Saturday, May 29, 2010

Communion Miracles on Display in Hilton Head

Photograph by Loci B. Lenar

Communion miracles on display in Hilton Head -

Church exhibit features photos, descriptions of miracles around Eucharist

By Dana Clark Felty

The 14th-century nun Juliana Falconieri was so ill during the last days of her life, she could not take communion.

But so strong was her devotion, she asked that the Eucharist be placed on her chest.

As she recited a prayer, the bread disappeared and left on her skin an image of the cross.

This and roughly 125 more stories of miracles involving communion will be featured in an exhibition opening June 5, 2010 at Holy Family Catholic Church in Hilton Head.

The display is part of the Vatican International Exhibition of the Eucharistic Miracles of the World sponsored in the United States by the Illinois-based Real Presence Association.

Each of the 126 panels includes features, images and descriptions of the "Eucharistic Miracles" recognized by the Vatican.

The weekend also includes Sunday Mass celebrated by the Most Rev. Robert E. Guglielmone, bishop of the Diocese of Charleston.

Exbition Information:

What: Vatican International Eucharistic Miracles Exhibition

When: 9 a.m.-8 p.m. June 5; 9 a.m.-2 p.m. June 6

Where: Holy Family Catholic Church, 24 Pope Ave., Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

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Eucharistic Miracles Exhibited at Madison Church in Ohio

Photograph by Loci B. Lenar

Eucharistic miracles through the ages exhibited in Madison church - The News-Herald Life : Breaking news coverage for Northern Ohio

By Janet Podolak

Those who visit Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Madison Thursday through June 9 will be able to see purported evidence of miracles from around the world that took place in conjunction with the Eucharist.

"The Eucharistic Miracles of the World" international exhibit, which has been approved by the Vatican and has visited many countries, has 140 panels that show miracles through the centuries.

All will be on display at the church, 2846 Hubbard Road, and available for viewing from 4 to 8 p.m. weekdays and 1 to 8 p.m. on the weekend.

The belief that the bread and wine taken at communion is the actual body and blood of Christ is central to being a Roman Catholic. Called transubstantiation by Catholics, it's the transformation that takes place on the altar when the priest calls upon the Holy Spirit to make the change.

In both the Roman Catholic and Orthodox church, communion is called the Eucharist and, once consecrated by a priest, the bread tangibly becomes the Host.

Protestant and other churches practicing communion tend to believe that the bread and wine are a spiritual symbolism of Christ's body and blood.

The Rev. John Hardon, a religious scholar who was raised in Cleveland, devoted much of his life to researching the Real Presence of the Lord in the sacrament.

"Scripture tells us that the night before Jesus died he gave his apostles the power to do what he did at the Last Supper — change bread and wine into himself," he wrote. "This is the Catholic faith: it is what Reality means."

Many of Hardon's findings and conclusions are found on the website reached after Googling "The Eucharistic Miracles of the World."

The Last Supper account in Matthew 26: 26-28 is what usually is cited: "Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it and gave it to the disciples and said ‘Take, eat: this is my body.' and he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink of it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins."

The Rev. Sean Donnelly, pastor at Immaculate Conception Catholic, recently has returned from a trip to shrines in Italy, including the Shroud of Turin, believed by many to have held the body of Jesus after he was crucified.

His group of 27 included seven members of his church — all Catholic except for two Anglicans. The group visited many other shrines in Italy, including the one in Sienna where the Eucharistic Miracle depicted in the exhibit took place.

As visitors to the exhibit walk among the placards explaining and illustrating the various miracles, each person will likely have a favorite. A map shows where each miracle took place, so those whose families originate in other countries can easily find miracles that may also be embodied in that country's lore.

Here are a few of them:

Amsterdam, Holland, 1345

In March 1345 in Amsterdam, a devoutly Catholic man who was very ill told his family he would like to receive Holy Viaticum. The priest administering the sacrament told the family that if the ill man threw up they were to empty the contents in the fire. The man threw up and his family did as they'd been told. The next morning as a woman raked the fire she noticed the Host in the middle of the grate. When she put her hand in to get it she found that the host was cold.

A neighbor took a clean cloth and placed the host on it, locked it in a box, and summoned a priest. The priest could not lift the host but took the cloth away to wash it. When he returned to put it back in the box the host was gone. The next day it was back again inside the locked box.

A procession was organized to carry the host to the church and the home of the sick man soon became a chapel. By 1360 pilgrims were traveling there. In a 1452 fire which burned most of the city, the Miraculous Host was spared. In 1456 a new church was built surrounding the Holy Room where the host was kept.

