Reporting news connected to Christianity and Catholicism with biblical insight. Publicizing God's word through signs, wonders, and miracles of faith. While exploring this blog, it's our belief that visitors will experience the presence of the Holy Spirit through inspirational stories of faith.
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 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.”
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register.
So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
The Shepherds and the Angels
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
The upper stained glass window detail was photographed inside St. Rose of Lima Church. The Catholic Church is located in East Hanover, NJ. The lower stained glass window was photographed inside St. Virgil Church, Morris Plains, NJ, USA.
The following report regarding the St. Nicholas Icon and video is found on the website of the Saint Nicholas Center:
The video was taken by Bishop Savas while he was chancellor of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America in June 2008.
Long story short: I took this video in the sanctuary of the Cathedral of St Paul in Hempstead, New York, around 3:15 p.m. on June 22, 2008, Sunday of All Saints. This icon of St Nicholas the Wonderworker began to stream a clear, sweet-smelling liquid during the celebration of the Divine Liturgy in the morning. I don't know what to make of it. It smells of myrrh. I don't know if I would have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes, handled it with my own hands, inhaled the aroma for myself. Take a look and see for yourselves. +S Apparently it began gushing myrrh on Pentecost Sunday and it was examined by the Greek Archdiocese a week later on the Sunday of All Saints when this video was taken. The weeping stopped within about a month of when it began.
The following excerpt is from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation:
Australia will have its first Roman Catholic saint after Pope Benedict approved a decree recognising a second miracle attributed to the intercession of Mother Mary MacKillop.
The approval means Blessed Mary is likely to be formally declared a saint at a canonisation ceremony next year.
Blessed Mary (1842-1909), who founded the Sisters of Saint Joseph, is revered by Catholics for her work, especially with needy children, former female prisoners and prostitutes.
She was beatified by pope John Paul II in 1995.
The miracle approved on Saturday involved the healing of a person who had cancer and was cured after praying to Blessed Mary.
Sister Anne Derwin from the Sisters of Saint Joseph says many have been inspired by Blessed Mary's work in education and with the poor.
"It's not only the sisters, but many other people, men and women, who love the way Mary MacKillop lived her life," she said.
"They try and live in that spirit too, and do great things for people."
Sister Derwin says the Pope's decision is a significant event for the church in Australia.
"Mary herself wouldn't have expected this sort of limelight, but it makes us feel excited that the gift she was given for the church, for the world, is being recognised as valuable," Sister Derwin said.
"And that was a gift to focus on those most in need in our society."
Mary MacKillop was born in Melbourne, worked throughout South Australia and died in North Sydney.
She co-founded the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart in 1866 but was excommunicated from the Church at one stage for allegedly disobeying authorities.
However she continued to spend her life caring for those less fortunate.
The World Apostolate of Fatima, USA, will continue in 2010 to celebrate Healing Masses with Father Paul Ruge. Father Paul is the chaplain and spiritual advisor at the Catholic shrine.
The National Blue Army Shrine of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is located in Warren County on 674 Mountain View Road, Washington, New Jersey 07882. The shrine is part of the World Apostolate of Fatima and is devoted to spreading the message of Our Lady of Fatima.
The first scheduled Mass will begin with Divine Mercy Prayer at 3:00 PM on Sunday, January 3, in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel. Healing Masses will also include the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick right after the Homily. For any changes or updates on the Healing Mass schedule, please call the shrine at the following number (908) 689-1700.
The Healing Mass Schedule for 2010:
Sunday, January 3, 2010
Sunday, February 7, 2010
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Sunday May 2, 2010
Sunday, June 6, 2010
Sunday, August 1, 2010
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Sunday, October 3, 2010
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Sunday, December 5, 2010
In time of sickness, it's always prudent to seek the appropriate medical treatment from a doctor.
However, James 5:14-15 states that during times of illness, we should focus on the Word of God and also seek help from our minister or priest by "summoning the presbyters of the church, and they should pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven."
CBN.com - By the time Ethan’s parents took the long painful walk through the cemetery to see the place where they would bury their son, Ethan Stacy was within days of death.
Ethan was already under the care of a hospice nurse. His body was rapidly shutting down.
According to Dr. Melissa Rhodes, Ethan had AML, an aggressive type of leukemia. She serves in the oncology unit at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital in Nashville, Tenn., where she was one of Ethan’s physicians.
