Saints, Angels, and Mystics
A Saint, is a holy, godly, pious, or sanctified person. A saint, is one who
has died, and has been canonized, by the Roman Catholic Church.
A saint, is also, any one, of the blessed in heaven.
Some Characteritics of Saints:
1. Luminosity: Supernatural Light
2. Levitation: Ex: Rising 3 to 4 feet, or more, above the floor
4. Unexplainable Energy
5. The Perfumes of Sanctity
6. Expanded Sensory Perception
Praying the rosary: is a form of meditation and contemplation.
A Miracle: Can include physical healings through prayer.
Saint Micheal the Archangel
In Hebrew, the name Michael means "who is like God". The Archangel Michael is mentioned 3 times in the book of Daniel of the Old Testament. The Archangel Michael became known as an Advocate and Protector of the Hebrew people. In the New Testament Book of Revelations, Michael is a protector and he is the one who leads God's Armies into battle against Satan and his evil forces. In the War in Heaven, Micheal defeats Satan. In Roman Catholic teachings, Michael has various roles or offices. One role of the Archangel Michael is the leader of the Army of God, and leader of Heaven's forces in the triumph over the powers of Hell. Micheal is viewed as the Angelic model for the virtues of the spiritual warrior, with the conflict against evil at, at times, viewed as the battle within. The Archangel Michael also deals with death. In this role, Michael is the Angel of Death, carrying the souls of all the deceased to Heaven. Michael also plays a role in being a special patron (defender or protector) of the Chosen people in the Old Testament, and is also the Guardian of the Church of God.
Roman Catholicism includes traditions such as the "Prayer to Saint Michael", which specifically asks, for the faithful people of God, to be defended by the Archangel Michael. Followers of the Eastern Orthodox Church title Michael as "Archistrategos" or "Supreme Commander of the Heavenly Hosts". In the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, the Archangel Michael is seen as the one who presents to God, the prayers of the just, the one who accompanies the souls of the dead to heaven, and the one who defeats the devil. In medieval Christianity, Michael, together with Saint George, became the patron saints of chivalry. Today, Michael is considered to be the patron saint of police officers, paramedics, mariners, and the military. Apart from his being a patron saint of warriors, the sick and the suffering also consider the Archangel Michael their patron saint.
The Archangel Michael commands the Army of Angels loyal to God against the rebel forces of Satan. And, thus he is represented, as armed with a Sword from God's Armory, he - victorious in battle with Satan. Michael is also represented as an Angelic Warrior, fully armed with helmet, sword or lance, and a shield. The Arch Angel Michael is also seen standing over a serpent or dragon, or the defeated figure of Satan; whom he pierces with a lance or sword.
Prayer to Saint Michael (the Archangel)
Holy Michael, the Archangel,
defend us in our days of battle.
Be our safeguard,
against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray.
And, may the Prince of the Heavenly Host,
By the Power of God,
Thrust down to Hell,
Satan and all wicked spirits,
who wonder through the world,
for the ruination of all souls.
* Amen *
Prayers to Saints
Prayer to Mary, Mother of the LORD God
The Magnificat Prayer to Mary, Mother of the LORD God (Spoken by Mary)
My being, proclaims the Greatness of the LORD.
My spirit finds joy in God - my Savior;
For, He has looked upon His servant, in her lowliness;
All Ages to come shall call me Blessed.
GOD, Who is Mighty, has done Great things for me, Holy is His Name;
His Mercy is from Age to Age, on those who fear Him.
He has shown Might with His Arm;
He has Confused the proud, in their inner - most thoughts.
He has Desposed the mighty, from their thrones;
And, Raised the lowly, to high places.
The hungry, He has given every Good thing,
While the rich, He has sent, empty - Away.
He has Upheld Israel, His Servant,
Ever mindful, of His Mercy.
Even as He Promised Our Fathers,
Promised Abraham and his Descendants -
O my GOD, Creator, and my Father, my being, proclaims:
Thine Might, Valor, and Thine Patience prevailed;
GOD have Mercy.
My LORD Jesus, my Brother, and my Savior, my being proclaims:
Your Strength, Honor, and Your Glory.
LORD have Mercy.
And Mother, Your long sufferings shall be Justified;
And You, who has given thy servants of this earth - My LORD and My Savior;
Holy Spirit have Mercy.
And Father, may the Tests not be, too hard,
on those who have become blinded by the Dust of the Ages.
To those who has Defended Thee:
May they receive Thine Gifts of Thine Love.
To those who have Upheld the Laws:
May they receive Thine Victory Prize.
And, may those who has Offended Thee, and broken Thine Laws:
May they receive their just deserts.
And Father, after You have poured down Your Wrath,
upon this earth,
upon all those, who has scorned You, my Father
May there be Brought a Peace, and a Quiet Beauty,
upon the earth, once again;
As You Promised Abraham and his descendants,
and all Your peoples,
Since the Beginning of all time itself;
And, may the god's walk amongst Thine our people.
The Prayer of Saint Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, let me bring pardon.
Where there is doubt, let me bring faith.
Where there is despair, let me bring hope.
Where there is darkness, only light.
And, where there is sadness, let me bring joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not,
So much seek to be consoled - as to console;
not so much to be understood - as to understand.
not so much to be loved - as to love.
It is in giving, that we receive;
It is in pardoning, that we are pardoned;
And, it is in dying, that we are born to Eternal Life.
- Amen -
Saint Patrick's Breastplate (a Prayer for God's Divine Assistance)
I: May the Strength of God guide me this day,
And may His Power Preserve me.
May the Wisdom of God instruct me;
May the Eye of God Watch over me;
May the Ear of God Hear me;
May the Word of God give sweetness to my speech;
May the Hand of God Defend me;
And, may I always follow the Way of God.
II: Christ be with me,
Christ within me;
Christ behind me,
Christ before me;
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me;
Christ at my right,
Christ at my left;
Christ beside me,
Christ to win me;
Christ to Comfort,
and restore me;
Christ in quiet,
Christ in danger;
Christ in hearts of all that love me;
Christ in mouths of friends and strangers.
Christ in every eye that sees me;
Christ in every ear that hears me.
And, Christ in every soul, and everybody that meet me!
- Amen -
Prayer of Saint Ignatius
Soul of Christ, make me Holy;
Body of Christ, save me;
Blood of Christ, cleanse me;
Water from Jesus' side, wash me;
Passion of Christ, make me strong;
O good Jesus, hear me!
Do not let me hurt You.
From the evil spirit, defend me;
In the hour of my death, call me,
and bid me come to You,
that with Your Saints,
I may praise You,
forever and ever.
+ Amen +
Prayers to the Saints
Thanksgiving For the Saints
We thank You, God, for the Saints of all Ages:
For those, who in times of darkness, kept the lamp of faith burning.
For the great souls, who saw visions, of larger truths,
and dared to declare them.
For the multitude of quiet, gracious souls,
whose presence purified and sanctified the world,
And, for those, known and loved by us,
who have passed from this earthly fellowship,
into the fuller life with You.
Accept this our Thaksgiving,
through Jesus Christ,
to whom be praise and dominion, forever.
+ Amen +
For a Share with the Saints
O God, our Father,
source of all Holiness,
The work of Your hands, is manifest in Your Saints.
The beauty of Your truth, is reflected, in their faith.
May we, who aspire to have part in their joy,
be filled with the Spirit, that blessed their lives.
So that, having shared their faith on earth,
We may also know their peace, in Your kingdom.
+ Amen +
Hail Holy Queen
Hail Holy Queen, Mother of mercy!
Hail our life, our sweetness and our hope!
To you do we cry, poor banished children of Eve.
To You do we send up our sighs.
Mourning and weeping in this valley of tears!
Turn then, most gracious advocate,
Your eyes of mercy toweards us.
And, after this, our exile, show onto us,
the Blessed Fruit of your womb - Jesus.
O Merciful, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary!
Pray for us, O holy Mother of God,
that we may be made worthy of the Promises of Christ.
+ Amen +
Prayer to Saint Joseph (Pope John XXIII
O glorious Saint Joseph, remind all who work,
that they are not alone in their labor, their joy, or their sufferings because,
Jesus, is by their side,
With Mary, His mother, and ours.
Supporting them, wiping the sweat from their brows,
And, setting a value on their toil.
Teach them, to use their labor as You did,
As a supreme means of attaining holiness.
+ Amen +
Daily Recital of the the Chaplet of St. Michael [or the Nine Salutations]
* Begin with the center piece. Recite the Act of Contrition and the Glory Be.
* Next, after each salutation to each of the 9 choirs of angels, pray 1 Our Father and 3 Hail Mary. Start with the first red bead. [Upon the one red bead, pray 1 Our Father and upon each of the three blue beads, pray a Hail Mary] (Repeat, for each one of the 9 Choirs of angels).
* Next, upon the last 4 red beads, we pray 1 Our Father, for each of the 4 Angels:
Michael the Archangel, Gabriel, Raphael, and Guardian Angel.
* Finally, pray the 2 closing prayers to St. Micheal - Archangel upon the medal of Micheal-Arch Angel.
Prayers and Novenas
Saint George by Donatello, 1415, Florence.
Along with the construction of churches, creation of art and spread of legends, a number of genuine devotions and prayers to Saint George developed over the ages among Christians. These traditions and prayers continue across the world to date, e.g. in May 2008, the arch-priest of St. George's Basilica, Malta called on all parishioners to pray to Saint George every day. St. Mary's Orthodox Cathedral, New Delhi, India holds prayers of intercession to Saint George every week.
The Prayer to Saint George directly refers to the courage it took for the saint to confess his Christianity before opposing authority.
Almighty God, who gave to your servant George boldness to Confess the Name of our Savior Jesus Christ before the rulers of this world, and courage to die for this faith: Grant that we may always be ready to give a reason for the hope that is in us, and to suffer gladly for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
The same sentiment is present within the following two Prayers to Saint George:
St. George, Heroic Catholic soldier and defender of your Faith, you dared to criticize a tyrannical Emperor and were subjected to horrible torture. You could have occupied a high military position but you preferred to die for your Lord. Obtain for us the great grace of heroic Christian courage that should mark soldiers of Christ. Amen
Greek Orthodox: Saints
Synaxis of All Saints Commemorated on June 7Troparion & Kontakion
The Sunday following Pentecost is dedicated to All Saints, both those who are known to us, and those who are known only to God. There have been saints at all times, and they have come from every corner of the earth. They were Apostles, Martyrs, Prophets, Hierarchs, Monastics, and Righteous, yet all were perfected by the same Holy Spirit.
The Descent of the Holy Spirit makes it possible for us to rise above our fallen state and to attain sainthood, thereby fulfilling God’s directive to “be holy, for I am holy” (Lev. 11:44, 1 Peter 1:16, etc.). Therefore, it is fitting to commemorate All Saints on the first Sunday after Pentecost.
This feast may have originated at an early date, perhaps as a celebration of all martyrs, then it was broadened to include all men and women who had borne witness to Christ by their virtuous lives, even if they did not shed their blood for Him.
St Peter of Damascus, in his “Fourth Stage of Contemplation,” mentions five categories of saints: Apostles, Martyrs, Prophets, Hierarchs, and Monastic Saints (PHILOKALIA [in English] Vol. 3, p.131). He is actually quoting from the OCTOECHOS, Tone 2 for Saturday Matins, kathisma after the first stichology.
St Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain (July 14) adds the Righteous to St Peter’s five categories. The list of St Nicodemus is found in his book THE FOURTEEN EPISTLES OF ST PAUL (Venice, 1819, p. 384) in his discussion of I Corinthians 12:28.
The hymnology for the feast of All Saints also lists six categories: “Rejoice, assembly of the Apostles, Prophets of the Lord, loyal choirs of the Martyrs, divine Hierarchs, Monastic Fathers, and the Righteous....”
Some of the saints are described as Confessors, a category which does not appear in the above lists. Since they are similar in spirit to the martyrs, they are regarded as belonging to the category of Martyrs. They were not put to death as the Martyrs were, but they boldly confessed Christ and came close to being executed for their faith. St Maximus the Confessor (January 21) is such a saint.
Mysticism, is the teaching, or belief, that a person achieves knowledge of God, through Direct Awareness, or Personal Intuition, rather than, through logic and reasoning. A person, who accepts mysticism, is called a Myistic. An mystic, wants to realize truth, or the ultimate meaning of things, and not to merely think it. The mystic, feels that all attempts, to prove, the existence of God by logic, end in questions, that, cannot be answered. He/she believes, that all the truths discovered by Science, lead, finally, to objects - in time and space. The mystic, believes that, following certain preparations, the heart, can understand, in a flash of insight, what the mind may not be able to understand - logically. He/she feels that, intuition, is the basis of religion, since, mysticism seeks to go beyond the limits of logic and reasoning. Yet, unfortunately, being a religious mystic, can be dangerous, since it is sometimes associated, a with unstable personality.
Saint John of the Cross, a great Christian Mystic, who, spoke of a nun - who claimed she held conversations with God, said: "All this, that she says, 'God spoke to me of." "I spoke to God", seems like nonsense, to most people, who do not understand mystics. They, may believe: 'She, has only been speaking to herself'. Yet, mysticism, still remains , an expression of mankind's desire, to have first hand experience of meaning, reality, or God. Mysticism, plays a part in many religions such as: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, all, of who, have produced many mystics. Some Roman Catholic Mystics include: Saints Bernard, Meister Eckhart, Jan Van Raysbroeck, Saint Theresa, Francis of Assisi, and John of the Cross. Mystics, believe that, the ordinary experience of life, should be blended with the higher Spiritual Life. Thus, ultimately, one's spirit, can achieve happiness, in spite of worldly difficulties. There are also dark mystics, as well.
Quotations and Paraphrases from: "The Sanctified Body"
[Chapters 1- 19], by Patricia Treece
CHAPTER 1: The Sanctified Body:
"The sanctified body, reflects its mystical life, by unusual energies. A body, will levitate, in rare cases, only." "Authentic holiness, is the human being - purified, and penetrated, by the Divine." " Saint Antony the Great (251-3560, stated: "Life, is union and junction of these three: body, mind, and soul." "Virtues, of saints include: large-mindedness, optimism, a realism -that sees beyond the narrow concerns and illusions of contemporaries, inner joy - that is not dependent on things 'going well', courageous adherence to moral values - even in immoral societies, a steady good-naturedness, spiritual wisdom, simplicity, a strong sense of humor, and always - great humility." " Passionate love, the most important characteristic, is the infallible sign of holiness- that is, the Passionate love for God, and mankind." "It is love, in its ultimate and humanly incomprehensible form."
"Because, he/she is penetrated, by the Divine, a saint's goodness, inevitably draws others to them." In psychological terms, healthy growth, starts where one is loved, and thus, consequently, learns to love, this is the gateway to wholeness." "To achieve individuation, it is necessary, to become conscious, of deeper levels." "One must confront the unconscious aspects of one's personality, that one hides from oneself, as "bad" or "undesirable." "And, these, must also, be humbly acknowledged, and ultimately transformed and integrated." "Thus, wholeness, involves, a life-or-death struggle, within the personality, to overcome the ego, with its life-long cry - "Me first." "And, as egotism dies, the authentic self emerges, and is enlightened, by its hard-won consciousness, discovering a meaning to life, larger than self-aggrandizement." Thus, life is lived, at the height of wholeness, and empathetically, and at the service of higher values." "Expanded consciousness, results from, expanded brain use." "A major means of transformation, are meditation and contemplation."
Many mystics, believe that, they, live on two levels: the spiritual level, and the earthly mundane level- simultaneously." "Mysticism, is the highest level or the highest state of conscious one can reach, where, mystical ability and events can occur." "Saints, are, the ultimate, in human development: starting from self -centeredness, and thus, extending beyond, to higher realities." "By fending off despair, a saint learns to hope, and by wrestling with desperation, a saint learns faith, by overcoming temptations to hate a saint learns charity." "Schaya, a Judain, said: 'If God is the first cause, of this transformation, man, is second, and one, cooperates - actively, in the process of becoming sanctified." We encounter God, when we are transformed, which is both extremely joyful, as well as, a [hard] sorrowful struggle." "When an individual, reaches out to God, with all honestly, and with all his/her whole being, God does respond; whereas, this higher union occurs between God and man/woman; thus, the human body, is affected by holiness." Saints, try to hide their manifestations, lest others focus on them, and not on God." " Mother Teresa of Calcutta's organization, includes: Hindus, Moslems, Sikhs. Jews, Christian, etc. and she is quoted as saying:
"Oh I hope I am converting." "I don't mean what you think." "I hope we are converting hearts." "What we are trying to do ... is to come closer to God." "We, become better Hindu, better Moslem, a better Catholic [Christian], a better whatever we are, and then by being better, we come closer and closer [to God]."
Chapter 2: Luminosity:
Patricia Treece, spoke of Maximilian Kolbe, saying:
" He conversed with me about the Madonna ... . Speaking ... with great enthusiasm, he became, as I watched, transfigured, in a diaphanous form, almost transparent, and surrounded by a halo of light, all of which, lasted, while he spoke ... . I found myself trembling with a sort of fear, filled with confusion - so moved, that tears came to my eyes."
"Light, often surrounds a saint's entire body." "Luminosity, of the body, is related to Shekinah, which is Hebrew for glory." "Light [splendor or radiance], is a universally accepted sign, of God's presence. It is associated with, the Divinity - God, or Divine Messengers, whom, often appear, as only - light.." "The Hebrew Prophet Ezekiel, saw God, as "a huge cloud with flashing fire, enveloped in brightness ... ."
"Sister Cairo, who shared a room with Mother Frances Cabrini (1850-19170), woke in the middle of the night, and found their lampless room, filled with Light, as, Mother Cabrini prayed." "Saint Bonaventure (1221-74), spoke of Saint Francis of Assisi: "the extraordinary illumination [occasionally] around his body, was witness, to the wonderful light, that shone within his soul."
"Moses, (The Torah, Exodus 34:29-35), personally received the Ten Commandments, from Jahweh, 'face to face' on Mount Sinai: Moses came down the mount with two tablets of the Law, but he, did not realize that, while he conversed with God, his face, had become radiant." "Scholar and writer, Yaffa Eliach, states that, luminosity, marks 'a person of great spiritual distinction' [[sainthood]. In Judaism, the term Meor Panim means 'lighted face'." "Shumel Joseph Agnon, spoke of this phenomenon, when speaking of the 20th Century Israeli mystic, Palestine's Chief Rabbi - Abraham Isaac Kook, and said that, he had 'a face shining, translucent with goodness'."
" In Christianity, in the New Testament Scriptures, Jesus' Transfiguration is described:
" Jesus, took Peter, James and his brother John, and led them up on a high mountain by themselves. He [Jesus], was Transformed, before their eyes. His face became as dazzling as the sun, his clothes- as radiant as light (Matthew 17:1 -2").
"Some, describe luminosity, as a 'crown' or halo upon the head, while some describe it as one being surrounded by 'a colorful emanation', or an outline of light, in shifting intensites, this - the aura or energy field." "While invisible, to most people, many say that, the aura, can be seen, only, by other gifted persons, like themselves." " Mystics are confused with psychics, but psychic ability, as described as the Episcopal priest, William V. Rauscher, explains: 'Someone can be psychic but, not necessarily spiritual, yet psychic abilities are inborn." Mysticism, or the state of human spiritual development, on the other hand, is where, one moves increasingly or gradually, into union with the Divine, by the dying of one's ego [egotism]." "As one grows spiritually, at a certain level, they begin to gain certain abilities, that is confused with psychic abilities." "As far as the great saints, the sanctified mind, regularly, shows clairvoyance, telepathy, etc, but, it is in a different form."
