Sunday, August 22, 2021

(256) A Eucharistic Revival Is Your Parish, in the World, and in Our Hearts


Leonardo Da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” captures the shocking instant when Christ said "One of you will betray me".  That was shortly after the breaking of the bread in which Christ instituted the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist……“Then he took the bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body, which will be given up for you; do this in memory of me’” (Luke 22:19).  At the Mass the priest (another Christ) does exactly the same as Christ did at the Last Supper which is made present to us.  We have the same privilege as the first apostles of receiving God’s greatest gift to us on Earth…..the Eucharist, Christ Himself……body and blood, soul and divinity.  Since God can do all things, He certainly can change bread and wine into His very own body and blood.  This is repeated at every Mass all over the world.  How awesome is that?

                Many Catholics are drifting away from the Faith.  The secularization of America is one cause; we have lost the reverent sense of the sacred and the transcendent.  But the primary cause is indifference and lack of love of the Eucharist, which is the source, the center, and the summit of Catholic practice and belief since the apostles.  

        Some see the Eucharist as a mere symbol; they may as well be Protestants.  Although one who receives Holy Communion must be in the state of grace, most Catholics have not been to Confession since their first confession as children.  As the great Catholic author, Flannery O’Connor said, “If the Eucharist is just a symbol, then the hell with it”. 

Thus the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has organized the National Eucharistic Revival which the Knights of Columbus is supporting and promoting.  At the Spring meeting the Bishops voted to draft a document on the meaning of the Eucharist in the life of the Church.  The goal, according to the USCCB, is “to renew the Church by enkindling a living relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist.”  Diocesan events, forming parish leaders and a national Eucharistic congress in 2024 are seen as having a central role in that.

Many dioceses have responded by sponsoring revivals of traditional Eucharistic belief and adoration.  Dioceses in Florida have had an annual “Florida Eucharistic Congress” for the last several years, and the Diocese of Richmond, Virginia, had one in 2020. The Dioceses of Charlotte, North Carolina, and Memphis, Tennessee, are preparing for ones later this year; the Archdiocese of Atlanta is planning for one next June.  

In Steubenville, our diocese held a Eucharistic procession throughout the downtown area.  During three Sundays of August every Mass in the Diocese of Columbus has a Eucharistic homily and ends with a Holy Half-Hour of Benediction and Adoration.  See The Diocese of Charlotte, NC has held annual Eucharistic congresses since 2005.  This article coincides with a very Eucharistic Gospel today Sunday August 22, 2021 from the Gospel of John Chapter 6.


        The 52nd International Eucharistic Congress in Budapest, Hungary September 5-12 will receive extensive coverage on EWTN.  A Eucharistic Congress (coming together) is a religious gathering held for the purpose of increasing faith in the Blessed Sacrament and promoting Eucharistic devotion.  The theme is “In You (Eucharistic Jesus) is the source of all our blessings."  Pope Francis has high hopes in saying “We pray that the Eucharistic event in Budapest may foster processes of renewal in Christian communities so that the salvation of which the Eucharist is the source may also be translated into a Eucharistic culture capable of inspiring men and women of goodwill in the fields of charity, peace, family, care of creation.”

    Clergy, religious and laity from five continents will gather in Budapest.  EWTN’s week-long coverage includes a closing Mass with Pope Francis, marking the first Congress to be visited by a Pontiff in 21 years.  Each day consists of Holy Mass, prayer, catechesis, workshops, exhibits, testimonies, and adoration.  On Saturday evening there will be a Eucharistic procession through the large capital city of Hungary.  This small central European country previously hosted the 34th International Eucharistic Congress May 25-29, 1938 a year before the official start of World War II with a half a million people attending. 

    Chicago hosted the 26th International Eucharistic Congress in 1926 with an attendance of 800,000, the first in the United States.  See  Philadelphia hosted another 50 years later in 1976 with 1.5 million people attending.  Two future saints spoke at that event……Cardinal Karol Wojtila (St. Pope John Paul II) and Mother Teresa.  The theme was “The Eucharist and the Hungers of the Human Family.” 

