The devil has declared open war against celibacy, marriage, and the Eucharist. Here’s why.

Few, however, will be familiar with Pope Siricius (334–399), who described his opponent Jovinian as a tool of “the ancient enemy, the adversary of chastity, the teacher of luxury,” because he had attacked the celibacy of the clergy. Is there a connection between Sister Lucia’s insight and the devil’s age-old campaign against virginity and celibacy for the Kingdom of heaven?

In order to answer this question, we need to look at the devil: who he is, and how he operates.

Lucifer hates consecrated virginity and priestly celibacy because this charism and state of life is the one most intrinsically opposed to the pride that brought about his fall, his eternal loss of beatitude, his damnation. The devil desired to receive beatitude as a reward for his own natural greatness, not as a pure gift of grace undeserved by any creature. He desired to be the “firstborn son” who received the homage of inferior creation—perhaps even to be a mediator between the human race and its Creator.

When God revealed that He Himself would enter into friendship with rational animals, so vastly inferior to the angels, and grant them beatitude; that his own Word would become flesh, passible flesh; that this Word-made-flesh would raise up the human race by suffering and dying for it—Lucifer would not tolerate it. His love of self turned inward. In his pride, he said: Non serviam: I will not serve God, I will not serve such a God, I will not serve such a plan. Lucifer rejected the supernatural in favor of the natural.

The man or woman who chooses virginity or celibacy for the kingdom of God is doing the opposite. In a way, he or she is setting aside the natural in favor of the supernatural. The virgin or celibate is relinquishing that which is most natural to the human being—to live in partnership with another of the opposite sex, finding in this community a friendship and fruitfulness intended for man from the beginning, written into his very bodily nature, as we see in the account of Eve’s being fashioned from the side of Adam and then brought to him as his wife.

Just as nothing is more natural to man than marriage, nothing more supremely testifies to the offering of oneself to God in love than relinquishing it for His sake. The life of the virgin or the celibate is a holocaust in imitation of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God. As the Word became flesh for our sakes, the consecrated soul makes of his or her own flesh a living word of total consent and surrender to God. The virgin or celibate is the supreme human sign of God’s radically self-emptying redemptive love—and the complete antithesis of Lucifer’s self-inversion.

But as the saints pray without ceasing and generate prayer in others, so the devil, who is a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44), lies without ceasing, and fathers ever more lies in his victims. He persuades people to think that celibacy or virginity is a denigration of marriage, that those who promote this higher state and calling are casting aspersions on the order of creation, the goodness of nature, the beauty of married love. He presents himself, at times, as a defender of these things, but only in a distorted way, as Luther was.

The devil wants the exclusive commitment of priests and religious to the Lord and His people to be diluted or abandoned, so that he can amplify and multiply his own infernal rebellion against the clothing of grace in favor of a naked nature he can call his own—and an army of followers he can call his own, who follow him to the emptiness and frustration of eternally denuded nature. Most of all, however, he sows the lie that man cannot be fulfilled apart from sex, from sexual experience and expression—that humans are maimed and impoverished if they do not enjoy the fleshly presence of another man or woman.

How subtle the strategy of Satan is! The ultimate impoverishment of man is, in reality, to live without God, to live without knowledge of or desire for his eternal communion with God in heaven. Since the priesthood and the religious life are both directly ordered to living out and proclaiming the reality and primacy of the Kingdom of Heaven, it is crucial for the well-being of mankind that priests and religious be unambiguous signs of our ultimate destiny—for in heaven, as Our Lord teaches, there is neither marrying nor giving in marriage. The one all-sufficient marriage in heaven is the perfect union of Christ and His Church.

This marriage of Christ and the Church has two special signs on earth that point to it: the sacrament of matrimony and the sacrament of the Eucharist. Therefore the devil attacks both of them.

He attacks marriage by undermining the goods of marriage: offspring (through contraception and abortion), fidelity (through fornication and adultery), and sacrament (through divorce and pastoral practices that countenance divorce).

He attacks the Holy Eucharist, which is the fleshly presence of the Savior and fully capable of satisfying our hunger for love in this life, by attacking the sacred liturgy, by tempting people to make it into an anthropocentric, horizontal self-celebration through which its very meaning is undermined, even if the sacrament may still have been effected.

Thus, the devil’s strategy is multifaceted.

He works to undermine the indissoluble covenant of marriage, which is the sacramental sign of the indestructible and superabundantly fruitful union of Christ and His Church. The contemporary war against marriage is also, indeed more deeply, a war against the nuptial union of Christ and the Church—a vain but frenzied effort to erase from the minds of men any memory of this glorious union consummated on the Cross.

He works to undermine the Most Holy Eucharist, which is the sign and cause of our communion with Christ and our highest participation in His self-oblation on the Cross.

He works to undermine the priesthood and religious life, which exemplify and effectively bring about in this world the ordering of all creation, through Christ, to the Father, who is the beginning and end of all things. The common element in all these attacks is the devil’s fury that anyone or anything natural should ever be subordinated to that which is supernatural—that a faithful, radical self-sacrifice should be the path of salvation and blessedness.


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Posted by on December 31, 2018 in Uncategorized




“You won’t believe what happened at the church today,” my wife, Pinkey, said to me in a kind of off-hand manner early in the evening on January 14, 1992.

She seemed unusually subdued, but since she was (and is) the Youth Minister at Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton (SEAS) Catholic Church, there were days when the challenges of her youthful constituents and other stresses in her ministry took a heavy toll. So, I was prepared to believe anything. But never in my wildest dreams would I have predicted what she was about to reveal.

“Father Jim has received the stigmata [bodily wounds replicating the five crucifixion wounds borne by Christ] and statues of the Blessed Virgin Mary are weeping at the church,” she informed me quietly.

It wasn’t that I did not believe her, but she was right all the same. I was not prepared for that disclosure. In fact, I was thunderstruck.

Father Jim Bruse, associate pastor, who was given a tee shirt by the SEAS youth group emblazoned “Father Flash” for the speed with which he often said Mass, singled out by God for an honor accorded Saint Francis of Assisi! It did not seem possible. Father Bruse, Fourth Degree Knight of Columbus, who seemed even younger than his 37 years. It couldn’t be.

I pressed her for details. She had heard earlier that day from another staff member about the weeping and the stigmata and had immediately gone to the rectory to see Father Bruse. He explained to her that the weeping had begun with an Our Lady of Grace statue at his parents’ house in Stafford on Thanksgiving Day the previous November. The stigmata came a month later on the day after Christmas, again at his parents’ home, although the wounds did not fully appear on both sides of his wrists and in his side and feet until the days following. Whilehe patiently explained these events to Pinkey, more like a bystander himself than a center of divine attention, a small plastic Madonna statue which was resting on his credenza began to cry. Not that the small religious icon was wracked with sobbing, of course, but water flowed copiously from the eyes and down the cheeks so that “crying” seemed the only appropriate term to describe what was clearly impossible for an inanimate, anhydrous object.

Since that momentous disclosure in mid-January 1992, I have seen approximately two dozen religious icons composed variously of plastic, metal, ceramic, plaster, porcelain and fiberglass weep in the same way. I have held small Madonna statues in my hands and watched their eyes fill with tears which then rolled down their cheeks and puddled at the bases of the figures. I have seen as many as six of these little statues weeping simultaneously.

Icons were seen weeping in the rectory, in the church at SEAS, in our home when Father Bruse came to dinner (even inside a glass-enclosed cabinet), and at numerous other locations. Stained and etched glass images of the Blessed Virgin Mary have shed tears, meaning as before that a clear liquid that certainly seemed to be water flowed from the eyes of the figures. Before it was over, dozens if not hundreds of statues and images, most of them representing the

Blessed Virgin Mary, wept under the scrutiny of thousands of observers. The weeping has been captured on film by professional and amateur photographers alike, even showing up on the first television broadcast about it on March 6,1992.

