"Christ on Corcovado mountain" by Artyominc  (License: CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons)
"Christ on Corcovado mountain" by Artyominc (License: CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons)

The creation of this website

 

For the past five or ten years, I tossed into a file any  report or testimony of the miraculous that I encountered  in the hopes of building a collection of beautiful and meaningful stories demonstrating the love of God. The files are overflowing abundantly signaling that the time has come to share.

 

The items featured on this site were spotted in books, newspapers, magazines, radio shows, documentaries, televised broadcasts, websites, blogs, and online forums. Some have been verified by scientists; others consist merely of the everyday testimony of regular people who seem touched or changed by their encounter. Items are accompanied by ample links so that you are able to examine the stories and details in all their splendor from the original sources.

 

We have a living God who is active every moment of our lives. He constantly and personally intervenes in our life.  Although we can do nothing good without Him, with Him we can move mountains. God starts with us wherever we are, and together we co-create and co-build as God molds us into the sculpted piece of art He wants us to be. Incredibly, Jesus has promised to reveal himself to us if we love Him by obeying His commandments: “Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. My Father will love those who love me; I too will love them and reveal myself to them” (Jn. 14:21).

 

From the beginning, people came to believe the truth of Christianity because of the miracles, especially the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus did not keep his healing powers for himself but rather shared them with his disciples. In fact, Jesus ordered his disciples to heal the sick and raise the dead, and told them that with faith, they could move a mountain. Long before raising Lazarus from the dead, Jesus told Martha and Mary that if they believed, they would see the glory of God.

 

After Jesus and the Apostles entered heaven, the miracles continued on Earth. Saint Augustine (354-430) once said, “I should not be a Christian but for the miracles.” The same saint noted, “For even now miracles are wrought in the name of Christ, whether by his sacraments or by the prayers or relics of his saints” (The City of God 22:8, 419 A.D.).

 

In the fifth century, the miracles and evangelization of St. Patrick converted all of Ireland to Christianity.

 

Later, Pope St. Gregory proclaimed that the miracles performed in Britain were so wondrous that “they seem to copy the miracles of the apostles. At the festival of Christmas this year, more than ten thousand are reported to have been baptized by our brother and fellow-bishop.”

 

An 8th century monk named Bede also recounts a large number of miracles that helped convert the British to Christianity up to his time. Known as the Father of English History, Bede recounted these miracles in his significant work, The Ecclesiastical History of the English People.

 

In the 16th century, an apparition of the Virgin Mary in 1531 (and the image she left behind on a cloak) converted all of Mexico to Christianity, which replaced the Aztec religion that demanded bloody human sacrifices.

 

In 1917, the Miracle of the Sun in Fatima, Portugal, was seen by more than 80,000 people who had gathered that day because the Blessed Mother had told three children she would provide a miracle on that date for all to see.

 

More recently, a book by Father Albert Hebert tells the stories of 400 people who were raised by the dead by saints from various centuries.

 

Heavenly intervention in people’s lives continues today. Even Pope Francis admits that whenever he asks St. Therese of Lisieux to take his prayer request in hand, she usually responds by sending him a fresh rose.

 

Miracles prove the validity of Christ. It is not his power but his love that will overwhelm us when we enter heaven. Being with Him will be our true home. Christ and His saints are working with us at every moment to build the Kingdom of God. Christians are a people of prayer. It is prayer that connects us to God, His saints, and His miraculous work.

 

 

P.S. Of course, it is always necessary to make clear that the apparitions and miracles over the past centuries are not part of the deposit of faith, which ended with the death of the last Apostle. These occurrences are not dogma or required belief for the faithful. Even private revelations which are recognized by the Church are not included in the deposit of faith. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “It is not their role to improve or complete Christ’s definitive Revelation, but to help live more fully by it in a certain period of history” (Catechism, #67).

 

"Cristo Redentor iluminado" by Alan Lima Brandão - Own work (License: CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons).
"Cristo Redentor iluminado" by Alan Lima Brandão - Own work (License: CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons).

        Bible verses on miracles

 

Mark 9:23   All things are possible to him who believes.   -Jesus

 

1 Thess. 5:19-21    Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophetic utterances. Test everything; retain what is good.

 

Hebrews 12:1  This verse says we are  “surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses”

 

Luke 11:9   And I tell you, Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you

 

John 11:40  This verse quotes Jesus, speaking to Mary and Martha, saying:     "Did I not tell you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?" 

