THE HEALING OF [the eyes of] GEMMA DI GIORGI [by St. Padre Pio] [Ecumenical]
PadrePioDevotions.org ^ | not given | PadrePioDevotions
Posted on Sunday, April 03, 2011 1:05:07 AM by Salvation
THE HEALING OF GEMMA DI GIORGI Among the many miracles of healing attributed to Padre Pio, some are so unusual and unique that they have been the subject of much discussion and controversy in medical circles. In these particular cases, the person who has been healed lives a completely normal life afterward, even though they continue to have all the physical symptoms of their illness. From a scientific viewpoint, they are still sick. One such person is Gemma di Giorgi.Gemma di Giorgi was born on Christmas day in 1939, in the Sicilian town of Ribera. Almost immediately, her mother realized that her eyes were different from other children's eyes. The truth was, Gemma was blind. Her mother took her to a doctor who was unable to determine the gravity of her condition. She was referred to two specialists in Palermo. They determined that Gemma had no pupils in her eyes; that nothing could be done for her blindness; that her condition was inoperable. Gemma's family was desperate, but there was nothing they could do. Her parents often took her to Mary's altar in the church to pray because they felt it would take a miracle to heal her eyes.A relative who was a nun, advised the family to seek out Padre Pio. Her advice gave the family a ray of hope. Gemma's grandmother asked the nun to write a letter to Padre Pio on Gemma's behalf.When the nun returned to her convent, she wrote to Padre Pio asking him to pray for Gemma. One night the nun saw him in a dream. Padre Pio asked her, "Where is this Gemma for whom so many prayers are being offered that they are almost deafening?” In her dream she introduced Gemma to Padre Pio and he made the sign of the cross on her eyes. The next day the nun received a letter from Padre Pio in which he wrote, "Dear daughter, rest assured that I will pray for Gemma. I send you my best wishes.”The nun was struck by the coincidence of the dream and the letter that followed so she wrote to the family and encouraged them to take Gemma to see Padre Pio. And so it was, that in 1947, the grandmother took 7 year old Gemma to San Giovanni Rotondo to see Padre Pio, praying and hoping all the while for a miracle.On the trip from Sicily to San Giovanni Rotondo, Gemma's eyesight began mysteriously functioning. About halfway to their destination, Gemma began to see the sea and a steamship and she told this to her grandmother. Her grandmother as well as other friends who were accompanying them, all marveled and began to pray. Still, the trip from Sicily to the monastery was very long and difficult. While Gemma's grandmother recognized the miracle that had taken place, she was still preoccupied by the idea of seeking Padre Pio's intercession in the matter. At San Giovanni Rotondo, Padre Pio called Gemma by name before the child was ever presented to him. He heard her confession, and even though she made no mention of her blindness, he touched her eyes with the wounded part of his hand, tracing the sign of the cross. At the end of the confession, as he blessed her, he said, "Sii buona e santa.” (Be good and saintly)The grandmother was upset that Gemma had forgotten to ask Padre Pio for the grace of a healing while she was in the confessional and so she began to cry. Gemma became upset also and began to cry. The grandmother went to confession to Padre Pio and in her own words, "I asked the grace for Gemma and I told Padre Pio that Gemma was weeping because, in her confession with him she had forgotten to ask this grace. I will never forget his soft and tender voice as he answered me with these words, "Do you have faith, my daughter? The child must not weep and neither must you for the child sees, and you know she sees.” I understood then that Padre Pio was alluding to the sea and the ship Gemma had seen during the trip and that God had used Padre Pio to break through the darkness that covered Gemma's eyes.” The same day, Padre Pio gave Gemma her first Holy Communion and again made the sign of the cross over each of her eyes.When Gemma returned to Sicily her eyes were again examined by a specialist. The doctor, to test Gemma, held up various objects in front of her and she was able to see each one of them. She was able to count the doctor's fingers at a distance of sixteen feet. Gemma, even though without pupils, had her eyesight; she could see. The doctor declared that Gemma's eyes were in no condition to see. There was no medical explanation for it.Many doctors from all over Italy requested to examine Gemma's eyes. This extraordinary cure, and the prophecy preceding it, aroused enormous interest in the Italian press during the summer of 1947. Gemma's sight continued to improve and she was able to go to school and learn how to read and write. She was able to lead a perfectly normal life.Clarice Bruno, author of the book, "Roads to Padre Pio" met Gemma in May of 1967. Clarice said that despite the fact that Gemma's eyesight was functioning, she still had those foggy, strange looking eyes that are a characteristic of the blind. Clarice told Gemma that she was writing a book about Padre Pio and wanted to include in it the story of Gemma's miracle. Gemma asked Padre Pio for permission to share her story and he gave his consent. Gemma, due to the sunny and very windy weather, was wearing sun glasses on the day she made the request of Padre Pio. He commented on this. "Why,” he said as he passed his hand over her eyes,"are you wearing glasses? You see very well.”Father John Schug, author of "A Padre Pio Profile" who met Gemma and interviewed her, also testified, "She looks like a blind person. Her eyes are sallow and lusterless, but there is no doubt that she can see. I saw her reach for a phone book, check a number, and dial the number without groping."While the doctors could not all come to a consensus on the subject of Gemma di Giorgi's medical condition, the facts that can be definitely established are these: (1) Gemma di Giorgi was born with a severe congenital defect of the eyes; (2) before the prayers of Gemma di Giorgi Padre Pio were enlisted, her vision was either quite defective or altogether nonexistent; and (3) afterward, though the physical structure of the eye remained unchanged, Gemma was able to see normally–even though officially classified as legally blind.So what must the conclusion be? Simply that while Gemma and her grandmother were traveling to San Giovanni Rotondo to ask for healing grace, the grace came to them through the intercession of Padre Pio's prayers before they had even arrived at their destination. God, for His own mysterious reasons, had wanted it to happen this way. Gemma has since traveled the world telling her story.


