The ending of bondage
by the Master —, through Benjamin Creme
As the simple snowdrop breaks through the snow and heralds the coming spring, so do the people everywhere make known their demands for justice and peace, and an end to a long winter of thraldom and tyranny. The people’s voice is rising, imperious to be heard. It is the harbinger of the new time, the new dispensation, struggling to be born. Despite, nay, because of the plans and actions of dangerous men, the people are throwing off their ancient yoke and claiming their right to be heard. A new urgency and a new confidence invests their claim with power. The power of the people’s voice breaks through the age-old bondage and points the way to the future. More and more, the people are realizing that the role of government is to dispense the needs of the people, that there is no problem or difficulty in which war is the only solution. The sour voices of power-hungry leaders may, for the moment, seduce the fearful or unwary, but their time is limited, is drawing to a close.
A better life
A new time is in the making — of justice, freedom and peace. In this coming time the peoples of all the nations will see fulfilled their dreams and hopes of a better life: of meaning and purpose, of beauty and understanding, of right relationship and love. Each day will bring a new discovery, inner and outer, each hour an opportunity to serve. Thus will it be, and thus will each man, woman and child glorify the divine in all of us, and show in all its variety the many-sided beauty of God.
When Maitreya emerges, He will seek to canalize the aspiration of countless millions who sense these truths but cannot give them voice. In Him will they find a spokesman, eloquent and severe as circumstances require; through Him will they find their needs made known, the needs of all for a just and peaceful world.
This process is already underway. At marches and demonstrations, where the people call for justice, peace and sanity, Maitreya may be found in one or other guise, playing the part of the people and speaking in their name. His energy of love pervades these gatherings of the just and inspires them to further effort. His strength becomes theirs and they feel undaunted and sure. In this way, the Lord of Love is turning the tide of hate, is potentizing the ardour of millions, and is finding that the people everywhere are aware of their destiny and are seeking the means to implement their heart-felt desires.
Q. Can your Master say how many people in the world marched over the weekend of 15-16 February?
A. 12.5 million. In London, almost 2 million.
Q. Will the huge turnout of demonstrators on peace marches have an effect on Maitreya’s emergence?
A. Yes, indeed. My information is that 12.5 million people marched and demonstrated on 15-16 February. That means that about 1 billion, 28 million sympathized with the marches but, for whatever reason, did not personally demonstrate. Maitreya has responded to this mass invocation and is determined to appear openly sooner than planned.
Q. Did Maitreya stimulate the worldwide peace marches — that is to say, were people responding to His energies when they decided to demonstrate?
A. In the immediate sense, some were and others were not. The peace marches were a spontaneous response of millions of ordinary people, who, better than their leaders, realized the folly and dangers, now and in the future, of this criminal and unjustified act of vengeance by the USA and UK Governments. What is certain is that Maitreya potentized their ardour by the release of His energy. Many remarked how like their feelings were to the day of Princess Diana’s funeral when Maitreya likewise potentized their response. Maitreya, also, was present at the London march of nearly 2 million people.
Q. Was Maitreya Himself or any of the Masters present in any of the cities during the marches? Did He take part in them? Did He appear to anyone during the demos?
A. In London, yes.
Q. Many demonstrators around the world noted that there was an unusual sense of fellowship, camaraderie, goodwill and solidarity very strongly present during the peace demonstrations on 15 February. Could it be that Maitreya was sending His blessings or other energies out to the crowds? If so, which energies were they?
A. Yes. His energy of love.
Q. Was the energy of (1) the Christ Principle and that of (2) the Avatar of Synthesis or (3) the Spirit of Peace sent to the mass of marchers by Maitreya on 15 February?
A. (1) and (3). Maitreya is overshadowed by the Spirit of Peace or Equilibrium.
Q. Could you outline what the effect has been of the worldwide protests against war? Have the calls for peace perhaps acted as a massive invocation to the Christ and the Hierarchy?
