Scientific fact: The Blessed Virgin Mary carried Jesus inside her body for a lot longer than nine months.

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The report examined the increasing evidence that “when a woman has a baby, she gets not just a son or daughter, [but] an army of protective cells–gifts from her children that will stay inside her and defend her for the rest of her life.”

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Editor’s note:  And Mary said: My soul doth magnify the Lord. And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid: for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. Because he that is mighty hath done great things to me: and holy is his name. (Luke 1:46-49)

Isn’t literal, biblical truth grand? Consider all the awesome ramifications!

Now, what about those Christians who hold that Mary is no different than the rest of us? Does that not constitute an explicit denial of scientific fact, as well as an implicit denial of the power, holiness and divinity of Jesus Christ? 

The closer you look and the more you come to know about the unique relationship between Jesus and his blessed mother, the easier it is to accept and appreciate Catholic dogma on the subject – including her total sinlessness, her absolutely holy life and her assumption into Heaven – body, as well as soul – all according to God’s grace and plan.

Related slide show

Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine in Des Plaines, Illinois is expecting up to 100,000 celebrants over the next two days

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CHICAGO, IL (December 6, 2013) – This overnight celebration honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas, will begin with an opening Mass on Wednesday, December 11, at 4 p.m., at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, 1100 North River Road in Des Plaines.  The Mass will be celebrated by Fr. Marco A. Mercado, Archbishop’s Delegate for Hispanic Ministry and Rector of the Shrine.  The lighting of the traditional “Antorcha Guadalupana” or “Guadalupe Torch” will take place at 10 p.m.

Throughout the two-day celebration, Masses will be offered every two hours in the Shrine’s outdoor grotto and in the gymnasium. The outdoor mass celebrated at the grotto will be shown live in a tented area outside the gymnasium.  Music and Folkloric dances in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe will also be held indoors throughout both days. . A large food tent, located in between the outdoor grotto and the gymnasium, will be available as a warming center.  Another large heated tent will be available directly outside the gymnasium.

After the lighting of the Guadalupe Torch, pilgrims, representing dozens of parishes throughout Cook and Lake counties, will light their own torches and participate in the Guadalupe Torch Run.

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Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe 

1170 North River Road
Des Plaines, IL 60016
Phone: (847) 294-1806 Fax: (847) 294-1981
A Shrine of The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago IL

photo: YouTube

Our Lady of Guadalupe Image: How has the 481-year-old Tilma survived so many years without decay?

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“All the cloths similar to the Tilma that have been placed in the salty and humid environment around the Basilica,” Dr. Orozco explained,“have lasted no more than ten years.”  A painting of the image on cloth which had been protected behind glass was discarded after only eight years, because the colors had faded and the threads had broken so badly.

The Tilma, meanwhile, was displayed unprotected for 116 years, exposed to the heat of tens of thousands of candles and to the harsh, humid and salty air; yet it remains vibrant.

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December 12 is the official commemoration of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

All About Eve: Satan quickly surmised that women are the key to ultimate human potential.

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by Doug Lawrence

Nowhere in scripture do we read of Satan tempting Adam at any time, prior to the existence of Eve.

In fact, nowhere in scripture do we read of Satan directly tempting Adam, at all. All we can do is a bit of exegesis, based on the fact that Jesus Christ,  “The New Adam” – was tempted by Satan – and based on that, we can assume that Adam was tempted, as well.

But I digress!

The point is … humanity was going nowhere until God created Eve. Only then did the possibility exist of an entire race of human beings – numbering greater than the stars in the heavens and the sands on the sea shore (Genesis 22:17) and only then did Satan make his move: first, on Eve. Then, Eve quite easily enlisted Adam in their offense.

Consequently, mankind soon found himself evicted from Eden, in addition to being  permanently and hopelessly enslaved to Satan, sin and death. If not for the saving work of Jesus Christ, our Holy Redeemer, it would have remained so, for an eternity.

Satan continues to concentrate on Eve’s “daughters – sisters” to this very day. And except for the superabundantly graced, totally sinless Blessed Virgin Mary, “The New Eve” – most women tend to remain extraordinarily easy marks! I trust it is unnecessary to name names and cite specifics.

Not that men – except for Our Bless Lord, Jesus Christ – are any better. Most are just bold, recidivist sinners of a different gender. And life goes on.

