Friday, March 30, 2012

Fr. Higgins: The Man I Saw Brought Back to Life

Fr. John Higgins - Photo Courtesy of St. Peter's List

Fr. Higgins: The Man I Saw Brought Back to Life | St. Peter's List

(Reprinted with permission from  and St. Peter's List.)

By Fr. John Higgins

Who doesn’t enjoy a good BBQ with friends? When I was asked to a young couple’s home for a Young Adult Ministry Home Mass and BBQ I packed my Mass kit and off I went. I arrived about 6:00 pm with a hearty appetite and was greeted by about 15 young people. Then the phone rang and everything changed. I had to drive about 10 miles to a hospital where there was an emergency call.

I drove quickly, thinking that the nurse in charge of the ER, Anne, would be waiting for me. I knew her and her husband and children from the parish. When I walked in I could see paramedics at the foot of the only occupied gurney there, so I hurried and walked in. “Sorry, Fr. John, you’re too late. He’s gone.” Anne said, smiling. She had a lot of compassion, but also understood that I’d come as fast as I could. They were removing wires from an older man. I noticed that he was wearing a Brown Scapular, one of the old cloth ones. I reached and said “He’s wearing an old fashioned Scapular”. When I touched it there was a beep from a monitor, then another. The nurse, Anne, said “What did you do?” I said “Nothing!” She and another nurse jumped to work, reconnecting wires and calling for help. The Paramedics stood with their jaws dropped. The patient opened his eyes and said (in an Irish accent) “Oh, good, Father. I’ve been waiting for you. I want to go to Confession.” I nearly fell over. I’d done nothing but seen and touched his Scapular. The next thing I knew they were working on him. He didn’t get to go to Confession, but I gave him an emergency absolution as they worked. One of the Paramedics asked if I was OK and sat me in a chair.

A couple of weeks later the man came to me for Confession and told me that the doctor couldn’t figure out what happened and had to tear up the Death Certificate he’d already started to fill out. The Paramedics had come to see him in the hospital and shown him their notes. At the bottom of the page they’d written the time and place of his death and then in big bold letters had added “BROUGHT BACK TO LIFE BY GOD”.

Miracles still happen. And no, I didn’t do it. It just happened according to God’s will. Why does He intervene in some cases and not in others? I really don’t know. I haven’t figured that out yet. But I do know that God has worked miracles in my life, the most important for me not being what He did for someone else, but what He has done over and over to bring me back from sin and death, through the Sacraments into His Covenant Relationship.

That man still had to die a natural death to be raised from the dead into eternal life. The resurrection Jesus offers all of us is eternal too. And that’s what we look forward to at Easter.

Fr. John Higgins

Fr. Higgins was born in Indiana. His mother brought him to California when he was about three years old. They lived in South Gate, Covina, Lynwood and then in 1965 they moved to Downey. Fr. Higgins attended Downey High School for two years and graduated from there in 1967. He attended Cerritos Community College, worked in Downey, Bellflower, and Long Beach before entering the Seminary in 1974. He was ordained to the Priesthood in 1981, has served as Campus Minister and Religion Teacher at Bishop Garcia Diego High School in Santa Barbara, and worked in seven parishes before his assignment to St. Raymond Parish in 2003. He also currently serves as the Chaplain at Downey Fire Department – serving both firefighters and victims.

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Amazing Accounts of Muslims coming to Christ

God's "Miraculous Movement": Amazing Accounts of Scores of Muslims coming to Christ

The following excerpt is from

What's even better than one Muslim coming to the Lord Jesus and being saved? A whole mosque-full of people receiving Christ!

As astonishing as it sounds, that is the report from a former church planter who worked among Muslims in West Africa.

Jerry Trousdale, now the director of International ministries for City Team International, has written a book, Miraculous Movements, that details some of the "unprecedented" events taking place currently among the Muslim population there.