By the second half of the 16th century the city had fallen to Protestant rule. The chapel was torn down, and the Host was lost. To this day devotion to the Eucharistic Miracle takes place on March 12 at a church near the original site.

Sienna, Italy, in the 1700s

In the eighth century in the Church of St. Legontian, near Siena, Italy, the host was changed into live flesh and the wine into live blood, which coagulated into five globules. The host flesh is light brown and appears rose colored when lighted from the back. The blood has an earthy color resembling ochre. Various ecclesiastical investigations were conducted beginning in 1574. In 1971 a series of microscopic photographs documented that the flesh was muscular tissue of the human heart and the blood had proteins in he same proportion as fresh human blood. The flesh and blood had the same blood type: AB. That's the same blood type that was found in the Shroud of Turin.

Austria 1310

In 1310 in the Austrian village of St. Georgenberg-Fiecht during the consecration the wine turned into blood and began to boil and overflow the chalice. In 1480, the chronicler of that day wrote that after 170 years "the Sacred Blood was still fresh as though coming out of a wound." Today the blood is contained in the reliquary of the Monastery of St. Georgenberg.

Martinique, French West Indies 1902

On the Caribbean island of Martinique on May 8, 1902, the volcano Mount Pelee began to erupt lava and ashes, threatening the town of Morne-Rouge. The people rushed to the church and prayed for deliverance. The priest distributed Holy Communion and then exposed the Blessed Sacrament for public adoration. The people witnessed an apparition of Jesus in the host, and some said they saw the blood of Jesus dripping from his sacred heart. The vision lasted several hours and the village was spared. But the population had a chance to reconcile themselves with God so when the volcano erupted again on Aug. 30 and destroyed the town, they were able to die in a state of grace.

Immaculate Conception Catholic Church
2846 Hubbard Road
Madison, Ohio

Eucharistic Miracles of the World International

Exhibit: June 2 through June 9, 2010

Hours: 4 to 8 p.m. weekdays; 1 to 8 p.m. weekend

Information: 440-298-1219; 440 428-5164

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Friday, May 28, 2010

Faith Healing Priest Draws Thousands

The following photograph and excerpt from Catholic Online is about Father Richard McAlear.  Fr. McAlear is gifted by God in helping those in need of healing.

The Finger of God for Healing: Faith Healing Priest Draws Thousands - Living Faith - Home & Family - Catholic Online

By Sonja Corbitt

One is inexorably drawn to the mysterious intensity of God's compassion and love in Fr. McAlear as his lips move in silent groanings and he cradles the stricken faces of those for whom he prays.  Shunning sensationalism or hysteria, he facilitates healing with a whisper, using very few, if any, words. "Once you really understand the pain in the people's hearts and the power of Christ to heal, there is nothing to say," says McAlear.

NASHVILLE, TN (Catholic Online) - "The Spirit of God is on me. He anointed me to bring Good News to the poor, to heal the brokenhearted and to free the oppressed" (Is. 61:1).

Although he is often referred to affectionately as "the healing priest," it is a title that Father Richard McAlear shuns. A priest of the Oblate of Mary Immaculate Order, he is one of the few priests in the Catholic Church who call themselves faith healers.

The Catholic Charismatic Renewal began in 1967 after a retreat held at Duquense University in Pittsburgh. The movement grew and gained recognition in the Church among the leadership and laity.

Fr. McAlear received permission from the Oblates, in accordance to Church guidelines, to enter full time charismatic ministry in 1975 after doing retreats and prayer services and witnessing the healing power of God through his prayers in the previous three years.

It began for Fr. McAlear in 1972 at a prayer meeting with a woman in attendance who was in severe back pain. An elderly Pentecostal revert to Catholicism approached Fr. McAlear and told him he needed to pray over the woman. The young priest had no idea what she meant. His only experience with "praying over people," was a Pentecostal televangelist he had once seen on TV whose healing theatrics included jumping up and down and ecstatic speaking.

Finally, after an awkward, pregnant silence, Fr. McAlear blessed her. And she was healed. Visibly. Publicly. Word spread quickly and, inundated with requests from the gravely ill, he made "healing ministry" his life's work, traveling the globe, celebrating Masses, and speaking at retreats and conferences.

Contemporary faith healing often provokes images of "Pentecostal faith healing" and other "charismatic" mumbo-jumbo, in which healing is said to be a visible sign and product of one's faith, and some evangelists in tent revivals or on TV sometimes defraud the desperately ill with staged "healings" in order to draw donations.