“Children who are actually born with leukemia don’t usually do very well,” Dr. Rhodes says. “The best that we could offer was to put Ethan through difficult chemotherapy and still not know that he would make it through.”
In fact, chemotherapy is so toxic for newborns that doctors gave Ethan’s parents the option not to treat their son. After two weeks in the hospital, Chad and Mandy made the painful decision to take their son home.
“The chemo could kill him,” Chad says. “There are all kinds of risks.”
“We came home and I remember lying in bed and praying,” Mandy says. “We said, ‘God, give us an answer’. We both woke up the next morning and both said, ‘Nope, we’re not going to put him through it’.”
Most doctors at Vanderbilt supported that decision. “We figured if Ethan truly had the kind of leukemia that we felt he had, then even with full treatment he may not do well,” says Dr. Rhodes. “For that reason we felt it was right to honor the family’s decision.”
After only a few days at home, Ethan’s baby acne, which is common in newborns, had become infected. So they went back to the hospital. That’s when the tumors began to show up…
“We noticed a lump in his calf,” says Mandy. “We paged the doctor, and they told us that it could be a blood clot or a build up of the leukemia cells, which is called chloroma.”
Tumors started popping up in other places such as Ethan’s feet, hands, and his forearm.
“Leukemia itself means cancer of the blood; it’s a blood disease,” explains Dr. Rhodes. “But in this particular kind of leukemia it can also go out into the tissues. That’s what we believe was happening with Ethan. He actually had leukemia in his skin, in his hands, his feet, and his legs, as well as in his liver and spleen which is more common. So he was showing that he had a very advanced disease at that point.”
Ethan was now about three weeks old, and his condition really started to decline. He stopped eating and began to experience sleep apnea.
“The nurse told me that he might develop what’s called sepsis, which would be a total body infection, and that he would go peacefully or he might hemorrhage,” Mandy recalls. “I would see blood in his diaper or maybe coming out of his ears. I was so scared to open up his diaper to even change it.”
When the hospice nurse arrived, Chad and Mandy knew they were near the end but Chad, Mandy and their friends continued to pray… believing God for the impossible.
“I remember rocking him and singing, ‘Open the eyes of my heart, Lord. I want to see you’,” Mandy says. “I knew that if I just focused my mind on Christ that’s the only way that I could make it through.”
The night that Ethan faced his greatest medical crisis, something happened. “Mandy late that night started feeding, and he started taking his bottle a little bit at a time,” Chad says.
The next day, Ethan was a little stronger… But was he having one final rebound before death?
Mandy says, “I remember sitting at the kitchen table and saying, ‘I believe God’s healing him. I can see God working.’ Then he just gradually started getting better. And over the next week, we were back up to six ounces of formula every three hours.”
Over the next two weeks, Ethan improved! And when Mandy took him back to Vanderbilt to check his blood counts? “His platelets level was like 415,000 -- in normal range, where it had been 39,000 at his lowest point.”
This stumped Dr. Rhodes and her colleagues. “Ethan had gotten about as sick as a baby could possibly get and then spontaneously got better. So we wanted to look. We did the bone marrow test, which showed no evidence of leukemia. The tumors gradually went down over a period of probably a week or so. It was just remarkable to witness it.”
Chad and Mandy knew they had witnessed a miracle when they repeated the bone marrow biopsy in July with the same results.
Today, Ethan Stacy is a strapping two-year-old, who loves playing with his dad and big sister Kaylee. It goes without saying that the Stacys are thankful.
"The prayers of my friends and church members meant everything to me,” Chad says.
Mandy agrees. “It’s just awesome that we have a God like that… I just can’t get over the miracles. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for him because I know it’s going to be big.”
'THE CHAPLET OF DIVINE MERCY IN SONG,' comes from producer, Trish Short and was performed on EWTN.
I recommend listening to the beautiful combination of words and music. For additional information about the song, please visit the following link: http://divinemercyinsong.com/
The Chaplet of Divine Mercy was written by St. Faustina Kowalska as a result of visions she had from Jesus Christ, who revealed Himself as the Divine Mercy. I would suggest praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy for God's peace to enfold nations, religious denominations, and people.
For information regarding St. Faustina, please visit the following link: Catholic Online
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.”
