Thursday, July 28, 2011

“Courageous” a film that delves into fatherhood

“Courageous” a film that delves into fatherhood

Commentary by Loci B. Lenar

I was invited to see a screening of Courageous by Tim Lilley, Director of Communications, Maximus Group, GA.

I gladly accepted the invitation and saw the pre-release of Courageous which was held on April 14 at Clifton Commons 16, Route 3, Clifton, NJ.

The movie theater was nearly filled to capacity for the viewing of the film and met my expectations for promoting family values based on biblical principals. From my observation, the enthusiasm of those that attended the viewing of the film is a wonderful sign that the movie should find interest with a general audience.

The central focus of the film is on fatherhood and explores the relationships between some law enforcement officers and their families.

Other issues explored in the film are about integrity, and the consequences of actions when failing to live up to those standards.

I recommend seeing Courageous which opens in theaters on September 30th.


The following excerpt is from :

From the creators of the movie “Fireproof,” comes a new film on the virtues of fatherhood. The film “Courageous” is the story of four men and the choices they make in their lives to become better fathers.

By becoming more involved in the lives of their children and being better husbands, the men learn more about themselves.

It teaches about morals and humanity with some humor mixed in.

Many of the actors also starred in “Fireproof” and belong to the Sherwood Baptist Church in Georgia.

“Courageous” has something for all ages and can be enjoyed by the entire family.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Signs of the Times Social Studies Guide

Signs of the Times
(Signes Des Temps)

Signs of the Times - (Signes Des Temps) - Flickr - Photo Sharing!

By Loci B. Lenar

Signes Des Temps (Signs of the Times) is a new book compiled by Chantale Samuel and Charles Vendette and published in the French language. The learning guide was released in July 2011 by Les Editions CEC, a school book publisher in Anjou (Quebec) Canada.

I am happy to announce that Monique Rosevear of Les Editions CEC, contacted me to reproduce my photograph of a stained glass window of Saint Isaac Jogues. The colorful church window is published in the new social studies book on page 133. Credits for photographs are listed on page 139.

Saint Isaac Jogues - Stained Glass Window - Photograph by Loci B. Lenar
I photographed the minature stained glass window inside of Saint Jude's Catholic Church, 40 Maxim Drive, Hopatcong, New Jersey, USA.

The book is a social studies learning guide for grade 3 students entitled: Signes des Temps and is used as a student's book, teacher's guide and digital key. (ISBN # 978-2-7617-3358-8)

For more information about the book, please visit the publisher's website at the following link: Les Editions CEC

The following biographical information about St. Isaac Jogues is from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Saint Isaac Jogues (January 10, 1607 РOctober 18, 1646) was a Jesuit priest, missionary, and martyr who traveled and worked among the native populations in North America. He gave the original European name to Lake George, calling it Lac du Saint Sacrement, Lake of the Blessed Sacrament. In 1646, Jogues was martyred by the Mohawks near the present day Auriesville, New York. Jogues, St. Jean de Br̩beuf and six other martyred missionaries, all Jesuits or laymen associated with them, were canonized in 1930 as "The North American Martyrs," or "St. Isaac Jogues and Companions." Their feast day is October 19, except in Canada, where the feast is celebrated on September 26.

Read more: St. Isaac Jogues

Monday, July 25, 2011

Our Lady of Medjugorje's Monthly Message to Marija Pavlovic

Holy Spirit

Our Lady of Medjugorje - Message of July 25, 2011 to Visionary Marija Pavlovic 

"Dear children! May this time be for you a time of prayer and silence. Rest your body and spirit, may they be in God’s love. Permit me, little children, to lead you, open your hearts to the Holy Spirit so that all the good that is in you may blossom and bear fruit one hundred fold. Begin and end the day with prayer with the heart. Thank you for having responded to my call."

John Paul the Great Catholic University Students Win National Video Contest

Get Clean‬‏ - YouTube

After a near 25,000 hits on YouTube, JP Catholic student Melinda Collins wins the nation-wide i-Confess video contest with her video "Get Clean."

Press Release from John Paul the Great Catholic University:

SAN DIEGO, CA - July 25, 2011 - The Diocese of Brooklyn partnered with the Archdiocese of New York and the Diocese of Rockville Centre to use social and digital media to shine light on the sacrament of Confession and promote a Lenten Day of Reconciliation on April 18. The contest, which ended on May 7, had simple criteria: each 60-second video needed orthodoxy and artistic quality, and would be judged on YouTube ratings and number of views. "Get Clean" was quickly noted for its high quality, stunning artistry, and compelling story of a girl suffering from the effects of sin who finds healing in the sacrament of Confession. Noticed by countless Catholic bloggers and shared enthusiastically on Facebook, "Get Clean" quickly reached close to 25,000 YouTube hits, surpassing every competitor.

