Showing posts with label Era of Peace. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Era of Peace. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Prayer for World Peace

Photograph by Loci B. Lenar

God the Father
Creator of the Heavenly Kingdom
We petition the Court of Heaven
And humbly pray for mercy and divine intervention.


Send forth blessings of spiritual deliverance—
Free nations from the strife of war—
Release cultures from the shackles of poverty—
Instill stability and prosperity—
Healing earth of suffering—
With saving grace for humanity—

We implore Heaven for miraculous signs
By altering the destiny of humankind
Into a glorious era of peace and harmony
Through divine love and prayerful unanimity—
 

Almighty Father we graciously thank thee
In granting our prayers through the name and power
Of your divine Son, Jesus.
Amen

Copyright © 2005 Loci B. Lenar

Millennium Prayer for World Peace is written with inspirational words to pray daily to Our Heavenly Father for divine intervention. Loci B. Lenar was spiritually inspired in 2005 by Our Lord Jesus Christ to write a prayer for peace.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI in Fatima: "The Virgin's prophecy still hasn't been fully realized"



Benedict XVI in Fatima: "The Virgin's prophecy still hasn't been fully realized"

(If enough people pray, the course of history will change into an era of peace and bring forth Our Lady of Fatima's message of 1917 to a complete triumph.  -Loci B. Lenar)

The following excerpt is from RomeReports.com:

May 13, 2010. Close to half a million people attended mass with Benedict XVI in the esplanade of Fatima’s shrine and they prayed together with him in silence.

The celebration began with a procession with the Virgin of Fatima. Members of various army corps carried her on their shoulders from the Chapel of the Apparitions to the altar while some people threw flower petals.

Benedict XVI accompanied part of the procession in his pope mobile. Before starting the celebration he received a chalice as a memento from a trip of Father Antonio Marti, his former student.

The pope said that “whomever thinks the prophecy of Fatima is fulfilled is mistaken”, because the Virgin is the one who can change a person’s heart, when facing death and fear.

Benedict XVI
“At a time when the human family was ready to sacrifice all that was most sacred on the altar of the petty and selfish interests of nations, races, ideologies, groups and individuals, our Blessed Mother came from heaven.”

The pope said that he went to Fatima to confess to the Virgin that he “loves her”, to pray for mankind “afflicted by so much misery and suffering” and to pray for priests.

Before ending mass the pope visited the sick and blessed them with the Eucharist.

Read more: Benedict XVI in Fatima

Thursday, March 03, 2011

A Sun Phenomenon at the World Apostolate of Fatima, USA

Blue Army Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima
Photograph by Loci B. Lenar

By Loci B. Lenar

As a follow-up to the One World Praying for Life and Peace that was televised live by EWTN on Sunday, October 18, 2009, I am releasing previously unpublished photographs of the event. The prayer service was organized by The World Apostolate of Fatima, USA.  I attended this beautiful event at The Blue Army Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima which is part of the apostolate at 674 Mountain View Road in Washington, New Jersey.

It was estimated that millions of viewers had tuned into the program and joined in prayer for the sanctity of life and peace.


Visitors Photographing the Sun
Photo by Loci B. Lenar

I believe Our Lady of Fatima acknowledged the prayers of the faithful by giving a sign to humanity through her divine son, Jesus Christ.


Sun Phenomenon at Shrine
Photo by Loci B. Lenar

Numerous visitors were blessed to witness a sun phenomenon and took photographs. I believe the sign was given as an affirmation of God's love for humanity and to acknowledge the prayers of everyone on this special day.

The sign I believe is intended to help evangelize the world through the gospels of Jesus Christ with Our Lady of Fatima's message. To read the message of Fatima, please visit the following link: http://www.wafusa.org/fatima_message/full_message/fatima_message_fullarticle.html


Visitors taking photos of Sun
Photograph by Loci B. Lenar

In John 12:46-47, Jesus said, "I came into the world as light, so that everyone who believes in me might not remain in darkness. And if anyone hears my words and does not observe them, I do not condemn him, for I did not come to condemn the world but to save the world."


Celebration of Mass at Prayer Service
Photo by Loci B. Lenar

Additional information about the event with more interesting photographs can be seen by visiting the website of Christian-Mircales.com at the following link:
http://www.christian-miracles.com/miracleatfatimashrine.htm

Please pray for the Lord's blessing and grace of mercy to enfold humanity and the unborn in order for all to respect life and for an era of peace to unfold.

Thank you very much for the kind prayer support.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Our Lady of Medjugorje's Message of January 25, 2011

Our Lady
Photo by Loci B. Lenar

The Medjugorje Web - Apparitions of the Virgin Mary in Medjugorje

Our Lady's monthly message conveyed to visionary Marija Pavlovic- Lunetti on January 25, 2011:

"Dear children! Also today I am with you and I am looking at you and blessing you, and I am not losing hope that this world will change for the good and that peace will reign in the hearts of men. Joy will begin to reign in the world because you have opened yourselves to my call and to God’s love. The Holy Spirit is changing a multitude of those who have said ‘yes’. Therefore I desire to say to you: thank you for having responded to my call."