Q. (1) Do you think the mass call for peace and justice is having any effect on the US administration and on Tony Blair? (2) Can Tony Blair afford to ignore the people’s will?
A. (1) There is little sign of it. (2) If a war is short, perhaps. In the longer term though, it is not likely.
Q. I do not know the ins-and-outs of the American Constitution but is it not the Congress alone that may decide to embark on a war? Wouldn’t it be illegal if only one person or a handful of people gave the order to go to war? Would the armed forces be within their rights to refuse to go?
A. President Bush and his administration have already secured the Congressional ‘green light’ they need.
Q. Do you think war against Iraq is inevitable?
A. Nothing is inevitable but any other scenario is unlikely.
Q. (1) Do you think it will be a short war? (2) Will it be focused mainly on Baghdad?
A. (1) Probably. (2) No, the oilfields.
Q. Should Iraq split into three independent states: one for Kurds, one for Shi’ites and one for Sunnis?
A. No, but it will take Maitreya to unite them.
Q. Which are the world’s greatest “flash points” at present?
A. Iraq, Korea, Palestine.
Q. Is there any point in keeping up pressure on governments by continued popular action?
A. Yes indeed. Continued action by the peoples of the world is necessary to produce change and to strengthen the ‘People’s voice’ in world affairs. Maitreya relies on the action of the people of all nations to change the world for the better.
Q. Do you see Bush and Blair being brought before an international human rights court to be tried for crimes against humanity?
Q. What is your, and your Master’s, reaction to the worldwide peace demonstrations?
A. They are necessary, relevant and timely. And they must continue and GROW to produce change.
Q. Just lately there have been two tragic events at discos and nightclubs in the USA — in which many people were killed and injured, and the Staten Island oil explosion. Were these simply tragic accidents? Or were they explosions of energy due to tension and fear in the US or karmic consequences of US policy in the world at present?
A. The Staten Island oil explosion was due to an explosion of energy due to tension and fear in the USA. The two tragic events at discos were due to karmic consequences of US policy.
Q. The US budget deficit is at its highest level ever; is the Iraq conflict partly a “weapon of mass distraction” to take attention away from the weak economic situation?
A. In part, yes.
Q. Has Maitreya appeared to Tony Blair recently?
Q. Is there any truth in rumours that Ariel Sharon intends to launch an all-out campaign against Palestinians aimed at deporting them to Jordan — while the world’s attention is on the war in Iraq?
A. No. He might like to, but it is not feasible. The UN would not accept that. Even the US would not accept it.
Q. Will Israel be in danger during the Iraq-US conflict?
A. If it spreads, yes.
Q. Some propaganda is comparing Saddam Hussein with Hitler; surely this is not an accurate comparison?
Q. (1) Isn’t current Israeli policy in the Middle-East, rather than that of Saddam Hussein’s undoubted dictatorial regime, giving expression to negative forces, such as those behind Hitler? (2) Saddam Hussein looks rather like a sleep-walker at present; is he still in touch with reality?
(1) Current Israeli policy is indeed negative in relation to the Palestinians, but the energy is not the same as those to which Hitler gave expression. Nor is Saddam Hussein to be equated with Hitler. (2) I do not think he has ever been “in touch with reality”. That does not mean he has to be bombed out of existence because of 9/11 — with which he had no connection — or for having unproven weapons of mass destruction. Twenty-eight states have weapons of mass destruction.
Q. Don’t you think that the most important thing is not whether Maitreya will appear or not, but for us to act from the heart, perfecting our love and to express what our love says? Is not this the only way to Self-realization?
A. With respect, that sounds very nice but is it the reality? Is this approach the norm throughout the world? If yes, then why do we have these many serious problems: poverty and starvation in the midst of plenty; wars and threats of wars; environmental breakdown; crime and drug abuse on a major scale; worldwide terrorism growing more sophisticated — the list is endless? It is obvious that the world, in general, does not act from the heart or express perfect love. Perhaps the questioner is an exception. Perhaps he or she does indeed practise the way of the heart and love in action. Perhaps is even now a Master, without the need for Maitreya and His teachings. For the rest of us, however, the help and advice of Maitreya and His group is essential if we are to survive. He is our life-line to the future.
