Monday, October 29, 2012

The Triumph of Christianity and what it means roughly 2,000 years later

The video and following news report is from

October 28th marks a special anniversary. It was on that day, 1,700 years ago that Emperor Constantine won the Battle of the Milvian Bridge. That victory, opened a new chapter for Christianity, since the night before, it's said that Constantine had a vision.

Professor of Azusa Pacific University, Los Angeles (USA)

“He won that victory because he used the sign of Jesus. The letters of Jesus' name and he put that on the shields of all his soldiers. Before that, he had a vision that night, that said in this sign you will conquer. He put that symbol on all his soldiers. They went into battle and even though he was outnumbered, he was victorious.”

Roughly 300 years before this battle, Christians were openly persecuted by the Roman Empire.

After this battle though, Constantine legalized Christianity and the construction of churches quickly followed. This radical shift is commonly referred to as the Triumph of the Church.

But what exactly can the modern world learn from that victory? This and other topics were discussed during a forum titled 'Mary, Sign of Faith.' Edmund Mazza, who co-chaired the forum says, secularism and politics are once again marginalizing Christians.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Prayers for Hurricane Season

Photograph by Loci B. Lenar

Prayers from the Archdiocese of New Orleans

Prayers for protection from storms, to prevent storms and to avert storms.

Prayer for Hurricane Season 
O God, Master of this passing world, hear the humble voices of your children. The Sea of Galilee obeyed your order and returned to its former quietude; you are still the Master of land and sea. We live in the shadow of a danger over which we have no control. The Gulf, like a provoked and angry giant, can awake from its seeming lethargy, overstep its conventional boundaries, invade our land and spread chaos and disaster. During this hurricane season, we turn to You, O loving Father. Spare us from past tragedies whose memories are still so vivid and whose wounds seem to refuse to heal with the passing of time. O Virgin, Star of the Sea, Our Beloved Mother, we ask you to plead with your Son in our behalf, so that spared from the calamities common to this area and animated with a true spirit of gratitude, we will walk in the footsteps of your Divine Son to reach the heavenly Jerusalem where a storm-less eternity awaits us. Amen.

Originally dedicated to the victims of Hurricane Audrey in 1957. - Fr. Al Volpe, Cameron Parish, LA 
Prayer for Protection against Storms and Hurricanes

Our Father in Heaven through the intercession of Our Lady of Prompt Succor, spare us during this Hurricane season from all harm. Protect us and our homes from all disasters of nature. Our Lady of Prompt Succor, hasten to help us. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen. 
Prayer to Avert Storms and Hurricanes
Father, all the elements of nature obey your command. Calm the storms and hurricanes that threaten us and turn our fear of your power into praise of your goodness. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Faith on Display at the 2012 World Series

CBN TV - Video

The 2012 World Series is in full swing and CBN Sports goes behind the scenes to highlight stories of faith from both the Detroit and San Francisco club houses.

Heidi Baker: Modern-Day Miracles

CBN TV - Video

'Iris Ministries' founder Heidi Baker shares news about Mozambique miracles.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Pope to canonize seven new Saints in St. Peter's Square

The video and following news report is from

On Sunday, October 21st, the Pope will canonize seven new saints. Four of them are women and three are men. They're all from different countries and lived in different time periods, but they all have one thing in common: they dedicated their lives to communicating the faith in their own unique way.

Among the new saints, are two martyrs: Jacques Berthieu (1838-1896), who was killed in Madagascar and Peter Calungsod, who was killed in the Philippines in 1672.

Two others dedicated their life to teaching education: Carmen Sallés (1848-1911) was a pioneer in women's education and Giovanni Piamarta Battista (1841-1913) taught marginalized youths a marketable trade.

The three other saints offered their pain and suffering to God. Kateri Tekakwitha (1656-1680) was a Native American woman who helped the sick, even as she dealt with her own illness.  Mother Marianne Cope (1838-1918) worked with lepers in Hawaii. Anna Schäffer (1884-1925) was sick most of her adult life. Despite being  bedridden, through her words and letters she inspired people far beyond her native Germany. 

People need to believe in miracles, says woman cured of infection

The following excerpt is from the Catholic News Service:

By Carol Glatz

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Though she had always believed in miracles, Sharon Smith never dreamed she would be the recipient of one.

Her unexplained recovery from a near fatal infection in 2005 was the second miracle that cleared the way for the Oct. 21 canonization of Blessed Marianne Cope.

