Saints empowered by God to raise the dead to life
SAINTS WHO RAISED THE DEAD:
True Stories of Four Hundred Resurrection Miracles
by Father Albert J. Hebert SM
(Tan Books, 1986, republished 2004, softcover, 335pp, $29.95. ISBN: 978-0-89555-798-8. Available from Freedom Publishing)
Father Albert Hebert, an American Marist, has been a prolific writer of popular and accessible works of Catholic devotion.
In Saints Who Raised the Dead, a work first published in 1986 and reprinted by popular demand in 2004, Fr Hebert has placed in one volume hundreds of accounts of Old Testament prophets, New Testament figures and canonised saints down the ages who were empowered by God to raise the dead to life.
The Old Testament recounts the prophets Elijah and Elisha raising dead individuals to life. In the Gospels, Jesus – dramatically demonstrating His credentials as Second Person of the Trinity – raises His friend Lazarus and the widow's son at Naim after each had been deceased for a significant period of time. We also read Jesus' words to his Apostles, telling them to perform such great deeds in His name (Matthew 10:8).
After Jesus' Resurrection from the dead and Ascension into Heaven, the Apostles Peter and Paul were granted the power of miracles, including raising people to life. All these accounts are presented in Saints Who Raised the Dead.
The sheer number of resurrection miracles recounted by Fr Hebert is amazing. Even Catholics who have read widely the lives of the saints may be surprised at how many were given this striking power from God.
In his introduction, Fr Hebert assures his readers that he has included only miracles of proven or widely-accepted authenticity.
These miracles are not a testimony to the greatness of the saints, but rather a testimony to the power, providence and glory of God. For the miracles are His actions, mediated through some of His chosen souls in order to win people to Himself.
In tough times, some Catholics, including priests and theologians, tend to downplay the miraculous. However, through His miracles, God has attempted to make it easier for people to accept His presence in their lives. We need to be reminded of God's providence and the reality that God is present in the world which He created and redeemed.
God hears our prayers and sometimes allows miracles to confirm our faith. Fr Hebert tells of 400 cases where God allowed His chosen instruments to raise dead people to life as a witness to His glory and power.