Everyday miracles are occuring all over the world. Whether it be someone experiencing stigmata for the first time, witnessing a vision of a weeping statue of the Virgin Mary, or finding an image of Jesus in their french toast. Here are some examples of religious miracles that have happened and are happening.
St. Francis of Assisi
St. Catherine of Siena
St. Francis of Assisi was born into a wealthy family where his father was a merchant. He had planned to follow his father's footsteps, until during an attack in Perugia he was taken hostage for a full year. During this year St. Francis was concerned with illness and death and decided to turn to religion. Many years later after having fought in a war and taking care of the sick, St. Francis recieved a vision where Christ asked him to repair His Church. His Father was embarrased of his sons new way of life so St. Francis got rid of all of his possessions, rights, even his clothes and continued to devote himself to God's plan. He began to preach and eventually developed a brotherhood of followers. After their worship grew, St. Francis left his leadership position to go into the mountains in secluded prayer. There, on Mount La Verna, in 1224, during one of his prayers he recieved the wounds of the stigmata, marks similar to those of the five wounds of Christ's Crucifixion. He returned to his followers and continued to her messages from God until his death. This was the first instance of the Stigmata ever documented.
At the age of 28, while in ecstacy after recieving communion, St Catherine of Siena recieved the signs of stigmata on her hands and feet which matched those present during the crucifixion of Christ. Although she was grateful for such a gift, St. Catherine prayed that her wounds not be visible. Her wish was granted and she recieved the first invisible stigmata. St. Catherine would hear the voice of God as well as see visions of the Lord. When she heard God's voice, she would write down the words into a book. A dialogue she had with God was entitled "The Book of Divine Doctrine, given in person by God the Father, speaking to the mind of the most glorious and holy virgin Catherine of Siena, and written down as she dictated it in the vulgar tongue, she being the while entranced, and actually hearing what God spoke in her". She was a very devout Christian and one day something extraordinary happened, she had a vision during which the Lord exchanged his heart for hers. She watched him as he opened her side, taken out he heart and took it away. When asked how could she live without a heart she replied "I dont know, the Lord came and took it away". Later she recieved another vision in which the Lord held a heart in his hands, red and replenished, and put in back into St. Catherine's body. She told people of her second vision and again they were questioning and confused. After her death when they opened her body they observed a scar over her heart, the visible stigmata of an event which no one had been able to see.
Padre Pio lived from 1887-1968. He was a humble priest in San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy and was blessed by God in many wonderful and miraculous ways. The most dramatic was the stigmata. One of the ways in which he was blessed was through the signs of the stigmata which he recieved visablely for over fifty years. When he recieved the stigmata for the first time, he saw a vision of a man with the wounds of the stigmata walking towards him. Padre Pio felt an indescribable feeling mixed with fear and bewilderment. When the man disapeared, Padre Pio saw that his hands, feet and the part of the chest above the heart were bleeding. Padre Pio was also could make predictions of the future and cure the sick in ways that could not be explained by medicine or science. It is believed by many that Padre Pio's intercessions are still be experienced all over the world today.
Cases in which religious statues, paintings, and icons that have suddenly began to weep have been documented throughout history. In 1527, for example, a statue of Christ housed in monastery in Rome cried for several days. But, in modern times, these accounts of weeping statues have increased.
In 1953 a young couple in a poor district in the island region of Sicily recieved a plaster statue of the Virgin Mary as a wedding gift. The eighteen inch statue began to shed tears several week later in front of the young woman, and tests did show that liquid flowing from the eyes of the statue were real tears.
Many years later in 1984 in Chicago, a wooden statue of the Virgin Mary began to weep in the Roman Catholic St. John of God Church only two weeks after it arrived. Within days, thousands of people flocked to the church to view the spectacle both out of curiosity and some in search of a cure and an answer to prayers. The weeping statue had such an effect that sadly days later the scene took a violent turn when a man with a gun entered the church and shot the statue three times totally shocking the worshippers below.
In 1992, in Virginia, mass media attention was drawn towards a local church where there were eyewitness accounts of a statue of the Virgin Mary crying tears of blood. It was told that after or before a church service, hundreds of church goers would watch as the statue cried before them.
Even more recent accounts include in 2003, BBC reported from Bangladesh where a statue of the Virgin Mary was showing visible tears of blood. This was the first account of a crying statue in Bangladesh, and the people believed it was a sign that the Virgin was in dismay over the recent outbreaks of violence that were occuring in the country
Bleeding Statue in Bangladesh
In November 2005, where a statue of the Virgin Mary erected outside a church in Sacramento, began to weep tears of blood that were seen by hundreds of onlookers. Many people were in disbelief of such a miracle. The priest of the church wiped the tears off the statue only for them to reappear aover the weekend.
Statue of the Virgin Mary crying tears of blood in Sacramento 2005
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