Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Illuminating Angels: Comforting Angels



From the site of Guideposts.com:

Doug Snyder brings you another episode of Illuminating Angels. This time we take a look at Comforting Angels. This is a Guideposts production.

Our Lady Of Medjugorje's Christmas Message of 2012

 
Photo by Loci B. Lenar

The Medjugorje Web - Apparitions of the Virgin Mary in Medjugorje


December 25, 2012 Message to Marija Pavlovic

"
Our Lady came with little Jesus in her arms and She did not give a message, but little Jesus began to speak and said : 'I am your peace, live my commandments.' With a sign of the cross, Our Lady and little Jesus blessed us together."



December 25, 2012 Annual Apparition Message to Jakov Colo

"Dear children, give the gift of your life to me and completely surrender to me so that I may help you to comprehend my motherly love and the love of my Son for you. My children, I love you immeasurably and today, in a special way, on the day of the birth of my Son, I desire to receive each of you into my heart and to give a gift of your lives to my Son. My children, Jesus loves you and gives you the grace to live in His mercy, but sin has overtaken many of your hearts and you live in darkness. Therefore, my children, do not wait, say ‘no’ to sin and surrender your hearts to my Son, because only in this way will you be able to live God’s mercy and, with Jesus in your hearts, set out on the way of salvation."

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem 3D

Church of the Nativity - Photo Jerusalem.com


The following news release is from Jerusalem.com:

The birthplace of Jesus Christ

Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, so why not visit this holy site online for free?

See, hear and feel the birthplace of Jesus Christ in a stunning 3D educational tour of Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.

The Church of the Nativity is built over the cave which is traditionally believed to be the Manger in which the Virgin Mother Mary gave birth to Jesus Christ on that fateful night over 2000 years ago.
 
Explore and learn about the birth of Christ, the visit of the 3 Kings who came bearing gifts, the star of the Magi and more. Read about different scared items in the Nativity Church, take a guided tour through the Church of the Nativity and listen to explanations about the Church of the Nativity and the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem.
 
We hope you enjoy our Nativity Church 3D tour and wish you and peace and health. In the words of the angel who appeared at the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem:

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men!"   (Luke 2:14)

"And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes in a Manger, because there was no room for them in the inn."   (Luke 2:7)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Virgin Mary of Breezy Point, New York

Virgin Mary of Breezy Point by Stephen B. Whatley

Stephen B Whatley | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Commentary by Loci B. Lenar

For anyone unfamiliar with the artwork of Stephen B. Whatley, his paintings are recognized internationally. A feature story about this talented artist and his Christian tributes appears in the September 2011 issue of Catholic Life magazine, published in the UK. The article, Stephen B. Whatley the Praying Artist is reprinted on the website of www.Christian-Miracles.com.

More recently, Stephen's painting of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha - the first Native American canonized by Rome on October 21, 2012, is featured in The Vatican Past and Present (Issue 11: November 2012 - January 2013; published by The Universe Media Group Ltd).

The painting of the Virgin Mary of Breezy Point and following article is reprinted by permission from the artist.

From the website of Stephen B. Whatley:

A new tribute to the Blessed Virgin Mary, inspired by the statue 'miraculously' left standing as the only remains of The Catholic Church of St. Genevieve in Breezy Point, NY, destroyed by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012. She stands as a memorial to all those who tragically lost their lives and homes during that storm that assaulted New Jersey and the East Coast of America.

The beautiful statue, standing amongst the ruins of the church was first highlighted by journalist Natalie Keyssar in the Wall Street Journal; and quickly became known as the Virgin Mary, Our Lady or The Madonna of Breezy Point.

This pastel drawing was partly inspired by the beautiful photograph, taken by Bobby Plasencia, showing here on Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/op204/8156903668/in/photostream

Created through December 13 and 14, 2012, expressionist artist Stephen B. Whatley shows this new tribute in memory of both all those felled by the storm; and most recently in sympathy for all those lives devastated on December 14 at the school in Newtown, Connecticut. May faith go some way to consoling those in the most devastating state of grief.  Peace.

Pastel on paper
23.4 x 16.5in/59 x 42cm

To view more of Stephen's work or to order prints, please visit www.stephenbwhatley.com.

Wishing all Visitors a Blessed and Merry Christmas

Photograph by Loci B. Lenar

Christmas Prayer

Lord, in this holy season of prayer and song and laughter, we praise you for the great wonders you have sent us: for shining star and angel's song, for infant's cry in lowly manger. We praise you for the Word made flesh in a little Child. We behold his glory, and are bathed in its radiance.

Be with us as we sing the ironies of Christmas, the incomprehensible comprehended, the poetry made hard fact, the helpless Babe who cracks the world asunder. We kneel before you shepherds, innkeepers, wisemen. Help us to rise bigger than we are. Amen.


