This page is not for everyone! Many of these rituals are going to seem crazy but understand,  It shows how devoted many of us can be to our faith. Think about it....at one point in history men thought pushing someone under water to cast out demons or to baptize was silly. The idea that water, no matter how holy, can forgive you for the greatest, most fundamental sin seems odd to some, especially when it's normally done to babies who have no say in the matter. It puts a lot of faith in water and not so much in free will. The pilgrims didn't grasp why the indians worshipped the mountains, the trees, the animals... So many slaughtered because their faith simply was not like that of the pilgrims. Then you have hollywood that has made us all think Witches fly on brooms, have green bumpy faces and worship the devil. So much misunderstanding and disrespect to our fellow man. 

Transubstantiation Means That Every Time You Receive Communion, You're Eating Christ

 

Transubstantiation is a big word for something you probably already know—during the Eucharist, when a believer is given bread and wine (or a wafer and wine), it's not really bread and wine at all. That it is actually the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ, despite still looking like bread and wine. And presumably it must still taste like bread and wine, because it seems to go down pretty smooth.

But if transubstantiation means that wafer is actually the flesh of Jesus Christ, it also means that eating the flesh of someone is totally okay. As long as he's holy or something. 

BABY THROWING?

The Grishneshwar Temple in Indian state of Maharashtra is the site of a very unusual – and potentially dangerous – religious ritual. As the name suggests, babies between the ages of one and two are thrown from a 50-foot tower, with men positioned beneath to catch the babies on sheets.

The 700 year old ceremony is believed to make children more intelligent, luckier and healthier and is practiced by both Muslims and Hindus in the region.

WEAR A NECKLACE TO KEEP FROM

DYING IN A FIRE OR DROWNING?

The Scapular is a type of necklace worn by many Catholics. It is worn across the scapular bones (hence its name) and it consists of two pieces of wool connected by string. One piece of wool rests on the back while the other piece rests on the chest. When a Catholic wishes to wear the scapular, a Priest says a set of special prayers and blesses the scapular. This only occurs the first time a person wears one.

For wearing the scapular, Catholics believe that Mary, the mother of Jesus, will ensure that they do not die a horrible death (for example by fire or drowning) and that they will have access to a priest for confession and the last rites before they die. As a condition for wearing the scapular and receiving these benefits, the Catholic must say certain prayers every day. The Catholic Encyclopedia says this:

According to a pious tradition the Blessed Virgin appeared to St. Simon Stock at Cambridge, England, on Sunday, 16 July, 1251. In answer to his appeal for help for his oppressed order, she appeared to him with a scapular in her hand and said: “Take, beloved son this scapular of thy order as a badge of my confraternity and for thee and all Carmelites a special sign of grace; whoever dies in this garment, will not suffer everlasting fire. It is the sign of salvation, a safeguard in dangers, a pledge of peace and of the covenant”.

The brown scapular, known as the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is the most commonly worn scapular, though others do exist. When the scapular is worn out it is either buried or burnt and a new one is worn in its place.

Ever heard of a SKY BURIAL?

Tibetan Sky burials were an exclusive and unusual religious ceremony in Tibet. The practice involved dissecting the deceased’s body and scattering the pieces on a mountaintop to decompose or be consumed by birds.

Most Tibetans follow Buddhist traditions, which dictate the human body is merely a vessel and can be discarded, thus why the practice was popular. The practice was ultimately outlawed, but can still be performed with the family’s permission.

MAGIC RING?

Hematite is said to create a protective shield around the person using it. ... Some people have experienced that when hematite absorbs too much negative energy, the stone may either break or disappear from its owner for a while.

The Flagrum is a type of scourge with small hard objects attached to the length of its cords. It is traditionally used to whip oneself (self-flagellation) and is most commonly found in conservative religious orders. The flagrum is held in one hand and thrown over the shoulder in order to cause the cords to strike the flesh. The purpose of self-flagellation is voluntary penance and mortification of the flesh (a safeguard against committing further sins).

The most famous Saint to use the flagrum is probably Saint John Vianney, who would give his parishoners very light penances in confession and then flog himself in privacy for their benefit (it is believed by Catholics that acts of penance can be offered for the sins of other living people or the souls of the dead). When Saint John Vianney died, the walls of his bedroom had spatterings of blood on them from his extreme use of the flagrum.

Cemetery with goat-horn gravestones

At the cemetery of the isolated village of Nokhur, in TURKMENISTAN nearly every grave is marked by a wooden post adorned with the horns of a mountain goat.

They are thought to fight off evil spirits, and help the soul of the deceased to ensure a safe passage to heaven. Aside from their appearances at the village cemetery, skulls of mountain goats are found at some of the houses’ doorways of the village as well.

The Nokhuris, the mountain tribe of the region, have always considered mountain goats sacred animals, admiring their strength and endurance. The reverence of mountain goats clearly predate Islamic traditions, and although today the Nokhuris are devout Muslims, parts of the ancient belief system has continued to survive.

