Monday, October 7, 2013

Catholic Bishop sees a shrine in a vision and hears an “interior voice” instructing him to “build a shrine” dedicated to the Divine Mercy of Jesus

Madhya Pradesh, INDIA: St. Theresa's Cathedral Inaugurated. Tallest Divine Mercy Statue in India

Madhya Pradesh, October 02, 2013: On Sept. 30, Cardinal George Alencherry unveiled and blessed a shrine featuring a statue of the Divine Mercy of Jesus, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.

“The statue is 43-feet tall and it proclaims that the Lord is ever merciful to all those who seek him,” Bishop Anthony Chirayath of the Syro-Malabarese Diocese of Sagar told CNA Sept. 28.

Some 20 bishops attended the blessing, as well as around 100 priests and religious. When he spoke to CNA, Bishop Chirayath said that “a presence of about 3,000 Catholic devotees of the Divine Mercy is expected, including pilgrims from the U.S., Canada, France, Germany and Italy,” adding that “a great participation of staunch devotees, even of other faiths, is to be witnessed.”

Bishop Chirayat receives a gift of Vision and Interior Voice 
Bishop Chirayat explained that the motivation behind erecting this monumental shrine was through his personal experience some years ago.

While on a visit to the Divine Mercy shrine in San Francisco on Oct. 5, 2007, Bishop Chirayath said he saw a shrine in a vision and heard an “interior voice” instructing him to “build a shrine” in Sagar dedicated to the Divine Mercy of Jesus.

“I was neither aware of, nor a devotee to, the Divine Mercy.”

The image of Divine Mercy, based on visions experienced by 20th century Polish nun St. Faustina Kowalska, depicts Jesus touching his heart, from which red and white rays flow, offering the mercy of God to sinners.

The bishop said that locally, people refer to the Divine Mercy of Jesus as “Dayasagar,” or “Ocean of Mercy,” and that local non-Catholics call him “Prabhu,” or “Lord.”

Divine Mercy Shrine in Sagar, Madhya Pradesh
The shrine is located in Khajuria, near Sagar. The statue weighs 1.5 tons and is placed at a height of 45 feet on a 100-foot concrete structure to protect it from violent storms and earthquakes. It is 16 feet wide, three feet depth, and three inches thick. The rays from the heart of Jesus are 21 feet long.

Tallest Statue

“The original idea was to install a statue of only eight feet,” Bishop Chirayath explained, “but later the vicar general and the curia suggested that we install a statue of 40 feet, but now increased to 43 feet.”

The statue was commissioned to a Catholic sculptor from Kerala, a state on the southern tip of India, named Poly.

The work was completed with contributions from devotees across India, and without making any appeals or undertaking fund-raising drives, the bishop said.

“People heard of this construction and voluntary contacted us, contributing small amounts.”

In addition, Fr. Anthony Gramlich, rector of the U.S. national shrine of the Divine Mercy, gave a painting of the devotion to the Syro-Malabar Diocese of Sagar. It was installed in the shrine at Khajuria in 2007, and the diocese was then consecrated to the Divine Mercy.

Numerous Miracles 
Since then, numerous miracles have been reported and recorded, particularly among non-Catholics. The shrine has become very popular, and Bishop Chirayath himself has reported being cured there of a malign tumor. He noted that the shrine is contributing to inter-religious dialogue in the area.

The shrine, which already has a perpetual adoration chapel as well as a relic of St. Faustina, will be expanded in the future.

On Oct. 1, Cardinal Alencherry also consecrated St. Theresa Cathedral for the Sagar diocese.

- cna

St. Theresa’s Cathedral (formerly known as St. Raphael’s Church) in Sagar (Saugor) Cantonment is the first and the oldest Catholic Christian settlement in the present Sagar Division. The Catholic presence dates back to late 1850s, when European Christians as well as Indian Christians served in the British Regiment of Infantry and Cavalry units of Saugor. Though the first recorded baptism in Sagar (Saugor) was on January 1, 1863, records give witness to the Catholic Christian presence in Sagar (Saugor) Cantonment by the very fact that the first burial of Catholic soldier took place on June 3, 1859 in the Christian cemetery at Sagar Cantonment.

