Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Why the Pope chose the name Benedict

April 2010 01:40 GMT-05:00

General Audience: Pope tells why he Chose Name of Benedict
In his first general audience, which was held this morning in St. Peter's Square in the presence of 15,000 people, the Pope again gave thanks to God for having elected him as Peter's successor, and explained why he chose the name of Benedict.

The Holy Father spoke of the feelings he was experiencing at the beginning of his ministry: "awe and gratitude to God, Who surprised me more than anyone in calling me to succeed the Apostle Peter; and interior trepidation before the greatness of the task and the responsibilities which have been entrusted to me. However, I draw serenity and joy from the certainty of God's help, that of His most Holy Mother the Virgin Mary, and of the patron saints. I also feel supported by the spiritual closeness of all the people of God whom, as I repeated last Sunday, I continue to ask to accompany me with persistent prayer."

"Resuming the Wednesday general audiences," he went on, "I wish to speak of the name I chose on becoming bishop of Rome and pastor of the universal Church. I chose to call myself Benedict XVI ideally as a link to the venerated Pontiff, Benedict XV, who guided the Church through the turbulent times of the First World War. He was a true and courageous prophet of peace who struggled strenuously and bravely, first to avoid the drama of war and then to limit its terrible consequences. In his footsteps I place my ministry, in the service of reconciliation and harmony between peoples, profoundly convinced that the great good of peace is above all a gift of God, a fragile and precious gift to be invoked, safeguarded and constructed, day after day and with everyone's contribution.

"The name Benedict also evokes the extraordinary figure of the great 'patriarch of western monasticism,' St. Benedict of Norcia, co-patron of Europe with Cyril and Methodius. The progressive expansion of the Benedictine Order which he founded exercised an enormous influence on the spread of Christianity throughout the European continent. For this reason, St. Benedict is much venerated in Germany, and especially in Bavaria, my own land of origin; he constitutes a fundamental point of reference for the unity of Europe and a powerful call to the irrefutable Christian roots of European culture and civilization."

The Pope appealed to St. Benedict for help "to hold firm Christ's central position in our lives. May he always be first in our thoughts and in all our activities!"

Before concluding, Benedict XVI announced that, just as at the beginning of his pontificate John Paul II had continued the reflections on Christian virtues begun by Pope John Paul I, in coming weekly audiences he would resume "the comments prepared by John Paul II on the second part of the Psalms and Canticles, which are part of Vespers. From next Wednesday, I will begin precisely from where his catechesis was interrupted after the general audience of January 26."

The Holy Father read out brief summaries of his catechesis, which he had delivered in Italian, in various other languages: English, French, Spanish and German. He then gave brief greetings to various groups in Croatian, Slovenian and Polish and concluded by addressing the 1,000 faithful from the archdiocese of Spoleto-Norcia, Italy, who were accompanied by Archbishop Riccardo Fontana.
Catholic News Agency

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Never a better time for “Prophecy of the Popes

"Once again, the issue of priests abusing children is rocking the Catholic Church. This time, it’s reached all the way up to the top, the Vatican (as I was told it would five years ago by a victim of such abuse). Having been raised Catholic, I am watching this with interest on several levels, one of which being how it seems to be a fulfillment of St. Malachy’s “Prophecy of the Popes.”

According to his prophecy, either St. Benedect XVI, Joseph Ratzinger, or his successor would be our last pope.

St. Malachy was a 12th century bishop and mystic who, when visiting with Pope Innocent II had a vision of all the future popes. Unlike the prophecies of Nostradumus, which no scholar can seem to agree on because they are so coded and cryptic, St. Malachy’s propechy is easier to track because it only addresses one subject – popes – and it’s sequential. St. Malachy didn’t name the popes, but gave a short, poetic phrase describing each one.

We are on the 111th motto, described in the vision as a man who embodies the 'Glory of the Olive.' St. Malachy prophecied only 111, or 112 popes.
Some argue the Benedictines added the 112th motto to fulfill their own prophecy, wherein the Benedectines basically save the world from Satan’s tyranny.

Either way, we’re getting close to the end, according to the prophecy. The last pope’s reign is described as thus: 'In extreme persecution, the seat of the Holy Roman Church will be occupied by Peter the Roman, who will feed the sheep through many tribulations, at the term of which the city of seven hills will be destroyed, and the formidable Judge will judge his people. The End.'

(In persecutione extrema S.R.E. sedebit Petrus Romanus, qui pascet oves in multis tribulationibus: quibus transactis civitas septicollis diruetur, & Judex tremêdus judicabit populum suum. Finis.)

I’m probably not the only person who can imagine these days might be considered the 'extreme persecution' in the church…"
Source: Wicked Local

Monday, March 29, 2010

What it's like to be smited, smitten, or smote

This scene from LOST is what I imagine being smited or smote means:

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Supreme Court: No Passover Sacrifice Again This Year

(IsraelNN.com) The Supreme Court has rejected a petition requesting that Jews be enabled to offer the Passover Sacrifice this coming Monday, the eve of the holiday. Similar petitions have been submitted and rejected in recent years.

Tuesday evening, a rally demanding “freedom of Jewish worship” on the Temple Mount was held in downtown Jerusalem.
Source: Israel National News

Michaelangelo: The Creation of Adam as a symbol for the human mind

I studied Neuroanatomy in university and I was surprised that I hadn't noticed it. It's amazing how something can just stare people in the face and not be seen for hundreds of years.


In 1990 a physician named Frank Lynn Meshberger noted in the medical publication the Journal of the American Medical Association that the background figures and shapes portrayed behind the figure of God appeared to be an anatomically accurate picture of the human brain, including the frontal lobe, optic chiasm, brain stem, pituitary gland, and the major sulci of the cerebrum. Alternatively, it has been observed that the red cloth around God has the shape of a human uterus (one art historian has called it a "uterine mantle"), and that the scarf hanging out, coloured green, could be a newly cut umbilical cord.
...on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel has long been recognized as one of the world’s great art treasures. In 1990 Frank Lynn Meshberger, M.D. described what millions had overlooked for centuries — an anatomically accurate image of the human brain was portrayed behind God. On close examination, borders in the painting correlate with sulci in the inner and outer surface of the brain, the brain stem, the basilar artery, the pituitary gland and the optic chiasm. God’s hand does not touch Adam, yet Adam is already alive as if the spark of life is being transmitted across a synaptic cleft. Below the right arm of God is a sad angel in an area of the brain that is sometimes activated on PET scans when someone experiences a sad thought. God is superimposed over the limbic system, the emotional center of the brain and possibly the anatomical counterpart of the human soul. God’s right arm extends to the prefrontal cortex, the most creative and most uniquely human region of the brain.
Source: Catholica

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Catholic Prophecy of Islam Invasion of Europe in the End Times

There are a number of old Catholic Prophecies that foretell of a time where Islam does overrun Europe, in particular Rome and the Catholic Church. Yves Dupont's book Catholic Prophecy is one of the best books available that details a great number of these prophecies. Many of these prophecies have been passed down through the generations and the authenticity may be questionable. Even so, there is a good deal of consistency when read as a whole and they certainly talk of a time which even fifty years ago couldn't be imagined but are truly possible now. Here is one such prophecy by Monk Hilarion (15th century) with commentary by Yves Dupont to follow:
Before the Christian churches are reunited and renovated, God will send the Eagle who will travel to Rome and bring much happiness and good. The Holy Man will bring peace between the clergy and the Eagle, and His reign will last for four years. After his death God will send three men who are rich in wisdom and virtue. They will spread Christianity everywhere. There will be one flock, one shepherd, one faith, one law, one life and one baptism throughout the world.

"The people of the peninsula of Europe will suffer by needless wars until the Holy Man comes. The Lion will come from a high mountain in the enlightened nation. Then will the people of the half-moon of the tribe of Agar overrun many nations towards midnight and commit many atrocities. They will stay three years destroying everything. Yet, in the third year will one of the unconquerable Eagles who reigns over the enlightened nation between the Rhine and the North Sea, with a great army meet them by the mouth of the River Rhine and, in a fearful battle, almost entirely annihilate them.
Commentary by the Author Yves Dupont:
[T]he Eagle who is often called the Lion, is the Great King, at first disliked by the Clergy, but who will be supported by the pope, of this pope it is said elsewhere, that he will be very holy (hence Holy Man), yet firm (will rule with a "rod of iron") He will restore the former disciplines (apparently abolished by a previous pope) and he will censure the bishops who refuse to submit to his rule. It is under this leadership that the church will be reborn. He will reign only four years, and three more popes are to follow him. Then the scriptural prophesy "one flock, one pope, one faith" will be fulfilled.