"In the 1930's, Russian scientist Alexander Gurvich, discovered, through experimentation, that, living things, generate energy or light." " Biophysicist, Boris Tarusov, discovered faint rays of light- emitting from plants and animals, and tiny rays of light -emitting from single cells." "Work, on heat convention currents, surrounding the human body, showed a 'pulsing envelope of warm air', one to three inches thick, showing as a halo, on photographic plates." "This aura, increases or decreases, according to one's physical condition, emotions, etc." "Cardinal Lambertini (1675-1758), wrote, in De servorum Dei beaticatione et beatorum canonizatione:
"It seems to be a fact, that there are natural flames, which at times, visibly, encircle the human head, and also that from a man's whole person, fire, may on occasion, radiate naturally, not, however, like a flame - which streams upward, but rather, in the form of sparks, which are given off, all round; further, that, some people, are resplendent, with a blaze of light."
"Thus, 1. the human body, like all living things, emits an energy or light,
2. this pulsating sheath, changes with certain conditions as: health, energy levels, emotions, etc,
3. it is usually invisible, to the unassisted human eye." "So, luminosity, in the sanctified body, is an intensification of a natural physiological characteristic, of all living things."
" Those, who proclaim to see auras, say that, they are composed of one or many colors, which can vary." "But, luminosity, of a holy body, is always said to be the opposite, and thus, either clear or white light." "Although, not all saints become luminous, those, who do, are not always luminous all the time."
"The sanctified body, bursts into light, only in moments of ecstasy or rapture, which is, passionate encounters with the Divine." "A saint, is one, who is in union with God, whose body, absorbs energy - from Him - who is Light. Thus, a saint's body, can emit Divine Light, during an ecstasy." "So, the ecstatic sanctified body, rapt, in communion with the Divine - who is Light, shines light." These illuminations, range from, a gentle glow, suffusing the face, to a dazzling brightness, that fills a room." "But, remember, saints, are prone to ask God to hide anything, they feel will make them noticeable." "It is a fact, that, in one group of people, some will see the light around a saint, while others cannot." "The New Testament Scripture, describes Saint Stephen's, face, while being stoned to death- ecstatically luminous." Yet, this did not stop the people from stoning him to death." "While the devout Jewish Christians saw Stephen's luminosity, other people did not." Patricia Treece, recounts an example of luminosity, she, herself engaged in:
".... a Jesuit, Father Ralph Tichenor (1908-83), ... . " "Having seen him a number of times ... the old Jesuit's face was usually beaming with love and goodwill." "I saw more." "Father Tichenor, was suffused by a yellowish -white light, which streamed out to me." "The light, was warm and sweet (I know light cannot be sweet but it was). "As this light touched me, I said to myself,: "I'm being healed." "A few weeks earlier, I had been rushed to the hospital... with a gallbladder attack, ... " "Yet, when I asked others, who were present that night, for their impressions of the sweet streams of light, I was shocked to find, only one other person, had seen anything at all." Thus, Treece, herself, was miraculously healed, by this burst of light - energy!.
Chapter 3: Word Pictures:
"The constant movement of Love, that streams, between a saint and God, is the part of this union, called luminosity; which occasionally bursts into a visible or invisible fire." "In the most intimate rapturous moments, of this 'love affair' with God, many saints become luminous, to some degree." "Luminosity, is thus, a bodily mystical phenomena." 'In the biography of the 19th century mystic, Saint Peter Eymard, it is stated:
"They could never forget Father Eymard's reverence when he knelt, in adoration, at the foot of the altar." "His ascetic features, appeared luminous; a certain heavenly something, suffused his whole person. ... ." "He was so transfigured, that he seemed no longer of earth."
"On the work, of Saint Jeanne Thouret (1765-1826), it is said:
"She used to pray with such fervour, that she was, so to say, absorbed in God." "All her senses, both external and internal, seemed suspended, and her face took on a radiant beauty."
"As to Mother Cabrini, it is written:
"... she, became surrounded with a gleaming splendor, which was the projected reflection of that supernatural love, which shone in her soul, more purely, than the clearest crystal."
"Luminosity, this visual phenomenon, during prayer, by its very nature, rarely takes place, where there are witnesses, as a saint's desire for privacy, is sacred to them" "And, this holy union, is not to be shared with anyone, and cannot be disturbed." "While the physiology, of the sanctified body, can stretch into the miraculous, much of the time, it is merely, the outer limit of human potential, it is, a supra-development of innate human capabilities." "This is the context of a saint's life, and thus, holiness becomes extremely important." "Illumination, then, is a natural physiological reaction, to the extreme joy and goodness, one feels, while in holy union with God, culminating, to heights of immeasurable bliss, within spiritual rapture." "While in ecstasy, a witness to this phenomenon, cannot tell whether the saint is emitting light, or is bathed in it."
"All mystical phenomena, are part of an ongoing and gradual process, of one's ever-developing spirituality." "Humility, is a great characteristic of a saint, as, they never try to appear extraordinary, for, they, are drawn to God, above all peoples and things." Sister Teresa Valse' Pantellini, feeling that, her life's work was accomplished, lay dying, longing to be with God." "In other words, the young mystic, desired to die, in order to be in paradise with God-this, was her own choice." ""Once, the dead co-founder of her order, Saint John Bosco, appeared to her, to offer a cure, but she sent him instead, to the the room next door, to Sister Giovanna Lenci (ill for 10 years), whereas, Sister Giovanna was cured, and thus, went on to work another 30 years."
"Founder of the Congregation of the Most Precious, Saint Gasper del Bufalo, was known throughput his life, as a miracle worker who healed, levitated, and bilocated." "in some of his rapturous states, it is said that, his face appeared afire."
And, like many other saints, it is said that, he died in a state of ecstasy." "Saint Vincent Pallotti, by Gaspar's deathbed, wrote that, the dying man's face shone with such sweetness and peace, it as was as if, he died - immersed in the joys of Paradise."
Chapter 4: Illumined with Super natural Light:
"When Saint Mother Mary Maddalena, requested to die on the bare floor, like Francis of Assisi - co-founder of her order, her request was granted her." "Those, at her side, stated:
According to one witness: "Mother Maddalena's eyes became 'like the enraptured eyes of a child that suddenly beholds a Christmas tree."
Another witness stated: "I observed, 'that her eyes, were on the crucifix, and her face, became radiant, and it was more beautiful, than I had ever seen it, in life."
"This witness, was sure that Mother, saw 'something extraordinary' which indicates an ecstasy, and she thought Mother was going to get well, yet she did not."
"Another, saw a light, emanating, from the crucifix, that Mother was raptly gazing on, while in a state of ecstasy." And, she stated:
"I saw an illumination, in the face of the dying Mother, but I do not know whether it emanated from her face or was a reflection, from the light on the crucifix."
"It is estimated that, for approximately 35 to 45 minutes, Mother was illuminated, (from without or within her, or both)." "Then, she closed her eyes and smiled, and died gently. - like a gentle breath"
"It is said of Blessed Andre Bessette (1845-1937), known as the wonder worker of Montreal, that the saint was luminous at times, although, it is not certain if he was emitting light or that he was bathed in Shekinah Light." Eusebe Viau, testified that the gradual cure of his adopted daughter, from blindness, was attributed to this saint, and it began, after Brother Andre's visit." "Viau also stated:
'When one saw Brother Andre pray, almost always on his knees, his face was transfigured - almost angelic."
"Canadian Paul Corbeil, witnessed one of Brother Andre's ecstasies, and said:
"One night, I accompanied Brother Andre to his little chapel.""After our prayers, and at the moment when he was locking the door with a key, I saw him remain, in that attitude, for several seconds, indicating that, he was gripped by an ecstasy."
"As he stood there, immobile, in the obscurity of the night, he was illuminated, by white rays of light, like those one sees in the paintings of saints."
Another witness, to Brother Andre's illuminating, was Adelard Fabre, she states:
"I saw Brother Andre, kneeling in the Oratory." "he, was enveloped by light ... I, was standing a few feet, maybe 6' from him." "Brother Andre, was in the light, I, was not." "The stream of light, covering a distance of 20' stopped, at Brother Andre." "There was no light in the Oratory, except the lamp before the sanctuary." "Far back, some votive candles were burning." "The staue of Saint Joseph [the saint to whose prayers, Brother Andre attributed his cures] was in obscurity, but the luminous rays, seemed to come from it." "I had a feeling that, the statue, was going to fall from the main altar, toward Brother Andre." "I went to Brother Andre, and touched his arm, to warn him, and lead him away, but [because he was rapt in ecstasy] Brother Andre, did not speak, or budge."
"About 3 weeks later, Fabre, again saw Brother Andre kneeling and praying, and she witnessed a large area of light, above the saint's head."
Polish Franciscan, Saint Maximillian Kolbe (1897-1941), is best known for his selfless heroism at Auscwitz, for he volunteered to die for a condemned prisoner, who cried out for his wife and children." "Kolbe, is remembered , as one the most unassuming and simple man." "It is said that, Kolbe, at times, also illuminated."
"Brother Luke Kuszba, who lived with Kolbe, recalled:
"... 'it was impossible, to take your eyes off him, during the priest's visits before the chapel tabernacle." "Many times, Kuszba stated, he observed Father Maximililian say mass, and Kolbe, appeared illuminated, by an unearthly radiance." "Another witness said, of Kolbe, after arriving at the friary:
"In a few minutes, Father Max, burst in through the sacristy door, not noticing me kneeling in the back, in the dark, under the wall." "With admiration, I observed his faith, and his humility." "With his whole being, he prayed, alone, in the chapel, before the tabernacle ... ." "As I gazed upon the transfigured father in prayer, I began to tremble, from the soul stirring impression he made."
Another witness, Father Francesco Giusta recalls a visit with Kolbe, and said:
"We met, in a small classroom, and a spiritual conversation began at once ... ." "I spoke very little, because I felt myself very small stuff, in comparison; especially small, before Father Max, whose words - peaceful and mellow-voiced, showed great delight." "He spoke with a particular force and fervor, on Mary's active participation, in the life of the mystical body ... ." " There, was nothing ostentatious or artificial, in his words." "Rather, he spoke with the simplicity, of a child, but, at the same time, he spoke with the certainty, of a man inspired." "Giusta, further states:
"My wonder, already great, by what I had heard - grew, as my eyes took in the expression, of his face." "It, was illuminated, from time to time, by an enchanting serene smile, a physical manifestation, of the intimate mystical joy of one who, while, still on earth, feels rapt by the view of some heavenly beauty." "And, meantime, his expression, habitually sweet and profound, was lit, with a strong light (lampeggiava di vivissima luce)."
"Another witness spoke of Kolbe, and said:
"So transformed was he [at times], that, he hardly resembled himself."
"Saint Peyer Julian Eymard (1811-68), another illuminate's, life was spent, raising the spiritual level of the people of his native land, during times of great turmoil." "One witness said:
Whenever he said mass, he seemed transfigured," And, "One would think he already enjoyed the beatific vision [of heaven]."
"Still another witness said: "When Eymard prayed before the tabernacle, 'his ascetic features, appeared luminous, he was so transfigured, that he seemed to be, no longer of earth."
"It is important to relate that, saints, with their 'net which catches souls' for God, are very often found in lives full of suffering."
Chapter 5: Another Source of Energy:
"Pere Jean Lamy, according to his sister, who said of him: "I never once seen him in his bed." "He was up, all night praying; kneeling on his stool - without support, always in this attitude." "Never, had I seen his bed unmade, and I never once saw him lie down." "Lamy, evidenced another bodily phenomenon of holiness: recharging the body, through prayer, rather than sleep."
"Padre Pio the 20th century mystic-stigmatic, at one time, was sick, with stomach trouble, for 8 days." "He ate nothing, but did drink a little water, during the whole illness." " After his illness passed, he was told to weigh himself, and he found, that instead of losing weight, he gained weight." "He then laughed and said: "I think I'll have to eat more, to reduce." "Can, a man be so well-nourished, without touching food, that he gains weight?" "Pio's doctor, said: 'No normal man, could eat as sparingly as he did, and live." "These, are examples of 'another source of energy' termed - 'supra-natural [above nature], or more often called - 'supernatural.'"
"The human body requires food and sleep, to survive; yet saints, tap into another energy source, that does for them, what food and sleep do for all other people." "To some degree, or at some period in their lives, this phenomenon, is experienced almost universally, among saints." "It is the bodily phenomenon, that is most common." Saints, know a state of serenity, and utilize prayer techniques, that must have positive effects on their sleep and food utilization patterns.' " There are saints, who gain weight or maintain weight, while leading active lives, without eating at all, and /or without any sleep,"
There are two possibilities: Either sanctity and its prayer life changes the body so drastically, that food and sleep are no longer necessities, or the prayer states of holiness, open the sanctified person, to an exterior, numinous source of energy." "As spirituality, slowly takes root, and narcissistic concerns, no longer fully occupy consciousness, bit by bit, or with a rush, in dreams and while awake, the mind fills with material, from the next level - the personal unconscious." "Breaking through, depends on, successfully handling, this encounter, thus, the mind is free, to fill with the material, coming in from deeper levels." "The spiritual seeker, is kept busy, making space, by integrating important material, and skimming off the extraneous." It is a gradual, and sometimes a long process, leading to this spiritual transformation, or what can also be called: being spiritually awake.
To be spiritually awake, one must totally open oneself up to God, body, soul [mind], and spirit. "There are many instances, of saints, supernaturally sustained, while fasting or going without sleep, in all major religious traditions." "Also, all spiritual traditions recognize self-discipline, for spiritual purposes, in regard to food and sleep, and other bodily needs, as well." Some, may fast, for days at a time, to facilitate contact, with God. "Once more, fasting, is among the four religious duties of Islam." Moslem, during the month of Ramadan, to not eat or drink, until sundown, for spiritual purposes." "On Yom Kippur, devout Jews, fast, to express regret, for the sins of the past year, and to gird themselves spiritually, for the months ahead." "Historically, Jewish leaders, proclaimed periods of repentance, which included fasting, by all the people - the entire community." "Orthodox Jews today, use the fast, as either a sign of personal repentance or to bring themselves closer to God."
"Thus, all people of every faith, find some type of self denial, in regard to food and drink." " Many people fast, seek solitude, and find a quite place to pray." "And, through prayer, meditation and contemplation, achieve, a higher level state of consciousness, in order to be in union with God." "Many, are drawn to spend portions of the night, dedicated to prayer, due to the quite, stillness, and silence of night." "As for the Catholic/Christian saint, one thing is immediately apparent: The roots of every Christian saint's ascetic practices, lie in Judaism, as this heritage, was carried into Christianity, by Jesus Christ, who taught that certain goals are achieved, only by prayer and fasting, and at times he, himself, passed his nights in prayer." "When told by his disciples, they, worried about him fasting, they said to him: "Teacher, eat something'." "But, Jesus answered them and said: "I, have food to eat, of which you do not know." "Jesus told them, 'my food is to do the will of God, and God's work, in the world." "At Pentecost, while the earliest Christians, while missing Jesus and his divine leadership, and those, who were weak and vacillating, received a 'new energy', which sustained them, through persecution, beatings, imprisonment, and horrible deaths."
"Self-denial or self-discipline's goal is to bring the whole self (soul, emotions, intellect, and body) to God." "And, a pushing aside, of whatever may hinder, one's spiritual growth and development: such as, consumerism, gluttony, misuse of one's sexuality, spiritual laziness, etc." "It means, adding to what helps one grow, from egotism, to humbly and to totally surrender to God." "It is also, the offering and opening of oneself, to be an instrument of God, through which, one can love and serve God, and his people." "Saints, rip out, by the roots, whatever stands in their path to God." "Thus, egotism is pushed aside, one, flings oneself, in complete surrender, to God." "A saint, reaches a peak of freedom, and in joy and spontaneity, turns to God, and returns God's infinite love." This, is self-denial, denying one's self, but, totally giving one'self to God.
"Byzantine-rite Catholic priest George Maloney, states:
[Self-denial is ] "the highest level of self-sacrifice, [that comes from] out of a desire, to return love by love, ... in an act of self-denial, that, costs the individual, a sacrifice and a pain. It is not the pain or sacrifice, that is ennobling, but the motive, to offer God, something, that is not seen as an obligation ... or even a wish of God, but, seen as a free-gift return to God, out of love."
"One, may have a profound desire, to be like Jesus, as Saint Anthony Claret." "After he became a priest, he not only tried to acquire a Christlike love and other virtues, but also, he literally, imitated Christ." "He, insisted on walking from town to town, carrying no provisions, he had only one set of clothes, and he refused to own a house, 'because, Jesus had no place to lay his head'. '"The saint hoped, that by being Christ-like, he said, is to thereby, 'love God as Jesus does."
"All saints, practice self-discipline, self-denial, or mortification." "One individual saint, may spiritually carry another's burden of pain, illness, confusion, sin, or a number of people's burdens, until they are able to bear them themselves." "Many saints, living or dead, do a great deal of this kind of interceding." "All,religions, speak of voluntary reparation, by saints." "For a saint, even the greatest sacrifice, is worthless, in God's eyes, without proper motivation." "Take on no sacrifice, you can not do with joy." "That willing joy, precisely, characterizes, the sacrifice, of the saint." "Stigmatist, Theresa Neumann, said: "Of course I don't like suffering, but, I'm still willing, gladly, to bear it, to help our Savoir." "This, is a type of love, that has nothing to do with maschism or guilt-induced actions."
"A saint's mystical energy, like luminosity, has a range, from lesser to maximal degrees [of supernatural energy]." "There are, healthy saints who work day and night, and their energy level is way out of proportion, to the rest and food intake they require." "And, there are sickly saints, who survive and even thrive, under conditions, including extreme food deprivation, and almost total lack of rest - that you would think, could kill them." Finally, there are saints [such as Catholic saints], who work and do not eat at all, except for, receiving , daily, a coin -size wafer [the body and blood of Christ].
Chapter 6: They Soar Like Eagles:
"For about eight or nine years as a pastor, Saint Jean Vianney, would allow two to three days pass without eating any food." "During certain periods of time, he lived on potatoes, cooked once a week, and left in an iron basket attached to the wall, as well as grass." "It is said of him, that he was intellectually dumb and that he flunked out of the seminary." "But, his confessor, saw in him, a great spiritual brilliance, and thus, it was only by a fluke was he ordained a priest." "Vianney, became known the world over, as possessing great mental gifts of sanctity as: the ability on occasion, to read hearts, minds, and the future; as well as the gift of healing, and the multiplication of food."
"In the days when his diet was only potatoes, and occasionally grass, he never spent more than three hours in bed; sleeping on the floor, with a log for a pillow, and working twenty-one hours a day." "It is also said that, in later years, his one meal a day, was just broth and vegetables, which he would eat, while standing." "He once stated to another priest that, 'curtailing one's sleep, drink, and food were powerful spiritual foods." "He also stated that, 'during the years when he had gone days without food, he obtained whatever he had asked of God , on behalf of himself, as well as others." "Like other saints, he did not push such stringencies on others."
"In 1843, he collaspsed, due to pneumonia, his bed at this time, was a thin layer of straw, on hard planks." "When Vianney's doctor declared he was dying, and that he had only about thirty to forty minutes left to live, Vianney, while in a coma, heard his doctor say all this and said:
"I thought to myself, 'My God, I shall have to appear before you empty-handed!'"
"And I turned to the Blessed Virgin and Saint Philomena saying "Ah if I can still be of use."
Miraculously, Vianney's recovery began, at that very moment." "And after all the years of deprivation, strength returned to his emaciated body so quickly, that his doctor, as well as others, were totally puzzled." "Until he completely recovered, those around him, forced him to eat two meals a day, and to drink a quarter glass of old wine." "Witnesses stated that, his stomach was so shrunken, from years of fasting, that he became ill, if he was forced to eat what others considered a 'normal meal'. "Vianney's life style was virtually, penitential, and he went on to live another sixteen years, and he lived them with great physical power." "Generally, the saints, in spite of less adequate rest and nutrition, have longer life-spans than their parents."