 HITLER & THE OCCULT?

The object pictured above has many names, such as the Hofburg Spear, the Holy Lance, the Spear of Longinus or the Spear of Destiny. It’s a great object to choose for this series because it bridges several ages of history, from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. It clearly relates to an even earlier event, the crucifixion of Jesus Christ in about 33 CE, though I choose the words “relates to” rather than “dates from.”

The legend is this: supposedly this weapon was wielded by a Roman soldier, said to have been named Longinus, who thrust it into Christ’s side while he hung on the cross to verify he was dead. Christian legend holds that a mixture of blood and water poured from the wound, which some recognize as a miracle. The spear later became a holy relic. This particular object definitely appeared at the court of Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor, who reigned in the early 10th century. Later it became part of the official imperial regalia of the Holy Roman Empire. It was also altered and re-worked various times, and it’s uncertain what pieces of the spear–if any–really date from the 1st century CE, except that the metal spike you see in the middle of the blade is universally claimed to have been one of the nails used to bind Christ to the cross. The Hofburg Spear was the subject of an infamous 1973 book called The Spear of Destiny, by occult author Trevor Ravenscroft, who claimed not only that the Spear of Longinus had mystical powers, but that Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime believed in these powers and were obsessed with obtaining the Spear. According to Ravenscroft, the whole reason behind Hitler’s Anschluss between Germany and Austria in 1938 was to get his hands on this object.

A MARKET OF WITCHES?

Located on Calle Jiminez and Linares between Sagarnaga and Santa Cruz in, it’s impossible to miss the Witches’ Market of La Paz, Bolivia, which is found right in a lively tourist area. Dozens of vendors line the streets to sell a number of strange and fascinating products and the raw ingredients used in rituals to call on the spirits that populate the Aymara world.

Among the many items sold at the market are dried llama fetuses that are said to bring both prosperity and good luck, dried frogs used for Aymara rituals, soapstone figurines, aphrodisiac formulas, owl feathers, dried turtles and snakes, herbs, and folk remedies. Witch doctors in dark hats and dresses wander

through the market offering fortune-telling services.

The dried llama fetuses are the most prominent product available at the market. These animals are fairly large and are used throughout the country, buried in the foundations of new buildings as an offering to the goddess Pachamama. It is believed that the buried llama fetuses keep construction workers safe, but these are only used by poor Bolivians. Wealthy Bolivians usually sacrifice a living llama to Pachamama.

Gobekli Tepe: The World’s First Temple?

Six miles from Urfa, an ancient city in southeastern Turkey, Archaeologist have made one of the most startling discoveries of our time: massive carved stones about 11,000 years old, crafted and arranged by prehistoric people who had not yet developed metal tools or even pottery. The megaliths predate Stonehenge by some 6,000 years.

The place is called Gobekli Tepe,

Archaeologist are convinced it’s the site of the world’s oldest temple.

“Gate of the Gods” at Hayu Marca, Peru

An ancient legend speaks of a mysterious door which is located in the vicinity of Lake Titicaca. This door, will open one day and welcome the creator gods of all mankind. These gods will return in their “Solar Ships” and all mankind will be in awe.

Strangely such a door seems to exist according to researchers.

Located near the mountainous region of Hayu Brand, 35 Km of the city of Puno in Peru, we find the mysterious “Gate of the Gods”. Since immemorial time, this region has been revered by local natives who actually consider it as the “city of the gods” Even though a few structures have been discovered, researchers believe that there are numerous monuments hidden beneath the surface.

This “Gate” was discovered by accident when local tour guide Jose Luis Delgado Mamani was hiking in the surrounding area. Curiously Mamani stated that he had long before dreamed about this structure and saw what appeared to be a door covered with pink marble with several figures located to the sides. These visions are closely linked to the legends of the native Indians of the area that tell that this “door” was a “gateway to the land of the Gods”. Legends speak that in the distant past, great heroes crossed into the land of the gods, enjoying a prosperous and glorious immortal life.

Another legend says that during the time of the Spanish conquest, an Incan priest called Amaru Muru, from the temple of the seven rays fled from his temple with a sacred golden disk known as “the key to the gods of the seven rays“. The priest hid in the mountains of Hayu Brand afraid that the Spanish might take the key from him.

Later the priest arrived at the “Gate of the Gods” at Hayu Marca, where he showed the key to several priests and shamans of the area. After they performed a ritual, the door opened with a blue light emanating from it. The priest, Amaru Muru handed the golden disk to one of the shamans and entered the door, he was never seen again.

 

Mysteriously, researchers have found a circular depression to the side of the door where a smaller disk-shaped object could have been placed.

Visitors who have traveled to the “Gate of the Gods” at Hayu Marca, and who have placed their hands on the small door state that they feel a great energy that flows through their bodies, they have also described strange visions like stars, columns of fire and music which some described as being “rhythmic, unusual and extraordinary”.

 in the region.

JOHN FRUM DAY?