Conversion Testimony Of Famous Spanish Author Maria Vallejo Nagera at Medjugorje

Maria Vallejo Nagera

Excerpt of Maria's witness given in Medjugorje at the 2009 youth festival.
I have to admit that at that time, even having been considered a Catholic all my life, my faith was tepid. I was a “Sunday Catholic”, always bored at the celebration of the Mass, not really understanding most of its parts, and always trying to make excuses to avoid going to the church. My parents have raised me Catholic, the schools I attended were Catholic, but no real feeling of God lived in our family or in our hearts. I like to describe my family as “social Catholics”: we attended Mass every Sunday, yes, but with no real feelings, only going through the motions, flowing with the Spanish catholic crowd. If all of our friends and family members were churchgoers in Madrid, we were going to do the same no matter what. I remember trying fiercely to convince my two friends during that trendy lunch that they were going to explore a senseless, ridiculous way to approach God. We were rich, we were young, we were happy healthy mothers of beautiful children, we had attractive husbands that adored us. In other words, we had the world in our hands.

Sister Anne Sophie founder of the Society of the Body of Christ.

Sister Anne Sophie, Founder of the Society of the Body of Christ, explains its mission.
Sister Anne Sophie from Juan Manuel Cotelo on Vimeo.

Sister Anne Sophie Meaney formed the Society of the Body of Christ to care for unwanted babies, abandoned elders — and everyone else around Corpus Christi, Texas, considered "human inconveniences" by society at-large.  By Joseph Pronechen.

*Every Day at the foot of the Cross*
Ten years ago, as Sharon Longoria’s father lay dying, she thought that, as Catholics, the family was ready to face the loss. Then Sister Anne Sophie Philippe Meaney of the Society of the Body of Christ came into the hospital room. The nun asked, "Have you prayed with your father?" Longoria answered honestly: "No." "Then Sister gave all us seven children assignments," recalls Longoria. "We each had times when we were to be at the bedside and pray. That made us focus on the whole objective of death — eternal life — and kept us prayerful at the hospital. The things we took for granted she brought to our attention, like holy water and the sacramentals." "Daddy died the most beautiful, holy death," Longoria joyfully remembers. "On each side of him was one of his sons and his five daughters. He died with Communion on his tongue and in the third decade of the Divine Mercy chaplet. I really attribute Sister’s help in getting us ready for my father’s death."

 From preparing the dying for a peaceful death and helping them pray their way into eternal life, to helping reconcile some with the Church, to praying babies into the world in the delivery room, to protecting and helping families, Sister Anne Sophie and the Society of the Body of Christ champions the culture of life in greater Corpus Christi, Texas. She and the society become instant family for unwanted children in the womb, abandoned elderly and other "human inconveniences," treating them all as children of God. One of the main purposes of the Society of the Body of Christ is to emphasize the meaning and intimacy with God our Father in heaven, explains Sister Anne Sophie. "He loves us, each one of us," she adds, "as if we were his only child, his favorite." That’s why God often sends the society the "hard" cases no one else seems able to deal with.

Take Gertrude, a former slumlord who treated everyone horribly. She had no family and, because of her tyrannical ways, no friends. But before Gertrude died at 96 in a convalescent home, she was praying Psalm 23 from her heart — and Sister Anne Sophie had prepared her for her first confession and holy Communion. Gertrude might have died a mean old woman who had no forgiveness in her heart, reminds Sister Anne Sophie, but instead she died peacefully while her "new family," the Society of the Body of Christ, was reciting the Divine Mercy chaplet.

 The story brings to light what Sister Anne Sophie means when she explains, "From conception to natural death, the urgency of the saving of souls is our mission." That means performing works of mercy, bringing Communion to the sick, the dying, shut-ins and those in convalescent homes, then "being a source of comfort and joy and love for them so that they can be at peace and give themselves to God." The result? She often catches those who would otherwise slip through the cracks. God’s grace kept Sister Anne Sophie herself from slipping through the cracks while growing up in five foster homes. Much later, she was adopted as an adult by the founder of the area’s Birthright center. She has been arrested for praying at an abortion business. When she became an extraordinary minister of holy Communion, bringing the Eucharistic Lord to the bedridden and elderly God placed in her path, her calling unfolded and she founded the Society of the Body of Christ. On March 25, 1994, Bishop Rene Gracida, now bishop emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas, erected the society as a public association of the faithful with the intention that, one day, it would be a new religious institute. Three months later, on the feast of Corpus Christi, after vowing before Bishop Gracida to live a life of poverty, chastity and obedience — and to defend all human life from conception to natural death.

 — Sister Anne Sophie received her habit as the society’s first consecrated member. Bishop Gracida, who remains the society’s spiritual adviser, praises Sister Anne Sophie and the society’s work of ministering to the sick and dying. "The work is almost identical, analogous to the work done by the congregation established by Mother Teresa of Calcutta," he says. "With loving, tender care and kindness," he adds, "Sister and the society offer the suffering spiritual solace either to recover from illness or to ease their passage into the next life." That example has drawn laypeople to join the Society of the Body of Christ as associate members. So far, some 97 individuals pray and care for the weakest among them. Meanwhile approximately 230 "suffering members" are powerful instruments of intercession: Through the society’s work, they offer their pain and even their own dying for the glory of God and salvation of souls. No wonder that, in 2002, Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, wrote to Sister Anne Sophie. "Your work and the Society of the Body of Christ," he wrote, "are incredibly important." "The charism of the Society of the Body of Christ is the compassion of Mary at the foot of the cross through St. John," she was told by her great uncle, Father Marie-Dominique Philippe, founder of the Congregation of St. John.

 The Gospel lesson of fraternal charity means baby Coretta, one of Sharon Longoria’s drug-addicted, severely abused foster babies, received bedside prayer and care 24 hours a day from society members during her seven-week hospital stay. "Sister told me, ‘Coretta’s going to know love,’" says Longoria, now a society member. It means Sister’s driving 60 miles daily to bring Communion to 10-year-old Colton, who’s dying of leukemia, and then being with his family through the funeral. To this day, she’s involved with the family.

 It means helping people with Alzheimer’s recognize the Host and receive holy Communion. "We miss so many opportunities with Alzheimer’s patients," Sister Anne Sophie says. "If we take what the world says at face value, none of these works would be happening. Because we have faith and follow Jesus, he makes all this possible by his grace." Bishop Gracida looks to the day when the society will be recognized as a religious institute as consecrated members join.

