Tuesday, May 27, 2014

St Paul of the Cross---Heros of the Faith #4

St. Paul of the Cross (1694-1775) was one of the great mystical souls of reparation and devotion to the Passion of Jesus. He endured terrible sufferings and spiritual trials, while at the same time was given extraordinary mystical gifts, graces and consolations, including remarkable visions of our Lord and the Blessed Virgin Mary. He also had visions of souls in Purgatory, who were allowed to come into his cell and tell of their sufferings. At times rays were seen shining around Paul's head. He was known for his heroic sacrifices and mortifications, such as fruequent fasting, late night prayer vigils and travelling about from one mission to another without shoes throughout all seasons of the year.

St. Paul was once working on some soldiers at Portecole in an effort to reform their lives. One not only resisted conver­sion but also made blasphemous and obscene remarks about the matter. This soldier had been sitting outside on a stone and had been trying to draw a sentinel nearby into conversa­tion and a game of cards. The other remonstrated with him, saying that the holy priest Paul might pass at any moment. 

The other soldier reacted strongly: "I will be as soon con­verted as that ox returns again to life!" He was referring to the lifeless body of a slaughtered ox that lay nearby. The butcher had already partially flayed it. But at the soldier's unwise and irreverent remark, the ox rose up alive and ran with wild fury at the soldier sitting on the stone. He managed to escape, and the ox hit his own head on the stone where the soldier had been sitting but a moment before. The stone was drenched with blood and the ox died for good there.

At the close of a mission given by Father Paul in Or­betello in September of 1741, a child was gazing out a win­dow at the crowd which was leaving the church. He fell to the pavement and was instantly killed. Medical assistance was called for and sadly the boy was pronounced dead. At that moment St. Paul of the Cross was about to enter a boat to go elsewhere. The bereaved parents ran to the shore and told him of the tragedy. He went back with them and contemplated the corpse of the innocent child. Paul re­mained in silent prayer for a few moments and then spread his hands over the little body. The onlooking crowd was silent, waiting to see what St Paul would do. To the absolute astonishment of all, after a few sec­onds the child came to life, and thus Paul restored him to the arms of his parents.

On another occasion, the saint was a guest at the house of Signori Goffredi, where a hen was served for dinner. St. Paul said, "You have inadvertantly done wrong to kill that poor animal, because with her eggs she was the support of a poor woman to whom she belonged. Let us do an act of charity. Open that window." Upon the man opening the window Paul then blessed the hen--which was already cooked, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. He had hardly pronounced the words when the hen suddenly returned to life, was miraculously covered with feathers, took wing and went off screaming out the window, to the house of her poor mistress. Signori Goffredi soon afterwards found out that the hen had been stolen by the man who sold it to her. This miracle was recorded under sworn oath by the eyewitness to the miraculous event.

On one occasion when St. Paul of the Cross was preaching from a platform he became too weak to continue, so his guardian angel removed Paul and took upon himself Paul’s appearance, and commenced speaking the mission for him. On another occasion, the angel also went, under Paul's appearance, with a flashing sword to threaten an unrepentant sacrilegious sinner who had been sinning in a very serious way for over 50 years. Needless to say after the extraordinary appearance of the angel, the man hastened to confession and was reconciled with God.

Other supernatural powers were given to Paul in abundance. After having given a mission in Piombino, they brought him on his way to the ship, and he was seen to board the boat and set sail by an large crowd of people. Dr. Gherardini, who accompanied him to the vessel, did not leave the shore until the vessel was out of sight; but within a few hours he met Paul coming out of the house of a gentleman in town. Not believing his own eyes, the doctor approached him, and said, "How is it, Father Paul, that I find you here? I just saw you setting sail from the port, and I kept my eyes on the vessel and on you until you were out on the high sea. How is it that you came to be here?"
"Please keep this to yourself" answered Saint Paul, "I came here on an errand of charity" and then he suddenly disappeared.

Even those whom Paul employed in the service of the missions were made the operators of such wonderful graces. During a mission to Montcromano he wanted to send a letter of great importance to Sutri, and requested one Matthias Marc* to do the errand. The latter hesitated on account of the River Biedano being impassable. "Go! " Paul said to him. "I assure you of the protection of God, and if the waters be as high as the top of the trees, I tell you to cross them, and fear not!"
Knowing of his great virtues and holiness, Matthias had faith in Paul's words, started on his errand, and reaching the river where the current ran very high, he entered upon it, with his horse walking above the waters as if on firm ground. Some travellers, waiting for the waters to subside, saw the remarkable wonder, and exclaimed, "He must be carried by the devil for we can even see the shoes of his horse!"

Paul forewarns some of the punishments of God if they do not repent

In spite of these miraculous proofs of the divine mission which Paul had received from God, some persons were insensible to his appeals for reform. Sadly and reluctantly, Paul predicted the punishments of divine justice on those who refused to listen to the loving counsels of mercy.

In Pittigliano, a few men who were often giving public scandal for their notoriously bad behaviour used to meet in an apothecary shop, to make contemptuous and ridiculous remarks about the holy missionary, and about the things of God. On one occasion when St Paul was given a mission in that town, they chose to repeatedly strike at a brass bell from a Pharmacy shop that was directly across from the Church in which Paul was preaching, to the greatest annoyance and distraction of Paul and the faithful who sought to gain grace from his holy preaching.

Paul sent the men a very civil message, begging of them to desist; but their answer was that in their own house they would do as they please stating "Let him mind his own affairs."

