Most Spectacular Miracles

For those atheists and critics of the Catholic Church. I thought it would be a good idea to have a forum on miracles that both prove the supernatural and verify Catholic beliefs.

First off I think the most spectacular miracle of all time was the prophet Elijah’s challenge to the priests of Baal. I think it would make a terrific movie scene ( and I think a biography on the prophets life would be a great movie also, anyone who knows Mel Gibson, please pass the word).

The story goes that Elijah challenged the priests of Baal to a contest to see who God/god was real. They were to set up an altar, sacrifice a bull (or some otehr offering), and ask their God/god to accept the offering. About 200 priests of Baal set up their altar, set up the offering and danced about and around it for quite some time. Of course nothing happened they danced until they were exhausted, with all sorts of lewd and obscene acts.

Then Elijah set up his altar, and offering, had several large jugs of water poured over the altar, so it was totally soaked, prayed to the Almighty, and lightning out of the heavens struck the altar and the offering was consumed. Then lightning struck down the Baal worshippers.

wc

On more modern miracles, the cloak of Juan Diego and the story that goes with it, is pretty spectacular, as is the incorrupt body of various saints such as St. Catherine of Siena and St Bernadette.

Also pretty cool was St. Anthony of Padua, when confronted with a protestant who did not believe in the real presence of the Holy Eucharist, he had the fellow starve his mule for 3 days. Then he had the fellow offer the mule a bucket of oaks while he held the Holy Eucharist. The mule passed up the oats and went over to kneel down in adoration before the Holy Eucharist. Needless to say the fellow and a bunch of his protestant friends converted as a result of the miracle.

On another occasion he was being ridiculed about the Holy Eucharist by some more protestants, when he gave up in disgust, and said, “if you won’t lisen to me, I’ll go and preach to the fishes instead.” He went down to the water and started preaching and a huge number of fish gathered to listen to him preach. He won over a bunch of protestants with this miracle as well.

wc

how about that little unimportant piece of cloth of turin…

science will wind up being the culprit that proves its authenticity…

[quote=LoneRanger]how about that little unimportant piece of cloth of turin…

science will wind up being the culprit that proves its authenticity…
[/quote]

Thanks,

I hope that ultimately proves to be valid, but given the controversy over its age, I leave it out. There is also, parts of the Cross in France (Notre Dame Cathedrel) and Italy (the Domo in Milan)

There are many, many more miracle and relics. Almost every Saint has a couple associated with them, and some saints have a whole slew of miracles.

I would like folks to post their favorites here, especially if they happened to know some first hand or visited some site where the artifact or item is available for viewing. The bodies of St Catherine (in Paris) and St Bernadette can be viewed by the public and so can the cloak of Juan Diego (Mexico City)

wc

How about the nearly bloodless fall of communism in Russia? And the freeing of the Eastern Block without suffering through WWIII? Pretty miraculous, wouldn’t we all say? And who do we have to thank for that? Our good God working through our deceased good pope, John Paul II the Great.

[quote=Della]How about the nearly bloodless fall of communism in Russia? And the freeing of the Eastern Block without suffering through WWIII? Pretty miraculous, wouldn’t we all say? And who do we have to thank for that? Our good God working through our deceased good pope, John Paul II the Great.
[/quote]

I think they are pretty cool miracles but our atheist friends will say it was naturally caused by the communist going bankrupt in an arms race started by Reagan.

[quote=wcknight]I think they are pretty cool miracles but our atheist friends will say it was naturally caused by the communist going bankrupt in an arms race started by Reagan.
[/quote]

But that it was so sudden and so bloodless when it could have led to WWIII or the anniliation of the human race cannot be dismissed by them. Nor that JPII was behind the scenes instigating change and supporting those fighting against communist oppression. Even the secular press recognizes the part he played in the fall of communism under these circumstances and so swiftly.

Well here are some Eucharistic Miracles that can’t be proven by science: therealpresence.org/eucharst/mir/a3.html

One of many miracles performed by Saint John the Russian

In 1970 a child was born to a family in Istiaia, Greece, living in extreme poverty. The boy’s legs were horribly bent and his feet attached to his back. The doctors surgically separated the boy’s legs from the rest of his body, but there was no hope of the boy being able to walk. There was no neural network in the lower half of his body.

