Father John was born on May 20, 1947 in Hudson, New York and early in life exhibited a prowess for the good life, excelling as a gridiron star in high school, attaining a blackbelt in Karate and getting his degree in Business Administration from Pace University in Pleasantville, New York. He had it all. The Vietnam conflict was looming and so he joined the military becoming a member of the prestigious Green Berets. After discharge from the service he went to work as a CPA which eventually took him to "Sin City" - Las Vegas where he became a casino auditor and fell in with the jet set. This translated into an opportunity to plunge into real estate which made him a millionaire with all the wealth of the rich and famous as he accrued it all - from a yacht to a Ferrari to a scenic home overlooking the Pacific. As so often happens to those who seek the world, the flesh and the devil - they find it and Father John found his hellhole in Los Angeles where he became addicted to cocaine, losing everything and wandering aimlessly as a homeless person in downtown LA.
Through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the grace of God, he was miraculously saved, largely in part to the prayers of his own mother who, like Saint Monica prayed night and day for her son Saint Augustine. Like that noble Doctor of the Church, Father Corapi followed the same path and has, in a sense, become a modern day St. Augustine. He answered God's call to the priesthood and threw himself 100% into doing his part, immersing himself in studies at the Ecclesiastical Faculty of Theology at the University of Navarre in Pamplona, Spain where he obtained his Bachelor of Sacred Theology summa cum laude and later a Licentiate in Sacred Theology, also summa cum laude. It was a far cry from the old days when he would have concentrated on drinking, carousing and running with the bulls for which Pamplona is famous for. Not finished, he achieved the highest degree available from that University, obtaining a Doctor of Sacred Theology (S.T.D.) and awarded a Magna cum Laude for his thesis: "The Cross of Christ in the Magisterium of John Paul II." Prior to receiving the latter degree, he also obtained a Masters in Sacred Scripture from Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut, graduating with the highest honors.
He was drawn by the sincerity, dedication and holiness of Father James Flanigan, S.O.L.T., founder of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity on Lake Corpus Christi, in Robstown, Texas and thus mosied down to south Texas to join the community of S.O.L.T. where he was ordained a transitional deacon on May 26, 1990 by Corpus Christi's Bishop Rene Gracida after a decade of religious studies. Exactly one year from that day he was ordained a priest. But his ordination was special for he had the immense privilege of being ordained by Pope John Paul II himself at St. Peter's Basilica on May 26, 1991.
He returned to the states largely because the Holy Father asked him to "Go back to America where I need you." His first assignment was in his own Diocese beginning as a pastoral assistant at St. Mary's Parish in Hudson, New York which had to thrill his mother, rewarding her for her faith and perseverance. He then transferred to St. Anthony's Parish near S.O.L.T. headquarters in Robstown, Texas where he became extremely interested in the plight of the Mexican migrant farm workers and ministered to them. But his real talents lay in his "Apostolic Preaching" which is to 'teach the truths of the Fatith with such authority and clarity that even the hardest hearts might be brought closer to God' and so his superiors discerned that, with this gift and his expertise on the new Catechism of the Catholic Church, the Church would be better served by his active preaching ministry. Thus he transferred to the Diocese of Sacramento where he was welcomed by Bishop William K. Weigand and appointed Director of Catholic Faith Formation for the Diocese followed by his assignment as Director of the Diocesan Project for the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Though he prefers the contemplative life in his hermitage, most of the time he is on the go, preaching parish missions, retreats and conferences throughout the Western Hemisphere and touching souls as God intended. His preaching is so treasured that Mother Angelica has invited him to preach the annual retreat next month on the Solemnity of the Assumption weekend in Irondale, Alabama for her Sisters of the Eternal Word. You can learn more about Father Corapi and his ministry by going to his website at SOLT Media Ministry where you can also order his tapes and writings as well as going to the S.O.L.T. official web site maintained by Father Richard Gant, S.O.L.T. to learn more about the Order, their ministry and charisms. Father John is living proof that the spirit of St. Augustine lives today, embodied in this dynamic priest who, at only 52, has reached the heights of spirituality and an immeasurable satisfaction that had always eluded him when he lived his life without God. He wants to share his life experiences and lessons learned, as well as his learning, with others as a sign that Jesus Christ will never abandon us for "His Mercy endures forever."
Dear children of my Immaculate Heart, I desire for each of you to ponder well my message given to the world of March 25th at my beloved Medjugorje. Contemplate the meaning of my words through an open, loving contrite heart.
Do you not yet understand that the patience of the Father with His wayward children is no longer to be endured before the Most Blessed Trinity? You do not realize this because you do not pray. Your faith has not grown deep and you are satan's pawns.