CHAPTER 7: "I Just Knew He Couldn't Last - But He Did"
"Padre Pio, born in 1887, lived to be eighty-one years old, dying in 1968, despite an early terminal illness, a hard laborious life, fifty years of daily blood loss [stigmata], and the rest [sleep] and food patterns associated with those who live a penitental life of sanctity." "Since childhood, Padre Pio had digestive problems, and later, upon entering the Capuchin order [a Fransican order] his health worsened." "At certain periods of time he would vomit - uncontrollably, he suffered of migraine-type headaches, a tubercular-like cough, and severe fevers as well." "Once, in 1917, Padre Pio ran a temperature of about 108 degrees Fahrenheit, and while substituting a bathhouse thermometer in Pio's armpit, astonishingly, his temperature began to rise, until it reached to about 125.5 degrees." "Not only did such fevers not prove fatal, this mystic, did not exhibit delirium or any other mental disturbances, associated with extremely high fevers." "And, when he once, had to live for six months, surviving only milk, he did not become at all emaciated."
"Odd illnesses can occur in mystics, due to the 'immense strain, which the exalted spirit, puts upon a body." "In Patricia Treece's book "Nothing Short of a Miracle," she explains that, some doctors diagnosed Padre Pio's illness as tuberculosis or chronic bronchitis, while another, as having a spiritual basis." "Since 1910, it has been known that Padre Pio was a stigmatist- having wounds duplicating those suffered by Christ himself, during his Crucifixion." "By 1911, specialists simply diagnosed him as being terminally ill." "In 1917, appearing to have a short time left to live, Padre Pio was sent to a friary to die." "Surprisingly, by September 1918, Padre Pio suddenly recooparated, and he visibly restigmatized - meaning, his hands and feet appeared pierced, along with a lance-like wound in his side." "Padre Pio, became known as the first known stigmatized priest, and he thus never again knew a moment's peace!"
"The Franciscans, living with Padre Pio, say that when he was forty to fifty years old, he was only eating about three and one half ounces- primarily of vegetables, about every twenty-four hours." "And, with his having digestive problems, there were times he did not eat at all." "Padre Pio only slept about two hours a night, napping two to three hours in the afternoon." "His yearly work day, consisted of nineteen intense hours."In Padre Pio case, concerning his stigmata, [his ongoing blood loss for 50 years], no physician, who studied the phenomena of the stigmata, could say how much blood loss was emitted from his wounds at any given time period, but only that it was a considerable amount of loss of blood." Padre Pio felt that, the heart would lose a cup a day of blood." "Yet, it is remarkable that, he never became anemic or exhibited any fatal health problems, or died due to his unusually meager diet [estimated at 300 to 400 calories each day] that rarely included meat." "Or, died, due to that of his yearly blood loss." "Surprisingly, Padre Pio not only survived but, his tuberculosis or whatever his undiagnosed health problem was, simply went away."
CHAPTER 8: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Inedia
"The phenomenon of living without food or drink [prolonged food and liquid deprivation], is known as inedia." "In May, of 1876, a young visionary took to her bed - an invalid." "Two years later, as she believed she lay dying, a priest questioned her, asking: 'Is it really true, that for seven years, you have not drank or eaten anything?'" "She answered him: 'I have taken nothing to eat or drink in that time'."
"For the first five of those years, for five days a week, Louise Lateau (1850-83), did the hard labor of farm life." "She, amazingly, survived, without eating or drinking anything whatsoever." "Theresa Neumann, when asked, how do you live on nothing, answered: 'I don't live on nothing', and 'I live on the Savior'." "By saying this, Theresa meant her once-daily taking of Communion or Eucharist - a wafer the size of a quarter, which is also known as the consecrated body of Christ." "In the book of Exodus, scripture states that, Moses stayed on Mount Sinai, with the Lord, eating and drinking nothing, for forty days and forty nights."
"This phenomenon, is also found in Islam, as Sufi mystic Muhyi'd Din Ibn ' Arabi (d. 1240), saw visions of the angel Gabriel, he says:
"These apparitions [of the angel] left me in such a state that for many days I could not take any nourishment." "Each time I went to the table, the figue was standing at the table's end, looking at me and saying ... "Will you eat, while contemplating me?"
"It was impossible for me to eat, but I did not feel hunger!"
"I was so full of my vision, that I stuffed myself and became drunken in contemplating the figure to the point that, this contemplation took the place of all nourishment."
"My good appearance astonished my friends, who knew of my total abstinence."
"The fact is that, I continued for a long time without tasting a bit of food, not experiencing either hunger or thirst [so long as] this figure was never out of my sight ..."
"Rooted in Judaism, the Christian tradition of fasting, begins with Jesus, whose fasts included a forty-day fast, as in preparation for beginning his ministry."
"Living without any food or water, without showing any evidence of malnourishment or dehydration, is truly astonishing." "And, not all saints suffer from frequent 'mystical ill-heath'." "Yet, there are a number of mystics with 'a particular kind of illness', ... accompanied by pains and functional disturbances - for which no organic cause is to be found." "In genuine mystics like Padre Pio, such illnesses are caused by 'immense strain' [spiritual stress] in which the exalted spirit puts upon a body." "Amazing is the fact that, a number of inedics, have been healed of serious conditions - miraculously, in non-medically explicable ways."
"This vocation, of many inedics [and non-inedics], is reparatory suffering, that is, psychically, spiritually, and sometimes literally taking on the burdens of others, including, at times, physical illness." "That is, a saint will spare those, of lower spirituality, by mystically taking on their physical sufferings, and working them out, in their own bodies." "It is God's healing power, through his instrument -the saint." "it is a source of renewal and life." "It is 'life and energy', flowing from this source, for the good of others." "The holy inedic, who is a reparatory sufferer, is engaged in a union with a higher source - which is God." he or she may have all sorts of symptoms today, and none tomorrow, as he or she 'takes on' or, is between other's problems."
"Many inedics, are also frequently ecstatic visionaries, and some are stigmatics."
"The fact is, many inedics, frequently, some even daily, experience visions, while in ecstasy." In mysticism, ecstasy is a trance-like state, in which an individual is totally caught up, in an enriching spiritual experience, of the most compelling and immediate nature." "As a matter of fact, in this state, sensory life seems to freeze, and a lighted match, held to the skin causes no pain." "A jab, toward the eye, elicits no blink." "The entire physiology slows." "Some inedics, as some may not believe or understand, do not set out to 'learn' to do without food." " Inedia, in some ecstatic visionaries, appears after their ecstasies, for they are 'energized', and it is as though the functions needed for eating, have lessened."
"Ecstasies, are generally, quick intense states, lasting no more than a few minutes, [although in some cases, the ecstasies may last a long time]." "In fact, true ecstasy, is life enhancing." "The estatic, can be found searching and questioning, seeing truths, or found conversing with God" "Yet, the estatic, may pass hours of his or her day, not in ecstasy, but relating to others."
"Saint Teresa described the miraculous effects of an ecstasy, stating: 'even the sick come forth from ecstasy healthy and with new strength, thus, inedics can end an ecstasy cured." "Ecstasy, also seems to increase psychospiritual strength, as it can alleviate spiritual, as well as physical sufferings and/or give new ability to bear them." "Thus, the an ecstasy, seems to be followed by a burst of new energy, in one form or another."
"Lambertini implies that, if inedia [self deprivation] occurred, where there was nothing like: invalidism, or ecstatic states - to suspend normal body functions, the phenomenon could be considered supernatural." " But, the fact is, in both the invalid and the active saint, where holiness is real, a mix of physiological and psychospiritual factors are involved, in addition to the directly supernatural ones." "Inedics believe that, inedia, is bestowed upon them, by God, for His own purposes." "And, in addition, the fact is, ecstasy, is a totally, spiritually transforming and life-changing experience, it is one's spirit totally immersed, or in union with God himself."
"Inedic, Louise Lateau was a normal child, and had not experienced any ecstasies or strange phenomena." "But, when she was thirteen years old, she was knocked down and trampled upon, by a cow, whereas she suffered internal injuries." "Painful abscesses resulted, and thereafter, her teens were blighted by ill health." "In 1867, at seventeen, as she lay dying, she was given the last rites, and after a novena had been prayed, she miraculously recovered." "But, unfortunately, three weeks later, more intense pain, more abscesses, more blood spitting, and other serious symptoms recurred." "Early in 1868, again at the point of death, miraculously, she again recovered a second time."
"Thus, brushes with death, seemed to have served as an open door for her, into another sphere of reality, and thus, she began to have visions.""About this time, she began also, to experience the pains of unseen stigmata wounds, which gradually became visible, beginning with bleeding from her side [ approximately in April 1868]." "And, by July, every Friday, she began having long ecstasies and bleeding, from various wounds that replicated those of Christ." "Accompanying the visions and stigmata, was a growing distaste for food." "Always a small eater, the amount of nourishment she took [at 18 years of age], dwindled, although amazingly, she continued to labor hard every day, except on Friday."
"On Fridays, when her visions and bleeding incapacitated her, Louise never touched any food at all." "What she was taking in, at this period of time, amounted to no more than an ounce or two of bread, half an apple, or a spoonful of vegetables." "But unfortunately, after March 30, 1871, she could no longer eat anything at all." " For, any solid food caused her acute suffering." "If urged to eat, by her mother or confessor, even if she choked a bite down, her body threw it back up.""It was not as though she decided to totally fast, she simply could no longer digest food." "A doctor noted that, her gastric secretions, were practically nonexistent.""For, example, milk - vomitted back, showed no signs of curdling."
"A this same time, Louise became sensitized, to the consecrated Eucharistic wafer, although, she could daily receive this - her only nourishment - without difficulty, she could not retain a non-consecrated host." "She, was also an inedic who did not drink, even while working the family farm, in the heat of summer." "She could not keep any drink down, nor even need any, not even a spoonful of water." "She did not become dehydrated and was only nourished by the Eucharist, yet she continued her farm labors for five years, until, at twenty-six, in May 1876, she became bedridden." "She died seven years later, at age thirty-six, she had not eaten nor drunk anything for 12 years."
CHAPTER 9: Living on God?
"Pictures of a Bavarian peasant, Theresa Neumann, in the mid-twentieth century, appeared in [America's] Life magazine,". "She was pictured, bleeding from wounds, like Christ's, as in ecstasy, she was caught up in visions of the events of Good Friday." "According to witnesses, after mystical experiences during the Christmas season of 1922, the twenty-four year old, could tolerate only liquids." "And, on August 6, 1926, she had a vision of Christ - luminously, transfigured." "Later, contemplating Christ's glory, she told her pastor that, thirst and hunger for material food and drink left her forever."
"In order to satisfy her mother, so as her mother would not worry about her, she did accept a few liquids - perhaps a cup a week, but, she usually poured them out, when her mother was not looking, because the liquids made her vomit." "From the beginning of 1927, all she took in, was 'a little spoon of water and about six to eight drops more, after Communion, to help her swallow' the Eucharistic wafer." "But then, after September of 1927, even the spoon of water became unnecessary [she lived on God]."
"Theresa Neumann (1898-1962), was in complete mystical sense, not affected by hunger and thirst, or exhaustion, that comes from deprivation." "She said that she was conscious of the nourishing presence of Jesus, within her, after receiving the Eucharist, once a day." "But, during reparatory sufferings for others, she vomited up the Eucharist, at times, and the particles which were recovered, were intact, and undigested - eight, ten, even eleven hours after it was ingested." "At times, however, seen as part of her reparatory sufferings for others, this nourishment disappeared, before the next day's Communion, as Capuchin Franciscan, Father Hermann Joseph stated:
"I was in Konnersreuth, on the twenty-forth of May, 1929 ... in the sacristy about to vest for mass." "Suddenly, the door was opened and I beheld a countenance full of pain and interior sorrow, such as I have never seen before, even in the dying."
"The eye remined me of a person parched with thirst, using up his last bit of energy to reach the fountain of water before he sinks down powerless.""It was Theresa Neumann, coming for the Eucharist." "This, was the inedic, during one of her mystical states of reparatory suffering." "But, after receiving Communion, 'a distinct strengthening of the body is immediately seen', Father Fahsel said, and, 'I do not know but Theresa is always getting younger'."
"Thersa, like other inedics, also did without normal amounts of sleep." "While being observed, she slept only about ten hours, in fourteen days. an average of one hour and twenty-five minutes a day." "And, in later years she slept even less, about only two to five hours per week." "Teodorowicz, , after his first encounter with Theresa, nine years after she last ate, said:
"I said to myself, hunger, sleeplessness and thirst must surely have left traces on her ..." "Perhaps she is emaciated to a skeleton and is more like a mummy than a living person." "I open the door; I can hardly trust my eyes." "Before me stands a person, thirty-three years old, strongly built, with freshness and will power in her attitude, ... whose furrowless, even youthful fresh countenance ... is more full than lean."
"Critics, of mystical phenomena propose that: 'the mystical temperament - dreamy, credulous, imaginative, and inclined to unordinary spiritual experiences, is behind much, that is cited as 'mystical' ." "Yet, inedic's personalities vary greatly, as some do have experiences that are so called 'psychic' or of spiritual nature." "A visionary, Theresa had no interest in fantasy of any kind, for instance, she never read novels, 'because they simply were not truth." "Theresa Neumann, seemed not to have any natural psychic ability, but after her visions began, she gradually developed the precognition and other mental gifts associated with authentic mystics." "And, yet, she had no interest in her own feats."
"The door, opening to the mystical dimension, for Theresa, may have begun with two events:
1. "The battling of a fire, at her place of employment, and the injuries she had received." "For, Theresa had been standing on a chair for three hours, lifting heavy buckets above her head, to pass them to her employer, when suddenly, a bucket fell from her hands, and thus, seriously injuring two vertebra."
2. "And then, next, working for the farmer-inn keeper, she attempted to hoist a bag of seed potatoes, thus her injured back went out, plunging her down the cellar stairs, and landing on the back of her skull." "Whereas, she fractured her skull, thus, she hemorrhaged, and she received more spinal injuries." Next, vision problems began, that would only end, later on, after more knocks on the head, in blindness." "In all the psychospiritual and bodily complexity of her human situation, blind and paralyzed, young Theresa was goaded into contact, with the same numinous realities, that people of all spiritual traditions have discovered in similar situations, in the depths of one's own being, or from an outer source."
CHAPTER 10: Two More Inedics
"Alexandrina da Costa (1904-55), was a a tomboy, 'full of wit and laughter." "As a child she was very much mischievous, but yet, she was very devout as well, born with a strong inclination towards God and prayer." Yet, there were two instances early in her life that, may have brought her closer to a godly life:
1. "Working at the age of twelve, her than employer tried to rape her, but she fought him off."
2. "Alexandrina, In her youth, almost died of typhoid, for, Alexandrina's immune system was weak." "And, she was thus sent away, to recover from her illness."
"From the time of her attempted rape, she began attending daily mass."
"Alexandrina was a very compassionate young girl, and in 1918, two events are known of, of this fourteen year old girl:
1. "Alexandrina, stayed with two older people, who were dying, and thus compassionately prepared their bodies for burial, despite the repugnant smell of their dying bodies - the smell, being so great, she though her would vomit, but went about her work anyway."
2. "And by March of that same year, her life changed forever." "The same man who tried to rape her, tried to get to her again and again, and this lusting, spanned over two years ."
"Finally, one day, he and two other men, broke into the house where she, her sister, and a friend were." "Alexandrina, concerned for the other girls, jumped from the window, falling thirteen feet, onto the hard ground." "In spite of the intense pain in her spine, she grabbed a piece of firewood, and dragged herself up the stairs." "When she reached them, she beat the three adult men off the other girls, saving their virginity." "It was only after they ran out, and the others were safe, did she collapse." "But, the price of her heroic act was high, for, over the next six years, despite the best treatment available to her, [ such as seeing a specialist], her injured spine deteriorated - gradually, until at age twenty, she became paralyzed and thus became bedridden."
"When her doctors said that there was nothing medically that they could do for her, she did not give up, it was not in her nature, to do so." "Alexandrina, started to barter with God, promising to give away every thing she owned, to dress herself each morning for the rest of her life, and to cut her long hair, if only she would be cured." "But, her appeal for wholeness was not answered, she instead, deteriorated further." "And, during this time frame, the last sacraments were given to her several times."
"For some mystics, like Alexandrina, are those rare souls, that for them, wholeness can only be achieved through utter brokenness." "Those, who knew her intimately, and who witnessed her sufferings over the years, saw her become an enormous -hearted mystic, precisely due to the fact that she was forced to grapple with, and heroically surmount, dreadful physical, psychological, and spiritual sufferings." "Only very gradually, did she accept the fact that, by what she did, due to her suffering, might be her only means of turning it around, as to make it become a creative response to life."
"Amazingly, Alexandrina's patient, healthy passion to be healed, did not leave her bitter or self-centered [perhaps a miracle itself], because, the fire of her personality, not only still blazed, it became spiritualized." "Her desire for wholeness, became her passion, thus achieving the total wholeness that is found, only in God." "In 1931, after about seven years bedridden, Alexandrina experienced an ecstasy." "And, in or around 1933, visions of Christ, began to call her to a special vocation - of reparatory suffering, to help others."
"By 1934, she wrote in a letter that she could take into her body, only liquids, due to a swelling in her mouth." "Even these, often caused vomiting, she added, as one would expect in this situation, that is, she suffered from not being able to eat, and thus, did not see how she could live much longer."
"In 1938, she began re-livings of Christ's Passion, but never with visible stigmata, and these events, of re-living Christ's Passion, occurred daily." "During Alexandrina's weekly events, she, just for the duration of her ecstasies, was able to move her paralyzed body." "After eighteen years - an invalid, on Good Friday 1942, Alexandrina, [an ecstatic visionary] now thirty-eight years old, believed Christ said to her:
'"You, will not take food again on earth."' '"Your food will be my flesh."' '"Your blood, will be my divine blood [referring to the Eucharist]." " Your life will be my life." "'You, receive it from me, when I unite my heart to your heart." "'Do not fear.'"
"Thus, Alexandrina, from the day of her vision, for the thirteen years that followed, and until her death, was totally inedic, except for the taking of the Eucharist." "Thus, no food, or water or other liquids, were taken into her body." "When asked, why don't you eat something, she answered: 'I don not eat because I can not, I feel full." "Upon doctors investigations into Alexandrina's inedia, they noted: She retained her weight, and her temperature, breathing, blood pressure, pulse and blood were normal, while her mental faculties were constant and lucid and she had not, during these forty days, any natural necessities."
"Marthe Robin (1902-81), was a weak child, due to typhoid, who missed a lot of school, and had little appetite." "Beginning in July of 1918, at age sixteen, she began having severe headaches and other symptoms, and in the fall, she collapsed." "It was said, that, for many months, she either lapsed into a coma or had some kind of 'sleeping sickness'." "Her legs were paralyzed, and she was in great pain much of the time - crying out sometimes even when unconscious." "Yet, at times, it is said, she 'came to' and was better." "Her doctors at first thought that it may be epilepsy, and then thought maybe brain tumors." "But, over the years they considered other possibilities, such as: meningitis, encephalitis, polio, and rheumatoid arthritis." "Raymond Peyret theorized that, 'Jesus was using this illness to refashion Marthe, and educate her at her depths'."
"On March 25, 1921, her sister Alice, who shared a room with Marthe was awakened by a loud noise, and to a beautiful bright light." "Marthe, awake, added: 'I also saw the Blessed Virgin'." "The sick nineteen year old Marthe, began to get better, she was now able to sit up in a chair reading, and doing embroidery to pay for her medications.""She also began to walk with the use of a cane." "She also began dreaming of someday becoming a Carmelite nun.""While reading these words in a book: 'You look for joy, peace, and sweetness, but it is suffering for which you must prepare', and, at that very moment, the twenty-one year old Marthe, 'heard the call', 'to give all to God'."