Christmas Prayer

God of love, Father of all, the darkness that covered the earth has given way to the bright dawn of your Word made flesh. Make us a people of this light. Make us faithful to your Word, that we may bring your life to the waiting world. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Christmas Prayer

DEAR INFANT JESUS
IN A SHORT TIME
YOU WILL COME
TO VISIT US
AND YOUR HOLY, DIVINE COMING
IS FULL OF PEACE, JOY AND LOVE
FOR ME AND EVERYONE.
OUR HEARTS ARE FULL OF YOUR LOVE
IN OUR DAILY LIFE.
DEAR JESUS PLEASE HELP
ALL YOUR DEVOTEES
AROUND THE WORLD.
THANKS MY DEAR LORD.

Ezio and Aurora Ippoliti
Via Stella, 1
84060 ORRIA (SA) ITALY

More Prayers: Catholic Online

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Rome is home to one of the most picturesque, Christmas markets in the world




The video and following excerpt is from RomeReports.com:

December 22, 2012. (Romereports.com) Bundled in the heart of Rome, in Piazza Navona, you will find one of the most visited Christmas markets in all of Europe. The smell of roasted chestnuts fills the air, and you are sure to find chocolate nuggets and Italian pastries.

They sell everything from sweets, to warm beverages, cotton candy, and of course, Nativity sets, Advent wreaths and Christmas tree ornaments. But the lifeline of these markets are the artisans. They spend half a year toiling in their shops and the other half, in the market selling their work. They fear that one day, they will be out of job.  

Read More: Christmas Markets

Friday, December 21, 2012

A Muslim's Search for Meaning Leads to Christ



CBN TV - Video

The following excerpt is from CBN.com:

Antonio Santana found meaning in Islam, but he didn't find salvation until he met Jesus.

He started having dreams. “I dreamt that I was swimming in a big ocean all by myself and there was a figure in the background sitting on a rock. He was fishing for me. I didn’t know who that figure was because I couldn’t categorize Him at that moment as Jesus Christ, but I had an impression that was Jesus. I was trying to make sense of it. At the same time I couldn’t explain it.”

Read More: Antonio Santana 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Pope 'deeply saddened' by Connecticut school shooting, asks for prayers and consolation




The video and following news story is from RomeReports.com:

December 17, 2012. (Romereports.com) Benedict XVI expressed his sorrow for the victims and survivors of Friday's mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school that left 27 dead, including 20 children and the alleged gunman.

The Pope addressed the tragedy publicly for the first time, during the Angelus on Sunday.

BENEDICT XVI
“I was deeply saddened by Friday’s senseless violence in Newtown, Connecticut. I assure the families of the victims, especially those who lost a child, of my closeness in prayer. May the God of consolation touch their hearts and ease their pain.”

The Pope first offered his condolences on Friday, soon after shooting took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

On Saturday, the Vatican Secretary of State issued a press release on behalf of Benedict XVI saying he was praying for God to console all those affected by the shooting.

That message was reinforced during Sunday's Angelus.

BENEDICT XVI
“During this Advent Season, let us dedicate ourselves more fervently to prayer and to acts of peace. Upon those affected by this tragedy, and upon each of you, I invoke God’s abundant blessings!”.

The community of Newtown has a population of about 2500, and is part of the Diocese of Bridgeport.

Its Catholic Church, St. Rose of Lima, has become a gathering point in the aftermath of the shooting, for mourners to honor the victims and survivors of the shooting.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Pray for God's Protection on Your Family, Our Nation and World

Photo by Loci B. Lenar

Miraculous Signs of Archangel Michael 

Loci B. Lenar spoke publicly at St. Mary's prayer service on September 20, 2012, regarding a miraculous photograph that he took of a statue of Archangel Michael in the Church of St. Michael, Netcong, New Jersey.

The prayer service held at St. Mary's Church focused on Michaelmas (Feast of St. Michael and the Archangels).  The Catholic church is located on Myers Avenue in Denville, NJ.

Please make note: Mr. Lenar added and said, "In order to capture the rainbow that appeared around the statue and display window, I photographed the image without using a flash even though indoor lighting was dim (left photo with darker exposure). There is also a distinct shadow appearing around the arms of the statue from the rainbow as well. However, the photograph on the right is taken with the flash on (lighter exposure). With added light the colorful rainbow is diffused. (There is still a visible rainbow around the statue, but it's diffused from the camera flash). Furthermore, after the photographs were taken, I shared the images directly as captured on the camera's digital memory card (before downloading photos into my computer) with my spiritual advisor, Fr. Richard Tartaglia of Saint Mary's Church, Denville, NJ. The original digital images were transferred onto a CD for church archives."

