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preternatural occurrence that is viewed as the expression of a divine will. Its awe and wonder lie in the fact that the cause is hidden. The idea of the miracle occurs especially with the evolution of those highly developed religions that distinguish between natural law and divine will. Many supernatural or inexplicable events have been called miracles, but in the strict religious sense a miracle refers only to the direct intervention of divine will in the affairs of men. The adherents of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam attribute miracles to the omnipotence of God, the Creator, who alone can change the natural events of the world or can delegate that power to a disciple, such as Moses, Jesus, or Muhammad. In the history of Christianity miracles have played a major role, two of the most important examples of divine intervention being the Resurrection (Mat. 28; Mark 16; Luke 24; John 20; 21) and the Virgin Birth. Miracles in Christianity are also associated with saints' bodies and relics and with shrines. Some saints had in their lifetime great repute for curing the sick by supposed miracles. The Roman Catholic Church requires rigid attestation of miracles before canonizationcanonization
, in the Roman Catholic Church, process by which a person is classified as a saint. It is now performed at Rome alone, although in the Middle Ages and earlier bishops elsewhere used to canonize.
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, but does not officially require belief in other than biblical miracles.


rod flowering rod proved him to be God’s choice. [O.T.: Numbers 17:8]
Agnes, St.
hair grew to cover nakedness. [Christian Hagiog.: Brewster, 76–77]
Anthony of Padua
St. believed to have preached effectively to school of fishes. [Christian Legend: Benét, 39]
at wedding feast, Christ turns water into wine. [N.T.: John 2:1–11]
deus ex machina
improbable agent introduced to solve a dilemma. [Western Drama: LLEI, I: 279]
produced olive oil from ground by touch. [Gk. Myth.: Kravitz, 86]
Argonaut; could cross water without getting wet. [Gk. Myth.: Kravitz, 95 ]
his wish fulfilled when marionette becomes real boy. [Children’s Lit.: Pinocchio; Am. Cinema: Pinocchio in Disney Films, 32–37]
Holy Grail
chalice enabled Sir Galahad to heal a cripple. [Br. Lit.: Le Morte d’Arthur]
Jesus Christ
as son of God, performed countless miracles. [N.T.: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John]
loaves and fishes
Jesus multiplies fare for his following. [N.T.: Matthew 14:15–21; John 6:5–14]
underground spring revealed to Bernadette Soubirous in visions (1858); major pilgrimage site. [Fr. Hist.: EB, VI: 352; Am. Lit.: Song of Bernadette; Am. Cinema: The Song of Bernadette in Halliwell, 670]
undrinkably bitter waters, sweetened by Moses. [O.T.: Exodus 15:23–25]
Miracle on 34th Street
Santa Claus comes to New York. [Am. Cinema: Halliwell, 493]
parting of the Pamphylean Sea
Alexander’s hosts traverse sea in Persian march. [Class. Hist.: Gaster, 238]
parting of the Red Sea
divinely aided, Moses parts the waters for an Israelite escape. [O.T.: Exodus 14:15–31]
rod of Moses
transforms into serpent, then back again. [O.T.: Exodus 4:24]
as a sign that the Pope should absolve him, the papal scepter suddenly sprouts green leaves. [Ger. Myth.: Brewer Dictionary, 932]


1. an event that is contrary to the established laws of nature and attributed to a supernatural cause
2. short for miracle play
References in periodicals archive ?
We are so excited to introduce this new logo," said Ann McGee, Founder and National President of Miracle Flights.
Faith is exercised to some extent, and the faith that deviates greatly from accepted views of reality is generally credited with producing miracles.
These perceptions depend on how one understands God's acting in the world, as well: for example, in a Christian context, whether miracles are restricted to Jesus and to the early church or continue in the present time (pp.
The presence of miracles in the Gospels has been a puzzle and even an embarrassment to readers of the New Testament.
Miracles like Jane's on a global scale: gifts of health, gifts of life, and satisfying a moral and public health imperative.
Even schoolmaster Father Fitzpatrick (Gordon Pinsent), a staunch believer that ``chasing after miracles is blasphemy'' might come away thinking differently.
Andre Vauchez, "Le miracle dans la chretiente occidentale au Moyen Age entre vie sociale et experience religieuse," observes that healing and the revival of children are by far the most common category of miracles in Latin lives of saints (confirmed by Auzefy and Krotzl, among others; also in Byzantine, according to Deroche).
Part 2 contains a selection of primary texts providing the context of the eighteenth-century debate over miracles, including a nice selection of Hume's contemporary critics.
He finds that in comparison to earlier periods, the fourteenth century saw a higher percentage of "rescue" miracles relative to the still predominant thaumaturgic (healing) miracles that continued to monopolize hagiography.
Wherever Christ found little faith, He lamented its absence ("It's an evil and unfaithful generation that asks for a sign," Mt 12:39; 16:4; "And he did not work many miracles there because of their lack of faith," Mt 13:57).
11, communities throughout the United States and Canada will make miracles for children during the sixth annual Dairy Queen([R]) Miracle Treat Day.