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Saturday, January 22, 2011

The International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima



The International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima from St. Louis Review on Vimeo.

The International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima visited many parishes in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. The faithful at Immaculate Conception Church in Arnold, Missouri held their own devotional evening.

Reflection spoken by Patrick Sabat, Custodian of the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima.

The following excerpt is from the website of PilgrimVirginStatue.com:

Sent out to bring the Message of Fatima to the world, the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue has traveled the world many times, visiting more than 100 countries, including Russia and Red China, bringing the great message of hope, "the peace plan from heaven," to millions of people. Many miracles and signal graces are reported wherever the statue travels including shedding tears many times.


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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Has God's Timing Arrived for Church Wide Healing and Reconciliation?

Our Lady of Fatima - Blue Army Shrine, Washington, NJ
Photograph by Loci B. Lenar

Commentary by Loci B. Lenar

On October 10, 2010, Orthodox Archbishop Hilarion Alfeyev of Volokolamsk is quoted as saying that "A Christian spring is just about to arrive. The 21st century will see the divisions between Christians healed and a rebirth of the faith, gift of God, just as it was preached by the Apostles and preserved by the Fathers."

(Read the complete news story on Catholic Online: Orthodox Archbishop Hilarion Predicts Christian Springtime, Healing of Divisions)

In reference to Orthodox Archbishop Hilarion Alfeyev's statement, I believe God's timing has arrived to move forward with a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit for an upsurge of church wide evangelization. This will not be limited to Catholics and the Orthodox Church, but all Christian denominations as well. My testimony regarding the matter is posted on Christian-Miracles.com.

In the 1990's, I had a spiritual locution which I shared with my spiritual director, Father Richard Tartaglia of St. Mary's Church, (Denville, NJ) regarding God's plan to move forward in our millennium by building a bridge of peace and unity between people and cultures, including reconciliation amongst religious denominations.

I believe the events are beginning to unfold, while Our Lady of Fatima's Message regarding an era of peace will come to fruition.

A sign from heaven with my testimony on the matter can be read by visiting the following link: Tribute to King: Signs from God's Heavenly Kingdom

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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Pray for Peace of Jerusalem

Millions to Pray for Peace of Jerusalem

The following excerpt is from Charisma News Online:

By Adrienne S. Gaines -



Organizers say 300,000 churches in 175 nations—including underground congregations in China and the Middle East—will participate in the Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem, which is considered the world's largest Israel-focused prayer event.

Eagles' Wings founder Robert Stearns, who is hosting the prayer day with Foursquare Church leader Jack Hayford, will lead a prayer event from the Tayelet Haas Promenade in Jerusalem. Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, Christian Broadcasting Network President Michael Little and Rabbi Shlomo Riskin of Efrat are scheduled to participate in the gathering, which will be broadcast on God TV.

"We are living in challenging days, when Jerusalem is under tremendous pressure on all sides," Stearns said. "The prayers of faithful people on her behalf will make a difference, especially as Christians and Jews from the nations, along with Arab Christians and Jews from Israel, stand together in Jerusalem on Oct. 3."

The eight-year-old effort is rooted in Psalm 122:6, which calls on believers to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. But Stearns said Jerusalem is growing increasing central in world events, which should further motivate Christians to intercede.

"The centrality of Jerusalem to global affairs has never been more obvious and more at the forefront," he said. "... The city of Jerusalem is [having] and will have in the future massive global geopolitical ramifications. So Christians must become educated on the complex issues surrounding the city of Jerusalem."

Stearns said Christians will intercede for all Israel's inhabitants, both Arabs and Jews, and the prayer day won't center on politics.

"We do not pray from nor towards a specific political agenda," he added. "But we pray from a scriptural basis, which we believe transcends momentary political understanding and ultimately works toward God's intended blessing for all people."

Read More: Pray for Peace

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Saturday, July 10, 2010

Lutherans Seek Full Communion with Catholic Church


The photograph and following excerpt is regarding Christian Unity and can be read on Catholic Online.

Are Lutherans Next? Lutherans Seek Full Communion with Catholic Church - International - Catholic Online:

By Deacon Keith Fournier 

The desire to recover the unity of all Christians is a gift of Christ and a call of the Holy Spirit.

Pope Benedict XVI's first Papal message: 'With full awareness, therefore, at the beginning of his ministry in the Church of Rome which Peter bathed in his blood, Peter's current Successor takes on as his primary task the duty to work tirelessly to rebuild the full and visible unity of all Christ's followers. This is his ambition, his impelling duty.'