Being told of their unrepentant reply, the servant of God then raised his eyes to heaven, and publicly exclaimed, "Then, let those men be on their guard, lest God should punish them!"

To the astonishment of those who heard the warning, each of the men died within a very short time, one after another; and, as the blessed Paul had also prophesied, that "that Pharmacy shop will be closed because of its owner" and in fact the Pharmacy failed, having soon thereafter gone bankrupt. 

Words from St Paul of the Cross...

 "Christ Crucified is a work of love. The miracle of miracles of love. The most stupendous work of the love of God. The bottomless sea of the love of God, where virtues are found, where one can lose oneself in love and sorrow. A sea and a fire or a sea of fire. The most beneficial means of abandoning sin and growing in virtue, and so in holiness."

"At holy Communion I had much sweetness. My dear God gave me infused knowledge of the joy which the soul will have when we see him face to face, when we will be united with Him in holy love. Then I felt sorrow to see Him offended and I told Him that I would willingly be torn to pieces for a single soul. Indeed, I felt that I would die when I saw the loss of so many souls who do not experience the fruit of the Passion of Jesus.”

"Your crosses dear God, are the joy of my heart. How beautiful to suffer with Jesus!"

"I hope that God will save me through the merits of the Passion of Jesus. The more difficulties in life, the more I hope in God. By God's grace I will not lose my soul, but I hope in His mercy."

Sunday, May 25, 2014

St Vincent Ferrer---Heros of the Faith #3

St Vincent Ferrer was and still is one of the greatest miracle workers in the history of the Catholic church. St Vincent was the Dominican priest St. Vincent Ferrer (1350-1419). He moved in the limelight before both ordinary people and the great of the world. He once converted 10,000 Jews at one time by marching right into their synagogue and preaching to them; the Jews turned their synagogue into a Catholic Church.

So great a missionary was St. Vincent Ferrer that he can only be compared to the 12 Apostles. His accomplishments were incredible and rare in the whole history of the Church; his life story contains one amazing story after another, many of these are documented in the book “St Vincent Ferrer –The Angel of the Judgment” by Father Andrew Pradel, O.P.

When St. Vincent Ferrer was 46 years old, suffering from a grievous illness, Our Lord appeared to him, accompanied by St. Francis and St. Dominic; Our Lord said to Vincent, among other things...

 "Arise, then, and go to preach against vice; for this have I specially chosen thee. Exhort sinners to repentance, for My judgment is at hand." 

 Our Lord told St. Vincent that his preaching before the coming of Antichrist would be for mankind a merciful occasion of repentance and conversion.
During this vision St. Vincent was immediately cured.

Two years later, in 1398, he was given permission to begin his apostolate of preaching. St. Vincent travelled all over western Europe preaching penance, attracting enormous crowds, and followed by thousands of disciples. He converted St. Bernardine of Siena and Blessed Margaret of Savoy. Vincent had the gift of languages; preaching in his Valencion idiom he was understood wherever he went; and in conversation he spoke French, Italian, German or English as fluently as his native tongue.

St. Vincent Ferrer identified himself as "The Angel of the Judgment" and preached as if the end of the world were near. Some would say that since it did not end, Vincent, at least in that respect, failed as a prophet. It would seem there is a simple answer: All such prophecies or predictions by individuals are contingent upon reform and penance. Through Vincent's thunderous words and the results of his preaching, the end of the world was simply delayed again. Many who are informed in the ways of God, of prophecy and reparation, believe this has probably happened more than once in the history of the world. To cite two examples from Holy Scripture: Jerusalem was spared again and again before its final destruction by the Romans and also the city of Ninevah was spared through the conversion of the people due to the preaching of Jonah the prophet.

Some would consider it a conservative estimate that St. Vincent Ferrer converted 25,000 Jews and 8,000 Moors; his total number of conversions was around 200,000 souls- among them Moors, Jews, heretics, and apostate Catholics. At Toulouse he spoke on the Passion for six hours without a break before a crowd of 30,000 at the packed Place St. Etienne. When he cried out...

 "Arise you dead, and come to Judgment!"  

the whole crowd fell on their faces begging for mercy.

Learning about the many other wonders of St. Vincent makes it easier to accept the accounts of his death-to-life miracles. The Acta Sanctorum records 873 miracles performed by the saint, but there were actually many more. In 1412 Vincent himself told a crowd...

"God has wrought in His mercy, through me a miserable sinner, three thousand miracles." 

After that Vincent lived seven more years, which was a period of even greater miracles.

The Bollandist hagiographers tell of 70 persons who were delivered from diabolical possession by St. Vincent Ferrer. He had such power over devils that it was often enough for him to touch a possessed person for him to be freed; at other times, a possessed person would be freed from the devil merely upon going to the same place as where Vincent was or even simply when Vincent's name was pronounced.

St. Antonius (Antoninus), Archbishop of Florence, another learned Dominican about 30 years old when Vincent died, stated that St. Vincent had raised 28 persons from the dead. But others claimed that St. Antonius' estimate fell far short of the actual number raised. Perhaps there is some confusion in distinguishing those Vincent personally raised during his life and those raised through his intercession after his death. The author Fr. Andrew Pradel states that St. Vincent Ferrer "resuscitated more than 30 persons during his lifetime."

Near Palma of Majorca St. Vincent Ferrer stilled a storm in order to preach from a wharf. At Beziers he stopped a flood. At the gates of Vannes he cured a great number of the sick. At Guerande he delivered a man possessed by the devil and more dead than alive. In France he had the British victors at Caen praying together with the defeated French for a sick man, who was then cured--and all of them, enemies or not, shouted for joy. At Leride he cured a cripple in the presence of the king.

