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

Thursday, August 31, 2023

Saint of the Month - September 2023: Blessed Maria Luisa Prosperi

Bl. Maria Luisa Prosperi
A Spouse of the Sacred Heart
Memorial: September 12th

Allow this ministry to introduce you to Bl. Maria Luisa Prosperi, a nun from the Order of St. Benedict.  Born into a wealthy family from Fogliano, Italy, on August 19, 1799, she was baptized on the same day with the name Geltrude. Fortunate to be raised in a devout household, she was particularly influenced by the example of a deeply pious, unmarried aunt and, as such, was inclined to virtue, self-denial, and mortification from an early age.  Her biographies relate how, from her youth, she wore a hair shirt, a cilice, and used a flagrum as part of her routine penitential practices ... and was already experiencing visions.

At the age of 21, she entered the Benedictine Monastery of Santa Lucia in Trevi (Spoleto), where she was given the name Sr. Maria Luisa Angelica of the Sacred Heart.  In the monastery, she expressed a profound love for the Holy Eucharist and a marked devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, while also fulfilling the role of Infirmarian, followed successively by Sacristan and Mistress of Novices.

To her various spiritual directors, Sr. Maria Luisa confided the extraordinary inner workings of the Holy Spirit that were escalating in her soul.  Her life was revealed to be especially enriched by rare charisms that she hid from her companions to avoid unwanted attention, and any disruption to their community life.  Her confessors ordered that she write down her mystical experiences and visions for their discernment, thanks to which we have records of the following:

  • She had frequent, familiar visits from our Lord, who appeared to her as either Christ Crucified or as the Sacred Heart.  He encouraged her faith and shared with her the secrets of his heart, and her journal of their communications gives clear insight as to the high level of union she had with Jesus, her Divine Spouse.

  • She was sometimes physically harassed by the devil, which was part of the sufferings Jesus once foretold to her, and allowed, for her personal sanctification … and also “for sinners to convert, infidels to return to my Church.”

  • She was visited by the Holy Souls of Purgatory, who asked her prayers and sacrifices to help relieve their sufferings.

  • She was stigmatized with the wounds of Christ, the sufferings of which once caused her to exclaim, “Oh God, what pain!”  The wounds were initially invisible but they later opened and bled in her hands, chest, and forehead during the Lenten Season.

The manifestation of external signs ignited both admiration and misunderstandings within her monastery and with her confessors, and for a time Sr. Maria Luisa was treated with suspicion (another ordeal that the Lord told her would happen).  In due time, however, the nun's humility and continued obedience eventually overcame all doubts concerning her authenticity.  In fact, she was
 elected Abbess at the age of 38.

This Beata was a living example
of the Rule of St. Benedict.

The new superior's administration was marked by positive reforms, mainly a diligent adherence to the Benedictine Rule, which she admirably exemplified.  Her cheerful demeanor and maternal solicitude towards her subordinates endeared her to all ... and the community responded with renewed fervor.

One of her confessors – an Archbishop named, Giovanni Cadolini – was so impressed with Maria Luisa’s conduct, he planned to take her away to Ferrara to have her assist him in founding an entirely new congregation of contemplative nuns.  It was a plan the Abbess was reluctant to do, but ready to comply with, if commanded, but she much preferred to remain hidden in Trevi.

As things turned out, the mystic sort of got her wish - for whatever reason, Sr. Maria Luisa never left for Ferrara, but rumors of her holiness and special gifts brought an influx of visitors to Trevi, along with new vocations.  The Monastery of Santa Lucia prospered and the Abbess also became known for her charity towards the poor, who she never turned away.  She gave generously from the nuns’ own pantry, but God never failed to provide.

In 1847, during the last few months of her life, Maria Luisa was stricken with a painful malady in addition to the reparational sufferings of the Passion she underwent during that year's Lent.  She had a bad fall in August and was left bedridden until her death, which took place not long after on September 12, 1847.  The Beata was only 48-years-old at the time of her passing, having served as Abbess for 10 years.

The shrine of Bl. Maria Luisa in the
Benedictine Monastery of Trevi.

Memory of the holy nun did not fade with time and her Cause for Canonization was initiated by the Diocese of Spoleto in 1914 – so far, she has already been Beatified during a ceremony held on November 12, 2012; a confirmed second miracle is still needed to declare her a Saint.  This ministry prays that her Canonization is forthcoming, God willing.

Bl. Maria Luisa Prosperi,
pray for us.

Friday, August 25, 2023

Monthly Message from the Queen of Peace of Medjugorje: August 25, 2023

Message given to Marija on August 25th, 2023:

  “Dear Children!  In this time of grace, I am calling you to prayer with the heart.  May your hearts, little children, be raised in prayer towards Heaven, so that your heart may feel the God of love who heals you, and loves you with immeasurable love.  That is why I am with you - to lead you on the way of conversion of heart.  Thank you for having responded to my call.

