Help from Heaven Book, (Part Three) Mary Ann Matulis (copyright 2012)
A constant source of help
A friend of mine gave me this testimony: her mother always prayed for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, and also sought their intercession in her needs. On one occasion she was carrying a bucket of water with one hand and she reached out and pulled the arm of her daughter with the other hand, in order to make the daughter come along with her.
The daughter’s arm was injured when she did this and the child continually cried with the pain. The child’s father was overseas on a visit to other family members, and the mother was worried about how to tell him about the accident. That night she prayed for the Holy Souls in Purgatory and asked them to obtain for her, that her daughter would be healed by the morning.
In the morning she came into her daughter’s bedroom and held out something for the daughter to reach out for, in order to test if her daughter could do so without pain. The mother did not wish to touch the arm in case it was still in pain. The daughter’s arm was healed. The mother also turned to the Holy Souls in Purgatory whenever there was trouble in the family and asked for their help. She had great confidence in their intercession. Whenever they assisted her with her problems, she would give her oldest daughter a Mass stipend to take to the priest to get a Mass said for the Holy Souls in Purgatory.
Divine providence at work
My husband had an operation. When the operation was over, a friend was going to drive to the hospital, in order to take him home. The hospital telephoned me, and told me that my husband was ready to go home.
I telephoned the friend to let him know. I thought that I was telephoning him at his house, but I actually phoned another person that we know, whose phone number is similar. It turned out the man, who was going to drive my husband home from the hospital, was actually at the other man’s house on a visit! I had no way of knowing this, and the man wondered how I had located him!
This proved to be providential, because I would not have been able to contact him otherwise, and my husband would have had to wait many hours at the hospital before going home.
Saint Philomena's help in a desperate case
The following favour was also granted to the lady mentioned in the previous testimony (Wonderful Progress). In July, my father was diagnosed with lung cancer; three separate tests (including a CT scan and PET scan) confirmed a cancer diagnosis that had spread from his lung to three lymph nodes and an adrenal gland (stage 4 cancer.) The doctors took the next step, which was to biopsy the adrenal gland and lymph nodes. Those four biopsies came back negative for cancer. The team of doctors were incredulous, and said that "this was beyond very rare". They said that it is possible for one biopsy to come back negative, that would indicate a bad sample, but four? They all just shook their heads.My father's second round of biopsies for the adrenal gland and the lymph nodes all came back negative as well!
The team of doctors just stood around and shook their heads in disbelief when delivering the news. We have documents proving that three prior tests came back positive for cancer. His lung biopsy was cancerous as expected, but it is the best possible kind to have and he will have the upper lobe of his lung which contains the tumor removed this Friday. The doctors expect him to have a complete cure afterwards. My father has not only had a physical cure, but also a spiritual healing as well. We are grateful to St. Philomena for all of the prayers that she has answered for us, especially for my father's spiritual onversion and his cancer being downgraded from stage 4 to a curable stage 1. We've also had so many little prayers answered, that I cannot even begin to count all the ways. Saint Philomena truly is powerful with God. C.M. (USA)
Boyfriend came back
The Holy Souls in Purgatory really do obtain miracles for their benefactors. My boyfriend came back, when I made one novena for them, and also said the prayer of Saint Gertrude for the relief of the Holy Souls in Purgatory, and the prayer Sainte Marie Mère de Dieu Corrédemptrice du monde priez pour nous. Amen. (Holy Mary, mother of God, Coredemptrix of the world pray for us. Amen) Theresa (France)
John and his wife Lyn started receiving abusive, anonymous letters in the mail. They tried to work out who could be doing this to them. Lyn thought of five people, that she knew, who are in their various ways mentally ill. It was difficult to pin the person down. The situation was very stressful and upsetting.
After several weeks she ruled out two of these five people. Lyn then made a promise to the Holy Souls in Purgatory, (who she prays for) that if they exposed the person who sent the letters, that she would publish the favour, so that other people would see how the Holy Souls in Purgatory can help those who pray for them, and seek their intercession in times of need.
John showed the four letters to a friend, who told him, that he had also received a letter identical to the first letter, that Lyn and John had received. The evidence pointed strongly to one of the remaining three people, but Lyn still had a concern about one of the other two people.
She thought that the last letter was very paranoid in the way, that she knew this person to be. She confronted the person who the evidence pointed strongly to. He denied it strenuously. Lyn realized that he was telling the truth. That left a dilemma; if it was not him, then who was responsible for sending the letters. Another man was standing nearby. He said that he had also received letters like this. (One of those letters was identical to the first letter that Lyn and John had received.).
Lyn asked him who he thought was doing this. He named the person, and it was one of the other people that Lyn suspected, (the one who the last letter had indicated the kind of paranoia, that Lyn knew this person had displayed in the past). The man also shared other relevant information as well. (When he named the person, he did not even know that Lyn knew the person).
Lyn quizzed him as to why he said that this person was responsible, and he told her that it was that person’s handwriting. The chances of speaking to this person, and receiving this information, were to put it mildly; very small, and yet the Holy Souls in Purgatory, made sure that this conversation took place.
The following testimony was received on email. I want to thank the Holy Souls in Purgatory for an answered prayer. I was on bad terms with someone, who is very dear to me. I had wronged him, and he was not willing to ever show me warmth again. I started praying for a reconciliation. I said a prayer for the Holy Souls in Purgatory every hour, despite being busy in the office. I sat silently and every hour I said a prayer. After two days, the person started to warm to me again, and now everything is wonderful, and is back to normal. I thank you Holy Souls in Purgatory, and I will always pray for you.
Hospital waived the fees
My friend suffered a heart attack and was taken to hospital. He was scheduled to have Angiography surgery the following day. He telephoned me and asked for help, because he did not have the money to pay for the surgery. I offered up my merits for the relief of the Holy Souls in Purgatory and asked them to help. I applied for financial help from the welfare department and from other places, (but none of them could help me). Three days later after being discharged, my friend called me to say that the hospital did not require him to pay at all. Thank you Holy Souls. M.W. (Malaysia)
A large ovarian cyst
When I was pregnant with my second child, I had a very large ovarian cyst that wouldn't go away. I was scheduled for surgery at seventeen weeks gestation. My Aunt gave me a bottle of Lourdes water and told me to drink it. I was too chicken to drink it, so I poured it onto my abdomen instead. The next day, the cyst popped on its own. I was told that I should NOT let that happen, because the pain would be very intense, and that I would end up in emergency surgery instead of the planned surgery. I felt no pain whatsoever. The next day I had an ultrasound. It showed all the fluid from the popped cyst. The doctors and nurses couldn't believe that I was in no pain. J. A. (USA)
Sewing at long last!
My mother (who is now deceased) was a whiz kid with the sewing machine. Mum made dresses for us when we were young. She even drafted her own patterns! I on the other hand was a lost cause. I have a great sewing machine that I have had for about 33 years. It has all the embroidery stitches, but I failed to even learn how to thread it up! I have prayed about this, but to no avail. If ever anything looked like a lost cause, it was surely this!
