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 Family,  Welcome to our e-Newsletter

Lent 2015 

 Online Issue #21

                                               
In Memory of Penny Lord

 

From My Pew

Brother Joseph's Article

Heroes - New Book Release

People of God Speak Out

Saint Gertrude

We are Going On a Pilgrimage

The Miraculous  Cross of Genazzano

We Need Your Help

Our Lady of Altotting

Miracle of the Cross of Lanciano

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Bob and Penny Lord

From My Pew

Bob and Penny Lord

Family, this has always been Bob and Penny’s own article to share about the good things or bad things we’ve experienced at any particular time.  Since my Penny has left me to live in Heaven with our Lord Jesus, a lot of what I’ve been writing about in this article has to do with her.  She has always been my life.  She was and is my showcase, the bright light in our Ministry.  January 21 of this year marked her first birthday in Heaven.  So it stands to reason that this article will be about her and the Anniversary of her death.

We celebrated this day quietly, and with honor.  We asked one of our adopted priest sons to come from San Antonio Texas, to be the celebrant for the Mass we had at the replica museum of the Holy House.  I don’t know if you are aware or remember that Penny was the one who vowed to build a replica of the Holy House of Loreto in the United States in honor of St. Joseph, who along with St. Anthony is her best friend.  Don’t get me started on that.  Anyway, she made the commitment.  We brought the blessed Statue of Our Lady of Loreto back to California in 1996 and built the Holy House at Holy Family Mission in Arkansas in 2003.  Penny wanted to build a crypt under the Holy House, which we did, and Brother Joseph’s dad, Willie Freyaldenhoven, and our son Richard were entombed there in 2004.  Penny was entombed there in 2014.

So, Fr. Phil Henning celebrated a beautiful Mass there, after which we had a luncheon at the Mission.  We didn’t invite that many people, only those who were closest to Penny.  But it got me to thinking.

We celebrate a Saint’s feast day on the day he died.  We’ve written books and made television programs on Saints for years and that was the norm.  The day they died was their feast day, their birthday in Heaven, so to speak.  Well, in my life with Penny, we always celebrated her birthday on earth as the big day in our lives.  We met on her birthday in 1957.  She always said I was her best birthday present.  And we celebrated 56 of her birthdays together.  As a matter of fact, when we built Holy Family Mission, we had the dedication take place on her birthday, September 23.  And every year we had a Holy Family Conference on or around her birthday in September.  So that day was always very special to us.  She said it was the anniversary of the day we met, so in addition to her birthday, it was our anniversary.

January 21 is her birthday in Heaven.  To me that’s the worst day in my life.  It’s the day I lost her.  She is gone from me now.  She belongs to the world.  I’ve heard from many people how they have prayed this last year to Penny for her intercession, especially in cases of illness, and she’s come through for them.  My granddaughter prays to her for help with her college exams (except for Chemistry  She blew up the lab).  The results have been nothing less than miraculous.  So now I have to celebrate her birthday, or feast day, on January 21.  I will do it, even though that’s her birthday or feast day to the world, but not to me.   September 23, will always be her birthday to me. It’s hard folks.  It seems like I’m losing bits and pieces to her to everyone in the world.  I know she’s a Saint.  She’s always been a Saint to me.  But now she’s not just my Saint; she’s everybody’s Saint.

On the plaque on her tomb, I had the following inscribed:

Penny Lord

Friend, Wife, Mother

Grandmother, Great Grandmother

An Indomitable Woman of Faith

Prepare a Place for us in Heaven

We Love You

Years ago, we thought we had made a deal with the Lord.  Yea Right.  Like that’s going to happen.  But we were sure we would die together.  It would be in a plane crash, or car crash.  We never considered that one of us would go first.  The fact that Penny was seven years older than I even made us feel more certain that would happen.  Usually men die before women.  So about the time I was ready to die, she would go with me.  But in the unlikely chance that one would go before the other, we said whoever went first would prepare a place for us in Heaven.

So in this last year, the year after her death, I spent a lot of time reading Scripture and asking opinions from priests.  They all have to do with preparing a place for us in Heaven.  Jesus talks about preparing a place for the Apostles in Heaven.  But never does He mention that we can prepare a place for each other in Heaven.  That was not what I wanted to hear, even though I had read these Scripture Passages all my life.  I just never thought they referred to Penny or me preparing a place for each other in Heaven.  So then I went into the Concordance which explains the Scripture Passages.  Their explanations were worse than the Scripture Passages themselves, if that could be possible.  Finally, I asked the opinions of 3 priests who had known us both very well and one Theologian who was actually responsible for our first book being published.  They all agreed with the Scripture Passages and the explanations of them.  I came to terms that Penny might not be preparing a place for us in Heaven.  I guess only Jesus does that. 

Okay, family, let’s look at the possibilities.  It’s highly possible that my girl could be an Angel.  She was like an Angel on earth.  I have often envisioned her as being a door-keeper like St. Brother Andre, the Miracle Worker of Montreal, or Sister Faustina of Divine Mercy or St. Bernadette of Lourdes, or on and on.  Penny would be a great welcomer. She would also be a great Angel.

Now, I did not read anywhere in Scripture that Married couples will not be able to get together in Heaven. I also don’t think many of them have had a 56 year relationship that was almost a 24/7 relationship, especially after our Marriage Encounter weekend.  We were joined at the hip.  And if all else fails, there is a Scripture passage, “Pester My Father.” And Our Lady said to the children at Pontmain in 1871, “But pray, my children.  Your prayers will soon be answered” and later, “My Son can change His Mind.”  I’m good at pestering the Father, and I believe whatever Our Lady says.

So I can finally come to terms with the fact that I will have to get used to the idea of Penny’s new birthday being January 21, the day she entered Heaven.  I can do that.  But there will always be something special about our Anniversary, the day we met in 1957, September 23.

I think I’m trying to shout from the rooftops to my Penny on her new birthday, her birthday in Heaven,

I love you!”

 

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Called to Serve by Brother Joseph

What are we to do?
The sky is falling! We, Bob, Penny, Luz and myself started to produce this Good Newsletter back in 1989 and we made a commitment to stay focused on the Good News rather than repeat some of the bad news.

Since that time we have always kept that commitment to this day. I must say that back then we thought that soon evil would start to diminish. We listened to Pope John Paul II talk about the new springtime that was coming, and we prayed that surely the new millennium  would be the beginning of that springtime.

Well, so far this millennium has not shown a lot of signs of a springtime or has it?  Let us examine some of our current events and see if we can find the good in them.

We were taught that the blood of Martyrs becomes the seed of conversion. Then we will surely see mass conversions in places like Africa and the Middle East. We are experiencing mass Martyrdom in several places now.  Two of the groups, the Chaldeans in Iraq and Syria and the Coptics in Egypt are part of our Catholic Church in Communion with our Pope Francis. In fact they are possibly the oldest Catholics Rites in our Church going back to the first centuries.

In addition, the persecution of Christianity in the west including the USA will in the end produce dry Martyrs that will also bring about conversion in the future.

Bob and Penny have written books about the Martyrs and about Victories of the Rosary. I highly recommend that you purchase a copy and read these two Classics.

So yes we know in our hearts that some day the new springtime will come but it does seem like we will have to go through a winter of hard times and persecution.

What are we to do? Here in the United States we can go to our Churches and pray. Prayer may be our best course of action now. Possibly it is the only way to help those in other places facing the hardest of times.

Furthermore, we need to pray specifically that our leaders have the God given Wisdom to come up with solutions to stop the persecution.

Prayer and Sacrifice will bring the springtime much faster.

Click the images below for more details.

The Rosary the Life of Jesus and MaryMartyrs They Died for Christ Book

 

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The People of God Speak Out

 Bob, Luz Elena, Brother Joseph, and Community, 

I first came to know you thru EWTN and your show featuring SAINTS, I ADORED THAT SHOW.  I am so pleased to find you have a Facebook page. God Bless and Thank you for all the wonderful hours I've received your teachings and information. You are both wonderful. Please continue.

 


Saint Gertrude

Visionary

                                _

Visions of St. Gertrude the Great

 

                When Our Lord wants a message to get out to His Church, he raises up a powerful Saint to do the task.  Such a Saint was Gertrude the Great!  She was the one to plant the seed which would bloom through the hands of another powerful Saint and visionary, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, four centuries later, and subsequently through Saint Faustina Kowalska in the 20th Century, through the Mission of Divine Mercy.  Our Lord's mandate to St. Gertrude was to herald devotion to His Most Sacred Heart. 

                She came to us in the Thirteenth Century, a time of rampant heresy and glorious victory.  The Lord promised that His Church, although besieged by persecution, would triumph in the end; in the Thirteenth Century, with His Infinite Humility, He raised up great Saints to bring this about.  St. Gertrude received the title "the Great" partially because of the extraordinary gifts she received from the Lord, but we believe more for her total dedication to her Spouse Jesus. Why did the Lord want devotion to His Most Sacred Heart to begin at this time?  We know that He brought about the Miracle of the Eucharist at Bolsena to dispel the heresy of Berengarianism in this century, but why did He give the message to St. Gertrude to bring about an awareness and love of His Most Sacred Heart, the Furnace of His Love? 

                Six centuries before, in around the year 720, His children were being led astray, innocent lambs being led to slaughter by some "judas goats," and so God in His Mercy gave His little ones a Miracle of the Eucharist in the Form of a Human Heart!  Then six centuries later, He sends a Saint to herald devotion to His Most Sacred Heart, to let us know how much He loves us, how we can find refuge and strength in the Mercy of His Sacred Heart.  Is this book not about His Mercy?  God could not have shown more Mercy and Compassion than to give us an opportunity to be made ready for Him by gracing us with Purgatory.

                He gave us Miracles of the Eucharist, whenever we were in danger of losing our faith.  Why?  Because He wanted us to know that He is with us, reachable and waiting for us, coming to dwell in us during the ongoing Sacrifice of the Cross, the Sacrifice of the Mass.  He told St. Gertrude:

                "You can find Me in no place where I delight more, or which is more suitable for Me, than in the Sacrament of the Altar."

