Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Eucharistic Miracles

Marian Apparitions and Eucharistic Miracles

In 1984 Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, the head of the Roman Catholic Church's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), declared that, "one of the signs of our times is that the announcements of 'Marian Apparitions' are multiplying all over the world. For example, reports are arriving from Africa and from other continents at the section of the Congregation that is competent to deal with such reports." He made this observation as a comment on the many reports of the appearance of the Blessed Virgin Mary to individuals located in a wide variety of countries, cultures and political systems.
Apparitions, visions and prophetic messages are an integral part of Christianity. They are gifts of the Holy Spirit - charisms - which are provided by God to assist His faithful as they attempt to deal with an increasingly hostile cultural and political environment. Further, there are less-frequent but awe-inspiring phenomena recorded during the past 1,500 years called Eucharistic Miracles. These phenomena are the physical, observable, and detectable presence of human flesh and blood that spontaneously appears during or after the act of consecrating unleavened bread and ordinary wine by a validly ordained priest at the Roman Catholic Mass. These very unusual and infrequent events occur spontaneously as a reminder of the actual physical presence of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ under the appearance of bread and wine in the Catholic Sacrament of the Eucharist. Both these phenomena have increased dramatically in reported occurrence the last 20 years! Why?
To place these events into proper context requires looking at the Sacred Scriptures, the Catholic Church's historical teachings on eschatology (the 'last times"), statements from the CDF, the teachings of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, and those prophetic statements made by those who are on the path of canonization or are already recognized as Saints. A full exploration of such an endeavor is beyond the scope of this web-site; however, those who are interested in more fully exploring each of these elements should read Trial, Tribulation & Triumph written by Desmond A. Birch (Queenship Publishing). A shortened way of accomplishing the task of understanding why so many unusual spiritual events are occurring today is made available by reviewing the prophetic dreams and statements of one of the Catholic Church's more recently acclaimed saints - John Bosco.
John Bosco was an Italian priest, who from childhood onward had vivid and mystical dreams which helped him in directing his life and which described conditions and events that would occur in great detail in the future. He persistently astounded those around him with the accuracy and precision of his prophecies that came to pass during his life. He was also a miracle worker, healing thousands, and he was the founder of the Salesian Order and he and his followers helped tens of thousands of street children in Italy and in the Western Hemisphere develop job skills and a moral and spiritual life. He died in 1888. One of his more remarkable mystical dreams occurred in 1862, when he had a vision of the near-term future of his beloved Catholic Church:


"The vast expanse of water is covered with a formidable array of ships in battle formation, prows fitted with sharp, spear-like beaks capable of breaking through any defense. All are heavily armed with cannons, incendiary bombs, and firearms of all sorts - even books - and are heading towards one stately ship, mightier than them all. As they close in, they try to ram it, set it afire, and cripple it as much as possible.
"This stately vessel is shielded by a flotilla escort. Winds and waves are with the enemy. In the midst of this endless sea, two solid columns, a short distance apart, soar high into the sky: one is surmounted by a statue of the Immaculate Virgin at whose feet a large inscription reads: Help of Christians; the other, far loftier and sturdier, supports a Host of proportionate size and beneath it bears the inscription: Salvation of believers.
"Standing at the helm, the Pope strains every muscle to steer his ship between the two columns from whose summits hang many anchors and strong hooks linked to chains.
"The entire enemy fleet closes in to intercept and sink the flagship at all costs. They bombard it with everything they have: books and pamphlets, incendiary bombs, firearms, cannons. At times a formidable ram splinters a gaping hole into the hull, but, immediately, a breeze from the two columns instantly seals the gash.
"Suddenly the Pope falls, seriously wounded. He is instantly helped up but, struck down a second time, dies. A shout of victory rises from the enemy and wild rejoicing sweeps their ships. But no sooner is the Pope dead than another takes his place. The captains of the auxiliary ships elected him so quickly that the news of the Pope's death coincides with that of his successor's election. The enemy's self-assurance wanes.
"Breaking through all resistance, the new Pope steers his ship safely between the two columns and moors it to the two columns; first, to the one surmounted by the Host, and then to the other, topped by the statue of the Virgin. At this point, something unexpected happens. The enemy ships panic and disperse, colliding with and scuttling each other."

From Dreams, Visions & Prophecies of Don Bosco, Rev. Eugene Brown, editor
(emphasis added here)

The Catholic Church, here represented as a stately vessel, is seen under attack from all quarters. The captain and helmsman, the Pope, strains to safely moor the vessel between the two pillars of the Host - Salvation of believers - and the Immaculate Virgin - Help of Christians. The vision appears to point to these two articles of faith as the principal pillars and anchors of the Church in time of trouble. It is precisely these two elements of the Catholic faith that are strengthened, reinforced and brought to public attention by the recent reports of Marian apparitions and Eucharistic miracles!
The reason that there have been so many reported Marian apparitions in the last twenty years would appear to be as a preparation for the Eucharistic Miracles which are being reported in the 1990's and, taken together, to strengthen the faith of all Christians prior to a great trial - an all-out attack on the Church and on Christianity, culminating with the murder of the Pope.
The pope in Don Bosco's vision is first seriously wounded and later, wounded again, dies. The only Pope who has been seriously wounded since the time St. John Bosco had this vision is Pope John Paul II! It is after the election of his successor that something unexpected occurs. This unexpected Event so disorients the enemies of the Church that they retreat and disperse in panic.
Before he died, Don Bosco had another vision that so impressed him that he had this vision sculpted and placed in his church in Italy. The vision was of two Rosary victories, in the first he saw an Angel holding a scroll with the words Lepanto, 1571. In the other, he saw an Angel holding a scroll with the date 19____. St. John Bosco knew that a second great Rosary victory would take place at some time in the 20th Century! The Rosary victory may represent the Church rediscovering its safe harbor in the Help of Christians - the Immaculate Virgin. If this conjecture is correct then it is likely that the death of this Pope, the election of his successor and the unexpected Event will occur within the next three years. Interestingly, something just like this is foretold by many past saints and prophets in the Church.
Thus, the many reports of Marian apparitions and the messages accompanying them to pray, convert and practice self-denial appears to be a necessary preparation for a time of difficulty followed by a time of joy and hope, since just as those past prophecies told of a time of great difficulty for the world, they also described a time of global peace and plenty. Just such a time was guaranteed by Our Lady of Fatima in 1917 when she said,
"...in the end my Immaculate Heart shall triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me which will be converted, and some time of peace will be given to the world."
So, despite the apparently pessimistic expectations about our near-term future, the events, phenomena and prophecies described on this web-site are signs of great hope - our children and our children's children will live in a world at peace...with both the loving God who created and redeemed us and with one another. This is a world worth sacrificing for, a world worth praying for...let us all start praying.


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