Tuesday, 1 September 2015

The Mystery of the Crown of Thorns by a Passionist Father part 41.


The image of our Infant Savior at Bari has evidently been chosen by God as an instrument of the most wonderful prodigies on record. It may be considered a concentration of supernatural phenomena intended by Divine Providence to confound the impiety of the wicked men, and to enlighten the faith and strengthen the hope of the faithful. Let us, for our edification, consider its prodigious movements.

The Rev. Father Bruni, in his official report to the Archbishop, Mgr. Pedicini, mentions the following miraculous motions:

1. The eyes of the waxen image have often been observed by many persons to move in different directions, and with various expressions in the looks, quite in the same way as if it were a living and-intelligent child.

2. The face of the figure, artistically fine, often assumes various physiognomic expressions. Sometimes it appears full of life, and beaming with an heavenly smile; at other times it becomes painfully sad and suffused with a deadly pallor. These miraculous physiognomic motions have been very frequent.

3. In the year 1866, July 25th, towards evening, this wonder-working figure was by several devout persons found holding in its right hand a mysterious oriflamme, or small golden flag, and a cross in its left hand. Neither of them had or could have been placed there, as they were found in the waxen hand of the little image. To effect this, it would have been necessary to open the small wax fingers to receive, then to close them again in such way as to make them grasp and hold in a natural manner, both the small golden flag and the cross. But this could not have been done without breaking both hands. Moreover, all persons allowed to have access to the sacred figure were by their known characters above the shadow of suspicion, and nobody could have attributed to them the horrible crime of such deceitful and sacrilegious profanation. The reality of this prodigy has never been doubted by well-informed persons in the metropolitan city of Bari.

4. On the 20th day of March, 1866, the Rev. Canon Maggi and the Very Rev. F. Bruni, and several other trusty persons, had left the holy waxen figure in its usual position in the cradle, under its ordinary glass shade. Two days after, it was found in a transversed position, which could only have been effected through a miracle, because the glass shade, by order of ecclesiastical authority, had been sealed or otherwise closed in such a way that no person could touch or move the prodigious image. Rev. Michael Farchi was the first in remarking this new prodigy, which he pointed out to other persons present. Upon the same occasion a profuse sweat was seen flowing from the same miraculous image.

5. On the 25th of July, of the same year, the Holy Infant was found standing at the end of the cradle, and was seen by many devout visitors often changing its position. It was upon this remarkable occasion that the oriflamme and cross were found in its hands. This wonderful prodigy continued, from the 25th of July to the 6th day of December, 1866, nearly four months and a half, during which time it was witnessed by a multitude of persons of every class and condition.

In order to certify the reality of the prodigy, the wax figure of the Holy Infant, then reclining in the cradle, was carefully examined by a committee of competent ecclesiastic and other proper persons, designated by the learned and pious Archbishop, Mgr. Pedicini. This examination was made on the 12th day of April, 1867. It was then observed that the wax figure of our Infant Savior, at its original moulding or formation by the artist, had its left foot more drawn up than the right one, and the artistic position of this latter was such that when the commissioners attempted to place the wax figure in an upright and standing position it was observed that the forepart only of the right foot could touch the table or the bottom of the cradle, whilst the left foot could not reach it at all. It was therefore demonstrated and concluded that, according to the natural laws of gravitation, it was physically impossible for the waxen image to remain standing without any support whatever, as it had done during the long space of four months and twelve days, in the latter part of the previous year. The reality of the miracle was unanimously admitted. If modern skeptics refuse to believe, and censure our Christian credulity, we say to them, with St. Paul, "Carnal man cannot understand spiritual things," and, much less, the nature of supernatural events.