CHESAPEAKE, VA (Catholic Online) -  On Tuesday, Peter Kemmether,  a married 62 year old father of four children was ordained to the Holy Priesthood by Bishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller.  Fr. Peter was granted a dispensation from the canonical discipline of celibacy attached to priestly ordination. He had been a Protestant Pastor who came into the full communion of the Catholic Church as the fruit of a sincere search for the fullness of the Christian faith. On June 6, 2010, I read a story in the Philadelphia Enquirer entitled "The Priest and his Mrs."  concerning now Fr. Philip Johnson, a Lutheran Pastor for 19 years, who followed a similar path. He was ordained for the Diocese of Camden with the same exception, under the sponsorship and invitation of Bishop Joseph Galante.  

Catholics are becoming aware of the former Anglican and Episcopal ministers who have followed the same journey home. Fewer Catholics are aware of the marvelous welcome the Church has extended to many more through the historic apostolic constitution approved by Pope Benedict XI. I have written extensively about this and recently shared my joy with our readers at the ordination of lifelong friend and pro-life hero Fr. Paul Schenck, whose ordination I had the privilege of attending last month. You can read my account here.  

I am in a dialogue with Archbishop Irl A. Gladfelter, CSP, the Metropolitan Archbishop of the  Anglo-Lutheran Catholic Church, a group of Lutherans who have embraced the Catholic Catechism and the teaching of the Magisterium. They are humbly knocking at the door of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith seeking a way into full communion. You can read about this amazing group here. I am working on a fuller story of their journey. Some have said that their smallness and placement on "the fringes" of the Lutheran community makes them less representative. I recall that those were the same comments made about the "Traditional Anglican Communion" in their early efforts. They became the prophetic vehicle the Holy Spirit used to open up an historic breakthrough.

To read the complete story, please visit the following link: Lutherans Seek Full Communion with Catholic Church


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Saturday, June 05, 2010

Spiritual Locution: A Message from Jesus

Photograph by Loci B. Lenar

Signs, Wonders, and Miracles - Spiritual Locution of Septmber 14, 2009

By Loci B. Lenar

Through a spiritual locution I received on September 14, 2009, Jesus called for everyone to believe in the Word of God and to "pray for divine protection."  The locution from Jesus was a result of my visit to the Church of Saint Michael in Netcong, New Jersey. Through prayerful discernment, I believe the Lord's plan is to mitigate and extinguish violence throughout the world in order to usher in an era of peace.

The spiritual locution is connected to Revelation 20:1-3, A Thousand Year-Reign of God's Peace and also to Our Lady of Fatima's message. I would suggest reading the biblical prophecy for further insight on the matter.

Our Lady of Fatima spoke of an era of peace during her apparitions to three shepherd children in 1917. For additional information about Our Lady's message, please visit the World Apostolate of Fatima, USA.

In Mark 11:23-24, Jesus said, "Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be taken up and cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him."

"Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you."

With those words in mind, please invoke the powerful name of Jesus in times of need or when encountering difficulty. Also pray to Our Lady by requesting her intercession before the throne of God to obtain graces of mercy and for an era of peace.

Pray for God's angelic protection to enfold humanity and the church. Angels are here to guide and protect us if we call out for their assistance, especially when encountering the storms of time. I would suggest reciting daily the intercessory Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel.

Whatever obstacle or predicament you're having today or might face in the future, release it to Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Through daily prayer, request our Lord to take control of your life and to help guide you on the pathway to His divine protection and peace. Ask God to change circumstances into your favor.  By praying daily, you will experience God's love and peace through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Trust in God and wait for His timing for positive changes to take hold in your lives and throughout our world.

May God the Father through His son, Jesus Christ, bless you with divine favor and peace.

***

In 2009, after receiving the locution from Jesus, I shared the news with my spiritual director, Father Richard Tartaglia of St. Mary's Church, Denville, NJ.

However, on June 5, 2010, Jesus reminded me through prayerful contemplation to again convey the importance of the message to humanity.

For more details, please visit the following links:  Message from Jesus and Miraculous Signs of Archangel Michael

Copyright 2010 Loci B. Lenar
Christian-Miracles.com

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Monthly Message from Our Lady of Medjugorje

Photo by Loci B. Lenar

Our Lady of Medjugorje's Monthly Message

On May 25, 2010, Our Lady conveyed the following message to Medjugorje visionary Marija Pavlovic:

"Dear children! God gave you the grace to live and to defend all the good that is in you and around you, and to inspire others to be better and holier; but Satan, too, does not sleep and through modernism diverts you and leads you to his way. Therefore, little children, in the love for my Immaculate Heart, love God above everything and live His commandments. In this way, your life will have meaning and peace will rule on earth. Thank you for having responded to my call."