"Before the reign of the Holy Man however Europe, and Italy in particular will suffer greatly through wars. The Mohammedans will take advantage of the complete anarchy in Europe and invade the land (a great many prophesies say so). But they will eventually be thrown back into the sea by the great king who who comes from the Ardennes...

Friday, March 26, 2010

Plenary Indulgence each year on Divine Mercy Sunday

In a decree dated August 3, 2002, the Apostolic Penitentiary announced that in order “to ensure that the faithful would observe this day (Divine Mercy Sunday) with intense devotion, the Supreme Pontiff himself established that this Sunday be enriched by a plenary indulgence…so that the faithful might receive in great abundance the gift of the consolation of the Holy Spirit. In this way, they can foster a growing love for God and for their neighbor, and after they have obtained God’s pardon, they in turn might be persuaded to show a prompt pardon to their brothers and sisters.”

The plenary indulgence is granted (under the usual conditions of a sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion and a prayer for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff) to the faithful who, on Divine Mercy Sunday, in a spirit that is completely detached from the affection for a sin, even a venial sin, recite the Our Father and the Creed, and also adding a devout prayer (e.g. Merciful Jesus, I trust in you!).

Additional provisions are offered for those who are impeded from fulfilling these requirements, but who wish to acquire a plenary indulgence. The full text of the decree of the Apostolic Penitentiary may be found at: www.mercysunday.com. While the readings and prayers for Mass on this day remain unchanged (they reflect perfectly on Our Lord’s Divine Mercy) the Holy See offers this reflection:

The Gospel of the Second Sunday of Easter narrates the wonderful things Christ the Lord accomplished on the day of the Resurrection during His first public appearance: “On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad to see the Lord. Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent Me, so even I send you,’ and then He breathed on them, and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained’” (Jn 20, 19-23).

In addition, the decree requires that parish priests “should inform the faithful in the most suitable way of the Church’s salutary provision. They should promptly and generously be willing to hear their confessions. On Divine Mercy Sunday, after celebrating Mass they should lead the prayers that have been given above and they should also encourage the faithful to perform acts of mercy as often as they can.”

From the Feb. 2003 edition of the BCL (Bishops Committee on the Liturgy) NewsLetter by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Former Jordanian minister insists Rome will be conquered by Islam

This is an interesting article that I thought I'd share with everyone.

CNA STAFF, May 10, 2008 / 04:58 pm (CNA).
A former Jordanian minister has seized upon commentary about the decline of Western power, saying on Arabic-language television that Islam will conquer Rome. He went on to say that Spain is an Islamic land that should be retaken and that America has begun to realize its “end is near.”

The remarks by former Jordanian Minister of Religious Endowment Ali Al-Faqir were broadcast on Al-Aqsa TV on May 2.

According to a transcript prepared by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), Al-Faqir said Palestine from the Jordan to the Mediterranean is an Islamic land. “Spain – Andalusia – is also the land of Islam,” he said.

“Islamic lands that were occupied by the enemies will once again become Islamic. Furthermore, we will reach beyond these countries, which are lost at one point. We proclaim that we will conquer Rome, like Constantinople was conquered once, and as it will be conquered again.

“America has occupied, thundered, and foamed with rage, and proclaimed, like Pharaoh, ‘I am your supreme God,’ but it will come to its end, and they have begun to realize that their end is near,” he said.

Al-Faqir then alluded to commentary about the declining prominence of America and Europe.

“We have begun to read in American and European newspapers that ‘our glory is on the wane, and there is nothing we can do about it,’” Al-Faqir said, according to the MEMRI transcript.

“This morning on Al-Jazeera TV, I saw American scientists and strategic theoreticians, who said that America would soon come to its end. They said it before about the USSR, and, indeed, it has come to its end, and we say now that America and the EU will come to an end, and only the rising force of Islam will prevail.”

American and European pundits and commentators have recently discussed the perceived decline in American power, especially economic power.

Writing in the Los Angeles Times, national security columnist Fred Kaplan said President George W. Bush’s “follies” had accelerated the decline of American influence. “For half a century, we had been a super-power," Kaplan wrote. "Now we're upper-middle management in a world without bosses.”

Parag Khanna, a research fellow at the New America Foundation, wrote in the New York Times that the U.S. is “competing—and losing—in a geopolitical marketplace,” arguing that globalization has eroded American primacy.

Fareed Zakaria, editor of Newsweek International, published excerpts from his new book in the May 12 issue of Newsweek. Zakaria argued that a “seismic shift” in power and attitudes has transported the world into a post-American phase where the United States will not have the vastly unequal influence it has enjoyed in recent decades.

Other writers argue that American economic and cultural dominance will continue. The American Enterprise Institute’s economic policy director Kevin Hassett has advised readers to “ignore the obituaries.”

A video of Ali Al-Faqir's remarks can be viewed at: http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/1761.htm
Source: Catholic News Agency

Thursday, March 25, 2010

What is the Feast of Divine Mercy?

During the course of Jesus' revelations to Saint Faustina on the Divine Mercy He asked on numerous occasions that a feast day be dedicated to the Divine Mercy and that this feast be celebrated on the Sunday after Easter. The liturgical texts of that day, the 2nd Sunday of Easter, concern the institution of the Sacrament of Penance, the Tribunal of the Divine Mercy, and are thus already suited to the request of Our Lord. This Feast, which had already been granted to the nation of Poland and been celebrated within Vatican City, was granted to the Universal Church by Pope John Paul II on the occasion of the canonization of Sr. Faustina on 30 April 2000. In a decree dated 23 May 2000, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments stated that "throughout the world the Second Sunday of Easter will receive the name Divine Mercy Sunday, a perennial invitation to the Christian world to face, with confidence in divine benevolence, the difficulties and trials that mankind will experience in the years to come." These papal acts represent the highest endorsement that the Church can give to a private revelation, an act of papal infallibility proclaiming the certain sanctity of the mystic, and the granting of a universal feast, as requested by Our Lord to St. Faustina.
Concerning the Feast of Mercy Jesus said:

Whoever approaches the Fountain of Life on this day will be granted complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. (Diary 300)

I want the image solemnly blessed on the first Sunday after Easter, and I want it to be venerated publicly so that every soul may know about it. (Diary 341)

This Feast emerged from the very depths of My mercy, and it is confirmed in the vast depths of my tender mercies. (Diary 420)

On one occasion, I heard these words: My daughter, tell the whole world about My Inconceivable mercy. I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of My mercy. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment.* [our emphasis] On that day all the divine floodgates through which grace flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet. My mercy is so great that no mind, be it of man or of angel, will be able to fathom it throughout all eternity. Everything that exists has come forth from the very depths of My most tender mercy. Every soul in its relation to Me will I contemplate My love and mercy throughout eternity. The Feast of Mercy emerged from My very depths of tenderness. It is My desire that it be solemnly celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter. Mankind will not have peace until it turns to the Fount of My Mercy. (Diary 699)

Yes, the first Sunday after Easter is the Feast of Mercy, but there must also be deeds of mercy, which are to arise out of love for Me. You are to show mercy to our neighbors always and everywhere. You must not shrink from this or try to absolve yourself from it. (Diary 742)

I want to grant complete pardon to the souls that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion on the Feast of My mercy. (Diary 1109)

As you can see the Lord's desire for the Feast includes the solemn, public veneration of the Image of Divine Mercy by the Church, as well as personal acts of veneration and mercy. The great promise for the individual soul is that a devotional act of sacramental penance and Communion will obtain for that soul the plenitude of the divine mercy on the Feast.
*The Cardinal of Krakow, Cardinal Macharski, whose diocese is the center of the spread of the devotion and the sponsor of the Cause of Sr. Faustina, has written that we should use Lent as preparation for the Feast and confess even before Holy Week! So, it is clear that the confessional requirement does not have to be met on the Feast itself. That would be an impossible burden for the clergy if it did. The Communion requirement is easily met that day, however, since it is a day of obligation, being Sunday. We would only need confession again, if received earlier in Lenten or Easter Season, if we were in the state of mortal sin on the Feast.
Diary, Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, Divine Mercy in My Soul (c) 1987 Congregation of Marians of the Immaculate Conception, Stockbridge, MA 01263. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Plenary Indulgence for Holy Thursday

In honor of the jubilee Year of the Priest, which takes place from June 19, 2009 - June 19, 2010, the Church is offering the opportunity to receive a plenary indulgence for all the faithful.

