Part I: Lanciano and Guadalupe
After my conversion I was given a book on Catholic miracles and I was blown away! I thought miracles were when over-pious religious freaks saw things like Mary’s afternoon selfie in their grilled cheese, which always left me wondering if they still ate it? Sinners.
Little did I know about the scientific data and evidence recorded about Church-approved miracles that would leave Bill Maher speechless (which would be a miracle in itself). Although faith does not require seeing: “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe (John 20:29),” a good Catholic should never turn down a kiss from heaven!
Eucharistic Miracle of Lanciano
In the 8th century a Basilian monk was doubting Jesus’ real presence in the Eucharist. It seems Jesus has a soft spot for the doubting Thomas’, because after desperate prayers by the monk for the Lord to relieve him of his lack of faith, one of the most amazing miracles materialized during the consecration! The monk lifted the host up. . .
and when the host came down, the monk’s life and history was changed forever. The bread was changed into living flesh and the wine was changed into living blood.
During the next twelve centuries the flesh and the blood remained in a glass case. This could be considered a miracle in itself: the flesh and the blood remained in there natural state while being exposed to the action of atmospheric and biological agents for twelve centuries. This is before food like McDonald’s french fries, burgers, and twinkies, which will most likely withstand an alien invasion.
For all of the haters, here is the scientific evidence:
In 1970-’71 and taken up again partly in 1981 there took place a scientific investigation by the scientist Prof. Odoardo Linoli, eminent Professor in Anatomy and Pathological Histology and in Chemistry and Clinical Microscopy. He was assisted by Prof. Ruggero Bertelli of the University of Siena.
The analyses were conducted with absolute and unquestionable scientific precision and they were documented with a series of microscopic photographs.These analyses sustained the following conclusions:
The Flesh is real Flesh. The Blood is real Blood.
The Flesh and the Blood belong to the human species.
The Flesh consists of the muscular tissue of the heart.
In the Flesh we see present in section: the myocardium, the endocardium, the vagus nerve and also the left ventricle of the heart for the large thickness of the myocardium.
The Flesh is a “HEART” complete in its essential structure.
The blood was also of human origin with the type AB. Proteins in the clotted Blood were normally fractioned with the same percentage ratio as those found in the sero-proteic make-up of normal, fresh human blood. The blood contained these minerals: chlorides, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, sodium, and calcium.
Professor Linoli asserted that the blood, if taken from a cadaver, would have deteriorated rapidly. Given that these samples were centuries old, free of preservatives, and never hermetically sealed in the reliquaries, they should have deteriorated. However, he underscored that the samples had the same properties as fresh human blood and flesh.
Moreover, the doctors both concluded that only the skill of a trained pathologist could have obtained such a sample, a tangential cut of the heart a round cut, thick on the outer edges and lessening gradually and uniformly to the central area.
It is interesting that the flesh of the Eucharist appeared as cardiac tissue, the muscle of the heart. For no other part of the body could symbolize more of just what the Eucharist is. It is the real Presence of God, “who is Love!”
Our Lady of Guadalupe
When I heard the title of Our Lady of Guadalupe, I would always think of a Mexican gangster with his back tatted up:
However, when I studied this event I realized why even the Mexican gangsters were representing Mary with a huge tattoo. Mary, in six years, brought a whole country, filled with millions of people, from traditions of human sacrifice and the most hideous evils, to a Rosary wearing, loving-your-neighbor-as-yourself, tattooed gangsters who love their virgin mama, society. In 1531 the Aztec gods were the main divinities worshipped – the gods were explicitly satanic. There was the humming bird wizard, who was the lover of human hearts and the drinker of blood, and the smoking mirror, who was the lord of the dark: the god of phantoms and monsters. Needless to say, when your god is a fan of human hearts and loves a true Bloody Mary after a hard days work, worship does not consist of a guitar, holding hands and singing kumbaya! The Aztec priests were specially trained in the quick removal of the human heart from the body (in under 15 seconds). They would sacrifice between 20,000 and 250,000 people, mostly children, every year. It is estimated that 1/5 of the Aztec civilization was killed in human sacrificial ceremonies. In 1487, right before the appearance of our Heavenly Queen, a new temple was built and dedicated in Tenochtitlan. In the span of a four day festival, the Aztecs sacrificed an estimated 80,000 people (that is the death of a victim every 15 seconds for four days and four nights without a break).