***

The stained glass window detail of Our Lady can be seen inside the Gate of Heaven Mausoleum. The Catholic mausoleum is located on Ridegdale Avenue in East Hanover, NJ, USA.

Photograph Copyright 2010 Loci B. Lenar
Christian-Miracles.com

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Friday, March 05, 2010

There is Good News...A New Day Dawns

Photograph by Loci B. Lenar

And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all people; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.

Joel 2:28

Guest Opinion: The following excerpt from an interesting article by Junior desouza Ministries is presented here for your prayerful discernment.



A New Day Dawns
Biblical Basis

In Scripture, the dawning of a new era in God's plan is illustrated by the rising of a sun. Such "dawns" or "mornings" can pertain to a single person (Ps 57:8, 108:2, Isa 38:13), God's people (Mt 4:15,16), or even the entire world (Isa 26:19). However, the metaphor is consistent: a glorious sunrise terminating a long, dark night. Here's a few examples.

The incarnation of the Messiah dawned a much-awaited new day. Matthew, quoting Isaiah the prophet, said of Jesus' arrival (Mt 4:15,16, underline added): "Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the way to the sea, along the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles--the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned." Zechariah, in his prophetic celebration of John the Baptist, spoke similarly (Lk 1:78,79,): ...the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death.

Jesus, the Morning Star, was dawning the New Testament era. Notice the providential metaphor...He resurrected at dawn (Lk 24:1-3), and birthed the church in the morning (Ac 2:15).

Isaiah and Hosea prophesied a new day would dawn for Israel, a day when the Lord would relent from His judgments against her and restore her completely. Isaiah 30:19-26 is the entire passage with several promises, but notice the illustration used in verse 26 (underline added): The moon will shine like the sun, and the sunlight will be seven times brighter, like the light of seven full days, when the LORD binds up the bruises of his people and heals the wounds he inflicted. Hosea foretells likewise. The entire passage is Hosea 6:1-3, but once again, notice the illustration used in verse 3: Let us acknowledge the LORD; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.

The dawning of new days can also be personal. David said weeping would last throughout the night season, during the momentary anger of the Lord. However, joy would come "in the morning"--when a new season dawned--and that favor would last a lifetime (Ps 30:5).

Hezekiah, in the midst of his agonizing illness, said (Isa 38:13): I waited patiently till dawn, but like a lion he broke all my bones; day and night you made an end of me. After eating some boiled figs, he recovered miraculously and his new day dawned (v21).

Song of Songs refers to Solomon's bride as a "sunrise". Song of Songs 6:10: Who is this that appears like the dawn, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, majestic as the stars in procession? The friends could see that her presence in his life was a brilliant sunrise to him. She dawned a new day for Solomon.

Photograph by Loci B. Lenar

The Lord God is a sun, dawning new days of shielding, favor, honor, and good things for those who walk blamelessly with Him (Ps 84:11). He is the Morning Star (Rev 22:16), and that very nature demands that He manifest as a sunrise somewhere. Will you be that somewhere?
 
A New Day Dawns
Prophetic Rhetoric?
 
 I present this message to you today in childlike sincerity and divine seriousness. I say this, because, numerous prophecies are presently circulating about a coming "new day" or "new era", in this arena or that. Some of these words are 100% authentic, while some are hand-me-downs reissued in the spirit of prophetic rhetoric. The phrase new day has a high voltage, charged with sensation and hope, capable of being exploited simply as a mesmerizing catch-phrase.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, from the depths of my heart, I assure you this message is not prophetic rhetoric, spiritual sensationalism, Charismatic mesmerism, or trending/fadding. This is not a bandwagon prophecy. I have enjoyed several enlightening experiences the past few weeks that verified the Lord is truly revealing the dawning of a new day. A giddy excitement has filled my heart as this hope trickles down into my core!

As with all prophetic messages, I urge you to prove this word in your own secret place with the Master. I urge you to prayerfully wait on Him and the various confirmations He will provide in the coming weeks and months. And as He does, rejoice! I am so happy for what the Lord has scheduled! Many of His weary warriors and faithful fighters have waited long years for this good news.

In writing this, the Spirit urged me on joyfully from Isaiah 40:1,2: Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the LORD's hand double for all her sins.

For those of us who thought/think our warfare would never give way to a new era, the Lord cries from Isaiah 66:9, "Do I bring to the moment of birth and not give delivery?" says the LORD. "Do I close up the womb when I bring to delivery?" says your God.

An Era of Peace from War
The Ending of Heavy Warfare

The day is coming when many will no longer look over their shoulder for fear of the enemy's flood. The bullride will be over. It will be a day of peace from war, a day of rest on every side, a day when mega-seasons of brutal warfare have resulted in victory and subjugation of the enemy. David entered this era personally (see Psalm 18).