Tallest Statue

The foundation stone of the first Catholic Church known as St. Raphael’s Church was laid by Rev. Fr. Raffaele Mecchi da Livorno OFM. Cap. on December 13, 1874. The church was consecrated by Rt. Rev. Dr. Francesco Pesci OFM. Cap., the first Bishop of Allahabad, on October 24, 1890. When the new Exarchate of Sagar was created on July 29, 1968, it became the official church of the Exarchate. It was formally raised to the status of Cathedral of Sagar Diocese on February 26, 1977, when the Exarchate was raised to the status of a Diocese. The church was closed for reconstruction on August 15, 2010. The cathedral was renamed after the Diocesan Patroness, St. Theresa of Child Jesus on October 1, 2010 and on the very same day, the foundation stone for the present church was laid by His Excellency Mar Anthony Chirayath, Bishop of Sagar. The present rebuilt Church was consecrated by His Beatitude Mar George Cardinal Alencherry, Major Archbishop of Syro-Malabar Catholic Church on October 1, 2013 and was reopened again for worship. The vibrant Catholic congregation consists of local Catholics and military personnel. St. Theresa’s Cathedral stands as a living witness to Jesus Christ through actions of peace, prayer, love and mercy. This historical Church is open to all.

Salient Features

St. Theresa’s Cathedral Church is an example of perfect cultural and architectural adaptation of Indian as well as Gothic architecture in the Church building. The main theme of this church is Christ-centric. The Church is constructed in the shape of a Cross.

The Wall of the Madbaha or Garbhagriha or the Holy of Holies is built in the form of a Chalice and paten, and in the middle of it, the Salvific suffering of Jesus Christ on the Calvary is depicted in the form of a Crucifix. A wooden relief work of the Last Supper of Jesus Christ is kept in front of the Main Altar in the Madbaha. On the top front arch of the Madbaha, displays the St. Thomas Cross carved in wood.

There are two side altars where the mercy and second coming of Jesus Christ in Divine Mercy and Ascension respectively are presented at the centre in the form of canvas painting. The upper window glasses in the Church show the passion of Jesus Christ for the Salvation of mankind through the Way of Cross. The lower window glasses in the church depict some of the life events of Jesus Christ. The twelve fan frames in the church carry the name of Jesus in twelve languages like Aramaic (the language spoken by Jesus in his lifetime), Hebrew, Greek, Hindi, Urdu, German, Italian, Tamil, Punjabi, Marathi, Telgu and Malayalam. On the top of the Six-edged dome, the symbols of Alpha and Omega are kept to show to the world that Jesus Christ is the beginning and the end. The two bell-towers in the front part of the Church ring out the joy of Good News. The two glass pictures of Mary, who brought forth Jesus Christ to the world and St. John the Baptist, the one who come to prepare the way of the Lord are placed in the front windows of the Church. The baptisry is placed in front of the right side altar symbolizing the Sacraments of Christian Initiation.

There are four side doors and one Main Door. On the Main door, there are two logos sculptured namely Year of Faith and St. Theresa’s Cathedral. Since the Cathedral is being consecrated in the Year of Faith, it is relevant to show at the main door of the Church, that this historical building in the City of Sagar stands for Christian faith. Top of every door, there are pictures of musical instruments in glass work which symbolize worship, welcome, praise, sacrifice, sharing and listening to the word of the Lord.

There are four statutes namely Mother Mary, St. Joseph, St. Thomas the Apostle and St. Theresa of Child Jesus. These statues are kept on two side altars in the Church. 

A holy relic (bone) of St. Theresa of Child Jesus is place in the middle of the left Side Altar. The Holy Myron or the Holy Chrism is placed in middle of the right side Altar.

The tabernacle on the main altar symbolizes the Arc of the Covenant. It stands as a symbol of the great promise of the Lord in the Old Testament in the Bible. On the top of the Tabernacle, the Great ten commandments of the Lord are engraved. There are two angles standing at both side of the tabernacle as a symbol of protecting the Arc of the Covenant.

The Cathedra or the Bishop’s official Chair is kept on the right side of the Altar. It is the throne (thronos) of the bishop in his cathedral church, on which he presides at solemn functions.