Priests will be able to gain this indulgence by praying lauds or vespers before the Blessed Sacrament - either in the tabernacle or exposed to public adoration. Priests are also to "offer themselves with a ready and generous heart for the celebration of the sacraments, especially the sacrament of penance." This indulgence can also be applied to deceased priests.

Partial indulgences can be obtained by priests through "devotedly recit[ing] the prayers duly approved to lead a saintly life and carry[ing] out the duties entrusted to them."

The plenary indulgence available for the faithful can be obtained on the opening and closing days of the Year of the Priest, on August 4th – the 150th anniversary of the death of St. Jean-Marie Vianney, on the first Thursday of the month throughout the jubilee year, or on other days as established by the ordinaries of particular places. The faithful on these days must attend Mass in an oratory or church and offer prayers to “Jesus Christ, supreme and eternal priest, for the priests of the Church, or perform any good work to sanctify and mould them to his heart.”

They must also have gone to confession and prayed for the intentions of the Pope, as is always the case with obtaining indulgences.

A partial indulgence is available for the faithful as well when they pray the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be five times, or any other approved prayer “in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, to ask that priests maintain purity and sanctity of life.”

The plenary indulgence is also available to those elderly, sick, or otherwise unable to leave their homes, provided that, “on the days concerned, they pray for the sanctification of priests and offer their sickness and suffering to God through Mary, Queen of the Apostles,” with the intention of fulfilling the usual three conditions – going to confession, receiving the Holy Eucharist, and praying for the intentions of the Pope.

What are indulgences like this and what do they mean?

A partial indulgence is one that remits part of the punishment a person owes for his or her sins committed. These indulgences are relatively easy to obtain and one can do so as often as he or she wants. In order to receive a partial indulgence, the person must be baptized, be in the state of grace, have the intention of obtaining the indulgence, and perform the works or offer prayers correctly.

A plenary indulgence, which is more difficult to obtain and can usually only be obtained at most once per day, is one which accounts for all of the punishment a person would face for sins committed up to that point. In order to receive this type of indulgence, one must meet all the requirements for a partial indulgence, not be excommunicated, have no attachment to any kind of sin, and receive the sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Communion and offer prayers for the Pope's intentions within the prescribed period of time. Obviously it is more difficult to receive a plenary indulgence, and many times those who strive for it might not obtain it – in which case it is believed that God grants at least a partial indulgence for the efforts and intentions of the faithful trying to obtain the indulgence.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

How to do the Chaplet of Divine Mercy

1. Begin with the Sign of the Cross, 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and The Apostles Creed.
2. Then on the Our Father Beads say the following:

Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.

3. On the 10 Hail Mary Beads say the following:
For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

(Repeat step 2 and 3 for all five decades).

4. Conclude with (three times):
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

In 1933, God gave Sister Faustina a striking vision of His Mercy,
Sister tells us:
I saw a great light, with God the Father in the midst of it. Between this light and the earth I saw Jesus nailed to the Cross and in such a way that God, wanting to look upon the earth, had to
look through Our Lord's wounds and I understood that God blessed the earth for the sake of Jesus.
Of another vision on Sept. 13, 1935, she writes:

I saw an Angel, the executor of God's wrath... about to strike the earth...I began to beg God earnestly for the world with words which I heard interiorly. As I prayed in this way, I saw the
Angel's helplessness, and he could not carry out the just punishment....
The following day an inner voice taught her to say this prayer on
ordinary rosary beads:

First say one 'Our Father', 'Hail Mary', and 'I believe'. Then on the large beads say the following words:

'Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.'

On the smaller beads you are to say the following words:

'For the sake of His sorrowful Passion have mercy on us and on the whole world.'

In conclusion you are to say these words three times:

'Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world'.
Jesus said later to Sister Faustina:

"Say unceasingly this chaplet that I have taught you. Anyone who says it will receive great Mercy at the hour of death. Priests will recommend it to sinners as the last hope. Even the most
hardened sinner, if he recites this Chaplet even once, will receive grace from My Infinite Mercy. I want the whole world to know My Infinite Mercy. I want to give unimaginable graces to
those who trust in My Mercy...."

"....When they say this Chaplet in the presence of the dying, I will stand between My Father and the dying person not as the just judge but as the Merciful Savior".

Monday, March 22, 2010

References for the Sacrament of Penance in the KJV

Scriptural references from the KJV for the Sacrament of Penance

Rules and Rituals of the Brown Scapular

  • People are enrolled in the Scapular only once by a priest or authorized person.
  • The Scapular can be replaced afterwards by a medal, which has on one side the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and on the other, the image of Mary.
  • The Scapular holds us to live as authentic Christians in line with the teaching of the Gospel, to receive the sacraments, to profess our special devotion to the Blessed Virgin, which should be expressed each day, at least by saying the Hail Mary three times.
Short form of giving the scapular

 Receive this Scapular, a sign of your special relationship with Mary, the Mother of Jesus, whom you pledge to imitate. May it be a reminder to you of your dignity as a Christian in serving others and imitating Mary. Wear it as a sign of her protection and of belonging to the family of Carmel, voluntarily doing the will of God and devoting yourself to building a world true to his plan of community, justice and peace.

--------------------------------
The Carmelite Scapular is not:
  • a magical charm to protect you
  • an automatic guarantee of salvation
  • an excuse for not living up to the demands of the Christian life
It is a sign:
  • which has been approved by the Church for over seven centuries;
  • which stands for the decision to
  • follow Jesus like Mary:
  • be open to God and to his will
  • be guided by faith, hope, and love
  • to pray at all times
  • to discover God present in all that happens around us.

The Garabandal Story: The Last Apparition

On Saturday, November 13, 1965 Conchita had her last apparition of Our Lady in Garabandal. She gives the details in a letter of which the following is a literal translation:

"One day in church Our Lady told me in a locution that I would see her on Saturday, November 13, at the pines; it would be a special apparition to kiss the religious objects so that I could give them away afterwards. I was anxious for this day to arrive so that I could see again the Blessed Virgin and the Child Jesus who have implanted in my life the seed of God's happiness.
It was raining but it did not matter to me. I went up to the Pines carrying with me the many rosaries which people have given to me to distribute them... As I was going up I was talking to myself, being sorry for my defects, desiring not to fall into them again, for it gave me much worry to appear before the Mother of God without wiping them out.

When I arrived at the pines, I began to take the rosaries out and heard a sweet voice, that of the Virgin, which you always distinguish among others, calling me by my name. I answered her 'what?' At that very moment I saw Her with the Child in her arms. She was dressed as usual and smiling. I told Her, 'I have come to bring you the rosaries so that you can kiss them.' She said to me, 'I can see it.' I had been chewing gum, but as I was seeing Her I did not chew it; I placed the gum on a tooth. She must have noticed for She said, 'Conchita why don't you get rid of the chewing gum and offer it up as a sacrifice for the glory of my Son?' I, a bit ashamed of myself, took it out and threw it on the ground. She said afterwards, 'Do you remember what I told you on your saint's day - that you would suffer much on earth?... Now I repeat it to you. Have confidence in Us. Then I added, 'How unworthy I am, O Mother of us, of so many graces received through you, and now you have come to me to help me carry the little cross I have." She said, 'Conchita, I am not coming only for you but I am coming for all my children, with a desire to get them closer to Our Hearts.' She asked for the things I was carrying. 'Give them to me so that I can kiss all you are carrying with you.' And I gave her everything. I was bringing with me also a small crucifix which I gave her to kiss. She kissed it and said , 'Put it in the hands of the Child Jesus.' And I did that and He said nothing. I said 'This cross I intend to take with me when I go to the convent.' But he did not reply. After kissing everything She commented, 'My son, through this kiss, will work wonders. Distribute them to the others..." Of course I will do it.

After all this she requested that I tell her all the petitions for others which I had received. She said, 'Conchita, tell me, tell me things about my children. I have all of them under my cloak.' And I commented, 'It is too small and there is no room for all of us.' She smiled at this.

'Do You know, Conchita, why I did not come personally on June 18 to give you the message for the world? Because it pained me to say it myself, but I have to say it to you for your own good and, if you fulfill it, for God's glory. I love you very much and I desire your salvation; to gather you all around God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Conchita, won't you respond to this?' I said, 'If I could be always seeing you, yes; but otherwise I can't because I am very bad...' 'You do all you can,' Our Lady added, 'and We will help you, as well as my daughters Loli, Jacinta and Maricruz...'

She did not stay long with me. She also said, 'This will be the last time you see me here, but I will always be with all my children.' Afterwards she added, 'Conchita, why don't you go often to visit my Son in the Most Blessed Sacrament? Why do you let yourself be carried away by laziness and not go to visit Him Who is waiting for you day an night?'