Rather than faith in what is NOT seen (2 Cor. 5:7) miraculous, visible healing can actually impede growing in faith when it is pursued in the wrong way, for its own sake or out of sensationalism: "Jesus therefore said to him, 'Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe'" (Jn. 4:48).

Despite that real danger, healing is a pillar of Christian dogma and has always been a part of the lived experience of the Church. Although corrupted by some who would attempt to make a dollar through what the Scriptures call "Balaam's error" (Jude 1:11), true faith healing, like exorcism, is sanctioned by the Church. It is to be done in the proper forum and in fidelity to the Church. The USCCB issued a statement in 1969 stating that the charismatic movement "has legitimate reasons of existence. It has a strong Biblical basis."

In the Scriptures, Jesus Christ is said to have cured the sick, sometimes with the laying on of hands. The gospels encourage priests to go out and anoint the sick with oil. St. Paul lists healing as a spiritual gift. Faith healing has been practiced quietly and faithfully by Catholic priests throughout her history. In fact, every Sacramental Annointing of the Sick is a Prayer for Healing, including the possibility of physical healing.

The Vatican has not only endorsed faith healing, but Pope Benedict actually called on those who have the gift of healing to share it in the Instruction on Prayers for Healing released by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. As Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, he offered guidance on administering the gift: "Anything resembling hysteria, artificiality, theatricality or sensationalism, above all on the part of those who are in charge of such gatherings, must not take place (Instruction on Prayers for Healing).

The Catechism speaks of healing: "In the sacraments Christ continues to 'touch' us in order to heal us" (CCC, 1504). "The Holy Spirit gives to some a special charism of healing so as to make manifest the power of the grace of the risen Lord" (CCC 1508).

In adherence and faithfulness to Catholic Tradition, Fr. McAlear is not the kind of healer for whom people jump from their wheelchairs and throw away their medicines or crutches, although there have been more than a few physical healings through the years. Rather than faith in his own faith, Fr. McAlear surrenders to God.

Shunning sensationalism or hysteria, he facilitates healing with a whisper, using very few, if any, words. "Once you really understand the pain in the people's hearts and the power of Christ to heal, there is nothing to say," says McAlear.

"The Catholic tradition tends to be more sacramental, very earthly and human, gentle, quiet.

We pray for healing in a quiet way. This is mostly inner healing for emotional burdens. And when people are healed of those, often physical stuff can go away, too.

"There is a fervor to this, a zeal that can be expressed in a different way. We have to separate style from substance," he told the New Orleans Clarion Herald in March of this year. It is this philosophy and the guidance of the Church that informs his healing Masses.

By all accounts, they are quiet and reverent, focused on the spiritual interior with a specific emphasis on reconciliation and forgiveness, and Eucharist-centered. They include Adoration and a blessing by Fr. McAlear, who speaks of healing as rooted in the spirit.

"It's what is going on inside - the inner pain, depression, sadness, grief, loss, loneliness," he explains. "A lot of times it's manifested in physical illness. The need is there to touch the heart and the inner spirit. That's where the healing Masses make their contribution," he says. "The spiritual need can only be touched spiritually. Then everything else follows. The hope is restored, the darkness is lifted."

Fr. McAlear does not support exclusive reliance on faith healing, however. He encourages the use of effective natural means for preserving and restoring health as well, saying "Do both," and quoting Sirach 38:

"The doctor eases pain and the druggist prepares his medicines; Thus God's creative work continues without cease in its efficacy on the surface of the earth. My son, when you are ill, delay not, but pray to God, who will heal you.Then give the doctor his place lest he leave; for you need him too" (1-15).

Fr. McAlear receives no fee for his visits and depends entirely on offerings for his travel expenses. Perhaps it is such demonstrations of love, more than any other evidence, that help prove he is a true finger of God in healing His broken, suffering humanity.

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The Iveron Icon to visit Northeast Pennsylvania

Religious icon to visit Northeast Pennsylvania - News - The Times-Tribune


An icon believed to be responsible for healing people of cancer and blindness will be making two stops in Northeast Pennsylvania this weekend.

The Iveron Icon of the Theotokos will be at St. Tikhon of Zadonsk Orthodox Monastery in South Canaan on Saturday, and at St. John the Baptist Russian Orthodox Cathedral in Mayfield on Sunday.

"We'll be able to have this great blessing with us," said the Rev. John D. Sorochka of St. John's. "Let's flock to it. Let it uplift us."

The icon of Virgin Mary holding the infant Jesus is a paper print mounted on wood, and is an exact replica of a famous icon from Montreal. The replica was manufactured in Russia and purchased in Toronto by a priest who gave it to a Russian Orthodox believer in Honolulu in 2007.