Other strange occurrences took place, too, such as statues and rosaries changing colors. In one mystifying case, a small Fatima statue of Our Lady rotated its colors for nearly half an hour inside the SEAS church before 20-30 witnesses. This occurred at least twice more on successive Saturdays and had happened many times before that. Several parishioners reported seeing the “miracle of the sun,” as has occurred at Medjugorje and other apparition sites, describing it in much the same way. Other parishioners saw strange, sometimes rotating, colors in the sky. They emphatically insist these were not rainbows and bore no resemblance to any rainbow they had ever seen. There have been whispered rumors of dramatic physical healings, at least two of which have been well documented.

This book presents a comprehensive report on these happenings which began less than seven years ago in the shadow of America’s capital. Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church is located in Lake Ridge, Virginia, a residential neighborhood which forms one of the many satellite communities supporting the employment needs of metropolitan Washington, DC. It is about 25 miles from the city, due south down that commuters’ nemesis: I-95. It is doubtful that there was any additional kind of inexplicable physical phenomena which took place here that is not reported in this book, although it is certain that there were many, many instances of similar occurrences which remain known only to those who experienced them plus a few confidantes or bystanders.

The “Journal” section of this book was mostly recorded at the time of the events noted, including some new material in this third edition which was withheldby request from earlier editions. Other reports were provided to me later. I have inserted them in the appropriate chronology. Altogether, the Journal describes an astonishing litany of supernatural activities, mostly weeping statues of Jesus and

Mary, that took place intensively and widely over a period of about six months and continued on a much more localized, low-key basis for more than a year afterward. Some persons claim to still see the “miracle of the sun” and there may be other strange things happening which are simply unreported. But for purposes of this book, the relevant period is from November l99l to May 1993. This is not the first demonstration of weeping statues, of course, nor has it been the last. This phenomenon has been widespread throughout the entire world in this century. In a chapter following the Journal, I will discuss some of those. But it seems safe to say that the quantity, variety and duration of weeping statues and other inexplicable phenomena which were associated with Father James Bruse were not only incomparably greater than any other similar display in history, but may actually have exceeded all of the others put together. Add to that the dramatic supernatural event of the stigmata being imposed upon a Catholic priest–only the second time in history that has occurred–and one can only conclude that God sent a virtual clarion call to humanity, certainly to America. We will consider hereafter what that clarion call, delivered through the Mother of God, might mean; in fact, what it certainly must mean.

This book, as I believe the weeping statues and other phenomena themselves were, is intended primarily for the skeptical, the worldly, the disbelieving, the doubtful, the uncomprehending and the searching. Of course, the message is vital for everyone and the faith enhancement is powerful even for those who are already devout. But, as Jesus said when questioned about his willingness to eat with tax collectors and other disreputables in his Jewish society, “People who are healthy do not need a doctor; sick people do. I have come to call sinners, not the self-righteous.” (Mk 2:17) In a subsequent chapter, I will speak directly to the various criticisms and challenges put forth against the weeping statues and other phenomena in Lake Ridge and elsewhere. But even those blessed with a strong Christian faith will find much here to ponder and appreciate. Sadly, as usual, those who will not look, shall not see, and those who refuse to listen, will not hear.

Deadened hearts are not moved by tears, even tears of blood. Without question, the single most unfortunate aspect of this enormous favor from the Lord has been the misunderstanding which has arisen from the response of the bishop of the Diocese of Arlington, in whose jurisdiction most of it occurred. Father Bruse is a priest of the Arlington diocese. As you will discover from the Journal, Bishop John R. Keating first learned of the weeping statues and Father Bruse’s stigmata wounds on January 2, 1992, in a phone call from our pastor, Father Daniel Hamilton. The next day, Father Hamilton brought him the small (about 8″ high) St. Elizabeth Seton statue which had wept apparent blood, and was still stained with it, and the taller Fatima statue which had flooded Fr. Hamilton’s dresser with its tears on New Year’s eve. Bishop Keating locked the two little statues away and scheduled an early meeting with Father Bruse. He asked Father Bruse to be examined by his personal physician and a psychiatrist (see the Journal). In the meantime, the bishop generic ativan 1 mg counseled further observation and a continuation of the public silence. This was perplexing to many of us who knew about the events and it became an increasing source of frustration and confusion.

Some of us wrote to Bishop Keating asking for his investigation. To my knowledge, no one received a reply to any of these letters. I know I did not. The bishop obviously believed that his approach of waiting and watching was the best response to the situation, but it is difficult to reconcile with an Ordinary’s duties under canon law. Father Michael Smith Foster, JCD, a canon law expert, has stated: “Because the bishop is responsible for public worship in the diocese, it is his responsibility to discern what is apparently miraculous and to approve of the gathering for public worship….

Should an apparently miraculous event occur, the people may petition the bishop to investigate what is happening. If the bishop determines that there is sufficient evidence for an investigation, he should begin a process which would lead to a decision concerning the supernatural character of the event…. Above all, for purposes of regulating the liturgical life of the diocese, the bishop’s responsibility is to assure that the people committed to his care are not being deceived and that something authentically miraculous has occurred, so others who wish may commemorate the sacred event in their worship. In exercising their episcopal oversight, bishops must be diligent in their search for the truth, open to the presence of the miraculous, and able to reject what is inauthentic or false.

Father Foster’s article is addressed to private revelations and apparitions, but their logic applies even more to physical phenomena. Finally, the ever-widening circle of parishioners, friends and relatives who learned of the weeping statues and Father Bruse grew to the point that the press did get wind of the matter. On March 6, 1992, the Washington CBS television affiliate, WUSA (Channel 9), broadcast the story on the 11:00 p.m. news. The

Washington Post and considerable other national and world press followed

promptly. The day before the story broke, the Chancery stated its position on the matter in a formal declaration to Father Hamilton. The full statement is included at Appendix A, but what it said, in a nutshell, is that since there was no overt divine message being delivered, there was nothing to investigate. This was certainly a peculiar determination since only physical phenomena can be investigated. Reports of apparitions and locutions cannot be investigated. They can merely be assessed as to whether they are consistent with Catholic faith and morals. In fact, the validity of apparitions is almost always determined by the accompaniment of inexplicable physical signs, such as the mysterious spring and subsequent miraculous healings at Lourdes or the incredible spinning and falling sun presented to 70,000 people at Fatima. How else can God give these private revelations His seal of authenticity? Barring some internal contradiction or conflict with Catholic doctrine and traditions, only inexplicable, external evidence can provide the necessary supernatural endorsement which will permit the Church to authorize its priests and faithful to consider the event as a genuine private revelation.

So the faithful in St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish and elsewhere were left to muddle through on their own. From that moment forward, the diocesan Chancery would essentially refuse to acknowledge even that anything out of the ordinary was happening. Further, Fathers Hamilton and Bruse were told to conduct one press conference on March 12 and thereafter to say nothing else and do nothing further which would encourage the faithful to believe that anything miraculous was happening around Father Bruse. Of course, the phenomena went right on, increasing in scope and variety.

Thousands of people witnessed innumerable statues, icons, crucifixes, rosaries and religious medals weep or change colors, sometimes both. The secular press continued to publish numerous stories, some with photos of statues weeping, until finally its news value was exhausted. Father Bruse and Father Hamilton refused numerous requests for interviews and talk show appearances. The diocesan newspaper, the Arlington Catholic Herald, published a cover story on March 19, using terms like “seeped” and “produced water,” and thereafter was silent on the


The problem with such “stone-walling,” as many politicians and others have discovered, is that just as nature abhors a vacuum, so questions seek answers, whether official or unofficial, correct or incorrect. The thousands of people who saw statues weep at various times did not need an official declaration to confirm what their eyes told them. Those who trusted in the eyewitness testimony and photographs of others were also satisfied as to the obvious Source of what was happening around Father Bruse.

