Disclaimer

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, December 31, 2022

In Memoriam...



This author has a warm spot for the late Pope Emeritus.  Back in September 2005, during a trip to Rome, I was privileged to attend a Papal Audience presided over by Pope Benedict XVI.  I'll never forget the experience.

I can still clearly recall the moment he appeared in St. Peter's Square in the Pope Mobile - I was filled with sudden excitement and tears of joy fell from my eyes.  Noticing my emotion, an elderly Italian woman standing next to me smiled and asked, "Molto contento (very happy)?"... and I replied, "Si.  Molto contento."

Receiving Pope Benedict's blessing in 2005.

Since then, that Papal Audience has been a major highlight in my life, and I have affectionately accompanied ”Papa Benedict" in prayer, even after his retirement.  His solid example of Catholic Faith remains a personal inspiration and I am forever grateful, as are countless others who are also mourning his passing.

Rest in peace, Pope Benedict XVI!

Sunday, December 25, 2022

Monthly Message from the Queen of Peace of Medjugorje: December 25th, 2022



The Blessed Virgin gave us two messages
on this Christmas Day 2022...

Monthly Message received by Marija:
  “Dear Children!  Today I am carrying my Son Jesus to you, that you may be His peace and a reflection of the clarity and joy of Heaven.  Pray, little children, to be open to receive peace because many hearts are closed to the call of the light which changes hearts.  I am with you and am praying for you to open yourselves to receive the King of peace, Who fills your hearts with warmth and blessing.  Thank you for having responded to my call.”

Special Message received by Jacov during his annual apparition:
  “Dear Children!  Today, when the light of Jesus' birth is illuminating the entire world, in a special way, with Jesus in my arms, I am praying that every heart becomes a stable of Bethlehem, in which my Son will be born, so that your lives become a light of His birth.  Little children, you live in peacelessness and fear.  That is why, little children, today, on this day of grace, implore Jesus to strengthen your faith and to become the ruler of your lives; because, my children, only with Jesus in your lives will you not be looking at peacelessness but praying for peace and will live in peace; and you will not be looking at fear but at Jesus Who frees us of all fears.  I am your Mother who ceaselessly keeps vigil over you and I am blessing you with my motherly blessing.”

Monday, December 12, 2022

Marian Apparitions Presentation: Women's Group at St. Ann Parish, 12/12/2022



Tonight this author had the joy of celebrating the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe with a wonderful group of women from different parts of Oahu Island.   They came together in prayer and fellowship at St. Ann Church in Kaneohe to honor our Blessed Mother, and this ministry was privileged to be invited to faith-share about Marian apparitions, particularly the Mexican Apparitions of 1531.

I'm addition, I was asked by the organizers to bring relics, which I gladly did.  For this specific presentation on apparitions, the standard relics I bring are from premier Marian Visionaries: St. Bernadette of Lourdes, St. Catherine Laboure of the Miraculous Medal, and Sts. Francisco and Jacinta of Fatima... along with a relic of their cousin, Sr. Lucia dos Santos.


ABOVE: The makeshift display altar
at tonight's event.
BELOW: A closer view of the relics.


During the course of the talk, I summarized the Holy Virgin's recurring message from her various approved apparitions in Mexico, France, and Portugal, which is essentially PRAYER, CONVERSION, and PENANCE.

After the presentation ended it was personally inspiring to see many of the ladies approach the makeshift altar to venerate the relics; some even on their knees, while in profound prayer.  Special spiritual bonds were definitely made with the Saints, or strengthened, this evening.


The women paying their respect
to Our Lady and the Saints.


Judging by the feedback and actions of the audience members, it was another successful presentation; a fitting way to honor the Virgin of Guadalupe, patroness of this ministry.

May the faith-seeds planted this night blossom into an abundance of positive spiritual fruits in the lives of the audience members - Thanks be to God!  

Our Lady of Guadalupe,
pray for us.

Sunday, December 4, 2022

Saint of the Month - December 2022: Saint Barbara


St. Barbara, Virgin & Martyr
Towering in Faith
Feast: December 4th

Most frequently, this blog features modern Saints, but this month I felt inspired to write about an ancient one - a Virgin-Martyr, who today, has fallen into obscurity, but was, at one point in time, widely invoked by Catholics.  Her name is St. Barbara and during the Middle Ages she was very popular being that she was ranked amongst the "14 Holy Helpers"; Patron Saints who were frequently called upon by the Faithful against the various challenges and ills of daily life because of their efficacious intercession.  Besides St. Barbara, the list of Helpers included familiar names such as St. Blaise, St. Catherine of Alexandria, St. Christopher, and St. George the Dragon Slayer.

