Disclaimer

NOTICE: I am a practicing Catholic, active and in good-standing with my local parish, who professes faith and loyalty to the Church and our Holy Father. This "little work" is purely a personal expression of that faith and loyalty, and not an officially recognized ministry in the Diocese of Honolulu. ~ Peter


Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Holy Eucharist: The Physical Presence of Jesus in Our World


“This is my body, which is given for you.  Do this in remembrance of me.” 

~ Words of Jesus at the Last Supper

Today - July 26th, 2011 - is the Feast of Corpus Christi... the day set aside by the Roman Catholic Church to honor and celebrate the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar. We, as Catholics, are bound to believe that the Eucharist is truly the body and blood of Our Savior, Jesus Christ; not just a mere symbol of his body, but his actual flesh and blood hidden under the humble appearance of bread and wine. This teaching is admittedly very hard to comprehend… and even during Jesus’ time, scriptures tell us that some of his followers had difficulty accepting it as well when he spoke about it; some even left him over it…

"Then many of his disciples who were listening said, ‘This saying is hard; who
can accept it?’  ... As a result of this, many of his disciples returned to their former
way of life and no longer accompanied him."

~ John 6:60, 66

… but despite the difficulties that people had in accepting his words, Jesus never wavered in his claim that he would feed his followers with his very own flesh and blood; his words were clear:

"For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.  Whoever eats
my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him."

~ John 6:55-56

Today, the Catholic Church continues to uphold Christ’s words in the face of growing disbelief; sadly, even among its own members… but God, in his infinite wisdom and power, has seen fit to aid the Church in her efforts to uphold the truth of Jesus’ divine presence in the Eucharist by performing countless miracles through the agency of the Blessed Sacrament. Below are just five cases from Italy, Portugal, Venezuela, and India, that were officially recognized by the Church as genuine ‘Eucharistic Miracles’:


+ The Miracle of Lanciano, Italy

 

The Eucharistic Miracle of Lanciano - the Heart of Jesus in flesh and blood.

In the year 700, a priest who was plagued with doubts concerning the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, received a stupendous sign from God. He was offering Mass one day, and upon pronouncing the words of consecration, the wafer in his hand was transformed into actual flesh, while the wine became blood in the chalice. Needless to say, the priest’s faith was restored by the miraculous event and Lanciano became a popular destination for devout pilgrims wanting to venerate the Host turned to flesh. Furthermore, modern science has confirmed the flesh and blood to be human in origin, with the Host being actual cardiac tissue - the Sacred Heart of Jesus! - sliced from a cross-section of a heart in such a way that would be impossible to do without modern precision surgical tools.


+ The Miracle of Santarem, Portugal

  
Two views of the miraculous Host of Santarem.

In 1225 a woman in an unhappy marriage pretended to receive communion in the parish church, in order to obtain a consecrated Host as payment to a sorceress for a love potion. The foolish woman wrapped the Eucharist in her veil, and upon leaving the church, it inexplicably began to bleed profusely. Frightened, she returned home rather than going to the sorceress, and hid the Host in a trunk.  It was later discovered by her husband after a brilliant light began shining from within the wooden chest, which awoke him and drew his attention to it. The wife tearfully confessed her sacrilege, after which the couple spent the rest of the evening praying for God's forgiveness. The parish priest was summoned in the morning to return the miraculous Host to the church, where it has been the object of deep reverence ever since.


+ The Miracle of Siena, Italy

The miraculously preserved Hosts of Siena.

On August 14, 1730, unscrupulous thieves conducted a grave sacrilege by breaking into the Church of St. Francis and stealing the golden ciborium, which enclosed 300+ consecrated Hosts. The crime was discovered on the following morning prompting a search for the missing Hosts. The Hosts were found on August 17, stuffed in an offertory box of a neighboring church and soiled from dust and debris that had accumulated in the wooden box. The citizens of Siena responded to the discovery by immediately offering prayers of reparation for the offenses committed against the body of Christ, and the Hosts were placed in the Tabernacle with the intent of allowing them to naturally disintegrate; inexplicably, they never did! For over 275 years the Hosts remained perfectly incorrupt, with the fact being confirmed throughout the centuries by numerous scientific inquiries into the matter. The last official investigation in 1921 reaffirmed the preservation of the Hosts, which continue to defy the laws of nature. Church officials who have consumed a few of the Hosts have also sworn to the fact that they have not gone stale, but rather, they have maintained the texture, taste, and smell of fresh Eucharistic wafers.


+ The Miracle of Betania / Los Teques, Venezuela

A still photo from a video showing the miraculous bleeding Host
from the church-approved Marian apparition site of Betania.

This Eucharistic Miracle actually involves a single Host through which two separate supernatural occurrences were manifested. The Host first gained attention on December 8, 1991, after it bled during its consecration in the chapel of the approved Marian apparition shrine of Betania, Venezuela. The local Bishop later had the Host enshrined in a convent in neighboring Los Teques where it again became the object of wondrous phenomena after an American pilgrim filmed it on November 13, 1998, beating like a heart and surrounded by flames (again, the Sacred Heart of Jesus!).  Click on this link to view the actual film footage of the 2nd (1998) miraculous event: Eucharistic Miracle of Los Teques


+ The Miracle of Chirattakonam, India

The miraculous Host of Chirattakonam with its
bloodstain-image of the Holy Face of Jesus.