Melinda Collins is a student at John Paul the Great Catholic University, an institution dedicated to Impacting Culture for Christ at the intersection of entrepreneurship, entertainment media, and theology in San Diego, California. Melinda Collins, a sophomore, had simple wishes for her entry. "My highest hope was that the idea would get me an 'A' in one of my media classes; I discovered God exceeds expectations," she stated. A devout Catholic and active participant in the sacraments, Collins hopes "Get Clean" will fuel thought about the authentic forgiveness offered through Confession, as well as encourage the appreciation and utilization of modern artistic mediums to spread the Gospel.

A $25,000 scholarship will go to Melinda Collins and her school of choice as a reward for her efforts.

Martin Harold, Director of Admissions
John Paul the Great Catholic University
858-653-6740 ext. 1101

Sunday, July 24, 2011

'Angelic Tails' is a must read for all canine lovers!

Angelic Tails: True Stories of Heavenly Canine Companions

By Loci B. Lenar

Angelic Tails is a wonderful collection of new stories that will touch a chord with all canine owners. I purchased an autographed copy of the book directly from the author, Joan Wester Anderson.

Joan takes a leap forward from her other books about angelic visitations (Where Miracles Happen) into an impressive theme revolving around man's best friend, canines. The accounts are uplifting and show how God can work through mysterious ways even with pets.

'Snow Angel' is one such heartwarming story. Joan writes in her new book that during a snowstorm, Linda Baxter and her daughter, Lesley, are saved by the neighborhood dog during a blinding blizzard. Praying for assistance, Punkie appears out of nowhere and guides them back on the appropriate path to their home.

Even more amazing is the story about St. John Bosco. Traveling at times in dangerous areas to help homeless children/teenagers, he was either robbed or assaulted. Praying for God's assistance, a large dog would appear and walk with John during his journeys. Joan writes that on one occasion, Grigo saved John from a shooter by running after the assailant. Later on, twelve men confront John with sticks. Before they could strike, Grigo suddenly appears and drives them away. Grigo would appear at St. John Bosco's side for thirty years as a heaven sent companion! Remarkable indeed!

This book is not only a great read for pet owners, but also for anyone interested in knowing how God can manifest his assistance and protection through canines.

I highly recommend purchasing Angelic Tails and reading all the inspirational stories; you will not be disappointed in this delightful book!

To order books, please visit the following link: Joan Wester Anderson

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Tito Yupanqui could become the first Bolivian saint

Tito Yupanqui could become the first Bolivian saint

The video and following excerpt is from

The bishops of Bolivia have opened the beatification process of Francisco Tito Yupanqui. If approved, he would become the first blessed Bolivian. He was born in 1550 and was one of the first indigenous people to convert to Catholicism.

He carved the image of the Virgin of Copacabana, which is an extremely important figure in Bolivia. The miracles attributed to the image have prompted the possible holiness.

Carlos Federico de la Riva
Bolivia's ambassador to the Vatican
"The attribution of the miracle is not directly related to the sculptor, Tito Yupanqui. Rather the miracles are linked to the image of the Virgin. That's simply a fact."

The sculptor is so popular in his native country, there's actually a village in the western part of Bolivia, named after Tito Yupanqui. Now, Catholics in Bolivia are hoping his beatification will come soon.

Carlos Federico de la Riva
Bolivia's ambassador to the Vatican
"In a way Bolivians see it as justice. People say, 'gee, all the saints are from other countries,' as if there was no room for holiness in Bolivia.”

If he does in fact become a blessed, the ambassador says it will promote a Christian way of living in his home country.

Catholics Line Up To See Cross And Veil Relics


 Catholics Line Up To See Cross And Veil Relics - KTVI

The video and following excerpt is from


Catholics are lining up to see one of the largest alleged pieces of Jesus Christ's cross and a piece of the Virgin Mary's veil. The Catholic relics are on display at St. Francis De Sales Oratory in south St. Louis.

Hundreds of St. Louisans gathered to see and touch more than 150 relics linked to saints.