* "I know he’s going to send me holy vocations," Sister Anne Sophie says of God with her usual childlike trust and her reliance on the Holy Spirit for everything. "In the meantime we’re making preparations to receive those holy vocations." Staff writer Joseph Pronechen writes from Trumbull, Connecticut. INFORMATION http://www.thesocietyofthebodyofchrist.com/


Come Holy Spirit! The 2013 St. Charles Borromeo All Night Pentecost Vigil!

Published on May 23, 2013
The All Night Pentecost Vigil at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Providence, Rhode Island, May18-19, 2013! Come Holy Spirit!+++ This Vigil is dedicated to The Holy Spirit and to Father John Randall!

Fr. John Randall said, the Holy Spirit makes your Baptism come alive," he said. Then, like St. Paul, you can say, "It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me" (Galatians 2.20).

"It's exciting when that happens. Jesus becomes everything for you."

Teens, he said, don't want to attend Mass because they find it boring. Others claim the rosary is a dull prayer.

"When the Holy Spirit gets ahold of the Mass, it's not boring. When the Holy Spirit gets ahold of Eucharistic Adoration, it's not boring.

"Prayer is the most exciting thing in the world. Why? Because prayer is union with God."

The Holy Spirit makes things blossom and bloom," Father Randall said. "Where it is not, things die and wither. What the Holy Spirit does in the Church is the same thing he did to Mary. He implanted the Son of God into her womb so that Jesus came alive in her. When the Holy Spirit is in the Church, he makes Jesus come alive in the Church.

Pope Benedict sees the importance of the Holy Spirit to the life of the Church.  The pope said, "The most important thing in the Church today is that Catholics experience being baptized in the Holy Spirit."

Fr.Randall put the emphasis on "experience."

Tajci - "Lay Your Hands"

Uploaded on Jan 29, 2012
More info about Tajci at: http://idobelieve.com/
Song about healing written by Tajci. Inspired by Sue Cordero. Arranged by Tony Miracle. Produced by Cameron Production in January 2012.

Our Lady's Medjugorje message of July 25, 2013

“Dear children! With joy in my heart I call all of you to live your faith and to witness it with your heart and by your example in every way. Decide, little children, to be far from sin and temptation and may there be joy and love for holiness in your hearts. I love you, little children, and accompany you with my intercession before the Most High. Thank you for having responded to my call.”



"Mary has chosen the better portion and she shall not be deprived of it." -Luke 10:42

Hospitality was a responsibility and privilege highly valued by the Jewish people. In offering hospitality, we may be entertaining angels (Heb 13:2) or even God Himself (Gn 18:17ff). Abraham and Sarah, for example, offered hospitality to God and two angels. As a result, God promised them they would miraculously have a son, although both were almost a hundred years old (see Gn 18:10).
Hospitality is the breeding ground of promise, blessing, and miracles.

As awesome as hospitality is, Jesus claimed that prayer is even better (Lk 10:42). This was a surprising revelation. Jesus even maintained the necessity of praying always (Lk 18:1; cf 1 Thes 5:17). He did this Himself, praying early in the morning and late at night (Mk 1:35; Lk 22:39ff). Jesus prayed in such a new way that people who had prayed for years asked Him to teach them to pray (Lk 11:1).

After Jesus ascended into heaven, His disciples caught onto Jesus' message on prayer and devoted themselves to constant prayer for nine days (Acts 1:14). The Church was born after this nine-day gestation period of prayer. From that point on, the Spirit has empowered the followers of Jesus to devote themselves to prayer (see Acts 2:42).

 Jesus, teach me to pray (Lk 11:1). Holy Spirit, help me overcome my weakness in prayer (Rm 8:26).

 "Even now I find my joy in the suffering I endure for you. In my own flesh I fill up what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ for the sake of His body, the church." -Col 1:24

Intervention Saved Mirjama's Secrets

by Jakob Marschner

During the war in Bosnia, the parchment outlining visionary Mirjana Dragicevic-Soldo’s 10 prophetic secrets was in Sarajevo, inaccessible to her. But a Spanish soldier felt an urge to enter her family’s house, found the parchment, then heard a voice tell him to deliver it in Medjugorje.

Mirjana praying before her apparition on March 18th 1994, her 29th birthday when war was raging in Bosnia and Hercegovina
Mirjana praying before her apparition on March 18th 1994, her 29th birthday when war was raging in Bosnia and Hercegovina

Wartimes are extraordinary times, and during the war in Bosnia it took extraordinary means to save the parchment containing the 10 prophetic secrets the Virgin Mary has entrusted to Medjugorje visionary Mirjana Dragicevic-Soldo.

The parchment, impossible to decipher to anyone else than Mirjana, was in Sarajevo, the besieged capital of Bosnia and Hercegovina, hidden inside a bag. When the war broke out, Mirjana was in Medjugorje and could not return to retrieve the document.

Miljana Barbaric
Miljana Barbaric

That the parchment had stayed in the inaccessible house in Sarajevo worried Mirjana. During an apparition, she asked the Virgin Mary about it. In response she was told: “Do not worry about it. My Son will take care of this” Miljana Barbaric, a niece of the late Medjugorje priest Fr. Slavko Barbaric tells Gabriel Paulino, the editor of Medjugorje Brasil.

Ms. Barbaric is a distant relative of Mirjana, as Fr. Slavko was also the uncle of Mirjana’s husband, Marko Soldo.

“Shortly after, a Spanish soldier from the UN peacekeeping forces felt a strong call to enter Mirjana’s family home. Upon entering, he saw the bag and took it. When he opened it, he saw the parchment inside. Then the soldier heard a voice telling him: “Go to Medjugorje and deliver this to Mirjana Dragicevic-Soldo” Miljana Barbaric tells.