On April 28, 2001, parishioners of St. Mary’s Indian church were astounded to witness the materialization of three red stains on a Host that was publicly exposed for adoration. The priest - Fr. Karoor - also noticed the unusual marks and placed the Host back into the tabernacle for safekeeping. After a few days, he retrieved the Eucharist to examine it and was stunned to discover that the bloody stains had arranged themselves into an image of the Holy Face of Jesus on the surface of the Host! The priest wasted no time in informing his local bishop who carefully investigated the event and approved it as a miracle… the Host has remained preserved and the Holy Face image is still clearly discernible to pilgrims who venerate this remarkable, visual reminder of Christ's true presence in the Eucharist.

"... Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:
and behold I am with you all days, even to the end of the world."

~ Words of Jesus, Matthew 28:20

Monday, June 13, 2011

June 13th: The Feast of St. Anthony of Padua

My home-parish of St. Anthony of Padua Church in Kailua (HI), observed the Feast Day of our Patron Saint by dedicating the morning mass to his special honor and holding a potluck breakfast afterwards.  Our new priest, Fr. Clarence, celebrated the Mass, which included a wonderful homily centered on St. Anthony’s charitable concern for those in need, especially the poor.

  
Parishioners venerating the relic of St. Anthony, enshrined within our parish church...
and below the shrine, St. Anthony's 'Prayer Basket' filled with prayer intentions.

Immediately after the Mass, Fr. Clarence took ‘St. Anthony’s Prayer Basket’ that was filled with written prayer petitions and placed them under the shrine-reliquary to our Saint.  Parishioners followed to venerate the Holy Relic, before heading off to our gathering hall for the breakfast celebration. It was a wonderful, cozy event that paid appropriate honor to a truly great man who I am happy to recognize as my personal patron, as well as our parish's Patron Saint.

  
Photos from the Potluck Breakfast Celebration

Recommended Reading: "He and I"


 
A photo of Gabrielle Bossis and the book compiling
her communications with Jesus

I was at a church meeting the other night, when the conversation briefly turned to a certain book that one of the women had been reading little by little, on a daily basis; it was a book filled with alleged messages from Jesus to two women. After describing the book to me, I was immediately reminded of a similar book that I often read over and over, for the past 18 years, especially when I'm in need of spiritual encouragement; that special book is called, "He and I". After the meeting, I went home and took up my copy and slowly browsed over some of its passages... as always, my heart was filled with God's peace.

For those not familiar with this gem of a book, He and I is actually the published journal of a pious, aristocratic French woman named Gabrielle Bossis. Gabrielle was famous in her time and in her home country for having been a successful playwrite and stage actress with a comedic flair. In her latter years she reportedly heard the voice of Christ speaking to her regularly, especially during her prayer time and devotions; it was an intimate relationship, which lasted until shortly before her death in 1950.

While still living, Gabrielle had maintained a strict discretion about her experiences, and although her spiritual director had begun to publish the words she heard from Jesus, her identity was kept a secret. He and I became a huge spiritual success and continues to touch hearts up to the present day. Below are just a few quotes from the messages spoken by Christ to Gabrielle - 'pearls' from the book that I'd like to share with you...

'I am no longer on earth, so take my place.'
(March 10, 1937)

'Don't get the idea that a Saint is a Saint at every moment.  But there is
always my grace...  You must aim at perfection. But the perfection of your nature.
This is the way you will please me.'
(April 9, 1937)

'Enjoy me.  Give yourself a rest from saying your prayers so you may enjoy my Love.' 
(After Gabrielle received Holy Communion - April 28, 1939)

'When you ask, believe that I am good enough to answer you,
otherwise you will deprive me of the joy of giving.' 
(June 3, 1939)

'Thank me spontaneously as you would thank someone very dear to you.
I'm not just a messenger of suffering as so many imagine.  I am also the giver of
joys and I love your thanks, my little children; don't deprive me of this.'
(After Gabrielle experienced a great joy - November 25,  1940)

'... I am the friend who does good in the home and who sometimes
slips away before being recognized and thanked.'
(September 14, 1944)

'If you suffer, I am there to suffer with you.  And this is my cross again -
this suffering in your suffering.  Share it with me, for everything depends on oneness.
And if you believe in my Love, suffering will be sweet to you.  It will seem like
a little return for what I have given you...'
(September 28, 1944)

'... The weakness of your nature causes you to fall, and it's the humble effort
you make to get up and go on, the effort to please me that charms your Beloved.
And this is a joy, a joy for God.  Isn't that strange?  Later on you will see.
Later on you will understand.  Believe in that "later on".'
(While Gabrielle was making a Holy Hour - September 6, 1945)

'Pray.  Show an example of heartwarming love.  You remember
how good my mother and St. Joseph were to all those who received them
during their travels.  Long afterward people remembered their visit.
They left a wake of blessings all along their way.'
(September 12, 1945)

'Remember...  I traveled all your roads.'
(While Gabrielle was experiencing a moment of sadness - February 13, 1947)

'But each day is a first creation.  Not one is like another.
I never stop creating.  And it is all for all of you.  If I didn't hold you up, you
would cease to exist.  Will you love me enough to thank me for it?'
(While Gabrielle was enjoying the changing shapes of clouds - September 30, 1948)

'My child, ponder more often on the value of the present moment,
the danger of going back over the past and the uselessness of gazing into the future.
Just live the little moment you hold in your hands.  Simply and lovingly.'
(March 30, 1949)

If you enjoyed reading the above quotes, then I highly recommend you get the book - He and I will enrich your soul for the rest of your life, if you read it with the eyes of faith.  God bless!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

St. Anthony's presence in Kailua, Hawaii



The great St. Anthony of Padua has always been one of my most favorite Saints... as a matter of fact, along with St. Gemma Galgani, he's one of my chosen Patrons. I can personally testify that almost every time I turned to him for help with an important prayer request, he has never failed me. Therefore, I've made it a point to encourage all my family and friends... and now you, viewers of this blog, to develop a devotion to St. Anthony and to take advantage of his powerful intercession for any urgent prayer intentions weighing on your mind. You may just be pleasantly surprised at what a truly effective advocate he is before the throne of God.