The new assistant priest in my parish, came to our house for a visit on Christmas night, to have apple pie and coffee with my husband and my (adult) children. I told the priest about my mother's sewing and my own complete lack of know-how. I never requested that he pray about this, nor did he say that he would. It was just a casual conversation over coffee and cake. Nineteen days later, I took out my sewing machine and the instruction book for the upteempth time, and then threaded the top section, threaded the bobbin, drew up the thread and then sewed!
I have been sewing ever since, and I have even learnt a few basic dressmaking construction techniques and have done a repair on my husband's shorts. I recognized that a miracle of sorts had taken place, and then realised that the priest was the only person (apart from my family) that I had discussed this with recently. I began to suspect that the priest had prayed for me to learn to use my sewing machine, and wondered how to find out if this was the case. When I saw the priest, without giving sufficient thought to what I was saying, instead of asking him if he had prayed a novena regarding the matter, I just asked him what kind of novena he had prayed for this intention!
He told me that he had prayed a novena to St. Joseph! My confidence with sewing is growing. I am making up for lots of lost ground. I am so happy about this.
The Mother Teresa Express Novena
(The Memorare prayer said nine times in a row for an intention)
This is indeed a very powerful novena! I searched the web yesterday for an urgent novena to pray for my son, who left home last Monday after being scolded by his father. I wanted him to be back immediately before things became more difficult to fix. He didn’t want to come back home and sounded determined to live on his own. That frustrated me, because he has just started working, and I know that it would be difficult for him, and even more difficult for me as a mother to see my family being separated.
I cried and prayed a lot since he left. I thought of finding a novena that might help to immediately change my son’s decision. I prayed the Mother Teresa Express Novena at around 2 p.m. and also twice when I was travelling home. At 9 p.m. my son suddenly entered the door crying, saying sorry. He realized it is very sad to be away from the family. Isn’t that an emergency response to an emergency petition of a loving mom? I’m sharing this novena with my friends. M.C.
On the sixth day of the novena, she again took her son to the doctor for a repeat checkup. The doctor said that my nephew no longer has Lazy Eyes, and that his eyesight can be brought back with some simple eye exercises. He does not even have to wear glasses for his eyesight rectification. C.J. (India)
Proving a point
Tess received a phone call from a lady who lived in another state. During the phone call, she gave the lady some information which was accurate, and which should not have caused any problem. The information in question, was about which year Tess’s organization had started. However the woman did not believe the information and went into a rage, and started abusing Tess and calling her names. The woman was outraged because she wrongly believed that her own organization, which was doing similar work, had started first.
(She was not even in a position to assess this, because she had only taken over the running of her organization from the lady who had actually started it). Tess had actually helped the lady who started the organization, by giving advice gained from the experience, that she had from running her own organization. Tess was greatly distressed by the abuse. To make matter even worse, the woman slammed the phone down in Tess’s ear, while Tess was trying to clarify the matter. For several months, she wondered how to prove that the information was correct.
She made a novena to Saint Rita, the saint of the impossible for a solution. An idea then came to her. Tess put up for a special interest email group, which she and this woman were both subscribed to, an article and the date of the document, that this article was included in. In addition she put up the volume number of the document. This would allow the woman to calculate how many years Tess’s organization had been operating. In this way, Saint Rita provided Tess with an indirect, safe method of proving her point. Tess did not want to deal with this woman directly on the phone, because of the abuse that she had already been subjected to.
Jen needed to make two payments. She only had one day left to do so, but she did not have the money for this. She did not know which way to turn. Jen then remembered the Mother Teresa Express novena, (the Memorare prayer said nine times in a row for an intention). She said it constantly in the taxi, all the way home from town. When she arrived home, there was a gentleman parked in her driveway. He handed her enough money to cover both payments!
Many favours granted
I would like to let you know, that I'm very thankful to the Holy Souls in Purgatory and to the saints. I had an urgent prayer petition. I prayed several novenas at the same time, having great faith and confidence. I prayed to the saints, (Saint Jude, Saint Philomena, Saint Rita, Saint Therese, and a few more). I promised that I would publish my thanks. Similarly, I made a novena to the Holy Souls in Purgatory to ask for their help. I promised that I would offer up a Mass for them. Now, I have Masses offered for them every now and then, usually once a month.
I told them that I would have a Mass offered this Sunday. I gain indulgences for them as often as I can, and make offerings of the Precious Blood, the way of the Cross and other prayers, sacrifices and penances for their relief. I also made a promise to encourage other people to have a devotion to them, and to pray for their swift deliverance from purgatory. They heard my prayers and interceded for me. As promised, I had a Mass offered for them yesterday.
I really encourage everyone to pray earnestly for the Holy Souls in Purgatory. They are suffering and they need our help. We can ask for their prayers and they are very generous in helping us. I asked my brother to make a novena to Saint Jude. He was able to succeed in an important requirement for school.
I express my profound thanks to Saint Jude for his help. I prayed to Saint Philomena every day for a stranger. This family had a son/brother who worked abroad, and they haven't heard from him in thirty years. I prayed to Saint Philomena that this man would contact his family or would return home.
After some months, I sent a text message to his sister. (Their story was published in the newspaper; that is how I got to know the contact number). I told them that I read their story in the newspaper, and that I am praying for them. I also told them to ask for Saint Philomena's help. I was very surprised and glad to read that they were able to get some information about him. His papers were being processed so that he could return home. This is a testimony of St. Philomena's powerful intercession. (J. T.) Philippines
A quick recovery
My neck was paining. The pain was increasing by the minute. I called on the Holy Souls in Purgatory, for a quick recovery. Without taking any drugs I was healed. Thank you Lord. I will always continue to pray for the Holy Souls to be released into heaven. (Anonymous)
Strong business competition
The following testimony comes from Australia. A new supermarket was about to start up in a small shopping centre. There was another supermarket directly across the street from it. The new supermarket was much bigger than the other one and offered far more. It seemed that the smaller older supermarket could not survive the competition. In fact the owner of the smaller supermarket was very worried about the situation.
Sue (a local resident) placed a note under her statue of Saint Philomena, asking Saint Philomena to protect the smaller supermarket from business failure. She forgot about the note. Nearly six month went by and Susan was amazed to see that the smaller supermarket was still in business. Finally she decided to clean out the petition notes under her statue, and she found the petition asking Saint Philomena to protect the smaller supermarket from failing.
There is something else which is associated with this testimony. Susan had lived in the area for twenty years, and had always longed for better shopping facilities, but was beginning to despair of ever getting them. A few months before she learnt that the bigger supermarket was coming to her small local shopping centre, she had actually placed a note under her statue of Saint Philomena asking for this! In another case, a lady whose shop was not doing well, put her business under the patronage of Saint Philomena, and it took a turn for the better and became successful.
Completion of the presentation book
Sandy was assembling a presentation book of an event, which had taken place in her local area. For this purpose she had collected newspaper and magazine articles with pictures of the event. Even though lots of material was already at her disposal for the project, she was hoping for some more. Sandy prayed for this intention.
A friend who knew nothing of this prayer, gave her a large bag of clothes. At the bottom of the bag was a newspaper article with a coloured picture of the event. It was a great addition to the presentation.
Trouble with the TV
Before I left the house on Saturday night to go the Vigil Mass, my EWTN television, (via a small satellite dish on the roof) was working well. There was a thunderstorm at the time. When I returned home at twenty to eight, it was not working properly. The sound was alright, but the picture on the screen was a digital mess. I tried to remedy this by turning off and on the TV set with the remote control every few minutes. This did not help. Then I tried moving around the AV receiver on the top of the TV. This also did not improve things.