Trousdale notes that there have been "multiple cases of entire mosques coming to faith" in Christ; "tens of thousands" of Christians with Muslim background who are now dedicated to fasting and praying as intercessors for the Muslim people; seemingly impossible achievements being done through ordinary people allowing God to use them, along with many other extraordinary happenings.

Trousdale told the Christian Post (CP), "This is just good news that God is in the same business as He was in the book of Acts. Disciples are multiplying greatly and even priests, imams and sheikhs are becoming obedience to the faith. So I no longer doubt that we can finish the task in this generation."

The CP article recounts one of the remarkable stories from Trousdale's book in which a man who'd been a respectable Muslim businessman had a dream that Jesus appeared to him telling him that He [Jesus] was the Light of the world—when he woke up he could no longer see. The dream and his loss of sight impacted him so much, he converted to Christianity, and—after attending Bible studies at a prayer camp—he became an effective witness and church-planter for the Lord among Muslim groups.

Read more: God's Miraculous Movement

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Our Lady's Monthly Message to Marija Pavlovic

Photo by Loci B. Lenar

The Medjugorje Web - Apparitions of the Virgin Mary in Medjugorje

Our Lady of Medjugorje's monthly message to Marija Pavlovic

Message of March 25, 2012: "Dear children! Also today, with joy, I desire to give you my motherly blessing and to call you to prayer. May prayer become a need for you to grow more in holiness every day. Work more on your conversion because you are far away, little children. Thank you for having responded to my call."

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Power of Prayer

Photo by Loci B. Lenar

Prayer is the Key to God's Blessing and Grace

Jesus said, "I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be taken up and thrown into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive your trespasses."
-Mark 11:23-25

The beautiful stained glass window detail of Jesus can be seen inside the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Catholic church is located on High Street in Hackettstown, NJ, USA.

Read more: Devotional Prayers

Read more: Prayer is the Key to God's Blessings and Gifts

Read more:

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

St. Thomas More - Patron of Religious Freedom

St. Thomas More


Prayer to St. Thomas More

O God our Creator,
from your provident hand we have received
our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
You have called us as your people and given us
the right and the duty to worship you, the only true God,
and your Son, Jesus Christ.

Through the power and working of your Holy Spirit,
you call us to live out our faith in the midst of the world,
bringing the light and the saving truth of the Gospel
to every corner of society.

We ask you to bless us
in our vigilance for the gift of religious liberty.
Give us the strength of mind and heart
to readily defend our freedoms when they are threatened;
give us courage in making our voices heard
on behalf of the rights of your Church
and the freedom of conscience of all people of faith.

Grant, we pray, O heavenly Father,
a clear and united voice to all your sons and daughters
gathered in your Church
in this decisive hour in the history of our nation,
so that, with every trial withstood
and every danger overcome—
for the sake of our children, our grandchildren,
and all who come after us—
this great land will always be “one nation, under God,
indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

We ask this through Christ our Lord.


Copyright © 2012, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, DC. All rights reserved. Cover image,

Monday, March 19, 2012


Our Lady Video Trailer

The video trailer of Our Lady and following press release is from Jessica Murray, Marketing Manager at Tell Tale Productions:

Halifax, Nova Scotia – March, 2012 Blessed Mother. Star of the Sea. Queen of Heaven. Madonna. Our Lady. She goes by many names and is celebrated by both Christians and Muslims around the world. She is one of the most celebrated women in history, even though little is actually known about her. She gave birth to the one of the most famous historical figures of all time, but she is only mentioned in the bible seven times. Each year millions of people around the world do pilgrimages to shrines dedicated to her and many claim to experience miracles.  

Our Lady is a one hour documentary that chronicles the life and significance of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and her apparitions and appearances on earth. Since 1981, Mary has been appearing in one of the most visited religious sites on the planet: Medjugorje, Bosnia. The film follows a pilgrimage led by New Brunswick native Marie Desjardins as she and a dozen others journey to Medjugorje for the 30th anniversary of these spiritual events.

