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

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

A visit to St. Sharbel Church in Las Vegas, Nevada - did Our Lady show herself?

I just returned from Las Vegas where I attended a family reunion over the past weekend.  While there, I visited a small chapel that I read about in the Visions of Jesus Christ website.  According to the story posted in the site, the city's Maronite Catholic Church of St. Sharbel experienced a remarkable event in 2013 when a large statue of their Patron Saint mysteriously oozed oil (myrrh) from its head, eyes, hands, and chest - see the photos below.

Actual photos of the Las Vegas St. Sharbel
statue, taken in 2013 when the image
allegedly seeped an oily fluid (photos used
courtesy of visionsofjesuschrist.com).

I googled the parish's address and drove to see the statue for myself on Friday morning, March 29th.  When I got to the site, I was surprised by how small and quiet the place was; there was no fanfare, which would have made me extra-cautious.  I immediately introduced myself to a couple of women parishioners outside of the chapel, who graciously walked me over to the parish office to meet a third lady who could answer the questions I had about the statue.

The third woman (Joan or Joanne?) was very friendly and personable, and provided me with background information about the events that occurred in her parish.  According to this parishioner, the statue of St. Sharbel had only oozed myrrh during a single episode in 2013 and the phenomena has not recurred to this present time; the reason for the phenomenon remains a mystery but the priest and parishioners consider it a great blessing.  She then directed me to the little church where the statue was kept in a glass-sided case, and also encouraged me to visit the Blessed Sacrament Chapel where perpetual adoration is observed.

The beautiful interior of the St. Sharbel
Church in Las Vegas.  At left is the chapel
of St. Sharbel and at right is the Blessed
Sacrament Chapel (click on each photo
to view larger images).

Inside the church I was positively impressed by its unique, rustic design and its peaceful other-worldly vibe.  I venerated the statue in question, prayed to St. Sharbel, and took a few photos before settling down in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel.  There, I prayed the rosary then simply sat quietly, soaking in the presence of the Eucharistic Christ exposed in a monstrance.  Again, there was a tremendous sense of peace that engulfed me.

After spending about an hour in prayer and reflection, I bid farewell to our Lord, lit a few candles, then drove off to meet with family.  As far as I know, the local church has never investigated the weeping St. Sharbel statue but I was personally inclined to believe it was genuine because of what I observed concerning the unpretentious church surroundings, and the humble demeanor of the people I met - no one tried to convince me it was true; no one asked for a donation; no one tried to sell anything.  All the people did was tell me the story of what was witnessed there and answer my questions in a straightforward manner.

This author, in front of the glass-encased
"miracle" statue of St. Sharbel in this Las
Vegas mission church.

Later that same day, something else happened that made me more inclined to believe in this St. Sharbel "miracle".  I was reviewing the photos I took in the church when something unusual caught my eye in the lone photo I snapped of the Blessed Sacrament Chapel.  There, in the framed print of Christ above the monstrance, on the bottom-right, was an image of Our Lady!

I recognized the Holy Virgin's veiled upper torso with her head looking down as though lovingly gazing at her Divine Son in the Host - it was so clear I was even able to recognize its similarity to the famous "Tijaljina-Queen of Peace" statue that's closely associated with Medjugorje ... but no such statue was present in the chapel; nor was the image there to begin withThe pics below make a comparison of Our Lady's image in my photo with the familiar Tijaljina-style statue - the resemblance is simply uncanny!

A sign of Mary's presence?

I can only speculate that the image of our Blessed Mother was some sort of affirmation that she was in the chapel with me praying, too.  I don't know what else to make of it ... but if you're ever in Las Vegas, this little church is worth visiting.  'can't say you'll see oil on the statue or catch a glimpse of Our Lady ... but for sure you'll encounter Jesus in their Blessed Sacrament Chapel, which is the bigger grace to be had.

To learn more about St. Sharbel,
the holy Lebanese hermit, click here.

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