Category Archives: miracles

Guardian angel saves girl from falling into the Grand Canyon

Today is the feast day of our Guardian Angels.

Below is an account of what one Guardian Angel did.

In 1977, Al Holiday of Hartland, Michigan, took his family and his 14-year-old sister Janie on a vacation to the Grand Canyon.

At a lookout point over a steep cliff, Janie ignored the posted warning sign and stepped outside a guard rail to take photos of the canyon.

She slipped and fell, plunging down into the canyon when, suddenly, she came to an abrupt stop on the practically-vertical cliff embankment.

Her family above could hear her screams but could not see her because the cliff was so steep.

Janie desperately tried to move up the steep embankment, but couldn’t.

Suddenly, she found herself back on top of the cliff although she hadn’t moved.

When Janie returned home, she told her mother Shirley about her terrifying experience.

Shirley said that at the exact moment when Janie was hanging onto the steep face of the cliff, Shirley, who was more than 1,500 miles away, had a premonition that Janie was going to die. Shirley started to cry, but then a peace came over her.

Janie believes her Guardian Angel had saved her life that day by stopping her plunge down the cliff and whisking her safely back  to the top.

H/t Spirit Daily

See also:

~Eowyn

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Sunday Devotional: This is my body that is for you

1 Corinthians 11:23-26

Brothers and sisters:
I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you,
that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over,
took bread, and, after he had given thanks,
broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.”
In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying,
“This cup is the new covenant in my blood.
Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup,
you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.

Three Sundays ago, the universal Church remembered our Lord Jesus Christ’s Ascension, when He left this mortal world, not to return until the End Days. In leaving, our Lord bade a last farewell to His faithful disciples and, knowing full well how bereft they would be, He made sure we are not abandoned — that although “the world will not see me anymore . . . I will not leave you as orphans” (John 14:19, 18).

Jesus made two promises to ensure we would not be left “as orphans”:

(1) The Father will send the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Triune Godhead:

“And I will ask the Father,
and He will give you another advocate
to help you and be with you forever
the Spirit of truth.
The world cannot accept Him,
because it neither sees Him nor knows Him.
But you know Him,
for He lives with you
and will be in you.” (John 14:16-17)

(2) We will have His Body and Blood:

“I will not leave you as orphans;
I will come to you.” (John 14:18)

How thoughtful and loving our Lord is!

Today is the Feast of Corpus Christi, when we remember and celebrate the new Covenant that our Lord made with His Body and Blood, with all who believe in Him.

1 Corinthians 11:23-25

[T]he Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over,
took bread, and, after he had given thanks,
broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.”
In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying,
“This cup is the new covenant in my blood.
Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

Our Lord said: “This is my body that is for you.”

Do we doubt His words?

Have you heard of the Lanciano Eucharistic miracle?

17 years ago, knowing that her degenerative spine disease may someday lead to paralysis, I took FOTM‘s Joan on a pilgrimage to Italy.

Among the places we visited were the Sanctuary of St. Michael the Archangel in Mount Gargano, and the Church of San Francesco in Lanciano. In the latter was a glass case containing a brownish substance.

Church of San Francesco, Lanciano, aka Shrine of the Eucharistic Miracle

As described by TheRealPresence.org, during the middle of the eighth century, a Basilian monk doubted the Real Presence in the Eucharist — that at consecration, bread and wine become Christ’s true body and true blood.

The doubting monk was celebrating Mass one day. As he intoned the words of consecration, “suddenly the monk saw bread turn into Flesh and the wine into Blood,” according to documents at the Sanctuary of the Eucharistic Miracle in Lanciano, Italy.

Today, more than 12 centuries after the Lanciano miracle, the transformed host and wine are preserved still, despite being exposed to the action of atmospheric and biological agents:

  • The Host-Flesh is light brown and appears rose-colored when lit from the back.
  • The Blood is coagulated into five globules, irregular and differing in shape and size, of an earthy color resembling the yellow of ochre.