Our Lady is created, written, and directed by Michael MacDonald and produced by Edward Peill of Halifax-based Tell Tale Productions Inc.

Medjugorje is potentially the most important event in modern history. It is a call to action for all to put their own interests aside to serve their fellow human beings.” says MacDonald. “As the Blessed Virgin said to the visionaries, God is real. He asks us to live like eternal beings - to remember that our pains and sufferings are only temporary. We must prepare ourselves daily by learning to love, and to accept love.

The film features world-renowned Marian experts Judith Dupre, Lesley Hazelton, and Charlene Spretnak as they reveal the role that Mary has played over the past 2000 years and the devotion she has fostered in so many followers around the world.

A new iPhone app called iMary will also be released in conjunction with the premiere of the Our Lady documentary. The iMary mobile app is the ultimate smartphone accessory for anyone interested in the Virgin Mary. The app features a complete and detailed database of all the Marian shrines across Canada with a geo-locator function indicating the distance from the user’s location. It also contains a comprehensive list of devotions, a Marian calendar, and a rosary. The iMary app is available on iTunes with a portion of the proceeds from each sale being donated to charity.

Our Lady will have its world broadcast premiere on VisionTV on Wednesday, March 21, 2012 at 10 PM ET / 7 PM PT (Check local listings). VisionTV is Canada’s only English language cable and satellite television analog specialty channel that airs multi-faith, multicultural and family-oriented entertainment programming.

Our Lady was produced in association with VisionTV, ZoomerMedia Limited, and CTS TV with funding from the Canada Media Fund, and Provincial and Federal tax credits.

For Media Inquiries please contact:

Jessica Murray - Tell Tale Productions Inc.  Marketing Manager
Tel: (902) 482-4650    

Feast Day of St. Joseph

St. Joseph - Photograph by Loci B. Lenar

St. Joseph - Saint and Angels - Catholic Online

The following excerpt regarding the history St. Joseph is found on Catholic Online:

Feastday: March 19

Patron of the Universal Church

Everything we know about the husband of Mary and the foster father of Jesus comes from Scripture and that has seemed too little for those who made up legends about him.

We know he was a carpenter, a working man, for the skeptical Nazarenes ask about Jesus, "Is this not the carpenter's son?" (Matthew 13:55). He wasn't rich for when he took Jesus to the Temple to be circumcised and Mary to be purified he offered the sacrifice of two turtledoves or a pair of pigeons, allowed only for those who could not afford a lamb (Luke 2:24).

Despite his humble work and means, Joseph came from a royal lineage. Luke and Matthew disagree some about the details of Joseph's genealogy but they both mark his descent from David, the greatest king of Israel (Matthew 1:1-16 and Luke 3:23-38). Indeed the angel who first tells Joseph about Jesus greets him as "son of David," a royal title used also for Jesus.

We know Joseph was a compassionate, caring man. When he discovered Mary was pregnant after they had been betrothed, he knew the child was not his but was as yet unaware that she was carrying the Son of God. He planned to divorce Mary according to the law but he was concerned for her suffering and safety. He knew that women accused to adultery could be stoned to death, so he decided to divorce her quietly and not expose her to shame or cruelty (Matthew 1:19-25).

We know Joseph was man of faith, obedient to whatever God asked of him without knowing the outcome. When the angel came to Joseph in a dream and told him the truth about the child Mary was carrying, Joseph immediately and without question or concern for gossip, took Mary as his wife. When the angel came again to tell him that his family was in danger, he immediately left everything he owned, all his family and friends, and fled to a strange country with his young wife and the baby. He waited in Egypt without question until the angel told him it was safe to go back (Matthew 2:13-23).