Believers say the icon streams myrrh, a fragrant resin that comes from certain trees in the Mideast, from the Virgin Mary's eyes. It also gives off the scent of roses, believers say.

In 2008, the icon was recognized by Archbishop Kyrill of the Russian Orthodox Church as genuine and given the blessing to travel to churches of Holy Orthodoxy.

The icon's visit to St. Tikhon is part of its 106th annual pilgrimage, which is expected to attract more than 1,000 people, said the Rev. Igumen Sergius, abbot of St. Tikhon.

"People come seeking a blessing from God," Rev. Sergius said. "We all have a need for healing for our souls. They might not even know what they need, but they know there's something else in this world."

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Prayers and Poems of Saint Teresa of Avila

Stained glass window detail of St. Teresa of Avila
Photograph by Loci B. Lenar

Prayers and Poems of Saint Teresa of Avila

O my God! Source of all mercy!
I acknowledge Your sovereign power.
While recalling the wasted years that are past,
I believe that You, Lord,
can in an instant turn this loss to gain.
Miserable as I am,
yet I firmly believe that You can do all things.
Please restore to me the time lost,
giving me Your grace,
both now and in the future,
that I may appear before You in "wedding garments."


Stained Glass Window of St. Teresa of Avila
Photograph by Loci B. Lenar

Let nothing upset you,
let nothing startle you.
All things pass;
God does not change.
Patience wins
all it seeks.
Whoever has God
lacks nothing:
God alone is enough

Let nothing trouble you.
Let nothing scare you.
All is fleeting.
God alone is unchanging.
Everything obtains.
Who possesses God
Nothing wants.
God alone suffices.

If, Lord, Thy love for me is strong
As this which binds me unto thee,
What holds me from thee Lord so long,
What holds thee Lord so long from me?
O soul, what then desirest thou?
Lord I would see thee, who thus choose thee.

What fears can yet assail thee now?
All that I fear is but lose thee.
Love's whole possession I entreat,
Lord make my soul thine own abode,
And I will build a nest so sweet
It may not be too poor for God.

A sould in God hidden from sin,
What more desires for thee remain,
Save but to love again,
And all on flame with love within,
Love on, and turn to love again.

Majestic sovereign, timeless wisdom,
your kindness melts my hard, cold soul.
Handsome lover, selfless giver,
your beauty fills my dull, sad eyes.
I am yours, you made me.
I am yours, you called me.
I am yours, you saved me.
I am yours, you loved me.
I will never leave your presence.
Give me death, give me life.
Give me sickness, give me health.
Give me honor, give me shame.
Give me weakness, give me strength.
I will have whatever you give. Amen.


The above prayers and poems can be found on Cathoic websites.

For other prayers, please visit the following link: Devotional Prayers

For biographical information on the saint, please visit the following link: St. Teresa of Avila

The stained glass window art can be seen inside of the Saint Teresa of Avila Mausoleum which is located on Passaic Avenue in Summit, NJ, USA.

Photographs Copyright 2010 Loci B. Lenar

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Monthly Message from Our Lady of Medjugorje

Photo by Loci B. Lenar

Our Lady of Medjugorje's Monthly Message

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

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


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

Photograph Copyright 2010 Loci B. Lenar

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Monday, May 24, 2010

Prayer for the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit

Photograph by Loci B. Lenar


O Lord Jesus Christ, Who, before ascending into heaven, didst promise to send the Holy Ghost to finish Thy work in the souls of Thy Apostles and Disciples, deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me, that He may perfect in my soul the work of Thy grace and Thy love.

Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal,

the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Thy divine truth,

the Spirit of Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining Heaven,

the Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with Thee, and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation,

the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints,

the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable,

the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God, and may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark me, dear Lord, with the sign of Thy true disciples and animate me in all things with Thy Spirit.



For other Christian prayers, please visit the following link: Devotional Prayers

The above stained glass window detail can be seen on top of the far right entrance door which leads into the Gate of Heaven Mausoleum. The Catholic mausoleum is located on Ridegdale Avenue in East Hanover, NJ, USA.

Photograph Copyright 2010 Loci B. Lenar

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Friday, May 21, 2010

Kamal Saleem: A Muslim Cries Out to Jesus -

Kamal Saleem heard a voice call his name and saw a vision of Christ. This was miraculous, because up until then, Kamal was a Muslim. Watch the amazing interview from and witness the miraculous transformation of Kamal Saleem.

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Medical Miracle: British girl's two newly grown kidneys now do the work of the ones that failed

It's highly unusual for an extra set of kidneys to grow,
but a miracle happened for one British child.