Over a number of years, some of the Masters, in particular Maitreya and the Master Jesus, have appeared, in different guises, to large numbers of people around the world. They also appear at Benjamin Creme's lectures and meditations, giving people in the audience the opportunity to intuitively recognise Them. Some people recount their experiences to Share International magazine. If the encounters are authenticated by Benjamin Creme's Master, the letters are published. These experiences are given to inspire, to guide or teach, often to heal and uplift. Very often, too, the Masters draw attention to, or comment on, in an amusing way, some fixed intolerance (for example against smoking or drinking). Many times They act as saving 'angels' in accidents, during wartime, earthquakes and other disasters. The following letters, previously published in Share International magazine, are examples of this means of communication by the Masters.
I couldn’t believe my eyes when I suddenly saw “Egon”, that individual who
in many letters to the editor was confirmed to be Maitreya (Share International January/February
2003). I saw him in Munich in November 2002, when he appeared at Benjamin Creme’s lecture. Now
he looked exactly the same, with the same old-fashioned coat and the trolley. He was standing
there with his magnifying glass, studying some papers. With one hand he was carrying a plastic
bag with apples. Then he walked across the hall to the door, and on his way his gloves fell from
the trolley to the ground. He recognized this immediately and picked them up again. I watched
him from a distance. He did not look at me, and I felt no need to go to him or speak to him. I
was really astonished to see him there and expected it not in the least. The day was really “a
bucketful of blessings”.
I nodded and he quickly and happily came to my side. He was dressed in casual sports clothes and it seemed that he was probably an immigrant from Africa trying to make a living selling things.
He opened his bag and took out a bundle of socks to show me. Although I was determined to buy something from him, seeing the socks, a thought came to me wishing that the elastic on the top of them would not be too tight. Normally I cannot wear socks which are too tight on the top. Just after having that thought, I was amazed to hear him telling me that I should not worry because the socks were not tight at all on the top and were of very good quality. It was as if he was reading my thoughts. He made me try them for tightness as he talked.
I looked carefully at him. Although he was half the age, he immediately reminded me of a black homeless flute player who was filmed in a library in New York by a co-worker a few years ago (SI October 1998) and who later on was confirmed by Benjamin Creme’s Master to have been Maitreya in disguise. The atmosphere surrounding him, and his eyes, were the same.
I bought three pairs of socks and we said goodbye to each other. Was he an
ordinary African man or someone special?
One morning, he told us enthusiastically what had happened to him, as
follows: “After you left the room I was left alone, I felt a lot of fear. I then asked God to
keep me company. Suddenly I saw in front of me the figure of somebody who was looking at me very
lovingly. I didn’t know the person, but knew he was somebody who loved me very much. After a
while, the figure started to vanish. I implored him not to leave me alone, and asked him to send
me an angel to keep me company. At that moment, four angels descended and positioned themselves
around my bed, and stayed there all night long. They were very beautiful.”
Hope and faith
At a meeting — one meeting before Maitreya appeared at the Information Centre with a dog (see Share International May 1999, “This dog is not Maitreya” — official!) — of a number of people in the group to focus on basic principles which should underpin the work of esoteric groups, we were discussing issues such as consensus, impersonality and so on. I can’t remember what I was saying at the time, but as I was talking I heard a voice in my head suggesting that I should talk about the importance of faith and hope. (I must clarify: I’m paraphrasing the idea that I heard, partly because, unfortunately, I can’t recall verbatim what was said.) It took only a split second to hear and register it, so I suppose I paused only momentarily and then, for some reason, I simply continued saying what I had been saying.
Now the voice repeated, this time more firmly, something to this effect: “What you’re saying is useful, but it would be more useful to talk about the need for and the importance of hope based on faith. Talk about the importance of people being galvanized to do the work because of their faith in the information coming from Benjamin Creme and his Master.”