While the child grew his family spent what little money they had with the hope of finding a treatment for the boy’s disability. When the only thing left to them was a small lamb, a vision of Saint John the Russian lead the family in a pilgrimage. Carrying the animal on his back and the boy on his arms, the desolate father took his family on a march of 80 miles through the wilderness leading to the church housing the coffin with the Saint’s body.

Tying the lamb to the holly coffin, the father dedicated his last belonging to the Saint, praying for his son’s recovery. After the ceremony of veneration and prayer to the miracle-working Saint, the family slept outside, in front of the church’s door.

Soon after midnight the father wakes the handicapped child. His wife, stirred by the noise, asks what he wants of the child at this time. Ignoring her, he goes on and asks the child for a drink of water. The healed child rises to bring his father water from the fountain outside the church.

One of the most spectacular miracles is that of The Holy Fire which takes place each year on Holy Saturday in the Church of the Holy Sepuchre in Jerusalem. It has been occuring since the time when the church was built on the place of Christ’s Resurrection.

Here is how the Patriarch describes what happens.

“I enter the tomb and kneel in holy fear in front of the place where Christ lay after His death and where He rose again from the dead… (narrates Orthodox Patriarch Diodorus). I find my way through the darkness towards the inner chamber in which I fall on my knees. Here I say certain prayers that have been handed down to us through the centuries and, having said them, I wait. Sometimes I may wait a few minutes, but normally the miracle happens immediately after I have said the prayers. From the core of the very stone on which Jesus lay an indefinable light pours forth. It usually has a blue tint, but the colour may change and take many different hues. It cannot be described in human terms. The light rises out of the stone as mist may rise out of a lake — it almost looks as if the stone is covered by a moist cloud, but it is light. This light each year behaves differently. Sometimes it covers just the stone, while other times it gives light to the whole sepulchre, so that people who stand outside the tomb and look into it will see it filled with light. The light does not burn — I have never had my beard burnt in all the sixteen years I have been Patriarch in Jerusalem and have received the Holy Fire. The light is of a different consistency than normal fire that burns in an oil lamp… At a certain point the light rises and forms a column in which the fire is of a different nature, so that I am able to light my candles from it. When I thus have received the flame on my candles, I go out and give the fire first to the Armenian Patriarch and then to the Coptic. Hereafter I give the flame to all people present in the Church.”

While the patriarch is inside the chapel kneeling in front of the stone, there is darkness but far from silence outside. One hears a rather loud mumbling, and the atmosphere is very tense. When the Patriarch comes out with the two candles lit and shining brightly in the darkness, a roar of jubilee resounds in the Church, comparable only to a goal at a soccer-match.[2]

The Holy Light is not only distributed by the Archbishop, but operates also by itself. It emits from the Holy Sepulchre having a gleam of a hue completely different from that of natural light. It sparkles, it flashes like lightning, it flies like a dove around the tabernacle of the Holy Sepulchre, and lights up the unlit lamps of olive oil hanging in front of it. It whirls from one side of the church to the other. It enters to some of the chapels inside the church, as for instance the chapel of the Calvery (at a higher level than the Holy Sepulchre) and lights up the little lamps. It lights up also the candles of certain pilgrims. In fact there are some very pious pilgrims who, every time they attended this ceremony, noticed that their candles lit up on their own accord!This divine light also presents some peculiarities: As soon as it appears it has a bluish hue and does not burn. At the first moments of its appearance, if it touches the face, or the mouth, or the hands, it does not burn. This is proof of its divine and supernatural origin. We must also take into consideration that the Holy Light appears only by the invocation of an Orthodox Archbishop.[1]

The miracle is not confined to what actually happens inside the little tomb, where the Patriarch prays. What may be even more significant, is that the blue light is reported to appear and be active outside the tomb. Every year many believers claim that this miraculous light ignites candles, which they hold in their hands, of its own initiative. All in the church wait with candles in the hope that they may ignite spontaneously. Often closed oil lamps take fire by themselves before the eyes of the pilgrims. The blue flame is seen to move in different places in the Church. A number of signed testimonies by pilgrims, whose candles lit spontaneously, attest to the validity of these ignitions. The person who experiences the miracle from a close distance by having the fire on the candle or seeing the blue light usually leaves Jerusalem changed, and for everyone having attended the ceremony, there is always a “before and after” the miracle of the Holy Fire in Jerusalem.

See
holyfire.org/eng/index.html

I suppose that the oldest eucharistic miracle in the world is one within the Greek Orthodox Church.

