One of the biggest “proofs” Romanists use to validate Catholicism are its miracles. Miracles of saints, icons, rosaries, the Eucharist and the Catholic Mary are used to make up for a lack of convincing answers. For example, on October 13, 1917, at the Fatima Marian apparition site, 70,000 people witnessed the sun fall from the sky:
“Just when it seemed that the ball of fire would fall upon and destroy them, the miracle ceased and the sun resumed its normal place in the sky …When the people arose from the ground, cries of astonishment were heard on all sides. Their clothes, which had been soaking wet and muddy, now were clean and dry. Many of the sick and crippled had been cured of their afflictions” (Our Lady of Fatima’s Peace Plan From Heaven, 1983, 7, 8).
This “solar miracle” has been reported at several Marian apparition sites where the sun seemed to dance, spin or appeared like the communion host, and people looked directly at it without suffering eye damage. It happened in Puerto Rico in 1991 before a crowd of 100,000. It also happened in the Philippines in 1993 before a crowd of 300,000. Similar events was recorded in places like Medjugorje, Denver, Texas and Bosnia. According to the Queen of heaven, which Catholicism bows to, more miracles are still coming. In a message received by a seer, she said:
“My sign is emerging. God wills it thus. Only my children recognize it, as it reveals itself in secrecy, and they praise the Eternal One for it. Today I cannot reveal my power to the whole world. I must withdraw with my children. In secrecy I will perform miracles on the souls until the number of sacrifices has become full. Then I can reveal myself to the whole world” (Thomas Petrisko, Call of the Ages, 1995, 303).
Reading this, from a Biblical point of view, 3 red flags go up immediately. First, this spirit entity boasts of being the source of these miracles. The real Mary couldn’t have had such a power. Second, the purpose of these “miracles” is to gather the whole world at the feet of the Queen of heaven. She has a sense of ownership over Catholics whom she calls “my children,” a statement that the real Mary would never have made. Third, the entity refers to “many sacrifices” being made unto fullness, but God’s Word makes it clear that only the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross is perfect, which can’t and must not be repeated. The “eternal one” being praised by these miracles is not God but a demonic entity.
Stories of Catholic saints involved miracles too, though most lacked credible eye witnesses. The 17th century saint, Joseph of Cupertine was said to be able to fly like a bird and see ecstatic visions. He was finally canonized as a patron saint of air travelers. St. Therese de Lisieux narrated in her biography, Storm of Glory, how she found refuge at the statue of the virgin Mary, which one day became animated and radiated a warmth that “penetrated to the depths” of her soul.
The stigmata miracle – a spontaneous manifestation of bloody wounds on a person’s hands, feet and forehead similar to where Christ was pierced – was experienced by “saints” like Catherine of Siena, John of God, Francis of Assisi, Faustina Kowalska and also one brother Roque from Columbia. Stigmatists, like Magdalena de la Cruz (1487-1560) were exposed as fakes. In the case of Padre Pio, an Italian monk, the stigmata wounds he endured for 50 years was said to pay for the sins of the world.
Pio claimed that many spirits of the dead (and the living) visited him in his monastery cell to thank him for paying for their sins with his sufferings so they could be released from purgatory and go to heaven. Other monks testified that they heard multitudes of voices talking with Padre Pio at night (Newsletter, The Padre Pio Foundation of America, Aug/Sept 1988). In a Catholic video, a stigmatist housewife in Damascus was shown lying on a bed surrounded by Catholic pilgrims praying their rosaries. She was screaming with much agony “Take it away! Take it away!” Suddenly, holes appeared on her head, hands and feet as if someone was driving physical nails into them and she began to bleed profusely.
Now, was that a miracle or a demonic torment? The idea of stigmata rests on the theory that some people can pay for sins like Jesus, but the Bible makes it clear that Christ has paid the full penalty for sin “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace” (Eph. 1:7). There’s nothing left for sinners to pay to receive the full pardon offered by God’s grace. Besides, no man can pay the penalty Jesus paid because its an infinite penalty. The stigmata is either a self-induced fraud or demonic miracle.
Julia Kim, a Catholic mystic in Korea, claims that the host changes into real flesh in her mouth. A Catholic church in Venezuela also reported that their host pulsates and squirms within its glass monstrance, like a live human flesh. In 2005, two hosts in a church in Naju were suspended mid-air by themselves and later dropped to the floor and became bloody. These “miracles” are attempting to accentuate the Catholic belief in transubstantiation and as a result, cannibalism and idolatry. Not a good arrangement.
There have been cases of oils, water or sweet fragrance exuding from statues or icons. Catholic pilgrims once rushed to Our Lady of Velankanni, India, where “holy water” was exuding from the foot of a crucifix. While they were collecting this “holy water” with ecstasy, a skeptic, Sanal Edamarku successfully debunked this “miracle” by demonstrating that the water droplets exuding from the feet of “Jesus” at this crucifix came from a drainage in a nearby washroom through capillary action. Sanal soon became a target of angry Catholics calling for his arrest, for ripping their sacred cow into shreds (Dispatches for Culture Wars, 2012/04/17).