But throughout the larger Church community, Bishop Keating’s determination to ignore the events inevitably generated a conclusion that he had condemned them as false. Thus, we were treated to the words of author Frank Orlin Johnson, Ph.D., in his book, Why Do Catholics Do That? A Guide to the Teachings and Practices of the Catholic Church. Dr. Johnson, who apparently never personally interviewed Father Bruse or anyone else knowledgeable about the weeping statues in Lake Ridge, Virginia, contrasted the “worthy of belief” weeping in Syracuse, Sicily, in 1953 (discussed hereafter at length in the chapter on “Statue Weepings Around the World”) with the “unworthy of belief” weepings involving Father Bruse. Using words for the Lake Ridge weepings like “put[tingJ a stop to the fuss” and “emotions…brought to the boil,” Johnson contrasted the Syracuse situation (where Pope John Paul II himself dedicated the massive Shrine of Our Lady of Tears in 1994) with Father Bruse and Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Church by saying the “two occurrences followed the distinction between religion and superstition, between devotion and hysteria…. In Lake Ridge, nobody saw the statue weep; they just saw puddles on the floor ‘afterward’… Nobody was cured of anything.”

The point here is that people expect an investigation of the inexplicable. And one which points to God as its cause produces an expectation in the faithful that the Church will represent them in ascertaining to the best of anyone’s ability whether God is manifesting Himself in some special way. He has done so countless times, either directly or through one of His saintly creations, especially the Blessed Virgin Mary, since Jesus Christ ascended to heaven. Even though these occasions add nothing to the deposit of Faith, they are continuing signs of God’s love for us and His desire to help us.

Perhaps even more to the point, however, is that these occasions usually bring an important message, whether explicitly stated or not. Father Bruse and the weeping statues, etc., at Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church, etc., are no exception. Bishop Keating’s decision to ignore the events is a mystery, a very unfortunate one. It did not leave a neutral opinion in its wake. It left a negative implication because the common response to such matters is to want to find out what is happening and why. The bishop’s apparent disinterest suggested that he must know something negative about the cause of the phenomena.

As for whether a message can be divined from silent, tearful statues of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we need look no further than the words of His Holiness John Paul II, the Vicar of Christ on earth: “The tears of the Madonna belong to the order of signs. She is a mother crying when she sees her children threatened by a spiritual or physical evil.” As noted by Agostino Bono in his story in the Arlington Catholic Herald, “When tears shed by Marian images are declared miraculous by the church, they take on an almost cosmic significance. They show concern for events past and forewarn of dangers to come. They are tears of prayer and hope.” But how can the origins be deemed miraculous if the responsible church official refuses to investigate and report? The contents of this book provide at least an unofficial report on a dramatic, astonishing and alarming communication from heaven. All names, dates and places identified are real. None of the photographs has been retouched in any way. Father Bruse at this writing is a fully accredited pastor at his own parish in the Arlington diocese, and much beloved by his parishioners. The material presented here is offered to you as accurately as my legal training, skills of expression, and powers of observation permit. Not once from the moment I learned about the statues crying and Father Bruse’s stigmata wounds until this moment has there been a hint of fraud or profiteering by any person even remotely connected with the events.
~By Jim Carney  

This book is in every sense a gift to your soul.

Your mother in heaven is crying for you.

Come back to her Son.

Come back to God.

Come home.

Dry her tears with prayers from your heart.

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Posted by on September 26, 2018 in Uncategorized


The battle for souls – The mystic Saints versus the Demons

The battle for souls -Stories of the attacks of the demons against modern day mystic saints

“….And to keep me from being too elated by the abundance of revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a Angel of Satan to beat me, to keep me from being too exalted.”
-St Paul to the Corinthians [2 Corinthians 12:7]

The primary mission of the mystics is to be victim souls—that is, they are especially called by God to suffer in union with Jesus for the conversion of souls. It is a spiritual battle for souls between God and the demons, where the victim soul is essentially the “battle ground”, and the stakes is the conversion of many persons who are at that moment in the hands of the devil.

For the majority of us, the devil and his demons prefer to wage a silent, hidden war, primarily because it is through this method that the demons stand the best chance of tempting and deceiving us, for if we physically saw a demon in its efforts to tempt and lead us to sin, we would be absolutely horrified by its hideous appearance and would in fact be strengthened in our resolutions against sin and evil deeds. So it is in our daily lives that most of us are subjugated to unseen temptations and attacks by the demonic spirits–but in the lives of certain mystics, God allows the malignant spirits to use open warfare.

“War! War against you and your spiritual director!”
When it comes to the mystic Saints however, there is much more at stake than one individual soul, for it is the victim soul who, through their mystical union with Jesus on the Cross, actually snatches souls out of Satan’s hands. And with the victim soul, the devil is met with resolute resistance from the one who has offered him/herself in union with Jesus for the conversion of sinners; and with the prospect of losing souls in his grasp, and unable to make the victim soul sin in any serious way, he takes the most fearful vengeance against them, using all the powers of hell in a demonic torrent of attacks in countless forms, all in an effort to cause the victim soul to despair and lose their trust and love for God.

So it is that in the case of many mystics, the battle with the demons is not hidden one but it is in fact open warfare. And this open battle is permitted by God to manifest to everyone the reality of both the devil and hell, which unfortunately many today try to disclaim the existence of. For the devil and the demons are very much a reality, and in their dealings with God’s mystic saints they show themselves in the most horrid and undisguised perversities of their vicious and corrupt nature, in the wicked hope of snatching from Christ the souls He loves, and for whom He has paid such a high a price in the shedding of His Precious Blood.

These battles between the demons and the victim souls are often epic, and terrible to witness or to even read of. Just one of many examples we will document below be that of St Gemma Galgani, who died in 1903. The devil, in the form of either a hideous, hairy, ape like man or sometimes in the form of a black dog who would grab her by the hair and rip her out of bed onto the floor, taking out clumps of hair in the process, and would proceed to beat her mercilessly, dislocating her shoulder among many other things in the process, horribly cursing God and shouting “War! War against you and your spiritual director!” (Those interested can read about Gemma’s epic battles against the demonic here).

But for the many reasons that God allows such diabolic and hellish attacks in the lives of the mystics, certainly one of these reasons is to teach us to have a great horror for grave sin. And so let us contemplate a few of these battles of the mystics vs. the demons, so as to gain some new perspectives on the beneficial fear that we should have within ourselves for sin.

The demons apparitions under different forms and what they mean
Before we get started with the stories of these epic spiritual battles in the lives of a number of 20th century Saints, it is very important to note that Satan and perhaps a good number of the higher ranking demons can appear in most any form imaginable–commonly called “phantasms”, the demons can visibly appear as any variety of animals and animal-like creatures, as Angels, Saints, the Virgin Mary and even as Jesus Christ Himself, as we shall see in the stories below. However, in this writers investigations of the lives of the mystics I would list the following as the most common forms. We should bear in mind that everything the devil and the demons do is in direct opposition to God and they often seek to mock God and anything that is holy and pertains to Him.
-Black ape or hairy man–Symbolizes satan’s mockery of Jesus, for he is really the “ape” of God.
-Black serpent or snake– Symbolizes satan’s intelligence and cunning temptations (as in the book of Genesis)
-Large black cats and black dogs make their appearances quite often in the lives of the mystics. Their precise symbolism seems to be unknown, but they both are very often used in physical attacks. Note, the demonic black dog is not to be confused with the large grey dog who often mysteriously appeared in the life of St John Bosco and whom literally saved his life on several occasions.
-Black human-shaped “shadow people” are also quite common, and are demons in “raw” form. Their purpose seems to be to terrorize and scare, hoping to lead the victim to despair.
-The devil has been often known to take on the form of a goat, to mock Jesus as the lamb of God who takes away the sins of humanity.
-Some of the Saints describe being watched by a pair of fiery-red glowing “burning” demonic eyes which contradicts the ever watchful “Eye of God”, which itself symbolizes the omnipresence and omniscience of God, who watches over all things.
For example on July 2, 1961 the four children of Garabandal, Spain purportedly saw a very large “Eye of God” above and to the right of the Blessed Virgin Mary as She was appearing to them. After the apparition, each of the children individually all described this to be precisely the “Eye of God” who presumably was revealing to the children that He is watching over all events..
Stories of the great battles between the victim souls and the demons

The devil drags Josefa Menendez into hell.

