The Eucharist is a greek word that means thanksgiving. It was the name giving to the bread at communion that is turned into the body of Christ at mass. Yes, that isn’t a typo. For more information on the scriptural backing on this go to my blog what the Catholic Church really teaches.
In 8th Century Italy, in the village of what is now Lanciano, there was a monastery named St. Longinus. A monk who had begun to have real doubts about Jesus' real presence in the Eucharist was celebrating Mass at the monastery. As he spoke the words of the consecration the host changed into a circle of "flesh" surrounding the remaining Eucharist and the wine transformed into visible "blood". The "flesh" remained intact but the "blood" subsequently divided into five separate globules. The monk was reinvigourated in his faith as he witnessed this transformation. He later decided to weigh the "blood" globules and found to his amazement that any combination of the globules was equal in weight to any other combination and that the smallest globule weighed exactly the same as the largest - clearly defying any natural explanation. The "flesh" and "blood" have been maintained in special containers housed in the monastery and its successors ever since. In a modern evaluation of this "flesh" and "blood" conducted by several Italian university professors in 1970 under rigorous conditions, they found the following:
1 the container that held the "flesh" was not hermetically sealed so that the Eucharistic host at the center of the "flesh" was no longer present. Further, the "blood" globules had hardened and no unusual weight differences were noted.
2 samples were taken of both the "flesh" and the "blood" and were sent to a number of laboratories for microscopic, biochemical and other scientific evaluation.
3 the "flesh" was found to be striated muscular tissue of the myocardium (the wall of the heart), of human origin and contained absolutely no trace of any substances that could have been used to preserve it. It was Flesh indeed!
4 the "blood" sample was found to be human blood, type AB. The flesh was found to be of the same type as well.It was truly Blood!
5 the proteins found in the blood sample were consistent with proteins found in fresh human blood.
Despite the fact that the container housing the flesh and blood from the Eucharist was not hermetically sealed, the samples were not at all damaged and could have been taken from a fresh cadaver. Thus, for more than 1200 years the physical reality of Jesus real presence in the Eucharist has been preserved for all to observe and renew their faith.There are more than two dozen documented reports of similar Eucharistic miracles occurring throughout Europe between the 10th and 15th centuries and dozens more since then with many of them having enclosed the flesh and blood samples in special containers where they can still be seen today.
In 1263 Peter of Prague, a German priest, was celebrating Mass at the Church of Saint Christina in Bolsena. He had been entertaining serious doubts about the reality of Christ's presence in the consecrated Host. As he completed the words of Consecration blood started to seep from the Consecrated Host and run down over his hands onto the altar and the altar communion linen (corporal). Seeing this, he interrupted the Mass and traveled quickly to Orvieto, where Pope Urban IV was then residing. On hearing his story, the Pope forgave him for having doubts and sent representatives to Bolsena to investigate. Parishioners and others confirmed the priest's story and the host and stained linens were there for all to see. Their investigation, when completed, confirmed all that the priest had related. One year later, in August 1264 Pope Urban instituted the feast of Corpus Christi (Body of Christ).
In the Bavarian region of Germany, near the Swiss border, lie three hamlets the smallest of which is Stich. On the evening of June 9, 1970, as a visiting priest from Switzerland was celebrating a Tridentine Mass (Mass in Latin celebrated under the rubrics of the Council of Trent)in the chapel, an unusual series of events occurred. After the Consecration, the celebrant noticed that a small reddish spot began to appear on the corporal at the place where the chalice had been resting. Wondering if the chalice had begun to leak, the priest ran his hand under the chalice, but found it completely dry. By this time the small spot had spread to be about the size of a dime. After completing the Mass the priest inspected everything on the altar but could find no source of anything that could remotely be a source for the reddish stain. He locked the corporal containing the stain in a safe place until he could discuss the matter with the pastor.On June 11th, after examining the corporal with the pastor, the cloth was photographed and sent to the Clinical Institute for Radial Therapy and Nuclear Medicine and the Polyclinical Institute of the University of Zurich for chemical analysis. The results of four separate analyses conducted on the cloth samples indicated that the cause of the stain was human blood that contained some of the biochemical markers of a man in agony.On July 14th, the phenomena repeated itself at the chapel in Stich with four stains appearing on the corporal after the Consecration. Several days later, the pastor sent the corporal with the stains to the District Hospital at Cercee for analysis - the results: the stains were human blood!! One of the witnesses to this event, Joseph Talscher, the sacristan of the chapel, reported the following:"On the evening of July 14, Father was celebrating Holy Mass in the chapel of Stich. Mindful of what had happened on June 9, we made certain that the cloths covering the altar were spotlessly clean...after taking Holy Communion, the priest made a sign to me and pointed to the altar. Then I saw the stains. After Mass we all took a closer look at the cloths and especially the large stain which was the size of a priest's host. We saw a cross very distinctly on it."
Eucharistic Phenomena of the 1990's
Betania, Venezuela - an inexplicable event occurred in Betania, Venezuela - site of a series of remarkable Marian Apparitions - on the vigil of the feast of the Immaculate Conception in 1991. Father Otty Ossa, chaplain of the Betania site and spiritual director of the Marian visionary Maria Esperanza, was saying Mass in the open air chapel next to the grotto, when the host began to bleed in his hands after the consecration. Fr. Otty explained: "I broke the Host into four parts. When I looked down at the plate I could not believe my eyes. I saw a red stain forming on the Host and from it a red substance was beginning to eminate similar to the way blood spurts out in a puncture."This event was videotaped, photographed and subject to intense evaluation by the local episcopate. They later determined that it was human blood.
