HOLY  EXPERIENCES

 

Visions, voices and roses are simple to explain. But many mystical experiences are less explicable and more difficult to comprehend. Some individuals report special religious experiences while preparing to enter the Church, understanding them as a confirmation that God is happy with the path they have chosen. Others may have been going through a long trial or tragedy, and say they received a special grace at just the right time. Still, others say they received the grace to affirm the truth of a teaching that was difficult to accept.   An invisible hug from above. A feeling of “liquid peace” filling a person’s body from head to toe. The sensation of being as light as feather and floating above ground.

 

We have collected examples of spiritual experiences, which are always a gift from God. But don’t worry, most people never feel such things. For others, it is a rare occurrence. As one man points out, “At the beginning of your spiritual life God often[or even always] gives people a very strong feeling of being close to Him or some other kind of sensible feeling. At some point God removes these sensible [because the senses seem to detect them] graces that cause such feelings because you need to start to walk towards God in Faith rather than following sensible Graces. If you feel like you have no emotion in prayer or no warmth towards God at all do not worry because that will imply the next stage of your spiritual journey” (Source scroll to PauAndrews83). Bob Crowley echoes those thoughts, adding that "God usually allows a period of easy grace in the early stages, with some clear signs that He's real and knows you. But then He stops wearing the party hat for the prodigal son or daughter, and expects them to go back out and work in the field with the elder son or daughter ... more often than not without any comforting experiences" (Source scroll to Bob Crowley)

 

Engulfed in Love: This man knew God was present when he felt like he was “engulfed in sheer, unconditional, infinitely powerful LOVE.” The love was “so thick it was virtually palpable” and left the person with an “indescribable peace.” (Link:  scroll to fhansen).        In the same thread, one woman reports another  a similar experience occurring in the bedroom. “All of a sudden the whole room filled up with LOVE. Love and Light, although it was dark. I thought I saw a shadow of Jesus walking to my bedside, lean over and kiss me on the forehead . . . My heart and soul were filling up with so much LOVE that I thought it would burst!”  (Source -  scroll to frannny33)

 

A Warm Embrace. While sitting in the Sanctuary for Mass, an altar server reported feeling “a warm embrace . . . as if someone was hugging me. It also felt like many people were surrounding me.” The altar server wondered why this happened and whether it was the angels, saints or God. Link here. Commenting on the story, one woman reported having had a similar experience after Confession, feeling like “a warm blanket – taken out of the dryer – and wrapped around my shoulders.” (Source scroll to “CatholicZ09” and “Acadian”)

 

Felt the Holy Spirit: Immediately after receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation and being sealed by the Holy Spirit, this guy “felt graces pour down upon me. I don’t think at that point I had ever felt like that before.”  (Source – scroll to “NFrancis”)

 

Hugged: While standing in front of the tabernacle close to Jesus, Xandria states that “suddenly I felt being hugged from behind by a very warm and loving presence. It felt awesome.” (Source)

 

Also hugged: After Mass, an altar server was walking by the tabernacle when the sensation of a “calming, peaceful, warmth surrounded me like someone was giving me a hug.” (Source: scroll to “Catholic Z09).

 

Fire in Body: While showing a teacher a photo of the Blessed Mother, this guy “had a sudden enflaming fire that heated my body with love and a motherly presence. I had never felt that ever before in my life. My whole body was burning up with heat but it was a comforting fire . . .” (Source scroll to “mike2112”)

 

Hugged by JesusRichard Allan can still physically feel the hug he received from Jesus in his “dream.”  Jesus motioned for Allan to step off the edge of a precipice. He was then lifted across to Jesus, who wrapped his arms around him and exuded a great peace as they gently floated downward. Read his account here (scroll to RichardAlan).

 

While at Eucharistic Adoration: “I felt Jesus leave the tabernacle and like a flaming sword pierce my soul. He entered what I felt was the core of my existence, my utmost center of identity . . .” (Source Scroll to ratsaj)

 

Another Eucharistic Adoration account:  “I have been going to Adoration for many years in the middle of the night alone. A tremendous amount of grace and knowledge has come to me there. It is as if Jesus is teaching me. A number of amazing things have happened there and I cannot even explain some of them.” (Source: scroll “grandfather)

 

Experience at Mass: “. . . during the consecration, I felt the bread turn into Jesus and wow that was totally indescribable only that Jesus allowed me such Intimacy that words can't describe. It was the most intense love I ever felt that I almost fell to my knees.” (Source scroll to “scoobydoo6v92”)”

 

Felt Arms Wrapped Around Her: “…I felt arms wrap around me and heaven lit up the room. I was bathed in tears because I felt so loved . . .” (source: scroll to “Lady Love”)

 

Holy Spirit rushed into Heart: Before showing up the first time ever at Eucharistic Adoration, this husband and father asked the Lord to change him. Upon kneeling, he was “instantly and completely overwhelmed with a rush of this profound ‘feeling’  . . . I can only think it was the power of the Holy Spirit rushing into my heart and completely filling me with love. I felt sort of like a lost loved one . . .” (Source - Scroll to Convert2013)

 

A Profound Inner Light: “I experienced a profound inner light, showing me the evil of my heresies and just how loathsome is any division from the Church. That light has never left me. I saw how I was living in darkness, in several ways, and I saw the Church’s extreme beauty. She is so beautiful, no one here on Earth can conceive of her glory . . .” (Source – Scroll to “Lief Erikson”)

 

Comfort from Mary: When “Della” was first exploring Catholicism, she heard the “warm and motherly” voice of Mary. Della won’t reveal what was spoken, other than to say it allayed some fears about being open to the Church. Mary “even laughed good-naturedly at something I said.” (Source -   Scroll to Della)

 

Angels brought father’s soul to heaven: This man prayed for his deceased father to be brought home to heaven from purgatory when something incredible happened at Mass: “At the consecration, everything felt a bit surreal . . . I felt so much in the presence of angels, it was like I could see them without my eyes but with my being. It was like they were circled around the altar bowing during the consecration, and when the priest held up the chalice and gazed to heaven, it was like the angels rose as well and brought my father’s soul to heaven to celebrate the Supper of the Lamb ...” (Source –   Scroll to freshwind)

 