Mr. Lenar said, "God is both the director and divine light - He sets the timing and place for us to act in response to His instructions. In the motion picture industry, the film director says, 'lights, camera, action.'  Therefore, when called by God, we need to respond to His commands. With that in mind, there is significance to the photograph of St. Michael the Archangel and its meaning in the global community. One cannot avoid noticing while watching television programs the ongoing stories of acts of violence reported on network news shows. From the tragic shootings in July of 2012 at Aurora, Colorado, during the midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises to the violence in the Middle East - the question must be raised: Is our world losing control?”

Mr. Lenar said the following scripture appears to answer the question: "At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people - everyone whose name is found in the book - will be delivered." (Daniel 12:1)

“St. Michael the Archangel is the protector of God’s people and church,”
said Mr. Lenar.

With prayerful discernment, Mr. Lenar believes and said, "Our Lord Jesus is calling for all to join together and 'pray for divine protection' in order to mitigate (end) violence throughout the world. It’s now more important than ever before to pray for our nation and families, especially for people who are subjected to adversity and disrespectful behavior on a daily bases. Our world is in dire need of healing and peace - with prayer everything is possible.” 

Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel

Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle,
be our protection against the malice and snares
of the devil. May God rebuke him we humbly pray;
and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly host, by the power of God,  
thrust into hell Satan and all evil spirits who wander through
the world seeking the ruin of souls.
Amen.

To read more about this story and to view additional photographs, please visit the following link: Signs of Archangel Michael

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Johnsons: God's Amazing Grace




CBN TV - Video

A couple adopts a baby from Africa and witnesses a miracle in her life and theirs. Born with Hepatitis B, Gracie Johnson is healed of her illness.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

History of Our Lady of Guadalupe: Ultimate symbol of the New Evangelization




The video and following news report is from RomeReports.com:

December 9, 2012. (Romereports.com) The story of Our Lady of Guadalupe is centuries old, but its appeal, evergreen. 

As the anniversary of the apparitions approach, Catholics around the world, but especially those from Mexico, prepare to honor her through prayer and song.

Yet, for many, it has taken special significance amidst a push towards the New Evangelization.

FR. JOSE MANUEL SUAZO
Academics Prefect, Mexican College in Rome
“Blessed Mary is able to relay a Christian message to a non-Christian culture.”

The apparitions date back to 1531 in modern day Mexico City, as a humble indigenous man by the name of Juan Diego walked past a hill, where Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared before him.

She asked him to convey a message to have a church built in her son's honor. But upon doing so, Juan Diego receives a skeptical response from the archbishop, Friar Juan de Zumárraga.

FR. JOSE MANUEL SUAZO
Academics Prefect, Mexican College in Rome
“The archbishop asks for a sign as proof, to show that Juan Diego is being truthful. And in reality, the archbishop doesn't get one sign, he gets three. The first is appearance of roses.”

Those roses appeared on top of the hill called Tepeyac, in the midst of winter. Juan Diego picked several roses at the Lady's request. But before delivering them, his uncle falls ill and summons Juan Diego to fetch him a priest because he is dying.

While on his way, Our Lady of Guadalupe appears before him again. As Juan Diego apologizes for not delivering the roses, he explains about his uncle's illness.

FR. JOSE MANUEL SUAZO
Academics Prefect, Mexican College in Rome
“To that, our Blessed Virgin Mary responds, 'Am I not your mother, in whom you can confide? I look after and worry about you. Don't worry anymore, your uncle Juan Bernardino has healed.'”

The miraculous healing, gives way to the third and final sign. On December 12, 1531, Juan Diego heads out to see the archbishop, using his cloak to hold the roses he picked on the hill.

FR. JOSE MANUEL SUAZO
Academics Prefect, Mexican College in Rome
 “When Juan Diego goes before Archbishop Friar Juan de Zumárraga, he presents the flowers as a sign. And upon opening up his cloak, the roses fall and miraculously the image of the Our Blessed Lady of Guadalupe appears.”

The image on the cloak, depicting Our Lady of Guadalupe with olive skin and dressed as an Aztec princess triggered a mass conversion among the indigenous population in Mexico to Catholicism.

FR. JOSE MANUEL SUAZO
Academics Prefect, Mexican College in Rome
 “Our Blessed Mary was far ahead of us when it comes to the New Evangelization, presenting the Gospel in a brand new way.” 

The three signs, led to the construction of a cathedral where Our Lady of Guadalupe indicated. Today, a large Basilica in her honor stands there as well.

Pieter Bruegel's "The Procession to Calvary" hits the big screen



The video trailer and following excerpt is from RomeReports.com:

December 9, 2012. (Romereports.com) The drama film, 'The Mill and the Cross' is currently being showcased in roughly 50 countries. Directed by Polish filmmaker, Lech Majewski, the movie is inspired by Pieter Bruegel's 1564 painting 'The Procession to Calvary.' 