Smith will present Pope Benedict XVI a relic of Blessed Marianne -- a bone fragment housed in a wooden tau cross, or T-shaped cross that is the symbol of St. Francis, the inspiration of Mother Marianne's congregation.

A native of Syracuse, N.Y., Smith fainted in her home one day in 2005 and woke up two months later in St. Joseph's Hospital, her body perforated by tubes as doctors fought to keep her hydrated and alive. She had been diagnosed with pancreatitis, but the inflammation soon caused an infection so severe, it ate away part of her gastrointestinal tract.

Her doctor told her that July, "Sharon, you're not going to make it," she told
Catholic News Service in Rome Oct.19. She and about 90 others from the Diocese of Syracuse, including Bishop Robert J. Cunningham, came to Rome for the canonization.

Smith recalled that a friend visiting her at the hospital was given a prayer card of Mother Marianne and told to pray for her intercession. Mother Marianne had been beatified by Pope Benedict in May 2005.

"My friends told me they prayed for me the night before they were going to just disconnect me" from the respirator, "and they prayed to Mother Marianne for me," she said.

The next day, "I woke up in the morning and started talking," she said.

Though she could breathe on her own, the infection was still severe.

St. Francis Sister Michaeleen Cabral and other members of the community soon started praying for Blessed Marianne's intercession.

Read More: People Need to Believe in Miracles

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Religious painting expected to draw thousands to Worcester church

The video and excerpt is from

(NECN: Mike Cronin, Worcester, Mass.) - A religious painting is expected to draw thousands to a special church service in Worcester, Mass. Tuesday evening.

It's a painting of the Virgin Mary, and some say it can perform miracles.

It’s on display and bringing people together to see what some say is a miracle.

“I prayed from the bottom of my heart. I felt that Jesus and St. Mary are listening to me,” says Clara Elnerm.

The Elnemr family is one of many flocking to the St. George Orthodox Cathedral in Worcester Tuesday. It's all to see a religious painting, called the Hawaiian Iveron Icon of the Virgin Mary. Five years ago, a Hawaiian clergy member discovered his painting suddenly smelt of roses and was gushing myrrh, a type of oil.

“It's a miraculous icon that's performed many miracles,” says Walter Haddad.

The icon is touring the east coast this month, much to the delight of Haddad, the president of the east orthodox churches of central Massachusetts.

“The oil is supposed to be miraculous oil. That's why everybody's coming to be anointed with her tears.”

Clergy members say they don't worship the icon, rather they pray through it.

“Some people don't realize that miracles like this do happen. They do happen around us all the time,” says Milad Selim.

Father Selim is the dean of the cathedral. He's been anointing those who have come by to pay their respects.

Read More: Religious Painting

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Religious Street Art? Local artist says why not?

The video and following excerpt is from

When it comes to 'street art' most people think about graffiti. But this local Italian, is changing that perception...His art, is all about Christianity.

His projects include posters of Madonnas, Jesus and Saints. All of them placed in random Roman street walls. 

The 34 year old goes by the name of 'Mr. Klevra.' He works full time as an engineer and on his free time he designs religious posters.  His favorite style is Byzantine iconography.

Over the years he has posted roughly 300 posters throughout Rome and Florence. But he acknowledges that once posted, they are no longer his. They belong to the entire city.

As a Catholic, he says his inspiration comes from a combination of the Gospel, his family and every day life.

With so many churches in Rome, many of them often go unnoticed.  But he thinks it's this type of modern religious art, that leaves an impression and makes people stop, think and reflect.

His current project is not out on the street, but inside an architectural gallery in Rome. The theme is the Apocalypse.

What does interest him is exposing the message of Christianity, out in the open, in places other than churches, so that all people can be inspired as they go about their daily lives.

Read More: Religious Street Art

Friday, October 12, 2012

Italian priest recognises Lourdes' '68th miracle'

Our Lady of Lourdes - Photo by Loci B. Lenar

French news | Expatica France

The following excerpt is from

The case of a nun who started walking after being paralysed for years has become the 68th miracle to be recognised at the fabled French shrine of Lourdes, Catholic officials said Thursday.

The priest at Traverso's diocese of Casale Monferrato officially recognised it as a miracle at a mass Thursday, the Sanctuary administering the shrine said.