Light from Tabernacle: This young person brought a nine-year-old brother to his first Mass and told him to say “Hi” to Jesus in the tabernacle, which was a silver and gold box. After Mass, the little boy said, “It was funny because at first, I just saw the silver and gold box, but then after a while I saw a shining light coming from behind it.” The sanctuary was very dark during the entire Mass.  (Source:   Scroll to erine)

 

He Had an Epiphany: This man says he had been feeling bleak and joyless about life, and the daily struggle of it all. But then, “three days ago…I had this…a flash, an epiphany of understanding, and being filled with the Holy Spirit or something . . . like God pulling the scales from my eyes . . . I have gone from feeling basically nothing to feeling a great compassion toward people, an overwhelming sense of union with God, and understanding of things – God’s will and purpose, so much I really can’t describe it, and pure love…” (source:   scroll to jc4751)

 

Similar Epiphany: This man says that 34 years earlier, he “was filled with a light from a being who brought me joy, compassion, and love to the degree that is unexplainable.”  (Source - Scroll to “JimR-OCDS)

 

Atheism disappeared in a flash: An atheist for more than 20 years and enemy of Christianity, this person heard a voice and had an experience that instantly changed him forever: “…when I inhaled, I was as dedicated of an atheist as I had been during my entire adult life, and when I exhaled, I knew there was a God and the Catholic Church taught His truth.” (Source Scroll to “rpp). 

 

Mattie Stepanek’s rainbow – Believed by many to be a child prophet, Mattie Stepanek (1990-2004) advocated world peace through his writings and speaking appearances. He appeared many times on Oprah and other national programs.   Before hearing his rainbow story, you need to know two things. First, Mattie loved rainbows (asked to list his favorite colors, Mattie would say “sunset” was his favorite color and “rainbow” was his second favorite color). Second, you need to know that Mattie’s life philosophy was: “Remember to play after every storm.”

 

Okay here is the story: At the burial site, Devin (who helped run a camp for children that Mattie used to be part of), was about to release a bunch of balloons in Mattie’s honor. First, Devin told Mattie’s mother that when Mattie died a few days earlier, the camp kids – upon hearing the news - began grieving and sharing memories of Mattie, when all of a sudden a “fierce storm” with thunder and lightning began, then suddenly stopped. Just as the campers were pondering whether Mattie had sent the storm to remind them to “play after every storm,” something else happened. They saw “a huge rainbow arcing across the sky, one end to the other.”

 

They knew who sent that rainbow. After telling Mattie’s mother the story at the burial site, Devyn released the colorful balloons (the purple one was special and had been designated to represent Mattie’s color for hope). He let go of all the balloons at the same time. “They rose immediately, twenty, maybe thirty feet, and all kept going, except for the purple one. It sorts of paused, hovered, danced a little to the right, then the left, playfully bobbing up and down a bit. This went on for almost a full half minute, until all of a sudden it shot up, racing higher than all the others and taking one past pause before leading the way skyward” (Jeni Stepanek, Messenger: The Legacy of Mattie J.T. Stepanek and Heartsongs, p. 311).

 

There are many other beautiful stories in his mother’s book.  By the way, Maya Angelou wrote the forward to the book about Mattie, and President Jimmy Carter gave the eulogy at Mattie’s funeral. Mattie was a devout Catholic who advocated the power of prayer and taught CCD classes. There is a movement underway that advocates his canonization.   Mattie J.T. Stepanek Foundation   Mattie Stepanek wiki    Heartsongs       Messenger: The Legacy of Mattie J.T. Stepanek and Heartsongs(written by Mattie’s mother).

 

The Lord Came Near: “I've had an experience where Jesus Himself literally appeared to me, but it was not in a dimension of this world. It was difficult to find others who understood what I was talking about . . . “ (Source: scroll to “MIDGIE)

 

Power and Light from Tabernacle:   “As soon as the tabernacle doors were opened I couldn't bear to look at it. I felt this power and light emanating from it, it only lasted a few seconds but for that brief moment I believe I felt what it was like to experience being it the presence of God himself. My body had this warmth from head to toe for a while after. It really shook me” (Source: scroll to “stanncie”)

 

Holy Spirit descended on him: During Holy Thursday Mass, “I was listening carefully to the Eucharistic prayer and the Holy Spirit was descending on me, heavily, fully, powerfully. I felt like my head and shoulders were too small to contain all that was being forced into me. Tearfully, I praised God . . .,” writes Mark Nutter. (Source: scroll to “Safetynutt)

 

Spiritual Gifts: This woman reports, “I have several friends who have seen the face of Jesus in the host. I sometimes see legions of angels over the altar. These visions are spiritual gifts ....”(Source: Scroll to “beth40n2”)

 

Blood of Christ: This person was in the process of joining the Catholic Church, but was having trouble understanding the most important doctrine: The Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. His RCIA director suggested going to Adoration for an hour and praying the Lord would increase his faith. Well, at Adoration, there was both a host and a chalice. Suddenly, he smelled blood and a voice said, “This is my blood.”  He entered the church at Easter, 2010. (Source: scroll to “michaeljason)

 

Olympic skater from Korea felt something during baptism: During her Baptism, the skater “felt an enormous consolation in my heart” and promised God to continue to “pray always,” especially before competitions.   Catholic Skater

Felt Mary hugging her at Lourdes: A 52-year-old woman named Gina Charlin with neck tumors visited Lourdes, France. Gina told the Catholic Sun that she felt God’s love wash over her when water from the Lourdes baths was poured over her. “I felt this great sense of God’s love, of Mary’s love – I felt as though Mary was hugging me. It was amazing . . . I went back to my room and cried for an hour.” After returning to Rio Rancho, Gina’s sonogram showed no tumors for the first time in two years. (Source)

 

She found herself in heaven while praying. You must read her account here.   This woman, who was converting to the Catholic faith, was having difficulty with the idea of praying the rosary because of her Protestant background. She decided to pray it very slowly meditating carefully on the words. Suddenly, she found herself in a heavenly, glistening garden where she observed Mary speaking to Jesus about her own prayer request. She saw love flowing from Jesus and saw Mary in flowing robes of white and blue. She also saw children playing and adults joyfully preparing children’s clothing for some expected arrivals.

