|Another view of the relic display.|
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
Sunday, December 30, 2018
Tuesday, December 25, 2018
With today being the day that it is, I was particularly inspired to contemplate the Christ Child earlier this morning. In fact, I have a beautiful, 10" Spanish-made image of the Holy Infant that I display every Advent and Christmas in front of my home-shrine, along with a relic of the Holy Manger (above photo)... and I was again charmed by its affable expression and its exquisite detail (it even has tiny white teeth in its small, open mouth!). Gazing at the figure, I couldn't help but wonder what the actual Baby Jesus must have looked like. My thoughts then strayed to the ever-popular St. Anthony of Padua (d. 1231), who was privileged to see and hold the real deal, which further prompted me to remember that he wasn't the only Saint I've read about who was granted this unique grace. So off the top of my head I started mentally listing the other holy persons I could recall who also encountered the Divine Child in one way or another. The result of all my musing is this special Christmas blog...
Many of us are familiar with the statues of St. Anthony carrying Baby Jesus (they're almost a standard in Catholic churches!)... and, although not widely circulated like St. Anthony's story, there were several other privileged souls who envisioned and even touched the Christ Child, too. In this select group of mystics we can count Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich (d. 1824); St. Agnes of Montepulciano (d. 1317); St. Catherine of Bologna (d. 1463); St. Christopher Martyr (d. circa 251), the Patron Saint of Travelers who famously carried the apparitional boy Jesus across a river; St. Faustina Kowalska (d. 1938); St. John of God (d. 1550); St. Lydwina of Scheidam (d. 1433); Madre Marianna of Jesus Torres (d. 1635) of the Our Lady of Good Success apparitions; Mother Marie Adele Garnier (d. 1924); Melanie Calvat (d. 1904) of the Marian apparitions of La Salette; Bl. Miriam Thresia Chiramel (d. 1926), a stigmatized Indian founder of a congregation; St. Padre Pio (d. 1968); St. Rose of Lima (d. 1617); St. Teresa of Avila (d. 1582); and St. Veronica Giuliani (d. 1727).
|Sr. Lucia of Fatima's encounter with|
Our Lady and her Divine Son.
Another type of encounter with the Baby Jesus involves witnessing his miraculous birth and hidden details of his infancy and childhood through sensory visions. In this type of heavenly encounter, the mystic may not have had direct physical contact with the Christ Child, but rather, the visionary seems to have played the role of a spectator, watching the scene of Jesus's birth unfold while in a state of ecstasy.
In this final segment, I narrate a few cases in which statues of the Divine Child closely connected to certain holy persons were seen to become animated or transfigured into the actual living Jesus... or weep.
What is probably the earliest example of this phenomena involves St. Francis of Assisi (d. 1226), who is credited with having created the very first Nativity Scene in the Italian town of Greccio during the Christmas of 1224. According to written accounts, the statue of the Bambino laid in the manger was seen to come alive by many witnesses while St. Francis venerated the image in an enraptured state.
Still, other holy persons included in this group were Ven. Edvige Carboni (d. 1852), an Italian stigmatic who owned one such miraculous image. In her specific case she once sewed a gown for her much-loved Gesu Bambino statue and, when she couldn't dress the statue due to the positioning of its arms, she asked Jesus to help her and the figure adjusted its arms so that Edvige could then easily slip the gown onto it. A later mystic, Teresa Palminota (already mentioned above) had similar experiences with her own Baby Jesus statue that exhibited mysterious movements in her home.
Another Italian mystic-soul, Teresa Musco (d. 1976), owned several statues in her home that wept watery tears, as well as blood. Among them was an Infant Jesus figure that often shed tears in apparent protest to abortion. On more than one occasion the tears were blood, which speaks volumes to the pain felt by the Lord over the death of innocent babies.
So with that last account of the wonder-working Prague statue, that's all, folks - I'm out of Baby Jesus encounter-stories. I hope the various tales I posted above were enjoyed by the reader and, perhaps, contributed just a bit more wonder and awe to today's celebration of the awesome mystery of God becoming man. Again, Merry Christmas to all!
Saturday, December 1, 2018
We ended up starting late because of the setback but the presentation proceeded smoothly once I had the equipment set to go. The 20 or so people attending were extremely receptive to the message I shared... and, based on feedback I received after, most enjoyed the presentation and learned new things about the sainthood process; the lives of various modern Saints/Blesseds I featured; and about devotion to relics. I could also see by their reactions at the altar that there were "connections" happening between certain individuals and the Saints/Blesseds whose relics were displayed. Souls were being touched in a profound manner - perhaps even spiritually healed or fortified - which is the main reason why I do these talks. It turned out to be a successful presentation despite the rocky start.
After all the visitors left and I started to pack up, on a whim I decided to try the new projector again and guess what happened? It started right up and was in perfect working order! I could hardly believe it. Strange, I tell you... very, very strange.
Fragrant Rose of Turin ~ Memorial: December 16th
|An old portrait of Bl. Maria of the Angels,|
a Carmelite mystic and stigmatic.
However, on one particular day, while still a young child, she sat in front of a mirror admiring herself when her own reflection vanished to be replaced by a vision - Christ appeared in the mirror, sadly staring back at her; battered and crowned with thorns. The experience so shocked Marianna that it had the immediate effect of a lasting conversion. From that moment on she shunned her elaborate wardrobe and jewelry, and began exercising a devout mode of living despite her tender age.
The first year in the monastery was not easy for the aspiring nun. The sweetness of spirit and the divine favors she had started to enjoy before quitting the world evaporated, leaving Sr. Maria with a terrible dryness in her soul. She clung desperately to her faith and, guided by a meticulous novice mistress, she managed to reach profession in December 1676... but the sense of separation from God - the "dark night of the soul" - continued to torment her for the next 15 years. The devil aggravated the situation, via severe temptations and diabolic assaults.
At the instigation of King Vittorio, the holy nun's Cause for Canonization was started just a few years after the death of Sr. Maria. Pope Pius IX declared her a Blessed on April 25, 1865, but a second miracle has yet to be officially recognized for the prioress to reach sainthood. Let us pray for her speedy canonization.
"When you commit some infidelity, do not be anxious, but with humility and confidence immediately turn to the Lord: do not flee from the Offended, but embrace Him as a lover and ask for forgiveness."
Sunday, November 25, 2018
Our Lady's Monthly Message to the World on November 25th:
Saturday, November 3, 2018
Thursday, November 1, 2018
|The Fourteen Holy Helpers|
|The martyrdom of St. Catherine|
Friday, October 26, 2018
Young Faces of Holiness Saints & Relics Speaking Presentation, 10/26/2018: Sts. Peter & Paul Church, Honolulu
May these precious young souls from Sts. Peter & Paul Parish continue to grow in their Catholic Faith. God bless them... today and always!
learned from tonight's presentation