We know Joseph loved Jesus. His one concern was for the safety of this child entrusted to him. Not only did he leave his home to protect Jesus, but upon his return settled in the obscure town of Nazareth out of fear for his life. When Jesus stayed in the Temple we are told Joseph (along with Mary) searched with great anxiety for three days for him (Luke 2:48). We also know that Joseph treated Jesus as his own son for over and over the people of Nazareth say of Jesus, "Is this not the son of Joseph?" (Luke 4:22)

We know Joseph respected God. He followed God's commands in handling the situation with Mary and going to Jerusalem to have Jesus circumcised and Mary purified after Jesus' birth. We are told that he took his family to Jerusalem every year for Passover, something that could not have been easy for a working man.

Since Joseph does not appear in Jesus' public life, at his death, or resurrection, many historians believe Joseph probably had died before Jesus entered public ministry.

Joseph is the patron of the dying because, assuming he died before Jesus' public life, he died with Jesus and Mary close to him, the way we all would like to leave this earth.

Joseph is also patron of the universal Church, fathers, carpenters, and social justice.
We celebrate two feast days for Joseph: March 19 for Joseph the Husband of Mary and May 1 for Joseph the Worker.

There is much we wish we could know about Joseph -- where and when he was born, how he spent his days, when and how he died. But Scripture has left us with the most important knowledge: who he was -- "a righteous man" (Matthew 1:18).

In His Footsteps:
Joseph was foster father to Jesus. There are many children separated from families and parents who need foster parents. Please consider contacting your local Catholic Charities or Division of Family Services about becoming a foster parent.

Saint Joseph, patron of the universal Church, watch over the Church as carefully as you watched over Jesus, help protect it and guide it as you did with your adopted son. Amen

Read more: History of St. Joseph

Devotional Prayers: Prayers to St. Joseph

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Promoting faith, joy and hope through music videos

Promoting faith, joy and hope through music videos

The following news report is found on

To inspire a culture of life through music...this is one of the goals of “MUSIC VISIONS.” It's a Catholic non-profit organization that tries to entertain and inspire the next generation through music videos.

Nowadays, millions of teenagers spend hours watching music videos, whether on a television set or through one's phone. But oftentimes, those videos glorify anything but values. MUSIC VISIONS tries to change that by producing high quality videos that promote faith, joy and hope.

Its first project is titled “Beside You.” Based on a true story, it follows the journey of a young woman as she deals with an unplanned pregnancy. Other videos that promote values in every day challenges, are also in the works.

The goal is to expose young adults to positive music videos, but that same goal also applies to broadcasters, who are willing to air these types of videos to a large audience.

The group is made up by a small team of international professionals. But it's also looking for sponsors and talented artists with unreleased songs. If you think, you're a good fit, their website,, has all the details. 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Who is Saint Patrick?

Saint Patrick Stained Glass Window - Photo by Loci B. Lenar

St. Patrick - Saints and Angels - Catholic Online

The following information is from CatholicOnline:

St. Patrick of Ireland is one of the world's most popular saints. (Feast Day March 17)

Apostle of Ireland, born at Kilpatrick, near Dumbarton, in Scotland, in the year 387; died at Saul, Downpatrick, Ireland, 17 March, 461.

Along with St. Nicholas and St. Valentine, the secular world shares our love of these saints. This is also a day when everyone's Irish.

There are many legends and stories of St. Patrick, but this is his story.

Patrick was born around 385 in Scotland, probably Kilpatrick. His parents were Calpurnius and Conchessa, who were Romans living in Britian in charge of the colonies.

As a boy of fourteen or so, he was captured during a raiding party and taken to Ireland as a slave to herd and tend sheep. Ireland at this time was a land of Druids and pagans. He learned the language and practices of the people who held him.

During his captivity, he turned to God in prayer. He wrote "The love of God and his fear grew in me more and more, as did the faith, and my soul was rosed, so that, in a single day, I have said as many as a hundred prayers and in the night, nearly the same." "I prayed in the woods and on the mountain, even before dawn. I felt no hurt from the snow or ice or rain."

Patrick's captivity lasted until he was twenty, when he escaped after having a dream from God in which he was told to leave Ireland by going to the coast. There he found some sailors who took him back to Britian, where he reunited with his family.

