earth shook violently for ten minutes. The inhabitants begged the local pastor, Fr. Gerardo Larrondo, to lead a procession with the Blessed Sacrament. The sea had already penetrated a kilometer and a half inland. A wall of water was building up that threatened to swallow the entire island, which was only about 3 kilometers in length.

Fr. Larrondo consumed the small Hosts in the ciborium and set the large Host aside. He called out to his people: “Let us go, my people. Let us go toward the beach, and may God have pity on us.” Led by Fr. Larrondo and the Eucharist, they began to march. Fr. Larrondo advanced courageously to the water’s edge and as the wave came rushing in he calmly raised the Sacred Host and traced the sign of the Cross.

The wave halted and then receded. Fr. Larrondo and Fr. Julian alongside him saw what was transpiring . The people, overjoyed, cried out “Miracle, miracle!”

The miracle of Tumaco became known across the world, and Fr. Larrondo received letters from people all over Europe asking for his prayers.

A Cripple Cured By the Sign of the Cross

The holy Bishop, St. Bonnet, was once asked by a poor cripple to place his hand on his suffering members, hoping that the touch of the holy man would restore his limbs to their pristine health and strength. “I will gladly do what you ask,” replied replied the Bishop, “but it will avail you nothing.” He touched the poor, withered legs of the disabled man, but his touch produced no result, much to the disappointment of the infirm man. Moved to compassion, St. Bonnet then said, “I will now do something which will give you back your strength.” Stretching forth his hand, he made with it the Sign of the Cross and lo, in an instant the lame man was completely restored to health!

Eucharistic Miracle of Middleburg-Lovanio, Belgium

This Eucharistic miracle goes back to 1374. In St. Peter’s Church in Middleburg, during Holy Communion the consecrated Host changed into bleeding Flesh. A portion of the Host to this day is kept in Louvain by the Augustinian Fathers. The monk, Jean de Gheest, confessor of the Archbishop who approved the cult, asked for the Precious Relic as a gift. The other portion is in St. Peter’s Church in Middleburg. here exists much documentation on the Eucharistic miracle.

In a monograph written in 1905 by historian Joseph Wils, professor of the Catholic University of Louvain, entitled Le Sacrement du Miracle de Louvain, are cited almost all the contemporary documents and testimonies.

In Middleburg lived a noble woman known by everybody for her great faith and devotion. The woman was also very attentive to the spiritual formation of her family and household staff. During the Lent of 1374, as she did every year in her house, she began to do penance in preparation for the coming of Easter.

A few days before, a new manservant by the name of Jan was hired, who had not gone to confession for many years, in spite of the dissolute life he was living. The woman invited all the household staff to go to Mass. Jan did not dare oppose this invitation so as not to disappoint her.

He attended the whole Eucharistic celebration, and when it was time to receive Holy Communion, the man approached the altar with much superficiality. As soon as he received the Host on his tongue, the Sacrament changed into bleeding Flesh. At once Jan took the Particle from his mouth; Blood dripped from the Sacred Flesh onto the cloth covering the altar rail. The priest realized at once what was happening, and with great emotion, carefully placed the miraculous Particle in a vessel inside the tabernacle.

Jan repented and confessed his sin before everyone. From that day on, he led an exemplary life and nourished a great devotion to the Most Blessed Sacrament to the end of his life. All the church and civil authorities of the city were informed of the miraculous event and after diligent investigation the Archbishop authorized the cult of this miraculous event.

Prayer of St. Ambose:

Most Sweet Bread, heal my heart, that I may taste the sweetness of Your love. Heal it from all weakness, that I may enjoy no sweetness but You. Most pure Bread, containing every delight which ever refreshes us, may my heart consume You and may my soul be filled with Your sweetness. Holy Bread, living Bread, perfect Bread, that has come down from heaven to give life to the world, come into my heart and cleanse me from every stain of body and soul. Enter into my soul; heal and cleanse me completely. Be the constant safeguard and salvation of my soul and body. Guard me from the enemies who lie in wait. May they flee from the protecting presence of Your power, so that, armed in soul and body by You, I may safely reach Your Kingdom.  There we shall see You, not as now as in mysteries, but face to face, when You will deliver the Kingdom to God the Father, and will reign as God over all. Then You, who with the same God the Father and the Holy Spirit, live and reign forever, will satisfy the hunger of my soul perfectly with Yourself, so that I shall neither hunger nor thirst again. Amen.

The Holy Child of Atocha

The devotion to the Santo Niño de Atocha originated in Spain; it is said to be related to Our Lady of Atocha, who is mentioned in the “Cantigas” of King Alphonse the Wise in the 13th Century. In 711 the Moors held sway over vast regions of Spain and battles between Catholics and Moors were common. The latter invaded the town of Atocha, near Madrid, and were victorious keeping many Catholics captive and even prevented the villagers from bringing food and water to the captives, except children under twelve, who were permitted to assist the prisoners. For those who had no family members nearby, this would have been a certain death sentence. Fearing for the lives of the prisoners, their families prayed incessantly to God for relief and implored the Mother of God under the title, Our Lady of Atocha. One day a child around the age of twelve appeared, dressed as a pilgrim of that period, carrying a basket of food and a gourd of water. The Moors allowed Him to bring food and water every day. All the time the captives were fed, the basket and gourd remained full. The child was not known to anyone by name, but all the people realized that He was the Child Jesus, disguised as a pilgrim, who had come to their rescue. When the women heard the stories from the children about the Santo Niño, they rushed to the chapel to thank Our Lady for sending her Son. Upon entering the chapel, they noticed that the shoes of the Infant in the statue of Our Lady of Atocha were dusty and worn out. The women in the village replaced His shoes, but, time and time again found them dusty and worn out.