 

Matthew 27:19: (Dream of Pontius Pilate’s wife)   “Besides, while he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent word to him, "Have nothing to do with that righteous man, for I have suffered much over him today in a dream."

 

Mark 11: 22-24:  And Jesus answered them, "Have faith in God.  Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be taken up and cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

 

Jesus performed dozens of miracles, not even counting His own rising from the dead (He was seen alive by at least 500) and ascending into heaven (before a crowd). Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead (Jn 11:1-45); Jesus raised a widow’s son from the dead (Lk. 7:11-17);  Jesus raised Jairus’ daughter from the dead (Mt. 9:23-26); Jesus healed two blind men (Mt. 9:27-31); Jesus healed ten lepers (Lk. 17:11-19); Jesus healed a paralytic (Mt. 9:1-8); Jesus healed a deaf and dumb man (Mk. 7:31-37); Jesus walked on water (Mt. 14:22-33);  Jesus fed five thousand people (Mt. 14:18).

 

The Apostles and other disciples also performed miracles. In fact, when Jesus sent out the Seventy disciples (who were separate from the Twelve Apostles), Jesus commanded them to “heal the sick” and “say to them, 'The kingdom of God has come near to you'” (Lk 10:9). The seventy returned with joy, saying, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!"  (Lk 10:17)

 

Peter healed the lame man at the Temple (3:7-11); Peter raised Tabitha (Dorcas) from the dead (9:39-42); Stephen “did great wonders and signs among the people” (Acts 6:8); Peter healed a sick man named Aeneas (Acts. 9:33-35); Philip healed many who were paralyzed, lame, or possessed (Acts 8:6-7); Paul’s handkerchiefs healed people of many diseases and evil spirits (Acts 19:11-12);

 

Acts 2:17-18:  'And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; yea, and on my menservants and my maidservants in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy. 

 

 

If I only have time for three prayers each day, what should they be? The most powerful prayer of the Church is the Mass, so start with daily Mass,   daily rosary,   and daily Divine Mercy chaplet. Also, try the prayers at this link. And this link.  And this link. And, of course, meditating over the joys and sorrows of Jesus during his life as described in Scripture.


Where can I read the Bible online?

The full Bible can be read here or here.

 

Who are your favorite three saints? The Blessed Mother, Saint Therese of Lisieux and Saint Padre Pio.

 

What are the holiest places you’ve been to? Not counting the Holy Mass (where Jesus Christ is truly present), I would say Lourdes, France and Guadalupe, Mexico.  Lourdes is the only place where I distinctly and palpably felt the holiness in the air, which came as a surprise as I walked on the grounds towards the chapel. I’ve heard many others say the same about Lourdes, although different people receive different gifts there.

 

Do Catholics have to believe in modern miracles? We are not obliged to believe in any specific modern miracles, although we must believe that our loving and all-powerful God can and does work miracles even this era.  Miracles revealed through private revelation are not binding on the faithful but we must believe the truth of the miracles stemming from public revelation (when Jesus and the Apostles were alive). The most important miracles would probably be the Incarnation, the Resurrection, the Ascension, and the ongoing miracle of bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus (Jesus taught this at the Last Supper, as discussed in all four Gospels, and also in his Eucharistic Discourse (John 6:22-59)).

 

Does the Catholic Church investigate every single report of a miracle? No, the Church barely has time to examine one percent of one percent of one percent of them. If a holy person is being considered for canonization, then the Church is much more likely to conduct an investigation of a few claimed miracles in order to verify their authenticity so that the required number of miracles can be reached.

 

How would the Church know if a miracle were not authentic? Well, let’s say people are claiming apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary in which the messages received from her run contrary to Church teaching. That would be an instant giveaway that people are faking it or that a demonic deception is going on. On the other hand, an apparitions followed by a mass conversion of human hearts to Christ, with people devoting themselves to prayer and sacrifice, is more likely to be authentic.

However, the most common types of miracle investigated by the Church would be medical ones rather than apparitions. Usually, top doctors and scientists are called in to examine exhaustive piles of medical records. The technical definition of a miracle requires that it be scientifically inexplicable. If there is the remotest chance that a medicine could have cured the person, the Church will simply not judge it to be a miracle even in cases in which the individual knows the medicine did nothing and knows that God did everything. People receive medical “favors” all the time from God and the saints, but the Church won’t declare them a miracle if a potential cure exists.