“The devil will work assiduously to make you fall, but My grace is more powerful than his infernal malice” -Jesus to Josefa Menendez, April 6, 1921

One of the many victim souls who had to undergo horrific attacks from the evil spirits was the Spanish born mystic, Josefa Menendez (1890-1923), who became a nun in France. The devil often appeared to her in the form of a terrifying black dog, a black snake, or in the form of a “shadow” man.

On December 4th, 1921 Josefa was violently pulled from her bed and she was thrown to the ground, and then pummeled by a barrage of demonic blows she was
made to listen to abominable blasphemies against Our Lord and Our Lady. Long hours were so spent, and the torture renewed on the two following nights. After one such terrible night, she wrote on the morning of Tuesday, 6th December:
“Unable to bear any more, I knelt beside my bed, endeavoring to forget the horror of that malevolent voice insulting Our Lord and Our Lady. Suddenly I heard gnashing of teeth and a yell of rage. Then all vanished and before me stood Our Lady, all loveliness.
“Do not fear, my daughter; I am here.”
“I told her how terrified I was of the devil, who made me suffer so much.
“He may torment you, but he has no power to harm you. His fury is very great on account of the souls that escape him . . . souls are of such great worth . . . If you but knew the value of a single soul!”
“Giving me her blessing, she said: ‘Do not fear.’
“I kissed her hand and she went away.”

Later Jesus appeared to Josefa, and she immediately told Him of her greatest concern–the fear that in those hellish torments that her soul had lost something of its purity, or at any rate of its former innocence. “Because I never know anything about all those things with which the devil torments me.”

Jesus replied to her: “Do not be afraid; your soul is steeped in My Blood, and none of that can stain it.”
Then alluding to a specific word which more than once in the preceding days had given her strength: “Your Mothers have found the word . . . “Abandonment”. The devil has no power but what is given him from on high. Tell your Mothers that I am supreme.” 
[The “mothers” in the quote of Jesus given to Josefa refer to the Mother Superior of her convent and also the Mother Master of Novices who was personally responsible for Josefa during that time period. -Editor]

Nevertheless, the demons sought to discourage her from her mission of sacrificing and suffering for souls, and they endeavored by all means to drive her to despair, and she overheard them saying such things as:
“You will be one of us! … we shall tire you out! … we shall overcome you! …Don’t let go of her; be on your guard to plague her in any way you can! … she must not escape!…we must induce her to despair! …

And in the life of Josefa Menendez there occurred an even greater phenomenon that is very rare in the lives of the Saints: God permitted the devil to take her down to hell. There, in hell, she spent long hours, sometimes a whole night, in unspeakable agonies. Though she was dragged down into the bottomless pit more than a hundred times, each sojourn seemed to her to be the first, and appeared to last countless ages.
She endured all the tortures of hell, with the one exception: that of the hatred of God. For Josefa, the most painful of these torments was to hear the horrid confessions of the damned, their cries of hatred, of pain and of despair.

Under the eyes of those in her convent, Josefa would suddenly disappear, and after long search she would be found thrown into some loft, or beneath heavy furniture, or in some unfrequented spot. In their
presence she was burnt, and without seeing the devil, they saw her clothes consumed and on her
body unmistakable traces of fire, which caused wounds that took very long to heal. Likewise the
effects of fire which burned her were seen on her garments and flesh; fragments of scorched
linen are still preserved to this day. Ten times in all Josefa was thus set on fire. She saw the devil vomit on her flames of which visible traces were seen not on her clothes only, but on her person. Painful wounds which took long to heal left on her body scars which she carried to the grave. The evil one suggested despairing thoughts, blasphemies, and wicked temptations that continued for days and nights, during which God hid Himself, and Josefa, bewildered, felt as if abandoned and at the mercy of the most ignoble and infamous of tormentors.

Yet, when at long last she came back to life, completely worn out and spent, her body
agonized with pain, she looked upon no suffering, however severe it may be, as too much to bear, “…if by it I should save a soul from that dreaded abode of torment.”

“In the night of 16th March towards ten o’clock,” wrote Josefa, “I became aware, as on the
preceding days, of a confused noise of cries and chains. I rose quickly and dressed, and
trembling with fright, knelt down near my bed. The uproar was approaching, and not knowing
what to do, I left the dormitory, and went to our Mother Superiors cell; then I came back to the
dormitory. The same terrifying sounds were all round me; then all of a sudden I saw in front of
me the devil himself.”
Tie her feet and bind her hands,” he cried. . . .

“Instantly I lost sight of where I was, and felt myself tightly bound and being dragged away.

Other voices screamed: “It is no good to bind her feet; it is her heart that you must bind.”
“It does not belong to me.” came the answer from the devil.

“Then I was dragged along a very dark and lengthy passage, and on all sides resounded
terrible cries. On opposite sides of the walls of this narrow corridor were niches out of which
poured smoke, though with very little flame, and which emitted an intolerable stench. From
these recesses came blaspheming voices, uttering impure words. Some cursed their bodies,
others their parents. Others, again reproached themselves with having refused grace, and not
avoided what they knew to be sinful. It was a medley of confused screams of rage and despair. I
was dragged through that kind of corridor, which seemed endless. Then I received a violent
punch which doubled me in two, and forced me into one of the niches. I felt as if I were being
pressed between two burning planks and pierced through and through with scorching needle
points. Opposite and beside me souls were blaspheming and cursing me. What caused me most
suffering . . . and with which no torture can be compared, was the anguish of my soul to find
myself separated from God. . . .

“It seemed to me that I spent long years in that hell, yet it lasted only six or seven hours. . . .
Suddenly I was violently pulled out of the niche, and I found myself in a dark place; after
striking me, the devil disappeared and left me free. . . . How can I describe my feelings on
realizing that I was still alive, and could still love God!

“I do not know what I am not ready to endure to avoid hell, in spite of my fear of pain. I see
clearly that all the sufferings of earth are nothing in comparison with the horror of no longer
being able to love, for in that place all breathes hatred and thirst to damn other souls.”
(Taken primarily from “Josefa Menendez, The Way of Divine Love”; TAN Books and Publishers, Inc, 1981)

The devil versus St Padre Pio
“The tempter, ever on the watch, wages war most violently against those whom he sees most careful to avoid sin” –St. Leo the Great, died, 461.

Many people throughout the world are well aware of the Italian priest affectionately named “Padre Pio” who bore the stigmata for exactly 50 years and 3 days—longer than any known stigmatic in the history of the Catholic church. The miracles God wrought through this holy Capuchin friar are also well known. But surely what is less known about him are the many demonic battles he was forced to undergo to snatch souls from the demons.

