Mary and the Saints – for Protestants

(Since there has been much talk about the role of Our Lady in the events that are upon us, I have decided to reprint this piece I first published early last December. I have added the Flame of Love line to the Hail Mary.

Also, my next presentations will be on Monday, September 21, at the Double Tree Inn, 2431 N. Glenstone, Springfield, Missouri at 7 p.m., then

on Tuesday, September 22, at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 402 E. U.S. 50, O’Fallon, Illinois at 7 p.m. – CJ)

Mary and the Saints – for Protestants

mary and the saints

By Charlie Johnston

I was in my early 20s when I went to my first Catholic Mass as a worshipper. Oh, I had been to many in my teens as a hired trumpet player, but the musicians in the choir loft don’t follow the same rules as the regular worshippers as far as standing, kneeling and sitting. For a lifelong Protestant, attending your first Mass is a very baffling disorienting affair. People just spontaneously stand up, or sit down, or kneel, or talk back to the priest in unison for no reason you can quite fathom. Within about 10 minutes of the beginning of Mass, I found a woman near the front row who seemed to know what she was doing – so I just determined to watch and do whatever she did.

A few years after my conversion, I was at a wedding Mass where there were a lot of baffled Protestants. About 15 minutes in I realized, with a little irony, that some of them were carefully watching me. Now, apparently, I was the guy who looked like he knew what he was doing. I must confess, every time I am at a Mass that I know has drawn a lot of Protestants out, I have to fight back the temptation to do a cartwheel in the aisle – just to see how many do one with me.

Cradle Catholics cannot imagine how disorienting and baffling even the liturgy is to lifelong Protestants. Even more puzzling is the Catholic devotion to various saints and to the Virgin Mary, the Mother of Our Lord. Even the language of faith can be perplexing, for often the two camps mean different things while using the same words. Throw in that Catholics often have a hard time explaining what, exactly, they believe, much less why they believe it – and that many Evangelical Protestants have often been told some pretty absurd caricatures of what Catholics profess and it is a wonder the encounters are not even more awkward and confused.

Now, I am not going to discuss everything that Catholics do not believe here that many think we do. I will also note from the outset that some Catholics abuse what the Church teaches in ways that help foster misconceptions about what the Church actually teaches. I am only going to focus here on Mary and the Saints – and what the Church actually proclaims.

Many Protestants believe that we worship Mary, in particular, and the saints to a lesser extent. I know – that’s what I used to believe, because that’s what everybody said. To the contrary, when we pray to a saint, including Mary, we are asking them to pray for us, usually for specific intentions. Everyone of faith, Protestant or Catholic, asks their friends to pray for them. It is so common and well-accepted no one disputes the propriety of it. Many Protestants only count those on earth among the communion of the faithful and, thus, properly to be asked for prayers. Catholics consider all the faithful, both in this world and in the next, to be among the communion of the faithful. If it is proper and fruitful to ask friends here to pray for you, how much more fruitful to ask those who already behold the Face of God?

Some argue, though, that it is improper to ask those who are dead to pray for us. Yet in Luke 20:38 and Mark 12:27, Jesus notes that Moses called God the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – and that He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for all are alive to Him. If all the faithful are alive to God – and Jesus says they are – then it is at least as good to ask St. Peter to pray for you as it is to ask your cousin, Peter, to do the same. That is properly what Catholics are called to do.

We do not worship any of the saints, including Mary. Rather, together with all the saints, we worship the One God alone, the Holy Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Contrary to the belief of many, including many Catholics, the Catholic Church has no power whatsoever to “make” saints. That power belongs to God, alone. The power the Church does have is to recognize infallibly a small handful of the saints God has made. A person is not honored by being recognized as a saint here. If he is a saint, he already has received all the honor he may ever receive by being called to join the heavenly host. The honor is less meaningful to the saint than it would be to give a King a participation certificate for attending a pancake breakfast. That does not mean it is a matter of indifference to the saint involved, for his love still calls him to the same thing it did while he walked this earth: call his fellows to the joy and peace which is in Christ. That takes us to why God chooses to reveal some saints to us in the first place. It is not for their sake, but for ours.

Saints come in all shapes and sizes. There are those whose lifelong purity and steadfastness are breathtaking and astounding. But to limit saints to icons of improbable virtue is an error, if a common one. More often, their sanctity is demonstrated by their transcendence of their own flaws and limitations through their love of God, manifested through their love of those around them. Oh, how I would that people would read good biographies of the saints! St. Francis, that great icon of poverty, purity and love of the poor, was once a wealthy, reckless dandy. St. Augustine was a cynical manipulator of public opinion and a lusty rake in his early life. St. Mary Magdalene was once a prostitute. Saints are often portrayed as universally soft-spoken, gentle souls. But many were lions – and often irritable lions at that. St Teresa of Avila was known for her tart tongue. St Catherine of Sienna was not shy about directing and cajoling Popes, though she was discreet about it. That popular modern saint, St. Padre Pio, was often abrupt and scathing – even as he submitted with humility to errant efforts by his superiors to suppress his spirituality and charges of fraud and humbug from critics.

