So the December 21st 2012 approaches. I remember now that the well-known “Little Buddha” had said, in 2006, that he went to be alone to meditate, and that he would return in six years. He decided so a few years ago. Interesting coincidence, I must say. His name is Ram Bahadur Bomjon. Many believe that he is the reincarnation of Siddhārtha Gautama, the historical Bouddha himself, although he does not want to be called Bouddha. He sat at the foot of a tree, and he didn’t move. He meditates. He did not eat or drink for many months or years. This event reminds me of many other stories that support my belief that God exists and that there is a “life” after death.
Let me introduce some of these extraordinary stories.
MARTHE ROBIN: ANOTHER VICTIM SOUL
[The following article from the Voice of Padre Pio speaks of another soul, who like Padre Pio, offered herself to God on behalf of others.]
She neither ate, drank nor slept, but lived for seven decades and carried on a busy apostolate.
Padre Pio passed to his heavenly reward in September 1968.
At that moment a sister soul, a laywoman who also suffered the stigmata and the Passion of Christ was still living her mission. She lived in the Galaure Valley in the southern half of France. It would seem that she and the Padre had much in common.
Last year, just after my biography, The Pierced Priest was published, I was interviewed on a French radio station. They were fascinated to hear more about Padre Pio and I realised that perhaps he is not quite as well known there as in some places because France had its own ‘Padre Pio’. She was Marthe Robin. The interviewer was surprised that Marthe, in turn, is very little known so far in English-speaking countries.
In researching Padre’s life, I understood that he was in some way part of that “Legion of Little Souls” that St Therese of Lisieux so confidently prophesied would follow her and continue her ‘Little Way.’ As well as the ‘explosion’ of apparitions with which the Lord seemed to be gracing this century, I understood that in his mercy He was also inspiring chosen souls to become ‘victims’ with Him to appeal to the Divine Mercy of our Father on this apparently Godless age.
Padre Pio was born in 1887. We know that as a student he read the newly-published ‘autobiography’ of St Therese. (He was also much influenced by another devotee of Therese, that incomparable little flower herself, St Gemma Galgani.)
Therese died in 1897. I think she somehow in her last months experienced that near-despair which would be the lot of so many of our contemporaries in the twentieth century. Marthe Robin was born in 1902.
Her only food was the Holy Eucharist
From the age of 28 she was completely paralysed and bedridden. At first she still had the power to move thumb and forefinger of one hand whereby she could still tell her beads. Eventually this, too, was lost to her and she was completely immobile apart from her head which she could move slightly. Since the previous year, at the age of 25, she could not eat anything at all. And from the age of 26 and her total paralysis she couldn’t even take a sip of water. When doctors tried to force some water down her throat, it merely came down her nostrils.
For the next 53 years Marthe’s only food was the Holy Eucharist. Once a week her spiritual father brought her the Sacred Host. On more than one occasion both he and other visiting priests, saw the Host apparently leap from their hands and fly directly to her mouth. Even a bishop testified that he saw it apparently dissolve once it passed her lips.
Her Holy Communion was weekly. Once she had received Jesus she went immediately into ecstasy and then began her weekly re-living of Christ’s Passion and crucifixion. The stigmata and the scourging, the crowning with thorns appeared on her body. The whole crucifixion seemed to be re-enacted on this little countrywoman and from the moment of Christ’s death on the Cross she too appeared dead. Thus she would remain until ‘called back’ to life under obedience by her spiritual father on the Sunday. (This would eventually become the Monday and then even the Tuesday following the Friday crucifixion.)
I said that for 53 years Marthe ate not a crumb of food. Neither did she sleep. She was in constant prayer and intercession for the world. On the days when she was not reliving the Passion she would receive a stream of visitors. Like Padre Pio she had the gift of seeing into people’s souls and would very simply tell them what they most needed to hear. Also like the Padre she could not abide anyone coming to see her out of mere curiosity or expecting to ‘have their fortunes told.’
One famous French philosopher and member of the prestigious Academie Francaise, Jean Guitton, wrote how he was bowled over on meeting this extraordinary little woman on a visit to her family’s small farmhouse where she lived in a bed in one small room. As a renowned intellectual, Guitton was fascinated by the fact that she never slept. He concluded that she was a “living brain” which was constantly active. Soon, of course, he realised that she was “more, much more, than that.”