... and if you happen to live on the island of Oahu (Hawaii), or just visiting our state, feel free to stop by St. Anthony of Padua Church in Kailua, where our parish guards a 1st Class Relic of St. Anthony, enshrined in our beautiful main church (see photos below). All are welcomed to seek our patron's intercession before this special reminder of his earthly life, and to join our parish community in our regular schedule of prayer and worship.


The beautiful interior of St. Anthony of Padua Church in Kailua and the reliquary of St. Anthony
behind the bapstimal font under the large crucifix.

 
148 Makawao Street
Kailua, Hawaii 96734
 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

First Saturday Parish Rosary at St. Anthony's Church, 6/4/2011




My home-parish of St. Anthony's Church, in Kailua, once again celebrated the first Saturday of the month with another Rosary. As with previous months, my Rosa Mystica Pilgrim Virgin statue was displayed in our Day Chapel during the prayer, along with the Sacred Relics from the Blessed Mother's clothing: a small piece of her veil (ex velo) and a piece of her dress (ex camisia).

As a form of spiritual reflection, a past message from the Queen of Peace of Medjugorje was read out loud to the people who attended... and then we prayed the Joyful Mysteries for this month's Rosary. Afterwards, I got to meet a really nice older couple, who I think were new to our parish, after they approached the display altar to view the statue and the Holy Relics. They seemed genuinely interested about all that was on the altar and appreciative of the answers I provided to their questions.

After the Mass, the same couple returned to the Day Chapel to once again pay their respects to Our Lady before leaving the church. I think it's reasonable to surmise that the Blessed Mother touched two more souls this evening.

A small group of people pay their respects to Our Blessed Mother's statue
and relics after the end of the rosary prayer

For our Kailua neighbors out there... the next First Saturday Rosary will be on 7/2/2011 at 4:30pm. The regularly scheduled Saturday evening Vigil Mass will follow at 5:00pm in the main church.  We'd love to have you join us!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Saint of the Month: June, 2011


St. Juliana Falconieri
Handmaid of the Holy Eucharist - Feast: June 19th

This month’s featured Saint is truly a Saint of the Eucharist… and will forever be identified as such because of a singular event that occurred at the end of her virtuous life. Juliana Falconieri was the daughter of noble parents from the Italian city of Florence. She was born in 1270 and was fortunate to have as a close relative – St. Alexis Falconieri – a paternal uncle, who was one of a group of seven exceptionally pious men, personally commissioned by the Blessed Virgin to found the Servants of Mary (a.k.a. the ‘Servite Order’).

Reports of Juliana’s early years indicate that she was drawn to spiritual matters and practiced self-mortification in imitation, and through the influence, of her saintly uncle. At 14, her parents unsuccessfully tried to arrange a political marriage for her but she firmly resisted since she had already made up her mind to enter into religious life. Undaunted, her father continued to pressure her about marrying but she remained resolute until she was relieved of any marital obligation by his untimely death in 1285.

Juliana then sought spiritual guidance from the Servites, and through the intervention of St. Phillip Benizi, she was given their Rule of Life and clothed as the founding member of the female branch of their Order. She resided with her mother, but practiced a strict regimen of prayer, penance, and charitable work that attracted other devout women to her holy manner of living. When her mother died in 1305, she and her followers established their own convent where she served as the superior for life.

Not surprisingly, Juliana’s spiritual life was filled with many extraordinary graces – Ecstasies, Visions, etc. - but the one miracle, which she is most remembered for occurred shortly before she died on June 12, 1341. During her final illness, the foundress was plagued with episodes of severe vomiting so she was denied Holy Communion despite her deep yearning to receive the body of Christ before her death. As a way of consoling her, the priest in attendance spread a corporal on Juliana’s chest and laid the Blessed Sacrament upon it for her to adore. The Saint went into a joyous rapture and peacefully expired shortly after.

As the attendants composed themselves, it was noticed that the Host which was lying over Juliana’s chest had gone missing, causing much concern over its whereabouts. A futile search turned up nothing and the small group was forced to give up, leaving them deeply disturbed and perplexed over the loss of the Blessed Sacrament. It was only when the nuns were preparing Juliana’s body for burial that the mystery of the missing Host was solved. For there, mysteriously branded on her skin directly over the heart, was an image of a crucifix enclosed in a circle; identical to the crucifix that was impressed on the missing Host. It was then understood that the Lord had satisfied the Saint’s dying wish and had miraculously united himself to her, while also leaving His crucified image on her flesh as confirmation.

Although the Florentines and the Servites revered her as a Saint during her lifetime, St. Juliana Falconieri’s Canonization did not take place until 1737. Her body, exhumed incorrupt, now rests in a shrine dedicated to her honor in the Basilica of the Annunciation in Florence, Italy; a fitting resting place for a holy woman who throughout her life, and with her blessed death, proclaimed the miraculous love of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist.

The incorrupt body of St. Juliana Falconieri, enshrined in Florence, Italy
(a wax mask covers the Saint's face)  

A Reflection:
“Unless you eat the flesh of the son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life.”  ~ Words of Our Lord, John 6:53-54

A Short Prayer:
Lord Jesus, through the intercession of St. Juliana Falconieri, grant us a firm faith and a deep love for the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar.  Amen.