"For the rest of her life, she lived by God's 'call' and those words she had read and heard." "During her life, Marthe suffered much, but she also found joy, peace, and sweetness, and communicated them, many say, to an amazing degree, to others." "Unfortunately, in November of 1921, her health again began to decline, and she became bedridden once again." "Various treatment brought no cure for her." And, by 1925, Marthe ate very little, for she was content with just a little fruit and just a bit of liquid." "A year or so later, she went into a coma, lasting three weeks, where the attending doctor predicted that this coma would end in her death."
"During this 'unconscious' period of time, Marthe later confided to her spiritual mentor, that she had three visions of Saint Therese of Lisieux." "St. Therese told her that she would not die, and that her 'mission' would extend through out the entire world." "Marthe, laughed at this, rather than getting all puffed up about it." "And, the Foyers de Charity, which she herself did found, which only numbered just over sixty in 1989, thus, gradually and eventually, spread to five continents."
"By 1927, it is said that, Marthe was eating nothing, except a few tart candies, brought by visitors, for it is noted that, she had great trouble eating, vomiting most of what was taken in." "After 1929, in addition to her paralyzed legs - 'contracted and twisted out of shape', she also lost the use of her hands." "And, in 1930, she became a stigmatic." "In 1932, it is reported that Marthe stopped eating altogether, due to her paralysis, which made it impossible for her to swallow." " For forty-nine years, from 1932 to her death in 1981, Marthe drank nothing and ate nothing." "The only thing that she did take in, was the tiny Eucharist wafer." "In 1939, she went blind, and even moving her head became almost impossible, because it would fall to one shoulder, and she could not raise it."
"Marthe Robin, for one half century [since 1932], was not able to sleep as well." "It maybe possible that, inedia, comes from some complex mystical bodily 'shutdown.' "There are signs, however, that do point to a high level of mysticism, such as, in Marthe's case." "Her mental gifts of sanctity, such as at times, having knowledge of the future or the ability to read minds and hearts, her bilocations, the fact that, her frequent visions had profound mystical content." "And that she could say, of even very advanced mystical phenomena: 'Oh yes, I have experienced that'."
Yet, above all this, is the fact that, Marthe, with the utmost simplicity, humility, and laughter, took the entire world to her heart." "Marthe, being a woman, so paralyzed and immobile, was once told, that she was 'only a brain', 'And a heart, she added." "T o read the lyrical joyswept prayers, composed by Marthe, is to glimpse something of the bliss, that bubbled out of the mystic's depths, even as suffering, willingly undergone, to benefit the human race, pressed her to the ground physically."
CHAPTER 11: Can Blood Smell Like Flowers?
"Diseased, by gangrene or other putrefying disease, human flesh stinks." "And, according to observers of the sanctified body, flesh suffused with holiness, sometimes smells too - of wonderful fragrances, termed: 'the odor of sanctity'." Treece brings up this theory: "If under certain conditions, the cells of the body can become cancerous, from such emotions as: grief, anger, and despair, may they also become suffused with holiness as well'." And, she adds: "...If flesh can reek of the disease, affecting a whole person - body, mind, and soul, then, why may it not sometimes smell of a whole person's holiness as well?"
Prayers and Novenas, Saint George Continued:
Saint George Prayer:
O GOD, who didst grant to Saint George strength and constancy in the various torments which he sustained for our holy faith; we beseech Thee to preserve, through his intercession, our faith from wavering and doubt, so that we may serve Thee with a sincere heart faithfully unto death. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
There is also a Prayers of Intercession to Saint George
Faithful servant of God and invincible martyr, Saint George; favored by God with the gift of faith, and inflamed with an ardent love of Christ, thou didst fight valiantly against the dragon of pride, falsehood, and deceit. Neither pain nor torture, sword nor death could part thee from the love of Christ. I fervently implore thee for the sake of this love to help me by thy intercession to overcome the temptations that surround me, and to bear bravely the trials that oppress me, so that I may patiently carry the cross which is placed upon me; and let neither distress nor difficulties separate me from the love of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Valiant champion of the Faith, assist me in the combat against evil, that I may win the crown promised to them that persevere unto the end
The Novena to Saint George does not have a specific warrior context, but simply asks God for divine assistance and the imitation of the life of the saint:
Almighty and eternal God! With lively faith and reverently worshiping Thy divine Majesty, I prostrate myself before Thee and invoke with filial trust Thy supreme bounty and mercy. Illumine the darkness of my intellect with a ray of Thy heavenly light and inflame my heart with the fire of Thy divine love that I may contemplate the great virtues and merits of the Saint in whose honor I make this novena, and following his example imitate, like him, the life of Thy Divine Son.
Greek Orthodox :Saints Continued
The order of these six types of saints seems to be based on their importance to the Church. The Apostles are listed first, because they were the first to spread the Gospel throughout the world.
The Martyrs come next because of their example of courage in professing their faith before the enemies and persecutors of the Church, which encouraged other Christians to remain faithful to Christ even unto death.
Although they come first chronologically, the Prophets are listed after the Apostles and Martyrs. This is because the Old Testament Prophets saw only the shadows of things to come, whereas the Apostles and Martyrs experienced them firsthand. The New Testament also takes precedence over the Old Testament.
The holy Hierarchs comprise the fourth category. They are the leaders of their flocks, teaching them by their word and their example.
The Monastic Saints are those who withdrew from this world to live in monasteries, or in seclusion. They did not do this out of hatred for the world, but in order to devote themselves to unceasing prayer, and to do battle against the power of the demons. Although some people erroneously believe that monks and nuns are useless and unproductive, St John Climacus had a high regard for them: “Angels are a light for monks, and the monastic life is a light for all men” (LADDER, Step 26:31).
The last category, the Righteous, are those who attained holiness of life while living “in the world.” Examples include Abraham and his wife Sarah, Job, Sts Joachim and Anna, St Joseph the Betrothed, St Juliana of Lazarevo, and others.
The feast of All Saints achieved great prominence in the ninth century, in the reign of the Byzantine Emperor Leo VI the Wise (886-911). His wife, the Holy Empress Theophano (December 16) lived in the world, but was not attached to worldly things. She was a great benefactor to the poor, and was generous to the monasteries. She was a true mother to her subjects, caring for widows and orphans, and consoling the sorrowful.
Even before the death of St Theophano in 893 or 894, her husband started to build a church, intending to dedicate it to Theophano, but she forbade him to do so. It was this emperor who decreed that the Sunday after Pentecost be dedicated to All Saints. Believing that his wife was one of the righteous, he knew that she would also be honored whenever the Feast of All Saints was celebrated.
A Mystagog: is an interpreter or initiator, of religious mysteries; a teacher.
A Mystery: Is something unknown, or incomprehensible, or unexplainable.
Mystic: pertains to, a mystery of the faith, spiritually symbolic - of mysterious meaning, or characterized as mysterious.
Also, one, who professes Union with the Divine, reached through by Contemplation or Intuition.
Mystical: Having a spiritual character or reality, beyond the comprehension of human reason.
Mysticism: Is the belief, that knowledge of Divine Truth or the Soul's Union with the Divine, is attainable, by Spiritual Insight, or Ecstatic Contemplation, without the medium of the senses or of reason. It is, an intense meditative and intuitive method of thought or conduct.
Mystique: the enigmatic character, of a person, idea, or thing, and a focus of veneration or honor.
Quotations and Paraphrases from: "The Sanctified Body" Continued:
CHAPTER 11: Can Blood Smell Like Flowers, continued:
"In every century of the Catholic Church's existence, observers of saints, testify that some sanctified persons, at times, exude unearhly perfumes, under circumstances." "In other cases, like the Shekinah Light, that signals God's presence with a saint, but does not emanate, from the holy saint''s body, 'heavenly' odors, may accompany sanctity, without actually being emitted by the sanctified body itself." "Usually seen, as a sign from God, of someone's holiness, it is said that, these fragrances, may at times be a form of communication or may signal a grace, such as a healing, received from God, through the saint's prayers." "And, in other branches of Christianity, the fragrance of holiness, it is not unknown of or unusual, for instance, as the delicious odors associated with the supernatural."
"Reliable Christian sources warn, against such so-called 'saints' who do spectacular things, for display or show, such as 'wonder workings' for, these are 'spiritually useless' activities, 'having little purpose, beyond entertainment." "Usually, any scent, related to authentic holiness, is always shrouded in silence, on the part of the saint, unless, it becomes so generally known, that he or she can not deny it, without a lie, and even then, there will be a real reluctance to talk about it."
"If fragrances do at times emanate from the sanctified body or signal God's presence, what do such odors smell like?" "Witness' accounts prove that odors vary, yet the smells associated with sanctity, are: delightful, delicious, or heavenly." "And, more precise descriptions of these odors include: roses, lilies, flowers of unknown varieties, sandalwood, incense, and even fine oriental tobacco." "In certain saints, when the odor does appear, there seems to be a distinct odor.""Saint Therese of Lisieux, is often associated with rose scents." "in other cases, the same saint will emit a dazzling variety of odors." "The odor of sanctity, has been associated with these nine variables, as follows::
"And, I will add here, one more variable:
10. the signaling of God's presence and/or His acknowledging of a prayer.
Treece, poses other questions: 'Which odors, emanate from the saint -which bathe the sanctified body from the exterior numinous source, and are projected by the saint, [even at great distances]. And which odors speak of the saint, at great distances, without coming from the sanctified body?"
"French Carmelite, Pere Jacques Bunnel (1900-45), showed enormous sanctity, courage, and charity, even before he was sent to a Nazi concentration camp for hiding Jewish children." "In 1926, this mystic was summoned by two of his siblings, to their dying mother's bedside." "When being told by his siblings she was going to die, his answer was calm, he said: "No, she won't die." and "I will bring her Communion, and God will heal her." "A radiant Jacques, gave his mother Communion, when suddenly, the bedroom filled with an odor like roses." "Whereas, the dying woman fell peacefully asleep, and miraculously recovered." Treece asks: 'Was the odor a numinous one, signaling God's healing presence, and pleasure, in Jacques' faith, or did it emanate from the radiant and perhaps ecstatic priest?" To answer this question myself, I do believe it was both the signaling of God's presence, and God's pleasure in Jacques' great hope and faith, plus the answering of Jacques prayer - of healing.
"One witness, who speaks of an event brought about by Benedictine Father Paul (Francis Luyckx) describes how she was kneeling in prayer in the Benedictine monastery chapel where Father Paul was present, she states:
"... 'suddenly, I perceived a perfume so delicious that I was quite distracted by it." "I imagined that one of the lay brothers must have brought in a bouquet of flowers."
"Raising her eyes, instead of seeing flowers, there was Father Paul, in ecstasy." "The air was scented with the most delicious perfume of roses and other flowers", she said, "as I had never before experienced."
"One report, given by Francis Xavier Levy, in regards to Father Aloysius states:
"Almost always a distinct aroma surrounded Father." On one occasion I went into the chapel to pray and noticed that Father Aloysius was also kneeling in prayer." "He concluded his prayers, and I was left alone in the chapel." "In a few moments I was distracted by the characteristic aroma, which I immediately attributed to flowers apparently in the garden outside." "By looking completely around the chapel, however, I learned that there were no windows open, and there were no flowers inside either." "Why, then, the aroma?" "Soon, it dawned on me that even though Father had left, his aroma lingered for several minutes."
"Father Levy also stated that:
" I would many times be in Father's presence and there would be no aroma." "Then perhaps he'd give me his blessing and suddenly the aroma would wash over me." "Then again if I expected it, nothing would happen." "It always took me by surprise." "And as unexpectedly as it came, it would also vanish."
"Born in an impoverished Arab village, on the present-day road to Nazareth, the orphaned Christian Arab Mariam Baouardy (1846-1878), fled the marriage, arranged by her uncle." "Instead of marrying a man she did not love or want, she decided to serve God - alone." "She ran away, and ended up in Europe, where the Carmel, at Pau France accepted her..""The Carmelites, a contemplative order, are professionals in the mystical life." 'La petite [the little one], as Sister Marie of Jesus Crucified, was affectionately called, for her size and simplicity, was a being - totally centered in God." "Her levitations, stigmata, visions, and other phenomena, could be seen simply as bodily manifestations of her sanctity." "The other Carmelite sisters observed that, at times "delicious perfume" or "sweet fragrances" emanated from their little Arab sister" [she, had become one of the very few stigatics to be beatified].
Father Padre Pio, also was emitted a 'perfume' or 'fragrance', which varied greatly, odors such as: violets, lilies, roses, even fresh tobacco, as well as bitter odors such as: iodine or carbolic acid." "One witness noted:
"Caustic substances destroy odors; therefore if ... out of humility or obedience, in order to hide his own perfume, Padre Pio were to use any of these ... they would destroy all the other smells, whereas actually [at a given moment] some recognize the perfume of roses, some of lilies or violets, and still others can smell only carbolic acid."
"And, Treece points out, most importantly, that others, at the same time - smelled nothing." "The opinion, of some of the other friars, who lived with Padre Pio, is that of, when perfume was noticed, it was often a sign, that God had bestowed some grace, through the intercession of Padre Pio." "Padre Alessio, speaks also, about these fragrances, acting as, little nudges, as to remind people, for instance, to pray." "Doctor Luigi Romanelli, chief physician of City Hospital in Barletta, Italy, had remarked, of Padre Pio, that it is recorded as fact that:
"Not only did the stigmata smell sweet but, "when the blood is coagulated or dried on some garment, that Padre Pio had worn, it still retained its perfume."
"It should be noted here, that it is a fact, that although, the natural smell of human blood is not particularly pleasant, the smell of old blood, which breaks down rapidly, is downright putrid."
Emmanuele Brunatto, who led a totally immoral and degenerate life style, became obsessed with the idea of making a pilgrimage to visit Padre Pio." "This became known as one of the great conversion stories told, in which a whole life takes a sudden U-turn, from self-destruction, toward a life of sanctity." "For, when Brunatto made his confession to Padre Pio, [who had the gift of reading hearts], Padre Pio, already knew it all better than Brunatto himself did]." "Brunatto noticed, this, and with Padre Pio's words of Christ's forgiveness, he said:
"From Padre Pio's mouth, there came an intense perfume of roses and violets, which bathed my face", Brunatto himself said."
"It is reported, of Saint Veronica Giuliani, a stigmatic, nun, that, when her "wounds were open, they emitted so delicious a fragrance, throughout the whole convent, that these events alone, informed the other nuns, whenever the stigmata again renewed." "But, not all stigmatics evidence the odor of sanctity, as Theresa Neumann, for instance, did not."
CHAPTER 12: A Means of Communication:
Paul Chacon, a banker, recalls that when he was in Italy with his spiritual mentor Father Thomas Martin, who had taken him to visit Brother Gino, Chacon relates: ' When we arrived, Brother Gino was not home, but upon entering Brother Gino's room, the first thing I noticed was that, the room was filled with some wonderful scent." "Chacon continues: "We returned to our hotel, where Father Thomas showed me a glove, which had been worn by Brother Gino, and which had on it, blood." "This, also was heavy with perfume." "Brother Gino, was a stigmatic.!" "Father Thomas suggested to Chacon, that he should pray in the church, and when he finished his prayer, he came out and saw, Brother Gino, surrounded by people, all, trying to kiss his hand." "At the same time, Chacon states: "I smelled this wonderful perfume."
"Chacon recalled that, he and others were invited to one of Brother Gino's talks, and that Brother had made some predictions, about the Italian political situation, that had eventually had come true." "Brother Gino also mentioned, that there was to be an attempt on a Pope's life, this prediction also came true, as of, Pope Paul VI." "After his talk, Brother blessed articles of his listeners, such as their rosaries and religious medals" "Shortly after this, I was lead into another room, says Chacon, with Father Thomas, where they had removed Brother Gino's bandages, and there, I witnessed his stigmata." "Chacon recalls: "I was so moved I began to cry." "And, he adds: "Brother Gino's response, was to hug me." "And, after Brother Gino hugged me, the perfume stayed with me for four days." "As we left, said Chacon, Brother Gino said he would be praying for me."
"Charon later on stated, that two or three months later, while not even a thought of Brother Gino on his mind, Chacon suddenly experienced Brother Gino's characteristic odor, which lasted no more than three minutes." "And, one night, a week or two after this, Chacon had a dream of Brother Gino, and he says: "I awoke from this dream and the room was filled with the same aroma, not exactly roses, not exactly lilies, but a fragrance that is unusual and distinct, and again it lasted for no more than two or three minutes." "Chacon also states that: " I believe God graced me on those occasions, possibly through Brother Gino's prayers for me." "Or, perhaps, Brother Gino was just thinking of Him!"
"Brother Gino Burresi, was, for years, a lay brother, before becoming an ordained priest." "At twenty-four years of age, Brother Gino received the invisible stigmata, , later on, followed the visible wounds [a phenomenon, which Padre Pio had also received]." "Amazingly, Padre Pio's wounds became suddenly visible in 1918, and starting in 1968, the year of Padre Poo's death, Father Gino's wounds gradually become fully visible." "A seminarian, who tended Father Gino's wounds, changing his bandages said that, the wound was so deep that he saw right down into Father Gino's heart."
"Father Robert Fox, stated that, Father Gino's stigmata not only emit perfumes, but that the scents change with the liturgical seasons: bitter - in the Lenten Season, and sweet - as in such seasons as: Advent and Christmas." "And, according to Father Fox and others as well, the stigmatic's presence can, at times, be detected by scent, before he even enters a room." "Physician Alfonso Bernardo, Brother Gino's doctor stated that, at times the perfume comes from Brother Gino's entire body." "A witness recalled that the mystic, was one day bathed in sweat, during an ecstasy, and upon helping change Brother's wet undershirt said: "It did not have the odor of sweat at all, it was just the odor of perfume."
"Father Fox recalls, that when he first met Brother Gino, he took Brother's hand, to kiss it in a European gesture of respect, and said: "I experienced the sweetest perfume, quite indescribable, a perfume that seemed to penetrate the lungs and refresh the soul." "Father Fox also staed that, unscented cards, with printed prayers, which the stigmatic had given him, to distribute, gave off the same perfume." "In response to Father Fox's question as to what Brother attributed this odor to, Brother replied:
"I think that when a soul lives with Christ, Christ lives in him, and in some way, will manifest himself." "In some, he will manifest himself by a perfume, in others, in another way ... ." "It is always Christ, who manifests himself."
"For Brother Gino, it appears as if the scent of this perfume is a little overwhelming, at times, for he told Father Fox that, once he had washed the mittens that he wore to cover his hand wounds, in disinfectant, in order that this strong smell would cover the odor of this perfume, but the first person he met that same day commented, "Oh what strong perfume! ." "Doctor Bernardo and his wife Doctor Maria Mato noted: "There is no natural explanation for the perfume odor." "And both the doctors noted:
"Yet, the two doctors do agree that, Brother Gino's blood does give off a wonderful fragrance, and that, the odors associated with him, are most frequently linked to his wounds and his blood."
"Father Gino, is described as a very contemporary man, robust, and with a good-humored and playful personality- with a playfulness and a love of teasing." "And, as proof of this, a priest who had met Brother Gino, said to others, that he did not believe in 'this odor business' but, traveling shortly after he had said this, he was enveloped by this strange perfume." "The priest, returned to Brother Gino and said to him: "Really, you should not have played this joke on me." "And, Brother Gino replied: "Well, you did not believe."
"In the case of Padre Pio, there are many witnesses, who insist that they experienced Padre Pio's fragrance during his lifetime, while he was far from them, and, take this as invisible biolocation, while others claimed that Padre Pio could project perfumes at will, as a means of communication." "Alberto Del Fante, a trained lawyer, and then later journalist, was a anti-Catholic, and an atheist, who debunked Padre Pio, calling him a deceiver." But, his life was turned around when, remarkably, to his amazement, as Del Fante stated in his own words:
"There occurred the unexpected, unmistakable, and indisputable healing of my nephew."
