InFormation (2021) Moments in Time 

Moments: Miracles by Relics. Are You Sure?

St. Louis Globe-Democrat, April 30, 1876

Click on the image to enlarge it.

Click to enlarge.Note the date, 1876. Edison had just invented the mimeograph. The transcontinental railroad was finished. Mark Twain published The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Rutherford B Hayes was elected President and the black vote was suppressed. Custer was defeated at Little Bighorn.

Begun in 1865, the Passionists dedicated a monastery in 1876, St. Michael's, in West Hoboken, New Jersey, now known as Union City.

This article describes "many startling miracles" that occurred here. Pieces of bone, garments, and bits of hair, presumably obtained after the death of St. Paul of the Cross [In the article it refers to Paul as Saint Paul of the Passion.], the Order's founder, on October 4, 1775. People with infirmities came and were blessed with those relics. Fr. Viutalian of Italian descent said, "We don't talk about it to outsiders or make any noise about it...and it does no good to publish it in the newspapers." As an example, the good father describes two men from Poughkeepsie, one of which had fits and was cured. No records were kept of the identities of the cured.

A woman was blessed by the relics and told to recite prayers, some of which she didn't know. She said, "Why, father, I can say the Lord's Prayer but I don't know how to say the Hail Mary. I'm a Protestant!" She eventually converted to Catholicism. Perhaps, in the mind of Fr. Virtalian, that was a miracle as well. Further stories abound. In the latter part of the article, the reporter's skepticism is noted.

Click to enlargeInformation provided in the Passionist Historical Archives, tells the story of St. Michael's and its tragic destruction on May 31, 1934, when fire destroyed the edifice.

Take a step back into this Moment in Time to appreciate the full context of this article.