Scientific investigations of Lanciano were conducted since 1575, most notably in 1970-’71 and taken up again partly in 1981, by Dr. Odoardo Linoli, head of the clinical analysis laboratory and of pathological anatomy at Arezzo Hospital, and Dr. Ruggero Bertelli, professor of anatomy at the University of Siena.

Linoli and Bertelli came to the following conclusions:

  • The flesh is real human flesh, the blood is real human blood.
  • The flesh is heart tissue — of the myocardium, the endocardium, the vagus nerve and the left cardiac ventricle.
  • The flesh and blood have the blood-type AB, which is the same blood-type found on the Shroud of Turin and the Sudarium or Oviedo Cloth — the piece of cloth that is believed to have covered Jesus’ head after the crucifixion.
  • In the blood were found proteins in the same normal proportions (percentage-wise) as are found in the sero-proteic make-up of fresh human blood, as well as the minerals chloride, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, sodium and calcium.

According to “The True Presence,” in 1973, the UN World Health Organization’s board of governors appointed a scientific commission to investigate Lanciano. After 500 examinations, the scientists verified the 1971 findings and declared to the tissue to be human.

There have been other Eucharistic miracles elsewhere since Lanciano. See here and here.

To conclude, Christ is with us through His Body and Blood and in the Holy Spirit.

Tell Him your troubles and fears.

And tell Him, often and always, that you love Him with your whole heart, your whole soul, your whole mind, and with all your strength.

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

~Eowyn

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On Cloaking and Beast Mode in Psalm 91:4

Fasten your seatbelt boys and girls, my imagination is about to take us for a wild ride of the imagination.

Peaceful application

“He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” – Psalm 91:4

Wartime application

At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds. – John 8:59

When Jesus hid himself and walked right through the midst of a crowd that intended to murder him on the spot, he may have been using Psalm 91:4 to go into stealth mode by faith. (Don’t jump out just yet, I’m going somewhere with this.) And this was not just spiritual cloaking, they were going to physically kill him.

The psalm promises to hide you if you meet the qualification of dwelling in the shelter of the Most High. It doesn’t promise only to make your plans inscrutable to the enemy and his agents, but make you completely invisible to them. (That’s what I take from it anyway.)

Under His wings, these ancient wicked spirits not only can’t figure you out and read your tells and body language, they can’t even see you when you dwell in the shelter of the Most High. (think of the Klingon Bird of Prey cloaking and uncloaking)

The next part is another enigma: “…his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” Other translations exchange “rampart” for “armor,” and one mobile form of rampart was a “fighting top.”

Armor – the metal coverings formerly worn by soldiers or warriors to protect the body in battle. This is not just defensive, but a means of going on the offensive, taking the fight to the enemy.

Rampart

Rampart – a defensive wall of a castle or walled city, having a broad top with a walkway and typically a stone parapet. This is a position from which to put fire onto the enemy.

USF Constitution’s main Fighting Top

Fighting top – one of the gun platforms on the lower masts of sailing men-of-war, used in attacking the crew of an enemy ship with swivel guns and muskets. A mobile castle top or rampart during the age of sail was called a fighting top, a place from which to put hurt onto an enemy.

So we shift from passively hiding to actively battling.

From hidden under the shadow of Divine wings, to emerging in full armor to rain hell on an enemy.

A couple of weeks ago I heard a term used to describe a new tactical configuration for the F-35 Lightning fighter jets: “Beast Mode.”



Beast Mode
is an F-35 sacrificing some of its stealth capabilities to carry a massive weapons load to a fight. Lockheed Martin describes Beast Mode as a posture for Day 2 of fighting, after the enemy’s eyes(radar, etc.) have been put out. Not needing so much stealth, it now emerges to take down large numbers of enemy.

Applied to us:

I believe that we, like Jesus, can become temporarily invisible to the devil’s forces, by faith finding refuge under the Lord’s wings, invisible and inscrutable to enemy agents. Off their radar, unable to read our spiritual plans and strategies. (“The things I do, you will do also, because I go to my Father.”)