The Flemish artist depicts the Passion of Jesus in his famous Renaissance painting. The 3D film revolves around a dozen characters, which was a challenge in itself, since Bruegel's painting includes more than 500 people.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Catholic Devotional Prayers and Novenas

Photo by Loci B. Lenar

Are You in Need of Prayer?

Send your requests to PrayerRequest@Christian-Miracles.com or submit directly on our website at the following link: Prayer Requests
 
Regarding Prayer Requests   
With support of Father Richard Tartaglia, prayer requests submitted to www.Christian-Miracles.com are prayed for every Monday morning after the 8:00 am Mass, during Holy Hour Adoration, which is held between the hours of 8:30 to 9:30 am at Saint Mary's Church.  In addition, all requests are prayed for every third Thursday of each month during the 7:30 PM evening prayer service held at St. Mary's Church.

If you live in the area or plan on visiting New Jersey, please consider attending and joining in the prayer services.  St. Mary's Church is located on 15 Myers Avenue in Denville, New Jersey.

For directions to St. Mary's Church, please visit the following link: http://www.stmarys-denville.org/directions.htm

Regardless of your religious denomination, please feel free to send your prayer request by email. Your email address will remain confidential. Unless requested otherwise, Loci B. Lenar, the founder of www.Christian-Miracles.com visits Father Richard Tartaglia on a regular bases for spiritual guidance and shares with him all prayer requests.

The following devotional prayers can be used daily to obtain God's blessing and favor. Click on the link to read the prayer.








Friday, December 07, 2012

Father and Son Remember Heavenly Experience



CBN TV - Video

While Todd thought his son was dying, Colton Burpo was actually experiencing heaven. Hear their first-hand account of the experience.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

"Fatima Today” Premiers on Radio Maria Starting December 6, 2012

Our Lady of Fatima - Photo by Loci B. Lenar


World Apostolate of Fatima, USA

Press Release

The Message of Fatima – “Fatima Today” - will be aired live on Radio Maria every Thursday at 2:00 pm ET, 1:00 pm CT, 12:00 MT and 11:00 PT commencing on Thursday, December 6, 2012.

The program takes its name from “Fatima For Today, The Urgent Marian Message of Hope” written by Father Andrew Apostoli, C.F.R., and published by Ignatius Press in 2010, and will, like Father’s book, present an understanding of Our Lady’s message as it pertains to the world today which is in full communion with that of Holy Mother Church.

The program will be hosted by Deacon Bob Ellis, National Coordinator of The World Apostolate of Fatima, USA – A Public International Association of the Faithful under the Pontifical Council for the Laity.

Father Andrew Apostoli, C.F.R. will be Deacon Bob’s guest on the program’s premier.

The program can be heard live throughout the country on the internet at Radio Maria by simply clicking on the “Listen Now” button.

It can also be heard live on the following radio stations:

Louisiana

Alexandria – 580 AM

New Iberia – 1360 AM

Natchitoches – 89.7 FM

Lake Charles – 91.1 FM

Mississippi

D’lberville – 88.1 FM

New York

Albany – 89.9 FM

New York (Affiliate) – 620 AM

Ohio

Springfield – 1600 AM / Anna – 88.7 FM

Pennsylvania

Hollidaysburg – 88.1 FM

Texas

Port Arthur – 1250 AM

Wisconsin

Peshtigo – 91.3 FM


“We would be mistaken to think that Fatima’s prophetic mission is complete.” - Pope Benedict XVI

“The Message of Fatima is more important today than ever.” - Blessed John Paul II

“Learn the Message of Fatima. Live the Message of Fatima. Spread the Message of Fatima.” - Pope Benedict XVI

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Our Lady of Medjugorje - Message of December 2, 2012

 
Stained Glass Window - Photo by Loci B. Lenar

The Medjugorje Web - Apparitions of the Virgin Mary in Medjugorje

Our Lady's Monthly Message to Mirjana Dragicevic-Soldo

December 2, 2012

“Dear children; With motherly love and motherly patience anew I call you to live according to my Son – to spread His peace and His love – so that as my apostles you may accept God’s truth with all your heart and pray for the Holy Spirit to guide you. Then you will be able to faithfully serve my Son and show His love to others with your life. According to the love of my Son and my love, as a mother, I strive to bring all of my stray children into my motherly embrace and to show them the way of faith. My children, help me in my motherly battle and pray with me that sinners may become aware of their sins and repent sincerely. Pray also for those whom my Son has chosen and consecrated in His name. Thank you.”

