The Powerful Graces of the Mass

St. Thomas, the Prince of Theologians, writes wonderfully of the Mass. “The Mass,” he says, “obtains for sinners in mortal sin the grace of repentance. For the just, it obtains the remission of venial sins and the pardon of the pain due to sin. It obtains an increase of habitual [Sanctifying] grace, as well as all the graces necessary for their special needs.”

St. Paul, the Hermit, stood once at the church door as the people entered. He saw the soul of one man, a great sinner, in such a state of horrible corruption as appalled him. Moreover, he saw a devil standing by his side who seemed to have complete control of him.

On leaving the church, he saw the same man so completely changed that he called him aside and asked him confidentially if he was sorry for his sins. The poor man at once confessed that he had committed many and very grave sins, but during the Mass he had read in his prayer book, “If your sins are as red as scarlet, I will make them as white as snow.” “I began at once to ask God to pardon and forgive me, and I am very sorry for my sins and I wish to go to Confession at once.”

St. Paul saw that by his act of sincere sorrow the man was, by the infinite merits of the Mass, pardoned of all his sins.

The Power of the Sign of the Cross

In the reign of the Emperor Phocas, a Persian embassy arrived at the Imperial Court in Con-stantinople. These ambassadors and their suite were all Mohammedans.

The Emperor and the members of the palace remarked that these Mohammedan princes and their followers had the Sign of the Cross marked on their foreheads. Surprised at this love and respect for the Sign of the Cross on the part of fanatical Moslems, they inquired the reason. The Moslems explained that some years previously a terrible epidemic had raged in Persia. The Moslems noted that the Christians signed themselves with the Sign of the Cross and were thus delivered from the plague. Convinced of the power of the Cross, they themselves did likewise and were also delivered from the awful scourge. Since then profound respect was shown for this holy Sign, which was considered as a protection and safeguard from sickness and pestilence.

Many devout Catholics, when troubled with any pain or sickness, make the Sign of the Cross with their thumb on the part afflicted saying, “By the holy Sign of the Cross deliver us, O Lord, from all evils and sickness.” This holy practice is of the greatest efficacy and should be used by all the faithful.

Holy Infant of Good Health

Morelia, Michoacán, Mexico, 1942

One day, an unknown woman was going from door to door in the city of Morelia trying to sell a small statue of the Infant Jesus. When she stopped at a particular house, the woman who answered the door remembered that her godchild, now a grown woman, had wanted such a statue from her earliest childhood. The purchase was made, but the godmother, acting on an interior impulse, decided to keep the statue secret until such time as her godchild, who was then living in Mexico City, would return permanently to Morelia.

Measuring a mere 11 inches in height, the statue had been carved by a skillful hand of fine-grained, fragrant wood and was beautiful in all respects. Delighted with her purchase, the godmother was eager to present her godchild with the statue. However, each time the young lady returned to Morelia for a visit, she expressed no desire to return permanently to her native city. After each visit, the godmother was disappointed that she could not present the young lady with the statue, and she never told her godchild of the surprise that awaited her permanent return. Then one day, much to the surprise of the family, the young lady announced that she had decided to live in Morelia for the rest of her life. The godmother, delighted with the news, happily presented the statue to her godchild.

As soon as the statue came into the possession of the young lady, the Holy Infant began to work what appeared to be extraordinary cures in favor of the sick who prayed before the Infant. After witnessing a number of these cures, the owner decided to address her wonder-working statue as “The Holy Infant of Good Health,” a title that all considered appropriate.

One of the earliest devotees of the little statue was a physician who, together with the owner, organized the first public demonstration that took place on April 21, 1944, in the Capuchin church. During the service, the statue was given a small crown that had been donated by a woman physician. After this ceremony, it became the custom to honor the Holy Infant each April 21 with a Holy Mass offered at one of the churches in the city. The cures worked by Our Lord through this likeness became known throughout Mexico and especially in Mexico City, where a Poor Clare nun composed a novena in the Infant’s honor. Approved by His Excellency Luis Maria Altamirano y Bulnes on December 5, 1946, the statue was made public for the first time in the Church of Our Lady of Mercy in Morelia.The archbishop of Morelia suggested in 1957 that the statue be removed from the house of the owner and placed in a church, where the Infant Jesus would be more accessible to His devotees. With a heavy heart, the owner gave her consent. Great pomp and ceremony accompanied the Holy Infant of Good Health as it was taken from the owner’s home and carried to the Church of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Morelia. This took place on December 15, 1957. Witnessing this transfer were the archbishop of Morelia, various ecclesiastics, many priests and nuns representing the many religious orders of Mexico and the United States, as well as distinguished laymen. During the impressive ceremony that followed the transfer, the archbishop of Morelia blessed the statue and its golden crown.