As I have written above, it was raining hard. Our Lady and the Child did not get wet. I was not aware it was raining while seeing them, but when I stopped seeing them I was soaked. I also told her, 'O how happy I am when I see you. Why don't you take me with you right now?' She answered, 'Remember what I told you on your saint's day. When you go before God you must show Him your hands filled with good works done by you for your brothers and for the glory of God; now your hands are empty.'

That's all, I spent a happy moment with my mother from heaven, my best friend, and with the Child Jesus. I have stopped seeing them but not feeling them close. Again they have sown in my soul great peace, joy and a desire to conquer my defects so that I will be able to love, with all my strength, the hearts of Jesus and Mary who love us so much..."

Conchita ends with this: "The Blessed Virgin Mary told me before that Jesus does not want to send the punishment in order to distress us but in order to help us and reproach us because we pay no attention to Him. And the warning will be sent in order to purify us for the miracle in which he will show us His great love, and in order that we may fulfill the message."


With this apparition of Our Lady, the cycle of apparitions in Garabandal closed. It will be definitely confirmed on a Thursday at 8:30 p.m. when The miracle takes place. This will mark the beginning of a new era in the history of the salvation of mankind.

Source: http://www.garabandal.org/story.shtml

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Value and Meaning of the Brown Scapular

The Blessed Virgin teaches us:
  • To be open to God, and to his will, shown to us in the events of our lives;
  • To Listen to the Word of God in the Bible and in life, to believe in it and to put into practice its demands;
  • To pray at all times, as a way of discovering the presence of God in all that is happening around us;
  • To be involved with people, being attentive to their needs.
The Scapular finds its roots in the tradition of the Order, which has seen in it a sign of Mary’s motherly protection. It has therefore, a centuries old spiritual meaning approved by Church.

  • It stands for a commitment to follow Jesus, like Mary, the perfect model of all the disciples of Christ. This commitment finds its origin in baptism by which we become children of God.
  • It leads us into the community of Carmel, a community of religious men and women, which has existed in the Church for over eight centuries.
  • It reminds us of the example of the saints of Carmel, with whom we establish a close bond as brothers and sisters to one another.
  • It is an expression of our belief that we will meet God in eternal life, aided by the intercession and prayers of Mary.
Source: http://carmelnet.org/scapular/value/value.htm

The Garabandal Story: Father Luis Marie Andreu

The only other person to see Our Blessed Mother at Garabandal was a 38-year old Spanish Jesuit Priest, Father Luis Marie Andreu. On August 8, 1961, Father Luis was Among the spectators at The Pines when suddenly he became an integral part of the Garabandal drama. He was heard to say, Miracle! Miracle!" Not only did he see The Virgin Mary, but he was shown the forthcoming Great Miracle. The children in ecstasy understood Our Lady to say to him: "You will soon be with me." Although, he had never had any history of serious illness, he died that same night of complete joy. His final words were:

"Oh! What a sweet and lovely mother we have in heaven...how happy I am... what a favor The Blessed Virgin has bestowed on me. How fortunate we are to have a mother like her in heaven!. There is no reason to fear the supernatural life. The girls have given us an example of how we must act with the Blessed Virgin. There is no doubt, in my mind that the things involving the girls are true. Why should the Blessed Virgin have chosen us? This is the happiest day of my life."
With those words, Father bowed his head and died. Our Lady has said, "that on the day AFTER the Miracle his body will be found to be incorrupt."
Our Blessed Mother showed special attention and concern for all priests, repeatedly asking that they come to Garabandal. She gave the girls the ability to recognize them even when they came dressed as laymen, revealing the state of their souls. She taught the children that priests were more important even than angels because by means of their ordination they have the power to change bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

Source: http://www.garabandal.org/story.shtml

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Garabandal Story: A New Message

On January 1, 1965, Conchita had an apparition of Our Lady who told her that on June 18, the fourth anniversary of the apparitions, she would be given another message. Thus, six months before the actual date Conchita revealed this promise of Our Lady.

On June 18 more than two thousand people gathered in Garabandal - French, Germans, English, Italians, Americans and Polish were among the people who joined the groups from different parts of Spain. The Spanish were in the minority, perhaps due to the fact the apparitions had received practically no publicity. The French constituted the largest group. There were journalists, TV cameras from the Italian TV network, and cameramen from NO-DO (the Spanish official documentary news program). Leaving her house at 11:30 p.m. Conchita walked to the road leading to the Pines to the place called the Cuadro. There she was rapt in ecstasy which lasted sixteen minutes. St. Michael appeared to her and delivered the message from Our Lady, which was made public the next morning. It reads:


Message which Our Lady has given to the world through the intercession of St. Michael the Archangel. The angel said, "Since my message of October 18 has not been made known to the world and has not been fulfilled, I tell you that this is my last message. Previously, the cup was being filled. Now it is overflowing. Many Cardinals, many Bishops and many Priests are on the road to perdition and with them they are bringing many souls. The Holy Eucharist is being given less importance (honor). We must avoid God's anger with us by our efforts at amendment. If we beg pardon with sincerity of soul, He will forgive us. I, your Mother, through the intercession of St. Michael the Archangel, want to tell you to amend your lives. You are already receiving one of the last warnings. I love you very much and do not want your condemnation. Ask sincerely and we will give to you. You should make more sacrifices. Think of the Passion of Jesus."

From this message one can clearly sense Our Lady's disappointment at the scant attention paid to her message of October 18, 1961. The Blessed Mother shows her motherly concern for priests and the need to place the Holy Eucharist where it belongs - at the center of the mysteries of our Faith. To urge us to sacrifice, she recommends meditation on the Passion of Our Lord.

Our Blessed mother has told us this is her last message. Because of this she wants all her children to listen to her plea before The warning and The miracle. For the reason that she wishes it, we should propagate this urgent message as widely as possible.

Source: http://www.garabandal.org/story.shtml

The Brown Scapular as a Sign of Mary

One of the signs in the tradition of the Church from many centuries ago is the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. It is a sign approved by the Church and accepted by the Carmelite Order as an external sign of love for Mary, of the trust her children have in her, and of commitment to live like her.

The word scapular indicates a form of clothing, which monks wore when they were working. With the passage of time, people began to give symbolic meaning to it: the cross to be borne every day as disciples and followers of Christ. In some religious orders, such as the Carmelites, the Scapular turned into a sign of their way of life. The Scapular came to symbolize the special dedication of Carmelites to Mary, the Mother of God, and to express trust in her motherly protection as well as the desire to be like her in her commitment to Christ and to others. Thus it became a sign of Mary.

In the Middle Ages many Christians wanted to be associated with the orders founded at that time: Franciscans, Dominicans, Augustinians, and Carmelites. Groups of lay people began to emerge in associations such as confraternities and sodalities.

All the religious orders wanted to give these lay people a sign of affiliation and of participation in their spirit and apostolate. That sign was often a part of their habit: a cloak, a cord, a scapular.

Among the Carmelites, the stage came when a smaller version of the Scapular was accepted as the sign of belonging to the Order and an expression of its spirituality.

Source: http://carmelnet.org/scapular/mary/mary.htm

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

The world in which we live is full of material things that have symbolic meaning: light, fire, water... there are also, in everyday life, experiences of relationships between human beings, which express and symbolize deeper realities such as taking part in a protest march (as a sign of solidarity), joining together in a national celebration (as a sign of identity).

We need signs and symbols to help us understand what is happening at present, or what happened before, and to give us an awareness of who we are, as individuals and as groups.

Jesus is the great sign of the Father’s love. He founded the Church as a sign and instrument of His love. Christian life also has its signs. Jesus used bread, wine, water to help us understand higher things, which we can neither see or touch.

In the celebration of the Eucharist and the other sacraments (baptism, confirmation, reconciliation, matrimony, orders, the sacrament of the sick) the symbols, (water, oil, the laying on of hands, the rings,) all have their own meaning and bring us into.

As well as liturgical signs, the Church has others related to some event, to some tradition or some person. One of these is the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

Source: http://carmelnet.org/scapular/brown/brown.htm

The Garabandal Story: The Punishment

If we do not pay attention to the message, the punishment announced by Our Lady will be visited on the whole world after The miracle. During one of their ecstasies the girls were heard praying for the innocent children but, nevertheless, they shed tears at the same time. Since the day they learned about the punishment they have developed a great spirit of sacrifice. They pray very much for sinners and for priests. They often say that if priests are not what they should be many souls will be lost.