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."
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.
Steubenville, Ohio, Nov 27, 2009 (CNA) - The latest installment of the Franciscan University Distinguished Speaker Series, Steve McEveety, the producer of “The Passion of the Christ,” spoke to a standing-room only crowd of students, faculty, and community members last week in a talk entitled, “The Passion, Hollywood, and the Church.”
“Never has the world been so dark,” he said. “This is the time to make this world a better place.”
According to a press release from the university, McEveety, who also produced “Braveheart,” “We Were Soldiers,” and “Bella” shared his thoughts about how a rising generation of filmmakers could become involved in that struggle of changing the world for the better and challenged the audience with the idea of making new, great, Christian movies.
Using new technology, “you can make a movie, a good movie, easily. Big studios will continue to make the blockbusters, but we're going to see really great movies coming out by people who aren't well-known to Hollywood,” he said.
He also emphasized that, especially through the internet, it will be easier for the makers of these new movies to spread them, even if they aren't sponsored by Hollywood or shown in mainstream theaters.
McEveety also captivated his audience with stories of the time he spent with Mel Gibson before and during the production of “The Passion of the Christ.”
“It was the hardest movie I ever shot,” he said. “It's a movie about arguably the most important 12 hours of all eternity, so of course we're going to have a lot of problems.”
“The devil was doing whatever he could to mess up the project," McEveety added.
The filming process, an almost completely outdoor activity, was plagued by thunderstorms. Jim Caviezel, who played Jesus Christ, was even struck by lightning, though he miraculously emerged unharmed.
Since no major studio would release the film, the movie's producers had to go directly to the individual theater owners in order to find people willing to show the movie.
Despite these setbacks, the Christian message emerged victorious when “The Passion of the Christ” posted the second biggest opening weekend for an R-rated movie and earned over $600 million. Most importantly, it has had an impact on people the world over.
During the question and answer session following his talk, McEveety predicted that big production studios will probably only produce one or two Christian movies a year, despite the fact that there are many great Christian writers out there. He said “the current system doesn't understand the Christian market.”
McEveety is currently working on two projects,“Left to Tell,” which portrays the true story of a survivor of the Rwandan genocide and a film about Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Message of Our Lady Queen of Peace given to the Medjugorje visionary Marija Pavlovic on November 25, 2009.
"Dear children! In this time of grace I call you all to renew prayer in your families. Prepare yourselves with joy for the coming of Jesus. Little children, may your hearts be pure and pleasing, so that love and warmth may flow through you into every heart that is far from His love. Little children, be my extended hands, hands of love for all those who have become lost, who have no more faith and hope. Thank you for having responded to my call."
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God, the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.
St. Anthony of Padua,
St. Anthony, glory of the Friars Minor,
St. Anthony, ark of the testament,
St. Anthony, sanctuary of heavenly wisdom,
St. Anthony, destroyer of worldly vanity,
St. Anthony, conqueror of impurity,
St. Anthony, example of humility,
St. Anthony, lover of the Cross,
St. Anthony, martyr of desire,
St. Anthony, generator of charity,
St. Anthony, zealous for justice,
St. Anthony, terror of infidels,
St. Anthony, model of perfection,
St. Anthony, consoler of the afflicted,
St. Anthony, restorer of lost things,
St. Anthony, defender of innocence,
St. Anthony, liberator of prisoners,
St. Anthony, guide of pilgrims,
St. Anthony, restorer of health.
St. Anthony, performer of miracles,
St. Anthony, restorer of speech to the mute,
St. Anthony, restorer of hearing to the deaf,
St. Anthony, restorer of sight to the blind,
St. Anthony, disperser of devils,
St. Anthony, reviver of the dead.
St. Anthony, tamer of tyrants,
From the snares of the devil, St. Anthony deliver us.
From thunder, lightning and storms, St. Anthony deliver us.
From all evil of body and soul, St. Anthony deliver us.
Through your intercession, St. Anthony protect us.
Throughout the course of life, St. Anthony protect us.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
V. St. Anthony, pray for us. R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let Us Pray
O my God, may the pious commemoration of St. Anthony, your Confessor and Proctor, give joy to your Church, that she may ever be strengthened with your spiritual assistance and merit to attain everlasting joy. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Saint Joan of Arc is the patron of Captives; France; Imprisoned people; Martyrs; Opposition of Church authorities; People ridiculed for their piety; Prisoners; Soldiers; Rape Victims; Women Appointed for Voluntary Emergency Service; Woman's Army Corps.