Among the saints can be found virgins and those notable for the abundance of their progeny, peasants and kings, pacifists and warriors. In fact, saints are to be found from almost every walk of life. Some New Age commentators have used this fact as evidence that there are many paths to God, which is a trivialization of what is true. What is true is that there are many trails to the single path that leads to God, which is the way of love. Love is the only motivation strong enough to sustain a noble purpose through trials, hardships and even martyrdom. God gives each person a unique personality, then intends that authentic personality to be used for a unique mission in His service to His people. For each fundamental quality of a man, there is a disordered and a properly ordered manifestation of that quality. God has uses for a passionate man, but passion can easily manifest itself as cruelty or lustfulness. God has uses for a soul of notable purity, but even that can degenerate into self-righteousness and an arid sterility. Weighted down by the burden of original sin, we are constantly tempted to use our talents to serve ourselves and our own appetites. Transformed by love of God, the saints use those talents in service of their neighbor, which they love in the image of God. They often struggle with the old disorder, but progressively live service with ever greater fortitude and resolve. The sinner constantly asks, “What about me?” The saint constantly seeks to hearten those around him. A pretender can – and often does – use the forms of piety for mere self-aggrandizement, a species of blasphemy. A saint does not hesitate to get his hands dirty to bring the hope of God to those furthest from Him. A pretender is sensitive to any hint of insult to his imagined dignity. A saint is impervious to any slanders seeking to keep him from caring for those around him. Whatever he says, a pretender is always looking inward, concerned about what events mean for him. A saint is always looking upward to God and outward to the needs of those around him.

The great variety of saints can help hearten us that whatever the nature of our authentic personality, God has use for it. We can find friends among the saints, people who shared trials and temptations similar to our own. We can ask for their prayers and guidance just as we would a trusted, bosom friend. We can find inspiration in how they handled similar troubles – and hope in how they transcended them by trusting to God.

If there is so much variety among the personalities of authentic saints, what is the heart of sanctity, the visible sign? I long contemplated that. The focus I settled on was St. Joan of Arc. Technically, she was not a Christian martyr. She fell into the hands of an enemy power. Though a corrupt Bishop was used as the means to condemn her, she was condemned for having defeated England, not for her faith. She was often prophetic, but her prophecies were wrong almost as often as they were right. Oh, the ones that were right were so improbable it was comparable to choosing the exact right lottery numbers six out of ten tries – a margin of error anyone would gladly accept for such stakes. So what was it that revealed her sanctity?

I came up with an answer that struck me in considering the great prayer of Mary, the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55). In most English-language Bibles, the first line is translated as, “My soul magnifies the Lord.” Think of that. At its most basic, every saint ultimately becomes a pure lens through which our vision of the Lord is magnified more clearly. The holier the saint, the more pure the magnification.

The French people were disheartened, dispirited, given over to despair as the 100-Years War appeared it would end in the extinction of the Nation of France. When Joan appeared, this dispirited rabble was infused with new heart, new hope, new resolve. Her soul magnified the Lord – and the people felt the effects of it. But there were others who felt it, too, the self-promoters, those whose field of vision never rose above their own temporal ambitions and covetousness. Some of those, even, were to be found in the French Court. They all hated Joan with an irrational fury, constantly trying to pull her down. There is nothing that so infuriates a fraud as to be confronted with the real thing. That is the heart, the visible evidence of sanctity. A saint’s soul magnifies the Lord, giving new heart to those who have lost heart, while infuriating those who are absorbed in themselves and their petty ambitions. The Lord speaks through His saints. His sheep recognize His voice in them and rejoice. But satan’s goats recognize His voice in them, too, and rage at them.

No one is closer to Our Lord than His Mother. She lived the sorrow of His passion with Him, at His feet – and a sword pierced her soul. (Luke 2:35). As Jesus was dying on the Cross, He committed His Mother to His beloved disciple, John – and committed John, the Church, to the care of His Mother. (John 19:26).

Throughout the ages, Mary has prayed unceasingly for her children, the Church – and all of her children have recourse to her. She busies herself constantly running out to greet people, encouraging them to come on in, come in to the warmth and safety of Her Holy Son. Most Protestants think the Rosary is a worshipful devotion to Mary. It is not; it is an extended contemplation of the Life of Christ alongside Mary, through her loving heart. A full Rosary goes through four sets of mysteries, each of which contemplates some aspect of the life of Our Lord.

As I studied the history of Christianity in depth I was surprised to learn that the line, “Holy Mary, Mother of God…” was not incorporated into the Hail Mary to underscore Mary’s motherhood. Rather, there was a great heresy raging that claimed that Jesus was just a man, a created being Who achieved divinity by His righteousness. Christianity teaches that Jesus Christ is True God and True Man. The Eternal, Uncreated Son chose to take on our humanity at a particular point in time, to suffer and die in that humanity, that all might be saved. People often note that Jesus is the Son of God. That is absolutely true, but because of our limitations, it sometimes blinds us to the fact that it is equally true that the Eternal Father is the Father of God. They are One. We also stumble because our experience tells us that the child proceeds from the parents. This is true except in the case of Christ, the one case in history in which the parents proceeded from the Son. The phrase, “Holy Mary, Mother of God…” was incorporated into the “Hail Mary” to underscore Christ’s divinity, not Mary’s motherhood.

