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

~ Peter, Ministry Administrator

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Holy Relic Visitation: Our Lady of Fatima Prayer Group, 6/28/2014

A 2nd Class Relic of St. Clelia Barbieri
My day started at 4:30 AM this morning so when it came time for me to leave home - twelve hours later - for our Fatima Prayer Group, I was feeling a little drained... but I'm glad I mustered up enough energy to go because, as usual, it was another great night of prayer, fellowship, and signal graces at the Gruber Home.  Despite my fatigue, I found myself invigorated during our Rosary Prayer by an inexplicable scent of roses that intermittently surrounded us.  Our co-host - "Auntie Monique" (Dre's mom) - remarked that it was the Blessed Mother letting us know that she was praying with us, which I believed, too.

Our Saint this month was St. Clelia Barbieri (d. 1870), the youngest founder of a congregation in the history of the Church.  The faith-lesson I tried to impart to our group from her life was all about living the principles of TRUTH and INTEGRITY in our Christian lives, which Clelia did with unflinching compromise.  For example, the Saint once politely refused a donation of apples to her congregation after she was mysteriously enlightened to the fact that they were acquired illicitly (read more about the incident here).  It's an interesting anecdote from the life of St. Clelia, which is often overlooked in her English biographies but, nonetheless, it bears a lesson for all of us.

After all our prayers ended, we spent a couple more hours in lively fellowship, especially since Auntie Monique was present due to a rare Saturday night off from work.  We talked and laughed over our potluck dinner of mixed ethnic dishes, which included black bean chicken, friend chicken, grilled pork ribs, tossed salad, and Puerto Rican Gandule Rice.  A glass of wine and Custard Pie, topped with Haupia (Hawaiian coconut pudding) ice cream, was the perfect ending to our meal.

I am now totally exhausted - stuffed full from the dinner; spiritually full from God's abundant grace.  I will definitely sleep very, very content tonight thanks to Dre and her family, and to Jesus and Mary.  Amen.

My mixed plate of food (yes, it was as good as it looked)... and a selfie with Auntie Monique.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Monthly Messages from the Queen of Peace of Medjugorje: June 2014

Dear Children...

Our Lady's Monthly Message to the World on June 25th:
   "Dear children!  The Most High is giving me the grace that I can still be with you and to lead you in prayer towards the way of peace.  Your heart and soul thirst for peace and love, for God and His joy.  Therefore, little children, pray, pray, pray and in prayer you will discover the wisdom of living.  I bless you all and intercede for each of you before my Son Jesus.  Thank you for having responded to my call."

Our Lady's Special Message to Mirjana Dragicevic-Soldo on June 2nd:
   "Dear children, I call you all and accept you as my children.  I am praying that you may accept me and love me as a mother.  I have united all of you in my heart, I have descended among you and I bless you.  I know that you desire consolation and hope from me because I love you and intercede for you.  I ask of you to unite with me in my Son and to be my apostles.  For you to be able to do so, I am calling you, anew, to love.  There is no love without prayer - there is no prayer without forgiveness because love is prayer - forgiveness is love.  My children, God created you to love and you love so as to forgive.  Every prayer that comes out of love unites you with my Son and the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit illuminates you and makes you my apostles - apostles who will do everything they do in the name of the Lord.  They will pray with their works and not just with words, because they love my Son and comprehend the way of truth which leads to eternal life.  Pray for your shepherds that they may always lead you with a pure heart on the way of truth and love - the way of my Son.  Thank you."

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Rosa Mystica Speaking Presentation2: Perez Residence, 6/23/2014

"Where I stop as Pilgrim Madonna;
where am invoked; where many prayers
are said... my Divine Son Jesus Christ, in
every such place, cause special graces to
flow down from Heaven into souls."