They waited in long lines for the chance to say a prayer and touch a personal item to the relics specifically linked to the crucifixion and to St. Mary.

A relic is a term for a personal item linked to a saint. Friday night's exposition featured more than 150 relics, but two of them really stood out over the rest.

"The more significant relics that are here is a fragment of the veil of Our Lady of the Cloth, worn by the mother of God on her head, and wood from the cross on which Jesus died," explained Father Carlos Martins, who travels all over the country with these relics.

He says every exposition is a special experience for the people that come to see and touch them, "People have that experience, that encounter. And it's great to be a part of that. It's great to be able to be an instrument God uses to provide this for his people."

Rosaries, prayer cards, and necklaces were just a few of the many objects people waited in line to touch up against the relics on display Friday night.

Read more: Catholics Line Up To See Relics

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Our Lady of Medjugorje - Queen of Peace

Our Lady Queen of Peace
By Artist Stephen B. Whatley

Our Lady, Queen of Peace - 2011 Oil Painting by Stephen B Whatley - Flickr Photo Sharing!

By Stephen B. Whatley

June marks the 30th anniversary of regular apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary to six young people in Medjugorje, Bosnia-Hercegovina; through whom the Mother of God came to plead the message of Peace. 'Our Lady of Medjugorje' gave herself the title of Queen of Peace.

Our Lady first appeared on June 24, 1981 (also the birthday of John the Baptist) and on June 25, 2011, the unofficial Feast Day. I felt compelled to paint in deep prayer this tribute to the Holy Mother of God; accompanied by the knowledge of descriptions given by the witnesses and a devoted pilgrim whom I have been privileged to know.

I pray there may be peace, healing, and relief for anyone who views this new painting. Blessings of Peace in the name of Mary Mother of God and Her Son, Jesus Christ.

Our Lady, Queen of Peace
Oil on canvas - 27 x 24in

See more Christian paintings by the artist at the following link: Stephen B. Whatley
Copyright 2011 by Stephen B. Whatley

Monday, July 18, 2011

Hawaiian nun's cause for sainthood jumps forward with second miracle

Hawaiian nun's cause for sainthood jumps forward with second miracle

The following information is from

( The cause for sainthood of Blessed Hawaiian nun Marianne Cope has received Vatican approval of a second miracle. A group of doctors from the Vatican's Congregation for Causes of Saints declared there is no medical explanation for the cure of a woman who was on her deathbed and made a miraculous recovery.

No other details on the case have been released.

Before moving to Hawaii in 1883 to help care for those suffering with leprosy, Marianne Cope worked as a member of the Sisters of St. Francis in Syracuse, New York. Her cause for beatification has been taken up there.

Join in Prayer for God's Spiritual Blessings with Fr. Richard Tartaglia at St. Mary's Church

Fr. Richard Tartaglia
Photo by Loci B. Lenar

A Monthy Reminder

St. Mary's Catholic Church holds a monthly service for prayer including special prayer intentions which are submitted through the website of

Previous services have included prayer for Christian Unity.

The next prayer service is scheduled for Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 7:30 P.M. (EST) with Fr. Richard Tartaglia. The prayer service is held every third Thursday of each month with a new theme. July will focus on St. Anne and St. Joachim. However, prayers for world peace are always included.

St. Mary's Church is located on 15 Myers Avenue, Denville, New Jersey. Father Martin Glynn is the head pastor of the church.

There is great power when people join together in agreement while praying for God’s help and intervention. However, if you cannot attend, you can still join in by praying with St. Mary’s Church between the hours of 7:30-8:00 PM on July 21.

Our Lord calls us to connect with his divine grace in order to receive blessings in our lives. Trust and believe in God's word and wait for his timing to receive an answer to your prayers.

Regarding prayer, Jesus said, "Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst." (Matthew 18:19-20)

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)

With the support of Father Richard Tartaglia, prayer requests that are submitted through are also prayed for every Monday morning after the 8:00 A.M. Mass, during Holy Hour Adoration, which is between the hours of 8:30 to 9:30 AM. If you're unable to attend, please consider joining in prayer with others on Monday mornings during Holy Adoration. God will still hear your prayer!

If you live in the area or plan on visiting New Jersey, please consider attending and joining in the evening prayer service with Fr. Richard Tartaglia. The service begins with singing of hymns followed with psalm prayers and then reading of the gospels. After the reading, Fr. Tartaglia gives his homily which is followed with a prayer of intercession for Special Prayer Intentions (prayer requests). The Lord's Prayer is recited and after that there is a closing prayer with a blessing given by Fr. Tartaglia. The prayer service is concluded with a closing song.

