Category Archives: miracles

A cross appears on the floor of the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

Chad Pergram is an award-winning reporter who covers Congress for Fox News.

On January 16, 2019, Pergram tweeted this picture of the floor of the U.S. Capitol Rotunda with the cryptic text: “A cross is now visible on the center circle on the floor of the US Capitol Rotunda”.

Pergram has not responded to readers’ queries as to whether the cross had always been there or if it’s a new phenomenon, but a reader (@Knuffle_Bunny) of his tweet responded with a picture of the Capitol Rotunda’s floor before/without the cross:

Another reader () tweeted a picture of a star in the middle of the floor, claiming that it’s of the Capitol Rotunda. But she’s mistaken: the floor with a star in the middle is in the Capitol building’s Crypt — a large circular area on the first floor of the building — not the Rotunda, which is a large, domed, circular room on the second floor of the Capitol building.

I have searched in vain for photos of the Capitol Rotunda’s floor, including a 360° virtual tour of the Rotunda, but did not find any picture showing the center of the Rotunda floor with or without a cross.

If anyone reading this can supply us with pictures, please leave a comment!

Update (Jan. 20, 2019):

A reader of FOTM, Mary, found this pic of the Rotunda floor, taken before Chad Pergram’s January 16 tweet:

I cropped and enlarged the center of the floor. I do not see a cross in the white circle, do you?

~Eowyn

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The Epiphany: The Magi and the Christmas Star

Matthew 2:1-2, 9-12

When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea,
in the days of King Herod,
behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying,
“Where is the newborn king of the Jews?
We saw his star at its rising
and have come to do him homage.”

And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them,
until it came and stopped over the place where the child was.
They were overjoyed at seeing the star,
and on entering the house
they saw the child with Mary his mother.
They prostrated themselves and did him homage.
Then they opened their treasures
and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod,
they departed for their country by another way.

The Oxford Dictionaries defines “ephiphany” (with a small “e”) as “a moment of sudden revelation or insight” and “a manifestation of a divine or supernatural being”. The word “Epiphany” (with a capital “E”) refers to “the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles as represented by the Magi”.

Today is the great feast of the Epiphany, which celebrates the adoration of Jesus by the Magi — an event that had been foretold in Isaiah 60:1-6 some 800 years befre the birth of Christ.

Isaiah 60:1-6

Your light has come,
the glory of the Lord shines upon you….
Nations shall walk by your light,
and kings by your shining radiance.
Raise your eyes and look about;
they all gather and come to you….
Then…the wealth of nations shall be brought to you.
Caravans of camels shall fill you,
dromedaries from Midian and Ephah;
all from Sheba shall come
bearing gold and frankincense,
and proclaiming the praises of the Lord.

The Magi were wise men — non-Hebrew pagans from the East. Bearing gifts fit for a king — those of gold, frankincense, and myrrh — their coming to Jerusalem to pay homage to “the king of the Jews” shows that they seek in the messianic light of the Christmas star, the one who will be king of all nations.

It is noteworthy that the first creatures to see the newborn Jesus were his human parents, Mary and Joseph; angels on high; humble farm animals; lowly shepherds; and Gentiles — the Magi.

The Epiphany, therefore, signifies the manifestation of Jesus as Son of God and Savior of the world — not just the Old Testament‘s oft-prophesied messiah of the Jews. God is not a tribal deity, exclusive to only the so-called “chosen people”. Jesus the Christ came for Jews and Gentiles. He came for all of us, no matter our race, gender, language, country, or creed.

As St. Paul wrote in his letter to the Ephesians 3:6:

[T]he Gentiles are coheirs,
members of the same body,
and copartners in the promise
in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

Noteworthy also is the fact that the Magi, as the first Gentiles to find Jesus, were also the first Gentiles to receive His salvific grace. As recounted in Matthew 2:12:

And having been warned in a dream
not to return to Herod,
they departed for their country
by another way.

By the way, astronomers, using software programs reproducing the night sky exactly as it was thousands of years ago, have determined there really was a Christmas Star or Star of Bethlehem. David Reneke, news editor of Australia’s Sky and Space Magazine, said: “We found out something startling. It looks like the ‘Christmas star’ really did exist.”

It’s generally accepted by most researchers that Christ was born between 3 BC and 1 AD. On 12 August, 3 BC, Jupiter and Venus appeared very close together just before sunrise, appearing as bright morning stars. It would have been visible in the eastern dawn sky of the Middle East from about 3:45 to 5:20 a.m.