                This reaffirms a theme that runs through our books on Visionaries, Mystics and Stigmatists, Saints, Angels, Mother Mary and Miracles of the Eucharist that no one, nothing is more dear and precious to the Lord than us sharing in the Sacrifice of the Cross.  You will read throughout this book how the most powerful arrow that can pierce the loving Heart of God the Father, moving Him to have mercy on us, is Our Lord's Passion, Death and Resurrection, that ongoing Sacrifice of the Cross - the Sacrifice of the Mass.

                Our story begins in the village of Helfta, Germany.  A little girl, barely five years old entered a Benedictine convent, a community filled with holy cloistered nuns whose whole life was the Lord.  They knew and believed that the Lord was as truly present in the Blessed Sacrament as He was in Heaven and so they spent much of their lives on earth adoring Him.  From this fountain of faith flowed a desire to praise him morning, day and night, praying the Divine Office.  Gertrude grew in holiness and when she came of age, she became a Bride of Christ. 

Gertrude receives her first vision

                Her Bridegroom Jesus appeared to her when she was twenty-six years old.  During Advent, she had been filled with a restlessness and longing to be closer to Jesus.  The more she meditated, the more she began to have a disdain for the things of the world.   One evening, she was about to retire, when Our Lord appeared to her as a very handsome young Man.  He said: "Thy salvation is at hand.  Why are you so consumed by sorrow?"  She had received her first vision!

                Now, she knew that she was in her dormitory, but it seemed as if she was being transported to the corner of the choir.  Jesus spoke to her:

                "I will save and deliver you.  Fear not." 

                Our Lord opened His Arms wide to embrace her.  She tried to approach Him, but a hedge, made thick with long menacing thorns barred the way, looming between them, separating her from Him.  As she knew that the hedge and thorns were the times she had sinned and displeased the Lord, she began to weep.  The Lord extended His Hand, and as if some unseen force had lifted her, she was beside Him.  He invited her to rest her head on His Precious Chest.  Her eyes went from His pierced Heart to His Hands and Feet; and there before her were His five Wounds, bleeding out of love for her and us "the radiant jewels of His Sacred Wounds." 

                St. Gertrude tells us that after this she was converted, not that she had been anything but virtuous.  She had always been a good student, excelling in Latin, History and other worldly subjects.  But after this, she had eyes only for the Word of God in Holy Scripture and the works of such Church Fathers as Saints Augustine, Gregory and Benedict.

                St. Gertrude lived to love Jesus alone; pleasing Him was her sole objective in life.  She sought and found Him everywhere, but most especially in the Eucharist.  Jesus was consistently in her mind and on her heart; she took to heart His words, when Our Lord said:

                "I delight so much in her; I have chosen to dwell in her.  All that others see and love in her is My work; and whoever loves My work in her, loves Me.  I have decreed that she stand alone, without friends or relatives, that none may love her from ties of relationship, but that I Myself may be the sole cause of her being loved and esteemed."

                She had ultimate confidence in Jesus' Love and Mercy.  He told her:

                "It is impossible that anyone should not receive all that he has believed and hoped to obtain.  It gives Me great pleasure when men hope great things from Me and I will always grant them more than they expect."

                She turned to Jesus, as she would to an earthly father, with the complete trust of a child.  No petition was too small or too great.  On one occasion, when she had lost a needle in a pile of straw, she asked the Lord to find it for her:

                "It would be in vain that I would search for this needle and so very much a waste of time.  If You would be so kind, find it for me!" 

                She turned her head, groped with one of her hands and immediately found the needle.  Our Lord delighted in her simplicity and innocence, and always rewarded her faith in Him with gifts affirming that faith.

                After that first vision, she continued to see Her Lord, only "indistinctly" as we say - with the eyes of the heart, when she would receive Holy Communion.  This went on until the vigil of the Annunciation, when Our Lord visited her again and helped her to understand Him more clearly.  From this time on she would correct her faults out of love for the God of Mercy, not out of fear of the God of Justice! 

                She was so filled with God's Grace, she committed this prayer to memory, reciting it over and over again:

                "O most merciful Lord, engrave Thy Wounds upon my heart with Thy most Precious Blood, that I may read in them both Thy grief and Thy Love; and that the memory of Thy Wounds may ever remain in my inmost heart, to excite my compassion for Thy sufferings and to increase in me Thy Love.  Grant also that I may despise all creatures, and that my heart may delight in Thee alone.  Amen."

                Then, one day, she knew that the Lord had heard her prayer and, in response, had imprinted the Wounds that had pierced His most Sacred Body on the Cross, on her body.  She had received the stigmata and would from that day on, experience the agony that her Lord had known.

Her heart is pierced by an arrow of Love

                Seven years passed.  Gertrude did not believe it possible, that she could receive any more Graces than she already had.  Then during Advent, she had just received the Lord in Holy Communion when she saw a beam of light shoot forth from the Wound in Our Lord's Side on the Crucifix, and with the force of an arrow pierced her heart.  With this stamp on her heart, the Lord expressed His Heart's desire:

                "May all your love and compassion be centered on Me, so that all your delight, your hope, your joy, your grief, your fear and every feeling you have may be sustained by Me."

                Gertrude received the great grace to have Jesus exchange His Heart for her heart.  She wrote that from that day on, she no longer lived but that she could truly feel Jesus living in her, loving through her.

Mary places the Infant Jesus into Gertrude's heart

                She had been united with Jesus, the God-Man and now, it was time for the Infant King to touch her soul.  Gertrude was meditating; it was Christmas Eve, and she was trying to place herself spiritually in the little barn in Bethlehem.  She so wished she could have assisted Mother Mary bring the Baby Jesus into the world.  As she was meditating, she felt the Blessed Mother place the Infant Jesus into her heart.  She was being transfigured, the Lord her God becoming all in all things, to the exclusion of all else.  Her soul was so filled with her Beloved Spouse's Presence, and she so delighted in this Spouse, alone, Who so strongly dwelled in her that she was blind to all the distractions around her.

Jesus places Gertrude's hand in His Open Wound

                St. Gertrude had many visions.  And they were all beautiful and special, but the one that touches my heart most is when Jesus appeared to Gertrude and asked for her hand.  She stretched out her hand and he placed it in the open Wound in His Side.  He promised to continue endowing her with His Graces, but should He subject her to the pain of being deprived of His Presence, and she persevered, He would return and bless her a hundredfold.  When Gertrude withdrew her hand, she saw three rings on her ring finger and one on each of the other four making seven (rings) in all.  They were to represent, Our Lord said, the Graces that He had bestowed on the world through her.  

                When we read about Our Lord placing Gertrude's hand in the open Wound in His Side, and read again his promise to her, and His assurance that should He deprive her of His Presence, and she persevered, He would return and bless her a hundredfold, we could not help thinking of our beloved Church which flowed from the Wound in His Side, from His Most Sacred Heart, and it seemed the Lord was talking to us, the Mystical Body of Christ.  If we persevere and remain faithful to our Church, even should she appear near death, she will rise again more alive and glorious than ever.

The Sacred Heart and the Eucharist in the Latter Days

                Jesus told Gertrude that His Sacred Heart is the Treasure He has reserved for the "Latter Days."  A word that has been coming to us is that the Third Millennium will be The Age of the Eucharist, where everyone's eyes will be open and we will be able to see clearly Our Lord present in the Sacrament of the Eucharist.  Statistics say that only 30% of Catholics believe that Jesus is truly Present in the Eucharist.  Well, we are not into statistics but this we do know, that those who do believe, believe with their whole hearts; and some of them (believe), with an awareness of His Presence that the Saints like St. Gertrude had before them. 

                Many times, she was given the gift of having the veil lifted from her eyes; so that at those times, she could see the Divine Love and Mercy that Jesus in the Eucharist had for His children.  He revealed how He longed to be united with them through this Sacrament.  Jesus said that His Delight was to be with His children and that is why He left us Himself.  He said that when He enters a soul in Holy Communion, He fills not only that soul with Graces but all the inhabitants of Heaven and earth benefit, as well as the Poor Souls in Purgatory who at the same time are experiencing some of the Lord's abounding Love and Mercy.

                Jesus also told His little spouse that His Heart is the Altar upon which He, the Eternal High Priest, offers Himself to the Father during the ongoing Sacrifice of the Cross, the Sacrifice of the Mass, the Angels once again encircling Him as He goes through His Passion and Resurrection.  Just thinking of the Altar in our churches as the Lord's Heart, how can we enter the church and not genuflect; or if our Lord is not present (the tabernacle not being in the church) at least not bow?  Do we know?  Do we believe? 

St. Gertrude has a vision of St. John the Beloved

                She had a vision of St. John the Beloved and he invited her to rest her head on Jesus' Chest.  She stood on one side and he on the other side of Jesus.  Gertrude asked St. John if his heart beat excitedly when he rested on the Lord's Bosom during the Last Supper, and if he could not hear the blessed beating of her Lord's Most Sacred Heart at that time?  St. John said that not only had he, but his soul could feel the sweet rhythm of the Lord's Heart beating down to its very core, leaving an indelible mark forever on his heart.  Then, she asked why he had not written about the Lord's Sacred Heart.  To which St. John replied, he was chosen to bring the Eternal Word of God to the faithful, but the message of the compassionate roaring flame of Our Lord's Sacred Heart has been reserved for the Latter Days. 

                When we think that what we hear, when we listen to a human heart beating, is a heart pumping life to the rest of the body, we understand some of the great Gift that God has reserved for us, to bring us through these rough days, these days that are so bewildering at times.  He is filling us with Life through the Eucharist, and hope through His Sacred Heart. 

                Jesus tells us in Holy Scripture not to be afraid.  Let us center our minds and hearts on this Lord of Mercy Who is sharing His Sacred Heart with us to strengthen us and to carry us through the Latter Days.  Believe in Him, as Gertrude and all the Saints did; He will never betray you.