"Perplexed, he traveled to the monastery to see and speak to Padre Pio, "After their meeting, instead of calling Padre Pio a deceiver, Del Fante called him his spiritual mentor." and starting from 1930 on through to 1950 he had made as much as thirty trips there, and has written two books on Padre Pio." "Del Fante reflected, on 'each particular case' where someone far from Padre Pio smelled one of Pio's characteristic fragrances, and said:
[and this] "reveals, the manner in which Padre Pio follows souls, and how he guides, counsels, and comforts, using this divine gift." "Many of these souls are suffering ... many are begging for his powerful intercession with God." "There are mother's with sick children, fathers, asking help in financial difficulties ... " "He, makes them aware of his perfume to warn them not to be afraid, but to hope, to pray ... and to steer always toward the right goal." "Their spirits become serene, and their hearts are filled with hope, because they no longer are alone, but feel they are sustained by a supernatural strength."
"Padre Pio effected changes in many people, like the unbelieving Del Fante, whom on his first visit to Padre Pio in 1930, arrived a man, who believed in only the material, and left, one, who saw a whole new universe, full of immaterial realities." "And, while there, Del Fante was followed about, by a smell 'like some very fine Oriental tobacco., of which oddly, this particular odor, was often reported, to be smelt by Padre Pio's converts." "Del Fante also describes that, once, he had forgotten his moment of prayer, before beginning his work at his typewriter, and Fante reported that:
"I was suddenly aware of a delicate scent, that I did not at first recognize." "Padre Pio's odors do not have the quality of commercial perfume, they resemble each other, but are not the same." "This, was the smell of incense."
"Del Fante interpreted this as, Padre Pio, reminding him to pray."
"Another witness, a school teacher, reported that, she organized a trip for herself and two friends, to visit Padre Pio." "Although they did stay near the monastery for five days, they never made it into Padre Pio's confessional, for it was the period of time after World War II, and the lines to see Padre Pio , were extremely long." "Anxious, about the health of her daughter, the best she managed to do was to give the child's photo, and some articles of her child's clothing, to a friar, who had Friar Pio bless them." "When these articles were returned to her, the friar told her that, Padre Pio expressed great hope, for the child's recovery." "Later on, during her stay, she did get a look at Padre Pio, and he had given her a knowing glance, and she had a distinct feeling, that he already knew about her sick child, and that he was expecting her."
"After, she did receive Communion, from his hands, but she did not succeed in speaking - personally, with him." "This did upset her greatly, and one of her companions said: " ... do not complain, you will see that, you will receive greater blessings than we!" "And, at that very moment, she was enveloped by a wave of the perfume associated with Padre Pio." "Her friends said: "You see, Padre Pio would not let you down!"
"A testimony, like the one above, gives no hint of the psycho-spiritual effects of the incident, yet obviously, more occurred than just the perfume scent." "The next testimony, focuses on the interior effects, which is really the heart of the phenomenon of the odor of sanctity, as a means of communication, as Mother Caterina Cuzzaniti writes:
"On the evening of the 18th of November, 1948, shortly before retiring, we had been talking, as often happens nowadays, about the conversions brought about by the very rev. Padre Pio." "With rather a feeling of disappointment, I was saying that I had not had any answer to a letter that I had sent to him." "I had sent a second one by hand through someone who was going to San Giovanni Rotondo [the friary where he lived], and who had placed it directly in the Father's hands.""Although I had not received any answer to this one either, I was sure that my prayers had been answered, and I had obtained what I had asked for ... ."
"Having retired, I awoke at about 4:30 (I consulted my watch)." "I put out the light, but no sooner had I placed my head on the pillow, than I was struck by a sweet and most unusual perfume, which at first I could not define, but which became stronger and stronger." "It was a delicate and most aromatic kind of incense, but there was something different about it, something beautiful, that cannot be described in words." "I remained with my head glued to the pillow, breathing this most delicious scent and aware of being surrounded by some element of the supernatural."
"... My brain was actually intoxicated by the persistent perfume."
... I came to the conclusion that through this perfume the good Father had given me the proof, that he had granted my request as expressed in the letter I had sent him ..."
"At this thought, my emotion was increased to the point of tears.""I could do nothing but pray and give thanks." "I felt myself in the presence of God, as though in a church." "I also felt that the Father was in the room, and in those precious moments I recommended to him all the intentions that were nearest to my heart: my own poor soul, and several people who were suffering ... ."
"When at last the perfume began to fade away, I still retained in my nostrils that indescribable scent." "I heard the parish clock strike, it was 5:45." "One hour and a half had passed." "I could not close an eye, and only at dawn, did I get some sleep."
"Since, ... a great peace and tranquility have remained within me, and I feel like a child in its mother's arms." "I am also aware of a sweet odor of incense which speaks to me of God, of goodness and mercy, and lifts up my soul to Heaven in an unceasing hymn of thanksgiving to my Creator."
"Another instance of odors related to the sanctified body concerns perfumes so strong and so persistent, that they linger around a place or cling to an object after the saint's contact ceases." "Treece says: "I know of no instance, where the scent is permanent, in regard to any place or object: The odor of sanctity, like a breeze, always comes and goes, but, it can certainly come and go for a long time." "Odors, associated with Saint Teresa of Avila, a sixteenth - century mystic, still turn up in her Carmelite convent in Spain." "And, objects belonging to Padre Pio, at times give off his odor." "A Capuchin father, had a bit of linen, that had touched the lance stigmata in Padre Pio's side, and as he showed the fragment to a woman, she suddenly cried out, "wonderful perfume" that "refreshes my whole body!" "Fellow Carmelites, speak of the coat and a veil, worn by Blessed Marie of Jesus Crucified, as having a lovely odor, as was smelt, after she had taken them off."
CHAPTER 13: Levitating in Los Angeles?
"In the early 1950's, Father Aloysius Ellacuria, a Claretian priest gave conferences, and would say mass from time to time, for various groups of cloistered nuns." "Amazingly, this holy man was subject to raptures, during the most prayful points of his mass." "For instance, once while at a Carmelite convent, witnesses noted that, during one of these ecstatic states of consciousness, Father Aloysius' body rose several inches above the floor." "Other sisters, of other Carmelite convents also witnessed Father's levitating."
"One sister recalled Father Aloysius as having a wonderful sense of humor, and that he exhibited such simplicity, which, made him so easy to be around, and as having extraordinary spiritual intensity, with which he said mass." "Father Aloysius, also was gifted with the gift of healing."
"The phenomenon of levitation, has been witnessed, and reported for many centuries." For example: "On one occasion, at Santa Fiora, in the house of the Duchess Sforza, when she was present with a crowd of other people, Passitea [Crogi, who died in 1615], was surprised by a rapture, under the influence of which, she remained, raised from the ground at the height of a man." "The Duchess, who was a witness of the occurrence, caused an attestation of the fact, to be drawn up, which was signed by all present." "Such accounts, include meaningful measurements of both height attained (a few inches is most common), and how long the levitation lasted." "And, of the same mystic, it is testified that:
"According to the violence of the ecstasy, she was lifted [at various times] more or less from the ground." "Sister Felice deposed that she had seen her raised three arm's lengths, and at the same time that she was completely surrounded with an immense effulgence of light." "This lasted for two or three hours."
"On rare occasions, persons have even touched or stood under levitating bodies." "For instance, Anne of the Incarnation, a companion of Saint Teresa of Avila, testified that:
"Between one and two o'clock during the daytime, I was in choir, waiting for the bell to ring, when our holy Mother [Teresa], entered and knelt down for perhaps the half of a quarter of an hour." "As I was looking on, she was raised about half a yard from the ground without her feet touching it." "At this I was terrified and she, for her part, was trembling all over." "So I moved to where she was and I put my hands under her feet, over which I remained weeping for something like half an hour, while the ecstasy lasted." "Then, suddenly, she sank down and rested on her feet, and turning her head round to me, she asked me who I was, and whether I had been there all the while." "I said yes, and then she ordered me under obedience, to say nothing of what I had seen, and I have in fact said nothing until the present moment [which was after her death, only].
"There are three possible explanations for levitation:
"Levitation, is never accepted as 'miraculous proof' of sanctity, but it can be accepted as 'corroborative evidence' of sanctity however." "Once more, there are more non-levitating saints than levitating saints, but yet, levitation is associated with holiness." "German investigator Joseph von Gorres (1776-1848), concluded, as far back as the first half of the nineteenth century that, at least seventy-two Catholic saints were levitators." "Yet, a Jesuit investigator, has found that over two hundred saints showed some form of this phenomenon."
"The highest levitations ever attributed to a Catholic saint are well attested to accounts, of Saint Joseph of Cupertino (1603-63)." "In one friary, where he lived for seventeen years, Saint Joseph levitated on over seventy occasions, whereas, these events were recorded." "It is also reported that, Saint Joseph often flew seven to eight feet up, to kiss a statue of Jesus, and that he flew carrying heavy objects in his arms - including, at least one time, another friar." "It was said that, just a thought of God, or even the sight of anything vaguely religious, enraptured Saint Joseph."
Treece suggests that: "Saints, in rapture [these sanctified levitators], always appear enraptured - as if bursting with love." And, if your first love made you feel you were walking on air, is not it possible that the sanctified body, ravished by love of God, at times, actually rises in bliss?" "Doctor of the Church, and levitator Saint Teresa of Avila, when asked by her spiritual directors, to write about her mystical experiences, in order to help others, she did humbly describe her levitations, that were witnessed by many, she writes:
"Rapture, comes in general, as a shock, quick and sharp, before you can collect your thoughts, or help yourself in any way, and you see and feel it as a cloud, or a strong eagle, rising upwards, and carrying you away on its wings."
" ... I repeat it, you feel yourself carried away, you know not whither ..." " You feel how delicious it is ..." "At times, it was impossible to resist at all, my soul was carried away ... and now and then the whole body, as well, so that it was lifted up from the ground."
"Mystical theologican John G. Arintero (1860-1928), also ties levitation to rapture, he writes:
"When the prayer of union begins, and all the faculties are bound in such a way, that they no longer disturb the quietude of the will, this sleep is gradually changed into swoons of love, spiritual transports, and ecstatic faintings and raptures." "In these states, the soul, lost in the ocean of divine goodness, is ... taken out of itself, ... dissolved and absorbed, in the love of the supreme Good." "Rapture, elevates one, transfigures, and tends to lift him into the air."
CHAPTER 14: Two Centuries of Levitators
"Saint Gasper del Bufalo's specialty was converting bandits, and the hit men -who tried time and again, to assassinate him." "Witnesses swear that, his frequent ecstasies, at times, resulted in levitation." "In 1824, Gasper was saying mass, with another priest - Domenico Silvestri, and Silvestri testified, as follows:
"Father Gasper risen above the altar steps about four or five inches, after the Consecration." "Three years later, in 1827, he was praying before the tabernacle, when he was suddenly observed to start, as if an electric shock had transfixed his body,." "Immediately, he rose almost a hand's span [nine inches], above the ground." "Neither knees, hands, nor any other part of his body was in contact with any surface." "On other occasions, during the mass, at the time of the elevation of the host, he was observed floating in the air above the altar, at Pievetorina, in St. Augstine's Church."
"Saint Maddalena di Conossa (1774-1835), worked in a hospital, aided children - imprisoned or abandoned, and taught religion in local churches." "In 1803, she founded a school for the poorest children of the city." "Love for the poor, devoured her like a fever," remarked John Paul II, who officially canonized her on October 2, 1988." "That love, also at times, flowed into ecstasies, visions, and rapturous levitation." "Witnesses, on one occasion, saw the ecstatic raised from the ground, to the level of a crucifix, under which she had been praying."
"Saint Joquina de Mas y de Vedruna, founded the Carmelites of Charity, which was dedicated to nursing and teaching." "It was reported of her that: 'several times, when at prayer, she was seen, her head haloed with light, and 'lifted from the floor in ecstasy' ." "One witness of stated:
"One time Sister Apollonia Camps, now dead, with whom I lived, told me that she saw the Servant of God [Joquina], who was reciting some prayers to the Holy Trinity, in ecstasy, all resplendent [with light], and at the same time, raised from the earth." "Also, in another instance, Sister Teresa Casany, now dead, with whom I lived, told me that one night, she observed a great splendor in the cell of the Servant of God." "Recalling that the Sisters' rule called for little light to be used in the cells, she raised the curtain of Mother Joquina's cell and, with wonder, observed the Servant of God, luminous and raised in the air, higher than the bed on which she slept."
"Mariam Baouardy (Sister Marie of Jesus Crucified), the Christian Arab, from Galilee [who died in Bethlehem, in 1878], definitely levitated, according to detailed eyewitness accounts of groups of witnesses." "She would glide up the outer edges of trees and would hop like a bird from branch to branch, and then, teeter ecstatically, into the breeze, on twig - like branches, of the uppermost heights." "It is said of her, as follows:
"The phenomenon was noticed the first time June 22, 1873, in the garden of the Carmel at Pau." "Noticing her absence at supper, the mistress of novices, searched for her in vain in the cloister and the orchard, until one of the sisters heard someone chanting "Love! Love!". "Looking up, she saw the little one balancing without any support at the absolute summit of an enormous lime tree [this would be about fifteen meters or roughly forty-five feet from the ground]."
"Informed, the prioress arrived." "Faced with this phenomenon, the prioress didn't know what to do." "After praying [about it], she addressed the little one, "My sister, Marie of Jesus Crucified, if Jesus wishes, come down by obedience, without falling and without hurting yourself." "At the moment she heard the word "obedience," the ecstatic came down "with a radiant face" and perfect modesty, stopping at several branches, to chant "Love!" "Barely was she on the ground," notes one witness, "than as if to compensate, our [reverend] mother and our sisters for the anguish we had in searching for her, and then seeing her perched so high, she embraced us, with a sort of drunkenness, and affection, impossible to express."
"This particular phenomenon, took place only in this one brief period of Mariam's life." "Perhaps, while raptures at first overpowered her, in time, she learned to handle ecstatic states, without those visible manifestations mystics find so embarrassing." "Mariam, was observed in 'ecstatic ascensions' eight times, seven from June through August 1873, and a final one a year later, July 5, 1874." "When the Mother Superior asked her: "Why do you rise like this?", Mariam said: "The Lamb carries me in His hands," while speaking of Jesus, with typical unselfconsciousness."
"In 1868, Mariam passed forty days and nights, in a strange state, that she and the other Carmelites believed to be, reparatory suffering.""It is said that, it was a state of torment and attempted degradation, by Satanic forces, who tried to shake her commitment to God, by every kind of temptation." "At the end of the fortieth day, as Mariam had foretold, all of this ended, it is reported thus:
"The moment the hour of midnight came, the observers saw a complete change." "After the temptations, the humiliations, and disfigurements of the little one, owing to her struggles against evil, now there was a true transfiguration."
"The novice, rose several hand spans above the bed, while her visage became luminous, her eyes shone like two dark diamonds and a marvelous smile blossomed on her lips."
"The nuns fell on their knees, for they reported that, it seemed Mariam, at that moment, was so united with God, that the witness who saw her, saw Him."
CHAPTER 15: Fast Travelers Indeed:
"In 1975, while vacationing in France, Sister Dolores Cazares was walking down a street in Nice, when she stepped out to cross a boulevard." "She was in the middle of the street when suddenly, a motorcyclist roared into the intersection, traveling at a great rate of speed." "There was no chance of his being able to avoid hitting her, he was headed straight for her, when amazingly, in one miraculous moment, she found herself on the opposite curb." "Shocked by this, the nun could only believe that: "The Lord still has some work for me to do." "Treece believes that, there are 'two other types of levitation' or closely related phenomena, in which:
"Few bodies glide over or rise just above the ground, however there are those rare occasions." "When a body moves from point to point, in an unexplainable way, this can only be observed, if the distance is a short one." "This phenomenon, usually involves a long distance, possibly miles." "Some call this phenomenon 'transportation', 'traveling immense distances in a flash' or 'disappearing' or 'passing instantaneously, from one place to another'." "And, in an altered state of consciousness hours often appear as merely minutes."
In Scripture, persons, like Elijah (I Kings 18:46 and II Kings 2:11, and Enoch (Genesis 5:24), moved in rare ways or have been carried off by God, or lifted up by the hand of God, or even carried away by an angel." "In the New Testament we find, Christ's disciple Philip, whom after baptizing an Ethiopian, disappeared, "the spirit of the Lord" instantly transported Philip from the town of Axotus (Acts 8:39-40)." "Christ himself, walked on water (Matthew 14, Mark 6)." In Luke (4:30), when an angry mob was dragging Jesus up a hill to throw him over a cliff, Jesus 'passed through the midst of them'." "This phenomenon, 'transportation', as first thought, does not always happen in times of danger."
"Sienese Capuchin nun Passitea Crogi, was often transported from one place to another, without moving her feet, and without touching the ground." "The Benedictine abbot, Father Paul, at times levitated upward in rapture, and he also would on occasion, pass from one room to another, and seemed to glide over the floor, rather than step upon it." "And, twentieth - century French parish priest Jean Edouard Lamy experienced both gliding and transportation." "He himself explains:
"I have been ... brought from one place to another without knowing anything about it." "I used to say 'My God, how tired I am." "I was in my parish [in the town of La Courneuve near Paris] far away - often at night, and I found myself carried to the Place St. Lucian all at once."
Chapter 16: Biolocation: What is it?
Treece shares: "A subatomic particle used to be thought of as 'confined to a region in space,' "either here or there, it certainly could not be in two places simultaneously", or could it? She adds, "Subatomic particles, constantly appear to be making decisions, in reaction to decisions other particles are making, as far away as another galaxy, without even a millisecond intervening."Treece believes that, some saints, at times, are like subatomic particles: Both can be found to be here, and in some inexplicable way, simultaneously there as well." "The author of "The Dancing Wu Li Masters" postulates, 'the philosophical implication of quantum mechanics, is that, all of the things in our universe, including us, that appear to exist independently, are actually parts of one all-encompassing organic pattern ... " "No parts of that pattern are ever really separate." "Biolocator Padre Pio explained this phenomenon, by saying he was sometimes in two places at the same time."
"Biolocation, is also called 'visionary participation', indicating that the biolocator sees, rather than goes." "In this case, biolocation is synonymous with clairvoyance - the ability to see actions or objects, which are physically far removed in space or time." "Visionary Catherine Emmerich (1774-1824), biolocated frequently, Catherine stated: "the guardian angel [spirit guides] calls me and I follow him, ... he takes me among persons whom I know either well or slightly, and again among others who are entire strangers." And, she adds, "We cross the sea as quickly as thought travels."Treece adds: "Beside flying-type sensations, stimulating the proper area of the brain, can give individuals sensations of 'divided consciousness'." "These, may be the 'witnessing of oneself,'' experienced in the out-of-body experience, or a sensation, that of being in two places at the same time."
"The biolocations of the holy, show, that, saints tap into a rare human ability, always at the call of God, the saint projects more of him or herself, and most important, he or she projects more broadly in love and service to even those personally unknown to them but, loved by God." "Treece states: the 'phenomenon of out -of-body experience is most frequently experienced, when one is very ill or near death'." "Here, the person finds him or herself hovering in spirit, above the body, watching." "In an ecstatic state, mystic Blessed Henry Suso (1295-1365), reported that he momentarily lost the ability to tell whether he was in or out of his body, in his rapturous contemplation of God's splendors."
Treece also believes that: "More commonly, a person suddenly experiences a dissolution of ego barriers or personal boundaries, to become for a brief time, at one with the natural world, other people, and/or God." "In the first outer-body-experience, related to near death, a person feels physically outside the body but, psychically- is self concerned." "In the second type of out-of-body experience, there is a total psychophysical enlargement, of one's boundaries, with no sense of physical placement whatsoever." "Both types of OOBE, are relevant to biolocation in the same way, for they show a human ability to move out from the boundary, of the psychophysical self."