It soon became obvious that the Holy Infant should have His own church in Morelia. A campaign to collect monies for this project was soon organized, a distinguished architect was selected and land was purchased. The cornerstone for this new church was laid in 1958; the consecration of the completed church took place in 1963. The miracles worked by the Holy Infant of Good Health are numerous, and in most cases were described and verified by physicians.

One of the doctors, Antonio Marin Landa, tells that he placed his whole family under the protection of the Holy Child and writes, “Of His immeasurable greatness He has lavished many miracles on me in the past, and I am still experiencing them today, as I hope to go on experiencing them in the future, out of the treasures of His inexhaustible goodness.” The doctor goes on to tell of his preservation from injury after the bus in which he was riding fell off a precipice, of his son who was preserved from serious injury after being gored in the chest by a bull, and the safety of his brother, who escaped his house as it was being destroyed in a sudden and terrible flood.

One of the most remarkable cures involved a four-year-old boy who had sustained a shock that left him deaf, dumb and paralyzed. His case was pronounced hopeless. On learning of the Holy Infant, the boy’s parents carried him to the home of the statue’s owner and recited prayers before the holy image. A month later, when the child remained in the same condition, the family began a novena to the Holy Infant. As part of the novena, they carried the child each day to the statue. On the sixth day of the novena, the boy started to move; on the seventh day, he started to talk; on the eighth day, he began to walk and on the ninth day, he was completely cured.

In addition to the preservation of life in desperate situations, the Holy Infant of Good Health has cured cases of infantile paralysis, heart ailments, brain injuries, severe tonsillitis, infections, rare fevers and many other ailments. Wearing a decorated dress and elaborate cape, the Infant holds a golden scepter in His left hand while raising a graceful right hand in blessing. The Holy Infant of Good Health awaits the visits of His needy clients in the splendid church in Morelia that bears His name.

Miraculous Mass of St.Gregory the Great

In relation to the Mass, St. Gregory the Great is perhaps especially remembered by many for the Eucharistic Miracle that occurred in 595 during the Holy Sacrifice. This famous incident was related by Paul the Deacon in his 8th century biography of the holy pope, Vita Beati Gregorii Papae.

Pope Gregory was distributing Holy Communion during a Sunday Mass and noticed amongst those in line a woman who had helped make the hosts was laughing. This disturbed him greatly and so he inquired what was the cause of her unusual behaviour. The woman replied that the she could not believe how the hosts she had prepared could become the Body and Blood of Christ just by the words of consecration.

Hearing this disbelief, St. Gregory refused to give her Communion and prayed that God would enlighten her with the truth. Just after making this plea to God, the pope witnessed some consecrated Hosts (which appeared as bread) change their appearance into actual flesh and blood. Showing this miracle to the woman, she was moved to repentance for her disbelief and knelt weeping. Today, two of these miraculous Hosts can still be venerated at Andechs Abbey in Germany (with a third miraculous Host from Pope Leo IX [11th century], thus the Feast of the Three Hosts of Andechs.

6 Stories That Attest to the Power of Eucharistic Adoration

This is Nora’s story (not her real name) I have been praying during my weekly hour of Adoration, over many years, for my husband to return to Mass and the Sacraments as he has been away from them for 26 years. He didn’t even enter the church when our children were making their first Holy Communions and Confirmations. On a wet and very cold winter’s day he dropped me down to the Adoration Chapel for my holy hour and asked me to hurry out after the hour as he wanted to go to an important meeting. After the hour he came to collect me and waited outside in the car. After waiting for an extra twenty minutes, he lost patience and ran into the Adoration Chapel to hurry me out. I pretended not to see him and he sat down very impatiently for some minutes. Finally I got up and left and he came speedily after me. I was expecting a lot of anger and complaints because I stayed longer than the hour and kept him waiting. Having got into the car he turned to me, and said, calmly and quietly, ‘I am not going to that meeting I mentioned but instead I am going the priest in the Parochial house and going to ask him to hear my confession. Something came over me as I entered that Adoration Chapel, and I feel God calling me back again’. He got confession that day and became a daily mass goer and a weekly Adorer for the very first time. I put this down to the power of prayer in front of the Blessed Sacrament.