Padre Pio spent countless hours each day hearing the confessions of sinners, and the devil was to make him pay for bringing souls to Jesus. Father Joseph Martin, O.F.M. Cap. who was Padre Pio’s close companion the last three years of his life tells the story of how one night the devil beat Padre Pio so severely that he fell on the floor of his cell and cut his head quite badly. The next morning, when Father Martin came to his aid and asked what had happened, Padre had told him how the devil had beat him. Furthermore, a blood-stained pillow, which is kept to this day in his cell at Our Lady of Grace Friary had been found underneath the Padre’s head. When asked where all the blood on it came from, he claimed that the Blessed Virgin Mary had placed it under his head during the night, while She consoled and comforted him.

But there were many other times where Padre Pio was beaten by the demons, as stated in his letters to his spiritual director:
“The ogre [devil] won’t admit defeat. He has appeared in almost every form. For the past few days he has paid me visits along with some of his satellites armed with clubs and iron weapons and, what is worse, in their own form as devils. I cannot tell you how many times he has thrown me out of bed, and dragged me around the room. But never mind! Jesus, our dear Mother, my little Angel, St. Joseph and our father St. Francis are almost always with me …. (Letter to Padre Agostino, Jan. 18, 1912.)

The devil does not cease to appear to me in his horrible forms and to beat me in the most terrible manner …. (Letter to Padre Agostino, March 21, 1912.)

I had a very bad time the night before last; from about 10pm, when I was in bed, until five o’clock in the morning, that wretch did nothing but beat me continually. At five in the morning, when that wretch left me, my whole body became so cold that I trembled from head to foot like a reed exposed to a violent wind. This lasted for a couple of hours. I spat blood …. (Letter to Padre Agostino, June 28, 1912.)

Listen to what I had to endure a few evenings ago from those impure apostates. The night was already well advanced when they began their attack with the most hellish noises, and although I saw nothing in the beginning, I understood who was making the strange noise. Instead of being frightened, I got ready to fight them with a scornful smile on my lips. Then they appeared to me in the most abominable forms and to make me act dishonorably they began to present themselves to me all dressed up [as a woman], but, thank heaven, I scolded them severely and treated them as they deserve. 

Then, when they saw all their efforts going up in smoke, they hurled themselves on me, threw me to the ground and proceeded to beat me very severely, throwing pillows, books and chairs around the room, with desperate shrieks and most obscene lan­guage …. (Letter to Padre Agostino, Jan. 18, 1913.)

They flung themselves upon me like so many hungry tigers, curs­ing me and threatening to make me pay for it. My dear Father, they kept their word! From that day onward they have beaten me every day …. (Letter to Padre Agostino, Feb. 1,1913.)

Jesus never stops loving me in spite of all my shortcomings, for he allows those ugly-faced creatures to afflict me incessantly. For the past twenty-two days Jesus has allowed them to vent their anger on me continually. My body, dear Father, is bruised all over, from all the blows it has received at the hands of our ene­mies. More than once they even went so far as to pull off my nightshirt and beat me in that state …. (Letter to Padre Agostino, Feb. 13, 1913.)

Satan with his malignant ways never tires of waging war on me and attacking my little citadel, besieging it on all sides. In a word, Satan is for me like a powerful foe who, when he resolves to capture a fortress is not content to attack one wall or one ram­part, but surrounds it entirely, attacks and torments it on every side …. (Letter to Padre Benedetto, Aug. 4,1917.)

So far we have seen how Lucifer is a frightening adversary, most especially for the victim souls who are called to suffer for the conversion of sinners. The devil is in fact very powerful and should be taken seriously. In closing with St Padre Pio, let us read his words which tells us just how powerful a enemy we have in the devil:
“We must have no illusions about the enemy who is exceedingly strong, if we do not intend to surrender. In the light infused by God the soul understands the great danger to which it is exposed, if it is not continually on its guard”. -Letter to Padre Agostino, St Padre Pio, May 9,1915.

The devil tries to appear in disguise as Jesus
It should be of no wonder to us that the demons often try to appear as Angels, Saints, the Blessed Virgin Mary or even Jesus Himself, since the Scriptures themselves warn us to be on our guard, stating that Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light”.  [2 Corinthians 11:14].

In light of this we see how in her journal Josefa Menendez writes:
On the night of the 13th or 14th of January, 1922 that the devil began once more to torture me. He tried to force me to abandon my vocation. In his increasing fury he even tried to ensnare me by taking on the appearance of Jesus .”

In fact the devil continued to try to appear as Jesus so to remedy this problem her spiritual director, Father Boyer O.P. at first had her renew her profession vows [as a nun] whenever a “heavenly” visitor would appear, and later upon the appearance of any “visitor” he told her to recite the ‘Divine Praises’ of which she asked the visitors to repeat after her. In their great pride and hatred for God the demons could never utter any of the “Blessings” of the Divine Praises [ie- the “Blessed be God” and “Blessed be Jesus Christ” etc..]

Josefa’s spiritual director most assuredly discovered this new powerful weapon against the demons disguises from the life of St Gemma Galgani (1878-1903), for it was precisely through the reciting of the “Divine Praises” that Gemma was finally able to thwart the devil who was frequently appearing to her under different disguises in an effort to deceive her. For as Gemma learned (thanks to her spiritual director, Venerable Fr. Germanus C.P.) that the devil with his polluted lips is never able to utter such words of praise and benediction.

In the life of Blessed Alexandrina da Costa (1904-1955) –a Portuguese mystic and stigmatic of whom we will speak more about below—we read another occurrence of the devil making himself out to be Jesus. In this case Blessed Alexandrina writes:
“Every now and then I see a rapid light. Twice I have seen two very big eyes, wide open, staring at me, but they disappeared quickly. On Sunday, I heard a very sweet voice saying, ‘My daughter, I come to tell you not to write anything of what you see: your sight is deceiving you. Don’t you feel how weak you are? You displease me with this; it is your Jesus who speaks to you, not Satan.’ 
I was suspicious and began to kiss the crucifix. The voice became enraged and thundered, ‘If you continue to write I will destroy your body. Do you think I cannot do this?’ (From the writings of Blessed Alexandrina da Costa, 1934)

The devil appears as a Priest -Two cases
“Go ahead and pray for yourself, but if you pray for others I will make you pay dearly for it! -Lucifer to St Gemma Galgani
The attacks that the demons waged against the Italian mystic and stigmatic St Gemma Galgani are legendary. Known for her extraordinary virtues and a deep love for Jesus and Mary, Gemma was only 25 when she died in 1903 having reached a high degree of sanctity. The devil appeared to her in many different forms: a hairy man and a black dog–both of whom would beat her mercilessly; a black “panther” like cat; and as an “angel” resplendent with light.

The devil even carried these wicked disguises so far as to feign to be a priest to whom Gemma used to make her confession to–Monsignor Giovanni Volpi, a priest whom she had known for almost her entire life! She had gone one day to Church, and while preparing herself to make her confession, she saw that Monsignor Volpi was already in the confessional, a fact which caused her to momentarily wonder, having not seen him pass and enter. At the same time she began to feel very much disturbed in spirit, as generally happened to her when in the presence of the malignant spirits.

She entered the confessional however, and began her confession as usual. The voice and ways were indeed those of the confessor she knew since childhood, but his words and advice were not pious, and were accompanied by improper gestures. “My God”she exclaimed, “what has happened?”
At such a sight and at such words the angelic child trembled, and realizing it was the devil in disguise, she hurriedly left the confessional, and saw as she did so that the pretended “confessor” had disappeared. She knew then that it was the devil, who by his coarse and fiendish ways had sought to deceive her, or at least make her lose all confidence in the minister of God.