“I’m worried about my goat!”
Another well-known French philosopher, Marcel Clement, remembers his first meeting with Marthe during the second world war. He had heard about her, of course. So many were the questions he had to put to this extraordinary woman who, while never listening to radio or TV or seeing newspapers, seemed to know everything that was happening in the world. Full of intellectual, philosophical questions, he was shown into the small dim room.
After a while of silence Marthe began. “Bonjour M. Clement.”
“Did you see my goat on the way in, M. Clement?”
Somewhat surprised, the young philosopher confirmed that he had.
“I’m worried about my goat, M. Clement.”
“Ah, yes Marthe?”
“Yes M. Clement, I think he has a liver problem.”
By now, the young sophisticate was somewhat loss for words!
Marthe continued. “Yes? I think he has a liver problem and I think the same thing is wrong with Father Finet (her spiritual director) and I’m worried about him.”
That was the first meeting between the stigmatist and the philosopher who became a lifelong friend. Thirty years later he asked her, “Marthe do you remember our first meeting? You spoke to me about your goat.”
“Yes,” she said, “You needed to be brought down to earth and the reality of everyday life and human concerns.”
The spiritual father Marthe was concerned about in that incident had been sent to her by Our Blessed Lady. Like Padre Pio, Marthe’s mission did not rest purely on the spiritual plane but was to find a concrete expression of charity.
She was directed to found a school, first for girls and then one for boys, in her native village. All this she directed and led to the smallest detail from her bed in her darkened little room! But more was to follow. She was then told to found a community which would welcome retreatants and which would be a home of “light, charity and love.” It became known as the ‘Foyer de Charite’ and there are now some 70 houses and communities throughout the world.
Our Lady gave very specific instructions about what was to happen in these houses. Each one was to be led by a priest, ‘the Father’, and the retreats were to be in complete silence apart from the prayers and the preaching of the Father which would lead to a complete renewal in the Faith of the participants. And they were to be five days long. Three days was “not enough to change a soul.” The retreats were, and are, based very much on the teaching of that great Marian apostle, St. Louis de Montfort. Indeed, one time after an ecstasy a copy of his Treatise on True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin was found on Marthe’s bed. No one knew where it had come from. Marthe told them our Lady left it!
Like Padre Pio and others who live a high degree of union with Our Blessed Lord, Marthe also had to suffer assaults from the Devil. As in a similar incident with Padre Pio, our Lady assisted Marthe and one time when she was thrown onto the floor, herself placed a cushion under Marthe’s head.
Like Padre and other truly holy souls, Marthe was also very discreet about her supernatural experiences. But she did often speak to close friends about her special relationship with St Therese of Lisieux. On more than one occasion she confirmed that St Therese had appeared to her three times. She said that Therese had told her that her work, like that of Therese, would be much greater after her death than while she was alive in her Carmel of Lisieux. And Therese said that Marthe would have a great mission to continue in her ‘Little Way.’
“For your beloved souls, the priests”
An offering made by Marthe in 1939 (renewing her Act of Abandonment of 1925) echoes so closely that made by Padre Pio. She said, “Lord, I offer myself, I give myself again to You for all the souls in the world, for the sanctity of your beloved souls the priests, especially for those whose sins I carry in my heart.
“That through me, Lord, by my prayer, by my love, by my sufferings, by my immolation, by any exterior actions I may have, that by my whole life their apostolate will be more effective, more fruitful, more holy, more divine.”
Another paragraph of that offering would surely have struck a chord with Padre Pio, who offered the Mass with such love, devotion and tenderness that he would often weep. Marthe prayed for her beloved priests, “May their Mass be less of a sumptuous exterior ceremony during which they are busy, distracted, distant, and more an act of profound tenderness.”
And like Padre Pio, Marthe seemed to be able to be – or at least see what was happening – elsewhere. She could tell her spiritual father, exactly what had happened that day during the retreat in the Foyer in the village. She could tell him which parts of the talks he gave were good and where he might have been a bit distracted for example. And this ability and concern for the well-being of the retreatants reached down to the smallest detail. She would point out clearly to the members of the community if there had been any lack in charity or if the silence had been broken. She would say if the retreatants needed more heating or if something was not good enough with the meals.