        The very first Congress was celebrated in Lille, France under its Bishop Gaston de Segur.  However, the prime mover was a laywoman, Marie-Marthe-Baptistine Tamisier (1834-1910), who spent a decade lobbying clergy.  What a legacy for a simple laywoman!  The theme was "The Eucharist saves the world".  The next Eucharistic Congress will be in Quito, Ecuador in 2024.  For a history of the international Eucharistic congresses, go to


The exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, reminds us of the appearance of Christ to St. Faustina while red and blue rays radiated from His heart.  The red rays indicate our Lord’s blood shed on the cross in reparation and the blue the cleansing water of Baptism also shed from His side when pierced by the lance of the centurion.  The passion and death of Christ was the ultimate act of mercy in making reparation for our sins so that we can enter Heaven if we only believe and follow Him. 

The Jews were flabbergasted and incredulous after Christ said, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world" (John 6:51).  They walked away in disbelief.  If the Eucharist were a mere symbol, Our Lord would have called them back and clarified.  His bold words remained without compromise for every generation until the end of time.  The Eucharist is a demonstration of God’s infinite love and mercy for us.  Adoration is an opportunity to become closer to God and to pray for the conversion of sinners as Mary asked us.   

            The Holy Half-Hour begins with the prayer that the Angel of Peace taught the shepherd children at Fatima. 

“My God, I believe, I adore, I trust and I love You!  I ask pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love You.”

“Most Holy Trinity –Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—I adore You profoundly.  I offer You the most precious Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the sacrileges, outrages, and indifferences by which He is offended.  Through the infinite merits the Sacred Heart of Jesus and through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg the conversion of poor sinners.” 

Most Holy Trinity, I adore You!  My God, my God, I love You in the Most Blessed Sacrament.  O My Jesus, I offer this for the love of You, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Take the time to share your problems with the Lord, to know Him, and become closer to Him.

A Eucharistic procession.  Call it coincidence or whatever, but the sun’s rays are shining over the monstrance which houses the Body of Christ…….Jesus Christ Himself.

 A Matchless Mystical Medicine

(From the Manual for Eucharistic Adoration

by the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration)

    “I put before you the one great thing to love on earth: the Blessed Sacrament….There you will find romance, glory, honor, fidelity, and the true way of all your loves upon earth” (J.R.R. Tolkien).  What riches, glory, and grace we possess in the treasury of our Catholic faith!  How good God is to us, who are so weak and so very much in need of His mercy and His love!

      We have been given a priceless gift, a matchless mystical medicine.  Yet it is not a thing but a Person: Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament.  He has promised to remain with us until the end of the world, in order to exhaust every effort in guiding us to Heaven, in securing our true peace and our only happiness.

     If we have been baptized into the Catholic Faith as infants and have spent our Sundays attending Mass, perhaps we have missed what many converts are so ecstatic about.  We are prone to a certain “house-blindness”, going through the motions of the Faith without bothering to scratch the surface.  But for those who are brave enough to venture farther than surface skimming, an entirely new chapter of their lives begins to unfold when the true reality before us is realized: The same Jesus we read about in the Bible, hear about in the readings of Mass, and watch movies about (if they are trendy enough) is the very same Jesus we receive and adore in the Most Blessed Sacrament.   

       Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity…..Stop for a moment and spend some time thinking about what this really means.  I adore Jesus’ Body in the Sacred Host?  At Mass I consume His Sacred Body?  I drink His Blood?  I receive His Soul into my Soul?  Somehow I receive His Divinity?  Could this be possible?  How could He deign to be so intimate with me, a poor sinner?

     It is something far beyond our comprehension, but it is true.  Not only are we able to receive Jesus in Holy Communion at each Mass as baptized Catholics in the state of grace, but we also have Him available in another very intimate way.  He remains with us so that we may come to Him and gaze upon Him, “Face to face,” in the Most Blessed Sacrament, solemnly exposed for adoration.

     St. Paul wrote about the transforming power of gazing upon Our Lord: “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into His likeness from one degree of glory to another” (2 Cor 3:18).  To spend time with Him is to become more like Him.

     We may find it difficult to believe that God has a vested interest in us, but He certainly does!  He loves us so much that He died for us.  Yet after His resurrection and His glorious ascension to the right hand of the Father, He did not want to leave us as orphans.  He has gone before us to prepare a place for us.  Even so, He desires at the same time to be intimately present to us.  He desires to show us that He is interested in every detail of our lives.  How does He do this?  He waits for a visit from us wherever He is present in the Holy Sacrament throughout the world.