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Miraculous "Hawaiian” Myrrh-streaming Iveron Icon to visit California in December

Holy Iveron Icon

Holy Theotokos of Iveron Russian Orthodox Church - Hawaii's Myrrh-Streaming Icon

The photograph and following excerpt is from the Russian Orthodox Church:

November 2012 Update

In June of 2008, the “Hawaiian” Myrrh-streaming Iveron Icon was officially recognized by the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia as miraculous and worthy of veneration, and was given the blessing to travel to the various churches and monasteries of Holy Orthodoxy. The original “owner” of the Icon, Reader Nectarios, was charged by the Russian Orthodox Church to be Her guardian, and provide for the safety and care of this Wonderworking Icon of Christ’s Holy Church.

By the Grace of God, the Holy Cross has slowly ceased to continuously stream Myrrh as it once did, now doing so on certain occasions throughout the year, Pascha being the most recent. What is comforting to the faithful is the Holy Cross still continuously provides a beautiful and pungent fragrance, whether it streams or not. While the "Hawaiian" Iveron Icon of the Mother of God travels and brings the grace of God to various places, the Holy Cross always remains in Hawaii to provide for the protection and veneration of the faithful.

Since June of 2008, She has been to over 500 churches in North America of all (canonical) jurisdictions, and has been venerated by an estimated quarter of a million people throughout the United States. In many cities, the holy Icon is taken from one parish to another, being venerated by all the Orthodox clergy, and helping to establish and heal relationships amongst the Orthodox faithful, and also strengthening and fostering ties between the sister parishes. Requests have now been made for the Wonderworking Icon to be brought to Russia, Georgia, the Ukraine, Greece, Cyprus, South America, Europe, the Holy Land, Romania, Mount Athos, and Serbia.

Numerous miracles have been attributed to the Theotokos through this “humble little Icon”, accounts are only just being collected, and are indeed numerous. Physical and spiritual healings have included the healing of blindness and eye disease, cancer, demonic possession, paralysis, kidney disease, chronic pain, and debilitating viruses.

Yet, wherever the holy Icon goes, the Grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Holy Mother abound. People have commented that just being in the presence of this Icon, you feel such an abundance of love and joy. It is truly indescribable. We are so very blessed that God has shown His love toward us by allowing us a small forebearance of what the saints call, "the true odour of sanctity." The true meaning of the Icon's appearance is known only to God, time will reveal all things. Yet, what we do know is this, God loves us. And that is all that matters.

The Holy Iveron Icon will visit California in December of 2012 at the following church locations: 

Saturday, December 8, 2012
Holy Nativity of Christ Greek Orthodox Church
1110 Highland Drive
Novato, CA 94949
415-883-1998
Akathist, 9:00am (The holy Icon will remain in church until 11:00am)

St. Basil the Great Greek Orthodox Church
6430 Bose Lane
San Jose, CA 95120
408-268-3214
Paraklesis, 12:45pm (The holy Icon will remain in church until 4:30pm)


Protection of the Holy Virgin Russian Orthodox Church
3475 Ross Road
Palo Alto, CA 94303
650-493-9871
Vigil, 5:00pm

Sunday, December 9, 2012
Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church
900 Alameda De Las Pulgas
Belmont, CA 94002
650-591-4447
Orthros, 8:30am
Divine Liturgy, 10:00am

Saturday, December 15, 2012
Ss. Michael and Gabriel Romanian Orthodox Church
4633 Raley Road
Sacramento, CA 95838-2422
916-628-9552
Divine Liturgy, 10:00am

Holy Resurrection Romanian Orthodox Church (RP)
1620 Bell Street
Sacramento, CA 95825
916-375-9978
Paraklesis, 1:00pm (The holy Icon will remain in church until 2:00pm)

Holy Cross Romanian Orthodox Church
1401 S. White Road
San Jose, CA 95127-4750
408-229-0365
Vespers & Paraklesis, 6:00pm

Sunday, December 16, 2012
Holy Resurrection Romanian Orthodox Church
26050 Kay Avenue
Hayward, CA 94545-2648
510-692-7785
Divine Liturgy, 10:00am

Friday, November 30, 2012

Father Leo Patalinghug: Spicing Up Married Life



CBN TV - News Video

Author Father Leo discusses marriage and how healthy marriages strengthen family bonds.

Author, Spicing Up Your Married Life (2012)

Priest of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, MD

Chairman of the Pastoral Theology Dept. at the seminary of Mount St. Mary's Univ. (the nation's 2nd oldest Catholic Univ.)

Founded grassroots movement Grace Before Meals, which strengthens family relationships around the dinner table.

3rd Degree Black Belt Instructor in Tae Kwon Do (Korean Martial Art) and Arnis, the National Philippine Martial Art of full contact stick and weapon fighting. World Champion 1992, and other titles from 1978 – 1992.