Hawaii's Devotion to St. Damien de Veuster & Bl. Marianne Cope of Molokai

It not a surprise that Hawaii's Catholics have a lot of affection for St. Damien & Bl. Marianne of Molokai... and although their remains were returned to their respective Congregations after their deaths, they were never forgotten.  In recent years, at the initiative of our current bishop - Bishop Larry Silva - our diocese was very happy to welcome both of these holy persons back to Hawaii through the physical presence of their Holy Relics.

The Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace in Honolulu is privileged to guard the simple wooden shrines of both St. Damien de Veuster and Bl. Marianne Cope of Molokai, both enclosing 1st Class Relics from each holy individual. The relic of St. Damien - a talus (foot) bone - was brought to Hawaii in October 2009, after the Saint's Canonization... and Bl. Marianne's relic, also a fragment of bone, was recently received in May 2011.

  
The Shrines of Bl. Marianne Cope (left) & St. Damien de Veuster (right),
located in the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace, Honolulu

Bl. Marianne's shrine is located to the left of the main altar, while St. Damien's shrine is to the right.  Both shrines are constructed from koa wood; a costly wood, which is highly valued in Hawaii for its rich, beautiful grain pattern and its strength. On each side of the shrines are kahilis, ancient symbols of royalty and honor in the Hawaiian culture, which are akin to our western use of banners and flags. Familiar portraits of the Saint and the Blessed top both shrines.

 
St. Damien's wooden reliquary-case... normally closed & then opened on his
Feast Day to expose the relic to public view.

The bone relics are actually not visible within each shrine, but are only exposed to view on the Saint's and Blessed's respective Feast Days or other special dates connected with their lives. The relics are encased within small koa-wood cases, which are lovingly surrounded by fragrant leis (Hawaiian floral garlands).  If you're ever in Honolulu, please stop by our Cathedral to say 'hello' to our saintly heroes and to venerate their blessed remains.

 
Bl. Marianne's wooden reliquary-case... normally closed & then opened on her
Feast Day to expose the relic to public view.

The Holy Face Devotion


St. Veronica, the very first devotee of the Holy Face

Devotion to the Holy Face of Our Lord is not a new devotion in the Church… the familiar representation of the bearded face of Christ has its origins from the earliest Christian tradition as evidenced by ancient paintings discovered in the Roman catacombs, but the devotion has taken on a whole new significance in modern times through the efforts of three saintly figures:


 Sr. Marie of St. Peter (d. 1848)

A Discalced Carmelite from Tours, France, Our Lord entrusted a mission of atonement to this humble nun using the image of His Holy Face as a symbolic representation of how He is greatly offended by sin. A special prayer of reparation was revealed to Sr. Marie, which the Lord requested that she propagate. The prayer came to be called the Golden Arrow (see below) after Jesus referred to it as such in a communication to Sr. Marie: "This Golden Arrow will wound My Heart delightfully, and heal the wounds inflicted by blasphemy."

The Golden Arrow Prayer
May the most holy, most sacred, most adorable, most incomprehensible and ineffable
Name of God be forever praised, blessed, loved, adored and glorified in Heaven,
on earth, and under the earth, by all the creatures of God, and by the Sacred Heart of
Our Lord Jesus Christ, in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. Amen.
 
 
Venerable Leo Dupont (d. 1876)

A devout layman, Leo Dupont, was a lawyer by profession who lived in Tours, France. After learning of the revelations received by Sr. Marie of St. Peter, he set up an oratory in his home where he kept a votive lamp constantly burning before a picture of the Holy Face. He used his personal resources to actively promote devotion to the image as well as towards other works of charity. The countless healings that were effected through the oil from Leo's lamp, and his zeal in spreading the Holy Face devotion, earned him the titles of the Holy Man of Tours and Apostle of the Holy Face.

 
Blessed Maria Pierina De Micheli (d. 1945)

This Beata received many private revelations from Our Lord and the Blessed Virgin, requesting that she promote devotion to the Holy Face as a way of making reparation for the sins of mankind. Through Madre Maria Pierina, the Lord commissioned a medal - the Holy Face Medal - to be struck to which He attached special promises of grace and protection. This holy nun endured many episodes of physical attacks from the devil who strove to obstruct her divine mission, but despite his efforts, the Holy Face Medal spread rapidly because of the innumerable favors that were attributed to its devout use. Madre Maria Pierina was beatified by the Church on May 30, 2010, which further confirmed her holiness and the credibility of her private revelations.

Below are promises manifested by Our Lady through Madre Maria Pierina in favor of those who will practice the Holy Face devotion, especially through the wearing of the Holy Face Medal:

     +  They will be strengthened in faith
     +  They will be ready to defend it
     +  They will overcome all difficulties, internal and external
     +  They will have a peaceful death under the loving gaze of my Divine Son

Other Saints who were known to have had a profound devotion to the Holy Face are St. Gertrude the Great, St. Therese the Little Flower, and the recently canonized, St. Gaetano Catanoso. For additional information concerning this devotion, or to request a free Holy Face Medal, please see the website for the Holy Face Association:  www.holyface.com
 
A luminous manifestation of the Holy Face?
 
 
This unusual light formation appeared on a wall of my former home on July 29, 1995,
while the rosary was being prayed in Our Lady's garden.  Remarkably, it resembled a rustic
representation of the bearded face of Christ, crowned with sharp thorns.

Photo Gallery of Little Signs


Below is a collection of unusual photographs related to my prayer group that used to gather weekly when I lived in Enchanted Lakes (Kailua) from 1994 to 2004.  Also included are more recent photos pertaining to my current "Guadalupe House" lay-ministry.  The photos show what I personally believe to be "little signs" of the presence of our Lord and our Blessed Mother in my life and work.