St. Vincent Ferrer is often pictured with wings. Multitudes of people have witnessed him, in the middle of preaching, suddenly assume wings and fly off to help some suffering person; he would return in the same manner and continue preaching. On some occasions, when St. Vincent was exhausted, he would commission somebody else to go perform miracles instead; the helper would then do so.

Vincent once said to a novice, Alphonso Borgia...

 "You will become pope and will canonize me." 

 And years later that novice, then Pope Callixtus III, did exactly that. Vincent also told St. Bernardine of Siena that he (Bernardine) would be canonized before himself--and so it happened. Once a mute woman signed to him, and then she spoke, asking for speech and bread. He promised her bread, but took back her speech, saying that she would make ill use of it. He made beautiful an ugly woman who had been beaten by her husband for her looks.

We learn from St Vincent Ferrer that one must never mock the gifts God has given to His saints. As has happened in similar cases, on one occasion a boy pretended to be dead, while his friends snickered. St. Vincent leaned over and shook-a corpse! Vincent said...

"He pretended to be dead to amuse you, but evil has come upon him; he is dead!" 

A cross was erected to commemorate the event. Happenings like that can save many souls by instilling in them a healthy fear of the Lord.

At Pampeluna an innocent man had just been condemned to death. St. Vincent knew of his innocence and pleaded for him, but in vain. As the grim procession led the poor man to the scaffold, they met another procession, that of a man already dead. The corpse was being borne on a stretcher to the burial place. Vincent seemed to have a sudden inspiration. He stopped suddenly and addressed the corpse:

"You no longer have anything to gain by lying. Is this man guilty? Answer me!"

The dead man sat up, then spoke the words: "He is not!"
As the man began to settle down again on his stretcher, Vincent offered to reward him for his service. He gave him the opportunity of remaining alive on earth. But the man re-sponded, "No, Father, for I am assured of salvation." With that he died again as if going to sleep, and they carried his body off to the cemetery.

In another miracle credited to Vincent, the Venerable Father Micon is reported as claiming that a number of witnesses, gathered at Lerida before the Church of St. Jean, saw Vincent encounter a corpse there. With the Sign of the Cross Vincent returned the corpse alive to its feet. The Fathers of the convent at Calabria gave guarantees of this miracle.

In another report a priest judged a child to be dead. The child's whole body was mangled and broken. A vow was made, and the child was restored to life. It is not known for certain whether this is the same child as that in the following miracle.
Fifty years after Vincent's death, young Jean de Zuniga, son of Don Alvar de Zuniga, Duke of Placensia and Arevola, and of his Duchess, Leonor de Pimentel, died at the age of 12. The Duchess' confessor, Jean Lopez de Salamanque, O.P., counseled the noble lady to invoke his fellow Dominican, the newly canonized Vincent Ferrer.

The mother made a vow to build a church and convent in St. Vincent's honor. As soon as she had formulated her vow, the boy came back to life. This boy became the Grand Master of Alcantara, the Archbishop of Seville, and a Cardinal. The Duchess became very devoted to Vincent and fervently desired that his life, virtues, and miracles be written about. When a grand ceremony was held at the newly finished cathedral, the Duke and Duchess presented their son, and the raised boy then understood all about his resuscitation.

On the feast day of St. Vincent Ferrer at that same cathedral, the scheduled preacher became ill and did not appear. But a wonderful, charming, unknown preacher ap¬peared from nowhere-and mysteriously disappeared after giving his sermon. Many believed it was Vincent repaying the honors given him.

There are two different accounts of either the same or very similar miracles. In one account Vincent summoned a dead man on the way to burial to attest that Vincent was the "Angel of the Judgment." In another account, it was a woman who was summoned. (Since Vincent performed a great number of miracles of many kinds, it is possible, even if unlikely, that he performed this action on more than one occasion.)
On an occasion when St. Vincent was preaching to thousands at Salamanca, he suddenly stopped and said...

"I am the Angel of the Apocalypse and am preaching Judgment!" 

Then he directed...

 "Some of you go near St. Paul's Gate, and you will find a dead person borne on men's shoulders on the way to the grave. Bring the corpse hither, and you shall hear the proof of what I tell you."

The men went on their errand, the multitude waited, and soon the bier was brought with a dead woman upon it. They raised the litter and set it up so all could see. St. Vincent bade her return to life, and the dead woman sat up.

"Who am I?" Vincent asked her.
She answered: "You, Father Vincent, are the Angel of the Apocalypse, as you have already told this vast assembly."

In the case of the woman, after her testimony she died again. In another almost identical account, this time it was a man, Vincent asked him which was his preference, to live or to die again. The man asked to live, and St. Vincent responded, "Then be it so!" The man is reported as having lived for many more years.

Another miracle seems to involve either a Jew or Jewess. (Recall that Vincent converted 25-30,000 Jews. It is reported that at a church in Vera Cruz a host of little white crosses once fell upon the Jews in the congregation.)

There was a rich Jew of Andalusia, named Abraham, who began to leave a church in anger while Vincent was preaching. The Jew did not like what he was hearing. As some people at the door opposed his passing through, St. Vincent cried out: "Let him go! Come away all of you at once, and leave the passage free!" 

 The people did as he ordered, and at the instant the Jew left, part of the porch structure fell on him and crushed him to death. Then the saint rose from his chair and went to the body. He knelt there in prayer. Abraham came to life, and his first words were...