Even knowing these things, and even having fallen in love with the Catholic Church, my old Evangelical Protestant training filled me with dread at the sound of the phrase, “Holy Mary, Mother of God…” in the “Hail Mary.” Intimations of blasphemy would fill my head and whiffs of brimstone fill my nostrils at it, choking it off in my throat, so I had decided that would not be a devotion I practiced. But at my reception into the Church, one of the gifts was a beautiful, elegant Rosary. I knew that a sense of dread was often God warning us away from something sinful. But I also knew it could be used by satan to keep us from something fruitful. So I added a new tool of discernment. I prayed, telling God that He knew I loved Him…that this Church had been such a wonderful and unexpected gift that I was going to pray this Rosary for three weeks – and depend on Him to show me whether it was proper or not. If it was not, I would quietly refrain from ever saying it again. Those next three weeks were an unprecedented period of extravagant and improbable graces and blessings. Ever since, like the beloved disciple, I have joyfully followed the Lord’s command to take His Mother into my heart as my mother.

And that is why I say, with profound gratitude and joy,

Hail Mary, full of grace,

The Lord is with you.

Blessed are you among women,

And blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God,

Pray for us sinners,

And spread the effect of the grace of thy flame of love,

Over all humanity,

Now, and at the hour of our death.


About charliej373

Charlie Johnston is a former newspaper editor, radio talk show host and political consultant. From Feb. 11, 2011 to Aug. 21, 2012, he walked 3,200 miles across the country, sleeping in the woods, meeting people and praying as he went. He has received prophetic visitation all his life, which he has vetted through a trio of priests over the last 20 years, and now speaks publicly about on this site. Yet he emphasizes that we find God most surely through the ordinary, doing the little things we should with faith and fidelity. Hence the name, The Next Right Step. The visitations inform his work, but are not the focus of it. He lives in the Archdiocese of Denver in the United States.
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64 Responses to Mary and the Saints – for Protestants

  1. jnursester says:

    Charlie, that is superb! I had not read this post before. You and I converted the same year, 1991. Your post brings back for me the wonder and awe I felt those first years, and still feel, at every Mass, when I realize I am receiving the living God into my own body. Thank you. I can’t wait to meet you.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Jeanne says:

    I love reading your posts. Tell me, where do the added lines come from? I’ve been praying the Rosary since my childhood and have never heard nor seen those lines. God bless you and your work! Your sister in Him, Jeanne


  3. SteveBC says:

    “There is nothing that so infuriates a fraud as to be confronted with the real thing. That is the heart, the visible evidence of sanctity. A saint’s soul magnifies the Lord, giving new heart to those who have lost heart, while infuriating those who are absorbed in themselves and their petty ambitions.”

    Charlie, you have stated that after the Collapse and a period of governmental instability, someone would arise to act as a kind of Dictator (where the meaning is the original Roman meaning, of someone so trusted that he could be given control of society for a time and would then step aside).

    I’ve been noodling on this, in the issue of how would we recognize such a person, as opposed to someone with ties to evil influences.

    When I read these remarks (again), it occurred that we should/could look to see if this person’s heart and soul “magnify the Lord.” That’s a pretty tough test to pass. It also includes the idea that such a person could be identified because the fruits of this person’s actions would be positive or Good fruits. Anyone who has a soul that magnifies the Lord will inevitably act so as to generate good fruits.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Beckita says:

      Thanks for this comment, Steve, which drew my attention to continue reading Charlie’s old posts as I don’t recall the statement you reference. Can you remember in which post it was written so I, too, may read it? (It’s OK if it’s not easy to find as I’m still working my way through everything.)

      I agree on your point of the importance of discernment. It causes me to ponder how important careful discernment truly is. Your words led me to remember the following passage from Mark’s Gospel. The first section confirms your point of looking to the fruit to determine if one is magnifying the Lord. The second part points to the need to be cautious for evildoers are famous for embedding their evil intent, thoughts and deeds in acts and words of seeming good for the sake of deceiving others, hooking them and reeling them in. With this in mind, I imagine the “kind of dictator” will surely look so good initially.

      Thanks again, Steve. I appreciate your posts!

      15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? 17 In the same way, every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will know them by their fruits.

      21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many deeds of power in your name?’ 23 Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; go away from me, you evildoers.’

      Liked by 1 person

      • SteveBC says:

        Beckita, thank you. I will tell you that the quoted line in the first paragraph of my comment is from paragraph 14 of Charlie’s post at the top of this page. I very much appreciate your quotes in the last two paragraphs of your comment. They are quite apropos. 🙂


        • Beckita says:

          Thanks, Steve. I needed to be more clear. It’s not the quote you use at the beginning of your post about which I was asking, but this statement: “Charlie, you have stated that after the Collapse and a period of governmental instability, someone would arise to act as a kind of Dictator (where the meaning is the original Roman meaning, of someone so trusted that he could be given control of society for a time and would then step aside).” God’s Peace and Blessings to you and All.