My name is Michael (not my real name) a married man in my thirties with two children.   Christmas Eve 2012 I was in town alone, feeling very lonely, sad and at times suicidal and wanted someone to talk to. I was very low and didn’t want to go home and let my family see me like this. I had an old religious card in my wallet and there was a number on it. I rang this number not having a clue whose number it was. I told Jim (not his real name) who answered the phone promptly that I was suicidal and wanted to talk. I asked him to come in and meet me. Jim kept talking to me trying to calm me down and said he couldn’t meet me but that he knew who could. He asked me where exactly I was and then went on to explain to me where I could go to talk to the person he had in mind. I didn’t listen very much to what he was saying and got a bit annoyed that he wouldn’t come in to talk to me. He emphasised that help was quite near where I was standing, in fact just 50 metres down the street. Jim said that help was in a room around the side of the Church and that I would see a light on in this room window and to just go in and sit down quietly and to tell him all you told me. Who is this him I asked. It is Jesus, the one who can do great things for you. I got a bit hyper and loud and cross, when he said this to me, thinking he was having me on.    However after arguing and listening to Jim for half an hour I set off to get this help. I went into this room and saw three other people there sitting on chairs. I did likewise and watched what others were doing. They were all looking in the one direction. (later I was to discover that it was the Blesssed Sacrament in a Monstrance that they were looking at) I did the same. I started thinking what Jim had said and suddenly found myself talking silently and pouring out all my troubles and problems. About an hour or more passed and I felt a lot better and much calmer. I went outside and rang Jim again. I just said thanks, and I feel better now and I put down the phone. Finally I went home. That encounter with Jesus that night has changed my life. I won’t say all my problems are solved but I am in a much better place now. I visit this Chapel of Adoration regularly now and I get great peace and contentment there. Thank you Jim, thank you Jesus.

It was a wet and windy Sunday morning and I was standing inside the Church door, out of the rain, waiting for a lift to do some study in the University as exams were on the horizon. Mass was not something that interested me much, since my Confirmation. Mass was going on as I stood in from the rain. During the Mass a man was invited by the priest to speak to the congregation. He kept talking about Adoration. At one point during the talk he pointed at the Tabernacle and said very slowly ‘He is there. Jesus is there’, quoting some saint. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. My lift never arrived and I waited until Mass was over to challenge the speaker. I felt he was just saying ‘He is there’ for effect and to get the people to listen.

I went straight up to the speaker and blurted out ‘did you do that for effect, to get the people to listen when you said and pointing to the tabernacle ‘He is there’. The reply with a smile was calm and definite. I meant everything I said and Jesus is there. Come around to the Adoration Chapel and I will show you Jesus, true God and true man, in the Monstrance, the same Jesus who walked the Holy Land just over 2000 years ago, the same Jesus that performed all the amazing miracles there.

I was gobsmacked and got a bit emotional at this point. I asked him if he would be speaking at the evening Mass and saying the same thing, as my parents usually go to that mass. He said, why do you ask me that? Well I feel that my parents don’t know that Jesus is there in the Tabernacle or in the Monstrance, and that it is really Him. Why do you say that? He asked. Because my parents never told my brother or myself. If they knew I feel they would have told us. I found myself going back to that evening Mass with my parents and from then on Mass has become a must for me. I really enjoy telling others about my journey back to my faith again. I now understand why people love to go to Adoration. I now drop in when passing to the Adoration Chapel.

Jack (not his real name) had just retired a few months previously and was looking forward to golf, gardening and travelling. If after all his favourite activities, he had a few spare moments, he decided that he would do something small for the Church to thank God for all the graces and blessings experienced by him and his family over the years. Jack was diagnosed with cancer, some 4 months later and ended up having a major operation. When he was returned to a room after a week in intensive care, he asked the nurse to turn on the television. To his amazement the Monstrance appeared on the channel that she pressed. That channel had a link to the Oratory and Adoration was in progress. Jack took this as a definite sign as to what he should do for the Church and promised the Lord that, if he got better, he would do something to promote or make known Eucharistic Adoration. Months later, having recovered, he joined his local Adoration Parish Committee and so began his active involvement in the promotion of Eucharistic Adoration. Jack never had a relapse and is a devoted adorer and promoter of Adoration to this day.

In recent times I had a feeling I wanted to do more than go to Mass each week. I felt in recent times, as if the Lord was calling me to do a little more. Then one Sunday a few months ago, a speaker from the Apostolate of Eucharistic Adoration was speaking at all the Masses in our Parish. During his talk he invited people to think in terms of a weekly commitment to Eucharistic Adoration. Weekly Adoration for at least two days a week was about to begin in our Parish. There was emphasis on the need for commitment of an hour a week and that the spiritual benefits to individuals, families and the parish were enormous. A card was given to us as we entered the Church and the speaker invited us to fill out that card. I did so quite reluctantly as I was afraid of not been able to keep the weekly commitment. But since I have started weekly Adoration I look forward so much to my hour with the Lord. It is now, even after a short time, a real priority in my life. I continue to pray that other members of my family will follow. I keep telling them how much it means to me and that you have to experience it to appreciate it.