Worcester, Massachusetts has been the site of a series of inexplicable events surrounding a twelve year old girl who was brain-damaged in a swimming pool accident when she was 3 years old. Unable to walk or talk the girl, Audrey Santo, has become the focus of a growing number of Catholic mystical experiences. For the past nine years the only solid food she has eaten has been the Holy Communion which she receives daily. Several years ago, the local Bishop permitted the Blessed Sacrament to be reserved in a tabernacle housed in Audrey's room. On several different occasions the two gold engraved angels on the tabernacle door have wept fragrant oil. The oil has been examined by several different chemical labs but its makeup and origin is still unknown. Religious statues and pictures in Audrey's room have wept oil and sometimes blood...reminiscent of the Marian apparitions in Damascus, Syria. On three occasions, the Consecrated Host taken from the tabernacle has dripped a reddish fluid. The fluid has been examined by an independent testing laboratory and found to be human blood. On Good Friday 1996, the tabernacle in Audrey's room began bleeding. Audrey herself now has the stigmata - the visible wounds of Jesus. Visitors to her room have reported inexplicable healings and spiritual conversions. At least three of Audrey's nurses, who were not Catholics when they first began to care for her, have since converted to Catholicism.In Audrey's case, God has chosen a severely injured little girl to be one of His messengers to the world. He has given her multiple manifestations of His love and concern for her and for each of us. He wants us to know that it is He who comes to us in the Eucharist..it is He who wants us with Him for all eternity.
Marlboro, New Jersey has been the site of purported Marian apparitions for nearly ten years. On April 10, 1994, the feast of Divine Mercy, Father Robert Rooney, the spiritual director of the visionary, was celebrating morning Mass in nearby Yardville, New Jersey at Saint Vincent de Paul Church. As he raised the Host and said the words of consecration, blood flowed out of the Eucharist. The altar boys present and a number of parishioners saw this occur and Father Rooney was understandably shaken by the bleeding host. After showing the Host to the parish priest, it was decided that the Host should be retained in the tabernacle until the head of the local Episcopate, Bishop Reiss, could decide what actions should be taken. Several days later the Bishop decided not to investigate the phenomena and Fr. Rooney gave the Host to his spiritual director Father Valenta. Father Valenta had the Host photographed and then examined by two medical doctors using non-invasive microscopic analysis. Non-invasive techniques were used since a bishop's approval is required for any invasive examination. The doctors stated:There is no scientific explanation, the red material came from within the Host and it has the microscopic characteristics of human blood; the Church must make the determination as to any miracle."On June 6, 1994, the feast of Corpus Christi, Father Rooney stated that the Blessed Virgin appeared, in her first and only appearance to him, in his dining room and told him that her Son had sent him a gift - the gift of the bleeding Host - and from now on his spiritual director would take care of everything. Father Rooney died six weeks later on July 16, 1996 - the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Father Valenta delivered the bloody Host to Bishop Reiss of the Diocese of Trenton where it still resides.
Methuen, Massachusetts was the site of another inexplicable Eucharistic phenomena in 1995. In preparing to distribute Communion, a Eucharistic minister at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church opened the tabernacle to discover a Consecrated Host "bleeding" inside. The host was transfered to a container, apparently still bleeding, and retained there for further examination. Aside from a number of witnesses who observed the bleeding Host, the Host itself was sent to Dr. B. Lipinski, a biochemist, for non-invasive examination. He ascertained that the reddish substance was human blood. With this determination, a small sample of the crusted blood was sent to the California Laboratory of Forensic Sciences. After several preliminary tests confirmed the presence of blood, on August 30, 1995, a crossover electrophoresis was conducted on the sample which unequivocally identified the reddish substance as human blood. The local bishop is presently evaluating all the circumstances surrounding the appearance of this blood. Rome, Italy has recently been the site of reports of its own set of inexplicable phenomena related to the Eucharist. Since 1971, an Italian Marian visionary, Marisa Rossi, has purportedly been receiving locutions and signs from Our Blessed Mother asking for humanity to change its ways and return to God - particularly in the Eucharist. These apparitions changed in character in the mid-90's when Marisa took part in an inexplicable Eucharistic event on September 14, 1995 - the feast of the Exultation of the Cross. After praying in the chapel, Marisa, who is wheelchair-bound, stood and kissed the crucifix which Don Claudio Gatti had removed from the altar in preparation for a procession. Marisa said she saw a Host emerge from the side of the corpus on the cross and fall into her hand. Many around her noticed the Host which had not been there moments before. Another apparently inexplicable Eucharistic event occured in April of 1996 when Marisa was photographed as a Host suddenly appears in her outstretched hands during a purported apparition of the Blessed Virgin.
Barbeau, Michigan may have been the site of an inexplicable Eucharistic event on February 4, 1996. During Mass at the Church of the Holy Family, an inexperienced Eucharistic minister dropped a Host onto a patent (a plate used to catch particles of consecrated Host). Believing that this Host had to be placed in an ablution cup, the minister informed the priest of this despite the fact that the Host hadn't touched either the ground or a communicant. The Host remained in the cup for a week because inclement weather prevented any weekday Masses. The following Sunday, February 11th, a dime-sized red coloration was seen on the surface of the Host. The Host, which had been in water to help disolve it, was engorged with water but otherwise retained its shape. The local bishop, who was advised of these developments via telephone, suggested to the parish priest, Father Mark A. McQuesten, that the coloration was probably due to a fungus growing on the Host and that it should be disposed of in the approved manner. The priest continued to show the Host to his parishioners and had it photographed as well. The local news media picked up the story several weeks later and after another call from the Bishop, Fr. McQuesten finally touched of the Host for the first time on February 26th. He planned to dispose of it in the manner authorized by the Church. However, he stated that when he touched it, it felt like flesh, that he had to tear at it in order to rip it - not at all what one would expect from a water-logged piece of unleavened bread. During all this time the Host never lost its shape or the red coloration it first displayed nearly a month earlier.
Saints that live on the Eucharist alone
St. Catherine of Siena (d. 1380) who was observed to live on the Holy Eucharist alone for weeks and months at a time. In fact she would actually get ill when forced to eat food, but remained healthy and feeling well when left to receiving the Holy Eucharist alone.
Bl. Angela of Foligno (d. 1309) remained 12 years without taking any nourishment.
Bl. Catherine of Racconigi (d. 1547), also a stigmatist, lived on the Holy Eucharist alone for 10 years.
Bl. Elizabeth the Good (d. 1420) was known not to have eaten for nearly three years with exception of Holy Communion.