As well as that I believe that, when we emerge from under Divine wings, we can do so in the full armor of God. If we are wearing the Lord Jesus Christ’s own fighting suit, Satan can’t tell the difference. To him, we look just like Jesus in the armor.

In short, when we step out of defensive and passive position, let us do so in full “Beast Mode,” the whole armor of God.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”

– Ephesians 6:10-18

Thank you for bearing with me on this roller coaster of my imagination. But, before you dismiss my reasoning entirely, ask yourself,

“What part of Psalm 91 did God not mean?”

PEACE (…meaning Complete Wellbeing, Nothing Missing)

~ TD

 

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Christian seminary president doesn’t believe in Resurrection, Virgin Birth, Heaven or miracles

Revelation 1:17-18

“I am the first and the last, the one who lives.
Once I was dead, but now I am alive forever and ever.”

Union Theological Seminary (UTS) in New York City is the oldest independent seminary “in the Christian tradition”. Founded in 1836 by members of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A, the non-denominational UTS has an endowment of $108 million and is a bastion of “progressive Christianity” and the birthplace of Black theology, womanist theology, and other theological movements. (Wikipedia)

Although UTS’s founding constitution stated the seminary’s goal was to “promote” the “Kingdom of Christ”, and professors were required to affirm they believed “the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be the word of God” and the “only infallible rule of faith and practice,” today’s UTS is more about “progressive” ideology than religion, which is made clear in its “About” page:

Today, the Seminary lives out this formative call to service by training people of all faiths and none who are called to the work of social justice in the world. With roots that are firmly planted in the Protestant tradition, Union actively reforms itself in response to the changing needs of the world and an evolving understanding of what it means to be faithful.

Even worse, the president of Theological Seminary (and its Johnston Family Professor for Religion and Democracy), Serene Jones, 59, formerly the Titus Street Professor of Theology at Yale Divinity School and chair of Gender, Woman, and Sexuality Studies at Yale University, doesn’t even believe in the fundamental tenets of Christianity.

Michael Foust reports for Christian Headlines, April 25, 2019, that in an interview with Nicholas Kristof of The New York Times for an article published Easter weekend, Serene Jones rejects these fundamental beliefs of Christianity:

(1) The Resurrection

Jones, the president of a Christian seminary, does not believe in the literal bodily resurrection of Christ. She said: “When you look in the Gospels, the stories are all over the place. There’s no resurrection story in Mark, just an empty tomb. Those who claim to know whether or not it happened are kidding themselves…. Crucifixion is not something that God is orchestrating from upstairs. The pervasive idea of an abusive God-father who sends his own kid to the cross so God could forgive people is nuts. For me, the cross is an enactment of our human hatred. But what happens on Easter is the triumph of love in the midst of suffering. Isn’t that reason for hope?”

(2) Miracles

Jones rejects the idea that God miraculously heals through prayer: “I don’t believe in a God who, because of prayer, would decide to cure your mother’s cancer but not cure the mother of your nonpraying neighbor. We can’t manipulate God like that.”

(3) Virgin Birth

Jones said: “I find the virgin birth a bizarre claim. It has nothing to do with Jesus’ message. The virgin birth only becomes important if you have a theology in which sexuality is considered sinful. It also promotes this notion that the pure, untouched female body is the best body, and that idea has led to centuries of oppressing women.”

(4) Heaven

Nor does Jones believe in Heaven, Hell or an afterlife, all of which implies she does not believe that humans have immoral souls. Asked what happens when people die, Jones responded, “I don’t know! There may be something, there may be nothing. My faith is not tied to some divine promise about the afterlife.”

(5) God

For that matter, it is doubtful whether Serene Jones even believes in the Christian understanding of God.

Asked how we can reconcile an “omnipotent, omniscient God” with evil and suffering, Jones responded: “At the heart of faith is mystery. God is beyond our knowing, not a being or an essence or an object. But I don’t worship an all-powerful, all-controlling omnipotent, omniscient being. That is a fabrication of Roman juridical theory and Greek mythology.”