 

Here is a short excerpt from her story: “On the right side of the garden, Jesus walked in. He slowly approached His mother. Love flowed from His very person . . . Jesus crouched next to His mother. She smiled as He leaned forward, touching his forehead to hers. This seemed to be the display of love in Heaven. ‘She’s praying for her daughter,’ said Mary with the tenderness and affection only a mother has. Although she had been listening to the prayers of all the people at once, I knew she was referencing my specific prayer. How wonderful and how humbling to know that she was hearing my prayers. ‘I know,’ replied her Son. ‘I have sent angels to watch over her.’  Read the whole thing at this link (See “Lila321”). It was not a dream. It happened in real life. What a gift this woman received from God!

 

She closed her eyes and saw the Holy Spirit as a glowing dove:  “He would fly in circles, come closer to me, and then fly in circles again. This went on a few more times. Sometimes, the glow on His back and wings intensified, and I saw what almost looked like the sun behind Him. Light started to stream around His head and wings. My pain had completely subsided and I was no longer depressed, cold, or anxious.” (Source: scroll to “Poetess Kera”)

 

Didn’t want to say the rosary. This woman felt Jesus was pushing her to say the rosary but tried to argue that she was Protestant and Protestants don’t pray the rosary. She figured praying the rosary would be a waste of time, but decided to give in and start praying it daily. After several months of this, she took out her rosary for that day’s prayers, and suddenly, after she was almost halfway into it, “an amazingly fresh, new love for Jesus washed over me . . . I cried tears of joy the rest of the way home. When I told the nice lady at Holy Family Supply what had happened, she just smiled knowingly and said, “That’s what Mary does!”   Source: “Five Giant Leaps into the Catholic Church – Conversion Story of Beverly J. Lebold.”

 

Mystical experience when he was 14 years old. This 26-year-old man recalls a remarkable experience in which questions popped in his mind - including “In heaven, is there a sun?” – and received an instant response of words flowing into his soul: The sun will not be your light, nor will the moon shine, for the LORD will be your everlasting light, the Glory of God will be your light. Your sun will never set again and there will be no moon, the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your days of sorrow will end." 

 

When he arrived at Mass, almost the same words he had just heard during his mystical experience were read from the pulpit. The Bible reading was Isaiah 60. After he heard the words, a vision came to him of a quiet shore lit up by a different source than the sun. “I saw feet wearing brown sandals and a beige-colored wool robe. I knew who He was, though I could not look up, but I wanted to…” Justin’s story is here(scroll to “HisCross”).

 

Colorado teenager Peter Srsich felt Jesus in the room. As a teenager, Peter Srsich was battling non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. One day his pain was excruciating, he was exhausted and he had lost faith and didn’t care anymore. His friend came over to the hospital and gave him Holy Communion, lifting up the Host and saying “The Body of Christ.” That’s when everything changed. “I could actually feel Jesus in the room,” Peter Srsich said. “It was like he was actually sitting in the room with me, and I could see that he cared about me, and that he was with me.” He has decided to become a priest and entered the seminary in 2014.  Article on Peter Srsich.    Article in Denver Catholic.

 

Nun foretold identity of future pope doctor Dr. Patrizio Polisca was told by a Spanish nun, “You will have to go because one day you will be the Pope’s doctor.” The nun ran a hospital in Rome. Years later, Dr. Patrizio became doctor to Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI.  Doctor Patrizio was even with Pope John Paul in his last days but not at the moment of death. Zenit

 

Your seed will bear a girl” - Back in 2009, I was perusing the catholic answers  forums and saw that a guy named Jason – who was engaged at the time – had a beautiful experience while he was in between sleep and wakefulness. A voice had spoken into his mind – the voice of a woman he knew was Mary though he couldn’t see her. The voice told him to pray the rosary daily and his “seed would bear a girl” and the girl’s name should be Meghan. The voice was heard on Nov. 19, 2009.  Curious to see if the prophecy would come true, I jotted it down and checked the forums a couple years later. Sure enough, Jason had gotten married to his fiancé, Sharon, in June of 2010 and on Nov. 1, 2011, he posted, “I love my daughter.”  It seems the guy even started a Catholic blog (http://myfriendjc.blogspot.com/ )

 

Wine became blood – Catholics believe the wine turns into the Precious Blood of Christ at Mass. But this woman actually saw it happen. She saw the pinkish wine become real red blood for a few seconds, then back to pinkish wine. Considering she worked in an emergency room for sixteen years, she insists she knows the difference between blood and wine. She is one of the thousands of people who have received some sort of grace or gift from God at one point in their lives during Mass. It is usually just God’s way of saying He loves us and He knows we are there. (Source scroll to “alice2”). 

 

Pope Francis: On a rare mystical experience he had after being elected pope: Pope Francis spoke about the moments before accepting the papacy: “Before I accepted, I asked if I could spend a few minutes in the room next to the one with the balcony overlooking the square. My head was completely empty and I was seized by a great anxiety. To make it go away and relax, I closed my eyes and made every thought disappear, even the thought of refusing to accept the position, as the liturgical procedure allows. I closed my eyes and I no longer had any anxiety or emotion. At a certain point I was filled with a great light. It lasted a moment, but to me it seemed very long. Then the light faded, I got up suddenly and walked into the room where the cardinals were waiting and the table on which was the act of acceptance.”  Source

 

Another Near-Death Experience – In the middle of a violent drowning incident in his teenage years, suddenly everything became peaceful as he felt surrounded with love. He received a typical “life review” while floating there: “my life was flashed in picture style in front of me stemming as far back to very early infancy.” (Read the whole story here - scroll to “TheHolyTrinity)

 

Two White Swans followed her home – Rebecca had been praying desperately for the healing of her baby son. She had also asked for a sign he would be okay. Two white swans followed her all the way home and into her yard. They came right up to her and her son. Never in her life had Rebecca ever seen any swans before in Fort Lauderdale. Would the swans ever show up again? Read her story

 

She saw the Lord’s face while gazing at the Eucharist in the Adoration chapel – On a different occasion, she saw His face on the chalice (scroll to Holly 3278)

 

St. Catherine de’ Ricci would bilocate to Rome to have meetings with Saint Philip Neri. DVD on St. Catherine de’ Ricci

 

Harvard instructor and MIT graduate named Dr. Roy Schoeman had a mystical experience In the 1980s, this Jewish agnostic felt God’s presence and love and was flooded with knowledge of things such as heaven and the angelic hierarchy. Watch him speak at this link:

In his talk, the now-Christian says: “While walking on an empty beach, it seemed like I ‘fell’ into heaven. I directly felt God’s presence and his love. I knew that he existed; that from the first moment of my life he loved me and watched over me, and that everything, every event which happened in my life, was exactly the best thing which could possibly happen. I knew that everything I did — for good or for bad — mattered and was weighed in the scales. I knew that we lived forever, and knew that heaven existed. I knew about the angelic hierarchy. I knew that this was not the picture of God that I had from the Old Testament.”


