November 4, 2013
From miracle-witness.blogspot.com - By all appearances, Carmelo Cortez is not a man who grabs one's attention. He seems quiet, mild-mannered, and not exactly someone who has a mesmerizing story to tell. But with Carmelo Cortez, appearances are deceiving.
In June of 1991, Carmelo was 21 and living in a squatters' area of Quezon City in the Philippines. Soon after being given a picture of the Madonna and Child, he heard a soft voice, along with the sound of beautiful music. He followed the voice and found that it originated from the picture in which Blessed Mother was now weeping tears of blood. Baby Jesus also appeared to be catching the drops in one hand.
Two days later, Carmelo heard the music again, and when he followed it, he met the Mother of God, who began giving him messages. Since then, he has spoken to her many times. Over a six-year period in the 1990s, for example, she appeared to him 101 times, asking him each time to "pray for priests." To Carmelo, she is known as Mother of Eucharist and Grace.
The skeptic might easily dismiss those unproven claims. However, Carmelo Cortez backs up his words with an amazing mystical ministry, convincing even cynics of the miraculous power of the Madonna and her Divine Child. Most famously, Carmelo has gained international attention for the astonishingly detailed images on rose petals that quickly materialize at his prayer services. I have seen close to 100 of them, and each one seems to be unique. However, other miracles seem to effortlessly pass through Carmello's hands, including healings, turning drinking water into rose oil, and transforming rose petals into Eucharistic bread.
For more information on Carmelo and additional pictures of those miraculous rose petals, go here, here, and here. For now, however, I will describe the process by which these miracles occur.
Carmelo is deeply Catholic, does not seek contributions, and is reportedly endorsed by a variety of bishops. The New York service I attended -- after credible Christian friends encouraged me to fly from Florida to witness it -- began with a Rosary and then Holy Mass. As suggested, I brought with me long stem, white roses as a gift to Blessed Mother. However, in order to fit them into my luggage, I had to cut the stems. Later, it was easy for me to see that my roses had been placed at the altar (right), along with the others. This confirmed for my skeptical side that rigged roses were not being substituted. After Mass, I was still wondering who Carmelo was, since I had not seen a picture of him. Then, a quiet, unassuming man emerged. He asked for the assistance of two priests and another man, who I believe was a deacon. Unceremoniously, Carmelo then began tearing rose petals off the stems, from the flowers that had been brought by the congregation. Those petals were tossed into a bowl with no recognition that they were anything special.
Then Carmelo asked the priests to crack open typical bottles of drinking water. From that, we could tell that the bottles had not been opened, previously. For further evidence against tampering, he asked the priests to drink the water, and they did. Then they poured the water into the bowl that held the rose petals. Carmelo asked one of the priests -- a particularly holy one -- for his Rosary, and then submerged it into the bowl.
Without delay, Carmelo asked his assistants to bring the water around to all the congregants so that they could either touch the water or submerge their Rosaries in it. I was surprised to find that the water had become very oily to the touch and very fragrant. I dropped my Rosary in, and only later realized that it must have been at this time that my Rosary's silver chain turned golden.
Soon, the congregation was lining up to receive rose petal gifts. As we stood, side by side, Carmelo moved along the line. As I remember it, I was praying when he approached. I don't think he said anything audibly but may have stroked a cross on my forehead. Then he handed me a petal and signaled me to place it in my shirt, under my collar. Prayerfully, one by one, we returned to our pews.
Then, only seconds later, people began pulling out their rose petals as sounds of amazement sounds of amazement were heard. As we shared our petals, a tremendous number of holy images were seen when the white petals were held up to the light. Sometimes, people were shocked to find that images of patron saints that they were particularly fond of could be seen on their petals.
The evening defies explanation, unless one is willing to admit that we love a God of miracles!