Little children, sin separates you from God and ensnares you to the wiles of the evil one. So callused a generation have you become that even the most hideous sins and evils leave you unaffected. Because of this you are not on guard, and through lack of prayer, fasting, penance and regular attendance at Holy Mass and the sacraments, you focus only on your bodily needs.
This is why satan easily tricks you in the smallest things, leading you to offend God first by little sins which gather and grow as a cancer in your soul, and then you are fully capable of committing many mortal sins without any awareness of the death of your soul through lack of grace.
Dear children, all men sin. That is why my Divine Son gave unto you in His One True Church the Sacrament of Penance. He, Who is Mercy, desires always to forgive the contrite, repentant sinner and to restore the sinner to a full life of grace.
But still after all of my words to you, you do not keep guard over your senses. How frequently do you argue and bicker in your homes, your parish, at work? How often do you turn a deaf ear to the real threat of vice shown to you on television, or heard on endless radio shows. You expose yourself to every type of evil, and so immune to it have you become that in nearly every family the children hear and see this same evil, and it becomes for them a fierce inner struggle wherein satan employs the images and words to pull children into a life of sin.
As the season of Lent culminates on Good Friday in all its solemn mourning, which must precede the Glory of Easter, please heed my Motherly words. Pray often. Pray together as a family and as a parish community. Cease all quarreling, and become humble, obedient children of my Divine Son's One True Church. Be obedient in all things that the dogmas, doctrines and sacred traditions of my Divine Son's True Church hold sacred. Do not debate these things, but rather surrender obediently and lead lives of virtue and grace.
Let this coming Easter be for each of you the moment of full conversion of heart, so that you will persevere until the end. Let this Holy Week strengthen each of you in your resolve to walk the Way of the Cross with my Divine Son. Seek to be one with Him at all times so that in the fullness of time you may enter into the Glory of Eternal Life.
I, your Heavenly Mother, plead for each of you before the Throne of God and I implore you to prostrate yourself before my Divine Son in the Blessed Sacrament and seek forgiveness and Divine help in all things. If your heart is sincere you shall know the power of God in your life, and faith shall become for you the strong anchor it must be.
Little children, I solemnly say to all the world: Soon my messages will have been fulfilled, and you will have only faith, hope and love to be your guide in the spiritual darkness. Soon my words to you through my hidden one shall no longer be given, for I have said all that God desires me to say, and my hidden one has written my words in obedience and love.
Prepare well, for the height of the spiritual battle commences and I desire to help each of you.
I love and bless you. Thank you for responding to my Call!
Dear little children, how sorrowful is My Sacred Heart which longs to be your Refuge! How you neglect Me, your God!
How I shed tears of blood over the lukewarmness of so many countless souls, especially so many of My beloved priest-sons. O! I did not call My priest-sons to be entertainers! I did not call them to be managers and to act as administrators of financial affairs. Of what use to Me is the gift of your money given out of excess, and not your need.
Have I, your God, need of such shallow love and dimmed faith? Am I not deserving of all your love which seeks Me alone and allows Me to lead you according to My Perfect Will!?!
Holy Week comes. O! What a treasure of graces await the sincere, repentant heart during the fulfillment of My Passion and Death, and My Glory on Easter.
I see all, my little ones. Nothing whatsoever is hidden from Me. I look deep within your heart and know its secret places. These are the places you do not search because here you have placed all of those worldly attachments which keep you apart from Me. You are afraid to examine yourself because to truly love Me would mean detachment.
O! How little you understand and live My Gospel Message. Therefore, I wish to help you. Only at this time will I speak to you thus, because to know and live My Gospel is to reach your eternal home. Therefore, I call now to each of you to repent of all your sins, to do penance for them with a humble, contrite and joyful spirit, and to amend your life. If you do this then I shall be able to help you in every aspect of your life.
Walk the Way of the Cross with Me, My children, and learn the sublime mystery, the holiness of suffering.
I love you. I bless you. Love Me and be not afraid, but rejoice for I Come!
Death of Saints Aurelius and Natalia.
Death of Saint Clement Slovenski from Okhrida, first Slav to become bishop. He founded a monastery and is considered one of the Seven Apostles of Bulgaria.
Death of Pope Nicholas II, 155th successor of Peter, is remembered for calling the a synod at Rome which forbade the investiture of bishops without papal authorization, a real sticking point with the feudal lords and emperors during that era, It was also Nicholas who decided that the election of the Pope should be reserved to Cardinal-bishops and Cardinal priests only.
The Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II of the House of Hohenstaufen is condemned and deposed by the Council of Lyons during the reign of Pope Innocent IV.
Polish Astronomer Nicholas Copernicus is installed as a Canon of the Frauenberg Cathedral with the blessing of Pope Alexander VI.
Death of Blessed Mary Magdalen Martinengo, a former countess of Borco who gave up all to become a Poor Clare nun and devote her life to God as a chosen mystic who followed a life of vigorous penance.