          • SteveBC says:

            Ah. I get it. 🙂

            Words about this appear in a few places, but the one I could find is here:
            and look down toward the bottom of the post until you see the three paragraphs starting with the words “A Correction to a Correction. That should help. The concept of a Roman dictator is my interpretation of what Charlie says here. The exemplary dictator is Cincinnatus. You can look him up on Wikipedia. In more modern terms would be George Washington, who could have had absolute power but each time gave power back and went home.

            Charlie has also mentioned St. Joan of Arc as a kind of model. Not that we would have Joan or someone just like her, but that we would have someone inspired or backed by God. Hard to argue against someone like that as an instrument of rescue worth paying attention to, I think. 😀


      • This is indeed the season of wolves, Beckita, and the magnitude of cunning and deception is worsening. I love that line…every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit….It is a powerful line that recently helped me form the correct understanding of someone’s “fruits”. This particular person was the pillar of society, feted for spiritual insights among various circles. Even I was a believer for a time.

        But soon came the discrepancies and inconsistencies, and I was confused. The daily Rosary gave me an inner conviction to discern because something just didn’t add up. As I stepped back and watched, I began to see someone who conveniently stayed out of the vineyard of daily toil, yet took up a place on the coveted prophet’s roost, pronouncing judgment on the struggles and failures of others. But I must say that it took me years of studying the said fruits, years of back and forth because I doubted, before Mother Mary showed me the truth.


        • Beckita says:

          Praises to Our Lady for guiding you, Dear Caitlynne. Ah,the power of the Rosary! After a discernment process which you describe, I am then convicted to enfold such a one as you mention in prayers and sacrifices, from an attitude of love without any hint of self-righteousness or sinful superiority for we all are sinners.

          Our Lady of Fatima got my attention when she conveyed to the children that too many poor souls go to hell because there are none to sacrifice and pray for them. It will be a joyful reunion when I meet those who have been instruments of prayer and sacrifice for my own conversion salvation. God’s Peace and Blessings to you, Dear Caitlynne, and to All here!

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Jan Brennan says:

    What a beautiful writing! Loved it Charlie and can relate to it being a former Protestant, I also converted in 1991 and believe it or not, Our Lady brought me into the Catholic Church! I had no problem with the Mother of God, I loved her from the beginning! See you on Tuesday Charlie! 😉

    Liked by 4 people

  5. You are so plain spoken yet right on. I have been asked by Jesus to form a cult of women espoused to purity. Very difficult concept in our time in our country. He said St Mary Madaglen and St John of Arc would be our patrons. I did not understand why St
    John of Arcade until I read your post. The mind set of the women of our country needs to be changed. We really need her help with that. Blessings, Margaret Munck

    Liked by 1 person

    • Julia says:

      @Margaretmunck. I am wondering if you are mistaken about your call to form a cult.

      Would Jesus not have made you aware Joan of Arc was a girl. I see you refer to her as John.
      Arc was a place in France. I notice you refer to it as Arcade. Just wondering.


      • charliej373 says:

        I thought it was a bit odd, too, Julia. But I have a lot of readers who speak English as a second language – and I really don’t like editing their comments unless given permission, for once I start, people would claim I edit it for content…so best to leave it as it is. I assumed it was just a problem with language. The tipoff for me was that she used the word “cult,” which for native English speakers of the last half-century almost always carries negative connotations…but I think she used it in the classic sense of a united circle of devotion.

        Liked by 2 people

      • SteveBC says:

        Julia and Charlie, it could be a problem with her spellchecker. She thought she typed Joan but got John instead, and likewise with Arc becoming arcade, and she didn’t reread her comment before publishing it. Spellcheckers – with great power comes great responsibility! 😀


    • Margaret, did Jesus tell you why you needed to form a cult to get women to be pure? It’s a bit unclear, but I guess He will make it clear if indeed it is His will for you. I’m also assuming you have a good priest as a Spiritual Director to help make the correct discernment.


  6. Beautiful!!! The rosary had TGE same effect on me at first. I felt guilty and I felt like this big voice was saying it was wrong……but I kept doing it and before long……graces came and they were profound. I knew I had a mother in heaven helping me.
    Thanks Charlie!!
    God bless you.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. anaverena1 says:

    Wonderful, Charlie! Thank you for this. Pity you can’t come to Europe. 🌾May I ask if you ever inquired of Gabriel if he spoke to Muhammad or can we take for granted that this was a satanic deception?


    • charliej373 says:

      The Archangel Gabriel did NOT speak to Muhammed. It was a demon imitating Gabriel – and it merely confirmed a course of mind that Muhammed was already set on.

      Liked by 7 people

    • SteveBC says:

      Anaverena1 and Charlie, in the Qu’ran Muhammed’s first experience of “Gabriel” occurred when he went to a cave to meditate, I believe in despair, and of course in difficult (very hot) circumstances. When G showed up, the description says that Muhammed could turn his head and wherever he looked, the image of G was before him.