By Rosemary Black
Daily News Staff Writer

Three years ago, doctors caring for a British girl facing surgery made an amazing discovery: she’d actually grown two new kidneys to replace the failed ones that had caused the health problems she’d suffered since birth.

Surgeons at Sheffield Children’s Hospital in England found that Angel Burton's new kidneys had started doing the work of the diseased ones, according to Sky News Online. The youngster, now 8, is no longer facing kidney failure.

The doctors apparently did not see the new kidneys that were perched above the originals. On scans, which had been done for five years, they appeared as one kidney.

"It’s a real miracle," Claire Burton, Angel’s mother, told Sky News Online. "We’re just so grateful to have Angel back to her happy, healthy self."

The little girl had a rare condition called duplex kidney that causes the organs to be fused in the center. Even rarer, in Angel’s case, was to have both organs be duplex, which means she actually had four kidneys and four ureters.

From the time she was born, Angel’s health got worse. Doctors diagnosed her with bilateral reflux, meaning that urine was leaking into her kidneys and infecting them. Tests showed that the kidneys had been severely affected.

During an operation to craft an artificial valve in October 2007, the extra kidneys were discovered. Nearly three years later, Angel’s looking at a bright future and is on track to recover fully.

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Prayer for the Intercession of Saint John Neumann

Saint John Neumann
Photo by Loci B. Lenar

Prayer for the Intercession of St. John Neumann

O Saint John Neumann, your ardent desire of bringing all souls to Christ impelled you to leave home and country; teach us to live worthily in the spirit of our Baptism which makes us all children of the one Heavenly Father and brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ, the first-born of the family of God.

Obtain for us that complete dedication in the service of the needy, the weak, the afflicted and the abandoned which so characterized your life. Help us to walk perseveringly in the difficult and, at times, painful paths of duty, strengthened by the Body and Blood of our Redeemer and under the watchful protection of Mary our Mother.

May death still find us on the sure road to our Father's House with the light of living Faith in our hearts.



For biographical information about the saint, please visit the following link: St. John Neumann

For other prayers, please visit the following link: Devotional Prayers

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

Photograph Copyright 2010 Loci B. Lenar

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Friday, May 14, 2010

The Anima Christi of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

Stained Glass Window Detail of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
Photograph by Loci B. Lenar

Soul of Jesus,
Sanctify me.

Blood of Jesus,
Wash me,

Passion of Jesus,
Comfort me.

Wounds of Jesus,
Hide me.

Heart of Jesus,
Receive me.

Spirit of Jesus,
Enliven me.

Goodness of Jesus,
Pardon me.

Beauty of Jesus,
Draw me.

Humility of Jesus,
Humble me.

Peace of Jesus,
Pacify me.

Love of Jesus,
Inflame me.

Kingdom of Jesus,
Come to me.

Grace of Jesus,
Replenish me.

Mercy of Jesus,
Pity me.

Sanctity of Jesus,
Sanctify me.

Purity of Jesus,
Purify me.

Cross of Jesus,
Support me.

Nails of Jesus,
Hold me.

Mouth of Jesus,
Bless me in life, in death, in time and eternity.

Mouth of Jesus,
Defend me in the hour of death.

Mouth of Jesus,
Call me to come to Thee.

Mouth of Jesus,
Receive me with Thy saints in glory evermore.

Stained Glass Window of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
Photograph by Loci B. Lenar

Let Us Pray

Unite me to Thyself,
O adorable Victim.
Life-giving heavenly Bread,
feed me,
sanctify me,
reign in me,
transform me to Thyself,
live in me;
let me live in Thee;
let me adore Thee in Thy life-giving Sacrament as my God,
listen to Thee as to my Master,
obey Thee as my King,
imitate Thee as my Model,
follow Thee as my Shepherd,
love Thee as my Father,
seek Thee as my Physician
who wilt heal all the maladies of my soul.
Be indeed my Way,
Truth and Life;
sustain me,
O heavenly Manna,
through the desert of this world,
till I shall behold Thee unveiled in Thy glory.



The stained glass window art of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton can be seen inside the Gate of Heaven Mausoleum. The Catholic mausoleum is located on Ridegdale Avenue in East Hanover, NJ, USA.

For additional biographical information, please visit the following link: St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

Photographs Copyright 2010 Loci B. Lenar

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Pope visits Chapel of the Apparitions in Fatima

Pope visits Chapel of the Apparitions in fatima| CathNews India

Pope Benedict XVI, on the second day of his trip to Portugal, visited the Chapel of the Apparitions in Fatima.