In that day many will quote the following scriptures (Ps 9:6 NKJV, 18:37,38, 46:9): O enemy, destructions are finished forever!...I pursued my enemies and overtook them; I did not turn back till they were destroyed. I crushed them so that they could not rise; they fell beneath my feet...He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth. Their prayer from Psalm 7:9 will finally be answered: Oh, let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end, but establish the just.
 
An Era of Successful Building
A Time to Build

The circumstancial peace will allow for settling down and the development of God-inspired projects. The enemy's resistance will be minimal and quickly manageable. It will be a time to focus energies not on warfare, but on building. Important progress will be made and God-dreams will become reality.

In that day many will have the experience of King Asa and Judah (2Chr 14:5-7): He built up the fortified cities of Judah, since the land was at peace. No one was at war with him during those years, for the LORD gave him rest. "Let us build up these towns," he said to Judah, "and put walls around them, with towers, gates and bars. The land is still ours, because we have sought the LORD our God; we sought him and he has given us rest on every side." So they built and prospered.
 
An Era of Long-awaited Second Chances
The Redemption of Major Mistakes

Waiting for a second chance to redeem colossal mistakes can be torturous. The humiliation and reproach weigh heavy on our souls, imposing a necessary sanctification on our pride, motives, and goals. For those who cooperated with the humbling, a new day of long-awaited second-chances will arrive.

In that day many will sing from Joel 2:19,26,27: The LORD will reply to them: "I am sending you grain, new wine and oil, enough to satisfy you fully; never again will I make you an object of scorn to the nations...You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the LORD your God, who has worked wonders for you; never again will my people be shamed. Then you will know that I am in Israel, that I am the LORD your God, and that there is no other; never again will my people be shamed.
 
An Era of Unusual Confidence
Fearless and Sure, Finally

Insecurity and hesitation are pandemic in God's people. Heaven and earth are overwhelmed by the opportunities missed, relationships passed up, expressions suppressed, destinies delayed. This new era will be one of great inner strength and confidence, where insecurities and hesitations no longer restrain the faithful from the risks and adventures of the Christ-life. The faithful will assert and initiate in ways that terrified them before. Fear of rejection will be replaced with fear of missing the blessing.

In that day these once-fearful ones will praise from Psalm 65:5 (NKJV): O God of our salvation, you who are the confidence of all the ends of the earth.

An Era of Surprising New Work
Unexpected Vocational Reordering

Work will be reordered in a major way. Many will be surprised, even shocked (pleasantly), at the unexpected new tasks and projects the Lord appoints them to. Major portions of many destinies have been kept carefully concealed until this time. This has been for both lofty and practical reasons. The dawning of this new day will dawn abrupt and unforeseen work assignments that will reorder many Christians' vocational lives completely.

An Era of New Demarcation Lines in Conscience
Expansion of Personal Liberties

The Lord will be greatly expanding the personal liberties of many in this new day. The demarcation lines of their conscience will widen into a broad place (1Co 8:7-12, 10:25-29, Ro 14). Many who were under divine "restriction" and testing will be released from seasonal prohibitions. Many who were legalistic in certain areas will be illumined to the overstrictness of their convictions. A widespread relaxation from divine permission is dawning.

In that day many will say (Ps 16:6,11, 84:11, Ro 14:17): The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places...with eternal pleasures at your right hand...no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless...For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

In that day many will testify with the words of Amos (Am 7:14,15): "I was neither a prophet nor a prophet's son, but I was a shepherd, and I also took care of sycamore-fig trees. But the LORD took me from tending the flock and said to me, 'Go, prophesy to my people Israel.'

***

To read the complete article, please visit the following link: A New Day Dawns

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Virgin Mary Appearing in Egypt


Numerous reports in various articles throughout the internet have claimed that the Virgin Mary is appearing at the Coptic Orthodox Church in El-Warraq, Cairo, Egypt. Is it a sign from God that Christians and Muslims should work together for a common cause? Is the claims of an apparition of the Virgin Mary a call for Christians and Muslims to live together in peace?

The Daily Star - Arts & Culture - Late nights in Egypt with the 'Virgin Mary'

The following excerpt is written by Agence France Presse from The Daily Star:

CAIRO: Every night in the run-up to Christmas, thousands of Egypt’s Coptic Christians have been gathering in a Cairo suburb eager for a glimpse of a vision that has given hope to their marginalized community.

It is three hours past midnight in Al-Warraq, a poor working class neighborhood, and a 10,000-strong crowd is silently staring at the sky. Then the appearance of a mysterious light over the church’s bell tower jolts the gathering into a frenzy of cries and ululations. They imagine it is an apparition of the Virgin Mary.

Thousands have been coming nightly since the first sighting of the Virgin Mary on December 10, in the hope of being blessed by her light. The prospect of benediction is being depicted as a much-needed morale boost for the Christian minority, which complains of systematic discrimination and marginalization.