He had another dream in which the people of Ireland were calling out to him "We beg you, holy youth, to come and walk among us once more."

He began his studies for the priesthood. He was ordained by St. Germanus, the Bishop of Auxerre, whom he had studied under for years.

Later, Patrick was ordained a bishop, and was sent to take the Gospel to Ireland. He arrived in Ireland March 25, 433, at Slane. One legend says that he met a chieftain of one of the tribes, who tried to kill Patrick. Patrick converted Dichu (the chieftain) after he was unable to move his arm until he became friendly to Patrick.

Patrick began preaching the Gospel throughout Ireland, converting many. He and his disciples preached and converted thousands and began building churches all over the country. Kings, their families, and entire kingdoms converted to Christianity when hearing Patrick's message.
Patrick by now had many disciples, among them Beningnus, Auxilius, Iserninus, and Fiaac, (all later canonized as well).

Patrick preached and converted all of Ireland for 40 years. He worked many miracles and wrote of his love for God in Confessions. After years of living in poverty, traveling and enduring much suffering he died March 17, 461.

He died at Saul, where he had built the first church.

Why a shamrock?

Patrick used the shamrock to explain the Trinity, and has been associated with him and the Irish since that time.

In His Footsteps:  
Patrick was a humble, pious, gentle man, whose love and total devotion to and trust in God should be a shining example to each of us. He feared nothing, not even death, so complete was his trust in God, and of the importance of his mission.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Our Lady of Good Counsel by Stephen B. Whatley

Our Lady of Good Counsel

Our Lady of Good Counsel by Stephen B. Whatley - Flickr Photo Sharing

By Stephen B. Whatley

A recent tribute drawing (created in 2012) to this devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and Baby Jesus; originating from a miracle in Italy in the 15th century.

Blessings of hope, healing and restoration through the Holy Mother and Child.

The history of Our Lady of Good Counsel can be read on Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Charcoal on paper,
16.5 x 11.5in/42 x 30cm

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

St. Mary's Catholic Church - Evening Prayer Service on March 15th

Stations of the Cross - St. Mary's Church, Denville, NJ
Photograph by Loci B. Lenar

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. However, prayers for world peace are always included.

There is great power through the Holy Spirit when people join together in agreement while praying for God’s help and intervention.

“Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:19-20

The next prayer service is scheduled for Thursday, March 15, 2012 at 7:30 PM (EST) with Fr. Richard Tartaglia. The prayer service is held every third Thursday of each month with a new theme.

March will focus on Lent and penance.

Lent prepares us through sacrifice and prayer for a spiritual renewal of the soul. However, Easter rejuvenates our lives as God the Father calls us to live by the gospels of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ by transforming us into the resurrected image of His divine son.

St. Mary's Church is located on 15 Myers Avenue, Denville, New Jersey, USA.

However, if you cannot attend, you can still join in with your own special prayer intentions by praying with St. Mary's Church between the hours of 7:30 - 8:00 PM on March 15th.

Please submit your prayer requests to our site at the following email: PrayerRequest@Christian-Miracles.comYou email will remain confidential.

May Our Lord have mercy and bless your prayer requests with divine favor.

For updates, please visit on Facebook. While visiting, please consider supporting our site by giving a thumbs up. 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

In Lourdes, how a cure is proven to be a miracle

In Lourdes, how a cure is proven to be a miracle

The following excerpt from is regarding Our Lady and miracles connected to her apparitions in Lourdes, France.

( Lourdes, France is location of the most miracles recognized by the Catholic Church. It all started in 1858, when Catherine Latapie was miraculously cured of paralysis after drinking the spring water where apparitions of the Virgin Mary had taken place.

There soon became so many claims of miraculous healing that a medical bureau was established to investigate.

Today it's headed by the Italian Dr. Alesandro de Franciscis. He's served as the bureau's lead physician since 2009, making him the 15th doctor in an uninterrupted series. He's also the first non-French to hold the title.

He says the position is like no other job he's ever held.

