Welcome to our e-Newsletter
Summer 2014 Online Issue #19
In Memory of Penny
Heroes - New Book Release
People of God Speak Out
Saint Hildegard of Bingen
The Saints of Germany
Pilgrimages for 2015
Miracle of the Eucharist of Offida
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Our Lady of Ostra Brama - the Gate of Dawn
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Bob and Penny Lord
From My Pew
Family, first off, I
want to thank you for all the letters and phone calls, the condolence
cards and Mass cards and Memorials to Journeys of Faith you sent since
my Penny passed away six months ago. It has been a very difficult
time and continues to be difficult for me. But your kindness has
been a source of strength during this very rough time.
You see that same
photo of both of us at the heading of the article. That’s that way
it’s always been for close to 57 years, and that’s the way it’s always
going to be. There is no Bob Lord. There is only Bob and
Penny Lord and that’s just fine with me. Shortly after Penny
passed, a radio station wanted to interview us, not knowing about Penny.
When Luz told him she had passed, he tried to reorganize our bio which
they read at the beginning of our interview, to eliminate Penny.
He found himself somewhat tongue-tied, because there was so much
reference to us as a couple. I told him very quickly to refer to us a
Bob and Penny, which was easier for both of us. The rest of the
interview worked very smoothly. Penny was with us. She’s
always with us. Some of you have told Luz and Blanca that they
spoke to Penny, that they had dreams of Penny. I’m not that
fortunate. She hasn’t spoken to me yet. But she’s with me, I
know that. She’s always with me. If you read the article on
our video shoot to Germany, you will see that she was with us there.
Family, you know how
loving she is. So many of you over the years have told us how she
has been such an influence on your lives to bring you back to the
Church, how she has taught you so much, especially about the Saints,
that you never knew before. Well, you’re not the only ones.
She has hypnotized me with those beautiful eyes and soft, loving voice
since the day we met. The Lord gave us to each other.
Of course, He and Our Lady also gave me a beautiful girl that I could
love and cherish for all those years. I once asked her, early on
in our marriage, “Come, grow old with me.” She did that. We
were one couple, one team, one gift of love for each other for the rest
of our lives. And for me, she’s still here with me. I look
at photos of her from various times in our lives, and I just adore her.
She will always be with me, teaching me, admonishing me when I don’t
write with all my heart. She taught me from the very first book we
wrote. She would read a chapter I wrote, and asked if I prayed to
the Holy Spirit before I wrote it. My answer was always “I always
pray to the Holy Spirit.” Her response was “Well go back to the
computer and pray harder.” She was my editor from hell.
She’s still doing
that, only more so, to me, to you, to so many people all over the
world.. She doesn’t have the illness to hold her back, and tie her
down. She can also travel all over the world. I remember
when we were young and people wanted us to talk in churches all over a
given state, mostly Louisiana and California. She would make
commitments to give talks all over, even though one church was 8 hours
away from the one we would be talking at that time. She can do
that now. She’s got Angels to transport her. She has always
had a motto “So much to do and so little time.”
Many of you have
called my Penny a Saint, and I believe you are correct. So pray
for her intercession, as you would St. Anthony or St. Thérèse. She
will help. You may not find something you lost, or receive a rose.
But then again you might. There’s nothing my girl can’t do
anymore. I believe Our Heavenly Family is giving her free reign
right now to help all who have loved her and been loved by her.
We love you Family.
In each Good Newsletter, I’ll share a little more about my girl, our
Saint Penny Lord. God bless you.
Be sure to check out our homepage weekly
Called to Serve by Brother Joseph
During our trip to Germany, taping the lives of the German Saints, I had
the fortunate experience to visit Freyaldenhoven Germany, a small town
between Cologne and Aachen, and actually closer to Aachen.
It was good to get in touch with my father’s roots in that part of
Europe. Aachen is the new name for Aix la Chapelle which was the
Capital of the Holy Roman Empire starting with Charlemagne. We visited
the Cathedral in Aachen at that time also.
Also we visited the
magnificent coronation hall of the emperors, in which thirty-five German
kings and eleven queens have banqueted after the coronation ceremony in
So much of the history of Europe is centered around the area that we
visited, and two of the Saints were Queens. As with all power, also came
conquest and defeat, battles and wars, on and on, even up to today.
I am reminded of three battles in our Christian history and want to also
remind you of them so that we can see if we can learn from the past.