During this time there were two programs on that I was not particularly interested in. At nine o’clock my favourite programme of the week was scheduled. The chance of watching it was slim. I thought that the thunderstorm might have somehow upset the position of the satellite dish. At five minutes to nine I started praying for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, and I asked their intercession to fix the problem so that I could watch the programme.
At 9 pm I tried the TV again. The situation was still the same. For five minutes I just listened to the programme. I then informed my husband of the problem. He came and had a look at the situation and indicated that he did not know how to fix it. My husband tried the same things that I had tried. Then he asked me for the other remote control. He then changed the channel on the satellite and then changed it back again to EWTN and the problem was fixed up, and I was able to watch the programme!
Joseph was diagnosed with stage IV Lung cancer in May. The news devastated the entire family. I remember reading many times - Ask and You Shall Receive, so, to alleviate my worry and sorrow and to gain strength, I turned to The Divine Physician and Healer of the Sick "Jesus". I placed my worries in His hands, and placed my brother Joseph under His care, and humbly ask every day that He restore Joseph to good health.
I asked the Holy Souls in Purgatory to obtain this favor for me. I’m here to tell you that God has responded. Joseph is improving. His current CT scans show that the lesion in his lung is shrinking. The spots in his liver have pretty much disappeared, and the brain shows no trace of malignant cells. When one's life is shaken, ask God for help and you shall receive.
The Divine Physician “Jesus” is restoring Joseph to good health again. The persistence and determination of all his family and friends in daily prayers, especially my mother is a testimony of faith in the Son of God. Challenges continue up ahead but they will be countered by daily prayers, charities and good deeds, for this is a way to repay and to appreciate Divine intervention and Miracles….Tanya (USA)
Healed of being crippled
David became crippled. There were pains in his legs, and he was no longer able to walk. He was lent some crutches, and he got around as best he could on these. A friend of his, (in another country) started a novena to Saint Rita, the saint of the impossible, for a healing. On the first day of the novena, she put the novena booklet down on her bed. For a brief period, she actually saw the words: Saint Rita, change into the name of the man that she was making the novena for!
Because of this occurrence, she felt sure that David would be healed. She told David (over the internet in a conversation) that she had received a sign. He was desperate to know what this sign was, and she reluctantly revealed it to him, after receiving an assurance, that he would not laugh at her.
A few hours after she told David about the sign, the pains in his legs increased. David went to the emergency department of the hospital to get help. While he was sitting there waiting to be seen by a doctor, he heard two ladies sitting nearby, discussing Saint Rita, the Saint of the impossible! He thought to himself, "my friend is making a novena to Saint Rita", and he wondered if this was a sign that he would be healed.
In a few months’ time, without any medical intervention, he was healed and was walking well. A year later, David learnt that a nun had also made a novena to Saint Rita, the saint of the impossible, for his healing as well. Both his friend and the nun did not know each other. In fact, they live on opposite sides of the world, and David lived in yet another country!
The missing mail
I had a wonderful experience with the Holy Souls in Purgatory. They intercede for us in the even the smallest details. I lost a small stack of mail. In it was a DVD that if I didn't return by the 7th, I was going to be charged around twenty dollars. I was also missing two cheques that, while not quite that urgent, did have expiration dates on them, and I was pretty sure that they were in the same stack of mail.
I prayed for several days to Saint Anthony, but was no closer to finding them. Last night I had an inspiration to make an offer to the Holy Souls in Purgatory: “if you help me to find the stack of mail with the cheques and the DVD, I will use the saved twenty dollars, to offer up four Masses for your repose.” (This was unusual because, while I do offer up Masses for the Holy Souls, and I do ask the Holy Souls for help, I hadn't before this year ever made a connection between the two).
In the first place that I looked after making the promise, I found them all, not only that, but I found the Wal-Mart employee discount cards, (my husband works there), that I did not know had arrived. We had been waiting for them for a few weeks now. I added a fifth Mass to the promised four. There is definitely a lesson for me: if I feel inspired to offer up Masses for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, no matter what the circumstances, I'm taking it seriously. There is incredible power there. (Dawn) USA
The lost mobile phone
My husband lost his mobile phone. He realized that it was missing about 11 a.m. on a Saturday. I prayed the Miraculous Responsory of Saint Anthony a couple of times throughout Saturday, and again on Sunday with one of my daughters. During this time, we rang the number of the mobile phone several times, and walked around the house, the yard, the shed and the garage, to see if we could heard it ringing. This proved to be fruitless.
We were worried that when the phone’s battery went flat, that no one would hear it ringing. Early on Monday morning, my daughter asked Saint Anthony, to please let an honest person answer the phone. A hour later my husband went for his regular exercise walk, in a nearby nature reserve. He looked for his mobile phone there, and also rang the number again. A man answered it!
He is the owner of a petrol station a few miles away, where my husband had taken the car on Saturday morning, for an oil change. My husband had left a small bag there. The phone was inside it. The attendants heard the phone ringing, and wondered where it was coming from. They traced it to the work room and answered it. (Mary Ann)
Peace and Tranquility
Carolyn has a strong devotion to Saint Philomena. She learnt about a sacramental that is known as the Saint Philomena Cord. She made arrangements to procure one. Carolyn waited with great anticipation for it to arrive. When it arrived she put it on, and for three days, she enjoyed a great sense of peace and tranquility. She considers this to be a gift from Saint Philomena
A desperate situation
Christina had a very bad boyfriend, who was into many bad things including the occult. One morning she told her mother, that he had requested her to visit him at his apartment. Christina had only returned from a long overseas trip late on the previous night. Her mother told her to rest, but she refused and rushed out slamming the door. Her mother was very worried. Christina’s mother had only a vague idea of where this boyfriend lived. All she knew was the suburb that he lived in, which was many miles away.
Christina’s uncle telephoned, and her mother told him of the danger that Christina was in morally. There was reason to believe that the boyfriend had spiked Christina’s drink before, and the fear was that this time he would succeed in raping her. Christina’s mother was frantically praying for the safety of her daughter. She prayed The Mother Teresa Express Novena, (the Memorare prayer said nine times in a row, for an intention), prayers for the Holy Souls in Purgatory and other prayers. Christina’s parents hit on a scheme. They emailed the boyfriend and told him to get Christina to ring her mother. This email was sent at about midday.
At about quarter to 3, Christina’s uncle phoned and asked Christina’s mother (his sister), if Christina had contacted them yet. She replied that her daughter had not. About this time, Christina had a vision of her mother, looking very sad and pleading with her to get out of there. She was about to tell her boyfriend about the vision, but just then he downloaded the email on his cell phone. Her boyfriend read the email, and told Christina to telephone her mother. She telephoned, but refused to tell her mother the address of the apartment and then she hung up.
Christina’s uncle phoned again, and told his sister that he was driving in the suburb that the apartment was located in. This was very providential, because Christina’s uncle drives to many locations during his work day. Some of them are hundreds of miles away from this particular suburb. Christina phoned again. This time she gave her mother the address. The address was passed onto Christina’s uncle. He drove there and took Christina home. Christina broke off with the boyfriend.
