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For cautious discernment:


They call it a "pilgrim Crucifix," and according to friends and correspondents of ours on Long Island, remarkable things seem to follow it.

It's said to bleed. There are reports of healings. When it was taken by the Long Islanders, Andrea and Patrick Walshe, plus friends, to a Hempstead abortion clinic, planes apparently passed overhead while they were praying the Divine Mercy chaplet, and suddenly a Cross formed above them in the sky.

"There have been many conversions and healings through this Crucifix," they write us. "The Crucifix itself is only three-and-a-half feet tall and different manifestations occur even when just taking a picture. Notice the stomach; there is a face that resembles Jesus wearing a cowl. To see this beautiful Crucifix in person, it is actually almost black. Our Blessed Mother told the owner that it was due to man's sin. It is quite amazing. One of the beautiful manifestations that was left in our home is the smell of incense. Sometimes it has been so strong people want to know what church incense it is."

And so we offer it up for discernment, with caution, of course, even with a Crucifix. But with an open mind (always fast first). As a flyer accompanying the photographs explains:

"The pilgrim Crucifix belongs to Mileny Peňa who lives in Bogota, Colombia. Mileny was a non-believer until her twentieth birthday when she began receiving [alleged] apparitions of the Blessed Mother. She converted and became a Christian because of the apparitions. She adopted a girl who was in prostitution and drugs. Mileny reformed this girl. One day they both went to a store called Luminday and Mileny fell in love with this Crucifix. Unable to afford it, the adopted girl put it on layaway and gave it to Mileny on Mother's Day.

"Soon after, the Christ on the Cross began to ooze oil and sometimes sweat blood through the wounds. Mileny asked the Blessed Mother the reason why, and her reply was for the nonbelievers to believe in Him and those who believe to strengthen their faith.

"The Blessed Mother had told Mileny the reason we can not touch the image on the Cross is because it is so immensely Divine that because we are still on earth  and we are sinners, if we touch Him, the manifestations will stop. So we refrain from touching Him.

"The Blessed Mother has requested that the Crucifix remain in the United States to bless, heal, and convert sinners, to protect us from disasters and also for the priests to renew their first call to priesthood. Also to visit nuns, seminarians, and sick people. The image has traveled to many countries, states, and churches: Florida, Alabama, New Jersey, Washington, Maryland, St. Patrick's Cathedral, and various churches all over the world.

"Mileny is well-known in Colombia by many priests and bishops. She belongs to the Third Order of Franciscan Missionaries. She is very poor and has no monetary means but through donations she has been able to travel with the Crucifix all over the world."

And so we discern. It is a time, for sure, of disorientation in our secular and clerical worlds. But it is also a time of signs.

[resources: Michael Brown retreat, New Jersey]

[Further note from a viewer in Tucson: "I got up to pray the rosary at sunrise on Easter morning, as is our custom, but this year after watching the miracle of the sun for a few minutes I turned my attention to my prayers. Afterward the Crucifix had turned remarkably to gold (see picture next to similar papal Crucifix).  I had recently had a couple rosaries break and had felt badly and was using an older one itself not in such good shape. I've had the chain links on rosaries turn gold before but never the Crucifix in such a striking way. I don't know exactly what to make of it, but am thankful for this special Easter gift."

[And also from Michael and Helen Gaspard : "Thought would share with you what Fr. Mary from Eternal Word TV stated at Benediction today. He said at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Jackson, Mississippi, that a Eucharistic miracle occurred. Apparently several of the school children that were attending a Holy Hour saw the face of Jesus. The priest of the parish also saw it and they extended the Eucharistic adoration for several hours more so that the parents could also view. Fr. Mary said a lady wrote to him about the miracle."

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