The pope prayed at the site of Mary’s apparitions at Fatima and entrusted the world’s priests to her, saying the church needs “holy priests, transfigured by grace.”

His trip coincides with the 93rd anniversary of the first reported apparition of the Virgin by the three young shepherds, Lúcia Santos and her cousins, siblings Jacinta and Francisco Marto.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Our Lady of the Rosary Chapel - East Hanover, NJ

Mosaic of Pope John Paul II and Our Lady of the Rosary
Photograph by Loci B. Lenar

By Loci B. Lenar

On Easter Sunday, Christians celebrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In the Catholic calendar, the Easter Season begins with the celebration of the Easter Vigil and ends 50 days later on Pentecost Sunday. It’s also an appropriate time to remember our loved ones who have passed away.

During the Easter season, I decided to visit the Gate of Heaven. Both my parents are desceased and were laid to rest more than 20 years ago in the Catholic cemetery, which is located on 225 Ridgedale Avenue in East Hanover, NJ.  In our family, my father and mother are the only two that are buried in the Gate of Heaven Cemetery.

This year was more difficult than before, because my brother, Frank, passed away on April 9 from his battle with cancer.

Our Lady of the Rosary Chapel
Photograph by Loci B. Lenar

During my visit, I went into Our Lady of the Rosary Chapel, which can be found inside the mausoleum. The chapel has a new beautiful mosaic of Pope John Paul II and Our Lady of the Rosary. The image is magnificent to say the least. The chapel also has a display of the Stations of the Cross and pays respect to all who have passed away.

I lit an electric votive candle and prayed to Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and to Our Lady for the souls of my parents and brother. I also remembered through prayer, my nephew, Lance, and my brother-in-law, Joe, both who have passed away as well. I also prayed for members on my wife's side of the family and for the souls of the departed.

Mosaic of Jesus Christ
Photograph by Loci B. Lenar

In Revelation 21:1-7, God reminds us of the following scripture: Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Look! God's dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.  He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."

He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true."

He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children."

Through scripture, God the Father reassures us of eternal life.  Through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we become heirs to the Heavenly Kingdom.  Our lives on earth are a stepping stone to God's greater plan.  A plan which joins are spiritual being with God's love and everlasting peace as we enter through the Gates of Heaven.  God awaits us with open arms and embraces everyone that believes in His promises. 

God's word resonates through the gospels of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ with the following scripture:

In John 11:25-26, Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"

Through Jesus Christ, we are raised on the last day to eternal life.  What a great promise of an inheritance to hold dear to our heart!

Gate of Heaven Mausoleum
Photograph by Loci B. Lenar

The chapel is a place of worship and gives reverence to all who have passed away and entered into the Kingdom of God through the Gates of Heaven. The mausoleum is enormous and has many places to sit and pray for loved ones. It’s beautifully designed with mosaic art and stained glass windows of Jesus and Our Lady.  There is also several stained glass windows of saints, including St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and St. Frances Xavier Cabrini as well as Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha.

Mosaic of John the Baptist and Jesus
Photograph by Loci B. Lenar

On Saturday, May 22, 2010 a dedication service will be celebrated with Mass for the new expansion of the mausoleum. The servce will be held inside Our Lady of the Rosary Chapel. Holy Mass will be celebrated by Archbishop John J. Myers. For additional information, call 877-301-3372.

Photographs Copyright 2010 Loci B. Lenar

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Sunday, May 09, 2010

A Prayer on Mother's Day

Photograph by Loci B. Lenar

Prayer to the Mother of the Lord for all Mothers - Catholic Online

Mary, on this day when we honor all mothers, we turn to you. We thank the Lord whom you serve for the great gift of motherhood. Never has it been known that anyone who sought your intercession was left unaided by grace. Dear Mother, thank you for your “Yes” to the invitation of the angel which brought heaven to earth and changed human history. You opened yourself to God’s word and the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.

Dear mother, intercede for all of our mothers. Ask your Divine Son to give them the grace of surrendered love so that they could join with you in giving their own “Fiat.” May they find daily strength to say yes to the call to the sacrificial love- the very heart of the vocation of motherhood. May their love and witness be a source of great inspiration for all of us called to follow your Son.

On this Mothers day, Mother of the Word Incarnate, pray for us who have recourse to you…

In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.


The statue of the Blessed Mother can be seen inside of Saint Jude's Catholic Church, which is located on 40 Maxim Drive in Hopatcong, NJ, USA.