When Marthe died aged 79, after suffering the Passion and Crucifixion a last time in February 1981, over 250 priests and several bishops concelebrated her Requiem. Her work of the Foyers de Charite continues and grows.
Thank God who in his infinite Mercy has given us such souls as our beloved Padre Pio, St Gemma Galgani, Marthe Robin and who knows how many hidden ‘victims’ to intercede with Him to the Father for mercy in these times we live in.
The very existence of a Padre Pio, a Marthe Robin, surely proves once again the “loving mercy of the Heart of our God.” He cannot change. He sent his only Son to die for us. The Holy Spirit, our Advocate, inspires certain chosen souls to identify in a special way in the redemptive work of our Saviour. They are led and helped particularly by she who stood by the Cross, Our Blessed Mother of Mercy.
What a mighty God who in this century of atheism, rejection of his ways, mass murder, and all sorts of blasphemy and sacrilege should respond with grace upon grace. May we respond, with our brothers and sisters those victim souls, before it is too late. May St Therese Padre Pio, Marthe Robin intercede for us and inspire us.
As far as I remember, in the TV show I saw a few years ago, it seems that everyone visits her virtually every day. All the villagers have heard of her. She can’t get out of bed, she can’t simply move. She can’t eat except sacramental bread, also called Eucharist. She constantly needs assistance. Her life is sad. When she died, she weighs between 55 and 66 pounds (Wikipedia). Unfortunately, I cannot find the english version of the video. The version (below) is the only one I can find.
Luiz Antonio Alencastro Gasparetto is what we call a medium artist. His performance surpassed all I have ever seen.
The man shudders, violently, as if in the grip of a force beyond himself.
His head lurches back, then sideways, an untamed forelock of dark brown hair flailing at the brow. Under the drawing-table, bare toes clench, straighten, clench again, frantically seeking a grip on the carpet.
Over the canvas, the man’s hands move quicker than the eye can follow. Pastel crayons, seemingly selected at random, swoop and dart, now in the left hand, now in the right, now in both at once.
As the man works, his eyes are tightly shut, his expression a tenuous alliance of grimace and grin.
In precisely 1 minute and 35 seconds, the drawing is done. The man tosses the canvas to the floor, face down. He pauses just long enough to grab a second canvas, then sets to work again at an equally furious pace.
Six Works in 15 Minutes
Within 15 minutes, six canvases are produced: four in pastels; two in acrylics, the latter done without brushes, with bare hands and fists working paint dabs squeezed out of tubes.
The first drawing is held up. It is recognizably Renoir. Then there is a Manet, a Toulouse-Lautrec, a Modigliani. . . . Later in the week, there will be a Picasso, a Goya, a Van Gogh. . . .
For now, there is a gasp.
“This is hard to believe,” an admirer tells the artist. “How do you do it?”
Luiz Antonio Gasparetto smiles. “I don’t do it,” he says. ” They do.”
Gasparetto calls himself a “spirit channeler,” a medium through which about 50 Old Masters choose to work.
When responding to their dictates, he is not in a trance, he says. “No, I’m aware of everything. But I’m just watching. They moved my hands and arms; they put the colors in my hands; they mix them. . . .”
They Chose Him
The Old Masters–who Gasparetto says chose him, not the other way around–communicate their wishes both “verbally” and telepathically. “I hear them, yes. But we can also talk in telepathy. I speak six languages, but since they’ve been with me 25 years, they’ve learned Portuguese too.”
A lanky, earthy, 39-year-old, Gasparetto is in Southern California this month not to demonstrate his artistic talent–he insists he has none–but to spread the message of the “discarnate” artists: The message of life after death.
After the exhibition/seance, Gasparetto fields questions:
Question: Are there times you can’t–or won’t–channel?
Answer: Yes. We (he and the artists) have a kind of agreement: I only accept the invitations \o7 they\f7 want. We’re very clear on that.
Q: Why do you occasionally open your eyes?
