The Last Help Before the End of Time, by Dr. Courtney Bartholomew, a handy little review of messages to an mystic named Berthe Petit, whose cause for beatification is under investigation and who had messages that Dr. Bartholomew, a well-know Marian writer, relates to our current times and other revelations!  CLICK HERE



Many are the non-Catholics who oppose the use of statues in the misguided belief that such devotion (praying with the aid of a visible representation) contravenes the Bible’s admonishment not to make “graven images.” Such concerns can be laid to rest. The biblical warning is in the context of pagan worship: the glorification of gods, goddesses, and even animals like the snake, which in biblical times were rampant from Babylon to Rome.

Those were not Christian images but demigods, and we note the passage in Scripture whereby the Holy Spirit directed Moses to build the Ark of the Covenant with the images of angels, indicating for sure that there is nothing wrong with holy art, as long as it points to Him.

"You shall make two cherubim of gold, make them of hammered work at the two ends of the mercy seat,” the Lord said in Exodus 25, and since the time of Christ, through Him, in His very appearance, we have had a visible representation of God.

Images visually convey the Gospel message.

Recently, we hear of a statue of Saint Sharbel exuding oil at a Maronite Catholic church in Las Vegas, Nevada. "Something phenomenal happened after a Mass by two Spanish priests yesterday at St. Sharbel's in Las Vegas," reported a news site on July 3 (2013). "A statue by the altar started to 'bleed oil' down the front and both of his palms of his hands. I personally went to see the statue today, and confirmed, in fact, it is taking place there. We may never really know the cause.  Right now the statue is being guarded by the Knights of Columbus 24/7 for its protection. It is open for public viewing until 12 p.m. tonight. I'm sure there will be more to this story."

Thousands of statues elsewhere in the world have baffled witnesses. In the legitimate cases (and we are always initially cautious), it seems as if the Holy Spirit feels the need to exhibit the active power at the foundation of our faith. This has happened through Christian history, particularly at times of crisis, whether in society or in the Church (as currently we are in a crisis, due to hyper-intellectualism, of aridity).

In ways we don’t comprehend, God delivers miracles to bolster us and sometimes causes them to proliferate.

Last week the Pope made a huge point of visiting a miraculous statue in Brazil (at Aparecida).

It is good to have a memento of what is holy (just as it is okay to have a photograph of a loved one) as long as we do not become obsessed with it. Any unusual attachment is of darkness. A woman named Erinn Elizabeth Moss of Nova Scotia who had been in pain for years due to a congenitally dislocated hip, necessitating the use of a cane or wheelchair, told me of  a wondrous effect when she was visiting a pilgrim site of Medjugorje with a large corpus of Christ. The corpus (the Body of Jesus Crucified, without the cross) exudes a mysterious oily-water flow in a way that baffled experts. The exudation has materialized for years from a "bruised" part of the knee of Jesus.

"We had all been rubbing our cloths or Kleenex on the statue, and I had done that as well,” said Mrs. Moss. “I had a blue scarf from the tour group and two drops appeared. One evaporated as soon as I touched it and the other began to turn red in front of our eyes with a few droplets below it. It was amazing. It was like a splash mark nearly the size of a dime. We showed the Franciscans [including a priest who oversees English-speaking pilgrims] and he said it was an amazing gift. He said it was like the blood and water at the Crucifixion."

Erinn added that during the same trip she was inexplicably able to ascend the holy mountain there, which is topped by a Cross. "There was no way I thought I could climb Cross Mountain," she told me. "I went there and all of a sudden my hip shifted twice and I was able to go up as fast as anyone. I went up with a cane and I didn't need it. For 24 years I had pain and it stopped."

I spoke with a second woman named Rosalind Soares from Thorn Hill, Ontario, who rubbed a piece of pure white cloth on the knee of the statue, collecting the moisture in that fashion before it too disappeared. She also touched a statue of the Madonna to the fluid. "It just came down halfway down and evaporated," said Rosalind. "The drops never touched the ground. Sometimes three or four drops would come, then just one. When we went back, we said our prayers and I took my statue and put it on the knee where the water was exuding and sat down. I had the statue in my left hand and my rosary in my right hand and suddenly I felt a dampness in the palm of my hand and removed the statue to see what the feeling in my palm was. And my goodness, it was all red, like blood. There was quite a bit in the center of my palm! It wasn't rust. It was a beautiful, royal red, like a velvety liquid.”

A bishop in Italy held a statue as it wept, and a panel of experts declared that there was no natural explanation for what had happened. (As you might imagine, the bishop seeing it with his own eyes helped with Church approval!). This was at Civitavecchia. It also happened, decades before, in Syracuse, Sicily. At Civitavecchia, the bishop initially wanted the statue destroyed.

Tears are the language that we understand best and it is only natural that Heaven would thus communicate with us in that fashion. These are miracles that touch the heart, and love is behind them. Love heals. It is the ointment of life, just as oil is a physical ointment. It gravitates to us when we have purity of intentions.

The last I knew an icon of the Virgin and Child continued to exude oil on a daily basis at a church in Livonia, Michigan, according to the pastor, Father Michael Matsko, of Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Church, who said there have been healings associated with this oil too -- which has the aroma of myrrh and seems particularly to help childless women have children. 

"There have been ten or twelve cases of women who had trouble having babies,” the priest related. "We've had all kinds of miracles take place, from cancerous tumors being removed to the childless couples, but the most striking thing is the spiritual healing that takes place. There was a 17-year-old boy who came every week and died of his cancer, but he was prepared spiritually to enter the next world, knowing that God loves him and his soul was saved. That was moving. He had no fear."

-- Michael H. Brown

[resources: The God of Miracles]

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