Help with a house sale
My husband is a US Marine, who was transferred to another duty station over six months ago. We are expecting our first baby in July, and it's been difficult being here without my husband, and without any real friends or family. Money has been tight and we have had the house up for sale for two months, with no success. I was getting worried that I'd have to remain behind by myself and have the baby all alone.
I had been praying to the Holy Souls in Purgatory for help, but felt especially called to pray a Rosary for them today. This evening we got a good offer on our home (and it's a tough time to be selling!) I am convinced that the Holy Souls in Purgatory are interceding for us. Now I can go and be with my husband and have the baby where he is stationed. I am going to propagate praying for the Holy Souls in Purgatory to all my family. T.K. (USA)
Relief of chronic insomnia
I have chronic insomnia that doesn't respond to sleep aids, nor do I like taking them. It is very difficult for me to get to sleep, to stay asleep, or get back to sleep once woken.
A year ago, when I woke up, I started praying for the Holy Souls in Purgatory. I prayed specifically, for the soul who was the closest to completing its Purgatory, the soul who was the farest away from completing it, the soul who had been there the longest, the soul who was the most recently arrived, the souls who are most abandoned by those on earth, the souls of all priests and religious, then I prayed for my family and friends who have died.
I prayed for each of them by name. Every time that I have completed this prayer, I have fallen into a deep sleep. I have never specifically asked the Holy Souls to pray for the relief of my insomnia, but I just might start. (Cari)
A trip to Italy
My sister (a fervent devotee and promoter of the devotion to Saint Philomena) was invited to Italy, to the Sanctuary of Saint Philomena, to participate in a big event. She had made up her mind long ago, that she would never visit Europe. Many reasons factored into this. My sister has a number of adult children with disabilities, so there were and still are many demands on her time and energy.
She also did not want to incur this unnecessary expense on the family. My sister also had plenty of work to do in the apostolates that she was committed to. Many people over the years had asked her, if she was going to visit the Sanctuary of Saint Philomena in Italy.
These questions were somewhat naïve. The people asking the question, did not know the things that my sister was dealing with in her private life, that made the possibility of such a pilgrimage, seem to be almost impossible. My sister would ask people this question, “If I go to Italy, who will do the work?” (meaning who will look after the apostolate).
People were not discouraged by the question. They invariably would reply, “I will pray that you go to the Sanctuary of Saint Philomena in Italy”. My sister would just smile and thank them, while thinking that this was extremely unlikely. At the time of the invitation, my sister’s health had been really bad for at least three years, and it continued to be so, for several more years after that. In addition to that, she had suffered from panic attacks, which had made her life even more trying.
There were other things on her mind, against travelling to Europe. You might laugh, but our dad, who was a returned soldier from the Kokoda Trail campaign in Papua New Guinea, loved to watch WW2 movies, e.g. Hilter and the Nazis, so my sister felt worried about the prospect of being in Europe when WW3 breaks out and she still does!
Strangely enough my sister does not have the same anxieties about going to any country in the Pacific region, where the Japanese waged war during WW2 although dad had watched movies about this too, and had been in Papua New Guinea and the Philippines with the Australian army during the Japanese campaign.
Although my sister had flown to and from New Zealand when she was younger, she was a bit edgy about the possibility of plane crashes. (No doubt reinforced by the fact that her husband likes to watch episodes of Air Crash Investigation). My sister’s concern seems to have been justified. (Read the note at the end of this article).
With these and some other concerns on her mind, my sister was not sure about whether to accept the invitation to Italy, even though deep down, she really wanted to visit the Sanctuary of Saint Philomena. My sister starting praying to the Holy Infant Jesus of Prague, that if He wanted her to go to Italy for the event, that He would provide her with a free trip, in order to show that it was His Will that she go there, instead of just being a bad decision on her part.
This was such a big request, that if it was granted, then it would clearly show that this was the right thing to do. My sister told a priest about her prayer. After praying for several months and getting nowhere, she phoned the priest and told him, that she was giving up, and was not going to pray for this intention anymore. She felt stressed by the prayer and wanted to drop it.
The priest, (who was at that time living in Rome), told my sister that he wanted her to have the trip to Italy. He then told her not to ask the Holy Infant Jesus of Prague for a free trip, but to say to him, “Holy Infant Jesus, I have been invited to go to Italy, please do whatever you wish to do regarding this matter”.
My sister gave this a bit of thought. She wondered if she would be prepared to say a prayer like that if she had cancer. Then she thought “well this is not cancer, and it does not matter whether I have the prayer answered or not”. The prayer was only known to my sister, to her husband, and to the priest. Through a small chain of events, a free trip to Italy and also to France was given to her by an unknown benefactor, (through an intermediary).
My sister’s husband felt that she was not well enough to make the trip on her own, and was not willing to let her do so, even if it was a free trip, so even though he had not intended to go to Europe, he dug into the family finances to accompany her to Europe.
Regarding plane crashes: in the weeks just before my sister flew to Europe there were several plane crashes. hen she was boarding the plane at Singapore to fly onto Italy, on the monitor she saw the report of a small plane crash into the sea in Italy. When she turned on the TV news in France, There was a report of an airliner with many French passengers that had crashed in South America.
When she was in Transit in Singapore on the way back to Australia, she turned on the TV to find out that another airliner had crashed in Indonesia. She had only turned on the TV to calm her pre-flight nerves! The American cable TV channel that she was watching, also helpfully put up on the screen a long list of all the recent plane crashes!
Missing borrowed books
A lady lent me some books. She told me to take my time reading them. A few months later she asked me for some of them back, so that she could lend them to another lady. I promised to bring them back. They were in the filing cabinet. The next day when I went to get them, they were missing. I frantically looked through all the drawers a number of times, but they were nowhere to be seen. I prayed some prayers, and then I prayed for the Holy Souls in Purgatory and asked them to help me to find the books. They were then found easily in a place that I had already looked.
Two cheque books!
Bridget’s house is usually very neat, but even in the neatest of homes, things sometimes get lost. Bridget’s cheque book got lost. She tore up the house looking for it, but without success. She was very worried. Not only was there no cheque book, but now her house was in turmoil with things hanging out of drawers everywhere.
She phoned a friend, who told her to take a deep breath and to calm down. The friend then said to her, ‘you are a Catholic, we will pray to Saint Anthony to find the cheque book.’ The next day Bridget telephoned her friend, to let her know, that not only had she found the cheque book that she was looking for, but also another cheque book, that she did not even realize that she had!
Lyn lost the diamond out of her engagement ring. She was scared to tell her husband about the loss. It would have been expensive to replace. The diamond was only a small clear one. Lyn got down and crawled all over the floor to look for it, but there was no sign of it.
She phoned her friend, who said that they would pray to Saint Anthony. In the afternoon Lyn got into the car, to go to the school to pick up her children. When she put her hand on the vinyl surrounding the gear stick, she felt the diamond underneath it!
The lost earrings
Terry lost a pair of earrings that had been given to her by a friend. She had recently been on a cruise, and thought that she had lost the earrings on the cruise. Terry searched for it anyway. The friend who had given her the earrings was coming to visit.This increased the pressure on Terry to find the earrings. She telephoned her friend, who turned to Saint Anthony in prayer to find the earrings.They were found the next day on a shelf, where Terry would have never put them.