      For many who see the Virgin Mary, they are in effect frozen in place and cannot turn their heads (as far as I can tell). In other visitations the image of the visitor is objectively there, and the person can turn their head away without moving the location of the visitor. I don’t know what visitations are like for you, Charlie, as to whether the visitor remains in place if you turn your head or moves with your head, but I think the former.

      If a person sees an image which moves with their head, to me that says the image is internally generated, more like the result of intense imagination or perhaps a hallucination, and not an actual visitor. This is speculation on my part, but it seems a reasonable assumption.

      An author named Ali Sina has published a book on Muhammed. He cites evidence that Muhammed may have had temporal lobe epilepsy. This causes intense feelings of immanence early in life, feelings that fade in adulthood. Sina speculated that Muhammed was in that cave to let go of life because he was in despair because he felt those feelings of God’s immanence fading away, leaving him feeling that God was abandoning him.

      The extreme conditions of his inner and outer realities in that cave could easily have led to hallucinations that could have been produced or hijacked by an evil entity. Certainly the fruits of his life became ever more negative thereafter. Also, it was these experiences in the cave that caused Muhammed himself to consider that the visitation was satanic, which resulted in the verses that Salman Rushdie made famous in his book “The Satanic Verses” (which I have not read). Muhammed eventually embraced these experiences and went “all-in” with G.

      Sina also indicated that he believed Muhammed was a narcissist, and he makes a credible case for it based on stories of Muhammed’s childhood. I read that book in 2007 or so. I recall looking around for information about Obama in June of 2008 and coming across an article by Sina that discussed the likelihood that Obama was a narcissist. I found his analysis compelling and think Sina’s discussion of Muhammed to be at least as interesting and possibly accurate as the article on Obama. Certainly his article on Obama fell close to the mark.

      Liked by 4 people

      • Steve, the point you raised in your 2nd paragraph is very telling for me. In the one and only experience I’ve ever had, I didn’t even think to look anywhere but at Who stood before me. It was so all-consuming. I was in awe. But for the sake of argument, let’s say M decided to test the spirits, so he turned this way and that. It puzzles me why G should have followed the direction of M’s head-turning. True heavenly “entities” possess a humility in the power of God reflected through them; they won’t “chase after” you in some bizarre theatrics.
        They don’t need to.


        • SteveBC says:

          CaitlynneGrace, having not had an experience such as you have had nor hallucinations, I am not speaking from experience. However, an internally generated image *must* turn with the head, and M clearly had no trouble turning his head. Thus, my conclusion that it was not a heavenly visitor. Your comment, if I read it correctly, appears to support my surmise. Thank you. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  8. Beautifully written, Charlie. Where did you learn that the ‘Mother of God’ phrase was added in order to emphasise the divinity of Christ against certain Arian tendencies? My understanding was that Theo-tokos was invented as a word in order to emphasise the unity of Christ’s two natures in one person. Mary did not give birth to just one of Christ’s natures, but to a person, who is God. From memory this was an argument that St. Cyril championed.


    • charliej373 says:

      It was 25 years ago during the period of my catechumenate. I read 40-50 books then (actually trying to find the catch in this Church I had fallen in love with). It was a history on heresies, I think. My Protestant mind thought the “Mother of God” business was extravagant praise for Mary – but when I read the purpose of the phrase, it immediately snapped my head and got my attention.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Centurion_Cornelius says:

    Madonna, theotokos!

    save your children, we pray.

    Liked by 5 people

  10. Brian. says:

    The tenth paragraph I read again and again. There were parts that I personally felt convicted and parts that explained so much to me. I’m not a Catholic. I’m Nazarene, but I’m learning quite a lot from you and appreciate your writings so much. Your brother in Christ.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Joseph77 says:

    Thank you for the beautiful post on Our Beloved Mother Mary and your former Protestant misgivings concerning her. I believe the Protestant “problem” with Blessed Mother Mary” will begin to be resolved when there is a critical examination of all the Biblical verses which refer to the Mother of the Messiah, from Genesis 3:15, the Woman whose seed, the messiah, would crush the head of the serpent, to Revelation 12:1, the Woman, Mary Mother of the Messiah, radiating with heavenly glory and symbolizing the Church. Please forgive me for offering Charlie, I would be honored if you would accept a copy of my “Foundations for a Marian Devotion in the New Testament.” It is a very modest effort which offers the basic foundations upon which all Christians of good will may construct a modest “building” of love and appreciation for, and devotion to our Beloved Mother Mary.


  12. LukeMichael says:

    Beautiful piece, Charlie! I now have an image of you doing cartwheels in my Church as well!😇

    Liked by 1 person

  13. the phoenix says:

    You know, after all the reading I’ve done on St. Teresa of Avila, it somehow escaped me that she was known for having a tart tongue … Even after reading her famous quote where she said to God that “If this is the way you treat your friends, it’s no wonder you have so few of them.” Well, I like that St. Teresa had a tart tongue. Not that I try to be tart on purpose … I just tend to say what’s on my mind more than most people.

