Category Archives: Miracles and Apparitions
Miracles and Apparitions
Saint Augustine taught something to the effect that many spectacular ordinary events would be deemed miracles if they occurred but rarely in history. I think he gave the example of a sunrise. In saying this, he was attempting to lift the minds of his flock to contemplate the wisdom and power of the Creator, who does unfathomably great things continuously in the order of nature, but especially in the order of grace. “The conversion of one sinner,” the holy doctor said, “is a greater act of omnipotence than the creation of the universe.”
A miracle, therefore, must be either preternatural or supernatural. A miracle of grace, such as a sudden conversion of a notoriously evil man, would be a supernatural miracle because, even though the act of conversion is invisible, it manifested by visible acts. All other miracles are divine interferences with the physical laws of nature. They are preternatural, which means beyond nature, and visible. Matters of Faith, such as Our Lord’s presence in the Blessed Sacrament, is a mystery, not a miracle, because the Reality is not visible to the human eye.
The power for miracles can only come from God, but God can share this power with His saints. Miracles can be above the laws of nature: such as the raising to life of a dead man. Jesus gave this kind of power to His Apostles. Miracles can be contrary to the laws of nature, such as Moses splitting the Red Sea or causing water to issue from a rock. The sun dancing in the sky at Fatima, and not elsewhere, is contrary to the laws of nature. Miracles can be independent of natural law, such as a miraculous cure of a deaf man, or a blind man, or the physical cure of any other affliction that is beyond the capacity for ordinary medicines or treatments to effect. Sometimes these kinds of cures are contrary to nature as well, such as a person with no pupil in his eye being able to see.
Can evil people, or demons, work miracles? Only to a certain extent. In the former case, the preternatural prodigy is done by demons through a human instrument, such as the miracles of Pharaoh’s magicians. Our Lord Himself quotes a certain group of those about to be damned as pleading before Him, “But we have worked miracles in thy name.” When St. Joseph Cupertino levitated off the floor, it was not the angels lifting him up, but the angelic purity of his own soul rapt in ecstasy with God and putting gravity to naught. When medicine doctors in pagan lands levitate off the ground it is a demon doing the lifting.
Apparitions are different than miracles. The person viewing the apparition with the human eye is seeing an angel or a departed soul, but under a material human form, or they may be seeing a glorified body, such as that of Our Blessed Mother, who has come to her children in countless apparitions. But these visions are not necessarily miraculous for the one receiving them, unless a person in the same place could not see the apparition. Bi-locations, on the other hand, are certainly miraculous, as they are contrary to nature.
ChurchPop: Though it’s not as well-known outside of South America, the Lord of Miracles (or Señor de los Milagros) image is a really big deal for Peruvian Catholics and inspires one of the largest religious processions in the world every year. This is its amazing, supernatural story. More here. Share, Bookmark, Like: Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Aleteia: Sometimes, yes, the supposed “bleeding host” will prove, upon examination, to be mere red bread mold. But sometimes, a “bleeding host” is put under the microscope and through the tests and it’s discovered to be human cardiac tissue. Read the rest here, scroll down to page bottom. Share, Bookmark, Like: Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Aleteia: Gutierrez had lived with Arnold Chiari malformation since she was 13. Two years ago she lost vision in her left eye, and then in her right eye last year. Doctors inserted a shunt to try to relieve the pressure, but that failed. Her headaches were “vise-like,” and she was afflicted with tinnitus, vomiting, dizziness and seizures. She was approved to go to a rehab/nursing facility … More →
National Catholic Register: The Vatican has announced the approval of a miracle attributed to the intercession of Blessed Stanislaus of Jesus and Mary Papczyński (1631-1701), the Founder of the Congregation of Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary. The Vatican announced the approval of the miracle on Jan. 21. The miracle was the healing of a 20-year-old Polish woman shortly after Blessed Stanislaus’ beatification. … More →
Two years ago, on the feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes, I posted a column on our website about one astounding miracle that occurred at the shrine of Our Lady there. You can read that story here In that account I noted the following about the Jewish author who wrote the beautiful book The Song of Bernadette: “There are countless miraculous cures that have … More →
Asianews: A blind woman has been healed in Phoenix, Arizona, thanks to the intercession of Saint Charbel (Sharbel) Makhlouf (8 May 1828-24 December 1898). Thus, the reputation of miracle worker of the hermit of Annaya (Lebanon) is spreading around the world, or at least, wherever fate has taken the Maronites, scattered by the winds of their turbulent history. Read more here. Share, Bookmark, Like: Facebook, Twitter, … More →
The Christian Review: Former resident John W. Blewett described the Catholic atmosphere in his piece Riches Above, Riches Below: “One of the Masses I loved to serve as a boy was the 5:15 a.m. mass in our parish. The church was filled with miners carrying their breakfast/lunchpails. In some instances their wives and children would be with them at that early hour. For everyone there, … More →
ChurchPop: There is an atheist website with a particularly provocative argument against God’s existence called “Why Won’t God Heal Amputees?“. Read the account here. Share, Bookmark, Like: Facebook, Twitter, etc.
ChurchPop: Alexis Carrel was born into a Catholic family in a small town in France in 1873. He attended Mass regularly and went to Catholic schools run by Jesuits. Unfortunately, by the time he went to college he was an agnostic. He completely rejected the Catholic faith and wasn’t even sure if there was a God. Read account here. Share, Bookmark, Like: Facebook, Twitter, etc.
What is faith? The Baltimore Catechism gives a very simple definition of faith as the first of the three theological virtues: “Faith is a Divine virtue by which we firmly believe the truths which God has revealed on the authority of His revelation in the scriptures and the Church teaching.” Holy scripture and tradition are the two pillars that the Church uses to teach the … More →
Catholic News Agency: Barrie Schwortz, Photographic expert on Shroud Study Committee “I think the reason skeptics deny the science is, if they accept any of that, their core beliefs have been dramatically challenged, and they would have to go back and reconfigure who they are and what they believe in,” he said. “It’s much easier to reject it out of hand, and not worry about it. That … More →
AsiaNews: Fr Michael Martires, 81, felt the presence of Jesus and was healed during the homily of the papal legate, Card Ranjith, during the Mass that brought to a close the National Eucharistic Congress in Mumbai. Read more here. Share, Bookmark, Like: Facebook, Twitter, etc.
This is a miracle I never heard of. It is astounding. There is no paint or dye in the image imprinted there on and in a rock. In fact, the image is several feet thick. The colors are the colors of the rock. This is similar to the tilma of Saint Juan Diego on which Our Lady painted her image at Guadalupe. Wait until you … More →
In the words of the skeptic Roger Lacassagne (put on his tongue by Franz Werfel in his book Song Of Bernadette), “If miracles can happen, let them.” Lacassagne’s son Jules, who could no longer eat, was cured at Lourdes. Read the story in my article here. One thing that irked Brother Francis was when some “expert,” who was “humble” enough not to deny the possibility … More →
AsiaNews: A three year old girl, Milan, from a Sunni family in Syria, was healed thanks to the intervention of St. Charbel, the Lebanese hermit saint, canonized in 1977 by Pope Paul VI. The family is a family of refugees from Damascus, who arrived in Lebanon after the civil war which has been destroying the country more than four years. The girl had a tumor and … More →