I am from St Mary’s on The Hill Parish in Glengormley, North Belfast. One of our 3 parish churches was burned to the ground in a devastating sectarian attack almost 14 years ago in June 2001. A beautiful new church was built on the site and reopened just over 2 years later in October 2003.The Parish priest, Fr Dan Whyte, immediately established daily Eucharistic Adoration from 9.00am to 6.00pm. Parishioners quickly committed to specific weekly Holy Hours. In the past 10 years our parish has flourished. We now have many new initiatives, such as Adult Faith Catechesis programs, a lively youth group, flourishing cell groups, a brand new parish pastoral centre, 2 young men studying for the priesthood and, in fact, the joy of one of them being ordained in the newly rebuilt church.God’s ways are mysterious, but for me it provides great food for thought that the church in our parish, which was once the victim of a sectarian attack, has in recent years become the flagship for the spread of Eucharistic Adoration throughout our diocese; the Diocesan Adoration Apostolate, to which I belong, was formed and trained in our new parish church nearly 5 years ago. We have, so far, worked successfully in two thirds of our parishes, spreading Eucharistic Adoration throughout the diocese, and are now well on our way to completing this task.Our newly rebuilt church has a 40 foot high steel cross, which stands alone outside the church. Through effective use of lighting, this cross is dramatically reflected in the clear night sky across the entire local area, of mixed population, even stretching as far as Belfast Lough. It is also thought provoking to note that there is a small river running behind the church, which forms the exact border between Down and Connor and means that St Bernard’s Church is geographically located right in the centre of the diocese, the best possible position for our Apostolate in travelling to all parishes.
This, for me, is another wonderful example of the triumph of the cross and of how God enacts his marvellous plans, out of an apparent disaster, and from the charred ruins of our beloved parish church.

“In all your ways acknowledge Him, lean not on your own understanding”

The Power of the Miraculous Medal

In 1832, the ravaging finger of cholera hit every home and house in the great city of Paris.

This terrible epidemic, a disease without cure, struck hundreds and beleaguered many more. And yet, an exceptional phenomenon was noticed. Those who devoutly wore a certain small medal around their neck were spared or relieved from the epidemic. Symptoms of the plague were observed to leave the victims and withdraw into the gutters of Paris.

What medal, what power, was this that through the course of time triumphed over such devastating odds? The answer lied among the winding streets of Paris, specifically at the bolted doors of a small sanctuary known as the Rue de Bac. It is here, at the convent of the Sisters of Charity, that so many miracles unfold by means of a small object: the Miraculous Medal.

The making of the Miraculous Medal came about through a humble nun, then a novice, whose body now lies beneath the stately main altar, incorrupt and untouched by time. She is none other than Saint Catherine Laboure. At the side of the altar is the chair that the Blessed virgin herself occupied when telling the awestruck novice of her wishes for the making of this medal.

Through the thousands of favors, cures, and conversions this medal has obtained, it quickly acquired its popular name.  And so it was that on my visit to the Rue de Bac I found myself graciously received by the Mother Superior, who allowed me to photograph evidence of the many prodigies that have occurred through the Miraculous Medal.

The kind sister who was assigned to accompany me through the convent told me of a recent miracle that cannot be left unrepeated. When telling it, she lowered her voice as if releasing a state secret; she was apprehensive since the Church had not yet officially accredited this latest phenomenon.

It all began when a Brazilian couple visited the Rue de Bac.

They came to ask Our lady of the Miraculous Medal to cure their five-year-old girl, who was paralyzed from her waist down. The parents fervently prayed for a cure and, at a certain point, the mother encouraged her child to approach and touch the chair in which the Blessed Virgin had sat.

Without explanation, the child refused to do so. The parents were naturally perplexed. After some time, they left and made their way back to Brazil. On the airplane, the mother questioned her daughter as to why she had refused to approach the chair.

To both parents’ bewilderment, the child responded in a matter of fact voice: “Because,” she said, “the lady told me not to.”

Still puzzled, the parents said nothing further about the matter. Upon arriving in Brazil, however, the little girl stood up on her own and proceeded to leave the airplane. She had been cured!

I was amazed, not to say a little skeptical. The sister, calm and serene at my slight incredulity, merely smiled and said, “My son, every day we receive letters attesting new miracles that have been granted to many.

If we were to put each incident on a small plaque and place these on the wall, I don’t think we would have enough walls. Furthermore,” she went on, “since each case is thoroughly screened by the Church before it is approved as an authentic miracle, we catalogue them in our library in alphabetical archives because there are so many.”

I would have liked to describe in greater detail these miracles, but it is not easy. Nevertheless, they serve to show that whoever prays devoutly and confidently to the Blessed Virgin will never go unheard or unanswered, if it is for your salvation.