Photograph Copyright 2010 Loci B. Lenar

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Saturday, May 08, 2010

Divine Mercy for the World by Stephen B. Whatley

Divine Mercy for the World (2010) by Stephen B. Whatley
Oil on Canvas - 30" x 24" / 76 cm x 61cm

Divine Mercy for The World (2010) by Stephen B Whatley on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

By Stephen B. Whatley

Divine Mercy Sunday was celebrated in 2010 on April 11, the first week after Easter in the Catholic calender.

The message of the overflowing Mercy that Jesus offers to those who have trust; and to all of us with the greatest of sins to our name, was vividly given, through visitations to a Polish nun Sister Faustina (1905-1938) relatively recently; during the 20th Century. This humble woman of faith was canonized as St Faustina in 2000, by Pope John Paul II.

Sister Faustina kept a detailed journal (A Diary: "Divine Mercy in My Soul") first published in 1981; and on February 22, 1931 she recorded in her diary: 'I saw Jesus dressed in a white garment. He held one hand raised in blessing and the other hand was touching his garment at the breast. From under the garment came two rays of light, one red, one pale.'

by Stephen B. Whatley

She goes on to record that Jesus said 'paint a picture according to the vision you see and with the signature, Jesus I Trust in You...'  She went on to find an artist to help create a portrait to these instructions; as have subsequent artists, including myself - through three interpretations in 2002, 2007 and in 2009; that can all be seen on the site of in the Christian Set.

Sister Faustina asked Jesus what the rays signified.  He said: 'The rays represent the Blood and Water which gushed forth from the depths of my Mercy when My agonising Heart was pierced on the cross. The pale rays signify the water, which cleanses and purifies the soul; the red rays represent the blood which gives new life to the soul - rays shielding the soul before the justice of My Father...'

The message of Jesus through St Faustina is clear: devotion to the Divine Mercy is universal and open to all; in His words, 'Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins may be scarlet'.

This year I felt compelled to paint a new interpretation in celebration of this Divine Mercy; and through deep prayer felt a conception growing; a realisation that I must include the world within the painting.

In a way my painting reflects an important prayer given to St Faustina by Jesus; that can be said at the Hour of Mercy, 3 PM - for the needs of oneself or others:

'You expired Jesus, but the source of life gushed forth for souls and an ocean of Mercy opened up for the whole world. O Fount of Life, unfathomable Divine Mercy, envelop the whole world and empty Yourself out upon us.

O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fount of mercy for us, I Trust in You, Jesus I trust in You.'

I have personally experienced mercy - even miracles - through prayer and trusting in Jesus for help no matter what this life might deliver; and never feel alone.

"Jesus I Trust in Thee"



The following background information can be read on the website of Stephen B. Whatley:

His work is in numerous private collections in Denmark, England, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, Scotland, South Africa, Spain and the U.S.A.; and in public collections, including the BBC, Historic Royal Palaces, the London Transport Museum, the Royal Collection of Queen Elizabeth II and Taylor Woodrow Property Company Ltd.

The work of Stephen B. Whatley has been the subject of features in The Guardian, Guardian Weekend magazine, HELLO! magazine, MAJESTY magazine, Metro London Newspaper, The Sunday Express, The Daily Telegraph, The London Times newspaper, TIME magazine and USA TODAY; and the 2006 book, Marilyn In Art.

In February 2010 one of Stephen’s paintings of Jesus Christ will be published on the cover of the book, The Historical Jesus: Five Views (SPCK Publishing).

Copyright 2010 Stephen B. Whatley


Visit the following link to recite the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.

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Friday, May 07, 2010

It's Time to Take a Step Toward Christian Unity

Metropolitan Filaret of Minsk and Sluck

The following article and photograph appeared on Catholic Online:

Orthodox Metropolitan Filaret: It's Time to Take a Step Toward Unity - International News - Catholic Online

By Jesús Colina

The time is now for the Orthodox and Catholic Churches to take a step toward unity, and for Benedict XVI and the Orthodox patriarch of Moscow to meet, says the Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus.The Orthodox leader added that both Churches seek to establish full unity, and stressed that he has come to this conclusion based on the fraternal dialogue and the meetings that they have held with representatives of the Catholic Church.

VATICAN CITY ( - The time is now for the Orthodox and Catholic Churches to take a step toward unity, and for Benedict XVI and the Orthodox patriarch of Moscow to meet, says the Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus.

Metropolitan Filaret of Minsk and Sluck said this Tuesday at the international conference held in Rome on "The Poor Are the Precious Treasure of the Church: Orthodox and Catholics Together on the Path of Charity."

During the conference, which was promoted by the Sant'Egidio Community, participants reflected on the reception of the most frail in our societies, the testimony of the Fathers of the Church, and the challenges dictated by new social problems.