The incident happened in July 1965, when the nun, Luigina Traverso, started walking during a visit to the holy site. Born in 1934, the nun had been wheelchair-bound despite several operations for lumbar sciatica.

She "was overwhelmed by a sensation of warmth and well-being and warm sensation and felt the sudden impulse to get up," said the Catholic Silesian Sisters order, the Filles de Marie-Auxiliatrice.

"She started moving her paralyzed limbs," the order said.

More than 5,000 miraculous cures have been documented but the Catholic church has so far validated a mere 67. Traverso's case was yet to be officially recognised by the church.

The shrine at Lourdes is a destination for sick pilgrims many of whom are reported to be miraculously cured of their ailments after drinking the water there.

Read More: Lourdes 68th Miracle


Reprinted with permission from The Standard-Times and



NEW BEDFORD,  Massachusetts — Catholics believe that Jesus Christ dwells in their midst and is present in the Eucharist because He said this is so.

"While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it, he broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, 'Take and eat; this is my body.'" (Matthew 26:26)

Catholics believe this through an act of faith, yet there are prodigies of Eucharistic miracles recorded throughout the world.

The most preserved and scientifically studied Eucharistic miracle occurred during the 8th century in Lanciano, Italy.

According to an ancient document, a monk spoke the words of consecration, and the host changed into flesh and the wine into blood.

They are still intact and on display in the Church of St. Francis, built on the site of the original church.

In 1971, the latest team of medical and scientific experts examined the flesh and confirmed that it is striated muscular tissue of the human heart wall and the human blood is type "AB" — with both having no trace of agents used for preservation.

The extract summarizing the scientific work of the Medical Commission of the WHO and the UN, published in December 1976 in New York and Geneva, declared that "science, aware of its limits, has come to a halt, face to face with the impossibility of giving an explanation."

In honor of the 10th anniversary of Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration, Our Lady's Chapel will celebrate "A Decade of Grace," a six-day observance that will feature the Vatican International Exhibit "Eucharistic Miracles of the World," which will be on display from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Oct. 8-12 in Blessed John Duns Scotus Hall.

"When I go to the church (in Italy) and see the host, I see a miracle that is continual, our Lord is still really present. He has worked these miracles to help people who struggle with their faith to believe in Him," said the Rev. Louis Maximillian, FI, Father Guardian of the Chapel. "But I don't have to go to Lanciano. I can go to Our Lady's Chapel or one of the Catholic churches here in New Bedford, where the Lord is really present."

During the past 25 years, there has been an explosion of Eucharistic Adoration taking place, according to the friar.

"Maybe this is our Lord's way of helping people, particularly Catholics, rediscover their faith at a very critical moment in our history," he said.

The Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate instituted Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration a decade ago with the blessing of the bishop.

"It's really a gift from our Lord, something our Lord wanted all along," said Father Louis. "We are simply trying to respond to our Lord's desires that He become better known and loved. We truly want Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration instituted in every Catholic parish."

Fifteen years ago, Father Louis was a young man attending The Cathedral of Christ the King in Atlanta, Ga., one of the few churches for miles around that offered Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration.

"Words cannot describe the impact this had on my own faith life," he said. "I had the privilege of being able to adore our Lord on a regular basis. There's no question that Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration and devotion to Our Lady — the two pillars — were instrumental in my eventually being a priest."

Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration is the adoration of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

For the past 10 years, the Holy Eucharist has never been unattended at Our Lady's Chapel. The friars are responsible for covering adoration several hours each day, but most of the hours are covered by adorers, who pray the rosary, read Scripture or just sit quietly in the presence of the consecrated host in the monstrance.

"Whoever decides to participate commits to a fixed hour per week with the resolve to remain faithful to that commitment," said Father Louis. "It is a great act of faith that they make."

The celebration of the10th anniversary of Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration at Our Lady's Chapel will include talks on "Our Lady and the Eucharist" at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 8-12, featuring the Rev. George Roth, FI, of the Marian Friary of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Griswold, Conn., on Oct. 8; the Rev. Edward Murphy, pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Parish in New Bedford, on Tuesday, Oct. 9; the Rev. Ron Floyd, parochial vicar at St. Patrick Parish in Wareham, on Wednesday, Oct. 10; the Rev. David Mullen, pastor of St. Brendan Parish in Bellingham, on Thursday, Oct. 11; and the Rev. Monsignor Gerard O'Connor, pastor of St. Francis Xavier Parish in Acushnet, on Friday, Oct. 12.