~ Words of Mary, the Rosa Mystica,
to Pierina Gilli (8/31/1975)

Last night I was given the opportunity to faith-share about the Rosa Mystica Devotion with another Basic Christian Community (BCC) cell group.  This time around the presentation was conducted in the Perez Residence, in Kapolei Town, on the other side of the island from where I live.  A dear friend who attends the group invited me because the BCC's Rosa Mystica pilgrim statue (pictured below) was currently staying in the home.

I always feel nervous when I speak in public, but the thought of going to the home of complete strangers made me extra anxious... that is, until I spotted a large framed picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe (my "mom") hanging in the Perez Home.  After that I felt a sudden sense of peace and a spiritual kinship with my hosts; I recognized they were also fellow children of our dear Blessed Mother.

The presentation, itself, was received positively. As with the one I conducted with the Kailua cell group, I shared about the history of the Rosa Mystica devotion and apparitions of Montichiari-Fontanelle; the relevance of Our Lady's messages directed towards consecrated souls; and my own personal experiences involving my large Rosa Mystica pilgrim statue.

After my talk, the group held their "closest moments" part of their weekly meeting during which its members were invited to share about their recent, closest moments with the Lord.  I guess because of the presentation topic, most of the sharing that ensued were about people's personal experiences with Our Lady.  I was deeply impressed and could totally relate to most of the testimonies.

One lady in particular stood out for me... she sat at the very back of the room and was quiet and reserved.  As I was leaving, she was leaving, too, and it was then that I finally heard her speak.  The woman confided with me that she was normally talkative, but she couldn't find her voice because she was feeling very emotional and teary throughout the night.  The reason was because of a strong fragrance of roses that she kept smelling during the Rosa Mystica presentation (there were no roses in the room).  She was wondering if others had sensed the aroma, too... and I admitted that I had also smelled the perfume of roses although I didn't mention it at the time.  I thanked the woman for speaking up because it confirmed to the both of us that we hadn't imagined it; that Our Lady had actually paid us a special visit.

So that was how my night ended at the Perez's.  Despite my earlier apprehensions, I left feeling completely at peace... and happy that I made a whole new set of friends; new spiritual brethren with whom I am united under the mantle of our Heavenly Mother, the Mystical Rose.  Much MAHALO to the Kapolei BCC Cell Group!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Miracles of the Eucharist in the Lives of the Saints

"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."

~ Words of Jesus Christ, John 6:55-56

TRUTH: The Eucharist is the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.  Through the Eucharist, Christ fulfills his promise that he will be with us until the end of time (Matthew 28:20).  Apparently, not just in spirit but in the actual flesh... and, on this day in 2014, the Catholic Church universally celebrates this stupendous truth through the solemn Feast of Corpus Christi.

Yes, it's a hard teaching to wrap one's head around - the fact that our Lord can be truly present to us in the form of bread and wine... but at the same time, for those of us who accept it wholeheartedly, it makes sense, too.  Via the Eucharist, Jesus desires to establish an intimate, personal relationship with us... and how much more personal can he get than by becoming our very food?  Divine sustenance that serves to nourish our souls and bodies, as well... and in his characteristic simplicity, God chose humble bread and wine - the basic food staples of the common people of Christ's time - as the manner in which to do so.  It ties in closely, too, with what the Lord, himself, taught us to ask for from our Heavenly Father: "... Give us this day our daily bread..."

Since this ministry and blog are dedicated to promoting devotion to the Saints I thought I'd take this Feast Day as an opportunity to share about Eucharistic Miracles that occurred in the lives of our Catholic Mystics; signs and wonders that confirm the true presence of our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.  Before continuing, let me just state that I've read hundreds of biographies of Servants of God, Blesseds, and Saints... and one thing I know with complete certainty - ALL of them believed in the Church's teaching on the Eucharist.  So with that being said, below are just a few examples of Eucharistic signs in the lives of our spiritual heroes and role models...


Three mystic-souls who lived without the
need for earthly nourishment - from left to
right: Bl. Alexandrina Da Costa, Marthe
Robin, & Viktoria Hecht.

