It is amazing how miracles are shown to us by our Lord. This defies explanation. When the worst fire disaster in a century occurred in the city of Lahaina, on the island of Maui, in the state of Hawaii, the world was shocked. With wind gusts reaching 80 miles per hour, temperatures reaching 90 degrees, and during a drought season, it was a recipe for pure disaster. The video of the fire was beyond belief. All I could think of is why Lahaina – a city so beautiful and steeped in the island’s history. It has such historical treasures, including the Banyan tree. The tree is still alive after 150 years. That in itself is a miracle. But the most amazing miracle is the Catholic Church that was first built in 1846. There is an interesting history about Lahaina, as it became a port for the whaling ships to restock fresh food, repair the ships, and have some R&R while the sailors were in port. But then some missionaries came to teach the islanders about sin and salvation. For a while the Whalers wanted to send the missionaries back to the states, but slowly and begrudgingly it calmed down and the missionaries were able to do the Lord’s work. One such missionary was Father Aubert. He was a member of the Congregation of the Sacred Heart of Mary and Jesus. The original church consisted of an adobe building and a grass hut church. The church was named Maria Lanakila – English translation is “Our Lady of Victory” – and it was dedicated in 1858. By 1873 the rebuilt church was made of stone and still stands today. The church was improved in 1918. Maria Lanakila has been part of Lahaina for 177 years. So, what is the miracle? Reverend Monsignor Terrance Watanabe walked through the destruction after the fire and saw the church was untouched. He went inside and saw the flowers on the altar still fresh and unharmed. But the area around Maria Lanakila looked like a war zone, and nothing was left standing. It is like someone photoshopped the church into a field of total desolation. But what is a miracle – something that cannot be explained by nature. Of course, we cannot explain why the church stands and the flowers were unharmed because it is the Lord’s way of assuring mankind that He is still watching over us. Man has tried to explain miracles with scientific laws and explain away the unnatural, saying that our mind is playing tricks on us, or we see what we want to believe. So, what is my response to the non-believers? It is quite simple: the Church still stands! May God bless and watch over Maui.
SharLeigh has an inquisitive nature – she is interested in current events, history, science and many more subjects, including things that go bump in the night! Since 1997, SharLeigh has scoured the internet, looking for interesting, fun and timely topics covering all sorts of human-interest subjects for her articles from her home in Fontana, CA.