South Pacific villagers worship a mysterious American they call John Frum - believing he’ll one day shower their remote island with riches

John Frum is a figure associated with cargo cults on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu. He is often depicted as an American World War II serviceman who will bring wealth and prosperity to the people if they follow him. He is sometimes portrayed as black, sometimes as white. 

Every year on February 15th, natives of Tanna Island in the Republic of Vanuatu hold a grand celebration in honor of an imaginary man named John Frum. Villagers clothe themselves in homemade US Army britches, paint “USA” on their bare chests and backs, and run a replica of Old Glory up the flagpole alongside the Marine Corps Emblem and the state flag of Georgia. Barefoot soldiers then march in perfect step in the shadow of Yasur, the island’s active volcano, with red-tipped bamboo “rifles” slung over their shoulders. February 15th is known as John Frum day on Tanna Island, and these activities are the islanders’ holiest religious service. 

A CHURCH CARVED FROM STONE?

The 11 medieval monolithic cave churches of this 13th-century 'New Jerusalem' are situated in a mountainous region in the heart of Ethiopia near a traditional village with circular-shaped dwellings. Lalibela is a high place of Ethiopian Christianity, still today a place of pilgrimage and devotion. 

In a mountainous region in the heart of Ethiopia, some 645 km from Addis Ababa, eleven medieval monolithic churches were carved out of rock. Their building is attributed to King Lalibela who set out to construct in the 12th century a ‘New Jerusalem’, after Muslim conquests halted Christian pilgrimages to the holy Land. Lalibela flourished after the decline of the Aksum Empire.

There are two main groups of churches – to the north of the river Jordan: Biete Medhani Alem  (House of the Saviour of the World), Biete  Mariam (House of Mary), Biete  Maskal (House of the Cross), Biete Denagel (House of Virgins), Biete Golgotha Mikael (House of Golgotha Mikael); and to the south of the river, Biete Amanuel (House of Emmanuel), Biete Qeddus Mercoreus (House of St. Mercoreos), Biete Abba Libanos (House of Abbot Libanos), Biete Gabriel Raphael (House of Gabriel Raphael), and Biete Lehem (House of Holy Bread). The eleventh church, Biete Ghiorgis (House of St. George), is isolated from the others, but connected by a system of trenches.

The churches were not constructed in a traditional way but rather were hewn from the living rock of monolithic blocks. These blocks were further chiselled out, forming doors, windows, columns, various floors, roofs etc. This gigantic work was further completed with an extensive system of drainage ditches, trenches and ceremonial passages, some with openings to hermit caves and catacombs.

THE BURNING MONK

In June 1963, most Americans couldn’t find Vietnam on a map. But there was no forgetting that war-torn Southeast Asian nation after Associated Press photographer Malcolm Browne captured the image of Thich Quang Duc immolating himself on a Saigon street. Browne had been given a heads-up that something was going to happen to protest the treatment of Buddhists by the regime of President Ngo Dinh Diem. Once there he watched as two monks doused the seated elderly man with gasoline. “I realized at that moment exactly what was happening, and began to take pictures a few seconds apart,” he wrote soon after. His Pulitzer Prize–­winning photo of the seemingly serene monk sitting lotus style as he is enveloped in flames became the first iconic image to emerge from a quagmire that would soon pull in America. Quang Duc’s act of martyrdom became a sign of the volatility of his nation, and President Kennedy later commented, “No news picture in history has generated so much emotion around the world as that one.” Browne’s photo forced people to question the U.S.’s association with ­Diem’s government, and soon resulted in the Administration’s decision not to interfere with a coup that November.

DOOR BLESSING

If you’re a Catholic, you’ve probably seen it, a series of letters and numbers, inscribed in chalk over a doorway at your parish, or at the home of a friend.  If you don’t know what the chalk is all about, you’re certainly not alone.

Epiphany (also known as Twelfth Night, Theophany, or Three Kings Day) marks the occasion of a time-honored Christian tradition of “chalking the doors.” Is simple: take chalk of any color and write the following above the entrance of your home: 20 + C + M + B + 20.

The letters have two meanings. First, they represent the initials of the 3 Kings. It is done on New Year’s Day. Traditionally the blessing is done by either a priest or the father of the family. This blessing can be performed simply by just writing the inscription and offering a short prayer, or more elaborately, including songs, prayers, processions, the burning of incense, and the sprinkling of holy water.

After many Epiphany Masses, satchels of blessed chalk, incense, and containers of Epiphany water (holy water blessed with special blessings for Ephiphany) are distributed. These can then be brought home and used to perform the ritual. Another common practice is to save a few grains of the Epiphany incense until Easter, so that it can be burned along with the Easter candle.

Practicing traditions like the chalking of the doors helps us to live our Faith more concretely and serve as an outward sign of our dedication to Our Lord. Our homes are also the place where many of us will make the greatest strides in our spiritual growth, through observance of daily prayer, spiritual reading, and work offered as an oblation to God.

 We should strive to be as welcoming to all who come to our homes to visit us!

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