I'm a strong believer that God is very close to us and speaks to us often through even the most ordinary of things such as a beautiful tree on the side of the road, a cloud formation that reminds us of something dear, or certain circumstances that occur in our day-to-day lives.  His presence is truly all around us, waiting to be recognized if we but see with the eyes of Faith.  I affirm that none of these photos have been manipulated in any way... and they're certainly NOT intended to convince anyone that there's divine intervention going on in my home, or that I'm some sort of seer or miracle-worker. 

The more important signs were the ones which remain unseen - the Peace, the Love, the Healing, and the positive Spiritual Conversion that have occurred in peoples' lives as a result of the many prayers that connect us intimately with God.  I hope the viewer finds the photos edifying, or at the very least, interesting and thought-provoking.

~ A Smile from Heaven ~


This unusual photo was snapped in May 1994, of the sky directly above the prayer garden at my former studio. When it was developed (it was taken with film camera), unexpectedly, it showed what appears to be a pair of lips curved in a delicate smile, complete with the indentation above the upper lip.  The color of the sky also assumed the color of flesh, which makes the image appear more so like the lower-half of a human face.  My prayer group interpreted this picture to be a sign of Our Lady's pleasure at all the prayers that were being offered during the weekly prayer meetings, which had recently been started at that time.

~ The Golden Madonna ~


This photo of the sky was taken in mid-1994 shortly after we started our prayer group in Enchanted Lakes.  Prior to snapping the picture, I asked Our Lady to give me a sign as confirmation that we were doing the right thing in starting up the rosary prayer meetings. When the film was developed, I noticed a strange image to the left of the large cloud in the photo, which wasn't present at the time of the picture-taking.  It resembled a traditional image of a Madonna-like figure all in gold with a blue halo around the head area (compare to sketch at upper-right).

~ A Face on the Wall ~


This photo was taken on the morning of July 29th, 1995, after I had prayed the rosary in my prayer garden in Enchanted Lakes.  It shows sunlight shining through the trees, and oddly, the light and shadows seemed to form a rustic image on the wall beside the garden resembling the face of Our Lord, crowned with thorns.  Coincidentally, I also happen to be highly devoted to the Holy Face of Jesus and was deeply touched by this unusual manifestation of light.  The image remained clear and visible during, and after the rosary, but shortly after I took this photo a strong gust of wind blew through the trees above me making the image unrecognizable.

~ A Lady of Light ~


This photo shows me standing next to another unusual light formation on the wall next to my prayer garden.  The sunlight appears to form an image of the Virgin Mary in profile (my hand is pointing to the head of the figure - compare to sketch at upper right).  Incidentally, this image appeared as I was reciting the rosary on the morning of August 5th, 1995. According to the Medjugorje seers, Our Lady once revealed her actual birth date to them as August 5th and I was offering the rosary prayer to her as a gift. Instead, I feel like I'm the one who received a gift although it wasn't even my birthday.

~ Heaven's Plea for the Unborn ~


This photo of the sky was taken sometime in 1995... at first glance it appears to show nothing but the sky and the clouds, but a prayer group member pointed out a possible image/sign formed in the shadows of the clouds.  At the bottom-right corner of the photo, the shadows seem to form an uncanny image of a human fetus (see inset).  From the start of our prayer meetings, our group had included prayers for the protection of unborn babies growing in the wombs of their mothers.  Perhaps this photo was meant as a confirmation and encouragement from our Lord, that we continue to offer prayers for the protection of the unborn and to end abortion throughout the world.

~ The Light of the Holy Spirit ~


This remarkable photo taken of my prayer garden was taken sometime in late 1995.  At first it didn't appear out-of-the-ordinary to me but then a friend pointed out what he believed to be the Holy Spirit in the light above the wooden cross at the center of the photo.  The light seems to form the image of a huge dove in flight, facing to the left of the photo (compare to sketch at upper-left).  We interpreted the image to represent the special presence of the Holy Spirit and the abundant spiritual gifts that He had been granting at the garden shrine during our weekly prayer meetings.

~ The Gate of Heaven ~


This old polariod photo of the sky above my former garden prayer-shrine appears to show a door of light, or a gateway, formed in the sky above the trees.  This was taken shortly before a prayer meeting and, incidentally, one of Our Lady's beautiful titles listed in the Litany of Loretto is "Gate of Heaven".

~ The "Bleeding" Candle ~
(and a Miraculous Healing)


This photo shows a standard 10-inch votive candle that was brought to a meeting by a lady-friend - "Julie" - who was suffering from severe headaches caused by an inoperable brain growth.   She had been attending our meetings regularly to pray for a cure and noticed a steady decrease in pain as each week passed.  On one of our Feast Day prayer meetings, Julie offered the lit candle to Our Lady of Guadalupe as a way of thanking her and placed it near the outdoor shrine.  At the end of the next week's prayer meeting, the candle finally went out and it was discovered that a red, blood-like fluid had appeared at the bottom of the bottle although the candle was made of white wax.

Julie later testified at a later meeting that her doctor had informed her of the unexplainable disappearance of the growth in her brain!  I was asked to keep the candle and to share it as a testimony to Our Lady of Guadalupe's powerful intercession and her loving compassion towards those who seek her help.  The fluid is dry and crusty now and has never been officially tested for blood... for us, the miracle lies not in the candle itself but in Julie's healing.  She continues to be a grateful and devoted child of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

~ A Second Appearance of a Mysterious Face ~


I took this photo towards the end of 1995.  At the time I noticed a strange image on the wall next to Our Lady's garden that resembled a bearded face (see inset) formed by light and shadows.  The face had actually appeared while I was home for lunch, saying a few prayers in front of a garden statue of the Virgin of Guadalupe.  I was able to capture the image using a polaroid camera and my prayer group members and I interpreted it to be a little sign, representing the Holy Face of Christ to which I am greatly devoted.

