The Catholic Defender: Amazing! Jesus Calms the Sea Before Tumaco Columbia 1906
“On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd, they took him with them, just as he was, in the boat. And other boats were with him. And a great storm of wind arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care if we perish?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?” And they were filled with awe, and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even wind and sea obey him?” Mark 4:35-41
St. Mark brings to light a scene that took place on the Sea of Galilee, it was evening and Jesus was asleep on a cushion when a major violent squall began breaking over the boat. As Jesus awoke, He rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Quiet”, be still. Think about the amazement that the Apostles felt as the wind and the Sea obeyed Jesus.
This is an important sign of Jesus that also points to His saving presence in the face of persecution. In the history of the Church we have seen this manifested in many different ways. The following is an example of Jesus working a great miracle through His Eucharistic Presence that defies all natural logic and reason.
It was 1906, a violent undersea earthquake threatened the Pacific Coast all along the shoreline in Central America affecting Panama and Columbia centrally and the Island of Tumaco stood right in the path of the Tsunamis. Father Bernardino Garcia said of the devastation that followed, “Unexpectedly an enormous wave (a tremendous tidal wave) crashed into the port, reached into the market area and destroyed everything. Boats that had been drawn up on shore were picked up and hurled long distances away, causing heavy losses”.
Considering that I was chased by two huge hurricanes, Katrina and Rita in August/September 2005 as I was stationed right outside New Orleans at the time, I can only imagine the following story.
On the Island of Tumaco, the Catholic Priest, Father Gerardo Larrondo, found himself right in the path of this massive tidal wave. It was January 31, 1906 at 10:00 A.M. when the earthquake lasted nearly ten minutes.
Inspired by the villagers that ran to the church, Fr. Gerardo lead a Eucharistic procession to the beach finding the sea already rising flooding part of the beach. This tidal wave was plunging inland a kilometer and a half with a huge wall of water building up forming this massive wave that threatened the inhabitants. Fr. Gerardo proclaimed, “Let us go, my people. Let us go toward the beach, and may God have pity on us.”
As Father Larrondo reached the beach with the monstrance lifted high he and the people displayed great courage in the face of this tidal wave when it came crashing on the shore. Father made the sign of the cross with the Monstrance when the wave paused and then backed off into the sea. The wave was stopped in it’s tracks by an invisible hand, the hand of Jesus the Lord. People went running through the area exclaiming and proclaiming a great miracle. The massive wall of water that previously threatened to destroy a whole village on Tumaco Island came to an abrupt stop and receded back into the sea as the shoreline went back to normal.
We know that like the Apostles who witnessed Jesus calm the storm as it obeyed His command to be still and be quiet, the world soon became aware of this great Eucharistic Miracle through the outpouring of thanks and gratitude by the people to Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Like the Apostles, Fr. Larrondo and his faithful congregation “were filled with great awe and said to one another, ‘Who then is this whom even the wind and the sea obey”?
This is a great reminder how the Lord can see us through the greatest challenges of life. Our faith is the great gift for us who believe. May our faith be strong and growing as we await the stormy seas of life and the mounting tidal waves that crash all around us.
James 2:19 states, “You believe that God is one. You do well. Even the demons believe that and tremble.” At the Eucharistic table, we see the Lord acting as one, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the Trinity in total unity, the Father is the Purpose, the Son is the Passion, and the Holy Spirit is the Power. We see the purpose, passion, and power of God in faith as did St. John the Baptist at the Baptism of the Lord. The Eucharistic Miracle of Tumaco Columbia is an example of the manifestation of God’s Presence among us.