                The Lord told St. Gertrude that every time, God the Father was sorely wounded by the sins of men, Jesus would show His Wounded Hands to His Father in atonement for their sins.  So, he said, if only men will repent for their sins, they will obtain ready pardon from God the Father, His anger having been appeased because of His Son's Sacrifice.

Jesus speaks to St. Gertrude about the Crucifix

                No matter where she was, St. Gertrude's crucifix was nearby.  Even during the evening, in bed, she would reach out to touch her crucifix, holding her Lord on the cross close to her heart.  One day, Gertrude held her crucifix up to her lips and kissed it.  Her Lord appeared to her and said that every time someone kisses the crucifix or reverently adores the Christ represented on the crucifix, "God's Eyes of Mercy become a stamp on his soul."  To us it also becomes a shield, a suit of armor upon our souls, protecting us from all harm.

St. Gertrude and the Blessed Mother

                Gertrude had visions not only of Jesus but of Mother Mary and the Saints, who came and spoke to her.  The Lord revealed the holy profits received by a soul who petitions Him through His Mother.  He said that it was He Who chose to only bestow His Graces on God's children, through the hands and the Immaculate Heart of His Mother Mary.  He told Gertrude that whenever she was afraid of weakening and succumbing to the snares of the devil, or felt incapable of doing His Will, to call on His Mother who would be her strength, her guide and her protectress.

                On Mother Mary's birthday, September 8th, Gertrude had a vision of the Lord.  She asked what rewards would be theirs who celebrated this Feast Day, with true devotion.  He replied He would grant them a share in the "special joys He possesses in Heaven, and in the virtues with which the most Glorious Blessed Trinity adorns Him."

                One time, when Gertrude asked Jesus what most pleased Him, He replied: "Place yourself before My Mother, who reigns by My side, and endeavor to praise her."  St. Gertrude did so and "our Lady adorned her with the rose of love, the lily of chastity and the violet of obedience."

                Yet, we hear people foolishly questioning the love and devotion we have for our, and Jesus' Mother Mary.  If for no other reason than, it so pleases Her Son, we should honor her.  If for no other reason than, as one of His last acts of love on the Cross, Jesus gave Mary to us, as our Mother, we should love her. 

                "When Jesus saw His Mother and the Disciple there whom He loved, He said to His Mother, `Woman, behold, your son.'  Then He said to the Disciple, `Behold, your mother.'  And from that hour, the Disciple took her into his home." 

                Once her Son had entrusted His bride to Our Lady, she never left Gertrude alone.  She revealed to her, the place of the Holy Trinity in her life.   Mother Mary appeared as a Lily with three petals, one upright and the other two gently draped downward, as if reaching out.  [One of Our Lady's titles is "Resplendent Lily of the Trinity," having been the only one, above all God's creatures, who most perfectly deserved and received the Graces of the Three in One God.  She earned this honor, her perfect soul never soiled with even the slightest stain of sin.]  St. Gertrude understood that the upright petal represented the "Omnipotence" of God the Father, and the other two petals, the "Wisdom" of Jesus the Son and the "Purity" of the Holy Spirit.

                Daughter of the Father, Mother of the Son, Spouse of the Holy Spirit, it was only fitting she be represented by this strong symbol of her relationship with the Triune God.

Gertrude was an instrument of healing

                Even during her lifetime, people heard of Gertrude's holiness and asked her to intercede for them with Jesus.  She did, and many miraculous healings came about, physical and spiritual, equally.  If she could so powerfully move the Father's Heart for the living who were still sinning, how much more would the Lord listen to her prayers for those Souls who no longer sin, those suffering Souls in Purgatory, and answer them!

St. Gertrude's love and compassion for the Poor Souls

                St. Gertrude felt great tenderness toward the Poor Souls in Purgatory.  She constantly prayed for the Lord's Mercy on these Souls who were suffering, as they longed to enter Heaven.  One day, before receiving Holy Communion, as she was praying for the Poor Souls, she seemed to descend with Jesus into the depths of Purgatory.  She was devastated by what she saw.  The Lord told her that He would allow her to bring forth from Purgatory all for whom she prayed.  After Communion, she saw more Souls ascending to Heaven than for whom she had dared to ask.

                One day, Gertrude was praying for the Poor Souls, when Jesus admonished her for not praying with the confident assurance, the faith and realized hope that God hears and answers our prayers.  He assured her:

                "It would not be past My Justice to release those Suffering Souls for whom you are praying, immediately, if you would pray with confidence for this petition."

                St. Gertrude's greatest delight was in seeing a multitude of souls being released from Purgatory.  But she received her greatest joy on the days she received Holy Communion, because on those days the numbers were infinitely greater.  When she questioned the Lord, He replied,

                "What makes you think I could refuse your prayers for the Poor Souls, especially on those days you are joined to Me in Holy Communion?"

                Our Lord, at another time, stressing how dear it was to Him to have Masses said, told St. Gertrude:

                "At the hour of death, I will send to My children, as many saints to console and assist them, as Holy Masses they have reverently attended during their lifetime."

                One day, when she was praying for the Poor Souls, she asked Jesus how many Souls His Mercy would release from Purgatory.  He replied that His Love desires to release all Souls from Purgatory.  He used the following parable. 

                When a compassionate king has to imprison a friend, guilty of a crime, for the sake of equal justice for all his people, he longs for someone to plead for his friend and offer some sort of ransom for his release.  You can imagine the joy; the king has when he is able to free his friend, and how kindly he feels toward those who arranged for his friend's freedom, those who paid off his debt. 

                If a king who is an imperfect ruler feels so for a friend, how much more so, Our Lord Who died for the Poor Souls in Purgatory!  Jesus told St. Gertrude that every time someone prays for a Poor Soul, His Heart eagerly reaches out to send this loved one to join Him in Heaven. 

                It is not God's Will or design that we be separated from Him.  We are part of the Creator, and He longs to be reunited with that part of Himself that He has created, that is so precious to Him.  It is we who condemn ourselves to Hell or, who out of love for the Father, send ourselves to Purgatory to be made more presentable to Him.  When God fashioned us, He created us in His Image with Free Will to know Him, to love Him and to serve Him.  When we stand before Him, we see how many times we have failed to love Him as we should, how many times we have put matters of the world before serving Him, how we have reluctantly spent time getting to know Him better by spending time, quiet quality time during the Sacrifice of the Mass or adoring Him in the Blessed Sacrament.  At that time, He will look into our eyes and His Eyes of Perfect Love will meet ours and we will condemn ourselves, and we will willingly fly to Purgatory.

Who is My brother and My sister?

                Our Lord instructed St. Gertrude whom to pray for in Purgatory.  On All Souls Day, as her community was praying for the deceased parents of the sisters, St. Gertrude could see many rejoicing souls ascending up to Heaven, cutting through the darkness, lighting the sky with their brilliance.  She asked the Lord if these were all their relatives and Our Precious Lord replied:

"I am your nearest Relative, your Father and your Mother.  Therefore My nearest friends are your nearest relatives, and these are among those whom I have freed."

                When she wrote for her sisters' education, her writings reflected her attitude towards death:

                "I wish with my whole heart to be strengthened by those health-giving last Sacraments; nevertheless the Will and appointment of God seem to be the best and surest preparation.  I am certain that, whatever the manner of my death, sudden or foreseen, I shall never lack His Mercy, without which I cannot possibly be saved in either case."

                Jesus told St. Gertrude that He had revealed His Heart to her, that she might pass His messages of love down to His children.  And when St. Gertrude was reluctant to reveal her revelations, the Lord told her emphatically that she would not be released from the "prison of her flesh" until she had obeyed Him in this matter.  And so, she did.

It is time for St. Gertrude to go Home, at last

                Although her life had been one of almost daily visions of Jesus, with an intimacy and communication rarely known on earth, her heart was restless until it rested in Him, in the Kingdom, for all eternity.  She was on fire!  Her whole being yearned for her God.  Instead of these heavenly privileges making her resolute with this time on earth, the splendor and the intense joy of seeing Him, hearing Him, being in Our Lord's Presence gave her a greater desire each day, and a growing holy impatience to be with Him in Heaven.

                One time, she cried out: "When are You going to release me from the prison of this body and permit me to enter the gates of Heaven to begin our life eternal together?_

                Now, St. Gertrude and Jesus had a wonderful relationship.  As she was complaining to her beloved Spouse about Him not granting her request, He revealed how she was to die.  She went into deep ecstasy and saw a Heavenly Army of Angels and Saints, coming to escort her Home, followed by the Patriarchs, the Prophets, the Apostles, the Martyrs, the Virgins, and the Holy Innocents.  The fallen angels were afraid to venture near this Heavenly court.

                St. Gertrude became very ill.  She spoke to Jesus and said that although she longed to be with Him, if He willed she remain on earth, she willingly obeyed Him, although her heart was with Him.  It seemed that was what Jesus was waiting to hear.  He told her, she had fulfilled His Will for her on earth and He was ready to escort her to His Father.  Her last months on earth were filled with excruciating pain, but although she had to be carried to Mass, she would not miss a day being near her Spouse in the Word and in the Eucharist. 

                All the sisters surrounded her bed, their sorrow inconsolable.  It was painfully obvious she was leaving them.  Jesus appeared to His bride, His Face radiant.  His Mother was on His right, and as at the foot of the Cross, St. John was on His left.  As He had told her, there were the Heavenly host of Angels, the Saints, the Martyrs, the Innocents, the Virgins; it seemed all Heaven had turned out for her welcome into Heaven. 

                The sisters were reading the Passion when they pronounced the words: "And bowing His Head, He gave up His Spirit,” Jesus opened His Heart welcoming her within.  The Angels began singing Alleluia, and the next thing you know, one of the sisters heard the Lord say:

                "Behold you are united to Me and to become My own forever....I will present you to My Father by the close embrace of My Heart."

                You can be sure that there was a Heavenly Court made up of all the Souls who had been released from Purgatory through her intercession, also awaiting her in Heaven with big signs welcoming her Home!

Family, learn from the life of St. Gertrude.  We love you!!

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Saint Boniface - Apostle of Germany

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D311 - Saint Hildegard of Bingen

Prophetess of Germany - Visionary - Mystic - Doctor of the Church

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.