St Alexandrina Maria da Costa
Some of the pilgrimages which go to Fatima visit the town of Balasar many miles north of Fatima. It became famous in 1832 when the earth changed to form the appearance of a large cross which you can still see today inside a chapel which has been built over it. That was preparing for events one century later, Alexandrina Maria da Costa suffering the passion of Jesus and living on the Eucharist alone for thirteen years. Alexandrina was born in April 1904. A dreadful thing happened to her in 1918 which left her life shattered ever afterwards. When she and her sister Deolinda and another girl were in the house three men knocked at the door, one of whom had previously tried to molest Alexandrina. They broke into the house. Alexandrina wanting to preserve her chastity jumped from an upstairs window. The men fled but Alexandrina’s spine had been irreparably injured. Six years later she had to remain in bed for the rest of her life. The slightest movement caused her intense pain. She began to grow closer and closer to the Lord and realized that she was suffering in a special way for the salvation of souls. She received Holy Communion every day and her thoughts frequently turned to Jesus in the tabernacle. She went into her first ecstasy in 1931 when she heard Jesus say to her, “Love, suffer and make reparation.” She saw her vocation to be that of a victim soul, to make reparation for all of us. Under the order of her spiritual director she was dictating her life’s story to her sister but many times the devil threatened her not to write any more. In 1936 Our Lord asked her to spread the message of Fatima and to urge the consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart and she offered herself as a victim soul for this. In one of her ecstasies Jesus said to her, “Keep me company in the Blessed Sacrament. I remain in the tabernacle night and day, waiting to give my love and grace to all who would visit me. But so few come. I am so abandoned, so lonely, so offended…. Many…do not believe in my existence; they do not believe that I live in the tabernacle. They curse me. Others believe, but do not love me and do not visit me; they live as if I were not there… You have chosen to love me in the tabernacles where you can contemplate me, not with the eyes of the body, but those of the soul. I am truly present there as in Heaven, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity.” From October 1938 Alexandrina began to suffer the passion of Jesus every Friday. She suffered the passion of Jesus 180 times. Until 1942 she was suffering in silence without fame but after a report appeared in a newspaper from then on she was besieged by pilgrims asking for prayer. During Holy Week the same year Jesus said to her, “You will not take food again on earth. Your food will be my Flesh; your drink will be my Divine Blood …”So on Good Friday 1942 she began an absolute fast which lasted for more than thirteen years until her death. The only nourishment which her body filled with pain received was Jesus in Holy Communion every morning. News of her fast spread and the crowds became even bigger. Some people had doubts and suspicions about her fast and accused her, her sister and mother of fraud. Therefore she agreed to medical observation. The doctor asked her, “Why do you not eat?” She replied, “I do not eat because I cannot. I feel full. I do not need it. However, I have a longing for food.” It was decided that she should be admitted to a nearby hospital for a thirty day observation of her fast. While she was in the hospital some tried to persuade her to take food. The doctor in charge of the examination was nasty to her and at the end of the thirty days said the nurses watching her must have been deceived and decided she was to remain there for a further ten days. They even showed her tasty food to entice her to eat. When the test was finally over the doctor said to her he would visit her at home not as a doctor-spy but as a friend who esteems her. Part of the medical report reads as follows: “Her abstinence from solids and liquids was absolute during all that time. We testify also that she retained her weight, and her temperature, breathing, blood pressure, pulse and blood were normal while her mental faculties were constant and lucid and she had not, during these forty days, any natural necessities…The laws of physiology and biochemistry cannot account for the survival of this sick woman…”While medical science could not explain, the explanation was simple. Jesus had said to Alexandrina, “You are living by the Eucharist alone because I want to prove to the world the power of the Eucharist and the power of my life in souls.”She died on 13th October 1955, having received nourishment only from Holy Communion for more than thirteen years.
Stigmata are wounds that appear on hands, feet, side, or brow that are marks of the passion of Christ with corresponding and intense sufferings. These are called visible stigmata. Others only have the sufferings, without any outward marks, and these phenomena are called invisible stigmata. Stigmata mystically appear on the most holy of people and they share in the suffering of Christ. Physicians do not succeed in curing these wounds with remedies. On the other hand, unlike natural wounds of a certain duration, those of stigmatics do not give forth a fetid odour. To this there is known but one exception: St. Rita of Cassia had received on her brow a supernatural wound produced by a thorn detached from the crown of the crucifix. Though this emitted an unbearable odour, there was never any suppuration or morbid alteration of the tissues. Sometimes these wounds give forth perfumes, for example those of Juana of the Cross, Franciscan prioress of Toledo, and Bl. Lucy of Narni.
It has often been proved by the microscope that the red liquid which oozes forth is not blood; its colour is due to a particular substance, and it does not proceed from a wound, but is due, like sweat, to a dilatation of the pores of the skin. But it may be objected that we unduly minimize the power of the imagination, since, joined to an emotion, it can produce sweat; and as the mere idea of having an acid bon-bon in the mouth produces abundant saliva, so, too, the nerves acted upon by the imagination might produce the emission of a liquid and this liquid might be blood. The answer is that in the instances mentioned there are glands (sudoriparous and salivary) which in the normal state emit a special liquid, and it is easy to understand that the imagination may bring about this secretion; but the nerves adjacent to the skin do not terminate in a gland emitting blood, and without such an organ they are powerless to produce the effects in question. What has been said of the stigmatic wounds applies also to the sufferings. There is not a single experimental proof that imagination could produce them, especially in violent forms. Another explanation of these phenomena is that the patients produce the wounds either fraudulently or during attacks of somnambulism, unconsciously. But physicians have always taken measures to avoid these sources of error, proceeding with great strictness, particularly in modern times. Sometimes the patient has been watched night and day, sometimes the limbs have been enveloped in sealed bandages. Mr. Pierre Janet placed on one foot of a stigmatic a copper shoe with a window in it through which the development of the wound might be watched, while it was impossible for anyone to touch it. There are 62 saints or blessed of both sexes of whom the best known were:
St. Francis of Assisi (1186-1226) It was on or about the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross (14 September) while praying on the mountainside, that he beheld the marvellous vision of the seraph, as a sequel of which there appeared on his body the visible marks of the five wounds of the Crucified which, says an early writer, had long since been impressed upon his heart. Brother Leo, who was with St. Francis when he received the stigmata, has left us in his note to the saint's autograph blessing, preserved at Assisi, a clear and simple account of the miracle, which for the rest is better attested than many another historical fact. The saint's right side is described as bearing on open wound which looked as if made by a lance, while through his hands and feet were black nails of flesh, the points of which were bent backward
St. Lutgarde (1182-1246)
St. Margaret of Cortona (1247-97)
St. Gertrude (1256-1302)
St. Clare of Montefalco (1268-1308)
Bl. Angela of Foligno (d. 1309)
St. Catherine of Siena (1347-80)
St. Lidwine (1380-1433)
St. Frances of Rome (1384-1440)
St. Colette (1380-1447)
St. Rita of Cassia (1386-1456)
Bl. Osanna of Mantua (1499-1505)
St. Catherine of Genoa (1447-1510)
Bl. Baptista Varani (1458-1524)
Bl. Lucy of Narni (1476-1547)
Bl. Catherine of Racconigi (1486-1547)
St. John of God (1495-1550)
St. Catherine de' Ricci (1522-89)
St. Mary Magdalene de' Pazzi (1566-1607)
Bl. Marie de l'Incarnation (1566-1618)
Bl. Mary Anne of Jesus (1557-1620)
Bl. Carlo of Sezze (d. 1670)
Blessed Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-90)
St. Veronica Giuliani (1600-1727) In 1693 she entered upon a new phase in her spiritual life, when she had a vision of the chalice symbolizing the Divine Passion which was to be re-enacted in her own soul. At first she shrank from accepting it and only be great effort eventually submitted. She then began to endure intense spiritual suffering. In 1694 she received the impression of the Crown of Thorns, the wounds being visible and the pain permanent. By order of the bishop she submitted to medical treatment, but obtained no relief.