Get wisdom, because it is better than gold:
and purchase prudence, for it is more precious than silver.
The path of the just departs from evil:
he that keeps his soul keeps his way.
Pride goes before destruction:
and the spirit is lifted up before a fall.
 (Proverbs 16:16-18)

Something to think about, this Advent!

Seeking the Lost Ark: The place shall be unknown, till God gather together the congregation of the people, and receive(s) them to mercy.

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by Doug Lawrence

My good friend Bob Stanley of the Catholic Treasure Chest website writes:

This post builds on the info recently received from my Israeli friend. Here is something that I think is of great importance, as the Bible appears to tell us where the Ark of the Covenant is.

2Ma 2:3 And with other such like speeches, he exhorted them that they would not remove the law from their heart.
2Ma 2:4 It was also contained in the same writing, how the prophet, being warned by God, commanded that the tabernacle and the ark should accompany him, till he came forth to the mountain where Moses went upand saw the inheritance of God. (see Deut 34:1 below for the name of the mountain, and the other verses which insure that they refer to the inheritance).
2Ma 2:5 And when Jeremias came thither he found a hollow cave: and he carried in thither the tabernacle, and the ark , and the altar of incense, and so stopped the door.
2Ma 2:6 Then some of them that followed him, came up to mark the place: but they could not find it.
2Ma 2:7 And when Jeremias perceived it, he blamed them, saying: The place shall be unknown, till God gather together the congregation of the people, and receive them to mercy.
2Ma 2:8 And then the Lord will shew these things, and the majesty of the Lord shall appear, and there shall be a cloud as it was also shewed to Moses, and he shewed it when Solomon prayed that the place might be sanctified to the great God.

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Deu 34:1  Then Moses went up from the plains of Moab upon mount Nebo, to the top of Phasga over against Jericho: and the Lord shewed him all the land of Galaad as far as Dan.
Deu 34:2  And all Nephtali, and the land of Ephraim and Manasses, and all the land of Juda unto the furthermost sea,
Deu 34:3  And the south part, and the breadth of the plain of Jericho the city of palm trees as far as Segor.
Deu 34:4  And the Lordtsaid to him: This is the land, for which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying: I will give it to thy seed. Thou hast seen it with thy eyes, and shalt not pass over to it.
Deu 34:5  And Moses the servant of the Lord died there, in the land of Moab, by the commandment of the Lord:

Source: Douay-Rheims Bible

The Jews, the Arabs and the non-Catholics don’t have the books of Maccabees and they refuse to read them in Catholic Bibles. After all, they say the Catholic Bible is corrupted and Maccabees is not inspired…right? This reminds me of the Indiana Jones movie “Raiders of the Lost Ark” where Sallah (John Rhys-Davies) looked over about half mile away, saw the Nazi’s digging for the ark and rejoiced by saying “They are digging in the wrong place”.

Months ago I asked my Jewish friend where Mt. Nebo was, without mentioning why I would like to know. He said it is in Jordan. That is another reason why the Jews never tried digging there. It makes a lot of sense to me that since the temple mount is a relatively small area and has been explored, dug and tunneled for many centuries and yet never was even a sign or clue that something as large as the Ark was found within it. Even the crusaders made exhaustive but essentially fruitless searches there.

Go back and read again the 2nd sentence of 2Ma 2:7.  Maybe it is happening right now???

Doug replies:

There’s a lot of intriguing possibilities there. I find it interesting, looking at the map, that Moses did indeed have a clear view of precisely what is described in the scriptures. God really did let him see the Promised Land – pretty much in its’ entirety.

It’s been my experience that people expect the site of the lost Ark to be either somewhere on or around the temple mount, or even as far away as Mt. Sinai – assuming that anyone today actually knows the true location of that holy mountain.

Even with the sold description provided in Maccabees, there’s a lot of potential hiding places for the Ark, on and around Mount Nebo.

Maybe Moses will retrieve it and he and (either) Enoch or Elijah will come back to witness in Jerusalem, near the end of the tribulation period? The Ark may even be the energy source for the Heavenly “fire” and the drought. (Rev 11:3-6)

Another interesting note about Moses: Even the devil was unable to find his dead body, so Moses is a very good candidate for having being assumed into Heaven, by God – as was Elijah, in his fiery chariot. The fact that both later appeared with Jesus during the Transfiguration seems to add credence to that possibility.

So we have Enoch, Elijah, Moses, the Blessed Virgin Mary – and maybe even Lazarus – his second time around – all being assumed into Heaven, by the awesome power of God.