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Saint Elizabeth of Hungary

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We’re Going on a Pilgrimage

 

Family, this has always been a very special article for us, one that gets us very excited, because our ministry, our life with Mother Angelica and EWTN and our books all began with Penny and me going on a pilgrimage.  It’s a very unique time in your life, very possibly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.  It begins long before you drive to the airport for your flight overseas. It begins when the Lord touches your heart after having read a brochure for a pilgrimage that you believe is what the Lord is calling you to.  That’s when it begins.  From that time until the time you actually go on the pilgrimage, your heart is filled with the anticipation.  If you’re smart, you will get all the reading material about the Shrines, the Saints, the Apparitions, and the Miracles you are going to visit.  You begin to live the experience.  That feeling, that excitement carries you through the Pilgrimage itself, and for many, stays with you months after you come home.  If you’re like Penny and me, you get raring to go.  And your time after the pilgrimage is dedicated to planning out and saving for the next pilgrimage.  And again, if you’re like Penny and me, you become passionate about the pilgrimage places.  They take up your life.  Nothing is as important as that next pilgrimage.  That’s how it has been with us.  We’re inviting you to come with us on just one pilgrimage, and see where the Lord takes you.  You might be surprised where it may lead you.

Our first pilgrimage for this year, June, 2015, will be to the Shrines of Quebec, Canada.  For us, this has always been a very special pilgrimage.  There are many beautiful Shrines to visit in French Canada.  All of them we’ve written about and made television programs about.  They are exciting to us and they should be to you. In Montreal, we will visit the Shrines of two newly canonized Saints, Brother Andre, and Kateri Tekawitha.  Both their histories are very spiritual.  Heading east towards St. Anne de Beaupre, we stop at Cap de Madeleine, which is an unbelievable visual tribute to Our Lady and a witness to the faith of the people of that little hamlet many years ago. The priest who was gifted with the Apparition by Our Lady has been beatified, and his shrine is a few towns away.

Before we get to Quebec City, we will visit the Shrine of Blessed Dina Belanger, a nun of the early 20th century.  She is a precious girl, reminiscent of our St. Thérèse of Lisieux.  Then on to the beautiful city of Old Quebec, and the Shrine of Marie of the Incarnation, and the first Catholic Church in Canada.  We end our pilgrimage at the Shrine of the Mother of Mary, St. Anne de Beaupre.  Many miracles have been attributed to the intercession of St. Anne, including but not limited to “St. Anne, St. Anne, get me a man.”  

  In July, we will honor Mother Mary with a pilgrimage through France, Spain and Portugal to her shrines of Rue du Bac in Paris, Lourdes, and Fatima.  However, on this pilgrimage we will also visit sites of World War II in Germany, Luxembourg and Belgium.  The main sites will be those of the Battle of the Bulge.  We will also visit the tomb of General George Patton.  It promises to be a highly spiritual and a tribute to our men and women who fought in the war.

In August, we will visit the shrines of Austria and Germany.  We will have an opportunity to enjoy a cruise on the Danube River, and in Salzburg, as an option, to visit the house of the Von Trapp family of Sound of Music fame.

We will visit a shrine to Our Lady in Salzburg considered to be the most important pilgrimage site in central Europe.  We will visit the Abbey and town of St. Hildegard of Bingen, a newly ordained Saint and Doctor of the Church.  We will visit the Church of the Miracle of the Eucharist of Walldurn, and on to Marburg and the Shrine of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, a precious girl who gave everything to the poor.  We will go to the Cathedral of Fulda, and visit the Shrine of St. Boniface, who is not only the Apostle of Germany, but responsible for the civilization of Germany as a Catholic country in the 8th century.  As a special treat, we will visit the magnificent Cathedral of Cologne, named after the Three Wise Men, and the Cathedral of Charlemagne in Aachen, which he built, and where he is buried.  It promises to be a highly spiritual as well is visual pilgrimage.

Last but not least, in September, we will visit the Shrines of Italy, one of my Penny’s favorites.  We will begin in Rome with an Audience with the Pope.  We will visit the four Basilicas in Rome, St. Peters, St. Paul outside the Wall, St. John Lateran, the Cathedral of Rome, and St. Mary Major, the oldest Church in Rome dedicated to our Lady.  We go to the Vatican Museum, and the Church of the Holy Cross of Jerusalem.  On our way to San Giovanni Rotondo and Padre Pio, we go to Monte Cassino, the beautiful Abbey built by St. Benedict, and Pietrelcina, the birthplace of Padre Pio.  We will visit all the places of Padre Pio, as well as the Shrine of St. Michael the Archangel.  We begin our way up north to Lanciano and Manopello, the Shrine of the Holy Face of Jesus.  We end that day in Loreto, the Holy House of Nazareth.  On our way to Assisi, we visit the Shrine of St. Clare of Montefalco, an incorrupt Augustinian Saint.  We go to the Portziuncola, the first Church of the Franciscans, and then up the hill to the great Basilica of St. Francis, where we will have a tour by a Franciscan.  We go to St. Clare’s on the other side of town.  The next day we go to Siena to visit the Shrine of St. Catherine of Siena, a Doctor of the Church, then on to Lucca, and the Shrine of S. Gemma Galgani, and the Volto Santo, the Miracle of the Cross of Lucca.

We go to Arenzano, the Shrine of the Infant of Prague in Italy.  Then on to Colle Don Bosco, the birthplace of Don Bosco, and a beautiful basilica built in his honor.  We go to Riva di Chieri, and the birthplace of St. Dominic Savio, a protégé of Don Bosco.  We visit the Oratory of Don Bosco, and the Basilica of Our Lady, Help of Christians.  There, we venerate the remains of St. Don Bosco, and St. Dominic Savio.  The next day we visit the Cathedral of Turin, where we will see a photo image of the Shroud of Turin, as well as venerate Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati.

We travel to Milan, where we will visit the Duomo (Cathedral).  There we will venerate the Shrine of St. Charles Borromeo, as well as the caves where St. Augustine was baptized by St. Ambrose.

We head towards Malpensa Airport and our hotel for overnight.  Tomorrow we return home.

Family, what I’ve just given you is a whirlwind explanation of what we’re doing to do and where we’re going to go.  Get a brochure which outlines everything, only nice and easy.  Sit down and have a cup of coffee or tea and read it.  Let the Lord tell you which one He wants for you.  Then give Luz Elena a call.  She is the easiest, most patient person to walk you through the pilgrimage, and answer all your questions.  Then let the Lord guide you.  We really look forward to having you with us when we go on a Pilgrimage.  God bless you.  We love you!

 

 

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The Miraculous
Cross of Genazzano

Genazzano is one of the most beautiful Shrines to Our Lady in the world.  It is in a little town less than 40 miles from Rome, and would you believe, that in the 35 years we have been traveling all over the world, we had never heard of it, or gone there.  But it is so powerful, we should have told you about it years ago.  We're just thankful the Lord has allowed us to visit it now, so that we could tell you about it.  Unfortunately, we don't have the space to get into great detail about this miraculous apparition.  But we must give you at least a short version of what happened here, because everything about the Shrine is miraculous.  It is truly an extraordinary place to visit.  But don't let us forget to tell you about the Miracle of the Cross which took place here.  It's as remarkable as the account of the Translation of the Image of Our Lady which came here.

We will begin at the beginning.  It was in the year 1467.  The Ottoman Turks were threatening all of Europe for the second time in a thousand years.  The small country of Albania, which was very Christian, was under the rule of one of their own, Scanderberg, whose very name instilled fear in every follower of Islam.  He had defeated them in battle for over 23 years.  The Turks constantly outnumbered his troops by at least four to one, but Scanderberg always asked for the protection of Our Lady of Scutari, symbolized by a fresco of Our Lady which, according to tradition, was brought over to Albania from the Holy Land by the Angels at the same time the Holy House was transported to Yugoslavia.  Our Lady never failed him or the people of Albania.  She even extended her protection to Rome and the princes of Italy. 

But alas, in 1467, Scanderberg died, and the Moslems rejoiced.  They planned a major attack on Albania, knowing that without the strength of their leader, the soldiers would fold and run.  It was at that time that two soldiers, Giorgio and De Sclavis, were praying at the little church of Our Lady of Scutari.  They pleaded with the Madonna to tell them what to do.  Should they stay in Albania, and die for the cause of country and Faith?  Should they do what most of the Albanians were doing, run for safety in another country?  Both men prayed at the same time.  They felt the overpowering presence of Our Lady in the room with them.  They were given an inner locution to go home.  They would be told what to do as they slept.

Both men went home, overjoyed that they would be receiving an answer to their dilemma from Our Lady as they slept.  That night, in his sleep, Our Lady appeared to Giorgio.  He knew it had to be her, because, although she looked the same as the image of Our Lady of Scutari, she was so much more beautiful; she was breathtaking.  She spoke to him in the apparition.  She told him that he and De Sclavis were to prepare to leave Albania for good.  When they had everything ready, they were to meet at the chapel of Our Lady of Scutari.  She would then tell them what they were to do.

As soon as Giorgio awakened, he ran to tell his friend what Our Lady had instructed them to do.  However, Our Lady had beat him to the punch.  She had appeared to De Sclavis as well, and had given him the same instructions.  The two prepared for their final journey, then returned to the church.  They knelt in prayer.  They were deep in prayer, alternately gazing at the beautiful image of Our Lady on the wall of the church, and then going back into prayer.  All of a sudden, they saw the fresco detach itself from the wall.  It was then surrounded by a white cloud; Angels positioned themselves all around her.  The entire entourage began to move slowly out of the Church.  The two soldiers followed, not really believing their eyes, but trusting in Our Lady.