A: I’m only human. Sometimes I want to see what I’m doing. But when I interfere too much, they close my eyes and turn my head.
Q: How do you feel during the demonstrations? Does it exhaust you?
A: No. It’s pure joy. It’s orgasmic.
Q. Do you see the artists in their physical forms?
A: Yes. I remember a German man asking that. Then he says, “They must have been dead a long time. Do they smell?”
Later, over coffee in the church basement, the conversation is spirited.
“Sure I believe the masters were painting,” Jonelle White says. “I saw it. I started to get chills. . . .”
“I’m very skeptical by nature,” Gary Shapiro says. “I’m a contractor, down to Earth. But I can sense when entities are working through someone. They were here.”
“Something extrasensory was happening,” avers actor Dennis Weaver. “I was watching from behind, wondering what all this paint was going to be, and all of a sudden a \o7 face\f7 appeared. . . .”
At UCLA’s Dickson Art Center, an art instructor, an artist of note, is shown a book with reproductions of Gasparetto’s work. He is unimpressed.
“It clearly looks like an artist doing a stab at each style,” says the instructor, who asked not to be identified. “He gets reasonably close but no more than that.”
UCLA art historian Robin Strauss takes a softer view: “There certainly is a flair to it. It may be just an ability to copy, but he definitely has a technique, a great deal of dexterity.”
The instructor disagrees: “My students could do these. I’ve had some do assignments based on studies of the Masters who come a lot closer.”
But in 90 seconds?
“Of course not. Why would anyone want to?”
Without brushes? With either hand? With both hands simultaneously? With a foot? (Gasparetto has “channeled” several artists through his feet.)
“Well . . . ” the instructor says.
In a dark room? With eyes closed?
“Jeez,” the instructor says, “I don’t know. I can barely tie my shoes with my eyes closed. Tell him for me: ‘Go to it!’ ”
Gasparetto speaks of the artists conversationally, totally without pretense, as one would describe an old college friend or a drinking buddy. He has been channeling since he was 13, he says.
“It took a while for them to learn how to use me,” he says. “I was a new–well, a new medium. Now I can work, through them, with brushes. I do it sometimes when we’re alone and have the time. […]
“Un artiste médium canalise les grands peintres décédés”
“Luiz Antonio Gasparetto (psicopictografia)”
Now we come to the famous Little Buddha. He made two speeches (see Wikipedia). But what about its feats of inedia ? This passage is enlightening.
In 2006, Discovery Channel showed a 45-minute documentary titled The Boy With Divine Powers. One of the aims was to establish whether Ram was indeed abstaining from all sustenance, water included, by filming him continuously for four days and nights. On their first attempt, in January 2006, the film crew was required to stay outside a guarded barbed-wire fence, and their camera’s infrared capabilities did not pick up evidence of a body at the base of the tree where Bomjon sat during their non-stop recording. On a second attempt a few weeks later, however, the film crew was able to film Ram continuously for 96 hours, day and night, during which time he did not change his position and did not drink any fluids or eat any food. As Discovery Channel’s commentator concluded: “After 96 hours of filming, Ram has defied modern science by continuing his meditation and remaining alive.” According to scientists on the documentary, an average person would be expected to die from kidney failure after four days without drinking any fluids (although cases of inedia lasting for a whole week have been observed and the recorded Guinness World Record of inedia is eighteen days). The boy showed no signs of classical physical deterioration caused by dehydration. A close inspection by the film crew of the area around the tree where Ram was sitting revealed no hidden food supply or water pipes.
“The Boy With Divine Powers (1 of 5) Documentary About Buddha Boy”
“The Boy With Divine Powers (2 of 5) Documentary About Buddha Boy”
“The Boy With Divine Powers (3 of 5) Documentary About Buddha Boy”
“The Boy With Divine Powers (4 of 5) Documentary About Buddha Boy”
“The Boy With Divine Powers (5 of 5) Documentary About Buddha Boy”
The case of Prahlad Jani (part 4/5) seems to be highly controversial. Nevertheless I highly recommend to watch carefully the third part of the documentary, from 6:36 to 7:04, as well as the fifth part of the documentary, from 3:50 to 5:00.
The images speak for themselves.