When the prophetic secrets are about to take place, Mirjana will hand over the parchment to the Franciscan priest Fr. Petar Ljubicic who, Mijana tells, will be able to decipher only the secret related to the event just about to take place. Then he and Mirjana will pray and fast for 10 days. Three days before each event, Fr. Peter will reveal what will happen.
Source   http://www.medjugorjetoday.tv/



"Many people followed Him and He cured them all, though He sternly ordered them not to make public what He had done." -Matthew 12:15-16

Many of Jesus' healings were signs that the kingdom of God was at hand. Yet Jesus ordered some of those healed early in His ministry to not make their healings public. Early in Jesus' public ministry, the general understanding of the kingdom of God and the mission of Jesus was not yet developed. So His early healings may not have been signs of his kingdom. It's very likely that Jesus' purpose in healing these people was simply love. He loved people so much that He didn't wait for the kingdom to develop before bringing them comfort and healing.

On several occasions, those who were healed disobeyed Jesus and publicized their healings. This made things difficult for Jesus. He could not enter towns openly but had to stay in desert places (Mt 1:45). Furthermore, His mission was misunderstood. In particular, His message of the cross was largely ignored. Nevertheless, Jesus healed people knowing that this would make His work much more difficult. Jesus loved people so much it was difficult for Him not to heal immediately.

Jesus is the same today (see Heb 13:8). He wants to heal us much more than the most desperately suffering person wants to be healed, because He loves us much more than we love ourselves. He wants to love, save, and heal us so much that He became a man and died on the cross for us. "By His wounds you were healed" (1 Pt 2:24).

  Jesus, by repenting of my sins, may I let You love and heal me.

  "In His name, the Gentiles will find hope." -Mt 12:21


Medjugorje: Newly ordained priest Fr. Mario Ostojic

First Holy Mass of newly ordained priest Fr. Mario Ostojic

On Sunday, July 7, 2013, the newly ordained priest Fr. Mario Ostojic, celebrated his first Holy Mass in the parish church of St. James in Medjugorje. Holy Mass began at 11 a.m. and his family, friends and many pilgrims were present at this special event for the whole parish. Fr. Boze Milic gave a homily and emphasised that Medjugorje inspired many people to start looking at their lives in different way and to start noticing the importance of God in their lives.
“Dear Fr. Mario, your motto as of the newly ordained priest is verse from an old and beautiful prayer to Our Lady ‘We fly to thy protection Holy Mother of God’. You want to start and to live your life as a priest under the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Usually, most of us, as our motto take words from the Holy Scripture, mostly from the Gospel, and you took verse from the prayer to Our Lady. That is nothing surprising when we know that the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared just in the vicinity of your own home, at the Apparition Hill, before you were born. When you were a little child, who was just starting to understand the words of older people, it was completely normal for you that Our Lady lived in your village, that She was present all the time, that people talked about her and pilgrims from all over the world came because of Her. She is your pride, your protection and your reminder. She will guide you closer to Her Son. Our Lady is the best way to Jesus because She knows Him the best. She knows the way to Him in the best way because She gave Him birth and brought Him up”, said Fr. Boze.
Fra Mario was born on September 8, 1986. He was ordained as a priest on June 29, 2013 in Mostar in the church of St. Paul and Peter.

July 15, 2013

Dear Children of Medjugorje, praised be Jesus and Mary!  


1. On July 2nd, Mirjana received her monthly apparition at the Blue Cross. The Hill of Podbrdo was covered with huge crowds! After the apparition, she gave the following message:

"Dear children, with a motherly love I am imploring you to give me the gift of your hearts, so I can present them to my Son and free you - free you from all the evil enslaving and distancing you all the more from the only Good - my Son - from everything which is leading you on the wrong way and is taking peace away from you. I desire to lead you to the freedom of the promise of my Son, because I desire for God's will to be fulfilled completely here; and that through reconciliation with the Heavenly Father, through fasting and prayer, apostles of God's love may be born - apostles who will freely, and with love, spread the love of God to all my children - apostles who will spread the love of the trust in the Heavenly Father and who will keep opening the gates of Heaven. Dear children, extend the joy of love and support to your shepherds, just as my Son has asked them to extend it to you. Thank you."

2.  I have just come back from Lourdes where my community celebrated its 40th anniversary since its foundation.  The celebration was magnificent, and experiencing it together in this blessed place further added to the grace.  There were over 2000 of us, including members of The Beatitudes community and our friends (See PS1)

A young man asked me "Why do you come to Lourdes when you live in Medjugorje?"  Funny question!  Here is the answer I gave him, and to explain it, I have to share with you some aspects that are quite personal.

- First of all, because I love my community and a 40th anniversary must be properly celebrated!  That alone was enough to make me travel all the way from Hercegovina.

- Also because my Community assigned me to give several talks, both at the large assembly and for young adults and teenagers, so how could I possibly say no?  The idea of conveying something positive to my dear country of France, was a strong motivation, especially now when our politicians are doing everything possible to evict God and our most vital values from the country.  Poor politicians!  Striving to evict our Creator and Savior has never worked, they should do some research!

- Also because for me, Lourdes has a double history.  In the summer, my family would travel to the seashore near Saint Jean de Luz, on the Atlantic Ocean, and each year my father would take us at least for a day to Lourdes, in order to pray and bathe in the blessed waters.  How I bless him for this family tradition that he enabled us to keep for so many years!  Given all the trials my family went through, this anchoring in the Heart of Mary saved us from many evils. 

- Now let me share a beautiful personal experience, since many pilgrims ask me why I love Lourdes so much.  At the age of 28, when Jesus called me to belong to Him completely (but not in a convent), I discovered the new Community of the Lion of Judah in June 1976.  I felt strongly called by the life I saw there, which fit my own hopes and aspirations.  The Lion of Judah was the first name of the Community, which was renamed "Community of the Beatitudes" in 1992.  However, before making a decision to enter it, I needed to receive a sign from Heaven, something really concrete.  At the end of my one week visit to the Lion of Judah community, I was supposed to travel to Lourdes for the huge Pentecost gathering, which was organized by the prayer group "Emmanuel", to which I belonged in Paris since my conversion.  I had prepared this Pentecost through a novena to the Holy Spirit, asking Him to shed light on the place Jesus had chosen for me to liveout my consecration.

