Monday, July 30, 2007

Miraculous Revelation Reported on Holy Family Hill

The following letter was received this past week and it recounts the experience of two young men on Holy Family Hill on Sunday, July 22. Although approval was given by the sender to print the letter on this BLOG space, the names of the two men have been edited to preserve their privacy.

Dear Irv,

I have a great Rome City story for you. Probably a bit on the long side, but hey, most good stories are.

So I went out to Sylvan Springs last Sunday to pray a rosary in more of the rooms. A very good buddy of mine had been wanting to come out to Sylvan Springs ever since he heard me confirm the "miracle of the sun." He was blown away when I confirmed the "Miracle of the Sun", in large part because he knows how skeptical I am. It's not that I don't believe in such things, only that I am very hesitant before accepting such claims. His exact words were, "I don't know anyone else as skeptical as you. If you saw it, then it must be true."

This friend is a Lutheran in practice, but Catholic at heart. He prays the Rosary on a regular basis, is in charge of music for Holy Cross' "Glory Hour", goes to adoration on a weekly basis, and during the school year attends mass 3-5 times per week. Next year he'll be a senior theology student at Holy Cross, and is well liked by just about everyone. He has a great sense of humor, so we often tease him about "swimming the Tiber."

Back to the story. My friend arrived around 7:15 pm, and I gave him a tour of the place- pointing out the small chapel, the blue room, the large chapel, various pictures, the Blessed Mother's statue, and the Good Friday well. All through the tour I told a variety of stories that I'd heard from Larry, John & you. He agreed with me that the grounds were indeed beautiful, and that he felt very peaceful and relaxed at Sylvan Springs. Now it was time to pound the hill.

A few smart-alec comments about the size of the hill (A Mountain! In Indiana! I never knew!), and we had already reached the top (I think someone cleaned the statue, it looks beautiful). We had both made a few glances towards the sun while outside, but no dice so far. I told a few more stories, and suggested that we pray a Rosary. We each took a different bench. A sublime sense of peace filled the area, and a great many butterflies began fluttering all around us. At one point I turned to the sun, but quickly recoiled from its brightness.

Around the 3rd Joyful Mystery I silently prayed, "Mary, my Mother, I won't look at the sun again until the Holy Spirit prompts me to or until you deliver a sign. If you want me to look, have a butterfly land on my leg and stay there, even when I move." One Hail Mary later a beautiful butterfly landed on my leg, and stayed there even when I shifted my weight. Suddenly it become clear that color and light were very different on the hill than just a few minutes previous (those who have seen the Miracle know what I'm describing, the shift in colors is difficult to describe). Looking over my shoulder, I accidentally glanced right into the heart of the sun (for obvious reasons, something I normally try not to do). Sure enough, it didn't hurt the eyes at all. Beautiful colors were radiating around the sun, and it was pulsing and spinning at a very fast pace.

I fell silent. My friend, seeing that I turned to face the sun, also turned to take a peek. He got a lot more than a peek! We both remained silent for a minute or two, just staring in awe. We chatted about it briefly, about the amazing colors and how the sun looked like an elevated host. We continued with the Rosary. An overwhelming since of peace settled over the area (the butterflies and the sun were both 'going crazy'). Tears began rolling down my cheeks, but I felt no sadness, only joy. In the middle of a Hail Mary I blurted out, "Fall on your knees."

We did, and finished the Joyful mysteries. We remained on our knees, staring at the sun, enjoying the incredible peace and nearness. I don't think either one of us talked for 10 minutes. But the Blessed Mother wasn't through with us yet. For the next 20 minutes we marveled at the sun, and how we could stare right into the sun then turn and look at everything else around us with perfect clarity, including the Holy Family statue and each other. When turning towards the Holy Family statue I commented that the Mother's skin would sometimes have the appearance of actual flesh, but still was clearly a statue.

The sun's pulsing picked up significantly, and I felt tears rolling down my cheeks (fortunately, my friend was busy looking at the sun and didn't see!). Turning to the Holy Family statue, it became clear that something had changed dramatically. My friend and I could still see everything with perfect clarity-- EXCEPT THE BLESSED MOTHER.