In artwork, the Holy Child often wears a brimmed hat with a plume and a cloak or cape ornate with the St. James shell; during the Crusades, scallop shells were the symbol of holy pilgrimages and one European variation is still referred to as “the pilgrim” or “St. James shell.” In His left hand, He carries a pilgrim’s staff fastened to the gourd, a pair of shackles, and a few spikes of wheat. In His right hand, he holds a basket which generally contains bread or flowers or sometimes it appears empty even though it isn’t. Then the flowers are depicted as outside of the basket, adorning the image to one side and they are almost always roses.

El Niño de Atocha either wears sandals or is barefoot and tradition says that He roams the hills and valleys, particularly at night, bringing aid and comfort to the needy, and thereby wearing out His shoes. Thus, some images of Him have His feet not showing at all, with the image stopping at His hemline. He is usually shown seated. The original statue of the Holy Child of Atocha is imported from Spain, and now resides in the little town of Fresnillo, Zacatecas, Mexico. The Santo Niño de Atocha is the patron of those unjustly imprisoned, travelers and people in danger:

People traveling in those days also found themselves in great danger. Often, when visiting relatives far away, they were assaulted and killed on the roads. Many of the travelers were Catholic and innkeepers had been afraid to provide them with lodging for fear of the Moors’ cruelty. As a result, many travelers had to sleep in the open forests or near the main roads, thus making them even more vulnerable to attacks. Before long, accounts of a Boy of twelve years of age, dressed as a Pilgrim and bringing them food and drink started to emerge. He would especially appear to them when they found themselves in dangerous situations, often pointing to them the safe route to take to avoid any danger. Many times, He would accompany them on their journey. The descriptions of Him were always the same: He had a pilgrim’s dress, a hat with a plume and a cape about His Shoulders. In His left Hand, He held a pilgrim’s staff with a gourd of water attached.

Because of these miraculous events, the child received the Name of the Holy Infant of Our Lady of Atocha. Miracles abounded through the centuries, even after Spain was liberated from the Moors in the year 1492. Devotion to the Child originally focused on receiving aid for travelers or for people in prison, but, after witnessing many miracles for other intentions, the devotion spread throughout Spain and devotees were turning to Him in all of their urgent needs. How the Santo Niño arrived in Mexico is just so Catholic:

The Spanish explorers and Franciscans evangelized the new world. Many statues of Jesus and Mary were brought over from Spain; in 1554, that the statues of the Santo Niño was brought over from Atocha, Spain, to the village of Fresnillo in Zacatecas, Mexico. Immediately, many villagers claimed seeing the little pilgrim and reported miracles attributed to the Santo Niño of Atocha. The statue that came from Spain had the Holy Child sitting on the lap of His Mother. Once, the statue separated itself from His Mother. No one knows exactly how or why this happened. The people had a throne built for the Santo Niño, from where He reigns today. He is also to be found in His Own Chapel in the Santuario de Plateros.

There are mornings when the Sisters that care for the Shrine find the Infant’s shoes all dusty, from being out all night caring for pilgrims. Many people who have seen Him during the night confirm that His basket is always full of food and His gourd is always full of water, yet the statue itself has an empty basket and gourd. At times, He is referred to as the “Night Walking Infant of Atocha”. Many miracles are attributed to His Presence and the Shrine is filled with acknowledgments of these.

In Mexico city, 1996, a girl went to an eye clinic for grave eye problems. The Holy Infant of Atocha appeared to her when she was 17, assuring her that she would not feel any pain, that she would be healed, which happened to the amazement of the doctors there. There are parishes and shrines named after Him both in Mexico and in the United States, as well as Spain. Pilgrimages to Spain to honor Him are still common as are those to Mexico.

The Shrine dedicated to the Santo Niño de Atocha is run by the Poor Clares and is located in Mexico at:

Monasterio del Santo Niño de Atocha Plateros

Apartado Postal 125

99000 Fresnillo, Zac. —- Mexico

CCP655001

Holy Infant of Atocha Prayer

Thou art the powerful Saviour of all people,

protector of the invalid and

almighty doctor of the infirm.

Holy Infant, we honor Thee and entreat Thee.

[Here say three Our Fathers, Hail Marys, and Glory Bes to God.]

To remember this day I pray that Thou wilt answer my requests.

Holy Infant of Atocha I ask Thee with all my heart to assist me.

Please be with me in thought and spirit when I find peace,

and that Thou wilt be with me in the Heavens of Bethlehem.

Amen.

~Source:catholictradition.org