As soon as I arrived in Lourdes, I ran to the Grotto where Mary appeared in 1858, and I bowed down in the very place where Bernadette had stood. (The spot is marked on the ground.)  And I prayed to the Virgin with great fervor, I thanked her for my being there and told her about my situation. After having prayed for a long time with my nose to the ground, my back started aching and I stood up.  And that is when I understood!


Mary had not answered me with words, even less so with a vision (with me, she never does that).  But she had oriented my heart without my even realizing it!  She had delicately moved my heart to lean toward God's will, so that when I stood up, my question had completely disappeared.  It was as if I had tipped over to the other side with great peace, I was already a member of the Lion of Judah, she had mysteriously given me this sense of belonging - this had become completely clear, obvious.  This is typical of her way of doing things, humble and hidden, but how deep and efficient!  I was filled with joy and thanked her, but I needed the approval of the founder of the Emmanuel, Pierre Goursat, who was also present in Lourdes (See PS2).  He had given me some small responsibilities in Paris, and he could have said, "Out of the question, you stay with us!"  But he was a man of God, and very inspired, and he said:  "Yes, this Community is very well suited to you, go ahead!"  I also needed the approval of the founder of the Lion of Judah, Ephraim.  This went through with no problem and I was able to join the Community in the summer of '76.  And I am still in it, thanks be to God.

Even though the Blessed Mother hasn't appeared there in a long time, Lourdes is a place where she is still present, offering all her maternal love to her children and her powerful action to change their hearts.  Wherever Mary is present, we are transformed.  It is like in Fatima or Guadalupe - she is there, that's all, and it is a great thing!  One day, Medjugorje will also become a place where she will no longer appear. She has said so. But she also said, "My eyes and my heart will be here, even when I no longer appear." (Message to Mirjana, March 18, '96)

3. Congratulations, Guardian Angel!  Last week in Lourdes, I absolutely wanted to go bathe in the pools, especially for a person suffering a great deal (See PS3).  One morning, I received the grace of being invited to go there with a group of children, together with the supervisors.  But because the pools were quite damaged by the floods, some of them were closed, and you had to stand in line for several hours, which was impossible for me that day.  However, as I walked by the pools, I saw one of our sisters on the other side of the fence, with the children.  She had been waiting for her turn for a long time.  It was impossible for me to join her, because in Lourdes, the entrance to the pools is carefully guarded, and the guards are strict!  But nothing is impossible for God, and I didn't want to give up.  So I called upon my great heavenly friend, my guardian angel, and I briefed him in a few words, "It is impossible for me NOT to go bathe, this person for whom I have come here would be much too disappointed!  So here is your job:  please get me in! Find a way, you are an angel, you can do it!"  So I kept walking along the separation fence and suddenly, I saw something that should never have happened: the 3 guards had disappeared from in front of the door!  Wasting not a single minute I jumped at the opportunity. I walked through the door looking unconcerned, and sat down next to my sister.  20 minutes later I was in the water!

So congratulations, my Guardian Angel!  And the same phenomenon of grace took place in the bath. Though plunging into this dirty and ice-cold water is a real penance, the grace that one receives at the same time is simply uplifting!  After bathing in the pools, you really feel as if you are wrapped in the maternal mantel of Our Lady, it just makes you melt inside.

If you go to Lourdes, do not miss the pools!  The experience is just as powerful as being present at an apparition!

4. Blessed mockery! A French pilgrim came to see me in Medjugorje.  "Sister," she said to me. "Let me tell you how Jesus and Mary caught me!"  A few years ago I was walking around the open market in my village, all leisurely.  I walked up to a stand that sold all sorts of different things; I bought a piece of clothing and paid for it.  As I was leaving, the sales woman called after me, saying, "Here, take this audio tape, it's free!  I'm sick of it!  It's all nonsense!"  The audio tape was about Medjugorje.  I listened to it the same day, and I cried from beginning to end.  I listened to it 50 times, it was like light shining in my darkness and I couldn't get enough of it.  Then I decided to look for information about the Christian faith, which I had never practiced.  And that is how I was converted, and it gives me such joy!" (See PS4).

You never know what trick is up the sleeves of Our Lady. She will find anything to reach her children!  She infiltrates everywhere and uses every possible means.  Even mockery is useful to her!  How had that tape landed with this anti-Christian sales woman?  Whose heart had prayed?  Whose hands had given?  The summer gives us new opportunities to do good deeds.  Let us pray to be guided in the smallest gestures of our daily life, and sow generously!  In the great plan to save humanity, nothing is too small before God.  "Dear children, I need you," Mary tells us over and over again, waiting for our answer without ever getting tired!

Dearest Gospa, your mother's Heart is full of imagination, the imagination of love!  Please, inspire us, guide us!  We want to be your hands reaching out to this poor world that rejects your Son, and is dying because it is so far from Him. In a special way, we entrust to you the thousands of young people who are coming to you, Mother, for the Youth Festival! 

Sister Emmanuel +

(Translated from French)


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"You will be hated by all on account of Me. But whoever holds out till the end will escape death." -Matthew 10:22

Jesus commanded His disciples to be on "guard with respect to others" (Mt 10:17) because He would send His disciples out "like sheep among wolves" (Mt 10:16). He said that they may be handed over to the police by their own families (see Mt 10:21). Because we are Jesus' disciples, we may be handed over to be beaten, tried, and executed, after having witnessed for Jesus by the power of the Spirit (see Mt 10:17-21).

As I was reading today's Gospel, I was thinking about how far-fetched this seems to many Christians, although those in Muslim countries and in China understand today's Gospel all too well. While I was thinking about this, I was handed a note informing me that the associate pastor of a parish I was familiar with had received a threat on his life. The man making the threat was arrested, and the priest threatened by him was not attacked. However, this message made me think that many of us Christians may be in more danger of severe persecution than we think.

 *The Lord tells us that any godly person or even anyone wanting to live a godly life should expect to be persecuted (2 Tm 3:12). We must arm ourselves with the mentality that we will suffer in the flesh (1 Pt 4:1). Expect the privilege of persecution (see Acts 5:41).

  Father, may I be worthy of being persecuted for love of You. May I hold out till the end (see Lk 21:19).