Conchita has written: "I cannot reveal what kind of punishment it is except that it will be a result of the direct intervention of God, which makes it more terrible and fearful than anything we can imagine. It will be less painful for innocent babies to die a natural death than for those babies to die because of the punishment. All Catholics should go to confession before the punishment and the others should repent of their sins. When I saw IT (the punishment), I felt a great fear even though at the same time I was seeing Our Blessed Mother. The punishment, if it comes, will come after the miracle"

When Our Lady spoke to the girls of the punishment, her face assumed a look of great sadness. The girls revealed: "We have never seen her look so serious. When she said the words 'The cup is already filling', she spoke in a very low voice."

Source: http://www.garabandal.org/story.shtml

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Martyr of the Eucharist: Blessed Imelda

Blessed Imelda was born into an aristocratic family in Bologna in 1322. She was unusually pious as a child and was placed in Dominican convent of nuns to be educated at her own request when she was nine years old, and she received the Dominican habit soon after her entry.

Blessed Imelda had a particular devotion to the Blessed Eucharist. Her greatest wish was to receive Holy Communion, but this was not possible as she was too young according to Church law at the time (the minimum age was about 12 until the decree of Pope St Pius X “Quam singulari” in 1910).

On Ascension Day when she was eleven years old she remained in the convent chapel after Mass with the other sisters. After Mass and Holy Communion the sisters began to leave, but one of them noticed what appeared to be a host hovering over Imelda’s head who was found to be in a state of ecstacy. The priest hurried forward to receive the host on a paten. Experiencing such a miracle, he felt obliged to give Imelda her first Holy Communion.

It was to be her last because she died during her thanksgiving after Communion. Blessed Imelda was beatified in 1826.
 
Her Feast Day is May 13th and she is patroness of First Holy Communicants.

The Garabandal Story: The Warning

Conchita wrote: "The warning comes directly from God and will be visible to the whole world and from any place where anyone many happen to be. It will be like the revelation of our sins and it will be seen and felt by everyone, believer and unbeliever alike irrespective of whatever religion he may belong to. It will be seen and felt in all parts of the world and by every person."

It will happen in the sky, no one can prevent it form happening. We will even prefer to be dead rather than to pass through this Warning It will not kill us. It will be a "correction" of our conscience. It will cause great fear and will make us reflect within ourselves on the consequences of our own personal sins. It will be like a warning of the punishment to come. In this way the world will be offered a means of purification to prepare itself for the extraordinary grace of the Great Miracle.

Jacinta was told by Our Blessed Mother "that the warning would come when conditions were at their worst." The date was not revealed to the visionaries, however Mari-Loli does know the year; and she said that The Miracle will happen within one year after The Warning.

Source: http://www.garabandal.org/story.shtml

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Great Miracle Possible Dates

Here's a link to a comprehensive list of possible dates for the Great Miracle. I've been watching some of the Saint's feastdays listed here for the past couple of decades during which time I've been fascinated with Garbandal. The closest fits seem to be Saint Hermengild and Blessed Imelda, as being martyrs of the Eucharist and having their feastdays within the Garabandal-given dates.
I realise the following subject matter is not as important as changing our lives and improving our faith, however I have included it mainly for interest.

Many people have heard that Our Lady has promised to perform a miracle at the pines in Garabandal and also on Apparition Hill at Medjugorje. There is some speculation that both will occur at the same time. Only at Garabandal did She give any idea when the Miracle at the Pines would occur. There are 2 variations on the day being reported. Firstly St Michael's Garabandal Center reports that it is on a Thursday between (and including) 8th to 16th April. Secondly, Joey Lomangino's Garabandal Website and the Australian Garabandal Website are both mentioning March, April and May. It will be on the feast of a Eucharistic Martyr and will coincide with an important event in the church. Some sources have also mentioned that the martyr is "little known" and hence martyrs which don't have much available detail have been flagged in this list as possibilities. The important event has occurred before but not since Conchita was born. Given this information, we can at least start looking into what Martyrs have feasts in this range of dates. The feast days have been obtained from the list of feast days at Catholic Online and there are some in the list which may not be Eucharistic Martyrs. Over the next few months, this list will be reduced as further research is done. If you wish to help please contact me ldaly2@bigpond.net.au

Click on an underlined date to see the list of Saints for that date. If a date is not underlined, there are no relevant saints on that date. Dates in bold have possible Martyrs under them

We do also know that on the day of the Miracle, Joey Lomangino will recover his eyesight. He is currently about 74. I have only included 10 years in the charts below as I am sure, Our Lady would not want Joey to recover his eyesight and then die only a short time later. We also know the Pope will see the miracle from whereever he is. The visionaries of Garabandal indicated that Pope John Paul 2nd would be the last Pope and then would come the end of time. This has been given a different meaning to the one previously given here. It is assumed, the end of time indicates an end of an era. The claim that he would be the last Pope indicates he is the last Pope of that era not the last Pope that would ever exist. Given it is only a few years since his death, it is still hard to work out wether a particular era has ended. Keep watch on this page for updates.

Full link is here

The Garabandal Story: A Greater Miracle to Come

Conchita has clearly said that Our Lady has promised a greater miracle in Garabandal so that all may believe the apparitions and be obedient to the message. "As the punishment which we deserve for the sins of the world is great, the miracle must also be a great one, for the world needs it." It will occur on a Thursday on the feast day of a saint devoted to the Eucharist, at 8:30 in the evening, and will last for about one quarter of an hour. It will also coincide with a great event in the Church. The sick who come to Garabandal on that day will be cured, unbelievers will be converted. There will remain a permanent sign at "The Pines" as a proof of Our Lady's tremendous love for all her children.

"The sign that will remain," says Conchita, "will be able to be seen, photographed and televised but it will not be able to be touched. It will appear clearly that it is something not of this world, but of God."

Conchita has been granted permission by Our Lady to announce the date of the miracle eight days in advance. With the present means of communication and travel, eight days are sufficient for people around the world to gather. The day of The miracle may be the last opportunity given us by God and may be also Our Lady's last effort to save the world from the punishment already threatened.

Some time ago Conchita wrote, "The Blessed Virgin will not allow me to reveal the nature of The miracle although I already know it. Neither can I reveal the date of it, which I know, until eight days before it is to happen." Before The miracle takes place Our Lady has said that all mankind will receive a warning from heaven.

Source: http://www.garabandal.org/story.shtml

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Prophecy for Today

Another terrific book on Catholic Prophecy. Along with Yves Dupont's "Catholic Prophecy", this is one that I've found myself referring back to on many occasions.

The Garabandal Story: The Miracle of the Host

Above the village is a steep hill on which stands a cluster of 9 pine trees. "One day," said the girls, "an angel with a golden chalice appeared to us at "The Pines". He told us to recite the Confiteor and then he gave us Holy Communion." This wonderful favor happened many times during those days when the parish priest of the neighboring town of Cosio could not go to Garabandal. It was possible to film some of these Communions, using very bright light. The movements of the lips and tongues of the girls gave the exact idea of a real Communion. On May 2, 1962, the angel told Conchita that God would perform a miracle so that all people would believe: they would see the Sacred Host on her tongue at the moment of Communion and that she should make this known fifteen days in advance. On July 18, 1962, the town was crowded with visitors. At midnight Conchita, who had remained in her home continually surrounded by visitors, entered into ecstasy and went out into the street. At a short distance from her house she fell down on her knees in the midst of the crowd. Lanterns were focused on her. She put out her tongue upon which nothing was resting, as everyone could see. In a few moments, a white host appeared on her tongue and remained there for a few minutes. A businessman from Barcelona, Don Alejandro Damians, standing less than three feet from the girl, secured some very good moving pictures. In the film there appeared 79 pictures of the extraordinary scene. This same witness wrote a report which he submitted to the Bishop of Santander, together with a copy of the film. The number of witnesses on this occasion was very large: there were people from different cultures and social classes. Don Benjamin Gomez, a farmer from Potes, wrote:

"I was standing at less than an arm's length from the girl. I saw very well that her tongue was completely clean of everything. The girl did not move. Suddenly there appeared on it the Sacred Host. It was white, shining and resplendent. It reminded one of the snow when the sun strikes it with its brilliant rays. The girl's face was beautifully transformed into heavenly ecstasy. Her face was angelic I can certify that she was there motionless, moving neither hands nor tongue. In this motionless position she received the Sacred Host. We had enough time to contemplate this marvelous phenomenon without any undue haste, and we were many who saw it. I was an unbeliever until that day. I am not such a Catholic as to be subject to any hallucination or imagination. I had not concerned myself about God until then except to offend Him. I went to confession in April but previous to that time I had not gone to confession for twenty-three years."