Forensics, Public Speech and Debate Distinctions, 1984-1988 (Teacher and Coach for Catholic HS 1989-1992)

Univ. of Maryland Baltimore County – B.A.; Pontifical Gregorian Univ. and Pontifical Instit. Marianum - Rome

Thursday, November 29, 2012

This is No Time to Retreat from the Culture, We Must Work for its Conversion

Pray for Our Nation and World - Photo by Loci B. Lenar

The following editorial excerpt is from Catholic Online

By Deacon Keith Fournier

"We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that wide circles of the American society or wide circles of the Christian community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel and the anti-Gospel. This confrontation lies within the plans of divine providence. It is a trial which the whole Church must take up."  (Blessed John Paul II)

And take it up we have. However, there is much, much more to do. The ground has shifted and the struggle is intensifying. Our cultural mission lies at the heart of what it means for us as Christians to be leaven, light, salt and the soul of the world. This is no time to retreat from culture, we must work for its conversion. What is needed are men and women of Christian courage. 

Read More: This is no time to retreat

Monday, November 26, 2012

Saint Rocco: Patron Against all Contagious Diseases

St. Rocco - Photo by Loci B. Lenar

The following excerpt about the life of St. Rocco (1340-1378) is published by St. Bonaventure Church in the booklet, Franciscan Saints Surround Us.

By Fr. Daniel Grigassy, O.F.M.

St. Rocco is venerated by people from Southern Itlay and Sicily. Still their descendents who came to America hold Rocco in high esteem. During his life and after his death, he protected the people from the ravages of a cholera epidemic that swept across Southern Italy. People still turn to St. Rocco for protection against plagues, illnesses, and other dilemmas in life.

Rocco was born of nobility in France. His parents died when he was twenty years old and left him an orphan under the care of an uncle. Soon he decided to distribute his wealth among the poor and join the Secular Franciscan Order. Rocco had a birthmark on the left side of his chest in the form of a red cross. This blemish served to identify him throughout his life. Exchanging the clothes of a nobleman for those of a pilgrim, he departed for Rome to visit the tombs of the Apostles. Along the way Rocco stopped in plague-stricken towns and attended the needs of victims. Legend has it that everywhere he visited, the dreaded scourge of the plague disappeared with his prayer and the sign of a cross. The stained glass window displays such a scene.


St. Rocco Stained Glass Window
Photo by Loci B. Lenar


During his travels Rocco himself contracted the plague. In most images, though not in this stained glass window, he is shown with an open sore on his leg. He did not want to become a burden to anyone, so he left the city and found refuge in a cave, slept on leaves, and drank water from a stream. Legend has it that a dog refused to eat and brought Rocco his own bread to sustain him. One day a nobleman who owned the dog followed him into the woods and discovered Rocco. He brought Rocco to his castle where he was cared for and cured.

St. Rocco is patron against all contagious diseases.

Prayer for St. Rocco's Intercession

The stained glass window can be seen inside of St. Bonaventure Church, 174 Ramsey Street, Paterson, NJ.

Photographs Copyright 2012 Loci B. Lenar
www.Christian-Miracles.com

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Our Lady's Message of November 25, 2012

Kingdom of Heaven
Photo by Loci B. Lenar

Medjugorje WebSite - Our Lady of Medjugorje Messages and Apparitions

Message from Our Lady of Medjugorje to Marija Pavlovic - November 25, 2012

 "Dear children! In this time of grace, I call all of you to renew prayer. Open yourselves to Holy Confession so that each of you may accept my call with the whole heart. I am with you and I protect you from the ruin of sin, but you must open yourselves to the way of conversion and holiness, that your heart may burn out of love for God. Give Him time and He will give Himself to you and thus, in the will of God you will discover the love and the joy of living. Thank you for having responded to my call."

Friday, November 23, 2012

Katie Souza: God's Love Found in Lockdown



CBN TV - Video

The following excerpt is from CBN.com:

This salvation story proves that God can find a lost soul anywhere... even in solitary confinement.

Katie Souza says,“I remember slumping back against that cold cement wall, thinking, ‘I can’t do this anymore.’ I had been fighting everybody out on the streets, and now I’m fighting everybody inside. I didn’t even realize I was fighting God Himself. Right then, the Lord spoke to me. ‘I want you to surrender to your captivity, because this is My plan and it’s perfect.’”

Katie prayed to become a Christian. She read the Bible and shared what she was learning with her fellow inmates.

“The only book in the whole place was the Bible. I remember picking it up, reading through it and I just thought that this is the coolest thing I’ve ever read in my life. This is amazing. I would go from the front to the back over and over again. As I did that, the Holy Spirit began to point out these Scriptures about these people called the ancient Israelites who went to prison. I was going, ‘Wow, this is my story. It’s the story of every con I’d ever known. I started getting excited about it, and I started teaching it to everyone that I could teach it to.”