The nursing home placement
Rita was looking after her elderly father. Rita’s husband was away from home, looking after his own dad. He was due to return home on the twentieth of May to go back to his job. There was an urgent need to find a nursing home placement in the country town that they lived in by the twentieth of May. One of Rita’s friends prayed for and to the Holy Souls in Purgatory, asking for their intercession for this intention. A nursing home placement to start on the twentieth of May, was offered the very next day.
A method of meditating on the Rosary
This article outlines one particular method of saying the Rosary. It is not necessarily the best one; however it may be a valuable aid to some people. The Rosary consists of two parts. The first part; is the actual prayers; The Our Father, The Hail Mary, The Gloria, etc. The second part is meditation upon the mysteries of the Rosary. At the Catholic secondary school that I attended, all the teachers and students would recite the Rosary in the church before Mass. I do not recall even one class lesson being given to us on how to say the Rosary. My family also recited the Rosary during the Christmas season. When I married, I learnt from my husband that the mysteries should be meditated upon while saying the prayers of the Rosary.
This came as a great surprise to me. Actually it was more like a shock. I kept asking myself why the Catholic schools that I attended didn’t tell me about this. To be fair they did teach me the catechism. The business of meditation while saying the prayers of the Rosary; conjured up visions of something like juggling balls in one hand and playing the piano with the other hand. It was hard for me to imagine how you could do both of them at the same time. I also looked upon the business of meditation as something for mystics who lived in caves in the desert. Meditation didn't seem to be anything remotely connected with me.
After the initial shock wore off, I started to learn how to meditate on the mysteries, while saying the vocal prayers. The first stage of this process was the use of books which contained ten scriptural verses for each decade of the Rosary. My eyes slowly scanned each scriptural verse, while I said the vocal prayers (Hail Marys) etc. This method felt somewhat artificial and mechanical, but at least I was combining both the meditation and the prayers at the same time.
When the scriptural verses were partly memorised, I did not use the books anymore. The “walking stick” was thrown away. The verses went through my mind, while saying the prayers vocally. Pictures from books, depicting the decades were also utilised. The next stage was that as well as scriptural verses going through my mind, the pictures that I had seen in the books were also visualised. I closed my eyes and literally could see these scenes as though they were in the room.
These scenes filled up the whole area that I was viewing. All of this was in colour. The vocal prayers receded into the background, like background music that is played softly, while you are eating dinner and talking in the restaurant. The meditation came to the forefront. As well as visualising scenes from the actual decades (such as the Archangel Gabriel appearing to Mary), for variety I added at the beginning of each decade, a visual image of either the Sacred Heart of Jesus, or the Divine Mercy and at the end of each decade an image of Mary as she appeared to Saint Catherine Laboure in the Miraculous Medal vision, which depicts Mary distributing graces, as rays coming from her hands.
Studying the pictures on holy cards was useful in helping me to visualise these images. By the time that this stage was reached it was a great deal easier for me to say Rosaries even when I was very tired. A good way to keep up your motivation to say the Rosary is to make a 54 day Rosary novena for a special intention. It is amazing how this will keep you going when your motivation to say the Rosary is running on low. The method described above also can be employed when saying other chaplets: such as The Little Chaplet of the Holy Infant Jesus and the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy.
In the Infant Jesus Chaplet, you can visualise a picture of the Infant Jesus of Prague. In the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy you can mediate on the Divine Mercy picture and also visualise Saint Faustina having a vision of the angel who is about to carry out God’s just punishment on a particular part of the world, and the angel becoming helpless in carrying this out as Saint Faustina prayed the words of the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy.
There are many other appropriate scenes which you can visualise while saying the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy. If you like the method that has been offered of saying the Rosary try it. When you are familiar with the method modify it to your own special needs. It is like learning any other skill. First you learn the basics and then you adapt it as your ability develops.
Some benefits of meditating on the Rosary
Meditation on the Rosary puts before our minds, the true purpose of our lives and also keeps us focused on where we hope to spend our eternity (heaven.) It counteracts the blatant messages in the media, which seek to corrupt our behaviour and get us completely preoccupied and interested in things like, money making, pleasure seeking and many immoral practices. The thoughts in our minds will greatly influence the choices that we make in how we live our lives.
Saying the Rosary will tilt the balance heavily to the side of making good moral choices. It is well known that people sometimes act out criminal activities, even murders and robberies that they have seen in movies. It is because these things occupy their minds, because they had been viewing them and thinking about them. On the other end of the scale, if your mind is filled with images from Rosary meditations: such as Mary going to visit her elderly relative Elizabeth to help her, you will be more inclined to practice the virtue of charity. Meditation on the Rosary prevents it from being a mechanical repetition of vocal prayers.
If you learnt the art of meditation on the Rosary and then attempted to just say the prayers again, without meditation, you would find it a very dry and tedious exercise. Meditation on the mysteries of the Rosary helps lift our minds out of the bog of everyday things that we see and experience, to things eternal that we cannot see. We are reminded that the here and now, is not all that there is. Meditation on the mysteries of the Rosary stops our mind from focusing too much on the unimportant.
Rosary beads help you to keep track of where you are up to in the Rosary. It also gives a soothing feeling as you move the beads through your fingers. It is best to have one pair of Rosary beads for use at home and one pair to keep in your handbag or pocket. Seeing your Rosary beads will remind you to say the Rosary. If you do not have a pair of Rosary beads with you, remember that you have ten fingers to pray the Rosary with. There are occasions when a one-decade set of Rosary beads comes in handy. One decade Rosaries are sometimes made into rings and bracelets. (On my First Holy Communion day, I was given a bracelet made with pearls that had the beads for five decades. It had a small silver coloured crucifix. I don’t think that they are available anymore.) Remember to get a priest to bless your Rosary beads.
Audio and visual aids
CDs, DVDs and audio tapes can be useful aids for people who are learning how to meditate on the mysteries of the Rosary. Some of the videos have film clips of places in the Holy Land. This helps the mind to get a better feel for the settings that the Rosary events took place in.
The requirement for obtaining a favour or miracle
The usual requirement for obtaining a favour or miracle is faith and trust in God. It does not take a lot. Our Lord tells us that our faith has only to be as small as a mustard seed, (Luke 17:6). Don't go in asking for a favour from God in this frame of mind: "I will try this novena and see if it works.”
Faith as a special way of seeing (believing)
In the natural order of things we see people as they are on the outside. When an X-ray is taken we see inside the body. Praying can be compared to that. It lifts us up and provides a more in-depth way of seeing (believing) in God’s ability to grant our request. It enables us to pray successfully for things that do not seem to be likely to happen: such as a job for someone who has been unemployed for many years, a baby for a married woman who has failed to conceive despite extensive medical investigation, rain after a lengthy drought and for projects to be completed against all odds.
You need to pray with childlike faith. A person with childlike faith expects prayers to be answered. The sophisticated person says "That will not happen.” Remember the words of the Archangel Gabriel to the Blessed Virgin Mary regarding her relative Elizabeth who was expecting a baby for the first time in her old age and who people called barren: With God all things are possible" (Luke 1:37).