For directions to St. Mary's Church, please visit the following link:

Regardless of your religious denomination, please feel free to submit your prayer request at the following link: Your email address will remain confidential.

Fr. Richard Tartaglia's office
with posters of Men in Black and Priest
Photo by Loci B. Lenar

Loci Lenar visits Father Richard Tartaglia on a regular bases for spiritual guidance and shares with him the prayer requests. As a result, Mr. Lenar will hand deliver all emails requesting prayers to Fr. Tartaglia.

Monthly Prayer Service including Topics for 2011:

St. Joachim and St. Anne - Thursday, July 21, 7:30 P.M.

Assumption of Our Lady - Thursday, August 18, 7:30 P.M.

Mary's Birth - Thursday, September 15, 7:30 P.M.

All Saints and Souls - Thursday, October 20, 7:30 P.M.

Thanksgiving - Thursday, November 17, 7:30 P.M.

Advent and Christmas - Thursday, December 15, 7:30 P.M.

St. Mary's Weekly Mass Schedule:

Sunday: 7:00, 8:30, 10:00, and 11:30 AM

Saturday: 5:00 PM

Weekdays: 8:00 AM and 12:05 PM - (Except June ~ Labor Day - No 12:05 PM)

First Fridays: 8:00 AM, 12:05 PM, 8:00 PM - (Except June ~ Labor Day - No 12:05 PM)

Holy Days: 7:00 AM, 8:00 AM, 12:00 noon, 7:00 PM

Eve of Holy Days: 5:00 PM

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Reconnecting with God by Using the Web

Breaking religious ground by using the web

The following excerpt is from

( - The internet is used for pretty much everything nowadays. Now these nuns are getting ready to use the web for something they're not all accustomed to.

For years now, Sister de Witt has used the internet to connect with a younger crowd. The idea came, when she realized that less and less youths were going to Church. She decided to go online to chat with them, so they could re-connect with religion.

Sister Elvira Maria de Witt
Divine Heart of Jesus (Netherlands)

“You're not going to convent to ring the bell and say 'can I speak with a sister?' It's so easy to chat with a sister in your own room and ask questions and then think bye, and out it is.”

She's been so successful, she flew down to Rome to teach other nuns from different parts of Europe, about ways to use the internet to promote their work, help people and also to connect with those who may have a religious vocation.

Sister Elvira Maria de Witt
Divine Heart of Jesus (Netherlands)

“Do you know where to find them? On the internet. They said, on the internet? I got all my candidates on the internet. So now they have this theme and I think, oh that's great. I want to be there for every young one who is coming. I want to help them where they fit. They can be with us, they can be with other sisters and also with marriage.”

On the web, she connects with people from the Netherlands, Ireland, Germany and the U.S. It's a way for her to spread the Gospel, but it's also a way to stay in touch with the digital age. The possibilities are endless she says and it's something that simply can't be ignored.

For some, welcoming the digital age is a challenge, but the potential benefits, she says, by far outweigh the obstacles.

Read More: Reconnecting with God

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Mysterious Visions of Man in White Draw Muslims to Christ

Mysterious Visions of Man in White Draw Muslims to Christ

The book cover and following excerpt is from

A new eye-opening book that chronicles a supernatural move of God among Muslims.

Out of Darkness Into Light, tells the first-person accounts of Muslims coming to Christ through visions, dreams and miracles. This book is a gripping collection of true stories. Easy-to-read and inspiring, it offers a rare view into the life and culture of men and women growing up in Islam, and the supernatural encounters they had with Jesus. It is a must-read for Christians who desire to minister to Muslims and for those who recognize their own heart does not reflect God's love toward Muslims.

Author Ali Abdel-Masih (a pseudonym meaning "believer in the Messiah") was a strong Muslim himself. He even wanted to evangelize Christians. One day, Abdel-Masih was alone in the house and a presence filled the room.

"The Holy Spirit fell on me," he recounts. "I knew Jesus was standing in the room with me and that He was the Son of God." To believe that meant that Abdel-Masih was not a Muslim - and he realized he no longer was. Jesus had changed him. Nothing less could have broken his fierce loyalty to Islam, he says.

Abdel-Masih later worked as a missionary to Muslims in the Middle East. He heard many stories similar to his own of supernatural visions or dreams. At great risk to his life, for more than 15 years he helped others there come to know the Man in white. Now, he is a frequent guest on television and radio talk shows, sharing God's heart for work among Muslims.