The miracle of the host is a true confirmation of the apparitions of Our Blessed Mother in Garabandal and of the reality of her message. But a still greater miracle has been promised.

Monday, March 15, 2010

My favorite Catholic Prophecy book

I've probably mentioned this before, but in my opinion "Catholic Prophecy" by Yves Dupont is probably the best of prophecy that I've read.

This compact book contains a wealth of prophecies gathers from sources hundreds of years apart on the Great Catholic Monarch, the Holy Pope, and the period before Antichrist, all with excellent, excellent commentaries by Yves Dupont. It's amazing that so many prophecies from various countries and different centuries all speak about the same time and the same historical characters. It also shows the coalescing of Saints' prophecies on our times and our immediate future.

Catholic Prophecy

In my opinion this is probably the best of prophecy that I've read.

It covers the Great Catholic Monarch, the Holy Pope, and the period before Antichrist, with excellent, excellent commentaries by Yves Dupont. It's amazing that so many prophecies from various countries and different centuries all speak about the same time and the same historical characters. It also shows the coalescing of Saints' prophecies on our times and our immediate future.

The Garabandal Story: New Phenomena

Soon after Our Lady of Carmel appeared, the ecstatic walks began. The girls went throughout the entire village - up and down stairways, in and out of homes, at all hours of the day and night, avoiding obstacles without faltering, guided solely by the vision. Frequently, they ran at great speed down the steep mountainside, even backwards, so that it was impossible for the astonished spectators to follow them. Their bodies did not seem to be subject to the law of gravity, but endowed with some sort of spiritual agility. During their high-speed running, the objects entrusted to the girls were sometimes lost. However, upon seeing Our Blessed Mother again, they asked as to their whereabouts and She told them where to find them.

Source: http://www.garabandal.org/story.shtml

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Garabandal Story: Participation of the Observers

Many visitors and villagers gave the girls various objects, such as bibles, rosaries, scapulars, medals, crucifixes, wedding rings, etc. for Our Lady to kiss. In ecstasy, the girls raised them up to Her and She kissed them. Then guided by Our Lady, the girls returned the items to their correct owners, even in cases where the person had first confided the object to someone else so the child did not know who the real owner was. Things "kissed" by Our Lady of Carmel have been the instruments of very special favors. Occasionally, these have emitted a mysterious fragrance like that of roses. "Our Lady says", Conchita wrote, "that Jesus will work miracles through the objects kissed by her. Those who carry or wear them with faith and confidence will suffer their purgatory here on earth."

While in ecstasy, the girls often carried a crucifix in their hand which Our Lady had kissed, and as She directed, they extended it for observers to kiss, blessing them with it at the same time. On seeing the girls approach, many witnesses experienced such a tremendous spiritual awakening, that it produced a very deep interior emotion in them. They cried unashamed tears, admitting the supernatural nature of what they were seeing, hearing and feeling within them, the very presence of the Mother of God. The conversion of unbelievers and those of different faiths, of souls suffering from religious indifference, the conversions of many sinners, all of which have experienced an increase in faith, hope, and charity.

Source: http://www.garabandal.org/story.shtml

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Sacraments: The Eucharist references in the KJV

Scriptural References from the KJV for the Eucharist



Source: KJV Bible Gateway

The Garabandal Story: The Ecstasies

When the vision appeared, the girls fell instantaneously on their knees, striking the sharp rocks with a loud noise that was frightening, yet they showed no signs of injury. The expression on their faces was suddenly transformed. Their look became extraordinarily beautiful, sweet, one of profound mysticism. There are no words that can properly describe the change. They were completely absorbed in their rapture, unaware of anyone or any material thing around them except for each other. They did no react to pricks, burns or blows. All attempts to distract them failed. Powerful beams of strong light were focused on them, yet their eyes did not even flicker, blink or show any signs of discomfort. Quite the contrary, their eyes remained wide open , expressing a look of intense joy. However, when the girls returned to the normal state, they immediately shielded their eyes from those bright lights which under normal circumstances should have caused permanent eye damage.

During these ecstasies, which lasted from a few minutes to several hours, time did not seem to count. On many occasions they remained immobile in off-balance, beautiful "sculptured-like" positions, heads tilted back, eyes looking up, kneeling on the rocks or bare-legged in the snow. At the end of the ecstasy, they showed no signs of excitation or nervousness, just deep, profound peace and joy.

Source: http://www.garabandal.org/story.shtml

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Garabandal Story: More Apparitions

After this first apparition there were many more. During 1961 and 1962 Our Lady appeared several times each week. The four girls did not always receive the apparition together. Sometimes only one, other times two or three of them saw the vision. Nor was it always at the same hour of the day. Our Lady appeared many times at night and even early in the morning, in an attitude of sacrifice and penance, at the same hours when Our Lord is most offended by the sins of men. Even so, the girls would arise the following morning, as early as usual, to work in the fields, carrying bundles of grass or wood, or tending the cattle and sheep, without showing signs of fatigue.

Source: http://www.garabandal.org/story.shtml

Interviews with the Visionaries of Garabandal Part 10 of 10 - Mary Loli 1984 Part 2

Interviews with the Visionaries of Garabandal

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Garabandal Story: Our Lady of Carmel

The news spread quickly through the region. July 2 was a Sunday and the town was crowded. There were people from all social levels and very many from out of town, among them several physicians and priests. At six in the evening the girls went to the place where the Angel had appeared, and to the surprise of the crowd they entered into ecstasy. Our Lady appeared to them accompanied by two angels, one being St. Michael. The girls described the vision as follows:
"She is dressed in a white robe with a blue mantle and a crown of golden stars. Her hands are slender. There is a brown scapular on her right arm, except when she carried the Child Jesus in her arms. Her hair, deep nut-brown, is parted in the center. Her face is long, with a fine nose. Her mouth is very pretty with lips a bit thin. She looks like a girl of eighteen. She is rather tall. There is no voice like hers. No woman is just like her, either in the voice or the face or anything else. " Our Lady Manifested herself as Our Lady of Carmel."
At times the wind rustled her long hair which reached down to her waist. The girls spoke with the Virgin with the utmost naturalness. "We were telling her," they said, "about our tasks, how we were going to the meadows..." and "She smiled at the little things we told her." Our Lady showed them how to treat her: "Like children who speak with their mother and tell her everything...Children who rejoice to see her when they have not seen her for a while."
Source: http://www.garabandal.org/story.shtml

Interviews with the Visionaries of Garabandal Part 9 of 10 - Mary Loli 1984 Part 1 of 2

Interviews with the Visionaries of Garabandal

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Garabandal Story: The beginning of the events

Garabandal is a small village in northern Spain, in the Santander province, near the Picos de Europa mountains, a rugged and beautiful setting. Its full name is San Sebastian of Garabandal. It is located 600 meters above sea level, some 57 miles from the capital of the province. To get there one must climb steep, poor roads. No more than 300 people live in Garabandal. The town is impressively quiet. There is no doctor in the town and no resident pastor at the parish church. The pastor from Cosio, the next town down the road, used to celebrate Mass there on Sunday.
In the evening of June 18, 1961, four girls were playing on the outskirts of the town - Conchita Gonzalez, Maria Dolores (Mari-loli) Mazon, Jacinta Gonzalez and Maria Cruz Gonzalez (not related despite having the same name.) Maria Cruz was eleven, the others twelve, and all were from poor families.

Suddenly they heard a loud noise, like thunder, and saw before them the bright figure of the Archangel Michael. On the following days the Archangel appeared to them again in the same place. He announced that on July 2 they would see Our Lady. This was the beginning of the Garabandal events.

Source: http://www.garabandal.org/story.shtml

Interviews with the Visionaries of Garabandal Part 8 of 10 - The Message of Garabandal Part 4

Interviews with the Visionaries of Garabandal

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Pope Paul VI Gives His Blessing to Garabandal


This isn't an official approval from the Catholic Church, but it's probably the closest we have to it so far.

From: http://www.garabandal.org/News/Pope_Paul_Blessing.shtml

POPE PAUL VI GIVES HIS BLESSING to Maria C. Saraco, Director of St. Michael's Garabandal Center for Our Lady of Carrnel. In his public address May 19, 1971, he said:
"We ask the Lord to sustain you, and through your apostolate of prayer, to grant increased holiness in the Church and especially in the hearts of priests." Mrs. Saraco in presenting to the Holy Father a Rosary, carefully explained that it was made from the PINE BRANCHES of the PINE TREES Our Lady Stood in at GARABANDAL. Attached to the Rosary was an object kissed by the Blessed Virgin during her numerous appearances there. The Holy Father, after accepting the Rosary, took Mrs. Saraco's hands in His, with great affection, saying: "Thank you, thank you very much." At the May audience, the Pope explicitly approved the custom of prayers for priests. The Vatican has made no explicit ruling on the reported apparitions as yet, and will not until the prophesized events take place.