Tea vendors and sweet sellers snake through the crowd where thousands of families have gathered with young children and babies.

“The first person to spot … the Virgin Mary was a Muslim neighbor,” said Father Fishay, a priest at the Warraq church. “He took a video and pictures and distributed them to everyone.”

Hassan, the Muslim neighbor in question, was sitting at his coffee shop at around 8:30 p.m. when he saw a strong light coming from the church. Others began to notice the light and saw a bird circling overhead. At around 2 a.m., Fishay said, a vision of the Virgin Mary appeared.

News of the apparition prompted hundreds to rush out with mobile phones to capture the momentous event. “It’s her, with her blue-and-white clothes,” enthused Rami, 36. “There is no doubt about it. It cannot be an illusion.”

“The church closes its doors in the evening,” said Fishay in his measured manner. “We were not there when the image appeared the first time, so we decided to come back the second night.”

Nabil, 32, his wife Mariam, 28, and their three children came from Shubra al-Kheima, some 20 kilometers away, to receive the Virgin’s blessings. “Her appearance means she approves of us and if she blesses us,” Mariam opined. “We will stay ’til morning.”

Her husband said the sighting proves that Christianity is still alive. He is angry over the recent publication of an article in a periodical of Cairo’s Al-Azhar University, Sunni Islam’s highest seat of learning, questioning the foundations of Christianity. “The apparition of the Virgin Mary,” he said, “means that Christianity is real and the Bible is real.”

Around 10 percent of the 80 million population, Egypt’s Christians complain they are kept out of jobs in the army, judiciary and universities.

“It is not possible to know the reason for the Virgin’s appearance,” Fishay said.

“Maybe it will end the state of tension between Muslims and Christians and an end to extremism. Maybe it’ll bring back forgiveness like there once used to be in Egypt.”


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Saturday, December 12, 2009

A Call for Peaceful Coexistence Between Christians and Muslims


Cardinal Bertone calls for religious freedom and respect for human rights in Arab countries

The following article appeared on the Catholic News Agency (CNA):

Rome, Italy, Dec 12, 2009 - In what constitutes the first interview for a documentary on the Vatican produced by the Al Jazeera network in collaboration with the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican Secretary of State, encouraged the fostering of religious freedom and respect for human rights in Arab countries, especially in the Middle East.

According to L'Osservatore Romano, Cardinal Bertone explained that dialogue between Catholics and Muslims is an "important factor for peace and respect.” He also encouraged "a peaceful coexistence of all with all," explaining that the Church "defends the rights of all: the right to live, the right to education, the right of association, the rights of all minorities."

In that sense, he said, "it is necessary to ensure freedom to worship for everyone, dialoguing and working together to help those who are most in need." "The Church,” he added, "promotes the welfare of peoples regardless of their religion." Given that fact, he urged the defense of minorities, especially Christians "who are in Muslim countries,” a task that "we must pursue together."

Cardinal Bertone went on to discuss his telephone conversation with the Patriarch of Baghdad, Cardinal Emmanuel Delly, after the terrible attacks that hit the offices of the Chaldean Patriarchate, among other areas.

Addressing the people of the Middle East, the Cardinal urged "Arab Christians to stay, because they play a positive role, although some may make mistakes." This is an issue that is often raised when policy makers from the region visit the Vatican, he said.

The Al Jazeera Documentary

The new documentary, which is intended to show the reality of the Vatican to the Muslim world and will be broadcast by in six months, also includes interviews with several cardinals. Among those prelates are: Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue; Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, President of the Pontifical Council for Culture; Claudio Maria Celli, President of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications and Rino Fisichella, President of the Pontifical Academy for Vita.

According Kenawi Mohamed, Cardinal Bertone's interviewer, "the decision to make the documentary stems from the desire to make known the universal reality of the Catholic Church and the Vatican to the Arab and Muslim world, in particular the Vatican, an independent entity guided by the pope, who is both a spiritual leader and head of state."

Kenawi said the documentary, which has been well received by members of the Roman Curia, "can serve to help the Arab world better understand the figure of the pope and the role of the Holy See in the current international scenario.”


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Saturday, December 05, 2009

Vatican and Russia moving towards full establishment of diplomatic relations



Holy See and Russia moving towards full establishment of diplomatic relations

The following article appeared on the Catholic News Agency:

Vatican City, December 4, 2009 (CNA) - At the conclusion of the meeting this week at the Apostolic Palace between Pope Benedict XVI and Russian President Dmitrij Medvedev, the Vatican announced that full diplomatic relations between the Holy See and the Russian Federation will be established.

According to a statement from the Holy See’s Press Office, the meeting included "an exchange of views on the international economic and political situation in light of the encyclical, 'Caritas in Veritate'” and a discussion on "the current challenges in terms of security and peace.”

“There was also discussion of various cultural and social issues of common interest, such as family values and the contribution of believers to Russian society."