 "I am God, the God of your father. Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for there I will make you a great nation." -Gn 46:3

Happy 90th Birthday to Father Joe Whalen

“God, Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
 the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.”
- Serenity Prayer
Fr. Joe praying over Bill Wilson’s grave, co-founder of AA, (Alcoholics Anonymous) in Dorset, VT 

Rev. Joseph F. Whalen, M.S.
Fr. Joseph Whalen, M.S. was born in Quincy, Massachusetts and received his call to the priesthood late in life. He entered Pope John XXlll Seminary, a seminary for delayed vocations, and completed four years of advanced graduate studies. On September 9, 1989, at the age of 66, he was ordained a Roman Catholic priest by Bishop Alfred Hughes and became a La Salette Missionary. His dramatic life story is a story of “how God writes straight with crooked lines!” With the charism of healing,his ministries are many and he is a champion of the sick, the elderly, drug addicts, alcoholics, families, and those in need. The charism of the La Salette’s is Reconciliation … of compassion and mercy to the repentant;he is noted for his ability to hear confessions hour upon hour. He gives us a tremendous story of Almighty God’s love, grace and mercy in the circumstances of his own life; he is also the founder of the renowned Archangel St. Raphael Holy Healing Ministry.  Hundreds of spiritual conversions and physical healings have been the fruits of this powerful ministry. Fr. Whalen takes no credit, and always stresses he is only a humble instrument of God, only Jesus Christ is the Divine Physician and Healer. Father’s message is to realize that It’s Never Too Late to Live. He was the oldest of seven boys. All predeceased him by the age of 70. He presided over all their funerals. Fr. Whalen conducts many healing services every year and his St. Raphael Healing Ministry is international. He is so grateful to Almighty God for transforming his life into His humble servant. He says, “there are not enough words in any language to praise and thank Him for the many gifts He has bestowed upon me. He lifted me out of the darkness and brought me into His light, where I now have the privilege of serving Him as one of His Roman Catholic priests.” Fr. Whalen has spent his entire priesthood witnessing Christ’s healing presence and helping countless people to find hope in the midst of life’s many challenges.
Once An Alcoholic, Now A Late Vocation, Priest Sees Miracles With Archangel 
by Michael H. Brown
Ten years ago my wife and I were in Medjugorje and heard an extraordinary sermon by a luminous, white-bearded, almost St. Nicholas-like priest who was with a group from Chicago and was up there in the pulpit telling a riveting story. It was about a man who had risen from the despair of alcoholism to become a priest — at the age of 66! It was a story about a fantastically successful late vocation.
At the end of the sermon, this priest, this homilist, shocked everyone by explaining that he was the man he was talking about, the alcoholic. He was the one who had risen from the pits. He was the late vocation. We didn’t get his name at the time — weren’t even sure exactly what city he was from — but the homily was unforgettable.
Months later, back in New York State, we were trying to find a priest to bless the apartment in which we were living when we first married. It was awkward. It was a new city, and we didn’t know any priests to approach. These days, it is an odd request. Some priests have not even been trained to do so. And we really wanted that. We had even asked folks to help us find the right priest but still had no luck when the phone rang one day, the feast of Corpus Christi. It was a priest from Connecticut who identified himself as Father Joseph Whalen. I had never heard of him before. He said that someone at my publisher’s told him to call. They knew I was doing research on angels and he was sort of an expert on the Archangel Raphael.
That was his ministry, he told me; he distributed specially anointed healing oil and St. Raphael cards that many claimed caused miraculous effects.
He was going to be in the area that day, he told me. Would I mind if he stopped in?
By all means, I said. But first I had to go to Mass. It was a feast day.
Don’t bother, he told me; he would say Mass in our apartment. He would bless it. Finally we had a priest to anoint our apartment!
Later that day, when Father Whalen and two companions arrived, I opened the door only to find that he was the same priest we had seen at Medjugorje — the one who had been with the pilgrim group and had given that tremendous homily!
Out of the 27,000 active parish priests in the United States, and more than 160 in our own little diocese, here he was at our door.
As I was soon to learn, it was only the beginning of extraordinary events that regularly occur around him. His story? Father Whalen was born July 14, 1923, in Quincy, Massachusetts, the oldest of seven boys. His uncle was a bishop who wanted him to be a priest. He wanted nothing to do with it. As a teenager he worked as a clam-digger — and started drinking whiskey with the men. After graduating from high school, he served in the Navy on a submarine chaser, hunting German subs. And drinking more. By this time he was developing shakes and even blackouts. “Many nights I staggered back on board the ship with my clothes ripped or a shoe missing,” he recounts. “Countless nights in nameless ports around the world, I woke up in filthy, alcohol-stained clothes — too drunk to care where or how I slept.”
You get the point. He had turned into an alcoholic at a young age and it grew. After a year in the maritime service, Whalen was hired by the New England Telephone Company as a office equipment installer. By this time he was also married to a woman named Frances and they had children. Over the next 32 years he worked his way up to second-level management.
But there was constantly the alcohol, and it would end his marriage. “Frances was always running interference and apologizing for my stinking behavior,” he now recalls of his former wife, who died a while back. “I would slur my words and stagger around yelling at everyone who crossed my path. My obnoxious behavior sent everyone into hiding.”
Finally Frances dragged Whalen into court, where their marriage ended in a bitter divorce.
“I was loaded with guilt and remorse for my lifestyle and for my terrible behavior toward my wife and children. My soul was so stained, my actions so obnoxious, that I prayed to get cancer and die.”
Desperate for help, Whalen went to a Franciscan shrine to see a priest named Father Henry Lawler, who took him to his first Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. The day he met Father Lawler was the last day that Joe Whalen had a drink.
The priest also heard the future priest’s Confession (his first in 15 years) and told him to go to church and speak to Jesus.
“I did,” remembers Father Whalen. “I fell on my knees and surrendered to Him, as best I could. That’s when I started to go back to church.”
And that’s when things began to happen. Whalen, not yet a priest, became fascinated by angels, developing a special devotion to Raphael and the Book of Tobit. He read the Bible cover to cover. He read Thomas Aquinas. Along the way, he met a mystical, cloistered nun named Sister Mary Michael of the Precious Blood Monastery in Manchester, New Hampshire.
“At our first meeting, sister looked deeply into my glazed, alcoholic eyes and said softly, ‘Joseph, I see you as a priest.’