The first is the Battle of the Milvian Bridge. This battle
took place between the Roman
I and Maxentius on
28 October 312. It takes its name from the Milvian
important route over the Tiber.
Constantine won the battle and started on the path that led him to end
the Tetrarchy and
become the sole ruler of the Roman
Maxentius drowned in the Tiber during the battle. During the battle, a
Cross appeared in the sky with the words, “With this Sign you will
conquer.” From then on the Roman Empire used the Cross as their
symbol and that Sign was carried forward through Europe and its empires.
Furthermore many of the existing countries in Europe still have the
Cross on their flags.
The Second is the Battle of Tours. This battle was between the Franks
lead by Charles Martel the Grandfather of Charlemagne and the Saracens. The Franks were
victorious. Abdul Al Ghafiqi was killed. This battle marked the
beginning of the Holy Roman Empire in Europe.
The third is the Battle of Lepanto,
October 7, 1571, 40 years after Our Blessed Mother came to Mexico.
Interesting that an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe was on the ship of
the leader of the Christian Forces, Don Juan of Austria. The Ottoman
Empire was defeated on that day from their attempted conquest of Europe.
Now I will tell the rest of the story. The Pope asked all the faithful
to pray the Rosary and that is why we celebrate the Feast of the Holy
Rosary on October 7 each year to this day. Prayer will destroy Empires –
done it before and will do it again.
Read more about these Battles in Bob and Penny Lord’s book, “
Miracles of the Cross.”
The most important part of all this is the power of Prayer and God’s
intervention in times of great need. If we would just turn back to God
and get down on our knees and pray…. Might be a good time for us to
think about praying the Rosary and turning back to God with all our
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of God Speak Out
Saint Hildegard of
Saint Hildegard of Bingen
Family and welcome. We’re Bob and Penny Lord, although Penny is
directing everything from Heaven. We want to share with you today, a
very special Super Saint, St. Hildegard of Bingen, a visionary, a
mystic, a doctor of the Church, who is not well known in the United
States, but is greatly admired and venerated in Germany and other
St. Hildegard is called the Sybil of the Rhine
meaning seeress. She is not only venerated by the Roman Catholic Church,
but also by the Anglican and Lutheran Church and many eastern religions.
She is many things. She is a visionary and mystic. She is an author, a
composer, a playwright, a person of great learning in many areas,
including medicine. Truth be known, there’s not a whole lot that she was
not adept at. During her lifetime, she was an advisor to Abbots,
Bishops, Popes, Kings as well as the everyday people who asked for her
help. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s begin at the
She was born in 1098, at Bermersheim, near Mainz. She
was the tenth and last child of a noble family. Apparently from her
earliest age, she was having visions, actually what we might consider
inner locutions today. There was always a bright light followed by a
voice. It was an interior voice which she understood rather than heard.
She and everyone around her were convinced that she heard the voice of
Tradition at that time was to give the tenth child
back as a tithe to God by sending her to a Convent. At 8 years old,
Hildegard was placed in a Benedictine monastery under the care of Jutta
von Sponheim, who was the abbess. Jutta was the youngest of four born
into a very rich family in what is called the county of the Rhein-Palatinate.
Jutta also was a very spiritual girl. She, too, joined the Benedictine
Abbey as a young girl and chose to live a solitary life, in one room
with only a small window from which food was passed in and out. A few
years later, she was made Abbess of her community. Jutta was a visionary
as well, and attracted many young women to her community.
this setting young Hildegard was placed and stayed cloistered with Jutta
in that one room for the rest of Jutta’s life. Jutta taught her many
things about God, (the Opus Dei) the Church, how to read and write and
subsequently had the child reading the Psalms, the Canonical Hours, and
gave her her first lessons in music, on a zither-like stringed
instrument called the psaltery. Music became a great part of Hildegard’s
life from that time on.
Jutta became aware of Hildegard’s gifts, especially
her visions and locutions. She mentioned them to monks in other abbeys,
who were also involved in Hildegard’s Benedictine education, but no one
paid much attention to them at the time, except for one Volmar, who
became Hildegard’s secretary and friend. Hildegard took her vows as a
Benedictine to live in the monastery for life. When Jutta died in 1136,
the nuns asked Hildegard to become the Magistra, the equivalent of
Consul, teacher, professor. So she was not yet elected Abbess, but she
was asked to lead the convent. She eventually came out of her solitary
confinement and her wings began to spread.