"Another category, perhaps slightly related to biolocation, is that of the willed projection or 'astral projection', of some nonphysical portion of the self." "in his book "Journeys Out of the Body", projector Robert A. Monroe found that, when 'projecting' one is in a state, that physiologically resembles the dream stage of sleep." "As with saints, mystical biolocation and projection, are a so called 'by product' of the search and union with God, and may not be a deliberate goal, as first thought." Treece believes that, at one's level of psychophysical achievment, biolocation, can take place only on the level of spiritual development, where, ego motives have given way to the search for God alone." "Another type of projector, has two things in common with the mystical bilocator." First, he or she 'discovers,' rather than tries to induce his or her projecting abilities." "Second, and most important, he or she chooses, to use this gift to help others."
"A most famous case is of Edgar Cayce (1877-1945)." "Cayce discovered that he could go into a kind of 'sleep' whereas, he could 'visit' an ill person, hundreds of miles away." "Cayce, it is said, could penetrate the malfunctioning body, diagnose its condition, and prescribe a treatment, by answering questions put to him, in his comatose - like state." "Strangely, it is also said that, when he awoke, he had no memory of where he had been or what was said." "Lets consider here, the projections of Cayce and the biolocations of Padre Pio.","
A: Characteristic of Cayce's projection are:
B: Padre Pio's bilocations [at the time of his spiritual maturity]
"In Padre Pio's events, if it was a case of one who was sick, his visit was not to diagnose an illness." "He either visited the sick to comfort and spiritually help the dying, or upon the visit, to give an announced healing." Padre Pio, having given himself to the service of his 'human family', seemed to renounce obtaining special help, for his birth family, for he rarely bilocated on behalf of his own relatives." "And, his infrequent bilocations, of a personal nature, seemed to take place within a spiritual context, for instance, in a church listening to a sermon, or at St. Peter's in Rome, praying at a dead saint's tomb."
"Treece poses this question thus, were these events brought on, by his own initiative or, was it a 'gift of God'." "As to Padre Pio's bilocations, he often, was physically present; yet, on a few occasions his disembodied voice boomed out." "On many occasions, he revealed his presence, only by the odor of sanctity; and oddest of all, there were instances when he was apparently fully visible to one person in a group, while invisible to others." "And, amazingly, at times, he is said to have carried objects with him, that he would leave with those he had visited."
CHAPTER 17: SOME BILOCATIONS OF PADRE PIO
"Because of the holiness seen in him, even more than the stigmata he hid as best he could, Padre Pio was a prisoner, of those, who came to the inaccessible Capuchin friary where he lived, those, who came hoping to somehow touch numinous reality through him."
"And yet, there are numerous testimonies of bilocations, during that half century, and that 'Padre Pio was popping up all over the place'." "Padre Pio did not consciously learn this skill, he simply found himself sent, by God, and he obeyed." "It is said that, a nun stated that, one day, Padre Pio had appeared to her - comforting and blessing her." "Padre Pio himself, wrote a report in 1905, and this report might have been about his first bilocation", [Praying in the chapel along-side another friar, he seventeen-year-old semarian stateed the following,
"[ I ] suddenly found myself far away in a wealthy home where the father was dying while a child was being born."
Mary, the mother of Christ, appeared as God's messenger, entrusting the spiritual direction of this child to Padre Pio.""He was informed he would see her next again in Saint Peter's." "Afterward, the baby's mother would come to him, and he would guide her soul." "Then Pio found himself back in the chapel."
"A testimony, by the Capuchin, who in the 1950's, headed the friary where Padre Pio lived, reveals that the saint's 'travels' at times, could be seen to interfere slightly, with his activities.""Padre Carmelo, tells how he asked Padre Pio to join a group of friars at a concert, and Padre Pio agreed and seemed to enjoy himself." "However, during intermission, while the others chatted, he seemed tired and put his head down on the seat in front of him, perhaps for five minutes." "The next day, Padre Carmelo visited an ill man in the neighborhood, who said, how nice it was that Padre Pio had dropped in the previous evening." "Knowing Padre Pio had been at the concert all evening, and had returned with the others to the friary, Carmello asked the time of the visit, and it was found that, the time corresponded to those moments that Padre Pio seemed to be at rest."."
"Father Charles Carty, stayed at the friary for some time, in order to observe Padre Pio, Carty said of him:
"I have been able to observe that when one recommends [someone to Pio's prayers] ... his face changes color and often becomes luminous." "He murmurs a prayer, and looking at him carefully, it seems as though he were leaving us and transporting himself to the person of whom we are speaking ... " "It has often happened when speaking to Padre Pio of someone who was far away, that the said person has either smelled his perfume, seen him or felt him to be near them."
CHAPTER 18: THOSE FLAKY LADIES
"A number of saints, both those who eat and those who do not eat, carry the other phenomenon, the bodily marks of crucifixion stigmata.""These stigmatics, like Padre Pio, suffer, they believe, to help God heal a wounded world." "All of them, including those who do not have the stigmata, are prone to visions." "They, may see Jesus, saints, - who are dead, or even events far removed in time." "They also see current events, places, and people by a 'visionary participation' or 'expanded vision'." "And some, can 'see things miles away', whereas, others can merely see things across the room." "There are testimonies, that Theresa Neumann, the Bavarian stigmatic visionary, could somehow be in two places at the same time." "About Therese's bilocations, Father Naber, her pastor-confessor wrote:
"Last week I was in Berlin on pressing business." "I really did not want to go at all." "In a state of ecstasy, Therese told me that I would come back satisfied and relaxed, and this really did happen, more than I ever expected." "Twice Therese attended my Mass in Berlin, in her ecstatic state." "She told me about it right after my return." "Even though she had never seen the church in which I celebrated Mass, not even a picture, and had never heard anyone talking about it or even read anything about it, she gave me a very good description of it - the size and furnishings and especially the altar." "She told me that I had been unable to open the tabernacle and the server had to come up and tell me how to do it." "The second time (she said) the pastor was serving for me.""Actually the first time I said Mass, there was a little purse on the altar with the key I needed to open the tabernacle.""When Communion time came, I used it to open the tabernacle door." "But, there was an inner door, made of metal, behind the outer wooden door, and I was trying to use the same key for both of them." "After I'd spent a few minutes in this vain attempt, the server stepped up and told me there was a special key for the second door, in the same little sack as the first."
"In her diary, Polish mystic - visionary Sister M. Faustina Kowalska(1905-38), wrote:
"Suddenly, I found myself in a strange cottage." "A man was dying in great torment." "All about the bed, was his family." "They were crying."
"Afterwards, Sister Faustina noted how she had prayed and God brought peace to the man, she said:
"At the same moment, I found myself again in my own room." "How this happens, I do not know."
"In 1876, Sister Josephine of Jerusalem (d. 1927), lie gravely ill with a fever." "She was close to death, but around eleven o'clock, Sister Josephine said she was aware that another nun had entered the room, where she lay dying." "This nun, was elevated off the floor, with her arms out to form a cross, and was enveloped by a vibrant light, that lit up the entire room." "It was Sister Marie of Jesus Crucified."
Sister Josephine wrote about her account with Sister Marie saying:
"Although I had never seen her, I knew it was she, and I knew she was speaking with the good Lord." "I was not sleeping." "I callled her by name, and she replied." "I said to her then: "Marie, ask the good Lord if I am going to die." "She spoke to Our Lord." "After several seconds, she said to me, "No, you are not going to die young, you have a lot of good to do."
"When we speak of bilocation, three other things must be acknowledged:
"No two saints describe bilocation exactly the same."
CHAPTER 19: SEVEN STALWARTS - AND A SWAMI
"An innkeeper's wife from Oostacker, in Belgium, testified:
"On the fourth of February, 1896, at eleven o'clock in the morning, I suddenly noticed the presence of Father Paul [Francis Luyckx] in my inn, without having seen him enter." "He seemed to be in excellent health, yet I reproached him for coming on foot, because, as a rule, I provided a carriage for him, free of charge, whenever he came to Oostacker." "Oh I feel very well," the Father remarked gaily as he rubbed his hands." "I offered him a glass of wine which he declined, saying: "No, I shall not take anything, for I am in a hurry and have to make other visits, at the Beguinage [a women's religious community] and at a notary's." "You will never see me again, carefully note the day and hour of my visit." "Then, he explained the purpose of his visit - it was for her spiritual fortification - and, she says, [he] "took out from beneath his mantle a scapular of rough wool ... and a handful of medals to distribute among those who would make good use of them."
"Her testimony concludes, as follows:
"Having given me further advice, he strickly forbade me to attend his funeral because, he said, I would not be able to overcome my emotion." "After this short conversation of only ten minutes, he said, "Go now to the kitchen and put your potatoes on the fire."
"The potatoes were, as a matter of fact, peeled and ready for boiling." "I went to the kitchen and came back to the room after a few minutes, but to my great astonishment Father Paul had disappeared."
"At a nearby Beguinage religious community, in Ghent a nun later confirmed that around the same day, she did not note the exact date, Father Paul visited her for about half an hour, during which he remarked that he would not be coming back again." "Yet on February 4, Abbot Paul's doctor reported that, his patient, was confined to his room in Termond Abbey." " Abbot Paul died twenty days later." "As with Padre Pio, the bilocation phenomena attributed to Father Paul, took many forms." "Abbot Paul, appeared as a flesh-and-blood presence, able to put a hand in his pocket and hand out palpable objects like scapulars and medals." "The following testimony describes one incident whereas, only Father Paul's voice could be heard:
"The reverend mother superior ... sent for Father Paul, on behalf of one sister ... who was so afflicted, she could not perform her duties." "... As soon as he came into the presence of the sick sister, he gave her his blessing, and she was cured instantaneously." "The mother superior, requested Father Paul to say mass at the convent the next morning at half past five, he promised to do so.""Then Father Paul said to me, "You shall come to my mass tomorrow." "No," I replied, "I am tired ... half past five is too early." " with these words I left Father Paul and went home ... ." "I slept well all night, but towards five o'clock, I was awakened by a voice which I recognized as that of Father Paul, and which said distinctly, "Louise, arise, it is time to come to my mass." " Thinking it was only a dream, I tried to fall asleep again, but I heard the voice a second and a third time, and each time the voice sounded more determined."" ... I arose dressed quickly, and went to mass." "After mass, Father Paul ... said to me: "Well, I had to call you three times this morning, I told you yesterday, that you would come to my mass.
Feastday: April 23
Patron of England & Catalonia
Pictures of St. George usually show him killing a dragon to rescue a beautiful lady. The dragon stands for wickedness. The lady stands for God's holy truth.
St. George was a brave martyr who was victorious over the devil.
He was a soldier in the army of the Roman Emperor Diocletian, and he was one of the Emperor's favorite soldiers. Now Diocletian was a pagan and a bitter enemy to the Christians. He put to death every Christian he could find. George was a brave Christian, a real soldier of Christ. Without fear, he went to the Emperor and sternly scolded him for being so cruel. Then he gave up his position in the Roman army. For this he was tortured in many terrible ways and finally beheaded.
So boldly daring and so cheerful was St. George in declaring his Faith and in dying for it that Christians felt courage when they heard about it. Many songs and poems were written about this martyr. Soldiers, especially, have always been devoted to him.
We all have some "dragon" we have to conquer. It might be pride, or anger, or laziness, or greediness, or something else. Let us make sure we fight against these "dragons", with God's help. Then we can call ourselves real soldiers of Christ. .
Saint George (Greek: Γεώργιος Georgios; Classical Syriac: ܓܝܘܪܓܝܣ Giwargis; Latin: Georgius; circa 275/281 – 23 April 303 AD) was a soldier in the Roman army who later became venerated as a Christian martyr. His parents were Christians of Greek background; his father Gerontius was a Roman army official from Cappadocia and his mother Polychronia was from Lydda, Syria Palaestina. Accounts differ regarding whether George was born in Cappadocia or Syria Palaestina, but agree that he was raised at least partly in Lydda.[ Saint George became an officer in the Roman army in the Guard of Diocletian, who ordered his death for failing to recant his Christian faith.
In hagiography, Saint George is one of the most venerated saints in the Catholic Church (Latin and Eastern), Anglican, Orthodox, East Syrian, and Miaphysite Churches. He is immortalized in the myth of Saint George and the Dragon and is one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers. His memorial, Saint George's Day, is traditionally celebrated on the Julian date of 23 April (currently the 6th of May according to the Gregorian Calendar), and he is regarded as one of the most prominent military saints. Many patronages of Saint George exist around the world, including countries and cities, as well as the Scout Movement, in addition to a wide range of professions, organizations, and disease sufferers.
The life of Saint George: Historians have argued the exact details of the birth of Saint George for over a century, although the approximate date of his death is subject to little debate. The 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia takes the position that there seems to be no ground for doubting the historical existence of Saint George, but that little faith can be placed in some of the fanciful stories about him.
The work of the Bollandists Daniel Papebroch, Jean Bolland, and Godfrey Henschen in the 17th century was one of the first pieces of scholarly research to establish the historicity of the saint's existence via their publications in Bibliotheca Hagiographica Graeca and paved the way for other scholars to dismiss the medieval legends. Pope Gelasius stated that George was among those saints "whose names are justly reverenced among men, but whose actions are known only to God."
The traditional legends have offered a historicised narration of George's encounter with a dragon. The modern legend that follows below is synthesised from early and late hagiographical sources, omitting the more fantastical episodes. Chief among the legendary sources about the saint is the Golden Legend, which remains the most familiar version in English owing to William Caxton's 15th-century translation.
Saint George likely was born to a Greek Christian noble family in Lydda, Syria Palaestina, during the late third century between about 275 AD and 285 AD. He died in the Greek city of Nicomedia in Asia Minor. His father, Gerontios, was a Greek from Cappadocia, an officer in the Roman army; his mother, Polychronia, was a Greek native of Lydda. They were both Christians from noble families of the Anici, so their child was raised with Christian beliefs. They decided to call him Georgios (Greek), meaning "worker of the land" (i.e., farmer). At the age of 14, George lost his father; a few years later, George's mother, Polychronia, died. Eastern accounts give the names of his parents as Anastasius and Theobaste.
George then decided to go to Nicomedia and present himself to Emperor Diocletian to apply for a career as a soldier. Diocletian welcomed him with open arms, as he had known his father, Gerontius — one of his finest soldiers. By his late 20's, George was promoted to the rank of Tribunus and stationed as an imperial guard of the Emperor at Nicomedia.
On 24 February AD 303, Diocletian (influenced by Galerius) issued an edict that every Christian soldier in the army should be arrested and every other soldier should offer a sacrifice to the Roman gods of the time. However, George objected, and with the courage of his faith, approached the Emperor and ruler. Diocletian was upset, not wanting to lose his best tribune and the son of his best official, Gerontius. But George loudly renounced the Emperor's edict, and in front of his fellow soldiers and tribunes he claimed himself to be a Christian and declared his worship of Jesus Christ. Diocletian attempted to convert George, even offering gifts of land, money, and slaves if he made a sacrifice to the Roman gods; he made many offers, but George never accepted.
Recognizing the futility of his efforts and insisting on upholding his edict, Diocletian ordered that George be executed for his refusal. Before the execution, George gave his wealth to the poor and prepared himself. After various torture sessions, including laceration on a wheel of swords in which he was resuscitated three times, George was executed by decapitation before Nicomedia's city wall, on 23 April 303. A witness of his suffering convinced Empress Alexandra and Athanasius, a pagan priest, to become Christians, as well, so they joined George in martyrdom. His body was returned to Lydda for burial, where Christians soon came to honour him as a martyr.
Although the above distillation of the legend of George connects him to the conversion of Athanasius, who according to Rufinus was brought up by Christian ecclesiastical authorities from a very early age. Edward Gibbon argued that George, or at least the legend from which the above is distilled, is based on George of Cappadocia, a notorious Arian bishop who was Athanasius' most bitter rival, and that it was he who in time became Saint George of England. According to Professor Bury, Gibbon's latest editor, "this theory of Gibbon's has nothing to be said for it." He adds that: "the connection of St. George with a dragon-slaying legend does not relegate him to the region of the myth".
In 1856, Ralph Waldo Emerson published a book of essays entitled English Traits. In it, he wrote a paragraph on the history of Saint George. Emerson compared the legend of Saint George to the legend of Amerigo Vespucci, calling the former "an impostor" and the latter "a thief." The editorial notes appended to the 1904 edition of Emerson's complete works state that Emerson based his account on the work of Gibbon, and that current evidence seems to show that the real St. George was not George the Arian of Cappadocia. Merton M. Sealts also quotes Edward Emerson, Ralph Waldo Emerson's youngest son, as stating that he believed his father's account was derived from Gibbon and that the real St. George "was apparently another who died two generations earlier."
Saint George and the Dragon - St George the dragon-slayer
Eastern Orthodox depictions of Saint George slaying a dragon often include the image of a young woman who looks on from a distance. The standard iconographic interpretation of the imageicon is that the dragon represents both Satan (Rev. 12:9) and the monster from his life story. The young woman is the wife of Diocletian, Alexandra. Thus, the image, as interpreted through the language of Byzantine iconography, is an image of the martyrdom of the saint.
The episode of St. George and the Dragon was a legend brought back with the Crusaders and retold with the courtly appurtenances belonging to the genre of Romance. The earliest known depiction of the legend is from early 11th-century Cappadocia (in the iconography of the Eastern Orthodox Church, George had been depicted as a soldier since at least the seventh century); the earliest known surviving narrative text is an 11th-century Georgian text.
White George on the coat of arms of Georgia
In the fully developed Western version, which developed as part of the Golden Legend, a dragon or crocodile makes its nest at the spring that provides water for the city of "Silene" (perhaps modern Cyrene in Libyaor the city of Lydda in the Holy Land. Consequently, the citizens have to dislodge the dragon from its nest for a time, to collect water. To do so, each day they offer the dragon at first a sheep, and if no sheep can be found, then a maiden is the best substitute for one. The victim is chosen by drawing lots. One day, this happens to be the princess. The monarch begs for her life to be spared, but to no avail. She is offered to the dragon, but then Saint George appears on his travels. He faces the dragon, protects himself with the sign of the Cross, slays the dragon, and rescues the princess. The citizens abandon their ancestral paganism and convert to Christianity.
The dragon motif was first combined with the standardised Passio Georgii in Vincent of Beauvais' encyclopaedic Speculum Historiale and then in Jacobus de Voragine's "Golden Legend", which guaranteed its popularity in the later Middle Ages as a literary and pictorial subject.
The parallels with Perseus, Cetus, and Andromeda are inescapable. In the allegorical reading, the dragon embodies a suppressed pagan cult. The story has other roots that predate Christianity. Examples such as Sabazios, the sky father, who was usually depicted riding on horseback, and Zeus's defeat of Typhonthe Titan in Greek mythology, along with examples from Germanic and Vedic traditions, have led a number of historians, such as Loomis, to suggest that George is a Christianized version of older deities in Indo-European culture, or at least a suitably Christian substitute for one of them.
In the medieval romances, the lance with which St George slew the dragon was called Ascalon after theLevantine city of Ashkelon, today in Israel. The name Ascalon was used by Winston Churchill for his personal aircraft during World War II, according to records at Bletchley Park.
Some evidence links the legend back to very old Egyptian and Phoenician sources in a late antique statue of Horus fighting a "dragon". This ties the legendary George and to some extent, the historical George, to various ancient sources using mythological and linguistic arguments. In Egyptian mythology, the god Setekh murdered his brother Osiris. Horus, the son of Osiris, avenged his father's death by killing Setekh. This iconography of the horseman with spear overcoming evil was widespread throughout the Christian period.