Following the discussions, which lasted just under 30 minutes, the Pontiff and the Russian president exchanged gifts, with the Russian leader presenting the Holy Father with a picture of St.Basil's Cathedral in Red Square and 22 volumes of the Orthodox Encyclopedia. "I won’t know how to read them," the Pope joked, to which Medvedev replied, “Someone will help you.”

For his part, Pope Benedict XVI gave the Russian president a gold medal from his pontificate and the first copy of the Russian translation of the encyclical, “Caritas in Veritate.”

Kremlin spokesman Natalia Timakova said, "President Medvedev told Pope Benedict XVI during the meeting today that he has signed a decree on the establishment of full diplomatic relations with the Vatican. He has instructed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to lead the talks for establishing diplomatic relations and raising the status of each party’s representatives, at the embassy level and the Apostolic Nuncio."

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Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Optimism About the Road to Catholic-Orthodox Unity


Orthodox Patriarch Optimistic About Unity - Catholic Online

The following article appeared on Catholic Online:

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I is affirming that progress is being made on the path to Catholic-Orthodox unity.

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Zenit.org) - Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I is affirming that progress is being made on the path to Catholic-Orthodox unity, and says uprooting the obstacle caused by the "thorny question" of papal primacy will be key for continued progress.

The patriarch of Constantinople made this affirmation when he welcomed a delegation from the Holy See for Monday's feast of St. Andrew, patron of the Orthodox Church.

The Vatican delegation was headed by Cardinal Walter Kasper and Bishop Brian Farrell, president and secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

Bartholomew said the presence of the delegation in Istanbul "confirms the desire to eliminate the impediments accumulated in the course of a millennium to attain the fullness of communion."

An Orthodox delegation makes a similar visit to the Vatican for the June 29 feast of Sts. Peter and Paul.

"We attribute great symbolic meaning to your presence here, as it also reveals the desire of the Most Holy Church of Rome to do everything possible to regain our unity in the same faith and in sacramental communion, according to the will of the One who has called us to unity so that the world will believe," Bartholomew I said in his message.

He said the path to communion, as lived by the two Churches for the first Christian millennium, "has been undertaken with the dialogue of love and truth."

And, the patriarch affirmed, this dialogue "progresses, by the grace of God, despite the occasional difficulties."

The current theme being tackled by the joint Orthodox-Catholic commission is the question of papal primacy in the first millennium, before the split between the two Churches.

The commission met in Cyprus in October.

"Everyone is aware that this thorny question has caused great contention in the relationship between our two Churches," Bartholomew I observed. "For this reason, to uproot this impediment between us would surely foster our path to unity."

The study of the history of the Church in the first millennium "will also be the cornerstone for the evaluation of other subsequent developments in the course of the second millennium," he affirmed, invoking the gifts of humility and dialogue to accept the truth.


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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Miracle of the Sun Witnessed at Fatima Shrine in New Jersey





News Story by Loci B. Lenar

The World Apostolate of Fatima (USA) in cooperation with  EWTN,  televised a worldwide prayer service on Sunday, October 18, 2009 for the sanctity of life and peace.  It was estimated that millions of viewers  would tune in and join with prayer on this special occasion. 

Well over a thousand visitors came to celebrate by joining together in prayer at The Blue Army Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima.  The shrine is located on the grounds of the World Apostolate of Fatima in Washington, New Jersey.



What began as a cold and breezy day at the Catholic shrine, ended with peace, as some visitors saw the sun emit or change colors.  I was fortunate to have my camera on hand and photographed the solar phenomena.

Without reservation, I believe on this special day, Our Lady of Fatima  acknowledged the prayers of the faithful by giving a sign to humanity through her divine son, Jesus Christ. Numerous visitors were blessed by Our Lord in order to witness the Miracle of the Sun.  I believe the sign is a confirmation of God's love for humanity.  I also believe the sign is intended to help evangelize the world through the gospels of Jesus Christ with the message of Our Lady of Fatima.

In John 12:46-47, Jesus said, "I came into the world as light, so that everyone who believes in me might not remain in darkness. And if anyone hears my words and does not observe them, I do not condemn him, for I did not come to condemn the world but to save the world."



Michael La Corte, Executive Director of the World Apostlate of Fatima (USA), spoke about the Fatima Message, and how the Miracle of the Sun was witnessed by over 70,000 people on October 13, 1917 in Fatima, Portugal.  For additional information about Our Lady of Fatima and the heaven sent message of 1917, which was communicated to Sister Maria Lucia, I would suggest everyone to visit the World Apostolate of Fatima

Michael La Corte also highlighted the noteworthy changes taking place in Russia since the collapse of the former Soviet Union.  Remarkably, in Kazan, Russia, all Muslims, Christians, and Catholics respect one another by living together in peace.  For additional information about their societal way of life, please visit the following link: Catholics, Orthodox and Muslims live peacefully together in Tatarstan

In Matthew 5:9, Jesus said, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God."