Juan Diego was a witness to this event. Where the love of the mother is most needed, she appears. In 1531 Mother Mary chose Juan Diego, a humble peasant, to be her ambassador. Juan Diego was 57-years-old and on his way back from the Catholic Church, which was already in the country due to the Spanish invasion (although they had little success, because of their own abuses of the people). Near Tepayac Hill, Juan encountered a beautiful woman surrounded by a orb of light as bright as the sun. Speaking in his native tongue, the beautiful lady identified herself:
“My dear little son, I love you. I desire you to know who I am. I am the ever-virgin Mary, Mother of the true God who gives life and maintains its existence. He created all things. He is in all places. He is Lord of Heaven and Earth. I desire a church in this place where your people may experience my compassion. All those who sincerely ask my help in their work and in their sorrows will know my Mother’s Heart in this place. Here I will see their tears; I will console them and they will be at peace. So run now to Tenochtitlan and tell the Bishop all that you have seen and heard.”
Juan Diego went to the bishop, but like one would expect, he wasn’t believed. This is where it gets really interesting. Mary appeared again to Juan and gave him a SIGN for the unbelieving bishop. She sent him to the top of hill to cut flowers and bring them back to her. Mary arranged the flowers in Juan’s tilma and when Juan dropped his tilma to reveal the flowers to the bishop, the bishop dropped to his knees. This is what he saw:
This image was on the inside of Juan Diego’s tilma. It is true that our Lady has taken a selfie, but her photo is too great for a grilled cheese. This heavenly selfie laid upon Juan’s tilma was so powerful that in 6 years, 6 million aztecs became Roman Catholic; in 10 years, 9 million.
Here is the scientific discoveries of the IMAGE:
Made primarily of cactus fibers, a tilma was of very poor quality and had a rough surface, making it difficult enough to wear, much less to paint a lasting image on it. Nevertheless, the image remains, and scientists who have studied the image insist there was no technique used beforehand to treat the surface. The surface bearing the image is silk to the touch, while the unused portion of the tilma remains coarse.
Phillip Callahan, a biophysicist at the University of Florida, discovered that the differences in texture and coloration that cause Our Lady’s skin to look different up close and far away is impossible to recreate:
Such a technique would be an impossible accomplishment in human hands. It often occurs in nature, however, in the coloring of bird feathers and butterfly scales, and on the elytra of brightly colored beetles … By slowly backing away from the painting, to a distance where the pigment and surface sculpturing blend together, the overwhelming beauty of the olive-colored Madonna emerges as if by magic. The image was determined to have no animal or mineral elements, and synthetic colorings didn’t exist in 1531.
Through infrared photography, experts determined there was no brush stokes, as if the image was slapped into the surface all at once.
Adolfo Orozco, a physicist at the National University of Mexico, reported that in 1789 a duplicate was painted on a similar surface with the best techniques available at the time, then encased in glass and stored next to the real tilma – it lasted eight years before it faded and frayed; the real tilma is… 484 years (116 years with no protection and exposure to the humid and salty air of the temple)
Callahan, a Florida biophysicist, analyzed the tilma using infrared technology, he discovered that the tilma maintains a constant temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, the same as that of a living person.
Jose Aste Tonsmann, a Peruvian ophthalmologist, examined the eyes on the tilma at 2,500 times magnification. With the images of the magnified eyes, the scientist was able to identify as many as 13 individuals in both eyes at different proportions, just as the human eye would reflect an image. It appeared to be a snapshot of the very moment Juan Diego unfurled the tilma before the archbishop.
In 1785, a worker was cleaning the glass encasement of the image and he accidentally spilled strong nitric acid solvent onto a large portion of the image itself. The image and the rest of the tilma, which should have been eaten away almost instantly by the spill, self-restored over the next 30 days, and it remained unscathed to this day.
In 1921, an anti-clerical activist hid a bomb containing 29 sticks of dynamite in a pot of roses and placed it before the image inside the Basilica at Guadalupe. When the bomb exploded, the marble altar rail and windows from nearby homes were shattered. The tilma with the image of our Lady and the glass case it was in fell to off the wall, but remained fully intact! Just as astonishing, a brass crucifix that was standing in front of the tilma was twisted and bent out of shape, perfectly laid out over the tilma – it was Jesus protecting his mother!
That is enough science to say, Bill put that in your pipe and smoke it. Apparently the spaghetti monster does exist.