The glass pictures in the steel railings at the balcony in the Church show seven sacraments of Christian life.

A museum of Christian monuments of Sagar is displayed in the left side bell-tower and an another display of “Glimpses of History – Sagar Cathedral” in the right side bell-tower of the Church. The antique articles like vestments, flags, books etc. are displayed in the balcony of the Church.

There is a shrine dedicated to Mary of Good Health in the right side of the Church. A flag mast or the Dhwaj (or) Dhvaja Stambha is erected in front of the Church.

- fr. babu john


Tuesday, May 14, 2013


A life without the Holy Spirit:
Is empty and void in despair and sadness
Is vexed and tossed by temptations and enticements
Is weak and desperate in the flesh with sinful attachments
Is broken and wounded with anger and unforgiveness
Is in bondages of passing lust and passions
Is in darkness and blindness not knowing the right way
Is in perversity, licentiousness and immorality
Is a life crushed with pains and sickness
Is a life where God is a Distant Being
Is a life where Christ is only a historical past
Is a life where the Gospel and God's words are veiled
Is a life where laws and commandments are meaningless and coarse
Is a life where the Church is a mere secular institution
Is a life where prayer and liturgy are dead
Is a life where virtues and holiness is foolishness
Is a life where duties and responsibilities are burdensome
Is a life where ministries and missions are mere professions

Whereas a life with the Holy Spirit:

Is meaningful and worth living
Is challenging and vibrant
Is a life with Jesus Christ, Emmanuel, God with us
Is a life in the Kingdom of God
Is a life where one is led in the Way, the Truth and Life
Is a life of peace, joy and consolation
Is a life of power and grace
Is a life of holiness according to God's will
Is a life of authenticity and truthfulness
Is a life in the Church the mother who cares
Is a life where authority and commandments become easy
Is a life where burdens become light and yokes easy
Is a life where prayer and sacraments become part and parcel of life
Is a life where one hears God's voice in the Holy Scriptures
Is a life where one finds answer to all his problems
Is a life where one finds the healing touch of the Divine Master
Is a life where one's soul burns with love for God and others
Is a life witnessing Jesus Christ always and everywhere
Is a life that brings the thirsty neighbours to the Living Water
Is a life burning out for Jesus and His Kingdom
Is a life that finds a seat in the eternal banquet. AMEN


Author : Fr. James Manjackal


Start praying for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit from 11th May until Pentecost on 19th May

Friday, April 19, 2013

CHRIST EXPERIENCE - HINDU LADY sees Light Shining on the Crucifix at 3AM, Converts

Personal Testimony of Hindu - Rajamma, from Mannodiyil, Kozhikode in Kerala, South India - and her encounter with Jesus Christ.

As published in the Most popular Catholic Mission Magazine - Vachanolsavam (festival of the WORD) - Month of Jan 2013.


I glorify Jesus, my Lord and my God!

On 16 December 1991 I was travelling to Alappuzha by train. A kind lady gave me a copy of Vachanolsavam and it was by reading that I recognized the true living God.

Hindu Background and Personal Health

Before I knew the Catholic Vachanolsavam magazine and its numerous testimonies of different people from various religions and regions, I was a strict non-Christian and always sick.

Belief in the occult and sorcery for a cure
My backbone was weak resulting in a bend to my body. In spite of a surgery and some other treatments, I could not stand upright or walk straight like normal people do. I even tried the occult and sorcery for a cure. But all this proved futile.


Initial interest in Jesus after reading about HIM
After reading about Jesus in Vachanolsavam, I wanted to know more about him. In January 1992, I went to the Divine Retreat Centre at Muringoor and took part in a retreat. At the start of the retreat, I was in a state of exhaustion – both physical and mental. 

Vision and Feeling at the retreat centre - blood flowing from the wounds of Jesus
Then I felt as if I could see blood flowing from the wounds of the feet of Jesus. It was on a Wednesday. From the time of that vision, I felt neither hunger nor thirst. I did not know the meaning of fasting, but till the end of the retreat I was fasting but till the end of the retreat I was fasting without knowing what it entailed.