They followed her slowly from the church through the town in the direction of the Adriatic Sea.  Did anyone see them?  We don't know.  There's no mention of their coming in contact with anyone as they followed Our Lady on that nineteen mile trip to the sea.  At last, they arrived at the shoreline of the Adriatic Sea.  They had to wonder what was next, but again, they had complete trust in Our Lady.  So they just continued to walk, right into the Adriatic Sea.  They were not in a trance or anything of the kind.  They knew they were walking into the water.  They didn't know for sure what would happen, but they kept going.  As with the Jews crossing the Red Sea, or Peter on the Sea of Tiberias, they were allowed to walk on the water.  They looked down as they put one foot in front of the other.  As each foot would touch the water, it stepped onto what became a small solid diamond, like slate, which held their weight.  Then as that foot would raise up, the little slate would disappear and another would form as the next foot touched the water.  This continued all the way from Albania to Italy, a distance of just over 190 miles, coast to coast. 

There's no mention of how long it took for the journey to Italy.  An interesting point to note is that all the while they were walking over the sea, they had the sun during the day to guide them, and the moon and stars at night.  They never felt cold at night, or hot during the day.  They never tired, although this trip had to take days, at least.  They never felt hungry or thirsty, for the entire time they were following Our Lady.  After they arrived on land in Italy, the journey continued on land in the direction of Rome.  At a given point, the soldiers could see the towers of the churches of Rome.  They were sure that this was where Our Lady wanted to go.  But she was full of surprises.  Suddenly, just when they ventured near the gates of the city of Rome, the image of Our Lady, with the cloud and the Angels, disappeared.  She was gone.  They were shocked.  This was the only reason they were here.  What would they do now?  Now they found that they were exhausted, in need of sleep, and famished.  They realized they had not eaten in days.  They went in search of food and shelter.

Our Lady goes to Genazzano

Our attention switches to Genazzano, a small village in the province of Latium, not more than 50 kilometers (31 miles) from Rome.  Rome exerted a major influence on the little village, especially where it came to morals or lack of them.  Genazzano was very much like Rome, only on a much smaller basis.  It had degenerated into a haven for corruption, moral decay, idol worship, sexual permissiveness and on and on.  But there was a widow, a holy lady, named Petruccia de Nocera.  She was a third order Augustinian.  In the town of Genazzano, there was a broken-down church named after Our Lady of Good Counsel.  At one time, it was a place of great spiritual renewal, but with Renaissance, churches took a back seat to secular humanism and paganism, and so this little church in honor of Our Lady was in great disrepair.

The Augustinians wanted it rebuilt.  Petruccia had been given inner locutions from Our Lady for many years, telling her she wanted the church rebuilt.  At one point, Our Lady told her that she wanted the Image of Our Lady of Scutari to leave Albania.  Petruccia understood what she was being told.  Our Lady wanted this little broken-down church to house the Image of Our Lady of Scutari.  So she spent all the money she had, attempting to rebuild the church, even to the point of selling her home to donate the money towards the building of the new church.  But she was pretty much alone in her quest to do the work of Our Lady in this way.  As a matter of fact, she had become the town joke.  She spent all her time around the church with only one wall up, which was only about three feet high.  This was all Petruccia could afford to build.  Every one knew she had put all her money into this venture, and it looked like it was never going to happen.

That is, until the 25th of April, 1467 at 4 p.m.  There had been a town market in the piazza that day, and many local people, as well as some from outlying areas, were in the town square, buying and just enjoying the day.  All of a sudden, there were sounds of what sounded like a choir singing.  But there was no choir in town that could sing as beautifully as the sounds that were coming to the people.  They looked all around them.  The sounds became louder, and more distinguishable.  They were hymns to Our Lady.  Petruccia, who had her head down in prayer, lifted her eyes in the direction of the beautiful singing.  There, in the sky, not 50 meters away, was the white cloud, with the Angels surrounding the Image of Our Lady of Scutari, being carried to the church of Our Lady of Good Counsel. 

Now, the entire town, in addition to Petruccia, could see the Heavenly entourage approaching the little Church.  Everyone watched as the fresco floated down, down, down until it stopped in front of the one three-foot wall of the church.  And there it stayed.  At first, there was silence.  This was followed by soft voices of people in awe, which was then followed by cheering and shouting.  Petruccia was in tears of joy; Our Lady had come.  The townspeople, who had not had a thought about Our Lady for years, all of a sudden were crying out "Madonna," singing "Salve Regina."  It was truly a miracle.

Word traveled all over Latium and the surrounding provinces.  It was abuzz in Rome.  People were flocking to the little church, from all over Italy.  The two soldiers, who had been in prayer since they lost Our Lady, heard about what had happened, and rushed to Genazzano to see if it was truly Our Lady of Scutari who had come to that place.  When they arrived at the church, and saw their Lady there, they fell down on their knees in tears.  They were truly home.  They remained in that town for the rest of their lives.

As soon as this miracle had taken place, money began to pour in for the construction of the little church.  A new, beautiful Shrine was built in a period of three years.  It was completed in 1470, the same year Petruccia died.  She had lived long enough to see her dream, and the mandate she had been given, fulfilled.  There has been an ongoing controversy over the years as to whether the Image in the Church in Genazzano is actually the Image from Scutari, Albania, despite the testimony of the two soldiers and Petruccia.  Some think it came directly from Heaven as a means to convert the sinners of Rome and the Latium.  But all evidence points to the account given by the soldiers and Petruccia. 

There is another aspect of the Miracle of Genazzano which defies explanation.  The fresco, which is actually a piece of the wall of the church in Scutari, never adhered to the wall of the Church in Genazzano, not to this day.  It is suspended in mid-air.  It floats about six inches from the wall of the church.  Sadly, a large frame has been placed around it so that one cannot see the space between the fresco and the wall.  However, this does bring to mind the Holy House of Loreto, which does not sit on the ground.  It rests about an inch above the ground.  It defies logic, but not miracle.  With the miraculous, anything is possible.

There are so many miracles attributed to devotion to Our Lady of Good Counsel here in Genazzano, it would take three more chapters to tell you everything.  One thing we can say, in the first 110 days after the fresco of Our Lady came to Genazzano, 161 recorded miracles took place.  They were all documented and accepted.  Miracles continue to occur for those who pray for the intercession of Our Lady of Good Counsel.  We're told that even copies of the image of Our Lady, when placed in different parts of the world, have yielded miraculous results.  Our Lady of Good Counsel is a very special title of Our Lady's.  She is there to help us through our Pilgrimage of Life.  Talk to her; she will answer you.  Look at her image; ask for her help; don't be surprised if she smiles at you.

The Miracle of the Cross of Genazzano

Although the account of Our Lady's journey to her Shrine at Genazzano is such a powerful story in itself, the real reason we wanted to include it in this book was because we thought it was so important to share with you this incredible series of Miracles of the Cross.  To be given the gift of having one Miracle of the Cross is a true blessing, but to learn about three Miracles regarding the same Cross is a triple blessing.  Let us tell you about it.

Pope Martin V was born in Genazzano, and so naturally, he had exempted his home town from taxes.  However, his successor, Pope Paul III was not native to the town; therefore, he didn't feel the same way as Pope Martin V.  This new Pope began levying heavier and wider taxes. Many provinces resisted, fighting against what they considered to be high-handed tactics.  Perugia rebelled, as well as other provinces, and Genazzano joined the revolt.  Consequently, Genazzano was occupied on March 25, Feast of the Annunciation, 1540, by Papal troops.  The Miracle of the Cross happened during this time.  The story was narrated by an Augustinian Priest, who had extremely high credentials.  He was Sacristan of the Pope, and founder of the renowned Biblioteca Angelica at Sant' Agostino in Rome.  This is his account of how the miracle occurred:

"During the occupation of Genazzano by the papal troops, a soldier, who had been playing cards in the piazza, and  who had lost badly, began cursing blasphemies against Our Lord Jesus and His Mother Mary.  The soldier was under the influence of too much wine in addition.  He stormed into the Church, and with his sword, he violently struck the forehead, chest and legs of the image of Our Lord Jesus Crucified, which was above the altar.  To his complete shock, Blood gushed from the parts of the Body of Christ which had been struck."  This was Miracle # 1!  But in addition, we have Miracle #2: "A supernatural force took hold of the sword, used by the violent soldier, twisted it so badly it came out of the soldier's hands and fell to the ground."

During the investigation which took place after the event, it was determined that the sword was twisted by Divine Intervention, because for it to be so badly twisted intentionally, it would have taken great strength and a tremendous amount of work. Another startling finding of the investigation was, where the body of Our Lord Jesus was struck, there was discoloration on the fresco which remains there to this day.

In remembrance of the Miracle of the Cross, and also of the blasphemous nature of the offense, the twisted sword was kept right next to the Miraculous fresco to show the power of the Lord.  But that's not the end of the story.  We now have Miracle # 3.  About a hundred years after the fact, in 1640, the patriarch Colonna (of the family of Colonna) ordered that the sword which had caused the sacrilege, be straightened.  The local blacksmith, Andrea Barbarano, under duress, obeyed the command of the patriarch.  It took more than a full day of working on the sword with fire and a hammer, but he finally straightened the sword.  As he was about to present the newly straightened sword to the Patriarch, it began to tremble spastically, and twisted right back to the position it had taken right after the violent attack on the fresco of Our Lord Jesus Crucified.  The miraculous sword is next to the miraculous fresco to this day.  No one has dared to make any changes to it, till today. 

"Silence them!" they shouted to Jesus.  And He replied, "Even if I should silence them, the very stones would cry out”.

No matter what man tries to do to kill the love we have for God, our very souls cry out for Our Savior, at one time or another in our lives.  The human heart will not be stilled!  And so it was with this and other Miracles of the Cross.

 

Miraculous Cross of Genazzano

 

 

From Miracles of the Cross Book

Miracles of the Cross book

 

 

           


 

 

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Our Lady of Altotting

Queen of Bavaria

Ancient Shrine of Our Lady of AltottingWe have been very blessed in our lives to have been able to follow our Holy Family to their many Shrines all over the world. There have been times, as in our struggles to find Our Lady's Shrine in Pontmain, France, and a Miracle of the Eucharist in Blanot, France, neither of which are on the map, when we almost gave up. But our Guardian Angel, the Angel of the media, St. Gabriel, kept us going until finally, at the thirteenth hour, a good Samaritan would just point in a direction, and then we'd see a little dilapidated signpost for the place we were trying to find.

