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We'll be heading (God willing) for Texas soon and the cities of San Antonio and Corpus Christi, where, we are led to recall, any number of supernatural manifestations have been reported through the years.

There have been weeping statues in the latter city. There was a revolving sixty-two-foot Cross and a replica of Jesus' Tomb of the Resurrection where according to a daily newspaper the Blessed Mother once appeared in a flowing green cloak in 2007. The Cross towered from a cross-shaped fountain once blessed with Holy Water from the Jordan River. "Many miracles were reported through the healing water," said one man who has been close to the situation there. "The fountain isn't working right now. There's no water in it, and it's closed to the public for now. But there were many, many miracles." There in Corpus Christi, years before, had been a statue in a home that supposedly was an agent of healing (as well as "messages"). And before that, what seemed like miraculous images in a Blessed Sacrament chapel. This southeastern Texas community is one of America's foremost "hotspots" of Marian devotion.

These are "signs."

What's in a picture? Sometimes a lot. It may be worth a thousand words. In some cases, people see a thousand (or at least let's say "many") images.

At any rate, and however spectacular, or not spectacular, however supernatural or "meaningfully" mundane, the accent goes on the word meaning: How very often it is that reflections, refractions, digital smears, and light "bleeds" (as they once were known to photographers) seem to occur at a particularly poignant moments.

Or places.

The one at the top left was shot years ago at Queen of the World Church in St. Mary's, Pennsylvania, while a healing priest from Boston, Father Ralph A. DiOrio, of Massachusetts, was there.

The photo beneath that -- of what looks like an angel, also left -- was taken during a funeral procession in Hamilton, Pennsylvania. Meaningful, to be sure!

Below to the right we have are photos of the sun breaking through clouds at a special spot in the St. Mary's area where a Cross was erected.

They were sent to us by William Bauer, a local resident who explains that the special spot for the Cross is actually at Mount Zion, about 13 miles south of St. Mary's.

"I will tell you the story behind them," he wrote us a couple of summers ago. "There is a man in DuBois named William McMahon. Everyone calls him 'Bill Irish.' He would always stop at this one area and have his lunch. In the summer of 1990 when he was having lunch, things began to happen.

"Irish is a devout Catholic. He went to his parish church in DuBois and talked to a priest who was a good friend. We are in the Erie Diocese, so the priest notified Erie. They sent a priest to see Irish and they went to Mount Zion where these things were taking place. After they prayed, the priest said she -- the Blessed Mother -- wanted a Cross put here. They contacted the owners of the property and got permission to do it.

"They went back to Mount Zion to select a place to put it. They noticed all the trees in the area were moving except two. They decided this was where the Cross should go.

"On August 1, 1990, the Cross was put up at noon. This area is noted for so many elk. The county is called Elk County. When the Cross was put up the elk bugled for two hours. Elk only bugle during mating season, and mating season was over.

"In the summer of 1991 Mass was celebrated on the hill looking down on the Cross. The Mass was celebrated there because it was hard to get down the hill.

"Six priests were there. The priest [sent by the bishop] was the celebrant.

"I found out a few months ago from a friend who was there that when it came time for Communion that a priest friend of his came over to him and told him to look in the ciborium. When he did, he told me they did not have enough Hosts. They were only expecting fifty people. About 250 came. Father turned to distribute the Hosts he had. The priest stopped and went back to my friend and again showed him the ciborium. The Hosts in the ciborium had multiplied!"

Later, however, after another Mass was scheduled, the owners of the hilly land ordered the Cross removed, along with some stone steps that had been built. It's not clear what phenomena first precipitated erection of the Cross. There had been reports, after the Cross was placed there, of sun miracles and visions of the Crucifixion. "I forgot to mention," concludes Bauer, "that when the Cross was moved from Mount Zion to Frenchville, shortly after it was struck by lightning."

For us to consider.

Note: we will strictly follow any Church rulings on any apparition or alleged miracle]

[Note: Michael Brown retreats: Corpus Christi, San Antonio, and Virginia]

[see also: The God of Miracles and A Life of Blessings]


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