Her tough girl attitude and reputation began to change.

Read More: Katie Souza

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Give Thanks and Praise to Our Lord for His Blessings!

Photo by Loci B. Lenar
 
 
Thanksgiving Table Prayer
 
O Gracious God, we give you thanks for your overflowing generosity to us. Thank you for the blessings of the food we eat and especially for this feast today. Thank you for our home and family and friends, especially for the presence of those gathered here. Thank you for our health, our work and our play. Please send help to those who are hungry, alone, sick and suffering war and violence. Open our hearts to your love. We ask your blessing through Christ your son. Amen.
 
 
 
For Appreciation of Each Other

We thank you, Father, for the gift of Jesus your Son who came to our earth and lived in a simple home. We have a greater appreciation of the value and dignity of the human family because he loved and was loved within its shelter. Bless us this day; may we grow in love for each other in our family and so give thanks to you who are the maker of all human families and our abiding peace.

From The Catholic Prayer Book, compiled by Msgr. Michael Buckley
 
 
In Gratitude
 
Thank you, Father, for having created us and given us to each other in the human family. Thank you for being with us in all our joys and sorrows, for your comfort in our sadness, your companionship in our loneliness. Thank you for yesterday, today, tomorrow and for the whole of our lives. Thank you for friends, for health and for grace. May we live this and every day conscious of all that has been given to us.
 
From The Catholic Prayer Book, compiled by Msgr. Michael Buckley.
 
 
Prayer at Harvest and Thanksgiving
 
O God, source and giver of all things,
You manifest your infinite majesty, power and goodness
In the earth about us:
We give you honor and glory.
For the sun and the rain,
For the manifold fruits of our fields:
For the increase of our herds and flocks,
We thank you.
For the enrichment of our souls with divine grace,
We are grateful.

Supreme Lord of the harvest,
Graciously accept us and the fruits of our toil,
In union with Jesus, your Son,
As atonement for our sins,
For the growth of your Church,
For peace and love in our homes,
And for salvation for all.
We pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.
 
From Living God’s Justice: Reflections and Prayers, compiled by The Roundtable Association of Diocesan Social Action Directors
 
 
Prayer of Thanksgiving
 
Walter Rauschenbusch
O God, we thank you for this earth, our home;
For the wide sky and the blessed sun,
For the salt sea and the running water,
For the everlasting hills
And the never-resting winds,
For trees and the common grass underfoot.
We thank you for our senses
By which we hear the songs of birds,
And see the splendor of the summer fields,
And taste of the autumn fruits,
And rejoice in the feel of the snow,
And smell the breath of the spring.
Grant us a heart wide open to all this beauty;
And save our souls from being so blind
That we pass unseeing
When even the common thornbush
Is aflame with your glory,
O God our creator,
Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
 
From Living God’s Justice: Reflections and Prayers, compiled by The Roundtable Association of Diocesan Social Action Directors
 

Thanksgiving Prayer
 
This Thanksgiving let those of us who have much and those who have little gather at the welcoming table of the Lord. At this blessed feast, may rich and poor alike remember that we are called to serve on another and to walk together in God's gracious world. With thankful hearts we praise our God who like a loving parent denies us no good thing.
 
From Songs of Our Hearts, Meditations of Our Souls: Prayers for Black Catholics, edited by Cecilia A. Moor, Ph.D., C. Vanessa White, D.Min., and Paul M. Marshall, S.M.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Madonna Statue Survives the Storm in Breezy Point

Mark Lennihan/Associated Press

The following excerpt is from NY Times.com:

By

Where the McNulty home once stood on the corner of Oceanside and Gotham, a few blocks from the Atlantic Ocean on the spit of land in Queens called Breezy Point, there now remains a charred, twisted ruin. Flooding and fire have left behind nothing but the foundation. Within it are strewed a dislodged bathtub, an air-conditioner casing battered into a helix shape, a mailbox coated with ashes.

As if all that loss were not loss enough, the storm spared a few tormenting reminders of life before its arrival. In the scorched shell of a cedar closet, screen windows stand neatly stacked. Three rolls of paper towels sit on a pantry shelf, toasted as delicately brown as cookout marshmallows.
      
So, yes, at the corner of Oceanside Avenue and Gotham Walk, the house inherited by the elderly McNultys’ niece Regina after the couple died, is a place of tragedy. It is also, astonishingly, a place of faith. For the one part of the home to survive intact was a statue of the Virgin Mary that Mary McNulty placed in her garden years ago.
      
