|The miraculous Communion of Bl. Imelda|
Lambertini. A luminous Host appeared above her,
which was then administered to her as her
First Holy Communion. The Blessed died out of
pure happiness soon after.
NOTICE: I am a practicing Catholic, active and in good-standing with my local parish, 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 & Blog Administrator
Saturday, June 25, 2016
Saturday, June 18, 2016
Speaking Presentation & Holy Relics Visitation: Diocese of Honolulu Faith Formation Conference, 6/18/2016
I spoke to a full classroom of over 35 individuals of various ages with whom I shared about the Church's Sainthood Process; the relevance of Saints in our faith-lives; and especially featured the following Saints/Blesseds (with their corresponding relics) whose lives exemplified the overall theme of the conference: Bl. Aniela Salawa, St. Pope John Paul II, Bl. Bartolo Longo, St. John Vianney, St. Maria Goretti, Bl. Maria del Carmen of the Child Jesus, and Bl. Speranza of Jesus. Other relics that I presented for my audience's veneration were my ministry's relics of the True Cross of our Lord and Our Lady's Veil; relics from St. Louis & Zelie Martin, along with their famous daughter, St. Therese the Little Flower; and finally, St. Philomena, an early-Church Martyr.
Overall, it appeared the presentation was very well-received by my audience members. Evaluation sheets submitted by the participants were, for the most part, completed with high scores and included favorable feedback, as to how the lives and sacred remains of the Saints/Blesseds had deeply impressed them; a goal I was hoping and praying for with my team of prayer supporters.
Monday, June 13, 2016
Sunday, June 12, 2016
Often enough, I've had people - family and close friends - confide in me concerns over individuals in their lives who are either living in a wayward manner; left the Catholic Church for another Christian denomination; or have given up on Christianity, altogether. I empathized with their concerns... and the advice I'd give was consistent:
It all began with a French nun named Sr. Justine Bisqueyburu. Justine was born in 1817 and entered the Congregation of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul (those nuns with the funny "winged" head-wear) in 1837. By all accounts, she was a model religious and was described as a "living rule" by another nun who worked closely with her for many years.
|The Virgin of the Green Scapular|
The Holy Virgin appeared to Justine dressed in her trademark white gown, draped with a sky-blue mantle; no veil covered her head, but rather, her long hair flowed over her shoulders and down her back; at the level of her chest, the Virgin held her Immaculate Heart in both hands - "a heart all ablaze with rays more dazzling than the sun..." - and it was topped with flames of love and pierced with a sword of sorrow (on the right is a drawing I did based on the description of the vision). During the same retreat, Justine saw Mary again in the same attire; both times, the Mother of Christ did not speak to her, but the experience left the aspiring nun with a burning desire to love and serve God.
After Justine formally entered the novitiate of the Daughters of Charity, Mary reappeared to her five more times. As with the prior two apparitions, she said nothing to the novice, preferring to smile at her sweetly and encouraging her to a deeper faith life with her visible presence.
Saturday, June 4, 2016
Friday, June 3, 2016
So recalling the events of this past Sunday... I decided to attend morning Mass at the Star of the Sea Church, near my home, where I knew the Blessed Sacrament would be exposed for public adoration for an extended period of time prior to their 10:15am Mass. I arrived about 45 minutes before the start of the Mass so I could pray my daily rosary and spend some much-need quality time with Jesus; to soak in his peace and unwind from my long, grueling work week.
After finishing the rosary, I sat quietly in the pew and intermittently gazed at our Lord while offering him short prayers in my heart; expressing to Jesus personal sentiments of love, gratitude, and praise, while at the same time asking him to forgive me all my sins. At one point, I felt an overwhelming "urge" to take a photo of the altar, which just wouldn't go away... so I took out my cellphone and snapped about four photos of the sanctuary although I couldn't physically see anything extraordinary going on in the vicinity of the altar. I then put the phone back into my pocket without reviewing any of the photos.
|Benediction at Star of the Sea|
Church in Kahala, Hawaii
Let me make it clear that I make no claim that the photo represents a genuine miracle, but for me, personally, the picture is, at the very least - enigmatic. I tried to rationalize my experience, at first, as just an ordinary reflection of light... but there was nothing on the monstrance that remotely resembled a heart; it was just the cross and the familiar sunburst design (see the photo to the right, which is of the very same monstrance used at Star of the Sea Church). So rather than continuing to try to explain it all away, I finally settled on simply accepting it as Jesus' special way of visibly manifesting his true presence in the Eucharist, which was being celebrated on that particular feast day; that the Lord's heart - "... which has so loved men..." - continues to beat, very much alive, within each Host... and we, Catholics, have the privilege of receiving this very same heart each time we go to Holy Communion. How awesome is that?
Wednesday, June 1, 2016
I enjoy cheering for the underdog. Specifically, when it comes to a good person who unfairly gets the short end of the stick in a situation... then struggles against all odds to overcome major obstacles. This little Saint was one such person. Sickly all her life, she was unloved and neglected by the very people who should have cared for her. Nonetheless, she had a heart full of unwavering faith that helped her to triumph over all adversity.
|An old print depicting St. Germaine|
... Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy...
|The home of St. Germaine in Pibrac|
The townsfolk started seeing Germaine in a new light and treating her with respect rather than with the indifference and ridicule that was previously shown her. They paid close attention to her every move and her pious habits - the way she knelt in prayer regardless where she happened to be when the bell tolled at noon for the Angelus; her habit of taking her flock into dangerous areas infested with wolves, yet neither she nor any of her sheep were ever harmed; the way she generously shared her meal of bread with people less fortunate than herself; and the mysterious way the same meager portion of bread would somehow end up being enough despite the number of people the Saint shared it with. Even her parents had a change of heart and they invited her to once again live in the house with them; an invitation that Germaine declined, preferring the peaceful solitude she learned to enjoy in the barn.
One chilly morning, in 1601, Germaine's father awoke to hear the sheep still in the barn, which was unusual. When he went to check on the matter, he discovered his daughter lifeless on her mattress of straw. She had passed, alone, sometime in the middle of the night at only 22-years-old. Soon after, two strangers to Pibrac - friars passing through the area - arrived in the village excitedly inquiring if a holy maiden had died the night before. The friars explained that they were traveling on foot and had spent the night, outdoors, in the outskirts of the town. They were awakened at midnight by the mysterious sound of angelic singing and witnessed a beam of light coming down from the sky, upon which a procession of celestial beings descended into the town. When the group ascended back up to the heavens, they had among them another person - a young woman. The people immediately surmised that it could only have been the pious Germaine entering into her eternal reward.
Not surprisingly, the discovery of the body reignited interest in Germaine and crowds flocked to venerate the sacred relic of the preserved body. Hundreds of cures were reported in connection with it. Sadly, in 1793, during the peak of the infamous French Revolution, Germaine's relics were desecrated and nearly destroyed after local revolutionaries broke into the parish church and reburied her remains with highly corrosive quick-lime. When the body was recovered, parts of it had deteriorated leaving only her bones.
A Short Prayer
Lord, help us to live the blessings of the Beatitudes in the same worthy manner that St. Germaine did in her own life. Amen.