“I prayed to know the name of my Lord and Master, my God. I prayed: ‘Let me know your name. I don’t mind if you are Buddha, and I have to become a Buddhist. I don’t mind if you are Apollo, and I have to become a Roman pagan. I don’t mind if you are Krishna, and I have to become a Hindu. As long as you are not Christ and I have to become a Christian!’”

Roy went back to Cambridge, Mass.  He called a mystic who was a fallen-away Catholic. The only good thing that came of the visit was his noticing a book on the coffee table about the hundred biggest miracles of modern times and for the first time, he learned about Mary's apparitions in Fatima and the Miracle of the Sun seen by 80,000 people.  Listen to his testimony:  (Video - PART 1)   (Video - PART 2)  (Video - PART 3)   (Video -PART 4)    (Video - PART 5)   (Video - PART 6)   

A year after his mystical experience, he felt a hand wake him up (although technically he was still asleep). He remembers being led to a room, left alone with most beautiful woman he could imagine …(see video part 2, 6:45 to 7:45).  It was Mary. She radiated purity and and intense love. She offered to answer questions if he had any. The question-answer period commenced!

For example, Roy said, "What’s your favorite prayer to you?" Mary's initial response was a coy, “I love all prayers.” But, finally, she recited a prayer in Portuguese. Roy did not know any Portuguese but wrote down the first few words phonetically. The prayer in English turned out to be: “Oh Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.”

Roy also asked Mary how could it be that she was so magnificent, exalted and glorious.  Mary shook her head and said she was nothing, just a created thing, whereas God was everything (video part 3, 2:15). Roy had figured out Christ was God and asked, “What’s this business about the Holy Spirit?” (Mary looked up, melting with love, and said, “He’s HIS GAZE”  

"I wanted to know how to honor her and asked how she liked to be called, what title. Mary said 'I’m the beloved daughter of the Father, Mother of the Son , Spouse of the Spirit.'” 

The author of "Salvation is from the Jews," Roy Schoeman was born in a suburb of New York City to conservative Jewish parents who had fled Nazi Germany. His Jewish education and formation was received under some of the most prominent instructors. He attended MIT (bachelor of science) and Harvard Business School (earned an MBA), then joined Harvard’s faculty.    He had an “unexpected and instantaneous conversion to Christianity which led to a dramatic refocus of his activities.”

Links:   Roy Schoeman – Association of Hebrew Catholics    Roy Schoeman’s conversation story      Salvation is from the Jews

 

Woman feels herself lifted up steps at Fatima shrine  As she went up the steps of the basilica where Mary appeared in 1917, it felt like bouncy air was lifting her up the stairs. It happened twice.  (Source - Scroll to “Isca”)

 

Buried statue of Child Jesus (Santo Niño) speaks to children in the Philippines. Says, “Don’t throw me out. I’m good.”    (This article notes that the texture of the doll softened to appear human. The miracle occurred on the beach of the Sea Breeze neighborhood on “Hubo” Day shrine at Barangay Mactan in Lapu-Lapu City, Phillipines. The event happened on day of annual ritual bathing of statue.

Sources: Cebu Archdiocese investigates talking Santo Niño   Talking Niño Draw Crowd   On Hubo Day, 3 children saw the Niño, draws thousands to Mactan home

Father Rick Wendell had a near-death experience.  The wedding plans were in place for Rick Wendell and his fiancé. As for Rick, he lived the good life, had cars and a boat, and not much interest in God. But at the age of thirty, the young man found himself at death’s door after having a bad reaction to an anesthetic that a doctor used on him while stitching a wound. He was “dead” for three hours. At the hospital, his father was instructed to say goodbye to his son. Meanwhile, Rick was having an out-of-body experience that involved being in the light and knowing God and eternity were real. “While unconscious he remembered seeing an intense light and later said, ‘I never knew I could be loved that much,’” according to the book, How Christian Are You? By Richard J. Hart. Article on Father Rick Wendell. Later, the future priest sensed God was calling him to the priesthood, though he initially tried to argue with God. God won   (Source: Catholic Herald, Archdiocese of Milwaukee).

 

 

Vision of Rivers of Blood - Thirteeen years before the 1994 Rwanda genocide, several young people saw visions of the Blessed Mother who showed them rivers of blood and people killing other people. The loving and heavenly woman said that only enough prayer and repentance could stop the terrible fate. Crowds of people would gather during the apparitions. Although they did not see Mary, some reported feeling her presence or saw supernatural phenomenon. Some saw the sun dancing in the sky. On July 2, 2001, the Vatican released the local bishop’s approval of the authenticity of visions of Mary by Alphonsine Mumureke, Nathalie Mukamazimpaka, and Marie Claire Mukangango. Here is the declaration of the bishop of Gikongoro, Rwanda. The whole story of the apparitions is told in Immaculée Ilibagiza’s book, Our Lady of Kibeho. The genocide lasted one hundred days and resulted in the slaughter of about a half million Rwandans, especially Tutsis.

 

Trip through the Universe – Three of the visionaries during the Rwanda apparitions (see above) also had experiences in which their bodies appeared dead and had almost no pulse (and were so stiff that school faculty could not move them) while their souls were touring the universe with the Blessed Mother. “… we moved across the stars until we arrived in a place of golden light filled with happiness and laughter and songs sung by so many joyous voices that I thought the souls of all the people who once had lived were floating around singing praises to God,” according to visionary Alphonsine (Immaculée Ilibagiza, Our Lady of Kibeho, p. 135)

 

Author Immaculée Ilibagiza also writes that Anathalie was taken to one place comprised of “varying shades of vivid color and light, and people traveled from place to place by sliding through the light.” The Virgin Mary had instructed the girls ahead of time to let the school director know not to bury them even if they looked dead. The girls describe the glimpses they received of heaven, hell and purgatory. The story is incredible. One must read the whole account, with all details, in Immaculée Ilibagiza’s book, Our Lady of Kibeho (one of my favorite books).

