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Subject: ‘Miracle’

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The First Church of Christ, Scientist, Boston was founded by Mary Baker Eddy

Posted in America, Bible, Historical articles, History, Miracle, Religion on Monday, 1 July 2013

This edited article about Mary Baker Eddy originally appeared in Look and Learn issue number 308 published on 9 December 1967.

Mary Baker Eddy, picture, image, illustration
First Church of Christ, Scientist, Boston. Inset, Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy

On the evening of 1st February, 1866, Mary Baker Eddy slipped on an ice-covered pavement near her home and was carried unconscious into a neighbour’s house. As a result of this accident, there was formed in the U.S.A. a new Christian denomination which today has 3,200 branches in 46 countries.

When a doctor examined Mary Baker Eddy, he found that she had suffered serious internal injuries. It was unlikely, he said, that she would recover. On the third day after her accident, the patient asked weakly for her Bible. Opening it at the ninth chapter of Matthew, she read of a sick man being cured of palsy. It inspired her so much that she rose from her sick bed and walked into the next room, where her astonished friends had been waiting to hear of her death.

Following her accident and remarkable recovery, Mary Baker Eddy spent three years studying the Bible. She then wrote a book called Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. In it she presented the beliefs which have become the faith known today as ‘Christian Science’. Much of this faith is concerned with spiritual healing.

In 1879, Mary Baker Eddy founded the Church of Christ, Scientist, later reorganised as the First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston. Soon converts were flocking to hear her speak, and new Christian Science churches were opened in other parts of America.

In her 88th year (she had been born in 1821 in New Hampshire, U.S.A.), Mary Baker Eddy founded the Christian Science Monitor, which has grown into one of the world’s major newspapers. She died on 3rd December, 1910.

The miracle of the Blind Beggar

Posted in Bible, Miracle, Religion on Thursday, 24 January 2013

This edited article about Bartimaeus originally appeared in Look and Learn issue number 108 published on 8 February 1964.

Blind beggar, picture, image, illustration

Christ sees Bartimaeus and restores the blind beggar’s sight by Clive Uptton

Bartimaeus edged his way carefully along the road which led out of Jericho. It was a good road for anyone like himself to be seen on, and for about three miles from the outskirts of the town Bartimaeus knew every turn of it, almost every rut in it, and certainly every shady spot along its border.

Yet he only knew these places by what he could touch and hear, for since childhood Bartimaeus had been blind.

The only occupation which Bartimaeus ever had was that of begging. As a small child he had been placed by his parents at a point from which he could not easily be missed by the pilgrims as they left Jericho to attend the various feasts at Jerusalem. Other beggars also stationed themselves on this well-travelled road, but none was so well known as Bartimaeus.

As the years passed he became almost a landmark, and people nearing Jericho would say: “Look! There’s blind Bartimaeus! We’re nearly home!” Then perhaps they would give him alms as a sign of their thankfulness for having reached Jericho safely on that ever-dangerous road from Jerusalem.

Yet Bartimaeus was far from happy. He had no wish to be a beggar; he would rather have worked for a living. Most of all, he longed to see for himself the things about which people had talked to him all his life, the sunrise, the mountains across the valley, the flowers after the spring rains.

To see such things! That would be really living!

Sometimes blind people did get their sight back, and lately he had heard of quite a few cases. There was a man from Nazareth called Jesus. He had the gift of healing, and all sorts of people had been cured by Him. Even beggars like Bartimaeus himself, whether blind or lame or whatever was wrong with them.

No wonder that when someone told Bartimaeus that Jesus was coming up the road by which he sat at that very hour, he became excited. As soon as he heard the tread of sandalled feet and the noise of men talking, Bartimaeus began to cry out: “Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me.”

Some of the bystanders tried to hustle Bartimaeus away, or at least to silence him, but the blind beggar was determined to be heard, and shouted more loudly than ever.

Suddenly the footsteps halted, and a kindly voice was heard saying: “Who is calling my name? Bring him to me.”

Scarcely knowing what was happening, Bartimaeus found himself led into the presence of Jesus Himself.

“What is it you want from me?” said Jesus, in the same kindly voice.

Bartimaeus answered, half in hope, half in despair: “Lord, that I might receive my sight!”

“Go your way,” answered Jesus quietly. “Your faith has given you your sight.”

It was a trembling, astonished Bartimaeus, who not only saw Jesus smile, and resume His journey, but who followed Him confidently down the road he knew so well, yet had never seen before.

Did St Joan really burn at the stake?