But it didn’t stop there. The crowning touch came ten months later, on 17 June 2 BC, Venus and Jupiter joined up again in the constellation Leo. This time the two planets were so close that, without the use of our modern optical aids, they would have looked like one single, brilliant star.

Venus is known as the planet of love; Jupiter as the planet of kings; and Leo denotes royalty and power.

See these other cases of science confirming Biblical accounts:

May the joy of the Epiphany and the peace and love of Jesus Christ, the King of Kings, be with you!

~Eowyn

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He shall reign forever and ever

Luke 2:15-20

When the angels went away from them to heaven,
the shepherds said to one another,
“Let us go, then, to Bethlehem
to see this thing that has taken place,
which the Lord has made known to us.”
So they went in haste and found Mary and Joseph,
and the infant lying in the manger.
When they saw this,
they made known the message
that had been told them about this child.
All who heard it were amazed
by what had been told them by the shepherds.
And Mary kept all these things,
reflecting on them in her heart.
Then the shepherds returned,
glorifying and praising God
for all they had heard and seen,
just as it had been told to them.

Psalm 97:1-7, 9

The LORD is king; let the earth rejoice;
let the many islands be glad.
Cloud and darkness surround him;
justice and right are the foundation of his throne.
Fire goes before him,
consuming his foes on every side.
His lightning illumines the world;
the earth sees and trembles.
The mountains melt like wax before the LORD,
before the Lord of all the earth.
The heavens proclaim his justice;
all peoples see his glory.
All who serve idols are put to shame,
who glory in worthless things;
all angels bow down before him…
For you, LORD, are the Most High over all the earth.

See also:

May the joy of CHRISTmas be with you!

~Eowyn

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Sunday Devotional: The child to be born will be the Son of God

Luke 1:26-35

In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God
to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,
to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David,
and the virgin’s name was Mary.
And coming to her, he said, “Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.”
But she was greatly troubled at what was said
and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
Then the angel said to her,
“Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
and you shall name him Jesus.
He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,
and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,
and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever,
and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
But Mary said to the angel,
“How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?”
And the angel said to her in reply,
“The holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.”

Today is the third Sunday of Advent — a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas.

In Luke 1‘s account of angel Gabriel’s visitation of Mary, it was made clear that:

  1. Mary was a virgin.
  2. She conceived a child not by man but “by the power of the Holy Spirit”.
  3. Her child is the Son of God.

Translated into the language of modern biology, what this means is that Jesus’ DNA would have no Y chromosome because He was not fathered by a human male.

Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is a nucleic acid containing the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all (except RNA viruses) known living organisms. DNA segments carrying this genetic information are called genes. A chromosome is an organized structure of DNA and protein found in cells. It is a single piece of coiled DNA containing many genes, regulatory elements, other nucleotide sequences, and proteins that package the DNA and control its functions.

In human beings, as in all mammals, sex/gender is determined by the XY chromosomes. The XY sex chromosomes are different in shape and size from each other. Females have two of the same kind of sex chromosome (XX), while males have two distinct sex chromosomes (XY). A male child gets his Y chromosome from his biological father. The combination of two Y chromosomes is always lethal in humans.

Within the Y chromosome is a gene, SRY, that is the sex-determining region of the Y chromosome. Once SRY is activated, cells create testosterone and anti-müllerian hormone to turn the genderless sex organs into male. With females, their cells excrete estrogen, driving the body down the female pathway.

In his book, The Physics of Christianity (Doubleday, 2007), Tulane University physicist Dr. Frank J. Tipler reasons that if the Gospels’ account of the virgin birth is true, then Jesus’ DNA makeup would have no Y chromosome because he did not have a human father. Instead, Jesus wouldhave two X chromosomes. However, since Jesus was clearly male, he must have the SRY gene. But the SRY gene, instead of being in the Y chromosome, was inserted into a location where it is not normally found – inside one of the two X chromosomes imparted from Mary, his mother.

And that’s exactly what a team of Italian researchers found.