But the real blessing has always been what we found when we arrived at the Shrine, sort of a gift from Our Lord Jesus or our dear Mother Mary, or the Saint we were tracking down. How beautiful are the tributes paid to those who love our Faith and everything connected with it. God is so good. He showers those whom He loves with the most beautiful tributes in the form of Shrines.

Now in the instance of the magnificent tribute to Our Lady, Her Shrine in Altotting, Germany, we didn't have to go out of our way that much. It really is very close to Munich, about 30 miles away, and is such an affirming example of the beauty of Bavaria. If you've ever had an image in your mind's eye of the Germany of The Sound of Music, with the tyrolean hats, the feathers in the cap, the big mustaches, the short pants and high socks of the men, and the great beer halls, that's Bavaria.

In a country largely Lutheran, Bavaria is a pocket of strong Catholicism, and very possibly the center of Catholicism. Their greatest strength, at times of peril, has been their devotion to Our Lady at Altotting, and Her response to that great sign of Faith. We were told by a Catholic woman, who had been born and raised in Bavaria, and lived there during World War II, that Hitler thought all Bavarians were farmers, and consequently simple, so he didn't send troops to bother with them. What he and they didn't realize was that Our Lady of Allotting was protecting them all the time. What did it matter if Her method of protecting them was to make Hitler think they were just simple? It worked, didn't it?

But let us get to the beautiful account of how Our Lady takes care of Her children here in this beautiful land. Altotting had unusual beginnings. Tradition tells us that it was originally a pagan temple. The history goes back to St. Rupert, known as the Apostle of Bavaria, who lived in this area in the Seventh century. He may very well have been Irish, because his Feast day, March 29, is also celebrated in Ireland and Austria. Austria would make sense as he was the Bishop of Salzburg, and actually gave the town its name, having changed it from its pagan name, Juvavum. St. Rupert (or Robertach, which was his Gaelic name) turned the pagan shrine of Altotting into a Christian Shrine, a Marian Shrine. A beautiful statue was made of Our Lady by St. Rupert, and somewhere around the Thirteenth century, another statue, which is venerated at the Shrine till today, was made.

Devotion to our Lady, at this new Shrine, began almost immediately, giving much credence to the claim by the Bavarian people that Altotting is the oldest Marian Shrine in Europe. The Holy Chapel of Our Lady was visited by small groups of people at first, and Mass was celebrated there often, at least on every Marian Feast day. One of the royal families settled in Altotting, choosing it for his personal residency and expanded the Holy Chapel of Our Lady.

Miracles take place at Altotting.

The Shrine of Our Lady of Allotting became very popular towards the end of the Fifteenth century, actually 1489, as a result of a major miracle. A little child, about three years old, had gotten too close to the edge of the river, and had fallen in. Not being able to swim, he drowned. When his mother found the child, she lost control of her senses for a moment, and then heard an inner voice telling her to rush the dead body of the child to the Holy Chapel of Our Lady. She ran for all she was worth to the Chapel and laid the body of her child on the Altar of Our Lady. People, who were in the church at the time, joined the mother in praying for a miracle, which would bring the child back to life. All said they felt an awesome presence coming from the image of Our Lady just prior to the miracle taking place.

After praying and wailing for what seemed to be a long time, the mother felt life coming back into her child. She kept praying, and claiming the miracle. All the people in the Chapel joined in claiming the miracle. The child awoke and got up. The entire Chapel shouted and sang praises to Our Lady for having given this gift to them. Word spread through the little village, and very quickly, throughout all of Bavaria, and eventually Austria and the Holy Roman Empire. Pilgrims started flocking to the Shrine with the sick, praying for miracles.

Not long after this first miracle, another miracle was given to the people, through the intercession of Our Lady of Altotting. A young farmer boy, about six years old, was helping to bring in the harvest with his family. The family wagon was loaded down with the crops. The young boy was on top, trying to be sure nothing fell off the wagon. However, they passed over a huge ditch, and the boy fell off the wagon. He fell beneath the wheels of the wagon. The weight of the crops and the wagon crushed the young boy. He died.

The family, who were local people, recalled the account of the miracle which had taken place by praying to Our Lady at the Holy Chapel. They rushed the child to the Chapel, as the mother in the first instance did, and prayed and wept over the loss of their child. Again, there were other people in the church. Again, Our Mother Mary heard the prayers of a grieving mother, and felt the tears cascading down from her face to the body of her dead son. A miracle was given to these dear people; their boy came back to life.

Pilgrimages began to come to the little Chapel of Our Lady. What began as a small group of pilgrims from the local area, blossomed out to parish pilgrimages, and then diocesan pilgrimages, to the point where annual pilgrimages are planned for special times. For instance, there is a pilgrimage from the diocese of Regensburg, about 170 kilometers (106 miles) from Altotting, which arrives every year on the Saturday before Pentecost Sunday. They start out on foot from their hometown two or three days prior to that Saturday.  Fr. Furtner, the Priest we interviewed at the Shrine, told us that most large pilgrimages to the Shrine are on foot.

Why do so many come?

They believe in the power of prayer. Miracles have happened here. Miracles continue to happen here. It's hard to describe, but the entire outside of the little Chapel, protected by a covered alcove, is just completely filled with ex-votos,( Literal translation - "Out of a promise," an offering made in pursuance of a vow, or as a token of gratitude. The silver hearts seen in many churches, as well as the silver cutouts of arms or legs, or part of the body, would be considered ex-volo.) paintings of miraculous cures, healings, soldiers kept out of harm's way. They're not only along the entire outside wall, which goes in a circle, but on the overhang of the alcove as well. In looking through our research, we tried to determine how many paintings there were, but could not. It was in the high hundreds, and possibly in the thousands. The time frame goes from the Sixteenth century, through the Religious wars and the many wars Germany has been involved in, most recently, World War II.

Our area of knowledge of the carnage of World War II extends only to those victims of the Nazi war machine other than Germans. However, when we come to Altotting, we become aware that many of the German soldiers who died as a result of the madness of Nazi Germany were Catholics, who refused to fight, or those who didn't want to fight, but had no choice. So naturally, they would turn to their Mother, our Mother Mary. And the ex-votos here are a sign of how She answered them.

One of the most touching accounts of devotion to Our Lady of Altotting was told to us by Fr. Furtner, the custodian of the Shrine, when we went there to make a television program on Our Lady's Shrine. It happened towards the end of World War II. The custodian of the Shrine at that time was Msgr. Adalbert Vogl. Our Lady had protected the Shrine and the village all during the war. But towards the end, the Allies were bombing everything in the area. Msgr. Vogl went to the Americans and pleaded with them not to destroy the Shrine of Our Lady at Altotting. They agreed, and the Shrine was spared.

But when Msgr. Vogl and the six lay people who accompanied him on his journey to the American troops, arrived back in Altotting, the Nazis killed them. They were executed on April 28, 1945, just two days before Adolf Hitler committed suicide in a bunker in Berlin, and ten days before the Act of Surrender by the Nazi forces in Europe. We asked our Priest, Fr. Furtner, if he knew why the Nazi commander killed these men. He knew on April 28 that the war was all but over. Why do something like that? Our Priest just shrugged his shoulders and suggested, "He was mad that the Germans had lost the war."

Penny offered an observation which is so true. She said "Germans did not kill the Monsignor. The Nazis did. And that's really a distinction that, I think, is extremely important.

“Because Germans, who believed in Our Lord Jesus Christ, who were not deluded by a man who set himself up as god, continued to believe in the Lord and their Blessed Mother. And as Father said, they continued to come here; they never gave up hope. And I remember my own aunt telling me that her brothers were put in a concentration camp (Dachau) - that's things we don't know about, right here in Germany - because they were Catholics, and refused to deny Jesus Christ.

"One of the experiences Bob and I had in Lourdes, was when all the armed services come there once a year. That is something to see. That, I think is something we have to go and film there. But we went into the Lower Basilica, the Basilica of Pope Pius X; and they were all Germans, and they were all military. And they were all singing, and they were doing a dance like a maypole around the Altar. "

"They had the national army band of Germany playing, and all of a sudden, everyone was shouting,

'Heil Jesus! Heil Mary!' When they first did this, it shook us, because we were used to hearing 'Heil Hitler.' But when we heard them say Heil Jesus!' and Heil Mary!' we knew that there was a great distinction between the people who loved Jesus and Mary and the people who embraced the Nazi movement.”

Devotion among Nobility to Our Lady of Altotting

It began early in the history of the Shrine.  As we mentioned, a royal family chose this place as their personal residency. But an even greater miracle, if you will, or at least a great show of love for the Mother of God at this place, was when the Emperor Maxmillian I wrote a dedication to Our Lady with his own blood, and had it kept under the statue of Our Lady. It was he who dubbed Her the Patroness of Bavaria. This Holy Chapel, as it is called, became the Bavarian National Sanctuary. It was so important! Other members of royalty asked for their hearts to be placed in the Chapel in silver urns upon their deaths. As you look around this magnificent little Chapel, you will see these silver urns containing the hearts of various members of royalty of the Holy Roman Empire.

Some of the royalty of Germany whose hearts are entombed at the Shrine of Our Lady of Altotting are:

Emperor Albrecht VII

King Maxmillian II

King Ludwig III and Queen Therese

Queen Mary

King Ludwig I

King Max I Joseph

King Ludwig II

King Otto I

Emperor Max III Joseph Emperor Karl Thodor Count Wilhelm Wartenberg Field Marshall Tilly

The significance of the tribute paid by these people is, for some part, lost on Americans, but for Europeans, especially Germans from Bavaria, it was a great token of their love and respect for the Mother of God at this Shrine.

Even more respect has been paid to Our Lady here by the thousands and thousands of pilgrims who have come every year. Prominent in this are pilgrimages such as those from Munich in 1949, in which some 35,000 came to this little Shrine; a group of young people in May of 1953 totaling about 50,000 came to pay respect to Our Lady; and a veterans group in 1956 of over 30,000 soldiers came, at which time a war memorial was dedicated.