Posted in Heroes and Heroines, Historical articles, History, Miracle, Mystery, Religion, Saints, War on Wednesday, 23 January 2013

This edited article about Joan of Arc originally appeared in Look and Learn issue number 106 published on 25 January 1964.

Joan of Arc, picture, image, illustration

Joan of Arc burns at the stake

The trouble with searching out the truth of what really happened in some of the world’s great mysteries is made many times worse when we have to deal with someone whose position in the world’s story has been deliberately altered to suit the crafty convenience of the people who have come afterwards.

For instance, Joan of Arc.

It would, indeed, have been hard enough for us to get at the truth of Joan’s story if we had lived in her own time – so carefully, it seems, was the truth veiled even then. But in the five hundred years since her time it is doubtful whether any single story in the whole of history has been more twisted, stretched, pummelled, distorted, taken apart and rebuilt than Joan’s story.

Somewhere you have probably read that she was a shepherd girl from Lorraine, devout but illiterate.

Well, two highly skilled researchers and writers, of whom more in a moment, have recently made out an excellent case for her being the daughter of the Duke of Orleans – and therefore the aunt of King Henry VI of England – and the tool of the scheming, divided noble houses of the French states that existed in her lifetime.

You probably learned somewhere that the English burned Joan of Arc at the stake.

The same writers have re-examined the strong body of opinion which believes that Joan was never burned at the stake at all – that someone else was burned in her place at the last moment and that she was set free, married, re-appeared in French society and lived happily ever after.

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Jesus heals the paralytic man – a miracle

Posted in Bible, Miracle, Religion on Tuesday, 12 July 2011

One day in Capernaum Jesus is teaching a large throng of people, many of whom have travelled from afar to hear this remarkable figure whose reputation is now the subject of daily conversation across Galilee and Judea.

paralytic man, picture, image, illustration

Friends lower the paralytic man through the roof in Capernaum, by William Hole

Many others have come with ailments and illnesses hoping to be cured by this performer of miracles. A group of men comes to the town and brings an old friend who is a paralytic and quite unable to walk. On arriving at the house where Jesus is speaking the friends realise that it is impossible to enter on account of the crowds, so they decide to take their friend up on the roof, and after removing some thatch and tiles, lower him down into the very room where Jesus is standing. When Jesus sees this happening He praises the faith of all concerned and forgives the paralytic man his sins. After mutterings among listeners about only God being able to forgive sins, Jesus points out that forgiveness achieves exactly the same result as telling this man to get up and walk. He then tells the man to do just that, and the paralytic man is miraculously able to walk.

Many more pictures relating to the Bible can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

The Miracle of Fatima

Posted in Miracle, Mystery, Religion on Monday, 13 June 2011

This edited article about miraculous visions originally appeared in Look and Learn issue number 967 published on 20 September 1980.

The morning of 13th May, 1917, was peaceful and sunny and the three children quietly herding sheep enjoyed their task. Suddenly, however, the plateau near the village of Fatima, in central Portugal, was struck by two brilliant flashes of light. The startled youngsters gazed around them in alarm.

The illumination came from a gnarled oak tree a short distance away. In the centre of a great ball of light, stood the figure of a calm and beautiful woman. The frightened children – ten-year-old Lucia dos Santos and her cousins, Fransisco, aged nine, and Jacito, seven – cowered back.

But the woman, a halo over her head, held out her arms and spoke gently but firmly. “Do not be afraid,” she said. “I will not harm you. You know who I am. Come to this place on the 13th of each month until October. Then I shall reveal a terrible secret to you.”

The vision began to fade and soon there was no sphere of light and no beautiful stranger. Lucia and her cousins hurried down to the village and told their parents of their weird experience. “We saw the Virgin Mary and she spoke to us as if we were her children,” said Lucia. “She is coming to talk to us again.”

Lucia’s story split the village into two conflicting groups. The first group thought that the three children were telling blasphemous lies. The shocked villagers advised the youngsters’ parents to punish them for taking the Holy Mother’s name in vain.

But the second group – which consisted of 50 equally pious men and women – believed the children’s seemingly incredible story. Exactly four weeks later, at noon on 13th June, they accompanied the three cousins up to the plateau and waited to see if the vision would return.

The children knelt and said their rosaries and, as they did so, the Virgin Mary appeared to them. “She came from the east like a glowing messenger from God,” Lucia said afterwards. “Only Fransisco, Jacito and myself could see her, for she had chosen us to reveal her secrets of the future.”

But this time the message was a gloomy one. According to Lucia, the Virgin Mary said that the First World War – then in its fourth year – was only the first of several disasters which were going to afflict humanity in the 20th century.