According to Metropolitan Filaret, the time has come to take decisive steps toward unity, reported the country's Catholic news service.

The Orthodox leader added that both Churches seek to establish full unity, and stressed that he has come to this conclusion based on the fraternal dialogue and the meetings that they have held with representatives of the Catholic Church.

If Benedict XVI and Orthodox Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia were to meet, it would be a first for the two pastors of Rome and Moscow.

Metropolitan Filaret's statements coincide with the announcement of the "Days of Russian Culture and Spirituality in the Vatican," which will be held May 19-20, and which will culminate with a concert offered to Benedict XVI by Kirill I.

The musical event will include compositions of Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, president of the Department for Foreign Relations of the Patriarchy of Moscow.

On Wednesday, Metropolitan Filaret visited the Holy Shroud of Turin and Cardinal Severino Poletto, archbishop of Turin.

"The impression is so profound that one cannot express the joy one feels," commented the Orthodox representative after seeing the Shroud.

Metropolitan Filaret, in this post since 1978, received the recognition of "Hero of Belarus" in 2006, by decision of president Alexander Lukashenko, in recognition of the service to the spirituality of his country.

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Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Duane Andrews: A Time for Believing in the Power of Prayer

View the inspiring story of Duane Andrews and his miraculous recovery from all his medical conditions!

Whatever difficulty you may be facing, hand it over to Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Believe in the power of prayer!  Trust that God will answer you!

Duane Andrews: A Time for Believing

By Audra Smith – Duane Andrews was relaxing at home when he suddenly began having severe stomach cramps. What started as pancreatitis became something more severe, and Duane wound up in a coma for a month and a half. In the face of grim reports, his wife Sharon decided it was time to pray.

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Monday, May 03, 2010

Signs and Wonders: Incorruptible Catholic Saints

From YouTube: History of over 250 Incorruptible Catholic Saints

The following information regarding the incorrupt bodies of saints can be read on

The incorrupt bodies of these saints are simply a living witness or proof to the truth of the Catholic religion as the one true faith from God, who has confirmed the testimony of the Church in the great miracles he has worked through it's saints.

The Council of Trent:

"The bodies of holy martyrs and others now living with Christ, bodies which were His members and temples of the Holy Spirit, which one day are to be raised up by Him and made glorious in everlasting life, are to be venerated by the faithful; God gives men many benefits through them."

The Bodies of the saints for us are like great and holy relics, which move us to honor the saints who God has chosen to honor by preserving them incorrupt.

In scripture we read that the use of the bones of Elisha brought a dead man to life: "So Elisha died, and they buried him. Now bands of Moabites used to invade the land in the spring of the year. And as a man was being buried, lo, a marauding band was seen and the man was cast into the grave of Elisha; and as soon as the man touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood on his feet." (2 Kgs. 13:20-21).

A woman was cured of a hemorrhage by touching the hem of Christ's cloak (Matt. 9:20-22). The sick were healed when Peter's shadow passed over them (Acts 5:15-16). "And God did extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that handkerchiefs or aprons were carried away from his body to the sick, and diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them" (Acts 19:11-12).

The Power of the relics to work miracles doesn't come from the object itself but from God, who confirms the faith of the person who is healed by means of them as to testify to the holiness of His saints.

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Saturday, May 01, 2010

Prayers of St. Francis Xavier

Photograph by Loci B. Lenar

Prayer to St. Francis Xavier
Preacher and Miracle Worker

O God, You who were pleased
to gather into your Church the peoples of the East
by the preaching and miracles of St. Francis Xavier,
grant that we, who honor his glorious merits,
may also imitate the example of his virtues.
This we ask through Christ our Lord.


Prayer to St. Francis Xavier
Herald of the Gospel

Almighty and everlasting God,
we thank you for your Servant Francis,
whom you called to preach the Gospel
to the peoples of Asia.
Raise up, we pray,
in this and every land
heralds and evangelists of your kingdom,
that your Church may proclaim
the unsearchable riches
of our Savior Jesus Christ;
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.


Prayer to St. Francis Xavier

Creator God
Inspired by the example of St. Francis,
We pray to you for the courage to be missionaries,
Reaching out and leading others to Jesus.
Like St. Francis
May we help those in need,
May we live a life rooted in prayer and
May we bring Christ to all those we meet.
This we ask through your Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ.


For additional prayers, please visit the following link: Devotional Prayers 

The miniature stained glass window of St. Francis Xavier can be seen inside of Saint Jude's Catholic Church, located on 40 Maxim Drive in Hopatcong, NJ, USA.

Photograph Copyright 2010 Loci B. Lenar

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