That’s almost a bigger deal than finding the lost Ark!

Ann Barnhardt waxes theologically about the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Immaculate Conception, Jesus Christ, and the Assumption

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There are two phases to Mary’s existence. The first phase was from the moment of her conception until the Annunciation, which is when Jesus was conceived in her womb. The second phase was from that moment of Jesus’ conception forward for all eternity. Each phase has its own physiological delight attached to it which required Mary to be a sinless vessel for Our Lord.

First, the pre-Annunciation period. As it has been discovered just within the last few decades, all baby girls have all of the eggs that are ever going to be in their ovaries fully formed not just at birth, but fairly early in their fetal development phase. Unlike men who are continuously producing new sperm, a woman’s eggs aren’t created and formed with each menstrual cycle. All that is happening during a cycle is that an egg, which has been fully formed in a woman’s body since she was a pre-born fetus, is released into the reproductive tract. What this means theologically is that the egg containing the 23 chromosomes that God would miraculously fertilize with 23 chromosomes that He miraculously supplied (including a Y chromosome) to become the Word Made Flesh, Jesus Christ, was physically present inside Mary’s body from the time that Mary was inside of her mother’s womb. That egg, and those chromosomes, that physical constituent of Our Blessed Lord was present inside of Mary’s body, waiting to be . . . if I may use the word . . . consecrated. The word consecrate, when broken into its Latin components means:

Con: With
Secr: Holy
Ate: Territory of a Ruler

And so, Mary was, from the time she was inside St. Anne’s womb, already carrying a portion of Our Lord’s physicality, namely 23 of His chromosomes. And thus Mary was, from her very beginning, already a proto-tabernacle, already the Ark of the New Covenant, carrying within her what would be consecrated into The Law Incarnate, The High Priest, and The Bread of Life – just like the Old Ark, except perfected and fully fulfilled as God Incarnate. And as we know from the book of Exodus, the Old Ark had to be “perfect”. And thus, the Ark of the New Covenant was TRULY perfect, except this perfection was a perfection that only God Himself could accomplish: the perfection of Mary, full of grace and thus saved from all sin, including Original Sin.

The second phase is actually broken into two sub-phases. The first sub-phase is when Mary was pregnant with Jesus and His entire body was inside of hers.

The second phase is that phase from the time of Jesus’ birth forward into all eternity. Jesus is STILL physically inside of Mary in a unique way. It was discovered just a few short years ago that immune cells pass from a pre-born child to the mother across the placenta. Not only do these immune cells, which are the child’s and thus carry the exclusive and complete DNA of the child, pass across the placenta, but they persist in the mother’s body for the rest of her life. A woman who has carried a son has immune cells with Y-chromosomes in her bloodstream that can now be filtered out of her blood and observed. Female children also pass cells to their mothers.

Thus, a woman truly does carry her children around inside of her, with their DNA coursing through her heart, for the rest of her life. That isn’t just a sentiment – it is a physiological fact.

Thus, Mary continued and continues to this day to be a perpetual, living physical tabernacle of her Son, as she carries cells with His DNA in her bloodstream. And so now we see why Mary was and had to be filled with grace and thus saved from the stain of sin from the moment of her conception eternally forward – because she was and is a perpetual Ark of the New Covenant.

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Editor’s note: This is good stuff!

Short, related slide show

Practical instruction on the Holy Rosary: How to pray it, what it means, what you can expect to obtain, more.

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First, the history.  The Rosary was given by the Blessed Virgin herself to St. Dominic in ARSH 1214.  St. Dominic was having a terrible time combating heretics that were deeply embedded in the Church.  (D’oh!  Sound familiar??)  Long story short, she appeared to St. Dominic and told him what the Holy Trinity wanted done.  Her words were, “I want you to know that, in this kind of warfare, the battering ram has always been the Angelic Psalter which is the foundation stone of the New Testament. Therefore if you want to reach these hardened souls and win them over to God, preach my Psalter.”

The Angelic Salutation are the words of the angel Gabriel to Mary from Luke 1:28:  ”Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.”

The rest of the prayer then quotes the words of Mary’s cousin Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, upon Mary’s arrival at her home to be with her through her miraculous post-menopausal pregnancy in Luke 1:42:  ”Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.”

The rest of the prayer asks Our Blessed Lord’s mother to pray for us to her Son now, and especially at the hour of our death.

Read more from Ann Barnhardt