It was during this time that she was impelled by the
Holy Spirit to write down her visions. She tried to ignore the inner
voices because she feared public opinion, even though she truly believed
in what she had seen and heard. She said: “Up to my fifteenth year I saw
much, and related some of the things seen to others, who would inquire
with astonishment, whence such things might come. I also wondered and
during my sickness I asked one of my nurses whether she also saw similar
things. When she answered no, a great fear befell me. Frequently, in my
conversation, I would relate future things, which I saw as if present,
but noting the amazement of my listeners, I became more reticent.”
The command she was given was “O fragile one, ash of
ash and corruption of corruption, say and write what you see and hear.”
She writes: “But although I heard and saw these things, because of doubt
and low opinion of myself and because of diverse sayings of men, I
refused for a long time a call to write, not out of stubbornness, but
out of humility, until weighed down by a scourge of God, I fell onto a
bed of sickness.” Eventually, she could not resist the constant urging,
and began to write her visions in a book she titled Scivias (Know the
Ways) in 1141 when she was “forty two years and seven months”, her own
You have to understand that her visions and locutions
were not human. They were not voices and sights which she would see with
her eyes and hear with her ears. They were a stream of consciousness.
They were interior visions and voices. They would come at once and she
knew what they were saying.
She wrote: “A shaft of light of dazzling brilliancy
came from the opened heavens and pierced my heart like a flame that
warms without burning, as the sun heats by its rays. And suddenly I knew
and understood the explanation of the psalms, the gospels, and other
Catholic books of the Old and New Testaments.” It was a full infusion of
the Holy Spirit, which opened her mind and spirit to see in her heart
all that the Lord wanted her to write and say.
During the heat of writing these visions, she wrote
them down on a wax tablet as she received them from above, and her
secretary, Volmar the monk, would put them into written form. She said
“And I spoke and wrote these things not by the invention of my heart or
that of any other person, but as by the secret mysteries of God. I heard
and received them in the heavenly places. And again I heard a voice from
Heaven saying to me ‘Cry out therefore, and write thus.’”
It took ten years to complete this book. It
represents a view of God on His Holy Mountain with man at the base. It
tells of the original condition of man, his fall and redemption through
Jesus on the Cross, as well as man’s ongoing struggles. It talks of the
Mass, the times to come, the son of perdition and the end times.
Actually, there’s not much that is not said in the book. And a lot of it
has to do with our time. It’s very apocalyptic and not easy for the
average person to understand. Sometimes you have to read a passage over
and over two or three times before you can grasp its meaning. But the
work is notably brilliant, and without doubt the words of God.
It was put into finished form by her abbot and
presented to the Bishop of Mainz, who declared it was
from God. But that was not enough for Hildegard. She needed more. She
wrote a letter to St. Bernard of Clairvaux, also a doctor of the Church.
Through a long, lengthy letter, she basically asked his approval of the
work she was doing. His answer was much shorter, but to the point.
Without going into too much detail, he told her that he believed her
work was God-centered. He actually took some of her work to the Synod of
Trier and presented it to Pope Eugenius III, who studied it and was so
impressed; he read her writings aloud to the Cardinals at the Synod. He
gave her his blessing and the title German Prophetess.
As a result of the Pope’s vocal approval of Hildegard
and his subsequent l etter of blessing to her, she and
her monastery became very popular. Many aspirants came to join their
community. They outgrew their comfortable little convent. They were
running out of room for all the new people who were coming as a result
of Hildegard’s popularity. The convent was in a constant state of
construction. Under these conditions, plus her day job of running the
convent, it took her an additional three years after the Pope
acknowledged her, to finish the book.
She felt the need for a more austere, smaller
community, where she could concentrate on more prayer, less distraction
and all that the Lord had to tell her. Her first attempt at independence
of sorts came when Abbot Kuno asked her to be prioress of the community.
She said the Lord told her to move to a poorer convent in Rupertsburg,
about 30 kilometers away, which would allow the nuns more austerity in
their life styles and growth. The abbot refused. Hildegard, who by this
time had developed quite a reputation on her own, went over the Abbot’s
head to the Archbishop who gave her permission to take her nuns and
Apparently, she believed she did not move quickly
enough for the Lord. Hildegard was struck down with an illness which
paralyzed her and made her a prisoner of her bed. She claimed this was
God’s way of punishing her for not following the Lord’s command at once.