St. Mary Frances of the Five Wounds (1715-91)
Catherine Emmerich (1774-1824)
Elizabeth Canori Mora (1774-1825)
Anna Maria Taïgi (1769-1837)
Maria Dominica Lazzari (1815-48)
Marie de Moerl (1812-68) and Louise Lateau (1850-83)
St. Pio of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio) (1887-1968)
Incorrupt bodies of the saints
Ps 15 "You will not allow your holy one to see corruption"
Basically the dead bodies of the holy saints remain as if they have just died for centuries with no preservative. The incorrupt bodies of these saints are simply a living witness or proof to the truth of the Catholic religion as the one true faith from God, who has confirmed the testimony of the Church in the great miracles he has worked through its saints.
The Council of Trent:
"The bodies of holy martyrs and others now living with Christ, bodies which were His members and temples of the Holy Spirit, which one day are to be raised up by Him and made glorious in everlasting life, are to be venerated by the faithful; God gives men many benefits through them."
The Bodies of the saints for us are like great and holy relics, which move us to honor the saints who God has chosen to honor by preserving them incorrupt.
In scripture we read that the use of the bones of Elisha brought a dead man to life: "So Elisha died, and they buried him. Now bands of Moabites used to invade the land in the spring of the year. And as a man was being buried, lo, a marauding band was seen and the man was cast into the grave of Elisha; and as soon as the man touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood on his feet." (2 Kgs. 13:20-21).
A woman was cured of a hemorrhage by touching the hem of Christ's cloak (Matt. 9:20-22). The sick were healed when Peter's shadow passed over them (Acts 5:15-16). "And God did extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that handkerchiefs or aprons were carried away from his body to the sick, and diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them" (Acts 19:11-12).
The Power of the relics to work miracles doesn't come from the object itself but from God, who confirms the faith of the person who is healed by means of them as to testify to the holiness of His saints. This is a list of some of the incorrupt saints.
Saint Silvan, Martyr. 400Saint Clare of Assisi. 1212Saint Zita. 1272,Saint Clare of Montefalco. 1268Saint Agnes of Montepulciano Blessed Margaret of Castello. 1287Blessed Imelda Lambertini. 1322Saint Rita of Cascia. 1381Saint Catherine of Bologna. 1413Saint Germaine Cousin. 1579Saint Vincent De Paul. 1580Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque. 1647Saint Veronica Giuliani. 1660.Saint Theresa Margaret. 1747Saint Jean Marie Vianney. 1786Saint Catherine Laboure. 1806Saint Bernadette Soubirous. 1844Saint Maria Mazzarello. 1837Saint John Bosco. 1815Saint Maria Goretti. 1890 St. Agatha
St. John of the Cross 250 A.D.
St. Cecilia 177 A.D. 1542
St. Clare was the Cofoundress of the Order of Poor Clares and the first Abbess of San Damiano. She was born at Assisi, Italy, on the 16th of July in the year 1194, the eldest daughter of a rich family. At an early age she gained a great distaste for worldly affairs; and when she was eighteen years of age, greatly encouraged and aided by the great St. Francis of Assisi, she decided to leave the world and join a convent. Late at night, on the 20th of March in the year 1212, Clare left for the monastery without her parents’ permission. St. Francis and his disciples met her with lighted candles in their hands. Clare then laid aside her rich dress; and St. Francis, having cut off her hair, clothed her in a rough tunic and a thick veil. In this way the young heroine vowed herself to the service of Jesus Christ. When her parents discovered her departure, her father, in a violent effort to bring her home, immediately followed her to the monastery. But Clare refused to return to the worldly life from which she had just departed. Clare first joined the Benedictines, but later she and other fugitives from the world began the order of the Poor Clares in a rude dwelling adjoining the chapel of San Damiano. In 1234, when the army of Frederick II was devastating the valley of Spoleto, the soldiers made an assault upon Assisi. They scaled the walls of San Damiano by night, spreading terror among the community. Calmly rising from her bed, Clare took the ciborium from the little chapel adjoining her cell and proceeded to face the invaders at an open window against which they had already placed a ladder. As she raised the Blessed Sacrament on high, the soldiers who were about to enter the monastery fell backward as if dazzled; and the others who were ready to attack took flight. St. Clare died in Assisi on the 11th of August in the year 1253.
