Secrets of the Eucharist  by Michael Brown. Heart-felt reflections on the Holy Eucharist, fresh new insights, and miracles.  What did Padre Pio say? How did saints adore? What's the "real presence"? Full of insights into the Mass, the most powerful prayer possible. One of our most popular books. CLICK HERE



What is it about Rio de Janeiro in Brazil?

Of late it has entered into the limelight due to the Olympics, which will be held there in 2016, and fascinating to us are its spiritual regards. Call them also "dynamics":

It is in Rio where lay Catholics have built a chapel for "Mary, Undoer of Knots" -- fending off a nightclub that was across the street (complete with nude dancers and pagan deities) to wage a global Marian campaign. After much prayer the church group was able to take over the nightclub's land.

It is where 500,000 foreigners flock to the annual carnival -- ending on Fat Tuesday, and even more risque than its competitor, the Mardi Gras in equally dynamic New Orleans.

It is now where (speaking of pagan gods) they will have the next summer Olympics.

It is also the location for the world's most famous statue of Jesus -- standing 130 feet, so tall, on a mountain next to Rio, that it is often surrounded by clouds.

We recall a couple of years back when the statue was struck by lightning.

Are there forces that are pairing off here? Is it the new great open battlefield?

It is the country with the most Catholics -- 140 million (more than twice as many as in the U.S.) -- and where evangelicals are waging a war to attract them.

There is a priest here who attracts tens of thousands to Mass! Indeed, the cleric, Padre Marcelo Rossi, once drew 2.4 million to an event, and so many attend his weekly liturgy that his church is building a new sanctuary with a capacity of 60,000 inside and room for another 40,000 outside. It's expected to be ready sometime in 2010.

You are reading these figures correctly. It is a country that has fought and halted the defections to non-Catholic Christian sects. Perhaps the Church in North America can learn lessons.

Intriguing it is that in this land of nude or semi-nude beaches (you will see plenty of the lasciviousness, if the Olympics take place as planned), is also this powerful Catholic current -- bolts from above. One of its most famous beaches traces its name to a 17th-century image of Our Virgin Lady of Copacabana, brought by the Portuguese from a small village around distant Lake Titicaca.

And it interests us in light of the widely-circulated locution called the 1990 prophecy.

That alleged message ended with the words, "As for the anti-christ, remember Europe, and especially Central Europe. Yet know too that God's Hand will be evident in South America."

That was interesting because when the statue was hit by lightning, on February 12, 2008, according to a newspaper report, "a strange aura appeared around the 130-foot figure's head and chest before disappearing in a flash. Shocked locals believe that Christ the Redeemer looked as it had been illuminated by God's Hand. It has also been reported that the statue, on the summit of Rio de Janeiros's Corcovado Mountain, was left unscathed even after the uncanny event."

[resources: Tower of Light]

[Michael Brown retreat in New Jersey and Arizona]

  E-mail this link directly

Return to home page