Despite not believing in the fundamental tenets that make Christianity, Jones nevertheless calls herself Christian. When Kristof asked her if he can be considered a Christian though not believing in a virgin birth or resurrection, Jones answered, “Well, you sound an awful lot like me, and I’m a Christian minister.”

R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., said Jones rejects the “entire edifice of orthodox, biblical Christianity.” Mohler wrote:

“This is not Christianity. This is a new religion, a new god, formed in an image intended not to offend modern secular sensibilities. She has constructed a god from post-modern theology that in no way resembles the God of the Bible – the one true God…. [Jones denies] the reality of the resurrection, the necessity of the virgin birth, the attributes of God, the power of prayer, and the existence of heaven and hell. According to Jones, there is no cross on which Jesus died for sin, there is no Father who sent the Son to pay our ransom, there is no bodily resurrection of Christ from the dead as a sign and seal of God’s promises – indeed, she has denied everything that makes the gospel good news. She even denies that God is a ‘being’…. Why would anyone identify as a Christian minister and then deny the entire superstructure of Christian theology? What we see here is a hope to replace biblical Christianity with a new religion without anyone noticing.”

Below is my rebuttal to Serene Jones’ apostasy:

  1. On the Resurrection, see:
    1. Easter Sunday: The science of the miracle of the Resurrection
    2. Tomb of Christ in Church of Holy Sepulchre surrounded by electromagnetic field
    3. New evidence dates Shroud of Turin to time of Christ
    4. Yet more evidence dating Shroud of Turin to time of Christ 
  2. On Virgin Birth, see:
    1. Sunday Devotional: The child to be born will be the Son of God,” on DNA evidence of Virgin Birth.
  3. On miracles (defined as phenomena that are not explicable by natural or scientific laws), see:
    1. The Smell of Rain
    2. Drowning men saved by a force
    3. The Miracle of the Sinking SUV
    4. The mysterious voice calling for help
    5. We have no nurse named Benjamin
    6. 10-year-old boy sees Jesus figure in hospital; begins recovery
    7. The Stranger in the Snow
    8. Miracle of the Hotwater Bottle
    9. Painting of Archangel Michael weeps
    10. The Bat Cave Miracle
    11. Fallen into the hollow of a tree, 9 y.o. girl met Jesus and unborn sister
    12. Invoking the name of Jesus Christ repels demons/alien abduction
  4. On Heaven, Hell, the soul, and afterlife, see:
    1. The Physics of Heaven
    2. Marine’s near-death experience of Hell
    3. Physicists discover humans have souls
    4. Study by 32 scientists shows there’s consciousness after death
    5. Near death experiences prove we have a soul
    6. Proof of Soul’s Existence?
    7. Nurses who saw supernatural phenomena around dying patients

See also these confluences of science and the Bible:

~Eowyn

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Sunday Devotional: Blessed are 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 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.

See also:

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

~Eowyn

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Easter Sunday: The science of the miracle of the Resurrection

John 20:1-9

On the first day of the week,
Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning,
while it was still dark,
and saw the stone removed from the tomb.
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.

Reconstruction of the face of the man in the Shroud

Scientists at Italy’s National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA) conducted a five-year study of the Shroud of Turin and concluded that the Shroud is not a fake. Their report, in Italian, is here.

Reporting for La Stampa, Dec. 12, 2011, Marco Tosatti quotes from the ENEA report:

The double image (front and back) of a scourged and crucified man, barely visible on the linen cloth of the Shroud of Turin has many physical and chemical characteristics that are so particular that the staining which is identical in all its facets, would be impossible to obtain today in a laboratory, as discussed in numerous articles listed in the references. This inability to repeat (and therefore falsify) the image on the Shroud makes it impossible to formulate a reliable hypothesis on how the impression was made.

In fact, today Science is still not able to explain how the body image was formed on the Shroud … the body image is not painted nor printed, nor obtained by heating….