It took place in southern Italy sometime in the year 700. At that time the Church of Rome did not have control of southern Italy but the territory was controlled by the Greek Patriarch of Constantinople.

The miracle took place in the church of Lanciano.

As history developed, the Greek Orthodox lost their authority over southern Italy and it came directly under the control of the Pope. So the miracle is now preserved and treasured by the Roman Catholic Church even though it started in the Greek Orthodox Church.

Here’s web site to read, and there are probably more sites too…
miraclerosarymission.org/lanciano.html

Here is another wonderful account of the Holy Fire in Jerusalem

The Miracle of the Holy Fire in Jerusalem

Full article at
web.archive.org/web/20041030032833/http://www.ocf.org/OrthodoxPage/reading/St.Pachomius/hvidt-fire.html

By Niels Christian Hvidt

Published in “Berlingske Tidende” 15.09.98.

“On Holy Saturday believers gather in great crowds in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. For on this day fire comes down from Heaven and puts fire on lamps in the Church.”

“The Miracle of the Holy Fire” by Christians from the Orthodox Churches is known as “The greatest of all Christian miracles”. It takes place every single year, on the same time, in the same manner, and on the same spot. No other miracle is known to occur so regularly and for such an extensive period of time; one can read about it in sources as old as from the eighth Century AD. The miracle happens in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, to millions of believers the holiest place on earth.

Hi all!

Not to show any disrespect (God forbid!) to any of the miracles recounted in the Tanakh (what we call what Christians call the “Old Testament”), or the miracles treasured by those of other faiths, but as an orthodox Jew, I’ve got to say miracles shmiracles.

Deuteronomy 13:1-6 discusses the miracle-working false prophet.

All this word which I command you, that shall you observe to do; you shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it. If there arise in your midst a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spoke unto you, saying: ‘Let us go after other gods, which you have not known, and let us serve them’; you shall not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or unto that dreamer of dreams; for the Lord your God is putting you to proof, to know whether you do love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. After the Lord your God shall you walk, and Him shall you fear, and His commandments shall you keep, and unto His voice shall you hearken, and Him shall you serve, and unto Him shall you cleave. And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he has spoken perversion against the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to draw you aside out of the way which the Lord your God commanded you to walk in. So shall you put away the evil from your midst."

Thus, we see that not every miracle or supernatural act is necessarily from God. (Pharoah’s magicians could duplicate some of the plagues yet that hardly made them either divine or agents of God.) Our Sages comment on the juxtaposition of 13:1 (“All this word which I command you, that shall you observe to do; you shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it”) to the rest of the above-cited passage; at first glance, 13:1 would not appear to be relevant to the rest of the passage. But it is, it is very relevant. The miracle-working false prophet will use the miracles that he/she performs to support his/her claims to either add to, or subtract from, the Torah. But we are bidden to ignore him/her because “the Lord your God is putting you to proof…”

Deuteronomy 18:15-22 also discusses prophecy and prophets and how to tell a true prophet from a false one. Our Sages comment on 18:22 in which God bids us not to fear the false prophet. At first glance, this would seem redundant, since one need never fear falsehood. But our Sages teach us that God is telling us that even though a false prophet may be very charismatic, may have many enthusiastic-to-fanatical followers and may even be able to perform miracles, we still must not be afraid of him/her. We cling to the Torah of Moses our Teacher and do not need to fear such a one.

In Judaism, miracles are no proof of faith. A faith that relies on miracles as “proof” is a weak reed.

Howzat?

Be well!

ssv :wave:

I think the most spectacular miracle is the birth of a child.

[quote=stillsmallvoice]Not to show any disrespect (God forbid!) to any of the miracles recounted in the Tanakh (what we call what Christians call the “Old Testament”), or the miracles treasured by those of other faiths, but as an orthodox Jew, I’ve got to say miracles shmiracles.
[/quote]

Don’t suppose you have been present for the Holy Fire in Jerusalem? This year it will be on the 30th of this month.

Hi all!

Father Ambrose, no I haven’t been to the Holy Fire ceremony in Jerusalem (see this haaretzdaily.com/hasen/spages/565601.html from a few days ago). But what of it? I never saw Pharoah’s magicians strut their stuff either. As I said in my previous post, “In Judaism, miracles are no proof of faith.” (Please understand that I mean no disrespect!)

