Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Acronyms, Idioms, Wikipedia.


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.
..... Click the link for more information.
, but does not officially require belief in other than biblical miracles.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/


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]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. an event that is contrary to the established laws of nature and attributed to a supernatural cause
2. short for miracle play
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
"During our 2012 fund-raising campaign, we raised a record-breaking $5.9 million, helping to make millions of miracles happen at Children's Miracle Network Hospitals," said Ken Martindale, Rite Aid's chief operating officer and president of the Rite Aid Foundation.
Her conservative estimate, based on published editions, is that between 1080 and 1220 English writers compiled at least seventy-five collections of saints' posthumous miracles, an important parallel to English "Miracles of the Virgin." Claiming that miracle collection was "a defining and major literary phenomenon of the long twelfth century;' Koopmans has written "in essence, a literary history" (2-3).
"In his time here Bernard has consistently worked to raise Miracle's profile, his efforts of which can be seen in our ever-increasing, loyal client base," Mr Jawahery said.
Koopmans discerns two phases in the development of a 'craze' for miracle collecting in England.
In short, a miracle is considered proof that the person is in heaven and can intercede with God.
On the same day Miracle was found, another cat was dropped off on the doorstep of the animal centre with a note saying the owner could not look after it any more.
The chapter on the New Testament (NT) material deals clearly with small but significant factors, such as why miracle stories in Matthew, Mark and Luke do not constitute three independent sources for the stories.
In the second half of the book, the author summarizes the treatment of miracles in selected canonization proceedings and other hagiographical sources.
The presence of miracles in the Gospels has been a puzzle and even an embarrassment to readers of the New Testament.
"We've raised $110,000 over the past four years just with the Miracle on the Mountain event," she says.
Miracle has a nice yearling filly by Motivator, was barren to Verglas last year, and is in foal to Selkirk.
The Catholic Church is close to attributing a miracle to Cardinal John Newman, who died in 1890, and he will soon be beatified - the last step before canonisation.