Veneration as a martyr See also: Saint George: Devotions, traditions and prayers
The martyrdom of Saint George, by Paolo Veronese, 1564
A church built in Lydda during the reign of Constantine I (reigned 306–37) was consecrated to "a man of the highest distinction", according to the church history of Eusebius of Caesarea; the name of the patron was not disclosed, but later he was asserted to have been George.
By the time of the Muslim conquest in the seventh century, a basilica dedicated to the saint in Lydda existed. The church was destroyed in 1010, but was later rebuilt and dedicated to Saint George by the Crusaders. In 1191 and during the conflict known as the Third Crusade (1189–92), the church was again destroyed by the forces of Saladin, Sultan of the Ayyubid dynasty (reigned 1171–93). A new church was erected in 1872 and is still standing.
During the fourth century, the veneration of George spread from Palestine through Lebanon to the rest of the Eastern Roman Empire – though the martyr is not mentioned in the Syriac Breviarium– and Georgia. In Georgia, the feast day on November 23 is credited to St Nino of Cappadocia, who in Georgian hagiography is a relative of St George, credited with bringing Christianity to the Georgians in the fourth century. By the fifth century, the cult of Saint George had reached the Western Roman Empire, as well: in 494, George was canonized as a saint by Pope Gelasius I, among those "whose names are justly reverenced among men, but whose acts are known only to [God]."
In England, he was mentioned among the martyrs by Bede. The earliest dedication to the saint is a church at Fordington, Dorset, that is mentioned in the will of Alfred the Great. He did not rise to the position of "patron saint", however, until the 14th century, and he was still obscured by Edward the Confessor, the traditional patron saint of England, until 1552 when all saints' banners other than George's were abolished in the English Reformation.
An apparition of George heartened the Franks at the siege of Antioch, 1098, and made a similar appearance the following year at Jerusalem. Chivalric military Orders of St. George were established in Aragon (1201), Genoa, Hungary, and by Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor, and in England the Synod of Oxford, 1222 declared St George's Day a feast day in the kingdom of England.Edward III put his Order of the Garter under the banner of St. George, probably in 1348. The chronicler Froissart observed the English invoking St George as a battle cry on several occasions during the Hundred Years' War. In his rise as a national saint, George was aided by the very fact that the saint had no legendary connection with England, and no specifically localized shrine, as that of Thomas Becket at Canterbury: "Consequently, numerous shrines were established during the late fifteenth century," Muriel C. McClendon has written, "and his did not become closely identified with a particular occupation or with the cure of a specific malady."
Saint George Continued:
The establishment of George as a popular saint and protective giant in the West that had captured the medieval imagination was codified by the official elevation of his feast to a festum duplex at a church council in 1415, on the date that had become associated with his martyrdom, 23 April. Wide latitude existed from community to community in celebration of the day across late medieval and early modern England, and no uniform "national" celebration elsewhere, a token of the popular and vernacular nature of George's cultus and its local horizons, supported by a local guild or confraternity under George's protection, or the dedication of a local church. When the Reformation in England severely curtailed the saints' days in the calendar, St George's Day was among the holidays that continued to be observed.
Sources The coat of arms of Volodymyr is the oldest known Ukrainian city emblem.
According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, the earliest text preserving fragments of George's narrative is in an Acta Sanctorum identified by Hippolyte Delehaye of the scholarly Bollandists to be a palimpsest of the fifth century. However, this Acta Sancti Georgii was soon banned as heresy by Pope Gelasius I (in 496).
The compiler of this Acta, according to Hippolyte Delehaye, "confused the martyr with his namesake, the celebrated George of Cappadocia, the Arian intruder into the see of Alexandria and enemy of St.Athanasius". A critical edition of a Syriac Acta of Saint George, accompanied by an annotated English translation was published by E.W. Brooks (1863–1955) in 1925. The hagiography was originally written in Greek.
In Sweden, the princess rescued by Saint George is held to represent the kingdom of Sweden, while the dragon represents an invading army. Several sculptures of Saint George battling the dragon can be found in Stockholm, the earliest inside Storkyrkan ("The Great Church") in the Old Town.
The façade of architect Antoni Gaudi's famous Casa Batlló in Barcelona, Spain, depicts this allegory.
In Islamic cultures Saint George is somewhat of an exception among saints and legends, in that he is known and respected by Muslims, as well as venerated by Christians throughout the Middle East, from Egypt to Asia Minor. His stature in these regions derives from the fact that his figure has become somewhat of a composite character mixing elements from Biblical, Quranic, and folkloric sources, at times being partially identified with Al-Khidr. He is said to have killed a dragon near the sea in Beirut. At the beginning of the 20th century, Muslim women visited his shrine in the area to pray for him.
Feast days See also: Saint George: Devotions, traditions and prayers
In the General Roman Calendar, the feast of Saint George is on 23 April. In the Tridentine Calendar of 1568, it was given the rank of "Semidouble". In Pope Pius XII's 1955 calendar this rank was reduced to "Simple", and in Pope John XXIII's 1960 calendar to a "Commemoration". Since Pope Paul VI's 1969 revision, it appears as an optional "Memorial". In some countries, such as England, the rank is higher. In England, it is a Solemnity (Roman Catholic) or Feast (Church of England): if it falls between Palm Sunday and the Second Sunday of Easter inclusive, it is transferred to the Monday after the Second Sunday of Easter.
St George is very much honoured by the Eastern Orthodox Church, wherein he is referred to as a "Great Martyr", and in Oriental Orthodoxy overall. His major feast day is on 23 April (Julian calendar 23 April currently corresponds to Gregorian calendar 6 May). If, however, the feast occurs before Easter, it is celebrated on Easter Monday, instead. The Russian Orthodox Church also celebrates two additional feasts in honour of St. George. One is on 3 November, commemorating the consecration of a cathedraldedicated to him in Lydda during the reign Constantine the Great (305–37). When the church was consecrated, the relics of the St George were transferred there. The other feast is on 26 November for a church dedicated to him in Kiev, circa 1054.
In Bulgaria, St George's day (Bulgarian: Гергьовден) is celebrated on 6 May, when it is customary to slaughter and roast a lamb. St George's day is also a public holiday.
In Egypt, the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria refers to St George as the "Prince of Martyrs" and celebrates his martyrdom on the 23rd of Paremhat of the Coptic calendar equivalent to 1 May. The Coptsalso celebrate the consecration of the first church dedicated to him on seventh of the month of Hatour of the Coptic calendar usually equivalent to 17 November.
Patronages Main article: Patronages of Saint George
British recruitment poster from World War I, featuring St. George and the Dragon.
A highly celebrated saint in both the Western and Eastern Christian churches, a large number of Patronages of Saint George exist throughout the world.
England: St George is the patron saint of England. His cross forms the national flag of England, and features within the Union Flag of theUnited Kingdom, and other national flags containing the Union Flag, such as those of Australia and New Zealand. Traces of the cult of Saint George in England antedate the Norman Conquest in the 11th century; by the 14th century, the saint had been declared both the patron saint and the protector of the royal family.
St George's monument in Tbilisi,Georgia.
Georgia: The country of Georgia, where devotions to the saint date back to the fourth century, is not technically named after the saint, but is a well-attested backward derivation of the English name. However, a large number of towns and cities around the world are. Saint George is one of the patron Saints of Georgia; the name Georgia (Sakartvelo in Georgian) is an anglicisation of Gurj, derived from the Persian word for the frightening and heroic people in that territory. However, chronicles describing the land as Georgie or Georgia in French and English, date from the early Middle Ages "because of their special reverence for Saint George", but these accounts have been seen as folk etymology;compare Land of Prester John.
Exactly 365 Orthodox churches in Georgia are named after Saint George according to the number of days in a year. According to myth, St. George was cut into 365 pieces after he fell in battle and every single piece was spread throughout the entire country. According to another myth, Saint George appeared in person during the Battle of Didgori to support the Georgian victory over the Seldjuk army and the Georgian uprising against Persian rule. Saint George is considered by many Georgians to have special meaning as a symbol of national liberation.
Portugal Devotions to Saint George: in Portugal date back to the 12th century. Saint Constable attributed the victory of the Portuguese in the battle of Aljubarrota in 1385 to Saint George. During the reign of King John I (1357–1433), Saint George became the patron saint of Portugal and the King ordered that the saint's image on the horse be carried in the Corpus Christi procession. The flag of Saint George (white with red cross) was also carried by the Portuguese troops and hoisted in the fortresses, during the 15th century. "Portugal and Saint George" became the battle cry of the Portuguese troops, being still today the battle cry of the Portuguese Army, with simply "Saint George" being the battle cry of the Portuguese Navy.
Malta and Gozo: Saint George is also one of the patron saints of the Mediterranean islands of Malta and Gozo. In a battle between the Maltese and the Moors, Saint George was alleged to have been seen with Saint Paul and Saint Agata, protecting the Maltese. Besides being the patron of Victoria where St. George's Basilica, Malta is dedicated to him, St George is the protector of the island Gozo.
Interfaith shrine: Saint George dragged through the streets (detail), by Bernat Martorell, 15th century
A tradition exists in the Holy Land of Christians and Muslim going to an Eastern Orthodox shrine of St George at Beith Jala; Jews also attend the site in the belief that the prophet Elijah was buried there. This is testified to by Elizabeth Finn in 1866, where she wrote, "St. George killed the dragon in this country Palestine; and the place is shown close to Beirut (Lebanon). Many churches and convents are named after him. The church at Lydda is dedicated to St George; so is a convent near Bethlehem, and another small one just opposite the Jaffa gate, and others beside. The Arabs believe that St George can restore mad people to their senses, and to say a person has been sent to St. George's is equivalent to saying he has been sent to a madhouse. It is singular that the Moslem Arabs share this veneration for St George, and send their mad people to be cured by him, as well as the Christians, but they commonly call him El Khudder —The Green—according to their favourite manner of using epithets instead of names. Why he should be called green, however, I cannot tell—unless it is from the colour of his horse. Gray horses are called green in Arabic." A possible explanation for this colour reference is Al Khidr, the erstwhile tutor of Moses, gained his name from having sat in a barren desert, turning it into a lush green paradise.
William Dalrymple, reviewing the literature in 1999, tells us that J. E. Hanauer in his 1907 book Folklore of the Holy Land: Muslim, Christian and Jewish "mentioned a shrine in the village of Beit Jala, beside Bethlehem, which at the time was frequented by all three of Palestine's religious communities. Christians regarded it as the birthplace of St. George, Jews as the burial place of the Prophet Elias. According to Hanauer, in his day the monastery was "a sort of madhouse. Deranged persons of all the three faiths are taken thither and chained in the court of the chapel, where they are kept for forty days on bread and water, the Eastern Orthodox priest at the head of the establishment now and then reading the Gospel over them, or administering a whipping as the case demands.' In the 1920s, according to Taufiq Canaan's Mohammedan Saints and Sanctuaries in Palestine, nothing seemed to have changed, and all three communities were still visiting the shrine and praying together."
Dalrymple himself visited the place in 1995. "I asked around in the Christian Quarter in Jerusalem, and discovered that the place was very much alive. With all the greatest shrines in the Christian world to choose from, it seemed that when the local Arab Christians had a problem – an illness, or something more complicated: a husband detained in an Israeli prison camp, for example – they preferred to seek the intercession of St George in his grubby little shrine at Beit Jala rather than praying at the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem or the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem." He asked the priest at the shrine "Do you get many Muslims coming here?" The priest replied, "We get hundreds! Almost as many as the Christian pilgrims. Often, when I come in here, I find Muslims all over the floor, in the aisles, up and down."
The Encyclopædia Britannica quotes G.A. Smith in his Historic Geography of the Holy Land p. 164 saying "The Mahommedans who usually identify St. George with the prophet Elijah, at Lydda confound his legend with one about Christ himself. Their name for Antichrist is Dajjal, and they have a tradition that Jesus will slay Antichrist by the gate of Lydda. The notion sprang from an ancient bas-relief of George and the Dragon on the Lydda church. But Dajjal may be derived, by a very common confusion between n and l, from Dagon, whose name two neighbouring villages bear to this day, while one of the gates of Lydda used to be called the Gate of Dagon."
Colours and flag Main article: St George's Cross
St George's cross
The "Colours of Saint George", or St George's Cross are a white flag with a red cross, frequently borne by entities which claim him as patron (e.g. the Republic of Genoa and then Liguria, England, Georgia,Catalonia, Aragon, etc.).
This was formerly the banner attributed to St. Ambrose. Adopted by the city of Milan (of which he was Archbishop) at least as early as the 9th century, its use spread over Northern Italy including Genoa. Genoa's patron saint was St. George and while the flag was not associated with George in Genoa itself, it is possibly the cause of the use of the design as the attributed arms of Saint George in the 14th century.
The same colour scheme was used by Viktor Vasnetsov for the façade of the Tretyakov Gallery, in which some of the most famous St George icons are exhibited and which displays St George as the coat of arms of Moscow over its entrance.
In 1606, the flag of England (St. George's Cross), and the flag of Scotland (St. Andrew's Cross), were joined together to create the Union Flag.
Iconography and models Byzantine icon of St. George, Athens Greece
St George is most commonly depicted in early icons, mosaics, and frescos wearing armour contemporary with the depiction, executed in gilding and silver colour, intended to identify him as a Roman soldier. Particularly after the Fall of Constantinople and St George's association with the crusades, he is often portrayed mounted upon a white horse. Thus, a 2003 Vatican stamp (issued on the anniversary of the Saint's death) depicts an armoured Saint George atop a white horse, killing the dragon. Eastern Orthodox iconography also permits St George to ride a black horse, as in a Russian icon in the British museum collection. This may also reflect a modern Russian interpretation as depicting not a killing, but as an internal struggle, against ourselves and the evil among us. In the south Lebanese village of Mieh Mieh, the Saint George Church for Melkite Catholics commissioned for its 75th jubilee in 2012 (under the guidance of Mgr Sassine Gregoire), the only icons in the world portraying the whole life of Saint George, as well as the scenes of his torture and martyrdom (drawn in eastern iconographic style).
St George may also be portrayed with St. Demetrius, another early soldier saint. When the two saintly warriors are together and mounted upon horses, they may resemble earthly manifestations of the archangels Michael and Gabriel. Eastern traditions distinguish the two as St. George rides a white horse and St. Demetrius a red horse. St. George can also be identified by his spearing a dragon, whereas St. Demetrius may be spearing a human figure, representing Maximian.
During the early second millennium, St George became a model of chivalry in works of literature, including medieval romances. In the 13th century, Jacobus de Voragine, Archbishop of Genoa, compiled the Legenda Sanctorum, (Readings of the Saints) also known as Legenda Aurea (the Golden Legend). Its 177 chapters (182 in some editions) include the story of Saint George, among many others. After the invention of the printing press, the book became a bestseller, second only to the Bible among books published by early English printer William Caxton (circa 1415-1492).
St. Michael the Archangel
Feastday: September 29
Patron of grocers, mariners, paratroopers, police, and sickness
St. Michael the Archangel - Feast day - September 29th The name Michael signifies "Who is like to God?" and was the warcry of the good angels in the battle fought in heaven against satan and his followers. Holy Scripture describes St. Michael as "one of the chief princes," and leader of the forces of heaven in their triumph over the powers of hell. He has been especially honored and invoked as patron and protector by the Church from the time of the Apostles.
Although he is always called "the Archangel," the Greek Fathers and many others place him over all the angels - as Prince of the Seraphim.
More about St. Michael the Archangel from Wikipedia
Michael ("who is like God?", Hebrew: מִיכָאֵל (pronounced [mixaˈʔel]), Micha'el or Mîkhā'ēl; Greek: Μιχαήλ,Mikhaḗl; Latin: Michael (in the Vulgate Michahel); Arabic: ميكائيل, Mīkā'īl) is an archangel in Judaism,Christianity, and Islam. Roman Catholics, the Eastern Orthodox, Anglicans, and Lutherans refer to him as "Saint Michael the Archangel" and also as "Saint Michael". Orthodox Christians refer to him as the "Taxiarch Archangel Michael" or simply "Archangel Michael".
Michael is mentioned three times in the Book of Daniel, once as a "great prince who stands up for the children of your people". The idea that Michael was the advocate of the Jews became so prevalent that in spite of the rabbinical prohibition against appealing to angels as intermediaries between God and his people, Michael came to occupy a certain place in the Jewish liturgy.
In the New Testament Michael leads God's armies against Satan's forces in the Book of Revelation, where during the war in heaven he defeats Satan. In the Epistle of Jude Michael is specifically referred to as "the archangel Michael". Christian sanctuaries to Michael appeared in the 4th century, when he was first seen as a healing angel, and then over time as a protector and the leader of the army of God against the forces of evil. By the 6th century, devotions to Archangel Michael were widespread both in the Easternand Western Churches. Over time, teachings on Michael began to vary among Christian denominations.
(Guido Reni's Michael in Santa Maria della Concezione church, Rome, 1636) tramples Satan. A mosaic of the same painting decorates St. Michael's Altar in St. Peter's Basilica.
Scriptural references Hebrew Bible
In the Hebrew Scriptures, and the Old Testament, the prophet Daniel experiences a vision after having undergone a period of fasting. In the vision in Daniel 10:13-21 an angel - identifies Michael as the protector of Israel. Daniel refers to Michael as a "prince of the first rank". Later in the vision in Daniel 12:1 Daniel is informed about the role of Michael during the "Time of the End" when there will be "distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations" and that.
At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise.
In view of this, Michael is seen as playing an important role as the protector of Israel, and later of the Christian Church.
Although the three occurrences of Michael in the Book of Daniel 10:13, 10:21 and 12:1 all refer to the same individual, who acts in similar ways in all three cases, the last one is set at the "end times", while the first two refer to local time in Persia. These are the only three references to Michael in the Hebrew Bible.
The references to the "captain of the host of the Lord" encountered by Joshua in the early days of his campaigns in the Promised Land (Joshua 5:13-15) have at times been interpreted as Michael the Archangel, but there is no theological basis for that assumption, given that Joshua then worshiped this figure, and angels are not to be worshiped. Some scholars also point that the figure may refer to God himself. In the book of Joshua's account of the fall of Jericho, Joshua "looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand". When the still unaware Joshua asks which side of the fight the Archangel is on, the response was, "neither...but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come".
The Book of Revelation (12:7-9) describes a war in heaven in which Michael, being stronger, defeats Satan.
There was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven.
After the conflict, Satan is thrown to earth along with the fallen angels, where he ("that ancient serpent called the devil") still tries to "lead the whole world astray".
Separately, in the Epistle of Jude 1:9 Michael is specifically referred to as an "archangel" when he again confronts Satan.
Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses.
A reference to an "archangel" also appears in the First Epistle to the Thessalonians 4:16
the Lord himself shall descend from heaven, with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first
This version is from the American Standard Version of 1901, a version that uses the definite article, "the archangel", absent in the original Greek and in English translations (such as the English Standard Version of 2001, which has:
The Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God.
This archangel who heralds the second coming of Christ is not named, but is probably Michael.
Quran Michael:(Arabic: ميخائيل, Mikhail ميكائيل, Mikael ), is one of the two archangels mentioned in the Quran, along side Jibreel (Gabriel). In the Quran, Michael is mentioned once only, in Sura 2:98: "Whoever is an enemy to God, and His angels and His messengers, and Jibreel and Mikhail! Then, God (Himself) is an enemy to the disbelievers."[ Some Muslims believe that the reference in Sura 11:69 is Michael, one of the three angels who visited Abraham.
Religious traditions Judaism: According to rabbinic Jewish tradition, Michael acted as the advocate of Israel, and sometimes had to fight with the princes of the other nations (cf. Daniel 10:13) and particularly with the angel Samael, Israel's accuser. Michael's enmity with Samael dates from the time when the latter was thrown down from heaven. Samael took hold of the wings of Michael, whom he wished to bring down with him in his fall; but Michael was saved by God. Michael is also said to have had a dispute with Samael over the soul of Moses.