There are statues or icons that bleed too. Personally, I can’t find anything glorifying God in seeing a bunch of statues bleeding like butchered cows. When a statue of Mary in Anambra State, Nigeria bled, Catholics said that Mary was weeping for “the many sins in the land.” Why weep blood? Is that not kind of … gory? Besides our sins are committed against God, not against Mary. There seems to be a common trend in Catholic miracles: a morbid obsession with human flesh, blood, death and suffering. These things do not “pertain unto life and godliness” (2Pet. 1:3).
In a Catholic video, one woman said “I attached my rosary to the cross hanging outside the home and it actually turned from silver into gold.” Is this also demonic? To answer that, we need to turn away from subjective experiences and look into the Word of God.
1. In Scripture, when God does a miracle, they are all practical – the sick got healed, the lame walked, the red sea divided. God doesn’t do a miracle in a sense of glorifying an object, making a show or dazzling people with euphoria. Satan and his servants love showbiz and to manipulate human emotions e.g by causing fire to descend from the sky “before all men” (Rev. 13:12). The Catholic “miracles” of the golden rosaries, relics or dancing sun falls into this category.
2. The source. Miracles can either come from God or Satan. Therefore, just because someone experiences a miracle, does not mean that it’s from God. The magicians of Egypt were able to duplicate 3 out of the 10 plagues God sent upon Egypt through the agency of demonic powers (Ex. 7:11, 22, 8:7). Satan is able to control the elements like the wind and fire, so making the sun to dance is pretty easy (Job 1:16, 19). The Bible says the Antichrist’s coming is through “the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders” (2Thess. 2:9) and about “the spirit of demons that do miracles” (Rev. 16:14).
3. The focus. When a miracle came from God in the Bible, the long result is praise, awe or fear of His majesty.
“The man immediately stood up in front of them… Praising God, he went home” (Lk 5:25) “The man was walking, jumping, and praising God” (Acts 3:8)
“The news about this spread throughout the city of Joppa, and as a result many people believed in the Lord” (9:42)
Every true miracle directs people to focus on God or Jesus. It never leads people pray to Mary, a dead saint or exalt a human personality. This is exactly what Marian apparitions do.
4. The intent. A true miracle does not substantiate errors or endorse superstitions. The Holy Spirit always leads Believers into the truth (Jn. 16:13) and that truth is based on the Bible. The “miracles” of Rome are intended to endorse falsehoods like purgatory, transubstantiation etc. No one in the Bible ever built a shrine or pilgrimage site to Jesus or the apostles or Mary over a miracle they received.
5. If the miracles of Catholicism proves it true, then it must also prove other false religions true as well because they too have their “miracles.” Hindu literature is full of miracles of “saints” like Nambi Ambar, Jnanadeva, Chaitanya or Manikkavasagar. Zoroaster was said to have cured a king of paralysis. There are modern examples too. A video footage at the Pu Xian Buddhist mission in Malaysia once showed Buddha statues emitting light, blinking their eyes and moving their mouths.
In early August 2006, thousands of Buddhists in Sri Lanka flocked to their temples to see “miracle rays” which appeared visibly around the statues of Buddha, resulting in a heavy traffic all through Colombo. This event was reported by Sri Lankan newspapers. On September 21, 1995, thousands of Hindu worshippers in different countries were shocked when they offered milk to their gods and the milk disappeared from their spoons. This same phenomenon occurred in 2006, 2008 and 2010.
The statue of the Buddha in Lhasa, Tibet reportedly cries ‘tears of pearls’ in the temple so much that the Lamas are moved. A German reporter took 5 of these pearls to Munich where a Chemist analysed them and said they were “love pearls.” If the bleeding statues of “Mary” raises a point, the pearl-weeping statues of Buddhism raises a better one.
In Africa, there are several occult rites that are used to restrain rainfall, invoke spirits to materialize, heal people by removing live animals from their bodies or gain immunity to bullets or knife cuts. I have personally witnessed a man who took a sharp knife and cut an orange with very little effort, then turned to his companion and used the knife to slice the back of his head. There was no single cut or mark there.
In New Age or Witchcraft circles, all the “miracles” Catholics love to brag of do not move them an inch. They experience them all the time. Of course, all these religions cannot be true since they contradict one another and Bible Christianity. So who is the brain behind their miracles? Satan and his demons. Miracles or supernatural signs does not guarantee truth.
Satan “deceives the whole world” through false religions and also false miracles to accompany them, to blind the people trapped in them to think they are on the true path (Rev. 12:9). As we move closer to the end of the age, these phenomena would be more common, not only in Catholicism, but also in the world, but those who stand firm on God’s Word, will not be deceived.