In the life of St Dominic (1170-1221), the great founder of the Dominican Order, we read the following:
“The servant of God, who had neither bed nor cell of his own, had publicly commanded his fellow Priests and Brothers that they should retire to bed at a certain hour, so as to be able to arise at a later hour for Matins, and as their superior and the founder of their Community his instructions, of course, were strictly obeyed.

Now, at that time Dominic, the holy man of God, had no bed or cell, and rested before the Lord in the church, the devil appeared before him in the form of one of his fellow religious, and since it was past the prohibited time, the Saint went softly up to him, and expressed his desired for him to go to his cell, and sleep with the others.

The pretended friar inclined his head in sign of humble obedience, and went as he was told; but on each of the two following nights, he returned at the same hour and in the same manner. The second time, the man of God rose very gently (although, indeed, he had reason to be somewhat angry, seeing he had already reminded his fellow priest the night before), and again asked him to go to his cell for rest. Once again, he went; but in the same manner the following evening he returned yet a third time.

Then it seemed to the Saint that the disobedience and pertinacity of this brother priest was too great, and he reproved him with some severity; and the demon, who desired nothing else but to disturb his prayer, stir anger within him, and move him to break the silence, gave a loud laugh, and, leaping high into the air, he said:
“I have made you break the silence, and moved you to wrath!”

But Dominic calmly replied, ‘Not so, for as superior of the Community I have power to dispense; and neither is it blameworthy wrath when I utter reproofs unto the disobedient.’

And with this truthful reply the demon was obliged to fly.
(Taken from “The Life of Saint Dominic” by August Theodosia Drane, published by TAN Books and Publishers)

The devil appears as a Saint
In his memoirs, the holy Benedictine Abbott Guibert of Nogent (1055-1124) tells of a story of a compatriot of his who unfortunately for him had sexual relations outside of marriage. Afterwards, having felt deep remorse for the grave sin that he had committed, he decided to make a pilgrimage to the shrine of Saint James of Galicia to seek the Saints holy intercession, as Saint James was very popular in that locale at that time.

After having set off on his pilgrimage, he was suddenly surprised by a vision of Saint James of Galicia (that is, the Saint in whom he was invoking on his pilgrimage). Impressed by this surprising vision he listened attentively to the “Saint” who with a stern voice and forceful appearance reminded the man of the Gospel teaching “If you hand causes you to sin, cut it off” [Matt 5:30] and thus told the man that he needed to take his knife and cutoff his private part, in reparation for his sin. Immediately the man did so, out of obedience.

A few moments later, after having recovered somewhat from his self induced injury, the “Saint” then told the man that it was necessary for him to now cut his throat. Fearing the anger of God and that of the “Saint” the man then raised the knife to his throat, when suddenly there appeared before him the Blessed Virgin Mary, who looking directly at the man simply stated “NO!” Next the Blessed Virgin turned to the “Saint” apparition, and upon setting Her heavenly gaze upon the “Saint”, it let out a angry shriek and then suddenly disappeared. Thus we see how in this instance the Blessed Virgin Mary Herself interceded and put an end to the demons ruse.

The Devil versus Alexandrina da Costa
Among the many mystics and stigmatists in the Church of recent memory is Blessed Alexandrina da Costa (1904-1955). The malevolent spirits waged a hellish war against her to try to get her to abandon her mission as a victim soul. Here are a few examples of the demonic attacks:
“There are days when the devil makes me feel so exhausted and puts so many evil suggestions and doubts into my mind, that were it not for the goodness of God, he would have won over me already… He has tempted me so much that on some days I feel that Hell itself is about to engulf me. He urges me to kill myself, and says he will give me the means to do this without any pain. He adds that I am suffering here for no recompense, that Our Lord does not love me at all, that my spiritual director does not believe a word of what I write to him, that what I hear and feel within myself when Our Lord speaks to me is caused by the weather, or by my illness.”

Alexandrina was tormented by these demonic verbal assaults for many years. Here is another example of the diabolical attacks:
“If it were not for that imposter which you hold in your hand I would put a foot on your neck. [Alexandrina was holding a crucifix] I would reduce your body to a pulp. But you will see that He will do this to you himself. You will then wish to come to me, but I will not accept you. Thank that object of superstition [crucifix] … I don’t fear it anymore, but I hate it!

And yet another:
“Excommunication! A thousand excommunications if you continue to write to your spiritual director! Already you are burning in Hell. Be converted, unhappy one! Be converted, miserable wretch! It is the affection I have for you that makes me speak in this way. I come now from your Christ who told me to take you, because he can no longer save you. He was distressed by your writings….

And here is one of the demons many physical appearances to Alexandrina:
“One moonlit night after prayers I felt a need to sleep, when suddenly into my room came a great darkness … I perceived a black shadow and saw it jump towards me, and it said to me, ‘I come on behalf of your Christ to carry you to Hell, bed and all.’
I kissed the crucifix and the voice continued,
‘You kiss that wicked thing!’
He then tried to order me to do things that I cannot speak of … It was only when I blessed myself with holy water that I was left in peace….”

(Primary source for the above quotes is from “Alexandrina da Costa: The Agony and the Glory” by Francis Johnston, TAN Books and Publishers, Inc., 1979.)

Names that the mystics used for the devil
The nicknames that some of the Saints had for the devil would be humorous, if only this matter was not so serious and the devil was not as wicked as he is, and hell bent on destroying us and damning our souls.

St John Vianney, the holy Cure of Ars, nicknamed the devil “Grappin”, which literally means “the wrestler”. This was in fact a very suitable term since the devil often attacked him at night, and even tried to burn his straw bed while the Saint was lying in it! St Padre Pio called the devil the “Ogre”, which means “hairy, beast-like man”. St Gemma called the devil “Chiappino”, which is the equivalent of “burglar” or “thief”.

Other Saints who were oppressed by the demons
Those interested in further exploring this subject can find more of these events in the lives of Marthe Robin (1902-1981) -in her case, the devil was so enraged over her joining the Third Order of St. Francis that he had struck her a blow to the face, breaking two of her teeth, also Therese Neumann of Konnerseuth (1898-1962), Venerable Anne Catherine Emmerich (1774-1824) who once received blows to the face from the devil who appeared to her, like he also did to St Gemma, that is, in the form of a large black dog, St Teresa of Avila, St Joseph or Copertino, St Paul of the Cross and St Dominic, just to name a few of the many.

Additionally, those interested in this subject may find the following articles very interesting:
St Gemma versus the devil and also How to get rid of evil spirits
The devil, in the form of a great black dog, put his paws upon my shoulders, making every bone in my body ache. At times I believed that he would mangle me; then one time, when I was blessing myself with holy water, he twisted my arm so cruelly that I fell to the ground in great pain. After a while I remembered that I had around my neck the relic of the Holy Cross. Making the Sign of the Cross, I became calm. Jesus let me see Himself, but only for a short time, and He strengthened me anew to suffer and struggle.” -St Gemma Galgani

Credit: Mystics of the Church

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Posted by on February 27, 2017 in Uncategorized


Do Souls in Purgatory Return from the Dead?

Yes, they sometimes do.
Should we be terrified or grateful?


We don’t hear a lot about purgatory these days, and that’s a shame, because most of us will be very lucky to slip in there rather than dropping straight into hell. And lest anyone complain that God is mean or judgmental in sending people to hell, it is well to remember that it’s entirely our own doing, having used the gift of free will to tell God, “Nah, I won’t,” or more often today, “Meh.”

What a (terrifying, creepy but marvelous) gift it would be if, one night, we were awakened by the presence of a deceased family member or friend asking for our prayers and sacrifices, for masses to be said to gain their release from purgatory. And especially if that suffering soul left a permanent mark so that—by the light of day and forever after—we would know that the visit hadn’t been a nightmare occasioned by too much wine and scampi for dinner.

