The famous brain surgeon, Dr. Ben Carson, a presidential contender, recounted the time at Yale when he was failing chemistry and begged the Lord for help, then fell asleep. He had planned to pull an “all-nighter.” He was desperate.
As he told a national prayer breakfast, “You can’t be a pre-med and fail in chemistry.” He prayed, saying, “Lord, medicine is the only thing I ever wanted to do… Would you please tell me what is it you really want me to do?” In his sleep came a dream and in the dream he was alone in an auditorium and a “nebulous figure” was writing chemistry problems on a blackboard.
“When I went to take the test the next morning, it was like The Twilight Zone,” Dr. Carson recounted. “I opened that book and I recognized the first problem as one of the ones I dreamed about! And the next, and the next, and the next, and I aced the exam and got a good mark in chemistry.”
When the event organizers unfurled their “Father Genocide” banner, Serra supporters had already surrounded the statue’s pedestal.
Thanks to the presence of a small band of Catholics, a “Tear Down Junipero Serra” event in front of Ventura City Hall on Saturday concluded with the bronze statue of Padre Serra standing unharmed.
Up and down California, mobs are destroying statues of Junipero Serra, canonized in 2015, along with statues of other prominent and not-so-prominent historical figures. Vandals toppled and destroyed statues of the saint in San Francisco and Los Angeles on Friday and Saturday.
Acknowledging the “groundswell” of enthusiasm for removing the statue, Ventura mayor Matt LaVere, San Buenaventura mission pastor Father Tom Elewaut, and the tribal chair of the Barbareno/Ventureno Band of Mission Indians Julie Tumamait Stenslie released a joint statement ahead of the scheduled Tear Down Junipero Serra event.
“The three of us are confident that a peaceful resolution regarding the Father Junipero Serra statue can be reached, without uncivil discourse and character assassination, much less vandalism of a designated landmark,” the statement said.
Junipero Serra founded the city of Ventura in 1782 when he established the mission of San Buenaventura, and his statue has stood in front of the city hall since 1936. The city installed a bronze statue in 1989 to replace the deteriorating original.
On Saturday, when the event organizers unfurled their “Father Genocide” banner, Serra supporters had already discreetly surrounded the statue’s pedestal and held up signs reading: “I ♥ Padre Serra,” “Save Serra,” and “Serra: Defender of the Chumash.” Father Elewaut and a handful of supporters stood across the street, praying.
COMMENTARY: Pope Francis June 19 approved a miracle attributed to intervention of the Dr. Jose Gregorio Hernandez (1864-1919), paving the way for his beatification.Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino
“Venezuela is celebrating,” as Cardinal Baltazar Porras, apostolic administrator of Caracas, Venezuela, expressed it as he announced the approval by Rome of the miracle presented for the beatification of Dr. José Gregorio Hernandez, from Caracas.
A great joy is felt by Venezuelan Catholics, a great number of Venezuelan non-Catholics and the universal Church, as well, since Pope Francis approved on June 19, the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a miracle attributed to the intercession of our beloved José Gregorio Hernandez.
The miracle involved a 9-year-old girl in the plains of southern Venezuela, who suffered a shotgun wound to the side of her head at close range. It took her father time and trouble to get her to a provincial hospital, where it was doubted she would survive and certainly would be severely disabled. Within 10 days she was walking and talking normally, apparently due to the intervention of José Gregorio Hernandez.
This decree indicates that through his divine intervention, our Lord God has confirmed the extraordinary virtues and human and Christian magnitude of this great Venezuelan doctor, who died in 1919, and has opened the doors to his beatification. All the requisites have been fulfilled. Thanks be to God!