What I understood was that if people are to be effective, galvanized and therefore able to speak straight to the hearts of others, and able to do this work well, they need to be able to trust, which breeds hope. Needless to say, this time I did talk about what I’d been asked to say.
At the time, I hadn’t realized how important hope is; I was surprised that
the voice considered faith and hope more important than, say, consensus — at least in the
circumstances. But, whether it was my imagination or not, it certainly makes sense. After all, I
realized, reading Share International magazine, people are inspired knowing that they can have
full confidence in the words of a Master of Wisdom and a disciple, Benjamin Creme. This idea was
reinforced by Maitreya Himself when He appeared during our next meeting at the Centre.
Two letters from the same person:
At first they stood for several months in my two bookcases, but their beautiful design and delicate features just got lost among all the books and other objects. Then early in the New Year I took them out and placed them where they would stand out more clearly on their own.
I placed the Krishna statue squarely in the middle of my coffee table.
Some time later, he had turned position at an angle of approximately 25 degrees, still looking
at the book cases, and has stayed like this since.
(2) In November 2002 I was diagnosed with an early form of kidney stones.
On the scan were clearly visible in each kidney an accumulation of small particles forming
themselves together into a small ball shape.
“Not in my name”
Huge numbers of people — 12.5 million in over 600 cities worldwide — took to the streets on the weekend of 15 and 16 February 2003 to demonstrate their opposition to the threatened war against Iraq. The peace protests were the culmination of a global campaign in opposition to the growing threat of war, with thousands marching, rallying, signing petitions, raising funds, publishing articles and using the internet to enlist a diverse coalition of citizens and celebrities.
In every corner of the world people took to the streets. Some estimates recorded by media include: 2 million in Rome; 1 million in Madrid and Barcelona; 500,000 in Berlin; 2 million in London; 90,000 in Glasgow; 100,000 in New York; 200,000 in San Francisco; 500,000 in Washington; 10,000 in Auckland and Wellington; 100,000 in Paris; 10,000 in Amsterdam; 10,000 in Copenhagen; 100,000 in Lisbon; 250,000 in Sydney; 200,000 in Melbourne; 3,000 in Canberra; 2,000 in Bangkok; 1,500 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; 2,000 in Kiev; 5,000 in Cape Town; 10,000 in Thessaloniki, Greece; 6,000 in Tokyo (14 March); 2,000 in Sofia, Bulgaria; 4,000 in Johannesburg; 2,000 in Dhaka, Bangladesh; 200,000 in Damascus, Syria.
Reporting in the San Francisco Chronicle, Ruth Rosen wrote: “Last weekend, an embryonic global civil society began to raise its voice in protest … Interviewed by BBC and CNN reporters, protesters everywhere responded with the same message: We are not anti-American; we are against Bush's pre-emptive war …
“[After 11 September] what a difference 17 months make. So much squandered goodwill. Today, 10s of millions of people view America as an arrogant bully. They distrust Bush's unilateralist policies, dislike his cowboy swagger, suspect he seeks to control Iraq's oil reserves and reject the leadership of an American Government that views international treaties and law with disdain.”
Naeem Mohaiemen, writing in the Bangladesh newspaper Daily Star, remarked: “The anti-globalization movement helped to build today's anti-war movement. Because of the infrastructure of worldwide grassroots connections, especially the use of the internet as a powerful organizing tool, activists were able to bring 11 million people onto the streets around the world on 15 February. Now, there is no such thing as an ‘American protest’ or a ‘European protest’. Each grassroots movement finds allies in far-flung corners of the globe.… Our anti-war movement has come close to bringing a giant to its knees. Even if we do not succeed this time with Iraq, the human connections that are being made in this moment will be a powerful force for positive change in the future.”
UK: Writing in the UK newspaper The Observer Euan Ferguson described the atmosphere as people marched in London towards Hyde Park: “Cheer upon cheer went up. There were cheers as marchers were given updates about turnout elsewhere in the world — 90,000 in Glasgow, 2 million on the streets of Rome. There was a glorious cheer, at Piccadilly Circus, when the twin ribbons [of the march] met, just before one o'clock.”