All talks will be preceded by recitation of the Holy Rosary and followed by Benediction.

A Solemn Holy Mass will be held at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, with principal celebrant Bishop George Coleman. The Mass will be preceded by the recitation of the Holy Rosary and followed by a reception.

For more information, call Our Lady's Chapel at (508) 996-8274. If you are interested in becoming an adorer, drop by the chapel anytime at 600 Pleasant St. in New Bedford, Massachusetts and talk to any of the friars.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Prayer for Vocations by Bishop Arthur Serratelli

Bishop Arthur Serratelli - Photo by Loci B. Lenar

 Prayer for Vocations

Father, in the fullness of time,
 you sent your Son,

born of the Virgin Mary to be our Savior.
He preached the good news of our salvation, 

healed the sick and cast out evil.
Now as crucified and risen Lord,

he pours out on us the Holy Spirit of adoption,

making us your sons and daughters.
Through the Church, he calls us to accept the gospel 

and to share in your own divine life.

Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life for all people.
In your mercy, you do not abandon us.
In every age, 
you raise up men and women
 to offer their lives
for the sake of the gospel
 and the work of the Church.
We beg you, therefore,
 grant to this local Church of Paterson 

an increase of vocations 
to the priesthood and religious life.
Give us courageous and faithful men
 to serve
as worthy priests and deacons.
Bless us with generous and zealous 
men and women
 willing to seek holiness 
in consecrated life.
May we rejoice in an abundance
 of vocations from our families

so that we may yield a rich harvest of good works 

for your honor and glory.
We ask this in the name of Jesus,
who lives and reigns
 with you and the Holy Spirit,
 One God, forever and ever.

+Most Rev. Arthur J. Serratelli, Bishop of Paterson

The photograph of Bishop Serratelli was taken inside of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha Catholic Church, 427 Stanhope Road, Sparta, NJ.  To the left of Bishop Serratelli is a statue of Blessed Kateri who will be canonized by Pope Benedict XVI on October 21, 2012.

‘Heaven Changes Everything’: How belief impacted a family

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Colton Burpo's New Book about Heaven -

The following excerpt is from

Two years after the release of the best-selling book, “Heaven Is for Real,” telling the story of Colton Burpo’s near-death experience at age 4, Colton, his dad, Todd, and his mom, Sonja, speak about their second book, a devotional called “Heaven Changes Everything."

The story of Todd and Sonja Burpo's son Colton making a trip to heaven and back had an enormous impact on their lives. Their son's story came at a time when things were tough and the parents discovered that beliving in heaven can make all the difference.

Read More: Heaven Changes Everything

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

St. Bonaventure and St. Thomas Aquinas

Stained Glass Window - Photo by Loci B. Lenar

The following excerpt is from Catholic Online:

St. Bonaventure, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Feast day-July 15)
St. Bonaventure (Giovanni di Fidanza), known as "the seraphic doctor," was born at Bagnorea in Tuscany, in 1221. He received the name of Bonaventure in consequence of an exclamation of St. Francis of Assisi, when, in response to the pleading of the child's mother, the saint prayed for John's recovery from a dangerous illness, and, foreseeing the future greatness of the little John, cried out "O Buona ventura"-O good fortune!
At the age of twenty-two St. Bonaventure entered the Franciscan Order. Having made his vows, he was sent to Paris to complete his studies under the celebrated doctor Alexander of Hales, an Englishman and a Franciscan. After the latter's death he continued his course under his successor, John of Rochelle. In Paris he became the intimate friend of the great St. Thomas Aquinas. He received the degree of Doctor, together with St. Thomas Aquinas, ceding to his friend against the latter's inclination, the honor of having it first conferred upon him. Like St. Thomas Aquinas, he enjoyed the friendship of the holy King, St. Louis.
At the age of thirty-five he was chosen General of his Order and restored a perfect calm where peace had been disturbed by internal dissensions. He did much for his Order and composed The Life of St. Francis . He also assisted at the translation of the relics of St. Anthony of Padua. He was nominated Archbishop of York by Pope Clement IV, but he begged not to be forced to accept that dignity. Gregory X obliged him to take upon himself a greater one, that of Cardinal and Bishop of Albano, one of the six suffragan Sees of Rome. Before his death he abdicated his office of General of the Franciscan Order. He died while he was assisting at the Second Council of Lyons, on July 15, 1274.
The stained glass window of St. Bonaventure and St. Thomas Aquinas can be seen inside St. Bonaventure Church, 174 Ramsey Street, Paterson, NJ.