 

Patron Saint of Cancer – Saint Peregrine (1260-1345), the patron saint of cancer patients, had foot cancer and was in danger of having his foot amputated. He had a dream in which “Christ seemed to stretch out His hand from the Cross and touched his diseased foot. On awakening he discovered that it was more than a mere dream—he was completely cured!” (The Cancer Saint – St. Peregrine). Saint Peregrine also had a vision of the Virgin Mary, in which she sent him to Siena to join the Servites, a mendicant religious order.

 

Saint Francis of Assisi warned her in a dream – Maria Esperanza was about to return home to Venezuela from Rome in 1967 but Saint Francis of Assisi told her in a dream not to go “because the flight was destined to crash …. In the dream, she begged God to have mercy on these people’s children, spouses, and parents who were going to be devastated when the plane crashed. Saint Francis prayed for her intentions without receiving an answer, so he insisted that she not take the flight. She woke up and told the Colli family about her dream. They begged her not to go, but she decided to offer her life for these souls. She took the plane and a terrible storm ensued. Lightning struck the aircraft. One engine failed. She prayed the entire time. People were screaming and crying but she stayed calm. When they landed in Milan there were firefighters and ambulances at the runway waiting for them” (Byerly, Fr. Timothy, Maria Esperanza and the Grace of Betania, p. 66-67).

 

“Twin brothers will fall”–Scott Welsch, police officer in Dover, New Jersey, will never forget the day Maria Esperanza spoke at Rowan University in October of 1999. She looked directly at Welsch and told him two brothers would fall. She added that she was speaking metaphorically but that “this would affect me personally and place great pressure on me. She then looked around the room and said that it would affect everyone in the room and the whole world, especially the United States of America. She said it is because of the sins of the flesh and abortion that America will have to suffer …. She then looked at me again and told me that I would understand her later.”

In January 2001, Welsch became a police officer in Denville, NJ, and ten months later he assisted in the cleanup at Ground Zero. (Byerly, Fr. Timothy, Maria Esperanza and the Grace of Betania, p. 157-158). Maria Esperanza was recorded making several other references to the World Trade Center attacks prior to the tragedy. In fact, on August 25, 2001 – less than three weeks before 9/11 – she told a group close to her that “a great event will be happening in three weeks or three months … the event is for the whole world” (The Bridge to Heaven, viii).

 

Further, in December 2000 (less than a year before the attacks), her prophecies were published on the website www.spiritdaily.com under the headline, “World-known mystic Maria Esperanza warns U.S. of foreign danger, sees world ‘saddened’ in a short while, is concerned with the Mid-East, the Pope and two nations.” Specifically she had said that the enemies were already on American soil and that two foreign powers, one small and one larger, would act to provoke America and that America needed to act with prudence (SpiritDaily). Michael Brown adds that the Vatican turned out to have been identified as a target by Al Qaeda.

 

“The short one will win” - Also in October of 1999, people in Maria Esperanza’s hotel in Mount Laurel, N.J., asked the Venezuelan woman about the upcoming U.S. presidential election, which was just a few weeks away.  Maria “asked to see a picture of the candidates, so a newspaper was presented to her with Al Gore and George W. Bush on the cover page. She said, ‘The short one will win, but it will not be an easy matter and many days will pass before the results are known.’”  (Byerly, Fr. Timothy, Maria Esperanza and the Grace of Betania, p. 159).

 

Body never decayed – The patron saint of music, Saint Cecilia was the first Christian martyr whose body remains incorruptible. She died in 177 A.D. and was buried in the Catacombs. Her body was uncovered 800 years later and found to have never decayed.  Since then, the bodies of many other holy people have remained incorrupt – just a little sign from God that they lived a holy life and to encourage us to keep the faith. The Incorruptibles  Relics and the Incorruptibles   Book on the Incorruptibles

 

Crowned with roses and lilies – Another great story about Saint Cecilia is the one about her husband Valerius – just after being baptized by Pope Urban – walking in and seeing Cecilia “praying in her chamber, and an angel by her with flaming wings, holding two crowns of roses and lilies, which he placed on their heads, and then vanished” (St. Cecilia).

 

Felt God’s Love a few days before scheduled abortion (full story published 10/21/2012 at this link.  Raquel Kato, who was 21 and a senior in college, had already scheduled an abortion. But something happened at church the weekend before her appointment that convinced her to cancel it: “That day, God gave me the grace to feel His presence and his mercy and forgiveness in my heart. For the first time I knew with every ounce of my being that God DID love me as much as he loved the little life inside of me. For the first time in over a month of depression and turmoil and shame, I felt loved – in the midst of my brokenness.” Her twitter site is https://twitter.com/tweetsofarose.  Link to Raquel’s Story

 

 

 

Mystical moment shared by Saint Augustine and his mother – In his famous autobiographical work, Confessions, Saint Augustine describes an experience that he and his mother (Saint Monica) shared after a conversation about the delights of heaven. In this experience, their minds moved towards God. St. Augustine writes: "Our minds were lifted up by an ardent affection towards eternal being itself.  Step by step we climbed beyond all corporeal objects and the heaven itself, where sun, moon, and stars shed light on the earth.  We ascended even further by internal reflection and dialogue and wonder at your works, and we entered into our own minds.  We moved up beyond them so as to attain to the region of inexhaustible abundance where you feed Israel eternally with truth for food" (Confessions IX.x).

 

 

She felt the presence of God – This woman had reached a low point in her faith life and was close to despair as she cried out to God. The song, “I’ll Stand by You,” came on. Also, “the wind stopped, the sun came out from behind a cloud and shone brighter, warmer than I ever experienced and an eagle swooped down to the pond and perched at the water’s edge, and I felt the presence of God, standing there next to me, reaching out to hold me, waiting for me to come to Him. And I did, I surrendered everything that was holding me back” (Source – scroll to OneoftheWomen).

 

 

Regular woman had vision of Jesus as Divine Mercy – In Louisiana, a priest recounted a story that occurred in 2005 a few months before Hurricane Katrina. At the time, the priest was stationed at Our Lady of Mercy church in Baton Rouge. Father Miles Walsh told his parishioners at his new church (Sacred Heart) how a “dear little lady” came to him after Mass and told him about her experience while praying in the adoration chapel.