In Jesus’ parable of the rich man and Lazarus (Lk 16:19–31), Dives, from hell, begs Father Abraham to send “someone from the dead” to warn his brothers to repent. Abraham replies: “If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead.” The reference, of course, was to Jesus’ own Resurrection, but in his great mercy, the Lord has also sent many emissaries from the dead to the living and they have left proof behind.

By “proof” I’m not referring to the many written testimonies of saints concerning purgatory or hell—sts. Margaret Mary Alacoque, Gertrude, Bridget of Sweden, John Vianney, Maria Faustina, Catherine of Siena, Catherine of Genoa et al.—and visionaries such as the children of Fatima or Kibeho, Medjugorje or Garabandal—compelling though they are. But actual concrete proof, housed in a small room off the vestry of a church in Rome, the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Prati (also called Sacro Cuore del Suffragio or the Sacred Heart of Suffrage). The neo-Gothic church, completed in 1917, is situated on the Tiber River, ten minutes from St. Peter’s Square.  It is unique in being home to the Little Purgatory Museum (Piccolo Museo del Purgatorio).

The mission of the Order of the Sacred Heart, founded in 1854 in France, was to pray for and offer masses for the repose of the souls in purgatory. Their chapel in Rome, dedicated to our Lady of the Rosary, was largely destroyed by fire on September 15, 1897. After the fire the priest assigned to the chapel, Fr. Victor Jouet, was astonished to see the image of a suffering face of what appeared to be a soul in purgatory on one of the charred walls. He obtained the permission of Pope Pius X to travel around Europe, collecting relics that bore evidence of visits from souls in purgatory.

One relic in the museum shows a section of wood from the desk belonging to Ven. Mother Isabella Fornari, Abbess of the Poor Clares Monastery of St. Francis in Todi. Mother Isabella was visited by the deceased former abbott, a Father Panzini, of the Benedictine Olivetan Order in Mantua, on November 1, 1731. To show her that he was suffering in purgatory, he placed his left “flaming” hand on her writing desk, leaving a scorched handprint, and also etched a cross in the wood with his burning forefinger. For good measure he placed his hand on the sleeve of her tunic, which burned through to her chemise and burned her arm to the point that it bled. Reporting the event to her confessor, Holy Cross Father Isidoro Gazata, the latter asked her to cut out the sections of tunic and chemise and to give him the small desk for safekeeping. All were determined to be of supernatural origin.

In 1815, Margherite Demmerlé (who lived in the Diocese of Metz) was visited by a soul who identified herself as her mother-in-law, who had died in childbirth 30 years earlier. She asked Margherite to go on a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Mariental and to request that two masses be said there for her. Margherite asked her for a sign, and the soul put her hand on the book Margherite had been reading—The Imitation of Christ—leaving her handprint on the open page. Her mother-in-law returned to her after the pilgrimage and masses had been said to thank her and tell her she’d been released from purgatory.

In 1875, Luisa Le Sénèchal, who had been dead for two years, appeared to her husband, Luigi, in their home in Ducey, France. Asking for his prayers, she left scorch marks of her five fingers on his nightcap as concrete proof for their daughter of her request to have masses said for the repose of her soul.

About a dozen more artifacts of this nature can be seen in the Little Museum of Purgatory.

These examples are not meant to shock or frighten, and many, many more can be found in books authored by the renowned 19th century French Jesuit, Father F.X. Schouppe: Purgatory Explained, for example. He wrote:

In giving us a warning of this kind, God shows us a great mercy. He urges us, in the most efficacious manner, to assist the poor suffering souls, and to be vigilant in our [own] regard.

Those who do think about the four last things may entertain a curiosity about purgatory. While the Church does not claim to know the nature of the suffering endured by the souls in purgatory, comments by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and the writings of St. Catherine of Genoa (1447–1510), especially her “Treatise on Purgatory,” are instructive. She described purgatory not as a place engulfed in flames, but rather a state in which souls experience the torment of interior flames as they recognize their profound sinfulness in the face of the perfection of God’s holiness and love for them.

Blessed John Henry Newman composed the beautiful “Prayer for the Faithful Departed for the souls in purgatory. In the month dedicated to the faithful departed, we’d do well to recite this often:

O GOD of the Spirits of all flesh, O Jesu, Lover of souls, we recommend unto Thee the souls of all those Thy servants, who have departed with the sign of faith and sleep the sleep of peace. We beseech Thee, O Lord and Saviour, that, as in Thy mercy to them Thou became man, so now Thou would hasten the time, and admit them to Thy presence above. Remember, O Lord, that they are Thy creatures, not made by strange gods, but by Thee, the only Living and True God; for there is no other God but Thou, and none that can equal Thy works. Let their souls rejoice in Thy light, and impute not to them their former iniquities, which they committed through the violence of passion, or the corrupt habits of their fallen nature. For, although they have sinned, yet they always firmly believed in the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; and before they died, they reconciled themselves to Thee by true contrition and the Sacraments of Thy Church.

O Gracious Lord, we beseech Thee, remember not against them the sins of their youth and their ignorances; but according to Thy great mercy, be mindful of them in Thy heavenly glory. May the heavens be opened to them, and the Angels rejoice with them. May the Archangel St. Michael conduct them to Thee. May Thy holy Angels come forth to meet them, and carry them to the city of the heavenly Jerusalem. May St. Peter, to whom Thou gave the keys of the kingdom of heaven, receive them. May St. Paul, the vessel of election, stand by them. May St. John, the beloved disciple, who had the revelation of the secrets of heaven, intercede for them. May all the Holy Apostles, who received from Thee the power of binding and loosing, pray for them. May all the Saints and elect of God, who in this world suffered torments for Thy Name, befriend them; that, being freed from the prison beneath, they may be admitted into the glories of that kingdom, where with the Father and the Holy Ghost Thou lives and reigns one God, world without end.

Come to their assistance, all ye Saints of God; gain for them deliverance from their place of punishment; meet them, all ye Angels; receive these holy souls, and present them before the Lord. Eternal rest give to them, O Lord. And may perpetual light shine on them.
May they rest in peace. Amen.

Mehdi Bouhalassa

by: Susan E. Wills

Susan E. Wills, JD, LLM left the practice of law to join the USCCB Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, where she served for 20 years as Asst. Director for Education and Outreach until her retirement in 2013. She now serves as Aleteia’s English edition Sprituality Editor.

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Posted by on November 16, 2016 in Uncategorized



It seems, does it not, that the “veil” is thinning? Everywhere we turn, folks seem to have more accounts of the supernatural than ever before, at least in our current memory, which means a generation.

There have been runs — rashes — of various manifestations. In the 1980s, there was an eruption of alleged apparitions of the Blessed Mother, apparitions that continue around this world to this day. In the 1990s, angels were all the rage — manifesting very boldly, and filling bestsellers. There has been the demonic: spiritual warfare perhaps has never been so obvious. (Its manifestations could fill an encyclopedia and continue to gain momentum). There are so many now who report signs from the deceased, which is among the topics covered in a book we have just released, The Spirits Around Us.

A thin veil indeed! The theology of modernism misses it. There are the “spirits around us”: never before has the mainstream media reported on so many alleged “paranormal” events. The brilliant Father John Hampsch of California has issued a little booklet called Poltergeists and Seven Types of Ghosts, which also covers such topics.

Just last July — in a single day — were the eerie reports of ghost lights that led researchers to discover a mass historic grave in Malvern, Pennsylvania; the study focusing on an “epidemic” of possession (by spirits) in Mozambique; and the news story — on normally skeptical CNN — of  young “ghost-hunters” who were listening for the sounds of a legendary “ghost” train (there had been a crash in 1891). One of these ghost hunters was killed and another severely injured when a real train came by and ran them over (at three a.m. on a  Friday last month).