Zita was born in the beginning of the thirteenth century at Montsegradi, a village near Lucca, Italy. Her mother raised her with the fear and love of the Lord, and at an early age she was very devoted to prayers and self-mortifications. She did all with the intention of honoring the good God that created her. When Zita was still young, she went to Lucca to work as a maid for a rich family. She would awaken early in the morning and give herself to prayer; and before it was time for work, she would hurry to attend daily Mass. For her, God always came first. During her day of work, amidst trials and tribulations, there was never heard any complaint from her lips. Her fellow servants became very jealous of her and were mean to her at every opportunity. Because she would not complain to her master, the other servants tormented her even more cruelly. But God greatly rewarded Zita’s daily offerings of humility. Zita died on the 27th of April in the year 1272, being sixty years old. One hundred and fifty miracles that were wrought in behalf of those who had recourse to her intercession have been juridically proved.
Imelda, daughter of Count Egano Lambertini and Castora Galuzzi, was born in the year 1322 at Bologna, Italy. At an early age Imelda’s heart was turned toward God. Even though she lived in the days when it was not permitted to receive the Holy Eucharist until the age of fourteen, young Imelda’s greatest desire was to receive Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. Oh how she longed and longed to receive Our Lord! When Imelda was under ten years old, she begged her father to allow her to enter the Dominican convent; and after much pleading, he finally consented to her desire. On the 12th of May in the year 1333, when attending Mass with all of her Sisters, Imelda had the strongest desire to receive Our Lord. At the end of Mass, when all of the Sisters were leaving, they noticed Sister Imelda lovingly gazing toward the locked tabernacle. Some of the nuns looked at Imelda and noticed something white hovering above her. It was a Host. The nuns immediately notified the priest, who hurriedly came and carefully took the Host out of the air and placed It on a paten. Then he had no choice but to give the Host to Imelda. It was obviously God’s Will that she receive her first holy Communion. This first reception also proved to be her last; the rapture with which she received Our Lord was so great that it burst her heart. Imelda sank to the ground, unconscious. And when loving hands upraised her, it was found that she was dead.
Rita was born in the year 1381. When Rita was fifteen, her parents, against her wishes to become a nun, chose a fiancé for her; and Rita unhappily consented to marriage. Her husband was a cruel and heartless man who often beat her, and their two sons soon learned many of their father’s wicked ways. Rita’s husband died a violent death but lived long enough to repent before he died, thanks to her fervent prayers. Her two sons died at an early age, but not before they repented and received the Last Sacraments, again thanks to Rita’s prayers. Now that she was free to do with her life what she had always wanted, she became an Augustinian nun. At the age of sixty years old, when she was praying before a Crucifix, a small wound appeared on her forehead as though a thorn from Christ’s crown of thorns had penetrated her own flesh. For the last 16 years of her life, Rita bore her external and painful sign of stigmata, her union with Christ. She died on May 22, 1457.
There are many apparitions of the virgin Mary but here are 3 of the most well known.
Our Blessed Mother appeared to a poor and sick fourteen year old girl who lived in the Pyrenees at a time of turmoil in France. On Thursday, February 11th 1858, Bernadette Soubirous, her sister Marie and another friend had gone to a nearby river to gather firewood. While Marie and her friend crossed the river to search the other side, Bernadette stayed on dry land. While searching for wood she heard a loud noise like the sound of a storm coming from a nearby grotto known as Massabielle. At the mouth of the grotto was a rosebush which was moving as if it were windy, which it was not. From the interior of the grotto she saw a golden-colored cloud, and soon after a Lady, young and beautiful who came and placed herself at the entrance of the opening above the rosebush. The Lady smiled at Bernadette and motioned for her to advance. Bernadette lost any fear she may have had and fell to her knees to pray the Rosary. After both she and the Lady completed these prayers (with the Lady only said the Lord's prayer and the Gloria), the Lady slowly withdrew to the interior of the grotto and disappeared. Bernadette experienced eighteen visitations from Mary over a six month period never knowing who the Lady was until the last apparition. During the ninth apparition, Mary instructed Bernadette to dig a hole in the ground and drink and bathe in it. The hole later turned into a spring of water which Mary promised would be a healing spring for all who came to use its waters. Mary also asked Bernadette to tell the local pastor, Cure Peyramale to have a chapel built in honor of her appearances there. The Cure accused Bernadette of lying about the apparitions and told her to find out from the Lady just who she was and demanded from her that she perform a miracle by making the rosebush in the grotto bloom. On March 25th, the Feast of the Annunciation, Mary answered the Cure's request when she told Bernadette, who had only received a rudimentary religious education, "Que soy era Immaculado Conceptiou" I am the Immaculate Conception. With these words, Our Lady confirmed what the Pope had declared as official Catholic Church doctrine just four years earlier - a highly unlikely fact to be known by an uneducated fourteen year old in rural France. The apparitions were declared authentic in 1862 and Lourdes rapidly became one of the world's major pilgrimage sites. Thousands have been cured from a variety of illnesses, both physical and spiritual, and a clinic to support the millions of pilgrims who come to Lourdes operates to this day. Bernadette returned to a life of obscurity. She became one of the Sisters of Notre Dame in Nevers and died there in 1879 after a long and painful illness. She was declared a saint in 1933, not because of the apparitions, but because of her dedication to a life of simplicity and service. Her body remains incorrupt. One healing testimony is Louis BOURIETTE Born in 1804 Lived in Lourdes. Cured in March 1858, in his 55th. year. Miracle on 18th January 1862, by Mgr Laurence, Bishop of Tarbes. This cure is the one most often quoted in the history of Lourdes. Although usually considered the first, in actual fact there is evidence that it could not have happened before the first days of March (cf. Laurentin). Louis BOURIETTE was a quarryman's labourer, living and working in Lourdes. In 1858 he had been afflicted with a complete loss of vision in the right eye for two years. This serious disturbance resulted from an accident in the mine, which 19 years before had irreversibly injured his eye, and killed his brother Joseph, who was at his side. Dr. Dozous, the first Medical "expert" verified this cure and in 1874 wrote this: "It is a well known fact, corroborated by science, that whenever an eye is injured by a flying object in an explosion, the shock engendered is always sufficient to lead to incurable blindness. Often it happens that the other eye, unable to escape the repercussion of that shock due to the sympathy which exists between the two eyes, is itself weakened and ends up blind too".