 

Father Walsh writes, “She told me that as she prayed before the Eucharist, she saw Our Lord with rays of light coming from his heart, and she also saw a nun with Him, dressed in a black religious habit.” The priest realized from her description of the rays of light and the black attire of the nun that the woman must have seen the Image of the Divine Mercy of Jesus and Saint Faustina (the nun to whom Jesus appeared in 1931). The lady did not even know who Saint Faustina was.

 

Father Miles told the story during his homily of July 27-28, 2013 at Sacred Heart of Jesus parish. He also told the story in written form in the parish bulletin of Sunday, Aug 4, 2013, of Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, of which he became pastor in July 2013. The priest realized that Jesus was speaking to him personally through the woman so he launched a novena to the Divine Mercy of Jesus at Our Lady of Mercy Church. During the next eight years, about 60,000 people came to pray at that novena at Our Lady of Mercy Church in Baton Rouge. Many had flocked there from New Orleans to take refuge from the hurricane’s aftermath.

 

 

Mystical experiences at the Divine Mercy Jesus Statue in the Philippines   Many mystical moments have been experienced in front of the Fifty-foot Statue of the Divine Mercy. the statue is in Mindinau in the Philippines). One was experienced by a tourist who described the inner peace and presence of God that came over her: She writes: “When I finally stood in front of the 50-foot statue of Jesus, an inner peace rapidly hit me. Silence enveloped the whole place. I felt I was in front of my God, so huge and strong, and there I was standing in front of Him so humbled knowing I was so small. For a moment, I glued myself to where I stood marveling at the world’s tallest statue of Divine Mercy. It was just marvelous.”   Furthermore, if you scroll down to the comment by Susana S. Villaruel, she says she witnessed the sun dancing at that same location on April 30, 2013.

 

Mystical experiences at the convent housing Saint Bernadette's body  The convent chapel in Nevers, France, where St. Bernadette's body can be visited, is sometimes the site of mystical experiences, including a mysterious floral scent in the absence of any flowers. Father Dwight Longenecker, a former Southern Baptist, has said he was surprised to smell an intense floral scent while praying near the saint's body. His tour guide, Peggy Jane, then mentioned to him that she herself became Catholic after having a vision of Saint Bernadette.  The Odor of Sanctity by Dwight Longenecker   Fr. Longenecker’s homepage   Enjoyable article by Father Dwight Longenecker

 

Video of her own personal sun miracle – A woman named Olivia Urdiales had just finished praying a rosary and had parked her car and was thanking God for the beautiful sky when the sun started moving around. She describes the solar movement as similar to a sun dancing or bouncing around in a box. At the 49-second mark, a feminine sing-songy voice is heard saying “Can you see love now?” She believes it was an angel and assures us it is not her own voice. The day after the sun miracle, Olivia found out the joyous news that she was pregnant with her first child. The youtube video was uploaded May 20, 2007.

 

Two rainbows brought twins for Colleen Carroll Campbell - Colleen and her husband had been trying unsuccessfully for a baby for four years. Before her father died, she asked him for a favor: “Dad, when you get to heaven, will you do something for me? Will you ask Jesus to send me a baby?” (p. 151). Despite the fact that her father was in end-stage Alzheimer's, unable to speak or walk, he seemed to understand and respond positively to the request.

 

Her father's eyes brightened, he gestured toward the sky, and finally was able to get out a word . . . "joy."    Later, Colleen and her husband were taking a cruise. “Just then, I looked out at the shoreline and saw two full rainbows arched in the sky, framing the cruise ship that would take John and me home” (p. 169)

 

Colleen saw the rainbow just as she was reflecting on the fact that the Mexican woman selling her tiles was obviously poorer than herself yet she had children, which Colleen did not. Colleen conceived and gave birth to twins. Colleen Carroll Campbell is a former White House speech writer and was anchor for EWTN’s “News Nightly with Colleen Carroll Campbell.”  (Sources: Colleen's book, My Sisters the Saints: A Spiritual Memoir, and her speech at Immaculata)  

 

Links:  Colleen (Facebook)       Colleen’s homepage      Video of Colleen, graduation speaker (Immaculata University 2015)

 

 

"Milan Cathedral from Piazza del Duomo" by Jiuguang Wang - Own work. License: CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
"Milan Cathedral from Piazza del Duomo" by Jiuguang Wang - Own work. License: CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Catholic Priest had “powerful experience” at baptismal font in Milan. 

Father Dennis Garou says that “something happened to me there”  while at the Milan Cathedral ("Il Duomo") in 2006 in the presence of the bath in which St. Ambrose baptized St. Augustine. He told the story while being interviewed by Marcus Grodi on EWTN.

 

Fr. Garou added, “Something happened to me spiritually.”  Journey Home on EWTN (aired March 31, 2014). The priest also told Marcus Grodi, “God touched me through his spirit and I said I had to be a part of this body which had the continuity through the centuries.”

 

As a result, the former Anglican priest entered the Catholic Church, where he is now a priest.

 

Lucia Santos, standing; Jacinta Marto, sitting (1917)
Lucia Santos, standing; Jacinta Marto, sitting (1917)

           Experienced Love while Receiving the Eucharist

 

Lucía Santos (1907-2005), even before she was visited by the Lady of Fatima in Portugal, had an extraordinary experience upon receiving her First Communion. She writes, “I felt myself bathed in such a supernatural atmosphere that the presence of our dear Lord became as clearly perceptible to me as if I had seen and heard Him with my bodily senses. Then I addressed my prayer to Him: ‘Oh Lord, make me a saint. Keep my heart always pure, for You alone.’ Then it seemed that in the depths of my heart, our dear Lord distinctly spoke these words to me: ‘The grace granted to you this day will remain living in your soul, producing fruits of eternal life.’ I felt as though transformed in God” (Source: Fatima in Lucía’s Own Words).





St. Benedict holding the poisoned glass of wine
St. Benedict holding the poisoned glass of wine

                   Saint Benedict of Nursa

Miracles galore were reported during the life of Saint Benedict of Nursia (born 480). Fortunately, Pope Gregory wrote many of them down which can be perused in Book Two of Pope Gregory’s four-book Dialogues.  Here is the full online text of Life of Saint Benedict. Now for some miraculous highlights . . .