The gift of foregoing food and drink and subsisting on just the Eucharist alone was noted in the lives of the following saintly souls: Bl. Mary of Oignies (d. 1213), Bl. Giacomo of Montieri (d. 1289), St. Angela of Foligno (d. 1309), Elizabeth the Good of Waldsee (d. 1420), St. Lydwina of Schiedam (d. 1433), St. Catherine of Siena (d. 1380), St. Nicholas von Flue (d. 1487), Francesca del Serrone (d. 1601), St. Rose of Lima (d. 1617), St. Marianna de Jesus Paredes Flores (d. 1645), Domenica Lazzeri (d. 1848), Juliana Engelbrecht (d. 1853), Louise Lateau (d. 1883), Viktoria Hecht (d. 1890), Magdalena Gornik (d. 1896), Rosalie Put (d. 1919), Teresa Palminota (d. 1934), Marie Julie Jahenny (d. 1941), Berthe Petit (d. 1943), Luisa Piccarreta (d. 1947), Bl. Alexandrina Da Costa (d. 1955), Marthe Robin (d. 1981), Floripes Dornellas de Jesus (d. 1999), and the recent case of the Italian mystic/stigmatic, Antonietta de Vitis (d. 2004).

A modern example that stands out is the case of Therese Neumann (d. 1962), a peasant-farmer from the town of Konnersreuth, Germany.  Therese was seriously injured while assisting in putting out a neighbor's fire.  She was subsequently bedridden and blind for a period of time until she was miraculously cured through the intercession of another Therese - St. Therese of Lisieux, the Little Flower (d. 1897).

The Servant of God, Therese Neumann,
receiving Holy Communion from her priest.
In place of the priest, she often saw the
Lord, himself, approaching her.

From 1923 until her death in 1962, Therese stopped eating altogether and began living on the Eucharist alone.  At about the same time - in Lent of 1926 - she was also stigmatized during a series of visions, which left her bearing on her body the complete set of wounds of our Lord's Passion.  The veracity of her miraculous fasting was proven medically by a doctor and a team of four nuns, who were commissioned by the local bishop to closely observe Therese for a two week period; never leaving her alone for the entire time.  She successfully passed the medical examination to the satisfaction of her observers and with no ill effects to her health.

Significantly, when Therese Neumann was questioned about her ability to live without food, except for the Eucharist, she replied simply, "I live on my Savior."  What an appropriate and profound answer (refer to John 6:35)!  Therese's Cause for Canonization has been initiated by her local Diocese.  


Three mystic-women who received
Holy Communion miraculously - from left
to right: St. Catherine of Siena, St. Juliana
Falconieri, & Bl. Margaret Ebner.

The following mystics, according to their biographers, on at least one occasion received Holy Communion at the hands of Jesus, himself, or through the agency of Holy Angels and/or other Saints: St. Bonaventure (d. 1274), Bl. Giacomo of Montieri (d. 1289), St. Clare of Montefalco (d. 1308), Bl. Emilia Bicchieri (d. 1314), St. Agnes of Montepulciano (d. 1317), St. Juliana Falconieri (d. 1341), Bl. Margaret Ebner (d. 1351), St. Catherine of Siena (d. 1380), St. Stanislaus Kostka (d. 1568), St. Paschal Baylon (d. 1592), St. Mary Magdalen de' Pazzi (d. 1607), St. Lucia Filippini (d. 1732), St. Maria Francesca of the Five Wounds (d. 1791), Magdalena Gornik (d. 1896), Teresa Helena Higginson (d. 1905), Bl. Maria of the Passion (a.k.a. Maria Grazia Tarallo, d. 1912), Marie Julie Jahenny (d. 1941), Bl. Edvige Carboni (d. 1952), Therese Neumann (d. 1962), Katarzyna Szymon (d. 1986), and the three young Fatima Seers: Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta, who received Holy Communion from the hands of an angel in 1916.