Friday, August 11, 2023

About that fire on Maui...

This ministry is requesting the prayers of readers for my dear brethren on the island of Maui.  The recent wildfires that blazed through Lahaina - the Waikiki of Maui - two nights ago, has taken a terrible toll, not just on Lahaina residents, but also on all our people of Hawaii.  We are a close-knit community, despite living on the different islands that make up our state.

Some still photos of the massive fire on
Maui that are circulating in the internet.

This author has a few close friends living on Maui (thankfully, in areas away from the fire), and I've visited there on three occasions.  The people are always warm and welcoming, and I am personally grieved by this tragic event.

As of this writing, the death toll is at 67 (the number is expected to rise), and the impact from this disaster - emotionally, physically, economically... and even spiritually - will certainly leave an indelible impact.

These pics found on the web show
what's left of Lahaina Town.

Perhaps, as I sign of HOPE, our Lord has seen fit to spare a church in the midst of it all - the historic Maria Lanakila Catholic Church (Our Lady of Victory) and its surrounding grounds have been spared from destruction, with the grass remaining green in the midst of some smoldering debris in the surrounding community.  Some are calling it a miracle - see the clip below from a TikTok upload...

May our merciful Jesus, who is truly present in the Tabernacle of that church, be a beacon of Faith, Hope, and Strength, to all the survivors in Lahaina, as they strive to recover ... and may the souls of the deceased victims rest in God's peace.  Amen.

Thank you in advance for your kind prayers!

Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Another round of "Faces of Holiness"

I recently came across a new batch of facinating facial reconstructions of Saints, created by experts using relics of their skulls.  Without further ado, here they are...


The reconstructed face vs. an early image
of the Saint, which looks fairly close.

A Slavic princess by birth, this Saint converted to Christianity with her husband, Duke Borivoj in 871.  She became a champion of Christianity, living its teachings with exemplary piety; zealously promoting the Faith amongst her people; and building churches in her country.  She exerted a strong positive influence on her grandson who she helped to raise - St. Wenceslaus of Bohemia (a.k.a. "Good King Wenceslaus") - which elicited jealousy and hatred in the king's mother, Drahomira, who openly resented Christianity.

Ludmila earned the Martyr's Crown after she was strangled to death by two henchmen upon the evil bidding of Drahomira.  She was later Canonized and proclaimed one of the Patron Saints of Bohemia.


The reconstructed face vs. a traditional
representation of the Saint, which clearly
differ.  His actual features reveal Isidore
was likely part African in ancestry.

Considered the Patron of Madrid, Spain, this Saint was a poor and humble farm laborer.  His frequent attendance at Mass, and his generosity towards those less fortunate than himself, were often rewarded by miraculous favors from God.  These signal graces included the Saint being helped with his tasks by his guardian angel, while he was away at Mass, and the multiplication of food.  After his death, his body did not decompose and it remains admirably preserved up to this present day.  St. Isidore was declared a Saint in 1622.


The reconstructed face vs. an early
painting of St. Vincent.  The resemblance
between the two is spot on!

The name of this illustrious Saint is synonymous with serving the poor.  A highly devout French priest, he dedicated his life to advancing the Faith and in charitable giving to the needy, which prompted him to co-found the Congregation of the Mission (the "Vincentians") and the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul.  Thus, his charism and legacy continue to live on through his spiritual children.  He was Canonized in 1737.

O Holy Saints, God's road signs directing us on the road to Heaven, pray for us!

Sunday, August 6, 2023

Saint of the Month - August 2013: St. Roch of Montpellier

St. Roch 
of Montpellier
Patron of the Sick ... and of Dogs, too!
Feast: August 16th

St. Roch was, once upon a time, widely invoked as a healer in medievel Europe ... but today his story is somewhat forgotten outside of that part of the world, as far as this author can personally assess.  It seems that his life has been eclipsed by big-name Saints of his era (i.e. St. Francis of AssisiSt. Anthony of Padua, St. Catherine of Siena, etc.) ... and, because of technology, by modern Saints whose biographies are more widely circulated (i.e.  St. Padre Pio, St. Therese the Little Flower, St. Faustina Kowalska, St. Teresa of Calcutta, etc.).  Nevertheless, his name remains familiar although his personal history is obscure.  This ministry hopes to make him a little more known.

According to a mix of historical facts and legends, Roch was born circa 1295 to the governor of Montpellier, France.  His birth was the blessed result of many fervent prayers to Our Lady offered by his pious parents who couldn't conceive a child; this may also explain why he was reportedly born with a red birthmark on his chest in the distinct form of a cross, which was interpreted by his family as a unique blessing and a prophetic sign of his future sanctity.  

In fact, in his early youth, Roch was already a local spiritual celebrity in the city because of his evident piety; for possessing a penchant for voluntary poverty, charitable service, and penitential practices (i.e. fasting).