For those who do not believe in the true presence of the Body & Blood, Soul & Divinity of Jesus Christ, God has granted many Eucharistic miracles.  The most famous is the Eucharistic Miracle of Lanciano, Italy. In 750 AD a doubting priest noticed that the bread He consecrated turned into flesh and blood, actually the heart muscle.  The blood type is AB, the same as the blood of the Shroud of Turin.  For almost 13 centuries this flesh and blood has remained fresh and living.  Go to Lanciano, Italy and see for yourself.  There have been numerous Eucharistic miracles over the centuries.  Whenever the Eucharist turned into flesh, it was always heart muscle in extreme duress as on the cross and blood type AB.  With these miracles, our Lord is really telling us: “I love you so much that I give you my all, my very heart.  I want to be with you in Holy Communion”. 

    See and

For a video presentation on Eucharistic Miracles by Fr. Chris Alar M.I.C go to and

another video presentation with a scientific analysis by Dr. Taylor Marshall at   

    The Church Has Always Adored Christ in the Eucharist (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1378-1380, 1418)

      “The Catholic Church has always offered and still offers to the sacrament of the Eucharist the cult of adoration, not only during Mass, but also outside of it, reserving the consecrated host with the utmost care, exposing them to the solemn veneration of the faithful, and carrying them in procession”.

  The tabernacle was first intended for the reservation of the Eucharist in a worthy place so that it could be brought to the sick outside of Mass.  As faith in the real presence of Christ in His Eucharist deepened, the Church became conscious of the meaning of silent adoration of the Lord present under the Eucharistic species.  It is for this reason that the tabernacle should be located in an especially worthy place in the church and should be constructed in such a way that it emphasizes and manifests the truth of the real presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament.

      It is highly fitting that Christ should have wanted to remain present to His Church in this unique way.  Since Christ was about to take His departure from His own in His visible form, He wanted to give us His sacramental presence; since He was about to offer Himself on the cross to save us, He wanted us to have the memorial of the love with which He loved us “to the end”, even to the giving of His life.  In His Eucharistic presence He remains mysteriously in our midst as the one who loved us and gave Himself up for us, and He remains under signs that express and communicate this love.  To visit the Blessed Sacrament is…..a proof of gratitude, an expression of love, and a duty of adoration toward Christ our Lord” (St. Pope Paul VI).

Sunday, August 15, 2021

(255) The Battle of Warsaw a.k.a. The Miracle on the Vistula (Cud nad Wisła)..........How Mary Saved Central & Western Europe From Communism on August 15, 1920


A painting of the Battle of Warsaw, often Called the Miracle on the Vistula (Cud nad Wisła) August 15, 1920 exactly 101 years ago to the day (when this article was posted).  The Vistula River flows south to north past Krakow and Warsaw into the Baltic Sea.  Notice the image of Mary above the battle on the left.


Did you know that all of Europe could have gone Communist in 1920 and Mary played a major part in saving a continent?  This is a chapter of Polish history which was eliminated from school textbooks during the years under Communism (1945 – 1989).  Let me tell you why. 

During the thick of World War I, the Germans sent Vladimir Lenin and other exiled revolutionaries to their native Russia to destabilize the country and knock it out of the war.  On October 25, 1917 just 12 days after the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima, the Bolsheviks fomented the Communist Revolution and seized control of Russia.  On March 3, 1918 they exited World War I eight months before the actual end by accepting the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk.  The Communists consolidated power and annexed neighboring countries to form the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (the USSR). 

After World War I finally ended with an armistice on November 11, 1918, Germany, Austria-Hungary, France, and the rest of Europe were devastated by the war and were weak both militarily and economically with considerable unemployment, hyperinflation, and unrest.  Communism advocated world revolution with dreams of eventually making the entire earth Communist.  Having had time to rearm, the Soviets saw opportunities for a Communist revolution in much of Europe. 

Europe was ripe for a Communist takeover in 1920.  Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, and other Communist leaders of Russia aspired to occupy Rome, Berlin, Paris, and all of Europe together with the workers and Communists of each country who they expected to revolt (the “Communist Revolution of the Proletariat”).  Under Béla Kun, the Communists had previously taken over Hungary on March 21, 1919 with a reign of terror which my father and Uncle Geza resisted as students until the “Lenin Boys” were driven out five months later. The Communists called religion the opiate of the masses which was met with the retort: “Communism is the opiate of the asses”.