The statue is one of the only recognizable remnants of the swath of Breezy Point where more than 100 homes burned to the ground while a flood kept firefighters from reaching it. Since the waters withdrew early on Oct. 30, the image of the Breezy Point Madonna has reached the nation, indeed the world, through vivid news photos. Pilgrims have come to leave offerings: a bouquet of yellow roses, four quarters, a votive candle, a memorial card for the victims of Sept. 11, a written admonition that healing begins with acceptance.
       
Ellen Mathis Kail knelt at the shrine five days after the catastrophe. She had spent 30 summers on Breezy Point and watched her parents save for decades to buy a bungalow on Gotham Walk. She had been married in the parish church, St. Thomas More, a few blocks away.
 
Read More: Breezy Point, NY

Image of Virgin Mary Appears on Window at Sime Darby Medical Centre




'Virgin Mary window' to be moved from Malaysian hospital - CathNews

The following excerpt is from CathNews.com:

The window pane at a Malaysian hospital that throngs of Catholics believe has an image resembling the Virgin Mary will be moved to a church, reports AFP on PerthNow.

Hundreds of Catholics have gathered in prayer and worship at the Sime Darby Medical Centre (SDMC) just outside the capital Kuala Lumpur since last week after seeing the image on one of the windows.

Reverend Simon Labrooy, the priest of nearby St. Thomas More Parish, said in a statement that the hospital's management in a meeting with him had agreed to give the glass panel to the Catholic Church.

He said the panel would be moved to another church outside Kuala Lumpur, Marian Church of Our Lady of Lourdes Klang, "which will be more conducive for prayer and reflection".

Read More: Virgin Mary Image

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Dominican Publications Releases Nov/Dec 2012 Issue of Spirituality Journal

Spirituality Journal - Vol.18, No. 105
 
Spirituality Journal

Dominican Publications has released the November/December 2012 issue of their Spirituality Journal with a photograph by Loci B. Lenar. The image reproduced is a stained glass window of St. John of the Cross, photographed in Summit, New Jersey. The Catholic journal is published in Dublin, Ireland.


St. John of the Cross - Stained Glass Window
Photograph by Loci B. Lenar


The following excerpt is from the Dominican Publications website:

Dominican Publications was founded in April 1897. They publish many books and also bring out four journals - Doctrine and Life (ten times a year), Religious Life Review (six times a year), Scripture in Church, with Guide for Readers (both four times a year), and Spirituality (six times a year).

Their Book publishing is in line with the interests of the Journals, the main focus being on Homiletics, the Bible and Liturgical aids, current theological problems, comment on political and social issues from a Catholic viewpoint, Spirituality, biography, Church documents and Religious Life.


November/December 2012 Spiritulity Journal 

Order Journals or Books: Dominican Publications

Sunday, November 11, 2012

A Tribute to Saint Kateri Tekakwitha

St. Kateri by Stephn B. Whatley

Artist Stephen B. Whatley - Flickr Photo Sharing!

Mr. Whatley is a talented artist who paints with brillant and colorful strokes of the brush which captivates the viewer. The artist resides in the UK and is recognized internationally for his Christian tributes. The following story about St. Kateri and the new painting is published on his website.

Kateri Tekakwitha (USA, 1656-1680) was canonised in Rome on October 21, 2012 as the first Native American Saint - and on that special day, expressionist artist Stephen B Whatley painted this new tribute; inspired by an array of historic images - including the earliest painting of 1690.

Nancy Wiechec of the Catholic News Service in Washington DC kindly introduced Stephen to St. Kateri's story, in August 2012, through an eloquent feature she had written - and the artist was immediately inspired, enchanted and moved; especially through his great affection for the USA and its people.

Painting iconic tributes to his Catholic faith often on special anniversaries has become a powerful feature of Stephen's work; and he was determined to honour this most humble of Saints - who was rejected by her tribe, through her devotion to her Catholic faith and fled from her native Fonda, NY home to Montreal, Canada.

Miracles of healing through the intercession of St Kateri have been experienced as recently as 2006 which finally convinced the Vatican to recognise her as a Saint; despite the fact that Native Americans have been appealing for this recognition since the 1800s.

A memorial Shrine to Kateri was established in 1938 in Fonda, NY; 200 acres of beautiful woodlands on the north bank of the Mohawk River.

In 1980, Kateri was beatified as the Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha; the first stage toward Sainthood; which has finally come about - bringing joy peace and hope to Americans, Canadians and Catholics worldwide.

Saint Kateri Tekakwitha is known as the patron Saint of American Indians, ecology and the environment.

News of the Canonisation of Kateri Tekakwitha, via BBC News:
www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-19996957

Saint Kateri Tekakwitha
October 21, 2012 by Stephen B Whatley
Oil on canvas, 27 x 19.5in/68.6 x 50cm
www.stephenbwhatley.com