    When I chose Teresa as my confirmation name, it was not for the most mature of reasons. In fact, it was because there was a girl named Theresa on my high school cross country team who seemed nice. That, and because I didn’t want St. Therese of Lisieux the Little Flower because the whole roses thing didn’t appeal to me. And finally because I started teaching myself Spanish while very young, so I wanted the Spanish Teresa, and so very happily wore the Spanish name in white letters on my red Confirmation sash. Since then I’ve learned more about St. Teresa of Avila, and am very happy that perhaps she was the one to choose me.

    And as for St. Therese the Little Flower, I was glad to find out that there’s way more substance to her than the super-sweet plaster of Paris version that’s commonly known. She was a poet and she dressed up in costume like St. Joan of Arc for a play at her convent … okay, these things are cool. So I once prayed to St. Therese with an openness to friendship in the Mystical Body of Christ, saying “but we can skip the whole flower thing if that’s all right.”

    Different saints appeal to different personalities. And I can imagine that once they’re in heaven, they don’t think like we sometimes do, otherwise we’d be in trouble … “Hmmmm, I hope that eccentric phoenix picks a different patron saint … ” But you know what, St. Teresa once had a quote about a phoenix, so I guess she’s stuck with me. 🙂

    “His Majesty is moved with compassion at
    having seen the soul suffering so long through its yearning for
    Him, and seems to be causing the spark of which we have already
    spoken to grow within it, so that, like the phoenix, it catches
    fire and springs into new life.”

    ~~ St. Teresa of Avila

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I’m hoping this post has wings today! I’ve sent it to my 8 siblings! LOL…Having been raised by the Franciscans and my saintly mother Genevieve we have a great devotion to Mary our Mother, and the Saints. My middle name is Therese, after the Little Flower, whom my mother was devoted all her life. She left us with a legacy of faith and love, but with that comes great responsibility to lift the bushel basket and share what we have inherited from her. My hope and prayer is that this post is a corridor for my siblings to enter in, to read about The Storm. If anything we have the greater responsibility because we had Genevieve to form our faith early on. We need to be supportive of those who will despair when things get dark and scary.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. anthonymullendivineantidote says:



  16. anthonymullendivineantidote says:

    For those who would like to know and understand what God is doing with this Extraordinary Grace of the Flame of Love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I would humbly urge you to study and and see the full Church approval. This is the Grace about which St. Louis de Montfort made his prophecies in “True Devotion” and the “Secret of Mary”, which would cause the New Pentecost and the Reign of the Holy Spirit in the world. These two books are essential reading along with the very short books “The Holy Spirit our Greatest Friend” by Father Paul O’Sullivan and “In the School of the Holy Spirit” by Father Jacques Phillipe. For it is only the Holy Spirit and Mary who can perfectly form Jesus Christ within us…the unique Goal of our existence.

    We will need to know, desire and accept this special Divine help of God in order to persevere and Trust, Do, Love as the despair will be so bad that many good people will begin to slip away. The public unfolding of the height of the Storm should coincide with the mandate to sincerely repent and experience the forgiveness of our sins and debts just as the Jubilee year mandates…for God will never abandon His children. The Mother of God holds the only key to the unfolding manifestation of Divine Mercy, because it is God’s Will to reward the one who so perfectly cooperated; and who is so perfectly Mother of God and men; and who is so perfectly the Mediatrix of all Grace and the unique Cooperator in our Salvation; and who is so perfectly the Woman Clothed with the Sun; and it is she who is the Immaculate Concepcion! The perfect role of Mother is to give all to her children, including the Gift of the Immaculate Concepcion, which is so sublime a mystery that we are speechless and stupefied. God’s Love for us through His Mother is simply a Divine Mystery which only with special Grace can we comprehend….and even then only a little until Heaven.

    Let us be simple, obedient, docile children and take this Gift of God from His Mother!

    Liked by 3 people

  17. JoyInTheLord says:

    I’m falling in love with our Lady more after reading this post, Charlie. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Kati says:

    Oh Charlie…This is one of the BIG Keepers of your writings. I especially loved these two lines:
    “…a pretender is always looking inward, concerned about what events mean for him. A saint is always looking upward to God and outward to the needs of those around him.”

    PS This weekend, I ran into Susan, who spoke at your talk here in Nashville. We both happened to be at a Called and Gifted Workshop put on by the St. Catherine of Siena Institute here in the Nashville area. Good things are happening here Charlie and people are learning how to discern the gifts/charisms that God has given them…to be used to reach out and help others. Great preparation for the worst of the storm!!!!!!


    • charliej373 says:

      Wonderful to hear, Kati. Nashville was my first talk…seems like a lifetime ago now. I am so glad to hear of people getting together to be that sign of hope after I have left. I think the biggest thing I am doing right now is helping people make connections – so they can rise together.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Kati: That is a keen insight. It reminded me of the Pharisees asking Jesus for “a sign” all the time. They did not mean “a miracle” because Jesus performed plenty of miracles in their midst. What they had in mind was a sign for them specifically. They were so sure of their sanctity that they thought they deserved a special wink of approval. In their vanity they concluded that Jesus had to be from the devil because He did not acknowledge their “greatness” by giving them a personal sign.