Dr. Alessandro de Franciscis
Physician, Lourdes Medical Bureau

“I am the only doctor that I know of in the world that people come to see and to tell me 'doctor I am cured.'”
In the 130 year history of the Lourdes Medical Bureau, there have been over 7,000 documented cures that can not be medically explained. However, the Shrine has only recognized 67 as miracles.

Whether they go on to become miracles or not depends on the Church. If it's found that medicine can not explain a cure, it is then sent to the bishop of the diocese where that person is from.

Read more: Lourdes

Friday, March 09, 2012

Pope John Paul II Destined for Sainthood

Pope John Paul II 

Former pope destined for sainthood

The following excerpt is from

A second miracle attributed to the late pope John Paul II has been reported and he could be made a saint soon, Italy's Panorama weekly said on Thursday, citing documents sent to the Vatican.

The miraculous healing occurred just weeks after John Paul II's beatification on May 1 last year, which put him on the path to sainthood just six years after his death and was attended by over a million people.

The first miracle attributed to the late pope was the healing of a French nun, Sister Marie Simon-Pierre, who recovered from Parkinson's disease.

To be officially certified as a miracle by the Catholic Church, healings have to be instantaneous, irreversible and without scientific explanation.

The second miracle, about which no details were reported, was chosen from among four reported miracles and documented by the promoter of Karol Wojtyla's canonization, Bishop Slowomir Oder, Panorama said.

The magazine said the case was being studied by experts from the Congregation for the Cause of Saints and, if it occurred, could lead to the canonization of the late pope within the next 12 months.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Future Spanish saint's intercession cured 3-year-old

Future Spanish saint's intercession cured 3-year-old

The following excerpt is from the Catholic News Agency (CNA):

On Oct. 21, Spaniards will celebrate the canonization of Sister Carmen Salles y Barangueras, whose cause for sainthood was approved after her intercession caused the miraculous cure of a 3-year-old Brazilian girl suffering from a brain condition.

The miracle occurred in Sao Paolo in 1999 when 3 year-old Maria Isabel Gomes de Melo Gardelli was suffering from acute cerebral ischaemia, which left her with paralysis, deformities in her face.

With no hope of recovery, her treatments were stopped and her parents, themselves doctors, brought her home to care for her until her eventual passing. Together with Maria Isabel’s classmates at Maria Inmaculada School in Sao Paolo, the family began a novena to Sister Carmen Salles for a miraculous cure.

The postulator for Sister Carmen’s cause for canonization, Mother Maria Asuncion Valls Salip, told CNA it was “on the fifth day of the novena that she was cured…the prayers of children are very powerful.”

Doctors were skeptical that she was completely cured. Even if she received years of therapy and treatment, they said, she would be at serious risk of epilepsy and other secondary illnesses.
Since the time of her healing, Maria Isabel has undergone 27 different medical examinations “and absolutely no long-term effects remain,” Mother Valls said. Now at age 15, she has even been offered careers in modeling.

Mother Valls said she is also a “brilliant student” with “a great ability to comprehend.” “There is no doubt this is a miracle,” she added.

A recent CAT scan shows scars from her condition remain visible on her brain, which Mother Valls said demonstrate the miraculous nature of her recovery.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Sheik Mohammed Amen: Healing AIDS and HIV

Sheik Mohammed Amen: Healing AIDS and HIV - CBN TV - Video

An Ethiopian man witnessed a vision of Jesus that healed him from an incurable disease. After being healed he converted from Islam to Christianity and now shares his testimony and the love of Jesus Christ in Ethiopia.

Abraham Sarker: Jesus and the Muslim - CBN TV - Video

Abraham Sarker: Jesus and the Muslim - CBN TV - Video

The testimony that Abraham Sarker gives about his conversion to Christianity is very powerful. He was a devout follower of Islam. Then a dream started a chain reaction that led to his salvation in Jesus Christ. 

Sometime later, his father with other members of the family also convert to Christianity.