Out of Darkness Into Light is a book for both Muslims and Christians. Muslims will relate to the nuances - and questions - of life within Islam that each testimony describes. Many will have already heard of the visions without understanding what they mean. This book will help bridge those stories to the truth of the gospel. Christians will see powerful examples of God's heart for Muslims and their openness to the gospel. This book may be the most effective tool your ministry can use in outreach to Muslims.

For bulk copies, review copies, or interviews, contact Ali Abdel-Masih (714) 334-9117


Virgin Mary Aids In Miraculous Conceptions

Virgin Mary Aids In Miraculous Conceptions, Priest Says - Albuquerque News Story - KOAT Albuquerque

The following excerpt is from

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- One local priest said that an iconic image of the Virgin Mary in his parish has helped dozens of families conceive in Albuquerque.

Inside Our Lady of Perpetual Help Byzantine Catholic Church, Father Christopher Zugger said dozens of couples who were told they couldn’t conceive children did because of the Virgin Mary.

“I better believe in miracles. We see them every day,” Zugger said.

Zugger bought the 200-year-old iconic image of the Virgin Mary back in 1998.

“Since them, we’ve had all kinds of miracles with all kinds of couples,” Zugger said.

According to Zugger, it started with one woman in the church who’d had five miscarriages.

“She said, ‘Holy Mother of God, save this baby. I can’t lose another baby,’” Zugger said. “(She) put the icon on her stomach and she says, ‘I’m not leaving until the baby kicks me six times.’”

That baby is now a teenager.

“Every single couple that has come, there’s been at least one child,” Zugger said.

Read more: Virgin Mary Miracles

Monday, July 11, 2011

Testimonies of Faith

Miracle at Cana
Photo by Loci B. Lenar

Testimonies of Faith regarding God's blessings are shared on

By Loci B. Lenar

God calls us to share our faith and blessings in order to provide encouragement and hope for others. In doing so, we spread the gospels to those in need of our Lord's love and mercy which in turn helps to build the Kingdom of God here on earth.

So what does scripture convey regarding answered prayer and events that change our lives for the better as a result of God's blessings?

Oh give thanks to the LORD, call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples. Sing to Him, sing praises to Him; Speak of all His wonderful acts. (1Chronicles 16:8-9)

I will give you thanks, for you answered me; you have become my salvation. (Psalm 118:21)

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

With those words in mind, I wish to thank all subscribers and members of for their kind support of our website. I also wish to express my gratitude to Fr. Richard Tartaglia and parishioners of St. Mary's Church, Denville, NJ, for praying on behalf of all who have submitted prayer requests through our site.

I give thanks to God for blessing our website as a public ministry of faith and hope. May the Blessed Mother and Holy Saints intercede on behalf of all that request prayer and obtain God's blessing and favor. May Almighty God the Father answer all your prayers through his divine son Jesus Christ.

Alfredo Briones writes: "Before finding this website (, my life was is disarray. My faith was diminishing, health was poor and my overall view of life was pessimistic. Through not only my prayers but through the prayers of those that prayed for me, Our Lord and Savior Jesus has answered my prayers. I am healthier; I am looking at life in a different perspective and my faith has risen to a new level. I truly believe that I was led to this wonderful website that has changed my life. I pray for everyone on this site and I will always be grateful for what this website has done for me. Praise God for he is the answer and the love; the power and the glory forever."

Annie Thomas writes: "I got internal peace and faith while browsing through this website ( May God make all things possible."

Fred writes: "I thank the Lord for guiding me to this website (; the strength of prayer is truly awesome and faith is powerful. May God watch over everyone on this site and answer all their prayer requests. Let us never give up hope and faith."

Maria Antonia writes: "I fell in love with this fantastic website (, and can't miss visiting even for one single day!"

Patricia Louis writes: " Loci, I'm so happy to have found you on the Internet!!! While searching the Internet for pictures of the Wedding Feast at Cana, I came across your Web Site ( and then on to (Signs, Wonders and Miracles). WOW! How awesome! It's a definite "bookmark" page. And I totally agree with you that "peace is coming!" Our Lady's January 25, 2011, Medjugorje message confirms it!"