Asnmithc, you posted:

I think the most spectacular miracle is the birth of a child.

Very good!

Our Sages tell the story that a smart-alecky Roman once asked our very great Hillel the Elder (see us-israel.org/jsource/biography/hillel.html ), “I hear that you claim that your God made the world in only six days.” “That’s right,” our great Sage replied. “Well,” said the smart-aleck, “What has He been doing since then?” “Ah,” said Rabbi Hillel, “He has been making marriages.” Our Sages say that bringing a couple together is a greater miracle than the splitting of the Sea of Reeds.

DW (originally from Cape Town) says that we first laid eyes on each other in the parking lot at the Hebrew-language school for prospective immigrants to Israel in the southern town of Arad (right next to the site of Biblical Arad, see Numbers 21:1-3) back in early February 1987. I say “DW says…” because I don’t remember it. We actually spoke to each other for the first time a few days later & it took me a few more days to work up the nerve to ask her out. We started dating & just under one year later, announced our engagement. We got married in Jerusalem during Hannukah, in December 1988 :love: .

When I first had occasion to back to Arad & visit the parking lot after DW & I were married, I said the blessing: “Praised are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has performed a miracle for me in this place.” I’ve said that blessing in one other place only, when I passed the building way up in Haifa where DW & I received our eldest (adopted) son Yohanan back in 1997 when he was 4-months-old. If I happen to pass by the building in the Tel Aviv 'burbs where we received our youngest (also adopted) son Naor back in 2000, when he was a wee 2.5-weeks-old, I’ll say the blessing again.

3.5 weeks ago, we celebrated our holyday of Purim (jewfaq.org/holiday9.htm), in which we comemorate the events described in the Book of Esther. God’s Name, of course, does not appear in the Book of Esther. The omission of the Name also jibes completely with one of the main themes of Purim; see aish.com/purimthemes/purimthemesdefault/Purim_the_holiday_in_hiding_.asp in this regard. As Rabbi Feldman mentions in his article (the preceding link), the word Esther is a cognate of the s-t-r root, which means “concealed/hidden.” Like God’s Name, the miracles of the Book of Esther are hidden. One of my rabbis here in Israel compared this to the fact that God parted the Sea of Reeds by a strong wind when He could just have easily snapped His fingers (so to speak). The parting of the Sea teaches us to see the natural in the miraculous; the Book of Esther (like the birth of a child or bringing together of a husband & wife) teaches us to see the miraculous in the natural.

Be well!

ssv :wave:

I have to echoe stillsmallvoice…I am very sceptical about stuff like this and would love some independantly verifiable evidence of these things or other miracles!

[quote=FightingFat]I have to echoe stillsmallvoice…I am very sceptical about stuff like this and would love some independantly verifiable evidence of these things or other miracles!
[/quote]

Most if not all of the items mentioned, have been examined by various folks. The Church is usually pretty skeptical of hoaxes so it does a great job of investigating before verifying or sanctioning any so called miracles.

The bodies of the saints is self evident. Dead bodies just don’t last very long and they certainly don’t smell like roses after a few years !

And I agree not all miracles come from God, however when they are associated with folks who lead holy lives. I believe they do come from God. God doesn’t allow Satan to use His servants as pawns for evil.

The results of most ligitimate miracles and holy shrines are miracles of healing and conversion. People turn away from evil and sin, and turn towards God. Satan does not push folks toward God, that would be patently stupid and counter productive.

wc

Thanks much, Fr. Ambrose, your input is really appreciated.

I know there are many mystics and miracles associated with the Eastern Church. It would be great to hear about the more famous and awe inspiring ones.

wc

[quote=stillsmallvoice]I never saw Pharoah’s magicians strut their stuff either. As I said in my previous post, “In Judaism, miracles are no proof of faith.”
[/quote]

Well, it’s still nice that you celebrate the miracle of Purim.

And it’s a good thing that the miracle of the parting of the waters took place at the first Passover or all the Jews would have been either drowned or slaughtered and that would have been the end of the Jewish nation.

3.5 weeks ago, we celebrated our holyday of Purim (jewfaq.org/holiday9.htm), in which we comemorate the events described in the Book of Esther:

One hopes that you as an observant Jew got thoroughly drunk on the feast as the Talmud requires, so drunk that you could not tell if people were shouting “Cursed be Haman” or “Blessed be Mordachai.” :slight_smile:

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