      Liked by 4 people

      • Carlos, thanks so much for this. Now I understand.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Pam Nicholson says:

        In a very tiny sense, I would have liked to be a fly on the wall to see how the Pharisees reacted when the veil tore as Jesus said it would, in the way He decided to tell them about the temple. And, Jesus did prophesy that the temple would be destroyed eventually. Jesus did remind them that testing God as the jews had constantly put God to the test only leads to further “signs” that God is all to everyone. The jews somehow maybe were not sure that they are the chosen people. I still lovingly pray for Israel and the peace of Jerusalem. I believe that all the man-made things going on today, especially greed for oil and money, is all about Israel. The muslim factions who wish to kill anyone who stands in their way to taking all the rich stores of oil which is beneath Israel. Greed only begets more greed, and sin is still our enemy, no matter what kind of prize folks think they earned due to the warfare and destruction which the earth is now crying out, “when will they stop doing this”? We are all made in God’s image, and we have a greater responsibility to do only good for the earth and all which God provides. Thanks Carlos for so many great insights into the writings of the saints. You are a treasure! pam, from NJ.

        Liked by 1 person

  19. Eileen Vacheresse says:

    Dear Charlie: My Mother passed away August 12, 2015. I asked Our Lady to introduce her to our Beloved Lord, Jesus Christ. The Blessed Mother has been there for me whenever I needed her. I don’t quite know how my mother met Jesus for the first time after she passed but it gives me comfort knowing they are all up there together. My mother absolutely loved Mary, the Mother of God.


  20. Pam Nicholson says:

    So very well said. The saints are for us, not for the sake of calling one a saint. They suffer very much in their path to doing God’s will, but, God raises them up to show us that no matter what, He is among us, and that, we can take to our spiritual bank. Blessings on another well-spoken provision of the Holy Spirit! pam, from NJ.


  21. QUOTE: “I found a woman near the front row who seemed to know what she was doing – so I just determined to watch and do whatever she did.”

    That is in essence what Tradition is. One joins the community of believers and learns what to do by example. That is the strongest argument against the nonsense of Sola Scriptura. That is how Israel knew what to do at every Feast of the Lord, yes some of the details ended up written in Scripture but not every detail. That is the problem that arose when the Modernists starting messing with the Holy Liturgy that grew organically from the experience of the Church over the centuries. Our ancestors in the faith are not dead, they live in everything we do as a Church, their presence can be detected in a myriad of ways in all those small additions and modifications growing from the ancient Liturgical tree. That is why we can go to Malabar, Coptic, Russian, Greek, masses and yet know what is going on. Radical departures from Tradition are dangerous and do not contribute to the unity of the Church. In my humble opinion.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Jose says:

    Honest question: If there have been canonized saints from every walk of life (even Satanic High Priests ardently devoted to the latria of Satan like Bartolo Longo or mass murderers like Saint Olga), why have we never heard of a Saint who is known for being previously homosexual? According to the Catechism homosexuals can also become Saints and reach the state of Christian Perfection, but the Church has never canonized one, that I am aware of.


    • charliej373 says:

      St. Bartolo Longo was a Satanist who repented, returned to the faith, became a third order Dominican, and was dedicated to Our Lady through the Rosary. The Church accepts earnest repentance. Longo was notable for the difference between what he became versus what he had been. St. Paul was a persecutor of Christians who converted and became the great apostle to the gentiles. St. Olga was a Russian ruler who did, indeed, commit cruel and large scale murderous acts – as was all too common among such rulers in the first millennium. But in 957, she converted to Christianity and was baptized, and the rest of her rule was spend spreading Christianity through much of Russia, particularly in Ukraine around Kiev. Again, notable repentance and conversion.

      I can think of no saints who publicly confessed to a homosexual past. But you need to know that, throughout most of western history, active homosexuality was disreputable in secular circles as well as Christian circles, so it was not something someone was likely to confess to publicly. Once they had converted, to publicly proclaim such would be to act in rebellion against the faith. Remember that homosexual inclinations are not disqualifying, just active defiant homosexuality is incompatible with the faith. I suspect there are several saints who struggled with such things during their lives, but did not speak of it because it was disreputable in all forums. I also suspect that there are homosexual activists attacking the faith publicly now who, in time, will repent and convert and live lives of notable holiness. Some will eventually be recognized as saints, I would guess.

      Liked by 2 people

      • One ancient source of information on this is the Liber Gomorrhianus a book by St Peter Damianus (Pier Damiani) that dealt in detail with homosexual sins among the clergy and religious. Tertullian briefly addressed that in the 2nd century also. That seems to indicate that the homosexual temptation is not a modern novelty but part of the sad catalog of sins common to mankind in all ages. Saint Paul mentions that in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.” It is important to notice that the text is very clear that for sanctification the sin must be in the past, abandoned, no longer practiced. I understand the original Greek text usage of a specific past tense leaves no room to doubt. Great must be a disorder that God specially hates but also great is the mercy extended to those who seek God and abandon that vice to live a healthy, saintly life. In times when mankind was closer to God both in thought and practice there must have been a great shame involved even with it. There was also a prohibition of even mentioning such things (the good old days!) “But immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is fitting among saints.” Therefore if there was any saint with a past history of those sinful habits, we can be reasonably sure that they abstained from mentioning it.

