The Blessed Virgin also concentrates on her priest-sons and religious and the vital need to adore her Son Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, confirming what she has been imparting to Father Don Stefano Gobbi, when she says to Maria: "Now, meditate in silence and submit to prayer that you may comprehend and accept my presence among you. I say especially to religious, my consecrated priests and missionary sisters - that they may enter wholeheartedly into prayer and contemplation which is so necessary in this hour so decisive for humanity. Action and work are the axis but without prayer, works are ruined. It is important, even necessary, to consider your vows. Pastors take your flocks and form of them one big human family. Behold here pastors who are blessed with good possibilities in their flocks, it is a beautiful apostolate and it needs prayer to keep them united to my Son. It is for this that I beg you, my children, do not stop adoring; you cannot stray from my Maternal heart. You are consecrated religious and receive orders from your superiors - you must remain faithful, persevering in your apostolic work for the benefit of God's people.
"I, my children, will remain faithful until the end, following in the footsteps of my Divine Son. You have a great responsibility. You know that will power and good intention is the basis. Jesus is there with sacrifice and He reveals Himself in the silence of the temple of each heart of His ministers. In adoration, He becomes present; it is the proper surrender to Christ, my Divine Son. But in the strength of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, it will become true in you in an exceptional way - you will be one alone with Him. Lo! The beauty and grandeur of what it means to be a priest."
Fr. Otty explained what had happened, "I broke the Host into four parts. When I looked down on the plate I could not believe my eyes. I saw the red stain forming on the Host and from it a red substance was beginning to emanate similar to the way blood spurts out in a puncture. After the Consecration (Mass) I took the Host and protected it in the Sanctuary. The next day at six in the morning I observed the Host and I found that the blood was still fresh and had trickled down."
For three days the Blood was fluid and then began to dry, however to this day it still looks fresh. Amazingly, the Blood is only on one side, not bleeding through the exceedingly thin Host. That in itself is a miracle for blood normally seeps through. As Sr. Margaret states in her book, "The importance is not in the miracle itself, but in the sign. It is a sign that our Lord is truly present in the Eucharist. In the miracles of the Bible it is not the miracle, but the sign - the sign of Our Lord's Mercy and Love for His children." Yes, it is a true sign of the Transubstantiation."
It presently is kept in a small reliquary in the tabernacle in the chapel at the Convent of the Sisters of St. Joseph, which is also the Bishop's residence. There are plans in the future to move it to a special place in the Cathedral at Los Teques. For now, it affords the best opportunity to see it up close and to kiss the glass where the Sacred Host resides. The Convent of Los Teques, seat of the diocese, is about an hour's drive southwest of Caracas whereas Betania is an hour and a half to two hour drive due south of Caracas.
Bishop Bello was immediately notified of the Eucharistic Miracle by Fr. Otty and as he told us, "because I believe in Fr. Otty and trust him, I knew it had to be authentic." However, in keeping with Church norms he had the Sacred Host undergo a series of careful testing and analysis in Caracas. The findings turned out to be as expected - human blood, type AB as in Lanciano - Christ's Own blood-type!
In the next installment we will delve into why Betania was chosen and why God allowed a Eucharistic Miracle to take place with part seven of this feature on Betania.
O! Say to all of my little ones that now, as never before, they must be of strong faith! For so many years I have spoken daily to you. I have constantly urged all to a life of prayer. I now invite all to once again renew their dedication and consecration to my Son's Sacred Heart through my Immaculate Heart. This is your refuge, and you must come to this refuge now.
My dear children, do not harden your hearts and grow lax in your faith. You see things with finite eyes. You understand in a finite manner, and thus you fail to see the fulfillment of my words of hope and also of warning.
Dear little ones, I love you! I solemnly tell you that the Hour of Great Sorrow has arrived, and the perversion of the evil one daily covers all of mankind in a death grip.
Believe my heavenly words, for they come to you by God's authority. I solemnly tell you that soon there will unfold events that shall be a great sign to all whose hearts are converted that the Chastisement enters its most sorrowful time.
This will truly be a year of tears. I gather your tears together with my own as a perfect prayer to my Divine Son. But woe to all who refuse to convert their hearts, for they shall be blinded by Satan and will not recognize that God's Justice shall come swiftly.
Pray, my little ones! Pray! Delight in every cross my Divine Son offers you. They are of infinite merit.
I love and bless you. Thank you for responding to my Call!