In preparation for the apparitions of Our Lady, an angel who called himself the angel of Portugal first spoke to the children saying: "Don't be afraid. I am the Angel of Peace. Pray with me." He then knelt on the ground, bending forward until his forehead touched it, and prayed: "My God, I believe, I adore, and I love You! I beg pardon of You for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love You!" He said this prayer three times. When he stood he then said to the children: "Pray thus. The hearts of Jesus and Mary are attentive to the voice of your supplications." He left the children who then began to say this prayer frequently. In the final apparition of the angel, He brought a chalice which he suspended in the air, above it there was a Host. Drops of blood were falling from the host into the chalice. Before offering the Host to Lucia, the only one who had received First Communion, he prostrated himself on the ground and said: "Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son, Holy Spirit, I adore You profoundly and offer You the most Precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the earth, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges, and indifference with which He Himself is offended. And through the infinite merits of His Most Sacred Heart and of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of You the conversion of poor sinners." He repeated this prayer three times and then rising up, lifted the Host and looking at it he said: "Take and drink the Body and the Blood of Jesus Christ, horribly insulted by ungrateful men. Make reparation for their crimes and console your God." The first apparition of Our Lady occurred on May 13th; Our Lady appeared floating on a cloud, surrounded by bright light and holding a Rosary. She said: "Don't be afraid, I won't hurt you!" Lucia asked the Lady where she came from, to which she answered, "I am from heaven." After this, Lucia asked the Lady what she wanted of them. The Lady replied, "I come to ask you to come here for six months in succession, on the thirteenth day at this same hour. Then I will tell you who I am, and what I want. And afterwards I will return here a seventh time." Lucia asked if she would go to heaven, and the Lady responded, "Yes, you will." She then asked if Jacinta and Francisco would go to heaven also. The Lady responded, "Also. But Francisco will have to say many Rosaries!" Then Lucia asked about two girls who had died recently, the Lady spoke again," Do you wish to offer yourselves to God, to endure all the suffering that He may please to send you, as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and to ask for the conversion of sinners?" The children replied, "Yes, we do." The Lady then told them that they would have to suffer much, but that God's grace would be their comfort. In the apparition of July Our Lady said the children: "Sacrifice yourselves for sinners, and repeat often, especially whenever you make a sacrifice for them: 'O Jesus, it is for love of You, for the conversion of sinners and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary" She also confided them with three very important secrets which they were to keep until further notice, she also predicted to give a great sign on the future apparition on October. "When you pray the Rosary, say after each mystery: 'O my Jesus, forgive us, save us from the fire of Hell. Lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of your Mercy" On October 13, 1917, Our Lady appeared to the children, there were gathered about 70.000 people who witness incredible phenomena with the sun. Our Lady revealed herself as “Our Lady of the Rosary." On October 17th, O Dia , a Lisbon newspaper reported the following: At one o'clock in the afternoon, midday by the sun, the rain stopped. The sky, pearly gray in color, illuminated the vast arid landscape with a strange light. The sun had a transparent gauzy veil so that eyes could easily be fixed upon it. The gray mother-of-pearl tone turned into a sheet of silver which broke up as the clouds were torn apart and the silver sun, enveloped in the same gauzy gray light, was seen to whirl and turn in the circle of broken clouds. A cry went up from every mouth and people fell on their knees on the muddy ground. The light turned a beautiful blue as if it had come through the stained-glass windows of a cathedral and spread itself over the people who knelt with outstretched hands. The blue faded slowly and then the light seemed to pass through yellow glass. Yellow stains fell against white handkerchiefs, against the dark skirts of women. They were reported on the trees, on the stones and on the sierra. People wept and prayed with uncovered heads in the presence of the miracle they had awaited. Another major Lisbon newspaper, O Seculo, sent its editor, Avelino de Almeida to the apparition’s site. He came prepared to ridicule the apparitions, however this is what he reported: From the road, where the vehicles were parked and where hundred of people who had not dared to brave the mud were congregated, one could see the immense multitude turn toward the sun, which appeared free from clouds and in its zenith. It looked like a plaque of dull silver and it was possible to look at it without the least discomfort. It might have been an eclipse which was taking place. But at that moment a great shout went up and one could hear the spectators nearest at hand shouting:" A miracle! A miracle!" Before the astonished eyes of the crowd, whose aspect was Biblical as they stood bareheaded, eagerly searching the sky, the sun trembled, made sudden incredible movements outside any cosmic laws - the sun "danced" according to the typical expression of the people. Dr. Joseph Garrett, a natural sciences professor at Coimbra University noted this: This was not the sparkling of a heavenly body, for it spun round on itself in a mad whirl, when suddenly a clamour was heard from all the people. The sun, whirling, seemed to loosen itself from the firmament and advance threateningly upon the earth as if to crush us with its huge fiery weight. The sensation during these moments was terrible. Thirteen years later, after rigorous examination the Catholic Church pronounced the Fatima apparitions as authentic on October 13,1930 with this declaration by the Bishop of Leiria: "We deem well: 1) to declare worthy of credence the visions of the shepherds at the Cova da Iria, in the parish of Fatima of this diocese, on the thirteenth day of the months from May to October 1917; 2) to give official permission for the cult of Our Lady of Fatima." The Secrets as revealed by Sister Lucia in 1942 were:
A vision of the reality of hell, accompanied by this message of Our Lady:"You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart."
"World War I will end soon. However, if humanity does not stop offending God, another and worse war will break out in the reign of Pius XI. When you see a night illuminated by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign that God gives you, that He is going to punish the world for its crimes by means of war, hunger, persecution of the Church and of the Holy Father. To forestall this, I shall come to ask consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart and the communion of reparation on the First Saturdays. If my request is heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace. If not, Russia shall spread her errors throughout the world, promoting wars and persecution of the Church; the good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, various nations will be annihilated; in the end my Immaculate Heart shall triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me which will be converted, and some time of peace will be given to the world."