~ A Profile in Wax ~


This photo shows a large clump of wax formed from dozens of melted candles that were lit on a stone in Our Lady's Garden during our weekly rosary prayer meetings at my former apartment in Enchanted Lakes, Kailua. Strangely, these candles would often remain lit during our entire prayer time despite the heavy breezes that were common in the area of the yard!  The clump of wax, to our amazement, eventually formed itself - without any human manipulation - into a clear profile of the head of Christ, crowned with thorns, as illustrated in the inset.

~ Our Lady in the Trees ~



This photo was taken shortly after the end of one of our evening prayer meetings.  There was a full moon that night and I was struck by the beauty of the moon and how it appeared like a pure white Host in the darkness of the sky. After the photo was developed, I noticed an unusual figure in the upper-right corner of the photograph.  Upon closer inspection, the figure resembled a classic silhouette of the Madonna with hands folded in prayer (refer to the inset at lower left), somewhat like the Virgin of Guadalupe, the beloved Patroness of my former prayer group.

~ Baptism by the Holy Spirit ~


This photo was taken in 1997 during a pilgrimage made by me and some of my prayer group members to St. Maria Goretti Parish Church in Scottsdale, Arizona; site of alleged Marian apparitions during the late 80s and early 90s.  We had just finished participating in the parish's Youth Group Prayer Meeting when the photo was taken in the front of the church grounds near the Blessed Sacrament Chapel.  When the film was later developed, it showed a mysterious fiery globe hovering above our little group, showering us with a cascade of light.  It reminds me of the following scripture passage:

John (the Baptist) answered them all, 'I baptize you with water but one
more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.
He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with Fire.'
~ Luke 3:16

~ An Angel in the Office ~


This photo shows a wooden office door at a building I used to work at near the Honolulu airport. In 1999, a few coworkers and myself began to discretely meet each morning in one of our offices to begin our work day with a brief spiritual meditation and a prayer. Shortly after we started our little "prayer group", a lady-coworker and I noticed something odd about one of the office doors that none of us ever saw before - the wood grain pattern on the door had a distinct image of what we perceived to be a praying Angel.
 
We could clearly discern the outline of a human figure with hands together in prayer, wearing a long robe, and with two "wings" that outstretched behind it (compare to the highlighted image on the right). We pointed out the Angel to the rest of our coworkers and all of them were amazed by the uncanny image. We all agreed that we've passed the very same door on countless occasions but never noticed the figure until that time. Whether the image was a heavenly sign, or not, we all accepted it as a blessing from God and affectionately nicknamed the image, our "Guardian Angel".

For several months the angel-image brought us much encouragement and comfort as we continued praying every morning. But sadly, the following year, our department transferred to an entirely different building so we had to bid our Guardian Angel goodbye.  At least I have this photo to fondly recall the wonderful blessings we shared during our morning prayer time.

~ Image of Our Lady of Sorrows ~


This photo shows an unusual stain, about 5 inches tall, which appeared on a palm tree growing in my former garden prayer-shrine. Strikingly, it resembled a classic silhouette of the Virgin Mary surrounded by a golden aura.  Although not seen in the above-photo, a faint cross is also visible on the bark of the tree to the upper-right of the silhouette.  I personally interpret this incident to be a message from Our Lady... she stands at the foot of the Cross, sorrowfully garbed in black, calling us to conversion and prayer.

~ The "Good Shepherd Tree" ~


The photo shown above is of the trunk of a palm tree that was growing next to Our Lady’s garden shrine.  One day, sometime in 2003, my friends and I noticed an unusual stain on the tree trunk, which in the opinion of a few prayer group members, resembled an image of Jesus as the “Good Shepherd”, complete with a curved shepherd’s staff (see the sketch in the inset).  Not quite sure what to make of this one... I kind of see it, but my friends are insistent that they can see a likeness of Jesus outlined in the stain.  ‘am including it here for viewer consideration and discernment.

~ The Virgin Mary Pebble ~


This photo shows a unique little sand pebble, enshrined in a wooden reliquary that I handmade especially for it. The small stone within it is so special, and personally significant to me, I treasure it as a sacred relic and display it in a prominent place on my home altar.  I call it my "Virgin Mary Pebble".

I found the 1/2 inch pebble in early 2004 while praying at Lanikai Beach, Kailua.  I was going through an anxious time due to a chronic digestive condition and was awaiting medical testing later that week.  As I prayed on the beach, I was absent-mindedly picking up clumps of sand and throwing them into the ocean; this pebble remained sticking to one of my fingers and I was immediately struck by its remarkable resemblance to a classic Madonna-and-Child figure.  My heart was eased as I took it to be a personal reassurance from Our Lady that all would be well... which it did.  Thanks and Praises be to God and Our Blessed Mother!

~ An Encounter with Poor Souls ~


This photo captures the appearance of three large "orbs" of light in my bedroom in January and February, 2007.  Because of the extraordinary circumstances surrounding the appearance of these globes of bluish light, I considered them to be signs of Poor Souls from Purgatory to whom I also have a strong devotion.  To read the story behind this photo, click here.

~ Our Lady's Response to a Prayer ~

      

The photos on the left and right are actually of a little piece of blue soap that has an interesting story behind it… in late-May 2009 I had been debating with myself as to whether or not I should order another statue of the Blessed Virgin.  I was shopping around for a church-sized statue that was at least 3-feet-tall to use for my lay-ministry's devotional purposes and found a few prospects on the Internet.
 