Interviews with the Visionaries of Garabandal Part 7 of 10 - The Message of Garabandal Part 3

Interviews with the Visionaries of Garabandal

Monday, March 8, 2010

Our Holy Father Pope John II exclaimed "Garabandal!"

From http://www.garabandal.org/News/Pope_John_Paul.shtml

On June 21, 1987, Robert Francis Graves III, was ordained a Roman Catholic Priest at St. Peter's Basilica, by Our Holy Father, Pope John Paul II. Fr. Robert's parents were already deceased at the time of his ordination. However, none of his relatives and friends were present, nor did any of them acknowledge his new-found vocation because of his renunciation of fame and wealth in order to follow the call of Christ into the Catholic priesthood.

What Father Robert says is, "In the end Christ conquered. One cannot say 'No' to Love that calls at all times and in all seasons." He is a member of the community of "The Sons of The Divine Will."

On July 23, 1988, during a special general audience with the Pope at the Vatican ... "special" because it was held on Saturday, rather than the usual Wednesday... Father Robert introduced Garabandal Visionary Mari-Loli and family to him. Father Robert who was holding 7 year old Maria Dolores, one of the three Lafleur children, said to the Pope: "Your Holiness, a special blessing for your littlest children who come on behalf of The Blessed Virgin from Garabandal." Our Holy Father exclaimed "Garabandal!". . . And immediately kissed Maria Dolores.

The Pope then blessed Francis her 13 year old brother when he took him by the arm and asked for prayers.

Next the Pope with arms out stretched reached for and kissed their 8 year old sister, Melanie Maria Theresa who was enthralled with the pope and felt right at home with him.

Loli, who before meeting the Pope, viewed the prearranged occasion rather apprehensively. She was concerned about the impact it could possibly have because of her role as one of the world-famous Garabandal visionaries. However, after a visit with Bishop Gallo, the present bishop of the diocese of Santander, Spain, where the apparitions took place and receiving his encouragement, and with prayerful reflection, she resigned herself to the opportunity and accepted it as "God's Will." She simply asked the pope for his blessing and prayers for her family and for herself. The Holy Father placed his hands on her head, and gave his blessing.

Husband Frank, kissed the Holy Father's ring in acknowledgement to his supreme authority in representing Jesus Christ here on earth.

Finally, the Pope extended his arms wide as to embrace Loli and the entire family. Maria Saraco who was also present witnessed the entire episode.

Interviews with the Visionaries of Garabandal Part 6 of 10 - The Message of Garabandal Part 2

Interviews with the Visionaries of Garabandal

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The story of Father Luis Marie Andreu

From The Vigil January - April 1991

Father Luis died during an act of love.
I never thought God would grant me so many graces with such a holy son.

By MARIA SARACO

http://www.garabandal.org/vigil/Sister_Luisa_Maria.shtml

The only other person to see Our Blessed Mother at Garabandal was a 38-year old Spanish Jesuit Priest, Father Luis Marie Andreu. On August 8, 1961, Father Luis was among the spectators at "The Pines" when suddenly he became an integral part of the Garbandal drama, he was heard to say, "Miracle! Miracle! Miracle! Miracle!" Not only did he see The Virgin Mary, but he was shown the forthcoming "Great Miracle."

The four 11 and 12 year old children, Conchita, Loli, Jacinta and Mari-Cruz were already in ecstasy. They understood Our Lady to say to him: "You will soon be with me." Although, he had never had any history of serious illness, he died that same night of complete joy. His final words were: "Oh what a sweet and lovely mother we have in heaven ... how happy I am ... what a favor The Blessed Virgin has bestowed on me. How fortunate we are to have a mother like her in heaven! There is no reason to fear the supernatural life. The girls have given us an example of how we must act with the Blessed Virgin. There is no doubt in my mind that the things involving the girls are true. Why should the Blessed Virgin have chosen us? This is the happiest day of my life." With those words, Father bowed his head and died. Our Lady has said, "That on the day AFTER the 'Miracle' his body will be found to be incorrupt"


Father Luis was born on July 3, 1923. Of his five brothers, three became Jesuits. Father Alejandro, the oldest was based in Caracas, Venezuela until he died on August 8,1990, with the date of his death and that of Father Luis mysteriously coinciding except for the year. Father Ramon, a very important eye-witness to several hundred ecstasies of the Garabandal seers, and who documented what he saw and heard along with his impressions, has been stationed in Los Angeles, California. The youngest brother, Father Marcelino, has been in Taiwan for many years and although he is seriously ill with a rare form of Lukemia, his condition remains stable.

On July 18, 1965, during a Mass celebrated at Garabandal by Fr. Marcelino, Conchita had a locution in which the Virgin said that Fr. Marcelino Andreu of China will be in Garabandal on the day of the great Miracle. In another locution, Conchita learned that Fr. Alejendro of South America will also be in the village for the Miracle.

Shortly after the death of Father Luis, his mother entered the cloister of The Salesian Order, at the Visitation Convent in San Sebastian, Spain. Finally realizing her life-long desire at age 65, she became Sister Luisa Maria, taking the name of her son Luis. During a tape-recorded interview, on October 21, 1990, I felt indeed so privileged to be able to chat with her and her Mother Superior, Sister Maria Elena. The following month on November 28,1990, looking much younger than her 94 years, still alert and agile, she peacefully passed away. She had anticipated her eternal meeting with Christ whom she had seen and conversed with many times over the years even prior to her entrance into the convent. While during her lifetime she wrote books dealing with contemplation, we cannot help but be inspired by the penetrating thoughts she had penned.

"My God, soon I think I will find myself with you. I see that You are already taking me to Yourself. How will our meeting be my Love? I hope that it will be of love for the love I feel for You. I want my soul to be empty so that Your love can fill it. And being with You, nothing makes me tremble. I desire to see You, to contemplate You. I see that You are looking at me and I am smiling before Your look that so earnestly longs for my heart. I would like to offer You a world of loves, but seeing myself so small for so much that I want to give You, I will give You the poor lowliness of my heart. I want to be a volcano of loves and to pass its lava through me erasing that which You don't like so that I am able to give You my pure love, being only for You."

The following is only a small edited version of my 1-hour conversation with Sister Luisa where she describes the vision of Father Luis after his death along with the two unidentified Jesuits whose faces she did not see. If I were to speculate, which I rarely ever do in public, I would venture to say that they were her other two sons from whom the above prophecies concern, that is Fathers Alejandro and Marcelino. They were both alive at the time of the vision. And furthermore, can we not say that Jesus by calling Father Alejandro to heaven, on precisely the 29th anniversary of his brother's death is giving us an assuring message loud and clear that nothing happens by coincidence that all these events and prophecies have a definite part in God's Divine Plan as the passing of time will surely authenticate? We cannot help but recall His Words, "Do not be concerned whether they believe you or not I WILL DO ALL."

One night as I was preparing for bed in my convent room, I heard a voice say: "Father Luis is coming." The lights went out but I should say the lights turned on and then Luis appeared. I saw him just like I'm seeing you. I don't know if he was flesh or what, since I did not touch him. I cannot explain it. He didn't speak. I was so dumbfounded. I should have asked him 'where are you, what are you doing?' He looked at me smiling, he looked very good, calm, trim, very well groomed like a person that was very satisfied and after he was there for awhile, smiling and laughing, he stretched out his hand touching the doorknob, and without moving he disappeared.

There were two persons with him but I only saw their backs. They were dressed like Jesuits. They had the cassocks of the priest. Father Luis was laughing. I could see his white teeth just like I can see yours. The priests were in the same room but separated away from him. I could only see the back of them, but Father Luis was facing me.
"Were they taller or shorter than Father Luis? "They were about the same height. "Do you have any idea who they could be?" No, I didn't see their faces. They were just having a private conversation between themselves without being concerned with what was going on. "Have you seen Father Luis any other time since then." No, but even though it has been more than 25 years, I recall it as though I have just seen him.