Like many other Virgin-Martyrs of the early Church, Barbara's biography is a tangled mix of facts and legend... but it is none the less fascinating and edifying, with slight variances depending on the source of the story.  This is the gist of her life, based on what I was able to gather from different online sources.

Barbara was the only child of a widower named Dioscorus, a wealthy pagan merchant, who was subject to the Roman Empire during the reign of the Emperor Maximinus.  After her mother died when she was still a young girl, her over-protective father put her in the care of slaves who were secretly Christians.  In raising her, these servants planted the seeds of Faith in Barbara, which under their careful guidance, inspired the girl to fall deeply in love with Christ; leading her to consecrate herself solely to Him, unbeknownest to Dioscorus.

At some point, her father decided to add a tower to his existing villa and had plans drawn up for its construction before leaving for an extended business trip.  Upon his return, Dioscorus was surprised to see the builders had deviated from the blueprint by including a ring of three windows in the tower rather than just the two he originally indicated.  When he angrily demanded an explanation, the workers replied that it was Barbara who had ordered them to do so.  The merchant then confronted his daughter about her meddling and it was then she confessed that she had done so to commemorate and honor the Holy Trinity, which effectively outed her as a Christian.

Infuriated by Barbara's conversion, Dioscorus had her imprisoned in the newly built tower in an effort to force her to abandon Christianity... but Barbara staunchly refused and, with the help of the servants, she managed to escape.  Her father quickly found her, though, after which he denounced her to the local prefect.  The official offered Barbara her freedom if only she would make sacrifices to the Roman gods but the pious maiden rebuked him instead.  What followed next was a round of unsuccessful bribes and intimidations, followed by a public flogging, which Barbara courageously endured to the edification of the crowd, including the hidden Christians.  The terrible ordeal would've killed Barbara, if not for Jesus, who cured her during a miraculous apparition in her prison cell.

When Barbara was next brought before the prefect, all were astounded to see her restored to health and beauty, which prompted many conversions among the pagans.  After bravely rebuking her oppressors, including Dioscorus, Barbara was sentenced to death by beheading.  Her own father reportedly carried out the sentence, likely to save face with his peers, but he was then struck and killed by lighting shortly after the wicked deed.

And so ended the life of Barbara, who was immediately venerated as a Martyr by early Christians.  As mentioned earlier, her once-popular cultus has waned amongst Catholics in these present times... but strong devotion to her endures in the Eastern/Orthodox churches where she is celebrated under the grand title of the "Great Martyr Barbara".  St. Barbara's Feast in the Catholic Church is observed on December 4th.

St. Barbara, Virgin & Martyr,
pray for us!

Saturday, December 3, 2022

Saints & Relics Presentation: Mary Star of the Sea Youth Group, 12/2/2022



This author firmly believes that early faith formation of children is absolutely crucial to raising up godly adults.  So it was a privilege for me to speak last night to the youth group and parents of Mary Star of the Sea (MSOS) Parish.

During this particular talk I featured the lives and Sacred Relics of such Saints as St. Angelo of Acri, St. Bernadette of Lourdes, St. Damien of Molokai, St. Dominic SavioSt. John Paul IISt. Maria Domenica Mantovani, St. Peregrine LaziosiBl. Rolando Rivi, St. Therese the Little Flower... and I included my ministry's True Cross Relic, as well.


Several Relics on display at the presentation.

 

What made this presentation extra-special was the presence of one of the parish's priests, who showed genuine enthusiasm and interest in the presentation and the relics.  It then lead to an invitation to return and speak to the entire parish in early 2023, which is exciting.

The same priest had also agreed to expose the Eucharist for 30 minutes in the nearby chapel after the presentation, and it was awesome to see ALL the children and parents participate in the Adoration.  It was the perfect way to end the evening - spending quality time with Jesus.  Thanks be to God!

Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
topped off the night's events.

So, God willing, tonight's message will take root in the children's heart; helping them to later become fruitful apostles in our troubled world.  We pray for them.


* * T E S T I M O N I E S * *


Thank you so much Peter for another wonderful presentation!  ... Thank u for your prayers. We greatly appreciate all that you do!  Mahalo nui!

- Karen, Coordinator


Aloha Mr. Cruz. Thoroughly enjoyed tonight's presentation at Mary Star of the Sea.  Thank you kindly.

- Eric, MSOS Sacristan