To make a long story short, I found a reasonably-priced 38" Rosa Mystica statue that I was strongly interested in but I was still undecided about ordering it.  I recall mentally asking the Blessed Mother for a positive sign if she wanted me to buy the statue and then walked into my bathroom to brush my teeth.  That’s when I happened to glance into the bathtub and noticed the soap dish had fallen off the shower wall; lying next to it was the soap, which coincidentally, had somehow melted into the distinct shape of a woman wearing a veil! I immediately recognized a feminine profile of a head and torso, and even the veil-part of the image was a different shade of blue, which defined it from the rest of the body (click on the photos to view larger images).

I didn't need any more prodding after seeing the "Soap-Madonna" so I ordered the statue immediately - it has since become my personal ministry's much-traveled pilgrim statue (center photo), which has been a tremendous blessing to me and many others.

~ In the Shadow of the Rosa Mystica ~


In the late evening of Friday, June 4, 2010, I was sitting in our family room beside our shrine to the Rosa Mystica saying a few prayers before I turned in for the night. As I was sitting in near-dark conditions, I happened to glance towards an old TV stand beside the home altar on which was placed our prayer petition box and a few floral decorations... and noticed an image behind the stand. Remarkably, it was a shadow-figure that clearly resembled a discernable silhouette of the Blessed Virgin in profile (circled above).
 
After staring for several minutes, I became more convinced that it was too clear to be a simple coincidence so I quickly called over a cousin and an aunt to come and see the mysterious figure, as well. Both agreed that it really did resemble a profile of the Holy Mother praying, and we all sat together for long while quietly offering prayers of gratitude and petition. 

Interestingly, the image had been formed by light casting a shadow over a vase holding three large roses (familiar?)  We all concluded that it was another sign from Our Lady - the Rosa Mystica - reassuring us of her loving presence in our home.

~ Luminous Manifestations ~

          


Above are a handful of photos taken during the past three years at a few of my lay-ministry's speaking presentations and pilgrim statue/holy relic visitations at St. Anthony's Church and St. John Vianney's Church in Kailua.  Some of the many photos taken at these events have captured unusual globes of blue or white light - orbs - in varying sizes and intensities hovering near my pilgrim statue or the relics (click on the photos to view larger images).  I interpret them to be signs of Our Lady's spiritual presence, or the presence of the Saints whose relics are also at the venue.

~ A Testimony to Our Lady of Guadalupe ~


This photo, taken  almost a year ago in December 2011, shows a Pikake flower with what I believe to be an image representing Our Lady of Guadalupe in the center of it.  The image on the flower is just one of a few other blessings I received on that day.  To read the story behind this photo and to view other images of the flower, click here.

~ The Madonna of the Clouds ~


I took this photo in the early morning hours of March 3rd, 2012... and it shows what I perceive to be a clear image of Our Lady carrying the Christ Child. The remarkable story behind this photo and a short video may be viewed by clicking here.

~ The Mighty Hand of God ~


Another photo of an unusual cloud formation, this time taken in June 2012.  I call this photo the "Hand of God" due to its uncanny and strong resemblance to a hand with five fingers.  The encouraging story behind this photo and its relevant significance may be read by clicking here.

~ Manifestations of Escarchas ~

          

Since late-June 2012, Escarchas - mystical shimmering dust particles -  have been manifesting intermittently in relation to my ministry's activities involving my Rosa Mystica pilgrim statue and the Sacred Relics of the Saints and Blesseds in my custody.  The photos shown above visually document some of the appearances of the mysterious substance in the recent past, including an astounding crystalline "pearl" (right photo - click to enlarge image) that appeared at my feet while I was praying the Stations of the Cross in a church.  Details and other photos about the appearances of the Escarchas may be read here and here.

~ St. Marianne Mystery Photo ~


This photo with its clear image of a mysterious man in period clothing was taken during a prayer meeting at a friend's house in October 2012. The identity of the man is unclear, but based on feedback from a couple of knowledgeable sources, we speculate that it could be an image of a former Bishop of Honolulu - Bishop Louis Désiré Maigret - who died in June 1882, the year before St. Marianne Cope arrived in Hawaii. One source informed me that Bishop Maigret was the person who was instrumental in extending an invitation to female religious to come to our islands to minister to the lepers.  Click here to read the background story of the photo.

~ Another Holy Face Photo ~


Above, I present another photo of an unusual light/shadow formation, this time taken on the morning of December 29, 2012.  It captures an uncanny image - which to me and the friend who witnessed it - resembled the Holy Face of Jesus to which I am strongly devoted. The story behind this photo and its relevant significance may be read by clicking here.

~ Blessings of Escarchas from Jesus ~

video
A short video filmed to record a manifestation of
Escarchas on April 25th.

A red Escarcha that manifested - significantly! - on the shoulder of our Lord's
image on another print on May 25th (click on photo to view larger image).

On Thursday, April 25th and a month later on Tuesday May 28th, 2013, our good Lord again unexpectedly graced me and my family with Escarchas.  These latest manifestations of the shiny flakes of Manna involved green, red, and silver Escarchas that were small and fine in texture... and which mysteriously appeared on two separate prints of my artwork - a depiction of Christ carrying his Holy Cross - entitled, "Isaiah 53 - The Man of Sorrows".  Click on the top image above to view a short video showing a few of the Escarchas shining brightly, or click here for more information about the Isaiah 53 drawing.

~ "I will put enmity between you and the woman..." ~

"I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed:
she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel."
~ Genesis 3:15 (Douay Rheims translation)

This unusual photo of my Rosa Mystica pilgrim statue was taken while it was staying in the home of a friend of mine. The family had been experiencing paranormal phenomena in the form of mysterious shadows that were seen roaming the home at night... so the statue was sent in the hopes that its blessed presence, and Rosary Prayers offered before it, would help end the spooky sightings.