In January 1995, led by Professor Marcello Calane of the Institute of Legal Medicine in Genoa, a group of Italian researchers, including several workers who had invented the standard DNA test for gender, conducted a DNA analysis of the blood on the Shroud of Turin and on the Oviedo Cloth, also called the Sudarium of Oviedo. Note that:

  • A recent report by scientists confirms that the Shroud is not a fake.
  • Mark Guscin provides strong evidence that the Sudarium of Oviedo is the cloth described in John 20:7 as being wrapped around Jesus’ head.
  • Both the Shroud and the Sudarium show bloodstains on the head in approximately the same position, formed by sharp objects similar to what thorns would produce. Jesus was the only person in recorded history to have been crowned with thorns before crucifixion. (Janice Bennett, author of Sacred Blood, Sacred Image: The Sudarium of Oviedo, New Evidence for the Authenticity of the Shroud of Turin)
  • The blood found on both the Shroud and the Sudarium is Type AB (National Review). AB is the rarest blood type, found in only 4% of the general population.

Here is Dr. Tipler’s account (from pages 183-187 of his book):

Normally, the results of a DNA test of the blood on such a famous object would be published in English in a major scientific journal.… Not so the results of this DNA test. The results were published, in Italian, in the very obscure Italian journal devoted to the study of the Turin Shroud. Furthermore, only the raw data were published. That is, the Genoa team published black-and-white Xerox copies of the computer output of the DNA analyzer. This is never, never done. Always, the data are presented in a neat table or figure, and they are accompanied by a discussion of their significance. The Genoa team made no effort to interpret their data.

But I was able to interpret the data at once. They are the expected signature of the DNA of a male born in a Virgin Birth! …

The Turin Shroud data show 107 (106+1) but no trace of a 112 base pair gene. The Oviedo Cloth data show 105 (106-1) but no trace of a 112 base pair. The X chromosome is present, but there is no evidence of a Y chromosome. This is the expected signature of … virgin birth, the XX male generated by an SRY inserted into an X chromosome. It is not what would be expected of a standard male.

Other explanations are possible. The DNA analyzed could be entirely contaminated from people who later touched the Shroud and the Cloth. But we have witnesses that men touched the two samples also, and it seems incredible that no trace of male contamination would be seen…. Another possibility is that the Turin Shroud and the Oviedo Cloth are fakes and that the fakes used real blood from males they knew were born of virgins. This possibility, in my opinion, has zero probability.

The DNA data thus support the virgin birth hypothesis. The DNA data supporting a virgin birth also support the hypothesis that both the Turin Shroud and the Oviedo Cloth are genuine.

So much for Rudolf Bultmann, a leading theologian of the 1930s, who once sneeringly said: “Myths [like the Virgin Birth] are difficult to believe in these days of electric lights.”

On the contrary, it is precisely the “electric lights” of science that point to the miraculous and true nature of the Shroud and the Oviedo Cloth.

Isaiah 9:1-6

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;
upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone.
You have brought them abundant joy and great rejoicing . . . .
For a child is born to us, a son is given us;
upon his shoulder dominion rests.
They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero,
Father-Forever, Prince of Peace.

May the joy and peace of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you,

~Eowyn

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Painting of Archangel Michael weeps

There is a very old icon or painting of St. Michael the Archangel in the Sacred Church of the Archangel Michael at the Old Cemetery of Ialyssos in Rhodes, Greece. The church is Greek Orthodox.

The painting dates to 1896.

Beginning in 2013, the painting weeps.

John Sanidopoulos reports, Oct. 27, 2013:

The [Orthodox] Metropolitan, after indeed verifying there were what looked like tears on the face of the Archangel, asked for the icon to be moved from the place it was hanging. They then examined the back side of the icon as well as the wall on which it rested to determine if there was moisture which passed on to the icon.

Having established that this was impossible, the Metropolitan of Rhodes testified that this was in fact a miracle, and he asked that the icon be brought to the Sacred Church of the Dormition of the Theotokos in Ialyssos for public veneration, as well as to see if a change in environment would halt the phenomenon. ‘We will move it to the big church to see how the phenomenon evolves,’ Metropolitan Kyrillos told the faithful who had gathered in the small chapel.”

H/t Spirit Daily

About St. Michael the Archangel, see “Feast Day of the Archangels“.

See also “A soldier’s encounter with Michael the Archangel”.