The third secret was only known by the popes after 1960. It was believed to contain apocalyptic predictions and caused much interest by all the Fatima faithful. On the thirteen of May 2000, the day of the canonization of the two little shepherds Jacinta and Francisco, Cardinal Angelo Sodano revealed by instructions of the Holy Father John Paul II that the secret was related to the vision of an assassination attempt of a Bishop dressed in white who prays for all the faithful, who was also recently confirmed by Sister Lucia, as being the Holy Father. As he makes his way with great effort towards the Cross amid the corpses of those who were martyred (Bishops, priests, men and women religious and many lay persons), he too falls to the ground, apparently dead, under a burst of gunfire. After the assassination attempt of 13 May 1981, it appeared evident to His Holiness Pope John Paul II that it was "a motherly hand which guided the bullet's path", enabling the "dying Pope" to halt "at the threshold of death"
The message of Fatima confirms the maternal love and concern of Our Heavenly Mother, who wishes the salvation of all her children.
"The insistent invitation of Mary Most Holy to penance is nothing but the manifestation of her maternal concern for the fate of the human family, in need of conversion and forgiveness" (Pope John Paul II,
Our Lady appeared in Zeitoun hovering above Saint Mark's Coptic Church, a shrine dedicated to the Holy family, which according to tradition rested in that place during their stay in Egypt. The apparitions, (hundreds in number) took place at night, and Our Lady was always surrounded by light. The Coptic Church celebrates 32 feast days in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The last day falls on 2 April, and commemorates Our Lady under her title, Our Lady of Light. At 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday 2 April 1968, She appeared on the roof of the Church in a kneeling position, surrounded by light. The first man who saw her, Muslim, Farouk Mohammed Atwa, was undergoing operations for a case of gangrene. The following day when he went to hospital for his scheduled operation, he was certified completely healed. (Reported by Watani, an Egyptian newspaper, 21 April 1968) Other devoted women saw her and recognised her as Our Lady. The first apparition lasted only for a few moments. For the next three years Our Lady appeared on many occasions especially at night, and sometimes she was accompanied by white doves that would fly around her. May lights would be seen in the sky preceding the apparitions as if beautiful diamonds made of light were dropping from the heavens. The first two years she appeared about two to three times a week. These apparitions attracted large crowds by night, sometimes up to 250.000 people, they were Christian, Jews, Moslems, unbelievers and many others, it was a gift of Our Lady to all the nations. The apparitions finally ended in 1971 leaving an atmosphere of unity and peace and many people received miraculous healings there. The apparitions were approved firstly by the Patriarch of the Coptic Church in Egypt, and later on they received approval by the Roman Catholic Church. Roman Catholic Cardinal Stephanos did all the investigations and submitted them to Pope Paul VI in May 1968, who approved them as a visitation of the Mother of God. One remarkable thing about these apparitions is that Our Lady was visible by everyone and she allowed photographs to be taken. Although no messages were given in these apparitions, Our Lady appeared many times in a position of prayer as if inviting us to pray. The doves would fly and form the sign of the cross, so that Christianity was shown to millions of people of different religious backgrounds for the Glory of God.
Another miraculous, fascinating phenomena witnessed repeatedly with Saints is bilocation. Bilocation is the phenomenon where a Servant of God is in one place at a given time, and at the same moment is seen speaking and moving in normal fashion in another place a distance away. Bilocation has been mentioned in the lives of numerous Saints throughout the centuries and trustworthy persons have witnessed the instances of bilocation at each location. In addition, many Saints themselves have acknowledged they were involved in this miraculous phenomena. Even more interesting, numerous instances of bilocation have been so well documented, witnessed, and investigated that they are accepted facts in the history of the Church and lives of the Saints.In most instances this miraculous phenomena is experienced by Saints in urgent situations such as when in need to attend the dying or to comfort or instruct someone in need at a remote location. In most documented instances, the Saints are seen in deep prayer at one location while doing some charitable work at another location at the same time. Some examples are below.
St. Martin De Porres (d. 1639) spent his entire religious life at the Monastery of the Holy Rosary in Lima, Peru. Yet reliable witnesses all claim he was seen on in Mexico, China, Japan and Africa. For example a friend of St. Martin traveled from Peru to Mexico, at which time he became very ill. Suddenly St. Martin mysteriously showed up at his friend's bedside in Mexico. St. Martin spent some time with his friend and told him he would soon recover, and left. Later the man recovered and went to look for St. Martin to thank him. After some investigation he found St. Martin was in Peru the entire time and had never visited Mexico. In another fascinating incident with St. Martin involves a man being held captive in northern Africa who saw St. Martin on numerous occasions helping the captives there. Years later the man was freed and traveled to Lima, Peru where he saw St. Martin. He rushed up to St. Martin to thank him for all the work he did to help the captives in northern Africa years before. St. Martin, fearing it would draw too much attention to himself, asked the man not to mention his presence in Africa to anyone.St. Martin also mentioned being in countries like China and France and described many people and places in incredible detail. Yet it is known he never left Peru.
St. Catherine Dei Ricci (d. 1590) was a nun in a convent in Prato who exchanged letters with St. Philip Neri in Rome on occasion, though St. Catherine never met St. Philip in person. Though through the phenomena of bilocation she claimed she met him through mystical visits (without leaving the convent). St. Philip Neri admitted this occurred and five reputable persons swore they had witnessed it as well.
St. Francis of Paola (d. 1507) was once seen in deep prayer in a chapel in Paterno. Some people left the chapel and were surprised to see him talking to some people outside. They hurried back into the chapel and saw him still in deep prayer. In another instance St. Francis was seen both serving at the altar and doing chores in the kitchen at the same time.
St. Drogo (d. 1186) was hired as a shepherd and was known to be tending sheep every day. Yet he was often seen offering at the Holy Sacrifice in distant churches at the same time.
St. Vincent Pallotti (d. 1850) on multiple occasions was seen to be in one location and was known to have bilocated to deathbeds of several different people at the same time.
These are just a few examples of Saints over the last 2000 years which have experienced this phenomena. There are many others. Again it is interesting to note that this phenomena has repeatedly been reported with respect to Saints but is not heard of elsewhere.Miraculous Transport
Miraculous Transport refers to the phenomenon where a Saint or holy person at one time or another moved about in unusual ways, such as arriving at a location with unusual speed, or via an unlikely method, or having arrived at a location without being aware of it.
An example of this is when St. Ammon the Great (d. 350) was walking with St. Athanasius and they came to a stream they planned to cross. However the water had risen and there was no way to walk across. Suddenly Ammon was trasported to the other side of the stream! St. Athanasius refers to this incident in his writings in "Life of St. Antony".