 "The religion of the Jews is not the true faith. The True Faith is that of the Christians."
In memory of this event the Jew was baptized Elias (in honor of the prophet who had raised the boy from the dead). The new convert established a pious foundation in the church of the "accident" and the miracle. Bishop Peter Ranzano's account was used for this version of the miracle.

The father of a certain child had given Vincent lodging while he was on a missionary journey. His wife, a virtuous woman, suffered from bad attacks of nerves, and at times was close to madness. Upon his return from hearing one of Vincent's sermons, the father came upon a terrible tragedy. His wife had gone mad, cut their small son's throat, then chopped up the boy's body and roasted a portion of it, which she then attempted to serve her husband.

When he realized what had happened, the man fled in horror and disgust to St. Vincent Ferrer. Vincent told him that-as in the case of the crushed Jew-the tragedy would be for the glory of God. St. Vincent went with the father back to the home and prayed as he gathered the bloody pieces together. He said to the father...

 "If you have faith, God, who created this little soul from nothing, can bring him back to life."

Vincent knelt and prayed. He made the Sign of the Cross over the reassembled body. The pieces became united together, the body came to life again, and Vincent handed over to the father a living child. This event is depicted in a painting by Francesco del Cossa in the New Picture Gallery in the Vatican.Bishop Ranzano claimed this as one of the miracles submitted in the canonization process for S1. Vincent Ferrer.

Some may be surprised to know that he above miracle is not without some real, though lesser, counterparts. St. Francis of Paola restored a lamb from its mere bones and fleece, and in the palace of the King of Naples he revived an already-cooked fish; also, St. Philip Benizi restored a child partially devoured by a wolf. A similar wonder was worked for a young man who was with his parents in a group of pilgrims on their way to the famous shrine of Santiago (St. James) de Compostella in Spain. 

They stopped at La Calzada, where the young man was falsely accused and hanged. The poor bereaved parents continued their pilgrimage, and on their return journey were astonished to find their son still alive eight days later. Perhaps it was a reward for their tears and for faithfully continuing on to the shrine in hope, rather than succumbing to rebellion and grief.

But the story goes beyond this wonder. When the lad's mother rushed to tell the magistrate (he was at dinner), the magistrate said...

"Woman, you must be mad! I would as soon believe these pullets which I am about to eat are alive as that a man who has been gibbeted for eight days is not dead." 
At his words the pullets on the dish rose up alive. There was a great procession with the live birds to the shrine of St. James at Compostella. The Bollandists relate this miracle, as do many other authors. And there have been other miracles similar to it in the lives of the Saints.

St. Vincent Ferrer died at Vannes, Brittany, France in 1419, and the canonical process at Vannes brought to light an incredible number of wonders, including a surprising number of resurrections from the dead. In the French work- “Histoire de St. Vincent Ferrier” by Pere Fages, O.P., there are a number of accounts of the dead raised through St. Vincent. 

Additionally, St. Antonius, O.P., a contemporary of Vincent, said he raised 28 from the dead, however others claimed this count fell far short of the real number. Irregardless the fact remains that St Vincent Ferrer brought back to life at least two dozen people, all for the greater glory of God and the conversion of sinners.

-St Vincent Ferrer, pray for us!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Father Gabriele Amorth Chief Exorcists of the Catholic Church

ITALY, ROME —The den of the Catholic Church’s best-known exorcist is an unassuming place, a small third-floor room in a home for aging priests hidden in an obscure corner of southern Rome. I walk down the hospital-like hallway on my way to meet him, and the priest anticipates my knock before it happens. The door swings open, and there he is.
89 year old Father Gabriele Amorth, former Chief exorcists of the Catholic Church, invites me into his world.

“Enter,” says the diminutive priest.

I obey.

The room is stark, outfitted with a hospital bed and numerous images of Jesus and the Virgin Mary. Then there are the mementos, which Father Amorth began collecting after he was appointed an exorcist back in the 1980s. He has conducted thousands of spiritual cleansing since then, keeping just a few of the odd things, “the stuff that gets spewed from the mouths of possessed people.”   Things, such as...nails, keys, chains, plastic figurines, coins, etc.

“What seems to be spit turns out to be a nail,” he said with a seen-it-all tone. “I don’t give it much importance.”

Due to the dark times we live in, Father Amorth's services are in great demand.

“Then, there are times where there’s no actual diabolical presence, and my job lies is to suggest that the person should live a life of faith and prayer,” he said. “And this is enough to assuage the fears of those afraid of the Devil’s ills.”

But other times, sadly, “there really is a diabolical influence.”

Several times Father Amorth said, he saw possessed victims levitate. “We try to keep the person in the armchair,” he said, adding that demons “do it just to show off.”

An hour later, he invites me and an Italian colleague to witness an exorcism ourselves. 

His exorcism room is a retrofitted, white-tiled kitchen on the first floor of the residence, decorated with more images of Jesus and Mary. A large statue of the Virgin, to which Father Amorth’s eyes constantly dart, sits in one corner of the room. 

When we enter, he is donning a black cassock draped in a purple stole vestment and is consoling a 40-something Neapolitan housewife. Her hair is well-coiffed, and her sparkly sneakers and Bulgari sunglasses say soccer mom more than demonic host. In fact, the woman, who gives her name only as Antonella, seems perfectly normal at first.

That will change.