Fr George announces Rajamma's healing
On the second day of my unpremeditated fast, Fr Panackal announced my healing. Calling me by name, he told the congregation that Rajamma has been touched by the Lord and her backbone problem is being cured. At that moment I fainted.

When my children came and helped me to wake up I found that I was fully healed and I could stand straight. I had not only a hunchback, but also some boils and lumps on it, like the proverbial hump on the hunchback. Now all these had completely disappeared. Medical science had failed to heal me, but the good Lord did it in the tinkle of an eye. In gratitude to God I do my bit in the evangelization mission.

Miracle - Jesus lowers himself from the crucifix to enable Rajamma to touch HIM
When I was about to return after my healing, I had an inkling to kneel before the crucifix and pray. Since I am not all that tall, I could not reach the feet of the Lord hanging on the cross. As I was making an effort to reach it, I
felt as if the feet were descending to enable me to touch them. When I touched them and kissed, I felt some electrical current passing within me. I almost screamed, ‘My Lord!’ I prayed for some time. I felt I got a divine touch. I became elated. That joy is still with me. I decided that from that time I would live only for Jesus. My family and I stopped worshipping other gods and we began worshipping the true God. We started praising and glorifying Jesus.

Although there were occasional sufferings, I had been living comfortably, relying on the Lord. But in 2004, I became very sick. There was pain all over my body coupled with exhaustion, constant fever and vomiting. I went to different doctors and took a lot of different medicines. When no relief came, marrow from the backbone was tested. The results showed that I had blood cancer. The disease had advanced far. The experts decreed that I would be alive only for a maximum of 3 more months. My body was not responding to medicines.

In the hospital bed, I used to sit alone and pray looking at the crucifix. I said the Rosary and sought intercessory help. I read the Bible and meditated upon what I read.

One day I continued praying from 11 in the night to 3 in the following morning. At 3, I saw a light shining on the crucifix. The light slowly spread all over the room. I felt as if the Lord was standing next to me. I then prayed like this, “Lord, my Father, didn’t you say you were my father? Then am I not your daughter? Isn’t the blood running in my veins your own blood? Then how is that I have blood cancer?
If I am your daughter, I can’t be a patient.” I cried loudly.

I felt as if blood was coming out of the forehead of Jesus as sweat. I asked him if I could touch him. I touched him. I felt my body experiencing both hot and cold sensations. I heard a voice telling me, “I am cleansing you with your suffering. I want you.” I replied, “Lord, let your wish be fulfilled in me.” I continued praying tearfully. The vision was over.

Later my blood was taken for testing. Medical science found my blood was clean and there was absolutely
no trace of malignancy in it. Thank you, Jesus! Praise the Lord!

How can I not believe in Jesus? For the last 8 years I have been keeping good health and I have been serving
my Lord. I proclaim the Lord wherever I can. I distribute Vachanolsavam daily to people. Suffering is a treasure.

Those who suffer with Jesus will be glorified. Hallelujah!

Rajamma, Mannodiyil, Kozhikode

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Lighting strikes the basilica of St. Peter's dome

Lighting strikes the basilica of St. Peter's dome earlier this evening during a storm that struck Rome on the same day Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation

Friday, February 1, 2013


Pakistani Muslim Muhammad Ayub converts to Christianity - becomes Ayub Masih (Urdu for Christ)

Converted from Islam receiving threats from extremists that they will kill them and their families.He has received threatening letters from different Islamic Organizations, told Ayub to LEAD. He also added that his meetings were conducted with different Christians organizations and with foreign delegations but not a single one helped us

Ayub Masih has come to LEAD office and told his story of conversion from Islam to Christianity. He also said how he had spent his four years in Christian faith. He is living in hidden. He has no job or any kind of work for earning his livelihood. He added ” I and my wife are satisfied that we have Jesus in our lives “.

Muhammad Ayub (Christian name Ayub Masih):

Family Back Ground:

I have four sisters and one brother ,my father was died in 1996 and my mother is alive. My family belongs to tribe of Jutt (tuddy). I was married in 1998. I have two children one son and daughter. My son is 11 years old and my daughter is 4 years old. My family is learned family and have well knowledge of religion.

