Amparo normally suffered the stigmata when Our Lady would appear to her at Prado Nuevo. At times, she would go into ecstasy with blood flowing from her hands, feet, forehead, and eyes. Other times, when in ecstasy, there would be no bleeding. Other accounts of the visible stigmata have been recorded in other places other than the apparition site including her home and in a Madrid store, but the most memorable was on her first visit to a Carmelite priest Fr. Alfonso Maria Lopez Sendin to whom she requested he be her confessor and spiritual director.
Other charisms attributed to Amparo are an intense fragrance of roses emanating around her, her ability to converse with the Blessed Virgin in an unknown language, in some instances, during moments of ecstasy. Reference to this "unknown" and sometimes "heavenly" language appears in the messages. There are times when the word "unintelligible" is used to describe the language.
Amparo also has been blessed with the gift of bilocation which enabled her to be in Madrid supervising the work on the painting of the Sorrowful Mother by Madrid artist donna Elvira Soriano which simultaneously being seen in El Escorial. Amparo has received many messages and prophecies and through visions, she has been able to witness some of the most memorable events in the lives of Jesus and His Blessed Mother, such as the Passion and Death of Christ as well as Mary's dormition and Assumption into Heaven.
This Spanish visionary also experiences the phenomenon of levitation, which enables her to rise above the ground during moments of ecstasy. Many pilgrims present at the apparition site on first Saturdays have been healed physically and spiritually. While at Prado Nuevo countless people have observed the numerous solar phenomena including the spinning of the sun. During the seventeen year period of apparitions, there have been innumerable conversions in El Escorial.
Amparo's life is one of suffering and sometimes very intense suffering. Our Lady often asks if she will drink of the "chalice of suffering." Only Amparo can see and experience this chalice during the apparitions. She describes the chalice as a receptacle very similar to a cup or chalice with two handles and its contents as reddish in color and tasting bitter. Being only human, Amparo complains of the bitterness of the taste, which seems to be stronger at times. Our Lady tells her that it is the same chalice of suffering that her Divine Son drinks daily because of the pains that are caused by humanity. Our Lady always follows this with a request for prayers and for penance.
Our Lady invites Amparo to help her to suffer. She shows Amparo her heart full of thorns, which are there because of consecrated souls who have committed serious sins. Amparo often attempts to remove these thorns from the Sorrowful Mother and place them on her own body. Often they last for days. Then they gradually disappear because of Amparo's willingness to suffer and pray as a victim soul that makes it possible for consecrated souls to be forgiven. Our Lady also would permit Amparo to include their names in the book of life as witnessed by others who have seen her reaching for something, making a gesture of writing from right to left in the air, then kiss it and return it to Our Lady. The Blessed Virgin then tells her that the name of the person, which Amparo has inscribed, will never be erased!
The sufferings, which Amparo had to bear, were not limited to those shared with the Blessed Mother or with Jesus. On May 26, 1983, Amparo underwent an experience the likes of which she had never had and, more than likely, never will again. Amparo learned that the little chapel or niche at Prado Nuevo had been the target of gunshots, so she went there to pray at 11:00 in the morning. Attentive to her prayer and on her knees, she did not noticed that three hooded individuals (later identified by the Blessed Mother as two men and a woman) were walking toward her. They snatched her cardigan sweater, which was draped over her shoulders, and shoved it over her head, tying it to Amparo's neck. Then Amparo suffered the ultimate humility as they stripped her completely and threw her clothes into the drinking tank used by the wild cows, which grazed throughout the meadow. Shoving and dragging her, they led her to a more rocky and distant place where they demanded she state that the apparitions and messages were false. Amparo, like Saint Bernadette at Lourdes and Father Jozo Zovko, OFM in Medjugorje, refused to betray God and for her loyalty, she was tortured as the thugs slammed her face and body with vicious blows. They even threatened to hang her, sadistically describing how to do away with her either by hanging or strangling. Just as they were about to carry out their dastardly deed, they heard someone approaching nearby and fled the scene.
Amparo was discovered near dead, covered with lacerations and blood. Placed on a stretcher, she was taken to the hospital where doctors treated blows on her head, her swollen face and wounds and marks from head to toe. Emerging from death's door, Amparo recovered enough to leave the hospital and return home at the request of her family. In her bed of suffering, Amparo reached out just as Pope John Paul II did to his attacker after he had been shot, she said of her attackers: "I forgive them and I would give my life for them if it were necessary. What is most important is that those souls be saved."
Next installment: "By their fruits you shall known them" .
Not only is Cardinal Arinze one of the leading prelates of Africa, but quite possibly one of the more influential in the entire College of Cardinals and his name has been bandied about as papal material, especially in light of the tremendous growth of the Church in Africa. Add to this his active participation in the Roman curia with membership in the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, the Pontifical Council for the Laity, the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, the Pontifical Council for Culture, the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses, and the Committee for the Grand Jubilee of the Holy Year 2000. Despite the fact the hierarchy wasn't established until 1950, Nigeria leads all Catholic nations in Africa with 12,777,000 Catholics and has shown tremendous growth under the leadership of Cardinal Francis Arinze, adding ten new dioceses within the last five years.
The first priest says, "I've always wanted to be an eagle, soaring above the Rocky mountains." "So be it," says St. Peter, and off flies the first priest.