"Do you know the exact date that Father Alejandro died?
Yes, he died on the 8th of August (1990 in Caracas, Venezuela). It was the very same month, date, and hour as when Father Luis died (August 9,1961 in Spain).
"But Father Luis died on August 9 not the 8th." When calculating the time difference it comes out to the 8th of August. Father Alejandro had as a souvenir the wrist watch that belonged to Father Luis and he was wearing it when he died.

"Someday Father Luis will be made a saint." Yes, of course but their have to be some miracles before his beatification. What does the church think about it? "He is a saint." He died during an act of love. I never thought that God would grant me so many graces with such a holy son. "And the reason for that is because he has such a holy mother."

A priest explains the Rosary and influence of John Paul II

The rosary, a Catholic way of praying and meditating is explained by a priest.

Interviews with the Visionaries of Garabandal Part 5 of 10 - The Message of Garabandal Part 1

Interviews with the Visionaries of Garabandal

Saturday, March 6, 2010

What is The Chastisement?

The Chastisement is an event that may occur after the Great Warning and Great Miracle. Whether is happens depends on our response to the first two events.
The Chastisement is conditioned upon the response of humanity to the warning and the miracle.

Conchita has written: "I cannot reveal what kind of punishment it is except that it will be a result of the direct intervention of god, which makes it more terrible and fearful than anything we can imagine. It will be less painful for innocent babies to die a natural death than for those babies to die because of the punishment. All Catholics should go to confession before the punishment and the others should repent of their sins. When I saw it (the punishment), I felt a great fear even though at the same time I was seeing Our Blessed Mother. The punishment, if it comes, will come after the miracle."

The Bishop of Santander issued a letter in October, 1996, indicating that the events at Garabandal were NOT of supernatural origin, and thus they remain without imprimatur of the Church. It should be noted, however, that on August 8, 1961, Father Luis Marie Andreu, a 38 year old Spanish Jesuit Priest, was among the spectators at The Pines when he was heard to say, "Miracle, Miracle!" He was shown the coming Great Miracle, and the children heard Our lady say to him, "You will soon be with me."

Later that night, Fr. Andreu said: "Oh! What a sweet and lovely mother we have in heaven...how happy I am...what a favor The Blessed Virgin has bestowed on me. How fortunate that we are to have a mother like her in heaven! There is no reason to fear the supernatural life. The girls have given us an example of how we must act with the Blessed Virgin. There is no doubt in my mind that the things involving the girls are true. Why should the Blessed Virgin have chosen us? This is the happiest day of my life." He then bowed his head and died.
Source: http://www.endtimesreport.com/garabandal.html

Interviews with the Visionaries of Garabandal Part 4 of 10 - Conchita Speaks Part 3

Interviews with the Visionaries of Garabandal

Friday, March 5, 2010

What is The Great Miracle and The Sign?

A more detailed description of the Great Miracle of Garabandal that follows the Great Warning.
A great miracle will occur in the late winter or early spring within one year after The Warning.

Conchita has clearly said that Our Lady has promised a great miracle in Garabandal so that all may believe the apparitions and be obedient to the message. "As the punishment which we deserve for the sins of the world is great, the miracle must also be a great one, for the world needs it." It will occur on a Thursday on the feast day of a saint devoted to the Eucharist, at 8:30 in the evening, and will last for about a quarter of an hour. It will also coincide with a great event in the Church. The sick who come to Garabandal on that day will be cured, unbelievers will be converted. There will remain a permanent sign in "The Pines" where the apparitions occurred as proof of Our Lady's tremendous love for all her children.

Conchita said, "The sign that will remain will be able to be seen, photographed and televised, but it will not be able to be touched. It will appear clearly that it is something not of this world, but of god."

Conchita wrote some time ago, "The Blessed Virgin will not allow me to reveal the nature of The Miracle, although I already know it. Neither can I reveal the date of it, which I know, until eight days before it is to happen."
From: http://www.endtimesreport.com/garabandal.html

Interviews with the Visionaries of Garabandal Part 3 of 10 - Conchita Speaks Part 2

Interviews with the Visionaries of Garabandal

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Catholic Music

One of the things I missed about working in the USA was the opportunity to listen to radio stations from all over the country to different Praise & Worship songs. I suppose I could use Internet Radio to find it now. Here's a sampling of some of contemporary Catholic artists. This CD, "Catholic Music 2007!" is a 32 Catholic Artist Praise and Worship compilation CD featuring recent Catholic Artists.

What is a rosary?

The meaning of the Rosary is simply a Catholic prayer based upon the Bible that focuses on the events in the life of Jesus and that of Mary the Mother of Jesus.
In the Rosary prayer you make use of both vocal and mental prayer. Vocal prayer consists of the prayers listed below. Mental prayer is meditating upon the Rosary Mysteries which tell the life of Jesus and his mother Mary. The Roman Catholic Rosary prayers include the...
Simple table of Rosary mysteries and days they are prayed on
Day
Rosary Mystery
Sunday
Glorious
Monday
Joyful
Tuesday
Sorrowful
Wednesday
Glorious
Thursday
Luminous
Friday
Sorrowful
Saturday
Joyful
The 3 basic prayers that make up the Rosary are: the Our Father prayer, the Hail Mary prayer and the Glory Be prayer. But since the Rosary consists of many other prayers it is usually prayed upon rosary beads so as to keep track of the prayers and free your mind to meditate upon the events in the lives of Jesus and Mary. What is the meaning of the rosary beads you may ask... the actual Roman Catholic Rosary is made up of a cross or crucifix, a medal, large beads and small beads. The basic Rosary diagram below is what a Rosary may look like although they come in all different types, shapes and sizes.

What is the Great Warning?

This is more of an introduction to the Great Warning as described at Garabandal.
Conchita wrote: "The warning comes directly from God and will be visible to the whole world and from any place where anyone may happen to be. It will be like the revelation of our sins and it will be seen and felt by everyone, believer and unbeliever alike, irrespective of whatever religion he may belong to. It will be seen and felt in all parts of the world by every person."

"It will happen in the sky; no one can prevent it from happening. We will even prefer to be dead rather than to pass through this Warning. It will not kill us. It will be a 'correction' of our conscience. It will cause great fear and will make us reflect within ourselves on the consequences of our own personal sins. It will be like a warning of the punishment to come. In this way the world will be offered a means of purification to prepare itself for the extraordinary grace of the Great Miracle."

Jacinta was told by Our Blessed Mother "that the warning would come when conditions were at their worst." The date was not revealed to the visionaries, however Maria Delores does know the year, and she said that The Miracle will happen within one year after The Warning.

Conchita has also stated, "The Warning, like the Chastisement, is a fearful thing for the good as well as the wicked. It will draw the good closer to God and warn the wicked that the end of times are coming." "It would be like fire. It will not burn our flesh but we will feel it bodily and interiorly." It seems to be associated with an astronomical phenomena, "like two stars...that crash and make a lot of noise, and a lot of light...but they don't fall. It's not going to hurt us but we're going to see it and, in that moment, we're going to see our consciences."

In describing The Warning, Jacinta has said, "The Warning is something that is seen in the air, everywhere in the world and is immediately transmitted into the interior of our souls. It will last a very little time, but it will seem a very long time because of its effect within us."

Conchita has stated she has been given the date of The Miracle by the Blessed Virgin and will announce the date eight days before it is to occur. Remember, though, that The Miracle follows The Warning by up to a year.

The quotations above are the only original source material for "The Warning," and any attempt to extrapolate or expand upon them is fraught with danger. I have highlighted in bold type the most prominent aspects of The Warning.


Source: http://www.endtimesreport.com/garabandal.html

Interviews with the Visionaries of Garabandal Part 2 of 10 - Conchita Speaks Part 1

Interviews with the Visionaries of Garabandal

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Interviews with the Visionaries of Garabandal Part 01 of 10 - Introduction

Interviews with the Visionaries of Garabandal

What is Garabandal?

This is a basic overview of the Garabandal story from http://www.endtimesreport.com/garabandal.html

The events of Garabandal happened in the small village of San Sebastian of Garabandal, in the Santander province of northern Spain, near the Picos de Europa mountains, when the Archangel Michael appeared to Conchita Gonzalez, Maria Delores Mazon, Jacinta Gonzales and Maria Cruz Gonzales. He told them that on July 2nd, 1961, they would see Our Lady.

"Our Lady manifested herself as Our Lady of Carmel," appearing to the girls many times in 1961 and 1962, sometimes several times a week. Not all of the girls received a message, even if present, resulting in slightly differing versions of the messages. Ultimately, the girls were told of four extraordinary events, each a specific event occurring at different times in a distinct sequence: The Warning, The Miracle, a Permanent Sign, and a Terrible Chastisement.