You will get exactly what you expect
A lady that I know was in a lot of pain. To relieve her sufferings she was given a sacramental (some blessed oil) to use. Later she commented, "I knew that this would not work.” It is not surprising that she did not receive help. She had no faith. Our Lord Himself experienced this problem. In one of the towns that he traveled through He was amazed at their lack of faith. He worked few miracles in that town (Mark 6:5). Many people who use the blessed oil with confidence and faith receive help.
When you pray for a favour expect results. The following story stretches the point a bit, but will help you get the general idea. A parish priest in outback Australia was greatly concerned about the extended drought. He informed his parishioners that a novena was going to be held to pray for rain. On the first day of the novena all the farmers and their families came to the church. The parish priest looked around in disgust. He then went up to the microphone and made the following announcement, "What a lack of faith! You have all come here to pray for rain and not one of you brought an umbrella!" The following example is from real-life. A whole parish prayed a novena for an infertile couple to have a baby. An elderly nun in the parish had such confidence in the intercession of the saint to whom they were praying that she started knitting baby clothes. Needless to say, the prayer was granted.
Do whatever you can
Do whatever is in your power about a situation and pray for a successful outcome.
Perseverance and patience
In the Gospels, Our Lord tells us the parable of the widow and the unjust judge. The widow kept coming to the unjust judge until he finally gave in, and gave her the justice that she was seeking, just so that he could get rid of her (Luke 18:1). Some miracles are worked quickly, but often there is a waiting period and things might become much worse, for a time. This is often for our own sanctification. The "vending machine expectation" approach to praying may lead to frustration and to the giving up of praying for a petition too soon. Sometimes, the longer that we have to pray for a favour, the bigger and better the results will be.
Don't give up
Sir Winston Churchill, the Prime Minister of Great Britain during WWII, once visited a university to give a speech to the students there. His whole speech consisted of the following text: "Never, never, never" etc. He repeated the word "never" about eight times. Apply this philosophy to praying when you are asking God for a favour. Never give up asking.
If you think that God is taking too long to answer your prayers, remember the example of Saint Monica. She had to pray for sixteen years, for the conversion of her son Augustine. Finally he turned away from his immoral life. The fruits of his mother's prayers did not end there. He became a priest, a bishop, one of the greatest saints in the Catholic Church and also a doctor of the Church. A friend of mine prayed continuously for about thirty-eight years for the conversion of her husband. He is now a frequent communicant.
Possible answers to prayer
All prayers to God are answered. Consider some of the answers: yes; no; not at this time; this is not what you really need; I will give you what you actually need; I have something much better for you. Remember that no prayer is ever wasted.
A sign to an unbelieving world
If a miracle is worked and is plainly obvious to an unbeliever, this places him in the position of being able to rethink his ideas in regard to the existence of God and God's place in his life. For a considerable amount of time, I suffered from severe dizziness and vertigo. I consulted two general practitioners and three different types of specialists over a period of up to three years. None of them were able to help me. Since there was no help, from doctors, prayer for healing was an absolute essential. Finally after about three years I am well again. One of these doctors, who I consulted for another reason, asked how my dizziness was going.
I informed him that I was well. He wished to know how this had come about. I informed him that it was the result of prayer. His reaction to this was slightly comic. He wanted to give the remedy to his other patients who are also suffering from dizziness. "I can't tell my patients that!" More than one Catholic upon hearing my doctor’s comment has smiled and asked "Why not?" The doctor thought about it some more and mentioned that a (Catholic) doctor in the next suburb encourages his patients to pray for healing.
Praying for many people and intentions
If you have many people and intentions to pray for, imagine with conviction that your prayers are going out to all of them. It is a good idea to see some of the people in your mind e.g. if you are praying for a person who has cancer or someone whose conversion you are seeking, visual them in your mind. Say before you start praying, that the prayers are for all the intentions that you have been asked to pray for.
Gratitude and conversion of heart
Remember the ten lepers (Luke 17:12-19); only one of them came back to give praise to God. When you receive a favour remember to thank God for it. One aspect of gratitude is to change your life for the better and live a holier life. Our Lord instructed one person that He cured to "Go and sin no more" (John 5:14).
The state of your soul
If you wish God to grant you a favour, you should make sure that you are in the state of grace. A good Confession and Communion are recommended when praying for miracles and favours.
Taking things for granted
God grants some favours very slowly because if they are granted too easily, the recipient sometimes does not appreciate them sufficiently.
The doubting Thomas syndrome
It is an insult to God, if you pray for a favour, but don't expect it to be granted.
The Will of God
When you ask God for a favour or miracle that you hope to receive, you must be prepared to say, and really mean it "Your will be done.” This is the way that Jesus prayed to His Father in the garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:29). God may grant exactly what you ask for, or something more appropriate. Regarding this Our Lord asks us in the Gospels "What father among you would give stones when asked for bread, or a serpent, when asked for a fish?" God knows exactly what you need (Luke 11:11).
Bathe seven times in the Jordan – simplicity of prayer
Many simple novenas obtain stunning results. One man, mentioned in the Old Testament of the Bible, was asked to bathe seven times in the Jordan, in order to be healed of his illness. He was disgusted by such a simple instruction. He wanted to bathe in one of the "better quality rivers" in his own country (4 Kings 5:10). Simple novenas said with faith achieve good results. Complicated novenas are not necessary.
Acceptance of the outcome
Sometimes we do not get the request that we prayed for. Your relative dies instead of getting healed of his or her illness. Other things appear not to come out well after we have prayed for them. What is the answer to this? It may become apparent later, that the thing that we asked for was not good for us. A woman might be disappointed that her prayers for a certain man to marry her were not granted. Later on, she might meet and marry someone who is even better than the one that she had hoped to marry. It is worth remembering that suffering which is offered up in union with the Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ gains merit in eternity.
This suffering can obtain graces for others, or can be applied to the Holy Souls in Purgatory to alleviate their suffering. Suffering which is offered up also shortens our own Purgatory and can atone for our sins and for the sins of others. It is not that God likes suffering, but that we remain united to Him in trust even though we suffer, something we would not do if it were not for His grace within us: it is a kind of proclamation that Jesus is saying "Yes!" to our Heavenly Father in us, for we, in our weakness, would never do this on our own.
Alleviating the sufferings of the Holy Souls in Purgatory incorporates all the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. We will be asked about this on the day of judgment. What are these works of mercy? The corporal works of mercy are: feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, visiting the sick, visiting the imprisoned, giving shelter to the homeless, clothing the naked and burying the dead. The spiritual works of mercy are: warning the sinner, instructing the ignorant, counseling the doubtful, comforting the sorrowful, bearing wrongs patiently, forgiving all injuries and praying for the living and for the dead.
Helping the Holy Souls in Purgatory is the highest form of carrying out these works of mercy. The Holy Souls in Purgatory are always grateful when we help them and will intercede for us in our spiritual and temporal needs. Sometimes there seems to be no good reason for a prayer to be refused. Refusal to accept the situation leads to much frustration.
An acceptance of God's will leads to peace of mind and soul and might even bring about that which was desired, inasmuch as the person has become closer to God than ever before. We are not meant to be fully satisfied while on this earth. That is reserved for heaven. Our life on earth is a time of testing before entering eternity.