Unlike the speedy rituals shown in the movies, real exorcisms are more of a slow burn, often involving years of repeated rites before the big cleanse. Antonella, who drove up to Rome from Naples with her husband, Michele, for her latest exorcism, claims to have been possessed by multiple demons for the better part of 17 years.

Both she and Michele blame the affliction on a curse by a Devil-worshiping childless friend who they say envied Antonella’s fertility as a mother of two. They knew something was wrong, they said, when Antonella began throwing violent fits after receiving the Eucharist at Mass and going into trances in which she spoke Aramaic and German — languages she said she has never studied. It would typically take three grown men to subdue her, the couple said.

After four years of exorcisms with Father Amorth, however, her fits have become progressively less violent. She says she has begun to view the process as a long-term treatment of a terrible disease.
“But one of the soul,” she said.

After a round of praying, Father Amorth, aided by three assistants, finally launches his spiritual attack.

He begins chanting in Latin, commanding the presumed devils inside Antonella to reveal themselves. Several minutes pass before Antonella reacts. She begins choking, coughing up phlegm. She moans and rocks back and forth. As if in pain, she demands that the chanting stop.

Father Amorth refuses, shouting, “Tell me your name!”

Antonella writhes in her seat, hissing, “No! No!” She shakes her head, her eyes rolling to the back of their sockets. In an altered voice, she says, “I will not!”

“Tell me your name!” Father Amorth repeats, until finally she spits out a name: Asmodeus, a demon from scriptural lore.

“How many are you?” the priest demands, repeating the question as Antonella grunts and shakes her head violently.

Finally, she responds defiantly: “We are five!”

Father Amorth begins making the sign of the cross on her forehead, prompting her to recoil. The chanting and blessings go on for several more minutes before Antonella calms down. Ten minutes later, she comes around as if from a dream. She opens her eyes and slumps in her chair.

After his bout with the demons, Father Amorth simply shrugs.

“That,” he says, “was a light one.”

 If you have not read Fr Amorths books I highly reccomend them. They are an invaluable insight to the enemies work hidden from mainstream sight. 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

A Word from Micahel Brown

Intriguing is the notion that each one of us has a special cause in the greatest depths of spirituality. 

It is a very deep secret. 

Your family has been sent here for a specific reason that is consciously unknown to you (at least as far as the details) and it is important for you to fulfill your part of that assignment. 
Before getting to our families – and the healing necessary to complete family sanctity – let’s stay on the topic of mission. Life is like foreign land – a wilderness – and we have to cross deserts, scale cliffs, endure lack of nourishment, seek shelter, rediscover paths, decide which turns to take (and which are dangerous), ford rivers (that may have rapids), cut through “brush,” survive heat and cold, navigate mountains and ravines. You are an explorer on a strange planet that one day you will see was not your real home but a place for learning and accomplishment, growth, and sanctification. It all comes down to keeping our eyes on the Light and bringing our loved ones along. 

We all have missions and they tie into the tests of life on earth, which is an obstacle course.

While, in a "worldly" sense, it may be hard to believe, what God has assigned to you is as important as what He has assigned to anyone else.

That's not necessarily to know exactly what a mission is. Indeed, it’s usually against God's Will to precisely know what has been set for you. 

It compromises the "tests" of life.
If we knew exactly what God expected, it would make the “test” too easy – take away the free will -- and make no mistake: life is a constant test. 

When we succeed, we purify our souls and help our families – who are often with us on this journey.

In fact, some missions may be focused almost entirely on relationships.

Or, a mission may have to do with what we do for other people in the world – a job, a vocation, a friendship, or a ministry.

The Lord has put you where He wants you and wants you to minister to others in whatever role you have. Great souls are to be found at all stations of life. Maybe He has set your mission as a janitor, a mailman, a lawyer. 
No matter what has happened to you in your life -- no matter how you may have strayed, and no matter how late in the game it seems -- remember that God can always go back to the original plan He had for you

If you’re prayerful, if you repent, if you seek to work for Him in whatever work on earth He has assigned to you, He can allow circumstances to occur in a way that recovers what you may have lost.  

Rising to the task means fulfilling whatever plan God has for you. It means diligence. It means excellence in whatever it is you do (whether the world considers your vocation “small” or “large”). 

We can ask for special assistance in finding our own missions when we take Communion. 

A mission always involves faith, service, and love. It also means purity. We are meant to cleanse ourselves in this lifetime. We are meant to cleanse into drops of His affection. These drops spread His power. They are like dye – bringing beautiful colors and nullifying the works of the enemy. If we do not love, we are missing our mission. Love means purity of intention. If we are in the field of education, it means teaching because we love those we teach (and not simply to draw a paycheck). If we work in a restaurant, it is to satisfy others. If it is a doctor, it is having the motive of helping others. When a cook prays while cooking, or a doctor while examining, or a teacher before entering a classroom, something uniquely good is added to the finished product, and this is God’s touch, which is part of every person’s mission. It is the enemy who distorts our missions into selfishness – who tempts a doctor to work for his own luxury or a salesman to grab everything he can and this we must purify.

When we die, we’ll be astonished at why everything that occurred to us happened and we will see that there are no tragedies in this life if we keep our eyes on God and the afterlife (tragedies are lessons).  

Everything is an opportunity to shine before God.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Father Jose Maniyangat dies in car accident and Comes Back

A journey to heaven, hell, purgatory 

Father Jose Maniyangat is a priest in good standing in the Diocese of St. Augustine, Florida. He is an associate pastor at St. Catherine of Siena Church in Orange Park, a suburb of Jacksonville. He is the diocesan spiritual director for the Legion of Mary. And, with the blessing of Bishop Felipe Estévez, he leads a Eucharistic and charismatic healing ministry  in which he leads healing missions in parishes in the United States and throughout the world. 