Soon after the war ended, forecast the Virgin, a terrible illness would rage through Europe and thousands of people would lose their lives. Among them would be Fransisco and Jacito. The two boys later became victims of the influenza epidemic which swept Europe in the winter of 1918-1919,

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Jesus heals a leper – a miracle

Posted in Bible, Miracle, Religion on Wednesday, 18 May 2011

In the Gospel of Matthew the evangelist records a whole series of miraculous healings, and the least remarked upon is often the briefest in mention, that of the solitary leper who approaches Jesus when He comes down from the mountainside with His disciples, followed by great crowds.

miracle, picture, image, illustration

Jesus heals the solitary leper, by Clive Uptton

The leper simply approaches, kneels and worships Him, asking “Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean”; Jesus replies simply, “I will; be thou clean”, and asks him to tell no-one but to go to show himself to the priest and make an offering of thanksgiving in the temple. It is a snapshot of utter faith on the part of the afflicted which is rewarded by the unquestioning and healing touch of the Lord.

Many more pictures relating to the Bible can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

The healing of Bartimaeus – a miracle

Posted in Bible, Miracle, Religion on Monday, 16 May 2011

Bartimaeus is one of the very few named people in the Bible to be cured by a miracle performed by Jesus.

Bartimaeus, picture, image, illustration

Bartimaeus is brought to Christ, by Harold Copping

He is, as his name tells us, the son of Timaeus, and is in the area of Jericho, a city through which Jesus and the disciples pass on their way to Jerusalem not long before the Passion.  Jesus has already healed  a blind man, and this incident may well have happened because Bartimaeus had already heard of the previous miracles and especially the one concerning the man cured of blindness. So as they and a large crowd pass by , the blind Bartomaeus, who is begging by the roadside, calls out to the Lord for mercy. He is told to be quiet, and everyone tries to ignore his calls, but Jesus asks them to bring him over to Him. When asked what he wants, Bartomaeus replies that he wants to see Jesus, whereupon he is cured of his blindness by his faith, as Jesus tells him.

Many more pictures relating to the Bible can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

The Canaanite woman – a miracle

Posted in Bible, Miracle, Religion on Sunday, 15 May 2011

After feeding the five thousand Jesus and His disciples travel towards Galilee and pass through the region of Tyre and Sidon, where Jesus encounters the Canaanite woman.

Canaanite woman, picture, image, illustration

The Canaanite woman appeals to Christ, by Harold Copping

She is greatly distressed and calls out to Him for help, appealing for mercy and telling Him that her daughter “is greatly vexed with the Devil”. The disciples urge Him to send her away since she continues to call after them, but Jesus reminds them that He is “sent to help the lost sheep of Israel”, and after hearing her plea for help, praises her for her great faith and grants her wish, “and her daughter was made whole from that very hour” (Matthew 15: 28).

Many more pictures relating to the Bible can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

The Brazen Serpent – a miracle

Posted in Bible, Miracle, Religion on Friday, 13 May 2011

When Moses leads the Israelites out of Captivity they travel from Mount Hor past the Red Sea towards Edom, and in this wilderness the people do little but curse Moses and complain of their ordeal, regretting their great escape from slavery and wishing to return to Egypt.

Brazen serpent, picture, image, illustration

The Brazen Serpent cures those poisoned by snakebites, by Harold Copping

So as usual God has to chasten them with a suitable punishment, and sends snakes into the barren land to torment His hungry and thirsty people. Many are fatally bitten, and panic and remorse spread throughout their encampments, so that eventually they are compelled to go to Moses and ask him to pray to God for an end to their ordeal. Moses does just that, and God tells him to

make a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. (Numbers 21:8 )

Many more pictures relating to the Bible can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

The Ten Lepers – a miracle

Posted in Bible, Miracle, Religion on Thursday, 12 May 2011

Jesus and His disciples are passing by a small village near Jerusalem when they see a group of lepers, set apart from the villagers by law, to prevent the spread of that terrible disease.

Miracle, picture, image, illustration

Jesus commends the tenth leper, by Clive Uptton

They cannot approach Him so call out for attention “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us”. Jesus goes over to the men and simply tells them to go and show themselves to the priests. They take this to mean that they have been cured, since they will need the priests’ approval before rejoining their community. So as they run to do this, when they see their skin is made whole and new again, they are all overjoyed. The priests can find no blemish and all the men return to their own people, all but one that is. The tenth leper is a Samaritan, despised by the Jews, and he returns to Jesus in order to thank Him. Christ observes that they were ten and asks where the other nine are, but no-one knows; He then turns to this one man, telling him that it is his faith that has cured him.

Many more pictures relating to the Bible can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.