The second priest mulls this over for a moment and asks, "Will any of this week 'count', St. Peter?" "No, I told you the computer's down. There's no way we can keep track of what you're doing. The week's a freebie." "In that case," says the second priest, "I've always wanted to be a stud.""So be it," says St. Peter, and the second priest disappears.
A week goes by, the computer is fixed, and the Lord tells St. Peter to recall the two priests. "Will you have any trouble locating them?" He asks. "The first one should be easy," says St. Peter. "He's somewhere over the Rockies, flying with the eagles. But the second one could prove to be more difficult."
"Why?" asketh the Lord. St. Peter answered, "He's on a snow tire, somewhere in North Dakota."
2. C'mon Over And Bring The Kids --God
3. What Part of "Thou Shalt Not..." Didn't You Understand? --God
4. We Need To Talk --God
5. Keep Using My Name in Vain And I'll Make Rush Hour Longer--God
6. Loved The Wedding, Invite Me To The Marriage --God
7. That "Love Thy Neighbor" Thing? I Meant It. --God
8. I Love You...I Love You...I Love You... --God
9. Will The Road You're On Get You To My Place? --God
10. Follow Me. --God
11. Big Bang Theory? You've Got To Be Kidding. --God
12. My Way Is The Highway. --God
13. Need Directions? --God
14. You Think It's Hot Here? --God
15. Tell The Kids I Love Them. --God
16. Need a Good Marriage Counselor? I'm Available. --God
17. Have You Read My #1 Best Seller? There Will Be a Test. --God
My time to be with you rapidly comes to an end. You must remember my words and be strong. Go to daily Mass, and receive the Blessed Sacrament frequently, always with your soul in the state of Sanctifying Grace. Visit the Blessed Sacrament often. How my Divine Son longs for you to come that you may be purified in the Furnace of Divine Love.
Pray! Pick up your rosaries and pray. Read Sacred Scripture and allow the Holy Spirit to be your abiding guest. Do not be afraid. Fear only the loss of your immortal soul, for I solemnly tell you all evil which exists comes from the evil one who works ceaselessly upon your human weakness.
Wear the garments of humility, obedience, poverty and chaste love. Do not attach yourself to the world, which shall taste the full Justice of God.
I love and bless you. I give you my Son's Peace. Pray! Pray! Pray!
Do you not yet understand, little children, what My Mother has said to you for these many years? So few have heard and truly understood that I, your God, have sent you My Own Mother to prepare you. Was it not She, My Holy and Immaculate Mother, who helped Me in My early years? Do not be stubborn any longer. You are My children, and your littleness is My strength.
On this great day, be humble. Come to Me with open heart. Whatever you have within you that is not of Me, cast it away from you with the Sacrament of Penance. Then, freed, run to Me, cling to Me. I await you at every moment in the Tabernacle. It is truly I, Jesus Christ, Son of God, Whom you receive in the Blessed Sacrament. Will you not come in love? Does not love show respect? I am Who Am, and I solemnly tell you the moment is here when the evil one and his cohorts shall try to take Me from you. From all eternity have I planned for this time. I have given you My Mother to prepare you for great sufferings and trials in your life. You will suffer much, those who love Me. But do you doubt that I will be your strength in all trials? Therefore, do not separate yourself from Me, Who Am God. Come to Me, receive Me worthily and with utmost reverence. Every time you do this you bring closer the Triumph of My Mother's Immaculate Heart which shall usher in the new era which you are not yet ready to understand. Therefore, if you would be willing to suffer, have all courage in Me. Trust Me and come to Me. I will fill you with My Spirit Who shall enlighten you about all which you must know and understand.
The Hour of Justice has already dawned. This is the Year of Tears. Come to Me in the Blessed Sacrament. Preserve Me in this, My Sacrament of Love, and all shall be given unto you.
I love you, My children. I give you My Peace. Go now and be My soldiers, for the time of the battle has struck.
Death of Saint Sebastian, Martyr. For more on this extraordinary martyr, see TODAY'S LITURGY.
Death of Saint Neophytus, young teenage martyr who was murdered for his faith by the regime of the Roman Emperor Galerius at Niceae.
Death of Saint Euthymius the Great, Abbot. Every year as a priest, this Armenian-born holy man would retire to a mountain in total solitude to fast and pray from the feast of the Epiphany to Easter Sunday. He died in Palestine at the age of 95.
Election of Cardinal Giovanni de Sabina as Pope Sylvester III. His pontificate would last only twenty days. For a time he took the place of his predecessor and successor Pope Benedict IX who was elected Sovereign Pontiff three times. Sylvester was caught in the middle because of the factions known as the pro-papal Guelphs and the pro-monarchy Ghibellines. Even though Benedict would issue an interdict against Sylvester and proclaim the latter an antipope, Benedict did not have the authority at the time and it was never fully recognized by the Church. Therefore, Sylvester III remains a legitimate Pope, the 146th successor of Peter.
Death of Saint Eutochium Calafato a Poor Clare nun who envisioned Christ crucified in a mystical vision Who told her she needed to reform the laxity in the convents. She received permission to found a stricter convent and became its abbess. She died at the age of 35 as a victim soul. Two centuries after her death her body was exhumed in Messina and discovered to be incorrupt verifying her sanctity.