Father Maniyangat also says he died in a traffic accident in 1985, was taken by his guardian angel to visit heaven, hell and purgatory and came back to life to continue his ministry as a priest.

‘Out of my body’

Father Maniyangat was born in Kerala, India, in 1949, the oldest of seven children. His father was a farmer, and Malayalam was their native tongue. The family faithfully practiced the Catholic faith that St. Thomas the Apostle introduced to the country about 20 years after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. 

At age 7, on the day young Jose (the Indian pronunciation sounds like Joe’s) had his first Communion, he heard an interior voice inviting him to become a priest. 

He entered the junior seminary at age 14 and was ordained a priest on New Year’s Day in 1975. Because the diocese could not afford a car for Father Maniyangat, his bishop gave him a motorcycle for his use. But on April 14, 1985, when the priest was traveling to a parish mission to celebrate Mass, he was struck head-on by a drunk driver.

He experienced great freedom being liberated from the constant needs of the body.

“I didn’t miss my body one bit, I didn’t feel tired or hungry or even thirsty. Actually, I preferred this wonderful new body filled with light, joy and happiness.”

He met his guardian angel upon his death, a figure that was “bright, beautiful and radiant. It was so magnificent I can’t begin to describe it.”

His angel told him that he was going to meet God, but that first he wanted to show him hell and purgatory.

Heaven and hell

Hell, he said, was a sea of “unquenchable fire,” with demons which were“massive, cruel looking, deformed monsters.”  There were too many to count lost souls that were “dirty, filthy, ugly each clawing over the heads and shoulders of other screaming souls, all trying somehow to escape the lake of burning fire.  In the seconds that I saw their faces I beheld a heart wrenching saddness which revealed their agony at being sperated from GOD for all eternity. The deepest pain was seeing priests and bishops in hell., men of GOD who did not take their vows seriously, and others who led their flocks astray.”

He was able to see the souls, and they saw him, but they could not communicate with one another. His angel related that they were lost due to a variety of serious sins of which they had not repented. To his astonishment, he was allowed to see the souls of some people he had once known.

“They had seemed very holy on Earth, but it was hypocrisy. It was sad; my heart cried for them, I felt sorry for them.” 

Numbered among the lost souls were priests and bishops who were not faithful to their calling as shepherds.

He also noted a great deal of self-hatred and bloody, vicious in-fighting. Sometimes, thousands of souls against one soul or other places it was groups of massively large demons tearing and biting their way through groups of terrified souls running this way and that. No matter where he looked the demons which came in many sizes, forms, and colors the one things that was constant was horrible suffering punctuated with ear splitting screams mixed with of all things...prayers!  

That's right their were actually souls in HELL praying to GOD.  Their prayers were of varied natures.  Some prayed to GOD to give them one more chance, others prayed for forgiveness. Those souls who prayed for forgiveness did so because they now knew that they had wasted their lives in a fruitless endeavor of self indulgence.  Others still, prayed that Hell would not be forever, they prayed that GOD would relent in HIS anger and someday release them from the infernal pit. 

In purgatory, Father Maniyangat had the opportunity to speak to the suffering souls.... 

"There was no fighting or quarreling between souls as in hell, but they were sad, “stained” and anxious to go to heaven. They begged Father Maniyangat for his prayers and pleaded with him to tell the Saints on earth to pray for them as well."

In his ministry today, Father Maniyangat often stresses the need to pray for souls in purgatory, adding...

“It is an act of fraternal charity. They are part of our family, the Mystical Body of Christ. What goes around comes around."

“Once they are in heaven, they will be saints and then they can pray for us and their prayers are powerful.”

The great expanse of Heaven “shined like the sun” and included millions of souls praising God. He met Christ, the Blessed Mother and St. Joseph. 

“Our Lord told me that in my second life he had a great mission for me, and that I would work in a foreign land and speak a foreign tongues."

I told my guardian angel...

 ‘No one’s going to believe I saw all these things"

 My angel replied...

‘Don’t worry about it. Many people refused to believe Jesus.’”


Alive again

Back on Earth, the priest had been pronounced dead and was being taken to the morgue. 

When his soul returned to his body, he felt intense pain due to his extensive injuries. He had many broken bones, had lost much blood and screamed out in pain. The attendants were terrified. 

One rushed and told the doctor...

 “Come quick the dead body is screaming!”

Father Maniyangat was given a blood transfusion and underwent extensive surgeries. After two months in the hospital, he was sent home in a body cast. His doctor told him he’d never walk again. 

Father Maniyangat prayed to be healed and received what he described as a “miraculous cure.” His astonished Hindu doctor couldn’t believe he was able to walk again, and he subsequently converted to Catholicism.

Father Maniyangat came to the United States in 1986 and became part of the Diocese of St. Augustine in 1992. His life-after-death experience has given him a different perspective than many people — and a great desire to bring people to God. 

“Death can come to us at any time."

 “If you were to die today, where would you go?”