In another instance, St. Hyacinth (d. 1257) had a vision of the Virgin Mary asking him to help protect a convent that was about to be invaded. He ran to the convent to remove the Blessed Sacrament and a large, heavy statue of the Virgin Mary which he mysteriously was able to carry with one arm. While escaping with them he approached the bank of a fast-flowing river. A multitude of people on the opposite bank watched him make the sign of the cross and walk right across the top of the water as though it were land to the other bank.
Blessed Bentivoglia De Bonis (d. 1232) was a member of the Franciscan order and was ordered to take charge of a certain leper. His superior thereafter commanded Bl. Bentivoglia to go to another place about 15 miles away. Not willing to abandon the leper, he carried the leper the 15 miles in an extremely short period of time where an eagle could not have flown there that fast. This miracle put the whole country in amazement and adoration.
Pere Lemy (d. 1931) was a parish priest who worked countless wonders to the amazement of many. This holy priest admitted, "...I have been brought from one place to another without knowing anything about it" and "I was in my parish, far away, often at night, and I found myself to the Place St. Lucian all at once. How it happened I don't know". Many other occurrences of mystical transport were witnessed with Pere Lemy on other occasions as well.
Other Saints who have been said to have had similar miraculous events of miraculous transport are St. Benedict (d. 543), St. Seraphin (d. 1604), St. Colette (d. 1447), St. Germaine Cousin (d. 1601), Dominic (d. 1221), and many others not mentioned here.
Gift of Tongues
The gift of tongues is the phenomena where a Saint or holy person speaks in their own language, and others who speak other languages are able to understand the speaker without need of a translator. You may have heard of this miraculous phenomena in Scripture which took place with the Apostles in Acts 2:6. Other Saints since that time were given this ability as well.
For example, St. Anthony of Padua (d. 1231) was preaching one day before the Pope and Cardinals in a place where there were people from different countries; Greeks, Latins, French, Germans, Slavs, English and those of other languages. All there fully understood St. Anthony without need for a translator and all were amazed and acknowledged the miracle. In addition St. Anthony was known to have preached using the Italian language in Italy and the French language in France though he had never studied these languages.
St. Paul of the Cross (d. 1775) was also known to have the miraculous gift of tongues. On multiple occasions he was heard a full five miles away while preaching. In addition his Italian language was understood by members of different nationalities when he preached.
St. Dominic (d. 1221) was once on a journey to Paris with some companions when they ran into two German pilgrims. The Germans motioned for St. Dominic and his companions to sit and eat with them, though St. Dominic and his companions could not understand the Germans and the Germans could not understand them. St. Dominic then asked his companions to pray with him that they might be able to speak to the Germans about Christ. After their prayers they were able to converse normally with the Germans for the rest of their journey. St. Dominic asked his companions not to tell anyone about the incident "lest the people should take us for Saints".
St. Vincent Ferrer (d. 1419) was also known to be understood by multiple nationalities despite only knowing Latin. Many trusted sources such as Nicholas Clemangis, a doctor of the University of Paris, and Peter Ranzano, the bishop of Lucera, attested to St. Vincent's gift of tongues having witnessed it themselves. In addition it was said that sometimes as many as 10,000 people would come to hear him preach, with the people furthest away able hear as well as those near him.
Padre Pio (d. 1968) was known to have heard confessions from penitents who spoke in their own language (languages unfamiliar to Padre Pio). In some instances Padre Pio was able to converse in Italian so that both understood each other. Padre Pio attributed the interpreting to his Guardian Angel.
Many other Saints were known to have the gift of tongues including St. Louis Bertrand (d. 1581), St. Martin De Porres (d. 1639), St. Philip Benizi (d. 1285), St. Jean-Marie Baptiste Vianney (d. 1859), St. Franci Solano (d. 1610, and St. Bernadine of Siena (d. 1444) to mention a few.
Another miraculous phenomena reported with Catholic Saints very frequently is the phenomena of levitation. This phenomena has been witnessed time and time again by many people and involves a Saint or holy person rising off the ground for extended periods of time. This phenomena has usually occurred while the Saint or holy person was in a state of deep prayer or ecstasy, or other deeply devout circumstance such as during the consecration of the Holy Eucharist at Mass.
One of the most notable Saints to have the miraculous gift of levitation is St. Teresa of Avila (d. 1582) who frequently levitated while in prayer, so much so that she explained all about the phenomena in her Autobiography (Chapter 20). It happened frequently in front of other nuns and she asked them not to speak of it so as to avoid drawing attention to herself.
Another Saint who experienced this phenomena and wrote about it was Ven. Maria Villani (d. 1670) who mentioned on five different occasions she was suddenly swept off her feet and remained in the air for extended periods of time.
Fr. Paul of Moll called "The Wonder-Worker of the Nineteenth Century" (d. 1896) was a priest who also experienced the gift of levitation. Once one of his penitents saw just as Fr. Paul was about to give him the Holy Eucharist during mass, that Fr. Paul suddenly raised a considerable distance from the floor and remained there for approximately five minutes.
St. Gemma Galgani (d. 1903) had a large crucifix in her home in which she visited often. In more than one occasion she was seen kissing the wound on the side of Jesus on the crucifix while being raised from the floor.
In a biography published in Venice in 1682, a number of levitations are recorded of a nun named Passitea Crogi (d. 1615). Many other nuns saw her lifted from the ground several arm lengths where she remained for two or three hours. An attestation was created which all present signed.
The Acta Sanctorum records St. John of St. Facond (d. 1479) seen suspended in the air many feet above the ground, sometimes remaining there throughout the night.
On multiple occasions St. Francis of Assisi was recorded to have been seen in levitation several feet above the floor, and on some occasions was seen suspended as high as some of the tallest branches on beech trees in the area.
When looking at biographies of Saints and other historical texts regarding holy persons, levitation is mentioned quite often. Some other Saints that experienced this phenomena are St. Frances Xavier (d. 1552), St. Joseph of Cupertino (d. 1663), Bl. Margaret of Metola and Castello (d. 1320), St. Dominic (d. 1221), and St. Philip Neri (d. 1595) to mention a few.