 

Likewise, the Church usually does not involve itself in declaring whether “signs” (as opposed to technical miracles) are from heaven or not. For example, Pope Francis has mentioned that Saint Therese of Lisieux – in response to his prayer requests of her – generally sends him a rose. The Church is not in the habit of making judgments on these types of things. Likewise, when Pope Pius XII, in 1950, admitted he saw in the sky a reenactment of the 1917 Miracle of the Sun from the Vatican Gardens, the Church has little interest in conducting investigation on personal experiences like these, yet most considered him a reliable and worthy source. In reality, no amount of science is capable of proving that a holy person saw what they saw in the past.

 

Similarly, when Pope Leo XIII, on October 13, 1984, had his famous vision of Satan conversing with the Lord and threatening to destroy the Church, the Church did not form any sort of official commission to evaluate the authenticity of his vision, nor would the Church require the faithful to believe such personal revelations.

 

How valuable are miracles? Miracles are only valuable if they remind of us of God’s great love and inspire us to pray more, to love Him more, and to surrender every part of our lives over to Him. Grace is what makes us holy, not miracles. Whenever we go to Mass and receive the Sacraments, grace won by Jesus is directly infused into our souls. Grace can be described as divine love.  The amount of love with which we live each moment of our life is more important than miracles. Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.  And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Mt. 22:37-39). Some people, however, admit they will not be convinced of God’s existence until they have seen evidence of worthy miracles. Your personal prayers and sacrifices can help bring about just that miracle that could spark someone else’s faith!

 

 

Why is unwise to wait until the last minute of life to repent? That amounts to saying, “Why is it a bad idea to treat a boyfriend or girlfriend like trash until the day of the wedding?” The more love and charity developed during the preparation time, the more beautiful and joyful the marriage will be. Likewise, the more love acquired by a soul on Earth, the more beautiful and more joyful one’s eternity with God will be. Not everyone will be the same in heaven – some will experience more joy and closeness to God.

 

          Heaven is not so much about being in a place as being with a person – the person is Jesus Christ. He already knows you a million times more intimately than any spouse. He already loves you a million times more than any deeply loving spouse. If we saw Him in His splendor right now, we would burst. We are not ready. If we were ready for Him now, we would already be in heaven. We have work to do. The work, the prayer, the sufferings, the trials that we are supposed to endure on Earth are all meant to purify and refine us and empty ourselves of all traces of self-love and fill us with the only kind of love that can truly fulfill us: the love of God. That is why we are not supposed to live for the things of this life but only of the next life. The things most people work for on Earth are worthless to God.

 

          Starting at the moment of death, our soul can no longer mature or develop a greater capacity for enjoyment of God. We’ve lost our chance. In heaven, we will still be happier than we could ever be on Earth, but we’ve missed out on being happier and more in love with God. It is said that the angels are “jealous” of us since they do not get a chance on Earth to soar to greater heights of holiness. In heaven, we humans will be higher than the angels.

 

          To wait until the last minute to repent is a waste of a life. A grown man who still drinks milk from a bottle, wears diapers, and never learned to read or write has not spent his time well. Our soul starts out as a “baby” and must progress to maturity by running the race like Saint Paul did, never stopping until the end. Each wasted minute thwarts our advancement towards becoming the person we are supposed to be for all eternity. It is true that even a “baby” soul will reach heaven – as long as it is in a state of grace – but to reach its potential requires non-stop work done for and with Christ.

 

         The work of a Christian is founded on love of God and neighbor, and involves prayer, charity, fasting, almsgiving, sacrificing one’s time, energy and comforts (out of love of God), and enduring persecutions and sufferings with patience, humility and virtue. Every moment on Earth is infinitely valuable to our soul and to the task of converting other souls to the love of God. Jesus aches for these souls and tell us that if we truly love Him, we must bring them to Him through our prayers and works.

 

          If we are committed to the work of God, trials will come to us. This is because by our Baptism we are incorporated in the Body of Christ. The types of sufferings that came to Christ will also come to us. By enduring them with a heart full of love, we will move towards the finish line. The finish line is the full blossoming of our soul that God intended for us. Our soul is a work of art that we allow God to mold when we pray and surrender the pieces of our life to Him. The work of art becomes frozen in time at the moment we enter the afterlife. The beauty that a soul attains is dependent on the person’s cooperation with God’s graces during their short time on Earth.