Visitors to the Shrine of Our Lady of Allotting will notice, outside the Chapel hundreds of crosses, all different sizes, which lean against the walls of the exterior. These have been brought from different parts of Europe, in petition to Our Lady, for some special intention or need. They are also carried around the exterior of the Chapel by pilgrims, who come to Altotting. During the summertime, you would be surprised at the thousands of people who jam into the little Kappellplatz (Place of the Chapel) to take part in a candlelight procession. The last time we brought pilgrims to the Shrine, Fr. Furtner, who led the procession, asked us to pray a decade of the Rosary in English, as he introduced us as the Americans from Mother Angelica's television network.

You know, we talk about pilgrimage groups in the 20,000 and 35,000 ranges, and it's true. Till today, over a million pilgrims come to this Shrine every year. There is no way the little Holy Chapel could accommodate all these large crowds.

So other churches, big churches have been built in the complex of the Holy Chapel. Major religious ceremonies are held there, including Masses for pilgrimage groups, at least at times when the weather doesn't lend itself to a huge outdoor Mass at the Kappellplatz. But don't you know where all of those hundreds of thousands of pilgrims go, and make sure they have time to spend with Our Lady? You're right; the little Holy Chapel, which only holds about 100, if they are squeezed in like sardines.

Now, at certain times, when it would just be impossible for everyone on a particular pilgrimage group to get into the Chapel, they have brought the statue of the Mother of God to the people. Many times, usually again during the warm weather, when the amount of pilgrims swell to great proportions, the statue of Our Lady is taken out of the Chapel, and with the Blessed Sacrament following, The statue is processed through the streets of the Kappellplatz; the Priests bless all Her children, who have come and have patiently waited to feast their eyes on Her.

In November, 1980, the Shrine at Altotting was given a special gift. One of Our Lady's most ardent admirers, Pope John Paul II, came as a pilgrim along with Cardinal Ratzinger, to be with the people, (hundreds of thousands showed up) and to pay tribute and reverence to his Mother, our Mother. His reaction was the same as ours and that of all pilgrims who have ever gone to Altotting. He was awestruck, as we were, and always are when we return. Penny said to Mother Angelica on the television program we made here, "Mother, this place is awesome!"

 

Family, if the Lord and our Lady ever bless you with the gift of a Pilgrimage, or a trip to Germany, be sure to visit Munich, and the Shrine of Our Lady of Altotting.  You owe it to yourself.  God bless you.  We love you!!

 

This is a chapter from Bob and Penny Lord’s book, “The Many Faces of Mary Book II”

They have also made a dvd at that shrine which is available.

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Our Lady of Altottng

 

 

The Many Faces of Mary book 2

 

 


 

Miracle of the Eucharist of Lanciano

Lanciano

Lanciano is a small, medieval town, nestled in from the coast of the Adriatic Sea in Italy, halfway between San Giovanni Rotondo and Loreto. Everything about Lanciano smacks of the Eucharistic Miracle. Even the name of the town was changed from Anxanum (in ancient times), to Lanciano, meaning “THE LANCE”. Tradition has it that the centurion, named Longinus, who thrust the Lance into the side of Jesus, striking Him in the Tip of His Heart from which He shed blood and water, (in the Gospel account of the Crucifixion (Mk 15:29)) was from this town. After seeing the events which followed the piercing of Jesus’ heart, the darkening of the sun, and the earthquake, he believed that Christ was the Savior. A more physical sign, however, was that Longinus had had poor eyesight, and after having touched his eyes with the water and blood from the side of Jesus, his eyesight was restored. What a perfect parallel the actions of the Centurion were to the Eucharistic Miracle. He touched the Heart of Jesus, was healed, and converted. He gave up the Army, went to Cappadocia, and was martyred for the faith. He is known now as Saint Longinus. His feast day is celebrated on March 15.

THE MIRACLE

A Basilian monk, wise in the ways of the world, but not in the ways of faith, was having a trying time with his belief in the real presence of Our Lord Jesus in the Eucharist. He prayed constantly for relief from his doubts, and the fear that he was losing his vocation. He suffered through the routine of his priesthood day after day, with these doubts gnawing at him.

The situation in the world did not help strengthen his faith. There were many heresies cropping up all the time, which kept chipping away at his faith. They were not all from outside the church either. Brother priests and bishops were victims of these heresies, and they were being spread throughout the church. This priest, being a very intelligent person, couldn’t help but be more and more convinced by the logic of these heresies, especially the one concerning his particular problem, the physical presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. Human logic has always been a great enemy of the soul, when we try to understand the Divine.

One morning, while he was having a strong attack of doubt, he began the Consecration of the Mass for the people of the town. He used the same size host which is used in the Latin Rite masses today. What he beheld as he consecrated the bread and wine caused his hands to shake, indeed his whole body. He stood for a long time with his back to the people, and then slowly turned around to them.

He said: “O fortunate witnesses to whom the Blessed God, to confound my disbelief, has wished to reveal Himself in this Most Blessed Sacrament and to render Himself visible to our eyes. Come, brethren, and marvel at our God so close to us. Behold the Flesh and Blood of our most beloved Christ.”

He stood for a long time with his back to the people, and then slowly turned around to them. What he beheld as he consecrated the bread and wine caused his hands to shake, indeed his whole body The host had turned into Flesh. The wine had turned into Blood.

The people, having witnessed the miracle for themselves, began to wail, asking for forgiveness, crying for mercy. Others began beating their breasts, confessing their sins, declaring themselves unworthy to witness such a miracle. Still others went down on their knees in respect, and thanksgiving for the gift the Lord had bestowed on them. All spread the story throughout the town, and surrounding villages.

Jesus even allowed Himself to be crucified again. After the miracle, the Host was pinned down to a wooden board, so that when it dried, it would not curl up, as scabbed flesh does. So here He was again, with nails in His Body, nailed to a piece of wood.

 

The miracle that occurred in 700 was just the beginning. That was 1250 years ago. Had that miracle taken place, and then the flesh and blood disintegrated, as would have been normal, the miracle would have been none the less a miracle. The priest’s faith had been renewed. The entire town, the whole country for that matter, became aware of the miracle. Pilgrims flocked to Lanciano to venerate the Host turned flesh. Belief in the Eucharist had been reborn. The gift from the Lord was complete.

But that’s not all. The Miracle is ongoing. The Host-turned- Flesh, and the wine-turned-Blood, without the use of any form of preservative, is still present in the reliquary. In 1574, testing was done on the Flesh and Blood. An unexplainable phenomenon was discovered with the Blood. The five pellets of coagulated Blood are different sizes and shapes. But any combination weighs the same as the total. In other words, 1weighs the same as 2, 2weigh the same as 3, and 3 weigh the same as 5.

From the very beginning, the local church accepted this miracle as a true sign from heaven, and venerated the Eucharistic Flesh and Blood in processions on its feast day, the last Sunday of October. The fame of the shrine spread throughout the region quickly, and soon all of Italy came to the Church in Pilgrimage.

Many writings authenticating the Eucharistic Miracle took place over the years. Because this has been such a important local miracle, the background and history of the events were carefully recorded.

There had been a manuscript written in both Greek and Latin, attesting to the Miracle. It was said to have been written and certified at the time of the Miracle. In a Chronology of the City of Lanciano, historian Fella wrote that in early 1500, two Basilian Monks came to the Church, which was now in the custody of the Franciscans, and asked to stay overnight. They also asked to see the parchment which told the story of the Eucharistic Miracle of Lanciano. The Franciscans allowed them to study the parchment overnight. But the next morning, the Basilian Monks left very early, before the Franciscans had awakened, and took the manuscripts with them. The motive, it was thought, was that the Basilian Monks were ashamed that one of their own had lost his faith in the Eucharist, and hoped that by stealing the original document attesting to the event, it might go away. The Church of the Miracle remained in the custody of the Monks of St. Basil, until 1176, when the Benedictines took over. However, the building had become very run down, and the Benedictines were not overly excited about taking care of it. The Franciscans, however, did want custodianship of the Shrine. When one of their benefactors, Bishop Landulfo, was made Bishop of Chieti, he gave them the Shrine to take care of. So, in 1252, the Benedictines left, and the Franciscans took over. What they were not aware of until they actually came to Lanciano, was that the church was a disaster. They surmised that this was why the Benedictines so easily turned it over to them. In 1258, the Franciscans built a new church on the site of the original Church of St. Legontian.

In 1515, Pope Leo X made Lanciano an episcopal See, directly responsible to Rome.

In 1562, Pope Pius IV wrote a Papal Bull raising it to an Archepiscopal See.

In 1666, the Franciscans found themselves in the middle of a legal battle with what was called the “Raccomandati”, or Select group of the town. Today’s Italians might call them “I Superbi”. They thought they were better than everyone else. The Raccomandati tried to take the church away from the Franciscans by laying claim to the ORIGINAL CHURCH of St. Legontian, upon which the Franciscan church was built. If they had won, they would have had both churches. But the Lord intervened through the high ranking Cardinal Giannetti, of the Sacred Congregation of Bishops and Religious, and the Franciscans won the case. You can be sure that they immediately applied for a deed, and 18 years later, in 1684, it was granted them. During Napoleon’s time, in 1809, the Franciscans were driven out of the town. But they returned in solemn triumph on June 21, 1953.

 

On June 25, 1672, Pope Clement X declared the altar of the Eucharistic Miracle a privileged altar on the Octave day of the deceased and on all Mondays of the year.

In 1887, the Archbishop of Lanciano, Monsignore Petarca, obtained from Pope Leo XIII, a PLENARY INDULGENCE in perpetuity to those who venerate the Eucharistic Miracle during the 8 days preceding the feast day.