Join us on Facebook:

Photograph Copyright 2012 Loci B. Lenar

Friday, October 05, 2012

What can St. Hildegard of Bingen teach us? A look at the life of this future Doctor of the Church

The following excerpt is from

October 7th marks the day, St. Hildegard of Bingen will be declared a Doctor of the Catholic Church. The German nun was a  music composer, writer and theologian, who made a mark by talking about her religious visions.

Back in the 12th century, her visions were not always taken seriously.  Eventually she decided to make them public only after getting approval from Pope Eugene III.

They dealt with Redemption, God, humanity, the Church and also with Creation. In fact, one of the drawings that reflects this, shows the relationship between the universe and humans. It's an image that's quite similar to that of Leonardo da Vinci.

Read More: St. Hildegard of Bingen

Review of Motion Picture Regarding this Visionary: Vision: From the Life of Hildegard von Bingen

St. Angela Merici

Photograph by Loci B. Lenar

The following excerpt regarding the life of St. Angela Merici is from the Catholic Encyclopedia:

Foundress of the Ursulines, born 21 March, 1474, at Desenzano, a small town on the southwestern shore of Lake Garda in Lombardy; died 27 January, 1540, at Brescia.

She was left an orphan at the age of ten and together with her elder sister came to the home of her uncle at the neighbouring town of Salo where they led an angelic life. When her sister met with a sudden death, without being able to receive the last sacraments, young Angela was much distressed. She became a tertiary of St. Francis and greatly increased her prayers and for the repose of her sister's soul. In her anguish and pious simplicity she prayed God to reveal to her the condition of her deceased sister. It is said that by a vision she was satisfied her sister was in the company of the saints in heaven.

In 1524, while making a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, she became suddenly blind when she was on the island of Crete, but continued her journey to the Holy Places and was cured on her return while praying before a crucifix at the same place where she was struck with blindness a few weeks before. When, in the jubilee year 1525, she had come to Rome to gain the indulgences, Pope Clement VII, who had heard of her great holiness and her extraordinary success as a religious teacher of young girls, invited her to remain in Rome; but Angela, who shunned publicity, returned to Brescia. Finally, on the 25th of November, 1535, Angela chose twelve virgins and laid the foundation of the order of the Ursulines in a small house near the Church of St. Afra in Brescia. Having been five years superior of the newly-founded order, she died.

Her body lies buried in the Church of St. Afra at Brescia. She was beatified in 1768, by Clement XIII, and canonized in 1807, by Pius VII.

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

Visit us on Facebook for updates:

Photograph Copyright 2012 Loci B. Lenar

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Music Visions: Producing videos that promote values

Music Visions: Brand New Day

The following excerpt is from

This song is titled 'Brand New Day.' It tells the story of a young woman who just ended a relationship with her boyfriend. Despite the pain of the break up, she's able to see beyond the suffering, thanks to the support of her family.

The video of the singer Roseanna was made in London and produced by MUSIC VISIONS, a nonprofit organization that produces music videos that promote a culture of life.

BRAND NEW DAY - Written and composed by Steve Foster
Performed by Roseanna
Featuring Roseanna, Sam Burn
Produced by Mark von Riedemann
Directed by Manuel de Teffé
Music Video sponsored by Kirche in Not - Aid to the Church in Need
in cooperation with Catholic Radio and Television Network

Our Lady's Monthly Message to Mirjana Dragicevic-Soldo

Cross of Light - Photograph by Loci B. Lenar

The Medjugorje Web - Apparitions of the Virgin Mary in Medjugorje

Our Lady of Medjugorje's Message of October 2, 2012 to Mirjana:

"Dear children; I am calling you and am coming among you because I need you. I need apostles with a pure heart. I am praying, and you should also pray, that the Holy Spirit may enable and lead you, that He may illuminate you and fill you with love and humility. Pray that He may fill you with grace and mercy. Only then will you understand me, my children. Only then will you understand my pain because of those who have not come to know the love of God. Then you will be able to help me. You will be my light-bearers of God’s love. You will illuminate the way for those who have been given eyes but do not want to see. I desire for all of my children to see my Son. I desire for all of my children to experience His Kingdom. Again I call you and implore you to pray for those whom my Son has called. Thank you."