Orphaned at the age of 20, Roch took the opportunity to follow his religious convictions - he waived his right to govern Montpellier; distributed his inheritance to the poor; joined the Third Order Franciscans; and set off on foot to Rome.  Along the way, he never revealed his high social status to anyone but chose to go about inconspicuously dressed as a humble pilgrim.

Arriving in Italy, the Saint discovered the country in the grip of the Black Plague.  He ministered to the sick in several cities - AcquapendenteCesenaRimini, and Novara - volunteering in hospitals, as he passed through, until he finally reached Rome.  In his wake, Roch left a trail of many miraculous cures, which resulted from his blessing with the sign of the cross.  After Rome, he visited other plague-stricken towns/cities, effecting more healings through his blessing.  In Piacenza, however, he contracted the dreaded disease, himself.

St. Roch is often depicted in pilgrim
garb with a dog at his side.

Anticipating his own demise, Roch isolated himself in the woods outside of Piacenza where the illness took its normal course with him.  The usual sores formed on his body and he was wracked with fever and pain.  He would have likely died had not a strange dog found him, which licked and cleaned his lesions, and brought him bread to eat daily.  The animal's owner - a Count Gottardo - discovered the sick man after following his dog as it scurried away with bread in its mouth.  The nobleman generously provided Roch with the additional care he needed and the patient recovered.

After regaining his strength, the wandering pilgrim headed back to Montpellier but was arrested at the outskirts of the city under the suspicion of being a spy (France was in the midst of civil unrest}.  His unkempt appearance left him unrecognized by officials and Roch strangely refused to identify himself as a citizen and a former governor's son.  Subsequently, he was imprisoned where he remained until his death.  In the meantime, he spent his incarceration in habitual prayer, penance, and ministering to the physical and spiritual needs of his fellow prisoners.

Roch died in 1327 after having spent about 5 years in jail.  As he lay dying, a brilliant light emanated from him that illuminated his entire cell.  When his body was prepared for burial, the miraculous red cross on his chest (interpreted by some hagiographers as an actual manifestation of Stigmata) was discovered by his jailers.  Word of the mystery dead man, marked with a cross, drew officials to the prison and it was then that Roch's true identity was realized by some of his relatives.

Given his social status, Roch was given a public state funeral during which many cures were recorded, leading to him being invoked by the sick.  His fame was so widespread in Europe at the time, that when the plague broke in Constance (Germany) in 1414, during a special Church Council, the prelates ordered public prayers and a procession to invoke Roch's intercession; the pestilence immediately ended.

In 1484, the remains of this French miracle worker were allegedly stolen from his tomb in a church in Voghera, by a friar, and brought to Venice where the plague had resurfaced.  His relics have since stayed in that Italian city, in a church built and dedicated to his name.

The Church of St. Roch in Venice &
his tomb above the main altar.

Pope Urban VIII (d. 1644) formally authorized St. Roch's popular cultus, effectively adding his name to the Catholic Church's Calendar of Saints.  May he pray for our personal needs and the needs of the universal Church.


  O blessed St. Roch, Patron of the Sick, have pity on those who lie upon a bed of suffering.  Your power was so great when you were in this world, that by the Sign of the Cross, many were healed of their diseases.  Now that you are in Heaven, your power is no less.  Offer to God our sighs and tears, and obtain for us the physical and spiritual health we seek: (mention your request here).  This, we ask through Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen.

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Thank you, Jesus...

It's past 1:30 AM here in Hawaii and I can't sleep.  I'm too excited.

Nearly two hours ago, from the time of this writing, I wheeled out my recycle bin to the curbside and saw the full moon in all its glory, and it seemed as though Our Lady's face was imprinted on it (something I witnessed years ago, which I blogged about here) ... so I fetched my cellphone to see if I could photograph anything unusual.

Well, as it turned out, there was something special going on but it wasn't our Blessed Mother who showed up.  Instead, among the several photos I snapped was this one, which was totally unexpected ...

The photo actually speaks for itself - through it, I discern Jesus drawing attention to His True Presence in the Blessed Sacrament, via the images of a radiant Host above a Chalice.  AMAZING.

I took additional pics not long after to see if I could replicate and even debunk the above pic, but as seen below, they show nothing but the moon (no mysterious Chalice to evoke the complete Eucharistic imagery).


In these times when belief in the Eucharist is at a disturbing low, even among Catholics, the message this photo conveys is highly relevant - Jesus calls us all to be "Heralds of the Eucharist"; witnessing to His presence in the Blessed Sacrament by our word and conduct.

Thank you, Lord, for the gift of Yourself in the Eucharist!

“Jesus said to them,
‘I am the bread of life; whoever
comes to me will never hunger,
and whoever believes in me
will never thirst.'”

- John 6:35