I believe the Intercessory Prayer to St. Joan of Arc is appropriate for anyone to recite, especially when encountering adversity.
Eternal Father, you gave us Saint Joan of Arc through your infinite love and mercy for us. We humbly ask that you send down your Holy Spirit upon us, as Your Spirit is the intermediary by which the Word goes forth from your lips and reaches the ears of the faithful. Allow me to be a witness to your Son Jesus Christ just as St. Joan of Arc was. Oh, Jesus, grant me the courage to do your will, that I may be in one accord with our Father in Heaven. I thank you for the gift of your love, which I hope to one day fully understand.
Say 19 Our Fathers, followed by "St. Joan of Arc, by your powerful intercession, hear and answer me."
When you finish, say the following prayer:
Saint Joan of Arc, patron of France, my patron saint, I ask you now to fight this battle with me by prayer, just as you led your troops to victory in battle. You, who were filled with the Holy Spirit and chosen by God, help me this day with the favor I ask [here say your intention]. Grant me by your divine and powerful intercession, the courage and strength I need to endure this constant fight. Oh St. Joan, help me to be victorious in the tasks God presents to me. I thank you and ask you for your continuing protection of God's people.
Sweet Saint Joan, plead for me before the throne of almighty God that I may be deemed worthy to be granted the request I have asked. Help me, Saint Joan, to be more like you in the attempt to love the Lord with all my heart, soul, and mind. Through your guidance and prayer help me to be a truly devout and loving Christian, that I may both know and see the will of God. Help me now St. Joan, in my time of need. I ask that you mayalways be near me guiding me closer each day to Jesus. Thank you Saint Joan for having heard my prayer.
(The prayer can be found on Catholic websites.)
The following information regarding St. Joan of Arc is from Catholic Online:
St. Joan of Arc is the patroness of soldiers and of France. On January 6, 1412, Joan of Arc was born to pious parents of the French peasant class, at the obscure village of Domremy, near the province of Lorraine. At a very early age, she heard voices: those of St. Michael, St. Catherine and St. Margaret.
At first the messages were personal and general. Then at last came the crowning order. In May, 1428, her voices "of St. Michael, St. Catherine, and St. Margaret" told Joan to go to the King of France and help him reconquer his kingdom. For at that time the English king was after the throne of France, and the Duke of Burgundy, the chief rival of the French king, was siding with him and gobbling up evermore French territory.
After overcoming opposition from churchmen and courtiers, the seventeen year old girl was given a small army with which she raised the seige of Orleans on May 8, 1429. She then enjoyed a series of spectacular military successes, during which the King was able to enter Rheims and be crowned with her at his side.
In May 1430, as she was attempting to relieve Compiegne, she was captured by the Burgundians and sold to the English when Charles and the French did nothing to save her. After months of imprisonment, she was tried at Rouen by a tribunal presided over by the infamous Peter Cauchon, Bishop of Beauvais, who hoped that the English would help him to become archbishop.
Through her unfamiliarity with the technicalities of theology, Joan was trapped into making a few damaging statements. When she refused to retract the assertion that it was the saints of God who had commanded her to do what she had done, she was condemned to death as a heretic, sorceress, and adulteress, and burned at the stake on May 30, 1431. She was nineteen years old. Some thirty years later, she was exonerated of all guilt and she was ultimately canonized in 1920, making official what the people had known for centuries. Her feast day is May 30.
Our Lady of Guadalupe (Spanish: Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe) is a celebrated 16th-century icon of the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus Christ. The image, also known as the Virgin of Guadalupe (Spanish: Virgen de Guadalupe) represents a famous Marian apparition. According to the traditional account, the image appeared miraculously on the front of a simple peasant's cloak. The image still exists; it is on display in the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City. It is perhaps Mexico's most popular religious and cultural image, and the focus of an extensive pilgrimage. The feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe is December 12. She is said to have appeared to Saint Juan Diego on the hill of Tepeyac near Mexico City between December 9 and December 12, 1531.
The Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Dover, NJ, has a beautiful replica painting on display of Our Lady of Guadalupe. I photographed the picture during my visit to the church.