Waving an eclectic array of banners and flags, this enormous gathering of people from every walk of life, age, religion and background marched together, caught up in this collective decision to take a stand. An extraordinary, electric mood pervaded the vast crowd spread over Hyde Park. As speakers were half-way through the speeches at 3.30pm the dense throng of marchers were still steadily snaking through the crowded streets along the Embankment and Parliament, making their way to the gathering.
Addressing the crowd in the park Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London, said: “Let everyone recognize what has happened here today: that Britain does not support this war for oil. The British people will not tolerate being used to prop up the most corrupt and racist American administration in over 80 years…. Let's not, having won the moral case and demonstrated the opposition of the world, lose this fight because of corruption and vote-buying on the Security Council."
Politician and peace campaigner Tony Benn said that anti-war protesters had formed a new political movement. “Let us remember that 35 million people die every year in the world because of hunger … What it needs is food and clothing and housing and schools and hospitals, and to protect the old and the sick and the disabled. My friends, we are starting something really big, and our first task is peace in Iraq.”
"Bianca Jagger said: “We want to live in a world where peace, democracy and security are enshrined in the UN charter," adding: "I would like to see democracy in Iraq, but not by carpet-bombing Iraq and killing innocent civilians." Finally the Reverend Jesse Jackson insisted that it is "not too late to stop this war" and urged protesters to "march until there is peace and reconciliation”.
One marcher, Alvina Desir, said: “I've never been on a march in my life and never had any intention. But something's happened recently, to me and so many friends — we just know there's something going wrong in this country. No one's being consulted, and it's starting to feel worrying — more worrying than the scaremongering we've been getting about the terrorist threat. I simply don't see how war can be the answer and I don't know anyone who does.”
Twelve-year-old Charlotte Wright, who came by train from Guildford, Surrey, on her own said: “My parents aren't very happy about this but I think it's important. Bombing people isn't the right way to sort a problem out.”
Jenny Mould, 36, a teacher from Devon said: “ 'I drove up last night. It took seven hours but it was definitely worth it; the government should, it must, listen to the people, otherwise what's the point in democracy?'
USA: Robert D.McFadden wrote in The New York Times: “Three years after vast crowds turned out around the world to celebrate the new millennium, millions gathered again today in a darker mood of impending conflict, forming a patchwork of demonstrations that together, organizers said, made up the largest, most diverse peace protest since the Vietnam War.”
He continued: “Unlike the stereotypical scruffy, pot-smoking, flag-burning anarchists of the Vietnam era, today's protests were joined by a wide segment of the political spectrum: college students, middle-aged couples, families, older people who had marched for civil rights, and groups representing labour, the environment and religious, business and civic organizations … Though prohibited by court-order from marching in New York, and despite a bitter cold winter’s day, hundreds of thousands of people lined First Avenue between 49th and 72nd Streets. Thousands more, prevented from reaching First Avenue by police barricades, none the less blocked traffic on three parallel thoroughfares, creating separate rallies and spontaneous marches.” Speakers included Bishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, Martin Luther King 3rd, actors Danny Glover and Susan Sarandon, and singer Harry Belafonte. "Peace! Peace! Peace!" Bishop Tutu, the 71-year-old veteran of the peace movement, declared: “Let America listen to the rest of the world — and the rest of the world is saying: ‘Give the inspectors time.’”
As Patrick Tyler stated in his New York Times article ‘A New Power in the Streets’: “There may still be two superpowers on the planet: the United States and world public opinion. War, like politics,” he noted, “is affected by psychology and momentum. It is unlikely that such an exhibition of people power will be ignored.”
At the San Francisco rally, in front of a 200,000-strong crowd, actor Danny Glover said: "This is the first time we have gathered in such numbers before bullets have been shot." His words echoed the wonder of many that a global peace movement is emerging in advance of a war.