JESUS CHRIST is a Gift of Hope to all muslims

Part 1

Part 2

The videos are Hossein's Journey from a hard core muslim lost in the satanic lies of islam to his eventual freedom.  The young man Hossein calls his journey "A gift of Hope."   Hossein in his teenage years began to question what is islam and why should he bow to a gOD, little "g" whose entire dogma is that allah is an unknowable, unreachable, fickle gOD.  Hossein learned that even thoise who dedicated their lives to allah were never sure if they would ever see this muslim heaven which was 75%men and %25 women.  After all muhammad said that the islamic hell was filled to the brim with women.  The only women in the islamic heaven with allah were concubines who were chained to walls. This was so that when ever a muslim in heaven came upon one of these women in islam's heaven the muslim man could have his way with her and she could not escape.  Hossein thought to himself, what about my mother or sisters, who are very giving and loving, will they be one of these women chained to a wall like a common whore?  

These question led Hossein to begin to seek the one true GOD of all the Universe.   What Hossein found, was that when he called sincerely with all his heart it was JESUS CHRIST who answered his call.  The rest of his story is worth watching in the 2 part series above!

Thursday, May 8, 2014


AROMA OF SANCTITY Saint Teresa of Avila and Saint Maravillas of Jesus (a Spanish Discalced Carmelite) were reported to have emitted heavenly scents immediately after they had died. Reputedly, Teresa of Avila's scent emanated throughout the whole monastery the moment she died.

 Saint Thérèse de Lisieux (known as "the Little Flower") was said to have produced a strong scent of roses at her death, which was detectable for days afterward. Likewise, the blood issuing from Padre Pio's stigmata allegedly emanated the smell of flowers.

In ascetical theology, “the odor of sanctity” has come to mean that fragrance proceeding from the person, clothing, or domicile of a saint during life or after death. The phrase also refers to a reputation for extraordinary holiness of life. 

In examining causes for sainthood, postulates have found that saintly men and women have emitted agreeable fragrances such as orange-blossom, cinnamon, musk, and Benjamin, or that of the violet and rose. (A. Poulain, The Graces of Interior Prayer, 375).

Here are some personal stories from around the world about the 

1) This happened to my devout aunt as she was dying recently. Two friends from her church came to the hospice and prayed over her as she was dying of cancer. As the ladies were praying, both of them suddenly became aware that a strong perfume filled the air. They simultaneously turned to each other and said, "do you smell that?" They went into the hallway to see if anyone passed by, or if there was anything that would give off an odor. There was no one and nothing in the hall. They thought the odor was like orange blossoms.

Padre Pio had this odor. I am friends with a woman who had an aunt (now deceased) who saw Padre Pio back in the 50's or 60's. She attended mass with him officiating. That night, when she was in her hotel room, she had a dream that Padre Pio visited her. When she awoke, that same odor filled the room.
 2) I got a Rosary from EWTN that was shipped with Lourdes Water (which obviously doesn't smell like really nice, heavenly flowers). But then as I was praying the Rosary, the Lourdes Water inside started giving off the scent of sanctity, and eventually, I went to one of my priests who did a smell-comparison test with a regular bottle of Lourdes Water.  My Priest thankfully confirmed it.

3) A very Holy woman her whole life, Mary Alice Quin suffered from heart disease, was bedridden, and wanted to model herself after her patroness, St. Therese the Little Flower. After Mary Alice died in 1935, her mother tried to advance her cause for canonization, but did not have the where-with-all to do so. 

Nevertheless, people go to her grave and ask for her intercession. The scent of roses has been reported in the vicinity of her grave. I learned this on a cemetery tour I took once. Nobody on the tour that day experienced the rose scent. But one day when my family and I were visiting the graves of my grandparents in that cemetery, I told my husband about the grave of Mary Alice Quin.

 I said nothing about the scent of roses. We drove to the grave site, and my husband got out of the car to take a look at the grave. The rest of us stayed inside because it was a dreary November day with a fine mist-like rain in the air. Minutes later, my husband excitedly beckoned for us to join him. He said he was smelling roses. My 3 children and I got out of the car.
4) My daughter-in-law is a convert, and has never heard of that term "odor of sanctity." Once we were talking and I mentioned how much I loved the smell of the chrism that was used to annoint during baptism. She looked at me a bit oddly and said she had smelled that odor several times in the years following the baptism of their third child sometimes when she would hug him

5) I was on a Lourdes Pilgrimage a few weeks ago, with a small group from Church. During the week I had bouts of feeling sad, and really wanted to feel close to Our lady and Bernadette. on the last day, I took myself off to a quiet space opposite the Grotto, on the other side of the river, and prayed the Rosary with new Rosary beads I had bought in Lourdes. Whilst praying, I looked at Our Holy Mother, and , for a few moments had a feeling of peace along with a wonderful smell of roses.I told our priest about it, who told me it was the Odour of Sanctity.

6) I was, and this is no shit, sitting in the church before Mass my freshman year when the scent of roses fills the church.  I couldn’t figure out where it was coming from – there weren’t any flowers in the church.  There wasn’t anything to explain the scent.  Eventually, I realize that one of the monks must be bathing in rosewater, because when I stand next to him, he’s about to knock me down with the scent.

7) I mention this one day at lunch and some of the older seminarians fill me in on the story – supposedly the scent is from Mary.  He’s been “blessed”.  A few of the other stories are along the lines of “he’s so holy he only sleeps a few hours a day – he mediates all night”.  “Mary appears to him in his cell.”
That kind of stuff.  I only had one interaction with him.  I used to get the church 15 minutes before Mass and say a rosary.  Well, he came up to me and asked if I would say one Hail Mary for him each day when I prayed my rosary.  I said I sure would.

8) These events occurred for about a semester my freshman year, and then the scent stopped.  I asked around and the story was “The scent was causing too much division in the monastery, so he asked Mary to take it away, and she did.”