After the statue was set-up in the living room, I took this photo to capture the visit on film.  I hadn't noticed anything strange when I first took the picture, but it was only after I downloaded the photo unto my laptop that I discovered the uncanny images of two demonic entities (circled) flanking Our Lady's statue and looking up at it defiantly.  I later learned from my friend that his mother was regularly consulting with a medium/psychic and had a deck of Tarot Cards stashed in her dresser (something my friend didn't condone).  Having gone through my on terrifying brush with occult forces, it was clear to me what the true nature of the shadows were in the home, and why there were there.  To read more about this photo and its significance, click here.

~ Roxy's Blessing ~

A fetus-shaped pebble (compare to the inset photo) found by a woman
immediately after praying to Our Lady for help in conceiving a baby.

The pebble shown above was found by a parishioner, "Roxy" - under her foot - moments after she had silently prayed holding Our Lady's veil-relic at the end of our 8/3/2013 First Saturday Rosary for Peace at St. Anthony of Padua Church, Kailua.  Oddly enough, the pebble bears an uncanny resemblance to a human embryo - a tiny baby - which, incidentally, was the intent of the petition Roxy was making to the Blessed Mother.  The woman was having difficulties in conceiving a child and asked Mary's help in having a baby.  Shortly after, she stepped on something in our Day Chapel, and when she picked it up, it was this odd-shaped pebble.  We're now waiting to see if Roxy's prayer will be answered in the few upcoming months.

~ Another Appearance of the Holy Face ~


The photo above captures another appearance of the Holy Face involving my Guadalupe House ministry.  The image appeared on a large banner of Our Lady of Guadalupe hanging in my bedroom on the morning of Thursday, 1/22/2015. Significantly, I had just finished praying the Holy Rosary for a group of women who were making a spiritual retreat.  For details concerning this event and to view a short video of it, click here.

~ A Christmas Blessing ~


The above photos were taken 12/23/2015, in Chula Vista, California. They appeared on a palm tree on the grounds of the townhouse complex where I was visiting with my sister. Remarkably, on the tree, clear images of the Blessed Virgin and a dove were visible just a few days before Christmas. Read more about this photo here.

~ The Heart of the Eucharist ~



The photo posted above was taken on Sunday, 5/29/2016 - the Feast of Corpus Christi - at Mary Star of the Sea Church in Honolulu. The Blessed Sacrament was exposed for adoration prior to Mass when I felt strongly compelled to snap a photo of the altar. A resulting photo showed what appeared to me to be a striking likeness of the Sacred Heart of Jesus formed by light at the top of the monstrance (there is no image of the Sacred Heart on the monstrance). Read more about this photo here.

~ Our Lady's statue moves in prayer ~

video

The video posted above was filmed during a friend's Rosary Prayer Meeting on Saturday, 8/17/2016.  During the recitation of the Rosary I observed the Rosa Mystica statue that we use for our group's devotional purposes moving its lips, as though Our Lady was praying with us. I discretely filmed the statue in an attempt to capture the movement, which I may have succeeded in doing so.  To read more about this video, click here.

~ A Lady, clothed in white, brighter than the sun... ~



The photo shown above was taken on the evening of Thursday, 2/2/2017, at St. George Church in Waimanalo (Oahu), Hawaii.  The world-famous International Pilgrim Statue of Fatima was making a visit there as part of its Hawaii leg of the Fatima Centennial Tour for Peace that is making its way across the USA.  I took several photos during the event and this one was clearly extraordinary - the statue (circled in red) is mysteriously replaced by a brilliant silhouette of the Madonna (the face of the woman in the foreground was intentionally blurred).  It recalls to mind the description of Our Lady of Fatima once given by Sr. Lucia, one of the visionaries of these Portuguese apparitions: "A lady, clothed in white, brighter than the sun, radiating a light more clear and intense than a crystal cup filled with sparkling water lit by burning sunlight."  To read more about this event, click here.

~ The "Fatima Cloud" ~


This unusual photo was snapped on Saturday, April 8, 2017, after the 5:00pm vigil Mass at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Kailua. It was the eve of Palm Sunday. My busy day job and the somber season of Lent had taken a toll on me, and I was feeling exhausted and even a bit down as Holy Week approached. After the Mass ended, I walked out to my car and happened to look up at the sky to gauge the time and weather. This was what I saw in the sky across the street from the church - a ghostly figure, that I personally believe, represents Our Lady of Fatima, as it closely resembles a Fatima pilgrim statue. The outline of the long veil, the areas where the face and hands are joined together in prayer, are all discernible in the image that juts up among the other wispy clouds. I took the occurrence to be a sign from our Blessed Mother - an encouragement to "hang in there" - which immediately lifted my spirit. To read a bit more about this photo, click here.

~ Just before the Fatima Centennial... ~


This image of the Madonna and Divine Child was photographed on the eve of the centennial of the first Fatima apparition in Portugal on May 13, 1917.  Unlike most of the photos seen in this album, I actually didn't see the holy figures, at first, but was prompted to photograph the cloud by a mysterious voice, which said, "Take a picture... my mother is in that cloud."  I took a couple of photos and, sure enough, there was Our Lady.  For details about this photo, please click here.

~ God is present everywhere... ~


This image, simply put, reminds me that God is present everywhere.  We just have to open our hearts to Him in order to recognize His presence around us... and, sometimes, He confirms He is around with a little sign.  I believe this event was one of those signs. For details about this photo, please click here.