Tears began to stream down my face. ‘What do you mean? You must be kidding!’ I was bawling my eyes out as I remembered the uncle who once spoke to me about becoming a priest.” Sister Mary Michael said she could see Jesus pardoning Whalen’s sins and opening the skies to let his mother, who always wanted one of her sons to be a priest, peeking down at his ordination. He knew then that he had a calling.
All he could think of was how unworthy he was. But she kept saying, “Don’t talk like that,” and shortly after, in 1983, Whalen began receiving visions. “After prayers, with my eyes closed but before going to sleep, I would first see pinpoints of light, then whole fields of brilliant bluish light, pulsating like a kaleidoscope. Then the visions would disappear. The visions continued every night for seven months. Sometimes I would see Jesus suspended from the Cross, one heart with two circlets of thorns around it, or two hearts with thorns around them. Many times I would see a big white dove heading toward me as the field of vision became an intense blue-white. In the last vision I saw two angels suspended with their wings fluttering and a dove gliding toward them.”
To make a long story short: Joe Whalen entered a seminary and became a priest. His marriage was officially annulled because of the alcoholism that had predated it and he spent four years in graduate studies at Pope John XXIII National Seminary in Weston, Massachusetts — where he was the only one in a class of 19 who was a divorced alcoholic with only a high school education! He was ordained on September 9, 1989, and at the age of 80 is a very active priest — even traveling nationally. A more uplifting, devout priest you will not find. He is a ringing testimony to the value of late vocations, a clarion call for the Church to pay close attention to those who may heed a call late in life at this time when priests are in such short supply.
The prayer cards? They show Raphael (below) appearing to Tobias requesting the great angel’s intercession. Archangel St. Raphael Holy Healing Ministry: St. RaphaelNearly ten years ago Father Whalen already had gathered the written testimonies of eighty people who claimed relief or outright healing from seizures, leukemia, heart problems, and cancerous tumors. No one knows what the count is now. “I just can’t tell you how wonderful it is to experience the prayer power and miraculous workings of the St. Raphael prayer card,” wrote a woman named Ginny. “And day by day I have felt the lump disappearing. My doctor tells me I am one of those people who they cannot explain but I am very much aware of what has happened through faith in St. Raphael.”
“I was diagnosed with leukemia found in my blood tests,” wrote another. “I had been sick for some time until my wife obtained a St. Raphael card from a friend who told us to pray for healing. My family began to pray, and when I went back for more blood tests, the leukemia was gone!” Claimed a woman identified only as Mildred: “My 15-year-old grand-daughter, Laurie, had cancerous lumps all over her body. They all disappeared. Now she has only scars. Her cancer is in remission.”
Naturally, we can’t verify all these claims. There are more. There are accounts of healing for lesser problems also. There are calcium deposits that have gone, there are habits that have been kicked, there are emotions — like Father Whalen’s own — that have been repaired. This is a man of faith, a man who prays for 12 hours over vats of holy oil, a man who was praying on a stormy day at a St. Pio shrine in Barto, Pennsylvania, recently when, according to one witness, the clouds suddenly parted (see below) and a ray of sun illuminated the luminous priest!
They swear the clouds formed an image of Padre Pio.
Ah, yes, Father Joe Whalen –  a Missionary of LaSalette, which is celebrated September 19.
One heckuva a priest — the one God sent to bless our apartment when there was no one else, the one who presided over his former wife’s funeral, and has baptized five of his grandchildren. The drop-down drunk who is now a hero to his children.
And to us.
“God does draw straight with crooked lines, you know that,” says the priest, who stopped in on us again last week. As for his calling: he urges the Church to promote late vocations at this time of crisis and still thinks of that nun who has been cloistered for more than fifty years now and with whom he remains in touch.
“When I visited Sister Mary Michael again, she said, ‘Joseph, I am convinced that your mother got a glimpse of your ordination,” recalls the priest. “Jesus surely parted the skies to allow her to look down from Heaven and see the fulfillment of her prayers.”
   In 2003 Father Whalen,  visited a Padre Pio shrine in Pennsylvania. It was rainy and cloudy but just after he prayed, the clouds parted and a companion saw a ray of light descend. She took a photo and sees a profile of St. Pio in it. 
Sun bursts forth and blue light appears over Fr. Whalen at St. Anne Shrine in Vermont
With the late Sister Mary Michael of the Precious Blood Monastery in Manchester, New Hampshire. 

This editorial was written in 2003
by Michael H. Brown
and gratefully used with his permission

Favorite quote on Christian martyrdom:
"you cannot kill a Christian, you can only change their address."

Fr. Joseph Whalen, M.S.
St. Anthony’s Lenten Retreat
No.Providence, Rhode Island
March 11, 2006
 Beginning in the morning a beautiful dove appeared and stood guard over the front entrance of the church. Over three hundred people went in and out of the entrance all day and the dove never left his perch. While we were inside, the dove turned his entire body and watched us through the window over the entrance doors of the church and left at 5:15 pm, when we left. This picture was taken as Fr. Whalen was about to enter the church for his healing service. The doved turned and looked at us for the picture and resumed his former stance afterwards where he turned around looking into the church.