Edna writes: "I believe it is by God’s grace that I came to this website ( I am a 31 year old woman living in Uganda and I am truly humbled by this site. As a young child, I heard my mum always say that Saint Jude Thaddeus is a true miracle worker. I chose him as my intercessor to Almighty God. I have no regrets whatsoever and I strongly say this with all confidence that he has seen me through my entire school life; helped me pass all my exams; got a good Job; great family, the list is endless."

Michael La Corte, Executive Director at The World Apostolate of Fatima, USA, writes: "Loci, congratulations on your beautiful site ( and informative blog (Angels, Wonders, and Miracles of Faith), I am sure you touch many hearts and souls."

Please share your faith, blessings, testimony or story with our community. When sending email, please include your full name. Send to:

Sunday, July 10, 2011

A Trip to the Gates of Heaven

Topekan recounts near-death experience

The following excerpt is from


Nearly five years after the fact, 80-year-old Gladys Hargis, of Topeka, still has a difficult time believing what she experienced the night she nearly died.

Her soul left her body, she said, followed by a visit from angels and a trip to the gates of heaven.

Others have shared similar out-of-body stories through the years, and Hargis said she has no doubt her story is real.

The accounts of that night, and the days that followed, are recounted in her book "You Live Forever" (West Bow Press, softcover, 94 pages, $11.95).

Read more: You Live Forever

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

US nun's cause for sainthood moves forward with initial ruling on second miracle

CNS STORY: US nun's cause moves forward with initial ruling on second miracle

The following excerpt is from CNSBy Patrick Downes - Catholic News Service

HONOLULU (CNS) -- The sainthood cause of Blessed Marianne Cope of Molokai has taken a significant step forward with a Vatican medical board ruling in favor of a miracle attributed to her intercession.

According to a news release from her religious community, the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities in Syracuse, N.Y., the seven physicians at the Vatican Congregation for Saints' Causes declared there is no medical explanation for the cure of a woman who had been suffering from an allegedly irreversible fatal condition.

"The board concluded the woman's healing was inexplicable according to available medical knowledge. The doctors on the case expected her to die and were amazed scientifically at her survival," the release said.

This is the second miracle attributed to Blessed Marianne's intercession to go through the Vatican approval process.

The first miracle, required for her beatification, was the medically unexplainable recovery of a New York girl dying from multiple organ failure after prayers were said to Mother Marianne. It was approved by the medical board Jan. 29, 2004. The board of theologians gave its approval six months later, on July 15. On Dec. 20, Pope John Paul II affirmed the case, making Mother Marianne eligible for beatification. She was beatified in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican May 14, 2005.

Read more: Blessed Marianne Cope of Molokai

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Pope asks Christians to pray for AIDS patients

Pope asks Christians to pray for AIDS patients

The following excerpt is from

( - The Pope has asked all faithful to pray for AIDS patients, especially those in developing countries. He's also asking Christians to help ease their physical and spiritual suffering.

This is his intention for the month of July, according to the pope's Apostolic Letter, an initiative followed by roughly 50 million people worldwide.

In its hospitals, the Catholic Church cares for one of every four patients with AIDS. In some areas, especially in Africa, Catholic hospitals are the main source of care for these patients.

Miracle claimed for Pope Pius XII

AP Exclusive: Miracle claimed for WWII-Era Pope - Times Union

The following excerpt is from

CASTELLAMMARE DI STABIA, Italy (AP) — Maria Esposito was ready to give up. Wasted away at 42 kilos (92 pounds), she couldn't bear another dose of chemotherapy to fight the Stage IV Burkitt's lymphoma that had invaded her body while she was pregnant with her second child.

But as she and her family had done since she was diagnosed with the rare and aggressive form of cancer in July 2005, Esposito prayed to the man who had appeared to her husband in a dream as the only person who could save her: Pope Pius XII.

Esposito survived, cured after a single, six-week cycle of chemotherapy — a recovery that, she says, stunned her doctors and convinced her that the World War II-era pope had intervened with God to save her.

Esposito's case, which the 42-year-old teacher recounted to The Associated Press in her first media interview, has been proposed to the Vatican as the possible miracle needed to beatify Pius.
Pius' main biographer, American Sister Margherita Marchione, has championed Esposito's miracle case and personally presented it to the Vatican's No. 2 official, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.

Pope Benedict XVI moved Pius one step closer to possible sainthood in December 2009 when he confirmed that Pius lived a life of "heroic" Christian virtue. All that is needed now is for the Vatican to determine a "miracle" occurred.

Read more: Pope Pius XII Miracle