Hari Dillon, president of the Vanguard Foundation, the coalition of groups sponsoring the march, said: “[The government] announced this week that they would not rule out the use of 'usable nuclear weapons’.” The crowd booed loudly. "The time has come when humankind has to put an end to war, or war will put an end to humanity," cried Dillon.
Australia: At least 150,000 people packed the streets of Melbourne — the biggest peace rally since the Vietnam War. Greens’ Senator Bob Brown said the size of the crowd showed Prime Minister John Howard did not have a mandate to take Australia to war against Iraq. "This is a huge statement by the people of Melbourne, and the people of Australia, to John Howard: that he's gone the wrong way and should turn around," Brown told the crowd. "The people of Australia don't see this as our war."
Peter FitzSimons, reporting in the Sydney Morning Herald, wrote: “This was Sydney, in all its wonderful diversity and stripes…. We were lads, ladies, locals, chardonnay swillers, beer-guzzlers, abstemious, Jews, gentiles, jivers, gays, goths, very old, very young, the rich, the poor, the lot. We were simply uncategorizable, other than ‘Australians who have had a gutful’ — Australians who simply cannot believe that our Government has got us into the middle of this mess, and who wish to register our protest….
“We finally believe that of all the wars and potential wars of our time, the distinguishing feature of this one is that it is driven by political leadership with little backing from their populations.”
Spain: While many Spanish cities saw 500,000 people join the marches, Madrid gathered 1 million people, and Barcelona saw the greatest march in the country with 1,300,000 people. The day after the demonstrations, almost every newspaper and media outlet in Spain emphasized the historical character of the gatherings, "people's power", and the regrettable fact that the President José María Aznar and his party did not attend.
A point of debate in the media was the number of attendees. Government sources said 350,000 had attended the demonstration in Barcelona, for instance, where it was clear to everyone that, at the very least, 1 million people were on the streets.
Soon after the marches, a parliamentary debate was held to discuss the impending war on Iraq, in which the opposition accused Aznar of loyalty to President Bush, and of being disloyal to Spaniards, who overwhelmingly said "no" to a war. At the end of February, 94 per cent of Spaniards were against a military intervention in Iraq.
Italy: Organizers said 2 million people marched through Rome, and rainbow-coloured peace flags hung from the walls of the Colosseum. The protest was led by Italian cinema heroes Roberto Benigni and Nanni Moretti, left-wing opposition politicians and human rights groups. Flags swayed over silenced crowds as a minute-long air raid siren, a symbolic 'echo of war', blasted across Rome at the height of the march.
Bosnia: Robert Barr, for Associated Press, wrote: “In the Bosnian city of
Mostar, about a 100 Muslims and Croats united for an anti-war protest — the first such
cross-community action in seven years in a place where ethnic divisions here remain tense
despite the 1995 Bosnian peace agreement. ‘We want to say that war is evil and that we who
survived one know that better than anyone,’ said Majda Hadzic.”
Then the young singer Ms Dynamite began to speak of “love” and “peace”. “And justice!” cried the black man next to us, arm upraised. He continued to comment on everything that was said: “That’s right, sister… you tell ’em sister,” etc.
There was something about the demeanour of this man which made us think he
might be Maitreya or a Master. He had such a sense of joviality, rolling a cigarette (but never
smoking it), together with a small bottle of whisky (though never smelling of alcohol). Was he Maitreya or one of the Masters?
As the crowd dispersed at the end of the speeches at the London anti-war march, the‘jovial’ Afro-Caribbean man described above spoke to M.R. McK and A. McC. Their conversation is transcribed here.
Maitreya, in the guise of an Afro-Caribbean man (as described above) spoke to M.R. McK and A.McC at the Hyde Park Rally in London.