Rome, Italy, Nov 13, 2009 (CNA) - A young Muslim writer named Randa Ghazy has written an article entitled, “I, a Muslim, Defend the Crucifix,” in which she expresses her opposition to a ruling by the EU Human Rights Court that ordered all crucifixes be taken down in classrooms across Italy. The article will appear in the December edition of the magazine Mondo e Missione, a publication of the Pontifical Institute Missioni Estere.
“One of the most beautiful memories of my childhood and adolescence was of Father Bruno,” she writes. “I would often go to the oratory with my little brother and the sisters would treat us with great kindness and care.”
Ghazy recalls as well that “Father Bruno made us truly laugh. When it was time for Mass, my brother and I would run off to play ping pong and eat candy. Every day Father Bruno would ask us to stay with the other kids who were there in the church, which we embarrassingly declined to do.”
“One day, Father said to us, ‘Why don’t you come and say your prayers?’ And so we did. During Mass my brother and I slowly recited prayers from the Koran. So the crucifix, all the different kinds that I remember (from grade school to college) was always a symbol of security for me, a projection of the greatness of the heart of Christ, and in some way, of Father Bruno."
For this reason, Ghazy says, “I support and encourage every possible debate between Muslim and Christian citizens, all discussion about the secularity of the State, but with respect for the great models of humility that each one can find in his past and his experiences."
“I turn off the television so I don’t see the continuous verbal assaults, I remember Father Bruno and I smile, thinking about those two little Muslims who looked at each other in that beautiful church. I almost feel nostalgia for the 90s,” she writes.
The young Muslim writer was born in 1987 in the Italian region of Lombardy to Egyptian parents. She has written three books, the first when she was only 15, entitled, “Dreaming of Palestine.” The book is about the friendship shared by a group of young people in the occupied territories.
Her second book, “Bloody Trial,” was published in 2005. In 2007 she wrote, “Today I'm Not Going to Kill Anyone: Short Stories of a Young Muslim Who is Not a Terrorist.”
Deacon Jack Sullivan’s visit to England will be a special opportunity for English Catholics to discover more about Cardinal Newman and deepen their obedience to the Vicar of Christ.
LONDON (Cause for the Canonization) - Deacon Jack Sullivan, whose miraculous healing in 2001 is the basis for Newman’s Beatification next year, is to visit the Birmingham Oratory (UK) this week, in a event which the Boston deacon has said will be ‘the greatest moment of my life’. His wife Carol will be accompanying him throughout the visit.
On Wednesday and Thursday Deacon Sullivan will visit Cardinal Newman’s room, assist at Mass in his private chapel, and visit his library, a collection of international importance. At the Birmingham Oratory, he will give the only two personal interviews that will be conducted during his visit to the U.K, for the Catholic News Service (U.S.) and EWTN. It was after watching an EWTN broadcast about Newman in 2000 that Jack started praying to Newman for his spinal condition to be healed. Jack wrote down the address of the Birmingham Oratory, heralding the beginning of his providential connection with Newman’s own community.
Jack Sullivan will also be deacon at Mass in the Church of the Oratory, otherwise known as ‘Little Rome’, in Edgbaston. He will also visit Rednal, where Newman was buried in 1890, on the edge of Birmingham.
On Monday and Tuesday, Jack Sullivan will visit London, the place of Newman’s birth, where the Archbishop of Westminster has invited him to a press conference and Mass at Westminster Cathedral on Monday evening (9th November).
On Tuesday evening he will give the Catholic Truth Society 2009 Lecture at the London Oratory in Brompton, the second Oratory founded in England by John Henry Newman, in 1849. Father Ian Ker, the internationally renowned Newman scholar, will be giving an introductory address.
From Thursday to Saturday Deacon Sullivan will be staying at Littlemore, where Newman made his first confession and was received into ‘the one true fold of the Redeemer’, the Catholic Church, in 1845. He will pay visits to Trinity and Oriel Colleges. On Saturday he will visit the Oxford Oratory, founded in 1990, which fulfilled Newman’s hopes of an Catholic Oratory in his own university city.
Newman retained an abiding affection for Oxford, writing of it in his 1875 Letter to the Duke of Norfolk: “No one mourns, for instance, more than I, over the state of Oxford, given up, alas! to ‘liberalism and progress,’ to the forfeiture of her great medieval motto, ‘Dominus illuminatio mea’ [‘The Lord is my Light’]”.