I say now to all of my little ones: Have strong faith. Your faith, in this time of Great Sorrow, must be simple. Faith is the pathway to God. It is a simple road of belief, that does not rely upon human reasoning. Faith permits God to enlighten first the soul and then the mind with Truth, which transcends the human intellect.
Be very little, humble, obedient children and your faith shall glow as a bonfire in the Dark Night.
Pray and ask God to strengthen you in faith. Then shall you know the truth of my words. I love and bless you. Thank you for responding to my Call!
During one of the past few days, I had occasion to visit the U.S. Embassy in our capital after official working hours. I arrived at a quarter to six and was met by the Marine on guard at the entrance of the Chancery. He asked if I would mind waiting while he lowered the two American flags at the Embassy. What I witnessed over the next 10 minutes so impressed me that I am now led to make this occurrence a part of my ongoing record of this distressing era.
The Marine was dressed in a uniform which was spotless and neat; he walked with a measured tread from the entrance of the Chancery to the stainless steel flagpole before the Embassy and, almost reverently, lowered the flag to the level of his reach where he began to fold it in military fashion. He then released the flag from the clasps attaching it to the rope, stepped back from the pole, made an about face, and carried the flag between his hands - one above, one below - and placed it securely on a stand before the Chancery.
He then marched over to the second flagpole and repeated the same lonesome ceremony. On the way between poles, he mentioned to me very briefly that he would soon be finished.
After completing his task, he apologized for the delay - out of pure courtesy, as nothing less than incapacity would have prevented him from fulfilling his goal - and said to me, "Thank you for waiting, Sir. I had to pay honor to my country."
I have had to tell this story because there was something impressive about a lone Marine carrying out a ceremonial task which obviously meant very much to him and which, in its simplicity, made the might, the power and the glory of the United States of America stand forth in a way that a mighty wave of military aircraft, or the passage of a super-carrier, or a parade of 10,000 men could never have made manifest.
In spite of all the many things that I can say negatively about the United States, I do not think there is a soldier, yea, even a private citizen, who could feel as proud about our country today as the Marine does for his country.
One day it is my hope to visit one of our embassies in a far-away place and to see a soldier fold our flag and turn to a stranger and say, "I am sorry for the delay, Sir. I had to honor my country."
As you got up this morning, I watched you and hoped you would talk to me even if it was just a few words, asking my opinion or thanking me for something good that happened in your life yesterday, but I noticed you were too busy trying to find the right outfit to put on and wear to work.
I waited again. When you ran around the house getting ready I knew there would be a few minutes for you to stop and say hello, but you were too busy. At one point you had to wait fifteen minutes with nothing to do except sit in a chair.
Then I saw you spring to your feet. I thought you wanted to talk to me but you ran to the phone and called a friend to get the latest gossip. I watched as you went to work and I waited patiently all day long. I guess you were too busy to say anything to me with all your activities. I noticed that before lunch you looked around. Maybe you felt embarrassed to talk to me, that is why you didn't bow your head. You glanced three or four tables over and you noticed some of your friends talking to me briefly before they ate, but you didn't. That's okay. There is still more time left, and I have hope that you will talk to me even yet you went home and it seems as if you had lots of things to do. After a few of them were done you turned on the TV. I don't know if I like TV or not, just about anything goes there and you spend a lot of time each day in front of it not thinking about anything-just enjoying the show.
I waited patiently again as you watched TV and ate your meal but again you didn't talk to me. As you did your chores I waited again-you did what you had to do. At bedtime I guess you felt too tired. After you said goodnight to your family, you plopped into bed and fell asleep in no time. That's okay because you may not realize that I am always there for you. I've got patience more than you will ever know. I even want to teach you how to be patient with others as well. Because I love you so much, a long time ago I left a wonderful place called Heaven and came to Earth. I gave it up so that I could be made fun of and ridiculed. I even died so you wouldn't have to take my place. I love you so much that I wait everyday for a nod, prayers, a thought, or a thankful part of your heart. It is hard to have a one-sided conversation. Well, you are getting up again and once again I will wait with nothing but love for you hoping that today you will give me some time.
Have a nice day!
P.S: Do you have enough time to send this to another person?
Pope Innocent III opens the 12th Ecumenical Council, also called Lateran IV, in Rome in which the council planned a crusade, issued decrees on annual Communion, reinforced their condemnation of the Albigensian heresy and passed reforms.
Cardinal Oddo Colonna is elected Pope Martin V, 206th successor of Peter. He would celebrate the 5th Holy Year and for the first time a "Holy Door" is opened in the Basilica of St. John Lateran. He was a great patron of the arts and during his papacy the Renaissance would begin to flourish.