 

 

Chapter 1:  Sinful monks poisoned his wine; the glass smashed into pieces when Benedict blessed it.

 

Chapter 5:  Seeing it was too dangerous for his monks to fetch water, Benedict asked God to make a fountain spring forth on top of a mountain. Pope Gregory mentions that the water flowed abundantly and that even until his day, “the water springs out and runs down from the top of that hill to the very bottom.”

 

Chapter 7:  A young monk named Placidus fell in the lake and was being carried away; Benedict ordered Maurus to “run as fast as you can” to get to him. Maurus ran until he grabbed Placidus by the hair and saved him. Then he realized he had been running on the surface of the water!

 

 

Chapter 11: A wall fell and crushed to death a little boy and broke his bones. The boy’s body  was carried in a sack to Benedict, who brought the dead boy back to life.

 

 

Chapter 26:  Benedict cured a boy of leprosy.

Chapter 30:  Benedict cast out a demon from a possessed monk.

Chapter 34:  Benedict saw his sister’s soul “ascend into heaven in the likeness of a dove.”

 

Chapter 35:  Benedict had a vision in which the whole world was represented. Looking out the window in the dead of night, “he saw a light that banished away the darkness of the night and glittered with such brightness that the light which shone in the midst of darkness was far more clear than the light of day.” During the vision, the whole world was “gathered together … under one beam of the sun.” While Benedict stood in awe of this heavenly scene, he suddenly “saw the soul of Germanus, Bishop of Capua, in a fiery globe, carried up by Angels into heaven.” It was later discovered that Germanus had died at the moment in which Benedict saw his soul rise up.

 

Chapter 37:  Benedict correctly prophesied the day of his death. After he died, two monks saw a “magnificent road” covered with thousands of lights stretching eastward and up to heaven. It was the path taken by Benedict’s spirit to heaven.

 

The patron saint of Europe and the founder of western monasticism, St. Benedict founded twelve communities of monks, who followed his “Rule of St. Benedict.” Saint Benedict is the brother of Saint Scholastica and the saint after whom Pope Benedict XVI took his papal name.

 

Saint Benedict (Britannica)    St. Benedict (Catholic Encyclopedia)   The Life of Saint Benedict by Pope Gregory   The Order of Saint Benedict   Pope Gregory I (c. 540-604)

 

 

"St Peter's Square, Vatican City - April 2007" by Diliff - Own work (License: CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons)
"St Peter's Square, Vatican City - April 2007" by Diliff - Own work (License: CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons)

Pope Francis: Wimpy prayers don't produce miracles; only courageous prayers can

 

During Mass on May 20, 2013, Pope Francis urged people to really pray rather than just saying a few prayers and forgetting about it. To illustrate this kind of prayer, he recalled the story of a seven-year-old girl in Argentina who had been given only a few hours to live.

 

Pope Francis said the child’s faith-filled father - while acting like a madman over the tragic news - hopped on “a bus to the Marian Shrine of Lujan, 70 kilometers away … He finally arrived after 9:00 p.m., when everything was closed. And he began to pray to Our Lady, with his hands gripping the iron fence and he prayed, and prayed, and wept, and prayed … and that’s the way he remained all night long,” Pope Francis added.

 

The next morning, the man returned to the hospital by bus. His wife was weeping – not for sadness but for joy. The wife said, 'Well, the doctors came and they told me that the fever is gone, she is breathing well, that there is nothing!”

 

Pope Francis reminded people that our prayers must imitate those of “Abraham, who struggled with the Lord to save the city, like that of Moses who held his hands high and tired himself out, praying to the Lord ….” He said we must pray a “courageous prayer, that struggles to achieve a miracle …”

 

Sources: Courageous prayer leads to miracles, Pope reflects    Pope at Mass: Courageous, humble prayer can work wonders

 

                                                       Go to Mexico City!  

In her dream in 1985, someone told her she should visit her son in Mexico City where he was interning at a hospital. She flew there, and while her son was picking her up at the airport, an earthquake flattened the hospital where he would have been working. It was her visit that saved her son’s life! (Source: scroll to CathConvert602)

 

 

              The Virgin and Child painting that prayed
The Virgin and Child painting that prayed

Virgin Mary’s Lips Move During Prayer in 2015

 

In Sydney, Australia, a number of churchgoers at Saint Charbel’s church have said they have observed Jesus’ mother praying along with them from a painting on the wall. As the congregation recites prayers, the lips of the Virgin Mary are sometimes seen moving along to their prayers.

 

Mary's lips even pause when the crowd pauses and speed up to prayers spoken more rapidly.  The Child Jesus in the painting has also been seen moving His mouth.  George Akary is one of two churchgoers who captured the phenomenon on video. Akary’s video footage  from July 19, 2015 can be viewed here.

 

This moving-lips phenomenon was reported by many eye-witnesses at that church – not only that day but on multiple days.  Akary got the idea to film the marvel (something he had seen personally on many occasions before) after a young woman named Kirsten Keirouz shot a shorter clip of the phenomenon at church earlier in July and had posted it on facebook on July 5, 2015.

 

Kirsten Keirouz was stunned to observe the painting’s movement after a friend in church told her to look at the painting. "Once I looked up, I had no idea what they wanted me to look at and I saw her [the Virgin Mary] mouth moving. I then asked my friend; 'Is it her mouth?' She replied 'yes.' and then I got the shivers throughout my whole body. I couldn't believe my eyes, I kept blinking in case I was seeing things'” (Source: Daily Mail, Aug 23, 2015).

 

Keirouz adds, 'I believe it was a miracle, and not just lighting because we all saw it at the same time and because her lips would start moving and then stop and start again (Source: Daily Mail, Aug 23, 2015).

 

Akary emphasizes that the video of the moving mouths was not enhanced in any way by photography tricks or lighting techniques; in fact, eye-witnesses in the church saw the lips moving with their own eyes exactly as they show up on video. Akary has also noted that the talking lips have appeared under all sorts of lighting, and from various angles and locations in the church. Rather than considering Mary’s gift a miracle, Akary considers it a “sign” from heaven to churchgoers to affirm they are in the right place and to remind them that God is really with us.

