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10 Amazing Feats Performed By Saints
The legends of every religion are rich with mythology and lore. The Old Norse and Greek religions were full of amazing stories of gods, goddesses, and heroism. The gods of old had an abundance of amazing and varied powers and abilities. Human imagination has always been intrigued by abilities that make us stand out from others, and the Catholics are no exception. They have their own legends of other worldly powers, often performed by those who are considered the holiest of all, the saints. Below are the legends of some of the saints and the extraordinary powers they were said to have.
Saint Benedict is a pretty important saint and is known for both his skills at speaking and his general holiness and purity of heart. Saint Benedict is known for surviving multiple attempts on his life by his enemies. According to the legends some monks decided to poison him. The first time they tried to poison his wine and the glass shattered into little pieces when he prayed over it. The next time around the monks decided to use food, since that can’t shatter so easily. However, their plans were ruined when a bird flew away with the bread they had laced with poison. St Benedict founded the most famous order of monks the Benedictines and placing a Saint Benedict Medal over the doors of your house is said to keep evil spirits away.
According to his life-story, St Boniface arrived in Germany and saw the people worshipping a tree. He was angry at what he considered to be the worship of false idols and decided to destroy the tree. Supposedly with one blow of an axe the tree was felled and the Germans who saw this believed in his message. Some people claim that to satisfy their attachment to trees, Boniface invented the Christmas tree and told them to use it was a symbol of everlasting life.
There have been many saints who have supposedly had the gift of prophecy. One of the more interesting legends is that of St Anthony Mary Claret. He asked a group of farmers to come to his mission; many explained they could not because they needed to tend to their fields. He told them that if they came their fields would yield more, and if they did not come their harvest would be completely ruined. According to the story, his prophecy did indeed come true. There is also the prophecy of Saint Malachi, which has been mentioned here before. This prophecy of the popes predicts that the last pope will reign at the start of the end of the world. According to those who pay attention to the prophecy, our current pope (Francis) is supposed to be the last. The prophecy of the popes is suspected by some to be a forgery and—as with all post-apostolic prophecy—Catholics can freely choose to believe or disbelieve.
Many Catholic Saints through the ages have claimed to have something akin to an out of body experience. One of them, Saint Theresa of Avila claims that it felt like her soul was traveling to regions outside her body. Other saints to report this phenomenon include St Pio of Pietrelcina and St Frances Xavier. Saint Theresa was said to gain this ability through long meditative states of prayer, eventually feeling as if she was going through a sort of “detachable death” and felt it took her much closer to God.
The stories say that St Andrew the Apostle was eventually captured for preaching the message of Christianity and was affixed to an X shaped cross. His captors used this remarkably cruel means of execution because he seemed to feel no pain at all when they had previously tortured him. It is said that even though his execution was long and brutal, that he felt no pain whatsoever. Some legends also say that the specific type of cross was chosen because Andrew did not believe himself worthy to be killed using the same method Jesus had used for his sacrifice—the same reason St Peter chose to be crucified on a upside-down cross.
One of the oldest legends is that of St Lawrence, who was a deacon at the time, stationed in the city of Rome. The Saint is said to have been in charge of taking care of the poor, and was ordered by those in authority to give him their treasures. He brought the poor before them and said that these were the true treasures of the church. In retaliation for his impudence, his execution was ordered. In order to make it as painful as possible he was tied to a hot gridiron and slowly roasted to death. The story says that no matter how long it went on, it seemed not to bother him and he offered a quip near the end that he could be turned over as he was finished on one side.
Incorruptibility is when a corpse seems to not follow normal decomposition patterns and remains mostly fine. The skeptics argue that this is due to people secretly using embalming of different varieties, however, some cases are harder to explain and happened in cases where it seems decomposition should have actually been going faster. Some of the more famous cases include that of Saints Catherine of Genoa or Francis Xavier. The bodies of St Catherine of Laboure and St Bernadette are also said to be incorruptible, after being examined thoroughly it seems their bodies are pretty much in the same shape as they were when they died. St Bernadette is pictured above.
St Joseph of Cupertino is the patron saint of Astronauts, Pilots and pretty much anything to do with flying. This is because Joseph of Cupertino was known to have the ability to levitate. The stories say that his rapture in prayer was so great that he would get caught up during Mass and start levitating above the altar. Another legend says he was able to levitate carrying an enormous cross as if it were basically weightless. It was believed among those who knew him that his incredible holiness gave him incredible abilities.
This one is perhaps the most well known, but also incredibly controversial. There are many who say the claims of Stigmata are simply untrue. Others believe in the Stigmata, but argue over which cases are actually genuine and not faked. The most recent legend is that of Padre Pio, who is said to have received the stigmata, the same marks that would have been upon Jesus on the cross. Padre Pio (now St Pio of Pietrelcina) also allegedly had the ability to read the sins on a confessor’s soul and to bi-locate.
Bi-Location is one of the strangest paranormal phenomena. While many strange happenings are impossible to prove, some seem plausible. But how can you be in two places at once? Even if you could, it would seem a challenge to act in both places; your brain can only accomplish one task at a time. However, reports of this go back a long way. Among Catholic saints who have been seen in two places at once, include Saint Alphonsius Liguori and Saint Gerard Majella. One of the strangest features of many of these stories is that we never hear any evidence that the Saint in question was aware they were in two places at once. Some have then logically said that perhaps one of them was an apparition, but that would still make it quite a remarkable phenomenon.
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