An incredible blue glow came from the Blessed Mother's face. It absolutely radiated outward, like a massive blue Halo (the type seen in medieval paintings to indicate a saint, except those are gold and not blue). At the outer edges of the blue aura was a gold lining. Blue doesn't really even describe what we saw, it was more like we experienced the true nature of "blue", and our poor eyes couldn't register the color properly. I tried to look directly at her face, but could not. Occasionally a beautiful face would become visible in the glow (where the statue's face ought to be), but then would 'disappear' into the glow.

Jesus looked normal. St. Joseph looked normal. Something was definitely going on with Mary. Not only was the glow continuing (like a second source of light?), but the shawl wrapped around Mary's head had changed radically. No longer did it appear to be stone, but it appeared to be ACTUAL CLOTH. It had a dull greenish/yellowish tint, and had the visual appearance of cotton or fine wool. The cloth appeared as if it would be very soft to the touch. Let's recap: Sun going crazy, butterflies everywhere, can't look directly into Mary's face, incredible blue aura, but can look at the cloth around Mary's face, and it looks like a real cloth.

I don't know exactly what my friend felt, but I felt that the Blessed Mother was very, very near to us. If I had gone to confession that day, I might have seen her face. We decided to pray another Rosary, and alternated between staring at the sun and staring at the statue. The sun was starting to set (we could tell by the colors in the sky)... but my friend pointed out that THE SUN HAD NOT MOVED SINCE IT STARTED SPINNING. As we neared the end of the Sorrowful mysteries, it suddenly dropped very very quickly. In a matter of one decade it set from a very high position to slipping behind the trees.

I've seen a lot of sunsets in my life, I deeply love watching them. Before our eyes the sun, in two minutes, covered the amount of sky that should take an hour. It fell behind some trees, but continued pulsing and spinning THROUGH THE TREES. We could clearly see the trees, but it was as if the sun was simply in front of them! My friend and I stood up on some benches to watch the last light of the day. The sun vanished almost exactly when we finished the Sorrowful mysteries. Turning to the statue, there was no more blue aura, but Our Lady's shawl still appeared cloth-like. All in all we experienced the Miracle of the Sun for about an hour, with no damage to our eyes. At least 45 minutes of that time was spent looking right at the sun without flinching.

We headed back to the parking lot, and I immediately joked, "So, ready to become Catholic yet?" Needless to say, it may not have been a joke for my friend. Probably a bit on the long side, but hey, most good stories are.

Know that you and your family remain in my prayer always,

Yours In Christ,
-L. B.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Photos From July 6 Rosary

This Friday rosary was very special indeed! There was much to celebrate and much to anticipate for the future. We saw many new faces and enjoyed each other's company before and after the Mass, Benediction, Rosary, and Reconciliation services.

As evidenced by the following photos, Our Lady was in our midst throughout the the sky above and in the chapel.

There were so many spectacular photos submitted from this evening, we could never present them all in this posting. Keep checking back for more of these photos in the days ahead.

Join us for the rosary every Friday. Doors open at 4 pm for tours and Q&A before the services begin. This week Mass is scheduled to begin at 6:30 before the rosary.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Devotion To Our Lady of America Canonically Approved!!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

June 29th Rosary

The June 29 Rosary was attended by nearly 200 people who came from as far away as Cleveland, Ohio. Some came by bus, but many came by caravan from neighboring states. It was quite an eventful evening for all.

The following letter and photos were submitted by a woman who came with a great group from St. John's, Michigan. They will be talking about their visit for a long time to come!

Please join us for the July 6 rosary. Doors will be open all day this Friday. Come and tour the grounds with your family and don't forget your empty bottles if you want water from the Good Friday well.

I came down for last night's rosary with a group from Michigan, and wanted to thank Larry, his very patient wife, and the volunteer staff for the amazing hospitality they showed us. Just being in the chapel itself, knowing that our Blessed Mother appeared there, and reciting the rosary was a wonderful, fulfilling experience in itself. Afterwards we took some pictures, gathered jugs of water from the springs, witnessed a gorgeous sunset, and toured part of the building where visitors are housed. We were allowed to see the "blue room" where a mysterious oily substance is appearing on some of the walls, were given some details about the history of the grounds, and allowed to visit the smaller chapel and make prayer requests. When we left, it was just before 11 p.m., but Larry still had a smile on his face. Thanks so much for making us feel welcome, even at that late hour! God-willing, we will be back with more of Mary's children.

God Bless,
Kathy George