The Mercy of God
All miracles stem from the mercy of God. We are not entitled to anything because of the fall of the human race on account of the original sin of our first parents, Adam and Eve.
The intercession of the saints
One of the best ways to obtain a favour or a miracle is to invoke the help of the saints. They are able to help us by interceding for us and are very willing to do so. It is part of their mission of bringing glory to God.
The intercession of the Holy Souls in Purgatory for their benefactors
To encourage people to pray for the relief of the Holy Souls in Purgatory, God sometimes grants favours through their intercession. Some people have obtained favours from them, which they failed to receive from the saints in heaven. This book outlines one case where The Holy Souls in Purgatory came promptly to the aid of a lady who was facing bankruptcy through circumstances over which she had no control.
Does God really want to work miracles?
The answer to this question is a resounding yes.The following initiatives were started from heaven; just to mention a few; we have the Miraculous Medal, the miraculous spring of water at Lourdes in France and the Green Scapular. The Nine Tuesdays Novena in honour of Saint Anthony was recommended by the saint himself, who appeared in a vision to a lady who was praying for his intercession for a need that she had. This novena has proved to be a powerful way to receive Saint Anthony's assistance.The 54 day Rosary novena was recommended by Our Lady in a vision to a seriously ill girl.
Like the Saint Anthony novena it too is very efficacious. In the Bible we read about the pool at the sheep gate in Jerusalem, where the sick used to be bathed. An angel would come down and stir the waters. Whoever was in the water first, after it was disturbed, would be healed of their illness (John 5:2). These are just a few of the many examples of heavenly initiatives that show that God is willing to help us.
It is good to keep in mind that, without exception, the biggest miracle for us is that we unite ourselves with Jesus in His agony in the Garden of Gethesemane. Our Lady told Saint Bernadette that the water was not for her. God calls all of us to Himself in different ways. Sometimes this will include miracles; sometimes it will not, but in either case, God is always providing for our needs and, yes, wants to be with us, so much so that He walked among us, and died for us.
Our Lord’s miracles during His public ministry
The main purpose of Our Lord’s miracles during his public ministry was the confirmation of his teaching and proof of his divinity. This was also the main purpose of the miracles which were performed by the apostles, Acts 5:12, Mark 16:20. When our Lord says "Your faith has saved you", it must be remembered that this is supernatural faith, grace given by God, not the person merely thinking correctly about things.
Miracles obtained through sacramentals
Miracles, graces and favours, obtained after a relic or a sacramental (e.g. a blessed rosary, holy water, a blessed medal, blessed salt) are venerated or used, are not obtained because of the physical nature of these things. These are only the outward signs. It is the official prayer of the Church and the merits of the Passion and Death of Christ crucified and of the saints which obtains the favour for us. Relics and sacramentals in themselves have no power. They are instruments of grace.
Miracles obtained through the use of relics
When a relic of a saint is used to obtain a healing, it is meant to draw our attention to the saint and to ask for his or her intercession.
It is well known that God works great miracles through Lourdes water. In one case that I was told about, a very sick lady was promised by her friend that she would bring back some Lourdes water for her from the grotto in France; however, she did not get to make the trip. Instead of owning up to this fact, she passed off ordinary tap water to her friend as Lourdes water. The sick lady faithfully used it. She was cured of her sickness. Our Lady rewarded the sick lady's faith. Faith and trust in God are the most important elements.
The prayers of more than one person
Our Lord’s words should be kept in mind: "When two or more are gathered in My Name I will be with them" (Matthew 18:20). "If two or more of you on earth agree on anything in My Name I will grant it" (Matthew l8:19). The best examples of this are attending holy Mass, and also the Rosary when it is said with a group.
The Holy Name of Jesus
The Holy Name of Jesus pronounced reverently is the shortest and the easiest of all prayers. It can obtain any favour from God. The reason for this is the great love that God the Father holds for God the Son. Many miracles had been obtained throughout the centuries by reverently pronouncing the Holy Name of Jesus. These miracles still continue to occur today. Father Paul O'Sullivan O.P. wrote a book entitled "The Wonders of the Holy Name" that outlines the history of this devotion.
A word about Tobias
In the book of Tobias in the Old Testament of the Bible, we read about how Tobias spent his life doing great works of mercy even when his life was threatened by the king. It seemed that he received nothing but trouble for his good deeds. He was severely tested for a time. Eventually, God sent the Archangel Raphael to heal Tobias of his blindness and to provide for his family's welfare. See Tobias 11:13. Generosity brings down help from God.
Concentrating on the needs of others
In one of the stories in this book there is an account of a lady who made a pilgrimage with other people to the tomb of a holy priest. She had come to pray for the cure of her serious disease. She noticed someone else in the pilgrimage group who was much worse off than herself. The lady forgot to pray for her own needs and started to pray for the healing of the other person. She was healed of her own illness.
Surprises sometimes happen
A lady prayed fervently for a few years to have another baby. Finally she decided that it was not God's will. Straight after this decision she gave away all the baby clothes. Within a week she found out that she was expecting. Within a month she found out that she was expecting twins. Other couples, who pray for a baby finally adopt one and then find out that they are expecting their own baby. Two factors come into play here; one is the acceptance of God's will and the other is generosity which draws down God’s mercy upon people.
Offering up suffering
Sometimes offering up your suffering in union with the Passion and Death of Our Lord can bring about alleviation or even the entire healing of a sickness or situation.
Some prayers are answered if almsgiving is practiced. This can take the form of donations to the poor or having Masses said for the relief of the Holy Souls in Purgatory.
The placebo effect?
Is there a placebo effect to prayer? It is well known that there is a thing called the placebo effect and doctors make use of it in cases where they suspect that the patient’s mind has caused the symptoms. They give the patient a useless pill. If the patient believes that it will work, it sometimes does. Some people, who are skeptical of prayers being answered by God, claim that the placebo effect causes answers to prayer. Perhaps in some cases this is true. If the person’s mind caused the illness, then the person’s mind can also help heal the illness, by sending messages out to the various parts of the body that release hormones etc., but even in cases like this, God made the body and put its natural processes into place.
Not all answers to prayer have to be outright miracles. Positive thinking can do much the same, even if the person does not recognize God’s part in creating the body and its processes. Not all illnesses in the body are what doctors describe as psychosomatic. (In other words they are not created by stress.) Some diseases are actual physical problems in the body, so they can’t be successfully treated by placebos (useless pills) although it might help, because stress can make existing problems even worse. Some atheists say that Christians attribute many things to answers to prayer, such as getting a job, surviving a plane crash etc.
They argue that the laws of probability would have covered these things anyway. They is not an easy thing to prove to prove or to disprove. It is about faith. You can’t measure it on a scale; however some atheists believe that the universe came into existence by some sort of random act. This is extremely unlikely.
One objection that I have to the claim that prayers are only answered through the placebo effect, is that other people can pray for a very sick person, and the person doesn’t even know that he or she is being prayed for, then the person receives a healing, surely the placebo effect is about the person who receives the healing and their own thinking. It is nonsense to suggest that it can be transferred to the person, by people who the person doesn’t even know are praying for him.