        Liked by 4 people

  23. Jean Driscoll says:

    This is such a beautiful story. Thank you for telling it. I am so grateful that I am catholic & we have Our Lady leading us back to her son. Remember, without Mary, we cannot succeed, with Mary, we cannot fail.


  24. “…a pretender is always looking inward, concerned about what events mean for him. A saint is always looking upward to God and outward to the needs of those around him.”

    Charlie, thanks be to God for that line. It is a powerful eye opener to assess where I actually stand in my efforts to serve others – (is it for me or is it for God?).
    God bless you.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Joe Crozier says:

    I once spent 4K on an advert in the national secular press directed at protestants and telling them about Garabandal. My friends who did not know I was the author thought it had been written by a Protestant. I changed nothing but minimised Catholic terminology. In this way I tried to make the messages clearer and the prophesies more meaningful and acceptable to them.

    During my morning walk/rosary while contemplating the Flame of Love line in the Aves I thought of many things.

    I thought of the prayer given to me many years ago in my contemplation classes that included the invocation to the Holy Spirit;

    “send love into our lives like a flame of fire”

    I thought of a favourite poem “In No Strange Land” that includes the line:

    “Oh world invisible we view thee.”

    And I thought of the visible rescue in 2017.

    There are many ways in which happenings become visible: eg perspective and clarification.

    Could it be that the rescue from the Blessed Mother will be made visible by the Church’s compliance with the wishes of Mary that She be made known to the world under the titles The Lady of All Nations and Mother of All Peoples and the Church’s solemn proclamation of the 5th Dogma. Then the world will indeed see that Mary is in charge of The Rescue. Perhaps such measures will cut short the days and mitigate the severity of the Tribulation occasioned by mankind.

    This would be a visible sign to the whole world, makes sense in my struggle to reconcile Garabandal with Charlie’s revelations and makes sense in terms of the time lines. This would give time to prepare better for The Warning at least for Catholics. Conchita has said that Catholics are more likely to cope better with The Warning. This would be a final act of Mercy before the great act of Mercy that is The Warning.

    Could the visible sign in 2017 be that which was initiated directly by the Blessed Mother in 1945 in Amsterdam. Her image on canvas in Amsterdam was reproduced in wood in Akita where the prophesies of Fatima and Garabandal were confirmed.
    Both Amsterdam and Akita received Church approval. None of this excludes other signs in the heavens that may appear around the same time in 2017.

    These are just my thoughts. I am sure Charlie will put me right if they are way off the mark.

    Oh yes, and I thought of my old mum’s favourite short prayer:

    “Jesus, Mercy – Mary, Help.”

    Liked by 4 people

    • Joe Crozier says:

      For the record I am more and more convinced that The Warning of Garabandal and The Great Miracle will happen in 2018 with the Miracle taking place in April. (I am a little cautious here because I am told that records are made to be broken. I hope not this one)
      I especially look foward to the day after the miracle when the body of Fr Andreu will be exhumed and found to be in perfect condition. From some accounts all that presently remains is his skeleton. The restoration of his body will indeed be miraculous.

      Liked by 2 people

    • charliej373 says:

      I have been told that we will be “visibly and miraculously rescued by Our Lady the Immaculate Conception.” That the Lord will send her for this purpose and that all will know it is through her that we are rescued.

      Liked by 3 people

      • moomba1 says:

        Charlie, Joe wrote …”Could it be that the rescue from the Blessed Mother will be made visible by the Church’s compliance with the wishes of Mary that She be made known to the world under the titles The Lady of All Nations and Mother of All Peoples and the Church’s solemn proclamation of the 5th Dogma… .”

        Your reply is just above. What I wonder is, do you mean that your answer to Joe’s question
        is “no?” Or, could it be that Joe’s words, which I can interpret to be miraculous & visible, be possible?

        Thank you, Charlie.


        • charliej373 says:

          I repeated specifically what I have been consistently told.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Sean Sullivan says:

            Since reading the book “A Handbook on…Guadalupe” ISBN: 1-60114-006-1 i was amazed at the Image being an astonomy codex for the Aztecs. Scientists held a sky map corrected for ‘reverse’ anamorphosis with the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe interposed therein. I refer to page 69, PP 3: Chapter: The Tilma of Juan Diego

            “As we study the identifications, we must remember the Nahuatl artists always represented the east at the top of their pictures, the south at their right, the west at the bottom, and the north to the left. We must also remember that the Divine Tlacuilo showed the stars ‘backward’, thus reversing north and south. The constellations wheel from east to west, from the top of her Image to the bottom. Those at the top are rising. Leo is directly overhead and if shown on the tunic, it would be over her womb. (We recall that Revelation 5:5 gives the Lion of Judah as a type of Christ, and that Regulus, the most prominent star in the constellation of Leo, means ‘Little King’!) The stars at the bottom are about to disappear over the western horizon…” (Barber, Janet, I.H.M.)

            So… I am in the opinion Mother Mary shall make a grand appearance for all the world to see. At the same time, coinciding with other pertinent prophesies.

            Liked by 2 people

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