The situation became so bad; Abbot Kuno could not lift
her out of the bed. Finally, in frustration, he gave the nuns permission
to move to Rupertsburg, at which time Hildegard was released from the
bondage of her bed.
In 1150, Hildegard and about twenty of her nuns moved
to the Monastery in Rupertsburg, which was near Bingen. This was good as
the monk Volmar, who was her secretary or scribe, was also her confessor
there. However, when she left the convent of Disibodenberg, it began to
fall out of popularity, because everyone wanted to follow Hildegard. The
move to the new convent in Rupertsburg was not without immediate
problems. The convent and grounds were extremely run down, as Hildegard
wanted. However, she may not have communicated this to the nuns who went
with her. The Lord gave her a vision of what it would be like, and this
was described as beautiful and desirable to her sisters until they
There was a lot of disappointment among many of the
nuns. A few of them left. You must remember that for the most part, they
came from well-to-do families, and never wanted for anything. She
writes: “…so they said, ‘What is the point of this that noble and
wealthy nuns should move from a place where they wanted for nothing, to
This was a new and unacceptable situation for them.
But for Hildegard, in this new convent, she was
actually the Abbess. In her former convent, one of the monks was in
charge. She was really loved by all, especially the Archbishop of Mainz,
who bent over backwards to make the new convent the beautiful place
which Hildegard described to the nuns, and made them happy. This was a
time when her charismatic personality began to break through the clouds.
In the years to come, the Rupertsburg convent became
the convent of choice for wealthy families to send their daughters. As
their blessings multiplied, the Rupertsburg convent became too small.
But Hildegard was not about to leave it. Some years later, she opened
another abbey in Eibingen, a short distance across the Rhine River from
Rupertsburg, and was abbess of both abbeys.
Hildegard wrote two more major volumes on her
visions, “Book of Life’s Merits” and “Book of Divine Works”. These were
composed during her years at the Abbey at Rupertsburg. She described
each of her visions, the particulars of which could be difficult to
comprehend, and would follow with a theological explanation, based on
“the voice of the Living Light.” The first volume, “Book of Life’s
Merits” took about five years to write. Her last volume on her visions,
“Book of DivineWorks” took her almost ten years to complete. All these
volumes were enormous undertakings. In these books, the Lord would give
Hildegard a particular vision, after which He would give her an outline
of what they meant, almost a study guide.
Hildegard did not limit her evangelical work to
writing, as did most women of that time. Because of
her popularity, she was beyond any questions about her authority, and
her right to speak. She went on the road in her evangelical work. She
was probably the first female evangelist of her time. She gave many
lectures, not only in monasteries, but to the general public as well.
She went on four different lecture tours in Germany in
1160, speaking not only to clergy but to laity as well. The thrust of
her lectures was clerical corruption. She was well accepted everywhere
she went. She was actually a trail blazer, going into an area where
women of any kind, even popular ones like her, were not allowed by the
standards of her time. She paved the way for other women to speak out
and be heard on matters of the Church, including Teresa of Avila,
Catherine of Siena, Mother Teresa, Mother Angelica and our own Penny
She wrote, and wrote and wrote. She wrote books. She
wrote books on herbal medicines. And while she was writing the book on
medicines, she also wrote a Morality Play put to music, the first
Morality play. Actually, she invented the form. She wrote seventy songs
to go with her play. She created an actual language,
which was not used very much. She composed music to be used during
religious ceremonies. She wrote letters, almost 400 of them. She wrote
to four different popes, to abbots, statesmen and
monarchs such as Frederick Barbarossa. She was invited to appear before
this red-headed prince of the German people. To a great degree, her
letters took the form of homilies, and prophecies, as well as symbolic
discourses. Some of her letters lit into what she considered avarice and
greed on the part of priests and monks.
She had no problem in letting someone have it if she
thought they deserved it. In our time we had Mother Angelica, Mother
Teresa, and again our own Penny Lord who had no problem standing up to
anyone, telling it like it is. Most of her letters
were to regular people asking for her help, to counsel them and/or pray
for them. Hildegard had granted that certain nobles could be buried on
the grounds of the Abbey. Most of these people had been benefactors, or
relatives of benefactors. It was an unusual policy, but acceptable
Hildegard’s stature in the religious community. This
came to be a problem towards the end of her life. A nobleman who had
been excommunicated was buried in the convent cemetery. There was an
uproar from the local church officials as well as the Archbishop of
Mainz for her to remove the body. She maintained that the man had been
absolved of his sins and brought back into the favors of the Church.