Weeping statue in Bangladesh
Thousands of people in the Bangladeshi city port of Chittagong have
visited a Roman Catholic church where tears are reported to have been seen on a statue of the
Madonna. Many of those visiting the church are Muslims, eager to see what some locals believe is
a sign of the Madonna’s dismay over the recent outbreak of violence in the country and elsewhere
in the world. Roman Catholics say it is the first time in Bangladesh that tears have been seen
on a statue of the Madonna. (Source: BBC World News, UK)
Crying statue in Venezuela
Hundreds of Venezuelans have been queuing to pay homage to the country’s
patron saint at a church in the capital, Caracas. It is claimed that the statue of the Virgin of
Coromoto has been crying tears of oil. Church officials have been handing out swatches of cloth
bathed with the oil. The parish priest called it a testament to the Virgin’s wish to help
Venezuela through the country’s recent political crisis.
Glowing painting in New Mexico church
For decades tens of thousands of people annually have visited a painting hanging in the San Francisco de Asis Mission in Rancho de Taos, New Mexico. The Shadow of the Cross, painted in 1896 by little-known French-Canadian artist Henri Ault, appears to glow in the dark for no apparent reason.
When lights in the room are turned off, the life-sized image of Jesus standing on the shore of the Sea of Galilee fades to a shadow as the white clouds in pale blue sky and green water begin to glow around him, as if all were bathed in moonlight. Soon the silhouette of Jesus grows three-dimensional and appears more like a dark statue than flat image. His robes seem to billow in a breeze. Over his left shoulder the shadow of a cross is distinct to most visitors. Some can see a halo over his head and the bow of a small fishing boat on the shore.
The Catholic Church does not call the 8-foot painting of Jesus miraculous or make any claim about it other than to say it is a phenomenon not perfectly understood. Many assume the painting's effects, which last indefinitely in darkness, result from the painter's skilful technique. Ault, however, denied that he was responsible for the painting's surreal features. He never duplicated the effects in other works, which were mostly landscapes. "It is said that he was very surprised when he walked into his studio one night and saw the painting glowing in the dark," archivist Corina Santistevan says.
The Shadow of the Cross was the sensation of the 1904 Worlds Fair in St Louis, Missouri, USA. It was exhibited at the Dore Galleries of London and also shown in other European cities. In 1948, a wealthy Texan, Mrs Herbert Sidney Griffin, bought the painting and donated it to the church in her second, chosen hometown of Rancho de Taos.
Although parish records are incomplete, Santistevan says that scientists
from the national laboratory at nearby Los Alamos, New Mexico, tested the painting for
radioactivity and perhaps even for the presence of some phosphorescent minerals. The Geiger
counter results were negative, and other tests were inconclusive. "We know the painting is a
mystery but not a miracle," Santistevan says. "As far as I know the painting has not been
responsible for any healing. Grant you, it is very moving. People have an emotional response to
it, and that is something the church neither approves or disapproves of." (Source: Denver
Madonna painting miracle
Thousands of people have visited a small Romanian church after two men said they had seen the Madonna “crying” in a painting. A delegation from the Romanian Orthodox Church arrived at a church in the village of Musetesti, west Romania, to investigate the claims made by the two workers. The pair said they first saw the Madonna crying on 2 January 2003.
Local parish priest Aurel Chiana said the tears had been seen for four
consecutive days after that. He told local media: "It is a sign from God, but I cannot say if
it's a good or bad sign." The delegation is continuing investigations into the claims and taking
statements from other people who say they saw the phenomenon. The claims come just weeks after
reports of tears coming from a statue of the Madonna in a church in Giurgiu, southern Romania.
Miracle burial unearthed
A small church in northern Romania is drawing crowds after workers reconstructing a church in Husi unearthed the body of a man — perfectly preserved, and smelling of roses — dressed in the robes of a 19th-century Orthodox priest.
The Romanian daily newspaper Adevarul reported that records indicate the
body may be that of the priest who consecrated the church in the early 1800s — priest Irimia
Hagiu. Alexandru Vijianu, vicar of the Saint Niculai church, said: "The body looks as if it was
buried yesterday and what is even more incredible is that it has a wonderful scent of roses. It
is possible that we are standing before the discovery of a saint."