Another difficulty to the claim is that some healings through prayer have been the spontaneous growing of body parts: in one case it was a new toe for a girl whose original toe was accidentally cut off, by an oven door which fell off. This miracle took place through the intercession of Saint Philomena. Try using a placebo effect on something like that! Another case is that of the multiplication of food. This of course is one of the miracles of Jesus, that are mentioned in the bible, but this type of miracle has also occurred since, in the lives of saints and in the lives of everyday Christians in times of special need. I could give other examples, but I think that the ones already given are sufficient to prove the point.
Confidence in God
The apostles, Peter and John displayed this confidence. They had seen the miracles that Jesus had worked and trusted in Him. When they went up to the temple, there was a crippled beggar sitting at the gate. He hoped to receive a donation from them. They informed him that they had no money, but would give him what they had. In the name of Jesus they ordered him to get up and walk. He was cured immediately and went into the temple to give thanks to God, See Acts 3.
Don't be lazy
Do not expect God to do for you what you can do for yourself. God gave us many gifts to use and he expects us to use them. If we get sick we are supposed to use the usual avenues for healing. There are of course, things like consulting the doctor, or dentist or physiotherapist. We are supposed to take medicines, do exercise and eat the proper foods. It is a bit silly to expect God to give you good health if you don't do the things that he has placed at your disposal to achieve this. Even when we carry this out we are sometimes still sick. Prayer has its rightful place here. We should also pray that the doctor is guided to the right diagnosis and treatment for our condition.
Prayer leads to good solutions
God often works through ordinary means but prayer can lead you to them. In one particular case a woman was suffering from a painful heel spur on her foot. She consulted a doctor, who gave her an injection of steroids to relieve the pain and inflammation. This treatment did not help much. The lady prayed for relief of the condition. She came across information on the internet, which was posted by an athlete who had suffered from the same condition. He outlined a simple exercise that some doctors recommend to their patients, which involves rolling the foot over a dowel stick. The internet also provided information on the condition that made it clear why this particular exercise was an appropriate remedy for the problem. She used this technique and received a complete cure.
Ditching the "shopping list" (Letting Go)
If you have been praying for a lengthy period of time for a favour, and it is not coming about, you need to stand back and examine your petition. In general it may be good, but you may have surrounded it with all your own unnecessary specifications. It might be a bit like an item on a shopping list: ice cream (not any kind of ice cream mind you, but Neapolitan with three layers: chocolate, strawberry and vanilla).
Imitation of goodness
When God grants a miracle or favour, He is showing His goodness and mercy towards us. He expects us to imitate Him by also showing goodness and mercy to all the people that we come into contact with.
How to say a novena
The word novena is Latin for nine. A novena is a prayer or good work which is said for nine days in a row. There are also various kinds of emergency novenas e.g. The Mother Teresa Emergency Novena. In an emergency say the Memorare prayer nine times in a row. Blessed Teresa of Calcutta said this novena whenever she needed a favour. Sometimes it brought about fast dramatic results. Many people (including myself) have received answers to prayer through this novena.
There are sometimes situations of such gravity that even the Mother Teresa Emergency Novena would take to long to say, as happened in the case of a girl whose foot got caught, as she was taking a short cut, by walking across the railway line. She prayed a short prayer to Mary before passing out. Through providential circumstances the train stopped in time and her life was spared.
The Eight Hour Novena to The Holy Infant Jesus of Prague is said at approximately the same time every hour until the novena is finished. (The prayer is said nine times during the eight hours.)
Information on the history of the devotion of the Nine Tuesdays Novena in honour of Saint Anthony is located at:
The 54 Day Rosary Novena: In this novena the Rosary is said for 54 consecutive days i.e. 3 novenas in petition (27 days) and 3 novenas in thanksgiving (27 days). The 54 day Rosary Novena was revealed by Our Lady herself.
All of these novenas receive marvelous results. If you choose any of them, please also pray for the Holy Souls in Purgatory and help them, and ask them to obtain the favours that you need. Saint Catherine of Bologna assured her sisters that: she obtained many favours by the prayers of the Holy Souls in Purgatory, which she had asked for in vain, through the intercession of the saints. Saint Theresa of Avila (Spain) affirms that she always obtained the favours which she asked from God, through the intercession of the Poor Souls.
The following link has accounts of favours granted through the intercession of the Holy Souls in Purgatory for their benefactors and ways in which we can help the Holy Souls in Purgatory.
It is important when making a novena to be in a state of grace, to have faith that God will help you, and to persevere in the prayer. It is recommended that you give a donation to a charitable organisation: such as the Saint Vincent de Paul Society.
Remember O most loving Virgin Mary that never was it known in any age that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help or sought your intercession was left unaided, inspired by this confidence, therefore I fly to thee O Virgin of Virgins my Mother, to you do I come, before you I stand sinful and sorrowful, do not O Mother of the Word Incarnate despise my prayers but in thy mercy graciously hear and answer them. Amen.
The Miraculous Responsory of Saint Anthony
If you seek for miracles,
death, error, all calamities,
The demons fly and leprosy,
and health succeeds infirmities.
The sea obeys and fetters break,
and lifeless limbs thou dost restore;
whilst treasures lost are found again,
when young and old thine aid implore.
All dangers vanish at thy prayer,
the direst need doth quickly flee.
Let those who know thy power proclaim,
let Paduans say these are of thee.
The sea obeys and fetters break,
and lifeless limbs thou dost restore;
whilst treasures lost are found again,
when young and old
thine aid implore.
To Father, Son may glory be
And Holy Ghost eternally.
The sea obeys and fetters break,
and lifeless limbs thou dost restore;
whilst treasures lost are found again,
when young and old thine aid implore.
V. Pray for us, Blessed Anthony.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray
O God, may the votive commemoration of Blessed Anthony, Thy Confessor, be a source of joy to Thy Church, that she may always be fortified with spiritual assistance, and deserve to enjoy eternal happiness, through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.
The Holy Souls in Purgatory
The Holy Souls in Purgatory are suffering in great pain.
Please send them your good works and prayers
So heaven they'll attain.
Ask them for all the favours of which you are in need;
And now; just as later when in heaven;
For you they’ll intercede.
When at last they behold God and see Him face to face;
Gratefully they’ll obtain all you ask
And even some more grace.
From heaven they'll watch over you;
As on the earth you still roam;
and do all in their power to lead you safely
towards your heavenly home.
by Mary Ann Matulis
The Little Chaplet of the Holy Infant Jesus
The origin of this devotion is due to the zeal of the Venerable Sister Margaret of the Blessed Sacrament, religious of Carmel, who died in the odour of sanctity at Beaune (France), on May 26, 1648, aged 29 years. This worthy servant of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is remembered for her devotion towards the Divine Infant. Inspired from on high, she made a chaplet composed of three Our Fathers in honour of the Holy Family and twelve Hail Marys in memory of the twelve years of the childhood of Jesus.
Each Our Father and each Hail Mary is preceded by the words: "And the Word was made Flesh and dwelt amongst us.
The Infant Jesus deigned to make known to His faithful servant how pleasing this holy practice is to Him, by revealing to her that He would grant special graces, above all, that of purity and innocence, to those who carry this chaplet with devotion and recite it in honour of the mysteries of His Holy Infancy. As a sign of His approval, He showed to her this chaplet all shining with supernatural light.