Poland was granted its independence in late 1918 by the victorious Allies after having been divided up and absorbed by Russia, Prussia, and Austria for 125 years.  Because it did not exist as a nation, Poland was not on the map.  However, it was the Church and the love of Mary that provided a common bond which united the people to maintain their national and ethnic identity during those dark years.   

Newly independent Poland was trying to find its way as a nation with its new government in 1920.  Poland stood in the way of a Bolshevik onslaught across Europe and would provide avenues to the west (Berlin and Paris) and southwest (Rome).  A force of over 100,000 Soviet troops filled with revolutionary zeal under the command of General Mikhail Tukhachevsky advanced and were poised to conquer Warsaw.  Things looked very bleak for the outnumbered, weak, and under-equipped Polish forces.

General Władysław Sikorski with the staff of the Polish 5th Army during the Battle of Warsaw

In the meantime, the people of Warsaw were mobilized to defend the city and its survival as a nation was at stake.   Even women and boy scouts were used.  People were also mobilized to pray and the rosary was a big part of it.  Ethnic Poles all over the world prayed. 

Images of the Battle of Warsaw.  In the top left photo the Polish infantry is advancing.  The bottom left photo shows Polish soldiers marching to the front.  

Twenty veteran American pilots volunteered to fight for Poland as part of the Kościuszko Squadron.  Breaking the Soviet code, Polish forces under the command of General Józef Piłsudski were able to intercept Soviet communications and discover their strategy and positions.  Thus Piłsudski devised a counter strategy where he withdrew his best troops defending Warsaw and attacked from the rear, almost surrounding the Soviet forces. 

                           Polish troops during a lull in the Battle of Warsaw

For much greater battle detail, see,, and Two fascinating videos include, a documentary analysis of the battle and a 2 hour full length movie on the Battle of Warsaw in Polish can be found at  For a shorter 38 minute version of the same movie in Polish with English subtitles, go to

        It is said by Polish sources that a large image of Mary appeared over the Polish troops, as shown in the above painting, apparently aiding the Polish army.  Since most of the Soviet soldiers were raised in the Orthodox religion which ardently reveres Mary, this image caused great fear among them and many panicked……..surrendering or fleeing.  Some Soviet soldiers admitted the veracity of this account.

General Józef Piłsudski, Commander of the Polish Forces

Again because of the intercession of Mary, Poland saved European civilization and established its borders as an independent nation until the beginning of World War II in 1939 when Germany occupied western Poland and the Soviets occupied eastern Poland.  Today the Polish people call this the “Cud nad Wisła” or the “Miracle of the Vistula” that occurred on August 15, 1920, the Feast of the Assumption…….reminiscent of the many times that God came to the rescue of the Israelites with miraculous victories. 

Unlike King Sobieski (“I came, I saw, and God won”........see in the victory that repelled the invasion of Islamic Turkey and saved Europe in the Battle of Vienna on September 12, 1683…….General Józef Piłsudski and other secularist leaders attributed the astonishing victory not to God, but to their own skill and genius.  Sadly, the Communists attacked again 27 years later after World War II and took over Poland until 1989.

Lenin called it an enormous defeat…..some 20,000 dead, 33,000 wounded, and 66,000 captured compared to Polish losses of some 4,500 killed, 22,000 wounded, and 10,000 missing.   Thus he was resigned to develop socialism mainly in Russia and gradually in the rest of the world, fomenting its errors as Mary prophesized in Fatima in 1917. 

    The British diplomat Edgar Vincent, 1st Viscount D'Abernon regards this event as one of the most important battles in history on his expanded list of most decisive battles, because the Polish victory over the Soviets stopped the spread of Communism in Europe in 1920.

The main altar of the Black Madonna at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa or Jasna Góra.  Notice the crown she is wearing as Queen of Poland.  It is said that St. Luke painted it.  See “Everything you always wanted to know about Poland’s Black Madonna” at

     No wonder Our Lady, the Virgin Mary was proclaimed the Queen of Poland (Najświętsza Maryja Panna Królowa Polski) by Pope Benedict XV in 1920 at the request of Polish bishops, although so recognized by the people since 1652.  Due to Mary's many battles over the centuries with Satan and the forces of evil, Bishop Robert Barron in his homily today in the Basilica of the Assumption in Baltimore referred to the Queen Mother of Christ the King as the "Warrior Queen".