Clarence and Emily Whalen with their seven sons. Emily dreamed that one of her boys would follow in the footsteps of her brother,who was a Bishop, and become a priest. It took 66 years for her prayers to be answered, when her oldest son, Joe, (back row, second from right), became a Missionary of Our Lady of LaSalette.
All his brothers predeceased him by the age of 70. Fr. Joe did all their funeral Masses.
His favorite tapestry of Jesus,  in the sacristy at
St. James in CT.
 And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyic, “My son, your sins are forgiven.”
Mark 2:5
 from Fr. Joe’s corner
“In Sunday’s Gospel (Mark 2:1-12) Jesus forgives the paralytic man his sins and only then does Jesus heal him of his paralysis. Jesus knew the paralytic needed spiritual healing before physical healing. FORGIVENESS is necessary before we receive God’s healing graces and for spiritual growth.
Even little forgotten unforgivingnesses keep us bound in suffering after death.
Your forgiveness can trigger someone else’s conversion!
Spiritual healing precedes physical healing. God wants to heal you from the inside out.The most powerful healing we can receive on earth is our reconciliation with God broken through sin. There is no limit on how many times we can receive the great Sacrament of Reconciliation, and the graces we receive are limitless!
When we are truly sorry for offending God, and breaking His Commandments, confession becomes transformation.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation doesn’t just empty us of the past; it also fills us with God’s grace for the future.
In confession, Jesus lifts the weight of our past sins from our shoulders so that we can go out into the world free from guilt, inspired by grace to say an even firmer no to sin than before.
Jesus has given us the grace of confession not only to forgive us but also to strengthen us against temptation.
Don’t miss the opportunity to go to confession.
And when you do, know that the grace is there both to absolve and to fill you with divine grace.
A Grace that brings you closer to Jesus and strengthens you against temptation.”
Bless me, Father, for I have sinned…
If you haven’t gone to confession in a while, now is the perfect time to reconcile yourself with God and the Church. Most parishes have Confessions on Saturday or you can also make a private appointment with a priest. (a necessity for absolution of mortal sins)
Preparation for confession should include an examination of conscience, which means you think back on sins you have committed since your last confession. God looks at the heart. Be truly sorry for having offended Him.
What happens during confession depends on the priest and the person. Most people still start with the formula: “Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. It has been (state the number of months or years) since my last confession.”
If you can’t remember the words or you don’t recall how long it’s been, don’t worry. Just tell the priest it’s been a long time, and he will guide you through the process.
What you will experience is the healing gift of God’s love, the chance to start over with a clean conscience, and an overwhelming sense of gratitude.   


Open yourselves to my love...

  Apparition Hill Statue    
Open yourselves to my love... 
(c)Mary TV 2013 
July 11, 2013
Dear Family of Mary!
"Dear children! With joy in the heart I love you all and call you to draw closer to my Immaculate Heart so I can draw you still closer to my Son Jesus, and that He can give you His peace and love, which are nourishment for each one of you. Open yourselves, little children, to prayer - open yourselves to my love. I am your mother and cannot leave you alone in wandering and sin. You are called, little children, to be my children, my beloved children, so I can present you all to my Son. Thank you for having responded to my call." (June 25, 2013)
Our Lady calls us to open ourselves to prayer and to her love. Open ourselves...this openness can be difficult to achieve. We see in the Gospels many people who encountered Jesus, but could not open themselves to Him, to His love or to His call. They were locked in their own perspective, their own wisdom, their own power or security, and just couldn't let Jesus in. It is the same today. But Our Lady is with us in these days to help us open up our hearts to her love and to her Son. This miracle of openness happens in Medjugorje!
*I want to share a short testimony given by Cornelia Schluter on Fruit of Medjugorje, Episode 73. Cornelia shares how her own heart was opened to Our Lady and to her presence. This simple testimony teaches us a lot about opening our hearts:
Hello, my name is Cornelia Schluter. I am from Germany, but I am living in Italy because I have an Italian husband. One day on the Italian TV we saw Medjugorje. We saw a pilgrimage to Medjugorje, and somehow it was the first time we saw this. It touched both of us very deeply. And we both had this immediate impulse, "Let's go!" So we booked a flight and we went.
I have to say that I probably would not have been so open for something like this because I am actually Protestant, or I was. And I had never had any connection with Maria or with the Church. But it was just at that time my daughter had just died, at 34 years, from an ectopic pregnancy, and that was a very, very big shock. Of course, it is a very sad thing, but what also happened is that it opened me up to a totally new realm, like for example to go to Medjugorje.
For me, Medjugorje...especially when we went the first time five years ago, was a big, big healing for me. It was a healing and a saying "yes" to what happened. To be able to forgive the doctor who had made a mistake, a misdiagnosis, and to know that in a way, whatever happens is allowed by God, and it is not just the mistake of the doctor, it is what it is. I learned to say "yes" to it and forgive him.
And now by coming here...we have come eight times in the last five years... it wasn't just the healing process with what happened to my daughter, it was an opening up to a totally new experience... to meet the Madonna, to really be with her, especially on this mountain, Podbrdo, which we love.   My husband and I actually go there every day and just sit there either in meditation or in prayer.
And another key for me to completely fall in love with [the Lord and Our Lady] was the Adoration in the night, which is one hour of singing and praying. The singing for me is just an incredible key...to sing out my devotion, my love, my heart. That is where I feel the Madonna very, very much.
Actually I am still in awe that such a thing could happen, because I was the most unlikely person to end up here. But I am here and I love it. I feel that the Madonna called me. Maybe everyone who comes here got the inner call. For everyone it is different. For me it is this inner healing and it is to express my love to God, to Mary and to Jesus, which before I just couldn't do, even though for me God was always important in my life, but I didn't express it. And here this place gives me the opportunity really to learn to express my love, to express my heart and my prayer.
Yes, that is all. Thank you very much. And thank you to Rose and to Chris who persuaded me, because normally I would never do such a thing! (Cornelia Schluter, "Fruit of Medjugorje, Episode 73)
Thank you, Cornelia, for sharing this beautiful testimony with us.
Cornelia's heart was wounded, deeply, by the loss of her daughter. But in her grief, she found herself ready to look for help, even from Mary, the Mother of Jesus, in a little town in Bosnia. Her suffering actually opened her up to Mary, because she needed her so much. Her need led her to Medjugorje where she found healing and a whole new way of living. And she now could not imagine life without Our Lady!
Suffering can be what will open us up to Mother Mary. In our need, we will seek her and she will come to help us. Then we will find ourselves in a whole new realm, a whole new world of the peace and love of Jesus, her Son. And we will be nourished and made strong for our lives!
Thank you, dearest Mother, for calling us to open to you and to Jesus. Help us to truly be open to your love.
In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
Cathy Nolan
©Mary TV 2013
 "Medjugorje is the spiritual center of the world!"   
Blessed John Paul II  -
Be connected!