~Eowyn

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Sunday Devotional: He will never abandon us

Mark 7:31-37

Again Jesus left the district of Tyre
and went by way of Sidon to the Sea of Galilee,
into the district of the Decapolis.
And people brought to him a deaf man who had a speech impediment
and begged him to lay his hand on him.
He took him off by himself away from the crowd.
He put his finger into the man’s ears
and, spitting, touched his tongue;
then he looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him,
“Ephphatha!”— that is, “Be opened!” —
And immediately the man’s ears were opened,
his speech impediment was removed,
and he spoke plainly.
He ordered them not to tell anyone.
But the more he ordered them not to,
the more they proclaimed it.
They were exceedingly astonished and they said,
“He has done all things well.
He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”

He made the deaf hear and the mute speak.

He multiplied a few loaves and fishes to feed thousands.

He walked on water and calmed the roiling sea.

He cast out demons and resurrected the dead.

And He promised He would not leave us as orphans, that He will be with us always, until the end of time. (John 14:18; Matthew 18:20)

So when we sometimes feel despairing and abandoned by God, know this:

Our God is good and all-powerful and He loves us, in spite of ourselves.

He never disappoints. He never betrays our trust.

He loves us so much He willingly died for us.

And He will never, ever abandon us.

May the courage, peace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you,

~Eowyn

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Sunday Devotional: Whom Christ struck blind

Sun, 29 Apr 2018 12:32:51 +0000

eowyn2

Acts 9:26-31

When Saul arrived in Jerusalem he tried to join the disciples,
but they were all afraid of him,
not believing that he was a disciple.
Then Barnabas took charge of him and brought him to the apostles,
and he reported to them how he had seen the Lord,
and that he had spoken to him,
and how in Damascus he had spoken out boldly in the name of Jesus.
He moved about freely with them in Jerusalem,
and spoke out boldly in the name of the Lord.
He also spoke and debated with the Hellenists,
but they tried to kill him.
And when the brothers learned of this,
they took him down to Caesarea
and sent him on his way to Tarsus.

The church throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria was at peace.
It was being built up and walked in the fear of the Lord,
and with the consolation of the Holy Spirit it grew in numbers.

Sometimes God uses a drastic method to get our attention. That’s what happened to an awful man named Saul.

Born c. AD 5 in the Mediterranean city of Tarsus (in today’s south-central Turkey), Saul was a Hebrew of the tribe of Benjamin, whose father and grandfather were Pharisees. The Pharisees claimed prophetic or Mosaic authority for their interpretation of Jewish laws. Though a Jew, Saul was by privilege a Roman citizen.

An approximate contemporary of the twelve Apostles, Saul neither followed nor even saw Jesus preach. Instead, being a zealot for Jewish law and traditions, he saw Jesus’ disciples as enemy and dedicated himself to the persecution of the early Christians, most notably the killing by stoning of St. Stephen.

When Saul was in his late 20s, as he was approaching Damascus from Jerusalem on a mission to arrest all Christian Jews in Damascus, he and his company were struck by a great light. Falling to the ground. Saul alone heard a voice: “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”

Saul asked the voice to identify himself. The voice answered, “Jesus of Nazareth, whom you persecute.”

Trembling, Saul cried out, “Lord, what will you have me to do?” The Resurrected Christ told Saul that in Damascus, he would learn what would be expected of him.

As Saul got off the ground, he realized he had become blind. He was led to Damascus where, for three days, he remained blind and neither ate nor drank.

As in all genuine encounters with God — including our own, should we be so graced — Saul’s dramatic confrontation with the risen Christ changed him forever. Now renamed Paul (which means “little”), not only did he stop persecuting Christians, he became a devoted follower of Christ, arguably the most influential early Christian missionary. Perhaps even more important, Paul developed the first Christology — doctrines and theories of the meaning of believing in Jesus Christ.

Imagine the radical changes in thought and belief that Saul’s conversion required. He had to change not only his Jewish conception of who the messiah was, particularly the absurdity to Jews of a crucified messiah, but also the grandiose belief in the superiority of the Jewish people.

More importantly, more than any of Christ’s disciples, it was Paul who fully understood that, by His incarnation, death and resurrection, Jesus replaced the covenant of the Old Testament with a new covenant. This was made clear by Jesus Himself in the Last Supper:

“This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me” (1 Cor 11.25; cf. Mt 26.27-29; Mk 14.24, Lk 22.20; Heb 8.6, 9.15).

Henceforth, God’s chosen are all who “take up their cross” and follow Jesus the Christ. In other words, what once was a tribal religion — Judaism — is now superseded by the universal faith of Christianity.

