And I realized in that encounter how very little contact much of the Church has in this day and age with the obviously supernatural. Divine intervention and miraculous healings? Sure, things like that happened all the time back in the olden days, in biblical times. But in 2021? God isn’t exactly in the miracle business anymore…
Or is He?
The fascinating book by Sophie de Mullenheim, newly translated from French to English, Holy Mysteries! 12 Investigations into Extraordinary Cases makes a compelling case for the reality that He very much is.
The sturdy hardcover, comprising a dozen chapters, lays out a mystery or miraculous occurrence as the centerpiece of each chapter, drawing in relevant stories and occurrences to flesh out the concepts. In the chapter on the Shroud of Turin, a side panel offers a brief primer on carbon dating. In the fascinating account of the miraculous host of Lanciano, the reader learns that the Eucharistic miracle - dating back to a skeptical celebration of the Mass by a questioning priest in the 8th century - has been examined and found “without explanation” by both the WHO and the UN, neither of which could refute the existence of living human heart tissue still encased within the more than 1,000-year-old monstrance.
Packed with more familiar and fantastical stories that range from the topic of who “painted” the beautiful image of Our Lady of Guadalupe to the omen-bearing liquefaction - or not - of the blood of St. Januarius, to the surprisingly supple and silken skin of St. Teresa of Avila at her exhumation, nearly a year after her death and burial, this book has become a decisive house favorite.
Bonus? The kids don’t even seem to realize they’re reading a religious book, though it is deeply faithful and surprisingly edifying, even for adults. Because we, too, dwell in a world which tends to eschew the supernatural in favor of the material. I found myself immersed in wonder over the incorrupt bodies of saints, the inexplicable medical healings wrought at the grotto in Lourdes, and other less familiar accounts which remind me that God is still moving, has never stopped moving, and continues to reveal Himself to His creation, if we have eyes to see.
(Column continues below)
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And who knows, maybe I’ll lend our copy to the neighbor lady one of these days.
Grab your own copy at Ignatius Press. Suitable for readers ages 8+, depending upon your child’s sensitivity. Engaging and enthralling for older children and adults of all ages.