Bl. Imelda Lambertini
In this second group of privileged individuals, among them stands out a child who died at the very tender age of 11.  Her name was Imelda Lambertini (right image), who was Beatified by the Church in 1826.  Bl. Imelda was of a noble family from Bologna, Italy, and was precocious and unusually pious from her earliest years.  At the age of 9, she was allowed to board with the local Dominican nuns, among whom she yearned to receive the Lord in Holy Communion, but was denied because of her young age.

On May 12, 1333, Imelda was assisting at a Mass during which she poured out her sorrow unto the Lord for not being able to receive the Eucharist along with the nuns.  She remained praying after the Mass and was later witnessed by the Sacristan in ecstasy, with a luminous Host floating above her head.  The priest and the nuns were recalled to the chapel, where the decision was made to give Imelda the miraculous Host as her First Holy Communion.  She fervently received her beloved Jesus and collapsed soon after, seemingly dying from sheer joy. Imelda's story may seem too fantastic to believe, except for one thing - it's not only meticulously attested to, but her little incorrupt body is still reverently enshrined in Bologna.  Fittingly, the Catholic Church has designated Bl. Imelda the Patroness of First Communicants.

The incorrupt body of Bl. Imelda Lambertini,
as venerated in Bologna, Italy.


Three holy priests, who reportedly
levitated while celebrating Mass - from left
to right: St. Dominic de Guzman, St. Paul
of the Cross, & Fr. Paul of Moll.

One may have noticed that, all but two of the names listed so far in this particular blog have been women... but the miraculous power of the Eucharist has also been manifested in the lives of holy men - mainly priests whose words have the God-given power to transform mere bread and wine into the body and blood of Jesus Christ.  The following are names of priests who, during the Mass, were witnessed rising above the ground - levitating - in contradiction to the laws of nature.  It was as though their prayers, at the exact moment of Consecration, had lifted them physically closer to Heaven.  Among these exceptional priests were: St. Dominic de Guzman (d. 1221), St. Philip Neri (d. 1595), St. Joseph of Cupertino (d. 1663), St. Francis of Posadas (d. 1713), St. Thomas of Cori (d. 1729), St. Paul of the Cross (d. 1775), and the modern, wonder-working Benedictine, Fr. Paul of Moll (d. 1896).

On a different note, the great stigmatized priest - St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina (d. 1968) - would offer Masses that were reported to last more than three hours!  During the course of each Liturgy he was witnessed to go through phases of suffering and exultation, which convinced participants the Saint was reliving the Passion of Christ, itself.  The stigmata on his hands would be uncovered and visibly red with his blood, while emitting the most exquisite fragrance of roses... and Padre Pio frequently saw Jesus during the moment of consecration; his Masses, indeed, were miracles.


Portraits of the illustrious St. Teresa of
Avila & St. Benedict Joseph Labre, who
both levitated, especially after receiving
Holy Communion.

In the section above, I shared about the gift of enraptured flight that was manifested in certain worthy priests during the Holy Mass.  However, on the receiving end, there were also mystics who were raised up in the air after having received the Blessed Sacrament from the hands of priests.  In the biography of St. Teresa of Avila (d. 1582), it was reported that the reception of the Eucharist would sometimes trigger sublime ecstasies that were accompanied by levitation.  These sudden raptures came upon her in full view of others and, because of their frequency, the Saint trained her nuns to surround her with their cloaks held up like makeshift curtains so as to conceal the miracle from curious eyes.

The same grace of flight was granted to other individuals after their Holy Communions, among them: St. Benedict Joseph Labre (d. 1783) and Bl. Maria of the Passion (d. 1912).  In St. Benedict's case, it was a recurrent sight in the Basilicas of Rome to find him suspended in mid-air in ecstatic prayer after Mass.  The sacristans - who referred to Benedict Joseph as "the saint" - had gotten so used to the wonder, they would just ignore him and continue on with their chores.  Regarding Bl. Maria of the Passion (a stigmatized nun), receiving Communion so invigorated her, witnesses regularly observed her literally gliding on air and flying up the stairs leading to her room in the monastery, on her return from Mass.  Furthermore, despite the Beata's chronic illnesses, these mystical flights were so rapid, not even the healthier nuns could keep up with her!