The Eucharistic Miracle was placed in different locations within the Church of St. Francis over the years. At one point, in 1566, the threat of the Turks became imminent along the Adriatic Coast. It was thought that Lanciano would be an easy target for them to invade. As a matter of security, the Eucharistic Miracle was taken from its chapel, and walled up on the other side of the Church. It got to a point, however, that the threat of the Turks became too much of a reality. On August 1of that year, a Friar Giovanni Antonio di Mastro Renzo lost his faith, not in the Eucharist, but either in God’s ability, or God’s desire to save him and his little band of Franciscans from the onslaught of the Turks. Using the need to save the Eucharistic Miracle from the Infidels, he took the reliquary containing the Flesh and Blood, and himself and his friars, and fled the city. They walked all through the night. Just before dawn, Friar Giovanni felt they had put enough distance between them and the enemy, and ordered his friars to rest. As the sun came up, they found that they were back at the gates of the city.

Believing that the Lord had intervened, and that He wanted His Sacred Sign as an assurance to the people of the city of Lanciano that He had not abandoned them, the friars were filled with the Holy Spirit. They acquired the courage of lions. They vowed to remain in the Church, and protect the Eucharistic Miracle with their lives. As it turned out, the Lord kept them from harm, as well as the city of Lanciano, and the Eucharistic Miracle.

The Flesh and Blood were kept walled up until 1636, although the threat of the invading Turks had long since disappeared. At that time, the Eucharistic Miracle was transferred to the right side of the altar, encased in an iron tabernacle, behind iron doors. There were four keys to the vault, each held by different people in the town. This was called the Valsecca Chapel, in honor of the benefactor. The Miraculous Flesh and Blood were kept in this chapel until 1902. The faithful were only able to venerate the Eucharistic Miracle on special occasions, the Monday after Easter, and the last week in October, the week of the feast. The Plenary Indulgence was available to the people during the feast.

By 1902, it was determined that the Valsecca Chapel was inadequate for the Eucharistic Miracle. The people of Lanciano were hungry to be able to see Our Lord Jesus in the form of Flesh and Blood while they prayed to Him. Under the inspiration of the local bishop of Lanciano, Bishop Petrarca, a beautiful altar and new home for the Eucharistic Miracle was designed by a well known architect, Filippo Sergiacomo. That was a beautiful sign. But the real sign came from the people of Lanciano. They collected all the money needed for the new altar. During the month of the feast, five bishops from the Abruzzi region, with the Franciscans, and pilgrims from all over, solemnly dedicated the new altar.

Lanciano was selected as the site for the First Eucharistic Congress for the region of Abruzzi on September 23-25, 1921.

IT’S IMPOSSIBLE TO TRULY APPRECIATE THE EUCHARISTIC MIRACLE OF LANCIANO WITHOUT SEEING THE IMPACT IT HAS ON THOSE WHO WITNESS IT

All questions and doubts about the physical presence of Jesus in the Eucharist become a matter of rhetoric when you are privileged to witness those who have seen the miracle. They decend the steps in tears. Many go down on their knees at the sight of the miracle. What had possibly been curious, doubting Thomases become dumbfounded, awestruck believers. They go back to their pews and just sit there, silent, weeping, praying. One priest who went with us to Lanciano in 1983wrote to us, “I can never raise the host or wine in Consecration again, without seeing my Lord’s very Heart between my fingers, His Blood alive in the Chalice before me.”

A pilgrim, born and baptised Catholic, shared with his Convert wife, after venerating the Eucharistic Miracle of Lanciano, “I NEVER BELIEVED IN THE PHYSICAL PRESENCE OF JESUS IN THE EUCHARIST. TO ME, IT WAS STRICTLY ‘IN MEMORY OF HIM’. NOW, I TRULY BELIEVE THAT MY JESUS COMES ALIVE TO ME PERSONALLY IN THE CONSECRATED HOST THAT I CONSUME AT HOLY MASS.”

On one occasion, after the priest had shown all our pilgrims the Eucharistic Miracle, he came down to the foot of the altar, and made the following observation:

“REMEMBER, THIS MIRACLE THAT YOU ARE WITNESSING NOW, AND THAT YOU HAVE TRAVELED SO FAR TO WITNESS, HAPPENS EVERY DAY IN EVERY CHURCH IN THE WORLD, AT THE CONSECRATION OF THE MASS

How many tests have been made over the years, how many times Our Dear Lord Jesus allows Himself to be prodded and cut, examined under microscopes, and photographed. The most recent, an extensive scientific research done in 1970, used the most modern scientific tools available. The results of the tests are as follows:

THE FLESH IS REAL FLESH. THE BLOOD IS REAL BLOOD.

THE FLESH CONSISTS OF THE MUSCULAR TISSUE OF THE HEART (MYOCARDIUM)

THE FLESH AND BLOOD BELONG TO THE HUMAN SPECIES.

THE FLESH AND BLOOD HAVE THE SAME BLOOD TYPE (AB)

IN THE BLOOD, THERE WERE FOUND PROTEINS IN THE SAME NORMAL PROPORTIONS AS ARE FOUND IN THE SERO-PROTEIC MAKE UP OF FRESH, NORMAL BLOOD.

IN THE BLOOD, THERE WERE ALSO FOUND THESE MINERALS: CHLORIDES, PHOSPHOROUS, MAGNESIUM, POTASSIUM, SODIUM AND CALCIUM.

THE PRESERVATION OF THE FLESH AND OF THE BLOOD, WHICH WERE LEFT IN THEIR NATURAL STATE FOR TWELVE CENTURIES (WITHOUT ANY CHEMICAL PRESERVATIVES) AND EXPOSED TO THE ACTION OF ATMOSPHERIC AND BIOLOGICAL AGENTS, REMAINS AN EXTRAORDINARY PHENOMENON.

As part of this most recent investigations, the following comment was made:

“Though it is alien to my task strictly speaking, i feel i should insert the following reflection into the study just completed: the clarification, which comes through in these studies, of the nature of the flesh gives little support to the hypothesis of a “fraud” perpetrated centuries ago. As a matter of fact supposing that the heart may have been taken from a cadaver, i maintain that only a hand experienced in anatomic dissection would have been able to obtain from a hollow internal organ such a uniform cut (as can still be glimpsed in the flesh)”

What the doctor, a scientist, not a theologian, is saying in simple language is that, although it’s not his task to speculate, it would have been difficult, next to impossible for anyone to have cut a slice of the heart in the way that it was done. He also states that it’s highly doubtful that there was any fraud involved.

Another unusual characteristic of the blood is that when liquefied, it has retained the chemical properties of freshly shed blood. When we cut ourselves, and stain our clothes, the chemical properties of the blood are gone within 20 minutes to a half hour. If blood is not refrigerated within an hour maximum, the composition of blood rapidly breaks down. If blood were taken from a dead body, it would lose its qualities quickly through decay. We knew that when we wrote this book,  But we wanted some verification from science.  We called the local hospital and spoke to the Pathology department. They verified our beliefs.  They went one step further.  They told us “When you donate blood, and it is put in a plastic bag, if you don’t refrigerate it within 30 minutes, you have nothing but red liquid.  All the proteins and chemicals are lost.  This blood is over 1250 years old, and still contains all its properties, chemicals and protein of freshly shed blood. And yet in the testing, it was determined that NO PRESERVATIVES OF ANY KIND were found in the blood. 

Jesus gives us His Heart again in the Eucharistic Miracle, which is a Heart muscle. He gives us His Blood again in this Miraculous form to heal us. He gives us His Blood with His Body in the Eucharist every day to heal us, and nourish us. There are instances in history, which we’ll explore in this book, where people lived for years on no other nourishment than the Eucharist.

“He who feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has life eternal, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is real food, and my blood real drink." John 6:54-5

We believe that the most perfect form of love is the Eucharistic Love of Jesus. In the Miracle of Lanciano, He loves us by revealing His very Heart and His very Blood. It helps us to understand the sacrifice of our Perfect Lamb, Jesus, in the Holy Mass. How much do I love you? Here is my Heart? How much do I love you? Here is my blood, being shed for you.

Each day during the Mass, Jesus, completely vulnerable, offers us His very heart, for us to accept or reject. We become part of the Incarnation again. God, one with man - God becoming man. As Mary carried Jesus below her heart, we too are allowed to carry now Jesus’ very Heart, His Body, His Love in our heart. And we are never the same.

THE SHROUD OF TURIN VERIFIES BLOOD TYPE OF LANCIANO

In 1978, a group of scientists from NASA performed an intensive examination on the Shroud of Turin, using all the sophisticated scientific equipment available to our Space Agency at that time. Among the many findings the scientists made in support of the authenticity of the Shroud, a very significant discovery was found regarding the blood type on the Shroud. It was AB POSITIVE, the same blood type as found in the Eucharistic Miracle of Lanciano. More and more, science has verified what we have believed in Faith for centuries.

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Family, Pope Benedict XVI has pleaded with us to do whatever we can to insure that the Christian Culture not disappear.
He is asking us to spread the Christian Culture in our case, the Catholic Culture far and wide.
This being the season of giving, is a perfect opportunity to follow the mandate the Pope is giving us.
As a part of this, he has asked us, the Mystical Body of Christ,  these last two years, to get to know the Saints.  The Catholic Saints are our ancestors, our brothers and sisters who have gone before us, and have passed the test of time.
The Catholic Saints are Role Models.  We have received many requests from non-Catholic Christians for books and videos on the Saints because they are much-needed Role Models for their children.  Their comments were Thank God for real role models.  Our children have no role models, other than what comes out of MTV and Hollywood.
We have been able to do what we do because of your support.  The way for us to continue bringing you Role Models, the Saints, is by giving our books and videos for Christmas.  In order for us to continue to add to the long roster of Saints and Apparitions of Our Lady, and Miracles of the Eucharist, we need you to evangelize with us by giving our books and DVDs to your friends and family for Christmas.
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Catholic Saints

 

Ebooks 
Kindle - Nook - Ipad - Iphone - Other
Browse our complete selection of ebooks 
from many outlets and formats
 click here

 

Minibooks

  
Minibooks on your favorite Saints 
Popes - Apparitions 
Miracles and more click here 
for complete listing

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Journeys of Faith
65 Holy Family Mission Road
Morrilton, AR 72110
1-800-633-2484

   
 
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