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.
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 →
AsiaNews: Since 2014, an official campaign carrying out the demolition of crosses on Christian churches has been conducted, primarily in Zhejiang province. Chinese authorities do not like to see crosses dotting the skyline of their country: the cross is a religious, Christian symbol which they see as contradictory to their atheistic ideology. And yet, the cross has played a special role in the history of the … More →
Aleteia: The events took place at the El Goloso military base, located near the Spanish capital, seat of the nation’s armored infantry brigade “Guadarrama.” According to several Spanish news sites, includingInfovaticana and Religión en Libertad, a fire broke out that was impossible to control, burning most of the surrounding vegetation. Once the flames were extinguished, to the soldiers’ surprise, in the middle of the charred … More →
I was reading an article on The Remnant website dealing with a sermon Pope Francis gave during his whirlwind tour of Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay. The sermon, as related in the original Spanish and in the English translation given by the anonymous author, Father X, offers a moral interpretation of the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. Being that the miracle was … More →
If reports in Italian media outlets are to be believed, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith met June 24 to discuss the alleged Marian apparitions in Medjugorje, reaching the conclusion that they are inauthentic, but recognizing the site as a place of prayer. On Thursday, Vatican watcher Gianluca Barile wrote that, “for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in fact, the … More →
This is an account of a stupendous miracle of Saint Padre Pio. Wait till you read the last line. Catholic News and Inspiration, Patti Maguire: A woman from St. Madeline’s in Ridley Park, gave her five prayer cards for people who were in the process of beatification and needed a miracle. Every day after Mass, she and her mother would go to the hospital and pray … More →
“To deceive even the elect.” Father Gruner, we pray, will do more good now than he did on earth. Pray for the repose of his soul. Michael Brown’s Spirit Daily: We’ve been reporting on a new book about Fatima visionary Lucia dos Santos — the best book pertaining to the apparitions in recent memory — but there’s too much to summarize in an article or even … More →
Vatican Insider: The spotlight is back on the Turin Shroud ahead of the next Ostension, which Pope Francis will be attending along with all the other pilgrims. The Shroud is considered one of the most important icons or relics of Jesus’ Passion. While the history of the cloth remains shrouded in mystery and lacks watertight testimonies that can vouch for its existence before the Medieval period, … More →
TFP: At the time Brittany Maynard  was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer Donielle Wilde, of Charlotte, North Carolina, was given an equally somber diagnosis of stage four breast cancer. The similarities between the two stop there. Donielle was pregnant with her tenth child and was given two unacceptable options that could save her life, abortion or aggressive cancer treatment,  which might injure her … More →
Unveiling the Apocalypse: In a recent blog post (found here), Antonio Socci, the author of The Fourth Secret of Fatima, notes the importance of a recently published official biography of Sr. Lucia from the Carmelites of Coimbra (the convent where the Portuguese nun lived and died), titled “Um caminho sob o olhar de Maria” (A Path Under the Gaze of Mary). This explosive new text contains several important writings of Sr. Lucia … More →
Spirit Daily: Usually, miracles are right on the edge of perception. In most cases, they leave room for doubt, for questioning (which also means that they leave room for faith). A miracle is often predicated on how we approach it. When we approach what God offers in a way that’s negative, that’s overly skeptical (thinking we are mature in doing so), we encounter few if … More →
I had the honor thirty years ago of visiting the chapel that the Sisters of Loretto had built for their mission and school in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 1878. The stunning Gothic-style chapel, rising out of the desert-like wilderness of New Mexico, was called Our Lady of Light. It was designed by a French architect after the Sainte Chapelle in Paris. Sadly, in 1968, … More →
Excerpt from Saints Who Raised the Dead, True Stories of 400 Resurrection Miracles, by Fr. Albert J. Hebert, S. M. It has been said that St. Patrick (c. 389-c. 461) performed a thousand miracles. And why not? Many more (40,000) were prudently attributed to St. Vincent Ferrer, the Dominican missionary and “Angel of Judgment.” Moreover, the author knows of no saint for whom there are … More →
Today is the glorious feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes. It is also the occasion for the Mother of God revealing in 1858 to Bernadette Soubirous, a very poor fourteen-year-old peasant from Lourdes, France, her unique grace as “The Immaculate Conception.” The dogma of the Immaculate Conception had been pronounced by Pope Pius IX four years earlier in his encyclical Ineffabilis Deus. This communication … More →