 

          Too many people fail to reach their spiritual potential because they spend all of their energy developing their minds and bodies while ignoring their souls. The need to develop the soul is the reason we were placed on Earth instead of directly in heaven. Based on her interviews with nuns in her convent, Saint Teresa of Avila described “Seven Mansions” that a soul can progress through while on Earth before it reaches the highest union with God. Yet, countless individuals think nothing of spending fifty years of their life still loitering in the first mansion. One can find plenty of elderly people who still possess a “baby” soul, having refused to endure the rigors required of a follower of Christ. They forget that the sanctification of their soul is the only worthwhile goal for our Earthly lives, and is fraught with eternal consequences.

 

What did the Early Church Fathers say about the role of miracles in the Early Church?

St. Augustine: "For even now, miracles are wrought in the name of Christ, whether by His sacraments or by the prayers or miracles of His saints."

 

St. Augustine: “I should not be a Christian but for the miracles”

 

St. Augustine: “In the Catholic Church, there are many other things which most justly keep me in her bosom. The consent of peoples and nations keeps me in the Church; so does her authority, inaugurated by miracles, nourished by hope, enlarged by love, established by age. The succession of priests keeps me, beginning from the very seat of the Apostle Peter, to whom the Lord, after His resurrection, gave it in charge to feed His sheep (Jn 21:15-19), down to the present episcopate. 


     “And so, lastly, does the very name of 
Catholic, which, not without reason, amid so many heresies, the Church has thus retained; so that, though all heretics wish to be called Catholics, yet when a stranger asks where the Catholic Church meets, no heretic will venture to point to his own chapel or house. 


     “Such then in number and importance are the precious ties belonging to the Christian name which keep a believer in the Catholic Church, as it is right they should...With you, where there is none of these things to attract or keep me... No one shall move me from the faith which binds my mind with ties so many and so strong to the Christian religion...For my part, I should not believe the gospel except as moved by the authority of the Catholic Church.”

 

St. Augustine, the greatest of the Church Fathers, revered by Catholics and Protestants alike, is just one of the many great theologians that tell us that miracles and private revelation certainly did continue in the Church after the apostles were gone. St. Augustine, who lived from 354 to 430 A.D , wrote:

 

"In the same city of Carthage lived Innocentia, a very devout woman of the highest rank in the state. She had cancer in one of her breasts, a disease which, as physicians say, is incurable. . . . This lady we speak of had been advised by a skillful physician, who was intimate with her family, and she betook herself to God alone in prayer. On the approach of Easter, she was instructed in a dream to wait for the first woman that came out of the baptistery after being baptized and to have her make the sign of Christ upon the sore. She did so, and was immediately cured" (The City of God 22:8 [A.D. 419]). 

"For even now miracles are wrought in the name of Christ, whether by his sacraments or by the prayers or relics of his saints. . . . But who but a very small number are aware of the cure which was wrought upon Innocentius . . . a cure wrought at Carthage, in my presence, and under my own eyes? . . . For he and all his household were devotedly pious. He was being treated by medical men for fistulae, of which he had a large number. . . . He had already undergone an operation but clearly needed another. . . . [H]e cast himself down . . . and began to pray; but in what a manner, with what earnestness and emotion, with what a flood of tears, with what groans and sobs, that shook his whole body and almost prevented him speaking. . . . [And when the] surgeons arrived, all that the circumstances required was ready; the frightful instruments were produced; all look on in wonder and suspense. . . . [But the surgeon] finds a perfectly firm scar! No words of mine can describe the joy, and praise, and thanksgiving to the merciful and almighty God, which was poured from the lips of all with tears of gladness. Let the scene [of rejoicing] be imagined rather than described!" (ibid.). 

"A gouty doctor of the same city, when he had given his name for baptism and had been forbidden the day before his baptism from being baptized that year by black woolly-haired boys who appeared to him in his dreams (and whom he understood to be devils), and when . . . he refused to obey them but overcame them and would not defer being washed in the laver of regeneration, was relieved in the very act of baptism, not only of the extraordinary pain he was tortured with, but also of the disease itself" (ibid.). 

"What am I to do? I am so pressed by the promise of finishing this work that I cannot record all the miracles I know, and doubtless several of our adherents, when they read what I have narrated, will regret that I have omitted many which they, as well as I, certainly know. Even now I beg these persons to excuse me and to consider how long it would take me to relate all those miracles, which the necessity of finishing the work I have undertaken forces me to omit. . . . Even now, therefore, many miracles are wrought, the same God who wrought those we read of [in the Bible is] still performing them, by whom he will and as he will" (ibid.).

(Church Father quotes were compiled by Catholic Answers. For more quotes on more early miracles in the Catholic Church, reported by other Church Fathers, see “Do Miracles Still Occur?”)