 

Along with his video from that day, Akary posted on his facebook page on July 19, 2015, this message:

 

“Something I have seen a few times, this time I recorded it.. see the mouths on them. At st charbels church in punchbowl, sydney 19th july during service.. To clarify for the viewers... i saw this during mass and at the end of mass the rosary is prayed. I went to the altar and wanted to confirm via recording it... lights are not relevant and there flickering etc as I have seen this occur under various lighting and have considered those possibilities. It is what it is... I also did notice whilst the people were praying the lips sped up or slowed down to the prayer been said ....  God bless you all.”

 

“To add to this. Please know this also occurs to the image of St Charbel and St Rita. Also St. Joseph’s in Croyden. God willing I will capture this for you all. This occurs when you pray the rosary or many prayers after each other as an example like during mass during the apostles creed and the our father. If you don't believe, I usually go on 7pm mass sundays and will help you see it for yourself.. key word is help you I cannot guarantee any person this vision but am confident that many will.”

 

Asked whether he had seen the phenomenon on other days, Akary responded on facebook he had just seen it again two days earlier, on Aug 2, 2015, and that it lasted until the Mass. One Australian website quoted a facebook user’s post saying “About 4 years ago me and my mate went to sleep over night in the church as we were praying and we witnessed the same thing but we didn’t want to tell anyone coz they would laugh at us!’”

St. Charbel’s is a Maronite Catholic Church, which is in union with the rest of the Catholic Church (the many rites of the Catholic Church include Roman, Byzantine, Chaldean, Maronite, Coptic, Armenian, etc.).

 

In general, Church officials avoid ascribing heavenly origins to most signs reported by parishioners. Considering that the St. Charbel’s event was so recent and lacks massive scientific investigations or declarations of authenticity by the local bishop to back it, it was unsurprising that the church staff is playing down the incident.   Father Joseph Sleiman of St. Charbels was quoted saying, “What has unfolded was just a personal experience for those parishioners that witnessed it, and not a miracle declared by the church” (Source: Christian Today, July 25, 2015).

 

As for Akary, he only posted the video to share it with friends, never dreaming his video would receive more than 300,000 views. Akary, who receives no money for his efforts, has said that several churchgoers thanked him for sharing the video and told him they had seen it themselves but had not been willing to admit it to others.

Akary, a former atheist who today spends long hours in prayer, says he hopes to shoot some better footage of the painting in the near future.

 

Links: Video Shows Virgin Mary’s lips moving as church prays       Miracle of St. Charbel’s: Virgin Mary’s Lips Move      Virgin Mary painting filmed praying in Sydney church     Virgin Mary’s Lips Moving   Virgin Mary Miracle  Holy Miracle    The Daily Mail   Catholic Online     George Akary’s facebook (see posts of July 19 and 24, 2015)    VIDEO of Virgin Mary praying (youtube)


 

       A warm glow spread down his leg at Lourdes

 

Serge François, a repair man from western France had a paralyzed left leg. On April 12, 2002, while praying at Lourdes, the 40-year-old man felt a warm glow spread down the paralyzed leg. He was instantly cured. Bishop Emmanuel Delmas stated the cure was “sudden, complete, unrelated to any particular therapy and durable.”

 

 

However, this will not become an official miracle of the Church unless and until many more investigations are conducted. The bishop added, “This healing can be considered a personal gift from God to man, as an event of grace, as a sign of Christ the Savior,” the bishop added. Lourdes is the site where the Blessed Mother appeared to St. Bernadette in 1858.

 

Of the more than 7,000 unexplained and “remarkable” healings at Lourdes, only 69 have been elevated to miracle status by the Lourdes Medical Bureau.

 

How did François thank God and the Blessed Mother? He walked the famous pilgrimage road (975 miles) to Santiago de Compostela, Spain, using his new leg.

 

Man with paralyzed leg walks 1000 miles after visit to Lourdes    Healings at Lourdes   Video of Serge François (French)    French TV repair man completes 1,000-mile hike after paralysed leg was cured in Lourdes miracle    A miracle at Lourdes   Reuters article


 

CBS New York, 9/29/2015
CBS New York, 9/29/2015

After Pope Francis blessed this paralyzed child, she felt the Holy Spirit within her (New York City, 2015)


A twelve-year-old Brooklyn girl named Julie Bruzzese believes that through the holiness of Pope Francis, God will heal her and allow her to walk again.


It all happened during the pope’s visit to New York in 2015. Julie was sitting in her wheelchair on the tarmac at JFK Airport when the pope saw her, came over, touched her and blessed her on Thursday, September 24, 2015. At that moment, she felt the Holy Spirit within her and knew in her heart she would one day walk again as a result of the pope’s healing touch. The previous June, Julie lost her ability to walk or move her legs and needed a wheelchair.


Based on her symptoms, doctors had suspected Lyme Disease but had found no scientific evidence for this. Evidence did surface five days after the papal visit: “The miracle has begun. Yesterday, I went to the doctor and for the first time they saw Lyme disease activity in my blood and that just shows a miracle can happen . . . .” Julie told Dick Brennan of  CBS New York.


Julie described her papal encounter to Marie Elena Giossi of the Tablet: “I kissed his ring and he put his hands on my forehead and he looked at me. I feel like a miracle will happen. I do. I feel it. I feel that he brought the Holy Spirit to me.”   Julie told MSNBC of a peacefulness and kindness that enveloped the pope’s face and that “ . . . looking at him was like looking at the face of God.”


Julie adds that after the blessing, “I felt the Holy Spirit within me . . . it just confirmed to me that I will walk again and a miracle will happen if I have faith in God and pray every day like I do.”


Julie’s mother, Josephine, was also sensed that something extraordinary was happening at the moment Pope Francis turned towards her family (the mother had called out to him).  Josephine told CBS New York: “[Pope Francis] looked at me right in the eye. And he looked at her. And he blessed her. I was able to kiss his hands and thank him. I walked away saying she’s going to be okay.”


Links: Wheelchair-bound Girl Finds New Hope After Encounter with Pope Francis(CBSNew York),  Dyker Heights family Hopes a Miracle will Continue (The Tablet),       Video: Blessed by Pope, Wheelchair-Bound Girl Believes She’ll Walk Again (Simone Wilson, Tarrytown patch.com)    Video of Julie (“Pope Stops to Bless Brooklyn Girl, MSNBC)