Paul was indefatigable in bringing the Word of Christ to both Jews and Gentiles. Through his missionary activities and writings he eventually transformed religious belief and philosophy around the Mediterranean Basin. His leadership, influence and legacy led to the formation of communities dominated by Gentile groups who worshiped the God of the ancient Jews, adhered to the Mosaic moral code of the Ten Commandments, but relaxed or abandoned entirely Judaism’s ritual and dietary teachings since those laws and rituals had either been fulfilled in the life of Christ or were symbolic precursors of Christ.

That is why St. Paul is called the “Apostle to the Gentiles.” Without the work of Paul, formerly the sinful Saul of Tarsus, you and I might not be Christians.

Paul’s missionary travels — preaching and establishing Christian nodes and communities — can be grouped into three. As seen in the map below, he traversed the Mediterranean region, in a time when travel was arduous, laborious and dangerous.

~Click map to enlarge~

The 14 letters (Epistles) attributed to Paul in the New Testament were written during ten years of his missionary journeys. It is possible that Paul also traveled to other countries like Spain and Britain. Among the writings of early Christians, Clement of Rome said that Paul was “Herald (of the Gospel of Christ) in the West” and that “he had gone to the extremity of the west.”

Paul was beaten, arrested and imprisoned on more than one occasion. Neither the Bible nor other sources say how or when Paul died, but Ignatius wrote around A.D. 110 that Paul was martyred. According to Christian tradition, St. Paul was beheaded in Rome during the reign of Nero, on June 29, AD 67 — the same day as St. Peter was crucified upside down.

June 29, therefore, is the joint feast day of Sts. Peter and Paul.

Shortly before he was martyred, St. Paul had written to St. Timothy these famous words (2 Timothy 4:6-8):

“I am even now ready to be sacrificed, and the time of my dissolution is at hand. I have fought a good fight; I have finished my course; I have kept the faith. As for the rest, there is laid up for me a crown of justice which the Lord, the just judge, will render to me in that day: and not only to me, but to them also that love His coming.”

For all these reasons — the sinful, pre-conversion Saul; the post-conversion Paul who turned his back on his past and devoted the rest of his life to Jesus; the Apostle to the Gentiles who taught us about Jesus’ New Covenant; the author of all those letters that teach and inspire “so long as men can breathe, or eyes can see”; the saint who so loves Jesus that he joyfully went to his martyrdom — I love St. Paul with all my heart. I can only hope that, should our time darken to the point when Christians are persecuted as in the days of the early Church, I too will have his courage to “finish my course,” “keep my faith,” and stand “ready to be sacrificed.”

I now conclude this post with my favorite passage — St. Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians 6:10-16:

“Finally, draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power. Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil. For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens. Therefore, put on the armor of God, that you may be able to resist on the evil day and, having done everything, to hold your ground. So stand fast with your loins girded in truth, clothed with righteousness as a breastplate, and your feet shod in readiness for the gospel of peace. In all circumstances, hold faith as a shield, to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one.”

May the love and peace of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you,

~Eowyn

Sources used:

  • One Hundred Saints (Little, Brown and Co., 1993).
  • Rosemary Ellen Gulley, The Encyclopedia of Saints (NY: Visionary Living, 2001).
  • St. Paul,” Catholic Online.
  • Paul the Apostle,” Wikipedia.
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Sunday Devotional: Those who have not seen but believe

John 20:24-29

Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve,
was not with them when Jesus came.
So the other disciples said to him,
“We have seen the Lord.”
But he said to them,
“Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands
and put my finger into the nailmarks
and put my hand into his side,
I will not believe.”
Now a week later his disciples were again inside
and Thomas was with them.
Jesus came, although the doors were locked,
and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.”
Then he said to Thomas,
“Put your finger here and see my hands,
and bring your hand and put it into my side,
and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”
Thomas answered and said to him,
“My Lord and my God!”
Jesus said to him,
“Have you come to believe because you have seen me?
Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”


Led by Moses, the Israelites witnessed and experienced the following miracles:

  1. The ten plagues of Egypt:
    • Water turned to blood (Exodus 7:14-25).
    • A plague of frogs (Exodus 8:2-14).
    • A plague of lice (Exodus 8:17-18).
    • A plague of flies (God sent “grievous” swarms of flies upon all the people and houses of Egypt, covering even the ground, except in the land of Goshen where the Israelites dwelled fly-free. –Exodus 8:20-24).
    • Murrain, an infectious disease, killed all of Egypt’s cattle (Exodus 9:3-6).
    • A plague of boils with blisters (Exodus 9:8-12).
    • Thunderstorm of hail (Exodus 9:13–35).
    • A plague of locusts covering all of Egypt, so that the land was darkened with them (Exodus 10:12-15).
    • A plague of of darkness “which may be felt” so that “they saw not one another” covering all of Egypt, but not the land of Goshen (Exodus 10:21).
    • Death of all first-born in a single night, which spared Israelite first-borns (Exodus 11:1-8; 12:29-30).
  2. The burning bush that was not consumed (Exodus 3:3).
  3. The cloud resting on the Ark of the Covenant (Exodus 13:21-22; 33:9-10; 40:36).
  4. God appeared in the cloud (Exodus 16:10).
  5. Aaron’s rod changed into a serpent (Exodus 7:10-12).
  6. The parting of the Red Sea (Exodus 14:21-31).
  7. The parting of the Jordan river near the city of Adam (Joshua 3:14-17).
  8. Manna (bread) from the sky (Exodus 16:14-18).
  9. Drinking water provided the Israelites:
    • Sweetening of the bitter waters of Marah (Exodus 15:23-25).
    • Water from the rock at Rephidim (Exodus 17:5-7).
    • Water from a rock in the desert (Numbers 20:7-11)
  10. Complainers consumed by fire at Taberah, which stopped in response to Moses’ prayer (Numbers 11:1-3).
  11. Enemies of Isralites consumed  by fire, and swallowed by the earth (Numbers 16:35-45).
  12. Aaron’s rod “brought forth buds, and bloomed blossoms, and yielded almonds” at Kadesh (Numbers 17:1-11).
  13. The walls of Jericho fell down at God’s command (Joshua 6:6-20).
  14. The sun and moon stayed motionless (longer day) to enable the Israelites to win a crucial battle (Joshua 10:12-14).
  15. A mega hailstorm destroyed the Amorite army (Joshua 10:12-14).

Despite having personally seen and experienced the countless AMAZING miracles, not only did the Israelites constantly doubt God, with tiresome repetition they periodically rebelled from God to worship false idols, that is, demons.
But God repeatedly forgave the Israelites.
Imagine, then, how much He loves us, who believe in Him although we haven’t witnessed the Israelites’ miracles nor seen or touched His wounds like doubting St. Thomas, yet we love Him with our whole heart, our whole soul, our whole mind, and with all of our strength.
So the next time you doubt or falter or despair, take heart.
He loves you very, very, very much.
So much that God Himself did this for you.

May the peace and love of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you!
See also:

~Eowyn

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3D image of Shroud of Turin man: This is what Jesus looks like!

In 2015, the scientific unit of the police force in Rome, Italy, used reverse aging software to generate the face of what the man in the Shroud of Turin would look like as a 12-year-old boy. (See “The angelic face of Jesus as a 12-year-old boy”)
He is breathtakingly beautiful.

Now, a professor of mechanical and thermal measurements at the University of Padua, Dr. Giulio Fanti, has created a 3D carbon copy of Jesus from meticulous measurements of the Shroud image.
It is of an “extraordinarily beautiful” man, muscular, with “regal” “majestic” features, and nearly 6 feet tall — 7 inches taller than the average man in the Mediterranean region at the time.

Maria Teresa Martinengo reports for La Stampa (Google Translate), March 20, 2018 that Giulio Fanti leads a team of scientists who have studied the Shroud of Turin for years with the most sophisticated technologies available to science.
Based on the scientists’ measurements of the image on the Shroud, the master sculptor Sergio Rodella created a statue in plaster.
3D image of man in the Shroud
Professor Fanti explains:

“Christian tradition believes that the image that is seen on the Shroud is that of the crucified Jesus. And now science is of this opinion too. For years, using the most sophisticated 3D technologies, we have studied  the image left by the body on the sheet. And the statue is the final result.
This statue is a life-size, three-dimensional representation of the Man of the Shroud, based on the millimetric measurements obtained from the shroud in which the body of Christ was wrapped after the crucifixion.
On the Shroud I counted 370 scourge wounds, without taking into consideration the lateral ones, which are not imprinted into the Shroud because it enveloped only the front and back of the body. We can therefore hypothesize Jesus suffered a total of at least 600 scourges. Moreover, the three-dimensional reconstruction has allowed us to reconstruct that at the time of death, the man of the Shroud has slumped to the right because His right shoulder was dislocated in such a severe way as to damage the nerves.
According to our studies, Jesus was a man of extraordinary beauty (“bellezza straordinaria”). Long-limbed, but very robust; almost six feet tall, while the average height of the time was around 5′ 5″; with a regal and majestic expression.
We therefore believe that we finally have an accurate picture of what Jesus was like on this earth. From now on, it will no longer be possible to portray His image without taking this work into account .”  

Jesus at 12 and 33 years old

H/t Daily Caller and FOTM‘s MCA
See also:

~Eowyn

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The Empty Tomb

Mark 16:1-6

When the sabbath was over,
Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James, and Salome
bought spices so that they might go and anoint him.
Very early when the sun had risen,
on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb.
They were saying to one another,
“Who will roll back the stone for us
from the entrance to the tomb?”
When they looked up,
they saw that the stone had been rolled back;
it was very large.
On entering the tomb they saw a young man
sitting on the right side, clothed in a white robe,
and they were utterly amazed.
He said to them, “Do not be amazed!
You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified.
He has been raised; he is not here.”

John 20:2-9

So she ran and went to Simon Peter
and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them,
“They have taken the Lord from the tomb,
and we don’t know where they put him.”
So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb.
They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter
and arrived at the tomb first;
he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in.
When Simon Peter arrived after him,
he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there,
and the cloth that had covered his head,
not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place.
Then the other disciple also went in,
the one who had arrived at the tomb first,
and he saw and believed.
For they did not yet understand the Scripture
that he had to rise from the dead.


Below is a reconstruction of what happened from the book, The Truth About the Shroud of Turin (Regnery, 2010), pp. 189-191, by my friend Robert K. Wilcox. No matter how many times I read this, it never fails to move me to tears.
The tomb, a rocky chamber carved out of a hillside, a stone rolled against the door, is dark and silent. Lying on a slab is a long, rectangular cocoon, the hills and valleys of which are clearly the contours of a human body. The body of Jesus lies there, face up, a ribbon around the head and chin to keep the mouth closed, packed on all sides with bags of spices.
At some unknown moment in the dead of night, the air in the tomb becomes electric.
At first the vibrations are minute, the sort that could be detected by sensitive twentieth-century instruments; then they dramatically increase until they shake the ground and blow the boulder from the door.
A glow, faint at first, emanating from the shroud suddenly intensifies until rays of light shoot through the threads, star-filled golden rays filling the tomb and pouring out the door.
For thirty seconds — no more — the blinding, pulsating movement continues.
The source of the activity is the corpse, the body, somehow being revitalized, dematerialized, its mass being converted into energy, pure energy, which in the material world is radiant white light.
The body rises from the slab through the cloth, hovers for a moment in midair, then disappears.
The cocoon collapses. Darkness returns. Shouts of “Earthquake! Earthquake!” diminish as the guards run for their lives. And in the air, the distinct odor of scorched linen.
When dawn comes, the women in Jesus’ life draw tentatively toward the tomb, look in the opening, and see the shroud unopened, still wrapped, but definitely deflated. The body is gone. At sunrise the disciples come. John enters the tomb, puts his hand on the cloth, and presses it to the slab. Jesus is there no longer. The disciples and the women quickly gather up the burial garments — the chin band is still in the shroud — and the spice bags and leave before the Romans can return.
At another time, in another place, when they have a chance to gather their wits, they will discover the figure of their master imprinted on the inside of the shroud. The images would be faint, probably not as dark as the passage of time and exposure to air have made them; and the images would be negative ones, a phenomenon that would also become clearer with the passage of time. Regardless, they would view these images as holy — imprints of their precious Lord. The disciples would pay more attention to the images on the shroud if they weren’t already waiting, with the greatest anticipation, for Jesus himself, who, before his death, had promised to visit them after he rose from the dead.

Our Lord is Risen!

Colossians 3:1-4

Brothers and sisters:
If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above,
where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.
Think of what is above, not of what is on earth.
For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
When Christ your life appears,
then you too will appear with him in glory.

A Joyous Easter to all!

See also:

~Eowyn
lilies

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