St. Clare saving Assisi from invaders
through the power of the Host.
St. Clare of Assisi (d. 1253) is popularly depicted carrying the Host in a monstrance (left image).  This iconography was due to a stupendous miracle that occurred in 1244 involving the Saint and the Blessed Sacrament.  In that year, Saracens invaded Assisi and began to overrun the convent of the Poor Clares in which St. Clare resided.  Although she was gravely ill, she asked to be carried outside bearing the Body of Christ in a monstrance. After offering a prayer of protection for her nuns and the city, the invaders suddenly and inexplicably scattered without harming any of the inhabitants of the convent or city.  The miraculous protection was attributed not just to Clare's prayers, but more so, to the power of the Lord in the Eucharist.

In the life of the Roman lay-mystic, Bl. Anna Maria Taigi (d. 1837), at times, after receiving Communion, she would be overwhelmed by Divine Love and fall unconscious on her way back to the pews (slain/resting in the spirit?).  On other occasions, her face would blush red due to an extraordinary internal fire.  Tears would then flow copiously from Anna Maria's eyes, while in a state of ecstasy, after having received the Host.

And speaking of that intense internal heat - the "fire" of Divine Love - at least one mystic received this grace directly through the agency of the Blessed Sacrament.  Her name was Teresa Palminota (d. 1934) and, while participating in Eucharistic Adoration, witnessed brilliant rays stream from the Host towards her chest.  It had the effect of filling her with such an intense infusion of love for God, her heart was suddenly enlarged, fracturing a few ribs in the process.  From then on, like Bl. Anna Maria, an unusual heat also burned within Teresa's chest.

Holy Communion triggered ecstasies
and other phenomena in the life of Bl.
Anna Maria Taigi. 

Lastly, many stigmatized individuals, in particular, had a special affinity and sensitivity to the sanctity of the Blessed Sacrament (many of the names mentioned on this blog are Stigmatics) were able to discern the presence of the Lord whenever a consecrated Host was in near proximity.  The Eucharist elicited in these mystics excitement and joy, even when the Blessed Sacrament was secretly brought into their presence.  Among the Stigmatics who had this ability were Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich (d. 1824), Maria Von Morl (d. 1868), Rosalie Put (d. 1919), Marie Julie Jahenny (d. 1941), and Therese Neumann, who was already mentioned above.

A notable example of supernatural recognition was exemplified in the life of the stigmatized Belgian, Louise Lateau (d. 1883), who would immediately fall to her knees facing the priest, if he carried the Host with him.  Louise never failed to perform this act of adoration although she was usually in an altered state - with eyes closed - and oblivious to her surroundings, and even when the Blessed Sacrament was concealed from view.  Incidentally, Louise was also one of those privileged souls reported to have survived on just the Eucharist alone.

A painting of Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich
who, from childhood, was drawn to the
Eucharist and could discern consecrated
Hosts from unconsecrated wafers.

There are many, many more facinating Eucharistic miracles in the lives of our Saints, Blesseds, and Servants of God... but the above should be more than sufficient to convey the divine and miraculous nature of the Blessed Sacrament.  The Host is indeed the Bread of Life, spoken about so clearly in Sacred Scriptures... and rightfully, Jesus in the Eucharist, is cause for us to rejoice and celebrate not just on the Feast of Corpus Christi, but every time we participate at Mass - Hallelujah!

"And Jesus said to them:
I am the bread of life: he that
cometh to me shall not hunger:
and he that believeth in me
shall never thirst."