When Jack Sullivan exercises his diaconate at Mass at the Birmingham Oratory at 12.45pm on Wednesday 11 November, he will do so at the Oratory’s ad orientem (east-facing) High altar. This traditional position for Catholic altars has, exceptionally, been preserved at the Birmingham Oratory. Pope Benedict XVI has often spoken of the deep theological and spiritual significance of celebrating Mass ad orientem, and of what has been lost through the current practice of celebrating Mass facing the people. Anticipating a Papal visit to England next year, Wednesday’s Mass links in a special way Newman’s Beatification to Benedict XVI’s own ‘hermeneutic of continuity’.
Father Paul Chavasse, Actor of Newman’s Cause, and Postulator-General of the Oratorian Confederation, said: “Deacon Jack Sullivan’s visit to England will be a special opportunity for English Catholics to discover more about the fascinating figure of Newman, to learn that he is an intercessor in their needs, and to renew their devotion and obedience to the Vicar of Christ, whose anticipated visit to the U.K. will be a powerful affirmation of the universal value of Newman’s path to the Catholic religion.”
O Immaculate Virgin, Mother of the true God and Mother of the Church!, who from this place reveal your clemency and your pity to all those who ask for your protection, hear the prayer that we address to you with filial trust, and present it to your Son Jesus, our sole Redeemer.
Mother of Mercy, Teacher of hidden and silent sacrifice, to you, who come to meet us sinners, we dedicate on this day all our being and all our love. We also dedicate to you our life, our work, our joys, our infirmities and our sorrows. Grant peace, justice and prosperity to our peoples; for we entrust to your care all that we have and all that we are, our Lady and Mother. We wish to be entirely yours and to walk with you along the way of complete faithfulness to Jesus Christ in His Church; hold us always with your loving hand.
Virgin of Guadalupe, Mother of the Americas, we pray to you for all the Bishops, that they may lead the faithful along paths of intense Christian life, of love and humble service of God and souls. Contemplate this immense harvest, and intercede with the Lord that He may instill a hunger for holiness in the whole people of God, and grant abundant vocations of priests and religious, strong in the faith and zealous dispensers of God’s mysteries.
Grant to our homes the grace of loving and respecting life in its beginnings, with the same love with which you conceived in your womb the life of the Son of God. Blessed Virgin Mary, protect our families, so that they may always be united, and bless the upbringing of our children.
Our hope, look upon us with compassion, teach us to go continually to Jesus and, if we fall, help us to rise again, to return to Him, by means of the confession of our faults and sins in the Sacrament of Penance, which gives peace to the soul.
We beg you to grant us a great love for all the holy Sacraments, which are, as it were, the signs that your Son left us on earth.
Thus, Most Holy Mother, with the peace of God in our conscience, with our hearts free from evil and hatred, we will be able to bring to all true joy and true peace, which come to us from your son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who with God the Father and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns for ever and ever.
bright dawn of the new world,
Mother of the living,
to you do we entrust the cause of life:
Look down, O Mother,
upon the vast numbers
of babies to be born,
of the poor whose lives are made difficult,
of men and women
who are victims of brutal violence,
of the elderly and the sick killed
by indifference or out of misguided mercy.
Grant that all who believe in your Son
may proclaim the Gospel of life
with honesty and love
to the people of our time.
Obtain for them the grace
to accept that Gospel
as a gift ever new,
the joy of celebrating it with gratitude
throughout their lives
and the courage to bear witness to it
resolutely, in order to build,
together with all people of good will,
the civilization of truth and love,
to the praise and glory of God,
the Creator and lover of life.
By Pope John Paul II
Encyclical Letter "The Gospel of Life" Given in Rome, at Saint Peter's, on March 25, the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, in the year 1995, the seventeenth year of his Pontificate.
The prayers of Pope John II are found on Catholic websites.
The Solemnity of All Saints is celebrated by the Roman Catholic Church on November 1st in honor of all saints. It's a day of reflection on those who have been a witness to the faith and lived a life of Christian Holiness.
Regarding saints and their intercessory help, Revelation 8:3-4 says, Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all the saints, on the golden altar before the throne. The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of the saints, went up before God from the angel's hand.
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).