9) At East Jefferson Hospital in Metairie, Louisiana my Father was hospitalized.  Due to the Doctors carelessness my Father ended up having a heart attack, he was 90 years old. After, the Doctors stabilized my Father they informed me that the damage to my fathers heart was too severe, combined with his other health problems and age that there was not much hope.  

Thankfully, our family had a close relationship with a Priest and my Father was given the Last rites and anointing for the sick.  I was there at the bed side when the Doctors pulled the plug.  My Father, a WW2 Hero in the European theater, was a strong man and he fought on for another 2 hours before he passed.  I was holding his hands when I heard the monitor go flat.  I felt my Fathers hand go slack and suddenly the entire room was filled with the smell of a thousand roses.  

The entire room smelled as if it was in the middle of a field of roses.  The smell of roses was so powerful, but it was never over powering or too much.  Never in my entire life had I ever experienced such a thing.  Everyone kept asking.."Can you smell that!"  Even in the hallway people were commenting about the smell of Roses.  The room was filled with the smell of Roses for about 10 minutes after my Fathers death, then it gently disappeared.  

It wasn't until after the funeral that I began to seek out what the smell of Roses meant and that is when I found out that the experience is a sign that the deceased died in a state of Grace.   

Glory To GOD

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Whom do you Serve

Many people, thanks to the mind washing of liberal media, have the attitude: that it is their birthright not to be troubled or offended in any way by something people might say or believe.  Any preacher who claims to represent God and dares to interject that sinful behavior has consequences is often shunned and avoided.  

The “God, most modern Christians worship” would never trouble them. Joel Osteen would have JESUS CHRIST be their life coach and therapist but not the Righteous and just judge.  The GOD of Benny Hinn is a magical Vegas slot machine which pours out finical rewards every time you pray. 

You can forget ever mentioning the literally thousands of verses from Scripture in which Jesus himself speaks sternly and warns of sin, death, judgment, and Hell.  Most Sunday Christians will have none of it, and are certain that “the Jesus they know,” would never raise his voice at them or challenge them even for a moment. The friendly, non-offensive, non-judgmental, pro gay, pro abortion GOD of the modern American mega-church fits in your pocket and when ever you need him you just pull him out rub his belly and manna just falls from the sky.

Having to do to anything remotely uncomfortable is just not in the Scriptures that Joel Osteen reads( He doesn't call it a BIBLE cause he doesn't want to offend the Gay-Muslims)

As for speaking about anything even remotely resembling a devil is simply out of the question.  Creflo Dollar  doesn't want to offend the Hollywood types(after all whats a Mega-Church without a few celebrities).  The absolutely absurd idea that the Lord JESUS CHRIST would summon us to battle, or ask us to choose sides, seems strangely foreign, intolerant, and compassionate.

Modern conceptions not only distort GOD but they downplay, if not ignore entirely the presence and influence of Satan. This is the same idea that if we Christians are nice to blood thirsty muslims and give them everything they want MAYBE they will cease trying to slaughter us.  So, with this ridiculous concept, which is paraded around Washington by liberals, the modern Christian mind set is if we cease fighting against Satan, he will stop being mean to us.  He might even be willing to have peace talks with us and come over for tea some time.

This dogma of the modern, mega-church is this...Please forgive us for being Christians...The BIBLE offends us too...In fact we don't even read it and we certainly don't have any offensive crosses in our ALL inclusive church...We follow Rick Warren who wrote a new BIBLE in which he removed any verses from that old outdated homo-phobic BIBLE that we found so offensive...  We're modern Christians who embrace all religions... The purpose driven life is entirely  based on feel good, morally irresponsible, spineless religion.  It has no relation to the GOD of the BIBLE, to the Son of GOD who was nailed to a cross so that HIS shed blood could save us ALL from our sins.   

Jesus called consistently for prayerful, sober vigilance against the powers of evil and sin. Like it or not, we are in a battle. Either we will soberly and vigilantly undertake the battle, or we will be conquered and led off like sheep to the slaughter.

Despite what modern mega-churches would like to eliminate, TRUE Christianity has been a militant religion since its inception. Jesus was exposed to every kind of danger from the beginning. Herod sought his life; Satan tried to tempt him in the desert; many enemies plotted on all sides as he worked his public ministry, misrepresenting him, levying false charges, and conspiring to sentence him to death, and eventually even succeeding though only for a moment.

Jesus told us UPFRONT that the world would hate us (Luke 21:17; John 15:20); that in this world we would have tribulation (Jn 16:33), and that we should watch and pray lest we give way to temptation (Matt 26:41). He summons us to persevere to the end if we would be saved (Mk 13:13). Jesus rather vividly described the kind of struggle with which we live when he said From the time of John the Baptist until now, the Kingdom of Heaven has suffered violence, and men of violence take it by force (Matthew 11:12). Indeed, no Christian until the time that Jesus returns, can consider himself on leave or dismissed from this great spiritual battle, from this great drama that we exist in, this battle between good and evil.

OFFENSIVE or not, we are in a life and death FIGHT for our very Souls... Earth is ground zero for a war which spans the first and second Heaven.  If you ever want to see Heaven, our Home, you must be willing to choose sides and fight with the Lord JESUS CHRIST for the Kingdom of God.  Because, when the Awesome and Terrible Day of the Lord falls upon us we will either be gathered as children of the One True GOD or we will be scattered into the blast furnace with the devil where the smoke of their torment will rise forever and ever.