Nobody agreed with her, and so when she continued to
hold her stand, her convent was put into the state of interdict, which
means the nuns could not pray the Divine Office, receive Communion, or
celebrate Mass. This was a terrible burden to put on the nuns, but
Hildegard was sure she was correct. She even had visions which confirmed
her actions. However, it went on until months before she died. Through
much prayer and correspondence, she was able to have
the interdict removed.
Hildegard lived a long life, an active life. We said
earlier that she was sick all her life. Our research doesn’t show what
she actually died of but towards the end, she was racked with pain and
had to be carried around. On September 17, 1179, at the age of 81, the
Lord took her home. She was immediately proclaimed a Saint by the German
people, and for that matter, many hierarchy in the Church in Europe. But
she was not canonized a Saint for over a thousand years!!
Her cause was opened in 1226, and Pope Gregory IX
began the canonization process in January 1227. So what happened? Nobody
knows for sure. One possibility is that hers was either the first or one
of the first causes for Canonization submitted in the history of the
Church. It was before St. Francis or St. Anthony, or any of our Super
Saints’ causes were opened. Maybe they didn’t know what to do.
In researching a chronology of the history of the
Cause for her Canonization, many attempts were made over 1000 years to
get her Cause opened, but they all failed. Her name was entered into the
Roman catalog of Saints in the Fifteenth Century. So for the last 600
years, we’ve been officially calling her a Saint, but the process
lingered. The longer it took, the fewer original sources were to be
found. It just went on and on. The German bishops pushed her cause in
1998, the 900th anniversary of her birth, but still there were
roadblocks. All of these were legalese; having to do with procedure that
they could never resolve.
Finally, in 2010, a German Pope, Benedict XVI took
the bull by the horns, and pushed for the process to be completed. He
said in effect that this had been going on too long, almost a thousand
years, and that he was going to canonize her on May 10, 2012 and declare
her a Doctor of the Church on the eve of the Year of Faith, October 7,
2012 which he did. Halleluiah, thank You God.
Family, what we’ve given you here is the slightest
taste of the life of an outstanding woman. There’s so much more to learn
about her. Find out more about her. Her own book of visions, Scivias,
has been translated into English. There are many biographies of St.
Hildegard also. Women of the Church, she is someone you should be proud
of, look up to, and emulate.
She wrote millions of words in a period of close to
ninety years of life. It would be impossible to give you even a glimmer
of the things the Lord gave her. But we would like to
give you some words to live by that St.
Hildegard wrote in Vision Six of Book Two regarding
the Eucharist, which has always been the focus of Bob and Penny Lord’s
Ministry. “Hear then o human. As long as you need help, and as long as
you can help others, My Son’s Passion will appear before Me in in mercy,
and His body and blood will be consecrated on the altar to be received
by believers for their salvation and the purgation of their crimes. For
when My Only-Begotten was in the world in the body, His body was
physically sustained by wheat and wine; and therefore His body and blood
now is consecrated on the altar in the oblation of wheat and wine, that
the faithful may be refreshed in soul and body. For My Son miraculously
redeemed humanity from Adam’s perdition and now mercifully absolves
people from the daily evil into which they often lapse.”
My wife Penny Lord was called “an indomitable woman
of faith.” I think she and St. Hildegard are sharing their love of God
and of their Faith in Heaven. We love you. God bless you.
We love you!!
Saint Hildegard DVD plus Minibook $21.95
$6.00 - 28 pages
Saints of Germany
- Saint Hildegard of Bingen
Prophetess of Germany - Visionary - Mystic - Doctor of the
Come with us as we travel to Bingen, Germany and the area of
the beautiful Rhine River which is where St. Hildegard lived and had her
visions. It was here where she wrote her books on her visions and many
other subjects, like a Morality Play, put to music, which she also wrote. She
wrote a book on herbal medicine which is used to this day in that area of
Germany. She made speaking tours throughout Germany. She wrote letters to
Abbots, Kings, Emperors and Popes, in addition to many ordinary people.
Come to her first Abbey, Disibodenberg, about 30 kilometers
from Bingen, where she was placed at 8 years old and spent over half her
life. She wrote her first book there. She is an outstanding woman of our
Church. She is a role model for all, but especially women.
DVD D311 $19.95
For English DVD click below