~ Words of Jesus Christ, John 6:35

+  +   To read about other Church-approved
Eucharistic Miracles, click here.  +  +

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A Friend's Testimony: Blessings & Signs from Mary, the Mystical Rose

A few days ago, a viewer named "Veronica" from Arizona, USA, emailed me a wonderful and inspiring testimonial in regards to her personal devotion to the Blessed Virgin, under the title of the "Mystical Rose" (a.k.a. the "Rosa Mystica" - click here to learn more). Veronica also included a remarkable video (seen below), capturing one of many recent manifestations of escarchas - glitter-like flakes of manna - in her home that occurred in connection to this most beautiful and sublime title of our dear Holy Mother.

A large Rosa Mystica Pilgrim Virgin statue,
as venerated by Marian devotees in Arizona.
The smaller image is Veronica's personal
Rosa Mystica statue.

Being an enthusiastic promoter of our shared devotion to the Mystical Rose, I asked Veronica's permission to reproduce her email on my blog and to post the above-photo of a large Mystical Rose pilgrim statue that visited in her home, as well as the video of the escarchas.  She graciously consented in the hopes that it will inspire more awareness and devotion to Our Lady.

Veronica's Testimony:

A Manifestation of Escarchas in Arizona, USA:

A short video of a recent appearance
of shimmering escarchas in Veronica's
Arizona home.

I'd like to thank my new friend, Veronica, for sharing her special experiences with me and for allowing me to post them for others to read, too.  I ask all who view this blog to please kindly remember her daughter in prayer.  May we - who venerate Mother Mary, as the Mystical Rose - be united in prayer for each other and for the salvation and common good of all mankind.

O Mary, the Mystical Rose;
Mother of Christ & Mother of the
Church, pray for us!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Putting a face to the name - is this what St. Anthony of Padua looked like?

The skull and bone relics of St. Anthony of
Padua, as conserved in the Basilica dedicated
to his honor in Padua, Italy.

This past Friday, June 13th, several secular and Catholic new sites around the world reported on a story that immediately caught my attention... A team of forensic scientists were provided with a 3-D digital image of a human skull and were tasked to recreate the facial features of the 36-year-old man to whom it belonged to.  The Brazilian expert who worked on the computer reconstruction was not initially informed about the identity of the famous individual... but after the digital reconstruction was completed, he was made aware of the man's true identity - it was none other than St. Anthony of Padua (d. 1231), one of the most popular and best-loved Saints in the history of the Catholic Church.

Through the centuries, St. Anthony has been
consistently depicted as a young man holding
the Holy Bible and/or a stalk of lilies in one
hand... and the Christ-Child in the other.

St. Anthony has always been one of my favorite Saints and, during my teen years, I chose him for my personal Patron Saint because of his zeal for the Faith, and for the remarkable miracles he performed during his lifetime. He has since obtained countless favors for me. So when the news came out that a forensic team had reconstructed his actual face in 3-D format, I was excited and happy... and thought to myself, "Well it's about time - what took so long?"

Is this the actual face of St. Anthony?  A team
of forensic experts who reconstructed the face
from the Saint's skull, believe it is.

Anyhow, above is a photo of the completed image, which is said to now be the most accurate likeness of the Patron Saint of Lost Articles.  Nothing against the popular representations of St. Anthony currently in circulation but I actually like the computer-generated image better. Unlike all the other depictions that look too stylized and/or "pretty", the new forensics-based likeness gives me a better sense of reality of the man who I've often asked for help from whenever I was in a rough patch in my personal life; my "best friend" in Heaven, as I'd like to think of him.

Now... me, and countless other St. Anthony enthusiasts throughout the world, can finally put a face to the name whenever we say, "St. Anthony, pray for us."

+ + +  To learn more about the life of St. Anthony of Padua, click here.  + + +

Friday, June 13, 2014

A Week of Saints in Kailua, 6/7 - 6/13/2014

It’s been a busy week for me trying to juggle my day-job, home chores, and my ministry work.   However, the Lord is ever kind and solicitous, granting me just enough energy to somehow get through these past few days... and everything came together for a very spiritually fruitful and eventful week.