How I accepted Christianity:

I was working in Sahiwal as cable net work as a recovery in-charge. Some Muslims Colleagues told me that there was one Muslim who accepted Christian religion and denounced Islam. I was surprised and as well as shocked to know this story of conversion from Islam to Christianity. I told that informer that I wanted to meet him face to face.  My message was conveyed to that person. The person who accepted Christian religion his name was Zubair Shah and after accepting Jesus his name was changed as Emmanuel Shah. Emanuel Shah was reluctant to meet me and in this way four months passed away. After making satisfaction that I was not going to create any problem for him then he was ready to meet me in person and willing to talk with me. I had asked some questions to Shah sahab that why you had changed his religion and how you changed his religion which was the surety of Paradise.

I put many questions regarding his conversion from Islam and tried to reconvert him towards Islam. He never ever tried to influence me towards Christian religion that I would accept Jesus Christ. One day he gave me Holy Bible for reading but I returned him saying that I did not know any thing about Bible. I asked him that If you made me satisfied from Holy Quran then I would accept. One my this question he gave me many references from Holy Bible regarding the personality of Jesus Christ and references about earlier Holy Books. He gave me Bible and told me to read it you would find all answers of your questions. I read the Bible and read Quranic references about Jesus and Mary. I made comparison of different topics such as Day Of Judgement, Salvation and crucifixion of Jesus Christ , while comparing Bible and Quran I found that Jesus Christ had the all Authorities. This was my turning appoint towards Christianity.

How I was baptized:

I was under pressure while I changed my mind to accept Jesus because of Apostasy and fear of killing and other problems from Muslims. At the end I put all my worries on God thinking that God would guide me through dream what is right for me and what is wrong? I had a dream and saw that my father , who died 18 years ago, was sitting on the bench of Church and asked me that why you had not swept and cleaned the Church. I was satisfied that Jesus had given this Good News to my father and this was my encouragement to accept Jesus Christ. I told to Shah sahab about this and he gave me the reference of Pastor Munir Phool and he baptized me.

How My wife came to Jesus:

I often read Bible and my wife often asked many questions about Bible why I read this Book. One day I shared with her about my accepting of Christian Religion. My wife told that did you know that after doing this our relationship as husband and wife would be dissolved. I shared that all my matters and problems I had put on God , He would guide me what I had to do. We both spent that night in silence and on morning she told that what you had done you should have not to show and tell any body. This was between you and your God. In this way we spent one year. We both did not force each other regarding religion. After one year she showed her interest in Christianity and shared with me that she also wanted to accept Jesus Christ. In this way she was also baptized by Pastor Munir Phool. We both willing to get baptized of Children too but Pastor told that Children would be baptized when they would be matured.

How my family came to know about our new life in Jesus:

After our baptism, Mr. Emmanuel Shah shared with some Christians families about our conversion from Islam to Christianity.The news about this conversion spread within our area and locality during this my family also came to know about our conversion. My brother asked me about this conversion and I told him truth.I also started to preach him ,he became agree to accept Jesus Christ on our exchange of conversation, but he shared with our brother in law and after that he retracted from conversion.

Threats and hardships which I and my family suffered:

I had received many threats from family members and also boycotted from my family. They also kicked out from my house and also deprived of from my father’s property. In this way many Muslims came to know all this story of my conversion.I received many unknown phone calls and warned to accept again Islam otherwise i would be killed. I also received some threatening letters from different Islamic organizations. One night we were sitting in street because the light was broke down and weather was hot. Two men on motor bike came to our house and one of then said that this was the man who was sitting and the other one who was at the back of bike sitting fired at me, I was luckily saved but they thought that i had hit by fire and they ran away. After this incident we were very scared and fearful which is still going on.

I got into contact with Sohail John by Pastor Munir Phool. I told him all this incident and my problems which I and my family is facing until now. They have arranged many meetings with different foreigners and told them our problems which we were facing due to our Christian faith. He has not helped me and supported me until now.

My request to LEAD:
I request LEAD , please help me and my family and save our lives. I will be very thankful.

- LEAD is a Pak Christian relief, development and advocacy organization


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