About three a.m.: why does this continue to pop up in accounts of both spiritual and occult occurrences? Is it the devil’s hour (the dark reverse of the Hour of Mercy) or simply a time of night when (again) the veil thins?

Another recent e-mail: “We had a house fire at three a.m. that destroyed our home and instantly gave glory to Our Lord moments after the fire when we found out our family of six had made it out alive, but in the months to follow my husband became very angry — almost consumed with uncontrollable anger (we prayed for almost a year together and turned to therapy and eventually to depression medications but nothing seemed to help) and then we made a family pilgrimage to a shrine after my uncle’s 80th birthday and my husband felt compelled — drawn — to a St. Michael statue. It was at that moment in prayer that our four- year-old asked my husband to bend down (thinking he wanted to tell him something, he did), and blessed him with a Sign of the Cross on the head with the Holy Water from the spring Mother Mary brought about and told his daddy that God wanted his heart to be happy again. My husband said it was as if his heart became on fire and blackness melted from it!”

Ah, yes: this is the week of Michael! He is with us as this battle become so visible. We have a report that the person who received the 1990 prophecy has received another missive, about which we are discerning and perhaps will discuss next week.

Might it be that Heaven is pouring out graces as we approach climactic spiritual times — and battles?

Of course, be careful of alleged apparitions. The enemy is behind our lines of defense. But with God we have protection.

Wrote Sherri Cinquina: “I am feeling confused about a certain subject that I feel isn’t wrong: to fire-waterinvestigate and expel spirits from homes when people are being haunted!  I believe in my Catholic faith, but am confused to why doing this is wrong. It doesn’t seem wrong when I bless my home from evil spirits from entering. So why would helping people who are being haunted, like on the shows ‘Paranormal State’ or ‘Ghost Hunters’:  families reporting evidence of these things happening to a certain place; isn’t the ghost or evil spirit already active? It’s not like going in and disturbing the deceased when they are already active. I believe there are spirits of the deceased who are stuck.  Can you clear this up for me? 

“And another question.  What is the difference between a saint who has had visions or premonitions, or a person like who has had bad feelings about something that is going to occur. Am I considered what the world may say is psychic, or someone who has a real spiritual gift of God to know certain things?  Does it not say in the bible that men will dream dreams and see visions before the day of the Lord? I just don’t understand when the Church is so full of mystics, yet mediums or ghost hunting are considered bad when history of our faith has done the same thing.”

The problem with mediums and channelers (and psychics) is that they are contacting spirits through an initiative of their own (that’s necromancy), and doing so without Jesus. Only in His Name can these matters be approached. They are dangerous because “ghosts” can be demons. Are there spontaneous gifts of the Spirit? Absolutely. But they are hard to trust unless a person is very prayerful, and frequents the sacraments (which clarify our discernment). Contact with the deceased should not be initiated, though there are times they may try to communicate with us (to console us or seek our prayers).

Yet, far be it for us to know the secrets of discernment. Unusual photographs. Images in nature. Some of it seems too spooky and as always one has to be wary of Satan’s deceptions and the occult or New Age.

For example, there are the images above, taken at a church. First a strange orange glow showed up, then right after that the figure on the right. You tell us. Maybe — as always, maybe — it is a trick of the lens.

But much seems to be communicated from Heaven, as the devil tries to confuse or obscure it or flood it with false revelation.

Let’s just remain simple.
As for this photo on
the left

“My children, thought I should send this in to share,” wrote a viewer named Mary Martuscello. “We were going through pictures and happen to notice this manifestation! Funny thing is, we never noticed it before now. Maybe our hearts weren’t ready back then. That was taken about 1996 or 1997. The kids seem to think there is a halo around the whole head. While having a certain healing  priest visit from time to time, he would tell us that he would see Our Lord and Our Lady with our children. Now we wonder if that is what he saw. He is now deceased.”

[resources: The Spirits Around Us and Poltergeists and Seven Types of Ghosts]

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Posted by on October 30, 2016 in Uncategorized




“The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes.“ (Joel 2:31)
“The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day.” (Acts 2:20)

The Holy Spirit has commanded me to address the 2014-15 astronomic phenomena of Four Blood Moons with a total eclipse of the sun in the middle of the Blood Moons as a harbinger of three sequential events: the debut of The AntichristThe Three Days of Darkness and Christ’s Second Coming. This lunar tetrad falling on the Jewish feasts of Passover is unique in the 21st century.

The article Divine Mercy and Second Coming presents messages of Jesus and His Mother to Sister Faustina about The End Times. The following message in May 1935 is particularly revealing: “You will prepare the world for My final coming.” (Diary 429)

“And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” (Luke 21:25-28)

Refer to the article Christ’s Second Coming.

 “But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:36)

Brethren, strengthen your spirituality to resist to The Antichrist. Repent and convert per the articles Conversion and Second Coming and Be Born Again. 

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
“For God has destined us not for wrath but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:9)

Brethren, embrace Christ’s Infinite Mercy as early as possible ahead of The Antichrist. Enlist yourself among Christ’s elected to meet Him on the clouds in His Second Coming.

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Posted by on August 23, 2016 in Uncategorized


Pray for the Triumph of our Lady’s Immaculate Heart!

Signs? Tensions Rise in Ukraine and Russia..Malachi Martin: Priest, Vatican Insider Who Read Third Secret of Fatima said: “The Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary will start from Ukraine and begin at the latest in 2017″

Wall Street Journal writes today:

Dispute Between Russia and Ukraine Over Crimea Accusations Escalates

MOSCOW—Ukraine’s president put his country’s forces on combat alert Thursday as Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed stepped-up security measures in the annexed territory of Crimea, escalating a crisis around the Black Sea peninsula. President Petro Poroshenko met with his security advisers, ordering them to bring all units along the Crimean frontier and in eastern Ukraine to “increased combat-readiness,” according to an official statement.

The Ukrainian military also said it had conducted pre-planned exercises involving fighter and bomber aircraft.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko ordered Thursday to put all military units near the border with Crimea and in Donbass on high combat readiness.

Poroshenko said on Twitter.  “Held a meeting with the leadership of defense agencies and the foreign ministry…ordered to put all units near the administrative border with Crimea and along the entire line of contact in Donbass on high readiness,”

Catholic Prophecy: Malachi Martin before his death had some extraordinary things to say about Fatima, the Third Secret, Russia and the Ukraine.

Father Malachi Martin a Vatican insider and close confidant of Popes claims he read the  “Third Secret of Fatima”

In his book, The Last Prophet,  Malachi Martin wrote that  “The Salvation for the world, will start in Russia.”  Malachi Martin was convinced that the Triumph of the Immaculate heart of Mary will begin at the latest in 2017

Malachi also said that this Triumph will start from Ukraine. Mysteriously  Malachi was sure that the anti-Christ was already in life.

Malachi Martin the Last Prophet II

35-225x300Russia´s role in the Vision of Fatima is very important because if we´re to believe the Vision of Fatima, salvation for the world, the cure for the world ills, will start in the Ukraine and in Russia, and that was why the Virgin in the Fatima vision of 1917 was supposed to have spoken actively about Russia and that Russia first of all has to be cured of her errors and then she will help the entire world to get better and to cure itself of its sins. It´s a very bizarre message in that sense because one would have said that salvation was going to come from the West as we always think because we are Westerners, but no, according to the message of Fatima, salvation will come from the East, and particularly, from Ukraine and from the State of Russia itself, which is extraordinary.

Malachi also  believed that the last Pope could be an antipope

Fatima : 1996 Fr Malachi Martin interview Third Secret involves Russia

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Posted by on August 12, 2016 in Uncategorized