Today, June 13th, is the Feast of St. Anthony of Padua (d. 1231), the Patron Saint of my parish church… so there was obviously a lot of planning and activities going on in our church during the past couple of months.  We held our Feast Day celebrations this evening and leading up to it was our monthly Rosary for Peace on the first Saturday of June, followed by a special Saints & Holy Relics Presentation that especially featured St. Anthony.  I'm happy to report that the Saints definitely took center stage in our Kailua parish during this week and we were all very blessed for it.

+ First Saturday Rosary for Peace, June 7th

Our Saint/Relic of the Month for our
First Saturday Rosary was Bl. Joseph-
Marie Cassant, whose personal motto
was, "All for Jesus, all through Mary."

Our Rosary for Peace was offered in the presence and intercession of Bl. Joseph-Marie Cassant (d. 1903), via a 1st Class [bone] Relic of the holy Trappist Monk that I brought into our Day Chapel this month.  I shared with the people in attendance how this youthful Blessed continually surrendered himself to God, through the intercession of Our Lady; how despite living in obscurity, and with intellectual shortcomings, his generous practice of faith made a deep, positive impact on his spiritual brethren around him (and in the world, too)... eventually leading to Joseph-Marie's Beatification in October 2004.

+ Saints & Holy Relics Presentation, June 12th

19 Relics from various Saints & Blesseds
were on display during my 6/12 talk at St.
Anthony of Padua Church in Kailua.  Among
the Saints represented were St. Benedict of
NursiaSt. Christopher, St. Dymphna, St.
Francis of Assisi, St. John Paul II, St. Rita
of CasciaSt. Lucy of Syracuse, and

The organizers for the Feast Day thought it would be a great idea to showcase the life of St. Anthony of Padua for our parishioners, as part of the planned schedule of events. So I was invited to faith-share about our Patron Saint, but rather than just speaking about him, alone, I took the opportunity to conduct my standard Saints/Relics presentation so I could speak about the Church's teachings on Saints, in general. Plus, I was able to share about the lives of many other holy souls but featured the life of St. Anthony more prominently towards the end of my talk.

A closer view of the 1st/2nd Class Relics on
display during the presentation/exhibit.

In attendance at the presentation were 19 Sacred Relics of various Saints and Blesseds, which I exhibited for the education and veneration of the audience. The turn-out was great with about 40 people attending – almost half were parishioners from other parishes, some from as far away as the other side of our island, which pleasantly surprised me. We were happy to welcome them.

Our parish members and guests from other
parishes viewing & venerating the relics.

The presentation was again well-received, judging by the positive feedback I received from many of the attendees, including invitations to speak at another parish and to a women's group. In addition, there were two separate testimonies concerning a mysterious fragrance of flowers and a spice-like aroma (incense?) that were noted during the presentation. I simply believe the fragrances were tangible signs of the spiritual presence of our Blessed Mother and Our Lord, coming to be with us for spiritual encouragement.

+ The Feast of Saint Anthony of Padua, June 13th
The shrine-reliquary of St. Anthony of Padua
in our church (center)... and photos from our
potluck dinner in honor of our Saint, that was
held in the church courtyard after Mass.

And finally, this evening we celebrated our illustrious Patron Saint with an evening Mass in his honor, followed by a potluck celebration of various ethnic foods.  Hawaii is a melting pot of many differing racial backgrounds so there wasn't a shortage of differing food items, which ranged from American Fried Chicken to Vinha D'Alhos, a Portuguese dish of vinegar-marinated pork with onions and potatoes.   

Local comedian, Frank Delima, performing in
our parish's gathering hall after our dinner.

During the dinner we were entertained with lovely Hawaiian music, but the highlight of the evening was Frank DeLima, a local comedian/celebrity who is best known for light-heartedly poking fun at Hawaii's many different ethnic traditions. It was all in the spirit of fun, though, and his comedic program was hilarious and had the crowd howling with laughter.  It was a fun way to end an evening of festivities.

So with that shared, our annual Feast Day Celebration just keeps getting bigger and better... 'can't wait to see what next year's event organizers have in store for us!