 

Guests included Diana von Glahn, she is the host for the new show The Faithful Traveler, airing on EWTN. The show will focus on churches and shrines throughout the USA.




Tony Melendez and his band were performing with inspirational songs of faith.  Tony was born without arms, but is gifted in playing a guitar with his feet.  He is a truly inspiring artist, especially when you listen to his outstanding vocals.  I recorded some video with my Canon G7 digital camera. The video is of course not on the same scale as someone using professional equipment. However, it's presented for the purpose of exhibiting the artistic talent of Tony Melendez.  Please visit the following link to view and hear the music: The Remarkable Music of Tony Melendez 




Visitors at the Blue Army Shrine during Holy Mass.




Holy Mass was celerbrated with Father Clement Machado (front), and Father Andrew Apostoli (right).  The mass was a true blessing for anyone that attended ... very spiritual and uplifting. 

Father Apostoli later spoke about the Message of Fatima and reminded everyone that God sent the Blessed Mother to three shepherd children, Lucia dos Santos, and Jacinta and Francisco Marto to help eatablish devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in order to save souls from being lost.

Regarding secularism and the unborn, Father Apostoli said, "It's not a political battle, it's not a military battle, but a spiritual battle."   He said it's important to change the hearts of people by going to Our Lady in prayer for her intercessory help.  He also reminded everyone that through the power of prayer the Immaculate Heart of Mary will triumph in victory.  And, as Our Lady promised in Fatima, an era of peace will be granted to the world by God.

Regarding the sanctity of life, I must emphasize individual responsiblity before considering the termination of a pregnancy by reflecting first on Psalm 139:13-16, which says, "You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother's womb. I praise you, so wonderfully you made me; wonderful are your works! My very self you knew; my bones were not hidden from you, When I was being made in secret, fashioned as in the depths of the earth. Your eyes foresaw my actions; in your book all are written down; my days were shaped, before one came to be."

Please do not underestimate the power of prayer in changing circumstances into a favorable outcome. 

In Mark 12:24-25, Jesus said, "Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you. Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions."

Father Apostoli also said that when God is ready to move forward, great things will happen. 

1Samuel 12:16 states, Now then, stand ready to witness the great marvel the Lord is about to accomplish before your eyes. 

I believe we are already at the stage where God is performing signs and wonders throughout the world in order to move forward with an era of peace.




Artist Joe DeVito spoke about his work in creating the beautiful sculpture of Mary, Mother of the Life Within.  His artwork is refreshing and resonates with God's love.




At the end of the service, the Holy Rosary was recited outdoors by Father Paul Ruge in the amphitheater, and cries of joy could be heard in the rear as visitors were blessed in seeing a solar phenomena.  Numerous people were using cell phones or cameras to take pictures of the sun as it was emitting or changing colors (Miracle of the Sun).  I also overhead someone saying that they saw an image of a heart appear in the sun (sky).  Perhaps the Sacred Heart of Jesus?  However, one woman was on her knees with hands folded in prayer and looking at the sun.  The Lord indeed provides a special grace in order to observe the phenomena without injuring the eyes.  The images shown here were photographed with my Canon G7 camera.

As a follow-up to Sunday's beautiful prayer service, I contacted the World Apostolate of Fatima (USA) by email, requesting some updated information on the reported solar phenomena.  Michael La Corte responded by saying, "Some people claimed to have seen something but as you can guess I was not a witness as I was live on the air at the time."


























(The above images photographed by Loci B. Lenar)



Photograph courtesy of Maureen Therese Pinho



Photograph Courtesy of Maureen Therese Pinho



Photograph Courtesy of Maureen Therese Pinho



Photograph courtesy of Maureen Therese Pinho

Maureen Therese Pinho, a visitor to the shrine, also attended the prayer service with her children and a friend on Sunday.  She was kind enough to contact me through my website and supplied me with some images that were photographed by her at the shrine on October 18th.  ( Please Note: Her digital camera was not formatted and set with the present date and time.) 

Maureen said afterward, "My children and friend and I all saw the same thing with the sun spinning, changing colors, and pulsating as soon as the Hail Holy Queen was finished being recited" (Holy Rosary Prayer). 

Maureen is a parishioner of The Church of St. Michael, located in Netcong, New Jersey.

The photos of the solar phenomena are posted here for your discernment.

In John 8:12, the following is noted: When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

May God the Father through the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and Our Blessed Mother, usher in an era of peace by unifying all nations, religion, and people with the Lord's divine love.

(The information posted in the article has been shared with my spiritual advisor, Father Richard Tartaglia of Saint Mary's Church, Denville, NJ, USA).

Copyright 2009 Loci B. Lenar