Michael in Hebrew
The idea that Michael was the advocate of the Jews became so prevalent that in spite of the rabbinical prohibition against appealing to angels as intermediaries between God and his people, Michael came to occupy a certain place in the Jewish liturgy. There were two prayers written beseeching him as the prince of mercy to intercede in favor of Israel: one composed by Eliezer ha-Kalir, and the other by Judah ben Samuel he-Hasid. But appeal to Michael seems to have been more common in ancient times. Thus Jeremiah is said to have addressed a prayer to him. "When a man is in need he must pray directly to God, and neither to Michael nor to Gabriel."
The rabbis declare that Michael entered upon his role of defender at the time of the biblical patriarchs. Thus, according to Rabbi Eliezer ben Jacob, it was Michael who rescued Abraham from the furnace into which he had been thrown by Nimrod (Midrash Genesis Rabbah xliv. 16). It was Michael, the "one that had escaped" (Genesis 14:13), who told Abraham that Lot had been taken captive (Midrash Pirke R. El.), and who protected Sarah from being defiled by Abimelech. He announced to Sarah that she would bear a son and he rescued Lot at the destruction of Sodom.
MidrashIt is said that Michael prevented Isaac from being sacrificed by his father by substituting a ram in his place, and saved Jacob, while yet in his mother's womb, from being killed by Samael. Later Michael prevented Laban from harming Jacob.(Pirke De-Rabbi Eliezer, xxxvi). It was Michael who wrestled with Jacob and who afterward blessed him.
The midrash Exodus Rabbah holds that Michael exercised his function of advocate of Israel at the time of the Exodus also, when Satan (as an adversary) accused the Israelites of idolatry and declared that they were consequently deserving of death by drowning in the Red Sea. Michael is also said to have destroyed the army of Sennacherib.
Christianity: Early Christian views and devotions (Statue of Archangel Michael at the University of Bonn, slaying Satan as a dragon; Quis ut Deus is inscribed on his shield)
The early Christians regarded some of the martyrs, such as Saint George and Saint Theodore, as military patrons; but to St Michael they gave the care of their sick and he was first venerated as a healer inPhrygia (modern-day Turkey).
The earliest and most famous sanctuary to Saint Michael in the ancient Near East was also associated with healing waters. It was theMichaelion built in the early 4th century by Emperor Constantine at Chalcedon, on the site of an earlier Temple called Sosthenion.
A painting of the Archangel slaying a serpent became a major art piece at the Michaelion after Constantine defeated Licinius near there in 324, eventually leading to the standard iconography of Archangel Michael as a warrior saint slaying a dragon. The Michaelion was a magnificent church and in time became a model for hundreds of other churches inEastern Christianity which spread devotions to the Archangel.
In the 4th century, Saint Basil the Great's homily (De Angelis) placed Saint Michael over all the angels. He was called "Archangel" because he is the prince of the other angels. Into the 6th century, the view of Michael as a healer continued in Rome, when after a plague the sick slept at night in the church of Castel Sant'Angelo (dedicated to him for saving Rome), waiting for his manifestation.
In the 6th century the growth of devotions to the saint in the Western Church was manifested by the feasts dedicated to him, as recorded in the Leonine Sacramentary. The 7th century Gelasian Sacramentary included the feast "S. Michaelis Archangeli", as did the 8th century Gregorian Sacramentary. Some of these documents refer to a no longer extant Basilica Archangeli on via Salaria in Rome.
The angelology of Pseudo-Dionysius which was widely read as of the 6th century gave Michael a rank in the celestial hierarchy. Later, in the 13th century, others such as Bonaventure believed that he is the prince of the Seraphim, the first of the nine angelic orders. According to Saint Thomas Aquinas (SummaIa. 113.3), he is the Prince of the last and lowest choir, the Angels.
In Russia: many monasteries, cathedrals, court and merchant churches are dedicated to the Chief Commander Michael, and most Russian cities have a church or chapel dedicated to the Archangel Michael.
The Coptic Orthodox Church: The place of Michael in the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria is as a saintly intercessor, where he is seen as the one who presents to God the prayers of the just, who accompanies the souls of the dead to heaven, who defeats the devil. He is celebrated liturgically on the 12th of each month. In Alexandria, a church was dedicated to him in the early fourth century on the 12th of the month of Ba'unah. On the 12th of the month of Hathor is the celebration of Michael's appointment in heaven, where Michael became the chief of the angels.
Protestant views Statue at St. Michaelis Church, Hamburg
Many Protestant Christians (excluding Anglicans) do not call upon the intercession of saints. However, an unofficial Anglican prayer of preparation before Mass includes a confession to "Michael the Archangel" as well as other saints such as John the Baptist.
Protestant denominations generally recognize only two archangels, Michael and Gabriel, usually emphasizing Michael, unlike Judaism, Roman Catholicism, and Eastern Orthodoxy which may at times recognize seven (and in rare cases eight) archangels, with Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael generally regarded with an elevated status, e.g. being the only archangels honored by name in Catholicism.
Citing Hengstenberg, John A. Lees, in International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, states: "The earlier Protestant scholars usually identified Michael with the pre-incarnate Christ, finding support for their view, not only in the juxtaposition of the 'child' and the archangel in Rev 12:1-17, but also in the attributes ascribed to him in Daniel." Charles Haddon Spurgeon, a Trinitarian, stated that Jesus is Michael “the only Archangel”, and that he is God the Son, and co-equal to the Father. In Spurgeon’s view, "archangel" means "head of the angels" rather than "head angel," and is a title similar to "Prince or Leader of the host." (Daniel 8:11).
Within Anglicanism, Bishop Robert Clayton proposed that Michael was the Logos and Gabriel the Holy Spirit. Controversy over Clayton's views led the government to order his prosecution, but he died before his scheduled examination.
Michael continues to be recognized among Protestants by key churches dedicated to him, e.g., St. Michaelis Church, Hamburg and St. Michael's Church, Hildesheim, each of which is of the Lutheran Church and has appeared in the Bundesländer series of €2 commemorative coins for 2008 and 2014 respectively.
At Bach's time, the annual feast of Michael and all the angels on 29 September was regularly celebrated with a festive service, for which Bach composed several cantatas, for example the chorale cantata Herr Gott, dich loben alle wir, BWV 130 in 1724.
Jehovah's Witnesses: See also: Jehovah's Witnesses beliefs about Jesus
Jehovah's Witnesses believe Michael to be another name for Jesus Christ in heaven, in his pre-human and post-resurrection existence. They say the definite article at Jude 9—referring to "Michael the archangel"—identifies Michael as the only archangel. They consider Michael to be synonymous with Jesus, described at 1 Thessalonians 4:16 as descending "with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet".
They believe the prominent roles assigned to Michael at Daniel 12:1 and Revelation 12:7, 19:14, 16, are identical to Jesus' roles, being the one chosen to lead God's people and as the one who "stands up", identifying the two as the same spirit being. Because they identify Michael with Jesus, he is therefore considered the first and greatest of all God's heavenly sons, God's chief messenger, who takes the lead in vindicating God's sovereignty, sanctifying his name, fighting the wicked forces of Satan and protecting God's covenant people on earth. Jehovah's Witnesses also identify Michael with the "Angel of the Lord" who led the Israelites in the wilderness.
St. Michael the Arch Angel, Continued:
Seventh-day Adventists: See also: Seventh-day Adventist beliefs about Michael and Pre-existence of Christ
Le Grand Saint Michel, byRaphael (Raffaello Sanzio), Archangel Michael defeating evil
Seventh-day Adventists believe that Michael is another name for the Heavenly Christ, and another name for the Word-of-God (as in John 1) before he became incarnate as Jesus. "Archangel" (meaning "Chief of the Angels") was the leadership position held by the Word-of-God as Michael while among the angels. According to Adventist theology, Michael was considered the "eternal Word", and not a created being or created angel, and the one by whom all things were created. The Word was then born incarnate as Jesus.
Seventh-day Adventists believe the name "Michael" is significant in showing who it is, just as "Immanuel" (which means "God with us") is about who Jesus is. They believe that name "Michael" signifies "one who is God" and that as the "Archangel" or "chief or head of the angels" he led the angels and thus the statement in Revelation 12:7-9 identifies Jesus as Michael.
Seventh-day Adventists believe that "Michael" is but one of the many titles applied to the Son of God, the second person of the Godhead. According to Adventists, such a view does not in any way conflict with the belief in his full deity and eternal preexistence, nor does it in the least disparage his person and work. In support of the Seventh-day Adventist belief Michael is also the commander of God's army which helped Joshua son of Nun to lead Israel in to conquering Jericho [Joshua 5:14 - "And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my Lord unto his servant?"
In the Seventh-day Adventist view, the statement in some translations of 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18: "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven, with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God" identifies Jesus as Archangel, which is Michael. (Other translations have "For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God.") And the Seventh-day Adventists believe that John 5:25-29 also confirms that Jesus and Michael are the same.
Seventh-day Adventists believe there is and can only be one archangel and that one Archangel is named Michael and yet in Scripture is shown as doing what also applies to Christ even from the beginning, so is Christ preincarnate. There was a perception that Adventists were relegating Jesus to something less than divine or less than God but that is not valid since Seventh-day Adventism theology teaches and is expressly Trinitarian.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day: Saints See also: Beliefs and practices of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Latter-day Saints (also known informally as Mormons) believe that Michael is Adam, the Ancient of Days (Dan. 7), a prince, and the patriarch of the human family and that Michael assisted Jehovah (the heavenly form of Jesus Christ) in the creation of the world under the direction of God the Father and cast Satan out of heaven. According to the Journal of Discourses Brigham Young taught that Adam was "our Father and God". This doctrine, known as the Adam–God doctrine, is rejected today by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, however, it is still an accepted part of the modern theology of some forms of Mormon fundamentalism.
Esoteric traditions: The French occultist, Eliphas Levi, the German philosopher Franz von Baader, and the Theosophist Louis Claude de St. Martin spoke of 1879 as the year in which Michael overcame the dragon. This is confirmed by the esoteric writer Rudolf Steiner in a lecture in Zurich on November 13, 1917, where he states: "in 1879, in November, a momentous event took place, a battle of the Powers of Darkness against the Powers of Light, ending in the image of Michael overcoming the Dragon".
Islam: The Qur'an mentions Michael together with Gabriel in the sura Al-Baqara:
Whoever is an enemy to Allah and His angels and messengers, to Gabriel and Michael,- Lo! Allah is an enemy to those who reject Faith.
—Quran, sura 2 (Al-Baqara) ayat 97-98
In Sunni Islam,: Michael will be sent to bring a handful of Earth, but the Earth will not want to yield a piece of itself, some of which will burn. This is articulated by Al-Tha'labi whose narrative states that God will tell Earth that some will obey him and others not.
The Ahmadiyya movement believes in Michael along with other angels such as Gabriel. They are called Mala'ikah and are described as spiritual beings who obey Allah's command.
Feasts: In the General Roman Calendar, the Anglican Calendar of Saints, and the Lutheran Calendar of Saints, the archangel's feast is celebrated on Michaelmas Day, September 29. The day is also considered the feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, Archangels (General Roman Calendar), or the Feast of Saint Michael and All Angels (Church of England).
In the Eastern Orthodox Church, Saint Michael's principal feast day is November 8 (those that use the Julian calendar celebrate it on what in the Gregorian calendar is now November 21), honoring him along with the rest of the "Bodiless Powers of Heaven" (i.e. angels) as their Supreme Commander, and the Miracle at Chonae is commemorated on September 6.
In the calendar of the Church of England diocese of Truro, May 8 is the feast of St. Michael, Protector of Cornwall. The archangel St. Michael is one of the three patron saints of Cornwall.
Patronages and ordersIn late medieval Christianity, Michael, together with Saint George, became the patron saint of chivalry and is now also considered the patron saint of police officers, paramedics, firefighters and the military.
Coat of arms of Kiev
In mid to late 15th century, France was one of only four courts in Western Christendom without an order of knighthood. Later in the 15th century, Jean Molinet glorified the primordial feat of arms of the archangel as "the first deed of knighthood and chivalrous prowess that was ever achieved."Thus Michael was the natural patron of the firstchivalric order of France, the Order of Saint Michael of 1469.
In theBritish honours system, a chivalric order founded in 1818 is also named for these two saints, the Order of St Michael and St George. The Order of Michael the Brave is Romania's highest military decoration.
Apart from his being a patron of warriors, the sick and the suffering also consider Archangel Michael their patron saint. Based on the legend of his 8th century apparition at Mont-Saint-Michel, France, the Archangel is the patron of mariners in this famous sanctuary. After the evangelisation of Germany, where mountains were often dedicated to pagan gods, Christians placed many mountains under the patronage of the Archangel, and numerous mountain chapels of St. Michael appeared all over Germany. Since the victorious Battle of Lechfeld against the Hungarians in 955, Michael was the patron saint of the Holy Roman Empire and still is the patron saint of modern Germany and other German speaking regions formerly covered by the realm.
He has been the patron saint of Brussels since the Middle Ages. The city of Arkhangelsk in Russia is named for the Archangel. Ukraine and its capital Kiev also consider Michael their patron saint and protector.
An Anglican sisterhood dedicated to Saint Michael under the title of the Community of St Michael and All Angels was founded in 1851. The Congregation of Saint Michael the Archangel (CSMA), also known as the Michaelite Fathers, is a religious order of the Roman Catholic Church founded in 1897. The Canons Regular of the Order of St Michael the Archangel (OSM) are an Order of professed religious within the Anglican Church in North America, the North American component of the Anglican realignment movement.
Legends Judaism: There is a legend which seems to be of Jewish origin, and which was adopted by the Copts, to the effect that Michael was first sent by God to bring Nebuchadnezzar (c. 600 BC) against Jerusalem, and that Michael was afterward very active in freeing his nation from Babylonian captivity. According to midrash Genesis Rabbah, Michael saved Hananiah and his companions from the Fiery furnace. Michael was active in the time of Esther: "The more Haman accused Israel on earth, the more Michael defended Israel in heaven". It was Michael who reminded Ahasuerus that he was Mordecai's debtor; and there is a legend that Michael appeared to the high priest Hyrcanus, promising him assistance.
Christianity: A 12th-century icon of the Miracle at Chonae, from Saint Catherine's Monastery, Mount Sinai.
The Orthodox Church celebrates the Miracle at Chonae on September 6. The pious legend surrounding the event states that Saint John the Apostle, when preaching nearby, foretold the appearance of Michael at Cheretopa near Lake Salda, where a healing spring appeared soon after the Apostle left; in gratitude for the healing of his daughter, one pilgrim built a church on the site. Local pagans, who are described as jealous of the healing power of the spring and the church, attempt to drown the church by redirecting the river, but the Archangel, "in the likeness of a column of fire", split the bedrock to open up a new bed for the stream, directing the flow away from the church. The legend is supposed to have predated the actual events, but the 5th–7th century texts that refer to the miracle at Chonae formed the basis of specific paradigms for "properly approaching" angelic intermediaries for more effective prayers within the Christian culture.
There is a late 5th century legend in Cornwall, UK that the Archangel appeared to fishermen on St Michael's Mount. According to author Richard Freeman Johnson this legend is likely a nationalistic twist to a myth. Cornish legends also hold that the mount itself was constructed by giants and that King Arthur battled a giant there.
The legend of the apparition of the Archangel at around 490 AD at a secluded hilltop cave on Monte Gargano in Italy gained a following among the Lombards in the immediate period thereafter, and by the 8th century pilgrims arrived from as far away as England. The Tridentine Calendar included a feast of the apparition on 8 May, the date of the 663 victory over the Greek Neapolitans that the Lombards ofManfredonia attributed to Saint Michael. The feast remained in the Roman liturgical calendar until removed in the revision of Pope John XXIII. The Sanctuary of Monte Sant'Angelo at Gargano is a major Catholic pilgrimage site.
According to Roman legends, while a devastating plague persisted in Rome, Archangel Michael appeared with a sword over the mausoleum of Hadrian, in apparent answer to the prayers of Pope St Gregory I the Great (c. 590–604) that the plague should cease. After the plague ended, in honor of the occasion, the pope called the mausoleum "Castel Sant'Angelo" (Castle of the Holy Angel), the name by which it is still known.
According to Norman legend, Michael is said to have appeared to St Aubert, Bishop of Avranches, in 708, giving instruction to build a church on the rocky islet now known as Mont Saint-Michel. In 966 the Duke of Normandy commissioned a Benedictine abbey on the mount, and it remains a major pilgrimage site.
A Portuguese Carmelite nun, Antónia d'Astónaco, reported an apparition and private revelation of theArchangel Michael who had told to this devoted Servant of God, in 1751, that he would like to be honored, and God glorified, by the praying of nine special invocations. These nine invocations correspond to invocations to the nine choirs of angels and origins the famous Chaplet of Saint Michael. This private revelation and prayers were approved by Pope Pius IX in 1851.
From 1961 to 1965, four young schoolgirls had reported several apparitions of Archangel Michael in the small village of Garabandal, Spain. At Garabandal, the apparitions of the Archangel Michael were mainly reported as announcing the arrivals of the Virgin Mary. The Catholic Church has neither approved nor condemned the Garabandal apparitions.
IslamIn: Islam, Mikail (Michael) provides nourishments for bodies and souls. Mikail is often depicted as the archangel of mercy who is responsible for the rewards doled out to good persons in this life.
Art and literature
Art and literature- the English epic poem Paradise Lost by John Milton, Michael commands the army of angels loyal to God against the rebel forces of Satan. Armed with a sword from God's armory, he bests Satan in personal combat, wounding his side.
Artistic depictions: Archangel Michael in Christian art
10th-century gold and enamel Byzantine icon of St Michael, in the treasury of the St Mark's Basilica
Most Jewish teachings interpret the Second Commandment as against the use of "graven images" as visual art. Islamic art's focus on calligraphy, rather than painting and sculpture, similarly derives from the association of idolatry with the depiction of human or angelic forms.
In Christian art, Archangel Michael may be depicted alone or with other angels such as Gabriel. Some depictions with Gabriel date back to the 8th century, e.g. the stone casket at Notre Dame de Mortain church in France.
The widely reproduced image of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, an icon of the Cretan school, depicts Michael on the left carrying the lance and sponge of the crucifixion of Jesus, with Gabriel on the right side of Mary and Jesus.
In many depictions Michael is represented as an angelic warrior, fully armed with helmet, sword, and shield. The shield may bears the Latin inscription Quis ut Deus. He may be standing over a serpent, a dragon, or the defeated figure of Satan, whom he sometimes pierces with a lance. The iconography of Michael slaying a serpent goes back to the early 4th century, when Emperor Constantine defeated Licinius at the Battle of Adrianople in 324 AD, not far from the Michaelion a church dedicated to Archangel Michael.
Constantine felt that Licinius was an agent of Satan, and associated him with the serpent described in theBook of Revelation (12:9). After the victory, Constantine commissioned a depiction of himself and his sons slaying Licinius represented as a serpent - a symbolism borrowed from the Christian teachings on the Archangel to whom he attributed the victory. A similar painting, this time with the Archangel Michael himself slaying a serpent then became a major art piece at the Michaelion and eventually lead to the standard iconography of Archangel Michael as a warrior saint.
In other depictions Michael may be holding a pair of scales in which he weighs the souls of the departed and may hold the book of life (as in the Book of Revelation), to show that he takes part in the judgment. However this form of depiction is less common than the slaying of the dragon. Michelangelo depicted this scene on the altar wall of the Sistine Chapel.
In Byzantine art Michael was often shown as a princely court dignitary, rather than a warrior who battled Satan or with scales for weighing souls on the Day of Judgement.