The blood is human, and there is no image beneath the bloodstains; the gradient color contains three-dimensional information of the body; colored fibers (image) are more fragile than undyed fibers; surface staining of the fibrils of the image derive from an unknown process that caused oxidation, dehydration and conjugation in the structure of the cellulose of the linen….

[T]he origin of the Shroud image is still unknown…. [R]egardless of the age the Shroud, whether it is medieval (1260 – 1390) as shown by the controversial dating by radiocarbon, or older as indicated by other investigations…the most important question…remains the same: how did that body image appear on the Shroud?….

There is no image beneath the blood stains. This means that the traces of blood deposited before the image was. Therefore, the image was formed after the corpse was laid down…. There are no signs of putrefaction near the orifices, which usually occur around 40 hours after death. Consequently, the image is not the result of putrefaction gases….

[The results of ENEA] show that a short and intense burst of VUV directional radiation can color a linen cloth so as to reproduce many of the peculiar characteristics of the body image on the Shroud of Turin, including shades of color, the surface color of the fibrils of the outer linen fabric, and the absence of fluorescence….

[I]t should be noted that the total power of VUV radiations required to instantly color the surface of linen that corresponds to a human of average height, body surface area equal to = 2000 MW/cm2 17000 cm2 = 34 thousand billion watts makes it impractical today to reproduce the entire Shroud image using a single laser excimer, since this power cannot be produced by any VUV light source built to date (the most powerful available on the market come to several billion watts ).

Edicule encasing the Tomb of Christ in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem occupies two of the holiest sites of Christianity:

  1. Where Jesus was crucified (“Calvary” or “Golgotha”).
  2. Jesus’s empty tomb, where His Body was placed and resurrected. The tomb is enclosed by an 18th-century shrine called the Edicule.

In 1809, during a partial opening of the Edicule by the architect Nikolaos Komnenos, a “sweet aroma” emanated from the tomb, the same “scent of sanctity” that often accompanies Marian apparitions and the tombs of some saints.

Most recently, in October 2016, scientists undertaking restoration work in the Edicule also smelled a “sweet aroma” when they removed the marble slab that covers the tomb. There were also electromagnetic disturbances: some of the measuring instruments used by the scientists, when placed vertically on the stone in which Christ’s body rested, either malfunctioned or ceased to work entirely. (See “Tomb of Christ in Church of Holy Sepulchre surrounded by electromagnetic field“)

According to the ENEA report, the image on the Shroud was left by “a short and intense burst of VUV directional radiation” — stronger than could be created by any technology currently available to man. VUV is vacuum ultra-violet, a type of electromagnetic radiation.

Imagine how powerful the radiation burst of the Resurrection must have been to leave electromagnetic traces after more than 2,000 years, which were detected by those scientists restoring the Edicule in 2016.

See also “New evidence dates Shroud of Turin to time of Christ” and “Yet more evidence dating Shroud of Turin to time of Christ“.

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.

And so, whatever our troubles, however heavy the burdens that weigh on us, be joyous this Easter Sunday, for our Lord is risen!

~Eowyn

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Church fire leaves Bibles and cross untouched

Shortly after midnight around 1 a.m. on Sunday, March 3, 2019, fire fighters responded to a fire at the Freedom Ministries Church on Grandview Rd. in Daniels, West Virginia.

When fire fighters from the Beaver, Ghent, Mabscott, and Coal City fire departments arrived on scene, they found the wooden church fully engulfed in flames.

WVNS TV reports that while searching in the rubble of the church fire, firefighters made “an incredible discovery”.

The firefighters — professionals who are experienced with fires — made note of a remarkable phenomenon. They said that as they were going through the wreckage, they noticed not a single Bible was burned and the church’s cross was untouched.

No injuries were reported. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Note that the ignition temperature of paper is 451°F (233°C), whereas that of wood is between 536°F to 896°F (280°C to 480°C). That means paper burns much more readily than wood. But the church building was engulfed in flames, its roof completely burnt away, whereas not a single Bible, made of paper, was burned.

See also these other cases of statues of Mary and Jesus surviving natural disasters:

~Eowyn

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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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